101 Spots

Dalmatian print has been popping up everywhere recently, and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. As Jenna Lyons now so famously said, “leopard is a neutral”, however sometimes you need a print a bit further along the neutral spectrum than the traditional leopard. Enter dalmation. This pattern sits somewhere between prim and proper polka dots and all-out animal print. The imperfections of the differing sizes and shapes of the spots keeps it fun while staying suitable for all occasions, from work to weekends. (And who can go past monochrome colours if you’re going for a classic look!)

Image

 

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

New beginnings

Image

I am back!

This blog has been terribly neglected for the past six months, I apologise profusely! My life took a bit of a deviation from the path I’d expected it to be going down when my relationship ended. Having moved to a new place on the other side of the city, meeting a lot of new people, spending a lot of time focusing on myself and my wellbeing (physical and mental), basically figuring out what I want to do, I’m now feeling on-track and excited about what the future holds for me.

Vintage poster colour pop

I love the look of vintage advertising posters! They’re a great way to add a pop of colour or pattern to your walls and make a statement in their size. The posters can date anywhere from the late 19th century, when new printing techniques allowed for mass production of the coloured posters, through to the 1980s. Their original use was as a street poster, like the paste-up advertisements we have today, however they were often designed by known artists (ie Toulouse-Lautrec) which lends towards a more “high-art” status.

Due to the fact that they’re essentially a mini-billboard, the designs are often very graphic in composition; simple designs with areas of bright, eye-catching colour. With so many subjects being depicted in a range of styles, it’s easy to find one to suit any room of the house: food or drinks in the kitchen, or fashion in the bedroom etc… Or go for an unexpected subject placement, which can add a bit of quirkiness to any room.

bec-george-the-block-bedroom-bally-vintage-poster kitchen the-block-sky-high-kitchen-bec-george-orangina-vintage-poster vintage-poster-on-wallvintage-poster-red-hat-coat-living-room

Today there are lots of replicas available at a variety of different price points, however if you can get your hands on an original you know you’re onto a good thing; they can become a great investment due to rarity and collectability. As well as specialist stores, there are several sellers offering originals on eBay… The biggest problem is choosing which one to buy!

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Doggy style

Apologies for my absence, things have been busy and a lack of home internet has not helped my blogging at all…

One of the biggest changes to my life is that we got a puppy! Meet Maybe, she’s a labrador-retriever cross (although we do suspect there’s a bit of something else mixed in there as she is quite small for her breed and age).Black-Dog-Labrador-retriever-cross-puppy-cuteblack-dog-labrador-retriever-cross-puppy-cuteThese pics were from when we first brought her home around three months ago, so she’s at least four times bigger now.

Adapting to life with a dog got me thinking about keeping your home, and pet, looking sharp. There are an abundance of designer collars and leads available these days, but nice dog beds are surprisingly hard to come by. I’ve rounded up a few of my favourites below. (I can’t wait to upgrade the ugly fleece bed we bought out of necessity!)dog-beds-stylish-puppy-designer Images: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Sunday in the Gallery: Chuck Close

Chuck-Close-trio-of-self-portraits-pace-gallery-2009

“Self-Portrait I, II, and III” – 2009. Oil on canvas.

Chuck Close is an American artist best known for his portraiture work, especially photorealism during the 1960s and 70s, a movement which developed in reaction to Minimalism and conceptual or performance art.

Close’s Photorealism involves painting from a photo onto a huge canvas, using a grid technique to ensure the painting is exact. Rather than each element being treated with the same focus, as in conventional painting, Photorealism mimics the focal points and blurred edges that are captured through the camera’s lens. This results in paintings which many viewers refuse to believe were created by hand.

His more recent paintings have leaned towards a more pointillist, faceted style, with the grid he uses to transfer the image from photographs to the canvas more pronounced, echoing benday dots used in CMYK printing processes.

In 1988, Chuck Close was left paralysed due to a rare spinal artery collapse. This did not spell the end to his career as an artist however, and he now paints with a brush-holding device strapped to his wrist and forearm. His subjects have ranged from self-portraits to celebrities and public figures, and he has expanded his artmaking to include printmaking, photography, and tapestries, however the treatment of the subject or media remain true to his photorealist beginnings.

Leslie-chuck-close-portrait

“Leslie/Watercolour” – 1972-73. Watercolour on paper on canvas.

Chuck-Close-Big-Self-POotrait

“Big Self-Portrait” – 1967-68. Acrylic on canvas.

Mark-Chuck-Close-portrait

“Mark” – 1979. Acrylic on canvas.

Fanny-Fingerpainting-Chuck-Close-portrait

“Fanny/Fingerpainting” – 1985. Oil on canvas.

President-bill-clinton-chuck-close

“President Bill Clinton” – 2006. Oil on canvas.

Cindy-chuck-close-portrait

“Cindy” – 2006. Jacquard tapestry.

Images: Chuckclose.com and Pace Gallery.

Spotlight on: Lemons

lemon-sliced-fruit-yellow-health-benefits-juice

We have an amazing lemon tree in our backyard, which is currently laden with fruit. I’ve been making a habit of starting my day with a glass of lemon water as a result! I’d always heard that this was good for you, but never really knew the full extent of the health benefits until I looked into it. Below are 15 reasons why lemon should be a daily part of your diet:

  1. Immune booster: A great source of vitamin C, which helps your immune system work well, encourages cell healing, and reduces inflammation.
  2. Detoxes: “The lemon is a wonderful stimulant to the liver and is a dissolvent of uric acid and other poisons, liquefies the bile,” according to Jethro Kloss in his book Back to Eden. They also stimulate your bowels to move waste through more efficiently and regularly.
  3. Better skin: Lemon juice aids the liver to detox your system by boosting its natural enzymes, contributing to overall good health which will shine from your skin. Vitamin C also fights free radicals which can contribute to wrinkles and ageing.
  4. Clears deposits and buildups: The citric acid in lemons helps your body to clear deposits such as pancreatic, gall, or kidney stones, and calcium buildup in arteries.
  5. Hydration: lemons contain natural electrolytes (much healthier than a Poweraid!) which help to hydrate your body.
  6. Regulates blood pressure and reducing inflammation: Lemons contain bioflavonoids, which improve blood flow and prevent internal hemorrhage, while their high levels of potassium helps manage blood pressure.
  7. Balances your body’s pH level: Even though they are acidic, lemon is alkaline-forming once inside your body.
  8. Fights cancer: Lemons contain 22 anti-cancer compounds, including modified citrus pectin, flavonol glycosides and limonoids, which have been shown to prohibit the spread of cancer cells, slow cancer cell growth and induce cancer cell death.
  9. Eliminates worms: As in, the intestinal kind (ew!).
  10. Antibacterial: According to Care2, experiments have found the juice of lemons destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases. A glass of lemon juice is also a great natural breath freshener!
  11. Keeps you happy: Lemons are high in potassium, low levels of which have been linked to stress and depression.
  12. Keeps your urinary tract heathy: Lemon juice encourages your system to digest more quickly, which results in toxins leaving your body more quickly. It can also change the pH level of the urinary tract which helps to stop bad bacteria from growing.
  13. Appetite reduction: Pectin is a soluble fibre found in citrus fruits that helps to keep you feeling full for longer.
  14. Healthy bones: It’s not just about the juice! As well as enhancing many of the above benefits, lemon peel is high in calcium and vitamin C, both of which help to keep your skeleton strong.
  15. Prevents brain disorders: The lemon zest also contains the potent phytonutrient tangeretin, which has been proven to help disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

A few easy ideas for how it can be incorporated into your diet:

  • Squeezed into a glass of lukewarm/room temperature water – drinking this first thing will give your system a morning boost.
  • Zest the lemon and sprinkle the rind over salads, pastas, risottos, couscous etc.
  • Make a salad dressing by combining lemon juice, wholegrain mustard, and a dash of olive oil.
  • Lemons are a great sweet treat, justify your dessert by making low fat lemon bars or lemon and poppyseed muffins.
  • Pair with fresh herbs and make a delicious marinade for meats, such as this rosemary lemon chicken.
  • Add a different flavour to your veges such as zucchini with lemon and thyme.
  • Pop slices into your drinks… What’s a gin and tonic without lemon!?

Sources: Care2Huffington Post, HealthyEatings, BodyandSoul