Monday, 30 August 2010

Love Letter To My Moleskine

While many bloggers have been putting away their trusted Moleskine diaries in favour of Filofaxes, I was the other way round - I used to use a Filofax, never got on with it and am now head over heals with my sleek little black Moleskine year planner to keep me organised. The reason I love my diary so much? Because it's just a slimmer version of my true love, my Moleskine notebook...
It's perfect for taking with you to sketch in in art gallerys that do not allow photos. If my drawing isn't that bad, and you're familliar with the installation, you may recognise this wall painting adorned with stuffed birds from the first room of the 'Surrealism and Dreams' wing of the Tate Modern gallery in London.
Also they are great for just generally writing. I'm sad like that but this is an essay I wrote, sitting on the floor in the said same gallery but across the hall where the egg like sculpture by Anish Kapoor (please say i spelt his name right, I'm writing this post on my Blackberry!) stands opposite a painting by Fransis Bacon. A sculpture I love by a sculptor I love, hanging opposite a painting I dislike by an artist I loathe.
I also stick loads of things into my moleskine, and doodle across its pages. I always tear out photos and articles from magazines/ newspapers that are of interest to me for future reference, so a lot of them if they don't go up on the wall end up cut and pasted in here where I can find them! On the left hand side of the page you can see my favorite photographer Tim Walker explaining to i-D Magazine about the shoot for the Miss Dior perfume campaign.
As I generally carry my moleskine with me and usually forget everything else, you can also see my English classnotes on British Theatre post 1945, pink doodles I did in a boring History Of Art lesson and stickers from All Saints and a really nice macaroon shop near where I live in France.
As I do in my regualr moleskine planner, I stick post its all over the pages to add extra dimentions. You can see the big yellow one with a list of freelance articles I needed to compleate at the time on top of the cutting from Vogue Paris.
I also try to mix things up so my pages always look bright and colourful by using lots of diffrent colour inks - pink is always my favorite!
Finally I use my trusty moleskine to scribble notes in for various articles I'm working on and here you can see my very messy but fun to make notes on Maroon 5's new album - Hands All Over - which I both urge to you dash out and buy the moment it drops, and to head out now to grab a copy of VenusZine Magazine to read my review!
Do you still use a moleskine notebook? What do you use it for, and do you have a black one or a red one?

Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Pretty Reckless at The Academy, Islington

On Thursday night after arriving in London (and a whirlwind day of exam results), I hopped on the Tube to go see The Pretty Reckless play for one night only at The Academy, Islington with my dear friend Sherin.
Before the show I loved the bands music (as you can tell from my previous post about them) but wasn't too sure about lead singer Taylor Momson herself, mostly down to the fact I really can't stand Jenny Humphry; the character she plays on Gossip Girl, which meant in the past my view of her had been tainted somewhat. However, after the gig and watching her and her band perform I officially love her. We both decided this in the scrum on the way out. That's the problem when you get a great place to stand; two thirds into the crowd - there are so many people behind you when you have to turn around to get to the door at the end!
After getting our place firmly rooted in the crowd after queuing to get into the venue (wasn't all bad, we got free The Pretty Reckless posters and promotional O2 gummy sweets) and having some drinks the support act came on, a band neither of us had heard of before but were absolutely fantastic; Francesqa.
They played a very good set, and I urge you to check them out/ get their EP - we certainly both will because they were absolutely brilliant. Also they served as the perfect opportunity to test out the settings needed on Sherin's camera for me to get some good pictures of the gig, as I'm really not used to shooting anything, let alone concert photos on anything but my own. Also I got some practice in on taking pictures from the crowd rather from the stage like I'm used to!
When The Pretty Reckless finally took the stage (to such a loud and excited welcome of the crowd, most of whom I must add were supporting a lot of eyeliner, either dyed black or bleach blond hair and being proportionately female) they played a fantastic set of eight numbers.
As fashion people we both craned out necks the moment Tayllor walked on stage and I was shocked she wasn't wearing black; the racoon eyeliner was there as was the very long wavy bleach blond hair, but she was wearing the white corset dress and suspenders which I think she was wearing in the Miss Nothing video.

The band had a really good stage presence and communication with the crowd; Taylor put her heart into all the tracks, the guitarist was super incredible at long and loud riffs, the bass player was great and the long haired head banging drummer was fun to watch!
I'm only familiar with a few of their tracks, but those I did know (Zombie, Miss Nothing and Make Me Wanna Die) were incredible live. The crowd loved them, and the live versions of these songs are so much better than their studio versions, though I can't wait now to get their new album; especially to hear a track I think was called 'Medicine' which I loved and should totally be their next single!
At the encore only Taylor and the guitarist (the two of the band who write most of their songs) came on for a really nice semi acoustic number, before the drummer and bass player returned for the grand finale.

What was the last gig you went to?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

France Photos (I Love Eating Out!)

So I got back from France on Sunday, but my internet has gone back to not being fixed, I apologise for not getting these pictures to you sooner, and for the lack of posts you'll be receiving over the next few days!
So, I know that I have promised you all a post out of my French fashion finds, but it was so wet and as I want to go back to the house to study for my exams, I spent a lot of time hanging around builders merchants and DIY stores trying to help my parents get the place finished instead! However, I've got a few photos from my village market, and quite a lot more from a lovely restaurant we ate out at in the shadow of the castle in Fougeres.
Something I want to buy for the house is one of these incredible chic water bottles like they had in the restaurant - I've found somewhere where I can get blue, orange, green and purple glass ones for only a couple of euros each... but I want a pink one!
As you can see the castle is really beautiful. I didn't go inside this time, but it has some beautiful and fascinating towers you can go up inside, beautiful views out across rural France from up on the ramparts and the whole set up, every time I visit makes me want to get cracking on writing a historical novel right away!
If you ever visit there is also a beautiful little Catholic church with an incredibly carved wooden pulpit and beautiful stained glass on the other side of he castle walls!
This is the restaurant we ate at - the other side of the courtyard from where I tried last time. This menu was full of grilled open sandwiches, big salads with nice crunchy croutons and seafood, and beautifully presented deserts, where as where I ate last summer there were more of the traditional gallettes, wrapped pancakes made with buckwheat and black butter.
You'll notice the red umbrellas we sat under - that's why all the photos I took of the food are tinged slightly red!
The reason I chose this place to eat is this board set outside the seating area - a popular dish in Northern France, Moules Frites (Mussels and Chips) is one of my favourites, and I have not yet had the opportunity to try Moules a la Catalane, even though I used to spend so much time with my Grandparents in the Catalane region of France, I was only brave enough to try mussels about 6 months ago, and besides I don't remember seeing it on the menus there anyway!
I usually go for Moules Marinere, which is cooked in onions and white wine, or Moules Provincial, which is cooked in tomatoes, peppers, white wine and onions. As you can see on the board the Moules a la Catalane are cooked with poivrons (peppers), tomates (tomatoes), courgetes (courgettes) and chorizo sausage.
Needless to say from this photo they were incredible, and some of the best mussels I've ever tasted.
The praline ice cream my parents had tasted fantastic, but it wasn't as good as my chocolate mousse cake - I think in this case pictures speak louder than words.
Though we went to the big market in the nearest town to us, Combourg on Monday, on Thursday we went to our tiny little market in our village of Bazouges la Perouse. While my Mum was laughing her head off at my Dad's awful attempt to buy us a bag of prawns to eat at lunch (I can speak very good French though I can read it much better, my Mum can speak what she remembers for school but my Dad can hardly speak any at all!), I indulged in my compulsive love of photographing produce in French markets...
I was fascinated by these potatoes - I'd never seen black ones before, but my mother as a foodie informed me they are quite common, just not in British supermarkets! Also you can see here yellow French beans, something our neighbour grows and always brings us over a massive haul of. I personally don't like beans, but apparently, boiled and with a generous sprinkling of Fleur de Sel (French sea salt, the best salt I've ever tasted that's about 2,50€ in the supermarket, but about £5 for a scoop in French deli's over here!) they are the best beans on the planet.
Finally, I wish to apologise this last photo is out of focus, but I wasn't paying attention when I took it! I just wanted to point out to you all the fantastic deals you can get on magazines in French supermarkets - Vogue Paris and French Glamour - both magazines I love to read - for only 4,95€ which is better than buy one get one free. I wish you could get bundles of all the magazine I love to read this side of the Channel!
I hope you guys all enjoyed you summer holidays! Where did you go, and what did you get up to! I want to know where everyone else went, and if you have a blog post with some photos, I'd love it if you left me a link!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Current Beauty Bag Lusts

I'm a real sucker for beauty products, so I decided to share some of my current lusts with you all!
I have really pale, really sensitive skin so finding a powder foundation has been a toughie. I don't actually wear any form of foundation past concealer, but sometimes I need a little bit and I've been using Clinique's version. However, in spite of being hyperallogenic the lightest shade is just a touch too dark/ orange for me, so I have to be really careful how I apply it when I use it! So, as far as shade is concerned cue make up artist Alex Box's creation Illamasqua, which I have been eying up ever since my eyes fell upon the deathly pale shades in their first ever ad campaign. It was not until I got a chance to try the powders out on my skin in Selfridges last week did I discover that the powder doesn't give me any adverse allergic reaction did I automatically add it to the top of my wish list as a must have!
I didn't really let myself get all excited about the new Burberry line, even though I'm just that little bit in love with all things Burberry, because I figured I'd be allergic to most of it. That was before I realised that there were lovely. neutral and earthy tones lipsticks and lip glosses included in the line! As a lipstick fiend I want to try out a nice reddish brown colour for the Autumn/ Winter!
As a big fan of brightly coloured mineral eye shadows it's essential that I have a good eye shadow primer, which is something I have yet to accomplish! I know I'm a religious Benefit user and they've got a new one out, but absolutely everyone, including a couple of make up artists I know have sung Urban Decay's Primer Potion's virtues to me, so I think that I may have to try it!
Finally, aside from my nail polish love meaning that I really want to try one of Butter London's polishes, and it being purple (my favourite colour, as well as bring a jewel shade which is in this season), I really want to test run this polish because it's sheer jelly polish. How cool is that - jelly nail polish!
What beauty product do you really want to go out and buy right now?