Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bean to... Singapore

Here are some photos from my recent trip to Singapore, including snaps from the indie boutiques on Haji Lane, the National Museum of Singapore and Little India. I took all of these with my Digital Harinezumi. I love this camera -- its snaps have a faded, nostalgic, somewhat surreal quality.

A hanger in Collage

Vintage dresses in Victoria Jomo

Lemonade on Haji Lane

Children Little Museum

Bird at the Red Dot Design Museum

From the shopping bag exhibit


Window in the photography gallery

A wedding dress

Girl's slippers in Little India

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Felting of Frankengeorge

Last month, I decided to achieve my lifelong (okay, four months long) dream of felting my cat... as in, needle felting a miniature version of him. Hands Tailung, a cool Japanese department store, had felt sculpture kits, including one for a ginger-spotted cat. I figured all I needed to do was make a few modifications.

Japanese instructions for Frankengeorge

Chinese instructions... 7 pages longer than the Japanese ones!

The weird thing about the kit was that even though the original Japanese instructions only took up two pages, the Chinese instructions had NINE sheets. They were only printed on one side of each page and every other (double-spaced)
sentence basically said "refer to diagram in Japanese instructions." Talk about inefficiency!


The kit came with wool and two beady glass eyes (I bought a new pair because the included eyes were just a little too beady). To this pile, I added my special ingredient -- our cat's very own fur!

A lock of Taroko George's own fur

This tuft is the result of several vigorous brushings and is almost an exact match for the ginger-colored wool in the kit.



This is my first felted sculpture (aside from a watermelon-shaped pincushion I made once), so it came out a little lumpy looking. But I like to think I did a good job of capturing Taroko George's crazy essence!






Taroko George was certainly fascinated by Frankengeorge. I think the fact that Frankengeorge smelled like a mixture of wool, my hands and his own fur really confused/intrigued my cat. The two had to be separated after Taroko George tried to gnaw Frankengeorge's head off.

If any of you decide to try needle felt sculpting, I strongly recommend that you buy a protective leather glove. It's a pill spending US$15 to US$20 for one, but it sure beats being stabbed by little barbed needles (ouch!).

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

What I'm Sproutin': Vintage Regression

Dress: Forever 21, leggings: American Apparel, shoes: Aldo, cardigan: Banana Republic

This is a dress I purchased at Forever 21 when I was back in California for our wedding last May. I really liked the vintage-y print and silhouette -- that is, the dress would have a vintage silhouette if it weren't so short and the armholes weren't so deep that I have to wear a cardigan over it to preserve my dignity. I've read that one of the things fast-fashion stores do to save money is to skimp on fabric by making cuffs shorter and skirts shorter. Over a thousand mass-produced shirts or so, that saves a lot of material (while widening profit margins). I don't know how that works with armholes, though, because wouldn't the leftover material be so awkwardly shaped you wouldn't be able to use it for anything else? Maybe gaping armholes are a trend I don't understand. Anyway, my giant grandpa cardi came to the rescue. I love this one because it's a very thin linen blend and I can wear it on warm days.

I'll be quiet on the blogging and commenting front because I'm off to Singapore for a few days today! It'll be a busy trip because it's technically for work, but I'm going with a friend and intend to make the most of it!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

What I'm Sproutin': Sorbet Noir

Vintage dress: easystreetvintage @ Etsy, cardigan: American Apparel, scarf: Muji, belt: J. Crew outlet, vintage necklace and tights: night market, shoes: Aldo, purse: Hayden Harnett for Target, earrings: Target

Today the sun came out and the temperature went up a bit (it was 8 to 10 degrees Celsius yesterday in Taipei), so I decided to celebrate by breaking out my rainbow dress.


I dressed to match Mr. Dragonfly behind me.


I also wore a pair of giant white filigree earrings, but the hooks started bothering me after a few minutes. I have to swap them out for sterling silver ones. I've been getting more sensitive to nickel and other base metals since hitting my mid-twenties. Does anyone else have this problem?


My dress is handmade, from the 1980s (I think) and has HUGE puffy sleeves. Here is a picture from the seller:

I thought I might be able to get away with them, but I think I'll have to cut them off or otherwise alter them into ordinary short sleeves or maybe flutter sleeves (though that might also be too much). I was also thinking I should shorten the dress (by removing the bottom horizontal rows, shortening the main skirt and then reattaching the self-trim), but I actually like this length with heels. I often do this with dresses in my "to alter" pile. Instead of working on them, I drag them out, shake out the wrinkles and just wear it as is. Sometimes laziness works out!

Monday, March 8, 2010

What I'm Sproutin': Ruby Re-mix

Dress: Urban Lotus Boutique at Etsy, shoes: Re-Mix Vintage shoes, belt: Forever 21

I am very excited because I just bought a new flash for my camera from Big Camera (相機王), my favorite photography equipment store in Taipei, and can now take indoor photos on cloudy days. Woohoo! Now all I need to do is figure out how to take good indoor photos. My dress is from Urban Lotus Boutique on Etsy. I'm not sure how old it is, but it has a very cool print and a Peter Pan collar. Here's a close-up from the seller:

The hem looks uneven in the photo above, but it isn't. Here's another view. You can also see how much my cat loves me.


My shoes are the highlight of my outfit -- they are from Re-Mix Vintage Shoes and are reproductions of 1940s wedges. I bought them at The Bee's Knees on Piedmont Ave. in Oakland when we were in California for our wedding last May.


They are very comfortable, but I keep falling off of them when I walk because of my over-pronated feet (they roll inwards). I bought motion stabilizing New Balance running shoes that are made specifically for over-pronators, but I still get shin splints in the inner front of my calves when I run, so I have to watch my gait. I guess I just have to learn how to walk/run correctly!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What I'm Sproutin': Gingham to me

*Reposted with photos you can actually see. Thanks to Elaine for pointing that out to me!

Vintage shirt dress: bvikki vintage, tights: Urban Outfitters, shoes: Aldo, cardigan: Muji, belt: Forever 21?, squirrel necklace: Haoshi (close-up photo here)

These photos were taken before Lunar New Year! It seems so long ago. I can't believe it's already March. I'll have to start planning my summer wardrobe soon. It get so hot and humid in Taiwan during the summer that dressing becomes an art. The hard part is that I don't like sleeveless tops or t-shirts and I'm not a big fan of shorts or short skirts. So that pretty much knocks out 90% of my options. I might just have to buy more vintage shirt dresses.


This will have to be short post because our cat, Taroko George, is playing a game called "knocking stuff off of stuff," but I just want to add that my dress is from bvikki vintage. Becca also keeps an amazing blog of the same name that compiles images from vintage African-American publications.