Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Flickr Favorites

1. Magic Mushroom, 2. hiii - Day 314, 3. my favourite bits of the wall stickers, part II, 4. I've been feeding my hamster spinach, 5. Dream, 6. Versailles, 7. giant wadlow, 8. Going to see Marie Antoinette, 9. Harry loved his hoop, 10. pals slap alps laps, 11. DSC_0211r warm, 12. boy love 1, 13. Sophie, 14. Self-portrait, 15. Skyward., 16. MicroZo

I do love a bit of Flickr magic to get the creative juices flowing first thing in the morning. Here's my pick for you to enjoy over your morning coffee, or evening Scotch, as the case may be.

Monday, April 28, 2008

New In Store

I haven't had a lot of time for sewing this month. I think I have spent much more time planning all the lovely things I want to make and shopping for supplies. But there comes a time when the supply cupboards are filled to bursting and some actual creating must take place. So now for your wearing enjoyment, I present my latest batch of Etsy goodies!

My latest hair clips are a little bit Vintage and a little bit Kawaii, with a healthy dose of drama thrown in for good measure. Each of these bows are on a metal spring clip base and have a stretch net snood at the bottom (which is also removable) to tuck all your hair up into. Perfect for jazzing up a simply pony tail, or for a quick solution when you don't have time to blow dry your hair!
I am working on more colour variations at the moment, so there will be some black and blue numbers in the coming weeks. I'd love to hear your thoughts on these new pieces and any suggestions for colours you'd like to see.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Swanky Panky

When did you last have a date with yourself? The kind of night that doesn't involve track pants and a large tub of icecream, but a night of luxury and indulgence. There is much to be said for a little time of from the world to recharge your glamorous self. While almost every mag out there will have tips on how to give yourself a facial and pedicure, I suggest that setting the scene will do more to make you feel fabulous that just a coat of red polish. So, for this weeks Swanky Panky, I give you some of my suggestions for date night with a goddess; You.

  • Vintage lingere. This vintage 1940s long white sheer gown is from Wear it Again Sam. You'll find lots of delightful picks on Etsy.

  • You'll need a little something to keep your shoulders warm while you sip hot chocolate and read through all your old love letters. I suggest something a tad Old Hollywood like this soft and floaty bed jacket from Kajn's Vintage.

  • The evening would not be complete without some olfactory black magic from Mor Cosmetics and the Garden of Hespera range. I am so in love with this packaging.

  • Now that you are looking divine and relaxing in style, make yourself a mug of hot chocolate full of marshmallows. You could choose a nice piece of floral porcelain, but if you want to discourage others from disturbing your serenity, I suggest this knuckle duster mug from Thatbo.

Now take your beautiful self to bed!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Daily Outfit

As promised here are a couple of pics from my night out with my Man. We hit Smith street in Melbourne and ate loads of delicious Korean food at GoShen, then moved onto drinks and conversations about high school crushes, at a small and comfortable bar up the road.

Cardigan / Sweater - Friends Couture at Episode
Black camisole
Skirt - Boo Radley
Blue striped fishnets - Levante
Shoes - Pip by Wittner
Necklace - The same skull that keep popping up, only this time on a red ribbon

Yesterday was spent lunching with my family for the public holiday, so a relaxing time was had by all. Thanks to everyone for your well wishes for my darling girl. It looks like she'll be back in hospital next week, but hopefully that should fix it all.

Mail Time

Yesterday I received a lovely surprise in my mail box from the wonderful Bored inc, whose Super Kawaii work you will have read about here before. It is so nice to receive mail (that is not bills) at any time, but one so delightfully addressed as this was a real joy. Check out Tokyo Bunnies blog for some incredibly cute designs and inspiring work.

So armed with my new Tokyo Bunny pin and Nesting Doll coin purse I headed out to face the ANZAC day public holiday and all the visiting and barbecuing that was to be done.

Friday, April 25, 2008

For Anyone Who Wants to Know More About Me....

I have been tagged again, so here is a little more information to help you complete a picture of my peculiarity.

5 things found in my bag:
- Arm warmers - for short sleeved days that turn nasty.
- Red Lipstick - for instant glamor
- Camera - To document all my fashion findings and some of the more 'see it to believe it' fashion faux pas.
- A notebook from my best friend with lovely things written to me in it - For a pick me up on a rough day.
- Muesli bars - Because I am always on the run and don't always get time for a sit down meal.

5 things found in my wallet:
- Photos of my girls, husband and dogs - I am hoping when shop assistants see these the will stop calling me "Sweetie". Arrrrgh!
- Expired loyalty cards - I always think I will go back and use these but I can never find them when I need them.
- Photos of great hair styles I like - So when I say to my hairdresser, " Just blow dry it Vegas circa 1970", she will know what I mean.
- Stamps - for when the urge to write snail mail calls ( I have had these stamps for a very long time)
- Pain killers - I don't have to tell you what these are for.

5 favorite things in my room :
- My vintage Chinese advertising print.
- My dressing table - Currently pink and about to be transformed as a piece of black magic.
- My extremely large, red velvet chair, as seen in many of my posts - A present to myself for a previous birthday. I always know what I would like. :)
- My wallpaper that is being torn off! - It is the tearing off that I like as it is a hideous Laura Ashley 80's style floral.

5 things I always wanted to do:
-Be a lounge singer.
-Keep Peacocks.
-Write a fabulously successful novel.
-Go back or forwards in time whenever I wanted. Perhaps with the current Dr. Who... that wouldn't be too bad at all. ;)
-Invent a pair of heels whose height you could change depending on the terrain or situation.

5 things I'm currently into :
- Memento Mori
- Dark chocolate - This one never goes out of style with me
- Writing this blog and reading all the wonderful work of my peers. (That's you guys!)
- Redecorating. Truth be told I never stop doing this as as soon as I finish one room, I'm onto the next. And repeat.
- Listening to all music recommended by friends and bloggers to expand my ipod selection. Jojo's circus was getting a little old.

5 presents you wish for:
Health, happiness, inspiration, abundance and serenity- for all my family and friends.

The person who tagged you is :
- Lab Goddess

Your 5 impressions of him/her :
- Wicked sense of humour.
- Practical.
- Fabulously geeky - in a superlative way.
- Canny shopper.
- A good friend.

Rather than tagging anyone else, as it is hard to know who has done these things already, if you would like to do this tag; Consider Yourself It!
I'd be very happy for any links you'd like to make to me as well. (Yes, I am shamelessly pimping my site. I do try and get around everyones blogs, but I'm not sure I have made it yet. )

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Daily Outfit

I'm afraid I didn't have time for an outfit shot yet today as I spent the day in the hospital with baby number 2 having lots of tests. (She'll be okay) But I am heading out on the town tonight so there are surely some more fancy shots to come over the next couple of days.. In the meantime, here is yesterdays outfit. Something casual and fun for a day of cleaning, organising and errands, as my in-laws came into town for a few days.

T-Shirt - Supre, Jeans - Target, Pink jellies - Melissa, Silver lightening earrings (for when you're feeling a little glam rock),

I think it is all a bit boring really, but saved by my fabulous Melissa Jelly shoes. I just love the look of these and the even smell like Bubble Gum! I do have to admit that they aren't as comfortable as I would like, but with a little "Party Feet" addition, not too bad. I do love the way a pair of super shoes can rescue an outfit.

My Super Kawaii Shoes

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Style Inspirations

When it comes to my personal style, I draw inspiration from everywhere. Movies, T.V, books and blogs all come into the equation, but my fail safe style inspirations are the characters I create in my head. I give them a story, a purpose and a name, then magically, they take on a life of their own as I stand in front of the wardrobe. This is not to say that every day calls for such theatricality, but there are times when I am faced with a distinct lack of inspiration. It is then I just think up one of my gals and ask myself, "What would she wear today?"

It is while indulging in this whimsy that I created Shanghai Lil. She is a glamorous, childless Aunt, who travels the world by cruise ship with her pet monkey. He is also stylishly dressed, wearing a matching Fez to each of her outfits. Her cabin is decorated in dark antique silks, with rugs from around the world, and she spends her evenings smoking opium and playing cards with wealthy playboys. She promptly shows them the door at the end of the night, leaving her mystery intact.

I imagine her looking very much like Anna May Wong - the first American Chinese film star of the early 1900's. As for the rest of my stable of muses, well you'll just have to stay tuned for more revelations.

I doubt that I am the only one who indulges in these fantasies, although I am not sure if other's characters have taken on such a life of their own. Where do you look for inspiration? Other than the run of the mill celebrity cloning, is there something, or someone, that sets your sartorial creativity on fire?

Here's to you Anna!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Daily Outfit

In my dream world, I sleep in till 8am every morning. My Butler brings me Eggs Florentine and fresh coffee, while I recline in bed planning which of my glamorous outfits I will wear that day. Generally, however, my day starts around 6 am, when I am poked in the eye and asked to go an make breakfast (not by my man, but by Miss 3 ). After spending about an hour as a robe-clad breakfast whirlwind, I employ the wonderful child minding prowess of the Power Puff Girls and retreat to the escapism of my wardrobe.

Today required something a little more casual as it was all go with swimming lessons, trips to the playground and running around after four children under four, not all mine I might add! Whilst I started the day in a very cute dress and stocking ensemble, it just wasn't going to cut it at the playhouse. I did however sacrifice practicality for style and wore my lovely new shoes, with their very high heels. And I loved looking at them all day.

Top - Hello Gorgeous, Jeans - Target, Shoes - Wittner, Pink socks, Black tank.

(Apologies for the picture quality, we were having a little location and lighting trouble.)

Monday, April 21, 2008

5 Ways To Make Cleaning Fun and Fashionable

While there are some who have maids, butlers and general rouse-abouts; I am not one of them. So alas, there are many hours of my week frittered away on cleaning and generally keeping my world in order. Now there are days when I have to clean hurriedly or in between children's nap time, but when I am bored of the usual routine and just can't face another morning of traipsing around in mess; I do have a couple of tricks up my sleeve to make it all a little bit more fun. And yes, there is a trace of Mary Poppins in this, along with a healthy dose of crazy.

Be Your Own Maid:
This one requires a uniform, French or otherwise. The premise of this cleaning technique is to clean only the bits you can see, (no moving furniture) fluff up pillows, place fresh flowers for instant impact, and visit the pantry for a biscuit every half and hour. When you have finished, put your feet up and give yourself a glass or two of Master's best single malt Scotch.

Mary Poppins:
"Just a Spoon Full of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down." Sing and get everyone in on the act; be they housemate, partner or child. Sliding down banisters is highly recommended as a dusting technique.

1950's Housewife:
Wiggle into a vintage dress, pop on a pinny, sweep up your hair. Put on some swinging tunes ( I suggest some Dean Martin or Julie London), and do your best June Cleaver impression. If you are really up for it, go to the store dressed like this and loudly complain about how expensive everything is these days.
Get Deliciously Clean :
Toss out the Clorox Get yourself some sweet smelling products like these beauties from Cinderalla here in Australia. Not only are they a Green alternative to traditional cleaning products, they have the most divine scent! You can choose from coconut & bergamot, peppermint & pineapple, cherry or many more. WARNING: You will be very hungry when you finish cleaning with these.

The Vacuuming Tiara:
If cleaning makes you feel all down and dirty, and not in a good way, try this. Get yourself a Tiara, whether it be a cheap little girls one from a costume shop, or a genuine jeweled number. It will make you feel quite glamorous as you swan around the house, as if this 'cleaning business' is quite a novelty for someone of your station. As an added bonus it could also act as a timely reminder to your husband / partner / self, that you are in serious need of some new glass slippers.

Yes, my friends, (whilst not on a regular basis) I have taken all these suggestions for a test drive. And while they may not help you clean any faster, they sure will help you clean happier.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Daily Outfit

Blue Jacket - Free Fusion, Skirt - Somewhere in Chinatown, Shoes - Novo, Crown pin - Chinatown, Lace Cuff - Super Kawaii Mama on Esty.

Today was a lazy Sunday. I am trying to get through the To Do list of tasks that I posted on the first of April, and I am nearly there. I have finished quite a few new pieces for my Etsy store and hope to get them all photographed and up by the end of the week. Stay tuned for that one, especially if you are looking for something a little different for your coif.

So today's agenda consisted of a quick trip to the fabric store and then home for some gardening, after which a little indulgence was due. So as I write this and enjoy floating around all your lovely blogs, I am indulging in a little Semillion and Oyster Churchill.

That is, Oysters natural with smoked salon and caviar, mmmmmm....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Mama's Got Some New Shoes

While wandering through Chadstone on Friday, I was stopped in my tracks by these fabulous shoes. Although I was looking for a low heeled boot, I could not go past these cuties from Wittner. I am already picturing them with any number of coloured stocking underneath.

And whilst I wait for my Sock Dreams stocking to arrive, I couldn't pass up these knitted cotton socks from Jonathan Aston. You'll find loads of covetable items on this site, which sadly, is not taking orders at present. But for those of you in Melbourne, Myer city and Chadstone do stock a fairly comprehensive selection of his range. I was lusting after these Gothic tights, but with my aversion to pantyhose, I'd like to see them in a stocking form.

Now I just need to plan a night on the town to wear these beauties.

Swanky Panky

As you may have read in my earlier post on Socks, I really dislike pantyhose. And while I wait for my order of lovely thigh high socks to arrive, I have been doing a little shopping for a garter belt too. While looking for a pretty and practical number I came upon these two for comparisons. Without any preference for the size of the models, Picture Number Two made me want to poke my eyes out to say nothing of creating a distinct lack of passion for their garments!

So my pick for something both sexy and practical is Picture One, a slinky number from Stocking Girl. It is also a great place if you are after some funky leggings or socks. I love striped stockings but horizontal ones are just not kind to me. They also tend to increase my 'Wicked Witch of the West' factor. These ones remind me of a peppermint stick and look like they have the potential to make me look much taller than my 5 foot 4 inches.

As you know by now, I am a sucker for accessories, so when I came across the work of Sweetheart Sinner on Etsy, I came over all a flutter, as I know many of you will too. She specialises in designs inspired by rockabilly, pinup, horror, goth, punk, psychobilly, pop culture, Victorian, and flapper. (That's an awful lot!) Each piece is completely hand made, including the settings which she creates and fires in her own kiln. So you know that whatever your choice, you won't see this piece replicated elsewhere.

I love this Gypsy pin. She looks so thoughtful, somewhat of a Mona Lisa smile, and makes me wonder what is on her mind.

All this virtual shopping around is dangerous, I keep finding FAR too many things I love. It's just lucky I get so much pleasure from sharing it with you all.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Wearing A Little Sunshine - Daily Outfit

Today was a Shopping Day. Not just a regular knocking around the supermarket, but an actual uninterrupted experience full of lots of lovely things. Pictures will follow tomorrow of my fabulous new shoes. :)

After spending last night reading so many of your lovely blogs, I was particularly inspired by Strawberry Kitten and her delightful use of color to give her look some punch. So I felt that a sunny yellow would be just the thing for a cloudy Autumn day.

So for now, here is what I wore today.

Shirt - Guess, Braces - Costume shop, Wide leg pants - Living Doll, Boots- Wittner, Brooch- Etsy, Red Are The Roses.

Detail of the brooch that I had pinned to my braces. Just adorable, another Etsy triumph.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Daily Outfit

Black tank top - Supre, Skirt - Boo Radley, Shoes - Hot Options, Cuff - Super Kawaii Mama on Etsy

I often wander around in the morning while I am getting everything ready for the day, changing accessories several times until I hit on the combination I am after. This was one of those days. I simply adore my black spike heels but they aren't all that comfortable after a few hours. They are the perfect shoes for a sit down day or a party where lots of lounging around is required. So in the end I chose to go with my pink boots. Also a high spiked heel, but for some reason, much more comfortable. They could be a little 'Bad J Lo', but I think they work with the right outfit. (Match them with a velour tracksuit for instant style suicide.) Perfect for running around the city pushing a pram and getting errands done.

Black tank top - Supre, Skirt-Boo Radley, Pink crop cardigan - Giordano, Boots - Ebay, Skull Necklace - Gift

What's your verdict? (Is it cheating if this outfit was from last Thursday?)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Playing Tag

I have been tagged by The Lab Goddess, and as I am somewhat flattered and curious to know more about you all, here goes.
Here are the rules:

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Mention the rules in your blog.
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours.
4. Tag 6 following bloggers by linking them.
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger's blogs letting them know they've been tagged.

So here is my contribution:

1. I am very particular about my cutlery. If my knives aren't put back onto their block and are just thrown in a draw, I get quite upset. "You'll break the points off people!"
2. I like to organise things. When I am feeling stressed and out of control, I simply need to re-organise my shoes/ bags/ clothes, and I feel much better.
3. At public rest rooms I open the doors with paper towel or try to use my little finger if there is no towel to be had. I have nearly dislocated it on a couple of heavy ones.
4. When I write a To Do List, I always write down a couple of things I have already done so I can have the satisfaction of crossing things off before I start.
5. I can never sleep with my ears exposed. I have to have the sheet all the way up. This is a hang over from my 'Flesh-eating Skeletons under The Bed' phase when I was young.
6. When I hear a phrase that reminds me of a song, I burst into a rousing refrain, even if I don't really know the words and often at the most in opportune moments.

So now you know a little more about me, ("please... stop now" I hear you say) I tag the following people:

Snake Bites
The 16 Diaries
Sexie Time!
Strawberry Kitten

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

How to be Super Kawaii All The Time.

I am often asked what makes a girl Super Kawaii all the time, (well perhaps not in those precise terms) and although I have much to say on the subject, one of the first and foremost things is this; a good grooming routine. Today is about those little things that make a BIG difference.

When it comes to looking you best, there are some days that are harder than others. Days when you're sick, busy, lazy or just plain can't be bothered. But why should you look a fright on these days when with a few simple steps, you can be your gorgeous self all the time. Now I am talking about looking good when there is no makeup on hand to hide all the usual sins. What it comes down to is looking after the basics, and doing it regularly.

Having great eyebrows can completely change your face, taking you from Ugly Betty to Vera the Vixen in a heart beat. A clean, pronounced arch will open your eyes giving you an instant face lift and lightening your lids. But please, no DIY on this one. The difference between being pampered by an Eyebrow Queen and the DIY job is obvious to everyone but yourself. A great beautician will be able to take the look you are after and make it work with your face shape and bone structure.
How do you find this amazingly talented individual? Get recommendations. If you like someone's eyebrows (or hair for that matter), ask them who does such great work. It may be a little intimidating to ask a stranger this, but what's the worse that could happen? ( She could run screaming from you clutching the beauticians card to her breast screaming, "She's all mine!" you say.)

Your face AND your body. This doesn't have to be an hours process with masks and serums. It can be as simple as using a exfoliating glove in the shower every other day (one for body and a much softer one for the face). It helps your skin to refresh, helps unclog pores, gets rid of traces of old makeup an gets the circulation going. All in one minute flat.

Once again, not just your face, your whole body. While I use the same moisturizer for my face, neck and décolletage (don't forget these bits, they need just as much care); I use oil, rather than a traditional moisturizer on the rest of my body. I find it goes on and into the skin quicker when I am time poor. My favorite is Palmer's Bath Oil as it smells just like chocolate to me. It will fix crocodile legs in a couple of seconds flat and put a little 'sexy' into your morning.

Wear it everyday, everywhere. Okay, maybe not on your butt, but any exposed skin. This includes you hands as they see alot of sunshine when you are driving. Either get yourself a moisturiser with SPF 30 in it, or if you prefer use a separate lotion after your moisturizer and before any makeup. The Sun Protection in makeup is minimal, more marketing than protection. So add twenty seconds to your routine for this face, and life, saving step. If that's too much you could always go the hat, veil and gloves routine.

Hands and Feet
While I love polished nails (Navy blue being my current favorite), chips and scraps do nothing to add to your appeal. If you polish chips, take it off. Natural nails are faster for no-fuss grooming and I have a couple of top tips to keep your hands and feet great all the time.

To keep your natural nails white and bright, soak them in a dish of warm water with a few denture tablets. Yes, denture cleaning tablets, purchased very cheaply from your supermarket. The oxygen cleans the nails the same way all those active oxygen washing powders remove stains from your clothes. Trade secret this one.
Keep a pumice file in the shower and give your feet a quick once over before you hit the water. It'll save your feet from looking like satan's cloven-hoofed homie's. And what better way to encourage your sweetheart to rub your weary soles.
I'm sure you've all heard the old moisturizer on the hands then pop them into cotton gloves overnight. If you want to take the therapy up a notch, and get amazingly soft and supple skin by the end of the week, use lanolin instead of hand cream. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just a regular wool fat ointment from the store, the yellowish stuff the melts when warm. Slather some of that on hands and feet, then cover with cotton gloves and socks respectively. Just try this one for a week and tell me how heavenly they feel now!

Everyone has heard the old, "drink eight glasses of water a day", but do you do it? Did you know that eight glasses is the recommended minimum? I know it can be hard to remember, boring or make you pee like a race horse; but, believe me, this one is magic! I aim to drink about two litres of water a day and my skin has never been better. And as an added bonus, it will help you shed some unwanted kilos / pounds too.
If you hate the taste of water, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice into it, and in winter have your water as caffeine free green tea. Just grab yourself a funky flask for sipping all day long. That way it is easier to keep track of how much you have actually drunk if you have a measured flask.

Given that I seem to have so much to say on this subject, I'll spread these posts out. Actually, now I think of it, I have a lot of tips / opinions (depending how you look at it) on most things. If there's something you'd really like to know, ask away!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Little Swanky Panky

Today I'm finding ways of not just being a Super Kawai Mama, but making my girls even more Kawaii - if that is actually possible. ;) So I am on the look out for some funky finds for the smaller people in your life, be they your own or someone else's. It's just great to have another excuse to shop for fashion.
Asia Jam have super cute fashion and accessories, as always; and now they have some for kids too. They have a great range of cheap and cheerful for girls (sorry no boys yet), and loads of things to tempt you while you browse.

When I found these onesies over at Bored Inc, I nearly died of excitement. As a parent, you'd be surprised just how much talk of poo suddenly happens in your household, so having it adorn baby's shirt (when it's not the real stuff) is ironically cute. !And while little girls may not love skulls as much as mummy, ( I did dress my three year old in all manner of pirate accessories until she started protesting for pink and ponies ) this Bunny and Crossbones could be the answer. In fact, the bunny's face reminds me somewhat of Miss 3 when she says, "..I'm not kidding Mummy!"

And how to say 'Happy Birthday' or just 'I Love You' , without having to resort to the saccharine words of Hallmark or another glittery Disney card? This 'Audrey and the Flying Fish' card from Ouou on Etsy. Clear, simple illustrations full of whimsy and imagination.

Surprise someone today, be they little or big, with something that will make you both smile.