Located in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture, in the mountains north of Tokyo, Nikko is an easy day trip by rail from the capital. It’s famous for its Buddhist and Shinto temples and shrines nestled in the forest, and was designated a World Heritage site in 1999.
Fushimi Inari Shrine (Fushimi Inari Taisha) is famous for its thousands (literally thousands!) of glossy vermillion wooden torii gates forming winding tunnels around the forested mountainside.
As the home of British codebreaking and the birthplace of modern information technology, Bletchley Park is a place of exceptional historical importance. Now an incredible immersive museum experience, its twice-yearly 1940s weekends are fast becoming a highlight of the vintage events calendar.
Spring is in the air, the sun is shining and I’m feeling creatively inspired! My latest refashion project features appliqué and a fresh set of buttons for a kitschy novelty sweater inspired by Susan Dannenberg’s creations from the 1940s.
I take colour very seriously. I love challenging myself to create tricolour schemes in my outfits, but variations on the theme of coral pink, teal and yellow are my go-to favourites!
Today is “Blue Monday” - so called because of a pseudoscientific calculation that it is the most depressing day of the year: Christmas is a fading memory, the days are short and grey, everyone’s still broke and payday is still a week away. Along with many others, I experience Seasonal affective disorder, so to combat the instinct to hibernate the month away, I like to focus on planning and action, looking forward to the year ahead. I know that resolutions aren’t for everyone, but I find setting out plans and goals to be a really positive exercise for me.
Introducing the "Betty" outfit. One of my #2018makenine projects and a long time in the planning, this has been on my list since I saw the 1944 movie "Pin Up Girl" with Betty Grable. This year's #sewingthescene challenge on Instagram finally gave me the push I needed to bring it to life. And when I was invited to attend the Goodwood Revival I knew it was the perfect place for its debut.
I’ve written in the past of my love for Victorian glasshouses, but the palm house at Kew Gardens is surely the queen of them all - it’s one of my favourite places in London. My Kew membership allows me to take advantage of later opening times in the summer to stroll through the gardens on my walk home from work, but the glasshouses and galleries close before I get there most days. For just a few months during the high summer though, they stay open an hour later on Fridays. Getting there after the day’s crowds have departed (and away from the madness of the weekends), I often have the quiet majesty of the palm house entirely to myself.
It seemed fitting to debut my latest make, in a tropical-themed novelty print, on the final late opening of the season. And a delight to find the great glasshouse empty, silent except for our footsteps and the droplets of water splashing to the floor from lofty palms. The golden hour light, diffused through the condensation-fogged, curved glass, just added to the magic.