Sunday, 1 February 2015

Starting again

If I'm honest, I haven't been entirely happy with my blog, and especially the name of it, for a while. I tried various different things to get my enthusiasm back-using a different blogging platform, buying a domain name, changing the design-but nothing really worked. Honestly, I started this blog when I was in a very different place in my life, and certain aspects of it just didn't seem relevant any more. Then last week, I accidentally deleted my wordpress account, and in trying to fix that, also accidentally cancelled my webhosting. It seemed like a push to do something else, and stop trying to fix something I wasn't happy with to begin with. 

So I've decided to take a risk and start fresh. To blog only about the things I really want to blog about.  To have more fun with it. So I've chosen a suitably playful and whimsical name-The Forest Mermaid. You can now find me at 

I hope you'll join me over there!

x


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Illuminate 2015 Light Projection Event in Bath

Last week I went to an amazing light projection show called Illuminate 2015. Bath Spa University students had worked with artists to create large scale light installations, which were projected onto some of the historic buildings in Bath city centre.elastic city spacey
The entrance of the Roman Baths was lit up with Elastic City Spacey by Leila Sujir, an interesting projection which could be viewed through 3D glasses! It had footage of strutting peacocks, images of falling peacock feathers, and tumbling coins, taken from images of the Beau Street Hoard, which reminded me of an arcade game. I did take a peek through the 3D glasses and it looked like the coins and feathers were right in front of my face-very effective.
Bath
Around the corner was Symphony of Light, by Anthony Head, Diego Garcia de Enterria Diaz and Elena Saenz de la Torre Loras. This was an interactive visual and musical instrument, which on the night we went was in the form of an interactive game. It was very clever!
symphony of light
The famous Pulteney Bridge was home to Flat Georgians, by Petra Freeman and Tim Rolt. The projection had been created with drawings from local primary school children, and it was quite bizarre and entertaining! It reminded me a little of the story of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, with all the processions of dancing ladies in long dresses.
flat georgians
I have saved the best for last in my opinion. The Roman Baths played host to my favourite installation of Illuminate 2015, Only the Statues Remain by Will Kendrick.
light water
The Great Bath was illuminated with coloured lights which really highlighted the steam rising into the chilly air.
marble water
There were glass boxes with projection of different Roman statues and artefacts around the edge of the Great Bath, and also projections onto the water! It gave a fascinating effect.
pillar
The projections also extended to the building itself.
roman baths lights
The combination of the beautiful, ancient building and the intriguing lights and projections made for an awe inspiring, magical experience.
dark water
I really enjoyed Illuminate 2015, and I'm so happy that events like this are put on. Illuminate 2015 was also free to visit, which I think is wonderful. Free events like this are a great way of getting a wider audience to take an interest in the arts.
me Roman Baths
I also made a video of Illuminate 2015, which might give you a better idea of what the projections looked like in person.

For more information you can visit www.illuminate2015.org
Illuminate 2015 is now over, but keep an eye on the website for next year's events!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Shop Spotlight: Inspired Forest (and Discount Code!)

Inspired Forest is the Etsy shop of the lovely Anie, Inspired. It's full of cute handmade goodies aimed at those who wear mori girl style. Mori girl is a fashion inspired by forest living, so Inspired Forest has lots of pretty jewellery embellished with tiny toadstools, natural crystals, and sweet deer motifs. Perfect for my tastes! I've put together a few of my favourite pieces from Inspired Forest to share with you.
I think most people who follow me on social media may have noticed that I have a slight obsession with mushrooms, especially red and white (Fly Agaric) mushrooms. I also really like terrariums tiny jars, and miniatures. So this necklace is like a combination of lots of my favourite things!
I think it's also well established that I love anything deer themed. This sleeping fawn brooch is pretty and cute, and I really like the natural wood texture. It's the perfect mori accessory!
When I was a child I always had illustrated alphabet posters on my wall, and I still love them as an adult. This is a particularly cute one, with Anie's lovely illustrations of forest fauna and flora. I'd be happy to have this on my wall now, but it would also be great for babies or for children who are learning to read.
 
Well I've already mentioned that I like mushrooms and head gear so I'm sure you can work out why I picked this... It's really pretty and the red and cream colour scheme is lovely. This would be such a perfect addition to a mori outfit, to add a little colour while still keeping to the mori style.
This ring is simple but beautiful, and is the kind of thing I can imagine being worn by elves.
Discount code!
Anie has kindly given me a discount code for my readers to use when shopping at Inspired Forest! You can get 10% off any purchase with the code POLLYFRANCES.  Head over to inspiredforest.etsy.com to shop!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I was not paid to produce this post.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Lovely Things I Got In The Mail

December was a great month for getting pretty things in the post! It always makes me happy to get mail (that isn't bills!), there is something so special and exciting about it.
kathryn envelope
 kathryn card
First up, Kathryn sent me a lovely letter and some Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride tea which I am excited to try! She made the envelope so pretty with fabric tape. Red is my favourite colour so her choice of envelope and card were spot on!
fox bagI ordered myself a very cheap fox face bag which I wasn't expecting to arrive until the end of January (it was shipping from China), but it arrived within a week of purchasing it! It was a very pleasant surprise and I really like it. It's a great size, and the quality is actually a lot better than I thought it would be. I do most of my shopping online as I don't really like high street shopping, and I always like opening the parcels! It's like presents that you've given yourself.
yarn and candle
 I got some presents from other people too! Fangs of the Woods sent me a lovely scented candle and some yarn. The yarn is such pretty colours, I can't wait to knit something with it. It makes me happy that the candle says "Serenity" because it reminds me of Firefly. It is white tea and ginger scented so I think it is going to smell divine.
watercolour card
The Darkest of Lights sent me a beautiful watercolour card of some amanita muscaria toadstools (my favourite!), a quartz pendant and some crystal beads. I will have to think of something very special to make with them. The card is definitely going up on my wall, I love it so much.
crystals
 
My boyfriend bought this tiny fawn plushie and had it sent to me as a surprise. It's so cute and fluffy!
tiny deer
If you read my blog regularly you might remember that Harriet and Celestine exchanged tiny cards with me a while ago. They sent me another tiny card, this time a shiny sparkly Christmas card with a stag on it! I love opening these, they are so magical!
harriet card
I am always really touched when people send me things through the post, it's so personal and thoughtful and it really brightens my days. Thank you so much to everyone I've mentioned in this post, your cards and letters and gifts made my heart glow and make me realise that there are caring people in the world after all.
Edit: I also filmed a vlog where I try the tea Kathryn sent me and show some of the mail.

Do you like writing or receiving letters?

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Mori Style Button Tree Tote Bag Tutorial

finished bag
Hello! This is my first ever tutorial and I'm pretty excited about it. Today I'll be showing you how to decorate a pretty button tree tote bag! Fantastic Ribbons kindly sent me their Pastel Buttons pack to try out, and I thought this was a good way of using them.
what you will need
For this project you will need:
  • A plain calico tote bag, available from craft shops or online.
  • A brown fabric pen
  • A selection of buttons in different colours. I'm using the Pastel Buttons pack from Fantastic Ribbons
  • A tapestry needle
  • Embroidery thread in various colours of your choice
  • A piece of cardboard, slightly smaller than your tote bag
put card in bagThe first step is to slide the piece of cardboard inside your tote bag. This will protect the back of the bag from any colour transfer when you draw on the tree design.
draw tree
Using the brown fabric pen, draw a simple tree design onto the front of your bag. You need to have the trunk, and the beginnings of some branches extending from the top. You can also add roots if you wish.
put card in bag
Once you are happy with your tree design, remove the cardboard from your bagIt is very important that you take the cardboard out before ironing, as otherwise it is a fire hazard!
iron tree
Then iron over the tree design to set it. You will need to follow the instructions for your brand of fabric pen, as different brands have different setting times.
thread
 Thread your needle with a length of embroidery thread. Most embroidery threads have 6 strands, I would recommend splitting it so you have 3 strands. That way it is less thick and can go through the holes of the buttons more easily.
first button
Pick out a button you like, and stitch it onto the bag, just above the drawn on branches. I like to use contrasting thread and buttons for a more interesting effect. I would advise sewing 3 or 4 stitches through each button, so that they are sturdily attached and don't fall off.
partial tree
Keep stitching on buttons in different colours and sizes. The aim is for them to look like leaves or blossoms, so keep the placement random. Add more and more buttons in a loose arch shape over the branches. You can alternate between thread colours to add more interest as well.
finished bag
You should end up with something that looks like this! Trim off any loose threads on the inside of the bag, and you're done. You have a pretty, mori perfect bag to take shopping with you! I think the pastel colours I used give it quite a spring like effect, but you could use different colours for different seasons. How about mixed orange, red and brown buttons for an autumnal look, or sparkly and pearlised white and silver buttons for a magical winter tree?
Disclosure: The button pack used to create this tutorial was sent to me for free by Fantastic Buttons, to be used in a project and shown on my blog. I was not paid to produce this post and will not receive commission on purchases made from Fantastic Buttons.