Day tripping to London

A few weeks ago my eldest daughter and I went to London for the day. The plan was to see as much of London as possible, in one day, and this is what we got up to…..

We took the train from Bournemouth to London Waterloo in the morning. The train is always the best choice for travelling to London as the journey is comfortable, quick and Waterloo is a great place for starting your journey either on foot, or if you want to use the London Underground.On arrival we walked to the London Eye on the Southbank of the river Thames.  As you can see we had a glorious sunny day for our trip. We then wandered amongst the crowds and Southbank street entertainers. There is plenty to see walking along London’s Southbank, with views across the river and ever changing architectural styles of buildings. Restaurants and cafes are in abundance catering for all tastes.  The book stall under Waterloo Bridge is very quaint, and you will pass the Oxo Tower which has a lovely restaurant for evening dinner and nightime views across the London.  Blackfriars Bridge is very ornate and there is a subway where the walls are decorate with murals telling the story of the bridge’s construction.
It’s always worth checking the exhibitions on at the Tate Modern prior to your visit.  The Tate Modern houses contemporary art from around the world and is housed in the former Bankside Power Station on the banks of the Thames. The awe-inspiring Turbine Hall runs the length of the entire building and you can see amazing work for free by artists such as Cézanne, Bonnard, Matisse, Picasso, Rothko, Dalí, Pollock, Warhol and Bourgeois.

Next we crossed the Thames at the Millenium Bridge and headed to St Paul’s Cathedral where we had a snack and drink on the steps of St Paul’s in the warm sunshine.  The cathedral is open to visitors if you want to have a look around.Our next stop was the Barbican Centre which is not only interesting to visit for its harsh architecture, but its exhibitions too.  I always make a point of visiting the Barbican’s art exhibitions because I quite simply enjoy them so much.  Currently running is Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector.While walking around London means you can see so much, it is also quite necessary to visit the Underground so we jumped on the tube and headed to Covent Garden for a complete change of scenery.There’s so much to see at Covent Garden by simply walking around the shops and Apple Market and taking the opportunity to stock up on Laduree macarons.Our next stop was Chinatown for Dim Sum.  En route we wandered through London’s West end spotting the billboards to well known and long running shows.Dim sum custard balls.  They look like large magical round eggs and are probably one of the most unusual yet delicious things we have ever eaten.  No description could do them justice, but they are warm, sweet, cakey and very tasty.
Wandering along Shaftesbury Avenue took us to Piccadilly Circus and Regent Street’s shops, where you can find Liberty of London. Probably my favourite despartment store, but as we were visiting Harrods this time, we gave it a miss.Our next stop before a coffee break was Trafalgar Square. Also home to the National Portrait Gallery, as well as Nelson’s Column, the infamous lions and the current plinth sculpture, the skeleton horse.The Royal Horse Guards and Horse Guard Parade were next.  We then took a walk through St James’ Park and then on to the Mall towards Buckingham Palace.

Our final destination – Harrods. The department store absolutely full of everything you never knew you needed or wanted. Great fun to explore, especially as I really enjoy window displays and merchandise displays. Everything always looks so pretty and neat.By now it was early evening and we were absolutely shattered, so we jumped on the tube from Harrods to Westminster where we saw Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament before returning to our train and going home.Perhaps you would like to give this one day London itinerary a go. It essentially follows a circular loop around central London where you will see so much, but be prepared to spend the next day doing very little as you will be very tired x

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Down the Rabbit Hole…..

This concept shoot was photographed and styled by myself, including hair and make-up x

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Happy 10th Birthday!

So this week the littlest frog turned 10!
She celebrated her birthday with a tropical themed party at home, which involved bracelet making and party games with her friends.The house was decorated with brightly coloured tissue paper flowers and paper chains, plastic inflatable tropical characters and a colourful fabric door curtain.  Each of the party guests was presented with a lei necklace and handmade hair clip to wear at the party and then to take home in their strawberry print party bags, which I made too.  Brightly coloured sweets, their bracelet creation, a pot of bubbles and some homemade party cake made up the contents of each bag.

The hair clips were made from a lei which I took apart and glued back together with a hair clip attached.  An absolute steal as floral hair clips can cost around £4 each, whereas these homemade ones were approximately 75p each.

Party food consisted of funky milk bottles decorated with paper straws and paper umbrellas.  We added lemonade to our bottles.  A brightly coloured salad served with burgers and hot dogs was very popular with the party guests, followed by orange jelly with pineapple pieces, homemade lollies with pineapple pieces and orange juice, fresh fruit kebabs and pineapple and coconut fairy cakes.
This year’s birthday cake was my own creation of chocolate cake with nutella frosting in the middle and on top, with as many chocolate sprinkles as I could fit on!  It tasted delicious x
Happy 10th birthday Chloe x

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What is a styled shoot?

I’m a huge fan of styled shoots.  I love the creativity that goes into a shoot where every single detail is considered from the style of clothes, hair, make-up and jewellery right through to the exact location for taking the photographs.  Very little is left to chance and that is exactly how I like it.

Digital photography is available to everyone now, whether you snap away on your phone or have a compact camera or maybe something a little more fancy.  Your memories can be captured instantly and with this in mind I really have no need to take the photographs that you can take yourself, I want to offer you something different and special.

A styled shoot is exactly what its name implies.  It is a photography shoot that is styled with a theme.  Prior to the shoot time is spent planning and putting together a theme.  Perhaps a certain look, props, details, outfits etc.  Styled shoots don’t have any particular rules, other than they should be styled in some way so it’s a great way to let your creative juices flow.

I’ve got some gorgeous images due to be published soon titled ‘down the rabbit hole’.  A 1920s inspired shoot with a rabbit mask.  Every single detail sourced and put together by myself.  I usually create around 25 images from a styled shoot.  Each one worthy of framing and gracing a wall in its own right, but equally looking great clustered together to tell a story.

Styled shoots really allow me to invest time into you, my client, and produce something completely personal and unique. I take the time to find out what you like and discuss ideas with you and this really makes the shoot fun too! As an artist there is nothing I like more than taking an idea, designing and then creating. Styled shoots can be different to each client and this is really great for me too as I really enjoy the differing challenges.

I’m currently offering some gypsy styled mini sessions to give new clients a chance to try a styled shoot. The gypsy set is suited to girls, but I do have plans for more across the year. I am currently designing a nautical set for use at the beach.More examples of styled shoots can be found under ‘styled shoots’ in the categories section of the blog.

If you have any queries about styled shoots then please use the contact form to get in touch, I would love to hear from you.

Andrea x

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Face Painting

Face painting is a great way to dress up without changing your clothes!

I am available for children’s face painting parties, birthday parties, special events or fetes. I can even provide face painting for adults too for occasions such as fancy dress or Halloween.

I can travel to most places in Bournemouth, Poole or Dorset and can cater for small or large parties. I use the Snazaroo range of face paints which are suitable for all skin types.  All designs can be tailored to your party/event and I have public liability insurance.

Please use the contact form to check my availability x

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