Borders girl living life in the capital

Music I love that I hadn't heard of this time last year.

I have heard so much new music within the last year that I would probably consider to be some of my favourite music of all time now so I thought I would share it with you (even though I feel a little bit like I am telling you secrets that I really should keep to myself!)

The first is (Anna) Leddra Chapman. I first heard her debut single 'Story' last December when my mum downloaded it after hearing in on BBC Radio 2.
I straight away loved it and kind of played this song to death (which I tend to do with songs I like! A bit silly really!). On the pretence of this song I downloaded her whole album which at the time you couldn't seem to buy so I don't yet have a hard copy of this CD, but my downloaded version is certainly well played. I think that every song on Leddra Chapman's album is as good as the other. There are a couple of tracks that stick out to me but in general I love them all. This album is now probably one of my top 10 (maybe even top 5) albums of all time and this song 'Story' is definitely one of my all time favourite songs now! I am just waiting for her to come to Scotland so I can see her live!

The next one is Diane Birch. I first heard of her through itunes when her song 'Rewind' was the free single of the week. I don't think I have ever listened to the free single and then gone on to buy more by that person before I did with Diane Birch. After listening to 'Rewind' I spotify-ed her album and straight away fell in love with her voice. I would say that my favourite style of music is solo female vocalists (KT Tunstall, Alanis Morissette, Kirsty MacColl, Norah Jones, Eva Cassidy, Paloma Faith, Natalie Merchant, Karine Polwart - all favourites of mine) and so Diane Birch fitted right in. I went straight away, as in within minutes of hearing her, and downloaded her whole album. Another one that I love all the tracks and could listen to the album over and over and she is another one, like Leddra Chapman, that I would love love love to see live!

The video below is a performance of her song 'Valentino' (which is now my No. 1 played song on my iPod!) on Later with Jools Holland.

The last one (for today) is a band called Lady Antebellum who I found through spotify. Their album was being advertised on the homepage of spotify where is shows what's new! So again, I had a wee listen and then decided to download the full album. My sister had heard them on the radio and wanted the album as well so she paid half, which was a bit of an incentive to buy it! But it is very good. Another band that fit right into a wee slot in my music taste. They are a country band and I do love a bit of country music.
I also seem to like a lot of music that has a male and a female vocalist and the two lead vocalists' voices go so well together. I have a few tracks on the album that I would say are above the others however this one is the first one I heard and is probably my favourite.


I hope you liked them! Now that I think about it actually have A LOT more music that I have heard over the past year that I'd love to share with you (Scott Matthews, The Dull Fudds) as well as bands that I had heard of but only really got into this year (mainly The Dave Matthews Band and Alanis Morissette!
Maybe I'll make another post for them.

Fashion Styling

One of the modules that we had at uni last year was 'Fashion Styling'. The brief for this module was to create our own photoshoot to hypothetically feature in a high end fashion magazine and the prospect of this had everyone very excited. We had to come up with a theme for our photoshoot that suited our chosen magazine, style a different outfit for at least six photographs and find a model and location. We were also in charge of the hair and make-up and the actual photography (making sure everything was styled to suit the chosen magazine), although I think a lot of people had input from friends in those areas.

I took inspiration from the Eva Cassidy song 'Autumn Leaves' and my theme was called "But I miss you most of all, when autumn leaves start to fall" which are lyrics from the song. The magazine I chose for inspiration was called The BlowUp, I used my friend Rachel as a model and Smailholm Tower for my location. The styling was all black and my final photos were meant to tell a story of missing someone and spending all the time waiting on them to return or mourning the loss of them. I think that the poses Rachel was in and the order that I put the six photos in successfully conveys this theme. However because I chose to style my photos using all black clothing, it doesn't come across as very obvious that I have six different outfits and I think this was probably my main downfall.

I really enjoyed this module and I think styling would be something that I would love to do after graduating and I hope I can do more of this type of thing in the future.
Here are my final photos that I got a grade B for, I hope you like them.

Smailholm Fete

Recently I volunteered to have a stall at the annual summer fete in the village where I live, Smailholm. Since being at last years fete I decided that I could have a stall this year selling handmade cards and a few other bits and pieces. However as the fete approached I had almost decided that I wouldn't have much time to make any cards when I agreed to take a stall!?! The fete committee e-mail's kept saying that they still needed more stalls and so I decided that if I said I would take one then it would force me to make some cards and hopefully make some money too. This meant that my efforts were quite last minute as it turned out that I was pretty busy with other commitments for a couple of weeks before the fete. However I after a few late nights(2.30am!), and some much appreciated help from my sisters and Malik (my boyfriend) I had enough stuff to fill my table top.
This is my stall! :)
I decided to sell handmade cards as well as little wooden hearts on a ribbon that I had painted, decorated then varnished. I had a few other little items as well such as stones I had painted and varnished to make paperweights, heart shaped magnets and large slates that I had decorated with quotes and one that I had made into a sort of welcome sign. I was selling cards and the wooden hearts for £2 each with the other items varying between £1 and £3.50.
I never imagined that I would have had so much success at the fete. Sales were slow to start with and at first the only people that were buying anything were Malik's parents and family, and some friends in the village, who I couldn't help thinking were buying things because they felt they had to. I had paid £10 to have the stall and then I think I had spent about £40 in craft shops buying blank cards and more bits and bobs, buttons, ribbon etc. (May I add it is very easy to spend a lot of money in these shops and I don't think it would be hard at all to blow thousands in craft shops!!) By half way through the day I was thinking that I might just cover my costs but however by the end of the day when I counted up my earnings it came to about £86 which I was ecstatic about....I was so pleased that my hard work and late nights had paid off.
I wasn't just the money that I made that made me happy about the success of my stall. During the day I had a few people ask me if I do regular craft fairs (which I don't) and a couple of people asked if I would be interested in taking a stall at some other fairs nearer Christmas which is great. It is amazing to hear people saying that they like your creations, especially if they like them enough to buy them. There was a woman at another stall selling jewellery (Earthbeads) who asked for my contact details because she said her kids would be interested in the little wooden hearts at Christmas as presents for their grandparents. I am hoping that I can continue to make cards, paint hearts and come up with some more creations in my spare time and then I will hopefully attend some craft fairs nearer Christmas. I most certainly like the idea of this becoming an on-going side project.

It's not a very good photo but this was one of my favourite cards, I made the hedgehog from a small slate I found that had a wee pointy bit like a nose and then painted the spikes on the card and used a stamp for the grass. I was reluctant to sell it at first however the couple that bought it said it they were going to send it to a friend that had a B&B called 'Hedgehog Hill' so at least it was going to a good home!! :)
 Please let me know if you know of any craft fairs around the Borders of Edinburgh area!

KT Tunstall is 'Still a Weirdo'...

She's back! KT Tunstall is back with her 3rd studio album 'Tiger Suit' and the first single to be released is called 'Still a Weirdo' and more I hear it the more I love it!

I have been a huge fan of KT Tunstall ever since my dad gave us her first album for Christmas when she was virtually unheard of. She just seems to be the artsit that kind sums up my music taste. My dad plays in a band that are based in and around Edinburgh (
The Douglas Kay Band) and so he is part of a small circuit of other bands and musicians, a couple of which featured on KT's first album. This regularly comes up as my 'claim to fame' that my dad is friends with some of KT Tunstall's friends. This did then lead to me meeting her backstage at one of her Edinburgh gigs. She even signed a homework note that my dad wrote out as a joke (due to the fact that meeting her was delaying my late night homework session! Not that I was too bothered...KT or George Orwell?? Hmmm!) saying 'I'm sorry Fiona couln't do her homework lastnight, she was out partying with me'......signed by KT Tunstall! Pretty impressive... I think so! Not so impressive when the teacher didn't even know who KT Tunstall was!

I have never been so excited for a CD being released but I am counting down to the 27th for 'Tiger Suit'. I was going to pre-order it but I have decided I will prefer the thrill of going out and buying the CD, esspecially the day it hits the shelves. I will also be purchasing tickets for the tour any day now to see KT at the Glasgow Barrowlands on Sat the 23rd October!

This video is a preview of a song from the new album called 'Push That Knot Away'...which I absolutely love! I have only heard three of the tracks from the album and I can't wait to hear the rest. Have a listen to this, very different to KT's previous stuff but equally as good if not better! Very electro!

She is amazing!


Hi, I am Fiona Hunter and I am currently, as of monday, a 3rd year fashion student studying 'Textile and Fashion Design Managment'. I live at home in a small village in the Scottish Borders.

I don't think I'm very good at the whole writing thing but I seem to have a lot of issues to discuss and pictures/videos to post etc so I thought here would be the place to do it. To be honest I kind of thought that setting up a blog and twitter account may be beneficial to me in the future. I have very slight intentions of setting up an online business when I gradute from uni in 2 years time and so I thought if I could sneak my way in to this big scary, but wonderful, world of blogging/tweeting then I might be able to make some connections. Whether this will work in my favour, and whether anyone will want to read what I have to say is yet to be decided.

This will mainly be a fashion blog...I think!?...however within the fashion world my main interest at the moment is with childrenswear, and I am thinking this is the path I will most probably go down in terms of a career. I shall also blog about other interests in my life which are most likely to be my passion for music and the other general interests of a 20 year old country girl.
© Country Girl - City Life

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