Saturday, 31 May 2014

She had the grace ... to know there was no pleasing her: Outfit inspired by A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book

Today's outfit seems like the perfect costume to go and see Maleficent the Angelina Jolie movie in. I've had this dress for years and brought it on one of my many trips to LA when I worked as a video director. With its huge sleeves its one part Stevie Nicks to two parts Isadora Duncan and I feel rather splendid in it I must say.

Isadora I adore-you-Oh that's Adrian Mole
Gold Dust Woman

Sleeves this big just invite you to strike poses-I love them
The design on it is a rather Rennie Mackintosh inspired art deco rose print and it was this connection which made me hunt it out. The fire at Glasgow art school which is the most beautiful Mackintosh building has been in the news and it must have been in my dreams a little as I hadn't thought of this dress for years and suddenly needed to wear it.

Mackintosh dreams

I seem to be on a bit of a 1930's arts and craft jag at the moment in no small part because I'm revisiting "The children's book" by As Byatt. Its so wonderful and I can't help love and loathe Olive the central figure.
Olive is a self obsessed children's author who immerses herself in art and culture in what was such a rich period for the arts just before the first world war. I don't know why I'm so drawn to this book as the central theme is do you strive for creativity at the expense of your children's happiness and I have enough working mothers guilt as it is but the descriptions in it are so delicious I always go back.

Here is just one of my favorite passages:

“She didn't like to be talked about. Equally, she didn't like not to be talked about, when the high-minded chatter rushed on as though she was not there. There was no pleasing her, in fact. She had the grace, even at eleven, to know there was no pleasing her. She thought a lot, analytically, about other people's feelings, and had only just begun to realize that this was not usual, and not reciprocated.” 
― A.S. ByattThe Children's Book

Arts and crafts inspired chic
Back to the outfit I've teamed it with some bright pink shoes which are crocs and my brand new necklace which is by Purlesque Its a ladybird illustration of little red rising hood and the fairytale imagery seemed apt given my film choice today.
Luxuriating in rereading favorite books

My bag is a little silk thing with an embroidered Buddha on.

Hare Krishna Honey
Red Riding hood if she married the wolf

I love me some hare Krishna vibes and am listening to Georges Harrison "My sweet Lord" as I write this. Its like chicken soup for the soul that track (or vegetable as it would be for me)

I have pinned some silk flowers in my hair and lined my eyes with plenty of kohl and I'm ready for my date with maleficent. I seem to always be drawn to misunderstood Woman-what can I tell you!

The sun is shining and I am feeling creatively recharged. Inspiration is everywhere and I am drinking it all in.

All Photos by Nicky Rockets

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Thursday, 29 May 2014

How To Make A Cocktail Glass Cake Stand

As easy as one, two-actually there is no third step!

This is one of my favourite craft projects as its takes only a couple of steps, can be made with items which you can buy from discount stores and look so effective once finished.
If vintage china isn’t your thing but you would still love to use cake stands as table centres then this idea is perfect. You can make these as tiered stands but they look particularly pretty as single tiers, and as you are spraying the plates the colours can be chosen so they tie in perfectly with your scheme. As with anything which has been sprayed with paint ensure any cakes are in cases or on doilies and not in direct contact with the plate.
These also make great stands for jewelry and I've got one on my dressing table holding necklaces, rings and brooches.

You will need:

A standard ceramic plate
A cocktail or large wine glass
Coloured spray paint. Ensure it can be used on glass and ceramics.I used a brand called Plastikote which I got from my local DIY store.
Glass glue
Dust mask

Step One

Ensure your glass and plates are clean and dust free. Wearing your dust mask spray your glass and plate with coloured paint. Ensure this is in a well ventilated room or even in the garden. You will need two coats. If you spray from a slight distance to your plate and glass you will avoid any drips and get a more even finish.

Step Two

Once your plate and glass are fully painted use a thin coat of glass glue on the rim of your glass. Place your plate on top and secure with something heavy like a book. Leave for about twelve hours to fully dry.

Your stand should be strong enough to hold cakes, fruit or flowers.

You can alternate the colours of your plates or spray them all white and add splashes of colour with doilies.

Voila pastel coloured cake stands which are crying out to hold macaroons and pastries whilst you do your best Marie Antoinette impression.Enjoy, and for for the love of all things crafty only handwash this!

If you enjoyed this I have plenty of other craft projects over on my crafts page
I also have a book called Handmade Wedding Crafts which features this and lots of other fabulous vintage inspired wedding craft projects for your delectation.
*Disclaimer-Please always wear a mask and ensure you are in a well ventilated room when spray painting items. I bear no responsibility for any craft related injuries you might receive in the pursuit of handmade loveliness. As with any craft or DIY project the reader undertakes it at their own risk.
All Photos by Nicky Rockets

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Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Arbonne Vegan Beauty Products Review

Beauty without cruelty-now that never goes out of fashion

I'm always on the lookout for vegan and cruelty free cosmetics and bath products so was very happy to be sent some samples from a company called Arbonne.

Arbonnes products aren't tested on animals and their ingredients are vegan and botanical which ticks lots of my boxes.
When I looked into the company they appear to be like a high end version of Avon and you can buy these products from reps (a rather lovely lady from my facebook page Carly sent me my samples) but you can also buy the products directly from the website too if like me you would rather just buy things direct.
Unlike a lot of vegan products these definitely hold their own in the looks stakes. Nestling quite comfortably next to your Liz Earles and Elizabeth Ardens. It may sound shallow but as much as I love the packaging of brands like the Bodyshop and Neal's yard I don't always require my beauty products to be quite so basic looking so high marks all round on the appearance.
Now I'm going to say this straight off the bat some of these products are quite  expensive. I thought a few of them were amazing and worth the money and was unsure if others really justified the price tag but as a little bit of vegan luxury these are quite hard to beat. Here's my thoughts on the selection I was sent.

Calm Cleanser £17

 The sample I was sent gave me about five days worth and my skin feels very soft.The cleanser does have slight foam to it and my face felt clean and not oily-very gentle so ideal if you have sensitive skin.

Calm Gentle Everyday Moisturiser £26

This is a perfect moisturiser if you suffer from oily skin as its very light, left no oily residue but did soften my skin considerably. As I'm now over the age 40 mark I don't think this is heavy duty enough for me so wouldn't repurchase but if you like thin moisturisers similar to Cliniques "dramatically different" (without the bright yellow colour) this would suit your skin well.

Make up primer £26

This was definitely one of the hero products from the samples I was sent. It has the same consistency as Loreals studio techniques primer which I love (but isn't cruelty free) and left my skin feeling plumped up and my make up stayed in place all day. Would repurchase this in a heartbeat.

RE9 Nourishing Body wash £29

This had a lovely smell of orange and unlike other vegan shower gels I have used in the past a good foam-it left my skin really soft and smelling good enough to eat.

RE9 Advanced Hydrating Body lotion £33

This complimented the body wash perfectly and had the same orange scent. I loved how soft this left my skin and the product seemed to really sink in. Despite the slightly eye watering price tag this and the body wash were lovely and will definitely be on my Christmas list.

RE9 Advanced Reactivating body serum £30

I found this product a bit too oily for an everyday use but it would be perfect if you have a peeling tan or very dry skin (mines normal to oily)

Sea source salt scrub £25

I used this on my rhino elbows and it left them incredibly soft and they have stayed that way for quite  a few days which is something I don't usually find with other scrubs, I was very taken with this. 

Sea salt detoxifying rescue wash £29

This wash smelt of lavender and  although it didn't have a great deal of  foam it left my skin feeling clean, and yes I felt quite reinvigorated after using it. My little girl loved this one too so a nice product to use with your kids. I'm a bit unsure as to when I could justify spending nearly £30 on a body wash but it is rather lovely so if money is no option definitely consider stocking up on this.

Feeling pampered and guilt free

In conclusion I really liked all the products I was sent and would definitely repurchase a few again. Finding vegan cruelty free products can be difficult so its lovely to see such a wide range available. 
The price points on some of the body washes/lotions is a little steep but I guess its only what you would spend on Clarins or Chanel without blinking an eyelid. The big difference is no animals were harmed in any way so you can pamper yourself in full knowledge that your beauty regime isn't supporting unnecessary cruelty.
I'm quite intrigued to try the Arbonne make up range, I'm currently in the process of swapping all the products in my professional kit to cruelty free versions and Carly who supplied these samples says she uses them instead of her Mac products and finds them to be as good if not better, quite a claim! I will do a review once I have enough to do a full make up look.
If you do decide to order from the Arbonne website please use Carly's Arbonne ID#: 44120431 so she gets some commission.

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Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Farm Feast, Wirral: Mud, Music And Merriment

Last weekend I visited a great event here on the Wirral. 
"Farm Feast" held at Claremont farm was two days of live music, workshops, beer tents and most importantly loads of fabulous organic food. 
I went along with Nicky Rockets and Baba unsure what to expect and it was fantastic.

Sitting on hay bales listening to Irish folk music

The food available was mind boggling, everything from Indian cuisine, pastries, artisan breads  to weird and exotic meats (kangaroo Burger anyone) and cupcakes so beautiful it would have been a crime to eat them (but I did obviously)

I particularly enjoyed the Spanish Churros which were like fries made of waffle mix rolled in sugar served with hot dipping chocolate. Sure it was probably diabetes in a paper cup but so delicious.
Nicky Rockets sampling one of the many fine beers from the Ship and Mitre beer tent

The ship and mitre had a beer tent serving all kinds of local beers much to Nicky Rockets approval (his favourite was one from Chester) whilst for us girlies Aloho whose bar in Liverpool I love had a tent serving delicious cocktails. Standing watching the rain whilst sipping a Pina colada out of  a pineapple was a rather lovely moment indeed.
Yes I'm at a festival, yes I'm drinking a cocktail-its marvellous

The music was really good and whoever booked the acts put together a great mix of rock, indie and folk.Me and Nicky Rockets had a little boogie in the rain much to my daughters horror.

Mud, mud glorious mud
A great British bakeoffer judging the cakes

This sheep show was surprisingly entertaining
If I could have improved one thing I would have included more vegetarian and vegan fare. As the emphasis is on organic farm produce it was very meat heavy but hopefully next year a few more vegetarian producers will get involved.
The Vintage Village was one of my favorite areas, vintage clothes, crafts and lovely VW vans
Knowing I was probably going to be knee deep in mud I did dress accordingly. I wore my dog print tunic dress from fashionworld with leggings and  along cardigan from Matalan. My wellingtons were from primark as was my headdress. My hot pink scarf is an old jasper Conran one.
Loving Farm Feast

Swing dancing in the rain

It was a wonderful day which reminded me yet again why I love where I live so much. Standing in mud, watching the Mersey swing dance troop do their thing whilst eating an organic cheese and onion pasty is a rather magnificent way to spend a bank holiday Sunday.I will definitely be back next year.
Soaked through but happy

All Photos by Nicky Rockets

And here is my latest outfit video-if you would like to see more of these subscribe to my Youtube channel

Limited Edition Betty Pamper Tee Shirt Now On Sale
My brand new Betty Pamper tee Shirts cost £15 and are available to buy from here having curves never looked so good!

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Betty Pamper (aka Perelandra Beedles) unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog
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