15 Dec 2011

Travel: Fete des Lumieres - Lyon, France

On December 8th I was lucky enough to travel to Lyon, France to witness first hand the annual Fete des Lumieres (Festival of Lights) which sees 4 million people visit the city over the course of a few magical nights. Buildings seemingly come alive as images and light are cleverly projected on to their ancient walls; residents decorate their windowsills with colourful tealights; and streets are closed to traffic and festooned with lanterns. Even the streetlights get a make-over, their glass being covered with coloured gells to tint the winding lanes in an enchanting spectrum of colours.  
The festival began in the 17th centuary as a way for the locals of Lyon to offer thanks and praise to the Virgin Mary after she miraculously lifted the onslaught of the plague from the city. To this day, banners proclaiming Mercy Maria hang from buildings and many visit the city's magnificant cathedral to light a candle and place it at her feet. These days, though still religious at its core, the Fete des Lumieres is just as much an excuse for families to take to the streets, revel in the beauty of their beloved city and sip on vin chaud!

The basilica by day and then by night:
The Cathedral by day and then by night:
As I was visiting the festival in my editorial capacity, I got a chance to chat with some of the designers of various light shows around the city. The most impressive of these took place in the Place des Terreaux and involvied animated video projections carefully mapped to match the exterior of the grand old buildings in the town square. Designer Marie-Jeanne Gauthe told me over lunch: "The biggest challenge of a project like this is coming up with something completely different each year. However, this year another big challenge is the full moon! It acts like a projector beam in itself so will change the way my designs look up on the buildings. I'm praying for a cloudy night!"

I had a great time at the Fete des Lumieres, but now have so much transcribing and writing to do to create my first cover-feature for the January issue of the magazine I work for. The downside of the event? My expensive camera got water-bombed! Luckily (*touch wood*), it seems to have made a full recovery! Mercy Maria! 


6 Dec 2011

Anthropologie wishlist...

Clockwise from top left: Pragmatic vase 'let them eat cake': $48 | Trinkets and Treasures candle sticks - approx $398 each | Hitherto bug globes - approx $650 | Flower vases - approx $18 (limited range on UK site here)

Lily says: I don't often check the US version of the Anthropologie website now that we have a UK site, but after seeing this post on the Decor8 blog I noticed some pieces of homeware that were both right up my street and strangely absent from the UK version of the site! I keep a regular eye on the UK site for new items (by 'regular eye' I mean I could probably reel off their stock directory in my sleep. Perhaps I should get out more...) as I am constantly on the look out for quirky homeware, so I was both thrilled at the wonderous items present on the US site and dissappointed I couldn't get my mitts on them here in the UK! Does anyone know if Anthropologie roll out items in the US before adding them to other branches? Most of these pieces are out of my price range, but at $48 (around £30) the Let the Eat Cake vase might just find itself in my virtual shopping trolley were it available in the UK. Still, available in the UK or not, it's always nice to look at asthetically pleasing things :)

UPDATE: I managed to get to the Regent Street Anthropologie store last weekend and was delighted to see the Pragmatic Vases ("Let Them Eat Cake" etc) and flower vases in stock!


2 Dec 2011

Lily Loves: Marquis & Camus by Sarah Kang

These pieces from the Marquis & Camus collection by Sarah Kang link vintage items with contemporary elements - and the result is somewhat breath-taking! The pieces above draw on Victorian romantic ideals and feature dusty-pink ruffles, flowers, beaded bows and antique velvet and lace. With collar jewellery 'having a moment', the two displayed above have to be the most perfect examples of the trend that I've come across. Below I've highlighted some items that have a distinctly military flavour. The medals featuring old stamps and charms are my personal favourite pieces here, and could make a fun DIY project if you could get your hands on some vintage stamps, ribbons and cabochon backs/findings!

1 Dec 2011

That was: October & November . . .

Halloween | Clare as Jekyll & Hyde | Me as the Cookie Monster | Ele as the Black Swan | Dancing to spooky tunes | Lovely fish meal for the bf's birthday | New dress - lovely print | Sunset | Sunlight through roses | Honeycomb-smash cheesecake... om nom nom | 10 hour train journey to Yorkshire and back | Behind the scenes at the Ideal Home Show | Made 2011 - Brighton | The White Rabbit in Brighton Lanes | Home baked star-shaped cookies | Home-baked cupcakes | My friend's toddler, growing up so fast | Thomas the Tank Engine| Sorting out my new iPhone 4S with iTunes | OPI Ink | London again | Autumn | Wrap up warm in a nice new scarf Christmas gifts for friends & family start arriving!  

Lily says: October was quite a quiet month apart from Halloween so I decided to combine October & November for the regular 'my month in photos' feature. I can't believe it's now December! Where is the year going?! Good luck with your Christmas shopping :) 

NB: If you would like a more detailed post on my Cookie Monster Halloween costume, please let me know in the comments.


21 Nov 2011

Lily Loves: Alice Walton Ceramics...

This Sunday my Mum and I went along to Made at the Brighton Corn Exchange. The event, now in its 5th year, showcased over 100 local and national contemporary makers and designers of a whole range of products – from jewellery and clothing to wallpaper, furniture, homeware and ceramics.   
One item we picked up was this gorgeous ceramic piece from Brighton-based Alice Walton. From Alice’s ‘Collections’ range, a carefully crafted ceramic tray houses a collection of little vintage keys. We both fell in love with Alice’s work and my mum couldn’t resist treating herself to this unique piece . . .
My parents have an old printer’s tray full of trinkets and curio, so this piece really fits in with their taste. Although, they may have to put an alarm on it as I will be incredibly tempted to pinch it every time I visit them!
Up close:
More about Alice Walton:
Since graduation with a First Class Honors in 2010 Alice has taken part in multiple exhibitions over England and has completed two residencies - one in Centola, Italy, and one at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Her work continues to experiment with hand building techniques, pushing the clay to its limits and enjoying unexpected results.
Alice on her Collections range:
"I have always been facinated with collecting. Inspired to show off my individual personal collections, I have created a series of letter press style wall hangers. Within the ceramic dividers items of interest have been organised. Groupings of handmade ceramic cotton reels, found vintage pearls, old clock hands and water eroded china sit displayed. I often leave spaces or empty collection displays to encourage the owner to start or continue their own collection"
(These three images and words by Alice taken from alicewalton.co.uk)

Find Alice: Web | Blog | Twitter

17 Nov 2011

Hishstreet highlight...

Above: Studded torque drape necklace - £35 from Topshop

Lily says: This statement torque necklace from Topshop would take a very simple outfit to a whole other level of chicness. Burnished gold and with a drop of 56cm, it would look amazing worn with a simple maxi dress for a look that would set you apart this party season.


16 Nov 2011

Finds: Do you think I'm spexy?

Spectacle necklace - Thea Grant
Vintage cat-eye glasses - Vintage50sEyewear
Cat-eye ring - Isette

Lily says: From a string of librarian glasses to a quirky, vintage pair of cat-eye glasses and a simple perspex ring - glasses really are no longer confined to the face! Even the pair of actual glasses featured here would look perfectly at home simply displayed on a shelf thanks to their really unusal arms! There are plenty of glasses-related goodies available right now at quite resonable prices, so anyone can appreciate the iconic shape of the cat-eye or the NHS-Specials! The classic Tatty Devine spectacle necklace has been a favourite piece in my jewellery collection for several years now, but I am really tempted by that cat-eye ring!

Do you have any glasses-related jewellery or stylin' spectacles? 


11 Nov 2011

Lily Loves: Colourful twig necklaces...

These unusual wooden-connector necklaces come from London-based Maru Kiko. Creatued by Lovisa Lindstrom and featuring silver chains and colourful painted twigs and wood picked up in the forests of Sweden, the necklaces would add a splash of the unusual to a casual outfit of jeans and a plain tee or would look great worn with chunky, cozy knitwear this season.

Painting twigs, driftwood and such in this style and using them for mobiles, hanging decorations or jewellery lcould also be a great DIY project!


4 Nov 2011

Lily Loves: Pamela Love...

Having worked as an art director, stylist, painter and set designer, New York based Pamela Love launched her striking jewellery collection in 2007 to great acclaim, having found it hard to find jewellery that suited the needs of her various creative projects. Primarily working from the basement of her Brooklyn apartment, it wasn't long before the fashion world sat up and took note of Love's creations which draw inspiration from nature, science, astrology, music, magic and so much more!
Since the launch of her jewellery range, Pamela has collaborated with countless designers and film makers - even working with director Spike Jonze to create a range inspired by his "Where The Wild Things Are".

Lily says: I love the intergalactic style of some of these pieces - cones and space-age half-moons bursting with rough-cut quartz - if this is the jewellery they wear in space then beam me up Scotty (or Pamela!) The necklaces and rings inspired by Dia du los Muertos decorations also stike a chord - adorning the wearer with intricate bunting of skulls and lace design. If only I had a spare arm and leg to chop off in payment for something from this collection! 

Web | Shop 


2 Nov 2011

Lily Loves: Digby & Iona...

I can't get enough of the 'Me & My Arrow' collection of necklaces, rings and cuffs from Digby & Iona. The pieces feature oxodised bronze, sterling silver and carefully selected feathers. I love their rough, hand-tooled quality and the way they hang off-centre makes them real statement pieces. What do you think? 


31 Oct 2011

Tutorial: Cake Pops...

Lily learns with Carousel Cupcakes
Cake Pops - bite-sized balls of decorated cake on sticks - seem to be the hottest thing in the world of cakes right now. But how on earth are they made? I'll be honest, I thought they were some how baked with a stick in them and then decorated with icing sheets which sounds very tricky to me! Luckily, I was 100% wrong and Cake Pops actually couldn't be easier to make! So, under the guidance Carousel Cupcakes' cake-maker extraordinaire, Sam, I had a go at creating some Cake Pops to call my own! To find out how to make Cake Pops yourself, read on for my very basic tutorial. For a more detailed tutorial written by Sam, click HERE.

Tutorial: Fool-proof Cake Pops 
You will need:
- A ready made basic non-decorated cake with buttercream filling
- Candy melts - Something like this. We chose chocolate orange flavoured buttons.
- Lolly sticks
- Cake decorating pens / glitter etc
- A block of styrofoam
- Optional: Wrapping - Cellofane pockets and twisty-grips.
How to:
- Gather your ingredients. Put the ready made cake in your cake mixer and blend until it's all mashed up. 
- Take small handfuls of the cake mix and roll into roughly 1 inch balls. Continue until you've used up the mix. Place on a baking tray, cover with cling film and pop in the freezer for no more than 15 minutes - you want the balls chilled through, not frozen.
- Melt down your candy coating.
- Remove cake balls from the freezer. Take a lolly stick and dip the tip of it in the candy coating then push it approx half-way into a cake ball. Repeat with all balls. 
- Submerge the cake balls in the candy coating and gently rock the stick to ensure the ball gets completely covered in coating (if needed, use a spoon to help get all parts covered). Do not twist the stick or your cake ball might fall off into the candy coating!
- Remove the cake ball from the candy coating, hold the stick horizontal over the mix and gently tap it. Excess coating will begin to run from the cake ball and back into the coating bowl. Continue tapping until the excess is removed.
- Stand your coated cake balls in the styrofoam block and pop them in the fridge to set.
- Remove from the fridge and get decorating - let your imagination run wild!

We created some Halloween-themed pumpkin Cake Pops:
What do you think of the results? We had great fun giving each pumpkin its own character! I was so suprised at how simple and effective Cake Pops are! I love that when you bite into them they actually do go "pop" as you crack the candy coating (simple things...) I have to say a big thank you to Sam from Carousel Cupcakes for teaching me how to make these. Please be sure to let us know if you decide to have a go at making some Cake Pops yourself - they really are a lot of fun to make and, of course, eat! Om nom nom!

Happy Halloween from Lily in the Labyrinth and Carousel Cupcakes!

26 Oct 2011

Finds: Freaky fun for Halloween ...

1: Shadow puppets - £13 for set of three - IsabellasArt
2: Not specifically Halloween-based, but pretty freaky non-the-less, vintage wind-up rabbit toy - £28 - CollectMemories
3: Mini monster bottles - £16 each - PixieDustMiniatures
4: Surreal cat and woman photo-montage - £178 - HandmadeFish
5: Leather sculpture of a UFO - £35 - Pushok1983
6: Zombie clock carved into a record - £24 - MoralMustache - I had to post this as it reminded me of Shaun of the Dead!


14 Oct 2011

Collaboration: Carousel Cupcakes...

Creepy cake making collaboration with Carousel Cupcakes
Last night I joined forces with the amazing Sam of Carousel Cupcakes to work on a range of spooky, creepy and ghoulish Halloween cupcakes. Decorating the cakes was so much fun - and as a cake decorating novice, I learnt a lot from Sam about decorating tools, different types of icing, how to make the perfect buttercream and how to apply chocolate ganache! I really enjoyed sculpting the little hands bursting out of the chocolate cakes and dribbling red food colouring over them to represent blood. Yuck... but also YUM!

The monster faces, pumpkins, eyeballs and ghosts were so fun to make by colouring white icing with special powders and using special Halloween-themed sweets like the vampire teeth as finishing touches.

I hope you enjoyed this post, it was so much fun to create and hopefully there will be some more Lily in the Labyrinth / Carousel Cupcake collaborations in the near future! Be sure to check out the Carousel Cupcakes website for more of their brilliant work and follow @CarouselCupcake on Twitter while you're at it.

Have you ever done any Halloween-themed baking?

12 Oct 2011

Finds: Castles...

1: Vintage 1950s Tammis Keefe handkerchief - £26 - Murdups
2: Castle in the Sky - pop-up card - £13 - Jackie Huang
3: Sterling silver, moonstone and topaz hand-carved castle ring - £165 - Donna's Serendipty
4: Vintage 1950s full skirt with castle print - £64 - Salvage Life
5: Broken china jewellery, necklace with castle - £26 - Dishfunctional Designs
6: Simple castle necklace - £15 - Jewelry and Miniatures
7: Faux-Gingerbread castle decoration - £50 - Janie Champagnie
8: Castle rings - approx £180 each - Lynn Cobb

Lily says: One thing I love about living in the UK, is that you're never very far from a crumbling castle or magnificent mansion! Personally, I absolutely love visiting these heritage sites and just losing myself in history for a while. So I thought I'd put my love of a good castle to use and create this post of castle-related treats from the wonderful world of Etsy . . .

What's the best castle you've ever visited?

6 Oct 2011

That was September . . .

My month in photos . . .
Above: Lots of driving | Working on the biggest issue of the magazine of the year | My birthday - balloons, presents, cake etc - Yeeeeah! | Presents include Alexander McQueen's Savage Beauty book and Lucy Sylvester ring | Meals out | Drinks and dancing | A trip to the V&A museum | My name baked in cookies by a BFF . . .
Above: Betty Blue Eyes at the Novello Theatre | Boring meetings at work | Setting up the show at London's Earls Court | Meal at Sticky Fingers | Night drives | Cocktails at Cuba Libra, Angel | A sunny weekend with the parents | Mum messing around with the Sunday Times magazine | Brighton Pavilion | Inside the Pavilion (sneaky photos) | Regency costume exhibition | Purchases from the brilliant Poundshop project | Summer's swan-song - September goes out in a blaze!
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