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Skipping through summer

HOW is it August already? And coming up for the end of August at that! I don't have time for a full update, but I did want to just hop in and record what I'm up to for the summer of 2022... which is nearly over already. Time. It's oozy and weird. It's been manic as...

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Summer diaries 2021 – chaos, overwhelm and kittens

Somehow it's nearing the end of September, and the last few months have been a whirlwind - and not necessarily a good one. A stress-filled August August is one of the worst months I can recall in recent years, aside from the obvious - with some big events like deaths...

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Another 2020 check in

This year is both the longest and the fastest in the history of the known universe! I have approximately zero time and way too much to do, but wanted to hop in and just leave a note for my future self about how fucking weird it is to be living through a pandemic while...

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Life in the time of Coronavirus

It's day 10 of lockdown in the UK (and as much as I hate Big Brother, I can't help hearing that voice every time I use that phrase!), and I'm in a much better mood than I was when I last posted. Because kittens, among other things. And our wonderful NHS staff, without...

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WTF, 2020?

I've been trying to write a post over here for some time. I still don't have the words. This is how I live now - on Zoom. Which has been a lifesaver, to be honest, even if I have spoken to more people in a week than I usually do in a month and a half. We are in our...

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Sidebar list update, 2019

Each year I have a little list of things I'd like to do that year in my blog sidebar. Although 2017-19 haven't been the most prolific for my personal blog, this was this year's list and... ~ Draigcon and/or Wizardry School - done, Bothwell School of Witchcraft in...

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Autumn musings

There's a day every year, usually close to the turning of the clocks, where I am suddenly, viscerally aware that the season has changed, and it is autumn. Today was that day. After resolutely wearing summer clothes despite the rain, and fighting my thermostat because...

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Kind of mid year depth year check in

Yes, that's up there with some of my least imaginative post titles ever! I guess it's a sign of how busy I am with my other sites these days, that when I thought I'd pop over and check in, it took me half an hour of updates to get this one displaying properly...! It's...

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On eating alone

People often ask how I can bear to eat alone most days. They say mealtimes are social, a time to catch up, go over the day, share stories. But there is a quiet ritual to my mealtimes, especially in the evenings, and even more so now I'm self employed. Photo...

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Thoughts on a Depth Year

At risk of being accused of bandwagon jumping, the lovely Annastasia recently sent me this article from Raptitude about a Depth Year. As you'll know if you're a regular visitor, or a friend (or both!), I read a lot. Blogs, books, magazines, cereal packets - if I'm not...

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No place like home…

I'm home safely from a gorgeous two day branding shoot with Louise Rose Couture, who is also one of my very best friends in the world. I LOVED the magic we created together and I adored having an excuse to spend time together before Christmas - we are both so busy we...

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(Mood) Lighting

I spotted this on Instagram just now (I love Tom Cox, his cats and his writing - go and investigate if you're not already familiar with him). https://www.instagram.com/p/BqLJ5MThb1w/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=1l0diry8zn49i It got me thinking about light....

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Who ARE all those people?

I often wondered, if I was ever out during a work day, who the hell were all these people and why the hell was I still stuck in a job?!

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Fourteen!

Today my blog turned 14 - fourteen whole years since I first tentatively wrote some words and sent them into cyberspace. Words and pictures are how I process the world - I am a photographer and I am a writer, but creating and using them together is how I navigate...

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Stock take day!

Day three on the trot. I really should have started on 1 November, shouldn't I?! Today has proudly been a no-spend day, and also a whole day in my unicorn onesie - I put it on as soon as I was showered and haven't yet taken it off. The two things may or may not be...

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Calligraphing

That's definitely a word! Today Mum and I went to Mistley to learn calligraphy - my birthday present to Mum that we only got round to booking last month! No photo because wordpress is sulking, but here's my Insta pics:...

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An attempt to recapture my blogging mojo

Hey! I'm still here 🙂 The last few months have been mad - wonderful, and I love the freedom & flexibility of my new self employed life, but also weird, and sad - I am still battling grief & the reality of Dad being gone, and there has been some other...

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August so far: time, grief, cats and heat

So here I am, just over a week into my new life, and as ever, my instinct is to write it all out... on the internet. Because a fourteen year habit is hard to break! I have been bullet journalling and proper journalling, but nothing quite hits the spot like a blog...

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On the precipice of a(nother) new life

Five and a half years ago, I wrote about leaving London for a new kind of life. More time, more space, no commuting... apologies if the link won't work, my redirects are misbehaving and it's much too sunny a day to sit and fix code! And now here I am on the precipice...

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Down the rabbit hole: Gifford’s Circus

You know when you read something, and it triggers you to look up something else, and then you find a video about it, and then you're off, down the internet rabbit hole, finding knowledge you didn't know you were missing, and discovering endless wonders? Well, today...

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Speedy update!

Oh hai! It's been a while... 2018 is turning out to be the weirdest year of my life so far, I think. Up, down, sideways - you name it, I've felt it. And it's only April! Though also nearly May, which has utterly confused me as in my head it's still last June. And if...

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2017 – the year I’m not reviewing

For the first time in the 13 year history of this blog, I'm not doing a roundup post - I can't face it. Nice things have happened this year, but the balance is eclipsed by the loss of Dad. I have just come home from a week with Mum (Luna & Clover came too) and it...

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Merry Christmas!

With bittersweet, very mixed feelings, I'm approaching the end of Christmas Eve, the first one without Dad. We went to his pub for a drink on Friday afternoon, and they'd put both his plaques up in his indoor & outdoor spots - he'd be SO pleased by this, I can't...

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Into autumn

I can't get my head around the fact that it's October. October! With the falling of the leaves and the crispness of the mornings, it couldn't really be any other month - but I was still surprised to see leaves on the ground when I walked into work the other day. So...

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Bicycles and burlesque

I've been in a real funk for what feels like ages now, and while I know some of this is because tomorrow marks six months since we lost Dad, which is normal and natural, some of it is more inexplicable and just annoying. I've struggled to create, to sleep, and...

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Unicorn stationery haul!

If you follow all of my businesses, you'll notice I've been on a bit of an accidental shopping spree recently... oops! Needing some more stationery (when do you not need more stationery?) for the studio and also to perk up the day job desk, I popped to town and found...

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Fling 2017 – a return to my magical self

My first Fling festival was in 2011, and still stands out as one of the most magical experiences of my life. My first performance there was with my troupe Paper Dolls Burlesque in 2013, running a tent, performing and getting people to dress up and do burlesque themed...

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Sometimes, self care looks like…

going to the beach and watching the sea and getting a sense of perspective. And sometimes, it looks like setting a reminder on your phone to actually bloody well eat proper food before the evening arrives! After the recent heat, a gorgeous day yesterday (including...

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My silly kittens are 4!

Luna and Clover, unbelievably, turn 4 today. Or at least I think they do - had to pick an arbitrary date for when we thought they were born when I got them, and while the vet registration says 25th, I have always celebrated on 22nd. They have been properly in the wars...

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June check in

Just checking in - I really miss blogging like I used to, as more of a journal of my life. Over the 12 and a half years I've been writing about my life on the internet, I've seen blogging change and evolve and shapeshift so many times. I haven't quite worked out where...

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Three months (and the importance of sleep)

On Thursday it will be three months since I lost my beloved Dad. I can't believe it's been such a long/short time without him - I know it's still early days in terms of grieving and learning to live without him, but at the same time it feels like I've lived a thousand...

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Finding home

For the longest time, I thought "home" was a place. Where you live, the house or flat or other dwelling that you return to. During the days before my beloved Dad passed away, in a tiny hospital room in the acute cardiac unit, I realised that I was wrong. Home is not...

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Love, loss and grief

There’s still no easy way to say this, so here it is: on 8th March 2017, my beloved Dad passed away, with Mum and I by his side right to the very end. It was a gentle, peaceful step over after a few traumatic days in hospital, and I will always be thankful that we...

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How to wear your cats on your ears

Some time ago, the wonderful Laura Sparling created a limited edition run of custom cat lampwork beads - you could choose all the options and they would look, more or less, like your cats. LOOK AT THEM.... they even have the right colour eyes!!  Obviously I thought...

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Happy Jars

I've written before about having a jar to track how much you actually get done even while you feel like you're just spinning your wheels. My jars have come out of storage (finally!) and this year I've decided to use them as happy jars. Partly because I now have my...

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In My Postbox: January 2017

Considering we live in a heavily digital world, I still get an amazing amount of parcels through my actual letterbox - and this makes me happy. So I thought I'd restart my "postbox" series, with things that arrive, mainly unexpectedly. January's been a fabulous month...

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Making rainbow unicorn bark

Having recently rediscovered artist dates (I'm actually reading the Artist's Way now, along with two friends, and it is so far both wonderful and a bit uncomfortable), and with the studio now finished enough to work in, I've been collecting ideas of what I can do with...

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2016 in review: the roundup

The last of my yearly review posts, this one is all the things that have happened this year. 2016 was hard... in so many ways, for so many people. So I'm focusing mainly (though not exclusively) on the good here, because those are the things I'd like to remember....

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2016 in review: Daydreams to Do

Another year, another list to update - this time my epic Daydreams To Do list. In 2016 I managed to cross off... 2. Create the fantasy fine art photos that have been in my head for decades - after some tentative faffing in 2015, and some loving kicking from lovely...

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2016 in review: the sidebar list

Well, on the surface this year's been a doozy. And not in the good sense! But instead of focusing on all the bad stuff, I thought I'd try and see what lovely things have taken place this year, against the background of the world going completely mad and me losing a...

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Seasonal musings, winter solstice and glitter jars

As Christmas Eve eve draws to a close, I am once again completely bemused by how fast the year has gone (I'm sure there is a conspiracy) and how much good stuff there has been in what feels, overall, like a very bad year indeed. I celebrated the winter solstice with...

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NaNo…PhoMo?!

Two years ago, I started NaNoWriMo, wrote assiduously each day for a week, and ended up with the beginnings of the book of my cats' story. Heavily fictionalised. Last November, I was running around like a total headless chicken trying to finish the house before winter...

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Learning to let go

This weekend I disabled the auto-renew on four of my domain names. When they expire, they'll no longer be mine - and this is a rather strange feeling. Some are old, some are ones I've not used yet, some I had great plans for but things have changed. Mostly, there just...

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Autumn Equinox

Today marks the equinox - twelve hours of light and twelve hours of dark. When I bought my house last year, and redesigned the garden to become a patchwork of patios and decking, with one big flowerbed and lots and lots of pots, I initially wondered whether I'd done...

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Boating dreams

I’m dreaming of the water. Dreaming of the feeling of wild water on my skin, a feeling you can’t replicate in a pool, even an outdoor one. Just me, a little boat, and a cool, gentle river to paddle up. Though obviously, I'd wear a lifejacket... This week’s discovery,...

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Books: Girl, Missing by Sophie Mckenzie*

Girl, Missing isn't my usual read. Especially with YA or teen fiction, I mostly go for the extravagant fantasy, or at least a dash of magic and the supernatural, rather than books set in the real world. But the blurb intrigued me and I've been feeling a bit lost...

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A Harry Potter midnight party

It'll come as no surprise that I adore Harry Potter - books, magic and friendship are three of my favourite things after all, and I grew up with Harry and his friends - Philosopher's Stone came out the year I started secondary school, Order of the Phoenix in the...

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Why vets are magical

In the middle of May, towards the end of the first round of the garden work, I took my pair of silly kittens to the vet for a worming tablet, a general checkup, and a chat about Clover's intermittent coughs and sneezes. Clover was pronounced fine (we suspect mild...

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All change… but only on the surface

It has been a crazy busy first third of the year... the most packed I can remember, and I don't say that lightly. Also, how the hell is it May?! It feels a lot like everything's changing - only of course it isn't, it's just that weird temporary feeling I always get...

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Be the one who people talk about

In my youth, I was often the subject of whispers and giggling. In one memorable-for-all-the-wrong-reasons occasion when I was fourteen, I was also the subject of a secret bet – how long would the boy I was dating put up with me before he dumped me? (Answer,...

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Rediscovering campus

My day job is at the University of Essex, on a beautiful and quite big campus made up of parkland, woodland and buildings. The buildings are quite 60s, concrete and brutal... but the grounds are spectacular, and we even have two lakes, a country house hotel and a...

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A peek inside my handbag

It's almost two years since I last did a "what's in my bag" post, and today I was doing some product shots anyway, so I emptied my bag. Definitely doing better than before... though no kitty helper in this picture! My purse: pretty standard object for a handbag, this...

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Turning Thirty

Intriguingly, I’d always assumed I’d do some kind of massive post for my 30th birthday, to mark the first “big” birthday (by society’s norms, anyway) I’ve had since I was 21. I’d half expected some kind of breakdown, as we seem to put so much pressure on ourselves to do certain things by certain ages – as though the numbers actually make a difference…

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Mermaiding, and seizing the moment

A typical dreamy, water-loving Pisces, my lifetime love of the sea, of mermaids, of myth and magic beneath the waves as well as above them, comes as no surprise. As a child I was forever in the water. Spending whole days at a time in my aunt's parents' pool.  Feeling...

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An afternoon of kitten-sitting

This is Holly, a young mama puss, and her scatty but wonderful kitten Ivy. They were found together in a bin in Clacton, which makes me simultaneously want to cry and punch things every time I think about it. But they have the best home ever now, with my lovely friend...

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And so this is Boxmas…

It’s been a beautiful Christmas, one of the best I can remember. For the first time ever, Mum & Dad and I had Christmas day to ourselves, and they came to me – the first time I’ve hosted! Naturally, we went to one of my favourite pubs in the village for actual lunch rather than risk my cooking… but we had our traditional breakfast at mine, and it was so lovely.

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Current obsession: Mermaiding

“Swim in a mermaid tail” is number four on my Daydreams To Do list. Mermaiding is not a new interest of mine – I vividly remember when I first stumbled across a video of Hannah Mermaid, way back in my London cubicle days.

Having dreamed of being a mermaid for as long as I can remember, and just as happy in water as on land, I was instantly fascinated, and more than a little bit jealous that here was someone making a living being an actual, real life mermaid. Half my family is also Cornish, and Cornwall is rife with mermaid legends and stories… surely some of them must be true.

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#inspirenovember Instagram challenge!

This time of year can be a bit dreary - while I love the gorgeous colours of Autumn, I am much less of a fan of the endless rain, colder days and dark evenings. I'd make a good cactus - love the light, hate the rain!  Anyway, though I have a few client shoots...

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My curtains are purring…

There is nothing in my living room but a pile of suitcases, one recliner and some garden chairs. I have a glorious kitchen and no carpets, and my new bed is yet to arrive so I have put the old mattress on the floor. My bedroom floor is covered in filing and my...

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Catching up with the 52 project

For all that this year has been one of the most momentous in my life (I bought a HOUSE, people), and for all that I've rarely been without a camera of some sort since January 1, I seem to have let my 52 project slip. This is not for a lack of taking photos and more...

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Just like magic! (house renovating and hen parties)

It's been an utterly frenetic couple of weeks, and this happened... Before: and after... Just like magic! It's endeared me to about five of my new-not-new neighbours, all of whom were finding the trees at least as oppressive as I was, and who can now actually sit out...

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Can tidying up really be life changing?

I hate tidying up. Really, truly, hate it. But annoyingly I really like living in a space that isn't full of clutter. As I've tried to explain too many times to count, I don't TRY to make things messy - chaos just follows me. I don't deliberately leave things lying...

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The girl in the mirror

She is by turns anxious and self assured; startled and calm; awkward and relaxed. She admires her other self and the way the light sparkles in her hair and her eyes; is thoughtful and a little sad at some of her perceptions of herself. They make eye contact, and she...

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A kittenish birthday

Though it seems completely impossible, my two silly felines are two years old. Already. Still the very best decision I've ever made, they continue to make me snort with laughter on a daily basis and give the absolute best cuddles. However, they were entirely...

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What I wore: a secret wedding

Well, originally intended to be secret, and actually a small, intimate and utterly joyful celebration of one of the happiest and best-suited couples I know. I chose my outfit around the shoes... which is becoming a bit of a habit! A London wedding and being unofficial...

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Last minute photoshoot prep – argh

I have a photoshoot with the lovely Grace tomorrow afternoon. We booked it months ago, which means the date has snuck up on me, and while I'm very excited, I'm also incredibly disorganised. This week I have been frantically making these beauties: while simultaneously...

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A fortnight in photos: June 2015

  A friend made this amazing meringue... to celebrate another friend's 30th (which we photographed on her instant camera, hence the glorious 70s tinge to the second photo)...  I had glorious cake at work... to make up for having to stand by this display and...

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Chocolate nostalgia

One of the great unsolved mysteries of my life has been whatever happened to the Secret chocolate bar. I remember buying it in the newsagent near my school - inside the gold and purple wrapper and the white cardboard inner, lurked yummy strands of milk chocolate...

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Proof that in blogging years, I’m prehistoric

ELEVEN YEARS. Well, ten and a half currently... but on November 6, this year, I will have been officially blogging for 11 years. How the hell did that happen?! Here's my first ever blog entry, on my first ever blog, which I found by accident this afternoon. It's......

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The ghosts of Carla past

Aka a spontaneous trip to say goodbye to my childhood home before it was sold. We moved in in 1993, when I was seven... and we turned it from an identikit new house on an estate to a much loved family home with a glorious garden. (I say 'we' - I had a miniature cement...

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Not all of us have one true calling {Video}

Here's a TED talk I've been waiting for since forever. Emilie Wapnick, founder of Puttylike and fellow scanner/Renaissance soul/polymath/multipotentialite, shares her thoughts on how we're all wired differently. If you've ever felt adrift, confused or lost because you...

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What no one will tell you about starting your own business

Through my various ventures and the community of solopreneurs who keep me sane, I've learned some intriguing truths about starting up. Whatever stage of business you're at, whether it's thinking and daydreaming, early stages or you've been going for years, I hope they...

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Tulle and rainbows {What I Wore}

A dear friend's 41st birthday... our new favourite bar in town... a balmy Saturday night... and a quick detour to the ruined priory at the bottom of the high street for some photos on my way in... Jacket and tshirt: ancient components of my wardrobe | Tulle petticoat:...

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How to give old shoes a magical new lease of life

Three ways I've given old shoes a new lease of life... 1) The Rainbow Shoes I don't know if I'm ashamed or proud to admit that I have three pairs of identical Mary-Jane shoes from Schuh, in different colours. Red ones,  a present for my 19th birthday, to go with my...

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Postbox: Blackbird in the Rowan Tree

I believe wholeheartedly in being able to manifest experiences and my life's direction, but have always been a bit dubious about being able to manifest physical things I want into my life. Happily, I have been proved wrong. Back in February, I was browsing the...

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My kind of happy

Curled up with a book and a cat. Taking pictures. Writing. Making and eating good food. Time with friends. Pottering, making my home my own. Househunting. Doodling. Dressing up. Daydreaming. Crafting. Learning. Dancing. Collecting. Believing in unicorns. Your happy...

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Pomophily

What do you get if you cross 38 balls of wool, 14 women, 12 weeks and 1 serious piece of research in a TED talk?

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52 Project, week 6: colourful

Couldn’t choose just one for this week – too much good stuff! Rainbow shoes, My Little Pony hair, glittery Doc Martens and a sign I’m on the right track…

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52 Project, week 5: Pomophily

Bit fuzzy from my much-abused camera phone, but this is the moment we handed in our entry to work's art competition. Based on one of our academic's TEDx talks, about homophily - which is "the tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others". This was...

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52 Project, week 4: Familiar

Because my little black kitty is wonderful, but rarely sits still long enough for a good photo. And I love how much of my stuff is surrounding her (spotty shoes and buttons – woo!)

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Wordsmith or witch?

Wordsmith or witch? A mini voyage of discovery – who knew jewellery could prompt such introspection?

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Witchy portrait fun

My first Halloween/Samhain with my two familiars, and I thought I’d have a bit of fun.
In preparation for …

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Sunset walk by the river

An impromptu sunset walk with a lovely friend. I forgot my proper camera but got a couple of quick shots on my phone. And will be keeping my eye out for houses in that bit of Wiv!

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Discovering photography

I discovered photography in 2006, when working at the Telegraph with a creative director who was utterly obsessed with the medium.
He helped me choose my first ‘proper’ camera…

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Thrifty finds: the Velveteen Rabbit

Last month’s thrifting expeditions included an entire day in Maldon with Mum – which yielded this gorgeous book which I remember from childhood. Turns out, at the grand old age of 28 and a half… it still makes me cry.

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How self portraits healed my grief

2007 and 2008 show up in my archives as self portrait upon self portrait upon self portrait.
In a time before the word “selfie” existed, and when Facebook was only a year or two old, it was less about …

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Postbox: handmade postcards

I wanted to share these fabulous postcards which arrived through my door recently from the very talented Chloe at Slightly Triangle. Wanting to write me a note and actually put it in the post (we have an ongoing snail mail correspondence but we are both notorious for...

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All about that bass…

I love everything about this song and video. The beat, the lyrics, the catchiness, the colours, the set, everything. It's probably a one hit wonder, and it's already garnering "holy crap she's exploiting body image to sell music" type comments - but I wanted to share...

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Choosing a talisman

After last week's sneak peek of the talisman jewellery I'm currently making, I thought I'd share the locket that's my own current favourite talisman, and how I came to choose it. From, and featuring an image by, one of my very favourite artists, Nicola Taylor, it...

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Jewellery and happiness

I'm sure I start every post like this, but how fast is 2014 disappearing to?! It's turning out to be such a funny year - a mixture of ups and downs both big and small. A few days away from the day job, in theory to work on my businesses and get myself organised again...

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What’s your A-Z?

A summer of Instagram and meeting some photographically minded friends last weekend have inspired me to get out and about with my camera. If I'm exploring a new area, I love doing an A-Z challenge alone or with people. Decide on a theme, and then fill it in before you...

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Why living on your own isn’t lonely

If you live (or have ever lived) by yourself, chances are you’ll have heard the following at least once.

“But don’t you get lonely?”

“I couldn’t live on my own, I’d get so bored”

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A little slice of vintage heaven

A jaunt to Greenwich with my parents for Dad's birthday, led us to stumbling across two amazing shops side by side. Retrobates Vintage and Casbah Records share frontage, and all three of us were drawn to the windows. On venturing in, Dad turned left to the records,...

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August Break Day 25: Little

(no, I haven't got another kitten - this is another 2009 throwback, and my oldest friend Claire's cat when he was small. He's not remotely little any more!)

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Day 15: Blue

Ahh, my favourite colour. There is blue all over my home and my life, and I'll share some photos on instagram today (a day late, but no matter). But this one made me smile 🙂

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{work happy} To blog or not to blog?

When I started blogging back in 2005, relatively few people were doing it, and I kept it very separate from my actual life. So separate, that it took me until 2009 to start blogging for business as well! However,  nowadays it seems like everyone and his dog has a blog...

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August Break Day 11 – Handwriting

My amazingly talented friend Niroot has the most glorious handwriting to accompany the most glorious illustration work. Here's a note from some seven or eight years ago... the address is not my current one!!

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August Break day 06 – Reflection

I'm sharing my current photos for this challenge on Instagram, but inspired by Rhianne at For The Easily Distracted, I thought it might be a nice opportunity to share some of the photos I'm unearthing as I go through old memory sticks. Today's is from 2009, and a trip...

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Shooting with film

One of my great loves in life is my Zenit E camera. A fully manual Russian camera from the 1950s, I picked it up for a song (almost literally - I think it and all its accompanying lenses and paraphernalia set me back the grand total of £10) at a car boot sale about...

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The August Break 2014

Ooh, it's nearly that time of year again! As last year and the year before, I'll be joining in with Susannah Conway's August Break. A month of photos on our blogs - and lots of wonderful new bloggers to read and connect with! As in previous years, I'll probably dip in...

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Simon’s Cat in colour!

I had exciting news this week - Simon's Cat, a cartoon I loved until I had kitties and now adore, is going to make a longer film, in colour! If you're not familiar with this cheeky little cartoon cat, here's one of their existing videos... So you can see how...

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Colouring in and desktop geekery

Ahem. So a couple of weeks ago I started an art journal. As predicted, I haven't managed to use it every day (because some days are wordy days, and some days are illustrated days, and some days I'm just so tired there is no journalling at all). But this week I have...

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Postbox: Custom cats!

A few weeks ago, I spotted a post by my friend Chloe on her artist page on Facebook, of two hanging decorations which had been painted as portraits of cats. After some excited squeeeee-ing and some emails backwards and forwards, my very own commission was in the...

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Don’t get lost in the big picture

What I've learned this week: remember the little details as well as the bigger plan, and don't lose sight of your why. I recently had something approaching a meltdown about my working life. When I started this job, it was a two year contract, which would have ended in...

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What I Wore: to a May wedding

My lovely uni friends Cat and Mark got married at the end of May, on a beautiful early summer's day in Syon Park. Here's what I wore... it was quirky, it was extremely me, and it made me really happy. And what better excuse to get dressed up than a wedding?! Dress by...

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Two kittens and six months later…

Somehow, time has flown past, and these two little darlings... have been with me a whole six months, and have become these rather gorgeous young ladies... You'll notice Luna still hasn't grown into her ears... They don't snooze together much, but they've grown into...

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[Five for Friday] Post-trip blues

I'm happy to be home with my kitties, but I miss the freedom and warmth of being on holiday. So here's me with extremely blue hair in the world's largest shopping mall (so it's said), the sunset in Wivenhoe the day I arrived home, my best attempt at being a unicorn...

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Writing from the pool

Back online after a 48 hour technology detox, and what a way to write my first post! Hah, I've always wanted to blog from the poolside, but Dad left Abu Dhabi the year before I started my first blog, and until now I've usually had clunky laptops with zero battery life...

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Sneak peek: best ever cat toys

Or so my kitties think! Now, the downside of living by myself is that it's nearly impossible to play with my kitties and photograph them leaping through the air at the same time. However, here's a quick sneak peek of the cat toys that arrived in the post on Give A...

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On leaving technology behind for a while

Following on from my single-tasking experiment (which is rapidly becoming a habit), I've also been thinking and talking about going off-grid for a bit. Just for 24 or 48 hours at a time to start with. Imagine. No phone, no laptop, no tablet/Kindle/internet. No screens...

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My first jewellery class

Yep, my first! Though I made and sold jewellery for a few years, I'd never actually taken a formal class - or even an informal class. I was totally self-taught from the internet, books and occasionally squeaking at lovely fellow makers who would show me how to get...

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Discovering the perfect blue hair dye

It's been a long journey of wanting, wishing and waiting, but in February this year, just after my 28th birthday, I finally booked an appointment to have my hair dyed blue. Several hours of bleaching, foils, and inadvertently making both of my hairdressers look like...

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An unexpected baby unicorn

You might remember that a while back, I declared April 15 to be Give A Girl A Unicorn Day. (Complete with not-especially-well-designed Tackk page, and it's evolved from "buy" into "give". But you get the idea.) Having blurted about it quite a lot on various social...

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A peek into my life, through my handbag

Good grief. I work almost exclusively online - here, with The Website Beautician, and as a web content editor at the university. So what I want to know is, how on earth has my daily handbag ended up full of all of this?! Yeah, not Clover - she was just being...

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Home in spring

Spring is most definitely sprunging (is that a word?!) in my little corner of the world. Here's my photo roundup of the last couple of weeks... Dad cutting the overgrown lawn in my little garden Shafts of sunlight at long last in my living room Yarn bomb at This One...

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When serendipity strikes

Serendipity and excitement are the two main themes of my life at the moment. There are so many lovely things going on, and so many possibilities and emotions and so much potential whizzing around in the air, that I am excited fit to burst, and finding it incredibly...

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Buy A Girl A Unicorn Day – April 15th

Last year, I created this in response to Steak & BJ day. And then didn't publicise it. This year - I am going to make it an ACTUAL DAY. (and probably turn it into an actual website at some stage, too). So off you go - you have just under a month to find a unicorn...

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Four ways to transform Monday into your favourite day

Ah, Monday. In the working world, it gets such a bad rap for being the start of the working week, that I thought I'd share some ways to make it better. 1. If you're able to work flexi-time, go in later or finish earlier on Mondays. I changed my hours so I have Monday...

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Dates with myself (try it, it might just change your life)

Way back when I was still working in London, I wrote about my spontaneous booking of tickets to see the English National Ballet and Flawless at the Hammersmith Apollo. There wasn’t anyone immediately available who I particularly wanted to join me, so I took myself. It...

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On dealing with sadness – remember yourself

While seeking solace for an unexpected sadness recently, I came across Rebelle Society’s wonderful advice for a broken heart. My heart is not broken, merely bruised; my pride is dented, but intact. I know this because I know how it feels to have your heart shattered...

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A new way of working – single-tasking

We spend so much time these days doing eight things at once. At my day job today I had 19 tabs open across three different browsers, 17 programs on my start bar, 9 of which were running, plus two productivity timers. I also have two notebooks (one personal, one...

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Trade show adventures at London Edge

Most of you will know that I’ve shared my entrepreneurial journey with Louise of Contrariety Rose. While I took a while to find my ‘thing’ (or several things as it turns out), she’s always had a way with fabric and a passion for pin up clothing. So it was only natural...

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Unicorn shoes – eeek!

Since Irregular Choice released sneak preview pictures of their February unicorn shoes, a quite ridiculous number of people have pointed them out to me via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and excited texts and phone calls. My  sneaky secret was that I’d...

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Personality types and individuality

Yesterday, I was at an all-day workshop on the Myers-Briggs personality type indicator (MBTI). If you have no idea what this is, here’s a brief overview (courtesy of Wikipedia, of course). Essentially, it allows you to identify your personality and the way you...

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Where to find me…

Hello! I haven't abandoned Ducking Fabulous - but I have split my business activities into different sites, so each one is more relevant! So here's a list of where to find me doing what... Here on Ducking Fabulous, I'll be focusing on social media for the terrified...

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Just helping

Some of you will know I'm running four workshops at this year's Essex Book Festival, on social media and writing in the digital age. (Details here if you want to join us - tickets are selling fast!) I know what I want to cover in the workshops, but yesterday I'd set...

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Cake wisdom

It is a truth universally acknowledged that all discussions, whether personal or professional, online or off, and between two people or a whole roomful, every single one is improved by cake. photo credit: thepinkpeppercorn via photopin cc

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Refreshed and ready

As a friend put it earlier, "the world re-opens tomorrow". Though it is of course 5th January today, tomorrow marks the start of the first full week of 2014, and so feels like the proper start of the new year. I'm heading back to my day job tomorrow after a fortnight...

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My word for 2014

If you hang out in the same places online that I do, or follow some of the same people, you'll know that having a word for the year seems to be quite a powerful thing. But man, is it hard to choose one! I'm over-eloquent at the best of times, and narrowing down all...

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{life magic} 2013: the first year of my new life

What a year it’s been. Much like 2014 appears to be doing, 2013 snuck up on me somewhat. The new year is only a couple of hours old, but I wanted to get my review up before my planning posts. I saw 2013 in at Rob’s with a bunch of new friends, getting rather...

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The very first post on carlalouise.com

I'll be honest, it feels a  bit weird having a website with my name on it... but very lovely to have an umbrella site for all the exciting stuff I do! I'm going to be starting 2014 with new websites, new(ish) kittens and feeling happier than I ever have before. 2013...

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Away with the fairies

Wanton Fairies, by the incredibly talented Catherine Daniel and Rosie Lee, is one of the very loveliest books I’ve read in a long time. Do you believe in fairies? Even if you don’t, you’ll find yourself keeping an eye on your garden after reading this. The Wanton...

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Vintage Goodness at Goodwood Revival

Good-ness… see what I did there? Yep, ok, I was definitely not cut out to be a stand up comic. I had another one of my trademark weekends, full to the brim with friends and exciting experiences. Life is definitely starting to be more about what I do than what I have,...

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What do you want to be able to say about yourself in a year?

I spent some of my lunch hour today listening to this video interview.   As I’ve also been reading The Creative Habit and the Happiness Project, it’s all clunking into place rather nicely. The video sparked me into thinking – what do I want to be able to say about...

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Freedom, adventure and location independence

Freedom. It’s a very loaded word, particularly for me as a twentysomething single female. With total freedom, in theory I can do anything, go anywhere, be anyone I want – something that is less accessible to those with responsibilities like houses, children,...

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What do you want to be when you grow up?

This was my 300th post on Ducking Fabulous, which made me happy and astounded in equal measure. Thank you for being along for the ride - here's to the next 300 posts! Onto today's actual subject... Natalie Sisson is running a 30 day blog challenge over on the Suitcase...

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Paper Dolls Burlesque at the Fling Festival 2013

Quick post today, but wanted to share the photos of our tent at the Fling Festival a couple of weeks ago – it was the most glorious debut for my burlesque troupe. And who knew, when we took that first class eighteen months ago, what it would lead to? Here we all are...

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Wivenhoe in the saddle

A little exploratory ride through lovely Wivenhoe led me by chance to the old cemetery. I loved how peaceful and gentle it felt there!  

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Announcing our tent at the Fling!

You may or may not know that I’m a founder member of Paper Dolls Burlesque – a group of my closest friends, who are a very talented bunch in various crafty pursuits, and who have been brought even closer by our love of burlesque (our weekly classes with Jem have been...

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Inspiration Space: Beth Chatto Gardens

One Sunday with my parents, after a very lovely brunch at Wivenhoe House Hotel, we went over to see the Beth Chatto Gardens. I’m both sad and astounded that I’ve lived in Essex nearly six years, and in Colchester just over three, and somehow haven’t ever been here...

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Jewellery stories: heart brooch

While moving and doing all the associated clearing out, I realised that lots of pieces of my jewellery have stories of their own. Some short and sweet, some more involved… I’d like to have a record of them and I thought they’d be quite nice to occasionally feature on...

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From where I stand… by accident

Looking through my archives, it would appear one of my favourite things to take photos of is… my feet. In a non-kinky manner – just because they’re always with me and they show where I’ve been, I suppose. (I blame Susannah Conway…) (and apologies if you get this twice...

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a weekend of blogging, connecting and ideas

Just a speedy one as it’s somehow half past eleven on a Sunday night as I type, and I have work tomorrow – eeek! More on all of this when it’s less late… Sneaky snap of my glorious neon pink Cybher satchel from the Leather Satchel Company 🙂 Short version: Saturday:...

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Snapshot moments

Bluebell outside the award winning fish and chip shop in my village, on one of the few sunny evenings we’ve had. Dad giving my shed a coat of creosote – it looks so much better now! Because no trip anywhere is complete without a Ducking Fabulous duck, and a really...

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New typewriter!

When I was invited by the lovely Cheryl to bring Ink Drops to the Make Me Joyful Letter Writing Salon, I delightedly accepted and promised to bring two typewriters. It wasn’t until a week or so before the event that I realised I only had one that worked properly. Cue...

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Baking is apparently in my genes

  If you’ve been reading this blog for more than about five minutes, you’ll notice I bake intermittently, but often. (As I live alone, I don’t dare have a regular baking day or I’d eat all the...

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Chicken, tarragon & nutmeg pie, with added sweetcorn*

http://instagram.com/p/XsQH2PBvRk/ Ingredients: Leftover roast chicken from one accidental “chuck it and chance it” lunch (approx 1/2 chicken, but you can adapt to your own preferences) Most of a pot of Elmlea single – you can use actual single cream, I just didn’t...

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How to make a fabulously odd-coloured cake

Put on your Rocky and Balls apron... (a housewarming present from Hannah - isn't it fabulous?!) Mix cake as normal (175g of everything, 3 eggs, chuck in some baking powder and vanilla essence. Never fails). Stir in proper gel colouring and marvel at the vivid hues....

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Stepping into the Night Circus

A weekend of pure magic is over… and I’m looking back and sighing with happiness at every moment of it. On Friday, The Night Circus arrived at Tea and Sympathy, my favourite place in Colchester. The dress code was black and white and circus-appropriate, with a red...

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A fabulous bareMinerals make-under evening

A week or so before I left my last job, one of the lovely ladies I worked with organised a beauty and pamper evening for us, which was run by make up artists from bareMinerals. I have always been fairly dubious about the coverage of mineral foundations, and so was...

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Quick week update

It’s been a bit of a strange week. Good things – Wordpress course at Elstree Studios, where I learned a lot, watched Leona Lewis perform and got to sit in the sun for a bit. Excellent. Unexpected dinner with Naomi and many many fizzily exciting plans for the future...

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First run!

Well, I call it a run – I intended for it to be a walk, but felt so good when I was out there that I jogged a fair way too. Which for someone who hasn’t done very much in the way of structured exercise since I stopped riding a couple of years ago, is not bad going!...

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Lots of lovely Moleskines

Sadly not mine... But i spent much of yesterday packing 100 of these custom-embossed lovelies into envelopes ready for a promotional mailout... They came in such lovely packages too... I adore brown paper and stamps! And here is the top of the envelope pile... You can...

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First day with the tablet

I had hyped this up to so many people for so long that buying it wad a bit like having a first date, only much more expensive if it went wrong! Much to my relief, I think it's going to revolutionise my life just as much as i hoped it would. Squee! Full review when...

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Testing

Apologies subscribers – just testing to see if this works now I’ve mapped the domain name 🙂

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Blogging in cowboy boots

On the train last night, wearing cowboy boots, blogging on my laptop while listening to my ancient mp3 player. I’m so not on-trend or cool, and I love being that way 🙂

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Why I’m an Unmade Bed – and proud

Having found this article completely by chance (it’s from my pre-regular-blogging days), I thought it was worth sharing. I’m most definitely an Unmade Bed, and all the happier for it. Women, she says, are either Unmade Beds (UBs) or Pristine Pillows (PPs). We all know...

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Subscribers – apologies

Just a quick note to anyone who's subscribed either by email or via Google Reader - it appears the title of my blog has vanished and it comes up as 'title unknown'. I am working on fixing this but it may take me a few days to perfect! Lots of apologies...

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This weekend I am mostly…

(found this on The Crafty Librarian, thought it was lovely so I borrowed it)   Reading: In My Sister’s Shoes by Sinead Moriarty; Gil Elvgren monograph; magazines galore; Goodbye, Jimmy Choo by Annie Sanders Writing: Blog posts for the next week or two while my...

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Quick squeee…

For going to see Harry Potter this evening! Actually can't wait - and had better arm myself with tissues, lol!

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I haven’t run away…

But I have had a mad week (and considerable difficulty adjusting to not being at CAE anymore. Honestly the best weekend I've ever had, I think). Anyway, I'll be posting all the posts I've been drafting this week, this weekend (wow, that was terrible grammar) 🙂 And...

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Letters – real ones!

I had two letters this week, and a parcel – I feel so loved! The first was a response to a ‘bon voyage’ card I’d sent to a dear friend of mine who is now in Australia and New Zealand for a month. I miss her already and she only went on Tuesday!   The second was a...

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made it home for #bbloggers!!

Aw, was a bit late but made it home for #bbloggers this evening - discussing blog layouts... the good, the bad and the ugly 🙂 Will be back with some posts after the chat and washing up! xx

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how much fun was #bbloggers?!

I feel I have to post, just to say how inspirational and useful and generally lovely it was - is the first one I've been around for the whole thing AND been brave enough to actually take part - and I've found a whole host of fabulous people in the process! Off to have...

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Writing ~ the old-fashioned way

I spend so much time drafting blogs by hand in my lunch hours and on the train, with a pencil and paper, that I might start scanning them instead of typing my posts! With the Etc exhibition 'Reading Matter' having just gone up, and my obsession with stationery and...

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A new start…

So this will eventually (soon, actually, I hope) become Ducking Fabulous's new blog home 🙂 I am merging the Craft Experiment and the Ducking Fabulous Diary to come under the heading of Ducking Fabulous. DF itself has sort of evolved, so from jewellery and accessories...

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