Thursday, December 20, 2012

excellent way to end the evening


i was catching up on some episodes of sideshow alley performances and absolutely loved this recording by felix riebl amongst twinkling candle light. i was just thinking that i hadn't heard any good new music lately, the universe must have heard me..

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

diy wardrobe - shorts

finally it's summer!! which means shorts time (and lots of fake tan for my pasty legs). the first set of shorts i made this season was just made a pair of pants that were an entirely weird length on me. so instead of giving them away, i measured them up against a pair of shorts that are a length i really like and cut them off, allowing for a generous amount of hem to roll up. you can't see on the photos (because i am a horrible photographer and can't actually get decent photos out of a real camera so i just stick with my iphone), but there is a grey straight stitch and a white leaf embroidered stitch (yes, i've been experimenting with stitches on the machine).

the second pair was also cut off from a pair of pants that were just a bit short on me, but instead of just hemming them up, i decided to add a little flair by adding a strip of animal print fabric.

/ in the erica garden at hobart's royal tasmanian botanical gardens /
i found the animal print fabric at the arts recycling centre for all of 30 cents and there was just enough for this project and some leftovers for cat toys. i actually have enough scraps for a million cat toys, so maybe all of my cat loving friends will just be getting a box of kitty treats this christmas...

p.s. more to come from our great australia trip soon! in the process of uploading all the photos to picasa.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

welcome any newcomers

/ girl with the golden swan bike by sophieblackall /
ever since i posted my diy wardrobe week on facebook and threw my hat in the ring for recycled fashion's fashion finds #58, i've gotten a bit of extra traffic from people other than my family. it's been pretty cool to 'meet' new people coming through here so i obviously encourage anyone new to leave comments and say hi :) i've found heaps of new blogs and a million talented and crafty people; it's so good to know how many practical and creative people are out there.

/ water balloons on threadless /
but for anyone that doesn't know me, it won't take long to see that i am far from a crafty professional, but more of a jack of all trades. i like to do a bit of sewing, dabble in gardening, stay limber in dance classes, mix a few cocktails, create beautiful food, cuddle my cats, cuddle my hubby, drool over pretty shoes, read a few novels, spend too much time at work, embrace my geekier side, travel wherever i can go, make the world a better place and never stop learning something new.

/ curly hair on 'i always wondered' /
after moving to new zealand from the states nearly 7 years ago, i realised i was writing the same thing to each person back home, so it made sense to consolidate my efforts and to just post my new experiences here so all could read as well as share all of the beautiful and exciting things that life brings my way. i'm addicted to my google reader, ted talks, radiolab and getting lost online as much as i enjoy trying pretty much anything new - from sky diving to beauty pageants to roller derby to yoga to fire spinning to vegan cooking. so ultimately, i don't have any earth shattering comments on humanity, i just enjoy sharing the things that make my life tick because they just might interest you too.

Monday, November 5, 2012

snippets of life

/ lookin' pretty good in a plastic beard... /
reuben's cousin pam and i posing at a birthday party for our friend andrew... came right after a derby game so still in my swamp city shirt.

/ sandy carter photography /
spotted some black milk muscle leggings at a derby bout a couple months ago - love it! i ordered the black ribs swimsuit and i cannot wait til it gets here :)

spring cleaning in the garden so the balcony looks tidy. it's so windy sometimes that i just can't seem to get all the dirt from blowing back to the doorway so i may have actually vacuumed by the door this weekend...

my baby carrot harvest - i needed to make some space for the expanding broccoli and the fava beans that are popping up.

the poppy costumes i made for me and leesa for wayne's wizard of oz party.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

diy wardrobe week project #5... sort of..

/ one button repaired before i left for work /
today was going to be another day of button and seam repairs, but while i was away at work, jan came over and got the sewing machine going! i still don't know what i suddenly started doing wrong to make it act up, but it was working just fine when i got home so i started up a project i had abandoned earlier in the week. i actually got rather distracted reading the sewing machine manual (i know, it sounds like stimulating literature, doesn't it?)... so much so i had to abandon the project and finish off some presentation prep for the fish talk that angela and i are giving tomorrow at te manawa.

that means i won't be wearing anything new/repaired to work tomorrow, but hey, i think i still managed to keep up with my personal challenge pretty well and i should have something newly sewn by the end of the day.

Friday, October 26, 2012

made me lol

CAT BOUNCE! A website of bouncing cats.

diy wardrobe week project #4

today - pompom socks! this project had two things i've wanted to try for a while: mini pompoms and socks made out of tights that were too torn to be wearable (even for derby!). you know i love recycling old things just as much as making new ones, so this was a great way to do both.

i found a tutorial somewhere showing how to make mini pompoms on a fork and they were pretty easy. as for the socks, i started by making a thick elastic loop that fit snugly just above my ankle. then i cut off the tights about 8 inches above the ankle and put them on in order to position everything. with the socks rolled up, i slipped on the elastic loop and positioned it just above my ankle. i then rolled the top of the sock down over the elastic and sewed it in place. lastly, i added on the dangling pompoms.

i personally think they turned out super cute and i kinda can't wait to make something else with pompoms!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

diy wardrobe week project #3

/ staying late at work so snapped a few shots in my office /
today i'm wearing the first dip-dyed item i've created since i tie dyed a shirt at summer camp back in elementary school. it was actually ridiculously easy and i wish i had more things to dye!

/ those balloons are part of my costume for the halloween disco at school, hence staying late /
i bought this dye ages ago when i was going to dye a secondhand dress with some discolouration, only to find out the dress didn't actually fit properly. but i finally found something that was in need of a little sprucing up. i bought this dress at the plaza from one of the heavily discounted clearance sales tables of an already cheap shop. no dressing room, so it was a bit of a gamble, but i'm sure it wasn't more than about $5. you can't see it from the picture, but the dress actually has some pretty ugly sleeves, which i intend to one day remove. but that will have to wait for the sewing machine repair.

in the meantime i thought i would add something a bit extra to this rather drab dress. i now call it my chromatography dress as the colours of the dye have separated out nicely into green, orange and black as they traveled up the skirt. i got this effect by putting the dye in a big bucket, then suspending the dress with just a couple inches of the hem hanging into the dye and leaving it for about an hour. then a quick rinse in cold water and tadaa! i also some fabric scraps in to dye over night, which meant i had little brown kitty paw prints all over my laundry room the next day. if aston weren't already black, i'm pretty sure he would have dyed himself brown!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

diy wardrobe week project #2

(photo bombed by noli!)
ok, the sewing machine is out of commission until i find out why my bobbin keeps randomly popping out! it got stuck last night and i think something might have gotten bent out of shape (other than me after i stuck the bobbin back in for what felt like the millionth time...). so for my challenge i had to find other projects that didn't involve a lot of sewing. fortunately (or unfortunately), my bag of projects is literally overflowing, so i was spoilt for choice.

buttons and seams were on the agenda. i had three sweaters that i picked up for very cheap because of missing buttons and fraying seams. i had put them off for so long because i didn't have the right thread and then i didn't have the right needles, but finally the universe has aligned in such a way that i had both of these items in my possession!

so i have now added back into my wardrobe three patched sweaters - and just in time for the cold snap we got recently! winter just keeps smothering the little glimpses of spring with pouring rain, frigid wind and the occasional assaults of sleet. i admit, the sweater repairs aren't the most creative of my craft projects, but the lack of sewing machine meant i had to go with whatever i could find at the last minute.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

diy wardrobe week project #1

in order to get some of my sewing projects done, i have issued myself a personal challenge to create one new/recycled/repurposed item of clothing for every work day this week. you might think i am cheating a little because it's a short week due to labour day yesterday, but i work saturdays so i'm still getting 5 items out of this plan.

my first project was a circle skirt made from some stretchy wool remnants i picked up from the fabric store around the corner. this was a project inspired by a pair and a spare, a diy fashion blog i've been following for a couple months. unlike her project, my fabric was stretchy so i didn't use a zipper, i used a thick elastic so it was uber easy. i also added an extra under-layer in a tight mini-skirt style because of the ridiculous wind in palmy, which i also folded over to add a nice detail on the waistband of the skirt.

i was also pretty lazy and didn't hem the skirt. the material cut nicely so the raw edge didn't look bad, so i left it that way! all in all, the first project went well.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

raro revisited

/ the reason we traveled to rarotonga /
i have finally gotten around to posting our rarotonga pics on picasa and thought i would give a quick rundown of some of our favourite parts. i already posted about the food and fragrances on the island in a sneak peek, but here's the extended version.

/ inside our bungalow /
our bungalow at the muri beach hideaway was on the opposite end of the island from the rest of the wedding party and attendees, who all opted to stay at the edgewater resort where the wedding was held. we were so happy we did! the owners were friendly, the beach was amazing and the bungalows were excellent.

/ enjoying a wine on the deck /
every morning we enjoyed something from the french bakery next door and every evening we had a glass of wine on the deck. unfortunately, the roosters woke us up every morning, but apparently that is the case anywhere on the island.

/ the happy couple /
the wedding day was beautiful, with the ceremony by the beach and reception nearby.

/ reuben looking tan and handsome /
after having great celebrations at the wedding, we had some time to do some exploring over the next couple days. the beaches were gorgeous and the water was crystal clear with little neon fish darting through the water. most surprising to me were the massive amounts of sea cucumbers! it was hard to miss stepping on them when wading through the water.

/ reuben on his new favourite toy /
the easiest and best way to get around the island was on scooter! reuben got his license in a snap and was my chauffeur for the trip.

/ on the back /
we made it around the island a few times, and i managed to snap a few pictures on our way, unfortunately, i ran out of battery on the 3rd day without even getting any pictures of muri beach where we were staying... camera fail on my part. 

/ one of the many stands of family graves and roads leading up to the hills /
we didn't quite have enough time to embark on a hike up into the craggy hills in the middle of the island, but apparently they are somewhat challenging. it's on the agenda for the next time we visit :)

/ a nice strip of beach /
palm trees, coconut trees, banana trees everywhere.

/ yep, tsunami evacuation route /
every couple of kilometres there was a sign posted evacuation road that led up into the hills in the centre of the island. being a small island, i imagine this is quite a real threat. we drove up one of the evacuation routes until the road turned into a very steep, gravel driveway to a private residence in dense forest. were it a public road we would have explored further and seen a bit of the bush, but we just headed back down to the beach instead.

/ dragonfly in the botanical gardens /
the day after the wedding, we hung out with our friends megan and jarred and went to some botanical gardens not far from where we were staying. we tried to stop at the matutu brewery, but it was closed on the weekends. we had to settle for trying a bottle later on with lunch at the restaurant and it was actually really good.
/ disturbed some creatures on our walk through the gardens /
the gardens were pretty impressive and full of big, tropical flora, many of which were in bloom.

/ enjoying the scenery /
one of the best parts of the trip? aside from extreme relaxation, warm weather and lots of sunshine? i didn't carry anything with me anywhere we went. it was mostly due to the fact that i was only wearing dresses and skirts and had no pockets, but reuben had the scooter keys, key to the bungalow and the money and that was all we needed. of course, this meant that i didn't have my camera on me very often so i missed out snapping pics of all the great food we had! our favourite eating spot was about a five minute walk down the beach from us at a place called sails. while the dishes and drinks there were yum, we actually got the ultimate seafood platter at trader jacks. we actually struggled to finish that one due to all the salted marlin, but we put in a pretty good effort.

/ can't see it here, but there were bees buzzing all around these flowers /
gotta love those bright colours! i managed to find some fragrant frangipani flowers in the gardens as well - yum!

/ picnic anyone? /
and this was about the time the battery ran out in my camera, hopefully i can get some beach pictures off of megan at some point. just down the beach from where we were staying was a shallow lagoon which was a marine sanctuary area. we could see the schools of fish darting around and the heron stalking them from the lookout point here, but reuben and i also kayaked through later in the day to take a closer look.

/ megan overlooking the lagoon marine sanctuary /
all in all, this was a great vacation spot that we would definitely consider visiting again.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

cephalopod awareness week

/ nautilus by national aquarium /
i do not make these things up - follow the national aquarium on twitter to learn about cephalopod sea creatures all week :)

pretty in pink

/ displeased kitty ornament by 5erg /
this is generally my feelings toward the color pink. i've never been a pink girly girl, at least not within my memory. yes, i loved ballet and dressing up in fairy wings, but past the age of 5 i don't recall much pink in my life (except maybe that horrid pink jacket i had in elementary or middle school, ugh). one would think that i wouldn't mind pink being that i love red so much, but no, it just doesn't do anything for me.
/ pink lily watercolor by julia sclar, sister of my childhood friend kathryn /
however, october is breast cancer awareness month here, so i thought i would put together some pink things i can get on board with.

/ the owls mini coin purse by misala /
i don't really use coin purses, but i really like them for some reason. the few that i do have, i use to hold jewelry or other little bits and pieces in my purse. 

/ off to the graces dress on modcloth /
i have a couple weddings to go to next year so i've been dress hunting already, this would be a really cute one, so nice and summery, plus i love hi-low hemlines.

/ on a suhi roll socks by modcloth /
i doubt i have to explain why i love these (sushi!). i've already started putting together my christmas wishlist and these are definitely on it.

/ sila powder patent heels by kensie /
i have to say of all pinks, a dusty rose or salmon are my preferred shades and i just love the wedge heel on these. i wouldn't mind adding these to my wardrobe at all, though reuben and i are already fighting over closet space so i really shouldn't be buying anymore shoes...

/ mr tea mug by lennymug /