Friday, November 28, 2008

The Long and the Short

Alice McCall House of Dolls dress - Vogue forum ($60? $80 I've forgotten, and too lazy to look it up because it's pretend Sunday)
Fluro pink eighties swimsuit - 50cents op-shop
Tan plaited seventies belt - $1 op-shop
Tan leather gladiators - $40 Sportsgirl sale

We're still caught in a time warp over here - this outfit and most of this post is from last Sunday (and it might be a tiny bit...perfunctory in the way that Sunday posts often are). Next post I promise all new of-the-moment-right-here-and-now type material!

I've come to realise that without the winter tights and layers I'm used to wearing with this dress, it is rather:

a. transparent,
b. short.

The fluro swimmers underneath were my way of grappling with the see-through situation, but I didn't know just how short it really was until I was walking along the main street and some dude in a passing ute yelled out "I can see your undies!" with a big gleeful cackle and a thumbs up.

Admittedly no one openly checked out my short skirt at the organic market, a car boot sale down the road, or the beach (duh), but supermarket shopping at a local suburban mall felt a bit like running the gauntlet of leering elderly gents, and had me walking around holding my hem down with both hands. One old codger gave me so many trying-to-be-covert-but-failing-dismally leering looks that his equally ancient wife was forced to elbow him in the ribs to get him to stop. Heaven only knows how these old guys get through the day without blowing a gasket though, since the combination of hot climate and proximity to the beach here means that there are a lot of women walking around in not a lot of clothing...

Ah well, a lesson learnt! A lesson I have apparently not learnt yet is that if you leave three pairs of sandals in the cupboard unsupervised they'll mate and you'll end up with ten pairs within three short months. At the beginning of spring I had three pairs, and I realised today that I now have ten - at this rate there'll soon be no room for anything else in this house but sandals, and soon after that they'll have taken over the entire planet.

(check out the worn in foot marks on those black suede ones, it looks like ET has been borrowing my shoes again)

Those tan Sportsgirl gladiators are the latest addition to the tribe, and I'm going to try and keep it that way for a while at least. Although it has to be said that as we have at least four more months of hardcore sandal-wearing weather ahead of us I'm pretty sure they'll all get worn until they are just pitiful little shreds of leather held together with a few buckles and studs.

I think I have finally reined in my tan bag addiction though, I put two back on the rack at an op-shop last weekend, and finally bought a black leather bag ($3) this week. I haven't had a black bag for years and years, and even then it just for work, but I do quite often wish I had one - so hopefully this frilly fellow will fit the bill. It's squishy and slouchy enough for me to cram all my little-dude related cargo into it, so that's a promising start.

I've had a few requests for shack pictures, so I'm slowly sneaking them in here and there. The other day you saw our glamorous new sofa bed covered in my mother's old Mexican bedspread - today I'm giving you a little peek at the Mexican oil cloth my mother sent us from the UK as a shackwarming present.

It's actually a really vibrant aqua/turquoise colour, the camera washed it out a bit unfortunately. You can get a better idea of the real shade here (pretty sure this is where mum ordered it from). The oil cloth will look absolutely gorgeous covering up the fugly old plastic table on our verandah, definitely a step up from the cheap and cheerful pvc tablecloth there at the moment which is looking a bit worse for wear since the little dude (channeling his inner puppy) bit a great big hole in it.

The magnificent Hammie bestowed her self-made blog award upon me long, long ago and I've finally found a moment to tell you about it. When she first invented the award I was secretly hoping I'd get one, and I was inordinately thrilled when I actually did. Hammie is another deadset legend and a blogosphere national living treasure (perhaps the Blogosphere National Living Treasure award will be my self-made blog award, if I ever get round to self-making one) and an award from her is one worth getting indeed.

The rules for this as created by the inaugural winner The Seeker:
1. The nominated person can put the picture on their blog.
2. Share the love and link back to both the person who awarded you and back to the person who founded the award, that would be me.
3. Give it to two bloggers and link to them. Tell us in detail why they are beautiful.
4. Leave a message on those people's blogs to make them aware that they're nominated.
5. You are free to pass it on again, when you are "inspired" by a beautiful post or a beautiful blog.

I shall be nominating two beautiful bloggers in the next week, because this is one tag which really should be passed on far and wide.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oval Office

Indian pants/jumpsuit thing - $1 garage sale
Palest peach cotton tassle scarf - $5 Forever New sale rack
Black suede Senso fringed sandals - Max's Shoes sale last summer
Mother of pearl ring - $15 Bondi markets years and years ago

The space/time continuum is on a bit of a feedback loop in our house this week, which explains why this post is all about things which happened last Saturday. Last Saturday also being the day that the gastro fairy paid us a visit. The little dude was first to start the projectile vomiting (and other stuff that we won't mention, or even think about, ever again), we adult members of the household followed a day or so later. All over now thankfully, the bucket is back in it's rightful position catching drops of rain from the leaky ceiling (because we're having monsoon-style weather here at the moment)and I have a whole week's worth of blog posts rocketing around in my tiny mind, desperate to escape into the blogosphere.

Spheres and loops and all things round have been on my mind - this egg-shaped jumpsuit/pants hybrid garment being just one of them. I have a minor fixation on this:

which is known as the Bassike Oval Dress when it's at home. I don't really know about "dress", I think if you wore it as a dress you might look like an escaped mental patient, or someone who just discharged themselves from hospital without prior approval. In black it has more than a whiff of "buddhist nun" about it, yet somehow I keep going back and visiting the white voile version in a local boutique, trying to puzzle out the secrets of its construction (there's some sneaky assymetric stuff going on). I am determined to make my own - voile being something like $4 a metre, which would make the cost of this about $8 as opposed to the $160 the Bassike people are asking - I just need to squeeze a bit of sewing time out of the space/time continuum!

I kind of imagine the white oval top all oversized and scrunched up over the top of some hammer pants - the closest I could manage from my existing wardrobe is this almost poncho shaped Zimmermann top (I think it might be intended as a poolside cover-up actually, it was $2 from my old beloved oppy). I didn't quite manage the degree of roundedness I was after, even with the addition of those huge circular shell earrings (only one is peeking out here). I've had those for a million years and I never wear them anymore, but I can't get rid of them because they were my little present to myself when I finished film school.

I have been having the occasional hippy chick moment lately, the laid-back queensland vibe, the pandanus palms, 96% humidity, and proximity to Byron Bay tend to have that effect on me (the humidity also makes my super frazzled hair even frazzlier but that's a whole other story). Never fear though, my hippy moments are only enough to get me cruising round the sunday organic fruit & vege market in my egg-shaped Indian jumpsuit - not even close to enough for me to suddenly declare the little dude to be a Crystal/Indigo/Rainbow child* or start dreadlocking my hair (although that might just solve the frazzling problem...).

In other news the Skylark Hotel is officially open for business, now that I have acquired this sofa bed for our spare room/office. It's actually in perfect condition, but the upholstery is a very nineties shade of bottle green - which explains why my mother's old mexican cotton bedspread (hmmm, maybe those hippy moments are inherited) has been thrown over the top lest our spare room start looking like Ross Geller's apartment.

It was the princely sum of $42.50 from one of our local op-shops on Saturday. I actually spotted it on Friday afternoon (as it was being delivered to the store) but didn't buy it due to the hefty $85 price tag. As I was leaving empty handed I happened to notice a sign advertising a 50% storewide sale the very next day, so Saturday morning I actually lined up with a cluster of furniture dealers and fellow desperadoes so I could race into the store at opening time and grab the sofa bed for half price. The heart racing, blood thumping, air punching thrill of the hunt I felt as I triumphantly beat out another couple to a secondhand bottle green sofa bed is really quite embarrassing...

PS. If any Australian readers have tips on anti-frazzling products for hair which are easily obtained from Price Attack/Priceline/Hairhouse Warehouse type establishments, then I'd love to hear them. The deadly combination of chlorine, salt water, sun and humidity is frying my hair and it needs some love before it's too late. I gave it a protein treatment today which definitely helped, but any advice is very welcome!

*Seriously, people believe in this. I've lost count of the times I've got into idle conversation in a playground or whatever over the last couple of years and ended up having to nod along politely as some woman outlined the magical rainbow/crystal/whatever qualities of her kidlets (and occasionally herself).

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dress Up Dress Down

Zimmermann bird print top - from my cousin
Chambray shorts - 50cents op-shop
Tan vintage belt - $1 garage sale
Topshop clear jelly gladiators - $22 inc postage UK ebay

Today the little dude and I headed off to our first playgroup meeting here in our new town. It was a bit of a battle to even get accepted into the playgroup. I'm talking serious stealth tactics, disobeying direct orders, stealing phone numbers, shameless emotional manipulation, a web of lies (not actually my own I must add, but I willingly got myself entangled in it), and cold hard cash. After all that kerfuffle I was determined to make a good first impression.

We were actually all sunshine and smiles for playgroup, not J-Horror/Ringu like this.

I made a valiant stab at correct mummy dress code, (seriously - that's shorts, t-shirt and sandals right there) but truth to tell I think I was still kind of overdressed. Someone even helpfully advised me not to dress up next time. I have decided though that I'm going to dress the way I feel (within the bounds of practicality which playgroup requires) and people can just learn to love me (and the little dude of course, who is entirely loveable regardless).

New camera+new location=spooky photos

The little dude had a fabulous time at playgroup (or Pay Poop as he calls it), and I had an ok kind of time, until I checked out the dress-ups box and was almost overcome with a severe case of wardrobe envy. There was some really good stuff in there amongst the firemans helmets and batman capes, and I was itching to stuff it under my blouse and smuggle it out of there. Some highlights:

1. Gold lame/brocade sixties mini shift
2. Amazing blue sequinned eighties bolero jacket with sequinned floral trim
3. Butter soft lemon yellow eighties wedge sandals (so pretty)
4. Eighties black/white tie-dyed fringed cape/skirt/dress thing
5. Sixties white lace mini dress with tuxedo front and puff sleeves

Oh the frustration! Do you think I should volunteer to take the dress-ups box home for laundering and mending, and then just requisition a few choice items? Or is stealing from toddlers just not justifiable under any circumstances?

Actually all the op-shop purchases I have made so far here have been from the children's dress up rack - that's where the good stuff lurks (the rest of the racks being something of a polyester hellzone). Those tailored high waisted shorts (with cunning pleated detail at the waist which you can see if you squint and look closely) had the totally 80s tags still on them from the resort shop they were originally sold in. I think they were on the dress up rack because the fabric is just a little bit iridescent. The sequins on the cropped silk top are a little bit iridescent too, I feel like a little christmas beetle!

The sequinned top actually came as a two piece set with a sequinned skirt as well (for a whopping twelve dollars). I love them together, but I think even I might draw the line at wearing the complete ensemble during daylight hours. There's actually a little sequin flower detail on the top and skirt which you can't see here (and the photo I took of it is really dreadful), which makes them a little bit sweeter and not quite as vampiric as you might otherwise think.

I have no compunction about wearing the skirt in the daytime though - here it is with a cobalt blue silk eighties top ($4 garage sale) which has somehow never been sighted here on the blog, even though I wear it ALL THE TIME, with virtually everything in my wardrobe.

I have a couple of little posts rattling around in my head, so hopefully circumstances (and the little dude) conspire to give me a bit of posting time in the next couple of days. I miss my blog too much, and anyone who might still be reading it!

PS. You wouldn't think such a sunny, happy little house could produce such scary pictures, would you? I am getting the hang of my new camera and working out how the light works around the house, so there is a slightly experimental edge to my photos at the moment. As in all things, I am begging you to please bear with me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Facts

This photo looks like a mugshot (crime: extreme tiredness and aggravated exhaustion), see below for the explanation...

Some important facts (well, probably not important, but they are facts):

1. We are now here on the Gold Coast in our little beach shack. All unpacked and finally shipshape. What a mission that was!
2. Moving to a new town in a new state is somewhat discombobulating.
3. Trying to blog about my life is slightly difficult when I have no life. Top of my To-Do list is "Get a Life".
4. The little dude broke my camera on Sunday. How? An unsolved mystery.
5. The only other camera in the house is an ancient digital which goes dead when you use the zoom. Trying to take self-timer self-portraits with it is nightmarish. That mugshot up there was the only shot where I managed to get myself completely in the frame.
6. I feel like I am on constant patrol for potential little dude friends so am in disguise as a regular mummy-type person with a subdued and sensible wardrobe.
7. The little dude is requiring a lot more of my energy than usual because he's feeling the effects of upheaval, and also because we're in a new house with lots of space for him to rampage and maraud and generally get up to stuff (eg. breaking camera).

None of this is conducive to blogging AT ALL. We do have our broadband back on at least, which is conducive to the reading of blogs - so that's something.

So, sad to say, the disrupted programming situation around here will continue for a while. I have set myself a little goal of posting at least twice a week and I'm hoping that if we can solve the camera conundrum (and make some actual friends in the neighbourhood) then I'll start amping back up to my old daily posting ways.

I took a leaf out of Sharon-Rose's book and hit a car boot sale on Sunday. It was like a million garage sales all squished into a carpark and I got a tiny bit overwhelmed because in my usual garage sale M.O. I started talking to all the stallholders and getting the back stories on all their stuff - and there were so many stalls and stallholders and so much stuff my circuits started to overload. In the end I only bought a waste basket for 50 cents (that's the kind of shopping I'm doing at the moment with a new house to fill) and this eighties leather vest of extreme and irresistible preposterousness.

The pale leather fringing is actually lavender:

The guy I bought this from (for the exorbitant sum of $10 because I couldn't be bothered bargaining him down) got it in Vegas (where else?) and I'm pretty sure he wore it with all the trimmings, and without irony. I think I'll just be boring and wear it with shorts and a ribbed tank.

PS. There's lots of lovely things happening too, we're just in the initial storming-the-beaches phase of our invasion plan and things are still a bit topsy-turvy and hectic. One of my favourite little discoveries was a gardenia bush flowering in our front yard:

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Bye Bye Bondi - Part Two

So this is really it - everything is packed, the place is as clean as it is ever going to get, our cat is thoroughly traumatised, and we are flying north in the morning.

See you in a week (hopefully)!


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bye Bye Bondi - Part One

We're almost all packed up now, and the cleaning is about 75% done - so I have five minutes to dash off tiny little post.

See that hat I'm wearing? One of our neighbours in this building brought it round for the little dude today. She found it in her hat box and knew he would get a kick out of it, being the mad fiend for a hat that he is. I'm rather fond of it too - with its crazy tie dyed felt and bowler-ish shape - but I really love what it represents. It's a symbol of the little community that we've made here - the sort of urban family of funny stray people who like us (and love our little dude) and that we're really going to miss.

I'm going to miss living in a place where there is always someone around to talk to, where I can just let the little dude out to play in the backyard and there'll be someone (and maybe a little dog too) out there happy to kick the football with him or dig in the garden with him or find a funny old felt hat for him to wear. The goodbyes are really starting to get to me now (you can probably tell). Ah well, we'll find a new motley crew soon enough - and we'll have the hat to remind us of the people we left behind.

Much cuter on this guy, I think you'll agree!