Changing

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top wittner tan maryjane heels

What a year so far! I’m sort of on the road to recovery after a very long and very boring hiatus from sewing.

I wish I could say that there was a good reason that I stopped sewing for all those months, but they’re all the lame, trite excuses of a seasoned procrastinator. Truth is, I had a bit of a sewing block, and watching Netflix in bed with my bebs until the wee hours of the morning seemed way more appealing than dragging out the ol’ sewing machine so I could sit for a few hours in the freezing cold, cramped sewing room. Now that the weather is heating up, so is my sewing machine! The fact that I now have a giant sewing desk in my room somewhat helps too. I have a million vintage patterns, it’s time to get started on them.

Last night, I sewed on the sleeves on my WIP McCall’s 2329 project, which was exciting. AND it now buttons up at the back. Just need to whip up that skirt and I’ll have another me-made dress for the blog! I’m trying to phase my wardrobe into more handmade items, but gosh the lure of AliExpress and eBay is mighty tempting. Especially since AliExpress is having another mega-sale tonight. There goes all my money, oh well.

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top wittner tan maryjane heels

You’ve already seen this skirt but I wanted to show it off again, because my new resolution is to make lots of these. They’re comfortable, work-appropriate, versatile, and made-for-me-sized, so no gappy waists and saggy hips. Albeit the hips are slightly tight on this one (or has my butt gotten bigger? Again?). Nevermind, the next one will be better.

How good are these heels? I bought them from a jumble sale because they were barely-worn Wittner heels and my size to boot (ha, not my best shoe-related pun) but they were a kind of weird pale yellow brown sort of colour. A bit of tan shoe polish and some time later, hey presto! Perfect shoes to coordinate with my favorite tan belt.

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top

What I’m wearing:

  • Bronze Amber Elephant Necklace – Mum’s, vintage
  • Navy wool top – Aldi (gift from mum but I think it was $25?)
  • Tan Belt – ASOS, free with a dress
  • Green Pencil Skirt – DIY, $1.80
  • Wittner “Jordy” Tan Cutout MaryJane Heels – Jumble Sale, $8

handmade green pencil skirt aldi wool top wittner tan maryjane heels

Earning My Stripes

It’s officially Spring, although as usual, the weather in Australia is as temperamental as ever; throwing us weather events such as windy 5°C nights and scorching 30° days. I, for one, am making the most of my enormous coat/jacket collection while it’s still cool enough to do so, before I inevitably return to my sleeveless blouses and short skirts.

And what a jacket! If there was going to be anyone who could give the colour of this outfit any justice, it would have to be my best friend (and most fabulous photographer) Laura Seeds. We got together near her place for a photoshoot or two recently and these are some of the amazing photos that came from it! (Please note that some images are cropped to better fit into my ridiculously narrow blog layout, but you’ll find the original aspect of the images by clicking and opening the lightbox.)


This has actually become a really common work outfit for me recently, and I can’t seem to stop wearing these pants. They go with everything, and best of all, they are high-waisted, and fit around said waist like a dream. Also, beltloops! They were so fabulous that I bought a pair in the black as well. They supply enough hemline to be let down, but I’m kind of digging the cropped look.. any thoughts?

What I wore:

  • Collette Dinnigan Glasses – c/o Specsavers
  • Long Tassel Necklace – Equip, $3
  • Pink Woolen Jacket w Leather Trim – Igedo, $15 (Although the last purchase I’ll ever make from them after how rudely they treated me when I tried to return a faulty item)
  • Black and White Blouse – Dotti, $15
  • Patent Leather Lilac Belt – AliExpress, $2.30 (Lots of other colours too)
  • Gold Bangle and Lorus Watch – Graduation Gifts
  • Liz Jordan Slim Fit Ankle PantsNoni B, $28 (After 30% off sale items promotion, also available in black and aqua)
  • Charvonne Black Patent Heels – Wittner, $35

Total: $98.30

Whew, that was getting close!

As for the title? I figure it’s about time I got off my lazy ass and got something accomplished, to earn my stripes, so to speak. It’s hard to break into  graphic design without a portfolio, and I’m currently lacking an up-to-date one because of all the faffing about in an industry I’m clearly not cut out for–retail.

I think retail is something everyone should do as a community-service-type deal so they can learn to better treat the people serving them, but my forked tongue would never allow me to succeed in a place where customers thrive off being as rude as humanly possible without any repercussions. I could have continued along the shop girl path and written a whole new blog about working in retail and the weird and wacky things that customers say and do, but in the end, I’d rather settle for working where my skills are put to use and don’t have those horror stories mulling around in my head.

So that being said, anyone in need of a freelance designer/illustrator/developer extraordinaire? Anyone?

Beep Beep

My, my, it’s been a while! I’ve been working all week at my new job and I gotta say.. it’s a dream come true. I can’t stop talking about how much I love my job. Everyone at my workplace is super cruisy and happy to see me all the time and I feel so bright and chipper every time I walk into the office. I’ve gotten a little taste of the work inbetween all the orientation presentations I’ve been attending all week and it seems like exactly what I was looking for all these months with an excellent balance between web development and graphic design.

As a side note, they even have fruit baskets delivered twice every week for the team and three-ply toilet paper in the toilets (everyone laughs when I say this, but I don’t know anyone’s workplace toilets that have the good toilet paper!). Their thoughtfulness towards the employees astounds me – it’s brilliant, no wonder everyone’s so happy!

I’ve hit the jackpot, literally and figuratively. Well, maybe not literally, since I’m a good few thousand dollars poorer since last Friday and the picture you’re starting at is the main reason why!

I. Love. This. Car. From the beginning, I had it narrowed down between a Mitsubishi Mirage, a Hyundai i20, and a Holden Barina. The Barina was trailing behind initially because fuel economy was a big deal to me and it had the least amount of fuel economy out of the three choices. But taking it for a test drive (and also taking the Barina Spark for a test drive too) really made me fall in love with this baby. A big thank-you to Crystal over at Zupps Holden Mt Gravatt for being so patient with me and a big thank-you to my parents who took me there to take a look at it (and haggled it down 5k or so from their asking price.. thanks mum). Now I have my very own metallic velvet red 2013 Holden Barina, and it’s all mine! Beep beep!

This car (and now it’s my turn to sound like a commercial) has everything that I ever wanted in it. I used to roll my eyes at the Barina “Can your car save your relationship” ads on television but now I’m a true believer. This car is so awesome that I don’t doubt it has powers necessary to save relationships. If only it came along a few months earlier, ah, ha.. Okay, sore spot, moving on..

Throughout the last two days that I’ve had it, I’ve been so impressed with the features and I’ll tell anyone who’ll listen about one of a million features that I totally loved.

Firstly, the key folds down and flicks up at the press of a button. Too cool. Secondly, when you press the button to unlock the car, it only unlocks the driver’s side. Coming from a hyper-paranoid mother, this was a big selling point. No more super villains sneaking into your car from the passenger side or back seat when you unlock your car from a distance! Upon the second press of the button, the rest of the doors open and the boot unlocks. Thirdly, while you’re in Park, the doors stay unlocked until you change the gear into Drive, where all the doors lock automatically for you (and unlock once again when you go back into Park).

On that note of safety, it has like a bajillion airbags in the front and a five star ANCAP safety rating (whatever that means. It does sound good though). Fifth, while we’re on the vein of things that work automatically, the windscreen wipers will periodically switch on when it senses too much water on the windscreen. This has been pretty good for the last two days considering the weather! The lights will also come on when the sensors detect that it’s getting dark. Those lights will stay on for a set period of time after you leave the car so if you get home at night, you can see the way to the front door. The radio will also keep playing even when the car is off and the key is out of the ignition, up until I open the door and step out.

This car has my back, yo.

I also love that it has a digital speedo and cruise control. Super handy for someone like me who tends towards having a lead foot while I’m driving. Now I can just set it to a speed I don’t want to pass and the car will handle the rest for me. Don’t forget the steering wheel dials that let me pump up the music and change my playlist over while I’m driving, yeah! I’ve ordered a spare iPhone charger so I can charge my phone in the USB port is has inside a second glovebox. If I need to use anything that requires electricity, well I have an outlet for that too. I kind of felt like Homer Simpson in that episode where he figures out he can plug anything into his car’s cigarette lighter.

It also has Bluetooth of course, but at a red P plater, I’m not allowed to use it anyways, which didn’t worry me too much since I’m no Miss Popular – ain’t nobody gonna call me while I’m driving, ha.

Anyways, enough about my car and my job, my gosh it’s going to get repetitive for you all soon, trust me! Here’s the outfit I wore to my first day of work:

This is the best dress ever. I didn’t even pay a cent for it! The lovely folks at Mission Australia who have been helping me with my job search have been brilliant assets for me this year. Not only did they provide a good 10 hours of driving lessons for me, they also gave me money to put on my Go Card and a gift voucher for Target so I could buy some things to buy for interviews and work. They gave me enough for a couple of pants, shirts and skirts, but ever the frugalista, I rationed the amount they gave me so that I could afford this dress too. It’s my favorite work-related piece in my wardrobe! Makes me happy just looking at it.

 

Here’s the total rundown for you:

Luxurious Statement NecklaceAliExpress, $4.50 (J Crew replica/fake/copy – now a little bit more expensive)

City Dressing Ponte DressTarget, $49 (on sale for 30% off), though technically free for me

Double Collar BlouseAliExpress, $8.50

Gold Mirror Belt (w/ patent pleather back) – eBay, $6.40

Sheer Black Pantyhose – Target, 25c

Charvonne Black Patent HeelsWittner, $35 (Now they only have nude and red left)

Total: $54.65 (or $103 if you include the free dress)

I know I’ve written a lot, but in summary, I’m having an awesome time, and awesome life, and I’m happier than I’ve ever been.

Being a frugalista isn’t entirely without its perks, let me tell you.. less money spent on clothes means that this car is officially 100% mine – no finance required. I could even afford to get comprehensive insurance despite my red P-plater status, ha (though it was somewhat stupidly expensive). So I’m starting my new life henceforth as a happy career woman with a clean bill of health and no financial debts. Dream job, check; sexy car, check. Up next – an apartment (and a man?).

But who really knows where tomorrow will take me?

Lady Darling



I had a job interview today! While I couldn’t shake off every ounce of my “cutesy” style in my outfit today, I did have to tone it down a bit–I wasn’t applying for a retail job after all. I still tried to keep it very lady-like and true to my style. I pretty much wore this exact outfit except with my black mermaid skirt and a black jacket (minus accessories of course–felt a little bit more “proper”, anyways). I’ve got a few interviews lined up this week which is very exciting business for a freshly-graduated designer trying to find her “home”. Fingers crossed for me!

 

I really adore this outfit. One of my favorite combinations of colours is navy and pastel pink (as you know) and as you’ve probably guessed, I wore my pink bow bag with this outfit, too. (The best bag in the universe, clearly, as I bought three) I would link you to it but it seems to be sold out everywhere I look for it! For the super-desperate, just go through 50 or so pages of “bow handbag” (between $15-20) searching on AliExpress and you’ll be sure to find it somewhere.

Anyways, totally digressing here.

Here’s the rundown:

Pastel Pink Jewel Headband – Forever New, $6

Pink Diamonte Zebra Necklace – AliExpress, $5.20

Flower Studded Pattern Blouse – Temt, $10

Gold Mirror Belt (w/ patent pleather back)eBay, $6.40 (I’m like a magpie with shiny things, yeesh)

Bunny Ring – AliExpress, free (Seller gave it to me as a gift with my Kigurumi order! Stay tuned for that, too..)

Pink Flower Bunch Ring – Lovisa, $3.30 (Close enough–3 for $10)

Navy Skirt – Vintage, mum’s

“Choo-Choo” Pink Patent Pointed PumpsWittner, $65 (Oh what fabulous alliteration!)

Total: $95.90

Yikes, am I cutting it close nowadays! It would have been even closer if I had bought the hairband in Carindale instead of Indooroopilly. Can you imagine that despite being situated in the sale jewelry section at the time, they didn’t want to give me 50% off (as advertised?). They claimed that it wasn’t “technically” jewelry. Pfft. PFFT. PFFFFFFFFFFT. I was quite annoyed because $6 was already more than I wanted to spend on it, despite it being absolutely gorgeous and beautiful. I had to have it–! But, sadly, not for that price. So I left it alone and ventured to Indooroopilly some time the following week.. Found the same hairband at Forever New over there and it scanned the same price as it did at Carindale, except the sales assistant said that it must have been a mistake since it’s clearly jewelry so she put it through at 50% off. Muaha. MUAHAHA  (I actually did an evil laugh while typing that and continued on in a mad frenzy of cackling, but I figured you’d get the jist of it).

I really need a hobby, counting pennies like an old woman is clearly sending me barmy.

Ice-Cream




Ohmygoshpastelsokay?

You ever get that epiphany where you finally find something (a hair cut, bow ties, strappy sandals, chunky or thin jewellery, or something else entirely) that suits you brilliantly and you never want to wear anything else ever again? I am stuck in that rut with pastels. When this trend is over, I don’t know what I’ll do anymore. In my particularly violent throes of depression, I’ll probably start resorting to buying nothing but knicker shorts from ASOS because I can and life isn’t fair.

Chain Necklace – AliExpress, $2

White Lace Blouse – Temt, $15

Mint Skinny BeltDotti, $5 (2 for $10 sale!)

Gold Sequin Clutch – eBay, $6.60 (Also available in black, silver and pink. Link has it reduced for $4.70!)

Spikes and Roses Bracelet – Lovisa, $3.33 (3 for $10 sale on now!!)

Triple Ring Pack – ASOS, $5

Lace Short With Scallop EdgeASOS, $11 (With 10% off discount and GDP conversion, boo yeah)

Beetroot Sandals in PastelWittner, $35 (Excellent deal, these babies!)

Total: $82.93

(The bracelet is a graduation present from my mother and the watch is a birthday present from Michael, if anyone’s forgotten)

It’s not fair, I’m starting to get a bit more extravagant with my spending. Just give it time and I’ll have to change the focus of this entire blog because I’ll have become one of those “good quality” snobs we all hate. No, I’m kidding, only I hate them (and that’s after a cocktail and the fiftieth time they tell me that their shoes are heirloom quality and mine will fall apart by next year).

What also isn’t fair is my life this week.

Delving into the land of makeup with my best friend Louisa, I tried to be a bit more proactive about putting on makeup throughout the week but I just broke out all over the place. I’m over it and I’ve put the brush back into that corner of my closet.

Little bit of trivia for you–did you know that Queen Elizabeth I and her fellow upper classes wore a make-up on their faces called ceruse, which was a mixture of white lead and vinegar? Even though they wore it to hide blemishes, because of the components of the makeup, it caused even more blemishes which they had to hide with an even thicker layer of the stuff, and thus the vicious cycle continued until that pallid complexion became her trademark in those old portraits you see of her today in museums and art galleries. Whenever I spot girls who have managed to mask and disguise every single pore and wrinkle on their face with a thick layer of foundation, I think about Queen Elizabeth I and the silly fashions back then and forgive them all those times they’ve stained that last sale blouse on the rack in just my size with the long, unsightly smear of bronze down the front.

Here’s another way that God is telling me that I should be staying away from the makeup:

Exasperated sigh. Buying Revlon online for a whopping saving of $3 in comparison to the same product in Myer has its risks, certainly, but I didn’t anticipate one of them being that someone at the post office would step on my envelope and crush it. Crush it like this little girl’s hopes and dreams of owning makeup that she actually bought and didn’t receive as a present from someone.. when she was 11 years old. Yes, I keep makeup for that long; I’m always deluded by the idea that one day I’ll pick it up and look like Emma Stone just like that, bam. And then I eat my lipgloss within the half hour after applying it, rub the sleep (and eyeshadow) out of my eyes, and watch as my knuckles progressively turn different colours throughout the day in that fashion. In the end (or maybe it looks like that at the beginning too), my face develops that certain je ne sais quoi about it that reminds me of the episode of The Simpsons where Homer J. invents that makeup shotgun and tests it out on his wife (with hilarious results).

It definitely reminds me that natural beauty is best anyways. And that, er.. beauty is on the, um. Inside. (Wait, is that what ugly people say?)

Stay tuned for the some Just Bitten reviews coming up soon!