Brahma Studios- Taking up a New Hobby

As it’s the start of a new year , there’s no better time to take up a new hobby and set yourself some achievable and exciting goals for the year. We have reached out to the fabulous Christie who has told us a little about her and her photography, which started as a hobby but today is much more!

Christie of Brahma Studios works closely with those beginning new business adventures and specialises in photography, videography and graphic design. We adore her ‘photography for the wild folk’ which you can checkout on her instagram here!

 

Over to Christie…

Photography and design experience to date

I began experimenting with photography from a relatively young age. My dad had an old Olympus OM-1 that he let me play around with, I’d snap up some point and shoot bargains from charity shops and some cheap film from the pound shop. I really enjoyed the developing process and that the results were always really exciting and unique.

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How I got into photography and design

I actually don’t have a definitive answer for this one. I was definitely the creative one of my family, possibly a trait I got from my dad and grandad. I was always doodling, painting, writing and then came the camera.

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What inspires me?

My inspiration often comes from the places I visit – especially coastal areas. I particularly love Cornwall and it’s rugged coastline, I’m really lucky to live in the south west and have the coast so close to me. I always feel inspired when I get back from a successful trip away. I’ve just got back from Bali, it’s such an inspirational place, I came back with lots of ideas.

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The equipment I used when I was a beginner

I had a relatively basic SLR when I started college, before this I was using a bog standard camera that my parents bought me for school trips, it was probably about 5 mega pixels!

An entry level SLR will do just fine, cameras are so advanced now it all depends what you want to achieve, decide your budget and talk to photographers about their experiences with their kit. Once you’ve bought your camera, maybe go to a few workshops on how to use it, personally I find it’s so much easier to learn from playing around with your gear rather than reading a manual.

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Again, workshops are really useful for this. So book yourself into one to learn the basics, I have learnt A LOT from other people teaching me their tricks.

Exploring Photography

Once you’re comfortable with your kit, go out and find your inspiration, I have covered a range of subjects over my time, including fashion, portraiture, landscapes and more recently food!

I found that getting out of my comfort zone was really rewarding, as someone who is naturally shy, meeting up with models was unthought of. I forced myself to break out of the comfort and meet people, message small companies and even get involved with competitions, something a few years ago I would never have dreamt doing.

In life I believe you should find what you love doing and really explore it, whether it’s photography, dance, a sport, writing poetry, travel, there is so much out there to really get stuck into.

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We are very fond of Christie’s work, and hope that if you haven’t already, you feel  inspired to wake-up tomorrow morning and pursue something new and totally thrilling!

 

Don’t forget to have a peak at Brahma Studios website for extra inspiration!

 

Still looking for a new hobby? Take a peak at our post ‘ONA by Agne: Luxury Knitwear and Homeware Designer’, all about giant knitwear and knitting! We think we might take it up, it’s very cool!

Our Christmas- The Portlebay Team’s Traditions (Part 3)

 CHRISTMAS IS SO CLOSE NOW! 5 days to go, 5 days to go! Here is the last part of our festive traditions and tales, we would love to hear all about yours too so do pop us a message!

Introducing Neil, our other Chief Pop-Miesters!

Do you have any Christmas traditions? It’s my birthday on Christmas Eve so double present is a bit of a tradition! I also like to fly off to somewhere for Christmas- usually somewhere cold like Prague or New York.

What is your fondest Christmas memory? As a child, Christmas with my grandparents

What do you normally have for Christmas dinner? Usually a traditional turkey dinner but I once had to settle for a burger at the Hard Rock Café in Amsterdam

Real Christmas tree or fake Christmas tree? Fake

Favourite Christmas film? National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Are you super organised and buy your Christmas Present early or are you a last minute shopper? Last minute but I’m getting better!

What’s on top of your Christmas tree? Angel

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Next up we have the mighty Mark from sales!

What is your fondest Christmas memory? Christmas dinner- my all-time fav meal for the year!

What is your favourite part of a Christmas Dinner? Everything! Lots of veg, turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, gravy- it’s all just the best!

What is your favourite Christmas activity? Sleeping after lunch!

Real Christmas tree or fake Christmas tree? The fake trees with the changing lights!

Favourite Christmas film? Goonies- it’s not Christmassy but it’s always on at Christmas

Are you super organised and buy your Christmas Present early or are you a last minute shopper? Last minute

What’s on top of your Christmas tree? An angel that one of my siblings made when we were children

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Finally, we have Diane our fairy god mother (we need her)!

Do you have any Christmas traditions? As children, our presents were in our pillowcases, on the end of our beds. We also saved one present from under the tree to open on boxing day! Nowadays- it’s anything goes!

What is your fondest Christmas memory? Waking up and moving my feet to see if Santa had been and left presents in my pillow case.

What is your favourite part of a Christmas dinner? Setting the table and the gravy and cranberry sauce

What is your favourite Christmas activity? Putting up the tree and writing Christmas cards

Real Christmas tree or fake Christmas tree? Real

Favourite Christmas film? Love Actually and Elf

Favourite Christmas song? Last Christmas- Wham

Are you super organised and buy your Christmas Present early or are you a last-minute shopper? A bit of both

What’s on top of your Christmas tree? Normally something my son has made in school!             

That’s all for now folks, but there is more to come! YAY!

Save our Hedgehogs!

If you’re anything like us, you just LIVE for this time of year. Crisp Autumn nights are made nice and cosy with hot chocolate, sticky toffee puddings and of course a bloomin’ big bonfire that lights up the sky and warms you down to your little cotton socks.

But we’re not the only ones who love to kick up some leaves this time of year – hedgehogs come in a very close second! Right about now, they’re gorging on slugs, spiders and other creepy crawlies so they can have a nice, long snooze. Or in science-y speak, they’re about to hibernate. Unfortunately, us humans have made it pretty tricky for these balls of prickles to find the perfect bed for themselves, or do very much at all!

Right now, there are just under a million in the wild; that may sound a lot, but in the 1950’s there were 30 million of these critters running around. 30 million! There isn’t one specific cause, but loss of habitat, increased farming, busier roads and a rise in the number of badgers definitely doesn’t help.

So what can we do to help our spiky little friends? We went to Prickly Ball Farm, a farm dedicated to caring for injured or sick hedgehogs, to find out!

Build Your Bonfires Last Minute

The one time being prepared is a bad idea! Stacking all your burnable items right before you set it alight will unsure an unsuspecting hedgehog hasn’t had time to make a nice little nest in amongst the bonfire! If you really MUST be organised, make sure you give the ground underneath a gentle poke to wake them up in time!

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Keep Your Garden a Little Bit Messy

A hooray for lazy gardeners everywhere! The advice from wildlife experts is to look at your garden as a mini nature reserve – twigs, leaves and bushes are a hedgehog’s paradise. Or, if you want to give your little garden lodgers the V.I.H experience, you can make up you own hedgehog house to make sure they are completely undisturbed!

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A hedgehog oasis

Have Holes in Your Fences 

This may sound like we just want you to have a really shabby garden, but these little Tom & Jerry style holes will make sure a hedgehog can take refuge in your lovely garden! Hedgehogs travel 1-2 miles a night searching for food, shelter and mates, so the easier they can get around, the more likely they’re to survive.

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A hedgehog nightmare!

If You Find a Hedgehog…

Rejoice! You’re one of the lucky ones to have spotted one this year! It may be peckish, so offer it cat/dog meat or cat/dog biscuits, or you could also use bird seed, sunflower hearts, meal worms, unsalted peanuts, raisins and dried fruit, and only offer it water to drink!

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Donate to Your Local Hedgehog Hospital 

There’s no such thing as an NHS or private healthcare for hedgehogs unfortunately, so donating to places like Prickly Ball Farm ensure they can get the care they need if they do become ill, or lose their homes and habitat! Olbas oil for sniffly hedgehog noses, newspapers, cat food and blankets are all greatly appreciated at hedgehog hospitals up and down the country. If you do want to make a donation, you can find their info here!

We would just like to say a massive thank you to Prickly Ball Farm for letting come to visit, and in particular Danielle who is a hedgehog genius and answered all of our many  questions! The hedgehogs are lucky to have you!

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The lovely Danielle and adorable Gary

 

Halloween Face Paint Inspiration

As the spookiest time of the year is fast approaching, our small team of popcorn enthusiasts are all starting to wriggle with excitement, as we truly love any excuse to throw on some fancy dress! Halloween, is of course,  one of our favourites! How can we not love dressing up as gruesome creatures, that are also draped in glitter and it be totally acceptable?!

As we utterly adore the silliness of Halloween, this year we have decided to run a competition to win a not so spooky (but very cool) Halloween bundle! We have teamed up with Peach Blossom, who make seriously gorgeous party decorations, and EcoStardust, the very cool creators of biodegradable glitter, to give you all the chance to win these goodies (of course along with a box of popcorn) and have the best Halloween ever! (Hurry on over to our social media pages to enter the competition!)

Find our competition on Facebook!

Find our competition on Instagram!

Find our competition on Twitter!

As the wonderful team at Ecostardust were very generous and gave us some extra sparkles, we could not pass up the opportunity to practice our own Halloween looks! So, here are two easy looks if you don’t want to be too ghastly or haven’t quite mastered the art of face paint and make up (like us, we are true amateurs in the department!).

 

The Galaxy Girl

The Galaxy girl look is just too cool. Everyone is intrigued by life beyond Earth- there’s galaxy cakes, galaxy nail art, galaxy hair, galaxy everything! We can’t help but love that shining and twinkling in the sky, so why would you not want to be a galaxy girl?!

For this look you will need:

  • Purple and white shimmery eye shadow
  • Blue, purple, black and white face paint
  • Vaseline
  • Purple, blue and silver glitter
  • Some face paint sponges
  • A small paint brush

Prior to starting the face painting, this look commenced with some bright and bold eyeshadow, that rather resembled the look of Ursula from The Little mermaid! To achieve this, coat the eye lids with the white eye shadow and then add the purple on top. In order to fit the look of The Galaxy Girl, the eye shadow was dramatized and exaggerated more than your day to day eyeshadow, with it reaching right to the eyebrow and intertwining amongst the brow hairs for a really out of this world look! Finish with a generous coating of mascara and liquid eyeliner for a stand out look.

Now you are ready for face paint! Firstly, we mixed some white, black and blue paint, to create a cool blue/grey. Then we carefully sponged it around the eyes and across the nose, a bit like a fancy burglar’s mask. Following this we mixed some of the purple paint with some white to make a light purple and irregularly sponged it over the cool blue, like a galaxy!

But what else can you see when you look at a galaxy? Stars! To create some twinkling sky diamonds, take a small paint brush and sporadically paint some teenie stars (beware this is the trickiest part!), then add some little dots between the stars to make them look like glistening constellations!

Lastly, it’s time to shine! Using your finger apply Vaseline on top of your face paint art work (but be careful not to smudge your masterpiece!) then lightly dab your glitter on – Voilà! You are now transformed into a Galaxy Girl!

The Shimmering Mermaid

Mermaids are underwater goddesses and we totally love their style! This look could be made more extreme with the face paint scales continuing further around the face and body, if you’re wanting to truly go all out mermaid!

You will need:

  • Turquoise and white shimmer eyeshadow
  • Purple, blue and white face paint
  • Some face paint sponges
  • Fishnet tights
  • Vaseline
  • Glitter

Similarly to the Galaxy Girl, the first step to transforming yourself into a mystical mermaid is to work your magic with that eye shadow! Create a base layer with the white eye shadow, applying right to the corner of the eye and then take your turquoise eye shadow and apply it on top of the white. Easy-peasy! Add eyeliner and mascara to finish the look.

Now here is the most wonderful and hilarious stage of becoming a scaly sea queen! Take those fishnets and pull them over your face! This really did make us giggle! Dab your sponge into the blue face paint, and sponge across your fishnet forehead,. and down each side of your cheeks. Once your blue paint has dried sponge some purple along the edge of the blue paint and just like that you have scales!

The final step to achieving the perfect scales is to add some sparkle! Using your finger delicately apply Vaseline to the areas of your scales which you would like to glisten and then dab the glitter on top! Now for the exciting part, slowly remove the fishnets from your face and reveal those mermaid scales!

All you need to perfect both of these looks is a funky fun outfit!

Happy Halloween from us all at Portlebay Popcorn, we hope you have the spooOOookiest night, and don’t forget to enter our competition!

 

Easy Painted Pumpkin Ideas

It’s that time of year again where our screens are filled with gruesome ghouls, haunted houses and even the streets have a vampire or two on the prowl. With all this horror and gore coming at us from every angle, do we really need to bring it into our kitchens too? Carved pumpkins sure look impressive on Pinterest, but the amount of scraping, scooping and swearing at the shoddy carving kits you buy from the supermarket, it’s enough to put anyone on edge, even without the jump scares.

Painted pumpkins are another story altogether. With little mess, no knives and a whole world of colours at your fingertips, the possibilities are endless, and leave you with pumpkins that will jazz up any windowsill or Hallows Eve spread!

Dripping Pumpkin

Dripping Pumpkin

You will need:

  • A pumpkin
  • 1 tube of matte acrylic paint
  • 1 tube of metallic acrylic paint
  • 1 large paintbrush
  • 1 medium paintbrush
  • 1 small paintbrush

Halloween doesn’t have to be all blood and guts – give your pumpkins oodles of opulence with metallic acrylics and matte finishes. Not as scary as your typical jack o’ lantern, but this will definitely add a little extra gothic glamour to any ghoulish gathering! Use the large paintbrush to cover your pumpkin in the base colour, allow to dry either naturally or with a hairdryer, and apply another coat if necessary. Using the medium paintbrush, create the lines going down the pumpkin starting at the stalk at the top, making sure to go all the way around, and varying in length. Then using the smaller paintbrush, create the paint globs at the end of the lines for a realistic oozing effect!

Geometric Pumpkin

Geometric Pumpkin

You will need:

  • A pumpkin
  • Acrylic paint in at least 3-4 different colours and varying finishes
  • Washi or masking tape
  • 3-4 medium paint brushes, or just 1 if you’re happy to clean between colour switches

This style is perfect for those who LIVE for the satisfaction of slowly peeling off pieces of tape to reveal a glorious design of your own creation. We chose a geometric pattern commonly found in Ikea, but you can create whatever style you like! Simply use washi or masking tape to create your design, fill in the gaps using acrylic paint and a medium paint brush, and make sure to layer up so the colours POP! It usually takes between 30-45 minutes for the layer to dry, or around 4-5 with a hair dryer, so make sure the layers aren’t too thick. It may be difficult but be restrained when pulling off the tape, and peel off slowly; acrylic paint tends to lift and tear away if ripped away too quickly!

Stencilled Pumpkin

Stencil Pumpkin

You will need:

  • A pumpkin
  • White card
  • A pencil or pen
  • A pair of scissors or craft scalpel
  • Some sewing or drawing pins
  • 2 tubes of acrylic paint
  • 1 large paintbrush
  • 1 medium paintbrush

This requires a little extra effort, but the results are terror-ific! Apply your base colour first, using 1 or 2 layers if you need to, and while it dries create your stencil using the card and scissors or scalpel, making sure to consider the size of the pumpkin before you draw out your design. We found it best to then use sewing pins to stick the stencil on to the pumpkin before filling it in with your contrasting paint, as tape or blue tack would peel away your base layer! Maybe you’re gifted in calligraphy and you don’t need stencils to tie your creativity down, but for us mere mortals stencils are a necessity for creating a truly polished looking pumpkin!

 

Adorable Plumpkin

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You will need:

  • 1 plumpkin
  • Acrylic paint in at least 3-4 different colours and varying finishes
  • 3-4 small paint brushes, or just 1 if you’re happy to clean between colour switches

 With these adorable balls of spookiness, you can really do whatever design you would like and they will always come out great because…well…look at it! You won’t find these gems in with the carving pumpkins; instead you’ll be more likely to find them in with the cooking pumpkins in the vegetable section. If you can’t find any of these, look out for little squashes in the vegetable section too, as they will work just as well!

 

Banana Oat Pancakes

Bored of your regular smashed avocado on toast? Fancy kicking your pancake game up a notch? Using no flour and no sugar, these banana oat pancakes are a barely naughty alternative to your regular Sunday brunch!

For 1 person you will need:

 

• 1 banana

• 1 egg

• 65g of rolled oats

• ½ a teaspoon of baking powder

• A pinch of salt

• A pinch of cinnamon (depending on your cinnamon taste levels)

• Whatever you would like to serve! We used maple syrup, fresh raspberries and cherries, and a sprinkling of Cinnamon Swirl Popcorn.

Method:

 

• Use either a blender or tonnes of elbow grease to mush up the banana and egg, and then use your remaining strength to mix in the oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

• It can be as smooth as you like it – we used a blender so it was silky smooth, but I’m sure it would be just as nice with a few chunks of banana inside!

• Let the batter have a little time out for 10-20 minutes so it can thicken.

• Heat a frying pan over a medium heat, and plop in a blob of coconut oil (or any oil you prefer).

• Fry generous spoonful’s of batter on both sides until golden brown, and good enough to wolf down in one bite.

• Serve with a drizzle of maple syrup and lashing of popcorn and fruit!

Easy peasey lemon squeezy!