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LEONE And LUVINBLING Design A Treat (Or - A "Grand Opening" Of A Shop Of Treats)
12/12/2016 5:31:22 PM
There are times when a Facebook status intrigues me so much I just have to investigate further - saying something about "Live Mannequins" and "Grand Opening" definitely does that.

On Saturday afternoon I was trying to decide between going over to my Dad's village to see the switch on of the Christmas lights and going home for a quiet night in - when I saw a Facebook Status with those exact words.  Further investigation was definitely required.

I ended up spending a rather enjoyable time seeing some stunning designs, as well as being able to talk to some of my favourite Creatives (and adding a new one to that list).

Although I didn't have my camera with me (I ended up being glad that I could just sit back and watch the show unfold) I could still enjoy myself whilst the trainee and professional photographers took their pictures.

The Facebook status was posted by someone who I call my favourite "Womble".  If you have read this blog before you will realise that title goes to a friend of mine who is the brains behind LUVINBLING (who creates upcycled jewellery).

The reason for the "Grand Opening" was that LEONE Designers now have a permanent shop in the Highcross Shopping Centre in Leicester.  (Those of you who are thinking - "I know that name from somewhere" - are correct.  I blogged about them when they had a "Pop-up shop" a few months ago.)

The fashion show all the Designers put on was first class.  Making use of two large windows (one on each side of the doorway) for the "Live Mannequins" - aka Models - to be shown in was ingenious.

The clothes, hats, and jewellery showcased by the LEONE Designer ladies and LUVINBLING were very imaginative but were also the kind of clothes I could also imagine myself and some of my friends wearing.  (Usually whenever someone utters the words "Models", "Fashion Show", or "Designer Collection" I immediately think of sizes which only a garden rake could wear, and designs which are obviously not to be worn in the real world.)

I told you that I added another Designer to my list of "Favourite Creatives", didn't I???  Well, that is not entirely true - Sam West (of Samuel West Fashions) managed to add himself to the list by doing something I had previously thought was impossible.  All he did was show a collection which included one of my favourite designs in wearable fabric form.

To say I love holographic patterns is something of an understatement.  Holographic patterns to me are like catnip to felines.  By creating and making his own holographic fabric himself he has won me over to his Fan Club without even trying.

Not only are the Designers who have items for sale in LEONE Designers's shop all based in Leicester - every single item is a unique, one of a kind, product.

Of course - there is another reason to visit LEONE Designers.  Ryte and Zoya are both very friendly ladies who will make you feel extremely welcome in their shop.

By the way - the next event that LEONE Designers are going to have in their shop is the official launch of LUVINBLING's products in their collections.  This will be on Saturday 17 December 2016 between 1.00pm and 4pm - including a live demonstration.


Studio NL Was Almost Like Being In The Netherlands (Or - A Kind Of "Home From Home")
4/28/2016 11:45:15 PM
If you want to grab my attention when you decide to follow me on Twitter it helps if you have a quirky Twitter name.  It also helps if your Twitter name contains "NL" as in the country code for The Netherlands.

Studio NL fulfilled both of those requirements.  So I decided they were worth investigating.  I found out from their website they are located in a little place called Tur Langton in Leicestershire (if you have a car you can get from Leicester to Tur Langton in approximately 20 minutes - as stated on the website - by Public Transport you might as well make a day of it).

Studio NL is based in an "estate" type development called "The Manor" - along with some other boutique type places.

Studio NL is a Art and Craft type place which sells prints, books, candles, etc.  They also run workshops in the converted barn they are based in.

They are open Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  The lady I spoke to was extremely welcoming and friendly.

For further information please visit www.studionl.co.uk/

The Quirks And Perils Of Social Media Versus Mainstream Media (Or - /the Search For The Humans Behind The Uniforms)
11/6/2015 2:16:24 AM
Every so often I find out about a new way of communicating with the universe.  This usually happens when my world seems to have had another bit bolted on to it.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, Periscope, Blab.im, are all useful tools when I want to educate myself about something.  They are even more useful when I want to find out the truth behind some rather worrying headlines.

I don't know about you but - personally - I am getting rather fatigued and nauseous about reading the agendas of the Mainstream Media.

This means I keep searching for alternatives instead of the BBC, etc.

The best alternatives I have found are the people behind the headlines - or who have some clue as to the real story.

Last night I spent nearly two hours being entertained by three men who should really have their own talkshow on a TV Channel.

I get the idea that Blab.im is supposed to be some kind of video conferencing app (a bit like Skype but you can get more people on it on video).

What it turned out to be last night was a brilliant way to find the human side of Sgt TCS, Constable Chaos, and Nathan Constable, as well as learn the truth behind some of the headlines.  The broadcast was quite humourously called "Off Beat" - and that is exactly what it was.  Just imagine walking into a cafe and being allowed to sit down with a friendly group of strangers and join their conversation without being made to feel uncomfortable as a result.

The Mainstream Media are too busy trying to put a negative spin on everything - maybe you should try broadcasts like "Off Beat" if you want to know the true story.

Bitsy Von Muffling - Bitsy's Emporium
8/23/2015 10:34:55 PM
There are times - Dear Reader - when I set myself an almost impossible challenge.

Four words - Salted, Caramel, Layer, Cake.

Please accept my apologies for the lack of photos with this blog post.  I was too busy trying to resist eating the rest of the above cake (which I had munched my way through a delicious slice of) to bother getting my phone out and taking photographs of Bitsy's wonderful goodies.

In fact, there is only one problem with blogging about food.  Sure, you can take as many photographs of it as you want to but how do you describe the gorgeous texture of the cake, the oozing caramel topping, and the divine taste of it???

There is only one thing for it - you will either have to go to the "Open Air Stall" that Bitsy has got on Cank Street in Leicester, on Saturdays, and sample it for yourself, or - visit her website at:  www.bitsysemporium.com/

Emma Cowley - Illustrator
8/23/2015 10:21:21 PM
I have a confession to make about this particular artist - I was attracted to the picture I bought because of the flowers in it.

Put it this way - her drawings of birds are very lifelike but - to me a bird is a creature which flies and/or lays eggs (and - in the case of a chicken - tastes very nice in either a plateful of Nasi Goreng or doused in Satay sauce).



I would be very interested if anybody could tell me where I could buy a plant with red flowers like the ones at the top of the picture???

For more drawings of nature (among other things) please visit:  emmacowley.com/

Jade Walsh Illustrator
8/23/2015 10:06:13 PM
If you know me by now you should realise there was one thing which drew me to Jade Walsh.  In fact, there could only have been one thing which drew me to her.

A whimsical picture with a brilliant motto.


Brilliant picture with a very true motto.

On the back of Jade's business card you find another brilliant drawing.



Please visit her website at:  www.jade-walsh.co.uk/
Matthieu Leger - Painter Doesn't Quite Cover What He Does - Try Wizardry!!!
8/23/2015 9:40:44 PM
There are painters and there are Painters.  The former are the ones who do it as a hobby and show glimpses of brilliance at times.  The latter are like Matthieu Leger - I would be willing to visit any exhibition of his work I can find.  In fact, I would love to buy some of his works if I ran my own gallery.

The picture which caught my eye was a rather interesting one because it could have been a volcano which had just started to erupt.



Then another one caught my eye. (He told me this was a work in progress but I kind of liked the memory it brought into the focus of my mind's eye.)


Cue Rod Stewart "I am Sailing" - this reminded me of the North Sea.

Apparently he paints in Technicolour too.



I cannot do Matthieu's paintings justice on here - they really need to be viewed in the flesh as it were.

One thing I found very interesting about his work (which also set him apart from his brother, Olivier) was that Matthieu paints on MDF or wood.

Visit his website at: www.matthieuleger.com
Olivier Leger - Illustrator, Drawer, Artist
8/23/2015 9:16:32 PM
I feel like I am writing about Olivier and his brother, Matthieu, in the wrong order (I saw Matthieu's work first) but there is a reason for that.


Apparently one of Olivier's friends asked him to do a 10 minute sketch of a wolf - a week later Olivier went back to his friend with this lifelike drawing.  I loved it so muh I bought a copy.

Some people just do small drawings, don't they???

Not Olivier!!!


A large drawing by Olivier.

For more of his amazing creations please visit;  www.olivierleger.co.uk

LuvinBling - Creative Wombling At Its Best!
8/23/2015 8:46:37 PM
There are people you meet who you immediately feel at home around.  Senika Simon is exactly one of those people.  Her infectious smile (not to mention her hugs) really brighten the place up.


Infectious smile and unique jewellery in one photo!!!

As I have mentioned elsewhere on this blog I absolutely love her upcycled jewellery.  In fact, between Senika and Kristyna Myles I have found my two favourite independent women to support.  I honestly think that Senika is gorgeous where it counts (on the inside).

I honestly cannot wait until she gets her website up and running so you will be able to see and purchase her fantastic items.

What I love most about her is that she actually wears her own work with pride.  You cannot get any better advertising that the noise you make about your own products.

You can see other photographs of the enormous range of jewellery she makes elsewhere on my blog but I wanted to show you my favourite pieces now.


"Frost" Collection set.


Close up of "Frost" Collection Earrings


She even runs jewellery making workshops - and she is a very patient teacher (I have experience of this).


All set for a live Jewllery making exhibition (guess who else had a go at making some earrings???)


This Jewellery making is highly addictive!!! (And - as I have proven - you don't need 20/20 vision to enjoy making it!!!)


Follow @LUVINBLING on Twitter.

Introducing The "Social Creatives" Section (Meeting Place For The Artistic, The Crafty, The People With Unusual Ideas, etc)
8/23/2015 7:56:31 PM
Welcome to this new section where I will be showcasing the "Arty", the "Crafty", and those people who come up with unusual ideas (the more off-the-wall the better as far I am concerned).

Unusually - the name for this section of my blog was not totally my idea.  At least part of the credit for the idea goes to Olivier Leger, who is one of the humans I want to introduce to you in a blog post (his brother, Matthieu, is another one).

But I have decided to start with pointing you in the direction of one of my friends who has made several appearances elsewhere in my blog (in nearly every single one of his many "personas") but I decided to put my favourite of his sites in one place.

I originally met Derek Lee at a Creative Writing group we both went to.  To be perfectly honest I think his writing is a lot better than mine.  He has found that elusive way of writing which ensures that you find something interesting in the most mundane things he writes.  Also, he writes in such a way that unexpected things start firing in my brain every time I read something he had written.  The most unusual (and memorable) was "Another Brick In The Wall" starting on a loop in my brain when I was trying to get to sleep after reading a blog post he had written on frothyfilosofy.wordpress.com/.  If you would like your mind expanded, twisted, and knotted into submission I would strongly suggest you read this blog.  (I have given up attempting to compare my writings to his - his win no contest.)

Not only is he good at "Straight" Creative Writing - he is pretty good at poetry as well - have a read of this site - poetrypond.wordpress.com/.

But if there is a reason for me to be totally envious of him it his wizardry with a camera.  Combined with a view of life more "sideways" than mine (although this might have something to do with his profession as a Clinical Psychologist) it gives his photographs their own individual stories (either intentionally or unintentionally).

www.perceptualemotion.com/ is under construction as we speak but there are some brilliant photos on the homepage (a bit of a slideshow).  Keep checking back because you will find some amazing photos on it when it is finished,

If you cannot wait for him to finish building his photography website you can always look at his Flickr page.  www.flickr.com/photos/derek-john-lee/
I keep attempting to talk him into exhibiting his work in real life - I honestly think his photos are that good,

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