Friday, 18 August 2017

Are You Sweating in Style?

No, I'm not talking about fancy gym clothes....well, not just yet...more about that later. What I want to know is can you pimp your sauna? Is it even possible? I mean it gets really hot and moist in there! so most kinds of decorating are right off the menu. It's natural wood and not much else...

I was staying at  a friends country cottage recently and they had a stand alone sauna. A little building with a terrace, changing room and the sauna proper, not uncommon in the countryside of Sweden. They had decorated it so nicely, in the changing room outside the sauna, with old fashioned sauna accessories and what looks like instruments of torture... surely they would've served some quite innocent and useful purpose once but I can't imagine what!

The decorating vibe here would definitely be called 'Man Cave'... think shot glasses, funky bottle openers, booze cabinet and cozy places to sit and enjoy the pre and post sauna glow.

 There were also plenty of guns around, and not all decorative...Hmmmm VERY man cave.

It got me thinking, has anyone else pimped their sauna? Well there are certainly plenty of amazing saunas out there... check out this amazing multi level floating Saunalautta raft boat!












Gorgeous, but still just wood...
There are plenty of lovely decorated changing rooms... This one from an article in elinfossland.no




But aside form some fancy lighting or curvy wooden business..there is not much scope for pimping your sauna. To be honest though, when your nearly fainting from the heat, I don't think anyone is going to care whether their sauna  is jazzy or not.






So What was I talking about fancy gym clothing earlier? Well, it just so happens that I'm launching a brand new range of fabulous athleisure  clothing at Formex trade show next week. I'm going to show you more  next week but for now I'll leave you with this...





Friday, 28 July 2017

Sinful Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

You know I'm always hunting for the yummiest cake and cookie recipes... well I came across a beauty yesterday by @displacedhousewife and want to share it with you. I made a few tweaks to her recipe (I didn't have any bread flour so I substituted for coconut flour because I love the flavour) and I think you'll love it...
Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
110g butter softened
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups ordinary flour
1 cup coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
200g block of dark chocolate roughly chopped

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Line baking tray with baking paper.
2. In an electric mixer, cream the brown sugar, butter, oil and granulated sugar.
3. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix again.
4. Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until incorporated.
5. Gently fold in the roughly chopped dark chocolate pieces.
6. Roll into heaped tablespoon sized balls and place on the baking tray. Allow about 5 cm between balls.
7. Place the tray into the freezer for 10 minutes. This step will really help the cookies keep their shape and not flatten out in the oven and it really is worth the bother, believe me.
8. Put the cookies in nearer the top of the oven and cook for 11 minutes. Don't worry that they will look a bit underdone, they will be slightly crispy on the outside and gooey but cooked through on the inside.
9. Take the cookies out and let them cool down for as long as you can stand to wait before stuffing them in your face ;-)





Saturday, 22 July 2017

Photoshoots, Fashion & Behind the Scenes

I usually do my blog on a Friday afternoon but I was busy yesterday doing photoshoots with Janice Issitt ... So here is a few sneaky behind the scenes pics. And the reality of photoshoots is that sometimes the photographer has to get in the most unlikely places to get the angle. Janice is actually inside a bush here, nothing for it, had to get in the bush...

And poor Nicole had to suffer bitey ants to get this pic. What a trooper!

I did not escape having my pic taken too...


Friday, 14 July 2017

Juggling Holidays & Working

Well, it can't really be done. That's how it seems anyway. Now the kids are off school I'm basically on holiday but I still have masses of work to do. What that means is that our kitchen table has become a 'temporary' office desk with all the tech and clutter that entails. I have to clear it off every evening before dinner and then put it all back. It's a bloody pain in the butt! Plus I'm shuttling back and forth between the studio and home because I've forgotten something tiny, like a lead or a delivery is coming or something. I just want a proper holiday where I can concentrate on just being one thing, a relaxed Mother. No such mercy for us self employed folks. Also I had to remove the most ENORMOUS spider from my studio yesterday. Who else is going to do it? No-one. So I caught it and re located it to a nearby hedge. I even have a special spider catching kit ever at the ready. It's a see through plastic cup (so I can know where the little horror is at all times) and piece of thin but stiff card. My studio is on the ground floor and seems to attract huge spiders specially to amuse/torture me... thanks universe.

On the upside I did just get a delivery of loads of new samples for the trade show I'm doing in August... lots of cushions and clothing and the cool backdrop I'll be using for display...
Check it out

That fab picture in the middle is by Janice Issitt who is coming over to see me next week and we will spend the week doing photo sessions for the catalogue...
Just a bit more work then it's the weekend!!!! And I'm going to be a relaxed Mother. It is decided!


Friday, 7 July 2017

Bohemian Warrior Queen Headdress Thingy

Last week I was supposed to go to Ibiza for a photoshoot. Everything was all planned and lined up except that the clothing samples didn't arrive in time so I had to cancel at the last minute. Talk about a stressful week! Well, no point going to Ibiza for a photoshoot if there are no clothes to photograph! So I've rescheduled it for about 10 days hence. I'm actually really happy about that too because it gives me more time to make props and accessories for it. Today I made a warrior boho queen headdress thingy.

It's just a load of old stuff I've been hoarding over the years. I do that. In truth, apart from the studs on the front, which I bought for doing my jacket, every other thing is just recycled old crap...

Now that I've made that, I don't have any more ideas about what I want to make.... my mind is a creative void, but I bet something will come to me overnight ;-) That sounds a bit creepy, but you know what I mean.

Friday, 30 June 2017

My Embroidered Black Leather studded Jacket & Paverpol

You know I was working on my old leather jacket last week, sewing appliqué bits onto the leather, which took AGES!!! and bloody hurt my fingers, but it was well worth the effort...
The studs finally came and I got to work with my hole puncher and power screwdriver, putting about 250 studs in, which also took ages. I also decided to lengthen the jacket and actually used some old bits of leather I had left over from a pair of lace up black thigh high boots I had as a 16 year old. Can you believe it! 30 years old bits of leather!! I'm such a hoarder! Who keeps this crap? But, I thought it would come in handy one day...didn't realise I'd have to wait 30 years!

Anyway, I'm super pleased with the result and the fit is perfect!



Last weekend I went on a course to learn how to sculpt with fabric using something called Paverpol.
We started by making a base from wire and tinfoil attached to an angel wing base.
All the ladies made very different shapes, some very curvy, others bowed and some, like mine with their arms flung out. As much different personality as the creators them selves...



But they were all lovely in their own ways. It was so nice to see these women enjoying themselves making things. I know how absorbing and calming it is to make stuff. I do it all the time and it is part of my job, but it was so wonderful to feel the energy of the group, totally focused and relaxed together.
This Paverpol stuff was incredibly easy to work with and the end result is surprisingly hard, light and durable. Definitely a great product to experiment with..

We used different fabrics, with different textures, but all stretchy, dipped in black Paverpol. The excess glue was smoothed out of the fabric to leave it drenched but not dripping then it was arranged around the frame. Once it had dried to the touch, which is surprisingly fast, we applied metallic gold paint to bring up the details.

I've had 2 big creative projects recently, plus this Paverpol thingy and feel like I have cleaned out all my ideas for now. I feel unburdened and light. Empty in a really nice way... I look forward to doing nothing creative at all for the next little while! Now I feel like talking....

Friday, 23 June 2017

Gucci, Embroidery & Roses on Black Leather

There has been a combination that I have loved for as long as I can remember (not that that is saying much these days ! ;-) It is traditional eastern European style flowers and embroidery on a black background. It was a big inspiration for me a couple of years ago when I started to design the 'Make Peace not war Collection'


It is also something that has inspired me on my next creative project. Unusually this is something just for me, nothing to do with work, just a personal project.

Last year I saw this jacket  by Gucci and I thought, mmmmm me wanty. But me cannot havey because it costs silly money...

Still, it didn't leave my mind because it featured several of my favourite things...flowers and embroidery on black, leather bikers jackets and studs... all together, all at once, in the same place! too fabulous.

I decided I wanted to do something like this but make it more me, and more affordable of course. I looked forever for the perfect plain black leather jacket that I could augment but I never found anything that was 100% right so I ended up using an old cropped leather jacket from my ancient past.

I found a really lovely embroidered mesh top from Zara for next to nothing, so I've cut out all the bits of embroidery and have started sewing them onto the jacket.


Once, I've sewn on all the bits of appliqué I'm going to add a bit of leather to make it longer then start putting the studs on, which is going to be epic! There are about 200 of them to screw in. I'll show you pictures as I go on with it. If you love embroidery and fabulous bohemian clothes then you must check out my Pinterest Board of My Favourite Clothes



Today is Midsommar here in Sweden and a very important day for celebrating it is! Many strawberries will be consumed, there may be silly dancing around pagan looking May poles, but whatever way you are celebrating today, have wonderful day and I hope you have good weather!