Sunday, 24 May 2015

My Week In Outfits #3 + My Birthday!

Hello everyone! Today I turn 23 years old.

I celebrated last night by being a birthday lion and hanging out with my besties, including, of course, Katie from Buddle and Squeak!
However, most of my week doesn't consist of me wearing onesies (in the daytime. As soon as I get home from uni, it's straight into the snuggly lion onesie for me). I really liked all my outfits last week, so I filmed them all and made a little video with them! Enjoy :)

Let me know which days outfits were your favourites!

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Thursday, 14 May 2015

DIY Toast Pockets Skirt | MTB #17

Hooray! I finally got around to doing this Make Thrift Buy challenge that I've wanted to do since way back in October last year. It took me so long to get around to it that the original skirt (by Lazzari) is not longer in stores... haha *oops* - BUT on the other hand, that's even better for all the people who missed out on it (or couldn't afford it - it was $200), because now you'll be able to make one for yourself!

As mentioned in the video, I made some toast designs available for download.

(that was a weird sentence to write)

I hope that you've all been having a wonderful week,

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Friday, 8 May 2015

My Week In Outfits #2

I got such wonderful feedback from my last "My Week In Outfits" video that I really wanted to make another one - so here it is! Unfortunately I didn't film what I was doing out-and-about this time because most of last week consisted of going to doctors appointments and and doing assignments, and that would have been super, super boring haha. Nonetheless, I hope that you all still like this video! Let me know which outfit was your favourite!
p.s. I've been having a mini-dilemma over what to "label" my style. Not that it really matters, but it was something I was thinking about when trying to come up with a video title (obviously, I gave up in the end and just called it "My Week In Outfits #2"). But, if you had to, how would you sum up my style in a short sentence?

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Sunday, 3 May 2015

Doe, A Deer! & The Uncanny Valley

Well, I think this has been one of the longest blog hiatuses I've ever had! I hope you haven't all forgotten about me. Life update: I've had a spectacularly crappy couple of weeks, but everything is *fingers crossed* going to get better from here on in. I already feel like myself again - I've even been dressing up all cute again and slowly getting back into making clothes (even if it's only printed t-shirts for now, because they don't require a lot of energy to make!)
So I HAVE to talk about a couple of things in this outfit: the first is this brooch that was sent to me by the amazing Amanda from Hungry Designs! I've been wearing it out pretty much every time I leave the house, because it always gets commented on by other cute, well-dressed people, who want to know where I got it from!
And this bag. This bag is ~everything~! The roof is on a hinge so it lifts up to let you put all your stuff - keys, mobile, etc - inside it, and it's even got cute little farm animals painted all around the sides. To this day, it remains one of my best market finds ever. It also makes up part of my blog header!

Outfit details
Shirt is thrifted (Hong Kong Salvos)
Pinafore is vintage Country Road
Brooch c/o Hungry Designs
Bag is Vintage
Tights are from Clear It
Shoes are from Asos
Lipstick is Vixen by Gorgeous Cosmetics

So I really wanted to write a little science bit on that "My Idol" app that was taking off last week - and if you don't know what I'm talking about then you were possibly living under a rock/don't have social media.

Bascially, the My Idol app takes an image of your face and really cleverly fits it to a 3D animated model. And then makes it dance around. To Justin Timberlake. Creepiness ensues.
Posting these pictures on facebook elicited strong reactions of "OMG SCARY" and "I don't like it. Please stop".

Everyone's reaction was pretty much the same, which was: I am at the same time amused and terrified.

But why? Why do we find this so creepy, and have such a strong emotive reaction to something that's not-quite-human?

Well, this sense of "creepiness" has actually been well-studied and is known as the "uncanny valley".
Basically, the more human something appears, the more positively we react to it - until a point. This point, where the figure is almost-but-not-quite-human, is the point at which most people will experience a really strong negative reaction.

It's also the reason why human-like robots are also completely terrifying.
 Hanako the dental robot

Saya the reception robot

And that's also what's happening with the My Idol characters - they look just like us and they move in a human way, but something is just a little bit... off. They're uncanny. And so they fall right into that uncanny valley.
Cute clothes, though.
Did any of you also jump on the My Idol bandwagon and create some terrifying avatars last week? I want to hear all about it!

I hope that you're all having a lovely day,

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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Kiwifruit & Public Personas

So, I've been having a really hard time lately. I've had many days this week where I've barely been able to get out of bed. I'm going through both a positive yet very rough patch in terms of my health, where I'm finally able to taper off the high-dose prednisone I've been on for 3+ years. This is a good thing - my Takayasu's is finally less active - but also very difficult as my body is now going through some pretty intense medication withdrawals and I am very unwell as a result.

Something that I've really been struggling with as a result is the disparity between my "public persona" and the reality of what my day-to-day life is like. Sure, most people probably display a different public persona to that of their actual lives. I mean, whose facebook timeline is a truly accurate depiction of their everyday lives? (Also, nobody wants to know what you're having for breakfast every morning. Sorry.) But I think that this struggle is particularly profound for people living with chronic or mental illnesses.
When I'm out, socialising, or posting pictures on social media I give the appearance of having bucketfuls of energy, effortlessly doing it all and accomplishing amazing things. I try to be (or at least look like) superwoman. This is the public me.
But in reality, I take several hours to get out of bed each morning because of my chronic pain, I am usually able to do about 1 thing per day because of intense exhaustion, I often spend hours crying and feeling sorry for myself and most nights I collapse in bed by 8pm. That's a particularly bad day for me, but I really struggle. This is the private me.
What freaks me out most about this is that most people know me as the "energetic, bubbly superwoman" that public me appears to be. She doesn't have struggles or stresses. She's totally confident in herself and able to do almost anything. But private me has different plans, and it's gotten to the point where I fear going out and meeting up with people (other than my closest friends) and then suddenly having to leave due to exhaustion, taking a whole bunch of pills for pain, or suddenly going silent and forgetting what they've said to me. Being asked why I only study part time, or why I can't climb a flight of stairs, or why I'm using a pensioner's card (but you're only 22??). Even small things like why I have to avoid sunlight, caffeine, and people with colds like the plague (um, I could die). It can be embarrassing, scary and downright awkward to have to explain such personal things about myself to people I've only just met or don't know very well.
But one of the things that has been stressing me out most lately is disappointing people. When people reach out to me and I have to say "I can't meet up with you", or I flat-out ignore their messages or emails - hell, even if I ignore people's sewing questions on youtube because I simply don't have the energy to answer them - I worry that people will think I either don't care about them, or that I'm lazy, or I'm brushing them off, because they only know the public me and public me is superwoman. She has time for everyone and can do everything.
I guess the point of me talking about this is because it's something that's been weighing heavily on my mind lately and it's also something I want to raise awareness of. When you live with a chronic illness, there can be such a disparity between your public and personal lives and this can sometimes become completely overwhelming. I also really want to reach out to anyone else also living with a chronic or mental illness to tell you this: You are not alone and you don't have to be superwoman (or superman!). It's okay to take some time to yourself, to be a little selfish and indulge yourself in the things that you love. It's okay to take life more slowly. Whether this is working less, not going out as much or dropping a subject at school or uni - it's okay to take life at your own pace. (Honestly, this should apply to anyone going through any kind of a tough time).
So right now, I'm working more on looking after myself, not being so productive, and not feeling so guilty about it or worried about disappointing people. If I have to reschedule plans, ask for help, take time off uni or even take some time away from blogging (though blogging actually makes me super happy so don't worry too much about that one), that's okay. It actually doesn't reflect on me as a person.

And for people who are fortunate enough not to struggle with these things, I urge you to be kind and understanding with everyone - because everybody you meet could be battling something you cannot see. Lastly I'd encourage everybody to read this article from "But You Don't Look Sick", particularly if you have or know a person with a chronic or mental illness.

But some days, dressing up and taking photos is exactly what is needed to help me feel okay. So here's what I'm wearing today!

Outfit details:
Top is thrifted
Earrings are from Wanting Collection
Skirt is thrifted (The Red Cross)
Socks are from Tutuanna
Shoes are Naot Kedma's

Much love and stay happy,

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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

DIY Strawberry Two-Piece Dress (tutorial)

LOOOOOK. I made the BEST dress! ^_^ This whole project took me a good couple of days to sew, film and edit, but it has been so worth it - because not only do I now own the best dress in the world (true statement), but I can also teach you all how to make your very own!
Grab yourself 1.5 - 2 metres of cream one-way stretch jersey (or rayon) fabric, some strawberry patches (here, here or here) and your sewing machine - and you're ready to go!
The dress that I attempted to recreate is this gorgeous thing from Candy Stripper, one of my favourite ever brands (their new collection is food-themed and it's AMAZING). However, I don't think that they sell this dress anymore - and if they did, it wouldn't be for cheap.

So, here's my video explaining how to make this dress - enjoy!

And here is a great tutorial video for neck binding (the one that I mentioned in my video):

p.s. episode 3 of my new science-y podcast just came out :) Have a listen!
p.p.s. I have an interview in Labelled Magazine which I really enjoyed doing. It's all about ethical fashion and body image. You can read it here.

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