Friday, 30 November 2012

Style Icon: Kelly Smythe

Hi everybody!

Long time, no post, hasn't it been! I thought I would start doing on of these "Style Icon" posts every week about some stylish people who I find really inspirational when it comes to all things fashion, so, on the list, my very first Style Icon is Kelly Smythe.

If you don't follow me on Twitter (@blackbirdblog), you won't know that yesterday night, I had the upmost honour of actually, legitimately meeting with one of Australia's top stylists through some people I know. It was absolutely ethereal. I was actually shaking as I went in, that's how amazing and iconic she is.

Before I met her, I suppose one could say that I sort of "stalked" her website and twitter a tad just to get to know her a bit better so I'd have a ground to stand on when I did meet her, and thanks to the joy of the world wide web, I found out a bit more about who Kelly Smythe really is and what she does.

In a nutshell, Kelly is a stylist; a person who arranges clothes for another person in order to suit their physique, their style and their personality. The company she works for is a private company, meaning that she doesn't market herself through television commercials or the newspaper or any public means of promotion, so hence, this would probably be the meaning to why you have probably never heard of her before. If you have heard of her, I commend you -- you know your stylists! As well as styling for members of the private public, she also stylist "famous people" who come to Australia, say, for a concert or a fashion show.

Just to name of the few people she's styled:

♥ Rihanna
♥ Miranda Kerr (several times)
♥ Jodi Gordon (several times)
♥ Rachel Finch
♥ Jennifer Hawkins (several times)
♥ Megan Gale
♥ Chris & Liam Hems worth
♥ Delta Goodrem (several times)
♥ Eva Mendes
♥ Kelly Rowland
♥ Samantha Harris

So, now that we know a bit about Kelly, let's talk about the meeting! I was actually a bit surprised, as when my father drove me up the long, harbour viewing street in the very upmarket parts of the Eastern Suburbs, he stopped the car and waved at a lady buckling a toddler into a four wheel drive. She waved back. Curious, I asked which house was Kelly's and dad pointed at the house in front of where the lady, the toddler and the car were all situated.

The lady was dressed surprisingly casual, considering that moments later, I found out that she was Kelly Smythe in the flesh. She wore a pink singlet, a grey mini-skirt, her long brown hair was out and she wore black Havaianas. She was so casual! And here I was wearing an LBD and suede stilettos, thinking that if I was meeting someone so A-classed, I would need to dress accordingly. I did admit to feeling a bit embarrassed and overdressed when I saw her in her "casual" day wear. She is rather petite too. Probably about my height if  I was not wearing the heels.

Anyway, she took us up into her office half of her Eastern mansion and into a lift. I'm a girl who lives in the older, but still upmarket half of Sydney and to have someone have a lift in their mansion was quite surprising. The office was gorgeous, filled with beautiful clothes and garments and shoes and fashion and wonderfulness.

At first, I was so extremely shy about meeting her, partially because I was wonderstruck about meeting such an influential person and secondly because I felt that if I talked, I would probably end up saying something extremely embarrassing. (which, by the end of the day, I did! :P)

After a drink, we were sat down at a table overlooking the glorious summer day ocean and we begun to talk fashion. I asked her several questions regarding fashion, the industry and just some other questions in general. Though I haven't got a recording or anything, this is kind of how her answers went along.

I think the first question was about how she found herself in the industry.
She talked about her arrival into Australia from New Zealand and pretty much straight after that, she was head hunted into working with Channel 7 (one of the main Australia television channels) as a premier stylist for the company, and so she did that for a while before being asked to style for the Olympics, dancing with the stars and a few more. She styled Miss Universe, Jennifer Hawkins and with her, travelled to Paris Fashion Week and I believe this is where she begun to promote herself and gain an international scale of acknowledgement. After that, she decided on taking the "giant life changing leap of faith" and opening up her own private styling business, Kelly Smythe pty. ltd. and this is how her "big" A-classed career began.

I then asked her where one would considering going to university if one would like to head off into the styling/design/general fashion career.
She pretty much responded instantaneously with the Whitehouse Institute of Design which, for those outside of Eastern Aus, is the top, most expensive (I might add) university school for fashion and design. She also made a mention that one wouldn't need to peruse textiles or design throughout schooling but it would be a good idea.

I asked for her five fashion tips and she came up with a few.
♥ Never wear more than one dominant colour (It's like looking into the sun)
♥ Don't dye your hair darker (for it creates for a paler countenance)
♥ Walk away from the current trends of geometrics and floral patterns (they will go out as quickly as they came in)
♥ Act your own age (Don't dress as though you are older because the years will come. Pretty much, dress appropriately)
♥ Chose a style that reflects on your personality and remember to always stay true to yourself. (She is really down to earth)
Overall, meeting Kelly was an amazing, once in a lifetime experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it, even though I was only there for about forty-five minutes, it went by so quickly. As they say, time flies when you're having fun!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Christmas World!

Hi everybody!

So you'll never guess where I went on Sunday...actually no, the title completely gives it away. I went to Santa's Workshop! A legitimate Christmas World larger than the QVB itself...which, in hindsight, is massive.

Located in one of the outer city suburbs of Sydney and a good 20 minute drive from where I am situated is the full on Santa's Workshop. I cannot even begin to explain how amazingly awesome this warehouse is.

It covers an enormous amount of land and it is basically a huge storage warehouse filled with absolutely everything relating to Christmas; dozens and dozens of trees (traditional, fibre-glass, even trees frosted with fake snow), a whole quartile of the warehouse dedicated to bauble, ribbons and decorations, another quartile entirely devoted to lights (big ones, little ones, coloured ones and clear ones, star shaped ones and traditional shaped ones...basically lights in every dimension and physical shape imaginable), then there are the gigantic blow up Santas to go on one's roof, and the light up deers to put in the lawn on the eve of Christmas, light up reindeer and penguin statues *see below* and apartment sized red and green streamers hanging from the roof *see below too!*...and that is just to name a few of the things I found whilst exploring this metropolis.

Being a complete Christmas junkie like myself, I was absolutely besotted with the idea of a complete district dedicated to everything Christmassy. It was definitely where I belonged, I was in HEAVEN! They even had workers dressed up as elves, and I admit to spending a couple of hundred in that shop.

As I say before, I went full on when it came to purchasing as I really, really want this Christmas to be a memorable and joyful one, as this past year has gone by so fast and I've been fated with a series of unfortunate events, I feel as though Christmas ought to cheer us all up a bit, and there's no point in basking in your own gloom whilst such a magnificent, whimsical period is passing us by.

A quick and brief list of my Christmas haul included: many gold and red Christmas baubles and ribbons (we're doing a very traditional Christmas theme this year and I've decided to base my tree to the one in the picture below on the bottom left hand corner!), a glow up penguin (see above), a pair of golden sparkly twinkie lights (not shown above but I'm pretty sure you've seen gold twinkie lights before), a gorgeous little porcelain Santa statue, a Nativity scene (because they are so cute and essential for Christmas), a Christmas town (see below in the right hand corner fit with gold up fibre glass streams), a gold and scarlet wreath for the old front door), huge Christmas stockings for me, my brother, and the doggie, some candles, wrapping paper, and in the top right hand corner of the picture below, I bought a long tree-like branch with fake leaves covered with fake snow which looks absolutely darling on the fireplace mantel piece. I cannot get over how good it looks. This Christmas World sure knows how to make it special!

I can tell you, I am over the moon with my Christmas World purchases but because the time hasn't exactly arrived for real Christmas trees to sell, we are currently tree-less. I'm hoping that they start selling in the next week or two so we can add our decorations to the tree and add the finishing touches to the Christmas atmosphere of the house.

Overall, it was an extremely successful Christmas shopping spree and my brother, my dad and I came home with arms full of Christmas bags, fake snow was leaking all through my Dad's Merc which he got pretty annoyed at but hey, it's Christmas and the finished look of the fake snow looks extraordinary, not to mention really authentic and realistic aesthetically. 

I hope you've all had a marvellous start to the week. I can tell you that I am exhausted, otherwise, but that's probably just because I came home from a Circuit's gym class. Even though they are so tiring, I do love them!


Friday, 16 November 2012

The Blower's Daughter Cover - Preview

Hi everybody!

Here is a quick 40-something second cover of the Blower's Daughter by Damien Rice. It's such a sweet and indie song and even though I could NEVER in my wildest dreams match up to the voice of Damien Rice (firstly, he is a man and secondly, he has been gifted with extraordinary vocal abilities that I do not possess) but I decided to give it a go and see how it went.

Let me know what you think.


Thursday, 15 November 2012

Rainy Friday

This is my Friday.

"So what if it drizzles,
and dribbles and drips?
I'll splash in the garden,
I'll dance on the roof,
Let it rain on my skin,
It can't get in,
I'm waterproof."

-- Dancing in the rain, Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

My Latest "Blogsessions"

Hi everybody,

Today I have decided to blog a little bit about my latest "Blogsessions" which, if you can't articulate my awful pun and contraction of the words "Blog" and "Obsessions" (not that I blame you...I quite agree), basically just explains several blogs I have been eyeing over the mid month of November.

I also do apologise for my really infrequent posting. I think it's been maybe several weeks since I lasted posted about something, so I do apologise; I've had exams and study, and if you follow my Twitter (@blackbirdblog - I did recently change the name), I did get selected for the job offering at a hairdressers salon so it's hectic and basically it's just been mega crazy.

However, this short little text is basically not going to be about my busy life or my awful ability to script puns and contractions in the "Title" of the post, but about my latest obsessions of some blogs I've recently stumbled upon.

Being a blogger myself, I do enjoy spending an entire day on my laptop, reading through blogs that other bloggers had created and seeing what they have to say about the world, whilst ruining my eyesight by staring at a screen for hours on end.

So, ditching the "blogsessions" pun, my latests "blog obsessions" are:

Wolf & Willow
♥ Tanya Burr (
♥ Skunkboy
♥ A Beautiful Mess
Starting with Number One; Wolf & Willow. I found Wolf and Willow first and I must admit, it just entices the innocent mind just by the gorgeous, delicate opening home page. It is one of the cutest blogs I've ever found. The creator of this blog is Nancy and I believe she is a freelance writer as well as a graphics designer to an Australian magazine. 

I actually don't even know how I found it; probably through Twitter or some other means of social networking. Basically, her blog consists of recipes, templates and easy DIYs for lots of cute little knickknacks like potpourri, eye masks and some cute things. She is also I believe training to be a Health Advisor or something like that and is currently undertaking a sugar free vegan diet which I am itching to try out as soon as my exams are over (generally, exam study consists of study + chocolate + lots of tea). She writes up some fantastic recipes (for her sugar free vegan diet) that I haven't tried yet, but have added to my cute little-big recipe book.

She also blogs fashion and does photography which provides for a rather nice look book consisting of garments that I find quite pretty and girly (the stuff I'm into). She has also posted wallpapers of which I've been very fond of as they are very, very sweet and wrapping papers and such.

Number Two; Bongo Blog or Tanya Burr's website. I've been reading and visiting Tanya Burr's blog for about a year now and it all started when I went through a massive Harry Potter - Hermione Granger's eyebrows thing where I wanted to get Emma Watson's perfectly styled eyebrows (I think...other than that, I'm not even sure), so, like most people, I went onto Youtube, typed it in and Tanya Burr's blog came up and from then, I've basically been visiting her blog a lot. (Bit of a random statement there, isn't it. I'm not sure if it makes sense, but if it doesn't, just play along!) 

I love her blog because she does fantastic and authentic make-up tutorials, as well as having her own vlogging/hauls channel on Youtube as well which I've been watching. Anyway, Tanya basically reviews products (mostly beauty/cosmetics products) and she's very casual but professional at the same time.

I would suggest checking it out if you're interested in the "glamorous" side of life as she does really thorough recommendations of the products that she's been receiving and it's really usefully as it does provide a lot of information. She's  definitely a top the list of favourite bloggers and does lead a very interesting life!

Number Three is Skunkboy.

I came across the blog through the next one I'm going to talk about (A Beautiful Mess) through one of the featured articles on the Beautiful Mess website. Like a lot of the blogs I'm talking about on this, she posts mostly about vintage and retro fashions, as well as owning her own "creatures" merchandise which, in a nut shell, are these cute little animals made out of fabric with buttons for eyes. They are rather adorable and I am considering buying one because they are so cute!

I am in love with her fashion style. Her style changes a fair bit but it is quite girly and cute and I admire her courage to be able to brave enough to wear what she wants without any one else caring about that. I find that very inspiration and I think I should begin to do that as, at the moment, I am still a little bit shy and a bit confused (would one call it confused....?) about the style I want to go for.

She has amazing coloured hair. Just as a little bit of a P.S.
See the picture below for her hair, oh my gosh!

And last, but not least, is A Beautiful Mess. This blog would certainly be among the most visited in the history of my laptop. I think i pretty much visit this blog at least once a day, which, for me, is quite a lot of visiting.

The owners are Elsie and Emma; they co-write posts on the blog together. I love the blog because its just such a nice thing to visit on a Friday afternoon with a tea in hand and the rain pouring on the window sill. It is quite homely (if that is possible).

Elsie and Emma blog about crafts, photography, recipes (which are amazing and really simple and easy to put together), decor, beauty and fashion (which I love). They have so many posts about everything, I can not describe. Most of their stuff is DIY which is great because I love creating and just generally making things.

I could pretty much spend hours on this website as it is just so adorable and amazing.

"A Beautiful Mess" (I do not claim these photos)