Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Comic Book Tee - Op Shopped in Wellington
Corset Belt - Primark
Pencil Skirt - Calvin Klein from a vintage shop in Wellington
Wooden Bead Necklace - so old I can't remember where it's from!
Smile - after another great day at work

I didn't think I was going to have time to do an outfit post this week, but sometimes my powers of multi-tasking amaze me. I have never been as busy as I have the past couple of months and I have to say, I'm really enjoying life now it's all 'go, go, go'! It means when I have the time to chill out and unwind, I really make the most of it and feel it's well deserved. I spend so much of my time doing things for other people, I occasionally have to remind myself I need some 'me time'!

And that's what my Wardrobe Wednesdays are about - my me time. It's so nice to take time out in the week to enjoy choosing outfits that make me feel good about myself.

Today I did something that really scares me - I went to the hairdressers. Now it's very common to get all anxious about going to the dentists, for example, but people always seem surprised to hear that I get all a-quiver at the prospect of going for a snip. I'm not precious about my hair or anything. In fact, I'm probably too much the opposite. I dye my hair at home and often make poor decisions involving scissors and my jaunty fringe. So when I have to eventually make a trip to a salon, I dread the rolling eyes and the tuts at my split ends, roots and blunt cut bangs.

Today, I faced my fears. Next weekend, we are travelling to Melbourne to stay with family for Christmas. It's going to be around 40 degrees and I couldn't stand the thought of being in stifling heat with my Rapunzel locks.

So ater work, I went across the road to the most laid-back looking salon I could find. 'No appointment necessary' the sign read. 'Sounds welcoming enough', I thought to myself. I waited for ten minutes before I was sat in that spinning chair with a smock round my neck and a lady on my shoulder asking what I'd like done. She didn't tut. She didn't roll her eyes. We chatted. Not in a forced, feigned interest kind of way, but a relaxed, jokey way that made me feel completely at ease. She actually cut the amount off I'd asked for and didn't seem to mind at all when I asked her to cut more into my layers. At last, someone who cut my hair the way I asked without making me feel self-conscious and fumbly. Thank you lady I never got the name of! You have cured me of my un-natural affliction to hairdressers! And all for only 40 bucks! Bargain :)


I can't grab my hair at the back any more! But it's sooo much lighter

Have a gander at Miriam's, won't you?

Monday, 10 December 2012

Things I Love About Sundays

Since reclaiming my Sundays when I started working at The Make Cafe, I have been relishing the extra quality time I get to spend with my new Fiance and trying to make the most of 'down-time' to unwind and reflect upon the past week.

We try not to do much on Sundays and always make sure we spend the morning cooking a good breakfast (or brunch, depending on the length of lie-in we have!), catching some sun on our balcony, reading and musing over recent events. 

There are a couple of things I love most about Sundays though. Here are a few:

1. Taking our time to cook a lovely brekkie together, while wearing our his and hers aprons :)

2. Drinking scrumptious Hummingbird coffee from these amazing Marimekko mugs from Bolt of Cloth

3. Tucking into our favourite Sunday brunch - Eggs Benedict. Especially when Mr Bear makes funny faces on my plate.

4. Having to wear sunglasses to eat outside because the sun's so bright now summer is here.

5. Putting my feet up after a week of speeding around all day at work (which I love but my feet hate me for!)

6. Taking time to read my Mollie Makes. Getting inspired. Catching up on some sewing

Saturday, 8 December 2012

A Seaside Birthday

A week ago today, I celebrated my 22nd birthday in the seaside town of Kaikoura, about a two hour drive North of Christchurch. We arrived late Saturday afternoon, and checked into our room for the night, which came with an amazing view of the snow-capped mountains that border the town to the North. After a brief wander along the pebbly beach and a quick change into evening clothes, we went for a lovely seafood supper before enjoying a well deserved night in front of the telly.

As we drove into Kaikoura, we passed 'Kaikoura Airport', a long narrow field next to the road with a gravel run-way and a couple of small planes. Martin asked me - hypothetically of course- how I'd prefer to see whales: by boat or by air. I answered, 'Probably by boat. You get to see them really up close and even feel the spray of the sea from their blow hole. If you're in a plane, you might as well be watching it on the TV, you're that far away'. 'Is that really what you think?', he replied, looking slightly worried. I hadn't really thought too much about it before, I said. I've never really flown in a small plane before and therefore wasn't quite sure how I'd feel about it. 'Well start thinking about it', he laughed, 'because you're going to be 1000 feet in the air above a 20m long Sperm Whale tomorrow morning!' Well that stumped me! I don't think surprise birthday presents get much better than that!

The weather report on Saturday evening worried us, however. There was talk of gales and torrential rain. Not great conditions for a flight in a small aircraft. I woke up several times that night to the sound of heavy rain. But when I awoke on the morning of my birthday, the air was still and fresh and the cloud cover had definitely thinned. I had a couple of cards from home and a present from my parents which my brother had brought with him on his trip over in October. I opened it to reveal a beautiful fabric covered book on 'the art of home sewing' by the giants of the textiles world: Liberty. Thank you Ma & Pa!

As we approached the Wings Over Whales base, I began to feel quite nervous. I've never been one for heights and don't see myself as much of an adrenaline seeker. But by the time we'd had our safety briefing and learnt a little about the whales, I felt my excitement brewing. We felt very privileged to be the only passengers, and since Martin was nominated photographer, I got to sit in the co-pilot seat up front with our handsome kiwi pilot; another birthday treat!

My heart started to race again as we gathered speed travelling down the runway and leapt into my throat as I felt the wheels of the plane under my feet leave the ground. But once we were airborne, I discovered I felt completely relaxed and at ease in the air, drifting above the dramatic landscape of the sharp white mountains against a backdrop of stunningly blue sky. The flights are limited to 30 minutes and the chances of seeing a whale not guaranteed. A male whale spends most of its life hunting and eating, trying to get as big as possible as quickly as it can in order to impress the lady whales that live up the coast in warmer waters. They can stay underwater for close to 2.5 hours and only surface for around 10 minutes, to catch their breath and sometimes have a little doze. So in order to see a whale, the pilots and staff of Wings Over Whales note the location and time of the first sighting of the day in order to try and predict where and when the whale will surface during the course of your flight.

After we'd been in the air for what felt like around twenty minutes, I started to wonder whether we would get to see a whale during his brief breather. I asked myself how I would feel if we landed back on shore without a sighting, and realised I was enjoying the flight so much and felt so delighted at the discovery that I didn't mind flying, that I wouldn't feel too disappointed after all.

Just as I settled on this feeling, the pilot pointed to a patch of sea to our right and started to dip the wing in that direction. I strained my eyes to see where he'd been pointing, as I'd lost any sense of how high up we were and, therefore, the scale of the creature I'd be looking for. After a few seconds, my eyes adjusted and I glimpsed a submarine shaped shadow beneath the surface of the glistening water, ringed by white surf and sending jets of water into the air from its blow hole. I was awe-struck. I gave the pilot a big thumbs up and turned to grin at Marts behind me, only to realise he'd gone a remarkable shade of green and was clutching a sick bag with his free hand. I kept shouting at him to 'focus on the whale!' but the circular motion of the plane as we dipped to get a good view of the whale was just not agreeing with him. I had expected it to be the other way round, but I felt fine! 

Ten minutes of circular flying later, the whale 'made his move', straightening himself out before pushing his head down for the dive. This is usually the moment in which you can get a great 'tail shot' as he dives. But our whale must have been feeling camera shy that day as he slipped beneath the waves without so much as a splash. 

After a surprisingly smooth landing (our pilot was clearly a pro), I drove a green-tinged Martin back into the town, plonked him on a chair outside a cafe and made him drink some English Breakfast Tea. Once he'd regained a slightly more natural hue, he agreed to head down the road to a quilting and patchwork shop we'd passed the previous evening on the way to our Motel. It was fabric lovers paradise and, since it was my birthday, Mr Bear let me browse to my heart's content and pick a lovely array of fabrics to add to my ever-growing stash.

For lunch we shared a very yummy 'Mike and the Mechanics' Pizza with a big bowl of Kiwi Fries and a refreshing cucumber and elderflower smoothie. Deeeelicious!

We spent the rest of the afternoon browsing a few more shops (where I picked up this quirky conical flask to use as a vase for some of the lovely roses that grow in our garden) and basked in the glorious sun for an hour on the black sand, digging for shiny rocks and tiny coloured shards of gem-stone.

We arrived back in the city around 6 pm, just in time to meet up with some friends of ours from home that had been travelling around the South Island as part of their epic honeymoon. It was lovely to see some familiar faces and hear the much missed accents of home. A great way to end an incredible day.

Oh and my incredible fiance also bought me this baby for the 22nd....

 I sure am one lucky girl :)

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Han Solo T-shirt - Lewis and Finch Menswear
Green Cord Shorts - ZARA
Tights - Glassons
Black Brogues -  Kmart
Woven Leather Belt - Vintage
Daisy Hair Slides - Acorn & Will

It was my birthday on Sunday. I wanted to get out of the city and breathe some sea air so we escaped to Kaikoura for the weekend. A day spent on the pebbley beach, breathing in salty air and listening to the seagulls overhead is my idea of a perfect birthday.

The previous evening, we went for a seafood supper down the road from our motel. This is me in my smart casual. I've never really understood that phrase. It just doesn't seem to apply to anything I keep in my wardrobe. I have a tendancy to overdress for occasions. I think it must be a side-effect of spending most of my childhood in fancy dress (otherwise known as my olders brothers clothes). This is about as 'dressed down' as I get for going for a meal:

Maxi Dress - New Look
Apple Necklace - Op Shopped

I would say 'tune in tomorrow for the low down of our weekend away' but, let's face it, it probably won't be tomorrow. But I will try my best. Promise.


Monday, 26 November 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Thundercats Tee: HMV Menswear, customised
Denim Shorts: New Look
Leather Woven Belt: Vintage
Green Cardi: Sallie's
Red Sandals: Number 1 Shoes
Hat: Market stall at A&P Show
Necklace: A present from my mum-in-law to be :)
Black Patent Leather Bag: Vintage
Unicorn Earring: The Lanes, Meadowhall

Well, my outfit this week is pretty self-explanatory. This is what I was wearing last Sunday when we went Christmas shopping for our family back home (hence the big red Bally's bag). So I thought I'd share some fashion thoughts this week and talk a bit about how we're perceived by people according to the way we dress and how this affects us.

Sometimes I feel I get funny looks when I go out. Yes, that may be because I'm a strange girl and it tends to show. But I also think it has a lot to do with what I'm wearing. I don't feel I have a crazzzy dress sense but I do tend to dress in a way that normally makes me stand out. But, in this day and age, is standing out to be shunned or embraced?

Walking down the street in this particular get-up last weekend, I felt the eyes of many a young lady boring into my back as I passed by. Mr Bear assured me they were just looking at him and I should worry more about keeping a firmer grip on his arm (I don't think he expected the torrent of giggles that followed this statement, however!) But I'm quite used to other girls looking at me in a kinda confused way.

A skype conversation I had with my brother the other day prompted me to look into the way this female attention makes me feel and how it affects my garment decisions each morning. We were discussing our perceptions of criticism and how the fear of rejection can sometimes hold us back in life. But if you really love doing something, you will continue to do it regardless of what people think, and this is how we can recognise our real passions in life and what is fundamental to our being and therefore unchangeable.

I came to the conclusion that this has always been the case for me: I have always dressed the way I do and have always received the occasional gawp or lingering stare. But this has never stopped me standing in front of my wardrobe and picking sliced up men's tees, shorts that are probably too short for my size of leg and tying my hair up in childish styles. And that is because this is who I am and what I love to wear and no amount of girlish gawping will ever change that. 

And, let's face it, people sometimes react negatively out of jealousy; at least that's what my Ma's always told me, but she would :)

So there's some food for thought this week, readers! I believe what we wear should reflect our personality, the colours we love and what we enjoy in life. Wouldn't you agree?

Oh, and Happy Movember! :)


Head over to Miriam's next. Today she's discussing how we women feel about our bodies.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Another Shirt!

It was my eldest brother's birthday on Thursday. All afternoons of the past week have been spent finishing this Linen Grandad Shirt in time. I posted it last Thursday and it arrived in time, yey :)

The outer material is brown linen with tangerine stitching, wooden buttons and I used a silky kimono type fabric to line the front insert to add some hidden decorative detailing. I knew he wouldn't like anything to flamboyant but I couldn't resist putting some patterned fabric somewhere and thought the silkiness would feel nice against the skin.

To my immense relief, he liked it and it fits! Each birthday that goes by whilst we're away from home seems to be a little harder. It is difficult to put lots of love into making something for a loved one only to never see their face upon receiving it. But I cherish the thought of them wearing something that I designed and made with them in mind. I always try and capture something about their personality in the clothes I make for family and the thought of this makes the work very enjoyable indeed. I spend my time sewing with a smile on my face, whilst reminiscing about happy times at home.

Happy Birthday again Nat :) Nice to speak to you on Thursday! xxx

Canterbury A&P Show

I think we may have missed the sheep shearing??

Attempting to snap a pony racing past on tiny legs!

Lining up for their rosettes after the time trials

Donkeys, my favourite!

How'd he get up there?!?

Sheepdog Trials
So here they are, ater a slightly longer wait than I had promised I'm afriad. Y'know how it is, that's life!

Those of you who tuned in for this week's Wardrobe Wednesday will have noted that we attended Canterbury A&P Show last Friday (Mr Bear and I both had a day off for Canterbury Anniversary Day). We weren't sure what we'd see there but Martin had heard from a number of people that it was worth a visit and something Cantabrians eagerly await once a year.

I have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! It was a bit like wandering into a different world. The stalls in the market hall were a strange mix of traders indeed, from the latest technology in vacuum cleaning to a lady demonstrating a scarily realistic possum puppet!

We walked to the race ring to watch pony chariots speed past, their little legs a blur underneath their miniature frame, and even witnessed a crash as a buggy tipped going round a corner and the lady was flung a fair distance across the track (she was unharmed, thankfully!) It was very dramatic!

Inside the covered arenas we found pen upon pen of sheep of many different breeds and varieties, painted ponies (think the rainbow coloured manes of 'my little pony' and be horrified), beehives, turkeys, baby chooks, bunnies and a small dog on a very large horses' back!

On our way round the outside stalls, we were halted by Police a couple of times as Prince Charles and Camilla were visiting and needed 'safe passage' through the crowds. I caught a glimpse of Charles briefly and could see a little bit of Camilla's blinding white hair over the crowd. We were quite amused upon hearing a little girl who had been lifted onto her Dad's shoulders say 'Put me down Dad, there's nothing to see here'!

Finally, we made it round to the sheepdog trials, which we enjoyed tremendously; probably not quite as much as the older lady next to me who found the need to grab my arm to steady herself every time a particularly young and strapping handler had to heave the sheep over the fence with one hand! 

Back at the flat, we decided to open our bottle of champagne and sit on the balcony in the sun before cooking up some homemade fish and chips. A very nice day indeed!