Friday, 17 August 2012

Lana vs. Marina

This mash up of "National Anthem" by Lana Del Rey and "Bubble Gum Bitch" by Marina and the Diamonds surfaced on the internet yesterday. Although vocally quite different I have always adored both artists and thought their vocals combined would provide an  interesting result. Unfortunately I think this track is missing out on some of Lana's vocals but overall I personally think it could pass as a song made in a studio and would definitely recommend a listen for any Marina or Lana fans who are waiting in hope of a Lana and Marina collaboration.

Thursday, 16 August 2012


Between Two Books

I have been a major fan of Florence and the Machine for years now, dating back to when her career was first starting off in 2009, since then Florence has assembled a  large fan base around the world which continues to flourish. I will always refer to myself as a Flow, there are a few names given to Florence followers some prefer to call themselves Flows and others come under names such as Flombies or Flombles, similar to how Lady Gaga fans call themselves Little Monsters and Marina and the Diamonds addresses her fans as The Diamonds.

I got involved with the Florence fandom around the same time I set up a twitter account ( @Fiona_Burke ) in 2009 since then my addiction to constant tweeting has increased and it was through my twitter timeline that I first found out about the idea of a Florence Book club.

The Flows book club itself was a concept thought up by the Irish Flow Leah Moloney (@leahmoloney  ), the  Book Club itself can found under the twitter name BetweenTwoBooks which is a playful twist on the song “Between Two Lungs” featured on Florence and the Machine’s debut album “Lungs”.

The initial set up of this book club happened around a month ago, much to the excitement of her fans, Florence Welch  ( @flo_tweet ) began to tweet more often about books. In short 140 character updates fans were able to get an insight into the literature taste of Florence Welch ranging from Virginia Woolf to Jane Austen. Previously, it was well known that Florence herself is foremost a bookworm who enjoys poetry and reading in her spare time. It is quite evident the books she reads may also influence her darker lyrics. Florence has even stated in interviews that “Seven Devils” a song featured on the current album “Ceremonials” was inspired by the book "If he hollers let him go" by Chester Himes.

At the time of these tweets I was following Leah when she tweeted suggesting that there should be a Florence Book club , a place where  Florence could tell her flows what book to read and once they read it within a certain time frame they could discuss it online.

I thought this was a fantastic idea, it enabled the chance to talk to new Flows online and it would also further my knowledge of great literature.  I was already aware Floetry was established ( a place where people could submit Florence  and the Machine related art and poetry ) so  I was pretty sure other members of the Florence fandom would approve of  the Book Club idea too.

Leah established the Flows Book Club account on twitter and kept it up to date with the help of Abbie Whitehead, Jessica Fleming, Kiera Hood and Heather Hale. It was now time to try and get Florence Welch involved and notify the rest of the Machine of the actual twitter account. If Florence did not respond in anyway it would be unable to go ahead. Thus a spam of Book Club related tweets were sent to @flo_tweet until finally there was a break through.

Florence not only retweeted BetweenTwoBooks, she  tweeted them, followed them, recommended a book (Opposed Positions by Gwendoline Riley) , direct messaged Leah about the Book Club, she also posted details of BetweenTwoBooks on the Florence and the Machine Facebook page which has over 3 million likes,  she sent a twit pic of herself reading the book and during the performance at  Indianapolis , USA (which coincidently is where some of the book is set) she brought out the book on stage and informed the entire crowd about the Book Club and its twitter account @BetweenTwoBooks .

 This book club has now got recognition from Florence Welch and Florence fans all over the world. I can only imagine how happy Leah must feel about it, it is a dream come true for any Florence fan to be in her position, it has been a major success and I am so proud that she has allowed such a simple activity as reading to connect so many Florence fans all over the world.

I look forward to discussing “Opposed Positions” by Gwendoline Riley; the first book that Florence nominated, the book was released last June and can be bought on Amazon here . If anyone is interested in taking part in the Book Club, the finish date for reading is the August 31st so there is still time left to get involved.   

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Rabbit Heart

This is a painting I recently completed for my friend Brendan. If anyone else is interested in a painting you can contact me here or through my twitter, my username is Fiona_Burke . 

Wish list

Penneys has always been on my favourite retail stores and it is where I purchase most of my clothes. I recently spotted these studded heels for  €22 on the Penneys Facebook page  . I am a major fan of the new stud embellishment trend whether it is on bags, shirt collars, shoes or shorts I want them all. I will definitely be on the look out for these heels next time I am in the store.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Strangeness and Charm

Strangeness and Charm

Oasis cutout dress, $94 / Topshop cotton dress, $60 / Black boots / Casadei platform shoes / Jeffrey Campbell wedge, $190 / Steve Madden studded heels / Rebecca Minkoff clutch handbag / Animal print jewelry / Ring

The Final Decision

It was at this point that I had an epiphany; I would in fact apply to study English and Art History through arts in UCD. After everything I was going to apply to a course that did not require a portfolio, was not based on painting and could simply be applied for through CAO. UCD also participates in the HEAR scheme which meant I would be entitled to the money each year.

I still had an interview for Fine Art in NCAD (National College of Art and Design) and a portfolio submission for LYIT. I went up and down to Dublin on the one day on my own for my NCAD interview, that place had always been my dream college but for financial reasons and the difficulty of getting in, it just wasn’t going to happen. On my way to the interview I had to go through the Fine Art section of the building, I saw a guy who raised his eyebrow at me as I walking past which blatantly translated as “what are you even doing here” with that in mind I thought to myself maybe I was better off not going there. I did however spot another guy randomly walking around with a saw, he was nice enough to show me where to go without looking down on me and gave me hope that NCAD was actually as wonderful as I previously thought it was. I also left my portfolio at the LYIT (Letterkenny Institute of Technology)  on the submission  day, I live outside Letterkenny  anyway  so I didn’t see any harm in it.

So after that hectic year of decision making and changing my mind I have completed my Art foundation course, received my Diploma, met a lot of great people through it and got the chance to consider all my options. I now feel content and prepared to hopefully head off to Dublin for college.  I’d say next Monday will be an anxious time for a lot of people as well as me, the long wait to find out if they have got their CAO offer or not will finally be over. Last year I had enough points to acquire a place on the course so I’m hoping everything works out and I will be able to start off as a UCD College Student living in Dublin this September. 

Change of Mind

After those few trips to Dublin it was around Easter time and I had made a lot of changes and decisions:

1.  1.   I did not want to go to DIT; I wasn’t fond of the building and did not feel comfortable in that area on my own even in the daytime. It also had no campus accommodation or the College atmosphere that I felt while visiting DCU and after so many months on my Art Foundation Course I was certain I wanted the College Student Lifestyle.

2.  2.  Under no circumstances was I going to take a place on any Fine Art course. I adore clothes and fashion, after being introduced to a few Fine Artists and their stories throughout the year; I was not prepared to live the life of a struggling freelance artist.  I would consider teaching but I was not ready to narrow down my career options that far and I couldn’t risk it for financial reasons also most freelance artists that sell paintings work on different subject matter  to me, so it just wouldn’t work.  I did like the idea of working in a Gallery or Museum within Ireland but not many Galleries often have job vacancies.

3.    3. I felt that IADT was too far away from Dublin and it would be a major trek from Donegal if I wanted to go home at weekends. I also qualified for the HEAR scheme this year which entitled me to about  €1000 ever  year I’m on my course unfortunately, IADT is not one of the participating colleges and I wasn’t really in the position to pass up €1000 for each year I’m in college.  I did really like the atmosphere of IADT there was definitely a relaxed and arty feel to the place.

4.      4.  I also realised my art had changed, fashion became a major factor in it, I had become completely fascinated by Alexander McQueen collections.  I would make art inspired by his collections, I never actually wanted to make clothes but I would always be inspired by his creations. I didn’t want to paint traditional landscapes I wanted all my art to be dramatic and dark yet still beautiful. I used McQueen as one of the artists in my Art history essays and I began to want to write about his fashion and impact on the world. It made me realise that maybe I would be better off researching courses that would allow me to go down the route of fashion journalism or art history since during my spare time I thoroughly enjoyed researching his Savage Beauty Exhibition that was held in New York last year.

5.    5.    I was applying for Visual Communication courses and successfully passing the portfolio criteria for them. I wasn’t too sure about following that path since the majority of my photoshop pieces that worked out well were generally created by accident; I hadn’t a clue at the time what I was doing.  I came to the conclusions that going into a course were I would be surrounded with photoshop a lot of the time would probably not be a wise choice.

Portfolio Applications

My first portfolio application was for DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology) I applied for Fine Art and for the Visual Communication Course. I simply had to leave it in and then collect it again later that week. This meant a road trip to Dublin, I was lucky enough to have friends already in College in Dublin at the time so I was able to stay with them, I also got the chance to enjoy Dublin night life. The trip made me realise how much I wanted to go to the City next year. My Foundation course was based in the small town of Limavady and the night life was pretty bleak even compared to my home town let alone Dublin.

My next portfolio submission was for IADT (Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology) once again I stayed in a friends place on DCU campus and this time I got to meet a lot of their college friends and got an idea of what daily college life is like for them, I also got to explore their everyday college surroundings. It was quite expensive getting the bus in and out of Dun Laoghaire to the City Centre this made me consider whether or not I would get the chance to go out in Dublin much if I lived that far out and since there was no campus accommodation would it mean I would miss out on all the fun my friends got to experience in their first year of college?

On my way back from Dun Laoghaire to the City Centre, I had my A1 portfolio with me at the time, a fairly old woman sat beside me on the bus she started asking questions about my portfolio and what sort of subject matter I painted. I didn’t mind really mind so I was chatting away to her and ended up discussing David Hockney and Da Vinci paintings that were currently displayed in London. Turns out she actually volunteered at the National Gallery of Ireland regularly and was on her way to see a painting being retouched, she explained to me that only a certain amount of people were allowed to view it at a time and she then asked  if I had ever enquired about  Summer internships at the Gallery.  I had never considered it before but I am really fascinated by Art History and would love the experience if a place was available.

CAO College choices

Summer moving swiftly along can only mean Leaving Cert results and CAO offers are fast approaching . Thousands of 2012 Leaving  Certs will receive their results tomorrow but they will have to wait until next Monday August 20th to find out if they were fortunate enough to bag a coveted place on their chosen college course.

This year the CAO offers are very significant to me , although I did my Leaving Cert in 2011 got points that I was happy with, I decided to go ahead and follow the route of Art College. The prospect of a future career and opportunities was always going to be questionable but I was defiant and determined to follow through with my passion for art. Art had always been my ‘thing’; I was utterly obsessed with it even from a young age through primary school up until Leaving Cert. I would always enter competitions and put so much time and effort into it, without seeing it as work.

During 6th Year I built up a portfolio and was successful in my interview, once I got my results I was sure about taking a place on the Art and Design Foundation course starting in September. I wasn’t sure what specialism I wanted to base my degree on so it was a great opportunity to have the year since I got the chance to experiment with areas such as Ceramics, Textiles, Animation, 3D Design, Fine Art, Print and Visual Communications. 

A few months into my course we had to start thinking about where we wanted to go next year and what we wanted to do, that meant applying for UCAS and CAO all over again. At that point I had decided I only wanted to consider Fine Art and Visual Communications courses. I applied for courses in DIT, IADT, NCAD and LYIT all places based in Ireland. I had no intentions of going overseas to England on my own and with fees of up to £8000 I was not willing to go to Belfast or Derry either  so as a result I gave UCAS  a miss this year. My tutor did spend weeks trying to convince me to apply to Falmouth College for illustration but unfortunately the only thing I knew about Falmouth was that it “Noah and The Whale” often performed there and as much as I appreciate the band they couldn’t seal the deal for me. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Still Life

The Horrors - Endless Blue 

The Horrors - I Can See Through You 

The Horrors feat. Florence - Still Life 

Ive recently become obsessed with the English band "The Horrors", here are a few songs I like from their 2011 album "Skying". The last video is a special live performance of their song "Still Life" when they sang it with Florence at the 2012 NME Awards , a lot of people did not like this collaboration but I adore this version as much as the original... I may be a tiny bit bias though.

Summertime Sadness

Summertime Sadness

Tshirt dress, $87 / Floral print dress / Sleeveless blouse / Miss Selfridge tie front shirt / Sister Jane lace shirt, $81 / Miss Selfridge high waisted skirt / Miss Selfridge blue shorts / Topshop flat ballerina shoes, $50 / Cross body handbag / Miss Selfridge engraved jewelry

I Can See Through You

I can see through you

Miss Selfridge two tone dress / Miss Selfridge bandeau shirt / Project Social T cross top / Miss Selfridge chiffon skirt / Miss Selfridge layered tutu / Studded handbag / Miss Selfridge brown jewelry / Miss Selfridge tahitian pearl jewelry / Miss Selfridge shoes

Colours of the Wind


I have always been a major fan of any Disney Princess fashion interpretations whether it be hipster stlye,  cartoon Vouge covers or even Tim Burton stylisd pieces. I have noticed lately that there have been many Disney Princess inspired fashion designs about the internet but the set of sketches above are by far my favourite, created by Deviant Artist Sashii-Kami they look amazing, glamorous and sophisticated it is clear that a lot of thought and detail went into each individual design. My favourite designs from the collection are Merida,Cinderella, Pochantas and Maleficent. In my opinion if  it was possible to recreate them in real life many of them  would be wearable. The above images are quite small but it is well worth the look to see all the designs in this series in a much larger format at the original source here.  Link  

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

I dont really wear alot of Jewelry but I am quite fond of unusual rings. Here are a few photos of my current collection, most of these were bought in either Penneys, A Wear or Topshop.  

Strangeness and Charm

This is my own video of Florence and the Machine's performance of "Strangeness and Charm"  in The Olympia Theatre Dublin in May 2010.  It was the first time Strangeness and Charm was ever performed and heard by anyone apart from the band.  It was also a song or two after Florence sang Happy Birthday to me and I think you can tell  in the video that she was aware that I was filming it, I still cant believe how close I was to her and how lucky I was at that gig. I really hope she comes back to Ireland next year to do a concert I was so disappointed when I couldnt get tickets to her O2 gig in Dublin last March.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

White Rabbit

This week I visited my local vintage shop "White Rabbit", this store started up just over a year ago and has become a very successful business attracting many customers from all over Donegal.
I recently found out that they were offering an exchange in vintage items for store credit, I brought along a pair of heels that I only wore once and a pair of brogues which my mother bought for me in a sale but were unfortunately the wrong size so I never got the opportunity to wear them at all,  I also left in a vintage style shirt and dress from a high street store . Once I left them in, I then only had to wait until the next day to find out that they were interested in taking both pairs of shoes.
Today I went in and collected my other items and received my store credit I am now free to use it on any items  in the store, Im hoping I will find a nice vintage style dress in my size and  if anyone else is interested in the store, it can be found through their Facebook page  here.

                                                         "Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit "
                           Perfect opportunity to post this song on my blog, Ive always been very fond of it!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Go Ask Alice

I adore this photo. 

After Glow

Im a major fan of the English band Foals, my blog title "Blue Blood" is taken from one of their songs off the album “Total Life Forever”.  When I found out that they were doing a DJ set in The Twisted Pepper in Dublin I was ecstatic, the band have not performed in Ireland since November 2010 and at the time none of friends were interested in the band, unfortunately this time around was the same story and I wasnt going to force people to go see a band they werent interested in... even though a DJ set would be just more like a night out in a club since they wouldnt actually be performing their own songs but I wasn’t going to expect people to pay to travel  for a night out 4 hours away from where we live.

Ever since I saw Foals performing in the Skins secret party video Ive always wanted to see them in concert, their performances live are so different to what I expected, but I was unsure if the DJ set included all members or just the one because I was aware that the member Edwin Congreave was most known for his DJ sets  and after an incident a month ago in my local nightclub I was uncertain if all members would be attending.

 Only a few weeks it was advertised in my local nightclub that there was going to be a Snow Patrol DJ set but turns out it was only one member from the band attending the DJ set... I was not in the position to spend all that money going to Dublin if there was only going to be one member there.

Today I finally found out for sure whether or not the entire Foals band would be attending or was it just gonna be Edwin as I assumed and hoped since i was no longer attended the event.... after seeing  Edwin tweet on my timeline saying "nothing in life is certain -- apart from the strangely comforting fact that @YnnsPhilippakis will never, ever answer his phone" I decided to tweet him asking if it was certain that all the foals member would be attending the DJ set tomorrow night. I was not expecting to get a response so I was delighted when he actually replied to me!  The only other time Ive been replied to or retweeted by someone famous is Oliver Phelps who played George Weasley which to be honest will top any retweet or reply I ever get off a celebrity unless of course it is Florence Welch, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Louis Tomlinson or Zooey Deschanel who are all regular twitter users.

The fact you can find out this kind of information directly from band members or actors is one reason why I will always prefer Twitter over Facebook.

Only Revolutions

I set up this blog at the start of June and honestly Ive neglected it alot more that I thought I would, my initial plan was that I would hopefully have a job for the Summer so then I would be able to afford to go on more trips and buy clothes so I could blog about all of that but unfortunately I did not get a job this Summer and although Ive been out on different nights blogging about being at nightclubs is not exactly what I intended to put  in my blog.
On the positive side of things after being reminded about my blog today Ive been inspired to start it up again, I currently have no camera because my sister has been away at the Gaeltacht for three weeks and is in possession of it. This is quite annoying and is also another reason why I havent really been blogging because I like adding photos to my posts since alot of them consist of either my art pieces or social events but she is back this weekend so I will be able to photograph all the August antics I get up too.
I also hate adding titles to my posts so from now on I think I will just use song or album titles when its possible.

This House is a Circus

This house is a circus

This house is a circus by fionaburke 

Trying out Polyvore for the first time ever., just a collection of clothes I like from Topshop. 

Body con dress

Strapless dress
$66 -

Crop shirt

Topshop biker jacket

Studded pumps

Studded bag