everydaysparks

Stuff I see, which you might not.

Being four

I don’t really remember being four. I’m sure it was a fun time though, before school started for me, but was well and truly occupying my three older brothers. I guess I hung out with my lovely mum and grandparents a lot. I think I must have gone to preschool part-time (maybe 3 days per week) and I do remember that place a little bit. I swear that War Memorial Preschool had front gates with black jail-style bars, but will need to fact check that (if the building hasn’t yet been bulldozed to make way for an apartment block).

Anyway, enough reminiscing. I’m currently enjoying a little holiday over in WA, where my middle brother lives with his lovely wife and daughter. Milly is four. And I’d better keep spell-checking as that gets autocorrected to Milky. Which would be slightly too wacky as a name, even for WA.

It’s fun to catch up with Milly, and I’m learning a lot. For starters, I didn’t know there were different varieties of Vegemite; or that tiaras make surprisingly practical headbands; or that the free Playschool app is actually really clever. In return, I’ve shown Milly the genius of the funny filters on Snapchat; introduced the celebratory fist bump; and generally complemented an already impressive repertoire of wackiness. We’ve watched some movies and read some books and done some shopping. Good times.

We highly recommend this book.


Spoiler alert: the book is mostly a hit because of funny sounds like these. Inducing snorts of laughter.


And you can never have too much bling. [Disclaimer: I actually bought this one.]


We recommend this movie – it’s like Barbie meets James Bond. With weapons like a glitter bomb, lipstick that turns into a tazer, a robot dog. Usual spy stuff.

So, I never saw the original, but this sequel was ok. The age old tale of the struggle between being a mermaid and a girl. Featuring the worst fake Australian accent I have ever witnessed.

Because four is the perfect age to rock a gold puffy vest around town. #gangstalyf

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Well, hello kitty

It’s winter time in Australia now, and for Melbourne, that means some colder temperatures than I’ve been used to as a Sydney-sider. Which I don’t actually mind at all – it’s a great excuse to wear lots of layers with faux fur trimmings and to watch tv under a crocheted nanna blanket. And maybe even wear a beanie, although I’m still not sure beanies really make anyone look that great.

Well, I did think that, until I rediscovered the etsy store ToScarboroughFair. Now, I’m not a crazy cat lady, but I don’t judge you if you are. And why shouldn’t cats be able to style up their looks like humans – maybe without the faux fur trimmings, as that would be a bit creepy, but with a beanie or little hat, especially as the weather gets cold. Here are some of my favourites. You’re welcome.

catberet

Bonjour. [image from ToScarboroughFair]

catcap

A round of golf, you say? [image from ToScarboroughFair]

catbeanie

Chillin’. [image from ToScarboroughFair]

catrasta

Rasta cat. [image from ToScarboroughFair]

cattophat

Seriously? [image from ToScarboroughFair]

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St Patrick’s Day Fashion

Now that I’ve given you some ideas on what to cook for St Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d share some suggestions about fashion choices for the day that’s in it. Not that you should limit yourself – most of these looks are versatile enough to carry you through any occasion, or even just a trip to buy groceries. In putting this ‘look book’ together, I have left out the vast majority of items on sale for St Patrick’s Day (lots of shirts featuring puns about being lucky or Irish or drunk or green or beer or leprechauns)…

If you’re looking for something understated that could easily transition from work to play, I suggest this ‘tuxedo style’ t-shirt from The Bee Tees. It is available in men’s, women’s and children’s sizes, so you could even kit out the whole family. If that is something that you want to do.

I especially like the detail of the pockets. The class of a tux with the convenience of a t-shirt. [image from The Bee Tees]

The class of a tux with the convenience of a t-shirt. I especially like the detail of the pockets.
[image from The Bee Tees]

This next item caught my eye on etsy because of its sparkle and its green-ness. Then I read the title and was shocked. Shocked, I tell you. Here’s the title: emerald green st patrick’s day shoe cake topper sugar edible glitter sparkley glass slipper. Now, I know that is a lot of detail to take in, but the main point is that THIS IS MADE OF SUGAR. If you have a chance, it’s worth checking out the amazing range of items in the Sweet Pea Sugar Art shop. (Technically, I guess this should have gone in yesterday’s food post.)

A (sugar) emerald slipper. Genius. [image from Sweet Pea Sugar Art]

A (sugar) emerald slipper. Genius.
[image from Sweet Pea Sugar Art]

I was looking for some fashion suggestions for the ladies, but unfortunately it would seem that most of the St Patrick’s Day ‘costumes’ for women are – how shall I put it – not in keeping with tradition. There are a lot of skimpy outfits such as ‘sexy leprechaun’ and ‘beer girl’ and ‘Irish lass’, but if that’s not your thing either, then perhaps you will consider these ‘neon green furry leg warmers’ I found on ebay.

Now THAT'S hot. [image from ebay]

Now THAT’S hot.
[image from ebay]

And we can’t forget the (real) little people on St Patrick’s Day. This ‘beard hat’ from By Miss Sally caught my eye because (a) it’s a great crocheted hat and (b) it’s being modelled by a child stuck in a big green pot. But mostly because it’s a great hat.

Just chillaxing. Nothing to see here. [image from By Miss Sally]

Just chillaxing. Nothing to see here.
[image from By Miss Sally]

Last, but not least, here’s a way to get your pet involved in the festivities. This dog hat will make sure that your pet is stylin’ it up on Monday (or whenever the mood strikes). I also feel like this dog is trying to communicate in this pic from Doggy Diva Boutique in the States. In fact, most of the photos displaying the shop’s wares are intriguing. But, I think that’s another post for another time.

Not sure this dog is feeling the luck of the Irish. [image from Doggy Diva Boutique]

Not sure this dog is really feeling the luck of the Irish.
[image from Doggy Diva Boutique]

Whatever you’re wearing, I wish you and yours a very happy St Patrick’s Day.

(Oh, and far be it from me to judge – if you really want to check out some of the costumes that I didn’t include here, or if you need more supplies for your celebrations, you can have a look on Amazon: Shop Amazon – St. Patricks Day – Shop books, costumes, party supplies, and more.)

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Accessorising with Animals

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I love finding quirky gift ideas to help you with presents for those tricky-to-buy-for people in your life. And when I saw this series of items, I just had to share. Whether someone really loves animals, or isn’t allowed to have real pets in their apartment, or is a stressed-out big-wig Exec VP GM CFO OMG, or just needs a funky carrying device, I present to you some of the highlights from Ben Tsang’s etsy shop: BENWINEWIN. (And I have to say that any shop that has wine and win in its name has already got me.)

"Brown Cat Bag" includes cat-like straps.  [image from BENWINEWIN]

Well, hello kitty! “Brown Cat Bag” includes cat-like straps, apparently.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

I feel like this Panda Purse would help to save money. The guilt trip from those sad eyes will keep the zipper closed tight. [image from BENWINEWIN]

I feel like this Panda Purse would help to save money. The guilt trip from those sad eyes: do you really need those expensive shoes? Will you really wear that hat again? Are the sequins really a wardrobe staple? Got bamboo?
[image from BENWINEWIN]

This owl cushion is basically the soft furnishing equivalent of a menacing whisper: YOU'RE ALWAYS BEING WATCHED.

This owl cushion is basically a menacing whisper: YOU’RE ALWAYS BEING WATCHED.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

The Pomeranian. Happiest dog-bag in the world. [image from BENWINEWIN]

The Pomeranian. Happiest dog-bag in the world.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

And my personal favourite…

Because everyone needs a giant raccoon by their side. [image from BENWINEWIN]

Because everyone needs a giant raccoon by their side.
[image from BENWINEWIN]

I hope you like these as much as I did – and please feel free to share this post with any friends who might also like what BENWINEWIN does. And if you needed another reason to visit the shop, Ben Tsang also takes custom orders…so you can carry your little Pixie or Spot or Roger (the raccoon, obviously) everywhere you go. You’re welcome!

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New jewels

A quick post today…

Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how lucky we are. In the midst of running around and paying bills and cooking dinners and catching buses and shopping and walking and sleeping, you can lose sight of those little everyday sparks that make you smile. So, in case you’re having trouble finding yours, please share mine from yesterday – a beautiful necklace made for me by my five year old niece, Lauren. Yes, that’s a silver Barbie logo and little silver handbag (Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out) and there’s a pearl and a shell and too many other good things to mention. And it fits over my head and sits beautifully, like a designer necklace should. Tiffany & Co, look out.

Uh huh.

Uh huh.

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Friday Fotos: Mr Button and friends

I’ll keep this short and sweet, but I couldn’t resist sharing these fantastic Mr Buttons – made by John Caswell in the UK and featured on the Frankie magazine blog this week. Now THIS is a way to add personality to your clothes. When I had a look at his online shop, I found that John also makes Mr Switch, to give boring old light switches some character. Oh, and Handy Ruler is pretty cool too.

[image from http://johncaswelldesign.bigcartel.com]

Naked Mr Button(s)
[image from johncaswelldesign.bigcartel.com]

Looking good, Mr Button(s) [image from www.frankie.com.au]

Looking good, Mr Button(s) – even the cranky green one
[image from frankie.com.au]

Mr Switch [image fromhttp://johncaswelldesign.bigcartel.com]

Mr Switch
[image from johncaswelldesign.bigcartel.com]

Handy Ruler [image fromhttp://johncaswelldesign.bigcartel.com]

Handy Ruler
[image from johncaswelldesign.bigcartel.com]

If you want to see more, you can check out the Frankie blog here and John Caswell’s online shop here.

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Gimme Shelter

I have posted about the Ecouterre website a few times – generally when something on their eco fashion / sustainability site catches my eye as being at the extreme end of the wacky scale. So when their recent e-newsletter featured a post called 10 Wearable Habitats to Shelter You From the Apocalypse, I thought it was worth checking out. Not always practical or attractive, but I guess that’s not at the top of your priority list when you’re seeking shelter from the apocalypse, right?

Apparently, this jacket / sleeping bag combo is the result of a collaboration between London designer Tom Dixon and Adidas, in an attempt to create a “complete wardrobe for every possible occasion”. I presume that this piece is only part of the wardrobe collection, as I do not believe that it caters for every possible occasion. A black tie function, for example. Or, you know, working in a normal office. Or really, any place that requires your legs to be covered in something other than your bedding. It is a good idea if you’re looking for a jacket you can sleep in, though.

Dress it up for day or night.

Dress it up for day or night.

Then there is this ‘Portable Home’ that was designed by three students from Middlesex University in the UK. It’s a peculiar looking white frock that turns into a tent. And you get to wear a cool pointy hat too. Not sure how comfortable your dress would be with all those tent poles hanging around, but it’d be very handy in case you needed a tent on the run.

A great party trick - watch me turn into a tent!

A great party trick – watch me turn into a tent!

And from another British designer, Lucy Orta, comes ‘Refuge Wear’. It’s a great concept and apparently one of Lucy’s designs enabled four people to join their silver jackets together to become a multi-person tent. Pretty amazing stuff, but I really like it because it looks like the tent may well be alive. If I was the boss, I would add some arms, just for the effect.

Hello there.

Hello there.

And now to my favourite. Veasyble. From what I can gather (their website is in Italian), it is like a paper accordion style thing. That you can carry around and then PUT OVER YOUR FACE. The website is full of bizarro images – a lady on the train, with a small paper accordion covering her eyes; a lady on the steps in a busy city, with a paper mask covering her whole face. But I like the one in the image below as I can imagine how good it would be to use in the real world. Forget ‘talk to the hand’ or the old fashioned ‘I am not listening to you – la, la, la, la’. With this, I can show you that I’ve had enough by silently expanding my paper accordion and disappearing into my own cocoon. I don’t think it’s sound-proofed, but someone would have to be very persistent to keep talking once you were in here.

Say what?

Say what?

But I couldn’t leave out the Sleep Suit. American Forrest Jessee (yes, really) has designed this suit and according to his website, there appears to be a great deal of science behind the textile used and the design of the suit. So I do feel a bit guilty for liking it because it looks funny. I couldn’t find my favourite image of the suit to use here – it was a lady dressed in the suit, slumped over her computer keyboard, resting peacefully in an otherwise bustling office. And let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a suit that could make that happen?

ShelterSleepSuit

You can check out all of the wearable habitats from the Ecouterre website here. If only I could have ordered a sleep suit in time for the Camino – now THAT would impress the other pilgrims in the hostel!

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These shirts smell.

They had me at the name Smellies Clothing. And the tag line – interactive t-shirts – was so full of possibility. A t-shirt that could hold a conversation, perhaps? Or play fetch with a stick in the park? Not quite, my friends, but still AMAZING. The ranges include Colourchange (Hypercolor-style, they change colour with touch and body heat) and Glow In The Dark (um, yep, these ones glow in the dark). Oh, and just one other range of interactive t-shirts…SCRATCH N’ SMELL T-SHIRTS.

A popcorn scented shirt? Yes please!

A popcorn scented shirt? Yes please!

Ah, chocolate.

Ah, chocolate.

A festive twist.

A festive twist.

And a healthy option.

And a healthy option.

Unfortunately, they only come in little people’s sizes at the moment, but I reckon if we start an EverydaySparks petition, we might just be able to push for the production of adult-size scratch n’ smell t-shirts. The only problem I can see is if people try to scratch you while you’re wearing it. I distinctly remember fights over scratch n’ sniff stickers back in the day, when people would sneak scratches and sniffs, reducing the powers of your magic stickers and resulting in tears. There was an irresistible sort of urge to scratch them, which wouldn’t be so great when they’re in t-shirt form – if you were wearing your Smellies t-shirt on a crowded train, say. Or at a job interview. Or on a blind date. But otherwise, love your work, Smellies Clothing!

All of these pics are from their website and you can check out the ranges (and the very reasonable prices) from this unique Australian company here.

As always, EverydaySparks takes no responsibility for any harm, addictions, or resurfacing childhood memories that result from this post or any purchase that you or your loved ones may make from Smellies…

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Well hello, kitty

I was trying to avoid another Valentine’s Day post, but then I came across this shop in a Valentine’s Day gift collection on etsy and thought it was just kooky enough to share with you. Who knows, but your Valentine may even have four legs – no judgement here, my friend. Or perhaps your furry pal has been invited to a fancy dress party, or has a job interview or an X-Factor audition coming up. Whatever the case may be, I am tipping that this place will be able to help.

Notso Kitty is the shop, stocked with accessories created by Wendy in Boston, USA. Wendy makes a range of festive hats, glasses and headbands. For cats. In case you don’t believe me, here are some photos – the models are Wendy’s cats, Fluffy and Notso Fluffy.

And even if you’re not in the market for cat-wear, it’s always a good idea to start the week with pictures of funny looking animals, right?

Glasses for your furry Valentine.

Glasses for your furry Valentine.

O'Kitty all ready for St Patrick's Day.

O’Kitty all ready for St Patrick’s Day.

Good ol' pumpkin head, ready for Halloween.

Good ol’ pumpkin head, ready for Halloween.

The cat in the (royal) hat.

The cat in the (royal) hat.

And I have nothing more to add. Inspired? You can check out Notso Kitty on etsy here.

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New Year’s Resolution #7 – the one about nail polish

I’m not really a big fan of serious new year’s resolutions. I have a few things that I tried last year that met with mixed success (see more movies, read more books, run more, lose weight, say yes to more things – in a good way – and so on). Then again, I look back on 2012 as a great year for me, as things came up along the way that I turned into on-the-spot resolutions and saw those through. If I was wedded to my 2012 resolutions, I would have felt like a failure because my September injury meant a fast and dramatic end to my running program; I would have forced myself to see movies that I didn’t like to fill the monthly quota I had set; I would have said no to doing things so that I could finish the books on my bedside table. Granted, that growing pile of books is now threatening to topple on my head in the dead of night, so reading more books is something I’m keen to do in 2013 – if only for survival.

My resolutions have tended to form more of a to-do list for the year ahead, which I don’t think is best practice resolution setting, but it seems to work for me (mostly). I try to make some small, everyday kinda commitments or goals and some bigger (or longer term) resolutions too. And like any good to-do list, the more I put on, the better the chance of crossing something off. Surely.

Anyways, a resolution that I’ve decided to try this year is a very shallow and simple, yet specific, one: wear more nail polish. Because I’m worth it. Really though, I never paint my finger nails as I’ve never seen the point of it when they chip so quickly when you’re busy doing stuff, but this year I’m starting in style. With the yellow, pineapple scented (yes, really) Sportsgirl nail polish that I gave my nieces for Christmas. Sure, I keep thinking I’ve got stickers caught on my fingers or someone has attacked me with highlighters, but these colourful nails are everyday sparks if ever I’ve seen them…

NewYearNails

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