Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Mickey Mouse Tee: Help the Aged (charity shop)
Caramel Corduroy Shorts: The Warehouse
Denim Jacket: Vintage
Platform shoes: K-Mart
Spots and Stripes Tights: The Warehouse
Locket: UK Flea Market
Gingham Wire Headband: Bamboo Bear
Plaited Leather Belt: Recycled Clothing Warehouse

I think today's post will show I'm a bit of a reuse and recycle kind of girl! Always in hunt of a bargain, I'm pretty proud of my chairty shopping skills and the knack I have for finding second-hand gems. 

I find it hard to spend a lot of money on clothes, unless they're handmade and therefore unique and of quality workmanship. I just think there's better things to spend money on in life! But that doesn't mean I don't like shopping. I probably have less clothes & shoes in my wardrobe than most girls my age but I still have a lot! 

There are certain shops and brands I adore, but just don't go into their stores as I know there will be heart-ache when I turn over the price tag. Instead, I try find the cheaper alternatives or something vintage/second hand that probably inspired said expensive designer in the first place. I tend to alter and customise my clothes, so there's not much point spending a lot on something I'm just going to take the scissors or fabric glue to anyway!

One of my favourite second-hand market finds has to be the locket I'm wearing today. I love the dual pendants and the turquoise 'n' orange stones set into them, but it's what's inside that's the most special :)

I'm also wearing a headband that I made this afternoon, following a tutorial from Blue Eyed Freckle. It was easy peasy; took me about 10 mins. I substituted plastic coated wire for pipe cleaners (cheapy cheap!) and used a fabric remnant from an Op Shop.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Orange Tree Cottage

Have a look over on my William Woolf blog to read about my latest design commission.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Looking Up

Matai Trees - Black Pine

A Rock Pool full of Ducklings

My Fluffy Friend

Mr and Mrs Shell Duck

A School Trip?

Kereru - NZ Wood Pidgeon


Daffodils in the Daffodil Woodland
My favourite part of living in New Zealand is what your eyes behold upon looking upwards. It is amazing the difference looking up to see a clear blue sky can make to your day. A blue sky is kind. Whenever I feel homesick, I remember what a difference a grey sky makes (apologies to those still in England but sometimes it's nice to rub it in!)

When I arrived home from work today, I could have cleaned the flat, or done some packing (we have to move flats in the near future) or even made a shopping list. But I looked outisde and saw a crystal clear sky and just had to be outside. It's not exactly the warmest day, but there's something about a cloudless ceiling and a brisk wind that gives your brain a good clear out.

You may remember my post from a few of weeks ago detailing the arrival of an early spring here in Christchurch, and an afternoon spent in the Botanical Gardens with Mr Bear, photographing copious amounts of budding taking place all around us. I thought I would revisit some of the places we spotted new signs of life and see how they have progressed since our last visit.

I intended to only go for a short walk, just enough time to finish my hazelnut frappe (a bad choice of beverage when the wind is on the chilly side!) Before I knew it, I was at the far side of the gardens and my camera had run out of battery. I suppose that's what happens when your mind isn't paying attention to where your feet are taking you.

In approximately 89 hours, I will be drifting down the River Avon in a punt with my brother. 89 hours! It's all I can think about. There are so many things I can't wait to show him. It will be a great effort to bear in mind how jetlagged he will be when he first gets here and that I should take it easy on him. But that's not what little sisters are for :)

Here are some comparison shots of budding flora:


And after.


And after.

And after.

And one more picture of fluffy ducklings, incase you didn't ooze with joy enough the first time:

Nip over to my business blog to have look at my post about nature and its influence in textiles.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Cycle Runway

And finally, here are some pictures from the Sailor Spy collection at Cycle Runway, as part of the University of Canterbury's Eco Week. 

As a designer, you spend weeks accumulating ideas, a theme, drawing, sourcing fabrics and materials, cutting, sewing, fitting and ammending and then, in a matter of minutes, the whole thing's over in a flash. It felt very strange to have spent weeks helping Nin bring the collection together for this one night, and by the time we had all our models dressed and styled, the audience was applauding and that was that. Finito. It was a hugely rewarding experience and a very valuable insight behind the scenes of a fashion label.

And here's our star model, the lovely Alison, who will be the face of our photoshoot next month, which Nin has asked me to style for so she can concentrate on directing the photographer. Exciting times!

Here are some of my favourite pieces from the other designers:

We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Red Flax
Belle and Beau
A Date with Elvis

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Mr Bear = Pillar of Strength

As you may know, Mr Bear was appointed QS on the construction of Christchurch's Transitional Cathedral earlier this year (or, as most will know it, the Cardboard Cathedral). A very exciting project for him and something that I'm sure will be amazing for his CV! 

The Cathedral, designed by top Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, employs a very unqiue structure consisting essentially of cardboard tubes, protected from the weather by a polyurethane coating and a polycarbonate cladding. 

The tubes, weighing in about 40kg, arrived in the city yesterday, along with about 20 different film crews all wanting to catch a glimpse of the revolutionary building material and get the low-down from members of the Naylor Love team. Martin helped unload the tubes from the lorries and was caught on camera in this clip, appearing at about 1:46.

He also appeared in today's Christchurch Press, under the caption 'Pillars of Strength'! So proud!! 

Showing off his creative side and knack for making realistic art, Mr Bear has been making a small scale model of the new Cathedral. He has given me permission to share a work-in-progress picture, although he has done a lot more since!

Wardrobe Wednesday

Skirt and vest top: General Issue
Tights: probably Primarni!
Bracelets: Fijian Pop Up Shop, various presents
Necklace: Op-shopped
Fox earrings: Sly Fox
Lipstick: E.L.F
Well, here it is: my first Wardrobe Wednesday. This initiative was launched by the incredibly talented creator of Sailor Spy, Ninotchka McKay, whom I have been assisting over the past few weeks. It was created as a way for ordinary women (like you and me!) to share outfits they wear on a daily basis that they might me especially proud of or make them feel good in their bodies. Nin has a great sense of style and I think all ladies will agree with me in thinking that we love having a nosy at what others are wearing and getting inspiration on how to style garments. 

Recently, Nin has passed the role of Wardrobe Master onto her good friend Miriam, who is hosting regular Wardrobe Wednesdays on her blog. Head on over for a nosy. I hope these posts inspire women to re-evaluate how they feel about their bodies and give them the confidence to 'dress to express'.

I bought this outfit this weekend (whilst shopping for walking sandals!) and have been looking forward to a nice sunny day to wear it. Face minus make-up but, since this is a daily style post and I generally don't wear make-up, it's true to life. Well, apart from the hint of lippy!

Friday, 14 September 2012

Catching Metal Birds

Another great thing about Pinterest (I know, you think you've heard them all but, believe me, I have MORE!) is that you can come across images that can fill you with joy, hope or just a fit of spontaneous giggles that can carry you through til the end of the day, no matter what you may face. Through such an image, I discovered Bored Panda: the only website for pandas. This site is a real life saver for a restless Bamboo Bear to provide me with some amusement, amazement or adoration for my day.

My favourite set of images so far are a set of perfectly timed photos. In amongst these, Mr Bear and I found several perfectly timed photos of what looked to be people snatching things from the sky. Last weekend, we attempted to replicate this. The above photo is the result. But don't think we're done just yet! I'm sure we will be working on this over the next few weeks to hone our skills!

Here's the inspiration:

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Red Zoning

Fooooft, it's been a busy week! Over the last month or so, I've been helping out local designer Ninotchka Mckay of Sailor Spy get some pieces from her Spring/Summer collection in production for an eco-runway fashion show held at the University of Canterbury on Tuesday. The models rode retro bikes, which was so perfectly in keeping with the theme for this season's collection, entitled 'The feeling that you'd thought you'd forgotten'. Based on her memories of a childhood growing up in rural Nelson, the collection incorporates fabrics reminiscent of vintage wallpapers and has an laid-back, easy going style. The show was a great success, leaving us feeling very tired but very pleased!

Alright. Enough explanations of my ineptitude for multi-tasking and maintaining a blog whilst doing so! This post is a recap of our adventures last weekend.

After a lazy breakfast, Mr Bear and I decided to take a walk right through the newly opened red zone to get to our luncheon destination on the other side. Probably the long way round all in all, but we felt we should show ourselves the centre of the city we live in at some point, even in its current state. I'm glad it was a sunny day because it made the sights more bearable. But Christchurch is healing, bit by bit.

My brother will be arriving in two weeks. We are giddy with excitement. I can't wait for him to see where we live and share some new experiences together. It's exactly what we need at this point in our transition. I will just have to worry about what I'm going to do when I have to take him back to the airport when I come to it!