Hey Reader! So you want to get to know Gypsy Dreams? Well, here’s a big chunk to get you started:
What is Gypsy Dreams?
The Gypsy Dreams blog and the Gypsy Dreams shop are run by me, Nicola Semple: a Social Media Marketing Manager by day, a blogger/creator by night. I have been blogging for a good 10 years now, off and on, under numerous pseudonyms like ‘Chills, Thrills & Spills’ (a little nod to any Squeeze fans out there) and Ma Bicyclette, which was a group blog about art, travel and creative careers. I used the name Gypsy Dreams solely for my Tumblr for a long time, I think mainly because the rest of my blogs were me projecting what I thought would work and not what I actually wanted to do. The Tumblr was the most accurate in representing my interests and obsessions at the time. So, naturally, it all built from there. I had been umming and ahhing about shaking up my Chills, Thrills & Spills blog for a while when my friend, Emma – who runs the O’CLAY Etsy shop, showed me a logo idea for Gypsy Dreams which instantly set it in stone for me.
Gypsy Dreams is, in a way, a contradiction. Gypsy – ‘a nomadic or free-spirited person’ and Dreams – ‘a series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind’. Exploration isn’t necessarily tied to the number of steps your feet have taken, but also the books you’ve read, the music you’ve loved and the films that got you through. That’s what this blog is all about – exploration in every form.
Notes on Music
This blog has followed me through both obsessions and trends over the past 10 years, but I plan to cut down on the trends in the future. I come from a musical family, so music is incredibly important to me. Notes on Music is a series of album reviews, with a difference – I only ever talk about the music I love. Music is a personal thing so if I don’t like something, it’s most likely because I can’t take or ‘get’ anything from it.
In an interview with Jian Ghomeshi, Joni Mitchell once said “if you listen to that music and you see me, you’re not getting anything out of it. If you listen to that music and you see yourself, it’ll probably make you cry and you’ll learn something about yourself, and now you’re getting something out of it.” In Notes on Music I talk about the albums that have, in a way, given something to me.
As well as Notes on Music, I do something called GD Playlist. I want music to spark a feeling, thought or idea in my mind. If it doesn’t, it is almost always because of two things: you’ve heard something better and/or you’re not in the right setting/frame of mind. Most of the time, that’s why people hold on to favourite albums and bands – because they’ll do you right, right? They’re your favourite because, in your opinion, there’s nothing better. And you rarely obsess over new music because you don’t like what’s played on the radio at work, or what the DJ plays at the bar. For many, the search ends there. But according to Album of the Year’s website, there were 786 albums released, just in January! So we could, realistically, just live off new music. I am not saying that we should, but I am saying we should be more open to the idea that new is (sometimes) good. So every month, I trawl through as much as I can bear from said new releases, and I add it to a playlist of my favourites. The 2017 playlist is available on Soundsgood, so you can listen to it on your chosen platform. You can listen to it on your journey to work, or when you’re washing the dishes and at the end of it all you can say you gave ‘new’ a chance, and who knows? You may find something you love.
* I listen to Folk, Folk Rock, Alternative Rock, Pop Punk, Indie Pop, Pop Rock, Ambient, Post-Punk, Psychedelic, Singer-Songwriter, Americana, Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Alt-Country, Dream Pop, Electronic, Neo-Psychedelia, Alternative R&B (all genres as listed on Albums of the Year).
It’s not just music that I expect to spark something inside my mind, but also films. When I heard Maximo Park’s ‘Our Velocity’, I couldn’t get over the line “I watch a film to change my feelings, strong enough to bear a burden”. If you’re the same, you’ll love our Film Club series. I’ve always had an obsessive interest in films but It all really ‘kicked in’ in 2001, when I’d had a fairly lonely summer and a rocky start to Year 8. In November, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released as a film. I’d grown up reading the books so I’m sure you can understand how this will have taken over my life at the time.
But one day, I was going on about how great the film was, when my uncle said ‘Harry Potter is rubbish, you should come and watch Lord of the Rings when it comes out’. I spent the afternoon rolling my eyes and saying to my mum that I couldn’t think of anything worse. My mum posed the logical argument that ‘if you haven’t seen it, how do you know it’ll be rubbish?’ and so I went. Lord of the Rings Blew. My. Mind. Never before had my eyes been so transfixed to a cinema screen. I laughed, smiled, gasped, cried and gripped the arm rest. Everything a really great film should do right? But that was just the beginning.
This obsession snowballed into studying Film Studies and Media Studies at college, and then as my major at Uclan. Since then I have worked in the broad world of ‘Media’ but my love always stays with film. So expect to see top 5 lists like Witches in Modern Film & TV, and individual reviews on films that have affected me, like Wish I Was Here.
My love of films has also had a knock on effect to TV. I grew up watching Charmed (1998-2006) and Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003), which may be the shows to thank for my feminist beliefs and my obsession with fantasy and magic. From there I’ve always dived in with a series I was intrigued about; from Gilmore Girls (2000-2007) to Masters of Sex (2013-2016), Boardwalk Empire (2010-2014) to Game of Thrones (2011-). I’ll always try at least 1 or 2 episodes of a new trending series, but if it just isn’t up to scratch I won’t waste my time on it (I’d take Fringe over Stranger Things any day).
With streaming, like Amazon Prime, Netflix and NowTV, you can never run out of shows to watch – and I’m always watching something! Let’s Stream is a series of review posts I’ve started, focusing on TV shows I love that are currently streaming. As shows aren’t available to stream indefinitely, this is quite a timely series, so it may be worth following us on Bloglovin so you don’t miss out on a show you may love!
So there we have it, a little bit about what I will be writing about on this here blog! If you want to know something that I haven’t mentioned here, then please do leave a comment and I’ll try my best to answer 🙂 For now, why not use the search bar to find a category you’re interested in?