Monthly Archives

April 2014

Lifestyle and Interviews

Get Your Toes a Tappin’ And Waists a Wigglin’ With The Meyer Dancers

April 21, 2014

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Are you ready to take a psychedelic trip to the swinging sixties and back? It is my pleasure to introduce you to The Meyer Dancers, London’s finest GoGo dance troupe.

These sassy femmes have performed at some seriously high profile events. They’ve shimmied on stage with The Sonics, GoGo’d for Gizzi Erskine’s restaurant opening and revelled on the Rimmel advert.

The group got started when lead dancer Treacle was DJing at Soul and mod events while completing dance degree in London. As a fan of 60’s music, fashion and dance, she was keen to recreate the swingin’ vibes of Soul Train and the shimmy-tastic routines from Shindig. So she created The Meyer Dancers, a group of dancers, beautiful women and friends who dig the style and music of the 1960s and 70s.

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You have performed alongside 60’s icons such as The Sonics and on stage at huge festivals including Glastonbury, tell us about your favourite show.

There are so many to choose from! We have a residency at The Trip Out Festival, it’s full of psychedelic kittens and far out freaks from around the globe! Everyone brings their swanky motors, gorgeous clobber and dancing shoes. We dance both nights on the main stage to DJs and bands. Last year Estelle, one of the organisers got carried away with our ‘Goldfinger, 1964 ’ costumes and we ended up being painted head to toe in gold by a woman we’d met just ten minutes earlier, in a caravan, in Bedfordshire. Oh, the glamour! We emerged on stage to a buzzing crowd and performed a special edition set of routines. It was so much fun and the best bit is that we are going back this year too, so come and see us!

We also performed at Le Beat Bespoke with The Trashmen, they are such professionals and their energy was incredible. We had a great routine to Surfin’ Bird and lucky for us, they loved it.

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 Where do you get your swinging sixties GoGo dancing threads from? 

We are big fans of charity/thrift shops and a dig a good jumble sale. For particularly special costumes we love a butchers round Paper Dress Vintage, East London’s most happening haunt. You can often see us dancing in the window, Go Go boots clad!

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 Who are your modern day and vintage style crushes?

There is some amazing reproduction stuff out there, we just LOVE Orla Kiely’s new designs for Clarkes. Treacle is a huge fan of Goldie Hawn, Barbarella and Raquel Welsh, we have modelled costumes on all them.

 

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Where do you go/what do you do when you are in need of a little inspiration?

When in need of inspiration we just play each other records, there’s always exciting new songs to find and share, see our Facebook page for more. We’re diggin’ this at the moment.  Then we normally have a G&T, flutter on some lashes, do some industrial back combing and head on out.

We all love to dance and the best bit about going to a new club night is getting us all together for a night out! The New Untouchables run excellent MOD events but we are also all big Soul fans. Meyer girls Shelley and Grace are both singers too so we love going to their gigs.

 

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To get your toes tappin’ and waists wigglin’ The Meyer Dancers have shared their Spotify performance playlist with us, go grab yourself a G&T and hit play

 

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If you like this post you might like The Legacy of The Lucy in Disguise Dress. 

Lifestyle and Interviews

Paint Project

April 20, 2014

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I have a few pieces of inexpensive furniture that have moved around with me from place to place since my university days. They looked ever so sad and dowdy in my new apartment so I decided to give them a colour-pop make-over.

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Dulux tester paint pots are brilliant for jazzing up furniture. You’d be surprised at how far the paint from those little pots can go.

I chose Pretty Pink, Lemon Tropics and Mint Macaroon.

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Here are a few tips:

  • Clean the surface of the chair/table thoroughly before you start painting. If you paint directly onto dust it will look clumpy and peel within no time
  • Apply a few, light coats of paint. This will avoid brush streaks and drips
  • Be patient and allow each coat to dry completely before starting on the next
  • If any brush hairs get stuck in the paint, remove them quickly with tweezers. If the paint starts to dry before you do this it will look messy
  • Cover all surfaces, even those out of view for a professional finish
  • Wash your brushes in hot soapy water as soon as possible so that they are nice and supple ready for the next project!                                  image

Be warned it is addictive! I only intended on painting a chair and table but ended up getting a little carried away. The drawers of my dressing table are now Pretty Pink!

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You can read about my jewellery organisers (as pictured above) in this post.

Lifestyle and Interviews

Owl Cats And Morrissey Dolls – Interview With Liz Kenny, Creator of Bettie’s Pets

April 20, 2014

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I met Liz, the creator of Bettie’s Pets and her animal creations at a Manchester WI clothes swap party. I was lucky enough to win one of her personalised pets in a competition and I requested a Shih Tzu with an under bite like Dougal, my favourite pooch. The resemblance was uncanny.

Her creativity is infectious e.g. when Liz carved a pumpkin for Halloween, she didn’t just butcher a wonky grin like the majority would. Instead, she chiseled a sculpture that would give Tim Burton a run for his money. She then casually threw together a Raven made from leather gloves adding her own hand-beaded embellishments to complete the theme!

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Liz stitches intricate replicas of people’s pets over at Bettie’s Pets, she also designs and makes costumes at the Royal Exchange Theatre. In this interview Liz discusses her favourite tunes to craft along to, plans for Morrissey dolls and the time it takes to create an ‘Owl Cat’.

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What are your favourite tunes to craft along to?

I love music, music and cups of tea are essential work-buddies. In fact, I keep meaning to do some dolls based on Rock Stars (well… Morrissey!). I have eclectic taste but my latest faves are Deap Vally, Tame Impala and Sleigh Bells. I’m not cool though, I also have B*Witched on my i-pod.

Owl Cat is pretty adorable, how long did he take to make? (Pictured above)

It usually takes a few weeks to make each pet, depending on the size and specifications. The Owl-Cat  has taken nearly two months because it was so different to anything else I’ve made.

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Which pet are you most proud of?

Probably the first pet I ever made, a big tabby cat called Beefie because I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it. I still sometimes feel like that and it’s a buzz when it actually comes together. I love a challenge!

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Tell us more about your work at the Royal Exchange

I’m a volunteer Wardrobe Assistant at the Royal Exchange. It’s really good fun, you never know who will walk through the door. It could be anyone from a CBBC presenter to someone throwing a fancy dress party. I help people choose costumes and I also get to make them too, which is a fantastic opportunity.

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You can see more of Liz’s work and shop the Bettie’s Pets collection over at  www.etsy.com/shop/bettiespets

Lifestyle and Interviews

My Interview With The Huffington Post – Forget Tea And Cake, The Young Women’s Institute Members Would Rather Have A Beer

April 2, 2014

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I am the former president and co-founder of Manchester Women’s Institute, one of the largest and youngest W.I’s in the UK.

The Huffington Post  journalist Brogan Driscoll interviewed me lately to find out more…

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The Women’s Institute (WI) has long been associated with blue rinse, homemade jam and knitted cardigans – but, as the organisation reaches its centenary year, there is a new generation of WI members who are breathing fresh life into the old order.

Now the largest voluntary women’s organisation in the UK with 212,526 members, the WI has more than six thousand groups to cater to different ages and interests – including many who would sooner share a bottle of wine than a pot of tea.

But swapping bunting for burlesque or pearls for pamper days doesn’t mean rejecting the organisation’s traditional values.

The WI was founded in 1915 to involve women in food production during the war effort and revitalise rural areas – today food and community spirit remain deeply engrained in the fabric of the organisation, simply in a more modern form.

We caught up with four WI members from across the UK to discuss the organisation’s changing reputation, modern femininity and the importance of giving back.

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Name: Lucy Adams
Age: 25
Occupation: Project Co-ordinator and in my spare time I write a lifestyle blog www.ledbylucy.com
Joined WI: I spent just under two years as president and co-founder, and am now a proud member.
Name of WI group: Manchester WI

How long has your group been running?

Alexandra Taylor and I launched Manchester WI two years ago. It started off as just an apple in our eye and now it is one of the largest in the UK.

We had eighty members rush through the doors on our first meeting, we had booked the room with a capacity of 40 – it was so exciting!

What sets your group apart from others?

I’d say the vibrancy of our meetings and members. Manchester WI puts its heart and soul into sourcing interesting speakers and organising the creative events.

The members are an eclectic mix of ages and backgrounds which make the meetings so vibrant, people have met their future bridesmaids, housemates and employers at our meetings. It is a real melting pot of activity.

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Lex Taylor, Manchester WI Co- founder

Describe a typical meeting

There really isn’t a typical meeting! Each has a different theme. My favourite meeting was the sustainable fashion event, we had stylists and designers speaking about the effects of disposable fashion then we hosted a huge clothes swap party. The clothes were amazing; I bagged a Megan from Mad Men style 1960’s dress and one of the other girls got a Vivienne Westwood ring!

I also really enjoyed our sisterhood meeting, the speaker was feminist artist Charlotte Newson who created a huge portrait of Emmeline Pankhurst using images of inspiring women from around the world. It was really relevant given Manchester’s suffragette history.

Do you think the current reputation of the WI is fair?

For some groups it might be, but not at Manchester WI. A blogger from Mancunian Matters joined us for a meeting and summed it up with: Forget twinsets and pearls, unless making a sartorial style statement, these are women aged 25-40 who are more drum n bass than Jam and Jerusalem.

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Lucy Adams, Manchester WI Co-founder

What are you doing to bring WI into the 21st century?

I think the very fact that all of our members are working women, living in the city with lots of passion and energy makes it really relevant to current day.

Also Emmeline Pankhurst is featured in our logo, but she is winking and has a tattoo!

Would you consider yourself feminist?

Absolutely. There is a strong sense of sisterhood at Manchester WI, it’s all about learning new skills, networking and having fun.

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Manchester WI Members.

If you like this post then have a read of Business Women Of The Blogosphere.