Sunday, August 29, 2010

A sad farewell, and a new beginning...

Six days after Aesop was born we bought a lounge suite.
My Mum was staying with us, down in Nelson, and we happened to be walking past the vintage store down the road when we saw the most perfect set in the window. Black vinyl with the most striking orange cushions, perfect. We went in, fully expecting to see a giant price tag and leave empty handed, but the second hand gods smiled on us and we snaffled it up for less than $200.

It is amazing how a piece of furniture can be such a big part of life. We slept on is when we were unwell, it held us for hours of t.v watching, internetting and breastfeeding, hosted long conversations with friends, saw multitudes of visitors, helped both of the boys learn to climb and it was even my anchor as I laboured with Otto. I gave birth holding onto that couch!

But, unfortunately, 5 and a bit years of food stains and general wear and tear (along with the 30+ years of use from previous owners..) had our couch looking a little worse for wear. And then Aesop jumped on it one day and the poor old thing popped it's springs.

It was time to find a new suite.  We took our beloved couch to the dump (not before I removed all of the vinyl and stuffing though.. the hoarder in me has visions of making something out of it) and set about the search.
Turns out finding a cute, retro set that works well with our gloriously patterned carpet is easier said than done, especially on a budget! I got outbid on a few on Trademe and couldn't find one locally (even the Sallies wanted $450 for a boring 70's three piece!).

In the end I have found one that ticks all of the boxes. The whole procedure of purchasing it was much more drama-filled than I would have like (let's just say I've been put off buying big stuff on Trademe in the future..) but I'm going to attempt to put that aside and focus on sending out good 'happy couch' vibes.
So, dear new suite, I hope we can look past our rocky beginning and we can live a long, happy few years together.

Welcome to the family!
(Although I must confess I think this photo sums us up slightly more accurately..)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday #2

This was not the outfit I wanted to wear for Wardrobe Wednesday this week. No sirree, yesterday I had one a pretty dress/cardi/flats combo that was all set to grace this page and wow the world (or something), but I somehow forgot to photograph it. So you get todays outfit instead.
Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike this outfit, it's just not as 'put together' as I want the internet to think I look. Maybe that's a good thing? Maybe being 'real' sometimes is just as important?
Anyway, this is what I am wearing today while I hang out at home, do the school runs, vacuum the floor, deal with the non-sleeping child (who really wanted to be in the photo) and, hopefully, fit in a spot of sewing.
The shoes are my current favourites. I love how fun they are, I rarely find fun shoes in my size. They're from The Warehouse and were a whopping $18. Can't beat it.
The scarf is thrifted. I love how delicate and almost lacy it is. I'm usually a 'big and chunky' accessories sort of a lass so this is a nice contrast.
The top and the skirt are, believe it or not, two of the most expensive items of clothing I own. They don't look very flash, but they're both made by NZ designers which makes them pricier than my usual opshop/Glassons garb.
The top is by Nes Clothing and  doesn't look like much but is the best quality top I have ever worn. I'd pay the money again and again for this top.
The skirt is a tricky one. I bought it from the Nelson store 'Go Clothing' just after I started losing weight post-Aesop. I had to layby it for two months to pay it off, and then got it home and realised it is really hard to style. I can't figure out, other than black and charcoal, which colours could possibly go with both beigey pink and khaki green.
I've just never felt very 'hot' in it, a bit like a skirt version of trackpants. It was also a funny length and I thought that might be putting me off, but shortening it hasn't made me feel any more confident in it. Perhaps the pockets are too far apart, broadening my hips/thighs too much? Any ideas? Either way, it is still very comfy and I'll wear it around the house for many years yet.. I need to get enough wear out of it to justify the price afterall!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday!

The lovely Clare over at Green Valley Crafts has begun a new little challenge for us bloggy ladies. It's not a new challenge in that a lot of bloggers around the world take part in similar challenges, but it is new for us.. and maybe for you?
Every Wednesday we will post a picture of an outfit we've worn that week. (Doesn't have to be on that day)
You can add the details of what you wore and where you got it, if you want, ala Wardrobe remix styles, or not. It's up to you. But the whole idea behind it is that we might inspire each other to get out of our trackies and start feeling good about our older-post-baby-or-not-frumpier-than-before-selves. Anything that offers that possibility is a must in my book! So here goes, my first Wardrobe Wednesday:

The shoes are from The Warehouse, the tights from my sister in London, the singlet is from Glassons and the cardi is from The Sallies. The cowl is the only thing I have knitted this Winter (other than a failure of a baby cardi..) and is made with this pattern. I wish I had made it wider though.
The skirt was originally made by 'Woolworths', bought for $1 at The Sallies and then altered by me. I cut about 4 inches off the bottom, took off the original belt loop bits and added oversized, patterned ones. Easy peasy, and much prettier. You can't beat $1 clothing!

Look forward to seeing what you've been wearing too! Just blog about it on a Wednesday and then, if you like, leave a link in the comment of Clare's WW post each week. Cool bananas.

Monday, August 16, 2010

This Winter has been really hard.

I feel like I have struggled to even achieve the simplest daily tasks; washing out, dishes done, floor clean.. and have failed miserably at everything else one is meant to find time for. I've not done any exercise, barely any sewing or knitting, a minimal amount of blogging/emailling and even seem to have become somewhat of a hermit. I have battled with myself every single day to not just spend all day, unshowered and in my pjs, doing nothing productive on the net.

I don't seem to have managed to overcome the 'Winter blahs' at all, rather they seem to have taken me over.

I don't think it has helped much that the universe dished me up two funerals this Winter. It is amazing how much the heart can ache when it is grieving. And also how little one feels like doing when they are busy processing a loss and taking stock of their own life.

But I have been here before, this is not a new place for me, and I just keep reminding myself that I have managed to pull through much darker times than these. The sun is shining today and I am feeling hopeful that Spring is on its way in and the blahs are on their way out.

How are you anyway?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

List #27 - Cover the cushions on the window seat.

When my Grandpa moved into the nursing home, a few years ago, I inherited a lot of the things from his little unit. I gave a new home to lots of kitchen stuff (Crown Lynn, Tupperware, vintage teacups.. oh my!), plenty of old linen and quite a bit of furniture. I also took home a few things that weren't my 'style' in hopes of re-purposing them, or revamping them. One of those was a pile of old cushions.

The cushions were pretty holey and grubby, but they were those nice big ones that you just can't chuck out. Unfortunately they came home and were put straight on the window seat and I didn't seem to get round to making covers for them. The biggest reason (other than procrastination!) have been that I've just never found the right fabric to match with our couches and our, dearly loved, patterned carpet.

Luckily, last week I hit the fabric jackpot  at the Sallies. I got (amongst other gems) three large pieces of unused, upholstery-weight, retro fabric in colours that PERFECTLY match our lovely carpet. It was a sign.
So I un-picked the original covers and made a pattern. I also took out the piping and zips and then sewed up some new ones. Inspired by Melissa's latest post, I also sewed a vintage doilies on top. Lovely.

Looks a little like my measuring/tracing skills aren't quite up to scratch as all three covers are a tad big, but I'll remedy that in another three years or so...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


I love collections of things. I love they way they look, all clustered together. But do you know what I love the most about collections? How, often, they seem to just grow by themselves. You'll pick something up at an opshop, or be given something, and then you suddenly start to accumulate them left right and centre.

These are some of my favourite groups in my house. The tins seem to have gathers themselves, the white vases were mostly my Nana's. The records and robots are Abraham's, he will often receive a robot for Christmas or a birthday but these days they don't always make it to the cabinet. Two of the dolls (there are actually four) were my sisters when she was little and I always loved them just as much as my more modern Barbies and Sindys. The fabric, crafty bits and clothing are constantly being added to, although not being subtracted from much at the moment, unfortunately.

I wonder what my next collection will be. Let's hope it is not radio stations.

B-Side Fm.

So.. we bought a radio station!
Abraham and I have just decided to purchase Whakatane's local alternative radio station, B-side Fm.
Might seem a little out of the blue, but in actual fact it's been a long time coming. My father-in-law, Steve, started a radio station here about ten years ago (VFM) and this station is spawned from there. Abraham has been doing a show on B-side for years now and has often dropped hints that one day he would like to buy it. The opportunity arose, we toyed with the idea for a few months (with me very much against it due to time and responsibilities) and have come up with a way to make it work... we hope!
It's exciting times, especially as we hope to have it all overhauled, moved, and ready to go by September the 1st! So much to do!
If, by any chance, you'd like to offer a hand, here are a few ways you could help:

*I need some info about small business tax and paper work (am going to see an accountant tomorrow but would love to hear about it from someone experienced who is not wanting a big pay check from my at tax time!)

*I need some creative criticism about the logo (I love the simplicity and the 'indie' vibe but I fear it looks a little too much like something I've seen before. And we have been told it looks like it is 'lacking something')

*You joining our facebook page or twitter would be really helpful, if you are local or are interested in listening to the station streamed on the net. We'll be asking about what people want to hear and when they want to hear it etc and your opinion, as awesome people, would be greatly appreciated.

Thank youuu!