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

Currently this month I have been:

Trying: Lots of different hobbies, paper making, pottery, whittling and loving it.

Reading: A Women’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook by Ruby McConnell. I am going camping this year and this book is brilliant with its humour, guidance and tips.

Watching: All my favourite tv programmes are back, Madam Secretary, Scandal, Designated Survivor, Chicago Med, Law & Order to name a few.

Film: I finally got round to watching Wild the film based on Cheryl Strayeds memiors. Cheryl’s character is played by Reese Whitherspoon and she is magical in it. I had put off seeing this film as I never got past the first couple of chapters in the book and just thought it was too heavy. Well I was wrong it was actually a very lovely and uplifting film about Cheryl walking herself back to the person her mom would love. Powerful stuff.

Planning: Trips! Finally I have some dates in the diary for some very exiting trips both on my own and with my favourite people. I can’t wait the first one is next month.

Listening: I have been loving listening this month to Simon & Garfunkel. Not sure why I am just feeling that type of music right now.

Drinking: Chai tea being made at home is everything right now.

Seeing: The Scottish Rugby team have a pretty darn successful Six Nations campaign. Its’ my first year of season tickets and has been hands down the best money I have spent. I can’t even begin to explain how amazingly proud I am to be Scottish when Murrayfield signs our national anthem. Wow hair’s in the back of your neck stuff. Come on Scotland!

Poppytails.x

 

Introvert in Me this month focuses on Work Things. If you’ve missed the other parts you can get part 1, 2. So how do you function well in the work scene when you are an introvert? Well easily is the answer, sure you might never be the first to put your hand up or speak up first in a meeting but folks can be assured when you do speak up it will be well thought out the comments you give.

My main message as an Introvert is that you have two ears and one mouth and you should use them in that ratio. I know that I listen loads. Not just to what is being said but how it’s been said and also the things that aren’t being said that are just as important in my experience. I find this easy to pick up upon but I know not everyone does. 

For me personally I spark better in smaller groups but can absolutely hold my own in networking. The difference tends to be that afterwards I will want to head off somewhere on my own and recharge. It’s never meant as anything untoward it’s just a personal preference and how I work. When I was younger I used to question myself if it was weird but to be honest if I don’t get that time to recharge I am just not at my best and get grumpy so its best for all I take time to recharge. Once I am recharged I am good to go. When I volunteered for a charity which took up a lot of my time I found quick ways of charing my batteries when there wasn’t time. My tips that even now I will use when I am short on ‘me time‘ is to have if possible a 20 minute disco nap, or listen to a podcast and or music whilst going for a walk, read a chapter of a book, talk to my favourite people, go for a 20 minute walk. I find most times you can carve out 20 minutes even when you are against the clock or if really pushed close the door and have 5 minutes to yourself having a cup of tea. Most people will give you that at least. 

As I get older you get more confident and comfortable seeking out what YOU need to be your most best version of yourself and with time people will realise you work better in your conditions than in theres.

Poppytails,x