Thursday, 31 January 2013

Coming Up in February...

February is Love Your Work Month on Pointless Pretty Things! I've got a very exciting month planned, all in the name of loving what you do. Expect lovey-dovey posts along the lines of:

>>> Guest Features with artists, shop owners and generally great career-type people. 

>>> Tips and Thoughts on Working Freelance. 

>>> Some DIYs that will help keep your eyes on the prize... (fun rhyme). 

>>> Some little looks into my Design Process.

And of course all of the regulars in between... Excited? Me too! 

x Rachel 

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Weekly Art: String Gardens

//sources 1, 2//
Dutch artist Fedor van der Falk created these conceptual planters, which are now available to buy in Pompon, Amsterdam. String Gardens turn crochet string baskets, plaster, soil, moss and beautiful plants into gravity-defying, orb-like gardens and trees. 

If only I had room for a floating tree in my living room... But the smaller versions are slightly more realistic for home living. Even the illustrated care sheets are pretty! 

Nowhere near Amsterdam in the near future? Never Fear, you can try the technique out yourself with this DIY from Design Sponge

x Rachel 

Saturday, 26 January 2013

London Living: Paramount Bar

It's quite rare that I review a night out here on the blog, mostly because we hardly ever venture further than the sweet haven of the cheapest pub we can find. But last night needs to be shared, as we were taken on a late birthday treat by two of our besties to a celeb worthy night at Paramount Bar!

Situated on the 32nd floor of the Centre Point building in Tottenham Court Road, Paramount Bar boasts a jaw dropping panoramic view across London. The bar doubles as a viewing gallery, with trendy low seating and floor to ceiling windows ensuring every seat is the best seat in the house. 

We pretended that we were celebrities and sipped on very swanky cocktails, which at £11.00 each were a little pricey for the everyday, but not as astronomical as you would expect for such an amazing venue - especially if you just go for one drink. I know some viewing galleries without a bar where you can spend the same amount on a ticket to get in! 

All in all, this is an amazing experience and a great special occasion night out if you are looking for something a little bit different. And as there is no booking or entrance fee, you can spend just over a tenner for a cocktail, and get the views for free. 

x Rachel 

Note: While there are no booking fees, booking a place is essential before you visit Paramount. 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Record Player Love

Today I would like to share with you a new love of ours... It's our beautiful Steepletone Record Player

We had been thinking about buying a record player for a while, and were unsure whether to go for a new vintage style model, or a used vintage model. My parents kindly treated us to this new model for our joint birthdays, and we are so chuffed with it! 

As well as being brand new (no traumatic past causing hidden damage), our Steepletone has a radio and USB plug in, and its wood veneer cabinet still holds a bit of vintage charm. The best of both worlds! 

Dire Straits Brothers in Arms

We are steadily growing our record collection from family members and charity shops - so much fun. The reason we wanted to start a record collection in the first place was to regain that feeling of listening to a whole album in the order it was meant to be played in. I am all for flicking around on iTunes, but sometimes it's nice to make listening to music into a bit of an event. The whole ritual of anyone with me on this? I love it! 

Hanging above our new baby is this print by Jimbob Art, quite appropriate don't you think? 

x Rachel 

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

365 Photo Challenge

I tried to complete a Photo a Day project last year, but gave up around April. I enjoyed taking the photos, but the uploading and sharing bit seemed like a bit of a chore. So this year I'm trying something slightly different... 

Is anyone else taking part in Fat Mum Slim's Photo a Day Challenge? I'm loving it so far... the daily prompts and instagram format is a great source of motivation that I'm hoping will keep me on track. 

I'll be sharing a little selection of my favourites each month, why don't you join me? If you are taking part in the challenge (or your own) and have blogged your pictures, leave me a link in the comments! I'd love to see them :) 

x Rachel 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Happy List

Hooray it's time for this month's additions to The Happy List! 

From Top Left....Inspirational Yoga Photos//Love in a Jar//Sweet Bicycle Print//Grasshopper Pie (never heard of it before!)//Crochet Bike Art//This Happy Owl//Crystal Cupcakes//Elsies AMAZING Instax-Wallpaper!//

And on the Web....

>>> A great simple tutorial on Cutting Your Own Patterns by Sweet Verbena. 

>>> 9 Ways to Recycle Your Christmas Tree - love the idea of fishes using it as a new home.

>>> British People Problems made me chuckle, as does @SoVeryBritish on Twitter (Thanks for introducing me Hannah!)

>>> A great, brand new blog - Have a Go Hannah - and a refreshing look at Office Jobs.

>>> Starting off trying out the Hairy Bikers Diet (recommended by Mum!) with these Skinny Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes

>>> I'm so chuffed to have got a couple of Leibster Blog Award nominations this week! I've taken part before, so wont do a whole post... But thanks very much to Rosalie and Katie for making my day :)

And if that wasn't enough...Watch the Lovely Owl Video... I dare you not to be happy after that!

x Rachel 

Monday, 21 January 2013

My 2013 Craft To-Do List

Like many creative souls, I have an ever expanding list of craft projects that I'd like to try but somehow never get around to. A pile of unfinished scarves, paintings and sewing scraps sit untouched in my cupboard, and our little flat is absolutely bursting at the seams with spontaneous craft supply purchases... 

So this year I have taken an oath with myself: To cut down my craft to-do list and actually finish everything before adding new things!

Five things that have been on my Craft To-Do list for a long time are: 

1// A Granny Square Blanket. I love this unusual example from Muita Ihania

2// A Drawing a Week. Following these prompts might help with motivation.

3// Resin Casting. Making my Heart in a Jar has got me curious about all types of casting. This tutorial from Great Oak Circle looks like a good place to start. 

4// Embroidery Art. I'd love to make something for our wall like the one Meredith completed from a pattern by Alicia Paulson. Maybe Jake will help as he has been getting into a bit of embroidery too! (Shhh don't tell him I told you...)

5// Make a Dress. I have a collection of vintage dress patterns that it's high time I had a go at! 

Looks like I'm going to be a busy girl this year! What's on your Craft To-Do List?

x Rachel 

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Weekly Art: Amy Hamilton

I love these illustrations by Amy Hamilton. Her work has the most amazing simultaneous movement and stillness from the vibrant splattered ink qualities. I could definitely have these on my wall!

See more of her work here, it's worth the click. 

x Rachel  

Friday, 18 January 2013

Snapshot 18/01/13

Loving>>> Spending the "quiet time" in between projects cosy-ing up in the flat. 

Watching>>> Buffy the Vampire Slayer from the beginning again on DVD... First time for Jake, countless time for me. 

Reading>>> Grow Your Handmade Business by Kari Chapin

Listening to>>>The Correspondents with their clever new video.

Wearing>>> My floral DMs. Every day. 

Looking Forward to>>> Spending the next couple of months wedding designing for two of my favourite friends! 

Happy Snowy Day, 

x Rachel

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Throb: A Cardiovascular Romance

Throb: A Cardiovascular Romance: A fantasy about illness. A cardiovascular romance inspired by a very personal story, this bittersweet duet is a tribute to anyone who has had to care for someone they love. A Joseph Mercier/Panic Lab production. 

For the last couple of months I have been designing for dance, which is fairly new territory for me. It was a great process, and resulted in a beautiful show and valued new collaborators. 

The piece included some of the most complex prop making I have ever attempted; a glowing heart in a jar. Here's a collection of "making of the heart" pictures. It was one big experiment from start to finish and we were really pleased with the outcome: 

All in all, a very successful show - and I'm looking forward to future adventures with Panic Lab! 

x Rachel 

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

DIY Knitting Needle Bag

I think I accidentally make more knitting accessories than I do actual knitting... But here's a sweet little bag I made to keep my under-used needles in! 

1// You will need: A piece of fabric slightly longer than your longest knitting needles, ribbon, needle and thread or sewing machine. 

2// After measuring out your fabric according to your needles - with your "wrong" side of the fabric facing up - turn over roughly a 2.5cm hem at the top. 

3// Pin and sew along the line of the hem, leaving the sides open for your ribbon tie.

4// Thread the ribbon through the hem, and tuck in the raw edges of fabric at the ends with a couple of small stitches. 

5// With the right side facing up, fold the fabric in half and pin, so your bag is effectively inside out. Sew along the side and bottom edges, leaving just the ribbon top open. 

6// Turn the bag the right way out and use the ribbon as a drawstring top. 

Maybe I'll start knitting more now that my needles are happy in their little carry case! Hope you enjoyed this easy-peasy DIY...

x Rachel 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Plan Your Blog Year - Free Printable

After a short break while I had a show on I'm back to blogging with a vengeance! This year I'm determined to become more organised with my posts and try and build on my scheduling system. So to start me off I made a Blog Year Planner... 

I know this sounds a bit geeky and a lot of work, but I definitely don't mean that I've planned out a full year of posts in advance. I just made little goals for each month and set out general themes for my posts so I can see an overview of the year and strategise the growth of my blog. Kind of like a bloggy-business plan if you like. 

I feel great having done this bit of planning, so I thought I'd share my planner as a free printable for anyone who would like to make their own! Here is how to use it:

>>> In the Readership column I set goals for how many followers I would like to reach by the end of each month across all social media outlets (twitter, GFC, Bloglovin', Pinterest etc.)

>>> In Posts you could outline a general theme for the month, or if there are any stand out features that take planning then you could pencil them in. 

>>> Outreach covers any strategies you will put in place for blog growth. For example I have set this months outreach focus on Facebook as I am yet to make a page for my blog, but this could also cover collaborations with other blogs etc. 


To download your free printable Blog Planner follow this link:

x Rachel 

Monday, 7 January 2013

Resolutions Link-Up!

Now as much as the title of this post suggests otherwise... I'm not a massive fan of making "New Years Resolutions". I prefer setting fun challenges for myself, like these from last year. 
That being said, I love following other people's resolutions (nosy), so I thought this year it might be fun to do a little blog hop/link up so we can all have a snoop at each others challenges, maybe share some motivation and encouragement. 

Here are my challenges for 2013:

>>> 52 Drawings - one drawing a week to practice and keep learning. 

>>> A Photo a Day - I'm doing the Fat Mum Slim photo a day challenge this year on instagram (follow along on #fmsphotoaday) 

>>> Yoga - I will be able to touch my toes I WILL! 

Now it's your turn: post about your 2013 resolutions and pop a link back to your blog in the linky below. Hooray for the blog hop! 

x Rachel 

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! I hope 2013 is your best year yet! Thanks again for reading, I'm looking forward to seeing what this year brings for little old bloggy. 

Lots of love, 

x Rachel 


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