16 // Workshop at The Turpentine

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonI’ve never really taken an interest in jewellery. I used to really love making it when I was a kid, like funny bracelets for my mum but it never really got any further than that. The most my adult self wears is a necklace which I keep trinket memories on. It started out with a little silver heart with pink sapphires in that my dad bought me when I turned 18, and my mum closely followed by getting me a little red glass heart from Finland. Both meant a lot so I put both on the same chain, and I’ve worn it since then only adding the odd thing when it seems right. So far I have a locket I bought myself (also a heart) to remind myself to have confidence in myself, I have a little blue rabbit which I’ve had since I was a child to remind me of the limitless imagination you have at that age and to never forget it, and an origami crane – after having folded a zillion of them – that charm reminds me that perseverance and patience pay off.

Those of you who used to look at Canvas Shoes Are Silly In The Rain or who know me in person will know that my little dog Biff died in April, two days after my birthday. I was heart broken afterward and really wanted to find something to add to the necklace that reminded me off him. The closest thing that I could find were things that looked like foxes and nothing ever felt right so I kind of just forgot about it until recently.

I was very kindly invited by StreetHub to take part in a Silver Necklace making workshop at The Turpentine in Brixton, a creative hub launched by three lovely talented ladies. The space has been open since may and it brings art and design into people’s lives, whether that is by purchasing something unique and handmade or helping them get a little more creative through learning new skills.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect, having never looked into it before but I accepted and off I went on Wednesday after work down to where one of my favourite music venues lives. To spend a couple of hours making a pendant – and of course, my decided subject was little old Biff – I didn’t mind that it could potentially look like a blob, it would still be a Biffy blob.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonI have to say the evening was brilliant and I really enjoyed myself. The Turpentine has such a great space full of cool, creative things that you just want to buy everything and be poor. I must admit I came away with a giant sausage dog teacup and saucer by Dash&Found – I really want one of the jugs from the same people too which you can see above. I think I have a problem and need an actual dog in my life.

Anyway, we started the evening by sketching our designs out. I couldn’t get the shape to look right forward facing so I decided to attempt a profile which looked vaguely achievable. While Jude the teacher explained how they’d come to set up shop in May after three years of touring craft fairs and then deciding to bite the bullet and set up their own creative place where they host workshops and act as a hub for emerging crafty peoples awesome work. One of the other workshops that sounds fun is their drink and draw which I might have to convince some friends to go along to.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonAfter we’d decided on what we were going to do, Jude showed us the next step – how to set up and use the piercing saw, something she’d spent a whole term on while she was at uni at Central Saint Martins, and here we were learning it in two mins. And then it was tool time! After the oddly difficult task of getting the blade into the saw the correct way up, it was surprisingly easy to cut the metal – following the shape of the design which was now stuck to the piece of silver.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonI spoke to the lovely girls who were also attending. Em, above, runs a blog called Catch52 – where she’s tried to do something new every week for 52 weeks straight and to post about it everything she’s been up to, which is such a brilliant idea. Shelley, below, has been writing a crafty blog called Shelley Makes since the beginning of the year where she creates some really lovely stuff, and is always attempting new processes.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonWe were shown how to use the drill to get through the metal so we could either cut into the metal some more or create a hole for the jump rings to go through to attach the pendant to the necklace. I used the drill to make Biff’s eye, and the pop a hole where his ear should be which would then have the jump ring run through it, and this is pretty much what he looks like.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonWe sanded down our pieces, smoothing the edges and preparing them to either look brushed or so they could be put through the polishing machine. I decided to use the uber scratchy sandpaper to give the lil doggy face a hairy look, which made more sense to me than keeping him smooth.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonWe were then shown how to put the jump rings in and how to attach this to the chain and to attach this to the chain. I opted not to have a chain as he was just going to go join my other keepsakes.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonThe other two lovely girls there were Saima (in the red jumper below) who writes LDNShopaholic, a fashion and lifestyle blog based in London, and Shoshana, above, an illustrator (you can find her work here)and youtuber who runs a channel called Shosh and Mer with her wife Meredith.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonIf you ever find yourself in Brixton do pop along, it’s super close to the market so it’s easy to visit or even make a trip out of if you want to treat yourself to some delicious food. If you find yourself interested in the workshops I’d really recommend it, it was interesting, fun, and I got to come out with something super special while meeting some awesome new people with similar interests. Everyone came up with such nice pieces in the end too, two geometric shapes – quite hard to do as it’s difficult to cut in straight lines, an arrow, a bow tie, a bird in a flame and little Biff. I will certainly be going back when I’m down in Brixton.

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in Brixton

Making Jewellery at The Turpentine in BrixtonMany thanks to StreetHub and The Turpentine for asking me along.

15 // Favourite Pins This Week

Dogs dogs dogs. I love dogs. I’m really not a cat person, I do like them but I wouldn’t want a feline friend – I’m all about the happy little waggy tailed doggies. Sometimes when I’m feeling too busy, a bit down or just need a little pick me up I’ll use their happy little faces to boost my mood. So I figured I’d share the love. Happy Sunday everyone! This is all.

327a980c35c46b604fe0ca9e68aa6e07 4932982252_c3e98f0a32_bDmitry-Maximov-Illustrations-13dog55_1000 tumblr_m9ky7efFvI1qkdpmeo1_1280 tumblr_mubbt641YN1qjx6w1o1_1280 920123_513457175382305_519573411_o flat,800x800,070,f.u1I’m interested in finding out what makes people happy – if you’re on the search for a little pick me up or something to boost your mood, what do you find?

14 // Long Time No Post

March-15Me

Wow. Things have been busy I must say. Summer has been and gone and slowly been replaced by the cold air and darker nights that Autumn provides. Why do people call it Fall? Autumn is so much nicer. Times have been a changing completely – not only in the weather.

Over the past few months, Mikee and I have been on the road to buying a flat only to have the seller pull out last minute disappointing our dreams of having a balcony garden with brunches outside on the weekend… It would have been small but it would have been ours. So our search continues on again with the perspective that if something doesn’t become ours then it’s just what’s meant to happen.

I’ve also recently started a new job at Ogilvy & Mather. I honestly wasn’t looking to change my role as I really enjoyed my job at Dhub. I had creative freedom and the work and environment gave me confidence I didn’t feel in my previous role, while my colleagues enriched my experience and my life. I can honestly say the founder James is such a kind, inspiring and motivating guy it was an honour to work with him and the rest of the team. However I was contacted out of the blue asking if I’d like to interview for a role at Ogilvy which seemed like an opportunity not to pass up. After speaking with the global executive creative director for the Unilever account I was offered a role almost on the spot to be involved with working in their team as a designer who will also be developing art direction for various client needs. It’s a massive unexpected change but I’ve welcomed it with open arms and am enjoying it so far. Hooray! I’m still going to be working on freelance projects. I’m currently working on something for Yellow Bird Project while also working on a website design for the company Mikee works for which is great.

A friend recently kindly took some of my films to be processed that I had lying around and these images were from the spring from my Birthday when I went exploring the beach at home with Mikee and my awesome friend Emma and the light was really awesome. So much has changed since this day it’s bananas, both good and bad… I’m excited to see what’s going to come, hopefully everything is going to work out for the better from here. Everything happens for a reason right?

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12 // Cherry Frozen Yoghurt

CherryFroyo1Has everyone been enjoying the lovely hot weather we’ve been having? I most certainly have at the weekends when I’m allowed out to have adventures in it. During the week I tend to be layered up and dressed for the winter as I seem to be spending my time in a place which has decided to turn into the arctic circle of London.

On  a little browse through Pinterest I discovered a recipe for how to make your own frozen yoghurt and I decided to have a try with some beautiful cherries I bought at a little health food shop near where I work in Marylebone. The results were very delicious. I used the whole bag but I think I could have used more if I wanted more fruity flavours, but I liked that it was still quite strong in yoghurt flavour. The recipe is below if you would like to have a try… If you’re not into cherries, just replace them with something else.

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INGREDIENTS

A kilo of cherries (pitted)
3 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lemon juice (fresh)
750 grams plain yogurt

METHOD

If you buy fresh cherries, remove the stems and pit them. Blend them together with the yoghurt, honey and an lemon juice. Pop in a freezer safe container and place in the freezer. If you want instant frozen yoghurt, just blend half of the yoghurt with frozen fruit and magic – delicious healthy fro-yo.

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CherryFroyo5What flavour should I attempt next?

 

11 // Jack Garratt

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This my dears, is a wonderful musician called Jack Garratt. Mikee and I came across him when we went to see We the Wild open for Dan Croll at Scala. He was on as we got in and he basically stole the room and outshone the main act with his one man show. Proof that you can do more than one thing and you can do it damn well.

Just listen to that magic. Anywho, he just released his first EP called Remnants, and we went along to his show at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington (where the photos are from) which was rather good even though he had a little technical hiccup somewhere in the middle – he redeemed himself very well. I can see some fairly awesome things happening for him… He’s been opening for the Temper Trap this week and I’m pretty sure we could see him playing with James Blake in a short while… Have a listen to the tracks and hopefully you like!

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10 // The Eye Of The Storm

Chris Buggins EastbourneMy big brother is an awesome photographer. He is who inspired me to take photography at college and started my crazy interest in it. His name is Chris, and he’s always been interested in shooting Seascapes. He wakes up at 4am to stumble down the beach in any kind of weather and sits there in the quiet with his camera shooting away until he has a perfect shot or until he has to leave. I’ve been with him a couple of times and it was always fun. Watching the sun rise, while no one else is awake on the beach looking out at the sea. I have yet to take any images of water as good as he has though.

While we’ve had this nutty weather over the past few days, thunder storms galore all over the UK which resulted in a very tired me and Mikee at work on Friday. My brother used this as an opportunity to head down to the beach like he would to go shoot the sunrise… And take some photos of the storm over the sea like it was nothing out of the ordinary. He has caught some incredible shots and posted a few on his Facebook page.

This was what he wrote to accompany it:

After a little perseverance and a missed opportunity earlier in the day I finally managed to capture some of this awesome weather we have been experiencing. Following on from the earlier storm, I was rather rudely awoken around 2am from yet anther dream about lego! The lightning was filling up the bedroom, and in a half asleep mad dash I headed for the beach in what can only be described as a serious fashion offence. Little swimming shorts a bright shirt and a polkadot umbrella and mismatching trainers. But I didn’t care, I was on a mission.

When I arrived at the beach I was presented with a light show of epic proportions. The Channel was lighting up like an over decorated christmas tree. I setup my camera and used the following settings (for any camera nerds) ISO was set to 1000 as it was the dead of night, aperture was set to F11 and after a few test shots opted an exposure time of around 1 minutes 20 seconds. And there I stayed, just snapping away, watching the show.

Despite having 3 near misses with lightning in the past, sitting on an exposed beach with a metal tripod whilst several billion volts danced above my head, I felt rather at peace. That is until a random dog jumped over a breakwater and landed a few feet away from me giving me cause to let out a few surprised expletives. I spent around 30 minutes at the beach before a sideways hail storm suddenly hit the coast and I was forced to evacuate back to the safety of my bed. Anyways, the final 4 pictures I have attached. The composition was pure guess work and some cropping was needed in post.

Chris Buggins Eastbourne Chris Buggins Eastbourne Chris Buggins EastbourneHe’s offered to send out the high res file to anyone who would like a print of any of the images, so if you love them and fancy one on your wall send a message to his Facebook page, where you can also check out some of his other work.

All images above are copyright of Chris Buggins

9 // FAVOURITE PINS THIS WEEK

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This week I’ve decided to focus on Finnish design company Marimekko. I love the bold patterns, colours and illustrative styles and think their art direction is pretty darn great. It has to be said. I’m not the worlds most fascinating person when it comes to fashion as I don’t really have an active interest in it and I’d rather buy gig tickets than new clothes, but I do like to keep my eye on the designs that come from here even if I can’t afford the majority of the clothes.

As a child my mum always used to tell me the Finns were ahead of the game in the fashion industry. Now that was a big patriotic lie from my mum as when you go there in the summer you will observe everyone wearing socks with sandals. She even got me to work on a project looking at traditional Finnish dress for my textiles design and technology  class in secondary school, which looking back is a pretty cool thing she did but as a teenager my thoughts were ‘what on earth am I looking at?!’. Anyway, with Finland being recognised as a pretty cool design capital in general (although a lot of the designers I like tend to end up basing themselves elsewhere), it’s unsurprising that there are some pretty awesome textiles designers. So even if Finland aren’t at the forefront of fashion design like my mum tried to convince me they were; there are still some clear winners for design.

Marimekko for me is deffo one of those winners. To me it shows nordic simplicity and elegance but with it’s quirky colourful and fun edge. The applications are versatile and they can suit everyone which I think is what makes them successful. Their Unikko poppy print (above) had it’s 50 year birthday this year and it’s such an iconic print that’s been used on anything from dresses to phone cases to aeroplanes and tea pots. Backing up that idea of versatility. As a designer now I’d love to have the opportunity to work with them on anything!

I was very lucky at christmas last year when I was given a Drip Raincoat as a gift from my mum (last picture below). It was apparently very me and it’s been brilliant. Through rain and snow, it’s kept me dry and tends to keep  me pretty warm when it’s cold out as that baby isn’t going to let cold or water in or any heat out! Practicality looking its best!

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I hope everyone has been having a lovely weekend!

8 // Oh Ice Cream and Pizza Land

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comAt the start of last month my lovely friend Christina came to visit us from Canada, and as we haven’t been on an adventure in a while we decided to go on a short weekend trip to Italy. A fairly spur of the moment idea, it seems it’s cheaper to go and stay somewhere in Europe than it actually is to travel and stay somewhere in the UK. We spent three days there, it was my first time in Italy and it was beautiful. We had a much needed trip, which involved lots of ice cream and lots of pizza. I was my kind of heaven.We flew into Milan Bergamo over the alps which I had never seen before (awesome!) and took a bus into Milan Central, then got a train down to Como and found our apartment which Christina found on Air b’n’b. As a first experience of it, I think it’s an awesome idea and will certainly be checking out some places for future trips. Over the course of the next three days, we ate incredible food, both outside (pizza pizza pizza) and home made caprese with bread and balsamic. Nom. We went on a boat trip to Bellagio which was lovely, the tiny little lanes and incredible views of all sides of the lake were amazing, plus the weather was brilliant the day we went. We went on a ferris wheel at midnight when we were back in Como. We walked loaaaads, and on the last day before we flew back we spent the day in Milan. We took the metro, ate some more pizza and spent most of the afternoon in a park hanging out with a bunch of doggies… One was called Bertie, and he was a lovely spaniel, however because Bertie kept coming to sit next to us his owner kept giving us the stink eye (as Christina would say). Oh… And we ate gelato. A lot of gelato… I was at the point of three times a day gelato – sampling a total of at least 15 flavours. The Finnish half of me was very proud of myself, as Finns are the largest consumers of ice cream in Europe.

Below are some images from our trip… I would highly recommend going and I’d like to return someday even just to try more ice cream… Even if you don’t bump into George Clooney you’ll have an amazing time with the right people.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comHaving arrived in Bellagio

 

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comThe view from the boat on the way.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comWaiting for our ferry to come and collect us.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comI saw this bottle in a little cafe we stopped in – I really want to try painting some now.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comI loved all of the fonts that were being used everywhere! They were so different from one another but they worked brilliantly. Italy – I respect your typography usage…

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comPistachio and blueberry gelato…

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comI loved this hotel. The colours were perfect and it reminded me of a mini grand Budapest Hotel.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comLake como on emiliabuggins.comThe view from Como at night time was incredible, even though the light pollution was minimal it was amazing to be able to see the mountains against the skyline at night.

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Lake como on emiliabuggins.comMilan! Would you look at the queue. I’d love to go back and go inside (maybe on a weekday though).

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comI really wanted to buy some marzipan fruit! They looked amazing!

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comAlmond gelato. I really would like to do an illustration of all of the flavours I tried :).

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comAn art gallery, we were pretty poor and wanted to save our money for more gelato so we didn’t go in. The illustrations on the outside were awesome though.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comThis was Bertie my lil buddy…

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comChristina particularly wanted to visit Frozen – so we took the metro somewhere, and walked forever and finally found it… It was worth the trip. I had raspberry, orange and mango flavours… And of all of the flavours I tried I have to say orange was my favourite by far, but I’ve always loved the flavour of orange.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.com Lake como on emiliabuggins.comPiiizzzzaaaa! In the last place we stopped before we went back to get the bus back to Bergamo. This was incredible however I was so stuffed I couldn’t finish it but I ended up giving what I couldn’t finish to a homeless lady and her dog on the way back so I’m happy it went somewhere it was needed as opposed to my belly where it certainly wasn’t needed.

Lake como on emiliabuggins.comWhen we flew back we flew right next to a lightning storm. Watching the lightning race through the clouds has to have been by far one of the coolest things I have ever had the chance to witness. Both Christina and I were right at the window trying to take photos – this was probably the best one that came out, not that amazing… But I’m just glad I have the memory because I have a feeling I’ll never experience anything like that again and it was amazing.

So if I return, where shall I go next to get the best gelato? Any recommendations?