Well here we are, only five more sleeps until Santa comes.
I hope you are better organised than me.
Despite the fact that Christmas is on the same day every year, somehow it has really sneaked up on me and bit me on the ass. Hard!
I still have presents to buy, never mind wrap. *sigh*
So you can bet that on the night before Christmas, there will be a plenty stirring in my house.
Doubtless me, in a total frenzy, swearing that I will never leave it this late again ( and yes you can feel free to remind me and riducule me next year when I say exactly the same sodding thing)
So as a parting gift, I show you the most glorious little felted mouse necklace in the world.
This delightful little fellow is the work of the very very talented Nancy Bevins
Her etsy shelves are bare at the minute due to the Christmas creature rush and the fact that felting is slow process as she explains below
"We live on a small farm in West Virginia where our family raises sheep, with a few goats also. In a constant pursuit to run a farm profitably, I began using my growing pile of wool to actually make something, and discovered Needle Felting through a good friend. I played around with it and about 1 1/2 years ago finally got the guts to list something on Ebay...it went well and I've been going strong ever since, never able to keep up with the demand or my crazy imagination (needle felting is a very SLOW process!) "
She makes all kinds of creatures but the little mice are my favourites...
Hopefully these little creatures will leave you with a smile on your face.
Thank you once again for keeping us company this year
Happy Holiday to you and yours.
Hope your festive season is a peaceful one and Happy New year when it comes.
As part of the prestigious New Year’s Day Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vivienne Westwood has been chosen to design and curate the costumes for the intermission ballet.
The Inspiration for the costumes came from the setting for the ballet itself - the historical Palais Liechtenstein. The Palais Liechtenstein, is owned by the family of Liechtenstein and is situated at the heart of Vienna, close to the Burgtheater and the Volksgarten and was recently renovated back to its former Baroque glory, boasting original stucco ceilings and opulent Rococo interiors and original furnishings.
This year, as well as last, the interlude ballet has been choreographed by former Scottish Ballet Artistic Director, Ashley Page.
The first dancer appears in a Vivienne Westwood re-designed asymmetrical ‘Bird Of Paradise’ gown in deep burgundy with bow and tulle underlay, with the second dancer is in a buttercup yellow ‘Classic Bird of Paradise’ Dress taken from the Spring-Summer 2005 collection entitled ‘Ultra Femininity’. The third dancer appears in a ‘Bronze SOL’ Dress designed here with a fine check and stripe light teal taffeta bodice and skirt with a pale grey and white tulle underlay inspired by the Autumn- Winter 2005/06 ‘Propaganda’ collection and worn here with soft cream satin slippers. The forth dancer floats in a long ‘Paperbag Frill’ dress with layers and layers of fine cream lace that move with the hips and is paired with elegant long lace gloves and soft peach satin slippers. Finally the fifth female dancer is dressed in the ‘Dame Corset’, inspired by the Autumn- Winter 2006/07 collection entitled ‘Innocent’ and multiple layered ballroom skirt in gold and pale bronze lace and tulle.
This is also the last blogging day until the New Year, so I'd like to take the opportunity to wish all our readers a wonderful holiday and happy New Year. See you in 2014!
This wretched economy has a lot to answer for.
In an attempt to make sure that their tills keep a ringing, more and more stores have given up waiting until boxing day to start their sales. It's not uncommon for many of them to start on on Christmas Eve.
But this year Whistles have taken it to whole new level.
They invited us to join in their online sale last night at 5pm!!!
If you order before Thursday night, they will deliver before Christmas Day.
Santa is going to be seething when he finds out what these rascals are up to...
No one does better sequins on the high street that Whistles ( well except for Jigsaw and I couldn't tell you the last time I was in there either!)
This Naomi top is wonderful with a loose relaxed shape and dark green sequins. It's a sophisticated yet casual kind of shiny and what could be better than that....
NAOMI SEQUIN TOP Was £195.00 Now£120.00
They also have the most wonderful little drummer boy felted cap that would be perfect for Queen Michelle and it's even in her preferred grey. Obviously though she would need to pop into the store to check because of her pin heid. But at only £25 in the sale, it might be worth her taking a risk
As we wave goodbye to yet another year, I also wave goodbye to another ballet grade. Having just sat my Grade 4 exam and achieved myself a surprising Honours pass, I prepare to begin Grade 5 next year.
On the day of my exam, children were also sitting their Grade 1 exams. As an adult sitting grades, you are sometimes painfully aware that it's normally children doing this so it can be hard to comes to terms with the times you struggle to perform a exercise, constantly saying to yourself, "but if a kid can do this, how come I can't?!" But as I watched the kids practicing a grade I have done as an adult, I could barely recognise it. As adults, we are most definitely expected to interpret and do the exercises in a more physically demanding way. Our extensions are higher, our feet need to be much more pointed and, overall, we need to approach each exercise far more artistically than children. For us, it's not all academic - we must combine both. Grades for kids and grades for adults are most certainly 2 entirely different animals. I do feel therefore that the passes we earn as adults are very much deserved as we are not doing the same things as children, a comment frequently made when you explain to people you sit ballet grades.
On exam day, I unfortunately had a cold and admit that the cotton wool feeling in my head did cause me to entirely zone out in bits. Part way through a ronde de jambe exercise I entirely forgot it repeated to the other side and simply stood there smiling, standing in fifth, arms bras bras! Eventually my brain kicked back into gear thankfully and I did a swift, if clumsy and late, soutenu to face the other way. As it turned out, the ronde de jambe exercise we had been taught was incorrect anyway and was much harder than the correct one, so it worked out well in the end!
In the arabesque exercise I do have a tendency to extend my leg too high and I was aware I'd done it in the exam, but thankfully she made a positive comment about it rather than marking me down. Everything else went well. I didn't make any glaring errors and I managed to keep smiling inspite of my virus ridden body demanding I stop this nonsense and go back to bed. Still, an Honours pass shocked me as usually those kind of passes are only possible in the lower grades, as we had been warned when we began our graded journey but I guess my hard work and frustration pays off sometimes. Obviously now, I'm aiming to maintain that pass level as I head into Grade 5.
So, bring it on!
It's been a busy old week for birthdays in my family.
Our David, Our Frances and my wee Gran who would have been 103 (just because she's dead doesn't mean we don't remember her and celebrate it. She wouldn't have it any other way, believe me!!!!)
Last night Frances and I were sitting drinking tea while she checked her phone with a very happy look on her face. Lots of things make her smile, but no one makes her smile quite like Dave Grohl.
Unlike me, Frances uses her smart phone to the best of it's ability. Despite my best intentions I have still never come to terms with it. I am making a stab at pinterest, very slowly coming to terms with instagram but twitter and facebook are total non starters.
She on the other hand loves her social media. She follows a facebook page called " Appreciation of Rock and Grohl" (see it here) which is "A lovefest for Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters" and basically sends her a new picture of Dave every day.
If that's not enough to make me reconsider Facebook I don't know what is...
This is the last week of blogging from the Kingdom until 6th January next year. It's been a crazy year and we need an extended blogging break. It's damn hard work blogging this much and working full time. So your old Queens need a rest. I hope you all have your Christmas shopping done and are ready for the fat man in a red suit to pop down your chimneys?
At this time of year, very predictably, blogs become positively awash with 'Gift Guides' and wishlists. I prefer not to indulge. I don't actually 'do' Christmas, not since my parents passed away as really it was them who made it special for me. Rather, I use Christmas as a time to simply relax and not work.
So instead of writing the obligatory gift guide, I prefer to gather my inspirations for what I might want to wear come next year, when you officially get to start over. Yes, I'll also one of those saying I really must shift these extra pounds/eat more veg/do more sit-ups etc.
I feature lots of labels I can neither afford nor have access to, but what they do is serve as inspiration for textures, shapes or colours. I can then take that forward and find something similar that evokes the same feeling.
Vivacita is a label created and designed by Chia Jen Chang and there are quite a few items in his most recent collection that will send me off hunting for something similar.
With a degree in Industrial Design, Chia found his true passion in fashion design when he was in Milan studying at Istituto Marangoni of Fashion Design. After design school and working in the fashion industry for years, Chia decided to start his own collections. VIVACITA SS14 is his 5th season and they launched VIVACITA SS14 in Tokyo Fashion Week this year.
Both Prince B and I have a weakness for drop crotch trousers, the kind that Asian designers seem to do so well. I could see us sharing a pair of black Vivacita drops crotch trousers, but sadly they are not available anywhere in the UK. However, even if I can't get my mitts on a pair, it's still being filed away under 'inspiration'.
Old age doesn't come itself.
One day you can get in and out chairs without making a noise, eat cream cakes after 8pm, happily read all the small print on a packet and the next you are a squinting old crone who can't read anything smaller than 7pt type.
How the hell did this happen.
Why oh why have my eyes betrayed me!
I'm slightly ashamed to say that I used to get really annoyed with my mum when she couldn't read the instructions on a packet. I used to think, why can't she see that, surely if she just tried a little harder she could make it out.
But no! One day you can read everything, the next it's blur city. It's bolloks that's what it is.
As you can tell, I'm not taking this well. I'm blaming working on a computer all day and then on one for hours again every night! Yet the horrid truth is it is a combination of that and my age. Arghhhh.
Maybe instead of going to the opticians, I could just procure myself one of these magnifying glasses below.
Only Maison Martin Margiela could make blurry vision feel acceptable.
Hey speccy three eyes, looking cool...
Left Handed Magnifying Lens MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA£55.00 from here
Made in collaboration with exceptional French homeware designers L'ATELIER d'exercises, this half spectacle magnifying glass has been crafted from acetate and has a nose rest and large lens.
This quirky magnifying lens is a nod to the humor that typically runs through all of Maison Martin Margiela's collections. A stylish desk or kitchen accessory, it makes a unique gift idea for all us holding papers and packets at arms length...
The second instalment of Isolated Heroes fun today, and the last outfit post from me until next year.
Today features their lilac fake fur coat, which you can get here. Lilac and fur - two of my favourite things rolled into one big, fluffy ball of fuck yeah awesome.
Perhaps muppet-style dresses, such as shown in yesterday's outfit shenanigans, might prove too much for some, so maybe a gentler foray into the world of candy coloured fur is required and this coat fits the bill perfectly. I don't know what else to say about it other than it's insanely good. If lilac doesn't take your fancy, they have a multicoloured version too.
I can't wait to wear this coat to work. Monday mornings will never be the same again I reckon.
When thinking about how to style this, I decided to basically turn myself into a huge lilac and blue bomb. So on went my customised Molly Goddard x ASOS dress, Croon shoes and Angel Jackson bag. And just as you were all getting used to my simple outfits in inoffensively plain colours - boom! - back to colour and fluff. What can I say, I just can't stick to one thing or another.
I can only describe this as a confection of a coat. I wouldn't go as far as say I want to eat myself, but you know...
Shop Isolated Heroes here.
Sometimes I feel sick of fashion.
I feel jaded, tired and I think my heart will never leap with true excitement again.
Then something, usually a tiny little thing , catches my eye, makes me laugh and makes me realise once again, what wonderful fun it all is.
Take this Karl doll by available at the glorious giftlab
Karl Lagerfeld Doll MUA MUA DOLL £85.00 available here
My immediate thought on seeing this doll was -
"oh no, that doll has no gloves on. Karl would never, ever be seen without his gloves"
Closely followed by the thought -
"Get a grip Queenie, he is a knitted doll!"
But not just any doll.
He is Mua Mua doll.
Founded by former fashion student Ludovica Virga to inject a little fun and humanity into the world of high fashion and celebrity, each doll is individually designed and then hand-knitted by a team of girls in Mua Mua Dolls’ ‘Warhol-inspired’ factory in Bali.
The Mua Mua Dolls take a light hearted look at celebrities and the fashion industry, portraying a scarred version of the real person in order to express their humanity, and make people laugh, thus turning bad energy into good
Even more fun than the dolls are these genius bobble hats featuring La Wintour and The Kaiser...
Although if I am being honest Anna loooks a little more like Thelma from Scooby Doo on the hat!
Cream Anna Wool Cap £40.00
While I do adore the hats, my absolute favourite is this little handmade knitted pouch with also comes with a little doll.
I wish I had found this earlier, it would have been at the top of my list to Santa
I Love Miuccia Pouch MUA MUA DOLLS £35.00 from here