Monday, 28 May 2012

Pyjama pants

Just back from an AMAZING weekend down on the Isle of Wight - the weather was gorgeous, it was like being the Caribbean, no jokes!  BBQs, messing about on boats, and beach-time fun.  Me likey. But enough about the weekend, let me introduce you to my new favourite thing in the world...

These outfit shots were actually taken in Wales a few weeks ago, i'm so behind on posting, but hey. These are my new favourite pants; yay for pyjama pants!  Definitely a "girl" trend - the Bot's initial response:
Bot - "Err, are you actually going to leave the house in those?"
Me - "Errr yes, they're my trousers."  
Him - "Right, but aren't they pyjamas?"
Me - "Ah no, they're pyjama PANTS, like pyjamas, but trousers."  
Him - "Errr, right."

These trousers got a lot of love from the gals in the office.  But the question was, what to wear with them? Well, I think the key is to keep in simple, and let the trousers do the talking.  If I were to wear these in the evening i'd probably don with some chunky sandals, plain tee/vest and a big necklace.  But that's just me.

Right, i'm knackered, Monday has clearly taken it's toll so i'm off to bed.  Roll on Tuesday, woop! x

Man I miss that house!
The breakdown
Trousers: Primark, £12.50 ish
T-shirt: Primark, £2.50
Cardigan: F21, £15 ish
Bracelet: H&M, £9.99
Shoes: Primark, £10
Glasses: Karen Millen

Friday, 25 May 2012

Back to Battersea Park

A few snaps from a recent visit to Battersea Park.  Such a beautiful park right by the river Thames in London - and now a favourite hotspot for 'created for your entertainment' scenes from Made in Chelsea!

The sun has been shining down on old London town this week - it's been a scorching 29 degrees, wozers!  I honestly don't think there is a better city in the world when it's sunny here.

The Bot and I are off to the Isle of Wight this weekend - cue lots of playing around on boats, chillaxing and late nights with friends.  Can't wait.

Have a fab weekend y'all!


New shoes! New shoes!  If the weather isn't warm enough don with tights - the old rules of not wearing socks/tights with sandels soooo don't apply anymore darling.

The breakdown
Shirt: vintage M&S via eBay, £10ish
Skirt: made by me
Tights: Primark, £1.50
Flats: Kate Kanzier, £20
Necklace: vintage via my gran
Bag: Zara, £39.99
Sunglasses: Anthropologie, £20ish

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

It appears I missed the memo; Clarks got cool.

Mention the name Clarks to most women my age (late-20s, just) and they will recall childhood memories of being fitted for navy blue flat Mary Janes with the cut-out daisies (incidentally they still sell these shoes now, although the design is referred to as 'nostalgic' -ha, now i'm feeling my age).

I've not shopped in Clarks since my mother took me in the 80s.  And since then i've always considered it a shop for children, or frumpy older women. Until now.

First a friend told me she'd seen this uh-mazing pair of white brogues that were right up my boulevard.  She wasn't wrong.  Then another friend plonked a copy of Stylist on my desk showing a Clarks ad.  "Thought you'd like these cute wedges".  She was right.

And then a few weeks ago I was invited to the Yellow Door (Mary Portas's agency) press day.  And low and behold, one of their clients was Clarks.

Clarks Autumn range will see classic British heritage tweeds with stock heels - very Mad Men, but practical. That's the thing will Clarks - you can actually wear their shoes to walk in.  But because we can't wait till autumn, I thought i'd share a few of my favourite styles, all available now...

Simple, chic brogues, with the iconic Clarks daisy cut out.  Made with leather - now that makes a nice change
Henderson Sky bone leather brogues, £49.99

Collaborations with Liberty Art Fabrics resulting in retro-inspired wedges, perfect for teaming with floaty summer dresses

Scent bottle blue suede wedge, £54.99
Classic animal print lounge slippers - these beauties will really stand out when teamed with tailored black cropped trousers and a crisp white shirt
Aintree ticket, £39.99

And they've also collaborated with, lo and behold, Mary Portas.  Their S/S collection is full of snakeskin, colour pops and metallics.  

La Minx black suede boots, £110.00
La Gigi coral sandals, £79.99
La Peep snakeskin shoes, £89.99

I don't know about you but I feel a real British resurgence going on.  Yes, I know it's a Jubilee/Olympic year so the rest of the world is going more 'Brit-mad' than normal this year.  No, I mean we, us Brits, are finally flying the Brit flag again.  Not only are WE loving our home-grown brands more and more, we are starting to talk about them with pride.  

Rule Britannia!

Monday, 14 May 2012

A Welsh love affair

Tractor.  Standard.
We just got back from a delightfully relaxing weekend in Wales.  I'm seriously falling in love with the place; beautiful rolling hills and so peaceful.  I never wanted to leave.

We stayed at another Under the Thatch cottage, this time with my sister, brother-in-law and my mum.  We stayed at the Dyfi Valley Eco-Barn, just outside Machynlleth - a stunningly converted barn with breath-taking views over the valley. Inside the barn has been decorated with great love and affection, vintage trinkets adorning every nook and cranny.  But no TV, what a (pleasant) shock to the system :-)

Barn with a view.  

The weather was kind and the sun shone for most of our visit.  But on our final night the wind howled and whipped around the barn, all very exciting to us 'city' folk, and the fire roared as it battled to keep us warm. 

Saturday was spent strolling along the beach while my sister's dog, Ruby, played fetch for an impressive 2 hours straight.  Sunday I donned my new and very stylish trekking boots (it appears i've reached that age) and we explored some incredible waterfalls. 

And the highlight of the weekend? My sister and I completing a 1000 piece puzzle - sheer grit and determination that took I tell thee!

By trade i've always been a city girl; the hustle and bustle, the markets, exhibitions.  The buzz.  But the more time I spend in the countryside the more I wonder whether deep down, tucked away under the grit and grim of the city, there might just be a little country bumpkin biding her time, waiting to have her turn in the spotlight. Maybe. Just maybe.

Clara x

Ruby, our faithful companion.  And 5* ball fetcher.

Jigsaw champions

The family.

And thank you. For all those who got in touch following my previous blog post :-)

Monday, 7 May 2012

Reading between the lines

**Warning!  This is not your usual Clazzerati blog post.  If you don't fancy a deluge of my thoughts please feel free to look at the pictures and admire my bag ;-)*

I started Clazzerati in May 2010. My eyes had been opened to the world of (fashion and crafting) blogging and I loved tuning in to this online world every few days. Seeing how girls like me - on a budget - styled and mixed up their wardrobes, made their own clothes and gave old pieces of furniture a new lease of life.

And so Clazzerati was born. I blogged about my day, things I'd seen. I didn't have a set genre, but over time I found my 'thing'. My passion; outfits posts, making clothes and crafting. Clazzerati became my online portfolio, my creative outlet. But most importantly it was free from agenda or criticism.

You see, when I was 15 I was told by an English teacher never to take an essay subject, He said I was a terrible writer. And I believed him. I went on to do Communications and Media studies at Uni (media sounded cool) but I hated writing the essays. I remember revising for exams, memorising sentences I'd found online and regurgitating them as my own because they sounded 'clever'. Well, I couldn't write, could I?

Starting a career in London, PR actually (again, I thought it sounded cool.  Ab Fab anyone?),  I quickly realised how much writing was involved, and that I knew nothing about grammar - why hadn’t I been taught this at school? Maybe that was why my teacher had branded me such a terrible writer. I learnt quickly, proof-reading others' work. But still I hated writing. And quickly decided PR wasn’t for me...but I loved the company where I worked so changed paths and became a PA.

And then I started the blog. And writing. And enjoying writing. Because on my little blog no-one could criticise what I wrote, not really. I didn't have to include any key messages, watch my sentence structure, or even worry about my spelling (that soon changed after the Bot pointed out how horrific it was - cue spell checks and proofing!).

Friends started to read the blog and after a while I even started to get approached by high street fashion brands - invites to the odd press day, free samples. This all seemed very odd. What did I know about all this? I love clothes, yes, but I haven’t got a clue who wore what at the S/S 2013 catwalk show. If I wear a skirt and someone comments, "Oh that's so Mui Mui A/W 2012" I nod and smile but that's not why I bought the damn thing, I just liked it.

I digress (those who know me in the "real" world will kindly inform you this happens. A lot. Apologies).  But one day the unthinkable happened. Someone told me they liked how I wrote on the blog...because it sounded like me. How I spoke, how I was in real-life. Authentic even.  I was dumbfounded.  For years I had feared, avoided and dreaded writing.  And now suddenly here I was being told someone liked my writing - this must mean I couldn't actually write, non? Bloody hell.

My sporadic posting over the past few months is really down to one factor.  Sure, i've been "busy" but really I lost my blogging mojo. I didn’t know what to blog about anymore.  Did anyone really care? People would tell me I should be blogging about this or that.  When did this become their blog.  And of course I got engaged.  Very exciting.  And very time-consuming!  And I’m also looking for a house. Pff, excuses, excuses.

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want in life.  This weekend was the first anniversary of a friend who died last year.  And in July it will be three years since my dad died.  During each of these tragic times I’ve told myself to ‘live for the moment’, ‘do what makes me happy’, ‘live as if today is your last day’.  All the usual clich├ęs.  But I never do.  In time life starts to return to some kind of normal. I suppose it has to really. And all those 'life-changing' thoughts disappear, and normality returns. 

But this anniversary has really got me thinking about my blog. And the point of it.  I feel like I’m 'supposed' to blog 3-5 times per week.  Why?  Because that’s what someone, somewhere decided was right.  Well, if you want followers to keep on coming back.  Which of course I do. Followers validate you as a blogger, don't they?  Maybe.

I guess what i’ve been trying to say in this post (and if you’re still with me, drinks are on me at the bar later) is that I want to reclaim my blog.  As MY personal creative outlet.  I’m not saying things will dramatically change.  Or that I won’t work with brands anymore.  But more that this isn't a “fashion” blog.  It’s just a blog.  A place where I can write about anything (but realistically, it’s more than likely going to be about clothes, sewing, crafting, weddings…), post photos, share tutorials of crafty projects.  If I post a few times a week, so be it.  If I disappear for 2 weeks, well, it’s probably because I’m having a life. 

Because ultimately that’s what life is for.  It’s for living.  Not sitting in front of a computer.  And who knows.  In another year I may have even mastered the knack of condensing my thoughts into a nice succinct 250 word article.  Like a proper writer, innit.

The breakdown
Jacket: H&M
Cardigan: vintage via my gran
Jeans: BDG
T-shirt: H&M men
Trainers: Converse
Scarf: vintage
Sunglasses: Anthropologie