I've been nominated twice now for the Blog Hop, first by Peggy Jobbins Thrift Mistress (*coughs*, sorry it took so long...), and now by the lovely Briony over on Fear of the Reaper, so I thought it was about time I got myself in gear and actually did it. So here's how it works - I answer the questions below and then nominate two further bloggers whose work I admire.
Thank firstly to Hannah for nominating me yonks ago, sorry I'm so slow at getting round to this. Hannah blogs as Peggy Jobbins Thrift Mistress, and her blog is a haven of thrifting tips (particularly appreciated here, unsurprisingly), craft ideas, tales of travels, and lovely photographs. I met Hannah through a local mum and baby group and always look forward to our catch-ups and chats, as not only is she a very interesting person, she also wears lovely vintage clothes!
My second nomination is from Briony, a good friend and former work colleague in London. Briony's blog is called the Fear of the Reaper, and details her attempts to avoid the dreaded death bed moment of looking back on her life and thinking 'what a waste'. Now Briony is someone who really inspires me, particularly in the way she continually pushes herself and really goes for what she wants. It's a sort of bravery I really admire, and wish I had more of! I probably haven't cherished this friendship as I should have, but reading Briony's blog makes me feel connected to her all over again.
What are you working on?
Right now? A ton of blog posts. I'm in the middle of doing up a house that has no internet, and as we're spending most of the week there I've had to get all of my posts for the week ahead ready this morning. I suppose I've just revealed my poor approach to preparation there! I've changed my approach to the blog recently. Initially it was just a blog to support my little vintage shop, but now it's a bit more of a general blog that encompasses my love of vintage, my life as a mother, and basically anything that pops into my head and ends up written down as a post. This week has seen mentions for interior design, giving up shampoo, Virginia Woolf, and Twin Peaks, so it's a real mixed bag!
Professionally, I've spent the summer working at Charleston Farmhouse, a place I absolutely adore. I gave up a career in politics after the birth of my child. It was a blimmin' interesting job and I do occasionally miss it, but it was also extremely stressful at times and had a habit of creeping into my personal life and eating up all of my free time. I just couldn't compromise in that way anymore when I had my kid. Also the commute was a pain!
I'm also hoping to take the Lori and the Caravan shop on the road by doing more vintage fairs. Watch this space!
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Hmm, well I think it's pretty darn impossible to be truly individual these days. What I will say is that my blog is very much my experience of the world - and in that way it's unique, because no one else is having quite the same experience as anyone else.
I think children's vintage is a bit of an unexplored genre though. I hope I'm spreading the word, as its a really interesting and sustainable way of dressing your kids in beautiful and unique clothes.
Why do you create what you do?
Well, it all started as a complementary source to my shop, and it's grown from there. I really like having an outlet for my thoughts - sometimes I think I view it as a sort of diary and I really have to work hard to stop it getting too personal, out of respect for the other people in my life, especially my son, who I'm very aware has absolutely no say over what I put out there. I'd hate for him to be bothered by my blog in the future. I'm hoping he'll read it one day and cherish it as a record of his early years.
I also really really love to write. Like half of the planet, I'd love to publish a novel one day. We'll see what happens!
How does your creative process work?
I'd love to be able to tell you about the planning and preparation I do, but that would be a big fat lie. Most of the time I just switch on my laptop and write. I do try and publish a certain number of posts a week - it used to be every day but I just couldn't sustain it. So I try and have at least one post dedicated to the shop (normally my Vintage item of the week!), with perhaps another picking out a theme from my available stock (see 'The Last Days of Summer', from last week), then I try and have one post which focuses on whatever I want, with a final post at the end of the week as a sort of 'round-up'. So there you go, I suppose I do plan a bit.
In terms of inspiration, well I'm constantly surprised at where my ideas come from. I wrote a long post about Vivian Maier because I couldn't get her photographs out my head. I wrote this week about Twin Peaks, because my mum gave me a book on it and I remembered what a huge influence it had on me when I was a teenager.
In terms of my creative writing, often I'll have a single line pop into my head, which I have to quickly write down before I forget it, and it then grows into something much bigger. I once wrote an entire novel-length story inspired by a line in a song. It's never been published though, obviously!
The first blog I'm going to nominate is Sideline Life, brainchild of designer Ellen Brookes, a lifestyle and interiors blog which runs as a, well, sideline to her contemporary womens-wear line. Sideline Life explores beautiful and creatively put together family and professional spaces, each one photographed on location by Ellen. If, like me, you're a sucker for a gorgeous interior, then prepare to wile away an afternoon pouring over the homes and studios on show. Every post makes me want to gut my house and start again. I'm also really excited to see the debut Sideline collection (coming very soon). If understated design and subtle detailing are your thing, you'll love what's in store from this very new and very exciting line.
My second nomination is The Book of Maev, a witty and thought-provoking look at everything from feminism to theatre to fashion. Maev is a good friend of mine and is also an up-and-coming playwright. I don't get to see her enough, and like Briony above, her blog is just one way I can stay connected to her when our schedules just can't quite get it together. Maev also runs the Work by Women project, in which she calculates how many plays written by women are being performed each month in London, in the hope it'll convince more theatre-goers to see more work by women. I'm pretty in awe of the way Maev manages a busy job, a burgeoning career as a writer, blogging, and you know, life.
I know I'm only supposed to nominate two blogs, but I also want to direct you good people to my lovely husband's work in progress Life is Strange. Antony is creating an archive of the work of 1960's writer/musician/artist Tuli Kupferberg, and will be adding to it again soon (as soon as we sort our scanner out). It's really amazing and a bit bonkers, which can only be a good thing. Check it out.