Jan & Feb

Today it struck me, it’s the middle of March and I have no idea how it got here. Since coming back to Nottingham this year has flown by, and while normally I can figure out what I’ve been doing based on my phone photos, this search doesn’t seem to have thrown up much! All I can conclude is that I have been working a lot and nesting in my room! That said, my new year’s resolutions aren’t coming along too badly. I’ve been running nearly every week, finally finished the crochet blanket (by turning it into a cushion…see below) and no longer hate what’s in my lunchbox!

With the busiest period at work coming to an end in a week, hopefully my next batch of photos will be from more exciting places (and I will finally have a D&AD entry to post!).

2015 here I come


I’m not usually one for new year’s resolutions but I have big plans for 2015 so thought why not give it a shot. Also, writing them down makes them more real (obviously) so hopefully by putting them here I’m more likely to keep to it!

Find stability

  • I want a permanent job to stop this cycle of panic that happens every 9 months
  • To know where I will be living in a years time, not in terms of a house but just narrowing it down to a city would be nice!

Look after myself more

  • Make yoga and running part of my routine.
  • Learn to cook healthier meals, lunch in particular I need to work on.
  • Have a skincare routine, I feel like this happens in your 20s, you need an order for all the moisturisers, toners, cleansers etc!

Be creative more

  • Submit a D&AD New Blood entry like I’ve been meaning to for years..
  • Keep up my idea a week blog, maybe start with once a fortnight…
  • Make craft nights happen
  • Finally finish my blanket!

Quite a few things on the list there… so in the spirit of trying something new this year, I’ve also got these two exciting books to hopefully help me out. We will see how this goes!


Twas the season 2014

It all started when I bought a jumper with bells on…


… and came home to this beauty in the living room.


Harrods created the most stunningly intricate Christmas windows of the year.


We went on a mulled wine/cider tour of London’s Christmas hotspots.

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There was a magical night in Kew Gardens…

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…and so many more beautiful moments, both on camera and off.

Time to see what 2015 brings…


When I ran daytrips last year, the final question on the evaluation form was ‘Where else would you like us to run a trip?’ and the answer that came up most frequently, and most surprisingly for me, was Glasgow. Sure it was the City of Culture and the Commonwealth Games were approaching, but to me it had always seemed just the second biggest city in Scotland, so I was fairly intrigued to visit a friend who had just moved there. 5 and a half hours on the train later and my first surprise was that it wasn’t much colder than Nottingham!

As boring as it sounds, one of my favourite things to do is just wander about. You can google and plan all you like but often it is the views you chance upon that are the best. While she was at work, I took Friday to get my bearings and get a feel for Glasgow. The riverside was not as interesting as I expected, in most cities it seems to be the place for new developments and public spaces, but in Glasgow it seemed very much something still in development with lots of wasteland car parks running alongside. I went as far as the famous Finneston Crane (which a bit bizarrely plonked behind a Hilton hotel!) before making my way back to the city centre. After a visit to the City Chambers which was absolutely covered in Christmas decorations, we ended the day at the impressive Glasgow School of Art. You can’t seem to escape Charles Rennie Mackintosh in Glasgow so I would have loved to see his famous library, but unfortunately that was not to be.

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On Saturday we had a full tourist day planned. First we visited the Lighthouse, the view from the top of which proved how much Glasgow was still in progress with cranes aplenty. However the best view and definitely my favourite part of the weekend was the Necropolis, Glasgow’s Victorian cemetery.Surrounded by modern buildings as well as the historic cathedral such an impressive, monumental graveyard is just so incongruous in the middle of a city. Situated on a hilltop, it overlooks Glasgow and is oddly peaceful bar the hum of the nearby roads.I can’t fully decide what about it I found so amazing, I think partly the intrigue of such a unique place and partly the beauty of the elaborate monuments. Either way, for me it seemed to define Glasgow, a city with unexpected beauty.

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Although I’m still not sure it is an amazing tourist destination, I could definitely see myself living in Glasgow (if it was a bit closer to home!), it’s a happy mixture of new and old, with enough happening to keep you entertained as well as many exciting things to come.

A manic month

Since the last week of September, my life has felt like a blur. First helping out with the craziness that is Freshers’ Week, then barely recovering from that before saying yes to what life threw at me and ending up in a new job! Since coming back to Nottingham I’ve been sofa-surfing while getting to grips with my new role. I don’t know how I would have done this without some great friends who not only gave me a place to stay but put up with my ranting and scatty-mindedness!

Thankfully things are now settling down; I have a place to live, have slowly been instilling order in my new job and finally I’ve had some time to settle in and make my new room feel like home. Now I can’t wait to visit all the places in Nottingham that I’ve been missing!


I feel a bit like I’ve come full circle. I’m back to the same great organisation and city I love. My next challenge is to crack on with grad scheme applications!

Getting reacquainted with my sewing machine

I am not someone who can survive sitting in front of a computer 24/7. Don’t get me wrong I spend half my life on the internet, but I also need some practical activities to stay sane. When I first started university and they broke the news to me that moodboards were now to be done on Photoshop without any glue or scissors in sight, it broke me heart. That’s why I joined Knitting Society and eventually taught myself to crochet(ish). With jobhunting mainly being online and my mum’s birthday coming up, I decided this was the perfect time to get reacquainted with my sewing machine!

A few months ago I’d fallen in love with a kimono Naida Crystal had posted on her blog (click here!) and the patternless instructions seemed so simple for such a nice garment. Thinking about what my mum wears, I decided to experiment a little and make a more wintery kimono, something she can throw on to go to work or town and not look too out of season. I found this lavender herringbone fabric in our local shop and knew it was perfect straight away, a bit thicker but with a lovely drape. I won’t lie, some of the seams were a bit tricky due to the thickness, and as this was the first time I’ve added lace edging the finishing is a bit haphazard, but overall I’m pretty happy with it. Most importantly, mum liked it too, and within 5 mins she’d found found the perfect brooch to pin it up with!

If I made a smartwatch…

Was I the only person who found the Apple Watch underwhelming? After so much speculation, I thought it would at least be beautiful in comparison to the chunky competitors which look like toy watches for 6 year old boys. But it’s just a tiny iPhone. Fair enough you can customise the clockface and have a few choices of straps, but everyone’s will still look the same overall. The payment option seems to be the biggest innovation, but do we really need to pay with our watches? With smartwatches in general there seems to be the need to fill them with as many functions as possible, even if there is a more suitable device. For example, if we are as surgically attached to our phones as recent studies show, do we need another device, and a smaller more uncomfortable one at that, which can make phonecalls and send messages? The same goes for mobile payment. If we’re soon going to be using our phones for this are we really so lazy that we can’t even reach into our pocket? Seems more innovation for the sake of it rather than in reaction to a need. A few of the other functions also erred on the side of the downright creepy. Sending vibrations and your heart beat to other people?!

With that in mind, I decided to have a look into what else is on offer, and think about what I would do if I was in charge. Looks-wise Google’s Android Wear options already bypass Apple for me as there is more than one shape to choose from. Pebble’s e-ink screen wins on battery life, but Apple’s wireless charging means there’s no need for a USB port. In terms of functions, nothing really stands out and most seem overpopulated with things I don’t think I need a watch to do.


The main thing that caught me was the style of the watches, or lack thereof. A few years ago we did a university project designing a wearable activity tracking device, and maybe it’s because we were fashion students, but a lot of our research focused on aesthetics. I don’t know about the rest of the world but I always thought a watch was 75% decorative and 25% function. It’s something people wear every day, it has to go with every outfit and not go out of fashion for many years. Quite frankly I think nearly all smartwatches fail every single one of these points!

In my mind, smartwatches should:

Be as customisable as possible. While more work would be involved in adapting the user interface for different base shapes, changing watch straps is definitely an easy way to let people choose a watch which suits them. In theory there should be no limit on styles, the same way you can buy custom phone cases with family photos printed on them.

Not just replicate ALL phone functions. We already have better technology for communication, do we really need another device constantly keeping us connected? Instead focus on time and activity; calender reminders telling you where you should be, helping you track and improve your activity and telling you when a traffic jam develops on your usual route.

Not be dependant on a phone. Apple is obsessed with locking things down. How about a smartwatch where everything is done through an online account. You log in and sync it to whatever calender you want, set what you want it to track and connect your travelcards.

Make use of new tech that hasn’t yet been fully exploited, where is the innovation that will make smartwatches stand out? Wireless charging is a must, no one is in the habit of plugging their watches in every night. NFC is the other area where I think smartwatches could set the standard. Imagine walking into a room, tapping an NFC sticker and your lights/ heating/ music react to a certain setting? Or even in the future using them as a digital key, which with fingerprint recognition would unlock your car/ house/ safe? So many possibilities! Yes your phone could also do these things but if you’re wearing your watch there isn’t even the need to search through your pockets.