Thursday, 28 February 2013

"Down from the door where it began"

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.
from The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

After something like a year with this camera, I've only just worked out how to change the aperture in manual mode. When I was shooting these pictures I couldn't get it down to f/3.5 (the lowest this lens allows, I think) and when I did, halfway through shooting, it somehow changed itself to f/5.6. How annoying.

One Ring: Mordor
Cardi: H&M
Top: Tesco
Skirt: Uniqlo
Bag: behind the piano
Armwarmers worn as legwarmers: New Look
Boots: Doc Martens, eBay

This bag has been sitting between the piano and the wall for ten years. It's just a plain leather briefcase-like sort of thing, but I like across-the-shoulder bags. Good for keeping music in, and the gold accents go with my One Ring, and yellow stitching of the Docs, because I like matching tiny miniscule no-one-cares details like these!

This cardigan was less than £15 - I bought it in November after getting the red skirt - and it's super warm because it's cotton. Downside is, there's a little bit of wool in it as well, so it leaves fluff all over the skirt, which contains wool also. I could do with one of those lint roller thingies, but sellotape will have to do.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Portal wallpapers 2

For Christmas, my dad got a laptop. (Picked and paid for by himself of course.) It was supposed to be orange (much to my dad's dismay) but the website messed up and it came black (much to my dad's relief). So it's sad that it's not orange but I am slowly getting over it.

The laptop is called P-Body. I went on another search for Portal wallpapers and found loads of nice co-op bot ones, and a few Ratman graffiti ones too, which are also really nice. I found a page full of Portal's graffiti here.

You can download the wallpapers straight from here, but click on the resolutions for the wallpaper's original source.

1440 x 900
More resolutions
1920 x 1080
1440 x 900
1440 x 900

Sunday, 24 February 2013


The two shops I wish we had in my town are H&M and Primark. The nearest ones I know of are half an hour away, which doesn't sound like very much, but it just means I can't browse them every other week at my leisure like all the other high street shops.

I was just browsing through the H&M website, and here are some things I liked the look of.

|| dress || skirt ||

This dress really caught my eye - it's elegant and classy, in a delicious lace with translucent bits at the top and on the sleeves. Its long sleeves opens up layering possibilities for when it's cold, and its length probably makes it suitable for work and formal occasions. The black and khaki green versions are lovely too.

 || blouse || jacket ||

You can't go wrong with the rich wine colour of this blouse, with its lace detailing. The high neckline paired with the lace's translucency makes for a demurely alluring piece. Again, the colours it comes in provides a versatile selection: black cream and khaki green.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Ripper Street

Being Human's on its last series, Doctor Who's not 'til April at least (isn't even that good half the time anyway) and don't even start thinking about Sherlock. So if you've that ever-insatiable desire for some decent British drama, do yourself a favour and watch Ripper Street.

Matthew Macfadyen as Reid
 Once again my Wifey brought my attention to Ripper Street as a Victorian detective drama which has the exact seem aesthetic as Ritchie's Holmes films, even down to the music. Deliciously violent, with (metaphorically) meaty characters, intricate plots and endless secrets, this series is immensely satisfying in all areas.

The blackest, most depraved characters and corners of Victorian London are protagonist Detective Inspector Reid's watch, and believe me when I tell you it is grim. Torture, blackmail, prostitution, terrorism, you name it. (Makes for amazing telly though.)

The choker worn by the lady on the right? I own it.
As with most period dramas, you can expect to feast your eyes on some pretty sweet clothes too. Plaid suit, anyone?

Monday, 18 February 2013

Hair bows

On top of your head, on the back of your head, embellishing a bun, or at the end of a plait - there are countless ways to wear large hair bows.

I've got orchestra all week so I'm very busy, apart from this one day today when I get a break, on which I'm going to do sod all. But one thing I did do this morning was finish off a DIY, which I've taken the photos for and will be doing a tutorial post on. Meanwhile, here's just a little preview, followed by other uses of hair bows I found round the internet.

Look out for the tutorial and full outfit post in the coming weeks!

Sara Lucero
Bridal Wave

Sunday, 17 February 2013


Maybe it's because I like being warm, being prone to migraines when exposed to cold, but I have a thing for thick, heavy fabrics. Consequently, I am quite liking this whole tapestry thing - the muted colours, heaviness, the texture, the slightly pixellated patterns.

When writing this post, most of what I had in mind was dresses, but I've found tapestry bags, shoes, jackets and even waistcoats. Flowers are pretty, but the texture of tapestry I think really adds something to it. And, all these jewel tones and looking very stylishly carpet/curtain-like is reminding me of Dolly Kei.

When wearing this trend, let the tapestry do the talking, and match it with wallpaper and carpet colours which are warm and deep in colour, but also not too saturated as not to overwhelm the tapestry. Dark greens, garnet reds and tan browns are common colours which are dark enough to be the base colour of your outfit.

Megan McMinn
Your styling doesn't have to be complicated - try a tapestry dress with opaque wine-coloured tights,
tied together with black hat and heels.

Dress: Asos
Skirt: Miss Selfridge
Mary Poppins' carpet bag

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Links à la Mode: 14th February '13

Did you have a nice Chinese New Year? Somehow I made it through the family gathering and excessive amount of dumplings, as well as the assessed science practicals I had this week. I hope you've had a more pleasant time. Valentine's Day is nothing to me but if you've done something cool today with a boyfriend, girlfriend or just best friend, then good for you!


Edited by Taylor Davies

This week’s IFB Links à la Mode round up is a mish-mash of things that have me feeling very inspired on this Valentine’s Day. Some posts are about love and love stories (talk about fashionable couples!) some are all about amazing prints, and some are drawing inspration from cult classic films (Clueless!) and chic new exhibits in New York. Enjoy the round up and have a love-filled day!


If you would like to submit your link for next week’s Links à la Mode, please register first, then post your links HERE where you see “Links a la mode  next week’s date (official)”. The HTML code for this week will be found in the Links a la Mode widget on the right side of the blog, and will be published later today. ~ Jennine

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Toad brains

You know when you complete a level on Super Mario Bros. Wii, and Mario and Luigi take their hats off? I always, always wondered what would happen if the Toads took their... hats... off. Are they hats? Heads? Or actual brains?

Inspired by this idea, we decapitated some mushrooms, hollowed out the heads and filled them with mince - or brains - and then chucked them in a hotpot. They were delicious and highly amusing to consume. But at the end of the day, do you really want to know what happens when Toad takes his hat off? At best, it'll be like this.

The old Super Mario Bros. cartoon

I don't agree. There should be more brains.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Chunky knits

If you're ever at a big sale in a clothes shop, never forget to have a look in the men's section. The middle sizes, so what you usually have left is XS and XXL. I got a basic but very warm orange wool jumper from Next this Boxing Day, and their XS is equivalent to a women's size 10 (UK). Perfect.

Now. What shall I wear with it?

I did some trawling on the internet, and as well as finding my usual LB examples, here are a few tips and suggestions for wearing chunky knits this winter:

Layer up
Wear a collared shirt under your jumper so the collar pokes out at the neck - it's these little details that make an outfit. If it's chilly, chuck on a knit scarf and let it drape over the jumper.

If you've just a plain, manly jumper on your hands, add a feminine touch with a knit brooch. Replace the boring brown or black buttons with something more exciting if it's a cardigan, and if it's not a cardigan, what's to stop you sewing buttons onto a jumper anyway, as decoration?

Add shape
A shapeless mass of wool can be a little unflattering, so to define your waist a little, tuck the jumper into your bottoms, or cinch it in with a wide belt.

Balance it out
Whether they be your favourite winter boots for stomping around in the snow, or some heels with a nice fat heel on them, chunky shoes look great with chunky knits for balancing out the... chunkiness... you've got going on, and gives you the chance to wear something more form-fitting, like tights or skinny jeans, on your legs.

Be surprising 
Chunky jumper and maxi skirt - why not? Perhaps pull out a bright cotton skirt or dress and wear the jumper over it. Heavier materials like cotton, felt and wool materials will look great, but perhaps stay away from light and floaty chiffon, which will jar with the weight of the jumper.

Sneak preview of an upcoming outfit post!
Wear a chunky man jumper (no, really. It's a man jumper.) with a large but girly necklace, and a floral dress.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Moomins pyjamas

Mehehehahahah Moomins PJs. £7 from Topshop, though I cut off the nasty horrible itchy Topshop labels which were sewn over the Moomins labels, which might have to come off too if they're itchy.
Maths got cancelled so I got a rare afternoon off, which means McDonald's for lunch, a little light shopping, then home. The local Sainsbury's has a cafe and it's flooded, so I was cackling softly to myself whilst walking by admiring the mess, only to attract some mortified expressions from an elderly couple.

I tell you the truth. Finland is mad about three things: Moomins, moose and Angry Birds. If you go there, you will be swimming in Moomins merchandise, and if you love Moomins like me, you'll be very happy there.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Peppermint Girl: Edwina McG.

My guest this time is the lovely Edwina, all the way from Australia. She popped up in my LB feed one day, and I just had to see the rest of her Lookbook, which is bubbly and fresh, but still retains a nostalgia for the fifties, her favourite decade. If you love polka-dots, you will love this girl. As well as being a bit of a fashionista, Edwina documents her travelling escapades, lively photos and even what she eats on her blog, Peppermint Girl. So, are we ready to meet her?

Peppermint Girl

1. Hey, Edwina! What are three things we should know about you?

Why, hello there! I guess the most important thing anyone should and will come to know about me, is my undying love of film. I've been watching films non-stop ever since I can remember. I sort of skipped the cartoon and Disney phase as a child - I preferred to watch films like Beetlejuice, Terminator 2, Gremlins and Dune. When I was fourteen, I noticed my passion was much greater than anyone I knew, so I asked myself, "I wonder how many films I've seen?" Curiosity got the better of me, so I endeavoured to find out. I tried to recall every film I'd ever seen, gave a rating to every single one to keep a record of it - and as we speak - my current count is 2,704.

Secondly, while I'm a Graphic Designer by profession, my secret ambition is to be a musician. I've been playing guitar since I was fifteen (both electric and acoustic) and singing for even longer. I record covers and demos every now and then put them on my Soundcloud.

And lastly, despite my somewhat cynical nature (I'm a harsh critic to the point where people call me a robot) I'm quite a child at heart (so at least I like toy robots!) My bookshelves are filled with comic books, Lego, figurines, toy cars... you name it! I'm a sucker for novelty items and I still sleep with stuffed toys.

'Rainy days indoors' on LB

2. How has your style developed into what it is now?

My style has changed quite dramatically over the years. I started out wearing my brother's hand-me-downs - you wouldn't catch me dead in a skirt or a dress. By the time I was a young teenager, I lived in jeans - the baggiest jeans I could find - and t-shirts. I didn't really become conscious of cultivating any sort of unique style until I was about sixteen or so, when I began being influenced by the music I was listening to. I got sucked into the 'emo' style for a couple of years, but by the time I was eighteen I was over it. By that point I still had a largely masculine influence, my wardrobe consisted of waistcoats, button-up shirts and tight black jeans. I think the turning point for me was when I saw a photo of myself when I was nineteen and I decided jeans didn't flatter my figure at all. So, I decided to switch to a more feminine style. Now after all my years of refusing to wear skirts and dresses - that's all I wear!

I guess now I'm just more aware of myself and what suits my body shape, hair, skin colour etc. and also what I feel comfortable in. I know what works and what doesn't, which colours suit me and which ones don't - but that doesn't stop me from trying again when I see an item of clothing I like!

'Essential Logic' on LB

3. Which of your looks is your personal favourite at the moment?

At the moment, my favourite look is probably one I haven't taken a proper outfit photo of yet - here's a glimpse of it though. Polka-dots are my poison. And, for me, nothing is better than electric blue. Besides black, that blue feels like home when I wear it. Of my official outfit photos, can't go wrong with a bit of Essential Logic.

4. What do you think of the street fashion where you live?

I live in Melbourne where street fashion ranges from drab and boring to completely eclectic and wild. I really love it. I often see people in the street, on a train or at a cafe and find myself completely immersed and mesmerised by their style - even if it's not something I myself would wear. The other day I was on the train and sat across from this girl with the most amazing bright teal hair. The best part was everything matched - her wallet and phone cover were the same as her hair - and she paired it with a simple baby pink and lavender dress and ankle boots. She was like a pastel dream.

Sometimes I wish we could have a camera built into our eyeballs so we can record the people who look amazing on the streets to remember for ever more.

'Pea Coat' on LB

5. Where do you like to shop?

I'm a bit of a bargain hunter by nature, so most of my wardrobe consists of things I found on sale. The only exception is if I absolutely must have something. However, Australia is an expensive place to buy well... anything! Clothing and shoes are basically double the price of America, and with the Australian dollar being almost identical in worth, it makes buying anything here just so silly! So I tend to do most of my shopping online and shop from a few selected retailers that are reasonable in price (or ones that just stock pretty dresses!)

I'm a bit of an American Apparel fanatic, they suit me well because I'm so tiny and their sizes are petite enough for me. A lot of places, like Zara, don't stock anything I can fit into - they're all too big, a problem I often face. I had to miss out a Lover skirt on sale once because I was too tiny for it!

In short, my staple online shops are Modcloth, Urban Outfitters, ASOS and American Apparel. Although I tend to buy most often from the latter two because they offer free shipping. In store, I go to Topshop, Dangerfield, Sportsgirl and General Pants Co. And if I'm feeling like lashing out or just looking and dreaming, I check out Review and Gorman.

'Mad Puppet' on LB

6. Who are your fashion icons?

Anna Karina - so effortlessly cool. She has the ability to pull off this rad feminine prowess style and at the same time appear rather casual in doing so. She's never overdressed. Somehow she can wear a simple cardigan and slip dress and seem completely ethereal.

Rosalie Cunningham - the lead singer of ill-fated and short-lived band, Ipso Facto. The whole band is worth mentioning (their style was so succinct) but Rosalie is my age so I feel more akin to her. All black and white, all the time. And while I don't dress in as much black as I used to - she makes me want to.

Elin Jönsson - aka blogger/Lookbooker Elinkan. She disappeared a while ago, but I followed her style for years and still look to her for inspiration from time to time.

7. What do you love about the fifties?

Oh gosh, where do I start! I love the stereotypical fifties culture, the imagery of roadside diners, neon signs, burgers and milkshakes, roller skates, comic books, B movies, the explosion of rock and roll and pop music, the general manners, courtesy and naivety... and of course, I love the fashion. I swear, you look back at photos of the fifties, and not one man, woman or child is poorly dressed. It's like everyone was stylish in their own unique way. I also love the design. From the fifties emerged this surge in colour and flare and creative illustration.

'Zombie Dance' on LB

8. You often document your travelling and days out on your blog. What's your favourite place you've visited, and why?

That's a tough one! I recently visited Europe for the first time, however I got quite sick and didn't get to experience much (boourns!) But, from what I was able to experience, I loved Switzerland and Germany. Switzerland has such beautiful architecture, it's like a storybook country. Not to mention the hot chocolates are to die for. And there was something about Germany that had me straight away, hard to explain, it was more of a feeling I got being there. I've been to America previously, which I loved too. I could see myself living in San Francisco or New York, I adored them both. I'll need to go back to London though, I think that might be the place for me.

I don't know about other places, but I think UK is a decent place to live. Developed country, most of the facilities you need, social security and whatnot.

9. What do you see yourself doing, and where, in seven years' time?

I'll be thirty - yikes! I hope by then I've established a solid career, although not necessarily strictly in graphic design. I have a fairly broad scope of creative appreciation from music to film to crafts, so I'd like to think I'd be heavily involved in one, if not all of those! As for my location, I'd like to be overseas, London, New York, even Stockholm. I have a heavily romanticised ideal of travelling and working in other countries, I'm just biding my time until it becomes a plausible reality!

Thank you again for your lovely long answers. It's so nice when my interviewees put a lot of effort into it, because I do these interviews to get to know cool people, and that's exactly what's happening. I hope you'll find yourself in a romantic city doing something you love soon, Rebecca!


Sunday, 3 February 2013


In Chinese, we have these four-character-long idioms called 成语. My mum likes to teach me them on the car on the way to school. Most of them go in one ear and out the other, but this one stuck in my head because the words are quite easy to understand.

huà shé tiān zú

Literally translated, it says 'drawing a snake, adding feet', and means that you're adding something unnecessary that's destroying what you're doing. My mum told me that the saying came from this story: some men were having a competition, to see who could draw a snake fastest in the sand. One man drew his snake very fast, and, seeing that his friends were nowhere near finishing, he added legs to the snake to fill up the time. But of course, once legs are added to a snake, it ceases to be a snake.

Left ring: Aida Bergsen
Right ring: Afends

This year, Sunday 10th February is Chinese New Year. 女娲, the Snake Goddess, created humans from clay in a Chinese creation myth. Due to snakes' ability to shed their skin, they have been for many millenia associated with rebirth and fertility. If you've read or watched Fullmetal Alchemist, you'll no doubt be familiar with the Ouroboros, a snake or dragon eating its own tail, representing cyclicality.

As a design element, one can get infinitely creative with the versatile shape of a snake, making for some superbly interesting jewellery designs.

Left necklace: Plukka
Earrings: Percossi Papi
Right necklace: Ileana Makri
Brooch: Heming

In many cultures, snakes or serpents represent wisdom, as well as both death and healing: Asclepios, the Greek God of medicine, is often depicted with a snake, and Gorgon blood was said to be able to kill or revive, depending on which side of the Gorgon it was taken from. When threatened, snakes also have a tendency to stand their ground and fight rather than retreat. Consequently they are often used as guardians to sacred sites, in the form of carvings and statues.

Left bracelet: Roberto Cavalli
Right bracelet: Wildfox

Has anyone been watching Africa, the BBC documentary? One of my favourite parts was the python mother. Being ectothermic - cold-blooded - she basks in the sun to raise her body temperature. But the mother python stays in the sun for so long, her body temperature becomes dangerously high, only retreating just before she does herself permanent damage. She then goes to her brood of eggs and wraps herself around them to incubate them. So tight is her hold, that you can see the imprint of her scales on the eggs' surface.

Friday, 1 February 2013

"We're only young until we're old"

Just a simple, cosy look today, with my post-Christmas purchases. This jumper is so warm, I don't even need to make the dash for the bunsen burners first thing in chemistry class to heat the lab up. And yes, I will match my jumper to my socks to my glasses and a lot else besides, because it makes me happy. I'm a simple soul.

Shirt: sister's wardrobe
Jumper: Next
Jeans: Topshop
Socks: Primark
Boots: Rockport, TK Maxx

Oh, and today, this blog is one year old. Happy birthday, blog.
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