Thursday, 31 July 2014

STYLE BATTLE featuring Mighty Mannie

I am so excited about these videos!! :'D
I have teamed up with the gorgeous youtuber MightyMannie for a style challenge - that very quickly turned into a battle because as we soon discovered, we're both really damn competitive!
(Unfortunately I also accidentally let slip about halfway through filming how many outfits I thought I had, so I think that made Mannie extra determined to beat me! Hehe)
But we both stretched our styling capabilities to the limit trying to beat each other, and this is the result. Enjoy!



Please watch and let us know what you think! We both had so much fun doing this :) Mannie is absolutely lovely and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to meet, chat with and work with this wonderful woman. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I love the internet. Go and check out Mannie's channel and blog!

Have a great day!

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Monday, 28 July 2014

Melbourne ♥

If you follow me on instagram then you may have already seen some of my photos from my trip to Melbourne last week! The polar opposite of my home city of Sydney, I completely fell in love with Melbourne in my short 4 days of visiting. It's such a pretty, interesting city, so I just wanted to share some of my favourite photos and places!

As all my friends had abandoned me for the uni break, I went with my mum - who suggested that we rename the trip "the Instagram holiday" because we basically just ended up visiting places suggested by lovely people on Instagram (and were never disappointed, thank you SO much alexvandenbroek, fentonjulia, sallylandillustration, frombelle, thatgirlinthatdress, misspolkadot_, sparklemiss, maevekerrc, ellielilac) and by my wonderful friend Leila.
The first place that I need to talk about is De Jour Jeans (542 Sydney Rd, Brunswick). They sell custom-fitted jeans for $53, and have the cutest shop assistants of all time! Even though it might not look like much, Dejour Jeans is extremely popular, and if you go on a Saturday there's usually a queue out the door! We were smart and went early on a Monday morning (and it was still really busy). 
But the best bit: you pick out a pair of jeans, and if they don't fit perfectly they tailor them for you for free!
Me wearing my new jeans!

Savers (330 Sydney Rd, Brunswick) - the largest op shop I've ever been in. I was a little bit overwhelmed. LOOK AT ALL OF THIS.

St Kilda/Brighton Beachhuts
I really felt like I was on a beach in England, especially because most of the time that we were there, the weather was quite gloomy!

One of the best things about Fitzroy was the street art! This was all found along Johnston St:
But of course, the absolute best thing about this area was all the vintage and handmade shops. Sadly I couldn't get to them all in one day, but I tried my hardest!
Above, Sally's Retro (203 Smith St Fitzroy). Below, Vintage Garage (318 Smith St, Collingwood).
The two streets to go to for some heavenly window shopping (and sneaky changing room selfies in dresses you're never going to buy) are Smith St and Fitzroy St (Gertrude St was also suggested to me, but it's more cafes!)

Messina Icecream (237 Smith St, Fitzroy)
Okay, so although Messina is something you can find in Sydney, I just thought the wall here was really cool.

The Laneways & The CBD
Lady Petrova (237 Flinders Lane)
I nearly died of excitement when I stumbled across Lady Petrova's real-life store. It was like stepping into pastel heaven. I took a billion pictures, talked to the cute shop assistant (Me: "OMG! You guys are amazing and you sponsor my friend in America aoifnsodginodffggjk" shop lady: "Yeah, sure we do....." *crazy lady*) and I also tried on a very pretty dress. The first thing I did upon leaving was to message Kailey about 1,000 pictures of the place, as she is the one who introduced me to the brand!

Quick Brown Fox (262 Flinder's Lane)
I bought myself the cutest little apple earrings from this store. I wanted ALL the earrings, though.

One of the coolest designers I have ever come across! Those tapestry shoes above have CLEAR platforms. There are a couple of stores scattered across Melbourne, and while it is pricey, I recommend you visit one just to look at all the pretty things.

Clementine's (7 Degraves St)
This store stocks the best handmade goodies, all made in Melbourne. The above brooch set is from a Melbourne designer named Bok Bok B'Gerk.

Retrostar Vintage (1/37 Swanston St)
The number of pretty dresses here nearly killed me - but somehow I was overcome by this incredible restraint, and I only bought 1 ring(???) 
I am kind of regretting not getting the stripey red dress though, even if it was a little bit too big...

On our last night we went to Soda Rock Diner (257 Toorak Rd, South Yarra), an authentic reconstruction of a 1950s diner! The thickshakes and cheesy fries were phenomenal!
I hope you enjoyed my little travel post! If you live in Australia and have never been; or if you are thinking of visiting Australia - GO TO MELBOURNE. That's all I can say. I seriously loved it almost as much as I loved Japan (and do you guys remember how much I loved Japan??!)

All of the love,

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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Harlequin Legs and Squid Suckers

Dress is thrifted | necklace is c/o Eclectic Eccentricity | similar tights in my store | shoes are from Japan | earrings handmade by me | lipcolour by LimeCrime (Wicked)

I love pattern mixing! I will forever ignore the silly "fashion rule" that you shouldn't wear more than one pattern at a time. Clashing patterns forever! Who's with me?

I am pretty happy with this thrift shop dress find, though. I've pretty much replaced my entire wardrobe through thrifting this year, which was a goal that I didn't think I'd be able to achieve! Of course, it helps when you know how to sew, and you're able to alter your finds to make them just a little bit better! Seriously, if you haven't gotten into sewing yet (WHY NOT?) you should give it a go! It will open up so many fashion possibilities for you (which I assume you're all interested in, being on this page and all). For me, it has meant that I can take anything from a thrift shop - mens shirts, plain skivvies, giant coats, you name it - and turn it into something awesome.

Electron scanning microscopes are wonderful. They not only allow us to see things with much more clarity than traditional light microscopes, but they can see smaller too. Electron microscopes can see things down to 1 nanometre in size. That's 1 billionth of a metre. You may have seen cool pictures of hair follicles via electron scanning microscopy.

So this is a cool demonstration of electron scanning microscopy. Above is a normal underwater photograph of a squid's suckers. Pretty cool; squids = cool.

But guess what these suckers look like when you get up close? Very close.
Image credit: Jessica Schiffman and Caroline Schauer, Drexel University

This is a "false coloured" image, so keep in mind that they're not actually green, but other than that this is exactly what those suckers look like close up! THEY LOOK LIKE LITTLE MONSTERS. I actually think they're kinda cute.
The suckers of the squid have these little "teeth" to aid their suction, helping the squid stick to things.

And this is also just one of the many reasons that I will absolutely never, ever eat squid.

That's it from me! I hope that you're all having a lovely day,

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Friday, 25 July 2014

Ask & Answer (and Alliteration!) with Annika

Hi! I'm just popping in today to post here (if you haven't already seen it) the Q & A video that I did a couple of days ago (my first vlog, omg)!

p.s. thank you so much for all your lovely, wonderful comments on my last post. They really meant the world to me. Some of you may have even made me cry (in a good way!) Words cannot express how grateful I am, so just... thank you.

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Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Three Year Blog Birthday! // The Journey So Far

Three years ago today I sat down at a computer, made myself a blogspot account, then roped my boyfriend into taking pictures of me in my new Asos dress. I then proceeded to make a fairly amateur first post, the formatting of which now makes me cringe. And all I got for my efforts was a single seedy comment.
But slowly my blog began to blossom - I became obsessed with online shopping, was introduced to the world of lookbook and chictopia (which helped people to find my blog in the first place), and started posting outfits once a week.
Inspired by other bloggers and the then very-popular galaxy look, I tried out my very first DIY.
Very shortly after beginning to blog, however, I was diagnosed with a very scary and life-threatening illness, which was to become a very large part of my life - certainly not a defining feature of who I am, but still something that I continue to battle every day.

This space then became so much more than a fashion blog to me - it became my place to escape.

Some days all that I was able to do was to throw on a pretty outfit, take some photos, and then be utterly exhausted. But it gave me something to do, some sort of purpose, rather than lie around in bed feeling defeated and sorry for myself.
At first, you wouldn't have been able to tell I was sick (such is both the blessing and the curse of having an invisible illness), but slowly the medications that I was taking took their toll - my weight shot up, my face ballooned and my hair began to thin. So I dyed my hair and hid my face, terrified that people would discover that I "wasn't normal", but determined to keep blogging no matter what happened. Dressing up and doing DIYs became a sort of therapy for me.
I got my first ever sewing machine, and started making my own clothes - the above picture shows the very first circle skirt that I ever attempted! While the hem was completely uneven and I had to wear it with a belt for it to stay up, I was beyond excited that it was possible for me to make my own clothes. For valentines day in 2012, I wrote my first DIY tutorial.
Companies took notice of me, and decided that they wanted to start sending me clothes for free, which was basically the most exciting thing in the world right then. Super enthusiastic, I signed up with about 20 companies - then realised that was way too much work/pressure, so I stepped back a little and became a bit more selective.
I discovered wigs...
Started actually working with aforementioned websites like chictopia on style campaigns...
And at the end of 2012, I started blogging about science!
I wrote for the Scientific American, was a guest on one of my favourite science podcasts and met a whole community of scientists and science-lovers who also adored vintage and loved to craft!

I met up with one of my favourite bloggers, Ashley of Candy Kawaii Lover in Japan, proving just how much of the world blogging had opened up for me. Ashley showed me around Kobe, and we became good friends - meeting up a second time when she visited Australia!
In 2013, I moved out of home, and was asked to be in a magazine. Shortly before the release date, I was asked if I would actually like to be on the COVER of the magazine itself! And so this happened:
I started thinking more carefully about my impact on the world and my fashion choices, and how the two were intertwined. Just under a year ago, I decided that I was no longer going to support/buy from companies that were possibly manufacturing their clothing in sweatshops. I had a complete overhaul of how I viewed fashion, but also aimed to prove that I could still maintain the same style solely through thrifting, DIY and shopping more ethically.
I started writing for Birdee Magazine at the end of last year, and this year I branched out into the world of video blogging and started my own youtube channel, on which I have just hit the milestone of 10,000 subscribers. This is both awesome and mind-boggling - as my "film studio" consists of me sitting in a very awkward spot where the light is just right in the middle of my kitchen.
But the best part about my three years of blogging?

You guys. (Awww)

Seriously though, it is! I will never be able to thank you all enough the love and support and lovely comments and "fan-art" and emails that have made me cry - to know that I have touched the lives of so many people in such a positive way is the greatest feeling of all. And in return, you guys have made such a positive impact on me!
So that's three years of The Pineneedle Collective (Happy Birthday, blog!) and I am very much looking forward to what the next three years has in store!

All of the love in the world,

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