Monthly Archives: January 2010

Travel Tips: How To Pack A Rucksack…

I’ve only been back in the country for just over 4 weeks and now I’m off again! Flights have been booked to Bangkok from which the boy and I will venture through Cambodia and up the coast of Vietnam before flying back down to the southern islands of Thailand.

I have mentally (though unfortunately not physically) been packing my bags since we booked the trip last week and I’m having a difficult time working out how to fit everything I want to take into a 35l backpack. As a result I have come up with a few tips for anyone taking a break from Bristol to venture further a field….

  1. Be decisive. Most backpacker or tourist hot spots will have everything you need, and more, on sale. Stick to some comfortable basics, good shoes/sandals and thin layers – spontaneous purchases of novelty t-shirts can wait until you get to your destination, and will often be a lot cheaper too.
  2. Think small. Miniature toiletries save space and will fit nice and neatly into most nooks and crannies of your luggage, plus they look really cute too! If you are at all environmentally aware then purchase small clear bottles instead (Boots and Primark both have good kits) and decant your usual toiletries into these little wonders. Not as cute but these bottles will comply with airport regulations and can be used over and over again for everything from holidays to festivals, unlike throw-away miniatures.
  3. Capsule colours. Using a favourite but simple colour palette when packing will make it much easier to decide on what to wear each morning. Choose colours and shapes that go well together and you can easily mix and match while away, safe in the knowledge that you have a well thought out but simple wardrobe. My current palette is black, cream and navy with accents of blue and coral.
  4. Finally, don’t take anything with you that you can’t afford to leave behind. Your brand new Marc Jacobs bag might look fabulous on the streets of Milan but is it worth being mugged for or leaving behind in a taxi? Anything expensive looking can make you a target for theft, particularly if you have a tell-tale guidebook poking out of your bag. Any other sentimental clothing or accessories should be left behind unless you don’t mind getting felt up by sticky fingers.

Cloth magazine: Make Do and Mend

There are so many things happening in this city that it can be hard to choose how to spend a weekend. The snow is still asserting its dominance over Bristol but that didn’t put me off from venturing out to Bristol’s Biggest Indoor Picnic at the Trinity Centre. The event was full of craft making, book swapping and cake eating and while venturing into the world of knitting, A and I stumbled across Cloth Magazine.

As we got chatting to Harriet de Winton, one of the Creative Directors, A and I couldn’t help falling in love with the magazine and walking away with several copies. The ethos of Cloth and its accompanying website is simple: a young, vibrant and informative guide for customising, making and re-working clothes and homewares.

The creative team are based in Bristol but the projects, events and personalities featured in Cloth come from all across the country. The fresh, young feel of the magazine and the kind of projects within it will appeal to those who might be put off by the stuffiness of some other British craft magazines. It is a revelation to

Tapping into the current trend (and necessity) for recycling and re-examining how and where our clothes from, Cloth is bible of information for both advanced and novice sewers alike. From the most basic hand stitches to making a dress out of your boyfriend’s shirt, Cloth is switched on to what many young women want: responsible, unique and cheap fashion options.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make some felted mittens…

Blog of The Week: Bargainista Fashionista


For the first Blog of The Week of 2010 I was won over by a teddy bear, or rather a teddy bear beanie hat to be precise. Bargainista Fashionista caught my eye in Sunday’s Observer Magazine as part of a ‘New Year, New You style feature called 30 Ways To A Better Life, which is definitely worth a read if you’re stuck for a New Years resolution.

Anywho, there was Susie Wong in the cutest woolly hat I’ve seen all season (from River Island in case you’re interested), chatting about her blog and how to be a savvy shopper on the high street. The concept of her blog is simple: bargains on the high street in ‘real time’ – if Susie blogs about it on her lunch break then you can guarantee it will still be there by the time you finish work.

The reason this blog works is because the fashion on show is accessible to everyone. High street, eBay and etsy pieces crop up and River Island, Topshop and New Look all make regular appearances. Susie’s genuine passion for fashion extends past item must-haves to how one could where the pieces and what trends they go well with, and of course, every post is about what is in stores NOW, this very second.

The only downside of reading this blog is the likely hood that you will turn into a raging shopaholic…