THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ: Episode Nine – New Faces, Old Faces, Mistaken Identities.

In the spirit of always trying to improve, this week I’m presenting a more streamlined edition of TOWI-IB. Maybe I’ll even use a spell-checker!? 

If you actually managed to wade through the relentless content of last week’s episode then you will be aware that we have a whole host of new directors here at Ironbbratz Towers.

This week, in the tradition of ladies first, we’ll be focused on finding out more about two of these new faces;  Becca Thomas and Natalia Palombo.  Next week, we’ll be spending time with the male population of new directors Marc Cairns and Dele Adeyemo (Never to be confused with Dr. Dele).

Each director has kindly agreed to answer seven short questions designed to give us some real insight into their characters and what it might mean for the development of this little tree-house of Merchant City. On that note we now only have ONE STUDIO SPACE looking for an owner. As always you can get in touch with this link.

After the interview section you’ll also find the much anticipated final instalment of Dr. Dele’s crash course in flirting for the socially backward. If there are children in the room you might want to cover their eyes.

Just before we kick off however I have to make a brief apology to some residents in the West-Wing, namely The Sherriff, The Deputy & The Shit-stirrer. Following some controversial implications made in last week’s episode concerning this merry trio, I received an email from Ashley Russell (aka The Deputy) giving a better explanation of the situation:

“Case in point as to why I shouldn’t have allowed myself to be talked onto reading this stuff. Although Alan does come across as “Special”.

How could you have gotten the Dynamic trio goss so wrong, perhaps by focusing your attention to closely on the squeaky wheel. I’m not going to run you through a bullet point presentation of corrections but needless to say you have a lot to learn if you wish to understand the true dynamic. It was me who ordained Alan as “The Sheriff of Ironbbratshire” many moons ago and act as the mediator between the two because generally it takes an alignment of the stars for them to both be present mentally and physically in the one space.

I don’t take this stuff too seriously but thought there was a misrepresentation of what actually goes on over here in the Wild west. A few more stones to be turned!”   

Will I end up in prison for re-printing this? Tune in next week to find out. On with the interviews!!

Introducing…BECCA THOMAS 

1. If you had to compare your personality to a style of dance what would you choose and why?

Oliver! I can’t answer this question…

2. If  you could offer a new Ironbbratz studio holder one piece of advice what would it be?

Do your washing up… I often forget and get told off 😦

3. What was the last memorable thing you dreamt about?

In a rather disturbing turn of events, I’ve started dreaming about Ironbbratz in the past week. Last night I was scrambling to climb up a mountain made of green bin bags with Ms Tawny Kerr, one of our delightful studio holders, rather oddly both of us were wearing plastic vampire teeth and singing…

4. Who did you hero worship when you were 15 and why?

My percussion teacher, James, he had an encyclopedic knowledge of music, was a pretty amazing drummer and, above all he was the most effortlessly cool person I have ever known.

 5. What do you personally hope to see change the most for Ironbbratz in the forthcoming 12 months?

I’m still figuring that out, our list of ambitions is pretty long but mostly I’ve been getting to grips with the day to day stuff. Behind the scenes we’re all still dreaming and we’ll keep you updated on our future plans…  

6. What do you personally hope to see stay the same for Ironbbratz in the forthcoming 12 months?

I would hate to see the Ironbbratz community disappear, I hope that we’re able to help this grow and develop over the coming months, as part of this we will of course be continuing with the events which bring everyone together, including my personal favourite – Cake Thursday, although we need some ideas for this to prevent the potential horror of “Cake Trough”!

7. As a ‘Southerner adopted by the city of Glasgow’ what makes you stay here, rather than return to London?

Glasgow is where I properly grew up and, not to sound too mushy about it, I fell in love with this city in my first year at uni. You know the saying, “the best things come in small packages”? Well, Glasgow has always seemed to me like all my favourite bits of London squished together. I’ve discovered a collection of lively cafes, a series of venues for live music and drinking in the evenings and a whole host of friends to enjoy these, and other activities with. 

Introducing…NATALIA PALOMBO

1. If you had to compare your personality to a style of dance what would you choose and why?

Something in the contemporary realm with some bangin’ auld influences, like street. Actually scrap that, I just remembered I once saw myself embodied in dance: Made Studio: Typographic Ballet. Lots of reasons for this: It’s contemporary, like I just said; it’s fusion (I’m super fused); it makes use of typography (my undergrad is graphic design = typo-geek!); Talib Kweli is narrating (I’m very enthusiastic about cross-disciplinary practice, and I LOVE Talib Kweli); and it’s produced by an organisation much like Ironbbratz, but based in Berlin. 

2. If you could offer a new Ironbbratz studio holder one piece of advice what would it be?

 —————

3. What was the last memorable thing you dreamt about?

I keep dreaming that I’m awake. This is becoming far too regular and super creepy. I dream that it’s exactly that date, that time, I have gone to sleep… but then I wake up and other things happen in between then as I’m waking up I realise I’m back in bed and that is both part of the dream and the awake world. 

 4. Who did you hero worship when you were 15 and why?

Oft, who did I not worship. Probably my friends the most, my friends were so so cool.

5. What do you personally hope to see change the most for Ironbbratz in the forthcoming 12 months?

I’d really like to realise more opportunities for Ironbbratz residents to work collaboratively.

6. What do you personally hope to see stay the same for Ironbbratz in the forthcoming 12 months?

I’d hope very much (but I know there’s no need to) that Ironbbratz remains the friendliest and most creatively diverse studios in Glasgow. I’d like Erasmus to stay well and happy. 

7. As an ‘anthropological obsessive’ you must have an amazing time working for Africa In Motion film festival – but what is the driving obsession behind your interest in directing Ironbbratz?

Actually it has something to do with that link I just directed you to in Q.1. I saw the Typographic Ballet project unfold about a year and a half ago and became really intrigued by Made Studios. I’ve always been really enthusiastic about cross-disciplinary and cross-platform collaboration – not least because I like to dip my toes in lots of waters and I’m also really unclear about my own discipline. MADE define themselves by the diverse range of creative practitioners under their roof and the professional and creative unit they’ve formed through the organisation. Around the same time I heard about Ironbbratz and felt equally excited about the idea of the Ironbbratz community. I firstly joined beautiful Telfer Gallery committee and then became a studio holder. Since I’ve joined I’ve been incredibly enthusiastic about the essence of the studios and also super aware of the potentiality of such a place!

Phew! Thanks for that gals! Boys up next week!

Now for the final instalment of Dr. Dele’s much needed flirting advice!!

Oops – also TOTALLY DON’T forget that the baby in the womb of Ironbbratz aka. The Telfer Gallery has a special opening this Friday, 20th April, to co-incide with Glasgow International. A beautiful exhibition currently being installed by Australian artist Kel Glaister. Whoop!

THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ!!!

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THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ: Episode Eight – A Tale of Two Halves

Big shout out to Marc. G. Cairns for again supplying a majority of the images right here! Check him out! Brap!

FIRST HALF

So last week I may have left you with the impression that all I do is sit at my computer and ramble on however I feel at any given time. You might be right. I’m sure anyone who read last week’s entry will have been left with the impression that THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ is almost a personal exercise in free association. In many ways this feels justified however, when we consider how Ironbbratz works as a studio complex and an organisation – it’s very much a rambling, roving tree-house of people and ideas.

Tree-house is often a word I use to describe Ironbbratz when other people ask me about it or when I’m explaining the attitude of Ironbbratz to visitors and potential studio holders.  On the subject of potential studio holders we’ve had so many potential new faces to visit this week looking at the space that we have spare. I’m not even sure if there is any more space free right now, it’s a real phase of popularity and shift in the space – but possibly you could be lucky. You can still enquire about new studios by clicking on this little link.

One of the more magical elements of this particular Tree-house is it’s Narnia like quality, just when I think I’ve discovered it all I realise there’s a whole new group of micro communities springing up all over the shop. This arises as people arrive, meet new friends and form fresh social circles based on their studio neighbours or shared interests in work. I think one of the reasons that it’s difficult to keep up with all of these mini-social scenes within the bigger picture is because of the divide between what we know as the East Side and the West Wing. This is the first reason why this entry is ‘A Tale of Two Halves’ – we’re taking a strange journey into the uncharted land of the West-Wing!

The East Side is where I reside and it’s ‘East-side’ quality is most obviously exemplified by the Barbara Windsor-esque tones of Emily Sheppard, who will greet you as you enter the East as long as her grey curtain is pulled back. BUT biggest visitor to both the East Side and the West Wind is sadly not me, but the ever featured Alan Campbell (Art). Well known to be traipsing from studio to studio like a sad little Scottish ghost. This week I took it upon myself to visit the other side – where Alan Campbell (Art) should be situated if he could sit down for long enough. I made my excursion after Alan’s leaving hours but still managed to discover a whole new world waiting for me out there!

Of course the West-Wing is the home to some extremely glamorous tenants as it is, the Pidgin Perfect coop keeps guard at the end of the West-Wing and also looks over the BROOD space. As the West-Wing faces Miller Street it’s also the ideal place to watch girls fighting on a Friday and Saturday night or crouched up weeping in the doorway of Cruise a little later on. Probably sad that Cruise is closed and they’ll have to wait an hour 12 hours before they can buy a new Barbour Jacket in a shiny silver bag. The East Side is a lot more ‘earthy’ perhaps, it faces Virginia Street and so you are much more likely to be able to observe a lot of happy gays playing around outside Delmonica’s and just last week I was lucky enough to catch a (quite elongated) glimpse of a couple of students having sex in an alley near the Soho Pizzeria bin store.

Alan’s East/West fluidity and his keenness to keep an eye on all Ironbbbratz tenants have not only been observed by me and this week, on my trip West, I was lucky enough to uncover the world of The Sherriff, The Deputy and The Shit-stirrer. I like these titles a lot as it continues the Narnia theme I pushed a little bit earlier. Unfortunately there is no sexy Aslan type character waiting to greet you – although I’m sure I’m not the first person to draw a similarity between Alan and Mr Tumnus.

‘The Sherriff’, ‘The Deputy’ and ‘The Shit-stirrer’ are three characters invented by studio member Aralene Adamson to describe her relationship between herself, Alan Campbell (Art) and studio neighbour Ashley Russell (our exotic Australia painter!). Alan takes the role of The Sherriff by watching over all other studio members to ensure they are working long, hard hours. Ashley takes the role of The Deputy watching over Alan to make sure he is watching over all other studio members to ensure they are working long, hard hours BUT also watching over Alan to make sure he is meeting his daily quota of work avoidance and television watching. (Between his busy schedule of studio interference Alan watches at least six to seven hours of television a day, he’s a bit like the Scottish Andy Warhol in that respect.)

Finally, to complete this glorious West-Wing trinity, Aralene takes the mediating role between both The Sherriff and The Deputy. As The (self-proclaimed) Shit-stirrer Aralene regularly positions herself at the point of division between The Sherriff and The Deputy (a single studio wall) allowing herself what she describes as a ‘split-screen’. Under the guise of ‘stepping-back-to-look-at-her-paintings’ Aralene is in the ideal position the tease both The Sherriff & The Deputy and, like an Siren smelling of turps, bring the two keepers of the peace to blows. Think about all the long periods of Alan-baiting I must have missed out on! And to think I thought I had it all in the East Side.

So YES, this week I caught up on all these micro-politics occurring in the West-Wing. As enjoyable as it all was, I just hope Aralene doesn’t end up becoming the Helen of Troy of the West-Wing. Despite all the teasing that occurs, we know that part of being in Ironbbratz is a commitment to keeping all of our relationships motivated by friendship and positive intent!

I’m back at the heart of my East Side ‘home’ as I write this and in keeping in true spirit with Good Friday (its Good Friday today) there has been a beautiful spread of cakes, biscuits and treat put out on the kitchen table for snacking on. The most interesting of which, that I HAVE to give a shout-out to is Tawny Kerr for her donation of AMERICAN EASTER CANDY – the delicious Malteaser-style Robin’s Eggs which were sent over by her mum Janine Kerr. Apparently if you’re friends with Tawny on Facebook then it’s likely that Janine will have already looked through your profile anyway, so I don’t feel too guilty about dropping her name in.

In other delicious treat news this week I want to give a big shout-out to another West-Winger the wonderful Hilary Louden who made the whole studio smell like beautiful warm sweet popcorn this week and totally inspired by own pop-corn buying later that evening. The mention of pop-corn has been strategically placed so that I can also tell you all about my new Ironbbratz SCREENING ROOM!

As you may already know from previous posts the Ironbbratz Kitchen/Living space is in the slow process of re-design. One of my key ambitions for the space is to introduce a more permanent screening space, so we can all snuggle up on the sofa when winter comes (probably around June/July). In anticipation of this I built a mini private screening room in my own studio this week; just to tickle everyone’s taste-buds! I have to also give a big thank you to Natalia Palombo for lending me her projector in the first place, without this lovely lady none of my time-wasting would have been possible at all! There’s going to be a lot more on Natalia Palombo later on actually – I know she’s dying for a new TOWIIB feature!

This is the point at which I introduce the other reason as to why I have chosen the title of this episode to be ‘A Tale of Two Halves’. I’ve held off mentioning this for a long time, even though I’ve known it’s been coming for over five months maybe. Please don’t hate me; I’m just trying to prove what a reliable character I can be. BUT I know the cat is definitely out of the bag already now and it’s all over Twitter and Facebook: AMANDA DOBBRATZ, QUEEN AND CO-FOUNDER OF IRONBBRATZ is finally sailing back off into the sunset of America and leaving her baby, Ironbbratz, to fend for itself. Well, not completely for itself as Ironbbratz now has FOUR BRAND NEW DIRECTORS! Woah! It’s going to be a whole new ball game and I will totally look forward to charting the changes that occur under this new rule.

But none of this really explains why this blog is ‘A Tale of Two Halves’, or not yet. Essentially what I’m proposing to do is finish this section of the text right here, right now on Friday afternoon – and come back to it tomorrow morning, after THE IRONBBRATZ HANDOVER PARTY. It’s also teamed with a closing party for Anthony Lakey’s exhibition in The Telfer Gallery, Life is Life and Kind is Kind. (Presented by the one and only Alan Campbell  (Art))

So yes, like a political commentator mixed with Nicole Ritchie, I will be using this opportunity to introduce the new directors now and then come back to them tomorrow when I’ve had a brief time to reflect on them and the qualities they will bring. I may also be re-printing some of their personal statements/biographies because some of them have a certain quality.

I will also be writing and reflecting more about the reign and departure of Amanda and her husband Will, but I wanted to do it after the tonight was over so as not to get too sad right before the actual party.

Hopefully I will also be able to print some pictures of the newly crowned Kings    & Queens of the Ironbbratz world – DELE ADEYEMO – MARC CAIRNS – NATALIA PALOMBO – BECCA THOMAS.

See you on the other side!!!

SECOND HALF

Okay, I’m not going to lie. It’s not Saturday morning, it’s actually Saturday evening. I didn’t even get into the studios until 6pm this evening and when I finally did I was amazed to find brand spanking new director MARC G. CAIRNS hard at work mopping the entrance to Ironbbratz! Additional new director MR. DELE ADEYEMO (not to be confused with Dr. Dele) was also to be found lounging in the lounge with his arms around honorary Ironbbratz member Susan Martin, alongside Telfer committee member Rachael Smith. There was no sign of the third new director BECCA M. THOMAS but I imagine she will have been out having a romantic time in the sunny Saturday evening with her very own Mr. Big. Big Craig. Great Big Craig. How exciting.

After doing some more cleaning and FEEDING ERASMUS (he’s really thriving!) they popped out to have a delicious well deserved dinner at Asia Style (mmm) and left me to work on the blog and watch a girl have a wee behind a bin (I have to stop looking out of the windows on the East Side!). From what I can remember with my brief meeting today with the two new gentlemen directors, they were up dancing in Ironbbratz until 4am, with Telfer committee member Bart Manders acted as IB resident DJ. I do vaguely remember Bart’s DJ-ing skills and can report I was definitely pleased, although I would have liked to have heard one little track from the new Nicki Minaj album. The thing I remember most from the evening was my real fetish for dancing in extreme slow motion – I just went totally wild for it!

True to her promise of last week the fourth and final new director NATALIA PALOMBO was sporting a controversial ‘nude’ effect dress, indicating that I was not the only one influenced by Nicki Minaj’s outrageousness this week!  We did finally get to really spend some more quality time together also as promised in last week’s blog, or at least hoped for! The most exciting discovery that I made from Natalia was her previous past as a child opera star – although she’s retired from the business I’m still hoping at some point to get a rendition of Ave Maria up on here! I also seem to vaguely remember having had a discussion with Natalia about the possibility of organizing an IRONBBRATZ CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME later in the year!

I’d also like to do a big shout out to Emily Sheppard who was a real East Side trooper last night when it came to dancing  I’m pretty sure she was as into dancing as I was, although she was dancing at a more regular tempo! Although, we did just find a really mental note on the top of ERASMUS’s tank – scrawled in red, like blood – telling us that ERASMUS isn’t happy. So possibly Emily is still a bit of a wild card to be watched out for. It’s difficult to resist her Southern charm.( I’m also hoping to get some clips of Emily up here soon, possibly doing a Nikki Graeme impression.)

I wish I could report more about the events of the evening but the red wine seems to have taken its toll on my memory (and possibly my motivation!) Needless to say that a great time was had by all and it was brilliant to celebrate both the closing of a wonderful exhibition (Life is Life and Kind is Kind by Anthony Lakey & presented by Alan Campbell) at the Telfer Gallery and the DIRECTORIAL HANDOVER of Ironbbratz to a new set of Directors excited about taking the whole tree-house to a new level!

I don’t know what the new directors have fully planned yet or what the future holds as things begin to progress away from the original incarnation of Ironbbratz. But I do that everyone will miss the wonderful AMANDA DOBBRATZ, Queen of Ironbbratz, as she sets sail back to America with husband Will, of Anthony Lakey fame. Amanda has basically been totally amazing at founding, holding together and caring for Ironbbratz and I’m sure everyone who knows her will know how much love we all have for her in the studios. I know that she’s looking forward to going back to America and beginning to focus more on her personal art work again but as I said to her last night, Ironbbratz has been her art work for the last few years. Whether consciously or not, she crafted together and maintained a space and an ever changing composition of people who work and hang out together every day.

It’s a really beautiful thing to be part of and has become such a big part of my life that it’s hard not to be over 100% grateful. I suppose I’m really just trying to impress on you the admiration that everyone feels for Amanda and for what she did, created and stood for. I’m not sure if I’ve ever met such a kind and patient person as Amanda and she will be sorely missed by all. However, I’m sure the new directors will continue to develop and build Ironbbratz in a way that will do justice to such a lovely legacy.

Next week I’ll hopefully have much more time to give each of the new directors a good probing – perhaps even I’ll dedicate a whole blog for that?! What I think will almost 99% defos be happening is we will be returning to our Dear Dr. Dele feature, the third piece in his FLIRTING MASTERCLASS TRIOLOGY! Sparks will fly.

But to end this edition, I wanted to dedicate a very special video and song to AMANDA DOBBRATZ & ANTHONY ‘WILL’ LAKEY two beautiful people and key figures in the Ironbbratz community. We look forward to hearing what their new futures will include an especially wish Will super good luck on his upcoming American-style MFA Course!

Mostly though we love Amanda & Will and so here’s a film for them, so that even when they’re eating Twinkies and drinking Kool-Aid they don’t ever forget that THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ!

Big snaps to Amanda & Will!! We miss you already!

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THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ: EPISODE 7 – Sunshine, something fishy, celebrations and supporting friends.

*ALL IMAGES ARE SHAMELESSY STOLEN FROM MARC G CAIRNS TUMBLR* Please do visit the original source and ‘Follow’ him – he actually made an appeal. 😦

Wow, so this is a crazy long title this week! I went for something that tried to sum up each of the main themes and it was super sporadic!

Of course the first one has to be SUNSHINE, in relation to the super surprising sunny days that have been upon us in the last week. It’s really been quite amazing that anyone has got anything done at all to be honest. It’s been too nice to stay in and some people have discovered that even if they have to be inside working, the sun’s reflection on their computer screens has made it damn near impossible.

The latter isn’t really possible for everyone to begin with, not that I’m bitter, as my studio being in the central rich heart land of Ironbbratz means that I don’t actually have a window. Or at least I don’t have a window to the outside world of Glasgow. When I wrote the previous sentence I realised straight away that actually I do have a window – only it’s more of a doorway – and instead of looking out onto the streets full of people I don’t know, it’s actually a window that constantly overlooks and interacts with the studio members at Ironbbratz.

My studio is positioned basically right in the kitchen and social space which means, if you ever visit, I will almost invariably pop up during your visit if you end up in the kitchen. Sometimes this is a mixed blessing for both parties – but a lot of the time it’s one of my favourite things about my studio. Well, apart from how little actual studio work I end up getting done some days because of this!

This week, I presume because of the sun, it’s been markedly quite quiet during the day times in the studio and so to get my social fix for the day I’ve ended up going on quite extended lunches with Pidgin Perfect and company!

I wish I could say I worked like a trooper and ignored the weather but looking back on it I think I might have gone out every single day this week for lunch!! On the first day of the sun I went to lunch with Marc Cairns, of Pidgin Perfect fame, and ended up staying out for 2 hours – looking at gentlemen and even squeezing in half a lager! Another day I went with Marc AND Becca (also of Pidgin Perfect fame) and spent £6.75 on basically a Panini eaten in a graveyard! It was all about the sun!

Never the less, we did still have some exciting efforts made in the studio by all of us – probably the most generously spirited of these achievements being that Becca Thomas and Tawny Kerr stayed in for a number of hours early in the week to finally finish the Ironbbratz communal space’s striped wall painting. It looks so beautiful with its hand-painted-with-a-brush outline style!

SO to celebrate the new look communal space we moved Erasmus, the new Ironbbratz goldfish, from the sunny window and into the slightly darker communal kitchen. Once again when I wrote that sentence I immediately became aware of how wrong it sounds and there have been a few other queries into the ethics of keeping Erasmus at the studio this week.

The beautiful Emily Sheppard told us of her childhood goldfish-trapped-in-small-tanks dilemma and did suggest that at some point, if it all becomes too much, she may still commit a mercy killing. To Erasmus, of course, whose tank size has been a worry to both Emily Sheppard and Aralene Adamson.

BUT on Thursday evening Will researched “on-the-internet” and the tank is beyond fine, so don’t worry too much, although despite this we are looking at clubbing together to get a bigger tank and get him some nice toys to play with. If you see the below image, I don’t know if it will soothe or scare you. This is Erasmus in his current living environment.

*Maybe we should do a poll about whether we currently think Erasmus is happy or sad? We want to make him happy and so I hope this text doesn’t get us in trouble with the RSPCA or anything!*

ALSO, to follow up on the water condition, Marc Cairns and I gave him and his water a proper clean just after this image was taken. It was like two teenage girls changing a fish tank – but one of them had a Scottish accent.

In other totally exciting news, Alan Campbell (Art) celebrated his First Ironbbratziversary this week and to commemorate the occasion he brought in A LOT of delicious cream cakes. Here is one of those teenage girls munching her way through a cream cake.

In related Telfer Gallery news the PDA Curtain Showroom looked very beautiful, but has already been taken down to make way for an exhibition by Antony Lakey (presented by the one and only Alan Campbell, of Alan Campbell Art fame). The exhibition opens on Monday so hopefully they’ll be in the gallery space right now on Saturday night working whilst I’m writing this.

I say hopefully because I’ve just remembered we’ve possibly forgotten to feed Erasmus today. Even worse is that we were all out on a picnic at Calderglen Conservatory and Zoo, of East Kilbride fame, where we looked at a lot of other animals in cages for the very reasonable price of £1.10.

I just had to send a Facebook message out to everyone in the hope that someone is still in Ironbbratz at 21.04 on a Saturday night. If not I’ll probably have to trek down into town and feed him. I totally appreciate the responsibility of having a fish and will totally go and feed him if I must. Even if it means walking back and forth up Sauchiehall Street on a Saturday night.

*Maybe we should do a poll about whether we currently think Erasmus is happy or sad? We want to make him happy and so I hope this text doesn’t get us in trouble with the RSPCA or anything!*

(OH THANK THE LORD Alan Campbell (Art) just got straight back to me to say he had been fed.)

So Erasmus is fed and in clean water and the pump is working and we even gave him an artificial light. We’re going to style his house up a lot more as soon as we can. That sounds a bit loose and non-committal but we really know we have to, before Emily Sheppard commits a mercy killing.

Now as previously mentioned, this week absolutely everyone has been wildly influenced by the sun in their working focus. I think. Or at least I really have and I’m actually so pleased I did because I worked so insanely hard over the last eight months that I think it’s okay for me now, for a while, to have some beautiful long lunches while the sun is out. (I’m currently too scared to check my bank account.)

I think this way of thinking has been slightly influenced by the theme of this week’s Ellie & Oliver Show >COMPRIMISES<. (Ellie & Oliver Show is a wonderful weekly radiobroadcast I make with my flatmate Ellie Harrison!)

BUT the price you pay for the experience of pleasure can often come at the cost of working hours. I’ve been in the studio working, but I’ve also been out in the town (and zoo) playing. Luckily though instead of presenting you with the next instalment of Dr. Dele (we’re saving it up for a week or two). I am able to use this episode to promote a video currently out online by THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ regulars and favourites, Pidgin Perfect. I think it’s like totally part of a competition on something? I promise I’ve watched it and Dele (not to be confused with Dr. Dele) can be my witness!

So to celebrate Pidgin Perfect and promote their cause, possibly to win something or something (them not you), do watch their beautiful and wonderful video. Which I’ve already watched and LIKED and I mean both in terms of enjoying but also clicking the like button 😉

WATCH THE VIDEO RIGHT HERE! IT’S THE NEW KONY 2012!!

I think it’s definitely a competition or something, but anyway here’s the link to the really great and beautifully narrated video. The video actually isn’t narrated by me, but it was probably for the best when we’re talking big business.

Also to support another friend I thought for some reason I should also mention that Emily Sheppard is doing an exhibition at The Telfer Gallery later in the year. Hopefully it won’t be called Mercy Killing.

AND YES! FINALLY In the very present, on Friday 6th there will be a closing party for Anthony Lakey’s exhibition Life is Life, Kind is Kind presented by Alan Campbell (Art) at The Telfer Gallery from 6 – 9pm. I think it’s going to be a really nice night with some lovely drinks.

Personally I’m looking forward to spending some time with Natalia Palombo, of Palombo’s fame, who I have spoken about here before but never feel that she gets enough show time. She’s currently a bit of a woman of mystery on The Only Way is Ironnbratz, but not at all in reality. I always want to spend time with Natalia, she’s beautiful and very cool. God, not even to mention all the others who currently aren’t getting enough show-time! I don’t want to mention names because I’d end up having to write everyone. But HELLO Olga & Annalisa 😉

I don’t want to end of that note because actually there really are lots of other names of people I would love to mention too! There are so many great people in the studios right now! I think we only maybe have one spare studio? Even that space is being used temporarily by a girl called Caroline who I think we would all agree could fill a whole episode of TOWIIB!

Oh but if anyone is looking for a studio, on a sober note, you are totally welcome to come up and view it – it’s really fun up here. Click this link to find contact details. Oh and of course to discover for yourself why THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ!!!

I’ll just post this Pidgin Perfect video one more time in case you missed it in the middle. (This is nearly 2,000 words, there’s no way you’ll have got to this point!) But watch it and like it, woo!

WATCH THE VIDEO RIGHT HERE! IT’S THE NEW KONY 2012!!

Oops, finally, finally, finally: Next week will really be quite a sad episode I think, but with also some really wild revelations and earth shattering news near the end. So we can look forward to that!

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THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ! Episode 6: Teenage hormones, grey paint & goldfish. PLUS NEW DR. DELE UPDATE!

I can’t believe, it’s like totally been a whole week since I’ve written an The Only Way Is Ironbbratz column! In that time we’ve just been going absolutely WILD in the studios and in general absolutely everyone has been getting even more work done than usual. I’m mostly putting this down to the fact that one naughty little studio member, Mr. Alan Campbell (Art) chose to stay at home all week – meaning that Alan’s hourly studio rounds to drop in on everyone and tell them the mad things he’s thinking have been erased from everyone’s schedules. That’s not to say they haven’t been missed however – I for one always miss Alan when he’s away and am very jealous of all the attention that he would rather lavish on his pet dog Hamish, rather than come and pet me instead.

Well, I write that but then while Alan was away this week I think something pretty mental must have happened to him. He came back for one day, with a shaved head and a suddenly assertive and aggressive attitude. Sadly not directed in quite the aggressive and assertive direction I would have preferred, instead Alan though it would be acceptable to come and tell me off for leaving his camera battery on all weekend when I was actually in the final throws of watching Legally Blonde for the first time ever in my life. Alan’s stab at annoyance didn’t fare well when I had to shoo him out again while I watched Reese Witherspoon graduate from Harvard Law School. As Becca Pidgin was saying to me this week, when we first got Alan he was in his toddler stage and recently he’s beginning to move towards his moody teenager phase. We’ll look forward to his growing up, but are obviously all scared of what his newly raging hormones will lead him to do. (In a brief aside about raging hormones just two nights ago I was leaning out a window at Ironbbratz only to be confronted with two teenagers actually having sex in the alley below – just one of the many pleasures of city centre studio living!)

But – What made Alan abandon his pet dog for the afternoon? What exciting and adventurous situation was taking place in the studios that afternoon? Well, finally I am proud to present the exciting news that the much talked about kitchen decoration is finally beginning to occur. On Wednesday, myself, Becca & Dele Pidgin, Olga, Anna Lisa, Kenneth and the beautiful Emily Sheppard (I LOVE HER NEW COAT) all finally got together to get all painty, first turning the communal space a light grey and subsequently beginning the kooky homemade striped pattern on the wall that faces my studio.

Personally I think we might have got more done; only we complimented the painting work with a collection of pizzas and beers. You may have noticed that Alan Campbell’s name was absent from the list of painters – but this is because mostly he was just focusing on eating the pizza and drinking the beer! Outrageous!

Even more outrageous was how little of the pizza everyone else ate, meaning that I basically had to consume at least two pizzas myself – made even worse by the fact I had eaten two pizza’s the night before AND THEN the very next day – the day it was *SUMMER* in Glasgow – I ate another pizza with Marc Pidgin, out in George Square looking at boys at lunchtime. This is what is so perfect about Ironbbratz, it’s so central that you can pop out to a delicious pizza shop and stare at boys for at least 45 minutes and still be on your hour lunch break! Although actually Marc and I took two hours out, to enjoy the weather and also mince along to the Brunswick to look at more boys in the sun – and also, much to my embarrassment get ‘spotted’ by one of the bar guys. Basically it seems we’ve temporarily abandoned cakes for pizzas!!

When we came back from our glorious lunch hour the final arrangements and installation of the PDA Curtain Showroom exhibition at The Telfer were underway and that has been running all weekend in the gallery space. Hopefully they won’t have sold absolutely everything by the time I get back to my studio on Sunday evening!!

The building has itself been a source of excitement this week as we met for hours on end to discuss the future of both Ironbbratz and The Telfer. I’ve been in at least five hours’ worth of strategy meetings this week for Ironbbratz, but it will all be worth it we hope as we unveil new and exciting news very very very very soon!! I know I keep promising it, but I promise (once more – it’s totally coming!!!) In connection to this upcoming news we also have two newly free spaces in the studios so if you’re looking right now do please feel free to get in touch! There are the only two spaces left right now, so you should totally check them out!! In other studio movements news I should say a farewell to Hannah Busby and wish her luck for the future, but give a big welcome to Andy & Bob who moved in this week and I can’t wait to see more of them!! Andy’s been decorating her studio already and Bob attended his first R&D the other day! (R&D is a reading a discussion group running every Friday at Ironbbratz – you can totally find more information on that on our website and non-studio holders are totally welcome too!!)

And how could I forget our newest member, who just arrived late Friday night, ERASMUS!!! A beautiful big black goldfish – a little more responsibility for us, but lovely to have a new friend to sit and watch over the freshly decorated communal space! Photos of him coming up soon too!!! Perhaps he’ll be next in the chair with Dr. Dele?! Right now, you can check out the second step in my flirting tuition from Dr. Dele available here now!!

I’ll try to keep you updated on how Erasmus settle’s in but I’m sure it won’t be long before he realises that THE ONLY WAY IS IRONBBRATZ!!!

(Oooh, and Natalia met Talib Kweli!)

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