Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The future of Circuit Jewellery

When I think back to this photo shoot from May, I have to admit that this set shot by my friend Akiko was my favorite.  Being by the sea and wearing a nautical-inspired outfit, the red, white and blue, the stripes of the dress, the crisp colors of the background.  I loved that we used Stanley as our setting because it's my home, but more than that, there's such juxtaposition of culture and aesthetic here.  

Old and new buildings (old buildings in new places, new buildings in old places).  East and west.  The British influence in Hong Kong.  The remnants of WWII, when the Japanese dropped a bomb but it didn't detonate, saving the temple by Stanley Plaza.  Expats and locals.  A local housing estate in amongst the flats and condos that expats live in.  A local preschool (where my girls started out) right next to a brand new Montessori school.

All that juxtaposition seemed perfect for a shoot that blends vintage clothing with modern jewellery.  To showcase a new company which aims to highlight beautiful pieces and the stories that accompany them and really make these new pieces feel like heirlooms.

And this little start up, Circuit Jewellery, is up to big things!    

Loris, one of Circuit Jewellery's co-founders, shared an exciting update with me.  Since our shoot, Circuit Jewellery traveled to Bangkok to meet up with new suppliers, one of which is Mosstories (now featured in their boutique).  They also met with other local Thai designers to see if some of their designs would be suited for their online shop.  Circuit Jewellery carefully curates their shop selection so that all designs featured are of good quality, follow their design aesthetic and have an interesting story behind them.  This is their concept, after all.  

Another exciting update is that Circuit Jewellery has been looking to expand it's selection of eco-friendly jewellery.  They've acquired designs from a small Balinese company which makes beautiful jewellery out of reclaimed wood and reclaimed inner tubes.  Ahh!  I love this.  Remember my Feel Good Fashion series?  Yeah, this fits right in. 

And, every good company needs a vision.  Theirs is to continue to build their business, expand their customer base and eventually begin creating their own designs.  I'll be behind them all the way!

If you haven't stopped over at their website, you really should.  They do free shipping worldwide!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's your selfie face?

In my homeroom the other day, I spent a good fifteen minutes having fun with my students and talking with them about selfie faces.  Homeroom is meant for just hanging out with my kids, not teaching them anything meaningfully academic.  We hang.  We bond.

So, on the topic of selfie faces, one of my girls informed us all that there are different kinds.  The ugly selfie face should be for when you are sending Snapchats to your friends and family.  The uglier, the better.  It should be your go to selfie face.  This was the one we practiced.  Then, there is the pretty selfie face reserved for sending that guy you like a Snapchat.

I even found this article describing the 15 most common selfie faces.  Read it, it's funny.  And, I admit I use some of these.  Anyhoo, I thought I'd write about selfie faces (I do the duck lips a fair bit as well as the scrunched up face) and selfie occasions.  

There's the "we're catching up and we don't get to do it all that often" selfie seen here with my girl Shanya.  Look for more on the blog about exciting things coming from her line Baglady Basics.

There's the "OMG, what a small world and we know the same people let's send him a picture" selfie as seen with Emily and Samantha Wordsworth.  Groovy sisters for sure.  When are we hanging out again???

Here's the "we really did some crazy shit in college and had fun, so we're picking up where we left off" selfie.  How can those days be so long ago now?

Then there's the all too crafty "this is a selfie, but you won't know I actually took this picture myself" selfie (unless you really analyze my neck muscles straining).  It's really reserved for pensive moments, or super jet lagged ones.

This "we're just hanging out being goofy" selfie is one of my favorite kinds.  Coincidentally, we both whipped out our phones at the same time.  Great minds, they say!

How about the quintessential "new hair do" selfie.  There are two kinds, goofy (as seen here) or serious.  I've done both.  

This is a Hong Kong specific type of selfie, the "hey! we're at the Sevens!" selfie.

The "we are family" selfie.

This little girl kidnapped my phone one morning and I found her huddled up in the corner of my room in a little bit of a funk because she didn't know how to take a selthie.  So, despite needing to run out the door for school, we did a little on the spot tutorial.  So here is our first "mummy and daughter" selfie.

Think what you may about the selfie phenomenon, I just think they're a lot of fun.  As I look back through these, I think about the moments of goofiness captured on camera that make you smile when you see them again.  We are living in the Instagram, Snapchat generation now.  This is pop culture kind of stuff.  Some day we'll look back on these with the same kind of nostalgia that we do when we remember the days we used to get tangled up in phone cords as teenagers (oh, wait...I'm really speaking to those of you who were teenagers in the 80s and 90s).

Last week, my friend Akiko bought me a selfie stick after hearing me mention it several times.  Just wait. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Trying to stay afloat

I'm drowning.  In debt, in school work, in managing the anxiety of my children about their school work, in establishing routines and activity schedules for the kiddos, in trying to communicate with the hubby when it feels like we're going in opposite directions, in posts that I have planned but can't seem to find time to write, in ideas and inspiration with no way to channel it....oh, the list could go on.

This blog space and my Sisters in Vintage blog space have all but been neglected.  Believe me, there are half posts, pictures and titles saved, but posts that remain unwritten.

There are pictures taken, but not uploaded.

There are half finished projects.

And, at the moment, I don't see a time when this might change.  While at times this overwhelms me, I always try to see the silver lining.  That I'm glad I have so much going on creatively.  That my children have so many opportunities.  That I enjoy getting up and going to work.

But, sometimes the trying gets hard.  

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Good lighting

I've spent most of the last two weeks cursing at the hot weather.  Dressing up in work clothes with the intensity of the sun bearing down while I walk to work or wait for the lift means sweat-face almost instantly.  It's disgusting.  And totally unforgiving for those of us wearing vintage (those blasted unnatural fabrics)!

Everyone still greets everyone else with the customary two cheek kiss, but at this time of year, it's not really as pleasant as it sounds.

Nevertheless, the sunny days of August and now September mean that there's plenty of good lighting for blog pictures.  The kind of light that lends a natural glow to the evening, that is forgiving to any flaws that a blogger may have.  Especially if the light comes from one side. I discovered, though, that the intensity of the light can create unwanted flaws (read: forehead wrinkles...and I didn't include that picture).  

It's the golden hour, as it's known in the blogging world.  I think even the fairest person might look like they have a healthy sun kissed complexion.  Bloggers all know how to use it to their advantage, where to stand and where to look.  My girl Gabrielle of Look Sharp, Sconnie and I had a good giggle about this whole concept when we met up for coffee this summer.  It seems so narcissistic, but I suppose so is blogging about your outfits, too.  Oh well.

Mid Autumn Festival is around the corner.  Locals say that the weather cools slightly after that.  I hope so!  Until then, I'm surviving by keeping it simple and not wearing too much jewellery.

Outfit details:  white lace vintage top - Kennedy Holmes Etsy shop, Estate sale skirt and starfish earrings, Shoemint loafers and Louella Odie Skyline Handbag (see here for more on my summer travelogue with them).

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Feel Good Fashion: Cross the Line

I created the Feel Good Fashion series to really champion the cause to support local designers, to think more sustainably in our fashion choices and really just be an advocate for mindfulness in all we do.  I love that I've been approached to do just this.

Cross the Line is a brand new website created to be an online designer platform to promote local Asian designers.  The website launched in early August and as of now, there are 11 designers represented (6 from Hong Kong and 5 from Taiwan).  In addition to this, they have a page devoted to sharing fashion inspiration and stories of their designers.  Each month they upload a new mood board and feature up and coming designers.  Have a look for yourself, here

I'm excited to share with you three looks I've created of my own using the pieces of some of the designers featured in their website.  In addition to that, Cross the Line is offering an exclusive discount code to my readers. 

Just use the code "NORBYAH" to receive 10% off all items on the website.  This offer is good through September 30.  

The clothes in all three looks and the blue Hobo bag come from designer 112 mountainyam who aims to create pieces for the sophisticated and independent woman.  I love the strength in the simplicity of all their pieces.  The pink necklace comes from Mipenna and the chain necklace comes from Project Juness.  The printed clutch comes from Blind by JW and I couldn't resist it's butterfly print.

Here's hoping I get to play a little dress up in these soon!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Announcing a winner!

I got so swept up in my nightly routine that I nearly forgot to pick a winner for the Louella Odie Travelogue giveaway.  Tonight's winner of her very own Pomfret Bag is none other than an old high school mate!  Though I haven't seen her in over twenty years (sorry Midori, I've given away our age), I'm thrilled that she'll be getting her own bag. 

Be sure to post pictures on Facebook and tag Louella Odie and me when you do!

And thanks again to everyone for all your enthusiastic support of this travelogue project.  It was a fun summer collaboration.  Don't worry, there are more fun things coming from Louella Odie and I will be sure to share those here.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Feel Good Fashion: Square Street

Yesterday, I popped over to the Design Market at PMQ where local Hong Kong designers and locally based retailers set up booths to showcase and sell their products.  Totally my scene.

Wandering around the booths and stopping to chat with some of my designer friends, I was inspired to get back to this Feel Good Fashion series.  I really love that PMQ has become a creative hub for Hong Kong and I think it's important to highlight all the amazing people who are into art and design, who are moving Hong Kong forward.

One such place is squarestreet.  Home to shoe designer Alexis Holm, whose line of footwear called Gram is designed and sold there along with watch designer David Ericsson, whose VOID watches are on sale there, too.  This is the same squarestreet that stocks those gorgeous Moheda Swedish clogs that I had the privilege of styling up and shooting for them. (Read that post here).

I love their showroom, which recently went under remodeling so they could relocate the office space and dedicate more of their store front to display the beautiful products.  The space is clean and modern, with their products following the same aesthetic.

In the Spring of last year, square street came out with a special edition SQ100's shoe in support of the Clean Air Network here in Hong Kong.  They were covered in animal footprints to serve as a reminder  to go places on foot rather than to use motor vehicles.

I nabbed myself a pair and wore them all summer long to tromp the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, NYC, ride my bike along the quiet streets of Oglesby and the bike paths of Greater Madison and hit up the thrift shops and estate sales all over.

Lately, my shoe choice has been of the more comfortable (and dare I say, practical) persuasion.  I won't venture to guess why because I'm not ready to admit to anything, so we'll leave it at that.

Postlude:  I took these outfit pictures way back before the summer, when it was a heck of a lot cooler than it is now.  I like that I can pair these shoes with my vintage dresses.  I think they work quite nicely that way.

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