Wool and the Gang

I was recently contacted by Wool and the Gang to see if I would like to try out one of their kits. I have to admit, I have never actually knitted before, well not since I was about 7 and that was probably with a fair amount of help from my Grandma, who was an expert knitter.

But I was interested by the sustainable approach of this brand, that advocates fashion that is #MadeUnique by a community of knitters around the world, the complete opposite to the usual mass produced fashion that is sold all over the high street. Wool and the Gang is very much about slow fashion. A hand knitted piece of clothing can’t be rushed but needs to be crafted with care. Wool and the Gang hopes to bring back knitting as a means of production for generations to come. Their real wool is an eco friendly material as it is natural and biodegradable and they also work with fashion factories to repurpose their waste into yarn and reduce landfill.

When I look at their collection of stylish but timeless patterns and chunky yarns, I can completely accept that knitting is not just for Grannies. It is for anyone. Wool and the Gang refer to their knitters as Gangstas and recognise the benefits of knitting as going beyond just fashion. They declare that knitting is the new yoga redeucing stress and anxiety, increasing creativity and memory. Knitting can even be really sociable with a ‘gang culture’ of knitting parties around the world and a online movement sharing their knits on social media. For those that just haven’t got the time or incination to knit their own clothes, there is also the opportunity for them to support other Gangstas by buying their handmade pieces.

A little pressie from @woolandthegang ! Should keep me busy for a bit #slowfashion #madeunique

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Anyway, after much deliberation and browsing of the website, I decided to choose the Calvin top, a crochet top to make using 100% upcycled Billie Jean yarn. I have never crocheted before but the website informed me that this project was an ‘easy’ level. I am also reassured to see that the website has a number of video tutorials to help me get the hang of it.

I can’t wait to get started and look forward to sharing my finished top. Have you ever knitted or crocheted anything? or would you like to give it a go?

Getting started #woolandthegang

A post shared by Ceri Heathcote (@styleeyes) on

You can check out the Wool and the Gang Website here

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Uncommon Goods

dreamcatcher wall clock

Sponsored post

I have quite a few birthdays coming up in January and February so have been on the look out for some lovely and also ethical birthday gifts to give to my friends. I was interested to get an email from Uncommon Goods, an interesting online retailer with a mission to change the way business is done by making sustainability a part of every decision that they make. They continue to strive to become more socially responsible, environmentally friendly and an ever more rewarding place to work by treating individuals with dignity and respect, paying a fair wage and selling products made from handmade, organic and recycled materials.Here are just a few of the lovely gifts for women that I found and that I know my friends and family would love to recieve.

The unusual dreamcatcher wall clock shown above features in the ethical home decor section alongside some other really lovely pieces including pretty tea light holders, animal bookends and fun lights and nightlights.

latitude and longitude necklace

This simple but pretty necklace is handmade of silver in Washington. I love that you can have it personalised to feature the actual longitude and latitude of somewhere special in the world.

wooden martini glasses

These wooden glasses are definitely a really usuual way to serve a martini. They are handcrafted in Colarado from richly grained walnut. Whilst a wooden glass might not be the most obvious thing to drink from, the wood is actually a better insulator than glass, so they will keep your cocktail cooler for longer as well as looking amazing.

upcycled cotton sari robe

I love bright prints and vibrant colours of this upcycled cotton sari robe. It has been handmade in India by Rags to Riches, a cooperative of artisans in a village outside of Rajasthan, India.

Do any of the unusual gifts at Uncommon Goods look like something your friends and family would like to receive?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Happy Christmas

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Organic cotton dress – Earth Kind Originals
Scarf – Oxfam and upcycled with pom pom trim
Denim and leather waistcoat – Oxfam
Boots – TOMS

Happy Christmas

It has been quite a while since I last posted! The last few months have disappeared so quickly with a big project that I have been working on at work, lots of socialising and going to gym classes and the inevitable prepartion needed in the run up to Christmas.

I was relieved to finish work until the new year, yesterday, giving me time to relax a little as I will be having a full house over Christmas. With food shop delivered and put away, pressies wrapped and spare room tidied, I am planning on a Christmas pamper session with the girls this afternoon including face packs, sparkly nail varnish and a Christmas film.

I did manage to get a day off in early December to do some Christmas shopping in Bath and the outfit above is what I wore. I now have 2 organic cotton dresses from EKO and they are definitely favourites of mine for being super comfy but with a flattering fit. During the winter, I rarely wear a winter coat and for going in and out of shops decided that this Karen Millen denim and leather waistcoat which I got second hand from Oxfam would be warm enough.

This morning I have also been reflected a little on 2016.

What a year!

I turned 40 in April and had a big party to celebrate. After months of studying in the evenings, I managed to complete my CIM Diploma in Digital Marketing. I got promoted at work and got the go ahead for an exciting project which which will launch in early January. I travelled to Italy, Ibiza and Madrid, all firsts for me, as well as lots of campervan trips, some festivals, a walking trip in the Gower and sailing in Torquay. I also have a busy family life with the children having lots activities and doing between 6 and 8 fitness classes per week myself. I am convinced the fitness classes help me feel great and stay calm and very happy!

I doubt whether I will have quite as busy year in 2017 but I am already super excited about what it holds. My main priorities are to stay happy and healthy but I also plan to:

  • Try to consume less
  • Recycle more
  • Start scuba diving again (I haven’t dived in about 15 years)
  • Keep up the fitness classes
  • Keep blogging

What are your favourite memories of 2016 and plans for 2017?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

A Trip to Madrid for our 17th Wedding Anniversary

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It’s been a while! The end of the summer is usually super busy for me, trying to cram as much in as possible while the weather is still good. This year has been no different and in the space of a month,I have been super lucky to have had 12 days in Ibiza, a long weekend in Madrid and a walking weekend with the girls in the Gower in Wales. This hasn’t left much time at all for blogging but now as colder autumn weather arrives, I am ready to snuggle up in the house with a cup of tea and do some catching up.

I decided to declare my trip to Ibiza an outfit post free zone. I was so busy enjoying time with the family and sitting on the beach. But I did manage to take a few photos on Madrid. Mr S and I went to Madrid to celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it has gone so quick!

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Dress – upcycled see here
Trainers – Veja (fair trade)
Socks – Braintree clothing (organic)
Bag – Accessorize

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Dress – Komodo (fair trade)
Shoes and bag – as above
Necklace – Made UK (fair trade)

We stayed right in the centre of Madrid in the lovely Hotel Paseo Del Arte hotel that was a few minuted walk from the art galleries. All of Madrid was accessible on foot and we pretty much walked all of the city over the three days including the royal palace, the massive El Rastro flea market on Sunday morning and El Retiro park . I won’t lie though, we did spend quite a bit of time sat eating tapas, drinking beer and watching the world go by.

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Dress –  SkunkFunk (sustainable brand)
Bag – a birthday pressy
Shoes – Geox

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Dress – EDUN (a label working to build long term sustainable growth in Africa)
Necklace – a birthday pressy
Bag  – Reclaim (made from recycled rubber inner tubes)Shoes – as above

I managed to go round one of three main art galleries which was amazing. Perhaps we will go back in the future so I can check out the rest.

I hope that you have had a good summer? what have you been up to?

With warmest wishes


Visit StyleEyes’s profile on Pinterest.

Refashioned People Tree Dress for Sailing in Valencia

DSCN4445 (2)Dress – People Tree
Shoes – Veja

It feels like a long time since I have been able to post and I have really missed blogging! Apart from holidays sailing with my family in Valencia and camperanning with Mr D and the girls in Devon in August, I have been super busy at work, launching a new blog and also doing a CIM diploma in digital marketing in the evenings. I am now nearly a third of the way through my diploma and whilst it is super interesting and I have learned a huge amount, I can’t wait to get back to blogging adn relaxing a bit in the evenings.

The dress picture above was one that I bought from People Tree a year or so ago but could never quite get on with the sleeves. As I didn’t have many casual dresses for my sailing holiday, instead of buying something new, I decided to take the sleeves off. I am really glad I did, the dress feels like a better style for me now. Valencia is an amazing place and lovely and hot in august, with sleeves, this dress would have been too warm. Of course I didn’t actually wear this dress for sailing, I wore a much more practical shorts and t shirts for that but the dress was perfect for sitting out on deck in harbour or going out for a meal. Here are a few Instagrams of my summer.

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Drinking cocktails in the Three Buoys, Ryde, Isle of Wight

Valencia

 

Beautiful Valencia

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Camping in Devon

woolacombe devon

 

Woolacombe Devon

I am really pleased to have started writing for Huffington Post, my first post is about the no new clothes for a year challenge, you can check it our here. I am hoping I am going to be able to write some more posts about sustainable fashion too.

Whilst we are already in October, it has been lovely to have a little bit more sunshine, I have been trying to pop out at lunch time every day to enjoy it. How have you been enjoying this lovely weather?

I am looking forward to a little bit of time off this weekend and the chance to catch up with my favourite blogs.

With warmest wishes

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An Upcycled Fashion Show

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Hat – Pachacuti
Jacket – upcycled from a vintage dressing gown
Fairtrade cotton vest top – Marks and Spencers
Necklace – Made
Jeggings – Oxfam
Shoes – Clarks
Bag – Reclaim Bags

On Saturday I took the girls over to Cribbs Causeway to check out the ‘Green is the New Black’ upcycled fashion show, an event organised by the St Vincent’s charity as part of Bristol Fashion Week. The fashion show featured some amazing upcycled fashion created by children from local Bristol schools. Of course I took the opportunity to wear an upcycled jacket that I created from a vintage kimono dressing gown with a bag by Reclaim mamde from recycled inner tubes. Unfortunately I had to leave my lovely Pachacuti hat behind in the car as the weather was atrocious and I was worried I might loose it in the wind.

Bristol Fashion Week

upcycled fashion show

 

Upcycled fashionIt is great to see so much interest in recycled fashion by school children (hopefully the future of the fashion industry) and I was genuinely impressed by the creations which included a dress made from a deconstructed suit and other pieces made using newspaper, crisp wrappers, upcycles scarves and ties and bottle tops. I definitely think upcycled fashion is a great choice especially if you like to look individual and stand out from the crowd.

I have been meaning to do more upcycling, especially since starting my no new clothes for a year challenge. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to do anything, strugging a bit for both ideas and time! This fashion show has definitely given me some great ideas, now I just need to make myself some time.

Do you have any good ideas or sources of inspiration for upcycled fashion? You can check out my ideas board on Pinterest here.

I hope you are having a fabulous start to the week and looking forward to the Easter break!

With warmest wishes

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Thrifty Thursday – Upcycled Hair Accessories

upcycledtie
For today’s Thrify Thursday post, I decided to share an idea I have for upcycling an old tie. It is super easy and only takes a minute so I have decided to create my first ever YouTube video to show how I did it. Whilst I have enjoyed making this video, I am not sure it will be a regular thing, in fact this may well be a one off!

Whilst I love wearing scarfs in my my hair, they can be a little bit flimsy and slip out of place. I find that a tie makes a much better hair accessory as it stays in place better. I also love the variety of bold patterns, rich colours and glossy silk fabrics ties are made from.

It was pretty easy to make. As you can see from the video, you just pull the tie under your hair and tie at the top. Then tie in a bow and loop the loose end back through the centre of the bow once or twice. It took me a few attempts to work out exactly where to tie it to get the right size bow. You can make the bow bigger or smaller depending on how flamboyant you would like to be.

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Dress – Ousider
Necklace – Made UK
Tie – Oxfam

And here is the finished look (which I accidently edited out of the end of the video).

This probably has to be one of the thriftiest posts that I have ever done as it costs nothing to borrow a tie out of your mans wardrobe, if you can get away with it. Mr S wouldn’t let me near his ties but I did happen to have a few lovely silk ties which I bought from Oxfam to make silk dyed Easter eggs. When they arrived, I loved the patterns so much that I decided they were too good to chop up and dye eggs with so I am keeping them to put in my hair instead. They also make lovely belts to wear with dresses.

Oxfam have a fabulous selection of silk ties including vintage and designers ones. I am lusting after all of the Liberty prints ties in their online shop!

I hope you are having a lovely week, mine has been pretty tiring so far. I can’t wait for the weekend.

With warmest wishes

Heart Prints – Thrifty Thursday Valentines Special

If you can’t wear a cute heart print outfit on Valentines Day then when can you wear one? But actually, I think heart prints are pretty classic and easy to wear making them a great find in a charity shop any time of the year. Here are just a few of the lovelies that I have spotted in the Oxfam online shop.

Not only is charity shopping really thrifty with many of these lovely pieces costing less than a tenner but shopping in Oxfam also helps to reduces clothes waste, has much less of an impact on our beautiful world than buying new and helps a very worthwhile charity at the same time, it is just about the ultimate in guilt free shopping! In case you are worried that your order won’t fit or suit you, they also have a 21 day return policy(except wedding dresses or overseas returns), which makes it pretty to easy to shop with them.
Heart print shortsHeart Print Shorts by River Island – Size 12

Heart trousers
Vintage Heart Trousers by Richard Shops – Size 28″

hearts 4Red and Gold Heart Blouse Size 12

heart print top
Black and Red Top by M & S Size 8

blue Blue knee Length Dress by Next – size 14

skater dress
Skater Dress by Tofu Size 8

If none of these pieces take your fancy, why not try updating something that you no longer wear with some DIY upcycling. I love this tutorial for a DIY ripped heart tshirt or this DIY heart on your sleeve projector check out this very cute heart chain stitch for embellishing just about anything.

Hearts, how will you be wearing yours for Valentines Day? on your sleeve perhaps? Whatever you do, have a lovely time.

With warmest wishes

No New Clothes for a Year

No New Clothes for a Year

I am perhaps a little late jumping on the band wagon but I have decided to take up the challenge, which has already been taken up by a number of other bloggers, for ‘no new clothes for a year’. I am hoping that it won’t be a particularly tough challenge as I have as many clothes as I need and I love vintage clothes and charity shopping. I am still going to write about ethical fashion brands for the blog but my outfits (and all the clothes that I wear in general) will be clothes that I already have plus the occasional ‘new’ vintage or second hand pieces. It will also be made much easier by the many places to go for tips including:

My Make Do and Mend Year

Vintage Vixen

Eco Warrior Princess – Buy Nothing New Challenge Its Easier Than You Think

Yummy Green Mummy – 2015 – Giving Up Buying New

Westy Writes – No New Clothes for 2014

If you know of any more no new clothes blogs or posts please let me know in the comments.

I will also be using the ‘No New Clothes for a Year’ challenge to introduce a greater focus on buying less and second hand clothes to this blog and hope to be posting more DIY / upcyced fashion posts to this blog as well as a weekly ‘thrifty Thursday’ feature. I hope to get the challenge off to a good start by having a massive clear out of my wardrobe and sorting out a pile of clothes to mend, alter and upcycle.

My ‘no new clothes for a year’ challenge will have a few little get outs though. I will if I need to buy new underwear and fitness clothes as these are not things that I would be happy buying second hand, but for these I will of course try and stick to my usual principles of buying from ethical and sustainable brands. And of course presents don’t count because it would be rude not to accept a pressy but I won’t active encourage anyone to buy me anything new as a present and if asked will suggest second hand or vintage choices.

So there I have done it! I have committed to no new clothes for a year. Are you doing any sustainable or  fashion challenges this year?

With warmest wishes

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DIY Pom Pom Trim Scarf


DIY Pom Pom Trim ScarfOne of the things that I wanted to more of on the blog in 2014 was DIY’s. So I have finally kicked myself into action with a little DIY project on a scarf that I have been meaning to customise for ages.
Pom Pom Trim

I bought the scarf for 1 Euro at a church jumble sale in Tenerife quite a few years ago. I had all sorts of grand plans for the scarf as plain white accessories aren’t really my thing, but unfortunately life took over. When I stumbled across some amazing pom pom trim in a little webshop called the Elephant in my Handbag, I knew the time was right for my DIY Pom Pom scarf project. I bought enough trim to edge around three edges of the scarf leaving one long edge free. I guess I could have spent a little more on the trim and edged all four edges and it may have looked even better. The project was really simple, I just handstitched the trim around the scarf folding diagonally on the corners. It was the perfect little project for completing whilst watching TV.

I did consider using the orange trim for this project but decided to keep for another DIY, a crazy paisley pom pom scarf. What do you think? add to this scarf or keep for another project? Either way, it could take me a while to get round to it!

If you would like any more pom pom inspiration, you could check out this fab post at Scrap Hacker.

Have you completed any DIY projects lately?

With warmest wishes

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