I hope each and every one of you has had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you all the best for 2011! Blogging has been an amazing experience so far, and I have come to know so many amazing people that I may never have met otherwise - I'm amazingly grateful. I hope I can continue to put out interesting posts for your dashboards in the New Year <3 and of course I look forward to reading about all your adventures too.
Just a quick post for now - I went out a bit last week in some new outfits and visited a hot rod show, so I have a lot of pictures to come!
We get a lot of animal visitors at my new hours - and not just terrible ones like the red backed spider in my room. My neighbor's very free ranging chicken have taken a liking to our front yard, and I'm pretty sure I've also seen a fox slinking about.
We also have a lot of feral rabbits in our backyard. This one was the runt of his litter, he hasn't grown very much since he was a baby. He likes hiding under our hot water heater when it is raining, and eating all of Mum's attempts at starting a garden.
See how tiny he is?
And look! We have ducklings! You can see that it is very clearly spring around here :)
These holidays, I'm teaching myself to cook so that I can justify buying kitsch homewares and cute vintage aprons - on the subject of which, The Apron Goddess is holding a giveaway for the most darling Christmas themed apron. I'm crossing my fingers for winning this one since my family is hosting Christmas lunch this year, and as my mother is one of 6 children (who have 2-5 children each) it gets pretty hectic in the kitchen in trying to feed everybody!
I got this apron from a garage sale down the street (along with a shadow box and bakelite scales - score!). I just love the cross-stitching in the gingham pattern and the ricrac trim - it looks a little eye-blinding on camera but it's quite cute in person!
In case you're curious, that plate is a breakfast fry-up for my boyfriend and myself to give us energy for a big day of cooking (mostly pastry kneading and rolling for him, those big hands are way more efficient than mine!)
Toasted sourdough drizzled with olive oil, oven roasted tomatoes with camembert, and eggs.
Delicious chicken pot pie, and in the background a baked white chocolate and berry cheesecake.
Now I'm no food blogger or gourmet chef, but considering I used to burn soup from out of a can this is a pretty big acheivement for me. Looking forward to eating the delicious pot pie leftovers tomorrow!
Today was my last day of exams. I'm hoping I did well, but I don't want to get ahead of myself as I know I didn't perform the best that I could on several assignments. Oh well! What's done is done, and to celebrate my newfound freedom the boy and I got lunch and went to see 'The Town' (which, by the way, was pretty great). I also did a bit of Christmas shopping - it's alarming how fast that is creeping up on us!
I decided to keep those shoes from my last post - I think they go quite nicely with this new (well, new to me) dress. I got it off Etsy during one of my exam-stress induced shopping binges
(Whoops - I just realized from looking at these photos that I forgot to put mascara on. I hate when I do that!)
You'll have to forgive my poker-straight hair; I was in a rush in the morning (as evidenced by my mascara fail!) and couldn't find a hair tie. I should probably get around to making an appointment to have my hair cut... it's embarrassing to admit but I haven't been for 12 months! I don't get many split ends because I don't use any heat treatments on my hair or brush it a lot (I find my natural curls just become a frizzy mess if I brush it between washes). This time last year my hair was this long:
That's a good few inches of growth! I don't think I want to get it cut that short again, it was too much work having to pincurl it every night. I want the option of a lazy ponytail or last minute up-do for my super early lectures. I suppose I will have to go scouring the web for inspiration - suggestions from you lovely readers are always welcome!
Ladies, I want to ask your opinion on these new shoes I bought - a pair of comfy white wedges from Rivers. The issue with them is the high vamp - I think it makes them look awfully similar to some of the lovely 1930s styles I've seen on The Vintage Baroness' blog, but my mother thinks they'll make my legs look stumpy...
So I'm asking, ladies - what do you think of these shoes? Vintage-y pretty, or return them pronto? (I kept the receipt just in case.) And if you do like them, what would you wear them with? I'm thinking my Heyday! trousers once I finish altering them, but I'd love to hear your suggestions!
Hello again everyone! I've really been missing blogging so I'm going to be attempting to post a bit more often. In about a week's time I'll be through with exams; I have a LOT of Etsy purchases to share with you all (I ensured that I would have a steady stream of parcels arriving to keep my spirits up while studying) and I finally bought a new camera so I can do take lots more outfit shots!
I'd like to thank each and every one of you for your positive and supportive comments on my last entry. I've been going back to read them every so often when I feel in need of a bit of extra motivation; it's really helped me to start talking about my depression and anxiety openly and in turn being reassured that people won't treat me any differently or think less of me. I haven't really started to feel much different yet, but I've been referred to a psychologist and will be starting that part of my treatment soon. Some days I've struggled with the thought that the antidepressants are only making me numb to all emotions, rather than dealing with the sadness, and there have been a lot of side effects in the adjustment period (nausea, lack of appetite and sleep, feeling tired and foggy most of the time, bizarre and vivid nightmares) - however, I'm determined to at least stick it out for a few more months to see if any change occurs.
The new house that I've moved to is in a really peaceful location - it feels like we are living in the country (even though we only moved about 5 streets away from our old house!) There are horses, a wide variety of birds, a blue tongue lizard that I feed from time to time, and absolutely adorable bunnies everywhere (they are feral and considered a pest in Australia, but gosh-darn it they are too cute to stay mad at for long!) However, the other night I discovered a downside to living closer to nature. I was reaching for something under my bed and noticed a spider web, so got the insect spray and gave it a blast. When the inhabitant of said web ran out and flopped about my feet I noticed in horror that it had a tell-tale, red hourglass shaped stripe down its back. Meaning, of course, that a redback, one of the deadliest spiders in Australia had been living under my bed (brb moving to a country where the animals are less deadly. I mean, I love you Australia but there is a reason tourists are scared to come here!)
Of course, finding a deadly insect inches from where you sleep is not great for those with anxiety issues (or anybody, I'm sure!) so I was up till about 3am vacuuming every corner of my room and shaking out my clothes 'just in case'. While I was going through all my stuff I rediscovered some items I had purchased for a giveaway months ago and completely forgotten about (don't worry, they were completely sealed in a plastic bag so they're safe) - that means that pretty soon it will be giveaway time! I'd love to get these items to a new home by Christmas so keep your eyes peeled! Thanks again to everybody for their patience and support, I really have missed this!
I know I haven't posted in over a month, and I'm sorry. Things have reached crisis point over here, and I'll be needing to take some time to deal with them. This entry will be a little wordy, and could be upsetting/triggering to people who have experienced similar issues, so I apologize in advance.
Long term readers are probably familiar with the fact that I struggle a lot with social anxiety, but things have been more problematic than that for a long, long time. The first time I wanted to kill myself, and the first time I cut myself to deal with those feelings, I was 14. Since that time there have been good days and bad days, but when I was 17 the good days slowly disappeared until all I was left with was a black fog around me and my bones slowly turning to lead. I felt heavy and lifeless. I stopped eating - not because I wanted to be skinny (although as a consequence I ended up weighing around 47 kilos, with my ribs on show like a stray dog) but because I lost all desire for life. I would cut myself, or bruise myself with a coathanger as punishment for things I did wrong, for indulging in self pity, or just to briefly clear away the haze that dulled my senses and my mind. I hid my feelings and my scars from everyone - the last thing I wanted was to be found out as an 'emo' or 'attention seeking'. My depression was like being at the bottom of a deep, dark well. I could see the light way up above, and I could hear the laughter of people outside, but no warmth reached me - everything was cold and hopeless and I was certain that I would die alone there at the bottom.
When I graduated high school and got into my university of choice, things started to improve. I pushed the dark days out of my mind. I thought I had a second chance, to pretend to be a person who was likable, witty and intelligent - all the things I was certain I was not. I told myself that if I dressed well and covered up my face in a mask, I could hide the insecure person I really was. However, terror of people discovering the real me led me to relentlessly sabotage the few opportunities I had to make new friends. I didn't want to end up being rejected, so I would lie and say I had other plans any time I was asked out. Eventually I stopped going to lectures all together, out of fear that somebody would want to talk to me and I would make a fool out of myself, or bore them, or reveal how stupid I really was. Compulsory classes left me a nervous wreck. The depression was slowly creeping back, but this time it wasn't alone.
Anxiety quickly came to pervade every aspect of my life - I was in a constant state of fear, doubting my every move, endless horrifying scenarios playing out in my mind. I was occupied with thinking about all the ways my life could go wrong, and the depression would whisper that because I didn't deserve happiness everything would go wrong. Convinced that my every move would lead to disaster, I became paralyzed - even simple things like choosing where to eat for lunch or trying to decide which book to buy became insurmountable tasks. I can't count the number of times I would simply break down and give up after an hour wandering the same street or in the same store, unable to make up my mind, all the while thinking to myself how pathetic, unlovable, stupid and weak I was. The feeling like I was being chased by something terrible that would catch up with me at any moment left me unable to sleep, barely able to force myself out of the house.
My boyfriend and a close friend forced me to see a doctor when I became acutely suicidal during and following the spa weekend I was on last month (funny how when everything is objectively going right, I still feel so miserable)and began cutting again. I can't even describe how awful that time was - I was scared of dying, but I was hurting too much to go on living anymore. I saw ways to kill myself all around me - anytime I was crossing the street, waiting for the train, in the tall buildings I have classes in it was all I could think about. Some part of me knew I needed help but the rest was convinced that I didn't deserve it, didn't have legitimate problems, and was meant to suffer. Eventually, however, I was convinced to do it if not for myself, then for the people who knew and cared about me.
After seeing the doctor I've been put on SNRIs for my depression and anxiety, and will be going to see a psychologist soon. I've been on them for two weeks now, but I'm not sure how I feel. Mostly numb and worn out. I've been like this for so long that I'm scared I won't be 'me' anymore. One of the reasons I was so resistant to getting help in my younger days was because I believed my creativity came from having felt such pain so intensely, but eventually the depression stole that from me too and I became too listless to draw or write anymore.
I'm sorry that this post is photo-less and not vintage related at all. I just needed to get this off my chest. Part of the reason things got so bad for me was because I completely closed myself off from other people - I need to slowly train myself to believe that it's okay to share this part of me, that I won't be rejected or thought of as weak. I hope you all understand if I don't post regularly or comment much for a while. I don't want to lose followers, as I consider the vintage blogging community to be a real positive in my life, but I understand if it's considered inappropriate to air my issues here. Those of you who read this far, thank you and I hope to get better and come back soon.
The car troubles I mentioned in my last post got resolved when my friend Simon (in the leather jacket) gave the bonnet a whack, Fonz style.
As it turned out, Daylesford had the most amazing thrift stores and markets - I only wish I had brought more money with me! I missed out on the most amazing set of harlequin Nallyware (in absolutely pristine condition, for about a quarter of what I'd pay on ebay) because I saw it at the end of the day and I was completely out of money! Boo :( However, I did get a lot of great things (I keep saying that but I'm not quite consoled over the Nallyware loss yet...) and for very reasonable prices - I'm tempted to go back again just to shop, hahaha!
First up, a set of Japanese stacking lacquer boxes - these are currently sitting on my vanity storing bobby pins and other bits and pieces.
A lipstick holder - perfect for the Tiffany blue bedroom I dream of!
Bakelite salt and pepper shakers - in need of a good clean, but otherwise very cute! They are more red than they appear here.
These very lovely fur lined leather gloves - they fit me like, well, a glove! I have short fingers so it is nice to find a pair that fit like they should - any they are soooooooooo warm and comfortable, I never want to take them off!
A vintage compact - it's in okay shape, though its original price tag left a sort of discolored spot, and some gunk from storage has ended up inside and beneath the pan. I'm thinking of cleaning it up, then repressing my MAC powder into it.
Vintage suitcase - this is currently storing my hats, but it is in such great shape that I feel I really should at least take it away for one weekender...
I also got given some Carlton Ware jam dishes for free (one of the stall owners decided he didn't want to clean up at the end of the day, so gave everything away...). Both have minor chips around the edges, and one has some pretty bad crazing, but I'm going to do what I can to repair the broken parts and see if I can find a use for them. They are in boxes at the other house, so sadly no photos for now.
Don't forget my ebay auctions are ending in one day! Sponsor my new pair of Heyday trousers :P
(Sorry for the breaks between posting these; I've been busy packing and moving boxes between houses! I think I need to own less stuff, this is taking forever!)
From where we left off:
The next stop on Saturday was the Chocolate Mill, which I was attracted to because they offered free demonstrations! Mmm, chocolate porn. Once we arrived, I was amazed by the owners' dedication to being socially responsible, environmentally friendly, and suitable for people with allergies, while at the same time producing the best quality chocolate I had ever tasted! They built the store themselves out of earth and straw, and most of their power is sourced from solar panels on the roof. They don't use palm oil, recycle EVERYTHING, and get their chocolate from a European company that in turn buys their cocoa from free trade sources, and takes sugar from beets instead of canes. Almost all of their chocolates were suitable for people with gluten, lactose or other allergies (because of this, my friend was able to buy chocolates for a friend who had never eaten chocolate! Best of all, they deliver so after she sees what she was missing out on she can get more!)
I found out during the talk that most of what is labelled as 'chocolate' here could not be sold in Europe due to not having the minimum amount of coco solids - I felt like I'd been lied to all my life! D: I was really impressed with their dedication to quality, and it definitely came through in their chocolates (which were, by the way, delicious!) I feel like I've really been spoiled now - we went to another chocolate cafe the next day and it just did not compare :( even though it was more expensive, grrr...
The best part of the demonstration was watching them make the chocolate casings - the moulds are filled with chocolate, allowed to set a little, and then emptied, leaving the thinnest shell. I swear I dreamt about chocolate rain that night!
Their delicious hot chocolates were just melted chocolate mixed with milk - none of that powdered junk!
That night after dinner (delicious rabbit and pan fried gnocchi) we played monopoly - I didn't do so well, as you can see below!
That's nine dollars and all my mortgaged properties, about half an hour in. Yeah, I'm that bad!
I was excited about heading to the Sunday markets the next morning, but what is a holiday without car trouble?
This entry is going to be a little heavy on the pictures so I think I'll break it up into sections - I hope you don't mind! Last weekend I took a mini-break with some close friends (we all kinda needed one) - our destination of choice? The spa/mineral springs capital of Australia! Of course, a 100% relaxing weekend was not to be as we are all terribly unorganized and forgot to pack warm clothes (seriously, it is freezing there! We were warming up our crackers and cheese on a bbq in a park), however, a local op-shop came to our rescue with its "everything is $2" sale! I assure you, under about 3 chunky grandma cardigans there is a carefully planned vintage outfit, you just cannot see it :(
First stop on Friday was the Hepburn springs mineral spa - an utterly gorgeous place surrounded by peaceful bushland. It had huge pane windows everywhere so you got to enjoy the beautiful scenery while relaxing in bliss! My favourite part would have to be the spa couches: a headrest, footrest and armrests to keep you in place, while your entire body is supported by spa jets. Sheer heaven! We canceled our plans for the afternoon so we could stay there for hours! (Which in retrospect may have been a mistake, as immediately afterwards my lips flared up and my rash came back - probably due to the heat inside.)
My What Katie Did swimsuit arrived with bent boning and is in need of repairs, but luckily I managed to order in this one on time from For Luna. Their shipping is so fast! It's really beautiful, I've never felt so comfortable and confident in swimwear.
Our gorgeous view (and heavenly spa couches)!
Chillin' on the relaxation deck to dry off.
The Bed and Breakfast we were staying at was built in 1910, and had a ton of gorgeous antique furniture and fittings. It was right beside the lake as well, so we had absolutely amazing views (except in the morning, when the fog was like something out of a horror movie)!
Dun dun dun....
Saturday morning we went to visit a place with a hedge maze and mini golf course. It was, again, freezing, so we were the only people there (which was actually pretty great - we could run around and act like kids without anybody watching!)
In the process of getting infinity over par on the course...
Oooh, you know this next part is gonna be good... :D See you next time!
My etsy favourites list is getting out of control, so I've listed a few things on ebay to (hopefully) fund the inevitable spending spree - I also don't want to pack stuff I don't plan on keeping when I move house, so it seemed like a good time to go through my wardrobe. There's a 50s black full skirted dress, a girdle, a brand new What Katie Did bra, a hat, cats eye sunglasses, fully fashioned seamed stockings and more! Please check it out!http://shop.ebay.com.au/fade096/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p4340
Sorry this post is a little boring - no outfits, pictures or anything! I basically have been living in my Freddies or a black pencil skirt/red shirt (my work uniform) so there isn't much to see :( I do have some pictures from my spa weekend (including some great finds from the market) but I just haven't had time to go through and upload them, but I'll get to it, I promise! Not to mention, I bought some goodies for a giveaway that have been sitting in my drawer for over three months... oopsies. Hopefully once I submit this assignment and move to my new house, we can resume our normal transmissions! Promise!
Please tell me I'm not reading this right - $100 for a freaking PHOTOCOPY? Get out of here >: ( and come back once you've actually researched the value of the product you're trying to sell. I wouldn't even pay that much for the original. Ughhhhh.
(But they offer free shipping, so that clearly makes up for everything, right? *rolls eyes*)
Congratulations to the winner of the 10% off What Katie Did voucher - Quiet and Small Adventures! (I used my boyfriend as a random number generator). Please leave me a message with your email so I can send you the code. Do show us all your purchases~
I'm spending a night in a sleep lab tomorrow observing researchers stick electrodes all over people (or "doing Inception" as my Dad calls it) but after I have recovered from that, I'll show you all photos of my spa weekend and market haul!
I know it isn't much, but I have a 10% off coupon for What Katie Did that is valid until the 30th of August. I am not planning to make another purchase that quickly, so I thought rather than letting it go to waste I'd offer it to one of you lovely ladies!
I'm going on a spa weekend as of tomorrow, so I'll do the drawing 4 days from now when I return (midnight Monday 23rd). Just leave a comment to enter, and this is for followers only! You can have an extra entry if you blog about it, just leave me a link to your post.
Mattel is having a lot of fun using its 'vintage' Barbie faces lately! I'm sure every man and his dog has heard about the Mad Men dolls, but these new ones popped up recently - The Wizard of Oz, 1960s style!
Click to enlarge and see the lovely details!
I do love the costumes - the poodle-skirt like natures of Dorothy's and the Wicked Witch's outfits (seriously, a flying monkey poodle-skirt? I kinda want one) and Glinda's dress looks as thought it was pulled out of a prom photo (in the best possible way).
I'm not sure how I feel about Dorothy and Glinda giving me the side-eye though! It's a perfect look for Elphaba (yes, I loved Wicked!) but I guess I just had a more wide-eyed, innocent look in mind for the others?
Seeing as Mattel is clearly on a vintage kick, any suggestions for other doll adaptations you'd like to see? I'd love to see a Hitchcock blondes collection - Tippi Hedren complete with birds for action mode, Kim Novak in both her forms from 'Vertigo', Grace Kelly in just about anything...
*edit* Apparently Mattel read my mind, there is already a Tippi Hedren doll!
"Shoo, I am mildly annoyed"
Now get working on the rest of my collection already!
Funny (in retrospect) story about this coat - I was on ebay after a long day at work (where we do not use decimal points when processing sales), I made what I thought was a max bid of $25.00 - guess what I actually entered in there! Eeep! To my horror the price kept rising and rising above what I wanted to pay, and because I hate confrontation I just took the bullet and paid for it. In the end though, I'm glad I won because I do love the thing!
I struggle to match clothes with this kind of print, because it is already so darn loud! I think maybe a dark red or teal top with a black skirt would be lovely, but I need to resist the urge to shop! My camera and I are having a fight (no amount of fresh batteries is enough to feed his insatiable hunger) so I think I need to buy a new one - it's an expense I don't really want right now, but blogging has become such a rewarding part of my life that I don't just want to stop! I borrowed my sister's for this post, but I hate to hassle her for use of it constantly so I'd really like my own again.
Is it obvious that I cannot work out how to use the self timer? Mirror and Myspace shots may have to suffice for now...
There is something so divisive about leopard print... I got so much side-eye in this that it was unbelievable! People in my city are kind of stereotyped as always wearing black, maybe something this loud is a little too much to handle. I'll make sure to bring some smelling salts for you next time, corporate-lady-next-to-me-on-the-train!
It seems like my hair will forever be in that weird inbetween stage between short and medium length hair. I haven't cut it since I first got the chop 8 months ago, and I feel like it's barely grown since then! I've come to the conclusion that short hair wasn't really for me, and am patiently waiting for my hair to grow back to the way it once was so I can go get a middy cut or something similar.
While it is tempting to go back to a shorter length just so I can look styled, rather than this awkward growing out look I'm rocking at the moment, I know that in the end I'll only have to go through the same cycle all over again. I attempted pincurls in my hair last night, which were a bit of a failure, but I managed to save the day AND discover a way to assuage my cravings to try something different with the length of my hair (without actually cutting any of it off!)
All I had to do was tuck up the end of my hair (where the curl didn't take) and voila! Instant bob! No regretful morning after when I wake up with a head that weighs about half a kilo less (yup, that's how much 'weight' I lost when I first cut my hair!)
I think I'll be playing around with this style a lot come summertime when I want to feel the cool breeze on my neck and look adorable in my 50s dresses. Best of both worlds!
A few weeks ago I went to the Melbourne Museum to see Titanic: The Artefacts Exhibition. (It's only on until mid-october, so any fellow Melbourne bloggers hurry up and check it out! Tip - see it on a Thursday evening like I did to avoid the large crowds.) The exhibition is divided into several sections, covering the construction of the ship; the interior of the ship, its facilities and the divide between First Class and Third Class passengers; the boiler room and the mechanics of the ship; the fateful encounter with the iceberg; the aftermath of the disaster and the inquests; and finally the recovery and preservation of artifacts from the sea floor decades later. When entering the room where the night of the disaster was covered, the temperature drops suddenly, and all is covered in an eerie blue light (there's even a giant hunk of ice for you to touch and experience just how cold those waters would have been!)
The whole exhibition is incredibly immersive: each 'passenger' is given a boarding pass with the name and history of a person who traveled on the Titanic. It's not until the very end when you find out whether you were saved, or one of the lost. It's tragic just how many of the people were meant to take another ship, but had their tickets transferred to the Titanic due to a coal strike. There's also irony in that one man who was meant to board the Titanic was kidnapped and forced into labour, only to escape several months later. What must have seemed like the most terrible thing in the world at the time was actually what no doubt saved his life! This to me was the greatest part of the exhibition - ensuring that the stories of the people involved were not lost, that they did not simply become another statistic of the disaster.
This is my "boarding pass" - a very large number of passengers traveled under assumed names! There are a lot of juicy backstories involving mistresses and card sharks - Mrs Kimball/Parsons (whatever her real name may have been...) had a rather interesting history herself. She was helping her friend's daughter escape a rather stalkerish suitor of hers, who chased them all the way to Europe and back!
There are reproductions of the bedrooms (both first and third class), hallways and dining rooms, as well as the grand staircase where you can get your picture taken.
Click to enlarge!
Each of the reproduction rooms is filled with the actual recovered artifacts for comparison - it's amazing to see how well some of the objects were preserved, including the most delicate items like jewelery and china. They look in almost new condition, their paintwork intact and not a scratch on them!
Only First Class passengers got the decorative china - Third Class china had the White Star Line logo imprinted upon them to prevent theft. You could buy reproduction dinner sets in either pattern in the gift shop, by which I was sorely tempted!
These bottles belonged to a perfumer on board the Titanic - apparently their scent still survives! Oh, what I wouldn't give to wear one of these!
I really enjoyed the exhibition and would encourage anybody in Melbourne to go and see it! And do put on your Sunday best - after all, you get to pose on that beautiful staircase! (Or, you know, dress up as Dr Who...)
Time for an update on my blog profile, 2 years on! I still don't know how to sew properly (how is it that I always manage to sew stuff inside out?) Still at university (although I'm one step further along the road to becoming a psychologist!) I work full time, so I am no longer a regular at any opshops (but hopefully can now afford a few etsy pieces that were previously out of my price range!) I still love the 40s and 50s, but am divebombing into the fun and experimental fashions of the 60s, 70s, and (gasp) today! I post irregularly, but when I do I hope you like what you see!