Monthly Archives: May 2013

Bristol Blogging Resources

Bristol Blogs homepage     Bonjour, Blogger! homepage     South West Bloggers Network homepage While London may be the (perceived) epicentre of UK blogging, here in the South West I think we do it pretty darn well. We may not have as many designer press days, sample sales or blogger conferences, but who needs that when you have this?

The aim of this post is to highlight the many great blogging resources we have in the South West. Below are just some of the resources that are available to SW bloggers. If you’re based in Bristol, Bath, Swindon or Somerset each of these sites are taking a look at.

South West Bloggers Network homepage South West Bloggers Network

If you want to find out about the latest local fashion shows or blogger meet-ups then check out South West Bloggers Network. SWBN held a cracking Christmas party for bloggers last year and has its fashionably bedecked finger on the pulse when it comes to local events. Through SWBN related events I’ve met lots of lovely bloggers so it’s well worth liking their page on Facebook and following on Twitter if you’re looking to meet other bloggers and find out about local events.

Bonjour, Blogger! homepage Bonjour, Blogger!

This e-book and accompanying website may be accessible nationwide but it started out in humble Bristol, written by Twitter Queen™ Hayley. Hayley blogs at Ceriselle and in 2012 she decided she wanted to share all the blogging resources she’s used, along with the knowledge and personal insight she’s built up in over a decade of blogging. Have a read and I guarantee you’ll find useful links, opinionated humour and plenty of inspiration to better your blog.

Bristol Blogs homepage Bristol Blogs

The aim of Bristol Blogs is to pull in the best local blog content and put it all in one place – a bit like a city-based RSS feed. On the site you’ll find blog posts written in Bristol or about Bristol, covering every topic possible, from lifestyle and art to food and sports. Plans are underway for a blogging conference later this year, which will unite bloggers from around Bristol and the surrounding areas, providing a great opportunity to meet other likeminded folks and learn more about the craft we love.

These are just three local resources I know and use, but if you have any more you’d like to add, or any other UK blogging resources – local or national – such as events, websites, brands, Twitter hashtags or otherwise then please add them in the comments.

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A Jolly Weekend in Cornwall

Mousehole, Cornwall - the view from our bedroom

Do you remember yonks ago (ok, about a month ago) when I mentioned my surprise birthday weekend away in Cornwall, and how I’d post up some photos really soon? If you do then the phrase ‘better late than never’ would be applicable here.

Our poor old laptop has pretty much reached maximum capacity on the storage front, so apart from a few lomography shots, it’s taken me a while to make enough room to make space for these holiday snaps. Computer issues aside, the long weekend in Cornwall (and accompanying sunny weather) seems like a hazy memory now but is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Mr Ship-Shape took me to Mousehole, near Newlyn, which is a tiny pocket of a village close to Land’s End and Penzance.

We stayed in an old Coastgaurd’s cottage and woke up to the sound of the sea each morning, which was blissful. It was a tranquil, foodie ‘staycation’ that I could get used to every birthday! Since this is a photo-heavy post I’ll limit the chit-chat, but the weekend included, in no particular order; walking, photography, criminal seagulls, whole crabs, ice cream, fishcakes, reading, bacon sandwiches, St Ives, lie-ins, art galleries and some of the best seafood I’ve ever eaten…

Mousehole Bird Sanctuary signBoat stranded in St Michael's Mount harbourTasty fish and chips in Mount's BayThe Rum and Crab Shack St IvesEating whole crab at The Rum and Crab Shack St IvesThe view from St Michael's MountLooking nautical and windsweptIce creams in St IvesMousehole harbourOur coastguard cottageSt Michael's Mount Cornwall

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H&M Lace T-Shirt and Vintage Skirt

H&M lace t-shirt and vintage skirt

Two sunny Bank Holiday weekends in a row!? Oh Britain, if you’re not careful you’ll give us cause to think we might actually get a summer this year…

The long weekend was blissful and pretty relaxed for me, and the gorgeous weather gave me the opportunity to bust out this new lace t-shirt from H&M. I picked it up in Bath a few weeks ago when it was on sale. The dusty blue colour isn’t one that I normally gravitate towards but I just loved the simplicity of t-shirt shape combined with the floral lace fabric.

These photographs were taken during a wander around the allotments set on a hill between St Andrews and St Werburghs. A thin pedestrian pathway winds down the hill, snaking around the allotments to St Werburghs City Farm – one of my favourite spots in Bristol and an excellent canvas for outfit shoots.

The skirt comes straight from Grandma Ship-Shape’s wardrobe and the cloudy palette of peaches, mint green and lilac is the perfect springtime combination to wear in the sun. I picked the sunglasses up on holiday last year and I’m pleased to say that they’re finally making an (almost) daily appearance in my outfits! How did you spend your Bank Holiday weekend? I hope you were able to soak up some sun, too!

Lace t-shirt – H&M / Floral printed midi skirt – Grandma Ship-Shape / Belt – clothes swap / Cream ankle boots – Primark / Green quilted bag – River Island / Sunglasses – Italian mall

H&M blue lace t-shirt and vintage skirtAt the St Werburgh allotmentsLace t-shirt vintage skirt and clothes swap beltVintage skirt with H&M t-shirt and Primark boots and H&M lace t-shirt

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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week 26/05/13

  • Wedded bliss. This week Mr Ship-Shape and I celebrated our second wedding anniversary (how have two years passed already!?) with a restaurant crawl around Bristol. Unable to pick one restaurant to celebrate at, we opted for a course and a drink at four different venues, including Brew Dog, Bordeaux Quay and Masa. The best bit about the evening was how utterly unexpected and random it was. That and getting to eat a LOT of food, including this delicious raspberry and lemon tart, above.
  • Engagements. In keeping with the marital theme, on Saturday we were woken by a phone call from our friends Steve and Anya who got engaged on Friday. Excited doesn’t even cover it, but we’ll have to wait a while before we can bust out our best wedding dance moves, as they’re currently working overseas in Uganda for the next two years. On the plus side that should give me just enough time to decide what to wear…
  • Red lips. It pales in comparison to a wedding anniversary and an engagement, but this week my new Nars lip pencil has bought a smile to my face. It’s a blood-red shade that goes by the name ‘Cruella’, which makes me like it even more! Am I the only one who gets sucked in by product names?

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…

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Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella

Did any of you follow the recent #bblogger Twitter chat about lipstick? As a relative newbie to the world of lip colour, I participated with interest and noticed that, alongside Mac, Nars was one of the the most popular high-end brands, receiving rave reviews for their lip products.

I found myself nodding at the computer screen – earlier this year I bought my first Nars lip pencil in Mexican Rose shade. While I was busy debating what shade to buy, choosing a texture didn’t really crop up. It was winter so I gravitated to the Velvet Gloss Lip Pencil, figuring be less drying than a matte product.

After receiving a Nars makeover at the recent Harvey Nichols blogger event, the brick red shade I tried stuck in my mind, so a couple of weeks ago I went back to buy it. Typically, I couldn’t remember the name of the shade I’d tried, so after several trials with a very patient Space.NK. consultant, I settled on Cruella, a devilish matte red that I’ve worn pretty much every day since I bought it.

I’ve swatched it, below, but given the deep, blood red shade, it does look ever so slightly like I had an accident with a kitchen knife – apologies for that! Cosmetic gore aside, I find the Velvet Matte Lip Pencil very satisfying and easy to apply – very much like a child’s crayon, and it’s more resilient than the gloss finish.

Unlike the raspberry pink shades I’ve gravitated towards in the past, Cruella doesn’t require any other make-up to make my face look polished – result! The sticks cost £17 each so they aren’t the cheapest, but if you’re looking for an ‘investment lip product’, if such a thing exists…

Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil swatch

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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Origins Facial | Rock The Week

  • Magpie nests. On Monday I went to the launch of a new pop-up shop on Gloucester Road, The Nest. A teeny weeny shop packed with local designers, jewellers and cake-makers, the shop is the the brainchild of Magpies & I, better known for their markets around Bristol. The shop is open until next Friday so pop in and say hello to owner Sian if you’re in the area!
  • On Tuesday I treated myself to a belated birthday mini facial from Origins. Based in House of Fraser, Cabot Circus, I’ve been a frequent visitor to Origins for a couple of years now and given how dry my skin has been recently it appreciated the attention. Give it a try if you have stressed out or sensitive skin – it’s the perfect post-work pampering treat : )
  • This week I also finally posted about the fact I’m on Instagram now. I’m still getting to grips with it but I have lots of questions in the post about how you use it, so please have a read and tell me how often you use it and who your fave Instagramers are!

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…

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Ship-Shape is on Instagram!

Mini lomo 'Evelyn' camera      Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion blog      #myreisslook style challenge

Having recently upgraded from a Blackberry to a shiny new Android phone, one of the things I was most excited about was all the apps I’d have access to (Blackberrys have quite a pitiful selection) and that includes Instagram.

After reading articles that discussed how Instagram could ruin blogging, put an end to digital photography and generally wreck lives, I was a bit sceptical. Would Instagram stop me from blogging regularly or mean I never pick up my DSLR or Diana Dreamer again? That would be a big fat no, so here I am.

If you’d like to follow me on @shipshapebf then please do, though truth be told, I’m more excited about experimenting with all the different effects and filters than accruing hundreds of likes/followers. So far I’ve found a couple of inspiring Instagram posts, the first being from Moi Minnie, who has a really interesting take on using colour (or not, as the case may be) in her Instagram images, and another post from IFB with a host of creative fashion blog Instargramers.

I can safely say I’ll be sticking to capturing Bristol, cake and clothes I’m coveting on camera, at least for now. Yes, it’s cliché, but then I did learn all I know about Instagram from this College Humour video… Are you on Instagram? If so, what filters do you love using and who are your favourite Instergramers to follow?

Magpies & I Nest on Gloucester Road      Silver brougues #OOTD      Pearly King Cakes cupcakes
Top row: Mini lomo ‘Evelyn’ camera in pastel pink; my first Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion Instagram; an outfit I put together for the #myreisslook style challenge. Bottom row: The Nest pop-up shop on Gloucester Road; my sliver brogues, aka happy shoes; tasty looking Pearly King Cake cupcakes at The Nest launch party. 

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The Nest: Magpies & I Pop-Up Shop at Room 212 on Gloucester Road

Magpies & I pop-up shop jewellery

The pop-up concept is alive and well on Gloucester Road as The Nest opened at Room 212 today. Tucked away under a colourful stripy canape, Room 212 occupies the same part of the road as Billie Jean, Fig and the Golden Lion pub and is Bristol’s smallest art gallery.

The gallery has been transformed into a magpie’s nest, and for the next two weeks will be full of vintage clothes, handmade jewellery and tasty looking cupcakes.

Sian is the woman behind The Nest, which is an extension of her popular market Magpies & I. Split between Bristol and Altrincham, the vintage markets are a passion that Sian juggles alongside her full time job. As a result, the pop-up shop will open at 12pm during the week, trading until 7pm.

The Nest stocks a range of local designers, including Priormade who create hand-finished geometric jewellery, and Faith & Betty, who make delicious smelling organic bath bombs and soaps. Another brand that caught my eye was Re Be, a Bath based clothing company specialising in transforming pre-loved clothes into child and baby clothes, including adorable playsuits and dungarees from old shirts.

I went to the opening yesterday evening (I’m still kicking myself that I forgot to try one of the delicious looking Pearly King Cake cupcakes) and discovered not only some wonderful accessories and homewares, but also that The Nest is hosting a swap shop this Friday evening. If you have any handmade or vintage pieces you’d like to part with, you can trade them with a piece from one of the traders. I love a good bit of swapping so I’m tempted to pop along – see you there?

The Nest is open 12-7pm Tuesday to Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday to Sunday until 25th May. The Swap Shop takes place this Friday (19th May) from 6-8pm, and for more information you can visit the Magpies & I website.

Room 212 Gloucester Rd BristolPearly King Cake cupcakesMagpies and I swap shopVintage clothes at Magpies & IHandmade toys at Magpies & I pop-up shop

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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week 12/05/13

  • Bank holidays. Despite how long ago it feels, Monday was a glorious day off from work, spent hiking around Cheddar Gorge – followed by a mandatory ice cream – and having friends over for a BBQ in the evening. It’s just a shame the sun didn’t stick around for the rest of the week.
  • Spirit of summer. Between the mass murder of ants, a computer on the blink and some freelance projects, I haven’t had much time to blog this week, but I did make it down to Reiss in Quakers Friars on Thursday evening for their Spirit of Summer event and Instagram challenge. It was a fun evening and was topped off with a spot of shopping in Cabot Circus with Beautiful Plumage, which was great for Topshop’s tills, not so great for my bank balance…
  • Back in the saddle. I’ve been keeping up with running (twice this week but only a few miles for each run) and this morning Mr Ship-Shape and I cycled 15 miles along the Bristol to Bath cycle path. It was so nice and although I know my thighs will be killing tomorrow morning, it felt great to spend a couple of hours exercising outside. The path is popular with cyclists, runners and dog walkers and is great if (like me) you don’t fancy cycling alongside double decker buses and speeding cars!

What’s been rocking your world this week? Let me know by commenting below…

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Rock The Week

Fashion related (and totally non-fashion related) things that have made my world go round over the last seven days…

Rock The Week 05/02/13

  • It’s May! How is it possibly May already, eh? It feels like only days ago that we were trudging through February wearing more layers than Jon Snow (little bit obsessed with Game of Thrones at the moment) and now here we are in May, replacing winter coats with sunglasses and choosing bare legs over tights. The countdown to summer is officially on…
  • Lomography. This week I shared a few more double exposure lomo shots from the last couple of months, taken using my Diana Dreamer camera. The results are mixed but now that the weather is changing for the better, hopefully the next batch will be even more colourful.
  • Owls. Gift Owl featured on the blog on Tuesday and apparently they’re working bespoke wedding gift packages  so if you’re looking for a present for a friend or loved one, pop along to their website to see how they work. Choosing presents all days sounds like my kind of job 🙂
  • Pussy cats. Today I spent the afternoon at a bake ‘n’ bitch session (far more friendly than the name suggests) where I met this little lady, above. My friend picked up her new kitten this morning, so the last few hours have been spent drinking Pimm’s, eating banana bread and playing with Tilly the kitten – heaven!

What’s been rocking your world this week? How are you spending the Bank Holiday weekend. Let me know by commenting below…

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