Wednesday, 22 October 2014

... but I guess it started long before then.

If you read my last blog post you may have discovered that I love a bit of almost everything, as a result I have a wardrobe, and more, full of clothes but nothing to wear. I go through phases of wearing the same type of clothing for a while then take a strop, decide nothing suits me and rethink 'my style' although I actually don't think it exists in a singular sense! I think my style incorporates many different looks depending on how lazy I am being. School runs and baking/decorating don't lend themselves to being stylish as you can imagine and I spend most of my days in jeans, casual tops and sensible footwear. When we get the chance to go out of an evening I do love to dress up, but it really doesn't happen very often and although I adore dresses it's difficult not to feel overdressed when you compare it to what you wear on a day-to-day basis. We are bombarded with fashion advice everywhere we look and it is tempting to follow trends but who has the money or the time? Even when researching design ideas for cakes, it is difficult to avoid the myriad of fashion blogs and whilst many don't feel applicable to me, as a working mum, and one usually covered in icing sugar at that, it's nice to dream. This is by no means a fashion blog, or a vintage blog, just me writing about me!

One thing I do love though are clothes with history, which is partly why I have items which I no longer wear, or could wear, but I can't bring myself to throw out. I still fondly remember many items of clothing I wore proudly and my earliest memory has to be a dress and jacket combo that my mum bought for me to take on my first major school holiday when I was about 9yrs old, a week spent in York. The dress was a striped monochrome print with red roses and the jacket was a black bolero with a little red ribbon rose. Other stand out pieces included, a Lichtenstein inspired bomber jacket, a navy polka dot shirt, rust coloured trousers, multiple pairs of combat trousers, navy dungarees and the widest flared jeans ever, all before the age of 20! I hasten to add I haven't kept any of these, no wait... yes the widest flared jeans ever are still in my wardrobe! These days I tend to play it safe, or is that boring?

By far the oldest and loveliest item of clothing I have is a little dress I wore in my baby portrait when I was a year old, yes, that makes the dress 33yrs old! We did take photos of our first daughter in the dress too, although we can't find them! I also still have my wedding dress, like I could ever get rid of that! I do have romantic notions about my daughters perhaps using it in some way, but only time will tell if they share my sentimentality.

I often think about trying to define myself more in terms of my style, if nothing else, to make getting dressed of a morning much easier but I fear getting my head round that may be a long journey. I am an impulsive clothes shopper, I follow my heart, certainly not my head. I have ideas of more feminine dressing but many thoughts perpetuate the little voice in my head that tells me to wise up!

When my husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary in July this year, we booked a little weekend away to London. I decided I would spend the weekend dressed how I would like to dress all the time and so, over a number of weeks, I planned my outfits. Throughout this time I developed an obsession over vintage clothing. 'This Old Thing' was on tv, I loved the idea of vintage but it was only ever the idea that I loved, suddenly I started browsing Ebay and Asos Marketplace and I looked for vintage inspired pieces in high street shops. Admittedly I felt a bit of a fraud playing 'dress-up' infront of my mirror at home but I figured it was a start, but would I actually commit to buying and even wearing anything truly vintage? I had read that there can be a little bit of snobbery when it comes to deciding what actually constitutes vintage, but hey, if it existed before I was of an age to wear it, then it is vintage to me. You can find the most amazing array of vintage clothing on Ebay and my first three vintage purchases were all dresses, incidently they all came from Ebay seller Tups Vintage. Katie has the most amazing collections of vintage dressses and skirts almost every week and her auctions end on Sunday evenings, go take a look.

This beautiful dress was my first true vintage purchase, I was so excited when it arrived in the post. I loved the pleats and the print. It came with a navy rope style belt but I have been looking for a belt to update a little and whilst I still haven't found a belt I am truly happy, this little waist belt gives it a better shape on me and my navy wedges finish it off. I don't often let anyone take photos of me, the trauma of seeing the end result is too much! On this occassion however, I had to bite the bullet, isn't my husband, the photographer, lucky to have such a co-operative wife, so please look at the clothes, not my face!

My next vintage purchase came little over a week after the first, again from Tups Vintage. A little 80s dress with black bodice and a lovely floral print on the skirt. A big bonus, the skirt has pockets, quite why this excites me so much, I don't know!!! I found this cute little jacket in a high street sale, I love it and it goes with so many things. Black tights and my favourite black shoes finish it off.

Finally this red dress really stood out to me, moreso because of the back detail (which you can't see because we didn't take a pic of it!) and because it is so easy to wear. Oh and did I mention, it also has pockets!!! I can't wait for next summer to actually wear it out and it gives me a bit of time to find some accessories!

I think if I hadn't had such a successful vintage shopping experience the first time round I might have given up as sizing can be tricky, especially when purchasing over the internet, but since then I have discovered the most amazing little shop in Newry, Blackbird Vintage, check out their Facebook page! I'm just sad it's not on my doorstep, I might feel obliged to visit everyday.

Kathryn xxx

Thursday, 16 October 2014

I will be the first to admit that I am random, I love the idea of being organised but the reality is, I fail miserably.  Even my thoughts are random, I quite often begin talking about one thing and fly off at a tangent, forget what I was talking about initially and never make the point I was trying to get across in the first instance. I also have the habit of saying something out of the blue and expecting my husband to know exactly what I am referring to. I sometimes wonder if I wrote down everything I say would I even be able to understand my thought patterns?

Then I wondered, is this 'randomness' linked to my creativity? I have always loved spending time in my own head, walks along the beach talking to myself, sometimes out loud, you know, the kind of thing most wouldn't admit to, or would you? So when it comes to the design process behind my cakes I like to have as many things for inspiration as possible and these things can come from many sources but ultimately I whittle these inspirations down and even as the actual physical process of decorating the cake takes place the design will still evolve, much in the same way as my thoughts and conversation do. You just need to look at the titles of my blog posts to see what inspires me to blog!

I think it's safe to say then, that I am in my perfect job, much of my time is spent in my own little cake design bubble, mostly with my own thoughts and I get to express lots of little aspects of my personality through my work. I'm an eclectic when it comes to music, movies, literature, fashion and food, I sometimes wish I wasn't as I don't think it aids my organisational skills and only serves my randonmness. Occasionally I think even work life would be easier if I had a definitive style but that would be boring, wouldn't it?

Often I wonder why I am in this place at this moment in time and I can't explain it anymore than I am just meant to be. Everything in my life has brought me to this point, my randomness, my creativity, my diffidence, my family, my friendships, my interests, my choices, my actions... but ultimately my God. I don't often speak this personally about my faith to anyone, but spending so much time in my own head I am constantly reminded that what I do in my life is not in my own strength. Wife, mother, businesswoman, baker, artist, cake decorator, teacher, chef, cleaner, taxi driver, personal shopper, organist, friend, I'm exhausted even reading this list! Yet I have been given these gifts and it is my responsibility to embrace them and in turn bring glory to God.

I stumbled upon a blog by Ray Fowler and it makes a quite a thought provoking read especially when you consider this quote from C.S.Lewis “I believe that any Christian who is qualified to write a good popular book on any science may do much more good by that than by any directly apologetic work. … What we want is not more little books about Christianity, but more little books by Christians on other subjects.” (Lewis; God in the Dock, ‘Christian Apologetics’)  You can find it here

No doubt I will continue to be random and create work inspired by whatever pops into my eclectic little head and in the meantime below are some of my creations, beginning with the best three of all!

Kathryn xxx