Tag Archives: textiles

#NoFilterNeeded

It will come as no surprise to hear..

That I love a good snapchat filter, or Instagram…..or flipagram….or Rple or Prisma and it seems like there’s a new app every week that can distort our faces into photoshopped perfection or a piece of art.

My Instagram is full of perfectly lit, posed pictures that look nothing like me whatsoever. The accompanying text along the lines of “Damn I wish my skin looked like this for real” typed while stuffing more pore blocking chocolate down my grid!  

Admittedly this fascination is doing little to aid my “be happy with how you look” crusade, but I’m fully aware that these smoothed out, contoured images aren’t attainable and are just a bit of fun.

A friend of mine Ste Johnson, is a professional illustrator and while he uses lots of new tech to create stunning artwork….give him a good old fashioned pencil and watch him work his magic!


I wanted to share an image with you, well it’s actually a piece of art and it’s not a narcissistic exercise, it’s an appreciation of skill. 

Ste managed to lift my self confidence with just a pencil, no filter needed, just some expertly drawn lines. Check out more of his work here.  

I’ve always loved drawing, colouring in and sewing since a really young age, but I’m not naturally gifted, just enthusiastic! 

Seeing what someone can do with just a pencil and pure skill will never fail to inspire me. Way more than a snapchat filter ever could! 

I’m so lucky to work with loads of naturally talented people and I’m always chuffed to discover a new artist creating something unique whether it be jewellery, baby items or framed art work. 

I met a lovely woman at Liverpool Loves on Saturday who knits and crochets. But I’m not taking baby booties and blankets! She knits octopus and mermaids and cactus and smiley veg! Check out her work at http://www.girlinpurlaction.co.uk 

Another exhibitor, GeekCycled makes tonnes of retro badges from old school comics, cue my eldest laughing at how different the chipmunks looked back in the early 90’s! 

She went home and made some Jacqueline Wilson badges of her own, inspired by the nostalgia. 


So here’s to all the true artists, the ones sketching in front of the telly, making mood boards from magazines, and cutting up old curtains to make tepees for the kids and buying half full paint tins and picture frames from car bootys to create masterpieces! 

Inspiring others young and old. You guys rock! 

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Like A Boss

I make no apology for writing (once again) about how awesome women are. That’s not to say guys aren’t amazing too (especially Michael Fassbender, Corey Parker and Eddie Redmayne to name a select few) I’m totally pro-equality….however over the last few weeks of my college course, I’ve met some seriously incredible women.

A woman I met a couple of weeks ago is 8 months pregnant and has a toddler running around with her 24/7. Already exhausting right? Now add into the mix the fact that this lady is a ridiculously talented, original, clothing designer and decided during the latter stages of pregnancy to design, create and debut her collection at her first ever fashion week……toddler in tow! All the while she looked stunning, form fitting wrap dresses, beautifully braided hair and tailored dress coats….and heels….and she nailed it! Hats off to you Taya.

The second woman, or should I say women I want to tell you about are artists too. They run a phenomenal initiative and pop up store called OneArt. Every few months they move into a different store space at Liverpool One and revamp it themselves, rollers and Dulux emulsion at the ready!. After all that manual labor they then display their own and other local artists creations for the lovely people of Liverpool and beyond to buy. All the while they are consistently creating new spaces for local artists to sell their unique artwork, jewelry and ceramics. Freida, Karen and Katherine…you rock!

Childsplay Clothing Liverpool Fashion Week 2015

I can’t write about influential women without mentioning Fashion Week event organiser and mum of SIX…Amanda Moss. I’m absolutely convinced she doesn’t sleep, and if she does it must be standing up with her eyes open planning awards and auditioning models. Amanda always has time for a catch up and develops events and gatherings that encourages others to shine…..Patron Saint of Multi-tasking like a boss!

And to my female family, friends, old school mates and women I stalk…I mean follow, on twitter…seeing and hearing you achieve stuff makes me want to up my game, try harder, stop making excuses. From my friend Leah who, without fail hits the gym everyday at 6am and wakes me up with her motivational Instagram post….to an old school mate (and birthday twin) Hayley who despite having two teeny boys looks a million dollars wondering around Sainsburys doing her shopping. So much love and respect for my relative who is caring for her elderly mother who suffers from dementia and yet always makes it home to put dinner on the table…. and to my Caroline who has supported me tirelessly while I try and become the writer/journalist I always wanted to be.

Surrounding yourself with people who inspire you, make you laugh and support you is such a simple yet effective way to feel comfortable in your own skin. With so much opportunity on our door step that is freely accessible to women now its no wonder we’re unstoppable.

Here’s to you girls!

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Full Circle Fashion

In just a matter of hours I’m going to my first ever red carpet, fashion event. As a little (and not so little) girl I often dreamed of what it would be like to don a beautiful gown, slip on some Louboutins and generally look a million dollars smiling and waving to the crowds. It doesn’t help my shredded nerves at all that Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz are reportedly attending! Eeeek.

My first taste of high-end fashion was when The Clothes Show came to BBC One, Caryn Franklin (Oh her silver streak!!) and Jeff Banks became my style mentors each Sunday evening and having to wait a whole WEEK for the next episode was complete torture! I spent my early years in Barnard Castle (in the glorious North of course) where I regularly visited The Bowes Museum with my mum and older brother. Even as a youngster I was fascinated at the old-fashioned clothes and toys on display, I’m still awestruck 25 years later at founder of the museum, Josephine Bowes’ pink taffeta ball gown which stands proudly along side regular exhibits from some of the worlds most famous designers. My love of fashion was born in those four walls.

Full Circle Fashion

Style is Eternal, hugging your brother outside the museum is most definitely not!

I moved away to the big city (Liverpool) and studied Fashion and Textiles design at St Helen’s College with the most awesome bunch of friends and tutors a frustrated artist can ever hope to meet. From recycled fashion shows (I strutted down a catwalk dressed in shredded bed-sheets and a corset at one point) to cheering on fellow class mate, Kirsty Doyle in her Project Catwalk triumph I had endless fun learning pattern cutting, history of art, screen-printing and photography (to name a few components of the course) and learned how to charity shop like a pro. Life skills! Since my colourful college days I’ve worked in retail, merchandising, media and PR. I’ve had three beautiful children and chased off two husbands…..I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve moved house, dyed my hair and cleared out my wardrobe….things and people have come and gone. But Barnard Castle still feels like home and fashion is still very much my first love.

As a trainee fashion journalist I’m back in Barnard Castle for a few days as somehow I’ve been invited to the VIP launch of Yves Saint Laurent, Style is Eternal, the first exhibition in the UK to present a comprehensive display of the French fashion designer’s work and life…..at The Bowes Museum. I was tempted to write a piece on how much of a privilege it is for a museum in the North to host such a high profile event…….and while it is a major event I think it belongs at The Bowes, where Style is Eternal.

I’ve laid out my gown and carefully chosen my accessories ….no Louboutin’s for me just yet but I’d like to think Josephine would approve.

The exhibition runs from July 11th to October 25th so you too can fall in love with fashion. Tickets available here.

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