Linda Macdonald Brings Christmas

I am no hipster, but I like special items I buy to come from a special place.

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It’s all to do with brand identity. Price is of course something we all heartily consider when putting our hands in out pockets, but there is something about forking out for something fairly valuable to a company you don‘t care about that just feels… wrong.

I for one can’t do it. Just can’t. There is something that makes my bank card snap in half in my minds eye and I just can’t put it in that inoffensive little slot. (I see the slot sucking the money from my account like an evil hoover, mocking me as it does.)

Call me frugal, but I would rather the money go on something I really care about and give my hard earned pennies to a company that is actually going to benefit from it. Maybe that is part of why I love independent stores so much. I’m like that with movies too, I find I prefer something that has had to put in a little bit of work to make it interesting. Ones that are a little more cerebral. (fast becoming my word of the moment, that, cerebral…)

Linda MacDonald Insignia

Linda Macdonald Insignia

Linda Macdonald is one of those rare jewellery designers that make my heart skip to see her designs. Forget trawling listlessly through the racks of cheap tat on sale in chain stores. Everyone loves a glittery trinket from time to time – but you don’t really care when one of the gems falls off or the chain breaks.

Linda’s pieces are not like that at all. Then again, Linda’s pieces are far less likely to snap than your standard shiny plastic. Nothing but solid gold and silver here.

Have you seen the special little diamond surprise...

Have you seen the special little diamond surprise…

As this is a designer local to me, having her base in Cardross near Helensborough, (that’s Scotland, for those of you unfamiliar to what “local” is for me) I am keen to make sure as many people as possible hear about her. She’s a one woman, creative, jewellery making machine whose work has taken her all over the country recently. She and her team have been working relentlessly to make her vision come true this year, with expansions abound and new designs aplenty.

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Since 1997 she has been a business. Or rather, I like to see it as she has been in the business of making people’s day, making memories special, but that is just my romantic side coming out. She supplies the likes of John Lewis and more than 125 independent galleries and boutiques, all of whom are proud to stock such a wonderful designer! They are all lovely, but why settle for lovely when you can have stunning

a selection from the collection...

a selection from the collection…

Named British Jewellery Association’s Designer of the Year 2012 her pieces are recognised as timeless. You don’t have to be an expert to appreciate beauty – hey, I’m just the human manifestation of a magpie, what I know about jewellery wouldn’t fill a post-it!

Companies like this need support to flourish in the current – dare I say it – economic climate. And I want us all to do that. Not only for Linda, but for others like her too. If you know a company/ a shop/ an artist near you that is independent and unique, don’t overlook them, just because there is an easier option. Pay patronage and reap the considerable benefits.

Linda Macdonald has a couple of collections that I think are cute, seasonal and great value for moneyperfect for Christmas.

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The Wee Pods and Forget Me Not ranges are her newest additions to her rapidly increasing family of 21 collections of glittering goodies.

But she also has products for under £50 –  a bargain when you consider what you could end up paying in a store for something vastly less appealing and machine made.

I would rather have something hand made by someone who really cares about what they are producing than by a machine that doesn’t care at all. I am by no means fashion conscious but my jewellery is important to me. I think it is the little choices that declare you as a person. Therefore, more attention should be paid.

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But then, when you see such beautiful things that have simply cropped up in the mind of an individual who has taken it upon herself to create beauty from the glimmering idea in her head, it is so easy to see why the UK has such a thriving Market culture and an love of unique things.

So indulge! Enjoy! And remember the name Linda Macdonald; I feel it is one you will be seeing a sizeable chunk of your bank account being transferred to!

But fear not. The joy you will get in return will more than make up for it. 🙂

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Here is a link to all her stuff – you will not be disappointed. I certainly haven’t been 🙂

LINDA MACDONALD JEWELLERY

SSDD

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Karl Lagerfeld – Defying Pretension

Karl Lagerfeld

“If you have the chance to buy what you want, to afford expensive things, buy them; but use them the way you use things from the supermarket. If not, that’s not luxury; it’s pretension, boredom, stiff, old, depressing even, no? If you wear a sable coat, use it like a raincoat.”

– Karl Lagerfeld, January 1994.

This is what i want to hear more of in the fashion world – taking the pretension out of high fashion without retracting from what makes it special. Karl Lagerfeld seems to have an appreciation of things people might find valuable in the sense that he doesn’t just want them to be hidden away for the exclusive view of the exclusive few. It seems he would prefer for beautiful things to be reveled in.

While this may seem a little hedonistic, it is a refreshing attitude. Even though he said this almost 20 years ago, I sincerely hope he has not lost this outlook.

Too often in the past the fashion world has pedestaled itself with sky-high prices that the everyday citizen could never hope to afford. A designer jacket might cost more than a months wage, two, three even!

Designers have created their godly image with the unattainable prices, breathtakingly beautiful models and regaling their awestruck public with outlandish and often shocking tales of catwalk horrors and celebrity scandals. The reputation of the fashion world has been built on the idea that it is better than what most people can have, a rare and precious commodity.

But Lagerfeld contests this. He is showing here an appreciation for beautiful or valuable or expensive things and encouraging us to immerse ourselves in them when we have the chance. In life, was should grasp the opportunity to wrap  ourselves in precious things. If fashion is as temporal as the seasons they are in favour for, them surely Karl Lagerfeld is right and we should revel in anything we deem “luxury”, instead of succumbing to the fear that it might suddenly disappear.

“I love nothing permanent and definite”

To Ink Or Not to Ink (1)

Arty. Dangerous. Creative. Cheap. Meaningful. Unprofessional. Individual.

Everyone has an opinion on tattoos, whether they are something to be admired or abhorred or even if we should have them at all.

But admit it – you want one too.

my friend’s gorgeous tattoo on her ribs 🙂

I’ve been contemplating getting a tattoo for some time but there have been a couple of things stopping me. For one – that shit is expensive! Like, they can cost a small fortune! I was shocked that my friends rose tat on her wrist cost as much as it did at £55 and I almost had a heart attack when I was quoted £85 for one word with some “swirlies” (genuine tattoo artist’s term for what I described as “a design”) placed on my foot.

 

Considering the fact that you are placing a huge amount of trust in someone who may well be a complete stranger to decorate you,  this might seem a small price to pay. Also not to be forgotten is that you are the one who will be the one stuck with the result if they get it wrong (good luck getting out of that one; they can cost £3000, six sittings and an entire year to have removed) With this in mind, I don’t mind paying quite a lot for one considering it’s going to be on my skin forever, so long as it’s done well. But it was a surprise to me that it would be quite that much.

Other than the money issue there is the fact that my parents are among those who do not like tattoos (so their actual words were “if we ever found out you had a tattoo, we’d kick you out.” Seem harsh? Think I’m joking? Unfortunately, I know for a fact they are not, that threat has been brought out for less than a little ink…)

I admire people with body art as I think it is a very unapologetic way of showing your artistic side. Even if a tattoo is hidden from view the majority of the time, I don’t feel that matters. You have still had the courage to pick a design and have it permanently imprinted onto your skin. You are making a commitment as well as a proclamation. It is independence and power over oneself.

ethnic style feathers behind the ear

To have a tattoo of any kind is bold and brave, no matter what size it is. There is no-one else in the world who will have that same mark, in that same place, because it is impossible to create the same piece twice, especially on someone’s skin. You are marking yourself as an individual – literally!

From something as modest as a tiny butterfly covered by layers of clothing, to a full body suit on show for the world to judge, a tattoo is something purely yours. From a sentimental heart or miniscule star to a steam punk sleeve or bushido back piece, it is your choice, your style, your decision. There is nothing that can take it away from you.

large, intricate back design. must have been painful but I think worth it

little butterflies

pin-up style tattoo

As a resolute supported of freedom and emancipation of all kinds, you might be able to see the attraction of an inked reminder of the only true aim I have in life: to achieve a mental state of complete freedom, whatever that might be.

Stay tuned for more on this decision and I will post if/when I finally pull the trigger…

I should mention that I have set myself a date of 12th August and by that time I wish to have a tattoo. There is not particular reason other than I told myself many years ago when I decided to get one that I would while I was still 18. It only just occurred to me that I am very soon going to be 19. Bugger.