Wednesday Wants: Strangely Yours on Etsy

I’m always finding gorgeous things as I browse Etsy…..lovely new shops, unique gifts and clever products that capture my imagination. It’s not that often though that I find a shop FULL of very, very *me* things….

Strangely Yours though is very much my cup of tea. Wonderfully whimsical, imaginative and exciting, each darling piece of jewellery would sit happily amongst my collection. I adore the etched wood, the clever compartments and secrets….these designs remind me of my childhood when hidden messages and secret stashing places were the stuff of my daydreams. Not that they’re not still!

Here are six of my favourites from the charming Etsy shop…..

Polaroid Camera Locket, £22.56

“This retro little camera has a tiny film that slides in and out, making it look like your photos are really developing! If you are an avid Polaroid taker or instagrammer, this wooden camera makes an awesome accessory! Proudly display your best photo, or a special occasion in the space of the black square. Laser cut from wood, the “flim” is made from white & black acrylic, with a gold mirror for a lens.”

Personalised ‘Message in a tree’ Necklace, £16.70

“Like lovers scratching their names into the bark of unsuspecting trees with their keys, vandalize the poor trees no more! Now you can carve a special date, name or message into the hollow of your very own secret tree! A little slide up door shields your messages from prying eyes. Etch the date of your anniversary, or lover’s names. Maybe you have words of encouragement to give to someone, or perhaps a personal motto that keeps you going. Either way this little stump is your very own private hollow!”

How adorable would this be as a wedding gift?! (*Hints to her Groom*)

Bow and Arrow Layered Necklaces, £15.41

“A minimalistic bow and arrow pairing. Both arrow and bow are individual necklaces that look great layered together, or each on its own! Etched with geometric markings on wood, these lovelies are then hand painted. Gold rings accents are added for a tribal style with a single gold feather paired with the arrow.”

Having just completed my beginners archery course, I feel this would be a rather apt treat to myself!

‘The Collector’ Wooden Crate Locket, £16.70

“Little crate lockets you can really keep stuff in. If you’re the sort to pick up small bones & pebbles on long walks, or maybe some pretty glass found on the beach, this unique little locket is a cool way to hold your secret finds!Its also a great way to hide little surprises.. pop a small photo inside, or a meaningful note. If you are forgetful like we are, a folded grocery list, or just some change for bus fare. Whatever the reason, these little crates are are sure to be a conversation starter. Choose from a few phrases to fit your purpose. “Fragile/Caution/Radioactive/Top secret/Do not feed” or engrave your own custom text! These miniature crates are hand crafted in our home studio. Each piece is unique and will have its own variations in coloring and distress markings just like a real crate!”

I just adore these….and I am totally the kind of person who picks up bits and bobs on walks!

Personalised Vintage Sewing Machine Necklace, £22.56

“A beautiful rustic sewing machine modeled after a vintage Singer. Cut from solid cherry wood and engraved with detailed floral flourishes, it features a tiny spool that has been threaded with real thread, a wheel that really spins, and a tiny gold needle! Sew cute! And as added bonus, personalize “The Seamstress” with a name instead.”

What a gorgeous gift idea for a crafty sewer!

Woodlands Secret Locket Necklace, £22.56

“An adorable handcrafted piece, stash away your secret finds with this little locket! 2 squirrels holding an acorn stand atop the headpiece with a whimsically victorian motif. The little key works as the latch, pop the key and open the tiny doors! This miniature locket is fully functional and just like some closets, can hold a few skeletons!”

If I had to choose just one thing from this amazing collection, it would be this. So imaginative, charming and whimsical….love love love!!!

I want it allllll!!!!

Ems x

About these ads

My NOT ON THE HIGH STREET shop is now officially open!

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It’s here! How exciting!

I now have a very professional looking shop open with NOT ON THE HIGH STREET!

You can find the shop here, which is full of my vintage stamp jewellery….it’s all hand made by me and every piece is totally unique! Look out for more treasure going onto the shop soon though….I intend to launch my treasure charm necklaces there very soon!

Hope you like!

Ems x

Tuesday Tutorial: Jewellery Picture Frames

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I actually first made these to display my jewellery in at a pop-up shop I was exhibiting in, but once I’d brought them home I thought they’d just be perfect for keeping my own collection all tidy! I have a beautiful big jewellery box, and a big hat box that’s crammed with jewellery too, but despite all that my things invariably end up strewn across the fireplace in the bedroom!

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I have my flavours of the month, then they get buried underneath the next favoured few, and before too long I’ve forgotten what I have! This way though I get to show off several pieces at once, keep them all de-tangled and then just swap them back into the jewellery box when I want a change!

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These are super easy to make, and only took me moments. They’re cheap to put together too (I made them using bits and bobs I already had at home!) and don’t take any special skills!

What you will need:

  • Picture frames (broken, or with the glass and backing removed)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Small cup hooks
  • Drawing pins
  • String
  • Mini pegs
  • A bradawl tool, if you have one, or something sharp and pointy if not! (Please be careful!!)
  • White tack or picture nails

How to make:

1. Along the top edge of your tallest frame, measure the inside edge and mark out where you’d like each hook to go using the pencil

2. Using the bradawl, start off a hole at each mark

3. Screw your hooks into the holes, ensuring they all end up facing the same way

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4. Along each side edge of another frame, measure out and mark with a pencil where you’d like a string to cross, leaving a good 5cm in between each

5. Push a drawing pin into each mark

6. Tie string across and between each set of drawing pins

7. Attach pegs to the strings

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8. Now they’re ready to go on the wall, either suspended on nails or just attached with white tack (like mine!)

9. Hang long necklaces from the hooks, and rings, brooches etc. from the pegs

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10. Stand back and admire your work!

Ems x

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Wednesday Wants: Tatty Devine AW13

It’s here! It’s here! The new Tatty Devine Autumn Winter Collection is here! And as a matter of no surprise whatsoever, I want it all!

The collection is all loosely based around a 60s psychedelic solar system theme, but of course there are some twists! I love all the pearlescent Perspex and the darling little sprinkles of glitz. It’s all super fun, just as you’d expect, but wearable to boot, as usual.

Here I go with my current for-runners though…..

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Head In The Clouds Rainbow Necklace, £95.00

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Head In The Clouds Brooch, £60.00

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La Luna Moon Small Necklace – Opal, £40.00

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Planet Brooch – Amber, £40.00

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Planetary System Statement Necklace, £150.00

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Psychedelic Heart Ring, £25.00

You can see the rest of this wonderful collection here…. What’s your favourite piece?!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants: Shoe Embassy

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Shoe Embassy was established in 2011 and shortly afterwards, when I found them at a Brick Lane market, I bought my first pair. Two years on, and I can safely say they are the best pair of shoes I’ve ever owned. My camel coloured ‘Foxy Brown‘ boots (pictured above) have seen me through just about as much as you could ask of any shoe….they are fleecey lined and have kept my usually cold toes warm, kept smart and solid despite the hundreds of miles I’ve walked in them, and remained comfy even in hot weather and after hours of pavement pounding and dog walks.

I suppose what impressed me first about Shoe Embassy is the fact that all their shoes are leather inside and out, and that despite their amazing quality, they are incredibly well priced. I have paid through the nose in the past to try to get comfy shoes for my weird feet, but these bargainous boots are the only ones I’ve ever managed to break in right away and with no discomfort.

Now that I’ve moved out of London, I’ve been waiting and waiting for their website to launch, and finally I can now buy online! There is a great choice of boots, shoes, flats, flip flops and heels in all sorts of charming designs. All are leather and made in Europe. You can also buy them at Camden Market, Spitalfields and Greenwich Market, but with the online shopping temptation I fear I’ll be buying up several pairs before long!

Here though are my favourites…..so far!…..

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When I bought my Foxy Brown boots I had a tough choice between all the other lovely brown boots. The colour goes with EVERYTHING and because they’re not too bulky, I can wear them with dresses as well as skinny jeans. These ‘Al Capones’ are a great halfway house between boot and shoe though, with a thin and flexible sole, low top and fancy brogue-ish pixiness. They also come in two-tone versions of black and white, and charcoal and sepia!

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Not only did I struggle to choose a boot style, but I also had to pick a shade of brown! I love the amber richness of my boots, but there is something distinctly retro and classy about these ‘Doodle Dandy‘ boots, which have a beautiful taupe outer, with a flashy violet lining which can be exposed by folding down the tongue! Fun *and* wearable!

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Speaking of fun, how wonderful are these babies?! The Spectator shoes are so wonderfully nostalgic and bright. I adore the soft vanilla panels and dark blue toes and heels, and the cleverly included red trims really make them special.

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And for more red….I am crazy about these ‘Pixie-Oh‘ booties in Chilli. They are wonderfully pointy and buttery soft, and you can fold down the tops to make them even more versatile. And I really *should* have a pair of red boots.

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Back to being sensible though for a while, and these ‘Twirlie‘ shoes in Amber look like a seriously sound investment. Dainty and delicate, these angels have a feather-light sole and a super soft ankle, so your feet will be happy happy happy…. and not to mention beautifully adorned. I can see me wearing these non-stop through summer with girly dresses, frilly skirts and short trousers, as they really do go with anything.

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I am nearly always in need of a pair of sensible black shoes, perhaps because I don’t often find them exciting enough to buy. These ‘Quarter Oxfords‘ in black though are seriously cute and wearable….how lush would they look with brightly colours tights and a mini skirt?!

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I can’t be sensible forever though, and I therefore give you….blue suede shoes! Well, Indigo Nubuck to be accurate, but this Elvis lover thinks the King would approve. And at just £55 I think they are a snip, if only for the chance to dance around in them, singing like a lune.

I really can’t tell you just how comfy my Shoe Embassy boots are, and I constantly get complimented on them. It’s so wonderful to finally have found a company who sells such a great range of styles, exclusively in leather (for my feet will not last two minutes in anything else!) and at such a great price point. And if I could only ever buy shoes from one place ever, I wouldn’t be too upset knowing that Shoe Embassy have me covered!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants: Liberty and Marc by Marc Jacobs collaboration

Oooooh….Marc by Marc Jacobs has joined forces with Liberty for the first time in an exclusive collaboration, which launches this very week! The exclusive collection features classic designs in two vintage Liberty prints, including a tote bag, tablet case, backpack and cosmetics case.

Two classic ditsy floral prints have been selected from the Liberty archive of over 40,000 prints to work alongside irreverent Marc Jacobs hallmarks….The Emma and Georgina print is a zesty green and pink mix of two tiny dense floral designs, inspired by Liberty’s large collection of Victorian pattern books. Emma was first produced on Tana Lawn in the 1970s and Georgina was launched in 2000. And the purpley-pink Wiltshire was actually designed in 1933 and has been on classic Tana Lawn fabric since 1979.

The collection is super cute, fun and practical….here are my favourites….

Emma and Georgina Liberty Print Pretty Nylon Tablet Case, £60.00

Clashing prints of Emma & Georgina (main body) and Wiltshire (trims), this tablet case has a plush interior and a nice zip closure. It’s 110% nylon too, so about as practical as you can get for something this pretty.

Wiltshire Liberty Print Pretty Nylon Backpack, £160

A fun new take on the classic Marc by Marc Jacobs backpack, this cute number combines the Standard Supply design with contrasting classic Liberty prints. It features the chunky logo plaque, two side pockets, big contrasting top handles and adjustable shoulder straps. And everyone needs a pretty rucksack.

With its all-over stitched oversized logo and boxy shape, I think this is a really sweet little carry-all. The lining is printed too (a must for makeup bags as they realistically don’t stay makeup free for long!) and in the nylon again is a really practical little piece.
Ems x

Blog Every Day in May: Pampering

“What is your ideal way to pamper yourself and relax?”

I’ve never really been into the traditional pampering stuff. I don’t mind a mud mask every now and then, but I don’t enjoy it enough to do it regularly and I’m not organised enough to do it far enough in advance of a special occasion. I have NEVER been for a facial, not because I have any kind of adversity to them, I’ve just never gotten round to it. And I’m not really into relaxing type massages…I’d much rather get my back cracked by my great osteopath!

If I do want to relax, treat myself and prettify though, there is one thing I’ll always make time for. Painting my nails is something I just love to do…not just getting the nice end result, but actually taking time to decorate them to perfection. I’ve hardly painted them at all recently, just because they get ruined so fast when I’m cutting and gluing all day or out in the garden, but when I had a proper job in a proper office I painted them religiously.

It’s a bit of a ritual I suppose, filing and buffing them, moisturising them and tidying the cuticles…then base coating before starting the real fun of applying colour. I have a huge collection of nail polishes (well in excess of 50 at last count) so it’s always a tricky choice, but I tend to go with the seasons and my moods or fads…I’ve been loving really dark colours of late (a throw back to my gothic youth and a response to the lack of spring weather!) but very often wear ridiculously bright shades, or even ten different colours all together!

I love to coordinate my nails with my outfit, and have even been known to replicate a pattern in detail to match! If I have enough time I very much enjoy using a tiny brush to paint on little pictures and whatnot too! I’m currently after a really good set of neon colours….proper fluoro shades of pink, orange, yellow, green and blue!

My favourite brands are O.P.I, Essie, Nails Inc and good old Barry M….I know lots of people don’t get on with it, but I find the slender brush really great on my tiny nails, and they always have the best colours and are great value too!

I currently have no nail polish on actually, having spent the entire day sticking and sanding and scalpeling, so I thought I’d share some past creations….

Ems x

Wearing my current favourite, Barry M Greenberry (which nicely matched the water tester for the new coffee machine!)

Christmas cheer!

Alternative French Manicure

Crazy brights to match my awesome vintage 60s dress

To match my favourite shoes for my friends’ wedding

Sugary sweet to go with my bubble gum ring

Bunting to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee

Blog Every Day in May: Book Love

“Tell us about your favourite book. Or maybe give us a top 5 of the books that changed your life.”

I love to read. Most of the time. I tend to go through phases where I’m addicted to a book and read text after text….but at other times (like now!) I just lose interest! And whilst I could still tell you all about some of my favourite books I have read (Orlando by Virgina Woolf….all of Ian Fleming’s James Bond books….the Dexter books by Jeff LIndsey…..and most of PD James) because I’m having a bit of an ‘off’ period at the moment, I thought I’d be better placed to rave about a different kind of book…..

The book shelves in my little studio are crammed with colourful and creative books, and the biggest collection of all is that of my fashion books. I am just crazy about them. The glossy covers, the amazing photography, and of course the wonderful subjects! I’m definitely a style over substance girl, so browsing through these to give me inspiration is a favourite thing to do for me.

Here are some of my favourites….

Radical Fashion by Claire Wilcox

I used to use this a lot when I was at college (studying for my Degree in Theatre Design, a big part of which was Costume Design) so I just had to buy it when I no longer had access to the library! It’s really inspiring though, and full of, well, *radical* fashion.

Dior: 60 Years of Style by Farid Chenoune and Laziz Hamani

This was a very generous gift one Christmas and I really cherish this book. It’s absolutely HUGE and won’t fit on even the massive Victorian bookshelves we have in the house….it’s a true coffee table book (heck, you could even use it *as* a coffee table!) and it offers an enthralling history of one of my favourite design houses.

Put on Your Pearls Girls by Lulu Guinness

How pretty is that cover? SO damn pretty! And what’s more, this is actually a POP-UP BOOK!!! It doesn’t get much more charming than this….named after one of Lulu’s favourite expressions, the book is made up of all the darling little phrases she uses in her accessories. I love it!

Manolo Blahnik Drawings by Anna Wintour and Andre Leon Talley

I want a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes more than most things….they are just so wonderfully fun and exciting and glamourous. But as that’s not on the cards, I do make do rather well with this book. Blahnik’s designs are very much like theatrical costume drawings, and his style, colours and drama put me in mind of the wonderful Inigo Jones. I love this book so much I have two copies…one coffee table size and one mini version for the studio!

Merry by Koji Mizutani and Paul Smith

On the cover wrap of my copy of this book is a quote from Paul Smith: “The energy of the street makes me happy”….and this book certainly does make me happy! A super-bright collection of hundreds of incredibly smiley and fashion forward Japanese girls, this book is an inspiration, a mood lifter and just plain brill.

Ems x

Something from the weekend…..cakes, walks and rummaging

It was a close call, but the rain didn’t dampen my weekend….

On Saturday morning I pootled around the house, cleaning and tidying whilst Adam walked the hound….Friday hadn’t gone as planned so it was good to catch up a little. Then after a nice big brunch (Adam poached some very yummy duck eggs for us!) we made our way into London, leaving the pooch with his Grandma Liz (that’s Adam’s Mum!).

We made our way to friends’ Richard and Tara’s flat in Farringdon, Tara and I leaving the boys to get up to mischief whilst we headed into town for our friend Brigitte’s hen do! First of all we took in a lovely afternoon tea at a hotel on the Strand, then went bowling at the fun All Stars Lanes, before we had a big dinner together. We didn’t go in for the traditional Hen stuff (L-plates and penis straws etc!), but chose instead to honour the occasion by all wearing fascinators in light of the fact that the Bride and Groom have requested no-one wears hats to the wedding!

As the pup had a sleepover at his Grandma’s, Adam and I managed to get a nice lie in before we went to pick him up. Then after a late breakfast, we took a turn around the Sunday car boot sale at the Market, then went along to the second Great Hitchin Rummage Sale at Bar Ab nearby. Lots of local shops had taken up a pitch there, in what is sort of a one-day pop-up shop….and some of our favourites were there to tempt us with the rummagy loot….Jolly Brown and Red Eyed Dove had a stack of goregous vintage treasures, whilst Mamacita’s Cakery (new to us) were selling a table full of dreamy looking sweet treats. We picked up several of the latter’s offerings, then made our way home to yum them up!

Because there are so many cupcakes and such being sold on similar stalls at the moment, it takes a lot to impress us….we’ve really only tried one stall’s cakes and been truly wowed (how we miss Flavour Town at Old Spitalfields now that we’ve moved!). However, the amazing yums by Mamacita’s Cakery really did impress us, and we scoffed a Dulce de Leche cupcake, a Mexican wedding biscuit and a ‘bronze’ biscuit (each) in close succession! Definitely will be trying more of their treats!

To walk off the gluttony, we took the hound to the common for a nice jaunt, then went back to Adam’s Mum’s for a dinner of fajitas, followed by some of her amazing freshly baked scones (with clotted cream obviously!).

Back at home we had a relaxed evening on the sofa. I finished off a little drawing project for a competition (Oasis’ new butterfly collection cover photo) and then had the customary early night!

Hope you had a lovely weekend too!

Ems x

Wednesday Wants…. Fluoro Neon Shiny Fun

What is it about Spring that makes us go crazy for colours?! Yes, I know all the flowers are blooming in their cheery tones, but wouldn’t it make more sense to get vivid in the winter months when there aren’t so many pretty shades about?

Nevertheless, I’ll embrace the idea with gusto as usual, and what could be more colourful than a full-on palette of super bright fluorescent neons?! As such, I’ve rounded up a few ways to put a vibrant zing in your outfit….

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French Sole‘s new neon collection features bright and shiny patents in solid fluorescent blue and yellow, as well as plain whites with neon piping. It’s their neon Henrietta design featuring darling little cut out hearts and contrasting trim though that really has my attention. I’m in love with all the colourways….pink with green trim, green with pink trim and orange with blue trim….and I really can’t decide which ones I’d choose! They are £120 a pair.

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I adore the classic Cambridge Satchel Company‘s bags, and have for ages had my eye on their Fluoro collection. Just like all their other satchels, they are made by hand in high quality leather and you can have your initials embossed for a little extra. They start at £115 for the 11″ satchel, but you can get £15 at the checkout with the offer code ‘SPRINGFLO’.

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I’ve been thinking for ages that I’d love to design my own Converse….you can create your very own personally designed pair of hi tops or low tops in various styles on their website. I only just found their neon version though, the Chuck Taylor All Star Ox Canvas Neon (£54) and the Chuck Taylor All Star Hi Canvas Neon (£60). You get to choose which colours you want where on the shoe, and you can even add your name or initials at the heel!

What do you think about these crazy shades? Too much? Or just enough?!

Ems x