Monday, 11 August 2014

Climbing Trees & Jazz - The Botanical Gardens

I'm writing this post sitting in the library of a pretty house in the South of France - pas mal. But I'm here to talk about something that happened a while back when I visited the Botanical Gardens. Along with my family, we made the short journey to Cambridge to meet Emilie for an evening picnic & concert in the botanical gardens.

The amount of times I've been to Cambridge is probably too many by now, but somehow I hadn't come across the botanical gardens. So when we were greeted with a warm setting sun and found our spot to picnic near the jazz band, it was pretty darn cool taking in the environment. Loads of similar-minded people had also packed a picnic ready for the concert and the place was bustling.

Not long after the music started and we had filled up on cheese and grapes, Emilie & I set out exploring. We wandered the gardens, discovered the lily-filled pond, climbed the rocks and found beautiful tree which had grown over the pond (of course we couldn't resist a limb), then found our way back led by the music.

All in all, it was beautiful. If I had seen this place last year I think I might even have chosen to focus my art coursework just on this garden for the whole year (not joking). Plus they have bees buzzing around which is bonus points as I really want some pet bees.

And voila, I recommend a visit guys.

In other news, I've passed my theory test! Probably a gazillion years after everyone else but woop de woop.  ALSO, I'm going to Copenhagen soon so any tips on the best places to visit and things to do would be much appreciated. ♥ ♥ 

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I found a new shop that I never heard of before but I'm in love with.
Song - Rapture by Laura Veirs
Song - If Silence Means That Much To You by Emma Pollock

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Royal Academy of Arts: SUMMER EXHIBITION 2014

Until this summer I didn't even know about this exhibition - the largest open entry exhibition in the WORLD. Crazy. But as soon as I came across it, I was in awe. And at the first opportunity, I hopped on a train to London and made my way to the Royal Academy of Arts.

 I've never seen an exhibition presented in such an exciting way, with walls full of art, coming from world renowned artists as well as first time painters. It's such an awesome mix.

The paintings also had no explanations - only a number to help you find the name of the artist and the medium used. Although I do like knowing the stories behind the art, it was really interesting to use your imagination for the different scenes.

Two of my favourites are below. The first I loved due to the style of painting on wood, the second I found awesome for the technique of stitching used to make such beautiful colours and textures.

After the exhibition, I left feeling all artsy and inspired (plans to paint over summer are getting underway!). I also felt the need to explore Regents Street where I stepped into Anthropologie for the first time. (Sister brand to Freepeople and Urban Outfitters - both of which I loooove)

I've stalked the website many a time but the shop is something else. The design is beautiful. The clothing prices are sadly out of range for me but I left over the moon with the Saltwater Kinfolk Issue for a laid back afternoon of reading in Hyde Park. The design of the shop is worth a visit in itself - I'm talking wall of plants here.

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Golden Leaves by Passenger
The Boxer by Jerry Douglas
Tout Doucement by Feist

Friday, 11 July 2014


I just got my first disposable camera photos developed so now I can finally blog about things which happened about a month or more ago... WOO.

First up, my last ever day at school!! Crikey I'm old (ish). It was decided our year would go army style on our last day - to 'invade' the school. Below are two of my best friends since lower school - Abby, En-Jia & then me on the end.

And above are a bunch of my friends who decided to come dressed as the village people.

Several pranks were carried out throughout the morning, along with a parting speech over assembly before we were promptly kicked out (before lunch... before lunch!). So obviously we then migrated to take over the local pub.

Above: the lovely Amy on the left, with En-Jia inbetween us.

It was a really nice ending to years and years and years of school. Kind of sad that there won't be a place where you know all your friends will be but definitely okay with moving on now. Haha.

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Love Is All I Got (awesome with bass)
At Home (my favourite)
Plage (so pretty)
all by Crystal Fighters (#obsessed)

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Exhibitions: Bartlett + Bedford School

My final exams finished a few weeks ago, so I am currently in my longest summer holidays ever. WOOOOO.

Something I've done more of has been visiting exhibitions. On Monday I went to London for one of the world's biggest architecture shows; The Bartlett Summer Show. The staff kindly showed a group of us around before we set about exploring the show ourselves.

Sadly my camera decided it would only focus on close ups so you'll have to take my word for it when I say the rest was just as fantastic.

My favourite part of the show included bunk beds on top of bunk beds, with models and projects balanced and hung from the bed frames. To see them you needed to make your way under the bunk beds and through the suspended work. The show was awesome and kind of scary seeing how high the standard is.

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When I came home from the exhibition (via Urban Outfitters and a large serving of sushi) Louise told me about another exhibition at a nearby school. Having only just been encouraged by the Bartlett staff to visit exhibitions, timing couldn't have been better.

We rummaged through all the sketchbooks, exploring the different projects. The A level ones proved most inspiring and creative with a mix of sculptures, installations and paintings. The presentation within the work was particularly well put together, something I wish I had more time to focus on in my own project.

Two exhibitions in one day, and I'm planning the next. Really really really want to visit the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition!

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Drop the Game by Flume, Chet Faker
I Sing I Swim by Seabear
Brazil (ITV World Cup Theme) by Thiago Thome

Saturday, 26 April 2014

You Know Where to Find Me

This song deserves a whole blog post. And an explanation.

About two years ago, I went to London Festival of Architecture and attended several talks and events. One talk in particular really stuck with me - the architect David Kohn spoke about his competition-winning project,  A Room For London. The brief was to create a temporary building to sit on top of the Southbank Centre with extraordinary views over the River Thames. Architect David Kohn, along with artist Fiona Banner were inspired by Joseph Conrad's book Heart Of Darkness to design this incredible boat for the competition, as if it were moored by high tide.

As if the boat design itself wasn't awesome enough, this space was designed with a purpose. Artists would be invited to spend a night in the boat, to write stories, poems, songs about whatever inspired them during their time there.

Fast forward a couple of years, I was researching into this project once more as I was reading up before my architecture interviews and I came across one of the artists who was invited to the boat: Imogen Heap! I think her music is divine, and this song has such a beautiful charm and sentiment to it.

The song was based on the river always being there through everything, but I think it applies nicely to people too. If you're as interested in this song as I am, you can hear Imogen Heap speak about it here for forty five minutes. It's worth it.

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'Little Bird' by Imogen Heap

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Camden + Tate Modern + Tate Britain

Art brings me a little bit everywhere for gallery visits or photographing subjects. On Friday, the destination was London for a day discovering the Tate Modern & Tate Britain.

I arrived in the city that morning & decided to explore Camden before meeting my mum at the Tate Modern. I had a look at some possible uni accommodation, went into Urban Outfitters (obviously) and then grabbed myself some lunch at Camden Lock. I love Camden Lock. All the little food stalls reminded me of Reading!

After my rather lovely morning in Camden, I found my way across London to the Tate Modern and set about exploring before my mum arrived. This was my first time at the gallery and its incredbile. I recognised loads of famous art pieces (Picasso's Weeping Woman and Turner's Yacht Approaching the Coast below!) and I must say their shop is a dream - full of arty picture books.

Looking down from the higher levels of the gallery was also impressive - all the tiny people walking around reminded me of Lowry's paintings. Which were exhibited at our next destination: The Tate Britain. We walked across London from one gallery to the other and passed some pretty cool streets on the way.

Once we had arrived, turned out we didn't have much time until closing but I managed to have a quick look around and really really liked the painting above - Girl with a Kitten by Lucian Freud. The eyes and style is incredible. I also spotted some of Lowry's pieces - you see what I mean about the little people now?

So that was my day in London, topped off with a rather unflattering photo of myself mid-sentence. But hey ho, action shots are fun. I really recommend the Tate Modern & Britain. They are probably my joint favourite London Galleries art-wise, although the V&A's coffee shop will always be the greatest.

Happy Easter folks!

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'Uitzicht' by Bakermat (the more you listen the better it gets - especially the saxo bit)
'Rudeboy' by Dub Inc. (I'm still into the reggae)

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Coffee With Art & The River

Between clumps of revision, I've had a rather lovely Easter break. I've been cycling, had several coffee shop visits, visited family up North for a weekend and taken on the role of hairdresser for both my best friend & sister (no idea why I'm cutting hair all of a sudden, but it's really fun!).

Yesterday I had another break from revision, meeting the lovely Anam in Bedford for the afternoon. After a little shop for necessities (hooray I now am the owner of some very exciting treasury tags!!!!) and a little Topshop distraction, we made our way to one of Bedford's newest coffee shops; Coffee With Art.

That impressive wall of books is not wallpaper, its literally piles of books. Awesome. And they have the pretty lightbulbs with spirals of wire that I always lust after in John Lewis. The whole design of the place was amazing. The many books scattered around the room were also great, particularly for Anam who is a budding writer herself (you can read a bit of her book here). After a long coffee break, we set out to find the sun along the river.

It was so pretty. Anam picked up an ice cream as we explored the pretty part of Bedford in bloom. There is something about ice creams that makes a place a hundred times more summery. And flowers. And the sun. It was a very summery day.

And then that's me on a bridge. It was so nice to catch up and get away from revision and work. 'Coffee With Art' is also my new favourite coffee shop, I definitely reccommend it.

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A beautiful cover of Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' in the style of Sara Bareilles.
'Down' by the Kooks (lovelovelove this song)

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Kinfolk & Focaccia

 Kinfolk is my absolute favourite. For everything.

After stalking Nathan Williams' beautiful blog, daydreaming over every Kinfolk picture on Pinterest and finding myself totally besotted by the brand, I finally bought myself the book. The Kinfolk Table. I have to say, it is genuinely my favourite book ever. It tells the stories of the people behind the recipes, photographing them in their own homes and spaces before sharing their favourite recipes. So far I've only tried a few from the book, but I can tell you that they've all turned out superb.

My most recent bake: Focaccia. This was my favourite bread when I was working in a restaurant and it only requires very basic ingredients, so I was pretty quick to try this recipe out. Guys, I am telling you, it is a slice of happiness. I've baked it twice now (soon to be three) and every time it vanishes in an instant! It's so tasty, and super simple may I add. I definitely recommend the book - even if you don't like cooking it's worth getting it for the words & photographs.

Sorry to bombard you all with my Kinfolk obsession, I just couldn't contain it much longer.

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An article that makes me want to be a shepherd
'The Wine Song' by The Cat Empire
A bit of reggae - 'Down Under' by Men at Work

Saturday, 5 April 2014


Yesterday I handed in all my art coursework. So after a rather busy week of painting and working on my sketchbook, here are two of my favourite pieces I created for my coursework.

The topic I chose for the coursework was 'Food & Cultures' which eventually led me to looking at market stalls as I love the busy atmosphere and beautiful displays. So after masses of research and development, I ended up with these two oil paintings. (Also can we please have a moment of appreciation for the beautiful wooden tables of the art room)

My Easter holidays started today so things are looking up. I think I might just sleep forever and ever starting now.

Except now I need to create an exam folder...

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'On My Way' by The Cat Empire | 'Can't Help Falling In Love' by Ingrid Michealson | 'Ode To My Family' by The Cranberries