Spotlight

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Welcome to the March/April edition of Spotlight!

This month I had the unabounding joy of getting to query and question one of my all-time favourite blogs. If you haven’t yet added Louder Than Silence to your reader then your life is a slightly shadowy and dark place. This pair of lovebirds are insanely awesome, in that cool sort of way that you cannot fake or pretend, but just by being naturally stylish and sweet. Posting about their love of fashion, music, adventuring around London and of course, each other, their blog is a hazey heady combination of pretty pictures, his & hers outfit posts and stories of their explorations.

These guys are basically the blog version of watching episodes of F.R.I.E.N.D.S … where by after immersing yourself in their world for a while you then have to accept, with a  sinking feeling, that sadly you won’t be joining them on their next antic even if it feels like you are now part of their wonderful world.

But you can read about it!

Introducing Sally & Ross…

1. When did you start your blog & why?
We started Louder than Silence in August after months of deliberation. We both love photography, design and writing so it seemed like a good idea to start a joint blog – and since we’d not seen a blog written by a couple before, it seemed like a fairly original idea, too.

2. What inspires you in terms of content/theme/appearance?
So many things, we’re always finding inspiration in the strangest of places! Content-wise, we pretty much write about noteworthy places we’ve been, things that we’ve enjoyed and our favourite outfits which are usually vintage inspired – we’re both into the sixties at the moment, it must be all the old films we’re watching! We love blogs that give you an insight into the blogger’s life so we try to inject as much of our personalities as possible and make it a little more ‘real’. In terms of themes and appearance, we’re inspired by nostalgia, heritage and good, clean design. Ross likes for the pictures to speak for themselves, as we’re all too aware that many people will just skim through without reading the words.

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
Louder than Silence?! Ha. ‘Fashion, culture, us’? It’s quite hard to be succinct as it’s a blog about lots of things.

4. What is the story behind the name Louder Than Silence?
Sally is a bit of a branding geek (blame the marketing degree!) so wanted something that had longevity, was original and wouldn’t restrict our content. We got the idea from the Florence and the Machine song where she sings “louder than sirens…” and thought we could change the word sirens to silence. We like the fact that Louder than Silence could be interpreted as “Something rather than nothing”, and surely it’s better to say something than nothing at all!

5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?
Ooh that’s a tough one – we hate to go all soppy on you but we’d have to say that we make each other happy. No matter how rubbish our day has been, knowing that we can come home for a big ol’ natter and a cuddle over a bottle of red wine makes us smile. In terms of what makes us sad, we cannot abide prejudiced people, it really angers us.

6. Who are Louder Than Silence?
We live with a housemate in a lovely Georgian flat in central London but we’re originally from the sunny West Midlands. Sally works in fashion PR at a little agency in the west end but is an old fashioned girl at heart, and loves nothing more than trawling charity shops and flea markets for vintage gems. She’s also rather partial to an ice cold G&T. Ross designs for print and web at a creative agency in Hoxton, and he’s most likely to be found in a pub watching a band with a beer in hand or at home reading Chuck Palahniuk (with a beer in hand). We have a lot of shared passions which is probably why we get on so well; art, film, photography and music to name but a few. And of course not forgetting food and drink – most of our social life is based around these two things!

7. Where are your favourite places to shop for your beautiful (I think quite often shared…?!) clothes?
We love vintage so a spot of charity shopping never fails to please; we tend to get our best bargains when we’re at ‘home home’ (Wolverhampton/Shropshire). In London we love shopping at Beyond Retro, Rokit and Portobello and Spitalfields markets for vintage. Urban Outfitters is our favourite High Street store thanks to the plethora of lustworthy brands they stock, including Sally’s favourite, tba.

8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
Sally reads so many blogs but her current favourites are She’s Got A Passion For Fashion, WishWishWish, Helmi Ostalla, Lulu Letty and Pretty Much Penniless. Ross likes photography blogs, his favourite being Viktor Vaulthier who he actually met at a gig last week through mutual friends, which was nice.

9. You two get up to a lot of exciting London adventures and antics. What are your top 3 Must do/Must see big smoke locations?
Ooh such a difficult question as we’ve so many – we deliberated over this answer for aaages but finally whittled it down. One would definitely be to spend a Sunday in Columbia Road flower market then head down Brick Lane/Spitalfields for vintage shopping. Another would be to catch a gig at the Roundhouse in Camden. It’s such a cool venue – we’d recommend heading to the Lock Tavern down the road for a pre-drink first too. Finally, we absolutely love Hampstead Heath to get away from it all, especially in the summer when everyone’s basking in the sunshine with picnics and cider. One of our favourite websites for checking what’s on in town is http://www.thevintageguidetolondon.com/ It’s wonderful for finding out about exhibitions, club nights and the like – a real must for fellow vintage lovers!

10. What is your blogging soundtrack?
It depends what mood we’re in to be perfectly honest, we don’t really have a soundtrack as such. Perennial favourites of ours include Belle and Sebastian, the Beatles, the Strokes, Mystery Jets, the Smiths and Gang of Four.

11. When do you next venture abroad & where will you be heading?
We’re hoping to go to Barcelona in the next few months as we’ve never been before. Red wine, culture, the beach and tapas you say? We’re there! We’d also like to visit Greece in the summer – we lived there for six months so would love to go back and see all of our friends (and have a Mythos or three!).

Ahhh, doesn’t it melt your heart! Thanks for putting your lovely life into blogland for all to share Sally & Ross. I’m sure you are just gasping for more so go make yourself a nice big weekend coffee and head over to Louder Than Silence.

If you want to check out previous Spotlight features you can find them here:

March: Spotlight on I Want You To Know
February: Spotlight on Make Do & Mend
January: Spotlight on Clear Your Heart
December: Spotlight on Rock n Roll Bride
November: Spotlight on French For Cupcake
October: Spotlight on Fur Coat, No Knickers
August: Spotlight on Blair On A Budget
April: Spotlight on Earth vs The Wildheart

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Welcome to the March spotlight feature!

This month is very exciting. This month marks my blog’s ONE YEAR BIRTHDAY! One whole year of me ranting and rambling and rummaging for topics to talk about and photograph. More about that next weekend on the exact anniversary day (treats ahoy) but to mark a very special month I’ll be having two spotlight features on two of my absolute, all-time favourite blogs this month, which makes me a bit weak at the knees…

First up is the divine Kristabel from I Want You To Know. Forget celebrity style crushes, they have nothing on this fashionable femme! Kristabel not only has a wardrobe I’d probably donate vital organs for, but a real talent for photography and witty writing so her blog is a head first plunge into viewing the world through her eyes. Oh and she’s lived in New York (maximum jealous.) I love the amount of little life details Kb goes into and also how every outfit is so completely unique and inspirational, but varying in style and trends. Oh and for a fashion outsider/novice, her seasonal trends updates are accessable and dreamy. Added to that, she is just a real sweetheart. Prepare to want to be her! Or at least be her friend.

1. When did you start your blog & why?
It was a combination of factors. I’d started to read quite a few blogs over the Summer of 2008 like Style Bubble and Flying Saucer and gradually my subscriptions grew and I began to think that I could contribute in some way. After going to the Angels Sale, I was so overwhelmed by the event but couldn’t really get this across to offline friends. I decided to write a blog post to show off my wares and the rest was history!

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?
In the beginning I was really new to Blogger and HTML, so I just kind of made up my theme as I went along. I wanted my header to include my favourite things and I’ve managed to build upon it as time went on.

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
A bit random?

4. What is the story behind your blog name; I Want You To Know?
I named it after my favourite song at the time by Charlotte Hatherley, of Ash fame. It doesn’t really have any particular meaning, I just wanted a slightly abstract and ambiguous name.

5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?
I am happiest when having a spontaneous and insightful day with friends and family. I’m saddest when bad things happen to people who in no way deserve them.

6. Who is I Want You To Know?
I’m a final year knitwear student living between London and Nottingham. I’m a bit eccentric and probably have about a million thoughts going around my head. I tend to listen to a collection of the same songs over and over again before I eventually find new songs that manage to make the grade.

7. Can you share with us your top New York Tips?
Wander around the backstreets of key areas like Soho, The Lower East Side and Greenwich village, sometimes you can stumble across the most interesting places tucked away. Also Flushing in Queens has amazingly cheap Chinese food and transports you to another world!

8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
There’s a fair few, but the ones I really like checking are Style Bubble, Kingdom of Style, The Clothes Horse, Flying Saucer, Wish Wish Wish, Dead Fleurette and Park and Cube. There’s plenty more on my blogroll too!

9. You recently did an awesome run down of Spring/Summer11 trends. What are you personally coveting for Spring; fashion and otherwise?
I really want to find some creative prints on skater dresses, shorts and even tights. I want to try and revisit a few places in Europe this summer, hopefully Berlin and Paris.

10. What is your blogging soundtrack?
I tend to stream tv shows in the background, so most likely the somewhat generic choices of Gossip Girl, Glee, Desperate Housewives and anything Top Model related. I’m unashamedly also a fan of TV that’s so ‘bad’ it’s good, so think Gypsy Weddings, The Only Way is Essex, Take Me Out and occasionally Hollyoaks!

11. Valentines Day – Yay/Nay?
Nay!

Thanks so much Kristabel for taking the time to answer my questions in the midst of uni-work hell and generally being a crazy busy jetsetter (fresh off the plane from Ohio!). I hope you enjoy discovering her world as much as me.

 

If you want to check out previous Spotlight features you can find them here:

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Welcome to the February spotlight feature!

I challenge you to read and learn about this months featured blog without feeling warm & fuzzy inside! Laura from Make Do & Mend is an adorable little lady from Nottingham who blogs about things to make, see, do and get up to in Nottingham. She also has a lovely boyfriend and together they have adventures, write songs, make dens and create cute stuff. Oh and she does a weekly ‘Film Friday’ review, runs this travelling diary project and…. is very talented indeed when armed with a pen and colours…

1. When did you start your blog & why?
I started the blog back in 2008. I was discovering so many inspiring design blogs out there, I thought it’d be good to start my own as an incentive for me to create and draw more in my spare time. I used the blog as a space for sharing anything pretty I found, from charity shop purchases to illustrations I liked. I then began interviewing some of my favourite illustrators to find out the tricks of their trade, and find out what inspires them from day to day. I think I’ve always rather fancied being an illustrator myself and saw this as a good way of gaining tips from some of the successful ones out there.

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?

I wanted my blog to have a nice clean layout, so that the images take precedence. I often browse through blogs in a bit of a hurry so I wanted to concentrate more on pictures than words. I love using my blog as a way of sharing my finds, and my own photographs with a wider audience.

My favourite blogs often give an insight into their creators’ lives. I love feeling like I would get on with that person in real life, so I often try and share bits from my weekend or any exciting trips I make, on the blog as well.

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
Hmm this is hard! Perhaps “a creative adventure”? I love gettings ideas from other blogs and I hope my own inspires other people to try new things, from making a mixtape to building a bedroom den, or discovering new films and music.

4. What do you love  about your blog?
I love all the nice comments people have left me, they’ve often cheered me up when I’ve been feeling a bit lacklustre and encouraged me to carry on creating! I also love feeling connected to a wider group of people from different countries around the world.

5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?
I feel most happy when I’m in the midst of creating something new, whether it’s a drawing, a song or a new recipe! It made me really happy when me and my boyfriend built our magical den (above), I’d highly recommend devoting an evening to dressing up and reliving childhood moments such as this, as it was brilliant fun and cost nothing at all!

I also love finding treasures in charity shops. There is a great one near my workplace that I’ve found some real gems inside. My favourite find was probably my Taz polaroid camera (below). I’ve taken so many photos with it, which are all now arranged in a heart shape on my wall. I also found a brand new Fisheye camera in the same shop which I love to bits.

Most sad… probably when I’m feeling a bit low in confidence, I tend to over think things a bit and this can make me a bit stressed sometimes for no real reason. I’m trying to give this up though and just laugh at it if anything goes wrong!

6. Who is behind Make Do And Mend?
I live in a flat near Nottingham Castle with a cat called Rosie and 2 lovely housemates. I’m planning on moving in with my boyfriend soon though so we’re in the middle of hunting for the perfect flat… i know it’s out there somewhere! I work as a Graphic Designer, and in my spare time love taking photos (I take my camera pretty much everywhere!), writing letters on my old typewriter, and listening to old records – my favourites on vinyl are by Jonathan Richman, Devo & David Bowie – I love getting out the record player and dancing around my bedroom to them!

7. What is the best fact you know?
I love facts too, Wikipedia is a brilliant way of wasting a few hours! However I often forget facts straight after learning them. Here’s one I found out recently though (a bit random..) DID YOU KNOW! Walt Disney’s final words before he died were “Kurt Russell” – no one knows why, not even Russell himself!

8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
Other blogs that inspire me daily are Hula Seventy (I love her polaroids!), ThatKate (another talented lady photographer), What Katie Does, LabCoco (written by my Dutch friend Gerdien who is also a very talented crafter), Hello Flower (another crafty blog by the lovely Siobhan who is amazing at cake decorating and crochet!), The Art of Staying up All Night, Goodnight Little Spoon (Bianca is the letter-writing queen), and For Me, For You.

9. What are you currently coveting for this Spring?
Well, as i mentioned earlier I’m currently flat hunting so am trying not to spend too much on clothes and other things! However I have a few things planned for the Spring, including a trip to see Wicked the musical with my Grandma next weekend, I hope she enjoys it!

Me and my boyfriend are also planning a few trips to see friends around the country, maybe Cornwall and Oxford this Spring, then we have our second canal boating holiday planned for July (last year’s trip pictured, taken with my Fisheye cam). Last year’s trip was great, I’d really recommend going, it was a totally different way of life for a few days, and we really missed it when we got back on dry land!

10. What is your blogging soundtrack?
*Checks Last FM..* Well according to this my most listened-to artists are Blur, Elliott Smith, Jeffrey Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, Pavement, Of Montreal and St Vincent. I’m really hoping to see Sufjan Stevens live this year, his new album’s really different and his live show’s meant to be amazing!

11. What do you and your lovely beau have planned for Valentines Day?
Eep, we’ve not planned that far ahead yet! But if it’s anything like last year it will likely involve a low key evening spent writing song lyrics together.. (last year we wrote a little song about old computer games, you can hear it here! At first I was terrified of singing but after a while I relaxed and really enjoyed it!)

Thanks so much Laura for answering all my nosey questions and for creating such a beautiful little crafty creative corner of the internet for me to while away a few hours with a nice cup of tea. I hope you enjoy discovering her blog as much as I have!

If you want to check out previous Spotlight features you can find them here:

January: Spotlight on Clear Your Heart
December: Spotlight on Rock n Roll Bride
November: Spotlight on French For Cupcake
October: Spotlight on Fur Coat, No Knickers
August: Spotlight on Blair On A Budget
April: Spotlight on Earth vs The Wildheart

If you would like to be spotlight-ed this year; drop me an email! The link is to the right, in big letters saying Email Bee.

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This months spotlight is a lovely lady who has been an endless support of my blogging escapades, and one of my favourite reads around. Helen of Clear Your Heart describes herself as northern, faintly ridiculous and a weapon of massive consumption; how could you fail to find her delightful with that write up! Her blog is a luscious mix of fashion, daily outfits, amazing giveaways and feel good advice and anecdotes. She has also just bought a new house (congrats!) so her plots and plans and objects of desire for that make for great reads. Helens layout if also one of my absolute favourites; so it’s worth checking out her URL rather than just on a reader. I was really pleased when she agreed to be my FIRST monthly spotlight of 2011, she’s setting a high calibre.

If you would like to be spotlight-ed this year; drop me an email! The link is to the right, in big letters saying Email Bee.

Take it away Helen!

1. When did you start your blog & why?

I started Clear Your Heart back in October 2008. I was going through a fairly horrific break up and I thought that I could use blogging as a way to find the beauty in my life. My blog was very different back then to how it is now. Sometimes I think maybe I should delete all the posts about how sad I was but then I think that they serve as a good reminder of how wonderful my life is now! My reasons for blogging are very different now. I’m no longer a sad little bear and I post about the things I wear, the things I eat and the things I love. More superficial than my earlier blog posts, but hopefully a lot less depressing!

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?

In terms of appearance, I’ve had a number of different layouts/colours and am thinking about doing another redesign in the new year. For content, I just write about whatever takes my fancy! Baking, fashion, things I’d love to buy but can’t afford and, as I’ve just bought a house, home decor! I get inspired constantly by other blogs and by things I see around me but unfortunately I don’t always have the time to write as often as I’d like to. One of my new year’s resolutions is to get into more of a blogging routine!

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?

Happy, lifestyle-y and eclectic

4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog?

I love all the lovely comments I get! It’s so nice when people take the time to leave a few words. I also love the fact that my blog reflects exactly who I am and the things I love. I don’t really hate anything but there are always little things that I think could be better. I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?

Things that make me happiest include pigs, really nice cupcakes, gin & tonic with the perfect amount of lime, seeing elderly couples holding hands in the street, having dance parties for one in my kitchen and Glastonbury festival. Not much makes me sad really but I suppose it’s the usual things… cruelty to animals and the elderly, people who are mean for no reason and Monday mornings!

6. Who is behind Clear Your Heart?

I’m Helen. I’m 29 (horrifying) and I live in Manchester, which is my favourite place in the whole world. I was born in Cheshire, went to University in Nottingham but have just made the move to my favourite city and I couldn’t be happier! I work in the legal sector doing awfully corporate things that make me feel like a bad person so I balance it out by volunteering for the Samaritans and a local dogs home in my spare time. I love baking, taking photographs and am extremely partial to a bit of a rave up on a Saturday night. My second favourite place in the whole world is New York City and I’m constantly planning my next trip (probably 2012) and dreaming of the pizzas, the burgers and the cupcakes (food is my favourite pastime).

7. What is the best fact you know?

I love facts too. I spend half my life looking things up on Wikipedia and getting drawn into a never ending cycle of page hopping. The best fact I know is that pigs can scream at 115 decibels. The sound of a jet engine taking off is 113 decibels. Also, the biggest pig ever weighed in at 2552 pounds!!

8. Which others blogs do you feast on?

So many! But at the moment I cannot get enough of Color Me Katie for the beatiful pictures, Rockstar Diaries for the happiness (here’s a fact for you: I sublet Naomi & Josh’s NYC apartment for a week last April!), Gem Fatale Gem Fatale for the laughs and Hyperbole and a Half for the laughs that make me snort tea up my nose and then choke. Those are just a few of my current favourites but I’m about 3000 posts behind on my reader. It makes me scared.

9. What are your wardrobe essentials for keeping toasty and warm this winter?

Layers! Snoods, Tabio 210 denier tights (expensive but so worth it), leg warmers (I’ve got a fetching snowman pair that I cannot wait to bust out!), big stompy boots with knee high socks, fake fur coats (I own 5, oops!), M&S leather gloves and ear muffs. I love winter so much and I think there are just so many outfit possibilities!

10. What is your blogging soundtrack?

It changes all the time but I’m currently loving the new Take That album (does this make me deeply uncool? I’m not even sure) with a sprinkling of Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Nicole Sherzinger. I have a lot of gay friends and I hold them responsible for my (sometimes dubious) taste in music! My perfect winter album is ‘Manners’ by Passion Pit as it reminds me of all the snow we had in January this year so I may have to inject some of that into my ears sooner rather than later.

11. What are your New Years Resolutions?

I love making new years resolutions, although I don’t always stick to them. For the past 10 years or so my main resolution has been to lose weight but I’ve lost over 5 stone this year so I’ve finally stuck to it! For 2011 I’d like to get fit. I’ve signed up to run the Great Manchester Run next May so I should really devise some sort of training plan. Other than that I’d like to blog more (see above), stay happy, save more money (unlike this year when I’ve gone a little bit insane), do more voluntary work and finish decorating my house!

>>Thanks Helen. What a great interview and gal!

If you want to check out previous Spotlight features you can find them here:

December: Spotlight on Rock n Roll Bride
November: Spotlight on French For Cupcake
October: Spotlight on Fur Coat, No Knickers
August: Spotlight on Blair On A Budget
April: Spotlight on Earth vs The Wildheart

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I’ve finally got the momentum going and the nack of questioning, to make my spotlight monthly! To celebrate I am SO excited to have been able to bring you a super special lady for my December edition.

I’ve always been quite laid-back about the prospect of weddings, not really up for any white poofy meringue numbers or people staring and starting to hyperventalate at the thought of choosing first dance songs [DEEP BREATH] but… after discovering the heavenly home of rock n roll bride, I can feel my icey wedding heart start to thaw.

The first day I found the blog I promptly made a giant coffee and sat and read pretty much the entire site from start to finish! Kat blogs about special and unique weddings from around the globe, and what I adore the most is that they are all so personal and unique and special and you really learn about the couples personalities and love and that is surely what a good wedding is all about!

            [Photo of the lady herself; Kat c/o  David McNeil]

Kat herself is a real starlet, her warmth and passion for weddings and all things bridal really shines through everything she does, and I’m so grateful for her squeezing me into her very busy schedule!

1. When did you start your blog & why?
I started Rock n Roll Bride in 2007 when I was planning my own wedding. i used it as an online diary to document the things i liked and wanted to use in our wedding. After the wedding I didn’t want to stop blogging so I morphed the blog into a place to share the unique, alternative and rock n roll weddings and photo shoots that I loved. Nowadays the blog attracts a huge following alll around the world and is the most popular wedding blog in the uk. I have been able to meet and get to know a lot of amazing people within the wedding industry who I like to share with my readers.

            [Photo c/o Rebecca & John & La Photographie]

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?
My readers inspire the weddings that i feature! pretty much everything i share is either submitted by recent brides and readers of the site or by wedding photographers who want to attract clients like those awesome brides that read my site! The theme and concept is a true reflection of myself. The site has always had a pink theme (obviously – look at my hair!) I recently had a complete re-branding and I employed a graphic designer who i greatly love and admire (Nubby Twiglet) to design my new logo styling. My husband is a IT geek so he does all the technical bits. very handy!

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
rock. and. roll!

           [Photo c/o Adam and Barbara & Allebach Photography]

4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog?
i love being my own boss and that i dont have to commute! i love that i can wake up late, work in my pj’s and stay up late (working or playing!) Ive never really been one to follow rules so i love that i cam make my own. I also love how amazing my readers make me feel. daily emails telling me that what im doing is inspiring people and helping them with their wedding planning makes it all so worthwhile! The only thing that annoys me is that im just so busy that i cant feature everything i’d like to. there just physically isnt enough time! I could do with an extra day in the week please!
 
5. What makes you the most happy and most sad in general life?
my husband, my kittens and my blog friends make me happy. copycats and people only in it for themselves or ‘fame’ make me sad

 6. Who is behind Rock n Roll Bride? Its just me! Im kat, im 26 and i love pink, kittens, sparkle, vivienne westwood, tattoos, shopping, 24 and photography. im a huge poser. I live in the uk, just outside of london and i listen to the same rock music that i did as a teenager!

                              [Photo c/o Jeanie and Mike & We Love Pictures]
 
7. What items are top of your Christmas wishlist?
these new vivienne westwood shoes. i LOVE!  & id also like a new vivienne handbag too and maybe a few days off…hehe!
 
8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
too many! but my utter favourites are Gala Darling, Ruffled and the rockstar diaries
 
9. Which have been your all time favourite weddings to feature?
This is such a hard question as ive featured thousands in the past 3 years! However here are some of my recent faves:
Eclectic Vintage DIY Wedding
Laid Back Homespun Festival Wedding
Incredible Red White Vintage Wedding
Silly Fun Rock n Roll Vintage Wedding

               [Photo c/o Eliesha and Joel & Jonas Peterson]

Thanks again Kat! I advise you to tuck up warm this weekend and get yourself over to Rock n Roll Bride. Weddings are such a privilidge to go to, so getting to gorge yourself on so many wonderul, unique peoples love and special day cannot FAIL to turn you into a squidgy, melty, romantic mess.

 Previous spotlights are here…

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This months spotlight is on a truley terrific gal from Northern Ireland – Claire aka French For Cupcake. Claires blog basically consists of all my favourite things – LOTS of baking, lots of recipes and lots of pretty dresses. Now when I say that Claire can bake, I mean she can really bake.  She could easily live off her skills in the kitchen department, as the magical things she conjours up are out of this world and oh so professional. I wish I lived close enough to pop round for a cup of tea and baked good!            

It’s my absolutely pleasure to be able to feature this very talented lady and I advise you to instantly add her to your reader; she never fails to put a smile on my face by immersing me in her magical world.

1. When did you start your blog & why? I started my blog in January 2009. I have kept a livejournal since I was 14 but I liked to keep that quite private so I wanted to find a more public platform for sharing my photos and a blog seemed to be the best way.

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence? I have always loved documenting things, probably mostly boring everyday things that nobody would be interested in really! I worried for a while that my blog had no unifying theme and tried to stick to either fashion or food but then I realised others were just posting what they wanted and loving it so I decided to do the same. The appearance of my blog is very simple although I am in the process of redesigning!

3. How would you describe your blog in three words? Oh gosh, that’s hard. Probably sweet, creative and eclectic.

4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog? I love when I get comments and emails from other girls telling me I have inspired them to have self confidence and feel proud in their own skin. That’s a big thing for me. To learn that I have taught girls that they can be beautiful no matter what their size makes me feel really happy. I don’t really hate anything, one thing I dislike about blogger, at least compared to livejournal, is that it’s difficult to reply directly to comments and I don’t want readers to think I am ignoring them! If anyone can help me with this let me know!


 5. What makes you the most happy and most sad? I am a girl of simple pleasures, the things that make me happy are films, a good cup of tea and or a night of dancing with my friends. What makes me sad? When my expectations of people are let down, I hate that.

 6. Who is behind French For Cupcake? Well I’m Claire, a 22 year old Masters student from Belfast in Northern Ireland. I love films (obviously) particularly French New Wave, and my focus of research is on gender theory within films, representations of women etc. I’m a true feminist and my academic writing tends to reflect that. I love folk and alternative music, my parents were complete hippies and I have been given their record collection (lucky me!). I particularly love Tori Amos, Edith Piaf, Martha and Rufus Wainwright, Joni Mitchell, Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King and Laura Marling.

   
 
7. What is the best fact you know? Oh god, I don’t know what the best one is! I giggled when I read about penguin prostitutes.
 
8. Which others blogs do you feast on? I have hundreds of blogs added to my google reader, but these are some of my favorites:

Messy Carla
Ulrikah
WishWishWish
LLYMLRS
Elinkan

9. What is your all time favourite outfit? My taste is constantly changing, at the moment I’ll pick this one; because I love the shape of the dress and how it flatters my curves. I got it in  A-wear, I wish they would make the same dress in all colours!
 
10. What is your blogging soundtrack? Right now it is a mix of Robyn (I love her) and Alessi’s Ark. I like to listen to cheerful music when I blog!

    

   

11. What are your plans both fashion and otherwise to survive the predicted snowy winter? Lots of tea, hot water bottles, dvds, books, scarves, boots gloves and my trusty panda hat!

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This months blogger spotlight is someone I get a little starstruck by and am chuffed to bits that she agreed to feature for me. She’s a force to be reckoned with and a serious head girl of all things fashion and style. If you don’t have Rachael aka Fur Coat, No Knickers on your reader-list then you are missing a trick and a treat!

From her run-downs of latest designer catwalks to items she’s currently coveting, to her AMAZING Friday Afternoon Disco Spotify playlists (my ultimate favourite being the Doo-wop classics week!) and from her own super duper personal style to her pug and norwegian heavy metal obsession (and shared girlcrush – Isabel Lucas hello!)- every post is unique and unexpected and a delight to behold. & So is her interview…

1. When did you start your blog & why?
I have been blogging in one way or another since the dawn of internet time. My brother is a massive computer geek, so we had the internet from a very early date. I started with a Geocities site about NOFX, and have pretty much worked my way up from there. I can’t remember when my blog in its current format really began – I know I registered the domain when I was at university to use as an online portfolio, so probably about six years ago – although I moved to WordPress this year because it’s so much easier to handle. I guess I started my blog because I love the internet and have to be involved in all aspects of it, but also to serve as a kind of scrapbook of all the things I love. Also, as a journalist by trade, it’s good to have somewhere online where potential employees can scout you out!

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?
I did a fashion degree, then did a fashion journalism masters. Somehow after that, I fell in to hair and beauty journalism – which is what I do now for a living. I love my job, but I am still obsessed with fashion, so it’s really just somewhere to keep that side of my brain occupied. In terms of appearance… it’s a bit of a work in progress. I am quite fanatical about how blogs look, but I’m not quite sure where I want mine to be at the moment. It’s the constant recurring battle that I have in my life between chic minimalism and complete OTT naffness – I wish I could be sophisticated and just have a lovely white background, but I think have to face facts and accept I am not that way inclined at heart! Same with fashion – sigh.

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
Shit I like? Hah! It really does cover a bit of everything though, from literature and music to fashion and beauty.

4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog?
I love the fact I’m getting to do loads of fun projects with it – considering it’s really just a hobby outside The Day Job, I’ve been really lucky to do some fun things, with lots more exciting projects to come. I hate the fact that I don’t have time to update as much as I would like – despite being obsessed with the WordPress app on my iPhone.

5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?

I’m a fairly simple being, so it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Pugs, reading the Guardian in bed on a Saturday morning with spaghetti on toast, napping, gin… Not much makes me sad. It’s something which constantly annoys people in my office. I am that irritating, eternal optimist person. Not being able to afford these shoes?

6. Who is behind Fur Coat, No Knickers?
Just me, Rachael – despite the fact people keep emailing and asking if they can have a job?! I write about hair for a living, which is a very nice way to make your money. I live in New Cross, south east London, although I am a northerner really – from Sheffield. My musical tastes are pretty firmly pre-2000 because I’m a miserable old bastard, with favourite genres being heavy metal/punk/surf/general alternative stuff. I love anything touched by the hand of Phil Spector too, mostly Beach Boys and all the wonderful girl groups of the 50s and 60s. I love reading, and am currently going through a 1920s ‘thing’ which has now lasted about two years… Fitzgerald, Waugh, and obviously Wodehouse are all favourites, although I have also read a hlof of biographies of people from the era – everything from the Mitfords to Brilliant Chang. I love pizza, Henry Rollins, and have an inordinate knowledge of celebrity gossip.

7. What is the best fact you know?
The London Eye has 32 pods – one to represent each of the London boroughs. FACT!

8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
Anything in my link list comes with a big thumbs up, but my Google reader contains about a million more! IRL pals with blogs I love include my Twin, Iso, Sofie and Alex. Some recent discoveries are Hanneli, Beckerman Bite Plate, So Much To Tell You – and of course, Anna Della Russo’s blog, which is nuts.


9. What is your all time favourite outfit?

It’s not glamorous, but it would have to be The Hangover Outfit. I actually don’t have a picture of it, but it consists of the XXL Guns n Roses t-shirt I’ve had since I was about 11, and a paisley print maxi skirt. If it’s winter, add my Levis denim waistcoat and a grey marl American Apparel hoodie on the top. It’s the comfiest outfit ever, and it’s become so synonymous with me being hungover that on the odd occasion I wear it for a ‘normal’ day, my friends ask me what I did last night.

10. What is your blogging soundtrack?
OMG, good question. I don’t have a set soundtrack, just a huge Spotify collection, but at the moment I’m listening to a lot of Parliament/Mandrill/Funkadelic. I have an embarrassing love for the era. One of the hairdressers I interviewed recently used to be a DJ and he scribbled down loads of rare funk for me to purchase – although I am struggling to read his scrawled drunken napkin notes in the cold light of day!

11. What are your plans, fashion and otherwise, to survive the predicted snowy winter? The big furry coats from Next I blogged about recently, an attempt at sensible shoes – probably from ASOS, this hat, and the New Look Parka of Dreams layered over one million cardigans. And my Slanket, which was kindly sent to me by a PR last year. Best. Gift. Ever.

Isn’t she just awesome? I was nodding my head with every answer. So go check out her blog now now now!

[Previous spotlights= Blair On A Budget and Earth Vs The Wildheart]

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Welcome to the second ever Spotlight feature! After the delight that is Miss Earth vs The Wildheart set the precident, I had to hunt high and low for my next victim of nosey questions blogging beauty.

Step up Blair! Blair has been a friend and fashionspiration of mine for a few years now and has transferred her awesome taste in clothes, intricate knowledge of high street fashion and wonderful whimsical way with words to her very own blog –Blair On A Budget which in her words is all about my wardrobe, fashion inspirations and high-street shopping addiction. She’s also a bookworm like me!

Blair also recently had a bit of a to-do with More! Magazine and became a victim of when businesses using social networking can go wrong… You can read all about it here.

1. When did you start your blog & why?
I started the blog in March of this year. There were a few reasons why: I’d recently come out of a relationship and it was part of a ‘new start’ for me, as I’d always wanted somewhere to write publicly but never had chance. Once I had the idea of making it about fashion, I also realised I was hankering for somewhere to talk about what I’ve bought and show off my outfits, since I devote an unhealthy amount of time and thought to shopping! I really wanted to get back into writing on a regular basis, even if only about clothes, and felt that if anything else came out of it, that would be a bonus.

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?
Well, at first I wasn’t planning to create a fashion blog – at the time I set it up, election fever was in full swing and I was feeling quite opinionated about lots of political issues, and for a while I wanted to set up a blog focusing on politics and feminism. When I started researching this and reading more of the political blogs out there, though, I just came to the conclusion that there are so many people doing it better than I ever could and I don’t feel informed enough to write about politics with any authority. So I went for the easier option of a more personal fashion-related blog. My main inspiration, aside from my friends’ blogs, was probably Kingdom of Style as a) I love the content, the balance of pictures and text (I don’t like blogs that just have photos with no story behind the outfit) and b) Queen Michelle’s style is amazing! As for the appearance, I wanted to keep it simple because I find really fussy, complicated layouts distracting – the main objective of the layout is to make the blog readable.

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
Cheap and cheerful?! I guess that works, because the whole idea of the blog’s theme (and slightly corny name) is that I love fashion but don’t have much money. I know this is true of lots of bloggers but I really wanted to make it an actual feature on mine – a quest for good, hopefully non-tacky style on the minimum wage.

    
4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog?
I love the fact that it’s a continuing record of my life and the evolution of my style. When I’m older, I’ll have a whole collection of pictures of what I looked like and what I wore, plus what I was doing and thinking about, in my twenties. I love discovering interesting new blogs and people, finding style inspiration and getting involved in debates.
I hate the fact that I don’t get to post as much as I’d like, and that taking/editing/uploading photos and writing posts swallows so much time! I also do get a bit nervous sometimes about the fact that I’m putting so many pictures of myself and personal information on the internet, as you never know who’s reading, and I occasionally worry about people who know and dislike me in ‘real life’ finding it. But if I let that bother me then I wouldn’t be able to do it at all, so I just try and remind myself that it doesn’t actually matter at the end of the day.
    
5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?
Happy: ESCAPISM – getting absolutely lost in a great book, music that seems to express exactly how I feel, films and TV, shopping. Buying a new item of clothing and absolutely falling in love with it. When someone I have a crush on says something nice to me and I get that amazing warm feeling inside! Getting compliments on my writing. Travelling and seeing interesting new places. Spending time with my friends.
Sad: sorry to say it, but my crap job and nonexistent career 🙁 I’m not where I want to be work-wise and sometimes it frustrates me so much that I’m a) not doing a job that utilises any of my abilities or qualifications and b) so poorly paid. But you know, you’ve got to get on with it and hope for better things to come…

 6. Who is behind Blair on a Budget? 
I live in Yorkshire, which I love, and work in retail, which I don’t. I’m 25 years old and have a degree in Politics & International Relations. I have a passion for books and try to read as much as I can; I aim to read more books each year than the last, though I don’t get as much time to read as I’d like! I love historical fiction and stories with a touch of the magical or supernatural about them – anyone is welcome to add me on Goodreads as I also love writing reviews and reading others’. Music used to be a huge part of my life but it’s been sidelined in the past few years, so I’m stuck in a bit of a timewarp (from my teens to early twenties) with my musical taste! I will always adore the Smiths, Morrissey, Amy Winehouse and Hard-Fi; these days I often listen to Britpop and feel nostalgic about the 90s, and apart from that I enjoy a lot of classical music and film soundtracks. I’m sort of convinced I’m going to marry Steve Coogan. I’m borderline addicted to chocolate and expensive coffee. Most of this makes me sound horrendous!

 
    
8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
I love all my friends’ blogs – check the links in my sidebar! – but I’m particularly excited to see what Rosie and Adele do with theirs as they’ve only started blogging recently. Also Lila’s, Baby Got Books, as it’s something different – a book review blog, and I LOVE reading book reviews. As for fashion blogs, my favourite daily reads are Kingdom of Style , LLYMLRS, Style Scrapbook and Jak & Jil. Enemies of Reason is my favourite political blog and I always keep up with the hilarious Go Fug Yourself. I’m constantly finding fantastic new blogs to follow and some great recent discoveries are Young Shields, Romeo and the Lonely Girl and Look, Know
    
9. What is your all time favourite outfit?
As my style is constantly changing, it’s hard to pinpoint a favourite because sometimes I absolutely adore certain items for a few months and then look back on them and feel completely different. Looking through the outfits I’ve posted on my blog so far, I would probably have to go for these two variations on a theme – as they incorporate THE BEST JACKET EVER and a number of my favourite fashion things – ripped tops, skinny jeans (Topshop Jamie = the best), black leather, flat lace-up boots.
    
10. What are your plans to make this the best summer ever?
I’M GOING TO NEW YORK! That’s happening at the end of August so it’s sort of going into autumn really, but I’m looking forward to it so much so it still counts. Other than that, I just want to get outside and enjoy the sunshine as much as I can, for as long as it lasts. Go on daytrips and sit in parks instead of just staying inside and letting it all pass me by.

>>Thanks Blair for taking the time to suffer my interrigation… and the wonderful blog links. My google reader just almost collapsed in on itself with great new reads!

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So! I’m starting a regular spotlight on my favourite fellow bloggers and a profile on what makes them tick, what inspires them and where they can be found when not tapping away at a keyboard in blogland. I couldn’t do this feature without starting off by spotlighting with my blog bff Kate – otherwise known as Earth vs. The Wild Heart. Kate was a key inspiration in me taking the plunge with likeaskeletonkey and is a constant source of support and ideas and all round sass!

Introducing….

  

1. When did you start your blog & why?
I started this blog in October 2009. Prior to that, I had kept various other blogs over the web – including another one on WordPress much like this one called Terminal Twelve that met it’s demise shortly before I started Earth Vs. I was in the middle of moving both house and job, and knowing that I’d have a lot more time on my hands to wear my own wardrobe because I was cutting my commute right down and wasn’t working from 5am-10:30pm anymore, I wanted to document it as much as possible – as well has places I’d been, music I love and parts of my everyday life.
 
2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?
Not long before I started Earth Vs., I’d been reading The Clothes Horse blog from front to back. It was literally my bible. It called me to create my own blog similar to it – I thought that maybe, out there somewhere, somebody might like to look at my uncertain British high street style and my humble little life. So, content was easy. I wanted to focus on my big loves, mainly personal style, life, love, music, creativity, fitness, photography, travel – that’s a lot of love to give, and they all need an outlet! Other than that, everything else is really mundane. My theme is a bog-standard WordPress theme (called Unsleepable) which I pay something silly like £7 a year to modify. A very worthy silly, that is! And the name Earth Vs. The Wild Heart comes almost literally from the title of a Wildhearts album. Sometimes I feel very unimaginative about that but I am a bit of a wild ‘heart’ and sometimes feel that the world is against me, so at least it’s pretty apt!

 
3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
Pure rock ‘n’ roll! Haha, okay, maybe not. I aspire for it to be ‘punky, unpredictable & engaging’ but it’s not that at all – definitely more ‘progressing, scattered & British’. Very British! I’m proud to be a British blogger in a blogging world (especially in the personal style category) that features a lot of American ladies and would secretely (& sometimes shamelessly) love to ‘break through’ and be a super cool Brit. There aren’t enough of us Brit chicks on the fashion blogging scene!
 
4. What do you love (/if anything hate) about your blog?
I totally love this little space I’ve created that’s all mine and I can talk about the things I like. I love that, for the first time since my first LiveJournal, it’s something I’ve stuck at. I have 70 posts now, which is quite the achievement for me! I love the way it’s kind of made me look at life too – instead of eyes down to the pavement, I will look at what’s around me to find new inspirations or things to do or places to go. It’s made be braver too – last week, for the first time, I took all my camera gear out with me and did an outfit shoot at a park a mile away for me. A big step! The only gripe I have, which is not with my blog but with blogging in general, is the constant battles and mindchanging I have just trying to make it better, perfect even. I’m quite fussy and am one of these people that would sit and figure out all my categories, weekly features, everything before I even started a blog. And sometimes I wonder whether I set up on the right platform. I love WordPress for it’s ease to use and have always had public blogs on here, but Blogger allows you to play with the entire layout (WordPress only let’s you play with just the CSS if you pay). I’d really love for that individuality. I do wonder if I should just start up afresh but I’d be scared of losing everything. This is all part of the journey though and I think I will be on WordPress to stay! Lastly (whee, a lot of gripes) I always worry whether my real-life friends will find it. I’m not terribly secretive about it – I won’t go shouting it from the rooftops but the link it on my Twitter which a couple of my friends use – but I just worry that they’d find it really vain and uninteresting. My boyfriend knows I blog and he just doesn’t get it unless I write about fitness (or him, of course) but that’s it. It’s all silly really because I’d love to know if any of my girlfriends blog, whatever they talked about. I’d definitely read theirs and be supportive and love a different insight into their lives.

 
5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?
So, so, so cheesy by living with Phil (my boyfriend) makes me most happiest. You could serve me up the most distressing day, and literally just knowing that when I get home he is there all ready for a cuddle and a chat settles everything inside. I don’t think he knows how much I appreciate him, because I always go on about how much he annoys me (well, only sometimes) but he truly is the love of my life. My best friend, even! Apart from the obvious, kittens, penguins, that scary-but-exciting feeling I get when I’m on a plane at take off, simple sunny picnics, that painful delirious glee I get when I get a new personal best on a run, and a good cup of tea are all enough to make me happy. Sadness basically equals getting called into work on my day off at short notice. It ruins all my little plans and adventures and seems to always happen when I’m off to meet up with old college or work mates that I haven’t seen for ages. Sometimes, being an assistant store manager sucks!

 
6. Who is behind Earth vs The Wild Heart?
As just mentioned, I am an assistant store manager (in training) at the nationwide coffee chain store I work at, just outside the M25. I live just inside, and my commute is a lovely 5-mile cycle – really enjoyable in this beautiful weather we’ve got right now! I adore cycling but my big love is with running, it makes me feel the kind-of good-about-myself I never imagined I could feel. I used to be a city girl (the capital, in fact) but have got used to my almost-countryside surroundings way too easily. I feel like I belong here. I’m 22 years old, and music has been a humungo part of my life since I was about 16 and discovered both Napster and emo. What a combination! I used to dress in all black with chains and listen to Slipknot and Papa Roach, but I’d like to think my taste is much better now – if a little varied! My favourite bands are The Wildhearts, Rise Against, Rilo Kiley, Metric, Frank Turner / Million Dead, Rocket From The Crypt, The Go! Team and way too many more to mention! I love to write and dabble in photography, play guitar and sing my little heart out when no-one’s around, plan travel trips I never get to go on, and be a general sort-of roadie/photographer/supporter to my boyfriend’s (& four of my best friends’) band, The Separation.

 
 
7. What is the best fact you know?  This is definitely the most useless fact of all time but it always makes me giggle: in 207 BC, a Greek philosopher called Chrysippus literally laughed himself to death after watching his drunken donkey attempt to eat figs. The image that portrays in my mind is hilarious! I read the List Of Unusual Deaths on Wikipedia ages ago and got that one – in fact, most of Anquity and Middle Ages sections are quite fascinating, if not a little funny.
 
8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
I read a tonne of blogs! Apart from the ones I’ve already mentioned, some of the blogs I read every day without fail and try to show my support on every single post are Selective Potential, Strawberry Koi, Delightfully Tacky, Afeitar, and Where Is Harriet?. & lest I ever forget, you! I also love reading ModCloth’s blog ModLife, and JOY’s store blog is full of wicked style. Last but by no means least, I have to have Aimee Marie’s blog open at least once a day. She’s an absolute gem of a girl! (Add these to your reader stat:)
Selective Potential – http://selectivepotential.blogspot.com
Strawberry Koi – http://strawberrykoi.blogspot.com
Delightfully Tacky – http://delightfully-tacky.com
Afeitar – http://afeitar.blogspot.com
Where Is Harriet? – http://whereisharriet.blogspot.com
JOY – http://blog.joythestore.com
ModLife – http://blog.modcloth.com
Aimee Marie – http://aimeemarie.com/blog
 
9. What is your all time favourite outfit?

I don’t think any stand out and hope my best outfits are yet to come, but I really love this look I achieved with an outfit I had in January – just the sort of punky, folky style I really want to build upon and I think it portrays me perfectly.

 
10. What are your plans to make this the best summer ever?
Getting my driving license! I’ve taken two dire tests, so I’m hoping for a third time lucky. It would make road tripping even better as I feel totally guilty shoving all of the driving on Phil. I’m going to Ireland with Phil and our best mates, one of whom is Irish herself and we’re going to have a cycling holiday in the south-west later on in the summer. I hope to fill my other days off full of long walks and picnics – I’m really looking forward to the promised amazing British summer, this year!

 

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