INSPIRE ME – with Brother Strut

Brother Strut recoloured 2

 

It’s been a while since my last ‘Inspire Me’ post but I couldn’t resist posting a recent chat I had with Steve Pearce, music producer, writer, saxophone player and founder member of  funk – soul band Brother Strut who formed in 2012, after having played between them, with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Madonna, Robbie Williams, Jools Holland, Christina Aguilera and Amy Winehouse, Al Green, George Michael, Sting, Elton John to name just a few.

Brother Strut have released their debut album – ” The First Strut is the Deepest ” co written with BBC award winning songwriter, Megan Heywood, on which the band also collaborated with emerging talents for the vocals. They are currently touring, having recently performed to sold out venues around the country – and have a London show at the Brooklyn Bowl 02, coming up on December 3rd for which I have 5 pairs of tickets up for grabs. More on that after this interview …

 

 

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Who and What inspired you to start Brother Strut ?

 It was actually a decision based upon trying to find something that combined all the things I liked ! So I wanted to continue to play saxophone, write songs and also produce records. I love funk/soul music of the late 60s and 70s, so I set about putting it all together. First of all I knew I wanted to recruit some of the best guys in the business that were passionate about funk/soul music so I made one song and made some phone calls to put the first session together !

You play a lovely old skool funk and groove – is this the style of music that you all enjoying playing the most ?

I think we all have a varied taste in music but we certainly all share a love of music WITH funk, so not necessarily funk music. So as long as it’s funky, we’ll love it !

As you are all musicians who play with many high profile artists – do you get time to practise together or do you meet for shows ?

Organising rehearsals is VERY hard ! For this current tour we only had one rehearsal the week before as it was the only day we could all do! So we tend to do our homework and then run over the details in sound check if we feel it is necessary to do so !

Have any of you played together before Brother Strut ?

I know Frankie and Steve ( Bass ) paths cross occasionally on recording sessions but, never in a permanent band.

Is your line up a fixed or do you change sometimes ?

Pretty much fixed as the 5 – piece but we have recently added Mary Awere on backing vocals and also Karl Vanden Bosche on percussion and these are great additions !

How many shows do you do a year? Where do you enjoy playing the most ?

Well, we are a brand new band ! Our first gig was only back in April this year, and last night was our 10th show ! So we are growing and building at the moment. The band following has been built entirely online via Facebook advertising and marketing. So our videos were popular long before we had all done a gig together, which made selling the gigs a little easier !

Currently our audiences are around 300 people at a show and we’re looking to grow and build this year on year. Ideally we are looking to do two tours a year, one in the spring and one in autumn / winter.

What is coming up for Brother Strut ? 

After this tour, I’m going to take 2 months out to concentrate on writing the new album. We all can’t wait to get back in the studio !

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Thanks to Stevie for sharing some of his inspirations. I will be at the Brooklyn Bowl gig ! If you would like to enter yourself to win a pair of tickets for their London show on December 3rd, you can do so in two ways:

1. Leave a comment under this post letting me know you would like to attend the gig on December 3rd.

2. Tweet the following:

I’ve entered the @lucylovesyablog giveaway to win 2 tickets to see @brotherstrut on Dec 3rd at @BBowlLondon  – 5 pairs up for grabs!

You can do both – to be entered twice.

T’s and C’s

This is a tickets only prize. No accommodation or travel supplied.

No cash alternative, alternative date or prize offered.

Winners will be picked at random on Sunday 30th November at 7pm. I will notify all by email and will require a response within 24 hours or will have to re – select.

Good luck – if you’d like to watch Brother Strut at work in the meantime  – have a look at some of their videos and have a cheeky little dance while you’re at it !

Lucy x

My Instagram Inspiration

LucyLovesYa.Instagram.As I mentioned earlier in the week, I am a bit addicted to Instagram. Saying something without words. But maybe a few hashtags. :)

The colours really inspire my week and it makes you realise how many times in a day a beautiful moment or place can just pass us by. LucyLovesYa.Instagram3LucyLovesYa.Instagram2LucyLovesYa.Instagram1

Here are some of my InstaMoments from the last few weeks, I seem to be taking about 30 a week at the moment, from a sewing glasses case that Which glasses are Which sent me ( great idea, they are ) to an autumnal tree contrasting with a beautifully  – blue sky to a heart warming second when the lift doors opened in Liberty London, showing their infamous Christmas decorations in all of their splendour.

It’s definitely my favourite social media site at the moment. What’s yours ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog ..

If you’d like to see more of my pictures – you can find me here.

Lucy x

Colour Your Christmas Part 2

Xmas HomePart 2 now of gift ideas. Last week I shared some decs.  This time, here are some cheerful, eye caching home pieces that might be if interest to you, if you’re thinking of doing a bit of Christmas shopping this weekend and want to buy something a little different and refreshing. I am drawn to all of these things for their vibrance and vintage style appeal …

1. Rigby and Mac stock these cute little floral and pattern print candle holders. Definitely a bit different and would sit very happily on a bookshelf or fireplace. A very sweet present. £19.95.

2. I am a little bit in love with LEIF. A US based online shop with homeware to die for. Oh yes. The price on the site is in dollars but I believe this Spectrum Picture Frame is approx £28. Don’t hang about if you like it – might take a week to so to arrive here in the UK.

3.Bombay Duck have been around for some time now and clearly still know how to do colour. This set of 3 Delphine Glass Bowls are £16.

4. Interior Designer, Sophie Conran has a nice Christmas selection of China  – such as this platter. The print is quite retro and reminds me of my childhood. £34.50

5. Such a good but simple idea. Cannisters with windows. I think most people would like a few of these. At £2 for the small size and £3 for the larger – can you go wrong ? From Tiger Stores.

6. A hand painted cookie owl jar from dotcomgiftshop. Just awww ! £23.95

7. I’m imagining these place mats ( they have matching coasters ) on a lovely crisp white table cloth or a rustic wooden table. This is my favourite colour too. I found these at Anorak Online. Set of 4 for £28.

8. If you are buying for someone who loves all things Kawaii then they might like these adorable little Chuppon Self Watering Animal Planter. You just stick them on the side of a glass. Whatever next ! They are £9.95 each at What You Sow. I want one !

9. Folklore fans will love this woodland print coffee pot. It’s illustrated in the UK and for sale at Mollie and Fred £19.99.

10. Okay, I am seeing a theme developing here. Another animal inspired gift. Very suitable for a sewing lover. It’s from AVOCA and is approx £7.95.

Part 3 coming next week :)

What do you think? Do you like these ? Leave me a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog …

Lucy x

Huggle Up Square Prints – Featured Blogger

LucyLovesYa PrintsI have got what seems like a lifetime of photo’s stored on my phone and laptop, that have never seen the light of day, but recently I decided to start printing my pictures again so that I can put them in albums and have them on show. After all, I wanted to capture the moment at the time, so it’s nice to be reminded now.

Online photograph printers Huggle Up have kindly asked me to be their featured blogger which means sharing with you, a little bit about their ethos and what they offer.

I used the Huggle Up service to print off some of my favourite recent Instagram images, including our trip to Ibiza and Betsey’s Wizard of Oz Party. The process was super easy – choose from your smartphone or PC of either Desktop, Instagram or Facebook , then scroll to the style of image i.e. Polaroid, Square ( my choice ) , Postcard or Magnet and then click on your faves. Once done, you just add these to your basket and place your order.

LucyLovesYa Cards

I found the immediacy of the process really satisfying  – and within a few days they were in my hands. Great quality, they are. Sturdy and the definition is very good. To order 20 is £12.50 which is a bit of a steal, if you ask me. :)

Huggle Up has recently appeared in Elle, Bazaar and The Times so they are clearly going great guns. You can find them on Twitter

Already we have hung some up on ribbon on the wall and I’ve made some cards too with them – thought it would be nice to send some handmade, personal cards to my friends – to remind them of some of our favourite days out this year, now that we are reaching the end of 2014.

What have been your highlight days so far this year ?

Lucy x

Great British Birds by Amber Elise

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I saw these colourful prints recently and had to let the artist Amber Elise know how much I liked them. We are big bird lovers here, if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you will know that our wedding cake made by our fab friend Juliet was inspired by birds and so was the poem piece read by our lovely friend, Lou.

Most of my childhood was spent in the countryside and I had a book, where I used to tick off off the birds in it once I had spotted them. Do you remember those ? Great memories.
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Amber Elise is a Bristol based illustrator and screen printer who takes inspiration by the cut outs of the artist Matisse, colours of Andy Warhol and music from David Bowie..  a girl after my own heart. 7xhj4TVb9xQ4NK2YLEQzJVGLsTkN4i3FviNY_j3ssUw

Not only does her online shop offer these beautifully bold Limited Edition Prints along with zebras, owls and whimsical messages in 2 different sizes – you can also buy sets of her high quality individually wrapped, boxed cards. Great for your own home or a thoughtful gift to those in your life who love anything quintessentially English. I have some here and will do my best to share them with special friends but they’re so alluring, I might hang on to them .. just for a bit. :)

I love Ambers’ sharp use of colour – such great definition. You must have a read of her Creative Projects – they are all interesting but I was particularly drawn to the one about her transforming a launderette with bespoke wallpaper. It looks amazing ! Have a look at it here.

Lucy x

Colour Your Christmas

Xmas Bright LucyLovesYaI love Christmas. The shiny, razzle dazzle of it all and feel justified in doing a Festive post now as the lights are officially switched on in Oxford Street. With an abundance of traditional decorations and homeware to choose from online, I thought I’d seek out some slightly more cute, colourful and heaven scented 2014 items at varying prices.

1. The playfulness of this wreath from The Original Pop Up Shop is handade from Merino Wool. It would work against so many colours. It’s very tactile looking – beautiful !

2. A cheeky little retro style plaque from Selfridges. This one is by Gisela Graham.

3. I am a big Diptyque fan. Their candles last for ages and they smell divine. This one is scented with cinnamon and plum. I’d be very happy to find one of these in my stocking. It’s stocked at SPACE.NK.

4. In Festive colour with a bold chevron print. These gold and glamorous napkins are by Paperchase.

5. As Liberty London lives right in the middle of the capital, this London bus tree decoration represents them well. I love it, especially as it is the old fashioned design. Glittery too – Ooh !

6. You could make a statement with these Multi coloured crackers for the tree or against a white table cloth. You can also find these at Paperchase.

7. How could anyone not fall for this little woodland Hedgehog decoration. Uber cute. Found at StreetHub.

8. My heart skipped a beat when I first spotted these handmade fairground star lights. Made in Britain – they come in various colours. They’re not cheap but I would use them all year round. These are by Goodwin and Goodwin at Not on The HighStreet.

9. Every year when we make Mulled Wine, I remember the thing we forgot. Proper glasses.  John Lewis do a set of 4 thermally insulated ones in a soda glass shape.

10. Father Christmas in a glittered robe. As he should be ! A set of 6 that come in a gift box from one of my favourite online stores – Berry Red.

Hope you like my selection. I will be seeking and sharing more soon. :)

Lucy x

fresh air, chips and treats

new birdIt was quite a crazy week, just gone. I enjoyed it loads but was pretty zombified by Sunday morning. Andy and I attended the Amara Interiors Blog Awards mid week which was wonderful and I met lots of interesting bloggers. It’s good to put a face to a name. I have also been busy planning new blog posts and making things for our home – and other people. :) Plus just being a Mum, which is a job in itself. It’s quite hard to switch off at times, I think I need an on / off switch for my brain.

Some people seem to find it very easy to relax but I tend to have to go out and do something different to chill.

Aldeburgh CoastSo we trundled off in the car and had some chips ( some of the finest in the UK, allegedly… ) and a meander through Aldeburgh. I may have said it before but we feel lucky to be near the Suffolk Coastline as it’s beautiful and pretty unspoilt.

Aldeburgh is cultured, yet quaint. I like the mix of the two. It feels like a nice warm hug when we visit as I grew regularly popping in. There are many independent Boutiques and Art galleries.

Sitting on the stony, slopey beach and staring out to sea was just what I needed to refresh.

Shingle and Sherbet was our last stop. They have all the old fashioned sweets all in glass jars. White walls with colourful treats. It looks very pretty. A trip to the sea isn’t complete without some kind of sugar fix.

On the way home we had a look around the homeware store in Snape Maltings. A blog for another time. :)

Do you have a favourite coast ? How do you like to relax ? I would love to hear about it and I am sure so would my readers … Please leave a comment or tweet me @lucylovesyablog

Hope you had a good weekend.

Lucy x

LucyLovesYaAlde

Don’t text it – Ploom it

IMG_1227I love handwriting because it says so much about the individual.

I’ve also mentioned before that I prefer the old way of saying a ” Happy Birthday ” or ” Get Well Soon ” – of course receiving a text is nice, don’t get me wrong, but when someone goes the extra effort and takes the time to choose a card and write a kind message inside, it feels kind of special. That they have thought about you and vice versa if you’re sending one to them. In our busy lives, I think it’s fair to say we all maybe send one too many texts or emails from time to time. Well, I do anyway. Even calling someone for a chat doesn’t happen as frequently as it should.

What I received in the post recently really made me smile. Not only because Founder of PLOOMS, Sally Page, had read my up – cycling post and really enjoyed it, but she sent me a beautifully wrapped gift. Inside was a PLOOMS fountain pen in purple – to match my new painted chest of drawers. It’s a really lovely, vibrant colour and glides like a dream. The best thing of all about it was that it will encourage me to write more.

In fact Mae has her eye on it for when she receives ‘ pen license ‘ at school soon. A very good incentive  for her and a very special gift ! We will definitely be using it to write my Nanas 94th Birthday card this Friday. :)PLOOMS

PLOOMS pens come in five shades, each inspired by women who brought a splash of colour in to Sallys life. They are all made of brass, chrome and lacquer and come with two cartridges.

I wish Sally lots of luck with her business. I think it’s a brilliant idea and look forward to seeing her fountain pens everywhere !

Lucy x

JORD Ely Maple Watch

pic wIt catches me out every time the clocks change, whether we get an extra hour or lose the hour ? It seems it confuses lots of people. Or maybe they’re just humouring me.

But, it seems we definitely got the good one and had an extra hour this weekend in bed.

Ask any of my family – my time keeping is slightly more haphazard since having children. It used to take one minute to get ready and pop out the door for a coffee somewhere or visit a friend. Now, it’s a case of ” get your shoes on for the fifth time ” or ” have you brushed your teeth yet ” .. and rushing around has become the norm.

I had been thinking for ages about getting a watch. But, it had to be a little different. I don’t want to look like everyone else. Plus, it would need to be light weight – and preferably not rubber or metal.

Then, JORD got in touch with me to see if I would like to review one of their watches and I found exactly what I was searching for on their website. Yey ! Funny how things work out sometimes. JORD watches are hand crafted with various woods, sourced from all over the world – and with their natural grain and  colour every single watch is unique. Every part of their watches are made with sustainable products too. Good news. huh ?

I opted for the Ely in Maple as it’s elegant with a smaller face and will remind me of the date too.My loved ones will be pleased. :) The face is a scratch resistant mineral and it has a deployment buckle with push button at the back which makes it very easy to put on or take off. It feels very comfortable to wear. winner !

JORD make mens and womens watches – some more understated and the larger with coloured carbon fibre colour faces or 3D numeric markers. I really like them all – fantastic designs and if this watch is anything to go by – very well made.

So now there is no excuse. We will be on time for absolutely everything. Maybe even early. ;)

Lucy x

Up – cycled Stripy Dining Chairs

IMG_1245This weekend I have finally up – cycled my dining chairs. Well, my Mum covered them, she’s much more practical than me when it comes to upholstery. :) But, I can take some credit for painting them.

Before they were a stained pine, which looked more like oak and covered in a floral print. You can see them in a recent post.

I bought them a few years ago and had every intention of doing them up straight away to brighten the kitchen. But, of course it has taken a while as most things do in your own home.

In the fabric delivery there were some very welcome sweeties to keep us company. Very nice they were too ! DC1

I’m really happy with the colour that they exude in the day time and evening. It has bought all of the colours in my kitchen together and I think finished it off really well.

This stripe is very bright, I bought it from DeckChair Stripes and they have loads of different colour options. The paint is Clunch by Farrow & Ball.

The print above the chairs is by the lovelyBrighton based artist Kitty Finegan who designed my new LucyLovesYa logo. I am a huge fan of hers. :)

What do you think of my new chairs ? Would love to hear your thoughts. Leave me a comment below to tweet me @lucylovesyablog.

 

Lucy x