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started off as a music blog hence the name. but, it is now my any and everything blog.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cover VS Original: Je t'appartiens/Let it be me - Gilbert Bécaud/Everly Brothers/Nina Simone /

Gilbert Bécaud

Everly Brothers

Nina Simone

It has been too long, 

We interrupt our regular scheduled programming to bring you...

Ever since I started reading Newdressaday, I've been obsessed with the idea of refashioning my old clothes or cheap clothes into something more wearable. Unfortunately, the thrift store/charity shop and vintage market here has been ruined and the prices have been driven up to ridiculous proportions. I couldn't justify spending £10 on a so-so dress that I was going to end up hacking into pieces to make it more current. 

After a couple of undocumented failed attempts I finally hit jack pot! I found this old maternity dress that my mother used to wear. It is a size 14 (UK size) but, I really loved the print and I loved the lower half so I thought I would try and make something of it. Here are the results.

Maternity before

BEFORE (back view)
Maternity back before

Maternity in
lining and shoulder pads..."oh my, you spoil me!"

Maternight after 4b
I didn't take it in so, it is still a size 14 (UK size), but I don't mind.

Maternity after 3  

Top: refashion
Blazer: vintage Betsy Johnson from ebay
Denim Leggings: Primark.
Shoes: Boohoo (last summer)
Belt: ebay

I cinched it with a belt because of the size, but I took the belt off after lunch (lol). And yes, I took the picture in the toilet.

WHAT I DID:...I considered a few ideas including keeping it as a dress, but the elastic at the bottom was over stretched. I started off only wanting to preserve the skirt half of it, but when I cut it I fell in love in love with the top and I immediately tried it on, hemmed the edges and decided I had to wear it to work today. 
I kept the skirt and I will be sharing how I wore it soon! 

Till then. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Skin Care Journey: Treating, and Dealing with Hyper-pigmentation and Acne (part 2 - progress pictures)

So, I'm 4 weeks into using Retin-A and I've been talking so much about fine tuning my routine and skin irratations. It was gettign a bit reptitive. So I thought it wa high-time I showed my progress in pictures. Unfortunately, my memory card failed, and I had to format it so I lost some pictures, but I managed to salvage some and put together an half decent progress report.




notice the dry patch and scabby patch on my cheek bone.

getting better still small  break out.No more dry scabby patch.


Major forehead breakout.

Seeing it this way makes me want to get better at taking pictures. I'm not sure if the changes I'm seeing is a result of the treatment, placebo effect or time. I'll be back to normal blogging and talking about my regimen and new products I'm trying out next week. There may also be a foundation post/how to cover up bad skin post in the near future...once I get a new memory card for my camera.

Till next week.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Can't Believe I wrote this two years ago...

So I am currently fighting this “battle” with cultural appropriation (see ***quote below for explanation) and because of it, I am finding it hard to warm to Vampire Weekend. It is hard to ignore the African influences on the album -particularly on “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” .

I decided to research how they got their African influences, I came across and an article in The Telegraph and one of the band members mentions listening to Brenda Fassie, they also say their African influences come naturally to them. But, it all sounds like a party line supplied to them by their record company. For starters, I think it is funny that they have decided to build career on their “African Influences” yet, none of them have been to an African country. I doubt money is an issue for a bunch of (upper)-middle class boys, which raises the question – if the continent inspires them so much why have they never been there?!

Also, they are getting famous by taking on a culture that would never be accepted in its own right by western society. African people . . . black people are rarely “allowed” to present Africa by themselves and the way they see it.

Most of Vampire Weekend’s fans have never listened to Congolese music, Brenda Fassie, KSA or Yvonne Chaka-Chaka and if those women (or anyone like them) release albums now, they wouldn’t make the charts. Yet, Vampire Weekend have successfully taken their sound, their style, their rhythm, packaged it and sold it back to a willing public who want to appear cool and think they are cool because they have discovered a new “different” band.

Their record company seems to have decided to market them as an alternative to African music. I guess it is a fitting strategy for their audience, the gap year taking types who want to travel to third world countries just so they can clog up facebook with their pictures of them and malnourished children. But, they never truly engage with the culture. They listen to Vampire Weekend so they can appear enlightened and pretend to have an appreciation of African music. They wax lyrical about how different Vampire Weekend is. Anyone with a decent knowledge of music would know that Paul Simon and Talking Heads did it first so it isn't that different.

On the 11th and 12th of august 2007, two parks in New York had a music festival dedicated to African music. Prospect Park had Congolese music and Sierra Leone's Refugee All-Stars, Central park had Angelique kidjo. On the same day, at the Lower East Side, Vampire Weekend was giving a free performance as part of the East River Music Project. Their timing could not be more appalling(or genius) if they had tried harder.

I can’t remember the last time and African band made it to the mainstream, it was probably in the 1980s when Paul Simon released Graceland and everyone discovered LadySmith Black Mambazo.

Very few admit to this, but the reason why Vampire Weekend is so “special” is because they are white. I’ve read reviewers talk about how “edgy”, “different” and “post-punk” they are, but the fact is they are middle class white boys producing music that is stereotypically African. And their middle class whiteness is what makes them different. We’ve had artists like Shingai Shoniwa, Asa and Angelique kidjo try to do that same thing with varying degrees of success. If Vampire Weekend was made up of middleclass black people, no one would have bat an eyelid. Although some might be surprised to discover that middleclass black people exist.

****Quote: "There is a long history of white musicians being inspired by black music and finding fame with an “exotic” but safer sound, while their black muses languished in obscurity. Without diminishing the impact of artists like Elvis and The Rolling Stones on the popular music scene, surely it is clear that they benefited from a culture that would never allow a bluesman like Robert Johnson to gain mainstream prominence. The fresh sounds that electrified rock audiences weren’t really so fresh, just appropriated from an artist and culture made invisible by racism."

Monday, April 11, 2011

Skin Care Journey: Treating, and Dealing with Hyper-pigmentation and Acne (week 3)

I probably should have written this in week three because now I'm finding it hard to remember what my skin was like. Week 3 was the week before my period, I had a tiny post period break out that I was not too happy about. I burst one and picked at it, but managed to fight the urge to burst the other ones - progress!.
I'm really unimpressed with the texture of my skin. My foundation which used to look good now looks cakey and emphasizes my large pores. I have no idea what to do about this other than stick with the treatment like I'm supposed to. Again there isn't a wealth of information from black women using Retin-A treatment so, it's hard to know what to expect. I came across one on acne.org, but there was only a picture and no details about her course of treatment. I have fine tuned my regimen a little bit, now I'm using....

Cleanse: Good things stay clear face wash.
 Exfoliate: Boots scrubbing pads and sulphur soap ( I need to get a new bar)
tone: burts bees toner.

Cleanse: Good things stay clear face wash.
Exfoliate:  Neutrogean black head clearing scrubs and Boots scrubbing pads.
Retin - A

I know I have an aggressive scrubbing regimen , that is because I read that Retin-A increases cell renewal in addition to causing dry patches so the scrubbing is meant to help with that.

Till next week.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Skin Care Journey: Treating, and Dealing with Hyper-pigmentation and Acne (products I use)

Some of the products I'm using at the moment. I'm fine tuning my routine and I'll post more details about them and how I use them very soon. 

Boots face scrubbing pads dry

Boots face scrubbing pads soaked

Retina-A 0.01%

skin care

 - Burts Bees Toner, - Good thing miracle mattifier, - Jojoba Rich Cleanser

skin care

 - Boots evening primrose, - Clinique take the day off