Work: Loving you is a blood sport

Work is a funny old thing. I went to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and graduated as a Scenic Artist for theatre, where we also studied set design and building, prop making and costume construction. Although we trained in theatre, a lot of the skills we learned were applicable to working in the TV & film industry too. I got my first paid job as a prop buyer for a kids TV show while I was still at uni (Ed & Oucho's Excellent Inventions) and the rest, they say, is history!

It took a while for the paid work to start happening, and while I was still at uni I did a lot of freebies. It definitely gave me some invaluable experience, and paid off in the long run because by the time I graduated I was signing a contract to start my first big job as Art Director for The Weakest Link. I have been self employed for the past 3 years, until last year I finally took the plunge and registered as a LTD company. I am still at the stage where I go between working as an Art Department Assistant, and an Art Director. The nature of the business is that I will take on various different job roles in between (prop buyer, prop maker, scenic artist) it all really depends on the size and budget of the production. The smaller the job, the more you end up taking on not just your own title but end up doing a bit of everything.

Things were pretty quiet over Christmas and New Year, but on Monday I start up on the second series of Channel 4's Fill Your House For Free with Kirstie Allsopp.


Here's me creeping about a local prop store called Love Salvage with Gary last week (these sort of places are open to the general public too, so if you like your vintage and antique shopping they're well worth a wander around!) Gary just came along to keep me company but he also works in the telly business as a prop maker. He is currently working on Outlander, which is the televised version of some well known books (so I'm told) It is being made by the same people that did Spartacus, and is looking great so far! Can't wait to see it on the screen.

My dress code when working is totally dependant on the job. If we are in the studio you normally wear all black, outside on location you need your wet weather gear etc. But on a day like this where I'm prop sourcing I normally just go for casual and comfy! Definitely with the shoes, they need to be when you are on your feet for 12 hours a day (the longest day I have ever worked was 18 hours. Undoubtably not legal. I did once work a 22 hour day where I ended up in the back of an ambulance in a hypo, but I don't like to talk about that too much haha)


These new comfy trainers are from Drunknmunky. They are like walking on pillows!


I always carry a tote bag when I'm out prop buying to keep my paperwork, petty cash and lists in. This one which I got for Christmas makes me laugh. I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO is pretty much the general consensus for the length of any telly job, from prep, to filming, to clear up time!


I have cleared out the kit box which I keep in the house, ready to rock and roll for monday. It has one level below this which is full of spraypaints but I didn't think that would make for a very interesting photograph. The key to most art dept kits is to expect the unexpected and have a little bit of as many different things as you can! For last minute repairs and touch ups on set. This is just my standby box, the boot of my car is crammed full of another 5 kit boxes for painting, prop making, stationary, tools and materials.


One thing I am looking forward to using on the channel 4 job is my new kit bag, again from Drunknmunky. This little over the shoulder messenger bag will be perfect for running about on set and keeping the absolute basics in. Oh, and clipping my walkie talkie onto! I'd never thought about a small bag before, and would always just run back to my box until an Art Director I worked with last year always used one.


It is small enough to carry about on set comfortably but has a decent amount of space and compartments for scissors, tapes, glue, pens etc. Drunknmunky have a sale on at the moment, and are also offering 15% to my readers until the end of Feb with the code LBOH-MUNKY. Let me know if you end up buying anything! It's mostly guys stuff on there at the moment, but a lot of it is unisex :)


I'm a bad one for not having any proper wet weather gear, but I need to change that soon as filming in the scottish weather can be horrible at times! I've got these new biker boots from Spartoo for any exterior filming we do on this job, and they're nice and padded inside which again is what I look for in work shoes because I am on my feet for so long each day.


My job can be very stressful, but I have vowed to never ever let myself get into the state I got in a few years ago off the back of a very well known comedy panel show (which will remain unamed...) The combination of stress, not eating, not sleeping made me ill enough to go to hospital. It's really hard to come home from a 14 hour day and switch off, but I'm getting better at it as the years go on. Although I love what I do, no job is worth making you physically ill. These three books keep me grounded and stay by my bed while I'm working. 'It's not how you are, it's how good you want to be' and 'Whatever you think, think the opposite' by Paul Arden. Then 'Way Of The Peaceful Warrior' by Dan Millman. Lighting my favourite incense nag champa also helps to chill me out, and I've also got a couple of candles burning by my bedside too, including the new Airwick Essential Pearls. It smells lovely (sort of orangey) and is lasting really well. I've had it burning every night this week as I've sat and worked my way through prop lists with a massive pot of tea.

Motivational books, scented candles and tea might not be the best form of stress relief for everyone but it works for me :) Despite how intense and competitive it is working in the TV and Film industry, I love what I do and wouldn't change it for the world. If you want a nosy at the sort of programmes I have worked on in the past you can check out my website - www.aydenmillar.com

What do you do for a living? and does it stress you out or do you love it? (or, both!)


(P.S If you have any questions about getting into the theatre, film or tv industry then don't hesitate to drop me an email)


I don't have money on my mind

...I do it for the love! In the words of Sam Smith and his catchy new song. I manage to make an alright living working in the tv and film industry (gonna do a wee post about that soon actually) but being a LTD company all by myself can be pretty tough during the quiet spells. I do it because I love it, but I'm sure we all fantasize what we would do if our wages increased tenfold every month! When Lottoland UK got in touch to ask me what I would do if I won the lottery it has given me a good excuse to share my fantasy wishlist with you all. Of course my priorities would be to help my family and close friends financially, buy a house, go a nice holiday and buy my car/van/bike wishlist I shared in a previous post. But then there's these random things you stumble across on the internet and cry IF ONLY! So here is my rather eclectic fantasy wishlist:


1. The entire Adventure Time collection by Black Milk. ALL OF IT.

2. Peanut Butter Maker. Because who wouldn't want to make peanut butter in the comfort of their own home?

3. Cube 3D Printer. This would be very handy for work and a lot of awkward little prop makes we get asked to do.

4. Pink Hetty Vacuum Cleaner. Because I am a clean freak and this is the prettiest hoover I have ever seen. Would also be great for my work kit!

5. Impossible Instant Lab. This prints polaroid style photos direct from scanning them off your Iphone.

6. Vivienne Westwood Chelsea Bag. I'd love a bit of Viv in my life and figure that a good, staple black handbag would be a pretty decent start.

7. Cat Cave Bed. For Dexter. I'm sure he'd rather sleep in my bed or in a cardboard box most of the time mind you.

8 and 9.


A custom designed treehouse or hobbit hole! Because the child inside me will never cease to be excited by a cosy little cubby hole like this. Imagine how amazing it would be to set up your own office in a setting like this? Also a very good space to invite the girls over for a sleepover :)

Do you ever make a virtual shopping list online of slightly more extravagent things, that you would absolutely love to buy?

Little Hell

This post is very much the opposite of a little hell, I promise you. The title is one of my favourite songs from an amazing band called City and Colour, fronted by Dallas Green of Alexisonfire fame. If you'd like an accompaniment to reading this post you can listen to the song here :) I went to see them live for the second time at the O2 Academy in Glasgow last night and they did not disappoint. Dallas has the most beautiful (and strangely sort of haunting) singing voice. My automatic reaction to hearing him singing is I WANT TO MARRY YOU (sorry John) I'm actually going to quite a few gigs this year, last night was the first and next up are Fall Out Boy, Brand New, Justin Timberlake and Katy Perry. Anyways, here is a wee monday round up of my life as of late.


If you follow me on instagram (@hellorogue) then you might have seen that I was puppysitting my auntys dog Murray last week. My Aunty works away as a Purser on a ship so the wee fella came to stay with me for a few days. Murray is a 6 month old Kai-Leo, and was absolute brilliant company to have! Although I keep myself busy while I'm off work, it was nice to have a wee companion to follow me around and after a day he was my best buddy (even more clingy than Dexter) I never realised how trustworthy and loyal dogs are until now!


One of the best things about having Murray to stay was an excuse and the motivation to go out for long walks (something I would rarely do on my own) We met up with Heather and her two pups and went for a massive walk around the south side of Glasgow and Queens Park. We stopped at the Glad Cafe so I could run in and get us a coffee, and when I came back out Heather had inherited a Corgi who's owner had jumped in for a coffee too. I shall now rename her Heather the dog wrangler haha. Murray was absolutely filthy when we got home, so I gave him a bath using the Paul Mitchell shampoo and conditioner that I used on Dexter and the pigs a couple of weeks ago. 


After a long day of walks, a bath and a blow dry we were both very tired and got an early night. I thought that cat naps were nice but dogs naps are even better!


On the friday evening Titan Props were holding a screening of The Shining in their warehouse, so me Gary and Murray went along with some other people that we work with. They had a giant projector screen set up, and some Shining related props scattered about - including their own remake of the creepy door...


I thought that my door picture was good, but I think Murrays professional photo steals the show! He was very well behaved and sat on my knee under a blanket for the whole film without making a peep, then had fun exploring the prop store and saying hello to everyone properly once the film had finished.

Come saturday afternoon I drove over to see Jenn for a catch up and she fell in love with the pup too! I was pretty sad taking him back to my Grans that evening, we'd made a strong little bond in the past few days and had lots of fun. He was no bother at all and the cats weren't fussed in the slightest by him (probably because they'd all met briefly before, and Tink is the same size while Dexter is bigger) so that was a relief because I didn't want them to be upset while their new visitor was there. Hopefully I shall be reunited with my puppy love soon :) Are you a non dog owner that's had a go of dog sitting?


Saturday night I went out to the Cathouse with a big group of about 15 friends, but wasn't drinking as I was gonna be up for snowboarding at 5am the next morning (above is me, Neil, Sean and Heather) It was quite surreal when at two separate points people came up to me that recognised me from this months issue of Front magazine. I wasn't expecting it at all!


I was home and in bed for 3am, and by 9am I was at the top of Glencoe. I think the cold must have frozen any tiredness out of me. Managed to last the whole day snowboarding without feeling that tired or grumpy.


I headed up in the van with a bunch of lovely guys that I went to school/grew up with. Queue boy talk and jokes the whole bloody day. I think I did not bad at keeping up with them though!


Me and Sam on the chairlift heading back down the mountain at 4pm. The conditions were good, lots of nice soft powder coverage but the visibility was a bit rubbish the higher up you got. This is my first time back at Glencoe or even on my board since I ended up in crutches for 2 months last year with a partially torn ligament in my knee. So I was quite nervous about heading up but I took it easy and my old wonky knee handled it fine.

I was so grateful to get home that evening, into my jammies and put the kettle on. I've been using my new Suki Teapot that Louise got me for christmas, along with lots of new loose teas in these cute little tins from Uncle Greig. Think he bought them from a tea shop up in Aberdeen.



Another tea I have been trying this week is the Bootea Detox. I'm on day 5 of 14, not sure if anyone would fancy me doing a little review of this once I'm done? I know these sort of health detoxes can be quite faddy and not quite everyone's cup of tea (excuse the pun - LOLZ!)

Hope your Monday hasn't been too blue so far ♥

Wanderlust


There's still a tiny bit of time left to get nostalgic for 2013 before it becomes socially unacceptable! Moving forward into 2014 I am glad to look back on the places I visited last year. Belfast, London, Cyprus and Iceland. I think Reykjavik in Iceland has to be one of the best places I have ever traveled to.


A mini gif of my trip made up by the Lloyds Bank 'Moments That Matter' team in the style of their tv advert. Now all we need is an emotional voice over artist narrating over it haha (I really am a sucker for those sorts of adverts, pass the hankies please) Featuring Reykjavik Harbour, The Blue Lagoon, The Golden Circle, Thingvellir National Park, Geyser, Gulfoss Waterfall, New Years Eve outside Hallgrímskirkja Church, and the best meal on our last night at Grillmarkadurinn.

I've had quite a few people email me asking for advice on visiting Reykjavik, and I'm more than happy to help so if you're thinking of going then drop me a wee email. Looking back on pictures like this has given me the travel bug again, and thinking about where I'd like to visit this year. I went inter-railing around Europe a few years ago now, so have been lucky enough to tick most of the big European cities off my list. If money was no object then this year I would love to fly out to Thailand to meet Katrina who has been living in South Korea for the past year. John is also really keen to do a big American Holiday this summer, taking in Disneyland and the other theme parks, and for years I've wanted to have a proper girly holiday to Ibiza with my best friend Jenn. There's no way on earth I be able to do all 3, but definitely want to tick off one of them. So if you have any advice on Thailand, Florida, or Ibiza then I'd greatly appreciate it :)




I'm awfully impatient, I just want to see all of the world. But all we can do is chip away at the list piece by piece. What about you, any plans to travel this year? ♥



Christmas and a brand new year.

Hello there! Don't know if its just me, but after the past couple of months flying in so quickly I feel like January is absolutely dragging in. It's a bit belated but here's a photographic run down of what I got up to in the last days of 2013.


My lovely gal Erin came up from London for Christmas and we had a much needed night out in Glasgow. Cocktails and a huge catch up followed by some dancing and weight watchers chicken curry when we got home at 4am (in reality one more takeaway over the festive period wouldn't have mattered but I was feeling drunk and sensible!)


On Christmas Eve I went to the Itison Drive In Movies at Loch Lomond shores. This photo is absolutely rubbish, and makes it look like we were miles away from the screen but it felt a lot closer in person. We arrived about half an hour early for the film at 4.30pm, but were still about 8 rows back, so next time I'd definitely go along a bit earlier to get a closer spot. I initially thought the showing I'd booked was for It's A Wonderful Life... so was a bit confused when Home Alone came on! Woops! I've not seen it in years though so it was still really good. Turns out the 8.30pm showing was It's A Wonderful life, but unfortunately it got cancelled due to the weather so I was quite glad to catch the earlier slot. We had bought coffee and munchies from the drive through Costa on the way to Loch Lomond, but when we got there Street Food Cartel were selling hot food and some other cinema-esque munchies, that were actually really reasonably priced! The sound for the movie was through the radio and you tuned into the station they had advertised at the welcome gate. The wonders of technology eh :) You're meant to keep your engine off but about halfway through the film the rain came on, so I had to put the wipers on but it didn't majorly effect our viewing. I've heard of these drive in movies being held at Valentines and Halloween too, and it was a nice change from the normal cinema (albeit a bit more expensive) and I'd definitely like to try it again.


After the movies I went down to have dinner and drinks with my good pals at The Spinnaker in Gourock. There was a table of 15 for dinner, and about 4 of us left standing at 2am when the bar called last orders. Despite how late we stayed out, I wasn't hungover for Santa coming and managed to get up at a reasonable time the next morning :)


Happy Christmas Day face! Excuse that little bit of burnt bacon, but bacon pancakes (or french toast) and maple syrup has to be my all time favourite breakfast. One of the first pressies I opened was a lovely Joules dressing gown (pictured above) and it was so comfy I actually wore it on top of my party dress for the drive between my Mums, Grans and Dads house. Just cause it's Christmas and there aren't rules when it comes to things like that on Christmas Day... right?


My mum made an amazing rib roast with all the trimmings. I really miss my Mums cooking and safe to say this was pretty epic. We had prawn cocktail to start and home made sticky toffee pudding for dessert (I was too hungry to take a photo of our starter and too tired and full to take a photo of the dessert)


The food coma started to settle in as I got home and changed into my jammies, and got Dexter changed into his unicorn horn which you can tell he loves.


My family and friends were so generous with presents, I couldn't believe how epic a swag I had gathered until I got home and unpacked it all! I know some people like/don't like present pictures, but I have been a REALLY good girl this year (promise) so here ya go. I got a lovely mix of jammies, food, underwear, smellies, books, clothes, makeup, purses, tea and other random bits. Tea and cats definitely seemed to be a reoccurring theme.


One of my favourite pressies was a ticket from John to see Disney Fantasia live in concert, performed with an orchestra as the film played in the background. IT WAS AMAZING. Here's what I wore:


Feeling a bit stuffed after all the christmas and boxing day food, I wore an old faithful Topshop dress which ties just under the bust with plenty of room for your food baby! haha. My Bonnie Bling necklace I featured a couple of posts back matched the little red love hearts on my dress quite nicely.


Tights from my friend Olivia which she bought me for Christmas. I am so happy to have cat tights in my life and I never want to take them off! (they've even got little tails on the back)


Forever Vintage bracelet from Glitzy Secrets. I know this is a totally different style from the red Bonnie Bling necklace I have on in this outfit too, and I don't own much other jewellery as sparkly as this, but I wanted to add a little bit of pretty bling to my outfit for the semi-fancy occassion :)


Finally, some ghd Straight and Tame Cream on my hair to keep it as sleek and straight as possible. I have been alternating between applying it when towel dried, or after blow drying, and I can't quite decide which method works for me best yet! It is definitely making a difference to my hair though, and as a cream doesn't leave any sticky residue on your hair. Of course, this night we made our way to the Hydro and the heavens opened so my nice straight hair didn't last for very long.


We dropped by Bread Meets Bread for burgers and poutine before the concert. There are so many meat restaurants opened in Glasgow recently and this was one we had yet to try. It was so good! We jumped on the train to the Hydro and had a lovely time at the concert. I had actually never seen Fantasia before but recognised a lot of the music from it. The orchestra were magical and it made for a really special concert with the film playing on a massive screen in the background too. Have you ever been to a concert like that?


The theme of burgers and cheesy chips continued into 2014 when I caught up with Olivia for lunch in town last week. I ate a silly amount of food and consumed a lot of drink on new years eve too, and I vowed that this would be my last (the above was at Burger Meats Bun, another meaty fave in Glasgow!)

In the last week or so I have been making a conscious effort to start eating better, it really did get a bit silly over the festive period as I'm sure a lot of you can relate to. Above is a few of my faves from this week - home made red thai curry, poached eggs on rye and linseed bread, and steak on a bed of steamed vegetables with a honey and soy glaze. John has been the best influence when he's came up to stay with me, and I think it's always easier to cook like this when you're doing it for two people rather than just one.


I did get naughty and do a big batch of baking, but it was for Luisas baby shower on sunday! I went for butterscotch cupcakes and they seemed to go down well :) She's from a big Italian family and always puts on the best spread of food. We had chilli, salad, bruschetta, olives and pitta bread. Along with Luisa's amazing oreo brownies. I deliberately kept the leftover cupcakes at Luisa's house because I knew if I took them home with me it would be too tempting not to nibble away. Luisa is due her baby boy in 4 weeks time and I'm so excited for her. Seems like not so long ago she barely had a bump and we were planning her hen do and talking about bridesmaid dresses and a baby on the horizon. It seemed like such an age away, but the time is almost here!


 Anyways, I hope when January is out the way this year will start to quicken up a bit. I'm looking forward to getting back into work, snowboarding before the season is over, moving into the new flat, and booking some potential adventures for over the summer. I had quite a tough few months towards the end of 2013, but I've brushed it off my shoulders and I feel excited and optimistic about what lies ahead. I've got good people around me and a spring in my step, so 2014, bring it on! ♥