A New Year and a New Start

This blog post is going to be a bit of a bittersweet one. Since I started this blog in April it has been incredibly neglected leading me to abandon this blog and start a new one. Although I like how the blog is shaping up I feel that there is no where near enough posts on here and to be honest I embarrassed by my lack of dedication, if you know me in the real world then you’ll know there are very good reasons for this however my lack of committment is still rather embarrassing. SO I am starting anew over on Blogger, as kind as my WordPress days have been to me I’ve come to realise that Blogger is where it’s all going on, and if you want to get noticed in the social media world then you have to make yourself noticable.

Although this is goodbye from me this doesn’t have to be the end, please feel free to follow me on my new blog which will be linked below.

Goodbye WordPress

http://jasminesamazingnewblog.blogspot.co.uk/

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Top 5 Autumn/Winter Nail Varnishes

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Sorry I’ve been away for so long but I’ve been having a bit of trouble coming up with posts to make of late so I’ve decided to go with the general blogging trend and do a seasonal nail varnish post. I know over the past few months I’ve became more of a D.I.Y blog but over Autumn I’m going to try and become more of a lifestyle/beauty blog too, making it a much more rounded blog about me and my life. Anyway, introductory drivvle dribble drivvle over, let the nail varnish commence.

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Ruthless by TopShop – £5

This is my favourite nail varnish for Autumn and Winter and is dupe for Victoria by Nails Inc. but without the £12 price tag. As well as loving the formulation this this nail varnish as it becomes completely opaque after just two thin coats I love the colour. Oxblood and brown are two of the biggest nail colour trends for A/W 2013 and this colour is a pretty much equal blend of the two, creating a rich burgundy polish perfect for day or night. Plus knowing that my nails are painted in the colour Ruthless gives me that extra bit on confidence on sluggish Autumn days.

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Raspberry Nail Paint by Barry M – £2.99

I know there’s almost a stigma around Barry M Nail Paints because they’re so incredibly cheap but this has to be my all time favourite nail varnish ever!!! I know that’s a pretty big statement to make… in writing… on the internet… but it really is true, I’m not entirely sure how long I’ve been repurchasing this nail varnish for but I’m pretty sure that this is my fourth bottle and considering it usually only takes one coat I’d say that’s a pretty solid recommendation. One of my favourite things about this nail varnish is the almost chameleon colour: wear it in Summer and it’s an almost carees hot pink; wear it in Autumn and it’s a deep reddish pink. I know this is meant to be my Autumn/Winter favourites but this is definitely my all-year-round favourite nail varnish.

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Velvet Underground by TopShop – £5

Although I’m including this is my no. 3 nail varnish for Autumn/Winter it’s actually been somewhat of a disappointment. In the bottle it promises to be a beautiful deep purple colour (the exact same shade as the new satchel I bought with it), however it actually paints on black with just a touch of the deepest purple. Having said that I can’t help but be drawn in the elusive purple in this shade and keep turning back to it again and again.

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Blackberry Gelly Hi-Shine Nail Paint by Barry M – £3.99

Like many bloggers I too have been sucked into the Gelly Hi-Shine range: they’re very pigmented; they’re nice and thick for smooth even layers; and they’re incredibly chip resistant. As well as the amazing formulation of these nail varnishes I love the colour of this particular polish for Autumn/Winter, despite being called Blackberry this is actually a gorgeous navy blue and not only does it go well with my predominantly navy wardrobe but also it goes incredibly well with the ultimate Winter staple: jeans.

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Tate by Nails Inc – £12

Surprisingly my least favourite nail varnish is the most expensive (well least favourite of my top 5 so that’s not really saying much at all), however once again this is one of my all year round favourites because it really is the classic perfect red, but I particularly love it in Winter because of it’s holly red colour. Although I’m listing this particular nail varnish as my no. 5 I could’ve just as easily chosen Red Wine Nail Paint by Barry M (£2.99)  because the two of them are almost exactly the same. The only difference between the two is a slight shimmer in the Nails Inc bottle, something that becomes undetectable when applied but gives the illusion of an extremely high shine. As much as I love the shimmer/shine effect if you apply the Barry M version carefully enough then it’s just as shiny but for a third of the price.

Ombre Lampshade

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Apart from the horrible brown carpet in my new room my least favourite thing is the grotty, old, dusty lampshade soooooooooooo I decided to get a new one. As I am living on a student budget (roll on student loans) I bought a plain paper lampshade from Ikea for just £4. Instead of keeping my lampshade plain and boring I decided to jazz it up a little but because the light in my room is oddly off to one side about as far away from desk as possible I couldn’t do anything that would stop even an inch of light from shining through. I decided to use the stripey sections already on the lamp to create the design and painted each section pink. Here’s the fun bit, instead of just doing white and pink stripes I decided to create an ombre effect and painted each stripe a little lighter than the last. I used crimson gouche (although you could use pretty much any sort of paint, I just used that because it was to hand) mixed with water to paint my lampshade, starting at the top and adding a little bit more water with every new section that I came to. I found that using a hairdryer to dry the lampshade after each section really helped because the wet paper was super delicate and nearly broke about eight hundred times before I decided to dry it. Although I haven’t put mine up yet because I’m saving it for when I move into my new house I have held a torch inside it to check that the pink in the shade doesn’t effect the lighting in the room and I can comfirm that although it is partly pink is completely make up friendly and doesnt give your face an all over pink glow when you’re trying to get ready in the mornings.

I made a cushion <3

In my quest to jazz up my new uni room (pun intended) I have started making cushion covers. Why just cushion covers I hear you cry, surely you need something to stuff them with? well no as it turns out, I don’t. After spending endless hours watching Kirstie Allsopp I have been bitten by the upcycling bug and have turned lots of old, childish cushions from my preteen years into lovely age appropriate cushions, perfect for jazzing up my bed, something which is particularly helpful as it seems to be taking up most of my room. Anyway here is how I made my joyous creation.

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 1. Buy yourself some fabric and some thread the same colour as it and some buttons and some thread the same colour as them too. The amount of buttons you need will depend on how big your design/cushion is but I would highly recommend laying the buttons out in the rough shape you want them in the shop to make sure that you have enough. Also before buying your fabric you’ll need to measure your old cushion/cushion pad (sometimes cushion pads have a label with it on if this makes things any easier). Once you’ve worked out the size of your cushion you’ll need to add an inch seem allowance to each edge for the front and back. Also you’ll need to create an envelope allowance on the back, you can do this by creating two back panels with the 4 inch overlap (as in the picture on the bottom left).

2. Once you’ve cut out all your pieces of fabric you need to trace the outline of your design onto the back of your front panel. Although you can’t see this from the front it means that when you go to sew your buttons on you can line them up from the back, making a clear, defined shape.

3. Start sewing on your buttons. It’s a pretty simple step but it can take foreverrrrrrrrrrrr.

4. Assemble your cushion. This may seem like a daunting statement but it’s really easy. Fold over one of the short sides of your back panels, creating an enclosed seem by folding, sewing, folding and sewing again, this’ll mean that the first messy seem is hidden leaving you with a nice, smooth finish.

 5. Once you have done this with both of the back panels, lay out all parts of the cushion with the outside facing inward and pin together all sides of the square.  Then just sew around the square in one go, double stitching the edges to make it super secure.

6. Turn your cushion cover the right way round and then stuff it with your old cushion and hey presto, you’ve just made yourself a lovely new cushion!!!

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ispydiy.com

ispydiy.com

I Spy DIY

I have just found the best D.I.Y website!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know that’s a pretty big statement to make but this really is an amazing site, full of D.I.Y ideas for girls, it’s got all the usual suspects along with loads of tutorials for clothes and jewellery too. I cannot wait to get started on some of these things.

D.I.Y Memo Board

Having passed my first year I’m moving out of halls and into my very own house (which isn’t really my own at all because I’m sharing with friends… and technically it’s my landlord’s anyway). The first thing I noticed when I walked into my new room was a vast cream expanse of a chimney breast above my once-working fireplace sooooooooo I decided to make myself a memo board to hang there to jazz my room up a bit (see what I did there!!!). Until I moved into my room at halls I’d never had a notice board and had no idea what to really put on it, but since filling every inch of it to the point of running out of space I have decided that a memo board is a University essential even if all I put on it is letters from my grandma. So, not only was I need of something colourful to brighten up my room, but also I was in need of a notice board, and it would appear to me that those things are one and the same so I made myself a memo board. Here’s how I did it:

1. Buy yourself some MDF (we already had some in the garage but it’s really cheap anyway), some wadding (again we already had some but I don’t think it’s too expensive), some fabric (mine was a bargain at just £3/m AND I even had a enough left over to make a cushion cover), some ribbon (I went for 5mm ribbon at 35p/m), a staple gun, a pair of scissors and a ruler.

2. Cut everything out. I used a piece of MDF that was 65cm x 65cm, with wadding that was 90cm x 90cm and fabric that was 1m x 1m. Because this was my first time making a memo board or doing anything that involved power tools at all for that matter, I decided to air on the side of caution and leave a massive wrap over allowance but it really wasn’t necessary, I’d recommend cutting you’re wadding 10cm x 10cm larger than your MDF and cutting you’re fabric 15cm x 15cm larger than you MDF so that you’ve got enough to wrap around and create a clean finish but not so much that you’re wasting material.

3. Lay your wadding on the floor with the MDF on top in the center of it. Fold over the sides one at a time and start stapling, pressing the whole base of the staple gun onto the wadding/MDF to make a nice even staple with as little of it sticking out as possible. Once you’ve stapled all of the sides (making sure to pull the wadding taught as you do so) trim the excess wadding from the corners leaving about 1cm overlap between the two flaps so that you can staple them and secure all of your wadding in place.

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4. Lay your fabric on the floor face down with your covered MDF on top in the centre. Again staple all of the sides, making sure to pull the fabric taught as you do so, however when it comes to the corners DO NOT CUT THEM or else your notice board will just look messy and bad, instead fold them (I would recommend folding them twice so that the fold isn’t the same size as the corner else you mind end up with a little bit of over hang) and then staple the fold in place, leaving you with a tidy notice board.

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5. Finally do the ribbon. Work out how big you want your squares (or rectangles) to be, work out your measurements and create a little mark on the back of your board so that you know where to place your ribbon (in theory the mark should be covered by your ribbon but do it on the back just incase). Once you’ve worked out where you want your ribbon to be simply take your reel of ribbon hold it in position and staple the first end (making sure your staple goes in the direction of the ribbon to stop your ribbon from falling through the staple), reel it along to where you want you ribbon to end staple that too and then cut off the reel. Secure the rest of the ribbon in the same way, making sure to weave your ribbons through one another (this will keep stuff held up in place) and hey presto you are done.

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Well done you, you just made your own memo board!!!!!!!!!

I’M BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is finally officially official; I am back from University for the summer WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP. And as I’m sure many of you are aware:

student – university = blogging

So, seeing as I have applied for billions upon billions of summer jobs and have heard absolutely nothing back I have decided to dedicate my time to you lovely people (even though I’m pretty sure no one actually reads this). Anyway seeing as I don’t have much to say at the moment, having spent the last two months in a whirlwind of revision, I thought I’d just leave you with a photo of my lovely nails. Yes, I am rocking the ombre look AND I did this all with just four nail varnishes and MADE my own shade for my middle finger very-careful-high-five-because-my-nails-are-still-wet to me.

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Nails

So anyone who knows me knows I always have my nails painted ALWAYS. And if you know this you will also know that even though I love a good bit of nail art I am TERRIBLE at painting my nails, yet they still look good once I’ve finished them. This is what brings me to today’s post, seeing as I haven’t really begun my blog yet I had no idea where to start, but I thought this would nail it (pun intended).

After I’ve done my basecoat and painted my nails there is nail varnish EVERYWHERE and I mean everywhere, so it takes quite a while to tidy up my nails. I always find that dipping a cotton wool bud in nail varnish remover means that I either can’t get close enough to the edges of my nails OR I manage to wipe out a long strip of nail varnish, so I always do one of two things; I either dip a small nail art brush in nail varnish remover and go around my nails because the tiny tip means that I can get right up to the edges of my nails OR I leave them overnight until all the globby bits have well and truly dried and then just peel (or maybe push would be more accurate) the messy bits off using another nail to do so. Although this may seem like a bit of a faff I am terrible at doing my nails, but tidying them up like this means I can still have nice nails.

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Now, this brings me on to the second part of my post: nail art. Despite having what-I-call Ozzy Osbourne hands I love painting my nails and especially doing nail art to show off to other people and generally make them think I’m amazing… not that they ever think that but I try. Anyway as lots of people ask me about how I do it I thought I could use this to show you how I somehow manage to do my nail art, if it’s easy enough for me to do with the hands of an alchy, then surely everyone else can too. So Day 1 in Jas’ Amazing School of Nails is (wait for iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit) stripes. Stripes are sooooooooooo easy AND you don’t need a striper brush to do them!!!!! Back in the day (about 4 months ago) I was nail art brushless and had to slum it with the rest of the students but did that stop me decorating my nails? No, no it did not. One day while flicking through Pinterest instead of writing an essay, I found a wonderful pin: how to make your own striper brush. Once you have a nail varnish that has ran out/gone gloopy/you’re now wondering why you ever thought lime green was a good nail colour rinse out the pot and brush in water, clean it all out with nail varnish remover and rinse it out again, making it look like a brand spanking new, all be it empty, pot. Then do they unthinkable and start cutting away at the clean brush strand by strand until voila, you have your very own striper brush. Now, DIY aside, stripes are very easy to do but here are just a couple of tips to help them be mistake free. 1. Don’t pour the nail varnish out of the bottle as you would with any other brush, dipping the striper brush in the pot not only means that you’re not wasting nail varnish but also that you can wipe off any excess on the side of the neck so that you don;t get lumpy lines. 2. Always start on your ring finger then if its too much hassle or its not going to plan you can just repeat it on the nail on your other hand and hey presto you have a ring finger manicure rather than one weird little finger that doesn’t match the rest. 3. Always start in the middle and work your way out alternating from one side to the other to make sure your spaces are even. And 4. Always wait until your stripes are 100% completely dry before you put your clear coat on else the whole thing (and your pot of nail varnish) will be ruined!!!!!!

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P.S. So pleased I managed not to write about strippers anywhere else this could’ve been very different.

Drum roll please… IT’S MY FIRST BLOG ENTRY!!!!!!

As a student I’ve managed to get pretty darn good at procrastinating: writing letters to my grandma; doing sudokus (because I should probably check that my brain is still working); googling the answers to logo quizzes because the quiz is too hard but I still want the sense of achievement from doing it; cleaning; tidying; organising; painting my nails and watching paint dry BUT recently I have found a truly revolutionary way to procrastinate… it’s official my favourite hobby is listening to people talk about their hobbies. I know it sound boring but I just can’t get enough of it, Pinterest, Youtube, WordPress, Blogger, you name it I love it. Until recently I though the internet was just for Facebook, research and getting out buying a TV liscence but now I have seen the light: the internet is one infinite magazine, one never ending Great British Bake Off, one continuous Sewing Bee. Suddenly I’ve found myself with bookmark upon bookmark of things that I definitely must do but probably never will do. SO after hours of pretending to do make up tutorials and nail art boards I’ve decided to combine two key factors: my want to contribute (although YouTube seems much too scary right now) and my need to have a kick up the backside to actually make me do all these things I want to, and start up my own blog. I am Jasmine Short, I am 18 years old, and I am a blogger.

Here’s to my first post

What’s the betting this is also my last

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