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!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Frocking good fun

Hello everyone, I am SOOOOOOOOO looking forward to the weekend, AND I have next week off work.  YAY.  Time with my daughter, garden, sewing machine.....not necessarily in that order.

Here are a few collages of what I have been wearing - today I dressed down a bit by wearing a Levi's maxi skirt (50 cents) with a polyester tropical shirt ($4).  I accessorised with yellow sneakers - bought new last month - massive yellow flower earrings ($4) and a white belt (20 cents) both from Butterflies Hospice Shop, and a yellow retail but on sale bracelet.  

Last weekend on a quick trip to Toffs and SaveMart, I wore my Vintage Osti maxi dress ($5) and Shetland Lurex yellow cardigan ($7) both from Trademe, also with the yellow sneakers.  Although I am wholeheartedly sticking to "Buy Nothing New" in October, I am glad I bought the sneakers - they are so comfortable and so far have made me feel very springlike.  

During the week, I felt like I needed to wear another combination which had previously not seen the light of day - orange and purple.  
Purple polyester skirt, reincarnated from a vintage evening dress ($2 Toffs) worn with orange polyester pussy bow blouse ($2 butterflies hospice shop), paisley socks with orange green and purple pattern (xmas gift), selection of bangles and rings all thrifted, also orange flower and black belt (retail on sale) and furry shoes (St V de P).
 I wanted to share with you some of the stunning scenery right outside my house - the sky was very dramatic when I got home from work tonight and the contrast with the trees and flowers was amazing.  Below right is the view across the road and across the harbour to the peninsula.  I love how the telegraph pole is on an angle - evidence of the steep streets of Maia.  The top left photo is of a NZ native clematis which has the most beautiful scent.  Below left is one of my favourite trees - lancewood.  
I really really love PicMonkey - its made my blogging life so much easier and so much more fun.  I feel like I can post better photos and group things together.  Notice I tried to get all the yellow stuff together?  

While I am at home I might get out my Bambi collection and take some pics for you, I feel like sharing some cuteness!! 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. xx

Monday, October 1, 2012

Horrockses Dress.....and Tidy Ties

I have been reading "Horrockses Fashions  Off-the-peg style in the '40s and '50s" by Christine Boydell.  and published by the Victoria and Albert Museum.  You can read about Horrockses here at one of my favourite blogs, the Vintage Fashion Guild. It is a lovely book.  The dresses are just beautiful, and the fabrics are amazing, and until today I thought I would never see one.

Because, today I found a Horrockses Dress at the Presbyterian Support Yellow Shop in St Andrew Street, Dunedin

It had been concealed amongst dresses and I had not seen it on my first recon of the store.  It called out to me as I was on my final tour of the "retro and party" section.

It was in polyester straight up and down shirt dress in a white a blue floral pattern.  Being a size that is greater than 12, I knew it would not fit me.  But like a kid with a lollipop I held on to it for a few minutes wondering if I should buy it, just so I could say I owned a Horrockses dress.  Then reason got the better of me.  I put it back on the rack.  Some slimmer vintage loving woman will buy it.  I hope.  My worst fear is that someone will buy it as a party costume and then vomit on it, or spill red wine on it, or rip it and then throw it away.  I hope whoever buys it loves it and realises that it is a part of fashion history.

What would you do if you found a fabulous dress but it was not your size?

What I would like to share today is my new to me necklace display: made from a Tidy Ties rack purchased off Trademe for the princely sum of $1.

Dear H did position it perfectly horizontally, but the mirror moved later, so it gives the impression that it is not straight, but I assure you it is.  Anyway, this has practically changed my life, in as much as it has made choosing a necklace so much easier! and when I have made my choice I can remove it from the rack without causing chaos - which was what happened with my previous set-up.  I do have more necklaces which are classified as special and live in the original boxes in my top drawer.  How do you store your jewellery so you can easily find it?

As I have posted previously, my bangle collection is on a coffee mug tree which is perfect ....for the time being!  Unfortunately I keep finding cool bangles and the tree is becoming overloaded!

Hope you are all having a good week!