Sculpture park 

We visited some friends in the south this weekend and they took us to a cool sculpture park in Surrey. There were loads of sculptures everywhere and we had great fun exploring and spotting them all! 


I spotted some quite spooky ones too which I thought would look great for Halloween! 

Woodland walk

I spent this weekend at my parents in Cheshire. I love coming back home and it was fab to catch up with my friends and family. The weather was lovely too, so on Sunday we went for an autumnal walk in the woods. The light was beautiful filtering in through the trees and it was so peaceful. 

I raided my mums jewellery box and she let me have this gorgeous ring and gold chain. I’ve loved this ring for years but it was always too big however now it fits! I paired them with my 1920s Art Deco brooch I recently got from Etsy, my bargain primark dress and Dorothy Perkins ankle boots to create a perfect autumnal look for exploring the woods. 

Feeling inspired I created this little fella. Watch out for him in the shop soon! 

Vintage fair

I love going to summer fates. There is something incredibly British about them. I didn’t think I was going to get to any this year, but by chance my husband spotted a sign for our village’s vintage fair so we decided to wander up and see what was happening. 


I love looking at all the vintage things and it’s great to get some photos to use in my artwork later on! 

By fluke the outfit I had put on that morning was quite vintage inspired (as most of my outfits are!) so I actually fit in quite well and got a few compliments while walking around. 

I had fun looking around the vintage stalls. I found this cute brooch that I convinced my husband to buy for me. I’ve no idea how old it is though, any ideas? 

Friendsfest 

I finally got an iPhone! I’m already finding that it’s making managing all my social media and shop stuff a lot easier. So hopefully it means I’ll be a little bit more proactive at posting. At least until the novelty wears off.

I really should get on with making some new pieces. I have lots of ideas but for now I’ve been enjoying probably the last of the sunshine. We went to friendsfest on Saturday and had fun exploring the sets and drinking cocktails in the sunshine. 

autumn

I love autumn. It is my favourite season. I find the colours beautiful; rich jewel tones, golden yellows and browns, sumptuous reds and dark greens. I love wrapping up in scarves and jumpers. I enjoy the sunshine shining through on a day you thought was going to be miserable but also snuggling up on the sofa with a good book, cup of tea and roaring fire. There’s always something to make me smile about autumn.

I might have taken it a bit further this year and dyed my hair to match! I fancied a bit of a change so decided to dye my hair auburn! I love my new look!

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I also love dressing for autumn. I always go on a bit of a shopping spree at the start of September. At the moment I’m loving this skirt from Debenhams, it’s very dramatic. And my hair seemed to match my Dorothy Perkins blouse quite well!

Hello again!

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Ok, so I appear to have gone AWOL since June. Sorry. It got to the point in June that I was so tired with school and had a lot of plans at weekends that I just decided to put HomemadeMillesime on the back burner for a bit. Through July and August I have been travelling (more to come on that) and so the shop and social media have been in holiday mode. But I am now fully rested, completely broke from all my travels and restocking supplies, totally inspired and ready to really get going again! There’s been a few things I’ve been working on recently, so watch this space…..

 

(and if you can’t wait that long go check out the shop which has a couple of new things in it! http://www.homemademillesime.etsy.com )

London Baby!

My latest trip has been down to London for the weekend. My Husband bought me 2 tickets to the Harry Potter Studio tour for Christmas so I decided to take my sister (he has no interest in HP) and make a weekend of it!

I love Harry Potter. I have grown up with the books and the films. I remember I started reading the 3rd book first when my Nana bought it for my brother. I started reading it to him as a bedtime story and got completely hooked. I then got the first two books from the library so I could start from the beginning! I had to then convince my mom to buy them for me as she wouldn’t buy me books I had already read. Luckily I won that argument 🙂 The last book came out in my final year of uni so they have been a big part of my growing up. This meant I was a little bit excited about going to the studio!

It was so much fun! I kept saying to my sister “Oh my God we are in the Great Hall” or “Eeek we are walking down Diagon Alley!” We drank Butter beer, got to go inside Number 4 Privet Drive, went on the Hogwarts Express and of course played with the wands! I also bought a chocolate frog and Bertie Botts every flavoured beans (my 13 year old self is delighted by this!) My husband and I have just been experimenting with some of the flavours (…he got grass.)

Once we had finished the studio tour, we headed back into London. In the evening we went to the Comedy Boat Show. Headlining were The Noise Next Door. They are an improv group who we had actually seen before in Manchester. They are very funny and if you get the chance to see them do it! After the comedy the boat turned into a club and we ended up dancing with some of the comedians. We had a great evening!13428384_10102562435497499_4342737860129324014_n

The following day we decided to be tourists. We headed to the Twinings tea shop first so I could stock up on some Turkish Apple tea; and some more unusual flavours (cherry bakewell tea anyone…) Its a great little shop and about 300 years old!

We then visited the Tate Modern. It was the opening weekend of the new wing so we had a wander around there. It feels a lot more spacious in there now. There were some interesting exhibitions going on. I like this piece best I think:

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it was quite noisy…

After the Tate we sat by the river on the south bank in the sunshine with a picnic before heading on the London Eye. Its been nearly 10 years since my last trip on it and my sister hadn’t done it before. We also tried the 4D experience after which was interesting…(i’m not giving anything away. Try it for yourself!)

We just had time to check out West End Live before getting the train home. It was cool to see some performances from Pixie Lott and Newton Faulkner promoting the shows they are currently starring in and I got a free Doctor Who comic 🙂 13435418_10102562638795089_4019901998624698586_n

What do you get up to in London?

x

Vintage

Just for you Yr 10….

I am completely a vintage addict.

Anything that is old, that has a past. I like to imagine the things it has seen and the people who owned it. I once started reading a book whilst at uni about an object that could remember the history that it has been through – think ‘The Red Violin’. I never finished the book and can’t remember what it was called now which is really frustrating as I would like to finish it!

 

I love collecting vintage dresses and little objects for my house and spend a silly amount of time browsing Etsy and Ebay looking for things! You may have noticed some vintage items in my work as I like to draw them too. I’ve recently photographed some of my favourite teacups too.

Anyway, recently I have had the chance to do a bit of vintage shopping and thought I would share my treasures with you!

For my Husbands’s birthday at the start of the month I bought him a record player. Naturally I took this opportunity to buy some vintage vinyl (as well as a few modern classics!) I grabbed these off ebay for a couple of pounds.I love the music from the 50s and 60s. Its so upbeat and innocent!IMG_2964

And was so excited to win this also for a couple of quid! It has so many of my favourite songs on! I love the Beatles!IMG_2989

Whilst in Paris, I came across a vintage book market where I couldn’t resist buying a souvenir for myself! The books were pretty pricey and I fell in love with one which had a beautiful lilac illustrated cover for 35 Euros but resisted. I did however snap up these:

A lovely little novella and vintage comic book for 5 euors!

A few days later we headed over to Hebden Bridge, which is a lovely artsy town in West Yorkshire. It is a beautiful spot and has some great quirky shops as well as lots of antique shops. I bought a set of vintage threads and a cute Avon bowl from one. There were some other items I have my eye on too but they will have to wait for another day! I plan to use the thread to make some vintage dresses. I bought some vintage fabric and lace a few months ago so these will complement them nicely! The bowl I will use for buttons as the one I have at the moment isn’t big enough!

x

An English girl in Paris

I have just got home from a lovely trip to Paris with my friend. It was my second visit and I love the city! I love the architecture, the history, the art, the food…the list goes on!

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I thought I would share some of my highlights, recommendations and tips I’ve picked up from both of my trips.

See the sights

I’ve read several guides on what to see and what can be missed but everyone is different and has their own interests and time scale. Personally I think the view from Trocadero gives you the best view of the Eiffel tower. If you do have time its fun to go up the Eiffel tower itself but be prepared to wait in a long line!DSCF8841

I think the view over Paris from the Sacre Couer is better (and free!) than from the Eiffel tower itself. I love wandering around Monmarte, and if you have time spend an afternoon wandering the streets and stopping at some of the little cafes or vintage shops.

Notre Dame is absolutely beautiful inside but you will probably have to wait a very long time if you want to climb to the top so if you are short on time I would skip it.

A lot of people would say the same about the Louvre but I do think it is worth it. Make sure you book tickets in advance so you can jump to the front of the queue and not have to wait to get in. The tickets are valid for 30 minutes from the time you book (really useful if you underestimate how long it will take you to get there like we did!). It is closed on Tuesdays.

The Pompidou is great for modern and contemporary art, with many famous works on display. I love the design of the building too. It also has an escalator to take you up to see the view from the top. You can buy a separate ticket for this if art isn’t your thing but just want to see the view.

If you can, visit the Opera house! We booked tickets to see Lear. It a new production and probably one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. I really enjoyed it though. The seats we had were right at the back as we left it quite late to get tickets (I was on a fold out chair!) and it was very hot, so if you go take a fan or just pay a bit more to get better seats! There were French and English subtitles so it was easy to follow what was going on. The building is amazing though, I felt very cultured as we sat sipping champagne listening to the orchestral chamber music!

Enjoy the food (and wine!)

We booked a cheese and wine lunch at the wine bar O Chateau. It was fantastic! The lunch included a glass of champagne, 2 white wines, 2 red wines, cheese to pair with each and bread and meats. I picked up some really useful knowledge about French wine too. I would definitely recommend doing a wine tasting.DSCF8835

The food in Paris is also pretty special. We made the effort to find a proper French restaurant one night. It was in Monmarte, full of locals and served amazing food. The tourist restaurants serve decent enough food but I would try to find a proper restaurant if you can.DSCF8883

 

On one of the mornings we headed over to Monparnasse to visit Pierre Herme. They do the most amazing macaroons. The flavours are so delicious. My favourite was passion fruit and chocolate. They are pricey but I thought they were worth it!

 

Be wary of some of the men

On both of my trips to Paris I have experienced unwanted attention from the men when walking around or when sat in a cafe. It’s not something I have experienced in other European capitals. In Paris I have had a homeless man come and try and stroke my hair (until my husband jumped up and protected me), men make comments as you walk past on the street, one man came up and banged on the window at us while we were enjoying our wine. It’s not very nice, me and my friend either just ignored it, giving them no attention at all or shouted no at them and walked off. I’m not sure if its just a cultural difference but its something to watch out for.

Learn the language

I have been trying to learn French for a while now but unfortunately I haven’t got very far with it (things just won’t stick) but I have found knowing some basic phrases really helps! Yes most of the locals speak very good English but they are a lot friendlier and respectful if you at least try (no matter how bad your pronunciation is!)

Take your time and don’t be afraid to detour!

There’s so much to do in Paris and if you are not careful you end up running around trying to fit in as much as you can and not taking time to let your environment sink in and enjoy where you are. I see a lot of tourists so keen to go and take the photo and then rush off that they don’t stop and enjoy where they are and what they are doing. I love photography but I sometimes see it as a bit of a curse. We got shouted at a few times by people in the Louvre for getting in the way of photos when we were trying to actually look at the art rather than be in a photo next to it!

Besides it really is lovely to just wander the streets, for example as we were leaving Pierre Herme to head to the Luxembourg gardens we came across a vintage book market. It was really interesting to wander around and look at the beautiful ancient books, I think we spent about an hour just browsing! You never know what you will come across. And definitely make sure to take time to stop at a little cafe and people watch while sipping a glass of wine!

x

 

Oh snap!

It’s half term! Yey!

The last couple of weeks have been very busy and stressful, there were times when I didn’t think we’d make it! As a result I’ve had to put a few things to one side such as my etsy shop and social media but it’s nice to have some time again now.

il_570xn-1026603321_5oeyI’ve been keen to get back into my studio to try out some ideas I’ve had. I’ve recently added this to the shop. I love Russian dolls and folk art and I’m keen to do a series with them.

I also want to put some of my photography in my shop so this week I finally bit the bullet and purchased Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. I’ve been using Photoshop for about 15 years now but it’s been a while since I’ve owned a copy of it. Lightroom is new to me though. My A Level photography students have used it and from what I had seen it looked good, I’ve just never had much call to use it. Since downloading it though I’ve been addicted! I’ve been going back through old photos and editing them!

Photography is something I love. I’m always taking pictures and when travelling I usually have 4 cameras with me; my bridge, my intant, my diana mini and just as back up my phone.  My husband is used to waiting for me to take the perfect photo or moaning at me to appreciate the moment rather than trying to photograph it! Here are a few of my shots from my recent trip to Malta that I’ve edited with Lightroom.

Malta is a lovely country. I went with my Nana over the last bank holiday weekend. We had 2 full days and split these between Gozo and Malta. The first day we did the jeep tour on Gozo which I highly recommend and saw all of the island. The following day we  did a hop on hop off tour around Malta visiting Valetta and Mhdina. There were so many photo opportunities! The architecture is beautiful and the colour of the water is stunning. I’ve never seen water as blue!

The next adventure is Paris on Tuesday with my friend Anna. I’m looking forward to eating lots of cheese, drinking lots of wine and exploring a beautiful city (and of course taking lots of photos!)

I’d love to hear your thoughts on my photos. So if you have anything to say please comment!

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