In that case... Emoji iPhone case

I have mentioned recently that gadgets are not a passion of mine and I begrudgingly have an extortionate iPhone 5 contract, even though the camera is pretty pants. I think a portion of my mega monthly payout is that I can upgrade whenever I want to, BUT I just got the sweetest new phone case and this baby is sticking around!

Things are getting slightly emoji crazy as I saw this 'print' on Tumblr and knew it would make for the case of dreams! I tweeted that I couldn't find a phone case I liked anywhere and Fay suggested making my own! What a genius idea - I am obsessed with Tumblr and reblog millions of pictures that I would happily paste onto my phone. I wanted something a little tongue-in-cheek though as not everything needs to be too chic and serious in life, right! I got mine from CaseApp as they have a seriously inspirational Instagram with blog-worthy set ups. I'm not one for arranging flowers and complimentary colours for my blog photos (when I get chance to take them!) but their Insta has some really clever ways of photographing the different cases.

So cute!! So sassy!! Heart eyes overload. 

To Be Continued...

Now I've done some funny things in my time in the name of DIY but not for a good few years. Some how tonight though I've found myself with black fingers, floors, and walls thanks to a strange quest to dye my shoes!

This all started because a) I can't seem to find a pair of nice heels anywhere without a stiletto heel and b) I don't want to be spending lots of money right now. I have these grey Miss Selfridge shoes which are very chunky and comfy, and have these amazing giant bows and a pink lining. However they are definitely worn now and the fabric was very marked and dirty beyond repair. Never fear though, I have decided to make them black!

I first tried shoe polish but that wasn't dark enough, and I was going to paint them with fabric paint but Wilkinsons only had packet dye. Well at £2.99 you can't go wrong, so I ignored the instructions and skipped the gloves, and chose basically the largest yet smallest bowl I could find! I am turning the shoes around every few minutes so they are evenly covered and they are looking pretty good despite there being huge puddles of dye inside each shoe. Progress TBC... let's hope I can wear them on Friday night!

Kitty meets BB

I've officially done a full week of posts every day! I haven't done that in ages! I had no lectures today so I studied it up, although I did only just see an email changing a seminar reading... right after I read the original!

I recently got a Blackberry and of course it needs a lovely cover! You know by my nails, my guilty pleasures are tacktastic gems, rhinestones and Hello Kitty, so I had to have a blinged up case. But I already have enough nail art to last throughout my whole lifetime, so I figured I'd make my own. I got a cheap case off eBay, although it's for a Curve but I ended up getting a Bold so the picture hole is in the wrong place, oh well!

I had a little look at a few YouTube videos and found quite a good one, though sticking on gems is pretty straight forward! You need a file to get the backs of rough gems totally smooth, super glue (be CAREFUL you don't glue your hands!), a cocktail stick and some bluetack to stick on the tip, scissors, and all the gems you have! Mine are accumulated from eBay, haberdasheries, Paperchase and markets (the Hello Kitties are eBay). The girl in the video I linked above uses broken jewellery- great idea!

Just use the cocktail stick with the little bluetack end up lift up the gem, put a little glue on the back, and stick it down. Simple!

I had a sticker of gems on the back of my old phone which I cut and recycled, and just kept sticking in a random order. This is how far I've got but I'm going to do the whole back! My housemate hates it haha, but like I said, all this stuff is a guilty pleasure and I can remove the case for serious occasions :)

no more nibbling!

If you're a long time reader, you may remember aaaages ago (well, one year), I finally kicked my nail biting habit when I got gel nails. I'd bit my nails for a whole decade and there was no way I would ever naturally stop biting them, unless I never wanted to read a book again or get stressed! But gel nails work great on even the teeniest nails and your natural nails grow perfectly underneath. At the nail salon they do expect you to wear them very long and even when I requested them to keep being cut down, I still found it really weird to have them and after about a week they started snapping or cracking one by one, either due to chopping food or knocking them. But they managed to grow and I've been painting them obsessively ever since, and am now an official Barry M loon.

But in the past few weeks when I was just sorting out the end of the year, I wasn't changing my polish as it would have been a waste, and a couple of nails broke. I've been staying at my Nan's loads and as she doesn't have the internet, I've been reading loads, and that's when I don't even notice I've bitten off all my nails! So they were looking a sorry state when I was about to go for a job interview last week and so, during an England match, I popped to a local salon and has more gel saviours! Sadly they turned out a little unexpected.


The nail artists were all from Vietnam and not only did I leave with a few sayings, I also left with some superbly chav-tastic creations! I got powder gel this time and they are so strong and thick that there is no way they would EVER snap off. You have to be careful not to catch them on anything encase they pull up the nail they are stuck to, ouch! But it is amazing to have absolutely perfect nails and they paint like a dream. I didn't request any colours but the lady brought over a fluorescent green and a pink polish and alarm bells started ringing! Hot green and pink thick nails? That's not going to impress a high street fashion store if I'm repping some fantastic plastic! I didn't want to boss anyone around and things were getting lost in translation anyway so I suggested pink and blue, but it turned out the plan was for white tips with streaks and glitter. Really not me at all!!


Thankfully the designs just came straight off and I went for a Barry M lilac for the interview, where I saw all the girls have long nails anyway (can you guess the store?)! It's been a funny day today though where it's suddenly the middle of the evening and I was feeling pretty unproductive after spending hours trying to catch up with my google reader, to no avail. Then I remembered one of the fantastic Tuesday Tips from gorgeous Gem of Gem Fatale, an amazingly thrifty and creative blog, and it has actual English student-type references! I think I've been brainwashed by all the blog posts I've read today but it is truly nice to read fashion gossip that's actually understandable and accessible. I'm subscribed to too many blogs that are all five-billion-pound-camera shots and daily 5inch designer heels. Also I've been reading Gem Fatale for ages! Truly one of my favourite blogs.

One of Gem's previous Tuesday Tips was how to DIY some Wah inspired leopard print nails, including a very funny video! It was very easy to follow and now I've got one hand of marvy nails for work tomorrow, which might make up for having to wear jeans for the time being. Haven't worn skinny jeans in years arghhh!


I used NYC Long Wearing Nail Enamel 108A Polyester Pink Creme (GREAT pink but quite streaky at first), Barry M Nail Paints in 279 Bright Pink and 47 Black, and Sally Hansen Double Duty Strengthening Base and Top Coat.

alert the press

Phew, my computer is back up and running! Or for now at least. It was touch and go after a few days of hitting the library for as many hours as possible and then finding any way to pass the time in the evening. But I hope it lasts all week as I come home on Saturday! That's insanely scary and I don't know where to begin to organise and tie everything up, but it's OK, there's time! Also time for one last Gothenburg trip, even though the £20 per kg excess baggage charge is inevitable and also very, very scary.

Luckily there's been some parties and some nights out recently so I feel I've done everything this term that I might have missed. On Friday there was a Spanish party in the sauna, well specifically the common room next to the sauna. As I only have classes around once a week, most of the time I don't even need to get dressed! So when there's an actual party that everyone will be at, it's a chance to get dressed up. My kind of dressed up is to choose a youtube makeup look, pick some false lashes, pump up the hair, and wear something I couldn't wear in the day but don't necessarily want to wear to a club.

This dress has such a history! There's a huge vintage warehouse in Birmingham now owned by Cow Vintage but before it was just the 'yellow vintage shop' due to the ambiguous yellow sign. I don't remember how I heard about it but I was there on the opening day in my college lunch break. Among the naff 80's tea dresses and musky polyester (the stock has improved immensely by now), I found a red strapless boned prom-style dress with a bow at the waist and a shirred back, so it was the perfect fit. It had a very light tutu underneath so it wasn't overly huge but it went in at the waist and out over the hips, so it was perfect! I remember it was priced only £12 and I had £10 cash on me and a £2 prize on a scratch card haha, but the owner sold it me for £10. I folded the hem under a few inches in random places and secured it with some simple tack stitches so it was a bubble dress, and I wore it to absolutely every club I could get into with my fake/borrowed ID. I was 17!

This was in 2006, and I was just getting into fashion and was a big ebayer, and back then there wasn't the trend communication that there is now. No,w if I have the urge to try or buy something, guaranteed I'll find some kind of inspiration on a blog somewhere or be able to find references or examples of it. But back then if I wanted a certain style or trend, there were no fashion networking sites like Lookbook and no blogs that I knew of or any street style sites. So I had the idea that a dress of a crazy fabric would be really cool and started trying to make my own clothes. When you're on a pre-student budget, i.e. in UK college/school, you have to be extra thrifty and every buy must be significant, so I got some comic strip fabric on eBay from America and haphazardly made the top part of the bustier. I traced out the shape including the sides and tacked it onto the red dress by just wrapping it round and sewing it at the back, either side of the zip. Then I took a red buttoned sash belt from another dress and sewed the skirt onto it just by bunching up and overlapping the fabric as I went around. So the skirt part of this dress actually comes off! It was a thrifty way to keep wearing my favourite red dress that fit so perfectly and get a new outfit on a student budget; I think the fabric and postage was about £7 in total.

I remember one night my cousin, who had just started studying in Birmingham and was a total rocker/goth, invited me to a rock club, and I wanted to wear this dress but the hem kept falling down. The last time I'd worn it to a club it had basically fallen apart on the dance floor, and I even blogged about it! Oh my God, that was January 2007! That post is sooo old, just look at the mirror shot! In a drastic move, I just took some scissors to the bottom of the dress, and as you always do, I cut it shorter than I would have liked. Later I was really cut up about it because I felt I'd ruined a perfect vintage find by altering the length permanently and clumsily.  But that was so long ago, and I wore the modified dress to lots few places! I still go to the rock club so it's especially suited to there and always gets loads of comments. I remember wearing it with a chunky fake gold chain when nu rave came into fashion. I also wore it in my fresher's week in 2007 and then on one night out in 2008 on a whim. I remember after a few months of being at uni I felt my super long, ringletted hair was really brash and childish and the dress was just too bright and attention grabbing. I was a bit insecure and felt that I didn't look good enough to attract that attention, or that it just clashed with my equally attention grabbing and different hair. But that was a long time ago and in 2008 I wore it again when I started to style my hair like I do now, but it was much longer. I really want to grow my hair again this summer though! I've left those previous insecurities behind and actually my sister started wearing this dress for the past year. I also made one of bright purple fabric covered in rainbow numbers, it was so crazy! She started wearing that one too but ripped it at a club!

But when I came home for Christmas I nicked the dress back off my sister as I knew it would be perfect for the flat parties that happen here. I probably wouldn't wear it to a club now as I usually wear body-con dresses out and I feel a bit old for it now. But it's the kind of thing I'd wear on a whim, and Friday for the Spanish party was an opportune moment. I even accompanied it with rainbow eyes! I went down to the party with some people from my floor, and you know when someone will say 'oh... you're wearing ----...', but it's not actually a compliment, it's just a comment hiding their surprised or other reaction? Well the people were like 'oh... you're a comic...!' haha. But the red sash in the centre is quite tight now so I felt really pulled in at the waist and puffed out in the skirt, so I felt really cool! In the end the party was pitch black because the lights were off the entire time but it didn't matter. As usual everyone else was in normal day clothes anyway but I myself took great pleasure in wearing a piece that is quite historical to me, or at least my style. It's the only thing that I can say I made myself! I like even more that it's held together with safety pins and the hem is incredibly wavy and wonky because it signifies a time when I was just getting into fashion and really dressed truly to my own tastes and impulses, and I was so young and carefree, it was the best time!

Preen Dream

After much needle poking and blood loss I've finally finished my attempt at a preen dress inspired by the amazingio success of Queen Michelle's over at the Kingdom. I'm not very good with zips or fastenings, so the dress is actually two parts and if I wear it out I'll have to sew myself into it, or create a zip, but I CAN'T take anymore sewing!!! I had to do it all by hand and no matter how finely I stitched it's still a bit fragile and easily broken, so I'll have to go over it AGAIN to avoid bursting open on a dance floor, which would not be pretty. I'll have to arm myself with a sewing kit before entering. Can you take needles into a club...? For the top part I put elastic in the back, which went seriously wonky but it'll have to do! The finish is not as tight and a billion times more amateur than the preen original but it's not turned out half bad! I kind of can't sit down, but there's always a fly in the ointment!! I hope they aren't offended by my not so great copy, but Thea Bregazzi is a curly girl too so maybe she'll let one go by!

Coloured jeans

Being one step ahead of trends has to be vital if you don't want to look like a keffiyeh wearing clone (which have sparked so many muy interesting discussions on blogs recently) Also I guess you need to have some guts; I haven't seen anyone in high waisted jeans at all, and now the trend seems almost over. I think it's assumed that they would be unflattering at the hips/ass, but that couldn't be more wrong. They're actually slimming! And they come in wide leg, what's not to love?! Plus if i wear mine in town, the stares from women have gone from a scrutinise, to an appreciative smile or the light up of trend recognition.

So I was considering coloured jeans, as Luella is one of my favourite wearable designers (and it's fab she's coming home to show it!) and the Ksubi jeans are hot. Red have been around for a while, but with my hair that's totally not the right colour. Seeing ashley simpson (going back to her alternative roots?) on denimology I decided to go for blue.

After the success of the yellow shorts (which still haven't seen daylight) I chose some turquoise dye, which I later reconsidered. I got some royal blue and put half and half into the machine with last summer's h&m white drains (thank you johnny borrell for ruining that look- vogue are you mad?!)

While the yellow shorts were hand dyed:


...where I had to constantly stir for an hour, I just had to sit this time and watch the machine.

Scary stuff. After an hour they came out the perfect colour, exactly like ashley's, with undyed white stitching. Now I've gotta unstitch the crappy tacking I made last year to make them unbendably tight!!

Luella images from

Let the sunshine in

So the whole world seems to have watched the news thing, which comments of friends/college people have concluded in a) I look about 13 b) I look posh and c) it doesn't actually look much like me. Please random people of the blogging world do not believe the tv. It lies. (maybe)

But people in the midlands will know it was looovely and sunny today, and so I wore the brightest loose tshirt ever and high waisted shorts, which kinda felt like I was wearing a big nappy all day. I also wore pink earrings as summer will totally be all about clashing colours.

Speaking of colours, my shorts are now dyed to perfection.

It remains to be seen whether I will actually wear them out in public. Running to the corner shop to buy a magazine does not justify this, although it is a good way to test drive outfits.

I also found a mr happy cassette which was 25p in a charity shop. I had to buy it seems as it was so cheap and yellow and I already posted about tape belt buckles I'd seen. I cut a gold chain off a bag strap and threaded it though a wheel so I could wear it as a necklace.

And Kate Moss blah etc. A let down really. Sounds like nobody actually went for the huge warning of being murdered for the last size 10. It's less of a designed collection, more of a 'look like me' range, and I don't find her style that interesting at all. She can't live off skinny jeans and waistcoats for another 5 years. Plus if you walked down the street no one would ever notice you'd slept outside Topshop for a week to by jeans with a K stitched in.

I just love maths

Yellow high waisted shorts will be fantastic. I've seen bright yellow demin mini's in H&M and Topshop, but the shorts have stored themselves into that little place in your brain that says 'buy me buy me buy me!'

It's an honour

I love retro kitschy websites with photoshop shapes and bright colours. Mine will be like that one day! (Notice the banner change- a working progress!) I shop at Sveet Couture a lot, and found the sister site Honorable Mention today, which sells retro and handmade accessories like these super cool cassette belt buckles. I always spot really 90s tapes in charity shops, and if you used some string and an old belt you could probably sew a 20p tape onto a buckle...

Cyndi Lauper, Blank, New Kids on the Block

There's also luggage tags and vintage totes

Chandra, the owner, enjoys the finer things in life such as toilet paper, indoor plumbing and packing tape. Her favourite dance move is the robot, especially when done to mr. roboto.