We Went to the Northern Ireland Sing Movie Premiere!

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Sing is the new animated movie from Universal, from the studios who bring us the Minions.  

Sing is part musical I suppose, as the characters perform dozens of well known pop classics during the story of a small theatre putting on a singing competition. 

The story itself is a tried and tested, feel good, overcoming adversity tale, with no shocking twists or modern edgy plot lines, but that's what makes it a great family film that even toddlers will be able to follow & fall in love with. 

Coincidentally Smix is obsessed with Koalas right now, and the lead character is the theatre owner koala Buster Moon, voiced by Matthew McConaughey.

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Universal Ireland invited us along to the Northern Irish premiere on Sunday, at the Odeon in the Victoria Square complex in Belfast. 

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I think it was both our first times at a premiere, so it was very exciting to get on the red carpet! 

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We had such a good time, and loved the film itself too. There are screenings this weekend, so check your local listings, then the proper full release is on the 27th of January.  

So it's a great one to pencil in for half term. 

Lastly, I had to include this gif from the Magic Mirror, because it made me laugh so much when they printed it out. How to mortify your nine year old son in four easy steps!

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Charity Shop Treasure Hunting- Ards, Plus the Origins of The World of Kitsch

The World of Kitsch has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2009. I've had websites of my own since 2000/01, starting with digital camera photos of local gigs in Belfast, updating twice or three times a week as I bounced around partying in my early 20s. 

My gig photo website logo  

My gig photo website logo  

That also took on a form of its own with batches of photos of nights out being uploaded, this was before the times where a club would have a designated photographer taking crowd pics to have you cringe at the day after. My photos still made people cringe, but the site got a ton of hits, with its apt headline, "Like the Tatler, but full of wretches".  

If you want to nosy,  parts of that old site are still working.

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In 2007 I got married & had Smix, and wasn't drinking or going out any more, so my online presence stilted. 

Then my old flat mate Ron suggested I start a blog, I think after seeing some of my charity shop purchases that week on MySpace, or early Facebook, or whatever I was using at the time. 

So he helped me chose Posterous, and set up The World of Kitsch, and now I had a place to post the photos of the weird stuff I bought for my house.

Then however, the blog took off in a different direction, and I was lucky to begin to work with brands and feature products outside the realm of second hand goods.  

The other factor limiting charity shop posts was that I ran out of room in my home to display any more junk. 

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However in the summer there I found this corner cabinet, which I knew I could squeeze into my home, and I have yet to fill it. So I decided to try to keep true to the early blog, I'll be including some more charity shop hunting posts, picking one town at a time to pillage. 

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Today I visited Ards. It's a great place to charity shop for two reasons. 

The first is the sheer number of shops, there's at least ten. The second is that there are independent charity shops, which means they tend to have more old fashioned junk, which is what I'm after. 

The best two are the Elim store and the Assisi shop. 

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There's also a really great Oxfam, which is excellent for clothing. 

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The Elim has stuff decades old, as well as a treasure trove of books to scour, novels and hard back information books. I filled out my Childcare collection a bit more from their shelves. 

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I didn't actually buy anything today, but I did stand staring at this cabinet pondering was there anywhere I could fit just one more of these in my house.  

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£40 is a really decent price for one of these display cabinets, and this one is a good size too. It was in the independent charity shop opposite Knotts. 

Lastly, Ards even had a version of the Mona Lisa! 

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My Top Picks From This Sneaky Peek at What's Ahead For Spring/Summer 2017 at IKEA Belfast

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Your living room never looks so bare as the day you take down your Christmas tree and pack away the wreaths, candles, ornaments and holiday fixings. It's the time of year you feel like refreshing your living spaces, and even in rental properties you can switch things up thanks to the availability of fabulous and reasonably priced interior pieces from IKEA. There's no need to have to paint the walls or go through the hassle of wallpapering, you can create a fresh new feel to a room with the right soft furnishings and furniture.

Personally, I've set my sights on our small bathrooom to be the target of my January makeover spirit. 

We have a shower cubicle, sink, toilet & one wall mounted cupboard. My plan is to give the room a new look with a new bath mat & towels, but also to introduce some house plants & ferns in the space beside the shower which is currently just an empty space. I also want to buy hanging pots to layer down the outside of the shower cubicle. In my mind I'm picturing a tropical rainforest, so let's see how that one turns out! 

As well as the bathroom, I'm hoping to pick up some other bits & bobs on our trip to IKEA Belfast this weekend. They shared with me a sneak peek at products that will be appearing in stores in spring and the summer ahead. 

There are a number of special collections, but the one that jumped out at me was 'Fine Geometric'. There's a mid-century feel to the products with definite Eames' style inspirations.

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Digital Wave also has retro futuristic touches, and how could I resist that rainbow cabinet? I also love the deep, bottle green throw (7), and vivid, Barbie pink candlestick (9). 

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Again IKEA has partnered with a fashion designer, this time Kit Neale, to produce the eclectic SPRIDD range. There's a Vivienne Westwood feel to parts of the collection, with orbs aplenty. 

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It seems a lifetime away, but the SPRIDD collection has the items to make you the most fashionable festival goer this summer. Bright colourful picnic ware can be used by families as well as music festival campers, and you wouldn't be able to miss that tent amongst a sea of other campers.

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SPRIDD also reminds me of Moschino's pop art, bold patterned looks. 

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So so so Vivienne Westwood

So so so Vivienne Westwood

So there's lots to look forward to in  IKEA Belfast and other stores this spring. In the meantime I'll be the one pushing a trolley packed with ferns this weekend!

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Belfast Drag Queen Blu Hydrangea Brings a Tattooed Pin Up Vixen by NI Art Scene King Terry Bradley to Life. You HAVE to See This.

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I've been a massive RuPaul Drag Race fan for a good number of years now. I watch it & indulge in my hobby on my lonesome.

Alaska 5000 & our very own Blu

Alaska 5000 & our very own Blu

My ex-husband hated it, I can't yet watch with my son because he's nine, and it's still a bit crude for his ears. He does however watch top ten catwalk look type videos on YouTube with me, and his favourite is Alaska, even with only seeing her outfits. He can spot her in any line up.

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So it's quite sad I've yet to make it to any drag show, when there is a healthy scene in Belfast centring around Boom Box and their cast of spunky, young queens. All the RPDR alumni tour here, all my favourites like Alyssa, her Haus of Edwards, but I've never made it to a show. I might take the plunge and go see Bianca Del Rio in February, in the Waterfront, but I'll be on my own for that too.

Blu at work

Blu at work

Anyway, I try to support local queens by liking their pics on Instagram where I can. This week I was blown away when I spotted Blu Hydrangea's Terry Bradley tattoo girl look. 

Terry Bradley is a NI artist and you may have spotted his work in local bars, restaurants and around the Sailor Town quarter where the Rotterdam bar was. 

There is even a turiorial on Blu Hydrangea's YouTube. I think she's one to watch in the coming future- especially with the fact Johnathan Ross has bought rights to make RPDG UK. 

Follow Blu on Instagram for weekly unreal looks.

All images belong to Blu Hydrangea

All images belong to Blu Hydrangea

On the 12th Day of Kitschmas @Rudedoodle Gave to Me- Twelve Crazy Karen Mabon Scarves

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I love everything  Karen Mabon designs. Just looks at this small dozen selection of her prints, it's everything I love.

The bright colours and subject matters make the finest Kitsch scarves in the world. 

I would buy every single one if I could afford to. Currently my collection stands at only four pieces, a squirrel gingerbread house themed square, an under-sea shark design (below),a Bake Off inspired kitchen print, and Karen's limited edition 2017 calendar square.

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My Twitter pal has this The Birds print and I'm so jealous

My Twitter pal has this The Birds print and I'm so jealous

Karen also makes pyjamas and the occasional umbrella, but it's her silk scarves that I lust after. 

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Sneaky tip off- you'll find the odd past season Karen Mabon scarf popping up on TK Max's webstore now and again. They currently have a handful priced at a very reasonable £39.99, including the shark print below, which I grabbed.

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I would love to expand my collection, they really are the business. 

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On the 11th Day of Kitschmas @Rudedoodle Gave to Me- Eleven Star Wars Pizzas

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How's the head this morning? Have a fun time last night? Maybe you've swore a resolution to eat healthier in 2017, but when you are partied out you don't find a remedy in a salad.

New Year's Day is the time for pizza. A great big takeaway pizza. While you are waiting for delivery, enjoy these Star Wars themed pies. 

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On the 10th Day of Christmas @Rudedoodle Gave to Me- Ten Tiny But Tremendous Finger Tattoos

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Happy New Year's Eve! Wave goodbye to 2016 and pray 2017 isn't its bigger, badder brother. 

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I wonder am I being a bit of a hypocrite by featuring hand and finger tattoos for the 10th day of Kitschmas countdown, or count-up. 

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I rarely mention it on here these days, but I'm actually quite covered in tattoos. I've a complete upper sleeve on my left arm, with large pieces on the lower arm also. I've two swallows in the traditional chest-piece location. 

Then, there's my finger tattoo. Or there was. One night in 2005 my then boyfriend & I went to a party in South Belfast, stayed up all night & in the morning, walked into central Belfast to the tattoo studio we both went to at the time, and asked the artist to give us a black star each, on our wedding band finger. 

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A good tattoo artist, like the one I ended up going to for my sleeve etc. would have flat out refused us. My tattoo artist now told me he would never have tattooed my hand when at the time I was really only someone who had two tiny existing tattoos. I wasn't someone with full sleeves, running out of room to place designs, so moving to my hands by default. 

In the business hand, finger and neck & face tattoos can be nicknamed 'jobstoppers' because of their anti-social notoriety.

There's also the fact that I'm quite sure after being up all night partying, we should have been refused for still being under the influence of alcohol. 

If that wasn't enough of a clue to refuse us that day, then maybe the fact we were still in bloody fancy dress might have helped. It hadn't even been a fancy dress party but we had turned up as Hunter S Thompson and a princess. 

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Nevertheless we left that morning with a jobstopper each. Convieniently considering we had them on our ring fingers, we ended up getting married. By that point however I hated mine completely. It made my hand look grubby, and it wasn't even well drawn, one side was thicker than the other. Wearing a wedding ring over it still looked bad, as the edges poked out. 

My husband knew I hated how mine looked, but he still liked his, and said he would like to get his other fingers done too. So I felt if I did research tattoo removal it would hurt his feelings even more so than me saying I hated mine had done any time I brought it up.

Then in Nov 2014 we split- and by Christmas I had been for my first Tattoo Removal Laser session at Indulgence by Susan's home spa in Lisburn.

Goodbye tacky finger tattoo! 

Before and after about four session with Susan

Before and after about four session with Susan

I had about four sessions with Susan and as you can see there is no scarring whatsoever. I could do with one final session to just blast that little bit of ink that remains where the thicker line was, so Susan, I will see you in the new year! 

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So maybe I'm being hypocritical featuring the very tattoo spot I disliked, but that's because it can suit other people. The artwork on show here is a lot better than my wonky star. 

But I would advise anyone thinking of getting a tattoo in a place that cannot be covered easily, try drawing it on for a few weeks and see how you feel and how it looks with your different clothing & in different situations, because laser removal hurts ten times worse than getting the tattoo put on! 

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A Late Christmas Gift from @Rudedoodle- Behind the Scenes 'Making of' Elf Documentary

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Most Christmas movie classics were made when we were kids, or before, but there are still some special films which have already cemented their place in yearly traditions to watch during the holiday season. 

Elf is one of them. I was able to take Smix to a cinema showing of Elf at the start of December, so that was great fun. I found these short snippets of behind the scenes during the making of the movie, so I'm sharing them with your guys in case you would be interested too. I hope you all are having a lovely break. 

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