All posts filed under “photography

lily doughball bristol blogger - photo by lauren jayne hall
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Hanging Out at The Forge

One of my 2017 resolutions is to take this blog more seriously. I have a pretty hard time taking myself seriously in general, to be honest; I chalk it up to that crippling British condition of hard-wired self-deprecation, which also happens to be the reason why I’m completely shite at selfies, and the only time I feel comfortable is when I’m camouflaged in morris make-up.

For that very reason, there aren’t many decent photos of my mush on this auld blog, something which I have been vowing to fix for a long, long time. The Friday before last, myself and some fellow blogging friends (Lyzi, Fritha, and Charlie) plus the lovely and insanely talented photographer Lauren hung out at the absolutely stunning Forge to drink tea and snap some totes Instagram-worthy pics of each other. Read More

venice at dusk lily doughball travel blog
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A Weekend in Venice & Lake Garda | Doughball’s Travels

colourful houses in venice

Oh me oh my, has this post been a long time coming. Since the beginning of March, I’ve been on no less than three holidays – a big ol’ trip to Japan via Budapest for a few days in April, and waaay back in early March myself and the boy popped off to the continent with his parents for a little trip to Italy.

I don’t now why I haven’t written about this until now – things seemed to have got in the way a little bit, but it’s better late than never, eh?  Read More

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Westonbirt in Autumn

A couple of weekends ago, just as the nights were beginning to draw in and it began feeling proper autumnal, myself and Thomas took a trip over to Westonbirt Arboretum. It’s been on my autumn bucket list for a couple of years now, because nothing says ‘autumn’ quite like a whole forest full of beautiful leaf-changing colour.

Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

It’s a historical place, too (YAY HISTORY!), having been founded in 1829 by a chap called Robert Stayner Holford, and gifted to the Forestry Commission in 1956. It even apparently backs onto old Charlie’s Highgrove Estate. Fancy!

Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

The whole arboretum is split into two main parts, the ‘old’ arboretum, with its mature species from around the world, and the Silk Wood, a semi-natural woodland which we discovered had a little educational trail about the history of our landscape (double history afternoon, woo!). I even found a little shrub to hide in, although Tom hasn’t quite figured out how to work my camera just yet.

Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Westonbirt Arboretum in Autumn | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

On the way back to the car we had a mild brush with peril as a whole herd of cattle decided that now was as good a time as any to stampede into the adjoining field. This is going to sound like such a stupid, city-girl remark but I’d never seen a cow this close before, and when you’ve got that much beef hurtling towards you at at least 7mph it’s pretty terrifying. Luckily, we escaped unscathed across a cattle grid, and the cows trundled off into the distance.

We returned home to a roast dinner and scones with cream and jam, because what else are Sundays for, eh?

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Snapshots from End of the Road

What seems like 2 seconds ago (but was actually the weekend before last – eek!), we packed up our bags and travelled into deepest darkest Dorset, to attend End of the Road festival at beautiful Larmer Tree Gardens. I feel well and truly spoilt by this summer, it really has been a good ‘un; we didn’t attend any festivals last year, and this year we got to go to two! After Glastonbury and my trip to Padstow I feel like I am really getting used to this camping malarkey, and couldn’t wait to crack the tent out again and set up home at EOTR.

As soon as we arrived and started exploring End of the Road we began drawing comparisons to Glastonbury, and soon decided that it was just all the nicest bits, condensed. EOTR is a relatively young festival – it celebrates its 10th year next year – and as such has retained the charm and energy of creating something awesome and new, and in a much more relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The whole site is really small as well, meaning you can get from one side to the other in about 10 or 15 minutes, and I’ve heard the organisers purposely keep ticket numbers low, which means you never feel crowded.

Don’t get me wrong – Glasto is an experience, but its like the wise old (slightly eccentric) uncle of festivals now, with its sprawling fields and mechanical spiders and ribbon towers and rabbit holes, and its nice to give the support to the smaller guys. End of the Road is like Glastonbury’s cool, bearded, bespectacled nephew, who has cherry picked the best eateries, drinks fantastic local ales, likes hanging out in Victorian gardens, and has exceptional taste in music.

One of the reasons we chose End of the Road was because the lineup was absolutely outstanding – John Grant, Tune-Yards, Richard Thompson, Ezra Furman, Sweet Baboo to name but a few. It was as if someone had given me a pen and asked me to write down my favourite artists of the moment, then curated a festival around that (I wish!). Of course, I worship at the altar which is 6 Music, as all good people should, and was amazed at how many other acts I knew simply from humming along to their tunes on the radio.

The whole site, it seemed, was filled with the 6 Music demographic – the collective age of EOTR seemed to be slightly older than other festivals I have visited (I’m thinking of Reading here, when I say older I mean my age and upwards), and I was pleasantly surprised at how many young families with small children there were. This only added to the lovely atmosphere, and coupled with the amazing setting, the incredible food on offer, and the very reasonable price of ale at the bar, created a home-from-home feel to the proceedings.

I didn’t dare take my SLR for fear of dropping it in a toilet or it getting trampled or something, so I took a chance on my Lomo Smena, which I hadn’t used for a few years! I’m amazed that these photos actually turned out, but I took a few on my phone just in case…

End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog  Richard Thompson at End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog  End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

end of the road festival

I cannot tell you how good the food was. One of the nicest things about modern festivals is that you don’t have to eat cheap crap sausages or burgers or those giant yorkshire puddings which set you back about £8, there is an amazing selection of proper decent grub on offer, and EOTR was no exception. The above pancake bar did the best coffee I have ever tasted (and had the queue to prove it at 9am!) and the rotisserie next door could do you half a roasted chicken plus a mountain of little roast potatoes for £7. The ice cream was awesome too – I had peanut butter ice cream with hot fudge, and had to give up half way through which I was quite upset about. Props also go to the Rac Shack, who did exceptional croque monsieurs and a fancy bacon and cheese breakfast sandwich which sorted me right out on Saturday morning.

End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog     End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

One of the best things about End of the Road, as well as the countless tasty snacks, the excellent music line up, and the beautiful gardens it was situated in, were all the whimsical touches dotted around the festival. The trees along the woodland path were filled with fairy lights, balloons and little creatures, there were sculptures made out of hay, messages cut into leaves and a giant Walkman named after one of Hollywood’s finest. My favourite festival nuance had to be the Secret Post Office – chaps and chapettes in blue shirts, red bow ties and braces who could deliver your hand-crafted, hand-written, hand-glittered note to anyone on the festival site, provided you provide an accurate description of the recipient. We sent one to the guy in the massive orange tent camped next to us who played soothing music on his guitar in the morning, and were very excited when we spotted him walking around the festival with it poking out of his top pocket!
End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog
Fjallraven Kanken Mini Forest Green at End of the Road Festival 2014 | Lily Doughball UK Lifestyle Blog

Another highlight of the weekend was after watching John Grant on the Saturday evening, when we ventured into the deepest part of the woods towards the Comedy stage, to watch the 80s children’s TV show-inspired spectacle that is Knightmare Live. It was one of the most surreal things I have ever experienced – standing on a steep slope in the woods at 1am watching drunken audience members don a helmet and shuffle around the stage directed by a man in a pretty impressive cape and full face paint. Halfway through the giddy drunken enjoyment things got slightly serious, and one of the performers had the terrible duty of informing us that we were simply having too much fun, and one of the neighbours had complained that we were making too much noise. Obviously this was met with cheers from the audience, to which we were told to proceed with 100% enthusiasm, but 78% volume. It was brilliant. Their stage show looks pretty hilarious, too!

All in all, we had such an amazing weekend, and were incredibly sad when we had to pack up our tent in the rain and head back home. We are definitely buying tickets for next year, especially if its packed full with all the secret post, woodland creatures and adventurers as it was this year. I’m probably going to do another festival as well, if you’ve got any suggestions I’d love to hear them!

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Camping in Padstow

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Last weekend, we packed up the car and headed down to Padstow for a weekend (and a bit) by the sea. It’s been a bit of a manic couple of weekends, considering the previous one was spent at Glastonbury – but hey, at least I already had most of my camping gear to hand, and at least we knew the weather was going to be better!

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

It’s become somewhat of a tradition to go camping the first weekend in July, and we always head for the same spot. We stayed at a campsite called Dennis Cove, and handily ended up in exactly the same spot as last year. As soon as the tents were pitched we took a short stroll into Padstow past Rick Stein’s chip shop, and settled at a pub overlooking the harbour. It was pretty darn magical sipping pints of Korev in the sunshine, watching all the people walk by. Drinking in the daytime sure does make you hungry though, and we had chips on our mind. We decided to reject Rick Stein’s expensive fried offerings for the ‘local’s chippy’ – the very whimsical-sounding Chip Ahoy.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog
Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

We parked ourselves on a window ledge just outside the chippy and as we were waiting for our fishcake and hake, respectively, this beauty chuffed by! I’ve got a bit of a thing for steam-powered vehicles, and this was just one of many doing a circuit of the tiny town centre. I do believe it said it was from 1917, which is pretty incredible when you think about it.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

After chips, of course, there’s nothing better you can do than do a spot of seagull watching while sinking a few pints in a decent pub. Just around the corner from Chip Ahoy is a delightful little place called The London Inn, which has a sun soaked terrace where we happily sat and drank away a couple of hours. Seagulls, I have found, are perched atop absolutely anything they can get a purchase on.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The walk home was pretty spectacular; as the sun was setting it was basking the whole of the water in a salmony-pink glow. It took slightly longer to walk back than usual, I kept stopping and turning around to get more photos! It really was beautiful.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The next morning started out optimistically – after a sausage sarnie at ‘Ben’s Crib Box’ we started out on the 5-mile-cycle to nearby Wadebridge along the Camel Trail cycle path. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we stopped off for a cup of tea from a lovely chap with a tricycle situated on an old slate quarry about half way along. Shortly after we set back off, however, and I had bicycle troubles, so when we got to Wadebridge we had to start back to Padstow in search of a Halfords.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Sadly, this meant more pints of ale in yet more lovely pubs; this time we were at the very up-market looking hotel The Old Ship drinking pints of Brains (braaaaains). After a short while deliberating, and as the weather was defying the forecast so beautifully, we decided to take the opportunity to hop on a ferry to Rock, which overlooks Padstow just a mile across the water.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Turns out there’s not a huge amount in Rock, apart from a couple of fancy bars and a Jack Wills. We did find some really old graffiti though, and a couple of ironic fence panels, and Tom did his best Fisherman impression. We spent a couple of pints on a terrace overlooking the water, and it was rather nice seeing Padstow from a different angle for a change.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Once back on dry land there was talk of ice cream. This beautiful monstrosity is called a ‘hedgehog’ – it’s your choice of ice cream (chocolate, of course) with a scoop of clotted cream smushed on top, then rolled in nuts. It was AMAZING but I only managed to eat about half, and Tom polished off the rest for me.

I really regret not taking more photos on this trip; we went to an absolutely brilliant pub called the Harbour Inn for dinner, where I had possibly one of the best things I have ever eaten. I didn’t manage to get many photos of the next day of our epic trip either – because it was raining quite a bit I didn’t want to risk having my camera getting soggy. We started out on our bike ride again, this time with a fixed wheel, determined to get all the way to Bodmin. We did pretty well up to Wadebridge, but the rain started up shortly after and it was a pretty damp journey to Bodmin, via a tearoom and a pub, where we only spent about an hour before turning back again.

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The journey back was much more pleasant, and as we got about a mile away from Padstow the sun made an appearance again and made some pretty spectacular views across the Camel Estuary. There was just enough time to pop back to the campsite to get changed before it was another mushroom pepperpot and chips at the Harbour Inn again. Lush.

Food at the Cherry Trees Cafe, Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Food at the Cherry Trees Cafe, Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

The next morning was a pretty sad occasion, as it was our last day on holiday, so we decided to have a special breakfast at a cute little cafe right on the harbour called Cherry Trees. I had their ‘magic mushrooms’ – thick sourdough bread with tomato chutney, wild mushrooms, poached egg and hollandaise – and Tom had their ‘green eggs and ham’ – toast and posh Italian parma ham with fried egg and basil oil drizzled on top. Their cakes looked absolutely amazing as well, but we were pretty stuffed by the time we had finished!

We packed up the car just as the thunder clouds began to descend, and waved goodbye to Padstein as we made made our way home.

Food at the Old Spot, Dursley | Camping in Padstow, UK | Lily Doughball, UK lifestyle blog

Seeing as we were still technically on holiday though, and as it was a miserable thundery day, we made a pit stop at one of our Gloucestershire faves, the Old Spot Inn, to fatten ourselves up on pie and stout. This mountain of deliciousness is one of their famous pies, chicken and ham, with buttery Lyonnaise potatoes and seasonal veg. If you are local to Bristol or the shire in general, then I cannot recommend the Old Spot higher – it’s definitely worth the drive to Dursley, especially for the Sunday lunch!

Have you been on any summery holidays yet?

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Travelettes July Instagram Challenge

Well, I am back from Glastonbury alive and well, albeit a little burnt and peeling. Ewww. Not to mention the fact that it was so muddy I was convinced I was going to get trench foot – don’t panic, I didn’t! Despite this, I had the most awesome weekend, saw some amazing bands (DOLLY!) and drank far too much cider. Fun times!

I like to think that now the downright unpredictable June weather is behind us, we can look forward to some sunnier days. My good friend Sophie writes over at Travelettes, and reminded me that today is the first day of their brand spanking new Instagram challenge!

Now, let’s not beat around the bush – I’m not so good at Instagram challenges. I began the #100happydays challenge at least 3 or 4 months ago and have still not finished. It’s pretty daunting setting yourself up for at least three months of picture-taking – daunting even for a photographer! Often I found myself scrabbling around at the end of the day to desperately find anything which had made me remotely happy, which kind of missed the point of the challenge in the first place.

Now, the things I like about the Travelettes challenge – 1. it’s only a month long, 2. it’s a summery sunny challenge, 3. there are creative prompts for every single day, which will hopefully help me through the dry patches of inspiration! The full list of prompts are as follows:

travelettes july instagram challenge

 

Image source

 

Let’s give this challenge thing another go, shall we?!

I’ll be joining in and posting my efforts over on my own Instagram. If you want to join in simply follow the prompts listed above with the hashtag #dailytravelette and check back every day for other travelettes efforts!

REMEMBER…

Summer is coming.

summer is coming

 

Image source

 

 

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Harry Potter Studios Tour

On Saturday, myself and my good friend Annabelle travelled down to a magical place just north of London, to the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studios! I was going to write a post about the whole day there, what we did, in what order, what we saw etc. etc., but to be perfectly honest, there was so much to see and do that the whole day has just merged into one massive nostalgic blur in my childish brain. I’m also aware of the many many reviews about the tour on countless other blogs, plus I don’t want to ruin the surprise! Instead, here are some snapshots from the day. I was absolutely gutted that my camera decided to run out of battery half way through, but I think I still got some pretty good shots!

Our tour was booked for 6:30, and we arrived shortly before to get our bearings. The place is HUGE; I really didn’t expect the sheer scale or amount of detail that it goes into – as well as the actual sets which the actual actors actually acted in, there are the costumes, all the props, the make up table (complete with ‘Harry’s Scar’ box), the Knight Bus, No 4 Privet Drive, even Diagon Alley! But the experience went much further than that and we were treated to glimpses behind the scenes into some of the original concept artwork, the set models, and the animatronics, which I found particularly fascinating. Buckbeak, for example, was a full sized animatronic creature, none of it was CGI! It blew my mind.

If you’re considering going then I HIGHLY recommend it. Die hard fan or not, there is something there for everyone, and it is well worth the entry fee. All in all it took us about 2 1/2 hours to walk around the whole thing, and we even stopped for a Butterbeer! I’m sad that I didn’t manage to get any more photos, but you’ll just have to experience the magic for yourself!

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Psssst! Have you entered my giveaway yet?

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A week of milestones, plus a BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY!

Well, this past week has marked a fair few milestones for me – first I reached 100 followers on Bloglovin’, which is something I never though I would do at the beginning of my blogging adventure. It still seems really strange to me that 100 people read me waffle on in my humble corner of the internet, and I am so grateful to everyone who does, and takes the time to leave such lovely comments and feedback. This week also marks ONE WHOLE YEAR of blogging, plus yesterday I marked 24 years of life! Wow.

lily doughball birthday giveaway prize bundle on www.lilydoughball.com

To mark this momentous occasion, I have gathered together some items with my measly pocket money, which I believe are worthy of a spectacular birthday giveaway! I like to think of this little bundle as a ‘ready for summer’ package – you can beautify yourself with all the luxurious beauty products, keep them stowed in the little bee purse, and then snap your adventures with the Lomo Diana! The teabags are a necessary precaution, you never know what the English summer will bring, and these are to warm you up on an inevitably rainy day.

lily doughball birthday giveaway prize bundle on www.lilydoughball.com

lily doughball birthday giveaway prize bundle on www.lilydoughball.com

lily doughball birthday giveaway prize bundle on www.lilydoughball.com

lily doughball birthday giveaway prize bundle on www.lilydoughball.com

lily doughball birthday giveaway prize bundle on www.lilydoughball.com

lily doughball birthday giveaway prize bundle on www.lilydoughball.com

 

Included in the giveaway we have …

– Cocoa Brown 1 hour Tanning Mousse

– Mini Body Shop samples (satsuma body polish, coconut shimmer body butter, oatmeal face mask)

– ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ Chai teabags

– Molton Brown coco de mer body lotion sample

– Boux Avenue heart shaped mirror

– ‘Bee Happy’ coin purse

– Benefit Ultra Plush lip gloss sample

– Benefit ‘The Porefessional’ sample

– Lomography Diana F+ (plus I will chuck a roll of 120 film in too!)

In order to facilitate this spectacular bunch of prizes, I have enlisted the help of our good friend Rafflecopter. Unfortunately, because I am not yet self hosted, I cannot have the nifty little widget, so to enter the giveaway, simply click on the link at the bottom of the post.

The giveaway will be open until 11:59pm on the 30th of June, so you have the whole of this month to enter! A winner will be picked at random and have 48 hours to respond, if not a new winner will be chosen. Unfortunately, this is open to UK residents only.

Good luck!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

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Feeling Festive

Well, the weather has well and truly taken a turn, and I am beginning to feel very Christmassy of late, indulging in a Ovaltine and Baileys pretty much every evening to warm up. I am about halfway there on the pressie front, just got a few left to get – and a few to make!

I’ve had a couple of busy weekends – I’ve just got back from the Bath Christmas Meet Up hosted by the lovely Megan over at a Briar Rose Blog. More on that very soon! Last Saturday, however, we took a trip down the road and went to check out the Magpies and I Christmas Fair at the Speigeltent just off Millenium Square.

speigeltent bristol

swimming dogs

vintage fair

mannequin head

magpies and i vintage fair speigeltent  bristol

christmas ornaments

vintage clothes

It was pretty busy, but MY GOD it was beautiful! Everywhere I looked there were gorgeous handmade and vintage treasures, artists selling their wares, quirky little Christmas gifts and all in the most stunning location. I’ve never been to the Speigeltent before; apparently it’s been here for a couple of years but this was my very first visit, and it certainly did not disappoint.

The light inside was just beautiful, too, which made picture-taking all the more enjoyable. It was falling through the little stained glass windows and casting little coloured patches on the tables. It was such a beautiful day outside – after the fair we hung around for some tasty vegan food and soy chai at The Spotless Leopard who were set up outside. Even my carnivore boyfriend devoured his vegan pasty!

Of course, on the way back we needed some kind of pudding, and so we opted to stop at the Buttery for a small cake of some sort. I opted for a cream and jam scone, and when it arrived I have to admit I was not expecting this… !

jam and cream scone

I couldn’t finish it all, obviously. It was also pretty tricky to eat! I dread to think how much weight I am gaining from all this over indulgence; I somehow managed to put on a stone last Christmas from all the mince pies I ate, oops. But ah well, winter is the time for stuffing your face, after all!

I cannot tell you how excited I am for Christmas, and it’s only a few more weeks to go!

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November Favourites

I can’t believe it’s December already! I’m certainly not complaining; I’ve already been doing my Christmas shopping from the comfort of my sofa (won’t catch me in a crowded shopping centre!) and feeling very festive.

Here are some of my favourites from the month on November (which seemed to fly by) through the medium of Instagram:

hire car

I hired an awesome brand new shiny car to go to my friend’s wedding. I was terrified all the way there that I would crash it!

business cards

I ordered some fancy little business cards.

frightened rabbit

I saw the ever-brilliant Frightened Rabbit at the Anson Rooms in Bristol.

teacup

I fell in love with this little WI teacup.

babushka-dog

I dressed the family dog as a babushka.

poop

I did some childish embroidery for the Creative Initiative.

lush lip goodies

I went to the #southwestbloggersmeet!

christmas craft

I did a Christmas craft at our very first Lovehoney Stitch and Bitch.

bagel

I ate many giant bagels at Bagel Boy in Bristol.

December is shaping up to be busier than November – bring it on, and roll on Christmas!

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The Creative Initiative #4

This one is a little late, so apologies.

This weeks theme was ‘gratitude’ – I swear they are getting harder every week!

I’m not the most sentimental type, in general. There is a lot for which I am grateful for, but it’s just not my style to gush about it, or admit it even, so this was a pretty hard post for me. I’m not saying that being vocal about what you are grateful for is a bad thing, far from it – I’m just not very good at expressing myself in that way.

What I did eventually settle on, and decided that I am the most grateful for, is my job – or more specifically, the people I work with. You will not meet a nicer bunch of people; there’s a lot to be said for working with lovely people, I’ve had some crap jobs in the past and had to deal with all sorts of unsavoury colleagues, so working with these lot is pretty much a dream come true.

funny post-it notes

funny post-it notes

funny post-it notes

We have a lot of laughs at work. There are many in-jokes between myself and the others who work in the studio, and the best ones get documented on my post-it wall. Obviously, because of the nature of my job, a lot of the humour is quite childish, and often based around whatever products we are working with that day. I can look up at it when I’m having a bad day and it instantly cheers me up. Visitors often give us strange looks when they walk in, but no-one has questioned the wall… yet!

The theme for next week’s creative initiative is ‘dreams’ (another tricky one!). If you would like to join in, then the rules are very simple:

• create something in based on this week’s prompt

• post about your artistic endeavour on your blog and link it up to this post

• comment on other bloggers’ posts – the prompts leave a lot of room to use your imagination and we should all support and encourage each other as we explore!

 
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The Creative Initiative #3

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I have to admit, the theme for this week’s creative initiative really threw me. It was ‘go outdoors’, and the more I thought about it, the more I seemed to panic, and eventually came to realise that, apart from my day to day work routine, I really don’t spend much time outside.

I’ve always been a bit of a hermit; when I was little I would much prefer to stay at home and read a book or paint something instead of roughing myself up on my bike outside. Don’t get me wrong, I really do love riding my bike, but in the dead of winter I like nothing more than hibernating indoors, preferably with a mug of ovaltine and a jacket potato.

One thing I do enjoy doing from time to time, however, is taking a little stroll down the canal path at lunchtime. I love boats (obviously, I live on one) and it is mine and Tom’s eventual plan to buy a narrowboat to live aboard permanently. During this time of year this stretch of the Kennet and Avon is home to a fair few narrowboats, and I like to take a little walk and peer jealously into the windows lamenting the fact that we don’t own one.

I am also completely perplexed by locks. I kind of understand how they work in principle, but the more I stare at their cracked and creaky Victorian working parts the more they seem to completely baffle me. There’s also something about their lack of water-tightness (it is obviously not crucial) which makes me even more distrustful.

Nevertheless, I enjoy my lunchtime strolls. I would have liked to do something more than take a few snaps, such as a sketch or a little painting or something, but my half-hour lunch break doesn’t seem to stretch that far. There is always next week!

If you would like to join in with the creative initiative, the rules are very simple:

• create something in based on this week’s prompt

• post about your artistic endeavour on your blog and link it up to this post

• comment on other bloggers’ posts – the prompts leave a lot of room to use your imagination and we should all support and encourage each other as we explore!

The theme for next week is ‘gratitude’.
It’s not too late to join in, and if you do create something be sure to post the links in the comments section so I can have a look!

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The Creative Initiative #1

The main purpose of starting this blog was as a motivation to be more creative. Working 9-5 plus a long commute means there’s little in the way of energy left at the end of the day, plus there’s always a slight fear of failure at starting a new project. Creativity and inspiration work in a kind of snowball effect, it just takes the initial leap of faith to get going.

Which is why I got excited when I was reading the ever lovely blog Being Little (written by fellow Bristolian Lyzi) and came across a scheme called The Creative Initiative – a blogger link up with a focus on creativity. The theme changes week by week, and during this week you have time to work on and submit your artwork in whatever format you choose, be it photography, sewing, pencils, paint – whatever you like!

The rules are:
• create something in your sketchbook based on this week’s prompt

• post about your artistic endeavor on your blog and link it up to this post

• comment on other bloggers’ posts – the prompts leave a lot of room to use your imagination and we should all support and encourage each other as we explore!

Miss Jessica holly in Bertie dexter dress

This week’s theme is an open submission, so I thought I would share with you one of the images from a shoot a did recently with a friend of mine – the superbly talented Miss Jessica Holly. It was nice to use the studio for personal work, and we are already planning another shoot, although it looks like it won’t be until the new year.

The theme for next week is ‘What did you do today?’ and I’m already full of ideas!

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October Favourites

Hey, I know I’m a little slow off the mark with this one, but here are a few things which have made my October happy, through the medium of Instagram.

atomic burger bristol

We went for some filthy (but delicious) junk food at Atomic Burger.

giant lotto ball

I saw a massive Lotto ball smashed into the side of M Shed.

flamingo on a train

We went for a trip to Coco de Mer in London and I made a new friend on the train home.

treats from coco de mer

We were also given some lovely goody bags.

text from landlady

We got a visit from a pirate boat, which was moored up next to us for a couple of days.

cinnamon rolls

I made some cinnamon rolls.

pretty nostalgic gathering

I went to the beautiful Pretty Nostalgic gathering at the gorgeous Kingsweston House.

roller derby referee

We had a Halloween roller derby scrimmage – even the refs were dressed up!

sugar skull make up

I dressed as a sugar skull for Halloween. I had a full sized sombrero and everything.

invisible circus bristol

And last but not least, we went to an absolutely amazing show at the Invisible Circus for Halloween – Under the Dark Moon. It turned out my friend Dela was in it, and she was awesome!

October is by far my favourite month and despite a few stressful weeks at work I’ve had some pretty fun weekend adventures!

What did you get up to last month?

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London Zoo

It’s been a pretty hectic week. I went home from work today sick, due to something I ate last night. I’m not sure whether I should let the restaurant know or not. Either way I won’t be going back; I was going to do a post on it and everything! Not sure they deserve it now. I also got some long lady nails stuck on last night, meaning I can so some more awesome things with kitten nail transfers.

The most strenuous activity, however, took place on Tuesday, when I went down to London to spend the day working with the lovely team at Coco de Mer. Whilst on the train I remembered the last time I was in London was absolutely aaaaages ago, when me and Tom packed a massive lunch, took a train and spent one sunny Saturday exploring the zoo.

(I know this isn’t exactly good blogging, sharing ancient photos with you all, but I’m sitting here feeling sorry for myself and remembering 1. sunshine 2. not feeling ill and 3. all the animals!)

London Zoo is pretty spectacular, if you haven’t been before. The most impressive thing, I thought, was the architecture – the buildings are absolutely stunning, ranging from the beautiful 1920’s red brick reptile house to concrete block 1970s monstrosities, to the Grade I listed old elephant house, with it’s green copper roof. I took the time to read the descriptions next to each one – apparently the shape of the roof is designed to mimic the shape of elephants around a watering hole.

Most of these buildings have been deemed not suitable to house the animals any longer (mainly due to the fact that animals need a living environment, not a concrete enclosure), so they sit empty. The funniest example of this is the penguin pool, which is situated right next to the fish and chip stand. The amount of people who didn’t bother to read the sign saying something along the lines of ‘this exhibit is now empty you can find the penguins over there’ was hilarious – they persisted in staring at the empty pool shouting “PENGUIIINS WHERE ARE YOOOOU?”

Another highlight was the monkey enclosure, which houses these cute little hipster monkeys, and is pretty much open so you can watch them roaming around being mischievous. There was a sloth in there too.

I have no holidays left which I’m a bit sad about, but I’m determined before the end of the year to spend another Saturday exploring somewhere, especially if it involves animals.

 
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