August 2013 archive

Impulse Buy: Homemade Floral Headdress from H&M Flower Hairclips

| Impulse Buy

Hairband in action

Yes, I made this myself.

Flower garlands and hairbands are hot, hot, hot this summer. From festivals to the tennis courts of Made In Chelsea, everyone’s digging the flower power. I’ve long been a fan of piling things up on my head (flat hair syndrome – I love volume), so I’ve wholeheartedly embraced this trend. Plus a substantial hairband is great for hiding root regrowth.

What I don’t like is forking out for a costly flower garland that only goes with one dress in my wardrobe. So I visited H&M and raided their fabric flower hairclips to construct my own, using either a stiff or an elastic hairband. A stiff hairband creates more height (think Frida Kahlo), an elastic hairband feels more hippy (think Woodstock) – I pick dependent on my mood. The result? A unique, cost-effective floral headdress I can mix and match to coordinate with my chosen outfit. Peace out.

Floral H&M

A blooming great selection

I purchased my selection of clip on flowers from H&M:






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Impulse Buy: Dylon Bahama Blue Fabric Dye

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I walked past this happy little packet of home dye when I was looking for red biros (I was in the wrong aisle). I have some white Habitat towels that have gone a bit grey, or meh. Instead of chucking out perfectly decent Egyptian cotton, I decided to give this home washing machine dye a whirl. An impulse dye, more than an impulse buy.

Towels Before

Before: bleurgh 

It’s very easy to do (I managed it without dying myself the colour of a Smurf in the process). You empty the dye straight into the washing machine drum, followed by 500g of salt (I used Dylon’s Dye Salt for £0.48), shove your fabric in, run at 40 degrees C, run again at 40 degrees C (with the addition of fabric detergent) and dry. Bob’s you uncle, Fanny’s your aunt, and now when they come and stay they’ve got some lovely bright guest towels to use.


After: blue

I bought my Dylon Bahama Blue Fabric Dye from Wilkinson’s for £4.99:

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Impulse Buy: Neal’s Yard Ready To Roll

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Ready To Roll

I’ve been feeling a bit rundown recently, which usually mean my stress levels go up. Times of concern include: travelling (have you tried taking public transport with a large case and a walking stick? I wouldn’t recommend it), mornings (they seem to be spent mostly in bed with low energy levels) and night times (great, so now I can’t sleep!). The technical term for my current physical state is: broken.

I recently stayed at a B&B that used Neal’s Yard products, including vaporising oils. I’d forgotten the affect aromatherapy has on me. For the first time in weeks I felt my shoulders relax and I slept soundly (and no, there was no alcohol involved). As soon as I got home I went to Neal’s Yard and snapped up these Ready to Roll oils. A neat travel pack in a hessian pouch, it contains four small vials of oil blends to apply to your pressure points for: Relaxation, Travel, Energy and Night Time. Last night I slept well, this morning I feel energised. Forget £16.50 these are worth their weight in gold. A little bit of portable pampering. Perfect.

Neal’s Yard Ready to Roll set costs £16.50 and is available here:

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Confessions of a Festivalnista: Camp Bestival Backstage Bites

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Bestival 1

Yeah, yeah, I know festivalnista isn’t a proper word, but neither is fashionista and I published a book with that in the title. It’s that same book that saw me invited to appear at Camp Bestival, which took place in glorious Dorset this weekend.

I’ve been to festivals before, but never one this big, and never as an artist. It’s rather lovely having an ‘Artist’ wristband. My mates (who from now on will be referred to as ‘my entourage’) pitched their tent next to Katy Hill and calmly watched Mark Owen stroll past without squealing. I’m proud of you, girls. There’s a swanky backstage bar area called The Lucky Cat. It was decorated with opium den style slouch couches, Chinese lanterns and me, reclining in various positions, sipping gin coolers. And there really are nicer toilets in the VIP area. You know you’ve arrived when you have guaranteed access to loo roll on a festival site. I was so spoiled it almost made up for feeling like a loser for most of the ten years I spent working in the fashion industry. Almost.

Lucky Cat

The Camp Bestival site is a glorious sprawl of fun and colour, spreading around and away from Lulworth Castle like a fete on hippy crack. There were some big name acts that were lapped up, got down too, and generally screamed at by my entourage (told ya), including Grandmaster Flash, The Levellers, and the quite unbeatable Horrible Histories (I’m guessing the average age of our group was a shade older than their usual audience). But for me the true joy of festivals is found away from the main stage, in the unexpected gems you stumble across. The disco tent, the inflatable church with dancing barefoot vicars, the small child in a monkey onesie chasing and leaping after a bubble. It’s what you see on the way to the big stage that you really remember. Festivals are like life in that way.

I was very lucky to do my own turn in the Guardian Literary Tent. I regaled all with my powerful insight into festival fashion tips: get a gel manicure, get a blow dry, get your eyelashes tinted…only joking. As I said on stage, I always feel so happy when I’m at a festival, is it the alcohol? The communing with nature? The fact my entourage are all with me? No, it’s because I spend four days without mirrors. At best you might come across a small shiny plastic square stuck to the back of a portaloo door, which is so fuzzy and unclear it’s like looking at an Instagram of yourself. So my true festival fashion tips are: wear what makes you happy, and what you can pee easily in. Unless you’ve got access to those artist loos, in which case go for as many complexly fastened outfits you have to fully remove to wee in, as you like.

Thank you, Camp Bestival. It was a pleasure.



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