The Geeky Rabbit: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

wet weather plan for the leather bag

I live in a tropical climate, hence sudden showers and downpours are inevitable. I'm always very cautious to make sure my belongings don't get wet or damaged in the rain. It'll be absolutely disasterous if your gadget gets soaked or if your work gets smudged! Moreover, I'm especially careful when it comes to leather bags, for I don't like my leather to be exposed to the rain. Excessive moisture is harmful and can cause mold to grow on the leather. Even more so for delicate hide such as lambskin or calfskin.

I found these foldable shopping bags at the local daiso. It's convenient and affordable. It can double up as a recycling bag when not protecting the prized leather bag from rain. Doing a good deed for the environment too!

There are various size available, and the largest nylon ones can even fit the bigger leather tote bags. Definitely useful for someone always on the go.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

outfit of the day: uniqueen tweed

In this outfit, I matched the black tweed No. 5 from Uniqueen with a simple bright blue top and black peplum skirt for a formal look. I was having dinner out that day, so the outfit is polished enough for work and also suitable for going out. To keep the look simple, I didn't wear any accessories. Instead, I paired the black peplum skirt with a caramel-hued belt to hold the skirt up.

Clearly I'm a strong believer in jackets. The outerwear can make or break an outfit, and this set of tweed blazers is extremely versatile and easy to match. The light shimmery and glittery thread makes the outfit a little bit less serious and stern so it is suitable even for the nights out (as I had worn the blazer from work straight to play afterwards). It may be a bit a little bit warm for the tropical climate, but for cooler nights I definitely aprpeciate the warmth!

H&M silver hair cuff- the real deal

Updated: DIY idea for hair cuff (H&M inspired) here

I previously featured metal hair cuffs here. I finally managed to get the real H&M metal hair cuffs this week! It was a really random find, had never expected to see it while I was out shopping for new swimwear (if you haven't seen the catalog, do check out the extensive range that H&M is offering this summer. The sizes are in a wide range so it's easy to find something that fits!).

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

making brooches out of Chanel camellias

I have a few of the iconic white camellias lying around on my dresser. I don't have much use of them so far, hence I decided to make brooches out of them!

Monday, May 28, 2012

another collar combination

Can't get enough of collars, and this is yet another one that's very similar to the Marni for H&M one that was released in March! (Which, of course, I failed to get because it was sold out so quickly). I paired the black "scaled" one with a black top. Simple, nice and it blends in well with the whole outfit. Black in different textures- cotton, velvet and pvc. A nice juxtaposition! 

One of the difficulties that I face wearing collars is how to keep them in place. Due to the airy and light nature of most of the collars available, they can move easily and go out of place. This is especially annoying if you're taking candid photos! Hence, in a later entry, I'll share some tips on how I keep the collar in position and prevent them from shifting around.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

my collection of Maybelline mascaras

I have always been a huge Maybelline fan, especially the mascaras. Even my first mascara was Maybelline! I remember it was the famous Great Lash mascara, but the normal washable one with the green cap.

Over the years, I've tried countless brands, but I've always returned to the brand's items. One of the sad thing is that a lot of these mascaras have been discontinued and very hard to procure.

My favorites have gotta be the Great Lash and Full 'N Soft mascaras. The waterproof ones are absolutely fantastic! Nothing can beat them. Sadly they are not sold in Asia anymore.

I also use the Volum' Express. They come in many variants too, and in the photo above there's actually 3 variations of the Volum' Express. 

This is a must-have for my makeup bag! I always look forward to the new mascaras that they release. Not all are suitable for me, but I'm always in search of the HGs on top of my two favorites.

a must have for the handbag- foldable slippers

Something often overlooked- spare shoes! Have you ever encountered any accidents with your heels or even flats? For me, I haven't been so lucky. I had attended a friend's wedding in my velvet pumps, but soon after being caught in a heavy rain on the way to the venue, the soles of my pumps (yes, both sides!) gave way. Thankfully the heels were still intact, so I managed to peel off the entire plastic/rubber soles off both sides. It felt scratchy to walk around with the spoilt shoes, so after the wedding I headed straight for the shoe shop to get slippers so that I can journey comfortably around.

Friday, May 25, 2012

protecting makeup tools and accessories from damage- DIY inspiration

I first got the idea of making little felt and suede pouches for my makeup compacts and accessories from my Chanel compacts. If you are familiar with the brand, you'd realize that all their items, be it compacts or brushes, come in a nifty little black velvet sleeve with the signature interlocking C's emblazoned. I thought it'd be great to protect my other compacts and stuff too. I had some of my compacts and brush handles scratched in my makeup pouch, so protecting them became my new mission.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

DIY sewing kit for the handbag

From time to time I would have a button or two pop (from eating too full or accidentally ripping one off). I decided to make a small sewing kit for my bag. I used an old Laura Ashley clothing tag and cut off a part of the flora part. The card is thick enough to hold the needle without folding. I taped a button with a piece of scotch tape. I also included a metal button, along with some black thread. It's really small, so it fits easily into a simple card case. It's easy to carry it with a clutch or a bigger gym bag.

It's a small detail to be overlooked, but having a sewing kit is pretty important, just in case of a wardrobe malfunction. You'll never know when such things can happen, so it's better to be prepared!

another lace collar day

Here's yet another way of wearing the lace collar I featured earlier on. This time, I wore it over a white singlet and topped it off with a black vest. Instantly makes a simple casual outfit look polished and formal! And the best part is that the collar is an add-on, so I didn't feel warm wearing such a formal get-up.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

knowing when to throw the makeup out

How many people actually take note of the expiry and effective usage period of their makeup? For me, I would check the labels if possible to ensure that the makeup I buy (or skincare) still have a long shelf life. Usually, if I'm not intending to use the product right away, I'll make sure that it has at least 2 years of validity. If the expiry date is not available as with many makeup brands, I'll look out for the manufacturing date and ensure that it is less than a year old.

keeping a pearl necklace in place

Pearls can add a demure and classy flair to any outfit. When overdone, it can look antiquated. However, if pearl strands are worn appropriately, the whole getup will become more stylish instantly.

I have different types of pearl strands, ranging from tiny pearls to huge ones and even strands with a mixture in sizes. For the pearls featured here, they are about 1.2mm in diameter- quite huge ones! The strand is very long at 5 feet in total. Hence, it is way too long to be worn on its own. I'd usually loop it around once or twice to shorten the strand.

However, one of my gripes is that the pearls keep sliding since they are extremely slippery. I don't like how the size of the pearl loops keep changing throughout the day, and sometimes when I am being photographed the pearl strands actually can look a tad messy. As such, I devised a nifty trick to keep the pearls in place- by using a safety pin!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Marni for H&M inspired collar

I recently found a collar that is similar to the Marni for H&M collar that was released earlier this year in March. I like how the white contrasts with the black velvet ribbon at the front. There's a tiny hooked clasp on the inside of the collar. 

The collar goes great with bright colored tops and adds a nice contrast to the whole outfit. I like how the scaly-looking bead adds a good texture. It's a different feel as compared to the smooth velvet ribbon. 

I'm looking forward to matching the collar with other outfits. I also got a black one as well. The black one will go better with muted and mono colors.

My collar obsession doesn't stop here. If I chance upon other nice and unique designs of collars I will definitely try it our with other outfits!

Hello Kitty spotted at McD!

New collection for the coming month! McDonald's is having a promotion whereby you can buy a Hello Kitty plushie dressed in various mascot costumes with a Extra Value Meal purchase. Absolutely adorable! I got my Hamburgler Kitty (HK still!) this afternoon. It's actually quite small- a bit longer than my palm. It's kinda flat, like the previous Hello Kitty collections released (think Kitty and Daniel in their couple togs). I like how the whole plushie is soft- no plastic parts to make it feel awkward and not as cosy!

I'm intending to collect all 4 designs. Hello Kitty fans should look out for it!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

juxtaposing at its best

Yet another DIY project! I decided to do a chain braid necklace- similar to the Jewelmint coachella-inspired piece, but this time I used rainbow thread!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

my current carry-all

The bag that I've been using these days is the Lesportsac Medium Weekender. As much as the the name "weekender" suggests, the bag is not exceptionally big. It can fit perhaps a pair of jeans, a sweater and a top, but other than that it cannot hold a lot more than that.

I got mine in the Joyrich print. It's a limited edition from earlier this year. I like the glossy nylon fabric, as it is rather sturdy and can take the weight of my stuff. It even has nylon strips at the bottom of the bag and can keep the shape of the boston.

I love how it has a longer strap so I can sling it across my body. I can bring it out when I go out, and it's suitable when I head out to sports too. 

I always go for things that are versatile, so that I can use it for different purposes. One of the other Lesportsac bags that I like is the Everygirl bag. It comes in different sizes, so I am still trying to figure out which size is most suitable for my daily life.

Monday, May 14, 2012

the return of flower water

I haven't seen this for a long time, and I was pleasantly surprised to see this when I was at the neighborhood store picking up desiccators for my wardrobe. The neighborhood store has lots of little random surprises as the stocks change all the time. New things pop up from time to time, and today I found the flower water.

Flower water is a chinese product, and commonly used in summer for its cooling effect. It lightly scented, and will blend well with light fruity scents. It's supposed to keep mosquitoes too. I used to have it with me all the time in the past summers.

There's actually many brands of the flower water, but this is the only one I could find.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

my collar collection

Just look at the number of collars I've accumulated over the past year! I've stashed all of them in my Marni for H&M box. Perfect size, just a tad snug at times. I've to be very careful when I tuck a new collar in.

As you can see, my collars are made of different materials. Beads, pearls, sequins, velvet, felt, lace and in both black and white. One trend I noticed is that ALL my collars are either black or white. No other hues. I do like how black/white goes with everything, hence I'm sticking with the monochrome selections. My favorite? Still the white pearl necklace/collar that I've featured earlier this year.

I've actually never worn some of the collars (after all, I have only one neck and can only wear one at a time). I've ben experimenting with different styles and mixing up textures and patterns to give a variety of outfit. Summer's a good time to experiment with different styles, and try out new things. I've a bunch of slightly more formal clothes that I've not worn for ages, so I'm hoping to spice them up and give them a new leash of life with these accessories. Can't wait!

white chain high-waist belt

In the mood of spring, I picked up this white belt with gold chain details recently from ASOS. Similar styles had been pretty popular with high fashion labels such as BCBG. I found the design on ASOS as I was browsing their selection when this one caught my eye. There was a green one as well. The belt was not on sale, but I had a 15% off spring coupon code so it was a good deal! I believe I paid only 15+ USD for it. There was a green and pink one as well, but I decided that white is much more versatile and easier to match. I've already set my mind on pairing the belt with my pink thrifted chiffon top (previously featured in my DIY metal collar tips post). The exact name of the belt is ASOS Link & Plate Detail Belt, with sizes in S, M and L (32, 34 and 36 inches respectively).

as seen on the ASOS website

I got the belt in Small as the ASOS sizes tend to run a bit large. It was a tad snug, so I actually did some altering myself. I removed the screws of the buckle and adjusted it. To reattach the buckle, I punched more holes with my leather hole punch. The original screw holes are covered by the metal plate so it is invisible when worn. These are the times when my DIY skills and technical abilities from work come in handy!

Overall, it's a very versatile design and can definitely last through the spring and summer season. Can't wait to wear it out! I've been a fan of ASOS house-brand belts as they are decently durable and very affordable. The shipping is free too, for normal airmail. Since it wasn't an extremely pricey item, I opted for the free postage and it took 2 weeks to arrive. I've tried the express mail service with full tracking and that took about 3 days for my package to arrive. The express shipping was very expensive too, so if the item is not extremely important, urgent or expensive opting for the free normal postage is reasonable.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

ways to wear a plain white shirt

I was reading the latest issue of Steady magazine (June 2012) and came across this article. It provides tips on how to spice up a plain white button-up shirt a.k.a dress shirt. Thought it's very interesting and fun so I'd like to share about it here!

clipping on collar tips for a bit of spunk

These days, metal collar tips have been trending. I don't have any blouses with metal tips, so I decided to make one myself. I took a pink chiffon shirt from my closet (thrifted earlier this year) and added gold metal collar tips. I couldn't find the metal collar tips in the local craft stores. I ordered mine from ebay.

The collar tips can be clipped on using tweezers or pliers. It is simple to DIY, and it makes the blouse look absolutely different and stunning! I have a bunch of silver ones too, looking for another blouse to DIY! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

bag handle cover DIY

I was out and about the other day when I saw something quite interesting. A young lady was carrying a LV Speedy 25, and I noticed something different about it. She had a pretty little knitted bag handle cover for her speedy! It was extremely cute- beige with little cherrys, and went extremely well with the bag. I wasn't able to ask her where she got it as the mall was quite crowded. Nonetheless, the thought stuck in my mind.

I decided to do a bit of DIY! I can knit and crochet, but it is too time consuming. Instead, I used some brown satin and silk lining to make my own version of bag handles!

Monday, May 7, 2012

to give, to love, to remember

I find these three lines extremely meaningful and deep, hence I decided to get the Jewelmint ring. The set is called From the Heart.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

a dash of colors to my work

One of the little things that I enjoy in life is to decorate my work and my notes with cheerful colors. I wouldn't take a lot of effort to spice up my notebooks and papers, but I try to incorporate it effortlessly into my daily life. For instance, instead of using black and blue pen all the time, I mix up my writing with colored ink. Of course, those would be the stuff that I keep for my own use and reference. If it's something that's gonna be read by others, I'd stick with the conservative black and blue. I also love to use colored post-it flags to tag my notes, and people around me are always amused at the number of colors I use for highlighters. I have all 6 basic hues- pink, blue, purple, green, orange and yellow- and I always color-code my notes accordingly.

It's a good way to get organized. I confess that I'm very particular when it comes to keeping track of what I've done, thus my records are always well categorized by color. It may look confusing to others, but for me it's a breeze to sieve out the important point and find what I need.

And hey, it's a great way to brighten up my day, literally. I feel chirpy and happy just by looking at pink and orange fonts!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

switch up for a healthier fast food meal

I've always enjoyed fast food as an occasional indulgence, but I do know that dining out at McDonalds isn't always the most healthy option. Over the past few days I had a craving for some savory bites, so I decided to gave a meal at McDs.

However, instead of the usual choice of fries and soda, I changed the sides to corn cup and a mocha freeze. Don't get me wrong- I know that the mocha freeze, which is laced with whipped cream, is extremely sinful and calorie-filled. The cup corn, on the other hand, is a better option than fries. I added a dash of margarine (or butter, not sure what is the gooey condiment that McD provides for the corn and pancakes) and salt to the corn. Delicious, and a refreshing change from fries!

something new in my makeup bag

Yes, that's a macbook, and indeed there's an even smaller macbook on my macbook!

I call the tiny mac my baby mac. It's not a real computer per say, but it's a mirror in the shape of a macbook replica. I got it off ebay and it was rather affordable, around USD3. I thought it's a cool addition to my Apple products. baby mac is sitting snugly in my makeup bag now. I use it as a mirror on the go. It's extremely cute and when I whip it out when I'm out, I always get gasps of awe and fascination around me.

It's really nice to have a small piece of macbook wherever I go. The mirror works well as a stocking stuffer, as well as a present for mac and apple lovers. Definitely a very unique piece of item to satisfy the geek in me!

Hello Kitty bronze locket DIY

 I managed to score a cute little bronze DIY Hello Kitty locket a few weeks back, and decided to add it onto a metal bangle. The bronze metal bangle had removable charms. The two round ends are actually screw-ons, so they can be easily removed to add or remove charms.

I absolutely adore the Hello Kitty locket. It opens up from the bottom (the "chin", if the kitty even has one, is the hinge of the locket). The bow is adorned with a heart-shaped pearl ribbon. As a huge fan of Hello Kitty, I definitely cannot resist any of these cute blings and add-ons. I know that there's a similar design in matte gold, which is very tempting as well. However, I'm putting off the purchase for now and shall work with bronze first.

The bangle slips comfortably on my wrist, and I love how the charms dangle off the bangle. I've kept the bangle as it is for now and not added more charms so as not to weigh it down.

Stacking bracelets and bangles is very trendy now, and I'm excited to mix this bronze piece with gold, silver and other textured pieces.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

adding a dash of punk to my boots

I have a thing for boots. It all started with a pair of sleek caramel-colored calfskin boots that I got for myself over a particularly cold winter (as much as sneakers were awesome, they were terrible against the biting cold and snow). That's the first pair that I got, and my penchant for them has been stuck ever since.

I feel that boots are the most versatile footwear ever. They are sturdy and strong, and if you search long and hard enough you can always find a comfortable pair. There's many different styles- high knee, ankle, heels, no heels. Boots come in various textures too, be it calfskin or suede and everything in between. They can be dressed up or down, and I sometimes wear my ankle booties with formal wear! It can work with a suit if worn right. And of course, for safety issues, it offers my foot utmost protection when I'm out and about, and especially when I'm zipping around on a bike.

The engineer and crafter in me will always itch to do something different to the things I own. I never like how my stuff looks drab or plain, and what could be worse than bumping into someone with the exact same outfit? Hence I always spice up my outfits with things that I make myself. There can never be an exact replica of what I'm wearing if it's made by myself. Similar, yes, but same, nope!

I added chains to my boots to give it a more rocker/grunge feel. I used thick black and bronze chains that I picked up from my local craft shops. I even included a lobster clasp so that they can removed. I love how they look, and they also tinkle as I walk. They look good with jeans and a simple tee. However, the chains are removed when I am riding as it's dangerous to have dangling accessories when traveling. I would always consider the overall design versatility and safety when it comes to designing my own accessories. All the consideration and tradeoff for form and function has been accounted for indeed.

Love, love, love my boots!

getting a dose of Chanel-esque fashion

I've been reading a lot about Uniqueen from fashion blogs such as Extrapetite and Wendy's Lookbook, and saw some comments on fashion forums about this blog shop. I decided to get a jacket for myself and see how the blazers are like.

matte and glossy nails, all in one

Juxtaposing different textures isn't just restricted to clothes and accessories, I decided to give the matte polish look a spin. 

Mixing matte and glossy polish is actually slightly harder than I had expected. I decided to do a black manicure with half of the nail matte and half of the nail glossy. I used China Glaze matte topcoat along with Black Lingerie from Revlon. I applied the glossy polish first, and after two coats, I swiped on the matte top coat diagonally. It was hard to get a straight line! The half was not too nice and even, so I covered up the botched polish with China Glaze glitter polish along the supposed demarcation.

Overall, I like the look, but the matte top coat was not as "matte" as I expected. I was hoping that it would give a more coarse, dry finish, but instead it made the original polish just a wee bit duller and paler. 

I saw many different designs online, with crazy zig-zag patterns. I must say those are way beyond my league, and I'll stick to perfecting simple designs before launching into more complex patterns!