2011/08/30

Birdcage and Birdbag

I'm back in not-so-sunny Austria and sitting around in a gloomy mood: Summer - my favorite time of year - is drawing to a close. Again. Isn't it tragic how that happens every year? Plus, quite a lot of stuff is waiting for me to get my rear in gear and DO something... *sigh* However, I'm fully intending to make the most of these last few days of freedom and I'm starting by showing you two purchases I made while being away.

I bought this lovely birdcage from the small antiquities shop featured in the Horsey Shoes Post. They had a few of them in different styles and colors, as well as paintings, jewelry, china and so on - most of these items somehow related (whether truly or not so truly) to the Austrian Emperor, main advertising character of the city Bad Ischl.



What do you think, is it too much to put this up somewhere inside my apartment? I could also find a place for the cage on my small balcony, but it'd be a pity - winter's coming and I won't be able to see it much. Hmm... I'll have to think about this one. My second purchase is - if possible - even more cheesy. It may be bordering on tacky, but I simply couldn't resist buying the bag... I mean, come on, how often do you see a handbag in form of a little red house? Yep, that's what I thought too ;)



I got it in the crowded, tourist-stuffed Italian village Lignano Sabbiadoro. Just like all of these southern boutiques, I doubt the one I got it from even had a website. However, if someone should be in the vicinity, check out the Viale Venezia - the local shopping street.  That's where I found the bag.

Be back soon!

Love,
Sophy

2011/08/27

Figures of the Past, Approachable at Last

On the 31st of March Vienna finally got its own installation of „Madame Tussauds“. I had already been to the home of dozens of wax figures in London, but after hearing that the attraction would come to Austria as well I knew that I wanted to go there as soon as possible.

The building housing "Madame Tussauds" in the Wiener Prater.

However, the opening took place while I was in Greece, so I had to wait a few more months, until a few weeks ago my best friend and I finally managed to make it to the Prater where the Viennese “Madame Tussauds” is situated.


Left: Me and Maria Theresia.
Right: My friend and Napoleon Bonaparte.

In the beginning, we passed by a lot of monarchs and historical personalities, such as the Empress Maria Theresia or the famous author Karl Marx. And of course, since we’re in Austria, a wax figure of Empress Sissi (Elisabeth of Austria) had to be included as well.


What I liked most about the Austrian “Madame Tussauds” was that they had lots of requisites so you could play to the gallery by putting on a crown or holding an old-fashioned umbrella, as I am in the picture above. Maybe they have these things in London as well and I missed them when I visited a few years ago – could be possible, as I can remember that there were a lot of people filling up the rooms so you hardly had time to observe your surroundings properly ;)


The rest of the exhibition featured politicians – not only from Austria, but of course there were some figures of local personalities as well -, musicians and famous sportsmen. Furthermore, there was a room filled with ‘cultural personalities’, namely composers or artists, and a room with famous Hollywood stars, which gave the installation a more international touch.

We realized that Ghandi was actually rather small.
But I think Julia Roberts looked pretty realistic.

As a side note, I received a mug from my sister today. She and my other sister bought it in April when they went for a short holiday in England. When they asked me what they should bring for me I said I wanted a mug from the Royal Wedding, just because it's so cheesy and I somehow wanted to have one.
Actually, I was too late in voicing my wish back in April, but my sisters had taken a mug for our grandmother and forgot to give it to her, so now they said I can keep it. I'm looking forward to drinking tea from it and feeling like a crazy old lady when it's colder.


All in all, I think that the Viennese “Madame Tussauds” can definitely withstand a comparison with its ‘brother’ in London, so if you ever come to Vienna you should certainly take a stroll there! Plus, it is situated in a very nice area of the city. If one of you manages to go there, let us know what you think!

Love,
Hailey

Notes:
  1. The picture I used as a filter this time is again from DeviantArt, namely from ~-phoen-x-.

2011/08/23

Horsey Shoes

I'm currently on my way to Italy for a final round of sunshine and tanning (with due care, of course - no one wants skin cancer!). We stopped by the beautiful city Bad Ischl, which was a famous health resort during the time of Emperor Franz Joseph and stayed overnight in Sankt Wolfgang, a small but crowded village well known for the hotel "Im Weißen Rössel" ("Ross" being ancient German for "horse").



Cakes at famous Café Zauner in Bad Ischl

A small shop for "antique" stuff in Ischl ;)

Sankt Wolfgang
 
Hotel "Im Weissen Rössel"

Before we continued our jouney, I got to see a game of Polo in the small village of Strobl am Wolfgangsee. Although it was scorching hot, people were wearing crisp linen or traditional Austrian clothing and even - or especially - the horses looked smart. I got a few shots from the event, so please enjoy:




I also made a few (very cute!!) purchases, which I'll soon show you. Also, I got a few beauty products I thought I'd try and write a review on. I don't know about you, but I certainly am happy whenever I find someone's already tried a product I'm interested in - like stuff for my nails, hair etc. etc. I wouldn't solely rely on someone else's opinion, but one can't deny it sometimes helps to get some advice.

Love,
Sophy

2011/08/21

From Rags to Riches

The most simple-looking fabric can be used to create a very special garment. It can even give you inspiration for something that you didn’t yet know you wanted to make. As Sophy and I were rummaging through the shelves full of material this Thursday we were able to find a few things to add to our list of possessions as well as our plan of future projects.

But to start from the beginning: We had been talking about visiting the big store Textil-Müller in a part of Lower Austria for some time, as it offers a lot of different cloth and other sewing supplies. This Thursday, we finally managed to go there and, after about half an hour drive, were standing in front of the big store-house.


I had already been to the shop lots of times, but for Sophy it was the first time and we started out by strolling through the flea market on the first floor. You could find all kind of hodgepodge there, starting from overalls to Christmas decorations and even dishes.



On the second floor, we walked through the countless number of racks filled with rolls of fabric in all kinds of shapes – from a thick fur to masses of transparent organza, you name it!



Sophy managed to find a very nice, tweed-like fabric which she intends on using to create her very first self-made dress, plus lining, sewing silk, and a matching zipper. I bought a red fabric with a Chinese pattern, also together with all the other necessary material.


With these purchases I think that altogether our shopping excursion was rather successful. Hopefully, we will soon have time to sit down in front of our sewing machines and show you what we made out of the new material!

Love,
Hailey and Sophy

2011/08/20

Balls in a Bowl

Today my sister and I received a present from our dad and his girlfriend. We had admired a vase in their apartment which was filled with colorful things that looked like bubbles but turned out to be little balls that, when you took them out of the water, felt like jelly.


That's what the bubbles look like if you take them out of the water.

As we were so fascinated by this method of ‘decoration’, we were given a few packs of the balls to try out how it works ourselves. Hence, after being back home we immediately started looking for an appropriate vessel, filled it with water and put in the contents of one small sack. The process of seeing the balls grow was rather interesting, as in the beginning they started to become fuzzy and developed into something that looked pretty much like fur balls to me.




After a while, the fur balls started to become bigger, but pretty slowly, which is why we set them aside after some time to let them grow in peace. All in all, the balls needed about a day to look the way they were supposed to.



If anybody’s interested in finding these funny balls or something similar, the ones that we have are called ‘Color Crystal Bolls’.

Love,
Hailey





Notes:
  1. The picture I used as a filter this time is from ~mysticbubblesz.

      2011/08/16

      Mountain Pasture

      Weather's been mercyful this past weekend. While it was nowhere near suitable for the middle of August, it was sunny enough for me to join my parents and a few friends for a trip to the mountains, where we've got a cozy little hut. It's surrounded by lots of wood and cattle (in summer), the next proper house is a few miles away. The house has been decorated by my parents with loving care - I really like it and hope you do as well!



      The dress is from Orsay,
      the necklace with the bears from Anchorage, Alaska


      Yes, the skulls on the wall above are so-called "trophies". My father - in addition to his "regular" job - is a passionate huntsman. I'm not intending to get myself involved in a discussion about whether hunting's a "bad" thing or not, let's just say that - in Austria - every little bit of land not owned by a private person has to be assigned to one or more hunters. It's not so much a sport, it's more like tending to nature in general: Hunters have to observe, count, and feed (during wintertime) the animal population in their area. Of course, they also shoot animals. But usually it's because there are simply too many of them in one place, meaning they'd starve to death, become ill or fight each other over territory. Think of it this way: If there are lots and lots of sweet looking - but quite hungry - foxes around, there also tend to be far less little birdies...

      The outfit you can see below is what we call a "Dirndl" (meaning a traditional dress) in Austria. The white blouses are cropped short, rather like belly tops. The dresses themselves are usually cut low in front and reach to mid-calf, but there are lots of modern variations and even ultra-short Dirndls. Nowadays they're also made all the colors of the rainbow, but the traditional ones are mostly black or dark-colored with patterns in green, red or blue. Without the apron the costume wouldn't be complete - word has it that, when people still regularly wore them (not occasionally, like now), the way girls tied their aprons signaled their relation status...



      Hope you too had a nice weekend!

      Love,
      Sophy

      2011/08/11

      Precious Time & Precious Stones

      If you don’t want to travel in time without being able to choose where and when you are switching from 2011 to 1943, you have to find a way to control it instead. But if during those journeys between past and present you are accompanied by a handsome travel companion, who would want to complain?

      In these cloudy and rainy days – like we have them in Austria right now – the best thing you can do is to curl up on a bed or sofa and read a good book. That’s what I thought a few days ago, so I decided to read the trilogy that Sophy recommended to me. After a while I found myself constantly trying to steal a minute or two in-between work and other things I had to do to find out what's going to happen next.


      The trilogy by Kerstin Gier lets the reader take part in the adventures of Gwendolyn Shepherd, who finds out at the age of sixteen that she has inherited her family’s time travel gene. Even though she isn’t happy about it, she has to accept that from now on trips into the last decade will be a part of her everyday life. And to top it all off, she has to bear with the handsome but rather unfriendly, impolite and in general very disagreeable Gideon de Villiers who is also a time traveler.


      The three books are named after precious stones. If you translate them literally from German, they would be called ‘Ruby Red’, ‘Sapphire Blue’ and ‘Emerald Green’. The first book will soon be made into a movie which will hit cinemas in 2012 if everything goes as planned.


      Sophy recommended the books to me and I can only recommend them to you now. Although I was a bit unsatisfied with the ending, I liked the idea of the books and the story in general. So, if you’re interested in a new twist on time traveling and like reading about adventures in the time before the 200-x years, then you will definitely like this trilogy! As far as I know, the first book is already available in English and if it’s a success I am pretty sure the other two will follow soon ;)

      P.S.: I have already managed to get my two sisters to read the books too, and my mum is thinking about it, so I hope I can talk you into reading them as well!


      Love,
      Hailey

       Notes: 
      1. The filter I used for the pictures is from kyokosphotos over at DeviantArt.

      2011/08/09

      Drinking (Tea) in the Rain

      It seems summer here is over before it even started - it's raining continously and when Hailey and I decided to do some shots for an outfit post two days ago, we were caught up in a thunderstorm. Fortunately, when you're in Vienna you're also never too far away from the next café or teahouse. We took shelter in the Haas & Haas teashop, drinking pots of steaming amber liquid and munching on delicious sweets.

      Saint Stephen's Square (usually with dozens of carriages)


      Haas & Haas Café, garden view

      I really love the "Old Photograph" filter - if you ignore the scaffold in the first picture, these almost look like they could have been taken some sixty years ago... But now for the outfits (and tea): Hailey sported a lovely blue dress with colorful stripes and a Peter Pan collar, but the real  highlights were her earrings and the (much needed) umbrella - take a closer look:


      Dress - Forever21
      Jacket & Bag - borrowed from my sister
      (bag from Marina Oriandi)

      Umbrella - Milk & Honey
      Shoes - from a Greek boutique (forgot the name,
      unfortunately)

       
      I wore a nautical inspired outfit in blue, white and gold (unfortunately you can't see my earrings - little anchors I once bought from Accessorize). I simply love the bubble-shaped umbrella! Just a few days ago I saw a similiar one decorated with a black city skyline at STAXX In the City - I might need to buy it soon... with all the rain pouring down lately it's pretty much unavoidable, right??

      Shorts - Stradivarius
      Silk t-shirt - Zara
      Blazer - Terranova
      Bangles - Claire's
      Shoes - from some Greek boutique I can't remember


      Yum!

      We sincerly hope your summer is less rainy than ours!

      Love,
      Sophy and Hailey