Travel – AMSTERDAM/ where to stay, what to do and how to budget the trip!

After recently finishing my A levels (thank god), I headed out on a celebratory rail trip with my closest friends to Amsterdam. It was such an amazing trip; here’s where we stayed, what we got up to and how we budgeted it…

How we got there:

We chose to take the Eurostar from St pancreas station in London directly to Amsterdam- this was such a pleasant way to travel ( personally I would never go any other way now). The train was clean,cool and fairly quiet; within 4 hours we were there at the central station in Amsterdam!! This method of travel proved cheaper than flying as well👍

Where we stayed:

Our accommodation was probably my favourite part of the trip; we chose to stay in Lucky Lake hostel ( which is located just outside of the city of Amsterdam, 10 mins drive from Holenrecht station) … and honestly this was the best!There is an hourly mini bus which picks you up from the station and drives you to the hostel- this made transport so convienient and easy. For me, it was really nice to stay somewhere out of the city (in the dutch countryside); on top of this idyllic location, the friendly staff, adorable huts and incredible lake location made our stay what it was. The hostel has all you could need: a kitchen (so you can easily spend less on food), clean toilet and shower block and even a tiny cinema! As the name suggests, the hostel is located near a large lake which you can go swimming for free, it’s so pretty! (as pictured below)!

things to do in amsterdam:

  1. Van gogh museum, this museum documents the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh; it is 20euros if you are over 18 but totally worth it in my opinion – we spent over three hours there.
  2. Canal tour, this is such a great way to view Amsterdam in all its glory- we ended up paying 16euros each so look around at different companies, it can be that cheap!
  3. Food , (obviously),there are endless places to eat and drink in Amsterdam; personally I would reccomend the vegan junk food burgers (as pictured below) .
  4. Anne Frank House,

Photos from trip …


Textiles A level final piece – from concept to creation

Hey there

So I have finally finished my A level coursework final piece and I’d thought I’d share what I made and how it came about ….

So my project title was ORIENTAL TEXTILES and I took most of my inspiration from a trip to Asia in the summer of 2018 !! It was a really fun project, I explores silk embroidery, appliqué and a plethora of other techniques – the driving artistic inspiration for my project taken from the amazing Cas Holmes, an artist who has inspired even since my GCSE work!!

After the long journey of refining, exploring and developing my personal investigation I decided that I wanted to create a jacket that encapsulates my trip to Asia- the busy,vivid atmosphere! I wanted to combine my love of free hand machine embroidery with other learned techniques such as silk embroidery -I also included on my jacket items I had collected from my trip, such as receipts,tickets,stamps, and I used these to sew onto and create a more personal outcome . I really love the way my jacket came about and how the project developed over time – I am planning on writing a post of the things I wish I’d knew before starting an a level personal investigation soon !!!!! The images of my jacket are below 💫💫💫

Current reads….

I love reading – I usually have two books on the go… one that is a biography of some sort and the other fiction.

Both of these books I received for Christmas and have started them both – they are INCREDIBLY different, but I am enjoying them both at the moment.

‘Always smiling’ by Georgia Toffolo is a light hearted, witty commentary on all aspects of life from the perspective of a young women. So far, it has definitely achieved its purpose of making me smile and I love the casual, conversational style of writing .Thats why I am trying to start this blog really … because I love writing in a witty, casual way!!! I am not sure what I will think of the book at the end but so far , so good!

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil is the other book I am currently reading and it is very ( I am mean VERY) different to the previously mentioned biography by Georgia Toffolo. I have to admit, so far I am a bit confused about what is going on in the book at the moment but I have hope that it will make a tiny bit more sense soon!!!

Soon I will be posting a list of my top 5 books ;))

The first camera I bought and why it was the best purchase I have made … ever.

When I was 16, I was given some money by my grandparents and I instantly new that I wanted to buy my first DSLR camera as art/photography has always been a hobby of mine and I felt ,as I was embarking on my A level, it was the right time.

This purchase required a lot of research as there are soooooo many options – it was a bit overwhelming really, but in the end after endless web searches and a excruciatingly long conversation with the sales assistant in John Lewis I decided to go with the Canon EOS 1300D

This camera has been so good for a first DSLR as it produces high quality images yet is still relatively straightforward to navigate for someone – like me – who didn’t know how it all worked.To back up my claim, here are a few examples of images I have taken with my camera over the past few years ..

although these images are far from perfect, they are high quality and I was very pleased with them!!! I am sure as I practise more and get more knowledgeable with photography , my photos will only improve ( at least I hope that’s the case)!

Other bonuses of this camera are …

WiFi function which enables you to transfer images from the camera to a smartphone without any cables or wires ( this was a Major bonus for me).This makes it easy for instagram or other social media platforms.

– sturdy strap included

– different modes – eg. Portrait mode, food photography mode, landscape mode, sports photography mode etc..

– optional timer

So , in my opinion, this is an excellent choice for a first DSLR camera as it is on the lower end of the price scale yet performs perfectly and produces beautiful images! I thought this might be helpful for some, as I could have certainly used some guidance when I was searching for what camera to buy when I was 16..

SKETCHBOOKS DO’S AND DO NOT’S… ADVICE FOR A SKETCHBOOK PERFECTIONIST (A LEVEL OR GCSE…)

I spent the hours of my life worrying about my sketchbook being absolutely perfect for GCSE; the majority of my time was spent looking up pinterest background ideas or watching youtube videos of other peoples sketchbooks whilst sighing at how mine looked rubbish compared to theirs- it only took me two years to realise, basically, I was misssing the point of a sketchbook -big time. So here is what I wish I knew before I embarked on my GCSE journey and hopefully this can stop people, of any age for that matter, falling into the traps I did in my first few years….

1. DO NOT SPEND HOURS AND HOURS ON BACKGROUNDS – I REPEAT DO NOT SPEND HOURS ON BACKGROUNDS . 

So … we’ve all been there… paint splattered all over the page, old newspaper stained with tea beautifully spread over a double page,intricate details that took hours to make… Put simply ( in my opinion anyway) it misses the point and only now have I realised this crucial revelation – the artwork is not meant to be the actual sketchbook, it is meant to be whats actually stuck into the sketchbook!This became so important to me that, when embarking on my A Level personal investigation, my teacher made me (…wait for it….) ditch the sketchbook all together as she thought I spent double the amount of time on the pages than the actual art itself- embarassing right??

FOR EXAMPLE, in my year 12 sketchbook I simply painted all the pages in my book a warm grey/brown colour; I found this looked simple but effective and not as intimidating as stark white sheets – it also made my project flow as my book had a theme.

2. DO not leave out bad experiments / messy sketches

The perfectionist in me always used to leave out my bad experiments that had taken hours and eventually , after a fairly brutal conversation with my tutor, I never left anything out again – and my grades went up straight away. It is so important to showcase all your work to make it clear what you were trying to do. In my opinion, sometimes the messy initial sketches showcase your creative mind the most as they quick and not thought through as much 🙂

3. Do use clear annotations that make it clear what you were thinking .

pretty obvious right … they will also be important when writing evaluations and ( for a level) the essay attached to your personal investigation.

Although blatantly obvious, I hope these tips help those people embarking on secondary school art useful – the student art guide website has some good examples that I looked at when studying Art and Textiles. ;))))


and the journey begins… at last

Thanks for joining me! 

I am 17 and have always wanted a platform to showcase my art inspirations, lifestyle interests and hobbies- so here it is, well here is my first try! I don’t really know what I’m doing but I figured i’d start off with some of my previous textiles work ….

A level monoprint on fabric with detailed portrait machine embroidary.(below) 

Below are a few pieces from my GCSE project titled “landscapes” , They were experiments created when I was 15.

This is a copy of the amazing artist Harriet Popham – an artist that has inspired for so long. I would recommend her work to anyone looking at embroidery

Embroidary study of Bristol Cathedral (below)