28 April 2013

Weekend Waffles

Hi all,

I thought today I would share with you our weekend breakfast that we have on Sundays. We make homemade waffles at home using our waffle maker, and a really straight forward recipe. If you want to give them a go here is how...

What you need (this makes about 7 full waffles) :

- A waffle maker (we go ours from John Lewis)

- 200g Plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 100g butter (or marg.) melted
- 300 ml milk
(1-2 tsp vanilla optional)

Our method to make the batter is simple. Put everything into a liquidiser (or mix by hand) If you are using a liquidiser then put the liquids in first, then the dry ingredients, otherwise they are likely to get stuck at the bottom under the liquids.

Let your waffle maker heat up, then pour in the batter and allow it to cook to the waffle makers instructions. Ours goes beep when its done.

Now the waffles are ready you can finish them with maple syrup, or whatever you fancy.
We have ours with a side of bacon, fruit salad and yogurt.

Hope your having a great weekend!

xox Niamh xox

25 April 2013

Michael Bush on Michael Jackson

Hi all,

Another post from Bath in Fashion. Michael Bush is the genius behind the amazing costumes that Michael Jackson wore when on stage. He gave a talk at the guildhall which was very intersting. He told us what it was like to work with Jackson, and the lengths that he would go to in order to make the best possible costumes for him. 
He has a book out which has lots of amazing photographs of the costumes, spanning many years. Michael Jackson had the tendency to give away his outfits after concerts, so Bush began photographing them before they were worn to capture them. 

The jacket he was wearing was jaw dropping. It was covered in rhinestones forming multiple Jackson faces. He said it was his form of tatoo. I also believe that he said it was being auctioned off, and the proceeds would be going to a children's charity.

There was a little set up on the stage with some of the costume pieces. Michael Jackson was a big fan of the military look!

That concludes the Bath in Fashion for 2013.
Looking forward to next years!

xox Niamh xox

23 April 2013

David Downton Master Class

Hi all,

Bath in Fashion has become a highlight of my year! There are so many great events that they put on, and this year was no different. I attended two events on saturday with my good friend Sophie from Imitation is the greatest form of flattery: Check her blog here...

Original illustration by David Downton of Linda Evangelista wearing Christian Lacroix
for V Magazine USA, July 2004. Gouache and ink on paper. 

The first one is the David Downton Master Class. David Downton is a well known, and amazing fashion illustrator/artist (he is currently artist in residence at Claridges in London), so to be able to do this master class was so exciting. It was held at the Bath Spa Hotel, in the Grange Suite, which was a really beautiful room with amazing wall and ceiling details. Anyways, room aside. The group doing the session was about 30ish people. One of which was Milly Mackintosh from made in Chelsea.
The atmosphere was great, the model, Jade Parfitt asked David questions, whilst we drew her. Throughout the session I gained an insight into how he works, and I feel I learnt lots of great tips. The drawings that I made in the session were not amazing, but the experience and what I have taken away from it really made it worth it.

These are some drawings I did at home, using what I had learnt in the session:

So I shall share some of his tips:

1. He makes an initial drawing, where the aim is to get as much information as needed down, and to get the most accurate drawing possible. Then he takes that drawing, a new piece of paper and a light box, and he EDITS. This means that he pulls out certain lines to create the drawing style he is known for.

2. Tip: If you are drawing and you are getting stuck, change material. If you are working in pencil, try using fine liner, sharpie, colour.... (he quite likes working with a brush pen as it gives a nice fluid line)

3. Where it goes wrong, don't be afraid to use tip-ex!! He doesn't work on the computer much, so his way of making corrections is to use the dreaded white liquid. If you need to, go for it.

4. When making a fashion drawing he starts with the head. As you work towards the bottom of the page (remember to fill the page) and you are still drawing legs, don't force yourself to draw in feet. If they don't fit onto the page, then they don't fit. Nothing looks odder than feet where the calves should be.

5. He tends to emphasise one eye more than the other. He explained that this stops the eyes from becoming too overpowering. If you draw two eyes with dramatic makeup the model can look like they have panda eyes. Not a good look (....except on a panda)

And finally my tip:
When starting out attempting his minimalist approach to fashion illustration grab a fashion magazine and some tracing paper. Use an image of a model and try pulling out lines from it. You will see how little you need to draw in order to capture the figure.

xox Niamh xox

13 April 2013

Alexander McQueen - Dress of The Year

Hi all,

A recent trip to the Bath Costume Museum proved to be very worth while. Apart from researching for my upcoming final project on Art Foundation I was able to see the dress of the year from 2011. The 2012 one is to be revealed soon later in April. The 2011 Dress of the Year was a dress by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen. Its beautiful...

xox Niamh xox

11 April 2013

The Eden Project

Hi all,

Whilst in Cornwall we took a trip to the Eden Project. It was pretty chilly there, but nice and toasty in the rainforest biodome, and a good temperature in the Mediterranean dome. I think the highlight for me was all of the tulips that were in bloom in the Mediterranean dome, they were all so pretty, and colours that I had never seen before. So prepare for lots of photos of flowers... Hope you enjoy :)

Taking a break from the flowers now, here is some of the very yummy food they serve here. Both my dad and I got the frittata, (the top one) and my mum had the veggie burger which was described as beetroot and feta. (I was tempted by this one too!)

I would highly reccomend a trip to the Eden Project. There is loads to look at, you learn lots, and the food is great.

What more do you want???

xox Niamh xox

9 April 2013

Upton House - The Loft

Hi all,

This is the loft suite at Upton house. My parents stayed here for the weekend of my dads birthday (whilst I stayed in the skullery) Vintage travel around the globe, is how its described. With beautiful views of the surrounding estuary, and very glamourous details.

This is the bed, richly decorate in purples, that flow through the room. The upton hare is sat at the end of the bed. :)

All around the room are vintage looking pieces, some really vintage trunks, antique dressing table, and rustic sofa. These are combine with very modern pieces, like the amazing jacuzzi bath tub, power shower, GHD hair straighteners and the dvd library. You wouldn't need to leave the room at all!

His and hers sinks opposite the bath.

Similarly to the skullery this room also had a charm on the key chain, a little anchor. 

xox Niamh xox

7 April 2013

Fowey - Where to eat

Hi all,

Are you taking a trip to Fowey in Cornwall, or at all interested in what there is to eat there??? Well, after taking a little trip there I have sampled some of the various dishes from different restaurants, and everything I had was delicious. So I will share with you what I had...


We ate here on the first night we stayed in Fowey. No reservations required, just a little patience (the wait can get up to 2hrs, we only had to wait 45mins), and a big appetite! Its a relaxed casual place, serving amazing burgers and other delicious looking dishes. My parents and I all tucked into a burger. I had the chicken burger which was amazing.

Regardless of the fact that I was really really full we were tempted by the amazing desert list. I shared a desert with my dad (which usually happens... and he has to finish it) We got the sticky toffee apple tart. AMAZING! The toffee sauce was really really really good.

Upton House

Whilst staying at Upton House we enjoyed breakfast for two days. I was very excited to see what they had to serve us, and I was so pleased with what I got on the first morning that I ordered the same thing again for the second! 

Above it the breakfast I had. Vanilla porridge with caramelised banana. Very very tasty.

This is the banana bread that greeted us when we got to our table, the fresh baked smell wafted up to our rooms and beckoned us down to breakfast. It was really great, and was warm and light.

This is the full upton. A serving of three sausages specially made by the butcher in the town. My dad had this on both days.

The Dwelling House Tea Room

On the second day at mid afternoon we headed into the Dwelling House tea room. It was so cute inside, a very english tea room with antique cake stands and tea pots everywhere. I have never ever drunk so much tea in my life! I had the jasmine green tea which was lovely (even on the 4th cup) It smelt amazing (kind of like a candle I have) Their list of loose teas is huge, it took me a good 10 mins to decide what tea to get.

For food my mum got a tuna sandwich, and my dad got a toasted sandwich with cheese and cornish ham. I got the leek and white bean soup which was really tasty. It was so filling and came served with a   side of fresh bread.

The Bistro

The second evening (our last evening in Fowey, also Easter Sunday and my dads birthday) we ate at the Bistro. Its French style sophisticated cuisine was recommended to use by Angelique at Upton House. It did not disappoint. 

This was the amuse bouche. A butternut squash soup with a coriander froth. Yum.

My dad had the pasta with crab (which I was also very tempted to get) It looked amazing, and according to him it also tasted amazing.

I got the Lemon Sole which was cooked to perfection.
My mum got a steak which she said was really tasty too.

And to finish we had desert. Two separate ones this time (but my dad still had to finish mine!) I had the white chocolate and marscarpone cheese cake, with lemon meringue ice cream.

So I hope after that you got a flavour (hehe) of the food in Fowey. If you are heading down there you have a few recommendations from me. And if not them I hope I have made you hungry :)

xox Niamh xox

5 April 2013

Upton House - The Skullery

Hi all,

Welcome to the Skullery at Upton House:

This is the room that I was staying in for the weekend of my dads birthday. It is one of the four rooms at Upton House, and in my opinion it is my favourite. Described on their website as the baroque boudoir it is chic and stylish. The stunning bed is the first thing that hits you as you enter the room. The enormous four poster king sized bed kind of dominates the room, balanced and complemented by the other furniture pieces in dark wood with similar french/gothic style details. This room is very light with many big windows dressed with blinds and soft gauzy curtains.

The bed was amazingly comfy, and I didn't want to get up in the morning, had it not been for the sweet smell of fresh baked banana bread. :)

There is an amazing free standing claw foot bath tub. I really enjoyed the bath, and I am trying to convince my parents to trade up our current tub for one like this. It was so relaxing to soak in it. The shiny panel on the wall is the tv. Very cool.

Complete with a skeleton in the closet!

Here are the keys to the door of the skullery, with a little skull. All of the keys had a little charm like this, that capture the essence of the room.

I loved the wall paper in this room, cream and midnight blue, with a floral motif and the occasional skull. The whole colour scheme of the room works very well, cream dark wood and darker greys, which complement the wall paper, and pull the whole thing together.

I loved this room, and would go back to stay in it again

xox Niamh xox