Tag Archives: creativity

So, what exactly do you do with an unworn wedding dress?

***NB This is a very cheerful post despite the subject matter***

The undeniable fact is that I have an unworn £1700 Alexander McQueen dress boxed up in my wardrobe. (NB Thanks to the Outnet.com, I didn’t pay £1700 for it). I bought it for my wedding 2 and a half years ago, and this ended up not happening.

I have no idea what to do with it but I will not be parting with it any time soon. I’ve been in my new place 6 months now, and no amount of wardrobe decluttering is going to solve this one in a hurry.

The dress is Dairy Milk purple satin, a full length Grecian style draped column dress, and even now I would have to starve for a week or two to fit in it, but this is doable.

I would have to chop about a foot off said dress in order not to do myself an injury in it, and that assumes I am wearing the equally fabulous 5 inch stiletto heels I bought to go with it.

I’d hoped to do a stunning outdoor harp shoot wearing it, but another harpist has a similarly coloured frock on her website and much as I admire her, I feel no need whatsoever to be stealing anyone else’s ideas, however wonderful they are!

As it’s such a gothy dress, I wondered about something beachy a la Madonna’s Frozen video. I am a former teenage goth (well, loved the black, wasn’t so keen on the music) and I have two beautiful big black hounds who would look the part. Even my harp is black. It’s one of my favourite songs, I love all the imagery in the video, but it doesn’t feel quite right any more. I think I need something a bit more triumphant than that. I’m surrounded by dramatic scenery where I live, so surely it shouldn’t be that hard to come up with something?

It is a FABULOUS dress. Despite the circumstances I am glad I have it.

I’m also extremely glad I didn’t spend £1700 on the minuscule Lanvin White Collection dress I had my eye on…

No one ever really tells you what to do in the case of a cancelled wedding. You often see second hand dresses advertised for sale, but this isn’t a white one, and besides, I really love it and I don’t hold any bitterness or angst towards it at all.

I just want to do it justice rather than having it sitting in a box.

Any thoughts?


Best foot forward….

My first post in WEEKS.
So much has happened, I knew it would be a crazy time but I didn’t realise just how out of control it would feel at times. At the worst, I’ve had a pounding heart, stinking headache, tight chest, even chest pains. Sometimes all at once. At the best, I’ve looked around my new locale during a sunrise or sunset, and have felt incredibly blessed. I’ll take all of the former (although not too often!) if the payoff is the latter.
I’ve finally started at the RCS. My journey started several months ago, back in March. Just over 6 months to the day that I registered.
I met my new teacher, auditioned, jumped through many hoops on the finance front, renovated an old house, cleared out years of junk, cut back on my material possessions, left full time employment, abandoned my beloved harp pupils and Brownies, upped sticksand eventually moved 420 miles North West of tropical North East Essex.
I have left the (normally) suited and booted world of business and finance.
I am now a fully paid up creative type, and a performer and artist of the future. The first time someone referred to me in this way, it was more than I could comprehend. And yet, when I looked around the packed theatre, I was indeed surrounded by many, many more performers and artists. Actors, film makers, producers, composers, opera singers , classical musicians, jazz musicians, in fact disciplines far too numerous to mention.
We had a fabulous lecture yesterday, about Higher Education and what it meant. Initially it was one of those clichéd “turn to someone you haven’t met and discuss what Higher Education is to you” moments. But then we were introduced to a wonderful creative manifesto, courtesy of Bruce Mau – Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. I had been inspired by many other words in the past, but this was a great one for the moment we were in.
As well as this, a wonderful quote was read to us, from On Lies, Secrets and Silence by Adrienne Rich. This was about Claiming rather than Receiving an Education. Frustatingly I can’t find the words on line to share here, but I will be exploring these much more in the future. Claiming being an active, empowered, entitled activity, as opposed to the passiveness of receiving.
I’ve met an inspiring composer, many wonderful guitarists, a lovely bassoonist, a gorgeous actor.  I’m struggling with a lack of tea, and can’t say I’m enjoying the bus journey to and from college.
But the practice sessions I’ve done over the last couple of days have had a new purpose. It’s a cliché, but I feel more free and yet more purposeful. I can’t say what the end result of the next four years will be, but that’s all part of the journey.
The course starts properly next week. I am performing to my guitarist friends in a performing class next week. My first concert is in less than a month. I will be playing some old and some new material. I’m sure the pressure will come, but for now, everything feels good and I am more excited about my future than I have been for a long, long time.

On a more colourful note

I found this blog Plenty of Colour a little while ago and it’s an absolute joy.

I have loved bright colours for a long time, but have often been a little afraid of using/wearing them.

So what better than a beautiful website designed to celebrate colour, organised by palette as well as by use?

I’ve gradually got braver in terms of the colours I use in my house and those that I wear, and am looking forward to having a very cheerful colourful new house. I’ve loved exploring Plenty of Colour, with a thirst for inspiration and a real sense of appreciation.

Here is one of my favourite finds from the blog. It’s an installation created from coloured sewing thread, by Mexican artist Gabriel Dawe. When I first saw these I thought they were constructed from light or laser beams, but no…. stunning and very uplifting.

Pausing for breath

Things are quiet on the harp front at the moment. I’m about to go into my second weekend of no weddings – a treat at this time of year. It’s a BIG birthday for a very dear friend, so I have been keeping it free. We are off to one of my favourite ever cities. I took refuge there after the wedding that wasn’t, and enjoyed a wonderful honeymoon for one at The Royal Crescent Hotel. I can’t stretch to staying there for a while, but I remember the time very fondly.

I’m enjoying having a little time to myself, and have used it to literally get my house in order, hopefully ready for the impending move north. This is currently on hold, waiting on a form to be filled in for an appeal – my tuition fee loan application has been rejected due to dropping out of previous studies, and I am waiting on a letter from my doctor to explain the circumstances. I am not a patient person so this is a tricky exercise in hoping and trusting that things meant for me won’t pass me by.

I read lots of blogs over the course of a week, and a popular feature on many of them is a weekly round up of lovely links to internet joy. I have wanted to do this for a long time, but am not sure I can commit to a specific day each week. Tuesday is always a tricky day in the week (from my time in a previous job, it was everyone’s most hated day – no weekend in immediate memory, not even the middle of the week yet) so maybe I’ll adopt that as an attempt to spread some cheerfulness.

I discovered this recently Play Me I’m Yours – Stunning Pianos in Toronto – these are dotted around Toronto, open for all to play as they wish until the end of July. Each one has been painted by an artist from each country taking part in the PanAm Games in 2015. I saw one such piano in Colchester once, and loved the concept. Pianos are many people’s first instruments, and a feature in many homes up and down the country. The piano was my first love, the first instrument I learned, and unfortunately once I progressed on the harp, my time at the piano became very limited. I’m not sure Play Me I’m Yours would work in our current UK climate, but how incredible would it be if some way of bringing music to the masses could have been incorporated into the up and coming Olympics!

I also found Pianists from the Inside – this was an utter gem, given my previous post on struggling to find much in the way of discussion of creativity in the context of music. I discovered it via Twitter, and particularly enjoyed the article exploring the impact of a bad teacher early in one’s musical career.

Completely unrelated to music, or pianos – one of my favourite websites ever, the fabulous Cake Wrecks is devoted to cake disasters. Some are hilarious, some are incredibly rude, some are just plain bizarre. Also featured are episodes of genius – a recent favourite was Swoon-worthy Steampunk Sweets. The Steampunk thing has gone mostly over my head, I love the clothes but don’t really ‘get’ it. But in terms of sheer beauty, these cakes have it. Stunning.

An Anatomy of Inspiration

I read this wonderful article on Brain Pickings recently An Anatomy of Inspiration

Over the last few months I’ve really started to explore my own creativity, and also what creativity is and  what makes a creative type. There is a lot out there about artists (as in the painting/drawing/sculptor sense), about writers and photographers. As I mentioned the other day, I’m struggling to find much about musicians and the creative process involved in performing and composing music.

I’ll be ordering the book, partly because it is written by a music historian, and partly because it considers musicians as well as artists and writers.

I’m in the process of (hopefully) leaving my day job as an accountant, with a regular salary, regular hours and fairly clearly defined responsibilities. So I’m really looking forward to reading about the daily routines and habits of other artists – and by artist, I mean in the general sense.

Hopefully in September I will be at music college, and while there will be a structure that comes with registering on a fairly intensive course, I have no idea what my days will look like, and how I will fill them apart from with practising and walking my dogs. I am looking forward to having time and space to explore my own creativity and hopefully work on writing some of my own music.

I know I am a morning person these days. My ex husband was almost incapable of sleeping in, and when we got our first dog Bubble, he was very much on race kennel time and was an early riser. He also didn’t understand the concept of a weekend. He slept in until 10am one Sunday when we were particularly hungover, and we woke up with a fright because we thought the dog was dead – so unusual was it to not be awoken by a gentle whine from down the stairs.

Having had a fairly long commute over the last 6 years, and being in charge of the early morning dog walk when I was still married, I was often at my desk at 8am to beat traffic and because I was up early anyway. I find it very hard to stay late at my day job, and one of my old bosses was very understanding of my distinct productivity slide after 6pm – she would pack me off, knowing better than I did that a good night’s sleep would solve whatever budget/spreadsheet/other techy issue I had been unable to fix that day.

As a musician, late nights are going to come with the territory, which will take some getting used to.

I am ready for the change, it’s very exciting being on the verge of stepping into a new existence.

I’ll let you know what I think of the book….