Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Weekly Wish-list

There's nothing like a Gorman lookbook to cheer me up on a series of rainy days and their Spring '15 one is a looker, and not just because it's full of dogs ;P I'm actually loving the kitschy patterns, they remind me a lot of the stickers by Anya Hindmarch. She's a London-based designer who's created sticker appliqués for bags etc. These are my favourite (and I seriously did try and narrow it down) looks:

Excellent layering of the shift over the button up shirt. And who says socks and sandals are a bad thing?
Orange and pink coming together beautifully in this dress.
I like this preppy look very much.
Now this is the perfect cross between overalls and a jumpsuit.
I've been seduced by the kimono-type quilted jacket here.. I'm dying to try it.
Possibly my favourite photo of the lookbook.
Loving this "Garden Party" pattern.
It's got a shuttlecock on it! 
Also, how stunning is this model? I'm trying to grow my hair out so I'm particularly inspired by her long hair and bangs combo. It's a little annoying that they've listed the photography, stylist, hair, makeup, dog collars etc and no mention of the model's name.. Took a bit of digging but I found her on Instagram through the Gorman one (@gormanclothing) and it's Sylvie Goetz.

I absolutely couldn't resist taking a closer look at each pieces and uncovered these lovely gems too:

I used to have brogues quite similar to these but they were quite cheap from ASOS so they lived out a well-worn short life. These seem less winter-worthy but I really miss my white hole-y brogues..

These next shoes are just so pretty! Sparkly and with a ruffle.

And lastly I couldn't leave out this Petal top: simple and clean.

 All images from www.gormanshop.com.au


Something a little funky today: Love Letter by Clairy Browne and The Bangin' Rockettes. Never fails to get me grooving: that baritone sax riff mm yeah.

"I'm gonna write what I want you to do to me in a letter"

Friday, August 21, 2015

DIY: Wallpaper installation

I'm a little over renting to be honest.. but there's not much to be done about that right now. I dream about the day when I have my own house and can paint the walls and put nails in wherever I like. Today's DIY is a nice way for renters out there like myself who want to break up their white walls (accentuated by all white IKEA furniture..) without breaking any rules, or having to paint over it when you leave. It's a bit like wallpaper applied with the magic of washi tape.

Washi tape is the best thing in the world. Incredibly useful for all kinds of crafting.

Just a part of my growing washi tape collection.

My secret talent is that I can write in straight lines, even on this scale with paint, but I guess other people could rule lines out.

I picked a coloured washi to break up the black and white.

The idea of using a phrase on the wall came from this statement wall from A Beautiful Mess. Now on the choice of words. Although Emma Watson is incredible I had come into contact with this phrase elsewhere before her inspiring UN speech. It is the motivational phrase of choice of a good friend of mine who I then played with in a quartet, which we then named after the origin of the phrase. So not only does it motivate me whenever I look at it but it reminds me of fun music times and good friends. I've had some visitors that have mentioned it being a bit creepy.. but I've had it up for a year and I still love it. I'm also keen to do a wallpaper installation with a print rather than words much like this other one I saw on A Beautiful Mess:

I'm in love with the clementine print. Check out how they did it.

So one final shot with some things that go on my dresser:

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


It's been a week off for me! A bit of camping, a bit of flying, and now I'm back home in Australia.

This week on the playlist is a movement from a Mendelssohn quartet. I think that Mendelssohn is such an underrated composer, even though he's pretty well-known, he should be played even more! Today it's the second quartet from his opus 44; a quartet I'll be playing in the next semester of my studies. The second movement is very difficult and very cool. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into it. This recording is from the Cherubini Quartet. My teacher's quartet, the Vogler Quartet, has a recording that's available on Spotify which I really recommend.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Review: Kate Morton "The Shifting Fog"

Kate Morton is one of my favourite authors, and it’s just the icing on the cake that she’s Australian. I first came across her when I was looking at the audiobooks collection in the library and being that it was quite a small collection it was easy to pick her novel The Forgotten Garden over some of the other choices, even though I’d never heard of her before. The thing that really draws me into her novels is that they’re really well crafted stories, interweaving through different times to become a bigger picture that you only get to see at the end. So far I’ve read The Forgotten Garden, The Secret Keeper, and most recently The Shifting Fog (published internationally as The House at Riverton). In some way they are all very similar in the way that she writes often about family and different time periods and skips back and forth. I don’t want to spoil any of them for you and I really can’t choose my favourite.. Though I guess if I was held at gunpoint I’d have to say The Secret Keeper. Although The Shifting Fog also moved me to tears.. It’s so tough! There is always something that is revealed at the end that maybe you can kind of see coming through a misty veil, but also that you can’t fully be sure of.

So just a little on the one I read most recently, The Shifting Fog, because it’s fresher in my memory. The way that Kate Morton writes is such that you know part of the ending right from the beginning; the skipping through time periods is every other chapter or so. We know right off the bat that the poet Robbie commits suicide with Hannah and Emmeline as witnesses. The story builds from there through the eyes of Grace, a maid at the manor of Hannah and Emmeline’s family. I adore a good service story, one of my favourite books of all time being Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day, and so this element is a nice one not found in her other books and is well portrayed (as far as my knowledge of English household maintenance and goings-ons holds). The time frame of the past, the 20’s, is so glorified currently; everybody is fascinated by it; e.g. Midnight in Paris film, the reworking of The Great Gatsby with Leo DiCaprio etc etc. It was an excellent era that’s been covered in glitter already by such writers as Fitzgerald. I feel that Kate Morton holds her own with her character building in Emmeline and even widens the scope to include the war and it’s impact on that era. I had a better understanding of why the 20’s came about as they did, through the storytelling. But the beauty in this novel, for me, is in the doomed love. Highly recommended (any of her books really).

By the by, I love the artwork on her website:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Weekly Wish-list

You may have noticed already that I’m a huge Gorman fan. Aussie pride! Well one of the things that I love most about Gorman is their patterns and prints. So this week I’ve chosen my favoutie of each “print story” as they’re calling it (although I didn’t pick from every one because some I didn’t like.. e.g: wig wam).

First we have the Night Walk dress from the print story: Night walk | Bush walk. I think the pattern is really pretty and this dress could easily get dressed up for a night out.


Next is the Greenhouse shift dress from the print story: Greenhouse. The pattern is so Australian to me; it’s like walking in my backyard through all the ferns. I love that the green is not really bright but has more light-brown-earthy tones. Can’t go wrong with this dress shape either.

See more here.

Taking a rest in the middle is the Clouds doona cover from the print story: Head in the Clouds. This is just the funkiest doona cover ever! It’s reversable which adds a little specialness (I love that idea of something being just as cool on the inside as it is on the outside, and that that coolness is purely for your pleasure). Fun and bold to dress up your bed.

On sale.. so tempting
Now I think I may have already shared this Moth to a Flame pantsuit with you before.. from the print story: Wing It. I just love it! The moths are so beautiful, even though moths scare the hell out of me in real life it’s probably because they’re usually big and brown and ugly.

Check it out here.
I mean seriously, so beautifully colourful.
Last but not least is the Voodoo Snake kimono from the print story: Mad Snake. I think the fascination for me here lies more with the fact that it’s a kimono than the pattern.. although I do love the kind of watercolour-y effect. I’m yet to own a kimono and I’m intrigued by the idea of incorporating one into an outfit. I think I’d go for a relaxed look with it open and wear short shorts underneath and a simple singlet. Sort of like a long cardigan. What do you think? How would you wear it?
See how they've styled it here.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Some mellow sounds for today from the New Zealand artist Hollie Fullbrook and her friends under the name of Tiny Ruins. I’ve been a fan of them since I heard one of their songs on fib radio years ago and looked them up. I bought their album Little Notes which was released in 2010 and since then they’ve released three more, the latest of which is titled Brightly Painted One. My favourite track is Chainmail Maker, which I’m sharing with you today. 

The only videos I could find on YouTube were from live concerts and have too much ambient sound.. so here is a video I found of Tiny Ruin doing a radio interview with a station in Perth. Listen at 14’16” to hear Chainmail Maker; or listen to all of it! The other song they play live in the studio on the video is Me At The Museum, You In The Wintergardens and is also very lovely.

I don’t fully understand this trend in folk music where it’s ok to play a bit out of tune. It sometimes ticks me off, more so in the radio video above than when I listen to the studio-recording song. The B string on her guitar is just a bit too far off tune for me. The studio-recording (which you can find on Spotify or here on bandcamp) is still out of tune so it’s clearly an effect. I guess it does create some kind of unsettling mood.. I don’t want to be a full on classical music snob. :)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Travel Diary: Lucerne

When my parents came to Germany to visit me for a couple of weeks I had applied for an internship with an orchestra in Lucerne, Switzerland, so we decided it would be nice to go there for a day and night and do something after my audition. Turned out I didn’t have the audition anyway and although I initially felt bad for dragging my parents to Swizterland with no reason, it turned out to be a lovely couple of days. I think this has to be my most favourite city in Europe now (perhaps only in the summer). The weather was stunning, around 35 degrees, and the skies were blue.

Lucerne has a couple of really old bridges; the most famous of which is the Kapellbrücke (i.e Chapel Bridge). It was built in 1333 and the paintings inside the roof of the bridge are pretty special and date back to the 17th century. However, there was a fire in 1993 which destroyed most of the bridge and the paintings so I’m not sure what was original or not. In any case it was a lovely walk to take and the flowers on the outside edge looking over the unbelievably turquoise water were stunning.

Turning to tripadvisor for tips on what to do in Luzern then led me (and my Dad) to go visit the Löwendenkmal (i.e Lion Monument). It had received great reveiws on tripadvisor but the number of tourists there ruined the mood for us. Mark Twain the sculpture as “the most mournful and moving piece of stone in the world” and I’m sure with an air of tranquility it is. In the end we were there for a total of about 2 minutes. For future travelers I would suggest heading there at the crack of dawn so you might have a chance of exeperiencing the solemnity of this sad lion. It was still very impressive as a  huge sculpture carved out of the wall (it’s 10 metres long and 6 metres high).

Having left Mum at the hotel to rest, Dad and I had rented bikes and were on a mission to go for a swim. With such beautiful weather, and a huge lake, what better to do in an afternoon? We found a great schwimmbad place (now I’ve forgotten the name) that had an upper deck area for lying in the sun. It was built out over the water so that when you get in you’re already in deep water. It was the best view I’ve ever experienced while swimming and that’s really saying something seeing as I’m Australian and have some fantastic secret beach spots.

This log was really hard to get on!
Now having worn out Dad as well as Mum I went off on my own for a walk to explore a bit. I decided to head uphill (not just because it’s great for your legs!) because I’d noticed on our earlier walk that there was a kind of city wall with some towers. I found it and went up the clock tower and walked along the top of the wall (but couldn’t get into any of the other towers). The clock tower was very interesting and houses the Zytturm clock built in 1535 with a pendulum 9 metres long!

The next morning I split off early on my own to ride to the house where Richard Wagner lived for six years from 1866 - 1872. His piece Siegfried Idyll was performed for the first time at the end of 1870 on the stairs of this manor which has been turned into a museum. It was 9 in the morning by the time I got there so I didn’t go in the museum but I didn’t really feel the need to anyway. The view from his house is incredible and the close proximity of the lake is really inspiring. I bet if I lived there I’d churn out some good stuff...

 I hope you can see why Lucerne has climbed into my ranking of most beautiful city in Europe.