Sunday, 30 December 2012

A-Z of 2012, part two.

Before we begin part two, I just want to thank everyone who responded to the first part of this post. A lot of time, love and hard work goes into this blog, and your kind words and support make it all worth while. This year has been amazing, and whilst part of that may be down to more than my fair share of good luck and hard work, a big chunk of it is also down to the people who read this blog and make it what it is. So thank you, thank you, and thank you again! Hugs and roses for all!

Now that the cheesy part is out of the way, we'll start where we left off...  

O - Overhaul

Back in January this blog looked nothing like it does today. I had no experience in blog design (a little general graphic design experience, but you wouldn't have known!), and I stuggled to find an image and layout I really loved. I spent months playing around with colours and styles until I found something I was happy with. What I wanted changed with the wind. My first notable banner was one I drew myself, a cutesy self portrait with long hair tangling around the words 'Briar Rose'. It wasn't awful, but I'm no illustrator and I wanted something a bit smoother. Putting illustration aside, I tried a new banner featuring Pre-Raphaelite paintings. I liked it, but after a while I wanted something more personal.

Then I began talking to Paige. I fell in love with her style of illustration, and eventually asked her to help me with a new banner. I adored the floral, portrait banner she made for me, and for a while I was happy with my blog layout. However, after a month or so, something began to irk me. This time I didn't rush into anything. I made mood boards, drew up a colour scheme, did sketches. I made a dummy blog that I tweaked and tweaked until I was entirely happy. Paige made me a new banner, I made new buttons and a profile badge. Once everything was perfect, I launched it on my main blog. I've loved it ever since, and the only changes have been the removal and addition of buttons (and my Christmas overlay!).
P - Paige
This lady warrants her own entry in my A-Z. Paige (of Paige Joanna) has become one of my closest friends. She was the first true friend I made in the blogging community, and it was our mutual decision to attend the Bristol Blogger's meet up that led me to befriend so many other lovely bloggers and like-minded creatives. I can talk to her on Skype for hours, about pretty much anything. She's been so good to me this year, and a huge support in blogging and life in general. It's not unusual for us to be texting first thing in the morning about outfit choices, and last month I asked her to be one of my bridesmaids when Grant and I tie the knot in 2014. In short, I love you, Paigey! You're like a sister to me, as cliche as that might sound. 

Q - Quirky Outfits

I'll be the first to the admit that some of my outfit choices have been a bit off the mark this year. Over the summer I got a little over excited and came up with some rather interesting questionable ensembles. But I had fun with it. It was a learning curve, and I like to think I've come out the other end with an improved knowledge of what I like, and what suits me. I'm always going to favour quirky styles, but I think I'm learning to balance that with what's really wearable in day-to-day life.  

R - Roses 

One of the more abstract entries (I warned you there'd be some!). Roses have been a recurring theme in my 2012 blogging. If you followed this blog way back when, you may remember it started 2012 under the name 'Stolen Rose', inspired by a song by Karen Elson. The change to 'Briar Rose' (inspired by Sleeping Beauty's alias, naturally) happened fairly early on in the year, around the same time I really threw myself into blogging. I have days where I wish I could turn back the clock and change my blog name, however in general I like to think Briar Rose is quite fitting. 

S - Sketch Street

I first encountered Sketch Street when I heard about their collaboration with Mod Dolly. A few weeks later an email landed in my inbox asking if I was interested in taking part in their Blogger Design Project. Along with three other bloggers, I put together five designs that were put to a public vote. Three of my designs made it to the final five, and can now be made to order from the Sketch Street website. 

T - Turning Twenty

Earlier this month I turned twenty, which I suppose would be considered a landmark of sorts! I had a little celebration with some close friends, then celebrated the day itself in Disneyland Paris (so very grown up, I know).

U - University

I've survived a whole year as a university student, and have a) Handed in some assignments I'm really proud of, and b) Not died of scurvy. I would call both of these notable achievements. Also worth pointing out is the fact that when we returned to Bath in late September, Grant and I moved into our first flat together, which I think it's fair to say was a very exciting jump!  

V - Vintage

I've always loved vintage clothing, however I've never been the best at hunting it down. This year I've had a little more success than usual, devoting a whole day to vintage hunting in Penzance and discovering an array of fabulous vintage shops online. My favourite has to be Vintage Style Me. I've said it before, but I'll say it again - I am just in awe of Rhiannon. She makes vintage so easy and accessible for amateurs like myself, and she's just the best kind of person. 

W - Whole Lotta Rosie

Another obscure one, but I had to get Crown and Glory in here somewhere! I first saw Sophie's beautiful headwear in Company magazine, and couldn't resist ordering myself a butterfly crown. Fast forward a month or two, and I discovered an email from Sophie asking whether I'd be interested in featuring one of her 'Whole Lotta Rosie' headbands on my blog. Erm... YES PLEASE! Since then I've had the pleasure of meeting Sophie in person (since she's based in Cornwall we're able to meet up fairly easily when I'm staying with my family), I've featured an array of her stunning products in my outfit posts, and I even modelled for her A/W lookbook photographed by the wonderful Chloe Lee. Crown and Glory have firmly become one of my favourite brands, and I can't wait to continue our relationship into the new year. 

X - #SWBXmas (just about got away with that!)

Just a couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the South West Bloggers Christmas meet up. The venue was beautiful, the company wonderful, and it raised money for Macmillan. I'm really looking forward to attending more South West Blogger events in the future.

Y - Yumi's Christmas Lookbook

After winning a couple of other model searches, my confidence had been boosted so I entered Yumi's model search. I made it down to the final ten, and ultimately won it! Yumi is a brand I've been wearing for years (they have a beautiful shop in St Ives), so to meet the people behind the name, and to be so directly involved with them was surreal and fantastic. I adore the final photos, and I've had a lot of fun hunting down Yumi shops and squealing over my photos in the window! I've still got a bit store credit to spend, so hopefully I'll be able to drag my mum and sister to St Ives sometime before I got back in Bath.

Any suggestions for Z? Because I can't think of any. I've one last outfit post in the works, my New Years Eve outfit along with a few of my favourites from the past year, then that's a wrap for 2012!


  1. I loved your A-Z posts, I love your blog and you're so inspirational! Wish you a happy new year :)

  2. Loved these posts! Hope you have a great new year, and that 2013 is even better than 2012! xxx

  3. It's great to hear that you've made such a good friend through blogging.

  4. Wow you clearly are one lucky lady! I really enjoyed your A-Z posts, it's great to see how you and your blog have changed throughout the year, roll on 2013!
    Happy New Year xx

  5. Z - (sums up a positive 2012)

  6. It sounds like you had a good year! Hope you have a lovely new year too :) x