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11

An Announcement!

You guys, I have some exciting news! I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, and in mid May I plan to open an Etsy shop! I have been collecting second-hand and vintage fabric and sewing it up into these cute little elasticated waist skirts. I’ll be selling mini, midi and maxi varieties! The skirt above was the first one I made, and I just love the sixties fabric. It’s been so much fun having a big project like this to work on, and although I don’t expect to be making a living wage from selling on Etsy, it feels so good to be taking my employment into my own hands to some extent.

My yellow sewing machine makes sewing a lot more fun!

My fabric stash is getting a little out of control…

Just some of the beautiful fabrics that I’ve picked up this month

I have to say, it’s handy having an excuse to browse car boot sales and charity shops weekly, and I’m definitely getting to know my sewing machine a lot better (and it’s limitations – I wish it let me adjust the width of my stitches.) I’ll keep you updated with my progress, and when I expect to open. Wish me luck!

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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!

robin hood 1

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)!

9

Packing for Beach Holidays

In my teens, I was a terrible packer. I would use holidays as an excuse to wear all of my favourite and more adventurous clothes, and as a result I would take half my wardrobe on holiday with me. I’m talking three-changes-of-clothes-and-a-pair-of-heels-every-day style packing. This meant that my suitcase was a nightmare to carry around, and I didn’t wear most of the things I’d brought with me anyway. Beaches, cobbled streets, and 5 inch heels do not go well together. I like to think that my packing ability has improved vastly in recent years. I even managed 5 days in Barcelona with just what I could fit in a large handbag. Packing light makes travelling that bit easier, and you don’t have to waste any of your beach time deciding what to wear! Here are my top tips for packing for beach holidays.

1. Travel comfy

packing 1

I like to travel in clothes that are comfy, won’t be too hot when I arrive in the sunshine, but serve as backup in case I need some warmer cothes when abroad. To save space, wear on the plane the jumper/ jacket / cardigan that you will wear on cooler evenings on holiday! Jeans, a t-shirt and boots are practical but still make me feel good (if I was a fashion magazine, I would use the phrase “casual chic” here.)

2. Don’t bring heels

packing 2

Shoes take up space, and you don’t need heels! Use this oppurtunity to give your feet a break, and go out in sandals instead. I find that all I need is a pair of flip flops for the beach and a pair of sandals for dinner and dancing. If I want to do any serious walking, I can just wear the boots that I travelled in.

3. Mix and match neutral separates

packing 3

All your clothes will go with each other if they belong to the same colour palette, and (apart from lots of patterns) my wardrobe is dominated by denim and neutral colours. If your favourite clothes are blue, white and green, then bring separates in these colours instead. You can wear the same shorts three times with three different tops and have three totally different outifts. This saves so much space, and when you’re abroad you won’t have to think about what to wear because everything will match.

4. Dress up playsuits for night-time

packing 4

For me, beach holidays are all about patterned playsuits. They’re so summery and fun, and leave plenty of skin exposed for tanning! With different jewellery and a bright red lipstick, I can wear all of these playsuits into the evening too, which saves space 🙂

5. Wear different shaped bikinis for a better tan

packing 5

To avoid getting bad tan lines, wear bikinis with different shapes. Your bikini is probably the thing that you will be wearing the most, so make sure you love it! I always wear a sunhat to keep my face from getting burned, and don’t forget your garish sunglasses!

packing 6

Don’t forget your sun cream and camera, and happy holidaying! Are you going to the beach this summer? Do you have any tips for packing for the beach?

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The Easter Bunny

Happy Easter! Look what the Easter bunny brought me this morning.

Easter Bunny 1

I hope you’re having a lovely long weekend filled with food, family / friends and lots of chocolate. Here’s a picture of the easter bunny after he delivered his eggs to me. This bunny is very hard to take pictures of, because he never stays still. I guess he has no time to stay still, since he has so many eggs to deliver!

Easter Bunny 2

Have a lovely day 🙂

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Santa and his rabbit.

Now that Christmas is over, it’s time to watch less telly, eat less chocolate, and write some essays. I’d much rather be eating nut roast and not writing essays!  I was lucky enough to get lots of lovely presents for Christmas, but my favourite has to be my new camera. I have been taking lots of pictures, and here’s a few Christmas pictures of decorations and my bunny.

Archie

FireChristmas tree

Santa 1

StarWreathReindeerPot PourriSanta 2Santa 3Santas

I can’t wait to keep practising taking pictures, and hopefully I’ll improve! I hope you all are in a relaxing post-christmas haze.

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Halloween Mourning

Today is the sad day where we have to take our halloween decorations down 😦 No more bats and ghosts flying around the ceiling. No more creepy cobwebs hitting me in the face whilst I’m trying to walk through the door. To commemorate this loss, here’s some pictures of our decorations…

Again, i’m sorry the quality of the photos isn’t great, I can’t wait to get a proper camera. It’s very tempting to buy one now and go without food for a couple of weeks.

It’s not all bad though, since this weekend is bonfire weekend! I am going to be eating a lot of toffee apples, let’s hope i still have some teeth left on monday.

Have a good weekend 🙂

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Hello world

This is my very exciting first foray into blogging. I read a lot of blogs, and I thought that blogging would be a great way to document and share the things I make and the clothes I wear. I already have a lot of crafty ideas, and I can’t wait to get started!  It’s been so beautiful and sunny, and it’s coming up to pumpkin season which is so exciting – I love halloween! And ghosts! I want to have a really fun and creative autumn, and to share my ideas with you. To you, reader, if you exist, I hope you find something you enjoy 🙂