Tuesday, May 31

22 days

It's been a windy couple of weeks. The Icelandic ash cloud made for brooding skies so here are some images of what I wore to work way back at the start of May.

I am so stoked for Glastonbury I keep messing with my backpack already. And writing lists of what to take:
Picnic blanket ✔
Wellies ✔
Photo memory cards totaling 50GB ✔

Five days of camping and the prospect of communal (unisex) showers. I think I shall be a prude and take my bathing suit:
Bathing suit ✔

and bog roll of course :D

I bought a bright yellow rain coat on eBay which should hopefully keep me warm and dry. Glasto is renowned for torrential rain and flooding. It's part of the flair ;)althoug I must say I'd love this to be one of those mythical years bathed in sunshine rather than mud.

Here comes June!

headband: Claire's years ago (or maybe The Bodyshop?)
earrings: etsy
dress: supayana
olive tights: weloecolors
shoes: office

Sunday, May 29

Loading a box camera with film

I planned to show you how to load a box camera on one of my brownies but then I picked up the synchrobox instead. I've never put film through it yet :)

I am using 120 roll film here which is the same size as 620 film but comes on different size spools. It fits the syncrho box just fine but is a tighter fit on a brownie and might damage the mechanism. However, the 620 format most Kodak box cameras are built for is available from some photographic suppliers (e.g. photo supplies). Whether you use 120 or 620 film, the process of loading your camera will be the same.

If you are unsure if your camera is in working order there is only one way to find out for sure: Putting some film through it.

The main defects you might find with this type of camera is a worn shutter (open the back flap and look through the inside of the camera while releasing the shutter. If you see a tiny flicker of light you're good to go!) and a worn film winder (you'll find out when loading the film). Of course light leaks are also to be expected but hey, it's a  feature ;) (If you do want to fix a light leak or the latch at the back of the camera doesn't close tightly, gaffa tape is very handy. )

Here goes:

 First, open the flap at the back. 

You will find the film winder on the left side of the camera (lens facing you). It's usually a knob or little handle that turns. Push it up to release it.

Now the film carrier should come out easy.

Pull up the spring a little and retrieve the empty spool. Then insert it on the opposit side.

Now your empty spool should be on the left (lens facing you).

Open the sticky tab of your roll film. Make sure you have firm hold of your roll and fit it in the empty side of the film holder (right of the lens).

I am using an expired roll of film here. I'd recommend using negative film (definitely NOT slide film, much too unforgiving) between 100 and 400 ISO. 100 is quite slow but on a sunny day it should give you some nice results. 400 is faster and better suited to overcast days. 

Pull the film across to the empty spool

If you haven't yet, remove the sticky tab from the roll of film. Unstick the  tongue of the film backing paper and thread it into one of the holes in the empty film spool. Make sure it is straight/flat.

Now insert the film holder back into the camera.

Troubleshooting: Feeling more resistance when the film holder is three quarters in? The winder probably isn't pulled all the way up.

Push the winder back down. It should now be gripping the spool, allowing you to wind on the film.

Wind the film until the backing paper is taut and close the latch.
It depends on the dimensions of your camera whether there will be any markings on the film backing paper when the film is loaded. I quite like the way the arrow lines up on this one ;)

Winder not gripping the film and no matter how long you wind it doesn't tighten at all? Sadly your shutter isn't doing its job. Still a pretty ornament though :). You can take the film back out of the spool holder and wind the backing paper back up tight. Use a little piece of masking tape to secure it and you can use the role another time.

Carry on winding the film on until you can see a number 1 in the little red counter window at the back of your camera. Don't let all the arrows and circles confuse you, carry on until you get to a number. As you can see I took the image after the fact ;)

The shutters on box cameras are rather slow, so if you don't want movement in your images you will need to rest the camera on something or use a tripod.

I think that's all folks, you're good to go!
Give me a shout if you have any questions :)

Friday, May 27

The sleeper must awaken

I wore this last Wednesday minus my pink wig which sadly, is not entirely work appropriate.

Felt too knackered for photos after work, tried again on Thursday but it started raining just as I was heading off. On Friday I went to bed at 6PM and got up drunken with sleep 14 hours later. Saturday I finally took these. Epic, huh?

These fox totes are all over the blogosphere. I've had my eye on one eversince Frankie first modeled it on her blog. Finally it's mine. *insert greedy Gollum reference*

On Saturday I went to Judy's Vintage Fair and indulged myself with a pretty brooch, bracelet and a pair of pinking shears. I've been looking for cheap pinking shears for ages. Dead stock from yesteryear I got them for 3 quid. Winning! :)

I am taking outfit photos most days right now, hamstering away pictures for the end of June when I'll be away from the blog for a little while.
We've got tickets for a festival. Not just any festival but the one my friends have been telling me all about for years. I've come close to going a few times but there was always something keeping me away from Worthy Farm at the last minute.  I am not usually the superstitious type but it can't hurt, right? So: Knock on wood! I 'll be going to Glasto this year.  I can't wait to listen to lots and lots of live music, stuff myself on junk food and meet up with friends. I'll be taking my camera of course :) 26 days until Christmas.

Happy weekend!

wig: eBay
hairband: tie from an old blouse
dress: Betty Page
belt: primark
clogs: office
tote: libris lunaria

Wednesday, May 25

Rabbit, Run

Look familiar? Expect more variations of this outfit yet :) This butter yellow blouse is brilliant for mixing with other soft colours.

Yes, I am still wearing my faux fur collared jacket. I expect it'll spend August in the wardrobe but right now 18C/64F is as high as the thermometer goes so it is perfect for the morning chill :)

When I first heard about the H&M/Swedish Hasbeens collaboration I marked it in my calendar knowing full well the closest store stocking them would be a thirty quid train journey away. By the time I realized they were also available online this style had already sold out in my size. After some soul searching I decided "Yes, I am that infatuated" and bought them from H&M Austria instead, asking my parents to forward the parcel to me. A bit elaborate, but cheaper than the train fair. To top it all off my parents gave them to me :D Thanks Mama & Papa!

I made these earrings from buttons way back in 2009 (tut) but this is the first time I've worn them. I am pleased with their debut though, little spots of sky blue to go with my belt and tights.

Man, I haven't been getting my eyebrow right recently. The outer thirds are mostly paint and I hate how visible that is close up. (Scarce but existent. Losing the outer thirds of your eyebrows can indicate thyroid issues, mine is a-okay though. You can't say I don't tell you personal stuff. Now I am even sharing my blood work! ;)).

I am all for self acceptance but that doesn't preclude casting a critical eye on my own appearance. It does however mean I also make a conscious effort to acknowledge positive aspects of the old flesh and bones. I am on good terms with my limbs for instance. I like those guys. All four of them.
Alright, I know my eyebrows aren't all that bad really, it's just they're one one of my features I am n-i-g-g-l-y about. I seem to have gotten a hair rant theme going recently :D Haters gonna hate.. hair?

Which bits of your body have your most heartfelt seal of approval?

I've been wondering about doing 'proper' videos but I quite enjoy the stop motion feel of animated gifs too. Are you with me on that one or would you prefer some smoother YouTube embedded cycling on my part (heaven forbid I do an animated gif without Dusty the bike ;))?

earrings: button DIY
blouse: etsy
brooch: etsy
belt: h&m
skirt: uo
sky blue tights: welovecolors
sandals: h&m hasbeens
carry on: etsy (modified)

Monday, May 23


This is an Agfa Clack my Grandma gave me. It was marketed as the Agfa Weekender over in the US and manufactured between 1954 and 65. It shoots massively wide 6x9 cm negatives on 120 roll film. This is a great little toy and one I've actually put a fair bit of film through :)

This one here is an Agfa Synchrobox manufactured between 1949 and 58. It takes 120 roll film and also shoots mahusive 6x9 cm negs. This is quite common in box cameras as photographs weren't usually enlarged but just contact printed, so the size of the neg was also the print size. I just loaded this babe with film and took some photos to show you how in a separate post.

This is my favourite light meter, the Weston Master V. Cuteness aside the selenium cell hidden underneath that little door is where the magic is at. This kid is pushing forty, doesn't require batteries (selenium rules) and still provides reliable readings.

Note: You won't need a light meter for use with a box or toy camera. I use this dude with my "regular" medium format camera.

The Polaroid Colorpack 80 is a fun little toy I got my hands on with transfers in mind just before Polaroid announced. I still have a little film left but I've been hoarding it rather than making the most of it before it dries out completely. Good intentions for the summer :)

Right, before I bore everybody not crazy into cameras into a coma I'll wrap this up for now and show you more of my toys another day when you've had time to recuperate :)

Saturday, May 21

Filamentous biomaterial

This profile looks so alien to me - I guess it's not a view of myself I get to see in the mirror.

I took a few of these to show you my earrings but I was very tempted to pick not the best view of my plastic fantastic flowers but the the one that was kindest on my scarecrow hair. If you have any tips on conditioning fine, dry and brittle hair I'd be much obliged. At the moment I use no build-up conditioner (most every day) and take care to use a mild shampoo not on my hair but my scalp only (no more than once a week). I don't want to declare defeat just yet. Any ideas?

In other news, I am joining in on the breakfast-umentary:

Remember when we went to the beach? I couldn't resist an English breakfast of the confectionary variety even if it's main ingredient is E#. They aren't musical, but those beans are sweet :)

Happy weekend!

headband: Claire's years ago
earrings: etsy
sunnies: claire's
dress: Poison Oak Vintage (won)
brooch: ark
belt: primark
skirt: H&M years ago
shoes: office

Thursday, May 19

Gold tooth

Some of you might remember way back when I made lots of earrings from buttons. I've got this shape in a few colours but this is my favourite :)

Also, my skin was murder today so for vanity's sake I've doctored* the close up in a couple of spots.

On Sunday evening I watched Pirates of the Carribean while painting my nails. After I was done it looked rather boring to me, all matchy matchy, so I added a blue one. It sticks out, not like a sore thumb, but rather like a gold tooth. :)

I got the bracelet at a market nine years ago. An older lady picked it up and commented how it wasn't bawdy. Not bawdy at all. She considered it for a while but in the end she put it back. One of my favourite pieces of plastic that. I love the shape and the hazy colours, reminiscent of sea glass.

*As for those pimples - I use the clone stamp on photoshop. Here is how:

earrings: DIY (buttons)
scarf: present
blouse: allmighty
belt: primark
skirt: uo
shoes: office

Tuesday, May 17


I haven't shared a recipe in donkey's years so I figured it was high time :) Austrian cuisine is full of Topfen/Quark. It's used in sweet as well as savoury dishes.

See? My old school cookbook is full of the stuff :D
My Mom has an older edition of the same "domestic economy" text book and I guess most women in Austria do. My year at school was the first in which home ec was compulsory for boys too. They sure did a lot better than me at it. I am no master chef but although I hated the classes the cookbook that accompanied them still comes in handy.

Last Sunday I made some Topfenkäs aka Liptauer, a cheese spread perfect with potatoes or on a piece of toast or rye bread.

While there is a recipe for Liptauer in my school cookbook I usually go with my Mom or Grandma's recipe:

Ingredients: Quark, soured cream, finely chopped onion, capers, mustard, chives, salt & pepper
I didn't use any but paprika and gherkins can also be added :)

Mix everything in a bowl and Bob's your uncle.

Leave to rest for a few minutes before serving.
Store in the fridge for up to four days :)


Sunday, May 15

No rest for the wicked

My plaid skirt died a death and it took me all of five seconds to fill it's empty hanger (which isn't empty yet because I may have to hold a funeral in order to make myself actually bin it). Anyway, new skirt. Consumerism strikes again :D

The splashes of colours almost look like impressionistic florals. Like the shapes of clouds it is a matter of interpretation - Rorschach skirt? ;)

It's an elasticated waist - the first I've owned in years and years. Eventually I am probably going to shorten the hem but this morning I just doubled the fabric around the elastic cuffing it and comfortably turned it from a mid calf affair into a knee length. Ea-sy. I think I could get into elastic :)

This is my first foray into two tone fingernails. I did a thin layer of a soft pink over a soft purple and then used masking tape to apply blue to the top half of each nail. Pretty pre-school when you see it close up but not too bad for a first try. I think I'll be putting that roll of masking tape to use again soon :)

I took these on Friday after work. It was touch and go between a nap and an outfit post but in the end I figured "no rest for the wicked" and cycled off towards the close by Country Park. I've been using my back-up bike lately (so handy to have a fallback). Dusty had a flat tire which got fixed today* so of course I had to celebrate being reunited with my favourite ride right away. Cycling in skirts and heels is so much easier on a shopper. No more oil stains!

*today being Friday. Time travel rules!

sunnies: claire's
wrap blouse: h&m years ago
brooch: ark
bracelet: primark
cardi: modcloth
jacket: h&m years and years ago
skirt: etsy (CovetedVintage)
carry on: etsy (modified)
heels: office