Tuesday, 31 August 2010

A soap filled day out!

This week has been a bit quiet on the blog front I'm afraid as I have been mad busy making stock for my big show this coming weekend. I was flat out making all last week and Saturday, Sunday and Monday, so the bank holiday passed me by! I made up for it today however by taking a half day off and taking a trip to the fabulous Port Sunlight with Michael.
Port Sunlight is a lovely village which is situated on the Wirral in Cheshire. It was created in 1888 by William Lever (founder of the now global Unilever brand), who created a revolutionary brand of household soap called Sunlight Soap. He created the village to house his workers and give them a good quality of life. Some employers I know could take a leaf from his book!
To say that the village is stunning is an understatement. Each row of houses is different in its design - but it all works so well together. People still live in Port Sunlight, but there are conservation orders on the village that protect its uniqueness, and to maintain the original look for the many tourists that flock to visit. Today, being a regular working day, was nice and quiet, and the sun was shining (for once!).
I loved the house with the door in the turret! The door was even curved to meet the shape of the wall.
We walked back through the Lady Lever Rose Garden. There was a lovely smell of roses as we walked down this path. The building at the end is the Lady Lever Art Gallery. Lever was also a collector of fine art and this was his personal collection. There was a lot of it!
We headed to the gift shop after our visit and I bought:
Some sunlight soap - in reproduction original packaging. This was the product that started off the build
of Levers empire - amazing eh?!
A bar of Vinolia Cold Cream Bath Soap. Again, the original formula product in reproduction original packaging. This was actually the soap that was in the cabins of all the first class passengers on the
And I could not resist some vintage advert postcards, which I have put in the Kitchen;

Sunday, 29 August 2010

(Free!) Product review - Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain

Yesterday I was browsing the magazines in the supermarket when I spotted that Instyle magazine were giving away a FREE full size Body Shop Lip & Cheek Stain worth £9.50, with the September issue:
I had heard that it is like Benefit Benetint (which, BTW is £23.50 in the UK!!) so I thought it was well worth buying the magazine for £3.60 to get the product.  It is available in 2 shades, 01 Rose Pink (which I got) and 02 Bronze Glimmer. It works just like Benetint, where its a sheer wash of colour that you can build up, and as per the name of the product - you can use it on cheeks & lips.
So I have tried it out today as I went into Manchester to get some supplies. It goes on really well, and the colour was nice.
It was subtle, but when I put 2 layers on, it gave a really nice soft colour which stayed put all day and didnt rub off when I'd had a drink - or on my face! As with all the long last products, it does dry your lips slightly, so you can just use a regular balm on the top, or a smidge of vaseline for shine.
Overall I am very impressed and can see that I will use this product lots. I'd recomment that all you UK ladies go and grab yourself a copy of the magazine to get your freebie before they sell out! I may even go and get another one I like it that much :)

Friday, 27 August 2010

Day trip to York

On Wedesday I took a day off and went to the beautiful and historic city of York with my sister and nieces. The reason for the trip was so that my eldest niece, Leah, could go to the University open day to have a look round as she is thinking of going to study there next year. Heres a picture of the front of the Uni:
York is a special place for me, as its where I went to university - the very same one that Leah went to look round, so obviously I am encouraging her to go there. I LOVED it!
I got my 25p cats eye glasses back from the optitions on tuesday, so I decided to give them their first airing (well, on my face anyway!) on our trip. Here are my new glasses:

Note - Im wearing my new initial pin too :)
And the rest of my outfit:
Skirt, shoes and blouse - all charity shop/thrifted. Vintage bag - this is the one I won at Tutti Frutti festival on the raffle, and the spotty silk scarf was a present from Michael. Leggings on under skirt as its a bit chilly now its getting to autumn (seeing as England completely bypassed summer!)
Here are a few pictures of York. It really is a lovely place to visit and you should definetely consider it if you
are an oversees visitor. 
York Minster - I graduated in here :)
The Shambles - The most famous street in York. All the houses lean inwards. Hundreds of years ago, this is where all the butchers and slaughterhouses were. Today its full of gift shops and tea rooms - and LOTS of tourists!
My favorite street in York - Stonegate. At Christmas, it looks absolutely stunning.
And a view of the walls. York is a Roman built walled city. You can actually walk all the way round the walls on the original ledges that the Romans built to patrol the city to keep intruders out!
We of course had to have the obligitory afternoon tea at one of the lovely tea shops too;
YUM :)

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Whats in a name?

Do you like your name? Its one of those things that you have no say in (well, your birth name anyway), and something that you are stuck with - until at least 18 - if you dont like it. I'm happy to say that I have always liked my name, but one thing about it that has always bugged me is the spelling!
My mum chose to call me Clare after the Gilbert O' Sullivan song (cheesy!) - but instead of spelling it like he did - Clair, she chose an uncommon spelling with no 'i' - to be a bit different.
Because of this - I have had a lifetime of people spelling my name wrong, and when I was a child on school trips - all the Jane's and Emma's and Louise's could all get a pencil or necklace from the museum/zoo gift shop with their name on, but nowhere had one with my spelling on :(
Don't get me wrong - I love the fact that my name is spelt a little differently now, but I still find it really irritating when people spell it incorrectly. Every Christmas - at least half the cards we get, my name is spelt wrongly. Grrrrrrr!
Anyway - my initial thought for this post came from the fact that I have bought myself a lovely vintage initial pin which arrived on Saturday. It was $4 from Etsy:
It looks yellow on the photo - but the rhinestones are actually clear and really sparkly :)
I kept looking and looking on Etsy and Ebay for one that I liked and mostly the ones I liked were the wrong
Love these - if only I were a Harriet or a Violet!
Or a Margaret, so I could have this fabulous Bakelite pin...
Or a Rachel so I could wear this super kitch R one...
Or Amy for this funky red number! The other two on the shortlist were;
This rope 'C' and
this wooden 'C'
I'm quite happy with my Rhinestone 'C' anyway :)

Sunday, 22 August 2010

My weekend

This weekend was a busy one. I was trading at the Leeds Roller Dolls "Rack and Roll" bout on Saturday, and then my sister Jan was visiting with my nieces, so went out all day with my family today. Add into the mix that I have a stinking cold - ugh - and I'm really shattered now!
First; Roller Derby - Leeds v Glasgow:

Game was great - really close but Leeds won by just 4 points. I did ok on my stall, and there was a selection of home made cakes to tuck into which I happily obliged:
This was a red velvet cupcake with black frosting and a pirate flag on top. Cool & yum.
When I got home from Leeds, I had a bath and was in bed for 9.30pm feeling full of a cold and rubbish ;(
Today no car booting for me - I just didn't feel up to it. Later in the day, I went for lunch at my sisters, and went for a walk with my entire family! We went to to a great blackberrying spot and everyone got involved in
picking some for me...
My mum, dad and sister Elaine hard at work!
Come here lovely ripe berry!
My other sister, Jan climbs high to get the biggest juciest berries
The haul! I thoughroughly washed this lot, then set about making jam using this fabulous 'easy jam' recipe from friend and fellow blogger Swirlyarts - thanks Lynsey -it works a treat!
And the finished product. Can't wait to spread this on some home made scones ;)

Friday, 20 August 2010

10 things you didn't know about me

So I thought I'd do a 'ten things you didn't know about me' post....

1. My first love was Shakin Stevens! Welsh Rock n' Roll legend Shaky wowed the 80's (and little 6 year old me) with his 50s covers and double denims. Still love him now!
Swoon! ;)

2. I havent eaten meat since I was 15. I never used to really tell people because, 17 years ago if you were vegi, you got loads of stick about it. Its so much more commonplace now and whereas I used to struggle to get food in restaurants (escpecially abroad!), there are now no problems.

3. I drive a bubblegum pink car called Graham!

4. The first concert I ever went to was Guns & Roses in 1992 when I was 14. I didnt really know all that much about them, as I got the ticket last minute off a friend's brother who cancelled. Wow is all I can say. Soundgarden and Faith No More supported - I spent all the FNM set drooling at Mike Patton:
and Guns and Roses were awesome. It was a baking hot summers day, and there were lots of topless tattooed hot rock men! A real eye opener for a 14 year old!

5. I would say about 85% of  everything I own - including everything in our house - is second hand/thrifted from boot sales, flea markets, charity shops and ebay/etsy.

6. I have a degree in Product Design and Art

7. I got my first tattoo at 15 (sorry mum & dad!) In fact I had 3 by the time I was 18. I don't regret them as I loved them at the time but I've had them all covered up since. I really dont think you can make a sound judgement at 15 what tattoo you want!

8. My fave musician is Brian Setzer. Love the Stray Cats, his solo work and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. I hope to one day fly to a US city near Xmas when the BSO do their annual Chrsitmas Extravaganza tour and
see the BSO live.

9. My favorite colour is, and has always been bright cherry red. You may have guessed this by the amount of red things I buy and pairs of red shoes I own!

10. I am scared of cows!
I would rather take a 2 mile detour round the outside of fields than run through one with cows in it. Or sheep, or horses for that matter. All fall into the 'unpredictable large animals' catagory for me *shudder*

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Good Life

The Good Life was a (very popular) 1970's British sitcom about a couple who make a decision to live a sustainable, simple and self-sufficient lifestyle while still living in 'Surburbia'. In pursuit of this "good life", they dig up their front and back gardens and convert them into allotments, growing soft fruit and vegetables. They generate their own electricity, using methane from animal waste, and they even attempt to make their own clothes. They also work at selling or bartering surplus crops for essentials which they cannot make themselves. They try to cut their monetary requirements to the minimum with varying success. The comedy aspect is brought in with very posh (and conventional) next door neighbours Margo & Jerry.

This show has been re-run so many times, and I think its popularity stems from the fact that in the main, it is actually a good idea!
This weekend just gone, I went to see my sister who, at the start of the summer, had converted the end of her garden into a mini allotment for growing vegetables. Just before I came home - we went out with a bag and she harvested me some lovely fresh, organic veg to take home:
Photo taken after it had been washed of course!
It was actually quite exciting to dig up potatos and carrots (must be getting old!), and they smelled and tasted so nice. She has lots of other veg - but its not quite ready yet.
It certainly is 'food for thought' and I am thinking of growing some of my own things next year. Its really quite satisfying, healthy and cost effective to grow your own!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Dolly Cool update!

Thought it was about time that I did a Dolly Cool update as I haven't for so long! I am super busy at the moment doing wholesale orders, a custom order for a burlesque dance troupe (more info and some hopefully glamourous pics to follow in the next few weeks!), some website logos, and of course, making stock for my upcoming shows. First one is this coming weekend - The Leeds Roller Dolls roller derby bout, and then Kustom Kulture Blast Off weekender in two weeks.
Here is a glance at some of my new products......
Candy striper pussy bow blouse with embroidered cherries
Stripy swallow cardigan
Stripy anchor cardigan
Kitten embroidered brooch
Pin up embroidered brooch
And some of my revamped bags - selling like hot cakes :)

Note the bangles in wearing in the bag pics....these are the ones I got from Screamin' festival from the boot sale type thing that was on at the car show. I found out the other day that one of my fellow bloggers, THE BIG MAMA INTROSPECTION - is the nice French lady that I bought them off! Small world!