Why I’m Quitting Blogging

 

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I’ve been having a bit of a dilemma lately, I need to make cut backs in certain areas so that I can get more time for others! This is the problem when you have so many interests and two businesses to run! Well I say two, I really need to find time for my second one that I’m trying to set up. I made some much needed charges to my vintage selling business to free up some time but it’s not enough, I need to make more cut backs elsewhere.

This has been playing on my mind a bit for the last few months and as much as I love blogging, it seems I don’t love it enough to keep in on the stay list. I have been blogging since early 2009, I’ve never been a very dedicated blogger, it’s waxed and waned over the years, over the last few months the urge to blog seems to be waning and trying to keep up is becoming a chore. I never wanted to be a professional blogger, I definitely fall into the hobbyist catagory so not keeping up in the blogging loop has never really bothered me that much. But i do still enjoy reading other people’s blogs.

August is always a good time for reflection, things slow down in the summer for business as everyone is a way and it frees up time to do a little reevaluating of things. I feel that I’m spreading myself to thinly these days  and with so much to keep up with am a) only producing half arsed worked and b) not getting enough personal time in. So I’m cutting back and refocusing that energy into projects that require it especially my new shop, I’m so far behind its silly! So that means I’m putting the blog on hiatus for a while maybe forever. I like writing and want to also focus on some creative pieces that have been languishing in a pile and if I choose between writing a blog or writing a novel, i think I’ll give the novel a go.

I’ve enjoyed blogging (most of the time) but now I feel is the time to let it go and move on as my heart really isn’t invested in it anymore. Maybe one day it will again but for now I’m concentrating on other things. I’m toying with turning this site into more of a professional portfolio and keeping the blog as an archive but there are so many things going on over the next few months, I’ll come to that decision later.

American Valhalla!

iggy pop lust for life

Not so long ago a missed out on a limited edition bundle of Iggy Pop records on coloured vinyl but I decided to get the same bundle on ordinary black vinyl when that was released on preorder because why not. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s pressed on red or black vinyl at the end of the day, even though I have to say it’s quite pretty watching coloured vinyl spin around, but it is mostly about filling the gaps and building a decent music collection.

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I’ve always liked Iggy Pop and although a little young at the time to appreciate his older stuff, Post Pop Depression for me was a great album and not just because Josh Homme was involved. Obviously I’m educated in the classics, though I have found out recently that he released an album consisting of French cover songs.

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My music posts aren’t really about how great a pressing is, or the quality of the sound or even whether it is limited edition or not, I think it’s more about my own personal journey with music and how it influences me and that it is okay to like what you like for no reason other that you do. Though I do like collection albums that are related to the year I was born in, so this 1977 live fits in well with that.

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I get that most people will probably find my music posts a bit pointless and boring but I have a double-sided Iggy Pop tote bag to carry all my ‘I don’t give a fucks’ in!

On a different but connected note, the other week I found out that Josh Homme was doing a Q&A before the showing of a new documentary he is involved in about the making of Post Pop Depression. I snapped up two of the last remaining tickets and despite feeling crappy tootled along.

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As I said I really liked Post Pop Depression as an album, I know some didn’t or were sceptical because it didn’t sound like classic Iggy but it’s always interesting so see how an album is put together, especially a one-off project. The though process in choosing band members, who’s writing the lyrics, how musicians work together, and the stories behind the songs and the album title.

The documentary is directed by Homme and Andreas Nuemann and charts the times through the conception of the idea through to tour that followed the album. I managed to see Pop at the Royal Albert Hall last year and he was phenomenal, he is a show man and he love being there every bit as much as we did.

The Q&A itself was interesting  and informative. Even the drunk dude who turned up late, put on his sunglasses in a dim-lit theatre and proceeded to strut straight into a pillar before professing his love to Josh and bestowing him a gift, didn’t distract too much from the proceedings.

If you can, check out the documentary. You can find out more here at the site.

 

 

Freebies, Food and a Film!

 

This Tuesday me and The Goth celebrated six years since we met and two years since we got married, we both took the day off work, rare considering we’re both self-employed and headed up town for a day out of freebies, food and a film.

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We started off at the V&A for some freebie exhibitions.

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The Prix Pictet in the Porter Gallery showcasing work by artists such Michael Wolf, Benny Lam and Saskia Groneberg on the theme of Space.

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We also swung by Soviet Visuals exhibition which took some walking around the third level until we stumbled upon it. It was only two rooms but interesting to see the development of style.

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Then we headed over to My Old Dutch on Kinds Road for Pancakes.

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Then we had a little walk up and down for me to take some photos which will be coming in another blog post and also to walk off lunch a bit. We then headed to the cinema on Fulham Road to watch Alien Covenant.

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I’ve missed quite a few releases recently just due to laziness. I don’t do well with sitting in the same spot for too long as I get numb bum syndrome, which is hard considering most films these days are over two hours long but some films should be seen in the cinema. I have to say I wasn’t a fan of Prometheus but I did like Covenant.

And that was just my little post of what we got up to on our anniversary.

Music and Mourning

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Last year we lost a lot of great artists, Lemmy form Motorhead left us (though technically that was 2016 but I still feel that is what set off the catalyst for 2017), then David Bowie and then it was like they all said fuck this crazy stupid world and up and left. Although death is inevitable and it wasn’t really the grim reaper going round on a drunken spree swinging his scythe willy nilly, more to the fact there are a lot more actors and musicians because there are just a lot more people last year just felt like one big long conga line of talent that couldn’t wait to get off this godforsaken planet. I was going to write about earlier but then decided against for whatever reason, then something happened last week and I feel the need to ramble a little.

Most of deaths didn’t shock me that much, although these days being in your 70s isn’t considered that old any more, it’s not really that shocking when some one in their 70s does die, I don’t mean that in a horrible way but it seems normalish. Or when it is revealed that they were sick and it lessens the blow a little because we can reconcile that. But when someone dies in their 50s for no apparent reason, it hits a little more home, not just because they are closer to your age but also because 50 isn’t even past retirement and so by that theory not old.

So Chris Cornell’s sudden death at the age of 52 was pretty much a shocker, in fact I spent pretty much most of the day in denial. It was even sadder to find out that his death was ruled as suicide by hanging, a few weeks after Piers Moran declaring that men need to man up and shut up about their feelings, it’s not hard to see why male suicide rates are higher. Depression or suicide doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t care and it leaves a lasting imprint on those left behind.

Each Generation has their idols, their music, rock n roll, Prog Rock, the Beatles, punk music, for me it was Grunge, so this is the context from which I speak about music. I was always a fan of music from a young age, I loved dancing and singing despite not being able to do wither but Grunge, Grunge woke me up, it was something I could finally connect to, it opened up my music world and with each band I discovered led me to discovering more bands and the bands that influenced them and the writers and the movies, it was the first time I feel I belonged to something, the first time I could be a part of something. I also feel that if it wasn’t for Grunge, Riot Grrls and being apart of generation X I probably wouldn’t be as political or pissed off about injustices as I am. This wave of music didn’t just open doors for me to discover new music but also to think and to challenge.

This music wasn’t passed down to me by my parents or an aunt or uncle, this music I discovered myself, this scene came to life just as I becoming a teen, most of my friends were lusting after Take That. New Kid on the Block were the last ‘boy band’ I ever loved and then I discovered Grunge and I had to educate my parents about what noise I was listening to and why. Soundgarden were a major part of the Grunge scene, the Grunge scene was a major part of my life as a teenage and I’ve lost count the number of times I watched Black Hole Sun on MTV back when MTV was an actual music channel.

But thing about Cornell wasn’t just that he was part of this scene, it was his voice, his amazing powerful voice. So many singers dragged me out of my teen ennui and made me pay attention because of their voice. That was another thing about the Grunge scene it wasn’t just a new wave of music it was a new wave of amazing singers that came with it. Like Cornell, Eddie Vedder, Layne Staley, Kat Bjellend, Mark Lanegan, Donita Sparks, all had powerful voices, raw and powerful and distinctive voices telling you their stories, stories that you need to hear again and again.

We lost a few too soon, like Kurt Cobain, Layne Staley, Andrew Wood, Stefanie Sargeant but they live on in their music. We will obviously never feel the loss that their families do but there is a reason we mourn artists. They may have been strangers but they shared a  part of themselves through their art to which we could relate and it made us feel like we belonged, it made us feel connected, and maybe that is the loss that we actually mourn.

(pic credit: youtube)

March Catch Up

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So what happened in march? Well lots of changes for a start. As you know I’ve been working towards to making Natasha de Vil on Etsy a vintage only shop. I managed to finish most of the old stock bad and some of it loaded up. I also opened up Tasha Campbell Designs, not loaded up anything yet but if you could over and give a like that would be great. I also changed my Twitter and Instagram handles, which felt a little weird I have to say. When you’ve been known by one persona for so long I did get a little sentimental but a change that needed to happen. And then I moved the blog to here, its new home. I’ve never been too convinced by Bloggers stats analysis, then my google analytics broke and I couldn’t be bothered to fix it. I think WordPress is a little more reliable even if it is a bit depressing at times but I guess one reader is better that no readers!

I also crashed out of my #365project as I wasn’t happy with my posting pics under pressure and also poor planning on my part. Admittedly the only pressure is coming from me but in a bid to make my life simpler and basically to not fill my feed with poorly lit, grainy late night shots of this project, I changed it. I also cleared out my feed of the pictures I did not like, sounds a tad dramatic but it’s actually my work/blog feed, my personal account not too worried about but I took inspiration from Erin Venness’s post and decided to try to document my work better. I also took a small break to let me recompose my thoughts and aims on this to promote my new work.

My spring clean/clear out is going well,  all the stuff I no longer use personally is piled up and ready to be sold to raise a little cash and everything else will be recycled. I’m a little behind schedule on this but I’m finally feel like I’m getting somewhere and will start loading those up this month!

Sales went up after the dreaded Feb slump mostly stuff on sale which was good because it meant things were finally shifting and more space for me! I have set up a new shop which I haven’t started working for yet because I’ve mostly been trying to clear out and upload old handmade stock and have been a running an uber bargain sale to try to run stock down, it worked, I got rid of a lot of stuff, albeit uber cheap but I beat my sales targets for the financial year and March was my third best month, so a nice end to the financial year. Going to work on setting new target for this year and get my taxes out the way!

I didn’t finish any clothes or start any new projects because of well see above but also I’ve been on a fitness regime to get fitter and stronger and my body shape is slowly changing and I want to wait before making any more and then having to alter everything.  I can also climb stairs without wheezing! However, I have joined the #vintagepledge this year and just taken stock of a massive batch of vintage patterns a few I might keep for myself for the pledge!

Went to a few gigs, saw De La Soul  at the beginning of the month and were awesome I’m so happy I got to them live. At the end of the month we headed back to the Roundhouse to see Goldfrapp, it’s been a while since I last Goldfrapp perform but just as good as the last time, also played all my favourite tracks which was a bonus. Couldn’t dance much as I had joint flare up but still really enjoyed the gig.

Got my tattoo almost finished.

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So what’s my plan for April? I guess I’m going to take it down a notch, I have a few loose ends and upload the last of the old stock to the shop to take care of but then I’m going to recharge a little before moving onto new stuff. Designing takes time, carving out your own style and niche takes time, my crafting skills are good but it’s kind of redundant when you’re producing the same work as everyone else, so time to focus on working on my style, so I’m starting an art journal. I’m also bringing back various old post subjects to the blog and working on uploading all the new vintage stock I’ve acquired over the last few months.