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A few weeks back I read about the upcoming Brighton Food & Drink Festival. I’ve been meaning to go to Brighton for ages and this seemed like the perfect excuse to finally visit, so last weekend the fiance and I hopped on a train and headed down for the day.

Brighton is only an hour from London by train, so it’s the perfect day trip to get out of the city and breathe in some fresh, seaside air…

Such a cute name for a chilli plant

Finally, my first Pimm’s!

Freshly-shucked Oysters

Our list of local brews at the beer festival event

One of the coolest chandeliers I’ve ever seen, made entirely from upside-down wine glasses

As you can probably tell from all the photos, we had a great time in Brighton! It was the perfect way to spend a Saturday in Spring.

I really love festivals like this, it’s so fun to try small portions of so many different types of food. The beer festival was really fun too, there was a huge range of locally brewed beers and ciders and we managed to try quite a few between the two of us – my favourite was the Happily Ever After beer, brewed in honour of the upcoming Royal nuptials :)

I haven’t included my favourite photo from the day – I’m saving that one for Photo Friday tomorrow so keep an eye out for it, it’s very cute!

N x

 

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I finally had a chance to sit down with some paper and photos and make something this weekend, it was lovely!

I made this layout as part of February’s 6×4 challenge, this month we need to use two photos (here’s my January one-photo layout) – I couldn’t find two portrait-oriented photos that I liked so I picked two landscape photos and cropped them down instead, which works much better I think.

Decided not to go with any journalling on this one, I think the title says it all :)

As you may have read in one of my previous posts, I stumbled across an amazing paper shop in Prague and ended up buying a bunch of vintage Czech stamps, so I wanted to incorporate these into the layout somewhere. I’m pretty happy with the end result, I was skeptical about whether glittery thickers and vintage stamps would go together but I think they look OK…

And that’s it!

If you want to find out more about the challenge you can read about it over on Shimelle.com or Two Peas.

Have a wonderful week!

N x

Thought I would take a break from my usual Friday Photo format and post a bunch of my favourite photos from my trip to New Zealand now that I’m back in London in a post-holiday funk, dreaming of warm days back at home.

These photos pretty much sum-up everything I love about being at home :)

fishing trips at dawn

Lavender at sunrise

morning yoga on the beach in our pyjamas

Pohutukawa in bloom + blue skies

bush walks

tyre swings

grilled mussels, so yummy…

…and my favourite fish + chips in the entire world!

 

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Apologies for being a little quiet on the blog while I’ve been away! There’s lots to share so I’ll resume normal, non-photo-only posts once I finish unpacking :p

N x

 

Name: Cortina Papier

Location: Reestraat 22, 1016 DN Amsterdam, cortinapapier.nl

What’s so great about this one? This is one of my favourite paper shop finds on my travels so far and I distinctly remember what happened right before I spotted it. We were wandering around the 9 shopping district in Amsterdam (which I definitely recommend for shopping in general too, amazing shops!) and I was feeling rather sheepish after very nearly being hit by a cyclist – if you haven’t been to Amsterdam before, cyclists get complete right of way over pedestrians and cars, so you always need to look before crossing the road. Having been to the city three times before I already knew this and I completely understand the logic behind the rule, but I was just off in a dream world and stepped right out in front of a cyclist who yelled at me to get out of the way. Anyway, I was pretty embarrassed (I hate looking like a tourist!) and wanted to hide out somewhere, which is the exact time I stumbled across this little shop – perfect!

This is one of those shops were you go in and want to buy everything – it has a huge range of notebooks (be still my notebook-loving heart!) with so many shapes, sizes, colours, paper types – not just the usual stand of Moleskines. They sold quite a few really sweet writing sets – some with handmade paper, some with a Parisian theme, basically the kind that make you want to start writing actual letters again.

The other big highlight was all the large sheets of patterned paper they had. As a scrapbooker, I know how easy it is to only use the 12×12 papers that are sold specifically for the industry (don’t get me wrong, I love these too) but there are some amazing papers out there not made specifically for scrapbookers. This store had such an awesome range – a whole section of delicate floral papers, lots of abstract patterned papers in modern colours, travel-themed papers with prints of maps, postcards, etc & heaps more.

Next time I go back to Amsterdam, I’ll definitely be going back here to stock up :)

What I bought:

These cute stickers that look like stamps

You might recognise this notebook from a few Fridays ago, there were a few different phrases available but I liked this one :)

I also picked up 4 large sheets of paper, some closer photos of each one are below…

Postcard writing paper

Sweet floral print paper – there were a lot of papers in this style in many different colour/floral variations.

This awesome print is my favourite of the lot! I’ve already used it in a scrapbooking project, which you can see more of here.

And lastly, this sheet of giant letters and numbers. Not sure what I’ll do with it yet but I loved the font and colours

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Last weekend I met one of my old uni friends for lunch (one great thing about so many Kiwi’s living in London!) and we checked out a great little shop that sells all sorts of lovely paper things, so that will be the next find I write about. I even picked up a little something to giveaway on the blog – I can’t be the one having all the fun!

N x

 

Name: Manufactura Abram Kelly

Location: Senovážné náměstí 16, www.manufactura.cz

What’s so great about it? This was the second paper shop I found in Prague (I wrote about the first one here) and I hunted down this boutique after reading about it in my Lonely Planet guide, in their words:

“This little workshop and studio produces handmade paper using traditional techniques, and sells it in the form of greeting cards, business cards, stationery, calligraphy, antique map prints and photographic prints”

It’s a really sweet little shop with lots of well-made, yet delicate paper products and being handmade they all feel a little unique. This is the kind of shop that makes you want to tip-toe around and slowly browse through all the boxes of individual cards in plastic packaging.

What I bought:

This little notebook first caught my eye, because I just love the colour! It’s really well made and the handmade paper that forms the cover is just awesome – quite soft, very thick and really beautiful. I must admit, I’m not that familiar with Franz Kafka’s work but I do really love the print on the cover of this book and after googling to find out more about him I realised that it’s actually a print of his signature on the cover, which is pretty cool. Can anyone recommend any of his work? I’d love to find out more about him.

I also bought this handmade paper card with an intricate map print on the front. I have no idea what I’ll do with this yet but I do love map prints so this was the one that jumped out at me :)

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I spent the last day of the weekend doing the traditional English thing and had a Sunday roast at a really lovely little pub in Hampstead with my sister – I’ll definitely be going back there to try the Banana Parfait with Marshmallow dessert when I’m not so full, it sounds incredible.

Wishing you a wonderful week!

N x

I’m going to start sharing more photos on here. I’ve realised I am very shy about sharing them normally and I need to be more confident – so Fridays are now for photos and a very quick caption, that’s it. So here goes…

Friendly stray cat in Cesky Krumlov, Czech republic. Everywhere I travel I seem to photograph stray animals…

Being a scrapbooker, I love paper. I’m sure other scrapbookers will know what I’m talking about, I’m just drawn to anything that’s pretty, patterned or unique.

As someone who grew up with dreams of travelling the world, I find myself looking for interesting or quirky reminders of the places I visit.

The history student inside me loves the glimpse into decades (or centuries) gone by as well as the here-and-now.

On my travels recently, I’ve stumbled across some incredible little boutiques selling a wide range of paper goods – long sheets of patterned papers, notebooks that inspire me to write inside them, intricate prints on handmade paper, second-hand postcards with messages written in foreign languages and vintage stamps from countries that no longer exist.

These shops have been real highlights of my holidays. The souvenirs I buy from these stores make me recall the exact time and place I got them, how I found the shop and what it looked and felt like inside –  I definitely couldn’t tell you the location or anything interesting about where I bought that souvenir magnet in Santorini that’s sitting on my fridge.

So I’m going to start sharing my paper boutique finds here on the blog, starting with my most recent trip to the Czech Republic, where we spent Christmas and New Year…

Name: U Zlate Cise

Location: Nerudova Street, Prague – this street is on the hill you walk up to reach Prague Castle

What’s so great about this one: While we were ambling up the hill towards Prague Castle, I spotted this little shop. At first glance it looked like an antique book shop but when I looked more closely at the shelves I realised they were packed with all kinds of antique paper goods in addition to books. There were boxes of old Czech postcards, second-hand cardboard portfolio wallets, old European advertisement clippings, packets of old stamps from the last  70 years or so, vintage envelopes & maps – almost any kind of paper ephemera you could think of, it was an amazing find!

I could have spent hours in there searching through all the boxes and shelves, there were just so much to discover in there – but we had a castle to visit that day as well, so I had to pick out a few things to buy before moving on.

What I bought:

 

I went to another boutique paper shop while I was in Prague, which sold only handmade paper goods – so that will be the next post in the series.

Have a great week! Don’t know about you, but I’m already counting down to the weekend and it’s only Tuesday…

N x

 

Tape strips courtesy of Pugly Pixel

I wanted to take a quick moment to wish you a merry Christmas and happy holidays!

I’m in the Czech Republic right now, in the small but very beautiful town of Cesky Krumlov. It’s covered in snow and the temp today was about -10 but I’m absolutely loving it. It’s my first proper European Christmas, and it’s just as charming as I imagined it would be!

This photo shows the view I woke up to this morning – sunny but very cold!

I’m also happy to report that I discovered two incredible paper shops since i’ve been here – one was the store attached to the studio of an artist who makes handmade paper products, and the second was an absolutely magical vintage ephemera store which was just amazing – but they deserve a post of their own so keep an eye out in the new year.

And on that note, I also want to wish you a wonderful new year – I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for 2011 since I’ve been on the road and I’m so excited for another year to begin.

Until then,

N x

ps: this is my first post from my iPhone so bear with me if it turns out a little odd!

Well Winter is well and truly here and Autumn is a distant memory now all the trees are bare. If you missed it last time, at the end of Summer I posted a summary of where I went and what I did that season and I intend to do one each season over the next few years to keep a record of my wonderful life as it is right now. So here goes….

Travelled to:

Hamerton Zoo

You may have thought I went on safari judging by these photos but actually, I just went to Hamerton. It was a wildlife photography course I did as part of my job…and it was absolutely incredible to get that close to these gorgeous animals.


Japan

OK, I didn’t physically travel to Japan but I went to the Japanese Festival in Spitalfields, London so metaphorically I kinda did (and to be honest getting from one side of London to the other on the weekend is a trip in itself). I ate lots of gyoza. It was good :)

Liverpool

We are both huge Beatles fans, so we caught the train up to Liverpool for the weekend. We had such a blast checking out the Beatles Experience, the Magical Mystery Tour, the Cavern Club and we stayed at a Beatles-themed hotel. So touristy but so much fun!

Marrakech

We popped down to Marrakech for a long weekend in October to check out wedding venues. We had a lovely, relaxing time and ate the most amazing food but we’re still undecided on our wedding plans (Las Vegas is starting to sound like a good idea to be honest!)

Edinburgh

In November I travelled up north to watch the All Blacks play Scotland (for those outside the Commonwealth, the All Blacks are the NZ rugby team!) Watching the AB’s play over in Europe is something I definitely wanted to do when I moved over here and it was so much fun….oh and we won…by a lot.

Amsterdam

Another trip in November and just a quick hop across the water to lovely Amsterdam. I’ve been there a few times before but this was the first time I’d been in Autumn (well it was practically Winter by this stage!) Spent our time wandering the most amazing shopping district across numerous canals and I stumbled across a gorgeous little paper boutique (I’m planning a separate post all about this place, it was amazing!) Then the afternoon was spent in a cosy local bar drinking Amstel and snacking on olives and Dutch cheese – to me, an absolutely perfect day’s traveling!

I listened to:

….so much Arcade Fire. We got the new album (The Suburbs) about the beginning of Autumn so it was pretty much my soundtrack for the season along with their 2 earlier albums (Funeral & Neon Bible). We actually had tickets to their concert which we went to on the 1st of December, but that story can wait for Winter 2010/11!

I watched:

…after about a year of watching it, we finally finished the Sopranos and I’m still convinced it’s the best TV series I’ve ever seen. Now that’s over we’ve moved on to Six Feet Under & Mad Men, both which I’m absolutely loving.

I wore:

…these super-cute shoes from Primark that cost me £8 and lasted me all Autumn, once the Winter rain and snow arrived they completely fell apart – but I wasn’t expecting anything less at that price!

I scrapped:

…in a new style with this Liverpool mini album – I’m a big fan of scrapping in a smaller size and with this one I took a slightly different approach. I shared a simple but sweet Autumn layout and I worked on my Learn Something New Everyday album, which I’ll be sharing in the new year!

I planned:

…our Christmas travels! All I can say is it will be absolutely freezing but charming and very European :)

I dreamed:

…of Christmas and now it’s nearly here! I know that it always sneaks up on me but this year it’s just been insane – I’m in complete denial Christmas is next week, although we’ll be celebrating it this weekend with my sister since we won’t be in London on the 25th.

Autumn 2010 in numbers:

turned 1 year older

1 new lens in my camera bag

1 shot of Scottish whiskey

2 film premieres attended (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows & The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

2 batches of cupcakes baked (including my first batch of Red Velvet cupcakes!)

visited all 4 childhood homes of the Beatles

6 30th birthdays attended (at least!)

10 hours in the air

100+ cups of coffee (out of nowhere, suddenly I’m addicted)

How was your Autumn?

N x

I saw so many Beatles song-titled things during my trip to Liverpool a few weeks back – I had to buy a ‘Ticket to Ride’ for the ‘Magical Mystery Tour’… well, you get the picture. I tried to restrain from naming this post after a Beatles song-title but turns out I just couldn’t help myself – and considering the fleeting nature of our visit to Liverpool it’s still relevant. Hey, I could have called it ‘Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey’ (it’s off their White album in case you’re wondering…)

So, getting to the point, I took Elise’s Big Mini class last month, and I was hanging out to try some new techniques. My trip to Liverpool was the perfect subject for a new album: themed paper, fun photos and some awesome bits&pieces collected along the way.

I picked up a sheet of wrapping paper in Liverpool with the Beatles’ Hard Day’s Night album cover repeated over and over. So I used that a few times throughout the book, and after realising I still had heaps left over, I also used it to cover the front and back of my book too.

One of the techniques I used for the first time (that I picked up from the class) was using transparencies in the album with various bits attached (hmm that’s not very descriptive is it?). Here’s the title lettering I used, and I also attached ribbons and tickets to some other transparencies throughout the book.

I picked out a bunch of yellow, red & green patterned papers to alternate throughout the book – my absolute favourite was a yellow sheet of paper patterned with 60s style chairs in a shiny (almost vinyl) yellow texture. So awesome. (yes, I get excited over cute paper)

If you’re interested in visiting Liverpool, I definitely recommend staying at the Hard Day’s Night Hotel (yep that’s another awesome use of a Beatles song-title). Each room has a huge piece of artwork, and I thought it was hilarious (after a twinge of disappointment) when we walked in and discovered a HUGE portrait of my least favourite Beatle, Ringo, above our bed…

That’s all from me for now…

Hope you all have a great weekend! It’s very rainy in London so I shall be keeping indoors as much as possible :)

N x

More photos of the mini-book here

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