Sarah Loves

Sarah Loves: August 2013

25.8.13

Outfit Wishlist For Autumn


1. River Island Silver Tone Hand & Stone Pendant Necklace, £18.00
2. Dune Cut-Out Side Buckle Detail Leather Ankle Boot, £89.00
3. Free People Penny Lane Chiffon Dress, £98.00
4. Urban Outfitters Triangle Midi Ring, £6.00
5. Urban Outfitters Filigree Midi Ring, £8.00
6. Miss Selfridge Black Fringe Clutch, £10.00

Click on the brand names to view the products.

So I have been after this drop waist, smock dress by Free People for ages now, its just so lovely. It is a bit on the pricey side for me right now as I'm currently saving up to visit Australia early next year, but I reckon I could get some wear out of it all year round if I do take the plunge and purchase it. The dress looks light enough for summer and would work well layered with woolly tights and a big cosy cardigan for autumn.

Cut out boots seem to be a pretty big thing at the moment, I'll be writing a blog post all about them in the coming days so keep you eyes peeled! This pair from Dune look like they would be nice and comfortable, not too high a heel and made out of nice soft leather. The Miss Selfridge handbag looks like they'd match really well with them (without being too matchy) and is in the sale at £10, which is pretty reasonable for a bag you could wear any time of the year. I'm also on the look out for some lovely delicate, natural stone jewellery, such as the River Island necklace.

What is on your Autumn wish list?

Labels:

23.8.13

Interview with Mooshpie



What first drew me to Francesca Eastwell of Mooshpie's work was her clear range of skills and talents. Cheska's an all singing, all dancing mixed media artist with specialties in screen printing, book binding, illustrating and animating to name a few. It is clear to see that each skill assists another, such as the knowledge of animation helping Cheska's screen printed illustrations come to life. Talking of illustrations, I really do love the haunting illustrations by Cheska, they remind me of those spooky twisted fairytales we're all told as kids. Like Hansel and Gretal who are kept captive and fattened up so they can be eaten by a cannibal witch. How messed up was that?

I see you have many strings to your bow, such as screen printing, illustrating, animating and book binding. Which skill is your absolute favourite?

Ah yes I'm like a secret hoarder of skills and also equipment....

As for my favourite skill... It's so hard to choose, I love doing them all for different reasons, escaping to my shed for a spot of screenprinting- the smell of screen printing ink and my image magically appearing through the freshly squeegeed ink, hand sewing sections together for a new journal, but I guess when it boils down to it it's all about the drawing. It's the starting point for any of my other processes. A sketch that I do could get turned into a screen for printing, a delicate gold foil illustration on my hand bound books to being part of a sequence of images for an animation.


Inside the Mooshpie workshop

How to you pull off screen printing in your shed?

My shed studio is very much a DIY job, the main workbench area was built by my other half, (he used some left over oak floorboards from our living room). I painted it an off white and hammered loads of nails on the walls to hang tape, squeegees and inks and then moved in.

I use an old kitchen cabinet door as the print palten (a solid hard surface in which to print on) with some screen hinges screwed into place. The hinges keep the screen in place while you print and helps with registration. The hinges are one of the best things I bought previous to having them I would have to hold the screen in place and hope that the print turned out!

It has no insulation so it's printing in extreme temperatures from a stifling 37 degrees in the summer to a freezing -7 in the winter. My new best friends are an ink retarder for stopping my ink dry too quickly on my screens in the summer and a mini oil radiator for winter - though it only warms my shins. Lots of layers of merino thermals and cups of green tea and cake help too.

I wash my screens out in the garden even when there is snow, rain or lovely sunny weather, I'm dedicated to printing.


screen printed Mooshpie illustration

What illustrators, books or films have influenced your work?

My work has a lot of comic darkness from studying folklore, fairy tales and children's stories in the illustrations for my prints and hand-tooling for my journals. I love Studio Ghibli, their animations are beautiful and full of great sadness too, they're always guaranteed to bring a few tears to my eyes!

Illustrated book cover with girl and rabbit by Mooshpie

Are there any new creative skills you want to learn?

I have an Adana printing press which I've had for about 5 years now that is crying out for some love. I plan to get it going in time for Christmas for some super letterpress and screenprint work!

I also want to get confident on the sewing machine too, so I can start branching out into other areas!


fox, bear, mushroom & girls Mooshpie screen printed illustrated tea towels mouse canvas shopper bag by Mooshpie

You do a lot of screen printing with homewares and canvas bags, ever thought about designing prints for fashion?

I'd love to do prints for fashion, I have a shop on Spoonflower (an American company that can digitally print your designs onto all types of fabric) There are a couple of my designs on there of some birds and russian dolls which I've sold a couple of fat quarters of. I do plan to create some more prints just trying to find more time in the day.

Constellations by Nick Payne Mooshpie commission

What have been your career highlights so far?

Back in November I was asked to do a commission for some hand bound journals for playwright Nick Payne for his play Constellations at The Royal Court in London. They were to be given as gifts to his members of cast and crew including actress Sally Hawkins and Rafe Spall. Each of the 8 journals were hand bound with screen printed extracts from the play and individually hand tooled gold foil illustrations of bees and stars! I was told that Sally Hawkins in particular loved hers!

fox hanging hoop illustration by Mooshpie

What advice can you give to someone wanting to start up their own business on Etsy?

Etsy is a great place to sell your work but it's also very saturated with products, which can be a little overwhelming when you start up. Join your local Etsy Team and go along to any meet ups. This will give you a great chance to meet your peers and to also pick up tips and advice. I joined my Brighton Etsy Team and have taken part in loads of great things, including Etsy Mentors which was a pilot scheme from Etsy UK. It is where a more established shop helps a newbie / less experienced shop with different aspects of their shop from photography to tags and policies.

When you do set up your shop, treat it as a physical shop. Think about your branding and story - what sets you apart from other makers, packaging, product photography are all very important too. Make sure you keep updating it to keep people coming back to your shop.


You can purchase Mooshpie products on Etsy and Spoonflower. You can also keep up to date with them on Instagram and Twitter.

All images are credited to Mooshpie.

Labels:

22.8.13

Bourjois Liner Feutre Felt Tip Eyeliner Review

Bourjois Liner Feutre Felt Tip Eyeliner Review Bourjois Liner Feutre Felt Tip Eyeliner swatch example How my Bourjois Liner Feutre Felt Tip Eyeliner looks on my eyelids

Volume Effect Mascara in High Density Black by Bourjois


the product Felt tip eyeliner for ultra easy application.
the look Smoky eyes, cats eyes and 60s flicks.
the cost £6.99
works well on A quirky 60's look.


Appearance

I love the look of this product, its slim, doesn't take up much space in my make up back and has clean, classic packaging what fits in well with the rest of my things. The felt tip liner looks exactly like a nice felt tip pen, and I'd imagine it works well as a pen too should you need one!

The appearance the product gives once applied however, is not so great. As you can see in the last image that is what it looks like when I've reapplied it in the afternoon. Not very strong at all, dull in colour and very washed out.


Application

The pen feels nice in the hand so when applying you feel like you have total control, which is really nice when you have clumsy hands like me. The felt tip pen is a little watered down in my opinion so can look a bit grey with the first application. When I apply it I used it over foundation and a BB cream, it takes a few goes over with the pen to get my usual subtle 60s flicks but the control is amazing, something you really don't get with the little liquid pot eyeliners.

I do find that when applied over a dewy foundation it can be a pain to apply as it won't stick to the eyelid and will just slide over it without leaving behind any eyeliner behind. Forget applying it over moisturiser or sunscreen, it won't work at all which is a little disappointing. It can be tricky to apply over eyeshadow too, this eyeliner just doesn't like shiny surfaces what so ever.


Lastability

I'm really disappointed that this product did not last very long at all on my eyelids and corners of my eyes. I've been using this product for a little while now so have given it a real go. When I've applied in the morning it will be smudged by lunchtime and completely gone by the afternoon.

Cost

This product is isn't exactly costly but is more than I've spent before on eyeliner. In my opinion it would be worth the cost if it wasn't so watery and offered a stronger line, as well as lasted throughout the day without the need for touch ups.

the verdict

Overall, I would not buy this product again and I'm really disappointed it doesn't last or provide a heavier, darker line. When I first saw this product in Boots I used the tester on my hand and it gave a really lovely strong, dark line. I got really excited about it because I had been after a nice, strong, eyeliner that was easy to apply so brought it straight away. When I first used it on my eyes, the first application worked well but every use after that has left me feeling disappointed with it. I love the concept, eyeliner as a felt tip pen? What better way to apply! Shame it doesn't work. :(

Shop Felt Tip Eyeliners

Labels:

15.8.13

On My Dressing Table

 photo earrings.jpg

Today I thought I would give you all a little sneak peak into what is on my dressing table. I'm not a huge jewellery wearer which is why you might seen there isn't stacks and stacks of jewels here. I tend to go for one - three pieces per outfit (if any at all) and usually always go for the same pieces. I always always forget to put jewellery on in the mornings before work, so my jewellery is only every worn at the weekends or for after work drinks with my friends.

 photo stag-necklace.jpg  photo initial-necklace.jpg

My stag necklace, silver wolf, delicate horse pendants and inital necklace are usually my go to neck wear of choice. I love nature inspired jewellery and have been wanting some crystal necklaces for ages but have never actually gone about buying one. Maybe its about time I did!

 photo beetle-bracelet.jpg  photo turquiose-bracelets.jpg

I'm a little ashamed to say a lot of this jewellery is from the highstreet or were birthday or Christmas gifts. None of it has any money value, as I don't go in for expensive things I never wear. Expensive jewellery has never appealed to me, so my boyfriend is pretty lucky that I'd rather have a fun day out for my birthday than expensive gifts. Diamonds aren't this girl's best friend!

Lately, I've been thinking since starting my interviews with jewellery designers that why on earth do I only have jewellery from the highstreet when there are so many great independent jewellery makers out there creating stunning individual pieces? It really is rather appalling! I've now decided that any highstreet pieces I see and like, I'll scout out an independent jewelers alternative so that I get a more unique piece and am supporting real talent.

Oh yeah, and I don't wear earrings anymore but have a stack of them still, whats with that? Think I'm too nice to thrown them out as most of them were gifts from my mum and sister. You can't really donate earrings to charity shops or give them away to people so unsure what to do with them! Any suggestions are welcome. :)


Jewellery Shop

Labels:

13.8.13

My Top 5 Summer Evening Playsuits

Summer Evening Playsuits
There is no denying it, no matter what occasion the playsuit is always my garment of choice. There are so many reasons to love the playsuit: its an outfit all in one, you don't have to worry about the weather being really windy, and they're so versatile. I wear mine non stop at the weekends as they are fairly casual and great for days out. You might be surprised to hear that they can be the perfect choice to wear for the evenings, too!
Here are my top 5 evening playsuits for the summer.
Dip Dyed Delight
Ruby Rocks Dip Dye Playsuit, £25.00
The ombre trend is strong every summer, and I'm in love with this dip dyed smart casual playsuit by Ruby Rocks. It would look great as a cover up over a bikini on the beach or with some strappy gold sandals and sequin accessories on a night out. I think mermaid theme gives a real edge to it as well.
Buy here >>


Special Occassion
New Look Embellished Playsuit, £29.99
This cream embellished chevron strappy playsuit is so delightful you could get away with wearing it to a wedding, night out or for a fancy meal. I really want to get my mits on this one, its an online exclusive at New Look so you won't find it in the shops I'm afraid!
Buy here >>


Smart and Edgy
Motel Janna Playsuit, £48.00
This playsuit is smart enough to wear in the office, yet edgy enough to be worn out to Friday night drinks. Depending on how you accessorise this I think you could get away with wearing it to any occasion.
Buy here >>


Lovely in Lace
Motel Mary Playsuit, £48.00
This lovely little lace playsuit has an open back. I think it would look beautiful teamed with some 60's accessories such as patent flats and a beehive (not that I would ever go to so much trouble myself).
Buy here >>


Mint Goddess
Love Halter Neck Playsuit, £38.00
There is something about mint in summer... I just love it! Mint and chocolate chip ice cream, peppermint flavoured lip balm, this little Grecian mint number. I'd team this up with gladiators and a floral garland.
Buy here >>

Labels:

9.8.13

An Interview with Oh Someday...

oh someday jewellery interview

Today I'd like to introduce you to Jewellery Designer Kate Holden of Oh Someday.... Kate creates beautifully hand crafted pieces that carry a personal message from her shed shaped workshop in East Sussex. Her collections offer something for everyone, from star constellation necklaces to rock the night in, to friendship bracelets that carry a real message. She's also able to create really stylish and pretty medical bracelets for those who need their medical conditions known in case of an emergency.

What I love the most about Kate's work is how much thought goes into her jewellery. All of the stones used are responsibly sourced and every piece is carefully created using hand tools. Kate's jewellery is also fully customizable, which means you can have a truly individual and personal piece of jewellery.


At what point did you discover a passion for jewellery design?

I started making pieces of jewellery for myself when I was in school but didn’t truly discover a passion for jewellery design until around 3 years ago when I signed up for evening classes to learn silversmithing. Learning about different types of metals and gemstones and how to work with them was really interesting and made me realise the design possibilities with jewellery are endless.



Have you ever faced any challenges in setting up your own jewellery business?

I think one of my main challenges to begin with was finding enough space to work in. Saving up and getting a shed, which I use as a workshop, really helped. Having a dedicated space just for making is really important I think, especially when you’re working from home where there are so many distractions. Now my main challenges are the long winters (as it gets pretty cold out there) and the many spiders that have taken up residence in the shed with me!



What is your process of creating a piece from start to finish?

I’m a bit of a daydreamer so most of my pieces are thought up when I should be in the middle of doing something else, or late at night when I’m trying to get to sleep. I’ll usually make a rough sketch of any design and then just get straight to finding the right materials and then making it. All of my brass pieces are sawn out by hand from sheets of brass so each one is slightly different. I like to make everything by hand to give each piece a more personal touch and some of the tools I use have been handed down to me from my Grandad. Once a piece has been finished I usually make one for myself and then wear it for a couple of days to make sure I’m happy with the finished product and that it works. Then it will go on Etsy, or to one of my stockists like Green Brick (which can be found on Queens Road in Brighton) who are usually the first to get any new Oh Someday pieces.



What's your most memorable custom piece of jewellery you've been commissioned to make?

One of my favourite commissions so far has been to a customer who was coincidentally from Brighton in the USA, she wanted two necklaces with the Seven Sisters Constellation on them to give to her sisters. This particular constellation was chosen not only because of the name but because it can be seen from anywhere in the world, they were all about to go travelling together and she wanted a gift to commemorate the adventure.



I really love your Luna Necklaces and how they're responsibly sourced, what inspired you to create these pieces?

The idea behind the Luna Necklaces was the smooth ceramic beads and delicate chain contrasting against the rough pyrite chips, which make me think of moon rocks (hence the name Luna). It’s meant to be quite a delicate and feminine necklace with a bit of an edge.



If you could be commissioned to design a piece for any celebrity, who would it be and what would you design?

I’m a big fan of Laura Marling and often end up listening to her music when I’m making jewellery so I’d love to make something for her. Or maybe someone like Bill Murray as then I’d have a Bill Murray story, that’d be pretty amazing. I’d make them whatever they wanted.



What advice can you give for someone wanting to set up their own jewellery business?

I think my main advice would be to just go for it! You can spend too much time thinking about doing things rather than just giving it a go. Definitely educate yourself as much as you can, it’s a trade where you never stop learning whether it be on different jewellery making techniques and materials or on marketing. I would recommend joining a website like Etsy where it is relatively inexpensive and simple to set up a shop. There are great communities on there that can help you with every aspect of your business. Joining a local team (I’m a member of the Brighton Etsy Team) can be valuable as well and I’ve met some really lovely people through it too. Etsy has also given me the opportunity to reach customers all over the world, which I think is really exciting.

Oh Someday...'s jewellery is available for purchase on Etsy. You can also keep up to date with them on Facebook and Twitter, and they also have some lovely boards on Pinterest.

All images are credited to Oh Someday...

Labels:

8.8.13

YSL Volume Effect Mascara Review

Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effect Mascara in High Density Black review Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effect Mascara brush review How my eyelashes look with Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effect Mascara in High Density Black

Volume Effect Mascara in High Density Black by Yves Saint Laurent via Harrods


the product Mascara for a faux lash effect.
the look Longer, fluttery lashes.
the cost £23.50
works well on My blonde, well spaced out lashes.


Appearance

First of all the product looks and feels nice. Its one of those things you'd be proud to have in your make up bag just because of its grown up appearance. Its elegant, attractive, and makes my normal highstreet brand mascaras look like big, clumpy tools. But its not just its appearance that's nice. The brush itself is not too big and bushy, like some mascaras I own. In fact its slim and narrow, and doesn't get over loaded. The wand itself feels a little longer for me than I'm used to, although that is probably because the brush looks smaller than my usual mascara.

Application

It takes about 10-15 strokes of the brush in one application to achieve the look I was after, a fluttery, doe eyed look. This means even after many strokes of the brush you still don't get that glumly, clumpy look so its really fool proof when to comes to over applying.

Lower lashes

I found it worked well for my lower eyelashes as well. Now i'm a bit of a clumsy applier (I blame my shaky hands) so yes, I did accidentally smudge it under my eye but thats nothing a corner of face wipe can't fix. The effect on my lower eyelashes was making them look more organised and slightly longer.

Cost

At £23.50 its a premium product. I have thought about buying it before as I do have some friends who have raved about it, my sister included, but have never justified the price when there are so many cheaper alternatives. When my make up runs out and it comes to buying new products I usually just reserve about £8 for a mascara, and end up going for one from a high street brands. Thing is, there is a reason why some products are more expensive than others and I didn't realise my eyelashes could look this good.

the verdict

This mascara actually did a good job in separating out my lashes and not making them all cling together like some faux lash effect mascaras do. I'll actually be totally honestly though, I really don't like the fake eyelashes look, which is just as well as this mascara just made my eyelashes just looked like I'd really want them to look, natural but more fluttery and longer than usual. So saying that, if you really love the fake eyelashes look this may not be the mascara for you.

This mascara has now become my go to product as I much prefer it over the ones I usually use. I am so glad I got the opportunity to try it out as it really does work for me and I will be purchasing it as soon as it runs out.

Just to let you know this item came as part of a set along with a Touche Éclat pen, a Dessin Du Regard Waterproof Eye Pencil, make up remover and an eye cream. I will be reviewing the other items it came with over the coming weeks so keep your beautifully mascaraed eyes peeled.


Shop Yves Saint Laurent

Labels:

2.8.13

Cat-a-Cake Creations Jewellery‏ Interview

Cat-a-Cake Creations Jewellery‏ Interview

Brighton is bustling with fresh new designers, innovative ideas and creative energies, so I jumped at the chance of interviewing Brighton local Claire Montgomery of Cat-a-Cake Creations. Fun, nostalgic and bright and colourful, Claire's jewellery collection reminds anyone who grew up on the Sussex coast of summers by the sea side and scoffing ice creams before the seagulls got them.

I hope you enjoy my interview below, I left some links at the end if you'd like to get your mits on a piece from the collection.


When did you first discover a passion for jewellery design and what made you want to start up your own business?

I've always had a passion for jewellery since a young age, I've always been fascinated by weird, wonderful, and stand out designs. It was only just over a year ago however that I started creating my own jewellery. After designing my greeting card ranges I decided some of the designs would work well as pieces of jewellery. So from there my exciting jewellery adventure began....

945590_480304888710633_2023767089_n

If you weren't a jewellery designer what would you be?

As well as being a designer I also organise a local craft fair called The Fairy Tale Fair, so I guess I would do that full time. I've also always had a dream one day to own my own cupcake and crafty shop so I could spend my days baking pretty cakes!

1002944_480303135377475_875872141_n-1

What is your signature style in jewellery design?

Cute and quirky! All my jewellery is hand designed and laser cut locally in Brighton, and they are all unique designs. Many of the designs feature animals and are inspired by fairy tales and my seaside surroundings. I have recently launched the Carousel collection, at High Street Fashion Week London, which is inspired by seaside childhood memories and features ice creams, carousel horses, doughnuts and more!

1002794_480301972044258_1026729808_n

What are your thoughts on local fashion and how does living and working in Brighton reflect in your work?

Brighton has a great unique fashion scene which I think is very inspiring. People aren't afraid to be different in Brighton, and are keen to stand out in unique, one off items- which makes it great for creating quirky designs and also means lots of local designers and makers are supported, so its good lots of people shop at independent boutiques, such as those in the lanes, and at craft fairs where there are lots of wonderful handmade creations to be found!

My seaside surroundings really inspires my work, and is the inspiration behind the Carousel Collection as I mentioned above. I think the seaside for a lot of people evokes happy childhood summer holiday memories, and I think to associate my jewellery with those nostalgic feelings is what I aim to do. I love the retro seaside look, bringing back the days of when the British seaside was at the height of fashion.


943589_480303358710786_2125174260_n-2

If you could have any celebrity wearing your collection, who would it be?

I'd love to see celebrities such as Adele, Fearne Cotton, Holly Willoughby or Little Mix wear my laser cut jewellery as I think it would really suit their styles.

Describe the Cat-a-Cake Creations Jewellery Girl in 3 words.

Cute, happy, quirky.

1010177_480304628710659_128726259_n

What advice can you give to those who might want to start a career in jewellery design?

It doesn't matter if you don't have previous experience in jewellery- as long as you have ideas and a passion to create it you can make it happen. Just start small with a few ideas and sketches, then refine, research, design and make. Once you get that far, try booking a stall at a couple of local craft fairs- these are great way to get feedback on your designs and give out business cards to those that are interested. Etsy is also a great way to get your designs to a wider audience!

You can connect with Cat-a-Cake Creations on Facebook and Twitter and their jewellery is available for purchase on Etsy.
All images are credited to Cat-a-Cake Creations.

Labels: