Textile Jewellery

 

This piece is a lasso style necklace that I made a couple of years ago. It’s definitely a very unusual statement piece! I made it using wool, felt, crystal chips and ribbon. I think perhaps I was more adventurous then than I am now?

Hugs, Caz x

Bargain Bounty!

I popped into the British Heart Foundation shop yesterday & picked this little lot up for £11! Bargain!
The Water Babies was one of my favourite films when I was a child but I’ve never read the book. 
An illustrated version of The Twits by Roald Dahl? Yes please!
The RSPB book of birds is lovely and will come in very useful as I can now practise drawing birds realistically.
Cider With Rosie I read at school and remember really enjoying it so when I spotted this copy for £1 I couldn’t leave it sat on the shelf!
The McCalls Sewing book literally has everything you need to know in it! Plus some rather adorable illustrations which of course I’m going to have a go at drawing myself. 
Last but not least is the General Science book first printed in 1937 and reprinted in 1938. I’m fairly certain that a few of the scientific theories in here are now deemed incorrect but it has some beautiful illustrations in it so I thought it was worth it’s £3 price tag. It even has exam questions in the back!

The carrot illustration I’ve done from the General Science book. I’m sure when they printed it over 70 years ago this isn’t quite what they had in mind but at least I’m still learning something!

Hugs, Caz x

PS. If you’re on the hunt for Christmas decorations the British Heart Foundation shops are selling some quite adorable (new) ornaments this year!


Salvaged Roses Necklace

I made this necklace this evening. I named it Salvaged Roses because the main piece is actually a broken cabochon that I’ve had lying around for ages. It is so pretty I wanted to salvage it somehow & this evening I figured out what I was going to do with it! I have sewn & glued it onto five layers of felt so the backing is very sturdy. Then I’ve simply slipped it onto a silver ball chain. What do you think?


*Now available here*

Frugal Beauty

(source)
Do you, like me, have a large collection of beauty products? I spend approximately £80 every month on toiletries. According to Google in the UK most women spend between £50-100 each month. I have to confess that I almost have a heart attack when I’m doing my shopping in Boots & the cashier cheerfully says “That’ll be £83.72 then please.” I finally got a Boots Advantage card a few months back which has come in handy upon occasion. Need some Iburofen but you’re completely broke? Use the points on your Advantage card, yay! Also they send you out vouchers which are obviously useful. However I feel that I really need to bring that average monthly spend back down.

I’m a sucker for a deal as much as the next person (read: woman) so sometimes I end up buying more than I intended. Buy one Body Wash & get the second half price? Awesome! Except.. why am I buying Body Wash in the first place? What’s wrong with good old fashioned soap? It costs less, lasts longer & is naturally    antibactericidal to boot. Basically soap just isn’t fashionable! Body wash, bubble bath, shower gel, make-up remover, cleansers & toners are. The honest truth is that these overpriced & over packaged products just aren’t all necessary. 

I know that some women choose to spend their money on beauty products as their luxury. I’ve had my moments of coveting beautifully packaged and smelling products but I can’t afford them. For me money is tight and I’ve set myself on a path to living a more sustainable lifestyle so spending money on toiletries is something that I need to think about.

Going back to basics doesn’t have to mean completely missing out on luxury though.The variety of beautiful handmade soaps you can get these days is astounding. I’ll wait until my three (yep, three!) bottles of shower gels & creams run out and then I’ll replace them with soap. I’m already out of bubble bath so I’m now using sea salt and essential oils such as lavender or lemongrass. Yes these can be expensive but as you only need to add a couple of drops to running water they last for ages.

I have a few other tricks up my sleeve for my product declutter including using body oil as moisturiser (it lasts forever and leaves your skin silky and soft) and make-up remover and a flannel instead of disposable wipes. 

How about you? Are you a Luxury Beauty Junkie, a Green Bathing Queen or somewhere in between like me?

A Collection

I’m trying to get in to the habit of using my camera more. These shots are of the nature collection I have by the bed in my room. Shells, crystals and a conker… the one in Tom’s room has fir cones and feathers.

I have previously mentioned that I want to use more of my own photographs on my blog and I am thinking of making it a goal for the New Year. Have you started thinking of New Year goals yet? I’ve already come up with a few, I’ll be posting about them in December.

Using other peoples photographs on your blog is always a grey area. I think that most people are OK with it as long as you link back to them which is something I always try to do. However there are some out there who request that you ask permission first and others who do not want you to reproduce their work, both of these positions are fair enough! People often use photographs and don’t credit them at all which is  thoughtless. Since the subject of using photos has become a bit of a minefield & because I want to push myself artistically I have therefore reached the conclusion that using more and more of my own photographs is important to me and my integrity. 

How about you? Has blogging made you a better photographer?

Hugs, Caz x

My Oxford #2

A Guide To Dining In Oxford…


I have decided to make My Oxford a series of posts rather than a page which I have removed. So in part two we have a few of my favourite places to eat…

*Al Andalus, Tapas Bar, Little Clarendon Street, Jericho*


This Tapas bar is a real favourite of mine. My friends from work & I gohere quite a lot! The food is delicious, with a huge choice of meats, cheese,and fish. It’s unpretentious, has a really nice garden area at the back &occasionally has live Flamenco! It’s not the best place to go if you’revegetarian but they are very accomodating if you have food allergies.

*Pierre Victoire, Little Clarendon Street, Jericho*


This family run French restaurant is another real favourite of ours. Thefood here is always fantastic and the service is great. It gets very busy so itis advisable to book, however if you do chance it, they’ll give you a waitingtime if there are no free tables & are more than happy for you to get adrink elsewhere during that time.

*The Oxford Retreat, Hythe Bridge Street*


I’ve included the Retreat for three reasons. Firstly, they serve great foodand their dining area is lovely.
Secondly, if you’re hungry at 1.30am they stay open until 3am on Friday& Saturday nights and serve pizza after midnight!
Which leads to the third reason… we are there virtually every Friday andSaturday night after work! It’s perfect for us because we don’t finish tillgone midnight and actually having somewhere we can go, grab a pint, and sharepizza after work is fantastic.

*The Mission, St. Michaels Street and The High Street*


 If you’re hungry and want good foodon the go then this is my recommendation! They make the most amazing Burritos.My favourite is the Chicken Fajita Burrito, Tom’s is the Vegetarian Burrito.Awesome.

*Cafe Coco, Hythe Bridge Street/Park End and Cowley Road*


These guys serve a great Full English Breakfast. At the Cowley Roadrestaurant the pizza’s are great. For some reason at the City Centre restaurantthey aren’t so good, but the Chorizo & Mushroom salad is delicious. Theservice in both isn’t so great but if you’re after somewhere casual to getBrunch then they’re pretty good.

*Mario’s, Cowley Road*


We went here on our anniversary. It really feels like a proper Italianrestaurant, it’s a great place to people watch and the pizza’s are amazing.

Have you got a favourite eaterie in Oxford? If so please share!


Keep an eye out for more in the My Oxford series,


Hugs, Caz x


The Pink Post

Click the numbers below to link to the source.
1, 2, 3, 4

Final picture is Oscar my new owl! Tom bought him today for me as a surprise present!