Friday, 31 August 2012

New Blog Layout!

Has anyone noticed my new blog layout? I'm completely crazy about it and can't stop showing it to my friends.

I've known for a while that my blog needed a good spruce up, and fully intended on researching how the hell to do that (when I got round to it, in about 5 years). Then, a couple of months a go, I discovered Chloe at Lazy Explorers was hosting a give away to get a new blog make over by My Billie Designs. I entered thinking nothing would come of it, because I basically never win anything.

A week later I received an email from Melanie at My Billie Designs saying I'd won her give away. I was so happy! Melanie has been fantastic, she's done every detail specifically how I'd wanted it, and I think my blog looks brilliant. It's like she jumped in my brain & somehow made sense of all the jumbled up ideas I had.

I completely recommend you checking out Melanie's design work. Her prices are really reasonable, especially for the amount of time she must spend making everything.

Fashion Favs Friday: 31/08/12

1. Dhela - The attention to detail on these dresses is just stunning! This shop specialises in Wedding and bridesmaids dresses. I'm in love with the fuschia braided dress. I just need to force one of my friends to get married and buy that as a bridesmaids dress!

2. Fancy Felt - The bags here are so beautiful! Fancy Felt have a great eye for colour, I just love all of their bright, eyecatching bags.

3. What Ezekiel Saw - A great vintage shop full of really trendy and unique clothes and priced very reasonably. You will find some really special items here.

4. Mille Grudicarta - Very unique origami necklaces. These necklaces will suit a variety of styles. I think they're a great gift idea.

5. Sweet Trash - A bright and fun shop with a great selection of jewellry! The matryoshka brooches have to be my favourite!

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Etsy Shop Feature: Minu

Minu is a german artist living in New Zealand. Her background is in commercial design and architecture but she now works as a toymaker and illustrator.

Minu's work is based on storytelling and characters from stories. By viewing her work, you get a strong feel of the character of the subject, whether it be shy, grumpy or gentle.

Her shop is full of adorable plush toys, original art and limited edition prints.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

My New York photos

We had such an amazing time in New York! I want to go and live there. We ate lots of vegan food, drank lots of coctails, walked what felt like 1000 miles. I think my favourite part of the trip was going to see "The Book of Mormon". Closely followed by exploring Williamsburg.

I won't bore you with all of the details, I'll just bore you with about 10 million pictures for now!

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Little Portraits

Well guys, I'm back from New York! I had so much fun, I didn't want to leave. Anyway, more about that in another post.

On Sunday I was playing about in illustrator to create a little picture for the blog. I ended up creating this:
I really loved making this little portrait, I think I'm going to start making more of these. I made this one into a necklace for myself, pics to come.

And, I made one for my friend Ginge:

Friday, 24 August 2012

Fashion Favs Friday - 24/08/12

1. Arebyc Design - On trend handbags in a great variety of styles and colours.

2. Fable And Lore - Statement jewellery that certainly makes a statement. This shop is full of great design and beautiful colour combinations.

3. Osnatharnoy - A great selection of jewellry. There is something here to go with most outfits.

4. Doll Food Miniatures - Beautiful miniature good with an amazing standard of detail, and guess what, it's only been converted into jewellry! Holy cow this stuff looks edible.

5. So little Time Co - Cuter than cute wooden jewellery. I love their adorable locket.s

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Etsy Shop Feature: Yalonetski

Yalonetski is the shop of Elya Yalonetski, a ceramic artist based in Berlin. She studied ceramics at Abramtsevo Art and Industry College in Russia.

Elya's works are an eclectic mix of cute, charming, whimsical and a little creepy. They remind me of fairy tale characters.

Monday, 20 August 2012


I've decided to give away a pair of mocassins, painted exactly how you want! For details of how to enter go to Lazy Explorers.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Scrabble & Lalique Matryoshka

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm in New york visiting some friends. When they lived in England they used to have pet budgies. I decided to paint them some budgie Matryoshka based on their budgies, Lalique and Scrabble.

Here's some photos of Lalique (yellow) and Scrabble (blue).

I do custom orders :) send me an email to if you would like your own pets painted on a set of matryoshka.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Father and Son shoes

On Thursday I set off to New York. So you will either be bombarded with pictures of New York over the next few days, or, I might discover I can't get on the interwebs and slowly go insane from lack of twitter/tumblr/blogging. I'm writing this before I leave just in case I don't get chance to blog while I'm there.

We're off to visit some good friends, Steven and Diana. They're expecting a baby, which is very exciting to me because they're the first of my friends to grow up and start a family, instead of eating chocolate for breakfast which is what the rest of us do.

Steven is a big Blackburn Rovers fan, so I did him some Blackburn Rovers shoes and also some matching baby ones. We also ordered a baby bib that has "Kean Out" embroidered on it.

And here's a super cute top that I couldn't resist buying for the baby! It's from Zara.

Fashion Favs Friday - 17/08/12

1. Coumon - Really nice knotted and braided scarves. They have a really good selection of materials and colours too.

2. Romawinkel - Super cute clutch bags and other fun hand made goodies. This shop will make you smile.

3. Coriumi - Awesome screen printed bags. Really unique and affordably priced. Definitely worth investing in one of these!

4. Karolin Felix Dream - Happy and friendly jewellery that will bring out your inner child. Very creative designs!!

5. Elenushka - This shop has some really cool DIY kits so you can make your own one of a kind bag. This would make a great present!

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Etsy Shop Feature: TOSYA & TUSH TUSH

TOSYA is a unique and fun etsy shop, full of energetic illustrations and pocket mirrors. Everywhere you look in this shop is full of toothy grins, bright red noses and happy faces.

Tosya is the work of Tali, a freelance illustrator from Israel. She has an amazing talent to create vibrance and energy on paper.

Tali is not only a skilled cartoonist, she also has great ability at working with oil pastels and acrylics. She sells these in her other shop, TUSH TUSH for very decent prices. If you're interested in collecting great quality art but don't have a big budget I definitely recommend this shop!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Wednesday Art Feature: Douwe Dijkstra

Douwe Dijkstra is a 19 year old illustrator from the Netherlands. His work is surreal, fun, and full of colour and humor. His images often transport you to another world and leave you wondering.

Douwe also has a Tumblr where you can his more of his wonderful imagination.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Update time

 Last weekends photo shoot was cancelled due to awful weather! We're rearranging the beach shoot for September and we're going to photograph my dress designs on the beach instead of the shoes. And we will be doing a separate photo shoot for the shoes too :) so lots to look forward to next month!

On thursday morning, me and Ashley are setting off to New York to visit some friends! I can't wait. We have a week of yummy food, friends, drinking & side shows planned. I hope I manage to get on the internet on my laptop so I can share my adventures with you all while I'm there. I'm currently trying to pack my suitcase while Effy keeps bouncing around and insisting she wants to be packed too. Silly poodle!

Here are my latest bundle of photos:

1 & 2. A sneak peak of some geometrics shoes that I've yet to photograph properly and stick on the shop. And a work in progress of the Ladybug mocassins.

3 & 4. Freshly dyed hair, and I bought some jeans to match both my hair and my poodle mocassins. I've decided that I'm changing my alter ego name from Quinoa girl to Turquoise titties.

5. I made some nummy homemade rustic guacamole (recipe soon to come) to go with some delicious tofu enchiladas that Ash made.

6. Pretty new shoes that I gone and bought.

7 & 8. As the photo shoot was cancelled, me and Ash spent the day goofing about in The Mystery Teahouse in Preston. If you are ever in Preston get yourself there. They have about a million teas to choose from. They do an awesome vegan kezelt and OMG the cactus juice is heaven.

9 & 10. Some top secret projects I've been working on. All will be revealed in a few days :)

Alex in Australia: A trip to Cairns

Last week I returned from a great trip in the very north east of Australia. The small town of Cairns was our base for the next few days as we travelled around the countryside and oceans of Queensland. 

Cairns is a tourist hotspot for backpackers and Australians alike who look to see the Great Barrier Reef and rainforest's that surround it. Like a lot of Australia Cairns has not evolved naturally as a town. The roads are gridded and the buildings are mainly one storey 70s/80s shops and clubs. More like a lads holiday destination than an avenue to paradise. We therefore hired a car and over 4 days drove around 660km through the most beautiful scenery in the world. 
Day One/ 
We largely spent the day around Cairns, buying bits and bobs - in my case camera parts - for the next few days of travelling. We booked a day trip to the reef and spent some time at the amazing harbour of Cairns. This is a generalising statement but Australia's most beautiful areas are largely untouched by humans. Cairns' surrounding hills and water are fantastic...the town itself, not so.

Day Two 
We took to the water on the 'Reef Magic' boat to a pontoon in the middle of the ocean residing next to.. I believe Moore Reef, a small section of the Great Barrier Reef. It was a surreal experience to be eating a buffet lunch miles from solid ground! Anyway snorkelling and semi-submersible boats were at our disposal and I managed to get a few photos along the way. The water is literally teeming with fish, coral and life. Of course this was only a small section...but the destruction you hear of couldn't be seen here. I wish I had bought a waterproof case for my camera to make the most of the amazing coral and fish but sadly I didn't have a spare $1000.

Day Three
Our first day in the hire car took us up to the oldest rain forests in the world (according to the hire company). We drove along the Captain Cook highway through miles of farmland and past miles of beach (stopping off at a few) before finally reaching our destination Cape Tribulation. 

"Lieutenant James Cook on 10 June 1770 (log date) after his ship hit a reef as it passed over it, north east of the cape, at 6pm. This made Cook pull away from the coast, looking for deeper water. At 10.30pm, the Endeavour hit a reef almost sinking Cook's ship, on what is now named Endeavour Reef. Cook recorded "...the north point was named Cape Tribulation because here began all our troubles"

Anyway we wandered around there watching out for the apparent dangers of crocodiles and then made our way back to Cairns. We stopped off at the magnificent Daintree Ice Cream Company for some very 'local' flavours. Wattle seed, yellow sapote, blueberry and pineapple. All grown on the premises. Our last stop before Cairns was Port Douglas for some food whilst admiring the harbour sunset.

Day Four
Today we drove from Cairns south to visit Paronella Park. The park was the creation of a rich sugar cane plantation owner who decided to build a castle and theme park in his back garden. The castle is built from concrete, local stone and steel from railway tracks. A long drive that wasn't to me exactly worth it. I think to an English person the 80 year old castle is more of a personal project than a tourist attraction, and in general was a bit of a wreck. Anyway on we drove high up into the hills to visit Millaa Millaa falls and on to the town of Yungaburra to see the sun set over Lake Tinaroo. At one point (according to Google Earth) we reached an elevation of 900m above sea level. Our little hire car struggled up those hills! 

That concluded our final day of adventures and after a total of 9 hours driving over 4 days we headed back to Cairns for some food and rest. 

It was an amazing holiday that I won't forget for a while. The sheer scale of Australia is mind blowing, after all that driving we cockily checked the map to see how much ground we had you can see below it was minuscule! Like I said before oz is an amazing place, hills, beaches, rivers, waterfalls...wild turkeys, you can't beat it. But admittedly it is sometimes let down by the poor choice of architecture with housing and shops Dad likened it to an alien dropping a 4 bed detached house down from the heavens into a field. He's not wrong.

Anyway it has spurred me on to see more of the oz when time and money permits...I will keep y'all posted.