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phone photography adventures and Easter laziness

Hey guys, long time no talk!

Lately I’ve been really missing blogging, art and just general hobbies I used to enjoy. That’s the annoying side of University life mixed with depression, it’s so easy to drop completely off the map when it comes to things that I really used to enjoy doing. Luckily I’m in the middle of a good 2-3 weeks off University and it’s been a mix of good and bad to my schedule. The first bad bit is that I’ve completely lost my sleeping pattern; maybe I didn’t have a good one in the first place but over the course of a week or two it’s definitely gone a bit tipsy. Although the bonus of being awake at 4am with your boyfriend watching Netflix and playing video games is you get to see how pretty the world is when it’s the dead of night. Especially in Manchester.

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I’ve been really enjoying taking photos lately. Now I’m definitely no photographer or skilled, especially with the fact all I have is my shoddy iPhone SE and editing apps/Photoshop – but it’s been something I’ve been doing a lot when I’m out of the house. Me and Will have been on three or four lovely walks during the Easter break which has given me a great chance to take some nice photos and it’s made me want to start doing photography again. Maybe fool around more with photo editing or even create some mixed media pieces if I can ever kick my butt back into art/drawing.

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Visiting Wythenshawe park provided me with a lot of lovely photos! We visited the Community Farm they have there so I got to see a lot of the adorable animals on the farm. Admittedly seeing the cows in their barn made me feel a little bit sad because it was hard to tell if they were happy or upset being there but a lot of the animals on the farm seemed very calm and were eating/just finished being fed.

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As well as picnics in parks and going for walks, I’ve been mostly lazing around playing video games. Persona 5 is my go-to game at the moment which I thoroughly recommend to anybody looking for a new PS4 game to play! It’s also available on PS3. It’s super unique and if you’re a fan of the Persona series, it’s definitely a step up from 4 and with a lot more gripping, darker storyline. The characters are super lovable and you’ll get instantly attached to them like I did. I’d also recommend it if you’re a fan of games like Pokemon or Final Fantasy because of the fighting and collecting monster themes but for anyone who enjoys games like Mass Effect or Dragon Age since they have a role-playing side to it where you can make personal choices to your game with some sides of it.

I hope everyone is having a lovely Easter holiday and I shall be back soon with another post!

Thanks for reading,

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2017 Wishes: January

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Hello it’s me! Long time, no blog!

Happy New Year to everyone, I have a feeling this year will be better than the last. Last year had it’s ups and downs, it felt more of a year of downs in general but I hope this year will be a lot more positive for everyone I love.

A lot of cynics will take the new year resolution tradition as a ‘pointless gimmick’ but I’ve always liked the idea of making goals and resolutions at the beginning of the year, admittedly I never stick to them but it’s nice to sort out your priorities and know what you want by the end of the year. Admittedly I’m terrible at sticking to one idea at a time and always change my mind every month let alone year. I’m very impulsive and get inspired easily which is both a weakness of mine and a strength. So I thought this year I’d start off by making ‘wishes’ or goals for the first month of January – not the whole year. I want to take one month at a time to try and get to where I want to be.

Photo 02-01-2017, 21 19 38.jpgSo where am I starting? Of course, I want to get back into my vegetarian lifestyle. I am massively inspired by the cause Veganuary, in which people go vegan for just a month but as I am living back at home for the first month, it’s a bit harder when my parents buy the food and I’m very against turning away food. It’s a lot easier on me and my family to request to be vegetarian for the first month of 2017, plus hopefully if I succeed at this, I can transition to a more vegan lifestyle later in the year! As well as a more healthy, meat-free diet, I would love to incorporate a nice exercise routine into my every day life. I’ve always been rubbish at having an exercise routine but swimming has always been appealing to me. If I can build up the guts to visit my local leisure centre or the one at my University, I think swimming laps in the pool a couple of times week for just an hour a day would be a great health benefit.

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For Christmas my parents got me this beautiful Paperchase Planner as seen on the left and a cute dainty little bee-themed (spot on, mum) notepad with a bee pen and it’s inspired me to keep a lot more organised and jot down as much things as possible to keep me up to date with my own life. I was the most unorganised person last year and obviously it hasn’t changed over night (I mean I did wake up at 1pm today), so I hope to start using my planner to start making baby steps to a more sorted life. This planner has a pages for my diary, budget planner, meal planner, shopping list and notes. My lovely little C3PO is attached to it as well to give it my own personal touch!

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Organised work ethics are something I aspire to have this month as well. I’ve got my first University exam coming up, as well as revising for a performance in the drama society I love being a part of and I’ll be going back to work and generally throwing myself back into a busy bee lifestyle, after a good two weeks of napping more than usual and eating my own body weight in chocolates and leftovers. If I can go an entire month without accidentally napping through rehearsals or having 100% attendance at my classes I’d be so proud of myself. I know I can do it, I just need a good kick up the arse.

And finally as you can see, I want to write more blog posts. Last year whenever I heard people say they’ve read my post or they like reading what I write or even accompanying my writing/blogging to me, it’d give me such a warm feeling inside. I really enjoy my writing and I’ve missed it so much in the past few months and I’m sad I got so overwhelmed that I’d push my blog away from me and avoid trying to write. I hope this month I get a good few posts done.

Oh and of course, I started Mass Effect 3 and I want to finish it, wee!

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Happy New Year my lovelies!

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Independent Artist/Etsy Wishlist

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If you know me, you’ll know I did art & design in college and still low-key vastly love art, illustration & all that jazz. I think it’s because I come from a family that are very creative and I’m extremely grateful for it! My amazingly talented dad loves doing woodwork in his spare time – he even built his own workshop at the end of our garden and I still think that’s one of the coolest things to watch him do when I was growing up. My sisters are also super talented and way more motivated than me, in their spare time despite one of them having two adorable kids and the other working a lot of the time – are working on their own Etsy/Craft store, in fact I believe they might be selling some of their pieces soon at an event in July! Their instagram that shows their work is @apocketfullofclouds and I definitely recommend you check it out!

I do envy my sister’s motivation and wish I could pick up the slack and make time to try and improve my art, because whenever I go on websites like Etsy I get so inspired because there’s so many amazing pieces that just make me want to spend all my money on it! Of course, I’m not rich and don’t have spare money lying around to get myself all these gorgeous pins and patches. So I decided to give these amazing artists a small shoutout and share with you all my current Etsy wishlist! These artists are amazing and I’d definitely check them out!

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1 ) Self Care Spell Patch
2 ) Wanderer Patch
3 ) Witchcraft Postcard Set

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1 ) Bitch Face Pin
2 ) Thunder Thighs Pin
3 ) The Truth is Out There Pin
4 ) Booty Brooch

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1 ) Smashing the Patriarchy is My Cup of Tea
2 ) Palmistry Hand Brooch
3 ) Spooky Banner Patch

Have you guys got any favourite Etsy stores or independent artists you think I should check out?

Thanks for reading,

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Missing Illustration

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If you didn’t happen to know what I studied in college, it was Art and Design. I’ve always had an on and off, complicated relationship with art. I love it, I love studying it and looking at it and creating it can be extremely therapeutic but some days doing art just frustrates me and can rough up my confidence with it. I struggle with making art I’m happy with and I always feel like if I had better tools (brushes, watercolours, pens etc) for it, I’d maybe be more motivated, however I do not have the money for that.

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I am choosing to study English/Creative Writing in University because I do long to improve my writing skills and study it a lot more. I’d love a job in the future based around/influenced by my degree, so that’s why I didn’t choose to go on to do an art degree, however I do miss making art a lot. I look a lot of pieces I did in college and it makes me miss sitting down and putting time into a project and liking the outcome. For example, a lighthouse painting piece I did on canvas in my first year of college always makes me long to do a canvas painting again, however I do not have the patience or concentration in my free time. It’s such a shame.

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As well as painting, illustration is one of the loves of my life. I get so envious and overwhelmed stalking the instagrams and portfolios of really talented illustrators. Some artists can make illustrations just so gorgeous and humble that I want to cover my walls in their prints. Therefore, I honestly wish I had their talent, however growing up I have definitely learnt illustration/art skill comes from constant practice and is not just gonna be right there when you touch pencil to paper. I recently followed a beautiful illustrator and lovely girl on Instagram who goes by the username of @AnniePancake! One of her posts talking about facts about herself appeared on my recommendations and honestly her whole style is something I wish I had. She’s been studying at University and says she first thought she couldn’t draw but her art style is just so eye-catching and cute! Her portfolio/store is at http://www.anniedornansmithdesign.co.uk and honestly I recommend everyone check her out because her illustrations are gorgeous!  The typography/font she paints on her designs are so pretty too!

So inspired by talent like Annie and a lot of other illustrators I follow on Instagram. I hope in the future to do a lot more illustrations, maybe even some to have on my blog posts to give it a lot more individuality and unique design. Is there any illustrators you love on Instagram that you think I should check out? Tell me!

Thanks for reading,

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Etsy and Society6 Haul: Capybara Mania!

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Animals make me super happy. Like incredibly; nothing I enjoy more than when I’m in my own little world on a bus ride or before going to sleep than scrolling through Instagram and looking at cute animal photos and videos. I’ll be honest and admit probably half of the accounts I follow on Instagram are because they post cute animal photos or are even purely dedicated to someones pet. Something about an Instagram ‘run’ by a corgi or a cat just amuses me and makes me smile. I love when people know their pet’s personalities and acknowledge their sentience. But that’s another story for me to gloss over and almost fangirl over another time. If you know me in person, you’ll know enough of my pushing my phone in your face when a cute dog video comes up on Facebook.

So, speaking of animals, one of my favourite animals strangely enough is Capybaras. They are essentially large rodents but I think they look so fuzzy and adorable. Their faces look so content but sly it’s very entertaining. You can find some cute videos on youtube of them having a paddle and swim around or even just relaxing in the sun. A few weeks back I saw a deal on a website named Society6 in which it was free shipping under a certain price, I can’t quite recall. Society6 is basically quite like RedBubble perhaps, in the way artists/illustrators/designers can upload their designs to be printed and sold and they get money from it. Admittedly I have heard sometimes the percentage split between the printers and the actual creators could be unfair, but I have not looked into it that far. The lovely, talented artist I purchased my print from was ‘Choc Ye’ and I have to admit, I have fallen in love with their art style and I just had to purchase my print off them because not only did they do a print of an adorable animal but their style is so humble and eye-catching. I love soft water-colours and not too bright palettes cause they look so lovely.

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So this lovely print – ‘Capybara and his succulent garden’, is the print I ordered. It’s just so pleasant to look at, it feels so precious that I’m almost scared of just blue-tacking it to my wall cause I don’t want to ruin it. If I move out for University, this print is definitely coming with me cause it’s the kind of cute, heart-warming animal art that just makes you smile. This print came extremely quick so I am impressed with Society6’s delivery and it came very carefully packed to protect it from being damaged.

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So next up on my, ‘must-buy-every-cute-capybara-item’ haul; Last week when I had a bit of spare dosh I had a gaze over Etsy and ended up finding this absolutely darling wooden handmade necklace. Etsy is one of my favourite places to online window shop and probably 7 times out of 10 I end up making small, ‘treat yourself’ purchases. The creator for this necklace was Ella Goodwin who owns her Etsy shop ‘ Miss Ella ‘ where she sells lots of her illustrations on jewellery/prints and the like. She loves to specialize in cat art, as you can see because my gorgeous necklace has a little grey cat snuggling up to the capybara. Two of my favourite animals in one necklace!

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I did not expect the necklace to arrive so quickly and it was so well packaged and personalized. Ella included a very adorable card and business card that I just had to show you because they were so sweet! I definitely recommend having a scan of Ella’s Etsy store for any possible gifts for yourself or cat lovers.

 

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Isn’t it lovely? The material of the necklace is great too and very lightweight. I prefer lightweight necklaces, especially if they have quite a big ‘pendant’ piece. Heavy ones that hit your chest as you walk can be quite a turn off towards a purchase for me.

So yeah I recommend you checking out these talented artists!

Thanks for reading,

Helena x

 

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Halloween Week Goals

I feel like I should have hashtagged ‘Goals’.

I probably have mentioned before how much I love the Autumn/Winter season, if not there’s my statement of adoration towards this time of year. I love getting excited for Halloween and Christmas, although every October I get so hyped up for Halloween by all the store-based and online hysterics leading up to Halloween, whether it’s BuzzFeed going on about loads of cute Halloween recipes/costumes or online illustrations to do with Halloween – I get so excited and when the week comes round it’s kind of a let down. Unfortunately in the past I’ve rarely gone out on Halloween, and as I’ve become to old for trick or treating – I end up just spending it as another day. I really miss when I was young and my adjacent family (e.g cousins, aunties) would have Halloween do’s where we’d all get together and just sit around but there’d be Halloween themed food and music. So I decided spontaneously about half an hour ago, I’d try to actually get some stuff done next week that is going to end with Halloween.

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Obviously carving a pumpkin lantern is on the top of my list. Although it’s a lot of hassle and work (and I have possibly the weakest arms out of everyone I know including my baby nieces), I really want to do one! I like the ideas behind Jack O Lanterns on how they are used to protect houses from the undead or spiritual creatures. Online you can find a lot of interesting tutorials and stencils for funky pumpkin lanterns, one of my favourites I found whilst browsing was from a Swedish blogger called Ruth! She does a tutorial with instructions in both Swedish and English on how to make a pumpkin lantern covered in stars!

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Next up on my ‘Halloween Goals’, is trying to do some themed baking. I used to really enjoy baking when I was younger but recently I’ve become more rubbish at it; a good example is a week or two ago when I tried to make blue vegan vanilla cupcakes which ended up tasting really undercooked and the icing ended up looking like radioactive blue butter…
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But practice makes perfect! So I want to try again next week on something that’s hopefully less likely to turn into sickly goop. ‘Oh She Glows’ is one of my favourite blogs to gaze over when I want to find recipes and on her blog she has a recipe for vegan homemade Rolo knockoffs! I remember Rolo’s being absolutely delicious so I like the idea of trying them. They only require 5 ingredients too!

Finally arts and crafts are always fun no matter what age you are. The Tesco’s website has the awesome idea of egg box Bats. They help reuse the old egg box and only really require googly eyes and paint! Pinterest had some other great examples including making swirling hanging ghosts! You can also make characters like bats or ghosts out of old toilet paper tubes! All these little crafty pieces would look so cool as decorations around the house!

So my plan for next week is..

Tuesday – Make Halloween decorations
Thursday – Make Halloween treats
Friday – Carve a glorious pumpkin

And you can hold me to that! I will post about my experiences with being more crafty and Halloween next week. Are you guys doing anything interesting for Halloween? I’d love to hear!

Thanks for reading,
Lenah x x

P.S I found this adorable video whilst searching for Halloween recipes and ideas: