Firstly, business- we're at that time of year where enquiries for next year start to happen with more frequency. So if you need a price list emailed please drop me a line or call me. And if you are thinking of booking a consultation, if I were you I'd book it while it's still warm outside. There's nothing worse than going dress shopping & having to strip off in the cold, wet & snow hehe. And wedding dress shopping is more inspiring while you've still got some Summer colour & your bikini body :)
Life here is ticking along, as it does. Yours truly has lost weight of late & is Aqua Aerobics(ing) to tone up, cos there is some 'eeek :S' staring back at me in the mirror. So at least four times a week, I am doing a good impression of a drowned rat.
I was in the pool at 9am this morning (7.15 last night too) & right now the only bit of me that has any energy is my four typing fingers.
I spent some of the Summer creating a garden & some things continue to flower but I've also been seeding beds & planting for Spring.... Anemomes, Alliums, plants that start with other letters, though some of my Alliums & Tulips are demanding beds & pots deeper than I can supply so I need to regroup & have a little think.
This month's diary will have a gripe- indulge me I haven't gripped publicly in a while ;) And actually I have to track it down first because I'm not too sure where I filed it on this computer. But today I was just going to share some fun things I have been finding on the web & wanted to share......
Things I'm loving right now:
I arrived here by chance whilst searching for amusing magnets for my fridge, which I will share later for those who find illustrations of perfect, slightly scary '50's women with amusing captions funny.
Basically, think old fashioned cut outs on the seaside peer that you poke your head through & take a picture, in cyber space with options to be celebs, models, cartoon characters, pin up girls, even Bin laden if that rocks your boat, etc. Anyway I wasted a good chunk of a Sunday afternoon on the site & here are some of my results:
Also loving right now:
One always needs something fabulous to stick the mundane to one's fridgidare & one's idea of fabulous are funny vintage magnets like these from Anne Taintor ~ such a pity (& a blessing) their website doesn't ship to the UK, (though there are UK stockists):
I love that they have little biographies for some of the models featured in the stock photos they use in their work.
* As you can see my image at the top of the page was altered this month to reflect the content of this page. *
I used to have these three in postcard form on my kitchen walls in my old place & tracked them down in magnet form - I don't know who makes them.
Think they are still my favourites.
Things that impressed me lately:
Random.... but I love the new Excell10 hair dyes. They are actually excellent & really do cover grey in 10 minutes & hardly anything washes out. Plus the comb applicator makes it very easy to apply to even long hair.
Things I'm hating right now:
That I want this light for my lounge (curse dentists waiting rooms for stocking magazines featuring things you want) but that the wiring/ceiling/? in my flat probably won't take the weight :(
I guess some other lucky people get to take it home & enjoy it instead.
Light avaliable from: http://www.oliverbonas.com/
Things I should have added to the diary but never got around to:
January I went to Leeds Castle to deliver some masks to a shoot for Ryanair, all very 11th hour (well it is Ryanair) which appeared in their in-flight magazine. This little video Ryanair posted online sums up the day, which amongst other things was cold, & you can see my masks:
Website to watch if you are in the market for personalised scrolls is that of my ex-client & now friend Kirsten who is in the process of launching her site:
We also offer a very carefully selected range of stunning and unusual gifts to complement your scroll."
And the gripe:
October 4th 2009 ~
Me: Excuse me, I didn't order this. I ordered the Chicken.
Seekmo the waiter: Yes madam. But the restaurant down the road thought you might prefer this Beef dish instead.
Me: But I chose this restaurant & I ordered the chicken.
Seekmo the waiter: Yes Madam. But the other restaurant has instructed me to deliver you their beef dish when you request their rival's chicken dish.
Seekmo, Anne Summers & Me....
Hmmm. Whilst having tea with my neighbour a few months back, I showed her a page on my website & seconds later an Ann Summers web page entitled 'Red Corset' popped up in another window. It seemed odd but we dismissed it though her son poked fun out of her because he thought we'd been surfing naughty sites.
Anyway the next time I used her computer, we searched a particular plant & up popped the Hoseasons holiday website too (which seemed odd) so I typed my website in, clicked gowns & up popped Ann Summers again - NO COINCIDENCE! At the bottom of the Ann Summers window was a note saying the advertising was courtesy of Seekmo &, upon Googling, apparently Seekmo is adware: http://www.wiki-security.com/wiki/Parasite/Seekmo/
Although they say:
What is Seekmo?
Seekmo is a new way to access free programs and tools to make life a little easier and lots more fun.
Seekmo gives you the ultimate universal access to more than 100,000 pieces of free online content – videos, games, tools and utilities.
Seekmo also offers you cool and attractive email features as Emoticons, Animations, Backgrounds, eCards, Cursors and other enhancing web experience features.
The Seekmo Browser toolbar presents buttons on your Internet Explorer browser that change dynamically while you surf to relate to the website you visit. These buttons also provide you instant access to Search, Videos, Games and much more!
Outlook and Outlook Express users enjoy a unique email toolbar that offers a wide assortment of options for customizing the design of your emails with Backgrounds, eCards, Emoticons and Animations.
How it ended up on my friend's computer, whether it was voluntarily downloaded, we're not sure but what I am sure of is that my website is in no way affiliated with AnnSummers.com. That there are no links on my site or programming within my site that generate a window to Ann Summers to open (I should know, I built my site) & that whatever my personal feelings are towards the Ann Summers brand, Chantal Mallett the business in no way endorses or is in anyway connected with Ann Summers or any other site that may pop up, without the user requesting it, whilst browsing 18thcenturycorsets.com or chantal.co.uk. Furthermore I do not receive any advertising revenue for having my site connected to Ann Summers & have no business arrangement with this company to generate hits to their site.
I have no issues with Ann Summers & anyone who wishes to shop on their site can go right ahead, I'm not a prude. The Knickerbox undies are pretty, I imagine a fair few brides have bought bits & bobs for their hen parties & honeymoons but we also know Ann Summers sell sex toys & Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture, naturally, has no desire to promote or endorse this sort of product nor would I wish to promote children’s toys, tyres, motorbikes, white goods, yoyos, soup or any other random products!
I will assume Ann Summers has an advertising arrangement with Seekmo &/or their affiliates to generate their window to open when internet users browse corset related websites & presumably their competitor's websites, though obviously bridal corsets & Ann Summers are aimed at very different clientele. That or they are just handing money over to 3rd parties to promote their website & don't actually know in what ways that promotion is happening or how ethically correct it is.
This, if it is the case & it seems highly likely, I take a very dim view of. Seekmo & by default those that buy their services are trying to seduce my visitors away from my site & from other sites selling products Seekmo identifies, via keywords, are in competition with Ann Summers via very underhanded, unethical marketing techniques. It would be like me paying to have my site load in when people browse Vivienne Westwood's site or my competitor’s sites & I have emailed Ann Summers to register my disgust that they are involved with Seekmo & in doing so, linking their site to my own in this way.
I did request that Anne Summers contact me, they chose not to.
If it seems like I have gone on a bit, sorry, I'm irritated. Until recently I had no idea my website could be used in this way & I imagine Seekmo is just one of many similar set-ups & there may be other websites too that I inactively promote just by having a presence on the internet. But I felt, now that this has come to my attention, that I should address this issue somewhere on my site. Owning a website comes with responsibilities & having terms & conditions to cover any potential problem a visitor to your site might incur is now standard procedure. I vet who I link to & who this site endorses & yes, I'm irritated that it can be made to look like I have recommended other sites to my visitors. What if those sites contain a virus, unsuitable adult material, promote drugs etc.? The internet is a weird place, I wish it was all candyfloss & fluffy bunnies - I don't mind the presence of playboy bunnies or yes, the kind that buzz & need batteries LOL but there is a darker side to the internet too populated by hackers, spyware, identity theft, credit card fraud & the kind of video material that is way beyond X rated & I want to make sure my visitors know I am in no way connected with or drawing an income from anything that they & I might consider unethical/inappropriate. I have schoolgirls visit my site for research for heavens sake, I don't want their parents thinking I'm showing their child princess dresses with side a helping of sex industry!
On a different topic I saw 'The September Issue' on DVD the other day (I snapped it up when I saw it for sale in Sainsburys) & if you are in to fashion I think you'll like it. It's a documentary film following the putting together of the 2007 September issue of American Vogue & it's star is Anna Wintour, the suposed inspiration for Meryl Streep's character in the Devil Wears Prada. Just like Streep she is full of attitude, cutting comments & issues more than a few withering looks.
We get to be in on meetings with staff, designers & retailers & go on photo shoots with the fabulous Grace Coddington, a Brit - but of course, who is incredibly artistic, down to earth & styles the most beautiful photos. Sienna Miller, the cover star turns out the most blah of pics, even Mario Testino & Rome can't work enough magic. She is a style icon, is always in the glossies but still leaves we wondering what the fuss is all about with Sienna? Just like Cameron Diaz, I don't get what everyone see's in her. Yay to putting a Brit on the cover but next time find a Brit who will do it justice ;)
Italian Vogue though, in my opinion, is still the bench mark.
I really wanted to see this at the cinema but unless you live in a major city, no one is showing it (it is still playing in London).
I just looked this issue up on Ebay......
Ouch! Some savy sellers are doing well out of this film!