Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Weekly Wish-list

It's all about legs this week for me. Also, the weather in Sydney has been pretty rubbish since Monday so I just can't feel excited about summer things! So I bring you a pair of socks, and a pair of jeans; not to be worn together (or maybe you could, but the socks wouldn't be seen in all their glory..). Anyway, on with it:

 So above we have the socks, and below we have the jeans. The socks are "original, ethical and Australian made" and are named Soxygen (btw click that name for the link and that's where the images are from); only $19! I think that's good for Aussie made, cotton, beautiful socks. I want me a pair.

Now the jeans, I saw these a while ago actually and although I loved them and might have been able to afford to buy them at the time, they were a bit over $200, and I don't think I was willing to go there.. But now they're $99!! aaaaaaaaaand I can't afford them.. So still looking. These are the Swedish Skinny Jeans from the collection named "Nordic but Nice" on this Chip Chop website. Awesome pattern hey? I love prints!! (stay tuned for this Sunday's Outfit Misfit, is a print-clasher like nothing else..). I haven't explored the rest of the website, but I do think that the Nordic but Nice collection is mostly nice and you should know how I love capes..

Sorry if I'm a bit incomprehensible today.. I've been sniffing paint for a few hours. And not in the dodgy way, in the I'ma-painta-door way. Hopefully it's all good for a DIY post late next week!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Something Old, Something New

This week, well today in fact, I sat my last uni exam ever. Hopefully.. I was studying for Music in Modern Times which, I have to say, doesn't have the most aesthetically pleasing set work list. But there are some lovely things! You may remember a little while ago I was into Arvo Pärt, which was in my set list (actually I still kind of am into Arvo Pärt). Today I revisited Messiaen's Quatour pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time) and I remembered how beautiful one of the movements is. This is why I fall for cellists: the sound of the cello is just amazing and this movement really showcases that. It gets a bit intense for a while but please keep an open mind because when it resolves it is such an amazing *sigh* moment.

I'm not entirely sure who this is playing it.. but whatevs, you get the gist!!

Now that wasn't that old, it was written around 1940 or so. But here is something that's right here and now! I'm not sure how well it matches with Messiaen, as each week I try to share things that make me feel the same/or similar ways. I also try not to repeat bands but Alt-J (triangle) is seriously awesome and maybe it's a bit of an acquired taste, but that means you should listen to it more and grow to love it! I have been a bit addicted to this song lately.. I hope you enjoy it too!

Also, the video clip is weird....

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Outfit Misfit

Last week (14th of November actually) I had my final recital at the Conservatorium of Music for my degree! It's amazing to think that I might finally be finished... (it's been a battle over 6 years). And of course as much as it matters what one plays, it matters what one wears. So I bought this special dress a while ago and was looking forward to wearing it. It's Alannah Hill (and I don't mean to bombard you and make it seem like I have an addiction..) and I absolutely adore it. It scratches something off my wish list which is: a maxi dress, and it makes me want to go strolling in a garden with a parasol to go drink tea.

First up are a couple of photos from my actual recital! For interested people I played: the first movement of Der Schwanendreher by Hindemith, the first solo suite for viola by Reger, and the Brahms Eflat clarinet viola sonata.

I have to thank various people for photographs. And for coming along at all!
Sorry about the quality here; this one is off my mum's phone.
Family photo! (minus my siblings.. isn't that the best way?). All cheesy grins.
 And of course I thought I'd take some better other photos so that the dress can be seen a bit more clearly. Thanks to my friend Berny for taking these ones! We chose a beautiful house in Neutral Bay to stand creepily in front of and take pictures of each other.

So I thought I'd pretend I lived in the house and was coming out.. 

Look at the socks!!! Yes, they are also Alannah Hill.

Because I don't mind looking silly sometimes! Let's just refrain from zooming in though..

And the dress in motion

And back the other way..

And the close-up so you can see the pattern. There are actually little sequins in places defining the flowers. (Perhaps I should've tried to get the crinkles out..)
 So probably not a dress I'm going to get to wear very often; unless I decide to be ultra-dressed up for a regular day of whatever-it-is-that-graduated-violists-do. And who knows, I may just need to stroll through the Sydney Botanic Gardens with a parasol to meet my friends for tea.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weekly Wish-list

Wow, long time no blogging.. Sorry! Anyway, last weekend I went to Canberra and visited this awesome bookstore: Paperchain Bookstore and I was lost in books for more than an hour! I wish I could have all of them!! But I can't, so I thought this week's wish-list can be a share of the books that really interested me. Lately I haven't been very enthusiastic about fiction books and have been more interested in reading up on areas I'm interested in. Sorry if it bores you but the stuff that interests me leans towards the mathematical/science side.. And of course there are crafty and cookery books in there.

Concentrates on thirty highlights of pure and applied mathematics. This book opens by discussing the four main philosophical foundations of mathematics of the nineteenth century and ends by describing the four important open mathematical problems of the twenty-first century. Image, description and buying options from here.
I started reading this one in the store and it was extremely interesting; I find maths fascinating in how it originated and reading about these amazing people and the questions they've been investigating is fun.

Is it possible that - rather than thinking in terms of 'good' and 'evil' - all of us instead lie somewhere on the empathy spectrum, and our position on that spectrum can be affected by both genes and our environments? Why do some people treat others as objects? This book examines an understanding in a study of what it means to be human. Image, description and buying options from here.

John Gribbin presents the recent dramatic improvements in experimental techniques that have enabled physicists to formulate and test new theories about the nature of light. He describes these theories not in terms of hard-to-imagine entities like spinning subnuclear particles, but in terms of the fate of two small cats, separated at a tender age and carried to opposite ends of the universe. Image, description and buying options from here.
Hopefully you know what Schrödinger's cat is, but if not just clicky right here.

The peacock mantis shrimp has the most powerful punch on Earth; vampire spiders are attracted to smelly socks; and the lesser water boatman is the loudest animal in the world—its instrument is its own penis. From the mother-eating black-lace weaver spiders to the Texas horned lizards that shoot jets of poisonous blood from their eyes, this fascinating book introduces a menagerie of the world’s weirdest, and most fascinating, animalsImage, description and buying options from here.
This book had me at "its instrument is its own penis"!
Why does the journey to a new location always take longer than the trip home? What is the science behind the theory of "six degrees of separation?" Why doesn't honey flow out in all directions? In this delightful and amusing text, Jay Ingram explores the extraordinary science behind ordinary happenings. Image, description and buying options from here

The author is at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience. He believes that our identity lies not in our genes, but in the connections between our brain cells - our own particular wiring, or connectomes. This book tells the story of how the author and a group of researchers are mapping these connections, neuron by neuron, synapse by synapse. Image, description and buying options from here
An astonishing new science called neuroplasticity is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Norman Doidge, M.D., traveled the country to meet both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they've transformed--people whose mental limitations or brain damage were seen as unalterable. Image, description and buying options from here
This one actually caught my eye a while back when a friend was reading it and it comes highly recommended by him so it's on my reading list now.

There are questions that have intrigued the world's great thinkers over the ages. They are questions that can teach us about the way we live, relate to each other and see the world. This work explores the essence of these ideas, introducing figures from Socrates to Thomas Aquinas, and concentrates on one philosophical question from each of them. Image, description and buying options from here
Nothing like some un-answerable questions to get you thinking.
Image and buying options from here
The cover knit doesn't do this book much justice. There were some absolutely beautiful little cardigans as well as lacey-knit tops and even twin-sets!
Image and buying options from here
Now this book has a good cover knit and that's what drew me in. It's possibly the only thing I'd really want to make from this book but those gloves are so super awesome that it would be worth it. "One lifetime isn't long enough for all the things I'd like to do" (definitely something I think all the time)
In this hugely ambitious and exciting book Peter Watson tells the history of ideas from prehistory to the present day, leading to a new way of telling the history of the world. The book begins over a million years ago with a discussion of how the earliest ideas might have originated. Image, description and buying options from here
Image and buying options from here
Don't worry friends! I'm not going back to my crazy vegan days.. but where I can make a difference to my impact on the environment, I'd like to. And it's really interesting to understand how things are made without what one might think are essential ingredients in baking (e.g. eggs). I have dabbled in vegan cooking and I have to take this opportunity to boast and say that I made the most amazing vegan (and gluten free) cherry pie in the history of the world.
Explores how our brains learnt to read. This work presents a discussion ranging from the history of the earliest known examples of written language, to whether reading online really is making us 'stupider', and why dyslexia can be a gift. Image, description and buying options from here
Image and buying options from here
Maths and crafts?! I'm hooked already (crotchet hook pun?)
Image and buying options from here
I had my first real dabble into gardening (we're yet to see if this Greentree has a green thumb..) and this book looks beautiful. Minus the hunting of course.

 And of course now I have to include some kids books. These are usually what I'll read in a bookstore, not just because they're quick to get through, but because they're beautifully illustrated and a good short story line is much more admirable than a whole book sometimes (I think..). I won't ruin the story by giving a description, you should go and read them!

Image and buying options from here

Image and buying options from here

Monday, November 12, 2012

Something Old, Something New

This week's Something Old, Something New is a bit heartfelt. First up is Mahler 9, the last movement. The Sydney Conservatorium Symphony Orchestra played this symphony last year and it was such an amazing experience! The last movement absolutely breaks my heart. It's quite long but I urge you all to listen to it; the videos from YouTube are in three parts and it's the Vienna Philharmonic being conducted by Leonard Bernstein.

Something New this week needed to be something just as painful and I'm taking it from the film "Restless" directed by Gus Van Sant with Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hopper. It is the most beautiful film I have seen in a long time, and just before you go out renting it I'll just warn you that I love beautiful, depressing movies.. so this is hugely depressing. It's such a stunning tragic love story. The soundtrack of the film really stood out for me, and normally I don't notice it much in films.. so I thought I'd do some research and see what music was on it. There is no official soundtrack which is very sad, but here is one of the songs from the film with a little montage. Go watch! (with a box of tissues)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Outfit Misfit

OMG MY SHOES CAME!!! A lot of you know that I browse Moda Operandi quite often.. and that sometimes I buy things. Well I bought a pair of shoes while I was in Germany and their expected arrival date was July 15 - October 22 so I was extremely excited when I finally received them a couple of weeks ago! They are a little bit too big but I've solved that problem with clever use of insoles and have started wearing them in a little bit. Here are the pics; I hope you are as besotted with them as I am. =)

This is a picture I instagrammed the day I opened the box. Lovely shoe bags from both Del Toro and Moda Operandi.
Normal me

Crazy me
And in case you're interested I'm also wearing J-Brand jeans and top by Zara.

And a closer shot of the shoes.

I love the print so so so much! There's not much else I can say.. Here's the Del Toro website so you can go browse similarly cool (but not as cool) slippers like mine =D

Saturday, November 10, 2012

On the To-Do List

Another project for my ever-growing to-do list: mirror clothing. Sounds weird I know, but could be cool and not just in the disco-ball kind of way. The inspiration comes from miu miu.

This image comes from here, where you can actually buy the dress, except that it costs 1550pounds...
This image comes from this amazing blog by Lee Oliviera. He snaps a lot of pictures on the street (probably at fashion shows seeing as some of the stuff is pretty out there..) but doesn't provide a lot of information on where the clothes are from. I'm assuming the skirt is miu miu as well.
I first looked at it and thought "easy peasy! Get some mirrors and throw them on that thing" but now I think about it, it might prove to be easier said than done.. Like: how do you sew mirrors onto fabric? Where do you get little mirrors from? Where do you get little sew-able mirrors from? Hmm.. all things to be investigated. And the mirrors aren't just circular pieces of mirrored glass in these pieces, they've got a bit more detail around the edging. I'm thinking my first port of call will be the art store.

I love the look and cut of the dress in the first pic but in terms of ease the skirt is definitely the winner. I could make a simple black mini quite easily, or I could take an even bigger shortcut and just buy a nondescript one. And while we're talking about the second picture, the miniskirt one, wowza at that lady's body! I haven't mentioned before that I've been thinking a lot about the whole midriff trend (I might do a Trend Tracker Tuesday post on it sometime) and whether I'm game to try it. I think I'd need to do a lot of work before I'd feel comfortable with it..

And now that I've been researching these mirrored pieces and where they came from it was fun to watch the miu miu A/W 2012 womenswear show online. Lots of matchy-matchy suiting; very "woman wears the pants" sort of thing (remember how I was talking about Prada doing it in the A/W 2013 line?). And howsabout that crazy makeup.. I love technology and that I can be sitting here watching this fashion show in my pyjamas.

Friday, November 9, 2012

It's Friday!

It's Friday and that means you need some silly things to look at.

Scanwiches: "scans of sandwiches for education and delight".

Text From Dog: "my dog sends me texts, I post them here. Yeah, it's weird."

Happy Friday!

Thursday, November 8, 2012


I have two built-in wardrobes either side of my door and there's a lovely space in-between them that I thought I would do something creative with. Cue: rummage through all my old greeting cards and make some bunting.

Some people might call it hoarding, I like to call it sentimentality and I'm grateful for doing it: I have kept every single card ever given me. Birthday, Christmas, things made by my students etc etc. It's always nice to look through and have a little giggle sometimes, or even *aw* a bit at the sweetness of the people who have been in my life over the years. Every year at Christmas my mum would hang all the cards we got on a piece of string across the top of the curtains in our house (I don't think she really does it anymore..) and I thought I would do a similar thing but in order to fit more cards onto a limited length of string I pegged them on.

You'll need:
  • String (available at any craft or hardware store)
  • Cards 
  • Pegs (I like the look of wooden pegs; I don't remember where I got mine from but I don't think they're hard to find)
  • Hooks (I used Command hooks from the supermarket)
  • possibly a Ladder for reaching the high places where you might want to hang your bunting.
The process is pretty self-explanatory:
  1. Put your hooks on the wall.
  2. Measure the length of string out and have a bit extra so you can tie knots and so that there'll be a little dip in the bunting (or if you want a straight line of bunting go for it!)
  3. Lay string out on a flat surface and attach your cards. It's easier to get the spacing even if you do it this way rather than doing it once your string is tied to the hooks.
  4. Tie knots at each end of the string so that there's a loop that can go over the hook.
  5. Hang it!

The space in which I was hanging was quite deep so I was able to do two rows of bunting. It's a nice everyday reminder to appreciate people. Now here are some pics of my very favourite cards:

The above is a card from all the people on my dorm floor when I was living in Freiburg when my grandfather passed away. The below is an incredibly old birthday card from my best friend. It was my 7th birthday apparently and I always giggle at the spelling mistakes.

The above is a sweet card from my brother which is probably the biggest gesture of 'love' (I say that in ' ' because it's sibling love) that he's ever made. Below is a card from a couple of lovely friends in Brisbane for shaving my head and raising a lot of money for the Cancer Council (btw it's the third movement from Borodin's second string quartet if you're curious about the music) and it made me cry when I received it, maybe just because I'm weepy but probably because it was nice to feel like I'd made a difference.

And I think I'll close with this super cute 'card' (pretty much just a drawing on a sheet of paper) from a year 1 student. Perhaps I don't pronounce my name correctly, judging by how she has phonetically spelt it.. I had red hair at the time which is shown beautifully in the picture of me and she definitely picked up on my love of flowers and saying hello to them.