Saturday, 21 June 2014

Another obligatory blogger deer.

Today was the shortest day and to celebrate I went on an op shop mission (5 shops in all) and things are looking up!

 This is most of today's booty - I'm particularly rapt with the deer tapestry which was $10.

A lovely glasses case.
 

A close-up of the deer.

Paisley fabric and a dress pattern - sadly not enough fabric for the dress but enough for a top or skirt.

An atomic carafe with a burner underneath - how cool is this?

A Norwegian Figgjo Flameware dish.

A mug by local potter O. C. Stephens - 1940s?

More Crown Lynn teacups for my collection.

Two necklaces - purple and silver.

Here's that tapestry again!

A purple paisley skirt I bought a few months ago and altered.

My friend Suzanne visited Melbourne recently and brought me back this lovely braid.
She said the shop made their own trims.
They have a lovely blog HERE
There seems to be a purple theme today - no apologies!

This is a gorgeous nylons box, Luxury Sheers by Canterbury, made in New Zealand.
It's made of card with a gold foil covering.
I doubt many tights are made here any more.
The nylons are gone but the artificial rose, complete with velvet petals, is intact.
I think it cost me $5 a couple of months ago.
The gift card reads "A gift for you for Xmas. From Denis and the girls."

I also found this rather splendid purple tassel.

And a lilac and green cardi with a curious asymmetrical fastening.

Masses of this dark green spotted and flowered fabric which had been locked away in a suitcase for 25 years so it's a bit mothbally. 

A small bit of linen with paisley and birds, which I might make into a skirt.

Two curtains which are a bit greener in real life - my camera flash doesn't do blue/green very well.
 
A few weeks ago we had a small Autumn snowstorm.
I was at home with a cold so I took these photos from my window.
The first one shows some frozen water drops on my maple tree.
 
And this is the front garden:
It was only an inch or so at sea level but it caused chaos.
The schools were closed, there were lots of accidents and lots of people didn't go to work.
It makes me laugh because when I was a child we sometimes took winter holidays at a ski resort in Central Otago.
Now that's where they have what I call real snow. 
 
 


Sunday, 18 May 2014

A woman's needlework is never done : NZ onward

Blogging has been good therapy because it gives me a prompt to look back and reflect about the last week(s).
Confession: I've kind of lost my blogging mojo lately.
Sometimes I don't know how to express myself but a picture can say 1000 words.
A fringed velvet embroidered wall-hanging from Egypt.
Found in an op shop in Balclutha.
I'm guessing that a soldier brought it back after World War 2 for his mother.
I love the naivety of it.
 
For thousands of years people have been embroidering, either to embellish an object or to express themselves. These are some little purses I've acquired.

I don't use them but I love to look at them and think about the hours that went into making them, the attention to detail and the perfectionism.
I'm a bit like that at work, although I'm not much of an embroiderer at home.

The rosebud-embroidered bodice of a dress, which I accessorised last week with a navy cardigan and my green rose collar.

An embroidered woollen scarf which is my current favourite, now that the weather has officially turned to custard. 

A tablecloth embroidered in beautiful colours.

A bag from Oxfam.

A knitting needle holder, bought online.
The needlework is exquisite.

A paisley embroidered handkerchief case, made by my Nana.
One of my most treasured possessions.

A nylon nightie with an embroidered yoke and pocket, from a Gore op shop.

An embroidered picture of Waitaki Girls' High School, Oamaru, crafted by my late mother when she was at school there.
On mother's day last weekend, I found myself missing her a lot.
The yellow behind is the colour of my living room walls.
I had to empty everything out last week so the ceiling could be repaired, plastered and painted.
Before I put everything back I am thinking of painting it a light cream as I will be selling the house in 5 to 10 years.
It was also too cluttered and I will have to sell some of my china collection.

A tablecloth embroidered with poppies, in honour of ANZAC day a few weeks ago.

A piece I bought online - the colours are amazing.
 
I just can't resist this sort of tablecloth - found in an op shop.
They look like passionfruit flowers.
 
Things around here have been pretty busy.
On top of packing everything in the lounge up, and dealing with insurance claims, builders and painters, my cat became ill and went missing for three days.
When she turned up she was sicker than before and needed a trip to the vet and a course of antibiotics.
One of the neighbour's cats, Archie, has been constantly tormenting her in my garden and I suspect he was the cause of the wound in her head.
I finally lost patience with him and turned the garden hose on him, and he hasn't been seen since.
Lola can't stick up for herself at the moment.
The stress at work continues, with more budget and staff cuts looming because of our city's financial woes.
First world problems.
I've just been to see a film called Bella, about a mixed-race woman in England in the 18th century.
Highly recommended and a bit of a tear-jerker.
 
So I think about embroidery, and how women (and men) over the years have enjoyed it and escaped into it and made beautiful things out of just a few scraps of thread.
Violet
XXX

Sunday, 4 May 2014

A basket case.

Yesterday I made my habitual trip to my favourite op shop.
After finding nothing I liked, I was about to leave when I spotted this beauty, the holy grail of handbags:

She is made of woven strips of white and gold plastic, adorned with shells.
She looks almost new, and has a lemon cotton (?) lining.
Swoon.
The op shop was strange though, it looked to have been taken over by staff I'd never seen before.
They were frantically moving all the furniture around.
When I went to the counter to pay, the assistant saw my bike helmet in my bag and asked if it was mine, implying that I had stolen it.
When I denied stealing it he backtracked but the damage was done, I felt like a criminal.
I told him I was in the shop all the time and it was my favourite shop.
He replied that there was one lady who came in every Saturday and bought random things, but he didn't know if she used them.
It sounded like he was talking about me, and I wanted to tell him that I did use them, and wasn't a dealer.
But I was too stunned.
It's the first bad experience I've had there, normally the weekend staff are lovely.
Anyway it was a cheap weekend as that's all I bought, except for some bike lights.
I had a lot on my mind as our reorganisation at work was announced on Friday.
I can't say anything about it yet except that I am probably one of the luckier ones.
And I've been dealing with a crazy internet troll in a group I'm in.
 
In better news, I made a poppy dress for Anzac day and some wheat free Anzac biscuits.
And I bought a glorious 1960s purple midi.
It's a size too small but I call it an aspirational dress.
I haven't got any photos yet, but will soon.
 
Advice please: my felted crochet hat hasn't shrunk enough.
Should I boil it up in my witches' cauldron?
 
Violet
XXX

Monday, 21 April 2014

On flower power, hats and selfies.

Today I finally finished a dress I've been unfashioning.
She started her life as a hideous muumuu I rescued from the Hospice shop for about $10.
The fabric is a slinky nylon knit which was quite hard to cut but not hard to sew and has the bonus of needing no ironing!
I cut out some arm-scyes and most of the fabric at the sides.
From that I cut out sleeves and a band which I stiffened and sewed on under the bust.
It has long ties at the back.
It was harder to alter it than it would have been to start from scratch.
I think I'll wear this one a lot, as I adore the print, and it's very satisfying to design something yourself.
Here's me wearing it: 
The hat originally belonged to one of my grandmothers, and the necklace was from an op shop.
 
Helga has asked for a perve at my new bike so here she is:
Note the purple metallic mudguards, which I painted because black was just too boring.
She's got 21 speeds and even has suspension.
I think I'm in love.
Because winter seems to have arrived early, I've taken up crochet again.
Here are some of the hats I've made (unfortunately I can't wear them on the bike as I have to wear a helmet) :
No, I'm not channelling Pharrell Williams or Jay Kay, it's just a hat before felting.
 
The deranged ski bunny look.

Ol' chipmunk cheeks.
My latest effort.

 

I didn't make this one, it is probably the first vintage hat I ever bought, decades ago.
I think it's made of pheasant feathers.
 
A lovely little white straw and net number with daisies - $5 from the Hospice Shop.
As you can tell, I hate having my photo taken and have tried to hide behind sunglasses.
For some reason, I'm a bit self-conscious about my eyes.
It's a lot easier when I hide them!
Violet
XXX
 
 
 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

iD Fashion week - Femmes fatale in the library

Every year, as part of Dunedin iD Fashion Week, the library puts on a free show of vintage fashion.
 (I blogged about last year's show last March.)
It's called Geek to Chic, and all the models except one are on the library staff. 

This stunning model wore a coral satin dress with an off-the shoulder cowl neck.
 Satin flowers were appliqued to the front. 

I think this blue dress is my favourite.
It is 1940s with cap sleeves and sequins at the square neckline.

I think you'll agree the models were fabulous.

The gorgeous vintage clothes and accessories were supplied by Box Of Birds in Port Chalmers. 
An LBD with a divine cowl neckline.
 
Pink lace with a black strapless bodice and lace stole.
A black halter-neck with white faux fur wrap.

 
A russet satin and cream lace halter-neck with a fur stole.
The ladies' hair was styled by students from the Aoraki Polytechnic.
The makeup was styled by Farmers Department Store. 
A magnificent pale pink satin sheath and mink stole.
 
 
I love this shade of blue and the model rocked it!
Copper sequins.
Shiny! 
Note the tartan stained glass window in the background by artist Shona MacFarlane.
Sorry about the photos - I only have a small camera and they are not perfect. 
 
One of the MCs in black and the youngest model in blue bling.
 
There have been a lot of fashionistas roaming the streets of late and I love it.
I didn't get to see any of the other Fashion Week events.
I would have liked to but most of them were out of my price range.
And I've been super busy lately.
I haven't been blogging much but I've been following most of my favourite bloggers.
I've been doing a bit of sewing and have bought a new bicycle.
A TV channel here has currently got last year's Rolling Stones concert on high rotate and I'm loving it.
 
I've had to put an extra layer of security on my comments because I was getting so much spam, but please don't let it put you off!
 
Violet
XXX