Wednesday, October 30, 2013

(op shopping) frocking it

Most of the clothes I wear are from the op shop (save the underwear) but I'm not an adventurous wearer of clothes. I'm far too conservative for my own taste. I love vintage and retro, but I'm not good at wearing it. I'm trying to inject a bit into my everyday wears.

One of the reasons I'm stepping out of the shadows is I've been following Kylie who has been frocking it (and blogging again) for Frocktober. Now Kylie is quite a shy girl too, and I thought if she can do it for a month, I can do it for a day. If you don't already know Kylie, please go and visit and support her in raising much needed funds for ovarian cancer research. 

Also I've often wanted to join in with Jane and her Shiny-T Tuesdays. But I've always felt too shy - well not today! Her theme for this week is The Big Top. Well not quite sure how my get-up fits this theme, although I did feel like a bit of a clown taking selfies, and my footwear is clownish (although several sizes smaller). And I maybe be more Big Bot than Top, but if I don't do this now I might never pluck up the courage again.

So what am I wearing:

The shoes are Deuces (cos my feet are too wide for Converse) brought off Trade Me for half the price of new ones, even though they were new.

The leggings are new from The Warehouse ("where everyone gets a bargain" but they might have changed their branding recently).

The cardy is a stripey Max merino (op shopped) but you'll be pleased to know I replaced it with a black one after seeing these photos (what was I thinking!)

The brooch is one of my latest creations, based on a kina (sea anemone) shell.

The dress is a a 1950s polished cotton shift dress, although I'm not sure it was made in the 50s, probably more 70s. It's been lurking in the wardrobe for months, so long I can't remember which oppy I brought it at or how much it cost. It is sleeveless, hence the cardy, as I don't like displaying my wings, and it also nips in the volume of the dress. After these photos were taken I quickly made some alterations to the dress. It's homemade, and had strange pleats at the seams on both sides at the hem. When I unpicked these and ironed it I noticed that is was very bell-shaped, which was adding to the volume. So I quickly took in the side seams, and rushed out the door to get to the hairdressers.

The last shots I took in the car when I'd arrived home from the two and a half hours I'd wasted spent at the hairdressers. Now I know why I don't go and get turned back into a redhead very often, it takes too long! But I did gain a fringe, something I haven't had for a while.

Now if you're still here after all that, here are some photos of the lovely evening light we've been having lately.

Ah, that's more like it. Linking like crazy here and here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

airing dirty linen

Well I had to get your attention somehow! I love a bit of old linen, but preferably not too dirty. But I have been know to gingerly pick something out of the free bin and take it home and throw it in a bucket of soaker and be thrilled when the dirt vanished.

For the two weeks of the school holidays my op shopping was severely curtailed, but I did manage a couple of quickies. Amazingly when we were in Greymouth in the first weekend of the holidays the Sally Army was having a late opening on a Saturday afternoon, and between dancing we got in and had a bit of a rummage. The find of the day was the bright checked Onehunga woollen travel rug for 10 bucks.

With school going back on Monday my ability to op shop fully has been restored. Most of what I look for is linen and haberdashery. These are the ingredients for making things for my Mahana Redlegs label, where I try to be as close to 100% upcycled as possible.

In Motueka this week I found the two large pieces of floral fabric. The top piece was $2 and the bottom was $8, which I did hesitate with, but if I average it over the two pieces I'm happy. The photo doesn't really show the amazing neon pink flowers it the second pieces. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with it. There's enough to make a dress or skirt, but it'll probably end up lining my blanket bags, as it's a heavy twill.

In the Red Cross in Nelson I found this old blue cardboard box. It may have been a chocolate box once, and it used to have wee metal feet, but only one of those is still there. It was full of cottons, bias binding, needles, domes and embroidery cotton, again I hesitated at $6, but I think it was worth it. Has anyone else noticed that the prices in the oppies are getting higher and higher?

And I also scored an old cotton tea towel for $1 (that's more like it). I love these ones with the crochet edging, but after it's wash it hasn't remained whole for long. I've had fun cutting out the flowers and leaves and machine embroidering them onto my homemade wool felt to make into brooches. I'll save the crochet edging and think of something to use it for too.

Joining in with Max's Op Shop Show Off for the first time in weeks. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

holidays - part two

For us to go away twice over a two week period is almost unheard of. After our three nights away on the West Coast, and we've just had three nights in Golden Bay.  Golden Bay is surprisingly close to home, from our house to the bach (kiwi for holiday home) we rent at Patons Rock takes less than 1 1/2 hours. Over half of that journey is over the Takaka Hill which is quite an epic journey up and down, and around numerous corners, which makes us think it's further than it is. The last time we went was here at the end of the summer holidays in February. Each time we return to the same beach and the same bach.

Right I'm going to keep this brief, and let the photos do the talking......

Close to home, about 10 minutes into the journey. I often pass this old apple packing shed, and love the reflections when the tide is in. For once I wasn't driving, so could snap this out of the car window!
At the beach, there are not many people but the local horse trainer brings his horses down when the tide is out.
The hubby and my friend's hubby watching the kids kayak, and chewing the fat!
Miss L wondering why her friend is going for a swim in October!
The beach has lovely shells to collect.
Fishing at Tarakohe Wharf.
Cute wee boat at Tarakohe Wharf.
Bush walk.
Labyrinth Rocks.

Badminton on the front lawn.
The house we stay in is almost retro, in an 1980s sort of a way! It used to be a permanent home before it became a bach (holiday home). The owners have done some modernising, but mostly it's original. It one of the reasons we like coming here, because it isn't pretentious, and feels homely and relaxed. But if I owned it I'd go all out on the retro - as in 1960-70s, I can remember the 80s to well to want to relive that era!

A peach exterior with new deck and doors out of the bedrooms.
The pink and grey bathroom is straight from 1984!
A kina (sea anemone) hanging in the lounge.

A map of Golden Bay in the dining area.
But the piece de resistance has to be the carpet, in all it's amazing technicoloured-ness.
Yes that is a wet deck there. We were lucky with three beautiful sunny and warm days, but on Tuesday as we packed up to go home the rain came. When we got home we had to light the fire, something I don't think we'd done for over two weeks. This morning the snow was quite low on the mountains again. Ah, the fickleness of spring.
One of last week's sunrises from our front lawn.
While I enjoyed our time away, three days was enough for me. I've finally realised I don't find it easy to relax and do nothing when on holiday. I didn't pack any crafty stuff, and found that I was itching to be creative. Next time I need to be better prepared. I'm also a bit of a homebody, and miss all the animals. Especially as we were expecting new arrivals in the chook house.Thankfully my sister stayed at our house for two nights and looked after all the animals and reported on developments, which I'll report on in another post.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

100 on the wall

Day 100 of the 100 Days Project was on Saturday 14th September. It was with a bit of anticlimax that I finished my 100th Sharpie drawing. I was wanting to do something really amazing, but in the end inspiration was lacking so I drew seaweed, something I'd drawn before, so it didn't even feel very original!

With two other local ladies who did the project as well, we arranged to hold an exhibition at a local shop and gallery, The Old Post Office Store in Upper Moutere. This involved a bit of media release and interview with the local paper. Amazingly I'm managing to smile for the photographer as I was four days post-op and didn't feel like posing!

I drew on A5 card which came in pad form, and it was quite a task ripping them apart. 100 drawings did make a lovely big satisfying stack.

Here's my blurb (written in haste the night before, as usual - my least favourite task):

Sally: 100 days with a Sharpie

At the beginning of the project I started with the following brief:

“Every day for 100 days I'm going to draw with my Sharpie pen. I'll be drawing on a piece of A5 card so I can use collage, paint, whatever takes my fancy - as long as I use my black fine point Sharpie pen.”

And that’s what I did for 100 days. I soon found I didn’t need to use other materials, that a Sharpie pen was enough.

Procrastination is the evil twin of productivity. While doing the project I had no time for procrastination (well not if I wanted to sleep), so it didn’t get a chance to lurk each day. So the flipside was that productivity reigned.

What I found hardest was finding inspiration. I’d like to say it got easier over the 100 days, but I’m not sure that it did! Completing the project has given me a resource of images to use in my art practice, something I can turn to when inspiration is needed.

I also learnt to trust my instinct and not to be too self-critical. So here are my 100 drawings, which took 100 days and 7 Sharpie pens.


We hung the exhibition on 25th September, and it will be up until 28th October.  Well 'hang' is hardly the right word, it was more of like "masking tape them up". I shuffled my drawings and taped them up in random order. The wall made it interesting, with light switches, battens and other features I couldn't get anal about the spacing, I just had to keep on sticking them up, and down.

That evening we held an exhibition opening, and I was delighted that two of my drawings sold then. I had never planned to hold an exhibition or sell them when I started the project, so it all felt a little weird. But I'm getting over it, plus the sales should cover the wine and food expenses!

My favourite from the 100 days is day 89. It's the only plein air and "self portrait" drawing I did. I drew it while waiting for the kids at a sports day in Motueka. I found the seedhead from the pohutakawa tree and was going to draw it, but saw the shadow of my hand holding it on the paper and drew that instead.

If you have a favourite let me know as I will be giving those that don't sell away at the end of the month to my faithful followers. Yes you will have to be faithful, and a follower (with Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin' or  Facebook), and because comments give me such a buzz, my regular commenters will get first dibs (well only if they want one!)

Here's the link to my Facebook page which has all 100 drawings in an album.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

holidays - part one

It's the school holidays again, and we have a two trips planned - here's part one. On Saturday we got up bright and early and drove to Greymouth. It was a quick trip at that time of the morning, so three hours later we were getting ready for the first of Miss L's dances at the competitions.

L danced five times over three days, and blew us away by winning her demi-character, barefoot, jazz, jazz championship and the most promising ballet dancer under 12 years of age. All that nagging to get her to practice was worth it!

As the dancing was spread out it gave us time to catch up with friends, drive down to Hokitika for lunch, take the kids to the swimming pool and visit a local beach. I even got some op-shopping in!

With the hubby taking a couple of days off, we had a  leisurely drive home yesterday. The weather was warm and summery, so we played at being tourists.

First stop was at Punakaiki to see the Pancake Rocks. A few metres into the walk we came across a weka family, the chicks were the cutest little fluff balls. I never get tired of taking photos of the nikau palms either.

The high tide meant that we actually got to see the blowhole blowing - not something you see everyday.

The rock formations at Pancake Rocks are quite unusual, but with a low battery I didn't take many photos.

After a quick coffee and a wander around the craft shop we were back on the road. Next stop was a small beach at Fox River, which is a favourite of mine. It's featured before here.

Before we got to Westport we took a detour to Tauranga Bay to visit the seal colony. It's a short walk to the viewing area, and you can smell the seals before you see them.

At first it's actually quite hard to spot them, as they are camouflaged against the rocks. But once you start looking you see more and more. They don't all lie around asleep, some were chasing each other, while others hopped from rock to rock. The photos below all have three seals in them, some are harder to spot than others.

After that we stopped in Westport for lunch (and more op shops) and were home by 3 to check all our animals hadn't forgotten us. Part one of the holidays is over, now I'm looking forward to this coming weekend's adventure.