Thursday, 29 August 2013

Creative Mess

This is what my week has looked like, lots of desk time making miniature things. I'm right in the midst of designing quite a detailed set at the moment, so a scale model is a must for getting the best idea of what the space is going to look and feel like. I'll be sharing this with the rest of the company tomorrow, so I better crack on! I'll share some better pictures when it's all done and looking beautiful (hopefully).... Hello coffee. 

x Rachel 

Monday, 26 August 2013

Craft Bloggers at Southbank Village Fair

from left: Kate, (me) and Anna

The Village Fair was so fun! On the craft bloggers stall we showed off some of our DIYs which each had a tag on them directing people to links for the full tutorials. It was a really interesting concept to use the format of a stall but sharing our methods for free instead of selling the finished product. The theme behind the event as a whole was a community coming together through shared passions. We really got into the spirit of this which left me with a sort of fuzzy-felty glow inside and a renewed sense of enthusiasm for crafting. 

Proud of our stall

Undoubtedly the best thing about the fair was getting to spend some time with some absolutely lovely bloggers. Davina from The Making Home, Anna from Crafting Fingers and Kate from Trends With Benefits were great company and it was so nice to chat to other bloggers in person for a change rather than having all virtual communication. I highly recommend that you go and have a peek at their blogs - I can't wait to give some of their tutorials a go! 

Learn how to make this here

There is always a lot of discussion around the subject of copying in the craft blogging community, which I think is totally valid as there is nothing worse than someone trying to make money by directly ripping off other artists' work. However I think through the fear of accidentally being labeled a copy-cat, we sometimes shy away from trying out other people's ideas - even tutorials that are by nature made to be tried out! This weekend has really taught me to appreciate the fun that can be had by sharing techniques and ideas with other artists and bloggers, and I am looking forward to implementing that more into this blog in the future. 

Did anyone make the fair this weekend, or try out any of the tutorials from the virtual stall? What did you think? 

x Rachel 

Friday, 23 August 2013

Village Fair at the Southbank Centre

This weekend something very fun is happening at the Southbank Centre. They are hosting a quintessential Village Fair with stalls, games, crafting and lots more to celebrate community and bringing people together to share their passions. I am pretty excited, because I'm going to be there with some other lovely ladies on the craft blogger's stall! Instead of selling our crafts, we will be directing people to the tutorials that will show people how to make them themselves. We will also be answering questions, blogging on the go and just generally chatting to people, so it will be a lot of fun! 

In response to the Village Fair, bloggers across the UK are posting a collective virtual stall showcasing a selection of craft tutorials (above). The Tutorial Stall shares one favourite tutorial link from each of the bloggers and helps to celebrate the community of craft blogging and the role of the internet in craft revival. Here are the links to all these wonderful tutorials from the stall, enjoy...

1// Plastic Taxidermy - that one's mine! 

2// Dip Dyed Shoes by Trends With Benefits

3// Rubber Stamp Printed Handkerchief by Davina Drummond at The Making Home

4//  Crochet Pin Cushion by Crafting Fingers

5// Woven ribbon lavender pillow by Tales From Mountpleasant

6// Flower Fabric Badges by TheNew Craft Society.

7// Felt Streamers by This isWiss

8//  Little Paper Book by Something IMade.

9// Teacup Embroidery by AilieWilliams

10// Booboxes by Emily Quinton at The Start Up Wife.

11// DIY Curve Bead CordBracelet by Claireabellemakes

12// Bunting Notebook by Papermash.

If you're out and about in London tomorrow, pop by and say hello! I'll be there with Lynne from Papermash, Kate from Trends With Benefits and Anna from Crafting Fingers. Hope to see some of your lovely faces there! 

x Rachel 

ps. you can keep up with tweets and pictures from the weekend with the hashtag #villagefair... I'm sure there will be instagrams a-plenty! 

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

DIY Plastic Taxidermy

There are lots of great tutorials out there using plastic toys and spray paint and I've been wanting to make one of my own for ages. I used to love collecting toys like this when I was little, and I love how spray paint in gold or bright colours completely transforms them into something fun for the home. It felt a bit barbaric chopping the heads off these guys, but all in the name of DIY.... 

You will need: Plastic toy animals (the hollow rubbery ones are best), wood slices, spray paint, strong glue, sharp craft knife. 

1// Using a sharp scalpel or stanley knife, cut through the plastic to remove the animal head. This is pretty fiddly and definitely not a child friendly task! I used a saw at first, but that was just messy... with a knife it's much easier to get a clean and even line which is a better base for the wood. 

2// In a well ventilated area, spray the heads with a couple of coats of brightly coloured paint. Gold works really nicely, as do silver and neons. 

3// When the paint is completely dry, use a strong glue to affix them to the wood. I used UHU Glue, but wood glue could also work well. 

4// If you want to hang them up on the wall, attach little hooks to the back. Us renters will skip that part... 

This is one of the easiest DIYs I've done but definitely one of my favourites. I can't stop looking at them! I'd love to make a few in different colours and use them as key hooks or something. Now I need to work out a way of using the bodies - maybe bookends? 

x Rachel 

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Thoughts on Pigeon-holing...

I have always been pretty indecisive, especially when it comes to career choices. I thought that when I chose to go to drama school to study theatre design my path after that would be pretty direct... It's quite specific as degrees go, right? But actually the further I went through the course, the more I realised that within theatre design there are a lot more choices to make. What kind of theatre do I want to design? West End, opera, fringe, live art, dance, site specific, devised... Each one comes with it's own set of practices and contacts - some of them are different industries all together - so we were always taught that picking a clear route through would make success a lot easier.

In our third year we had to do a five year plan which showed in detail how we were going to follow these paths - which in theory is great, but it's not so fun when you have no idea which area you want to pursue and you are reluctant to have to choose just yet. To make matters even more confusing, I had just discovered blogging and was really interested in this as a side project, plus I had always wanted to run an online shop. I'd just started working on designing events, and started to wonder if maybe I loved this even more than theatre. Cue identity crisis. I tried to form a plan that would include all of these things simultaneously and was told that I was trying to squeeze three full time jobs into one life. While this was completely true, I hated the thought of having to pick one route and felt like I was being pigeon-holed before I was ready to decide. 

I have spent my first two years out of uni just saying yes to things - accepting any work that has come my way. It's been exhausting and sometimes stressful, scary and fulfilling. I have felt like I've been living two lives and building two very separate careers - one in theatre (and dance, live art and everything in between) and one in events, blogging and small business ownership. For ages I've been teetering on the edge of dropping one to focus on the other, then maybe I might have time for actual life to fit in too! But I've come to the realisation that actually I'm not ready to give up either one as I love all of it too much. And I also kind of think why should I have to choose? The whole reason I went into this career was to have a job that I enjoyed, and for now that is exactly what I'm doing - enjoying it. From now on I'm going to try and just carry on on this meandering path - it might make the journey a bit slower, but it will definitely be a lot more fun. 

Thanks for reading through my over-analytical thoughts... Does anyone else have these pigeon-holing issues? 

x Rachel 

ps. hope you enjoyed my silly little pigeon drawing - I like to think he is also having an identity crisis and that's why he has a crazy eye. 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: Elegant Steps

I love a good business success story, and Jayne - the owner of Elegant Steps - is no exception. Having had a nightmare finding shoes for her own wedding, Jayne decided it was time to bring the women of the UK - particularly those needing larger sizes - a selection of wedding shoes with a bit of personality. Ten years on and Elegant Steps is now the largest UK retailer of wedding shoes and Jayne has a showroom full of over nine hundred different styles! 

My favourite thing about Elegant Steps is their range of fancy flat shoes. I am not a fan of heels at all - in fact they are a night ruiner for me... No joke I have cried before on a night out because of hurting feet (don't judge my wimpyness, I like to be comfy). So I have always said that I would wear flats to my wedding, because there is no way I'd want heels to ruin my day! It's great to see a company catering for such a wide audience of women, rather than just those with tiny feet wanting sky scraper heels. However, if you do have tiny feet and want skyscrapers, there's plenty for you too ;) 

If you'd like to read more about the story of Elegant Steps, go to Jayne's blog here

x Rachel 

This is a sponsored post - all words and opinions are my own. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013

Edinburgh I Love You!

I'm so sad that my little Edinburgh adventure is over already! In my four days I totally caught the Fringe fever, it is definitely my mission to take a show there next year and do the whole month. I squeezed in eight shows plus some music and a comedy night, so I am still feeling a bit in information overload... Plus my bank account is slightly wounded, but let's not dwell on that. 

My top recommendations if you are there: 

Missing: 20:05 at the Underbelly - I know I have girlfriend bias, but it was so good I saw it twice. Verbatim theatre telling the stories of Missing people through beautiful imagery. 

Ballad of the Burning Star: 17:15 at The Pleasance - one of the most impressive shows I have ever seen! An amazing cabaret ensemble - hilarious and heartbreaking... I just loved it. 

The Little Soldiers: 14:10 at The Pleasance - stunning physical theatre and mime - my favourite design that I saw. 

Plus if you are looking for comedy, I went to Spank on Tuesday night and it was absolutely hilarious. Doesn't start until midnight so it's a late one but definitely worth it. 

All in all, I was totally wooed by Edinburgh. Such a beautiful city, can't wait to go back! 

x Rachel

Monday, 12 August 2013

Dream Interiors: Pastel Pretty

From top left: 1//2//3//4//5//6
Inspiration image here.

I love pastels in home decor, there is just something about it that is so calming and pretty. However, I think it can be quite easy to over-do it and make something a bit too candy-shop-esque. I like pastels best when they are muted and used sparingly, mixed with other elements with a bit of an edge - like concrete, geometric shapes or aged wood. Unless of course you are going for candy-land... In which case go wild! 

Those lightbulbs are making me crazy, I need them in my life. 

What are your thoughts on pastels? 

x Rachel 

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Snapshot 10/8/13 - Off to Edinburgh!

Loving>>> The way my freelance work is going. It feels like I am moving in the right direction!

Watching>>> Orange is the New Black. Obsessed. 

Reading>>>  The Last Yankee by Arthur Miller (I'm costume supervising a production of this at The Print Room next month).

Listening to>>> Of Monsters and Men.

Wearing>>> Always the wrong thing for the temperature at hand.

Looking Forward to>>> Going to Edinburgh tomorrow and seeing my lovely Jake who is up there all month! 

I'm so excited to be getting up very early tomorrow and heading up to the Fringe. It's my first time, not just at the fringe but in Edinburgh full stop so I can't wait to see what all the fuss is about. I'm only there for four days and I have a lot that I want to fit in, but most importantly I can't wait to see Jake's show "Missing" (which has been doing very well indeed) and be the proud girlfriend! 

Is anyone in Edinburgh for the Fringe? Any recommendations for my whistle-stop stay? 

x Rachel 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Weekly Art: Pierre le Riche

This Rainbow Room Installation - Broederbond by Pierre le Riche - is pretty great. The South African born artist juxtaposed perceptions of masculinity and homosexuality by yarn bombing rugby balls in a living room surrounded with 17km of acrylic thread in the colours of the gay pride flag. Thought provoking AND pretty - my favourite kind of art. 

There is an interesting essay on the meanings behind the installation in the artists own words here. Plus be sure to check out the rest of his work

x Rachel 

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Lately on Instagram

I haven't shared any instagram pictures for ages, mostly because it's got to the inevitable time of year when I forget to take pictures of life as I am living it - one day I will stick with the habit! But here is a little snippet of what I've been up to (from top left)...

>>> I baked cakes.
>>> PPT is number 11 on Bloglovin's up and coming design blogs. 
>>> Lovely morning light. 
>>> Lots of shop making fun. 
>>> I went on a Greenwich adventure with my parents. 
>>> Yummy breakfast. 
>>> I worked on a great little show that toured parks across London. 
>>> One of my favourite albums. 
>>> My poor bath got a battering with lots of dye and ink. 
>>> Watching Andy Murray living the dream. 
>>> Sunny meetings. 
>>> Costume sourcing adventures to far flung places. 

Are you on Instagram? Leave your names below - you can find me at @rachelemmagood

x Rachel

Monday, 5 August 2013

DIY Pom Pom Cake Toppers

There is nothing like making something a little bit special just for the sake of it. These cake toppers are so easy and instantly make a simple cupcake into a party-worthy treat. I've seen this method for making pompoms a lot on Pinterest and I've been wanting to try it out for ages. It definitely beats cutting out those little cardboard circles! 

You will need: a fork, bakers twine (or wool), cocktail sticks, hot glue, scissors. 

1// Wrap the bakers twine around the prongs of the fork tightly and evenly until there are plenty of layers. 

2// Leave a couple of inches at the end of the twine and use it to tie the middle of the pompom between the prongs. This bit is a bit fiddly as you need to get it as tight as possible so that no strands escape.

3// Slide the strands off the fork and snip the loops on both sides, fluff the strands out to get the pompom into a round shape. 

4// Use hot glue to secure the pompom on to a cocktail stick. 

5// Now you need some cupcakes to decorate! 

I love how these little mini pompoms look bunched together on one cake. They remind me of sparklers! I want to try making some in lots of different colours... 

If you like the look of these cupcakes, the recipe is from the Hairy Bikers "Hairy Dieters" cook book (my favourite cook book of all time!) You can also find it online here. This time I substituted blueberries for raspberries, but they are lovely with blueberries too. 

Now I'm off to eat that cake - a blog post bonus :) 

x Rachel 

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Studio Dreams...

Pretty much top of my life wish list right now is a studio... I don't mind if it's a rented space or a spare room, I'd just love somewhere to properly focus and design from. I do have my little table space (pictured above), but more and more I'm starting to make things that are just a bit too big for my little flat (10m span harpy wings for instance!). This dream still seems pretty far off at the moment... paying rent should probably be more of a priority... But it doesn't stop me planning and pinning ready for whenever the day comes.


Some things I would love in a studio:

- Big windows with lots of natural light

- A light box desk

- Organised storage

- A photo shoot area

- Inspiration Wall

- A sewing station

- A screen printer

- White brick and a grey concrete floor

A bit ambitious? Possibly... But fun to think about anyway. 

Happy August,

x Rachel 

ps. If you like the look of the alphabet garland, they will soon be for sale in my shop!


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