There are two things I find deeply satisfying one is using Christmas vouchers that are like the gift that keeps on giving and coming across a bag you have been looking for but had never found until you did.

Finally getting round to using my Christmas vouchers had me visit Oasis recently and fall for some lovely items of clothing. With zero intention of adding another bag to my collection I then got super surprised to come across this gorgeous squishy grey soft bag. It has an inside separate zip compartment and came in this colour and a coral colour which was lovely too but I thought I would get more use from the grey colour. I love the tassel detail too. A perfect weekend bag if you ask me.

Poppytails.x

I love sharing with you things I am reading and the wonderful thing about blogging is like it’s an electronic scrapbook and I can look back and see how I’ve grown and changed. I have to say my reading materials has changed. Long gone are the gossip magazines more now than ever I want to explore what more there is out there. And to reflect that I have grown more into what I would call ‘thoughtful magazines‘. 

I am obsessed with outdoors and am slowly realising some long time goals and one of them is to go camping solely and also with others. I just really want and need to get back to nature. Hence I am so enjoying reading A Women’s Guide To The Wild by Ruby McConnell. Sure it’s definitely more based for our US friends but the general premise works specifically for women wanting to go outdoors safely.

I came across Another Escape in December and by far and way is the new magazine I have fallen hard for. I loved the articles and photos which speaks so much to my wondering heart. I will definitely be subscribing to this magazine.

Lodestars Anthology magazine will set your mind to travel. It is a wonderful magazine that each edition is dedicated to a country and teases out the very best of that country. So far I have earmarked Sweden, Japan, Canada and am very much enjoying the Scotland edition. You can always learn more about your own country.

Water Journal I came across on Instagram and ordered. It is a minimalist magazine with little colour to it and lovely photography.

I subscribe to Womankind magazine and throughly enjoy the well written thought provoking articles that come with each edition focusing on woman and their issue from around the world.

Another Instagram find Sidetracked I have not read yet but the fact that it is Adventure Inspired was all I needed to know to purchase.

There is nothing more satisfying that getting in at the start and that is where my journey into ‘thoughtful magazines’ began with subscribing to Breathe.

Please let me know if you know of other magazines I might enjoy. I am thirsty for more.

Poppytails.x

I saw this Essie nail polish recently and loved the colour. I have a sort of love hate relationship with Essie, I love there colours but do not like that the colour always chips within a day or two of applying. However this colour was just so pretty and the perfect spring nail colour I couldn’t help but buy it.

Strangely the consistency doesn’t feel the same as other Essie colours. I needed not one, or two but three coats of this strangely very transparent nail polish but once on it’s a lovely colour.

It was hard to show in the photos but it has the slightest gold flecks in the colour. You can just about see it in the left side of the bottle in the photo above.

Posted by Poppytails.x

Back at the start of December I was in London with a dear friend and she introduced me to Shoreditch area where we spent the day exploring it. We came into an indoor market that was a mish mash of amazing smelling food stores and clothing market stalls. As we aimlessly wandered around we both stopped at a market stall that was showing the most amazing leather bags/backpacks/purses/computer cases. We got talking to the maker Frank Horn a lovely guy who explained that he was self-taught in the are of leather making. 

All the whilst we were talking I kept looking at this mustard yellow leather backpack he had hanging up. It turns out it was a prototype that he was working on. Now don’t get me wrong when I started asking about the costs – it was an investment piece and actually I wasn’t looking to add to an already big bag collection of mine but I couldn’t get this bag out of my mind. We wandered around and found myself back at Frank’s store. I wanted to invest. It turns out so did everyone else and he let me know I wouldn’t get my backpack until February – that was a long wait. 

I have beautiful brown leather backpack and love it although I must admit I don’t love the time it takes to make them look worn in (patience is not my strong point). The wonderful thing about getting a leather backpack made to your spec I got to choice the colour – yellow it was just so different and to add my initials onto it. As well as agreeing on the fittings and in what metals I would like.

The wait felt like forever and after a couple more weeks than I expected I came home to this wonderful package. The craftsmanship is perfect, his attention to detail is brilliant and it was absolutely worth the wait. This piece whilst was an investment I know will stand the test of time.

I really love the bright yellow colour it just really pops. Now its the painstaking process of wearing in my backpack but that is also the fun part.

Mark my words folks, Frank Horn is a name you will see more and more. At the very least he deserves great recognition. You can check him out here.

Poppytails.x

A couple of sunday’s ago I decided that it would be a perfectly great way to spend my Sunday learning to carve a wooden spoon. So from 10-3pm I joined several other people in what turned out to be a really enjoyable day with something that vaguely resembled a wooden spoon at the end of it. The above photo was what we all started off with some ‘blank’ silver birch green wood. I learned many things about wood that morning and green wood is deemed wood that is still living as opposed to wood that is fully dried out. Next is the very sharp whittling knife that is in a sheath and the last knife you get to use is a curve knife which helps you to round out your wood. 

Lottie our expert whittler (this is what wood carving is called) had set out examples of spoons she already made in a blue peter style and the beeswax we would use at the end. 

I think it was safe to say that by 10.30am I was feeling it was hopeless and that I would never manage to carve anything out of my blank. Why? Well let’s say on this Sunday morning I got properly schooled on the art of slowing right down. Wood carving as we all found out is a very slow process. And I certainly am used to things being achieved a lot quicker so it was a very rude wake up call. By the time we stopped for a coffee break I had accepted that wood carving takes time and I would need to get over my need for things to happen quickly. To be fair after a tea and cookie I gave in and went with the flow. The minute I did it seemed to be a lot more easier and enjoyable. 

After a lot of time, I mean hours I finally managed to get something that sort of resembled a wooden spoon. I realise I won’t win any awards but that’s ok I know the time that went into making my spoon. Well rather big spoon as you can see. The carving knife I mentioned at the start was what I used to carve out the spoon part. After spending hours getting used to using the knife using small movements the curve knife was super difficult to use. I didn’t find a rhythm with it for some time but once I did it all seemed to come together.

I wanted to show you in the photo above just how much little bits of the wood  you carve off. This certainly takes time but after a while you get into the groove so to speak nothing else matters. I had two knots (parts that could have had branches but have been cut off) on either side of where my spoon would narrow in which took the longest time to get them smooth. But ohhhh the satisfaction when I did was amazing.

Once you had used sand paper to smooth out your spoon (who knew you had different strengths of sand paper) there was the option to engrave your spoon using pyrography (wood burning pen) I did these random free hand designs – again I know I won’t win any prizes but when you have spent 6 hours with only 2 quick brakes you too would feel proud of what you had accomplished having never done any wood carving before.

The final step when I could no longer feel my fingers (its hard going on your thumb) I rubbed in beeswax to bring up the wood and give it the finishing touch. It along with the wood was such a wonderfully natural smell. 

I loved this Sunday, I went to bed feeling very pleased with myself and have subsequently used my large wooden spoon for cooking and it’s fared very well. I love if you haven’t already guessed learning new things and this is something that I will do on my own going forward. 

One word of warning, using knife is super dangerous so our safety was always paramount and we were shown the proper techniques and how to always leave your knife safely. Even though there were a few cuts during the day. Thankfully I wasn’t one of them but it sure does make you aware of how careful you need to be when using a knife.

I spent this wonderful day at Bohemia in Edinburgh and they run courses like this frequently just check out there website to find out. It’s a fun thing to do.

Poppytails.x