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Tattooified! February 5, 2011

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Graphic Design, Makeup/Cosmetics, What I Wore.
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My new tattoo of a treble clef art deco style


Sorry about the over-show of thigh guys, but I had to share my new tattoo with you! Isn’t it perty?! It doesn’t even hurt, and although it is apparently like to sting when washed it hasn’t so far – maybe my Wolverine-like powers of healing are proving themselves useful yet again!

As for what it felt like to get a tattoo, well I used a numbing cream and so didn’t even vaguely feel the outline. Once that had worn off and the feeling was coning back, during the filling in section, it did begin to hurt. The feeling it most was like, to draw a comparison, was the feeling of using an epilator, not nice but not really nasty either. Some bits did hurt a lot, but in general it was easily managed. I wouldn’t be that scared of having one again, although I definitely think a numbing cream is worth using as it makes such a difference! Also, when the pain does come it appears slowly, giving your body a chance ot get used to it!

My inner geek December 17, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Graphic Design, Inspiration, Life, Chatter & Politics, Media, TV & Film.
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Woe betide anyone who doesn’t own up to their inner geek. Or their outer geek, as it happens. What was once seen as a silly way to life your life, full of stupid facts and a certain lack of that indefinable “cool”, has suddenly become trendy. The geeks have, in a expertly calculated and complicated rebellion, taken over the earth. Probably whilst wearing capes. Where would we be without them? Without people continually demanding more from life, from the world? Without people appreciating everything from the tiny microbes under our skin right through to the things that are bigger than most human brains can even begin to contemplate?

I wholeheartedly and happily put my hands up to being a geek. I know a strange amount about birds, and meteorology. I am geeky about the idea of space, and hoping for the existence of aliens, and about watching episodes of Star Trek or The X Files back to back. I can have long conversations about the use of grammar and words, about how nice it feels to form the syllables of “Hyundai” with your tongue. I debate about human rights, and nuclear weapons, and about the validity of various scientific experiments. I dream of zombies, and I know which animals of the air, land and sea are the fastest (Swift, Cheetah and Swordfish, for those wondering – although the Peregrine Falcon is the fastest creature on earth in a downwards dive). Geekery makes up a massive portion of my life, and I love it. It makes me feel I am a tiny part of the brilliance of the world.

And so, for the geeks amongst us, a celebration. A celebration in fashion form, as it happens, although this really isn’t about my fashion geekery. A ring, featuring Gotham City in all its Gothic, dramatic and dangerous glory. Perfect. Now, if only I had $225…


Gotham City Ring

Gotham City Ring



Make Love Not War October 19, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Graphic Design, Inspiration, Photos.
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Had to share this… a stunning juxtaposition between the violence and ugly nature of firearms, and the friendship and love implicit in an origami crane.

 gun and origami crane tattoo

Hmm… On Berlin, and on feeling lost October 14, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Blogs, Graphic Design, Life, Chatter & Politics, Photos.

Well, I am back from Berlin. It is an amazing place – a chaotic mix of gleaming new building, and crumbling sixties monstrosities. A combination of historical respect, and a powerful belief in the future. A place on one side battered to within an inch of its life, yet at the same time a place that refuses to be repressed. Berlin is, in essence, a city of two halves, only now there isn’t a wall to separate them.

Whilst the history of Berlin is, undoubtedly, terrible, it has clearly had a dramatic effect upon the outlook and attitudes of people who live there today. All around this inelegant place are memories – whether they are expressed in a huge concrete sculpture 5 acres big, or in a tiny piece of street art no bigger than your hand. They have chosen to accept the past, and learn from it – a recognition that is apparent in everything and in the way they treat and accept people in the modern world. This liberal nature, this thriving underground scene, is part of what made me enjoy this city so much, and is a major component in calling me back.

With no further ado, let me share some photos…


Graffiti on the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery

Graffiti on the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery



Isn't she gorgeous?! Famous Berlin Streetart

Isn't she gorgeous?! Famous Berlin Streetart



The contrast between different Berlin architecture - old vs. new

The contrast between different Berlin architecture - old vs. new



Lauren at the Berlin Jewish Memorial

Lauren at the Berlin Jewish Memorial


As for the blog, I seem to have been neglecting it as of late. I am writing my portfolio and stuff, but at the same time I just don’t really have much to say currently. I keep catching myself wishing that this blog was a little more focused – with perhaps a set topic or structure, and less mindless ramblings of a lightly disconnected mind.

What do you guys think? Is it worth carrying on blogging, or should I branch out into a new space? I’m just feeling a little lost…

The best chocolate bars ever… September 29, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Foodiness, Graphic Design, Photos.
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The pictures do the talking for me…

chocolate for couples

breakfast lunch and dinner chocolate

flat pack easter egg chocolate

hear no evil see no evil speak no evil chocolate

Go Ink Yourself August 23, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Advice, Fashion, Graphic Design, Life, Chatter & Politics.
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As I tend to when I get a new topic in my head, I have spent most of this week thinking about tattoos. I have had to rethink my opinions on some people’s tattoos and replace a certain sense of fear with one of respect over the design and the workmanship. It may not be to my personal tastes, but who gives a s**t?!

My thinking about tattoos has led to me spending many hours browsing through pages and pages of some of the most beautiful tattoos in the world. Many are horrible, yet brilliantly done, whilst others are purely beautiful. The range of styles (I tend to lean towards eastern inspired images, natural subjects, tribal patterns and solid black work) is incredibly, and you would never believe how many different ideas there are out there. I have become a little obsessed!

3d stone seal tattoo

3D stone seal tattoo

One of the cool ones I came across on the website was this amazing stone tattoo. It is incredible, and although I would never have a tattoo like that it has to be respected for the artistry! The 3D effect in particular is worth mentioning – it reminds me of Edgar Mueller’s stunning pavement art!

beautiful womans face tattoo

Stunning Portrait Tattoo

In a totally different style is this portrait. Whilst usually I am not a fan of colour in tattoos, this one made it look like a water colour. The combination of Japanese and Art Nouveau styling is also beautiful, and I actually find myself wanting a tattoo like it! So stunning!

full back tattoo

Amazing Gothic Tattoo

More astonishing than anything else I found, however, was this full back tattoo. Now, I would never have anything like this. However, ignore the overall tattoo and look at the detail. There is depth, texture. Creatures clamber from the base of his back, whilst muscled beasts strain against the stone wall above. Centrally, a terrifying figure enters the room. All this, in ink, on someones back. Wow. Loving the bum crack though!

There were, of course, many other tattoos that were stunning. Gentle maple trees. Stunningly realistic roses (not my favourite subject matter though). Deep black patterns and shapes. Confusing visual illusions. I am a total tattoo convert!

Now, of course, I have to decide where to have mine. It seems I won’t be able to have it on my hairline on my neck as previously planned, so I have to think of somewhere else. Somewhere only I and particular chosen people can see it, which isn’t cheap or tacky.

The tattoo itself is a stylised art deco treble clef, designed by Tom at my work. Check out his portfolio, it is pretty cool! Alongside show casing the really stylised art style that I love, this is also meant to represent my love of music, and more importantly the significance that music has had in my life. It has saved my life, many times over!

My tattoo

My future tattoo

Where do you think I should have it? Serious suggestions only please! Now I am not having it on my neck I am willing to have it a little larger than the 50p piece it was originally going to fit on, so the possibilities are varied!

My Work Blog | THE Blog About Cars January 5, 2010

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Blogs, Graphic Design, Wordy Business.
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Whilst I write lots of things in my own time, some of my job at work has been setting up and maintaining an automotive blog from scratch. The process, self hosting a blog, has been one that I haven’t done before, and I must admit that I really like the process. I like the control you have, the extra options, to flexibility of design and creation. Essentially, I have been able to produce a blog that looks like a masculine version of what I want mine to look like, if I wasn’t too scared of losing my Google pagerank!

So, consequently, I thought I would share it with you, and see what you think of my efforts!

Any feedback, definitely welcomed! What do you think of the theme?

THE Blog About Cars

My Blog about the Automotive industry

My blog about the Automotive industry

The Whole Package July 26, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Foodiness, Graphic Design.
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I have great respect for brands that bother to put effort and thought into their packaging. Leading the crowd used to be brands such as Innocent, with their cute doodles and personal, conversational tone. Nowadays, however, good packaging and stunning typography is a little more common. Anywhere I go I spot lovely examples, and the great range of luxury cooking goods at Waitrose had me staring at them for ages yesterday!


Isn’t the range of colours and phrases beautiful!?


London’s Up and Coming Designers July 19, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Fashion, Graphic Design, Inspiration.
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In the world of fashion, up and coming designers don’t just hang out at the catwalks and the boutiques. Nowadays they can be found in the strangest of places, as I was to find out when I journeyed down to London to visit a friend’s product design exhibition at the New Designers exhibition. Alongside seeing Jasmine’s fantastic Displacement Engine, a satnav/compass style product intended to encourage people of the beaten path and into the realm of unfamiliarity (read a better description here), I also hoped to explore some of the fantastic Islington area, jam-packed as it is with little boutiques and luxury shoe shops.

displacement engine

It was within the exhibition that I really found the gems though – alongside some strange concepts and great furniture that I couldn’t resist showing you! First, a concept for a laser vegetable engraver, for transforming ordinary kitchen veg into stunning masterpieces. A little bit bonkers, but just look at this carrot! Second is a fascinating collection of furniture – which although lovely was, of course, very pricey!

engraved big ben carrot!


new designers furniture









Now onto the fashion. Sports themed wear was a definite trend amongst the designers, with plenty of tartan/hounds tooth jackets, and stretchy Nylon tops. The emphasis was on protection combined with fashion, padding the elbows and keeping the wearer safe. It was interesting to see an area of fashion I don’t particularly understand being elaborated on, and I did enjoy seeing the graphic prints that are haunting our catwalks being twisted into a sport theme – surprisingly beautiful!

new designers sportwear

The real star of the exhibition was the beautiful clothing by Nicola Morgan, an award winning fashion designer who produced some fantastic pieces. Working with luxury and industrial fabrics, this girl produces some spectacular dresses and jackets (amongst many more items!) featuring cut out interlocking jigsaw like pieces, that work their way along the contours and lines of the clothing. Structured and stylised, with a nod towards the origami and industrial catwalk trends that have been dominating the past few seasons.  Definitely someone to look out for in the future – oh, and she is enviously pretty and talented – grrr! hehe.

nicola morgan fashion design

nicola morgan jackets

Check out the website for some more photos, including some lovely fashion photography!

My final discovery was a range by Rebecca Jane Howe, a much edgier fashion designer/artist/model who’s novice blog features a great photo shoot with plenty of edgy themes! The product on display, however, was a much girlier and more delicate range of jewellery. The first thought that crossed my mind when exposed to the lace-style necklaces was that this could be a more practical yet just as stunning alternative to the recent trend towards paper jewellery. Reminiscent of butterfly wings and elegant yet uneasy collars, I could help but fall in love with this piece – and wish I could own an article of my own! I may drop her a line to see a) if this is on sale and b) if I could dream of affording it! One to watch, I would recommend this work to anyone!

rebecca jane howe necklace

Finally, I have a quick Harrods fashion pic just to keep all you non-uk-ites in on the luxury (and totally impractical) action! Enjoy!

harrods evening dress

Pretty things April 8, 2009

Posted by Lauren Cooke in Crafting, Graphic Design.
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There is something incredibly satisfying about pretty things. Items can make your day – and they are even more likely to if they are lovely and beautiful to look at.

This is probably the reason I like vintage clothes – the time that has passed since they were originally made has a wonderful effect – it weathers then, it smooths their sharp edges. It turns a pretty item into a beautiful one, loaded with history and meaning. As the styles progress and change, the old styles become quaint, and are the beautiful setting upon which later fashion is built.

The same principle applies to chose – if they are pretty, I find myself falling head over heels in love, regardless of whether they fit, whether they are the right colour, whether I can afford them! If they have shimmery leather, beautiful ribbons, intricately decorative soles – then they must be mine. The lust is ignited by their prettiness, not their sensibility.

When I think about my future house, I think about rolled wood banisters, curtains of exquisite fabrics, a chaise longue in the corner. I dream of beautiful antiques, pretty pictures, bedding fitting for a queen. It is hard to live up to these dreams (when your house is a studio flat, kitted out in ikea, with barely room for two people, it gets kind of hard), but I keep them alive all the same.

You want to see my dream house, by the way? Here it is! It looks so much more exquisite than this in real life!

Picture 3

Luckily for me, the world is full of pretty things – anything can be lovely if you look at it right, and “things” are springing up left right and centre – such as this amazing site full of beautiful paper. This chef’s letter writing set is so cute – makes me desperately want a pen-pal – anyone up for it?!

Retro-chef Letter Set

Argh, life is too full of “I want”s at the moment – I must be good! Must not spend money!