Friday, 28 October 2011

Raving It Up!

Again, I've left it too long since my last post. What can I say, I've been very busy! Busy because, as i mentioned in my last post, I've started at my new college, Ravensbourne! There has been so much going on, too much to write about now so I'm just going to post a few photos of what I've been doing (probably a relief after how long my last post was!). All I will say is it had actually been so amazingly fun! 
Taken from a storyboard I made in the first week for Lens Based Media; a carrot has been captured and needs to escape before he is made into soup! 
This is a bit of a long story, we basically had to take photos of us in groups wearing bags we had drawn on on our heads; the topic that week was concepts and processes aka pissing about (as if the other weeks didn't already involve a large dose of this). By chance there was a Domino's stand in college that day so we decided to take a photo there with all the "merch" (Harry McVeigh would be proud -"Oh didn't you know Domino's is the only pizza he eats? It's a well known fact!"). Laugh if you like, but it worked better than expected as we got some free pizza out of it!
For one of our tasks during the 3D design week we had to made a bridge in groups out of cardboard and bamboo sticks. It was 15m long, the height of a table and could only touch the floor at 2 points. Plus, it needed to carry the weight of a toy car; a pretty large, electric toy car this is. At the end of the day we raced the cars over all of the bridges then proceeded to destroy the bridges; I told you it was all just a load of fun!
OK, this is not a photo of my own work; it is indeed a very childish photo of the toilets at Waterloo. For our final week of the rotations we had graphics so for our research on the first day we went to Waterloo to take photos and sketches of all of the graphics on display there (a lot it turns out), well until we were ordered to stop by the station security. Apparently there is no drawing allowed at Waterloo. Anyway, before that happened we ran around like primary school kids on a trip, giggling like school girls and taking photos much like the one above and getting a lot of weird looks from tourists. Yes, even the tourists thought we were taking photos of weird things. Ultimate gaijin. 
So that's why I've been so busy. Yes, I know it looks like just a lot of fun and games (which to be honest is what I treated it like) but it actually involved work, which I realised a bit too late, and this week we even had an assessment! Scary stuff, if you don't pass you're kicked off the course, but I passed so it's fine! You might notice that I have not included fashion in this post. That is because I am trying to put this blog back on it's original track, which was predominantly a fashion blog. So next post will be all about fashion! Woo! In the meantime, if you want more of my ramblings about music, which is one of the reasons this blog went off track, you can take a look at the tumblr I created purely for music: themne.tumblr.com 

Lyric of the Day: "I'd play with fire to break the ice" - Wendy Clear, Blink-182   

Thursday, 15 September 2011

What Did I Tell You?

There has been so much going on recently I haven't had a chance to update this (I know, I know, I'm sorry!), so I really don't know where to start! Well, here is a brief summary of the things that have been going on in the last few weeks. Probably the biggest change is that I am now officially a student of Ravensbourne! I enrolled and I've even completed a "full" week there! More on that  later, or more likely in another post, who knows when I may get around to it. I started a part time job at a local tuition place, I went to Example's signing at the Oxford Street HMV, had a small cocktail party, have been very slowly making my silver, robot-waitress, MB-esque dress...ah I'll cut to the chase! Just over two weeks ago it was of course Reading Festival 2011, and with it of course the eagerly anticipated Origin of Symmetry set by Muse! 

Now regular readers should remember that I entered a Muse T shirt competition in the hope of winning VIP tickets to Reading (and of course for a further step in my journey to becoming a fashion designer and designing for Matt Bellamy!). Alas, I did not win. But if you remember I stayed positive and said that my time will come. One thing that I told my brother, who had helped me with the computer side of the designing and to whom I therefor promised the other VIP ticket to, stayed with me though. That was, whilst discussing the horrors that would be the campsite toilets, I said to my brother something along the lines of, it won't matter because we'll be in the VIP area! (cue a chorus of "hell yeah!" and "boo yah!"'s and so on, and so on) Little did I know what would be just around the corner...
Friendly Fires, of course!

I surfaced from the dingy depths of the garage at work on Monday lunchtime of the week of Reading, covered in dust and with a sore back from emptying the piles of boxes (68, I counted) and putting the contents into shredding sacks, a riveting job, and took refuge at my desk back inside. I hadn't even planned on going back to my desk, I had my lunch in a bag and told myself I'd be happy enough to eat sitting amongst the ceiling high piles of boxes, they was even an old spinny chair and that was enough for me! But my indulgence went beyond that; this particular lunchtime I decided to boot up the old pc and check my emails (something I never do at work)! As I scanned me inbox I noticed an email entitled "CONGRATULATIONS!" and instantly thought it must just have slipped through my junk filter. However, being the person I am I like to check my junk mail is actually junk before deleting it so, after reading a couple of emails I thought were more worthy first, I opened it. At first glance it did appear to be junk; it was written in that standard, plain font with no pictures or headers. But it was a short email so I read it.Low and behold, it was actually an email from NME telling me I'd won a pair of guest tickets to Reading Festival 2011. For a couple of seconds I stared, confused, at the screen. Then I remembered: I'd entered a draw for VIP tickets, these must be them! I was going to Reading as a VIP afterall! Surely this couldn't be real?! Well it was! Safe to say I went back to garage a very happy bunny and powered through the rest of the shredding whilst listening to a Reading playlist on my iPod, dancing around the garage and fantasising about the VIP area...   
Taking a break from the luxury of the guest area: our miraculous BBQ which took no less than 49 matches to light after being left out all night in the rain, I actually cooked a pretty nice sausage on it!

After the small issue of having to sell my pair of normal Reading tickets (which was actually the biggest stress ever but lets not dwell on that) Thursday arrived and we left for Reading, guest tickets in hand! I painted the Origin of Symmetry album artwork on my nails, got my mum to put semi-permanent purple hair dye in for me and had my camping gear, sirius muesli (get it?) and the essential Muse t-shirt packed. I won't bore you with details of the longest walk ever from the car to the entrance whilst lugging all my bags plus over 20 cans of beer with absolutely no help from the far stronger boys I was with. But at the end of that walk, after leaving our friends at the "commoners" entrance, we finally reached the guest only entrance. We blew all hopes of trying to blend in and looking cool by first of all the fact we (namely I) were red as tomatoes and dripping in sweat after the weather took a turn for the better and got a lot warmer than we had dressed for, not to mention the ton of bags. And secondly by queuing at the wrong window. You see, there were two windows open and one had a queue and the other didn't (already a sign we should have noticed), so we went to the second window. After failing miserably to catch the attention of the workers inside I looked up and realised why we weren't being served: we were in fact queuing at the window for the bands, which explained the list of bands on the desk that had some ticked off (I blame seeing Muse written down which distracted me). So we made the walk of shame to the back of the other queue, which had grown considerably by this time. 

After that brief hiccup though we received our exclusive "weekend guest" wristbands, so exclusive it only has 3 figures as opposed to the 6 figured "commoners" wristband, and proceeded on, past the tour buses and tv crews, to the guest camping area, located right next to the main stage (and also adjacent to the fair which we discovered that night). After another brief hiccup of accidentally unpacking our stuff in the disabled camping area instead, we finally chose our patch to pitch up in; a good 40 meters or so away from any other tent in all directions and with the grass still very green and unspoiled by mud and water logs (believe me, that is glamping compared to the other campsites as we soon discovered). Other luxuries of the guest camping area included portaloos that were 100 times cleaner than the "commoners" ones, shower cubicles (which still didn't get used, well we still wanted the full Reading experience!) and sockets to charge phones with, which really were a life saver after buying a dodgy "emergency charger".    
My Origin of Symmetry nails!

But the luxuries didn't stop there, oh no! There was also a guest area on the other side of the main stage that had, wait for it, REAL toilets! Not to mention two different guest bars which both had different DJ's playing some really great music all day and night (well, until 3am, we know because we stayed until the end, the hardmen we are), a guest BBQ, real fires at night to keep warm by and a range of actual seats including picnic tables, deck chairs and sofas!! (why do I always sound like I'm trying to sell something?)  But besides that the guest area also had the press area and and entrance to the actual main stage! Of course to get there you needed to be working as part of the crew or have access all areas, however, just being in the guest area means that you can see people going on and off from the main stage via this entrance and hanging around the press area. The very first time we entered the guest area within minutes my brother told me he saw a guitarist from Dry the River. He pointed him out to me but I don't know what he looks like anyway so it was lost on me. However, over the weekend we did definitely rub shoulders with Suggs from Madness, Stefan from The Midnight Beast (who I genuinely would have stopped if he wasn't rushing for the stage entrance) and I could have sworn I saw the front man of Two Door Cinema Club. 

Also, one of the first things we witnessed in the guest area was a band doing an acoustic set, well we just caught the end of the set. I don't even know who the band were but I recognised the song, something about a blackout, I must look it up. There was also someone who came off the main stage not long after My Chemical Romance finished playing who caused a bit of a fuss and was having his photos taken with various people, not sure who he was but he must have been someone famous! It really was a case of being there at the right time though, Matt Bellamy probably passed through at some point but we couldn't spend all our time there, not only would we have missed the music we would have angered our friends beyond what we already had done! 
Pulp (duh), so much better than The Strokes

God knows who else we were in the presence of that weekend, after all unless you win a ticket, guest passes are only given to friends and family of the band and people who work on the music industry. You can tell, and they can probably tell we were competition winners, as everyone is far to immaculately dressed for a festival and probably doesn't even venture out into the "commoners" area. (Yes, we spent the whole weekend referring to everything else as the "commoners...") That meant we felt very out of place striding in with our mud covered wellies and me with my bright orange "kag in a bag" on. Luckily, those pretenses, and our inhibitions, disappeared by night when, after all the acts had finished, we continued to party in the guest area, sipping rose amongst the other guests, some of who were understandably quite drunk and began dancing on mud covered tables (how this didn't end in disaster, I don't know). We even joined in on the dancing after a couple of drinks and on the last night even entered what appeared to be a very exclusive circle of people sitting around a fire. (one of those people looked a lot like Tim Minchin...) 

On the Saturday night, after our friends had "called it a night" we went back for more drinks and sat up one of the bar's balcony. From here we could see backstage and we witnessed about 5 trucks arriving and loading out equipment onto the stage. Being the night before Muse we were of course convinced that it was the mysterious Origin of Symmetry stage, it probably was you know. 
"Polaroid app on my iPhone..." me near the guest camping toilets, being all gaijin, photo taken by my brother who would like me to remind you that the link to his blog is on the right of this *rolls eyes*

Given the people we were probably rubbing shoulders with we overheard a few interesting conversations that weekend. I heard what I deduced to have been a photographer who has worked with Jared Leto talking abut how difficult he is to photograph, apparently he always pulls the same facial expression no matter what you ask him to do, who knew? There was also a group of what seemed to be reviewers, or generally people who work in the music media, slating The Strokes after they came offstage (late, might I add!), saying how boring they were, which I couldn't agree more with, I should definitely have seen The Midnight Beast instead. That's why it came as a surprise to me when publications such as NME and the likes didn't have a word to say against them the following week. I certainly didn't hear anyone in the guest area, or elsewhere, that had a good word to say about them. However, the following night more than made up for it! Muse! What can I say? Yet again, there are no words! (which I'm sure you're glad to hear, this blog's already gone on for too long!)
An idea of how epic Muse's Origin of Symmetry Stage, and set, was!

I'll leave you with my lyric of the day then. It's taken from the internet viral "Being a dickhead's cool", a song that we couldn't stop singing all weekend purely because there were so many real life references to it! "Hipsters, there's hipsters everywhere!" were my brothers words as we got out of the car. This particular lyric though reminds me especially of one night when we were entering the guest area after the acts had finished. I have never felt more exclusive in my life, it just beats being photographed by about 20 Japanese strangers in a train station as if I were a celebrity. As we strided into the guest area, being waved through by the security guards after flashing our guest wristbands, we passed a pair of clearly desperate girls begging to get in, even offering bribes of money, or more! I couldn't suppress a grin as the security guards just went "sorry, if your name's not on the list you're not getting in". 

Lyric of the Day: "exclusive list, look, there's my name! I got in! You couldn't get in!" - Being A Dickhead's Cool      

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

The Unsocial Network?

(I need to just say I was meant to finish this and post it ages ago but I've been so busy there's a bit of a backlog of blogs at the moment, updates coming soon!)

I don't know about you but I think the idea that social networking sites are actually, rather ironically "unsociable" is becoming a bit of a cliche. Whilst in Ireland last week I read an article in an Irish Newspaper (possibly the Times? it doesn't really matter, I'm not out to name and shame) of a similar title that was basically complaining about the annoyance and unsociable nature of social network sites, in particular Twitter. Now, I myself have been known to have mixed views on Facebook, it has it's pros and it's cons. On that topic I have now decided that the pros by far outweigh the cons and as long as you handle it in the right way there really isn't a problem with Facebook.

But back to this article; I found the writer of it infuriatingly ignorant. He made no apologies from the beginning of the article to being completely out of touch with the entire concept of social networking; having never used Facebook or Twitter and having no interest in starting. Yet he proceeded to condemn the sites themselves and their users. After admitting to signing up to Twitter (he was forced to by his son or something) he then recounts that his main problem with it is that most of its users uneducated, grammatically incorrect imbeciles (his words, pretty much, not mine) that share way to much information. Who wants to know if you've had toast for breakfast? he exclaims. Well there's a simple solution to that mate, don't follow these so called imbeciles who give share far too much information! Really the only imbecile here is you; you're clearly either too old or too out of touch with the modern world to fully understand how these social networks should be used, and the benefits that they can have. And you definitely haven't done your research for this article very well. Whilst some of the readers of The Times may still be firmly stuck on their anti-social network (The youth of today! *tuts*) "high ground", I can almost guarantee you that they will start to dwindle and authors like this need to realise this and adapt.        

Rant over. I think. 
Lyric of the Day: "Something is wrong, spit it out!" - Mothership, Enter Shikari

Monday, 15 August 2011

I need to blog this milestone in my internet presence, no matter how small: I have (partly unintentionally) made my way onto youtube, if only for 3, rather embarrassing seconds.

Those of you, however few, who read this blog regularly may remember me talking about how my brother and I entered a video for a fan intro of a fan-made "Muse: The Movie". About 2 weeks ago the final trailer for this movie was released on youtube and it included the fan intro: a selection of the best videos sent in of why people love Muse. Unbelievably, a clip of our video made the final cut; quite an achievement considering 40 videos didn't make it! Anyway, here it is. I won't say where we are, try and guess!



Kudos to the maker (takeabow19), if you're a Muse fan then you should check out his other videos and stay tuned for the completed movie, which will be available from Muse bootlegs (if I remember correctly!). 

In other news I have just gotten back from 10 days in Ireland; staying by the beach in the middle of no where practically cut off from society (really a very nice place to reflect on things). On return it has hit me that I only have 2 weeks left of my summer holidays and I haven't even begun the list of creative projects I meant to take on. However, being away has really made me want to start and since today I found out I am not needed in work for another week now is my chance! So today I started making the pattern for a dress I have been meaning to make for aaaaages and tomorrow I will buy the fabric and get started! Expect to hear more on that soon...

Lyric of the Day: "Looks like a new transition" - Witchcraft, Pendulum


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Positive Thinking Wins Again!

First of all can I just say I've been wanting to write this blog for two weeks now and I've been so busy I haven't had the time! Oh and also I know, especially after my last blog, I must sound like one of those self-help "guru's" I so often mock, but this needs to be shared. Right, now that's off my chest...

It's Saturday night and I'm standing in the Roundhouse, Camden, waiting for The Wombats to come on stage. And I think to myself, this really is the epitome of positive thinking (my mum will be proud!). Less than 24 hours before I had made plans to get the train into London for early afternoon in order to queue for stand-by tickets for that night's iTunes Festival gig, The Wombats. However, my plans were crushed by torrential rain that morning and even before I woke up I could hear the rain lashing into my window and I had that sinking feeling as I knew there wasn't even a point in getting up. Maybe a bit of rain wouldn't have been such a large problem if I wasn't battling off, rather badly, a bad sore throat and cold (ironically caused by the previous gig I had been to which was also an iTunes Festival one, White Lies again as it so happens). So, after my fears were confirmed and my plans were well and truly cancelled, all I could do was mope around feeling sorry for myself. I really like The Wombats; I've seen them before and it was so much fun and being the greedy person I am I wanted to go again! 

The thing was, all day I couldn't shake the feeling that I was meant to be there, I should be there. Like when you know you've made the wrong decision and it's like you can feel what could have happened if you'd taken the other route. (or is that just me?) It was at the back of my mind all day and every time the clouds cleared even for just a second I got a shot of optimism, mixed with the anger and disappointment that it was to late now anyway. But since you already know I ended up going I'll cut to the chase; my brother and I got a train up to Camden and arrived there half an hour before the doors opened, waited for half an hour then were let straight in despite not having won tickets. We were even let in before the people with tickets! I can't describe how lucky this was or how happy it made me, within less than 2 hours I had gone from moping around at home to waiting for one of my favourite bands to come on stage. It must have literally been one of those things that were just meant to be. What I will say is that even though I didn't win tickets I had an insanely good feeling about it when I entered the draw!

This hasn't been the only occasion where "positive thinking" has proven itself. Even if I only take into consideration examples involving gigs there has been many. Possibly the most lucky thing that's happened involved a Muse gig I went to with my brother and best friend  (I say "a" Muse gig, it wasn't just "a" gig, it was the best dam gig I've ever been to in my life!). Originally I had seating tickets but all I could think about would be how good it would be to have standing. So About 2 months before the gig I advertised my tickets for a swap. This never happened but I did manage to buy someones standing tickets, after answering an add literally seconds after it was posted, and sell my own pair. That's pretty lucky considering how sought after those tickets were. However, what's even more lucky is that my friend didn't even have a ticket and just two weeks before the gig she managed to buy one despite it being sold out and then find someone (who I will be eternally grateful to) to swap it with so she could sit at the same gate as us. Just luck, or the result of months of imagining that gig from the viewpoint of standing on the pitch (it was Wembley Stadium), in the company of my best friends?

And do I really need to remind you of what happened earlier on this month? Oh I do? Oh well I can always post another photo in case you've forgotten (I'm going to milk this for a while!) 
Me with Harry McVeigh, again, just from a slightly different angle!
Weeks before the White Lies gig in Coventry I booked a room at the travelodge so we could stay for longer after the gig, and so I didn't have to drive. I'm sure there's some philosophy my mum would tell me about making preparations for what you want to happen before it happens but I can't remember the exact words of it, but you get the gist. Then, whilst we waited in the Kasbah for White Lies to come on all of my friends were talking about how they wanted to catch a guitar pick or get a setlist and I just kept saying, all I want is to meet them and get a photo and perhaps an autograph! That's all want! (I wasn't saying this out of the blue by the way, we met a very nice lady before the show who said she'd show us how we could do it, and boy did she!) That's another one of my mum's philosophies right there: know clearly what you want and you will get it! And we have proof! 

So is it positive thinking, fate or just luck? Or God? Who knows? Personally, I think it has more to do with something meaning to be, because I also now that positive thinking doesn't always work (or true "positive thinking" is very difficult, to difficult for us pessimistic humans!). After going back to work where I mainly take staples out of files (oh the joys!) my free time has been partly occupied with something creative for the first time in over a month: I entered a Muse competition to design a t shirt for Reading and Leeds. The winner would not only get a pair of VIP tickets to Reading but their design would be printed and sold as well as receiving one copy signed by the band. Unfortunately, despite having a good feeling, I did not get picked for the shortlist. On reflection I could have put more effort into the creative side of things but due to my lack of time once I had the idea I just stuck with it. I ended up sending in 5 designs in total, 4 being just slight variations of the design below and the final one being hand drawn because I can't use GIMP. Here's one for now, I trust you won't steal them since the competition's closed now anyway!
the front of the t shirt, it says "Symmetry" at the bottom, it's a bit too small to read on here
the back of the t shirt, I couldn't find a back template so the neck is the same as the front!

But as I said, I believe that what's meant to happen will happen and I'm not too sad because my time will come! And Matt Bellamy will still one day wear one of my suits! Thank you again for reading my pointless rambles, until next time! (which could be a while as I'm going on holiday :D)

Lyric of the Day: "Do the macarena in the devil's lair" - Don't Sit Down Cause I've Moved Your Chair, Arctic Monkeys





Sunday, 17 July 2011

Citizen Erased

"Wash me away, clean your body of me,
Erase all the memories, they'll only bring us pain,
And I've seen all I'll ever need"

I've always loved these lyrics; they are so beautifully sad but true, in my opinion. Today being the 10th anniversary of the release of one of the best Muse's best albums, Origin of Symmetry, seems like an appropriate time to bring this up. Well actually, I had written this blog about 3 months ago. The reason I didn't post it was because it was too bitter so I thought I'd wait for a more appropriate time when I would have a different perspective and re-word it, which is exactly what I have done. So anyway, this is going to get deep so turn away now if you can't handle it!

The reason I love these lyrics so much is I can really connect with them. If there is ever an event or person that causes me pain in my life then I would much rather forget all of the memories, good or bad, because remembering only causes me more hurt. If the memory was bad then it's obvious why it hurts, but if the memory was a good one then it hurts even more because life isn't like that anymore. This is contradictory to what certain "self-help guru's" preach. 

A common method of "letting go" taught by many of these self-help types is to imagine a bubble or a pen (in terms of animals, you know?) and put all of the good memories inside this and mentally blow them away (or blow them up if you chose the pen option, I'm guessing?). I find this a bit hard to imagine for several reasons. Firstly, can you really just "blow" away all those memories that easily? I highly doubt it. Secondly, why would you want to get rid of just all the good memories? Wouldn't that leave you with only bad memories and make you feel even more bitter thus making it harder to let go? Now I know this contradicts what I said earlier about good memories being more painful, but even I hold on to good memories (whether I want to or not). At least if you can only remember the good memories then you are slightly brainwashed into believing nothing was ever wrong because, until someone brings it up again, you've forgotten the bad things that happened. 

To be honest, the whole thing's a paradox, and over the recent weeks I have realised that you don't need to listen to any of these so called self-help experts to find the secrets of letting go. Nor can you try, using whatever method, to let go of anything. You can't really let go of anything until there is something worthwhile in your life that is big enough to fill the gap after you let go of whatever it is. Se when the time is right, you will be able to let go. You may even be able to hold on to the good memories without it hurting. 

So I leave you with my lyric of the day which is a rather different, more hopeful, way of looking at letting go (well in my interpretation, which, considering the artist, is often proven wrong) than those of Muse's Citizen Erased.

Lyric of the Day: "I gave you back your power, I gave you back your glory, when really I hadn't noticed, until I had the power to give it all back, until I felt the glory when the buildings collapsed" - The Power and the Glory, White Lies

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Rock The Kasbah!

I know after my last blog post it must seem as though I've lost the function to communicate in any form of coherency, but I really can't convey this in words, definitely not written words anyway. So yet again, despite jeopardizing my anonymity on blogger, I will just have to post a photo. If you've read any of my previous blogs you'll understand why this is just... :Dx100000000000

me with Harry McVeigh, as if it needed an explanation!

Literally my dreams have come true. Standing there just didn't feel real, to be honest I still have to pinch myself! It was soooo amaaaazing, and thanks to my brother's inability to use a camera I was stood there for just a bit longer than necessary. Needless to say, it was well worth the trip to Coventry and a bit of my heart broke as I had to wash that section of my shoulder in the shower this morning.  

Lyric of the Day: "Maybe some day I could move like you" - Holy Ghost, White Lies

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

It feels like ages since I've written a blog post! I kept meaning to do one as so much has being going on! But that's exactly why I haven't done one. To think I thought I'd have to stop during study leave, yet whilst I was doing my exams I managed to post quite often, since the summer holidays have began I just haven't had the time! As I have said, so much has happened and I really can't be arsed to go into it all. In short, I finished my exams (including the tragic textiles exam), have left school for EVER, had my ball/prom thing and various other events have gone on. 

In all the commotion it appears to have slipped my my mind that I have finished art! It's a miracle! Well, until I start my year long art course in September (which will be a lot better than A Level art so I'm not really counting it as the same thing). I don't think I can explain what a relief this is, so I'll just post a photo from the exhibition:


Anyway, later that day something even better happened: I went and saw The Killers!! I actually can't put into words how good this was. Despite loving them since Hot Fuss I really didn't think it would be as amazing as it was, mainly because I though they'd play some new stuff and a lot of songs off Day and Age, which is my least favourite album. But they didn't! It was a proper comeback gig, in my opinion: they played mainly songs off Hot Fuss and Sam's Town, my two favourite albums! It's just so great that they are "finally" back together and Brandon Flowers has realised that he is nothing on his own. One of my life ambitions to see them live was crushed when they went on hiatus, luckily it turned out to be the most pathetic hiatus in history. Oh it literally was one of the best nights, despite the rain; I'm telling you, it's up there with Muse, and that says a lot! It was made even better by the atmosphere and the crowd. After briefly encountering some idiots during Kaiser Chiefs (who were also amazing!) which caused us to move to a much more central position, in front of the stage, we found ourselves in the company of some seriously awesome Killers fans (who also happened to be Muse fans :D) who seemed to be as crazy about them as we did. This just made it so much more enjoyable as we were all belting our hearts out all night! It sucks when you end up next to people who seem like half-arsed fans. I haven't been able to listen to The Killers in the same way since, and it's slightly, no very, torturous listening to the songs that did get played (which included Bling!! I practically died! :D). It may sound pathetic, but the emotions come flooding back to me so much when listening to some songs that I could almost cry. I literally can't put it into words, so again I'll leave you with a photo:

possibly the only disappointment was that Brandon Flowers wasn't wearing his trademark feather coat, on the plus side he didn't have a mustache!
In short, I have to see them again, ASAP! But in the mean time, I'm off to see White Lies!

Lyric of the Day: "saw Cinderella in a party dress, but she was looking for a nightgown" - A Dustland Fairytale, The Killers

 

Sunday, 19 June 2011

She Shall Go To The Ball!

If I'd have written this blog 48 hours ago, or even less, like I had been planning to, then it would probably be a whiny rant about the dire state of the British fashion retail outlets and how they seem to completely disregard about 90% of the young female market. Since finishing Japanese (woohoo!!!) and my weekend off (more about that later, maybe) I intended to resume my textiles revision. Instead, I have spent a large part of the last week trying to finally find a dress for my upcoming leavers ball. To be perfectly honest, I had practically given up before the week began and was mentally preparing myself to make a dress, and to be honest I was actually looking forward to it. Never the less, since my nanny was over from Ireland I tried once more to find a dress. 

Well let me tell you, I would never have guessed dress shopping would be so stressful! It has been the bane of my life for past month! First of all, I have trawled my local shops (no surprises there wasn't much there) then moved onto London and Westfield, which I made several trips to at various points in the year, and finally a nearby large shopping center. What I found was a severe lack of dresses suitable (at least what I or my parents deemed as suitable) for a ball. The few dresses that were suitable were well over £300 or even £500. There were a few mid range dresses that were about £200, but paying that for a glorified evening dress seems a bit steep for me. Then, the odd time I did find a gem they didn't have my size. Typical. 

Oh, I said this wouldn't be a ranty blog, let me get back to the point. Well, Murphy's law, yesterday I ended up going back to my local shop and buying a dress I'd tried on there weeks ago. It is an amazing dress and, thanks to some haggling due to a broken zip, it only cost £48! Why didn't I buy it in the first place, the males among you may ask. Females might understand;  the truth is, it was nice on me the first time I tried it on but, since I hadn't looked at much else at the time, I thought I'd find something better. Going back to it after weeks of joyless shopping I realised how amazing it really was, and since they still had my size (2 of them!) after all these weeks it must have been fate. 

The funniest thing is, the most stressful thing about trying to find a dress is the pressure everyone else seems to put on you. That's why I like shopping alone, or at least with a friend who understands. Having to justify every time why you don't want to even bother looking in "Jacques Vert" or the like (for the last time, 18 year old's don't shop there!!!) or why you don't want to buy a dress that fits you and they think looks nice, gets extremely tiring, much more so than trying the actual dresses on! Maybe it's just me, maybe a future fashion designer in the making is the hardest person to go shopping with. In fact, that's exactly the thing, isn't it? I said earlier about how I had resigned myself to making my own dress, I had in fact a few sketches already penned. I would still love to make these dresses, they were pretty amazing, if I must say so myself! Anyway, they were at the back of my head the whole time, I even knew exactly where I'd buy the fabric and knowing that it would cost about 10% of the price was an attractive feature! So I basically compared every dress I tried on to that, so of course nothing could beat it!

It's really got me thinking, the UK needs a prom dress supplier, not like those cheesy, tacky American ones though, that the average teenage girl can ship at, ie not over £200, under £100 even. Something that sells long formal gowns, and shorter flouncy prom dresses, and everything in between. There are too many retailers bringing out the same old dresses every year. Oh and another thing I noticed, considering the fact that girls going to these leaving balls are between 16 and 18 years old, why are there so many so called "prom dresses" that look like frumpy bridesmaid dresses, that age you so much? You're only 18 once and there'll be plenty of opportunities to wear more serious dresses in the future. I think there is a serious gap in the market there!  

I have rambled for waaay to long, more about my amazing weekend next time, I'm off to catch up on Mock The Week and have some coffee cake!

Lyric of the Day: "Haven't you people ever heard of closing a goddamm door?" - I Write Sins Not Tragedies, Panic! At The Disco 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I feel like I've been trapped in some sort of Japanese mind prison recently. What with having a near impossible, 3 hour Japanese A2 exam tomorrow morning, and my next exam being another 2 weeks away, I have spent almost all of the last two weeks living, breathing and practically eating Japanese. I really hope it pays off tomorrow. Oh well, to late to dwell on that now.

Anyway, due to this I have not really had a lot of creative things on my mind, or anything . When I do suddenly feel inspired I have to fight the urge to pursue the idea and push it to the back of my mind. I find this rather annoying, and it's made me realise that I really do want a job in the creative industry. I've really reached the end of my tether with this revision. I just find it very difficult to sit and try and retain information, my mind tends to wander, a lot. 

I comfort myself in the fact that this time tomorrow Japanese will be over and the only thing left to revise will be textiles which I don't mind as much and isn't quite as pressured as Japanese is (mind you I bet I'll be eating my words this time next week). Plus I've got some really great things lined up for the following 3 days after the exam! Firstly, on thursday I will be going up to Ravensbourne, where I could have been this evening if it weren't for Japanese, to see the end of year show for this years art foundation students and getting a taste of what next year will have in store for me. After that I'm going to stay up in London and try and go dress shopping. The last time I did this I gave up after one shop, so hopefully it will go a bit better this time. Although as it stand I will be window shopping as I have no budget. Anyway, on friday evening I am going to Wagamama's (which means selfish in case you were wondering, and I mustn't forget that for tomorrow's exam!) to see my favourite waiter, oh yeah, and not forgetting my friends, one of whom's birthday it is, which is why we're going.

But the to top it all off, and possibly the best news I've had in a while, I am going to the L.E.D Festival in Victoria Park this saturday!!!! And do you know why? Because my amazing mother WON us tickets!!! I had actually entered 3 separate competitions to win tickets to this, including one my local paper was running which both my mum and brother also entered. Well who would have known it but the local paper is worth reading after all! They called up my mum yesterday and told her she'd one! I know she'll be reading this at some point so I would like to say THANK YOU again!

I'm going to take this opportunity to say thankyou, to whoever might be out there, for reading. I know I tend to ramble a lot, but for some unknown reason this had record viewings last month (and by "record viewings" I mean about 150, which to be honest is the total viewing for the previous 4 months or so, so yes by my standards that is record!). So what I'd to say is thanks, and keep reading! And don't be scared to follow or comment!

Lyric of the Day: "Turning Japanese I think I'm turning Japanese I really think so!"- Turning Japanese, The Vapors

(note: my Japanese exam was actually this morning, I got distracted before posting this last night but wanted to post it anyway. I'm sure this post is long enough already without going into the details but let's just say I am relieved, to say the least!)

Thursday, 2 June 2011

So I officially left school this time last week, wow how time flies when you're revising Japanese all day! I know I left compulsory education two years ago but that doesn't really count, the following two years are practically the same as school. So this means no more lessons EVER!!! I don't think the enormity of that concept has really hit me yet. To be honest the only real lesson I had was Japanese and since I'm still doing that all day very day for the next 6 days I haven't really realised yet how much of a relief that is. Art is not really a lesson and we all know I'm far from finished with THAT. And well, the pathetic excuse for a lessons that is textiles, don't even go there.Whats more, the last day was the most unemotional last day in the history of the education system. Even my year 11 leavers day more sad, and I wasn't even leaving! That, in addition to the fact that I will still be going back there for at least another 6 or so days and we still have presentation evening and prom and all that jazz to get emotional over, means I don't even think I've realised I've even left school.

However, last night it suddenly dawned on me that without lessons, I will never see certain people again with a definite excuse. i.e. from here on in people who want to stay friends will need to make an actual effort to meet up. From here on in, you find out who your real friends are. Wow, that sounds dramatic. But it's true isn't it? Well, only time will tell what's going to happen from here on in.

On other news I am seeing my beloved White Lies again! (apart from Reading, which they'll be at and so will I!) What's more, it's at another intimate venue, Kasbah Coventry! Since York Hall was practically pure heaven I have high hopes for this one and I know they won't let us down! I'm actually getting really excited! Roll on the White Lies roadtrip!  

I'll leave with another photo I took from when we saw then at Shepherd's Bush this February, to remind you, in case you forgot, of how amazing they are (and how much a Dish of the Day Harry McVeigh is ; ) )
you don't know how long it took me to choose, there were too many good ones!
Lyric of the Day: "And just because he's had a couple of cans he thinks it's alright to act like a dickhead " - A Certain Romance, Arctic Monkeys
 

Monday, 30 May 2011

Moar? YES PLEASE!!!

I don't really know how well my last Blog post regarding Matt Bellamy's fashion sense went down but I'm sure there a few people who want some more so here it is! (I also quite like this as a break from revision and school and exams and just generally everything that's going on right now)

Matt on a magazine cover in 2001, image from microcuts.net



For my first full blown feature on the fashion sense of this legendary front man I am going all the way back to 2001, a full 10 years ago. It's funny how it wasn't that long ago that I though that 2001 wasn't really that much in the past but looking back on it now things, and especially fashion, have really changed. I personally feel I have been doing a lot of looking back recently due to the fact that I am leaving school (which I'll probably expand upon in another post, so you can look forward to that!).

Anyway, here Mr Bellamy is seen wearing a long-sleeved, black top with a round neckline and panels of black netting, or tulle for us "textile nerds "( I do hope this counts as revision!), in the sleeves. He teams this with the standard red spiked hair of the Origin of Symmetry era, which ladies I think we can all agree was the best era for hairstyles! This top particularly reminds me of the early naughties because it was around this time that me and my friends were starting to rebel against our parents clothing choices for us, well as much as you can when you're 8. Being a goth seemed cool back then and I particularly remember my friend having a top similar to this one, which I loved. The closest I got was a black and green striped top with safety pins and skulls. Oh well, maybe there'll be a goth revival and I can finally get my chance to wear some netted sleeves. 

Hmm, this has turned into more of a nostalgia fest than I intended. On a completely opposite note, I received a letter from Ravensbourne today with some very exciting news! It had the dates of some pre-September events for future events and the starting dates for the new term. Unfortunately, due to my Japanese exam, I can't attend one of these events and the first day is a week earlier than I thought it was. This makes it an extremely close shave with Reading; I start the morning after Muse, which will not be fun. Getting off a train after four days in a tent with barely a shower is not exactly the first impression I was hoping to make...

Lyric of the Day: "When I saw you last night I wanted to say run away with me...but all I could say was 'Hey'" - Mercury, Bloc Party    

Monday, 23 May 2011

Riddle Me This, Textilenerd

Exactly a month today, as any A level textiles student will know, the A2 textiles exam will take place. This would fill me with joy as it is also my last exam, if it weren't for the fact that we have not been taught any of the syllabus. It's a very long story as to why which I can't be bothered to go into right now. Anyway, one lesson a few weeks ago I humored my textiles teacher by pointing out to her that we had missed one part of the syllabus out. Here's where the problems begin, and the main reason we haven't learned anything this year; the AQA GCE Textiles Unit 3 does not have a textbook (why? God knows...) and our teacher doesn't actually know anything about A Level Textiles. This meant that she had to trawl google for source materials for the topics, this particular one was global and cultural woven traditions. 

Whilst doing this she came across an "A2 Textiles Revision Site" called "Textilenerd". (She felt the need to point this out to me in front of the entire class, sparking laughter from my friends. My own teacher calling me a textile nerd?) This instantly caught my attention as since there was no revision book, perhaps a revision website would actually be useful. However, when I looked at this so called "revision site" I found it was a fellow blog. Now it would be hypocritical of me to abuse a blog but the particular post that our teacher had printed for us simply copied out AQA's specification for textiles. I could have read that myself. 

I was intrigued and when I got home I looked at the blog in more detail. From what I could see the posts were mainly a collection of websites with useful sources to learn from. This is fair enough, but that is what our teacher had already been doing, rather unsuccessfully, for us. What we were searching for was something more concrete to revise from. As good as the internet is, there is something slightly untrustworthy, and certainly unreliable, about it. Call me old fashioned, but the only dependable way to revise is from a book, especially an exam board approved book - which is frankly the only way I can be given peace of mind when learning. But there lies the issue: AQA has no approved textbook! So where else does one look?

The mark schemes provided by AQA are quite possible the vaguest things I have ever seen. The average "answer" given goes like this:

Limited description and poor quality answer 0- 4 marks
Reasonable description and a quality answer 5 - 7 marks
Detailed description and an excellent answer. 8 - 12 marks

WELL NO SH*T SHERLOCK! This kind of thing in a mark scheme would be tolerable if it came accompanied with an actually answer to the question, which in some cases is given but at an extremely basic level which if you were to write you would probably get 1 or no marks. This means there are virtually no resources to refer to when revising for this near impossible exam. No wonder over 50% of candidates get C's and D's.  

So it appears that it is not only my teacher who is poorly equipped to teach a lesson; AQA need to learn a few things about writing an A Level. God help us all. 
Lyric of the Day: "They're gonna clean up your looks with all the lies in the books, to make a citizen out of you" - Teenagers, My Chemical Romance

    

Friday, 20 May 2011

Remember many moons ago when I was talking about my art coursework final piece? (the recycled materials dress) Well you'll never believe it but I actually finished it this week! And after having spent the best part of the last two weeks in an art lock down my sketchbooks are actually finished as well it seems! It's a miracle! Well here is the final product:
The front view
The back view

In other fashion news I had a rather serious "wardrobe malfunction" today. It happened just as I was getting into the car to go to school, which I suppose was a good thing, it would have been beyond bad if it happened AT school. Basically my skirt hitched up as I was getting in to the car but I ignored that and proceeded to stretch my leg in to the car but as I did the entire back seam of my skirt ripped all the way up! There was barely a thread holding it together at the top! I assumed I must have imagined the massive ripping sound but when I went to check sure enough my entire backside was on display. Luckily my Dad very kindly drove me to my Mum's house where I picked up my other skirt and I got to school earlier than I do on most mornings which was rather strange. All's well that ends well.

Lyric of the Day: "Anticipation has a habit to set you up" - The View From The Afternoon, Arctic Monkeys

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Oh procastination, you temptress!

Matt Bellamy: front man of rock Gods Muse, four time winner of NME's sexiest man in music, nominated for both best and worst dressed at the NME Awards, the male Lady Gaga?!? (well, maybe not that extreme) Over the past 12 years his fashion sense has certainly changed a lot, for better or worse though, is debatable. He has been known to wear such fashion atrocities as a feathered coat,  a Hawaiian shirt and flashing LED glasses, to name a few. His onstage outfits alone are worthy of their own blog. Incidentally I did wonder if someone had done this before, because if not there would surely be a gap in the market for one! Turns out there is: http://wtfismattbellamywearing.tumblr.com/ It's not quite what I had in mind, but it's a fashion blog of sorts I suppose. Well, if this post goes down well I may make a weekly (or whenever I can) feature of analysing the many fashion disasters, and the few successes, of Mr Bellamy.
Muse in 1996, oh the simplicity of the 90's!
Matt Bellamy performing at Wembley Stadium, September 2010, showing his love of glitter, donning a mirrored suit with his (late) Glitterati guitar (image from www.muse.mu)
You may have gathered by now that my lifetime ambition is to become a fashion designer. You may also have gathered that I am a massive Muser. What few people know is that one of my other ambitions is to design suits for Matt Bellamy to wear on stage. (or any of my garments to be honest, I'd be happy if he wore a scarf I designed!) What no one knows, I think, unless I have actually told people and my memory is failing on me yet again, is that I once had a dream that I won an award for a suit I designed for Matt Bellamy and I walked onstage to collect it with him and after wards him and the rest of Muse performed Uprising. Some, namely my sibling, may laugh but someone has to design his clothes right? So watch out, my designs could very well be coming to a stadium near you soon!  

Lyric of the Day: "Fashion! Put it all on me! Don't you wanna see these clothes on me?" - Fashion, Lady Gaga

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

I'm On The Edge Of Glory

Radio One's Big Weekend was on this weekend, for anyone who's been living in a cave (or just doesn't listen to Radio One). Obviously, living 300 miles away from Carlisle, I didn't win tickets. Instead I had to settle with watching it on my PC. I spent most of Saturday doing art coursework and it provided the soundtrack, and quite frankly was the only thing getting me through the unbelievable mountain of work I had to do. Can you believe it, those jammy dodgers got Arctic Monkeys as a surprise! They were pretty good (and made me really want to see them live!) but the performance of the weekend was without a doubt Lady Gaga. 

I watched Graham Norton on Friday night (woo! what a life I lead!); this is a rarity for me but Lady Gaga was on so I had to. She never fails to amaze me; who else can pull off dressing like the devil's dalmatian on a chat show? 
You know how sometimes when you watch a performance it just makes you want to get up on a stage and rock it like you own the place? Well Lady Gaga's headline slot on Sunday night was one of these performances. God, why didn't I keep up dancing or practice the piano more so I could do that? Oh well, I'll settle for designing her on-stage outfits. 

Lyric of the Day: "If it weren't this dark you'd see how red my face has gone" - You Probably Couldn't See For The Lights But You Were Staring Straight At Me, Arctic Monkeys

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Arty Farty Party... Not

This week I have "finished" my final piece for my exam module in art. The term to "finish" is a loose one when it comes to art, because it is never finished. I could spend my whole life trying to finish my art A-Level and it would never happen. But for now it appears to be completed, how long it will be though is unknown. With the amount of drama going on in the art department recently I could be told to rip it to shreds at any moment, but I won't bore you with that.
This is view one of my, overly complex, final piece. It is meant to be my eye, but very pixelated
View two...I can't even be bothered to start explaining this one
The final view. This one is my personal favourite; it's meant to be of my brother's eye, again in a simplified form
Lyric of the Day: "I'm the candyman....Also known as Dave, Dave from Sheffield" - F**k The Millennium, Scooter

Thursday, 5 May 2011

I knew the tranquility and peace of mind of handing in my textiles coursework wouldn't last long; yet again an extremely short deadline has been sprung on me. I now have three weeks exactly to finish ALL of my art; that includes my final piece (both exam and coursework), both of my books, three essays and two exam boards. Bang goes my social life. And, considering all of this work that still needs to be done, what do you think we spent our art lesson today doing? Eating a chocolate bunny and playing wink wink murder. Well, one last moment of relaxation before the art lock down begins- tomorrow. All I can say is roll on the summer!

In other news today was the referendum and local elections and for the first time ever I was able to vote! I did not feel a wave of responsibility or adulthood though. Ironically, the polling station is my old primary school and I haven't been there in about 5 years, despite living 2 minutes around the corner from it. The hall looked quite different to how I remembered, for one it was much smaller, but it would be wouldn't it? I was pleased to see they still had the tile I made up on the wall though!
Lyric of the Day: "She just laughed and said 'Oh you're so funny' I said Yeah? Well I can't see anyone else smiling in here" - Common People, Pulp

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

I have finally finished my textiles coursework and today I handed it in! Despite the fact that my teacher wasn't even in on this very important deadline day, which really doesn't surprise me as she's never in when it really matters. I didn't realise it would be such a wight off my shoulders! I have had so much coursework recently, what with my art exam as well, that I've been feeling a bit snowed under. Here is my completed top and jacket:

 Speaking of which, today was the last day of my art exam. This doesn't really mean the end though; I now have the evaluation to do and, due to the complexity of my piece I still have to assemble the whole thing. I'll post pictures when it's finally done, which will hopefully be in the next couple of days. It's feeling like gradually, bit by bit, things are getting done. It's not so bad after all!
Lyric of the Day: "We all got old at breakneck speed, slow it down, go easy on me" - Wetsuit, The Vaccines

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

It has come to my attention that recently my blog has been going slightly off topic. This is not necessarily a bad thing but since the original purpose of this blog was for me to document my journey to becoming a fashion designer I should really post a bit more actually related to fashion. : s 
Let me see...well I didn't mention it at the time but I got rejected from Central Saint Martins, which is no big deal as I have my offer from Ravensbourne, which was my preferred choice anyway. I've also spent the last couple of months doing my A2 textiles coursework and today I finally finished it! We have to hand it in tomorrow and let me tell you, it will be such a RELIEF! I ended up only making the top and jacket and abandoning the trousers; it was an unnecessary amount of work and I just didn't have the time.

Also happening tomorrow is the start of my art exam. This is traditionally 3 days long but since it starts tomorrow and this Friday is the Royal Wedding (wooo!), and therefore is a public holiday, our art exam must be continued a whole 4 days later! This means if we suddenly find that 2 thirds of the way through our exam we are struggling to finish we will have 4 days longer than any other year to do parts of it at home and bring it in on the last day, and no-one will ever know! Get in! (but you didn't hear that from me...) I actually really enjoy art exams because, unlike any other exam, by the time you get to it there is nothing you can do but be prepared so in it all you do is sit, relax, listen to some music and do art. And it gives me three days off school so that in combination with Easter and all these bank holidays means I have over 3 weeks off! However that also means that the end of school FOREVER!!!! is fast approaching. : s But I'm trying not to dwell on that...

In other non-fashion but highly Musey news, this weekend my brother and I, who as you may have gathered are avid Musers, recorded a video of ourselves dancing like mad men to the outro of Micro Cuts in an effort to be included in a fan intro to "Muse: The Movie". We look silly as hell but we sent it off and the maker of the movie really liked it and hopefully we will be included! And, I need to contain myself for this part, MUSE THEMSELVES ARE VIEWING THE MOVIE!!! Aaaahh I may just die! I apologise for going all fangirl again, but when it comes to Muse, I simply can't control myself!

Lyric of the Day: "Sounds like forks on a plate" - Micro Cuts, Muse

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Why Tuesday Is The New Friday

(yes I know it is now Thursday and so following my own theory today is Sunday : ( but luckily my theory isn't real and therefore today is Thursday and tomorrow is Friday! Everyone's a winner!)

Over the past 7 weeks or so, as I think I have mentioned before, I took back up my part time job. I do it every Tuesday afternoon for about 3 and a half hours because I have a "study" afternoon, ooh naughty me! Trust me though, if it weren't for the money I'd much rather study than have to haul around god knows how many boxes full of files up and down stairs and into attics then painstakingly remove every single god forsaken staple out of every flipping sheet. This week was particularly painful as, after believing I would have the "luxury" of only having to de-metal, I arrived at work with very tired legs and bruised ribs, preventing me from bending even the slightest amount, to find I in fact had to lift a further 10 or so boxes, oh the joys!

Why were my ribs bruised? Because the night before I had been to see Does It Offend You, Yeah? at Heaven and since we were by far the first people to arrive there, even though we dawdled in comparison to how early we usually turn up to gigs, we got right to the barrier and hence the bruising. It was an amazing night though, and I finally got a set list! The support acts, Tripwire and Hounds were also pretty good and the venue was really nice and intimate. So far my challenge of going to at least one concert a month this year is going well. The worrying thing is now though the next concert I have booked is in July! So I really need to sort something out for May soon!

So since Tuesday is the only day I work and it really is more tiring than all of my coursework, homework and revision put together, which is really saying something, when it is finished for the week it is more relieving than the end of the school week on Friday. It may also have something to do with the fact that on Wednesdays I don't have Japanese, my only academic subject left now that I've finished maths, and the only subject I actually have to think in. Therefore Wednesday usually feels like a bit of a dos for me. However, this feeling probably won't last much longer as my art exam and textiles coursework deadlines are rapidly approaching, not to mention my actual exams which I haven't even properly started revising for yet. Oh well.  

Lyric of the Day: "Crazy, crazy! Easy tiger" - Norgaard, The Vaccines