Link Love: Freedom, Fairytales and My Kind Of Crazy

Link Love

Stylish, creative and inspiring links for your reading pleasure…

What Happens After Happy Ever After?
I love this poem’s vision of Disney Princesses – because women don’t stop dreaming, adventuring and achieving once they have met their Prince Charming.

Be Your Own Kind Of Crazy
After me and my blogger mates shared our 10 Things I Am Afraid To Tell You posts, Nikki dedicated her next song challenge post to us and it really resonated! Nikki is the kind of crazy that commits to writing and performing a new song every week for a year. I love seeing work in progress, when it is still raw and in development, so I love these posts. 

What Does Freedom Mean To You?
Amy thinks we are all on a subconscious quest for freedom. I threw in a few thoughts about what freedom looks like for me. What do you think?

50 Ways To Have An Adventure Without Leaving Town
A big YES to having everyday adventures! Sarah has some great suggestions guaranteed to be inspiring and super fun. 

A Self Love Reading List
So many good links here! Thanks to Jessica, I found the 21 mantras for people who are ridiculously painfully excruciatingly overwhelmed just when I needed it.

50 Pieces Of Creative Advice From 50 Creatives
A load of inspiration and guidance from Mollie Makes and creative friends!

Veronica Varlow Started A Cute Revolution
Of course she did! 

Wednesday Addams all grown up, but just as amazing
Adult Wednesday Addams is a YouTube sensation worthy of the hype. Created by and starring Melissa Hunter, Wednesday navigates work, catcallers, haircuts and babysitting with deliciously dark dignity, and each episode is as inspiring as it is funny.

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Culture Fix – Dress Your Self and Go To The Cabaret

Self exhibition at Turner ContemporaryA short and sweet round up of what has been inspiring me over the last few weeks.

What I have seen… Self: Image and Identity at Turner Contemporary, which has a really interesting selection of portraits. I particularly liked the contemporary photographic and sculptural pieces. I was also quite partial to the dressing up box!  

What I am reading… I have just finished Sacred Seduction by Kitty Cavalier and it has completely revolutionised the way I see my body and the concept of seduction. This gorgeous book is full of inspiring quotes, beautiful pictures, rituals and recipes.

What I am watching… Up the Women is back on the telly box, hurrah! This sitcom about small town suffragettes is smart and funny, and I’ve been quoting it constantly. Jessica Hynes is brilliant. I’m also indulging in weekly installments of US drama Revenge, which is my guilty pleasure. I am totally in love with Nolan Ross (how do I get me a stylish rich sidekick to help me with all my tech?!).

What I am listening to… loads of Helen Love on vinyl in my bedroom because it makes me feel happy. In my car, I’ve been shouting along to a mix of angry girl music including Bikini Kill, Joan Jett, Tranvision Vamp, Fluffy, Honeyblood and My Ruin. 

What has inspired me… the view, coffee, cake and general laid back arty atmosphere at Sun Pier House in Chatham. My favourite place to have meetings.

What has made me say wow… The Cabaret Club Love Revolution! I spent my Valentine’s Night at Lordswood Social Club laughing wickedly, barking like a dog and feigning boy-band hysteria. The Cabaret Club produce gorgeous events combining cutting edge performance, music, comedy and burlesque. You never know what is going to happen, but you know it will definitely be interesting, suitably saucy and you will have a damn good time. Plus there is a photobooth. Utterly fabulous.

What has made me smile… the latest She is the Moon movement, where I got to shake it all off, Qoya style. It felt amazing! 

Revelation Review: Broken Hearted Ballads

EFDSS Broken Hearted Ballads at Revelation St Mary's

Maybe I’m an odd kind of romantic, but I cannot think of a more enjoyable thing to do in this love-themed month than to listen to songs about drunken husbands, domestic violence, broken marriages, mistresses, illegitimate children, prostitution, erectile dysfunction, demon lovers and death.

On Friday 13th February I saw the premiere of Broken Hearted Ballads, a collaboration between Emily Portman, Paul Sartin (of Bellowhead and Faustus fame) and James Fagan. It was commissioned by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) and performed for the first time at Revelation St Mary’s in Ashford. 

The folk super group were invited to raid the archives of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library in search of sad, strange, seductive and silly stories of love gone wrong, then to use the material in a creative celebration and exploration of the ballad form.

Their selection was a real treat, dealing with the darker side of love and relationships, with sensitivity and a folkin’ good sense of humour. The poignant tragedies were balanced by cheeky innuendo and sing-alongs. 

Each musician was a delight, taking turns to sing their versions of the ballads they chose, as well as performing as a trio, and a talented trio at that. You would never guess this was their first performance together, or that the songs were rehearsed mostly on the M25! 

There were stunning acapella arrangements, as well as tunes accompanied by a combination of instruments, including some folk staples – acoustic guitar, fiddle, banjo, concertina and piano.

I never thought I’d be so delighted by a song telling a tale of a violent husband, but A Stitch In Time – one of James Fagan’s selections – had a satisfying twist executed by a cunning woman with a crafty needle and thread. In fact, there were a whole host of feisty females represented throughout the evening.

Emily Portman seemed to have a penchant for a heroine with a bit of gumption, quite rightly too, and she lent her distinct voice to each woman with tenderness and charm. I found her rendition of O To Be Alone quite moving. The text was written by an anonymous suffragette, found and made into song by Sandra Kerr.

Emily’s performance of The Demon Lover was simply sublime. She sung without any backing for this big ballad; the combination of the enchanting tragedy in the lyrics and her stunning voice sent shivers down my spine. A real ‘wow’ moment.

The wonderfully witty Paul Sartin remarked at one point that the men weren’t coming across quite so well in the songs – they were a not-too-flattering mix of abusers, drunks, dullards, cuckolds and idiots. I’m happy to say that the two male performers did their bit for the men by being consistently charming throughout the evening. Paul definitely brought the entertaining counter-balance to the dark material, his dry delivery of the songs as well as his humourous introductions provided plenty of laughs, and he led some sing-alongs too (because you cannot have a folk concert without them). 

I was surprised to hear a Utah Phillips song in the repertoire. James sang Rocksalt and Nails, which was penned by a young, broken-hearted Utah and the sharp anger at the end is the opposite of the pacifist version of Phillips I am familiar with. However, ever-compassionate, he never actually recorded it.

It was an evening of unexpected enchantments and song surprises, but there is one thing I now know for sure – when love goes wrong, the folk ballads go very right.  

10 Things I Am Afraid To Tell You

Your Joyologist Own Your Awesome Affirmation Cards

When fellow blogger babe Nikki Loy suggested writing a ‘10 things I am afraid to tell you’ post, I thought it sounded like fun. Then I started my list and I wondered what I was the hell I was thinking! 

When writing the first draft, mutant butterflies infested my stomach and a little voice in the back of brain kept whispering “you can’t write that, everyone will realise you’re completely crazy!”. But having the moral support of a group of amazing women (aka BossyGals Girl Band*) kept me on track and laughing hysterically. 

We are not the first to write these posts. It all started with a blog post by Jess Lively and the refreshingly radical honesty caught on, inspiring bloggers to write their own and confess all sorts of secrets and insecurities.

Now it is my turn to tell all (well luckily for all of us, I am limited to 10 things). Please be gentle with me!

1. I failed my Drama GCSE. Yes, I thought I’d start with a suitably ridiculous one to warm up, I have no idea why any of you would care or even why I do. Since school, I have commissioned performances, ran auditions, mentored early career performing arts companies and written theatre reviews. I have many other higher qualifications, and yet sometimes, this damn failed GCSE still makes me feel insecure!

2. I live with depression. I’m hoping this will surprise some people as I work damn hard to manage my depression on my own time and only put the best bits of me out into the world. It has taken a long time involving continuous self development and a strong support system to get me to a good place. Now I know that sometimes I just need to survive a bad day, and then the rest of the time, I can make my good days great. 

3. I’m quite clumsy and have a knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time! I regularly walk into doors or furniture, trip over, knock things over and have embarrassing falls. In the last fortnight, I’ve fallen down the stairs, dropped hot tea into my lap and walked into a door frame. I think one of the reasons I like communicating on-line is that no one can see my ungraceful blunders!

4. I have no musical skills. Obviously music is so important to me, but I currently have no musical abilities. My confidence did get knocked at school, I blame that, but mostly I just haven’t had the dedication or perseverance to actually learn an instrument, which seems kind of lame. I do sing all the time, but very badly!

5. I don’t like a bad boy… unless he is a cat. In general I prefer a gentleman to an arsehole. That may sound like a no-brainer, but we all have at least one bastard that we cannot help but adore, and because I have superb taste when it comes to my human relationships, mine is my cat. The only fella that can treat me mean and keep me keen. He climbs anything and everything, pushes my stuff off shelves, attacks me for no apparent reason, bites me when he wants a cuddle and constantly meows demands. I tolerate all this, not just because he is an animal that I decided to bring into my home, but because he is just so very cute and fluffy, and sometimes he is really sweet, and maybe, he is just misunderstood!  

6. I am scared of loud noises, including balloons bursting, dogs barking and fireworks banging. I can handle them better on some days than others. I have organised events with fireworks, which was empowering, even if I put my hands over my ears for the actual display! I bloody hate balloons though, cannot bear being around them.  

7. I’m a bit of a slob. I love lazing around and can spend all day in bed doing sweet FA. I throw stuff at the bin and if I miss I don’t get off my backside and pick it up. I leave my clothes on the floor. I forget to do the washing up. In an ideal world, I’d like everything perfectly ordered, clean and tidy, but if it isn’t, I may as well throw stuff anywhere and everywhere! I’m all or nothing; a crazy perfectionist or just slap-dash that’ll do. 

8. I am a compulsive skin picker. I pick at my skin when I am stressed or anxious, when I am bored, when I am relaxing, sometimes on purpose, sometimes without noticing. Mostly I pick and scratch at my fingertips, but also my arms and legs. I manage it by looking after my nails and hands with regular manicures, exfoliating my skin so it stays as soft and smooth as possible and finding other less-harmful things to pick at! Sometimes I’ll edit photos to smooth out the skin on my fingers because I worry they’ll disgust people.

9. Sometimes I wish I was still skinny. It’s not that I dislike my current size or the way I look, in fact I’m more comfortable and happier with my body now than I’ve ever been. I used to be really skinny and I got a load of abuse for it, so I hated it. I wished I had a curvier, average sized body, much like the one I have now. Whether I liked it or not, being tall and skinny became part of my identity, it was just me, and sometimes it feels weird that I am not now (the skinny bit that is, I’m still quite tall, well about 5’8” ish, and I haven’t started shrinking yet!). Hormone treatments and surgery have changed my body, mostly for the better, but I guess I am still getting used to it.  

10. I am separating from my husband. It is the hardest decision I have ever made. I still think he is wonderful, we are just on different paths and I need to live on my own for a while now. We have been together for 15 years, shared so much and our friendship is still strong. I have no idea what the future holds, beyond seemingly endless possibilities, so I’m taking change one small step at a time. In the meantime, I am embracing my new identity as a grown up and independent woman out in the world, looking after herself, living a fabulously stylish and creative life and chasing after her dreams.

Hungry for more secrets? Then head to over to read the posts of my brave bloggers-in-confessional-crime. These incredible women are my creative co-conspirators and have made this whole anxiety-inducing blogging adventure a heap of fun. I think they are wonderful, so check out their amazing blogs. Here are the links…

Nikki Loy | Amy Loves | Jennifer Hamley |
The Time To Be Happy Project

*we got mistaken for a girl band on Twitter. I am delighted by this!

Happy Galentine’s Day! How to let your friends know you appreciate them

Photobooth Silliness

I just loved this Galentine’s to do list by Rachel at Yes and Yes. So I thought I’d write my own simple super ways to let your friends know you appreciate them. 

  • SAY A MASSIVE BIG PUBLIC THANK YOU TO A FRIEND WHO HAS ALREADY BEEN SUPER SUPPORTIVE AND THEN SENT YOU CHOCOLATES FOR GALENTINE’S DAY!!! (I bloody love you Esme!)
  • Have a photobooth moment! (Mel and Leila – we need to do this again in March and maybe get our mothers to do the same!)
  • Buy them a cocktail (Helen and Mel, I owe you one!)
  • If you live far away, make plans to meet up (I so need to save up for a trip down under to see you Amy – aiming for before I am 40!)
  • Tag your insta-friends in a picture to let them know they inspire you/make you laugh. 
  • Send them a link to “your song”, y’know that cheesy tune you have a choreographed routine for (this is for you Lex)

  • Make them a load of cute stuff. (this is what I sent Sarah, winner of my creative Valentine’s competition)
  • Post an old photo of you both, if it is super embarrassing maybe send it privately! I have some treats in store for my buddy Sarah and my partner-in-crime Claire
  • Tell them why you think they are awesome. (Debra and Jo – you have been a massive inspiration for me creatively over the years, I’ve learnt so much from you both)
  • Give inspirational work colleagues or contacts some #FF love on Twitter
  • Leave a comment for your fave blogger babes and creative co-conspirators or link up to them. (Thanks for the inspiration, I adore you… Jessica, Nikki, Sara, Lis, Reina, AmyJen, Jo, Daffny, Sarah, Helen, Caroline)

Adventure To… Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts at the Beaney

Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in CanterburyA little pixie told me that a magical new land had appeared at the top of the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury. I was intrigued and needed to investigate, so once I finished all my chores, I packed some sandwiches and lashings of ginger beer* and off I went in search of adventure!

I made my way into the city of Canterbury, to the gorgeous Beaney on the High Street, through the grand old building, through the curiosities of their collection, past the super shiny and modern library and up the stairs to the very top of the museum. There I found a door into a secret room (actually it was clearly signposted and easy to find, but let’s pretend I discovered it!) I went in and found a land called Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts, inspired by the many adventures of Enid Blyton.

It is a place of many little rooms, nooks and crannies, where walls are adorned with colourful and interesting things and you are surrounded by cute furniture, dressing up boxes, arts activities and quiet reading corners. It is the kind of land where children play, adults remember and where a lady I didn’t know could just turn to me and exclaim in wonder “everyone in here is smiling!”. I looked around. She was right. It was delightful.

Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts at the Beaney

My first discovery was a projection of a scene from a fantastical land full of colourful cakes, macaroons and wibbly-wobbly jellies. There was a magic red button, which of course I pushed, and the projection changed. I was whisked through the clouds to a new land, an enchanted forest with the angry pixie darting about, then the land of ice and snow with a family of polar bears.  

Then I admired Noddy’s Car – the perfect size for little ones to get in for a make-believe spin or a photo. 

Next I entered the school days section, inspired by Mallory Towers and the Naughtiest Girl books and featuring a vintage school desk, straw boaters and old school photos – Blyton was captain of the Lacrosse team when she attended a private school here in Kent.

Then I found the Faraway Tree, complete with a mini slippery slip! Unfortunately Moonface was out, probably off galavanting with Silky the Fairy. I had a good nose around, but couldn’t find any the hot-cold sweets or pop-cakes to pinch! I’ve always wanted to try some. 

I loved visiting Enid Blyton’s garden and finding out more about her real life and how she worked. I spent some time looking at a small diary, completed in tiny neat handwriting, documenting her work. On one day it read “worked til lunch”, on another “worked all day long and finished Tumpty book. About 40,000 words”.

Bonbons, The Enchanted Wood and lashings of Ginger Beer

 

There were plenty of wonderful illustrations and art works inspired by Blyton’s books and her characters, some iconic and some I had not seen before.

I looked across the sea of Famous Five books, trying to remember which ones I had read. There are so many! My favourite character was definitely George – she is awesome. 

To initiate yourself into the Secret Seven, you can draw a picture of yourself to put on the wall. When I was there a group of seven children were doing just that. I wondered if they were the real Secret Seven, but played it cool as I didn’t want to blow their cover. 

As you may have already guessed, I loved Enid Blyton’s books when I was little… who I am kidding I still love them now! In fact I re-read the Faraway Tree trilogy while I was recovering from surgery last year. So a trip to this exhibition was a real treat for me, but I don’t think you need to be a Blyton mega fan to enjoy it. It certainly appealed to all generations there and was a super fun day out.

Mystery, Magic and Midnight Feasts is an exhibition from Seven Stories, which is showing at the Beaney House of Art and Knowledge in Canterbury until Sunday 19 April 2015. 

*fun fact – apparently Blyton never used the expression ‘lashings of ginger beer’, that came from the satirical Five Go Mad series, but I love the phrase so much I couldn’t resist including it! 

 

Revelation Review: King Creosote at Revelation St Mary’s, Ashford

King Creosote at Revelation St MarysAs I have only ever heard good things about him, I was excited to see King Creosote on the Revelation St Mary’s programme (just check out the amazing season they have lined up). When last Friday evening finally came round, it was a cold close to an exhausting week and the end of a crazy month. Sometimes going out anywhere in the winter time seems crazy, curling up in comfort at home is so tempting, but actually going to see or hear something is the best thing you can do to beat the blues.

Support act Sorren Maclean was easy on the ears – an excellent guitarist, accompanied by strings – fiddle and cello. There was a gently persuasive quality to his folky music that soothed away the stress of the day, like the musical equivalent of a sorbet between courses. The perfect warm up act. 

When Kenny Anderson, better known as King Creosote, took to the stage it was so unassuming that he seemed to catch the audience unawares, even though he had a seven piece band with him! He commented on the lack of enthusiasm and then received a muchb more fitting and welcoming applause. This dry self-deprecating humour continued between the songs and was just as entertaining as the numbers. We were treated to a bit of banter, some choral chanting and weird witticisms.

The band included a guitarist (that was Sorren), a backing singer, a keyboardist, a drummer and a string section – fiddle, cello and bass. I loved the dynamic between the band, who Kenny introduced with a fun and affectionate irreverence which kinda made me want to be on tour with them all. They played together beautifully. Everything was spot on.   

The music was fantastic, as you would expect from a songwriter and performer who is so prolific and extraordinarily good. Each song was a thing of quality, individual jewels with their own shape and sparkle, that shone when strung together. There were some lovely thoughtful melodies and toe-tapping tunes, including tracks from last year’s acclaimed From Scotland With Love album. For One Night Only was my personal highlight (vintage dance scene lovers need to click on that link to watch the video).  

There was a collaboration with backing singer Amy Macdougal taking lead vocals and Kenny on the accordion. That was amazing too, she has such a gorgeous voice, I recommend checking out her own material, which she releases under the name Beam

I loved the no-nonsense encore. When announcing the “last song”, Kenny clarified that what this really meant was it was the last song before the charade of an encore. So instead of the standard shenanigan of going off and hiding in the wings, the band switched off from performer mode but stayed on stage, while the audience obliged with the rapturous clapping for more. Unsure how to top that at the close of the actual last song, there was a standing ovation from many delighted audience members, including me.

That’s why it is good to go out on a cold, dark, winter evening. You might hear something wonderful and find yourself clapping with your arms held high. 

12 Ideas For Creative Valentine’s And Win A Valentine’s Surprise From Me

Black Out Poetry For Valentines

For many years I shunned Valentine’s Day on the grounds it was commercial and contrived, yet when I was a little girl I handmade a secret valentine for my favourite boy every year. I didn’t get one in return, but my mum used to give me a card. I knew it was from her and it still made me feel loved. As I hit my teenage years and got increasingly cyncial and insecure, the very idea of Valentine’s seemed more and more ridiculous, even for a hopeless romantic like me. So I’ve never really ‘celebrated’ it, aside from stocking up on cute items emblazoned with red hearts, which are good anytime, but more freely available around February 14th.

However, as any seasonal holiday is blatantly impossible to ignore, my tactics have changed over the years. Rather than getting grumpy, I embrace all my favourite things about whatever holiday is inducing angst, and there are plenty of nice things about a day where we celebrate love. 

There can be more to Valentine’s Day than buying cards/chocolates/flowers for your loved one – personally I believe romantic gestures need to happen seemingly spontaneously and definitely more than once a year! Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to tell anyone in your life that you love, like or appreciate them, it’s an excellent time to work on self love and be wonderful to yourself, to listen to cute daydream-y songs about boys (or girls) and watch enjoyably cringe-inducing romantic comedies.

It is also the perfect time to get crafty. Anyone can buy a mass-produced card or a present, creating something for someone takes time, thought and extra effort and these gifts are more likely to achieve a place in a sentimental shoe box of special things kept forever under the bed. Of course some people prefer expensive gifts and that’s fine too, but I’m assuming if you’re here, you or your Valentine are creatively-inclined, so I have some creative Valentine’s ideas for you… (and keep scrolling as there is a competition at the end of the post!)

Make a Valentine's Mixtape

Make black out poetry – take a page from an old book, pick out some words and then redact the rest of the text in a creative way – with pens, paint or paper. It is fun and the limitations of the words on the page and your chosen theme will gently workout your creative mind muscle. I made the two in the photo at the top of this post using a rather gritty and not-at-all romantic novel, some sharpies and washi tape. (Check out Make Black Out Poetry who I follow on Instagram and inspired me to try this!)

Write a love letter – whether it is a pretty piece of prose or a list of everything you love about them, post it, not on your sweetheart’s Facebook page, but by mail. Bonus points if it is on posh paper, with matching envelope, handwritten and with a spritz of your signature scent! 

Create a cocktail named after your Valentine – If your honey likes a tipple, why not create a cocktail recipe especially for them. Experiment with their favourite flavours, make sure you taste test as you go as it must be delicious, and it will help the creative process. 

Make a mixtape / CD / USB – a great gift for your friends and family as well as your lover, who wouldn’t like a good mixtape? I’ve always loved making them too, although not many people have cassettes these days, so I tend to make CDs, or you could put it on a cute USB stick. Carefully curate your song selection and don’t forget to make album artwork for your compilation.

Draw a picture - sure to be a winner whether its is a gorgeously realistic portrait or a cute cartoon pun. Another thing I love about Valentine’s is the prolific use of painful puns.

Make a collage of vintage clippings and cards – Collect old cards, clip magazines and print pictures that your special friend will love, cut them up and stick them back together again.

Create A Vintage Valentine Collage

Create a love ritual – leave instructions and ingredients for your lover, it could include candles, crystals, essential oils or chocolate and you can make it as sensual or as spiritual as you want. For some inspiration check out Gala Darling’s post on creating a ritual for a full moon or Kitty Cavalier’s Seduction Priestess video.

Make origami roses – it definitely takes a lot more patience to make a dozen of these than to buy a bunch!

Serenade your sweetheart – write them a song, play a cover or just hold your boombox aloft à la Lloyd Dobler. 

Make a fun fortune teller – I loved making these when I was at school, it could be romantic, maybe saucy or just full of lovely compliments or nice things to do.

52 reasons why I love you cards – take a deck of cards and count the ways you adore your valentine. Like this

Romance yourself! - my friend Sarah is a lifestyle design expert and daydream activator (who wouldn’t want that on their business cards?!) and her choose-your-own-adventure guide Romance Yourself is the perfect gift for yourself and comes with access to a private Facebook group of new inspiring friends. I am going to be my own valentine and treat myself! It would also be a wonderful surprise for a fabulous friend who is ready to breakthrough some blocks, shift negative emotions and recognise how incredible they are. I know this isn’t something you make, but it is still something you do and something you create for yourself – and you will be amazed at what self love does for your creativity!

A Fun Fortune Teller For Valentine's

Competition Time!
Want to get a Valentine’s surprise from me?

All you have to do is sign up to my newsletter here. Cupid will shoot his bow at the list at midnight on Saturday 8th February to select one lucky reader who will receive a special selection of sweet surprises, lovely things and creative fun to make their Valentine’s Day extra fun. 

The competition is open to anyone, anywhere, but if you’re outside the UK I can’t guarantee your prize will arrive on/before 14th. You need to be signed up on the 8th to get an entry, if you are already signed up, you’ll automatically be entered. I’ll email the winner on Sunday 9th February 2015. Good luck gorgeous readers! 

Link Love: Embracing Risks, Books, Daydreams and Music

Art is a way of recognising oneself - Louise Bourgeois

How to take new risks in your creative practice
I love Carrie’s blog Artist Think – there is so much creative inspiration! If you need to shake things up, or even if you don’t, this one is a goodie. “Think about the one thing that feels a wee bit scary and intimidating, but in that good way. It’s that feeling you have when you are excited before a performance: it can take your breath away a bit, but you feel anticipation, and hear a voice that says “go for it.” THAT, my friend, is creativity calling your name.”

Teen books that saved my life
A rather splendid list crowdsourced from authors and readers. It includes some of my personal favourites too – like everything by Judy Blume, The Perks Of Being A Wallflower and 13 Reasons Why. 

Sarah is writing an e-book called The Daydream Revolution!
I’m so excited about this! You can get a free MP3 of the intro by signing up for her weekly love letters.

How playing music benefits the brain more than any other activity
Give your brain a workout and learn an instrument. 

6 ways to create your own artistic community
The gorgeous Veronica Varlow has some tips on how to make like Warhol and find your creative co-conspirators, whatever your art.

Embrace the awkwardness of hugging
“We can make hugs our role model… We can still embrace each other and embrace the good things in the world. We can embrace our own existence and all the amazing, bewildering, and challenging experiences that come with it. Embrace the awkwardness. Embrace the vulnerability. Embrace yourself. Embrace life, and life will hug you back.” Andrew WK gives the best advice ever! (((Let’s end with a virtual hug))) 

What To Wear When You Like Flamingos

Cassy Fry in Aye Aye Missy Flamingo Skirt

I love, love, love my Aye Aye flamingo print skirt! Every retro-lovin’ girl needs a fun circle skirt to brighten up the dark winter days. Admittedly I cannot wait to rock this pretty print in the summertime with bare legs and a little white t-shirt, but as that is a little way off still, I needed to wrap up warm today.  

I teamed up this super skirt with a secondhand black jumper, leggings, boots and a faux-fur coat. And because a lady cannot wear too many flamingos, I also wore my flamingo necklace – a cute plastic pendant which I strung on plastic pearls! I was delighted when my skirt arrived with a matching hair band, so I wore that today too. As for my other accessories, a My Fair Lady brooch is pinned to my coat. My sister made this for me and it adds extra glam to the faux fur! My earrings are from Jolly Good Studio and were in my Blogcademy goodie bag. They were a great freebie as they are firm favourites now – I wear them all the time as they are so versatile and stylish.

What to wear when you like flamingos

I even don’t know why I love flamingos, I just do! It might be their weird good looks and backward-bending skinny legs, their perfect poise and amazing balance, or their handiness in a game of Wonderland-style crochet, or maybe just because they are so very pink and perky! 

Feeling the flamingo fever? Check these pink and perky birdy beauties out…

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