28 Sep 2012

Style Me Friday...

home-baked happiness

                   apron: anthropologie                             cook book: gizzi erskine
                   horses dinner plate: habitat                    flour sifter: tala
                   edible stars: lakeland                            mini print: vividplease!
                   recipe binder: paperchase                      stand mixer: kitchen aid

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27 Sep 2012

Vivid Do Disneyland Paris!

Oh. My. Goodness.
I think that's about the only 3 words you can use to sum up the greatness of Disneyland! We may be in our twenties, but by gosh the magic never ends. For those of you who think Disney is for kids, you couldn't be more wrong... and you are missing out one heck of a great time!

Being obsessed with branding, design, the quirky and curious, you can imagine this is the kind of world we want to live in... And it has just the right amount of dressing up and vinyl toys to bring a tear to our eyes! We only spent one day in the wondrous world of Disney, but if we could (and if we could afford to!) we would happily spend a lifetime.

But like all things, the magic has to come to an end. We may have left the park but the memories shall inspire us forever... and I reckon we will be back before we know it! So, if you are looking for a burst of excitement and extreme glee then we recommend adding this theme park onto your bucket list. The sooner you get there the better we say!

What did we love the most? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here is a breakdown for you (otherwise I will never shut up!

Best rides: Tower of Terror and Space Mountain 

Best themed candy: Vivid sized candy floss and Snow White candy apples 

Best area of design: the immaculate hyper-reality of the New Orleans styled Main Street 

Best purchases: Micky and Minny ears

Funniest Moment: Discovering the 1980s 3D film experience by Michael Jackson "Capitan EO" was no longer open as MJ had 'Left this planet for another mission' -- good one Disney :D

Ahhhhh. And the best firework display we've seen in quite some time!
We hope you manage to get there soon - start saving now as you cannot budget for what you will spend as soon as you get through those shiny gates! Worth every penny, we promise :)

With so much awesomeness to share from Paris, we will be posting about our adventure in sections... I've over 500 photos so I promise I won't bore you with all of them ;)

Happy dreaming!
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18 Sep 2012

100 Sales On Etsy!

We're super delighted to share that our etsy shop has now made over 100 sales! Thank you to all the lovely people who are fans of our work and have contributed to our success; we couldn't have done it without you :) The lucky person who was our 100th sale has been sent an extra special treat in their package too... Got to spread the love!

As many of you know, we will be away in Paris from the 19th to the 24th of September. Whilst our shop will be open, orders placed during this time will be dispatched on the 26th. 

Here is to etsy and people with fantastic taste!
Vicky & David
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17 Sep 2012

DIY: How To Make Chalk Paint

Lately I have become quite obsessed with chalk paint. There is something really satisfying about the texture and being able to doodle to my heart's desire, give it a quick wipe and start all over. Be it a to do list, a sweet note for Mr Vivid or a quick sketch of an idea, the chalk board has been where it's at. 
So today I thought I would share a quick and easy recipe to make your own...

Forget spending a fortune on the store bought stuff. You can make this up in two ticks for under a fiver and in any colour that you want. Hello mint green! There is a couple of ways to make it; one with unsanded grouting stuff from the diy shop, and the other with Plaster of Paris. We went with the cheapest option and have not been disappointed! So, for this tutorial you will need:
Plaster of Paris
Measuring spoons
A mixing cup
A mixing stick
Paint (two colours if you are creating a to do list chalk board like us)
an old paint brush
something to paint (we are going with this awesome clip board!)
some chalk - to play with of course!

As we won't need much paint to cover our little clip board, I have only made a small amount of our chalk paint mixture. The basis is really easy for whatever quantity you need; two parts paint to one part plaster of paris and a splash of water as you go...

For our recipe I used a teaspoon of water mixed into 1 tablespoon of plaster of paris. Mix these two together and you will get a lovely smooth paste that is just a little bit thicker than paint. You need to do this before you add your paint as you need to get all the lumps out. Do it the other way around and it will come out a big lumpy mess that's no good to anyone!

Once happy you are lump free and good to go, add in your two tablespoons of paint and give it a really good stir. Make sure you have combined all of the wet plaster of paris and get ready to start painting!

We recommend that you use an old paint brush to paint the mixture onto your surface, but if you wash it after your done with warm water it will come out pretty easily. For the best results, we painted on 3 coats of the chalk paint. Make sure to paint each coat in different directions (horizontally and vertically), to get the best texture. Let each coat dry fully before starting the next too :)

As we are creating a to do list chalk board, I would like to create a template that will stay on for a long time and withstand many a note! So, once the last coat of paint has dried I've used a pencil to draw on my design...

Then using a clean brush, paint on the design in an alternative colour. Once it's dry, you've got the neatest to do list chalk board in town!

All you need now is a piece of chalk and a cute hanky to wipe it down with :)
I think I would like to paint my studio desk with this stuff next... or maybe our kitchen wall!
Whatever you do with your chalk paint, make sure you have fun with it!

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14 Sep 2012

Style Me Friday...

the woman behind the mad men

                     dress: modcloth                                     cardigan: dorothy perkins
                     print: vividplease!                                  bag: love from hetty & dave
                     necklace: accessorize                             shoes: new look
                     blusher: paul & joe                                 glasses: babycham
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13 Sep 2012

Featured: The Grumble Cave Monsters

I don't know about you, but we are in love! Meet the Grumble Cave Monsters, a new line of awesome plushy toys handmade by Kim, who has come over for a cup of tea and a chat today. I'm super excited to see these little guys featured on our blog as they are unbelievably cute and are so charming! Not just for kids, these cheeky little critters are getting ready to take over your life and make it that little bit better :) But before you decide who your favorite is, lets get to know a little bit more about them...

Hi Kim! 
So, we are all itching to know, who are the Grumble Cave Monsters?
The Grumble Cave monsters are the inhabitants of - you guessed it - Grumble Cave. They're furry beasts that live within a ma-hoosive network of caves, so named for the noise that can be heard from within when approached, and in tribal societies. The caves extend across just about the entire land mass called Deish, and stretch from thick woodland in the south, to arcitc conditions in the north, and from fertile volcanic land in the east to open grasslands in the west. They hunt and grow their food, and while most of the different tribes live in peace, there are always a few renegades trying to cause trouble - stealing cattle and crops and such.
They're cute little buggers, though.

What inspired you to start making these wonderful little plushies?
Well I've always loved plushy toys. My room was full of them when I was little, and now I'm an "adult" I have less of them, but the ones I still have mean the world to me - for example, I have a plushy husky toy that my mum was just adamant to get me for my 20th, and I'm glad she did because it's sooo cute, but at the same time it was clearly expensive. It means a lot because she picked it herself, and with her disability, it makes it hard for her to see things clearly, so the fact that she picked it herself makes it so very valuable. I also have a cute brontosaurus that my boyfriend got me for Christmas last year. It guards my work. Not very ferocious, but it does its job!
I was hesitant to start, though, because when I was younger, my nan bought me a "make your own plush toy" kit and I didn't understand the concept of sewing inside out - working backwards like that can really confuse me. As a result the poor mangled thing has stuck in my mind for some time. Now I think, though, if I could find it and get through an 11 year old's stitching, I could fix it.
Haha! We all have those projects at home! Just as well you waited till you were older to unleash your inside out stitching - seems it was worth the wait!

What's been your biggest challenge with the Grumble Cave Monsters collection?
Making them. It's that simple. They take me 6 hours to make a piece, since I hand sew the lot rather than using a machine (the machines seriously don't like me - my textiles teacher sat down with me in high school many times and tried to show me how to use them. I tried many different brands and several set-ups, but she concluded that they really must just not like me, and I think she was right), and it kills my back - but the outcome is worth it, as far as I'm concerned, and it's nice to have something to get truly stuck into like that if I'm not in the mood to write.
I love that they are hand stitched; I think the extra time and love spent on each monster gives them way more character. I think there is something much healthier about it too; the idea of toys made in a big factory far far away doesn't quite seem right to me. A little bit heartless!

Where do you see your creations in 5 years time?
I really can't say. I've never been one for thinking my work would be pride of place anywhere, or have much sentimental value to anyone but me, but I supposed I can't be certain. A few of my necklaces in my other store, Peaches and Pebbles, have been used as proposals - not the rings, the vials - so I guess those pieces do hold more sentimental value to others than they do to me. Of course, proposing with a plush monster, is something I'd like to see.
I have plans for other products - brooches, books and the like - so I'm really hoping to expand, and in five years' time I might have a good little bit of branding on my hands.
Oh boy! We would LOVE to see a Grumble Cave Monster proposal! Perhaps one could be made into a ring pillow ;)

Having two incredible stores on the go, what advice would you give to someone starting out in the world of Etsy?
Patience. Seriously. I will be honest, when I opened Peaches and Pebbles I had no idea what I was doing - I had 2 pieces in my shop, next to no views, and it took me a long while to make a sale. My listings were far from perfect, too, and I undercharged for most things that I did manage to sell.
This time around, however, I had some sort of idea, and a business plan. I opened with 10 listings, and managed to get more views on my first day than I did that same day on my far older, and more established shop. So my greater advice is that you should build up your inventory, take good, clear pictures, and write your listings in advance so that if you think of something that's not covered, you can add it in before listing things. Also work on your shop policies - they're not always read by customers, but if they're there at least then it can help to solve problems with troublesome customers. Doing all of this should give you a better start when you begin. Also, try not to open your shop until you're ready - make your account by all means, but don't open your shop. Opening up an empty shop will cost views and lose the interest of a few people - not many, but walking into an empty shop isn't much good for anyone.
We'd say that was really valuable advice for a newbie too. Many don't realize how much work goes into running an online shop; patience and organization are definitely key!

What is your typical day like?
Full of nothing. I'm always busy, but I never have anything to show for it. On a weekday, I look after my disabled mother with my boyfriend and off-handedly playing World of Warcraft, and on the weekend I usually glue myself to a book or the xbox. I try to work on my fantasy writing every other moment I have, but I can't always help if the mood to run around slaying dragons strikes me. Otherwise I'm hitting the refresh button on my Etsy stats page every 5 minutes.
Haha! The curse of Etsy! We all struggle there!

Tell us a secret about yourself...
Whenever I'm in a car and I'm looking up at the sky, I'm actually looking for dragons. In all seriousness. I think if I saw one swoop out of the sky and raze a village, I'd cry with happiness. Not for the poor lost souls, of course, but rather for the fact that dragons exist - and if they exist, what else does? I'm a little bit weird, I'm afraid.
That's why we love you Kim!
Thanks so much for coming round to play with us today and for inspiring us so much with these fantastic little guys. We want them all! We can't wait to see how the Grumble Cave Monster collection grows; I think it is going to be quite the adventure :)

Discover The Grumble Cave Monsters in their etsy habitat here
We are delighted to share news that each monster currently has an introductory discount of 25% off from now until the 1st of October, so you had better get your order in quick! And, as an extra special treat, if you visit Kim's blog A Blackbird's Epiphany you can use the magic code to get a further 10% off... at a fraction of the price it would be rude not to take one of these little guys home :)

Finally, for the chance to win our favorite monster and a massive collection of treats and treasures from some of our favorite makers, be sure to enter the awesome Destroy This Journal competition. It's open till the end of September and is ready to get your creative juices flowing!

We hope you enjoyed The Grumble Cave Monsters feature as much as we have :D We'd love to hear what you think of these little guys.... or better yet, we'd love to hear what you would name yours!

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11 Sep 2012


Check out all of those goodies!
We are really excited to be celebrating Ginger Pickle's 6 month birthday this month by participating in this wonderful giveaway. For your chance to win our 'I Love You A Latte' keepsake card and treasures from a selection of the other Ginger Pickle sellers, be sure to visit Jade's blog and enter the competition... 

Good luck!

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Ratatouille Recipe

You may have noticed things have been a little quiet here at Vivid HQ, especially on our twitter feed. I've been stuck in bed with the worlds worst cold and I am starting to go a little out of my nut! Thank goodness for a wonderful friend and a LoveFilm discount code; where would we be without streamed movies?! So, to keep myself occupied as I try and get better, I've been watching every Pixar movie available. I thought I would dedicate a diy post to my favorite film, but while I don't quite have the energy to achieve the magic of Up! (I've posted before of my adoration of this film)  Though I do know of one film that has definitely come in handy for helping out with my ailments...   Ratatouille!

I love ratatouille as there are so many variations of it and it always tastes super good no matter how you rock it. My current favorite recipe is based on one I found in  Pippa Kendric's cookbook; it's very low effort (win!) and it it is full of all the good stuff. 

Want in? All you need is:
2 red peppers                              2 courgettes                                     
2 red onions                                2 cloves garlic                                    
1 aubergine                                 200g sun blushed tomatoes 
 2 tbsp olive oil                           2 tsp lemon juice
500ml passata                             large bunch of basil
1 tsp soft light brown sugar        small bunch of rosemary  
salt and pepper to taste               Optional: rice (for 2 people)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
2. Chop up your aubergine, peppers and onions into little bite sized cubes. Add these to a deep roasting tin with the crushed garlic. Add in the courgettes chopped into little half moons. Then pour the oil over it all and give it a really good mix, making sure it is all covered.
3. Stick it in the oven for 40 minutes, turning half way through. You know it's ready when it is all caramelized and starting brown. Yum yum! Once done, take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.
4. In a big pan on the hob, add in the passata, sun-blushed tomatoes, sugar, lemon juice and the chopped up herbs. Let it cook for a couple of minutes before adding in the roasted vegetables, a dash of salt and pepper. Let this simmer gently for 15 minutes 
5. Whilst the ratatouille is cooking away, you can pop your rice on if you've decided you want to add it in. I love adding it for texture and it makes me think of jambalaya in New Orleans. So, in a seperate pan, start cooking your rice. Adding in a portion for 2 people makes enough for 4 people when it is all mixed up together. Cook it till light and fluffy and add into the big pot of ratatouille. 
6. Give it a real good stir and start dishing it up :D

It may not look as pretty as the one in the film, but goodness me it tastes good :D 
You know, I'm starting to feel a little better already...
I hope you enjoy this little recipe and for all you ill people out there - feel better soon!