phone email

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 middle of sixth form, and Deathly Hallows as I returned to university for my final year.

The downside of being just a few years below Harry at Hogwarts is that for the most part, I’ve been too young to go to the midnight release parties for most of the books – and either working or without local likeminded friends when I was old enough.

But trekking to London for a release party, and trying to find my way back at 1am, didn’t appeal either – so I was muchly excited when I discovered that Colchester Waterstones was having a celebratory party for pre-orders, with books collected at midnight!

This time, Maddy, Sarah and Sophie were also enthusiastic enough to dress up, go for dinner first (there’s a fab Brazilian BBQ restaurant just opened in Colchester, we tried it and it was amazing), sit in the pub in our robes & hats playing HP Trivial Pursuit, and then head off to the party to play silly games and collect our books.

HP cursed child-2

And I might’ve bought a few other bits and pieces too, because a lock in in a bookshop is far preferable to a lock in in a pub, for me!

(more…)

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.

2013-04-27 00.10.10

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 accent for the reveurs – those who had read the book. (And if you’ve read it, you’ll know why!) For those that haven’t had the pleasure, the theme was around the book The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.

My red accents were my sequined shoes, scarlet lipstick and a peek of a red bra… 🙂

2013-04-26 22.52.04

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more thoroughly myself, though my outfit wasn’t entirely appropriate for the multi storey car park where we put the cars when we arrived… lol. But I’ve always been fascinated by the circus – my burlesque name is a tribute to my obsession with Enid Blyton’s circus stories!

2013-04-27 00.24.18

I arrived with Gabby and Chris, after the quickest house tour in the history of the world, and we wandered in a haze of happiness through the shop, up and down the tiny, twisting staircase, to hidden rooms, magic and wonder at every turn…

There were fire dancers, burlesque from Miss Fanny Darling, magicians, fortune tellers and some cocktails, which I’m told were lethal… I declined to sample them, as I quite fancied getting home without getting arrested!

Here’s Gabby and Chris, looking like they belong with the Cirque…

2013-04-26 21.40.56

Miss Fanny Darling as the Raven…

2013-04-26 22.21.08 2013-04-26 22.21.30

And the incredible fire dancing duo (I have plans for a skirt just like that one… I LOVE IT!)

2013-04-26 22.05.06 2013-04-26 22.05.28

I’ll leave you with the video of the fire dancers – a little taste of the most magical evening I’ve had in a long, long time!  With thanks to Tea and Sympathy for making dreams reality 🙂

[experiences] 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.

2013-04-27 00.10.10

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 accent for the reveurs – those who had read the book. (And if you’ve read it, you’ll know why!) For those that haven’t had the pleasure, the theme was around the book The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern.

My red accents were my sequined shoes, scarlet lipstick and a peek of a red bra… 🙂

2013-04-26 22.52.04

I don’t think I’ve ever felt more thoroughly myself, though my outfit wasn’t entirely appropriate for the multi storey car park where we put the cars when we arrived… lol. But I’ve always been fascinated by the circus – my burlesque name is a tribute to my obsession with Enid Blyton’s circus stories!

2013-04-27 00.24.18

I arrived with Gabby and Chris, after the quickest house tour in the history of the world, and we wandered in a haze of happiness through the shop, up and down the tiny, twisting staircase, to hidden rooms, magic and wonder at every turn…

There were fire dancers, burlesque from Miss Fanny Darling, magicians, fortune tellers and some cocktails, which I’m told were lethal… I declined to sample them, as I quite fancied getting home without getting arrested!

Here’s Gabby and Chris, looking like they belong with the Cirque…

2013-04-26 21.40.56

Miss Fanny Darling as the Raven…

2013-04-26 22.21.08 2013-04-26 22.21.30

And the incredible fire dancing duo (I have plans for a skirt just like that one… I LOVE IT!)2013-04-26 22.05.06 2013-04-26 22.05.28

I’ll leave you with the video of the fire dancers – a little taste of the most magical evening I’ve had in a long, long time!  With thanks to Tea and Sympathy for making dreams reality 🙂

Life in Instagrams and Happy Thursdays

View this post on Instagram

In progress #tassels #burlesque

A post shared by Carla Louise (@duckingfabulous) on

View this post on Instagram

Testing xmas pressie tablecloths and mats #teal #violet

A post shared by Carla Louise (@duckingfabulous) on

View this post on Instagram

Like a ballet in the air – but rather them than me!

A post shared by Carla Louise (@duckingfabulous) on

View this post on Instagram

Frosty #cobweb on the walk to work. Brrrr.

A post shared by Carla Louise (@duckingfabulous) on

View this post on Instagram

Nom nom mango sorbet 🙂

A post shared by Carla Louise (@duckingfabulous) on

View this post on Instagram

Lots of eBay parcels to post 🙂

A post shared by Carla Louise (@duckingfabulous) on

The last few weeks in Instagram highlights – L-R tassels in progress, colourful table settings and ballet in the air at work; frosted spider web, delicious mango sorbet, first batch of eBay parcels from my pre-move clear out.

Happy things include 15 Queen Street and discovering the amazing creatives in my area | planning and prepping for a collaborative photoshoot with Contrariety Rose | development of Ink Drops Boxes | various happy-making side projects | fabulous Free Range Humans (the people and the book) | finding a new home | Hotel Chocolat caramel hot chocolate | bumping into Poppy’s old owner on a roundabout in a snowstorm | resurrecting the Ducks on Tour and finding original Frankie and Freddie pictures

And I have Thursday and Friday off work for the shoot 🙂

Catching up with myself!

With stock in the ever-fabulous Tea & Sympathy in Colchester, soon to be in the gorgeous Make, Do and Mend in Chelmsford, supplying goodies for a friend’s daughter’s pop up college shop and four fairs starting Wednesday evening, it has been a little manic here at Ducking Fabulous HQ for the last couple of weeks.

Some of my printed domino necklaces in progress – I’m very excited about this batch!

I’ve also been working hard on Ink Drops Boxes with Annastasia from Midorigreen, which has been lovely, and punctuated by hilarious Skype chats involving unintentional Lucozade highs. If you love all things handwritten, pop over and see the site and our blog, and if you’re struggling for presents, why not have a look at the shop – a surprise box of beautiful stationery might be the answer!

Christmas preparations are also starting – this weekend I will be at the Betty Blue Eyes vintage and handmade fair in Leigh-on-Sea (and visiting two lovely friends who live in the area at the same time) on Saturday, and at Mum & Dad’s sorting out Christmas trees and decorations on Sunday… they have bought a new tree for their new, higher-ceilinged abode,  and I get the old one, which will fit beautifully into my flat… somewhere. I’m excited for sorting through decorations, most of ours have stories – will try and post about some of them nearer the time.

Right now I am mostly revelling in the incredible feeling of being surrounded by likeminded people and full of inspiration… it’s a feeling like no other!

Other things that have made me happy this week…

A rainbow on my way to work | Househunting | Tentative plans to borrow a greyhound | Dinner and Christmas decoration making at Mimi’s | A fabulous night with family for my aunt’s 40th birthday | puppy cuddles | the Free Range Festival | a festive Saturday in London with some of my uni girls | chocolate muffins | stories of my parents’ lives and travels before I arrived | starting on the overhaul of this site | getting my boudoir shoot photographs back | tassel making workshop and learning to twirl – the best Thursday evening I’ve had for ages! | Contrariety Rose’s mini-boutique in Creative Crafts in Reading | roof-down driving on a Tuesday evening | impromptu dinner and giggles with my parents | fairy lights | stocking up on Lush’s amazing seasonal soap | treating myself to a couple of books I’ve wanted for a while | MAC’s lip primer

So an all round fabulous couple of weeks! I am trying very hard to resume regular, twice a week posting – watch this space 🙂

Skating love

Stupidly excited to discover that Rollerworld in Colchester, where I usually skate (when I skate indoors) was used in a Boogie Pimps video of a song I actually recognise!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBrnQwoshKw]

Doesn’t it look awesome? Here’s my other favourite skating inspiration music video…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eE-dwpWpscU]

Fresh inspiration to find some lessons and practice, practice, practice… I WILL be that good! 🙂