Cotton Candy on a Rainy Day

When I was very young I remember going to visit my aunt at her flat. It was about half an hours drive from where we lived but had felt much further. The surroundings were all a bit bedraggled, quiet and lonesome and the grey sky had made everything look a little sadder. More ghostly.

Right beside her flat was an abandoned train station, and for some reason, this is the part of that day that has always stuck in my memory. I can’t remember anything else we did, or ate, or talked about, other than the way staring down at those broken tracks from the road above made me feel.

I’m not sure if I’m alone in my fascination of abandoned places. That’s why a lot of us love zombie apocalypse movies, right? That eeriness of seeing energetic cities, bustling with life suddenly completely deserted. It’s that realisation of what life would be like without us in it; all our creations suddenly so alien.

Without a doubt though, the abandoned places I’m *most* fascinated with are theme parks. The big, caricature style kitschy faces of certain rides left still and staring into the empty grounds, their bright, pastel colours rusting and weird amongst the solitary environment. Then there are the tall, skeletal structures of coasters bending over the clouds and random carts, just sitting in overgrown grass. It’s all so creepy and yet beautiful too.

Although I’ve never actually visited an abandoned theme park, I’ve looked through pictures of the most famous ones endlessly and read their stories, entranced. It’s that extreme contrast, of these things that once would have been symbols of such charisma, excitement and life, now amongst deserted, grey landscapes. It’s the realisation that these objects are as motionless and lonesome as they always have been, and when taken out of context they make life feel like a surreal dream, filled with fragments of the uncanny.

I recently saw this beautifully shot video of abandoned city, Chernobyl. It’s by Danny Cooke and perfectly captures the haunting quality of such places.

Visiting Hyper Japan

Yesterday I went to the Hyper Japan Christmas market. It was really fun!

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I LOVE going to conventions. Even though the busy-ness can be stressful, experiencing an insight into the microcosmic worlds certain interests (or countries in this case) have created is fascinating.

I’d seen Hyper Japan advertised before but been unable to go at the time, so when I spotted it in the Metro on my morning commute last week I excitedly booked tickets straight away.

In an attempt to try and not blow all my money (which easily happens at these kinds of events!) I made a mental list of things I’d get:

1. Strange flavoured kit kats
2. A bonsai tree
3. A plush llama
4. Presents for OTHER people

I just about stuck to the above, by which I mean, I did get number 2 & 3 (plus a whole bunch of other kawaii things, but all for myself. Oops.)

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Everything was just SO cute.

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All the sellers were super friendly too, especially the lovely lady that handmade this kawaii banana necklace:

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As well as staring longingly at all the alpacasso merchandise (alpacasso is the official name for the cute llamas) we also took advantage of the delicious free alcohol samples on offer. I can’t remember the names of all the drinks we tried, but know one was a very strong Japanese whiskey and the rest sweet favoured variations of saki.

We bought a cup of warm saki to wander around with and stopped for a while to watch the cosplay competition contestants show off their character moves on a catwalk styled stage. Even though I had no idea who a lot of the characters were, I still was in complete awe of the amazing detail each person had gone to with their costumes. Also, there was a giant, burly man in a huge Hello Kitty outfit, which might have been my favourite. (I was too busy eating noodles at this time to take any pictures!)

Also, check out our beautiful bonsai!

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I bought way more than I should have, but hey ho, that’s always the way! It was really fun and I’d definitely like to go back when it’s next on.

Have any of you been before? Let me know in the comments!

Have an eggcelent Sunday 🙂

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Amber x

A little spring in autumn

It’s been a while since I’ve done a charity shop post on here and seeing as I’m having a very lazy Sunday (with a Chinese takeaway on the way and pj bottoms already on) it seems like the perfect time for an update.

Over the last few months I’ve found a lot of treasures here and there, though mostly at car boot sales throughout the summer. Now that the colder weather’s set in and car boot season is over, I’m back to popping into the charity shops when I can for a quick browse. I’ll be moving from my dad’s house further into London next month too, so am making the most of my local haunts and on the lookout for any cute home wares while I’m at it!

Yesterday was a cold, rainy, errand running day (not the most exciting of Saturdays!) The positive was that I found two cute hand knitted blankets, a pastel pink cardigan, vintage floral dress and little rabbit figurine. I feel like the below pictured purchases are especially spring themed, but work also as cosy items to brighten up these darker months.

IMG_0315-1.PNGI collect kitschy ceramics so was ecstatic when I found this little one at the bottom of a bargain box for 50p!IMG_0310-1.JPGI’m in love with pastel colours and the fact this cardigan is cropped too should make it perfect for wearing with high waisted trousers or over long dresses.

IMG_0317-0.PNGI think this dress will be great for wearing to work with thick black tights, boots and a chunky cardi. That’s what I love about this sort of style of floral vintage dress, they can be dressed up or down really easily and work perfectly to brighten up winter outfits. I also love how comfortable they are! The one above is a medium but fits fine, with just enough slouch without looking swampy.

So there it is, a quick little charity shop haul. Until the next post, ciao!

Tattoos

I recently had my fourth tattoo done by the incredible Rebecca Vincent. It’s a little black and grey hot air balloon ❤

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I’m really happy with it! This event also set my thoughts on a ramble spree…

The first

I got my first tattoo done when I was eighteen. I went to a local place with my best friend. It was shabby, cluttered, and the guy that owned it was chubby, sweaty and wore overalls, always reminding us of a character from the horror film Hostel.

It wasn’t the kind of place you’d expect great things from, but something about it was weirdly comforting. My mum had gotten a tattoo of a dancing fairy there and growing up I’d gotten various piercings there. Sure, some kids once threw a stink bomb into the waiting room, and sure, the owner had this habit of pre-piercing anecdotes that seemed to go on forever, the needle waving about terrifyingly in front of you. In the end though it was cheap(ish), close and the only tattoo place we really knew, so seemed the perfect choice.

I remember not really knowing what I wanted, but just knowing that I wanted something. I was in Brighton, seeing a band called The Virgins when I decided that I should get a heart on my left wrist. It didn’t need any grand metaphorical reasoning behind it. I was eighteen, about to leave sixth form after my a-levels, and in that particular moment I felt young and completely free; in love with the world and the cinematic, dramatic perception being eighteen gives it.

So we got them done. A random dude sketched a heart out on paper, we waited for what felt like hours, saw a woman walk out clutching her wrist in pain and felt petrified. I don’t really remember it hurting, but then again, it did only take about two minutes. What I remember most is sitting at home after, staring at my wrist and feeling strange.

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There’s still something quite strange staring at it now. Of my three tattoos it’s definitely the worst. It’s tiny and the line work seems to have expanded a little. Still, I don’t regret it. I got it at a time in my life that may not have been especially well thought out, but it was still a time I’m happy to have marked. It feels as naturally a part of me as any other markings of life and most importantly, it was my choice. You have to trust your choices sometimes and feel assured by them, especially when it comes to tattoos. I can laugh at how small and silly it might look to some people, but deep down not let it hurt me.

What my tattoos mean to me

It’s strange, because I feel like someone that shouldn’t like tattoos. I over think every little detail of life, always doubt my decisions (and have trouble making them in the first place), worry and am in general a bit of an anxious mess. For this reason, tattoos should be the worst idea possible!

I feel really proud of them though. While getting tattoos means something different for everyone, for me they make me feel like a stronger version of myself. When other people ask me about them, I feel brave and confident, because they represent things I love and a part of my personality that is unafraid rather than riddled with anxieties or doubts.

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Being sensible

If you’re thinking of getting a tattoo too, here’s some humble advice:

1. Research and find an established tattoo artist whose work you love. Finding a style that perfectly connects with your ideas or inspires you makes *all* the difference.
2. Think carefully about placement. Unfortunately, some employers might have issues with tattoos and depending what your work situation is, this is always something to keep in mind.
3. Consider the future. While I’m not so fussed about how my tattoos will look when my body gets older and wrinklier, I do contemplate whether the designs I’ve chosen will have the same meaning to me. You might really love Lady Gaga now, but what about in ten years?
4. Get used to the idea. It’ll be on your body forever after all.
5. Don’t let other people (and the prejudices of society) get to you. Know that if you get a tattoo, there will be those that criticise it and you. Don’t listen.
6. Sun cream is your friend!

Celestial Autumn Dreaming

Autumn is the best time of year. Cosy jumpers, duvet days, tea candles, hot chocolate, Halloween and big bowls of comfort food. I even really like the darker afternoons and crisp chill in the air. It feels like such a magical atmosphere, with this subconscious sense of spooky spirits and celestial dreaminess all about.

Due to being ill, I thought posting a curation of lovely autumn themed treasures might cheer me up. These are all available from Etsy (I’ll post links below!)

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1. Vintage wooden moon shelf
2. Moon ring
3. Vintage fawn figurine (from Etsy ((I lost the link!)))
4. Oxford shoes
5. A Trip To The Moon necklace
6. Cable knit jumper
7. Palmistry lamp

Amber xx

Brontosaurus? More like Sass-osaurus!

I had the day off work today, and despite coming down with a nasty cold, decided to spend it doing a little craft project!

I’m not really very good at being crafty if I’m honest (too clumsy) but every so often a project catches my eye or I get a simple idea that seems like a lot of fun with really cute results. Also, making stuff can be so therapeutic. It takes you out of your head for a while and fills you with pride when it goes right.

The Idea

I’ve seen on Etsy many a time some really great mods that people have done with toy animals: planters, coat hooks, jewellery holders and photo frames. I decided today was the day to try something similar, but also to keep it really simple and just spray paint some figures (because why not?)

After running a few errands in the morning I had lunch with my best friend, then went back home armed with four plastic dinosaurs and two cans of spray paint (I got a strange look from the lady at the checkout buying these).

There hadn’t been a wide selection of colours in the shop, but my love of pastels swayed me towards a lovely lavender, while I also thought a copper shade would go with this nicely. As for the dinosaurs, I chose two brachiosaurus (one baby, one mum) and two baby brontosaurus’, because they’re just the best.

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Pass The Paint!

Next I put down two plastic bags to protect the surface and laid the dinosaurs out on them – two on one, and two on another. Then – the fun part! After shaking up the colours good and proper, I got to spraying.

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Now, because I always get a bit over excited with doing things like this, I ignored the bottles advice of spraying light layers from a distance, and instead drowned the poor things in spray paint. Big brachiosaurus did not look happy – I had to carefully remove any excess paint and then step away from the spray paint for a while.

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😮

The bottle suggests a 45 minute wait for drying. I didn’t wait this exact amount of time (but just checked them carefully every twenty minutes or so.) The spraying part is a lot of fun so I was always eager to add more. It’s just SO satisfying watching them become a whole new colour.

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Strangely, the copper coloured paint dried a lot quicker than the lavender. The lavender, because it’s a lighter shade also took a lot more coats (especially on the largest diplodocus). I got there in the end however and am really happy with the results!

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It was such a fun little project for the afternoon and shows how easily pretty colours can transform simple things. These should look truly magical amongst all my other trinkets with their jazzy Jurassic vibes!

 

Keen For Greens

Green is my favourite colour. In particular, mint green and duck egg green (and any green tone with a sort of bluey-ness to it). I’ve always gravitated towards the aesthetic of things coloured in these sorts of tones, possibly because there’s a real vintage vibe to them. They’re gentle and dreamier, somehow.

It’s for this reason that a lot of my favourite home wares are in these colours, so I thought it would be fun to do a blog post to share the greeny coloured love! The following items are a few favourites that I’ve either already bought or really want to buy (and when you really want to buy stuff but can’t, making a blog post about them is the next best thing!)

Links to where you can buy these products from are included, and also take note of the great variety of names for each shade of green.

1. Granny Green Baby Lapin Lamp

378467_2121395208351_1649964275_1612091_759947843_n1I am obsessed with novelty shaped lamps. In fact, just lighting in general. I love the ambience different light can give rooms, and the way light can enhance and animate certain shapes. There’s just something more fun about things that glow!

This baby lamp would fit so perfectly into any kind of vintage setting, or just give a little character to more modern decor. It’s cheeky and cute, and comes in different colours too. I picked the amazingly named ‘granny green’ colour to share in this blog post, of course. You can buy these lamps from a variety of suppliers, though I took this image from the wonderful Retro Kids shop.

2. The RÅSKOG Kitchen Trolley

raskog-kitchen-trolley__0144044_PE304208_S4This trolley kind of inspired this post. I happened to see a picture of it this morning and fell in love. It’s by Ikea and apparently, great for storing everything from herbs and plants to beauty products, shoes, books, and as it’s intended for, kitchen utensils. (I would probably use it for cute blankets and old toys). 

3. Wild & Wold 746 1960’s Phone in Swedish Green 232466308

I’m not sure why, but I really, really needed a retro phone in my life. Even though, yes, if I were honest with myself I haven’t used our landline phone in years and anyone that wants to contact me usually does so through the internet or my mobile, yet it still felt like a very necessary purchase.

As the fortunes would have it, I recently won some John Lewis vouchers and to my delight, spotted that this baby was available on their site. Could I have bought something more practical? Eh, probably. But a landline phone sounds practical, at least. Besides, it looks so wonderful in a room, regardless of how often it’s being used.

4. Roberts Revival Radio in Leaf

230907486Ok, another one from John Lewis. I have lusted after this beautious leaf green radio for a long, long time, but just have no room for it at the moment (and am still very much in love with my peacock patterned DAB I got for Christmas when I was 14.) Once I move out and have more rooms to spread all my stuff to I have a plan that this will go in the kitchen for cooking/dancing sessions and coffee/LBC mornings.

5. Duck Egg Alarm Clock

125747546_1If like me, you’re in need of setting about ten alarms every morning to get yourself out of bed, this little alarm clock from Sainsburys is ideal. Not only does it have a rather lovely, vintage-esque look about it, it also has a mighty alarm voice on it!

6. 1970s Norsu Elephant Moneybox

shop3885700_pictures_myshop-large-OMM-norsu-elephant-mint-Always end lists on something extra cute, and this retro moneybox is so cute it could be crowned the cutest of cutesville. I mean, it’s a chubby lil’ mint green elephant! It’s also available from Retro Kids.

What are your favourite colours? Do you buy certain things that you’d never normally buy, just because they’re in your favourite colour? (I definitely do!)

Over and out for now,

Amber