Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Joy of Jacquard

Jumper - Topshop
Trousers - Mango
Shoes - Unknown
Necklace - Vintage
Large Ring - Prickig Katt

As a life long lover of paisley, it seems only natural that I would have been drawn to  jacquard loom and, indeed, I have.  For months now I have lusted over quilted  jackets and slinky jacquard print bodycon.  I have drooled over it in jewel tones, in pastels, in monochrome, in metallic.  At one point, I'm sure I have even had a dream in which I was wearing it, yet somehow I never made a purchase, never had a piece to call my own.  Until Christmas morning, that is.

Amongst a generous pile of gifts, I found this knitted piece.  In a perfect combination of shades for winter - dark, yet still bright - and in my favourite sweater shape - thick but not oversized - it was a little piece of woven heaven.  As much as I am often drawn to minimalist styles, I equally enjoy patterns that make you look twice and textures that you could get lost in.  I love paisley because you could follow it forever, and jacquard holds the same appeal for me.  On another level, I also appreciate the contrast of decadent jacquard against the practicality of a knitted jumper.  I feel like it just works, as a piece.

There is something about jacquard that feels so deliciously luxurious; something about the fact that it is so intricate, so multi-dimensional, yet purely for aesthetic satisfaction, that pleases me to the point of feeling almost a little bit royal.  For this reason, I wanted to style this jumper simply, with classic pieces.  Once again, out came these green cigarette trousers, which for an item bought on a sale whim, come in very handy, very often.  As far as footwear was concerned, it was finally time to put to use these shoes which I picked up for just £5 - yes, that's right, £5 - as part of a buy-one-get-one-half-price deal.  At the time I wasn't too taken by them but they have really grown on me, to the point of being one of my favourite pairs.  I like the simplicity of them, which makes them instantly classy, combined with the chunky heel that adds a hint of modernity.  

In a nutshell, I think that what I'm trying to say is that just as I will love paisley forever more, no matter how in or out of fashion it is,  jacquard is also here to stay.  Everybody is allowed a few pieces to act as their personal "get out jail free" card.

Also, I must apologise for how lax I've been on the blogging front lately.  I was just about ready to get back into the swing of life when I sustained a pretty horrid ankle injury which has had me house/bed bound for longer than I would have liked.  Onwards and upwards though; peaks and troughs.  

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

My Future Listography: All I Hope To Do In Lists

Listography -  Amazon

I spent the first few days of 2013 wandering around Gothenburg, sampling many of its cafes and generally soaking up a bit of much needed culture after spending Christmas in Northampton.  I was not alone in these enriching pursuits though; my cousin Bethany hopped onto a plane for her third visit to Sweden's second city.  On one of our perfect days out, we amused ourselves in Göteborg Museum of Art, beginning with a delicious lunch in their restaurant, following onto a lengthy peruse of the museum and culminating, of course, with a browse of the book shop.  Whilst browsing this delightful little store, I came across My Future Listography and was completely taken with it.  

This may come as a bit of a surprise - and shh, don't tell anybody - but I'm a bit of a closet sentimentalist.  Give me a packet of dusty photographs, a forgotten love letter or a dog-eared train ticket and you'll set me off spouting memories for days to come.  I'm also a sucker for resolutions, elaborate plans and motivational planning.  My Future Listography allows me to be proactive in the latter and, one day, I'll be able to indulge in the former.  Basically, it's the perfect.

The label on the back cover of this book describes it as "the ultimate fill-in journal for pondering the road ahead" and I think that sums it up nicely.  Between the wonderfully thick cover pages sit 160 pages of lists, illustrations and spaces to ponder.  The lists range from the potentially comical - "list ideas you want to see invented" - to the downright life changing - "list philosophies you wish your brain would permanently adopt".  There's a list for every mood and a category for every idea, along with three pages given to "list the things you hope to experience before you die" which to me just seals the deal on the usefulness of this book.

I think that this book is the perfect gift for anybody, including yourself.  It could be a space to jot down hilarious ideas and form lists laden with irony.  Equally, it would make the ideal companion for an afternoon of pondering and perfecting the deepest thoughts on life.  I would almost go as far as saying that I think it's an essential item for anybody on the cusp of "real life" - and even for those a little past it.  It's a place to write down all those things that you urgently commit to memory and then never remember again.  It demolishes all your excuses not to fill your life full of wonderful things and, to me at least, that will never be a bad thing.

As you may be able to tell, I'm pretty damn excited by my find.  I was so excited by it that I stood and stroked it, full of book based awe, for at least five minutes, trying to weigh up poverty vs. happiness.  I eventually decided that it wasn't an essential and could probably wait until loan day, and reluctantly put it back on the shelf.  We browsed for a little longer before calling it a day and trudging back out into the cold.  It was on this slow march that Beth, sneakily clutching a carrier bag, announced she'd bought me a birthday present.  I think you can guess what was in it.  

I was, of course, pretty thrilled by my shiny new gift (my birthday isn't until February but Beth kindly let me have it early).  Unfortunately, this does mean that I can now be held fully accountable for my own happiness forever more, with little opportunity to blame forgetfulness ever again.  Let's hope that I manage to do justice to the one hundred and sixty beautiful pages sitting beside me as I type this.  I solemnly swear...

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

A New Dawn, A New Day

Well, let me begin by wishing you all a very happy new year.  I spent the last evening of 2012 having a slightly incestuous date night with my cousin, featuring a lot of ice cream, multiple glasses of duty free prosecco and renditions of Auld Lang Syne by a whole host of artists, with my favourite being the Jimi Hendrix one.  It wasn't the wildest new year I've ever had but certainly one of the best, only made better by the lack of hangover this morning.  Rather than lounging in bed, groaning and drinking all of the Lucozade in the world as I usually would, I have instead been concocting an enormous batch of superfood vegetable soup and writing up a list of new year's resolutions for the first time ever.  I'm feeling really positive about 2013, in an uncharacteristic turn of events.  I think it's going to be the year that things happen.

I won't share with you my full list of resolutions, as I'm sure you aren't too interested by how little chocolate I intend to eat or how many words I aim to write.  However, I will tell you that my number 1 resolution involves me not buying any clothes at all between today, January 1st, and June 1st.  No, I'm not really sure why I've forced this upon myself either, except that the negative numbers on my bank statements are getting terrifying and I'm starting to wonder how on earth I'm going to cart all these items back to England come June.  To clarify, "no clothes" includes shoes/bags/jewellery/all other accessories, but I am still allowed to buy makeup and beauty products.  Thank God for the small mercies.

Rewinding a little from the new year festivities now and taking a look back at Christmas, I feel I should utter a few words of apology for having taken nearly a two week break from blogging.  I was at home, I was somewhat busy, I couldn't figure out a good spot to take pictures... all blind excuses, really.  I'm back though, huzzah, with a big fat dose of motivation for 2013.

Lastly, a quick word about the Blogger's Secret Santa that I participated in, which was organised by Vicki Higham from A Life of Geekery.  I had planned to do a longer post about this but unfortunately I was silly and dismantled by present before I had a chance to take a picture of it.  After it had sat under the Christmas tree for many a day, I was excited to finally tear open my parcel on December 25th and discovered a lovely Bodyshop gift set waiting for me.  It was the strawberry set and included an exfoliant, a shower gel, a body butter and a shower scrunchie, all of which smell divine and will come in extremely handy.  Unfortunately, my Santa decided to remain anonymous so I couldn't thank them so, if you do happen to be reading this - THANK YOU!

I'm going to leave you with a few pictures of my festivities now.  Warning: an awful lot of novelty festive knitwear is featured.

Good tidings to all,