What I Got Max for His Birthday (2017)

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Max had a birthday and I got him presents and I thought I’d show you what I got him! Almost everything is from small/independent companies/artists and he loved it all which is great!

First up (his favourite) was this cassette from Art is Hard Records, where different artists on the label covered Pavement songs.

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I also got him this single from Art is Hard, because he was obsessing a bit over Trust Fund around his birthday and noticed they had done a record for AIH’s Postcard Club. We don’t have a record player yet but I’m sure he’ll love it when we do get around to getting one!

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Next up is this postcard from Claire de Lune which I actually bought back in June/July…. I just love getting people presents, ok? I love the colours in it, thought they were very “Max” and it does now live on our studio bookshelf, so he must like it.

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Another piece of art I got him was this print from Yuk Fun that still hasn’t been framed yet… I love this so much and I think he does too? Again its pride of place on the studio bookshelf at the moment.

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I also got him a pin from Yuk Fun, because I want to inflict my love of pins onto Max and he did love this one!

 

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He’d hinted a couple of months ago that he might like an enamel mug to use in the studio as a ‘work mug’ so I found this one from Pirrip Press which is so nice I wish I bought myself one too! But they’d sold out of the other design in this range.

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As a bit of an extra little something, I also found these pushpins in a bargain bin in Waterstones that I thought would be nice for the cork board he’s nicked off me.

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After opening presents, we had a pretty chilled out day, made cat friends and drank hot chocolate.

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A couple of days later we also went to Bath and had such a nice day out (I also surprised him with a Hard Day’s Night spa treatment at Lush which he loved! Might do a separate blog post on that?)

Thanks for reading, and do check out all these amazing creative businesses I’ve mentioned!

Amy x

August Favourites

I have compiled a list of my favourite things this month, consisting of everything from bowls to paint – hope you enjoy!

In no particular order, I’m going to start off with this bowl from TKMaxx, which I’ve already mentioned in a previous blog post because I eat my breakfast out of it every single day and it just makes me enjoy my mornings a little bit more.

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Next up is this band tee from Oro Swimming Hour and Art is Hard Records, designed by Nicholas Stevenson. I actually picked this up from a recent gig they had in Bristol, not sure if they are available to buy anywhere else but I got a large and it is the comfiest and coolest top ever.

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I also got this zine in the post recently, which was a lovely surprise because I preordered it back in May – glad it arrived before we moved! It’s full of beautifully illustrated articles on mental wellbeing and profits are going to charities and non-profit organisations like Mind, Beat and Sisters Uncut. It really is worth a read – you can purchase a copy here.

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This month has been particularly significant because I’ve gone from brunette to pink! (There is a blog post about that coming!) so I wanted to include the Bleach London Total Bleach kits and Directions White Toner and Carnation Pink dyes in my favourites as they are all amazing products. The reincarnation mask that comes with the Bleach London kits makes my hair feel so soft and healthy even though I’ve bleached it three times over the space of about a month. Would recommend – you can also buy it separately if you don’t need the bleach, which is good!

Deodorant next – I used to use the lavender and vanilla version of Salt of the Earth’s spray deodorant but recently went unscented (in all honesty, it was slightly cheaper) and I love it just as much. It’s so nice having a natural deodorant in a spray form that doesn’t contain any aluminium or other nasty things that are in standard deodorants. It’s easy to use, I find two sprays under each armpit is plenty to get me through the day and a bottle probably lasts a good 8 months.

 

I’ve also been loving Rose Jam body spray from Lush, which I managed to pick up from the new Cardiff Spa store when it opened, but I recently saw them in my local Lush (#TeamWorcester) so I think they’ve probably been rolled out to most stores, in the UK at least. Now, if you’ve read my recent blog post about my everyday Lush faves you’ll know that (Spoiler Alert) Princess Cottongrass is my super duper all-time favourite perfume from Lush. However, I think it’s important to change it up from time to time so you don’t get fed up, and August has just been particularly Rose Jammy for me.

I also treated myself to some new art materials lately. I picked up this Clairefontaine Naturel pad from my local indie art shop and it’s so nice to work on natural colour paper – sometimes white is a bit too bright and intimidating. I find I can use pretty thick layers of gouache on it too without it buckling, which is really nice.

If you follow me on my “work” Instagram you will also know I’ve been loving Winsor and Newton’s gold gouache. It’s amazing. It’s like foiling in liquid form. I got mine from Cass Art and I must admit I’m now a bit tempted by the silver…

Hope that compilation was interesting! As always, you can check out my illustration work via my website, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for reading!

Amy

My Everyday Lush Products

I used to work for Lush, and therefore have owned/tried a LOT of their products. I thought I’d share with you the ones I still use on a super regular basis.

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First up, hair care:

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Since going blonde, I’ve been using Daddy-O and it is the most beautiful smelling shampoo that always gets my hair feeling clean afterwards. I used to use the Sugar Daddy-O solid conditioner before I went blonde and I do think the range works well on any hair colour. Now I’m using Jungle solid conditioner because it just gives my hair a bit more moisture and still smells amazing. And another firm favourite that I’ve been using for years and years is No Drought dry shampoo, it lasts so long and does a good job. If they bring back Mr Sandman dusting powder at Christmas though, I’d recommend trying that as a dry shampoo because who doesn’t want twilight-scented hair with a bit of sparkle in it?

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For showering, I always switch between my many tiny bottles of shower gel, currently reaching for Prince Charming, Plum Rain and, always a fave, Rose Jam. This one is only available at Christmas time or in the Rosie gift. It smells like a gorgeous sweet rose scent with a bit of lemon in there too. It shares its scent with Rose Jam bubbleroon, Rose Bombshell bath bomb, Pearl massage bar, Jason and the Argan Oil shampoo bar, Ro’s Argan body conditioner and Ro’s Argan gourmet soap.

For shaving, I use Twilight shower gel, because it’s got a really thin consistency but feels SO moisturising, I don’t know how they do it. Again, it’s only available at Christmas time (or at least, it was last year) and in the Relax gift. It shares its scent with Twilight bath bomb, Twilight perfume/body spray, Mr Sandman dusting powder and Sleepy body lotion.

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All time favourite perfume is such a toughie. It used to be Kerbside Violet, but is definitely now Princess Cottongrass, I just love it so much. It’s the perfect introvert scent IMO, smells like a wintery forest, it’s the BEST. It shares its scent with the Oxford Street exclusive bath bomb, Guardians of the Forest, and Princess dusting powder which occasionally shows up on the Lush Kitchen.

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Toothpaste is always Miles of Smiles. Toothy tabs are just an amazing invention and you should all go and try them right now. I like this flavour because it’s super minty and doesn’t make your sink go grey (we’re looking at you, Boom!).

And whenever I wear eyeliner, I always go for Independent, it’s a really nice formula and colour. Sometimes if I’m not feeling so brave, I’ll go for Quietly Motivated, which is a gorgeous brown shade.

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For hand cream, I love Love and Light. It smells AMAZING. It’s full of neroli, so makes you feel instantly happy, and the formula is really nice and moisturising without feeling greasy.

Hope that was interesting! Let me know your everyday Lush products (or other vegan and cruelty-free favourites).

Amy

 

I love Lush’s Sleepy body lotion and here’s why…

The year was 2016. Autumn was well upon us and the days were getting shorter and drearier until the day came when Lush revealed their Christmas exclusives. And they announced a new body lotion, a twilight-scented body lotion. That lavender-tonka goodness in a lotion. No need to run a bath to smell like twilight anymore, oh no! Now we had the power to slather ourselves in a beautiful, thick, oatmeal-infused lotion, go to bed and wake feeling refreshed and well-rested (which, let me tell you, if you’re a Christmas super-fan like me, is definitely a useful asset in the run-up).

Then January came and went and Sleepy just vanished. It was expected, of course, but still felt like this amazing invention just got snatched away from us. Then, at the Lush Summit in February, Sleepy returned in the form of a hand cream, in a silver tube. It was like prayers had been answered, dreams had come true, until a visit to the Summit shop proved that they had sold out instantly and alas, they were no more (although I do hope it becomes a thing – everyone needs portable Sleepy).

Roll forward to June and alas the lotion is once more, and is now permanent! So if I were you, and if there are any left after all these articles floating around the interwebs, I would grab yourself a pot.

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Thanks for reading and sweet dreams, zzZ

Amy x

Cover illustration: www.amyvale.com