Saturday, 31 May 2008
I post fairly frequently, although you can see that the amount of my posts in the (very short so far) lifespan of my blog has been reduced from a crazy 4 to a more subdude 1 or 2 a day. The reason for my mad activity in the first couple of days was simply boredom... I was procrastinating about revision. I do find I get more 'inspiration' when I have a reason to procrastinate.
However I don't think the posting is very much of the reason that people find blogging time-consuming. Surely it is the commenting on other blogs, the reading of them, the photo taking, and also very likely the dealing with advertising, e-mails and moderating comments when they start to get nasty.
And I have to say, I am lucky enough not to have to deal with the last three duties and I find that I was reading and commenting (anonymously) before I started this blog, and the photo-taking is actually one of the thing I love about it. I never used to take photos before but now I'm finding myself enjoying it hugely, even with my shitty old digital camera.
So I suppose what I'm saying is that right now, I'm finding blogging a pleasure which is not reducing my happiness in other areas of my life; it never takes more than 20 minutes a day, and then little 2 minute slots whenever I'm free to read and comment. I'm not sure what I'm doing right, maybe it's just because I'm new and then I'll have to keep up starting new blogs every month to maintain this contentedness. Actually, no I won't... but I will say thank-you to all the lovely people who have written lovely comments and all. Now I'm going to leave before I get unbearably soppy, to have a life I presume.
Friday, 30 May 2008
I'm just back from watching Sex and the City with some friends, opting out of the late evening showings because we were too lazy to book tickets.
I think the main point here is that it's 2 hours 25 minutes long. That's very long. Despite this, the time went by soooo fast. Probably too young to have been caught up in the TV series hysteria, I found myself dry-eyed despite numerous 'warnings' that the film would reduce anyone to tears, and we all laghed, a lot. Although I'm not sure the humour was always intentional.
I was also left quite surprised by the amount of fuss that has been generated about keeping the details of the plot a secret. For example, at one point, Carrie was trying to figure out the password her assistant had set to open some very important e-mails... my friend and I knew it straight away. Can you guess what it was? Love!
My point is: the film was a tad predictable. But a riveting storyline was not why I went to watch it anyway, of course it was the fashion. I (and I think most of the human population) already knew every minute detail of all Carrie's outfits worn in the first, say, half an hour of the movie due to countless magazine spreads... Eiffel Tower bag, Balenciaga heels, floral dresses, over the knee socks etc etc etc etc.
But there were still plenty of stylish treats, something I did not doubt for a second with Patricia Field of 'The Devil Wears Prada' and the original series as stylist. Actually I don't think Carrie ever wore the same outfit in two scenes (apart from her wedding dress) and I've never seen anyone look so stylish in pyjamas.
PS the photo is courtesy of glamour.com via google images. And I just watched an episode of CSI and guessed the plot twist... before the CSIs!! Totally irrelevent but go me!!!
This made me realise how hard it actually is to shop, how many different ways there are of going about it, and how there are problems with all of them.
Take list-making for example. I have done this in the past, but it never works for me. I can NEVER find exactly what I'm looking for and will always find it once I've stopped looking. All my well-worn basics, bar jeans, were spur-of-the-moment buys which turned out to be very useful later.
The other type of shopping is far more fun; going out there with no idea of what you want and picking up whatever you fall in love with. But this is a major problem when (true example here) you fall in love with a dress, maybe discounted but still not hugely cheap. You can't bear to leave it, although you know you have nowhere to wear it. Fast forward six months and it hasn't been worn outside the home.
Is this the charm of shopping, the unexpected element, or are there things to do that can avoid it? I truely don't know, but I'm posing the question anyway.
For example, you can use the rule of '3 different outfits, 3 different occasions' before buying something, or the one I've been trying to employ as much as possible: 'is it entirely perfect in every way?'. But these 'rules' are SO difficult to stick to, and can also mean missing out on real gems.
Thursday, 29 May 2008
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Wednesday, 28 May 2008
Luckily, there's hope for these unworn garments, because sometimes all they need is a bit of time. Thanks to the lovely Francis at Mud on My Teadress here is a slideshow of some of the pieces in my wardrobe, left unworn before being rediscovered and becoming staple items. Please excuse over-use of alliteration.
Eclectic 'boho' - one of my first 'me' purchases from Accessorize circa 2000 these earrings were abandoned in favour of sweet studs. But the stunning colour combinations have wooed me back...
Leopard lining - I have no idea what the label says; I can't decipher it! Given to me by one of my relatives, I didn't wear it for several years because it was too 'far-out' but kept it because of the beautiful leopard-print silk lining. But recently I have discovered its versatility, it can brighten up pretty much any basic outfit and fits like a well-fitting glove.
Scruffy satin - bought when I was a LOT younger and girly, I soon realised how impractical satin is in rainy London and then how prissy it looks in the safety of the evening. Scruffed up with some lack of care, they have become a lot easier to wear.
Lovely layering - too tight, mickey mouse, sheer... not for me. But the gorgeous colour and texture looks perfect underneath looser layers.
The problem with presents is that either you don't get exactly what you wanted, or it's not really a surprise so it just feels like someone else paid for your purchase. The best type of present is when someone knows you want something then they go buy it for you... a complete surprise!
If you get this too often, the gift looses its value, and since no-one I know is particularly big on surprises I don't get them too often, but today after travelling an hour to pick up my little sister, I was greeted with this fabulous bag which I had been lusting after just the day before!
I must have looked rather odd the rest of the day, walking around with both my bags... but it couldn't be helped, I was too excited. It really reminds me of the bad boys who get turned into donkeys in Pinocchio. As soon as I got home, I looked up the label of the bag: Insight. I couldn't find my donkey on the website, but there were plenty of other clothes to look at. What surprised me, is that there was nothing I particularly want... the whole 'Insight' style is very much un-me.
A leetle bit too 'nu-rave' for me, which is probably a good thing, since I'm hoping for my next gift to be a pony...
ETA yes I do realise I have posted in the future... quite cool I think and not at all by accident
Tuesday, 27 May 2008
Most of the books I love, I love for characterisation that makes the characters alive, and one of the most important things for me is that it inspires emotion; laughter, sadness, whatever. But with this book I'm just enraptured by Arundhati Roy's writing, which is as stunning as any piece of art. What is the book about? The blurb of the book says it 'explores the tragic fate of a family' and goes on to use a quote from the book: 'tampered with the laws that lay down who should be loved and how'. Doesn't this line sound like something from a poem?
Adding to the poetic feel are similes, a technique which I grew to detest through over-use in primary school poems but which add so much to the book: 'Baby Kochamma...closed her face like a cupboard'. There are other devices, such as certain phrases written in capital letters, 'She used her windows for specific purposes. For a Breath of Fresh Air' and beautifully, wonderful little rhymes within sentences.
'She had a special child-sized coffin.
Brass handle shined'
But a viable di-able age'
Normally, when I read a book containing words like 'posterity' 'incipient' and 'pernicious' (i.e. words I need to look up!) I have a tendancy to dismiss it as pretentious or verbose, but with 'The God of Small Things' I don't.
I am just in awe of Roy's mastery of the English language, and a little sad because I'm already almost halfway and when I finish this book, she hasn't written another one yet.
Monday, 26 May 2008
I'm pretty sure there's no exception to this rule, and I'm more sure it's down to Dorothy of the Wizard and Oz. Not sure if I should be admitting this, but myself, I have a whole section of photos stored on my computer of red 'Dorothy' shoes. In reply to Pamcasso's post, asking 'which would you want and how would you wear them?' I think I'd plump for these stunning Westwoods:
I'd wear them with frilly white socks and a short blue gingham shirt dress in slutty modern homage to Dorothy Gale.
Even going up a couple of steps to Topshop, I rarely buy anything other than accessories. The Oxford Circus branch I frequent most is just too frantic and I often forget to wear the right clothes required to have a trying on session in a less busy corner, because the queues for the changing rooms are just too long. In fact, most visits to Oxford Street result in a drained, tired feeling, leaving me unable to enjoy my new purchases as much as I should.
The alternative, however is even worse: suburban shopping centres. I do tend to visit my local shopping centre fairly frequently, however it is unusual for me to find something special there and my shopping centre purchases are pretty much limited to essentials; toiletries, stationary, underwear etc.
The reason for this is unlikely to be choice; I am sure that any shopping centre has a similar selection of clothes to one on Oxford Street. For me, it is the atmosphere. Surrounded by unispirational people, the clothes laid out in a boring, uninspirational way, I never seem to get the same buzz of ideas (ooh, this skirt would look great with this top...).
Perhaps this is just me being lazy; I am not great at vintage shopping or 'thrifting', finding it too much like hard work in London's saturated market. In fact, my best vintage buys, thinking about it, all tend to be garments I saw on a mannequin in a shop window, or displayed prominently.
How highly do you rank the shopping experience as a factor when shopping? I have been left fairly convinced of its importance to me, which leaves me with the question: what is a good shopping experience? The place always called to mind for me is Selfridges. I view Selfridges in a similar way, I think, to the character of Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's views Tiffany's - it is that place where I can't imagine anything bad happening. So what if 90% of its stock is out of my fiscal reach? For me, a huge part of shopping is not the acquisition of goods, it is the feeling and experience, and for that reason I will always prefer to spend a few extra pennies...pounds...hundreds! on an overall more enjoyable trip.
To stress my point: yesterday, after a particularly weary and depressing shopping experience, having come out with nothing but gifts for other people and a book, I went to Selfridges. Immediately, I saw a very pretty top, so went to the changing rooms, where there were no queues, tried it on. When I decided it was the wrong size, the shop assistant passed me another. Once I had decided that I liked it, I was free to wander around, leaving the boundaries of the shop where I had picked up.
Upon paying for my top, the kind man at the till (okay... it was probably a mistake, but it still makes me feel that he was kind) gave me 30% off of my purchase. I'm not sure if morally I should have notified him of his mistake, but in my mind, this sort of thing is part and parcel of a happy shopping experience.
Sunday, 25 May 2008
I love getting an insight into the inspiration behind creative work, often finding it as interesting as the work itself.
Saturday, 24 May 2008
So pristinely perfect, in fact, that I can't bear to use it.
Shea butter is well known for its magical properties as sun protection, stretchmark reducer and overall magic-maker. So really I can't wait to start moisturising, but I don't want to make the first mark.
As soon as I can bring myself to do so, I'll let you know how it works.
Friday, 23 May 2008
One of my favourite pieces of music which takes me to Paris is 'Memories of Paris', played stunningly by Michel Petrucciani. But today I was bizarrely handed a compilation of some French music including the song 'Les Champs-Élysées'. Whilst not exactly genius music (in my humble opinion) it did remind me how desperately I am hoping to get to go back this summer.
(all photos taken by moi!)
Do you think I'm getting better at the whole paint thing? It saves loads of picture memory!
Thursday, 22 May 2008
-Painting my nails! I just fixed my nails and painted them that lovely warm pink colour. The gold was starting to look a little grubby.
-Watching escape TV. The problem with this is that an hour is gone and there's still a ton of things left undone. But tonight I shall make an exception.
-Tea. Yep, it does work. I like mine with honey.
-Lovely phone conversations with lovely friends. Hmm, no time for this tonight sadly, but it works wonders.
-Making plans. Keeping busy can only be a temporary distraction, but no more temporary than tea or escape TV.
-Showers, not baths. I was beginning to sound all generic so I decided to mix it all up. Baths make me feel gloomy for some reason... I much prefer a quick shower.
I can't think of anything else! Any suggestions???
Wednesday, 21 May 2008
That was so very therapeutic, and time-consuming. I don't think my selection is perfect, but I was basically trying to remember everything on my extended wishlist. What would you buy?
Oddly, I was entirely unable to spend the last £4.01. I think I would spend that on some pretty flowers for my lovely doner.
Tuesday, 20 May 2008
I especially adore this part: 'if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely'. Soppy it may be, but so lovely nonetheless.
And I think it's true..
I've found people really attractive until they've started being unkind, and it seems that their beauty just melts away, a little bit like Mrs Twit. I'm not denying that bad boys can have a huge appeal, but that's different to someone who's plain, personally nasty. At the same time, there have been people with all those classically 'ugly' features, who I really think of as beautiful.
Fluff overload, slightly? I still haven't got the hang of balancing the soppy out with old-fashioned funniness, like Roald Dahl.
Jennifeare, the evil, female and human shaped daemon sneered as the beautiful baby
Monday, 19 May 2008
I have little regard for matching shades, however it gives me great pleasure to be dressed top to toe in varying shades of the same colour, although most of the time the size of my wardrobe means it can be difficult.
Recently, I have been particularly drawn to pinks, blues, blacks and greys. However upon seeing this photo on the Sartorialist, my obsession with metallics returned:
I like dressing in metallics, more specifically gold. I have no shortage of gold accessories. Today, I am wearing gold nails, courtesy of Barry M nail polish, and a gold necklace. I have gold socks, gold shoes, gold earrings, gold eyeshadow. I even have a gold dress, but this is very dressy so I have only had one suitable occasion to wear it.
I am sure that tomorrow I will have a different desire, but right now I would really love a gold jacket, or a skirt like the one in the picture. Due to the fact that gold is quite a wintery colour, I will have to leave this particular shade aside for now. After all, gold looks terrible with my pale legs.
Saturday, 17 May 2008
If it ain't broke, I don't like to fix it, so I have ended up with quite a collection, but often I feel like there's not much more I can do with my hair. Then today, during a spot of retail therapy (works every time) I kept on being drawn to all sorts of bizarre hairbands. In Urban Outfitters, I came across some feathered beauties, which were a little too expensive for my liking but certainly very comfortable. After I saw a simply stunning £160 leopard print Lux trench-coat, I decided I had to leave, with a trench-coat and hairband filled hole on my heart.
The practical trench-coat hole is still waiting to be filled; there were plenty of options, but nothing quite right at the right price. It was probably inevitable that it would be so much easier to fulfill a whimsical, unnecessary desire.
Friday, 16 May 2008
Maybe I didn't go quite as far as the St Trinian's pencil skirt and suspenders get-up but I was very pleased to note that you can still dress up for school!
oooh and I apologise for my terrible paint skills, one can only get better I suppose...
Thursday, 15 May 2008
Being an especially vain person, I got myself all het up about how ridiculous I would look with braces... a nice outfit completely spoiled the minute I smile.
And it's true, I do smile properly a lot less.
But mostly I was worried about the time coming when I no longer have to wear uniform, and still having braces! If the average prediction I had set of 18-24 months was right, then this would be the case and it's what terrified me to the very core (as well as looking like Ugly Betty; I have been wearing contacts a lot more lately...) Even worse, I have not been able to ask my orthodontist how long I'll have them on, due to him complaining several times, UTENSILS IN MY MOUTH, about other patients who are constantly asking when their braces are going to come off. Isn't it just so annoying when people say stuff to you and you physically cannot reply?
To alleviate the suffering, I had a rather helpful desktop background; a picture of my teeth pre-braces, enlarged. It did comfort me somewhat, but not as much as yesterday, when I was finally told to expect to be braceless by Christmas! How fantastic?!
Obviously, utensils in my mouth, I could not express my joy, but now I can. My teeth are straightening out superfast, and to top it all off, orthodontist said that my teeth are a lovely shape and colour; that I would be the perfect tooth model once they were fixed. Best compliment I could have asked for! I've always wanted to be a tooth model almost as much as a hand model!!!
Wednesday, 14 May 2008
No idea where I've heard of him from, so I don't know anything about the brand, but the rings speak for themselves.
Diamonds are normally too generic for me, but this ring is beautifully unique.
Tuesday, 13 May 2008
I watched another film today when I knew I just HAD to post about, because almost every shot was so absolutely stunning. I literally gasped at certain posts because it was so beautiful. The stunning costumes, set design and musical touch all contribute to the fact that 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' is another film which simply feels like it should be art.
I wanted to post every single shot; the film is a sequence of bursts of colour, but here are some of my very favourites:
Chez Genevieve, they go for pinks, reds and oranges
And bows in your hair are a must!
Isn't this just the best matching you've ever seen???
Guy's other ladies get some gorgeous clothes too
Absolutely beautiful tracking shot
A Mary-Sue is basically a character created who fulfills the secret wishes and desires of its writer, in such a way that the character is unbelievably flawless and filled with clichés. Or, if the character has flaws, they are often shared with their inventor and are miraculously overcome in the course of the story.
I think I find it so funny because each question identifies so strongly with the 123504196 teenage fiction books I read when I was about 9, about kids who move to a new school, make no friends but then get transported to this fabulous world where they make a lot of friends and save a lot of people, or something along those lines.
Someone's version (courtesy of Google Images) of an Anti Mary-Sue. Yes, she is spectacularly normal, for a witch, but I don't think you can actually have magical powers without being levitated to slight Mary-Sue status. I can't imagine a single person who doesn't want to be magic, so there's got to be some wish fulfillment involved here, no?
Monday, 12 May 2008
Don't ask me how I know he's male, or even a bee (because he may be a wasp, I'm not completely sure). In fact, I wasn't completely sure that he was dead; I thought he was just napping (maybe he had a little dizzy spell after starving himself to look good in the shoot?).
I took a couple more photos of Bee which I wasn't going to post:
And here he is, placed on a sheet of blue because that is where all Bees belong; in the sky. I shall presently move him to his final resting place, but this can act as a commemoration of Darling Bee.
Maybe the pressures of fame just got too much?
Recently I watched the beautiful film Picnic at Hanging Rock. A group of schoolgirls go on a school trip, where three of them and one of their teachers vanish in mysterious circumstances. The rest of the film deals with the repercussions of their disappearance on everyone around them and the viewer is left to come to their own conclusions about what happened.
This in itself has spawned plenty of discussions and theories about the true solution, many people still believing that the story is based on true events. After the author's death, the final missing chapter was published in which a 'solution' was given, however this solution does not satisfy most readers/viewers because it was obviously left unfinished and unedited.
There are plenty of interesting themes within the movie; Miranda as a swan, the concepts of time and fate, Victorian repression which all make it a movie worth watching. However what made me love it so much was the sheer beauty of the cinematography, which just captured me and often meant I was not listening to what the characters were saying.
The relatively recent revelation that most of the main voices were dubbed by professional actors who were given no credit upset some (a very interesting article about the 'Unseen Voices') , but I don't think the dialogue or the acting are at all what make this film what it is.
Sunday, 11 May 2008
I haven't written a blog post for 2 days now, I haven't been able to think of anything worthwhile saying, apart from some musings on the shapes contact lenses can take. But I did write 3153 word story in an hour last night, and then I couldn't sleep. I got a couple of hours rest between 2:30 and 4:30 AM and then a few more hours from 5:30 to about 9:00.
Whilst I was awake, I was so tired that I could barely keep my eyes open, but the only thing that would take my mind off the pain in my stomach was writing. Obviously everything I wrote was rambling 'Dear Diary' style rubbish, but it helped!
This has made me think a while about what creates inspiration, what stifles creativity? I read an article recently which said that many writers believe they should entirely refrain from reading any modern literature, because it would lead to copycat writing.
Did my minute blogging break make me write down this story, when I haven't written one for months? Does that mean that blogging, despite its sometimes mundane nature actually does keep our writing minds in practice?
I don't know the answers but I found this an interesting topic to muse on.
Friday, 9 May 2008
When I turn off my computer screen it's all shiny so I can use it as a mirror. I took out my contacts and left on them on my desk. But then I thought 'what a waste, when they'll get all hard in a few minutes'. So I flattened one out... that was quite cool.
But when I tried to flatten the other one out, it went a little beserk and actually looked really cool. I tried to take some photos but they weren't focussed enough. But then I took some more:
It sort of looks like a flower to me.
And then, when the contacts are COMPLETELY dry, you can chop them all up so they look like shards of glass!
Look! Ghostly glads in Topshop!
Wouldn't the Ancient Greeks feel honoured to discover that Urban Outfitters has a whole section on their websites filled with 'Grecian' clothing???
Posh designer brands getting in on the action
Yummy bracelet by Roberto Cavalli. Very Egyptian chic.