Monday, 26 November 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Thundercats Tee: HMV Menswear, customised
Denim Shorts: New Look
Leather Woven Belt: Vintage
Green Cardi: Sallie's
Red Sandals: Number 1 Shoes
Hat: Market stall at A&P Show
Necklace: A present from my mum-in-law to be :)
Black Patent Leather Bag: Vintage
Unicorn Earring: The Lanes, Meadowhall

Well, my outfit this week is pretty self-explanatory. This is what I was wearing last Sunday when we went Christmas shopping for our family back home (hence the big red Bally's bag). So I thought I'd share some fashion thoughts this week and talk a bit about how we're perceived by people according to the way we dress and how this affects us.

Sometimes I feel I get funny looks when I go out. Yes, that may be because I'm a strange girl and it tends to show. But I also think it has a lot to do with what I'm wearing. I don't feel I have a crazzzy dress sense but I do tend to dress in a way that normally makes me stand out. But, in this day and age, is standing out to be shunned or embraced?

Walking down the street in this particular get-up last weekend, I felt the eyes of many a young lady boring into my back as I passed by. Mr Bear assured me they were just looking at him and I should worry more about keeping a firmer grip on his arm (I don't think he expected the torrent of giggles that followed this statement, however!) But I'm quite used to other girls looking at me in a kinda confused way.

A skype conversation I had with my brother the other day prompted me to look into the way this female attention makes me feel and how it affects my garment decisions each morning. We were discussing our perceptions of criticism and how the fear of rejection can sometimes hold us back in life. But if you really love doing something, you will continue to do it regardless of what people think, and this is how we can recognise our real passions in life and what is fundamental to our being and therefore unchangeable.

I came to the conclusion that this has always been the case for me: I have always dressed the way I do and have always received the occasional gawp or lingering stare. But this has never stopped me standing in front of my wardrobe and picking sliced up men's tees, shorts that are probably too short for my size of leg and tying my hair up in childish styles. And that is because this is who I am and what I love to wear and no amount of girlish gawping will ever change that. 

And, let's face it, people sometimes react negatively out of jealousy; at least that's what my Ma's always told me, but she would :)

So there's some food for thought this week, readers! I believe what we wear should reflect our personality, the colours we love and what we enjoy in life. Wouldn't you agree?

Oh, and Happy Movember! :)


Head over to Miriam's next. Today she's discussing how we women feel about our bodies.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Another Shirt!

It was my eldest brother's birthday on Thursday. All afternoons of the past week have been spent finishing this Linen Grandad Shirt in time. I posted it last Thursday and it arrived in time, yey :)

The outer material is brown linen with tangerine stitching, wooden buttons and I used a silky kimono type fabric to line the front insert to add some hidden decorative detailing. I knew he wouldn't like anything to flamboyant but I couldn't resist putting some patterned fabric somewhere and thought the silkiness would feel nice against the skin.

To my immense relief, he liked it and it fits! Each birthday that goes by whilst we're away from home seems to be a little harder. It is difficult to put lots of love into making something for a loved one only to never see their face upon receiving it. But I cherish the thought of them wearing something that I designed and made with them in mind. I always try and capture something about their personality in the clothes I make for family and the thought of this makes the work very enjoyable indeed. I spend my time sewing with a smile on my face, whilst reminiscing about happy times at home.

Happy Birthday again Nat :) Nice to speak to you on Thursday! xxx

Canterbury A&P Show

I think we may have missed the sheep shearing??

Attempting to snap a pony racing past on tiny legs!

Lining up for their rosettes after the time trials

Donkeys, my favourite!

How'd he get up there?!?

Sheepdog Trials
So here they are, ater a slightly longer wait than I had promised I'm afriad. Y'know how it is, that's life!

Those of you who tuned in for this week's Wardrobe Wednesday will have noted that we attended Canterbury A&P Show last Friday (Mr Bear and I both had a day off for Canterbury Anniversary Day). We weren't sure what we'd see there but Martin had heard from a number of people that it was worth a visit and something Cantabrians eagerly await once a year.

I have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves! It was a bit like wandering into a different world. The stalls in the market hall were a strange mix of traders indeed, from the latest technology in vacuum cleaning to a lady demonstrating a scarily realistic possum puppet!

We walked to the race ring to watch pony chariots speed past, their little legs a blur underneath their miniature frame, and even witnessed a crash as a buggy tipped going round a corner and the lady was flung a fair distance across the track (she was unharmed, thankfully!) It was very dramatic!

Inside the covered arenas we found pen upon pen of sheep of many different breeds and varieties, painted ponies (think the rainbow coloured manes of 'my little pony' and be horrified), beehives, turkeys, baby chooks, bunnies and a small dog on a very large horses' back!

On our way round the outside stalls, we were halted by Police a couple of times as Prince Charles and Camilla were visiting and needed 'safe passage' through the crowds. I caught a glimpse of Charles briefly and could see a little bit of Camilla's blinding white hair over the crowd. We were quite amused upon hearing a little girl who had been lifted onto her Dad's shoulders say 'Put me down Dad, there's nothing to see here'!

Finally, we made it round to the sheepdog trials, which we enjoyed tremendously; probably not quite as much as the older lady next to me who found the need to grab my arm to steady herself every time a particularly young and strapping handler had to heave the sheep over the fence with one hand! 

Back at the flat, we decided to open our bottle of champagne and sit on the balcony in the sun before cooking up some homemade fish and chips. A very nice day indeed!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Tiger Growl Tee: Glassons
Green Cardi: Sallie's
Flowery Skirt: Customised second-hand
Tights: New Look
Black Brogues: K-Mart
Handbag: Celia Birtwell
Fox Earrings: Sly Fox
Straw Hat: CHCH A&P show stall
Bracelets: Malaysian pop up shop @ The Colombo


Did everyone have a nice day off on Friday for Canterbury day??  I managed to get the afternoon off by splitting my shift with a workmate, wahoo! Mr Bear came to collect me from work at 12.30 and we had lunch and cake at the Cafe before heading along to the A&P show.

I picked up this awesome straw hat from one of the stall-holders there. She had an amazing array of really stylish hats, I spent quite some time picking one! And this type of hat usually doesn't suit me so I was surprised to find so many different styles that looked pretty good! I felt very appropriately dressed for the occasion once I'd doned this baby :)

We returned home afterwards and cracked open a bottle of pink champagne my boss had given us to celebrate our engagement. It was supped on the balcony whilst listening to Bowie and reminiscing. A truly lovely day.

Tune in tomorrow for some pictures from our adventures at the show! 

P.S No, you don't have your rose tinted specs on. I've dyed my hair red. I hated it at first but it's grown on me since lots of people have said they like it (and my friend Gabby said it makes my eye colour stand out, which is a plus!)

Have a gander at Miriam's today; she's talking about how it feels to take outfit pictures in public!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

A Rose Convert

Today's post is a bit of a photography special. Believe it or not, I have a repetitive strain injury in my wrist from cutting fabric a lot and I'm not very good at doing what I'm told and resting when injured. So I thought I'd do a post with relatively little writing involved today. I'll let the photographs do most of the talking (yeah right, I hear you say!).

Yesterday, my fiance and I (yes, I'm referring to Mr Bear in that way as often as possible!!) went for a stroll around the Botanical Gardens in the afternoon. On our way home, we passed through the Rose Garden and found everything had suddenly bloomed all at once, after months of nothing but bare thorny stems!

I've never thought of myself as much of a rose-loving kind of girl. In fact, I'm not much of a fan of most flowers that are considered conventionally pretty. My favourite flowers are Hydrangeas - more specifically Mophead Hydrangeas -  and mostly I like flowers that grow from vegetables, like courgettes and artichokes.

So I was slightly perplexed to find myself dashing from bed to bed in the rose garden, discovering the many different varieties and their interesting names. I have to admit, I think I have been converted. I found some of the roses in the garden to be so intriuging in their depth and variety of colour and shapes. I fell in love with the Brown Velvet Roses and I'm besotted with a dusky pink rose called Smokey Joe.

My favourite had to be the Tequilla Sunrise Rose, with its burnt orange-edged peachy petals. As the colour theme for our wedding is peach and grey, I would like to make a whole bouquet of Tequilla Sunrise roses in silk, like these beautiful fabric flowers that have been held over a candle until the edges curl up. I think they look very authentic and would love a bouquet that would never wilt and fade away.

Brown Velvet

Tequilla Sunrise


Ebb Tide

Smokey Joe

Nancy Hayward

I hope you enjoy my catalogue of roses :) Have a great day!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Wardrobe Wednesday

Mandarin collar blouse: Pagani
Pencil Skirt: SaveMart
Geometric handbag: Vintage
Peacock Earrings: A present from my Aunty
Tights: The Warehouse
Black Brogues: KMart

The night before the grand opening at The Make Cafe, we held a launch party with an exclusive guest list for all those who had put in so much hard work and dedication into fitting out the shop and cafe. 

I'd been working all day, helping with the finishing touches before the party: upholstering chairs, framing pictures and decorating the place. I dashed home to get ready and virtually threw this outfit together. I scrub up okay when I don't think too much about it!

We had a lovely evening and it was so nice to meet some of the others who had contributed their time in order to help make this venture a success. Kirsty and Justin, my new employers, made a teary thank-you speech to which we made a toast and celebrated with a slice of Make Cafe Cake, courtesy of the very talented Angie from Bake Me Cakes. Yummmm!

Click on the link below to pop over to Miriam's and read the confessions of a fashionista!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Work Hard, Play Hard

So, a couple of weeks ago I started my new job at The Make Cafe. My first week was very hectic as we were still getting the shop ready, painting, cleaning, bringing stock over and prettying the place up for our grand opening on Saturday 3rd November (yes, the same day Mr Fiance Bear and I got engaged!). Our first week in business last week was just as busy, pricing stock and getting to grips with new systems ect. So far, I'm enjoying the work very much and love the variety of my work day, splitting my time between the shop, cafe and workshop planning. But by the end of Saturday, my brain had gone into system overload and was functioning at snail pace.

So yesterday was spent doing everything slowly and taking it easy. I literally have learnt the meaning of the phrase 'work hard, play hard' this week, but my playtime definitely has a more relaxed feel to it! 

We began our Sunday with a long lie-in followed by a breakfast of coffee, apple juice and eggy bread whilst musing over events of the past few weeks and of course, discussing the wedding. You'll be happy to hear we have narrowed dates down to a two year time span, somewhere between 2014 and 2015! And either May or June. That's about all we could make any firm decisions on at the moment, apart from the colour scheme which had been decided on long before we got engaged!

To celebrate our anniversary, which has now become synonymous with our engagement, we bought our first plant last weekend and vowed to make concerted efforts to keep it alive (something we don't have a very good track record of). After a week in direct sun however, our little leafy friend is looking a bit worse for wear. So we headed out to the garden centre to find things that might help revive him and also picked out a few herby friends to keep him company too: Mr Mint, Mr Parsley and Mr Basil. Oh, and Miss Rosemary who we picked up last weekend too and so far is proving less high maintenance!

After our uncharacteristic bought of gardening (just getting into the married couple swing, you know!), we walked down the road to the local for a pint of our favourite Swedish Cider and some hearty fish and chips. Just before it started to pour it down. Phew.

In other news, Martin bottled our first batch of home brew while I was at work on Saturday. I'm willing myself to forget about the dozens of bottles stacked in my kitchen cupboards for the next six months. The longer it sits there, the less likely it will be to taste foul I think!

Friday, 9 November 2012

Road Trip: Driving Home

We awoke with a dilemma; should we continue with our original ten-night plan or do the drive back to Christchurch all in one go and give ourselves another day in Canterbury. We had initially intended to spend our last evening in a campsite around Lake Tekapo, but after further discussion, we wondered whether there could be a better use of our time as there are so many things to do and see in and around Christchurch and I really wanted Bren to go home with a good feel for what the city and surroundings have to offer.

Decisions are often easier to make when food and drink are present, so after showering and feeding the amassing finches we drove into Wanaka for morning tea and cake. We decided in the end that it would be wisest to drive home early.

We stopped in Tekapo on the way back to have a late lunch in one of my favourite eateries, Run 77. I opted for the scrumptious chilli con carne and was full to bursting by the end of it. After a quick visit to the 'Historic Church' and the McKenzie country sheepdog monument by the lake, we were on the road home.

At our last fuel stop, we totted up our count on the tally of road kill we'd been keeping for the last 10 days (don't ask, it's kind of a habit). Four hundred and twenty five unfortunate victims of the road this time! 

So folks, you've heard pretty much all now. When we arrived home, we made a day trip to Akaroa to see the dolphins again, spent a day driving around the Port Hills dropping in at Diamond Harbour, Lyttelton and Sumner and had a leisurely day around the Gardens and Canterbury Museum. Saying goodbye to Bren at the airport was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I've been left with some wonderful memories of spending time with family in our new home. I now fully appreciate life here and feel more and more at home with each passing week.