Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dunedin is an amazing place to live...and op shop!!

Followers of this blog will know that I think Dunedin is a fabulous place to live and I think the city is beautiful.

When the opportunity came up to take trip in a helicopter over Dunedin to raise money for the Chair of Neurosurgery, I thought it would be wonderful thing to do.  So a couple of weekends ago, my family took a trip in a helicopter and swooped all over the city.  It was an amazing experience.

There were so many people keen to take a ride that there ended up being three helicopters taking people for 15 minutes rides.  Alas, there are no photos of me in the 'copter, but below is a view of the city and stadium ....yes, I was lucky enough to sit in the front with the pilot!!!  When I got out at the end I think my face was almost split into two with a huge smile.  It was such a rush to swoop over the harbour and see the houses, schools, the coast line and the hills.  All the funds raised were going to be donated to the Neurosurgery campaign to fund the new Professor at the hospital.

Dunedin has an Annual Chocolate Carnival which coincided with the school holidays.  One of the highlights is the Jaffa race down the World's steepest street.  For all non NZ'ers, Jaffas are sweets made by Cadbury - they are round balls of chocolate covered in a crispy orange coloured and orange flavoured shell.  They are an iconic NZ sweet and popular at the movies, where if you dropped them they would roll on the floor and make a huge noise.  The world's steepest street is here in Dunedin, it's called Baldwin Street and is a residential street in North East Valley.  What happens is giant Jaffas (which are the size of gobstoppers) are individually numbered and you buy a raffle ticket.  If the Jaffa with your corresponding number crosses the line first, then there are prizes to be won.

I have never been, so I bought a ticket and took my daughter to see it.  There was entertainment from the local radio station and lots of children and families.  Unfortunately, it was raining - the misty sort which is really annoying as it clings to your hair and clothes.

My daughter and I managed to see 25,000 giant Jaffas rolling down the street but it was impossible to photograph.  Below is the best picture that I could take - considering the weather!!

In honour of the event I wore Cadbury colours - chocolate brown and purple dress, chocolate brown cardigan and boots, and a creamy white fur colour with huge fur pompoms which I bought from Trademe for $1.

A couple of posts ago, I told you that Toffs is my new favourite store.  Below is a pic of me wearing my "dunedin" tee shirt which is made by Nom;D which is a well known NZ design label which originated in .....Dunedin!  The top was $2 and I am wearing it with a velvet beret which I got at the same time, also for $2.  Please excuse the kitchen stuff - this was the only place I could take a self-timed photo with decent lighting.

Please excuse the kitchen stuff - this was the only place I could take a self-timed photo with decent lighting.  We have silly spotlights in the kitchen in a row of four, and two of the bulbs blew recently, making it very difficult to cook tea, and impossible to take photos.  Finally we got some new bulbs ...and finally I could take an inside photo.

I had a "four day" weekend during the school holidays which allowed me to get the sewing machine out and get a couple of projects finished.

First on my "to-do list" was a very long polyester skirt from Butterflies Hospice Shop.  I snapped it up because it is that knitted Trevira type fabric and in a beige and blue houndstooth pattern.  I think the skirt was originally for a supermodel because the waist was ridiculously small and it was so long that when it touched the ground it was almost under my bust!!  I think someone had tried to alter it previously as the waist band was very poorly sewn and twisted.  I cut 3 inches off the top and added darts at the front and and in the back.  I removed the very long zip and replaced with one from my stash.   I cut another three inches off the bottom and made a new waist band.  Not quite visible in the photo, but it is ankle length, which means that shoes are visible so it is no longer a true maxi.

$2 polyester skirt from Hospice Shop
$2 black knit top from Toffs
Liz Mitchell belt
Satin belt from a dress made into a headband
Bangles all about $2 from various opshops

Another item on the to do list was the dress below which I bought from Trademe about 4 months ago, but had not got around to fixing.  It is homemade and the material is very unusual - it feels like lining and it is shiney, and creases badly.  The red and brown/grey geometric blocks remind me those patterns which make your eyes go funny and the style is very much of the late 1960s.  It fits me nicely across the shoulders but the darts are high, which makes me think it was for a petite woman.  The part that I did not like was the very narrow arm holes - I could wear it alone but I thought it would be more practical if I could fit a black top underneath.

Red polyester geometric print dress Trademe approx $7
Black long sleeve cotton top LLBean brand, Hospice Shop $2

I carefully unpicked the side seams under the arms and then after a quick try on to make sure I had the right amount, I folded in the extra fabric from the sleeve edge following the existing arm hole.  I sewed it down and then reinforced the underarm.  As I said the material is weird so I ironed it and it sat nicely, so to speak, so ta da.  Another refashion finished.

This week I was delighted to see Owl in a Lark World at the Hospice Shop while I was on my weekly scavenge.

I found two things which I could not refuse: first up this very kitsch pokerwork wooden spoon with a rose decoration:

The writing on the end is almost illegible but I think that it says "Russell, North Island" which is a little town at the top of the north island.  I also scored a couple of rings and a pair of shoes for a project which I will tell you about another time.

However, the piece de resistance is this bag, made from grain sacks with raffia flowers.  Again, an illegible tag on the inside, but I think it says Made in the Philippines.

I love it.  On dreary day seeing a blogging buddy was like a ray of sunshine and finding this bag was just the icing on the cake.  Oh dear thats a metaphor or two too many, but I am sure you know what I mean.

In conclusion, today was the weekly trip to town - this time for a haircut for Daughter and then a pleasant lunch at Angus Desserts (no dessert though as we were too full!!) and then a coffee at Starbucks.  Before we went the weather was half way decent and the light was good enough for an outdoors photo - my first in months.

Vintage Triumph polyester skirt, RetroStar Clothing Melbourne
refashioned denim skirt from Presbyterian Support Shop $1
red belt and red bag both Hospice Shop
red and purple button necklace gift from a friend
purple tights retail
black furry shoes from St Vincent de Paul.
This afternoon was spent doing the washing and a quick, fruitless but still enjoyable trip to SaveMart and ReStore.

Right, in a few minutes its Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with the sweet Johnny Depp, so I am going to pick up my crochet hook and make a couple of flowers or do some knitting while watching tv.

Hope you all have had a good Saturday,



  1. Love your outfits, but I am really drawn to the maxi skirt. I do wish I was clever enough to alter vintage. The small armholes are often my problem too. Love the grain sack bag. We are determined to finally see Baldwin Street on our trip, we've stayed in Dunedin 3 times & never once made it there. I will let you know closer to the time whether we can fit in a catchup, as I'd love to meet you if I'm able. But just to let you know if we did it would probably be the 25th of August. I'll keep you posted! Enjoy your weekend. Xx

  2. You've been busy! I also have a couple of vintage maxi skirts which fit on the hips but have crazily tiny waists. I just leave the zip half undone and hide it under a belt, no one needs to know!
    Gorgeous little bag too. Meeting up with other bloggers is a fabulous thing and doing a spot of op shopping at the same time makes it even better! And it's good for the soul to love where you live. xxxx

  3. Ahh it was grand you see you.
    Good job on the NOMD shirt. Dunedin really is a great place.

  4. Ooo I love your little raffia bag, I have a growing collection of my own! I have only been to Dunedin once where we spent a cold windy night in a camp ground praying that our tent wouldn't blow away. But the afternoon I spent exploring the city gave a pretty good impression. Definitely need to check it out again sometime. How exciting to be able to head up in a helicopter! x

  5. You have been busy, it's great to make a dent in the to-do pile and get some wearable stuff! Love your velvet beret and the red dress.
    I wish I could find these mythical maxis with small waists, I'm always having to take mine in (comes with living in one of the UK's fattest towns!)x

  6. How exciting, I've never been on a helicopter, but it sounds like fun! You have some fabulous thrifted finds, too!

  7. I've never been on a helicopter, but I'm going to add it to my list of to-dos!


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