Monday

Forgotten Breakfast

About a year ago, my friend Hannah (some of you might know her blog as Sweet Sweet Noir) and I shared this breakfast together and I never posted the photos. I can't believe they got lost in my archives until now! I prepared this for us in my studio last year and it was so delicious. I miss living alone and I miss being able to walk to Hannah's house. So much has changed in my and Hannah's life in the past year and I wish I could be with her this year to wish her Happy Birthday in two days. I love you, Hannah. You will always be special to me! If you want to wish Hannah a Happy Early 19th birthday, you can visit her blog! She was certainly there for me on my 24th birthday last year!.
love, polly

Tuesday

An Interview with Annika Victoria from The Pineneedle Collective


Tell us about visiting Japan, if you'd like!
Annika Victoria: "Oh my goodness. Japan. Where do I even start? Anyone who has been there and has also fallen in love with the place will know exactly the feelings I'm feelin' right now. I first went to Japan just because my boyfriend was interested in going and we wanted to do our first big overseas "gap-year" trip together - but I didn't have much interest in going there myself. However, in as little as a week of being there I became completely obsessed! My favourite things about Japan are the shopping and fashion (of course), the food, the nightlife and the fact that it's a place that wakes up late & goes to bed late (most shops close at 5 in Sydney, and restaurants are always closed by 9). But above all, the people in Japan are what makes Japan a totally unique place. I was lucky enough to meet up with the loveliest people, who were so enthusiastic to show us around their country and give us a really genuine feel for Japan! The best part was that they are all these experimental/electronic musicians who, if they'd been Australian, would have been "too cool" to be so enthusiastic about showing us around. There's too much to talk about when it comes to my experiences in Japan, I could fill up this entire interview only talking about that! So, if you're interested in knowing more about my experiences in Japan, I've actually posted about my 2 trips to Japan on my blog right here."
When did you start wearing wigs? How many do you own?
Annika Victoria: "I started wearing wigs when I ruined my hair by bleaching it too much. By ruined, I mean that it became all thin, frazzled and brittle. Unhappy with my hair and unwilling to wait it out while my natural hair grew back, I thought "why not try wigs?" My first one was a pretty pastel pink wig, and after getting that one I kind of became obsessed. I now have... hang on I'm just going to count them. 14 wigs! Whoa. I kind of expected it to be 7 or 8 at most... The most that I ever wore wigs out in public was in Japan, actually! And the reactions that I had were always "Oh, kawaii!!!" (which means "cute" in Japanese). It's much more common for people to wear wigs in Japan (especially around trendy areas like Harajuku), so it really wasn't out of place. I don't wear them out much at home, but that's mainly because it's way too hot in Sydney (Australia) and I'd get some *serious* sweaty-wig-head. And nobody wants that."
When did you start sewing?
Annika Victoria: "I started sewing after my dad bought me a sewing machine for Christmas in 2011. At first I was a bit dismissive of the present - like I thought it was an awesome present, but was skeptical that I'd ever *use* it. But it turned out to be the best present that I've ever received. I taught myself how to sew my own clothes, and now I try to help other people too (although I'm still learning!) Now if I see something that I really like in a store for $50, I will just make it myself, and it's given me the freedom to be able to make my own designs come to life as well. Like this!"
When did you start blogging about science? 
Annika Victoria: "I started blogging about science alongside fashion because I wanted to challenge the stereotypes of both scientists as boring, unfashionable people, and of people who like fashion as shallow and unintelligent. I have a great love for science - I want to one day become a researcher in molecular biology and genetics - and I am on a mission to make everyone love science as much as I do! Science is done *so badly *in schools that most people grow up totally ambivalent about (or actively hating) things like chemistry, maths, physics and biology. So through my blog I try to show people some awesome, world-changing research that is going on, and how science is (for the most part) such an amazing, positive force in the world!"
What do you remember about your childhood?
Annika Victoria: "For some reason, I have almost no memory of my childhood. I am pretty sure that it was happy, though I remember being very frustrated and angry a lot of the time. I was definitely a brat (something that I still apologise to my parents for basically every time I visit them because I'm so wracked with guilt, haha). My pre-teenage years were the happiest of my whole childhood (let's not even get into my teenage years...) and my most vivid and happy childhood memories - some of my only childhood memories, in fact - are of me traveling in various dingy camper trailers (which slowly upgraded to slightly-less-dingy ones over the years) with my parents and two younger brothers to beach-side caravan parks, learning how to surf and falling in love with the ocean, and riding my bike around for hours on end. I was also a ballerina for about 10 years, starting at age 4. I quit when I was 14 because of the insane amount of pressure that my ballet teachers put me under, me being their "star pupil" at the time (I still occasionally have nightmares about them *shudder*. I wish that ballet was something I had been able to forget! Unfortunately not.) I also played soccer for 6 years, which I enjoyed a whole lot more. I was a ridiculously sporty, "tomboy" kind of kid - and apart from the uniform that I had to wear to school, I didn't own a dress until I was 14, nor start regularly wearing them until I was 16. That fact really surprises people when I meet them now!"
What is your earliest memory?
Annika Victoria: "My earliest memory is *so* boring. I should probably try and make up a new "earliest memory" just for occasions like this... but I can't think up a good lie right now. So, the worst first memory in history: is of seeing my uncle (who was a car dealer) pull up in our driveway with a new car (a white Ford station wagon) and me saying to my dad "hey, there's a new car outside the house". See, this is why I need to make up something much more impressive."
How long have you been blogging? What has it brought to your life?
Annika Victoria: "I've been blogging since midway through 2011, and it's been nothing but so wonderful so far! Blogging gives me a whole other world to escape to - something that is totally my own creation, and a place where I've been able to meet amazing people from around the world who I otherwise wouldn't have known existed. Because I have a chronic illness, blogging has been the *best* source of escape and way to occupy my mind, and so useful on days when I'm feeling particularly bad and sorry for myself - because my blog is a place where I'm not sick in the slightest. In fact, I actually don't think I would have gotten through the last few years, maintaining such a positive state of mind, without it. So yeah. It's actually a very important part of my life for that reason. But I think that most other bloggers will know what I mean - I think to some extent it's a source of escape for everyone who does it. Blogging is basically my therapy! Haha."
What is your *typical* daily routine?
Annika Victoria: "Well, I try and make my life as varied as possible, because I've always disliked the idea of falling into a set routine. So... I don't really have a "normal" kind of day that I can tell you about. Every day is different. But I guess that I could just describe what I did today, because today was fairly normal! Today, I woke up too early and couldn't get back to sleep, so after checking instagram (worst ever time-waster) and eating a quick breakfast - crumpets smothered with vegemite (so Australian) - I grabbed my bike and rode to the swimming pool. I swum six laps as the sky grew brighter, then rode back home only to find that everyone in my household was *still* asleep. So I listened to a lecture on biochemistry, made some study notes, found myself stuck on pinterest, and then *finally* my housemates all woke up, so I hung out with them for a while. I then took my boyfriend out on a little lunch date to a Japanese-fusion restaurant in Sydney's chinatown. When I got back home, I decided that I really liked the outfit I was wearing so I took my tripod and camera up the street with me and took a couple of selfies (always stopping and running back to my camera whenever a stranger walked past, pretending like I wasn't just taking photos of myself... haha), then I wrote up & published a blog post using those photos! Then, as I have to do once a week, I had to take my chemotherapy medication (to stop my white blood cells from attacking my body :( ) and because I know that I'm going to feel awful in a couple of hours, I decided to try cramming as much productive stuff as I could into the next short while! However whenever I decide to do this, I usually just get overwhelmed and spend hours on a time-sucking website like pinterest, instead... and today is no different, haha. I'll probably have a small dinner tonight and go to bed early, armed with a good science fiction book to read (right now I'm reading a trilogy called "AI Apocalypse" - I'm such a geek). And that's today! I guess it was actually a pretty normal-sounding day after all. But I also spend many of my days working in a laboratory, going to lectures at uni, visiting my family or having entire days that I dedicate to crafting and sewing, so it's always pretty different!"
Do you have any particular habits?
Annika Victoria: "The only habit that I think I have is biting my nails - but only when I'm particularly stressed, so most of the time I do have nice-enough nails! As for a guilty pleasure, that would be buying an extremely expensive jar of goat's cheese marinated in olive oil, sitting down with it and some cheesy biscuits, and eating the entire thing in one sitting. That guilty pleasure is *basically* the dietary equivalent of sitting down and eating a bucket of lard topped with bacon - it's certainly not the healthiest thing in the world to do. But I love cheese more than anything, so I'm never going to stop."
What are your dreams in life?
Annika Victoria: "My dreams include:
- Rescuing several dogs and raising them as soon as I buy my first home;
- Living in Japan for a few years at some point in my life;
- And becoming a scientific researcher (and saving the world!)."
Thanks so much for interviewing with me, Annika! Don't forget to visit her blog for more of her wonderful style!
love, polly