Posts tagged Literature

Thrifty Finds No. 7: Charity Shops

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For most of this week I’ve had a well earned break from work, and on Wednesday afternoon my mum and I went thrift shopping for the first time in months.  We decided to head to two local towns to browse the charity shops, and it was well worth the trip, as I managed to find some fantastic bargains!

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Be Beau Studded Cardigan – £1.00

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Jaeger Striped Shirt – £1.00

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Omen Skeleton T Shirt – £1.00

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Lipsy Lace Bolero – £3.00

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Living Dead Souls Leopard Print Cardigan – £3.50

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Zara Shirt – £3.75

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Farhi Maxi Skirt – 99p

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Books – 75p and 50p

Total Spend: £15.49

I’m really pleased with this haul as I managed to get pieces for work and leisure, from some great brands.  My two favourites are the Zara shirt, which looks great with black skinnies and heels, and the Lipsy lace bolero.  The bolero still had its tags attached so is brand new, and was actually £15.00 in the Lipsy sale, so at £3.00 was an absolute steal!

Naomi x

Waterstones Blogger Murder Mystery – My Statement

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Day two of the Waterstones Blogger Murder Mystery and suspicions are still running high.  As part of the murder case of my ex-husband Mat, I gave the following statement to Detective Michael Scott:

“I’m not surprised someone finally decided to put Mat out of everybody’s misery, but if you think it was me, you’re sorely mistaken. True, Sophie and that bimbo Katrina saw me leave the table just before Mat was killed, but I was in the upstairs bathroom at the time, trying to keep those awful cupcakes down.”

And it’s all true.  Have you worked out who did it yet?  Head over to Twitter via the #BloggerMystery tag to get involved questioning us suspects, and be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of Waterstones vouchers!

Naomi x

Waterstones Blogger Murder Mystery

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I have some news…  I am among several bloggers who are all suspected of committing a horrible crime against Mat of buckets and spades blog, and it is your job to work out who did it. Here are the details…

In celebration of the Agatha Christie Festival this week, Waterstones is holding the first ever Blogger Murder Mystery event.

Waterstones needs your help, dear reader. There’s been a crime most horrid committed against fellow blogger Matthew Pike at http://www.bucketsandspadesblog.com/. We need your help to find the culprit and be in with a chance of receiving a £100 reward of Waterstones vouchers. Detective Michael Scott is on the case, so be sure to follow him on twitter @DCIMikeScott where he will be revealing clues throughout the week until Friday 20th September. You can question any of the bloggers using their twitter handle and the hashtag #BloggerMystery to find holes in their alibis.

The list of suspects are:

Naomi @Bewitchery_ http://bewitcheryblog.co.uk/ (You know I wouldn’t do it though, right?)
Jane @ITYDarling http://isthatyoudarling.wordpress.com/
Lucinda @ljbarton http://www.bakesbooksandmyboys.com/
Katrina @carouseldiary http://carouseldiary.com/
Sophie @sophiepatricia6 http://ileftmyheartinmiami.blogspot.co.uk/
Kel @kellovesclothes http://www.kelloves.com/
Eleanor @ebsnare http://threewordoutfit.com/

And here’s what the detective on the case has to say…

From DCI Michael Scott

“Waterstones invited six prestigious fashion and beauty bloggers – Elly, Kel, Sophie, Naomi, Katrina Louise and Mat – to its very first Fabulous Fashionista of the Year Award, held amid a lavish cupcake dinner at Cryptic Hall. However, events have taken a dark turn and Mat, the winner of the award, has been found dead in the bathroom. Foul play is most certainly suspected.

Details of the night are still sketchy, but we know all six fashionistas were known to each other at the time of the killing and enjoyed a friendly rivalry in the world of fashion blogging. Also in Cryptic Hall at the time were Jan, the owner of the manor, and a chef, Lucinda, who was hired to put on a delicious spread of cupcakes for the guests.

According to my interviews, the guests arrived at Cryptic Hall at around 6pm or just before. They sat down to enjoy Lucinda’s cupcakes and discuss their blogging with one another. There was a short break for coffee at around 6.40pm, during which time many of the guests seem to have left the table for various reasons. At 6.55 or thereabouts, we received a phone call from the suspect who found the body, claiming there had been a murder at Cryptic Hall.

Unfortunately, many of the suspects seem unwilling to cooperate, for reasons that are still being established. If you think you can tease more information out of them, ask them about their activities on that night via Twitter – and when you think you ascertained the culprit, the motive and the method, please relay your suspicions to me, DCI Michael Scott. Together, we can get to the root of this tale of intrigue, jealousy, high fashion and sweet, sweet cupcakes.”

Now, I wasn’t particularly keen on going to the award ceremony because Mat, my ex-husband, was bound to win and I didn’t really fancy spending any time with him. He was going with his new girlfriend Katrina, too.  But I went anyway just on the off-chance that I was chosen as winner, and I thought it’d be a good opportunity to score points against Katrina.  I don’t know who did what to Mat at the ceremony, but of course you know it wasn’t me!

So, get thinking…  Who do you think did it?  Once you think you know who the culprit is send a tweet to the detective giving the name of the killer, the motive and the method by Friday 20th September at Midnight. The winner will be selected on Monday 23rd September.

Good luck, sleuths.

Note: this competition is only open to UK residents

Don’t forget to tweet me and the other bloggers your questions to help work out whodunnit!

Naomi x

Fashion Find: Out of Print Clothing

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One of my greatest passions in life is literature.  I first joined the library at the age of two, and throughout my childhood I spent most of my free time either reading a book or writing my own stories.  My love for words and books has been carried with me into adulthood, and I am even studying for a postgraduate degree in Modern Literature.  As I’m sure my blog reflects, another of my passions is fashion, so what could be better than a combination of both of these things?

Last week I came across a fantastic website which combines my love of literature with my passion for fashion, and it also has an ethos I can adhere to.  Out of Print Clothing celebrate some of the world’s best literary works through quirky t shirts and accessories, which depict striking, and often out of print, book covers.  They also state on their website that ‘Each product is treated to feel soft and worn like a well-read book’, which is such a lovely touch.  Their greatness doesn’t stop there, however, as the brand are charitable too!  For every product they sell, Out of Print donate a book to a community in need, through a charity called Books For Africa.  I’ve always believed in the importance of spreading stories and sharing books, so donating books to those who need them is something I support completely – it’s such a beautiful idea!

There are many t shirts to choose from and I’m sure there’s something there for everybody, but here is my pick of some of my favourite Out of Print t shirts…

Clockwork Orange

A Clockwork Orange – $28.00

19841984 – $42.00

Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – $28.00

Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland – $40.00

Wuthering HeightsWuthering Heights – $28.00

Out of Print Clothing are an American company, but they also ship to the UK and the rest of the world.  You can view their full range online here, or alternatively, if you’d rather order straight from the UK some of their t shirts are also available from TruffleShuffle.

Which book would you like to see on a t shirt?

Naomi x

Beauty Vs Brains Tag

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In honour of the forthcoming weekend I thought I’d give myself a day off from reviewing and post something a little bit different and fun today.  I saw this tag post over at Nocturnal Beauty, and being the scholar that I am I thought I would give it a go.  So, without further ado, here are my answers.

1. Favourite Book

I learnt to read when I was three years old and am currently studying for a postgraduate degree in Modern Literature.  As such, I have read hundreds and hundreds of books and find it next to impossible to choose just one favourite!  My favourite books when I was a child were The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear? by Martin Waddell and Mog the Forgetful Cat by Judith Kerr, and I still hold these books very close to my heart.  In terms of ‘grown up’ books, I am a big fan of Working Class, Carnivalesque and Transgressive Fiction, as well as a few classics, and have many favourites.  Some of these include Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, Millennium People by JG Ballard, The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks, The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe.  The list could go on!

2. Favourite Quotation?

Since childhood I have always loved the quote ‘Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing’, by French artist Camille Pissarro.  I can completely relate to what he means, and I always think of this quotation when I’m taking photographs, as it encourages me to try to photograph the beauty in ‘humble’ things.

3. English or Maths?

Without a doubt, and you can probably guess what I’m about to say – English.  I have been passionate about literature and words for as long as I can remember.  As I mentioned before, I learnt to read (and write) when I was three years old.  My grandma taught me, and she encouraged me to write stories and visit the library as often as possible, which I did, and I feel it really benefited me.  This passion grew over the years, which has been reflected in my studies, in this blog, and in my aspirations for the future.  I would love to write professionally one day, and that is what I’m working towards!

4. Science or Art? 

This is a tricky one and I can’t answer it, because I like both.  On the one hand, I enjoy being creative and am fascinated with the Pre-Raphaelite art movement.  Every time I visit London my first stop is usually the Tate gallery so I can sit and stare at my favourite paintings, but I am also intrigued by science.  Science amazes me, and I regularly read about and research different scientific topics, particularly space related ones, and I truly believe that some of the most significant people to have ever inhabited this planet have been, and are, scientists.

5.  5 musical artists that changed your life?

This is a tricky one as so many bands and singers have had an effect on my life, so these are just a few:

1. Foo Fighters

– I’ve been a Foos fan since the late 90s, and I have been lucky enough to see them live twice.  The last time I saw them was in Milton Keynes last July with my partner, and when they sang my favourite song, Everlong, with fireworks going off in the background, on a warm, breezy Summer night, I felt elated.  The moment was just perfect and will stay with me forever.

2. Kate Bush 

– For some unknown reason, I have never been much of a fan of female vocals, with the exception of Kate Bush.  When I was about four I used to put my mum’s Kate Bush vinyl records on and dance around, and I really think Kate Bush’s songs helped to shape who I am today.  I love her quirky personality, and I think it rubbed off on me a little bit through her music.

3. Oasis

– I remember sitting in the back of my dad’s car when I was very small, windows down, sun out, Oasis playing very loud.  When I think back to the music I was brought up with, Oasis played a big part in shaping my musical tastes.  They were one of my dad’s favourite bands and in time they came to mean a lot to me too.  In 2009 I was lucky enough to see them live, with my dad, a few weeks before they split up and I’m so pleased I got to see them!

4. Mike Oldfield

– Mike Oldfield is, in my eyes, a musical genius and Tubular Bells III is my favourite composition.  It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it, and Far Above The Clouds even makes me cry…  Not many songs can do that!

5. Depeche Mode, T.Rex and Pink Floyd

– I’m cheating on this one, but all three of these bands have had a massive impact on me at various stages in my life.  My favourite songs when I was a baby were by Depeche Mode, and T.Rex and Pink Floyd both opened my eyes when I was younger to a wider variety of music.

6. Favourite and least favourite subject at school?

My favourite subjects at school were English, Science and History, and they were all areas in which I excelled (amongst others).  I never really enjoyed PE, Dance or Drama as I was very shy and quiet at school and always got so nervous about having to perform or join in with group activities!

7. Favourite celeb with a brain?

Hmm… This is a difficult one as I don’t have many ‘favourite’ celebrities, but I’d have to say Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  A number of years ago he set up his own online collaborative production company called hitRECord (which I’m a member of), where collaborators can put together joint creative pieces such as books, songs, films and illustrations, and any profits are shared between the contributing artists.  I really admire the effort and passion he puts into hitRECord, and it’s not often you see a celebrity giving something back to society, joining in, enjoying it and being a ‘Regular Joe’.

8. If you could study anything anywhere, what would it be?

If I wasn’t studying English, I’d like to study some sort of animal care.  I used to want to be a Veterinary Surgeon, but now I think I’d prefer to work with animals in the wild.  Maybe researching the intelligence of Dolphins and Whales, or something like that.

9. What is your ‘nerdy little secret’?

It’s not so much a secret, but I am obsessed with Batman.  I grew up watching the old Batman films, and now that the newer, darker films are out there I like to think Batman has matured and grown up with me!  I even collect Batman related things, and have lots of Batman clothes and accessories, and even a Batman mug and glass that only I’m allowed to drink from haha.

10. Favourite beauty gurus who you admire for more than their love for beauty/fashion?

Another difficult one, but because she shares my love for English and literature and all things nerdy, I’ll say Claire from Nocturnal Beauty who I got this tag from :)

11. If your channel couldn’t focus on beauty/fashion, what would it be?

I’d either write about vegetarian cooking and baking, or literature and film.

12. Name some things that you’re obsessed with that other people would find strange.

Bats!  I remember posting about this a couple of months ago, but I adore bats.  I often go on bat walks and listen to bats ‘talking’ using detectors which pick up their sonar.  I think they are very interesting animals and I like to learn as much about them as possible.  I always get so excited when I see one flying about!  We used to have a few nesting in our garden which was fantastic, and for some reason they just make me feel calm and happy.  They’re beautiful, gentle creatures, despite what people may think.
I also have a thing for magic, particularly sleight of hand and close up magic.  My favourite magician is Pete Firman and every time he comes to Leicester to perform I go and see him!
Oh and when I was younger I was obsessed with dinosaurs, fossils, rocks and crystals, and I still have a soft spot for them.

13. Name 5 people who inspire you (not friends or family)

1. Dave Grohl, because I admire his confidence, humour and outlook on music.

2. Kate Bush, because she’s a strong, successful woman and remains true to herself.

3. Jonnie Peacock, because last night he won gold in the Paralympics Men’s 100m final for Team GB, and I admire him for not letting his ‘disability’ stop him achieving highly.

4. Wynn Bullock, because his outstanding black and white film photography inspires me to be the best photographer I can be.

5. Vladimir Nabokov, because he wrote what I think is the best opening chapter of any book ever.

14. Who is your intellectual soulmate?

 To be confirmed…

I hope you enjoyed reading my answers!  Please feel free to do this tag yourself if you feel like it.  Let me know if you do :)

Naomi x

Nail Art: The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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I recently bought a set of nail dotters on eBay, so yesterday I took a bit of time out from everything to practise using them!  The Very Hungry Caterpillar was one of my favourite books as a child, and I am still just a little bit obsessed with it.  I have a Caterpillar calendar, a Caterpillar mug, bowl, plate, Caterpillar toys, Caterpillar plasters, Caterpillar books, a Caterpillar bookmark… all sorts!  So it seemed only natural to attempt some Caterpillar themed nails, just for fun.  90 minutes and about 12 nail varnishes later, here is how they turned out…

I have to say, I am SO pleased with the result and I’m actually really proud of this attempt!  The design took about 90 minutes in total, including drying time, which I don’t think is that bad considering I did it all freehand.  The nails on my other hand all have polka dot tips like my thumb and pinky in this picture.  I found the dotting tools surprisingly easy to use so I didn’t have much trouble with the drawing… This is definitely a more adventurous design than my previous ones anyway!  The pale blue base is Avon’s Nailwear Pro in ‘Vintage Blue’, and the Caterpillar green is MUA’s ‘Shade 13′.

I have entered my design into Avon’s ‘Perfectly Polished’ competition and so far I only have 2 votes, so if you like my nails please vote for me here!  A massive thanks in advance to those that do :)

What do you think?

Naomi xx

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