20 April 2015

Bella Lulu Ink

I decided a few months back my blog was looking less than sharp and searched around for a new theme within my limited budget constraints.

Etsy is my go to for all my needs or wants, and as usual, I wasn't disappointed. The choices were so vast and the quality so high I struggled for weeks to decide on which theme suited Leotie Lovely best and even after choosing had heaps requests to be made and questions to be answered.

Chelsea, owner of Bella Lulu Ink won me over with her brilliant designs and vibrant personality. It's very rare you can feel kindness though a computer screen but this gal had a warmth that could rival a good hug and her genuine goodness was engaging.

She happily and patiently helped me customise the template I had chosen to ensure all aligned with my brand and aesthetic choices. To add to the personal touch she has awesome customer support and a slew of clear and concise tutorials for instillation and clarifications.

The whole experience left me feeling blessed and inspired to ensure my daily interactions embody as much genuine interest, investment and sincerity as Chelsea lent to me on what was essentially a business-to-business transaction which went well above and beyond the call of duty on all levels.

Should you need any bloglovin' design, you'll find BELLA LULU INK HERE or on ETSY.

10 April 2015

NEW IN: Palo Santo

Palo Santo ('Holy Wood') has only been on my radar for a few months - like a serendipitous stranger it snuck up so sweetly, I invited it to stay.

It was first pointed out to my partner and I while watching a music documentary in which T Bone Burnett was seen wafting it through the studio sessions. Curious of it's name, I asked around, but nobody knew. A few months later, while on Willie Nelson's Ranch, we were drawn into one of the buildings and low and behold there it was. With one inhalation of it's sweet scent, we were instantly converted to one of it's disciples.

Palo Santo grows on the coast of South America and has been used by the Incas and indigenous people of the Andes for centuries. It is used for energy cleansing and healing in a similar way to Sage and is often used by shamans in sacred plant spirit ceremonies such as Ayahuasca.

The smoke omitted from this natural aromatic wood enhances creativity and prepares you for meditation, it is traditionally used for relieving common colds, flu, stress, asthma, headaches, anxiety, depression, inflammation, and emotional pain. It also has the added bonus of keeping away mosquitoes!

It is sustainably wild harvested by a family that has planted over 30,000 trees back into the area over the last 10 years. The wood comes from naturally fallen tree branches which lie dead for 4-10 years before they are harvested.  

Unlike incense, Palo Santo can be re-lit numerous times and can be burnt or simmered in hot water and drank as tea, which can be great for calming the immune and nervous systems for faster recovery of illness.

Even in it's natural state it has a beautiful smell which can fill a room with wafts of wonders.

Since finding it at Willie Nelson's ranch, we looked for and eventually found a supplier so Leotie Lovely could spread the gospel that's been so good to us, which we wrapped in friendship bracelets (for barbie sized wrists), with Love, for you. http://www.leotielovely.com/product/palo-santo

2 April 2015


We brought the inside out for my sister-friend's birthday party a few weeks back and it was rather magical indeed. Complete with fairy lights, bed, projector, nature documentary, and fire pit, we were comfy and cosy the whole night through.

1 April 2015


Willie Nelson's Ranch - photo Shane Woodward

SXSW was drenched in good music, but none sparked me sweeter than those I never knew. Many of the fresh faces were lovely live but became lost in translation with over produced recorded sessions turning something soulful to something soulless.

My partner and I slept on the sidewalk each morning to make it in to hear free fine finds at KGSR's live shows, rode the coat tales of my friend Elle into Willie Nelson's Ranch, walked up and down south congress sniffing out tunes with our ear-strils, and snuck, by way of someone else's vomit, into Communion's show at Saint David's church.

We saw some spectacular old favourites, but these three thunderbirds got us good and made us grateful both live and online:


Ryley Walker – Photo by Dusdin Condren
Slinging strum skills from yesteryears dressed in the sly eyes and a mischievous smile of a cheeky child, this heartbreakingly hungover crooner charmed the room of early risers at KGSR’s morning show despite keeping speaking and singing to a minimum.
hear Ryley here

The Band Joseph - Photo by http://thebandjoseph.com/

Amongst the big wigs of Willie’s Ranch these sweet sisters stood out. Serenading with soulful stories. Satiating the senses in song.
hear Joseph here

Foreign Fields - photo http://www.foreignfields.net/

Wrapped in the wondrous acoustics of Saint David’s Church these fine fellows found new fans with their fantastical flow and healthy harmony.  
hear Foreign Fields here

29 March 2015

Poem: Foreign Fields

 foreign flickers 
frame faces from foreign fields
fetching forth foreign feelings 
foraged from foreign familiarities 

finally fearlessness floods forth
flying with foreign freedom
facing with fresh fortitude 
forgiveness forgotten

words. Holly Rose
photography. Shane Woodward
*playsuit. Novella Royale 
*clutch. Leotie Lovely 
*bracelet. Noon Day Collective  
boots. Ash Footwear
necklace. Oliver Bonas 

* The Novella Royale Playsuit is made with recycled fabrics in the USA 
* The Leotie Lovely Clutch is made using upcycled fabrics & eco components in the UK
* The Noon Day Collection Bracelet is made using upcycled artillery shells in Cambodia 

27 March 2015

Instagram And Its Irrational Fears Of Blood & Breasts

all images by Rupi Kaur
It seems whatever power-that-is who decides on the appropriateness of Instagram photos was neither bore by a woman nor breastfed in infancy.

This is one of many photo projects censored by the social media sucker which celebrates with honesty, the many wonders of life.

Recently a photographer from my hometown of Winnipeg, Canada, Heather Bays, was banned from Instagram from featuring photography of mothers feeding their children by breast. And she's not alone.

This morning I was made aware of yet another ludicrous Instagram censorship - Rupi Kaur's normalising and honest photo series depicting the menstrual cycle  - awakening the deep frustration I feel for the world on many levels.

There was a time when women (who to this day sync up if living in close community) would, during their communal week of bleeding, leave the children of age and men to take care of one another, and go off into the wilderness to celebrate - with art, music and love - the monthly ritual which sources all the human life. Rather than being ostracised negatively by self and other for their 'hormonal imbalances'.

We, as a species, have evolved from an organism which celebrates all things natural, to a species of ignorance which celebrates the unnatural selfish excess of our creations. Wealth, power, politics and censorship have blinded us from what is real, from what matters.

So much so we've forgotten where we began, forgotten what actually sustains us: the earth we walk on, the air that we breath, the community of organisms which allow our eco system (and us) to continue to exist, mother's milk (which unlike the formulas don't contain cornstarch linked to cancers) and the menstrual cycle which prepares the body for pregnancy, and therefore human existence, each and every month, since the dawn of our existence ...

We all need to take a step back, re-asses, and in the words of the mighty and wisdom-full Ice Cube: Check (ourselves) before (we) wreck ourselves.

all photos by Rupi Kaur 

25 March 2015

SXSW 2015: Heartbreaker Banquet Big Willie Styles

I was underprepared for Willie Nelson’s ranch – the little sleeping we did had been done on the cement sidewalk of the W Hotel. We were rocking a unique scent that can only be created by un-showered bodies which have shifted once too often from hot to cold - and to top it off - our unplanned outfits didn’t suit the hippie-cowboy-rocker-love-child theme.

Luckily the disheveled look that came with our warping worked as a camouflage amongst the VIPs lounging around the cosy couch filled backstage wonderland and we ended up blending in brilliantly. 

My friend Elle (who is a mutha effin’ bad ass and somehow looks fresh as a damn daisy no matter how hard she rocks it) was performing and had lead our lost souls through the woody gates leaving us in and amongst those deemed righteous by the braided locks of Willie Nelson himself. 

The festival was on the part of the Nelson's ranch which was built for the filming of “Red Headed Stranger” back in 1986 and is laid out like the set of a cowboy western town, complete with town church, saloon, jail – and for those philanthropically inclined – majestic looking rescue horses. It goes by the name of “Luck” as it was built with the intention of being burnt down as part of the grand finally of the film, but Willie changed his mind, leading it to count, by all rights, as one of Texas’ towns.

Babes in their daisy dukes and dudes in their cowboy boots roamed round with grins on their faces, and, as the playground filled, fashion, entertainment and the arts converged together seamlessly for one fine and friendly frolic.

The sun shone, the singers sang and the beer flowed like a sweet stream long into the night. The Revival Tent saw Angel Olsen, Israel Nash, Joseph, Lindi Ortega, the Deslondes, Hamilton Leithauser, Matt Sucich and a guitar pull with Jonny Burke, Langhorne Slim, Luke Bell, Hugh Masterson and Daniel Romano and Butch Walker to round out the lineup.

The Medicine Stage started it’s serenades with Horse Thief, working onward through J.P. Harris, Elle King, Clear Plastic Masks, Delta Spirit, Heartless Bastards, Leon Bridges, Nikki Lane and Riff Raff before Willie Nelson and his Kids took over to close things out like the bad ass bosses they be.

*all photos Shane Woodward & Holly Rose (first photo by joelstons)