Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Caitlin Moran was right.






Oh, the irony of wishing for some good light to take photos and then you have one of those beautiful sunny days which bleaches all the colour out. I have tried editing these to get the colour more true to life and not so wishy washy, but unfortunately every time I tried to adjust something it just looked weird, so I've had to leave them as they are. Also, apologies for the weirdness of my feet. They're such ugly things, but I wanted to show you my rather fabulous new sandals from Clarks. Granted, they look a little granny-esque from the side, with their moderate cork heel, but they are so. damn. comfy. I wore them for 4 days straight. Brand new from the box, no blisters, red raw patches or anything. I love them for their slightly ugly 70s vibe and the mustard colour- Caitlin Moran was so right, yellow shoes do go with everything.

I hope this dress looked more flattering in real life than it does in these photos! I hate it when something looks OK in front of the mirror, but as soon as you stand still for a photo it has the ability to make you look like a sack of potatoes. But anyway, its comfortable, paisley print and comprises several of my favourite colours.

These photos were taken on Saturday when we went for a day trip to Kelmscott Manor, William Morris' holiday home in the Cotswolds. Irritatingly I had taken my camera but had left my memory card in my laptop... *facepalm* Despite my little hiccup, I still enjoyed being a massive Rossetti geek (oh dissertation how I miss you) and my boyfriend even enjoyed himself a little, which is frankly a miracle. He is not one for looking around old houses generally, so I was pleased that he didn't just feel like my personal taxi!

Does anyone have any nice plans for the Bank Holiday weekend? I've got a birthday party to go to on Saturday, and then a family meal on Sunday evening. The rest of the time shall be spent preparing my flat ready for my Mum to visit for a quick stay over half-term.

Now I must off to bed, because I need to get up a little earlier in the morning to go to the polling station. I urge you as an ex-Politics student to please go and use your vote tomorrow! Nothing gets me more angry than a young generation who complain about politics not engaging with them when they refuse to use one of their most basic rights. You don't have to agree with everything a party or candidate says to vote for them. Going for the one that best represents your views (even if not in every aspect) is much better than not voting at all.

Lecture done now. Goodnight.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Piercings and Paisley.



Topshop army jacket, Peacocks dress via charity shop, Dr. Martens boots, bag by Disaster Designs, earrings from Claire's Accessories


On Saturday Kathy popped up from London for a well needed catch-up. She was also there to act as moral support for my nose piercing. I have wanted my nose pierced since I was 17 but was put off by various things- the possibility of infection, looking 'butch', how exactly you blow your nose... But after getting my tattoo 18 months ago I decided that life was too short. Whilst right now wasn't exactly the best time to get it (I am suffering somewhat with the damn pollen) I am so happy to finally have it done. Sure, it's kind of disgusting right now, and it still hurts several days later, but it looks just how I wanted. It even makes me feel a little happier about wearing my glasses (no doubt inspired by this lady, or this one.)

Anyhow, this dress has become an absolute favourite of mine since I bought it from a charity shop way back in November. I love the paisley print and the shift style- it is so easy to wear. I teamed it with my Dr Martens boots (which are getting comfier by the day) and faithful Topshop jacket for something of an outfit no-brainer.

One other thing- I had my hair cut on Friday and my hairdresser showed me this ingenious way of drying your hair curly, which is responsible for the waves displayed above. I've done it myself today and oh my goodness, it's the best way I've ever found of curling my hair. My hair is naturally pretty straight with a tendency to flick out at awkward angles, and never holds a curl for more than a few hours. This however stayed put all day and into the next with a minimum of product and very little effort! I'm happy to do some kind of tutorial if people would be interested, because I feel this needs to be shared with the world. Seriously, I am so happy to have finally found something that is so easy and long-lasting!

Now I am off to bed because I've been up watching Order of the Phoenix for the umpteenth time. Damn you ITV for showing Harry Potter so often...

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Car Boots and Career Breaks.












secondhand Red or Dead handbag, bought at the Classic Car Boot Sale




Evil Twin dress via ASOS, Vans trainers, Accessorize earrings, usual rings and bangles, vintage druzy bracelet from the Oxford Vintage Fair


I appear to be turning into one of those bloggers who posts a million billion pictures. Apologies, but I like to share when I do something vaguely exciting with my time rather than the usual of watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer for hours on end whilst spooning Nutella out of a jar. So, over the last month or so I have been to two lovely vintage fairs, one in London in gorgeous sunshine with Kathy and another with my friend Alexa in Oxford before going to a three hour dance workshop to learn the Shim-Sham (which I must admit, I'm not completely perfect at, but it's getting there!)

The Classic Car Boot Sale in London was on the Southbank, out in the sunshine with the red bus blasting out 60s music for us to dance along to as we browsed the makeshift racks. I must admit, I don't tend to buy a huge amount of vintage clothing, mostly because I am rather a warm person and the sweaty plastic fabrics don't tend to agree with me. I'm also very sensitive to smells and if I don't think fabric conditioner can get rid of the weird musty smell I tend to pass on the item. Instead I tend to buy accessories or jewellery. I ended up buying this rather fabulous Red or Dead bag which is surprisingly versatile, although sadly I have overfilled it already and I've made a hole next to the bag strap. It might need to be reserved for slightly lighter carrying days! Kathy and I then went and had a general wander along the Southbank, looking at this secondhand book stall before heading to Waterstones at Trafalgar Square for further book browsing.

I have been to Lou Lou's Vintage Fair in Oxford a fair few times now, but just haven't gotten around to blogging about it. Once again, most of my purchases tend to be jewellery, and there is a particular stall that has rewarded me with some gorgeous pieces which I shall endeavour to include in future outfit posts. I pounced upon this beautiful bracelet as soon as I saw it, what with the fact it matches my everyday rings.

I also knew it would look amazing with this sale purchase dress. This is actually the outfit I wore to the Classic Car Boot, but I forgot to ask Kathy to photograph it until the light was fading somewhat and they weren't the best pictures, so I put the outfit back on again last weekend to photograph. I absolutely adore this dress, it's not the most flattering thing I've ever worn but it is so damn comfy. I wasn't sure whether to keep it when I first got it through the post but I loved the print so much I couldn't send it back! I wanted to wear it with my new Docs but it was too warm to be wearing chunky leather boots so I put on my favourite Vans instead.

In other news, I did my last day at M&S yesterday. I am taking a career break for 3 months to go and do an internship- I won't say who with at the moment, just because I haven't checked with them. I suppose I can say though that it is a placement where I will get to try lots of things that I am interested in, so I will get to do some marketing, some fundraising, and some museum curator work. I am very excited to finally be doing something that will be using more of my skills, even if it means I will be somewhat poor for the foreseeable future! However, I will be able to do some more outfit posts again! It is rather sad how excited I am to be able to wear my own clothes after 3 years of a uniform 5 days a week. Whilst there won't any new purchases to show off (apart from the odd charity shop find I'd imagine!) I will get to rediscover all my pieces that have been rather unloved for the last 3 years. I've also got my sewing machine back recently so shall be providing myself with clothes! I'm not going to commit myself to my old university posting regularity of a few times a week, but hopefully I will be able to show you my outfits more often now.

I am also off home for the Easter week so have planned some good outfits to photograph next week. I am so looking forward to my first week off since October! It will be nice to just have a bit of a rest, watching telly with my cats on my lap, doing some cooking, and a few days out.

So, all in all, I am a pretty damn chuffed Hattie right now.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Dr. Martens, Dangly Earrings and Dinosaurs.










Monsoon embroidered jacket, dress by M&S Collection at Marks and Spencer, Dr. Martens boots, East scarf, Dr. Martens x Liberty satchel, Accessorize earrings, usual rings and bracelets


Apologies for so many photos, I thought I could maybe split this post into two, one of the outfit and one of the Museum, but I kind of like having them together, how the outfit fitted into the rest of my day. Also sorry for not posting in so long. I went home for a couple of days a few weekends ago, and was all excited to take lots of outfit photos, and then promptly left my camera at home. What a div. My next weekend off was taken up with plenty of dancing at the Oxford Swing Festival, which despite leaving me hobbling for a few days after, was absolutely amazing. This week, I had my first driving lesson in 2 years, which went surprisingly well, and danced my socks off yet again seeing We Are Scientists on Thursday night. I'm planning on travelling to London on a school  night to see them in a fortnight because they were so damn good.

Grant and I had a fantastic day yesterday at the Oxford Natural History Museum, and then went to see the Lego Movie in the evening, which looked incredible but was also really funny and clever. I got a little snap happy in the Museum and ended up taking around 150 photos, so I had to limit myself somewhat to only post 6 here! Not being a massive fan of science, I didn't expect to love it that much, but it was so inspiring. My favourite bits were the rocks and minerals gallery, and the section where they had all kinds of insects on display, from tiny beetles and fleas to huge exotic butterflies. I also loved these shells which somehow reminded me of the poor unfortunate souls in Ursula's cave in The Little Mermaid. My mind was buzzing with all kind of ideas when I was in there, from intricate shapes that would be beautiful as jewellery to strange creatures you could conjure from the bizarre specimens they had on display. I want to go back in the week sometime on a quieter day to do some sketching. How many other places could you sketch a full size dinosaur skeleton?! Living in Oxford sometimes is a massive pain, but moments like that totally make up for it.

So, I guess I should probably talk about the outfit now shouldn't I? I bought this gorgeous embroidered jacket from Monsoon when I was at home the other weekend, for the bargain price of £27, instead of £90. I'm kind of obsessed with it. I didn't want to wear anything too distracting underneath so just wore this plain empire line dress from work, which is actually meant to be a top, but because I'm so short... it comes to halfway down my thighs. These Doc's aren't actually the ones I originally ordered that I mentioned a few weeks ago. Several failed delivery attempts resulted in a very grumpy me with no boots, but I'm actually pretty chuffed because I then found these for an ridiculously good price on Amazon and they were delivered the next day. These are actually the exact style that Helen wears, which are nicer than the bog standard ones because the leather is that much softer and it has a nice sheen to it. Saying that, they still cut my feet to shreds, even with plasters applied beforehand. I'm really chuffed with them though and can't wait for them to be bearable to wear! I just realised whilst looking at these photos that this outfit has a definite air of my 13 year old hippy punk look, but hopefully now it looks slightly more sophisticated and less comical!

I better get off to sleep now since I once again have a rather busy week ahead of me, as I'm sure you all do. Apologies for the length of this post, but as always, when I haven't posted for a while I tend to then bombard you with a huge stream of me jabbering on. Anyway, sleepytimes. I hope everyone's had a lovely weekend enjoying the sunshine.



Sunday, 9 February 2014

Common Sentiments.


H&M dress, Limited Collection at M&S cardi, M&S shoes


I went on a little trip last weekend to Banbury to take my sewing machine to a repair centre and so got to visit a H&M for the first time in absolutely ages. I used to buy a lot from H&M back in the day, and was really excited to go to get some bits, but nothing really appealed to me until I was heading out of the shop and happened to glance upon this floral number. It looked so comfy and easy to wear and I imagine it will be great in the summer because its nice and thin with decent three-quarter length sleeves. Irritatingly as soon as I got it home to try it on I noticed it had a hole in the armpit, but since we don't go over to Banbury very often, I decided to keep it and just do a little repair on it myself. Whilst its a little long to wear with tights now (I look a bit mumsy!) its just the right length for covering my pudgy knees in the summer. Coupled with my trusty old comfy cardigan it was a perfect Sunday outfit for mooching around the flat.

I've just ordered myself a pair of cherry red Doc Martens after being undecided for a few months... I have a pair of black patent 1460s that you'll have seen a few times if you've been reading for a while, but I wear them very rarely. I'm not sure what it is- I worry about them being unflattering on my chunky legs, and that they make me look like a 15 year old emo, what with the black patent. But after being inspired by this lady in particular, I decided that a pair of Oxblood ones might be that little bit more wearable. I think they would look lovely with this dress, even though the longer length combined with the boots might make me look about two feet tall.

I'm having rather a strange time at the moment. The realisation that it will be 3 years since my graduation in July has terrified me somewhat. In many ways I feel like I have done so little in that 3 years, in terms of job prospects and 'graduate-level' work. At the same time, I know I have accomplished a lot, maintaining a long distance relationship for a year under pretty stressful circumstances, moving to a completely new city, and furnishing our first real home (even if it is kind of tiny with no room for a cat or tumbledryer). I feel like I've been in some kind of limbo for the last 3 years, whilst I wait for my 'real life' to begin. I'm really hoping that this will be the year that things finally start to feel like they're falling into place. In the mean time, I'll just listen to this song over and over to remind me that things will eventually get better. I'm just hoping its soon.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

The Creative Initiative #1, 2, 3.







The Creative Initiative #1
Theme: Free Sketch

The Creative Initiative #2
Theme: What did you do today?

The Creative Initiative #3
Theme: Get Outdoors!


Apologies for my absence the last few weeks. I must admit, the rapidly fading light caught me out several times; coupled with Christmas fever kicking in at work resulted in me missing a few weeks. Anyway, I am back now with somewhat of a dumping catch-up post for the Creative Initiative!

If you remember my '23 before 24' post, one of my goals was to do some kind of drawing every day. Now, that hasn't really happened. However, when I read about the Creative Initiative it seemed like the perfect thing to get me back in the swing of drawing more regularly, and also something to post about every week. Now, I did only find out about it in the second week, and ever since have been playing catch-up to try and get the drawings done in the first place but also take the pictures to post! I am off this Thursday however, so, fingers crossed, if I get the 3 remaining weeks done by then I will have caught up. The basic idea is that you create some piece of 'art' each week (whether that be a drawing, photo, painting etc) on a set theme, and then share your work with with the others taking part.

For the first week, the theme was 'Free Sketch', so I drew what was directly in front of me: the end of my bed. For some reason I've always found drawing before bed a really relaxing past-time, and often my best drawing seems to be done whilst I'm a little sleepy!

Week 2's theme was 'What have you today?', so I chose a few elements of one Sunday to sketch. My boyfriend and I went to a Farm Centre outside Oxford for a little afternoon trip, partly because he is a little obsessed with birds of prey and they have a Falconry Centre there. Hence the flying owl; I didn't do the drawing whilst watching the flying display but did it at home from a picture later. We also went to their Farm Shop and bought some of the most delicious pork pies, which were so good I felt they needed to be recorded! I was pretty chuffed with my owl drawing even if he did turn out a little squint-eyed.

The theme of 'Get Outdoors!' proved a little more difficult since by the time I remembered I needed to draw it was normally dark outside! Instead I decided to take inspiration from the sky instead. I wanted to try and draw Orion in a moody dark night sky but unfortunately my watercolour pencils didn't quite give the right effect. Need to get my inks out again methinks!

I'll do my best to catch up and give you all an up to date post on Thursday! Is anyone else taking part in the Creative Initiative or trying to reignite their artistic passions some other way?

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Headington Haul.





One of the goals on my 23 before 24 list was to do more charity shopping. When I was at university, nearly all my purchases were from my local charity shops. However, since moving to Oxford I've been completely unable to suss out where all the gems were hiding! There aren't many charity shops in the centre of Oxford and so I had to venture a little further afield to find them. I was informed by some Oxfam friends that Headington had a huge selection and so I trekked off on a bus to the other side of town.

I am really pleased with all these purchases and have worn them all already apart from the scarf! My favourite is the shift dress which is originally a Peacocks piece. Whilst its not going to last forever, I just adored the print. I've got rather a paisley obsession at the moment! I wouldn't have looked at it before I dyed my hair because the colours wouldn't have suited me, but it looks quite nice now.

I have possibly one of the world's biggest collections of scarves but when I saw this East one in Oxfam I had to buy it. It's one of my absolute favourite colours, a deep fuchsia, and is so incredibly soft. I also love how big it is- I hate it when you don't have enough scarf in which to bury your face when the winds are howling. The cardigan was also bought because of the colour- I've got a couple of cardis in this shade which really need to be thrown out, but I can't bear to because they're so useful! Hopefully this will be a worthy substitute. The striped top was brand new with the tags still attached, and whilst being very similar to this one I already own, looked comfy and slouchy enough to allow me to spend the grand total of £4.25 on it.

All in all, I was pretty chuffed with the results of my afternoon, and I am glad I now know where to head for some bargains. Hopefully I will get back into charity shopping more regularly, and with this plunder just from one trip, I think I'd be a fool not to go again soon!