My Little Tour

These are not tour photos (Although, you'll be glad to know I've managed to take outfit photos everyday of the tour dresses I've been wearing!) I took these in December last year. 

I'm currently on tour with Vanishing Shapes. We're currently in Brisbane chilling out before this evening's gig. We've been away from home for about a week, most of which has been spent at, or North of Byron Bay.  

It's crazy just how different the climate is up here, mostly the strength of the sun. I've been slathering myself in sunscreen everyday, and have still managed to get a tiny bit burnt. 

Real talk: I know that it's very necessary, especially during summer (and I make sure to wear it when I'll be out in the sun) but I really do not like wearing sunscreen. Even the "non greasy" stuff leaves a greasy, almost dirty film on my skin. Still way better than a sunburn though. 

I've also not had a hot shower since being up here out of choice. I've not been in a place that's too hot for a hot shower before. I've actually really enjoyed the refreshing cool feeling that comes from a cold shower. 

Apart from the weather, tour has been a really creative time. I've done so much painting (which you can see on my instagram) I've also made some jewellery (which you'll get to see in my next post) 

Most importantly, we've had some absolutely killer gigs! We've hit up the temperance society in Sydney, 5 Church Street in Bellingen, and played two ripper house concerts: Byron fine house music concerts, which was an intimate chill out time, and one for the Porch Project in Yandina Creek with a ripper new band called the score (As soon as they have any kind of social media presence I'll be posting about them! They're rad!) We've also spent time on the streets of Byron Bay busking our little hearts out. 

Sitting.jpg

I've done a lot of busking in a lot of different places, and I think Byron Bay has been my favourite so far. People actually stop and listen, and chat to you, unlike most other places where everyones in such a rush to be somewhere, and don't have time/patience/cares to have a gander. 

Anyway, I'll be sure to post another update when I can! 

So, it's a new year or whatever.

Is it weird that I don't really care about it being a New Year? With the lifestyle I'm currently leading, time is a somewhat arbitrary and anxiety inducing concept, and this "magical phenomenon" known as "New Year" is just a small, inconvenient blip on my radar. 

Despite my pessimistic philosophising, I actually had a pretty great new years eve. I spent it in Gulgong with the Button Collective playing Brodie's songs and Irish music. This is the second new year in a row that I've been with the Buttons playing Irish music as the clock ticks over, and I think it's definitely my favourite way to celebrate this arbitrary occasion.  

Like the last time I disappeared from this blog space, these photos were not taken recently. I took these back in October when life was slightly less hectic. I overcommitted myself through November and December, and although I probably had the time to to bloggy internety things, I just didn't have the mental or emotional energy. 

I'm not one for setting "New Year Resolutions" but this "personal growth goal type thing" just happened to coincide with the thing. Last year, particularly towards the end, I felt as if I was drowning beneath a huge pile of "to do's" and anxiety. This made doing "arty things" like working on this blog, and sewing, and making art pretty difficult. 

I'm determined to not let that happen as often to the extent that it did. I've broken my work schedule down into a really basic bare minimum work style. (basically, I've got a very small set amount of regular work I have to achieve on a weekly basis. If I'm up to it, I'm going to do more, if I'm not, well, I'm slowing chipping away at the work pile, which will keep me from metaphorically drowning) 

One last thing, I feel the need to apologise for my absence and for talking about my mental health all the time. I know intellectually that I don't need to. It's more of an apology to myself more than whoever happens to read this blog. I suppose I feel a personal guilt, because I've been neglecting this space, and miss it so much. 

OK, actual last thing. I'm going on tour with Vanishing Shapes. We'll be going up to Brisbane! If you happen to live between Sydney and there, and have some free time on your hands, here are our tour dates

I think thats enough word vomit. Enjoy your day! 

Emerald Elegance

Would it be weird for me to talk about a dress I sewed the other day but am not wearing at all in this blog post? I feel like it would be, but I'm going to do it anyway. After I photographed this outfit I did a bad and went to spotlight (pro tip, I should never be allowed in spotlight). I intended to by 1 meter of cool fabric, but ended up walking out with many fabrics. Whoops? 

Anyway, with this rare burst of energy and creativity I'm feeling I ended up impulse buying this super soft fleece knit with puppies and flowers, then in the 4 hours before I had to be on a train to Sydney for Jazz I sewed a "tour dress" 

I'm not sure If I've ever talked about tour dresses on this blog, but basically a tour dress is a super comfy loose fitting dress which can 1) be folded/rolled up into a super small ball/ not crease 2) is comfortable enough to be worn to bed as pyjamas. Once paired with opaque tights one is unstoppable in a tour dress. I've only ever bought my tour dresses from op shops (as up until recently I wasn't game to sew with any sort of knit material. It's a strange fabric/sewing technique to get used to. I also rarely sew dresses, because I like to draft my own patterns/ can't work out how to drape a fitted cotton dress.) LONG STORY SHORT I sewed my first tour dress using a selfdrafted/improvised pattern. 

Legit, this dress is the softest, comfiest thing I own. It's also super warm. Hopefully I'll have photos soon (but who knows. My tour dresses rarely make it onto this blog... maybe I'll do a tour dress roundup/ talk about clothing/packing as a fashion conscious musician for a tour where you can't fit much in your car)  

Now that I've told you all about his awesome dress that you cannot see, I might talk about the skirt I'm wearing a little! I really really like this skirt. The fabric is a soft texture, it fits super well, it's the perfect shade of green, it's a great length, and I really like the way it's pleated. The only problem with this skirt is that it's nearly impossible to get the creases ironed out. 

I've tried almost everything. I've steamed it with steamer/ in the bathroom. I've ironed it damp, I've ironed it dry. I've ironed it on the hottest setting, and still those creases will not move. It's stopped me from reaching for/wearing this skirt many a time (I dislike wearing clothes that need an iron. It makes me feel a bit messy) It's such a great skirt though! So when I put this outfit together I decided "creases be damned" and wore it anyway. I'm sure no one noticed, and if they did, they probably didn't care, but after my mum drilling the importance of properly ironed clothing into me it felt a little rebellious. 

And that my friends is how I get my thrills: wearing ironed, but creased clothes out in "polite society" :P 

Till next time <3 

Get on ya Bike

There's so much pop culture mythology surrounding receiving the perfect bicycle. I can remember being younger, and watching several television shows where the tiny, yet double digit child/ren covet the "perfect bike", but it's way too expensive, and then they either win it in a competition, mow all the lawns for those $$ or get it as a surprise for "being a good child or whatever". 

Although the details of these shows/plots have long since left me, I still remember the excitement of the perfect bike written into the show. After maturing into what some would call an adult, I thought I would never get to experience "new bike excitement" ever again (because as great as bikes are, "stuff" doesn't make me excited/bring fulfilment like it did when I was a wee lass) 

Long story short, my parents bought me the perfect bike for my birthday, and I was able to experience that child like wonder/excitement. Legit, I felt 10 years old again. My birthdays in July, we picked out the bike in May (complete with basket and bag rack) and I basically thought about how cool it was going to be/how fun it would be to ride/how great having a basket was going to be for 3 months. 

Like many children in these shows, the first few days after bringing the bike home I found myself wondering if I was responsible enough to handle having such a nice bike (pro tip: Totally am responsible enough).

Anyway, the point I'm trying to make is that with this nice weather I've basically been riding my bike as much as I can, and (finally) took photos of her. I've also named her Beatrice because 1) I'm weird and like to name inanimate objects 2) Beatrice is a great name.  

Bikes yo! So much fun!! 

It's really not winter anymore Feat: Jazz fusion you should probably listen to because it's amazing.

So it's really not winter anymore. Like one and a half months, we're back on daylight savings sort of not winter. I barely posted over winter, and although I missed this little online space a whole bunch, I'm very glad I took a break. In fact, my sporadic posting may even continue past this post depending on if I can get some of my offline stuff sorted and return so some semblance of a "regular" routine. 

This is going to sound all sorts of silly, but there's been a little part of me that's 1) been terrified of writing on/getting back into the swing of this blog and 2) terrified of tackling this blog post (there are a lot of photos, and if you've been reading for a while, I like to alternate between photos and paragraph of words. Lots of photos means lots of words). Neither of these things make sense, but it's how I've been feeling (maybe it's got something to do with the fact I've let my social media slip. It's kind of like starting again in a way) 

So many things have happened since I took these photos back in August. I can remember several occasions where I thought "I'll have to blog about that" but every "really important" blog post Idea I've had has gone by the wayside. I've also stopped keeping up with the fashionblogosphere and my personal public social media. It's been a really interesting priority shift. I'm not sure if I'm completely on board with it, but it's happened, and whilst more important music things are happening I suppose I'll let this shift continue.   

This suspender skirt is a "newish" piece of mine. The day I took these photos was the day after I sewed it. It's definitely my most beautifully sewn piece, despite my sewing practice being almost non existent. 

Something I have done a lot of whilst not blogging is listening to/watching live music, specifically Jazz fusion type stuff (It's also something positive I can share/write about, and totally not about blog/feeling related meta garbage like the rest of this post).

I'll start by talking about a band which I have talked about before . They're called Quantum Milkshake. After playing a gig with them two years ago, listening to their only recording approximately a zillion times, and frothing over the single they released, they FINALLY completed their album, and released it to the world ( I actually briefly mentioned this release back in June when I had yet to properly listen to it/purchase it. I have now done both of those things, and golly gosh it's everything I thought it would be and more ). 

There is so much going on in this meticulously constructed album. There are grooves, there are throw backs to other composition era's, there's jazz, there are cross rhythms and time signature changes, there are complexly composed and intricate layering, there's flow from track to track, and brilliant performances from musicians across the board. I simply do not have the words to describe just how great this release is. You'll just have to give it a listen. 

Now the reason I started this small list of jazz fusion type music you should probably listen to with Quantum Milkshake is because there's this other equally brilliant band that shares musicians with Quantum Milkshake (Namely their flautist (who founded the band with their drummer) and trumpeter). 

Bella Wolf takes influences from all over the place (but more specifically Latin, Pop, Rock and Groove Based Jazz). I was absolutely stoked when Erica contacted me with a copy of the album. Flute, specifically flute played by flautists is not the most represented in Jazz, and Erica plays some of the best Jazz flute I've ever heard. Again, this album is meticulously crafted with intricate rhythms, grooves, and layers. I particularly love the (what I presume to be) improvised solos throughout the album. (in conclusion, this album IS SO GOOD. Unfortunately I don't think it's been released on bandcamp (You can get it on itunes tho.), BUT here's a teaser for the album, and their youtube page

The last band I have to mention this evening is a band called Mr Ott. I saw them at 505 last month and have basically been vamping their album ever since. They're just about the funkiest band ever, and manage to sit right on a fine line I like to call "completely serious music that completely takes the piss at the same time". The bass lines are funky, the performance is tight, the mix is lush, and the compositions are tight, and intricate with crazy solos interspersed. Seriously, JUST GO LISTEN TO IT YO!

Time's a flying

I blinked at the end of June, and now it's August. Somehow a little over a month has felt like a week, and during this time I have been neglecting my sewing and my blog. I don't really every talk about trying to grow my blog, but up until March this year I was quite focused on trying to make it grow. Right now though, with all of the offline stuff I've got going on I'm just content to keep it alive and kicking. 

Lets take a moment to appreciate how perfectly this doggo photobombed my outfit shoot. 

Lets take a moment to appreciate how perfectly this doggo photobombed my outfit shoot. 

So, you may (or may not) be wondering what's been up for the past month. I went on tour with Vanishing Shapes. We played Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Bello, the Blue mountains and Newcastle. It was a crazy fun journey of making music, driving long distances and being silly. I recorded with Bread and Seaweed at Turtle Rock Studios, which was a 10/10 good time. We did half an ep (3 songs) in two days, (which if you've ever recorded before is absolute madness. Also been gigging a little with The Button Collective

When I'm not makin the musics I'm either painting or watching netflix. The stuff I've been painting has recently taken a deeper turn down the surrealism path, mixing spacey planets with other things, such as heads and ships etc. 

I also turned 23, which isn't a particularly unusual thing, but feels quite strange. Somehow, not unlike the last month, I blinked and a bunch of time disappeared, leaving me feeling like I've done everything and nothing, and simultaneously changed a whole bunch and not at all. It's a weird place to be in, and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it, but everythings holding itself together, so I'm fine. 

Speaking of real life shenanigans, if you're in the Newcastle area tomorrow, Shapes have a gig! It starts at like 7:30 ish at the Wesley Hall (downstairs from the commons). It should be pretty chill, and we have enough time to play pretty much our whole program, so yeah! Fun fun Shapes Times.   

Wooly Vintage

After yesterdays depressing post, lets talk about something a little bit cheerier: Music I've been digging recently. A bunch of friends recommending stuff to me, my own google-fu and the festival I attended recently have stocked up my ipod with a bunch of cool new rad tunes which need to be shared with the world (It's been a while since I've done one of these post, so there are a lot of artists to get through!) 

Potato Potato: At the start of the year I met a very lovely lady called Merryn Jeann. She's a beautiful singer/guitarist and songwriter (and was also kind enough to put on a house show with Shapes during our EP launch tour). I was recently stalking her artist page on facebook because she uploaded some demo's of her solo stuff, and came across some posts about her old band, potato potato. With their silky, flowing guitar parts and 4 part vocal harmonies, their sound is the musical equivalent of dripping complementary ink colours into water and watching the clouds of pigment swirl.

Eros: Now, after massaging my ears with the lovely sound of Potato Potato, I stalked their facebook page and came across Eros. This is a stunning one off duet release from a couple of peeps who used to be based up in Byron Bay. This folk duo have created a 6 track ep of intricate guitar lines and stunning vocal harmonies. 

The Bean Project: Now this quirky duo actually found me. They contacted shapes earlier in the year for a gig, and after looking up their links I fell for their classic folk songs with whimsical french horn detailing. 

Catriona McKay: Is a scottish harpist and composer who writes beautiful intricate folk songs. The album I've been listening to, Starfish, is kind of like the Goat Rodeo sessions, but with a harp as well. 

Colour: Remember how I went through a little bit of a math rock binge? Well, this is yet another band to add to my growing mathrock audio collection. This band contained tangled hair before they were tangled hair. Their music has everything I used to love about brit pop as a teen, with none of the stuff I hate about brit pop. 

Greshka: I love me some good old weird ass gypsy/klezmer/fusion music, and that's exactly what Greskha deliver. It's really fun, a little silly, and contains the best (and only) dulcimer I've ever heard. What could be better? :D 

Kalidad: Describe themselves as Mexican heavy metal, and whilst I don't necessarily agree that they're "heavy" I can hear the metallic influences in their delicious folk-fusion writing. I'm a bit of a sucker for spanish oriented classical/flamenco guitar lines, and Kalidad certainly offer that and more. 

Quantum Milkshake: There are very few bands which I would describe as "genera defying", but Quantum Milkshake fits the "genera defying" bill. They're a jazz/everything fusion band with shifting time signatures, complex harmonic structures and detailed use of texture mixed with a little bit of genius and a little bit of madness. They also have a flute in their band (everyone knows that bands with flutes are the best types of bands) To top it all off they recently released their first album, which is a bunch of fun!

Space Cabonara: These dudes are best summed up as dreamy psychedelic trip rock. Their music is clever and beautiful, and so very very lush. I can't help but crave pasta every time I look at their name. 

Tinpan Orange: I was lucky enough to see this stunning folk trio at Perisher Peak festival (which I played with the Button Collective a few weeks ago). As much as I dig their recorded sound, this is a band which is best heard live. The atmosphere they make together is like nothing else I've seen, and when their leading lady lets the fiddle loose, goodness, there are no words. Great band yo. 

So that's some of the new stuff I've been listening to recently! Enjoy :D 

Emeralds on Mustard.

I'm going through a tough mental period at the moment which is resulting in a loss of motivation, and most worryingly for me, a loss of motivation to get dressed. It's not that I have nothing to wear (because that's absolutely not how I feel) it's more that I'm struggling with the combination of early mornings that my school bands require, the late nights that my performances and rehearsal require and the bitter cold that is the Australian winter. I basically want to spend 24/7 rugged up in multiple comfy layers of knit and blankets. 

All of those things put together mean that I'm basically throwing on a pair of thick tights, a plain, but nice enough dress and my favourite coat, which there's absolutely nothing wrong with, but it leaves me feeling "not put together" and dowdy. I miss colour, unexpected details and the motivation to have those things, but I don't currently have the energy or control over my exhaustion levels to change my mindset or patterns. 

I'm going to get real for a sec here. The way I'm feeling is not normal. I've been in this place many times before and usually I've had the luxury of time to get help so I can dig myself out of this hole. I've not got that luxury this time around. All of my time (During clinical hours) is taken up with immovable work, and I'm holding it together "well enough" that on good days I can convince myself that there's nothing wrong and I'm being an idiot. 

The day I put this outfit together was one of these aforementioned good days. I had energy the night before, and got up before I had to (which is a rarity these days). I really dig the combination of mustard and emerald (and I have no idea why I haven't combined these colour before!). I'm not really sure where this post was going, but a jumble of words is all I can manage at the moment. 

Minnie Polka's

So a weird (kind of shit) thing happened to the original version of this post. My internet cut out, and because Squarespace kind of sucks in some aspects, I lost all the words I wrote. The bad news is that I'm too tired to write it all out again. The Good news is that I can TLDR the whole post super easily - Been gone because my brains been taken up by a bunch of music stuff, and there's an election on, so do your research yo. 

Although I've been slacking on the blog front, I've still been shoot (a teeny tiny bit) so I have two more outfits to share from the past month before Shapes leaves for tour! The words will be better then as well.  Later Gator! 

2 Years

As of the end of May I've had this blog for two whole years! It's been really interesting looking back at how my style, photography and writing has changed whilst I've had this internet space. I thought I would mark the occasion by re-posting my favourite outfit from each month over the last year. I meant to post this last month (but everything got super busy surprise surprise). I hope the next year is just as good as the last. 

May 2015

May 2015

June 2015

June 2015

July 2015

July 2015

August 2015

August 2015

September 2015

September 2015

October 2015

October 2015

November 2015

November 2015

December 2015

December 2015

January 2016

January 2016

February 2016 

February 2016 

March 2016

March 2016

April 2016

April 2016

Silver Bells

I recently gave in and subscribed to Photoshop Creative Cloud so I could shoot RAW, and by gosh, RAW is incredible. Like, the internet always talks about how great it is, but I didn't believe it till I saw it, and now I've seen it. 

For those of you who don't do the photography thing, DSLR's shoot (basically) in two modes: Jpeg and RAW. When you shoot Jpeg, the picture quality isn't as good and you don't have as much control in the editing process. You get to control everything with RAW.

The only downside is that because the file size (and my SD cards with shitty write speed) my camera takes less shots per second shooting continuously compared to Jpeg. (So, I'll probably still shoot Jpeg for my "normal blog type stuff") 

I made this skirt last night as well. I've been thinking about making a scallop hem circle skirt for a while, and decided to pull the trigger when I happened upon this silver wetsuit type knit. 

Sewing this made me realise I kind of need to get a walking foot. I was going to attach the bauble trim I've got around the waist around the edge of the scallops as well, but couldn't do it with just my basic foot attachment. (I mean, I could have tried, but I value my sleep more than I wanted a pom pom trim) 

Tartan and Trim

I made a thing! And it helped to disperse some of the negative feelings I've been having lately. 

I've been working on using up the fabric in my fabric box and trim in my trim box. Both bits of clothing related stuff had been sitting in my sewing box for like 3 or 4 years, and now will get to see the light of day (semi) regularly as this super cute tartan and trim pleated skirt. 

The construction process of the garment was actually pretty tough. First off, it took me ages to decide where to place the trim. I too-ed and fro-ed over placing it near the waist, near the hem, or below the hem for a good 15 mins, then I had 5 attempts at pleating (and re-pleating) the skirt, which took a good hour.  

I've made a lot of pleated skirts in my time, so the time it took me to construct was quite a surprise. I'm really happy with how it turned out though. The waist fringe is a super cute detail, and the actual construction is some of my neatest work! 

I paired it with this feather collared jumper I picked up op-shopping because the movement in the feathers 1) balances out the movement of the trim and 2) brings out the red in the tartan. The Converse were quite an unconventional choice of footware, but add an interesting twist to the "classic" feeling of the rest of the outfit. 

Grey Sunflowers.

I'm a bit sick of talking about my feelings, especially at the moment and especially here. All of my posts recently have been about my negative feels, and I don't want this space to be about that. 

Unfortunately it's pretty hard to not talk about the massive funk which I've found myself in when it takes up a good percentage of my brain. To break the 4th wall for a second, I've literally been sitting here for a good half hour trying to write about something other than my feelings, and it's just not happening. 

Part of the funk is definitely because I haven't made new clothes recently. I've talked about this before, but making outfits is hard for me when I'm not making new clothes frequently, but then again, making clothes is hard when all I want to do is watch netflix. 

These are all super duper first world problems, but gosh darn it, I really don't care at the moment. I'm allowed to feel not great even when others have it way worse. Anyway, those are my thoughts in all of their raw, rambly glory. 

Sometimes polkadots can be rambly messes too.

If you live in Australia (and haven't been living under a rock) you'll know that we're gearing up for an election. For me, this election season has been fraught with anger and sadness. 

I'm angry that at the last election a majority of the people whom I share this country with believed the lies that The Liberal party and our right wing "unbiased" media fed us. I'm angry that the Liberal government continues to try to continue the deceit. I'm angry that Asylum seekers aren't treated like people and with respect, and are instead left to torch themselves, and die slow traumatic deaths in off shore detention. I'm angry that the budget proposal screws over the majority, and I'm angry that I've had to wait 3 long years before I can do anything to change our governmental situation. 

When I'm tired of feeling angry all I can feel is sadness. Our country is a very sad place at the moment, and I don't know if there will ever be an escape. 

To add to my political frustrations, the NSW state government keeps doing shitty things, like dismantling elected local governments and appointing unelected administrators in their places. I have no words for how the political class is treating everyone else. They're so separate, yet their decisions affect literally everything. And somehow there are still people who don't care! I just can't hey. 

Anyway, all of these feelings are why I've not been around on this little internet space. My head has been spinning with too many negative thoughts, which makes it 1)hard to make outfits 2) hard to find motivation to shoot (also hard because the sun is setting earlier and earlier) 3) motivation to compile all the things into a post. 

I shot this outfit a little over a week ago when I went for a walk with my parents along a local cycle path. I put this outfit together in one of my brief periods of not feeling angry. I also managed to ladder these tights when I returned home from shooting this outfit. 

Ugh, this has been so rambly and stuff. Whatever. That's where my head is yo. 

Gothic Lace

Not going to lie, this week has been pretty tough. I had a bunch of unpleasant work stuff happen, and have been in a state of feeling angry/powerless regarding the 2016 Australian Budget (TLDR, Malcom Turnbull is basically Tony Abbott). 
 

Anyway, I'm just going to leave you all with Thursdays outfit and paint myself out of my misery. 

Fairy in the Woods

When it comes to fashion I can be quite particular. I'm fussy about colour, material, silhouette comfort and sometimes even "category (ie, shirts, blouses, shorts etc) Until this year, a clothing category I never used to wear (and in fact would steer clear of) were jumpers (aka, sweaters) 

I don't know why it's taken me so long to start wearing jumpers (specifically knit jumpers). They're comfy, and warm, and usually super stylish. Actually thinking about it now, I use to have this preconceived idea that jumpers were to be warn as over things, not as foundation layer. (I can thank Anna from melodic, thrifty and chic for enlightening me. She always wears and layers her clothes in unexpected ways)

This upcoming winter, for me at least, wearing jumpers as shirts is going to be a big part of my style. I'm such a sook when it coms to being cold, and I highly doubt I'll be cold if I'm wearing a singlet, jumper and coat. 

In the spirit of falling in love with knit, I've been thrifting a lot of knit. I tend to gravitate towards cable knit and larger chunkier knits, with bonus points for sparkles and unusual details. I picked up this flower jumper the other day. It's super warm, and super soft. It also looks super vintage-y in a fairy princess sort of way. 

I also (begrudgingly) acquired a new handbag recently. Remember that pretty pink handbag I did a post on a few months ago? The bag wasn't well made, and the materials weren't strong. I'd been repairing the shoulder strap on one side for a few months, but when the other side of the shoulder strap decided it was time to disintegrate it was time to lay it to rest.  

I found this bag at the Channon Markets whilst we were on tour. It's slightly smaller, but fits just as much inside (with a bit of room left over).

Mellow Yellows

It's no secret I'm a bit of a thinker. I love to think about big important stuff, small frivolous stuff, why I think the way I think, and how the way I think shapes my views and opinions. As a progressive thinker with progressive morals and values I feel like thinking about everything is incredibly important. 

I love it when people challenge my thoughts/views/morals and or give me new things to think about/ ways to think about them. My views and opinions are by no means perfect or of the highest moral standing (or free of bias), but I feel by keeping an open mind when it comes to these challenges I can 1) learn and grow as a person 2) spread that knowledge when it needs to be spread. 

That being said, I haven't thought about everything. Recently I went shopping with a friend of mine (we both had things to get at lush/needed stuff to make our respective colds suck less). We were in the pharmacy, when she started looking at the Natural/crystal/aluminium free deodorant. Naturally this lead to a discussion about cosmetics/animal cruelty (which was her catalyst for researching these products) 

Intellectually I've "known" about animal cruelty. Every so often it pops up in mainstream media or on my facebook page, or a youtuber/social media influencer I watch/follow will talk about it, and I'll think "Man, that sucks" but somehow it didn't occur to me that the products I use were tested on animals (pro tip, unfortunately almost all the stuff I use(and probably you use) is). I've been feeling like a bit of an idiot all week due to this "sudden realisation" that most stuff with "chemicals" is tested on animals (and that it's not just cosmetics. It's household cleaning products as well), but now I'm aware, I'm going to take steps to go cruelty free. 

The first step to this little journey of mine is when I use stuff up to research cruelty free alternatives to the product I was using. One of the easiest ways to do this is by searching for products that have the leaping bunny certification. The leaping bunny was designed by a bunch of cruelty free/animal rights movements/companies and insures that the product meets cruelty free standards such as not testing their product on animals, or making use of ingredients that have been tested on animals by other companies. They also have a number of great resources that you can use to educate yourself. (Another great but less formal resource is Cruetly Free Kitty. This site publishes articles and reviews in an easy to digest, yet informative manner) 

Super sneaky edit: Another friend of mine just let me know about this app for cruelty free research of products on the go

On a less serious note how cute is this blouse!? This is my other recent acquisition from The Treasure Trade. The colour is a very light grey, and the fabric feel kind of like a knit/chiffon hybrid (there's probably a technical term for it, but I can't be bothered right now/don't really care that much) The coat I'm wearing isn't a recent acquisition, however, this is the first time it's been worn by me. I thrifted it in October last year, and have been waiting since then for the weather to be at the appropriate temperature for me to wear it. 

I've also got some new glasses! I'm super happy with the frames (I bought 2 new frames, then changed the lenses in one pair I already own) but I'm not quite convinced that my prescription is quite right. My eye deterioration this time round has been quite different, and I'm aware that there is a transition period when you get a new prescription that differs dramatically from your old one, but I feel like the problems I'm having (I've been getting headaches/feeling motion sick) are a bit more than "transition problems". Then again, it could just be because I was actually sick with a cold. I think I'll give them another week and monitor my eyesight/functioning and see if they get better or worse) 

Witchy Poo

Goodness I have been away for some time... This was a completely unplanned break, and I feel better for it, but man have I missed this blog. I find the routine of constructing a blog post, then doing all the social media stuff that goes with it to be quite relaxing in a constructive sort of way. Anyway, I'm back! 

You're probably (not) wondering what lead to this month and a half long hiatus. The TLDR version is I had a bunch of little life stuff build up to create a conglomerate of no posting.

The life stuff started with the impending conclusion of Term 1 flute teaching. I had a bunch of makeup lessons to organise because either schools had stuff on, or I had to take time off for performances. This left me too exhausted and busy to do much of anything. During this, I got sucked into Pretty Little Liars (which is a huge time commitment). I did manage to shoot one outfit during this time (but I lost the SD card on tour/before I could back up the images) 

The next bit of life stuff involved my laptop dying suddenly. My laptop had been having a hard time for over 6 months (The fan was making the most awful racket, and not creating proper airflow, so my laptop was noisy and hot), but needing it for honours (and the wait period at my local computer shop being 2 weeks) prevented me from booking it in when stuff first started going wrong.  I discovered my laptop dying at the worst possible time. I use it to mark my rolls for the school band I take, and when I went to mark said rolls, it wouldn't switch on (The fan made this pathetic noise, and then stop). The fix was quite simple (and cheap, thank goodness). I needed a new fan, and the ram had come loose, but from the time it died to the time I got it back I'd been without a laptop for 2 weeks. 

The final instalment of "reasons my blog has a ghost town" involves Vanishing Shapes (The experiment folk band I'm in). We just released an EP and went on tour to release it all over the place. (We're technically still touring as we have two ep launch shows left to play, but they're local shows, so we get to sleep in our own beds/be at home with a stable internet connection.) 

The tour has been great (even though we were down a shape). We've played so many brilliant shows at so many brilliant places, and with a bunch of brilliant people (I'll be sure to do a full rundown of the other artists we played with at a later date. They were all SO GOOD YO!) Pretty much every venue fed us as well (which, if you've ever been on tour, is a godsend)  

On of the stops we made on tour was Lismore. Now, as well as having a great community, and an awesome rooftop come venue, Lismore is also home to the Treasure Trade . The last time I was in Lismore I bought two fabulous pieces from here. I made some time to go in and have a sneaky peek, and walked out with the dress that you've been staring at in this blog post. It's a tie dye crushed velvet maxi dress. It's super comfy, and makes me feel like some kind of mystic witch. I also made a flower belt to go with it because thats what I do. 

I managed to do a shoot with Niki (the owner of the treasure trade) while I was in Lismore and will be posting that in the next few days. See you soon <3 

Maybe I'll run off and join the circus...

I'm going to keep my words short this evening, because writing words is hard for me at the moment (There's so much stuff floating in my head, and writing isn't my choice way of clearing the noise.) I made these pants last week, and styled them like this. They're made from the same pattern as my pinecone pants and my daisy jeans. Enjoy the pretty pictures! 

Diagonal Fan Skirt

I feel like I open pretty much every blog post like this, but whatever. So sorry I've been gone! I've had so many gigs recently, which means I haven't had time to shoot much, or post much (because my gigs are at night after work, which is when I take my photos and do my blog posts) 

I've had these images since the 10th of March (which was 11 days ago D:) It legitimately feels as though I shot these photos like 2 days ago. Whoops. 

I made this skirt two weeks ago in a fit of "I have too much fabric and nothing to wear tomorrow" (both of which is untrue. There is no such thing as "too much fabric" and I definitely have lots of stuff to wear!!) I originally wanted the top fabric to scallop down the length of the pleats, but I didn't have the patience to figure out how to do it. I also think it wouldn't have looked as good (The lace definately finishes it off nicely. If I'd scalloped the diagonal part, I would have finished the skirt hem with scallops, making it infinately harder to style.) 

I used two different cottons. The patterned multi coloured cotton was a gift from my parents 3 years ago. They bought it for me right after I started sewing regularly. I don't remember when I bought the bottom cotton, but it was also several years ago. It doesn't come through in the photos, but it's actually a matte dual tone (it's a brown and greeny blue colour in real life) Because of the fabric type, it's a very subtle dual tone, but very very pretty.

Something exciting happened to me last week as well! One of my favourite bloggers Anna (From Melodic, Thrifty and Chic) did a blog feature on me :D You can read it here

Till next time (xoxo, Gossip Girl)