Thursday, 29 May 2014

Finding your own happiness

The best way to be happy in yourself is to simply do it. Reach out and take life into your own hands and mold it into your own happiness, make yourself happy by just being who and what you want to be.

But sometimes it isn't that easy and things aren't quite in your control.  Today started off as pretty crappy in all honesty, it just felt like everyone I encountered was just rude and ignorant, and you can only watch people behave in this way for so long before you loose your faith in people a little bit. I am so glad that I only have three days until I finish work and am on maternity leave, because pregnancy hormones make unpleasant people so much harder to deal with. I am a very patient and cheerful person but there are still times when customers have the ability to bring you down and make you cry.

I finished work at quite an early time for me, and I had some bits and bobs in mind that I wanted to get so I went out shopping by myself and actually made myself feel a hell of a lot better. I took a little trip down Gloucester Road and ventured into places I have never been before, places I have seen and thought,  I would love to go there, but have never gotten around to it or had the confidence to go on my own. I went in a few second hand thrifty and reclamation type shops and saw a lot of beautiful furniture that was perfectly my style. I am currently not in any position to buy any furniture because I neither have the space or my own home to put it in, but when the time comes we will have a whole house to furnish so it was nice to at least look for things. I feel better even though I couldn't buy things, as I now know where to look and what I want to look for. It also helps that I took a shopping break for tea and macaroons.... tea makes everything better.

Well. Ok I bought two things. I bought a teacup for 50p and a stool with cast iron legs  for £6. I plan to reupholster the stool for a project when I am on maternity leave. And its only small so it will fit quite easily next to the bed so I can put clothes on it (I have issues with wearing an outfit and then saving it for another day before I wash it again, and I don't like putting clothes away again if I have already worn them).

I am thinking of some sort of textured velvet for the stool. I'll see what I can find...

Even so, I took pictures of some the most beautiful pieces that I would have bought if I had the chance.

Beautiful beautiful mirror. Really regret not buying this now...

A rather lovely cabinet.  I do love dark traditional wood pieces.
And finally this treasure.  I am absolutely head over heels for this ornately carved beauty. It was only £150... I have absolutely nowhere to store this but my heart aches for it...
Shopping second hand is such a good way to shop, its affordable,  better for the environment and who can say no to such amazing finds. And you certainly won't find any mass produced inferior Ikea style crap in shops such as these.

Friday, 23 May 2014

World Goth Day, shopping haul, and Wednesday 13

First off, I hope everyone had a happy World Goth Day yesterday.  I did, but it was a little bit busy! I didn't get the chance to take proper outfit pictures but here is essentially what I was wearing yesterday.

I can't take serious selfies! It's a condition I swear. But I wore this black stretch A-line dress with a white collar, it's quite plain so you aren't missing much!  I also wore fishnets and my Iron Fist Timmy Chews, a lipstick when i went out in the evening. Almost completely worn them in now and they are a lot more comfortable for my swollen pregnant feet! I also wore this silver birdcage necklace (I think it's from Restyle) and a skeleton hand clip in my hair for extra spookiness ;)

I went shopping again and managed to get some wonderful goodies, firstly this adorable grow bag for baby from a charity shop for £2.50. It says super baby on it!

A few days ago I spotted this tea set in a charity shop window and was convinced somebody would have snapped it up before I had the chance,  yet when I returned yesterday it was still there untouched so I juat had to get it. It was a set of six cups, saucers and side plates, and it was only £10 so I am pretty chuffed at this find.

The makers are Palissy Pottery, from their Thames River scenes series, this set in particular the view from Chelsea Hospital.  It's been a little bit difficult to really find out much about the set, but some sets of three have sold for upwards of £50 on ebay so I guess this was a good buy?

In the evening we went to see Wednesday 13 on his Undead and Unplugged acoustic tour. This was one of the best shows I have been to in a really long time and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was great to see another dimension to the music and he played songs spanning across his entire career so even though there were some songs I hadn't heard before or wasn't particularly into (I have just never liked the Murderdolls that much I don't know why) it was great to watch,  especially as he was telling little stories and anecdotes relating to each song as he went. There were even little question and answer sessions throughout the night, and one of the things I love about Wednesday 13 is his ability to make fun of himself and admit his mistakes,  and it was interesting to hear a musician's perspective on illegal downloading, he says he doesn't care as long as the fans are listening.


It was a really intimate gig, this pic was taken by me standing at the back. I have never been to a gig in that particular venue before (it was on a boat) and I think it was perfect. All in all a pretty good day! Anybody celebrate world goth day yesterday too?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

How to go from black to blonde (or any hair colour you so desire)

First off, I am going to tell you that I have never been to a hairdressers in my life. Ever. The closest I have come to a professional 'do was having my hair styled as a bridesmaid for my friend's wedding, where she paid a mobile hairdresser to come and style our hair for the wedding. My hair has always been cut and styled by my amazing mum, and more recently dyed by myself and sometimes with the help of a friend. Ok technically, my mum is a qualified hairdresser, but she hasn't worked in a salon since before I was born.

So don't let people tell you that you can't get the colour you want from home dye jobs. They are liars. Even my mum told me that I could never dye my hair bright colours because my natural shade is just too dark. So I'm making this post as PROOF that you can get whatever colour you want, PROVIDED you look after your hair, and don't rush it. I will put the photos in time order so you can see all the abuse I have put my hair through, I think, in the past eight years or so. It's also a pretty funny example of my style evolution!

Jet black hair, age 14. Maybe 13. I can't remember. But before this when I was 12 I had bleached my hair using a cap method with about half a head of hair, and then used a bright pink dye on top, a semi permanent dye that was mixed with peroxide. After this dramatic hair change almost got me kicked out of school I had to dye it back to a natural colour, so I used a brown dye to cover it and after I had grown most of it out (the bleach and two peroxide dyes had left it very damaged) I went black. I think my hair was at it's best when it was black; healthy, shiny and easily manageable. I kept most of my hair black for about five years, with the odd experiment in coloured sections,  as seen below.

Apologies for some reason this photo didn't want to be cropped and so it's a little difficult to see my hair properly, when I went red I was 15. Basically what we did here was take a small section from the underneath of my hair, bleach it, and use a semi permanent red dye that you mix with peroxide. I don't know the proper name for it, but it's usually what you get in your basic box kit dye and lasts way longer that vegetable based dyes like Directions or Manic Panic. But red does still fade and it's a pain to upkeep so I let the red bits just be blonde for a while.

You can only just see the blonde underneath here, but it was fairly white because I bleached it after the red to get rid of the really brassy tones that were left. After this I cut my hair to a bob and only had a tiny amount of bleached hair poking out at the bottom, so I grew it out.

And when I was 17 I decided I was bored of black hair and stripped it all with a kit my mum bought from Sally's. It's salon supplies shop that you can only purchase from if you have a members card, which you need a beauty qualification certificate of some kind to obtain. If you know anyone who has a card from there or any other supplies shop then borrow it because they are THE best place to get hair dye from, they sell Crazy colours dyes very cheaply, and also buying bottles of peroxide and tubes of colour separately (the way they mix dyes in a salon) are better than box dyes, most of which I am allergic to because the peroxide is ridiculously strong for me. But PLEASE be careful, and at least get help or the opinion of someone qualified to help you. So two applications of the stripping kit lifted four years of black dye quite nicely and left me almost with my natural colour. My hair was briefly a bit dry and damaged, so I let it settle for a few months before I decided to bleach it again at age 18.

At the time I thought this blonde was much too brassy, and just 'put up with it' until I felt the condition allowed for further bleaching. I think this time around I bleached the lengths two or three times, the roots only once as they will always lift the quickest and leaver you with a whiter blonde than anywhere else on the head. And from here it gets interesting ;)

My first attempt at dying it blue, and as you can see it was not so good. It took me months of using Crazy Colours Capri Blue every week to get the colour built up to the shade I wanted. But after that it hardly needed dying at all and to this day the blue tones just won't budge.

At my very bluest, and I was pretty proud of all my hard work, it was 18 months from my decision to stop dying my hair black to get to this and it was totally worth the wait. As you can see my hair is a lot drier, and I do have to use deep conditioners every week.

I then decided to add a splash of green underneath, bleaching some new sections that I had previously left untouched. This stage didn't last long though, and about a year after I first went blue I stopped dying it again to try and fade the colours (I wanted to go purple but didn't want to use any more chemicals on my frankly abused hair). After a couple of frustrating months it started to fade to a turquoise/teal colour so I put some purple on it.

This was when I first went purple and it would fade back to a light indigo very quickly when washed. I realised that my hair was so blue based now that I needed to use pink and red based colours to get the purple I wanted. And ended up with this...

This is basically how I look now, although due to the nature of semi permanent vegetable dyes my hair never looks the same colour twice. I can't bleach it since I've been pregnant (everyones different but I have very sensitive skin) so I'm just working with what I have... what colour will be next I wonder...

** DISCLAIMER: I am not qualified so please do not take my word as law... be careful and take it steady... and ALWAYS do a patch test. ..

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Country life

This Sunday I ended up having a day off, and because I always work weekends I didn't quite know what to do with myself. So I went to visit my mum in the countryside where she lives on a farm. It's a really lovely place to spend time away from busy suburban life, although due to all the animals it's not really any quieter!

They have recently had six geese hatch, and I think six guinea fowl too. The guinea fowl are still very small and shy and are in a heated tank,  but the geese are growing fast and are hilarious to watch.

They follow my mum (hereby known as mother goose) and little sister around whenever they are let out and don't like to be left behind.  Their feet are almost adult sized and they are quite clumsy, when they run they raise their wings and their huge feet make a funny slapping sound on the floor. It's insanely cute.

The tiny guinea fowl babies

There are also swans living on the lake, mum thinks their eggs might have hatched too.

Mother goose and her babies

The lake is full of fish, the sheep have been lambing, there are bats everywhere, there is an owl nest above the garage and there are horses in the next field.  There are literally animals all around,  it's a wonderful feeling, and I'm glad that my three year old sister will get to grow up here. I never really had pets as a child, for most of my life we lived in a flat and then a house with a tiny garden, so I love spending time here and can't wait to bring my own children here to experience the magic.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Iron Fist Timmy Chew Flats: review

I am soo excited that I received my new Iron fist flats in the post today, so excited that I must share with everyone! The delivery time was really quick, so I am very happy with that aspect, as the seller (found on Amazon) was also selling them for a very reasonable price. They usually retail at anything from £32-£38 so I am very pleased to have found them for only £22. HOWEVER, these shoes are worth the higher price in my opinion.

In their pretty box, not as cool as the old packaging. But the teeth and eyeball design rocks!

I have previously owned THREE pairs of Iron Fist flats, all of the pvc variety. I loved them so much that I decided to go back and purchase them a fourth time. First I had the Wolfbeater flats about five years ago which I wore until they fell apart, and bought another pair exactly the same. Back then the lining was black velvet and much nicer.

My first Iron Fist love. Image sourced here

 They eyeball design inside the Timmy Chew shoes is cool, but when the inside of a shoe is more plastic-y it can get sweaty.

After I had worn out my second pair of Wolfbeaters I then purchased the Zombie Stomper flats, structured almost identically to the Timmy Chews. I also wore these until they gave up the ghost. You might think that they are lacking in quality for me to have worn out so many of these shoes in this amount of time, but I am someone who gets very attached to my footwear. When I find something I like,  I will literally wear it to death, like every day. Plus I don't drive, I walk practically everywhere,  so these shoes have served me faithfully.

My third pair. Image source

I especially love the fact that they are made from pvc. I have quite wide feet, and can vary from a UK 7 to an 8. I have to buy an 8 in these, and at first they are little bit tight, but because of the material they stretch and mold to your feet. Perfect!

Iron Fist can be expensive to buy, but I just love their designs and attention to detail, the graphic prints suit me down to the ground. People will always compliment you when wearing this brand because it's so different and unique. I know I will be purchasing yet ANOTHER pair when these ones have run their course.

*NOTE: I was not sponsored to write this post, I just love these shoes. And PS, I have since worn them to the supermarket and they were really tight. It appears I have big fat pregnancy feet :( lots of wearing in to do!

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Sleek eyeshadows and new makeup

Recently went on a shopping trip with my cousin, and this is what I bought :)

I recently read a pretty good review over at Maliberry Makeup on Soap and Glory's Supercat liner, and was convinced to buy it. Although it was on 3 for 2 at Boots so I bought two Sleek eyeshadow palletes and got the liner for free! It really is a great product and it goes on like a dream. It's also alot cheaper than I thought it would be at around £6.99, all around a great find!

I got the Bodyshop blusher because my cousin had some "points" (they have a complicated reward scheme that I don't really understand.  Main point is, lots of freebies. I want in.) that she needed to use up, and got lots of free stuff.  She was kind enough to get me this blusher and also give me her free bottle of Cherry Blossom perfume oil, she likes normal perfumes whereas I prefer natural and subtle scents. I have never used blusher in my life so was a little hesitant,  and went for a really pale shade just in case. Kind of wish I had listened to my cousin's opinion and bought the deeper pink now but at least it's a safe colour to practice with. It's surprising how much a dab of blusher can brighten your face.

Lastly, my Sleek I-Divine mineral eyeshadow palletes. I've had my eye on these for a while now, with each pallete holding twelve richly pigmented colours, they are a bargain at £7.99 each. They have a whole range of colours that I'm lusting after, but they ones I got are Ultra Mattes V1 (left) and Vintage Romance 141 (right). The palletes are sturdy and sleek (haha.) and there is a large mirror inside each of the lids, with a clear plastic sheet with each shade name on it. I think the shade names should be on the palletes themselves rather than on a separate sheet, which I will no doubt loose in time. They also come with your standard foam eyeshadow applicators. They come in a box which I show in the first picture, and on the back there are tips and colour combination suggestions,  which I really like.

So far I have only used two shades from the matte pallete but am in love already. Here is a picture of me wearing the neon pink shade, Pout.

I forgot to take a proper picture after finishing my makeup because it was our beer festival at work the whole weeked was crazy busy, plus it was the mayday bank holiday, so excuse all the added facepaint. This is me and my friend Lou after we got our faces painted, which is probably my favourite bit of the festival as we have a face painter every year and my boss pays for us all to have our faces done. I painted simple cat eyes over the solid pink eyeshadow applied up to my brow bones in a gentle cat eye also. I then applied false lashes and a pastel pink gem underneath each eye, the rest of the fancy stuff was added by the face painting lady.

Another photo of us posing behind the bar. I also forgot to take a photo of my hair that day, which is a shame because I was really proud of it. I saw a really cool tutorial for a 'fauxhawk' on YouTube and decided to try and copy it. You can't see it that well but I think I did ok, although I added the skeleton hair clips on each side of course ;) I will have to try it again sometime with better pictures!

So all in all a productive week and busy busy weekend! Did anybody else celebrate may day this weekend? What did you do to celebrate?

Friday, 2 May 2014

Goth maternity wear

So heres a link to the new post on my pregnancy blog, all about keeping up gothy appearances in pregnancy.  Enjoy!