Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Mood Board Curation

In between moving house, starting a fresh in a different part of the country and beginning the never ending mission that is finding a job, my slothenly procrastination ways have led to the creation of a series of distraction and beauty. Given that I'm a sucker for a bit of visual inspiration, lately I have been curating a collection of gorgeous, mood led images into daily boards and posting them over on my Faded Windmills facebook page.

This carefully selected array of hazy sunsets, striking fonts and current fashion favourites have been seriously brightening up my days, filling my mind with all manner of creative ideas and inspiring me to add a little beauty to my life in teeny tiny ways.

If you fancy strolling over to the original images you can find them and a spectacular amount more back at base, on my pinterest page, or for frequently updated exhibits of a gorgeous nature then head in the direction of my facebook page, but for now here are a handful of my favourite mood boards so far!

Sending luck and wishes for the week ahead. Make it a colourful one!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Re evaluating & Reasoning

Sit down and just write.

Forget those worries. You know the ones, they pile up at the back of your mind, slowly pulling at your attention, demanding, forceful, sharp. No. Everyone has their fair share of doubts and fears where self confidence takes a step to the side allowing the critical thoughts to elbow their way to the front. Today you will take a deep breath. You will open the door, letting the light flood the room and the sound of a sleepy Sunday enter. You will ignore the gentle persuasion of tiredness and other poor excuses and you will begin to write.

Taking a moments pause from writing or blogging really set me back a few steps, when it came to jumping back into it. That daunting blank page filled me with unease. I know I'm not the only one to suffer from thoughts of 'is this good enough?', but when you think about it; who really cares? This is my blog, right? I write to entertain myself and hopefully as a result, one or two other people with similar interests, but that's sort of it. It is a way of sharing thoughts, feelings and ideas. A way of informing and entertaining. A wonderful tool to record particular moments and to open up conversations with a whole community. So why the worry?

We put incredible amounts of pressure on ourselves these days for all manner of things, so letting the fear of comparison and critique stop us from doing what it is we enjoy so much, when there are already many more important issues at hand- well, that really does put things in perspective and seems plain silly. Of course, people take pride in their work and care immensely about the quality of what they produce. Rightly so! But letting those worries pile up so high, that you can't see over them to even pick up a pen and create, well that is a real shame. So I have decided to attempt to conquer at least one worry in my life!

The strongest worry, regarding my blog, besides it looking relatively amateur layout wise (I'm working on it), was that I didn't really have a niche. I can't pin point an audience or narrow down my content to fit neatly in a typical blogging category. My friends, I simply enjoy too many things and being awful at making decisions anyway, have come to the conclusion that rather than limit myself by pigeon holing my thoughts, I'm just gonna post! Inconsistent, unregulated, eclectic as it comes, content!

This also goes for my Etsy store. I have been working at business plans, creating content, writing up proposals and budgets whilst beating away this nagging voice telling me the only way to succeed is to have A thing. A speciality, a theme, a style. This has put me off launching and opening a store since forever, as my work just doesn't follow this. I love knitting and crochet but I also love illustration. I want to create hand embroidered and beaded bridal accessories but have a million ideas for haberdashery goods. I understand the advice to stick to one thing and master it but I have really found that for me, this holds me back. This adds to those doubts and it has ground my project to a screeching halt; so a new tactic is in order. Create whatever I feel like, pour my heart into each peace and open up to opportunities! Relax, see where the pieces take me and adapt my handmade creations according to where my inspirations lie and what feedback I may receive along the way. My Aladdin's cave of treasures is on the horizon, no limitations and probably one heck of a mess but that's who I am, may as well own it, right?

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Give It Away Now // #bloggerbookswap

So the gorgeous Char over at t*rexes and tiaras held one of her annual #bloggerbookswap events where readers of her blog can unite in their shared love of literature. Of course anything to do with books, treasure hunting and post and I'm definitely in; with today's feature I wanted to share with you the delightful parcel I received!!

Char lovingly matched up all of her contributors and upon receiving our postal partners and a few likes and dislikes we set to task, picking out a book or two to wrap up with a bow and send to it's new owner. The great part about this particular event is that the books are previously owned by you! So not only do you receive a newbie with high recommendations but you also get to lighten your shelves whilst knowing your precious novels will live on and be looked after by fellow readers!

I managed to land myself the belle of the ball and got to choose a little parcel for Char herself, and upon opening my little treat from her I couldn't believe what beautiful things lay beneath that barrage of stamps!

Not only do I now own (and can't wait to sink my teeth into) Theft of Life by Imogen Robertson and The Death of Lyndon Wilder and the Consequences Thereof written by D. A. Dineley but I also have the cutest note pad/ sketch book, a bundle of sea green bracelets and a stunning post card! What a gift!!

Both of the books have me super intrigued and sound totally my cup of tea when it comes to novels. Theft of Life is set in London 1785 after the body of a West Indies planter is discovered in the grounds of St Pauls. Investigations pursue and fingers begin pointing but as the plot untangles the answers do not appear to be as simple as once thought. And in The Death of Lyndon Wilder we follow the arrival of Ridley Halls new governess Anna Arbuthnot. Entering a household deep in mourning and befriending a newly orphaned young charge, chaos, threats and family legacies question the strength and survival of Ridley estate.

Two hefty reads that I am incredibly excited to get stuck into and who knows, possibly even worthy of passing on to another book lover, sharing stories and recommendations and a great way to give an old novel a new lease of life!

Be sure to keep a close eye on t*rexes and tiaras as Char hosts many a creative swap event, so head over and get involved!

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Catching Up

I had one of those moments recently when you look up and suddenly weeks have gone by yet I've no recollection of the passing time. I know I can be somewhat of an airhead (tis true) but seriously, who stole the last month or so? And whoever it was, can you please tell me what I've been up to and whether it was interesting or not?!

My weary forgetfulness is one of the major reasons I am a list maker. Yes. I am one of those annoying people with scraps of paper floating around with their inner most personal thoughts listed amongst a cupcake recipe and next weeks errands, post it notes galore and one too many notebooks on the go. Lists are a bit of a life saver and for a naturally gifted worrier such as myself, they can relieve a stressed mind and allow for some restful sleep!

Blogging is also a fantastic way to record those moments you wish to hold onto and to share on. So with the winning combination of sharing my recent thoughts and findings in list formation before they are entirely lost to me, lets have a wee catch up!

wearing: Bare legs; making the most of that summery weather (however brief it was). Casual pencil skirts; comfy, flattering and easy to wear.

searching: Apartment hunting in the East of the Netherlands; yes, a move is on the cards!

planning: Coffee and cake with a new friend. Whipping up a retro silhouette blouse for the #Simplicitybloggerchallenge.

coveting: All of the beautiful copies of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland that seem to be illuminating the book shops at the moment, in honour of the novels 150th anniversary. My particular favourites were this eye popping pink and black, leather bound hard back copy and also the stunning Penguins Classics version and of course this punchy, one of a kind cover designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood.

listening: The neighbours chickens gossiping in the garden and my early morning cycle playlist. On. Repeat.

studying: Dutch of course, by translating the visually wonderful Flow magazine. Win win!

finishing: My first ever crochet blanket!

reading: After devouring The Help by Kathryn Stockett and A Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab I went, once again, in an altogether different direction and am currently reading and enjoying Northanger Abbey by the legend that is Jane Austin.

marathoning: Orphan Black series one and two. Boy was I hooked from the get go. To appease my appetite after completing what Netflix had to offer on the series I have begun to watch The Fall; creepy, dark and mysterious chock full of irresistible Irish accents.

polishing: My CV. You never know when your next project or career adventure is around the corner...

consuming: Caramel cappuccino by the bucket load, pear ice lollies and rijst pap (cold rice pudding!).

adding: These new Dutch phrases and words to my growing vocab; 'Een flesje champagne opentrekken en op de tafels dansen!' ~ open a bottle of champagne and dance on the tables! 'Genieten van wat er is' ~ enjoy what there is. 'Trouw zijn aan jezelf' ~ being true to yourself. 'Begeren' ~ covet. 'Paplepel ingegoten' ~ spoonfed. 'Bewondert' ~ admire.

receiving: A beautiful post card from my beautiful friend and an exciting parcel from the lovely Char for her #bloggerbookswap event!

pinning: Always, always pinning. Most recently though lots of interior inspiration with the move coming up, seeking a new look for my hair this summer and many an hour procrastinating with other beautiful images.

feasting my eyes: Love Rosie, Cake, Still Alice, Laggies, Begin Again and Last Night. Fuelling my love of film, and apparent interest in Keira of late!

So out comes the notebook and pencil in preparation of journaling the upcoming weeks. Feel free to share below anything you've been up to lately or any of your favourite things from this month!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Turn It Up // #1 Early Morning Cycle

Am I the only nerd closet rock star that has wildly dramatic day dreams whilst listening to just the right song at just the right moment in time, as that hazy sunshine hits the train window- the perfect lighting for your music video...

There is something resoundingly fun about escaping into music, allowing it to envelope your senses, letting out all that daily fuss by dancing like a wild woman, perfecting your air guitar and drum solo, screeching out half made up lyrics whilst in a traffic jam or choreographing some seriously 'contemporary' dance moves in the shower (tread wisely here!).

One of my favourite things to do is switch up my playlists for my journey to work, for crafting in my little studio and for evenings relaxing at home. I think this could make a nice series of posts for our ever changing moods and this first playlist I am sharing is what I have been using for my early morning cycle. I hope one or two of you enjoy. Pleasant jamming dearest peoples!

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Thursday, 23 April 2015

Say It Like It Is // T - Shirt Sass

You know those days when you struggle to keep that polite tight lip, that person is testing your patience, you get a pull in your best 80 denier, the grumpy sales assistant going the right way for at least an audible tut... Some days you just can't take anymore, well boy do I have the solution!!

Say it with a sassy tee. Wear your heart attitude on your sleeve and put it bluntly for all to beware. I have had a party for one picking out the best, funniest and most fierce shirts fit for a she-ro! Please behold and enjoy!

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So keep your cool, grit those teeth and flash your foe a peek of your sassy armour! For further hilarity head over to the facebook page.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Loved Before Book Haul

Hello dearest Earth dwellers! I bring to you today note of my latest treasure hunt findings, this time round in the form of two beautifully well loved books! Feeling the weight of a sturdy hard back book, it's gently curled and torn front cover, the endearingly faded ink and musty scented pages, this here my friends, is indeed buried treasure!

Whilst on a trip visiting home, family, friends and all the Cadbury's I can store in my delightfully round face, my folks and I took a few day trips here and there, making the most of my being in England. One of our road trips led us to a local gem, Lichfield, although some what tiny for such classification, but a city no doubt, (cathedral and all).

Just a stones throw from my parents house, we headed over to the cobbled streets and trinket full shops of this historically rich place. The relevance of Lichfield, historically speaking is intriguing and much can be researched of it's past, including the bustling development of this thriving coaching city during the 18th century, housing some of the greatest minds of their time, like Erasmus Darwin, Anna Seward and also the writer of the first authoritative Dictionary of the English Language; Samuel Johnson. The home of Samuel Johnson stands in the heart of Lichfield and exists today as a museum exhibiting original artifacts from his life and of course, a second hand book shop! Which is where I picked up this little beauty.

This magnificent book is written by Margaret Sanders and titled Intimate Letters of England's Queens shares with us a collection of endearing correspondence from some of England's most notably discrete royals, allowing us a brief insight into captured moments and personal thoughts of these fascinating women. This copy was published by London Museum Press Limited in 1957 and is a first edition, but I found on Book Depository (link above), that it was re released last year! Great news!

Beginning with Catherine of Aragon and ending with Queen Victoria, Sanders has chosen letters for their romantic or human appeal, rather than historical significance, showing the diverse personalities and nature of each reigning Queen, but has also given the reader some fitting background knowledge illuminating this panorama of three hundred years of English history.

I have yet to read this, so I can't really give you a solid review or my own thoughts on the book, but I can however share with you the passage on the back cover, which is enough to make me cancel all plans for the weekend and fall into this wildly romantic notion of peering behind the velvet curtain;

Memoirs of the Comtesse de Boigne
The Comtesse de Boigne was born in 1781; she died in 1866, having lived through three revolutions and a war that lasted 25 years.
Bought up in the shadow of Versailles, Adèle d' Osmond was the spoilt plaything of Louis XV1 and Marie Antoinette, while in the later years, as Comtesse de Boigne, she moved in the most distinguished circles of the Empire and the Restoration and was intimate with the remarkable men and women who helped to shape the destinies of her country. Writing with wit and a sound judgement of character, she brings to life such illustrious contemporaries as Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X; the prince Regent of England and his daughter, Charlotte; Talleyrand, Metternich and Castlereagh; Chateaubriand and Madame de Staël. 
This book is a fascinating commentary on an age when splendour and tragedy were so closely linked.

On a separate day out with ma and pa, on our way to Worcester for the afternoon, we stopped in one of the local villages at a tiny church fair, with the most curious selection of second hand books on offer. I scored a copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockettwhich I am currently devouring. Despite loving the movie and now too the novel, it unfortunately happens to be a movie tie in paper back version, so not exactly worth photographing for you. One wonderful book I found that I do want to share with you is this extraordinary and subjective look at the mind behind Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll The Raven and the Writing Desk by Francis Huxley.

This copy happens to be published by Thames and Hudson, London, in 1976. Here is a little something from the introduction to this book, maybe it captures your interest or at least helps explains what drove me to wrestle an OAP to the ground in order to buy it;

Anyone who has enjoyed the adventures of Alice will enjoy and be thoroughly intrigued by this brilliant book. So will those with interests in language, psychology and structuralism, who will appreciate the help that a study of Nonsense can give them. And all those who are attracted by puzzles, games and enigmas will want to know not just how, but in how many ways, the riddle can be solved.

So there you have it, two rather unusual finds but super fascinating subjects with beautifully eye catching covers, tenderly looked after by their previous owners. I look forward to learning more as I read these books, but for now I will be happy to have adopted them into my care.