Paint Chip

Friday, 30 January 2015

What I'm Wearing - Paint chip Crop from H&M, Chartreuse Midi Skirt from ASOS, Lime Green Belt from Jacqui E, Earrings by IIV Designs.

Ah, it seems I may have already broken my one post a week resolution! I'm still on a break from study at the moment so, to be honest, I really don't have many outfits to share with you and the few I have are quite the same. I'm wearing some funky charm earrings made from baby shower nappy pin trinkets. They're from my mum's Etsy shop here, check it out! Keep posted as there are talks of a giveaway very soon. (I'm just trying to work out the rules, etc).

See you soon! Catch new patterns daily on Society6 and Print all Over Me!


Saturday, 17 January 2015

What I'm Wearing - Neon Pink Tank from ASOS, Chartreuse Midi Skirt from ASOS, Neon Belt from Jacqui E, Cardigan from Jacqui E.

Hello again! I realised after taking these photos that I seem to be wearing the same types of clothing in every post. I suppose it's not that bad, but I will try to capture some of my other, less neon, outfits too! I'm also trying to work out how to take more full-body shots so you can see the shoes and all that jazz!  I've also tried to photograph things more lately so I've placed some of those images below. I thought of doing the 365 project but thought I would focus on the 'one post a week' idea first, and make consistent photos a habit. As you probably know I'm also doing more digital pattern design for products, you can click 'shop' in the sidebar to read more if you'd like.

Shadows cast upon my wall from my dress rack.

One of my cats, Tilly, colour co-ordinating with my Kate & Kate blanket.

How often do you take photographs? What do you take photographs of?

Pink Plastic Dinosaur

Saturday, 10 January 2015

What I'm Wearing - Neon Pink Tank from ASOS, Neon Floral Shorts from ASOS, Orange vest from Toi et Moi, Neon Green Belt from Jacqui E, Dark Pink Blazer from Op-shop,  DIY Toy Dinosaur Earrings, Pink Ballet flats by Gallaz (not pictured), Purple Necklace from my boyfriend, Yellow Necklace from an antique shop, Versace Eye-glasses.

So far so good! The one post a week thing is going well so far. In the meantime while I wait for uni to start I've been creating patterns at light speed! All of my work has gone up on Society6 and Print All Over Me. I don't have much else to say because that's what I've been spending most of my time on!

Other than that, the earrings I'm wearing are a DIY, made by my mum. We will be putting these and a bunch of other trinket earrings on Etsy soon so stay tuned for that (plus a possible giveaway!). Hope you're all well and enjoying January (oops this was actually my outfit for Christmas Day!). 

What is your favourite accessory and your favourite pattern?

Covered in Gold + Links à la Mode

Sunday, 4 January 2015

What I'm Wearing - 60s Wiggle Dress from Op-shop, Pink Tafetta Skirt from Topshop, Neon Belt from Jacqui E, Grandmother's necklace, Patent Navy Wittner Shoes from Op-shop, Pink Lip Chalk from Sportsgirl.

The return of the gold dress! I wore this dress 2 years ago to a friend's birthday party (in this blog post), and this time I wore it to another birthday party. I paired it with a skirt, just to mix it up a bit and add some more shine. This outfit was also an opportunity to wear my grandmother's lovely necklace, one that she had when she was younger. It's such a wonderful necklace, but I hadn't quite found the right pairing yet. 

Fingers crossed that the goal of at least one post a week for 2015 will go swimmingly! It may sound like an easy feat, but consistency in taking photos is something I find quite easy to defer. 2015 seems to be off to a good start for my blog, with another one of my posts featured in Links a la Mode. It's really rewarding to see that my efforts in branching out to different types of posts is working! Check it out below.


Happy New Year!

If you're still in your pajamas, you're not alone. Take it easy today, the holidays are officially over. You can start your resolutions tomorrow, but if you're at a loss as to what to resolute, check out these links from IFB's most dedicated members!

Links à la Mode: January 1st

SPONSOR: East Dane House of Holland, Fendi Sun, Time’s Arrow, Keepsake, One Pieces , Tigerlily swim, Ferragamo Pumps, Ferragni, Sonix, Monday clothing & Veronica Beard

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In other news, I have opened up a shop on Print All Over Me. As some of you may know, one of the things I love to do is make designs for fabric and clothing. The site has given the trillions of patterns I've created a purpose, and I think they look pretty good! The site is a platform for creatives to create products without the manufacturing process and the artists take a cut of the sale. I've bought a t-shirt for myself that's on it's way and maybe you will buy one too. There are a range of items available and I'd really love any feedback on them. Let me know what you think! Check some of them out below or click HERE to see more.

See you soon with my Christmas outfit! What are your hopes for 2015?

4 Things I Learned in 2014: On School, Makeup & Cake

Thursday, 1 January 2015

1. The diversity of makeup

I know that the photo above looks like a Revlon ad (I promise it's not...) but I really just love their lipsticks and happen to have quite a few. Prior to 2014 I always thought makeup was interesting but I don't think I really knew what my views on it were. One of the biggest things I sorted out was feminism, and it helped me sort out my thoughts on those tricky issues in society. With the help of websites like Rookie and people like Arabelle, I've come to view makeup more positively. So long as I feel good about myself when wearing it, and am doing it for myself there is absolutely no problem! And I've also learned that shaming anyone for wearing makeup isn't justified either - no matter how much you don't like the look of it, it's not your problem.
2014 was the year of me wearing liquid eyeliner almost everyday, I seriously swear by it. If you're curious, I use Maybelline Hyper Glossy and occasionally use Hello Kitty eyeliner too. Other favourite products from this year would be Revlon's ColourStay lip products (they actually stay on!), Sportsgirl's Lip Chalk, which is surprisingly good for $10 and the Maybelline Colour Tattoo range (such bright pigments!). I've used Tony Moly's Cotton Me BB Cream for 3 years now and it's really awesome, but it's becoming hard to find. 
Does anyone have any BB Cream/liquid foundation recommendations for pale skin?

2. Projects are hard but rewarding

Last year I underwent the HSC, which is comparable to the SATs and any other big 'final year' exams situation. As part of this, three of my subjects had a practical component with large weightings, which I knew was a tough ask from the start. It turned out to be quite stressful in the heat of the deadlines a few weeks apart during July - August, but the process taught me alot about managing it all and where my interests lay. Despite the mayhem I have finished it all and with an much-better-than expected ATAR/result that will surely help me with university admissions. 
The photo above is of my textiles project, for which I sewed an outfit inspired by Japanese contemporary fashion - it was so rewarding to see it all come together and I learned that I much prefer the designing and analysing to the actual construction. 
It can be easy to lose motivation for a project when you have 6-8 months to complete it and have other classwork to complete for other subjects too. This is largely what happened with my arts project. I produced digitally printed fabric, with accompanying drawings and photographs. Through the turmoils of teacher feedback and loss of direction I came to realise I am much more of a 'design' person than a 'conceptual artist'. 
I also produced a research paper type project on raunch culture and feminism for my society and culture class and learnt the importance of researching widely and grasping concepts before writing. Above all, I was reminded of my love of writing whether analytical or creative. 
Nonetheless, these projects taught me a lot about my own career goals - I learnt that I love pattern/textile design, I enjoy researching and analysing society, and I have a love for styling and fashion. Most importantly, these projects have really helped me find direction in my aspirations for after school - I would seriously encourage anyone who has an opportunity to do  projects like these to pursue it.

3. Creativity makes everything fun

This sort of ties into the last point, but without a creative outlet last year I wouldn't have been able to put as much work as I did into the nitty-gritty studying required of me. I've realised the importance of creativity in maintaining your ability to think conceptually. It's a real misconception that those who are creative are not logical - because creativity must have an aim, a process and a goal, no matter how big or small. There is much to be said for taking time out to do something creative when you have a lot of stuff to do that you would really rather not do. It refocuses your brain and gives it a break from the bland wrote-learn world of schooling. One of the reasons I didn't blog from the end of 2014 until mid-way through 2014 was because I was trying to free up time for me to do schoolwork. While this probably did help me focus on school work it is important to maintain your passions and hold an outlet of some sort.

4. Baking is a great distraction (and tastes good!)

Speaking of creative outlets, one of these for me in 2014 was baking. As a lot of my school projects were based on things I would normally do for an outlet (drawing, fashion, sewing, writing) I found that sometimes these would just feel like more schoolwork - or that I should have just been doing real school work instead. Baking was a really good way to switch off all parts of my brain that had anything to do with school - it's meditative to follow instructions with the prospect of a treat at the end of it all. I discovered that I really liked the decorating side of baking - it's like sculpture but edible!
Despite how much I enjoy baking, I've had multiple slip-ups in the cake department during the last few weeks of 2014. First was my planned Christmas cake - a red-velvet, chocolate mud, caramel and ganache spectacular. As it turns out, four-layer cakes don't hold up well on a 40 minute drive in 40°C heat. That cake ended up on the side of a road, near a paddock... Next were my New Year's cupcakes, they were meant to be a malteser like cupcake with vanilla malt cake and chocolate malt icing. My first attempt was dismal, they were sunken cakes with a crisp shell and undercooked centre. Hint: Lots of malt with high salt content and a temperamental oven aren't the best for experimental recipes! 

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If you are wondering what else I got up to this year, you can check out my Instagram. I put together some of my favourite pictures from the year, in a somewhat chronological fashion.

From left to right and row by row -  Trip to Whitehouse, Ugly hotel rooms, Grates and shadows, Selfies in black and white, Blinds in black and white, Cats and blankets in black and white, Sydney Trip for Lily Allen Concert, My Year 12 Formal, High school is over!, Selfies in bold, HSC Procrasti-baking, Post HSC trip to Melbourne.

Happy New Year! Best wishes for all in the New Year! What did you do for New Years? What did you learn in 2014?

Tips and Tricks #2: How to Define Your Style

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Swamped under by clothes?

As in the first part of this series, these tips will help you get more out of your wardrobe - if you know how you like to dress, how to re-imagine pieces and buy what you love you will naturally extend a product's life cycle and save money. These are some tips on ways you can work out your style, refine your style or even work out what garments you need more or less of. 

1. Source, Source, Source
Find inspiration! Work out what you do and don't like about clothing and about your wardrobe. The easiest way to do this is to create a Pinterest board for your fashion or style inspiration. Once you've racked up the pins you might start to see a common thread - Is it 1950s silhouettes? Is it modern-vintage? Is it refined and minimal? Is it a bit of everything? Take note.

2. Review Your Wardrobe
Go to your wardrobe/clothes pile and take a peek. Pick out your most worn pieces or the pieces you would wear to an important event. Does the style align with your inspiration mentioned above? Take time to think about why you've shy-ed away from your favourite styles. Try to change your perception of why you should wear clothes - wear them for you.

3. Categorise
As you're going through your wardrobe, take note of or create piles as if you were putting them on Pinterest boards according to style. For example, maybe you sort your wardrobe into casual, refined and minimal and eclectic. Reflect upon which styles you don't align with - if you like the idea of, but never wear minimal styles it's probably best to look at these garments for recycling, sale or donation. 

4. Research and Re-imagine
So you've figured out what type of styles you like. Maybe you're worried nothing in your wardrobe fits that style and you'll have to start from scratch. No way! Do some research on your favourite styles - read about 1950s silhouettes or minimalism. Learn about common prints and colours from your chosen style. Those charming mid-century prints and colours may be hiding in your wardrobe, just do a bit of searching. Most importantly, change the way you think about your clothing. 

5. Invest in Key Pieces
Now that you've figured out your style and what you already have, it's time to do some thinking of a few things that you would like to have. Continuing with the example of a 1950s style, you may have figured out that basic cardigans and blouses fit the era nicely but that the skirts you have don't match the style. Search around for the key pieces you are missing, in this case it would be wise to scout out a few circle skirts or some classic 1950s trousers. Other things you may want to look into for any style could include coats, dresses and accessories - often times one statement piece true to your chosen style will make your outfit seem cohesive. The idea here isn't to throw money at a new wardrobe, but to pick 2-3 items you could use to build upon your existing one.

6. You Are Not A Fruit
This point is something to keep in mind across all of these steps. It's a pet hate of mine to hear someone ramble on about 'pear' shapes, 'apple' shapes and so on. You are not a shape or a fruit, or an infographic with the styles that 'suit your body type' - you are a person. Sure, some may say that as a slender person I wouldn't understand the struggles of clothing not 'flattering' me, but I'm a big advocate that if you love the clothes you're wearing you'll feel much better about your body. Try to pay attention to what styles intrigue you, grab you and ignore that voice that says you're too tall/short/skinny/fat to wear it. It sounds easier said than done, yet we all know how hard it is to walk away from garment that you've already fallen in love with - trust that voice.

What's your style and how did you find it? Do you have any more tips and tricks for those in a rut?

P.S - The photo for this post was actually part of my final art project for school. I designed and printed the fabric shown on the hand-fan in the photo. You might see more of my projects later. :)

In Open Fire + Links À La Mode

Sunday, 21 December 2014

What I'm Wearing -  Lulu & Rose Flower Tee from Topshop, Backless Lover dress from Fame & Partners, Misc Black Belt, Sheer socks from Topshop, Black & White shoes from local vintage store, Misc Earrings.

And it's nearly Christmas! I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season thus far. While I am not much into traditional Christmas celebrations I am up for anything that gives me reason for baking (not that I really need a reason...) I've made sugar cookies so far and plans and preparation for the Christmas Day cake are underway. As you can see I'm channeling serious black and white vibes at the moment, especially due to these vintage shoes I purchased. I hope the backdrop will suffice for now, it's the only nook of my room that allows a full length shot (I'm working on it!). I was also featured for last weeks post in Heart IFB's Links a La Mode, check it out below. Nonetheless, I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday!  

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Holiday Home Stretch

We're wrapping up things up for this year, some of us quite literally! But others, well, we're still frantically trying to figure out to get that you-know-who who's hard to shop for. Anyway, this week, we're a bit focused on the holidays, as that's all many of us can think of. But not to worry, it's only for about a week or so!

Links a la Mode: December 18th

SPONSOR: East Dane Parker, Kiini, Alix, Y-3, One Pieces , Maiyet, True Religion, Araks, Jules, Booties & Cole Haan

Want to be featured in Links à la Mode?

1. Read the clarified rules and submit your links on this page: Links à la Mode. 2. If your link was selected and you need this week’s code, visit this page: Links à la Mode Code. 

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What are you doing for the Christmas/holiday season? What do you plan on wearing for the festivities?

I hope to have another post out soon after Christmas to show off my hopefully amazing cake and my outfits of course. 

Like Sapphire Blue + Make Your Holiday Outfit Pop

Thursday, 11 December 2014

What I'm Wearing - Silky Green cami from unknown, Pink Blazer from Op-Shop, Blue Cocktail Pants from Gorman, Neon Green Belt from Jacqui E, Neon Green Earrings from Etsy, Navy 'lego' shoes from Melissa (not pictured).

I'm back with some more neons of course! I really can't stop wearing this neon belt and earrings,  I apologise if I am boring you with the repeat accessories - they just take an outfit to the next level! Speaking of taking your outfits to the next level, I've put together a list of ways to make your existing outfit that extra bit special. Keep this in mind for the holiday season - instead of going out and buying a whole new outfit, try one of these tricks!

1. Neons
I must admit, prior to investing in a few neon pieces for my formal look I cringed at the sight of neon. But you'd be surprised how much a neon piece can alter the look of an outfit. Add a small neon pop to give your look an edge. This trick works because it gives your outfit a focal point, play around with how you could mix it up.

2. Shine
Like my pants in the photos (which are absolutely dreamy), add something lustrous to your outfit. Sequins, beads, silk, tafetta, satin, glitter... Again, these may sound tacky on their own but can give your outfit a holiday sparkle. Mixing up mattes, silks and shines can add depth to an outfit.

3. Texture
This one is a bit obvious, but one that we sometimes forget. Go for contrast or similarity. Work with all silky and smooth textures like I did here, or mix it up! Pairing unexpected textures can really re-frame the mood of a garment - for example, putting leather with sequins has a much different vibe to chiffon and sequins. 

4. Sheer
Playing with sheer garments is one of my favourite things to do. As you know, I am a huge fan of layering, so sheer garments really allow all that layering to be on display. Wear a sheer shirt over a dress, a sheer shirt under a dress - anything you like!

These tips aren't intended to be a 'how to' guide (although I have one of those lined up), but more of a spark to get the ball rolling on some holiday outfits. Maybe you remembered that sheer shirt you stuffed in the back of your wardrobe? Maybe you will give neons a go? Whatever it is, I encourage you to play around with what you've got instead of buying entire new outfits.

What do you plan on wearing during the holiday season? Do you have any tricks for mixing up an outfit?

In other news, I thought I'd share a snap I took at a poetry slam last week. I've watched poetry slams and spoken word poetry for a few years now but this was the first one I attended in person! It was a really nice atmosphere, and reassuring to know that so many people in my area are willing to think about the arts, society, feminism, culture and their own life in different ways. I think it's really important to think creatively, whether you produce pieces of work or just take some time to think differently every now and then. 

Recipe: Blueberry Layer Cake & Cinnamon Crumb

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Some of you may be thinking - Am I on the right blog? Recipes? Cakes? The answer is yes, you are on the right blog and yes this is a recipe not an outfit or shoes. While I've not ventured into baking on the blog before I thought I would share this dreamy cake with you. I'm not sure how qualified I am to be telling people how to make a cake but trust me, if you like blueberries you will like this cake! I made this cake for my grandma's birthday; she requested my blueberry boy bait cake, so I took it to the next level... Literally.

I've been baking the blueberry boy bait cake for a while, it's the perfect balance of tart berries, sponge-y cake and crisp sugar cinnamon topping. This recipe is adapted from a traditional boy bait cake like this one. (Yes the name is indicative of its supposed 'power' to lure boys). I removed the traditional sugar crumb from the top as it would have be removed when the cakes were leveled and doubled the normal recipe I use. I re-imagined the crumb with a biscuit-like topping for on top of the cake. The frostings were a bit of trial and error, I adapted them from a traditional buttercream from Cupcake Jemma (the recipe is so good I have memorised it).

Blueberry Boy Bait Layer Cake with Cinnamon Crumb

Blueberry Boy Bait CAKE - (Adapted from Yankee Magazine)

4 cups plain flour
2 cup caster sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 cup milk
4 eggs
500-600g pack of frozen blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line two round cake tins with baking paper. I prefer to use spring form or two-piece pans for moist cakes like this one.
2. In a stand mixer bowl (or medium sized bowl if you dont have one) sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the oil, milk and eggs and mix on medium speed for 3 minutes or until well combined.
3. Divide the mixture into two tins by measuring one cup at a time. When the tins are 1/4 full add in a cup of blueberries to each pan. 
4. Continue to divide the mixture, adding a cup of blueberries at 2 cup intervals. Top with more blueberries. For each cake you should have used around 2-3 cups of blueberries throughout.
5. Bake both cakes in oven for 1 1/2 hours or until well browned and cooked right through. Don't fret if they take longer to cook, as it is quite a dense cake. Cover and leave to cool.

Cinnamon Crumb - (Adapted from Cooking with Crystal)

1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar + 3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch of salt
5 tbsp cool butter

1. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Grease and line a small tray. 
2. Whisk together the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, cinnamon and salt.
3. Cut in the butter, rubbing it until the mixture resembles crumbs. It doesn't have to be a fine crumb, a bit of variation here is helpful.
4. Spread mixture out on tray, taking care to make sure there are no large clumps.
5. Bake in oven, after 5 minutes take a fork and move the mixture around a little. The mixture will cook quite quickly so keep an eye on it. Once the crumbs are browned remove from oven, mine took 8 minutes. Leave to cool. 
6. Stir through 3 tbsp brown sugar.

Buttercream Frosting - (Adapted from Cupcake Jemma)

450g icing sugar (sifted)
200g soft butter
2 tbsp milk
Vanilla to taste

1. Beat butter in stand mixture on high until very pale. This step is important and cake take up to 5 minutes. While waiting I like to sift half of the icing sugar into an extra bowl.
2. Add half of the icing sugar and beat for 2-3 mins on high. I like to sift the rest of the sugar while this is happening. 
3. Add remaining icing sugar. Beat on high until well combined. Add in the milk and vanilla and mix until fluffy.
4. Place 2 cups of this frosting in a separate bowl and cover with cling film. Stir through a few drops of red and blue colour paste to colour icing purple. Keep remaining buttercream for the next step.

Blueberry Frosting - 

Leftover buttercream
2 cups of frozen blueberries
2 tbsp cream cheese
Dash of water
4 cups of sifted icing sugar

1. Using a food processor or blender, place the blueberries, cream cheese and water in mixer. Blend until the mixture resembles a paste. Add more water if the mixture is not processing.
2. Place this mixture into bowl of stand mixer with buttercream, mix on high until combined. 
3. The buttercream will have thinned and not be able to be used as icing. At this point, add in extra icing sugar one cup at a time until the icing resembles the other buttercream. It must be able to hold its shape. I used 4 cups, but you may use more or less to get the desired consistency.

Putting it all together -

1. Trim and level the blueberry cakes, making sure both layers are even and the same size.
2. Place first layer on cake board or platter, use a tsp of frosting underneath to secure.
3. Add blueberry frosting to cake, creating a medium sized layer. Add the next blueberry cake, placing the flat side facing upwards. 
4. Using the plain buttercream, crumbcoat the entire outside. This will lock in all of the crumbs in a thin layer. Place in fridge for 10 minutes.
5. Give the cake another layer of plain butter cream, covering all sides. 
6. Sprinkle a desired amount of crumb mixture in the centre of the cake. Using blueberry frosting, place in piping bag and pipe around the circumference of the cake. 
7. In the centre place a dollop of icing and stick on a few fresh blueberries. Continue to use the icing to stick the berries together to form a stack. This step is really up to you - use the decorations as you please!

Note - If you like a really thick layer of icing I would suggest making more frosting as I was slightly skimped on icing the main body of the cake. The quantities listed will be just sweet enough though - I guarantee!

Let me know if you would bake this cake or have baked something similar. Do you like baking? Also, feel free to let me know how you feel about this post, considering it's something a bit different for me. It's such a shame I didn't get a good picture of the cake sliced open - the best way to describe it is a mish-mash of blueberries, moist cake, icing, icing and more icing!