July 31, 2012

Le Fotografie of Late

Uni started yesterday, and I'm oh so pumped for all my units. I'm studying both the politics and the history of the United States, a country that absolutely fascinates me, as well as the usual Italian unit which seems to be getting more and more enjoyable as time goes by.

I am already wondering though how I ever managed to work, exercise, cook food, maintain some semblance of a social life whilst overloading at uni (thank goodness I'm not trying that trick again) AND find the time to maintain this little blog here**.

So, while I get back into the swing of things again, I'm going to go for a lazy little le fotografie post, because I haven't done that in a while :)

The Greenhouse in Perth City for lunch with a friend.
I'd highly recommend it!!

Leek Tart, House-Cured Bacon and Goats Curd.
Omnomnom :D

Just a casual photo of a  tree trunk,
you know, as you do.

Organic black kale. HOW COOL IS THIS??
I'm completely in love with it.

As much as we need rain what with this being one of the driest winters in my lifetime,
I really have enjoyed soaking up the blue winter skies with various novels this holidays :)

The usual backpackers braving the freezing winter waters :D
Only in Australia...

Catching up with high school friends :)

Got a new computer and had to rip all my CDs for the millionth time.
"The analog format has worked 'just fine' since the days of Louis Armstrong
 onto The Beatles and through to the White Stripes. Don't fix it if it ain't broken!"
Massive kudos to Stewart Levine and Jamie Cullum!!

Hope you're all well!! I'll find the time to come and visit your spaces soon, promise :)

Over and out.
Rhi xx

**Not that I've been doing a very good job of that lately. I'm sorry everyone! Life just got in the way, and I've been nursing a few injuries - my shoulder's back to its usual self which is rather scary and my ankle realised it missed the boat with dislocato girl and has decided to make up for it by swelling up into a balloon for no apparent reason - which means I've spent most of my spare time with my ankle elevated while trying to sit up with good posture. Oh me oh my...

July 25, 2012

Op Shop Decor: Katie Cracker Nuts

Today I am super excited to be hosting an op shop related guest post from Katie of Katie Cracker Nuts. From reading through this post - more than once, it's pretty awesome - I think Katie must be one of the most hardcore op shoppers that I have come across. The amount of things she manages to thrift is, well, nuts! Sorry, I just had to go there... :P

It has really inspired me to delve further into op shops than just the clothing section and see what treasures I can find, whether they be for decoration, to put to use in the kitchen or whatever else it may be (like the set of drawers my room has been crying out for for the past few years).

Rhianna is facing a new challenge. It's to live simply, save her pennies and avoid buying anything new. It's not a new concept, by any means, but it's certainly an honourable one.

I get where she's coming from. As a uni student, a young cadet journalist and then as a step-parent to four there wasn't much cash around. Journalists aren't paid the grand sums people imagine but for a good many of us, that's a-okay.

I've not been poor either. In fact, I think I am paid quite handsomely to do what I do. That said, I'm thrifty by nature and I do love the thrill of chasing down a one-in-a-million op shop find, what I call an #opshopscore, if you happen to follow me on Twitter.

However, when Rhianna asked me to post about building household decor around op-shopped and thrifted finds I did ponder whether I was the girl for the job. Most of my #opshopscores are worn. I have a diverse and ever-evolving wardrobe of pieces that cost me next to nix.

When I looked around my home and did a mental count of what was from an op shop I was, er, quite surprised. I think it's fair to say, our decor is op shop chic.

How did I do it? Hmmm, quite by accident... apparently. No, that's not true. I have a natural aesthetic for 1970s decor. There are the arty tones of russet browns, olive green, natural fibre and the home made. This stuff is probably the main stock range of most op shops.

I am a sucker for gathering things together in a collection: my partner calls them "little scenes". The West German pottery looks great together but loses impact as individual pieces. Even when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I pick a theme and collect what's needed to bring it together. Last Christmas I collected crystal and etched glassware from op shops and placed candles in each as a seasonal display. It looked so pretty and cost me a good deal less than modern fairy lights.

As for the functional thing I do buy linen - particularly pillow slips and good old solid flat sheets - from the op shop. I am always surprised how well older linens stand up to the years and a good wash and airing does them wonders.

Our bath towels are almost all from the op shop. You can't go past the old Aussie Dri-Glo cotton towel.

It's the same with linen tea-towels. What can be better than a cloth someone else has worn in to superior drying territory? Again, the older the vintage, the better they stand up to the trials of family life.

Our dinner set is from an op shop, all our cutlery, mugs, tea cups and tea pots. (If you find the old Britdis brand with copper bottoms, grab them. They make a beaut cuppa.) We have a great op-shopped soup pot and two cast iron skillets of different sizes. I bought one for $8 and found later it sells for a little less than $200 retail.

It's funny, the morning before Katie sent me this post,
I'd been telling a friend how much I wanted Le Creuset wares!!
Op Shopping it is!! :D

In fact, right now, I am hunting a squat stove-top soup pot after the lids of ours finally gave way following 15 years of service. I will find one and know I don't need to head to a department store to pay retail.

I am always, always amazed at what people will give away to op shops**. The better part of my kitchenware - that is the expensive branded stuff - all came from op shops. In most cases, it was as good as new. It doesn't, to me, make sense not to op shop.

Ah, but who's got the time, I hear you ask? That is true. You can walk into a department store and walk out with exactly what you want or need. Not so in an op shop.

You do have to hunt. But, again, if you follow me on Twitter, the op shopping fraternity can help. If you're looking for something in particular Tweet what it is with the hashtag #opshopfind - as in "I need to find". If you've "found" something particular in an op shop that you known someone else would like, take a picture, or Tweet a description with the hashtag #opshopfound. If you found it, you love it and you bought it, share your good fortune with the hashtag #opshopscore.

The Twitterverse will reTweet your op shopping adventures, I promise.

It's an inspiring post right? I'll be signing up for a twitter account tomorrow and putting on my op shopping game face :D Can't wait!!

Thanks again Katie - show her some love by visiting her space people :)

**Speaking of, I was trawling through the Salvos in Perth City last week (posts of my #opshopscores to arrive later this week), and clothes with Pigeonhole tags were popping up all over the place! I got talking to one of the volunteers there and apparently Pigeonhole (who are responsible for a few of my favourite shops arounds this little city) donated en masse of old stock. It's safe to say, the volunteer was pretty rapt and I was more than a little impressed myself.

I'm a big believer in trying to do good things quietly, it's how I've been raised, which means I find it even more important to give people a shout out when you discover they've done something fantastic like this. Not only are the lovely dudes and ladies over at Pigeonhole donating to charity, they're also helping out poor uni students like myself to dress with some style :P So a huge thanks to them from all the people they've unknowingly helped out :)

Over and out.
Rhi xx

***All photos courtesy of Katie Cracker Nuts

July 21, 2012

Food Glorious Food

This weeks Keep It Simple Stupid cooking adventure was a reinvention of the banana split... Sort of.

In high school, I was part of the mock trials team, and in year 12, we won the overall competition which was pretty exciting. We went out to breakfast at a lovely cafe in Cottesloe to celebrate, and most of us were sparing with our orders because we didn't want to spend too much, so a friend and I shared the most amazing pancakes with double cream, maple syrup and grilled bananas. I could've devoured more than one plate of that dish all by myself - it was so good! Then it comes time to pay and we all whip out our wallets and our teacher goes, 'girls, what are you doing? We got $500 for winning the comp, so I thought I'd use it for breakfast.' You can imagine the collective sigh that ensued - we all would've eaten so much more!!

But ah well, that seems like a very long time ago now, and ever since that day I've wanted another chance to experience grilled banana like that. Every time I see a banana I think of it, it's rather ridiculous. So today, after I successfully grilled a crazy amount of veggies for dinner, I decided to give it a crack but this time in the form of a wintery banana split (because it really is quite cold today). It was pretty tasty :D

If you fancy making one for yourself, here's what you've gotta do (or you could just make up your own, it's really that simple!)

1. Slice banana in half, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.
2. Melt butter in a griddle pan, and place the banana flesh side down on the grill for as long as you so desire. About half way through, add roughly chopped walnuts to dry roast.
3. Put it all on a plate with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or two, and some shaved chocolate.

Buon appetito!!
Rhi xx

PS. I've also been watching movies this week, although some have been of the 'boy movie' variety... I grew up watching TV with my Dad so the action movies can't really be helped! :P

I cannot recommend this enough!
I'm a little in love with both Ewan McGregor
and Melanie Laurent.

If you want to feel tense, watch this.
Despite that (and all the average reviews) I actually quite enjoyed it.

PPS. A new guest post shall be arriving shortly and it's absolutely brilliant!!! Stay tuned :D

Happy Saturday! :)

July 19, 2012

Freo on Ice

I wanna go ice-skating tonight, and tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that!! I didn't break (injure) anything! And it was so much fun :D Believe it or not it was colder off the ice than on it, silly winter, and it was great dodging through people and skating round and round after finding my feet. The ice cream we had afterwards at dolce vita in Fremantle wasn't too shabby either :P

Note to self: iPhones not good for taking pictures of fast moving people :P

July 18, 2012

Today was a day for...

Today was a day for catching up with friends, and traipsing along paths surround by trees with big, overarching branches.

And tonight is a night for... get ready for it... ice skating! :D

Eat your heart out, Dislocato Girl!

Life is slowly but surely becoming an adventure again. Wish me luck!

July 16, 2012

Le Fotografie e il Cibo

I've been a-cooking and it's been oh so much fun! My ever-lovely friend Chloe bought me paella rice from Spain! :O I was whinging about a tiny amount of proper paella rice costing exorbitant amounts over in Perth land (think $25 for a teensy little jar) and so she came back from Europe with this for me! Greatest gift :D

I finally got around to cooking up a batch of chicken paella with it the other day and oh my it was tasty.

Chocolate (the dog) would've liked to try some as well :P

Next of the cooking adventures was completely organic Pumpkin and Fetta Ravioli with Three Cheese & Nutmeg sauce from scratch and with no recipe!! :D Given how few times me and my friend, Michael (below) have made pasta from scratch before it was a bit scary, especially cause we didn't have a pasta maker so we had to roll it all out with a rolling pin.

It all paid off though and turned out pretty fantastically, if I do say so myself, even if I didn't take a photo because it was so darn ugly :P

For the pasta we were going to use a recipe, but then Duncan, one of the owners of Dark Star Coffee, told me I should just use 100g of flour to 1 egg, knead it together, stick it in the fridge for half an hour and it'd be good to go (once it's rolled out obviously). Try it people! It's awesome.

For the filling we fried off two small onions, some pumpkin (who knows how much) and some nutmeg, mashed it up and chopped in some feta.

Finally, 1 tbsp of flour mixed in with 1 tbsp of melted butter (while still on the heat), stirring the whole time, and then add milk seriously slowly (stirring, stirring, stirring), and once your happy with the viscosity, add so much cheese!! Easy peasy!

And then there's just a couple photos of the seriously amazing house Michael is house-sitting, because I couldn't resist. Have a great week everyone :) Rhi xx

July 13, 2012

It's been a while.

Last night a friend who I respect, and who is a really genuine guy, said something nice about my writing, and I'm still feeling pretty chuffed. Just the thought of it makes me smile a little. It's funny the difference that just one sentence of recognition can make.

Again, it made me remember that this was initially a space for writing, and it's been a while since I've updated you on Jim and Sam, so here's a little more, but instead about someone they know, someone I don't think I've introduced to you yet, but who makes an impact in her own way. Friends, meet Laura.

*   *   *   *   *

via pinterest

She remembered back. A day celebrating a birthday. A day spent eating too much good food and drinking too many beers. She smiled to herself.

But then she remembered the photos. When she saw them, she thought they looked like the photos of lovers. They weren't artistic or beautiful, they weren't groundbreaking or shocking, but they had a hint of intimacy. They were the photos of lovers except she couldn't feel anything but a slight tenderness, some kind of detached compassion. 

And suddenly, she realised, if she lived that day again, but with Jim, her feelings would have been exactly the same. In this rare moment of clarity, Laura realised what she had to do and the small smile triggered by memory was gone as soon as it had arrived.

Telling Conviction to wait...

This past week I've learnt what it means to feel like your heart is telling you something - I've learnt why people say we love and feel from our heart. Every time I go to work, or sit down to do something, I feel like I'm in the wrong place. I thoroughly enjoy my work, but it's like this feeling is swelling out of my chest and I can't stop it - it's taking over my whole being and telling me I'm in the wrong place. It's telling me I need to start doing the one thing that I'm certain I want to do in trying to help the people of India. How do you tell that kind of overpowering emotion and certainty that's coming from a place you didn't even know existed that it has to wait? That in a years time, I'll be there starting to work in earnest on all of my plans, but for the moment I just have to sit tight? It's exciting and nerve-wracking and such a good feeling but how I wish I could be there right now...

A 3-year old orphan with the most beautiful smile :)

Being ripped off by the auto drivers.

Silk Looms.

The Valley.

July 11, 2012

A Lot Like Love

Setting a goal to watch a new movie a week is kind of awesome. I would highly recommend it. I get to the end of a day working two jobs, when I've forced myself out of bed before even the sun has poked a few rays out to say hello, trekked it to one job, worked for a little while, trekked it to the other job, worked for a little while, come home and felt knackered*. And then I remember that I made it a goal to watch a new movie or two a week and so I plonk down on the couch or hide under my covers with my mac and live vicariously through some happy, some crazy, some downright wondrous, fictitious characters for the night. It's truly glorious.

source via google image search

Recommended by the lovely Hannah from Raspberry Kitsch a little while ago :)
source via google image search
*I swear that's not how it's spelt, but google says otherwise :P

July 10, 2012

Guest Post: Sew Much To Say

Woo! I'm so excited guys - my first guest post is here!! Who knew that all I had to do was click the html button for it to work! (You wouldn't believe I'm a child of the 90s and a blogger given my minimal internet knowledge) :P

This is the first of the monthly guest posts I've lined up for the 6 months of my Op-Shop Challenge. The idea is to hopefully inspire you all a little more, give you some great thrifty ideas and get you excited about pre-loved wares!

A massive, massive thank you to Amanda Rose from Sew Much to Say who has written about altering thrifted/op-shopped clothes (which she is wonderful at!) for me. It's something I've never done but always admired, and if you're feeling like it, it gives you a massive advantage when it comes to thrifting! Make sure you head over to her blog for more rad ideas :D I'll shut up now, over to Amanda Rose! :D

Hello, there! I'm Amanda Rose and I blog over at Sew Much To Say. I'm into everything from trying to learn to bake something new every week to making quilts for my dorm room. Rhi asked me to share a little with all of you about altering thrifted clothing to make it your own. I am honored to be doing a guest post, especially on a topic that I am so passionate about! 

First of all, a little bit about me: I am all about good style at an even better price. Believe it or not, I only go shopping at a store about once or twice a year. Most of my clothes are either given to me by other people or thrifted. A lot of the time people give me clothes that fit them but, have a little something wrong with them that they don't know how to fix themselves. So I take the misfit clothes, sew them, hem them, and then wear them. 

This dress is made out of an old 1950's dress and brown denim jeans..given to me and the latter was thrifted.

This dress I made entirely out of thrifted ties. 

Today I'll tell you how to make your own lace shorts from thrifted jeans. First of all, you have to find a pair of jeans at your favorite thrift store! They don't have to fit your legs lengthwise, just your waist. For example, I bought a pair of flared jeans for about 5 bucks that were too short on me. So, I made them into these shorts.
Next, measure with a fabric measuring tape exactly how long you want them. Look at your other pairs of shorts and decide based on how long you like your shorts to be. Take into consideration whether or not you want the bottoms of your shorts folded up at the bottom. Then, put a mark on each leg the same length down. I usually measure from the inner seam down and from a mark on the pocket down. This way you have a measurement on the inside and outside of the leg. Remember, measure twice, cut once. This ensures you don't cut them crooked! 
Finally, use a ruler and cut from your outer mark to your inner mark on each leg. The back of the leg will end up a little longer than the front. This is normal.
Last but not least, fold your hem under and stitch it with a basting stitch on your machine. This just means the biggest stitch your machine has. If you don't have a machine just loosely stitch the hem by hand. Next, take your lace strip and line it up with the hem, lace side out. Sew over your first row of stitching with a smaller stitch. Try to get some lace that has folded over edge for your to sew, that way the lace doesn't fray when you wash it.

Let me know if you try it and how they turn out!