Saturday, July 30

Wild berries

This outfit is still pre-tooth extraction.
A combination of an awesome crew for the operation and your helpful advice has left me only a little swollen and not at all bruised (thanks guys!) so I hope to get back in the swing of blog this weekend :).

I read a few chapters of The Princess Bride waiting my turn, donned a stylish hospital gown and slippers and eventually I was rolled into the operation room. From student over staff nurse to anaesthetist and surgeon everybody was really lovely. The general anaesthesia burnt like hell, reminding me of Torchwood of all things. You know, the sort of sting that leaves you forgetting how to breath for a moment but only seconds later I told the anesthetist the burn was easing off and next thing I know I am waking up from a pleasant dream, my mouth is full of cotton wool and I am being wheeled to the wake up room.

I've been pretty scatterbrained over last few days, awake most nights waiting for my morning dose of pain killers, watching lots of movies (e.g. The Lovely Bones *beautiful*, The Book of Eli *meh*, Sukiyaki Western Django *awesome*, Enterprise, Hamlet II,.. ) and as soon as I haven't been able to spend much time in front of the computer screen I've finally gotten around to figuring out how to thread my sewing machine :)
In softly, softly culinary news: The husband makes some mean mash. Yummy. So tasty to have a savoury meal after living from milkshake and custard for a couple of days. ;)

This was the last outing for these shoes. I got them during my last year of uni so they've been around for ehem... quite a while and the upper finally split. Oh well, not like I am going to run out of footwear any time soon :D

sunnies: claire's
earrings: nomads, cambridge
glass pendant: present
dress: h&m
royal blue tights: c/o welovecolors
dead shoes walking: clarks

Thursday, July 28

Deep blue sea darlin' deep blue sea..

I took these last Friday. First blue skies in what felt like forever. For the record, there is a reason I get to wear tights and jackets at the height of summer: The height of summer means a "sweltering" 22C/72F around here most years. I always used to prefer feeling cold to getting a sweat on but my preferences are shifting. Funny how tastes change over time. I am starved for a heat wave. I remember growing up I'd hide from the sun watching formula one with my Dad in the temperate sanctuary that was our living room. Now I run outside for outfit shots every time the rain stops. Welcome to my meteorological pity party.

Never mind, it was blooming gorgeous out today (today being last Friday)  - 18C/65F and just look at that brooding sky :) No kidding, I don't like rain but I do love being out and about when there is a storm brewing. Just ask my Mom, I used to drive her nuts running outside every time it looked like thunder or hail. That bitter smell just before the first drop splashes on your nose, the static in the air as you spot the first flash of lightning in the distance.. I guess it is like the Counting Crows lyrics: "I wanna sink slowly without getting wet"

Enough already about the weather! Jeez Louise, aren't I quite the accomplished conversationalist?!

Halfway through this shoot I noticed myself singing the Grizzly Bear's Deep Blue Sea under my breath. Funny how my vocal cords claim independence at times :) Somehow it seemed so fitting by the lake and under such vibrant blue skies. The tune makes me feel all cosy (despite all the drowning and grave digging it is such a sweet lullaby) :)

So in line with today's exciting *yawn* weather theme, if you had to be a little bit hot or a little bit cold all of the time, which kind of mildly uncomfortable would you prefer?

barrette: h&m
earrings: etsy
jacket: zara (time enough for drums)
dress: All-mighty
belt: Mom's (1980s)
skirt: vintage (etsy)
peach tights
shoes: clarks

PS: All went well with my wisdom teeth eviction and I am recuperating with lots of milkshake and TV as my doting husband keeps a close eye  :) Toothache doesn't get any better than this ;)

Tuesday, July 26


I took soooo many pictures of this outfit but I was tense jawed and sporting a rictus grin in 99 % of the images. My jaw always gives me away when I am being a grumpy bastard.

Well, I hope this selection camouflages last Wednesday's grump induced lock jaw. And thinking of lock jaw:

Guess what, I am getting those wisdom teeth of mine pulled tomorrow. Not looking forward to the procedure itself but I am really excited about sticking it to those four molars. Take that you trouble makers!

I am stoked to get a couple of photos of post extraction bruise-faced me to share though. Everything is a photo-op chez diversions. Now to stock up on ice cream..

hat: primark
earrings: DIY
necklace: DIY and fair
dress: modcloth
belt: supermarket (asda)
trainers: eBay

Sunday, July 24

Merry Christmas in July!

Last Christmas, when the husband and I were visiting my parents in Austria, I hamstered away some photos to share on "the other Christmas". I took so many snaps I was righteous bored with the season long before I could post them all so now I've recovered from the cold and the sun is shining, here is a little jingle bell-ed cool down for you all :)

The day my Dad took these for me it was so freaking cold I couldn't even bear to take off my Mom's down coat. At minus twenty something Celsius it took all the style blogging backbone I got to unzip it to show you guys just a little bit of my blouse and scarf.

In case you think me crazy wearing tights at ridiculous degrees Celsius: I double and triple up tights in winter :) Far warmer than pesky trousers if you ask me (though I've wrecked the zipper on a pair of boots once underestimating the extra-layer leg-width)

On Christmas Day we went to a Christkindl Markt/Christmas market at Hellbrunn palace. Here is one of a number of nativity dioramas which were dotted about the market.

And here are Mary, Joseph and their new-born in a matchbox manger crafted by yours truly aeons ago in kindergarten. :)

Ho ho ho! ;)

coat: Mom's
scarf: ex Mom's
wrap blouse & skirt: h&m
boots: legero

Saturday, July 23

a moment in time, and it seemed everlasting

Our wildest idea for a random price draw involved putting one of your names inside each of my curlers and then rolling my hair. Once my hair would be set, David (the husband) would then decide which roller to remove first and inside we'd find the winner.

Another price draw concept had us baking little pieces of paper with your names into one BIG cake and the name inside David's piece would be the winner.

In the end we drew the winner out of a hat. My other half would like you all to know that he wasn't actually pissed off to assist in picking a winner even though it does look a bit like that in the video. Personally I think he is just overcompensating with a frown trying his hardest not to laugh at my guffaws and mumbly mumbling throughout the video. So I guess there is a generous helping of embarrassment for both of us in this movie. Here goes:

The winner might already have guessed she has a bag coming her way by the post title :)


Congrats Natalie :)
I remember listening to Mariah Carey's version of this tune over and over on a car radio chilling in my parents' Ford with my bestest buddy one midsummer's night back in the 90s.

Thank you all for entering and sharing some lyrics :) I had great fun.
You'll have to excuse me now, I've got a parcel to wrap :)

Happy weekend everybody!

Friday, July 22

Rose quartz

Oh la-di-da. I sure hope this picture reeks of nonchallant summertime ease because posing for it sure as hell wasn't. How could I resist fitting myself into that branch? but ouch! the stinging nettles were abundant.

This used to be my favourite dress but after a year of frequent wear I grew bored of it. Originally the bright red buttons and rickrack were a major attraction for me but lately I've been crazy for green & pink combos. On a whim I replaced the awkward reds with a helping of pink the other day :)

By the way, I haven't drawn a winner for the giveaway just yet but I'll do so as soon as pos.. stay tuned ;)

rose quartz necklace & bracelet: present
dress: tara starlet (altered)
light pink tights
clogs: h&m hasbeens

Wednesday, July 20

Kodak freeze dried moments the Fifth

Above you see my great-grandmother and her second husband (who's mustach my Mother used to love twirling when she was little). I am told the two used to run a portrait studio together :)

The cutie pie at the front left is my Grandma along with one of her sisters and a brother.

Here she is again, all grown up:

She met her husband (the above lady photographer's son) in a queue.
He struck up a conversation in French (what pick up line might it have been? ;) ). She promptly turned around to tell him she only spoke German. Luckily it was his native tongue too and that was that.

The first half of the week is done with, let the countdown to the weekend begin..
Have a lovely day everybody!

Monday, July 18

Schroedinger's cat

This is the second year I entered the Diversity Visa Lottery (aka green card lottery). 50,000 permanent resident visas to the U.S. are raffled off annually to natives of countries that have low rates of immigration. Brits don't qualify but Austrians and their kin do.

This year's results were first available in May. Around 22,000 applicants had been notified that they had been selected for further processing. Due to a processing error the selection had not been random, with more than 90% of winners coming from among those who had submitted their applications during the first two days of the registration period. The selection was voided and the selection process was re-run. I missed all of this, I'd forgotten to check the results until last week, when I finally read about the whole affair. The new results came out on July 15th.

We had roughly a 1% chance of winning. As I keyed in my entry code I imagined a Stef in a parallel universe who unlike me would find she'd won. I wonderd what it must feel like to see the words "you have been selected" on screen. Scary for sure, but exhilarating too. A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and work halfway across the world, explore a country that is not so easily accessible for more than just a short holiday to most Europeans. I thought this as the page loaded, then my stomach dropped right down into the soles of my feet and I think I stopped breathing for just a moment as reality slunk into place.

Nothing is for sure yet of course: Forms, fees and interviews lie ahead. There is a good likelihood (50%) the consulat will deem us non-desirables and we're not sure we'll be able to accumulate enough of a financial safety cushion to dare even if we were accepted. What will be will be :) If we do get a visa we'll have to get over there before end of 2012 or it'll lapse.

Here I am, once again imagining parallel Stef. This time she is sitting in front of a "not selected" screen, shrugs her shoulders, cracks a joke at her husband who is standing behind her craning his neck towards the screen and gets on with her life.

None of those shivery thoughts of finances, accommodation and employment for this version of me. That part is plain scary I can tell you that much. But then if I don't go for this now when will I? We don't plan on having any children and really, what other reason is there to settle down? I am not twenty nine yet but I am already wooed by the security of routine. Am I already too set in my ways, too scared of not knowing what's next, too inflexible to take a chance? As much as I am shaking in my boots right now I know I must pursue this opportunity or wonder about what might have been for the rest of my life.

I didn't feel this apprehensive when I moved to England. I was nearly nineteen and any adventure would do. I was aching for the unknown, itching to immerse myself in a new culture. Ten years on and I am a lot more set in my ways. I am a homebody you guys. I go to work, I take little evening excursions for outfit shots, I watch a helluva lot of TV, I blog. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

If there is one worthwhile thing I'd like to do in my life it is to see a little more of the world. It's the single most rewarding pursuit I can think of (photography aside). You can't truly get to know any place on two weeks of annual leave. Suddenly there's a good chance I'll get an opportunity to explore a vast, diverse country and I am scared shitless you guys. Of course I am. We both are, but I'll wonder "what if" for the rest of my life if I don't try for this now.

Keeping my eyes open for new opportunities and taking things as the come has always served me well. So far none of my more bold decisions have blown up in my face. Sure, sometimes things go wrong but those circumstances have always led to other opportunities and in the end things have a tendency to work themselves out and count in your favour. What can I say? I've been lucky.

Now here's a chance so crazy I feel befuddled just considering it but provided red tape doesn't get in the way I think I'll take it. Maybe. How could I not?

hat: tk maxx
necklace: present
dress: etsy
pale yellow tights
h&m hasbeens

Saturday, July 16

Don't burst my bubble

Returning home from a week of camping inspired me to give away some space thieving trinkets I accumulated over the years. Amongst other things a mickey mouse PEZ dispenser. Whatever possessed me to buy a PEZ dispenser at age 28 when I don't even care much for PEZ? Well, I can't qualify it but it sure seemed needful at the time. It felt necessary just the same as this bubble camera I bought after my clear up attack. One quid. Bargain. Right? Yes, right: Bargain.
I expect now that I have had my fun I may just manage to pass it on to a young lady in the target age group instead of leaving it to collect dust in a corner.

Meet my back-up bike: Apollo (that's what the decal spells so that's that). It's an 18 speed hybrid, ace when you're in a rush. Great for zipping through traffic although I must say I prefer the comfort of my sedate, soft-saddled 3-speed.

These earrings wandered from my Mom's to my jewellery box years ago and are a firm favourite of mine :)

Talking about favourites: This has to be just about my favourite outfit right now. I first wore my supayana dress with blue tights and trainers a couple of days before we set off for Glasto. That's when this last picture was taken.

I've already reworn the exact same outfit a couple of times. Yes, I do rewear the exact same ensembles sometimes. You see, I feel like a protagonist in a children's adventure story in this outfit.
You know those mornings when you stare into your wardrobe and no matter how tightly packed it is you grumpily conceed you have nothing to wear, everything is awful and you'd like to crawl back into bed right about now please? From now on this is what I'll wear on those days and as soon as I pull up the zipper I'll feel like I'm in a fairytale..

earrings: from Mom
bracelets: market stall & present
bomber jacket: zara via time enough for drums
dress: supayana
skyblue tights
velcro trainers: eBay

Thursday, July 14

Do not bend

A while back I came across this couple behind deer masks on a random google image search. I promptly printed out a copy to decorate my desk but I really, really wanted to know where the image came from. I assumed it was an invite for a party (the infamous "do not bend" venue I guess) so I googled and googled until to my surprise I did find the source (Matt Cipov) and to my delight I found the artist's etsy shop as well. Of course I swapped my low-res bootleg for the genuine article. I've been meaning to frame that print for ages and as you can see I finally did. :)

The other photos are some of my own from the series Of a Night and in case you're wondering that's a box of Tutti Frutti gummy sweets next to the matchbox muscle car teetering on the edge of the frame. I  used to love those back in kindergarten so this box is a soppy keepsake :)

Right, that's enough ramblings right there - here's what I wore:

hat: tk maxx
dress: modcloth
belt: from another dress
bracelet: kids easter bracelet (supermarket)
soft pink tights: ebay
h&m hasbeens

Tuesday, July 12

See me right

Our car made it down to Glastonbury just fine but on the way back it stalled in Bristol and never started again *sigh* Fairwell first car. Clearly it couldn't bear to leave the festival behind :D We made the rest of the journey in the roadside assistance SUV.
We're looking for another ride but meanwhile we're without wheels. Oh dear, I am sooo pedestrian. In staggering style I swapped the clogs I wore to work for a pair of bright blue velcro trainers for the walk to the cemetary.

A friend in Austria made this necklace for me from wooden beads :) When I am not wearing it it keeps the Green Tara company on our wall.

Right, festival, festival, festival.. I solemly swear I'll stop going on about it soon, but it's where I got this bag. It's another of the guardian's free extras, like the one in my current giveaway, only this one has elbow's lyrics "One day like this a year will see me right" printed on it. As soon as it is also bright yellow, here it is on yellow everybody everywear day :)

You all have a splendid week, I sure intend to ;)
Okay bye.

hat: festival stall
earrings: claires
blouse: asos
necklace: handmade present
bangle: vintage fair
skirt: etsy
pale yellow tights
peach socks
velcro trainers: eBay
clogs: h&m hasbeens