Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Ballin' Bakery

Cupcakes are well and truly taking over the world (if only life were so simple!). A rainbow of coloured icing and decorative, edible ornaments are sending those with a sweet-tooth straight to the dentist to fill the sugar-deep cavities left by this sweet, little baked good. Certainly all worth the pain, right?

Swapping couture with cupcakes, then stirring in a dollop of creativity, these Fashion Cupcakes are giving those high-fashion models a run for their money.

Going beyond hunger, it would be murderous to devour one of these little gems.

Reading magazine backwards with the mag-hag

OK, when it comes to a handful of meticulously selected material possessions, I am a bit nutty. Shoes, velvet, nail polish, buttons, magazines, my laptop – these items receive my complete, uninterrupted attention; with their matte surfaces they each somehow manage to sparkle in my direction. So, as you – the few Bits & Bob-sters who aimlessly stumble across my blog – may recognise, is that these inanimate objects fuel my writing and in a way, stimulate my desire to push my credit card limit into the dire depths of debt (alliteration is annoyingly amusing – as is assonance).

Well, this blog entry reveals a little about my magazine addiction; I’m like a die-hard MJ fan, purchasing, reading, engaging with anything that remotely relates to my muse. When I pick up a brand new mag, its crisp and unmarked pages intact and untouched, I flip it over, reading and scanning articles and spreads from back cover to front. Once I have performed a preliminary analysis of the content, I re-read the magazine over the next week, sucking the life from it. So, what you can all probably gather from this admission is that:

No. 1: I have a ridiculously profound love and appreciation for magazines
No. 2: This obsession is sort of excessive and uncanny – I am a mag-hag!

Now, now, there is something interesting to be mentioned within this entry my sweets: my quirky method of mag-ing (reading a magazine – get it? Derr! Dang, my urban dictionary is lacking flair!) is reflected in the way Japanese magazines are produced. While studying abroad last year in the US, I shared a dorm suite with seven other girls who came from Puerto Rico, America, Greece and Japan – one of my Japanese roommates, a fellow mag-hag, shared in the universal love for the printed pop culture bible. She would have her family send her favourite magazines from Japan to the US (yeah, I may have had my fav Aussie mags sent to me, as well). Understanding each other’s interest in magazines, we decided to swap; when Hitomi gave me her magazine, she instructed me to flip it so that I would be reading it backwards. I recall thinking, despite our cultural and linguistic differences, we are still able to share something unique. I then glanced down at the reversed mag, noticing that I wasn’t staring at an advertisement typical of the last page of a magazine, but a glossy, front cover. Huh? Well, as we, Westerners, have been taught to read from right to left, the Japanese do the complete opposite – wow, right?

As I read the forwards magazine backwards (contradictory? Not in this circumstance), my love for this print medium solidified, growing to appreciate it as world-wide mode of communication with each publication tailored to a specific group of people.

So, I wonder what Hitomi thinks of Australia’s Frankie magazine – reading a forwards magazine backwards? I really must remember to ask her!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Unraveling time traveling

Australia is the world’s largest island and smallest continent, mostly detached from the rest of the world. Exaggeration? Certainly not! While sitting on a busy New York City subway train last November, my friends and I discovered that we weren’t the only Aussies taking a bite out of the Big Apple; the packed carriage was predominantly occupied by Australians. Yes, this may be just one example, but even if we concentrate on the idea of differing international time zones, it is clear that this country is somewhat segregated from other nations – Australia, undoubtedly, is the Land Down Under.

Now, with globe trotting comes an inevitable process that causes disorientation, bizarre sleeping patterns, and at times, a severe case of grumpiness: jetlag. Speaking from experience, I have spent days in foreign countries, torn between the desire to venture outside and explore, and the necessity to allow my body clock to adapt to the new environment.

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have played an integral role in attempting to bridge the digital divide between countries of the world, allowing people to form and sustain relationships, particularly through the World Wide Web. I have spent hours on Skype having conversations with friends I made overseas, as well as writing emails and Facebook messages. Indeed, ICT have definitely made it possible for people to break physical boundaries and communicate internationally, but there is one problem that can not be solved by even the most advanced technologies: differentiating time zones. It is difficult, frustrating even, trying to organise a time to speak with someone who lives in say, the US. Australia is 14 hours ahead of America, making it increasingly difficult to talk to one of my best friends who lives in Albequerque, New Mexico and my boyfriend who lives in Buffalo, New York.

Ah, but don’t fret, my Bits & Bob-sters (seriously, I am just waiting for a publisher to ask me to write an Ellie-dictionary), the negative impact of time zones can be defeated. My boyfriend has traveled from the US to Australia, staying with me for six weeks. What this means is that we don’t have to sit for hours on Skype at random hours of the day, anticipating the disconnection of the Internet, or uphold our relationship via daily emails. This solution does involve burning a hole in a person’s wallet, but there are positive results of such action – discovering new cultures, meeting other travellers and locals, and overcoming geography as a relationship setback.

Luckily, there isn’t one of us out there who has to be conscious of physically traveling between the past, present and future, like Henry De Tamble from The Time Traveler’s Wife (Bits & Bob-sters: read that back ASAP!). Then we’d really be in a spot of bother, wouldn’t we?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My feet are thanking Brazil and recycled tyres. Wait.. what?

Brazilian-based brand, Melissa are giving ladies across the world the opportunity to join them in wearing recycled tyres as footwear. Say whaaaa? Yes, my fellow footwear fiends, women can now wear show-stopping heels while contributing to saving the environment.

I remember buying my first pair of Melissa shoes. With a cup of tea in hand on a Sunday afternoon, I was scouring ebay for, well, anything; online shopping is my kryptonite, gahhh! After spending far too much time flicking through page after page of search results for platform wedges, I came across a scarlet-coloured and velvet pair with a Minnie Mouse peep toe and a petite ankle strap. GAAAW-JUSS! They were reasonably priced, but due to being shipped from a US seller, I ended up being hit with a rather hefty postage bill. My PayPal account certainly copped a bit of a bruising that day, ouch!

I later learned that this brand is internationally recognised as being a strong advocate for sustainable fashion, saving the environment by utilising materials like old car tyres while creating their original pieces. By using these recycled materials, Melissa shoes are lessening the amount of carbon gases omitted into the atmosphere from the burning of rubber tyres.

Catching the attention of shoe-lovers worldwide, Melissa shoes have partnered up with eclectic designer, Vivienne Westwood, releasing numerous ranges of sweet and sassy heels – collections that have sold out and restocked in online stores across the globe.

Saving the world in 6-inch platforms sounds like some over exaggerated motif typical of Sex and the City. Hey, I love SJP, but really, with all the hype around the new movie, you’d think it was all about how four women finding the bloody Holy Grail while wearing Manolo Blahnik’s. But, could you honestly think of anything better? Buying an affordable pair of to-die-for heels that largely contribute to preserving the world we live in and erasing the carbon footprint that we, and our predecessors, have trampled the earth with. Well, step aside Carrie, as women all across the world are proving to be large contributors in preserving the environment by showing off a pair of Melissa’s.