Thursday, December 20, 2012

T'was the week before Christmas ...

Phew, what a week.  I am SO glad that it is over.  The weather has been fabulous - hot and sunny most days.  In fact it was so hot and sunny that the two outfit photos below had to be taken under the cherry trees at the end of the garden!!

For the work Christmas party I wore the cut-off maxi dress with orange and blue - blue accessories and an orange flower (top left).  I had a great time. The next day I opted for an easy smock dress in polished cotton which would be nice and cool while attending to post party clean-up (primarily collecting the leftovers and using an old supermarket trolley returning it all to the office).  I got some funny looks pushing the trolley (loaded with half-empty booze bottles) along the Dunedin streets in my smock but I just kept smiling.  

Today I wanted to be even more casual so I wore a floaty gypsy skirt (bottom left) with a tee shirt and my yellow sneakers (top right).  As the office closed early due to it being the last working day before Christmas I managed a quick trip to Toffs and to the new Hospice Shop before coming home.  

Nothing today at Toffs for me, but I don't mind because I want to show you that even in Dunedin you can find designer labels on the $2 rack.  A couple of weekends ago I scored a Diane Von Fustenberg brown knitted sheath dress.  Sadly its a bit too small (and its unlikely I will reduce my curves over Christmas) but as it is such an iconic label its worth posting about.   I imagine it will end up on Trademe.  I also found a black quilted Charles Jourdan handbag with chain handles which has proved extremely useful and I have used daily since I bought it.  

The following weekend I found an awesome gypsy dress (bottom left) which I think will be perfect for the wedding we are going to after Christmas.  When I got home I googled the name on the label and was stunned that it is Diane Freis and that some dresses were a couple of hundred dollars on e-bay!!  

Again, it was at Toffs for only $2.  That same trip I found two other dresses on the $2 rack, another Osti dress and a polka dot dress both of which have already been worn and much admired.  

Lastly, today, at the new Hospice Shop I found a home-made vintage wrap around bikini top (top right) for the very reasonable price of $1.  I put it on over my tee shirt for the photo as I was too lazy to change.  

This year has been so much fun.  My "buy nothing new" clothing pledge has broadened my horizons so much.  Many of my daily outfits cost less than $10.  Shoes have been my only downfall.  I have really loved reading all your comments on my posts and have felt supported and encouraged.  I don't plan on changing my buy nothing new philosophy, although I will need new underwear in the new year.  Its become my way of life and I can't imagine going back to buying all my clothes new from chain stores.  Besides, it gives me the warm fuzzies to know that I have been supporting some wonderful charities: the St Vincent de Paul, Salvation Army, Otago Community Hospice, Habitat for Humanity and others.  

I am not sure how much time I will have for blogging over the next week or two, so in advance, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and a safe and fun holiday season!!  

Monday, December 10, 2012

Pleated skirt and Paul Klee, and a splash of dolphins

Hi everyone one, I am trying to get back into the groove with regards to posting more regularly.  Fortunately today there was some time for an after-work-photo-shoot:

 Turquoise pleated skirt, from a school fair part of a $1 a bag
Paul Klee printed top, previously a maxi dress from Presbyterian Yellow shop for $8 or thereabouts.  Now I have a skirt and a top!!
Fluoro shoes, retail.  Selection of bangles all from various op shops.  Yes, my hair is a bit different, I went to the hairdresser last night for some pampering.

This morning was just beautiful and as we were driving down the road to school (not late for a change) my 11 yo screamed out "Dolphins!"  So, we did a quick u-turn and found somewhere to pull over and all raced over to the harbourside walkway where we had a reasonable view of a pod of bottlenosed dolphins swimming towards Port Chalmers.  

Alas I was shooting blind - the camera was on the "foliage" setting which is what I use for taking photos of my peonies - and also the sun was in my eyes.  So I just held up the camera and snapped off as many pics as I could.  The pics are a bit over-exposed but you can definitely see fins!!!!

We are very lucky in Dunedin to live on such a beautiful harbour and it was so special to see dolphins swimming.  The dolphins featured on the front page of the local paper - the photos are  is fantastic and if you want to have a look click here.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Recycled sari skirt, vintage Bendon dress, Zambesi tee shirt and peonies

I have had another busy week this week - fortunately the weather has seriously improved.  Thank you to all who offered advice with the photo problem - I really appreciated the comments.  I have deleted some very old boring posts to make some room and used Pic Monkey this morning.  Also I am trying out a new photo layout etc, so bear with me, if things are not quite ideal in size etc.  

Top left: Monday was the office Christmas Lunch so I decided to wear the very Xmasy combination of red and green.  Recycled sari magic skirt bought in Ashburton, worn with $2 red tee shirt from the Hospice Shop, black waistcoat $1 Trademe, shoes retail.

Top right: I wanted to carry on the red theme on Tuesday, but mixed it with blue - blue shoes were bought new recently from Rubi, red skirt  $4 and blue belt 50 cents from Hospice Shop, home-made floral top, giant pearls from Lovisa.

Wednesday was orientation evening at the school my daughter goes to next year and due to timing it was not possible to take a photo.  Thursday I wore one of my favourite skirts with a retro pattern.  I love the yellow orange and turquoise combination.  Fluoro shoes and some bright bracelets which are out of picture added to the bright look.  The tee shirt is a Breast Cancer one designed by Zambesi, it was $1 in one of the op shops I frequent.  

On Friday I had a Health and Safety Study Day and it was not quite as warm so it was back into lacey tights teamed up with a black long sleeved tee shirt $2 worn with the fabulous vintage Bendon sundress from the Hospice Shop.  Due to the damp weather and the fact that I had to walk back to work by mid afternoon I wore my furry shoes which have a decent sole.  

Yesterday I spent a glorious time in Toffs and tried on 4 dresses and a few tops.  The $2 dress rack was practically bowing to the ground it was so stuffed full.  I scored a vintage Osti dress in lovely shades of blue and purple, a white sundress with navy polka dots and another dress.  

Due to a serious compression problem in my side of the wardrobe I have migrated some of my winter clothes to my daughters' wardrobe and, I have chosen a few items which are too small or don't fit as well as I would like to either sell on Trademe or to give to one of the charities.  

I want to sign off today with some peonies - top left is Moonstone and the fragrance is just divine.  Hope you are all having a good weekend.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Saturday garb and thoughts of blue

Phew, I have been quite busy this week with various Christmas events and work farewells.  It is the season for socialising.  I did manage a quick trip to Toffs and have a new Osti dress to add to my collection (its pink!).  Today I did some chores around the house and then took my daughter shopping.  When we got home the sun came out and so I thought I take a snap of what I have been wearing:

My favourite garb in the weekend is often jeans and teeshirt.  Black tee-shirt (unworn and probably brand new) from Hospice Shop $4 worn with Just Jeans jeans (unworn and probably brand new) from Toffs $2

I had a blue moment on Friday - wore a vintage blue polyester shirt with a favourite combo of maxi skirt and vest.  

Although it is now Spring (although not very dry or warm) I could not pass up this vintage home-made winter woollen dress last week - also blue - found languishing on the retro rack at the Presbyterian Support Yellow Shop.  I bought the blue shirt in the photo above at the same time.  

Alas, I just got a message that I have run out of photo space...has this happened to anyone else?  I was going to upload a couple of photos of other $2 bargain buys from Toffs.  But never mind, they will have to wait for another post, and in the meanwhile I will do some photo storage research.  
Hope you are all having a great weekend, 

Friday, November 23, 2012

The "New" Hospice Shop, Jetty Street, Dunedin

Hi everyone, I want to tell you all about a new charity op shop which has opened in Dunedin: Hospice Op Shop on Jetty Street.  Earlier this week I received a notification from the Hospice via Facebook telling me that a new shop was opening - selling furniture and household items.  Imagine my excitement!!!!  So on Thursday lunchtime I made my inaugural visit to the new store.  

Jetty Street is in a different part of town from where I work and a wee bit too far to walk in a lunch hour (and allow enough time for enjoying the shopping) and I had to take the car.  Anyway, its a historical part of town with lots of lovely old buildings and warehouses.  Jetty Street used to be the waterfront before large amounts of land were reclaimed from the harbour.  Here is an external shot of the store - you can just seem me reflected in the window:

The store is really wide and open with lots and lots of natural light due to to the huge windows which is amazing.  Being the first day that it opened it was very tidy and in some areas stock was still being put on display. 

It took only a couple of minutes - or maybe less - for me to find something I really wanted: 

The cannister on the far right with the lady on it - only $8!!!! I was thinking about all my blogging buddies who lust after who have amazing kitchenware like Vintage Bird Girl and OP Shop Mama for example.  At these prices, anyone could just start a collection on the spot.  

For all the collectors of beautiful table linens and textiles there was a beautiful display using a rimu cabinet (I thought the cabinet would be perfect for displaying scarves and handbags as well).  

To my surprise and delight there were about 4 racks of clothes including some items made from vintage fabrics - such as aprons, skirts and tops.  The Hospice charity has clearly done some homework and realised that there is a niche market for clothing made from beautiful fabric that is not mass produced, made in China, etc you know what I mean.  Alas my photos of the clothing was rubbish.  The prices however were great - a little more expensive than the Butterflies Hospice store in town - dresses were $8, tops $4 and shoes around $8-10.  There was very little modern clothing (good) and because the store had just opened the racks were not crammed full so it was easy to look at each item (excellent).  

One thing that caught my eye and made me think of Sarah Misfit was this pair of dungarees......

You all know how how much I love cute Bambi's, so I was on the look-out for animal ornaments.  Alas no Bambi, but a family of poodles - possibly not all related - and a rabbit and cat couple resplendent with furry tails:

Yes, dear readers I did make a purchase - when I was on my final look around I made my way towards the counter and looked at the jewelry. To my delight a large pinky and orangey necklace for the princely sum of $3.  I made sure I purchased some of the Hospice chocolate too, which is a lovely Belgian style and quite different to the Dunedin famous Cadbury.  Here is the necklace: 

Oh, I can almost hear my readers saying to themselves, or aloud, "Penny-Rose, what's that other item, underneath?".  Well my friends, it is fabulous house coat.  The photo taken in the car, with the coat all scrunched up does not do it justice.  Neither does this one of it hanging in my bedroom: 

What happened is this: I was just about to pay for the necklace and the chocolate when I saw something hanging up behind the counter (like about 3 metres away) and I said to the nice lady "OOooooh thats lovely fabric, what is it?" It is a vintage 1950s house coat.  Not bothering to try it on, and realising that it was genuine vintage by the sewing and inside construction, I said "I'll have it" without asking the price!  

The colours are just gorgeous - the photo above captures the freshness of the design really well.  Its made of polished cotton and has a slanted front pocket and to my surprise matches the necklace perfectly.  I hope - or rather I should say I intend - to convert it to a dress.  How much was it??  $12.  

In summary I can say that I had a fine time visiting this new store - it was well laid out, bright and light, clean and tidy and had some awesome things.  The prices were slightly higher than the other store, but fair, due to the quality of the items.  I will definitely be visiting again.  

Windswept and Interesting
with blue beads from Sally Army and
vintage earrings from early 1980s
1980s dress - St V de P approx $6
Vintage leather belt - Recycled Boutique
Neon blue shoes - retail 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

Raindrops keep falling on my head....

...but that didn't stop me from wearing a new frock today!

Home-made dress originally a maxi dress found at
the St Vincent de Paul shop for $7, worn with 
waistcoat retail $5, Leather flower brooch gift, 
Orange bead necklace Trademe and 
selection of bangles - all thrifted!

Neon bright flat shoes bought retail $12.50 
In real life they are much brighter than this photo.

I just love the flower pattern on this fabric. 
The sleeves on this dress are so dreamy and airy - I felt like a bird floating around the office today.

Hope you all have a great weekend!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

A thing of beauty is a joy forever....

This is one of the 15 or so flowers on my tree peony - paeonia rockii.  Each flower is about as big as a latte bowl and the scent is heavenly.  When we move to our new house, I will be taking this plant with me - it is about 120cm tall (not really a tree I know) and I have had it for about 12 years.  Despite all my grumblings about the wet Spring, this is most definitely the best flowering yet.  I just wanted to share it with you!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Mid Season Madness - bare legs, thick tights and a skirt

Well, I have to say, so far November has been very fickle.  One day it is warm, the next day cold, then very hot, then cold.  One day I have bare legs, the next I am wearing thick tights again.  

One warm day, I wore a previously un-worn and un-blogged-about vintage St Michael white polyester dress with green dots from the Butterflies Hospice Shop.  It began life with an ugly off-centre front pleat and was "extra long".  Thus it languished in the "sewing to do" pile residing on the back of the couch for some time.  Then it was banished back to the wardrobe.  One damp late October afternoon I got out my trusty Husky and sewed up the pleat and took a few centimetres off the hem.  The results....

green spotty dress ($4) and blue stretchy bracelet ($2) Dunedin Butterflies Hospice Shop
Blue hush puppies ($10) and blue bangles ($1 each) Mosgiel Butterflies Hospice Shop

The day I wore the dress I teamed it up with blue accessories: blue bangles and blue mary-jane hush puppies from the Mosgiel Butterflies Hospice Shop and a stretchy blue bracelet from the Dunedin shop.  

Having done quite well in "Buy Nothing New October" I did make a retail purchase in early November - a much coveted giant pearl necklace from the store Lovisa.  I have wanted one of these for months and months.  I once saw one at the Salvation Army store in Princes Street but it was part of a "lucky customer" prize draw and suffice to say, I was not the right customer that day.  However, the first wearing of the giant pearl necklace is here:

Purple midi skirt reincarnated from evening dress Toffs $2
Homemade cotton top
Giant pearl necklace from Lovisa $17
Red cardigan from Butterflies $4
Black shoes from SaveMart $7
Tights - retail 

Clearly the late afternoon searing sun was in my eyes and also the raging southerly wind scooting up the harbour, but you get the idea - thick tights, long skirt (previously an evening dress from the $2 section of Toffs) a home-made top and a midi-sleeved cardigan. 

Readers I have to tell you a story about this skirt:

I first encountered this skirt at Toffs, in the priced section (i.e. not the $2 section).  I think it was $44 or something like that.  Whatever it was, it was a price I could not justify.  It has an underskirt made out of heavy taffeta satin material.  The top layer is embroidered with gold thread.  I longed for this skirt.  Every time I went to Toffs I looked at it.  I held it against me and twirled around.  I thought long and hard about what I had last bought that cost so much money.  One day I went to Toffs and it was gone.  I did not mourn it as that was probably a day I scored a heap of stuff from the $2 section and said to myself, "Oh well, it was not meant to be, so move on."

Then, one work day when I was naughtily on Facebook, I got a message from Restore proclaiming "Half price sale today and tomorrow."  Right, I said to myself, I am going today.  Well, sometimes I go into Restore and I get information overload - there is so much stuff - kitchenware, wicker basket and cane and wood, metal wear and kitsch stuff, hundreds of books, and records, old electrical appliances and a selection of clothes.  Sometimes I go into restore and a beam of light just falls on an item as I walk in.  On that day, the magical beam of light fell on this skirt.  Yes, dear Readers, this skirt was in Restore, in exactly the same condition I had last seen it and sporting a tag which stated $7.  It was meant to be, and at $3.50 it was a very special purchase.  

Has anything like that ever happened to you?
I think it is second hand karma.  Share the love everyone keep buying second hand and don't forget to donate back to the community.  

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Silver Fern Railcar trip to Waitati

This weekend we took a trip on a different train: the Silver Fern Rail Car.  It was a fairly impromptu trip which slotted neatly between the tennis practice in the morning and the Flippaball (like waterpolo) in the mid afternoon.

1980s sundress from Toffs $4
Pink cardi from Savemart
Cowhide bag from Hospice Shop
Selection of bangles from various thrift stores
denim jacket and sneakers both retail
Here I am on the platform ready to depart. I am wearing a sundress (yes it was lovely and sunny today) which I bought from Toffs about a month ago and have not yet worn due to the wet spring weather. 

I love all the variations in the signs at the station - a pleasant mix of vintage and modern. 

The train meandered out towards Port Chalmers and then up over the hill towards the picturesque village of Waitati which nestles against the edge of the Blueskin Bay.  Photos taken from a moving train are never 100% successful - the one below is when we stopped.  

On the return journey I tried to capture some of the views to Purakaunui (above) which is a tiny settlement on the coast.  It was utterly breaktaking, which sadly does not photograph well from a train even when traveling at a very sedate 25km/hr due to line maintenance.  Many of the settlements on the Coast have a history dating back prior to the arrival of the settlers in the 1840s.  Blueskin Bay is apparently named for a heavily tattooed Maori who lived there.  Doctors Point is named for the medical staff who purchased one room cottages to hideaway in the weekend.  

Port Chalmers reminds me of Toy Town when I am on the hill overlooking the main street - you can see some tiny cottages in the centre of the picture.  

The rail car is very comfortable, dare I say POSH compared to other trains I have travelled on.  The seats are nicely upholstered and actually can be turned around so you can enjoy the journey without facing backwards.  We were served complimentary tea and coffee and there were also snacks for hungry 11yo girls.  We said no to the souvenirs, but truthfully for the first time I felt like happy visitor.  It was such a lovely trip and the rocking of the train was very relaxing.

Because the railway is so close to the water, and in places on a causeway across lagoons, there is an interesting perspective on the harbour.  Below is a shot of the peninsula looking up to the Soldiers Monument.  

Dunedin's railway station is the highest category of historic building and with good reason.  It has been photographed by thousands of tourists.  The mosaic floor in the foyer is spectacular....

....and so are the stained glass windows ....

In front of the station are gardens with roses and rhododendrons and manicured box hedges which must be between seasons because the flower beds were bare rather than the explosion of colour we are used to seeing.

The station looks across to the Court House (grey and white building in centre) and the prison (red brick building on far left).  I feel so lucky living in such a beautiful city.  

I do wish, however, that the weekends were longer.  There does not seem to be enough time to spend with my family.  Too much time is spent on boring housework and chores :-(  Now the evenings are getting lighter, I am going to be better organised with washing and other things, to free up time in the weekend.  

Hope you have all had a good weekend.  What did you get up to?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Alice in Wonderland and JA492

Sock Dreams Pocket Watch Socks
Rabbit Earrings, Trademe
World Jacket, Toffs $2
Ruffled shirt, Savemart $4
Vintage pleated skirt, School Fair
DV8 Shoes, Savemart $7
Organza flower, retail

Well I am at home today, enjoying a national holiday - Labour Day.  It is a very special holiday in our house, not just because I like to celebrate the advances in employment laws and working conditions, but because it is also the birthday of my dear, darling daughter.  She is now 11 years old, I can't believe how time flies!!  At the moment she is out shopping with her Dad hoping to spend a gift voucher on a game for her new Nintendo.  

I thought I would take the time to tell you about what has been happening here: Over the long weekend the city celebrated a Steam Festival with a number of "steam" inspired events - the main one being the visit of a beautiful steam engine.

JA 492 at Dunedin Railway Station with the Gadgeteers Steam Punk Group
The Steam Punk group were out in full costume - some were more gothic than punk.  I was feeling too shy to join them - I had a "dress up session" in the privacy of my bedroom. On Saturday we took the steam engine journey from Dunedin to Sawyers Bay and back.  The woohoo of the whistle echoed across the harbour and around the hills.  Fortunately the weather calmed down and the rain paused so we could enjoy the scenery.  Dear H would be able to tell you lots about the steam engine as he is a real rail fan.  All I can say is that the rocking motion, the noise and the smell were fantastic.   

In the afternoon we took the 11yo and her best friend on a visit to Cadbury World, at the Cadbury factory.  The smell was divine - much nicer than the train!  The girls loved the tour, especially the chocolate waterfall.  I liked the tasting of melted chocolate best of all.  I won't tell you how many samples I had.  Afterwards we came home and the girls watched "Mrs Doubtfire" in the afternoon and ate pizza and birthday cake for tea.   

Yesterday I did some sewing - taking in a beautiful home-made dress I bought from Presbyterian Support during the week.  (To my delight there was a half price sale so I scored the dress, a vintage gypsy skirt and a modern sequin floral top all for $10.)  In the afternoon, Dear H and I also visited our new section of land.  The rhododendron garden is looking spectacular.  Unfortunately the weather has been very changeable with wind and rain, so there is no chance of doing some much-needed weeding.  

I have enjoyed this extra day off work even though I was on leave during the school holidays.  The more time I am away from work, the less I want to go back.  That is especially true of this week, as I have my "professional development review" - YUK.  

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Bambi Extravaganza

As promised, here are some photos of my Bambi collection, I hope you enjoy them:

My very first Bambi - bought for a couple of dollars
from the 2nd hand furniture and houseware store near where I work

This big-eared Bambi is probably Japanese
bought off Trademe

Bambi bookends, made in Japan

Bambi with wire carriage - the little cart is long gone.
Possibly part of a salt and pepper set

A family of three figures I inherited from my dear mother-on-law
The figure on the left is a kangaroo but it was always positioned
on the shelf sitting beside the other two, so I could not exclude it
from the photo!

A lovely family of three Bambi - all in surprisingly good condition

Japanese saki bottle - with Bambi
a gift from my dear friend Cindy

Japanese Bambi vase - this one has enormous eyes!

Snow White, a dwarf and a bambi
bought as a set from Trademe.

This figures are really really small!