29 December, 2009

Pasaje Del Terror

Situated in the West End London, Picadilly's Trocadero.

It is easily accessible and there is always someone you can talk to about prices, offers and such.

Waiting times and prices are very fair, concessons available.

I regularly go to the West End and I always catch sight of the Pasaje Del Terror leaflets but never fully considered going to it. I did not actually know what it was and so when my boyfriend and I decoded to go on a whim, we were really surprised!

At first we thought that it could not be so scary if it allows children under 14 (accompanied by an adult of course) to attend. Furthermore, we had no idea how the 'terror' was to be shown.

It turns out that the start of the jounrey, as they call it, begins with a short 3D screening which was perfect for building tension and apprehension. By the end of it your left wondering what's in store next. I won't spoil that bit for you, you'll have to go see it for yourself!

After the 3D screening, you are guided in small groups through various attractions by a comical yet freaky robed man. The attractions have live actors that really do make the experience terrifying! The rooms have certain themes such as: Freddie Kruger, Jason, The Exorcist etc and the actors really play their parts well.

The journey is heart stoppingly, breath takingly scary and will most likely make you scream! (even the guys, yeah, I heard them - believe me) You feel like you are being chased and that the pursuer will catch you, of course you know that they won't actually touch but you just cannot help but be scared. The Pasaje Del Terror had me clinging to the jackets of the couple in front me and saw to it that I ran out the exit breathless. =)

Even though I am a bit of a whimp, I'll admit to that, I'm still a sucker for these attractions. It is well worth your time and money and I give it a 5 out of 5 rating. I highly recommend it!

19 December, 2009

Great Gift Choices

Christmas 2009 is seeing some great gifts this year and I am a proud buyer of some of those! At first, finidng gifts for my loved ones was proving quite difficult and I was fast losing heart in it all; once you find a couple of really nicely suited things in some choice shops though, you perk up considerably.
I thought I would share with you the shops I have found most useful in buying gifts. The shops are mainly aimed at women/girls as most of it is either really cute and girly or things for the home but I guess you could find some nice stuff for guys too... if you look hard :)

The first shop I instantly thought of and went straight for is Monsoon's Accessorize. What I like about this shop is that it is rich in colour and style diversity. It has the normal accessories such as scarves, gloves, jewellery and bags etc; then there is also a gifting section which includes things like notebooks, handmade trinkits and delicate, vintage style homeware decorations.

There is also a kids section that has little flavoured lip glosses, stationery, and mini handbags and more.
• Quite pricey, but  mostly fairly priced.
The second shop I rushed too and highly recommend is Flutterbyes. This shop is basically the epitomy of handmade gifts galore! It has the very popular shabby chic theme, with plenty of white and delicate furniture as well as pretty products. It is a dainty shop with some very stylish items for the home. Their moto is very befitting of their style: 'Hand picked and gorgeous'.
The displays are attractive, a visit this shop is a must!
• Fairly priced.

Thirdly, there is Dengrove. As far as I know, they only have one shop  -  and that is in Bromley, Kent (south-east UK) but it's worth checking for one near you anyway, I could be wrong. Dengrove also sells very cute, female targeted gifts. It doesn't have the same theme running as Flutterbyes, it's more solid looking rather than dainty and fairylike, but the quality is no more or less and the products are equally flattering!
They sell pretty journals and address books, gift wrapping, plenty of inspiring gift ideas, card, sentimental trinkits, practical things such as customised thermos and gardening tools, toys and much more!
• Fairly priced.

Other great places to buy gifts:
• Paperchase
• Waterstones
• HMV/Game/Game Station
• W.H. Smiths
• Top Shop
• River Island
• Primark

Useful Links:
Dengrove Ltd

18 December, 2009

Patterned Pallette

Lately I have had some waves of inspiration splash me, and rather harshly too - it was also cold water... Anyway, I basically think that I need to engage in a hobby more because I think not having something outside of my academic duties is actually turning me a loopy. Plus, I have finished my photography course now so I don't have an adequate creative outlet. Oh my life. 

Back to the point - I have been drawn to patterns since my little revelation and it has led me to conclude that I need to be doing some textiles experimenting, possibly creating some little hearts: hand made, sewn little hearts stuffed with cotton or something, maybe some cute little buttons for decoration? I would love to be able to improve my sewing and experiment with materials, I think that is where the fun is when making things: the experimentation :)

Furthermore, getting back into sewing and knitting wouldn't be so bad either would it? No it would not. I have also strongly considered crochet; I've seen my friend do it and she's made some really cute things and there's so much more potential! Yeah so... I really would like to do this, I'm withering away at the moment because coursework is driving me insane.

I've been feeling bright colours in bold amounts these past few months and sometimes tined down warmer colours when used in patterns (especially in scarves, they're so attractive!). At the moment, I am absolutely loving the use of bright colous for furniture; for clothes not so much, that hype has significantly died down for me, although I am not completely ruling it out, I think it still looks good when used properly.

Also on my mental agenda: interior design. I am so frustrated with my life when it comes to this because I have such a passion for designing in general, especially interior designing but I just don't have the funds (or my own accommodation) to be fully engaging with it. It's a pity because I think I could create some really nice spaces if given the chance *sigh*. Meanwhile I will drool over pictures that other people have taken and admire their creativeness. I will justify this by saying I am 'researching'. Bingo.

I think it would also be nice, some time in the future, for me to be able to make some money out my creations. Hopefully I will get to a good enough standard so that people will actually consider wanting to buy any of my handmade gifts.

I have been looking up, yes 'researching' some of the types of cute handmade things people like to buy and I have a general idea of what the public like. There is so much inspiration out there, it's just knowing what to do with it. Scrapbooking is a great way to bank your ideas visually so that you can easily re-access your initial ideas and elaborate. I highly recommend using this technique as a form of planning anything creative. Apart from that, it is really fun to make collages and such because it's personal and there are no rules to it.

When scrapbooking use plenty of patterns! Patterns, patterns, patterns! Use them as the inspiration pieces, use them as backgrounds, use them as little decorations. Whatever the plan is, use them! You might not like the pattern as a whole, but there may be an aspect of it you like e.g. the colours or the arrangement and once you've compiled a section and set the mood with the cut-outs, it can act as a catalyst for your ideas. I think it helps to use patterns with similarities when trying to use a prticualr theme, but it doesn't really matter if truth be told ( I don't think so anyway), it's your book at the end of the day and I personally love variety. Also, using block, bold colours can be tricky because there is so much colour and it can override the content as it is overpowering. Patterns are great when giving a blank space some depth.
I have been favouring the brocade or regency pattern for quite some time now. I like it because it is so elegant, dainty and graceful. It goes with many things and can be used in many ways and colours. Typical Indian fabric prints are also very pretty and can give the page an exotic feel... 'Eastern Promises'. The floral print is still in fashion, alongside the brocade and it is also elegant, feminine and useful in many ways. But it is easy to get it wrong, especially with a print that is heavily floral, too much of it is overpowering and bears down on the eyes. If used properly, depending on your judgement of the floral print, it will look really beautiful. Florals are also a great way to express a vintage style.

10 November, 2009

Something Blue

It is nothing new,
But it is still so blue,
Round and consuming,
My daily tasks are so gruelling.

Mere hurdles in a race,
Are far more easier than this,
For this requires a slower pace,
And my lover's tender kiss.

Mundane monologues,
And tall tale talk,
Fill my brain with little catalogues,
Of who can talk but cannot walk.

I am not a robot,
No buttons or cogs or whirring,
I cannot be this pathetic show-bot,
My capacity is stirring.

Eyes turn green despite the blue,
Trying to retain composure,
Sticking to my guns like glue,
It would not do to have exposure.

Heads feel hot and bothered,
Temperaments run low,
These people make me feel so smothered!
What a f*king freak show.

This is what I deal with,
Like clockwork it goes through and through,
Social discrepency is no myth,
I know you see it too.

Frustration quickly engraves,
Deep within my thinning patience,
Unwillingness to co-operate enslaves,
Even in the best of us it's latent.

The fire only slips away when,
It is decided that it does not matter,
Privately that phantom pen,
Scratches out the latter.

It is nothing new,
But it is still so blue,
I deal with it everyday,
And still it will not go away.

08 November, 2009

Corpus Corruption: Anorexia

Please note: I have enclosed some images of emaciated girls that some people may find offensive. If you are very sensitive you may not want to scroll through the whole article. Stop at "BIOLOGICALLY SPEAKING,".

Anorexia Nervosa (AN) is no new phenomenon to the current generation. It is something that is widely known about but not enough is known about the condition itself. To some, it is considered beauty and to others it is shocking, scary and unattractive. It is life threatening.
Key facts to consider about AN:
AN is characterised as having a nervous loss of appetite.
It occurs mainly in females.
It usually starts from the ages of 14-16.
Around 20% of AN cases are fatal (suicide).

Physical Symptoms include:
Looking emaciated.
Low blood pressure.
Low body temperature.
Poor quality of sleep (insomnia).
Hair loss.
Weak muscles and joints.
Kidney failure.

All of these are reasoned quite logically as a result of a very poor diet. Not having the proper nutrients, fibre and drink that the body needs in order to maintain a good health and well-being will cause many problems. Weak muscles and joints will be down to not taking in enough calcium. Not enough fibre causes digestion problems (constipation). Not enough intake of iron (found in foods such as red meat and fish) leads to anaemia - iron deficiency- which causes weakness, lack of energy and sleep problems (insomnia); it also interrupts proper growth and development. Normally, you will find that anorexic females will have very irregular periods or no periods at all. These are just a few of the physical problems that AN sufferers typically have, many of which you probably do not see...

Associated psychological problems:
Low self-esteem.

Anorexic individuals will also suffer from bad concetration and memory loss as their body is not getting the correct intake of nutrients, fibre and drink for energy, so the brain cannot function properly. Additonally, AN will also impact on the individual's emotional well-being, causing mood swings (easily irritated), low self-esteem, denial of problem and may become isolated and secretive, avoiding social interactions.

One cannot simply pin all the blame for the AN trend on the Media, although I cannot deny that it plays a significant role (in my opinion anyway).

A study by Becker (1999) aimed to explore the relationship between cultural change and disordered eating habits. A natural experiment of 63 native Fijian girls were used as participants at a time when (Western) television was first introduced to Fiji Island. The girls were asked to complete a questionnaire on atttitudes toward eating and were also questioned about TV viewing habits. 3 years later, a futher sample of 65 girls aged 17years or over (also native Fijians), were re-questioned to assess the imapct of their TV viewing on their eating habits.

It was found that in 1993, 3% of girls reported that they vomit to control their weight. In 1995, after exposure to Western television, that figure rose to 15%. In 1995, 29% of the girls who scored high on their eating habits questionnaire indicated a risk of disordered eating compared to only 13% in 1993.

It was concluded that the findings indicate a strong link between exposure to Western ideals of thinness and the changed attitudes toward eating. The desire to be slim is one sign that the young Fijian girls were striving to conform to Western cultural standards and such changed attitudes are likely to lead to the development of eating disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa.

So sure, the media - or more specifically: Western media - distorts percpetions on beauty to not just its locals, but  across the globe too. But I think people seem to forget that it is down to the individual too. I have watched Western media my whole life and I have never suffered nor plan to in the future, from AN or Bulimia Nervosa (BN). Is that down to common sense? Biology? Or is it social, i.e. peer pressure?

Biologically speaking, some psychologists believe that AN could be due to genetic inheritance. Some believe that the mental disorder OCD, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, can be passed down genetically and so therefore AN can be too. This explanation makes sense in that most AN sufferers are striving for perfection in their body appearence and are very obsessive and compulsive about it. Although it is worth noting that others believe it is the general nature of OCD that is genetically transferred rather than the specific obsessions and compulsions themselves i.e. just because the mother has OCD and AN, does not mean that the daughter/son will have AN also but may have other compulsions e.g. to check things or have an obsession with cleanliness.

20 October, 2009

Unlocking The Looks

Right right right, 2009 may nearly be over, but the fashion most certainly is not! I have compiled a list of the key clothing looks to look for Autumn & Winter 2009/2010 for you.

Military clothing.

Leather. (jacket from Zara)

One shouldered dresses & tops.


Chunky knitwear.

Capes, capelets & cloaks.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   Over-the-knee & thigh-high boots.

See-through clothing.

Colours to use: 'Warm Olive', Cream, Grey or 'Iron', Red, Blue (preferably a navy shade), purple and a sort of dusty rose pink.
In other news, I made a good chicken dish today :)

19 October, 2009

I Believe It's Called Boho

This is something I have been pondering for quite some time now... what exactly is bohemian? I was mainly thinking in terms of interior design initially but it came to my attention that the boho style is more of a culture than just a design, it includes a way of life: the dress, the house, the lifestyle. After researching tips and types of furniture typically found in a Shabby Chic abode, I also came across tips for dressing boho - which of course is not entirely new to the fashion industry... a return to florals and florr length gowns with strappy straps and a bit of cleavage has been back for a while now!

A shabby chic house will usually have wooden furniture that have...yes you've guessed it - a shabby look. Parts of the wood colour will be faded and some completely eroded. It seems to be a growing phenomenon for interior design and I am falling in love with it completely!

On the other hand, the furniture does not necessarily have to be so much eroded. They can have the same elegance in shape and feel but the colour remains in tact and more likely to be in ivory, cream and white.

In terms of clutter, I would say make it colourful! Having colourful, happy accessories will brighten up the otherwise monotone (but still cute and chic) furniture. I feel that Shabby chic interiors usually reflect a creative personality i.e. sewing, drawing, fashion etc. The bohemian  style is quite refined in detail with lots of curves and intricate floral patterns and dainty in proportions, so decorations should also be dainty. They do not necessarily have to be curvy and intricately woven or handmade, I happen to think that balancing out the curvatious nature of the furniture with some choice squared decór works quite nicely.

18 October, 2009

The Art of Cultivation

I thought I would christen my virginal blog with my own splash of photography! The majority of the photos are heavily photoshopped as was my style when I created them, but some are not - and thankfully might I add - because I do like a bit of naturalness in pictures, particularly portrait style photographs.

These photos were created for the purpose of the 2 year A level course for Photography and the core criterea for each piece is fashion (+ any of the required elements e.g. star signs). Hope you like! =)