Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Snow Baby

 I had extremely grand plans for these pictures. I dreamt that a thick layer of snow would fall and the woods behind my house would be crisp white and prefect for snapping frosty photographs in. Alas this did not happen. Despite most of the country being blanketed in white, Cornwall is not (though it is uncharacteristically cold and last night saw our first, and perhaps last, frost of 2014!)

Another slight hinderance was the lens on my poor camera has broken (any help would be appreciated) so these were all taken on my iphone (!). I really hate the quality of them but I really wanted to get this post done before the fall of 2015!

All that aside I had fun snapping these pictures in my garden earlier. The weather was delightfully crisp and fresh; very fitting for my ensemble. The outfit was mostly inspired by some wonderful Christmas cake decorations that belonged to my Grandma; tiny little 1930s snow babies, carol singers, Santas and Polar Bears. 

Source: 1

A little research reveals that they were made by a German company called Bisque. We have a whole host of characters including two very amusing dancing polar bears. Each year we bring them all out and start by choosing our favourites to adorn the cake, gradually they all make it on as we feel sorry for the ones left in the box. Needless to say our cake looks pretty crackers when complete (this year we went all out and added Marzipan fruits).

Prior to the icing of the cake my mum and I on went a last minute shopping spree (around the charity shops) and popped into a, usually rather expensive, vintage shop in town. Hanging on the sale rail we  found these amazing Angora leggings. I've always wanted a pair of fluffy white thermals so they were snapped up and put away until Christmas day. Although I wasn't surprised when I opened them, I was delighted. They are the warmest item of clothing I've ever owned, and therefore probably the most practical, although I do feel very silly in them, very much like a giant snow baby might feel in fact. 

The cardigan is v.fancy, 100% Cashmere no less, and was a gift from one of my mum's lovely friends. It is the perfect compliment to my snowball leggings. Here I am prancing atop a Christmas cake.

Even better than the fluffy leggings are my boots. They are 1930s lace ups and were a Christmas gift last year. I love them so much, they are both the perfect fit and SO gloriously comfortable to wear. I truly wish boots like this were still made today.

I'm yet to actually sample any Christmas cake as I'm not much of a fan (I really can't abide sultanas, currants or raisins in combination with cake products) I much prefer a slice of my mum's marvellous New York baked cheesecake, another family heirloom passed down from my Grandma . It's delicious especially when combined with a crafty activity such as a making a snow globe. I've got very in to making them this season (I've made three already). They are surprisingly easy and make a lovely last minute dinner party gift.

Here's how:


An old (but clean) jam jar and it's lid

1 tablespoon of Glycerine

A jar full of boiled and cooled water

LOTS of glitter

An Assortment of Christmas cake decorations (trees, robbins, holly- or less seasonal items!)

A glue gun


Carefully glue gun your decorations to the inside of the jam jar lid and leave to throughly dry.

Fill the jam jar with the water and Glycerine and stir. Then add the glitter!

Screw the lid on and glue gun around the seal to make sure it's firmly sealed.

Shake and tadahhh!

*it's very important to boil the water and let it cool as it'll purify it and therefore stop lots of bubbles forming at the top of the jar!

I do hope you all had a wonderful festive season, I'll see you again in 2015.


Outfit Details:

Faux fur hat - Christmas gift several years ago

Vintage Angora leggings - Local vintage shop

Vintage Italian neckerchief - Belonged to my Great Auntie

100% Cashmere cardigan - Gift from a friend

Lace top - Christmas gift via a Charity shop

1930s lace up leather boots - Christmas gift last year 


Thursday, 18 December 2014

The Christmas Sprout

 It's tinsel season again so in celebration I have dressed up as the much maligned and misunderstood vegetable; the sprout! I have to say I'm a big fan of sprouts, although I haven't always been. I have, over recent years, found a number of recipes that cheer them up royally. I adore them sauteed in butter with cumin and nigella seeds (SO delicious). For the more adventurous sprout eaters among you try some of these Yotam Ottolengi recipes, I can wholeheartedly recommend the sprout risotto.

This very silly outfit was found in Lidl of all places, I think it's intended for a large child but I loved the luscious green and took a gamble that it might fit! The hat was a Christmas present last year and has come to be known in our house as The Sprout Hat. It's incredibly warm and always makes passersby giggle. The funny little red boots I found at a charity shop in the summer for the grand sum of £3! They are Hungarian folk dancing boots, I'd been after a pair for years but not wanted to pay the usually enormous price tag attached. They are 1960s ones, with very plastic soles, not all that comfortable but they are great for prancing around in at home.

The photographs were heavily inspired by everyone's favourite Christmas grump; The Grinch. I love his mad expression!

Source: 1

All that is left to say is Merry Christmas! I hope you all have extremely Jolly ones filled with love and hopefully a baileys or two! I'll be back with some more seasonally inspired photographs after Christmas. Joining in with the Christmas Share in Style.

Outfit Details

Kids ski suit- Lidl

Faux fur hat - River Island

Sprout earrings and brooch - Claires Accessories

1960s Hungarian folk dancing boots- car boot sale

Tinsel wig- Lameta from The Range


Friday, 28 November 2014

The Earthly Paradise

I recently spent the weekend in London. Whilst there I visited the William Morris exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and it has re-ignited my love for Morris and his band of merry followers. If you haven't visited (and are able to) I thoroughly recommend it. Not only are there a delightful and delectable selection of objects but it is all curated in such a loving and thoughtful manner, it left me feeling utterly inspired and with a long list of people, objects and themes to research!

I particularly loved two items; this beautiful iridescent vase by William de Morgan and this sweet wallpaper designed for a nursery by C.F.A Voysey called The House That Jack Built.

Sources: 1, 2

On my arrival back in Cornwall, the tree branches were bare and a crisp chill had set in the air; winter had arrived. These photographs were taken in my mum's garden and are very much inspired by the pictures of Morris, his family and friends in the garden at The Red House

 Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

I wanted to celebrate that beautiful cusp between Autumn and Winter and my mum's garden is the perfect place to engage in such celebration. My mum's grassy lawn is a wonderful array of moss, clover and strange yellow mushrooms which make padding across it like walking on thick pile rug, close up snaps of it form the border for these photographs.

The outfit was inspired by Morris and Burne-Jones in the picture above and a little by the outfits of the children in The Secret Garden (both book and film).

 Source: 6

  I've been after a pair of velvet breeches for many years, these ones were a recent find at a Vintage Flea Market and they are an absolute dream; the perfect fit and colour. The tweed waistcoat is another recent find. Purchased in Oxfam, there is also a matching tweed jacket, I haven't taken them off since I bought them last month. I've recently taken to a sort of dapper gent look, I've always enjoyed dappling in cross-dressing but for some reason this year I've felt particular drawn to menswear. The shoes were also from Oxfam, a lady had donated her entire collection of brogues to the shop and I bought two pairs, both hardly worn and only half a size too big (one has to suffer for dandyism!) There were another pair, a slightly lighter brown, which I wish wish I hadn't left behind, I'm just secretly hoping somebody I know has bought them for me for Christmas!

The shirt is Bavarian, I bought it in the summer from a friend's car boot sale stall. It's striped cotton and has little embroidered chickens on the front; I love the voluminous sleeves, they feel so theatrical. The cravat belonged to my mum in the 1980s and has been the source of much fighting between my brother and I. I originally owned it, then he nabbed it for a Halloween costume (a dead Lord Byron) and now I have reclaimed it, all be it with a little more fake blood attached.

This post has taken inordinate amount of time to put together due to a number of dull details that I shan't bore you with but I will say that over the last few days I have gained a greater appreciation for the transiency and effervesce of life and objects. This weekend for several reasons I will be staying as far away as possible from my computer. I'm going to take a long walk, inhale deeply and appreciate the details because as William Morris said 'the true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.'

I hope you all have happy weekends and enjoy being outside: the crunchy leaves, the damp dusky smells and the crisp, fresh air.

Linking to Visible Monday

Outfit Details

Striped and embroidered Bavarian shirt - Car boot sale
1950s tweed waistcoat - Oxfam
Ex-theatre green velvet breeches - Vintage Flea Market
Cravat - belonged to my mum
Vintage brogues - Oxfam
Vintage faux fur hat - Car boot sale
Red Christmas bow - The Range
1960s reversible tartan cape - Charity shop


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Work in Progress

I've been so busy lately painting for my exhibition at The Glorious Art House next year and also for a Christmas art fair in Falmouth that my mum and I were asked to join. I'll be selling smaller canvases and maybe prints too.

I've been working in my mum's studio which is at the bottom of her garden. It's been great having the space and time to just get on with things and not be interrupted by daily life. There is also a wood burner which is SO nice; being warm whilst working is a definite luxury.

The photographs above are for the Christmas show and below are for the exhibition in February (using my Virgin of Guadalupe series) All these photographs are of my work in progress, they are still to be resined and then overpainted.

My mum's studio is the most wonderful place to work in, there is so much to look at, it's a very enriching experience. I never wear anything fancy for days in the studio as I am commonly recognised as the messiest person in existence; I end up with paint on my sleeves and in my hair! I always wear one of my two pairs of jeans (501s of course!) and a nice printed tee (helps mask the paint better!), this particular one is Celia Birtwell for Uniqlo which I got for a meagre £2.50 in their sale last year. Red lipstick is about my only attempt at looking less messy.

Right! It's back to studio, I have lots to do. I'm off to London tomorrow and I want to try and get a few canvases resined so they are ready when I return next week. I'm so excited to catch up with friends and see lots of exhibitions (particularly Anarchy & Beauty: William Morris and His Legacy at the NPG). I love London at this time of year, it's much colder than Cornwall, I've been finding it odd how warm it is here so it'll be nice to feel the crisp chill!

P.s spy my mum right at the bottom, painting away!