Saturday, 25 January 2014

treasure: families

i am a lucky enough girl to have plenty of families. there are the families we are born into, and the families we make for ourselves. i've spent the past 6 weeks immersed in family.  'tis the season for family, Christmas and New Years', and man oh man did we win at it.

i hereby provide exhibit a: photographic evidence.



Thanks to Karin, Mitch & Mark for borrowed photography

exhibit b: stories and contemplation

it was just the right amount of fun and downtime, and my love for all these people only grew in the time i was lucky enough to spend with them. it was the first time in probably 2 years that me and the whistler gang had all been together, looking each other in the eye instead of over Skype, or on Facebook and Instagram. i think the main thing i noticed was just how much we appreciated each other, and just how much of a family we were.

when you're in whistler, you're in the thick of things- part of what i loved about that was you tend to live in the 'right now' of your life, without too much thought past the next payday. it's a kind of freedom you don't tend to get for a long time in your life, and should be whole-heartedly enjoyed. what i never did a lot of at the time was to appreciate what long-lasting friendships i was setting up with every potluck dinner, every day on the mountain, every night out dancing at Bill's, every moment dressed up in costume. this is the stuff true love is made of; people who are on your wavelength, who agree with you (and disagree with you too), who laugh with you and commiserate with you and fill your days up with company.

when you leave whistler, and go your separate ways, you suddenly realise how lovely that all was, with the pang of retrospective contemplation and a realisation that Other People (people that haven't been to whis) do not think it's ok to have a double caesar for breakfast on your days off.

meeting up again 2 years later for the wedding of kate and phill was just a wonderful choice. it made me realise how we have all grown and changed, but miraculously we're all still awesome in slightly different ways. the world outside of whistler has been bearing down on us and we've all risen to the challenge. we're all proud of each other the way family is, and fiercely so. we all partied and wore the shit out of our dragon onesies (an awesome purchase and another wonderful choice), drank double caesars for breakfast and ate eggs benny, a Karin Rofors speciality. we re-lived some of the best bits of whistler, but it was really about us being together. and together we were. in cars, on beaches, in planes and on trains, in houses, in tents, in hammocks, on decks, in marquees, on dance floors, in limousines, in vans, in tow trucks, in beds, in cabins, on SkyDeck, on Facebook and Instagram.

we were everywhere in our togetherness.

now, we are apart again. it's a little bit sad, but truthfully the together part was so much fun and so powerful in its ability to make me feel both grounded and filled with helium excitement that i can't feel too sad for too long.

i think life is about the people you miss as a flipside of togetherness. there are always people to miss - it's the life of a traveller, and we all love to travel. it's the people that you meet that make you who you are, and these people are all parts of me, in their sticky happy fizzy ways.

sending you love, dragon and non-dragon friends. all of the love.

do you even know how much i love you?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Friday Feminism: ALL the ideas

Hey lovelies!

I started on Friday Feminism last year in September as it became a topic I wanted to expand upon more and more. I had some great feedback which I really appreciated, and so of course I plan to continue with it this year. There are all sorts of ideas bubbling about in my brain, and while I haven't got a post on one of them ready for today, I thought I'd share with you the sorts of things I want to investigate more this year, as that will probably set the tone of my blog posts.

So here's a list, which I may or may not adhere to. I make no promises, except that there will be words on Fridays, and they will be about feminism. Also, some of these might be podcasts... or even vlogs... just for the sake of experimentin'.
  • women's groups, feminist groups, female friendship
  • zines & zine culture, including riot grrl zines, my zine making, the zines of others (maybe zine reviews, even)
  • acts of feminist rebellion
  • women I admire vs women who confuse me
  • more in the 'your body is your body' series, looking at body positivity, labels like fat and skinny and healthy and fit and curvy and all of the things
  • feminist fashion
  • intersectionality with a bit of a discussion on what kind of feminist I am
  • sexuality and a bit of gender studies theory dabbling
  • my favourite books written by women, as well as ones I've been meaning to read
  • Bechdel-testing movies and TV shows
  • imagining a feminist utopia and trying to figure out what might help to get us there
  • feminism in social media- trolling and fighting in the comments section
There's a few meaty topics there, but boy oh boy I am excited to give this list a red-hot go.

Anything you'd like me to discuss? Just let me know in the comments.

Let's do this!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

thrifted thursday: beating the back-to-work blues

I don't know about you all, but I found it pretty hard to come back to work last week after 3 weeks of setting my own schedule, drinking during the day and having favourite friends just hanging about simply waiting for fun and activities.

I wore some pretty holiday things during those 3 weeks, too - a beautiful dress to a beautiful wedding, all my summery shifts and frocks including a wonderful maxi dress which I completely associate with holidays and sandy beach time.

I use clothes to put me in a good mood, and so I'm wearing my way through the work-appropriate side of my extensive wardrobe, throwing in some colour and thrifted glory to get me through my working week.

Last week it was hot. Hot for Armidale, anyway- mid 30s. On Tuesday, I wore this combo:

Earrings: $2- Re-Use-It Centre, Whistler
Dress: $8 - Lifeline, Armidale
Slip: $4 - Lifeline, Armidale
Belt: $1 - Re-Use-It Centre, Whistler 
Shoes: $10 - Kmart (2013)

The dress is a sort of cotton t-shirt material, which breathes well in hot weather. The slip was mainly so Important University People didn't see my underwear underneath. This dress is not colours I would normally wear, plus it has a zip in the front which I find odd, but the collar aspect and the length of the dress really grabbed me, and I do not regret my decision. Also, there are pockets. Plus, it has enough colours in it to accessorise to my heart's content, so orange earrings could easily be worn with blue belt and shoes.

On Wednesday, I had a job interview. I went to Big W and bought a super boring interview costume. I went home, looked at it and felt sad. I decided I wanted to be myself in my interview, so I went with this outfit instead:

Dress: Vintage, on extended loan from my friend Tash (maker of amazing things, more to come)
Belt: $10 - Lifeline, Armidale
Cardigan: $9 - Big W (2013)
Shoes: $4 - Lifeline, Armidale

I got the job, so obviously, it was the right outfit! I felt like a sophisticated and extremely employable version of myself. The green belt is one of my absolute favourite scores from Lifeline. Green leather, with enough length to wear it around my hips too. It goes with almost everything. My super boring costume will be returned to Big W and exchanged for underwear, I suspect. All my bras have died at once... maybe a murder-suicide pact.

On Tuesday this week, I wanted to celebrate my new job good news! I wore this:

 Dress: $8 - St Vinnies, Armidale
Belt: $2 - Re-Use-It Centre, Whistler
Necklace: $12 - The Eclective, Armidale (my awesome friend Anna)
Shoes: $5 - Big W (2014)

I love the cut of these sorts of dresses - conservative enough for work, but colourful enough to be a happy vegemite! I also wear a slip underneath this one as sometimes there's static to contend with otherwise. I like wearing belts around my waist with these kinds of dresses - all kinds, really.

Which brings me to Wednesday's outfit:

 Dress (& belt): $25 - Vintage on Hill, Uralla
Shoes: Gifted (didn't fit my friend Ellie) - Urban Outfitters
Necklace: Gifted owl/ $5 leaf & chain - Diva

I scored this dress on the weekend from "Vintage on Hill", an amazing shop in Uralla, NSW. I have found a few of my favourite dresses there, so I always go in with something of an expectation. I was not disappointed - I don't have anything in this colour yet, and there's lovely cutaway detail on the front, plus the matching belt! I have been an Etsy vintage shopper in the past, but increasingly I prefer buying them locally as I get to run the fabric through my fingers, plus eye the dress off for size, try it on, etc. Some things look weird on the rack but awesome when you put them on, I find.

Thanks go to Ellie, my lovely housemate, who took photos of me being silly for this post. 

Stay tuned for more thrifted Thursdays, as I attempted to gradually get at least one wear out of all the clothing I own!

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

treasure: taking stock

Pip Lincolne of Meet Me At Mikes posted a Taking Stock post today and I thought I'd play along.

Playing along is getting me back into the swing of things, that's for sure.

Making : study for my accounting exam a Priority (gah)
Cooking : easy summer foods, like delicious salads with purple cabbage in them
Drinking : champagne, to celebrate my new job!
Reading: Ghost World by Daniel Clowes, Best of Lifted Brow vol. 1, Intimate Ephemera: Reading Young Lives in Australian Zine Culture by Anna Poletti
Wanting: more time! have packing and studying to do, lots in a short amount of time.
Looking: for private health insurance (2014: the year I do grown up things)
Playing: Sia's Elastic Heart from the Catching Fire soundtrack over and over
Deciding: how to spend my Australia Day weekend
Wishing: to somehow skip the next month of craziness and just have it all sorted and dealt with
Enjoying: cold beers from the New England Brewing Company on the weekend just passed
Waiting: to start a new job
Liking: exploring my wardrobe before I pack it up to move
Wondering: when it will start cooling down again??
Loving: double rainbows on Sunday afternoons
Pondering: my next set of feminist friday blog posts
Considering: another cup of coffee
Watching: Girls season 3 interspersed with Gossip Girl season 4 interspersed with Stuck in Love
Hoping: that my run of good things continues
Marvelling: at how fast January has passed me by
Needing: a big clean out of my wardrobe before I move
Smelling: 'lovely' by sarah jessica parker - mum's latest favourite perfume
Wearing: a pink and purple vintage dress (see thursday's post, when it comes)
Following: conversation on my cousin's Facebook about this article
Noticing: the weight lifted from my shoulders now I'm not staring down unemployment!
Knowing: that I am going to drink cold beer when I get home
Thinking: about how delicious homegrown grapes are when they come straight from the fridge
Feeling: hot and a bit bothered
Admiring: Cate Blanchett
Sorting: email to keep from the SPAM of it all
Buying: zines from Take Care Zine Distro
Getting: thirsty for coffee... iced coffee, maybe
Disliking: again, the heat. c'mon, summer... I'm done with you! I only like you when I get to lay on the beach, or drink frosty beverages on the deck
Opening: farewell gifts from swedish ladies
Giggling: at Clem Ford's latest awesomeness
Feeling: filled to the brim with plans and anticipation for 2014!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

treasure: a cuppa tea with me!

I'm shaking up my silent blog airwaves with a little self interview as prompted by no other than the most wonderful Pip of Meet Me at Mikes. I'm a Blog with Pip student, and proud - many changes to be made in coming months on this here blog.

But down to business, let's answer these interview questions.

1. name, state and a bit about what you do on a daily basis 
My name is Helen, I live in NSW. By day, I work in Admin at a university. By night, I am doing a Masters in Arts Management and managing social media for Lip Magazine. I also contribute to the university student paper, and write things of my own.

2. favourite things to do

I love writing. I really enjoy it. I like writing blog posts, articles, social media posts, comments on Facebook, emails and good ol' fashioned letters. I like music a lot - I am getting back into playing guitar and singing. I like sitting in my comfy chair with a teacup on one armrest and a plate of toast on the other, while I read or write or scribble mind maps. And damn do I love a good thrift store score. 
3. favourite place to be

My bedroom! It's all just right, filled with thrifts and gifts and pretty pictures from everywhere. There is loads of light and flowers just outside my window. 

4. favourite things to eat/drink

I love eggs on toast and coffee from my favourite local cafe, the Goldfish Bowl. I try not to eat bread, but the oven-fired sourdough makes me break all my rules about once a week. 

5. favourite inspirations

I love beautiful things, collected and displayed just so. I love the wise and wonderful words of others - they fire up solid inspiration and make me want to put my own words out there. I love amazing folk like Tavi Gevinson, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I am inspired by what's happening with feminism at the moment, and it makes me want to say things myself! I think big thoughts. That's what the mind maps and lists are for.

6. something i want to know more about

There are many classic novels I want to read, but I think for this year I want to focus on books written by women. I want to write them up, the same way I spent a month last year just listening to female artists. I also want to know more about how to take care of Maude, my lovely Mazda Explorer van. 

7. some favourite blogs

So many! From this awesome Blog with Pip course, I have enjoyed sharing Facebook, blog and Instagram interactions with cityhippyfarmgirl, and You'll Move Mountains. From just the plain old internet, I am loving Ms Annalog (another new instagram friend). I always enjoy The Militant Baker for her passion and amazingness. And I continue to get a subscription to Her Library Adventures which comes straight to my inbox.

So there's a few things about me, nice to meet anybody visiting from Meet Me at Mikes - swing by again, leave a comment if you like!