Fashion is everywhere

Clones N Clowns by Aimee Wood

Dude it yourself #1 & #2

So I have been off blogging for a few days now so of course that means I have lots to show you ! Let’s start with a new column : DUDE IT YOURSELF ! Yep, DIY for men – what do you think ? I’m sure there are loads of men out there who want to get involved as well as many ladies who want to DIY for their friends and fam too ! I won’t be doing Dude It Yourselfs as often as I do women’s DIYs but from time to time a little testosterone will be fun 🙂 To start, here are two DIYs for men. I conjured them both up last week when I took part in this competition. Unfortunately one of my opponent did an amazing job and so I didn’t win the DIY comp (see more pics and find out more on my French page) but I still think these designs are pretty rad and worth sharing ! You might even be able to use the techniques in your more feminin DIYs – it’s all inspiration ! DUDE IT YOURSELF #1 : A dyed stripy tee-shirt Although I have used dye a lot over the years, I had never yet found this technique. In fact I only found out this time by accident : there I was, quietly mixing my black dye in a bucket, wet white fabric at the ready besides me. Suddenly the wind decides to join in and my black dye powder goes flying… After a short-lived panic I realised the dots of dye looked fab and a brand new technique was born ! Here’s how I got the stripy effect : You will need : a white tee-shirt, powder dye (machine dye), a bucket of water, a clean sponge, masking tape and newspaper to protect the area you’re working in. Make sure you can rinse the tee-shirt under a nearby tap too. 1 : Tape along the tee-shirt in stripes, just like we did here but wider. 2 : Wet your sponge and dampen the tee-shirt over the top of the masking tape. The dryer those protected bits stay, the better ! But we need the rest to be nice and wet so that the dye sinks in. 3 : Open the sachet of dye and lightly sprinkle it over the damp tee-shirt. Make sure you don’t cover it in dye or you’ll lose the effect. You almost definitely won’t need the whole packet just for one tee-shirt so keep at least half for another project ! Leave for a few minutes. 4 : Rince your tee-shirt in the bucket of water or under a tap, being careful dye doesn’t splash up onto your clothes. The masking tape might come off under the water, that’s OK. Just keep rinsing until all the dye is out and the water runs clear. Leave it to dry and there you have it, a vintage looking striped tee-shirt !  DUDE IT YOURSELF #2 : Contrasting jeans This is a technique I used to use when I was a teen. I would chop off the back pockets of my jeans and dye or bleach them and sew them back in place. It’s easy but it’s quirky – the panel loved this at the dying competition last week ! You will need : a packet of purple machine dye, a bucket of warm water, an old wooden spoon or stick, a pair of white jeans, a pair of scissors, a needle and matching thread (because the thread on my jeans wasn’t taking in the dye I stuck to white). You also need to be close to a tap in order to rinse the trousers. You might also like to use rubber gloves to avoid having Smurf hands. 1 : Remove the back pocket(s) of your jeans with your scissors. Take your time, if you rip the bum of your jeans you’re doomed ! So make sure you get it right by pulling the thread little by little. You can also do the same with the belt loops if you wish to dye them a stronger colour too. 2 : Wet your trousers under a tap and pour half the packet of purple dye into your bucket. Mix it up with the wooden spoon and immerse your jeans fully. 3 : Leave for 15 minutes and rinse until the water runs clear. 4 : Pour the other half of the packet into the bucket and dip the legs of your jeans back into the dye up to just above knee level. Also add in your pockets and belt loops. Leave for another 15 minutes or until these parts are much darker than before. Rince the jeans again. 5 : When the jeans are dry, it’s time to sew those pockets and loops back on. Just put them back in place and sew as closely as you can to the previous seam. 6 : To cut the jeans into shorts, ask your male model to put them on. Trace a line just above the knee and ask him to take them off again. Now cut the jeans about 10cm below that line. Do a double fold back up on the outside and you have your preppy shorts. If you’ve got it right, the hem should be darker than the legs 😉 And there we go, two cool DIYs for Guys ! […]

Dude it yourself #1 & #2

Back to the 20’s with Alice by Temperley

I heard on the radio yesterday that “staying in is the new going out”… I have to agree there are a lot of online events out there that make having a fun life much easier on week days ! Take the online event Harrods is holding tomorrow night for instance. The Summer of Now opening night will take place tomorrow 1st May on Harrods.com/summer-of-now and guess what… We’re all invited ! But wait, it gets better. What’s the point in attending an opening night if you have to buy your own champagne and nibbles, you may ask… Well, I suggest one answer to that is in that first photo. This dress, the Erte Dress, signed Alice by Temperley is just one of the amazing prizes you’ll be able to win at the online event. It is inspired by the 1920’s as you can see by the straight cut and draped skirt. The elegant neckline and shoulders are to die for and the sequins around the waist reflect the splash of rebirth from the post-war period. The 1920’s are such an inspiring fashion era. Back then, women’s rights were on the move and the freedom they started to take in the way they dressed just went to show they were ready to stand up for themselves. Skirts got shorter (although the one above is gorgeously long in a more early 20’s style) and silhouettes became more and more masculin. Women also started to cut their hair short – the bob was a thing back then and in fact seems to be racing back into fashion as I type. Everything was about elegance, cultivated beauty and taste. Today, this retro style is highly fashionable and as far as Harrods’ event is concerned, well, who wouldn’t want to take a chance at winning this fabulous creation ?! The dress is part of Alice by Temperley’s beautiful AW13 collection and is not yet on sale… I know I’ll be entering, see you there ?! All you have to do is visit Harrods.com/openingnight from 4pm on and enjoy the fun !Pssst – Come back later to check out today’s DIY 🙂 xx  

Back to the 20’s with Alice by Temperley

Chocolate ganache recipe with secret ingredients (bikini friendly !)

What would it take for your guys to believe me that this here chocolate ganache (what am I saying ?! This here DELICIOUS TREAT) is a healthy option as desert ? Would I have do another 30 days challenge where I eat chocolate ganache and weigh myself each day for a month ?! Or would the below bullet points be enough to make your mouth water with guilt-free saliva ? Let’s give it a go : * The chocolate in this desert is from fresh, raw cocoa. That means it has not been processed and in fact is actually GOOD for you in many ways. It is higher in anti-oxidants than green tea, it lowers blood pressure, it gets those happy cells buzzing ’round your bod like any other chocolate but doesn’t have the bad fats and in fact even decreases hunger… And yes, by the way, it still tastes like scrumptious, indulgent chocolate. * The butter is replaced by coconut oil which not only give the chocolate a superb exotic taste but is also good for you, encouraging healthy weight loss (remember, our bodies NEED some fats, just not the bad ones !), helps increase immunity, soothing any internal inflammations you may have and generally helping your digestion, healing and relieving other deseases one may suffer from (kidneys, liver, bones…). The more I read about it the more I realise what an amazing produt coconut oil is, we should all have it in our cupboards at all times – and in our bathrooms, remember this post here about 5 ways to use coconut oil in your beauty routine. * The sugar is replaced by maple syrup which, if you buy a natural and better more organic version, is a much better choice if you’re wanting to avoid refined, unnatural products. It is also 3 times as sweet and so less is needed. * The mixture is thickened with… wait for it… avocado. And no this DOES NOT spoil the taste. The only results of avocado being added to this desert is that the texture becomes dreamily creamy and extra vitamines get secretly added in. Bingo ! So, convinced ? If not, just try it. You will not believe your taste buds. This ganache tastes like it’s something you should go to prison for eating, and yet… it’s actually OK ! The idea of it may take some getting used to but once you try it you’re never going back !Here’s how to make raw cocoa chocolate ganache at home (serves 10) : In a blender, mix together 1 cup raw cocoa powder (I’m sure you could use “normal” cocoa powder if you’re not worried about the health factor), 1/2 cup of coconut oil, 1 cup maple syrup, a pinch of good salt (anything but table salt ! Try Himalayan  it’s pretty, pink and better for you !). Emulsify well. Add the flesh of 1 avocado and 1/2 tspn vanilla paste/extract. Blend again until smooth and shiny. Spoon the mixture into small bowls or glasses (you only need a few spoonfuls, this is powerful stuff!) and leave in fridge to set. Leave for a few hours and INDULGE whilst sitting in your itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini ! Thanks to Desri Goodwin for this great recipe ! xx Aimee

Chocolate ganache recipe with secret ingredients (bikini friendly !)

Mom’s jewellery box…

When I’m back in France, there’s one room in particular I love rediscovering in this big, beautiful house we call Home. Of course the first place I run to is my own room – wonderful memories – but that’s not the one I’m talking about. There’s another, more mysterious room. My Mom’s room – well, her side of the room, her “dressing room” area. Beautiful fabrics, textures, colours, embroidery, heels (barely worn yet cherished) and jewellery. It’s usually quite messy – the apple never falls far from the tree – but it’s one of those organised messes only she seems to understand. She knows where (most) things are, knows what box to open and which sweater to look under to find exactly what I’m hoping for. Because when I go in there, I just stand and watch like the child I become again, longing to see what we’ll get to look at today… Often times, she’ll say “I’ve kept you this, I thought you’d like it, I won’t wear it any more”. And because she has good taste I feel lucky to have her around. Other times, I get to try and sometimes borrow, like today when she opened that round basket box. Hiding in there were (what felt like) thousands of pieces of jewellery of all sizes, colours and styles. A mish mash of stories to tell and places only she had been. As she looked through, reminiscing, she passed them to me one by one. I looked at them, oohed and ahhed and finally stacked them on my arms in the random order they landed between my fingers. It looked beautiful, and I was inspired… Jump suit : Jack Wills Tights : H&M Shoes : Vintage Bangles + necklaces + hat : Mom’s own Glasses : UO Ring : handmade by my Mom When I’d finished playing I returned the jewellery, secretly trying to keep one or two bangles on my wrist… Of course she noticed, they’re her treasures. “One day”, she assures me. Until then I’ll be building up my own, unique collection. Maybe one day someone will enjoy looking through mine too… Good night ! xx Aimee

Mom’s jewellery box…

Blogging : How to protect creative content

After a year of almost daily blogging I’m starting to get used to the pros and cons of viral content. And by viral, I mean content people can share with ease, content that can get around the world in minutes and that can unfortunately get lost on the way back. Sharing inspiration, techniques, tips and projects online is something I love to do, you can tell by the fact that this blog contains hundreds of ideas and tutorials. I always get excited when I see people sharing my photos and how tos on social media like Pinterest and Facebook and love it when people tweet about my work – recognition makes all that effort even more worth while ! Unfortunately, recognition is not always what you get. In fact sometimes you get nothing. Because even after hours of work (and money) spent on your project, sometimes people steal it from you. Sure, maybe they don’t consider sharing viral content to be stealing but if neither your name nor website are quoted with your work then it has been stolen from you. Somebody else is reaping that recognition instead of you.     This happens more often than you might think and I have to say, some people do it without realizing.  Search engines like Google enable people to use key words to pick up and use images that were originally taken by other users. Often times new bloggers will go looking in these places and might share content because they think it’s cool and will make their new blog interesting – and yes it probably will. They don’t even think about the work that has been put into it – when an image lands on Google Image it almost becomes free of use. Besides, the person this image belongs to probably won’t even realize it has been used – the Internet is a huge place ! So people don’t think twice and the content is shared without a source in sight. Then there are the ones who know just what they’re doing. Again this may be based on the idea that the owner of the content may never even find out. And maybe that’s true. But it’s still not right to take and use someone’s content and not pass on any of the benefits. Just like it’s not right to hand in the same homework as somebody, even if you went into their bag when they weren’t looking and photocopied it without anyone seeing ! Somebody has spent time and energy on it – they deserve the benefits – you don’t ! This has been and still is a problem for me on a weekly basis. Websites that have a great reputation have simply used my work to please their readers without ever mentioning where they got it from or asking for my permission – never mind offering some sort of compensation for the work I did “for them”.  In fact sometimes I come across my photos and tutorials on Pinterest, click through and realize that somebody has linked the image back to their own site (that often has nothing to do with the image in the first place !). So they are using my work to attract attention (and sales), they are stealing my creative content. So should we stop people from being able to share our content all together ?! You can forbid right clicking and screenshots – would that be a good start ?! It may stop people sharing your content – but what about all the ones with good intentions ? What a shame if people are wanting to show their friends and followers what a cool blog you have but can’t ! So no, I wouldn’t suggest stopping people sharing your content – I receive a high number of visits from sites like Pinterest, Facebook, Craftgawker… Without this sharing my blog wouldn’t be as successful as it is. Instead I suggest making sure that whenever your content is shared, you get the credit. And here are a few ways you can protect your content from “bad sharers”. I hope they help !If you want to make things clear to anyone who passes by your blog – and avoid people saying “but I didn’t know”, then warn them. Set the rules. There’s nothing wrong with a short and sweet message at the side of your blog or on your About page stating that you are happy for people to share your content if they link back and / or ask first. It’s the least you can do if you want to protect your work ! When people do get in touch with you, feel free to say how you feel, too. At first you may want to make the most of their interest and just ask for a quote. Then, as you get more used to defending your content, maybe more confident and less needy, you might chose to negotiate on which images they use. These days, if a website is wanting to use my tutorial images, I ask if they could actually just post before + after pics and link through to my website for the step-by-step. If they say yes that’s great, if they say no I consider who they are and what I may get from the their offer and then decide to let go or hold on to the tutorial.By sharing your content […]

Blogging : How to protect creative content

Coloria Competition !

Heya ! Today has been a busy day and my hands are now multi-coloured… Why ?! Because the brand Coloria has invited 3 other bloggers and me to take part in a DIY competition ! We were sent a white tee-shirt and a white pair of trousers (pants !) as well as 9 different colours of dye and we were asked to create a MEN’s outfit ! Yes, an outfit to be worn by a man. After all this practice making women’s clothes, I now have to rack my brains to DIY something for a handsome male model ! Well, you know I like a challenge so I came up with thousands of ideas and finally chose one – I hope it’s a winner ! We’re all meeting in Paris tomorrow night for a fashion show where a pro panel, journalists and a few fashion lovers will judge our outfits… Can’t wait to show you photos ! Meanwhile, here’s a little sneaky peek behind the scenes !  What would you have done for a man’s dyed / DIYed outfit ?? xx

Coloria Competition !

Hello from Toulouse !

  Hello from La Ville Rose ! Sometimes a change is as good as a break ! And although I’ve been off blogging for just two days I feel pretty refreshed after all that hard work on 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS. I spent the week-end in Toulouse in the South of France, where I went to university. Reminiscence and rediscovery as well as a good spot of sun and a whole lot of fun… Just what I needed ! Here are a few shots of what they call “La Ville Rose” (the pink city – because of all the red brick)… It’s a beautiful place to visit with colourful scenery and a happy, relaxed atmosphere.  Definitely one of my favourite inspiring places ! As you probably guessed I enhanced the pink in a lot of these photos… This is because although they call Toulouse the pink city, the bricks are actually quite orangy. It’s beautiful like that, but I have always wondered what it would look like if everything really was bright pink… So here we are ! Which brings me to a little tip I’d like to give you guys, if you would like to change or enhance a particular colour in your pics too ! You will need Photoshop for this. Geeky DIY : How to alter a selected colour in Photoshop. Open your photo in Photoshop and retouch to your liking. Next, go to the “Layer” tab and follow through to “New Adjustment Layer”. Pick “Selective Colour…”. The layer will  open in the sidebar and you will be able to pick a colour to start tweaking. For example, I picked “reds” and eliminated the Cyan and Yellow and added Majenta and Black. This meant that every red in my original photo was altered turning it into a beautiful bright pink. Had I wanted to change the sky, I would have picked “blues” and tweaked that.This is a great way to play around with colours in your photos – you’ll find new contrasts that really bring the best out of your shots. You can also use this to create Pop Art style pics, but we shall talk about that again soon 😉 Take care xx

Hello from Toulouse !

DIY 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS : #30 with nautical bows

And the winner is………..”The one that was too small to see the sea” ! Cristal sent in this DIY for our readers competition and although it was VERY difficult to pick a winner (you’re all so talented, why am I the blogger on here ?!), I chose this one because it is an easy upcycle using two old tops to make one gorgeous new one. I also think it was perfectly executed. The top looks like it was bought in a shop – and yet Cristal made it in just a few simple steps from two old tee-shirts she wasn’t wearing any more. The nautical trend is back in again as we prepare for Summer so Cristal’s blue and white stripes work very well – but of course you could use any old tee-shirt and colours. I think this DIY ends the challenge perfectly, don’t you ? You can see what else Cristal has to say (in French) on http://autourdudressing.canalblog.com ! She has a few other DIYs on there too 😉 Thank you Cristal, you look adorable ! I will be posting all the other competition entries on Facebook very shortly, like our page to make sure you don’t miss them ! CLICK HERE 🙂 And guys, thank you SO much for following the challenge. I’m pretty darn PROUD and so touched so many people have said they were inspired by the tutorials and even took part in the competition ! It feels so great to be sharing all my ideas and inspiration with you, truly 🙂 I hope you’ll be back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next ! Tee-shirt #30 is NOT the end of our fun ! So stay tuned ! (I also have a few craft fails to show you shortly too haha) Lots and lots of LOVE Aimee and all 30 tee-shirts – HIGH FIIIIIIIIIVE !

DIY 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS : #30 with nautical bows

DIY 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS : #29 with a removable feather collar

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!! This is my FINAL tee-shirt for 30 days 30 tee-shirts !!!!!!! Tomorrow I’ll reveal the winner of our readers competition with a design for tee-shirt #30 and that’s it – we’re done with 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS and have got 30 brand new DIY ideas ! Have you loved it as much as I have ?! I’ll admit I have had this particular idea since the beginning but really wanted to keep it for my final top – I absolutely love it and know I will wear it and wear it. I love the bright pink although I very nearly went for something more elegant like white or light blue. But then I though why not, right ?! Let’s go wild ! Of course I could have simply stitched the feather trimming to the neckline but I don’t believe these feathers will wash so well and I’d rather avoid having to pay for dry cleaning. So here it is, a removable feather collar. The poppers are practically invisible and think of all the other trimmings you could use – you could make multiple collars and this would become a versatile tee ! Here goes the tutorial folks – it’s an easy one !So basically all you have to do is seperate your poppers, stitch sides A to the tee-shirt at equal distances all the way around the neckline. Next, stitch sides B to the feather trimming at exactly the same intervals. This way the trimming will match the neckline and your collar is almost ready ! Finally, chop off the excess trimming and stitch both ends together, overlapping slightly. You’re done ! Ooooo I just love it ! And because it’s the last day of the challenge for me, I had some fun with the photos – you can tell I’m excited at the idea of completing this challenge ! You may also notice the backdrop has changed… I arrived at my French home this morning and I’m already enjoying being here so much ! Sun, space, sky, happy neighbors, beautiful vines, rustic scenery… I’ll show you more very soon ! Sooooo, see you tomorrow for our final tee-shirt ?! Take care and …. let me see ya shake your tail feathers ! xx

DIY 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS : #29 with a removable feather collar

DIY 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS : #28 by Gédane

Well, I guess this one goes out to Boston… I’ve been meaning to get a small word in to send my love over to America where so many of my readers live. And then I received an email from French blogger Gédane who had designed #28 with a DIY full of stars and stripes and sparkles. And you know what ? I hope those sparkles keep shining, whatever happens and whoever decides to hurt, damage, scare or kill. Because those sparkles are the true nature of mankind and we can’t afford to forget it. If such events were representative of who we are, of our generation or of the ways of our world then we wouldn’t see them as so tragically unacceptable. <3 Moving on, let’s take a look at this fabulous tee-shirt ! It seriously looks like something bought in a shop. Gédane is such a pro, she used hotfix rhintestones, binding, denim, zigzag stitching… All the steps are illustrated and explained on her blog : http://gedane.over-blog.com/article-diy-custom-tee-shirt-117129984.html I have never used hotfix studs or stones but only the day before yesterday I was promising myself I would give it a go. The result is so much tidier than hand-glued rhinestones and I bet it’s a real time-saver too because it’s always a fiddle using a toothpick or tweezers and glue. I like the idea of a denim patch too, there is a lot of denim around this Spring especially in light blue. Before I go, thanks so much to all of you who took part in the competition to design tee-shirt #30 !! Your designs are fab, I hate the fact we have to pick a winner ! You’ve all been such fab supporters I’d like to give you all big hugs and cupcakes haha Take care and stay inspired Aimee PS – See you tomorrow for my final contribution to DIY Challenge 30 days 30 tee-shirts and I can tell you now it’s my all time FAVOURITEEEEEEEE ! xx

DIY 30 DAYS 30 TEE-SHIRTS : #28 by Gédane