Friday, March 26, 2010

Vintage wish fulfillment

27 Mar '10
Beret - vintage, thrifted
Dress - vintage, from my sister-in-law's mum
Bag - vintage
Boots - thrifted

I have had two days of vintage magic - the kind of days that you fantasise about when you find nothing in thrift stores but baggy polyester. My lovely sister-in-law went out to her mum's place in the country the other day to help her clean out her wardrobe. It turned out that her mother had kept all her gorgeous clothes from the 1960s and 1970s, and they were still in near-perfect condition. When I went around to my sister-in-law's house for dinner on Thursday night, she presented me with seven bulging bags of hats, dresses and jackets. There were about twenty-seven dresses in all - many of them in gorgeous winter fabrics with long sleeves, which is just perfect for the weather we're having (I'm wearing one of them today). And the hats! Well.

I've been through the clothes and picked out a gorgeous cream trench-coat lined with plaid silk and about fourteen vintage dresses to keep (and all the hats, naturally). I'm going to let my vintage-mad friends pick through the rest and see what they would like to have.

And it didn't end there. On Friday morning, I went to a sale at my favourite vintage store, and came home with two more bags of goodies! Most items were marked down to $5, even the dresses. Heaven. I now have huge piles of clothes to alter and mend.

Poor LOML. The spare room is buried beneath bulging bags of clothing.

Many pictures of dresses coming tomorrow!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Big news! Many exclamation marks!

I'm finally able to tell you the big news that I have been hinting at for months.


(I'm building suspense)


LOML, Mink and I are moving to the US for a year.

More specifically, to Austin, Texas!

At the moment it looks like I might be moving in August, but it could be sooner than that - nothing is completely confirmed just yet. We will be heading over to the States next month for a couple of weeks to visit Texas and get accustomed to the place, though (as much as you can in a fortnight!). I am excited, but I am also somewhat terrified. I would absolutely love to hear from those of you who have moved to the States from other countries and those of you who have moved pets overseas, as I'm anxious to make Mink's journey and transition as peaceful as possible.

And, especially, I would LOVE to know if I have any readers in Austin. I'll probably be pretty lonely when I arrive, and although I'm sure we will make friends relatively quickly, it would be great to get in touch with some Austin-ites (Austinians? Austonians?) Please let me know if you're out there!

I'm so looking forward to spend some time travelling around the States and seeing all the places that I've read about in your blogs. Very exciting! I have always wanted to visit the southern states, specifically, and Austin sounds like a fantastic place to live. Advice and comments are, as always, very welcome.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thank goodness for weekends

21 Mar '10
Beret - vintage, thrifted
Dress - thrifted
Cardigan - vintage, thrifted
Bag - vintage, thrifted
Belt - thrifted
Boots - thrifted

I thought I was coping swimmingly with the adjustment in my schedule, but then the weekend arrived and I realised how grateful I was for a lie-in and the chance to spend an entire morning in my pyjamas. My tiredness is not helped by the fact that we had lunch at a vineyard today, and I'm feeling the effects of two very large glasses of Riesling. The waitress was new, and was apparently under the impression that a glass of wine was equivalent to a glass full to the brim and practically overflowing. I didn't correct her. And now I might have a nap.

I hope you have all had a lovely weekend! I wish I had more interesting things to say, but this weekend my thought process is, essentially, "wake up ... eat ... work ... eat ... nap ... work ... eat ... sleep" and repeat. With the occasional, "Brr," when it gets too chilly.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hi there!

Gah! I feel like I haven't seen you all in ages. I have been getting up at the crack of dawn, commuting into the city, working at the publishing house until early afternoon, coming home, working on my book and my freelance work, and then going to bed! It has been fun, and I am a happy, satisfied sort of exhausted, but I am exhausted all the same. Thanks so much to everyone who has been reading and leaving comments despite my lack of bloggy visits - I really do appreciate them, and they brighten my mornings greatly as I read them with my muesli and coffee. I do check in with your blogs, although I don't have much time to comment at the moment, and I gain so much inspiration from you all - particularly as I look for ideas for office wear.

I have some really big news coming soon that I am anxious to share with you all! Hopefully I'll be able to tell you next week, (And no, Mum, I'm not pregnant). I'll write a proper post tomorrow, but I wanted to say hello and thank you quickly this evening.

So, er ...


And thank you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Michelle Mc Tattoo

Michelle Mc Tattoo - After brunch today, we fought through the crowds of sweaty New York marathoners and took Little T to get some beautiful script from Michelle at Saved, our favorite tattoo spot in Williamsburg. He turned white as a sheet and we thought he was gonna pass out, but the tattoos turned out proper!

Finished off the night with a crew pizza party at Neapolitan spot Motorino and then back off home to pick through tunes! Never sleep never sleep never sleep. And speaking of tunes, did you download the Kanji Kinetic remix of DTL’s “Set Me Free” yet? What are you waiting for? Ravey gravy!!!! Source Michelle Mc Tattoo

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The blues (not the sad kind)

Hi everyone! This is a momentous occasion - well, semi-momentous. It's my last day of working from home for a couple of weeks. I'm doing some sub-editing work at a publishing company where I used to work, and so I'll be in an office again until next Thursday. I'm actually quite excited about it (although I know it will make me appreciate working from home even more!). I like the social aspects of a workplace, and the fact that you can leave it behind at the end of the day, physically and mentally, when you come home. I also love walking through the city in the early morning, seeing all the shops opening their doors, and cupping a hot cup of takeaway coffee in my hands when it's a chilly start to the day. So expect some corporate wear over the next two weeks - I've got out of the habit of dressing for the office, and it will be an interesting experiment to return to business-appropriate attire! Mink will be a bit lonely at home on his own, but I'm sure he'll cope.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Autumn has well and truly begun!

12 Mar '10
Beret - vintage, thrifted
Blouse - thrifted
Sweater - thrifted
Jeans - vintage, thrifted
Shoes - thrifted
Coat - vintage, thrifted

The air is as crisp and sweet as a red apple, the leaves are starting to turn and there's an ice-cream chill in the wind. Autumn is here with a bang! I do love autumn - the colours, particularly, are very inspiring. And I don't mind the cold if the sun is shining - there's nothing nicer than a fresh, sunny morning with a brisk wind! I ignored my long list of chores today and went thrifting in the city with a friend. Sometimes you need to push your To-Do list to the back of your mind, and enjoy a beautiful day without guilt.

I hope you're all having a great weekend. What have you been up to? I've been so immersed in the edits that I feel I haven't caught up with you all for ages! I'd love to hear what you're doing this weekend.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


The edits are done! Done, done, done. Well, for now. I'm waiting to hear back from my editor (still love saying that) on a couple of points, and before long I'll be checking the proofs. But for now I am finished, and I am going to take a day off tomorrow to celebrate. The initial plan was to go to the beach, because I love the ocean more than almost anything, but apparently the weather is going to be dreadful. We'll see.

Last night, LOML and I went for a sunset walk with our best friends, Hannah and Nic. It was glorious. Very Hobbiton-type scenery, I think, and a lovely way to farewell summer. Two of the dogs belong to our friends, but we seemed to acquire more and more dogs as we went along. And one of them peed on LOML's shoe. I felt bad for laughing, but not bad enough to stop.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Yet more edits, and a side of guilt!

Well, I spent the whole day today checking all my manuscript changes. So far, so good! Tomorrow morning's job is a search-and-destroy on my common mistakes, and I'll also double-check all the non-English words in the manuscript (of which there are many, since the book is set in Zimbabwe) to make sure that they are all spelled and used correctly. Once that's done, I'm going to email my editor a few queries in the afternoon ... and then I can put The Cry of the Go-away Bird aside for a few days and concentrate on Current Book. I'm planning to finish the second draft of Current Book by the end of next week - there is probably another 10,000 words worth of work still to go, but I want to power through and get it all done so that I can get a bit of distance from the story before re-assessing it. The plot and structure have changed so dramatically in my revisions that they are unrecognisable, and once the draft is finished I'll need to let it sit and stew for a while, to make sure it all works (and makes sense).

I've finished work for the day now, and am enjoying a nice glass of wine, but I still feel like I should be working. Do any of you suffer from working-from-home guilt, like me? Here are the signs:

1. When you're indulging in a hobby or some other pleasant activity when you've finished work for the day, a little voice inside you is saying, "You should still be working! Why aren't you working? WHY?"
2. You look around at the un-folded laundry, the un-ironed ironing and the un-washed dishes, and the same little voice says, "But you've been home all day! Why haven't you done the housework? What's wrong with you?"
3. Your computer seems to assume an expression of righteous indignation whenever you shut it down. And you can feel it watching you. And judging.

Working for yourself has its advantages, definitely, but it does put a bit of extra pressure on you. If you have a bad day at work, it's hard to shrug it off at the end of the day and leave it behind - you're the only one who suffers!

I hope you've all had a lovely day. Once again, thanks so much for bearing with me during this busy time while I can't reply to all your comments or visit your blogs. I really appreciate it!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I'm still alive, I promise!

Yesterday was our wee nephew Thomas's christening day. At the rate time is passing at the moment, he'll be twenty-one before I even realise it!
7 Mar '10
Dress - vintage
Petticoat (unseen) - thrifted
Cardigan - vintage, thrifted
Shoes - No. 1 Shoe Warehouse

I feel like I've been away for ages! I've had no time in the last week or so to pootle about looking at my favourite blogs, and I think my brain might be trying to escape through my ears. And I'm so terribly tired. I've finished the bulk of the changes on The Cry of the Go-away Bird, and just have a few points to discuss with my editor. I'm also powering towards the end of the second draft of my current book. This second book has been so difficult; I've stopped and started so much, and changed direction so often, that I've lost a lot of my perspective. I'm looking forward to getting the final few chapters finished so that I can take a break from the material and come back to it with fresh eyes - again!

Speaking of edits, I came across a great writing test the other day - the Wasteline Test on The Writer's Diet. You paste in a segment of your work, and, to quote the test's description,

"The test works by counting percentages of words in five categories commonly associated with stodgy sentences: weak verbs, abstract nouns, prepositions, adjectives/adverbs and 'waste words' (it, this, that, there). For every writing sample you submit, you will receive an overall fitness rating ranging from lean to heart attack territory."

I definitely recommend it as a quick diagnostic tool for some very common problems that may be cropping up in your work!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Disney party!

The Disney party last night was great fun. I couldn't find a decent apron, in the end, so I went as a composite of the old, animated Alice and the new Tim Burton Alice. I was thrilled to find a pair of 1950s cream stockings in an op-shop yesterday, still in their original packaging, and I was even more thrilled that I didn't do my usual trick of ruining them during the evening. LOML went as Milo Thatch from Atlantis; Hannah was Babette the feather duster from Beauty and the Beast; Nic was the Beast (obviously); Scott was Robin Hood; and Christina went as Snow White.

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