Monday, March 31, 2008

Colouring In

On Friday I went in to Rob at Dynamic for my first colouring session on the Koi tattoo. After a marathon five hours session, this is how far we got. All the black is now done and the colour on one flower, so there is still a fair bit to go. I have another session in a month and hopefully should be able to have the work finished then. The black shading wasn't as painful as the outline, but the flower was a bi*ch!
If you're in Melbourne and looking for an excellent tattooist, Rob has a real talent for traditional Japanese style work. He is also an entertaining conversationalist, keeping my mind off the process by discussing the merits of various Dr. Who episodes.
So for the next few days at least, my fashion options are somewhat limited, as I handle this with care.

Daily Outfit

Nothing special today, just the usual dropping baby one at kinder and doing chores at home.
The temperature has dropped and the rain has started, and thankfully this outfit is surprisingly snug. I am a little limited in my fashion choices today as I am nursing my tattoo again after a long colouring session on Friday. (More pics to follow later tonight)
So I needed to pick something soft and stretchy, hence the yoga pants. Man I love these babies, the go so well with so many things and I love the flared cut of the leg. I wish I could get some more creative pictures for you all, but until my resident photographer improves a little, I'll have to stick to the remote control.

Todays Outfit
  • Black rouched zip up top - PTO
  • Goth skirt - Rapunzels closet
  • Retro print cami - Antz Pants
  • Black yoga pants - Miss Shop
  • Black flat shoes - Pura Lopez
  • Silver skull earrings ( I know skulls are SO last year, but I still love them)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Inside My Brain or How I Came To Be Me

This is not a post on fashion or style, ( although it could have started my fascination with accessories ) neither is it a post expressing my religious views. This is just a little insight into my head.
When I was very young, I was read this book often. It was my favorite and I used to read it aloud by memory even before I could really read. And why did I love it so? Because I though Jesus was an Astronaut! I loved his helmet. Maybe this is why I love hats so much.

Illustrations from, "If Jesus Came to My House" - 1955

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Swanky Panky

As the first of many weekly features on this blog, I introduce to you...........

Swanky Panky!

My weekly pick of all things stylish and sweet for consumption at your lesuire.

When it comes to accessories, I think I have something of an addiction. (Perhaps we have a whole other version of A.A on the cards here.) Be it hats or gloves, shoes or belts, bags or baubles, I've always loved the way accessories can take a fairly simple outfit and give you a whole new personality for a day. They are cheaper than therapy and are sure to make others happy too as you spread a little whimsy to the world.

This week I came across the work of Maartje aka Tizz, from Holland. If you are looking for a little sweet something to perk up your day, get on over to Tizzalicious. You'll find all sorts of cheerful little numbers for either your little girl, or the little girl in you. And as a bonus to all her hand made goodness, all worldwide shipping is only $5; no matter how large your order.

It seems that Posh and Becks (or at least their family stylist) have also found the chic and simple work of Made Her Think.
I love the way these cuffs look all tough and spiky, yet paradoxically have a soft and squishy quality to them. I think these are a winner for me as I am quite fond of the old school punk spiked cuffs and collars, but with two small children around, they aren't so kid friendly. These however, look perfect. And for a new twist on another old Goth favorite, I think I'd better get one of these lolly-like skull rings for good measure.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Vintage Style

Here's me and my beautiful girl number one. Getting ready to head out to the big Easter weekend wedding. I finally finished the vintage dress and I'm pretty happy with it. It did work out a little big so there are some alterations to be made.

I seem to find a big problem with the measurements and sizes listed on patterns to the size I actually am. According to the measurements and size table on the pattern, I am a size 16 - but knowing better I made a size 12 hoping that this would be okay. I really should have made it in a 10 and then it would have been a perfect fit. This one was a vintage Butterick pattern but I have then same problem with all the brands I have tried. Does anyone know how pattern companies size their paper patterns? I am getting really frustrated with this huge discrepancy between the instructions and the reality.

Easter Extravaganzer

Sorry for the unexplained absence all. The lack of internet availability at my Easter accommodation took me somewhat by surprise. But I was even more taken aback by the accommodation and the hosts themselves. *For those of you not interested in non style related gripes; look away now*
After a long car trip to Warnambool, a sea side town in Victoria, we finally arrived at what was to be the accommodation for my brood and our extended family. Abaco House in Warnambool. We met the host there, were given our keys and a quick tour of the house, with the parting words, "Anything you need, don't hesitate to call. I'm only up the road." Now, our first impressions weren't great as after paying $1000 up front for a few days, we walked into a house that smelt of old toilets and had these stunning features.

Now, I am fairly sensitive to the aesthetics of my environment, so I wasn't feeling overwhelmed with joy at this point. Later that evening when putting the babies to bed, I discovered that all the beds had only a fitted sheet and a thin doona (quilt - for those of you not from Australia) ; no top sheets, no blankets, and the temperature was dropping. As I went to bath the baby, I then discovered that only one towel per person was provided and nothing for the baby. Which would have been bearable had the towels not been around since 1981 and had the pile to prove it. So after a bit of a hunt for spare linen, (As Linen Provided, had been part of the accommodation promise) I gave up and SMSed the host for those items.

The following morning I receive a phone call from the host's wife. "We got your message. what do you want those for?" she said very accusingly. And so I explained that perhaps their had been an oversight with the sheets for the beds. "No! You only get a bottom sheet and a doona, that's how I sleep." was the terse response. hmmm, not too welcoming there. So I then proceeded to ask for two extra towels, for the baby and myself. "No, you get one towel each and that's it! If you want more, you can wash and dry them yourself." So somewhat confused, I explained that I needed more than one towels at the same time as I like to dry my hair when getting out of the shower too. "Well, I don't use two towels, so that's all we provide!" Now, being Good Friday, all the stores are shut. So I offer to buy more when the shops open but request that I at least need to get another now to cover us. Then a big explanation about the cost of laundry ensues and how they couldn't possibly give me more towels without an extra laundry charge. So of course my response is, " Oh please, washing a couple of towels is not going to kill you!"
Which is met by a short response that her husband will be down soon with more. *If you are bored with this rant, skip to my next post now as I still have more venting to do. *

After then discovering that the beds in the spare room are not made up at all for the further guests we are expecting, I ring back to request the extra bedding. This time Husband answers and decides to spell out the same, One towel per person for the duration of your holiday, policy. Oh, and note that our stay was for five nights. Upon asking him to please bring the extra linen I am told that we are " Lucky we even left that room unlocked for you, (we rented the WHOLE house) as we usually lock it so people don't sleep in beds they haven't paid for. But we left it unlocked for you because we THOUGHT you were a NORMAL family!" Huh?? He then goes on to give me examples of how when staying anywhere in this town you will not be given more than ONE towel, (subsequently proven untrue) and how he had even stayed in Sydney once for TWO whole weeks and didn't even get more than one towel there! Oh dear...

Upon arriving at the house with the towels and spare bed sheets, (no top sheets for the others) the Wife met my Mother at the door and refused to even shake her hand. She was given the two towels - the size of bath mats and at least 15 years old no less - and told that they only give people crappy towels or they will steal them! Here we go. All this is happening while I am frantically getting dressed behind the door, so I can come and join the 'discussion'. My Mum then quite politely and calmly tells them that the reception has been anything but hospitable and we are disappointed. This is in turn met with loud accusations of people who wreck the house and steal towels, and more of the " I went to Sydney for two weeks and only got one towel" story. After Mum says that she thinks that this is a bit mean spirited she is told, " You get what you pay for. No more and no less!" After I join the discussion to point out that we are going in circles and clearly we have all had VERY different accommodation experiences, they leave with, " Well you're not happy and we're REALLY not happy. So we'll see you 10 o'clock Tuesday and you'd better be out!"
All I can say is, WHAT THE???

I am sure this is the longest rant you have ever read about towels, ( and this is the abridged version - he even wanted to argue with me about my age as he didn't believe I was as old as I am, which was neither here nor there). do you think this is weird too, or perhaps you think I really am the guest from hell with all my hair that needs to be dried. :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Anyone Fancy a Bonnet?

As I get ready for the big Easter weekend away, I start to wax lyrical to the girls about my perfect Easter Bonnet. So, as all of the most stylish and hip people do, I headed on down to Etsy for some shopping goodness. And Oh MY! I stumbled upon the most perfect and fabulous hats I think I have ever seen.

The Costumier and Milliner extraordinare, Kim Brown-Dye of Topsy Turvy Design on Etsy brings us this sumptuous visual feast to whet your appetite for an Easter chapeau. Based in Oakland, California; Kim handcrafts costume accessories and stunning millinery for stage, film, play or just for your personal pleasure. And there is none of that 'of the rack' stuff here. Kim creates everything made to measure just like they did in the olden-days. So if you have a hat-hankering or you fancy yourself a little extra bedroom action, skip on over to her official site and be prepared for your heart to race.

P.S (I may be a little too late here in Australia to organise anything for myself this Easter, but come Spring Racing Carnival here in Melbourne, I'll be a head above the sea of wobbly, DIY fascinators! Thanks Kim, I'll be in touch!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Daily Outfit

I am not sure whether I was channeling Pirates or Patriots today. The top (although they sold it as a dress) I picked up in China Town in Sydney. The Palazzo pants I made from what has now become my favorite pants pattern, and the shoes are the customized ballet flats from a previous post. Looking much more like my Sweeney Todd inspiration here.
Today was just off to swimming lessons with the girls again, and a little sewing on the side. I finally finished the 1962 vintage style dress for the wedding this weekend. As soon as I have a shot of me all dolled up in this number, I'll post some pics too. The dress form doesn't really do it justice.It was somewhat more difficult than I was expecting, which I guess is due to dresses of this era being much more precisely tailored than todays average dress. I am just comparing this dress to patterns I have previously made marked ' easy'. I've got to admit that I am just so proud that I managed to make my most complex piece yet without once having to ring my mum for help. I have been known to buy a pattern and fabric, get it cut out and then find it all too hard until mum takes over. My plans are nothing if not grand. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Saint Patricks Day Saturation

Oh, if only we were saturated! It is a hot 39 degrees C. here in Melbourne today. So any Saint Patrick's day drunken revelry will have to be done with appropriate sun safety. And while todays activities have been somewhat fashion limiting so far, I did wear green gym gear today; luckily green is supposed to be a cooling colour. :)

So in the spirit of Saint Patricks day, at least the way my friends and family celebrate, I am posting this gorgeous greenness as I dream about what I would like to be wearing and doing today. I am thinking a lovely stroll up Collins street to do a little shoe shopping, stopping in at Le Louvre for some autumn inspiration and an ice cold frappaccino in the shade of my little green parasol. Although it wouldn't really be St Patrick's without a visit to Bridie O'Rielly's for at least one Guinness.

So Irish or not, green is my pick for gorgeousness today. Oh, and don't be trying to chase any snakes away in those shoes. ;)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Bored with Blah?

Ballet flats; everyone has them, good bad or otherwise. This boring and sad looking pair of mine kept sneaking into regular at home rotation due to their comfort. But their lack of glamour meant that these comfortable friends never left the house. So after a 3am burst of creativity, ( yes, I know that sounds strange but I often have epiphanies at that time of day) I headed out in search of some fancy-fiers. With a little grosgrain ribbon and a pair of sale rack $2 earrings, my little shoes now adventure out with pride.

So, what are some of your best DIY shoes make-overs?

The New Toy

When your three year old loves taking photos too, this little gem from Olympus - the 1030 - is really the only choice. So now, even when it has been thrown, spat on and covered in banana, I will still be able to take fabulous fashion shots for your viewing pleasure. A big thank you to my beloved for such a great choice to keep Mama happy! Let the gratuitous self portraits begin.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Getting Ink'd

Todays post will be a short one as, after todays activity, I just feel like kicking back a bit. After a couple of years of planning and then waiting till baby was seven months old and my body has sprung back to some semblance of normality, I had my first ink session with my tattoo artist today. Rob Abell at Dynamic Tattoo in Richmond, Melbourne; is the talented individual creating this masterpiece. As you can see, I had an older (teenage years) tattoo to cover up too. Pretty good for three hours work. Now I have a two week window of healing before we can add the colour. I can't wait to see the final product!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Death of a Naturalist

I am often struck with inspiration for fabulous things I'd love to make. I get an idea into my head for something I would love to add to an outfit and when I can't find it in stores, off I go on another creative tangent. One of my latest fancies has been bugs. After a visit to Melbourne's Wunderkammer back in August, my adoration for beautiful dead things was re-kindled. I know that may sound a little creepy to some, but many of the antique taxidermy pieces at Wunderkammer are natures true works of art. They have the most incredible Peacock in full plumage as you enter the store.

Anyway, back to my point. No sooner had I checked out courses for setting objects in resin, and found some time in my schedule, that I came across the evocative work of J.W. Anderson.
After debuting his Accessory Collection in '07, J.W now brings us his "Death of a Naturalist" collection for Spring/Summer '08. Using beetles and bugs set in resin, he has created a unique collection of statement piece accessories. There is a wonderful sense of metaphorical darkness and light to his collection, as he pairs glistening Moon Bug carcasses with milky white pearls.
For something more everyday wear, if you have a penchant for drama like me, is this stunning beetle wing necklace from Matthew Williamson . (Williamson is currently the creative director over at Emilio Pucci, while still creating for his own label.)

So next time you're sitting on your porch / balcony at dusk, enjoying a glass of wine and pesky bugs keep flying into your face, just offer to make them a part of your next accessory collection and see how fast they fly!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I do love it when just the thing you have been lusting after in your imagination suddenly appears. As we come into Autumn here, crazy weather and all, I am still thinking of the perfect boot. Something not too high for everyday, but with a wicked edge. Something that looks totally fabulous with skirts and magically makes my legs look slimmer. Everything I have found in the stores here is either way too tall for running up and down stairs with an arm full of baby, or they remind me of some very bad ones my mum had circa 1980, (sorry mum). And then along comes these lovelies from marc by marc.

A huge thank you to Behind Big Glasses for the heads up on these. Now I just have to track them down. If any of you know where I can find something similar here in Melbourne, please please let me know. I really much prefer to be able to try my shoes on rather than hoping for the best when I purchase online. It isn't so bad with clothes as I can alter most things, but shoes you really can't afford to get wrong. Especially not at this end of the price range.

On another note, I had a final design appointment today with my tattoo artist. I am having a big piece done of a Koi fish on my back, partly as a cover up of a bad small design I had when a teenager, but mostly as I have been in love with traditional style Japanese tattooing for many years. I think perhaps I watched too many Samurai movies over the years, but I always love those scenes where the wife / mistress disrobes, to reveal a beautifully tattooed back. I'll admit, I am not going all the way and having my entire back done, but it will still be quite a large piece. So Friday is the day set to start the work and I am nervous and excited all at the same time.

**thank you to LAPUS for this beautiful image**

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hot Stuff

No not me.. the weather! It's Labour Day Monday today, and the BBQ is certainly not happening here. It is 39 degrees celcius out there, or 102.2 for those of you on that scale. Just a tad too hot for partying in the sun, and really too hot for doing much at all. So what better time to start some of my sewing projects than now.

I have a wedding to attend in two weeks and wanted something not so ' off the rack ' for the occasion. It will still be a conservative affair, so I have chosen to go with a conservative style in a great print. I'm using a Vintage Butterick pattern (I haven't done a vintage pattern before so we'll see what pit falls that may hold) and a great floral print heavy stretch cotton.

There is also a fabulous Capelet included in the pattern that I'd love to make too, but I am yet to find just the right yummy fabric for it. I am thinking of a light weight purple wool and a French navy, slightly sparkley lining. So if I can get my hands on these in time for the Wedding, I'll post some pics here too. If not, well I can always go all out and make a wicked plaid number to wear with jeans later on. Now, I just have to finish it!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Something Tasty for a Casual Lunch

We have Labour Day holiday coming up here in Melbourne on Monday. This is traditionally a day for BBQ's and kicking back with friends. A truly wonderful excuse for enjoying the perfect Autumn sunshine without the guilt that comes with taking a 'sick day' from work. And along with this urge to BBQ food with friends, is the urge to find something new and fabulous to wear. However, the idea is not to look like you bought something new just for the occasion or tried too hard. Just that you are naturally and effortlessly fabulous.

So for those of you not lucky enough to be enjoying a long weekend where you are, you can look forward to making your week fabulous with the ultimate accessory; a killer smile. :)

Friday, March 7, 2008

And for the child within who rocks!

A Little Kawaii

While flitting across my favorite sites today, I came across this super cute clip from French act Titou Le Lapinou. A little something for the child within.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Fierce, Fabulous & Flawless

Congratulations Christian on a very well deserved win of Project Runway S4!

In the now very famous words of Christian Siriano, I am aiming to make every day, "Fierce, Fabulous and Flawless." And, yes, this is not always a feat achieved, but it is a great thing to focus your thoughts every morning.
And part of this process is waking up in a beautiful world. I have finally finished my wardrobe clear out, ( there are a few sneaky stragglers) and am now envisaging the serious makeover my whole bedroom needs. When we moved into this house almost twelve months ago, the Master bedroom was very high on the list of 'things that need to be addressed'. Now, the decoration is O.K., (if I were a Laura Ashley circa 1988 lover with grandchildren on the way!) but it is so not me. I have been planning our boudoir for some time now, and collecting perfect pieces as I go. But I have one major covet piece that I am yet to find here in Australia; the Mirrored Chest of Drawers. If any of you know where I can find these here, please please let me know!

So in my search for the perfect mirrored drawers, I came across this gorgeous site that is simply full of pieces I'd love to see, not only in my bedroom, but my whole house. Black Orchid Interiors
in the UK, have a gorgeous selection of furniture and lighting. And while I'm in this decorating head space, I also found these two perfect pieces for my studio.Now I realise this is not the best 'task lighting' but it is strawberry-licious.

And although I certainly would have no technical use for this mannequin, it was so lovely I thought it deserved a mention.

So back to my original point of this post; if you want to wake up each day and be "Fierce, Fabulous and Flawless", it can't be in a room with clothes piled on the floor, un-made beds and bad floral wall paper. It's not a question of funds, just make your room a place of inspiration and organised enough to find your hair straightener in a hurry!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Hands Up Who Loves Christian

Thank you Project Runway for bringing us Christian Siriano! I have absolutely loved this season and can't wait for tonights result. Christians design aesthetic particularly appeals to me, and wow is he talented! Here is a sneak peek at his fabulous final collection. Wouldn't I love to get my hands on these pieces. :)

Such an amazingly talented group. I wish I was able to take my design sketches to reality so quickly. I think I have a long, (long long) way to go before I can even consider auditioning for the show they have announced here for Australia. They had better get it right, and not screw it up, like so many of the great American and UK shows they have done in the past.

So what about you? Do you have a favorite Project Runway S4 designer? Was there one designer who, every time they sent something down the runway, you thought, " Wow, I'd totally wear that!"? Or, are you even thinking of auditioning for the Australian version yourself.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bugs Triumph as Melbourne Fashion Week Kicks Off

It was a day of small jobs today. I have so many things on my To Do list, that it is quite ridiculous and I am feeling somewhat overwhelmed. I am trying to write it all down but I find that as soon as I cross one thing off, another three appear. So today was spent taking a small bite from my list and trying to finish at least one thing rather than not finishing loads of little things. I started a project working on decorating my daughters bed room at the beginning of January. I thought I'd knock it over in a couple of days, but here I am nearly two months on and I am still spray painting furniture while all her clothes sit in a pile on the floor. This is a lesson in, " Oh I'll just...." that of course never is "just".

I also have loads of sewing projects to get finished and many to start. One project I did finally finish a couple of weeks ago is this fabulous skirt. It is a Scarab Beetle print which I just love. It has an asymmetrical hem and a stretch mesh insert. I added a button on the side seam so I can wear in long side gathered up to create volume and interest. It's a great light weight cotton and I can see this working well for winter too. Perhaps with those cool red boots from my previous post?

On another note; Melbourne Fashion Week kicked off last night . I am so excited by all the trends being showcased at the moment as so many of them fit my personal aesthetic. I'm not a fan of being 'on trend' head to toe, but,what it does mean for me is that I can get some great individual pieces to work into my own style. Although I can't say I know too many Grannys who dress like this?! Hopefully I get a chance to check out some of the shows and parties this week; but I think it is more likely that my other lovely blogging friends will have more luck without small children to tend to. So as I voraciously read and explore this week, I'll keep you all up to date with my favorite finds. Here goes!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary Baby!

It is mine and my beloveds wedding anniversary today. It is our 4th, but being that we were married on the 29th February (in Las Vegas no less), it is the first year we actually get to celebrate on the day. So it was yet another great excuse to celebrate with Yum Cha. mmmm... We tried a venue that was my old favorite but was recently bought out, and were pleasantly surprised. The Gold Leaf in Burwood, Melbourne; is simply fabulous for a top quality, quick and nicely priced Yum Cha. they were even able to fit us in, pram and all, without a booking. They have a great selection of dumplings, (my great weakness) and the mango pudding is simply divine.

And why all these pictures of food from a fashion girl you ask? Well, I was feeling somewhat sartorially challenged today. After working my way through the great wardrobe clean out,(which I still haven't finished - sigh) I have discovered that I am bereft of anything that fits for this winter! Oh dear, and we all know what that means don't we? Serious shopping time! I always love it even more when it is seriously justified. I'm always much less likely to get a case of shoppers guilt. So remembering that we are coming into winter here, I would love to hear your suggestions for 'must have' pieces this season; because half the fun is planning what to buy!