Inside Etsy

Etsy Made Local Brighton screenprint hello dodo

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour Rock Cakes jewellery

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour iced tea

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour shelves

carrie and liv bloggers shooting cameras

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes designer makers

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tourEtsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour rock cakes jewellery painting



When I first started ShinyThoughts, this little spot on the internet liked to talk about craft, local artists in my area and independent products that interested me. Exhibitions make way for for holidays and artist studio tours for outfit posts. It’s strange to think how much my focus has changed now compared to life 6 years ago.

That’s why I was really exited to have the opportunity to revisit the world of making with Etsy on their trip to Brighton. The chance to take a look behind the scenes of some modern and fun independent brands took me right back to the birth of this blog! 


Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour Georgie St. Clair

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour georgiestclair workshop

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes Georgiestclair illustrations

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tote bags


Lick Studios

It was just a short walk to Lick Yoghurt’s offices where some of Etsy Brighton’s best Sellers came to hang out and show us how they work. Once stepped into the arty space, I was super excited to spot one of my favourite Etsy sellers Rock Cakes, run by the lovely Sarah Meredith. She very kindly gifted me her cute mirrored ‘hello‘ necklace years ago so it was a big pleasure to watch her creating a bunch of equally adorable wooden brooches based on the British weather. Rain never looked so good.

Joining her were several others in the Brighton Etsy club including Toby, the student behind the pretty puurrrrdy I Like CATS (I really do.) There was Hello DODO with their adorable Brighton up your Day screen prints which they demo’ed in front of us with a portable stamper. After a couple of cocktails, we sat down to workshops with GeorgieStClair and the dudes at Designosaur.

A flower petal dress illustration, choker necklace and camera keyring later and it was time to tuck into some Lick and a chat with the Sellers. It was wonderful to see the time, effort and community spirit behind the famous marketplace for unique goods. Afterall, People Make Etsy ya’ know!


Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour plants

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour i like cats shop paintings

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes i like cats cat tattoo

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour brighton up your day hello dodo

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour designosaur

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour designosaur pliers

lick yoghurt colourful frozen yoghurt pots

Etsy Brighton Artists Studios behind the scenes tour jelly shoes

Thanks so much Etsy UK for the opportunity to come and meet some of your sellers!

Want to see where I stayed and what I wore? See my last Brighton post!


#TheBloggersMarket is Back!

#TheBloggersMarket 2 invite


You CAN Sit With Us!

Have you heard that #TheBloggersMarket is back? oh yes! It’s bigger and better than before and we just can’t wait to open the doors to your smiling faces! If you’ve not heard about it before, it’s essentially 6 hours of shopping the wardrobes and lives of us 5 fashion lifestyle bloggers; Carrie, Dunya, Kristabel, Olivia and I. There are also other fun things to do and it’s a great excuse to meet up with your galpals, come say hi and hang out! I’ll be selling loads of different bits and bobs from ASOS to Antipodium with sizes from 8-12 and shoe sizes 7 & 8 but if you fall out of that bracket, there are plenty of other sizes from the other girls!

2 Weeks to go!

So what’s new since our first January edition? Well, there’s no doubt that it was amazing if we do say so ourselves (we couldn’t believe that there were blog posts written about it before we even got home!) but this time we tweaked things a little. We’ll be running a ‘Tweet to Eat’ shop full of tasty treats from Krispy Kreme (there’s talk of being able to win a years worth of doughnuts too) and sustenance from Yo!Sushi so you can get your sugar levels back up after rifling through the rails. Grab a bottle of Appletiser (my absolute fave), and like take a look around our stalls, try things on and then pay at the respective Bloggers’ stand. Easy!

Once you’ve shopped, drop in to get your portrait illustrated by Emma Block to mark the day and get your make up touched up by Benefit Cosmetics. Listen to the gorgeous sounds of tipped-to-be-big new singer Shannon Wardrop and you’ll be set for a perfect Saturday!

BTW, if you’re feeling peckish, The Hoxton Hotel‘s own restaurant Hubbard and Bell is excellent or pop downstairs to Chicken Shop. Otherwise, you’re just a short walk to Soho or Covent Garden. If you’re looking for a cashpoint, there’s one at Sainsbury’s, 100m before you get to the Hotel. Please not that this year, the space we’re in is a little smaller so we do apologise in advance if you will need to queue a little at the door.

Take a look at the Facebook page for all the details and to tell us you’re coming and remember the main point, we’ll be at The Hoxton Holborn hotel, not Shoreditch!

It’s going to be a fun day. See you there in 2 weeks time!



New Things: For your desk and kitchen!

new things stationery, accessories and illustration of london


Desk Things

My birthday feels like it was last year but seeing I never got the chance to show you a couple of pretty pieces I was offered from my Faves, I’m going to pop them into this latest New Things post to give you your own gift ideas. My friends know how much I love colour pops and practical things, so they mixed the two requirements and offered me some pretty cool new things…


My most generous gift from the girls was a beautiful bright turquoise leather purse from Furla which, after my budget plastic version fell apart, fully graduates me as a grown women. There’s nothing like a whiff of luxurious leather diffusing from your wallet as you scramble around for any hiding pennies at the end of the month. Thanks gals!

A sweet surprise on the side was this chic stationery set from the brand I wish I was always able to afford: Kate Spade. A shiny pot from Oliver Bonas sorted out my embarrassing Blue Peter style DIY pen holder that if been using for years. Again, I’m becoming a woman, see?

A gift to myself was the intricately drawn London map, the type of art where you can easily spend a good 10 minutes examining, plus is educational so double win. I got a few similar London themed prints from Great Little Place and popped them up in my boyfriends’ flat, take a look! 


oliver bonas copper pencil pot, stationery and desk bits and bobs

stationery kate spade pencils and gold foil notebooks
Furla turquoise leather purse Blog tips guide by ChloeDigital notebook
cute fun party ring mini bag from asos with ice cream keyring

Instagram book with ideas for square format shots

New Stationery Things:

London illustrated map – Great Little Place / Pencils – Kate Spade / Pencil pot – Oliver Bonas / Stripe notebook – Studio SarahPurse – Furla at Monnier Freres / Party ring bag – ASOS / Instagram book – Instagram! / Blog tips book – Chloe Digital



summer new things for the kitchen to cook and bake


Foodie Things

I’m no Gizzi Erkskine, nor Lili Vanilli but my half made-up recipes don’t usually turn out too bad. In fact, my last attempt turned out a treat thanks to Rachel Khoo’s cookie recipe! I’m looking forward to trying out some others in her latest, visually on point book.

You’re obviously going to need something to drink with those freshly baked treats, whether it be a matcha powder enhanced smoothie, a refreshing glass of fizzy fruitiness, a cute Elderbrook natural fruit cordial or perhaps a glass of sweet French wine. Make mine the latter!

Talking of healthy eating, I’ve been trying out wild rice (my housemate is obsessed.) Try a basmati blend for a good place to start, just pop in half a stock cube and you’ve got flavour right there!

mixed wild rice tilda for recipies

galivania lemon fizzy drink with fresh mint summer party

accessorize apple juice novelty bagelderbrook mini bottles of drink cordials syrups for summer rahel khoo dark chocolate cherry cookies recipe book baking french vin paille sweet wine from the correze region with local nougat

New Kitchen Things:

Tea and Cake book – Lisa Faulkner / Rachel Khoo’s kitchen notebook – Anthropologie / Wild rice mix – Tilda / Fizzy drinks – Galvanina / Apple juice bag – Accessorize / Fruit cordials – Elderbrook (coming soon!) / Matcha powder – Teapigs / Wooden tray – IKEA / Fruit print tray – IKEA / Vin Paille and nougat – France / Orange mug – T2

Shop the post:

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My SS15 Key Pieces to Wear Now

I’ve gathered together pieces from my wardrobe that are future fashion fodder and, coupled with my wish-list suggestions, will make your outfits the top of the trends. Here are my SS15 key pieces…

Seventies Stylin’

brown blouse printed cropped jacket brown boots bucket bag skinny scarf traveller outfit
There’s no hiding that the next big thing for SS15 fashion is the seventies trend. Just look to Saint Laurent SS15 for your how-to-style masterclass on this one. Oh yes, those wide jean hems are coming for ya along with fedoras, scarves and more chunky footwear (yess!)

I’m not often seen in brown tones but I’m sure glad that I kept a tan silk shirt throughout those seasons of neons! Matched with a cropped jacket that says ‘I’ve had an epic gap year’ and a worn-in bucket bag, it’ll give off a perfect balance of sophisticated-yet-free vibes.

I’m digging around for skinny scarves to drape around my shoulders and tie around my bag. Take note – they’re toted to be the accessory of the festival season!

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The New Blue

seventies style indigo clean denim for 2215 trend guide


A major player in the seventies trend is denim and it’s time to clean up! We’re all a little over the ran-through–the-brambles-then-the-cat-mauled-my-jeans look and are instead detoxing with straight lines and mono-hued denim.

Key shapes include frilled shorts (and frills in general girls!), boxy culottes (they’ll be your wardrobe staple this spring), midi skirts, and the all-important flared jean. Top of my shopping list is a pair of indigo flares to wear with a denim shirt and snakeskin boots. You’ll be denimed if you don’t!

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Shiny Shiny!

blue metallic skirt and silver t-shirt with silver sandals and a turquoise clutch ss15


Blue really is the hue this SS15. If not indigo then it’s got to be turquoise. Minty-blue tones are some of my favourite colours so I’m glad to be integrating these back into my summer looks. Look out for embellished party pieces, sheer and lace, and shimmering fabrics for a futuristic look.

Pair with even more shiny pieces (my fave!) like iridescent blouses and chunky sandals then grab your apple watch and step straight into the future!


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Unplug and Hippie Out

seventies trend festival outfit flat sandals and rope belt with paisley dress


Trend forecasters predict that SS15 will be the apex of the see-saw for us tech-addicts so if the Apple watch sounds like a right lol and you’re scared you’ve become part of the checking-your-phone-40-times-a-day statistic then it might just be time to switch off.

Luckily there’s a whole trend to see you through this return to the simple life. Start by finding yourself a pretty paisley sundress and desert sandals. You’ll be wearing these every day so make them practical in sturdy leather.

Tip: You’ll need a sensible but chic rucksack to carry all your adventuring essentials and a couple of good books in. Choose a rope belt and knit yourself a crochet cardigan and you’ve got your authentic off-grid look down. “Omm”.


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Sassy A-line Skirts

seventies style a-line mini skirt metallic and corduroy button up skirt

So you’ve got your head around seventies, futuristic and back-to-nature trends but what SS15 key pieces should we be looking out for now? For me, it’s all about mini-skirts! Whether floral print, metallic, textured or embellished, they’re the best break from flares your pins will get.

THE BUTTON SKIRT: This Spring, fabrics are all about weightiness so keep an eye out for suede and denim button-down skirts. My latest purchase was a corduroy version from the Urban Outfitters sale. Get yourself one now!

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THE FEDORA: I’ve got a lot of wear out of my black fedora hat but it’s time to find a weathered looking brown one to pair with those seventies and off-grid ensembles.

JACKETS: The teenie-tinier the better! There are many to choose from this Spring: Sweeten-up in a lilac suede jacket, man-up in a fitted black and satin number or hit the road in a brown patched leather version. Full-on tassels optional.

Lastly don’t forget those culottes, shearling sleeveless jackets to see you into the warmer months, platform boots, authentic style kimonos, tennis style separates for when you’re feeling active, and anything small and suede. SS15, bring it on!


Shiny Xmas Gift Guide!

colourful christmas poster gifts for girls urban outfitters


* For Your Gal Pal *

You & Me Print – Urban Outfitters (frame – Amazon) / Instagram wrapping paper – Wrap.Me / Acrylic decoration and glitter bauble – Paperchase / Santa bauble – Rigby & Mac / ‘L’ decoration – Anthropologie


Eep! There’s not long left until the 25th comes around on the calendar and unless you’re superwoman then you’re probably in the same gift-gathering state as me. i.e the majority of the boxes are left unticked on your Evernote list. Ne panic pas! Here are a few last minute ideas for you to swipe up with the click of a button or pop out and grab on your local high street.

The novelty need-of-the-season this year is the incred’ personalised Instagram wrapping paper from Create your own now and there’s no need to write a ‘From: ‘ tag!

Need more fashion inspo? Take a look at my wishlist and my Cyber Weekend picks. Happy Shopping!


blogger gift guide boden glitter heels jumper


* Festive Threads *

Glitter Shoes – Boden / Jumper – Boden / Floral Pyjamas – ASOS

There’s nothing like a new PJ set at Christmas so I’ll be hunting down the perfect pair for my mum. These ASOS floral ones were a cheeky steal for myself but I’m tempted to go twinnies! I’ll be gifting my cousin this cosy alpaca jumper and donning these dancing shoes for the big day.


cut colourful gifts for girls anthropologie

fun christmas gifts books, stocking fillers secret santa for fashion girl


* Gifts gifts gifts! *

Tray – Anna Viktorsson / Bright Bazaar book – Will Taylor / Adorn Book – Shini Park and Kit Lee / Ceramic egg crate and jarAnthropologie / Socks – ChattySocks / Gloves – Rose b Brown / Notebooks – Nuuna / Brussel Sprouts – Sainsburys / iPhone case – Gemma Correll at Iconemesis

Give your creative friends pressies they really want (some of these were my Secret Santa gifts from my best friend and I’m smitten!) Choose beautiful crafty and colourful books, cute phone cases from indie artists on Iconemesis or clever ceramic ware to be crowned the greatest giver. If in doubt buy socks: Chatty Feet are the bad xmas gifts you’ll want to receive!


sparkling wine and fine chocolate christmas gift guide flatlay

sparkling wine and fine chocolate christmas gift guide


* Cheers! Prost! Santé! *

Sparkling Wine – Cremant de Limeoux  at Roberson Wines / Glasses – House of Fraser / Bell Jar – / Chocolate – Stach (Amsterdam)

Pop! If you’re into something a little special to toast with then a sparkling wine is the best way to go (from La France, bien sur!) I picked up these champagne flutes to go with my delicious Cremant de Limeoux brut. Mulled wine? Rosé? Non, I want mine to sparkle!


australian tea T2 loose leaf christmas gift guide ideas

australian tea T2 loose leaf christmas gift guide ideas


* Tea for your ma-tey *

Loose leaf Teas – T2 / Glass mug and infuser – T2 / Glass teapot – Ikea / White mug – Ikea / Bamboo tray – Ikea / Biscuits – Bees bakery

You may well know by my previous ‘New Things’ posts that I’m a big loose leaf tea fan so I’m rather excited to give the new-to-the-UK brand T2 a whirl in my double-walled glass teacup. ‘Melbourne Breakfast’ or ‘Gorgeous Geisha’ anyone? They’ll go perfectly with a batch of cute Bees Bakery biccies!


tea christmas gifts

christmas gifts tea for your mum flatlay


* Treats for your Ma *

 Loose leaf teas – Whittards / Milk frother – House of Fraser / Orange biscuits – V&A Museum shop / Initial mug – Anthropologie

It pains me to say this but… my mum doesn’t like tea. Shock! Horror! I know. Terrible. Instead, I’ll be buying her some coffee accessories for crimbo but for those of you who have normal nans and leaf-loving mothers, Whittards have lovely sets that make perfect gifts. Just add water, and an Anthropologie mug!


blogger gift guide beauty basket goodies presents colourful

blogger gift guide asos make up bag mwah kiss


* xoxo xmas xoxo *

Basket – TK Maxx / Xmas gift box, bath bombs and soap – Lush / Coconut oil – Vita Coco / Glitter nail varnishes – Orly / Nail art wraps – Juku Nails / Sleep Plus – This Works / Lipstick – New Look / Make up bag – ASOS

Last minute secret santa or that cousin you don’t know what to buy? Dash to Lush for handmade xmas-themed bath bits or go glitzy with Orly polishes and Juku nails tips. Sorted.


*** Christmas Giveaway! ***

I’ll be sending out a little gift box to a lucky follower with some of the pieces featured in my gift guide!

Just let me know in the comments below what you wish you could recieve from my gift guide along with a contact handle or address by Saturday 20th December and a ShinyThoughts follower will be sent a package of random bits.

Good Luck!

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