The Face of the Doll

Brag Doll: n ~ A Scottish girl with a love of vintage, floral prints, polka-dots and funky socks. 

So I'm Fiona, the face behind The Brag Doll. I'm a 25 year old living in the wonderful capital city of Edinburgh! I'm originally from a tiny wee Highland village called Foyers and moved to Dundee in 2004 to start my life as a student of Computer Arts. After graduating in 2008 I went back to uni to do a Post Grad course in Primary Teaching. I completed my training and became a fully qualified primary teacher in July 2011.

I moved from Dundee to Edinburgh in July 2011 where I live with my wonderful partner, Stu, and our fat hairy adopted cat, Max. Stu and I met in Dundee in 2006 and have been together ever since. We moved in to my Dundee flat together in 2009 and extended our wee family by 1 hairy addition with Max in April 2010. Life is good and our wee family is wonderful.
I started Brag Doll in November 2011 after being inspired by so many other blogs floating around the web. Brag Doll doesn't focus on a particular theme, but instead is an amalgamation of many aspects of my life and how I see the world. I'm naturally a very creative person and always carry a camera with me - Brag Doll showcases some of my photographic endeavours. I've also recently found that I enjoy sewing, and combine that new talent with my increasing photoshop skills to create many of the page elements on here.

25 quick things about me 29ish not so quick things:

  • I'm quirky/weird/strange/unique. 
  • I try not to conform to the norms. 
  • I try not to take life too seriously. I like being silly. There's too much sadness and negativity in the world to add more to it. I don't get embarrassed easily and often sing and dance when it's quite often inappropriate to do so. I'm immature when I can be, but know how and when to be responsible and mature. I like to make people happy and laugh when they're down - if it involves me being silly then all the better.
  • I make up words - often by mistake.
  • I really enjoy being in charge of a classroom - it gives me an outlet for many of my quirks.
  • I'm a creative person who loves to take pictures. But I don't take criticism very well - I'm trying to work on that.
  • I'm a bit of a clean freak and have 'my own way' of doing things, but certainly not very tidy with it.
  • I LOVE organising things - the bigger and more stressful the better.
  • I'm happiest most when surrounded by good company, travelling in new or familiar lands, beside or on the sea - not in it! - and with my mind filled with a good book.
  • I'm not narcissistic, but I'm not very confident in my looks either - I'm brave and don't think I show my nerves too much. I have too much adrenaline.
  • I quite enjoy roller-coasters (not the feet dangle-y ones) - but HATE the queuing, my adrenaline and heart can't handle it. When I swim my heart races unnaturally fast - and I can't help but drink worryingly large quantities of the water - YUK!
  • I don't like arguments or confrontation - and stay quiet to avoid them if one is brewing.
  • I try to live each day to the fullest and try to take pleasure from little details that often go unnoticed. I have many goals in life and want to have many different jobs - still trying to find my dream job.
  • Family is very important to me, I've come from a very loving and strong one, and one day I hope to create my own based on the morals and teachings that I had myself.
  • I'm quick to trust, slow to forgive and have as much love for nature and the world as I do for the people closest to me.
  • I don't like fake people.
  • I find it easier to type than talk about myself. If someone asks, but isn't genuinely interested, I stop talking and turn conversations back to them - I don't talk about myself, my life or my interests to people that don't show the courtesy to be genuinely interested.
  • I enjoy being in the rain as much as I enjoy being in the sun - I just wish Scotland had more of the latter. 
  • I'm not very adventurous with my hair or clothes - but hopefully this place will help.
  • I don't like missing out on things - I'm nosey and like to know, even when it has no relevance to my life. I'm greedy for information and love snapshots of peoples lives in passing conversations, photos or suppositions - and I love filling in missing details and elaborating scenarios.
  • I got locked in a bedroom when I was very little and don't like doors being completely closed ever since - except main doors obviously.
  • I love to laugh, but sometimes a good honest cry really makes me feel rejuvenated.
  • My soul needs to travel!
  • I have real issues with shoes and my feet - love heels, can't wear them.
  • I love my silly cat more than I thought it was possible to do so. He's old and I get upset when I think about a time when he's no longer here *I'm filling up just typing it*. I love how subtly affectionate he is, and how shy he is to strangers. I love how he *chirps* and talks for no reason, and sings at the front door at night (he's very strange). I love how he plays football with scrunched up paper, and plays hide and seek in the flat. I love that he snores and sleeps with his tongue sticking out, and occasionally drools. I love that he trusts us and feels so comfortable and secure to completely fall asleep beside me (just now) but reaches out with his paws to make sure you're still there. I love it when he falls off the couch or bed when he turns over in his sleep! I talk to him like he understands me.
  • I hate inefficiencies and time wasters - especially in application forms and with computer work, when I KNOW that I could do a better job (yet can't get a job). I hate filling out application forms. I don't like washing dishes, but I'm very good at it - waste of my precious time - I miss my dishwasher. Sometimes, to help me get to sleep, I 'dream' about typing out letters to people, and my fingers know where all the keys are - I'm really quite good at touch typing. (Told you I'm weird!)
  • I'm really proud of my up bringing, my family values, my home village and the countryside in my soul. I get angry when people insult or belittle it. I used to run wild in the woods with my best friend (and my childhood cat), and create really dangerous mountain biking tracks down the really steep hills - I apparently had no fear growing up!!
  • I'm small - 5 foot 2, and get the occasional grey hair - but I'm proud of it. Oh and I need to pee, a lot! I miss 'owning' my own home - I don't like renting and having to ask permission to improve my environment. I dream of designing and building my own house - with ducks and chickens in my garden.
  • I have a good vocabulary of words, but not very good at spelling them. Oh and I seem to be very good at rambling on in words - I was called 'wordy' at school.
So there you go, that's me. A little snapshot into my life and personality. Sorry if you didn't really want to know. I hadn't actually planned on writing that at all, it just seemed to happen. I think there are way more than 29 facts in there, but anyway... onwards.

Not just a fashion blog.
So why am I creating Brag Doll and what are the main areas of content? There are three main reasons I suppose: To keep a diary of my life's adventures, to experiment with my wardrobe and become more varied in what I wear, and to become more creative again, using this as an outlet.

1. An organic format diary.
I've never been very good at keeping a diary. I've tried many times, I think I've tried for the past few years actually, but never get through the first few days. One of the reasons, I think, is because I write too much. I tend to write my day in a story, not short points of the day. I'm not very good at that, but you'll already have realised that darling readers :-P I always seem to run out of room in the day box and have to continue on another piece of paper. So this year, I'd like to document my days on here. Not everyday, just ones of significance, where things have happened that break up the normality. This way I can write as much as I want and not run out of room. It also means that all the entries are in one place and I can look back on them in later days/months/years. I'd like to become more creative with my writing, I used to be really good at it when writing essays in Higher English, but I've not needed to for years so I guess the talent has faded somewhat. Just now I'm a little ramble-y and simplistic, so I'd like that to evolve.
It also means I can put photos into each diary post - something which would be difficult to do in a paper diary. I'm anticipating that the posts will get shorter as the time I can dedicate to each post will lessen. I'm jobless at the moment so I've a lot of time to ramble on. Having photos in each post mean that each time I look at them I'll relive the feelings associated with that particular day and moment in time which will also lead to fewer words.
I just hope I can keep this up longer than I've kept a diary up in the past. I'm also keeping a smaller, simpler diary for each day - a paper one that's filled with bullet points of each days events, like a to-do list almost. It's also charting my weight each day as I try to loose a few lbs.

2. Wardrobe experiment.
This is probably the main reason behind BD. As much as this isn't purely a fashion blog, it will still contain elements of fashion in it. I, in no way, claim to follow the trends. I'm not the next big thing in fashion, and I'm certainly not a fashion student - although since reading so many blogs by people who are, my desire to become one has grown somewhat. I simply have a lot of clothes. A LOT OF CLOTHES. And it seems to be a continually growing collection. Like I said, I don't follow the trends, but I do regularly shop so I do have current items. I think I have my own style, I have my own likes and dislikes when it comes to clothes and I know what suits me, and what to avoid. But my problem is this: I've never been very adventurous.
I've got strong tastes, I like to buy clothes and I have many wardrobes full of lovely pieces - that became evident when I had to pack them all up and move them through to Edinburgh... and find room to put them all away again. But I always seem to wear the same small selection of items.
In Dundee it was evident that there were fashions, just not very inspiring ones. And I did wear a variety of outfits to work everyday, but then when I got home I changed into baggy jumper and jeans, and at the weekend I was never inspired enough to wear anything very exciting - jeans and jumper mainly. I've loads of dresses, I have a weakness for dresses, I love them! But I rarely wore them except on nights out and to work - and some of them aren't suitable attire for a classroom. But moving through to Edinburgh it became evident that my lack of adventurous style just wasn't going to cut it. People are just far more trendy here and put in so much more of an effort with their daily wardrobes.
So that's my plan. I'm aiming to wear as many pieces as I can from my overflowing closet and document them on here and on chictopia, in a hope to find which pieces I'm clearly not in love with any more and set them free. I'd love to also attempt a 'not buy anything new for a year' challenge that I've seen so often in the blogging world - but I don't think I've the strength to do that.
My aim is, once I get a job instead of spending my days bumming around the flat, is to really put an effort into everyday wear, wear more skirts even in winter (which I'm pretty proud of my progress so far), and try not to wear the same outfit multiple times. First things first.... get a job. In the mean time, it'll be reserved for weekend adventures. So watch this space.

3. Get back in touch with my creative side.
I'm naturally a very creative person. I have been since I was very young. I had a strong talent for art and graphics in Secondary school, and followed that passion into uni by doing Computer Arts. I left uni with a strong portfolio of hand created pieces, computer created pieces and animations. Yet since then, real life seriousness has become my main priority I think. I was so focused on Teaching, and not even the obvious arty side of teaching either, that I seemed to neglect and forget that I had this creative streak so strong inside me. It was only when I started BD and decided to create sewn 'buttons' for the links that I reawakened that side. And I'm determined not to let it die again. I've become more able in photoshop in the last few months than I have in the 4 years I 'used' it at uni. I've discovered that I really enjoy sewing and creating little crafty pieces. It's really therapeutic and rewarding seeing the end product too. I've also realised I miss drawing and painting - I really was very good at it, but only ever did it for my school classes and projects, never for the sake of doing it. I was never one of those people in the art galleries or on buses - I tried, but I was too aware of prying eyes and potential criticism - even though I was probably better than the majority of those around me. But I am determined to get back in touch with that too. Also, I've discovered that I actually really enjoy playing about with the layout and designing elements for this blog - so maybe I'll look into web design... and try my hand at html.... and actually... I've had a wee tweak at the coding of the photos... and voil√†, they're all the same width now. Woo! Go me! 

So that's it really. Not quite a nutshell, instead maybe a rather long, detailed, overload of information about me, my background and my reasons for creating Brag Doll. If there is anything else, please do ask. Sorry if you tuned out a long while ago - I think it is rather long for an 'about' page - might need to split it up to 3 pages instead. But it will do for just now - the good thing about a 'cyber diary', it can be constantly amended, altered and improved. This is just the foundation course :-)

Thank you for reading and please do feel free to contact me. You can either comment on my posts and I'll try my best to reply, or you can email me at

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