Indie Christmas Giveaway w/ Lines + Current!

It's such a pleasure to introduce you to the first of the indie businesses that you'll get to meet here over the next few weeks... Indie Christmas Giveaway Lines and CurrentLet's meet the person behind the brand, shall we?

Welcome to the Indie Christmas Giveaway!  Thank you so much for being a part of this - Can you tell us who you are, where you are and what you do?

Hi, I’m Rebekah. I’m mum to 2 girls aged 8 and 6 (this week)  and wife to my Canadian man, Jon - married young 12 years ago. I launched Lines & Current from here in Northern Ireland at the start of the year in Jan 2015. Lines & Current is an online shop where I curate and design collections. The collections are simple, modern and functional every-day pieces that have a bit of personality too. I like to think that choosing what to wear from a minimal palette frees you up to flourish in other ways!

How did L+C come about?

When my second daughter Esmee started P1 (in September 14) I hoped it would open up a bit more thinking or dreaming space for me to strengthen my entrepreneurial vision and set up some kind of arts or style related business. I’d watched my husband build up his own business from scratch so when the timing was right, I took the plunge and got to ‘play’ myself.  I personally couldn’t have set up this brand when the girls were at home, pre-school age. It’s a different headspace and I feel fortunate to have had those years of undiluted mummyhood madness, but 2015 has definitely marked a new season for us.

Lines + Current Giveaway

What is your favourite part of the business?

There are so many exciting aspects to this business. I love the design side. I’m learning to trust myself and my instincts even more. I guess I’ve got a bit of an entrepreneurial streak too so this work has given me a way to turn ideas into something tangible and supplement our income and give away at the same time. But the best bit has been the network of people the business has opened me up to: customers, others entrepreneurs, artists, bloggers, people involved with making a positive social impact. I love all the new conversations I’m having about wellness, spirituality, more conscious living/consuming, the arts, giving etc. Can you tell I love to collaborate? Check out the COLLAB page on the website.

Where do you find inspiration for what you have in the collection?

Everywhere - just from living a normal day-to day life. If you’ve read any of the articles I’ve written on my blog or for others, you quickly detect the theme of minimalism and simplicity in my thinking which is naturally reflected in my designs and the objects I am drawn to every day. Once I am happy with the item in concept, I will wear a sample product myself for a long period of time. For example, I have a canvas bag design I have been working on for over 2 months. I’ve been using the sample bag everyday, testing its durability, making sure I LOVE its aesthetic before I launch it in the shop. Obviously it’s hands-free, so I can hold my kids hands or carry something else. I’m constantly asking myself questions about an items form/function/versatility and personality… I’m wondering things like “Do I have to make this inside pocket bigger to fit my phone and my lipstick?’ or ‘does the necklace length needs to be shorter?’ or ‘Does the beanie label looks right there?’ I think it’s the details that matter. It’s crazy how seeing and feeling something can change your relationship to an item, so I’m very careful to be filling in the shop with pieces that resonate with the ethos of the brand. I’m inspired to be part of a ‘slow’ fashion movement where we mindfully consider our clothing purchases and steer away from the fast-disposable fashion culture so if I want my customers to buy my brand, the pieces better be well thought-out and durable enough for every-day. I like to think that even though they are simple and minimal, they still have meaning.

Lines + Current Giveaway

What are your hopes for the future of L+C?

The social-minded element of Lines & Current will always run deep in the ethos. It was important to integrate a strategy in the business model that can make a positive social impact, even if it’s just a small one. so I give 10% of my profits to a cause.  I’d love to find ways to be more responsible here so that the donations given are even more effective in terms of highest potential impact. I’ve a few VERY EXCITING ideas I’m working on for 2016.

What is the best bit about being an indie shop here in NI?

People have been so kind to me as a small independent start up. People have great style here and caught on to the L+C vision of ‘working hard to keep it simple.’ It doesn’t take long for word to spread here in NI, so if people like your stuff - it’s a good thing, if they don’t- it’s not so good!

As the owner of an independent business, how do you feel about supporting indie businesses on the lead up to Christmas?

Absolutely, why not be cheerleaders, build up the local economy and support hardworking independent business owners. We are all in this together I say!

Now for the more Seasonal questions...tell us your best Christmas memory?

The white Christmas’ spent in my youth with my family on ski trips in Europe. So many fun moments spent with my parents, brother (Andrew) and sister (Ruth) on a snowy mountains. We still refer back to some particularly laughter-filled snow related incidents!

Sounds dreamy!  And what are some of your favourite traditions during the Christmas season?

As I’m married to a Canadian who has his roots in Scandinavia, we’ve kept his childhood tradition of celebrating on Christmas Eve alive. Even though it’s a busy on Christmas Eve, we ALWAYS made the effort to do this extra christmas eve dinner and let the kids open an early gift; it’s a small way I can thank him for coming to live in my land!

Check out some of Rebekah's beautiful designs and collection:

Lines + Current Giveaway Lines + Current GiveawayI live in the HETTA (below) during the week on the school run! I have hidden the most furious of bed heads with this awesome piece.

Lines + Current Giveaway Lines + Current GiveawayI'm so grateful for Rebekah paving the way for other mums & women who have so much in them to give creatively to the world.  Please check out the collection online and consider giving your support to this awesome indie business this Christmas and beyond!

One lucky reader is going to recieve a Lines + Current piece in the post, just in time for a Christmas party, or just in time to wrap it up and give it away as a gift!   The giveaway is open WORLDWIDE so that means if you're reading from Canada, you can win!  Reading from Nigeria, you can win!  Reading from Iceland, you can win!  Here's the treat you're in for:

Lines and Current GiveawayThe beautiful, elegant 'ELSKA' necklace!  Such a timeless piece, don't you agree?

To win the ELSKA, all you have to do is this:

+ Hop on over to Facebook & 'like' Lines +  Current as well as my facebook page (Mel Wiggins Blog)

+  Like & Share the image on my facebook page outlining the giveaway!

+  You can share it as many times as you want between now and the close of the giveaway at MIDNIGHT, on SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15th!  

+  Winner will be announced on Monday, November 16th.

Simple!  Get sharing the love!

(Photo's c/o the awesome 'This Must Be The Place')

Bank Holiday Weekend In (mostly) Pictures

Long weekends are the BEST.  We squeezed every last drop out of this one, wringing it dry all the way to Monday night.  Here's a little picture diary of what we got up to...DSC_3687 Mel WigginsYou can almost smell the goodness of the food coming from this picture, can't you?  St. Georges Market at the weekend is hard to beat.DSC_3649DSC_3682 St. Georges Market BelfastThis lady is the boss.  She got up and danced for the crowd and we all cheered her on, clapping along with the music as she unashamedly jigged her way in front of hundreds of strangers.  It. was. beautiful. DSC_3672I caught this moment after the band finished the song she was dancing to and she got a massive applause as she walked off back to her family.  Her daughter was overcome with emotion at the crowds' response to her dear mum - it was special.  I was a teary mess.  DSC_3688 DSC_3692 Festival of Fools Belfast

We hot-footed/scooted off to catch some of the acts at the Festival of Fools around the city.  This guy below was particularly funny and ended up picking on us....demanding our camera so he could take pictures.

DSC_3697 DSC_3712

Belfast has joined in the city cycling revolution and launched a bike hire scheme.  We took one out for a spin to get a feel for it and I was really impressed!  Easy to use, smart-looking city bikes - I really hope it takes off because Lord knows, traffic in Belfast is bonks.

 

Festival of Fools Belfast

On Monday we headed to Loughall Apple Blossom Festival with friends and kids.  There were some yummy food stalls and loads of really great activities for kids.

Apple Blossom Festival Apple Blossom Festival Apple Blossom Festival

Apple Blossom Festival Apple Blossom FestivalI hope you had a good weekend and are ready to take charge of the week ahead!  Deep breath - LET'S GO!

 

Gorgeously Green Homemade Products

Never fear, I’m still going strong with my gorgeously green quest. I thought I’d do a little update with some recipes of the stuff that I’ve been making myself and finding good.

Making the change to make your own products or give up using something that you love (my benefit boing concealer…waahhhh) and that works well can be difficult but I’ve found this change-over really rewarding and totally worthwhile.

Here are the things that I’m now making myself:

Laundry Detergent

I was trying Hannah’s recipe for a while but found that it lack a little bit of the stain removing power that is essential when 80% of your clothing gets snot, poo (just a little smear here and there) and spew on.  I found a different one online and have been using that recently and it seems to kick the stains a bit harder – especially on the cloth nappies.  Never have I felt as hippyish as when I used my homemade detergent on a load of cloth nappies.  SUCH a cliche.  Here’s the recipe:

1 & 1/4 cup of white vinegar

1 cup of natural borax

1 cup of soda/washing crystals

1 cup of bicarb

About 15 drops of whatever essential oil you fancy

1/4 of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap (<- that stuff is the dogs nick nacks for LOADS of reasons – get it in your life – AND IT’S FAIR TRADE!)

You start with the vinegar and gradually mix in the rest, stirring for ages to get all the clumps out.  It turns into a harder flaky paste as it sets and a 1/4 cup of it in your load works a dream.  I also have started put vinegar in the fabric softener compartment and it really makes our clothes so soft!

Hand Soap

I’m still using the same batch in all our dispensers from the blog I did ages ago and there’s still a good half a bottle left to ration out.  Check the recipe out there.

Toothpaste

As with the first recipe of laundry detergent, I found my first go at the homemade toothpaste a bit too pasty and not really doing it for me.  I’ve experimented with the ingredients and changed some up a bit and now I use a mixture of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap, bicarb of soda & 20 drops of peppermint essential oil.  It is really foamy and fresh and toothpasty.  YUM.

Shampoo

HUGE FAIL.  I’ve tried the only bicarb & water recipe AND the coconut milk recipe and both have left me with Kurt Cobain hair.  I have a super sensitive scalp so adding the greaseball of hair to the mix of that was not a good look.  I’m back on the old nasty-but-makes-my-hair-smell-and-feel-good kind.  Any suggestions are welcome!

Face Oil

I’ve adapted the recipe from the GG book and use this oil EVERY night.  I even ordered a proper little brown glass bottle with a pump to make it officially awesome.  I love it so much.  My version:  Fill the bottle almost full with Sweet Almond Oil, then add 5 drops of tea tree essential oil, rosemary essential oil & lavender essential oil.  Finish the bottle off with a tablespoon of Vitamin E oil and hey presto! I think if you are using a clear glass bottle for this it’s best to keep it in a dark place (drawer or something) as the sun will make the oils go funny.  No one wants funny oils.

Deodorant

After Lucy’s rave about using bicarb on her pits, I followed her lead, started using it myself and LOVE IT.  I too, am not a non-sweaty princess of a girl, so I was worried it would let me down, but it hasn’t.  Hip hip for bicarb!

I’ve also found a great line of mineral make up that I really like called ‘Fuschia’ and it’s made here in Ireland.  Score!  Their concealer rivals my beloved Benefit one and my local beautician stocks it.

Cleaners

When I can be arsed cleaning, I only just vinegar and water in a spray bottle for kitchen surfaces, bathrooms etc, and a vinegar, water & Dr. Bronner’s combo for floors.  If I need a good scrub at something, I add bicarb, or use a more abrasive scrubbing brush.

Next to tackle an urban garden.  I’ve got seeds, compost and pots and absolutely NO idea what to do with them.  Any advice would be welcome!

Have you made any green changes recently?