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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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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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