Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Hambledon

There's nothing better than going for a stroll in an unfamiliar town, and serendipitously stumbling across a shop that you would never have come across, had you not gone out. That is what happened to me on Monday when I was out in Winchester with some friends, and I came across a lovely little shop called 'The Hambledon'. 

After going for a scrumptious lunch at 'The Slug and Lettuce', we decided, rather than go ice skating, which had been the original plan, it would be a better idea to amble around the shops and see what little treats we might come across! There are all sorts of shops in Winchester from larger well known chains like 'River Island' and 'The White Company', to smaller independent shops like 'The Hambledon'.
(For those of you who live near Winchester, and might have the chance to go in, 'The Hambledon' can be found just off the main high street on the corner of Great Minster St. and The Square.... probably best to Google Maps it though!)

I had never seen or heard of 'The Hambledon' before, but even looking at it from the outside, I knew it would be my kind of shop! I was drawn in by the beautiful window displays which give a taste of what can be discovered inside, and let me tell you, it did not disappoint!  From amazing craft books, to delicate glass ware, to sweet smelling candles, 'The Hambledon' encompasses everything that I love!

As you go into the shop, you really get the sense that every detail has been thought of, even down to the  distressed wooden floors and the beautiful furniture to display the various wares on offer. It has a wonderfully vintage feel about it, and one day, when I have a house of my own... I want it to look exactly like the inside of this shop!

There are a few levels to this shop with the lower level selling home wares, and interior decor books, an  upper level selling more arty, crafty bits like letter writing sets and lomography cameras, and a third floor selling beautiful women's wear! There is also men's wear section downstairs, but I was so wrapped up in the craft books, clothes, and scented candles that I didn't get a chance to go down and see! There is also a little beauty section selling soaps in beautiful bottles and  nail varnishes in an array of weird and wonderful colours! So pretty!

This really is such a lovely shop, and whoever is in charge of the visual merchandising has done an amazing job! Not only this but the sales assistants were really lovely and helpful and all in all I would highly recommend a visit, even if it were only for a browse! 

This is a little book that I bought as a Christmas present for my brother's girlfriend, although, I kind of want to keep it for myself! ....I may be returning for some cheeky purchases of my own when Christmas has been and gone!

Check out their website here to see some of the cool stuff they sell! Who knows, you might find a last minute Christmas present for someone... or yourself?


Monday, 17 December 2012

A Wonderful Weekend

1. A crisp winters morning. 2. Old books at Spitalfields market. 3. Missing: Crouch End Dinosaur. 4. The Haberdashery, Crouch End. 5. Bunting, The Haberdashery. 6. Cinnamon Rolls, Raspberry Soda and Peppermint Tea. 7. Cute teacups. 8. Paper snowflakes. 9. The morning after the night before.

This weekend I went to London and had a whale of a time. These are some photo's that I took. Instagram is the bomb.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Charity Shop Treasure

Today I thought I'd share a couple of exciting charity shop finds from earlier this week! 

Almost every time I visit a charity shop, I leave, empty handed and scratching my head thinking "But where is all the good stuff?" I could never understand why so many people discovered such amazing one-off pieces, but all I ever found were smelly, moth eaten jumpers, and tops from Primark that were being sold for more than they were bought in the first place! (Yes, charity shop people, the label says 'atmosphere', I KNOW it's from Primark... you can't fool me.) Was there some secret room holding all the treasures, that one could only enter after uttering the magic password? I was convinced this was the case, until a freezing cold Tuesday earlier this week when I decided to have a browse in the St. Michael's Hospice charity shop, whilst my Mum did some food shopping. 

It took me a little while to get into the groove, and generally with charity shop shopping, I think you have to be in the right frame of mind. It's all about being open minded, and being willing to take the time to sift through all the junk! I hadn't even planned to go in, and didn't expect I'd find anything, so you can imagine my excitement when I came across these beauties!

Treasure numero uno, is this bad boy, a genuine Levis denim jacket!!!!! Calm down, calm down (I'm talking to myself here, not you). I couldn't believe it when I saw it! And it's in such good condition too! It's a little distressed, but just the right amount, and ughhh I just love it. Here's the sad part. It's actually a men's XL, which I don't mind, I actually really like the over sized... slightly masculine look. But then I thought of my younger brother, and how awesome this would look on him.... and how I could potentially give it to him for Christmas.. I wasn't sure if he'd actually like a denim jacket like this, as he's never had one before, and I'd never heard him mention one, only that he quite likes vintage looking things. So, I tried to (not so) subtly ask him what he thought of them... he knew straight away what I was asking, and I basically ruined the whole surprise! So in the end, I told him I'd bought this jacket for myself and thought of him - he tried it on, loved it, and that's the end of that.  Goodbye lovely Levis jacket! *sigh*

Saying that, it's not really *sigh*, because my brother IS gnna look cool in it, and I guess I can borrow it every now and then!

The next exciting purchase, treasure number two, was this little number! 

Obviously you can tell this was a very exciting day for me, and when ringing my friend to share the good news (who wasn't quite as excited as I'd have liked) I tried and failed to describe this coat as anything remotely desirable. Imagine that you were her, listening on the phone... "..and I found this really cool jacket, coat thing!", "uhuh, what's it like?" "well... it's corduroy and it's kind of beige, and it has a paisley print all over it". It sounds disgusting right?! There is no nice way of describing this jacket. But it's just so lovely! I love everything about it, from the print, to the oversized-ness, to the golden silky lining that pokes out when the sleeves are rolled up (which they will be because the arms are so long!). I don't know if I'm just being completely over the top, and ridiculous, and actually, it's disgusting. Maybe my judgement was clouded by the fact that it was so cheap (£7.50) or the high that I was on from my previous discovery. But I don't think it was. A couple of days have passed now, and I still love it! It would look completely at home if you found it amongst the many wonders at Urban Outfitters and probably at ten times the cost! 

So I'll let you in on a secret. The password to get into the magical room is to turn around three times, wink with both eyes at the person behind the counter and whisper "I am the chosen one". The magic door will open up, and all of the 'good stuff' will be there waiting for you. Trust me, it works! 

Hahaha, I jest. The moral of the story is, don't give up on charity shop shopping! You won't find something every time you go, but the trick is to keep going! Charity shops get new things coming in every day, so you never know what you might find. Today might be your lucky day! 


Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Yellena James

Spore, Pen and Ink on Paper, 2009

I first came across Yellena James' work during an afternoon spent lounging around in my pyjamas, eating anything and everything I came across and typing random words into Pinterest to see what came up. Trust me, Pinterest is dangerous. MANY hours can be spent (wasted) on Pinterest. But I was completely content. Nothing could have touched me in this wonderful little bubble I'd created. 

I'd typed in 'illustration' into the search bar, and so many exciting images were popping up, from cat's wearing birthday hats, to cute little girls with pig-tales riding bikes, it was wonderful! And then I came across Yellena James. I was hooked immediately. Her illustrations are amazingly intricate, delicate and beautiful and I couldn't stop looking. They have a magical almost alien feel to them, as though she is depicting scenes from another world, and the names that she uses are very natural and 'organic' (I hate using that word, but I can't think of a better one right now!).

Synthesis, Acrylic on Wood, 2010

Trove, Pen and Ink on Paper, 2009

Yellena is originally from Sarajevo, though now lives and works in the US where she's had many exhibitions, and created pieces for brands such as Nike and Anthropolgie! 
She uses fine point pens, markers and acrylic paint (from what I can see) to create beautifully intricate pieces of art and the fluidity of the lines and many layers of pattern is mesmerising! They kind of look a little bit like coral don't you think?

Pods, Pen and Ink on Paper, 2009

For my birthday this year, I was given a print called 'Pods' by my lovely housemate who had picked up on a completely unintentional (yet extremely obvious) hint I'd left after gushing about how much I loved these prints! So it was a lovely surprise when I opened the package to find a print all of my own! Yellena had even put a lovely illustrated thank you note to my friend for buying the print, and it's little touches like this that add that je ne sais quoi!

VS, Acrylic on Wood, 2010

Watercrest, Pen and Ink on Paper, 2009

What do you think about Yellena James? She's great right?! Check out her website here and here to see more. It would make a great Christmas present!! 

Zahra x


These here, are a few things that have magic-ed their way onto my Christmas wish list! And funnily enough, they would go great if they were all worn together!!

1. The Nike Blazers speak for themselves in my opinion, and if I was ever lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of those I would be a very lucky lady!

2. The Gryphon NY jumper is from Oxygen Boutique who sell some gorgeous pieces from designers such as Alice + Olivia, Rebecca Minkoff, and J Brand, although there are lots of other, less well known but just as wonderful, designers that cater to every kind of fashionista! With the price tag that's attached to this baby, this would be a much more luxurious gift, but look at the gorgeous sequined collar! It's 100% worth it in my eyes...

3. I've been lusting after a pair of every day hoops for a long time. Nothing flashy, just plain silver hoops. I think there is something to be said for keeping things simple sometimes!

4. This waxed parka jacket from ASOS is lovely! It's very casual and slouchy, and the fact that it's waxed means that it's waterproof, which is perfect for the miserable drizzle we've been having lately. I can't really afford it now but hopefully I'll be able to snatch this bad boy when it goes into the sales! Oh don't worry, it will still be cold and rainy in January... and for the rest of the year!

5. YSL Parisienne is my going out scent. It's so weird whenever I spray this, my brain clicks into party mode, and I want to go out! It's such a beautiful, but kinda sexy, slightly fruity yet also musky scent... did you get all of that? Seriously, just go smell it. It was actually given as a gift, and I wouldn't have normally chosen it as a perfume, but oh my. It's good. I'll be a lucky lady if this little nugget ends up in my lap!

Send me your Christmas wish list! I'd love to see what other people are hoping for!