Monday, 31 October 2011

jump in the line, rock your body in time

hiyaaa! long time no post, but my life has been well boring & uneventful lately, and i felt no need to burden you with my dull, dull ramblings. i did, however, decide that i will be doing english literature at university. only a year late in deciding, thanks brain!!1!
anyway, couldn't resist doing a hallowe'en related post today, as it totally is one of my favourite holidays. i don't actually have any plans for tonight apart from watching beetlejuice (ps. those who recognise the post title, i love you forever) and eating enough gummy sweets to reverse the effects of all the good flossing i've been doing lately, but i did wear a hallowe'en-themed outfit to college today!
(i know that this skirt featured in the last outfit post i put on here for you guys, but hey, i really like it)
cardigan - h&m, skirt - miss selfridge, blouse - car boot sale (miss selfridge), tights - mother's, shoes - new look, necklace - made by me & available here.
flash & blurred pictures used for full creep mode.
me doing my best ~teen witch vibes~ pose.
being a creep, as per. (it really irritates me that my necklace isn't on straight in this shot)
this skirt is fast becoming one of  my favourite pieces in my wardrobe to style. it makes me feel very florence-welch-pre-raphaelite-y & all amazonian all at the same time. plus, i think it goes with loads of different colours - including black & turquoise which i wore it with today.
someone at college also told me i really suit black, which seems completely bizarre to me as it feels like such a non colour for me to wear!

close up of my bat necklace! i made these for halloween to put in the shop, & my friend matthew bought one the other day!
felt like i had to get my nails in there somewhere, even though you can hardly see them here! they've faded to this awesome turquoise colour with flecks of silver.
sorry for doing the obligatory cutesy girl pose with one claw hand btw, i actually want to vom just looking at myself like this, paha. a certain mean girls quote springs to mind.
being hilarious on webcam with my bat necklace. lol @ myself & my completely un-lucid state of mind. (i'm sure there's an actual word that means the opposite of lucid, but i really can't think of it right now!)
anyway, happy halloween y feliz día de los muertos para mañana!
(lo siento, estoy convencida de que eso no es correcto! y esto tambien)

Saturday, 22 October 2011

on a raft of brand new beginnings (shop update)

hello! i thought i'd just do a little shop update to show you what's been going on in strawberry fields.
i bought these dalmation dominoes quite a while ago from ebay, and they are the cutest things ever! i was going to make rings with them originally but when they arrived i thought they were a little bit too big, so i knew i wanted to make necklaces with them. you see so many domino necklaces around these days, i thought these would be a nice twist on those! (even though i am also working on a few pieces with plain dominoes too)
it has taken a while to make the pendants, because it took me a while to work out what i wanted the pieces to look like on the chains, and how exactly to drill the holes. after purchasing a special drill for small jewellery drilling bits, i finally managed to finish making them! well, my dad did, i don't quite trust myself operating a drill just yet!
i just need to wait for my clasps & chain to arrive and then i can make the full necklaces. i don't think i will be listing these in the shop until after i've done the craft market (as i said on twitter), as my bank balance is looking a little scary & i just want to keep costs down.
i also found these lovely geode things (whatever they're called!) in a box of ornaments in my room. i think they would look lovely on a long chain, and they will be made as soon as i can think of the best way to make them into pendants.
the longer piece is slightly faded on one side, so it can be worn in two ways!
i've put a few new things up in the shop recently made especially for autumn, including these emerald green glass bead earrings!
most of the new pieces are glass bead earrings in beautiful autumn/fall colours.
and in case you haven't seen it yet, here is one of the pieces in my hallowe'en collection; the bat necklace! the spider & fly earrings and the giant rubber fly ring are also part of the collection.
i'm so excited for this upcoming craft market! i've already written lists of things that i need, and i will make sure to take lots of pictures for the blog! (:
i'm also thinking of offering free postage for all of december & possibly some of november, what do you think? do you prefer free postage to discount offers? let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 20 October 2011


i've been having a really difficult time this week. from realising just how much money i have thrown at my jewellery shop so far, to facing the horror that is deciding on university courses.
i've been so conflicted and confused about choosing what path i want to follow next year. i had an interview today to get on textiles specialism for my foundation course (and i got accepted), and i was so excited afterwards for the course. the way the lecturer described what we would be doing was so unlike anything i have ever done before, and it all sounded so new and enriching and fun. sometimes it's hard to remember that education is supposed to be fun, and not something we must go through in order to get a job. she was so lovely, and so enthusiastic & complimentary about my work, and narcissistic as it sounds, sometimes we need to hear that we're doing alright. sometimes i need to hear that i am actually good at something.
she told me that my work had a really fresh colour palette, and my drawing was lovely. and she's friends with one of my favourite local artists. everything about this textiles course sounds so good!
and yet.
somehow i can't stop pulling my mind back to what could be, or what could have been. it's really difficult to avoid thinking about what it would be like to be studying english literature. this year. sometimes i kick myself for choosing to do this year straight away without even properly looking around or considering my other options first.
i keep thinking about all the things i loved about english last year, and how i much i love reading.
books. i seem to amass a never ending pile of books to read, reading multiple things at a time, favouriting poems on the internet to read later. i have hardly any time to properly read now and it feels like such a waste.
i love discussing books, and getting into heated arguments about different authors and images and motifs. it is such a beautiful thing, language, and somehow i feel like i'm missing out by not completely immersing myself in it.
i don't know, i think i'm just feeling a touch of the grass-is-greener attitude at the moment. but it feels like it's been building for a while, since i finished my art a level in fact. but then i think back about how much i truly adored my final two projects at school because of all the sewing i did, and i don't want to miss out on that either!
i think i'm lucky in a way that the course i'm currently doing is ranked as one of the best in the country - in fact, previous students from this course have gone on to work with giles deacon and alexander mcqueen. one ex-alumna is even doing an internship with mary katrantzou, one of my favourite ever designers. i don't want to miss an opportunity to reach what could be my full potential.
i'm going to mull this over for a while. or at least i hope to - the college leaders on my course require that i start to fill in my ucas form over half term, which means saying whether i will be applying through the college, or as an individual. or, in plainer terms, if i will be doing textiles or english literature.
i don't think i will be posting that often over the next few weeks. i have quite a few things to sort out, including this i have also signed myself up to sell jewellery at a craft market in november.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

emerald city

last saturday i ordered some glitter nail polishes from models own (is it just me that feels there should be an apostrophe there somewhere?) as they were doing a "buy three, save £3" promotion & i was in the mood for something decadent.
these are the three polishes i chose, pink fizz, emerald city & bluebelle. i was originally going to buy purple haze instead of  bluebelle - because how could i not love the jimi hendrix reference! - but it was out of stock! i'm pretty happy with bluebelle though, although it's quite a bit darker than it appears on the website.
yesterday i painted my nails with emerald city, which i think is my favourite of the three. the polish is pretty good quality, but it does need two coats. i applied this pretty quickly yesterday morning before going out, so it's a little messy & probably would look better if i'd spent more time on it! also, my topcoat isn't the best quality so it smudged, meaning i had to retouch some of my nails this morning.
i have a weird hatred of having long painted nails by the way, so that's why mine are so short in the picture! i don't know, to me i just think they can look a little talon-like.
i also painted my toes with the pink fizz polish, which i actually love! i only applied one coat for these, but i actually think it's worked pretty well. i also have a weird hatred for dark nail polish on toes, so i will be trying the bluebelle on my nails in a little while.
i finished all of my rotation on my course, so now i'm just waiting to see if i get on the specialism i want to do, fingers crossed! i decided to go for textiles, and put fashion as my second choice. i really had to fight the urge to put fashion first, but i think in my heart i know it just isn't me. basically i only have to go into college on wednesday & thursday for lectures & an interview and then we have half term, so i am so excited for all the free time i'm going to have!
ten things i am going to do this week;
  • re-watch the virgin suicides and across the universe.
  • take jewellery pictures & list lots of new things in the shop.
  • see my friend liberty at her stand-up comedy gig.
  • cut the sleeves off the blouse from this post.
  • buy a young person's railcard & train tickets to see my friend kate!
  • catch up on blogs & schedule lots of posts.
  • finish on the road by jack kerouac and start slaughterhouse five by kurt vonnegut.
  • eat my body weight in cheese twists.
  • start booking myself on open days & drafting my personal statement (eek!)
  • watch copious amounts of family guy.

Monday, 10 October 2011


this post is going to be slightly different to the usual things i post about here, but something was brought to my attention this week that i haven't been able to get out of my head since.
after seeing a link on facebook to this article, i was intrigued & shocked by what i read - two offensive (and i would say sexist) tshirts have been put on sale in topman (pictured below).
the tshirts have now been taken off the site, largely thanks to uproar on twitter & facebook and the sTopman facebook group (which i have joined).
i just wanted to share a few of my thoughts on the matter, apologies for the incoherent, incensed words that may follow. (also, this is posted a little late as the tshirts were first brought out last month)
the tshirts made by topman.
the grey one reads "nice new girlfriend, what breed is she?" - something so in tune with many "hilarious" slogan tshirts on sale today, that at first i didn't even register its offensive message, so used am i to this kind of demeaning comment being plastered all over the place. i think the problem is that we have become so desensitised to comments and slogans like this in modern day life - not just seen on tshirts, but in adverts and magazines - that collectively we let it pass us by, when we should be protesting it.
as a feminist, i am often accused of being "man-hating", or of only raising or recognising issues when they affect women. while this may be true of mainstream media, the underground "fifth wave" of feminism raises and discusses things like this which also affect men all the time.
for example, take the "boys are stupid, throw rocks at them" line of tshirts & stationery which are mainly marketed at younger & teenage girls. personally, i think these are equally damaging to the feminist cause as the grey topman tshirt! i think people forget that feminism is about equality between sexes (as a blanket definition), not that "women are better". i see tshirts like this being very damaging as they are still promoting inequality and stereotypes, weakening the character of both sexes.
(oh, by the way, this tshirt was designed by a female student, which frankly speaks volumes)
moving on to the red tshirt now, which reads;
"i'm so sorry, but
- you provoked me
- i was drunk
- i was having a bad day
- i hate you
- i didn't mean it
- i couldn't help it"
my immediate thought after reading this was "oh my god, it's talking about domestic violence", and after scrolling down to read the article & the comments i saw that i was not alone in this. this is incredibly disturbing, as this tshirt appears to be either A) supporting violence and/or domestic violence against women and/or men, B) poking fun at violence and domestic violence or C) making a comment about violence/domestic abuse by making an ironic "lighthearted" "joke" about it.
neither of these options leave me feeling amused in the slightest. even if topman were going for option C, as a huge retail chain, should have at least twigged that this could be seen as offensive, distasteful and even downright upsetting to some viewers, seeing as all of these statements are the most commonly given excuse by perpetrators of domestic violence. they should also have known that they have no control over who buys and wears this tshirt, as it could have been bought by someone who genuinely believes the message given or finds the tshirt hilarious.
making light of domestic violence - or any violence for that matter! - is not funny, and is not something that should be done by a high street chain as popular and omnipresent as topman/topshop.
aside from the tshirts themselves, one of the things i was most shocked about was the amount of comments on this blog post & the sTopman group that seemed to find the slogans funny, or at least were unbothered by them. many men (and i'm sorry to put "men" instead of "people", but from all of the comments i saw defending the shirts, 100% were from men) thought the outrage was simply an overreaction by women being "oversensitive" and "if you don't like them, don't buy them" which is surely an oversimplification of the matter at hand. i experienced this firsthand when a male twitter user replied to me after i posted a link to the article;
"that's why they are funny".
i can't even begin to describe my disgust at the vitriol and ignorance that he has expressed in less than 140 characters.
this post is not as detailed or as in depth as i would like, but i feel like i just needed to write something about how i felt. hopefully this isn't too rambling or emotional, and if you have read this far then thank you. thank you so  much.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

i always seem to play these games with you my dear

last night, i went to go and see the kooks at the o2 academy! without being overly dramatic, it was pretty much the best night of my life! literally been waiting to see them since i was about fourteen years old and utterly (scarily) obsessed with the band.
(long term followers of my little blog may be aware that i have in fact seen the kooks before, but let's just say that did not end well and i actually cannot remember any of the concert. fun times hanging out in the medical room, oh yes)
this was such an amazing show, it hugely exceeded my expectations. they played so many obscure, lesser played songs from their first album which was so, so good! when they played matchbox, i pretty much lost all composure and started screaming like a bloody lunatic.
luke played a few songs acoustically (seaside, oh my fucking god) & was then joined by hugh to play tick of time. ohhhh my god. love all their ska-esque songs. sorry if this is all exclamations and incoherent babble, but everything about this concert was properly, properly brilliant.

also, luke is beautiful. and has so much energy on stage! i quite quickly regressed to my 14 year old, fangirly, writing-mrs-luke-pritchard-on-everything-i-own state.
the photos aren't great because i only took my little camera, and we were fairly far back - partly because i didn't want a repeat of last time and partly because there were huge amounts of people there! seriously, we queued right around the corner to get in, the show must have been completely sold out.
the encore set was incredible too, the piano led version of saboteur was really overwhelming to hear (especially as i've had a bad quality recording of the song on my ipod since 2008).
sorry about this messy overview of the concert, but i feel like if i describe it too intently the experience will somehow lose its magic for me. i'll just say this was easily one of the best gigs i've ever been to and leave it at that.
PS. booked a hair appointment for saturday! proper excited, and very tempted to go for a crop. we'll see!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

stop breaking down

happy october everyone! i'm so excited for autumn, i love this time of year with its clear skies, crisp leaves and low sunlight in the evenings. at least, i love the september & october part of autumn before it all descends into a soggy november mess.
in my next-but-last post, i mentioned that i was hopefully going to buy this skirt from miss selfridge (taking advantage of their 20% student discount offer, hello) and i did! it was originally £35, but with the discount it came down to £28 which is still somewhat steep but i decided to just go for it as i really love the skirt & it's the cheapest it was ever going to be.
i really do apologise for my facial expression, i've actually discovered that i cannot smile symmetrically, the left side of my mouth always goes higher than the right! bizarre.
anyway, i decided to wear it with my grey rolling stones tshirt, as i think you need something with strong shoulders to balance the long, floaty effect of the skirt. last weekend i wore it out to the pub with a plaid blouse with puffy sleeves, although i actually think this looks better!
also, if anyone in the uk thinks this looks familiar, janet from the x factor (ie diana vickers mark two) was wearing it on last night's show.
i love the two layer effect you get with this skirt, i think it looks really different to the other maxi/midi skirts you see all over the place these days. plus, the fabric flows out behind me when i walk, which makes me feel all feminine and empowerment-y at the same time.
i wouldn't usually wear this colour, but i think it is absolutely beautiful & so appropriate for this time of year! i really want to wear it to college some time because i think it's something you can either dress up or down, but we'll be workign with clay until wednesday so i think i'll have to wait a while!
blurred photograph for the shape.
after i bought the skirt, i also had a little wander around new look in search of some new shoes, and i'm so glad i did because i found the perfect pair of brogues! i managed to get them for £17, down from £25 after another 20% student discount and some new look vouchers i've had for ages. normally i find it so difficult buying shoes i like that actually fit me properly because i have really skinny, flat feet.
love the detailing they have on them, especially the actual brogueing! i'm so sick of seeing regular lace up shoes being called brogues even though they don't have the detailing that they need in order to actually be brogues. sorry, little pet hate that i have!
skirt - miss selfridge, tshirt - ebay, socks - had them since first school, shoes - new look.
my friend matthew just started a blog about all things male and fashiony, so go check it out!
also, i've listed a few new items in the shop and there will be more autumn-y related ones coming soon!
that's all for now, hopefully next time you see me i'll have had my hair cut.
PS is anyone watching coronation street at the moment? i am positively gripped by the rape story line they have at the minute, i think they're handling it so well - and it's so true to life the way some people think carla is "playing the victim" or lying about it, as this is something that rape victims constantly have to deal with. i think the acting is fantastic, and hopefully this can go some way to changing attitudes towards rape in this country. did you know that there is only a 7% conviction rate for rape in this country? absolutely shameful, and apparently there are even more rapes (estimated 75-90%) that go unreported. sorry for the sombre end to this post, but it's something i've been thinking about a lot lately.