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Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Kyoto Haul: Beauty

Back in April I went on an epic first time trip with my mum to Kyoto, Japan!
Check out the blog post.

Japan comes second in the world in leading the skincare and beauty industries. There is so much overwhelming choice and variety in one store it's best to be prepared with some brand names and products in mind before you go. 

I watched Youtube videos to get to know the worth while brands and interesting quirky products you can't buy easily here in the UK: 
Kimdao Best in Skincare
Fleur de Force Japanese Beauty Haul 
Click Network: Tried and Tested
Noodlerella- Massive Japan Haul 
Harriet Murray- Peel-Off Lip Tint
Sharla in Japan- All the videos! 

So here's what I bought! (including the fabric backdrop):

The Kingdom Eye Liner Brown

I love how this is very light brown in shade which is difficult to come by in the UK. 

Love Liner Liquid in Dark Brown

Love Liner is known for it's staying power. It really does prove it's worth even if your face is melting from heat! Love the colour on my pale skin as its not as harsh as black eye liner. This has become a staple in my makeup bag and I wish I'd bought more!

Black Paint Soap Cleanser

This is a soap that when submerged in warm water becomes buttery in consistency. It is made from white (apparently) charcoal that cleans pores and removes oil and dirt from the face without stripping away the skin's natural and essential moisture. I love this. It leaves skin looking and feeling fresh, clear and smooth. Although it removes eye makeup too it does sting quite a bit even with eyes tightly shut but for the rest of the face it's a really nifty product! 

Lululan Moisture Mask
Pure Smile Face Mask
Xilix Fox Aqua Relax Face Mask

I have yet to try the animal ones which is basically an animal face printed onto the mask- I hope there isn't essence of fox in them!  The Lululan sheet masks are so refreshing and moisturising! It's basically the feel of a makeup wipe that is cut to fit the face and is soaked in the product. You can buy packs of them - my pack contains 7 masks. There are lots of different variations in the Lululan range: I went for the 'regular' moisture masks in the pink packaging. 

Rimmel Magical Pore Minimizer

Despite being called Rimmel London I'm sure I haven't come across these before in England! The Pore Minimizer is a cream based formula that gives a great light base for makeup. It's ok but it's hard to know if it makes a difference. 

Rimmel Magical Stay

This is pretty magical! It stops transfer and helps the longevity of lipstick. It's a clear watery gel that you dab onto your lipstick- doesn't taste great but it does add staying power! 

Senka Perfect Whip

I'm still working this one out. It seems to be a cleanser of some sort. I'll report back!
It's a sticky formula but left my skin super soft. 

 Kyoto Yojiya Blotting Paper

Yojiya: The logo, a reflection of a woman's face in a hand mirror is a very old, very well known and unique brand to Kyoto. It's best seller is the oil blotting paper which Japanese women use to pat off excess oil and perspiration from their face. It works really well too so a must-buy if you're ever in Kyoto. 

Berrisom Chu My Lip Tint in Sexy Red (far left)

Image Credit: Beauty Bay 

 This is a thick, sticky dark in colour formula that is quite difficult to apply on the lips. As you can see in the image on the left it is nigh-on impossible to get a crisp line with the 'squeeze and product comes out' applicator. Once this yucky formula dries, you can peel it off which is very satisfying and it leaves a nice colour. However I didn't find it long-lasting and I can to go over the areas that didn't show up well from the first application.

It's a nice idea and fun to do but more novelty than quality. 

read more "Kyoto Haul: Beauty"

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Designing for the future: trends we need to consider now

This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organised by CGTrader

A maker’s decisions are ultimately directed by the designer’s vision. Designers and Makers are creating, mixing, adding, applying, collecting materials so there is always going to be some sort of waste at the end of the process but that waste needs to be resourceful and sustainable. We need to consider that upcoming trends in design use materials and processes that are ecological; reducing our carbon footprint and how our designs and creations affects the environment in the long-term. Richard Black at material supplier, Flints acknowledges that environmental products ‘are the future, they have to be!’ supporting the increasingly apparent fact that not only is the making industry very wasteful but also uncompromising in seeking alternatives which address environmental needs. 

read more "Designing for the future: trends we need to consider now"

Thrifty Home

I was definitely born in the wrong decade. I am a prolific hoarder, I love spending hours making something for my home and although I love buying new things I equally like using all that I've hoarded to make something new and unique. I hope to update this post with more things I make for my home and share my ideas and creations with you!

The other day I or rather 'The Bank of Dad' bought a new armchair for my house. I have nowhere comfortable to sit other than my bed and wanted somewhere to sit back and relax with less of a chance of me falling asleep. Suffering from Insomnia it's also best to keep your bed just for sleep so I try to do my other chillaxing- that keeps my mind awake- elsewhere.

I ripped out the 'useful' desk area that I only used to hide away clutter. I don't use it as a desk as the light isn't good and it became a dumping ground which I want to try and avoid as my bed/sitting room is quite small. I've kept the drawers and moved them and my hoard of materials into the loft. It's opened out the room a little and will hopefully (if I've measured correctly) house a very fancy looking chill out zone! It's great how you can easily transform a space by taking bulky furniture out.

I've also finally got round to making up some autumnal themed cushion covers.

Last year I bought a tea towel from the National Trust gift shop and loved the autumnal print- it's too nice to dry dishes with! Rookie error #1 I didn't iron it! Rookie error #2 I didn't line the pattern up very well but heyho these are just pernickety (good word) things that you don't see when your sitting on it.

I used an old cushion filler that I made into the correct size by folding it and safety pinning it in place.

I folded the tea towel right sides together and pinned in place leaving one end open. I then did a simple running stitch on the sewing machine a quarter of an inch away from the edge of the folded material.

Making sure all the pins were taken out I folded the material the right way out and stuffed the cushion inside. Then I secured the open-edge with a simple slip stitch by hand.

Use a sharp needle in order to pick up fibres from each folded inner edge in order for the slip stitch to be invisible.

Ta Da!

I used a pack from Quilting Antics that had the squirrel template and tweed fabric supplied but you could easily make this without the kit. I changed the original kit design in favour for a the silhouette of the squirrel rather than one with a face.

I cut out 28 squares and 1 large square and arranged them in a pattern. It's good to take a pic of your chosen pattern so you can remember when you start to sew it together which way looked best!

I machine stitched the squares together using a quarter of an inch seam allowance. I cut out the squirrel in the orange fabric and applied it to the large square using different stitching.

Random long stitch in white for the fur on the tail and a blanket stitch in orange to define the squirrel's body. I used an embroidery hoop to keep the fabric taut.

I sewed the back and front right sides together (leaving one edge open!) using a machine running stitch, turned the cover out and stuffed in the cushion filler. I then slip stitched the open edge together.


I have made simple tab top curtains to cover 2 door frames to give me more privacy: a clear adjoining door and the door to my front room thats directly opposite my shower- the neighbours have been seeing a little too much of me recently! (oops). I used THIS easy peasy tutorial on youtube from to make the tab curtains. It only takes a few hours to make and is a great project to use up a large amount of fabric. You could even patchwork a design together if you have lots of fat quarters/scraps to use up. 

I used an old broom handle to make a curtain pole and used the old fixtures already on the door frame.

For my second curtain I didn't have any fixings so made my own! I used a bamboo pole for the curtain rail which I hack sawed down to size. I attached the pole ends to fixings that I made from old wooden cotton reels. I love the look- it's so vintage. The cotton reels are from the 40s as they are from my granny's old sewing kit! The fabric is from SewOverIt.

I used a large drill-bit to boar a shallow hole into the side of each cotton reel. I used a whittling tool to gauge the hole for a better fit. I drilled a small hole into the door frame, threaded a screw through the hole of the reel and screwed it into the frame. I screwed one end in loosely to allow me to put the pole in place and to allow me to take the curtain down or change it if I so wish. 


I've been making seasonal wreaths for my door and now that spring has sprung I've made a new one!

I'm off to Japan in 2 weeks so I've become a little obsessed with cherry blossom. I had some faux blossom bunches left over from a recent project but using real flowers is another option. I got these ones from Wilkos

I didn't have a wreath base so made one using wire. A trick I picked up at uni to strengthen flimsy wire is to wind a fold piece of wire in half. Attach the loop to a drill, attach the other end to a vice (this is vital or the wire will flail around dangerously) and turn the drill on. It coils it tightly and works a charm! I simply made a ring out of the wire. I would have covered the wire in floristry tape but with none in my stash I used paper tape in a spring green colour. 

Using pliers I cut off individual stems, wrapped thin wire round them and attached it to the wreath base. To start off it will look pants but keep going, filling out the gaps and it will start to look much better.

Take obligatory flower crown selfie before hanging (or stapling) it to your door.  

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Thursday, 27 July 2017

'Mud Soldier' at Trafalgar Square

If your visiting London do go and visit Trafalgar Square today or tomorrow (July 28th)

Just outside the National Gallery sits a weary soldier... 

Original Image Credit: Centenary News 
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Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Changing Habits

In the words of Adele: Hello from the other side! 

Life's done it's usual 'aaghmagad what am I doing in life?!?' thang and the blog has gone on the back burner. 

What have I been doing? 

Dancing ALOT, sleeping ALOT and battling a crazy stressful day to day job that after 5 years I've run out of steam with and need a new challenge. I should have left the job months ago but because I worry too much about other people's needs I stuck it out until the end of term and thats why I've not had the zest to blog or the energy to do anything else! 

Hear that choir of angels singing the Hallelujah chorus above? 

That's because I am free!

read more "Changing Habits"