In The Zen Garden - Thoughts on repairing things.

I've been having a lot of thoughts recently about our throwaway culture, and about how accessible repairing things is to the average first world human. This has kind of been spurred on by a few repairs I've made to some items that I own which most people wouldn't have bothered with. 

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Obviously to anyone who looks even a teeny tiny bit into it, our consumerist throwaway culture is pretty bad for the environment and human rights. Part of the problem is cheap products that are 1) not made with quality materials, 2) not designed to last and 3) not designed to be repaired (this is particularly evident with technology) The other part of the problem is most people aren't taught the skills they need to be able to repair these products, and when they break, they don't care enough to learn them (because lets be honest, if the zip breaks on your backpack, it's easier to replace the backpack then sew in a new zip) 

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There have been a few tech repairs I've made this year, namely replacing the headphone output in my Ipod Classic. The ipod had a problem where sound would only come out of one earphone. It was a known issue on the device, and made significant financial sense to replace the headphone jack than buy a new ipod. (The spare part was about $30, and a "New ipod" runs about $180 if you're lucky) 

Nick took this photo :D

Nick took this photo :D

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I'm glad I opted to replace the jack - I saved money, I didn't create e waste, and I learned a valuable skill, but, it was a really tricky repair. It was fiddly and complicated, and in the process I managed to break the lock button. There were several moments I thought I broke the device, not to mention it took me half an hour to crack open the shell. 

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I understand why companies are increasingly making it difficult to repair things (means more $$$ for them) But ethically, every single member of society owes it to the our earth and long term survival to do as much as we can to repair and reuse rather than repurchase and throw away. 

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Anyway,  that's the end of my ramble about repairing things and consumerist throwaway culture. CHANGE OF TOPIC: I shot all these photos with Nick in the Japanese Garden at the East Gosford Art Gallery

Shirt: Thrifted, Skirt: Home Made, Belt: Alannah Hill, Tights: don't remember, Shoes: Gift

Shirt: Thrifted, Skirt: Home Made, Belt: Alannah Hill, Tights: don't remember, Shoes: Gift

If you live on the Central Coast (or if you find yourself here for an extended period) and you haven't visited the gardens and gallery, you're missing out. It's such a lovely spot. There are koi, (that you can feed!) there are ducks, there are well manicured trees and more recently, there are sculptures that had been sculped by a modern Japanese sculptor. 

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It really is a little slice of heaven. I have so many fond memories of visiting the garden as a youngster. I took a number of art classes there. It's really great that the garden is so well looked after. Hopefully it will outlast me. :) 

Finally, here's a christmas carol my friend Laura and I recorded. She's been doing a daily carol advent on her facebook page because christmas is fun! 

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.