Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Florals for all mankind

Imagine my surprise when these bright things popped up on my doorstep early one morning. The boy and I are currently separated by several timezones, eleven hours and a few expanses of ocean; while I had to rush back home to start a new job in Sydney, he is continuing his travels on the continent for another month...

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I always love getting flowers. It doesn't matter where, when or from whom - they always lift my mood. He wasn't always the flower-giving type. I did drop plenty of hints early on in the relationship.

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My favourite used to be lilies. He would often drop by our brilliant local florist on his way home from work and pick up a bunch of lilies wrapped in beautiful paper. It was always a welcome surprise - but we now no longer get lilies because they are so toxic to cats. I was always a bit blasé about this fact until a horrible few weeks in England where we worked around the clock trying to save 3 felines from the same family that had suffered lily poisoning. Two didn't survive and it was heartbreaking. Lilies are so toxic to cats that they can be fatally poisoned just from grooming some of the pollen out of their fur. Suffice to say beautiful lilies now exist only in my imagination, and never in my house.

What about you? What are your favourites? What colours are you most drawn to? When have you been surprised with unexpected flowers?

Right now I'm enjoying real-life flowers, flowers on my dress, and maybe even one day flowers in the hair.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Blog reader

I'm going to try and resurrect this blog. I've been really slack this year but have plenty of thrifting adventures to show and tell from my travels through Europe and New York. Recently I've been reading blogs like mad, trying to catch up with all the news, and settle back down into a kind of semi-routine now I'm back in Australia.

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Though it is almost summer here, the past two days in Melbourne have been stormy, rainy and cold. Not that I'm complaining - flying low over the Victorian countryside in the plane before touchdown, it broke my heart to see how dry the landscape was. Six months of English countryside and European forest does a lot to make one forget about the drought-ridden, struggling Oz.

One good thing about rainy weather is it gives me a chance to rediscover some of my cold weather clothes before I move up to Sydney in 6 days, and end up stuck with summer for 6 months...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dreaming colours

The last time I posted, it was in the midst of an English summer. Now it's autumn, and I am in Paris. In the interim, I have had very boring outfits, mainly because I have to wear the same thing over and over and over again! Even worse, I did actually manage to thrift some vintage (out of the way English charity stores, flea markets in Amsterdam, raiding the op shops in Norway) but having such limited space in my pack, had to post it all home straight away. So I've had very little to blog about. Heartbreaking too, having to part with newly acquired treasures.

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This skirt is secondhand ASOS (and no, we don't own a travel iron!), picked up for a song in an English charity store. I've reached the stage where I'm desperate for some colour, but also have to only obtained things which are light enough (and plain enough) to fit in with what I already have. So the tangeriney colour fits the bill - and also the mood, what with the golden light of Oxford.

I'm not sure how long I'll keep posting to this blog. It seems a bit irrelevent now that I'm traveling (and really have no new outfits to blog about). Also, my year of only buying vintage is over - although it's interesting to note how last year's habits have persisted (I'm still mainly buying second-hand). I could post photos from our travels, but that's not really the point - plus then my embarrassing re-hashing of the same outfits would become even more obvious...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Make hay while the sun shines

We had some sunny days in England. We had some wild electrical storms in Norway. And we had some humidity in Amsterdam.

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People here in the UK talk about the weather more than any other population group I know of.

I've done a bit of charity store shopping (only a few vintage treasures, but lots of H&M - op shops here are full of really new looking secondhand H&M!). I've decided that I'll only buy chain store stuff secondhand, hopefully I'll save enough pennies to actually afford some real vintage here...

Monday, June 15, 2009

I wonder if you can pick up my accent on the phone

I really didn't mean for 2 months to pass, really I didn't. It's just that life got in the way, that's really no excuse, but I have no other.

Am in London at the moment, in the past few months I've moved thrice, flown overseas, shifted time zones, jostled with locals on the tube, and taken a shining to English ale.

When we arrived in London, the air was full of tiny little floating bits of pollen, that looked a bit like snow drifts. I loved it. People who have hayfever, not so much perhaps...

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One thing I don't like about London is that there is absolutely no decent priced vintage in any of the charity shops. I went to Portobello and it was fantastic, but having so much amazing stuff in one place takes away the thrill of the find.

There is only one vintage dress in my luggage, and it's this one (I didn't want to run the risk of ruining anything else in my pack!) I'm finding it so difficult... can anyone tell me how you survive for one year with only enough clothes to fit into a pack?!

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I'll try my best to update when I can, although it is difficult when on the move. If you're reading this, thank you for staying with me! X

Friday, April 10, 2009

A whole lot of hoop-la

I can't believe it's been 3 weeks since my last post! So much has happened, I have been run off my feet. We've finally booked round-the-world tickets, and we leave on May the 3rd (eek so soon!) but not before heading up to Arnhemland, NT to do some volunteer work first...

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From the country, I've now moved back to my parents' house. Living in my childhood room is strange - it's bursting full of memories, mementoes and old childhood toys. This hoop I unearthed from languishing beneath a pile of old tennis rackets. I used to spend hours on end with this thing, trying to perfect the hula-hoop. It was fun to pull it out again, but needless to say I'm just as bad as ever!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm still here, somewhat...

Huge apologies for my extreme absence of late. The truth is I've moved to the country for a while, and have very limited internet downloads... Which means I can't spend time perusing all of your lovely blogs. It's heartbreaking, I really miss it, but I promise I will catch up soon!

In the meantime, here is the country as I know it, for now.

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I have much to tell, including tales of wonderful thrift finds, a swap with the lovely Hollie of Vegan and Vintage, an amazing 4 day music festival, and my store - but these will have to wait until I have more time! Until then, au revoir!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

All aboard!

So the aforementioned op shop in the country had the most divine collection of cute blouses, including this adorable sailor-esque '80s Country Road number. Being light, cotton and airy it's perfect for running around doing errands in, which is exactly what I was doing last week!

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We've been busy this week packing up the house, which is such a daunting experience. I hate moving house, and I've done so 5 times in the last 5 years. Dressing up in cute shirts gives me a little bit of escapism that is more than welcome when faced with such a monstrous task!

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I wore the following blouse the day after Valentine's day... I kind of wanted to wear it ON Valentine's day, but thought it would be a bit too cheesy, hehe. What do you think?

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Blouses: both from Camperdown op shop
Skirt: Witchery via op shop
Sandals: ebay
Bag: Newport op shop
Necklace: Drink me, Alice

Saturday, February 14, 2009

One buses, two trains, one car, several hearts, one week.

Oh, what a week. On Tuesday my car died spectacularly in the middle of nowhere in country Victoria. We had to be towed to the nearest town, then it took a bus, two trains and 9 hours to get home again!

My car was fixed in the country town, so we had to traipse back out there to pick it up. One good thing did come out of it, though - I found the dearest little op shop out there. It's now my favourite op shop outside of Melbourne - full of lovely old lady volunteers and packed to the rafters with amazing vintage... I got 10 things for $19 and would've gotten more if I hadn't just forked out $150 for my car!

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I picked up my Valentine's day dress from my other favourite op shop... The one where I've been volunteering the last few weeks. The pros - I've been able to find some amazing treasures I'd never have had a chance at before. Also, a volunteer discount, always welcome! The cons - while I'm there I don't get a chance to browse the store properly, and if I went outside of my volunteer hours I'd feel guilty for not volunteering then, too!

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This dress definitely falls into the 'pro' category. It was the first thing I saw when I walked in for my shift last week, and I fell in love and grabbed it and never want to let it go! It's a beautiful '50s dress from Sydney, and it's made out of 100% cotton. Which is so great, considering 95% of my vintage wardrobe is polyester or other variations on the theme.

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Loving the darling row of covered buttons (strictly decorative!) on the front...

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In other news, ebay unceremoniously cancelled one of my auctions on Friday, because apparently my note about donating part of the proceeds to charity contravened ebay's listing policies, or something. Can you believe it?! On the plus side I've been pillaging my closet and making new listings so head on over and help me get rid of my stuff!

Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Dress: Northcote op shop
Necklace: Drink me, Alice
Tights: Myer
Shoes: ebay
Bag: Newport op shop

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Just a quick post

No big post today, but just wanted to express how horrifying the bushfire situation in Victoria has been these past few days. As a consequence, I'm now donating part of the proceeds from my ebay auctions to the Red Cross for their bushfire fund.

Hope you're all safe and well.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

There's more in store

Oh, I have been so so slack with blogging lately, but I do have an excuse! Remember that store I keep harping on about? Well, in the past week I've been feverishly learning how to write HTML (so I can write ebay descriptions), taking photos, listing items... It's so labour intensive, I can't imagine how hard it must be for all those lovely lasses who do this full time!

Now I finally have a fair few things listed on ebay although I'm sure there's plenty more I could rustle up from my wardrobe, so stay tuned. In the meantime, for those of you who were interested:

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I don't have any outfit posts, even though I actually have been wearing clothes. Just been so busy I haven't thought of taking photos! I've also had some amazing thrift finds - now that I'm not working I've started volunteering at the local Brotherhood op shop. It's so fun!

I also completely blanked and didn't take photos at our cocktail party last week, even though I wore a '50s day dress and my friends were all wearing amazing vintage outfits (one had a 1920's lace blouse and another a little '60s scooter number). All I took photos of were the cupcakes I baked for it... I hope that makes up for it, at least a little?

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Vegan choc chip cupcakes

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Vegan margharita cupcakes (with lime and tequila in them - super yummy!) The brown sugar around the the edge of the cupcakes is supposed to replicate the salted rim on the margharita, probably white granulated sugar would have been better but I didn't have any... oh well!

I promise I'll make an outfit post and pass on my tags very soon!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ode to a fan.

Melbourne bloggers are probably sick of hearing this, but it is so hot. It was 44 degrees Celsius today, which an online converter tells me is 111.2 degrees Fahrenheit. It's so hot that the poor birds are falling out of trees. It's so hot that the train lines are buckling. It's so hot that it's actually incomprehensible to do anything but sit in a darkened room. Which is basically where I've been the last few days.

Today however, I had to bake some cupcakes I had foolishly promised for a soiree we are having tomorrow. To make myself feel better about turning my kitchen into a sauna I donned the best baking outfit I could think of, comprised only of natural breathable fibres, and dug out my trusty hand held fan.

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

We do have pedestal fans, but they're not very convenient for carting around with your while you're doing stuff, like baking. Blessed fan, you were only a few dollars but how I love thee.

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I also wore my fringe (or bangs) up today, which is very strange for me. I hate the way I look without a fringe, I think I look pretty stupid, but it's definitely too hot (and I'm too delirious from the oven heat) to care.

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Also here are my new favourite shoes which I thrifted the other day but haven't worn until today (on account of not having left the house, pretty much). Was so stoked when I spied these sitting on the bottom shelf at the op shop because I've been coveting this style for ages now, even had some on my watch list on ebay!

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They don't photograph well but they're lovely... and so comfy. Perfect baking shoes.

Scarf (worn as headband): thrifted from Northcote op shop
Linen blouse: 50c thrifted from Northcote op shop
Belt: vintage via my mum
Skirt: Christmas gift from my mum
Shoes: thrifted from Abbotsford op shop
Fan: Chinatown

Edited to add: apparently it actually reached 45 degrees today! Holy moly.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

'Cause your face, your pretty face, gets lost in the crowd.

So, exciting news! Remember when I posted about entering a competition, and not winning... Well I found out the other day I came runner up! It wasn't that particular outfit that they used though, they used one of my more boring outfits (in my opinion). See for yourself and decide. (hint: I'm on page 3!) Oh well, it's still $50 to spend on whatever I want on the website, I'm going to have a lot of trouble deciding.

Other than that, my week has been largely uneventful apart from seeing Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová (the actors/musicians from the film 'Once'... Such a beautiful film, if you haven't seen it, then do!) in The Swell Season Concert at the Palais. It was beyond amazing.

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Awful photo but you get the idea!

This is what I wore (recreated during the day time!):

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My cat is not so sure about being on camera!

I've also been sewing this week - the hair bow I made myself, since I've pretty much given up on ever thrifting a pretty vintage bow tie. Closer view (I pretty much fail at taking photos of the back of my head so this will have to do):

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The other thing I've done this week is spend waaaay too much on thrifted vintage clothing, especially for someone who's not currently working! I still haven't quite shifted from my "working full time, earning a regular salary" mode. I have gotten the most amazing shoes and '50s dresses though, and I'm sure some of it will end up in the store I'm setting up anyway.

I've started organising things for the store, which in the realm of 'planning for the OS trip' I find MUCH more exciting than packing up things in boxes! I'm really looking forward to seeing some of these sadly-neglected things go to lovely new homes. As soon as it starts going up I'll let you know.

Dress: Miss Shop from Myer
Bag: thrifted from Newport opshop
Shoes: ebay
Bow: made by me

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Feel like a broken dream, I'm walking through a smoke machine

As of this week, I've taken an indefinite hiatus from my full time job to focus on two things. One, planning for an overseas trip, and secondly to focus on some of my other interests.

For a long time I've been planning to spend at least a year working, travelling and doing volunteer work around the globe. I'm not sure what I'll do with only a back-pack-full of my clothes for a year, I guess I'll have to get creative and stock up when we finally settle in London. In the meantime I've been trying to wear some of the more neglected things in my wardrobe, like the outfit for tonight (I especially love the huge bow on the skirt):

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Image and video hosting by TinyPic

So the next few months will involve boring things like applying for a visa and lining up jobs and accommodation, as well as painting, sewing, baking, reading and basically enjoying the last of my time in Melbourne! I've also managed to amass a huge collection of vintage clothes that I don't wear so will set up a store sometime soon. Stay tuned!

Top: Tina Kalivas for Target - given to me by my mother ages ago and never worn
Skirt: Vintage, thrifted way back when I was in high school
Shoes: Thrifted recently from Northcote opshop

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Something old, something new...

Some of you may remember this dress:

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Well, the other day I was inspired to change the way it looked, so here it is again in all its shortened glory.

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These pictures were taken straight after I had altered it!

The theme for today is the old wedding adage - something, old/new/borrowed & blue. I've been thinking about weddings today as I saw several wedding parties in the city today, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather (one of them pulled up in the most amazing vintage black car).

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Something old... This one is easy - the dress is vintage.

Something new, I'm wearing a pair of tights I bought the other day, that I purchased from Myer for $6 but really they were sort of free because I had a gift voucher to use.

Something borrowed, Nothing in the outfit is 'borrowed' per se, but the whole get-up is inspired by an outfit I saw in Gossip Girl, when Blair is wearing a short navy sailor dress with red tights. The DVD itself is borrowed from my sister (total froth but so worth watching for the incredible clothes!) so I guess you could say it's borrowed inspiration from a borrowed DVD!

Something blue. Again, easy. Both the dress and my shoes are blue.

The dress now has shortened sleeves and a shortened hem. I think it suits the sailor theme a bit better... If sailors wore cute mini dresses and bold colours, that is!

Dress: vintage, from NZ
Bag: vintage from Newport op shop
Tights: from Myer
Shoes: 1st pair - from a little shop that was closing down in Pt Fairy, a few years back. 2nd pair - ebay
Hat: Gift from my boyfriend
Headband: Diva

Friday, January 9, 2009

Grey days

First of all I'd like to say thank you for all of your kind words on my last post. It means so much to me to know that my little project has maybe inspired others - just as I am so inspired by all of you, fellow bloggers!

Also I want to correct any misconceptions about me having some sort of super willpower. I don't. The first 5 or so months of 2008 were really hard for me. I virtually had to ban myself from going into any shops that sold new stuff. I begged and persuaded my poor boy to buy me clothes for my birthday, anniversary, and so on (something which he's usually not comfortable with). However, like any habit, the compulsion to buy new eased towards the middle of year and became almost easy by the end.

They say that in order to break one addiction you must replace it with another - and that was true for me. I merely replaced my addiction to buying new stuff with an addiction to buying non-new stuff.

If you want to recognise true willpower, many of you fellow bloggers pretty much do what I did all the time, barely ever buying new things, without even having to set yourselves a year-long ban. I find that very inspiring!

To answer some questions - no, I didn't cheat; but yes - I was allowed to buy new underwear! Everyone has personal lines they won't cross, and for me the idea of buying secondhand undies is just... no.

So thank you for sticking with me thus far. For now I'm just going to take Skye's advice and just go with the flow, trying to take my newfound attitude with me.

Now I'll leave you with an outfit I styled to enter in a competition. I didn't win the competition but that means I'm now able to share with all of you lovely things. Happy Saturday!

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Grey jacket: vintage from CBD opshop - $5 in the lunchtime sale, yay!
Dress: One Teaspoon from '07
Tights: Sportsgirl '07
Shoes: Betts '07
Scarf and Bag: vintage from op shop in Dunedin, NZ
Brooch: vintage, can't remember where from!
Necklace: Drink Me Alice '07

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year

2008 passed for me with just a kiss under the stars. It was a very quiet evening camping in the bush with little to signify what a glorious, tedious and monumental year it had been.

2008 was the first time I'd ever fulfilled a new years resolution! Now that it has passed, I'm a bit sad, and also scared. It was such an achievement for me, not buying anything new, that I'm worried about reverting to my old spend-thrift ways.

Today was the first test - I headed into the city intending to buy a 2009 diary, and hoped I wouldn't be led into too much temptation. In retrospect, it was probably significant that the outfit I wore was almost (bar the necklace) 100% thrifted.

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This picture is mainly to gratuitously show off my new yet-to-be-christened easel, my Christmas present from the boy.

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Weird close up but hopefully shows the detail of the shirt.

It was a weird feeling, walking through shops and knowing that I was actually able to buy whatever I wanted. It was a feeling of gluttony, like when you've eaten healthily for months and months and are about to gorge on a feast of junk food.

In the end I bought the diary, some underwear and tights, and just one dress. It's a beautiful dress, locally made and not from a sweatshop. It was also heavily discounted so I don't feel bad at all about buying it. I consider it my little gift to myself for surviving the year.

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It looks much more flattering on!

Now, though, I'm hopefully going to maintain the shift in perspective that last year gave me. Not buying anything new helped me to rediscover how much I love thrifting; it helped me to break out of the cycle of earning and spending my money; it allowed me to think more deeply and thoughtfully about the environment and the world we live in. So I'm going to try and carry on not buying anything new unless it's absolutely necessary. I'm going to try and think about every purchase and not impulse buy. I'm going to try and plan and budget for each new item and have it be something to celebrate, not feel guilty about.

I've been trying to think of ideas for how to stick to this plan. Do I donate a certain percentage of the price of new items to charity? Do I impose a limit on how much I can spend or how many items I can buy? Do I make a rule that each time I buy a new item, an old item has to go? I'm still trying to decide... but for now it's just my conscience that will dictate it, and I hope it has the mettle to follow through.

Happy new year everyone!

T-shirt: vintage via my mum
Skirt: H&M thrifted from an op shop (I don't think we even have H&M here in Aus?)
Belt: Northcote op shop
Shoes: op shop in Dunedin, NZ
Bag: Camberwell market
Necklace: Drink me, Alice 2007