COCOSKIES | An art blog: June 2012


Giveaway winners

Thank you to everyone that entered; sadly there could only be two winners. Congratulations to Islay and Amy, you are my winners and I will be emailing you girls shortly!

P.s. At the moment I'm currently creating loads of illustrations for the next issue of Aesthetic Magazine. I really want to show you all but you'll have to wait! Sorry for my sporadic posting haha :)


A little wishlist

Dream broderie anglaise top by Isabel Marant , Bitten leather platform sandals from Asos, Wayfarer-style acetate sunglasses by Céline, Broderie skirt from Oasis, Chloé Madeleine leather duffle bag, Opi nail polish in 'Bubble Bath'.
The more I read fashion blogs the more I feel that my own style is gravitating towards something new. Right now I'm really liking skirts that have a faded blue tone - like the one above. I've been admiring similar shades sported by Aimee and Rumi, and I just think that these pale shades compliment lightly tanned skin beautifully. Throw in a leather tan bag, shoes and tortoiseshell sunglasses and you've got yourself a winning combination.


Zakynthos, Greece

Blue dresses: Both from H&M, White lace dress: Topshop, Tropical shorts from Bar III (at Macy's) . All photos were taken using a Canon 1000D.
It's so sad to see that Greece's economy is suffering at the moment. Greek people are so lovely and hospitable, they greet you like a family member they haven't seen in years. The islands themselves are wreathed with flowers, spread across old white Mediterranean style buildings. Greece is the kind of place that seems to have a natural beauty about it. When I hear that less people are travelling there it makes me sad. They are grateful that people decide to vacate there, so don't let the euro-crisis put you off. I hope that my photos project this and hopefully convince you to visit one day.

Here are my photos from the lovely Ionian Island of Zakynthos. I am so bad at narrowing photos down to my favourites, so apologies for so many pictures of the beautiful turquoise sea. Bear in mind that I live in the rural England so it's only natural to get excited when the ocean is in sight.

I only went for a week but I'm so grateful that I was able to just escape to a beautiful sun drenched island for a bit. Visiting Greece has definitely propelled my desire to travel even more. The temperature never dropped below 30 degrees, but I didn't mind because I was able to wear some of the sun dresses I'd be eyeing up throughout the year.

The pictures with the bright turquoise water gently lapping up on the white sands were taken at Navagio/Shipwreck beach, it's only accessible by boat. Definitely a must see if you ever visit. You can sometimes spot turtles and dolphins depending on the time of year you visit. The boat trip we went on sailed around the peripheries of the island and was about 22 Euros. Not bad at all.

Not only is Greece surrounded by the beautiful blue waters, but it also contains many varieties of flowers. I always find myself attempting to take a few quick snaps of them. I'm not sure of their proper name, but there are loads of bright red hibiscus-looking flowers draped all over white buildings around the island. So pretty.

I hope you enjoy looking at my pictures, and I hope that if you're going on holiday soon this post makes you even more excited to travel. I've posted where my dresses are from, but if you want to ask me anything else regarding this particular post leave me a comment and I'll get back to you soon.


I'm back from Greece

Hey guys, just thought I'd let you know that I'm back and I was pleasantly surprised to see loads of new giveaway entries! Here's a picture of Charlotte Free I drew from Marie Claire Magazine in the trusty Moleskine last week. I have so many photos from my trip; I'll probably get round to posting them some time this week. Hope you're all well!


New layout

After a whole morning spent trying to fathom image mapping my new layout is finally up! I really hope you all like it. I myself was getting a bit bored of seeing 'COCOSKIES' in plain black text on the side bar - plus I'm naturally a very indecisive person. All the links are now in the header, I'll let you discover them yourselves. :)


Holiday outfit plans

I decided that the best way to justify not spending any more money on holiday clothes would be to plan each outfit in advance, so that's precicely what I've done. I've been spending a lot recently. My self control appears to have completely vanished. Ooops. I need to start saving again after my holiday! I'll be leaving on Friday and staying out there for a week. I can't wait! Just got to go on a last minute shop for mozzy cream and I'll be sorted.

I'm also planning on drastically changing my layout. I sketched out a header idea last night and I'm going to paint it today. I'm excited to put it on the blog.


Oreo brownies

Cookies and cream fudge brownies by Lorraine Pascale. Original recipe can be found here.
On twitter I promised that I would share the brownie recipe I was using if they were any good, so here it is! I don't know if my picture does them justice but they really were delicious! Lorraine Pascale really knows her stuff when it comes to baking. The recipe contains Oreos which automatically makes it a winning recipe for me. I was expecting the biscuits to stay quite crunchy (strange logic) but they just seemed to melt into the brownie mixture - so good! So here's the recipe, promise me you'll treat yourself to some of these this week! They'd go perfectly with a nice big cup of tea.

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease a 20cm/8in square baking tin with butter, then line with baking paper with the paper overlapping the sides a little.

2. Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and add the grated (or chopped) chocolate. Leave to stand for a few minutes, or until the chocolate melts, and then stir together. Alternatively, you can put the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 25-second blasts, stirring well each time.

3. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla together in a large bowl until the eggs begin to get light and fluffy. Add the sugar in two additions, whisking between each. Pour it around the side of the egg mix so as not to knock out the air that has been whisked in. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes stiffer. Once the egg mixture is ready, pour the chocolate into it - again around the sides so as not to knock the air out.

4. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and a third of the biscuits and stir until fully combined, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Scatter the remaining biscuits over the top, pressing them in slightly. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 25–30 minutes. The middle should be very so slightly gooey. Leave the brownies to cool in the tin - the top will sink and crack a little.

5. Pull the brownies out using the overlapping paper and cut into squares. Dust with icing sugar.

Giveaway time!

Examples: 1.portrait, 2.Outfit snippet, 3.Wishlist.
Over the Summer I will be opening a little illustration shop - you may have seen this advertised on my side bar. I've been planning on selling custom watercolour illustrations for a while now. It was just a matter of time waiting for the academic year to finish. The illustrations will be a small price and can be used for things such as blog headers, blog profile pictures and posts! Each illustration will be unique as it is made just for you. The picture above shows a few examples of my painting style and the types of things I can do.

I decided to do this giveaway not just advertise my upcoming shop but to thank my readers for sticking with me. I really enjoy reading all the comments I receive and they inspire me so much to continue making art.

A few things to note about the giveaway: you can only enter by using the Rafflecopter app (comments won't be counted as entries), there will be two winners, the illustration will be a portrait (above: option 1), the illustrations will be scanned and emailed (you will not receive the original), the winners will receive an email with further details, the giveaway will end on the 30th of June.

If you do not win but would like a personalised watercolour image, you can always buy one from my shop which will be opening soon. Keep checking the sidebar for a link.

Best of luck!

P.s. Oh and before I forget, a big thank you to Pugly pixel for featuring me on her blog this week! If you would like to learn how make a magazine-style caption for your blog posts (like mine), head over there and find out how to do this using css.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Edit: Please make sure that you are actually doing the things you've ticked on the Rafflecopter app. I've been checking the entries today, most comply with the rules but there have been some saying they're following on twitter for example, when they're definitely not. These entries have since been deleted. When the winners are randomly picked I will be double checking those entries too.

Recent purchases

Left to right: Benefit Porefessional courtesy of Glamour Magazine, Large Cross necklace from Sitting Pretty, Glamour Magazine, Barry M nail varnish in 'Strawberry Ice-cream' (309),Topshop blush in 'Flush' and Company Magazine.
Yay for exams being over! I can finally put some time aside to blog and sketch without feeling guilty. Woohoo. I thought I'd kick off the week by posting some recent purchases because I love experimenting with Photoshop curves at the moment.