Thursday, September 8, 2011

New wellies?

At the moment I'm trying to decide whether or not to send my footwear in a new direction with a pair of kitsch wellies.  I've been looking for shoes that will tolerate the current rainy weather whilst simultaneously looking cute and being comfortable on my feet which are suffering from 'beginning of the new ballet season' syndrome.
Cath Kidston
I've always dismissed them in the past as silly looking on anyone over the age of 12 but after spotting these cute Cath Kidston ones on Asos in the sale my inner twelve year old has kicked in and I'm sorely tempted!

Perhaps  if I team them with some more grown up plain clothes I can get away with it? Ah well who cares, I need a little lift in my mood on wet grey days and if cute patterned wellies do the trick, why not!

Cath Kidston Star Wellington Boots
Click here to purchase

Cath Kidstson

All this rainy weather has inspired me to make my rainy days necklace!  Check out this cute umberella charm necklace which you can buy from my Etsy shop for just £5.15!

Click here to purchase!

I think I should make one for myself to go perfectly with my new wellington boots.

Take care!  Twirlybirdie x

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Quirky jewellery!

Recently I have been inspired by cuter vintage style charms on necklaces.  I decided I wanted to add some items in this vein to my Etsy shop.  I went cute charm hunting and came away with a few super cute tea cup and tea pot items.  I think they look great on a gold tone chain!

 Click here to purchase this cute teacup necklace!

Click here to buy this funky floral teapot necklace!

To purchase this necklace with quirky floral jug charm- click here!

I love the floral designs which give the charms a vintage feel!

I hope you like them!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

New Dance Photos

This summer my boyfriend and I holidayed for a magical week on the island of Kefalonia, Greece.  As he has an online shop where he sells his photography we decided to take the opportunity to use one of the lovely lighthouses on the island to take some impromptu dance shots.  We were lucky with the evening lighting and a strong breeze which added a sense of movement to the shots.

The beautiful dress I was wearing was from Mango and co-ordinated with the colours of the setting really well.

You can see the rest of his gorgeous dance shots at

Friday, July 29, 2011


If like me you live in a cold country these new tights with built in socks could be the answer to your chilly toe winter nightmares.  Apparently they have been around for a little while now but I have only recently come across them.  Called Bootights the offical website states that they are a 'premium tight with a performance sock attached so your legs look amazing and your feet feel great all day long.'

Semi-Opaque Mid-Calf
Semi-Opaque Mid-Calf
Netscape Fishnet
No more will you have to place a pair of socks over your tights to stop them wearing away against the side of your boots.  I can really see these working and being much smarter than when you're travelling through the airport or trying on shoes in a shop and take off your boots only to reveal pink fluffy socks pulled up over your tights underneath!
Calliope Argyle
With a mix of tight material and sock length combinations the website is worth checking out to find the right style to suit your needs.  At $30 a pair they don't come cheap though the website is currently offering free shipping when you buy two pairs or more.  As autumn approaches I might just be convinced to give this new creation a go!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cute shoes of the day!

Sindy Blue Polka Dot Platform Sandals
We can't always buy all the shoes that we want but we can upload a picture of them and dream!  These Topshop shoes are sexy and retro cute in one!  A cute 50's bow on sky high platforms of the brightest blue. Even a bit of polka dot has managed to squeeze in there.  I can imagine Katy Perry in these neon beauties!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The satchel bag

Satchel bags have been in fashion for a while now but they're still going strong in the shops, being brought out in a great mix of fabrics and colours.  I can't get enough of a patterned satchel (a la Cath Kidston) but the plain classic styles are retro gorgeous too.  Fashionable and practical; if the price has been off putting there's many on sale at the moment so it's the perfect time to grab one!
Urban Outfitters Old School Canvas Satchel

Polka Dot Satchel Urban Outfitters
Cath Kidston Spot Saddle Bag
ASOS Leather Vintage Style Satchel
Accessorize Edie mini cross body satchel

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Red hair


Even though it's summer here it's not been particularly warm yet.  I'm really hoping it will heat up soon!  As I've been spending a bit more time indoors I've had the chance to make a few more pairs of earrings :)

The past year I've been dying my hair red.  I had a bad reaction to some highlights I had put in my hair as a teen and had been too afraid to have it dyed since.  However I became desperate to have red hair a couple of years ago and after some internet research decided to try the least toxic sounding one I could find.  I took the necessary precautions (allergy test etc.) and luckily it turned out just fine!  All the reviews that people have written on the internet of their experiences with various hair dyes were so useful that I wanted to share my own.
First I used HennaPlus Long Lasting Colour in Henna Red.  I really wanted a dark red colour and although this is what I got initially it faded pretty quickly to more of a warm ginger red.  Luckily I still really liked this colour and it seemed to warm my skin tone and suit the summery weather.  I was expecting the dye to ruin my hair but my hair seemed to be in really good condition after using this dye.  The hair colour really stayed in my hair so when my darker roots grew through I decided to re-dye it with the same dye again as I liked the colour so much!
A few months later I decided I wanted to try a darker colour so that when it grew out my roots would be less obvious. I went for Tints of Nature Dark Henna Red as it contained no ammonia.  This dye actually seemed a bit more chemical than the HennaPlus one and my hair didn't feel as nice after using it.  The colour was a bit more purple than red and quite soon after using it I felt that I needed to use a lot of treatment to repair my damaged hair.  It was darker but not as dark as I would have liked and it faded pretty quickly to a colour between the warm coppery one from HennaPlus and the darker shade.  I did get a few compliments on the colour of my hair at this time but I wasn't satisfied with the colour so a couple of months later I decided to really go for it and bought some Garnier semi-permanent dye called Glowing Red with no ammonia that was really quite bright on the box but just what I was after.
I did some more research on getting the best results from your dye which told me to do some intensive hair conditioning for a few days before the dye as well as getting it cut.  I also washed my hair the day before with as little conditioner as possible to give the colour a chance to grab on to my hair and didn't wash it for 3(!) days after colouring it.
I love the colour it is now!  It's bright and bold and very me.  Hopefully I will get some pictures of it up soon.  Now I just have to figure out how to hold on to the colour as long as possible!  My research has led to me upgrading my shampoo and conditioner to slightly more expensive 'sulphate-free' versions that shouldn't strip hair colour.
Red Swarovski Crystal Drop Earrings
Now for my latest earrings!  Going with the red theme I've created these pretty little red Swarovski crystal drop earrings with sterling silver chain and ball and post ear studs.  It's the first time I've used a ball and post finding and I really like the security they give to the earring. 

I just can't get enough of Swarovski crystal drops, they're so pretty :)  I've also made some for myself of course!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Summer is here!

Summer has arrived at last and things at work have really wound down.  At the moment we're performing Abba which doesn't involve too much dancing for me.  Consequently I have had some time to finally sit down and start making some earrings again!

Crystal Quartz and Freshwater pearl earrings
I have had some beautiful crystal quartz multi-faceted beads hanging around for a while and decided to combine these with beautiful magenta freshwater pearls for a simple, pretty earring.  Once I'd made them I  liked them so much I quickly used another pair of the crystal beads for myself.  A friend commented on how much she liked them straight away in ballet class so I know they're great :)

At the end of April we had a ballet gala here and I was desperate to perform something balletic and new for it.  Luckily for me my boyfriend has begun choreographing recently so I asked him to create a pas de deux for us to a piece of my favourite music, the pas de deux from Act II of Cinderella.

He decided to dance the part of the prince and we worked together on the choreography finally finishing the piece just in time for the gala.  I was really pleased with how it turned out; just as I had imagined and it was really special to perform.  We worked out the costume for my dress as well with the costume department here and it turned out great, a sort of 50's style dress with a knee length puffy skirt in purple.

Cinderella earrings
Thinking about the pas de deux inspired me to create some Cinderella themed earrings, especially as I had some shoe charms lying around!  I combined them with a swarovski light blue star, representing the midnight sky and also the stars that traditionally appear in the ballet.  Also a larger 8mm swarovski clear crystal to add a bit of sparkle to Cinderella's shoe.  Both of these earrings are on sale at my Twirlybirdie Etsy shop .

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thoughts on Black Swan

I recently had the opportunity to see the highly acclaimed movie Black Swan.  All the hype had certainly got me very excited to see the first high profile ballet movie for a long time.  Would it be a realistic portrayal of the ballet world?  Would Ms. Portman's port de bras betray her lack of ballet training?

I think that as a ballet dancer it is extremely difficult to view this movie from the perspective of a ballet novice and not to compare what Ms. Portman's character Nina goes through with my own experience of the reality of life as a professional dancer.

Lots of dancers have been weighing in with their perspective of the film and the unrealistic aspects of it's portrayal of life in a ballet company.  Royal Ballet principal Tamara Rojo was particularly critical of the film and is quoted in the Guardian as saying ' this is a very lazy movie, featuring every ballet cliche going. If you want to look at the dark side of ballet, do it properly, don't just give us shots of a ballerina suddenly vomiting.'

Others have criticised the dancers being asked their opinion on the realism of the film asking if a film involved, for example, scientists would any real scientists ever be questioned on how realistic they found the film to be?

Perhaps it is taking Aronofsky's film out of context to question it's realism, however so rarely is a film ever made involving the insular specialised world of ballet that it's inevitable that people will be asking themselves if that's what it's really like? 

Many aspects of the film were accurate and they seemed to have taken quite an effort to get the basics right. The clothes, pointe shoes, schedule, physical and mental stress (to a degree) that a ballet dancer faces were pretty accurate.  It's great that people watching the film really do get a glimpse of the back stage realities of daily life. The characters and storyline are where the reality verges wildly of course which is also probably what Aronofsky's planned it to be.

I found the film to be entertaining yet hilariously funny, it was just too close to home and unrealistic to be able to take it seriously.  The worst stories you've ever heard within the dance world: the eating disorders; the intense destructive ballet mother; the ballet girl/woman with no real-life experiences; the sleazy company director tormenting his dancers; the bitchy competition, all occur within one person in the space of a couple of hours.  These things do exist but the bombardment of them all in one short space of time make for a wild trip which I expect is exactly what the director wanted.  It's no wonder the poor girl's mind unravels.

I did appreciate the cinematography, the clever if repetitive use of black and white and 'blink or you'll miss it' subtle (and not so subtle!) special effects.  I was impressed also with the film score's use of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake  throughout the film in various 'mixes'.  Of course Natalie's acting was very impressive and even if us picky ballet dancers could tell the difference between her and the pros's I doubt that's going to bother your average film goer.

If there's one thing the ballet world could use it's some good publicity.  Hopefully there will be some positive fall-out from this film and the public's interest in the art form will be peaked.  If they're expecting us all to be riding on the edge of sanity to bring them our best possible performance they will, thankfully, be sorely disappointed.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Happy New Year!

It's been a while since my last post.  Where I am we have been plunged in to the dark sluggish winter months.  There's been plenty of snow and work has been intense.  This has been a very intense rehearsal period and I have had energy for little else!  Sadly my jewellery making has taken a back seat for the moment, although I did manage to make some Swarovski earring and necklace sets for Christmas!

For Christmas one of the girls in the theatre gave me a massage bar from Lush which has just opened here.  I have subsequently become a bit obsessed with their products!  I love the massage bars which are solid moisturisers that melt at body temperature.  They smell very sweet and delicious and are perfect to use after a shower whilst you are still warm.  I am currently using the Heavanilli massage bar and have bought the Fresh farmacy cleanser to try out.  I can't wait to try out some more of their products!
Fresh Farmacy Cleanser
Thankfully the coming week will be a bit calmer so I can focus on getting my life organised a bit better for the beginning of 2011.  I plan to create some more jewellery pieces for my shop and tidy up the apartment a bit!  Otherwise at work I am preparing to perform Giselle on the 20th of December with my boyfriend as Albrecht.  It will be the first time we have danced this ballet together.

It's nice for me as I don't have any other roles to focus on from now until then which will help me to get in to the character and style of the ballet.

I hope everyone had a happy new year and that 2011 will be a year of change and exciting things!