Thursday, 22 June 2017

Curious On The Horizon - My Favourite British Festival

I have a guest post up on the Curious Blog! **click here to be magically transported**

I usually start my festival posts with a countdown, but I'm going to forgo that today. The reason being, the sheer pain of getting through another weekend of normality before we are finally let loose at Curious Yellow after a year of waiting is too much,

When I arrived at Curious Yellow last year I took it upon myself to enjoy every single moment that we were blessed with inside those high hedges. I'd looked forward to it so intensely that I was certain it wasn't going to match up to my hopes.

This year, I've tried hard not to let the excitement build too early, but I have to confess, it's hard to help myself. Without a shadow of a doubt, the main draw for me is the gardens that the festival is set in. When we first heard about it two years ago, the location was a secret. I knew there was an avenue of trees from the press release but I didn't know anything about the history or magic of the place.

My recommendation? Don't Google it. To be fair there are so many secrets and angles and ways to explore this unknown little place that you probably won't spoil it, I certainly didn't, but the pictures available online don't do it justice. They don't give an idea of the scale of some of the biggest sculptural pieces and they don't portray the joy you feel as you turn a corner on a boiling hot day, barefoot and with some of your best friends and come across some completely and utterly unexpected, shady, perfectly designed spot that you are certain you didn't see last time you went along the same route.

I've had a top-secret chat with the wonderful Liz, whose ideas for getting the average festival-goer appreciating what us Curious veterans already love are hopefully going to instil the same joy into you that they have with us - pop over to my guest post on their blog by **clicking here**

I hope to see you by some giant Grecian columns in a weeks time, peering around the corner for the next surprise - I'll be the one with muddy bare feet and a massive smile on my face, trying to soak in every single second of the short time we get to take over this wonderful, overgrown, surprise-filled place.

Buy your ticket here.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Last Minute DIY Cosmic Festival Fancy Dress Ideas

The countdown is on and it's only 4 sleeps until Hogsozzle. I've realised that I am no where near as far along with my costume as I was this time last year, so I thought it would be fun to put together a whole bunch of last minute,  or super simple DIY costume ideas for everyone else that hasn't finalised their Cosmic Disco outfits yet!

If you haven't grabbed a ticket yet and this post inspires you to get your intergalactic garbs out, pop over to their ticket site by click here and snap one up, I don't think there is many left!

Let me know if you plan to give any of these a try, would love to see them on Instagram if you do - just tag my account so I can see - @katyclouds

I feel like this would be an easy-medium project if you had a few spare hours and a bunch of pompoms! I'm kind of tempted to recreate this myself actually in a last minute crafting frenzy!

Can't find the original source of this but looks super easy, yellow dye, green dye and some iron-on fabric. Make it more festival appropriate by using glow in the dark or sparkly eyes! 
(From Pinterest)

A super easy guys costume - green morph suit from your nearest party shop and a DIY alien headband!

The next post you read here will be the rundown of the festival and how much amazing fun we had – check out my previous posts here for more information on the festival and here for my plans for the weekend – keep an eye on the Instagram feed of @theturnerbrothers and me, @katyclouds for all the action over the weekend, see you at the Sozzle! 

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Use Bio-Degradable Glitter This Year At Festivals!

Less than two weeks to go before Hogsozzle (click for their website and tickets!) and I’m spending the majority of my spare time thinking about how I can possibly apply enough glitter to myself to satisfy my craving for sparkle and shine. Did you know that humans are attracted to sparkly things because of an in-built instinct to head towards water sparkling in the distant? Glitter fact number 1! 

Inspired by various glittery companies popping up round the country at festivals and, more I’ve noticed, at blogger events, I started doing some research into glitter and it's effects.

 I popped along to the BooHoo A/W Press event through work, I don’t blog about fashion much as I’m not very trendy. Also, I say things ‘I’m not very trendy’ a lot, which makes me even less so.  I was gutted to have missed Go Get Glitter, who seemed to turn up just as I had to return (slightly drunk on fruity gin cocktails and having met Stacey Solomon) to the office. I did manage to get a glitter bun hairdo from The London Makeup Academy, but they didn’t use cosmetic glitter, instead spreading a thin glue over my parting which I was terribly worried wouldn’t come out but a good hot shower had the glitter specks running down the plughole…

…which brings me nicely to my main point.

 I’m worried about microplastics and you should be to – this year, we can all do some tiny things to protect our planet just a little more than we have been doing. Here are some facts about microplastics, which I cite from The Royal Society Of Chemistry but there are hundreds of articles on this subject across the web.

Microplastics are pieces of plastics less than 5mm in size. Nanoplastics are as small as 1 – 100nm.

These plastics are small enough to avoid filtration and end up directly in the sea or other water supplies. They are also small enough to be consumed by fish and birds and can build up in the body, causing problems such as infertility, deformities, growth problems and death.

They are present in many of our cosmetics – 680 tonnes of plastic microbeads are used in a year in the UK alone – luckily, many companies are trying to find other ways of adding exfoliating properties, they can use coconut husk or other natural fibres instead.  Keep an eye out for silicones and polymers  in the ingredients if you want to avoid this. 

Plastic microfibers in clothing are also a threat to the future of the oceans – they are too small to be caught in your washing machine filter system.

The main threat is still the incorrect disposal and permanent storage of waste – the best way to help is to recycle as much as possible and try not to use too much plastic – it’s getting easier every month as more companies catch on to peoples feelings about this subject.

Through fish, the microplastics also have the potential to re-enter the food chain, studies on how this could affect humans haven’t had time to gather quantifiable data yet, but common sense tells you, it can’t be good.

Some companies are doing something about it...

Johnson and Johnson recently made the sticks on their cotton buds out of paper, instead of plastic. Cotton buds flushed down the loo can cause an environmental issue as well as asewage one so this is a great move on their part and gives consumers a choice. Read more about their campaign to reduce plastics here.

Lush have removed all plastic glitter from their products and have put out the following statement:

"we’ve avoided microplastics by switching to mica and mineral glitter, as well as natural starch-based lusters. Our ingredient suppliers have worked hard to develop these plastic-free alternatives for our products, all of which are safe for the environment."

There are also companies springing up that promote the biodegradability of their glitter as a selling point - and it definitely is! This year, I'm making a pledge to ONLY use biodegradable glitters ion our festival costumes and I'll be encouraging my fellow revellers to do the same. 

Most cosmetics and craft glitter is made from non-biodegradable materials such a copolymer or aluminium foil – this means it’s a danger to birds, entering the food chain or water system through their digestion of the plastic glitter particles.

Loving life at a festival, coated in what I am certain was not bio-degradable glitter.
Most companies that sell biodegradable glitter will shout it loud and proud, so it isn’t hard to find. Avoid using craft shop glitters at festivals, or cheap ones in huge packs from Amazon. Chances are these aren’t going to be biodegradable, if it doesn’t say it is, you can assume that it’s not. I was really disappointed whilst researching this post that post of the companies that I love for their glitter bums, glitter tits and general sparkle are manufacturing non-biodegradable glitters or purchasing their components from sources that don't supply information about their friendliness towards the environment. I'm going to attempt not to feature any of these sort of brands this year, whether that be here on my blog, or on my face when we are getting face-painting or hair glitter. 

Coachella Looks by Go Get Glitter

These types of glitters can be more expensive, but you usually get a better quality product that you get through other sources that won’t irritate your skin (craft glitter can be very rough and scratchy on sensitive skin)

Here are two companies I have found that provide biodegradable glitter and I would love if you would pop in the comments if you know of any more!

Go Get Glitter - one of my favourite Instagram accounts (click here!) and popping up at festivals all over the world at the moment, these guys state that their glitter products are 100% biodegradable on their website here 

MGMA is a Bristol based company that sells biodegradable glitter and promotes it's use on the web and in person, I haven't had the chance to try out their products yet but I'll report back when I have done! Click here to visit their Etsy shop 

And if you click here, you'll find some ways you can make your own glitter, although I haven't tested this out yet!

Later in the week I will be sharing all of my moodboards for this years Cosmic Disco themed Hogsozzle, I've got all the girls dressing up this year and I can't wait to share the pictures afterwards! 

Katy xx

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Dream Weekend at Hogsozzle 2017!!

Hiii!! If you haven’t snapped up a ticket to my favourite indie festival yet, I’m going to attempt to convince you to in this post, by telling you exactly what I plan to be doing over the weekend…I can’t tell you how excitedly I am counting down the days until we pitch our tents for the first time this year, unpack our ever-growing festival supplies and start our weekend of ridiculousness with the rest of the Hogsozzlers (check their site by clicking here)…here’s my plan for the weekend;

Friday Evening...

We’ll arrive, almost at the same time, sort out passes and tickets and carry our stuff over to the best spot in the campsite – last year we managed to snag such a good place by showing up early,  even though we needed enough room for 10 tents we managed to keep a special corner all to ourselves and I want to pitch there again this year! I’ve been busy briefing everyone who says they are going to get there first exactly where this prime spot is…

We’ll pitch our tents and unroll our sleeping bags (but we definitely won’t unpack or sort out our stuff!) and then we’ll gather up our drinks tokens and head straight to the beautiful wooden bar on the top of the hill to grab some gin & juice and find out who is playing when. The line-up is filled with better-than-you’d expect music and acts for the price and there are a couple I really cannot wait to see, including Electric Swing Circus, Mirrored Theory, Little Brother Eli and obviously, The Turner Brothers.

Late Friday Night…

I’ll be rolling around on the hill, surrounded by LED costumes (although we’ll be saving the big guns for the Saturday!) drinks and fun art installations, I think the bath full of ballpit balls was super last year and the rocket ship boat has to be making another appearance given the theme, right?

Very, Very late Friday Night…

We’ll make our way back to camp and dig out our camping-friendly supplies, plastic bottles and disposable cups and make friends with our neighbours. This is essential as if we do manage to land the camping spot of dreams, we are pretty far from the main walkway so we won’t get the usual through traffic, we’ll need to ally with our neighbours for when supplies are running low later in the weekend – crashing other people’s tents and finding out what festival hacks they remembered to bring with them is always fun. This year I’m all about the bulldog clips for hanging things up in your tent, I really don’t want to ruin another camera/phone/charging device, last year cost me a fortune in replacement devices and I still haven’t got a decent camera for this year’s adventures.

Early Saturday Morning,

Our make-up will be running, the tents will be full of glitter and mud and chances are, we will have misplaced either a band member, an instrument or something else of value. We’ll climb onto the pile of bags in our tents (because we obviously didn’t bother sorting anything out in the daylight) and drift into a troubled sleep, half an ear waiting for the announcement that the food places are opening up…

Saturday Morning,

We’ll start the day munching on whatever breakfast foods we can get our hands on, hopefully sitting inside a big old rusty helicopter, because, where else could I possibly want to eat my breakfast? The first year we went to Hogsozzle the breakfast offering was…disappointing, to say the least. Last year they scored an absolute double whammy with the Cauldron and The Wingmen – I haven’t worked out if they are coming again this year – I believe they have now set up a bricks and mortar store in Sleaford but I can’t find them online – what’s happened to those guys? 

Saturday Daytime

We’ll pop to the nearby Tesco and pick up supplies, including lots of water because I can totally make it 27 degrees in my dream weekend right? We’ll eat ice cream and if there’s any surviving remains of our carefully packed picnic, we’ll probably eat that too, rolling around in the sun and slowly getting our costume bits together for the big costume night.  We’ll head over to the Hog Roast as many times as we think we can get away with and I’ll try to avoid looking in it’s big burnt eye as I chow down on the best pig of the year…

I seriously cannot wait to see the costumes this year, did you see that these guys won the costume competition last year? I mean really, who else could it have possibly been? So weird.

 People really go all out for this one and I’ve spent the last few weeks in a dedicated Facebook chat group with the fellow Turner Brother friends and girlfriends trying to come up with ideas for our costumes along the Best Theme Ever – COSMIC DISCO!! I’m pulling together loads of DIY ideas to share soon so we’ll be spending Saturday afternoon glittering up, slipping into our homemade costumes and basically coating every part of our bodies in as much cosmic silver body paint as possible as well as eyeing up the competition from our fellow campers…

Saturday Evening,

One by one, we will emerge from  our cramped tents like cosmic butterflies, all light-up bras, sparkly crop tops and giant moonboots (I hope!)
 We’ll dance the night away under a perfectly clear sky, knocking back jagerbombs, rushing from the main area to the hot, sweaty dance enclosure to the Pig Pen to the brand new Yurt, taking in as many costumes, acts and experiences as possible – I definitely plan to reach peak excitement and festival fun tonight!

Late Saturday Night…

I’ll lose all my friends and become completely disorientated, eventually finding my way back to our campsite (which is basically home by this point, even though I’m still sleeping on top of a pile of bags and other peoples groundsheets and all the water has run out and there’s someone’s mud-filled shoe in place of my pillow…) The other girls are telling me they will be having a sane one tonight but I’ll still be going until sunrise.

Sunday Morning…

Sunday is the day I’m looking forward to most! There’s a huge paint fight to get involved in (I’ll be hunting down a cheap white unitard on Amazon for this!) and it’s the day of The Turner Brothers performance on the main stage – the boys have been regulars at Hogsozzle for the last few years and I can’t wait to see them back on stage after a break over the winter, it’s been months since I heard them live and I know for a fact they have some fab new material – I’ll be taking over their Instagram and hopefully live streaming the whole thing, if I haven’t damaged all my charging devices by this point!

Sunday Night…

We’ll dance long into the night but since I’ll have finally unrolled my sleeping bag properly by this point I’ll almost certainly be in need of more than 40 winks so I’m picturing dozing, half out of my tent, partly listening what the true hardcore festival revellers get up to on their last night…

Sunday morning…

We’ll realise we’ve spent all our money and lost all our stuff but I’m definitely going to use this morning to cajole everyone into our second annual group photo for the records, as well as packing up all our stuff and beginning the countdown to the next festival on our schedule this summer, The Curious Yellow…

Phewwww, I kind of feel like I’ve relived the last two years there and it’s definitely got me so pumped for this year – if this sounds like a great weekend to you, pop over to the Hogsozzle website and grab one of the last few tickets before it’s too late – don’t forget to say hi, we’ll be the ones with the best camping spot and the flashing LED bras :)

Buy tickets here: Hogsozzle 2017

I’m working on a blog post about using biodegradable glitter this year, so you have any ideas for brands and shops that sell glitter that won’t harm birds or the environment, please do drop me a comment below!

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Hogsozzle 2017

Festival season is back! I honestly don't know how I used to get through winters that didn't finish just as the glittery, sparkly joy of festival time is visible on the horizon. "I don't think festivals are for me" I used to proclaim, "I'm not really a camping kind of gal"

First up is the pig-themed dreamparty that is Hogsozzle - it's the perfect start to the summer. The Turner Brothers are playing, there's a massive roast to 'pig' out on and best of all, the fancy dress theme this year is beyond perfect for my head-in-the-stars self...


Can you believe it? Hogsozzle was where I came up with my (deeply unpopular) hashtag - #bringbackcosmic back in 2015. It was the first time I ever saw someone decked out head to toe in pure galaxy print clothing...

I feel like I have posted this poor guys picture several times over the last few years and have never managed to find out who it is - if this is you, please comment below and I will tag appropriately!

So, fast forward a few years and I'm looking forward to Hogsozzle so much, we are going with all of the usual gang, The Turner Brothers and quite a few of our lovely friends. Check out the line up below, you have no idea how excited I am about the Electric Swing Circus, that's definitely going to be top of my must-see list...ahem...after the T-Bros, obvs.

But the absolute most exciting this about Hogsozzle is the dressing up! Last year I posted a series of inspiration posts and shopping guides around the ideas that our group had for the 2016 theme, Childhood Dreams, you can see some photos below and the links to each of the posts I wrote last year.

My beautiful friend Kelly went for a pirate look (click here to see the sources and shops that these fun costume pieces are from!) and she look fabulous, I loved her cute tutu skirt and her enthusiasm for having a cutlass! Click here to straight to my Pirate dress-up inspiration post.

Hayley went for a mermaid look and to be honest, she probably won. She fashioned a light-up bra from plastic shells and LED lights and it saved the day on a number of occasions (why the don't portaloos come with lights? Doesn't matter when your bra is brighter than the sun!) It earned her the nickname Titlamps, which we've pretty much kept for the last year and I know she'll be breaking out those spangly, light-up boobies again this year!

 I should probably apologise here for the terrible photo quality of some of these - I may had had a few too many mixed-in-a-tent gins by this point!

Here's an example of some of the beautiful headpieces I found last year to inspire her look, you can click here to go to the post where there's a ton of wonderful mermaid-inspired costumes, make-up and ideas for the festival season.

I was pretty lucky last year as I was gifted the most amazing Cosmic Space Lady dress from Tickled Pick fancy dress, I'm not sure if they are involved with Hogsozzle this year but I will still be checking out their site for accessories for our groups costumes. I made my headpiece and featured a DIY which I've seen getting quite a few hits already this year, I was really pleased with how it turned out but it got trampled on in the rush of packing up our campsite and it hasn't quite recovered - a great excuse to design a new one, complete with LED's, for this years super theme! Click the below image for my Cosmic Crown DIY.

I also put together some moodboards for cosmic-style make-up which I didn't quite implement last year, but this year I've gathered a huge amount of festival make-up and I'll be rocking at least one or two of these looks over the weekend! Click here to go straight to my Cosmic Inspiration  blog post from 2016.

So, there's a round up of last years ideas and aren't I lucky that my Childhood Dream was to have a Cosmic Disco? I'm going all out this year, with DIY's for various LED elements of our groups costumes and convincing as many people in our crew to get involved! Stay tuned - give my blog a follow on Bloglovin' or pop over to Instagram and follow me over there - @katyclouds.

You can buy tickets to Hogsozzle from their page here - they are on 3rd release so I'd snap one up if I were you!

Katy xx

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