Friday, June 29, 2012

Loss

I have very recently experienced loss in my life; and I am so sorry for how I let it affect my blogging.
The people who live on the same floor as me made me this lovely card:
"The visible have passed, but love and memories remain"

I am focused on staying back on track now though, so stay tuned =)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weekly Wednesday Wish-list .. except that it's Friday

And suddenly it's Friday and I missed my Wednesday Wish-list!!  I was busy rocking out (aka: playing viola) and now I've recovered, let's get started.  Seeing as it's Friday I may as well stay behind in time and feature the Louis Vuitton SS 2012 campaign.

Staged with a huge carousel it was a combination of sheers, pastels, broderie anglais, and conjured up thoughts of icing-sugar-dusted-sundaes-fairy-floss.  It could quite possibly be too girly .. but I don't think so.  I particularly adore the broderie anglais collars; my favourite being the oversized ones such as the one worn by the model on the left in this campaign: 
Image from here
Image from here

I was thinking about trying to make one, when I'm back in Australia and have a sewing machine at my disposal, so stay tuned.  I also love the idea of a sheer layer over the skirt; particularly when the sheer is darker than the skirt.  Definitely another do-try-this-at-home piece.  I think the only way I could make all this lacy, sheery, pastelly stuff work in real life would be to wear them with some more masculine items: brogues, crisp button down, or even just a plain tee.

The whole fashion show is fun to watch and still up on the LV website and here's a link to make it easy for you.  On a slight side-note: I think it's quite funny that models are all so sullen looking, and in this fashion show it's particularly hilarious because they're riding a carousel.

So more than anything, this week I'm wishing for the perfect broderie anglais fabric with which I might make something of my own.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Snaps

Grey skies out here in Freiburg; reminds me of grey Berlin!  Well, enough Berlin-bashing because it's actually a very nice city.  To while the time away here are some snaps I took when visiting of the mind-blowing street art everywhere:



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Something Old, Something New

Monday has rolled around again: rehearsals, practising, concerts.. busy times.  So let's take a moment and distract ourselves with some tunes!

This week's Something Old is from someone everybody has heard of, good ol' J.S Bach.  It doesn't get much better than Bach for calming the mind and spirit and today I want to share the slow movement of his double violin concerto.  It's to die for!  Almost literally.., I feel like it's an ascension to heaven.  There are so many different recordings; too much choice.  I listen to a version gifted me by a dear friend (he gave me a CD with all his favourite recordings on it, classical of course, for my birthday) in which Nigel Kennedy plays with the Berlin Philharmonic and Daniel Stabrawa.  I haven't listened to many other versions, and for the sake of easy uploading and linking, here is one from YouTube.

This version is by Takako Nishizaki and Alexander Jablokov.  Although I'm a musician I don't classify myself as one of the very studious musicians who researches all the recordings and finds the best one.  I just know what I like and what I don't like, and there were many recordings on YouTube that were pretty hurl-worthy (not this one).  So for my muso friends, if you're reading, please leave a comment with your favourite recording so we can get a wider scope.


Now for Something New and something just as raw and beautiful as the Bach, but in a completely different way.  I discovered this artist when reading a new magazine: Lula.  Now is probably the time to confess that I am a magazine addict and as I currently live in Germany, it's hard to get magazines in English.  So I browse the international section at the big newsagents at Berlin hauptbahnhof (main-train-station) and often find interesting magazines.  Lula has turned out to be a fantastic one!  It doesn't have as many ads or promotions as big fashion mags like Vogue, and has more art and music interviews and interesting questions.  The spreads are beautifully photographed and the whole lay out is sensible.  Sorry about that huge magazine evaluation.. but it really is a great maggie. Now back on topic: there was an interview with Daniel Johnston in Lula.  He is a really interesting person and as well as having really raw and intimate sound, style and lyrics, he draws as well.  The song I want to introduce you to, and my ultimate favourite, is "True Love will find you in The End".


I love this cute little animation made to the song, it's so simple and totally fitting.  What a sweet little blobby looking for true love =)  Here is (possibly) the real video clip.

I'll leave you with a bit of his art.  Take some time to chill out and listen; ascend to a higher plane of being, have a cup of tea, doodle a little.. sure it's Monday but the world can wait a little longer.

Image found here



And this one from here

Monday, June 18, 2012

Outfit Misfit


Here I am standing still, looking into the future (?)


This week's outfit misfit is all about pattern (and trying to stay upright on rollerblades) in another park in Berlin.  Although Berlin is really grey and kind of dreary, it has some nice parks!  And the weekend that I took lots of outfit photos was strangely sunny and hot.

Today I'm featuring an Anthropologie dress that I bought in London on my trip in March.  I just fell in love with the pattern, and as you've seen (and will see in future posts) I am kind of obsessed with it.  This pattern has everything one could want from a crazy pattern: some zigzags and harmonious clashing of colours (orange, yellow and purple)

And in motion, fierce concentration


Now here I'm demonstrating how the dress moves as you move .. Anyway, it's got a really nice tuile petticoat lining just under the skirt part (imagine the function of tuile under the bustier of a dress? food for thought..)












And a close-up to truly appreciate the zigzags and harmonious clashes is definitely required.  Spot the duck! At least, I like to think it's a duck.

Wearing Anrhopologie dress, Topshop headscarf,
Marni for H & M bracelet, and 'rollschuhe' from Aldi!


Here is a back view of the dress. It's a pretty simple dress in design which I feel really compliments the pattern.

I'd like to share some other patterns that I really like; firstly from fabric websites.
Housewares gone wild
Scorpio paisley
Elevenses
Scallop love
Zigzagging awesomeness
(from Emma One Sock)

Bambi
White Russian
(from Tessuti)

Photos screen shots from clothes on Polyvore







And secondly from actual clothes, ready-made.  Here are a bunch of Carven prints I love:  zigzaggy goodness and awesome happy colours.



So get some print on and let it cheer you, and everyone around you, up!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Happy snaps

Here are a few happy snaps from my day today.  The sun is shining here in Freiburg after a couple of gloomy days.  Perfect time to have a little play with RadLab photo filters.
Too adorable!!
Tiny bikes



Went to a friend's house nearby in Freiburg where there were a bunch of Australians and we had pavlova =)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weekly Wednesday Wish-list

Mid-week slump and no better day than today for an alliterated blog post.  I've had a hard week and indeed a very hard day today, and nothing has eased the pain more than a little wishful thinking and daydreaming.  So today I'm featuring the Celine Trio bag.  It has a cross-body strap and three attachable/detachable pockets.  Very useful for being more organised!
Seriously now: anyone want to buy it for me here on e-Bay?  I'll give you my address =)

If I were to get it, as an investment piece, I would go the beige/nude colour as it would work with lots of outfits and isn't the traditional black.  Having said that, I'm a fan of colour and if I were financially able (I should've bought myself a lotto ticket) I would go for something a bit bolder.  This colour is aptly named: "Hibiscus" (found here.  I'm just dreaming of wearing it with my skinny jeans and a plain tee and jacket..




























How was your day?  I hope it was better than mine..
Bis bald! (German for: until soon!)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

From the Red Desert to the Black Forest

Here some photos from my time in Germany.  I've been living in this beautiful country for 5 months now! It's amazing how the time flies.. These photos are taken in Freiburg, a picturesque little city in the southernmost parts of Germany, very close to the Black Forest: "Schwarzwald".  I have been living here since April and have enjoyed looking around the daily fresh fruit and veg markets as well as the houses with their beautifully painted trimmings.
There is a river that runs through the city


Spargel (white asparagus) is in season here and there are bucket-loads at the markets!
Hotel Bear: the oldest hotel in Freiburg at 700 years!!









Monday, June 11, 2012

Something Old, Something New

It's that time of the week again, where I share a couple of my favourite pieces.  Let's begin with Something Old: Faure's requiem.  Some interesting facts about French composer Gabriel Faure (1845-1924) 1. he founded the Societe Nationale de Musique to support young French composers 2. he is often described as being a quiet introverted person, however, he fell in love with a Marianne, married a Marie, and spent the last years of his life with Marguerite.  A bit of a ladies man! (with a fetish for women with the prefix: Mar-  in their name).  The piece I'd like to share of his is his Requiem.  Don't worry, not all of it!  The movement that really affects me is the Pie Jesu.  I'm not a hugely religious person but this piece really touches me and the word "pie" is the vocative of the word "pius" which means dutiful, godly, faithful or kind.  This is the one I listen to, by the King's College.


Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. (repeat 2x)
Kind Lord Jesus,
grant them rest.
Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem sempiternam.   
Kind Lord Jesus,
grant them everlasting rest.



There is nothing quite like a boy soprano.  My heart just stills at the clarity of the voice, no messy vibrato like female sopranos.  I have always thought about having this at my wedding, but maybe the meaning of the words are a bit more about death..
Still, it is so divine.



And now for something completely different, Something New: "Soul and Fire" from the album "Bubble and Scrape" by Sebadoh.  I think it hooks me in the very first 10 seconds! It starts off with quite an up-beat tempo and then languidly slows into something else.  The lyrics are also interesting; I listened to a couple of others on the same album but they weren't nearly as capturing.  I hope you enjoy it!  I couldn't find a good link on YouTube, all the videos are live 'recordings' and aren't very clear.  I found it on Spotify though (if you don't have it you really should) and I shared it through Spotify onto my twitter feed.  So either follow me on twitter (@NickyGtree), get Spotify, or even buy the track for only $1.69 on iTunes!
Happy Monday Happy Listening!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Outfit Misfit


Today's Outfit Misfit comes to you from a playground somewhere in Berlin.  What else to do in my first ever and forever favourite jumpsuit than jump?  I bought it more than 2 years ago, on a bit of an impulse.  Jumpsuits were never on my radar but coming across this one I found it really fun and just the colour burst I wanted in my wardrobe.  Since then it has been one of my most loved items of clothing.  True, jumpsuits are a huge pain to go to the bathroom in.. just make sure you're never busting!!  Mine has a zip up to the waist, then 3 buttons up the back.
I highly recommend getting a jumpsuit; mine makes me feel young, carefree and bright.  I am more drawn towards the short versions, but the long ones seem quite interesting and if I ever have cash to burn (not seeming likely at the moment) I'd probably go out and buy one for an experiment.  I think with the full length jumpsuits I'm drawn to the ones with interesting backs, to cancel out the possibility of the long-pyjama-onesie look.
So jumping to conclusions ;)  this jumpsuit was from Alannah Hill (it also came in a blue/orange of the same floral pattern, but buying both would have been incredibly foolish at the time).  Here are some short jumpsuits I'm wishing for: sweet jump suitloud jumpsuit (nothing wrong with lots of colour and pattern! If you're brave enough this one would look amazing and I love the cut in the back), wannabe dress jumpsuit (looks like a dress from the front, but is actually a jumpsuit: for those of you needing a bit of a transitional piece), full length jumpsuit (the backlessness makes me drool, and not in a creepy way) and the other full length jumpsuit (also with an interesting back and I can never resist something along the "I'm a sailor" line).  So indulge in your inner child and hop into a jumpsuit!



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Purls of Wisdom: Part 1 - getting started and knit stitch with GARTER STITCH HEADBAND project

Many people admire my knit-work in the jumper I wear all the time, or just in little bits and bobs I make or am in the process of making.  These friends don't knit themselves because they believe it is too hard and intricate.  Here I would like to debunk that myth and provide you with the tools to start knitting: it is actually really simple and after only learning the basics I could make a jumper!  I have to thank my mum for being a huge influence on my knitting and for always helping me when things get more difficult.  So here let me be your mum and show you how to get started!  Trust me: it's a hobby you'll never regret starting.

You will need a pair of needles and some wool: I like to use 4mm needles and 8ply wool simply because that is the size used for a lot of jumpers and it's a size not too small that it's fiddly and not too large that you can't make small projects with.  As well as these two essentials you will need a pair of scissors (you can get knitting scissors at this online store or you can just pop into any crafty store, or you can just use regular scissors) and a mattress needle: this is the big needle that fits wool in the eye.

The first thing to do, for any project, is know how to turn that thread of yarn into stitches to start knitting from.  There are many different methods of casting on and I feel the one I choose to use produces a really nice scalloped edging.  I thought the best way to explain would be through a video and against all my instincts I started a YouTube channel in order to enable myself to share my videos here.  I'm pretty subconscious about recording myself; but I really wanted to share it.  So grab some wool and cast on!  I realised when teaching a friend to knit, that what feels natural to me is actually very difficult the first time around.  So I'm sorry if I glossed over how to hold the needles in that first video; I hope this will be helpful if you're having trouble.

Next: get knitting!! The knit stitch is the first stitch we'll learn; and the good news is there are only 2 stitches in total.

Last of all is casting off.  This method is done on the same side that you started on, so the scalloped edging of both ends are both on the same side.

Actually, last of all was second last of all, because now you have a piece of knitted work many projects call for it to be attached, either to itself, or to another piece (unless you're making a scarf or something very regular).  So let's learn how to join up our work: seemingly seamlessly.

Now you know these 3 knitting techniques it's time to use them.  Here is a pattern for a very simple headband in Garter Stitch.  Garter stitch is where you only knit using the knit stitch (as opposed to purl) and gives a flexible, stretchy result which is perfect for a headband.
I measure it to be 41cm for my head, but it may be bigger or smaller than your head, so I suggest when you reach 41cm, before casting off, try it around your head for size.

When If you try this project please send me some photos!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Weekly Wish List

Photo from the Moda Operandi website

I love to dream.  And sometimes I dream that I have the financial means to fulfil all my fashion fantasies..  So here I will indulge myself, and share with you what I'm wishing for.
Michael Lo Sordo!  This gorgeous printed dress is from his collection shown at the last Australian MBFW not long ago.  Apparently the print is inspired by insects.  I definitely see the butterfly effect: and I mean the effect created when we were in kindergarten and would put blobs of paint on paper then fold it in half to make art, rather than the chaos theory.  Let's take a closer look, shall we?






I really like the colours and would love to have this for summer.  Check out the rest of the collection if you have some time; I don't like everything but I do like the red dress immediately following this one, and some of the other prints.

Unluckily for you (but luckily for your bank) this beauty was being sold on Moda Operandi, but the trunkshow ended the last day of May.  (Side note: if you haven't visited Moda Operandi you really should! Amazing for window shopping.. and also good for that extra special treat for yourself.  It is a really clever concept by some really clever, fashionable, business women).
And while we're wishing away, why not dream up what to wear with it?














For a day look, or even an understated classy night look, I'd go for flat shoes (also just because I love flat shoes!).  First are the leather Acne "Capri" sandals, or alternately the ASOS Message Brogues.  I am addicted to brogues, and although sadly my current blue suede ones are dying, I continue to wear them with jeans, dresses, skirts .. basically everything.  And for the jacket: a Sandro "Vicky" woven twill blazer, in orange.  So many people are afraid of orange and I really don't know what everyone has against this great colour! I think it would really set off the colours in the dress beautifully.

Ok: time to get back to reality.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Something Old, Something New

And now for a Play-list.  I am journeying towards a profession as a classical musician (still studying) and I'd like to share my favourites with you.  But to break out of the stereotype that classical musicians only listen to classical music; I will also be sharing some 'pop' music songs.

Something Old: String Quintet in C, D.956, by Franz Schubert.  This work was written in 1828, only 2 months before Schubert died.  My favourite recording is played by the Emerson String Quartet with Mstislav Rostropovich as the extra cellist.  The beauty of the cello-duet melody about 2 minutes in never fails to lift my heart.  After all the drama of the opening it is truly beautiful.  Even though the violins play the same melody immediately after, nothing compares to the way the cellos sound.  I really hope you enjoy this one.  Here is the YouTube link for it: the video has been split so the second part is here.  (Unfortunately because I can't upload my own play-lists from my iTunes, I'm not sure who the artists are here..)

Something New: "Little Notes" by Tiny Ruins.  Tiny Ruins is the work of Hollie Fullbrook: a NewZealander musician and songwriter.  The first time I heard her was on FBi radio: an independent Australian radio station playing new music.  Really worth a listen and your support, here is the link, and even if you're not Australian you should go ahead and check it out anyway because you can stream online (my favourite show was "All the Best": stories about Sydney and accompanying music.  It was my favourite thing to listen to on a Saturday morning, but sadly they seem to have replaced this segment with something else).  I adore all the tracks on the EP of the same name as the song I've chosen, and it was really difficult to choose this one.  I find her voice enchanting and the guitar backing soothing.  The lyrics are charming and I encourage you to listen to all of her stuff on bandcamp.com.  Here is the specific link, to make things easy for you.

There's something special about the way music makes one feel, and the two works I've chosen to feature today are really special to me.  I hope you enjoy them as I do.



Sunday, June 3, 2012

Outfit Misfit

Here is my first Outfit Misfit post: where I'm channeling mini super hero with my mini cape.  I adore it but as a functional piece of clothing it isn't all that functional!  It doesn't keep me incredibly warm, but I will say it prevents my shoulders getting burnt, and what better reason to have it than that?  I saw the dress in the window of a shop in Paris and the pattern sucked me in; I am thinking about going into an Alice in Wonderland styling land where I wear white stockings with it in winter (I guess everyone is lucky it's summer!)

Check out my armspan! I am actually preventing anyone from going inside: part of my mini superhero duties.

Captioned: My boyfriend/photographer thinks it's funny to snap when I am trying to sneeze.
I hope you have a good chuckle! I certainly did, and without those things in life, what's the point?
Wearing: Alannah Hill mini cape, dress from boutique in Paris (really sorry but can't remember the name of it), Marni for H&M bracelet, Windsor shoes (my first online purchase), and Miu Miu bag.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ultimate Wish List

The first post for this blog! What better way to begin than with a rather unrealistic list: my Ultimate Wishlist.  I have been pondering over the last year, what 3 pieces I hope to have by the time I am 50: classic, lasting, beautiful.
First up: an Hermes scarf.  Ever since I cut my hair drastically short I have been experimenting with headscarves, and think I have got them under my belt.  Hermes is the most well-known brand for silk scarves; and standing at the scarf counter at the flagship store in Paris in March proved that.  It was so busy and I had to push my way through to get served! It broke my bank that day, but I haven't regretted the decision to purchase my first Hermes.  I couldn't be happier with my choice on the colour scheme. So exciting and I intend to take good care of it so it will last me till I'm a granny.
First adventure out of the box, so it's still a bit crinkled in the folds.
Second on the list: Chanel; I am sure this classic brand is on almost every woman's mind.  My mind is on a suit in particular.  I'm sure by the time I can afford one, they will have evolved and evolved into something different, but just as beautiful.  I adore the Spring/Summer 2012 campaign suits and also the photography.
Photo found: purseblog.com.  If you have time, check out the other photos from this campaign: really beautiful.
There is a particular suit jacket I'm in love with from the Spring/Summer 2012 Ready-to-Wear and that is the pink one in look 19 (see all looks here).  I saw it in the boutique and it's actually backless! It's really difficult to find a picture of it on the internet so you'll just have to go to a store (who needs an excuse really?) or use your imagination.

And last but not least: Louis Vuitton.  Although I adore all of the sugary delight that is the SS 2012 campaign, I am thinking trunks.  I would really love to have an LV trunk for my home, as a central decor piece. This website gives you an idea what I'm thinking about.

Looks real doesn't it? It's actually a cake!! Made on a model of a Louis Vuitton trunk.  My birthday is not for another 10 months so if anyone wants to take the challenge on...  Photo from: here

So there we go, the 3 material things I aim to own by the time I'm 50.  Here's wishing!