Thursday, 30 April 2015

Bratz dolls get a more natural make over!

Hello everyone,

I thought today I would share with you all this video about a lady who has been recycling old, unwanted and often broken dolls and repainting them. I had heard about it before and seen the images of her new dolls but had never seen this interview. I really love what she is doing and how she almost fell into almost by accident and now is doing really well for herself. Really lovely that it is her mother that makes the clothes for the dolls too.

What do you think? Do you prefer the new dolls or were quite happy with the old ones?

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

I am addicted to Pinterest! - A collection of my Pinterest boards

Hello everyone,

I have to admit, I am totally addicted to Pinterest...

Does anyone else spend hours looking at beautiful photographs on there and pinning? I signed up because I loved how visual Pinterest was. I thought it would be fun to make some boards up but only something I would use from time to time. Like nearly everyone it seems, I very quickly became totally addicted to Pinterest and can spend hours browsing on there. I now update my Pinterest daily and my biggest board, my wedding board, now has nearly 2000 pins!

Here are some of my favourite products and boards that I have created on Pinterest. I had a lot of fun making the boards so I hope that you like what you find

Wedding Board

My wedding board is biggest of my boards and my most popular board (it is also the board which I think has made my boyfriend slightly concerned!)

On this board I pin everything from dresses to cakes and from cars to budget planners! I try to pin a variety of different styles so there is everything from classic to contemporary. From pastel shades to bright colours!

Here you can see some of my latest pins to this board

Follow The Dorothy Days's board The Dorothy Days// Weddings on Pinterest.

Delicious Food Ideas

I don't think you can have a Pinterest account without having a food board of some kind! I have found Pinterest a fantastic place to find new recipes and even made a kitkat cake inspired by a pin I had seen on Pinterest for a friend's birthday. My food board has everything from Avocado Pasta sauce (apparently it is super easy to make and only takes 20 minutes!) to Red Velvet Cheesecake Gelato (OH MY GOD!). There are also some useful food tips like freezing herbs in oil and some really easy ways to make things look super fancy without much skill or effort (perfect if you are not the best of chefs like me!). There's this pineapple flower for cakes which I pinned. It looks awesome but is super easy. I will be trying that one out the next time I have a birthday cake to make!

Follow The Dorothy Days's board Delicious food ideas on Pinterest.

Double Exposure Photography

This is one of my favourite boards and also one of my newest. I love that I can use my Pinterest boards as a way of expressing some of the things that I like and enjoy. Double exposure photography or even multiple exposure photography has for a long time fascinated me. When it is done well it looks amazing. I loved putting together this board and seeing how creative different people were with the multiple exposures. 

Follow The Dorothy Days's board Double exposure on Pinterest.

1930s Board

I have started making boards for different decades starting with the 1920's and currently going right the way through to the 1960s. These are mainly fashion boards but I have also included beautiful items from the period. My 1930's board has some incredibly beautiful long dresses, an amazing red check bathing suit, an art deco silver leaf chest (which I have totally fallen in love with and desperately want for my house!), a 1930's vogue cover and the most stunning orange and brown satin evening gown with exquisite draping. I found it really interesting to see how style changed over time particularly in women's fashion. I am going to try and add some more men's items, photographs from the period and objects to my decade boards soon.

Follow The Dorothy Days's board 1930s on Pinterest.

A crisp day at the coast

Although I love the beautiful warm weather we have been having recently and have been taking lots of trips to the beach, I think my favourite time to visit the beach is when it is cold and crisp so this board was inspired by that. I always think there is something rather magical and beautiful about being down at the coast when it is so cold. I love the sound of the crashing waves and the smell of the sea air.

Follow The Dorothy Days's board A crisp day at the coast on Pinterest.

My Pinterest Profile

I try to add new pins daily to my Pinterest account and currently have 121 boards. I use Pinterest as a visual expression of my personality and what I like and also as a giant mood board/inspiration board for my shop. I hope that my Pinterest boards will be interesting, varied and enjoyable to look at and also tell you a little bit more about me! I am always looking for new people to follow on Pinterest as I love looking at what other people put together as boards. I have seen some wonderfully creative boards. If you pin, please leave me your Pinterest link in the comments section below and I will take a look at your account.

Visit The Dorothy Days's profile on Pinterest.

Thanks for reading

The Dorothy Days Xx

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Dorset Etsy Team - #DorsetTeamTools has launched

Hello everyone,

Hope you have all had a great week. I have been busy busy busy this week! Some exciting things are happening in my shop soon. I really really want to tell you all but you guys are going to have to wait a little longer to find out! However, I can tell you all about an exciting project that The Dorset Etsy Team, which I am Captain of, have launched. The project is called 'Dorset Team Tools' and it launched this week which was hugely exciting. The team is made up completely of Etsy Sellers from Dorset, England. The idea is that team members use the same hashtag #DorsetTeamTools and post their photographs of the tools they use to craft their handmade items. We only launched a few days ago but already the response has been wonderful. It is lovely to see the tools which made the beautiful items which I see in the Dorset Team members' shops. The hashtag is running across social media on all different platforms including Instagram, Twitter, Facebook etc. Please take a look, there are some wonderful photos and it is being updated with new ones all the time. 

The tools that members are posting are for all different kinds of crafts. There is such a variety of different handmade products in the team so the tools used are really diverse too. There are tools for ironwork, paintbrushes and paints, pliers and metal cutters with gloves etc. 

Today I thought I would share with you all some of the photographs the jewellers in the team have been sharing. There are many more photographs (and I hope to do a follow up post soon) but here is just a very small selection.

(I have linked the shops as well so that you can see the items the tools are used to make. Please click through and have a look, there are some wonderful handmade products)

A selection of jewellery making tools from different Dorset Team members which have been shared using the hashtag #DorsetTeamTools

Lynn from Nemeton makes the most beautiful, intricate beaded jewellery. She posted a selection of her jewellery tools and pliers. 

Sarah from Deliciousbits makes her own cards and jewellery. She posted this photograph of some of her tools and beautiful beads. I love that you can see the finished necklace in this shot too. 

Louise from Platina Jewellery treated us to not just a photograph of her tools but also of her studio and workspace which I always find really interesting. Amazing to see such a wide range of tools which Louise uses to make her jewellery. 

Emma from Mardle Made posted this photograph of her cross-pein hammer which she uses to create bark effect patterns on her silver rings and bangles. I love that Emma has included her hand in this photograph as our hands are the best tool we have as makers.

This is one of my favourite photographs posted so far. The photograph was posted by Grainne from Times to Treasure and the tool is her doming block which is used to dome (cup) little pieces of silver. Aren't the tools beautiful? Someone commented on this photo when it was posted that it looks like a choir and now every time I look at this photograph that is what I see! 

Hope that you have all enjoyed this post. I will post another selection of photos from the Dorset Team Tools project soon but in the meantime, please take a look at the hashtag on social media #DorsetTeamTools to view the other photographs that are being posted. Each seller is an independent maker so, if you can, please share, retweet, comment on etc their photographs. I know that all the makers would really appreciate your support and comments. 

Thanks so much for reading,

Best wishes

The Dorothy Days X

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Style Saturday - Mint green nursery design

Don't Forget to Dream

Hello everyone,

Thank you to everyone who looked at my blog post about retro themed items for the home which I put up yesterday. I hope you liked it! Today I thought I would share with you all something a little different for Style Saturday. Quite a few of my friends have recently had babies so I have been cooing over the beautiful photographs they have been uploading of their little ones. I thought today I would do a baby themed post (mainly because it is a good excuse to look at super cute baby items!). If you read my blog regularly you will know that I am a little bit obsessed with mint and so I have fallen in love with this adorable collection for a baby's nursery. The chair is beautiful and also looks comfy for those long long nights! I love the chevron lampshade and isn't that 'Don't forget to dream' bear adorable?! I find the mint colour quite a soothing, peaceful, tranquil colour so it would be perfect for a nursery! 

Hope you are all having a great weekend and thanks so much for reading my blog.

I have just finished writing the blog post tomorrow and it has news of an exciting project that I have been part of and lots of beautiful pictures so please do check back tomorrow to take a look.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Things I love this week: Cute tea infusers

(Please click the arrow keys to view more tea infusers!)

Well you probably know by now that I love tea! I do use tea bags but I also drink loose leaf tea. I have a little infuser but nothing as cute as these tea infusers so this is what I am loving this week. I am going to have to invest in a fun new tea infuser.....just got to decide which now...! At the time of writing this my favourite is the whale infusers but I think that will change by the time I finish writing this!!

What is your favourite?

Do you drink loose leaf tea and have a fun infuser?  I would love to hear from you, please leave me a comment in the comments section below.

The Dorothy Days Xx

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Wordless Wednesday - A painting for you to enjoy

Symphony in White, No. 1 - James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1861 - 2, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C

Hello everyone,

Normally on wordless wednesday I post one of my own photographs for you to enjoy with no words explaining it but today I thought I would do something different and post a painting with no explanation for you to enjoy and to interpret however you choose.


Would love to hear what you thought of the painting and how you interpreted it below.

The Dorothy Days X

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Happy sunny Tuesday!

Hello everyone,

Happy Tuesday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was rather busy (in a good way!). I was invited to a birthday party so spent the weekend celebrating and went to a lovely cocktail bar for a few drinks with friends. Sunday was spent sat in the sunshine on the beach (how is it so sunny and only April?!) it was beautiful. I love the beach at any time of year but sat there in the sunshine was just so perfect. I didn't brave the sea (my braver friends did!) and instead I sat in the sunshine, skimmed pebbles and ate ice-cream!! 

Sundays = beach days. Hoping this weather is here to stay, it is so beautiful. 

I managed to get my hands on two very beautiful magazines this weekend; Disegno and Lagom. Can't wait to read both. I normally like to savour a magazine and read it slowly enjoying each article. With running the shop I spend a lot of time creating but I also spend a lot of time on the computer so I find magazines a good way to take some time out. I usually make myself a cup of tea, curl up somewhere and read an article before getting back to my day and 'to-do' list. I have read Disegno before (and would highly recommend) but Lagom is new to me and this copy is only their second issue so I am excited to see what the magazine is all about. Disegno is a biannual magazine and I loved their last edition so can't wait to read this one. It is packed full of interesting articles about design, fashion and architecture.

I can't post a post without a little picture of Rufus. He has grown so much recently, he is much taller and super fluffy at the moment (off for his hair cut next week!). We took him to the park which he loved. So many other dogs, lots going on and of course enough space to run around like crazy! He was one happy dog as his photo perfectly sums up!

The Dorothy Days X

P.S - A massive thank you to all the kind comments about my Art History post on both the blog and Twitter. Was so nice to hear that you enjoyed it and I will be posting another Art post soon. If you missed it you can find it by clicking this link. The post is about Pierro della Francesca

Friday, 17 April 2015

Art History post - Piero della Francesca - Baptism of Christ

Baptism of Christ, Piero della Francesca, 1450, National Gallery in London

Hello everyone,

It has been a long time since I wrote an art/art history blog post and this is something I really enjoyed doing on the blog and sharing some of things I know about paintings. I have spent the last few days trying to decide which painting to share with you all. I have so many favourites that it is hard to pick something but in the end I decided to write about this beautiful painting by Piero della Francesca called The Baptism of Christ. This was one of the first paintings I learnt about and I think it might even be the first painting I ever wrote an art history essay about!

One of the reasons I really love this painting is when I first started learning about it it really wasn't a painting that appealed to me at all. I remember thinking "well this is going to be boring". It wasn't a subject matter that I was particularly interested in or the style and I think I just thought it was going to be old and boring! But, the more I learnt about this painting the more I grew to love it. It was the first painting that I studied first and then went to see in the National Gallery in London and it actually gave me goosebumps!

There is so much you could write about this painting but I hope that this blog post will just give you a little taster!

The Artist: Piero della Francesca

Self portrait of the artist taken from one of his other paintings,  The Resurrection  c.1460

  • Born c.1415/20 - 1492 in Borgo Sansepolcro which is town in Tuscany, Italy.
  • He was also a mathematical theorist and although a respected artist at the time with high profile patrons, he was most well known for this.
  • His work is considered to be part of the Early Renaissance and the medium he is most known for is Painting and Fresco (which is a type of mural painting which you paint directly into wet plaster).
  • He was believed to have gone blind in old age
  • He was buried in Sansepolcro.

What for and how?

The painting is tempera on panel (poplar). The painting was painted before the invention of oil paints so would have used coloured pigments (this was often ground up insects, semi precious stones etc) with a binder such as egg, honey, glue etc to make a paint.

The painting was painted onto wooden panel. At the time, this was the most common way of painting. It requires a rather lengthy process to prepare the panel to be ready to be painted on including sanding, coating the panel and applying gesso (which is a bit like a primer).

Poplar wood was most commonly used in Italy for panel painting. The Mona Lisa is also painted on Poplar.

The painting was the central section of a polyptych (which is an altarpiece formed of many panels). The painting was commissioned by the Camaldolese abbey in Sansepolcro (his home town) for the chapel of Saint John the Baptist (inside the abbey).

Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck, 1432 as an example of a polyptych. You can see the many different panels which make up this altarpiece. They are usually hinged so you can fold the altarpiece.

What is happening in the painting?

Christ is in the centre being baptised by John the Baptist which is fitting for it's original setting of the chapel of Saint John the Baptist inside the Camaldolese abbey (now cathedral). Christ has his hands clasped in prayer and John is gently pouring the water on Christ's head. The painting is very linear which creates a still, calm feel and you sense that the scene is quiet and peaceful. If you were to take a pencil and draw all the lines on the painting you would find many straight lines such as the long bodies, the trees etc as well gentle archs which gives the painting its calm feel. Francesca had a love of geometry and the mathematical beauty and harmony so he uses this in his paintings. Directly above Christ is a white dove which symbolises the holy spirit. It is possible that originally, above the painting was another painting representing God and the heavens which would have then completed the holy trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

In the background is believed to be the rolling hills of Borgo Sansepolcro which was both Francesca's home town the town in which the abbey who commissioned the painting was located. The congregation of the church would have therefore recognised the landscape. The stream could symbolise the River Jordan which is believed to be where Jesus was baptised. 

To the left of Christ is three angels witnessing the baptism and behind John is another man removing his shirt to also be baptised.

Hope you enjoyed this little introduction into this painting. It is even more beautiful when you see it in person!

Would love to hear your thoughts on this blog post. Did you enjoy it? Did you know this painting before you had read this or not? Should I make art posts a regular feature?

Thanks for reading

The Dorothy Days X

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Beautiful spring themed items perfect for a spring clean and freshen up of your house!

Hello everyone, 

Hope you all are having a wonderful week so far. I couldn't resist sharing with you all some beautiful Spring themed items. I am having a bit of a Spring clean at the moment and changing around the house and I bought some new home decor items to change how the house feels. Amazing what a few new items and some moving around of furniture can do for a room and how it can change the look and feel. I like the fresh, bright feel of all these items. Perfect if you feel like you need a bit of a freshen up of your home this Spring.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Things I am loving this week...

Well.....last week really but I am still loving them this week too....!

Drinking ginger beer in a beautiful beer garden in Ditchling. The sunshine was beautiful, the beer garden was amazing and the ginger beer delicious! The packaging of the ginger beer was so cute too it made me smile. On the inside of the bottle (you can just about see) when you drink it it reveals a little picture of ginger!

Spring flowers - This is a photograph from my neighbour's garden. The garden is only small but packed full of beautiful spring flowers and it smells amazing! The garden is up from street level so is quite high up when you walk past which means you can smell it even more. It makes me smile every time I walk that way with Rufus.

Rufus! - This rather naughty ball of fluff returned home after nearly 3 weeks away at residential dog camp! Even though he looks like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth he is a rescue dog with some quite severe behavioural problems. It was lovely to see how far he has come and we were able to go down to the beach and let him play, dig and meet other doggy friends! I love him even when he is naughty but love him just that little bit extra during moments like this!

Easter rabbits! - Apparently you are never too old to receive chocolate bunnies through the post! These arrived just after Easter so was even more of a lovely surprise as I thought I didn't have any Easter treats and then these landed on my doorstep! 

Roast Dinner - A lovely Easter Sunday roast dinner with new friends. What a treat! The roast was amazing and I had my first ever Ham cooked in Coca Cola.....yep....thats right.....ham cooked in coke! It is DELICIOUS! Check out the recipe for ham cooked in cola with maple and mustard glaze here

The Dorothy Days Xx