Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Natural History

Rainy days, their inevitable right? They make going out a chore, everything gets wet, smells damp, rain frizzes my hair, I get droplets all over my glasses when I'm not wearing lenses, the water always ruins my electronics, bahhh I just don't like it!!
I should really take the opportunity to sit and chill out on rainy days but one thing I cannot do is sit still, I refuse to sit and do nothing all day. The crazy thing is; even if I tried to have a lazy day my brain wouldn’t let it happen.
So when the heavens opened up over London this past weekend, it just meant I had to find an indoors retreat to stay dry in – cue National History Museum.
This architectural wonder is one of my favourite places in London. The sheer amount of detail in every corner is a spectacle to look at. A great source of inspiration for a creative. On this visit I managed to find a quiet corner and I got a chance to sketch a few of my favourite details.
It’s a shame the weather didn’t brighten up, I’m hoping to have a spin around the ice rink outside the museum soon!

Outfit – Jumper/Zara Hat/Zara Skirt/Unknown Boots/Pull&Bear Bag/MichaelKhors

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Ping Pong Dim Sum x Mitika Suri

With winter creeping in on us the idea of ‘nights out’ seem less appealing; the darkness and temperature drop make me feel like heading home as quickly as possible and in the recent weeks I have had a tendency to mentally switch off after the sun sets; am I alone in thinking 5pm feels like 9pm?!
I will suggest one great option for an easy fuss free night out; Ping Pong Dim Sum. This was recommended to me by two well-travelled friends, who have visited the Far East and tasted a trillion and one delicacies; leaving me a little lost in the food know-how for the Chinese cuisine. I had never even eaten take away Chinese food until I got married last year! So you can imagine my curiosity when I would see people order food in little woven baskets, dipping dough parcels into an array of sauces and eating the tiniest grains skilfully using chopsticks. It was all quite fascinating.
I visited the Ping Pong Dim Sum in the new Wembley outlet park; boy was I in for a treat!

Healthy eating is a factor I have only recently paid serious attention to (approx. 2 years now) I have always had a healthy lifestyle but my biggest issue was portion control. Who else has a family member whose sole happiness depends on you finishing everything they dish out on your plate? I’m aiming that to every Indian auntie out there! I’m sure it is like that in many cultures, but eating to the extent where you feel physically stuffed is an awful feeling.
This is where I point to Ping Pong Dim Sum and applaud them for bringing over their tradition to the UK and breaking this portion control issue. Dim Sum is prepared as small bite sized food steamed till its ready to eat, you are encouraged to order a couple of dishes to share.
Below we selected the following; crispy prawn balls, long steamed broccoli (recipe below!), vegi spring rolls, potato and edamame cakes with mushroom, vegetable and black bean sauce rice followed by dim sum dumplings.

I cannot stress how much I enjoyed this sharing concept. It gelled my evening together, the idea of sharing a new cuisine started a multitude of conversations on food, where it came from, what ingredients were used, how we make it at home, what is good for us, what we recommend; my list goes on! Honestly, go try purely for the experience this way of eating allows. In all honesty I did attempt to eat using chopsticks but to no avail resulting in food on my chin, cheeks, hair and lap; hence no pictures of myself will be shown in this post! A strong factor contributing to my lack of skill could be a result of enjoying one too many cocktails. I’m not one to drink alcohol whilst eating, but the combination of a fresh fruity sweet cocktail went down a real treat with the food. I would strongly recommend trying – Lemongrass and lime, Kumquat Mojito and Lychee and the roses martini.

Dim sum is a little dumpling filled with a variety of options, from seafood, vegetables, chicken and nuts, the list goes on; it can be steamed or fried. I went for the steamed option which answers one of my main questions, what comes in that basket!?! It is a little steamer basket the dumplings are cooked in, they are delivered to you in these baskets to maintain their heat. One thing I have been trying to reduce is my oil intake, I do not like greasy food and try to steer clear of fried dishes, Ping Pong score major brownie points for the variety of dishes they offer that are not fried, this results in guilt free eating and leaves you wondering how they make steamed veggi’s so tasty!

So we have it all at Ping Pong Dim Sum, a wonderful atmosphere to dine in, a brilliant food sharing concept engaging everyone on the table to communicate, health conscious food options and lastly an insanely great list of cocktails.

* Drum roll please *

Allow me to introduce the Winter Berry Blazer. This drink is the equivalent of Christmas inside a cocktail, move aside mulled wine we have a new concoction taking over.
The Berry Blazer is a mix of fresh berries, martell, cognac, absinthe and cassis liqueur flambéed seen below accompanied by strawberry tea; created especially for the Winter season by Ping Pong’s head mixologist Daniele Ziaco. One sip and you wont even notice how cold it is outside, it left me feeling all spiced up and warm inside, a great way to end a beautiful evening / experience.

A big thank you to the Ping Pong team for being so accommodating. The Long Stem Broccoli recipe is an exclusive reveal especially for this post.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Hand Picked Favourites

Sometimes ideas take a while to develop into workable concepts, I always keep my diary to hand so I can jot things down, I have at least 50 blog post / illustration ideas penned out but just haven’t had the time to pitch them to companies or bring them to life for the blog myself. Eventually everything falls into place, the ‘hand picked’ idea came to me this morning. I knew I wanted to sketch out some of my favourite items from the Laura Ashley SS15 press day, I just didn’t know how, sometimes the simplest form of illustration is most effective and doesn’t distract from the focal point – in this case the products.

My hand picked favourites were items that struck a chord with me for various reasons;
1) Sweet pea and Freesia scented candle – I love scented candles especially when I’m in my zen mode drawing or designing. It helps create a calming atmosphere allowing me to relax just a wee bit more than usual.
2) Dog lamp – I don’t think I need to explain my love for this, if you follow my twitter you have seen my son (a four year old Maltese and Bichon fris mix, ok so he’s not really my son, but I’d do anything for that dog!) Although the lamp is a Labrador it still wins brownie points with me.
3) Embellished clutch – beautiful embroidery on a classic design, win win situation really. It is key to not over complicate something that just works.
4) Light bulb – I’m 5’’1 so I’m forever looking up, up at buildings, ceilings, trees, the sky; anything and everything really. So when looking up and seeing the little knit of creativity inside the bulb it made me smile.
And there you have it my Laura Ashley SS15 press day picks. Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday!

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Sunset Blues

For as long as I can remember I have been a sun child, I walk on the sunny side of the street and sit in the rays shining through the windows; there is something about the feeling of heat on my skin and hair that energises me. So the past weekend in London has been like a little slice of heaven with our Indian Summer; this is a quick post we shot just before sunset with the little light peeking through rooftops and trees, to show you this coat and its stunning colour.
I do love a well thought out pastel palette I feel it complements the pink in my skin tone. New Look have a beautiful selection this season.
This week I’m working on some new artwork, stepping a little outside my comfort zone with it but that’s the only way to grow! I post most rants, revelations and work in progress shots on twitter.

Outfit - Coat/NewLook Dress/Mango Necklace/Debenhams Scarf/India Shoes/Mango Bag/RiverIsland

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Brownie Time

Crisp Autumn days are the best, clear skies, sun shining and the opportunity to layer up and get cosy. Obviously if you don’t layer up enough you end up kicking yourself and if you over layer you end up stripping, it’s that ying-yang balance right? If you manage to find a blanket like coat then you are on to a winner. I picked this coat up last year in Marks & Spencer from the Limited Edition collection and there’s no chance of me getting rid of it any time soon. It is the equivalent of walking around with a fur duvet wrapped around you. The fur is definitely a great insulator and sure does keep you warm when you’re out and about.
Walking around Notting Hill before my cooking class at Recipease I stopped off for a hot chocolate and brownie. I have a huge soft spot for chocolate brownies, time of day does not affect my decision; If it’s on the menu, I’m having it!

Outfit – Coat/Marks&Spencer Boots/Ash Bag/Mango

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Laura Ashley x Mitika Suri

I’m super excited to be posting this artwork for you all to see, in my last post I featured a beautiful-embroidered cardigan from the autumn winter 14 range by Laura Ashley.
This evening I am débuting my illustrations for the Laura Ashley blog, I sketched three of my favourite looks from their latest Matinee collection.
Elegance, class and timeless style were my main characteristics to portray. I loved creating these pieces. The Laura Ashley woman most definitely has a sassy sophistication and a beautiful aura, which is also reflected in the clothing.
Hope you like the style, more artwork to come very soon!
Blogger Template Designed by pipdig