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Zines / Red, White and Black

'There is a shade of red for every woman' - Audrey Hepburn

Here is another one of the zines that I have recently created. Again this was an A5 creation, I just really like them small, I think the dinkiness of them just gives them even more appeal. The theme of this zine is the colours red, black and white. I really like how it has come out, I really like the striking red against the black and white.

Out of all the zines I have created this is possibly my favourite one. When I had finished it I felt like it just needed something else so I decided to add some triangular road signs, they were just something a bit different. I am so pleased with the finished product. I recommend if you haven't tried making a zine that you give it a go, they are quick and easy art. Check out my other zine posts here and here, you can also find a link to Tavi Gevinson's zine tutorial in those posts.

Love Holly x

Favourite Books / The Great Gatsby & It (Alexa Chung)

The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favourite books and is partly due to Baz Luhrmann's incredible film of the book that I was inspired to read it. In my opinion the book is better than the film because it paints such a beautiful picture by itself, Fitzgerald is the master of description and leaves nothing undreamed. In many ways the story is very saddening, however this is still an excellent read that I have enjoyed many times over. I would say if you are new to the classics that this book is an excellent place to start. It isn't too long and the language is, although stunning, easy to understand.

I have loved Alexa Chung for a long time, she does effortless style so well and is a genuinely funny person. My friend and I were so excited when we heard that she was bringing out her own book and it lived up to all of our expectations. It is a mixture of writing, sketchbook pages and photographs and is so well put together. Alexa not only shares with us the secrets of her style but also gives amazing advice on coping with love and life. This book is a masterpiece and a must read for any young man or woman looking for answers.

Love Holly x

Book, DVD & Game Haul / Christmas

Rookie Yearbook 3 - Tavi Gevinson - £16.58 (Amazon)
Babe - Petra Collins - £16.58 (Amazon)
The Satorialist: X - Scott Schuman - £20 (Urban Outfitters)
Amy DVD - £6.99 (Amazon)
Mario Kart 7 - £39.99 (Nintendo UK)
Hairspray DVD - £4.99 (Amazon)
Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - £14.79 (Amazon)

Here is a quick run through of all of the books, DVDs and games that I received for Christmas. I am always so thankful for everything I receive because I know that other people in the world may not be as privileged as I am. I always feel very lucky and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year. I know we are well into January now but, whether you have or haven't made a New Years Resolution, I suggest that we should all resolve to be more thankful in life, not only for gifts but for the people around us and the lives we have.

Love Holly x

Inspirational / Virgin Media Advert 2015

An advert that I love is this last year's Virgin Media advert, entitled 'Inspired'. It is such a beautiful advert showing some of the most fabulous women inspiring a young girl, through her mother, and proving to her that women do rock. I love it because, firstly, it shows the importance of educating young girls to believe in themselves, and secondly because although it is an advert it has an important message to share. This advert has been criticised but honestly I think it is great and I love it. I think this may partly be due to the fact Paloma Faith features in it and she is one of my idols. It would be great to see Virgin create a male version to go alongside it.

You can watch the advert here and make up your own mind.

Love Holly x

Newfound Love / Songs

Recently I have been really struggling to find new music to listen to and I just don't know why. I have been re-listening to a lot of David Bowie classics (obviously) but other than that I have had to turn to Spotify for inspiration. On my browsing journey through Spotify I came across two absolutely gorgeous songs, and so I suppose you could say mission completed.

The first song is Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Russian Red, this is a cover of the awesome 1980s classic by Cyndi Lauper and it is lovely to hear a really different style of voice. Russian Red is a Spanish indie/folk singer who writes her own songs, as well as performing covers. I love how she is an artist as well as a musician, you can check out her website here.

Secondly I came across White Winter Hymnal by Birdy (originally by Fleet Foxes) and on hearing it I repeated it three times before moving on. It is such a beautiful song and I had no idea that Birdy had covered it, even though I have been a fan of her music for many years. I don't know how I missed it! It is enchanting and I really recommend it. If you ever get an opportunity to see Birdy live I would also really recommend it, we saw her at the V Festival a few years ago and she is inspirational. It also becomes all the more impressive when you realise she is only 19 years old.

Love Holly x

Zines / Under the Sea

I feel like I haven't made any zines for ages! I find creating them a really relaxing and creative process. The fact they are relatively quick to make is one of the reasons I like them so much. I always want to do art outside school but don't want it to take over the work I am doing for my exams, making these perfect.

I decided to theme this zine around the seaside, as although I am not a big fan of sand or the sea, the seaside is a really happy, summery place. It was fun to make a summery zine in the winter as it temporarily took me away from the cold and the wet.

I made the collages by cutting up old Pop and Glamour magazine, the background is also from an old Pop magazine. It is great to look for different textures in different magazines.

If you want to make your own zines you can use Tavi Gevinson's tutorial for Rookie Magazine. Remember you don't need to use A3 paper, A4 is fine, it just means your final product will be smaller.

Love Holly x

General Haul / December

Canvas 'My Other Bag Is Dior' Bag - £1.99 (B&M)
Funnel Neck Jumper - £16.00 (M&S)
Mushroom Soap - £3.00 (Yorkshire Soap Company)
Christmas Pants - £5 (Jack Wills)
Pocket Mirror - £2 (Jack Wills)
Velvet Scrunchie - £1.50 (Claires)
Ickle Baby Bot Bath Bomb - £1.95 (Lush)
Bubblegum Lip Scrub - £5.50 (Lush)
Tea Tree Water Toner - £8.50 (Lush)
Striped Shirt - £10 (Primark)
Black High Heeled Boots - £56 (Office/Vagabond)
Picture Frame - £1.50 (Ikea)

I feel like I haven't done a haul for such a long time. From now on I have decided to do monthly hauls to share with you what I have buying. I know this is very late but here is my haul from December. Normally I hardly buy anything, well anything for myself, in December because obviously Christmas is just around the corner, but for some reason this year I have bought quite a lot. Some of this was given to me though so I guess that could be a reason.

I have wanted a good pair of boots for so long, probably about a year to be honest. When I came across these 70s style Vagabond Boots, in the Office sale, I instantly fell in love with them. The plan was to buy them after Christmas but whilst shopping for some family presents I went into Office and so just bought them. I used some of my birthday money, from September, so I kind of treated them as a late birthday, early Christmas present. You just have to treat yourself sometimes!

They are such good quality boots and although the heel is quite high I have found I can walk in them for hours, which is so great. I would really recommend Vagabond and I am sure I will be buying from them again. I know these boots will be well used for years to come and I can just tell that they are going to last really well. All round an excellent purchase and a great bargain, they were reduced from £80!

Love Holly x

Revision / Top Tips

I have spent many a month of my life revising and so would like to think of myself as a bit of an expert at it. As much as we all loathe it, it is just one of those things that we have to get on with and hope it all pays off in the end. I recently started revising for my mocks, which are this week and next week, and to be honest I feel as though I have got revision down to a T. It has taken me a long time to get to this point so I thought I would share my top revision tips to try and help you guys get there a bit faster than I did...

1. Make sure you have had plenty of sleep, it will make your brain far more receptive to learning. If you get sleepy whilst you are revising then have a break, or chill for a while, it will make the revision you do afterwards far more productive! That leads nicely onto my next point...

2. Have regular breaks, this is so important and can really help you reboot for your next session. I don't timetable my breaks, I just have them when I feel I need to, which is when my concentration starts to wane and I start to think about other things.

3. Make a list of all the topics you need to cover, not only will this help you plan your time more effectively but it is also so satisfying to be able to tick them off when you have done them. Yes this sounds stupid, but don't knock it until you have tried it.

4. Drink plenty of water. I always find that if I have a glass of water, and drink it whilst I am revising, then I can revise for a longer period of time without needing a break. Don't ask me why, there must be some scientific reason.

5. Track how long you have to go until your exams, it will help you know how much you need to do each week/day. You can do this with a revision timetable, which is something I would really recommend making, especially for GCSEs where you have a thousand and one different subjects to try and revise for.

6. Work out what time of day you work best at. For me it is mornings and from about 4 onwards, I really struggle to work in the afternoon. Once you have worked it out revise at these times, it will make life a lot easier for you.

7. Eat well. I know this sounds odd but if you eat a load of rubbish when you are trying to revise it makes it harder. If you eat healthily, you will feel more healthy in yourself, and therefore probably be more efficient in your revision. I know this certainly applies to me.

8. Make time for exercise, it is a great stress reliever and can give you a boost, making you feel awake and ready to work. It is great to go out and get some fresh air, go for a walk or a run, or even just play an active game, such as Just Dance.

9. Take time to relax. You shouldn't work 24/7 because it will likely make you less efficient. I like to stop revising a few hours before I go to bed and just chill, to let my brain wind down before I go to bed. If I revise right up to bedtime I really struggle to get to sleep.

10. Have your own workspace. Make it somewhere quiet and out of the way so you can just leave your stuff as it is at the end of a session and pick up from where you left off when you resume.

I hope these are useful tips and although you have probably heard some of them before I can tell you from experience that all of these tips are things that I do and they genuinely help me to make my revision the best it can be.

Love Holly x

Favourite Books / The Handmaid's Tale & Girl Boss

I studied the dystopian novel 'The Handmaid's Tale' in English Literature last year and really enjoyed it. It is such a powerful book and it is hard not to be incredibly moved, or even changed, by it.

The book follows the journey of a woman, in the futuristic society of Gilead, whose only purpose is to reproduce. She must comply to the regime or die. Can love, alongside other emotion, survive in such a seemingly bleak society? Since studying it I have read it again and the second time round I loved it even more. An amazing read by an incredible author, Margaret Attwood is outstanding. If you haven't read this already you are missing out on an incredible opportunity.

I love motivational books and one of the ones that has had the biggest effect on me is 'Girl Boss' by Sophia Amoruso. It is all about the highs and the lows of Sophia's journey to set up her company, 'Nasty Gal', and gives great advice for business and general life. It proves that you can go from not knowing what to do with you life to having a successful business, all it takes is a lot of hard work.

A great book that reminds us that you can do what you are passionate about and still be successful. Read it and prepare to be motivated.

Love Holly x