Posts Categorised: Fashion

Con.verse ~ to engage in conversation

When I was sorting out my wardrobe today, I realised that I have a slightly absurd amount of Converse Hi Tops. It’s unlikely that I am ever really going to grow up !

 

 

 

My boots always last a long time so I must be fairly light on my feet – had some of these pairs for ages. I think my favourite are the silver glittery ones up at the top here, although the Unicorn ones just here below on the left are always greatly admired and the blue Marimekko pair are a really bold pattern.

Charlotte from Habibi Crystals suggested that I send some over one of my more battered pairs for a blinging… quite tempting. Quite fancy some studs and crystals :)


As you probably have seen, Converse have run some excellent collaborations and special editions prints  – DC Comics, Gorillaz, Dr Seuss, The Ramones… too many to mention. Do you know of own any rare ones ? Send us a photo if you do :)

I don’t wear a great deal of leather anymore and find it quite hard to find shoes or boots that I really like. Irregular Choice do a good Vegetarian range and Vegan brand Beyond Skin often have some cracking Vintage styles. I also really love Vivienne Westwood / Melissa shoes – apart from being beautiful to look at, the waft of bubble gum that comes from the boxes is delicious ( when is that word going to stop reminding me of Fifty Shades of Grey… Arrgh !  )

It’s time there were more brands out there doing fabulous non leather footwear – can you recommend any  ?

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To get on a red bus and go anywhere…

Hope you are having a wonderful Mothers Day weekend ?

It’s worked out well for us this time as Andy has been at home – it’s been a busy year for him and we missed out on being together for our First Anniversary and my Birthday last month so we headed into London yesterday for a family day – I took my new camera along and although I only used the automatic setting ( must try harder ! ).. I took a few pics along the way.

Andy wanted to make sure that I had a bit of pampering and fun – so we visited Selfridges. I had an impromptu manicure using Baker Street Nails Inc polish – very bright !.. As you can see, I have no nails to speak of so the lovely technician did an excellent job !

 

Not sure if I have mentioned before but I have a slightly out of hand, Converse addiction twinned with a penchant for leopard print so it was only right to give these beauties a loving home. :)

 

We had our lunch there, shared a few cupcakes and trundled onto Liberty London for a browse and I bought these fabrics, trim and buttons ( below ).. what to make ? – Then we popped into a very rammed Hamleys – up through Kingly Court and wandered for a while around the tireless streets.

 

I had a really good chat with the man in Castle Fine Art at St Christophers Place – if you’re ever in that area – check out their shop as they have some Stan Lee, Marvel ( signed ) canvases along with Bob Dylan paintings amongst other gifted artists. Well worth a visit. Marimekko is also just along there and their bold fabrics are as ever – stunning.

 

We took a boat ride to The Tower of London – even though it was grey, the sight of St Pauls Cathedral, Big Ben, The Shard and all the buildings on The South Bank warmed the cockles of my heart. Bliss.


 

 

 

Finishing off the day with a much needed 50s restyle for Andy at Rocket Barbers in Hackney.Touring leaves little time for such thing as a haircut ! :)

Being a Londoner at heart, I do miss the eternal buzz of the Big Smoke. It is true that you take things for granted when they’re on your doorstep. Almost everyday when I lived and worked in London I passed all of these places but was always in a rush to get to somewhere else ! I find it important though to get in now whenever I can for inspiration – I’m really looking forward to the Ideal Home Show next week.

What’s your favourite part of London and why ?.. How do you like to spend an ideal day ?

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Nothing you can see that isn’t shown…. :)

I couldn’t let Valentine’s pass by without a cheeky little “Amour” post.

So, here’s an eclectic, loved up array of goodies from some of my fave online stores….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Dragon heels – Every Season Vivienne Westwood / Melissa come up with perfect colour combinations. These dove blue ones are from Coggles.

I Love You Necklace – Tatty Devine aren’t mincing their words here – the feeling’s mutual !

Kinky Knickers by Mary Portas -These are from Liberty London. Doing your bit for supporting British design too… :)

Heart ring – by Tarina Tarantino. Three rows of Swarovski crystals. Pink. What’s not to like ?


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Tattoo Bag – Dolly Dagger have a really nice selection of heart themed treats. This is by Kate Garey and can be found on the Dolly Dagger site. The Fascinator below is also made exclusively for them.

Heart earrings – I’m quite a fan of MeandZena – they’re always coming up with quirky new pieces – these above are a collaboration with Saatchi Gallery.

BugJewelled Heart Scarf – by Elizabeth Kate. Silk Crepe De Chine fabric. The colours are beautiful.




 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irregular Choice heels – Just one word for these Thumper heels – KITSCH ! Okay.. maybe two – CUTE !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the crafty…

Colourful Heart pins – I have some of these, they’re from Nettle Green.

Bias Binding – from SeamStar. There is a great range of trims and all sorts on their site.

Floral Hearts fabric – from Fancy Moon I have to get some of this to make a skirt. It’s perfect !

Blue and Pink Heart fabric – from Fabric Rehab. So many possibilities with this – what would you make with it ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Heart Stamp – this one is from Liberty London. Love it ! :)

Heart Mug – these are from Clothkits. Have you also seen all of their sewing kits ? Great site.

Heart Plate –  I’m alway banging on about my love of Pip Studio. This pretty gift boxed plate is from What a Lovely Shop.

Cushion – Remember my interview with Jennie Maizels a little while back ? Here’s one of her fabric prints cushions. Gingham. tick. Hearts. tick. Love. tick – lovely !

Oven gloves – Love Cake ? Me too ! Great gift idea from HunkyDory Home.

Hot Stuff trivet – by Square Pear Designs at Not on The Highstreet.

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Happy Christmas and thanks :)


My last post this side of Chrimbo !

Time to wind down and hang up my stocking…. are you all set ? Is anyone ever ?

In the meantime, I want to say a big thanks to my sponsors, all the wonderful people and companies that I have collaborated with and interviewed this year including:

Rocket Dog, Kitty Finegan, Janome, Fabric Rehab, Horrockses Fashions, Ditto Fabrics, Fabric Yard, Curtains Made Simple, ZPM Trolley Dolly, Seamstar, MiaFleur, Lekue, Irregular Choice, Beauvamp, Horace Panter, Zakee Shariff, This is Rude, Tatty Devine, Chie Mihara, welovekaoru, Jennie Maizels, Steve Neaves, Wilbur and Gussie, Retrosun, Romero Bryan, Paris ( Coldplays artist in residence ), Anna Lou of London, KissmeZombie, Melody Miller, Dolly Dagger, Serendipity Studio, Loaf, 2d Scrumptious, Bombus and Vowed and Amazed.

It’s been a busy one and I have enjoyed every minute of it ! The prizes have been top notch and very generous. The inspirational advice given by such amazing designers has been invaluable. I’ve got lots more lined up for early next year – and have some exciting news too :)

I hope you have enjoyed my own designs and projects this year ?

If you think you think we are a match made in heaven and are interested in sponsoring LucyLovesYa, running a product giveaway or requesting a product review in 2013 do get in touch. Would love to hear from you.

Wishing you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS…. and will update soon.

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Image courtesy and copyright of Mike Stimpson 2012

INSPIRE ME – with Zakee Shariff

Zakee-portrait-by-AL-Newman-copyThere’s nothing like artwork that makes you feel happy.

Having luckily discovered the artist and designer Zakee Shariff a little while ago during her collaboration with fashion website ASOS – I fell in love with her work. Vibrant art, cool designs – and always with a positive message.

With her cult following – Zakee’s clothing collections have sold globally and she has worked with many fashion brands including People Tree and Urban Outfitters.

She has had a versatile career so far having also worked as a stylist, in publishing, as an art director and interior design – amongst other avenues.

I am ever so slightly in awe and hope you enjoy Inspire Me today with Zakee Shariff !…. a-to-zHighRes

You started out with your own clothing label as well as doing your art work – How did you get into fashion design ?

I had never thought of starting a clothing label and a dear friend who is one of the owners of a mens and women’s clothing label called YMC You Must Create, convinced me to start my own label and very kindly introduced me to various contacts to enable me to make it happen. It all just kinda unfolded.

I always knew I wanted to work both as an artist and a designer. My training was in printed textiles but it was very much rooted in painting and drawing and abstracting from that into design.  So it was a great way to explore that process, and learn about the business side too. Youth_0510

You’ve worked with textiles, fine art, illustration, styling, interior and product design.. and you’ve also been an art director – has this worked out as a natural progression ?

Definitely. One led to another and another and back again, like a creative dance.

 

Is there one particular field of design that you enjoy the most ?

I enjoy all the different design projects I have been blessed with doingI love designing textiles. Peace-heart-cushion-small

 

There are very positive messages within your designs – is this something that is important to you ?

Yes it is, I hope my work can give people joy and maybe help them to think more about the world from a different perspective.

 

Your collaboration with People Tree is going really well – how did this originally come about ?

 A lovely friend if mine Vickie Snow from Snow PR introduced me, as she thought we were a match, and we all just clicked. They are lovely to work with and very inspiring in the the way they are able to create everything they do ethically correct.

Safia the owner tends to sit with me and we go through old prints of mine and we brainstorm and I then recreate the prints and make some new ones and then her team and i work together to get them right. I don’t get involved in the garment shapes and styling….its purely a focused and joyous experience of drawing, making patterns and colouring them. And  I create the prints and we work on colours together.

 

Having worked with ASOS, Urban Outfitters, Japanese store MAYZ, Roxy Heart.. to name just a few – what do you enjoy the most about collaborations ?

I have such a love of collaborating. I thrive when I work with another creative or a team of people and make a vision come alive. That is very fulfilling and inspiring to me.

 

Describe a perfect working day for you ?

Drawing, painting or screen printing listening to some great music in my studio – loud ! main_8bd11_MOVEMENTANDCHANGEOFTHEj

 

What kind of music do you listen to ?

I love listening to all different types of music when I work,  it depends on the mood I’m in.
I’d say when I’m printing however,  I like to listen to loud Hip Hop, Soul, R n B, Dancehall and reggae.. a bit of a soul girl then, eh ?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                                        Can you offer some inspirational advice on how to get into fashion design and textiles ? 
Be honest to your creative vision, ask questions, ask for support there are amazing beings out there that do want to help. Work hard, research and give your self permission to have fun and make mistakes. Do choose to do work experience, it’s the best way to learn. Knock on doors, as you find your path and follow your instinct. Have a clear vision of what you would like to achieve, even if its a really basic feeling and the rest is unsure, get in touch with the ultimate desire. That sets you on your way for sure. main_758bc_PEACE2j

What are you working on at the moment and when will we get to see it ? :)

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I’ve just created a few prints for a great new kids collection called Ruff and Huddle. www.ruffandhuddle.co.uk The collaboration is for AW13. I love making prints for kids.

I’m creating a new print for my lovely friend Nick who has a beautiful womenswear brand. Studio Nicholson. www.studionicholson.com. It’s a very chic minimal collection.

I’m working on two personal projects. One is product based and the other is a group of new fine art screen prints.

The rest is pending research that I am doing.
Thanks Zakee :) Full of talent – and what a lovely person ! If you’d like to see more of her work online – go to www.zakeeshariff.com, become a fan on Facebook for updates and/or follow her on Twitter !

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INSPIRE ME – with Chie Mihara

91There are certain shoe designers who radiate individuality within their work. To be able to do this – and mix it up with beauty and vintage inspiration is my idea of heaven !

Chie Mihara started out in 2002 and now ten years on, stocks her shoes, boots and sandals with over one thousand clients worldwide, including Selfridges in the United Kingdom and Neiman Marcus in the United States. She even has a really pretty and distinctive bridal range.

I have been a bit of a fan of Chie Mihara for some time, so am pleased to be sharing some of her inspirations with you today…

How did you originally get into shoe design ? Was it always a dream of yours ?

I was always into fashion. For me, shoes was a big unhappy story because I could never find a shoe that I liked for my 40 feet… but never thought I would be a shoe designer !!

Being into fashion takes you to all it’s areas.

Can you tell me the process from design to actual fruition ?

The longest process is the searching. I go to the shoe museum and look for images from different decades, also look for my fashion and accessories book archive I hold in my studio, do trips to Paris, Milan and look around what´s cooking…shops, movies, music, everything is feeding your mind with information.

Later I start defining last shapes, heel shapes, soles, platforms…go to leather fairs in Milan and Paris to see and buy from the tanneries. Once you get all these information you can start drawing…that can take three to four weeks…

Then you pass the catalogue finished with all details to the factory, once the patterns are made. The factory makes the samples and now we are ready to show to our customers from all around the world. we do fifteen to eighteen fairs per season and from the selling season we go to production time, that could take another three to four months until the stores would receive the goods to sell.. shoes

How many seasons ahead are you with your designing ? 

I finished summer 2013 a few months ago.  Right now for example, I am working on the fall 2013 /14 wich will be shown in fairs of early december through march and the shops will have it delivered by July / August.

Are all of your shoes handmade ? 

Yes. All shoes are hand made. even in China ! but of course the process we use here in Europe is more hands on and little details are watched carefully.

Which era’s do you draw inspiration from ?

I love the 30´s and 40´s because it was a very down to earth times and fashion was very utilitarian. Also enjoy the late 70´s and early 80´s for the fun and funky of disco and the explosion of youth. MG_06092

What would you say sets your style aside from other shoe brands ?

Comfort and the very personal style. I never look to what other brands are doing, I dont care. I only look and work for my never ending joy of  creating ! can´t allow myself being too comfortable or relaxed, I have to be hungry at all times !

Do you like to listen to music when working and if so what inspires you ?

Always ! music carries you to another state of mind…sometimes when I´m creating, I repeat the same cd over and over again…

With your shoes stocking in over a thousand stores worldwide now, this must keep you super busy! How do you relax when you get the time ?

I have three children (15, 13 and 11) and my husband, we do lots of things together. I have a very balanced life. I don´t live in a big city, we are sorrounded by mountains and the beach …we are in the mediterranean, its really nice.

But, I´m a very active person, I don´t know what´s relaxing and watching tv…never do that.

I take work on weekends and thats relaxing for me !

How long have you been designing wedding shoes as well ? They are stunning :)

Thanks ! I started wedding shoes four or five years ago…it was an easy choice, because my shoes are already romantic. Some clients would do the white combination and i decided to do it myself.

Could you give a bit of advice to new designers out there ?

You have to work hard on exploring your creativity. Develop techniques to get more original ideas and concepts. Don´t copy other designers! keep your personal integrity ! be original !

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Good looking shoes designed by a very inspiring woman ! Thanks so much, Chie.

I love the fact that Chie focuses on her own idea’s and remains unique !   

You can follow Chie Mihara on Twitter – @ChieMiharaStore, become a fan on Facebook and see more designs right here.

All images copyright Chie Mihara 2012.

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Kitsch fabric, 50s dress… I’m in heaven…

dress1I just wanted to show you this simple little vintage style dress that I’ve just finished. The fabric has been sitting in my cupboard for over a year.. maybe slightly because I like it alot, I didn’t want to use it up on something that didn’t get plenty of airings ! Luckily there’s enough left to make something else with it too.  It’s a nice feeling, making things that I can keep and pass onto my little daughters ( they already have their eyes on half of my wardrobe ! ) and this fabric is great quality so it should last the test of time… I just wish I could remember where I bought it from, incase anyone likes it.. but I can’t, sorry !

The bodice is from a pattern, in fact the same one I used for the polka dot dress for my friend, Lou ( I’ve added a detachable bow too, similar to her dress ) But, the skirt, I had to cut out a rectangle of fabric for front and back and gather it as it just wasn’t wide enough for full circle. I really wish there were more fabrics with wider widths, because it would make dressmaking sooo much easier. I guess there is always the option of having a seam down the skirt front as well as the sides, but personally, I prefer a simpler look. The dress has a cream lining and I popped some netting left over from my wedding dress, onto the skirt to add some fullness. I really recommend chalk marking the lining of the skirt where you are about to sew the netting in before doing it, it can end up wonky otherwise and it’s a right old pavlova palaver !

Now, accessorizing this… hmmm….Dolly Dagger have a very pretty Tarina Tarantino lucite bead bracelet that would work really well with the dress ( hint hint Father Cwistmas ! )…

… and I love these Vivienne Westwood for Melissa Patchuli III wedge heels, also from Dolly Dagger

What do you think, bow or no bow ? Are you making anything 50s at the moment ?  Do you have a favourite dress that you’ll keep forever more ? Leave me a comment and tell me, tell me !! :)

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My good books…


photo3I have been a little out of action this week, due to a very odd virus indeed – ( me not my blog )…. so, have been busy working my way through some of my favourite design and fashion books.

As much as I love the internet, there is something especially warming about losing yourself in lots of inspiring pages. To know also that they can be passed on to generations to come is really satisfying. I’d happily hang out in a book store all day if I could, perusing and and reading.

There are so many design titles out there, it’s hard to know without reading first which are going to fulfill you. If you have any particular ones that you could recommend to me, please do !….

Here are my current top few…..

The Dressmakers Technique Bible by Lorna Knight is a brilliant little book to keep at your side for reference. This was actually my bedtime read for a while ( I know, I need to get out more.. :) ).

The V & A Golden Age of Couture by Claire Wilcox has some breathtaking images inside as well “celebrating a decade in fashion history”. It’s perfect if you’re interested in the illustrations and workmanship behind a selection of all time famous couture styles.

I get a huge amount of inspiration from Japan. This Japanese Street Style book by Pat Lyttle is full of colour and kitsch fashion style photo’s of cutting edge looks. It’s fascinating if you love anything Harajuku or love the magazine FRUITS. It also looks at their history and how their fashion culture now takes much inspiration from british designers such as Alexander McQueen.

Forties Fashion by Jonathan Walford is a book stacked with 250 images from the 40s era, focusing on the ‘make do and mend’ approach to clothing due to rationing as well as how the second world war shaped this decades fashion. Lots of pics from styles across the globe. A really good read.

I can’t live without Winifred Aldrich’s ‘metric pattern cutting for women’s wear’ – if you are thinking of doing any designing – get this book !

Vivienne Westwood is my favourite designer. She’s smart, talented beyond belief and has the most incredible understanding of fashion when it comes to flattering the human form. So, this V & A book, again by Claire Wilcox is right up my street. It’s about her time in fashion and lots of photo shoots and catwalk pics.

Do you have any books you’d like to recommend ? Please leave a comment or tweet – @lucylovesyablog if you do as I would love to hear from you….

Oh, and don’t forget my giveaway ( below ) – it ends on Wednesday at 7pm !

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INSPIRE ME – with Wilbur & Gussie

If ever there’s a brand that warrants plenty of female attention …. it is Wilbur & Gussie. Design duo, Brett Tyne and Lucy Lyons, combine stunning vibrant fabrics and prints with vintage inspired brooches to create beautiful, elegant clutch bags – and also accessories.

You may have spotted their pieces being worn recently by Kate and Pippa Middleton, Tulisa, Alesha Dixon, Mollie King and in dozens of publications including Grazia, Marie Claire, The Guardian… and worn by Pippa Middleton,

What I really love about Wilbur & Gussie is that they create such chic, timeless handbags that last a lifetime, and yet you don’t have to pay the earth to own one.

I’ve been a fan of Brett and Lucy’s brand for some time now, so am very pleased to be sharing todays Wilbur & Gussie ‘Inspire Me’ interview with you…

How did you two meet ?

We met at  school and have remained close friends over the years.

Did you both train in design ?  

Neither one of us has actually had any formal training but we are both creative people.   We have always had a mutual interest in art, design and fashion, namely accessories.

How do you make a business work as a duo ?  

We have different styles but we like one another’s taste in everything.  Although we are instinctively drawn to different materials, we agree on every collection. Patience and compromise are important. We don’t always see eye to eye but this can be seen as a positive to a working relationship  as we are constantly challenging one another.

Your bags are clearly inspired by vintage – do you have a favourite era and why ?   

We tend to be drawn to the late 1920’s – early 40’s. The 1930’s was the decade of the clutch.  Women’s accessories were incredibly elegant and beautifully crafted. Bags were worn, not carried, and this is something we love. We believe evening bags should be show-stoppingly beautiful, just like a piece of  jewellery.

I love that you have named each character after your childhood pets and also notice that you support The Tusk Charity – Are you both animal lovers ?  

Yes, we are both huge animal lovers. We chose to support Tusk Trust because elephants feature so strongly in our collections.

Personally, I could study your clutch bags all day, they are so gorgeous – how did you come up with such a winning combination formula ? :)…  

We saw a niche in the market for affordable clutch bags that won’t break the bank. The fabrics are inspired by our love of prints, and the jewelled brooches are from our love of vintage jewellery.

Is there a particular material that you like to work with the most ?

We are currently working with velvet and loving it! We started off using only 100% silks but have diversified over the years.

Do you have a current best seller ?  

Our signature “Charlie” bag is always a best seller and is what we launched the brand with. The ‘Edith’ is the slightly larger version and is rapidly catching up with the Charlie

  

What have been your biggest highs so far for Wilbur Gussie ? 

We get a high every season when the new collection comes in from the factory. Taking on new wholesale customers is always a big excitement, and every online order we receive is a little thrill. It is very rewarding to know that people want to buy the bags.

You have some lovely belts and cuffs on your site – are you moving into designing lots of accessories too ?  

We are currently concentrating on developing a leather range  for next season, but accessories is next in line !

Could you offer a few words of advice and some inspiration for any new designers reading this ?  

Believe in your product, work hard and get as much advice from people in business as possible.

What is happening for Wilbur & Gussie in the near future?

We are  continuing to develop our evening bag line and preparing to launch our first day bag collection next year. We’re working on expanding the brand internationally and hopefully our own shop is in the not too distant future !

Thanks very much to Brett and Lucy for sharing their inspirations. Do you love their designs too ?

You can become a fan of Wilbur & Gussie on Facebook or follow them on Twitter – and they also have a blog.

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All images copyright Wilbur & Gussie 2012.

Retro… and good to go….

Well, it may have taken a little while to get around to making this Retro Butterick 1953 dress – I was sent some patterns over by the lovely people at Sew Direct and this is the second pattern I have used.

 

Loving the way it has turned out :)

What I didn’t realise until I studied the the the package properly, is that you have four different ways of wearing this ( see below ) with the completed dress. You can also use a different fabric for the Upper back Bodice ( if you go for the option B ! ) so it’s incredibly versatile.

The only area that I had to work on a couple of times ( with my trusty friend, the un-picker ! ) was attaching the upper bodice piece to the midriff ones – this is because it shapes in a V, and I wanted to make it exact, obviously, and haven’t sewed this kind of shape for a month or two ! It all came good in the end :)

I went for cotton, black and pink polka dot as I had just the right amount in the cupboard and well, it just works with most vintage patterns, don’t ya think ? The bodice is lined but the skirt isn’t – You could always add a lining or this is a superb excuse to purchase or make yourself a swing petticoat :)

Which is your favourite style and what fabric would you go for ? Leave me a comment or send us a tweet… would love to hear your thoughts :)

Oh, and by the way – my Giveaway in collaboration with luxury homeware and gift online company – Amara to win a blue Pip Studio floral, vintage style cake stand worth £35.99 ends on Tuesday… so get entering, if you haven’t already…. it’s as pretty as a picture, folks :)

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Feel free to use my images – just please ping a link back to me here at LucyLovesYa :)