Thursday, January 29, 2015

End of the Golden Weather

Today is the last week day of my 2 week holiday and also the last week day of the school holidays and 13 yo starts High School on Monday.  It also is the end of the golden Dunedin weather.  We have had a few misty muggy days this week. Now we have cloud down to the ground and cooler temperature.  Maybe its a sign that it is time to go back to work and earn some money.  

1980s (?) polyester dress from Toffs, necklace from the lovely Vintage Bird Girl,
belt and various bangles all op-shopped
retail blue ring and plastic shoes

Being on holiday equates to being creative, or perhaps more creative than usual.  Several projects on the go at once is manageable because there is the time to work on each project when you want to.  Its okay to leave craft projects on the kitchen table for a couple of weeks.  Like this box I made from a calendar:

First crochet card box made from a calendar of Treasures of the Otago Museum
using up skeins of embroidery thread unused for 20 years.

Being on holiday also means that if you need something to wear you might have time to make it.  Like a pair of shorts.  One very hot day, when it was too hot to go to the beach (honestly) I made a pair of shorts from a tablecloth.  I wore them to the beach later that afternoon.  The linen cotton blend was just perfect.  Plus my family did not disown me for wearing a tablecloth in public. 

Made by Me Shorts from a tablecloth (Hospice Shop Hanover Street)

Holidays are the perfect time to be impulsive.  If one particular planned event doesn't pan out, you have time to just point the car in another direction (or your feet) and go somewhere else.  13yo and I had planned on visiting Cargills Castle which was built by Edward Bowes Cargill and originally named "The Cliffs".  

Its now a ruin ( i.e. more ruined that in the above photo) and on private land.  There are some amazing photos available and we thought we would be able to see it close up....but the council had erected a big fence to prevent access.  Determined to visit a place connected with the Cargill family we decided to go to Tunnel Beach.  

Denim skirt and singlet top both opshopped

Edward B Cargill's youngest daughter drowned at the beach but wikipedia claims it was his brother John who had the tunnel carved through the rock to the beach.  No matter it was still an amazing place with spectacular rocks and pounding surf - there is a natural tunnel too (just visible on the right of the photo).  The walk back up to the carpark made me realise how unfit I really am!

cotton linen dress from Toffs, 
hair flower, belt and shoes all retail

For me, this last couple of weeks has been an important stage of transition and a time for reflection and gratitude.   Spending time with my daughter before she goes to high school has been great for both of us.  We have had so much fun these last couple of weeks, I have enjoyed her company and I hope she has mine.  

Hope you all have an enjoyable Friday. xxx

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cool calm and collected

I don't make promises I can't keep and I don't make New Years resolutions for the same reason.  I have however, decided that 2015 is the year of "rationalisation".  Essentially I will be weeding out stuff I don't want by looking at it critically and asking myself, "do I really need this?"  Is X a life-time keeper or something which I can give away, or sell, or throw away, or recycle.  

So now I am holiday, I thought it was time to go through lots of old photos and decide if I really need to keep 10 versions of the same sunset etc.  This also means downloading photos from phones etc and putting photos in a folder.  Then I find a photo or two which I have not shown you before.  Behold - the casual weekend look:

In winter, in the weekends I spend lot of time in a denim skirt I got from Savemart.  Its really dark and has a light band around the hem.  Oh and a silly little pocket which is too far down to reach.  Anyway, it goes with just about everything.  Here I am wearing it a totally optioned outfit, including the tights too, I see I am wearing some expensive Italian ones which I found for $3 in an op shop).

Also in winter, I take my daughter to netball which is played in a freezing cold stadium.  One day a few vintage cars in the car park and when we entered the stadium several were parked in doors - in preparation for a car show.  This one is my favourite - its a Buick 8 and has the most amazing paint effect I have ever seen.  I told the owner that Stephen King wrote a novel called "From a Buick 8" and thats how I recognised his car and its a really scary story.  The owner thought I was a freak.

I am not sure what this outfit really says about me, other than I am cold.  I am wearing a gorgeous vintage long skirt I found in the Hospice Shop.  Its a kind of diagonal pattern and bright colours, machine knitted I think.  Very hard to see sadly.  I am rugged up with a scarf and a hat, and thick socks and boots too, as it is very cold in the stadium if you are standing and watching netball. 

More recently, Friday 16th Jan to be exact, as especially joyful for me as it was the end of work and the start of a 2 week holiday.  So in recognition of this auspicious day I wore a crisp cotton dress which I found at Toffs.  I felt cool calm and collected all day, despite several colleagues asking me to do things at the last minute before I went on leave.  This dress is very well made with immaculate hems and seams and all overlocked.  No tag though and the style is a mix of 70s (the collar) and 40s (??)(the shaped bustline) so I think its a recent home-made reproduction of a vintage pattern.  

I think this was made for my twin as it is almost a perfect fit.  The sleeves are just the right length too, so often I find that sleeves are too long (even if they are short) and I have to make them shorter.  Also, many shirt dresses I buy are polyester, and surprisingly its been too hot to wear polyester in Dunedin recently, so I was very glad to wear cotton.  Lastly, I love the pattern, it is so fresh and crisp - orange and blue with a touch of pink and green.  

So do you have an outfit that makes you feel cool calm and collected?  I'd love to hear all about it.

Bye for now, Penny-Rose

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Hello 2015

Hello Everyone, Happy New Year!

Hope you all had or are having a good break over the Christmas and New Year holidays.  

I have wanted to keep blogging but technology has prevented this by simply being out of date.  Goodbye laptop, goodbye camera.  Hello smart phone.  

Here I am melting in the Dunedin heat under a totara tree in Woodhaugh Gardens.  The kaftan/dress was spotted at Toffs and underneath I am wearing a vintage cotton slip from St Vincent de Paul.  The kaftan/dress has silver embroidery and a few sequins on the top so I wore silver jelly shoes to complete the outfit.

I live on a beautiful harbour and after New Year we got in the car, packed some sandwiches and went to Taioroa Head.  This part of the harbour is famous for being the world's only Albatross Colony on mainland where visitors can see the birds up close.  We skipped visiting the colony and enjoyed watching the seabirds and seals instead.  In the photo below, the light sandy colour beach in the background is the one I usually visit!
The gorgeous orange lime and lemon polyester frock was a gift from my blogging buddy Vintage Bird Girl. 

I was not keen on returning to work this week, but I was keen to wear something different.  This vest started life as an skirt (which I now know to be from Amnesty Intl) and I converted it to a vest.  The skirt was once a ASOS dress which was found at Toffs and the top is a lovely viscose one and probably originated in India. 


The weather has been a bit fickle since I went back to work - and I had to wear a jacket one day, somewhat reluctantly.  

It isn't real velvet but it was the colour that caught my eye. I think it was $1 at the Presbyterian Support Shop.  The skirt is from the Hospice Shop and had to be shortened a bit to allow a waist refashion.  I made the top from some crafting fabric - it is sewing advertising.  

Lastly, another homemade top, this time with a medium weight cotton drill covered with bunnies:

Nearly all my sewing projects start with the fabric and then I look for a pattern. To my delight I found a perfect pattern in the "free" box outside a local second hand furniture traders.  There are small darts in the shoulders and both through the front and back.  The feature I like most is the V shaped back neckline which allows me to show off my peony.  The back shaping is not quite to my liking, because I used a short zip.  If I used a longer one I am convinced it could be shaped much more.  However I am still pleased with the result.  

All in all a good first week back at work.  Now looking forward to the weekend.  Hope you all are too.

Bye, Penny-Rose

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Frock on Friday with few old bags and a cute cat

My return to the blogging world has taken longer than expected.  Lets just get straight to the point and look at what I wore today for Frock on Friday:

This 1980s or earlier slinky polyester dress is one of my favourites - the burst of colours and the geometric pattern never fails to make me smile.  I found the crocheted handbag at lunch time today in the Hospice Shop - isn't it a beauty, not bad for $6! As my legs are not prepared for being completely bare I wore a pair of amazing floral fishnets I bought in a retail store on special for $5.  The ring was made by the lovely Vanessa of Two Squirrels - I had spied this on the facebook page and was delighted that it was still in the shop when I called in a couple of weeks ago.  

New Zealand had a General Election in September and any of you who follow me on Facebook might have seen the various pictures in me when I took part in the "Get out and vote" campaign which I was involved in from mid August until the day before the election.  The best part was when I wore Victorian clothes hired from the local theatre and voted early, which has only been permitted in the past if you are casting a special vote.  I took advantage of early voting to pay homage to Kate Shepherd who was one of the suffragettes who campaigned relentlessly for women to vote and won that right in 1983.

I was happy to be photographed when I voted and even appeared in the local paper!  The photo above was taken at work.The old doctors bag is a family heirloom and surprisingly heavy to carry.  The two photos of my cat Mittens are unrelated to voting, but she sure does look cute!

Carrying on the bag theme I found the most amazing bag at Toffs a couple of months is styled like a doctors bag, I think it is from Japan and made of beautiful peony fabric:

The last few months have just flown by - I can't believe it was two months ago (August) when I went to Auckland (for the first time!) for a women's conference.  Alas no op shopping opportunities!  The conference was great and the flight there was amazing as the photo of the Southern Alps below shows:

Now its October and I admit, one of my favourite times of the year - Rhododendrons are blooming everywhere at the moment.  I particularly like the pink one above left.  The less than perfect photo on the right is the lunar eclipse which I watched.  Amongst the spring storms the weather has had moments of intense calm, like the night of the eclipse. 

The recent school holidays ensured a much deserved week off work and time spent with my daughter.  Imagine our delight as we drove to town one day and saw this lovely Paradise duck family strolling down a street....

They were walking along one of the most popular streets where students live.  The damaged couch/sofa on the front porch is a common sight along the street, but I have never seen a duck family before!

Naturally, the school holidays meant some second-hand shopping.  One day my daughter and I went to a demolition yard to look for suitable containers for my peonies.  I did n't find any, but look at this fabulous Orion Coal Range.....which regretfully I did not buy.  Dear H would not thank me for making this kind of purchase without discussing with him.  I would like one of these outside on the patio of our new house...I love the idea of sitting outside and feeling the warmth from one of these old stoves.

An actual purchase was the cute sewing basket below left, which has a broken lid.  No matter I can use it for my sewing and crochet essentials which are stuffed onto the bookcase beside where I sit and watch tv, or read, or crochet! 

There have been some unanticipated successes this Winter, for a start, I have already passed my goal for reading 30 books this year.   I don't think I will be able to read all of Stephen King's books as I had originally hoped, though as there are more than I thought and I like to intersperse horror with other types of fiction.  For future posts I have two sewing projects to finish and then share, plus a knitting project as well.  

That's all from me for now - laptop is cooking my lap!  Hope you are all having a relaxing Friday night.  
Bye Penny-Rose