Saturday, October 7, 2017

Inspiration: Favourite Prints of Spring/Fall 2017

I haven't derived much inspiration from clothing for a few years but I finally feel like I have my buzz back with these trends in store.

Muted Florals

I mentioned florals last year but florals are never truly out of fashion. This year, the florals are printed on sheer silk, chiffon or georgette. There's an airy quality that keeps it light for spring, but the muted colours are autumn appropriate. I fell in love with the Zimmermann florals but that's way out of my price range.

Constellations/Cosmic Prints

Moons and stars have always been popular but it's this year that I've noticed it more in clothing than in jewellery. Marks & Spencer released a constellation dress with funnel sleeves (in line with the 70s trend) and that sold out quickly. I opted for their other dress with the sheer outer and I will be saving that for the holiday season. I saw one in Zara too, but I wasn't keen on the fabric.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Project: Wool and the Gang's Wonderwool Sweater

I've had my eye on Wool and the Gang's range for a while, and plunged in when they offered 30% off in their Spring Sale.

For the experienced knitter, Wool and the Gang is probably not going to appeal to you. I'm an amateur and I don't necessarily have all the tools I need for a particular project. It's a great starting point for beginners or occasional knitters such as I, who wish to have a one-stop-shop. It's also for the fashion savvy as they have collaborations with designers such as Vivienne Westwood, and brands like & Other Stories and I love Mr Mittens.

Overall, my shopping experience was pleasant. The personalised label was adorable and I was surprised to see that it was packaged in a box because I typically get yarn mailed either in envelopes or mailing bags. Shipping to Australia took the usual time to arrive: about 2-3 weeks.

As for the price, Wool and the Gang does not offer it cheap. Nevertheless, the quality is good and you get what you pay for. The yarn is soft and easy to work with, and one ball of yarn gives you quite a bit of meterage. Whilst the yarn is single ply, it was not easily pulled apart. However, I wouldn't purchase this yarn again because I seldom use a yarn this bulky and I think it's expensive.

The Wonderwool Sweater pattern is a quick one. This is easily a weekend project if you have some experience in knitting. I used their Crazy Sexy Wool in Purple Haze to create this. I don't think this jumper is flattering on me in real life because I'm short. I thought my sister would enjoy this sweater but it was too bulky for her.

If you are interested in this free pattern, you can visit their website. You can also find a step-by-step tutorial on YouTube and I used this as my guide as I've never knitted a jumper before and I'm a visual learner.

Happy knitting!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Project: Knitted Bag

I've had my eye on Quince & Co for a while. I like their simple aesthetic and their ethos -- slow fashion, not fast fashion. They offer patterns that are timeless. I selected the Dejeuner bag by Pam Allen and followed the pattern to a T -- even using their Swallow yarn in Sans (undyed).

I wanted something practical that I can gift. The pattern is not complicated to follow and the trickiest part is stitching up the bag. It was my first time using interchangeable needles -- the pattern did not call for it but I chose to use interchangeable ones. I wasn't keen on the needles unscrewing themselves but I liked the advantages -- that you can lock them in on the cable and have multiple projects going on at the same time.

Work in progress

Over a couple of months, I've been knitting on-and-off and finally the end result:

If there's one thing I'd go back and fix up, it'd be the handles. It is quite thin, and I messed up a bit. Nevertheless, I'm pretty proud of it as it is the first time I've knitted a bag. Overall, the pattern isn't too difficult but I'd probably say this is good for an advanced beginner.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Travels: Taiwan

Happy Chinese New Year! After the new Gregorian year, I spent a little over two weeks in Taiwan to visit family and celebrate my grandmother's birthday. Too bad I wasn't able to stay for the new Chinese year. I thought I'd share a little slice of what I saw there:

Taiwan is a beautiful island to visit, and generally speaking, the night markets are where it's at. Street food at a low cost. Lots of tasty morsels. Whilst you can do your shopping there, I reckon there are other places in Asia that'd fare better when it comes to the full experience. Nevertheless, it's not bad at all and I enjoyed looking around for skincare and cosmetics.

When in Taiwan, look for Taiwanese sheet masks. My Beauty Diary is renowned internationally but I wanted to have a go at other local brands: Dr Morita, Dr Jou, L'herboflore and My Scheming were the ones I ended up with. You get better promotions with local brands too -- a lot of 2 for 1 deals.

As for other skincare, this is what I got for myself. I picked out Bio-essence upon recommendation from the shop assistant. Apparently, it's a Singaporean brand. Naruko is yet another Taiwanese brand. The Biore sunscreen was bought earlier on in the trip because I was running out of sunscreen.

However, I couldn't stop myself from getting a few Chateau Labiotte Lip Tint and Lipsticks. They're too cute. Buying them in store was a little cheaper than online Korean sellers because the Korean Won is stronger, but I'm sure they've got great promotions in South Korea in store.

I also picked up a Kiss Me Heroine mascara because I needed a replacement. I've only ever used western brands, so this is opening a whole new door for me. I prefer the formula of this mascara.

I brought back a lot of food items and some souvenirs: water-absorbent coasters, pineapple cake, etc. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed my time there.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Inspiration: Twin Peaks

Throughout the year, I've been watching Twin Peaks in my spare time. I've recently completed the series, hoping that I can catch the revival. I was introduced to this show when I was playing Life is Strange, where there were many references to Twin Peaks. I got so into it that I made cherry pie and had it with black coffee one morning -- actually a couple of mornings because I baked an entire pie for myself.

Nevertheless, the women of Twin Peaks has style and I thought I'd do a compilation here.

Audrey Horne

She's my favourite, she's everyone's favourite as far as I know. There's something about that 40s/50s influence in her style that I adore, mixed with the 90s. She's got that classic look, but the Old Hollywood kind of classic. It borders between demure and sexy. Her palette is generally white, black and red -- sounds like my teenaged wardrobe and I still love that combination.

I loved this costume on her too -- the one from One-eyed Jacks. 

Donna Hayward

Donna also has a classic look but the preppy variant. She's the Queen of Sweaters -- typically oversized. Sometimes it'll be a very feminine look overall but she can pull of more masculine styles well. I prefer her more feminine looks though because I'm not a big fan of grandpa sweaters/jumpers.

Shelly Johnson

I was named after a television character, and I like to think that Twin Peaks is where my mother got the name. In any case, Shelly's style is what I think the typical teenager of the early 90s would wear on TV. It's got the residual 80s flair. How can a girl not fall in love with the earrings she wears with her diner uniform?

On a tangent, Shelly reminds me a little of one of the characters from Last Window: The Secret of Cape West.

Josie Packard

The femme fatale. She's got that classic Old Hollywood look, but her masculine outfits has that Katherine Hepburn flair. Very dramatic, which is something I admire but I can never pull off personally. She shares a similar colour palette to Audrey but Josie's bold and dramatic.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Random: Black Friday

As an Australian, I never had a chance to partake in Black Friday until about two years ago when I learned that online retailers began offering Black Friday deals. This'll be a quick post, and as far as I know, these deals are still up.

Here's what I got, if you're curious. 

With their 'Catch of the Day', I thought I'd give it a go and purchased the bottoms for USD$10 and their pagoda umbrella at 25% off (with BEST25). It's a bit of a lucky dip but I'm hoping it's just some plain pants. I can do a flared skirt too. 

Paula's Choice Australia is offering 20% off with free shipping. I had some credit on my account, so I ended up getting the 2% BHA Body Treatment without any charges. If you're interested in purchasing from Paula's Choice (and you're in Australia), feel free to use my link ( for $15 off your first order if you spend over $30. Note: this is not just for Black Friday. It's their referral program. I also get $15 credit -- which is nice considering I regularly purchase from Paula's Choice for my BHA products. If you just want to check out Paula's Choice Australia, the link on the header is just the website -- no referral links.

Colourpop had a day where they offered free international shipping, so I went ahead and ordered the lippie stix and pencil in Lumiere (Kathleenlight's colour). I could not justify having to load a cart up to USD$50 just to get free shipping, nor could I justify the shipping fee if I buy two products, so this was the perfect opportunity to find out what the fuss is all about.

Unfortunately, that has finished but you can get 20% off their liquid lipsticks.

Random: Travels

I thought I'd do a bit of an update about what I had been up to.

In the first weekend of September, I made a trip to Melbourne for a weekend with my sister and my friend. Whilst my sister attended the Madman Fest, I went around the CBD with my friend and explored the laneways, arcades and the Queen Victoria market.

It takes more than a weekend to fully explore what Melbourne has to offer but I was quite content with what I was able to do during that weekend. This was more of a luxury trip, in which we indulged on food and stayed at a hotel.

My friend and I stopped by Hardware Societe for breakfast, which came highly recommended by one of my nursing school friends, and we had the fairy floss hot chocolate at the Hash Specialty. I window-shopped most of the time and caved into a purchase of a box of macarons from La Belle Miette to bring back home. My family dug into them before I had the chance to take photos.

Late October to mid-November, I had a placement in Tweed Heads after I finished up my semester. I stayed in Queensland and spent my weekends exploring the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. In my free time, I'd head out to the beach at Coolangatta or just go up the RT Peak Memorial Park to just watch the waters from above, which has a view of Kirra Beach too. I met a few backpackers during my stay.

I didn't do much shopping around in the Gold Coast but I did buy a shirt from H&M and some travel-sized items from Bath & Body Works at Pacific Fair. I stopped by Social Eating House because it was listed on Google maps. It was nice -- but I'm not much of a foodie and I ate alone, which only made me feel sad. I recommended this place to a friend who appreciates the dining experience but I can't see myself going back unless I were with friends. 

As for the walk to the hospital on the weekdays, I walked passed the Tweed River. 

During my first day there, I came across this bush turkey. I followed that turkey for this photo:

I particularly enjoyed Byron Bay's bohemian vibe. I took a trek to the lighthouse on a hot day but I had gorgeous views along the way.

I was lucky that during that weekend, they held the monthly market. I didn't know about it until I arrived. I wanted to buy all the crystals I saw there. I picked one, and bought a candle and a tin of tea.

This trip was very important to me in so many ways. It served as a reminder not to lose the bigger picture. It showed me how screwed up the world is but that's okay. I shouldn't lose sight of my passion and I should go for it because not everyone is lucky enough to know what they want to do. Most of all, I got a break from Sydney because it was wearing me down. The first Monday back, I forgot how busy the commute was and it was a little bit of a shock, but I missed having frequent public transport.