Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Bitchin Stitchin // Embroidered Everyday Fashion

// image //


If ever there was a diverse style, easily interchangeable between genres and trends, embroidered embellishment would be it. From basic wardrobe day to day staples to high end couture, add an appliqué scattering of vintage flowers, a dash of iridescent beading or a kitschy hand stitched phrase and your look is instantly personal, seasonally adaptable and opens your wardrobe up to a newer, fresher level of customising options.


There are so many areas of embroidered fashion that I could go on and on discussing and drooling over, but for today's post I'm focusing on the daily pieces that can be easily woven into any standard outfit, purchased straight off the high street or even created at home with a little DIY know how.


Whether it is a retro 70's denim skirt, complete with floral patches bought on the high street, hand customised jacket giving pearl luxe realness or a absolute work of art depicting an entire jungle scene on your butt- denim seems to be a go to base for a folk inspired feel.








Take it up a notch for an evening look, working on darker backgrounds and more sumptuous fabrics such as velvet and silk and add a touch of sparkle to really amp up the boho starlet vibe.


// Bombs Away // Nuevo Folk //


// Beaded Boho // Pucci Luxe //


Show some pet love and adorn your favourite blouse with an insanely accurate portrait of your kitten, pooch or any other cute as pie image you can think of!




Speaking your mind can sometimes land you in heated water, why not let your collar do all the talking by picking up a needle and thread and hand stitch a love note/ warning for all to see. This would make a super speedy DIY project for those nimble fingered ninjas!


// Spell It Out //


Fully embrace the embroidery and work it into your wardrobe from head to toe. This stunning blouse by Vivetta, (and the entire collection shown in Milan), is an outstanding example of how to combine many inspiring elements into one delicate yet show stopping piece. Another way of working hand stitching is to release your inner country lass and depict meadows and bumble bees a plenty, with a beautiful bodice such as this, or stomp it out in a pair of designer Keds (easily re created with a cheap pair of bumpers and some coloured floss!).




So there you have it, a fine and diverse selection of everyday items that embrace the embroidery in subtle and stand out ways, depending on your mood. I will be keeping an eye out for those silk bomber jackets with delicate floral stitching and can't wait to try out a collar DIY and perhaps even pimp up an old denim jacket! Let me know if you've jumped on this trend or if you've always been a fan, if you have any tips or tricks on how to get this look on a budget or any customising ideas to try out! Keep your eyes peeled for my second post on this bitchin stitchin, but next time round we go large!

Thursday, 11 August 2016

Five Foot Nothin' // Few Facts About Me



Good evening gorgeous creatures, I hope you're having a great week. Has anyone else cracked out the 100 deniers again already? Brrrrr, bit chilly here in the Netherlands, and for August too...(#WinterIsComing!)


For today's post I'm taking things back to basics, yes more basic than usual, and decided to share a few facts and things about little, old me (those are two facts already; little and old)! Apologies if this is boring, repetitive or narcissistic but hey, when in doubt share your flaws, am I right?! Jumping on in:



  • Let's start easy, I'm a Pisces, for me that mostly means I have my head in the clouds 90% of the time, am way too emotional, enjoy being creative and am happy in my own company/ thoughts.



  •  I currently live in the Netherlands after moving here just over two years ago, to live with my Dutch boyfriend. I could fill an entire book with what I've learnt about myself during this time but for now I'll offer the highlights- it's a super confusing mixed bag of emotions living away from your family and friends, learning a new language, starting fresh with work and forging a path on this crazy adventure, but it has offered so many epic opportunities and I can't help but feel a wee bit proud of myself for keeping my shiz together(ish)!



  •  I LOVE to design and make things. I specialised in textiles, fabric manipulation and costume for the screen and stage at university and have had a crazy variety of jobs within this area, all of which were challenging yet incredibly fascinating and I long to find something that suits my current situation, once again in some creative field. Right now I'm learning this guttural language, working in retail (which helps said language fabulously) and am designing and making things to my hearts content in my little studio at home.



Crochet blanket I made my good friend Jenny, for her sewing studio.


Most recent make for myself, a navy, pleated skirt.






  •  I'm scared of bugs. Like, pretty much every type of insect. But especially anything with wings, that is furry or anything that moves actually. I respect those little blighters and am genuinely sad about our current bee situation, but let's be polite and keep a nice safe distance, eh?!!






Since I'm prone to waffling (see above) I'm going to bring this post to a close with a quick burst round of things that I love (which took some editing since apparently I love everything) and a few of my dislikes.

Loves:


  •  Road trips with journey specific playlists and a wide variety of car sweets. Rich and I do this as often as we can.
  •  Bookshops and libraries... no explanation necessary, right?
  •  Phone calls home. Even better; visiting my family!
  •  Anything sweet. Be it homemade carrot cake cupcakes or from the emergency-late-night-chocolate-run. I want it. I need it.
  •  Laughing at all the hilarious Dutch words. There are so many, but a few favourites are winkelwagon = shopping trolly, pindakaas = peanut butter (direct translation is peanut cheese!), snoepjes = sweeties, handschoenen = gloves (direct translation is hand shoes!), magnetron = microwave (transformers, am I right?!).
  •  Testing out new handwriting. Not sure if this makes me a psychopath but my handwriting changes with the weather.
  •  Second hand shops. I don't tend to buy lots, more revel in the history and stories that could be attached to all the old items. On the subject of history, I love historical documentaries, period dramas, museums, fiction, love love love it.
  •  Writing letters to friends (and of course receiving letters!!). Makes good use of my hoarded stationary and is a sweet reminder to your loved ones that you're thinking of them.
  •  Ice cream.
  •  Superheroes. Comic books, cartoons, movies, make up tutorials on youtube... Loves me some superheroes.
  • Which leads nicely to my all encompassing movie/ tv habit- a vast problem since my teenage years. Way too many things to name here so I'll just mention that I recently binge watched Stranger Things (OHHHH EMMMM GEEEEE!), I'm savouring the last season of Gilmore Girls leading up to the new seasons release in November, I loved the documentary about the Met Gala 'The First Monday In May' and have been laughing my butt off to season 4 New Girl this week (whilst shortening our living room curtains and crocheting a baby blanket).
  •  Yoga. Specifically with Adriene! My indoor sport of choice. Cycling round the meadows surrounding my village being my chosen outdoor sport.
  •  Fleetwood Mac.


Dislikes:


  •  Rudeness, which can sometimes be a problem here in the Netherlands as people are much more direct and blunt. No delicacy here folks. Butttt once understood as a generally inoffensive part of the culture it helps you thicken your skin and opens communication up to a whole new level!
  •  Confrontation. Not a fan. I like my drama in the form of books or trashy tv.
  •  Gossiping. Yes, we're all guilty of it from time to time but there really is a time and a place and that is usually once you're home behind closed doors where it can do no harm. I don't like work place gossips. Go ahead and speak your mind, but do leave me out of it.
  •  Hatred. On any level. Life is too short to hold a grudge for petty things or to send bad vibes out into the world. Just appreciate what you have and enjoy all those wonderful small moments that make up our crazy, disjointed, mish mash lives!





Let's keep the sharing going, this is a safe place so any embarrassing stories, confessions or generally interesting facts about yourselves, do tell! If you have any links to your latest posts or any similar blog posts you may have done about your lives, then please feel free to leave the info below. Otherwise, I wish you a grand old week and hope to bump into you chaps soon!



Saturday, 30 July 2016

Hashtag Gorgeous // Instagram Accounts Currently Loving

Being a person highly sensitive to my surroundings, I have found that my feelings are heavily attached to things such as visual images. My productivity increases and my work ethic soars upon indulging my senses with beautiful pictures, nostalgic music or embracing the colours from a rising sun. Whether I'm creating something or just setting the mood and tone for the day ahead, a quick and satisfying way to appease my appetite is for a sprint through instagram.


Such a perfect tool for searching for inspiration, enjoying an endless range of diversity, communicating with the unlikeliest of fellow beings, exploring the world through a strangers eyes and to share your own experiences and findings, all at the touch of a button. And in the nature of sharing, don't say I never think of you, here are a selection of some stunning instagram accounts serving up some serious mood lifting images!


@seelieknight

Bookish imagery // dreamy // romantic // gentle hues // neutrals



@bettymagazine

Pastel pinks // quirky cute // vintage // floral // brights



@angloyankophile

Travel // edible images // adventures // gorgeously styled shots



@brwnpaperbag

Curator of curious images // illustrations // talent seeker // discover art



@anastasjia

whimsical // soft focus // story-telling // nature // shadows



@retroloekie

Bright // fun // pop // bold // colour // design



If you guys enjoy this post I hope to share much more with you, as these guys were at the fore front of my mind at the time of creating this post, but my 'liked' list goes on and on! In the mean time please feel free to check out my other exhibit of visual stimuli in the form of mood boards, curated from beautiful pictures sourced across the internet, collected into one post for you, glorious friends! Until next time, have a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Cobble Stones & Concept Stores // Exploring Nijmegen

Relocation can be an unsettling and stressful experience. Along with all the brain twisting organising and planning, comes the scariest of challenges... change! Although we know really, that change is a wonderful, productive and opportunistic thing, it can be a real emotional ball ache at times.


Those that have read my blog a while now, (hi Mum), will know about my venture from England to the the Netherlands and my epic journey that entailed learning a new language, leaving my family, friends and job behind and starting a fresh with an extremely tall Dutch man. Big change! But amongst many of the doors that have opened to me, since decided to take the leap, one of those brilliant factors is getting to explore my new environment.

After living a year in the area Richard grew up, we re packed the vans once again and headed out East, away from the sea, the cities and the industry and towards the flattest fields you ever saw, stretching out for miles. Being on the border of Germany opens up many more options of cool little towns and villages to explore, as well as discovering what's on offer beyond our own backyard. Which leads me nicely to the historically rich city of Nijmegen.










Nijmegen lies south of Arnhem and is connected to the rest of the country by it's nifty train system and multiple buses, allowing epic access to the hidden treasures that wait within it's welcoming embrace! Full to the brim with twisting lanes, cobbled streets and stunning classic Dutch architecture, Nijmegen has a fantastic balance of old and new, boasting a large student population- (meaning discount beer and high chances of being hit in the head by a frisbee whilst passing through the park!).










Boasting some of the best places to sit down for a coffee and giant wedge of cake, a variety of gorgeous book shops (and a huge public library), antique specialists and vintage clothing galore AND more concept fashion stores than you can shake a miniature succulent at! Nijmegen is my location of choice for whiling away an afternoon, strolling it's pretty side walks and partaking in a little retail therapy before chilling with a new book in one of the multiple parks within the city.


















This place holds rank as one of the top hot-spots that I always recommend to travelling friends or play tour guide to family and visitors here, as it holds such a juicy mixture of sights and activities, all the while with it's friendly gezellig atmosphere, and is only a short hop on the train from my home!


Have any of you visited/ lived/ studied here? Do you have any top tips of places to visit and explore within your neighbourhood? I can't wait to share with you some of the other adventures I've snapped, whilst settling in to my next chapter here!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Feeling It // Mood Board Curations

Hello there, my fellow visual creatures. I'm excited to share my latest post with you, which features a round up of curated mood boards I've been gathering upon my Faded Windmills facebook page. When it comes to motivating ourselves to living a productive, fulfilling and happy life, I know many of you are with me when I say, beautiful imagery is such an effective mood boosting method, that not only gives your imagination and creative mind a right old work out but puts the cogs in motion for feeling pumped and ready for kicking butt with whatever task is at hand that day.


Personally I love love love walking round an art gallery, preferably in the middle of the day midweek, completely alone and really taking my time to soak up the beautiful exhibits but also the atmosphere and to just truly feel inspired by my surroundings. But for those moments when you can't get to a museum or the park or the fashion quarter of your favourite city for a visual up lift, then my favourite places to hit are found lurking in the glittery depths of the internet, but for those extra tight on time I have been collating some of my favourite pictures (mood depending day to day) on my facebook page and here for you, on the blog today!


Sit back, enjoy, and feel the flow! For more indulgence, tumble down the rabbit hole into my pinterest page where you can be lost for days, discovering the gorgeousness!






















I hope you guys are having a great week, what are your favourite places for visual inspiration? Which are your most loved magazines or instagram accounts?? I have a whole list of these which I'm planning on posting at some point, we can never share too many sources of loveliness, right? For the time being, here you can find my previous round up of mood boards, which I hope might give your day the boost it needs to make you reach for that camera, paint brush, walking boots...

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Word By Word // Quarterly Book Review



Guys, I'm not going to lie, I've been having a blast lately with the books I've picked up. I just seem to be on a lucky streak with book after book being high raters and with my reading motivation in the zone, I've got through a ton!


It's been a great time for page turners and I'd love to share my thoughts with you but since this is quite a list I won't torture you with full reviews and summaries, plus I always worry about spoiling plots and important content, but if you are interested in learning more about the synopsis and hearing more of my opinions then please feel free to visit my goodreads page, where there is lots and lots of bookish stuff and you can keep up to date with what I'm currently reading!


Outlander by Diana Gabaldon      5 * {850 pages}

An epic historical drama set in the misty highlands of Scotland mostly around the year 1743, Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

What. A. Novel. Being a fan of ginormous historical tomes filled with adventure I should have known that I would love this book and yet it took me an age to pick it up but man oh man, I wasn't disappointed! This book couldn't be wedged with any more story if it tried, this was intrigue and adventure from cover to cover following the story of Claire Randall and her tangled web of lost love, foreign lands, the moral struggle of conscience and the responsibilities that come with knowledge, and allowing herself to re assess who she is and to follow her heart where ever and whenever it may take her.

Beautifully written, deliciously detailed, full meaty characters, muscles and kilts- this book has it all!


Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill      4 * {402 pages}

Beyond Belief is a fascinating insight into the darkest depths of Scientology, an honest and shocking account, right from the core of the organisation. This follows the upbringing and life of Jenna Miscavige Hill, niece of the Church of Scientology's leader David Miscavige and the trials and tribulations that come from familial ties and the heavy weight of this religion.

This book really made me stop and think. It is all too easy to forget, whilst reading about this sci-fi esqu belief system and unbelievable way of life, that this is actually the story of a real woman, and real people across the world today, restricted and swamped by this completely bizarre organisation they see as a regular daily life style. To say I enjoyed reading this sounds rather odd, considering it's subject matter, but I do highly recommend this work for anyone with intrigue and curiosity of life outside of their own walls, however uncomfortable.


Nine Women: Short Stories by Frances M. Thompson      5 * {273 pages}

Such a gorgeous book! This heartfelt collection of short stories offers an honest insight at the varying lives of women, the joys of friendship, the complexities of those relationships, the strengths found during times of loss and the harsh truths we all face at some point or another in our lives.

This sweet book is divided into nine individual tales, a perfect way to enjoy many stories within one binding, wonderfully written with a gentle yet no- holds- barred hand. I sincerely look forward to discovering more from this author!


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes      5 * {481 pages}

Now, I'm not going to lie, I avoided this one for a while due to the over done hype, the cover, the title and the genre itself, none of it was working for me, yet something made me eventually reach for this sweet story and I am so happy I did.

This book tackles a controversial topic with grace, thoughtfulness and compassion and shows an inspiring array of points of view, opinions and just shows how different people react to life changing situations. I loved the development of the relationship and found it humble, funny, sweet and incredibly British!

Not sure I will be reaching for the follow up novel, as this book read perfectly fine as a stand alone, and was so fully rounded as a story that I feel satisfied enough with this one book. I will however, be fighting the crowds to watch the film adaption, but most certainly shall be attending alone with a hankie close at hand!


The Book of Fires by Jane Borodale      4 * {406 pages}

This gorgeously written debut novel from Jane Borodale is set in England 1752, following the story of seventeen year old Agnes Trussel, her childhood cut dramatically short and the obstacles she strives to overcome as she makes her way through the hedonistic streets of London.

Delightfully detailed descriptions of this grimy, lonely world, untrustworthy characters, exciting discoveries in alchemy and chemistry all work together to create a tense atmosphere accurate of how life for a young woman travelling alone in 1700s would be, treacherous and frightening at every turn in the road. My only grievance was that I felt short of story. That there seemed to be room enough for more, to go further with the romance aspect and the fire play. Call me greedy, I just want more!


The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick      5 * {289 pages}

Upon arriving home after a stay at a mental health facility, Pat faces the confusion and difficulties of having to piece ones life back together, bit by bit, after the break up of a marriage and the disjointed feeling of separation after spending time away from his family and friends. Oh, whilst being haunted by Kenny G.

Despite tackling such a tricky and misunderstood subject, I found this story joyful and endearing and incredibly tender. The raw emotions and sheer transparency of the character's suffering gave such vulnerability to the book, whilst offering a fascinating view of such situations, told with hilarity and wit.

Complex yet stunning, this honest and funny story will captivate you till the very last page.


Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon      5 * {743 pages}

I could simply resist no longer. The second instalment of the Outlander series was perfectly satisfying with so much story, new intriguing characters, thickening of plots, whilst the emotional thread ran continuously, giving tenderness to the relationships and complexity and softness to an otherwise harsh and gritty setting.

In this book we travel across lands and time frames, working back and forth allowing the tale to unravel beautifully, leading us carefully through adventure and scandal ending in quite the revelation at the closing of the story. Let me put it this way; I can't wait to read the third novel!


Burnt Tongues by Chuck Palahniuk      3.5 * {329 pages}

Although his name adorns the cover, this is actually a collective work from The Cult, a writers workshop made up of fans of Chuck Palahniuk. Twenty grotesque and twisted tales, hand picked by Palahniuk, thrown into this book, craving to be read.

Anything labelled 'not for the faint of heart' has my immediate attention. Call me curious or just plain perverted, I can't explain it but there is a morbid fascination with the gritty, gross and down right weird, and what better ingredients for a bind up of short stories?! If you're a fan of Chuck Palahniuk, especially if you dared to read Haunted, or just love a shocking bit of fiction then this book is for you!


The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson      3.5 - 3.75 * {182 pages}

This is a clever take on a classic ghost story with just enough suspense and spookiness yet retaining it's grace and style. This book also eloquently tackles the mucky waters of mental illness, respectfully woven into the novel alongside the boasting paranormal aspect.

I enjoyed reading my first piece of work by Shirley Jackson and found the story spine tingling, the characters sweet and the dialogue simply gorgeous and hugely resonant of when it was written in 1959. No gore or rushing, this isn't a high thrill, slasher tale, but a beautifully told story taking it's time to make each and every hair stand upright on the back of your neck!


What larks we have here whilst sharing our favourite books of the season! Please let me know what gems you've picked up over the last few months and what you're currently reading, or if you have any recommendations for me I'd love to hear them! If you fancy a snoop at my previous quarterly book review then be sure to check out this link, or if second hand books are more your thing then head over here and over here for some serious treasure!



Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Inspiring Vibes // Podcasts I'm Currently Loving



Gang, gather round, I have something to share with you. From background company while you tap away on the computer, to getting comfortable with a coffee and really engaging, my latest source of entertainment and inspiration comes from a handful of epic and diverse podcasts!


Now, don't get me wrong, give me a good book and a quiet afternoon and I'm happy as a pig in shmelly poop, the same can be said for my intense Netflix habit, but for those days where multitasking is a must, or simply just to relax in a non committal way, completely hands free, floating in a wave of audial delight... The humble podcast is my choice. And talking of choice, man oh man are there tons to pick from!


I am here this very fine day to share a few of my current favourites in the hopes that I can spread the love and brighten your busy day, lighten the load or at the very least help you pass the time!


Stuff Mom Never Told You hosted by Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin-

The audio podcast that gets down to the business of being women from every imaginable angle. Fuelled by boundless curiosity and rigorous research, Cristen and Caroline are girls-next-door gender experts who skilfully decode the biology, psychology and sociology of ladies and gents, from their evolutionary past to millennial present, to better understand all the Stuff Mom Never Told You.

Incredibly informative and diverse range of topics discussed in a familiar, chatty manner with a huge sprinkling of hilarity and sass!


#GIRLBOSS Radio hosted by Sophia Amoruso-

On each episode of the podcast, Sophia interviews world-class Girlbosses who have made their mark in creative, cultural, and business ventures to extract solid advice from the lessons they've learned along the way.

Just as Sophia's kick ass book, this podcast packs a motivational punch from the uplifting advice to the inspiring stories of her guests. This one is ace for those slumpy days when you need a little boost!


Nerdette hosted by Greta Johnsen and Tricia Bobeda-

Interviews with your favourite authors, artists, astronauts and more. Because everybody is a little bit nerdy about something.

Cultural and social commentary mixing intelligence and humour, covering consistently awesome topics and guests (Judy Blume, Game of Thrones, Caitlin Moran), so much going on, you won't be disappointed!


Dear Sugar hosted by Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond-

The universe has good news for the lost, lonely and heartsick. Dear Sugar is here, and speaking straight into your ears. Hosted by the original Sugars, Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond, the podcast fields all your questions- no matter how deep or dark- and offers radical empathy in return.

I mean... Cheryl Strayed! If that's not enough to get you tuning in, how about the fact that they release new episodes weekly, offer an email submission for questions and have current posts titled 'Friends With Benefits', 'The Inevitable Guilt of Motherhood' and 'Letter From a Closet Atheist'.


If you are already a fan of any of these podcasts, I'd love to know which episodes you enjoyed and if you have any recommendations or suggestions for other shows to check out! Wishing you guys a fab week!