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Easy Gift Wrapping ideas

By December 12, 2019 EVENTS, IN THE MEDIA, INSPIRATION
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Today’s post is brought to you by our graphic designer, Alicia, also known as the Queen of DIY. If you love buying Christmas presents but hate having to wrap them, her tips on gift wrapping will be just what you need to create gifts that are so beautiful they won’t want to open them!

 

Alicia

Hi Everyone,

If I had to give one piece of advice when wrapping presents it would be to not get too worried about it. I would say the majority of people are just glad to be receiving a gift and won’t be too critical of your wrapping. Having said that, it is very nice to receive a beautifully presented gift, so I’ve tried to focus on a few ways to approach gift wrapping that will hopefully have a little something for everyone’s tastes and needs.

General tips on gift wrapping

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Choose quality wrapping paper to avoid rips and tears to the paper. Thicker paper tends to be more durable.

I recommend using your imagination and go one step further than just wrapping paper. An extra touch like ribbon, twine, string, feathers, or tiny ornaments can add lots of texture and interest to your wrapped gift. The possibilities are endless but adding these items can elevate your gift from an ordinary looking gift to something quite special.

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Image from: Half Baked Harvest

If you’re using tape, let it only be clear adhesive tape. Nothing is worse than a gift wrapped with brown tape!

Use natural elements

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One of my favourite things to do when gift wrapping is to incorporate natural elements into the wrapping. I find this to be a very pretty, inexpensive way to prepare gifts. Dried leaves, acorns or sprigs of fir and holly give such a beautiful touch to a present. If using these items I tend to stick with simple, plain wrapping paper so that the natural elements really stand out. To make it extra Christmasy, I often include dried fruit and spices such as dried oranges and cinnamon as they give off such a warming, cosy scent.

Do the world some good and recycle

As lovely and festive as Christmas is, it is also a time of huge waste and consumerism. An good way to tackle this is to be creative and recognise that there are lots of ways to reuse items in your home to create beautiful wrapping for your gifts.

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• Newspaper is one of the best examples of this. Collect old newspapers you have lying around the house and use this to replace traditional wrapping paper. If you want to spruce it up a bit, you can paint shapes on to the newspapers in traditional red or gold colours and wrap it with ribbon.

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• Fabric scraps are another excellent and novel gift wrapping idea. Old cushion cover fabric or printed scarves can make the most beautiful wrapping. Wrap up your gift in the fabric and tie with ribbon or why not delve further into the world of craft and try out the Japanese art of fabric wrapping called Furoshiki.

 

Dealing with awkward shapes

Sometimes your presents don’t come in the most wrapping conducive shapes, for example a sports equipment or a teddybear. One of the easiest ways to deal with those oddly shaped presents is to use a box. Any box will do, ones with lids tend to be nicer, but even a cardboard box would work because you can decorate the outside. Some ideas for decorating a plain box could be, wrapping the entire box with wrapping paper orwrapping  it with a huge ribbon which will make such a statement under a Christmas tree.

 

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If you’re determined to that wrap that present with wrapping paper, there are lots of tutorials on the web showing step by step instructions to some of the most common, awkward shapes. I found this website helpful in the past.

Well, I hope that these ideas have been helpful and given you some new ideas to add to your gift wrapping skills for Christmas and beyond.  Giving gifts is an act of love and care for people in your life and it is so nice to create a moment of pleasure and enjoyment for another when they receive a beautifully wrapped gift. Good luck with the wrapping!

Happy holidays to you all!

Alicia xx

 

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Les 100 Ciels X Sally Lane Jewellery

By June 7, 2019 BEHIND THE SCENES, EVENTS
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This season we are proud to announce our new collaboration with Sally Lane Jewellery Founded in 2015, Sally Lane Jewellery has created a style of jewellery that matches the founder’s ambition, to be Strong Yet Feminine within the workplace.

Sally Lane Jewellery epitomises women sharing stories with other women, to inspire them to take an honest look at their life and make changes to be happier and healthier. It is about embracing all her elements, without needing to conform to notions that to succeed one must emulate stereotypical masculine qualities. The designs are Strong and also Feminine; bold but understated; wearing Sally Lane Jewellery empowers the wearer to do whatever they set out to achieve and reminds women of their own inner strength.

 

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The triangle is the centrepiece for Sally Lane Jewellery because it so perfectly expresses strength and elegance in its form. It breaks the mould from the traditional circle which is so widely used in jewellery and flaunts daring and bravery with its beautiful but pointed angles. This is jewellery for women who are in control of their own destiny.

The jewellery uses Sterling Silver and 18k Gold Plating, to create a unique, well crafted range. Every piece can be worn in the day time, but also looks glamorous with an evening look; in every situation it says something about the wearer while remaining understated.

If you are looking for a strong, feminine and fresh accessory to wear this summer, you can find the Les 100 Ciels X Sally Lane Jewellery in our London store!

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The Barbican Centre Photoshoot

By May 24, 2019 BEHIND THE SCENES, EVENTS
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When Nature Encounters Modernism

We are very excited to share some behind the scenes from our early summer 19 photoshoot. The theme was Nature and Modernism – contemporary shapes, elegance, natural materials and simplicity that inspire us to create.

 

The Location

For our shoot, we chose The Barbican Estate- a residential estate that was built between the 1960s and the 1980s within the City of London in Central London, an area once devastated by World War II bombings. The complex is one of the best examples of British Brutalist architecture, described by Queen Elizabeth as “one of the modern wonders of the world”. With its heavy concrete surfaces, elevated gardens, idyllic lakes and striking towers, The Barbican Estate offers a new, unique vision. It offers a new dimension to nature in  spaces where it seems to have no place. However nature manages to grow in the most unexpected places – finding a path through cement as if recovering its own habitat.

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The Model

Our aim was to keep the model’s mood and look very natural. We cast the lovely Marta Jacquier for the shoot and she had a wonderful feel on camera; relaxed, fresh and real.

Featuring our favourite styles

This time we chose to explore the connection between design, architecture and nature understanding how they work with each other. Our shooting locations within The Barbican Center were chosen to best represent our styles. For example, with style Hudson we selected a grey and white geometrical background that fits perfectly with the elegance of the dress.

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Apollo dress was shot to demonstrate the  direct connection with the Natural world. We chose to combine white with green in order to convey the purity of these two colours and their brilliant pairing with geometrical and organic shapes. We wanted to convey the fresh, light and minimal style that stands up for the comfort. And our model Marta looks simply gorgeous in it!

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Style Britt is the shape of the Elegance. The shooting location was a mix of the fresh feeling of green colours and the grey background of a heavy and full concrete tower. It is about balancing both aspects of fashion – feeling always natural and secure. That is why Britt is for those who are willing to trust that balance is possible.

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For Fritz and Gibby we considered the warm colour of the styles and felt they would work best with a reflecting background. We aimed to use as much natural light as possible and fortunately with this look it was easy to achieve. The pieces were shining for themselves, and a textured wall added even more interest to the shot.

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See the new collection here! Don’t forget to show us how you style your Les 100 Ciels items by tagging us on Instagram @les100ciels and using the hashtag #myles100ciels!

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The history of utility clothing

By April 1, 2019 EVENTS, INSPIRATION
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During WW2, and more precisely in 1941, a utility clothing scheme was introduced by the British government to aid the economy and help the war effort. This scheme produced cheap clothing for both men and women that were referred to as “civilian uniforms”. This type of clothing (labelled with a distinct utility mark, “CC41”) was introduced for several key reasons:

  1. Raw materials (cloth, wool, leather etc.) were in short supply and had to be conserved.
  2. There were no workers to make clothing as most had left to fight.
  3. Clothing prices needed to be kept low so that the civilian population could afford clothing of a reasonable quality.

 

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The government knew that in order to make the scheme a success, they needed to make utility clothing interesting and appealing. Thus, in 1941, lots of skilled designers were hired, creating the Society of London Fashion Designers. High end designers such as Digby Morton, Peter Russell and Handy Amies contributed to make a remarkable range of clothing. There was an initial period of doubt and dislike by the general public and a concern over wearing identical clothing. However, this soon changed! Over time, there was a newfound appreciation for the minimal pleating, patch pockets and muted colours. The designs were simple yet still very chic and above all the clothing was highly durable in a time when clothing needed to last! Moreover in a time of stringent clothes rationing, the scheme was helping to bring equality to the general public, democratising fashion and making good quality clothing affordable for everyone.

 

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Utility clothing became a real source of inspiration in the post war era, capturing the imagination of designers such as Coco Chanel celebrating a more liberated version of the feminine silhouette. For others, utility clothing inspired a revolt against the austerity of the period and designers like Christian Dior were driven by a desire for excess and lavish expressions of femininity with voluminous dresses starting an era famously referred to as the “New Look”.  

Undoubtedly, utility wear has had a lasting impact on fashion and brought about novel interpretations of clothing and yet is so powerful that we still enjoy wearing this style today!

 

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Pancake Day Recipes

By March 1, 2019 EVENTS, INSPIRATION
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Shrove Tuesday, or Pancake Day, is upon us and we are really excited to get our frying pans out and have pancake flipping sessions around the kitchen! It’s the one day in the year where no one can judge you for eating an entire stack for breakfast…. we think. Historically speaking, Shrove Tuesday was the last day to use up eggs and fats before the fasting for Lent began (40 days before Easter). This year we will be celebrating the day with sweet and savoury options, varying from crêpes to American-style pancakes, plus a variety of delicious toppings!


 

Sugar & Lemon crêpes

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 Ingredients

  • 125g plain flour
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 300ml whole milk
  • Butter, lemon and sugar, to serve

 

Method

Sift the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the bowl and add the egg, some melted butter and milk. Whisk the ingredients all together to form a thin batter. Heat a small frying pan and add some butter to prevent the mixture from sticking. Pour in the batter and cook at medium heat for one or two minutes, flipping the crêpes with a spatula to make it cook on both sides. Once placed on a plate, sprinkle with sugar and lemon juice.

 

Spinach and Courgette crêpes

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Ingredients

  • 500ml coconut  milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 220g buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, plus extra for frying
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large courgette, grated

For the filling

  • 1 fennel, sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced

 

Method

Starting with the fillings, drain the chickpeas and add the tahini sauce, olive oil and salt, mix to create a mixture. Separately, bake the fennels for 30-40 minutes, till tender and crisp. To make the pancake batter, add all the remaining ingredients to a bowl, and blend on a high speed. In a small  pan, add coconut oil, and gently drop in the mixture. Cook for a few minutes on each side. Once on a plate, add the chickpea mixture, the fennel seeds and the avocado, and serve with a sprinkle of olive oil and pepper.

 

Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

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Ingredients 

  • 125g plain flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

For the Blueberry sauce

  • 1/2 tablespoons squeezed lemon juice
  • frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

 

Method

Starting with the filling, pour the frozen blueberries in a pot with some water. Once defrosted, add the sugar and mix until it gets smooth and thick. Leave on a side. To make the pancake batter, drop in a bowl all the ingredients, including the ricotta and blend at a high speed. Take a small pan, add some oil, and gently drop in the mixture. Cook for a few minutes on each side. Once placed on a plate, add the remaining fresh ricotta and the warm blueberry compote. Serve immediately.

 

Quinoa Pancakes with Bacon and Maple Syrup

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 Ingredients

  • 1 X 250g Quinoa
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 20g cornflour
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 50g melted butter
  • 2 tsps lime zest
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • To serve
  • 8 – 12 rashers of streaky bacon
  • Maple syrup

 

Method

Add eggs, flour, baking powder to a bowl and whisk together until smooth. Heat your quinoa in the microwave and then add it to the mixture together with the sugar, butter, lime and vanilla. Leave it to rest for 1 hour. Take a small pan, add some oil, and gently add in the mixture. Cook for a few minutes on each side. Then set aside and fry the bacon until crisp. Serve with the pancakes and maple syrup.

 


We have willingly tested all these recipes, and they simply taste delicious! Pancakes are the perfect dish to bring together friends and family… and if you have some leftovers, wrap them up and make a long day at the office a little more endurable.

 

 

 

 

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The Culture Edit – London

By February 18, 2019 EVENTS, INSPIRATION
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Looking for the most exciting exhibitions happening  in London right now?

With the end of winter and arrival of spring comes a calendar full of exciting cultural events, from art to photography and beyond! It might still  be a little cold and dark, but our guide to the best events, will leave you itching to get out and embrace all that London has to offer.

 

Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams (2 February-14 July)

The Victoria & Albert museum is going big this month with their latest exhibition: “Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams”. The biggest exhibition held since “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”, the V&A will showcase over 200 rare Haute Couture garments, 500 exquisite jewels, gowns and photographs tracing the history and impact of one of the most influential couturiers of the 20th century. If you haven’t grabbed your tickets yet, do so now as they are selling fast!

Victoria & Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL

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Bedrooms of London (8 February-5 May)

The Foundling museum, in partnership with The Childhood Trust, is presenting “Bedrooms of London”, a new photography exhibition by Katie Wilson, highlighting how themes such as poverty and wealth sit so close together in a vast city such as London, in a comfortable – uncomfortable relationship. A range of stark imagery including the narrow spaces in which entire families are sleeping, this exhibit offers a touching insight into the lives and difficulties of youth affected by poverty across the capital.

The Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1AZ

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Mandela: The Official Exhibition (8 February-2 June)

What does the name ‘Nelson Mandela’ mean today, in a world where disparity and injustice are still so strong and alive? Celebrating a century since Mandela’s birth,  a new major exhibition takes visitors into the private life of the world’s most famous freedom fighter, revolutionary, political leader and symbol of the struggle against oppression. Photos, unseen film and personal effects are displayed to reveal the secrets of Mandela’s epic story till his final years as South Africa’s first black president. It is the exhibition to see, for now and always.

26 Leake St Gallery, South Bank, London SE1 7NN

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Bloomberg New Contemporaries (5 December-24 February)

Returning to South London after 20 years,  Bloomberg New Contemporaries is presenting an insight into today’s most outstanding works made by emergent worldwide artists. Showcasing at the South London Gallery, 57 artists have been selected for the exhibition, featuring sculptures, drawings, and videos on several current themes such as migration, gender identity and technology use. Just a few of the artists you will find include names such as Chris Alton, Ayo Akingbade, Kara Chin, Camilla Hanney, Mohammed Sami, Rhona Foster! Don’t miss it!

South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Rd, London SE5 8UH

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Pierre Bonnard (23 January-6 May)

After 20 years, Pierre Bonnard is coming back to London, more precisely to the Tate Modern, with a major exhibition that will bring together around 100 of the artist’s greatest works. Born in 1867, Pierre Bonnard was, with Henri Matisse, a French painter who became well-known for his unconventional use of colour, illustrating in his paintings scenes of everyday life and capturing the spirit of the moment through his unique handling of colour and composition. At this exhibition visitors will be lucky enough to discover breakthrough works such as: “Coffee”(1915), “Studio with Mimosa”(1939-1946) and Dining Room in the country”(1913).

Tate Modern, Bankside, London SE1 9TG

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Celebrate the changing of the seasons with a heady dose of art and culture. Be sure not to miss these brilliant events that are in London this spring!

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