Diaries of a Textile Student: Take Two

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We’ve successfully made it to week 4 of second year, and we’ve had the first set of stress tears too, I mean I’m pretty impressed I made it to week 4 without crying, go me! Anyway my idea to make these a weekly thing has already gone to pot seeing as I’ve had so much work to do I haven’t even had time to chat about it!

However the past couple of weeks have been fairly similar, I’ve been very stressed, lots of work, sketchbook illustrations for days, and enough samples to make a full outfit. I’ll admit, despite being very stressed I’m still loving every second – I had a realisation the other day that I’m more or less halfway through my degree soon, and that scared me a bit. I think I’ve taken the experience so far for granted a bit – this realisation has made me think that I do need to be making the most of my time. Because after this, it’s 9-5 until I’m 65…cry…

I’ve spent a lot of these past 2 weeks doing a hell of a lot of sketchbook work, this is part and parcel of a creative course, any spare moment I get, I’ll be improving my sketchbook work, creating new artworks, ideas and pushing my project even more. Alongside this, I’ve been undertaking a lot of fashion illustration, something that I never thought I would enjoy doing. Through all of college, I would do anything to have to not illustrate my designs, but long and behold, a year and a half into my degree and I love doing it. I’ve really started to find my drawing style and how I enjoy working – I think this has really helped my illustration skills develop as I’ve now found a way of working where I produce results I’m happy with!

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Alongside the sketchbook and design aspect, of course specialising in knitwear, a lot of my time is also spent in the knit room. I’ve had a fairly good run in the knit room this year, that was until last Friday, when nothing was going right for me, and I mean nothing. Knits falling of the machines, patterns not working out – the whole hog. I spent 6 hours in there, and left with 3 samples, it’s safe to say I felt fairly deflated after that session. I wasn’t going to let it stop me though, come Monday morning I was raring to go again and had an absolutely awesome day in the knit room bashing out experimental samples. I have attached some pictures below – bare in mind they still need to be steamed and tidied, once done so they will look a lot more professional, but you get the idea.

I briefly touched upon placement year in my previous textiles diaries post; when I last updated you all, I was in the midst of writing my CV and cover letter, the absolute torture that was, you’ll all be pleased to know I finally finished them both, well done to me!! Honestly writing a CV when you lack self confidence is such a struggle, but after plenty of drafts I got there in the end! I’ve got very mixed feelings about placement year, I really want to do one as I know it will benefit me so well in the long run, having said this, I’m really struggling to find placements that appeal to me. After all it is a year of my life I’m going to be spending doing it, so of course I want to pick something that I’m going to love doing. I’m trying to stay optimistic, and if placement doesn’t work out, I still have other plans, so we’ll see how it goes!

The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a blur in all honesty, I have no idea where the time is going and all the weeks are just merging into one, but I’m starting to think that thats just how the next few years are going to be! I hope you are all enjoying these little snippets into my course and what I get up to when I’m not airing my problems on twitter or posting over posed pictures on Instagram!

See you for next weeks instalment,

All my love,

Han xx

Diaries Of A Textile Student: Week 1

Diaries Of A Textile Student: Week 1

For those of you who may be new, or unfamiliar with my blog, I’ve just gone into my second year of university studying Textile Design – specialising in Fashion Knitwear. Year 2, as expected has already been very full on, it’s only 1 week in and I’m already buried under work, deadlines, samples, research trips and the most daunting thing, the prospect of placement year. Having said that, I have only cried once this week, where’s my gold star.

So with second year being a particularly busy one, I wanted to keep track of what I’m getting up to, my creative direction, different modules and the whole process of me applying for a placement year next year! What better way to do it than on my blog – I’m hoping to make this a weekly occurrence, providing I can fit it in!

Being on a creative course, this means that a lot of the things I get up to are very practical, therefore it was no surprise that first thing on Monday morning I was chucked into the knit room learning all the new and exciting machinery that I’ll be working with. For my first project, (which I will refer to from now on as my Technical Block), I’ll be using the domestic knitting machines. Luckily, I’ve had previous experience with these from using them at college, so it was no surprise that I was steaming on ahead and by the time my first lesson back had finished, I had already produced a whole range of samples. Teachers pet, I know. This week I recapped some of the basic skills including ladders, lace holes, ombre and stripes – don’t worry from here on in the knits will be much more exciting I promise. If you are interesting in seeing my samples, head on over to my textiles Instagram: @textilesbyhan

Like most projects, I needed to come up with a concept. Now, it has been a very long time since I have come up with one of these, 5 months over summer meant I literally arrived back having forgot how to mind map! A family trip to Devon over the summer has been the starting point for all my ideas, with my concept forming into one that is based around patterns found in the sand/sand dunes and generally ‘sandy‘ textures, professional sounding, I know. Don’t worry it is a lot more exciting than it sounds. Of course the first thing I did once creating a concept was head straight onto my Pinterest and scour the wide web for design, artist and photography inspiration. I aim to look into 2 artists a week – 1 artist that particularly caught my eye this week was Sara Cwyna, a New York based photographer with such an interesting style, that reminded me of the curved structure in sand dunes – hence why I looked into her. You’ll begin to notice through these posts that everything I come up with, create and look into will all be linked in some form or another – it’s the basis of a strong project.

Alongside creating a mood-board of imagery, I have also created a colour palette, which I always find to be such a struggle, mainly because I’m far too indecisive and want to use all the colours! Being a textiles student, colour is a crucial part to any of my work, so the earlier I establish one, the better. After an afternoon playing around in photoshop, I came up with a set of colours that I will be working with throughout this 8 week project. It’s important to me that the colours complement each other well, so that when they sit together, they look like they belong – which I feel as if I have achieved with this particular colour palette.

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My first week back has been primarily dedicated to research, finding an abundance of primary and secondary imagery, and really establishing what message I want to get across through this project. I’ve always been interested in constructed textiles and also 3D textiles, so throughout my Technical Block I hope to find a balance between the 2 creating a collection of samples that reflect this idea.

Alongside the creative project that I’ll mainly be discussing in these posts, I also want to take you through my application process of applying for a placement next year. So basically, a placement year, is a year where I will go out into the industry and work, gaining experience and setting me off on the right foot for after graduation. This week has been a very productive one in terms of placement – with the first thing being cracking on with my CV – which I later took to my personal placement coordinator, who thought it was a very strong placement CV. I’ve always struggled with talking about myself, this is mainly due to lack of self belief (which I’m working on), therefore writing a CV is literally my idea of hell. But after getting such positive feedback, thats the little boost I needed to believe in myself and to believe that it might actually be possible for me to go into industry next year. When applying for jobs, I also need a cover letter (again, I’m dreading writing this), but next week I plan to get cracking on it, give it my best shot so that within the next week I can begin applying for placement opportunities. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the progress!

I hope you have enjoyed the first instalment in my textile diaries – I’m very excited to keep you all in the loop and also see my progress. Next week is already looking like a busy one, I’ve just been informed that I have to have 20 experimental knit samples by Friday, with only 1 day in the knit room, stressed just thinking about it…

All my love,

Han xx

Goals For My Second Year at University

Goals For My Second Year at University

So I can’t quite believe the time has finally come for me to write this post – it only seems like yesterday that my parents were dropping me off at university and leaving me to fully fend for myself. While first year was jam packed, full of ups and downs, I want to make second year all the more better. I missed out on a fair bit during my first year of university, which just means that this next year I’ve got a lot of making up to do, something I am most excited about. I thought I’d set myself a list of (realistic-ish) goals for the next academic year, then look back on them at the end of the year and see how well I’ve done!

1. Good grades. I’ll start with the slightly more academic thing, and probably the thing that most students would say, but I want to keep up my good grades. Throughout first year I managed to get very high grades, something that I am super proud of, and something that I definitely want to keep up – not just through second year, but through the rest of my degree too! 

2. Visit more exhibitions. Leicester has a very direct train route to London (and other big cities), which I didn’t realise until a lot later in the year. London is one of my favourite places to visit, full of galleries, museums and interesting streets. It’s also perfect for an arty student like me, as it never fails to get my creative cap on and generate a bunch of new design ideas. 

3. Visit surrounding areas. Like I mentioned previously Leicester has direct train routes to so many other interesting cities, ones that I would really like to aim to get down to this year. It’s closely linked with Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester etc, all places I think would be really interesting for an art student like myself. 

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4. Make the most of freshers. Last year I really didn’t throw myself into freshers, mainly because I came down with the dreaded freshers flu 4 days after moving in, but I also held back due to my anxiety. I’ve promised myself this year that I wont let that effect my experience (at least try not to), and really make the most of it this year. It’ll be a big fuck you to my anxiety if I can really push myself. 

5. Join a society. This is something I majorly regret not doing last year! Like most universities, DMU has hundreds of really interesting societies and for some bizarre reason I joined none last year. So this year, I’m going to join one. I feel like if I say I’m going to do it, I now kind of have to. I’m a very sporty person, so I’m hoping to get involved in a sports society – it’s another great way to making a new bunch of friends, and getting the chance to experience something completely new. 

6. Get a job?? I put a question mark here, because truth be told, I don’t actually know if I’ll have time for a job, but I do want to try and get something part time. Just weekend probably, but it’ll keep my busy, take me away from uni work occasionally, which I think is important – mainly to keep me from going insane! It’ll also make my bank account slightly happier, can’t say its ever best pleased when my rent or other bills come out.

7. Continue doing the things I love. So alongside getting my degree in textiles, which of course goes without saying, I love. I want to make sure I still make sure I create time for the other things I enjoy that aren’t academic. For example going to the gym/running, tattoo design, crocheting and of course, blogging and YouTube! I think its important to not get so caught up in your degree that you forget to do the things you love. I know that its important for me to sometimes have a break from all things textiles, something that I definitely need to put into practice more in second year.

I think thats a reasonable list, nothing too drastic on there, but all things I think will make my second year much more enjoyable than my first. I’ll be sure to do a little look back at this post next year to see if I have completed them all – that is unless I fail miserably at them all, but lets not  think about that. If you’re heading back to university, what are your goals? Or even if you aren’t heading back to university, what are your up and coming goals? 

All my love, 

Han xx 

At Look Back At 18…

At Look Back At 18…

Hey guys, welcome back! So on Wednesday the 29th, I finally turned 19 (which I vlogged!! Feel free to check it out here!)  – being an end of August baby it’s been long awaited. Since turning 18 last year I’ve been through plenty of ups and downs, so I thought it would be nice to look back on and for me to see how far I’ve come – seeing as I’ve had multiple people tell me I’m a different person now than to what I was this time last year!

Like I mentioned previously I’m an end of August baby, so by the time I had turned 18 all of my friends had had the experience of going out and learnt to handle their drink slightly better…I can’t say the same for myself – the second day of being 18 was spent very hungover, thanks to Slug and Lettuce 2-4-1, and also birthday celebrations meant all my pals were keeping me topped up. I was determined to make 18 a good one…but not to be a negative Nora it went down just as quickly as it started to pick up unfortunately.

I then proceeded to start university about 2 weeks after turning 18 and let me tell you the first 2 months of university were the best 2 months I’ve ever had. Socials, making friends and doing something I loved – I was quite literally having the time of my life, my anxiety was practically non-existent alongside other mental health illness, and I felt like a completely new me! But this all changed when I met a guy…how many times have we all heard this..

I don’t want to dwell on my now ex too much, he doesn’t deserve the time of day, but put politely he was a knob. I don’t need to tell you what he put me through – it’s enough for me to just tell you that my mental health took a turn for the absolute worst, he made me feel bad for going out with all my friends and generally being social (even though thats a normal thing for university students), all in all he made the time together for me an absolute nightmare. Oh and he cheated, did I mention that? Something I regret massively is not leaving it all sooner because I would have then made the most of first year, but we cant turn back the clock, so I’ll just make up for it in second year. But one thing that that pathetic excuse for a relationship taught me, is that if he’s not treating you the way you know you should be treated, just leave, don’t think you can change him, because you can’t. As hard as that is to hear.

Quickly moving on from that, I ended up leaving university in March because my mental health got so bad that I needed to be at home. I had got it into my head that I wasn’t going to go back to university. But no one was shocked to hear me say that in June I wanted to go back, when your as passionate about something as I am about my degree, you’re bound to end up back there getting it. Sooooo…I start year 2 in 2 weeks time, how exciting, I’m going to promise to make this year a good one and make up for everything that I missed out on last year, I think I deserve to have a bit of fun!

While being 18 I’ve had some real lows with my mental health, I suffered more so than ever, which was hard for a lot of people to see – especially as I was straight up refusing to get any sort of help. The tables turned though, when I was admitted to hospital with bad heart palpitations. Heart palpitations are something that aren’t foreign to me, but when my anxiety is bad, thus effects my heart, and one night it just went into overdrive. Despite it being nothing serious, it properly shook me up, so as soon as I could I booked myself into the doctors. Although they weren’t much help (I literally walked in, opened up to my doctor, told him everything and got sent away with a bloody leaflet), I feel like that was the first step in me making a choice to get better. It’s been a bumpy old ride since, but at the moment I’m feeling better than ever, of course I still get bad days, I will for the rest of my life, but these bad days aren’t all the time now, and when they are bad, I know exactly how to manage them. My Dad has been my biggest help when dealing with my mental health, I honestly don’t think I would be here without his help – but one thing that he has drilled into my head this year, is that life isn’t linear, you have to experience being low, to know what it feels like to be happy, and that is so true. He’s also told me multiple times to pull my self together, which occasionally is all I need to hear, so thank you Dad.

Lastly, I’ve made some of the best friends, and memories (mainly throughout summer) since being 18. Starting university has given me life long friendships, as well as starting a new job. I vowed to myself at the beginning of summer to have good one, and boy did it not disappoint, giving me memories to look back on and laugh at. I’m in a good place at the moment, and 19 looks fairly promising. So, heres to being 19.

PS. Future Han, if you’re reading this and having a bit of a down day, just remember how far you’ve come, you’ve got this gal.

All my love,

Han xx

First Year University Experience

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Apparently I’ve just finished my first year at university? I say apparently because I have no idea where those 9 months have gone, they have quite literally flown by. I didn’t really get off to the best start at university, don’t get me wrong, the first 3 months were amazing, but upon returning after the Christmas break it just went to absolute shambles. I missed home, my mental health was awful and I was just unhappy. Having said this, I’m in a much better place now, a few more months down the line, and I’m bloody excited for second year, I cannot tell you.

Here’s what my first year at university was like…it was an interesting one that’s for sure.

Halls – Halls are both the best and worse places to live. You’ll attend some of the best flat parties ever, and meet some of the best people, that’s the good part. The trouble started when people didn’t clean up after themselves and started taking my food. To be fair my flat mates weren’t terrible, but I’m pretty sure I was the only one that even touched the hoover the entire time we were living there, I must have been the only one that knew how to use a disinfectant wipe for the kitchen as well… Another thing that I never thought I’d have to deal with is someone taking my food, to be fair it was only tea and ketchup of mine that went walk abouts, but still, am not one for sharing any food, particularly my tea.

Money – Money wasn’t too big of a concern to me, as I had worked very hard the summer previous to save up enough to get me through it. What I wasn’t best pleased with is that I got the smallest amount of student loan, how any student is meant to live on that is beyond me. But I mustered through nonetheless, next year I plan on not being so protective over it, just spend it and enjoy myself, after all university will only happen once for me – I don’t want to look back on it and think, oh I wish I hadn’t been so tight and gone out more.

Freshers Week – I was the unfortunate one that got struck down with freshers flu within the first 4 days of moving in, so I only really enjoyed the first week. Freshers was an interesting one for me because I don’t drink a lot, I was always the one that people would come to in the morning to ask how much they had ruined their lives the night previous thanks to one too many cocktails.

Lectures – I absolutely loved my lectures, I think I may be the only student to ever say that? So I study Textile Design which is of course very practical, therefore it was always nice to have a lecture once or twice a week to shake things up. I struggled with sitting still for so long when I first joined, but I soon got used to it.

Friends – I have made some of the best friends at university, who I will definitely have for life. Like anything in life you’re never going to get along with everyone and this became apparent to me within the first couple of months, but this didn’t matter as long as I had my little group. Making friends I didn’t struggle with too much, I think this was down to me just faking my confidence and talking to literally everyone, had I not done this I’m sure it would have been a much different story.

My first year could have gone a lot better, but overall it was a massive learning curve, I now definitely know what I would/will be doing differently come September!

Any of you who have been to university, what was your first year experience like? This always interests me!

All my love,

Han.

Tips For Freshers

Somehow we’ve made it to that point in the year again where freshers week is just around the corner…how that came round I don’t know. But seeing as I moved out and embarked on my first fresehrs experience last year, I think it’s safe to say I learnt a thing or two throughout my first year; so here are a few tips if you’re counting down the days to fly the nest and begin your new chapter…

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Pack Sentimental Items – I’m 19 and I still have the same stuffed rabbit that I have had since I was born, no shame in saying that of course came with me to uni, along with plenty of photos of my favourite memories (and doggo, ofc). For me I moved very far away from home, so packing sentimental things really helped me to settle in and remind me of home.

Be Friendly to Everyone – and I mean everyone. Of course you’re never going to get along with everyone in life, but pretty much everyone is all in the same boat. Moving out for the first time, not knowing people, its all-very daunting. Speak to as many people as you can, and make as many new pals as you can. When I first moved into my flat, one of the first things I did was go and introduce myself to the other flats on my floor, turned out we all got along fairly well and went on many nights out together. So don’t be afraid to go and knock on the other flats and meet your neighbors!

Never Have I Ever…It’s a deadly game, but a great way to break the ice before a night out – it’s one of the best ways to get to know your new friends, a great laugh (this game had me in fits of laughter multiple times) and is definitely an ice breaker, I now have plenty of people walking round Leicester that know far too much about me!

Make The Most of Your Freedom – Make the most of freshers week, it’s the 2 weeks of the year you wont have the looming prospect of deadlines, early lectures and the worry of an emotional breakdown through stress. Alongside this, just make the most of everyday at university, my first year went by so quickly and I wish I had made more of the experience.

Explore the City – (Or town) – Chances are, if you’re reading this your moving away to a new place for the first time, when you get the chance in freshers week go and explore it! Within the first week of me being in Leicester I has sought out the best hot chocolate place and also the best place for porn star martinis…I think that more or less sums me up!

My first year was absolute shambles – break downs, break-ups, tears, self doubt, dropping out, the whole lot, I’ll probably do a post all about my experience at some point. But the most important thing is to just make the most of it because I will put money on you regretting it if you don’t!

All my love,

Han xx

 

Things Are Starting to Look Up…Finally

Things Are Starting to Look Up…Finally

I hate to exaggerate but the past 9 months have been the worst 9 months I’ve ever been through, and I’m bloody proud I pulled myself through them and made it out the other end! I started university, struggled with university, got into a toxic relationship, suffered with my mental health more than ever, this in turn effecting my physical health and well over all its been a car crash of a 9 months. But after plenty of tears, tantrums and me deciding I want to give everything up, and move myself to some remote country and be at one with the world having no stress or problems, I’ve finally (somewhat) got my shit together…for the time being anyway.

Here’s how things are starting to look up for me…

I’ve got myself a new job – I came back from university around April time and decided I wasn’t happy where I was originally working, so decided to do something about it. I got myself another waitressing job to keep me tired over while I’m not studying, at a local pub – I’ve never been happier at a job. I work with a lovely bunch of people, I’ve settled in scarily well, already feeling part of the team even after only being there for a couple of months.

Got out of a toxic relationship – When I started university I fell head over heels for a guy who I definitely shouldn’t have. I think this was one of the reasons I struggled so much when it came to settling in at university. The guy who I was with made me doubt a lot about myself, I lost a lot of confidence, and began to think I wasn’t good enough for anyone. It wasn’t until I arrived home from university that something just clicked in my head and I realised I could do so much better. I recently wrote a post all about the break up I went through which you can fine here, if you’re interested. Also, may I just add that since dropping the fuckboy, I’ve now found a guy who treats me well, texts me back and actually wants to take me out, so they do exist, and there is hope for us all, girls!

I have an exciting summer planned – This is the first year in a while that I’ve said a big fuck you to my anxiety and I’ve made some fairly exciting plans for the summer including festivals, days out, and holidays – all of which I am sure will make an appearance on the blog. That’s another thing, I finally got my booty back into gear and have got my blog back up and running, with a bit of a theme revamp, what do we think?! I neglected it for a while because the guy I was seeing would take the piss out of it…knob I know, the fact that he made me feel stupid for doing something I enjoy will forever anger me, but I’m onto bigger and better things now, boy bye.

I’m going back to university!!! – This is the one that I am most excited about, that I am going back to studying what I love. I went through a stage when my MH was particularly bad that I didn’t want to continue my degree, but since then I’ve realised that I’m bloody good at what I do and that if I love it that much its worth pursuing further. This time I vow to myself not to get involved with anyone toxic and to throw myself into everything. If I don’t do this, someone please shake me and force me to put myself out there more, kind regaurds.

Lastly, I’ve got my mojo back – I went through a period of being very unmotivated with everything, like I’m not exaggerating when I say that I literally wanted to do nothing. I lost my love for all my hobbies, drawing, running, socialising, knitting (I’m secretly an 80 year old) – the whole lot. I’ve recently got my motivation back for everything, I’m back to designing, loving my training, and I’m back doing my blog and social medias which I couldn’t be happier about. I’ve also got my personality back, which sounds stupid, but when all of this was going on I lost my sparkle, and sarcasm which is what I’m known for, but rest assured, sarcastic and sassy Han is back in full force.

I sincerely hope that I haven’t just jinxed everything and that I’ll wake up tomorrow with my life falling apart, I will not be a happy bunny. But for now, for the first time in a long time I’m very content and happy with my life and it’s a pretty fab feeling – I mean I’ll keep you updated if things change, but I bloody hope they don’t; if they could keep getting better that would be greatly appreciated.

All my love,

Han xx