Vintage Lenses on My New Fujifilm X-T2

After saving up and getting excited for months and months – I finally bought myself a Fujifilm X-T2 with 18-55mm kit lens & vertical power grip. Yep, I’m back in the Fujifilm universe and couldn’t be happier about it! (and I saved more money than I thought I would by trading in my old Olympus)

Harry bought me a Fujifilm X10 when we first got together, almost 6 years ago (!!!) and I loved it, but after a few years I felt that I had outgrown it and wanted something with a little more bells and whistles. So I had a moment of madness and bought an Olympus OM-D E-M10. I loved that too, but I felt I outgrew it a lot faster than the X10, and at around the 1 year mark I felt a little held back by it. It also severely lacks a user friendly interface, finding settings was a nightmare as nothing is physically on the camera. Unlike the Fujifilm X range, where Apeture, ISO and shutter speed are actual dials on the top. I wasted so much time just trying to find simple settings!

I had heard a lot about using old SLR lenses on micro 4/3 and APS-C sensor cameras, but never really got in to it with my Olympus for whatever reason. Looking back, I have no idea what I didn’t try it sooner?!? I bought a cheap FD to FX lens adapter from Amazon, as I have a few Canon FD mount lenses from my old AE-1, AND BAM! I love it. Using manual focus again can be a bit weird, but the end results are SO good. And its tripled my lens collection without having to shed out loads of money.



Monstera & Harry photos Taken with the Vivitar 28mm f2.8 C/FD lens

Shooting film was my first photography love, way back when I was 16, and it feels so much like I’m doing that with these old lenses. It also somehow gives that film look and atmosphere?? It’s like magic!
Also, if you are planning on giving shooting video a go, there’s a really good video all about adapting vintage lenses on to the Fuji X system from a Youtube channel called The Photo Dept – check it out here.  If you love shooting film, and the Fujifilm X system, its the perfect channel!

Zissou & my Dads shop window photos taken with Canon 50mm f1.8

I will probably invest in a couple of Fuji X lenses over time (I have my eye on a couple of prime lenses), but for now – I’ve found my jam!
If you love or miss shooting film, have a digital camera that has the option to use adapters and still have some old lenses, I definitely recommend trying an adapter and giving it a whirl! It’s really made me start thinking again when I’m taking photos, and that can only be a good thing.

Inside My Sketchbook: 7

I started a new sketchbook. The Leuchtturm one I was using had been bugging me since I started it, so instead of beating myself up for not using it, and in turn hardly sketching at all – I opened one that had been waiting in the wings for a while now. Surprise surprise, I really like it! It’s the Magma Art & Illustration Sketchbook in a not-quite-A4 size (18.4 x 24cm). Promarkers don’t go through as much, or pill up as the leuchtturm one did, and its a good size to carry around in my bag without taking up too much room. I haven’t used it with watercolour, and probably won’t because its just not the right paper, but I’m really happy with it so far. It also has lots of interesting information in the back that I have actually read and go back to! I usually end up ignoring stuff like that, but some of it is pretty useful.




I’m getting pretty in to sketching nature and animals at the moment. It makes a nice change from my usual portraits/people theme I think. It’s also making me want to sit outside and draw down local footpaths, woods and beaches. All I have to do is overcome my fear of drawing in public (!!!)

Apartment Peeking

We’re coming up to a year and a half in this little apartment. Even though it has turned out to be more “us” than the other places we’ve had together, and we feel very lucky to be saving for a deposit; I still can’t wait to have our own house by the seaside…





Inside My Sketchbook: 6

Drawing is a struggle for me, it has been, probably, for the last few years. I couldn’t think for the life of me why, as drawing and painting has always been one of the biggest parts of who I am. Then I watched a recent video from MAIS2, and saw one of those usually annoying “meaningful quotes” (barf) that stuck with me and all of a sudden it made sense!

I think A) I’m scared and therefore procrastinating and B) I’m just not enjoying the process anymore.


By scared, I mean as soon as I pick up a pencil I automatically tell myself that whatever I create is going to be terrible and not up to the standard of my favourite illustrators. So whats the point?? The only people who tell me they like my drawings are my family and close friends; does that mean they are just saying it to be nice? I never sell anything on my Etsy shop; should I just give up? – I’m trying to silence this damaging voice, but sometimes its overwhelming, so my fear turns in to procrastination. I end up cleaning the kitchen or doing something that really can wait, instead of getting my head down and practising.


Even though I have spent the last few years experimenting with style and different mediums, I just don’t enjoy the process anymore. It took a long time for me to discover that was what was wrong with me, and its difficult to accept, but its true. Now that I know thats what it is, I can at least get to the bottom of why and try to fix it (right??). It might have a lot to do with the fact that I put too much pressure on myself (CONSTANTLY) – this is probably mostly caused by social media, specifically Instagram. I start to question if I am skilled enough while surrounded by all of these talented people all over the world at my fingertips, who have made something of themselves, and quickly decide I’m not.

So, what I’m trying to say is – my aim is to find out how I can quash these fears and just get on with it and create without beating myself up. I can only improve with practise, and the more I create the more creative my processes and themes will become. So perhaps, hopefully, you will be seeing more “sketchbook” posts with updates on how I’m feeling about creating. Does anyone else struggle with these sorts of feelings when it comes to creativity? How do you carry on and stop yourself from freezing up?

(these sketches are from the past couple of months, some are digital and some are pencil/pen/marker on paper)

Recent Makeup & Skincare

Okay, so I went a bit crazy on makeup and skincare recently… I received my first “proper” pay check in a little while and had no idea what to do with myself! (but my savings account is looking the healthiest it has in years, so I’m pretty proud of that!) There were things that I ran out of and replaced, and things I’ve wanted to try for a long time, so over the last couple of months I picked up these babies:

Everyone says this, but I’m a sucker for travel sized things. A) They are cute B) They are the perfect “I want to try this but I don’t want to commit to the full size product because I might be allergic/not like it” C) They CUTE.


Luckily, I like both of these items from Urban Decay.
The mascara is the perfect size  – I wish more brands would stock mascaras this small normally! I have never been through an entire mascara before I have to throw it away at the recommended 2-3 month mark. I’m much more likely to make a decent dent in this (or even finish it???) and not feel bad for throwing it away after a couple of months. Also its not clumpy, separates, makes my eyelashes look SUPER long and because its shorter, I can get closer to the mirror(I have to be really close because I can’t see a damn thing without my glasses). New favourite! Definitely going to carry on buying it in this size.
The All Nighter setting spray is a pretty cult Urban Decay product and has been around for years. They’ve recently had a bit of a rebrand with this range and added more options for different skin types, which is fantastic. I was originally looking for a travel size “Chill” hydrating setting spray because I have dry skin, but they don’t do it, so I went with the original. It was 30°, I was melting, my makeup was melting and I had a hen party to go to that evening without going home first, so I was counting on this stuff! I’m impressed. I’ve never used a setting spray before, so I didn’t really know what to expect, but even my blush was still visible at the end of the evening! I didn’t look in the mirror all night in fear of what I might look like – but my makeup was all still in the right places when I got home. Thumbs up!

I think I’ve spoken about the Pixi Glow Tonic and FAB Ultra repair face moisturiser on the blog before, so I won’t go too much in to them, but will say that I’ve lost count of how many of these I have bought over the past few years. They are staples in my skincare routine. I’m pretty dry, and so suffer from flaky skin quite regularly. The Glow Tonic takes away all of the gross flakiness and the moisturiser soothes and calms any redness I may have thanks to the colloidal oatmeal it has in it. I will probably carry on buying these forever and ever.

I’ve tried lots of facial sunscreens over the past few years and all of them make me break out and irritate my skin. I’ll still have a tiny spot or two at the end of the day after wearing this Pixi one, but it doesn’t make my skin itchy or irritated. I’d LOVE to try the Glossier Invisible Shield sunscreen, buuuut, I have to be patient and wait until they come to the UK. The last time I ordered from them I ended up spending more on tax than what I actually bought. Sigh.
And finally, I don’t understand why I haven’t seen anyone else talking about this Palmers face mask?? I really like face masks, but they never seem to actually do anything. I had been on the hunt for a budget enzyme mask for a while now (woah some of them are crazy money!), and I really feel like this one delivers. My face definitely feels smoother, there is no irritation, it feels quite “purifying” without making my face freak out. Plus, my skin seems to prefer exfoliation that isn’t physical, so this ticks that box. I’ve not tried any of their skincare before this, but I might have to now!

Have you tried any of these lately? Or any new skincare products that you think are great? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

SaveSave

Refining My Wardrobe


These jeans. THESE JEANS! They were such a faff to get my hands on!
I left it a little late waiting for the M.i.h sale, so I bought them in the size up that I’d usually go for as that was all they had left. I’d never bought anything from them before, so I had no idea how their sizing worked; Surprise surprise, they didn’t fit. So, in the process of posting them back I found my size on a different website for the same price and bought them. Only issue was, as I was looking at how they fit other people online, I found them almost £50 cheaper on a little site called Bad Denim!

So I ended up buying 3 pairs to get it right, and I’m still waiting for one refund… BUT, it was totally worth it. I love them. They fit me perfectly, I don’t have to fold up the hem (which is unheard of, even for some “cropped” trousers), but I like how they look folded, too. They are pretty retro looking, but I feel like they have a slightly modern twist on the 70’s jean fit. Pops of colour with minimal everything else is my jam right now, so this burnt orange colour is a great addition to my currently very sparse wardrobe (and it matches my hair!).

Jeans: M.i.h | T shirt: H&M Conscious collection | Shoes: Birkenstocks
I’ve had a pretty major clear out of clothing, sold some on eBay, taken lots to charity and pretty much halved my already small wardrobe. I hadn’t worn some of my remaining vintage pieces in well over a year, so I figured if someone else can get some more wear out of them, then why not sell them/give them away! It feels really good to start over, and I can’t wait to see where my style is heading. It seems to have changed a lot over the past 6 months/year, but I’ve never had the money to buy what I really wanted and therefore actually show that it had changed (if that makes sense?). Now I’m earning a little more, I can feel less guilty about making some pricier (but more ethical and better quality) purchases every now and again and to be honest, it feels great!
Next on my list is a new bag that will comfortably fit my camera in it, and occasionally my iPad Pro (12.9″)… suggestions are more than welcome!

Have you ever had a complete wardrobe overhaul? I’d love to chat about it in the comments!

Phthalo Blue Birthday


I turned 27 yesterday. I had been quietly freaking out about it for a little while now; feeling like I hadn’t “succeeded” in anything in particular, my blog and illustration work never taking off, getting closer to 30, feeling like maybe I’ve just not tried hard enough, work always getting the better of me. Just as it was all getting a bit much I read Brittany Bathgate’s most recent blog post about age and how people and society perceive it and honestly; it couldn’t have come at a better time! It gave me the little boost I needed.

I’ve always thought of myself as a “late bloomer” – still looking awkward, unsure about myself and teenager-ish well in to my twenties. In reality, it was just because I cared too much about what other people thought of me – it hindered my growth massively when it came to my blog, personal style and illustration work. I know these are all ultimately superficial things, but they were (and still are) my life, and it affected my self confidence hugely. I tried too hard to fit in with the people around me, but working from home for the last year and taking a step back, no matter how alienating it was at the time, has made me realise who I am a little more when it comes to these things. Okay, I’m still struggling with my illustration style, but that’s a story for another time!

What I’m trying to say is – no matter how old I am, I’m going to keep trying and doing the things I love to do. I don’t think there should be this specific magical age that people have to feel successful and fully themselves by. We all constantly change and grow and we all put too much pressure on ourselves, from younger and younger ages, to be in a particular place in our lives by a certain age.

Dress – FineryBag – still available from Ark in Cambridge Shoes – Birkenstock

This dress was a treat to myself for my birthday. It’s from Finery London and it’s my first piece of clothing in a long time that feels like it’s really made well. Finery has been on my radar since they launched in 2014, but I have never afforded myself to buy anything from them until now. What a mistake that was on my part! I can tell this dress is going to be regularly worn and in my wardrobe for a long time, and will still look good for years to come. They aren’t about fast fashion, and you can really tell. Their turnover isn’t as quick as other high street shops, which is great for my indecisive mind that likes to mull things over for ages before committing to anything. This piece is a classic kimono/wrapover in a beautiful linen and a perfect shade of blue that reminds me of my Phthalo Blue gouache . Obviously it looks a little longer on me than on the model on their site, but that’s always the case for me. The trials and tribulations of being short! If you are a small person like myself, I hope this gives you an idea of where it might finish on you!