Sunday, 30 June 2013

Children's Classics: Can't You Sleep Little Bear

One of my great loves is books. That sounds hyperbolic but it's true; it is a great, huge love and has been ever since I was a child. Books we read when we are young definitely have an affect on us, whether we know it or not, even if it is just a prod of the imagination or the soothing of a troubled soul.

The word 'classic' is bandied around a lot when it comes to books but I think it is deserved in many cases, I'm going to start regularly posting about a book I consider a children's classic. Don't ask me how often, probably just when I feel like it, but there're so many out there that I think it should keep me going for quite some time.

The first book I'm going to review (it's not really a review but I don't know what else to call it) definitely deserves the term classic and has become a go-to book for any parent of a child reluctant to sleep.

Can't You Sleep Little Bear? Image via Walker Books
Can't You Sleep Little Bear by Matin Waddell and Barbara Firth tells the story of the small bear who, you guessed it, can't get to sleep because he's frightened of the dark. The disparing Big Bear brings him lantern after lantern until he finally shows Little bear that there's no reason to be afraid of the dark at all.

There are simple reasons why this book has become so popular; it connects with a common fear, it has a formulaic structure common in children's books where something is increased as the book goes on, and it has bears in it, which everyone loves.

But it could so easily have been overly twee, with the cuddly bears and the optimistic message, yet it bypasses this with the simplicity of Martin Waddell's language and the realism of Barbara Firth's illustrations. You can feel the exasperation of Big Bear, which many parents can identify with. Plus, children can see themselves in the overly energetic Little Bear doing handstands on the bed.

It manages to be touching, haunting, yet simple and with a satisfying ending that warms you up like a big round moon.

Friday, 28 June 2013

If I Were A Rich (Wo)Man: All The Horses

Another Friday, another list of items I can't afford, but want in my life.

First up is this lovely GROTTO necklace from jewellery company Rosita Bonita.

Copyright Rosita Bonita

Though it looks like enameled metal or wood it is in fact leather. It's inspired by mermaid carnival exhibits from the 20th century.

Copyright Rosita Bonita

I love the seahorses and the matching shell earrings. £86 isn't unreasonable for a handcrafted piece of jewellery, but still off limits for me.

I wish I could while away an afternoon listening to songs on this Roberts Revival DAB/FM Digital radio from Very.

Roberts Revival Radio - Very
I know it works exactly the same as a normal radio and that at £199 it is a rip off as I can get a modern radio for a tenth of the price. But it's so pretty! And it's Leaf Green, not just plain green, leaf green.

From seahorses to rocking horses.

Vintage Wooden Rocking Horses - Nordic House

At first I thought they were a bit creepy, but they've grown on me and now I desperately want one in my home. It's like the magnetic wallpaper all over again; I don't have a child, I just want these things for myself. I love the traditional look and hand carved style of the horses. I also had a beloved rocking horse when I was younger called Alice, I think these guys are reminding me of her.

There's quite a lot of green in this week's items, this last one carrys on the theme.

Valentino Resort 2014 Collection

I have no idea how much this beautiful thing is but as it's from Valentino's Resort 2014 collection I suspect it's miles out of my price range. I like the contrast of the tight bodice with the long flowing skirt and the leafy pattern is to die for.

You'd think the model might look a bit more cheerful.

That's all for this week, tune in next Friday for more expensive goodies.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Tattoo Trends: Finger Lickin' Good

Image via

Finger tattoos were once just the staple of sailors and bikers, especially knuckle tattoos, which were a simple way of expressing your outlook on life, as long as it was eight letters.

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But now the finger is an ever popular place for a permanent mark, especially among young starlets such as Rihanna and Cara Delevingne, I must admit I do like her lion tattoo, such a lot of detail in a small area.

Image via

Image via

In my last couple of tattoo posts I haven't really been very nice about the designs. But, there are some really wonderful finger tattoos out there so I'll post some of my favourites for you.

These skulls put a twist on a tried and tested classic tattoo style.

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A lot of thought went into this elephant finger tattoo, not sure I'd want to get it myself but it certainly is clever.

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The Lightsaber finger tattoo is getting copied a lot, but it is still a good one. Plus you can have finger fights with your friends whilst making sound effects.

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I know it sounds pretentious, but the beauty of this twig tattoo is in its simplicity.

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These finger tattoos just deserve some kind of prize, possibly for most random group of characters in one place.

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Of course, there are a lot of bad finger tattoos out there. The poor finger has become another place for unoriginal tattoos for girls, namely hearts, stars, love and that blessed infinity sign. I won't put photos up because you all know what they look like, if you don't then just google a picture of Miley Cyrus.

That's all folks.
I will start posting some book and film reviews soon but for the mean time just enjoy the tattoos.

Friday, 21 June 2013

If I Were A Rich (Wo)Man: 21/06/13

Another week another collection of beautiful items that I can't afford.

First is this gorgeous ALICE + OLIVIA dress from Revolve Clothing.

ALICE + OLIVIA dress - back

I like that it has a classic Grecian look and is quite demure, but then the back cut out gives it a cheeky edge.

Here's the front view.

ALICE + OLIVIA dress - front

It also comes in navy, I'm not sure which I prefer.

ALICE + OLIVIA dress - navy

At $596 (£380) it's definitely out of my limited price range. But I can still look at it and drool.

I discovered this next dream purchase when I attended an open day at Cockpit Arts, a place for crafters to work and display their wares. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in London.
Designer Sian Zeng has a studio there and one of her many wonderful creations is her collection of magnetic wallpaper.

I want to be that little girl!

Sian Zeng - Magnetic Wallpaper

Sian Zeng - Magnetic Wallpaper

I don't just like it because it's magnetic, which is amazing, but the pattern is so lovely; featuring woodland scenes with a surreal twist. You can also get characters to attach to the wall with wipe clean speech bubbles that you can write on.

Sian Zeng - Magnetic Wallpaper

 At £248 a roll this is definitely still a fantasy. Plus, it's supposed to be for children.

Lastly I have been eyeing this Fleur De Lis Shield Ring by Pyrrha.
Pyrrha Fleur De Lis Shield Ring
I like the traditional shield motif. It's powerful yet delicate. The oxidised finish gives it an antique look which I love.

Pyrrha Fleur De Lis Shield Ring

Alas, it is £300.
I just wanted to use the word alas, it's a good one and I don't get many chances.

Only three items this week but they're expensive enough to make up the price of four.

Happy Friday.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Tattoo Trends: To Infinity And Beyond

As you may know I've been having a look at tattoos as I'm thinking of getting one, while searching I've come across all the tattoo trends which are particularly prevalent on Pinterest. I've already written about my nostalgia for Nineties Tattoos, but now I'm going to focus on a trend which is very current.

If you haven't guessed from the blog heading, I'm talking about the infinity sign.

Image via Pinterest
This little symbol means so much; I suppose that's why people like it. But, like Chinese characters before it, the infinity sign has been taken, over used and now is really just a symbol of someone who can't think up their own original tattoo idea.

Image via Pinterest
Yes, it's a bit more tasteful then some tattoo trends but really, it is everywhere. Plus, to make it 'original,' people have been adding in words, showing their undying attachment to that thing/person/emotion.

Image via Pinterest

Image via Cute Tattoo

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Alright, the 'and beyond' one is quite clever, but only the first couple of times you see it.

Tattoo shops should really just advertise like this:

Image via The Meta Picture

But each to their own, if you want to have a tattoo because everyone else has one that's fine. But there's one version of the infinity tattoo which really irritates me.

Image via Tattoo Maniac

For starters, what does an anchor have to do with the infinity symbol? But the main point, and I can't make this clear enough, anchors are supposed to sink! Look, I used an exclamation mark, I don't like using them but this time it feels appropriate. Anchors sink to the bottom of the sea and weigh down a ship, keeping it in one place. Really, an anchor is the complete opposite of what the words say. People should have a boat or, more fittingly, a sponge tattooed with theese words.

Image via Pinterest

That's more like it, Spongebob Square pants is the embodiment of that phrase with his upbeat personality and cheery smile.
Maybe I've started a new trend?

Thursday, 13 June 2013

If I Were A Rich (Wo)Man: 14/06/13

I've decided to make this a regular thing, tormenting myself with things I can't buy. I hope this doesn't destress you too much, and if you can afford these things then don't rub it in.

First up is this beautiful maxi dress from Asos, imaginatively called Maxi Dress in Floral Print with V Neck.

Floral Maxi Dress - Asos

I wasn't sure about this dress when I first saw it, I thought it smacked a bit of grandma's curtains, but maybe home furnishings are growing on me because I now love it. The fit looks flattering and I like the V neck with the split, it saves the print from being overkill. £60 isn't too bad really for a full length dress, but still, I've only pennies at the moment so this will remain a dream.
By the by, there are lots of lovely maxi dresses on Asos at the moment, very dangerous viewing.

Yael & Tal is a jewellery company I discovered on Boticca, another great site. They have delicate silver jewellery depicting people and scenes. I have fallen in love with this Reading necklace.

Reading Silver Necklace - Yael & Tal - Boticca

I's captured a perfect moment, plus the detail is fantastic. £52, hmmm, maybe one to add to the Christmas list.

Another dress, this time from Queen of Holloway.

1940s Green Wiggle Dress - Queen of Holloway

This site has a lot of handmade, vintage-style dresses. Most of them are a bit too pouffy for me, being more of the 50s era, but this wiggle dress is the complete opposite. Sexy yet full of class, at only £39.99 this is actually very reasonably priced and I am seriously considering splurging.

Finally, one for the home.

Vanity - Laura Spector Rustic Design

This is just amazing, it looks like it's grown straight from a tree. It's got fairy-tale style without being cutesy, I can imagine Arwin sitting at a dressing table like this. It's simply called Vanity, probably quite fitting, and is designed by Laura Spector. I think it's a one off piece so even if I had the money I wouldn't be able to get this exact one, but something similar. There is no price on the site, which is always a bad sign, I can only imagine what this beauty costs.

That's it for me, I hope these pieces have made your mouths water.
Have a happy Friday.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Nostalgic For Nineties Tattoos

I've been considering getting a tattoo, I'm not sure what, I just like the idea of having one. Which is probably a sure sign that I shouldn't get one.
I've been flicking around the internet and tattoo books for inspiration and I've got distracted in my quest by the array of tattoos out there; the good the bad and the ugly. I'm particularly struck by the trends, there's always some motif or pattern that people have branded on them to show their individuality en masse.

I've been feeling nostalgic towards nineties tattoos, there are some naff one's around at the moment but they can't compete with the cheesy goodness from twenty years ago.

Designs were fairly limited for girls; if you were a woman getting a tattoo in the nineties there were pretty much only three options to go for...


Image via Free Tattoo Designs
That's a girl of real class right there.
I shouldn't judge really, I can sort of see the dolphin allure; they symbolise freedom and friendship, plus they're like nice sharks, what's not to like?

Image via

I think this picture answers that question. This is a classic dolphin tattoo; it's on the foot accompanied by the trusty ankle bracelet, it's twee, over-coloured and, frankly, not very well done, it looks like it's emerging from a lettuce leaf.
The dolphin is the symbol of girls trying to show how they are such free spirits...and failing.

Image via Rate My Ink

I don't even know what to say about this one, so I'm going to leave it there.

Chinese Symbols

Image via Tattoo Idea Pictures
In case you hadn't guessed, the ankle is a classic nineties tattoo position, that's so it can go next to your awesome anklet.

Clearly, getting a word tattooed onto yourself in a different language is much more meaningful than getting it in one you can actually read. Plus you look, like, totally spiritual.

Ultimate nineties icon Sporty Spice had a Chinese tattoo, so clearly they were ultra cool. Also, catch another tattoo trend in this picture; the upper arm ring. It usually features barbed wire but Mel C has gone for a more feminine approach.

There's always the trouble though that the Chinese symbol that you think means love or peace or strength, actually means something completely different. As demonstrated by Laurie from Cougar Town.

And don't think that just because Laurie got one, you can get one. You're not as cool as her.

And finally...

Tramp Stamp

Image via Soda Head
The ultimate in nineties tattoos, and this style is still going strong.
Maybe the first girl to get a tattoo on her lower back was very original, free spirited and generally an all-round cool person. But that's not what lower back tattoos mean any more, the clue's in the name.

Image via Pinterest

It's a shame that a girl can't get a tattoo on her back without being labelled a whore, but lower back tattoos don't tend to be classy or stylish. Instead they normally include one or all of the following; a heart, a butterfly; someone's name.

Another problem with lower back tattoos is that they generally only suit people with bodies like this.

Image via Studded Hearts

But they can more often be found on people with bodies like this.

Image via Pinterest

Unfortunately, the latter is trying to dress like the former.

I'm going to leave you with that image. I tried to find a photo of all three; a tramp stamp with a dolphin and Chinese characters but, alas, I failed. If you find the Holy Grail of nineties tattoos then please post it below.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Sally Lacock - Wedding Heaven

I really should stop writing about fashion on this blog and talk about something deep and meaningful instead, but at the moment I seem to be attracted to every pretty thing I see, rather like a magpie with anything that shines (that metaphor is terribly cliché but I'm tired).

I have to post about this; wedding dress designer Sally Lacock has just launched a new website as well as several new designs. And they are stunning.

I'm not in the process of getting married, or anywhere near, but I've come across Sally's designs before and had that 'maybe I'll keep this in mind for later' moment. Her dresses are vintage inspired, drawing inspiration especially from the 1930s.

I know there seem to be thousands of vintage wedding dress designers around now, all churning out really rather similar looking gowns. But Sally's are something special; she combines classic elegance with an ethereal uniqueness.

Elsa Wedding Dress - Sally Lacock

Elsa Back View - Sally Lacock

This is one of her older designs, the classic Elsa. It's so simple yet stunningly beautiful. The 1930s style cape sleeves really make it.

Violet Wedding Dress - Sally Lacock

The Violet dress reminds me of the fashions of Jane Austen, especially the clothes worn by Jennifer Ehle when she played Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. The sleeve detail is so delicate and is what makes the dress special. It also looks easy to move in, some wedding dresses seem to be designed to be worn only when standing completely still.

Isadora Wedding Dress - Sally Lacock

The Isadora dress looks so free and different, definitely one for the bride who hates the idea of a traditional meringue style wedding gown.

Carly Wedding Dress - Sally Lacock

I think the Carly dress is my favourite. It is one of Sally's new designs and is made from three different types of lace. Despite the abundance of lace it does not have the 'Grandma's net curtains' look that a lot of wedding dresses can have. The cut is really flattering and the sleeves are lovely and are probably good at disguising a pair of bingo wings.

Prices start at £1,950, these babies don't come cheap, but looking at the detail on them you can tell it's worth it.
Check out the rest of Sally Lacock's designs at