My Twenty-Ten

31 December 2010

My love of blogging has inadvertently brought about a love of photography; even though my camera may be small and annoying, I love using it to document the interesting and unusual moments of my life.  My hopes for 2011 include an even bigger and better camera but also for even more of these moments to capture.  For now, I've become all sentimental looking back on 2010 where I started off interning and exploring in New York and ended it in good old London town.  I've met some fantastic people, seen some great sights and eaten a lot of decent food (mainly cupcakes). 
1jan

Practically fresh off the plane, I set out to explore NYC starting with the charity shops, boutiques and even supermarkets.  Last New Years Day was spent wandering around an icy Central Park wearing my much loved tartan tights and Doc Martens, proving that some things never change!

2february

My Crumbs cupcake obsession had fully taken over, as well as a slight shoe obsession starting with the purchase of my Alexa wedges at 70% off.  I also attended the Y3 show at New York Fashion Week and the Independent Fashion Bloggers conference and experienced a few surreal moments seeing the bloggers up close I'd previously been reading from afar. Despite the snow, I still ended up in Central Park again but also found shelter in the indoor Brooklyn Flea Market, finding many trinkets to admire...

3march

March was very colourful; I never told you about the time I ended up in Queens, did I?  I got very lost and couldn't find the PS1 gallery, but did manage to stumble across some crazy graffiti.  I took a few sneaky pictures in the Rodarte exhibition, found a yarn shop, saw the work of some London designers and finally figured out where the Meatpacking district was.

4april copy

Is anyone else a fair-weather sports fan? I went to my first baseball match and became a temporary Yankees supporter, even though I hadn't the foggiest what was going on.  Intern duties included lots of button buying in M&J Trimmings, giving me some DIY inspiration plus I had to admire the flowers in the windows at Macy's on the way to the NQR trains.

5may

I decided to use my remaining holiday extravagantly on a few days in Jamaica, eating jerk chicken and topping up my tan to no avail.  I managed to visit the busy Tim Burton exhibition in the nick of time and gained a new found admiration for the producer after seeing the development of his work.  In dire need of a hobby, I started to make jewellery and went on a water taxi tour of Lower Manhattan to see the concrete jungle in all its finest.

6june

Time was running out with a month to go but undeterred I managed a quick trip to Washington D.C (I might have taken a few cheesy photos by the fake Oval office set in the gift shop).  I also finally made it to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and realised what I'd been missing out on for the past five months!

7july

I wasn't quite ready to leave New York, but somehow I did with three suitcases and six new pairs of shoes in tow.  Would I ever adjust to London living again?

8aug

Back in the heart of all things London, I met up with some fantastic bloggers (some of these photos belong to Rebecca and Kylie) found bargains at Susie Bubble's yard sale and ended up in the somewhat bizarre Jacques townhouse.  Plus I turned 23...

9september

Fashion month was back with a bang, but I found the people-watching (I spotted the Roitfelds plus Anna Dello Russo) and hanging out with bloggers almost as fun as the shows.  Almost.  Mulberry was a visual treat and gave me the urge to dye my hair red so I could fit right in.

10october

After sixteen months it was time to get back into the student mindset and understand all things knit related again, somehow I got the work done with a few moments to spare.

11november

I couldn't keep away from London for too long, the Japanese Fashion exhibition at the Barbican was calling plus an evening with Aussie on the London Eye.  I also managed to get tickets for a free Kenzo show at the V&A and developed a love of the raised 'flat' shoe at the Won Hundred press day. The chilly weather also meant a new scarf was necessary.

12december

I can't quite whip my hair back and forth but Aussie did visit me in their Pamper Van to give me a Shingai Shoniwa style up-do (that I have since failed to recreate, *sobs*).  Once the deadlines were over, I got nail-painting and attempted a Wah-inspired leopard print design.

outfits of 2010
I also attempted regular outfit posts in all kinds of places.  Rebecca and Rachel helped with a few but they were mainly taken with my temperamental tripod

Congratulations if you made it to the end of this post!  I don't say this enough, but I'd like to thank everyone who reads my blog as I know I like to waffle on a bit but I hope you've found some bits interesting.  Every time I try and write a shorter post, it just becomes as long-winded as the last, so I've just accepted the fact and I try to add a few pictures to break things up a bit.  When I first started writing this blog, I didn't think about the context of it outside my own bedroom for a while, but gradually I've been able to go to some fantastic events and meet some like-minded people who I am happy to call my friends.  I've also learnt a few technical blogging aspects, such as customising my layout (finally worked out how to get my dates back and add a 'like' button), editing my photos and tidying things up a bit more proving that this is truly a learning process.  I'm still determined to blog throughout the coming year (even whilst knitting the six outfits of my graduate collection, organisation is definitely one of my resolutions) so make sure you keep reading to see what 2011 holds...

Happy New Year to you all!

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The Ultimate Christmas List

25 December 2010

So it's that time of year again where the turkey's defrosting in the conservatory (well I hope it has by now) and the presents are wrapped under the tree.  I guess each year I feel slightly less excited about the festive season, but after a stressful first term, Dec 25th is somewhat more appreciated this time around.  Here's a few things that would take pride of place on my ultimate Christmas list (as none of my relatives really read this blog, I will have to use Christmas funds to buy these myself)!

realistic christmas wishlist

The things I am most likely to blow any Christmas money and my next student loan payment on - Tom Brown Satchel, Galibardy ring, Asos Lace Maxi, Meadham Kirchoff silk slip, COS jumper, Cherry Red Doc Martens, 'K' initial mug, Luella's Guide to English Style

possible christmas wishlist


expensive christmas wishlist


Of course presents aren't everything; I will probably be spending the day teaching my sister how to knit, eating ridiculous amounts of turkey and attempting to understand what's going on in Eastenders.   I hope everyone has a fantastic and fun Christmas Day!

P.S The winner of the House of Holland Citights giveaway is the lovely Harriet!* I will be sending you an e-mail very soon and sorting out your prize with Cheeky Legs (remember I have a discount code for the site IWYK10 offering 10% off everything, so you can still get your Citights fix).  Thanks to everyone who entered; I am definitely going to try and brainstorm some more exciting competitions for 2011!

*SMALL PRINT: The winner was chosen using my handy Excel spreadsheet and random.org.  Any relevant tweets and comments were counted in the final number in the order they were posted.

Shades of Red

21 December 2010

buttoned denim shirt and leather shorts

marc by marc jacobs wishbone necklace

leopard print diy wah nails

Monday
Cardigan - c/o Next
Sleeveless denim shirt, ring - Forever 21
Shorts - c/o Very
Belt - Battersea Boot Fair
Necklace - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Bracelet - Topshop
Socks - c/o Tabio
Brogues - Office
Nails - Models Own Misty Grey, Black and White Nail Art Pens

So I'm back in London for a bit and attempting to take outside outfit pictures in sub zero temperatures with a broken tripod.  As per usual this outfit contains a thermal layer plus double tights and I'm very much glad that buttoned up shirts have made a comeback since they're so practically for these chilly times.  As the last picture shows, I finally managed to spend a bit of time on some nail art, using Gem's tutorial as my guide.  I'd heard numerous things about the pens and was slightly apprehensive, yet I found them relatively straightforward to use, my preference being the end with the fine tip to create fine details.  Over the holidays, I think I will try a new design every week and I'm feeling quite ambitious now after this first attempt and a few random compliments.  I'd love to try this tartan design but it will probably end up being a disaster knowing my luck!

maxi skirt and velvet bodysuit

horse and chain necklace

asos hiking boots and red tights

Wednesday
Cardigan - Charity Shop
Velvet bodysuit, horse pendant, cross ring - Forever 21
Maxi Skirt, Hiking boots - Asos
Belt - Battersea Boot Fair
Chain - Gogo Phillip
Tights - Uniqlo
Socks - New Look

Back taking snaps inside after the Great Snow Takeover, don't you love how the weather loves to create chaos in the UK (had to walk half a mile in the snow in highly inappropriate footwear due to being abandoned by my bus)!  During less snowy times I managed to nip into one of my favourite charity shops and pick up this baggy wool cardigan for a fiver, made by an old Lincolnshire company called Straven.  I love finding clothes with a bit of history and have been trying to find out more about the company to no avail.  I definitely prefer the charity shops where I live as there isn't the student competition of Nottingham and I've been able to find some great things, the best being this book for £2.50 a few years ago!  What's been your best charity shop bargain?  On a less charitable note, I'm really glad I brought these boots home with me; I had to be quite selective when I was packing but I'm determined to wear them more and prove their versatility. 

spot top and and asymmetric skirt

horse pendant and chain

Friday
Top - Yard Sale
Belt - Battersea Boot Fair
Asymmetric Skirt, grey tights, bracelet - Topshop
 Socks - Urban Outfitters
Shoes - Jeffrey Campbell
Cross ring, horse pendant - Forever 21
Chain - Gogo Phillip

I have been gradually weaning myself off Topshop due to the demise of my staff discount but as I'm a sucker for anything asymmetric, I had to buy this skirt back in October.  I hadn't managed to photograph it up until now but it's been worn quite a few times and I especially like it looks with thigh-high socks.  This is the Urban Outfitters pair I bought in the last post, as I'm very much obsessed with dark red hues at the moment and this style keeps everything pretty with a touch of lace.

cupboard

jewellery

newspaper sculpture

I recently went to a Blogger's Christmas Party hosted by Carrie and Lucy and I can't express enough that their house is the best student digs I've ever visited!  Forget dirty dishes, pizza box towers and baked beans on the carpet (a true story from first year), their house was decorated with old photographs, handmade Christmas decorations and beautiful floral china.  I couldn't resist some sneaky snaps of a few details I loved and I can't wait until I visit again!

The House of Holland tights giveaway ends tomorrow (my that's gone quickly) so make sure you get your entry in!

A Spot of Shopping

17 December 2010

Birmingham

Being a self confessed online shopping addict, I rarely venture inside a shopping centre unless it's for vital Tesco food rations (even then I have to restrain myself from stocking up on too much tortellini) or a necessary Poundland bargain.  Towards the end of term I needed to attempt some sort of focus, so the shops were largely avoided until I'd handed in all my work.  As a reward for this 'restraining order',  I made a cross-country visit to Birmingham, where I met up with Winnie and finally made a pilgrimage to the Forever 21 store.

Forever 21 Birmingham

Chandelier in Forever 21

forever 21 rings

The last time I stepped inside a Forever 21 store couldn't be more different, as it was a 35°C July afternoon in the newly opened Times Square location.  I thought stepping into the Birmingham store would give me NYC flashbacks but this wasn't quite the case, the clothes were the same sort yet the staff seemed a lot friendlier with the prices not quite so low.   The space is enormous, with clothing shoes and accessories spread over three sprawling floors and even a coffee shop for vital restoration.  Truthfully, I was probably in chatting mode rather than shopping mode, so I didn't really notice anything clothing-related that I liked, but I did manage to spend a good while hunting for some rings in the vast jewellery section.  I pretty much owe all my ring choices to Winnie; she'd picked me up a cross ring after I'd pleaded with her on Twitter a week before and on the day I bought a panther(?) ring she'd managed to locate after I became tired of searching through the somewhat disorganised bowls they were presented in.  The cross ring was only £1.50 (it's not on the website but this one is similar) and is a lot cheaper than the Asos style I had to send back due to sizing issues.  It's surprisingly comfortable to wear and hasn't turned my finger green.  Result!

Forever 21 cross and panther rings

Forever 21 Birmingham
Could not resist a slight fanatic pic

I'd imagine that Forever 21 occupies a space similar to New Look on the British High Street, with the odd Topshop and even designer inspired piece.  When I visited stores in New York, it seemed more like a colourful Primark and I didn't think twice about the cost on many a TGIF after-work spree.  Now the store is on British soil I will probably make more considered choices if I buy from there, just like I do whenever I'm shopping in 'real life'.  I think blogging and the experiences of my degree has made me overanalyse shopping ever so slightly and I'm always thinking about cut, quality and the intended inspiration of an item whilst wondering whether I already own something similar.  As a store it can be a bit hit and miss but what I do like is the odd quality item it can create, like this suede skirt I wish I'd seen on the day.  If you've visited the store, what are your thoughts and did you buy anything?  Are you ready for a Forever 21 European takeover?

urban outfitters letter k

Another thing I love about Birmingham, is that its Urban Outfitters branch offers a student discount, making its prices in the realm of reasonable.  I don't really buy much clothing from there, but I do love its home accessories and hosiery.  I bought one of their letters to pop above my blind and am working out a way to justify purchasing the other eight letters of my name (thanks Mum) to keep the K company.  I also bought yet more socks and perused some of the fashion books, mentally noting down how many were related to blogging.  We spotted Style Diaries, Facehunter and The Selby to name a few; do you own any of these glossy, coffee-table style books?  I can't deny that I prefer the immediacy of blogs but it is nice to have something to hold in your hand and have a look through, some of the pictures were stunning.  Wouldn't it be amazing (and slightly surreal) if all blogs were somehow in book form?

dim sum




This post is by no means in order and the day was actually started with some delicious dim sum.  I pretty much eat anything so Winnie ordered a great selection of dishes I couldn't pronounce, which were swiftly devoured (after a few chopstick fails by myself).  I need to bring Reena here and tempt her from her Ping Pong ways....

Christmas lights in Birmingham
We also had a quick look in the largest Christmas market outside Germany, which was heaving, but the perfect end to another great day in Brum!

Don't forget to enter the House of Holland tights giveaway here, there's less than one week to go!

A 2nd Birthday & Citights Giveaway

12 December 2010

henry holland paris citights

henry holland paris citights giveaway

My blog is now two years old, a small toddler in the world of fashion.  To celebrate in true Kristabel style, I have a giveaway!  Fancy getting your hands on some rather fetching House of Holland Citights from Cheeky Legs? For this season four major world cities have been given the leg treatment, London, New York, Paris and Los Angeles and I have one pair to give away to a lucky reader. Surprisingly I went for the Eiffel Tower design, but the winner will get to choose their own preferred city.

chooseacity

henry holland paris citights
Bonjour and all that; Paris Citights courtesy of Cheeky Legs

To enter

1. Leave a relevant comment on this post such as 'London baby!  I want Big Ben on my legs' (okay I admit that looks all kinds of wrong typed up).
2.  Follow this blog on Google Friend Connect, Bloglovin or Facebook.

Simples!

For extra entries you can:
3. Follow @Cheekylegs on Twitter and tweet about the competition (make sure you @fashionknitsta so I can find you).
4. Post a snippet on your blog about the competition with a link to this post.

Please comment letting me know if you've made any extra entries using separate comments for each one.  Also leave an e-mail address if you don't have a blog (I need to be able to contact you if you win)!  Does this all make sense?  Yes?   The competition will close on Wednesday 22nd December and this is also open internationally, so there's no excuse not to enter.  Good luck!

You know I love the discount codes too, I have an exclusive one to use against anything on the site!  Get 10% off with 'IWYK10'; I might end up buying the New York pair after all or maybe something  colourful to put under the Christmas tree.


2nd birthday cakes

Here's to many more blog birthdays; thanks to everyone who reads, follows and comments!

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Welcome to Hermitville

4 December 2010

Like the title, I've been a bit of a hermit these past few days due to deadlines and the crazy snow, wearing questionable outfits indoors that go against the whole fashion blogger status.  I ventured outside yesterday in my trusted DMs but was within 5 feet of my house before I slipped and fell on the ice, resulting in a rather fetching bruise on my right hand.  Methinks I finally need some wellies.  I am now stocked up on all the necessary provisions (6 pints of milk and a packet of Haribo) to return to my reclusive state while I write my dissertation draft, but here are some outfit pictures I took during slightly less stressed and agraphobic times. 

topshop barbour jacket

cable cardigan tartan tights

gold necklaces cable vintage cardi

Thursday
Jacket, bracelet - Topshop
Breton top - Charity shop
Cardigan - Vintage via Franny and Roey
Leather shorts - courtesy of Very
Tights - Calzedonia
Necklaces - Brooklyn Charm and Gogo Phillip
Socks - courtesy of Tabio
Shoes - Office

Meet my 2010 Winter coat, Topshop's Barbour offering bought back in September when all this snow was just a figment of my imagination.  I like that it makes me look a bit 'country' and weathered, without me having to leave the confines of the University campus and it's a more casual style to what I would normally buy.  I've pretty much worn it with every outfit as it has the ability to dress things down, so it looks equally as nice with dresses or jeans.  However, this relatively new addition doesn't stop me from coveting the entire Zara website and this style from Asos, but I'm preparing myself for a handbags-at-dawn situation in the Boxing Day sales.  Did you buy a new coat this year?

loose navy shirt tapered trousers

bronze jewellery

Wednesday
Shirt - The Scarlet Room
Trousers, necklace, bracelet - Topshop
Socks, ring - Forever 21
Brogues - Office
Necklaces - Gogo Phillip & Marc by Marc Jacobs

Due to my intern past, I am always changing buttons over on things if I don't like the look of them, and swapped some bright white buttons on this shirt for a darker style.  Problem is, I didn't buy enough of them and sacrificed being able to button it to the very top.  Note to self, be more organised when buying buttons and actually write down how many you need to buy!  I wasn't quite sure about the volume in this shirt when it arrived, but it's definitely grown on me and will be perfect for all the inevitable festive food consumption.

baggy shirt and grid tights

american apparel grid tights

Monday
Shirt - Weekday via Beacons Closet
Tunic - The Scarlet Room
Shorts - H&M
Tights - American Apparel
Socks - Primark
Boots - eBay

The tights are a purchase I made during a random 30% off evening at American Apparel, along with two pairs of these cute socks.  I did try on a dress there but it didn't really agree with me (could barely get my head through the neckline for a start) and although I like many of the clothes there, I realised that most items are standard charity shop fare with a higher price tag.  For example the top I was wearing in the first outfit was £3.99 from a charity shop, but AA's similar version is £42!  

loose white shirt shorts and knee highs
 
gold necklaces
I wore a Heattech underneath all of these outfits, it's just too flipping cold!

Tuesday
Shirt - The Scarlet Room
Shorts, hat - H&M
Socks - Vero Moda
Boots - Doc Martens
Necklaces - Brooklyn Charm, Gogo Philip and Topshop
Ring - Forever 21

It's hat time again!  As I mentioned before, the weather is freezing but I usually don't wear a hat for pure vanity reasons, (which my Mum would surely scold me for).  This all went out the window this week and I chucked this beanie over the result of a Dodgy Hair Day.  This post has also made me realise how much I've bought from The Scarlet Room, a Singaporean website which offers a different take on traditional pieces (plus a few designer lookey-likeys).  It can be tricky to gauge how the clothes will look on me, and I've often been left with a few pieces I'm not too sure about, but I really liked the loose, boxy fit of this shirt (even though I think my dodgy washing skills shrank it slightly).  For 2011, I am trying to limit the whole online shopping addiction mentioned in this post, so I narrowly stopped myself from ordering this skirt and intend to attempt a DIY when I'm re-united with my sewing machine.  It's all about self control...

keep calm and eat a cupcake

This is my new poster and mantra for all future deadlines.  Is anyone else writing a dissertation at the moment?  Good luck, mine is precisely zero words but hopefully that can change today...

I now also procrastinate on Tumblr, come and have a gander.

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