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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 that her label should develop in that direction.

Last week we headed up to Olympia to exhibit at London Edge, a trade show for alternative, rockabilly, goth and pin up fashion (which would have been our idea of heaven even if we hadn’t been exhibitors, to be fair).

It was great fun, absolutely knackering and I had surprisingly little time to take photos – but here are a few pics from the week.

Lou with her stand after setup:

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Our apartment (SO much nicer than a hotel – doing this again next time I go anywhere) and all three of my drinks on Saturday night – I’m so rock & roll!

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Me looking cheesy in front of the stand on the Sunday:

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Catching up in the evening with Diablo Rose and Lynsey Le Keux of Le Keux events and cosmetics, and Courtney from Silly Old Sea Dog…

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And finally, me with a Balloonicorn (no, I have no idea what one is either), the iPad with a mailing list I set up (I was proud) and Lou and I on the stand complete with vintage hair.

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We met some brilliant people among other exhibitors and visitors to the show, felt like Olympia was home for a few days and I learned masses about wholesale too, while reigniting my longing for colour in my hair again.

It was a really good experience as a small business owner myself, to make connections and see how this kind of thing works. Because then if I ever find myself at some kind of web designers’ convention, I can at least pack a pretty dress and a typewriter! 

You can find Louise and buy Contrariety Rose’s latest collection and a selection of her previous ones at Contrariety Rose.

Life in Instagrams and Happy Thursdays

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In progress #tassels #burlesque

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Testing xmas pressie tablecloths and mats #teal #violet

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

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Frosty #cobweb on the walk to work. Brrrr.

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Nom nom mango sorbet 🙂

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Lots of eBay parcels to post 🙂

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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 🙂

Cabaret Night: my first burlesque performance

It’s been, amazingly, a whole month since my first ever burlesque performance. Cabaret night had been excitedly planned, panicked over and squeaked about for quite some time, and then crept up on us quite suddenly!

Any of you who know me in real life or follow me on Twitter will be aware that although I’ve loved burlesque, corsets and the pin up style most of my adult life, and have danced most of my life, joining a burlesque dance course was quite a big step. A step that, once taken, I couldn’t understand why it had taken me so long – I think was born to prance about in a corset and high heels with feathers in my hair!!

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I dance with some of my closest friends, and lots of lovely friends turned up to watch us dance, among them Lou and her sister, who also ran a Contrariety Rose stall on the night… IMG_9467and some of my uni girls who schlepped all the way up from Oxford, Kent and Southend… bless them! Was lovely to see them though I was far too overexcited to actually have a proper conversation!

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Here are some more pics of us dancers…

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And we made it into the Essex Chronicle the following week!

It was a glorious night (I also had a Ducking Fabulous stall) and I came off the stage wanting to go and do it again, preferably immediately! Definitely have the performing bug back again after so long away from the stage – and can’t wait to start classes again in January!

Contrariety Rose’s Vintage Tea Party

Last weekend I traversed down to Reading (complete with Rusty’s vintage suitcase, pretty shoes and vintage-style party dresses) for a weekend with one of my best friends. She just happens to be behind Contrariety Rose (new site almost done! I’m working on the last bits!) and organised a vintage tea party for a few people while I was down there. It’s always wonderful to see Lou, but this was a specially exciting prospect after a fairly hideous week!

We went to a vintage fair at the Hexagon first (I bought a headscarf “for wearing in a sportscar”, said the lady at the stall. I couldn’t not buy it after that, could I?!) and Lou found this lovely little dress. Rachel found a beautiful 60s shift dress but I couldn’t get a photo 🙁

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And here is Lou (first pic) and me (second pic) next to where we’d set out all the bits and pieces…IMG_6930IMG_6934

Tea party details:

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Cucumber hearts and lollipop sandwiches from the Vintage Tea Party Book:

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Cakes made by Lou’s partner’s mum – a Contrariety Rose cake and lovely little sparkly fairy cakes:

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And the forks that made me think of the Mad Hatter’s tea party – there’s something wonderfully Alice-ish about them!

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It was a fabulous afternoon, and so lovely to see all the girls – some of them I hadn’t seen since 2007, and a couple not properly since school. It was gorgeous! 😀