Monday, 31 May 2010
Hello pals! From our new apartment! Notice the shiny white walls and the real parquet flooring (none of that cheap fake wood-laminate strips we had in the old place)? Woo!
The boyfriend and I hated the physical moving part (in the heavy rain and up flights of stairs in this lift-less building!) but now that we're here, with just a few more boxes to unpack, we love it! Let's just hope that this landlord doesn't sell it. Ever!
I'm also loving the re-discovery of old clothes that I've forgotten all about and "found" while packing. Haha. Like this fuzzy teddy bear-like hoodie and the folksy-crafty skirt that I'm wearing.
The sad bit is, I can't keep them all because the built-in wardrobe here is not as big as the one in the previous apartment. Quite a few bags of the culled stuff have gone to our local Salvation Army and what's left, pieces that I think still have some re-sale value, I'm going to hawk them off dirt cheap at the Surry Hills Market this Saturday. Do stop by if you're in area. There will be loads of new-ish and vintage clothes, shoes, bags and accessories that need new homes.
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Been sorting and packing for the move since Tuesday. And still not done! It's amazing how much shit I've managed to hoard in our tiny apartment in the five years that we've lived here.
Had to take a break from bubble-wrapping and filling boxes to show off my new (and very first) Simply Phoebe neckpiece which arrived on Monday.
I can't tell you how pleased I am with what my crafty pal Phoebe has done! It's well worth the long wait - I ordered it late last year, just before Phoebe decided to re-locate to Melbourne.
The lapse in time has actually worked in our favour. My original brief was for a plain beige piece but when Phoebe finally settled in nicely in her new home and was ready to sew again, I had new ideas - still a piece in neutral nudes but with fabrics of different colours (camel...khaki...cream...) within the same family and of different textures (suede...jersey...cotton...tweed...). And Phoebe, exploring new textile stores in Melbourne, found such a great assortment! I love how she's added a bit of shine to the predominantly matte piece!
I've worn the long piece twisted to make a neckwarmer here but expect to see it again soon in a different form. Thank you, Phoebe! For helping make the cold a bit more bearable and fun with your beautiful neckpiece!
Monday, 17 May 2010
Our small party of nine started the day with a ching-chong yum cha brunch at my favourite Marigold.
My original plan was to do a 10-course banquet for dinner (also at Marigold, of course) because that's how we Chinese celebrate "milestone" birthdays - invite pals to eat a large meal, drinks loads and make merry but it was way beyond our budget so we settled for the next best thing. Still loads of food, just as ching-chongly fun (spinning the lazy susan!) and easier on the purse.
I got my first present of the day! Irregular in shape but so beautifully-wrapped.
Every one digging in! I love communal eating Chinese-style.
We tried to be good and not start drinking so early in the day (11am) but we soon gave in to the lure of Tsingtao beers. They wash those deep-fried dim sums down so nicely. Nyum.
Of course we had to have some Peking Duck!
The combination of crispy duck skin and juicy fat that oozes delicious-ness the moment you bite into the pancake...WOO!!!
Instead of having the duck meat made into the usual sang choy baos, we asked for it to be fried with noodles instead. Have to have noodles at a Chinese birthday! Haha. The long strands signify "longevity".
Here, you see my new bunny (another present) eating what's left of the duck noodles.
Another little critter, Mr Squirrel-In-The-Sky-With-Diamonds, at our next stop Doctor Pong, a fun fun bar.
I didn't have a birthday cake with candles (my favourite nai wong bao at Marigold was enough) so I insisted my pals drink at least 40 beers to decorate our crate-table "cake".
After the boys got bored playing ping-pong (love that the bar has a table), we played Jenga! See, told you Doctor Pong is a fun-filled bar!
With two architect-pals around, we "built" some pretty funky but structurally-sound blocks despite being slightly tipsy.
We didn't hit our target of 40 bottles because some of us got bored drinking beer and moved on to other alcoholic beverages. But if we include what we had at Marigold earlier, I think we did it!
"P" for my name! Haha! Thank you, pals!
On our way to another bar in the 'hood at 4pm - our current favourite, the new-ish Shady Pines Saloon.
The boyfriend and I love a good single malt whiskey (yes, an old-people drink) and whiskey bars are rare in Sydney. And I love the decor! Loads of taxidermied animals, life-size Red Indian statues, old wood furniture...like a movie set for an old-fashioned saloon. Plus, the bartenders are the best!
Besides serving whiskey and the most delicious whiskey-based cocktails (their Whiskey Sour is top-notch!), they also have a great selection of beers.
Lord Nelson is one of the oldest pubs in Sydney and I didn't know they had their own brew!
We get the regular Coopers at other pubs and bars but Vintage Coopers are a rare sight.
And it was the first time that I've seen Coopers Lager in a can.
See those peanuts that the bar serves rather generously?
Our pal Mr Carpet decided to have some drunken fun with the shells. Haha. He created what he called his "armada of peanut warships".
And proceeded to take photos of them from all angles. (Love the cocktail glasses that they use.)
These are just a few of the many that he shot. Haha!
Then it was time to call it a day. And a fantastic day it was! Thank you, pals (you know who you are) for making it extra extra special!
Old-biddy me got home and was in bed by 9.30pm. Haha. And surprise-surprise, I didn't get a hangover the next day! Maybe 40 is indeed the new 20. I only started getting those when I turned 30 and I ought to have felt very sorry for myself on Sunday morning from all the cheeky drinkie-poos but I didn't. A second wind in my drinking "career", perhaps?
Oooh, and pressie show-off time!
Besides so generously plying me and the boyfriend with drinks the whole day, my pals brought presents too!
I love picture books and I got given two of them! Wallpaper by Michael Lech and Badge Button Pin by Gavin Lucas.
The hot pink hare by artist Ottmar Hörl has been on my wish-list since Christmas! The pals that I first saw it with at a gallery remembered and bought him for me. He's been named by one of them - Biffa (as in "B" fer "bunny". Haha.)
A big fat pot of "Really Really Raspberry" jam by JimJam! I love making jams but it's kind of like a luxury to have some that I don't have to spend hours stirring. And a raspberry-flavoured one too!
How cool is that old pair of scissors?! I think I'm going to frame it instead of using it. Like make a "haberdashery" picture with some old wooden thread spools, measuring tape and vintage fabric.
I got given my first sewing machine last week by my aunt and her family! Only brought the instruction manual home because we're in the midst of moving. Can't wait to learn how to use it!
And all the way from a darling yummy-mummy pal in Melbourne, I got sent an e-voucher to spend at Remo!
Then there's the yum cha brunch for me and my pals from the boyfriend.
I'm a very lucky and spoilt 40-year-old!
Sunday, 16 May 2010
I woke up yesterday thinking, just for fun, I should dress my age to go to the celebratory brunch instead of wearing my usual "young" clothes. You know, entertain my pals a little? But nothing I put on made me look 40. Lucky me, huh? Haha. Nanna-esque vintage dresses...pearls...pumps...all didn't work!
I gave up trying and went in this happy stripey thing from my stash of kiddie clothes - a sweater-dress made for a 12-year-old (with slight leg-of-mutton sleeves!). And felt kind of smug knowing that I have a few more years left to wear "youthful" clothes before I get the "mutton dressed as lamb" label slapped on me. Tee hee hee.
Friday, 14 May 2010
After dinner at our all-time favourite Chat Thai last evening, we stumbled upon Sukjai Thai on our walk home. A new Thai place! Decked out all young and funky like Chat Thai. Curious, we stopped to read their menu at the door and I spied these....
...what we call "Butterflies" in Singapore being deep-fried behind the front counter! Sweet Asian-style dough sticks that I love and miss eating.
We eat them as they are back home but the Thais serve it with kaya, another of my favourite thing to eat. That delicious green coconut and pandan spread.
Of course we took a serve of six "Butterflies" and a pot of kaya home for dessert. Tee hee hee. They were very good. And we're going to find out if everything else on Sukjai's menu is just as tasty...soon!
415 Pitt Street
Thursday, 13 May 2010
I thought it would look great on a wall, if we have one with enough surface area to hang it. Haha. Or have legs added to make a table.
They weren't there anymore when we walked by on our way home. I hope they went into the bar and not to some rubbish dump!
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
We've known that the landlord has decided to sell two months ago but we were hoping that the next owner would be buying it as an investment property so we can stay on. Well, no such luck.
So, I have to start packing and getting rid of things. The apartments that we can afford are so much tinier than this current one (and much much more expensive!) and we really have to cut down on the number of things that we take with us. Every little bit helps. Hence, the The Empress Dowager's New Jewels Sale.
Please pop over for a look. Pick something out for yourself or your gal pals for their birthdays and Christmas. And help me lighten the load that I have to move.
And then there are the clothes and shoes and well, stuff, good stuff, that I don't wear anymore. Wish I've got a garage to hold a sale! Would anyone living in the vicinity of Surry Hills like to offer their stoop or garage or yard for a day? I'll happily pay you with clothes and shoes and stuff!
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Red Collar Project
"Red Collar Project offers "updated classics" by adding innovative details, cuts and materials to timeless pieces in a masculine and relaxed way," it says on their site's "About Us" page.
Referencing the old way in which people are pigeon-holed by their trade - blue-collar workers and white-collar professionals - Red Collar Project is about creating clothes for people who would rather be defined by their personality and how they live than what they do for a living.
Having had the chance to touch and feel quite a few pieces from their Spring/Summer 2010 range at a sample sale over the weekend, I think they've done what they've set out to do. And done so very well too.
I've always had a thing for Scandinavian exports - clogs, furniture, Marimekko, boys like Freddie Ljungberg, and of course Acne and Cheap Monday. Now, Red Collar Project. With the good clean lines and classic forms that we've come to expect and love in products from the region, I can see their pieces on men young and old from all walks of life. Styled to suit their own looks and needs, of course.
I can even see girls in them. I, for one, am definitely going to borrow what the boyfriend bought...
Like this seersucker "Henry" blazer.
I am a sucker for little touches like contrasting trims and such, hidden from public view but make me happy knowing that they are there.
The chambray "Dennis" shirt. Love the raglan sleeves! Sans the regular shoulder seams, I can wear it without looking like I've borrowed the boyfriend's shirt. Haha.
Flat-front "Hugo" pants in navy and khaki. I've already worn the khaki pair. Tee hee hee. They looked good sitting on my hips and cuffed to expose the navy blue trims.
Again, contrasting fabrics (and we love checks!) are used on the inside for pockets, waistband and fly. Very much like how they do it at Modern Amusement, a Californian label that is also a hit with us.
I love the attention that Red Collar Project pays to tiny details. It makes me feel good wearing things that the makers have put a lot of thought and love into.
And last but not least, these puffy (lined with a sponge-y material) checked and chambray bow ties that I'll for sure be borrowing!
Oh, there were some really cute socks too. We each got our own. Not too hygienic sharing socks, is it?
Now, on to things made strictly for girls...
Rules by Mary
Rules by Mary's Spring/Summer 2010 collection is "a tribute to the designer's grandmother Hilda, whose chic style inspired her from a young age".
Hilda had "a personal style which had been built up over the decades. She had clearly gained wisdom about what suited her personality and couldn't have cared less about what other people thought about the way she dressed. She stood out in the middle of suburbia as an exotic gypsy queen, eccentric but full of grace".
When I grow up, I want to be just like Grandma Hilda!
Unfortunately, I'm not as "sample size" as the boyfriend so the only Hilda-inspired thing that I could fit was this floral-print "Daisy" skirt...
And these gigantic "neck knots"...
Made out of denim!
So, you must now be wondering where you can get your hands on these Swedish delish.
Not being smug but them being samples, what we bought were the only pieces in Australia. However, Cina, the lovely Swedish lady who held the sample sale, is looking into bringing in more of Red Collar Project and Rules by Mary. Yay!
She is currently looking for stockists and I have selfishly given her a list of shops in our 'hood that I think the labels would fit right in. If I have a shop, I would happily place an order instantly! So if you're a shop-owner or know someone who might be interested, write me for Cina's email address.
Monday, 10 May 2010
To follow are some that I can't wait to see in the shops this Aussie Spring/Summer. If you are expecting "WOW-eee" and fashion-forward numbers, sorry. Most of them are really simple pieces, "classics", if you like. Some with an added twist, some without. A few I picked because I love the whole look-and-feel of the ensemble and the others because, on their own, they simply stood out in their understated way. Some might already exist in my wardrobe in similar forms - pieces that I'd wear over and over again. But that's the thing with loving things with that timeless quality, isn't it? They don't really date and you keep wanting more and more of them "comfort food" of the clothing world. Yes, I'm boring like that.
Doesn't the name of the label already conjure up pictures of comfortable and easy-to-wear goodness in your head?
The first look that designer Kristy Lawrence showed. The almost-no-colour colours look like soda pops that have been watered down but still oh-so-tasty! So soothing to look at and the pieces, I'm sure, will feel real good on the skin too.
Another similarly easy-on-the-eye combo.
Then out came the soft caramel leather pieces...
A t-shirt made from leather. Phwoar! I like that this and the other pieces look like they have been constructed out of heavyweight waxed brown paper that are sometimes used in the making of dress patterns.
The leather must be super-soft. Look at how the trousers drape and fall so nicely!
Those shorts! I want!
I can play a girly Indiana Jones with that vest.
Leather+ tiered ruffles!
That bag! It's just a simple big flat tote but somehow it's really attractive to me. It's going on the wishlist!
And finally, those light pistachio green heeled brogues that were the common thread throughout the runway presentation! It's been a while since I've added something new to my collection of green shoes.
I've always loved what this Kiwi designer does - she makes clothes for girls like me who like to flit from dressing like a tomboy one day to wearing girly-girl things the next. And the in-between days when I feel like a bit of both. However, I'm not too into the clothes that she's shown this time. The styling and accessories, on the other hand, I love!
The snap-on collars that she added to quite a few looks...
They instantly de-girlified those pretty dress! I knew I was on to something when I started my snap-on collar collection!
And the giant pussy-bows do the exact opposite - add a softness to some of her "tougher" looks...
Moving further south, from the neck down to the feet, Kate Sylvester showed boyish two-toned penny loafers... worn with sock and garters...
And these...these "penny sandals"!
She's kept the distinctive penny slot-front of the loafers but removed everything else and added straps and a clog-like base. Very very cute! Counting down to the day when they hit the Kate Sylvester boutique!
Last week, she's put yet more happy prints on the catwalk!
Scenes from rural Australia! A sharp contrast to her previous cute pastel cartoons.
Clear blue skies...red earth...rusty water storage tanks...cattle station fences...
And the open road! I'd love the top to wear on one of our road trips. Imagine a photo of me wearing it and standing smack in the middle of one such road. Tee hee hee.
I've always been strangely attracted to the prints on touristy tea towels and Hawaiian shirts. These beautiful pieces by Karla Spectic are like the very posh versions of those pit-stop souvenirs which, if I were to leave Australia one day, I would love to take with me to remind me of the time that I've spent here.
Finally, one last look from a touted-to-be next-big-thing.
Christopher Esber showed a lot of black and you know how I feel about that. When this image of white and blue popped up, OOOOH, I clicked on "Enlarge" right away.
I love my crispy white shirts, more so when they have little quirks like trims. And that skirt! Those mini pleats! And baby scallop edge! Swoon! Swoon! Swoon!
If I can only pick one thing to fondle out of all that I've missed, it would be this skirt.
And if I can pick only one show to watch, the Romance Was Born one would be it! Wearable or not, I've always looked forward to seeing what they come up with each season and I was so excited to finally be able to see one of their shows "live". But, sadly, it was not to be.