August 27, 2012

Op Shop Shoot: A Birthday

I took secondhand to the extreme and used a brown paper bag for wrapping paper :P
The little box at the front is a present from my Madre.
Mum's present beat everything I got combined :P

Something I was dreading when I started this challenge was buying presents. The thought horrified me, but I went with it anyway. As luck would have it, the first birthday presents I've had to buy are for my super rad friend, whose face has appeared on this space more than once, Nageena.

We've only been friends for a year and a half, but this kid has been there for me through the thick and the thin, no matter what. We have become the annoying kids who get tipsy after a drink and a half and decide it's a good idea to run fully clothed (think jeans and jumpers) into the freezing cold winter ocean together, and are happy just laughing at ourselves while everyone else looks on in horror. Our coffee tolerance seems to go up and down at the same time, and even though we're both dreadful at it, we're always good for a very long, very serious game of pool.

At the same time, there is an understanding that sometimes one of us will just need some space, and so we'll leave each other alone, but I know that if I really need it, she'll pick up her phone at 2am in the morning anyway to let me rant about something, while she is nice and forgiving... Up until the next morning when she'll kill me for waking her up that is :P

So, while I knew Nageena (i.e. Geeny Maskeeny - don't kill me!) would probably laugh at me if the present failed, the pressure was still on cause I really wanted to get her something lovely.

My Mum & Nageena have the same, excellent taste.
It's mildly ridiculous, but it means I know to listen to them both
when they say something isn't quite right :P

While out and about trying to find gifts like those I'd imagined, I realised the trick for this kind of thing is really to go out without any assumptions or ideas of what you'll get, and go a week or two before with loads of time to browse just in case you don't find anything the first time round (I'll know this one for next time).

Also, get creative. It doesn't have to be little trinkets or something that will necessarily last forever. The flowers, using the twine from the wrapping as bracelets and getting a good friend we don't see much of to come along to breakfast as a surprise were probably Nageena's favourite parts of the gift (I think).

But most importantly, as it is with all gifts, forget about yourself - in this instance, you don't matter in the slightest - and think about who it is you're celebrating. Because odds are, if they're the type of friend who you're willing to spend hours and hours traipsing around op shops for, then they're pretty darn special and they deserve to have a day that's all about them.

So Happy Birthday Nageena! Thanks for being so rad and I hope your day was lovely :)

August 26, 2012

Op Shop Shoot: Book Haul

Ever since I started my op shop challenge, I haven't been able to restrain myself when I see a second hand book store. You can imagine then how excited I was when I walked into the Save the Children book sale at uni early last week and there were piles of lovely pre-loved books going for $2 or $3 a piece.

If I had my way, I would've bought out half the shop but given I'm a poor uni student and my somewhat damaged shoulders couldn't quite cope with the ones that I bought, it wasn't going to happen. Regardless, when this pile of books greets me as I walk into my room, I can't help but feel content.

The little blue patterned hardback is a copy of Pride & Prejudice.
Most definitely my favourite find, not that I needed another copy or anything :P
The red book on the top is Great Expectations.
The other red hardcover, Sherlock Holmes. 

My love of books at this stage of my life is probably madness. I already read upwards of 300 pages of academic reading a week for uni study (I've gone a bit hardcore this semester), so you'd think I'd avoid more words like the plague, but there is something about the feel and smell of old fabric bound hardbacks, or of soft paperbacks that will stay open under the pressure of just my thumb as I start to fall asleep, its stories still finding their way into my mind.

Staying up late with nothing but a good novel and the whirring of an electric fan in summer, or snuggled under a thousand blankets in winter, is one of the pure and simple joys of life, and I'm thankful to my op shopping challenge every day for fuelling that.

Speaking of, check out this fantastic book store Mum & I found today!
Take a step further and I would've been in a little room created by bookshelves :D
The place was utter chaos and I kind of wanted to just sit getting lost in the stories for a day or two.

August 24, 2012

Le Fotografie: When Words Fail

My brain has been a mess. My politics mid-semester exam coming up on Monday and the confusing new Italian grammar points I've been trying to cram into my brain post-flu have left me little time for this space.

But when words fail me, I have my photos.

I still haven't worked my way through a roll of film yet on the Pentax. I carry it around with me but I'm a little scared of wasting those precious pieces of film - if only I wasn't a poor uni student and the stuff didn't cost so much! Still, one of these days I promise I'll get those photos up. Whether the results are good or bad I expect it shall be a lot of fun :D

Until then, iPhone & Camera+ edited photos it is! :)

From the Op Shop Shoot.
Nageena (left) was the photographer.
Lauren (right) was the director (i.e. helped me to not look awkward).
Love these two kids :D

Some more great friends.

One of the favourite parts of my house.

The lolly shop I work at moved from the dodgy end of the shopping centre
to the not so dodgy part of the shopping centre.
My favourite part though? This giant sky light.

Melaleuca Tree.
One of my absolute favourites.

The Mum and the not-so-little brother.
He was one of the first two kids at his school this week to be awarded honours.
So proud!!

Winter's leaf-less trees and incredible sunsets.

Dinner with la famiglia at our favourite fish pub :P
I love our family dinners because it always results in insanity and a lot of laughter.
Favourite quote of the night, younger brother, Scott, to oldest brother, James,
"You slightly resemble a fish."

And on that note, I'm going to bed. It's 12.46am down under and I probably should've been in a bed an hour ago :P Have a fantastic weekend!

Over and out.
Rhi :) xx

PS. Thank you to all for the lovely comments to me in real life, on my personal Facebook and on this space on the recent start to my "Do What You Love" series. It's so exciting to hear that what I've written has helped you in some way or is just something that you've loved reading.

Can't wait to hear more about your dreams and plans, or about your thoughts and not-so-plans. Either way, so far you've all been fantastic!

Stay rad!

August 20, 2012

Do What You Love: Retirement, Stickybeaks & the Information Revolution

As the result of a few weeks of thought, and something that has been building up inside of me for many years, the following words should almost definitely be taken with a grain of salt - they're idealistic and hopeful (with a teensy pinch of realism), but it's the way I like to think about my world. I'm so aware of the fact that plans don't always work out, and people have to make sacrifices in order to keep going, but that's not the point of this series. It's an encouragement to everyone out there to pursue something that intrigues or fascinates them, that they are passionate about and that gets them excited when it pops up in conversation, even if it's something as small as enjoying a daily cup of coffee.

Taken from my Pinterest

*   *   *   *   *

I know that myself and many of my friends, by the age of 14 or 15, felt like we had to know what we were going to do with our lives, but we also felt like we were too young to do anything of substance because whenever we talked about it or attempted to start something, it was met by incredulity from the older generations. I can't even begin to explain the feelings of confusion that that combination of pressure and lack of support brings.

Since graduating from high school, the pressure only seems to have mounted, with many more people coming out of the woodwork to make your life their business - they question your choices and your life plans (or lack thereof). They ask you when you're going to move out, what age you want to have bought a house & committed yourself to a crippling mortgage because apparently that's a necessity. They want to know how many kids you want, why you aren't in a long term committed relationship yet, and what your plans are for retirement.

You see friends and peers coming into their own, declared at the ripe old age of 19 or 20 to be a success or failure and, wait what? Back up! You want me to start thinking about retirement??

As a kid who is beginning to realise that these people can all f**k off because I know what's right for me and I'll stick to my guns, I've been thinking a lot about what the factors are that almost force kids into feeling the need to stop being kids by the already traumatic age of 14 to consider the options that will lead them to old age and a life of regrets at all the missed opportunities. 

Looking back, I can see that most of these feelings, because let's face it there's always been those frustrating stickybeaks, comes down to the Information Revolution. From so young an age we as Gen Y have been exposed to more information than we can even begin to comprehend. We know that anything we want to know about can be found with minimal effort - a few words typed into google and something should surface sooner or later - but more often than not it just leaves us feeling lost, overwhelmed and not knowing where to begin.

Add to this that we are, and always have been, constantly bombarded with information by the media, for a lot of us all day every day, and our prospects of living out our time as contented laid-back kids goes from bad to worse. Facebook, magazines, news sites, celebrity gossip, advertisements - these things are all part of our daily routine, and more often than not, they are telling us what we need to do or who we need to be like. 

Combine this utter bombardment with being questioned over our retirement plans before we even have a chance to get a steady job, and it's easy to feel like there is no way out. So how on earth do we overcome the confusion, sort through the information, ignore the stickybeaks and get on with our lives as we choose?

The answer to this is something that I'm still working on, but seeing as I am already responsible for encouraging an awful lot of kids to pursue the path that they want to instead of the one that will lead them to a well-paying job that's respectably high strung, I suppose I shall just continue along that line.


I've been in well paid jobs and been praised by all the nosy people out there for my good sense, but felt miserable, and I've been in jobs doing what I love that pay not enough to afford even my coffee addiction and been heavily criticised for it, and yet have felt content and secure in myself and in my decisions. Not to say that well paid jobs can't be enjoyable or even the right path, but just that if that well paid job is the one that makes you happy, then consider yourself lucky.

So, by all means talk to people that you trust about any plans that you may have**, whether you feel heavily convicted to follow them, they're just vagaries in the back of your mind or they're yet to even surface and your life plan, at the moment, is a blank canvas. Their ideas and input are often invaluable, and these are generally the people who will also encourage you to follow your own convictions. But for heaven's sake, if all they're interested in is how much money they expect you to be earning or what car you want to buy when you have a mid-life crisis, then run! Or maybe offer to take them out for a drink and use the chance to question them about their dream careers as a kid and encourage them to rekindle that flame...

Taken from my Pinterest


**I'd highly recommend grandparents or friends you can make while volunteering in nursing homes. While some of them are as nosy as they get, many have lived long enough to realise that it is okay to take life slowly, not to mention they'll tell you fantastic tales of all the mischief they got up to over the course of their lives that will bring laughter, tears & joy, plus the all important realisation that there is plenty of time to find your place in this wonderful little world of ours.

August 19, 2012

Do What You Love: An Introduction.

Please excuse the absence. I've had to take two weeks off uni because of a terrible flu and I've spent a good portion of that time asleep, so apart from planned blogs, this space was definitely put on the back foot.

Also, I haven't known what to write about because my mind has been preoccupied by what I'm doing with my life. It's confusing me a bit, but it has left me to ponder why I feel the need to have all my shit sorted right at this very moment. After chatting to friends and kids at my uni, my old school, at work and wherever else, I've realised this pressure is not isolated to me - well, actually, I've known that for a while but I didn't realise on what kind of scale it existed.

So, I'm going to attempt to start a series, 'Do What You Love'. To start with, I'm just trying to get these thoughts onto paper and out of my mind, but from there I'll branch out and begin to share all the little ideas I have in my head of what I might one day do with my life. There'll be ideas that I've fallen in love with, ideas that I dread but I expect could happen anyway, and everything in-between.

But more importantly, I'd love to hear your opinions! Whether they're about what I'm saying - agreeing, disagreeing, not sure - tell me! I'm interested. More so though, I'd love to hear about your dreams, even if you think they're ridiculous or farfetched. Comment away if you have anything to say and, if your feeling brave, I'd love to have some guest posts where you share your dreams and thoughts on Do What You Love.

To start with though, tomorrow you will get to see me go off on a bit of a tangent, hoping that it will at least help one kid out there to realise that despite all of the information thrown at us and the nosy people who think that we should be working towards retirement already, that really what they should do is what they love.

Le fotografie: some things that I love. 

Parks at night.
Hipster-fying Photos.

This tunnel under the Roundhouse in Fremantle.

Imperfect photos that just have that something about them...

Good friends, even more so because I only get to see them once a year.

August 11, 2012

The Lowdown of Late

There is this little chair at lowdown that I really like. It is placed against a wall, and people sit there while they wait for their coffee in the mornings, and there is just something about its occupants that intrigues me.

People come in with a big smile on their face, say a lively hello to the boys, order their coffee, and then sit on the chair and look tired, or relaxed. They almost always sit quietly and seem as if they are paying hardly any attention to the world as it passes by.

And I love trying to capture that little moment of peace, or tiredness, or whatever it is each person is feeling so quietly and remotely as they sit on the chair. I think I'll have to make it my mission to get more photos of people as they sit there over the coming weeks, and hopefully I won't freak anyone out :P

Mark realised I was taking this so pulled a face about two seconds after this moment :P

Mirror, mirror.

A little bit of a morning rush :)

A quiet moment.

August 10, 2012

Secondhand Sundays: 6 Simple Alterations

Today, while I continue recovering from my flu, I have yet another awesome guest post! I love Bekuh's space, Secondhand Sundays, and it seemed like a no brainer to ask her to write for you all because she co-curates a vintage shop, the Button Factory, and her blog is full of lovely vintage wares. She didn't disappoint and here we are with this great post!!! A massive thanks to Bekuh! :)

Hi there Wildest Dreams readers, my name is Bekuh and I blog over at Secondhand Sundays. You'll find me on Secondhand Sundays regularly sharing my love of vintage clothing, home cooking, and crafty handmade goods. I hope you'll stop be for a visit!

Today I'm going to share with you 6 simple alterations for vintage clothing. When it comes to purchasing vintage clothing I typically try to avoid the pieces that require a lot of alterations to make them wearable, but occasionally there's a piece that I just can't pass up even if it is a little flawed. If you've ever found yourself yearning for a piece of vintage clothing that is torn, stained, ugly, or outdated; this post is for you.
1. Change out the buttons
This often overlooked alteration can completely change the feel and age of a piece. I all too often find a skirt or shirt with broken, missing, or ugly buttons and this trick is a cheap and easy to way make an old piece look brand new again. You can learn how to sew a button here.

2. Add trim
Whether it's to add a little flair, or cover up an imperfection the right trim can completely transform a vintage piece. I love this trick for covering up small stains, or thread bare seams on skirts and dresses. It also comes in handy if you find a plain dress with great lines, but lacking in details. The best part is you can use liquid stitch, or iron on fabric tape, no sewing required.

3. Remove the sleeves
A lot of 1980s dresses have fantastic shapes and patterns to them, but those puff sleeves can really be a turn off when perusing the dresses at your local thrift store. Why not salvage these dresses by simply removing the sleeves? You might be surprised how easy it is to remove the sleeves with a seam ripper. Just seam rip the sleeve off the bodice, then all you have to do is sew (by hand or machine) the inside seam back down. Easy as pie.

4. Dye the fabric a new color
I get really sad when I see pretty white dresses wasting away on clothes racks because of a few stains, or yellowing fabric. Breathe new life into these pieces by simply dying the fabric a new color. Make sure that you pick the appropriate dye for the fabric, and wash the garment first. Fabric dye has easy to follow instructions and you could have a "new" dress in just one afternoon.

5. Add pockets
Pockets can be some of the most useful things in the world. I will shout from the rooftops my love of pockets in skirts and dresses, so this tip is a no brainer for me. The easiest pockets to add are simple square or rounded ones straight to the front of a skirt (instructions found here), but if you're up for a challenge check out this tutorial on adding them into the seams of a dress or skirt.

6. Add patches
This may sound like an elementary school technique, but patches really can save a stained, or torn piece from ruin. I've put both pre-embroidered patches, and fabric square patches on items. If the patch is appropriate for the piece it will turn out looking as if the patch had always belonged and no one will question your taste. My tip when picking out a patch is to find something that either has the same color story as the original piece or a complimentary one. I just used a heart patch and embroidery floos to cover up a bleach stain on the crop top seen above.

Well there you have it; 6 easy alterations to update or repair vintage pieces. I hope you found these tips useful and that you'll think twice about putting back that 1980s puff sleeve dress the next time you're in the thrift store. These tips can also apply to your well loved modern pieces if you're looking to update your wardrobe a little. I'd love to hear your tips for repairing and updating vintage pieces! big kiss, bekuh

Thanks again Bekuh!! I promise next time I'll look differently at 80's puff sleeve dresses differently, and shirts as well (I actually have some in mind if they're still in the shop), and can't wait to test out these tips :) Make sure you head over to Secondhand Sundays and show her some love people!! 

Over and out.
Rhi xx

August 07, 2012

Winter Blues & Winter Heartwarmers

The past week or so has been pretty hectic in the Nelson family household. Four out of six of us (although really four out of five for the moment, because the oldest brother is in Japan) have been out of action with the most shocking flu - high temperatures, unbelievably achey joints, an unforgiving cough, no appetite - you know the drill, and we've kept pretty much to ourselves because this house is officially a danger zone :P Thankfully, I think we're all getting a bit better, although even just getting my breakfast this morning was exhausting...

While it's been pretty easy the last few days to ignore everything that's going on outside of the four walls of this house, I stumbled upon The First Home Project, and this video, this morning and man it's inspiring!! It's broken through the winter blues here, and has really impressed me with what some people are willing to do for others.

People taking initiative like this is so important because it addresses all sorts of issues arising from Australia's poor handling of refugees, as well as problems resulting from the housing crisis, and I've got my fingers crossed for them that they get the amount needed. I know that not everyone will be able to donate, but if you can, go for it! And if not, and this project is something that tugs at your heartstrings, like them on Facebook to show your support :)

Over and out.
Rhi :) xx

August 04, 2012

Op Shop Shoot: Part 2

The moment Nageena pulled these pants off of the rack when we were trawling through all the clothes at the Salvos, I was in love. They're so quirky, they fit beautifully, they're excellent quality (vintage Country Road!) and because it happened to have the colour tag that meant 50% off that day, they cost me a meagre $3.50.

It's safe to say, I've been wearing them everywhere and I cannot believe I haven't spent more time in op shops before!

Lauren's Dress: Hand-me-down from her Mother
Mums are great, don't you think?

Specs: $10 + lenses from Pigeonhole Vintage
Top: Country Road
Pants: $3.50 from the Salvation Army in Perth City

Boots: $8, again from the Salvos in Perth!
I'll branch out in next week's op shop shoot, promise.
Strapping courtesy of my screwed up joints and my physio, Rob :P

Necklace: borrowed from Lauren

Op Shop Shoot: Part 1

Yesterday afternoon I finally managed to meet up with two of my lovely friends, Lauren & Nageena, to get some decent photos of my op shop scores :)

I was a bit worried because I'm usually a bit awkward in photos, but they turned out so well! I definitely couldn't have done it without those two, so a massive thank you to them both!!

Glasses: $10 from Pigeonhole Vintage (plus lenses, I'm not that much of a dirty hipster) :P
Tunic: $7 from the Salvation Army in Perth City
Leggings: Country Road
Boots: Hobbs
Camera: (Freshly serviced and finally working) Pentax K1000
that my Mum has had for 33-years, and has passed onto me :)

Stay tuned for the second batch of photos tomorrow :)

Over and out.
Rhi xx