Vintage Laura Ashley.

shoes

Have I ever talked about how much I love thrift shops? Welp, I really really really love thrift shops. They’re great for the environment, they’re great for your wallet, and they’re great for finding treasures of all sorts.

portrait

About a month ago I travelled to Sydney with Rohan to hang some V’Shapes posters around near the venue we were going to play at. We also stopped in at a couple of thrift shops. One of my finds for that day was this lovely vintage Laura Ashley dress (dresses from this era (late 70’s early 80’s) for $100 of dollars on etsy). Now, as beautiful as the dress was, it wasn’t perfect. It was slightly too big, slightly too long, and didn’t have enough lace on it.

looking away

It’s been staring at me from my “to alter” pile ever since I brought it home.

I finally had time to make the alterations to the dress, and this is how it turned out! I ended up cutting 25cm of fabric off the bottom, and taking the bodice in about 6 cm (which doesn’t sound like a lot, but trust me, every cm counts when it comes to fit) The collar was already lacy, so I added lace on the sleeves and the bottom hem.

I did feel a little guilty altering such a beautiful vintage piece, but the dress is much more “me” now, and I can see myself wearing it heaps in the future (especially on lazy days. This dress is so comfy!)

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I actually wore this outfit for a short period last night for a gig I played at The Rhythm Hut. The Rhythm Hut runs this monthly jam band called 5 lands (basically, you don’t know what your instrumentation is going to be till you show up). The jam band plays a set, and then they have a special guest artist.

As always, 5 lands was so much fun to play! (it was a bit different this month though. There weren’t many of us on stage, so the sound changed dramatically. It went in some really unusual directions, which was rad)

walking

Last night the guest artist was a guy called Nick Saxon. He’s one guy on an acoustic guitar and a loop pedal (with various percussion instruments) but his sounds is very very different to all the other guys on an acoustic guitar with a loop pedal a miscellaneous percussion instruments. His sounds is very folk, and very beautiful (almost haunting in a way, but describing it as haunting does not do it justice)

I also really loved his use of the loop pedal. It was very subtle. He also used a reverb pedal on his vocals, which I really loved as well. His live production is on point!

full body portrait

After doing some internet stalking, it turns out my band will be sharing a stage with him at Wollombi music festival. I’m really looking forward to seeing him play again. (hopefully we’ll get to have a jam this time!)

necklace, lace and pattern

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That time I wore purple at the jazz festival.

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Yesterday was a very long, but very fun day. The Jazz orchestra I play with (The New Empire Ballroom Ragtime Dance Orchestra) played 2 sets at Newcastle Jazz Festival. The performances were really good. (The crowd was great, and we were really tight/ in tune/ mistake free)

looking up

This is what I wore to travel to and from the jazz festival. I wanted to wear something comfy and floofy, which is how I ended up with this outfit (which is both hella comfy and hella floofy)

wind flick

I wasn’t able to stay in this all day. Part of the orchestra’s “thing” is that we play 20’s music as it would have been played in the 20’s, which includes period accurate clothes, makeup (and sometimes instruments like the weird and wacky stroh violin )

looking away p

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I managed to convince some of the orchestra to come out into the sunlight and take some photo’s with me in costume which was fun. So yeah, this is half of the New Empire.

half an orchestra

Left to right: Vanessa, Mitch, Bron, Anna, Me, Charlotte, Anna, Wesley, Laura

Our costumes were put together by Ashley, who is a thrifting and seamstress extraordinaire. Half of our dresses were thrifted as is, and the other half started out their life as very ugly garments, which were altered into submission.

less than half giggles Being sexc

One last thing I want to talk about is posture. I was playing a gig with Vanishing Shapes the other evening when an old man came up to me and said “I’m only telling you this because you’re pretty. You need to hold your shoulders high and keep you’re back straight so that you can be beautiful”. Now, posture is something I’ve been working on a lot this year (so that my flute and singing gets better). Due to me not really caring when I was quite young, my “default” posture is quite slumped over.

Practicing good posture for extended lengths of time at the moment causes my back to ache. When I’m performing and my back starts to ache, I do whatever I can to quell the pain, which in some cases means having awful posture for a while (it way be hard to play properly with bad posture, but it’s worse trying to play with pain). This particular night I had been carrying heavy stuff all day, and I was sore and tired, so I let my posture slip so I could be comfortable.

I’m not really sure what my point is, but that man’s comment really got on my nerves  this week (especially in the second half of the New Empire’s second set yesterday. I had to let my posture go a bit so I could finish the set). I don’t understand why people think it’s their place to comment on what you “should” and “shouldn’t” be doing with your body. Yes, my posture isn’t great, and yes, it’s terrible for my health, but I’m working on correcting it. No, I don’t expect you to know, but it’s none of your business in the first place.

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Pom pom princess

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I’ve been having such long work days lately. Usually I’ll start at about 8, then finish around 6 or 7, and because this work day is spread between my employer at my self employed projects I don’t get a designated break. I think the strangest thing about this is though that I actually don’t mind being this busy.

dropping

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I’ll come home from work and feel absolutely done and a bit exhausted, but, I don’t function well when I have a lot of free time (and with the way my bands been performing “free time” means extended periods of time where I’m not performing which really sucks.)

details

looking away

So this is what I wore yesterday. I can safely say that this type of skirt (along with my mint green version with green, blue, brown, black and white pom poms) is my favourite creation (my teeny tiny flute students can back me up on this.) Long days feel less long when you spend them feeling like a pastel princess.

spinning

face

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I want to join the circus

Shoes

In an unlikely turn of events, my band had a gig last night. We played with two other bands at the Lass and had a wonderful time playing to an awesome crowd and having our ears massaged by the likes of Zappo and Ungus Ungus Ungus.

walking

Zappo are one of my favourite Newcastle based bands. Their sound is quite psychedelic rock, and although there’s a definite “retro” vibe around their song writing and instrument/effect choices, their music never crosses the line into “dated” territory. I love watching them perform. They’ve got great chemistry. I’m pretty disappointed that I didn’t get any photo’s of them (I left my camera in the car, and didn’t want to miss out on having their music massage my ear drums)

necklace

Ungus Ungus Ungus are a psychedelic gypsy prog rock band (and yes, their music is as nutty as their genera suggests (in the best way possible)) I’m trying to find words to properly describe the experience of waching Ungus play… they’re amazing, and off the chain (and their bassist pulls the some of the best faces I’ve ever seen(only to be rivaled by the bassist in The Maint Guy and the Other Guys)) Their on stage chemistry is out of this world as well.

It’s funny. This gig kind of reinforced what a small world the music world is. The saxophonist in the band is actually a guy I play with semi regularly (which I didn’t know about until I looked up their bands website last  week)

sanz blazer

I managed to get some decent (read: not blurry) photo’s of Ungus! (woohoo) I’ve uploaded them to my facebook page (you can have a gander if you would like) I took so many great shots of “twisted singing” faces (which are the best) :D

hand in hair

This isn’t what I wore to the gig (I didn’t managed to take outfit photo’s yesterday – boo) This is what I wore on Tuesday to work and stuff. It was a pretty cold day, so I went for “warm”, which this outfit definitely was.

head

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Playing Catch Up

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This is an outfit I wore almost exactly a week ago, which I haven’t posted because 1)tech fails 2) life stuff.

without coat

My band had a photo shoot with Kingdom designs last week (He’s the guys who shot the Sounds of Newcastle series which Vanishing Shapes was involved in), and this is what I wore. He’s a really cool dude, and a really awesome photographer. We were actually quite lucky to nab him because a few days later he hopped on a plane to South Korea via Hong Kong (so he could visit family/do some study).

sitting

In other news, my apartment finally has internet!!!! it took us over a month, and made my upcoming phone bill really expensive, but it’s here and we’re using it :3

standing on bench

Coat: Tree of life, Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Shop 55, Skirt: Handmade, Tights: Myers, Socks: Ebay, Shoes: I <3 Billy

I still can’t quite believe our time in the dark ages is over. It’s so lovely not having to travel to use the internet!

portrait without coat

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Floral Cats

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My goodness have I been busy the past few days! As per usual my business has been caused by music related things (specifically performing with Vanishing Shapes)

looking away

We played two gigs this weekend. The first was on Friday night at Mr Falcons with another Newcastle based folk band Baltic Bar Mitzvah. It was a lovely intimate gig (and when I say intimate, each band took up about a third of the floor space). V shapes had a super fun time playing, and then had a super fun time listening to Baltic.

Baltic are a raucous folk band who play twisted European inspired original music, as well as twisted folk standards and classics such as “my milk shakes bring all da boyzzz 3 the yard” (seriously, you’ve not heard that piece until you’ve seen Baltic’s version) Unfortunately they don’t have recordings yet because they suck, but the minute they do you’ll be your gypsy folk starved hearts that I’ll link in all the places.

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The second gig was at the Record Crate, with The Squeezebox Trio, Baltic Bar Mitzvah (again! I am so spoilt getting to see/hear them two nights in a row) and The Vacationists.

The first band of the evening was the Squeezebox Trio, who play a unique brand of Gypsy Jazz. Their band consists of a Violin, a Piano Accordian and a Guitar. As well as originals and jazz standards (both of which are brilliantly composed and arranged respectively) they play Disney songs (which are SO.MUCH.FUN).

We played our usual crazy music next, but unlike other gigs ended our set in a massive on Dans Mustata Jam with Baltic and Squeezebox. I’m not sure how it sounded, but it was super fun.

Baltic played after us, delighting us yet again with their crazy brand of European folk music.

Finally the Vacationists finished off the evening, taking us on a vacation (har har har) away from folk music. They’re sort of an indieish surfyish punkish rockish!

walking

This is what I wore to the Saturday gig. I don’t understand why it took me so long to match this dress with blue clothing (usually I keep my clothes/accessories white when wearing this dress)

I shot these photo’s a couple of hours before the gig in a park near the main campus of Sydney University. The light was gorgeous, but I got pretty self conscious shooting in such a public space (usually I take photo’s in places where there are no people, and I’ll stop if there is a person. Kind of not an option when you’re  taking photo’s in a park in Sydney)

looking away portrait

I’m also going to do a sneaky and stick my photos of Friday nights outfit here (they weren’t crash hot because the sun died before I took them, but I really loved my outfit from that day). I went with a kind of space princess theme, because why not!

without coat With Coat

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When Macs go bad, and other technological difficulties.

shoes

Man I have had a super bad time with technology lately. It’s all sort of come to a climax (in some of the worst ways possible) in the last week: I’ve spent hours chasing NBNco and TPG trying to get a working internet connection, I had to reinstall my OS, I had to reformat my ipod, some of my software broke and (to add insult to injury) I lost my favourite phone charging cable.

looking at camera

So, out of all the awful technology failures I experienced this week, reinstalling my OS is probably the most annoying. I’ve been using OSX since leopard (which was released in 2007). When I originally bought this machine I did a complete system transfer, meaning my new laptop was set up the same as my old one. Basically, this means I had 7 years worth of files/programs on this computer, which I had to wipe.

 

spreading skirt

You may be wondering why on earth it came to reinstalling my OS (if you’re not wondering, I’m going to tell you anyway). I was using my laptop, and OSX was all “hey grrrl, there’s an update! can you please update me so I can be my very best?” so I was all “ok, I’ll do the thing!”. The update went seamlessly until the part where it had to reboot. – my laptop hung on “rebooting” for 30 mins, so I thought “well, the update says it’s finished and about to reboot, so I’ll just do a hard restart (PSA, this is always a bad idea). When my laptop switched on I got a screen in many languages (which always means shit’s about to go down) informing me that “your laptop has restarted because of a problem, press any key to reboot”. From here I got stuck in a boot loop type deal. I did some googling, and the best solution was to start from scratch, -o that’s what I did.

sitting

I’m pretty glad I run a dual boot (when you have the option of using 2 or more os’s on a laptop). Basically it meant that I could backup my files easily before I nuked my OS. The whole process still took a good 6 hours, but I didn’t loose anything important, and have my machine pretty much running normally again. (Let this be a lesson kids! Always back up your computer!)

looking down

So these photo’s are pretty “old” (at least for my blog’s outfit photo turnaround). As I mentioned before, Rohan and I still don’t have internet (our case is stuck between several different management teams across 2 companies :/), which makes posting stuff quickly difficult. This is what I wore Tuesday. I’m surprised it took me so long to style this skirt in this particular way as the most predominant colour in the skirt is a creamy green, which comes from the same colour family as the creamy white of my numbers shirt.

leaning against tree

Also, on a non fashion-y note, how gorgeous is this tree!? It’s located in one of my favourite parks, and is basically like a giant leafy umbrella. I shot these photo’s at midday, and the leaves were practically glowing in the sunlight. I’d been wanting to shoot at this location for a while, but was unable to pull it off with my previous camera.

looking away

Coat: Tree of life, Shirt: Thrifted, Belt: Alannah Hill, Skirt: Home Made, Tights: Ebay, Socks: Ebay, Shoes: Don’t remember.

sitting crossed legg twirling headshot closeup twirl choker

One last thing – I made a terrarium! I found this glass pear terrarium in gosford and decided that this was a good way to solve my crow/fairy problem (ie, I can move this inside/out of sight, so the crow is unable no nick my fairy’s!) I’ve forgotten what type of plant the “tree” is, but the “grass” is a sort of miniature mint (that smells kind of like a cleaning product, and according to Rohan taste’s super bad)

 

Terrarium 2 Terrarium details Terrarium details 3 Terrarium details 2

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