Archive for ‘jewellery’

December 26, 2010

Thar be ducks


Apologies for my absence! No rest for the wicked, etc. I’m afraid outfit shots will be few and far between for the next few days — Valerie has zipped off overseas and so I am minus one photographer. These shots were taken quite a while ago, actually, sometime before Christmas. We were at uni — yes, during the Christmas break —  as I had some books to pick up and some forms to submit.

Campus is wonderfully quiet during the semester break. And with all the paving, it’s more than an ideal place to test Valerie’s cheap Aldi scooter (at $25, it would be epic even if it fell apart after two metres). Aldi is, for some reason, Valerie’s drug of choice for cheap junk. So far, between the two of us, we’ve accumulated:

  • One scooter;
  • One ultrasonic cleaner;
  • Three boxes of wooden blocks;
  • Four Halloween-themed ice cube trays;
  • A toaster (‘????’ indeed);
  • Two iPod docking speaker thingehs;
  • A Wii Fit accessories set;
  • Approximately one kilogram of fairy floss over the space of three weeks, though I’ve most definitely eaten it all. Very sad.


I think there’s more; I just can’t recall. We’ve also tried all the chocolates and most of the ice creams. The stuff is good. Better than good. Chocolates made in Germany seriously pwn any and all supermarket brands.

The Aldi people recognise us, as we’re there far too often and we buy strange things. When we’re not buying strange things, we’re buying ‘snack food only’ or ‘just breakfast’ (like six boxes of ice cream; or one avocado, a small packet of bacon and a packet of English muffins)  standing patiently in line as elderly person after elderly person unloads the groceries for the week.

We don’t just stick to our local Aldis, either. I think we’ve gone to every single Aldi within half an hour — which is an awfully long way to go when there are two within ten minutes of my place, really. When one pops up near uni, it’ll probably become our newest haunt.

Save us all.

Until then, we’ll just stay around campus, wheeling scooters around and chasing ducks. (DUCKS, BOOYEAH.)


At my uni, if you’re interested in the ducks you’re usually (a) a first-year student; (b) an international student; (c) new for another reason.

You may also be (d) drunk, but I’m never around when parties and things are on, so I’m not too sure how true the last one is.

I still like them. Not because they’re new and fascinating but because they’re so used to people that they don’t fly off when you come close. They don’t like people, though, so all they do is waddle away quite discreetly. Such polite birds.

They probably didn’t like the jangling sound my belt made, either. It’s a plain brown  leather belt I found at an op shop, with holes trimmed in gold hardware, like tiny thin washers (you know, the things… in… machines). I threaded a length of brass chain through one of them, and attached an antique brass compass and a large reproduction skeleton key, from an Oroton keyring.

My earrings are little typewriter keys, purchased from KeysAndMemories on Etsy. One says ‘backspace’ and the other is the ‘?/’ punctuation key. I don’t wear them half as often as I should, as they’re a bit bigger than I’d like — but, alas, miniature typewriters don’t exist, so! They just sit around looking very pretty, which satisfying enough for me.

My headband is made of little watchfaces that I glued onto a Diva band (they’re always falling off, too ><). And I’ve just realised I forgot to include a shot of my necklace. Here it is, anyway:

It’s from BirdzNbeez, also on Etsy, and has non-working watchparts in the centre. I’ve posted close-ups of all of these accessories here.

The dress is from Fleur Wood and my shoes are from… I can’t recall. The name has faded, too. They feel like Siren shoes but I’m not certain. I used to have little gold watchgears on the buckle, but they’ve slipped off.

And my little bag is from TamiLyn on Etsy, who makes beautiful pieces made from scraps of vintage tablecloths and old buttons. Definitely worth a look ^^.

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season!

December 12, 2010

Black cats and black dresses

Today is Saturday, or so the calendar tells me. My family is also home and I slept in till 10am, so everything points to Saturday. I’m only dwelling on this because I’m not quite sure where the week went. I vaguely recall Wednesday. It doesn’t help that the humidity keeps lulling me to sleep. Truth be told, I’m falling asleep now. I’m only staying awake because I am stubborn.

You see, if I stay awake, I increase my chances of something interesting happening (and not in the Agatean sense — props if you know what I mean — unless I am far away from the danger). If I fall asleep, those chances are basically down to zero.

Sleeping not allowed.

So far, nothing has really happened. I have stained my fingers with ink because I was fiddling around with the nib of my Lamy Safari fountain pen. This doesn’t usually bother me, because I liked having stained fingers — and this ink matches my nail polish. But it’s a bit of a hassle now, because I am eating chocolate and have melty chocolate on my fingers that I can’t lick off in case I get ink poisoning omg, etc., etc., hypochondriac, etc., am not, etc., in denial, etc., just lick the chocolate already okay.

Something might happen, though. (My conscience whispers: ‘work? Like that article you have to redraft?’ —Shut up, conscience, you traitor.) While I’m waiting, I’m going to spam you poor readers with blog posts. Of the sort-of-drunken vein. I’m not drunk, though; I don’t actually drink alcohol. Like Gussie Fink-Nottle from Wodehouse’s Jeeves novels, my poison of choice is orange juice. I love the stuff. I call it poison because I drink far more than the recommended dose. Whatever that may be. I’m not even sure if there’s a recommended dose for orange juice but I assure you, I drink more of it than I should.

For one thing, orange juice gets you through all-nighters. Forget coffee. Orange juice. Seriously. The sugar. It hits you. I speak from experience; particularly the ‘I spent two weeks going to bed at 3am and waking up at 7am because of the damn’d thesis’ experience, which I don’t really remember. But orange juice managed to pull me through.

Aaaaanyhow. I can’t remember how I intended to segue to this set of pictures (when I was still awake; before I decided to rattle on about orange juice). Meta-segue will do! Pseudo-segue! What you will.

Today, I wore a black dress by Birds & Umbrella. It’s inspired by the Lover Charlotte ruffle dress, which I umm’d and ahh’d over when it was first released. It’s a bit different to my style generally, you see; casually feminine instead of hyperfeminine, omg bows-vomited-on-you feminine. And then I saw the Birds & Umbrella copy at about $65 I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.


My bag is from Oroton. I can’t recall the style name but I think I bought it in 2008. It is a good, simple, utility bag and everything gets tossed into it with an air of happy, carefree disorganisation (and taken out with an anguished, ‘aaugh, my bag is such a mess where on earth are my keys — oh, there’s fifty cents in here; neat — I hate this bag aaaugh!’). I have a Mimco bow on my wrist and my headband is from a UK brand, though I can’t remember which. The acrylic is remarkably similar to Mimco’s, though — perhaps a bit lighter, but more or less the same. I wish I could remember because I wouldn’t mind nabbing some more.
The belt is from eBay and can be had for about $10 (maybe even less) if you just search ‘bow belt’ on (eBay Australia’ will yield you belts that claim to be from Alannah Hill, but they’re not. Very similar, but not.) And my necklace is the ‘Fairest of them all’ piece from Disney Couture. I love how it puts pops of red into my outfits. You can see a closer picture in this post.
My shoes are from Siren. I used to have them in a flat version as well but I lost the shoe on the rails at Town Hall Station (Christmas crush, ugh) and never really bothered trying to get it back. I don’t mind the heeled version, really; it doesn’t feel hugely different as the heel height is rather low. I should have tried for a close-up of the shoes — there are two little gold flat studs on the outer side of the round toe vamp, and two subtle pleats/folds/seams. I like them very much. You would have been able to see them here, but my cat photobombed us.


PHOTOBOMBED. (Duchess, my grey Persian snobby cat, also inadvertently photobombed the shot of my headband — funny fluffy catty thing by my head in the middle picture.)

Valerie was lying down to get this shot and he wanted to say hi to her. His name is the most original of names ever bestowed upon a cat: Black Cat. In our defence, it only came around by accident: he wasn’t ours to begin with. He lived at a house down the road from our old house (we moved last year) and used to torment our cats and eat their food. So whenever we saw him, it was ‘that black cat’ and ‘go away, black cat’ and ‘Mum, the black cat is bullying Kipper again’.

(Kipper is my socially anxious gay tabby. My sister calls him ‘Loretta’ because, like Stan from Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Kipper desperately wants kittens. Of his own. With our older tabby, Star. Star hates Kipper. Star’s hatred is a source of anxiety for Kipper. It’s a strange relationship.)

Anyway, his owners moved away and left him, which made him bully our cats away from their food all the more. We left extra food out for him, because even though he was an arse, he’s a cat and cats shouldn’t be abandoned. Animals, full stop, although I’m a cat lover, so they’re ‘default cute animal’ to me.

When we moved away, we tried to catch Black Cat but couldn’t get him. He didn’t really like us (he just liked the food) and used to attack us if we tried to save our cats from being bullied. (I have a scar down my right forearm where he bit me and clung on, though it’s fading now.) My mother would visit our old house every day to leave him food and hopefully catch him, and after two weeks, gave up.

One week later, she checked out of sheer desperate hope and there he was, a bit thin but not really any worse for wear.

She took him home.

And he loved us. Still does. He acts like we’re the best people in the universe, and I haven’t the heart to correct him. He particularly likes Valerie, and we’re not quite sure why.

December 7, 2010

In which I frolic.

It was a sunny day here. An incredibly sunny day.

I have a love-hate relationship with the sun. I’m prone to headaches and bright light heightens my chances of ending the day with the feeling that moving my neck will make my head fall off.

But I do like that I can wear light floaty things without needing to layer too much, and that the weather paints the world with a palette that matches the tone of my outfits.

Here, I’m wearing a Fleur Wood dress with an Alannah Hill ‘Little Picket Fences’ belt in red and cream. My legs are encased in knee-high socks, which not only looks rather sweet and twee and frolic-worthy but protects my skin from grass (I’m mildly grass intolerant). Double duty clothing ftw. You can see a detailed shot of the socks on Wikifashion — they’re polka-dotted with a sparkly garter and a little pink bow. The photo is plastered in watermarks but I can’t find the original on my computer to save my life.

I have an Alannah Hill butterfly clip in my hair, called ‘Love Addict’, and my shoes are Midas blue suede shoes with a bow I attached myself:


I’m also wearing a Dior silver bow necklace with a little pink Swarovski charm and a little silver ‘D’. This is it here, although the pink didn’t come out very well. It’s a very pale, subtle, silvery-pink, and my camera turned it a bit flat (click to enlarge):



In a desperate attempt to appreciate spring weather, I went out and tried frolicking amidst the flowers in Valerie’s garden. All the world’s a stage and my costumes let me play the parts, right?

It began well enough. And then I started to run around like I had no arms…

And then I noticed that I could see my reflection in the windows of the house. The third picture is often what I do when I unexpectedly see my reflection.

I don’t know why I do it, either. I suspect it’s to make sure it’s actually my reflection and not someone else’s. Because no one else would break into strange dances. I might try jazz fingers next time for extra win.

I am obvsly the hippest dancer in town.

November 22, 2010

General sensory hedonism

(Just a little shameless plug: thinking about doing a giveaway; please read about it send me your thoughts here. Would appreciate it ^^!)

If you are/were an English major, or ever did any ‘classic’ English units, you most likely ran across Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, which features copious amounts of effeminate male aesthetes eating chocolates, sipping wine and generally enjoying all of life’s shallow pleasures. The book can easily be read as a warning against hedonism (live for the pleasures of the flesh and your soul will pay!!111oneoneeleven) but I usually ignore that reading, reveling instead in the general displays of hedonism. There is a section in The Picture of Dorian Gray that describes all of Dorian’s little hedonistic pursuits: he collects jewels; paintings; goes to the opera; collects more things; fills his house with beautiful rubbish. (The declutterers among you may faint in despair at that last one XP.)

Let me confess now: I have a tendency to collect things. I actually go through quite intense phases of ‘must have them all!’ I used to play Maple Story (a rather dull and cutesy 2D side-scrolling MMORPG, but I love it) and every time a game event happened, in which players could collect limited edition items/weapons/what-have-you, I made it my mission to get the entire set. And I did, even if I had to trade a great deal of pixelated gold for a pixelated (overpriced) ‘rare item’.

My last phase was Lush, but I’m more or less done with that now — I only drop in to replenish skincare products when they’ve run out. (I’ll admit that that phase only ran out when I tried everything in the store. And I have, except for the things with jasmine, because I’m allergic to jasmine.)

Valerie, however, is still indulging in olfactory delights and an interest in perfume has begun to kindle — niche perfumes, particularly, which are unfortunately few and far between in Sydney. Today, we went to Mecca Cosmetica hoping to find Comme des Garcons’ Series 2 ‘Tea’ perfume, but our local didn’t have a tester out. Valerie did light upon CdG’s newest addition, ‘Wonderwood’, which is a nice woody scent — woody, a little spicy, and ever so slightly sweet on the dry-down.

I sniffed around but found nothing I liked better than my current fragrance, Miss Dior Cherie — I’ve been wearing it every day for almost six years now but I haven’t found anything that blends with my skin chemistry quite as well.

This is what I was wearing, by the by:

Oooh, dodgy pic. My apologies. The lighting in my room was horrible at the time.

All from Alannah Hill except for the belt, the hair bow and the necklace. The skirt is called ‘Lost in Headlights’. I think I’ve posted it before. Really one of my favourite skirts — I find that I end up trying it with everything. It’s surprisingly versatile. The cardigan is called ‘Flames to Dust’ — this season’s Alannah Hill has a recut, but I wasn’t too enamoured with them. (I have them in black/cream trim, red/cream trim and black/pink trim’ but I really want more.) And the cami is called ‘Adorable Wafer Girl’ and comes in a pale pink, which I have, and black, which I don’t. I really regret it — they’re really versatile pieces.

The necklace, which you can’t really see in that picture, is from Disney Couture. It’s gold-plated and reads ‘Fairest of them all’, and has a little red enamel apple. Here’s a close-up photo:

It’s a bit of a vain thing to wear but, in my defence, I got it as a gift. And it’s so awesomely kitsch; how could I not wear it?

November 17, 2010

Dabbling in steampunk

I love steampunk. It’s becoming more mainstream now, which makes it easier to find things but it’s sadly not as satisfying. I’ve absolutely no right to be an elitist steampunker because my DIY accessories are strikingly amateur and I don’t even ‘punk’ up my outfits. It’s really just nostalgic pseudo-Victorian stuff with gears XP.

This is a belt with an antique brass compass and an antique-style skeleton key (actually a keyring from Oroton, lol!) I found the  belt at an op-shop and attached the key and compass with lengths of brass cable chain. The hardware on the belt reminded me of portholes on ships (and, less romantically, of washers — those funny flat rings that you find in hardware stores), which just begged to be realised, so I hunted for the perfect brass compass — I don’t quite recall where I got it, but it was for a nifty $30, which makes me very happy indeed.



BEHOLD THE POWER OF THE GLUE GUN. I can’t believe that stuff actually works. Not as well as actual good glue, of course, but I don’t know very much about craft and this has served me well so far. (Talk to me again when the entire thing shatters, lol!) I believe the headband is a cheapie from Diva — just a plain black double band in a light metal. The watch-faces are from vintage watches. Some of them came from a hairclip I purchased on Etsy, I think.




I didn’t make these, though I may try my hand at them later. These are earrings made from typewriter keys, purchased from Keys And Memories on Etsy. There are some beautiful things there; definitely worth checking out ^^.



This was also purchased from Etsy. It’s part of the Once Upon A Time collection by BirdzNBeez, who does wonderfully delicate pieces with actual watch movements. The collection has changed since I bought the necklace but there are still some lovely pieces. (I’m especially fond of the steampunked robot.)

I think I’ll expand my steampunk collection over the next few months. I imagine a brass pocket-watch would work really well with the androgynous look I posted a few days ago. The thought of ambling around in a suit, some leather oxfords and a pocket-watch swinging from a chain is terribly appealing.

November 13, 2010

Feathering the nest

I suspect this is one of my final years with a completely disposable income. Next year, I’ll (hopefully) be on a PhD scholarship — which does mean more money than I usually get, but it also comes with quite a few expenses, which I haven’t yet tallied up. I’ve been trying to save here and there but, quite frankly, I suck at saving. The thought of having less money drives me to stock up my wardrobe and my other non-essential collections (ink, pens and notebooks XD). I’ve been pretty good since the beginning of November (which I’ve just realised was really only last week. Um.) and then my pre-ordered Sretsis bird ring arrived.



Yaaaaaaay ^^! I like it a great deal. It sits on my finger and tells me sparkly stories so that I don’t have to listen in class. It’s almost better than Facebook. This is the tiny version, but I’m tempted to get the bigger one, and another one in the blue/pink colourway.

I tried to capture the amazing detail in this photo, but failed spectacularly. A photographer I am not! It’s made from multiple tiny glass beads fused together — terribly fiddly work, I imagine. There’s also a gleam of red at the under the beak, like the pink blush that birds have at their breast and throat.  I love little details like that. (Really wish I could get a good photo of it. May try later.)


I’m tempted to say, ‘I’ll be wearing it with floaty dresses and lovely scarves’ but really, I have no restraint AND I WILL BE WEARING IT WITH EVERYTHING BOOYEAH.

What I do need to work out is what nail polish to pair it with. The Sretsis lookbook models are wearing pale pink polish, which I love but I have yet to find a neutral pink that suits my skintone (NC30, if anyone has any suggestions). I’ve got it with Ulta3’s Wild Berry at the moment, which is a dusty blue-grey — nice,  but it doesn’t highlight the light bouncing off the beads as well as pink could.


Purchased at