Saturday, November 26, 2016

Mood & Music Mosaic #20

Christmas Waltz - Mindy Gledhill

I'm finishing up my holiday shopping and gift wrapping everything. I actually haven't listened to any Christmas songs yet, but I think it's time to whip out my seasonal CDs too. Can't celebrate the holidays long enough, can you?

How is your holiday planning coming along? Almost done or are you a last-minute shopper?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Lovely Movies: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

The Miss Peregrine trilogy made me fangirl before even dipping in a toe. I bought the books early on, but that whole Schrödinger's Cat scenario of enjoyment vs disappointment had a real hold on me and so I still haven't read them.

But I will read them soon, as I adored the movie. Tim Burton knows how to create visual masterpieces, and the cast was phenomenal (and included a bunch of my favorite actors). I got the impression there were some flaws in the logic or continuity sometimes, but that can all be forgiven as it was so very magical and highly entertaining.

All the trailers showed way too much of the story, so instead I'm posting this:

I expected it to be more of a children's movie but found it actually bordered on horror at times. Nothing too traumatic, but something to be aware of in case you're easily creeped out or planning on bringing kids to see it on the big screen.

Anyway, I'll buy the dvd either way, but I'm really crossing my fingers that they'll release some sort of fancy special edition… Like a steelcase or something with embossing, ooh, or a slipcase! And a second disc with extras...

Monday, November 7, 2016

Mood & Music Mosaic #19

Florida Rain - Matt Bauer

It is cold and -since the clock changed- it's been getting dark very early. It's making me want to knit more! So I hope to cast on a lovely new project soon. I have one in mind already! It'll be nice to add another warm sweater to my wardrobe.

Are you stocking up on some warm new clothes? And have you got anything on your needles?

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Review: Uncommon Goods

When Uncommon Goods asked me to collaborate with them I was instantly excited! I already knew a little about their mission statement and products, but still found some pleasant surprises as I learned some more about their company.

They seem to run an honest and inspiring business, and they offer a very large variety of fun items; which makes Uncommon Goods a wonderful place to shop for yourself or for pretty much anyone you could possibly know. You can browse by category, do a keyword search or use their handy pages for gift ideas. Check out this page for lots of birthday gifts. It includes items to brighten up a home or wardrobe, and nifty things for people into science, sports, music or cooking. There's also a huge section for personalized gifts, which you can find here. Or -and this is very helpful as it's often the trickiest!- you could look here to find something nice for the men in your life. Handy, right?!

Since you're following my blog, odds are you're a fellow owl-loving lady with a fondness for jewelry and a knack for crafts. If so, I think you'll love the three items I'm reviewing today as much as I do... So let's get started!

I knit a lot, so it's quite surprising I did not yet own a yarn bowl. They have always intrigued me, so I was very excited to try this owly one. It is beautifully crafted, and nice and heavy so that it doesn't slide as you pull yarn from it.

It was very safely packaged and came with business cards and information on the artist who made and designed it.

Next up is this fun necklace. It's beautiful, quirky in a mature way, and even gilt/dipped in 18 and 22k gold. I find the color wheel matches basically anything I throw at it, and it makes even the most basic outfit instantly look creative.

I am equally smitten with the clever packaging!  It scores 10 out of 10 for sure! I loved the glass jar and the way the necklace was presented inside. Even the illustrated tag is cute. Yellow Owl Workshop definitely knows their stuff!

Lastly, this felt succulent garden seemed like a great substitute for the real succulents that didn't survive their stay with me... I don't exactly have a green thumb. I am, however, good with crafts, so I was excited for this DIY kit!

It's a fun concept and the instruction booklet was wonderfully clear. It's mostly a matter of assembling things, but you can still make a bunch of creative decisions with the chalk details and final placement of the succulents.

The one issue I had was that it didn't stick together very well. Double-sided tape just wasn't strong enough to hold the foldable box together (hence the gold washi tape you see in my picture), nor keep the succulents stuck to the bottom securely. But it's nothing a little glue couldn't fix. Despite that minor issue, I actually enjoyed it a lot. The rolling of the succulents, the coloring with the chalk, and finally figuring out what composition looked best. It was fun and I like the result!

A Few Notes on Sustainability:
Now, I'm very passionate about going "green", love to support independent artists, but also really like the service and security of established companies. Uncommon Goods incorporates all three into their business! They value sustainability, in every sense of the word. They work with artists and small manufacturers, use recycled and organic products whenever they can, support non-profit organizations and are all about fair and long-lasting relationships. They even give back to the community by inspiring and helping their customers donate some old things to Goodwill.

Final Verdict:
I loved collaborating with Uncommon Goods! I found them to be a very transparent and warm company. There is a personal touch to everything they do, and a definite sense of community. They even have a blog where they feature their artists and lots of different kinds of employees in interviews with pictures. It's a business I feel very good about working with. And, as you can see, the products I received were absolutely wonderful too!

P.S. I received these items for review, but was encouraged to share my own opinions and experience.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Plans & Goals: November

The end of the year is suddenly getting quite close! And my holiday prepping is already in full swing. I like to start early. It's less stressful and it also lets me look forward to the holidays much longer. Anyway, this month I hope to:

  • Go to the movies with a friend.
  • Start gift wrapping for Christmas!
  • Make the cool necklace I designed in my head.
  • Post some pictures of my new journaling habit.
  • Finish knitting the shawl I put on hold when I hit the tricky part.
  • Reconnect with a very old friend I recently ran into.
  • Listen to lots of CDs. Now I finally have a CD player again!
  • Share the awesome review I've been preparing.
  • And do something fun to celebrate my 7th blog birthday!

What are your plans? And are you already prepping for Christmas too, or will you start next month?

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mood & Music Mosaic #18

While My Guitar Gentle Weeps - Regina Spektor 

It's been a few weeks since I went to see Kubo and the Two Strings, yet I still think about it. And I keep playing the soundtrack too. So here is a collection inspired by the film. If you've seen it you'll recognize all the elements.

Did you see the movie yet? Where you blown away by it as well?

Friday, October 28, 2016

Lovely Movies: Kubo and the Two Strings

I fell in love with Kubo's story long before I'd seen the movie, or even the trailer for that matter. I was sold the minute the studio released the announcement poster that let the world know they were in the process of making the movie.

As a rule of thumb, that sort of expectation is bound to let a person down. Yet it didn't. It was perfect from the get-go. I marveled at the gorgeous details, soaked up the music and was completely whisked away to a magical world. A world where origami folds itself into characters and stories whenever a young man plays his instrument! I mean, wow!

I did, however, find the voices of the famous actors distracting. Charlize Theron as a monkey just isn't a seamless fit. And I kept wondering whether the male voice was George Clooney. It wasn't. It's actually Matthew McConaughey.
Both did a fine job, but I thought it took away from the otherworldliness of the film a bit. By the end of the movie I had grown accustomed, and I look forward to watching it again (and again and again) without being thrown off by it.

Other than that it was absolutely perfect. Even the credits were. And I loved that you got a peek behind the scenes of the stop-motion process at the end of the movie! I always love behind the scenes stuff, but especially for stop-motion. I am very well aware of the insane amount of hard work that goes into films like this, yet I'd love nothing more than to be part of something like that. Even if it means making a hundred slightly different monkey faces with a pair of tweezers. Anyway, I'm already looking forward to buying the dvd and watching the extras!

I know I already mentioned the soundtrack, but I need to mention it again. It's amazing! And the final song -While My Guitar Gentle Weeps as covered by Regina Spektor, with use of traditional Japanese instruments- is spectular!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Mood & Music Mosaic #17

Pluto - Clare and the Reasons

I really love duck egg blue. Especially when it's combined with gold! It looks so vintage, so magical and so soothing. And I just love the items in this collage. If only I could afford that vest! I might just get those cute socks though...

What is your favorite soothing color combination?

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Review: eShakti

I always thought of eShakti as a dress company. Though I was vaguely aware of skirts and blouses, I had not yet seen their pants. But when I went through all their options, I fell in love with just that... A pair of high-waisted pants!

High-waisted pants are my favorite! I find them to be very elegant and comfortable. This particular pair reminds me of both Katherine Hepburn and Dharma from Dharma & Greg. They look vintage and classy, yet also quirky, fun and a little zen. I feel like I could wear them to fancy Christmas dinners as well as on trips to the farmers' market.

They were custom-made to my measurements. I was a little nervous about measuring it myself, even with help. And so -thinking it would be easier to put a belt on than to hold my breath all day- I opted to go an inch up in the waist, which turned out to be a very good decision. (I did the same with the overall length too, by the way, as pants can often "wrinkle" up a bit as you wear them.)
The waist is elastic. I still found it a bit tight the first time, but it stretched to a comfortable size with wear.

The fabric is a nice velvet. Not thick, but not at all flimsy either. Very wearable, and pretty too. Dark velvet is tricky to photograph, but I think you can see how it changes from red to deep burgundy, depending on how the light hits it.

I am also very happy with the embroidery. It's machine embroidered onto the garment. So it's not an applique, nor is the print cut off in any hem or whatnot. It isn't bulky or very stiff, so it still moves well too... It's perfect, really.

A silver satiny polka dot fabric has been used on the inside to make pockets and a trim. It looks quite fancy, I think!

Also, I'm a sucker for good pockets. And these pants have very good pockets! Deep and roomy in the front, so there's plenty of room for a cellphone, wallet and the like. And smaller and more subtle in the back, so as not to mess with your silhouette in any unflattering way. Whoever made these put a lot of thought and care into them!

I kept the outfit for these pictures very simple, but I'm very excited about all the possible combinations I could make… Lots of color and flowers? Or a burgundy top and some bling for evening wear? I know they'll accessorize very well!

Anyway, eShakti is a great place to shop. Especially if you have trouble finding garments for your measurements, or if you want the option of different necklines and sleeve/skirt lengths. And it's cheaper than going to a tailor. Also, they have a few gorgeous owls in their collection! Like this skirtdress and -my absolute favorite!- this awesome sweatshirt.

It has been wonderful working with eShakti again. Communication was fast and easy, my custom garment was finished within two weeks and the overall result is beautiful and well made. I'm also glad they keep an eye on their factories so that their workers are paid and treated fairly. Something you can read about more if you follow this link.

Find out more about eShakti on their website, or follow them on FacebookPinterest or Twitter.

P.S. I was given an item to review, but was encouraged to honestly share my own experience and opinion.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

For Your Next Project: Love Book Folding

If you love the idea of book art, but find it daunting to figure out how to design a certain image, you could actually buy patterns for it. LoveBookFolding on Etsy sells digital patterns so you can turn your own old books into pieces of art!

They come with printables so you can accessorize your project or spruce up those end pages with any color you want!

There are a bunch of owls available, as well as plenty of other animals and designs to cut and/or fold. The shop owner is even willing to do custom work, should you have something else in mind or want something personalized.

If book folding is something you want to learn more about, be sure to also visit the Love Book Folding website as it has much more info and even some tutorials!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Mood & Music Mosaic #16

Bloom - The Paper Kites

It's sweater weather and I am recovering from a serious cold. So it is unmistakably Fall! Hopefully in a few days I can go out and find myself some orange trees to marvel at and photograph. And maybe drink some hot chocolate after...

How are you holding up? And are the colors of Fall sparking your creativity as well?

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mood & Music Mosaic #15

Maybe - Isbells

We've had some serious rain recently. Days like that make me want to light a candle and sit down with a journal. Journaling has been my new go-to pastime. As a blogger it makes sense to love it. It's a bit like blogging for yourself. Or perhaps blogs are just public journals. Either way, it seems that working on either one inspires the other too.

What have you been up to lately? Any new hobbies? Or… any pretty new notebooks?

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Plans & Goals: October

October is generally when I start easing into hibernation. I'm still making a few plans outside of the house, but my list this month is definitely more geared towards indoor activities already. Lovely stuff though! As I hope to:

  • Cast on an owly cardigan.
  • Eat Japanese curry again.
  • Play some board/card games.
  • Go see Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children.
  • Work on some collabs. More on that later...
  • Meditate at least once every week.
  • Do something Halloweeny for myself at home.
  • Treat myself to a cute fountain pen so I can up my journaling game.
  • And blog more about stationary, planners, etc.

What are your plans for this first month of Fall? Do you have any fun Halloween ideas?

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Owl Things Considered

I tend to love bird statement necklaces that show off a lot of wing. I think it looks cool and makes for an interesting shape that is incredibly eye catching. Especially so, of course, when they are owls carrying Hogwarts letters...

These cool laser cut necklaces can be found at RichardsonRichardson on Etsy. They have a few owls; one with letter, and a couple without. Some are made from plastic, and others from actual wood. And a few different sizes too.

There are plenty more witty items in the shop, as well as some Halloween designs. So follow this link to see more.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Mood & Music Mosaic #14

Better Man - Leon Bridges

Fall is here! Though I love the warmth of summer and am sad to see it go, I also adore the coziness Fall brings. It is perfect for creating your own bubble of music, tea and something creative. And I discovered Leon Bridges just in time!

What are you looking forward to about Fall?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Sanrio Strawberry Chocolate

Quite a while ago I placed a fun order at Blippo. I originally came for something else, but -having really enjoyed Japanese strawberry chocolate before- I also ended up adding two little boxes of Sanrio chocolates to my cart.

The packaging was already adorable, but the real magic happened inside… All the chocolates were shaped like Sanrio characters (even my favorite: Pom Pom Purin!) or the Milky girl! And luckily they hadn't melted on the way over here.

From what I recall from eating Meiji's famous strawberry chocolates a few years prior, I think they compare pretty well. A tiny bit less tasty maybe. Or maybe it was just bittersweet munching on those adorable little faces, haha!


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