Last weekend my friend Kristie and I did an epic road trip to Strathmerton and back to visit the one and only Cactus Country. Why was it epic? Well, it was a fucking long amount of driving and on the way back we had no tunes, which hurt. We listened to a guy get interviewed about Metaphysics and the application of space and existence… but, more amazingly riveting that that was Cactus Country! I knew it was the only weekend I’d have free until after Xmas so we decided it was now or never and headed to the most fantastic garden display of cacti, ever!
The place is huge and you can buy the cacti there if you want. The lady who was in charge was so nice, and there are sombreros and umbrellas for guests to borrow, cos it is effffffing hot and sunny out there! After walking around and ohhing and ahhhing a lot, we went back to the cafe for some delicious food, including cacti icecream! Really, you should all go visit! It’s perfect!
I decided to link this in with Meagan Kerr’s NZ Style Curvettes weekly theme of bright because it was bright as all hell there, and hot too! Anyway, I’ll let you enjoy the pictures, I know I’ve uploaded a lot to my personal facebook & my instagram, but I wanted to share the experience with people further on the interwebs both Kristie and I are in full PHO sizzle outfits cos, mostly coincidentally…mostly.
WARNING PHOTO HEAVY.
Me: Pants: Button Fly Flares (now sold out) Top: Black Velvet Crop Bag: B Dakin Cicada Bolo Tie: So Sublime
Kristie: Skirt: Black Tea Skirt Top: Black Velvet Crop Tiger Necklace: borrowed from me but also from So Sublime
Now, don’t forget to check out the other ladies in the blog hop for their interpretation of BRIGHT!
I’m a bit of a fan of matchy-matchy workwear, as you can tell from posts like this and this and this. I find that having tops and bottoms instead of dresses gives you double to choice of how to wear it, and fuck just going with ye olde corporate colours of black, charcoal, navy and white. Fuck that right outta town! So, in my pursuit of being a fashion designer I decided to carry on my love for colourful structured outfits that could be worn as workwear, just to give a not-so-subtle finger to the man. From PHO sizzle‘s Teaser Collection the Lobster Bolero and Tea Skirt were a huge hit and have all but sold out now. I think there might be a few skirts lurking at Design A Space Fitzoy, but, I’m not sure. But I decided to remake this classic look in a far more conservative tone, because not everyone wants to do this. So, baby blue instead of prawns on Wax Cotton. Of course, this set is part of our Gentle Persuasion Of Iblis collection, because what is more demonically persuasive than a deliciously beautiful jinn blue modern power suit? 😀 😉 Now obviously I didn’t want to show a full on work outfit, so I mixed it up with my trusty trusty black crop, a hat and lots of chuckles. Yas! 😀
Zenith Bolero and Zenith Tea Skirt: PHO sizzle Crop: Jay Jays (from +2 years ago) Shoes: Payless Shoes (I think?) Sunnies: market in Shanghai
So, YAY for feeling like a partial Jinni Princess and partial Corporate Worker, but, FULL TIME BOSS.
Swishing around in this skirt is hilariously fun. Ha!
The song Creeque Alley by The Mamas and The Papas came on the radio the other day, epic lyrics and such a great and classic folk song. It’s also worth watching the commentary version to get a bit more info about the song & inspo about the lyrics.
I love the hippy look, and when I saw this dress, on the same day I saw these shoes, I knew I’d buy both from the op shop and rock them together! Hehehe, and it worked! I love it when I rock a full thrifted look! I also love a bit of a random Mamas and Papas lyrics, I’m listening to their full album now on youtube, what a trip! I remember this album playing on long car journeys by my parents. I forgot how much I love their song Dedicated To the One I Love….ohhh, this is such a weird experience.
Shoes: thrifted Dress: thrifted Hat: had it for eons Sunnies: Glasseshop
Hey, tomorrow is hump day! Huzzah!
Obviously something happened when I was designing my last collection, I’ve mentioned it before here with a partial explanation, and PHO sizzle’s blog has a bit more info about it, but, I really went deep into the hole. I mean, I acknowledge creative processes mess with you, but man, I gotta sleep with a crystal under my pillow nowadays just cos I’m scared that djinns or demons are gonna come visit me. That’s pretty deep into the abyss.
The crystal is working though, ay? I haven’t been gone to the dark side yet! Ha! I also feel maybe some readers think that my last post was a temper tantrum of epic foot stomping proportions. And, don’t get me wrong, it was! But, I needed it get it out, and I needed to actually stomp my foot down and say enough is enough. And I’ve actually been feeling so much better since that. Kinda centred and all that shit. That could be the crystal tho! 😉
This top is so beautiful. I fell in love with this fabric for two reasons. Firstly, it’s a type of lace called Nigerian Wedding Lace. So, I kinda liked the specificity (I feel that is not a word??) of that. Also, this colour was called Turkey Blue, which I also loved because my love affair with jinns, or cin in Turkish, started in Istanbul so it was apt to include a Turkey Blue Nigerian Wedding Lace fabric in my Iblis Collection. My seamstress was really at wits end about how to sew the top I wanted too because she didn’t have much experience with using this kind of thick lace before, but, in the end, my magical Jinni Lace Top appeared, exactly how I envisioned it, with a high collar, back buttons and looooow sleeve holes.
This lace is also raaaather expensive, so i decided to only make one of these tops in each size because it’s opulent as fuck, and I know not everyone will be into it, but, anyone who digs blue and formal pretty tops will get my jam.
Speaking of jinns (and when am I not, really? My fiance gets so sick of me telling him random jinn facts! Ha!) , my business partner and I were setting up our Membership for PHO sizzle and he reported that an ‘anonymous ifrit’ was lurking on our page via google docs. Now, I know google shows you anonymous animals are lurking to show it’s not secure, but it is because only people who have the link can see it and we share the links with various different emails we have, so, from a security point of view it wasn’t the biggest issue, but the fact he read it out to me via skype and I said, ‘ahhh, beg yours?’.
He repeated that and Anonymous Ifrit was on our document and I just lost my shit. Completely. Was in hysterics laughing as I explained what an Ifrit was to my business partner and then watched him freak out about how I was dragging him into this ‘satan shit’. Hahahaha. Good Times.
Top: Jinni Lace Top Skirt: dress that I’ve had for quite a few years Shoes: thrifted
Hey, tomorrow is my day off!
This blog is for This Is Meagan Kerr’s NZ Style Curvettes theme of Sparkle, don’t forget ot check out the other bloggers!
Ermm, this is for the NZ Style Curvettes group theme of skirt, but I kinda went on a bit of tangent to do with friendship instead. Just letting you know. 😉
I’m still trying to recover from my almost burnout and trying to realign my life a wee bit, I’ve blogged more about it here and here, without sounding too dramatic, I really felt I needed to change a few things not with what I’m doing with my life, but more about how I’m interacting with it and how I’m dealing with people and conflicts around me. I’m now running a business with five people working for/with me. I’m under enormous pressure to not only ensure that they are happy with their jobs but also make sure that my brand succeeds and follows the right path. I’m so lucky to have been able to channel my creativity into something that earns money but that also means I stress about money a lot more than I used to. That is partially why this blog is so important to me, because it is my creative freedom. I said all of that in a last post so I don’t want to repeat myself, but I guess I’d like to say, thank you to the people that have messaged me or talked to me privately about burn out and depression and you, YOU are the people I should be directing my time and love towards.
But…there’s another type of person I have spent too much time dwelling on recently. Ima describe them as The Silent Disapprovers. Maybe people know someone like who I’m gonna describe, maybe I’m alone in my feelings or maybe, just maybe, I’m being pretty sensitive because of the amount of pressure I’ve been under recently, but, regardless of all of that, I need to look after me, therefore, I need to cut off/tune out/phase out/insert-another-phrasal-verb-here for a while, at least.
I define myself as many things, but currently, my blog and my business is a HUGE part of my life. So, if someone doesn’t encourage or support my creative endeavors, that is, my blog, my business or my love for photography (gotta use my Cinema Studies degree for something – it was four years of my life and while cinema is NOT photography, I reckon I know a thing or two about framing a shot) then I don’t really understand why I’m friends with them.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect every friend I’ve ever made to stand behind me and cheer when I achieve something… [I woke up this morning, YAY] [I worked a 13 hour day! YAY!] it’d be awesome if I did have some super peppy invisible cheerleaders following me round specifically encouraging me, but it isn’t realistic. I don’t expect friends I have through 9 years of ESL to necessarily understand my blog or my clothing brand, but if they do, it’s awesome, but I’m well aware we bonded over our students, Collective Nouns and the workplaces we were in at the time. I also don’t expect people who aren’t interested in fashion to support me or even be interested in what I’m doing, just, fyi.
Additionally, I also don’t expect everyone I know to ‘get’ the bopo movement, even though to me it seems pretty simple – be proud of the way you are physically and don’t fall into the traps of hating your body for consumeristic or patriarchal goals cos you won’t win and will spend your whole life miserable, but, I guess I understand if people can’t get that…and I’m happy to have dialogues discussing precisely what bopo is and why it’s important, I also don’t think I’m particularly active in the bopo arena either, I mean, I 100% agree with it, obviously, and I think people that judge other people based on their apparent food, diet and exercise choices are really pretty ignorant, as well as petty to be deciding what is and isn’t healthy for someone else’s body, but I’m not particularly vocal about bopo because there are hundreds of other people that can write about it much much much better than I.
So, they are some of things I represent currently, as in, Jacqueline Stewart is an enthusiastic bopo style blogger, and a small business owner, trying to navigate the world of fashion and small business ownership without more than a lick of training.
But, here’s the rub:
I can’t handle it when you’re apparently a really close friend and you don’t support me, I mean, ME, as in, who I am and what I represent at this current juncture in my life, and there isn’t anything… not even a word or ‘like’ of encouragement for months. It fucking hurts, a lot. What hurts even more than your virtual silence, which in itself isn’t that bigger deal but more indicative to your current mood towards me, is when I upload something that isn’t me promoting my blog or body positivity or my brand and then BAM, there it is, you like it. You like everything that isn’t ME. Have you thought about how that makes me feel? Have you thought about why you’re friends with me if you can’t even bring yourself to like anything that is directly connected to me? While there may be other issues at play, why didn’t you confront them and talk to me about it? I tried more than once to arrange it.
So, I’m aware I may share and post things about my blog and my business quite a lot, because this is my life – this is what I’m trying to do with it, I’m trying to make it work. I know many people don’t like a self promoter that blows their own trumpet, but, unfortunately, until I’ve got that group of cheerleaders, I’m gonna have to promote myself if I want to make PHO sizzle bigger! And more than that, about my blog, it’s fun for me – it’s self expression, it’s me showing the world what I like to wear and how I like to edit and play with photos. It’s showing the world that anyone, regardless of size can play with clothes and it’s also trying to promote sustainable fashion in terms of encouraging op-shopping and spending money on small businesses to support them, because they need our money far more than factory x. It’s a creative outlet to stop me from losing my mind and where I feel free to be me, I guess I thought my friends would understand that, and my close friends would at least give me a nod every now and then, and I honestly thought it wasn’t expecting too much from a friend to be kind and friendly towards something I feel passionately about.
So, it gets me to a point where I wonder, why do I still have emotional tethers to people that obviously have no interest in anything I do. Why does it make me cry when I see the way they are behaving towards me? I guess because I’m human and because I’m going through a lot, but based on the recommendations of a lot of articles I’ve read, particularly in connection to burnout I have to let go. I have to, at least for now, cut the ties. If their silent disapproval hurts me so much, then, I have to focus on me and find methods to stop myself from hurting anymore, and I’m trying.
So, with that out of my system, here is my entry for Meagan Kerr‘s bloghop!
This is a new skirt my sister gave me! She decided it was too big, and it is a bit too big for me too, but I don’t care cos it’s purrrty and flowy, and nice! I teamed it with my blue top you’ve seen a bunch of times, probably most memorably in my Lady Of Shalott post. Additionally I decided to wear my 2nd best selling flower crown, the blue one! The strawberry crown is the best seller at Rose St, but this one is close 2nd!
Top: custom made in Hanoi Skirt: secondhand from sister Crown: handmade for PHO sizzle – available at Rose St Artists’ Market every 2nd weekend.
Don’t forget to check out the other blog hoppers and I’ll try to get around to replying to all the comments etc from prior blog posts and visiting your blogs soon.
Right now though I’m going to do some more PHO sizzle work. Have a good Sunday, and I guess as I get older I learn I have to look after myself. I have to put myself first to survive, as selfish as that is.
If you’ve read my last few post you might have seen that the doctor told me I needed to calm down and slow down or I would suffer serious burnout. It’s a pretty daunting thing to have been told, especially when my physical and emotional symptoms are like an effing checklist of what happens when you reach burnout point.
Anyway, since that doctor’s appointment I have done a mammoth amount of thinking, and reading about burnout and started to enact certain routines and habits that should protect me a little better from things that were causing me stress. Those routines and habits include; chilling with my friends in the sunshine, not neglecting my blog as it’s my creative outlet that isn’t specifically tied to profit like my brand is, although implicitly my blog is connected to profit and freebies (hehehe), avoiding stressful situations and people, not being afraid to tell people I have to interact with to lift their game, preparing better in my business and my ESL life, sleeping better and forcing myself to get up early, going to the gym more (even thought it is quite hard with this schedule), and spending more time with the hounds. This chill out sesh with Lani (who has featured here on the blog before but also models for my brand) ticked a bunch of those boxes AND I got to eat a Bubble O’Bill. SCORE!
I decided to do this photo shoot after our gym sesh so we high-tailed it back to Lani’s and I’d already preplanned a pink spectacle of madness with top-knotted headscarves, my opped dress I bought (that was another promise, to allow myself to opshop every 2 weeks to de-stress), sunnies and, of course, the iconic Bubble O’Bill. What I didn’t plan was a constant photobombing Dali (her gorgeous hound) and spending so much time with a close friend which really filled me with calm and loving vibes, which is always good.
Happy Thursday everyone, and remember, friends and icecream in the sun? Can’t go wrong! Be gone, burnout!
I’ve been obsessed with case moths since finding a HUGE one in my garden. Since then we’ve found two more but I have spend almost every day checking their location, watching them move, dragging their huge case behind them and wondering if they will turn into butterflies or stay a case moth forever, which the females do. But actually I’ve seen at least two of these guys when they stick their heads out and I know they are males from their colouring. I also show anyone that comes over to my house the case moths and we talk about them for awhile, seriously, they are like my pets.
So, a few weekends back when Kristie suggested we attempt to take some ridic case moth inspired pictures, I was 100% behind the theme.
These pictures are just fun nonsense, which is exactly the type of nonsense I promote in friendships! Enjoy these case moth/spooky/silly pics!
Yes, geometric khaki shirt! Ewww, or yay? I felt ambivalent towards it because of my dislike of the army green colour, but I felt I could make it work for a Fugly Monday segment. I know I missed last week, but it was mainly because launching my new collection was a beast of a task, as was making the spooky lookbook etc.
And honestly, I’ve been pretty depressed and overworked recently. I’m working two jobs and trying to work full time on my clothing brand. I’m mentally exhausted and actually was warned today by the doctor to take it easy or I’d suffer burn-out with dire consequences. Additionally I have been going through some friendship alignments and readjustments that have made me think long and hard about the meaning of friends and the value of kindness and moral support within those parametres. I know that’s pretty vaguebook-ish but I don’t get into too much within this blog, I don’t mean to give off the facade of ‘my life is perfect’ because not seeing the man you love for close to two years and juggling a gazillion tasks to the point of mental breakdown sure as fuck isn’t perfection, but I felt I should let you know what’s going on inside the noggin.
This outfit was all about making this oversized mans shirt work in a spooky 90s outfit, I also accessorized up with my three HUTCH rings and my So Sublime necklace. Supporting small businesses is something I’m avid about, and working at Rose St Artists’ Market fortnightly for PHO sizzle has really made me develop so strong, and awesomely fun friendships with like-minded creatives, which I appreciate so much.
Anyway, I’ll leave you with the outfit, if you want to view the rest of my Fugly Monday segment, you can see all the looks here.
Check out my lookbook if you’re into fashion & insanity!
Happy horsey day if you’re in Victoria too!
For this week’s NZ Style Curvette’s challenge of Monochrome (although ima tack it into the bodycon blog hop cos I’m an anarchist like that 😉 ) I thought I’d show off a new shirt from my brand, PHO sizzle. It isn’t available online until the evening of the 28th but I knew it’d be perfect for the look I had planned. The Naberius Sheer Top is inspired by one of the Goetic demons I was reading about while developing my new collection – The Gentle Persuasion Of Iblis. I was inspired by those particular five words in a book titled Revealing The Mystery Behind the World Of the Jinn, and coupled with a bunch of whacked out dreams I had, and an overall sombre mood at waiting for SO FUCKING LONG TO SEE THE MAN I LOVE AND WANT TO MARRY, well, I had to take out all of those heavy heavy feelings in a healthy way… So, this collection is a culmination of pieces, textures, functions and concepts and it dives into the basic ideas of jinns within Islam and Arabic mythology, Persian Dualism and the Melek Taus of the Yazidi, as well as the inspiration from demonology experts like Aleistair Crowley and his work translating & elaborating on the Lesser Key To Solomon and it’s list of demons. Finally it does have the idea of Iblis, an Arabic word for Satan that can indicate I’m talking about before he fell from grace, persuading humans and also being persuaded by them.
I fell in love with the five words of the collection’s title just because of the vagueness of precisely who is being persuaded…? It’s obscure AF and it got me thinking about persuasion as an action, and Satan as a fundamental character to represent all the badness inside people, and, well, I think it’s so silly to have such an evil character that is apparently whispering sweet evil nothings in your ear, AS IF humans themselves even need any encouragement to do bad shit. Satan has got a bad rap cos he’s pretty much a whipping boy that religious and righteous people use to blame for their own flaws, and it really got me thinking. I mean, as Jamie T says, ‘you can’t blame the damned for your own mistakes’
According to some Islamic and Arabic mythology (and you can press me for references, yo, cos you effing KNOW I’ve got them) , the tribes of jinn traveled freely between Heaven and Earth long long long before humans existed, until a war between the angels and jinn, in which Iblis, only a small baby jinni, was taken hostage by angels and raised in Heaven. A long time after that, when the jinn and angels didn’t communicate much and the path to Heaven had been blocked to jinn, Allah made a creature from clay and Iblis refused to bow down to this new creation of God’s as he felt it was inferior to him. Therefore, he was cast out of Heaven and his name shifted from Iblis to Satan. He also cried about it. After that he became the representative for other demons and the naughty, apparently evil jinn who don’t choose to be Muslims. So, in that version of events, I can see angels kidnapping babies and then God kicking a guy out of his heaven when he refused to bow down to a being made of dirt when he, himself was made of pure fire. I mean, people say that Iblis was capable of envy towards Adam because he was a jinn and not an angel at all, but, I dunno, I’m still suss on angels kidnapping him in the first place?
I could talk about all of this for SO long and the research I’ve done for this collection is like I’ve dived into full academia mode, but maybe with a bit more a mad scientist streak, who am I joking, it’s entirely mad scientist! But really I could easily write a thesis on this, but instead I’m making a clothing collection!
Okay, I’m getting back to the mad scientist stuff now! Enjoy the outfit and I hope you check out the other curvette’s blogs too!
Jacket: Dangerfield (a long time ago) Hat: thrifted Pants: Caroline Morgan ( a long time ago) Top: Naberius Sheer Blouse by PHO sizzle (not available yet) Shoes: MOX online Lipstick: VelourLips by Australia
Here’s one more song lyric, just to hit the rant of the mad scientist home!
“Cause I know no quicker way, dear
To the shiny gates of hell
Than a room full of handsome devils
Comparing everything to everything else.”
This is one of those Fugly Mondays where I loathe the item in question. I have a weird relationship with the whole Sports Luxe trend. On the one hand I love baseball tees and mesh anything, but on the other hand I have a massive problem with varsity tees, otherwise known as number tees. So a varsity tee with jibberish English, an 8 and covered in cherubs actually made me, myself, shudder in the op shop. Usually I can see something to do with the Fugly Monday pieces I choose for my style challenge, but I thought I’d make it extra hard for myself and choose something I hated. So, to make it less hateful I decided to turn myself into the love child of Peggy Bundy and Ronald McDonald. Ha! And you know what? I don’t hate this shirt as much now. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’ll be choosing it first in a line up of t-shirts, but I worked out a way to make it bearable for me, and that, my friend, is what Fugly Monday is all about…on another note, but maybe connected by a key change, I’m exhausted and have only nine days for my brand‘s 13 piece collection to be ready for online consumption. How I’m gonna get everything done is a mystery between only me and Iblis himself at this point.
One more thing about this outfit, and about being a sustainable/ethical/supportive-of-small-businesses-and-not-promoting-horrible-mass-produced-shit blogger/consumer, HUZZAH, I found a small business that makes leggings! I’ve been trying for a looooooooooooooong time to find a business I could throw my legging casholas at, and after a series of bad experiences with leggings from big brands breaking after less than two months, and me wearing my leggings my tailor made me in Vietnam more than three years ago until the disintegrated on my legs, I knew I’d have to hunt down a little brand that knew what quality was, and YASS, I found one! Mad Legs are good quality, have a variety of colours (including the Big Bird yellow that I’m wearing) and a choice between full leg and 3/4 leg, AND the sizing goes from 8-22! Check them out if you’re in need of leggings, and remember, supporting small businesses means SO much, I know because I have a small business and know how hard it is.
Now, enjoy this Peg Bundy/Ronald love child look!
Shirt: thrifted Shoes: thrifted Sunnies: Wholesale CelebShades Leggings: Mad Legs Lipstick: VelourLips by Australis
HEY 8 YOU! Have a happy Monday! If you want to check out the other Fugly Monday style challenges, you can see them all here.