Saturday, 31 December 2011

The Little House on the Prairie Series



Book series by Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was a little girl, my father used to read me these books. It has been a really long time since then and I can hardly remember most of the stories from the book, but I still remember the sense of excitement and adventure in these books. Laura and her family were pioneers, and as a young girl she met each move with a sense of adventure and openness to the world. I also loved that the girl was called Laura like me.

These stories are a true testament to the amazing spirit of the pioneers. They kept moving on, dealing with the problems of their life, never losing hope. The parents always did their best to make this world pleasant for their children, and to make times like Christmas magic. Trips to town were a treat when the girls would get a lolly each. They had very little, but completely appreciated what they did have, something which a lot of us have forgotten in our modern consumer driven society. I don't long for those times, because the life was hard and not everyone made it as Laura's family did, but I love the simplicity and teamwork of their little lives. It reminds us to appreciate what we do have. And anyway, they were just such amazing adventures!

I think this series is must read material! It's also great for parents to read with their children, creating wonderful memories like the ones I have.

The series: Little House in the Big Woods
Little House on the Prairie
Farmer Boy
On The Banks of Plum Creek
By the Shores of Silver Lake
The Long Winter
Little Town on the Prairie
These Happy Golden Years
The First Four Years

Catwings



Children's book, Ursula K. Le Guin

I'm doing a bit of a series of posts on books I enjoyed when I was younger. I hope that someone who is looking for inspiration for books to read to their children might be inspired to try these out. Also I believe a good children's book is not just for children, but can be enjoyed by adults too.


Catwings was a book I loved as a child. It is the story of kittens who are born with wings and their adventures. There are also apparently a sequels which I have not read. This book really captures the imagination with wonderful endearing illustrations, and a simple tale that children who love animals will enjoy. It is a short book with pictures on just about every double page, very suitable for young children, perhaps it could be used to teach children who are a little older to read. Of course, adults can enjoy it too, especially cat lovers.

This is a wonderful adventure for children and I highly recommend it.



The Sequels:


Catwings Return, 
Jane On Her Own, 
Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings.


Inspirational Woman: Amanda Tapping




I always liked Helen Magnus from the series Sanctuary. She is a woman you can look up to and aspire to be more like. She is a woman who kicks ass. She never needs a man to tell her what to do, she's in control and she does things most people could never dream of doing. She is always armed with countless knives and guns and ready for a fight. She is over 100 years old and looks great, but never feels a need to flaunt herself in revealing costumes for the pleasure of the audience, wearing chic dresses and jackets around the office, and cool leather jackets and boots in the field.

She was unlucky in love but didn't let it hold her back, continuing with her life's work and dedicating her life to protecting 'abnormals' (amazing creatures like dragons, werewolves ["HAPs"] and 'Bigfoot') from the world.

Then I discovered Amanda Tapping who plays Helen Magnums is also an executive producer and director of three episodes for the show. I was blown away with a huge rush of admiration for this woman. In the entertainment industry is still a male dominated area, not to mention that it has been shown that most TV shows are still slated towards a male audience, hence the large amount of 'T & A' a lot of modern TV shows still show.

I love my female heroes, but I get a bit sick of seeing them dressed down to entertain male audiences. I think it is also a little insulting to audiences to assume that they need to see semi-naked females to keep them interested, especially in the realm of science fiction and fantasy, where people mostly want to see interesting storyline. Anyway, this is one of the reasons I love the show. Apart from that, it's just a nice twist on the genre with mythical type creatures given a scientific twist, using science to explain their existence, while also using more classic fantasy/ horror elements such as the vampire blood that gave them their extended lifespan. I also like the smattering of Steampunk technologies such as some of Tesla's inventions.

I don't want to reveal too many secrets about the show, but this is really a great show to watch if you're looking for some more intelligent and exciting entertainment.

Oh, and, Amanda, you're awesome!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


(Created by bjbrollini on blingee
If you don't want me to use this please just let me know.
Just realised it says 2011. Oh well, it's cool looking anyway.)

Steampunk/ Victoriana Outfit Inspiration Part II


I wanted to share some of my outfits over the past year. Victorian literature and style have always been an inspiration to me, and recently I have been fascinated by Steampunk, so I have been putting together outfits based on that inspiration.

I love that I managed to get almost everything for these outfits at charity shops!


Originally published Friday 18th November 2011:

The Night Circus Outfit and Victoriana Outfit




Black velvet ribbon around neck from the local craft and sewing shop.

Necklace made by me out of fake leather thonging, cameo pendant, ankh and old keys.

Corset top from garage sale near the Portobello markets, about 4 years ago. Really want to go back to England, and see the rest of Europe!

Black and white dress from fill a bag sale at second hand shop. It's actually several sizes too large but the corset top pulls it in so you would never know!


Cameo earrings from boyfriend's mum :)



Necklace I made.


Ring from Vintage/ second hand shop. One of my favourites at the moment.


Recent outfit. All second hand items. I was really excited when I found the top, it is very Victorian and elegant. I pinned the neck with a fake pearl brooch I had from the op shop.

Originally published Tuesday 20th December 2011:

Old American West Steampunk inspiration:

Christmas Eve Outfit




Choker: Black velvet ribbon tied around neck.
Necklace: Cameo necklace from a costume jewellery store. 
Top: Gift from Wendy at Shop 55 Vintage.
Skirt: Shop 55 Vintage.

Earrings a gift from boyfriend's mother.



When I go out I will probably be wearing this with my kinda Victorian ankle boots.


Christmas Day Outfit



Monday, 26 December 2011


Boxing Day Outfit



Long thing velvet scarf wrapped around neck. I have no idea where it's from.
Same cameo necklace I have been wearing all the time recently.
White blouse from second hand shop.
Mesh and crimson velvet jacket from second hand shop. 
Skirt from second hand shop.

Worn with the same ankle boots I have been wearing all the time recently.


This is the nailpolish I've had for the last few days. I've been doing French tips with coloured nails for at least the last seven years. I think the first ones I did were metallic crimson with black tips. Or it might have been the other way around.

Friday, 30 December 2011

25 Lessons for Creatives (from nextness.com.au)

(Originally posted Sunday 2nd October, 2011 on my other blog, Frustrated Writer Style)


Abridged from Nextness blog.

I read these a while back and they really inspired me. I have them as a desktop wallpaper to remind me of ways to keep my creative spark going when I'm feeling uninspired. They really inspire me!


1. Never apologise for being an artist.

2. Look for the magic.

3. Your life is a canvas.

4. Don’t fake being unique, you already are.

5. Try not to let having to earn a living get in the way of your creative work.

6. The role of the artist is to see what others do not.

7. Don’t just be a mirror of society, transform it.

8. Keep your head in the clouds but your feet firmly on earth.

9. The work is what matters.

10. Art might not always make you cool or popular.

11. Delight in a trusting creative partnership.

12. Believe in the “blue star” of your destiny.

13. You might struggle to find your medium.

14. But you will find signs that point you on the right path.

15. You will experience low periods.

16. You will question yourself.

17. You will get blocked.

18. Be suspicious of early success.

19. Don’t pause to take spoils.

20. Don’t look back.

21. If you miss a beat, create another.

22. The truly talented don’t need to show off.

23. Never sell out.

24. Life is not simple.

25. Practise, practise, practise til you hit your stride.

The Simple Art of Compliments


(Originally posted Friday 23rd September 2011 in my other blog, Frustrated Writer Style)

When we see an outfit we like in a magazine, we might buy the magazine, or tear out the page. We save up pictures of models and celebrities and normal people who have beautiful, effortless style. But ask yourself, how often do you compliment someone in normal life? When you see a woman with a coat that you are absolutely drooling over, do you just stare at her until she is out of sight, or do you comment, tell her she looks fabulous? I know which one I like to do.

The thing about complimenting people, is it makes them feel great. I know on days when I haven't been feeling the greatest, when someone tells me they like my dress, it perks me right up. And it makes them happy, too, to see that they've made me happy. It's a reciprocal thing, everyone wins.

In a society where advertising tries to make us feel insecure about our bodies, and tells us we need to buy products to make ourselves perfect, it is nice to know that people do value your style, that you're not just a faceless nobody in the crowd. I love the way so many people react when I compliment them. You can see them become energised, filled with happiness and self love. And in a world where self love really is too rare, this is a beautiful thing.

So when you walk down the street today, and you see a girl in a cool hat, or a guy in a great pair of shoes, that you know you will be desperately searching the internet for as soon as you get home, take the minute to stop and give them a compliment. You may just make someone's day!

Steampunk/ Victoriana Outfit Inspiration Part I

I wanted to share some of my outfits over the past year. Victorian literature and style have always been an inspiration to me, and recently I have been fascinated by Steampunk, so I have been putting together outfits based on that inspiration.

I love that I managed to get almost everything for these outfits at charity shops!

Originally published Saturday 22nd October 2011:

"I haven't got a lot of Steampunk stuff yet, but I'm working on it. Izumihiiiflower's post was very inspiring. I've always loved Victoriana/ Romantic stuff, so I think it's a cool style for me to try!"

Stardust:


"Everything thrifted except rings.

I was so excited when I realised this dress looks a lot like the one princess Una wears in Stardust!"


"I love velvet, I love ruffles, and I love blue. What could be better than this jacket?"


"The chain across the front of the jacket actually came with it! Is this the best find ever or what?"


"The ring at the top is a poison ring. It opens up to a little compartment you can put things in. I've wanted one ever since I first heard the story of The Three Musketeers, even though Milady de Winter used it to poison one of my favourite characters. I got it from a hippie shop years ago. I got my boyfriend a matching one."

Steampunk:



Top and brooch thrifted. Necklace from Redheart13 on Etsy. The gun is a toy. 




Originally posted Tuesday 25th October 2011:



Everything in this outfit is from charity shops. I've had the boots maybe 11 years, when I got them they were much too big, now they're just about right!

The bracelets are copper pennies. Really cool find.

"I'm actually reading a Steampunk novel at the moment: Liberator by Richard Harland. The first book, World Shaker was very clever and really blew me away!"

Originally posted Monday 28th November, 2011

Black, White and Silver


I love how this skirt flares out when I walk, as if I am walking in an invisible wind.


My kind of Victoriana boots from the second hand shop. One of my favourite pairs of boots. Paired with a long skirt, they really look a lot like Victorian ankle boots;



This bag was my boyfriend's sisters. I always loved it. I love the heraldic clasp.

Pandaemonium



Pandaemonium is one of my favourite films of all time. It is a film about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and vividly brings to life his words and poetry. I also love it because it also has Dorothy Wordsworth as a character. Dorothy was the sister of the well known poet William Wordsworth. She also wrote and similarities between her brother's work and her own (which she never published) show that he drew upon her own writing for inspiration in his. This can be seen in the movie, where he seems to leech off her. The film is about the relationship between Coleridge, William and Dorothy Wordsworth, and revolves around their friendship, William's jealousy, and Dorothy's inspiration of them both. 

Pandaemonium is vivid, beautiful and emotional and in my mind, a must see film!

(Did I mention I want all the costumes?)

Lady Adventurer Outfit and Steampunk Magazine

Something about this outfit makes me feel like I could go have amazing fantastical adventures in imaginary lands.

Also here is the link for Steampunk Magazine, which you can read free online! I just found it and since I am becoming very interested in Steampunk, Clockpunk and other retrofuturist styles and genres at the moment, I am really excited!

Index of magazine downloads:


Issue 1:




I really like this skirt, but do you think it would be better with a ruffle at the bottom? Or is it good like this?




Cameo necklace: From costume jewellery shop a long time ago.
Wolf claw necklace: From mrd74 on Etsy.
Waistcoat: Second hand
Skirt: Second hand

Detail of skirt:



Detail of waistcoat buttons:


Cameo necklace:


Dark silver nailpolish to go with the mostly grey theme.



Steampunk Magazine Free Downloads

I just discovered a magazine called Steampunk Magazine where you can download the magazines free online. I wanted to share it in case anyone else was interested.

This is the downloads list:

http://www.steampunkmagazine.com/downloads/

This is the first issue:

http://www.steampunkmagazine.com/pdfs/SPM1-web.pdf

Since I am getting very interested in Steampunk, Clockpunk and other retrofuturist genres and styles at the moment, this should give me hours of reading.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Tintin Movie Trip

We went to see the Tintin movie last night. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. As someone who is usually extremely pedantic about movies changing the storylines of books around, I didn't mind how they rearranged the order of events and plotlines, and thought it still retained the spirit of the books and animated series. 

Our local cinema is beautiful, all the rooms are painted with frescoes and scenes like the paintings from the roof of the sistine chapel for example, and there are glowing lanterns along the entrance to the theatre.


Look, I appear to be floating in the air, you can't see any legs at the bottom of my dress. I must be a ghost!

Violet-grey stone necklace from India Fox. 
White jacket from a second hand store.
Dress from a second hand store. 

Boots:


My current favourites. Kind of Victorian looking ankle boots I got from a second hand shop.

I also carried this little black velvet bag I wore with this outfit. 


Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day Outfit



Long thing velvet scarf wrapped around neck. I have no idea where it's from.
Same cameo necklace I have been wearing all the time recently.
White blouse from second hand shop.
Mesh and crimson velvet jacket from second hand shop. 
Skirt from second hand shop.

Worn with the same ankle boots I have been wearing all the time recently.


This is the nailpolish I've had for the last few days. I've been doing French tips with coloured nails for at least the last seven years. I think the first ones I did were metallic crimson with black tips. Or it might have been the other way around.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Day Outfit

I decided to photograph and post tomorrow's outfit today, as I don't think I'll really have time for blogging on Christmas day. Apparently it's still the 23rd in blogland, but it's the 24th here now. I want to wish you all a wonderful Christmas/ Yule and thank you all for following me and your kind comments!






Choker: Black velvet ribbon tied around neck.
Necklace: Cameo necklace from costume jewellery shop.
Dress: Shop 55 Vintage

It is an amazing dress, purple velvet and lace, 
and looks so much better in real life than it came out in the pictures! 
Unfortunately the lighting in my house isn't good for photographing velvet.

I'll probably be wearing this with the same earrings and boots again.