Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Letters Burning By My Bed

I've put together a wee mini-playlist for you to listen to while you read this - or any other time you feel like a little dose of subdued, slightly melancholic reflection. These are all tunes I've been chilling to non-stop recently, some of them re-discovered from the dusty archives of my soundcloud likes (Tristeza by Empress Of) and some more recent findings. Once that's good to go, settle down for a slightly rocky journey through my ponderings of the moment...
 There are three main themes in my life right now.
Firstly, cleansing, as demonstrated by this post's title. I am, metaphorically, burning the letters by my bed - along with the posters, the old CDs, the blogs I no longer have any interest in, the clothes I never want to look at again.... I'm purging all the stuff that drags along stale connotations and unwanted memories.
Secondly, inspiration. Every film I watch, every party I go to, every image I scroll past on tumblr turns some small switch in my brain, bringing about a whole flurry of invention and aspiration. I don't think I've ever made more plans and dreams in my entire life. Getting rid of what I don't need anymore has made so much room in my life for the new and the exciting.
And, finally, transformation. For every ten ideas fluttering around inside my head, on of them makes a real impact on my thoughts and actions. With every day, I'm a slightly different person - which ultimately brings me closer to who I really feel has been inside me all along. The other day I looked in the mirror and saw, for the first time ever, the person I expected to see. This is me becoming ever more me, ever more what I desire and hope for.
 My art, in particular, has changed a lot. These three images are some of the more abstract, photographic work I've been creating recently. I sometimes feel a pang of sadness for the pencil studies and sweet linework I used to base my art around but, overall, I'm loving the cleanliness and direct emotion of my new pieces. Not to say that I've completely discarded the traditional stuff - art GCSE has kept me going with observational studies and oil paintings. Plus, my portrait project is still ticking over on tumblr! (hint hint promo promo)
 Transforming as a person is great because I feel so free to do whatever I feel like. So far, this has manifested mainly in becoming unafraid of saying 'rad' and 'chill' and using multiple exclamation marks all the time!!!! But, seriously, my confidence is through the roof. Or would be, if it had previously been somewhere around ground level. I'll admit it's been more of a journey from the basement to the top floor. That seems to be plenty confidence, however, to wear whatever the hell I want to on my body and face, which makes for quite a few interesting selfies and outfit pictures which I promise to share with you later.
Transforming can be a lonely business, however, if the people you've built your life around aren't joining in the metamorphosis. While those I spend time with at the moment are perfectly lovely, none of them really share my interests. Which is fine when we're having a laugh at school/chilling in the park/getting drunk at someone's house, but what do I do when I need to take someone to a zine launch or an indie film screening or any festival other than Reading? (not that I'd refuse a ticket to Reading, you understand. Would definitely not refuse a ticket to Reading). So, uh, if there are any lonely London teens out there: I am now taking applications for super cool bezzies. Or even mediocre bezzies. I'll take anyone.
Well... this has been a little serious, and a little long, and a little ~weird~ but I'm still finding my feet what with having two blogs to deal with. Let me know what you think of what I'm doing here. Is it at all interesting to anyone other than me?
Anyhow, the longer I hold off posting this, the less likely it is to ever make it online, so here goes. Stay chill, sweet peas!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

I Am Officially Announcing The Hiatus Once It Is Already In Full Swing

I've realised that not posting in three months probably counts as an official hiatus from the blogging world. And that I probably should have mentioned this earlier on in said three month period. Well, better late than never, I always say!

The reason I stopped using this blog a wee while ago is - and I'm very sorry to break it to you all - it is no longer the favourite child. I have a new blog that is prettier and more profesh and generally better to look at - BUT, before anybody panics that everything is changing and nothing will ever be the same again, I do plan to return here in the not-too-distant future. But, before I get to that, I'll explain why I added another blog to my register when I'm barely capable of keeping one on its feet...

Ever since I started this here blog, I've felt somewhat dissatisfied with it, and I'm pretty sure that's because I had no bloody clue what I was posting. Some days you folks would get 'Cheerful-and-polite-fashion-blogger-with-a-penchant-for-stealing-phrases-from-The-Sunday-Times' and the rest of the time it would be 'Contemplative-and-emotional-teenage-artist'. It was confusing, and made me feel a little like one of those film characters who pulls off a gross rubbery mask to reveal that *shocker* they are the villain after all! What I'm trying to say is, I was not comfortable with blogging like that. So I split the blog in the hopes that I'd have more of an idea of how to style my posts, and possibly gain some new followers with my ~fabby new cohesive content~.

The new blog is www.hellopookie.blogspot.com, and it's where I'll be moving all my attempts at professional-style fashion and music blogging. OOTDs, collection reviews, music recommendations and a bunch of other stuff will be appearing there shortly. You may notice, on clicking the link, that there are only two posts from quite a while ago - this is because I took a break to work on blog design, but now that it's all looking pretty, I'll be resuming regular posting.

Remaining on this blog will be posts about my life, my art, my writing, and various other stuff. It'll be more personal, like having a friendly chat, or reading a journal entry.

So, to sum up: I haven't been blogging much recently. I'll be starting up again a.s.a.p. on both this blog and my new, professional-er one. Follow this, Rollerskag, for more of the same updates on my life and thoughts etc. Follow Pookie, the new blog, for more formal fashion and music blogging.

That's all! Stay cute xx

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

LFW S/S 14

The universe seems to have conspired against this post ever making it online - my computer's been down, my internet's been down, my life's been down (and up and down and up and down) but I've made it! Though I love blogging, it's a mighty struggle against the side of me that would rather paint and read in bed all day than even look at a keyboard.

     <my current soundtrack, ft. emotional and abstract tunes>

In between painting my room and throwing pity parties about how much revision I haven't done, I managed to make it out to fashion week this half term - by which I mean that I literally popped out for a couple hours in between coats of white Dulux. Me and a very co-operative friend, being LFW virgins, had no clue how one would end up in an actual fashion show, so we took a few strolls around the (free) courtyard at Somerset House and soaked in the *fashion vibes*. Despite my collapsing, 4-year-old bridge camera and utter lack of street style knowhow, I got a few decent snaps:

So witchy. So bizarre. Are those clouds on her coat? Maybe I'll never know. Maybe I love it anyway.

Booty indeed. Sportswear is something I haven't really found a way to interpret yet, but this get-up is downright inspirational.

This babe isn't just being a fashion icon - she's wearing one on her arm. Conversation-topic bags are popping up all over the place at the moment. The nearly-all-black and alien hair are also to my liking.

Here's wishing I knew boys as sharp as this dude; mixing tartan, logos, and excellent facial hairwas a top choice.

Long coats were everywhere, and this outfit proves that they make literally anything look elegant and eye-catching. Yes, dungarees are still fashionable (along with other 70s styles) but we seem to be moving more towards a grown up cut and polished materials.

This guy is just too cute. Mandal alert! And, bonus, they're merman-dals. I'm guessing his toes were pretty chilly, but he rocks all blue, a favourite for spring 2014.

Talk about statement. Tomato shades are looking red-hot right now (snicker).

Another long coat, plus checks for extra fashun.

Even more long coats. I mainly wanted to photograph these two because the one on the left had hair like Disney's sleeping beauty. Sooooo pretty.
I didn't manage to get a picture of my own outfit, but I was wearing this gosling green fluffy jumper, a tea-length green kilted skirt, my favourite clompy platform loafers, and...
Green Lipstick. Green. Lipstick. Personally, I thought it was a tasteful shade of metallic forest green, but lots of people have a hard time believing that leaf-lips can ever be tasteful. I certainly garnered a few stares walking around Covent Garden. I've grown a thick skin from years of strutting my stuff in weirdo clothes, so I was more entertained than offended. In any case, nobody batted an eyelid at Somerset House, where weirdo was positively banal. The couple photos I took of the lips ended up as this fine piece of photoshop screwing:
And that's it! This may have been rushed through in the late evening, and I may hate it by tomorrow, but at least you all know I'm alive and kicking. My aim is to cover some LFW highlights at the weekend, late in the game as it is, but knowing me... don't wait up for it, is all.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

You Can Spin Your Own Story And All Of The World Will Adore You

Alright. I give up. It's time to admit that it's been nearly a month and my 'special project' still isn't ready. This is partly because my camera had a major crisis, partially because I had a major crisis, and partly because I'm a lazy human being. Anyway, my excuses don't matter too much - I have plenty of things I can tell you in the meantime. A whole month's worth of things. Which is a lot of things so, uh, long post warning. Take a big breath and put on some calming music and power through, guys, it'll be worth it. Maybe.

So here are some things I like right now:

Clockwise from top left. I've been hunting for a good audition monologue. This means buying a truckload of plays - about two of which ever end up having useful pieces in them. However, since my parents consider plays a necessary expense, I'm not complaining about a multitude of new reading material. Some might find it a bit weird  to read plays in the same way that you would books, but the only real difference is that you get more direction about how to imagine a scene - which we all do anyway, when reading books. Here are: 'The Effect' by Lucy Prebble, which concerns the fate of a romance based on chemicals alone; Naomi Iizuka's 'Polaroid Stories', a mashed up collection of ancient myth and street legends; and 'Circle Mirror Transformation' by Annie Baker, who writes fantastic plays about seemingly innocuous situations that any of us could find ourselves in. 'The Aliens' (not pictured) is another of hers that is possibly my favourite play of all time.

I went nuts on finding out that my parents had bought me a Dazed And Confused magazine subscription, and the first edition to arrive got me even more excited. It's called 'Girls Rule The World' , so my love for it is hardly a surprise. It focuses particularly on powerful and talented women like Lupita Nyong'o (oh lord how can she be that beautiful), Amandla Stenberg (babe) and Rookie gals Tavi and Petra, who are good god bloody amazing and inspirational. Dazed and Confused is hardly the most mainstream mag there is, but it's still nice to see recognition of all these amazing - and amazingly diverse - women in a publication that quite a lot of people read.

Next up is 'S.' by JJ Abrams and Doug Dorst. This is, in my opinion, more a piece of art or a literary experience than a book - the pages of  'Ship Of Theseus', written by the fictional V.M. Straka, are filled with handwritten notes, postcards, letters and newspaper cuttings that tell the story of a conversation between two curious readers. Being a complete book nerd, noticing details like library stamps and torn pages nearly made me cry with happiness. Miraculously, I've managed to hold off starting to actually read it until I have time to sit down and get stuck in.

The Pigma Micron pen is the light of my life at the moment. I use it for nearly all my journal entries. It manages to turn drawing lines into some kind of wonderful treat.

Next to it is another line drawing tool, only this one is meant for eyes. Black eyeliner makes any day better, no joke.

Valrhona Noir Guanaja chocolate is a total dream of fruity delection, but I would never buy something that ridiculously expensive for myself - three cheers for my granny!

These delicate H. S. Samuels silver hoop earrings are the only jewellery I ever wear, save for a few rings. They make me feel instantly fierce, even if I'm still in jogging bottoms and a bra...

I'm only just starting to find my feet with Dr P.H. Martin's Black Bombay India ink, but I get the feeling it'll be fabulous.

The Konstruktor camera that I got for Christmas was both a delight and a frustration to make and, despite the tricksy top viewfinder, I really enjoy using it. Because I'm new to analogue photography, and because the camera isn't perfectly made, it's all a bit of experimentation and I'm stoked to see how the photos turn out - if they exist, and I haven't completely failed to make a piece of working machinery. *deep breaths*

Finally, music is such a massive part of my life that I have literally removed all information from my facebook account that doesn't relate to bands. I have no regrets whatsoever. These white Bluetooth headphones aren't perfect, but they're pretty good for under £20, and they look spiffy. I can now dance practically anywhere without anyone hearing what I'm listening to - and yes, that is exactly why I bought them.

Speaking of music, there are three very important, sad, musical men in my life right now. The first is Sivu, who you'll know about if you've read any of my previous music posts, and whose music I fall asleep to on every troubled night. Listen to anything from his 'Bodies' album and be amazed. The second is Keaton Henson, a tremulous and beautifully disillusioned singer and artist who is as withdrawn as he is talented. Listen to 'Corpse Roads' or 'Lying to you' if want twinkly, slightly depressing honesty. For something more light-hearted... actually, I'm pretty sure depressing honesty is all Henson does. But he's very good at it. Finally, Tom Rosenthal is a recent (meaning: yesterday) discovery of mine. The fact that he soulfully rendered Eiffel 65's 'Blue', the least soulful song ever created, says a lot about how great he is. Also, he offers bespoke songs. Just listen to any and all of his music. Right now.

Yes, there's more.
I watched Ginger and Rosa recently, and expected a lot from it. It delivered. Elle Fanning is one of the most beautiful humans on earth even when bawling her eyes out - totally not fair, but still amazing. The film was perfectly shot, and the characterization was on point. Even the music was top stuff - but then, it is set in the sixties. Now I want red hair and a movement to fight for. And stripy pyjamas and a derelict house full of artists. Or I'll be Elle Fanning.
Below are all the journal entries I have made since the last ones. This is by far the best journal I have ever had; it's really precious to me, and there is absolutely nothing in there that I regret creating. I guess that means I've moved forward as an artist? Who knows.


And there we finish! If you've read this far, your brain is made of iron and I applaud you for that. See you, hopefully soon. And if you especially want to see me and hear me all the time, 24/7, then just follow me on tumblr. That's it. Cool.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Sweetheart, What Have You Done

This post is mostly a gap filler, a standby, on the way to cooler things. I wanted to let you know that I am still alive and kicking, despite my unusually long absence. Said absence is both because I've been washed out and overwhelmed by Christmas, and because I'm preparing something creative that takes quite a bit of time and effort. I hope you (and I) find it worth the wait. However, I also want to update you a bit on my life, and my blog, and what the deal is with all this. Look at these miscellaneous photos while you read, they might make it more interesting.

I felt it important to mention that my blogging style will be changing a bit, both in writing and content. It's been a step too far in the direction of 'English Assignment on Non-Fiction Writing', and it's making me gag. It's funny really, how quickly attitudes can change - what felt professional two weeks ago now feels childish, and what was serious feels silly. What I want to be changes almost daily, from delicate to fierce and from dark to playful, and I think the reason that this (school) year has seemed like such a period of transformation, is that I am ultimately getting closer to what I really  want to be. Teenagerhood as a whole exists almost exclusively so that we can try out as many personas as we wish, before finding the one that fits well enough to carry into adulthood.

I've discovered that I like the fierceness of clunking shoes and sharp eyebrows - why bother trying to shrink and hide when I can stand as tall as a mountain (a 6'1" mountain) and pierce enemies with my eyeliner? I like  the boldness of bare legs all through winter. The solid britishness of kilts and wispy plaits. The carefree, go-wherever attitude of old jeans and a rucksack. The person I want to be is relaxed and invulnerable, exciting in her disregard for rules. She can make the best out of situations and make a friend out of anyone willing. She is me at my best, amplified, with a slip of extra vigour.

Eccentricity has always appealed to me, but I've never been quite sure why - I suppose some would say it's the pretentious hipster in me, always striving to be different, but that isn't quite right (if I am a hipster, it is with good reason). I think I hit upon the real matter last night while watching a programme about Dave Allen, who had a penchant for eccentrics. He explained that it wasn't madness - he was never looking for mad people - but a passion to do what you wanted, no matter what anybody else thought. That seems like a wonderful freedom to me.
And now comes the point at which I've put off publishing this post for several days, and no longer have the faintest clue what I've written. I do remember that I thought most of this up in the bath - that's the Archimedes in me - so don't be too harsh if it doesn't make any sense. Not all my future posts will be so stream-of-consciousness-y, and my overall content probably won't be that noticeably different, but I'm glad I've given it a try. Let me know what you think! Even if you hate it - I probably will too in a few weeks (or days).
All photos were taken by me, and the art in them is mine.
I may post them on tumblr.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

All Of The Bells

Only four more days until Christmas...
I'm not particularly excited - as I've mentioned before, I'm not really a Christmas person - but I won't pretend that I don't enjoy giving and receiving gifts every year. With less than a week to go, most people are already done and dusted with the present buying, but in case I'm not the only disorganised one, here is a list of gift ideas. These are all things on my list, as the presents I'm giving are mostly personal and won't suit everyone, but I'm sure lots of other people would love receiving these! And, if in five days you are at a loss for ways to spend your Christmas money, check back for a few ideas.

Konstruktor Camera
I'm just getting into analogue photography and this seems like such a cool idea: you build a camera yourself and use it afterwards! It's almost two gifts in one.
I'm not obsessed with Alexa, but everyone's been talking about this book recently, and I'm pretty curious. Is it as vapid as the Amazon reviews suggest? It it funny and down-to-earth as described by some of my favourite blogs? Who knows. Well, maybe I will soon...
This, on the other hand, is a book I don't need to wonder about. Rookie is majorly inspiring to me, and it's a treat to binge-read all the articles every weekend, so this would be the perfect present!
Dazed and Confused Magazine Subscription
This is one of the few magazines I actually enjoy reading, due to the more unusual content, and features of awesome personalities like Eleanor Hardwick, or King Krule. The music recommendations are spot on, and the editorials breathtaking. If you can't get a subscription, however, Dazed Digital is the next best thing - and it's free!
I think an album is a wonderful gift, because you can listen to it and treasure it forever. My picks are 'That Iron Taste' and 'Sugar Blind' by Marika Hackman, 'Country Mile' by Johnny Flynn, 'Better Man Than He' and 'Bodies' by Sivu, and 'Loveblood' by King Charles. If these don't tickle your fancy, some beauties that I already own are 'Shallow Bed' by Dry The River and 'Exile' by Hurts.
Finally, if you're looking for clothes to gift, I would wholeheartedly recommend Asos Marketplace. You get a lot of bang for your buck in the vintage section, and you can find some amazing unique pieces for a little more money. My favourite boutique is Isolated Heroes for quirky fur, print and colour, while Fashiondacci has tons of fun conversation pieces.
Bonus: The Only Christmas Song Amelia Can Stand.
I put up with the scores of snow and bells and festivity in this song for the slightly bleak message and surreal music video. Also, lots of footage of Theo Hutchcraft's lovely face. Right, that's all the Christmas I can take... time for a rest methinks...
See you on the other side (of Christmas)

Saturday, 14 December 2013

All This Mess Undressed

This is going to be a bit of a weird one - I think it would probably be a 'November Thoughts' if it weren't already halfway through December! I usually do most of my bloggy stuff at the weekend, but last weekend I was in Oxford overnight (watching a wonderful production of Kvetch) so I didn't get around to it, and I currently have no idea what I'm going to write about. Let's see...
I really like the outfit I wore in Oxford, above and below. Not only was it super warm and comfortable, but inadvertently grunge-inspired. I thought about going the whole hog with messy, smudged makeup, but sometimes it's better just to pick and choose elements of a style, so I went with my usual strong brow and natural face, plus a neat flick of black liner.
I've finally figured out gifs!

The skirt is a vintage kilt (previously owned by my granny) the graphic tee is also vintage (my mum's) and the shirt is Gant, inherited from my brother. I am nothing if not resourceful when it comes to finding new clothes! Shoes are from Bertie, and coat from Primark. Alternatively, you could wear a black turtleneck underneath the shirt, as I did the next day.

Some other things I like at the moment:
  • Marika Hackman, the queen of weird, beautiful, melancholy music, especially her collab with Sivu, another favourite of mine. Listen to 'Skin' and the rest of her music here.

  • Also, this short story. Ah, so beautifully romantic and unromantic at the same time.

  • My hair. This may seem vain, but I wanted to grow it for such a long time but, when I started to, it turned lank and boring. Now it is finally at a length where I can style it in funky ways, and it's getting its old candyfloss-ish volume back. Yay!

  • On that note, French plaits. They keep all your hair back, don't make your head look alien, and leave pretty curls behind when you take them out.

  • The Paradise, on BBC one. To be honest, I watched this 60% for the costumes, but the plot is pretty great as long as you ignore how rubbish the main love interest, Moray, is. The evil Tom Weston is so  much more interesting. The second series is on BBC iPlayer, the first is available on DVD.

  • Strong coffee. How else are we meant to get through mock exams? I was entertained by the barista who clearly expected me to ask for something weak and syrupy, and had to ask three times 'So you actually drink black coffee?' Next time, though, he remembered me as the black-coffee-girl, so he's a winner.

  • Not Christmas. I am a complete Grinch. Sorry.

So, as I said, a weird post. Better things are on the way - I'm planning out a post on female-specific insults, and some music and gift ideas (the closest I'll get to Christmassy). Have a lovely weekend,