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Killer Style, Crazy Love: The Rock N Roll Bride Life

Rock n Roll Bride Kat Williams

[This interview was originally published on Tattoo Hero, sadly Tattoo Hero is no longer; so over the next little bit I’ll be reposting a few articles from the Tattoo Hero Blog in order that they might live on elsewhere] 

An Interview with Kat of Rock N Roll Bride

Blogging, Brides & Tattoos – Rock N Roll Bride is dead cool.

Whether you’re looking for wedding inspiration, expert advice on blogging, or running your own business, Kat Williams‘ blog is the definitive go to.

Initially starting out as an outlet to chronicle her own adventures in matrimony, Rock N Roll Bride has since become the sorely needed breath of fresh of air in the wedding industry for many women about to wed – be they ‘Punk Rock Girls’ or ‘Glamour Girls’ (and lets be honest, many of us would identify as both).

Kat curates with care and detail on Rock N Roll Bride some of the most beautiful and unique weddings around, breaking free of traditional modes to celebrate the individual.

Witty, glamorous and well inked – Kat Williams is also one of the brains behind the Blogcademy, a blogging workshop that has been taking the world by storm, selling out classes across the globe. Continue Reading

Art & Culture

Friday Film Pick – An American Werewolf In London

So…I wrote a really long, involved post about how awesome An American Werewolf In London is. And I lost it.



ARGH!*)(#&*(^@$* Lesson learned. Save, save, save and save some more. So I’m afraid it’s a fluffy-assed paragraph from me on this (for now). Just watch the film. It’s great.

Hands down my favourite werewolf films are Ginger Snaps (a fantastic Canadian film which uses the werewolf mythos as an analogy for becoming a woman), and the classic An American Werewolf In London.

It’s a Full Moon tonight, but not only that, it’s a ‘Blue Moon‘ making it especially appropriate to be watching An American Werewolf In London tonight.

So if you haven’t already seen John Landis‘s classic horror film, add it to your must watch list!

Film poster for An American Werewolf In London
Underground werewolf attackNurse Alex Price & David in An American Werewolf In London
Wandering the Moors - An American Werewolf In London

Art & Culture

Dracula & the Theatre at Ace

Bela Lugosi - Dracula at the Ace Theatre

When I first discovered the old United Artists building in Los Angeles had been converted into a hotel by the Ace Hotel group, I was intrigued to see what they had done to it.

For those not in the know, United Artists was a production company established by silent film industry legends Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and DW Griffith.

Calling South Broadway in downtown Los Angeles home, the UA building was completed in 1927. Its magnificant Spanish-Gothic look styled after the famous Segovia Cathedral in Segovia, Spain.

Exposed concrete rooms and the hipsterific vibe of the actual hotel aside, what floored me was the beautiful and painstaking restoration of the United Artists Theatre itself.

Theatre at Ace Hotel in LA

The grand entrance, intricate detail and awe-inspiring craftsmanship illustrate Pickford’s prescient instinct to house cinema in devotional dress. The ornately decorated open balcony and mezzanine overlook the expansive theater, orchestra and proscenium arch, while thousands of tiny mirrors glimmer in the vaulted ceilings. Richly colored murals depict the legends of film’s Golden Age, immortalized in mythic attire. the overall effect is a warm, lushly appointed feast for the eyes, rife with history and creative spirit.

Too often the curse of time takes with it many an incredible old cinema. It saddens me immensely when I read about these beautiful cinematic palaces falling into disrepair, or worse yet – torn down altogether.

So to see the United Artists Theatre returned to its old glory, and utilized for its original intention – as a cinema, makes my heart soar.

Ace Hotel Theatre LASince re-opening last year, the re-named Theatre at Ace has played host to a variety of interesting events ranging from film, to concerts, and performance.

I’ve been keeping an eye out on the events section of the LA Ace Hotel curious to see what’s put on there, and bemoaning in particular having missed ‘The music of David Lynch’ back in April.

But the event in October at the Theatre at Ace not to be missed if you find yourself in Los Angeles then is LA Opera’s presentation of Bela Lugosi’s Dracula on the big screen accompanied by a live performance of the film’s score by Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet!

Yuup, I’m officially kirk-ing out.

Dracula score performed by Philip Glass & the Kronos QuartetDracula score performed live by Philip Glass & the Kronos QuartetIf you have any interest in historic cinemas, Dracula, or the music of Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet these screenings are sure to be incredible. General ticket sales start Sunday, June 28th for performances on Thursday October 29, 2015 8:00 PM, Friday October 30, 2015 8:00 PM and Saturday October 31, 2015 4:00 PM.

Art & Culture

Friday Film Pick: Advanced Style

Advanced Style ocumentary

Documentaries are an absolute favourite of mine to watch. As much as I love disappearing down a rabbit hole of spectacular Sci-Fi/Fantasy, nothing beats an insightful doc – unraveling life stories and allowing us an opportunity to take a glimpse into others realities.

I knew (and am a fan) of Advanced Style, a fashion blog unlike any other documenting street style of the over 60 crowd, showing indeed that ‘old is the new gold’.

Tziporah Salamon in Advanced StyleStumbling over the documentary on Netflix the other night was an absolute treat and a perfect Friday Film pick.

Advanced Style examines the lives of seven unique New Yorkers whose eclectic personal style and vital spirit have guided their approach to aging. Based on Ari Seth Cohen’s famed blog of the same name, this film paints intimate and colorful portraits of independent, stylish women aged 62 to 95 who are challenging conventional ideas about beauty, aging, and Western’s culture’s increasing obsession with youth.

One thing I really liked about this doc, was that it didn’t focus on old images in their “hey-day” of the women featured. Too often when a doc has a person of a certain age in it, photos of them in their youth are heavily relied upon.

Jacquie Tajah Murdock - Advanced StyleAnd though employing old images can help give a frame of reference to a story or insight into a person’s history, I’m glad that any photographs of the women from their youth were used sparingly and very much underplayed. The focus of the doc totally celebrating the creative, vibrant style and lives of these women now.

A very uplifting doc, and a refreshing look at how we view and expect women of a certain age to behave or dress, Advanced Style is the perfect thing to watch if you need some fashion inspiration or even a kick in the ass about how your own style ages with you.

Advanced Style - Joyce Carpati QuoteThe past few years I’ve struggled with how to adapt my fashion sensibilities to suit my age. And herein lies the problem – this isn’t Logan’s Run and life DOESN’T end at 30. And watching Advanced Style only further hits this home for me.

Ones dress sense will change and evolve, but if anything the wonderful ladies of Advanced Style have reminded me of, it’s to have fun – wear what you want, be happy, and rock your weird.

Advanced Style - Ilona Royce Smithkin QuoteI hope when I’m older, I’m as badass as some of these ladies! What incredible, interesting lives the women of Advanced Style continue to lead!

PHOTO CREDIT: Advanced Style

Art & Culture

Giveaway! One of a Kind Show Tickets

Etsy OOAKS15 Giveaway

Happy Spring! I’m excited to host my first wee giveaway on the Blog for a pair of tickets to the Spring One of a Kind Show in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

I featured the other week some pretty stellar artisans that will be at the show in the Etsy section and you can check out the full Etsy lineup here.

One of a Kind Show Details

WHEN: Wednesday, March 25th – Sunday, March 29th, 2015.
WHERE: Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, M6K 3C3 Toronto, Canada.

Enter now for a chance to win a pair of tickets, and save your dosh for picking up some handmade loveliness! Contest ends Monday, March 23rd @ 11:59PM PST.

One of a Kind Show Ticket Giveaway

Art & Culture

Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven

Edgar Allan Poe Portrait

On this day in 1845, Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven was first published.

Of all the different editions of The Raven, my favourite is that which features the beautiful and lavish work of French illustrator Gustave Doré, published in 1884.

Though The Raven brought Poe much acclaim and popularity, it unfortunately didn’t bring huge financial gains for him.

You can read the entirety of The Raven online thanks to the Gutenberg project here.

Below are a few examples of the stunning illustrations by Doré for The Raven.

Quoth the raven, NevermoreNevermore!Edgar Allan Poe's The RavenLost LenoreIllustrations of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven by Gustave DoréGustave Dore's illustrations from the Raven

POE PHOTO CREDIT: Particularly Unusual

Art & Culture

Christmas at Pee-wee’s Playhouse

Pee Wee's Christmas Special

Confession time – I love Pee-wee’s Playhouse. The series was a childhood staple for my brother and I growing up, and I’ve wanted to visit the Cabazon Dinosaurs ever since I first saw Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.

Leading up to Christmas I usually revisit an array of holiday specials (and always tear up when Grandma talks to Garfield about missing Grandpa). Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special is always a must watch for me, usually with a good dose of mulled wine to hand as well.

Cher in Pee Wee's Christmas Special

Pee-wee:That was Cher! Cher was right over there! In the same room as my chair! I hope I didn’t stare! Oh well! I don’t care!

K.D Lang in Pee Wee's Christmas Special

Ms. Yvonne: Aren’t you going to comment on my hair?
Pee-wee: Wow! Christmasy! But what’s the plant growin’ out of it?

Ms Yvonne & Pee Wee

Grace Jones, K.D Lang, Cher, Little Richard and Annette Funicello are just a few of the guests that stop by Pee-wee’s Playhouse to help him and the gang celebrate Christmas. It’s a surreal special with the humour and creativity typical of the regular series, complete with puppets, Penny, and the King of Cartoons among other cast regulars.

Grace Jones in Pee Wee's Xmas Special

This light hearted holiday romp is an absolute visual treat and a refreshing break from some of the more overly saccharin specials found this time of year.

Santa Claus & Pee Wee Herman

Frankie Avalon: Pee Wee, we’ve finished the Christmas cards.
Annette Funicello: Exactly 1,000.
Pee Wee: Ooh, let me count them. Ha ha, just kidding. Now you can start making the envelopes.

Christmas at Pee Wee's PlayhouseBest of all, it’s now streaming on Netflix, remastered and in HD as well as all  45 episodes of Pee-wee’s Playhouse – yes even on Canadian Netflix. HUZZAH! Now time to try making some seasonal ice cream soup with candy cane ice cream.

Art & Culture

December Reading List

Reading List

With the onslaught of an early winter last month, I found myself caught up in my box of unfinished knitting projects after having neglected it for many moons. Reading was limited to knitting patterns and how-to’s while watching black and white films on TCM. This month though for the sake of my hands I’m going to try and put the knitting needles down for a bit and catch up on some reading again.

I’ve also recently discovered Good Reads which is delighting my inner book nerd. Come and find me on Good Reads if you’re on there too!

So, this month I’ve paired my reading list down to 3 books to balance with all the holiday knitting I’m trying to fly through. This December I’ll be reading:

December Reading ListMy Booky Wook by Russell Brand – It’s funny the small details we sometimes remember so clearly. I couldn’t tell you what I had for breakfast on Saturday last week but I know exactly where and when I purchased this book.

My friend Diana and I were coming back from a blissful two weeks vacation in Hawaii. We were parting ways to catch different connections home in Chicago O’Hare after a long flight back to the mainland.

My flight was delayed by several hours and I had time to kill with nothing to read as I’d blown through my holiday books on the trip. Ambling through the airport bookstore I lighted upon My Booky Wook. It was too perfect, as we’d been staying at the resort where Forgetting Sarah Marshall was filmed.

I started the book and was really enjoying it, but in typical fashion got distracted and never finished it, until now.

Russell Brand learned early on to make a joke of fear and failure. From a troubled childhood in industrial Essex, England, to his descent into addictions to alcohol, drugs, and sex in the seamy underbelly of London, Brand has seen his share of both and miraculously lived to tell the tale. In My Booky Wook he leads readers on a rollicking journey through his disastrous school career, his infamous antics on MTV, and his multifarious sexual adventures. But this irreverent memoir is a story not simply of struggle but also of redemption, a testament to the difficulty of discovering what you want from life and the remarkable power of a bloody-minded determination to get it. My Booky Wook is a giddy trip through the brilliant mind of one of Britain’s most valuable exports.

My Booky Wook - Russell Brand AutobiographyThe Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald– I’ve regrettably ignored this classic on my shelf for far too long, and it sounds fantastic – Anthony and Gloria are the essence of Jazz Age glamour. A brilliant and magnetic couple, they fling themselves at life with an energy that is thrilling. New York is a playground where they dance and drink for days on end. Their marriage is a passionate theatrical performance; they are young, rich, alive and lovely and they intend to inherit the earth. But as money becomes tight, their marriage becomes impossible. And with their inheritance still distant, Anthony and Gloria must grow up and face reality; they may be beautiful but they are also damned.”

The Drawing of the Dark a novel by Tim PowersThe Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers – I’ve actually read the Drawing of the Dark, and though I’m trying to make my way through all the unread books in my library I’m really in the moood to re-read this excellent Tim Powers novel.

“What does the famous Herzwesten beer have to do with saving the entire western world from the invading Turkish armies? The year is 1529 and Brian Duffy, aging soldier of fortune, is the only man who can rescue the world from evil—if only he can figure out why the beer was so important to a mysterious old man called the Fisher King, and why his dreams are plagued with images of a sword and an arm rising from a lake…”

So that’s my December reading list. Are there any specific books on your holiday wishlist this year?

Art & Culture

Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands

Matthew Bourne's Edward Scissorhands

“You see, before he came down here, it never snowed. And afterwards, it did. If he weren’t up there now… I don’t think it would be snowing. Sometimes you can still catch me dancing in it.”

Sitting in the dark of the auditorium as a teenager during monthly performance assemblies (I went to an Arts High School), I always remember being riveted by the Dance portion.

You’d think as a Drama nerd I’d be waiting for the Improv comedy or Shakespearean scene study. And I was to a degree, but the portion that always took my breath away without fail were the dancers.

I can’t dance to save my life, I’m really *really* awful. Elaine awful. During arts rotations in high school, I had a chance to study dance for a few weeks. And what a mortifying and very uncoordinated two weeks they were. I threw my dance shoes up in a tree with a friend at the end of it, no way ballet, we just weren’t meant to be.

I think the fact that I’m so rubbish at dance only furthers my love for it.

Watching my peers perform everything under the sun from classical ballet to incredible La La La Human Steps inspired pieces was just magic.

My friend Gordie, a tree of man who’s half Swedish and half Scottish (as well as one helluva dancer), introduced me to the work of English Choreographer Matthew Bourne several years ago, I was absolutely blown away. Bourne’s work is an innovative mix of contemporary dance and ballet not to be missed. His production of Swan Lake, which saw men cast as the Swans was one of the longest running Ballets in London and an absolute visual feast. His more recent production of Sleeping Beauty was just as incredible and beautiful to see.

Sadlers Wells Edward ScissorhandsSo I’m chomping at the bit to be back in London tonight as Matthew Bourne’s Edward Scissorhands opens again at Sadlers Wells. I missed the original opening in 2005 and subsequent tour.

Based on the classic Tim Burton movie and featuring the beautiful music of Danny Elfman and Terry Davies, played live each night by the New Adventures Orchestra, this touching and witty love story tells the bittersweet tale of a boy left alone and unfinished in a strange new world. It is a parable for our times about the ultimate outsider.

If you’re London bound it’s playing now through 11 Jan 2015 at Sadlers Wells, and will be touring the UK after that. No confirmation of any North American dates as of yet.

Art & Culture

Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire

Death Becomes Her - Mourning Attire

A new exhibition opening today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has me wanting to hightail it down to NYC. Death Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire is the Costume Institute’s first fall exhibition in seven years and looks to be a cracking good one at that.

Exploring the evolution of mourning fashion between the years of 1815 to 1915, the show is a fascinating look at how women’s fashion impacted bereavement rituals. The exhibition includes mourning gowns worn by Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra, with several ensembles being exhibited for the first time including a “silk chiffon mourning gown that last saw light when Queen Alexandra of England wore it in 1902” (Flirting with the DarksideThe New York Times).

Examples of restrained simplicity are shown alongside those with ostentatious ornamentation. The predominantly black clothes are set off against a stark white background and amplified with historic photographs and daguerreotypes.

Mourning Dress DetailAmerican Mourning ensembleMourning Evening GownDeath Becomes Her: A Century of Mourning Attire is on now October 21st, 2014 through to February 1st, 2015.

And if you’re around in NYC for Halloween, the Met’s Friday Evening Gallery Event with interactive experiences from Edgar Allan Poe readings to spooky photo booths or sketching in conjunction with the exhibition is a great alternative for some morbid culture – Victorian costumes encouraged!