Friday, 27 February 2009

How to know everything

OK, so I suppose it must be accepted that we will never know everything. But in response to my previous self-pitying and philosophising post, La wonderful blogger Belette Rouge asked me

I want to know how you know these things. I am curious about how you learned those lessons.

To start with, my immediate response was I don't know.

I know that sometimes I do sound like an old head on young shoulders, but this is well balanced out by plenty of entirely stereotypical teenage girl behaviour and a good dose of childish immaturity.

I know that I have not had a particularly eventful life, in comparison. Yes, I have experienced death, new life, success and rejection but not in any drastic misery-memoir sort of way. I have not lived a fast drugs, sex and rock'n'roll life and there are plenty of things I have not experienced which my comtemporaries have.

I know that I think a lot; maybe that is why. I spend hours analysing every aspect of life and still don't know what the right answer is. I am happy, though, walking and indeed also talking with only my own thoughts for company. Even so, I have once or twice sent myself into worrying hysteria. I enjoy learning, studying, so maybe I do think more than other people. But I also spend a great deal of time talking, without thinking whatsoever.

I know that I love people. I am happy with just my thoughts, but I come alive with other people. Last week I went to a party with many people who knew each other and didn't know me. They all asked me: 'how do you know everyone here?'. As soon as I meet somebody, and we make each other laugh, any negative thoughts melt away. Maybe it is loving people, both those whom I am very close to, and those with whom I laughed once.

I know that I laugh a lot. I can make people laugh. Sometime, I like my humour but other times I don't. One thing I strongly believe is that life is a 'laugh or cry' situation. That's how we can respond to things: either laugh at them or cry. Of course, I do cry, but mainly I laugh.

What I know for certain, is that I am a bookworm. I love reading, immersing myself into a whole other world. When I was younger, my mother told me that I read too much, that I had to experience life first-hand. But I'm not going to go out and experience Narnia first-hand, now am I? Even so, beautiful writing can teach you about the emotions of life in a way which I don't think hinders our own experiences. I think it enhances them.

So there it is, the route to knowing everything, according to me. Live, love, laugh and read a lot.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Recently, my mind has been feeling very blurry. In fact, trying to articulate it now, I am finding it almost impossible. Of course, I have been frantically busy and occupied with life's events which leaves me feeling a little dazed. But there have also been plenty of long, pensive, whiled away hours in which I careen between feeling intensely and oddly blessed, completely despairing and then just bored as I realise I have been spending hours doing nothing much.

I seem to have been rendered incapable of doing anything productive, only thinking and then being unable to translate any thoughts into anything tangible. I don't know if you've noticed it in my posts, but I am writing them much more slowly, with less urgency as my mind meanders along the sentences. I find less and less of what I write making any sense, and having to go back and rewrite. It takes time, time which seems to be evading me, and so I have missed a few days' posts.

I can think of a number of reasons for this. I think that recently I have just been over-stimulated in terms of excitement and opportunities in a very short space of time, and before I was working very hard and getting very stressed, and now I need to do all that again but I can't seem to get my mind back to normalcy. There are too many intense thoughts in my head already. I did a regular writing exercise today where you have to start my writing 'I remember...' and continue for 15 minutes and of course, what came out, but half an hour of painful writing about the person I am constantly, constantly thinking about. This was completely useless and in fact probably detrimental and I thought that that half an hour would have probably been better spent writing a thoughtful post on this blog, but I come on here and all I can write about again is the melting pot of nonsense cluttering my mind.

I thought about posting what I had written for my post, but it felt too personal. I don't want to save it really, but I suppose that even if I was not writing with any clarity or craft, there might be some good bits which come out of using strong emotion.

Paradoxes are always the most painful. Bittersweet aches a thousand times more than plain sadness, but is more addictive than the purest happiness. I sought every extra second to see you, and then pored over every single second as I tried to read your thoughts. Did you hate me, forget me, or worst, not care? My mind wished we had never met. My heart could not contemplate that thought.

Our paths grew closer with the power of words; thousands of words, witty words, some angry words, prosaic words, beautiful unforgettable words. And now these words, this life which seems to be the only way to continue to know you begins to steal my time. Hours while away on this pointless task, and again it is only in my dreams that anything could ever come of this. Maybe you want me to come back into your life too, or maybe you’re just bored and enjoying the novelty of the internet. I don’t know, but now my dreams are nightmares. Now my memories are obliterated by a vision of the paths of our future reaching closer, closer, knocking occasionally against each other’s sides, and then careering off in completely opposite directions, never to be fully intertwined again.

Then I realised that I was writing like a walking, talking, hormone spouting cliche. And I realised that I needed you guys, writers who understand the power of words. You understand how to use words to make people laugh, touch people, inform them, help them, sooth them. I don't know exactly what I know I need you for, maybe just as a reason to be able to write this post for something. Maybe I'll put this under the tag 'SOS' because as clever people, older and wiser, you'll have some sage advice to hand out.

I don't know. I'll write to you when I do.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Crushes you just shouldn't have

We all have crushes we shouldn't have; maybe you've fallen for their charms but they're really quite nasty, or maybe it simply will never happen. As with most normal people, I find it quite easy to accept that any hot celebrity crush I have is merely a fantasy. This probably has something to do with the slightly ridiculous level of their beauty (you'll find plenty of examples of beautiful boys if you look under the slightly misleading tag of 'my cultural education'), which elevates them to a shelf of unattainability which is just way too far out of reach and gets dusty and old pretty fast.

Maybe it's for this reason that real-life crushes are so much harder to let go of. However right he absolutely is for me, James Franco and I will never be together but however wrong that real guy is for me, we might maybe just possibly have a chance.

But that still doesn't explain the reason for some other seriously long-term celebrity loves I've had, the ones which my friends ridicule me for and should probably fall squarely under the category 'crushes you just shouldn't have'. I'm sure you all have people like this too, and I'd love it if you shared.

These men all have children who are approximately my own age, and although I obviously disagree, their looks have definitely been called into question. The only way I can explain this otherwise inexplicable infatuation must be their talent. And so, in Oscar speech style perfectly befitting these talented actors, I dedicate this post to those crushes I just shouldn't have.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Off to bed posts

Do you remember my Sunday night off to bed posts? Yeah, they kind of petered out. Anyway, the point was that perhaps posting late, just as my mind was beginning to shut down, might result in some more natural writing. If that didn't happen, then it never failed to be amusing.

But last night, if the off to bed posts were still happening, it would have clocked in at approximately 8PM. I was that tired. Originally, my friend and I had planned to watch the Oscars into the early hours, but that didn't happen. And now I have to resort to youtube clips; I just love the Oscars!

So this is meant to be some sort of explanation for recent lack of posting - I am dog-tired. Normal service should resume Wednesday. Please keep with me.

And on that note, who stopped following my blog?? I would be personally offended if I wasn't still half asleeep!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Tried and tested

I have always had very diva-esque skin. Pale and fragile, it easily scars and I still have the marks of a nasty case of chickenpox over 10 years ago. I don't tend to use make-up very much to disguise my skin's faults; I feel odd in foundation, blusher or bronzer. Even so, I have bought and tried plenty of products to pamper my skin. They either irritate it further, just don't work or maybe I'm not using them right. So on the whole, I suffer through always dry, sometimes spotty, sometimes flaky, sometimes itchy and always diva-esque skin.

At least most areas of our skin have hair, sweat glands and sebaceous glands to try to protect and serve some. Our lips, on the other hand, do not and thus need extra attention. For as long as I can remember, I have had chapped lips and for almost as long, a super-sized tub of Vaseline has been a permament fixture at my bed-side (as well as a pocket version to keep handy). However I find Vaseline to be ineffective and started to use other products, such as Carmex or any other salve available. Even so, this winter my lips were constantly in pain and these supposed remedies were not helping, although I had now become addicted. I perpetually reeked of cherry Carmex but my lips were still sore.

Perhaps there is an element of immunity to these chemical-filled lip balms, because they worked at first but then the magic seemed to wear off. If any of you readers are scientists, please enlighten me. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, fed up of the overly saccharine smell of the Carmex, smily texture of the Vaseline and the constant pain I bought this organic Neal's Yard Lip Formula. It was a little pricier than my usual stuff but definitely the cheapest in the high-class pharmacy I visited.

And let me tell you, this stuff is heaven. It smells delightfully yet subtley of shea nut and rosehip (I didn't know what that smelt like 'til now, either) and definitely relieves the pain. The best part, however, is that I don't seem to be addicted. I can go for several hours longer without it than any of the other products I have used, and I am happy to report that I have gone the longest without Vaseline for several years. Maybe I'm just being cynical, but doesn't it seem like most non-medicinal 'healers' are more concerned with getting you hooked and selling more than actually fixing your problem?

Thursday, 19 February 2009


Recently I was eating lunch with somebody and she told me a story. She started off by telling me: 'I did something naughty at work today'. That had me interested. Anyway, she had been hosting an event for work, and a woman kept on pressuring her to distribute some flyers about something or other she'd been putting together. They only exchanged one or two sentences in the whole evening, but my friend had got a distinctly aggressive vibe off this woman. The next day, the woman called to enquire about the flyers and a couple of minutes into the call surprised my friend by asking her 'do you eat anything?'. She continued to tell her that, not meaning to be rude but she was concerned for my friend's health and thought she ought to put on a few pounds, because she didn't look at all healthy, and it's important to eat, even if you want to be thin.

For a few moments my shocked friend floundered and replied with justifications of her weight, that she is very active, does lots of exercise, feels entirely comfortable at this size and, not that it was any of this woman's business, but she'd been going through a pretty hard time lately. Then came the 'naughty' line:

'Not meaning to be rude or anything, but you're probably carrying a few too many pounds, and although I genuinely understand that it may feel hard to lose weight, I'm of course only concerned for your health.'

Now there were a few moments silence before the woman burst into a thousand and one apologies for any offence she had caused and begging my friend to promise that she was forgiven. My friend accepted her apologies.

I was a little taken aback by my friend's confrontational response, but I suppose it really does highlight the point about criticising other people's weights. And it certainly worked, because it showed this woman (who apparently has a track record for such behaviour) that such comments really aren't acceptable. Of course, if you really are seriously concerned for a friend's health that is a different matter, but I find it hard to accept any other sort of comment as anything but false.

Look at the constant scrutiny of the weight of young female celebrities, such as Mischa Barton. 6 months ago her cellulite was splashed across gossip mag covers which are now displaying images of her dangerously thin and gaunt face. So it is evident that this sort of scrutiny has a forceful impact on its objects. And I can think of no other reason for it existing other than the jealousy of other women. Doesn't seeing that starlet having put on an ounce of weight give you just a teensy bit of sick satisfaction? Doesn't seeing her then looking strangely skeletal provoke a tiny spark of jealousy, which you then have to disguise with the correct amount of disapproval?

Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the female sex as a whole really is deeply concerned about the collective weight of their fellow womenfolk. What do you say?

Wednesday, 18 February 2009


A while ago, I did a tag and one of my quirks was that I have a freckle in one eye. But after writing that post, I set to examine photos of myself and didn't seem to be able to find this freckle.

This was a pretty disturbing moment to me; possibly akin to Jason Bourne discovering his true identity, Henry DeTamble waking up without feet, those dreams where all your teeth fall out. OK, maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but we all like to have our quirks and thinking that they've vanished can make you feel a little blank.

But I also noticed that in every photo my whole body, let alone one eye looks completely different. If I happened to be squatting at the wrong moment, my feet mind end up looking about 20cm long. Open your mouth to speak whilst posing for a photo invariably results in the most painfully comic of images. Certain lights can work wonders on your skin and others... don't. So perhaps it isn't so surprising that I found it difficult to find some concrete proof of a subtle brown freckle in my murky green eyes. Whatever anyone tells you to the contrary, the camera does not never lie.

Still, I'm hoping my camera was having a truthful moment when this photo was taken.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009


This week, I happened to glance at a rack of magazines in Selfridges. Instead of the usual selection I would have expected to be greeted with, I was presented with two whole rows of ELLE UK magazines. And they all had different covers. At first, I wondered if I was looking at an archive of ELLEs, but it soon became evident that they were all the same March '09 issue.

Further investigation has shown me that several different designers (Stella McCartney, John Galliano, Vivienne Westwood and Christopher Kane) were all asked to design an exclusive cover. I use the word exclusive sceptically, since according to the website you can only buy them online, at LFW and selected WHSmiths but there were plenty in Selfridges.

On top of that, there appear to be two alternative Gwyneth Paltrow covers which mainly differ in colour, one being black and white and one not. In addition, there is the seasonal runway guide which can be purchased seperately. Oh, and don't forget that you can also purchase the magazine in a convenient travel-size (you'll be getting Gwyneth Paltrow in colour then).

Monday, 16 February 2009

The Venetian Tube

Whilst raiding my sister's storage for components which might be able to make a saint's costume (halo - nope, cross - nope, wings - nope) I did manage to find this absolutely stunning Venetian-esque mask:

Somehow, I need to find a way to make it part of a costume of a London Underground Tube station. Any ideas?

Sunday, 15 February 2009


The traditional perception of Valentine's Day may be of a celebration of romantic love, but for me, yesterday seemed to herald the gradual return of my love for fashion.

Even if you don't have a special someone in your life on Valentine's day, that's no excuse for bad underwear. So I started off the pre-Valentine's celebrations with a wonderfully comfortable new bra which has the added bonus of not looking like something out of a 'breast-feeding old lady goes shopping for a new bra!' horror movie.

The next day, I finally got to present my lovely friend with her birthday gift, which I was delighted to see that she was delighted with. I showed you the card a few days ago, but not the packaging itself which matched the present in colour. For some unknown reason, nice wrapping and packaging, shopping bags and boxes, tags and labels are all as beautiful to me as a nice gift itself.

The main aspect of the present was a pair of 1928 earrings (did you guess right?!) They suited her so perfectly that I was once again tempted to reclaim the gift. A true testament to the power of a good pair of earrings.

The beginning of the birthday celebrations happened to be in proximity with lots of shops, and soon I had discovered my own Valentine's gift to myself. On the one hand, the sales are now petering to an end but on the other hand, some serious bargains are to be found. Partly damaged and reduced from £60 to £18, I managed to knock off a whole further £1.80 from a fabulous waist belt (which I had soon fixed with a spot of super-glue). The belt is flattering (well, how can a waist belt not be?) but also a little bit different and exciting. By now I was slowly beginning to feel my shopping mojo returning.

On the way home to prep myself for the evening, it was only natural to pop into a couple more shops whilst in the area. Noticing the sign for Ollie & Nic poking out of an alleyway, I recalled that their sales always had preposterously huge discounts. I wasn't disappointed; if I'd had need for a new purse, gloves, hat or adorable hair slides, I would have been able to empty the whole shop. Instead, I found a beautiful pair of earrings to add to my heavily worn collection, and to console myself with after the loss of the gifted pair. These babies had been reduced from £12 first to £6, then £5 and finally £4!

So, all in all, my this year's Valentine's Day was definitely very full of love-ly things. How about you?

Saturday, 14 February 2009


Oddly enough, following my recent ramble about losing my shopping mojo, I began to become much more eager to shop. In the past two days, I have accumulated not one, not two but three fantastic new purchases, and I cannot help but wonder if writing it all down helped.

Of course, fit shop assistants are always helpful, but perhaps that post did have some therapeutic properties... anyway, a more detailed (and pictured) analysis to come...

Thursday, 12 February 2009

NOT-Valentine's Day Gift

I'm not one of those huge Valentine's Day haters, who harp on about the materialistic society in which we live, the detrimental effects on the mental wellbeing of those under pressure. But let's face it, Valentine's Day seems pretty much designed to make single people feel lonely, coupled people feel stressed and card/chocolate/flower sellers feel rich. Oh wait, maybe I am one of those people.

I have a very good friend - co-incidentally the person I told I'd started this blog, because I knew she'd take a look and then forget about it - whose birthday lies on Valentine's Day, and hates it. 'Coupled' people want to spend this day with each other, because on Valentine's Day, secksual relashunships, even if they only began approximately 19 days ago, take priority over long-term just-friends.

From reading this blog, you may be aware that I love making little crafty things which don't require too much expertise, cost or complicated equipment. My favourite things to make are cards, because they definitely fulfill all of those criteria, plus they also seem to make any gift more thoughtful and (hopefully) delightful for the giftee. Even so, being a perfectionist means that even this relatively simple task takes me hours and hours and makes a lot of mess - I cannot even imagine the chaos which would ensue if I did art on a regular basis. Therefore, although over the years I have made many, many cards, more often than not I realise that I have run out of time and will have to make do with a little note or a card from my shop-bought emergency stash.

However I knew that I wanted to make the gift for this friend as special as possible and so a week in advance, I set about starting the packaging. I had so much fun with it that I spent the whole morning on it and was finished by midday. Of course, the downside of this was that I was so excited that I wanted to present my friend with the present immediately, and spent the whole weekend wishing that the ensuing week would pass on fast-forward.

Luckily, the week's gone past so fast that I haven't had a moment for impatience. Now, I thought I might share the card I did make, although the gift itself might have to wait for Saturday incase my friend indeed does continue to follow the blog. Here's a hint if you are, I always like to link and/or match my card and wrapping with the present inside in some way...

Materials used: A5 purple card, strip of pink ribbon from GLOBETRIM London, wallpaper sample from Cole & Son, gold sequin star, 3 plastic gems, image from website

A sneak peak into one of my many overflowing bags of 'making stuff'.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Sliding into a rut...

I have had times in the past when I have absolutely hated my wardrobe, felt uncomfortable in any outfit I put on and had a constant list of new items I 'needed'. I shopped manically, with a significant portion of the garments bought being somehow unsuitable; either I soon realised that they were unflattering, or they didn't go with anything else, I had nowhere to wear them, or I simply didn't like them any more. But my level of shopping was so high that before long, I had formed a wardrobe which was complete enough to satisfy any occasion and with enough items which I knew make me feel good about my body and which I knew I could always fall back on.

But then I started getting busy, preoccupied and stressed and in a way which would have been unfathomable to me only this summer, my thirst for fashion slowly began to subside. Sure, I was still having fun with clothes and I still enjoy wearing my nice pieces, but I no longer seemed to have the time to shop. And whenever I do, I never seem to find anything I love which looks particularly nice on me. Nothing which screams at me 'you must buy me!'. I actually wonder if maybe you, my readers, have noticed the dwindling supply of 'my wardrobe and me' posts, in which I eagerly display my latest buy; I even returned the fun leggings in my last such post.

For a few months, this was nice. It felt nice not to see too many gaping holes in my wardrobe. And it felt nice, when it became obvious that I needed some warm cardigans, to be able to pop to the shops and pick up some good, functional cardigans without my heart aching for a million other unattainables. Oh, it felt nice to actually have some spare cash, which was of course duly spent on going out and presents for other people (one of the only kinds of shopping I still seem to be successful in!).

But, I'm also starting to get a little bored. Sure, as I said, I have plenty of lovely tried-and-tested outfits which I could wear, but I really am getting tired of it. Recently, I have begun to love my neglected horde of dangly earrings, realising how they can inject some fun into an outfit. Yet I am starting to miss those now rare occasions when I discover how fabulous this barely worn dress looks worn as a top, tucked into these jeans which I couldn't find a top to go with before!

And I do want to recapture the thrill of shopping, finding something which makes your heart race. I always said that retail therapy was the best kind. Yeah, buying pyjama bottoms and books is great fun as I've recently discovered, btu I'm sure you super-stylish bloggers will understand the difference. Plus there's always that fear: what if I've lost my shopping mojo? What if now is only the beginning of a long and painful metamorphosis into that textbook-laden, Ugg-boot-wearing scruffy student of my nightmares?!?

Monday, 9 February 2009

Seemingly random plea

Update: got it, and anyway don't need it anymore. In fact, I was actually asking for the wrong part. The part I needed was available in the preview, I just hadn't realised it. If you care.

Dear readers, I give you so much. A new post every (almost) day, filled with magic and delight...

Anyway, basically I have a seemingly random request for you! I need a copy of pages 107-108 (conveniently excluded from Google Book Search's preview) of Jean Anouilh's Five Plays - that is the part with Antigone's speech to Creon.

If you have a copy of this lying around which you can scan in, or if your Googling skills are superior (!) to mine, I will of course love you for ever and ever and ever. You may in fact be elevated to a saintly status. You never know...

Thanks in advance!!!!

Le bonhomme

I've always loved the children's story The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and was distraught to read a while ago about the many faults in the most common Katherine Woods translation. I have since read that, although not perfect, the now less common Woods version which I read, has been replaced with a much worse and more wooden literal translation. It is difficult to know what to believe, and I wondered if I might be able to read the French original.

Then, last week, I wrote about the lovely package I received from Paris, and lo and behold, the other book was indeed Le Petit Prince. Of course, I was delighted to now be able to read this charming little book in its original language and improve my French, but what made me even happier was the beautiful packaging and cover of the edition.

Whoever said not to judge a book by its cover was wrong, at least in the literal sense - I won't deny the metaphorical truth in this saying. But many of my very favourite books are those with aesthetically pleasing covers. This may sound odd (but who cares, you already knew that I was odd!) but having an interesting, unique design seems to make books just that much more enjoyable.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Party like it's 1928!

I was looking for a gift for a very good friend in the uninspiringly bland jewellery racks of a general department store. There was one stunning vintage section, but with all pieces in the double figures, we're not that good friends (i.e. life partners). Finally, when I was about to give up, I happened upon a little rack by a brand called 1928.

The earrings and brooches had a charmingly vintage-inspired and elegant feel; the only problem now was what to choose?! In fact, I almost found myself buying several items, so I could decide on which one to gift by friend once I got home, but I managed to find a vestige of self-restraint. 1928 has a website, which seems to be located in the USA, for irritatingly lower prices, and a great selection which I didn't see today. The ones I bought today, entitled Royalty don't seem to feature on the website, but they're pretty similar to these, only the stone is purple. Here are some of my favourite picks from the website:

Vintage Collection Gold Tone Heart Filigree Rose Motif Earrings

Isn't it fantastic to discover a new shop or label, when it's so easy to get stuck in the same old routine of hitting those reliable shops? I've become a little fed up of all the regular high street shops for jewellery lately, simply because they charge triple the price that a street market might do for pieces which are the same or worse quality. I've been looking for some new costume jewellery lately, so I'll definitely be returning to 1928 (the brand, not the decade...)

Update: UK readers, John Lewis is the department store mentioned. You can find a small selection of the jewellery on the website, here.

Friday, 6 February 2009

Another tongue

Detective Pretty Face is back, but this time she wishes she could speak Norwegian. Yes, before I tell you more about the wonderful foreign language literature which I have received from Paris, I have some other news in another tongue.

Too late last night for my brain to be functioning properly, I was browsing the beautiful photos on Phiary when I came across this, which led to this article which appears to hold the answer to the mystery of the lost Stylebytes.

Intim Bakrus - click here to read

Now, I know (you did confess) that you all are just as nosy as I am, and so I'm guessing it's probably killing you just as much as it did me not to be able to understand the content of this article. So, at silly o'clock, I went off on a search for free Norwegian translators online, which were predictably, pretty useless. My limited understanding tells me that Agathe had a pretty tough time personally on returning from her trip, was unable to blog until she finally could blog again but had by then realised it as more fun not to. Figures.

Anyway, if any of my lovely readers can actually understand Norwegian, maybe we'll be able to understand what looks like a fascinating article even more. But, for now, it appears that language has become a barrier.

Thursday, 5 February 2009


The other day, I received a most wonderful care package from Paris, composed of two very different types of French literature I could use to practice my French with. The first one I am going to share with you is an edition of VOGUE Paris, which, as a certified Francophile and lover of Paris in particular, delighted me. When I last bought VOGUE Paris over two years ago I could not understand a word of it. I am very happy to report that this time round, I was much more able to comprehend the text, although still much of my non-French focus was, of course, on the pretty pictures.

I am not a frequent magazine reader, however one unusual thing struck me about this magazine - please do let me know if this is actually more commonplace than I thought. The cover model, Lara Stone, was not simply a cover model. In fact, I would estimate that photographs or interviews with her took up at least 50% of the magazine's pages, with most of the rest of the pages taken up by ads. Even the cover of the runway supplement could not escape her, with not one but three images of Ms Stone.

I'd always had an image in my head of the Parisienne as a perfectly unruffled, eternally chic bad girl who was less likely to be found with a girl crush on a model than wearing a pair of Crocs. It appears not. Here is a tiny percentage of the photos I took of editorial upon editorial of Lara Stone:
There were tons of beautiful sequences each one titled 'Lara something or other' with several different photos for each. This was my favourite!

Of course, Lara fronted and presented the regular (I presume they're regular) sections on beauty and make-up. It was really fun experimenting on the angle of these shots, I could either make her jaw look really huge, or her eyes really alien-esque. Mwahaha, power!!!!

There were also, scattered through the magazine, different artists' takes on the model.

Naturally, although I may have thought that they went a little overboard on this particular model, nothing annoys me more than when a magazine uses a photo of a celebrity such as Angelina Jolie, who is known to sell well, and then put a one page interview inside. As I mentioned, I only buy magazines very, very rarely because they seem to finish so quickly, but this one seems to be neverending. With the hundreds of gorgeous photos, I can spend hours gazing at them, and then several more trying to decipher the text. I suppose the French know how to do something properly!

Part II of my Paris care package to follow...

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

My totally anonymous blogspot

Super-duper blogger Winona, who writes the hilarious blog Daddy Likey, has invented and tagged me with a brand-new tag. I am ordered to show you my blogspot i.e. where I write my posts. I felt particularly blessed to be tagged by such a great writer and blogger, especially because I feel we have a sort of kindredship born out of our equally silly blognames: pretty face and daddy likey.

However, unlike her, whom you know is not called daddy likey, for all you know my parents did indeed name me pretty face. Except, even they wouldn't be that presumptious or cruel. But the point is that my name at least remains unknown to the readers of this blog, as I have discussed here and here and... you can tell I've put some thought into this issue, right?

I was determined to share with you the sacred place of my blogging, but I wasn't quite sure how to overcome the problem that I have a sticker with my (real) name emblazoned across the front of my PC screen. Or that at the top of my blog screen, you can see my personal e-mail address: first and last names. Or that on the noticeboard behind me is a plethora of paper with much personal information.

But, oh! I was forgetting the wonders of photo-editing software. Strange, that, considering that only a couple of days ago I had been obsessively retouching unflattering photos. So, here you have it, my blogspot, site of the genius creation that is my blog (edited only slightly).

Now, I've been doing a lot of tags lately, so I feel that I've tagged almost everybody on my blog list already. Still, there are a couple of new additions I haven't got round to yet:

T-shirt and Tails
Numbers&Clues to Colours and Hues

But really, I am generally a nosy person and want to see all your blogspots. So please anyone reading this, count yourself as tagged - that includes those readers who don't have blogs, because you can start one now and then take a photo of your new blogspot!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

The Big Close-up

Since rediscovering my camera, I've been having a blast trying to capture the beauty of random objects lying about the place. So I have snapped loads and loads of close-ups, because I find that so much easier that big scenes where you can see all the devaluing fuss and mess around. Funnily enough, the lense of my camera can't go in that close, so I have to get really close and zoom right in. It's pretty tricky, especially because for some photography reason I don't understand, the camera isn't always willing to take the photo... something to do with the amount of light in a shot or something?

I was especially delighted with the results because a couple of the images were of things which I have attempted to show you on the past, but which you can't really capture properly on a shitty camera phone.

Such as this joker necklace, hung on a cork noticeboard along with other jewels:

Or the wonderful lip cream I blogged about here, which you can here see in its sparkly case and all its vivid glory. I thought it would look best with the backdrop of this wall-hanging, but since it hangs from a wall, I had to cup the object and material in one hand whilst trying to shoot it with the other!

I bought this dreamcatcher in Camden Market many years ago to stave off nightmares. Now I find it is the perfect object to take photos of; it presents challenges with the windchimes, it has a naturally interesting backdrop and it is fabulous to focus on. I couldn't get a good shot of the whole chime, though.

Despite the progress I was able to make on my lazy snow day, I'm still not even near able enough to capturing a snowflake. They are so tiny that you don't properly notice them with the naked eye, however many talented photographers have managed to display their exsquisite beauty. If you're one of them, please share your snowflake photos! Here is my particular favourite, taken by super-talented apocathary, which I found on the website Flickr.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, there lived a girl. And while she and all the other residents of the GMT time zone were sleeping, a fairy arrived and with a flick of her wand, the world became white!

The snow settled and covered the plants in a cold white blanket...

And when the girl woke up, it was still snowing, and the world sparkled!

And the leaves of plants drooped with the heaviness of the snow...

The girl saw how her beautiful crystal, which in the summer had sparkled brightly, now swayed in the icy winds.

So she stayed indoors, snuggled up warmly in bed with a thick jumper and a classic novel for comfort.

She only watched the snow, taking photo with her beloved camera, from inside. It seemed beautiful yet treacherous.

And then, in a moment of courage, she opened up the window and let her hand feel the snow. Much to her surprise, she had caught the fairy!

But it was very cold out in the snow, so the girl let the fairy go, hearing the tinkling sound of metal chimes as the fairy flew away. And it continued to snow.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Precious Metals

I've always wondered how people manage to mix two nail varnish colours to achieve their own; do they pre-mix them in a new pot, or just apply both onto the nail whilst still wet, thus 'mixing' them?

Yesterday I decided to apply a gold colour which I've had for a long time, but don't really use any more because it just makes my nails look old and nicotine-stained. Only remembering this once I'd already applied the varnish, I wondered what it would look like if I added a coat of silver. I bought the silver a couple of years ago for about £1 and I've never worn it. It's very thin, but this happened to be perfect for the effect I had in mind.

I love my new silvery-gold/goldy-silver nails which are a different colour depending on the angle the light catches them. They're the perfect combination of two colours which don't work too well alone, and mean that I can mix gold and silver jewellery without looking slapdash. I think I'm going to have to try mixing more colours now, although using my current technique I am limited to combinations using my thinner colours of silver and purple. If you have dabbled in some colour mixing, how did you do it?

Oooh, by the way, notice the superior quality of these images! My camera has returned to me and so now I can actually take focused pictures without all the 'noise' which plagued my previous efforts!