Friday, 30 July 2010

Autumn/Winter Fashion & a couple more Book Reviews...

PARIS - MARCH 10: A model walks the runway during the Louis Vuitton Ready to Wear show as part of the Paris Womenswear Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2011 at Cour Carree du Louvre on March 10, 2010 in Paris, France. (Photo by Francois Durand/Getty Images)
Hi, I thought this picture of a model wearing a Louis Vuitton dress at the Paris Fashion Show in March would be a good accompaniment to a couple of book reviews that include flowers. I look forward to the high street versions this autumn!

'The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady' by Edith Holden is a naturalist's diary for the year 1906. The diary lay undiscovered for 70 years, and was first published in 1977. The book is written by hand and the beautiful paintings of birds, butterflies, bees and flowers reflect her deep love of nature.

'In and Out of the Garden' by Sarah Midda. A lovely book published in 1981, as quoted on the cover '...garden lore painted in minute detail. Here are summer days of raspberry picking, swarms of bees laden with pollen, peas ripe for podding, herbs for flavouring. Dip into it for recipes, poems, proverbs and garden thoughts.' All hand painted.

You can buy both these books through Amazon (see details in the sidebar) and they are just incredible value for money.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Back to the Rat Race, but a wonderful break...

Willie Lotts Cottage. 17C cottage beside Flatf...Image via Wikipedia

Hi everyone. I'm feeling really fed-up today as yesterday I came back from a Field Studies Centre course with naturalist Nick Baker at Flatford Mill in Suffolk, and today it's back into the rat race and huge (and I mean huge) amounts of washing!

You may have gathered that one of my main interests is the natural world. What I really like about the FSC courses is because the prices are very reasonable, they are opportunities for all. We stayed in Willie Lotts cottage (pictured) and did moth trapping, bat watching, mammal trapping (to name a few activities) and even saw wild barn owls. Why not have a look at their website www.field-studies-council.org for a range of really fun (and educational!) courses. Get out there this summer!

For starters I highly recommend the book 'Guide to Garden Wildlife'. One of the authors, Richard Lewington, is a tutor at Flatford Mill. Find details in the sidebar under 'My Favourite Books'.

Read more about the FSC, and an interesting article about moths (my favourites)...

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Friday, 23 July 2010

A couple of Book Reviews...

Anthony RobbinsAnthony Robbins via last.fm

Gok Wan 'Work Your Wardrobe'. Style icon Gok Wan gives timeless advice about dressing with pizazz. He divides his book into sections covering Chic Classics, Elegant Extras, Timless Style, Simply Gorgeous and End Note (with a very useful Where to Buy list). Great book which you can dip into or read cover to cover!

Anthony Robbins 'Awaken the Giant Within'. This book is absolutely jam-packed with advice about how to shoot for the stars, and actually get there! Take this excerpt 'You see, in life, lots of people know what to do, but few people actually do what they know. Knowing is not enough! You must take action.' I'm reading this book for the second time, it's so good.

What else am I reading? Well, it's 'HTML 4 Dummies', certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but I need to refine my knowledge of this computer language to improve my blogging and website skills!

Find both 'Work your Wardrobe' and 'Awaken the Giant Within' for sale through Amazon under 'My Favourite Books' in the side-bar.

Happy summer reading!
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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

The Shining Stars of Langley Park School for Boys

Brown (middle) & The Famous Flames (far left t...Image via Wikipedia

Hello everyone. The summer concert 'Langley's Got Talent' at the school was absolutely stunning (and I can assure you I'm not easily pleased). First up was James Brown's 'I Feel Good' and I really believe this group of boys led by lead singer Zak could go very far. Zak's wild afro hair, skinny pale trousers and black shirt certainly led the style. The other highlight of the evening was Chris King who sang and played 'Take a Bow' and also performed 'Man In The Mirror' as part of a duet. Chris could truly be the next Michael Jackson.

Every single performance was fabulous, there was an amazing rendition of 'Johnny B Goode', and I could go on. This showcase concert was a rare experience to enjoy the wide variety of incredible talent at the school. These students must be at the leading edge of performing arts in this country.

Simon Cowell eat your heart out, you need to get straight down to Langley Boys, forget the X Factor and all those other shows!
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Monday, 19 July 2010

Book Reviews - Marilyn Monroe

circa 1952:  Studio glamour portrait of American actor Marilyn Monroe (1926 - 1962), wearing a lame evening dress and fur wrap, early 1950s.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Hi. You may have noticed that I've started to advertise a few books that sell through Amazon. I own most of the books I advertise and I will be doing a few book reviews.

My daughter has a 1950's dress up day today at school, and of course last night I went straight to my Marilyn Monroe books for reference. We found all we needed in 'Marilyn mon amour' by Andre De Dienes. Mr. Dienes was a Hungarian photographer living in Los Angeles and took the stunning photographs of Marilyn in this book from 1945-1953. A beautiful book.

I borrowed 'My Story' by Marilyn Monroe from the library. There was a bit of a to do finding the book as it was stored in the archives. An excerpt from 'My Story', with Marilyn asking her agent: "Then why can't I get a job just to make enough money to eat on?". "It's hard for a star to get an eating job," said Johnny Hyde. "A star is only good as a star. You don't fit into anything less." A simple and yet insightful book.

The new book about Marilyn Monroe is 'Fragments' due to be published in October. Read this review from The New York Times:
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By the way my daughter wore rolled up jeans and a top knotted at the front as her 1950's outfit, inspired by 'Marilyn mon amour'.

Find all the books I've reviewed under 'My Favourite Books' in the side-bar, happy reading!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Straight from the horse's mouth...

Churchill Insurance Company - head office, Bro...Image via Wikipedia

Hello. My worst day at Bromley market in recent times was yesterday! It was windy, cold, everything! I covered my market rent plus a little bit, but that little bit had been spent on stock, so I made nothing. There were few shoppers, in fact since the disappearance of Allders and Army & Navy I think Bromley Town Centre has been deteriorating, but of course the same can be said about many high streets at the moment. I shall regroup during the summer holidays (I'm not back at the market until September) and make a market action plan! Thank you for listening. How was your Friday?

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Paris haute couture Fashion Show

Models present creations by British designer John Galliano as part of his Fall/Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture fashion show for French fashion house Dior in Paris July 5, 2010. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier (FRANCE - Tags: FASHION)





Isn't this just so gorgeous? It's by John Galliano for Christian Dior at
the Paris Fashion Show which was held on July 5.

His amazing haute couture dresses sell for up to £100,000, but luckily for us ordinary mortals we can buy the high street interpretations!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

The blogosphere, moths and London! A random post

May 15, 2010 - 05908825 date 15 11 2009 Copyright imago BPI Chelsea supporters ON A Red Double Decker Bus Outside Wembley PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUKxFRAxNEDxESPxSWExPOLxCHNxJPN London men Football England FA Cup 2009 Final Cup finals venues Stadium long shot Vdig xmk 2009 horizontal Highlight premiumd Football.

Hi to you in the blogosphere. I haven't had feedback from my last post, so I guess either you all approve of my posts, or you're the strong, silent types! Comments are very welcome.

We bought a moth trap a while back and had our first go last Saturday and incredibly we caught about fifty moths. In the UK there are 70 butterfly species, but about 2,500 species of moth and identification can be a problem, we did manage to identify a few! Our favourite was a pale lemon swallow-tailed moth, which could easily be mistaken for a butterfly, wonderful.

Are you visiting London this year? Why not try a bus tour. We finally got round to doing the bus tour a few years ago and it's unmissable. Visit www.bigbustours.com for information. Or try a guided London Walk, we do these throughout the year and they're a fascinating insight into the life and culture of London, visit www.walks.com for information. Have you got a place of interest you can recommend in London?

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Bits and Pieces...

Publicity portrait of British-born actor Elizabeth Taylor in a yellow dress as she stands in front of an artificial Christmas tree amidst a pile of opened presents, including a television set, clothing, and a radio, circa 1950s (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Hello everyone. I had a very good day at Bromley Market last Friday, the sun was blazing and my best sale was a hand made emerald and opal pendant. I sell some of my market items on the website www.arabellabianco.co.uk (see link in the sidebar) and will be increasing the range I sell on there over the summer.

Yesterday I popped into the garden and saw a small skipper butterfly in the grass area we've allowed to grow up this year, where did it come from? Amazing considering we live in the suburbs and they usually only frequent country gardens.

With my blog I hope to bring a bit of colour into people's lives. I would love to get some feedback from you out there. What are the good bits you would you like to see more of, and the not so good pieces you want to see less of?

Thank you all so much for spending your time reading my blog.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Kai's Cats Live at Langley Park School for Boys

American jazz trumpeter and composer Miles Davis (1926 - 1991), sits with his instrument during a studio recording session, October 1959. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Hi, fantastic jazz was to be enjoyed last night at Langley Park School for Boys. The evening was led by Kai's Cats, a retro jazz band with a regular spot at Ronnie Scott's, and a very distinguished line-up of musicians. Apart from amazing renditions of vintage music, Kai Hoffman was wearing a stunning dress from Vivien of Holloway, check out www.vivienofholloway.com. Other highlights of the evening were the Marvin Gaye song 'I heard it through the Grapevine' played by the amazing Langley Park School for Boys Dance Band, and a blues song by Miles Davis played by Indigo Swing from Ravens Wood Boys School which included the haunting vibes of the very talented trumpet player Ron Timehin.