Monday, 30 June 2014

Eggs, Oranges and Billion Story Buildings

Annika: everything is thrifted except shirt (c/o Sheinside (ages ago) and shoes (Naot)) and handmade egg brooch
Katie: Everything is thrifted except for handmade egg brooch and earrings (made by us!)

Hi all! I am posting this with a very heavy heart because Katie is just about to hop on a plane to Scandinavia for the whole of July, and I'm at a complete loss as to what I'm going to do without her! Over the last 6 months we've grown incredibly close, spending much of our spare time hanging out, making crafts, talking about feminism, anthropology and science and dressing up like weirdos together. I cried even more after we said goodbye than when my boyfriend left the other day (also for a month-long holiday in Europe *grumble jealousy grumble*).
So we spent all of yesterday hanging out and taking photos, our outfits becoming progressively more ridiculous as the day went on. I styled both of our outfits here - for some reason I was feeling Autumnal even though it isn't Autumn anywhere in the world right now. Autumn and... eggs. Because eggs are awesome. Yep.
I also forced Katie to buy these cute chilli suspenders the other day because I thought they suited her perfectly - what do you guys think?

So I've posted about What If before (a website where a physicist takes ridiculous questions completely seriously), and I really liked this particular one so I wanted to share it!
This question actually comes from a 4-year-old, so it's also super cute. If you were to build a skyscraper with one billion stories.... just how big would it be? This is also happens to help you get your head around the concept of a "billion" - it's just so large!
The illustration above (by XKCD's What If) shows a skyscraper that's only 10,000 floors high. Still much smaller than a billion! Click here to see what a billion-story building would look like!

I hope that you're all having a lovely day.

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Friday, 27 June 2014

A Picnic in my Backyard & Spellbound by Space

Blouse, skirt, cardigan and basket are thrifted | space shuttle necklace c/o Eclectic Eccentricity | astronaut necklace c/o Ginger Pickle | shoes were c/o Sammy Dress (years old) | socks from markets | cherries c/o Sarsparilly (actually a hairclip) | earrings are handmade by me

If you gave someone the task of creating "Annika's dream jewelry store", and this person knew me well, they would make it 1. Science-themed 2. Vintage-inspired 3. Handmade 4. Kitschy/novelty and 5. An alliterative brand name (pun optional, but highly recommended).

So when I visited Eclectic Eccentricity for the first time, I was fairly sure that I had made their store up in my head - because they are all of these things.

And then! - I found out that they wanted to work. with. me. And send me all the cute stuff. Eeeep! Yep, I thought, I have definitely dreamt this all up. So can you all please do me a favour - visit their website, and tell me if they really do exist? It still seems a little too good to be true!
The two space-themed necklaces that I'm wearing are pieces from Eclectic Eccentricity, though I actually got the astronaut necklace from Ginger Pickle a few months ago. I always wear the two necklaces together so I can pretend that the astronaut is Sandra Bullock, and the intense scenes from Gravity are playing out on my chest.
Yeah. I have way too much fun with my clothes.

So this seems appropriate considering my outfit - did you know that you can live-stream the Earth from space, from a camera mounted on the international space station (ISS)?
The ISS is a station (in space, as you may have guessed) where astronauts go to hang out, 410 kilometres above our heads, in orbit around the Earth. While there, the astronauts are usually involved in different biology, physics and chemistry experiments and observations.

Anyway, you can watch a live HD stream of the Earth below! If you just see a black screen, that means that it's currently night time for the ISS because the sun is on the other side of the Earth - but don't worry about waiting a whole 12 hours for it to get light again, because the ISS goes all the way around the earth in just 90 minutes!
So if the screen is blank, come back in about 45 minutes, and you'll see some amazing footage. I just watched the sun set behind the Earth and IT WAS AMAZING.

Hey, you're down there, somewhere. Wave for the camera!

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

This page shows exactly where the ISS is at any particular time of the day (so you can see if it's just about to pass over you!)

p.s. I made the earrings in my outfit. If I were to sell these (and these cute mushroom ones), would anyone be interested in buying them..?

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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Style Challenge: 12 Item Remix

When it comes to fashion, remixing is one of my favourite things to do! It forces me to get much more creative with my clothes, so that I don't have to stand there in front of my wardrobe, tearing out my hair, yelling "I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!" (well, that's the idea anyway).
Last year I started a short-lived series where I limited myself to 12 items of clothing for the entire month. Unfortunately doing that once a month was way too much work, so I only ever did two months (and you can see those past Style Challenge posts here). But I did really enjoy those posts, so this one is basically in the same vein - except that this time I decided to make a video!

a: thrifted b: thrifted c: DIY d: DIY e: vintage f: thrifted g: Naot h: thrifted i: vintage j: Yeswalker k: thrifted l: thrifted

In the end I got up to 24 outfits (I basically kept going until I had forgotten all the outfits that I'd already worn and gave up ^^ ), but I'd like to know if you can think of any cool combinations that I missed!

I hope you're having a lovely day!

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Friday, 20 June 2014

Indoor Picnics

Cape, skirt, basket and belt are thrifted | shoes are Naot | blouse is from Forever 21 (several years old)

I am back from my self-imposed exam exile! With my last exam this afternoon, my responsibilities have suddenly melted away and now I am basically free for an entire month to blog, sew and make videos. I have been scheming on so many different DIYs for the last four months and now that I'm finally free, I'm both buzzing with energy to get started and entirely overwhelmed at the same time; scrolling through this pinterest board, I've been having so many ideas come flooding in at once that it's become rather like a traffic jam. I think I'll take a couple of days to breathe, have a break and then begin on some serious crafting!

My picnic basket is busted ;__;

This red cape remains one of my favourite thrifting finds to date (although this recent find is a serious contender). And how good is this stripey pastel pink skirt - I thrifted this on the same day! Somehow, going op-shopping became the thing I did every time I needed a study break. Which... was a lot. Which also means that my wardrobe is basically bursting at the seams right now >.>

I'll keep this post short and sweet, but I'll be around here a lot more in the next couple of weeks ;) I've got some really exciting things planned, and a LOT of new thrifted clothes to blog about (if you can call thrifted clothes "new"), so stick around! 

I hope that you're all having a beautiful day,

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Thursday, 12 June 2014

Mrs Strong: A Mr Men DIY

Skirt is DIY | blouse and jumper are thrifted | brooch is by Katie | tights from OKOK | Shoes are Naot | earrings are handmade from the Finders Keepers markets in Sydney

Last Friday I woke up determined to make something of these Mr Men bedsheets that I found at the op shop 3 or 4 months ago. I sent Katie a quick message asking if she wanted to join me in a crafting-session so we could make ourselves matching outfits for the Finders Keepers Craft Markets later that night. She responded with an enthusiastic yes, but unfortunately she started feeling really anxious and had to cancel. I felt terrible having my main girl feel so bad, and wanted to do anything that I could to help, so I spent the whole day binge-listening to podcasts and working on some skirts for us both. After making two matching circle skirts, I thought I would cut around one of the Mr Men characters and turn it into a pinafore-style dress - after transforming "Mr" Strong into "Mrs Strong" of course (that's what I think of your sexist gender-binaries, Roger Hargreaves! Did you know that the "Mr Men" and "Little Misses" live in "Misterland"? *grumpy face*). I also put some stuffing inside the pinafore-bit to help it keep its shape, and I'm so happy with how it turned out.

So I turned up later that afternoon at Katie's apartment with a surprise gift, and told her that anytime she is feeling bad she should put on the pinafore and remember how amazing and strong she is ('coz she is)! We then proceeded to have the best time at the Finders Keepers markets, meeting hundreds of wonderfully crafty people, being complimented on our style by literally everyone we talked to, feeling massively good about ourselves and (half-jokingly) scheming on a plan to drop out of uni and open our own craft business.

Pop along to Katie's blog to see more photos and close-ups of her Mrs Strong pinafore. Also, if you've ever suffered from anxiety or are close to someone who does, Katie's latest blog post will probably really resonate with you. Give it a read :)

I hope that you're all having a wonderful week!

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Sunday, 8 June 2014

Velvet Daisies / Mammal Eggs

 Dress, belt and cardigan are thrifted | tights from Japan | shoes are Naot

Some of my latest thrifting successes - this daisy-print shirt dress and velvet cardigan (which is actually Alice in the Eve, a trendy and expensive Australian brand), that altogether cost me $4. If I were not to wear shoes, the entire outfit would be under $10 - unfortunately, these Naot shoes push that total outfit cost up a whole order of magnitude!

Your cute science news for the day - this is what a mammal looks like hatching from an egg.

I hope that you're all having a great week! I'm a busy studying bee with my final exams in less than two weeks, so if you don't hear from me for a while, that's what I'm doing! (And if you've got instagram, you can follow me here).

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Floppy Thrift Shop Dresses / Bad Cholesterol?

Dress is thrifted | cardigan and basket are thrifted | necklace c/o Eccentric Electricity | shoes are Naot | tights are OKOK

This week Craft n' Crumble Tuesday also became Craft, Crumble and CAMERA Tuesday (eh, eh?) with me and the wonderful Katie deciding to put on our very best floppy thrift shop dresses to take these rather silly photos. And no, we weren't going on a picnic or anything - this picnic basket is apparently just Katie's new handbag now. I like it.

So guess who got full marks on their biochemistry blog-post assignment! ;___; 
I also got the loveliest feedback, not only from my professor but from all of you guys as well, so thank you! It was so good reading all of the insightful comments that you left, and feeling all warm and fuzzy about the fact that I have such intelligent people coming to read what I write here. I might stop now before I get too sappy, but I love you guys!

I definitely want to do more biochemistry and genetics posts, because it really seemed like you guys were interested in that, plus it's my passion! So I'll bring you some interesting tidbits from the stuff I've been studying (it'll help me study, as well. Win win)!
The chemical structure of cholesterol, for all you chemistry nerds out there.

Today I'm going to give you the rundown on cholesterol. It's actually pretty fascinating.
For all the bad press that cholesterol gets, it's actually an extremely important molecule to have in your body. Remember how we talked about cells? Well the thing that keeps all the water, DNA, proteins and other useful stuff inside each cell is something called a membrane. These membranes are partly made up of fats. Cholesterol slots into the membranes, gives them strength and also makes them flexible and impermeable so you can import things in and out of the cell. It's also used in making hormones.

And it's so important that your body actually makes its own cholesterol.

So then, you might ask, what's with all the bad rap that cholesterol gets? Well, every cell in your body is able to "take in" cholesterol. Unfortunately, you have one type of cell in your body called a macrophage (a type of white blood cell) which is totally cholesterol-happy. 
Macrophages just can't get enough of that sweet sweet cholesterol, and will gobble it up whenever they see the chance. Unfortunately, when the cholesterol levels in your blood are way too high, the macrophages ingest WAY too much cholesterol, become all foamy, die, and make plaques which stick onto your blood vessels. Too much of this, and undesireable things like strokes and heart attacks ensue - and that's why too much cholesterol is a bad, bad thing.
What I imagine macrophages look like when they come across cholesterol.

So to stop your macrophages from overdosing on delicious cholesterol, you obviously need to limit the amount of cholesterol you are eating. Cholesterol-rich foods include meat and dairy, so going easy on these can help. Remember that your body also makes its own cholesterol - if you don't eat any, your body will compensate and just make more.

So what you really want to do is to eat things which compete with cholesterol absorption from the gut. Many plants are rich in cholesterol-inhibitors called phytosterols and eating lots of these can reduce the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream.

There is also a link - which is still not very well understood - between polyunsaturated fats (think vegatable oils and fish) lowering the amounts of blood cholesterol, and producing more of these special proteins called HDLs which "mop up" excess cholesterol from your blood before those darn macrophages get to it.

I hope you guys learnt something new, and I also hope that you're having a great day!

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