Monday, 31 March 2014

Styled by Kimberley: Monochrome and Brights

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Blouse | Primark
jacket | Oasis (old)
leggings | Topshop
cardigan | gift from my sisters
shoes | Primark
necklace | Forever 21
rings | Topshop and Forever 21

I'm really loving the monochrome checks that are every where at the moment. I bought these trousers a few weeks ago when I was having a skinny pretty day. (The rare antithesis of the ugly fat day). And as I haven't had one since, I also haven't worn the trousers. Actually, I have been waiting for a long top in a block colour to pair with them. I love this cool mint blouse and it keeps the look preppy enough for me.
The weather has been brighter this week so I've brought out the good ol' jelly shoes. I had some kicking around the house but bought these more subtle black ones. My other half will no longer be seen with me with these ultimate man repellers but little does he know I also have high heel sparkle versions waiting in the wings!

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I am so looking forward to Spring really kicking in and maybe picking up more monochrome checks. I'm desperate for a little jacket or maybe co-ords in a larger print. If anyone sees any around please let me know!

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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Styled by Kimberley: Mother's Day

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I didn't learn my sense of style from my mum.
She has always viewed shopping as a chore. She doesn't own costume jewellery. I have seen her wear make-up on about four occasions (all weddings) and her idea of styling my hair as a child was a few hasty swipes with a brush at my head (ouch). "That'll do." Having three sisters 6-10 years my junior meant that my mum was constantly juggling a baby or chasing toddlers around so she wore what was practical. Anything she didn't have to think about. "That'll do."

And, yet, I have spent my adult life coveting certain items I pulled out of her wardrobe as a child. She had an array of simple striped tops. She wore jeans*. She owned one- ONE!- pair of heels that I can still imagine slipping my chubby toddler ankles into. They were lace effect white leather peep toes. Sadly, she doesn't hoard clothes like I do. They are all gone. When I turned 21 my flatmates bought me these shoes, an almost identical copy of hers, not really understanding the significance. I have treasured them ever since.

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And then, there was the fluffy cobalt blue mohair jumper with the line of pearl buttons along the shoulder. It's my dream item. I am hoping that the resurgence in the fluffy jumper trend will bring me a copy. Even if I have to sew those pearls on myself! For the moment I'll have to console myself with this vague version of the look:

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jumper | charity shop
jeans |Warehouse (old)
shoes | Oasis (old)

Whenever I find a gem that reminds me of mum's wardrobe, I hold onto it.

One accessory that I haven't found a duplicate of is a simple white clutch. However, that may be about to change- white is in again! To complete the look I've picked out this sharp little Michael Kors number from House of Fraser for their "Inspired by Mum" competition. It's now on my Mum's Style List:
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Now that my siblings are all grown up, my mum is suddenly buying into fashion and I've realised she does know what's what. Her priority back then simply wasn't clothes. Perhaps when I have children myself I will step back from it. Or perhaps my children will treasure my every day items too. I'll be happy either way, just as long as I never hear myself utter the words "That'll do."

* I bought my first pair of jeans when I was 15. It was kind of a big deal.

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Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Hey Mama

It's mothers day on Sunday so we thought we'd do some special posts to mark the occasion. This here is my Mama. This photograph was taken in my home town back in 1977, 10 whole years before I arrived into the world. Sadly my mum passed away when I was 13, so this time of year does give me mixed feelings. It's nice to see others celebrating the matriarchs of their families. It appears to me that motherhood is a special but incredibly hard task so it's good to see mammys getting spoiled by their offspring. It also brings back fond memories of making tissue paper flowers, putting together handmade cards and attempting to make breakfast for my mum on Mothering Sunday's past.

But, of course, it also makes me a little sad. Mostly because of the fact I only really knew my mum as a parent and never got the opportunity to know her as a person. I love looking at old photo's like this one because I feel it gives me a bit of an insight into her. I decided to have a go at recreating this one to help put myself in her shoes. Our styles are a little different, with my mum preferring a more casual look with less weird and wonderful accessories, but I like that I can see the resemblance in our specs, noses and smiles.

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday whether your mum's around or not. I'll be taking some time to look at old photos and eat rock buns(one of my mums specialties).


Scarf | Karen Mabon
Shirt | Monki
Jumper | H&M
Jacket | River Island
Eye Brooch | Luna on the Moon

Photo of me by Ross Bull.

Monday, 24 March 2014

What Helen Wore: With Her New Tote Bag

Blouse | Charity Shop
Vest top | Primark
Trousers | TK Maxx
Shoes | Topshop
Tote bag | bag from Ebay with design by me
Rings | Also made by me

After DIYing my my very own black tote bag last week I thought I'd take it out for a spin. To go with the simple googly eye design I put together a simple monochrome outfit. What can I say, it's a colour combination that works. To stop it all looking a bit dull I found a nice lush green spot to take some pictures and my relatively fresh dye job helped to add a splash of colour.

I've found myself very attracted to patterned trousers recently. I'm not convinced they're the most flattering thing I could chose to wear but they are definitely a lot more fun than boring jeans. This pair are from TKMaxx and have to be the comfiest trousers ever. It's like wearing pyjama bottoms all day long! The sewing quality of them is a bit pants, and I'm pretty sure one leg is slightly longer than the other, but they are still a dream to wear.

The rings I'm wearing are also DIY'ed by yours truely. Both were made during evening classes at Vanilla Ink. If you're in or around Dundee I thoroughly recommend signing up to one, very friendly folk and you get to take home something super unique made by your own fair hands. I'm not quite sure what I was trying to achieve with my nail art. I was trying to tie in with the whole monochrome theme and ended up doodling flies and dots.

Big thanks to Ross Bull for snapping these photos for me. Do check out his blog Backwards to the Modern World for some photography themed chatter.

Friday, 21 March 2014

DIY Challenge: Kimberley's Tote Bag

Can you guess what it is yet?
tools, DIY, stamping, home, how to, make it yourself, tote bag, cat, print, easy, cute

Firstly, I want to say that I'm not a crafty person. I can draw. I have an Advanced Higher in art. I did better in our Valentine DIY because it involved illustration. This one I have never attempted before but these DIYs are a good way of showing that absolutely anyone can have a go!

I wanted to try to make a very simple stamped print to cover my tote bag with a repeated pattern.
I played around with triangles, hearts and arrows. Finally I thought I'd give a wee cat outline a go, inspired by Helen's acrylic Katze Shop necklace from her birthday outfit.

If I were doing this seriously I would buy some foam and wood to make a re-usable stamp like here. However, I wanted to show that it was as easy as a primary school project, so I've used the trusty old potato.

If you want to feel like a nursery teacher, you will need:
1.) a canvas bag
2.) a decent sized potato (mine was an M&S Maris Piper baking potato, in case you care)
3.) a knife! (caution: some of us require adult supervision. I know I did.)
4.) paper & pencil
5.) acrylic paint

Added extras: a paint brush, a magazine or scrap paper

tools, DIY, stamping, home, how to, make it yourself, tote bag, cat, print, easy, cute

Step 1. Iron your bag so it's wrinkle- free and lying flat

Step 2. Line with an old magazine or scrap paper to stop the paint seeping through

Step 3.Draw out your shape on paper and cut out to transfer to potato (I like saying potato)

Step 4. Trace round the template onto the potato and cut it out to create le stamp. This bit's quite fiddly!

tools, DIY, stamping, home, how to, make it yourself, tote bag, cat, print, easy, cute

Step 5. Measure out where you will place the stamps. I used lined paper underneath the material so that I could measure it out roughly and not mark the cloth.

Step 6.  Use the paint brush to evenly coat the potato stamp with the paint

Step 7. Stamp, stamp, stamp! Repeat!

Step 8. Use paint brush to tidy up edge (I didn't do this here but I should have!)

Step 9. Admire your handiwork / cry


tools, DIY, stamping, home, how to, make it yourself, tote bag, cat, print, easy, cute

The strangest thing about this project was that the stamp was supposed to be a solid silhouette.
When I actually stamped it, creepy little eyes kept appearing. I couldn't see anything on the potato causing it, so clearly the tote bag has become possessed.

tools, DIY, stamping, home, how to, make it yourself, tote bag, cat, print, easy, cute

You can use the paint brush to neaten up the edges and fill in any missing spots but
I got a bit carried away stamping and didn't do this, so we will call this version my crap practise one.
This is almost as bad as my turd- shaped baking fail, but they were delicious to eat, so I'll wear this with pride!

I do feel like having another go. I think next time I'll buy the foam and wood to do it properly and get and even un-potatoey finish. Any tips welcome!

If you decide to create a wonky cat tote, or any other potato stamped goodies, please do share. I'd love to see your efforts!
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Wednesday, 19 March 2014

DIY Challenge: Helen's Tote Bag

tote bag, DIY, how to, googley eyes, easy, quick make, glue, Halloween

After our first DIY challenge, featuring Valentine's Cards, I was super excited to get cracking on the next one. For this months we've decided to create our own tote bag designs. This practical item is an important staple in my wardrobe and is so useful for transporting my essentials or carrying the bread and milk (and wine) back from the shop. I have a number of different ones featuring fun and interesting designs, but most of them are natural or light in colour. After seeing Kimberley's HelloDODO tote I knew I wanted to add a black one to my collection. I still had a number of googly eyes left over from our first DIY so I thought I'd make use of them for a simple monochrome look. If you fancy making your own, just follow these super easy instructions.

tote bag, DIY, how to, googley eyes, easy, trick or treat, quick make, glue, Halloween

You'll need:
1) A tote bag. You can pick up a plain one from many high street shops or go online to ebay for a wide selection of colours.
2) Some eyes. Get a pack from your local craft shop or head to Hobbycraft.
3) Fabric glue. Again find this in your nearest craft or fabric store or do an ebay search.

Added extras: Some scrap paper/ newspaper.

tote bag, DIY, how to, googley, eyes, easy, quick make, glue, Halloween
Step 1. Iron your bag and make sure it's nice and flat.

Step 2. Put some scrap paper or newspaper inside the bag. This will stop the glue from seeping through to the back of the bag.

Step 3. Lay the bag flat and position your eyes to create a pleasing pattern. I went with random spacing, placing small and large ones together.

Step 4. Use your fabric glue to attach each of the eyes. Go with a small blob in the centre to try and prevent any spilling out of the sides. Hold each eye in place for a few seconds to make sure it's nice and secure.

Step 5. Remove the paper from inside the bag before the glue is totally dry. This should stop parts of the paper from sticking to the inside of the bag. Hang up the bag and allow the glue to dry fully. Check the packet of your glue for details of timescales.

Step 6. You're done! Style up your new bag with a monochrome outfit and rock it out to the shop to pick up that pint of milk bottle of wine.

If you do make one of your own I'd love it if you shared it with us on twitter (@WardrobeConvos) or on instagram (@WardrobeConversations).

tote bag, DIY, how to, googley eyes, easy, quick make, glue, Halloween  

Monday, 17 March 2014

Kimberley's Spring Wishlist

After this season of knitwear and monochrome I am really in the mood to buy prints, bright colours and sparkle. I also really need to up my jewellery collection so I've got my magpie eye on a few bits and pieces.

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1.) White Fried Egg Shirt | The Rodnik Band
I'm not sure what my recent obsession with fried eggs are. Probably because they are ridiculous. I enjoy The Rodnik Band's clothing but for me this is the most wearable print.

2.) Pacey Co-ords | Motel
I've been looking for a t shirt and trouser/ skirt co-ord set for ages. I've seen a few not had the nerve to actually go for it.

3.) Purple Space Leather Galaxy Bib Necklace | Ring U Boutique
Love a bib necklace, love futuristic or sci-fi themed fashion. Double win! In fact, whilst writing this I have just place an order for this one. My wishlist is coming true.

4.) Glitter Pigeon Bird Brooch | Luna on the Moon
I am in love with the quirky accessories from Luna on the Moon. Helen won the eye version and I can't decide between this pigeon or the fried egg. So fun!

5.) Tiny Teeth Collar Clips | Hey Kitsch Kitty
I bought Helen a pair of teeth collar clips for Christmas and I have been coveting them since, but I didn't want us to have (yet more) matching items. It takes the fun our of borrowing things! These tiny glitter ones caught my eye recently though, so I may have to snap them up (geddit?).

As wacky and wonderful as these items are, they certainly aren't a matching set. I would be wearing these separately, I think! I am on the look out for a novelty bag. Any designs I should be checking out?

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Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Bold Souls Nail Inspiration: Joanne McGillivray

This week we are paying homage to the Bold Souls- Off the Catwalk: Summer Preview this Thursday. It's mostly to cheer ourselves up because we can't be there! Booo.
It was difficult to pick just one designer to honour with this week's nails but after seeing these dreamy photographs I had to go with Joanne McGillivray.

Her silhouettes are clean and modern and her prints luxurious. This collection is equally soothing and vibrant with the pops of orange. With my peely wally skin it's not a colour combination I'm confident to wear to putting it on my nails is a great way to carry it off.
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photo source

Normally I like complicated printed nails (like my last nail inspiration post) but for this I just wanted to reflect that luxe mermaid feel and the bold colour combination.

It was good to finally find a use for an old Barry M polish that my husband has kindly named "avocado bathroom suite". Using this as a base, I layered H&M's aptly named Mermaid glitter polish and topped off with nail pearls. It isn't complicated but it's effective.

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photo source (left)

I think Helen has the right idea using false nails, it would be a load easier and allow me to try out more complex drawings. Or maybe what I need is a volunteer to practise on?!

I look forward to seeing the catwalk photographs of Joanne's pieces, along with all the other lovely Scottish designers.

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Monday, 10 March 2014

Bold Souls Nail Inspiration: Naromode

This Thursday sees a very fabulous Scottish fashion event in the shape of the Bold Souls - Off the Catwalk: Summer Preview. This fashion show and pop up shop will be showcasing some top notch fashion talent, including Danni McWilliams, Prints of Paradise and Angelpixielove. With a goody bag, mini burger and tasty cider included in the ticket price it's safe to say Kimberley and I are gutted that we won't be able to make it along! To try and make up for our woes we thought we'd pick our favourite designers from the line up and honour them the best way we know how, with nail art!

I've decided to take my inspiration from magical design duo Naromode. I have been online stalking these two for a while and am in love with all of their creations. Their bold prints beautifully translate the Grimms fairytale 'The White Snake' into wearable pieces of art. After spending and inordinate amount of time flicking through the Naromode lookbook I decided to settle on the Olivia Midi Dress and Julie Maxi Skirt as starting points for my nail art designs. Just look at these beauties...

Olivia Dress
Julie skirt  

And here are the results. I decided to use false nails because, let's face it, my own nails ain't the prettiest. And, as a result of the jewellery class I'm doing, they are looking even worse than normal at the moment. Plus, doing it this way means I can make a cup of tea, eat biscuits, type this blog post and generally faff around without worrying about smudging. Perfecto!

I love how they turned out and can't wait to wear them. And, if you fancy some of your own, here's a wee step by step to get you going.

Naromode images and step by step background by Naromode, source Naramode Facebook page    

What do you think of my Naromode inspired nails?

Will you be heading along to the Bold Souls event? If you are I am supremely jealous but hope you have an excellent time! Bring me back some Naromode please!