Thursday, 12 January 2017

A New Approach To Plus Size Fashion Blogging (maybe)

 I've been doing this plus size fashion blogger thang for quite some time. I will never grow tired of design or style but I am a bit bored of always doing the same poses in the same kind of locations for the same kind of images. If as a blogger I'm trying to show clothes in a more relatable way surely that means that sometimes I should show them as they actually are in my actual life?



I don't spend my life hanging casually by graffiti walls or giving fierce stares down empty roads, I spend my life working, cooking, laughing, tidying, lounging. So as a bit of a change I thought I might do a few posts where if I have new clothes to share I photograph them in the environment I'm actually in-not in some chosen artificial blog worthy setting.



 Its actually quite nice to show clothes in the kind of environments they will be worn in.
I'm conscious that lots of us (me included) read blogs for inspiration and escape and that seeing me mashing potatoes in my new shoes might just be too dull-lets give it a whirl and if we all hate it I can revert back but for now, I kind of like it. 



Today I have been chained to the laptop and am now helping Nicky clean down screens after an epic printing session. we are working on some really exciting idea that I can't wait to share. We took these shots whilst taking a well deserved break. I smell vaguely of lemon screen cleaner. 


Outfit Details
Varisty Top  Pink Clove
Black Leggings People Tree
Shoes Veg Supreme By the Vegertarian Shoe Company

Check out my latest Youtube video here



   

Brand New "Dead Curvy" Design  over at  Nicky Rockets


All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Perelandra Beedles unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog




Monday, 9 January 2017

Fabulously Flamboyant Interiors

Over the last few months I have started to refresh and rejuvenate my interiors. I like to change each room depending on the season, usually using throws, candles and cushions for a temporary switch. Recently though I have actually started repainting and changing the furniture for more permanent make-overs. I feel like a snake that needs to shed its creative skin every few years and my pinterest boards are buzzing with inspiring images.
I find ideas everywhere-a feature wall in Babas room was sparked by a candy striped sweetie bag whilst my recent desire to bring in more indoor plants was inspired after I found some images of the home of Biba's Barbara Hulanicki circa 1975
Biba Styling

Small luxury hotels are often good sources of ideas too. I stumbled across an amazing looking boutique hotel recently which is situated in Newcastle and its has certainly got my creative juices flowing. Called The Rosebery its not only dog friendly but absolutely stunning.
 I got in touch to say how much I was loving pinning their images and they turned out to be readers of my blog too- so we are now exchanging upcycling and decorating ideas galore-serendipity or what.
Anyway here are some pictures of their beautiful interiors. I'm loving the boho touches and the lush, juicy approach they have taken in their decorating.



I actually remember my Nana Pam having these kind of lights on her walls in the late 1970's. I thought  they looked impossibly glamorous then and still do. 
If you would rather change things up in a less permanent way than attaching light fixtures then take inspiration from The Rosebery and use some as table lamps instead. Its like Barbra Cartland came back as a light fitting!


My mum (who like me is a bit of a compulsive decorator) has recently embraced bird themed wall paper and I love it. Here The Rosebery have stopped it looking too chintzy by adding a rather pop art inspired bright blue bird lamp stand. 
Its a good approach if you feel you may have crossed the line from full on print perfection to design overkill-throw something slightly ironic or jarring into the decoration mix. Some sour to balance out the sweet.


You may remember that last year I decorated my kitchen pop art pink (see project here) and I am on the lookout for a small metal or wicker sofa to go in there (My freecycle alerts are set to stun) I love how The Roseberry has used union jack cushions on their love seat. A little Britpop influence. Were you Blur or Oasis?


I adore my small little home but will always hanker after a claw footed tub. I had thought my bathroom too small for one but after seeing how The Rosebery have worked one into a fairly small space I am wondering whether it might be possible after all. Boutique hotels often offer great ideas for creating very luxurious bathrooms in small spaces. Also whats not to love about the pink feet!


If you are looking to create a slightly Alice in Wonderland feel to a lamp create a stacked teapot and china cup base like the Rosebery have. My project on how to make a China Tea cup cakestand is a good point of reference.



One thing that is always the same in my home is that I like the bedrooms to be as flamboyant as possible. Chintzy, Parisian and with more scatter cushions than you can shake a stick at.The Bedrooms at  The Rosebery are a masterclass in Marie Antoinette chic. 


At the weekend Nicky raked up the leaves and the back garden is begging for some TLC. I love the little pink garden chairs and parasol at the Rosebery and its making me determined to give my postage stamp garden some well deserved TLC (you can see my post about Ideas for small gardens here)


If you are planning some home makeover projects this year I hope this post has given you some ideas. The Rosebery Hotel is situated in Jesmond and I am definitely planning  a visit in the summer-and Mister Truffles can come too!





   

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Monday, 2 January 2017

Kintsugi-more beautiful for having been broken

kintsugi

(Noun) To repair with gold; The art of repairing metal with gold or silver lacquer and understanding that the piece is more beautiful for having been broken


New Year-a time where the machines which profit from our perceived "imperfections" go into overdrive.
Just when you thought you had reached your destination, you are rudely shaken awake from your warm back of the bus slumber, and told its time to "shape up or ship out" 
We are too fat, too poor, too unsuccessful, too ambitious, not ambitious enough. We stare up at the top 0.001% of the world and are encouraged to rage at our bad luck at not having been born beautiful or rich enough to be special.
Andy Warhol spoke about us all being famous for fifteen minutes and we sneer at his lack of imagination-fifteen minutes, I was a twitter hashtag once mate, a whole day of trending before I was toppled by #strictly
The Internets ability to make us all stars of our own mini universe seems to create more disconnection not less. Tapping  a like on a photo of a strangers breakfast whilst grunting at your neighbours. We have never had so much and never been so miserable-why is that?
Maybe its because we are being sold the lie of perfection. Friendships should look like a mixture of Cold Feet and Friends, family units should be the Waltons not Shameless and we should all be pretty-even our pets. 
We are force fed perfection and it is impossible to achieve.
How can we navigate this when we feel we are not just imperfect, not just a professional underachiever but actually broken? Not a cute gappy early Madonna Borderline  grin but a Shane McGowen brown toothed grimace?


My suggestion? We embrace Kintsugi 
We stop seeing our signs of wear and tear as problems and instead fill our cracks (front and back) with silver and gold. 
We allow old salty tears to become gloopy lacquer that holds us back together and gives us the sheen of a survivor. 
We pile our thin, non bouncy hair on our heads like crones and cackle loudly at how free we are to go on faster rides and park in sweeter tighter spots now our paintwork is chipped and the vinyl on our seats stained and worn.


   

Brand New "Dead Curvy" Design  over at  Nicky Rockets


All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Perelandra Beedles unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog


Friday, 30 December 2016

My Year Of Not Buying New Clothes

At the beginning of 2016,spurred on by some major life changes I decided to stop buying fast fashion.
For many people this doesn't sound like such a big deal, but as a style blogger and clothes obsessive I can only compare it to when I decided to quit smoking-I knew it would be good in the long term but I dreaded the withdrawal.
Keeping up with trends, scratching the style itch had become so much a part of my life I worried that I would somehow lose my identity (and be really badly dressed) if I stopped being a "dedicated follower of fashion" Regardless of this slight sinking feeling, I also recognised that wearing outfits created in poor working conditions, that were ultimately ending up in landfills was in complete opposition to my changing values so a switch had to be made.
I'm nothing if not a realist and from the offset realised that buying nothing wouldn't work. Instead I decided to buy as much second hand clothing as possible, to only buy new clothes that were created in a more ethical sustainable way and of course rework as much of my existing wardrobe as I could.
This pink skull bag is one of my best Charity shop finds. £1.75

The most obvious challenge I faced when I started exploring the world of charity shop and vintage clothing was my dress size. As a plus size 18-20 I was already familiar with a high street that rarely if ever stocked much that would fit over my head so I was fairly sceptical when I first set off on my chazza quest.

This black pinafore was on my "want list" and although it was originally faded a quick wash with some Dylon and a customised patch and it felt like new and has been worn to death.

I'm not going to tell you that every charity shop I entered was bursting with clothes in my size, it really varied. Some of the bigger more switched on charity stores like Oxfam are amazing (the Brighton one is just ridiculous) whilst some would contain a few bobbly Primark jumpers. As with all second hand clothing hauls you just have to dig deep to find treasure.

This entire outfit was from a local Help the Aged store.

I quickly realised I needed a strategy when shopping in thrift stores. Working with my existing wardrobe I created a list on my phone which reminded me what I was after. A camouflage jacket, a denim mini skirt, a good quality long sleeved black top. Becoming more focused meant I made fewer mistakes and also gave me room to root out some real gems.

This F & F dress was one of my first pre loved buys of 2016 and remains a real favourite.

 Whats really interesting when you start clothes shopping in this way is how patient you become. I still devour fashion blogs and magazines and try and incorporate current trends into my wardrobe each season but its in a much less frenetic way. I know that it might take me three months to find a black and white striped Breton tee-shirt to indulge my Justine from Elastica fantasy or that a soft non wool non bobbly cardigan in moss green might elude me for a while, but oh when those items land at your feet (and in some charity shops they quite literally might be in a crumpled pile on the floor) how victorious you feel.

This tee-shirt may have belonged to Marcel Marceau

Embracing "Slow fashion" has taken me back to my late teens/early twenties where lack of funds, lack of online and lack of sizes meant that each item in my wardrobe was quite important. I can still remember each and every item of clothing I owned at university and how precious they were, how they helped me shape my outward identity. I hadn't realised that there was actually something rather nice about having a smaller but more well loved closet. I had swallowed the lie that "more was better" but as I discovered this year for me at least that isn't the case.

This dress was faded and unloved but still a great shape- a quick redye and it was as new-something I wouldn't have dreamt of doing a year ago.
Buying less clothing also reinvigorated my old love of customising and personalising clothes. This year has seen me screen print jackets, dye dresses, sew on patches and actually repair and mend items. Its easy to feel that buying lots of clothes is what makes you stand out and be individual but yet again, in a surprising turn of events I found this to be untrue.
This jacket was screen printed with a hand drawn design my Nicky to breathe new life into it-having totally fallen out of love with it, it then became the main thing I wore last summer.
I look back to 18 months ago when my clothes rail groaned under the weight of items worn maybe once or twice and feel slightly stunned at how causally I tossed things aside. On a psychological level I think the sheer amount of clothes I owned often left me feeling a bit empty, slightly joyless. Sure everything was "nice" but rather like a small child on Christmas day ripping open a present only to shout "next",  the fact that something new would be replacing my latest acquisition in mere weeks made it impossible for me to really fall in love with anything. 
Now when I spy a dress featuring a beautiful embroidered collar or a Punky Green and black jumper I get an immense feeling of happiness. A genuine ripple of excitement that deliveries from Asos never created.

Proving that in charity shops you really do need to rifle-this camouflage jacket was hanging with the men's jackets-it fits perfectly and was exactly what I was after.

 But what about fashion? Did all this searching for items, reworking existing clothes rather than buying what I really wanted new affect my style mojo? Well at first it did sure. It took a while for me to find my fashion feet.

Is there anything cuter than a striped jumper? Another Oxfam find worn with a cord M & S skirt via ebay

 I would sometimes see an item of clothing and covet it so much and know realistically that it was unlikely I would find something similar  and it would slightly bum me out. I felt like my decision to stop inhaling new clothes like Michelle Pfeiffer snorting coke in Scarface must mean my days as a fashion blogger were over. How could I possibly be relevant if I was no longer working with brands, no longer being sent samples, no longer attending previews of new collections.
I feel like an ice cream in this dress-only £4 from a Hospice shop


Slowly though I realised that if you replace the word fashion to style you give yourself permission to slow the hell down a bit. To see your wardrobe as an ongoing project. Full of cherished items which with the addition of some accessories or one or two new additions grows only more wonderful.

This pink dress by Oxfam is so pretty-I feel quite ethereal in it
 I also love that I now own some outfits that are totally unique to me. A 1980s blue dress with Russian inspired ribbon detailing, a Kate Bushesque pink frock which may or may not have been a nightie but with the addition of  a belt is just boho perfection. Clothes that feel unique and special.


If this dress could talk-I'm sure it seen some stuff

I really feel like I have found the right balance now when it comes to fashion. I still want to evolve my looks with the seasons but I'm happy that I do this in a slower more considered way.

Pastel Goth Realness provided by a jumble sale skirt and braces

I understand that  some readers of my blog may miss being able to go and buy similar items but, there are plenty of amazing bloggers out there who provide great fashion content fresh from the catwalks. Instead I hope to offer ideas and inspiration and  show that you don't always need lots of money or access to the latest trends to put together some great looks.
Here is to another year of slow fashion. 


   

Brand New "Dead Curvy" Design  over at  Nicky Rockets


All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Perelandra Beedles unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog

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