Sunday, 31 December 2017

This will be our year, took a long time to come

And so 2017 finally comes to a close. It's been a funny old year with it's highs and lows, but thankfully nothing too eventful has happened and so I'm going to remember this year for all the good things.

Remember A Day // And What Exactly Is A Dream // 'Neath The Gay Illuminations
Recent Vintage Finds // Museum of Witchcraft // Floating Down, The Sound Resounds

2017 marked 50 years since 1967, a momentous year for enthusiasts of the 1960s, and as such many anniversaries were held relevant to my interests which certainly helped to make this year fun. It was a very Pink Floyd filled year in particular for me, with Their Mortal Remains opening in London to mark their 50th year which I was lucky enough to visit three times, as well as splurging on their Early Years Box Set which is something I'll cherish owning forever. It's felt really wonderful to be able to indulge myself in my favourite band all year. It's also been the year I finally started seeing my favourite bands live, and was fortunate enough to see The Killers twice as well as scoring tickets to see Roger Waters for my birthday next year.

Such Is Silence O'er Royal Camelot // Recent Vintage Finds // Sewing A New Dress

I began my final year of university, a milestone I thought I wouldn't be able to achieve when I began my course, and finally got a clear idea of the direction I'd like to go in, both professionally and personally. I'm definitely leaving 2017 with a much clearer image of myself than I started the year with, which is a wonderful feeling to have. Because even if things don't go according to plan, having a clear sense of self is all that really matters and will help me move forward from anything with confidence.

Early Years // Wonderful Wonderful // Lying On An Eiderdown
I'd Like To Be Under The Sea // A Day In The Life // Summer's Almost Gone

I found some really wonderful vintage treasures, completed gaps in my vinyl collection, and have taken little trips here and there to see new and interesting places further away from home than I usually go; I got my car this year and I can definitely say that I've made he most of having it. I've kept up with my personal drawing alongside my uni work, and have made quite a few lovely dresses. I've also really fallen back in love with blogging again, I'm proud of this little space I've created and have met some really wonderful, unique and interesting people through social media which brings me a lot of happiness.

This was also the year that I began journalling, both in 'bullet' form and using the Happiness Planner. I use my bullet journal as part scrapbook, part art journal and have really loved having a space for memories and personal reflection. Being a terrible over-thinker, it really helps to have a personal space to organise my thoughts at the end of each day. I was skeptical of the Happiness Planner when I bought it, but really wanted to try and change my mindset into less of a pessimist. I used it consistently for the first part of the year and really felt it made a difference, but then I stopped as I felt I didn't need it anymore and so fell straight back into old negative habits and couldn't get motivated to use it every day again. However I felt it worked so well when I did use it properly that I've bought the 100 Day version for 2018. I think I'll be able to stick with 100 Days better than a whole year, and can then incorporate the positive reinforcements into my bullet journal afterwards.

Here's to a happy 2018!
January 1st is the start of a fresh week as well as being a fresh year, and also happens to fall on a full moon which is also a super moon. There couldn’t be a more powerful time to start over. Let's make it brilliant ♥

Title: The Zombies - This Will Be Our Year

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Here comes Santa in his sleigh, those silver bells they sound so gay

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, or Chanukah, Kwanzaa, Yule, or whichever festivity you enjoy at this time of year, and got some lovely presents and ate lots of yummy food. It's always a very relaxed occasion in my family as there isn't many of us, but as I received some lovely things this year I thought I'd share. It's rare for me to be gifted things relevant to my interests, so I really appreciated the effort my loved ones went to for me this year.

A Pink Floyd calendar, a few goodies from Lush, and some vintage bits and bobs. The '70s colander is shaped like a flower and will look just perfect in my kitchen with all of my '70s floral patterned trays and crockery. I mentioned before that I've recently gotten back into knitting, and my mum really took it to heart with a vintage knitting pattern file, and a box filled with vintage needles.

I also got given a Fitbit Blaze which is the most exciting thing for me. It's a smart watch as well as a fitness tracker. I used to have an Apple watch but I wasn't keen on it, mostly as it wasn't very good at tracking exercise. My Fitbit will not only track my every day movements, but can even tell by itself whether I'm exercising or not without being set. It's working fabulously so far and I couldn't be happier with it! I think it's a nice looking watch too, which is rare for this kind of gadget.

I hope the season was everything you wanted it to be ♥

Title: Pink Floyd - Merry Xmas Song

Saturday, 23 December 2017

The time is with the month of winter solstice

The tree is up, the lights are on, and Christmas is well and truly underway. I've been home for most of December and enjoying the break and wanted to share the photos I've been taking throughout the month. The day itself is often underwhelming as most of my relatives are long gone and the holiday doesn't hold much significance, but I still like to make what I can of the season and enjoy being home. I love a bit of kitsch, so I do enjoy reveling in all of the tacky decorations! Especially as many of my mothers date back to my great grandmother.

Friday, 22 December 2017

She was a day tripper

It's become a bit of a festive tradition to visit York at Christmas. If all goes to plan I might not be in the UK next Christmas, so I wanted to make the most of this feasive season and so a trip there was a must. It's possibly my favourite city in the UK, it's absolutely beautiful full of ancient architecture and rich history. Also most of the shops are local small businesses, which are my favourite to shop in. After all, high street shops are identical all over the country so why bother? I never spend much, this visit being no different. I left with just a single vintage psychedelic maxi dress which was hanging in the window of the Sue Ryder charity shop. It's perfect, I can't wait to show you in a future post.

The Shambles is my favourite area, it's the oldest street in York dating back 900 years and is full of 15th century Tudor buildings leaning slightly higgledy-piggledy over the narrow cobbled streets. Hidden in amongst the shops and cafes are gems like the tiny shrine to Margaret Clitherow, a Catholic woman from the 1500s who was martyred for hiding priests and holding Mass in her home when Catholicism was considered treason.

There's even architecture dating as far back as the Roman Empire, when York was the main fort in northern England. It was the Romans who created York, only they called it Eboracum. This statue of Emperor Constantine the Great sits outside York Cathedral.

I can never resist the teddy bear shop!

For lunch we visited Bettys tea room which is always a real treat! It's exclusive to Yorkshire and serves traditional afternoon tea and English Swiss meals. I had the Alpine Macaroni with my favourite Christmas spiced tea - it raised some eyebrows when I asked for milk with it, but it makes it taste a little more like chai (and I can't abide not having milk in black tea!). All in all, a lovely day out indeed!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Dream yourself away

I made this dress a couple of weeks ago, taking some time for myself between university projects. It was a sizable length of crimplene I'd picked up on eBay for next to nothing, along with a few different vintage patterns frankensteined together. I had a clear image of the dress I wanted in my minds eye, and a few different patterns with each element and it came out quite well I think! I do love the colours in the floral design.

dress - handmade // brooch - 1960s vintage, local vintage shop // shoes - 1960s vintage, etsy

Last month I took a little trip to London to visit the House of Illustration as they’re holding an exhibition of Gerald Scarfe’s work. I’m currently writing my dissertation on Gerald Scarfe, as I’m very interested in how illustration and music are used together and obviously never have the two mediums come together so seamlessly as with Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Scarfe’s style has become synonymous with the band despite only being used for just one album out of fifteen, and I find it so interesting how his artwork has given such a concrete visual narrative to the very non-visual medium of music. He’s illustrated Roger Waters’ ideas and autobiography to an extent, and yet added his own narrative and perspective into the mix. I could geek out about it for hours! So you can see why the exhibition was a must for me.

I hadn’t been to the House of Illustration before, and photos aren’t allowed so unfortunately I have nothing to show you, but it’s well worth a visit. It’s very small, and the Scarfe exhibition filled most of the gallery. It covered a fairly wide selection of his art, with sections on The Magic Flute, his costumes and design for The Nutcracker, The Wall, his short animation The Long Drawn-Out Trip, and his concept work for Disney’s Hercules which I found the most interesting. Being a huge fan of Disney, I loved seeing the notes back and forth between Scarfe and the animators of how the characters should be designed and move without losing Scarfe’s distinctive style, and how the animators translated that style to be Disney appropriate. I’m currently trying to change my own art style up from a less Disney inspired style as it’s what I grew up trying to draw like, so I made sure to take some of their notes to heart and took joy in seeing how they had to unlearn some of the same habits I’ve gotten myself into. I also loved seeing so many of Scarfe’s original artworks, nothing can compare to seeing an artists work you admire in the flesh. To see that things aren’t as perfectly cropped and bordered like they appear in a book or a screen, to see the lines he rubbed out and how his designs changed. I’m sure all of this sounds terribly geeky, but for an illustrator like me I was in my element!

Their Mortal Remains
Their Mortal Remains

These photos of his works are from Their Mortal Remains, but you can see some those details here too. Not many of his pieces from The Wall were featured in this exhibition, but they were different from the ones I’d already seen which I appreciated. I know Scarfe had a lot of his original artworks stolen by Floyd fans in the ‘80s, so I believe what’s left is quite limited.

Title: Pink Floyd - Remember A Day

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

All My Loving

This is a post I never thought I’d be making! Last month I decided to sell my Beatles dress.

If you’re a long time reader of my blog, you may remember when I got it for an absolute steal. I loved it. But I never wore it, and I’ve really started to question owning things for the sake of owning them. And as much as I loved this dress, I wasn’t making the most of it. I’d only ever worn it twice, once for my blog photos and another time for a YouTube video. I never even wore it when I went to Beatleweek as I was nervous of getting attention. So it languished in my wardrobe and I felt guilty every time I looked at it. Because if I’m not wearing it, then why have it? Just so I can say I have it? That’s pretty sad, I hate the thought of owning anything for some kind of bragging rights. I tentatively listed it on Etsy with some half arsed photos thinking it would sit there for months whilst I decided how I felt, only for it to sell less than a week later. And as I’d made a 6x profit on it, I decided that fate had well and truly spoken and I allowed it to go. Not before taking one final set of pictures though!

I’m going to really miss this dress, I loved it. It’s iconic, and it’s not something many people get to see let alone try on and touch with their fingers. But I'm also happy to have let it go to it’s new owner. I still have the letter the original owner sent to me, as well as my photos, and that’s enough. My only hope is that it’s new owner wears it and enjoys it as much as I did, as I hate the idea of things living soullessly in glass cabinets. Which is exactly why I sold it, as it had ended up becoming exactly that to me and it deserves better.

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever

A very simple outfit today, but I realised that despite owning this vintage dress for years, it's yet to appear on my blog! I'm also wearing my brand new boots which I got back in October after my final visit to see the Pink Floyd exhibition Their Mortal Remains. I love how '70s they look, and as I was on a bit of a '70s high after the exhibition they felt too perfect. They're also incredibly comfortable, I've mentioned before I have trouble getting shoes to fit but I've been wearing these almost every day!

dress - 1970s vintage, market stall // afghan coat - 1960s vintage, local vintage shop // boots - topshop // necklaces - my late grandmothers

Back when I went to Bristol for the vintage kilo sale, I also popped to the Arnolfini gallery to see Grayson Perry’s exhibition, The Most Popular Art Exhibition Ever! I love art with substance to it, and I love the way he looks at and questions the world. It was much more expansive that I expected it to be for a free exhibition, with a wide scope of his work on offer. I was particularly smitten with his large textile pieces, the amount of work that’s gone into them in mind blowing especially when you see the sheer scale of the pieces.

The purpose of the motorbike is to question gender norms. To take something as masculine as a motorcycle, and to cover it in words, colours and motifs that are seen as being effeminate.

This was one of my favourites, especially after reading the placard. It lives in his garden as a shrine to him and his wife, and is filled with tokens and mementos of their relationship together.

Sketchbooks are my favourite way of viewing an artists work, and I was pleased they had a few of his on display. Not only is it fascinating to see how ideas originate and get developed, they're so much more personal than finished artworks by the sheer nature of them being less polished.
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