Sunday, November 2, 2014

Day 350: Thou Really Ought Not Covet

Super quick, this was London, a bit more London, blah blah blah, trip earlier this year, Trafalgar Square, blue cocks, red buses, stone stone and black lions, photos held in stock until now, don't get me wrong London is the best city in the known universe apart from New York and Mexico City and Upwey, but I have something more important to discuss and must move quickly from photos to words. Enough about London? Good.

Let's talk about Covet

List_Addict               Irene

Oh my Goodness. How annoying is Covet? Have you all got it. Let me know so I can be your friend and borrow clothes from your closet. Like, real friendship, like. For those of you who may not know what I am talking about, Covet is an app/game/sales tool in which you 'buy' clothes for your virtual paper doll and dress her up in themes in the hope of earning more money or diamonds for more clothes to dress her in to enter more themes to earn more diamonds or money to ... Etc, etc. You can also buy the clothes for real (I think) (I'm pretty sure) and if you do, you earn diamonds to buy more clothes ... oh God, here we go again. It does my head in! (Not enough to stop playing.) Because the only way that you can score highly (as voted by your peers), is to dress like everybody else. Or to dress in a ball gown. The thing you can't be on Covet, is yourself. After mumbling this sentiment incomprehensibly to anyone who cares to listen for all the time between two days after starting to play and now, while simultaneously ignoring sensible advice to, maybe, just stop playing, I have decided that maybe the best way for me to prove I am not being a sore-loser, terrible-stylist who thinks that low scores on my outfits comes from everyone else's conformist stylings (just have a look at the highest scorers on any given challenge and tell me something isn't afoot) is to conduct an experiment.

Clockwise from Top Left: Buses and Buyers in Oxford Circus; Best pubs with the best names and the best heritages; Treasures everywhere you look; V—— and our Harry Potter Tour Giude in the self-same tunnel the three heros walk along after apparating from the Wedding.


So, starting on the 1st November, the Day of the Dead and National Bison Day, I will be entering five outfits into themes per day. This takes work so don't let that make you think this is easy. I will do this for 5 weeks. Week One I will enter themes as I have been—trying to correspond to the brief while bowing to my own sense of style. Week Two I will style outfits that I think will win—the obvious outfit (if I can work that out?). Week Three I will style outfits as far removed from the themes as I can. Week Four I will style one outfit, with minor changes where there are requirements, and enter it into every theme. And in Week Five I will enter every theme wearing a ball gown. Note to self: stock up on ball gowns!

I will keep a cumulative tally of the scores for each week and update them below:

The Brief:

The Winner:

The Left Field:

The One:

The Gown:

If, at the end of the five weeks, The Winner isn't the winner, I will say I was wrong, I will take my place at the low end of the fashion know-how ladder and I will shut my mouth and surreptitiously keep playing without ever talking to anyone about it. Suddenly I find Covet very exciting indeed. Check back for the results.


Left to Right: Trafalgar Square and surrounds; Wren's Cathedral


The Outfit
Dress: Primark
Jewels: Casio watch and a Fitbit
Boots: Meindl


Photographer de Jour: V——


Who Wore It Better?



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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 349: One (and SCWBC14)

Starting this day in blog-land I am counting my shoes. Sure, I could go into my bedroom and count them, but this is more fun—and it makes me assess the right of any shoe in my wardrobe to stay there. This pair came from a swish little store on Chapel Street in Melbourne. They were, in hindsight, the shoes that started my fascination with the out-of-the-ordinary shoe. I call them my cowboy mary-janes. Insanely pointy; charmingly pink; unusually appointed. And like most of the shoes I own, difficult to wear. They won't turn your ankle, but there is a lot of real estate at the front of your foot that you forget about, and the ankle strap never comes across as trustworthy. Regardless, I love them. One pair.

Irene               List_Addict

And the acronym? Semi Charmed Kind of Life—the creator and curator of the Semi Charmed Book Challenge—has recently announced there will be a Winter challenge. What goes better together than Winter and reading? Nothing. The fact that we, here at Fur Earwig, are entering Summer makes no difference. I mean, what goes better together than Summer and reading? Nothing. I love the book challenges at Semi Charmed because the categories are wacky. See below for the same-said categories and the books I will be reading. The staring date is the 1st of November and coincidently, on that day, I will be well into reading mode, sitting on a sun lounge, sipping a cocktail, or seven, in Koh Samui. What goes better together than holidaying and reading? Absolutely nothing!


5 points: Freebie! Read any book that fits the general rules.

10 points: Read a book written by an author who has published at least 10 books. — Submitted by Megan. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy.

10 points: Read a book of short stories. — Submitted by Meredith. The Model World and Other Stories by Michael Chabon.

10 points: Read a book with a food in the title. — Submitted by Megan. Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck.

15 points: Read the first book in a series that is new to you (so no rereads for this one!). — Submitted by Crystal. Knots and Crosses by Ian Rankin.

15 points: Read a book that was originally written in a language that is not your native language. — Submitted by Belle. The Corpse Reader by Antonio Garrido (from the Spanish version).

15 points: Read a book written by a local author (either an author from your state if you live in the United States, or from your country if you live somewhere else). — Submitted by Katelyn. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, Tasmania, Australia and the latest Man Booker Winner.

20 points: Read a "bookish book" (in which books play an important role, e.g. the setting involves a bookstore or library, a major character is an author, or a book that celebrates reading and books. Examples: The Book Thief, The Shadow of the Wind, The Thirteenth Tale, etc.) — Submitted by Jen. Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl.

20 points: Read a book with a direction in the title (e.g. north, south, east, west or any combination of those). — Submitted by Donna. South of Heaven by Jim Thompson.

25 points: Read a book from a genre you don't usually read. — Submitted by Jenn. Westerns: True Grit by Charles Portis.

25 points: Read a book with a song lyric in the title. Be sure to tell us the song name and artist as well! — Submitted by Daire, who was kind enough to provide several example books, as this challenge is quite tricky! A few possibilities include: Pop Goes the Weasel by James Patterson (English nursery rhyme of the same name), The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes ("Girl You Left Behind," Pixie Lott), or Somewhere Only We Know by Cheyanne Young ("Somewhere Only We Know," Keane). Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Florence and the Machine.

30 points: Read two books with a different meal in each title (e.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, supper, brunch). — Submitted by Amber. Breakfast with the Borgias by DBC Pierre and The Dinner by Herman Koch.


The Outfit
Shirt: Thrifted, USA Somewhere
Cape: Thrifted, USA
Jeans: Kmart
Earrings: Retail
Shoes: Chapel St


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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Monday, September 22, 2014

Day 348: My Favourite Colour



Who: Melanie at Bag and Beret


What: The Travelling Yellow Skirt Freak Show


When: A while ago (have I told you trying to buy a house keeps getting in my way!)


Where: At, around and in the vicinity of ACCA


Why: Do you even have to ask?


Who Else: B—— for the photos, Melbourne Bike Share for the props (although I did pay for that, and we spent so long riding around getting moving pictures that they charged me again so I am not really sure why I am telling you about them: this isn't a plug, except that they are quite cool!)


What the ?: Sunshine incarnate in the form of a yellow skirt travels the world searching for women, bold and beautiful, who make it their own for a day, or a week and share their own take on its joyous light with everyone out there who thinks that being an exceptional individual with the daring and bravado to walk your own way, strut your own stuff and be your own you is a good thing! That's my take on it, but you can read the full story on the link to the skirt above. Make sure you check out all the wonderful women by whom the skirt has passed.

















The Outfit
Skirt: Melanie at Bag and Beret
Jackets: Both thrifted in the US
Belt: Thrifted
Tights: Retail
Earrings: Retail
Shoes: Irregular Choice Hook Line & Sinker


Photographer de Jour: B——


Who Wore It Better?



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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Day 347: Largs and Lassitudes

stream of consciousness literary model narrative technique psychology James Joyce Virginia Woolfe good enough for them to get everything on the page in a hurry no need to worry about punctuation

Okay, might be hard to read but it's about me not you. The final full stop. Read Ulysses, it'll make more sense.

for now this is the quickest way to catch up and move on in this blogging silliness stopped for weeks by the all-consuming search for houses and the associated stasis it has wrought on everything else of meaning in my life

Irene               List_Addict

Pictures are of Largs months ago at Kelburn castle where they needed to render the wall but couldn't afford it so graffiti artists painted it in the meantime now everyone prefers it to the render except the council it must be a reason people pay quite a hefty fee to come in even though there isn't a lot to see just some hamsters a good birds of prey keeper a maze a sort of scary jungle-gym which would be occ-health-and-safety-ed-the-living-day-lights-out-of in this country a couple of two thousand year old yew trees

seventy-one house inspections since that holiday it makes perfect sense to book another holiday the exasperation of continually being outbid on properties justified it until the broker wanted to know why the value of our deposit went down

going to koh samui

Left: Kelburn Castle
Right: Close(r) up detail of the graffiti


joined a book club at poppy loves reading lee rourke's vulgar things also joined up with steptember walking ten thousand steps every day sort of if you'd like to donate their page donate to team called The Quick Feet of Flinders Street that's us proceeds help people suffering from cerebral palsy got a bookriot box with more books read more books joined covet app enraged but addicted it deserves a blogpost of its own coming soon few minutes away from being shafted on another house

it's all about houses brain or thyroid gland going to explode

that is my life all caught up am trying to blog three times a week monday (fail) wednesday or Thursday (fail) and saturday (fail) back to Monday see how it goes want to cry bye bye

full stop

Top Left: Cow on Great Cumbrae, the little island off Largs which the ferry visits all day long
Top Right: A typical sunset from the window of our rental flat
Bottom Left: Looking back at Largs from the ferry—our flat was at the left side of that white building in front. Perfect!
Bottom Right: Looking down at Largs bay from the hills above


The Outfit
Shirt: Primark
Jacket: Gift; Vic and I swapped jackets because he knew I preferred the yellow one
Leggings: Target
Shorts: Primark
Scarf: Buff
Gaiters: Kathmandu
Boots: Meindl


Photographer de Jour: V——


Who Wore It Better?



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Monday, August 25, 2014

Day 346: Stages

[Quickly, before you start, pop over here to see what stage I reached on the Bout of Books 11 challenge I did last week: it's underwhelming!]

I'm stuck on stage three of the process of grief. Anger. The people around me are becoming uncomfortable. They can't understand why I won't move on. I think it's because I didn't see it happen at the time. I have only just realised that it is, already, a done deal; something that can't be brought back, something forever gone that I didn't realise was leaving us. A lot of people don't even appear aware. When did the word 'fewer' actually die and leave the English language? Suddenly it is gone and I must spend all my time yelling at the television—from ads to news to fiction to categories of programs sometimes referred to, ignominiously, as high-brow television—for 'lesses' where there should have been 'fewers'. All. The. Time. 'Less' harsh chemicals in Finish dishwasher tablets, for example. Is it my past lives in times when English was spoken well that grate with modern usage? Is it the seventy-third gene on my DNA strand that switches grammar-fascism on in my brain? I'm in hell! I'm usually an advocate of the organic nature of language, but this one affects me. It's like we are loosing a poetic nuance for the sake of simplicity, loosing a complicated step in a dance because it's easier to step clumsily into the next phase: something more difficult but more beautiful. We are making language a thing people can use without thinking about it! Dangerous precedence!

List_Addict               Irene

I'm stuck on stage one of the process of grief. Denial, shock. At least, I was when I started this blog post, but due to time passing, as it inevitably does, I have moved through depression (stage four), and am onto the 'I'm okay' stage—which may actually be number one all over again. I should be dead. Merrily wending our way, along the freeway, to look at a house for the second time—a house which we have since fallen in love with, made an offer for, increased the offer, increased it again, got disillusioned with, and lost to another bidder, in the end, gratefully—we suddenly found ourselves, in no discernible increment of time, going from talking about who-knows-what, to spinning through three lanes of late afternoon traffic. I can't recall the bang of the semi-trailer hitting us. Just the surreal change of being. V—— was on the side which was hit; his expectation, in the infinity of time it took to come to a halt, was directed to all the other vehicles that should logically have been impacting with us as we spun through their lanes. I was calm. I didn't scream. I held my paper cup of coffee throughout, uncrushed. Although I have coffee all over my face and coat when we stopped. It was a miracle. Miracles f^€% with your mind. You come out thinking you should feel grateful for your life, you should be feeling you have a second chance. But the bizarreness of the event being survived unscathed, the trivialising of something significant, and the expectations of an abundant thankfulness instead made me depressed. I am fine now; V—— is too. His car is being repaired as we speak and he is getting by in a tinny loan vehicle. Life goes on. But you know what is strangest of all: we went back to the house a few days later, starting at the same point and ending at the same destination, and the GPS didn't take us on the same road. If miracles make your mind explode, then I can't express the effects the idea of meant-to-be, and the subsequent lack of agency it suggests, have on my poor little synapses!


The Outfit
Dress: Op-shopped
Tights: Retail
Bling: Red bracelet from a bike chain gifted by my lovely B——, charm bracelet gifted by my lovely V—— with a charm gifted by B——, ring gifted by V—— from the craft centre of the universe, near Largs, Scotland
Shoes: Irregular Choice Golden Harpy


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?



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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Day 343: Any Excuse for a Bout of Books (11)

I have a Quarterly Box that I spoil myself with four times a year. It is from Book Riot, which means I get books and book related fabulousnesses sent to my door. What a blessed thing! Last time the wonderous box arrived on my door it had a voucher for a couple of free monthes use of the Oyster Books app. Being an Australian, I am unable to access Oyster as it currently only works in the United States. Sooo! If you have been having thoughts of joining up and are a United States resident, and if you have an email attached to your comments, then be the first person to comment saying you want it and I will email you privately to get your details and send it on. I don't know if that is the right thing to do, I can't guarantee if it will work, but I am happy to send it to you to give it a go. Let me know.

List_Addict               Irene

I'm seriously jealous of Oyster, even though I have the perfectly fabulous alternative that does like the credit cards of Australians: Scribd. I use oodles of valuable reading time scrolling through books I could read on Scribd if it wasn't for the fact that I spend too much time looking for books to read on Scribd—a snake with its tail in its mouth. If I had an Oyster account I would have even less time for actually reading books per se. So although I can't wait, I am grateful for any delay in their decision to expand. Antidote-erally ('coz that's a word, meaning to perform an action that has an antidote effect on the action that couldn't be performed in the last set of sentences), I am joining up with something else instead. Bout of Books 11. It is a week of reading as many books as is humanly possible—in a week. It is a reason to do nothing at any given spare moment for a whole week but read books. I am so excited. The only down side is I am starting a diet that week with my mum, and possibly my sister, and so the reading will be unassisted by chocolate biscuits, marshmallows, cake or any such joys. [There you go B——, books and diets in one blog for you]. Bout of Books is brought to you, if you would like to participate, by the folks over at Bout of Books. You can be like me and sit on your couch reading and not eating yummy things, you can add cakes to the equation, or you can go all out with updates and competitions and Twittering and have a great social week of books. Join in, go on—I'm so looking forward to saying 'Sorry, I can't. I'm reading.' Even if it is just for one week!

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team


Time to be devoted to reading: All that is physically possible.

Goals: Read lots and lots.

Books: I'm going to aim for ones that help finish some of my challenges, details to come.

Progress:

Monday:

00:44: Starting a whole forty-four minutes late due to a problem opening one of the selected books on Scribd (still unresolved), I have now, if front of me, the first four books I will attempt this week. They are all from my Semi Charmed Kind of Life Book Challenge. Number Fourteen on the Times Bestsellers Paperback Trade Fiction list at the time I started reading it: The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert (501 pages). A book written before I was born: The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick (3883 Kindle location units(?) equalling 259 pages). A book another blogger (or eighty) has read for the challenge: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (415 pages). And, a biography, autobiography or memoir: The Twelfth of Never: A Memoir by Louis Nowra (377 pages). Off I go! Good luck to all.

23:37: Scribd resolved.
The Signature of All Things - 16/501
The Man in the High Castle - 9%
Gone Girl - 36/415
The Twelfth of Never - 31/377

Tuesday:

22:49: Update The Signature of All Things - 29/501
The Man in the High Castle - 16%
Gone Girl - 72/415
The Twelfth of Never - 33/377

Wednesday:

03:01 (technically Thursday): Couldn't help it! Added a book. Semi Charmed Challenge. A book from the Children's section of the library or bookstore: The Name of This Book is Secret by Psuedonymous Bosch (326 pages).
The Signature of All Things - 53/501
The Man in the High Castle - 25%
Gone Girl - 88/415
The Twelfth of Never - 44/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 70/326

Thursday:

01:19 (technically Friday): Not going quite as well as I expected!
The Signature of All Things - 73/501
The Man in the High Castle - 43%
Gone Girl - 124/415
The Twelfth of Never - 74/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 114/326

Friday:

00:16 (just gone Saturday): Abysmal!
The Signature of All Things - 82/501
The Man in the High Castle - 48%
Gone Girl - 178/415
The Twelfth of Never - 90/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 168/326

Saturday:

23:21: Update
The Signature of All Things - 82/501
The Man in the High Castle - 57%
Gone Girl - 262/415
The Twelfth of Never - 90/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 196/326

Sunday:

13:06 (the next day, fell asleep last night!): In a week I read 810 pages and didn't finish a single book. I guess I'm just not a finisher, and now I have five more unfinished books on my pile. They're all good reads so I will get to enjoy them a little longer. [sigh]
The Signature of All Things - 82/501
The Man in the High Castle - 65%
Gone Girl - 274/415
The Twelfth of Never - 90/377
The Name of this Book is Secret - 196/326


The Outfit
A Green Velvet Dress Many Ways
Dress: Op-shopped
Jacket: Thrifted, Savers, USA
Necklace: Retail
Shoes: Dr Martens


Photographer de Jour: Moi


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Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 342: A Tangled Web We Weave

Eek! These photos are from before I went away. I must have been channelling some deluded idea of haute couture at the time. I was reading On The Daily Express the other day (here and here) where Gina had gathered together a group of other bloggers from around the States—one from each time zone—and done a survey about trending looks. Essentially she asked each blogger about a series of trends (crop tops, rompers, jean styles, Birkenstocks, etc) and whether these trends translated to the street in their area. Often they didn't. What is fashion? An elite group of designers who make clothes that only a small percentage of people can afford or wear? An enormous group of retailers, advertisers and marketers who push a quick-turnover must-do look in order to sell, sell, sell? Or one person—you—deciding what to wear when you wake up today?

Irene               List_Addict

I am sure I am not the first person to riddle-me-this, but tell me, if you can, why doesn't the fashion industry make sense? And now, with the added dimension of the fashion blogging community, it has got even weirder. Do you think blogging is about what we 'should' wear? Is it about what we 'do' wear? Is it about trends and perpetuating the dictates of the clothing industry, or is it about people being an antidote to a prescriptive money-making train which wants to see us conform to a constantly changing ideal? Of course, there isn't an answer to that—there are blogs that fit into every category. Bloggers trying to make a living from it have to jump on board with big-business—they're the ones with money to spend, and they're only going to spend it where they get publicity. It's a no-brainer. The op-shop/thrifter bloggers and the sewing/fashion bloggers have different incentives: they celebrate getting a contemporary look via a different route which is creative and economical, or, they celebrate looking nothing like everyone else becuse that is the beauty of thrifting. Some bloggers are so close to the periphary of the exclusive end of the fashion industry that we can only call it a different door to the same arena: high end fashion items, model looks, professional photography. Others seem to be at the door of a theatre instead—where it is about dressing-up, not dressing. What kind are you? What kind am I? It's quite fascinating.

Me: a thrifting, shoe-obsessed, dresser-upper-er who wears, in real life, some of what is on her blog, in a non-conformist interpretation of what seems to be 'trending' at some stage in the last two years or the next three, as long as she can find it in an op-shop (thrift store) and as long as she doesn't have to walk too far in the shoes. You?


The Outfit
Dress (under): Op-shopped
Dress (over): Handmade
Belt: Myers
Necklace: Retail
Golf Shoes: eBay


Photographer de Jour: Moi


Who Wore It Better?

C

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