#ThrowbackThursday - Geordie Jeans

If you grew up in the North East in the eighties and nineties, I don't need to tell you what Geordie Jeans is - or should I say, was. For anyone who didn't, Geordie Jeans was basically an institution, the one place you'd beg your mam to take you to in advance of any school party or youth club event so you could get kitted out in the fashion denim of the time.

Geordie Jeans on Grainger Street, Newcastle
Image from Google
I can remember the Geordie Jeans store on Grainger Street in Newcastle. It was vast - piled high with all types of denim, along with t-shirts, hoodies and jackets. Jeans were pinned to the walls above the shelves so you could see the various cuts and colours. Later on, Geordie Jeans opened a store in the Metrocentre too which was closer for me. I can remember going in once and being delighted that they had the mustard yellow jeans I'd seen someone wearing in the crowd on Top Of The Pops the previous Thursday evening.  Even better was when I spied a mustard yellow psychedelic-patterned hooded top which would totally match. It was kind of a Happy Mondays sort of look. I knew I could pair them with my black suede Wallabee shoes and look totally cool.

I wore that outfit to the local community centre disco and I can actually remember people commenting how nice it was and asking where I'd bought it. Thinking back, I must have looked like I was covered in a huge pile of yellow vomit. But that was the early nineties for you.

As I got a bit older, and my fashion sense began to change (although I am still partial to a bit of psychedelic mustard), I started to see Geordie Jeans in a slightly different way. I graduated onto Internacionale and (if I was feeling flush) Miss Selfridge. Geordie Jeans became somewhere I'd turn my nose up at; a shopping destination for (for want of a better word) charvas. By the time it closed almost a decade later, I hadn't been in for years, but I still felt a tinge of sadness that a Geordie institution had come to it's end. Nowadays, if I hear people discussing Geordie Jeans it's always with fond memories and that's how I think of it too.

Do you remember Geordie Jeans?

Getting My Craft On With Intu Metrocentre & The Crafthood

Although I would consider myself quite a creative person, I am pretty much a disaster at anything crafty. I can provide all of the ideas, but none of the skills. It’s actually embarrassing. So I was really hoping I wouldn’t show myself up at a crafting event hosted by The Crafthood and Intu Metrocentre last week.

We were to decorate our own pouch bags, and the example model on display was a perfectly simple monogrammed affair with a gorgeous gold tassel that I loved. We would be stamping our bags, and the lovely Crafthood ladies provided us with paint and stampers to crack on with.

With the idea of simplicity in mind, I went for a pink shade and decided to stamp just my first and last initial to give my bag a classic look. Stamping fabric evenly is not as easy as it looks, however, but I was pretty pleased with my effort.

Next stage was adding the tassel. THE TASSEL. Why does everything look better with tassels? (Mind out of the gutter, please). Obviously I chose gold, because, well, gold. Surprisingly I managed to make a reasonably neat tassel without injury to myself or anyone else. PROUD!

As I sat admiring my simple, neat bag design, my head was turned by another stamper sitting on the table: A STAR. I considered it, then before I knew what was happening I was stamping a large gold star onto my bag. It was a little off-centre, so I stamped again. A littlemore off-centre. Uh oh. I decided to keep stamping. This would be a Christmas star, with lots of points. Although….you can’t have justone star, can you? I added a few more, with the paint sponge, in a freestyleee fashion.

Next thing I knew I was filling in the gaps between my gold stars with pink stars. Because – well, I’d come this far. You don’t walk halfway to the dessert table then turn back, do you? COMMIT. And commit I had.

Aaaaand this is the finished article. I…..love it, actually. Yes, it’s ‘rustic’, but it’s also individual. And did I mention it’s gold and pink with a tassel? I did? Oh.

So, what have I learnt? Well, I’m still crap at crafting. Some of the other ladies’ efforts were way better looking than mine. I also learned that I have zero self control when it comes to stampers. I’ll add that to the list of other things I have zero self control over (cakes, shoes, handbags, Warburton’s crumpets etc etc). But I had lots of fun – it was nice to be able to be creative with messy paints and not have to clear up too much afterwards, for one thing! Next time, I’ll definitely keep my design more simple. DEFINITELY. (Probably).

The Crafhood run crafting events all across the North East, check them out in Insta for more deets.

Thanks to the lovely gals at The Crafthood and Intu Metrocentre for allowing me to get ma craft on J

John Lewis Newcastle Beauty Retreat

I DEFINITELY don't pamper myself enough, I've decided, so I was really excited to be invited to check out the services offered by the Beauty Retreat in John Lewis Newcastle last week.

The Beauty Retreat is situated in the Beauty Hall and a Retreat it really is - from the outside you'd never guess there were several luxurious treatment rooms tucked inside, offering treatments from some of the most well known beauty brands - Decleor offer a range of treatments for the face and body, including the intriguing Facial Lift Yoga  - I really want to try this - and the Lemon and Mango Firm and Tone Body Treatment which sounds delicious!!

In the Elemis Spa Pod, you can choose from a range of tailored facials to suit your skin type, with prices starting at just £30. Clarins offer a huge selection of treatments with something for everyone including a special pampering mum to be treatment. The Jessica counter has nails covered, and if your brows need attention there's a Blink eyebrow bar, too.

Of course as well as the Beauty Retreat, JL Newcastle has a well stocked beauty hall which houses some of my favourite brands - the lovely ladies at Chanel can help you choose the perfect Autumn lip shade, and at Espa you can enjoy a relaxing hand and arm massage on counter, with a body oil chosen to suit your desired mood. Other brands stocked include Liz Earle, Nars and Origins, to name a few.

The Beauty Retreat is the perfect place to take a break from the bustle of Newcastle city centre, especially in the run up to Christmas when any shopping trip seems to turn me into a stressed, sweaty, aching mess, so I'll definitely be popping back.

Have you tried the services at John Lewis Newcastle Beauty Retreat?