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Dealing with a Lack of Confidence in My Real Life Artwork

By October 2, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

If you’ve been reading my blog for long enough then you’ll know that I used to fairly regularly post updates of my personal art scrapbook. I used to really enjoy my “Scrap Social” series and I know a lot of you did too…

How to Deal with Lacking Confidence in Your Art Work - shenanginanz organic patch

I didn’t always update you on new pages due to my blog schedule not necessarily allowing for it but after a while, that wasn’t the reason for my lack of posting. Like a lot of art, there comes a point where you usually grow out of certain styles and practices. For me, ‘scrapbooking’ (in the way that I was) hasn’t been enough and since recognising that, I haven’t felt I’ve had anything worthy of sharing, either.

However, sharing isn’t my reason for writing, in fact, I’d have to say it has more to do with consuming. I believe my consumption and intake of other art is what stops me at that first hurdle and which perhaps maybe stopping you and other people from doing the same.

It almost reminds me of the pressures of school and seeing everybody’s pieces lined up and feeling put down and de-motivated when there was something significantly different to the rest in my work.  There are so many artists and creators out there who all have such distinctive styles, it’s incredibly difficult to step back and work on your own work without comparing the two. This, of course, applies to more than just art, so much so, that I used to struggle with this on my blog.

How to Deal with Lacking Confidence in Your Art Work - shenanginanz organic patch

Going back to how scrapbooking didn’t feel enough to me… I think part of that reason was due to the fact it allowed me to fall back onto other mediums and references which would automatically start the ideas flowing without my real creative thought. I was creating but I wasn’t creating anything new or fresh for myself.

Combining that with the pressure of influence and trying hard not to be over-influenced, you can see how I might have lost track a little. I reached a dead-end in pushing myself forward and now all I know and seek out are my comfort zones.

I wish I was here to spew out advice and list down ways I’ve managed to overcome this challenge but I’m afraid I’m still in this limbo. I’m stuck in a creative sandpit where I can only manage to build sandcastles made of everybody else’s sand. (I’m also terrible at analogies, it seems).

I understand using references and inspiration is a huge part of all art – it’s why fashion takes from past decades and why music often doesn’t necessarily fall into one genre with how it sounds and feels – but in becoming your own artist, there comes a time when you need to stop relying upon it, in my opinion, even if it’s only temporarily.

How to Deal with Lacking Confidence in Your Art Work - shenanginanz organic patch

Organic Cotton “Art is My Distraction” Patch £4.99 (Shenaniganz)*

I feel extremely confident in who I am as an artist online. I’m proud of the content I publish and produce and I feel sure that my style is distinct enough to shine among the rest, I’m just not sure how to achieve that same level of confidence with the art I create and produce with my hands.

In fact, that’s a whole other topic in itself. With online content creation, we can add filter after filter and delete picture after picture but there are only so many pages we can tear out of a sketchbook and throw in the bin before the book is empty and well, the Amazon Rainforest is no more.

Have you dealt with similar when it comes to the creative process? How have you managed to get back on your feet? Let’s discuss in the comments! I need inspiration!

Before you go! I want to know what you want to learn about ethical fashion! Fill in my survey here, if you want answers to any burning questions you have in mind. There are also instructions on how to nominate me as a Young Green Leader in the Observer Ethical Awards, which nomination deadline has been extended to October 22nd, 2017.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Easy DIY Fashion Fix Ideas | Fashion Revolution 2017

By April 30, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

Fashion Revolution Week was created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

With my penultimate Fashion Revolution post being quite a heavy piece, I thought I would tie this week up along the simpler route by listing out a few of ways that you can make your clothes last longer. Although I talk an awful lot about shopping with more ethically focused brands, the way you care and dispose of your clothes is equally as important as what you buy.

One of Fashion Revolution’s campaigns for 2017 included the #LovedClothesLast short film which focuses on exactly that; how loved clothes will last a lot longer than those which aren’t, whether that means how we care for them or how they were produced. You can watch the full short film here. On top of that, Fashion Revolution are also trying to encourage people to start “fashion fixing”; making your clothes last longer by fixing them rather than throwing them away. Scroll down for some easy ideas that I can guarantee all of you can do from home…

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

Read the full tutorial here.

This is the jacket that some of you long time TDP readers may recognise. I also featured it in my recent blog post of my trip to Lottozero’s Fashion Revolution event in Prato, Italy. I originally bought the jacket from a jumble sale with the intention of adding more to it; it was a blank white canvas which meant there was an awful lot of room to play with. If you click through to the tutorial you’ll see that not only did I dye the jacket but I also added some patches. 

Iron-on patches are extremely easy to use (all you need is a tea-towel and iron) and are what I used for all of the patches upon it. However, some of the original patches did peal off in the wash, so if you access to a needle and thread, sewing the patches on will make them last even longer. I simply re-ironed them on this time, adding my Fashion Revolution patches along with them. It is possible to find more sustainable patches; Avery Dennis (who produced the exclusive patches) use 90% recycled yarns. 

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

All you need is scissors!

This might not seem like much of a DIY but it saved this jacket from being taken to a local charity shop. I was wearing this denim jacket “cropped” for a few years, styling it so it looked purposefully fit to be smaller but unfortunately it had reached the stage where it simply just looked too small. I took to it with some sharp scissors though and I have a whole new item in my wardrobe; a sleeveless denim jacket (or waistcoat).

I’m also planning on adding some white pleated ruffles around the armholes using an old white dress. I’ll be getting out my sewing machine soon and will most definitely report back on my progress in the future.

easy diy fashion fix ideas - fashion revolution - diy patch jacket

Follow my Instagram Story…

Ripped & Dip-dyed Jeans…

To go alongside my dip-dyed jacket, I ripped up some of my white jeans and dyed them in a similar style. They’re still going strong and you can see them styled up in a recent outfit post. Quick, easy, and once again doesn’t require much skill if you haven’t necessarily got the time to learn a new craft.

Crop It…

Take the same principle as I did with my old denim jacket and cut off the length of a t-shirt. It might not seem like you’re doing much but you might just end up falling back in love with its new style. If you want to neaten it up and save it from fraying, find a sewing machine and create a simple hem line, or ask someone who knows how to do it for you.

Add Pom-Poms…

I love this idea from Fashion Revolution themselves; pom-poms are really simple to make once you learn and can definitely add something more interesting to an item you’re getting a little bored of. It also saves you from going out and buying a new pom-pom trend led piece which often aren’t much more than just a sweatshirt and the pom-poms themselves. Being in charge of the process will guarantee that it will last for longer and you can make it look exactly as you like it. 

Use Off-Cuts…

With DIYs, especially those involving cutting and slicing off arms, you’ll often have off-cut pieces of fabric lying about. Don’t throw these out! You can make accessories or use the old buckles and buttons for future projects. Try and reduce your waste as much as possible. 

How will you make your clothes last longer? Have you got any quick DIY ideas? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you so much for joining me this Fashion Revolution Week! Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter as I’ll be sending out a round-up shortly.

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why It’s Okay to Feel ‘Okay’ | The Children’s Society

By February 22, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle

I’ve recently been in touch with The Children’s Society charity because they are currently trying to get more people, and specifically the UK government, to step up to the plate and stand up for girls. As a feminist and a girl/young woman myself, of course, standing up for girls is going to be of importance to me, however, it is even more important to me when the campaign they’re running is focusing on appearance and confidence.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I was wondering how to go about this post but then I remembered a quote I read by Katy Bellotte on Instagram (you might know her as Hello Katy). It was one of those moments where I read it and thought to myself; that’s exactly what I mean, I just haven’t been able to express it so eloquently before! The quote was this:

There is a widely-popular misconception that confident people are completely without fear. Confidence isn’t “they will like me,” confidence is “I’ll be okay if they don’t.” – Katy Bellotte

Out of the whole quote, though, the word that stuck with me most was the word ‘okay’. My mind spiralled after reading it because it came to my realisation that, as young women, the word ‘okay’ is rarely used. And so I looked back on The Children’s Society‘s notes and wondered how I could incorporate this idea into my blog post when I scrolled down onto a quote from a teenage girl that had been part of their research – it highlighted another word for me; the word was ‘expected’.

This isn’t a new concept for me. I’ve written about it before when I spoke about curating your own personal style and how in some respects, I felt as if I was expected to be a certain way; expected to dress a certain way at a certain point in my life. I’m sure it isn’t a new concept for you either if you’re a girl or a woman. All sorts of phrases lead back to the idea of expectancy, like ‘fitting in’ and ‘conforming’. If you feel as if you need to fit in; you feel as if you’re expected to be a certain way. If you feel as if you aren’t good enough; you feel as if there’s an expectation to live up to.

According to research by The Children’s Society, 1 in 7 girls feel unhappy with their lives in general, with 1 in 3 unhappy with their appearance. There’s pressure and there’s expectancy and there’s the idea of living up to a certain standard. What does ‘okay’ have to do with this, you ask? ‘Okay’ is a word stripped of expectancy. It’s okay to feel a certain way; it’s okay to feel down and it’s okay to feel as if you don’t live up to these societal pressures because as Katy’s quote suggests, confidence isn’t about not having fears. Confidence is about being okay with having them. Confidence is saying I’ll feel okay if I don’t look like this or I’ll feel okay if I don’t live up to what might usually be expected of me.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls

I would say I’m a confident person, in fact, I’ve stated it many times in blog posts like this but in no way does that mean I have no insecurities or worries. I haven’t spoken to many people about this because it is rather personal to me but more recently, I’ve started to notice how much I focus on the size of my chest (Hi Dad!). I’m very small chested. I’m almost 17 and I still don’t wear bras (Hi anyone who knows me!) because there is quite frankly no need for them and yeah, there’s no difference when I wear slightly more fitted tops to when I wear baggy ones – there’s nothing there to see either way. I worry that I look younger than I am, I wish I could wear more open summer dresses that aren’t just straight up and straight down without feeling as if I’m a flat piece of paper and I really wish I could wear delicate triangle bras without feeling as if there’s no point.

It’s not that I necessarily want or need to be any different than I am but I know that in western society there is an expectation put on women for us all to have something in that department. It’s about understanding and realising that there’s an expectancy rather than developing upon on an idea or an image that is just there. It’s engrained within younger people to feel this way because there aren’t enough people shouting out and saying that it’s okay not only to realise there’s a pressure but that it’s okay to not be defined by it or expect ourselves to rely on it.

It’s okay to be who we are because that is who we are. We shouldn’t expect ourselves to change for anyone or anything but it’s also okay to listen to that pressure and start to understand it. This can be taken on for more than just insecurities, this can also be taken on board when we think about more mental issues and the health and wellbeing of our minds. Opening up about mental health is what we all need more of especially when insecurities and fears are often caused by anxiety and depression.

the children's society good childhood report - confidence advice for teen girls


Make a list of your insecurities
 Ask yourself where they came from
 Ask yourself who brings out your insecurities and who lessens them
 Make note of when you don’t feel insecure; what made you feel that way?
 When you do feel down or insecure, tell yourself it’s okay
 Tell other people it’s okay too
✓ Try to listen and understand yourself more and more each day
✓ Read The Good Childhood Report and spread the word!

I always try and leave my readers with something to learn from so I’ve made a small checklist of questions to ask yourself and small ideas to remind yourself of on a daily basis. I’m also going to link you up with three of my previously written articles and works on similar topics. There are checklists and helpful ideas within them too and I hope they will start to open your eyes up to why it’s okay to feel okay…

How to Combat Feeling Judged and Self-Conscious

“How do we skip out those thoughts that make us pressured? How do we stop ourselves from shrinking back down into that mold of ‘being normal’ or ‘being perfect?’. Well, I’ve thought about it, and I know you’re no doubt going to think I sound crazy but… I like to think about the size of the world and the universe. Yup, you read me right… I’m getting deep.”

How to Soothe a Sore Thumb

“The more you flaunt it, the more people will catch on to your awesomeness, which means in the end, more people will be flaunting their awesomeness, so nobody will have to feel like a sore thumb ever again.”

★ Accepting Change & Curating Your Personal Archive

“We have this incredible ability to store the outfits and the hairstyles and the make-up looks and the places we went and the inspiration we found in our own personal archives. We are the curators of our own archives. It’s scary, sure… the idea that we’ll look back and regret decisions or cringe over them, but that’s the great thing about storing it all and utilising these tools – we can gradually accept change and we can look back after a few weeks and start going ‘Oh, well I wouldn’t do that now’. We have time to process change, and we really need to take advantage of that.”

You can read more about The Children’s Society here

How do you tell yourself it’s okay to feel okay? How do you deal with insecurities? Share your wisdom in the comments!

I’ll be back soon with some fashion week content…

(Obviously The Children’s Society is a charity so this blog post is in no way sponsored. I just feel strongly about these sorts of topics.)

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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What to Do with Old Clothes | Charity Shop & Clothes Bin Alternatives

By February 15, 2017 DIY & Lifestyle, Ethical

In my blog post about whether having fewer clothes actually makes your wardrobe more sustainable, I mentioned that charity shops might not be the best option for decluttering your wardrobe. I promised a blog post about it, so here we go…

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration

Don’t get me wrong, I love charity shops. I have absolutely nothing against them being scattered around full of hidden gems and cheap as chips clothing ready to be worn. Of course I’m not going to start stopping you from shopping in them because not only does it generate money for charities which do such incredible work for different causes, it also makes for more sustainable shoppers and consumers. I would say most of my wardrobe is second-hand and I’ve written many times about why I want you guys to rediscover pre-loved items, too.

The issue of charity shops doesn’t stem from the shopping or what’s on the shop floor, it stems with what we send to them and what we believe is actually ending up there. I understand that some more local, individual charity shops may not experience what I’m going to discuss and that there is actually a need for more items in order to keep the shop up and running, but for the most part in fact, only 10% of clothing donated to charity shops will actually end up being hung up and put onto rails (according to To Die For by Lucy Siegle). We have to think about it similarly for clothes bins.

I remember a few years ago before ethics and sustainability were in my mind, I watched a documentary by the BBC about what truly happens to our clothes once they’re collected from places like clothes bins. I’ve started learning more about this journey not only from the aforementioned book, To Die For, but also from a new read of mine, Clothing Poverty, which describes this in its first chapter.

The clothing that can’t be sold in charity shops or genuinely recycled, is often shipped off in plastic-wrapped bulk bales to areas of Africa. The documentary I watched explored the capital of Ghana in West Africa where every three days, bales are delivered. They met a seller who purchases these bales, the t-shirts and trousers of which had all been purchased through UK charities. Our donations are bought for profit and then delivered to developing countries for locals to purchase themselves and once again sell on, in order to gain income.

You might be thinking at this point that it’s a great way to keep people afloat? Well, actually, there’s a huge risk in purchasing a bale. In To Die For, Lucy explains how one seller could only look through the plastic wrapping to work out what they would be able to sell on. When the communities are already suffering from poverty, they have to rely on what the sorters of our donations have decided to send on meaning that if the clothes are unwanted, they have technically wasted money they could have used to keep providing for their family.

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration

It also adds to the decline of the fashion and textile industry in these areas due to the fact that the poor rely so heavily on our cast-offs to wear. After telling my dad this, he said to me that “It now makes sense why we see European brands and football shirts being worn in documentaries just like that”.

This is only a brief introduction into the cycle of where our donations end up. We might think when we do a wardrobe clear-out that we’re making the most conscious decision of sending them off elsewhere, but really, due to the amount of clothes being thrown out, there are many downsides to doing just that. I’ve watched a couple of YouTube videos about spring cleaning recently and it shows how easy it can be to dispose of an item we don’t want, to a charity shop or a clothes bin because we then believe we are no longer responsible for that item – it will go towards something good. I believe we need to stop relying so heavily on these easy-outs and start not only making much better, greener decisions, but also start profiting from our clothes ourselves.

Having a ‘closed loop’ industry is a big aim for many (where everything that is created is then recycled and put back into the cycle) and it seems to start with focusing on where our clothes are coming from – so why aren’t we focusing on where they go too? I’ve listed a few alternatives which might help you the next time you go to sort out what you already own…

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration - ebay and depop

Depop & eBay…

If you want to start profiting from your own clothes, one of the more modern ways of doing so is by creating a Depop or eBay shop. You can sell on items, name your price or start an open bid, and know that the person who will be receiving them will know exactly where it came from. You’ll earn a small (or large – depending on what you sell) amount and the more you sell, the easier it will become to sell in the future too.

Depop also works a bit like Instagram so if you’re not up for the fees and layout of eBay, that might be the one for you. Many bloggers and influencers use it for their followers to shop their wardrobes, so it’s great for buying as well!

Jumble, Garage & Carboot Sales…

I never know which phrase to use – my mum introduced me to the word ‘jumble’, I know that ‘garage’ is used in the US and I know that in the UK ‘carboot’ is very specific to fields full of cars with clothes hanging out the back, but really what I mean is; selling your clothes within your local community. Get out and join in with an event and pass on your clothes to those in your area. Go to specific sales for clothes or if you own a lot of vintage, sign yourself up to a vintage market. There are so many options and I’m sure you can find somewhere to sell most days of the week.

Clothes Swaps…

Not as common as the previous alternative, but clothes swaps are a thing. Nobody is left empty handed because you swap clothes between friends or Facebook groups (a good place to find them), almost like scratching someone else’s back whilst they scratch yours. Not only are these events fun and different, they’re almost always satisfying. It adds a story and some sentimentality to what you add to your wardrobe and what somebody else takes from it.

What to Do with Old Clothes - Charity Shop Alternatives - fashion illustration


Friends & Family…

Speaking of friends and Facebook, why not donate your clothes to those who you know best? Not only will you immediately know who the item will suit, they’ll appreciate the offer and it won’t go to waste. This is especially good if you have newer items in your wardrobe so it will feel more like a gift than just a hand-me-down, which can often create a stigma in the realm of second-hand shopping.

Upcycle it!

There’s a big difference between upcycling and recycling. Upcycling involves giving an item a new lease of life. Maybe a garment has lost its colour and needs some dye to brighten it back up? Maybe the only reason you’re deciding to pass it on is because it has a hole and some buttons missing? You might still love it, which means it only takes a bit of DIY to keep it from losing its place in your wardrobe.

Take on the ‘make do and mend’ mindset and get out a needle and thread or find someone who might like to upcycle it for you! You can always take a now ill-fitting item to a tailor and get it reworked. There are so many choices to avoid your favourite or unworn pieces being wasted.

What do you do with your old clothes? Let me know in the comments!

Just letting you know I’ve added some more brands to my ethical directory. I’m really happy with how well receieved it’s been, so I hope you like the new additions. Happy ethical shopping!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why I Want to Fight Harder for What I Believe In

By November 17, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past few months, it’s the fact that life can throw things at you that are totally out of your control, and that with that, there’s a big difference between knowing/believing in something and actually experiencing it. Just like there’s a big difference between believing in something and actually fighting for it.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

I haven’t really had the chance to update anyone other than on Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media platforms that only allow a few words or paragraphs, but unfortunately, the account of my earthquake experience I wrote in August, wasn’t my last experience of one. At the end of October, Italy was hit with another three earthquakes within the space of 5 days. It was exactly three months and two days after the first one that I was hiding under a desk again, and another few days after that, I was sleeping in a tent and seeing our Italian home once again turn to ruin.

I know this isn’t something for a fashion blog, and has probably bored you to death if you have seen my updates elsewhere, but it genuinely has been a huge and traumatic part of my life recently. Falling into a routine of having to deal with aftershocks and your belongings breaking around you is not something normal to deal with.

But I’m a part believer in taking something out of everything, which means I’ve decided to take a lesson from all of this. If there are tragic things in life we can’t control, then the things we can control should be the things we fight and push on for.

It seems like a bizarre thing to compare it to, and I, of course, know I came out of the situation in a far safer and luckier place, but I now have empathy for those who have been through similar situations, specifically relating to issues which I believe in, like those affected by the Rana Plaza disaster for example. Although I can’t really compare the two, there are many accounts which state it felt like an earthquake coming on – all the machines rattling and the building starting to cave in on itself.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

But the harsh reality and the unfortunate truth of that disaster was that it was avoidable. It was somebody’s fault that thousands died and were injured. It’s nobody’s fault that an earthquake happens; it’s just the earth being the earth.

We have the power to make change and to use our voice so that avoidable tragedies are just that – avoidable. Factories shouldn’t collapse because the managers are being forced to risk it. Factories shouldn’t catch on fire because of poor working conditions. Workers shouldn’t die because there are no fire exits. Workers shouldn’t die because their only source of income is working in a factory that is ready to collapse.

I have the ability to inspire others to try and fight for change, and that’s exactly what it should be – a fight. The end goal of every fight is to win, and now I want to fight harder because I know what it’s like to feel helpless.

There’s nothing you can do when an earthquake strikes other than to drop, cover and hold. But there is so much to be done when it comes to human rights, the environment and equality, especially across an industry which exploits all three (and more). When a factory catches fire, there should be fire exits and extinguishers and there should be people fighting to put out the flames and never let them light up again.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

The photos in this blog post were taken in Italy. The confetti photos were taken during the carnival in Ascoli Piceno – one of the local towns which I came to know and love, and which I know is still dealing with the after-effects of the 2016 earthquakes. 

There are ways to stop and change the outcome of certain scenarios, even if it takes time and effort. It’s worth it. That’s one similarity between a natural disaster and something man-made. We can put precautions in place. We can make buildings stronger and we can stop people from going inside of them if the risk is too high, because we know profit isn’t worth people’s lives.

‘We’  is anyone who contributes to the way things are already – the consumers who buy from these exploitive brands and send out the signal that they’re doing a good job; the buyers in charge of sourcing factories; the designers and teams that decide on the high numbers of collections per year; the managers of the factories being exploited by the teams providing those high numbers.

But mainly, it’s us, the consumers and believers which need to start building the momentum.

We need to start moving and show those in charge that we will cause a huge wave of power if they don’t start getting prepared. We can start building up the pressure (just like in an earthquake) so that they have no choice but to let things release and start making the change to deal with all the changes. There is so much they (the brands, the manufacturers, the governments in charge of laws and legislations) could be doing, so we need to show them that there is actually a rhyme and a reason to making it happen.

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

This is also a good time for me to touch on politics and the current situation with the President-Elect in the US. It might not have been the decision that a lot of us/you, in America, wanted, but it’s what we have. That doesn’t mean to say it has to stay that way, though, or that we have to settle for it. We should take the same attitude for issues we believe in, across the board. Stand up, voice your opinions and your concerns – fight (without violence and causing damage that is.)

fighting or what you believe in - ethical fashion

I can’t say exactly how I’m going to up the ante in my personal fighting because as I have mentioned several times throughout this post, the past few months have been quite stressful and I haven’t quite got my blogging/activist/ethical advocate head straight, but I know that for sure I won’t let something natural and uncontrollable get in my way. It’s a bit like what I said about influencers using their voicesif you have the ability to make a change, try your very best to actually make it happen.

Don’t just sit and stay still unless you physically can’t. Don’t leave it to ‘everyone else’ because there are helpless people out there who need you to be their help.

For those of you somewhat interested, I can update you all by saying that I am now on my way to (or by the time you read this, already am in) Sardinia. It’s a less earthquake-prone Italian island, where I’ll be spending a few months to get back on my feet and experience yet another culture. The past few weeks have been ones of uncertainty, but hopefully, this time will resolve that. 2016 hasn’t been perfect for the most of us, but we still have a bit of time to try again. Who’s with me?

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Why Self-Deprecation on Social Media Is Dangerous

By August 20, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

Over the past few months I’ve been using Tumblr a lot. I use it for two types of Tumblr browsing; fandom (because yes, I have succumbed to the teenage stereotype of obsessing over fictional characters and the actors and actresses that bring them to life) and fashion. I’ve made friends (you know who you are!), I’ve gained inspiration and I’ve had a lot of fun whilst doing it… but I’ve also seen a considerable amount of self-deprecating content and it’s actually made me rather quite sad.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

There’s a danger that comes with social media, and we’re all aware of it, but the question is; do we actually take it seriously? For the most part when it comes to the internet, we (as in – the majority of us who use it (I’m talking about you, me, everyone who’s reading this now)) make sure that important topics are learnt about and crucial changes are made, especially when it comes to such things as cyberbullying, online grooming and all those sorts of things which I don’t really want to go into at much detail.

In terms of subtle messages and half-hearted posts made by anybody and anyone however, we don’t really seem to care that much, because that’s exactly what they come across as – half-hearted, meaningless throw-away comments.

What happens to all of those throw-away comments though? Where do they go? Well… they collect, and they get distributed, and because they’re so common but dispersed at a less powerful rate than those dangerous cyberbully comments and those weirdos you find on those random webcam generating sites, they get dismissed. When in actual fact, because they’re so prevalent, and because we see them so frequently, they can actually become more powerful than all of that over time.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

It sounds all a bit dramatic and some of you might not agree, but after realising how many of these self-deprecating posts there are on Tumblr and sites alike, it got me thinking as to why we need to a put a stop to them. Seeing endless posts of ‘omg i’m so ugly haha hashtag relatable’ and actually starting to go “Ohh yeah, that is relatable” is pretty damn worrying – because we’ve all done it right? We’ve all seen a post which has made us believe we are just that – ugly… too thin; too fat; too curvy; too spotty; too hairy etc etc; the list goes on.

Some of the time we agree with the apathetic-ness of it all – we reblog or retweet something along the lines of ‘imagine a world where i’m pretty’ (no capitalised letters because Tumblr™) and don’t think much of it because it made us laugh. We move on and we share another similar post the following day or week, or whenever something else along the same vein grasps our attention.

Let’s focus on one word there though – share.
That’s the dangerous part. It’s not like in a book where you can read a line and laugh, or read a line and express your relatable feelings to yourself, because there’s also a button which gives you the instant ability to pass the message on; to pass the message on to somebody else to find and start believing in too.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

These messages and comments and beliefs start filling our minds and it becomes second nature to click the button and agree with whatever’s written – probably by somebody in a genuine moment of insecurity, but has then snowballed to become a post with over 42,790 notes (reblogs/likes) and counting because it’s been marked and labelled as something ordinary. It’s a dangerous pattern all because we don’t even realise it is one.

It’s okay to sometimes share these posts in my opinion, because we all have down days of insecurity – even the most confident seeming people do, and occasionally we need something relatable and something that doesn’t make us feel so alone… but we also, more importantly, need to realise that there is a danger to it and that damage can be made when we’re constantly feeding our minds with these ideas which all ridiculously incorrect.

self-deprecation tumblr social media

I agree with the statement of beauty is in the eye of the beholder, because it genuinely is. There is no such thing as ugly. We only know of the word ugly because society has made us feel like we have to fit into a certain box – or should I say in this case, a text box.

So the next time you see a post like this, or you see somebody you know reblogging one – do take it seriously. Tell them that you disagree with the statement – send a message and tell them that they’re not ugly; tell them that they don’t have too-far-apart thighs or knobbly knees or whatever else might be listed, because promise me, they won’t expect it, but my goodness gracious they’ll appreciate it… because even if they did share it just as a joke, deep down, they probably believe it whole-heartedly.

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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David Bowie Is in Bologna 🇮🇹

By August 8, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

Towards the end of last week, I was off on another trip in Italy, this time to Bologna (as well as San Marino) to visit the David Bowie Is exhibition. As soon as the tickets went on sale, we purchased them knowing that it was the last time the show was being held in Europe. I came out feeling so inspired and even more in admiration for Bowie and his work, and seeing as I can still intertwine the whole experience with fashion, I decided to write down some of my thoughts after visiting…

David Bowie Is MAMbo Bologna V&A Exhibition Review

David Bowie Is MAMbo Bologna V&A Exhibition Review

David Bowie Is MAMbo Bologna V&A Exhibition Review


  LOCATION: MAMbo Bologna, IT  🇮🇹

Okay let’s first of all start with the above pictures – I’ve already posted them on Twitter and Instagram and basically everywhere (including Tumblr) because they are just so magical. Shoutout to my brother for capturing such an epically timed set of photos of myself crossing the road to the MAMbo, just as a guy on his motorbike passed wearing a black star helmet. He wasn’t visiting the exhibition either just FYI – he drove past and proved that Bowie is still using his magic even now. It’s actually pretty crazy – I mean, what are the chances that someone would be passing at that exact moment with the exact same star?

Speaking of the MAMbo; that’s of course where the exhibition was held. It was a fairly big exhibition, but just the right size that if you aren’t a super fan of Bowie, you won’t get bored or uninterested. I’m not going to say I know everything and anything about the man himself, but I’ve definitely learnt a lot over the past few years with the help of my aforementioned brother, and was of course hugely hit by Bowie’s passing in January.

The cool thing about the exhibition is that you’re given a headphone and audio set that automatically plays when you walk around. It plays a mix of music, interviews and recordings, and as soon as I heard a faint whisper of a song in the first room, I could feel my emotions coming to the surface. I never really knew how much somebody I didn’t know could effect me, but I’m still not fully recovered from the news, and I’m not sure any of us will be for a while. So really, you can probably guess what it felt like to see some of his work (whether that be costumes, lyric sheets or paintings) up close and personal, just an arms stretch away.

David Bowie Is MAMbo Bologna V&A Exhibition Review

WHAT I WORE: DIY ★ Jacket // Blouse (Charity Shop) // Super Crop Top (ASOS) // Printed Trousers (ASOS Africa) // Sunglasses (Topshop – Old) // White Vagabond Dioons (Mastershoe)*

A lot of people only know certain parts of Bowie’s story, whether that be his life as Ziggy Stardust (only a very small part of his career), his acting career in films like Labyrinth, or even for younger generations, his latest albums like The Next Day and ★, but there’s so much more to him than all of that, and that’s what the exhibiton really brings to life. There’s a dedicated section to his time in Berlin in the 70s, which includes some of the artwork he produced as someone who has always had an interest in art; there’s a film room dedicated to more than just his role in Labryinth and The Man Who Fell To Earth and there’s the very first original letter which shows the change of his name from Davie to David Bowie…

David Bowie Is MAMbo Bologna V&A Exhibition Review

…and then of course, there’s the costumes. As an aspiring designer, you definitely won’t be surprised to hear how much time I took to look at each piece in detail. There’s an incredibly well preserved collection from most of his tours, including of course the more well known outfits and designs by Kansai Yamamoto (seen above – a scan from the David Bowie Is book). Seeing the textures and three dimensionality of everything really brings to life Bowie in front of your eyes, and is worth all the odd looks of being down on my knees in front of fifty odd people to inspect that knitted jumpsuit in dim lighting through a mesh panel…

…the mesh panel being in one of the most incredible rooms. A 360 degree square of lights and projections showing various concerts including the last ever for Ziggy and a performance of Heroes. I may have been in that room for longer than most, but it was genuinely breathtaking and made my heart warm when a few people started dancing – although the legend might not be with us now, it’s a time to celebrate his influence and how he’s changed the lives of many; past, present and future.

David Bowie Is MAMbo Bologna V&A Exhibition Review

I’m not sure how many times I’ve now said this, but it truly was an incredible experience. I came away feeling truly grateful of the fact I was able to see Bowie create new music and leave behind such a powerful message. There are many reasons why he has such an inspiring story, but if you really want to learn why, you’ll have to visit the exhibition yourself. It’s worth all the travelling, all the money and all the emotions you may (and probably will) experience. Even just seeing the imagery outside the museum overwhelmed me…

Have you been to the David Bowie Is exhibition? How did Bowie inspire you? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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When In Florence… 🇮🇹

By June 25, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

I’m back with another travel/lifestyle type post today! A few days ago we (aka myself and my family) headed off to Florence (Firenze) for two days so I thought I’d share a little snippet of what I got up to. It might not seem very fitting for my blog, but I should have two more posts coming from this trip, one of which is going to be all about Gucci, and the other, which should be an insight into my current Renaissance project about all of the artists from the city, including the greats like Botticelli. Oh, and yes, this blog post does include a repeat of this outfit! I guess I just love it that much!

florence firenze italy duomo cathedral

florence firenze italy duomo cathedral ghiberti doors florence firenze italy duomo cathedral outfit ideas second hand pull & bear

WHAT I WORE: Faux Leather Jacket (Peacocks – old)* // Floral Blouse (Jumble Sale) // Bohemian Maxi Dress (Pull & Bear) // Hamble Myth Lace-up Flats (Clark’s)* // Sunglasses (SCOUT) // Suede Tassel Bag (Jumble Sale)

One of the main places we visited was the “Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore” (Florence Cathedral), which was completed by Filippo Brunelleschi in 1436. If you’ve seen pictures and you think it’s impressive, then you’ll be blown away if you ever get to face it in real life. It’s huge and towers over the whole city even from afar. Even though the design is gothic and has very intricate elements to it, it has a huge presence and makes you feel very intimated in comparison. For me, buildings like this are pretty damn spectacular, when you think about how long they’ve been standing and how lucky we are to still be able to experience them.

florence firenze italy duomo cathedral

florence firenze italy graffiti art orsanmicheleflorence firenze italy duomo record store MOVE ON

Florence in general is a really cool city. Hardly any of it is made up of modern buildings which I think is really special about Italy. It still holds so much heritage even though there’s still the hustle and bustle of ordinary life going on around it. There are some real gems, including MOVE ON which is a record store and restaurant combined, right in the square next to the cathedral. It’s one of those shops that I’m sure would be (or is) a big hit with bloggers… it’s rather photogenic.

florence firenze italy gucci musuem

florence firenze italy gucci musuem flagship store

locationLOCATION: Via Tornabuoni, Florence, IT  🇮🇹

As I mentioned in the intro to this post, I’ll soon have a blog post up about Gucci, as I had a tour around the museum and was able to document some of the most interesting pieces for you. It was actually super interesting and I was so in awe. I came out thoroughly inspired; it really does just take one idea to spark a whole new world. I’ll have a write up finished as soon as possible! I can’t wait to share more.

florence firenze italy gucci musuem uffizi gallery sandro botticelli

florence firenze italy gucci musuem uffizi gallery sandro botticelli primavera

florence firenze italy gucci musuem uffizi gallery sandro botticelli

Of course, last but most definitely not least, we have the Uffizi Gallery. Home to some of the most famous paintings in the world, it really is breathtaking. Whilst researching and learning more about renaissance art, I’ve definitely decided that my favourite artist is 100%, Sandro Botticelli. “Primavera” and “The Birth of Venus” are quite possibly two of the most beautiful paintings you will ever witness. They are genuinely incredible. I couldn’t resist coming home with a print of “Primavera” (it’s huge and was only €10… yet another reason to visit) – the fact that Vivienne Westwood used to have one in her apartment when she was younger, isn’t too bad either.

If you’re interested in learning more about the art and history of Florence, I can recommend a book called… “Florence” by Ross King. It’s not only packed full of accurate information and reading material, it’s also packaged beautifully and has some really great quality pictures of the art work, whether the paintings are from the Uffizi or elsewhere.

I hope you enjoyed this little whistle stop tour of Florence and what I got up to! As I said, I’ll be back soon with a look at the Gucci museum… also, to be topical – make use of being able to travel easily over the next two years, we don’t know what’s going to happen.

Have you ever been to Florence? Who is your favourite renaissance painter? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Accepting Change & Curating Your Personal Archive

By June 12, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle, My Style

Today I wanted to talk a little bit about ‘making your mark’ or leaving your personal imprint in the world, in terms of how we look back on ourselves from a certain point in our lives. That sounds a bit odd, but the idea came to me when my dad stated something a while back over dinner…

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

WHAT I WORE: Faux Leather Jacket (Peacocks – old)* // Floral Blouse (Jumble Sale) // Bohemian Maxi Dress (Pull & Bear) // 1B99 Dr Martens (Mastershoe My-Shu)* // Rings (Various Stores)

“It’s funny really, when you’re older and we look back, we won’t have many pictures of you in summer dresses, will we Tolly?” is what he said.

What he said really stuck with me, but not for the wrong reasons (just in case you’re worried Papa Posh!). It got me thinking about the idea of our future and past selves and how in the digital age of instantly uploadable photographs and Facebook ‘Memories’, we’re always looking at what we were like then and now, and how it will be so much easier to compare our past selves and cringe over decisions we made ‘back in the day’ when we have this back log of data and endless streams of photos and saved moments in the future.

What my dad was saying was true – when people look back on my younger self, there won’t be any floral dresses or what some might label as ‘girly’ photos of me, because I’m just not that kind of person. I’m not a tomboy or anything like that (I mean, I’m wearing a dress in these photos and my blog is covered in pink and purple – ugh, *eye roll* 🙄 to stereotypes) but I’ve never been the average kind of gal to prance around in little ankle socks and daisy chain printed skirts.

Having the means to digitalise memories and have them saved onto your laptops and phones (or ‘in the cloud’) means we can see all of the changes and transitions happening, and I think what we need to do is accept that. Things do change. We all change.

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

For people my age, this is probably one of the hardest things to accept. The idea that we don’t stay as this set person and we don’t always end up being the person we thought we’d be. We can try our best to mould ourselves into what we want to be, but there’s always going to be things that we can’t help doing differently. The reason I’m connecting the dot between this and what my dad said, is because I evolve constantly. I don’t wear summery items of clothing because I’m wearing faux-leather jackets and utility dresses one minute and then blouses and bohemian dresses the next. That’s part of becoming who I am – and part of that is realising, I won’t be able to look back on myself and see this one type of person. No matter how hard I try to create this one aesthetic, there will always be multiple, because I’m still changing.

As a blogger and someone who uses social media rather often, I know what it means to be putting out this specific persona and display of yourself. You probably do too, whether it’s because of what you’re posting or what others are posting. How many Instagram accounts do you go on which are neatly laid out and in a specific colour scheme? Dozens, maybe hundreds, probably… and that’s great; it’s creative and uniform and part of art, but do you know what the biggest struggle is when you start to do that? Adapting to change.

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

personal archive - accepting change - being yourself advice

Accepting that change and realising that looking back on what you were then compared to now, is so important. I was listening to a podcast recently (Ladies Who Lunch, if you’re curious) and one of the ladies (who lunches, heh – Cat, I believe) said that she – as a YouTuber and online influencer – is glad that she has the ability to look back and see where she came from, because it’s an archive of her life and her journey.

We have this incredible ability to store the outfits and the hairstyles and the make-up looks and the places we went and the inspiration we found in our own personal archives. We are the curators of our own archives. It’s scary, sure… the idea that we’ll look back and regret decisions or cringe over them, but that’s the great thing about storing it all and utilising these tools – we can gradually accept change and we can look back after a few weeks and start going ‘Oh, well I wouldn’t do that now’. We have time to process change, and we really need to take advantage of that.

In response to my dad’s statement – you’re right. You won’t see many pictures of me in fluttery dresses and cardigans, but what you will see, is a timeline of the person I’ll become and a record of what not wearing those summery prints, means to me.

Do you find it hard to accept the fact you aren’t the same person you were last year? Are you happy with your personal archive so far? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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How To Combat Feeling Judged and Self-Conscious

By March 14, 2016 DIY & Lifestyle

I’ve spoken about this topic before in this blog post about ‘sticking out like a sore thumb’, but I’m always happy to revisit the topic, especially if you guys are asking specifically, which you did… back in this blog post! If you’re interested in knowing how I’ve personally combated feeling judged and self-conscious and how you can too, then carry on reading…

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

I’m going to start out by saying that I’m definitely not in the worst position for being judged or for being self-conscious. There are so many variables that go into making you feel more insecure, some of which include your family and support group, your friends, your school or your work place.

I’m very lucky; I have a family that is truly supportive of me and I have parents that have never pressured me into being a specific type of person. I’m not trying to be judgey, but I know that so many people out there that do feel pressured or haven’t had the same sense of support, so I really do try not to take it for granted.

I’m also currently home schooled which means I don’t have the usual pressures that come with having peers around, although that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced that sort of thing (I have, and I’ve written about that before too).

But, (like pressure at school), that doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced feeling judged or pressured or most importantly, self-conscicous. We all have, at some point in our lives so far, because every human judges, no matter how hard we try not to. Our brain scans things over when we meet new people, and when we see new faces in the street. It may be subconscious, but we all do it, so it’s rather hard to avoid, and that’s a crucial fact to remember.

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

For me personally, I’m most self-conscious about my exterior personality, although I’m at a place now that I’m, for the most part, whole heartedly happy with things. I’m happy in myself and how I come across as a person, but when it comes to how I appear, I think that’s where I hit a stumbling block. I met someone new a while back, and whilst I was getting ready on the day, the first thought that came into my head was – “Perhaps I should wear something a little more ordinary”. So, as you can see, I still expect and worry about being judged, no matter how confident I actually feel as a whole.

So, the question is – how do we get past things like that? How do we skip out those thoughts that make us pressured? How do we stop ourselves from shrinking back down into that mold of ‘being normal’ or ‘being perfect?’. Well, I’ve thought about it, and I know you’re no doubt going to think I sound crazy but… I like to think about the size of the world and the universe. Yup, you read me right… I’m getting deep.

Seriously though, sometimes it’s just great to put things into perspective. I know this won’t work for everyone, and it could quite possibly be just my teenage brain making me think about these sorts of things (my sister said she used to the same when she was my age), but honestly, when you realise how small and pointless these insecurities and fears are… you start to feel a whole lot better about yourself, and you start to look at other people around you in a whole new light.

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger


Make a list of your insecurities
Make a list of all your biggest worldy concerns (global warming, gender equality – all the big stuff)
Make a list of genuinely big stuff (elephants, galaxies etc)
Compare your insecurities over your worldy concerns and then…
✓ Channel your energy into making a difference

 When you feel confident, make a note of it so you know what makes you feel good
Compliment other people whenever you notice something that makes you smile about them (however small that may be)
 Accept the fact that even you judge people
 Look up at the stars ☆

So, to do this, I’m going to throw in some facts about the universe. It would take 100,000 years to travel across the Milky Way. In the observable universe, there is estimated to be one hundred billion galaxies… so (according to if you hold a grain of sand up to the sky, the tiny patch of sky that it covers, contains ten thousand of those galaxies. There’s a lot more to it than that as we all know, but those facts alone are enough to make you feel dizzy.

Nevertheless, I hope you can understand what I mean. Looking at everything in this perspective just makes me think – why should I care about that person across the road looking at me oddly for wearing something a little ‘different’ (what even is different, after all?) when there are so many bigger things to be worried about?

I also mentioned that this makes you look at other people in a whole new light, and it really does. I’ve started to just appreciate a smile, no matter who the person is wearing it. I don’t judge them or comment on the rest of them, I just appreciate what’s there and the beauty of it. Because honestly, once we’re happy in ourselves, we can start to appreciate everyone and everything else around us and we can start to make those people who felt the same way as us, get that little bit closer to being happy too.

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

How To Stop Feeling Self-Conscious and Judged - Confidence Advice - 15 Year Old Teen Blogger

  LOCATION: Sirolo, IT  🇮🇹

What you have to realise though, is that every single one of us goes through judgement and feelings of self-consciousness, so there’s no real way to ever combat it (like I mentioned in my sore thumb post). You just have to suck it up and start blurring things out because honestly, it’s always going to be there, no matter who you are… and in a way, that’s kind of the fun of it all.

When you do have those moments of confidence and when you finally do feel happy with how everything is… you’ll be able to look back and compare things with that perspective lens and realise there really was no point in worrying.

Did this blog post help you? Do you have any further questions about confidence? Leave a comment or fill out the form above!

Also… if you’d like to see a full outfit post for what I’m wearing here, do let me know! I’ve also just added a sneaky little feature to my blog in the form of Konami code. Have fun with that! Oh and just FYI, my next blog post is a good one! Watch out!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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