A girl should always have flowers

 

I’m a firm believer in beauty, in all its forms. I also believe its like art – you don’t have to understand it to find it beautiful. And flowers are beautiful. Life just seems brighter and more bountiful when they are around.

There’s no feeling on Earth like sitting in a little Eden, especially if it’s one of your own making. My parents are keen gardeners and also keep an allotment, and not getting out into these oases often enough is one of my regrets (I’m working on it). Even if your budget doesn’t stretch to hothouse lilies, you can grab some daffs for pence around Easter. Supermarkets like Lidl and Aldi usually do good value and good quality fresh cut flowers. I tend to go for yellow roses or something like that. When they’ve had their innings, I re-purpose them into pot-pourri. Another good, more economical option is to buy a small potted plant to inject some green into your world. For me, though, the physical process of choosing, trimming and arranging a bunch of flowers is a singular pleasure in it own right.

If I’m not buying myself some flowers, I’ll almost certainly be wearing some. Of course, it’s a common print, especially for vintage clothing, and my wardrobe is particularly floral-heavy. I love it and make no bones about it. I think, even for people that don’t go for the twee pastel vibe that I go gooey for, there are more subtle ways to incorporate flowers into your wardrobe:

 

  • Undercover: Flowers on your lady-garden – underwear is the second outfit only you need to know about.
  • Accents: Belly-bars, belts, buttons, buckles, bags, brooches… all can be made in a flower-shape. Yay!
  • Hold onto your hose: Tights may also come embellished with flowers, to be paired with something plain, or neon orange fishnet. Whatever, Trevor.

 

And, if you need flowers in more than just your outfits, you could always make a real commitment. Tattoo, anyone? Maybe not… But seriously, have a go at making your own rose petal tea (go to an Asian supermarket for the ingredients), burn floral candles or incorporate some edible petals into a salad in the coming summer months.

Also, try reading about the Victorian Language of Flowers, or Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s gorgeous ‘The Language of Flowers’, which tells the story of a emotionally detached young woman, communicating through flowers. Beautiful!

 

Let flowers speak to you!

 

Golden Girl: Pin-up Princess for the night

Not all that glitters is gold, but it is surely a statement colour. Whether you’re rocking parrot perches or a floor length goddess gown, gold is meant to catch the eye. Good on you. Gold is not just for queens (although you are one). It’s a colour to stand tall in, to say an unequivocal YES, I am here. YES, I am entitled to this space. YES, I look so good tonight.

Let’s see you, Golden Girl!

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Dress from Mooch Vintage, Sheffield

Pendant from Armstrongs Emporium, Edinburgh

Shoes from Dorothy Perkins

Hairpiece handcrafted by me

Make-up by me

Hair by the gorgeous Jennifer @ Curly Woo Hairdressing

You live in a cloud: How not to fall off

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When the good times are rolling, it can feel impossible to maintain, especially if you suffer from a mental illness that comes around time and again. This post was inspired by a prompt in ‘642 Tiny Things To Write About’ – ‘You live in a cloud. Give three tips for how not to fall off’.

 

  • Hey, you, off my cloud!: Don’t let people on your cloud that might unbalance it or make it grey. Maybe what your cloud needs is a dress-code…

 

  • Hot air balloon: Don’t get weighed down by ‘stuff’. Keep your flame rising and your airship will hit the stratosphere. ‘Stuff’ won’t help you rise or be what people remember you by… a multitude of multicoloured balloons, however, may well come in handy. It worked in Up, right?

 

  • Eco-warrior: Be independent in your own eco-system, but don’t forget you can (and should) cloud-collab and get mingling in other peoples’ worlds (with their permission, of course).

 

Just remember, it doesn’t rain forever.

Oh, you crafty minx!

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Here’s one I made earlier…

 

So, to ease you into this post about getting your mitts busy, let’s go back to 1943 and a philosopher and psychologist, Maslow. He created something called Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. He said that human needs can be categorised into different levels, ranging from Physiological (food, water, sex, shelter…) to Self-Actualization which is where things like morality, spontaneity and CREATIVITY come in.

 

‘According to Maslow’s model, when we desire to create, when we desire to delight ourselves and others by bringing something new into the world, we are actively expressing one of the highest aspects of our human potential.’ (Source: austinhillshaw.com)

 

So, my crafty little minxes, by getting crafty and creating something, you are entering a hallowed land of higher thought. Transcend with me (and ignore Maslow when he says you need to master all the rest before you can create – you can do whatever you damn well please) and let your therapy be of your own making. Literally.

 

Here are some ideas for projects you could get your teeth into:

  • Time for a change: Take a dress or cardigan that you’re a bit bored with and change its buttons for some new jazzy ones. Try a different colour or shape. Be bold! Sewing on a button is super easy but if you’ve never done it there are a squillion youtube tutorials.

 

  • Sleep easy: Get crafty in the bedroom with lavender sachets or even monogramming your pillow cases, you fancy-pants you.

 

  • Draw your attention: Get a liquid chalk pen (really cheap at crafty shops) and doodle on mirrors or windows. Makes you feel like a naughty child which is an added bonus.

 

  • One at a time: If you’re not feeling up to a whole undertaking, try just knitting one row, or stitching a few stitches. Slow and steady, right?

 

  • Bake and make: Baking is a particular kind of joy. Indulge. Or make a beautiful soup and make lunch an event.

 

  • Mix it up: Make an old-fashioned mix-tape for a friend or yourself – you could go the whole hog and put it on cassette… or maybe a Youtube playlist would be more practical… A friend of mine did this for me recently and it made me feel like jiggling.

 

 

  • Pop art: Brighten up your world. Sand down a photo-frame and zap it neon! Good for a languid summery day. Take juice breaks.

 

  • Fascinating: Make a hair piece or fascinator. Use an old comb or clip to bedazzle. You should probably add glitter.

 

Whatever you do, make like Maslow!

Power of one: Snakes and Ladders

Imagine you’re playing Snakes and Ladders. Think of that big, fat snake that trips you up and sends you tumbling back down to square one. It’s a good way to think of those big mishaps that sometimes happen. You don’t get knocked right off the board, you don’t lose outright – you start again and build from the bottom up. Maybe you need to think of that snake doing you a favour by showing you how unsteady your stance was, or how your foundations weren’t as solid as you thought.

 

So, roll snake eyes and get your fangs into this advice:

 

  • Ladders: Gather your materials – it could be books, blogs, burritos, badminton rackets, bananagrams or bunting – whatever will get you going again.

 

  • Circle of love: Next, gather your people, your puppies, your pals. Reach out – when you’re in the quick-sand, you’re going to need a hand.

 

  • Timing is everything: When you get a cut, it might scab over quickly, but the real healing takes time. If you try to pick the scab off too early, you’re only going to make it scar so be patient, with your soul and mind as well as your body.

 

  • Professional approach: Everyone needs a sounding board now and again. Make sure it is someone neutral like a counsellor or doctor who will allow you to make your own choices without a vested interest.

 

  • Retrace your steps: Pick up where you left off before whatever happened, happened. You were you then and you are allowed to be you again. No fear, dear.

 

  • Experience is ammunition: Life happens to everyone. Don’t feel bad about it, but if it made you feel bad, don’t do it again.

 

  • Batten down the hatches: There’s a storm out there, don’t let it in your teacup. Let the outside world look after itself for a change. Cover your portholes and have an internal dialogue. Check in with yourself! How you doin’?

 

  • It’s your party: Let me reiterate – this is about you. You wouldn’t tell someone else that they were a worthless, disgusting, ugly waste of space, would you? Big up your sweet self and stop being a nasty pasty about little old you.

 

  • What am I missing?: Whatever your snake is/ was, remember it was doing you a favour. So, if you were putting yourself in a bad situation, think about why you were doing it? What did you think you needed out of it? You can fulfil any bits and pieces you were longing for…

 

May your ladders always lead you higher, and may your eyes be opened to the snakes in the undergrowth! The only way is up!

 

Need a leg-up?