23 Dec 2018

The story of how I fractured my ankle and kept photographing. After taking up climbing as a hobby earlier this year, I spent months trying to find friends as excited as me to climb outside. Within the last month I’ve found a solid group of climbing friends and, finally, some people keen to get outdoors in nature and experience climbing that way.

Christmas Wish List

Since Christmas is right around the corner and I'm stuck on the couch nursing a fractured ankle, I thought I'd write a Christmas wish list. This intentionally doesn't include vouchers, because of course I would love a voucher for any of my favourite stores and buying something specific that person wants means that when they get the thing, they think of you! Here are ten things I'd love to get on Christmas day.

Spring Sunset and High Positive

27 Nov 2018

I’m training to be an actor at the moment which means that a few days a week I travel out of town to an acting school where I get to learn about humans from brilliant people. Every so often we have a special teacher brought in for a particular focus and in the last month, we were introduced to screen acting by an amazing producer: Paul Currie.

Pretty in Purple

23 Nov 2018

I’m a huge dork and will get super interested in anything that sits still for long enough. I’m curious about how things work, what stories they tell about us, and the endless flow on effects of things. If my brain gets to the point it’s thinking ‘and then what’, I’m usually hooked. This means I have the capacity to get stoked about absolutely anything. Want to know the latest thing I’m fascinated by and curious about? 

Fragrance at The Lost Ones

12 Nov 2018

A few weeks ago got dressed with my friend Melissa, ordered an Uber and wandered down a lampshade lit alleyway on Camp St to The Lost Ones Basement Bar. The Lost Ones in an Art Gallery, no imagine an Art Gallery deciding to run a cocktail bar in their basement. That is exactly what this bar is. Now you have the vibe of the venue, imagine that my favourite niche perfumery teamed up with this bar to launch their new cocktail menu. Because that is the event I was attending.

Trying Something New at Il Piccolo Gelato

8 Nov 2018

Vulnerability is a never-ending journey. When I first began working towards it, it was gritty. Facing my own behaviour patterns was hard. It was hard to be accountable for them. It was even harder to change. But after a little bit of willingness and a little bit of push change began to happen and I became a little more emotionally available.

Loving My Skin: Part 2

4 Nov 2018

Sometimes I love a place a lot and then I get the incredible opportunity to be an ambassador for them. That’s what happened with Clinica-lase. I’d been getting treatments with them for around six months when they got in touch about looking after my skin. So while I visit them for a range of other amazing treatments, for 2018 they offer me complimentary skin treatment which is an absolute dream.

The team are all beautiful, very kind people. I’ve been nervous about laser treatments before and had a team member hold my hand to make me feel comfortable. They go into incredible detail for me when talking about any treatment so that I know how it works, what it will feel like and what the results may be. They call me the day after every treatment to see how my body has reacted to it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a day when they’re giving me complementary skin treatment or going in for something else I’m treating myself too, every day that includes them is a good day.

A treatment that I’ve had in the time since I wrote my first blog post about Clinica-lase is Limelight. Limelight is a different laser with a completely different feeling. Instead of running it all over my skin like the warm light of the Laser Genesis, this one is individual, highly targeted flashes of light. It’s a completely different feel too. This one feels like a flick from a light rubber band and is done with this lovely cooling gel on the face. After getting this treatment I kept catching glimpse of my skin in the mirror and would do a double take. Limelight triggers collagen production in the skin and I couldn’t get over the amazing, smooth I had as a result. It also does other awesome things like removes pigment or targets redness, but for me, I was stunned by the striking quality my skin had in the weeks following each treatment.

My favourite skin stuff at Clinica-lase so far are:

  • Laser Genesis – super warm laser. Feels like laying in the sun but without the sun damage. Has done amazing things for my redness.
  • XLV – the immediate erasure of very visible blood vessels around my nose. Feels like a sharp flick with an elastic band while skin is soothed by cooling gel.
  • Limelight – targeted, bright, pulses. Feels like a flick with cooling gel. Makes the texture of my skin absolutely incredibly.
  • Lactic peel – a quick skin treatment. Completely balanced out my skin issues and combats hormone issues. Stopped me having to see a dermatologist. Paired well with Laser Genesis
  • Rejuvenating face mask – Take home face mask. Has peptides and collagen and made my skin incredibly hydrated and supple.
  • At home skin products – Everything for caring for myself at home. Makes me feel fresh and clear and gorgeous when wearing no makeup, reinvigorates me after wearing heavy stage makeup, keeps me feeling fresh when travelling or staying in the van. Have completely replaced any cosmetics I may have bought at any department store because of their obvious results on my overall skin health.

My instant results from XLV treatment. Above: before; below: after.
Currently, my skin is looking incredible. I wear so much less makeup than I used to. It feels fresh and moisturised all the time. I feel radiant, bright and like my happiness lives through my skin. I couldn't choose between limelight and laser genesis for which is my favourite but I absolutely adore the results I get from the lactic peels. Immediately after a treatment I often can't stop touching my skin. Let me know if you have any questions about any of the treatments!

P.S. This month they have a special on Limelight, and you can find details on their Instagram post linked here.

My Sanctuary

29 Oct 2018

Would you believe that this year is the first time I have ever been to a spa? Before that, I didn’t get it. I thought for me to go would be a waste of money and a bit boring. I guess I couldn’t visualise how nice it is to outsource your relaxation to someone else, even though I regularly get massages. My first experience was at Ballarat Sanctuary Day spa. I have gone back regularly since for various relaxation services and I’d now call it one of my favourite places in Ballarat. I could easily refer to it as my sanctuary.

My Nullarbor Diary

21 Oct 2018

Whenever I told someone I was about to embark on a solo trip across the Nullarbor, I got comments from people about how dangerous it was. I'd never seen the Nullarbor before and the picture I was painted was very different from the one I was reading on blogs and websites for advice on the trip. The most concerned people were the chaps in my life. Several of which told me I was going to be 'wolf creeked' or 'what about the wolf creek factor'. None of these were in any way accurate. Yes, the Nullarbor is dangerous, but that isn't because it's full of waiting serial killers and the Big Bad Wolf. It's because it is so damn isolated. My mum told me that dad wanted to buy me a taser to take with me. Which mum pointed out I would have to take illegally on the plane with me. And literally, who would I taser? I was alone inside my car doing 110km/h most of the time. I definitely didn't need to taser myself. I offered to mum that with all my martial arts training, I could have taken my katana, like The Bride in Kill Bill, but that would just be for the aesthetic.

Here is my diary from the journey.

Day 1: Albany to Esperance

Slept through my alarm twice and woke up to it after 3am. Got up and ready and woke up dad and headed to the shuttle bus. Tried to sleep on the shuttle bus but the lady in front kept making loud phone calls at 3.30am. Who even does that.

Caught 7am flight and landed in Perth. Text from seller of the van that suggested we were meeting in Perth instead of Albany. I replied noting this and made arrangements to meet him there. He called when I was in a taxi most of the way into the city, very apologetic about the confusion and reconfirmed that we were meeting in Albany. Caught Rex fight to Albany and the plane had propellers. If it weren't for skydiving it would have been the smallest plane I'd ever been on. Rough flight, but the other passengers reacted as though it was normal to have the plane side swiping as it came in to land. Seller picked me up and took me to the mechanic where the car was. Paid for all work done on it but had to also get new tyres. Got induction on car. Got new tyres. Filled the tank with fuel. Took out insurance. Drove off into the sunset.

Turned out the car had power steering which was amazing!

Within the first hour of getting on the road I saw a very large kangaroo hanging out on the side of the road, a road train and an incredible sunset. I took my first van photo next to a canola field then did a wee on the side of the road. Nanny would have been proud given how many times she would get us to wee beside the road as kids. Ravensthorpe had gorgeous silos with art on them. Took a picture on my phone passing through by was too dark to capture them. They were illustrations of native flowers. On the way into Esperance in the dark there was this incredible and surreal sight of something on fire. I don’t know if it was a big patch of trees or tyres but this red glow and smoke made the horizon look like something out of a post-apocalyptic film. The flames were only visible right nearby.

Because I left Albany much later than I wanted and ended up getting into Esperance at 10pm. I was knackered and nowhere was open for camping so I parked on an empty block that some of the locals seemed to be using for parking and fell asleep quick smart.

Day 2: Esperance to Eucla

Woke up at sunrise, took a look around at the bay and town, got fuel and drove off with a Golden Gaytime ice-cream.

Got out of the car at the 90 Mile Straight. The Nullarbor is silent. It’s so silent that it sounds like you’re talking into cotton wool. There is no noise at all except for cars. No animals. No breeze. No rustling of grass or bushes. Nothing.

Saw a bunch of emus hanging out on the side of the road. Then a herd of wild cows the colour of sand. They were beautiful. Lots of dead kangaroos. A dead dingo. A live wedge-tailed eagle which made me gasp at its wingspan as it took off. Plenty of crows. The crows sit on dead branches beside the road, or they often fly directly above the road as though they’re using it for direction. Beside the road, there are occasional stacks of rocks. Which is weird. Hundreds of kilometres and someone has taken the time to stack these occasional rock stacks. There are also trees full of lost things. One of shoes. One of jocks. One of shirts. Bottles. Each a new art piece. Perhaps they are abandoned items that travellers have left behind. Saw two cyclists riding on the road. Then a single person clearly on a mission to walk the Nullabor. Followed by a single cyclist. Saw the tail of my first live Kangaroo. Arrived in Eucla at exactly the right time, not a moment wasted. I stayed at the Eucla caravan park and it was a beautiful view. No phone reception since morning.

Didn’t get fuel at one of the road stops because I got a really unsettling vibe. Sticker game sucks but there are cute little camping mugs at each of the stops so I’ve picked up one at most of the roadhouses.

Day 3: Eucla to Port Augusta

I thought this leg was too bold and was initially going to stop in Ceduna, but arrived there by lunch and decided to push on. Got my first phone reception in two days and called home. Could have watched whales but decided getting in before dark was more important. The countryside is so different from Western Australia. Spotted incredible mountains in the distance, but didn’t know what they were. Getting closer realised the Port Augusta is at the edge of the Flinders Ranges. My heart was so full! The mountains look incredible in the incredible sunset. Stayed at a caravan park. Got up the next morning at sunrise to head home.

Saw the most animals in the last stretch. It was almost like a great migration. Emus, kangaroos (no big reds), goats, sheep, foxes, rabbits.

Day 4: Port Augusta to Ballarat

I stopped in Adelaide to buy some climbing gear. Van struggled in the Adelaide Hills. Saw amazing canola fields and silo artwork. The view driving past the Grampians was gorgeous. This was a much more familiar countryside. I was sick of being in the car and didn’t even stop for many pictures. So many service stations have giant things. Giant whales. Or kangaroos. Or in this case, ants. Everything got a bit samey at each stop. Arrived home to a gorgeous sunset. Didn't take pictures. Kept that one just for me.
- L

Pride and Prejudice

3 Oct 2018

If you follow me online you’ll probably know already that I’m in a local production of Pride and Prejudice. I auditioned for this show at the end of last year and so much work has gone into making it happen. Almost every item of clothing had to be made. The set was complicated to construct. Lines had to be learned. Lighted had to be mapped. Props had to be sourced. At the centre of it all is a clever adaption of a detailed story into a short production appropriate for the stage. Even with so much of it taken out, it’s still wordy and there were many lines to be learned.

It’s the first show for me since I’ve started at acting school and while at first I was frustrated and struggled with the workload I can tell you now that it was the greatest decision for my acting study. Each time I met a roadblock, instead of getting frustrated that I didn’t know how to do a thing, I had tools from my classes to overcome it. For example, being cast as Jane Bennet was a delight, but it’s the first time I’ve had to play a soft character. I speak with a low chest voice naturally and the director wanted me to speak higher, lighter and softer. How does someone who speaks soft and light have their voice heard by the people sitting at the back of a 120 seat theatre with no microphones? How do I deliver my lines out to an audience when I’m having a conversation with someone in front of me on a stage? How do I warm up properly? What does being warm even feel like? These are all things I’ve found answers to and I’ve been absolutely delighted with the opportunity to do the work.

This is also the closest, most amicable, most delightful cast I have ever worked with, which is impressive when I’ve had some really magical ensembles to be on stage with. I’ve never felt a bond so close, so genuinely interested in lifting one another up, in making sure the show goes on at a high standard. To celebrate this exquisite bond, I left my camera backstage on one of our tech runs with easy to use settings and handed over the reigns of my camera to the entire cast and crew. I then buffered any issues in post-production, and here we have for you some shots from the very kind and happy backstage, wings and stage from our show.

If you would like to see Pride and Prejudice, it is on in Ballarat until October 6.

Wed 3 Oct 8pm
Thur 4 Oct 8pm
Fri 5 Oct 8pm
Sat 6 Oct 2pm
Sat 6 Oct 8pm

Tickets here.

A full collection of all our production photos are available here.

Spring Treats at Sweet Fern

16 Sept 2018

Liana of @findingfemme at Sweet Fern in Ballarat wearing Thurley

It's so easy when thinking about perfume and spring to think of floral scents, however, a perfume masterclass at Sweet Fern for the season turned out to be way different to that image. One of the greatest things about Sweet Fern is that they can take anyone from knowing nothing about perfume to an informed position where they can start choosing fragrances that they love. To do this they use the fragrance wheel, showing 13 different perfumes and explaining their histories and nuances. This time, it was with the added sensory connecting of eating sweets. To celebrate the arrival of spring I also wore this divine Thurley dress from Blanc Boutique, which would make an iconic outfit for Spring Races with the right accessories.

Into Light

7 Sept 2018

Liana of @findingfemme wears Steele Luella Wrap Dress at Ballarat Fine Art Gallery

It’s a once in a lifetime thing when your regional Australian hometown hosts forty pieces of art from the Musée de la Chartreuse.

Welcome Spring

2 Sept 2018

Liana of @findingfemme in Lazybones Venesia print organic cotton dress.

Today's post will be picture heavy, so I hope you enjoy the pretty shots. I'm trying to rock my curls lately thanks to the hairdressing skills of Chelsea at Eve Salon. She's the first hairdresser I've ever had that has styled my hair curly. She was so keen to try it and I was kind of indifferent so I let her do what she wanted. Her passion for my curls was super infectious and I couldn't help but leave feeling like I was as curious about what my hair could be as she was. I'm not a hair girl. I do like my hair to be nice, it does seriously knock my confidence when it isn't, but I'd be lying if I said I washed it more than once a week. You hear right. I don't like washing my hair or styling it or looking after it. I intentionally have my natural colour so I don't have to visit the hairdresser. I'm growing it. Also so I don't have to visit the hairdresser. I have one style I like and it modifies as it gets dirtier and the curl starts to ebb back into it. If it gets too long I flip it to one side to the cowlick on my forehead can be free. Curls? Not a chance.

Nature Calling

30 Aug 2018

Liana of @findingfemme wears flannel shirt, jeans and Timberland boots in outdoor style outfit

My friend Nat has this tattoo on his ribs. It has the word ‘comfort zone’, surrounded by a circle and outside the circle, further along his skin is the word ‘dreams’. It’s a concept most people are familiar with: our dreams lay outside our comfort zone. This year has been critical for me in understanding the concept of my comfort zone and why the heck I would ever want to get outside of it.


12 Aug 2018

Liana of @findingfemme in Sportsgirl vyshyvanka embroidered top and black skirt

Who do you think you are? I am someone who has worked hard to become very sure of who I am. It’s interesting how we learn to define ourselves. The things I knew defined who I was were things like I liked to wear flowing skirts, I loved straw boaters, I didn’t ever paint my nails, I loved weights at the gym and I hated outdoors. It’s interesting, the long list of things that I thought defined who I was. After all, it’s just a list.

Winter Skate

21 Jul 2018

Liana of @findingfemme in Impala rollerskates and pink Sportsgirl hoodie

I must be going through a big phase of change at the moment. The other day I went out and about with my sister Goldfields Girl, I got dressed up so we could take blog photos, I put on an outfit I used to wear like a uniform and the photos didn't work. I wasn't feeling the entire shoot. The whole thing was uninspired. I thought that for sure this go-to outfit would be a winner for photos but it felt like I was wearing someone else's life. I wore a blue and green dress and my old favourite navy winter coat. Neither were bringing me any joy.

100 of 365 - My New Photo Project

20 Jul 2018

A few years ago when I first got into photography, my friend John got me into a project called a 365. This is where the photographer takes a photo a day, every day, for 365 days. Ideally, one would take pictures of the one subject. John took photos of himself as his subject. I took the project on myself, but my camera broke when I was travelling in Barcelona, stopping me somewhere in the hundreds. I didn’t settle on a subject and just took photos of everything.

Loving My Skin: Part 1

18 Jul 2018

Left: before two treatments and product use, right: after.

Earlier this year I was invited to become an ambassador for Clinica Lase, a local skin-care and beauty clinic. I was already a client of theirs at the time so to take the opportunity to explore the full range of the skin treatments available was really exciting for me, particularly as I was already considering having one of their skin consultations. Looking back now I’m impressed with how much my understanding of skin treatment and skin care has changed in the four treatments since I began my journey with them. I was seeing a dermatologist for niggling issues with breakouts, rashes and redness when I had my first consultation.

Canada: Part 1 - Vulnerability in Travel

23 Jun 2018

Some days travel feels exhausting. It’s like being in an escape room except I sleep there. It’s hard work. To get anything I need there is an unknown number of puzzles to solve. There is a trust I learn to have with myself that by putting one foot in front of the other, I know I will get to where I want to be. The path is not straight. It’s full of plot twists and surprises and it seems the only amount of preparation I can ever truly do is to open up my heart and let it lead. Being in the puzzle can be exhausting, especially if it takes a lot to trust myself. It is a special place where I can say to myself, ‘I got this, I’ll let go.’

Some days travel feels like I’m cripplingly shy. It’s partly the bliss of knowing no one and partly the pain of knowing no one. It’s a knife edge between being alone and being lonely. It’s partly wanting to get out and explore the new world around me and partly feeling like I’m dwarfed by the new world that the experience is opening up inside me. It’s the vastness and newness of what’s out there being a mirror to the surprising vastness and newness of what’s inside.

To know the world outside, it requires knowing truths about myself that I may have wanted to avoid or not had the right light to see. Travel isn’t just new eyes on the world outside it is a new light pointing directly inside. Travel is being incredibly uncomfortable and above all, feeling that discomfort and being ok with it. Leaning into it. Finding courage to face the vastness of what’s inside, to feel small, to feel irrelevant, to feel unseen or too seen. To feel all of this and have the courage to not run, whether that be to run home or to run away from that conversation with myself. To feel that smallness and know I am not diminished by it. To find the beauty in the newness, in the vulnerability, in the ache of a soul that feels like it’s received on its surface the spiritual equivalent of sunburn. It is to feel all of this, feeling so so small in this huge and complex world, to know all I can ever truly give is in my heart and to have the courage to give it and know that that is enough, no matter how small that feels.

It is to be in a position where all the usual ways to avoid or compensate when I feel inadequate are so far out of reach and I have to feel everything completely on my own. It is feeling inadequate by feeling bored or boring or ugly or dirty or unfit or any other uncomfortable feeling and being ok with those feelings instead of drowning them out with other stuff. It is questioning my decisions and my reasoning and allowing myself the opportunity to be wrong. It is being ok with the discomfort of being wrong. Of wrapping myself up in the feeling like a blanket and to feel human from it, to see myself with empathy and to grow.

Some days travel is looking out at the big vast unknown world around me, to see myself in it, truly see myself and say with love ‘I choose this one’.

Candy Skate

7 Jun 2018

Ballarat VIC, Australia
Liana of @findingfemme wears Impala rollerskates and The Pretty Dress Co candy striped dress

I cannot remember the first time I put on roller-skates. I’m sure I was very small. With three older siblings, I had the freedom to get into activities that my parents were already comfortable with them doing.

Taking Pictures

31 May 2018

Liana of @findingfemme shoots wearing black skinny jeans and black and white striped top

Photography is one of my favourite activities. I got into it many years ago starting with a little point and shoot camera. I'd used photoshop at school when studying digital art and I'd been really into cinematography because I'd wanted to be a filmmaker. Photography was a natural next step. I loved taking pictures but I got so frustrated looking at the pictures I wanted to take and not knowing how to take them. So I bought a Canon 400D from a friend who was upgrading and took a short course.

All Dressed Up and Somewhere To Go

15 May 2018

Liana of @findingfemme at Gems and Jewels in Ballarat

When was the last time you dressed up? There is a special joy in getting dressed up. It’s not an outfit for work or the gym. Dressing up expresses something about ourselves. It can be a statement about dignity, class, purpose and sometimes even a chance to create art. It can transport to another place and time. 
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