ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Forty

Show/Tell/Share: This fantastic graffiti artwork by Nico is super close to where we’ll be opening The Social Outfit very soon. It’s lovely to walk past this owl everyday; to admire the colours; and then get stuck into my work of opening our doors to the public in June.

And, here I was thinking things in my life were already very busy with a full site fit-out, hiring staff, and kitting-out a retail shop …

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When this happened:

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That’s right, the Hawaiian First Officer successfully broke a foot bone in brilliant style, which means about 6 weeks of crutches… and did I mention we have *lots* of stairs around where we live?!! This experience is clearly going to be an unintended *gift* to teach us about being patient, and taking things one step at a time!

Now, outfit photos…

This was a few weeks ago when I attended Oxfam/3things ‘Cheap & Dirty’ breakfast where people were discussing ethical fashion in Australia. Naturally, I represented us wearing ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya‘ scarf and leggings…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, ‘The Social Outfit loves Nina Maya’ scarf and leggings from Colour Chameleon, vintage handmade dress from op shop, Fluevog boots, Unit Portables bag from Japan.

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Then here’s me at a weekend, about to catch up with friends… (wearing an-almost graffiti hat or is that a bowl on my head…)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings, Esprit skivvy from op shop, Esprit 1980s shirt from secondhand store in Newtown, skirt from op shop, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots, Unit Portables bag from Japan.

And because we’re really in the building stage of The Social Outfit‘s Newtown space, I like to wear jewellery that metaphorically represents where we’re at… (And Tatty Devine, of course!) …

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The School for Social Entrepreneurs asked if I’d come and talk to current students about trying to set up a social enterprise in Sydney; especially sharing candidly how I think about ‘leading’ this work personally. I decided for the talk to break out a sample we’d been playing with at the store: a pink fluffy draped jacket. Fluro+Pink+FluffyFabric+Love = Leadership! It was great speaking to the group, and my main message was how grateful I have been to partner with, and collaborate with so many *talented* people to get us to this stage.

I can’t wait to show you just what we’ve been making behind our closed doors in terms of clothes. And it will happen relatively soon: Promise! (This jacket won’t make it into production we don’t think… but that’s just because we got even better, and *funner* pieces to make!)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, handmade earrings gifted from Iain, handmade beaded necklaces, Tatty Devine necklace and brooch, The Social Outfit sample pink fluffy jacket, The Social Studio top, The Social Studio silk dress gifted by Jo, Fluevog boots.

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Here’s a few more images of my outfit at the front of Nico‘s Owl Graffiti Spot in Newtown. I found this vintage dress in a Rockdale op shop quite recently. I think it’s so *vintage 1970s pretty*… And my Tatty Devine pegasus necklace is the same as the feathers on the owl… (again matching jewellery to my surrounds…)

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Tatty Devine necklace, Uniqlo skivvy from Japan, vintage handmade dress from op shop in Rockdale, vintage leather belt from secondhand store, Fluevog boots.

About a week ago I hot-footed it down to Melbourne to say hello to the *fabulous* The Social Studio gang, and to take part in an evaluation project looking into effective interventions with young people, education and training (run by the likes of Dusseldorp Forum, Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Social Ventures Australia and the University of Melbourne).

My niece grabbed this photo of me wearing my vintage Jenny Kee wool patchwork jacket I found on eBay, and a The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress… I *heart* this style of dress SO MUCH!

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, earrings gifted op shop, handmade beaded necklaces, Jenny Kee vintage wool jacket, The Social Studio ‘no waste’ dress, Saba sample belt, Black Milk leggings, Fluevog boots.

And for a momentary-fashion-outfit-break, check out just *some* of the wonderful people helping me turn The Social Outfit from ‘idea’ to ‘REALITY’. From the left is volunteer Althea Mackenzie, who’s helping on all things HR, volunteers and operations; then Traci Thomas who is volunteering to source fabric donations and help research aspects of our fashion production work; and then there’s Emma-Kate Wallace, who is in charge of our all manufacturing and retail work (plus she also runs WEFTshop too). These three are ACE x 1 million!

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Look at this delivery from Traci of donated fabric. Thanks so much to Traci and our fabric donation lables! If this fabric wasn’t being used by us, it was about to go into landfill…

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Aaaaaand, back to outfits… Check out this The Social Studio dress in vintage fabric…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Uniqlo skivvy, Tatty Devine necklaces, The Social Studio dress from vintage fabric, Spin Dance Australia petticoat, Trippen shoes from Berlin.

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And the last outfit here. Given I’m writing this at night, it seem appropriate to finish with my Tatty Devine moon, as I finish up another day…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, Esprit skivvy from op shop, ‘Made by Surf Knit Sydney’ vintage dress from op shop, Happy Socks tights, Fluevog boots.

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So there you go. Hope you’re all doing *super* and look forward to showing you more news from The Social Outfit – with a *good* deal of my own outfits – all thrown in, soon!

xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Six

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IMG_6118Share: As per the quote above, I like the idea of fashion representing both “social change” and “social cohesion”; it fits well with what we’re trying to achieve at The Social Outfit this year…

And as for fashion “speaking for us” – if it did speak for me in this outfit – it would be saying, “I love the 1980s and Tokyo-style”… check out my t-shirt from Galaxxxy in Shibuya, Tokyo, and the wonderful peeps modelling on the front. It’s like *ace-ness* personified! In fact, I liked the look so much I copied the eye-makeup! ;-)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, ‘Pearls before Swine‘ earrings from the MCA, ‘Galaxxxy‘ t-shirt from Japan, Saba belt, Dragstar denim skirt, retail tights, Happy SocksFluevog loafers from Sole DevotionKen Done vintage bag, Tatty Devine glasses charm bracelet.

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Share More: These photos are actually from a week ago. The busy-ness has continued, and that included going to Brisbane this week for my Vodafone Foundation ‘World of Difference’ training (NOTE: Tomorrow is the last date to apply for WOD2014, people! So recommended!), and then I came home and got sick momentarily.

But before then, and the week before, I went to the launch of the Social Enterprise Manifesto, hosted by the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Sydney, and launched by SIEEA secretariat and all-round legend, Meredith Turnbull (not that I’m biased at all, right?!!). As part of the invitation we were asked to wear ‘social enterprise’ clothing, and my friends and old colleagues, Kirsten (left) and Sally (right) came wearing The Social Outfit. How lovely of them! Don’t they look *smashing*? xo

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The quote that this post starts with is actually from an exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum that we went and saw recently. The words are on a poster next to this *subtle* costume piece by Ron Muncaster for his late partner, Jacques Straetmans. Given that this weekend is Mardi Gras in Sydney, again I like the idea of fashion as “social change” and “social cohesion”. And I tell you what: if I was offered to wear this piece, you’d have me in it within a nanosecond!! xo xoIMG_3236

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Four

Show/Share: My brother recently celebrated his 40th birthday; and it was lovely to spend some *party time* with him and his family… and especially if it also involves a bit of festive dressing!

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As Melbourne’s recent weather has been *super hot* – and as I’m prone to burning instantly under any kind of sun – I went with the ‘light-covering’, layering look… (And especially as that also allowed me to wear both The Social Outfit and The Social Studio gear in celebration!)

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine necklace, vintage beads, The Social Studio silk kaftan, ‘The Social Outfit loves Linda Jackson’ leggings from ‘Colour Chameleon’, Fluevog sandals.

Then here’s a recent Friday-evening-outfit when I was out for some relaxing and fun…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine watermelon earrings and necklace, Tatty Devine bow necklace, Retrospec’d dress (made and sold locally in Australia), ‘Spin Dance Australia‘ petticoat, Fluevog shoes, and Ken Done bag.

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With it already being February, I’m fully back at work at The Social Outfit, and working hard. As you might imagine we’ve got a lot of planning and preparations underway to start off our full-time school, retail store and community space in Sydney. Exciting! And nerve-wracking! Here’s me on a working day, sporting a new The Social Studio dress – made with vintage fabric – I bought when in Melbourne last week…

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Tell: Glasses from Japan, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, vintage necklace and bracelets from op shop, The Social Studio dress, stockings from Japan, Trippen shoes.

… I love these stockings from Japan, with the individual toe sections. I know ‘toe-socks’ are far more common in Australia now, but I haven’t seen the stocking-versions take off quite so much. I can’t believe I haven’t laddered them yet!

P1040958So from my head to my toes, hope you’re *ace* and I look forward to sharing more updates with you soon! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Thirty-Three

We spent the end of 2013 taking a holiday in Japan. It was *brilliant*!

When I was 19 years old, I lived in Japan for a year and since then I have loved the uniqueness of the country and culture. I especially adore the way so many Japanese people embrace art and creativity into daily life. That includes the fabulous combinations of that which is serene and simple, to that which is *totally kitsch* and over-the-top! This trip we went to some of Japan’s best-known modern art galleries, starting with the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo…

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The sculpture is Sebastian Masuda’s “Melty-Go-Round” Christmas Tree. This art gallery is on the 53rd floor of the Mori Tower in Roppongi, so it has a *spectacular* view of the metropolis that is Tokyo and beyond.

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… and, as I’m not always the hugest fan of heights, the glass of champagne, and my newly gifted heart brooch from the Tatty Devine team helped embolden me to take in the 360-degree views from up on high!

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A highlight for me of Japan is its train system. I *love* the bullet trains that whizz up and down the islands, and mean you can visit towns far and wide really easily. Here we are passing the cultural icon that is Mount Fuji on a clear winter day…

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This trip we visited Naoshima. It’s a small island that was historically a fishing village, and has now re-invented itself as an ‘art island’. Many of the installations here are breath-taking. One of my favourite artists is Yayoi Kusama, and her two pumpkin sculptures welcome the ferries coming to the island…

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Here’s the Hawaiian First Officer at the castle in Okayama. It’s known as the ‘crow castle’ because of the black detailing, and the day we visited, actual crows were circling and the sky was quite dark and gloomy. It was perfect-creepy!

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These trees are in Kanazawa Gardens, and I fell in love with the ingenuity of the rope supports so that the tree boughs don’t break in winter with all the heavy snows.

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And here is just a little reminder of the sheer size of the population of Japan on what is such a small land mass… this is just one bike lock-up area in a small town.

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Here I am on New Year’s Eve in our hotel room in Shinjuku, Tokyo. I have no idea how we managed it, but we *lucked* a room with this gorgeous *cheesy* pink vintage couch! I celebrated the beginning of 2014 wearing ‘The Social Outfit loves Dragstar‘ dress and leggings from our Colour Chameleon collection. Nothing like heralding in a new year with the *fashion hope* of good things for The Social Outfit in 2014…

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Wishing you the *best* for 2014!

And, I look forward to sharing our stories and staying in touch xo xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Seventeen

Show/Share: I had the *absolute pleasure* of being in Melbourne last Friday as a part of The Social Studio‘s ‘Colour Chameleon‘ Project, in Melbourne Spring Fashion Week. The event took place at the cafe social enterprise KereKere in South Melbourne. (As you might recall, The Social Outfit will launch our own part of this project in October.) For me, I always find it SO rewarding and exciting to see the creativity, passion and *joy* on display in The Social Studio‘s fashion. It’s no wonder then that I want to create a version for us in Sydney!

Here’s me and Alek who hosted the event. Can you see we’re wearing the same dress – The Social Studio’s ‘no waste dress‘ – with some different styling?

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Given we were being MC’s I didn’t get to take any photos, but the lovely Anna – the Digital Textile Manager at The Social Studio – said I could post some of her images here for you to see:

Andrea, another *ace* member of The Social Studio team was involved in the styling and make up …

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Here’s fashion designer, TSS student and model, Atong wearing Linda Jackon‘s *fabulous* design for ‘Colour Chameleon‘ … 

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And here’s one of the models in Ken Done‘s *brilliant* contribution. These dresses were produced as one-off pieces for the show, auctioned to support The Social Studio. In Sydney, we’re going to use these prints to then make some limited edition items for you see, hopefully *fall in love with* and purchase yourself …

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Some more styling of Ken Done‘s print, and also Melbourne designer, Limedrop

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And here is some of The Social Studio‘s own collection as a part of ‘Colour Chameleon‘ …

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There will be more fashion photos and videos to see from this wonderful event. (Eryn, from Her Table Top has a great blog post with lots of lovely photos too, for example.) We’ll keep you updated, and I’m so pleased to have been involved. A *congratulations* to all the models, students, community, TSS team and the designers – Linda Jackson, Ken Done, Alpha 60, Bul, Limderop and Obus – for such a great project.

Below is a photo of Emma after the show. She came to support the event with my sister in law, Susan.  Here she is smiling and happily showing off her leggings she purchased. These are designed by Bul in support of the project. (That’s my brother in the background, too!). Thanks Emma xo

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Below are some more photos of my own outfit. These are taken in the social enterprise cafe/bar, Shebeen later that day…

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Tell: Ken Done glasses, Tatty Devine earrings and necklace, beads from op shop, Ben Sherman shirt, The Social Studio dress, Estillo belt, The Social Studio leggings, retail socks, Fluevog shoes (thanks Lanes! xo), Linda Jackson bag. Detail (above, L-R): Me & Zena ring, ring from op shop (actually vintage lipstick holder with mirror, but whatevs.), and Tatty Devine ring.

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All in all, a *fabulous* time! xo

ShowTellShare Two Hundred and Nine

Show/Share: I’m on a brief holiday for a few days, but I really wanted to quickly share with you these pictures from some fun times I had recently with my old next door neighbour, Elaine. When I was growing up, Elaine lived next to us for about 15 years. She’s such a great lady, and she loves telling stories about how she could hear me singing from her own house, with me in our backyard, crooning *dreadfully out of tune* but very loudly, over those formative teenage years! And, it wasn’t until I saw her in person this weekend that I realised it was from her that I learnt to become so *fondly* attached to oversized, fantastic rings. Check out the second photo below and see how brilliant her bedazzled lion and leopard rings are. This lady has style!

I was also so pleased because when I asked Elaine to pose with me for the blog, she was very happy to oblige. And we both couldn’t resist a fun pose that shows off our rather large height difference! I tell you what else: I hope when I’m 81 years old I look half as good as Elaine does now! xo

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Tell: Greek fisherman’s cap borrowed from my Step-Dad, earrings from Japan, handmade necklaces, retail skivvy, tartan skirt from op shop, Trent Nathan dress from op shop, Fluevog boots.

And here is also me and my brother, Charles, from when he was visiting in Sydney last week. As you can see by our smiles, we had a great time together hanging out!IMG_1467

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty-Four

Show/Share: Last night we returned to Sydney, and it proved a *spectacular* way to finish up 2012, and herald in 2013… Because we came home to see that the ATO has granted The Social Outfit ‘Deductible Gift Recipient’ status and the ‘Charity Tax Concessions’. Yep, we’re now a bona fide Public Benevolent Institution! *Great news* that is another super important step on our way to securing our future in Sydney. It made the fireworks last night feel a little extra special…

… And I couldn’t have done all the ATO paperwork and procedure without the help of The Social Studio’s Grace McQuilten. She’s supported me every step of the way, and her advice and counsel is *priceless*. A huge and heartfelt thanks to her xo xo

In other fashion-related news, can you believe I found this custom, hand-made dress in an op shop in Perth? $24.99 and my size, it’s like it was made for me! Once I spotted it I just kept clawing at it, praying it would fit. Hooray, it does! Ruffles! *You Rock* Perth op-shops; so much second-hand gold to be found…

Another highlight from Perth was going on an evening boat cruise on the Mandurah Canals to look at people’s Christmas lights. It *so* appealed to my love of kitsch, glitter and frou-frou!

Yet another super-fantastic photo by the Hawaiian First Officer, who really is the BEST live-in-photographer ever! <3 …Thanks for all your support and expertise in 2012 … <3

The Hawaiian First Officer and I also spent New Year’s Eve with friends; including dearest Bec who is sporting my Ken Done shirt she bought in the auctions when supporting What Ken Be Done. Love!

So here’s to a hopeful and fulfilling 2013 for us all! xo

Tell: Hat from ‘Cat Protection Society’ op shop in Enmore, Wa-Nyika earrings, Tatty Devine necklace, handmade dress from Perth op shop, vintage belt from London, Uniqlo leggings, Camper sandals.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty-Three

Share: Season’s Greetings from me, my 1980s vintage Jimmy Pike** shirt, and the very blue and *gorgeous* Western Australia!

** I’m a keen collector of Jimmy Pike, a significant Australian artist from Walmatjarri, WA. His work is often featured as part of the 1980s Oz label, ‘Desert Designs‘. Having found this amazing shirt this year, I felt it only right to have its first showing back in WA (where we also are for some of our family holidays)…

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Tell: Glasses from op shop, earrings from Japan, vintage Jimmy Pike shirt from eBay, Oroton belt from op shop, Sportsgirl skirt from op shop, Black Milk leggings, retail shoes.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Fifty-Two

Share: One *good* thing about sitting in a holding pattern on our flight from Sydney to Melbourne for over an hour on Friday night was that I got to watch more and more of Mike Nichols’ 1988 US classic, Working Girl

And, as you can see, it was from the 1980s eyeshadow that I took *most* inspiration for my Saturday’s outfit!

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Tell: Earrings from Japan, Dragstar dress, Oroton belt from op shop, handmade silver necklace gifted by Iain, robot necklace from Young Bloods Markets, Black Milk leggings, Birkenstock sandals.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Thirteen

Show/Tell/Share:

WELCOME TO… my last three relaxing days in Melbourne…

NEXT STOP: the final update on my 10-Day-Melbourne-fashion-challenge comic…

Friday Day 8/10, 14 September: Ken Done glasses, earrings from Japan, Country Road vintage denim jacket from op shop, Kmart skivvy, NEW Ken Shaw dress from op shop, leather belt from op shop, Sportsgirl stockings gifted by my Mum, Fluevog shoes, Linda Jackson bag.

I think this photo below shows up my purple eyebrows particularly *well* – check those dark arches in the large Ken Done frames !! And this new 1980s ‘Ken Shaw, Melbourne’ dress is a find from Frankston, and clearly *gold*. The photos aren’t doing it quite the justice I think possible, so you’re likely to see it again soon…

Then the weekend was spent wandering around and spending more time with family. Check out this great sign spotted by The First Hawaiian Officer (and no, we did not partake in any such ‘instant’ beverages)…

Saturday Day 9/10, 15 September: Pashmina scarf from Italy, American Apparel shirt (borrowed from The First Hawaiian Officer), skivvy from Kmart, Levis jeans, Birkenstock sandals.

Then home to Sydney.

Sunday Day 10/10, 16 September: Pashmina scarf from Italy, Ralph Lauren cashmere skivvy from op shop, vintage denim dress from op shop, Saba belt, Fluevog shoes.

Ah, a *good time*. Now the comic recap WITH UPDATE:

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Twelve

Show/Tell/Share: Down Under, Down South…

Yesterday Day 6/10, 12 September: Glasses from op shop, earrings from H&M Japan, Tatty Devine necklace, Ken Done ‘Down Under’ vintage t-shirt from eBay, Kmart skivvy, Fletcher Jones tartan skirt, Simon de Winter socks, Fluevog shoes.

And some pink eyebrows just because…

As for today, well OF COURSE, I *had* to visit my favourite store in Melbourne… Check out my grin at simply being in The Social Studio … Plus of course, I picked up some *great* and stylish bargains. Can’t wait to show you! xo xo

Today, Day 7/10, 13 September: Glasses from op shop, Wa-Nyika earrings, pashmina scarf from Italy, Uniqlo skivvy, red skirt from Savers op shop Frankston, vintage belt from UK, Ken Done leggings, Happy SocksFluevog shoes from Sole Devotion.

And thanks Lily for posing with me…

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Eleven

Show/Tell/Share: Ah Melbourne, there you are…

Day 5/10, 11 September: Glasses from op shop, earrings from Japan, pashmina scarf from Italy, Ralph Lauren cashmere pink skivvy from Warburton op shop for ONLY $3!, The Social Studio silk dress (gifted from Jo), Black Milk ‘Woman in Red’ leggings, socks borrowed this time from my Dad, Fluevog shoes, Linda Jackson bag (gifted to me by The First Hawaiian Officer).

Day 4/10, 10 September: Uniqlo skivvy, denim dress from op shop, Saba belt, Ken Done leggings, Happy Socks, Fluevog men’s loafers.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Ten

Show/Tell/Share: Hello regional Warburton; thank you for your warm village welcome, and especially your Vinnie’s op shop… (photos of *finds* for another day)…

Then next, on our road trip today, we next headed to Bruno’s Art & Sculptures Garden in Marysville. After the February 2009 ‘Black Saturday’ bushfires so much of Marysville was destroyed; so being able to see something like Bruno (and his supporters) rebuild his artist garden, studio and home is amazing. A wee little owl sculpture took my fancy in the garden:

Day 3/10, 9 September: Ken Done glasses, Wa-Nyika earrings, vintage necklace from Berlin market, Kmart skivvy, Fletcher Jones tartan skirt, socks borrowed from my Step-Dad (I needed green!), Fluevog shoes.

Day 2/10, 8 September: Glasses from op shop, Wa-Nyika earrings, vintage necklace from op shop, Ken Done vintage t-shirt from eBay (with original tags!), Kmart skivvy, Levis jeans, Happy Socks, Fluevog shoes.

ShowTellShare One Hundred and Nine

Show/Share:

And SUPER thanks to the *lovely* First Hawaiian Officer for this clothing challenge idea… much better than just hearing me complaining about packing!

Here’s me on the other side of the flight, then train ride down to Frankston, THEN already having gone to two op shops (and yes, already found *things, things, things*!!) xo xo

Tell: Uniqlo skivvy, The Social Studio dress gifted from Jo, vintage belt, Ken Done leggings, Fluevog shoes.

And earlier today, this morning, a little more ‘together’; ready for an Adventure xo