Saturday, 9 February 2013

Pulling a swinging sickie

In all honesty I should be lying in my bed right now with Gino the giraffe, my hot water bottle. 
I woke up yesterday with an extremely debilitating dose of the vileness...
cold as death, woolly headed, sneezy, wheezy and generally frigging sore all over, not to mention looking like a festering meat-bag.
I knew as soon as I got out of bed that I'd be absolutely no use to anybody, so the only sensible thing to do was to neck some night nurse & return to bed.
I'm still feeling pretty rancid today but we managed a quick walk up to the pond to feed the birds.
I thought that as I'd made the elephantine effort to peel myself off the bed, I'd try and cheer up my chops with another one of my loud psychedelic frocks and a bit of slap.
Plastering make-up on a flu bedraggled face is pretty daft I know but I was hoping that it would somehow magically make me look less didn't bleeding work :(
I also stuck a wiggy-woo on to keep my noggin warm & toasty.
At least the frock looks "fucking blinding" :)
Vintage 60s psychedelic print maxi dress, 70s  cropped suede jacket, 80s leather boots, 80s Kangol beret, wiggy-woo , gloves, pendant necklace  and bangles galore.
When we fed the birds the other day, I spotted a Canada goose that looked rather worse for wear. 
 It seemed to feed alright and it didn't look as if it was in distress but I still took some pics of it & contacted the RSPCA.
I've been a bit worried about the wee feathered fellow, so that's why we went back up to the park today with another baggy of delicious seed mix for the birdies...
Here's the poor wee thing, its wing is damaged and its rear end warps to one side...
I've read about a condition called 'Angel Wing' that is believed to be caused by a substandard diet, high in calories and low in nutrition. 
There's actually a notice up by the pond telling people not to feed the birds stuff like white bread but unfortunately some people still do.
Here are two other birds that were hanging by the pond today...
A pretty mandarin duck and a  handsome grey heron
Right, I can't even focus on the screen anymore, so I guess that's my cue to go back to bed.
Have a superlative Sunday folks!
Lot's of love,

Friday, 8 February 2013

Psychedelic salvo

I bought this dress last summer but this is the first time I've actually worn it.
I really love the psychedelic print but every time I tried it on I would always find fault with the ensemble and the dress would go back on the hanger.
Stupid stuff like the colour of the tights didn't quite match or the shoes looked wrong with it. 
Some days I'm the biggest fusspot about, I race around the house trying to get dressed but everything I put on just feels wrong and the house ends up looking like an explosion in a thrift store.
Strangely today it just all seemed to come together.
I’m sure I’ll be back to my old fusspot self tomorrow, sitting in the hallway in front of my  open wardrobe screaming…
“It’s quarter past nine & I’m still only in my frigging pants, what the Mongolian clusterfeck shall I wear”?!

Repro 60s PVC coat, vintage 60s psychedelic dress, vintage 70s boots, layered tights, necklace that I make myself, a sequin beret and gloves, I was clever enough not to leave them behind this time ;)
Now, I have a question to put to you all...
If you had to choose in-between wearing only plain colours or only loud prints for the rest of your life, what would you choose? 
There is no way I could spend the rest of my life wearing only plain colours, I love my prints too much.
I'm sure you've already seen Vix's post and beheld her in all her "fucking blinding" glory.
We have a lot of bland blokes like the one she describes in her post round these parts too.
Personally I can't think of a less inspiring get-up than a grey jersey tracksuit & I kind of feel sorry for those who choose to solely dwell inside such soul destroying clothes when there is so much variety in the world. 
An infinite pick-and-mix of fabulous styles, colours, textures, prints & fabrics...
I can't for the life of me understand why anyone in the face of such abundance would opt for a grey jersey tracksuit?!
Myself, I'm a self-confessed print addict and I much prefer to live my life swathed in loud colours & larger than life prints.
When I'm done here, I want to be buried in a sequin embellished, psychedelic print coffin with rainbow coloured, crushed velvet lining.
Not that I'm hankering for the grave, far from it!
I feel more full of life today than I did ten years ago and as odd as it may sound, getting older has made me feel younger in many ways, I may not look it but you can't have everything ;)
Now I have some exciting news...
I'll be selling my wonderful vintage threads at the boogaloo at the end of this month :)
Jet-Marie the awesome chick who runs the Can't Buy Me Love vintage jumble sale contacted me the other day to say that she still had a space available for this month....HUZZAH!
So if  you happen to be lurking around in the area of 312 Archway Road, North London on Saturday the 23rd please come and see me.
Affordable vintage clobber, retro tunes, beer and cake...what more can you ask for on a Saturday ;) 
I'll do a couple of posts in the near future to show you some of the stuff I'll be bringing with me on the day.
Here's the flyer that I borrowed off  the 'Cant Buy Me Love' website...
I'm chuffed to bits cause this will be my first ever proper vintage jumble, first of many I hope ;)
The weekend is upon us yet again, hasn't this week just swooshed by?!
Have a fabulous Friday peeps and thanks again for all your wonderful comments, they truly warm the cockles of my wee heart so they do.
Lot's of love,

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Sweet dreams are made of cheese

Today I've been busy taking product pics for the shop.
It's been absolutely freezing in the flat, so in a fair few of the pics I look decidedly peeved.
Today was also the first time I used my new camera remote control.
Before I had to go back and forth to the camera to press the button in-between every photo, which was a complete pain in the backside plus quite often the camera wouldn't be in focus when I got to my place in front of it, which needless to say was also a huge big pain in the booty region.
Now I can simply press the remote and hey, click, click!
I'm loving the fact that it's sparing me a whole heap of faffing about but there is one small problem, the concealment of the remote.
It is nigh-on impossible to strike the 'hold your waist' pose, cause you have to use your fingers to press the button.
It does have a timer function, so I suppose I could slip it on the floor after I've pressed and then strike a pose.
So many things to worry about, world poverty, corruption, deforestation and how to look natural when using a bleeding camera remote control.
I can just feel my life spinning into a vacuous abyss of triviality here, och!
Anyway, I'm sure I'll get the hang of it :) 
I messed around with PicMonkey when I was having my hour off in the afternoon and here's the result... 
The three frocks and the tie-dye top are all destined for the shop.
Not sure when cause I've got a fairly jam-packed schedule this week already.
Because it was all work and no play for me today, I just wore a comfy outfit in a style I'd describe as 'tatterdemalian'...
"Tatterdemalion: A person wearing ragged or tattered clothing"...that'll be me then ;)
When I wasn't taking product pics, I changed into my comfy slippers because... 
 - I tend not to wear outdoors footwear indoors.
 - I'd probably fall down and break my neck if I was to race up and down the stairs in these bad boys.
...but perhaps most importantly,  I'm getting to that stage in my life when I'm really starting to appreciate sensible footwear, in particular slippers ;)

I've had two very odd & inexplicable cravings today; at one point I was gagging for a cheese and onion pasty (I'm vegan) & then I was struck by an insane craving for real ale (I knocked the booze on the head over four years ago).
I'm not sure what is going on, maybe it's the cold weather making me want to pig out on cheese and get drunk (sounds like heaven right now).
Watch this space, there may be a "pickled post" in the near future if my craving have their wicked way with me ;)
Thanks for all the lovely comments you've been leaving, you ROCK my little world!
Lot's of love,

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Cold hands, adventurous heart

I have no rose tinted tales from the nineties for you today only an outfit...
Vintage 70s suede jacket , 60s dress, 50s booties, 90s lurex jumper, M&S tights, knitted mohair hat, soapstone & macrame earrings, a plethora of bangly things (all thrifted from car boot sales and markets)
We went for a quick stroll around the park earlier and it was VERY cold.
I forgot to bring my gloves, so by the time we got to the park I had what I would describe as "hypothermic hands".
Last time I felt like my hands were going to break clean off was in February last year when I was kneeling on a training platform at the bottom of Wraysbury lake.
The water was three degrees Celsius and my life was flashing in front of my eyes.
Still one of the best experiences I had in 2012.
I'm absolutely hankering to go diving again...hurry up spring!
Hope you are all enjoying your weekend :)
Lot's of love,

The soundtrack of my life

Back in the autumn of ‘92 something happened that would change my music taste forever.
 Up until then I'd pretty much been a pop chart follower & my record collection played host to some of the most dire music ever made.
One afternoon I was on my way to a local café where a little cluster of my classmates used to hang out after school, when I spotted a new record store.
It looked really groovy from the outside and the scent of burning incense drew me in.
I wasn't going to buy anything but I left with two albums, which were 
'Nirvana – Nevermind' & 'Pearl Jam –Ten'.
I wasn't even into that kind of music then but the owner of the shop was so convinced that I’d fall in love with them that he even told me that I could bring them back for a full refund if I didn't.
I brought them home & listened to them all weekend, then I went back into the shop on the following Monday & shook the dude’s hand.
After that pop was dead to me, I weeded out all the inane crap to make room for proper music.
I was an alternative rock convert, hallelujah ;)
The record store became a regular haunt for me and my mates.
The owner had an uncanny ability to unite people with music that they never thought they'd like; he also had a really infectious love of rock music & an almost encyclopedic knowledge of bands.
It was an exciting time of my life and one that deserved a more kick-ass soundtrack than the ten a penny pop I'd previously favoured and a kick-ass soundtrack is just what I got.
Later that year I bought the first album by 'Rage Against The Machine' and my life was never the same again ;)
The last record that I bought from the store, before I moved away from Sweden in ’93 was ‘The The – Dusk’ which is still one of my favourite albums.
I love all the songs on this album and I think they've kept fresh.
What 90s albums do you have that you can still listen to and enjoy all the way through?

I’ll leave you with another wonderful song by 'The The', enjoy…
Have a fabulous weekend!
Lot's of love,

Friday, 1 February 2013

Easy peasy lemon squeezy layering

After waxing lyrical about the overlay function on PicMonkey earlier, I decided to go one further and do a basic tutorial.
It really is easy peasy lemon squeezy ;)
I chose a photo of my mum from her modelling days in the late 50s & a photo that I took in Eastbourne last year.
As they both have a neutral & uncluttered background they are easier to blend together.
I also used a plain white base image to layer the pics on but you don't have to, I just like doing it this way cause it offers more scope of movement.
So here's my little tutorial...
Find two images that you want to merge together and a plain white base image  if  you want. 
Go on to PicMonkey and click the 'Edit a Photo' option. I chose to work on a white base image but you can just open one of your photos instead.
Now I have opened my base image and I want to add my two pics onto it. I do that by going to the 'Overlays'  tool, fifth icon from the top on the left hand side of your screen and click the 'Your Own' option at the top.
Here I've added my two pics to my base image and now I can start  having some fun with them. 
In order to really blend the two images together, the best course of action is to  tweak around with the  fade slider and the blend modes. There is also a handy eraser tool.
Lined up and blended to my liking. With some images it is quite difficult to completely get rid of the seams where the two images overlap.
Now I want to crop the layered image , so I click the top icon, then simply adjust & apply.
If you want to add more effects to the image, you can do so by clicking on the second icon from the top to access some awesome  stuff. Not all of the effects will be suitable for your new image cause they make the overlap seams show up around with it :)
You can also add a frame to your image by clicking the sixth icon from the top to access frames. 
As a final touch you can also add some text by clicking the 'P' icon to access loads of cool fonts. 
When you are happy, save your masterpiece by clicking the 'Save ' button above your image and save photo.
All done, now you can make someones day by posting your good work onto their FB page or sending it to them in an e-mail ;)
Lot's of love,

Praise PicMonkey

I'm sure most you clever cookies already know about PicMonkey but just in case there is still someone out there unaware of its awesomeness, I thought I'd better do a quick blog about it.
I've been using the same antiquated photo editing software that came with our very first scanner for years; I'm actually too embarrassed to tell you how many, it's that long.
I just got used to it (read:LAZY) and thought that learning anything new would be a complete hassle, so I didn't.
I was always admiring photos on other peoples blogs, convinced that they had all been edited by Photoshop wizards using mega expensive software.
Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon PicMonkey which is a partly free photo editing website.
The service is a so-called 'freemium' with a whole bunch of ad-supported features that you can use to your hearts content at no cost and some premium features that you can only access though paying a monthly membership.
So far I have only used the free stuff but I have to say that I am very impressed with how the pictures are coming out and needless to say my old editing software has finally been retired....and there was much rejoicing!
I have been playing around with it for the past few days and my favourite feature is the 'Overlay' cause you can add your own.
So now I can finally create those dreamy layered pics that I've been hankering over.
It's pretty straightforward, even I (a complete cave dweller when it comes to stuff like this) was able to get a handle on it after a few hours.
So if you haven't used it before, pop over and have a play around, I'm sure you won't regret it.
Just in case you are wondering, PicMonkey did not give me a bagful of cash to sing their praises (if only), I genuinely want to spread the word about this service cause it ROCKS & a lot of it is FREE which in my book makes it even better!
Are you using PicMonkey already, if so for how long have you been using it and would you recommend paying the monthly $4.99 for the Royale membership?
One of my layered images ;)
HAPPY FRIDAY everybody, I can almost smell the weekend ;)
Lot's of love,