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Au Revoir, August!

I thought it would be fun to start doing a monthly recap of what’s happening on jessthetics. It’s a great way to celebrate what I’ve done, and get excited for the start of a new month!

At the beginning of the month I went to Cyprus with my family, and I also posted photos from a family trip to Northern Ireland.

August recap 1

I wore vintage at the British Museum, and got a little teen-witch on a walk by the river.

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I talked to you about the new Environment and Ethics page on my blog, and got some really lovely responses – you guys are the best!

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I got crafty with fabric paint, painting one shirt by hand and using potato prints on the other.

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I also shared with you four of my favourite fashion bloggers!

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I spent the last week of August in Paris with my boyfriend, drinking wine, looking at art, and seeing Nine Inch Nails at Rock En Seine. I can’t wait to show you our photos! It’s been a month full of sunshine and holidays and I’m so grateful to have been able to have this month to relax before I go back out into the big wide world.

I hope you’ve had a great August. What have been your highlights?

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Cyprus in Photos!

At the end of July, I went to the Greek part of Cyprus with my family and my boyfriend for our annual family walking-around-ruins holiday. It was SUPER hot, but I survived temple searching in 40 degree heat, go me! Cyprus felt really different to the Greek Islands I’ve been to before, perhaps because it’s so far east of Greece. It had a very rocky coast, and the center of the island consisted of a beautiful sprawling mountain range. We did lots of sight-seeing, swimming and eating, AND I got to wear a bikini every day. Perfect!

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cyprus 2I think lizards are SO cute. There were loads of lizards in Cyprus, just hanging out. There were also loads of Greek and Roman mosaics.

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cyprus 4These photos were taken walking around the Troodos mountains. I loved the forest – it was so (literally) cool!

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When museum hunting, we found this awesome art school and the building was covered in these cool statues, objects and colourful glass!

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CYPRUS 9

cyprus 10Ruins, an ancient village, sunset on the harbour, and cocktails!

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cyprus 12Ahh, going through these photos is like being back again! It’s nice to relive our time in the sun whilst getting ready for autumn. I even walked around the woods today, what could be more autumnal? I hope you’re having a great week 🙂

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Blogger Favourites: Fashion Edition

Finding a fashion blog that I really love is dangerous for me. I can spend hours browsing through outfit photos and browsing ebay and etsy for the perfect pair of sheer lace high-waisted bell bottoms because that girl looks so good in them and I need some just like hers! I think a good fashion blog is so much more inspirational than a fashion magazine. Not only are the outfits real everyday outfits, but I think bloggers are often more wacky and more playful with clothes than magazines are. That’s why I love fashion bloggers, and here are my very favourites. Choosing photos for this post was hard, I wanted to include so many more than I have space for!

Bell’s Fashion

Helena is surprisingly the only UK blogger in the post. She’s a stylist / photographer extraordinaire and I would die for her wardrobe. She has the most amazing two pieces, coats/kimonos and headpieces, and I LOVE that she never goes for the safe option. This girl is such an inspiration.

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The Bohemian Blues

Elina is a gorgeous Finnish girl with legs that go on forever. I love her 70s and 90s vibes, her outfits are always beautifully put together and she gives me some serious hair-lust.

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The Daydreamer

Steffi is an Indonesian blogger with THE BEST eye for vintage. She’s so colourful, grungey and feminine at the same time. I adore her blazers and her envious shoe and jumper collection.

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Devorelebeaumonstre

Stacey is from the US and she is the coolest fashion blogger ever. Her outfits have that effortless, “oh this? I just threw this on” vibe that I doubt I’ll ever be able to achieve. She’s one of those bloggers where I think if I knew her in real life, we would definitely be friends (although, let’s be honest, I think that about almost all the blogs I read!) and I love her luscious hair, and her fantastic jewellery and sunglasses collection.

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stacey 2Do you have any favourite fashion bloggers? Let me know, I would love to have a browse!

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Experimenting with Fabric Paint: Painting a Scene

Last week I shared some potato printing I did using fabric paints, and this week I’m going to show you my jungle t-shirt! This was a complete experiment but I’m pretty pleased with the way it turned out. The fabric paint was hard to paint on because it was difficult to control – the paint kep bleeding through the fabric – but I adjusted my method to make up for that, and I’ll show you what I did in case you fancy a go yourself 🙂

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You will need:

Something to paint on (e.g. cotton t-shirt)
Fabric paints
Paint brush
Paint Palette
Water jar
Pencil

Step 1: Pencil on your design. I find it easier to do big bold designs rather than small fiddly ones. Since the paint doesn’t always stay put, it’s hard to get the sharp lines required for small fiddly details.

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Step 2: Paint on your design! I went for a jungle scene with flowers, leaves, bamboo, a frog and a parrot! The paint did blend together well so I did a little bit of blending on the leaves and flowers.

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Step 3: To make my shirt look a little fuller and more colourful, and also to hide some of the fuzzy edges, I mixed some green paint with water and I painted grass onto my shirt. I also  used some kitchen towel and potato prints to blob flowers around the top of the shirt.

Step 4: Leave your shirt to dry overnight, and then iron it underneath some greaseproof paper for a couple of minutes to fix the paint.

Phew, all finished!

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Archie’s stealing the limelight in my photos again.

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What do you think? As you read this, I will be in Paris for my boyfriend’s 21st! I’m so excited. I’m lucky that we like to do the same things on holiday (wine, art and food) and I’m sure I’ll be squeezing in plenty of vintage shopping.

p.s. If we usually keep in touch but you haven’t heard from me for a while, don’t worry I’m still here but my laptop won’t let me comment on any blogs with capatcha. Grrrr.

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Environment and Ethics

I spent yesterday writing a new page, “Environment and Ethics” for the blog. Go and check it out! I just wanted to explain to you what it’s about and why I’ve introduced it. I use this blog to share my creative projects – I talk about food, clothes and DIY – but there’s another aspect of my life that’s been absent thus far. I spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to act towards reducing my negative impact on the world (and maybe even having a positive impact!) I don’t want my actions to cause harm to other people, animals, or the environment. Many of my beliefs are a product of the thinking I did during my Philosophy degree. See, Philosophy is a practical degree after all!

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Dressed in all vintage

I dream of working in the environment sector one day, but I also try to make a difference by altering my lifestyle. For example, I’m a vegetarian, I try not to support shops or companies who treat their employees badly, and I reuse and recycle where possible. Lots of my clothes are second-hand, and lots of my projects recycle old materials. I’ve come to realise that these two parts of my life –  my creative side and my commitment to living ethically and sustainably – are not all that separate. So much of what’s involved in making ethical and sustainable life choices requires creativity, and so many DIY projects have a positive impact! I’ve realised that this blog is a wonderful place to talk about ways to make one’s lifestyle more ethical and environmentally friendly.

Jam Jar Lanterns 3Making laterns from recycled materials!

So, there it is. I’ve created the Environment and Ethics page to highlight projects that are ethical and environmentally friendly. I had been worried about writing this page – I don’t want to sound preachy, or worse, like I think I know everything. Jessthetics is a place (hopefully) for sharing and inspiration, not a place for guilt or judgement! I am not always good at following my own rules, there are some things I’m not so sure about (I’ve kept my topshop/primark/leather clothes for example, even though I wouldn’t buy them from new anymore), and there are plenty of issues (probably more than I realise) that I’ve not even thought about. But all I can do is do my best! The introduction of this new page will document what I learn, and I hope you’ll stick around for the journey.

environment and ethics 2Making vegan pancakes!

P.S. Please let me know what you think! You can comment here, or feel free to drop me an email (jessthetics@gmail.com)!

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What I Wore: By the River

I must be mentally preparing for autumn without even realising it – this outfit is so witchy! My dark lipstick also reminds me of autumn / winter in the 90s. Even the leaves on the ground are looking a little orangey, so maybe summer is coming to an end. I took these photos with my brother on a walk along the river in our village. Living at home is not always ideal (I miss living in the same house as all of my friends!) but having all this countryside on my doorstep is definitely one of the perks.

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In retrospect, maybe I shouldn’t have worn socks with my cut-out boots, but socks are just so comfy! There’s something that seems wrong to me about wearing boots with no socks, although I’m warming to the idea. I’ve also been pinning my hair up in this new way where I tie it up into a ponytail and then pin the hair coming out of my ponytail down in sections. It’s probably my favourite way of keeping my hair out of my face!

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Outfit details: Dress, Topshop / Slip, Vintage / Jacket, VIntage / Shoes, Ebay / Sunglasses, H&M

This last picture is of me making friends with the tree. I love trees! I had my first ever phone interview today, which was nerve-wracking, but at least now I’ve had the experience! I realise there might be many more of these in the future before I find myself a job, but I really want this one so fingers crossed. I hope you’re having a fantastic week 🙂

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Experimenting With Fabric Paint: Potato Printing

Since I’m not doing anything else at the moment, I bought a set of fabric paints to play around with. My mum asked me to liven up one of her white t-shirts, and I decided to attack it with potato prints! This was actually a really fun and quick DIY, and I will definitely try it again! Next time I might use vegetables like apples and oranges that don’t need carving because they have such cute shapes already. You might notice that I’m wearing disco pants in these photos. I read in a magazine the other day that you shouldn’t wear disco pant because they are “out” and for some reason it made me really cross – I love my disco pants! So, I’ve decided to wear them all the time (even in the daytime!) in retaliation. Take that bossy fashion lady. Maybe I’ll even treat you to a disco-pants focused outfit post.

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(Yes I am posing in my mum’s shirt, I hope she doesn’t mind!)

If you want to try potato printing, you will need:

A potato!
A shirt to print on
Fabric paint
A knife
A paint palette

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Step 1: Put something under the first layer of your shirt (like newspaper) to prevent paint from leaking onto the back.

Step 2: Carve your potato! I did three circles of different sizes. Cut your potato in half, carve your shape into the flat side of the potato, and then carefully go around the edge with the knife to remove some of the potato outside of your shape (so that your intended shape is raised.)

Step 3: Pour some paint on your palette, dip your potato in, and print onto your fabric! Make sure you wipe the excess paint off the potato first, so that you get a clear print. I had some blobs of paint where I didn’t want them to be, so I covered these up with smaller circles.

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Step 4: Wait for your paint to dry, and then cover your shirt with greaseproof paper and iron for 2 minutes. This will fix your paint so that you can wash it!

I really like how this turned out, I think simple patterns work the best! What do you think?

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I am STILL in the process of sorting out my uni things since moving back home. I have literally twice as much stuff as space, and deciding which things to store or get rid of is tiring! What are you up to this week?

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What I Wore: The British Museum

For my mum’s birthday, my brother and I spent the day with her in London visiting the British Museum and eating yummy food. I love visiting London, but there’s never enough time to do all the things I want to do and see all the people I want to see! For sightseeing, I wore this maxi dress for the first time. I love how 90s the straps are, and although I wasn’t too keen on the shape to start off with, now I love it, it’s so summery.

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At the British Museum, we saw the Pompeii exhibition. It was good, but also very morbid and sad learning about the volcanic eruption. The building of the museum is beautiful, both inside and out, I could stare at the ceiling for ages.

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This floppy hat is one I’ve had for a while, but it’s been serving me well! It’s nice and heavy so it doesn’t lose it’s shape when it gets shoved in my bag when I go inside – I’m not that old-fashioned but it feels so weird to wear a hat indoors! Whilst in London we went for a delicious lunch at a Turkish restaurant, and look at how gorgeous the ceiling was!

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Outfit details: Dress, Ark Vintage / Hat, New Look / Sandals, Tesco

Have a fantastic day, I hope you have that Friday feeling!

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Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Recently I spent a long weekend in Northern Ireland with loads of my family. We were in a seaside town called Newcastle, nestled under the Mourne mountains, and it was really lovely. Even though it was cold, the sun was still shining! Apart from lots of family time, we did lots of walking and lots of eating (Yay! The best part of holidays!) Here are my photos of the beach, the mountain and the town.

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The beach was super long and really interesting. We walked for ages but it didn’t feel like we covered any ground. The sand was covered with these wavy ridges, multi coloured seashells and seeweed that was so brightly green it almost glowed!

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How cute are these swan shaped pedallos? It wasn’t really the weather for pedalloing but next time I’m back I’d love to go for a boat ride on one of these!

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I’ve been to ireland twice this year already, it feels like I’m there all the time! Not that I mind, it is such a beautiful place. Happy Wednesday 🙂