Happy Holidays!

I have no idea where this photo was taken, or even which year, although it's not too difficult to figure out that it was probably around the holiday season (unless someone got really, really lazy - it was a tall tree!)

I have many more photos to share with you, including some I took at the StyleMilk event last Tuesday night (here's one of myself and Liss of Daydream Lily, yay!) but unfortunately the silly season is absolutely insane in my corner and I'm stretched to my limits. Working towards a tight deadline at this time of year is always fun enough, but when you're getting on a plane in just over 24 hours, there's a new kind of pressure at play! 

This year I'm incredibly lucky to be spending Christmas and New Years' with my family...in Singapore! It's been so long since I've travelled abroad that I had to restart the passport process from scratch!

While I'm over there I plan to photograph my adventures (with my prehistoric iPhone) and create my own little Instagram Guide to Singapore, so please feel free to follow me on the Instagram app (@msunreliable), or on Instagrid or Followgram in your browser! I'll also be shooting with my shiny new DSLR and the Lomo LC-A that Liss has kindly leant me for my travels, so prepare for an influx of photographs in the new year!

Wishing you all a fantastic holiday season, stay safe and well, and I hope to see you back here in 2012!

xx Kit

Wednesday Wisdom - Friendship

Walking with a friend
in the dark
is better than walking alone
in the light.

- Helen Keller

[Photography by astronautsoup]

Wednesday Wisdom - Without the Rain

And when it rains on your parade,
look up rather than down.
Without the rain,
there would be no rainbow.

- Gilbert K. Chesterton
Dear Rain,

You are very nice, and I do also like rainbows, but I would like it very much if you went away this weekend. Otherwise, my garden party is going to be a very soggy affair, and this is not desirable.



P.S. If anyone has a marquee they'd like to loan me for the weekend, I shall pay you in macarons and cupcakes!

[Photography by sayra]

First Shots - Old and New

Nothing mind-blowing or particularly inspiring about today's post, but I'm still excited about my new camera so I'm going to inflict some snapshots upon you! Essentially, it's a mini-tour of my bedroom as the rest of my place is still hidden under tea cups and paper lanterns!

[ Old by New ]

This is my tiny old dinosaur of a digital camera. The size of a credit card (with the quality to match) he has nevertheless been a trusty friend on the many roads I've travelled over the last decade. He's a little worse for wear and not the prettiest Pentax in town, but I'm sentimental. This was the first photo I took on the new camera.
[ Storage ]

Wanting to get rid of clutter is all well and good until you realise you have next to no storage. So, I improvised.

[ The Vintage Treasures of Bonnie Doon ]

I'm looking forward to finally using my vintage babies for more than just display purposes! I'm currently cutting and pinning bunting for the high tea party (this weekend - eek! Please don't rain!) and the Six-20 Folding Brownie will hopefully be getting some love not too long afterwards!

[ Crochet Corner ]

This time of year is Brisbane is way too hot and humid for leather chairs, as I have discovered. So whilst my beloved 1940's leather office chair sits in the corner collecting even more tea party goods, I've prettied up an otherwise hideous late-90's fabric chair for my own geeky blogging purposes. Doilies everywhere!

[ A Little Light Reading]

My bedside table, complete with Diptyque candle (mandarin and grapefruit, yum!) my grandmother's pillbox (used for small earrings) and a stack of books...all sitting on yet another doily.

I've been one of those annoying people who reads everything on my phone, but since my eBook app of choice has mysteriously ceased to work after allegedly being acquired by Amazon, I've decided that it's time to return to books. Actual books. The ones with real paper!

I headed to my local second-hand book store, loaded myself up with Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and had a fantastic chat to the store owner about everything from the classics to science fiction and back again. I suspect he'll be seeing a lot of me in the near future!

What are you reading at the moment? Do you have a stack of books set aside for the holiday break like I do? I'm currently making my way through all the classics I was never made to read in high school - tell me about your favourite classics (and your least favourite too!)

xx Kit

Blue Skies and Rain

It seems only fitting that I share one of my old photographs before I share any new ones. This was taken at my first apartment in Sydney; a happy home for over two years, yet a photograph that nonetheless captures a lot of the melancholy that occured there and since.

I miss that wall. I miss those shadows and the peeling paint and the irregular nooks and notches. I miss that blue sky.

I really miss that blue sky.

Early Birthday Cheer

As much as I love all things analogue, I am so excited to officially own my very first dSLR camera. The last digital camera I bought was roughly 10 years ago when 4 megapixels was considered cutting edge, and although I may love my Pentax's complete inability to take night shots now (Accidental Bokeh is my favourite photo from Paris!) - it drove me CRAZY at the time. I wasn't a fan of imperfection in my photography. Le gasp, I'd never even heard of bokeh!

[Accidental Bokeh, Paris 2003]

The last 12 months, as difficult as they have been, have sparked a renewed passion for photography within me that I intend to grasp with both hands.

Whilst packing up and leaving Sydney, I came across a beautiful photograph taken by my high school design teacher. On the back, she had simply written "Please keep taking photos." To be reminded of that support from somone I admired so much was bittersweet, particularly when I barely had the energy to get out of bed, let alone head out the door with a camera.

[Beacon, Paris 2003]

As the months went by and I slowly started to explore my new surrounds, I took snapshots with my beaten up old iPhone and sent them to a good friend who also happens to be an insanely talented photographer. His support and advice was eerily familiar; "Get a proper camera. Now. Keep taking photos."

So at last, a pre-loved Nikon D3100 is on his way to me; an amazing birthday present thanks to my wonderful best friend and my equally wonderful parents...the very same trio who have made sure that somehow, against all odds, I've made it through the most difficult year of my life in one piece. 

With the help of friends and mentors, both old and new, I'm looking forward to taking photos once more.

xx Kit

Wednesday Wisdom - The Wind Longs

Forget not that the earth delights
to feel your bare feet
and the winds long
to play with your hair.

- Khalil Gibran

[Photography by Jakub Kusmierz]

Tuesday Tastebuds

There's less than a week left of our High Tea giveaway extravaganza, and I'm still hoping and praying for some recipes and tips on my beloved Red Velvet cupcakes! I've eaten them many a time but I've never attempted to make them, so any advice you can send my way would be greatfully appreciated...and could win you $100 worth of beautiful accessories from new Australian label, Jessica.T!

If you think you can help, head over to the original post and leave me your tips and tricks in the comments!

xx Kit

P.S. I'm officially $1.98 closer to a decent computer! I'm still photographing my ridiculous design magazine collection (and it takes this old beast of a PC about 10 minutes to open one photo!) so I hope to list a second bunch of stuff tomorrow. In the meantime, clothes!

Surreal Absurdity - Collages by Beth Hoeckel

Loving these surreal hand-crafted collages created by Beth Hoeckel. Some are just plain absurd, some are quirky (I want a magic carpet..and a burger!) and some are unashamedly ominous.

If any day can be a little absurd, silly and ominous...it's Monday!

xx Kit

P.S. More THAT GIRL Needs a New Computer! eGarage Sale goods coming later tonight tomorrow! Allanah Hill, Louis Vuitton, Spencer and Rutherford and a whole stack (literally!) of covetable design magazines.

[via Frankie]

Frock On Friday

Last night I was lucky enough to attend the launch night of Frock Paper Scissors, an annual magazine devoted to all things fashion in Brisbane. The magazine was founded 6 years ago as the major design project of one of the inaugural QUT fashion students, and is now a glossy collaboration between students of fashion, journalism, creative writing, media, design and business.

The Frock Paper Scissors website is just as sleek as the mag, complete with unique content to boot. If you're around the Brisbane area, keep an eye out for the cover above, otherwise you can read it online here.

Congratulations to all the students and staff involved; Issue 6 is first class! (I still have a copy of the very first magazine around here somewhere...don't ask me where though!)

Meanwhile, it's come to my attention that it's really time I upgraded this old beast of a computer. The dead giveaway wasn't the multiple crashes and bluescreens I've been pulling my hair out over all day, but the fact that I'm sitting here listening to music on my iPod because my computer can't run iTunes and Chrome at the same time, let alone any of the other programs I need.

So whilst we're talking about fashion, I thought it only fitting that I have a little eGarage sale on the weekend. I'll be saying goodbye to some much beloved items, like the one-of-a-kind Arabella Ramsay skirt that still needs a loving new home, plus Allanah Hill, Scanlan and Theodore, Ted Baker and more.

I'll get photographing tomorrow, then list everything on here and eventually on eBay. Like any good garage sale, all offers will be considered, so get ready to eRumble!

And on that note, time to sit back with a wine and enjoy the cool change. Have a fantastic weekend, whatever you have planned!

xx Kit

P.S. Don't forget to enter the High Tea Party competition! Share your high tea recipes and recs with me and you'll go in the running to win $100 worth of Jessica.T accessories just in time for Christmas!

Rachel May Tan

Loving the dreamy fashion photography of former Brisbane girl Rachel May Tan, who's now making waves down in Melbourne town. At only 19 years young, there are big things ahead for Rach. Keep an eye on this one!

xx Kit

Wednesday Wisdom - Far Off Time

Lose not yourself in a far off time,
seize the moment that is thine.

- Friedrich Schiller

[Photography by Rachel T - more to come tomorrow!]

Spring Into Summer with a Jessica T Giveaway!

Despite the fact that I will no doubt be complaining about the heat and humidity for at least the next 4 months, I'm still very much loving Spring and looking forward to Summer. Of course, it doesn't hurt that my birthday is on the first day of Summer either.

When I mentioned in passing that I was pondering a garden party do for my birthday, my friends went into overdrive with suggestions about what to bake, what to drink, what to make, what to bring, who to invite and how to decorate...so although I know the whole high tea thing has been done to death, I think I might just do it anyway.

The next few weeks will be a flurry of thrifting, shopping, baking and making drinks (and testing them many, many times, just to be sure they're right!) I might even head to the nursery and add a little colour to my garden...mostly because my shoe-string budget won't allow for all the cut flowers my little heart desires!
So given that I'm not only pretty useless on the domestic front, but I'm also currently based in Brisbane and don't really know my way around, I thought I'd have a little competition.

To enter, all you need to do is send a little help my way! Just leave a comment with any of the following:

  • Punch or iced tea recipes (alcoholic or otherwise)
  • High tea recipes (sweet or savoury)
  • Secret squirrel Brisbane op-shops (for affordable vintage goods)
  • Nursery/flower recommendations in Brisbane
  • Leads on good dessert caterers (macarons especially, I can't make them!)
  • Decorating suggestions and resources (preferably local, but online works too)

Each and every recipe and recommendation can be left as a separate comment, and each comment will be considered an entry.

Better yet, if you share this competition on Facebook or Twitter, make sure you tag me (the That Unreliable Girl page on Facebook, or @MsUnreliable on Twitter) and you'll get another entry per platform.

So, what's in it for you?

That's right, the lovely ladies at Jessica.T have kindly offered $100 worth of beautiful accessories for the lucky winner! The Under $50 Gift Guide has some great suggestions for what's on offer, but there's plenty more goodies in the online shop too!

The competition will end at 5pm AEST on Sunday 27th November, so you have plenty of time to dig out some old recipes or even try out a few! This competition is open to all Australian and international readers, so please share the love!

Thank you again to Jessica.T for the fabulous prize (that I would quite happily ninja for myself, if I could!) best of luck to everyone, and Happy Monday!

xx Kit

[Please click on images for original sources]

11/11/11 - Lest We Forget

As always, I had absolutely no bearing of time when I was writing yesterday's post and completely forgot that today was the 11th of the 11th, and consequently, Remembrance Day. As I probably mention every year, both my grandfathers fought in World War II, so today is quite an important day for my family and I.

With that in mind, I'm going to postpone my little surprise until Monday, which also gives me the opportunity to iron out a few details...and to get your input too! So...

[Photography by kizuyuki]


Fun projects are afoot! If all goes well, I can share a bit more with you tomorrow...along with a little surprise!

xx Kit

Wednesday Wisdom - Courage

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the quiet voice
at the end of the day saying,
"I will try again tomorrow.”

-Mary Anne Radmacher

[Photography by ssilence]

ArchiGeeking Out

It's been a big week in the world of architecture, so I thought I'd share a few of the things that are currently inspiring me.

First up is this brilliant proposal to reclaim an abandoned train station under the streets of New York City. It's basically the hipster underground version of The High Line, another recent NYC masterpiece created from leftover rail infrastructure.

[Images via thisbigcity]

The Delancey Underground is a private project in the very early days, so it will be interesting to see how this one develops, particular as preliminary indications point to this being more of an 'attraction' than a public park/asset...i.e. possible admission fees. Keep an eye on this one!

Next is a wonderful clash of cultures and styles - the result of French architect Jean Nouvel and, once again NYC. Perched on an outcrop of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, a sleek acrylic 'jewelbox' encases an historic Jane's Carousel.

[Images via ArchDaily]

At night, the transparent pavillion transforms into a lantern, and the carousel and the cityscape compete for attention in the best possible way. If you happen to be heading to New York any time soon, be sure to pay Jean Nouvel's "fragile little monument" a visit. Rides are only $2!

And last but not least, the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona has recognised not one, but two Australian projects! In addition to Brisbane's Cox Rayner taking out the World Transport Building with Kurilpa Bridge (oooh, tensegrity!), Australia is now home to the World House of the Year.

Designed by architect Domenic Alvaro and located in my beloved Surry Hills, 'Small House' is a deliberate and well-executed argument against the ever-increasing size of Australian housing.

[Images via C+A]

The perfect demonstration that good things do indeed come in small packages, 'Small House' and the recognition it has received will hopefully nudge the Australian housing industry towards a more efficient, practical and beautiful approach. Fingers crossed.

Finders Keepers Brisbane

Strange times are upon us. Remember how I mentioned on Friday that I planned to do some op-shopping, then head to Finders Keepers? 

I did both!

Outrageous. This is probably the first time in the history of this blog that I've actually NOT lived up to my name!

Saturday was spent driving all over the proverbial countryside in search for all things tea-related. Our efforts were a little hit and miss, with most places having limited yet very expensive selections, but we did stumble upon the occasional gem. We've still got a few weeks to stock up on supplies though, so Brisbane op-shopping recommendations are still more than welcome!

Sunday was another beautiful day, so while my friends headed down the coast for some beach loving, I bee-lined for my first Brisbane Finders Keepers markets.

[The Old Museum]

[Spokey dokes and strawberry ice smoothies at The Smoothie Cycle]

 [Bunting, cupcake tents, macarons and coffee - heaven!]

[Gorgeous day, great live music]

I thought it would be pretty tough to compete with the Sydney setup at Carriageworks, but Brisbane exceeded all expectations...and then some. The Old Museum is a beautiful venue inside and, more importantly, out. The use of the verandah for stalls and the grassed garden areas for food and live music was fantastic, especially on a weekend as gorgeous as the one Brisbane just enjoyed. Both inside and out, the vibe was relaxed and laid-back - a pleasant change of pace from the usual chaos of the Sydney markets (although stallholders might prefer the latter!)

Speaking of stallholders, the venue wouldn't mean much if it weren't for the hard-working folk and their wish-list-worthy wares! I was lucky enough to meet some very familiar faces, like Liss from Daydream Lily, Jess of *bespoke* zine and Epheriell Designs (and her lovely husband who was enjoying the heat as much as I was!) and Angela and Renee of Leeloo.

I am notoriously shy (I'm practicing for my inevitable future as a crazy cat lady) so I'd really like to offer a heartfelt thanks to all the ladies (and gent) for being so welcoming. It's been a pretty tough year - so tough that even something as simple as heading to the markets and introducing myself was...embarassingly daunting.

So again, thank you all.

xx Kit