Tuesday, 30 July 2013

What We're Listening To...

Frolicking guitars, woodsy vibes and an ethereal vocal in abundance. Heat wave aside, Canada’s Half Moon Run have crafted the hottest track around. With many indie groups politely attempting to capture the sound of Latitude Festival in their tracks, the Montreal four-piece have triumphed where others have failed.  
The folksy cascade of noise doesn’t linger, it’s dreamy, detached and delicious nature deposits you in an earthly setting. Drummer Connor Molander patters away behind the drumkit, flowing through the veins of the track. Although, working in its favour is the easy-to-learn chorus and polished vocals which are allowed to do all of the work.

 Having toured previously with Mumford & Sons, the young group have no doubt picked up a few tips on the road. Still in their early twenties, the release of their debut ‘Dark Eyes’ has seen critical acclaim on behalf of their three-part harmonies, but what would we like to see next from Half Moon Run? Perhaps mixing their raw talent with a touch of experimentation? Or would that kill their sound completely? Who knows but fans will continue to lock into their tunes regardless, just to see how far they can take it.

By Lauren Wade

Monday, 29 July 2013

Cat Lady

We've found the perfect accessory to help you complete that crazy cat lady look... perfect for any feline lover. 

The cute graphic wallpaper from husband and wife duo, Baines and Fricker, features a simple print adorned with dozens of kittys in your choice of pastel shades (our favourite is the mint green!)

Now who can spot the Siamese... 

Oh and and if pooches tickle your fancy instead, you'll be in luck too! 

Friday, 26 July 2013

Very Chocolately Muffins

You can’t beat cake.... especially when it's chocolate! So we combined both together to create some delicious light muffins with big chunks of oozy melted chocolate. Perfect with a cuppa!  

8 Squares of White Chocolate 
200g Butter 
85g Brown Sugar 
3 Eggs 
2tbsp Cocoa Powder 
150g Self Raising Flour  

1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
2. Put the chocolate squares into the freezer (so they don't burn when cooking) and pop the muffin liners into the tin. 
3. Cream together the butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the eggs and cocoa powder and beat again until well mixed.  
4. Using a metal spoon fold in the flour. Fill the cases up to just over half full with the mixture. 
5. Then place one chunk of chocolate in the middle of each and put into the oven to cook for 18-20 mins. 
6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray for 5 mins. 
7. Eat straight away, leave to cool completely or pop them in the microwave for a few seconds to let the chocolate melt again when you need them – the choice is yours!!

Recipe and photography by Ailie Williams

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

What We're Listening To...

The rip-roaring new single from Miles Kane does what it sets out to achieve.  Delivering retro riffs and kooky hooks, Kane has once again whipped up a frenzy of excitement and condensed it into just over three minutes with new track ‘Taking Over’.   

Well-known for his stylish fashion choices and famous friends, the 27 year old singer hailing from the Wirral, is finally making his mark fashioning sassy tunes, anthemic choruses and pairing the odd cliché with razor sharp song writing.   

Having felt like he had something to prove, that he’s more than just Alex Turner’s best pal, the Wirral riddler has definitely broadened his horizons and reached out to new audiences (as well as tickling the fancies of old and loyal fans).  The ferocious grooves of Kane’s third single from his second album ‘Don’t Forget Who You Are’ will enchain you as it easily impresses.   

Miles Kane will undertake a 10-date UK tour this autumn. ‘Taking Over’ is out August 19th on Columbia Records.

By Lauren Wade

Monday, 22 July 2013

When I Grow Up...

For the next instalment of our When I Grow Up series, we caught up with one of new favourite illustrators, Ella Masters to find out a little more about her and those amazing bearded tattooed men!

What made you first want to become an illustrator? 
I always wanted to be cartoonist growing up but I wasn't always confident with my reading or writing due to my severe dyslexia, so when growing up I focused a lot more on just painting without a narrative. It really was the spark at university that pushed me to want to pursue a career in commercial illustration, but I still don't really see myself though as solely an illustrator. I often call myself an artist because it incorporates most of the things I do.

How would you describe your work? 
Thats a rather hard to answer because my work is a mish mash of different styles. My work is normally based around detail, I love detail and humour in illustrations ... cue my bearded tattoo men! I am starting to work more in colour and I'm inspired by the people I meet, patterns and places I visit like my Paris and London illustrations. I work in a mixture of different mediums which in themselves bring different styles out in me.   

Describe your average day?  
At the moment I'm still working part time so my days vary a lot.  I normally wake up around 7am, have a good cup of tea then get started with my to-do list - I live my life via to-do lists! I will check my emails and then get started with orders about 9am, printing and packaging up all items. These will often take me up to 12 and then I'll have lunch whilst working on paintings and illustrations. I'm currently working on a new clothing line, so at the moment I am working on patterns that will be printed onto the fabric. I normally have dinner with my family, then work late into the evening either on new illustrations, scheduling blog posts or updating my Etsy shop.  I often don't finish working until about 10pm it can be a long day but I really do love it.    

We're huge fans of your bearded and tattooed men pieces - how did this come about?
Thank you - I'm always so flattered when someone does! In my final year at Uni 3rd year, I doodled some watercolour illustrations for an exhibition and then sort of forgot about them hidden in my sketchbook. It wasn't till last year whilst sorting sketchbooks, I found them and started drawing them again. They became a big hit online with people, which was a massive shock as to me they were just a little project I was focusing on to cheer me up. I've always drawn tattoos, since I was about 13 and it wasn't until I actually put them onto topless bearded men that it actually worked. The originals were inspired by vintage tattoo images I found in old books and the beard was mainly inspired by my dad who has a magnificent one! I have now been dubbed "Queen of beards"... I promise that doesn't mean I actually have one! 

Any Advice on aspiring Illustrators?  
I still feel like an aspiring Illustrator myself if I am honest, but I think the best way to become a good illustrator is to have a consistent style, push yourself, use a sketchbook always and go out and get what you want. If you want to be featured in a magazine contact them, want an internship... apply! I once emailed Mandy Sutcliffe from Belle and Boo for experience running an illustration shop, she then emailed back and we ended up worked together. Social media is also great for spreading your work  on twitter, facebook, pinterest and remember always act professional, you never know who will be a future client. 

Do you have a favourite piece?  
I do love my big pop illustrations, but my favourites would have to be my tea cup illustrations that were inspired by my recent trip to cornwall, they make me rather happy when I look at them.   

Any future plans you can tell us about?
I'm currently looking to move back to cornwall and set up a new illustration studio, going full time with my small Etsy shop and being full self employed which is just terrifying. As I mentioned before, I'm currently working on a new illustrated clothing line and am in talks with a few companies about collaborating on exciting illustrated pieces.

Tell us something no one else knows about you...  
I struggle to correctly write my middle name, Georgia....

Oh and as we've just released our music issue... what's on your ipod at the moment? 
I have a bit of an obsession with bastille particularly Pompeii. 

Friday, 19 July 2013

Something for the weekend...

If you're at a loose end this weekend, why not head over to the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey?

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the museum opening its doors, fashion legend Zandra Rhodes has just opened Zandra Rhodes: Unseen - a collection of the work that has influenced the fashion industry for more than 50 years.

On display are her beautifully designed dresses, illustrations and patterns that inspired her work. If you ever wanted to figure out her creative process, here's the place to do it! There's a mixture of her well known collections, as well as little gems you may not have seen before.

We especially loved her Sketchbook Dresses, the designs of which were taken directly from her own sketchbooks. 

On display around the exhibition are also the winning designs from the 5th Annual Student Wallpaper Competition.

The exhibition is open 11am to 6pm on Tues-Sat and runs until the 31st August. Entry is £8 or £5.50 for concessions.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Summer sides

The weather may be gorgeous, and barbecues are certainly in full flow but sometimes salad as an accompaniment all the time gets rather boring. 

Roasted vegetables don't have to be just for winter, so here is our take on how to spruce up your BBQ & get some of your 5-a-day too!

1 butternut squash chopped roughly 
1 onion chopped into quarters 
3 peppers chopped into chunks 
2 vines of cherry tomatoes 
Olive Oil 
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar 
Salt & Pepper 
A handful of fresh rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Put all the vegetables, except the tomatoes, into a big roasting dish. 
2. Drizzle over the oil & balsamic, along with the seasoning & rosemary. Toss it all together until everything is coated. 
3. Pop into the oven for about 20 minutes. Then add in the tomatoes & roast for a further 10 minutes. 
4. Serve straight away. Why not mix together some creme fraiche & pesto & dollop it on the side of your plate for an extra little dip.

Recipe and photography by Ailie Williams

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Summer Scorchers

Summer has FINALLY arrived, and long may it last! This past week and a half has been so glorious we almost can’t handle the heat (we said almost...), sp we’ve put together a scorching summer playlist so you can listen to fitting tunes without so much as moving an inch. 

DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince - Summertime

Haim - Forever

Cleo Sol – High 

Tq – Westside

Flight Facilities – Crave You ft Gisele

Mark ronson – Ooh Wee 

Janelle Monae – Tightrope

Boy – Little Numbers 

Tell us what your favourite summer song is!

By Siobhan Frew

Thursday, 11 July 2013

The Perfect Iced Coffee

Iced coffees are the perfect summer cooler. However, we find that often you get them either too strong or too sweet and there's nothing worse than a really watery one - it’s like drinking a murky stream! 

Anyway, we believe we've found the recipe for our iced coffee down to a tee, so we decided to share it with you all! The use of a sundae glass, stripy straws and glitter tape are totally optional...although if you ask us they do make all the difference!

1 ½ tsp  instant coffee granules
1 tsp caster sugar
1tsp boiling water
Milk fridge cold
5-6 Ice cubes

- In your glass mix together the coffee granules and caster sugar.

- Add in the boiling water and mix until the granules and sugar are dissolved.

- Pour in all the milk and then the ice cubes. 

- Mix well and leave for 30secs to make sure the drink is completely cool.

Pop in your straw and serve with a yummy little biscuit.

Recipe and photography by Ailie Williams

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

When I Grow Up...

For the next instalment of When I Grow Up... we grill Jade from Ginger Pickle and find out what her average Monday is like and happened when she did the Can Can for Michael Barrymore.... 

Where did the name come from?  
I was at a Greg Davies gig and thought of it then, inspiration from the weirdest of places!   

How did the idea come about? 
 It was at my final year degree show at art school, I was sat there on my stool pondering what to do with my life after Uni. I love the creative industry and didn't want to leave it for a more corporate job, which perhaps yes was the more suitable option with regards to a stable income and good career prospects, but I had to follow my heart. I wanted to make my own jewellery and homeware range as well as support other British designers.   

Where does your inspiration for your designs come from?  
Inspiration is everywhere from loads of sources…anything can inspire you, that's the beauty of life, the uninspiring can be inspiring to some.  I tend to draw random doodles in my sketchbook and come up with ideas, relax and have fun with it and you will think of something cool!   

Who would you most love to see wearing one of your designs?  
Anyone, honestly it's such a great feeling knowing that people like to wear the jewellery I make.   

You work with some talented young designers, anyone we should look out for?  
The Grey Earl is one of my newest designers. He's an illustrator living in Glasgow, Scotland and makes the funniest cards i've ever seen. His 'Batboy' cards take Batman to a new level. (I have attached pictures of his cards for you to see for yourself!) The response has been amazing, I really do see big things for Jon of The Grey Earl. 

Describe your average day…  
I get up around 8am, (I go for a morning jog on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays…this is my attempt to try and get fit!) I then get my breakfast of cereal and green tea, reply to emails and then work on my orders. Some of my own jewellery is made to order so I need to spend an hour or so in the workshop. Monday's are the busiest days for me, the build up of orders over the weekend means that I have to play catch up! Everyday is different, it really depends I could have a new designer in the shop and will spend a good amount of time uploading their items to the shop, organising stock, doing my accounts and sorting out paperwork. I am looking for new stockists for my own jewellery so will email shops that I like, or spend time on Facebook and Twitter promoting new work and designers. I am also actively looking for new designers for the shop so will spend time looking for new talent, or sometimes I have stalls to attend so I will get all my stock ready for it and organise my 'stall kit'.   

Any advice for our readers wanting to take the plunge for themselves?  
If you are a designer and want to sell your work my advice is to start on Etsy.com. It's a brilliant marketplace and has loads of fabulous sellers. Also get as much information and advice as possible, if you are inspired by other designers, give them an email. There is a lot of trial and error, you will make things which you think are good at the time but then look back and say 'what was I thinking, no wonder nobody bought it'. You will make mistakes, but it's all part of the journey and each mistake will make you a better designer because you will learn from it and get better each time. The only way you will do it is if you keep trying! 

Tell us something no one else knows about you…  
I was on TV when I was a kid (think I was about 4). I was on Michael Barrymore's show called 'My Kind Of People' where he travelled around shopping centres and people performed on the stage unrehearsed. I did the Can-Can with my dancing group. I was cheeky to him and he retaliated by knocking the microphone on my head…I remember it hurting and tried to hold back the tears. CRINGE! 

What does the future hold for Ginger Pickle?  
The plan is to expand and have more designers, We currently have 34 and would like to increase it to 50 within 5 years. I would also like to have my large studio space and have a little assistant to help me with orders. I would also love to go to more markets outside of Aberdeen where I currently live. Renegade market looks amazing!   

Oh and as we've just released our music issue, what's on your ipod at the moment?  
I'm one of those people who has an iPod but can't be bothered updating it! However, I do listen to youtube a lot and have been loving Bastille. Their mix tape 'Other people's heartache' is amazing.  

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A twist on a classic....

With Wimbledon in full swing, punnets of rosy red strawberries and dollops of fresh cream are on everyone’s mind. If you fancy something even more decadent then this is the recipe for you. Take the staple item of strawberries, ramp up the cream element by using ice cream and then add in some cheeky chocolate sweets and you have a knickerbocker glory that we're sure would suit Murray’s needs after a tricky match.

Tub of lovely vanilla ice cream (Our favourite is Mackey’s!)
A punnet of strawberries
2 bars of Mars Bar
100ml Double Cream
100g Malteasers

 - Start off by chopping up your Mars bars into chunks and then place in a bowl over some simmering water. Stir occasionally until it’s completely melted and becomes like a paste.

- Meanwhile bash up the Malteasers a little and wash and chop the strawberries into quarters.

- Back to the Mars bar sauce. Add in the cream and mix together until it all becomes smooth and pourable.

- Find some suitable bowls/glasses. Scoop some of the ice cream into the bowl, sprinkle over the Malteasers, top with some strawberries and then trinkle over the lovely sauce.

- Serve straight away.

Recipe and photography by Ailie Williams

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Glastonbury Blues

 This past weekend is quite possibly the only time we don’t mind having a rain soaked summer weekend. Why? To make ourselves feel mildly better about not getting a Glasto ticket obviously! However, our dance to the rain gods were seemingly in vain, as the weekend seemed to be one of the only truly glorious weather weekends of the year!

   For those not watching the highlights on TV and enjoying the weather, we’ve hand-picked three of our must-listen-to-NOW artists who will be sure to climb up the billing over the next few years...

South London quartet Palma Violets, who incidentally formed at another festival (Reading) a few years back, took to the Park stage on Friday evening, and where defiantly there to play a show. Their debut album 180 came out in Feburary, and award winning track ‘best of friends’ is worth a listen alone.

Lewis Watson is a 20 year old singer songwriter, who started off by uploading videos of him playing covers onto youtube just a few years ago.  Now after touring with Birdy, and releasing several EP’s he looks set for much bigger things. The song ‘Calling’ is pure heaven.

Californian rock duo Deap Vally, Lindsey and Julie are riding high with their melodic riffs and bad-ass attitudes. They released their debut album ‘Sistrionix’ just last Monday, watch their performance of ‘Baby I can hell’ if you need further proof!

By Siobhan Frew

Monday, 1 July 2013

Joshua Tree

We thoroughly welcomed the sunshine back into our lives this weekend - we were starting to forget it was summer! Speaking of sunshine, we've fallen in love with this photo essay from Pauline Boldt for Cereal Magazine. The dusty roads of Joshua Tree have got us pining for a road trip...