20 Dec 2012

The Magical Ice Kingdom . . .

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get a private sneak preview of the Magical Ice Kingdom installation in London's Hyde Park before the attraction opened to the public. The Kingdom forms an exciting, new part of Hyde Park's annual Winter Wonderland event that sees a corner of the vast park turned into Christmas town each year, complete with ice rink, wooden-hut market stalls, fairground rides and much more. The Ice Kingdom is the biggest installation of its kind ever in the UK and features amazing sculptures carved from ice specially shipped in from Canada. Upon entering the -8 degree Kingdom, visitors travel through a number of themed zones, meeting various magical creatures along the way before taking a seat in the ice carriage and a tumble down the ice slide. 
The sculptures were created by the team at Hamilton Ice Sculptors and lit with cold-white LED fixtures to give the ice an ethereal glow. Care had to be taken that the lighting didn't melt the sculptures, so LED lamps proved the ideal solution as they generate very little heat.
With real snow and fir trees littering the Kingdom, and a new ice cold creature to encounter around every corner, visiting the Magical Ice Kingdom felt like I'd stepped into Narnia when the White Witch was at the height of her power. I would highly recommend a visit should you be in London this festive season . . . just watch out for the dragon!
My photos were published in the magazine I work for and even made the front cover  :)

Let Lily Know: Have you visited the Magical Ice Kingdom? What did you think? 

10 Dec 2012

Finds: Dreaming of a Mint Christmas - Etsy Edit . . .

From top:
- Christmas tree mug - Asleep From Day - £9.95
Bee candle holder - Blue Room Pottery - £23
Christmas bauble - Asleep From Day
Aguayo bracelet - Lak Lak - £57.53
Mint bow ring - Mint Rainbow - £9.27
Clutch bag, vintage white leather - Blackbird and the Owl - £31.96
Russian porcelain brooch - Albaricoke Azul - £9.95
Heart stud earrings - Dariami - £11.51
Tiny skull bracelet - Mini Fabo - £10.23
Blue bird brooch - Katrin Art - £10.64
Leather tote bag - ByMART - £33.23
Friendly Narwhal brooch - Lila Ruby King - £23

Lily Says: Mint is a colour that the world seems to go crazy for in Spring/Summer, but I'm championing that Mint is a shade for all seasons and bringing you a Gift Guide based around the colour. Whereas in Spring/Summer mint is fresh; in Autumn/Winter it's icy, frosty and can offer a cooler, muted alternative to the plums, reds, golds and fir-tree greens that tend to engulf us in the run up to Christmas day. To support independent sellers this Christmas, I've kept this Gift Guide strictly Etsy-based. Hope you like what you see! 

6 Dec 2012

Lily Loves: Non-Christmassy Christmas . . .

From top left:
- Jewelled onion glass bauble - John Lewis - £4
- Party dog, mini glass cloche decoration - Angel At My Table - £19.50
Royal Albert, polka blue decorations - John Lewis - £35 (for three)
Little England cream tea glass bauble set - Fortnum & Mason - £40
Hand painted wooden birds - Rigby & Mac - £7.95 (each)
Owl glass decoration - Occasions Direct - £2.99
Resin cupcake trio - Occasions Direct - £10.99
Winter Whale - Anthropologie - £14
Large white porcelain star - Heals - £8
Jonathan Adler elephant hanging decoration - Heals - £20 (usually £24)
Peace on Earth sparkling bauble - Selfridges - £24.95
Cody Foster winter owl - Selfridges - £19.95
Pink rose glass bauble - Homebase - £2.49

Lily Says: If you look hard enough, you can find some beautiful non-Christmas-specific decorations amongst the holiday collections. Above are my picks from this years crop. Which one is your favourite? Do you like all-year-round hanging decorations too? Please let me know in the comments :)
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