So, as of yesterday, you may have noticed I am adding a lot more random factoids into my posts. This is cos I absorb a lot of useless (useless depending on who you ask) info about ALL KINDS OF THINGS! Hence me going into a huge soliloquy about phoenixes and Shakespeare and bird symbolism yesterday. Yes. I know it isn’t a soliloquy if I didn’t say it, but, how the devil do YOU know if I read it out loud with dramatic arm movements? You don’t. So there! I have had other outfit posts with some other information blended into them ( Sophrosyne , Lost Mermaid, Saturn’s Return, Harvest Witch and Australian Rusalka come to my mind) but, I think my post yesterday really crossed a line, with the amount of sources alone! I considered adding a reference list, but thought I might be blending Academic-English-Teacher-Jacqui into Blogger-Jacqui a little bit too much if I did that, so, I resisted the urge and hope my students (old or new) don’t call me out on being a hypocrite.
So, what is the purpose of adding all this random, additional information into my outfit posts, you ask. Well, one of the ways I remember info is through writing it or telling people about it, so I figured I do read about so many interesting things, that, I thought I’d insert just a wee bit into my posts. So, let’s talk about this outfit. I was in the CBD on Thursday meeting the wonderful Hoang Anh (from PHO sizzle ‘s blog fame) for lunch and I walked past Pulp Kitchen. I don’t know what was going on with Factory X and the brands it owns, but, hahahahaha, everything in there was $20 or less! I actually did a swift 90 degree angle turn when I noticed the shop, which is rare for me, cos I am not really into shopping new retail clothes. So, as I walked through all the Dangerfield and Princess Highway left over stock, I spied this sweater in the men’s section, and, well, I had to have it.
It’s not my style, and it makes me feel slightly like a race car driver or a jockey with the way it falls on my shoulders and because of the different patterns on the arms, but, I just loved it! I am a bit of a fan of the Smiley, and that scene in Forrest Gump, and I just found out today that the original Smiley was used to motivate workers from a life insurance company who had just dealt with a huge merger and acquisition and the company felt the workers needed cheering up. Did you know that? Or, you could swing the other way and believe that THIS was the original smiley from over 4500 years ago and carved into a pebble! The full story from The Smithsonian Mag about the history of the Smiley is here and pretty interesting. But, in my mind, I also love all the crazy interpretations of the smiley, from Nirvana to Dazed and Confused and so, this sweater, with its nuclear meltdown smiley made me automatically buy it.
And then, when I went to start styling it for this post, well, I reverted back to being a teenager in the late 90s… and I LIKED it! Hahahaha, I swear, the photo below reminds me SO MUCH of a girl I was good friends with in year 10 – it’s uncanny.
Nuclear Smiley Sweater: Pulp Kitchen Skirt: Custom made in Hoi An Shoes: EOS Sunglasses: Jay Jays Earrings: Borrowed from my sister
Anyway, I hope you’ve learnt something about the humble smiley today, and
HAVE A HAPPY DAY
(Bernard and Murray Spain added that to the smiley design in the early 70s)
OH. SO. NINETIES.
In Shakespeare’s Cymbeline, (in Act 1, scene 7, to be precise) Iachimo refers to Imogen as an ‘Arabian Bird’. The full quote is,
“All of her that is out of door most rich!
If she be furnish’d with a mind so rare,
She is alone th’ Arabian bird.”
After reading this I was puzzled about what he meant by Arabian bird… To my surprise it was another word for Phoenix and it sent me down a rabbit hole of reading about bird symbolism in Cymbeline. In this play, Imogen’s story is a tail (not pony tails or cotton tails -no DUCKTALES) sorry, sorry, I got distracted by the fact I misspelled ‘tale’ for a second there… right, lemme try that again – Imogen’s tale has been compared to the phoenix’s life cycle, meaning that a fall from grace and subsequent redemption through love and forgiveness can create something as powerful as rebirth (since Imogen actually does die and wake up again – Shakespeare likes that trick, doesn’t he?) But, according to my rabbit hole sources (here and here) the phoenix (and Imogen in this case) also symbolizes chastity because it is androgynous and requires no mate, as well as peace and all the rather obvious symbolic connections to Christ. More than anything else, I like the term ‘Arabian Bird’ for Phoenix, and, well, jeez, I’m a sucker for symbolism. I could read about that shit for hours – it takes me back to my Cinema Studies days at Uni. Did you know I have a Arts Degree majoring in Cinema Studies? Yeah, I didn’t really use that after I got it. At all!
Anyway, considering Phoenix’s are meant to have some purple plumage, and climb up a tree and self combust on their 500th birthday, I thought I’d title this post Arabian Bird. Am I 500 years old? No? Am I feeling like a phoenix who is almost at the end of one cycle or part of my life and ready for the next stage in transformation? Yes. Do I want to build a nest and fill it with cinnamon and myrrh? Ummmm…HECK YES!
Jacket: thrifted Dress: Custom Made in Hanoi by my awesome tailor who is now the technical designer for PHO sizzle Scarf: Kashkha Sunnies: Smoke Dreams Hat: I don’t know…Dotti? Gumboots: Target
Thanks to my sister for taking these, and thanks to this awesome tree for being in so many of my posts, and, while I’m at it, thanks for Shakespeare for being so jammed back with symbolism, and for all the scholars that have analysed that symbolism!
This Arabian bird wishes you a HAPPY FRIDAY!
I’ve talked about staples before, and one of my recommendations is black, particularly black tops! Actually, in winter it is almost the only thing I wear (and skirt or pants, I mean, I’m not Donald Duck). But, for this Thursday Throwback, I wanted to point out that you don’t actually need a lot of clothes to be a blogger! I have only bought three new items of clothing in 3 months! I’m not including op shopping, nor the clothes from PHO sizzle I can play with, but I guess what I’m saying is that creating outfits is really more about trying to figure out what you already have and how it can match with other things you already have…. And so, with something as simple as a black crop, you can create dozens of different outfits! So, for today I thought I’d look back at the times I’ve worn my black rose crop from Jay Jays (couldn’t find it on their website, but I’m sure you can pick up something similar anywhere) on the blog.
You can click on the photo to be taken back to the original post.
So, that’s another throwback done and dusted.
Hope everyone is having a lovely day!
Get yourself a black crop! Stat!
Well, after last week’s Aussie Curves Multicultural Challenge, I was kinda stuck for what to do for this week’s theme of Red. I had a big outfit post run last week too which might have made me a bit lack lustre with this outfit. I’m tired man… Last week, with me churning out outfits on most days took all my energy – I guess that’s what happens when you’ve got two weeks off from ESL teaching and you’re procrastinating on PHO sizzle‘s 18 piece Mix n Match Marine Collection coming out after the two shows we’re doing at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. Yeah, so, my version of procrastinating is taking pretty pics, hence, last week inundation of posts! Hahah!
So, for this week I thought I’d wear one of the ONLY things I bought from a clothing store the whole time I was in Hanoi. You gotta remember, I’m a size 16 (although, my bottom half is shrinking rather quickly – my shoulders never will!) but in Vietnam that means size ‘nothing fits you ever because you are a giant’. So, I got ALL my clothes tailor made, and hurray for the fact I did cos I got to develop my designing skills and make great friends with the people I work with now, but, I digress. This cardigan was sold at a little shop on Doi Can, just up from Ete and I zoomed past it once with my friend Tu-tu and hollered, ‘STTTOOOPPP!’, cos I knew it would fit. And it did! I have a feeling it is originally meant to be for a man… but, meh, I never let that stop me. So, pairing this cardi with a stripey batwing shirt, some jeans I wore in the Share-In-Style: Denim post recently, some visible knickers (actually these knickers are super granny panties and are so high waisted it makes me chuckle), my trusty red ankle boots and a ceramic bunny I got from Saigon, I felt ready to tackle this challenge. And with these insane sunnies that I showed you last week in my Mi Sub Shine So Bright adding some sass I knew this look was A-OK… I also haven’t worn my hair in this style for a while, I still love it, and think that that 23 five minute hairstyles link is a god-send!!!!
Cardigan: random shop on Doi Can Street, Hanoi Jeans: Jeans West Curve Embracer Stripey Shirt: Valley Girl Sunnies: Jay Jays Boots: Custom Made in Hoi An
Anyway, that’s me out! I’ve got a gazillion things to do for MSFW and I should really stop procrastinating. Thanks to my lovely sister for taking these, and don’t forget to check out the other lovely Aussie Curve ladies below!
Happy Wednesday! Did you know red is actually my favorite color?
When Uncle Toby’s asked if I’d like to review their Oats Quick Sachets I jumped at the chance! I usually alternate my breakfasts between porridge, toast and the occasional crumpet, so I was happy to take some of Oats Quick Sachets off their hands to taste test them. I like the fact this porridge only takes 90 seconds, which means it is convenient on days when I have to shimmy into the CBD to teach ESL uni students at the butt-crack of dawn, cos, let’s be honest, every second of sleep counts on those mornings! On other mornings though, I have a more leisurely approach to my mornings. Let’s have a look-see at how my normal mornings pan out. And, I have to declare that these illustrations are 100% accurate of how my life is.
Hugo, one of the infamous Border Terriers that crashes my OOTD photos usually wakes me up by climbing on top of me and willing me to open my eyes. If his telepathic brain power isn’t enough to will me awake, he’ll generally settle for shaking excitedly, vibrating the whole bed. Or, he’ll lick my face, which is a very unsettling way to wake up. When I open them, this is the view I see.
Next, before anything else happens, I zombie-walk to the kitchen and flick the kettle on. After sipping a bit of coffee, I can manage to open my eyes beyond tiny slits. While guzzling my magical first coffee I generally hear the super recognizable skype ring tone from the sun room.
So, I get into the sun room and answer my skype with video and stare blearily at the screen. My fiance stares sleepily back, as he is preparing to go sleep for the day in Dakar and we chat to each other for varying amounts of time. Generally we skype in my evenings too, and I am usually more coherent for those calls than for these morning calls. Thankfully, my fiance can understand my grunting and mumbling.
While I boil the kettle for a second coffee I generally realize I’m hungry so scheme up what to have. For the purpose of this story, I chose a day when I would have porridge. Porridge is one of my favorite winter foods, and because it is healthy and has no artificial colors or flavors, then I feel it is keeping in line with my health plan. I also like that this porridge is easy to prepare and isn’t going to cause a huge mess. You just pour it in a bowl, chuck in some water and then zap it. Before I put the porridge in for 90 seconds, I generally do a berry inventory to see what to add when it’ll be done. If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know that berries have been taking over my mind, and that is cos I get to have them for brekkie on my leisurely mornings.
Thankfully my mother is just as much of a berry fiend as me, so usually the fridge and freezer are full of berries. I pop the frozen raspberries in with the Oats Quick Sachets. This means that when it is done I generally have a wonderful porridge, with bits of raspberries mixed in.
While the microwave is doing its thang I generally do as many squats as I can. This is a left over routine from what I did the Squat Challenge and it just means whenever I am waiting for a kettle to boil, or the microwave, I just automatically start squatting. I also do it at work at my uni job when I’m photocopying… if no one is around.
After the 90 seconds is up, I allow the strawberries, blackberries and blue berries dance into the bowl in a festival of merriment. I also wait for it to cool down and add some milk.
Next, with my berry-licious porridge in my hand, and my second coffee in the other, I go out into my garden to eat breakfast if it isn’t raining. I wear an opulent robe, with copious pearls and have the additional berries that escaped my breakfast round up in my hair. I told you this story was 100% accurate right?
I generally have two Border Terriers staring at me intently by this stage. I ignore them and concentrate of my breakfast. They know that post-breakfast-second-coffee-Jacqui often takes them for a walk, but they get bored with trying to rush me and play in the garden instead. Hugo runs quickly swerving in and out of trees and shrubs while Bonnie snaps him as he bolts past her.
After I finish my porridge, I take my time with my second coffee and check Instagram, emails and other social media for my business with my phone. Even if I have a matter that I consider quite urgent, I refuse to do it until I’ve taken the dogs for a walk. I want to prioritize my health, and if I start pushing exercise down the end of the To Do list, well… it’ll never get done. So, I finish my coffee, take my dishes inside to the dishwasher, and then get out of my opulent robe and pearls, shake the berries out of my hair, and put on my trackies for a walk with those pesky hounds! After I come back from the walk I shower then get on with all the tasks with my business that have piled up overnight.
So, this is my realistic account of a ordinary morning in my life. Thanks to Uncle Toby’s for giving me some 90 second Oats Quick Sachets to review, they certainly make my normal morning more delicious. I also hadn’t done any illustration or drawings on this blog for such a long time! Remember how I used to regularly show you the stuff I’d done in my ARTS tab? Well, maybe I’ll be doing more since I really enjoyed drawing these to show you how my mornings go.
I’ve been illustrating a blog post I’ll put up in a couple of days, and, well, I think the berry element of it might be getting to my head… Also, wearing PHO sizzle‘s Berry Pencil Skirt might have something to do with the fact that berries are consuming my thoughts. But, even on facebook yesterday this 1991 INC Berries Hoodie came up in my newsfeed. What the? Targeted mind reading advertising much? So, the only logical conclusion was that berries are slowly taking control of my mind and, perhaps, this blog. You might remember this jacket from my Share-In-Style: Flowers post a few months back, or maybe from PHO sizzle’s Winter Clash Style Book where my cousin wore it, paired with the boho & clashing goodness of PHO sizzle threads. It was my mother’s, and she found it in her grandmother’s closet and snaffled it to wear when she was a uni student. Consequently, I’ve snaffled it off her because I love it so much, not only because it is burgundy (see me crushing on burgundy here and here), but because I love wearing something that is at least 70 years old.
Aside from all the berry tones in the skirt and jacket, I’m also wearing my Strawberry Headband. Much like the flower crowns I made a lot last year at this time in Hanoi, I cannot stop making headwear! It is my fun and relaxing thing to do, and I am happiest when I’ve got a hot glue gun in my hand and reggae playing in the background. Although, I’m pretty happy sketching too. This strawberry headband was super easy to make and makes me smile when I wear it – even though it is contributing to the berry revolution, for sure. I also made a cacti crown, I’ve already show it off on instagram. So, here is my berry-licious outfit… and yes, the berries do take over the background of these pictures – I told you, it’s a Berry Nation (and I’m also finishing my post for later in the week where these berries feature) Keep away before the delicious berries get you too! Unless… you wanna join me in succulent berry land where everything is in berry hues?
Jacket: Vintage (from my great grandmother’s closet) Crop: Jay Jays Skirt: PHO sizzle Tights: Voodoo Boots: Custom made in Hoi An Strawberry Crown: Homemade – and, I have enough berries for 1 more Hair: like a zillion different fudge colors
Thanks to Mum for taking these pictures, now, where are the strawberries? I’m hungry. Don’t forget to check out Monday’s post to see why I’ve been drawing berries.
Braces, Suspenders, Trouser-Holder-Uppers, whatever you wanna call them, it is hard to pull them off without looking like you’re wearing a costume. Originally when I put on these trousers that my tailor from Hanoi made me, and these braces I scored from the Jay Jays $5 bin I was going to wear a bowler hat that you’ve seen me in before in various posts. But, it felt too Alex. Like I was about to go to the bathroom and start applying black eye make to only one eye and using a cane and bashing people up while Beethoven is playing, and, well, that shit’s been done to death! So, next I thought I’d wear a cap I snaffled from my Dad, a kinda coal-miner looking thing, but, even that felt too contrived. So, in typical Jacqui form, I just went into default mode and gave myself a headscarf. You’ve actually seen these trousers before. It was a long time ago when I posed out the front of that lake near RMIT in Hanoi for this post.
There’s something distinctly Carny/1940s about this look now, and I like the merging of masculine braces with a frilly bra and pink hair. I was going to call this post ‘aint nuthin but a she thang’ in homage to Salt-N-Pepa’s cool song, but, Brace Yourself is a pretty good title too. Wearing suspenders is a new thing for me, and it’ll always remind me of my lovely friend Sanna who would pull them off so flawlessly. I’m pretty happy with how they look on me too, and happy I experimented with my personal style.
Trousers: custom made in Hanoi by Red Pearl Black Top: custom made in Hanoi by Red Pearl Bra: Debenhams Sunnies: bought in Shanghai at a market Braces: Jay Jays Headscarf: Jay Jays Socks: gift from Mum from Scotland Shoes: custom made in Hoi An Earrings: Istanbul Necklace: borrowed from my sister Hair: Pink Flamingo by Fudge
Thanks to my dear sister for taking these pictures and hanging out, and to all your peeps who work weekdays, Hooray! It’s Friday! Do the Friday dance! And don’t forget, try out new styles, you’ll never know what’ll look good.
Today I got my hair bleached and thinned. With the pink already in my hair it ended up looking like a wonderful gradient of white to pink. I told my hairdresser (who is also my friend) that my hair now looks like Coconut Ice, but she didn’t know what it was, so, I explained it and then spent the rest of the time she was doing my hair concocting this outfit in my head. I also got my hair thinned because razor scissors are my best friends. I have insanely thick hair naturally and it takes at least 45 minutes to blow dry it unless it is thinned. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
So, this is my Coconut Ice inspired outfit, it makes me want to go out and make outfits inspired by other sweets, perhaps I will, but you know me and sweets after my candy post a couple of months ago, effing love sweet stuff! (Goodness! That sentence has FAR too many comma splices, UGH…) But these days, post hypnosis and all that, I don’t actually eat much of the sweetness, I had one square of this and then ran around hyper actively, then curled up on the floor shivering. I may have also had four coffees today. Gosh. In other hypnosis news, I’ve lost 5 kilos already. Huzzah for a healthy and happy Jacqui! Anyway, enjoy this sweet little outfit I dreamed while my awesome hair dresser was thinning my hair to a reasonable size.
My normal mouse shoe and my pirate mouse shoe have now become a ‘one eyed mouse shoe’ and a ‘pirate shoe’ . I’ll find a button to glue gun onto the one eyed mouse, we can’t have 2 pirate mouse shoes, there’ll be mutiny!
Cardigan: Cotton On Dress: Glasson Belt: Target Tights: Voodoo Shoes: Custom Made in Hoi An Collar: Custom Made by Red Pearl in Hanoi Sunnies: bought in a market in Shanghai Bracelet: Borrowed from my sister Earrings: Lucie Ellen Lipstick: Watermelon by Clinique Pink Hair: Pink Flamingo by Fudge Coconut Ice: Select Sweets
So, that’s it! Let me know if you want me to dress up as a Lamington or a Pavlova, cos you know I’ll totally be up for it! Lots of love on this marvelous hump day!
Oh, and, did I enjoy that piece of Coconut Ice I ate? Yes. Even though the sweetness almost killed me, it was delicious, but not as delicious as the one my Mum used to make when we were kids. <3
I’ve talked about Ce’cile before. She is my Top 5 Lady Reggae Songs I’ll Sing Loud, and in my Top 5 Fierce Lady Dancehall Songs, and I listen to her stuff a lot. One lyric from the song Pree Mi was stuck in my head… actually the whole darn song was stuck in my head, but lemme me illustrate by giving you a part of the chorus:
“Say you no like me, but you still wanna see me.
Thank you, Thank you, your interest flatter me….
“Bad mind but you know you wanna be me.
Mi sun shine too bright for you view me;
put on your shades man, you blind.
Mi doing what me like.
Mi doing what me want.
Mi living up me life.
… Too busy with your bad mind to reach for your star.”
I say I’m giving you a part of the chorus cos I’m not down with all this reggae speak, parts of the chorus are hella hard for me to understand, but I LOVE the general gist of this song and it inspires me to keep concentrating on my business, my life and all the positive vibes I have around me and not spend too much of today focusing on the issues of yesterday.. to badly paraphrase a Cherokee proverb. I’m feeling pretty confident in how PHO sizzle is going and as I’ve said before, I gotta learn to give myself a break and pat myself on the head. In other news, excel (or in our case google spreadsheets) may actually cause homicide, but at least I have my fiance and my sister helping with the data entry and formulas, if it was just me, man, Princess Ly (my pink computer, Volkan’s progeny) would have been smashed to smithereens with my bare fists. Possibly bear fists. BEAR FISTS.
I asked my Mum to take these outfit photos and she quickly retorted ‘that’s an outfit is it?’, ohhh, the wit is strong with that one. But yes, it is indeed and outfit and I wore it to drop off my stock at Design A Space Fitzroy, and whilst hobnobbing around Brunswick Street. I’m wearing the floral vest I wore in Aussie Curves Nature post and, by the way, I still plan to use it to do my Ode to Donna Martin but I need to have blonde hair and a tan before I can go down that path. I also paired it with my maxi skirt I made with some fabric I bought back from Senegal. I’ve wore it before with a HUGE headscarf in this post when I talk about the importance of doing what you want… man, I guess this skirt fills me up with confidence right? Haha, two posts in it when I feel so happy with the way I am heading with my life and so thankful to all the support and kindness I have around me. On a side note, I often also wear this skirt to Rose St Artists Market when PHO sizzle is there, cos it’s big and impressive.
Skirt: Handmade by me! Fabric from Senegal and I used the left over to commission headbands. You can see & purchase them here. Black Top: Custom Made by Red Pearl in Hanoi. Vest: thrifted Beanie: Cotton On Sunnies: Jay Jays Shoes: Custom Made in Hoi An Necklace: borrowed from my sister Hair: Pink Flamingo by Fudge
So that’s it! Thanks to Mumsy for taking these ‘outfit’ photos, and I’ll leave you with some more Ce’cile wisdom.
“Be certain you don’t care bout them haters,
While dem a cry, you be making the paper.
Don’t give a damn, you too busy for dem a care.
Work you and work you while dem chat and dem chat and dem chat.”
Just listen to the song already! Ha!
This week’s Aussie Curves theme is multicultural, and I am really interested to see what the other ladies come up with… I mused about what to wear for mine and realized that I have already worn everything I could have vaguely called ‘multicultural’ in this blog before. I’ve worn the beautiful outfit my fiance’s family gave me as a present here, I’ve worn the present I gave my Dad here and the present I gave my Mum here, not to mention all the kaftans I was posing in before then… but then I realized I hadn’t show the present I bought myself in Senegal. This red dress is one I bought in a fabric market outside Dakar and was immediately suspicious of the ‘one size fits all’ explanation the vendor was telling to my fiance, but, it was packed in plastic so I decided to chance it without trying it on, especially based on the vendor, and my fiance’s reassurances that it would fit. And it did! Hurrah!
My sister has an identical dress except in blue, and ideally it probably would have been better to borrow it and wear for this theme, since I’m kinda wearing the only ‘red’ thing i have left and next week is ‘red’ themed for The Curves group, and not to mention I’m not too sure about hot pink hair and a bright red dress, I’m pretty sure it’s a style boo boo. Ironically, that is what a kaftan is called by my fiance, a boubou. Ha! Makes me think of pic-a-nic baskets and clever bears…
Dress & Bow: market in Dakar Belt: thrifted Hair: Pink Flamingos by Fudge
Thanks to my wonderful sister for taking these, and doing most of my blog photos recently, she’s such a champ!
So, that is me done for the week! Don’t forget to check out the other ladies below!
xox Jacqui & Bonnie