Tag Archives: style

branching out with new (but actually not) things

After impatiently checking my doorstep everyday for the last few weeks, at last my camera has arrived. As well as a bowler hat I bought off eBay, which I’m also very excited about. Although, I had a scary moment when I put them both on at the same time, and when combined with the outfit I was wearing at the time, looked extremely like a Tumblr hipster.

Of course, if these two items weren’t satisfying enough, I headed off to a vintage sale this morning armed with only $10, and managed to spend all of it on a beautifully bright knitted vest – an item of clothing I own nothing similar too. Having only enough money for one thing put a lot more pressure on me to find something worthwhile (and believe me, there were many tempting options), but ultimately the result is me coming away with something I truly want, as opposed to something that I purchase out of a fleeting interest and low price tag combination. It’s interesting, but a this vest is something that 2 years ago I wouldn’t have gone anywhere near. For one thing, I hated vests because it feels like the lack of sleeves is impractical. But also, I just thought that something about their proportions were odd, and they reminded me of awkward early teenage fashions, since there was a distinct waistcoat/vest trend going around when I was 14. I also was in a very muted colour phase for while, to the point of being monochromatic, and transitioning out of that has been a slow process.

That’s what makes this vest so exciting to me – it’s a symbol of me branching out in my tastes, and also buying things without caring what others think about them. I held back on what I wanted to wear for so many years, that it’s only been in the last 18 months that I’ve truly been able to let my style emerge. So far it seems to revolve a lot around knitwear and Doc Martens, but you’ve got to start somewhere, right?

Sometime very soon I will parade around kitted out with my vest, hat and camera and have a merry time gallivanting and photographing. For some reason, these three items feel like the start of something new – perhaps marking a shift in my life direction or general sense of being.

I’ve already wasted the film on several random photos. Well, not really wasted, because I was having a lovely time taking photos of things in my garden and house, but the photos lack meaning. They’re just pretty images, but I was so desperate to get started that that was all I had. Nothing eventful has happened since the camera arrived on my doorstep yesterday – I just went to work, slept and spent today attempting to study but mostly zoning out or napping. But don’t worry, I have big plans for this camera. It’s going to come everywhere with me, so I don’t miss a moment.

Then I shall get the film processed and maybe share some of the photos, if I deem them worthy.

My new old vest

My new old vest

 

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an ardent admirer of antiques

English: Antiques being sold on Colaba Causeway

English: Antiques being sold on Colaba Causeway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Over the last few years, I have developed a passion for antique and vintage items, whether it be furniture, clothing or random knick knacks. I mentioned when I bought the vintage sailor dress that I love the idea of objects having a life before I encounter them, and while this is the main attraction I have to them, there is more to it. Things made in years gone just tingle my senses more. I find them to be infinitely more attractive when they’re from periods I admire. Of course, every era has its embarrassments – some of the brown and orange stripes of the 70s were pretty hideous, or the neon of the 80s. But it also had its definitive style statements – the beautiful art deco of the 1920s or the fabulous mod dresses of the 1960s. They’re so stunning that my eyes begin to water when I look at them.

Over the last year I became obsessed with a massive antique warehouse 15 minutes from my house, where I’ve forked over a good deal of money on beautiful furniture and homewares. The furniture needs a little restoration, but that’s why I’ve been getting such good deals on them. Including the couch pictured below, which needs quite a bit of restoration to the woodwork, springs and covering, but had such a lovely frame (and price) that I couldn’t resist.

Jacobean sofaJust think of what its life could have been, and now I’m bestowing the gift of regeneration on it.

Is it any wonder, after all this, that I’m thrilled to be going to a bar filled with antiques, candlelight and chaise lounges in the near future? I think not. To me, there really could not be a better bar.

 

excited about the latest issue of Frankie magazine that is bursting out of my mailbox

Literally, bursting. Because it contains so much goodness.

I swear, Frankie time is one of the best bits of every 2 months. For the last few months, some of my best days have been when the magazine arrives. Sadly, I need to find the money to re-up my subscription though – I only have two issues left. But that can be done later.

Frankies has arrived!

What other magazine arrives with origami instructions on the back of the page with your address?  It’s one of the most exciting things about this quirky magazine. And I do so love origami – once, when I was about 11, I made origami boxes for everyone in my class and filled them with lollies for Christmas. That was some 30-odd boxes, and I labelled each one for people. A fair undertaking, but I loved every minute of it.

I really enjoyed DIY as a kid. Origami, sewing, masks, writing stories – my bedroom was filled with them. I had a book called 100 TV-free activities for kids. That pretty much sums up how I spent my time. It had everything from craft to cooking in it, and I remember always dreaming about making potato fritters (though I never did), because the book made them sound so tantalising.

But then I discovered the lure of the internet, and school kicked into high gear, and I forgot about how good it made me feel. I think I also got “too old” and “too cool”. I still continued some sort of creative activity, but now it was on Photoshop and Illustrator, with the occasional writing piece.

It wasn’t until last year that I rediscovered some of my craftier passions – I’m now knitting a scarf, and I have a few projects underway. Not to mention the hot glue gun I now own, the various pieces of felt, the beads and the canvases (for a photo print I’ve yet to do). At Christmas I went into a frenzy making decorations for my tree, mostly since I own so few and can’t really afford to buy many from the shops.

I think reading Frankie on a regular basis spurned me on. There are just so many amazing ideas and craft projects mentioned, and the articles are about such inspiring, crafty people. I’m actually incredibly jealous of the people I read about. Their lives sound so satisfying. Just creating things and living their lives their own way, without the pressure of society to dress or behave a certain way. No professional dress code, no company policy, no bottom line. Just doing what makes them happy for a living.

I wish I could do that. But I don’t have the skill or talent or specific medium to do it. Yet. Maybe I’ll find my thing, someday.

But for now, I’m just going to snuggle up with Frankie, a hot chocolate and The Frames, and dream of a content creative life.

hungry for a costume party

I’m not an extroverted person. But somehow, I still love dressing up. Maybe it’s my inner child, or maybe it’s the fact that when you dress up, you get to leave your own personality behind. So when people see you, they’re just checking out your costume. And getting their appraisal is easy, since all you have to do to ace a costume party is go as something totally original, deck yourself out completely as your character or just a combination of both.

And these means easier conversations for my introverted self –  a simple starting point becomes discussing the costume, how someone arrived at it and maybe getting them to explain references. You can easily bond over shared interests, such as if by some amazing chance you end up going as Princess Leia and there happens to be a Han Solo there.

I actually do have a costume party coming up (mathletes vs athletes), but unfortunately the people invited tend to prefer to be ‘pretty’ versions of the costumes. You know, put on a normal outfit and some glasses and that’s it. They still look relatively normal.

And it’s a narrow theme, which doesn’t require a lot of creativity. Athlete is easy to dress up as, you just need sportswear or workout gear of some sort. And the geek/nerd theme is so common these days that everyone has some version of it that they’ve worn somewhere.

Not that this is a bad thing, it makes preparation easier and extremely cheap.

It’s just that it doesn’t satisfy my hunger for a real costume. I want to create something, spend ages google searching ideas for how I’d be a Harajuku girl (almost dressed up as one once, but I changed my mind last minute), or how to perfect my smurf makeup.

But it seems despite many of my friends turning 21, parties are lacking, and costume parties are even more endangered.