Once in a while a maker may make something and then think! "F@#K! I made that!! I really made THAT". It is then a race to grab the gossamer threads of inspiration and then run with it.

This very thing happened to me today. I don't mean to sound cocky (pardon me if I do) but I seriously love my Hardware necklace. 

✝The Story:
Shiny hard objects that jostle against each other in an artery of brutal beauty. A frenzy of things that don't normally sit beside each other. Forget guts for garters...wear it as a necklace instead!

✝The Composition:
I worked in a frenzy to combine Swarovski crystal pearls, reclaimed vintage crystal beads taken from a broken chandelier, steel hex nuts from the hardware shop and broken silver plated and gunmetal chains with their bolt rings still attached. The necklace is finished with a gunmetal heart clasp and a chunky extension chain with a tiny rhodium plated padlock dangle.

The necklace measures about 20" long with an additional 2.5" extension chain to allow for adjusting.

★ Only two of these will ever be made and one is mine ★

\\Fushigi Shop\\
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Yummy Browns

I've got some yummy coloured things to show you! Inedible things in colours that may get your tummy rumbling:

I have never been big on brown but it is sneaking up on me these days. 

I quite like this eyeshadow-in-handy-stick-form from (wait for for it) Makemania Data Gradation Tip Shadow in Bronze Brown. What a crazy name! I have no idea where the DATA bit comes from. The pen format is a lovely idea but in truth, I need to use a brush to even it out as it goes on quite thick if you are not careful and is very pigmented.

The pay-off is a delicious looking bronzey brown with exceptionally fine shimmer. 

In case you are wondering, Makemania is made by B&C Labs Japan. You can buy this on Adam Beauty.

Urban Decay's Bourbon 24/7 Pencil is a staple  favourite of mine for doing a smokey browny eye. I recently discovered that it is not so good for cheering up a grumpy husband with outlandish doodling on my tummy style behaviour. 

This is because it is a bitch to get off! I ended up having to scrub my tummy red to remove it. Well, at least he found THAT funny!

Finally in my yummy browns round up is this lovely pair of polishes from Essence. 

\\Nude it is a creamy beige with a lovely consistency.

\\Date with the Night is a wonderful burnt brown with super fine gold and silver shimmer running through it.

I bought these on my last trip to South Africa and I am thrilled with them. They apply well, dry fast and last and last. Great for cheap pharmacy finds!

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The Surrealness of Duckweed

Duckweed is odd stuff. It comes in off the feet of ducks or other water loving birds and colonises still or slow moving water to form vast green carpets of vivid green more-or-less overnight.

To me it looks like a river of pea soup!

These photos were taken on one of our favourite walks. Find out more about it \\HERE\\

\\Socks from Tabio, shoes from Dr Martens, jeans from GAP, pink gingham shirt from Uniqlo, navy cardigan from GAP\\
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Bite Brick Lane

There is culinarily more to Brick Lane than south-east Asian grub. I enjoy treating my tummy to some adventures from the various market stalls in and around the Sunday UpMarket and though I don't often get to do this these days, here are some of my favourite recent bites:

Jamaican salt fish fritters. 

I am mad about these spicy savouries. These were jazzed up a bit with sweetcorn but I still enjoyed them.

Venezuelan Arepas:

Arepas are cornflour savoury cakes that a usually stuffed with a variety of seriously yum fillings. We opted for some slow-cooked pulled pork. Amazingly yum street food! 

Trying new food from different cultures is a hobby of ours and the various food markets in London have great selections for tummy adventures.
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As Summer Dies.......

.....I get a little bit excited. Gone is the frustrated anticipation of having a "good summer", the nights crawl in quicker and with it sneaks in an exquisite and impalpable excitement of hesitant mystery.  I dislike cold weather and  the dimness of autumn in London makes me anxious, yet it is when my imagination and creativity blooms and grows like gnarly vines.

Autumn is the time when I remember my fear of the dark.

My sister Yona and I ventured a little way out of London to the Mayfields Lavender Fields. It was the final week of their visitor season and as we waded through dying shrubs we felt a provocative chill and a dampness in the air that is unmistakable of the change in season.

These photos are a joint effort and as we share many slightly dark ideas, it came together nicely I think. 

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I usually like minty lip things. Not, however, when the mint smells a bit stale like in the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain.

Pushing my niggle to one side, I do like this. It applies well and stays in place even better!

The shade I have is Lovesick, a vibrant blue toned pink with a hint of magenta and shimmer shade.

Sorry about the face full of attitude! The sun was in my eyes!

Back to the balm. I like them! I like the hydrating feel they leave on the lips. I like the chunky crayon packaging and I think they are great value for money at £5.99 a pop in Boots.

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That Scratchy Sound

I like taking notes with pencils because I like its impermanence, its smudgability and that associated scratchy sound! It sounds industrious, satisfying and determined all at the same time.

In my little collection I have the Palomino Blackwing. Supposedly the worlds most famous pencil giving an experience often referred to as black velvet or writing with butter.

The magic of pencils is the ability to erase it's traces. Many rubbers fail miserably at the task and after a lifetime of searching I have settled with the Tombow Mono eraser. Supreme in the eradication of pencil with a bouncy satisfaction!

I store my pencils in an old nori (roasted seaweed) tin. 

Pencils also remind me of school. When they did things like handwriting practice before we were allowed to pick up our fountain pens. Goodness...I am giving away my age!

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Lolling by Lake Garda

Spending a Saturday lolling in the breezy heat and freshness of Lake Garda is a little taste of pure wonderment. 

Dressed is the loosest clothing I could find to maximise the coolness of any a sudden breeze, we ambled about the shores taking in azure views of the most pleasing sort!

This part of Italy was a place of many memories for our dear friends and to walk in the footsteps of their courting days was just such a delightful feeling. What a lovely thing to share.

This concept of memory is a recurring theme on my blog. I suppose I am rather sentimental by nature in my defence, I think this is just my way of connecting with my surroundings. So to share in the memories from a different place in time is quite a treasured feeling.

Aperol Spritz! Aperol is an aperitif made of herbs and bitter oranges. It is not entirely different from Campari. Aperol spritz sees the union of prosecco and aperol in a refreshing unique tasting cocktail. Good stuff to watch the sun dangle in the sky with. 

Lake Garda and it's hilly flanks make a beguiling place with many lovely places to loiter in memorable surroundings. 

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The Frill of Contradiction

New to the Fushigi Shop is a collection of Liberty Print necklaces.

Inspired by fettered flowers. The curious balance between soft fabric and tough metal and of prints besides metallic gleam. An entanglement of contradiction to achieve something unique and quite wonderful.

✝The Composition:
Here I have sought out some chunky weighty gold plated chain and braided through it with strips of Liberty print fabric. Each strip of fabric has been carefully cut and sewn by me to make a long cord for braiding.

I used the famous "Wiltshire" print in the necklace above which features berries in shades of red, fuchsia, navy with a dash of peach set against a white background. The result is an intricate frill necklace that is set to sit against the collar bone to make a stunning frame. The necklace includes an extension chain with a dainty bow dangle to complete the composition.....you could even wear it as a bracelet!

In the necklace above, I used "Fairford" print fabric which features flowers in blue and grey shades. 

✝ Sizing:
The necklace measures about 18" in length but does include a 2" extension.

✝ Note:
Liberty Tana Lawn was launched in 1920 and originally used cotton sourced from the shores of Lake Tana in Sudan. Liberty cotton is exceptionally fine, light and strong with a smooth sheen that makes it's feel comparable to silk. There is no doubt why this is most famous fine cotton in the world.

Both these necklaces are available in extremely limited amounts from the FUSHIGI SHOP.
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Short + Curlies

I have rather short, needle straight eyelashes that wont budge for nothing! Traditional lash curlers won't even put a dent in them....not even the famed and much acclaimed Shu Uemura ones.

While in Japan, my friend's girlfriend recommended heated lash curlers. Acknowledging her own perfectly coiffed lashes, I bought a couple on special offer to try myself.

The very idea of using a heated appliance anywhere near your eyes send shivers up many a spine, and the 1st few attempts at using these were no less intimidating. However, with some practice, I have got there and can now achieve a decent upward wave with the help of a good mascara and these heated curlers.

There are various styles of heated lash curlers available in Japan, many claim to help in achieving a different style of look. I know that these do not work for everyone, but they certainly help me and I like them for the following reasons:

  1. This achieves a gentle natural looking upwards wave without the angular kink that I get from battling with a traditional curler.
  2. Works well to rid applied mascara of clumps for a sleek look.
  3. Ability to style lashes - though I am not very good at this! But my friend seems to be able to achieve a very elegant looking winged look.

I don't use these curlers regularly as I am a little but frightened of damaging my lashes. I know that a good application of mascara does it's bit to help these along in terms of heat protection and effect so it is important to use one.

I suppose they pose the same risks as my hair straighteners. Still, I can't help loving these!

Note: Both curlers are battery operated and are made by Panasonic. National is the old school name of a branch of Panasonic that specialised in personal and home appliances. 

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The Process of Memory

The process of remembering things is such a perplexing/convoluted/quirky thing! I was convinced that I had forgotten how to knit! I was so certain of this that I was about to book myself in for a knitting class.

Then my path collided with the Loop yarn shop in Angel. 

I bought some bamboo needles and some yarn with the help of a very nice sales assistant and scarpered home to give it a go.

Armed with my thick needles and my chunky yarn, I was alarmed to find memories flooding back.....

It's a strange thing to forget that you remember something.

Perhaps I had deposited the memories in my mental attic? My mother taught me to knit when I was about 7. She died a few years later and with her departure, my knitting needles were left forgotten.

I am extremely out of practice but I am glad that I remember the basics. There is something indescribably comforting in the recovery of my memories, the soft and squishy yarn and the warmth of the bamboo needles.

I hope to make something cosy for the colder seasons and I may even show you how it turns out!

I have a posted a little blog sale today. So you can get your hands on some lovely makeup HERE

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X-pro This London

I love cross processed images be it on film or via a snazzy app! 

I think all my summer memories are naturally cross processed in brain...It's like being in a incessant mental heat-wave brain-wave.

We stopped by the Tate Modern to gawp at the Damien Hirst exhibit. Have you seen it yet?
Never been moved by his work before but I really like his Lullaby series and I really enjoyed this showcase of the development of his career. Highly recommended family day out. Yes take your kids too!

\\Pleated skirt from ASOS Black\\ Leather pep toe pumps from Oasis\\ Orange cardi from COS, Tan leather bag from See by Chloe\\ Pink silk scarf from Eldica Records Dalston\\ Vintage sunglasses\\
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Sexy Black

I was completely seduced with the lacy presentation of the Helena Rubinstein Lash Queen Sexy Blacks  mascara. Quite an appropriate name I think.

If you think the exterior makes you think of your bestest black knickers, then you probably won't be too astounded to know that the mascara itself is much like a push-up bra for my lashes. My rather short rather straight lashes have met their match here as the mascara lengthens and volumises to near perfection with nearly no clumps.

The brush is of the slim and curvy type and the formula is relatively wet which I like as it achieves a long lasting glossy look.

I cannot fault the performance of this mascara and it is a whisper away from being my HG.
I bought a few of these in Berlin last year and I am glad that I did as these are not easily found. I remember them costing me about  €32 for a set that included the mascara, eye makeup remover and an eye cream.

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150 Arches in Vicenza

In the evening of last Saturday, we felt the sun begin to dwindle in an ancient arcade by the church of Monte Berico in Vicenza. 

The Basilica di Monte Berico is a pilgrimage church owing to the legend that the Blessed Virgin appeared on the hill twice during a time of great tribulation in Vicenza. 

I have heard that many thousands of people make the pilgrimage to Monte Berico each year, ascending the archway in a symbolic gesture. My friend told me that many years ago, the pilgrims would climb their way to the church upon their knees heavy with prayers and devout veneration.

\\ Dress was bought in a second hand shop \\ kimono inspired style jacket from ASOS \\ Leather gold gladiator sandals from Office \\
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Smoother Smoocher

I must have gone through an arsenal of lip balms in my time. However, very few have been re-purchased over the years. Here are my favourites:

\\ Lanolips Lemonaid Lip Aid is a firm and constant favourite and the one I run to when things get bad. This is the best one to keep with you on long flights and during extreme climate conditions. It forgives everything like a priest at confession!

\\ Crabtree & Evelyn's nicely packaged Citron Créme & Honey Lip Butter is an excellent night time treat. I wouldn't use it blindly in the day as it is white and takes some smoothing for it to sink into the lips. However, the reward for my hard work is to wake with smooth lips!

\\ The Japanese company Mentholatum have been around for yonks and their mentholated lip balms are a firm and constant favourite of my Mother-in-law and husband. I started using their Moiscube Lip because I liked the packaging but was soon bowled over by the performance of the product enough for this to be my everyday favourite. Minty fresh defender of smooth lips...I salute you!

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A Secret Birthday Adventure

Hiro and our good friends "ZZ" surprised me with a heart-warming, sun-filled, glorious adventure for my birthday! 

I am going to tease you and not divulge where I wound up for now... 

Birthdays are usually tinged with great sadness for me but this one was the best one EVER!! Thank you EVERYONE for your wonderful birthday messages.
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