Encounters of the lovely kind

This week was my week. A week to regroup and find some much needed breathing space. Being the forward planner that I am, I managed to schedule in too many activities and not enough down time, which lead to me having more down time and less sewing time than I had wished. But such fun!

I started officially on Sunday with a faery tale photoshoot of my favourite dress on location down the Great Ocean Road. I believe we reached a maximum of 10 degrees so I was amusing the bushwalkers/runners with jumps and skips to keep some semblance of warmth in my body, whilst taking intermittent sips of tea from an empty teacup.

the great ocean road

the great ocean road

On Monday, I went to a special screening of Pretty in Pink for Craft Victoria. I’d forgotten how much of an influence Andi had on me in my younger years and how I still hold a number of her values today. I must have watched it every week for a year when I was 12, and then annually there after, however I haven’t seen it since the arrival of B1 and B2. And whilst they love the Princess Bride, I don’t think Pretty in Pink is quite their cup of tea yet. But how delicious is James Spader! I was equally repulsed and entranced by his chest. Andi should have ended up shacking up with him. And for the record, I loved her prom dress.

At the movies - pic via Meet Me at Mikes

At the movies – pic via Meet Me at Mikes

Tuesday morning I had a most unexpected breakfast with 2 very lovely women. Kate Kosek who is a graphic and textile designer from Brooklyn and Catriona Mitchell, founder and editor of luminary.com. I’d stayed the night at Maggie’s, and although sad to to have caught up with her on this occasion, I was spoilt to spend part of the morning with Catriona and Kate.

Brooklyn Arts Hotel

Brooklyn Arts Hotel

Kate is currently visiting Australia to launch the spring/summer 2014 collection designed by Gorman incorporating graphic art work by Kate. Such a treat to have meet the artist AND have a private showing of all the pieces over a cup of tea and toast (of sorts… we had clothes draped over the dining table and wing backed chairs).pretty in pink

While the prints and shapes of the clothing are a little out of my comfort zone, I fell in love with this pattern which to my untrained and unartistic eye reminds me a little of art deco. Sadly, after spending half an hour in Gorman and trying on everything (literally) I settled on the t-shirt as the print and shape was the only one that suited.pretty in pink

I just don’t do billowy loose fitting clothes, and the more fitted ones were the wrong shape for someone with hips. But how gorgeous is it! I’ve worn it twice already, and every time I look down at my chest, I smile. Here’s to trying new things. And meeting lovely people over breakfast.

And loving it a little more

And loving it a little more

You can see Kate’s work here on instagram, here at her blog, and on Gorman’s website here.pretty in pink

Catriona was also involved in a special project, documenting women and their female role models. You can find my face here and more about the projects she is involved in here. She was really lovely. And she celebrates brave women and bright ideas. Extra lovely!

Catriona Mitchell

Catriona Mitchell

I was going to keep the morning to myself, but there was too much goodness so I had to share. And I was on a very happy high, what with movies, conversation and tea with toast. Until 2 pm when I cordially crashed and went to bed. Such is life.

On the sewing front, it has been a little hit and miss. Which is strange. I haven’t made this many mistakes in a long time.

I made a Coco dress from Liberty jersey, and layered it over a lace dress which was layered over a black slip to keep my bottom classy and warm. Flower crown from Wit and Bloom on Etsy. Pretty.

Coco

Coco worn to Pretty  in Pink

Another Anna dress had me in tears by 3pm on the day I wore it due to the corsetry nature of the bodice (I took it in 2cm, I need not have….) so this little pretty is off to Berlin shortly. I also made another Coco and through some magical gift I currently employ, managed to sew every seam with the overlocker with one right side to one wrong side. After careful inspection it became apparent there was a very clear right and wrong side. Sigh.

corset dress

corset dress

And the bombshell swimsuit is currently sitting in a zip lock back until I can figure out how to overlock it without the whole thing being munched and requiring unpicking. Sad face.

So that is it for me today. I had another adventure this week that involved these boys, which had me in fits of hysteria and also tears of admiration streaming down my face. Viva 90’s humour and prescription medication.

Curtsey.

Pips xxx

Please note this is not a sponsored post. I used my hard earned credit card to purchase my Gorman top, and managed to lose my overnight bag in the process. Bless the girl who was assisting me in Gorman. She was most helpful.

Cake!

How glorious is cake!

I made this cake on the weekend after being introduced to it by Pip from Meet Me at Mikes as part of her newsletter, Feeling a Bit Sh*t.

Pretty Cake

Pretty Cake

 

This is a very pretty cake, and one could almost say too pretty to eat. And a challenge to slice, most definitely.

It has zip and tang, sweetness and light, vegies and nuts (rhubarb and almonds) and accompanied by cream and yoghurt makes a perfectly sensible and guilt free breakfast.

Roasted Rhubarb

Roasted Rhubarb

One of my favourite stories about cake is here. I too have been known to be the god of cake. Be prepared to snort when you read it, and think of me. I’ve also been known to deconstruct a good passionfruit cream sponge to get the perfect ratio of cream/cake/icing which leaves a very sad and decrepit pile of not quite cake behind. It also gets me into trouble when that cake is not my own, and others were expecting to eat it with all three elements in their original form. Oppsie.

More Cake

More Cake

But I digress. This cake. I ate from top to toe. Delish. Plus I grew my own rhubarb. How clever! Or should I say how resilient is rhubarb. And it looks very fancy. The recipe can be found here. Rhubarb upside-down yoghurt cake. Don’t change anything as it is perfect the way it is. Go forth and make!

Care to share your favourite cake?

Curtsy.

Pips xxx

Antipodean Steam Punk Exhibition

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far far away, I was a little bit goth and had the desire to add a touch steam punk to my attire. (I also had bright blue hair for a week. My hairdresser was only impressed by his inability to do anything to dampen the colour, not the fact that I did it in a fit of “sure, why not!”. We ended up going the full chop in the end. Melancholy face.) Sadly, the funds available to me at the time meant I had limited access to the frocks and accessories needed to fulfil my Victorian dreams. I didn’t want cheap knock offs, I wanted the full velvet and silk experience and lacked the skills to create over the bust corsetry and bustles for my skirts in the year 2000.

my exhibition outfit, with bonus fuzz

my exhibition outfit, with bonus fuzzy

A girl can dream though, and to this day my love for steam punk and goth continue, and I try to weave elements in where I can without being too obvious. And then some days I am a little more obvious, when I’m feeling adventurous or am attending a special event (Hi Trent, yes this dress was for you. Cursty!) . It’s interesting how self conscious one feels when stepping out in more of a costume than everyday wear. I find it frustrating that it draws so much attention, when my reason for dressing up is for me, not for others. I believe a lady should be able to go bonnet to boots Victorian without having to explain herself to the common folk. Although I am happy to talk about the making of and inspiration behind my outfits. Which leaves me in a rather silly position… So take your chances and ask me! There is only a 50/50 chance I will bite.

the looking glass

the looking glass

So it was with much delight that I found the Antipoedian Steam Punk exhibition in Melbourne, through a page that actually managed to turn up in the rather hit and miss feed of the dreaded FB. One day I will travel to Sydney to call upon Gallery Serpentine and Clockwork Butterfly, but until then I Internet stalk and attend exhibitions.

Clockwork Butterfly

Clockwork Butterfly

I had decided early in the morning that I wouldn’t go as I had already postponed several times and the weather was rather inclement on Friday, but I obviously  forgot because I found myself on the train to Melbourne at 9.30. Lucky too, as the exhibition closed yesterday and I would have been very upset to have missed it.

art work by Michelle from steelhip design

art work by Michelle Murray from Steelhip Design

There is such novelty in attending an exhibition by oneself, without having to worry about little creatures or bored partners. It meant I was able to give the couple ahead of me a very stern  look for making too much inane conversation (shakes head and puts blunt fork away in purse whilst taking a deep breath) and start at the end and weave my way to the beginning by myself.

the bell jars

the bell jars

The exhibition was held in a beautiful building  called Tasma Terrace in East Melbourne near Parliament, across three floors, and was beautifully dark and gothic. Rooms filled with hand made crafts,  brass hearts and wings, clockwork mechanisms, bones, velvet and corsetry, gears and cogs, time machines and mp3 music players.

the looking glass

the looking glass

My dress, whilst not steam punk, is made from a Victorian fabric for the skirt and a 1930’s block print for the bodice. It’s the first time this dress has ventured out and not attended a child’s party, so the tiara was left at home. It was fitting considering the age of the fabric and that I have put my corset in a safe place, and was unable to a find it on my last hunt. Why do I insist on safe places when I can never remember them!

the perfect setting

the perfect setting

Such talented artists making these wonderful crafts by hand. If only I had participated in metal work at high school…

the tea cup

the tea cup

Curtsy

Pips xxx