Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Twin Buns & Bionic Legs

 Dress - c/o Sheinside (sold out) | Socks - c/o Oasap (sold out) | shoes - c/o Yeswalker (sold out)

Needing opinions on these twin buns - yay or nay? I really need a cute, easy hairstyle that I am happy with while my hair is growing out, otherwise I'm going to just cut it short again (it's often too hard to stop myself when it's going through this awkward growth phase).
I suppose this is also a "Halloween" kind of outfit, though I must try to remind myself to wear black lipstick more often, anyway! I think that black lipstick goes really well with red hair. What do you think?

I thought I should do a more uplifting science piece today after my horrible Halloween facts, hehe. So don't worry - if you were scared by my last post, you don't need to skim through this one today.

Last month, the first thought-controlled bionic leg was attached to Zac Vawter, after his left leg needed to be amputated following a motorbike accident. I've talked about mind control and bionic devices before in June, but what happened here was a real advance on that story. When Zac Vawter thinks "I want to move my leg", his brain, doing its normal thing, sends an electric signal from the motor cortex, down the spine, and to the peripheral nerves in his right knee, which are picked up by electrodes in the bionic leg. And he walks.
The fake leg is so clever that Zac is even able to control certain parts of it. Say, if he wants to move his ankle, the "hamstring" mechanics on his fake leg contract, but not the rest of his leg. This allows his to walk basically seamlessly, which hasn't yet been possible in prosthetic limbs. Read more here.

I hope that you're all having a gorgeous day so far,

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Sunday, 27 October 2013

DIY Floral Pinafore, Zigzag Legs & What's Eating You?

Pinafore - DIY | shirt - c/o Sheinside | tights - c/o Tabbi Socks | shoes - Asos (warning!)

Remember when I showed you all this skirt about a week ago? Well I decided that I was going to turn it into a pinafore. I'm still not sure whether I like it better than the skirt, but I have plenty of fabric left so I can always make another one. I could even make a matching shirt, dress and headband and wear them all together and look like a crazy person who really, really likes floral patterns - I'm not going to do that, but just saying - I have a lot of this fabric left over.

To make this pinafore, follow my instructions for making a circle skirt here, and if you get that far, you can probably figure out how to cut out three rectangles to make into the front of a pinafore and the two straps! (I might put a DIY up here one day as well).

Now, I'm also obligated to do a little review for these zig-zag tights I'm wearing. Kindly sent to me by Tabbi Socks, they are made in Japan (by this factory; I do my reasearch now).
Firstly - oh my god they're cool. They are this gorgeous olive-green colour (I don't think the photos do them justice) and the zig zag pattern is just perfect - subtle but quirky.
Secondly, the material is very different to normal sheer tights - probably has something to do with them being over 50% cotton - because they're extremely sturdy and don't feel like they'll ever rip or get ladders in them. I love tights that last for more than two wears.
Third - they're incredibly comfy. I've been wearing them constantly the last couple of days at uni so that my legs didn't get too cold in the air conditioned buildings!
You can buy a pair here (and make sure you have a look at their other designs while you're at it - how sweet are these ones?)

Here's some horrific science facts for you guys, just because it's halloween. Enjoy :)

You have mites living on your face. They’re called Demodex folliculorum and they look
like this:
Image source
and no matter how much you wash your face, or wax or pluck your hairs, they will STILL BE THERE. Because they can live INSIDE YOUR PORES. But don’t worry, they’re harmless and natural - and just love the taste of your skin. Yum.

If you’re not already feeling uneasy, then picture your bed for a minute. Reading this in bed? Even better. Comfy, crisp clean linen sheets, and... dust mites, most likely. Dust mites that like nothing better than to mate and defecate all over your sheets and inside your mattress. But unless you’ve got asthma or are allergic to them, they won’t trouble you. Still, you might want to wash your sheets once in a while.

Ahh, barnacles. Harmless, passive sea creatures, right? Not if you’re a female rhizocephalan barnacle. Having grown up on a rock, when a male crab passes them by they’ll shoot  themselves inside their bellies and inject their own cells. They’ll feed off the the crab’s food, and, when the time is right, explode their eggs out of the crab’s bellies. Not only does this make the crab sterile, but the barnacle also alters the crab’s body and brain chemistry so much that the crab now thinks that it's a female. The eggs attract a male rhizocephalan who fertilizes them, and the brainwashed crab continues to treat the eggs like its own offspring, caring for them and releasing them into the sea when the time is right, to go on an infect a whole new generation of crabs.
Image source
If you’re still not feeling squeamish, why don’t you think about the fact that 90% of
the cells in and on your body are not your own? Or even better still - for every single human gene in your body, there are 360 microbial genes. Genetically speaking, that makes you 0.27 % human. Your body plays host to an enourmous number of microbes - bacteria, yeast, viruses... but don’t worry. Most of them won’t do you any harm. In fact, you wouldn’t be here without them. They help us digest our food, they teach our immune systems to spot dangerous invaders and they also make chemicals to fight off bugs that could make us sick.
Image source
Let’s talk about anglerfish sex. *Gasp* you say, *sex isn't meant to be scary!* Well, you probably wouldn’t want to be a male anglerfish. When they’re born, male anglerfish don’t have their own digestive systems. So they need to find a female anglerfish very quickly. When they meet, the male anglerfish bites the female, makes a hole in her body and burrows inside. The male then wastes away, becoming nothing more than a lump on the female containing sperm - so when the time is right, her eggs can be fertilised, making another generation full of male anglerfish destined to a life of servitude!

What about the end of the world? One day, other catastrophic astronomical events notwithstanding, our sun is going to die in a spectacular way, taking with it the Earth and the other planets in our solar system. So not only will you die one day, but so will every trace of you, human culture and civilisation over the entire course of human history. While that's pretty macabre, keep in mind that if stars never exploded, or expanded into all-consuming red giants, we never would have existed in the first place.

And maybe there would still be some trace left of human civilization after our sun explodes. Even if humans never manage to explore and colonize other solar systems, we sent the Golden Record into space some 40 years ago and it has recently left the solar system. Maybe, one day, an alien civilization will stumble across it and spare us another thought. Well, think about the fact that someday, the entire universe is going to end. Whether it'll happen with a big freeze, big bounce, big crunch or a big rip, physicists predict that absolutely everything we know (and don't know) will eventually come to an end.

Happy Halloween!

p.s. If you need to cheer yourself up, why not enter the giveaway I posted earlier today? ;)

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Handmade Necklace Giveaway from FrEEna // CLOSED

I'm so very excited to bring you a giveaway from one of the stores featured in the "Ethical Fashion Directory" last month - Freena!
Made in California by Cristina, these handmade bows are crafted into gorgeous necklaces in a variety of patterns. They'd instantly make any outfit just a little bit sweeter - I can imagine wearing one paired with a smock-style dress, white tights and a boater hat!
There will be two winners! Each winner will receive a Bow Tie Necklace in a colour of their choice. Enter using the rafflecopter widget below, and when leaving a comment, remember to include your email address so I have a way of contacting you. Good luck!

p.s. I have another giveaway running! Go and enter if you haven't already.

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Saturday, 26 October 2013

Apple Orchards & The Largest Living Thing

Dress - Bonne Chance (similar) | shoes - Asos | bag - Thrifted | brooch - gift from my friend Katie

I'm obsessed with the dresses from Bonne Chance collections. I've started checking the site every few days, which basically is just a really bad idea because it's made me buy all of these dresses from them. Well, I've only bought 3 (so far) but ohhhh boy, I want them all. If someone could design a store just for me then this would be it. Cute/kitsch prints, vintage fits, flared skirts and pretty collars are a feature of all of their dresses. This particular one that I'm wearing was called the "Apple Orchard" dress, so I thought that this brooch of a cute little apple-picker in red gumboots went perfectly with it! 

Now a note about these shoes. I was dumb and ordered something off Asos *sigh* because my last pair of black flats were worn out, and I couldn't find anything else that was just simple, cute and comfy and didn't have a heel. And they were on sale. Well, guess what happened - they broke basically as soon as I wore them. They zip up at the back (so that you don't have to undo and redo all those buckles each time you wear them), and on the left shoe the zip keeps coming apart. It happens about 5 minutes into wearing them, and although it can be fixed... it breaks again and again, making them very frustrating to wear. I'm trying to think of a way to fix them - maybe I'll just have to sew the zip up to keep it closed! But it just goes to show that these things aren't made to last.

Even though I'm not a superstitious person in the slightest, I'm putting this all down to karma. I strayed from my decision to make more ethical shopping choices, and I was taught a lesson. Fair point, universe, fair point.

Have you ever thought that the largest living thing on Earth was the Blue Whale? This video might just make you change your mind, as well as changing your ideas about what a "living thing" actually means.
Video is by Henry from Minute Earth (who I met in August, woo!)

I hope you've all had a great day so far!

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Monday, 21 October 2013

DIY Dress - The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Dress - DIY | glasses - Clear It | shoes - Asos.

Who else had this book as a child? From a fabric store in Marrickville, this Hungry Caterpillar fabric was only $2 per metre, so I bought myself 5 whole metres! As I've only used about 2 metres making this dress, I'm planning on making a hungry caterpillar skirt and pinafore as well. Yay!
Remember this page from the book? Yummm.  (Image source)
This is the first properly fitted dress I've made - I followed similar steps to my DIY dress tutorial, but made it fit properly to my waist using a waistband, made the zipper go down through the skirt (which also makes it much easier to put on), and I didn't use a pattern for the top part, either. When I'm done with uni for the semester, I'll make some brand-new instructions!

UPDATE: If you're looking for how to make this exact dress, then go here to my youtube tutorial!

I hope that you all had a great weekend,

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Friday, 18 October 2013

The Hamburglar (DIY Skirt)

Photos by Joshua Spolc

 Shirt - DIY | skirt - DIY | socks - thrifted | shoes - Chicory (Japan)
After taking these photos, one of my housemates made the observation that I looked like The Hamburglar with my hamburger necklace and stripey shirt (and cheesy orange socks?), and I was inclined to agree. The outfit was something I put on in a rush after making this skirt; the skirt being the whole point of this post! I think that this skirt needs to be paired with a tight black shirt rather than this one (or if anyone wants to suggest a type of shirt they think should be paired with it, please, fire away!) Anyway, I did just want to show off the skirt because it worked out so well. I have just bought a bunch of fabric from my favourite fabric place, Marrickville road (any aspiring Sydney sewers need to go there!), and I've been filling this Pinterest board with clothing-making inspiration, so I'm excited to start sewing again after these successes! Ah, the joys of procrastination... I'm only sewing so much lately because I have about 1 billion assignment deadlines looming. But they can wait. I want to make some pretty clothes.

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Sunday, 13 October 2013

Mickey Mouse Club & Virtual Clothes

Badge - thrifted | dress - c/o Chicwish | shirt - c/o OASAP | shoes - Asos.

A large, obnoxious and entirely irrelevant badge is sometimes what is needed to put the finishing touches on an otherwise casual, 90s-inspired outfit. Mickey Mouse is looking pretty badass next to that graffitied wall...

I want to jump right into some science today. Aside from 3D Printing, one technology that I am pretty excited about is augmented reality. Making computers "see" has been an insanely difficult task for computer scientists, nearly as difficult as making computers talk. The human visual system is incredibly complex - think about it, how does your brain recognize all those jumbles of lines, colours and shades as distinct objects, also taking into account your movement around those objects and the object's movement around you? You do it without even having to think about it, but as much as 30% of the brain is devoted to vision processing.
Image source and article.
But recently, computers have been learning to see a lot better. A group of scientists at the CSIRO have been working on technology that can accurately work out "landmarks" on people's faces in three-dimensions from a 2D video. This means a computer can recognise that a particular bunch of lines means lips, and that lips are separate from eyes, for example, from multiple angles. An application of this is placing virtual makeup, hats or glasses on people's faces.

Has anyone tried on virtual glasses? Heaps of sunglasses stores use virtual try-on rooms for glasses now, though the only time that I've tried it out the glasses went all glitchy and buzzed somewhat frighteningly around my head. A very disappointing introduction to augmented reality. But now the technology is improving, these researchers envision that soon we will have virtual changing rooms (there have already been pretty decent attempts), where with a webcam or phone, you can try on clothing from online retailers in your own house to make sure they fit. Which is pretty damn cool. (Also, you can already do things like put virtual furniture into your house, which you can see demonstrated by an incredibly odd IKEA family.)

Can't wait to do my first virtual reality outfit post... ;)

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Friday, 11 October 2013

Little Bo Peep DIY Dress

So it has come to that time of the year where I really need to start studying my butt off. Naturally, that means I start becoming extremely creative and productive in anything other than university work. Freckles and Ginger was last night's bad influence (whose instagram feed you need to follow if you're not already), who made me remember just how easy making dresses is. I free-handed this dress (meaning no pattern, I just made it up as I went along, woo hoo!) last night, and I'm so extremely happy with it! I think it's the best dress I've made, which is pretty good seeing as I haven't made one for over a year!

Also, I know this outfit totally goes against what I said in my last post about dressing more maturely, but I reserve the right the contradict myself. Anyway, I've changed my mind about that. I'm going to dress like a little kid if I want to - I'm never going to stop loving cutesy collars and prints, so why banish them from my everyday attire for fear of people judging me on them? That's just silly.
dress is handmade by me, socks are c/o Sock Dreams, blouse is thrifted, shoes are from Rubi Shoes and I forget where I got my necklace from.

I hope that you're all having a wonderful day,

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Norman Rockwell

This dress made me feel like I was really going for the whole "I'm dressing up as a little kid look". I think the whole outfit ended up a little too cutsey even for my tastes, haha. Though I can probably still just get away with it at 21, and the whole deal of my blog is "dress however the heck you want to dress and don't let nobody tell you otherwise", I'd like to think that my style has matured just a little bit since I was 15. Or 5. Next time I style this dress, I think I'll ditch the knee-high socks, mary janes and headband, in any case, and add some chunky black boots and a light blue headscarf.

Here's some gratuitous photos of me acting like a little kid, anyway.
dress is c/o Choies (artwork by Norman Rockwell), socks and necklace are from Clear It, shoes are from Yeswalker.

Photos are by Ana Andrés.

This dress is the last sponsored item sent to me after making the decision to forgo my possibly more unethical sponsors (which also shows you how long things take to ship to Australia!) that I have been obligated to blog about. And in case there was any confusion over why you might still see c/o's from those companies in my outfit lists, I'm hardly going to throw away all the clothes that I currently own (that would be more than wasteful and worse than buying them in the first place), and I believe that the readers of this blog are able to make their own decisions about whether or not to make purchases from such stores. So I will continue to provide a link where the item is still available (this dress is out of stock now anyway, so that's why there's no link up there!)

Today I wanted to share an awesome quote from Tim Minchin. (If you don't know who Tim Minchin is, go and educate yourself - he is absolutely hilarious and offensive, but he also makes you think. My favourite ever song/act of his is Storm).
p.s. I posted a giveaway earlier today. You should check it out.