Friday, 30 December 2011

Cambodian Stories: What a Location!

Here are some more Cambodian photos! Once again, I've just chosen a handful for you, as we could be doing slidenight for a few weeks.

From top to bottom:
Mekong, flooded in Phnom Penh.... night time restaurant lantern in Kep... view from the loveliest hotel in Kep... the rice fields of Cambodia (the more regular road side paddocks)... seaside town on the way to Kampot... and the last photo is somewhere on a mountain after driving halfway back to Phnom Penh.

It's a different kind of scenic place, not a WHOA the canyon's so big, more like a *sigh* it's just gorgeous and calming.

We're going to the country for the weekend, so I won't be seeing you til 2012! Have a safe weekend and Happy New Year!


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Cambodian Stories: The Bike Ride

Why HAI! Time for a little show and tell, via my Cambodian Bike Riding Adventure from October this year. It feels like an AGE ago, in light of all our ups and downs from the last few months, and when 'change' happens, it really does happen to us.

My lovely friend invited me to Cambodia for a mini break, and there were 4 in our group, with 3 extra riders the first two days. We rode 4 days, over 350 kilometres. I kid you NOT. I of little legs, and barely much bike riding distance, can ride 350kms! We toured with Grasshopper Adventures, and they were LOVELY tour guides! Mostly we rode 15-20km in the morning usually with water/snack breaks in between, here's some delish Dragon Fruit:

By 12noon it started to get really hot, and sticky and in some places the terrain was super flat, but without shade. They were the terror parts! Looking up and not seeing any shade for 5 kms! The afternoon we rode 10 km legs instead! It was on the first day, around our morning tea time, that Husbie called to say Doggie Darling was unwell... and with tears, we went on the day, and by the time we'd reached Takeo (a very small poor town south of Phnom Penh) he'd called again, letting me know she's passed away. It was so surreal being so far away from Husbie. There were so many crazy things in Cambodia, so many animals, so many small gorgeous children on the bike ride that day... it seemed strange to be sad over my dog... we have got such a lucky life in Australia.

The rest of the bike ride was challenging, but having the physical challenge kept my emotions in perspective. There were so many wonderful things in Cambodia, and to be outside of the city just really made me appreciate my home and to love travelling and meeting people outside of my community. My friends and I all supported each other in different ways, we took heaps of photos and told stories about all things we'd love to do. Travelling makes you so inspired!

Here are some more foodie shots, fried banana!

And here's the support van, just in case the sun and the riding was too much! 

A lot of our rest stops were little shops like this one above! Usually the shopkeepers didn't speak English, so our guides would tell us what was going on. This shop above was also a massage parlour and a motor bike garage/fix it up type place. 

And here are the group of guides who helped us and made sure we survived! The last day, we had the most hills, and they would ride up alongside, and help you get up the steeper hills with a little push!

There's zillions of photos of Cambodia here on my computer, but I thought I'd share a few over the next week, with a little bit of the scenery and some other things we got up to.

Hope you're driving safely if you're travelling over the holidays, and I'll see you soon! (Last week of Sew Weekly too! OMG) xoxo

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Sew Weekly: Neon Bike Dress

Happy Christmas Eve AND/OR Saturday to you! Just got back to Gippsland for a small family gathering, and wanted to step in real quick to the interwebz to say HI! xoxo

The penultimate Sew Weekly theme for 2011 was simply: Do Whatever. Anything Goes! I was pretty happy with this theme, because I've been curious about making some cycling gear that reflects my casual modern/vintage flair & the usual attire is pretty body hugging and probably very practical, but not for me.

(Would you describe my style as casual modern/vintage flair? I have no idea, just made that one up!)

So hence the Bike Apron! I used a vintage Butterick pattern, and made it from Spotlight's fluro nylon fabric (I found it up the back of the Braybrook/Maidstone store, and how would you spell fluro incidentally? Flouro? Fluoro? Oh boy.) and it was a breeze to work with. I added faux glass buttons to get a more 'reflective' look and attached a small loop on the right shoulder, so I can add a little itty bitty light for when I ride at nighttime.

Do you like it?

It's the BEST! (And totally serves it's purpose of standing out and looking bright on the roads.) AND, I've been overwhelmed by the attention it's received at Sew Weekly! My full post explains a bit more about making it, but was Facebooked and Tweeted by Frankie Magazine! Over-bloody-whelming. How sweet of them! If you're wondering Mena why you had so many Australian clicks on my post, it's because Frankie has over 125,000 Facebook friends! YIKES.

As mentioned, I'm STOKED with the dress, but I'm overwhelmed by your positive feedback. YAY! I love that vintage style and cycling can go together, and something this bright can be considered cool!

You could call it a Bike Pinnie, a Bike Apron or BAPRON, a Cycling Suit ... I'm going with Bike Apron for now! And, I have a feeling they'll be one of the first things I'll make up in 2012 for my etsy store (that has been sad and bare)! I have a few ideas about making it a bit better, and now that I'm a total designer (LOLZ, I've made one patternless dress, and now I'm a designer) I can totes make my own pattern!

Wishing you a darling holiday season, with safe travels and darling hugs with loved ones. If I don't check in tomorrow, I'll see you through the week, as I'm planning on showing you my Cambodian photos! Watch out! It's slideshow night from my holidays!

xoxo to you

(and thanks for being such a dream to virtually hang out with!)

Friday, 23 December 2011

Sew Weekly: Without a Pattern

Not sure about you, but I just LOVE when people on blogs change their hair... they might get a haircut (just noticed Esme's darling curled bob) or get a different style or colour. It's really interesting how different people dress up or dress down their locks, and I always love looking for inspiration. I've had ratbag hair for most of my life, but have totally enjoyed it more AFTER the age of 25 I reckon!

Of course, ratbag hair to me might be super fun hair for you! 

So for a bit of change, I'm now a strawberry blonde, thanks to the WONDERFUL Corrin of Corrin's Hair Lounge. I've been platinum since April 2008 (but I didn't take photos of myself then on my blog!) and it has changed from white white blonde to yellow blonde a few times. It's surprisingly been very good for my hair, it's created less frizz and since I now only wash it once a week and don't use any heat to set my curls, it's actually really good condition. I will need to get a cut next month though, but the new colour is just superb.

There will be SO many more photos of the new do! I just set it in pin curls (or that pin roll video) this week and it looks pretty good!

BUT, have you seen this dress? This is the FIRST dress I've officially drafted and made from scratch! NO PATTERN! I've sometimes whipped up knit/stretch dresses, but they're so easy right? This dress, I created the bodice pieces and I'm amazed at how gorgeous it is!

My full write up on Mena's blog explains a bit of my process in making it, and I will be doing my drafting things next year, so I'll try and share a little more how I worked it out. It was tricky!

And here's a classic shot I see around online from fashion blogs... it's the 'Um, what's on my shoe?' look:

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sew Weekly: Pausing with Purple!

 Bye Blondie! This is my last Sew Weekly Outfit with my blonde hair! It looks weird now to check it out again!

As you know, I've been sewing a garment each week along with Mena, Debi, Sarah and Adey and we're down to the last few weeks! SO CRAZY as a year seems like a might long time of sewing along, making garments, taking photos and blogging together. Everywhere I drive around town now, I see places where Husbie and I have taken photos. Such a big challenge, and I'm amazed it's almost over and we'll always have 2011 as this Sew Weekly year!

Today, I'm catching you up with the purple week we've had a few weeks ago... Purple Reigns (I love it, Mena's so fun with the puns!) as does the little Purple Man himself, Prince!

I used my Japanese New Stylish Book for the top and either I picked the wrong fabric or sized it wrong because it's hugely floppy in the wrong way!

As usual, I've elaborated the pros and cons about it on my Sew Weekly post but I've worn the stretch knit skirt again and again already!

Hope you're having a festive week! I've cracked a few beers, but am waiting for a few sparking wines this week to get through my last Sew Weekly creation! xoxo

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Sew Weekly: Domestic Refashions

Heya! You're almost up to date with the Sew Weekly themes! Here's an outfit I made for the 'Home Sweet Home' theme, where we took items we'd usually use in our day to day home life, and turn them into something wearable. A little DIY from curtains, bedsheets, tablecloths but unsurprisingly not towels!

You've seen many of my refashions before, as I'm not shy in fixing up a dress from a tablecloth, and I still have plenty of bedsheets in the stash! I wrote about my inspiration in using a more cutesy bedsheet on Mena's blog, and it's a 3/4 full skirt made from a child's bedsheet... a thrifted one no less.

I have lined the skirt though, with leftover curtain tulle, or whatever it is... some netting stuff from my old house. The t shirt was a really quick fix too, made from some leftover stretch knit (it's totally gone a long way, it was a remnant from Sydney's best warehouse!) from this dress and this dress but because I'm a grub, both dresses have stains and they're kinda bad places for stains to be and to wear (on the boobs and tummy!). 

One day when I get better at blogging, and videos and have more time, I'll post you a clip of how I make up these stretch knits, as this tshirt took 30 minutes, and dresses are sometimes even quicker... 

OMG, I just realised how photo heavy this post is - SORRY EVERYONE!

The venue is a dis-used market area or car yard, I'm not sure what. As we're kinda new to the area, we've been passing this place on the way to the hardware store, and have always wondered. When Husbie saw my skirt, he was like 'We totally should go to that graffiti place'... and we snuck in through an open gate... and I had to totally 'act' normal through this photoshoot (LOL: photoshoot) because I was actually shitscared we'd get arrested. ARGH.

I know you're not a tame lot, so I haven't edited out the graffiti-ed swear words - you can handle it!

The top photo is my absolute favourite... Husbie is so good! Did I tell you he's got a photography exhibition in January? His first! ARGH! I'll tell you where and when soon!


Friday, 16 December 2011

Small Things at My House

The pups visited us again! Oooh they are so cute!

What are you doing this weekend? It's your last breath of a few days before Christmas, do you shop? Do you make things? Do you sit around in the sun sipping sparkling wine? (HINT: That's what I plan to do tomorrow)

My family is small, so we don't often have a big bash for Christmas, and we decided a while ago that we don't do presents (I feel I tell you this every year!) but we do food and we do a LOT of food. So yep, I've already been to Costco this week! (For the first time!)

We had a BBQ to welcome in our new house, and before the moved, we ditched a whole lotta crockery and cutlery we didn't need (ditched: took the op shop) but for the BBQ we realised we had nothing for people to drink out of... so after a trip to Savers (the supermarket op shop in Footscray) we stocked up on all these weird beer jugs! They look like jars with handles!

And one of the joys of having a BBQ, means we're cooking outside in the finer weather for most meals! Breakfast too! Thanks to mum and dad, who donated their old BBQ! It's soooooooo nice to cook and eat outside! We just love our new house!

Most of the boxes are unpacked thanks to Husbie (why am I so shit at domestic things?) so I'll grab some photos of the place soon!

Whatever you get up to over the weekend, stay safe and have heaps of fun! xoxo

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Sew Weekly: Revisiting a Theme

Still got a couple of Sew Weekly weeks to catch up on here! You may read both my blog and Mena's blog, but oh well! Sometimes I include different photos here anyways!

This week we revisited a style or theme that we'd liked or didn't like in an attempt to 'Do Over'. With the internetz being so global and everything, do you find a lot of language you've not really used before or come across? Y'All is one phrase I see around a LOT, and Do Over to me sounds quite foreign... the Australian in me wants to say Do It Over... LOL - We're all Global Villages now! #Learning about the world. (Don't even get me STARTED on twitter speak, I've been spending way too much time there for work, and my head's turned into a hashtag!)

Back to the dress and the darling little shrug!

LOL for the camera! This dress is rather sweet, and was a vintage Simplicity pattern I originally made in red for Valentine's Day Week at Sew Weekly. At the last minute, I decided to make it a gathered skirt, so ditched the pencil/straight skirt for a fuller one, and kinda regretted it.

Here I used lovelier vintage material, lined it properly (so the little key at the neckline sat flat, and kept the pencil skirt (which actually is more straight than pencil on me for some reason).

I love the shape and can't believe how skinny mini I look in it!

And, I even included the little placket back bit (or whatever it's called!):

I gave a bit more of a write up in the Sew Weekly post, and called it the Blue Valentine Outfit! The MOST darling feature was the shrug, which was also a quick after thought as I remembered Karin (a total babe btw) had sent me a template for 'The Perfect Shrug' and it is confirmed... by me... this is the PERFECT shrug to make and wear (I'm wearing it right now - having it worn it all day to work - and it's just freaking lovely!). I actually think I could make another one this week... hmmmm if there's time!

YIKES, it's getting closer to Christmas! And almost the end of the year! OMG, scary! It still feels like it's August. WHAT!


Dongmen Lu Fabric Market

Happy Wednesday! Time to get some fabric inspiration from the Dongmen Lu Fabric Market here in Shanghai! Can't believe how quickly 201...