Monday, 30 May 2016

May Instagram snaps

May was a fun month for me on Instagram. Mostly because of my amazing trip to Amsterdam, but also because it was colourful, bright and happy. I am looking forward to what June has to offer on Instagram. June should be a fun month with my friend Dillon coming to visit and stay with me! Hurray for adventures ahead!

Are we friends on Instagram? Make sure you check out my colourful squares over on my Instagram account: helloitsnicola 

Saturday, 28 May 2016

The Fault in Our Stars bench

It's important to be in love and experience love. I never used to think this, well not until I met someone very special. I mean of course I loved my family and friends, but I had never truly felt love until David. That one special person that makes every dull day bright, makes your heart do little leaps for joy and gives you butterflies, and you smile whenever you see them. 

I read the Fault in our Stars a long time ago. Its a beautiful book by John Green. I decided to finally watch the film before my trip to Amsterdam. Immy said she would take us to the bench, the actual bench from the film. We walked through gorgeous streets in the bright sunshine for ages, until out the corner of my eye I could see it. I could see where Hazel and Augustus had sat. 

The bench had been removed a while ago so they could clean it up. However I was happy to see such cute messages written all over the bench. Lots of people have left their heart on that bench. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining down. Perfect way to spend an afternoon. Thinking about life and the people you have in it. Life is to be treasured, enjoyed and lived to the full.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Made in Herne Bay pop-up shop

I am very proud to be part of an amazing group of artists and designers. I am part of Made in Herne Bay, a wonderful group of people I now get to call friends. We all came together because we all make interesting pieces of work, and thanks to meeting Kate, this group was formed. I am so grateful and hounded to be part of this up and coming art group. We have put on various events over the years, including our Winter and Summer markets. We are all looking forward to doing an exhibition at The Seaside Museum in Herne Bay. However we are currently enjoying using the amazing Pebble and Dash shop space to put on our Summer pop-up shop! We decided against a Summer market this year, and will be focusing on our Christmas Winter market, but we wanted a chance to sell our work over the Summer months.

The shop had it's first open day on Saturday 14th May. We had lots of visitors and even more on social media saying they couldn't wait to visit one of the other days we will be open. Our next open day is Saturday 11th June! We have lots of different pieces for sale as our group is full of different artists with different practices. You will find prints, cushions, stationary, jewellery, enamelware, ceramics, cards and lots more! Plus you will be able to meet many of the artists at our open days. 

We will be open Sat 11th June, Sat 9th & Sun 10th July, Sat 13th & Sun 14th Aug from 10am till 4pm, so make sure you pop down and see us and our work! You can find about more about this event, upcoming events and the artists on our twitter, Facebook and instagram pages.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Hutspot, Amsterdam

While I was away in Amsterdam I was lucky enough to visit the gorgeous Hutspot. It's a beautiful store, which actually reminds me of a Urban Outfitters. So Hutspot searches for new and interesting brands, designers, artists and entrepreneurs, offering them the chance to expose their products in their own space within the shops. I love this approach. It feels so different when you walk into the store, its fresh, bright and airy. This is what you want when you go shopping. 

The store is laid out perfectly. Of course I have already said there is a Photo Booth in the front, which is an amazing plus. When you walk further in you are greeted by such clean and fresh displays. You feel as if you can really look at the items for sale. I am a huge fan of stores that mix their pieces together. I feel you can always shop this better.

While in the store I picked up these The Cool Club: Men playing cards. I purchased the Cool Men set, but sadly The Cool Club: Women were sold out, but I hope to go back and pick that set up on my next visit. The illustrations on the cards reminded me of Wes Anderson, so I was completely drawn in.

The great thing about Hutspot is that there is a cafe and restaurant upstairs. The perfect little spot to sit and relax. It has an office feel about it, and well as a relaxed coffee house. It really is the perfect place to grab a coffee and bring your laptop and type away. Plus chatting over drinks and lunch with friends works so well also. The lightening is bright and inviting. I really did fall in love with the amazing staff service and the overall atmosphere. I can't wait to go back and spend a whole afternoon there. Shall be thinking of this place when I book my next flight to Amsterdam.

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Photo AutoMat Amsterdam

I love having photos taken and taking photos. Whether that is of myself or others. There is something about black and white Photo Booth photos I have always loved. I think its because of the film Amelie. I love being able to edit photos and make them perfect, but there is something about these photos. They are so raw and real. You cannot change them. Once the photo has been taken, thats it. It's nice not to have any control of them. What has been snapped, has been snapped. Then of course you just have to wait and see what comes out, and sometimes depending on the machine whether the photos even get printed (I had this while I was in America, and I knew those photos were gonna be cute).

While in Amsterdam I was so happy to find an amazing photo booth in this really quirky store/cafe. The store was called Hutspot, it kinda reminded me of Urban Outfitters due to the gorgeous pieces for sale and the way it was styled. I will be talking about this store in another post very soon. In the front of the store is a Photo AutoMat machine, and it was only 2 euros a strip. I actually think its quite good value, when I was in Paris I think they were 3 or 4 euros a strip. 

I also find Photo Booth and the photos to take quite romantic. The typical couple thing to do is to both climb into the booth and take 4 really cute photos, and normally ending with a kiss shot. I have totally done this, many times I have made David take photos. I hope to one day put them all in a large frame and hang them on the wall in our future home. This was inspired by an amazing couple of friends of mine Shelby and Sam, who make sure whenever they see a booth they take a strip. Of course I loved this idea. However its really difficult to find these old machines. In the UK you can find newer machines in Brighton and London, but there is something about the old machines, the way the ink bleeds and the slight blur of the photos. 

My mum always tells me of this story when she was travelling the world as a child with her brother and her parents. They all climbed into a booth to take photos on a train platform. They waited for the photos to come out, but it was taking a while. They got on the train, and Grandad Stan kept running back off the train to check if they had come out yet. He nearly missed the train, but jumped on quick just before it went. Sadly the photos didn't come out in time, and my Mum always thinks about the photos that would have been left there.

Thankfully this machine didn't take to long for the photos to come out. I was really pleased with them. You know how it is looking at photos of yourself, it is difficult. Then I grabbed Immy and Sarah and we all climbed in and took some funny strips. It really was the perfect souvenir, and I also took another set of myself for David as a gift. 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Currently re-watching

So its official, of course I am a nerd. Well I walked down the cereal aisle yesterday I got a little excited. I saw my bae Kylo on a cereal box. A tiny squeal came out before I grabbed a box. It's normal to take photos in a supermarket with cereal right? I'm sure it is. So many people walked past staring at me. Star Wars really is my main fandom now. It's always been there since I was a kid, but now I feel like I can really embrace it.

I recently started re-watching some of my favourite shows on Netflix. I think I probably know all the words to every single episode of Community on Netflix. That show is just purely amazing, and the perfect show to have on in the background, when you are getting ready, or when you can't sleep and need a show to watch. Of course I loved Gillian Jacobs before the show LOVE, and Community was where I fell in love with her. Well actually all of the cast. It's such a good show because of the amazing actors in it. 

I have also started my Orange Is The New Black re-watch before season 4 starts. It's a really good idea to have a break from a show, and then come back and re-watch. You normally end up rushing through the season because it's there for you to watch. This is a good thing, but its also a bad thing. You tend to rush through and miss lots of things. So on my re-watch I am picking up little things I didn't see before.

And last but by no means least I have been watching Daredevil, mostly because of Charlie Cox. I am really gripped to this show. I can't wait to meet Elden Henson, who plays Foggy, at LFCC this summer. I can't wait for this convention. I was away in America last year so I missed it. I have been going to LFCC for many years now. I just can't wait to and see all my friends and meet some new ones! Guest wise I am looking forward to meeting Sean Maher! I have missed meeting him like 4/5 times. I need his auto on my gorgeous Firefly print. Other than that I would love more Daredevil and maybe even Gotham guests to be announced for the con. Or maybe just some new Star Wars stars. Now a girl can dream right?

Friday, 20 May 2016

EYE museum in Amsterdam

So I am back from my amazing trip to Amsterdam. I honestly don't think I have ever walked so much in my life. I think we end up on over 70,000 steps over the 4 days. The flight over was so strange, mostly because I am normally on a longer flight. So once we landed we were greeted by my amazing friend Immy. I couldn't wait to see her smiley face, November was the last time I saw her, and that was ages ago!

Immy took us to the EYE, which is a film museum. We had to take a little boat over the water to it. The building was beautiful, and I couldn't wait to see inside. Once inside we started to look around. There was lots of amazing film pieces and equipment from different eras. 

My favourite piece was various film cells played out over a light box. I used to collect these, and seeing different ones from many different films was really interesting. It really is wonderful to see all these images side by side, and the tiny changes in each cell. It really is just magic, the power of film.
The next best thing about the museum was the interactive pieces. We got to create an actual flip book. we filmed a short film, and they can then turn it into a flip book in the gift shop. Perfect little souvenir to take home, plus I also picked up some postcards and you can never have enough of them!

I really enjoyed the museum. we then decided to go for coffee and a wander. We found a chocolate cafe, grabbed drinks and caught the train back to Immy's house for a tour around her town. We still had so much to look forward to exploring.

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Let's go fly away!

So it's time. My bag is packed. I'm getting butterflies, so it must mean I'm going on an adventure. I'm off to Amsterdam with my best friend Sarah to visit and stay with our friend Immy. It seems like we have been planning this trip forever, and now it's nearly time to go. I'm ready for new places, seeing new things and just enjoying myself. We all work so hard, we keep going, never stopping to enjoy life. But we should. We should pause and relax. Take everything in and live every moment. 
We have lots planned. Immy has an amazing list of places to see and things to do. I look forward to writing about all of them soon. I'm leaving for the airport at 6:15am, so I know it will be a long day. All packed. Ready to go. Lets hope I didn't forget anything!

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Star Wars tsum tsum collection

When David visited me the other day he surprised me with 6 Star Wars tsum tsums I didn't have! When the first set came out I was working and couldn't order them on the Internet before they sold out. My awesome friend Jade managed to pick me up Luke, Han, Leia, Chewie and Boba Fett, which made so happy! I honestly thought I might be able to pick the others up another time. Sadly this did not happen as they never came back in stock on the Disney Store's website. Flash forward a little while and David turned up at my house with 6 of these tsum tsums that I missed out on! I couldn't quite believe it! Clinton Cards seem to be stocking some of the first set of Star Wars tsum tsums! So I only need C-3P0 to complete my collection of the original trilogy series. I hope I can find one soon! Also did I mention he is super cute and shiny. So these new little buddies now join the rest of my collection. A collection which is actually growing very quickly. I love Disney and I can't wait to get my hands on the Beauty and the Beast set, but I am really in love with the Star Wars ones. They just seem to have captured the characters so well in tsum tsum form. I mean look at Wicket! His little face and teeth!! So sweet.

My other favourites in the set would be Leia and her cute little hair buns. Plus Chewie because he is super furry, and he looks like just a tiny fluff ball. Well lets be honest I love them all, and I feel so lucky to have them!

I received the Phantom Menace set for my birthday from David's parents. Queen Amidala's outfit is so beautiful and Darth Maul is the coolest! I think all the tiny details on these are amazing, from the lightsabers on their outfits down to Ewan McGregor's ponytail. Hurray for Star Wars merchandise! I can't wait to pick up The Force Awakens set which is coming out soon. I am excited to add a mini Rey and Kylo to my collection.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Welcome back to the world of blogging

So it's Thursday night and I am sitting at my brand new MacBook typing this. It is very strange, as I have not had a computer for since university years. I did everything with my little iPhone, I am very grateful for it, but its nice to be typing on a proper computer again. I decided to take the leap and finally buy myself something special. The great thing about this purchase is that I will finally be able to open my online shop again, and get selling my new work on the internet! Hurray! 

In other news I am going to Amsterdam on Monday! I am very lucky because I get to stay with my amazing friend Immy. Plus its my first holiday with my best friend Sarah. Sarah is a pro at packing, and sadly I am not. she keeps sending me photos of her suitcase packed, then re-packed, and then re-packed again. Oh and all i have packed are my toiletries and my euros, so Sarah is winning. I brought two pretty new dresses for my holiday today. Everyone has to purchase new clothes for holiday right? my suitcase is just sitting there empty, i am just the worst at packing. I'm so excited to go away, but for some reason i just can't seem to build up enough energy. 

I also want to re-read Ann Frank's Diary before the trip. I needed to purchase a new copy, and today while in town I managed to pick up a copy. So I shall be reading that for the next few days. Immy managed to get us tickets to visit Ann Frank's house, which was amazing as they always sell out, and I really wanted to visit while in Amsterdam.
The top item to do on my Amsterdam list is visit the Vincent Van Gogh museum. I have always been a huge fan, probably since I was a kid. I am also looking forward to just wandering around, taking in the sights, and enjoying a few coffee shops. I would like to say that I am off to pack now, but you know that I will just be drinking tea and watching Community. 

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Happy Star Wars birthday

So as you can probably guess (if you follow me on other various forms of social media) I love Star Wars. SO MUCH. And I was very lucky this year as I had a lot of Star Wars merchandise for my birthday last week. The first was getting the blu-ray on the Monday and then watching it for the next 3 nights. That was an amazing present from myself to myself.
Then my birthday rolled around and I was given 4 SW balloons, two of them were BB-8! And I also ended up with 8 SW cards. I think it's fair to say my friends and family know me very well.
My parents brought me an amazing large BB-8 from the Disney Store and a large Kylo Ren (as he is my favourite, even know he is bad) #swoon also #iloveadamdriver.
My sister brought me a really cute Rey figure/plastic doll. It's pretty neat, and I love that it actually kinda looks like Daisy Ridley too. She also got me an amazing Storm Trooper cushion, which will be going straight on my bed. Plus Star Wars Lego sets! They really are the best!
David got me two itty bitty's one being Rey and of course my favourite Kylo. He also managed to track down a 3.75inch Kylo Ren unmasked figure. I have been trying for weeks to find the new wave of figures in the UK, but I'm not having much luck. No where seems to have them. So of course I was super shocked to get one for my birthday.
Also David's parents got me the complete episode 1 tsum tsums, which I was super happy about! How cute is Darth Maul?!?
I was absolutely spoilt on my birthday this year, and I'm so glad most of it was Star Wars merchandise. I am completely addicted to all the Star Wars merchandise now, as I feel I'm re-living my childhood.