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Wendy

No˚2

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READ ME BITS & BOBS / YOUNG PROFESSIONALS HOLLY LEVELL / TASTY TREATS / DANNY ROBERTS / PUCKER UP / BOOK CLUB

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Editors Letter

Welcome to issue 2 of Wendy! [yay]

Wallpaper by Jimmy Cricket

As a recent graduate who has finally managed to land a job in the field I actually studied in, I wanted to focus this issue on success. On growing up, and discovering who we are and what we really want to do with our lives.

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I’ve had the pleasure of chatting to some young professionals about their cool jobs [p.15]. And finding out what it takes to run your own business [p.25]. It’s not all work and no play though, check out my favourite beauty picks [p.13] [p.28], as well as Delia’s delicious lemon curd recipe [p.21]...go on treat yourself. We all know you deserve it. Bethan O


Contents

A LITTLE PIECE ON AN AMAZING ARTIST: PAGE FIVE. Danny Roberts shares his inspiration and art.

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A LITTLE PIECE ON WHY YOU SHOULDN’T CYCLE: PAGE NINE. It’s really not cool to cycle.

PLEASE TAKE NOTE: PAGE TEN. 25 of the most covetable note books.

A LITTLE PIECE ON TEXTILE CRAFTS: PAGE ELEVEN. Holly Levell shares her wonderul work with Wendy.

A LITTLE PIECE ON SWEET TREATS: PAGE TWENTY-ONE. Make your lemon curd!

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Three. Bits and Bobs Five. Danny Roberts Nine. It’s really not cool to cycle Ten. Please Take Note Eleven. Holly Levell Thirteen. Pucker Up Fifteen. The Young & The Professional Nineteen. Book Club Twenty-One. A Sweet Little Treat Twenty-Two. What are you so scared of? Twenty-Three. How to start your own book club Twenty-Four. Best of Friends Twenty-Five. I Love My (online) Shop Twenty-Seven. A Cup of Tea Twenty-Eight. Make Mine a Mini Twenty-Nine. The Dreamcatcher

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Bits & Bobs

B its & B ob s

MANE ‘N TAIL HOOFMAKER Want to have hair and hooves like a winning show horse? Well now you can! Errr what? Mane n’ Tail shampoo, originally designed for horses - and re-formulated for humans - became a huge hit amongst the equestrian folk of New Jersey, and is slowly seeping in to mainstream beauty consciousness. This amazing hand cream helps moisturise hands and strengthen nails. So now you too can be as pretty as a pony! £8.00 from Zuneta.com

BORDERS & FRONTIERS @ ASOS Let us pause and take a moment to thank our shoulders, strong supportive, albeit bony. Always there to be cried on, opener of doors when your hands are full. Feeling guilty for neglecting your shoulders? Then I think you need to buy them a little gift, a pal to make their days a little brighter. London based, ethically minded label Borders & Frontiers have created a range of simply gorgeous totes (as if we needed more excuses to go shopping), so why not treat your shoulders to some arm candy? We think they deserve it. £12.00 from ASOS.com

I AM NATURAL Stop! Before you smush that avocado all over your face, because that is obviously what you were just about to do...try this! Avocado oil infused face cream, stuffed with delicious smelling goodness, shea butter and vitamin (E)verybody’s best friend. All lovely and natural and organic, just don’t mistake it for the guacamole. £8.50 from iamnatural.co.uk Page Three


Bits & Bobs

NIKKI MCWILLIAMS

MY FIRST AND LAST TIMES WITH SIMON FROM DON BROCO Last time you got creative with something other than music? I came up with a new T-Shirt design last week... It's pretty awesome.

If you don’t mind, we’re just going to go ahead a file this under “hhftftfkgjnjojm”. There are no real words to fully describe the awesomeness of these pillows! As if it wasn’t good enough that iced rings actually exist, you can now decorate your living room with them too! These are also the fat free version, so no need to feel guilty. Just try not to dribble on them. £28.00 from nikkimcwilliams.com

Last time you wrote a song? Yesterday. It's a banger. First time you kissed somebody? When I was in Year 7 - at a school disco. It was pretty awkward I remember... Last time you went to a wedding? My Girlfriend's cousin's wedding, last August. First time you heard yourself on the radio? On the Alex Baker Unsigned show on Kerrang Radio - a couple of years ago now. Last time you danced like no one was watching? There's not a massive difference between my observed and unobserved dancing... so I would have to say a couple of days ago, watching The Used in Islington... I was quite drunk. First time you felt pure pride in your music? Tricky...I've always been really in to the music we have made, but the album we have just recorded is definitely the thing I'm most proud of in terms of our musical output to date. It comes out in August - I can't wait to share it with the world!

NANCY AND BETTY STUDIO Everyone loves to receive a handwritten letter, so why not treat your pen pal to some delightful stationary by Nancy & Betty Studio. Creator Hannah Bidmead draws inspiration from quirky, retro objects, like typewriters and Polaroid cameras, and beautifies them with simple, bold colours and designs. If you are anything like us then you’re a bit of a stationary hoarder, so if you’re going to post your love letters around the world you might as well do it in style. £12.95 from nancyandbetty.com

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Danny Roberts

Danny Roberts simply stunning artistry

One of the things we at Wendy love most is that his incredible artistic talents are not even confined to pencil and paint; he is also quite nifty with a camera. His Blog, igor + andrĂŠ, set up by his brother David and himself, is a whole world of illustrative delight, showcasing his vast talent for capturing the beauty of fashion on paper. We managed to catch him for a quick chap about his wonderful work. What do you do? I am professionally creative. I mainly just take jobs that allow me to do various forms of art. Describe your art. Most of it is has fashion as the subject matter and is very line driven. Your illustrations are beautiful and of beautiful people, what has been your favourite experience throughout your career? My favorite moment in my career thus far was definitely the honour of the Sunday Times Magazine London using my painting of Lee Alexander McQueen for their cover. What is your creative process? Danny Roberts is a seriously talented chap. Fact. A Californian by birth, Danny studied Fashion Design at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he was encouraged to pursue fashion illustration, and boy are we glad he did. Page Five

I usually do a concept sketch (thumbnail sketch). Then, I will find references or inspiration to cultivate the idea. From there, I will redraft the picture, and do the final draft. More than likely, lastly, I will scan it and then digital image the picture.


Danny Roberts

What inspires you? I'm inspired by almost everything for one reason or another. New experiences and people inspire me a lot. I would say natural beauty and women inspire me more than anything. That's why the majority of my art revolves around women. I also find genuine innocence very moving. Can you recall the first picture you drew? Hahah It was actually of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! What are you working on right now? Right now I am working on the music album I with my friend Tim for our band The Dream Walking Society and I am also writing a book with my brother David. Describe your work in five words. Girls girls girls more girls Have you got any advice for budding artists? Oh, I would say be true to yourself and enjoy every moment of learning. Also, let art inspire you. I think starting out, it can be hard to stay true to yourself, and it's easy to look at something you like and copy it. But I would say, the key to staying unique is to be yourself, because we all are made differently, which means if I stay true to myself, I will be unique. www.dannyroberts.com www.igorandandre.blogspot.co.uk (twitter) @danny_roberts

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Danny Roberts

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Danny Roberts

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Illustration by Clare Owen

It’s really not cool to cycle

It’s really not cool to cycle

There is no real way to weather-proof yourself from the elements when cycling - unless you opt for one of those rain macs which covers the whole entire bicycle like a tent – terribly sexy – and because you naturally assume a seated position when cycling your lap becomes a sort of bowl, a very efficient water butt. Have you ever turned up to work with a sodden lap? It is most embarrassing I assure you.

The perils of the two-wheeled vehicle

Yet the biggest problem with dressing appropriately is temperature regulation. In the winter you naturally want to smother yourself in polyester and wool, however on arriving at your destination I can guarantee that you will be sweating profusely, and striping off in front of everyone before you’ve even put your bike lock on. Your extremities freeze, and your nose runs, your face gets pink and sore. Now don’t you go thinking that the summer will be any better, for you will still arrive with your fringe pasted to your forehead and your thighs stuck to the leather saddle. There is nothing, absolutely nothing attractive about cycling.

During my final year of University I moved house. My new apartment was not as close to my campus as my previous abodes so naturally I acquired a bicycle. My daily route to Uni plays out as follows: I’m cycling through the lush green parks on a sunny summers afternoon, my floral skirt billowing behind me, a basket full of flowers and lecture notes. Dodging round youngsters and young lovers, birds tweeting and twittering overhead…then I snap back to reality as a car comes hurtling towards me at 60mph, whilst the rain soaks through my stupid skirt and splashes at my eyes, blinding my vision and quite frankly ruining my make up. The reality of cycling around a city is far less romantic than I truly cared to acknowledge or imagine. There are far more dangers and perils than one realises, including myself. On numerous occasions my shoe laces have become entwined with my bike chain, hurtling me over the handlebars. Not to mention the times my chain has come off altogether, which only ever results in copious amounts of bruises and a truckload or embarrassment. My tote bags and shopping bags have been sucked in to my front wheel, I’m honestly surprised I haven’t cracked a rib on my handlebars yet. Page Nine

Cars are the bicycles only natural predator. I understand it I do, for I too am a driver. I can’t stand the cyclists who ride at 30mph, a) because I am jealous; I can barely do 5mph, and b) because you can’t over take them. However, I have had vehicles in the wrong lane cut in front of me to turn left, nearly knocking me straight off my wheels… I have had parked vans swing their doors open as I’m riding past… I can’t count the number of times cars have driven in to the cycle lane forcing me on the pavement! Phew rant over. But in all seriousness never use a second hand bike, they are like wands – unless they are won in a fair fight, their true allegiance is to their original owner!

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Please Take Note

1. Mark's A6 Pocket Spiral Notebook - Mint by Mark's 2. Liberty Floral A5 Notebook by Liberty 3. Katy & June Think Green A4 Notebook by Katy & June 4. Orla Kiely Flower Abacus B5 Bound Notebook by Orla Kiely 5. Rob Ryan Pink A5 Notebook by Wild & Wolf 6. Little Bear Pocket Notebook by Roger la Borde 7. Penguin Pride & Prejudice A6 Pocket Notebook by Wild & Wolf 8. Keep Calm and Carry On Notebook by Peter Pauper Press 9. Pantone A7 Notebook - Pink 239 by Pantone 10. Esmie Small Notebook - Floral Spring by Esmie 11. Cavallini Paris Map Journal by Cavallini & Co. 12. Leuchtturm1917 Lavender Pocket Notebook, ruled by Leuchtturm1917 13. Rhodia A6 Black Webnotebook – Ruled by Rhodia 14. Mark's A6 Storage.it Notebook – White by Mark's 15. Field Notes - Mixed (Pack of 3) by Field Notes Brand 16. Moleskine Volant X-Large Plain Notebook – Red by Moleskine 17. Whitelines Hard Bound A6 Squared Notebook by Whitelines 18. Anzu Heart Pocket Notebook by Anzu 19. Archie Grand 'Lies I Told and Liked' Notebook by Archie Grand 20. Sanderson A5 Fabric Covered Notebook by Sanderson 21. Orla Kiely Embossed Stem Slim Fabric Notebook by Orla Kiely 22. Roger la Borde Elegant Owls A5 Journal by Roger la Borde 23. Cavallini Set of 3 Mini Notebooks – Alphabet by Cavallini & Co. 24. Penguin Book Spines A6 Notebook by Wild & Wolf 25. Jan Constantine Slim Notebook by Jan Constantine.

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Holly Levell

Holly Levell A talented treat

What do you do? I'm a Textile Artist specialising in the everyday through soft sculptures. Softening the lines of a usually solid idea with the touch of my personal identity. Where are you based? I live In England in a small town called Neston and make all my work from my mum’s kitchen table. How long have you been at it? I started my current work “Supermarket Stitch” as my final degree project in March 2011. But my love for textiles, making and general crafty-ness has grown since childhood. I remember always drawing and being encouraged to draw and make a mess from a very young age, so that need to create has always been in the forefront of my mind as an adult. What inspires you? I am inspired by my daily surroundings and the unnoticed aspects of life, and how as an artist I can change the status and meaning of a humble object using my personal textile craft technique. It’s the idea of taking something that is overlooked in life and catapulting it into the spotlight. How do you decide what to make? When the project began i was working from a receipt i had from my weekly shop so it was just 18 items. Now i just walk round supermarkets looking at everything picking up random bottles, jars and packets thinking about how I could make this thing in my hand out of fabrics. I usually find a few things and just add them to Page Eleven


Holly Levell

my box and then each day pick something else out. I recently opened up the project to my followers on tumblr, facebook and twitter and the suggestions have really brought new life to my work - people suggest things I would have never even thought of.

things I have yet to conquer, a lot of really great suggestions have come through recently so I’m making my way through them. A jar of marmite has been on my to do list since I was at university and I have tried to get it right but things keep going wrong. I now have numerous started and failed attempts, so I keep putting it off, but it will happen!

How long does it take to make each piece? What does the future look like for you? Some are really quick and others take a long, long time. I usually start working at 9ish and have my drawings and a general idea of how to conquer the object done by 11:00, and then start stitching before lunch. I then work until it’s finished, but my cut off point is 6pm, if i work past that things start to go wrong. I think the longest is still the first ketchup bottle I made; I took it apart and re-stitched it over 3 days it just wasn’t playing along! I think that was the first time I nearly gave up on finishing a sculpture.

I’m hoping positive! I graduated 9 months ago now and it’s been such a whirlwind of amazing opportunities that have formed the very early foundations of my hopefully successful art career. I just hope my work continues to grow and develop and that people continue to enjoy it! I’ve got other ideas for work away from “Supermarket Stitch”. But I’m not quite ready to move on from it. Not just yet anyway.

Can you tell us about your creative process? All of my work starts as a quick drawing; I like to have the drawing up somewhere near to where I’m working as well as the real life object to look at. I really need to plan what I make but I never do, it’s normally a trial an error kind of process, I have many half finished labels from ketchup bottles and lids from coke cans that never worked out in a box. There is a lot of sewing and un-picking and then re-sewing in all of the sculptures and sometimes I’ll think, ‘yes it’s right’, stuff it and sew it up, then I’ll come back the next day and normally take it apart again until I’m completely happy. They have all been taken apart at least five times.

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What are you currently working on? At this very moment I’m making a milkybar. But I have lots of Page Twelve


Pucker Up Pucker Up

Wendy puts four fabulous lipsticks through their paces.

Topshop - LIPS £8.00

Lord & Berry - Vogue £11.00

Good old Toppers launched their make up range back in May 2010, and have done little to expand since. Their LIPS range is clearly labelled in order to direct you to the part of the body this product belongs - most helpful - just in case you mistake this for an eyeshadow or something. In keeping with the packaging the lipstick has a matt finish. Smells like perfumed powder.

With the promise that my “lips will appear quickly full and defined”, I can breathe a sigh of relief, as feared ones lips might take a while to appear after application. Rich colour, but feels somewhat thick on application, resulting in some puckering, not far off how my Granny looks at the end of the day - wrinkly and a little bit tired.

Tea cup test - Flying Colours! Kiss me quick - Even if it mushed in to a big gloopy mess I would still love it, but because it is beautiful it doesn’t. i.e minor lipstick transferral. End of the day - Still there, slightly faded in the middle, but the strong pigmentation means there is still whole lotta colour left. More kissing anyone? O

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Tea cup test - Mostly stays plastered to face. Kiss me quick - If kisses are soft and delicate then lipstick will stay put, anything heavier will result in smudging. End of the day - Drying but long lasting, remains intense if all food and drink is avoided, other wise reapply to maintain vivid and enchanting beauty. O


Pucker Up

Korres - Guava £15.00

Illamasqua £15.50

As “a Greek skincare brand with roots in Athens’ first ever Homeopathic Pharmacy.” one can only assume that some mad, Greek scientist has been experimenting with all manner of plants and wildlife to create the ultimate lippy however lipstick is rather delicious in both texture and smell. Smooth application, and super moisturising thanks to a bit of guava extract.

Do not visit website, it will terrify you, unless you like to look like a clown on a daily basis, in that case please proceed. Their equally scary bio promises the ‘dark glamour of 1920s cabaret and the underground club scene’ errr, I just want a lipstick please. That said these HIGHLY pigmented lippy’s do exactly what they promise. If prone to the shakes do not use, you will definitely end up looking like coco the clown, but not in a good way.

The goody-two-shoes of the lipstick world it is Dermatologically Tested, Mineral Oil Free, Silicone Free, Propylene Glycol Free and Ethanolamine Free. Goodness knows how it even manages stands up straight. Tea cup test - Considerable lipstick loss, there was more left on the cup than my lips. Enough said. Kiss me quick - Instant clown face, which is both hysterical and horrific. End of the day - If you do not eat, drink, talk or make any sudden movement then this is just fab, otherwise, reapplication is necessary.

Tea cup test - Transferral is somewhat minimal. Kiss me quick - It sticks impressively well, especially to kissee’s face, who is now looking Joker-eque. End of the day - Impressive, theatrical, divine. O

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The Young & The Professional

The Young and The Professional Britains bright young things talk business

Illustration by Herds of Birds

Neil Kennedy Music Producer What do you do and where do you do it?

What is a typical day for you?

I am a director of Ranch Productions based near Romsey, Hampshire. We are a recording studio, which caters largely for Rock and alternative genres across the U.K, but occasionally Europe. We also offer voice over and mastering services.

Typically I’ll get to work for 9:00am and spend the first hour finishing up work which is overdue or needed revisions. Then from 10:00-6:00/7:00 I’ll be in a session, which, depending on what is required of me will mean a day of being creative, a day of problem solving, a day of data entry and occasionally a day of child minding.

How did you start out? What do you love most about your job? Prior to starting The Ranch in 2008 I spent 3 years working in a small studio in central Southampton that was part of a larger practice space. It wasn't ideal in terms of an acoustic space but it was perfect for me to find my feet.

I love that my job requires me to improve every day and that it keeps my brain active. But for every new process I create I invariably forget another one.

What’s it like to run your own business? ranchproductions.co.uk Running my own business is bittersweet; I feel every stressful situation as keenly as I do every success. But for every success I always think how I might have achieved it quicker, or better or more simplistically.

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The Young & The Professioanl

Chloe Smith Information Architect What do you do and where do you do it?

Illustration by Helena Randall

I’m a User Interface designer at a digital agency in Farringdon. I design the interface of websites and mobile apps, with the focus on the user’s experience and interaction. I create a balance between the technical functionality and visual elements in the design process, to create a system that is usable. Recently, I have done a lot of work for Peugeot, Tesco, Dove and Unilever. Lots of the projects I work on involve Facebook which is always fun! How did you start out? I interned at Warner Bros record label for six months in their digital marketing team. I think that’s what got me into the digital industry, and made me want to work in such a relaxed environment. The latest album from one of their artists would always be blasting out in the office in High Street Kensington. Six months of free gigs and free music events was all good until I’d spent all my money working unpaid, and didn’t have a penny to my name. I suddenly needed to get a paid job fast, but it was so competitive. I finally got offered a job in Reading for a digital agency called HeathWallace. Frances Maxwell is my saviour for hiring me; she is an Information Architect genius who trained me up from entry level as an IA. Information Architecture is the backbone of User Experience and User Interface Design. You need to know the principles of Information Architecture before you are going anywhere in the digital world, (or at least the UX field). I met a lot of amazingly talented IA’s, developers and designers at HeathWallace. Not to mention the huge variety of brilliantly geeky characters that loved sci-fi, Star Wars and musical instruments. One guy would play ukulele at his desk with a hat on made out of business cards stapled together and walked around with bare feet! He was funny. What is it like being a young professional working in London? I love London, there’s so much to do I can’t fit it all in. I have been in London almost a year now and still have a long list of places to go and see. There are so many exhibitions on, and even free seminars to go to. There are lots of talks by industry leaders such as people from Google and Apple, about industry best practice. London is huge on its music scene. I am living right by Brixton Academy, which I should be taking much more advantage of, but I do go to gigs quite a lot when work’s not too mental! I just can’t wait for the festival season – Field Day in Victoria Park is my first festival, then I’m off to Cambridgeshire for Secret Garden Party!

What is a typical day for you? I couldn’t say really. It depends on what project you are on and what stage it’s at. I work out a lot of my thought process, of how an app or website should work and be structured, onto paper before creating a prototype using a programme called Axure. My brief could be something like redesign the structure of an entire global website (which would be a six month project) to, make a small amend on a mobile app that has had a change of functionality. Where can we see your work? I don’t have an online portfolio (I should really), but one project I’m particularly proud of is a mobile app I designed for Peugeot that you can use to book a test drive for one of their cars. Look out for this Peugeot mobile app; it should be live soon. What do you like most about your job? How laid back it is. Although it can be mentally busy at times, it’s all really informal. Meetings are at each other’s desks, or on sofas with a cup of tea, or out on the balcony in the (dare I say it) sun. The office is open plan with chill out areas. We get free breakfast every Monday and in the summer months (jinxed it again) we get to leave on Fridays at 3.00pm! There is near enough no dress code, as long as you are wearing some!

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The Young & The Professional

Illustration by Emma Leonard

Lucy Cox International Permissions Co-ordinator What do you do? I work in the International Permissions and Syndication department. I handle requests for UK content from our international titles (there are over 150) - letting them know what is available, what fees they will have to pay and what permissions they need. I also do third party syndication, which is negotiating usage with non Condé Nast titles; this usually involves syndicating archive material to exhibitions and books, or more recent material for editorial. This is it in a nutshell but it really involves so much more! Where do you do it? Condé Nast Publications Limited, based at Vogue House How did you start out? I started working here as a temp, working on the Vogue Model book clearing picture rights and sourcing captions for the images. I was actually still working as an assistant manager of a charity shop in Reading at the time, so I took all of my holiday at once for the first month, and then I was working 6 or 7 day weeks keeping both jobs going. It started out as a one-month contract but it kept being extended. I then went and worked at a model agency for three months, but as soon as there was a vacancy back at Condé Nast in the office I had temped in I was called back to interview and secured a permanent position. What is a typical day for you? My job is mostly reactionary, so I turn up every day, open up my inbox and see what treats are waiting for me in there! The main part of my job is completing request forms for the international magazines, but it doesn't end there. We also have to send the images to them, answer contributors queries, send archive artwork off to be scanned, maintain databases with contact details... Because we work with international offices there is always something going on, day or night! What has been the highlight of your career so far? I think the highlight of my career has been getting a job for one of the world's most prestigious magazine publishers! When I graduated (I have a first class English Literature degree and an MA in Fashion Journalism from LCF) it was impossible to get a job because I was not in the position to do unpaid work experience throughout my degree and therefore had no 'relevant experience' Page Seventeen

in a field that I wanted to work in. So I took a job as an assistant manager in a charity shop, as I had heaps of retail experience and I love charity shops; as part of my MA I made a magazine for charity shops. I loved parts of that job, and some of the fundraising events I organised and ran are still career points I'm incredibly proud of, but it wasn't where I saw my career at that time in my life. It was tough working two jobs but it has paid off now. And I suppose having a credit in a Vogue book is not to be sniffed at!

What do you love most about your job? My favourite part of the job is handling requests that involve older, archive material - work by Beaton, Bailey or Duffy, for example. I love the detective work that can be involved in requests for older material, and I love that my job frequently means I have to look through old copies of Vogue! It is a real thrill when you have syndicated something to a book or exhibition that really interests you.

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The Young & The Professioanl

Illustration by Esra Roise

Matt Roe Tattoo Artist What do you do and where do you do it?

Is it hard work running your own shop?

I'm a tattoo studio owner/artist at Matt Roe Tattoo in Egham, Surrey

Yes, running and working in a shop can be very hard work. You don't realise how much time it takes. I've always been a bit lazy, but since I've been running this studio it's totally changed the way I see everything. It becomes your life and taking time to rest almost feels like wasted time, because there is always something to do. It's a bit of a love, hate thing. I wouldn’t change it though.

How did you start out? I started from a fashion design background, focusing on imagery on the body. Street wear clothing always seemed to overlap into the tattoo world. So with this, mixed with encouragement from others, I decided to look into tattooing. What inspires you? There isn't really a set thing that inspires me. For me, I find that the more imagery I can look at the better. I often flick through magazines just looking at the picture and find that tumblr is a great tool for the creative industries as a continual feed of developing styles. What part of the body do you tattoo most? I'd say mostly arms; I'm always working on sleeves.

What is a typical day for you? I guess I'll try getting into the studio for about 9:30, try catch up with emails and a bit of design. Get the first tattoo set up to start at 11am. Do the tattoo, pack that up, clean everything, rush to get lunch, set up ready for another tattoo, do the tat, clean everything, close shop about 6:00. Read emails, and look at things that might have been booked in that day, then spend about 2 hours finishing bits of design for the next day. mattroetattoo.co.uk mattroetattoo.tumblr.com

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Book Club

Illustration by Meicy Sitorus

Book Club

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Book Club

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

It is hard to confess to being obsessed with the virgin suicides without generating concern about your mental state. However, despite the underlying darkness this novel is essentially a haunting tale of lost innocence, summer heat and obsession. A coming-of-age story punctuated by sexuality and teenage lust, and like the summer in which it is set, comes yellowing and foggy. For the most part of this book the Lisbon girls are in fact alive, yet we know no more about them than the neighbourhood boys who longingly fantasise about the mysterious sisters who live across the street. Collecting clues, evidence, and remnants of their lives in order to piece together the story that ultimately led to the suicides of the five girls; 13-year-old Cecilia, 14-year-old Lux, 15year-old Bonnie, 16-year-old Mary, and 17-year-old Therese. The narrative comes from the boys, now grown men, who as adults are still haunted by the memories of the girls they once knew and loved. Cecilia’s diary, family photographs and a lipstick belonging to the girls are three of 97 exhibits that make up a collection of relics that bring the men together as "custodians of the girls' lives". The act of mourning for these objects simply reflects the pain of growing up, the sad acceptance that life moves on and continues without them, and like their decaying, withering collection, so too does the memory of the beautiful, ethereal blonde creatures begin to fade.

From the rotting fish flies, to the cemetery strikes, and the debutantes party themed “Asphyxiation,” (due to the toxic smell from a factory spill), he creates a dark inevitability to the novel, as if the despair and peculiarity isn’t just isolated to the Lisbon family, but is impregnated in the town in which they live. Just like the boys, we too feel a deep connection with the girls, trapped in their sagging, grey and chipping house smothered in the blanket of fish flies that cover the suburb once a year. Yet despite their obsession, they never really knew them at all, instead they cling to the romanticised version of the Lisbon girls. The oppression of the Lisbon girls is thick in the pages, completely palpable and intoxicating. The hypnotic and unearthly tale of the Lisbon girls will haunt your mind long after you have read it.

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The reader takes on an act of voyeurism as we watch the girls through the boy’s eyes, experiencing an almost fetishtic fervour that the girls are all too aware about. This ultimately leads to the girls’ participation as suicidal exhibitionists, luring the boys out from their watch post and in to the heart of their stifled and suffocated existence, only to find the girls one by one. Eugenides’ creates such a stark and vivid image of death and decay, which sets a scene whereby it becomes completely plausible that five young girls might choose to take their lives. Page Twenty


Tasty Treats

a sweet little treat a Delia Smith recipe

How to sterilise your jars A Vital but perfectly simple process. Just wash the jars and lids in warm, soapy water, rinse well (again in warm water), then dry them thoroughly with a clean tea cloth, place them on a baking tray and pop them in a medium oven, gas mark 4, 350ËšF (180ËšC) for a minimum of 5 minutes. Add their contents while they are still hot.

Wendy turns to the queen of cooking for a lesson on lemon curd! When life gives you lemons... Now for the fun part Ingredients makes three 1lb (350 ml capacity) jars O 4 large eggs O 12 oz (350g) golden caster sugar O 8 oz (225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut in to small lumps O 1 dessertspoon cornflour you will also need three 1lb (350ml capacity) jars, sterilised

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Begin by lightly whisking the eggs in a medium-sized saucepan, then add the rest of the ingredients and place the saucepan over a medium heat. Now whisk continuously using a balloon whisk until the mixture thickens – about 7-8 minutes. Next, lower the heat to its minimum setting and let the curd gently simmer for a further minute, continuing to whisk. After that, remove it from the heat. Now pour the lemon curd into the hot, sterilised jars, filling them as full as possible, cover straightaway with waxed discs, seal while it is still hot and label when it is cold. It will keep for several weeks, but it must be stored in a cool place.

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What Are You So Scared Of?

Illustration by Esra Roise

what are you so scared of? Being scared is a pretty common thing. There are loads of things to be scared of in life; uncooked chicken from the local kebab shop, sharks, Amazonian spiders shipped in on banana crates, early onset Alzheimer’s. I’ve been scared all my life, scared of the dark, scared of the monsters under my bed (which just turned out to be my sisters life-sized Elmo), scared of the seaweed that gets wrapped around your legs, like silky slimy fingers dragging you to your watery grave. I think my main problem is my overactive imagination, I can get somewhat carried away and the lines between fantasy and reality tends to blur. The first horror movie I ever watched was ‘Psycho’. At the time we didn’t even own a shower, but I was just so scared to shut my eyes whilst bathing, that I’d let the soap suds from my ‘no tears shampoo’ corrode my eyes. I’m scared of the giants in the BFG, I’m scared of anything remotely paranormal. Not just scared though, I’m petrified, I’m hide behind a pillow, sleep with the light on for a week, terrified! This irrational state of fear slowly seeped in to my everyday life, I became anxious about the most mundane daily activities. I got to the point where answering a phone call from an unknown number brought on a serious case of the shakes, and a tightness in my chest so strong I was physically unable to breath. I’d worry over things that hadn’t or may never even happen. I simply couldn’t

relax. No amount of wine and chocolate could take away the steady sensation of unrest. This constant state of worry and dread of the unknown quickly becomes both exhausting and debilitating. I’d feel so tense my muscles would actually ache, there was a permanent knot in my stomach, like a hairball I so desperately wanted to cough up. Sleep evaded me, and the seemingly effortless act of showering zapped any energy I had managed to store. I stopped being able to concentrate on one thing for too long, and a slowly slipped in to a zombie-like state. But there is only so much a girl can take, I felt complete and utterly pathetic - crazy in fact, so I popped over the road to see the quack. Diagnosis: GAD - General Anxiety Disorder. A worryingly common disorder in a growing number of young people – I blame the government. I now have to learn to cope with my anxiety, to face it head on, not tuck it in my pocket to deal with later. By breaking the cycle of negativity, and identifying the cause of my dread I can start to gradually expose myself to the things that scare me most, in an attempt to desensitise the situation. Relaxation techniques are just an excuse for a trip to the IKEA candle department, but talking really helps. Hashing it out makes the whole thing more tangible, and easier to manage. I think I’ll always be scared of the jabawaki, and axe wielding psychopaths, but I know one day I will be completely anxiety free. I will ditch the cloud I borrowed from above Eeyore’s head and get on with my life. No one has ever died from having anxiety anyway right?

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How To Start Your Own Book Club

How to start your own book c l ub

KEEP IT SNUG O No less than five, but no more than 10. Too few people and you may as well all sit round in a circle, hold hands and recite the vagina monologues. Too many and you’ve got yourself a full on rave. Make sure that there are enough people so that if someone can’t make it you don’t have to call the whole thing off. SAME TIME, SAME PLACE O Try and find a day that fits in with

everyone’s schedules. Don’t make someone cancel their ballet class or band practice, that’s just not cool man. Don’t try to meet too regularly; you’re going to actually need some time to read the books. Try something like, the first Sunday night of every month, or something like that. Try and find somewhere like a nice pub or cafe with background noise to disguise any heated debates.

APPOINT YOUR LEADER O We all know democracy doesn’t

actually exist. You are never going to be able to please everyone. Take it in turns to be the honorary leader for the month - they choose the book and meeting place. But no ‘all time favourite’ books allowed…this only ends in heartbreak when your friends rate and slate something that holds high emotional stakes for you. Favourite books with always pop up in general conversation; so don’t put them out there for everyone to dissect, like the pigs hearts in year 9 Biology. Page Twenty-Three

BE DIVERSE O Don’t just stick to Fiction, throw in some

Non-Fiction to mix it up a bit. Try to select a completely different book each time; there is a treasure trove of topics to be discovered: classics, fantasy, travel, history, crime, chick-lit, memoirs, sci-fi, graphic novels, and at least one book that everyone was supposed to read at school. Make sure you have an equal ratio of male:female authors, no one want to end up with a sausage fest or a period party.

PLAY NICELY NOW CHICLDREN O Start off with everyone

taking it in turns to give a little review of the books, make sure everyone gets a turn, then it’s a free-for-all. May the loudest voice win.

BYOA O [bring your own alcohol] This is a book club after all, not a seminar. A sign of a good book club is food and wine, and possibly swearing. If you decide to host your book club at each other’s homes make sure you all bring something to share.

Good luck young literary pilgrims, may you become intoxicated by language (and wine).

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Best Of Friends

through thick and thin, there till the end

On the occasions we all manage to convene in the same place, I look around at my closest girlfriends and through my wine induced fug contemplate the existence of our friendship; how long we’ve known each other, the crap we’ve been through together, the many, many horrible haircuts and colours we’ve insisted looked amazing – evidence now suggests otherwise – and think to myself: my goodness, how are these girls still my friends. Your girlfriends are a whole different type of friend. They’re not your old nursery school buddy who has known you for at least two decades, and clings to this as a claim to your friendship, popping up on Facebook only to inject embarrassing anecdotal childhood memories in to your life – block. They’re not your work colleagues who you share gossip and naughty jokes with when things get dull, nor are they the ex you have managed to stay on surprisingly civil terms with. They are simply your gang, your peeps. You were thrown together at a time of awkward self discovery and instantly bonded over the loo roll stuck to your shoe or bird poop on your school blazer, and were ever since completely inseparable.

Illustration by Esra Roise

B E ST OF F RI E N DS

You’re the bunch of shrieking drunkards at the local bar, snorting wine through your noses in hysteria, much to the annoyance of every other patron. You are there for each other NO MATTER WHAT: You are there at 3am on the end of phone saying, “I’ll come straight over”; ditching all your plans to listen to tales of disastrous dates, and general life meltdowns. You have seen each other naked, and compared boob sizes. And you get mad at each other, you piss each other off, yes, there are always periods of silence followed by a nonchalant reunion as if nothing ever happened. You storm off and stamp your foot and allow them to see your ugly cry-face. But you get over it because they are your besties; you are so much bigger than a silly argument over a subject you can’t even remember anymore. Time doesn’t have a place in your inner circle, you may not see each other for months on end, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t text them or called them either. Nothing ever really changes. In 40 years when time has effected your bodies but not your bond, and you are still laughing like wrinkly hyenas at each others horrific hair-do’s, you will look at each other and smile in the knowledge that despite distance and busy schedules, once you’re in, you’re in. How lucky we are. How lucky we are to have this gaggle of giggling girlfriends. They are yours and you are theirs.

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I Love My Shop

I Love My

(online)

Shop

1

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I Love My Shop

What is your favourite item? The Vintage Birdcage Patisserie Stand. (1) Describe your online shop in one sentence. An online boutique that offers a fabulous selection of stylish, quality homeware gifts & accessories for women and girls of all ages. Is running your own online shop hard work? A little bit about Keren: Keren was born in Israel; when her parents divorced she spent a few years travelling around Europe with her father, a French painter who was often invited to paint in customers houses, “It was a fun time and is a big part of who I am now”. He settled in France and her Mother in Germany so she chose to settle somewhere nearby so she could see them both often. “So here I am now, I’ve lived here (Bushey, Hertfordshire) for seven years with my two gorgeous young boys.” How did it all begin? I worked at a charity for adults with learning difficulties making greetings cards for four years, but when Baby Liam came along two years ago I knew going back to my old job (as much as I loved it) was going to be mission impossible. So we were looking for a few options and an online boutique was one of them. I went on a hunt for pretty things that I could sell in the shop and opened This Is Pretty and made my dream come true, 'selling pretty stuff' and making wedding invitations.

Just very demanding. Because there is no direct contact with the customers the customer service to me is a priority. With this type of trading, it is important to build a trust with the customers. Although this an 'online transaction' I still appreciate every sale and would like to add a personal touch too. Tell us more about your gorgeous wedding invitations. I have been creating wedding and party invitations for many years, and I feel very lucky to be able to turn my love of vintage style and pretty things in to my full time job. All the cards and stationery are personalised and hand-finished. Do you have any exciting plans for the future? Soon ‘Pretty Day' will go live, this is a sister website to 'This Is Pretty' dedicated to weddings and celebrations.

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What kind of things do you stock? Mainly home decorations, little pretty things, gifts, accessories and personalised stationery. Page Twenty-Six


A Cup of Tea

When the world is all at odds And the mind is all at sea Then cease the useless tedium And brew a cup of tea. There is magic in its fragrance, There is solace in its taste; And the laden moments vanish Somehow into space. And the world becomes a lovely thing! There's beauty as you'll see; All because you briefly stopped To brew a cup of tea. (J. Jonker, Amsterdam, C.1670)

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Illustration by Nikki McWilliams

A Cup of Tea


Make Mine a Mini

make mine a mini Splashing out on a new colour palate each season is expensive business. So why not save some pennies and get double the shades for half the money? Mini collections are a great way to try a whole range before you buy full size bottles. Plus they are super cute, and handbag friendly. Here are six of our favourites.

O.P.I New York City Ballet Mini Collection

essie Mini Spring 2012 Collection

Leighton Denny Sweet Petites Nautical Collection

Mavala Trio Box Brit Collection

NARS Precious Mini Nail Polish Set

Le Metier de Beaute Summer Mini Nail Lacquer Page Twenty-Eight


The Dreamcatcher

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The Dreamcatcher

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The Dreamcatcher

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The Dreamcatcher

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Illustration by Katie Rodgers - paperfashion.net


Wendy Magazine