Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'll Be Back...


The time has come, I need to take a break from blogging for the next few weeks which I'm sure you all understand. My new motto for now is 'sleep is for the weak', although I'm not saying you’re weak if you are sleeping (which you all should be) it’s more just to get me through!

If you do see me toddling around looking zombie like you’ll notice I’m not wearing anything interesting. My uniform will consist of jeans, chucks and the festival t-shirt, although these can come in numerous combinations due to my never ending supply of jeans, chucks in either red or black and two festival t-shirts coming in either white with pink print or black with silver print.

I’ll miss you all, but I am looking forward to sitting down with a cup of tea and my google reader filled up with hundreds of posts from you all and reading for a couple of hours once the madness has subsided. And I am looking forward to making many a dress and skirt, the amazing pattern above does look a little tatty on the outside, but the pieces are all there and once I've done some size adjusting and tweaked the pattern to how I want it to look it will be amazing :)

Although straight after this two weeks of madness there is still no sleep, as our leg of a film festival kicks off for which we are the publicists, we have a show to start organising and a week promoting health (I’m sure sleep is part of being healthy, it’s a little hypocritical of us to be promoting health when we are exhausted isn’t it?).

I’m sorry if there are questions I haven’t answered, I will get round to them, promise! I’ll also update all my links too, so if you want to be linked just let me know, it won’t happen for a wee while but it will happen!

See you all soon,

XX Jen

Monday, February 16, 2009

~Insert Post Title Here~

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This is what I wore to the wedding on the weekend – this is one of my favourite vintage dresses ever. The clutch is one I thrifted a while back, it’s basically an Oroton but without the brand that comes with them – sorry I didn’t take a close up picture of it, I will next time I use it!

Saturday morning was freezing, I already had my outfit planned for the wedding but was feeling the need to go and buy white stockings because I couldn’t handle the cold without them. But David and I went to the farmers market first for galettes and hot chocolate and by the time we had finished the weather had started to get better and by the time it came to leave for the wedding it was beautiful, sunny and warm.

I do have one small gripe about the planning of the wedding, I organise and run events for a living so when an event isn’t run smoothly I get a tad frustrated by it. The wedding took place on a beach, there were sand dunes to climb over before you got to the beach and there were supposed to be signs telling everyone where to go. There were no signs and this left a tribe of people clambering over sand dunes back and forth about three times trying to figure out where the wedding was. We were all so worried that the bride had already arrived at the place they were to be wed and there would be no one there. The bride was an hour late and when she got there we all ended up just following her to where she was getting married.

I really don’t do well with events that aren’t organised, even a casual event needs some organisation. My events brain kicks in and I can immediately pick out all the things that need to be fixed and all the things that should have been thought of before the day. But once we got to where we were supposed to be the wedding was lovely, the bride was in a bright forest green and gold gown and looked lovely.

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My over locker arrived on Friday too, it comes with its very own carry bag and I’m so excited, I want to jump right in and start using it but I still haven’t got my sewing machine back – sad face! I won’t have anytime to do any sewing for a good few weeks now which is annoying, I have so many things I want to get making!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend,



Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentines...

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Red for valentines day - its been so cold here I've been able to pull out some of the dresses I had saved for winter. This is from the 80's I believe, once I had pulled off the shoulder pads it was perfect. I also honestly couldn't get any good shots of my face so decided to hide it in the end - I either looked like a zombie or had crazy eyes!

Some of you asked about the navy skirt in the post below the post below this (confusing ?!?) – that was one that I designed and made myself last year sometime and I hope to have some up in the shop when it gets started!

I’m so glad a lot of you have the ‘guilty shopper gene’ - well, not glad for you but glad for me that I’m not the only one! I’m going to finish off the blogging week with one more thing related to money and that endless need to buy clothes. A while ago a friend told me about the ‘$1 a wear’ rule and I find it really rather handy when I’m thinking about spending a lot on a vintage dress or pair of shoes.

The basic premise is that if something is going to cost you $30 to buy, you need to make sure that you are going to wear it at least 30 times. As long as you wear it at least 30 times then you have gotten your money’s worth out of it - I do tend to subconsciously apply this rule when I shop now which is good for me and my pocket!

You don’t necessarily have to interpret the rule the exact same way I do though, you could change it so that the piece has to be able to incorporate itself into 30 different outfits, but I find my way much easier when I’m shopping – who has time to figure out what will match the piece 30 different ways when your wardrobe is huge and you don’t remember half the stuff you own?

So next time you’re out spending those hard earned dollars, remember the ‘$1 a wear’ rule and see how you feel about that expensive dress after. It will make you either want it more (which means you love it) or it will make you think twice and put the item back.

Now, moving on to exciting things - on Wednesday, David and I left work a smidge early to go and check out the viewing rooms at one of the auction places before my interview. As we wandered around I spotted a huge box full of patterns – I immediately started sifting through them and found a gold mine of beautiful vintage patterns! I couldn’t be at the auction the next day because I was working, but David took the morning off and won the patterns for me!! The four patterns are just a small selection of some of them, aren’t they amazing?

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As I was going through them that night, I pulled them all out of the box to inspect each one individually and saw that there was some newspaper lining the bottom of the box. I picked it up and saw that it was printed in 1985 (the year I was born) and had some articles about the event I’m currently working on from back then! That was when I knew that those patterns were meant for me!

Tomorrow I’m off to a wedding (yes, a wedding on valentines day!) and I’ll make sure to take pictures of my outfit and share them with you all on Monday.

Have a lovely weekend and a lovely valentines day


Ps) I got 10 red roses the other day for $5!! They are normally $40 per rose round this time, and the vase they are in was a gift for my birthday a few years back – you either love it or you hate it :)

Roses 13th Feb 09

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Coloured Tights...

I love coloured tights - they are my new best friend!! I got these on sale along with a blue pair too - I'm stocking up for winter (although its been rather cold here these last few days so I've been able to bring them out!!).

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Thank you all so much for your support in starting up my Etsy shop – I’m very excited about it and can’t wait to get sewing and making (as soon as my sewing machine arrives safely back in my lap and my over locker arrives soundly!!). As I said, I have many a design in my head that I hope you will all love and I will be taking on custom made items if requested and if time permits!

Talking about buying bans and money in general, during these somewhat hard times I know that a lot of us are feeling the pinch and I’m proud to say that I’m actually quite good with my money would you believe? I’m part of Kiwisaver, which is the NZ retirement scheme, they take away a percentage of pay each round and invest it and when you turn 65 you’ll be a millionaire!! Ha! Not quite.

I always take rent and bills out of my pay first, then I pay back my credit card if I’ve used it and then put money into savings and when April comes around this year I can officially pay off my $30,000 student loan because I’ve been so diligent in my savings (I’ve saved for this payment since high school) and the government taking out money from my pay each time.

So, hopefully at the end of all the stuff that needs to be taken out of my pay I have some play money for treats for me and sometimes David - he’s a student now and therefore technically a kept man!! (Agreed David? I know you’re reading this!!).

So why at the end of all of that do I always just feel a little bit guilty when I buy fun things? I even feel guilty if I have to buy basic things that I need to have (shampoo, food, tampons anyone?). I love buying clothes and fabric and all things related but I always get a little pang of guilt and a voice saying “you don’t need that, that money could go straight into your savings!!” so I tend to have to either justify my spending to myself or someone else (which normally turns out to be David). Does anyone else have problems with this or is it just me?



Monday, February 9, 2009

Buying Things and Such...

Its back to work day today and only two weeks before my first massive event – eek!! This is my second 100% thrifted outfit and I couldn’t be happier - and please excuse my weirdo expression, I just couldn't seem to take a good photo!

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My long weekend was great -my only gripe happened on Friday when I sat down to do some sewing. Everything was going great, my machine was working perfectly until it decided not to any more! Now, I’m one of those people who needs to finish something as soon as I start making it otherwise I tend not to finish it (I’m actually really very bad when it comes to that!!) so you can imagine my annoyance when my machine stopped working again. It’s the tension again as far as I can tell and I tried everything I could think of to fix it – playing with the tension, changing the needle, re-threading the machine, and nothing worked! So I had to take it in again on Saturday and then spent the rest of the weekend wanting to be productive but just twiddling my thumbs instead.

Now, the last two weeks I made a pact with myself that I wasn’t going to spend any money. I really didn’t have clearly defined parameters because when I said that, I think I meant I wouldn’t buy clothes – which I did happen to succeed with by the way! However I did spend money on other bits and pieces. I brought some more fabric, some absolutely beautiful vintage lace, two amazing vintage patterns which I can’t wait to start and the very best buy of all – an Overlocker (or Serger, some of you may call them). I’m so excited about getting it!! I’ve wanted one for the longest time and now I have one. I bought it second hand and its being shipped down from Auckland, it’s a Janome and is probably one of the best, older over lockers you can buy. It’s a 3-4 thread, has differential feed and does some other very cool things which I won’t bore you with.

So, some of you may be wondering why I’m stocking up on fabric, lace and buying things like an over locker and now I’m going to spill the beans and tell you why – ever since I started blogging I’ve had my Etsy shop saved for when I decided I wanted to start my own shop selling my own designs and creations. Its been saved since last year and now I’m finally going to start making things for it to have its grand opening in May this year on my one year blogging anniversary! I’m so very excited and have many a design in my head that I’m working on. I’m not going to give too much away because then it just wouldn’t be a surprise now would it? I often wonder about when I’ll actually get the time to make everything and keep the shop stocked, but at this point I have a few months to get everything ready and finalised for the end of May (which also happens to be my birthday and David and I’s 4 year anniversary – gosh four years?? That’s a long time!!)

I’m sort of in a transitional phase of my life, I do love my job but its most certainly not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life – I plan to stop at the end of this year when V gets back, then go see some of the world and find out exactly what it is I want to do with my life. I think having my very own little shop will hopefully open some doors into revealing what I really want to do – and with that said, I want to know what all of you readers do for a living or what you plan to be in the future. I always find it fascinating what others do during the day to make ends meet, there are so many jobs out there in the world that I probably don’t even know exist and might just love doing. I fell into events, loved it and now its time to move on - did you fall into your job, was it what you envisioned doing as a career? Go on, inspire me!!



Friday, February 6, 2009

A Long Weekend...

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Happy Waitangi day New Zealand! For those of you out there who have no idea what why-tongue-e-day is then let me enlighten you.

One day some Brits came sailing along a few years back now and discovered New Zealand in all its glory. They proceeded to take over the land from the indigenous people that already lived there - the Maori People. They got, well, pissed off as you would and so the treaty of Waitangi was formed. It basically made New Zealand part of the British Empire and made sure that the Maori people where given back their land and had the rights of British citizens. The reason it's called the Treaty of Waitangi is because it was signed in Waitangi which is a teeny tiny little village in the Bay of Islands way up the top of New Zealand. However, due to English and Maori being very very different languages and being there was no one there who actually spoke both languages, there has been much debate over the interpretation of the Treaty. Over time things have gradually worked themselves out but there are still a lot of hard feelings between the New Zealand government and those members who are part of the tribes who initially signed the treaty in 1840. When our new Prime Minister John Key turned up in Waitangi yesterday for today's celebrations there was a little bit of a scuffle as someone tried to grab him.

Now that's a very very brief synopsis of the day as you can well imagine so if you are at all interested in learning a bit more then feel free to google it, there is tons of information out there.

We had family that actually lived in Waitangi for a few years and so we used to go there often in summer and stay with them. They have since moved to Auckland but David and I managed to get up there at the end of 2007 – I got very very cheap $6 flights from Dunedin – and no that's not a typo, I paid $6 for flights there and back which with David made it a grand total of $24!

Moving on to something completely unrelated – my outfit consists of a lot of red, a vintage Liz Claiborne (would you believe) grey woolen skirt with adorable pleating and pockets and a vintage scarf. Have you noticed I've gotten into a blogging pattern? I'm posting Monday, Wednesday and Friday which is good because I'm getting into a habit and I don't have to worry about posting everyday and trying to get a picture of my outfit. However, the time is looming where I won't be posting at all for about two weeks, maybe even three. But we'll sort out that when we get to it!

Happy long weekend people and I hope everyone else has a nice un-long weekend everywhere else in the world!



Ps) I finally got my sewing maching back and so there will hopefully be much sewing this weekend :) I have many a skirt to take in, take up and complete!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Some what cooler...

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4th Feb 09

It’s been getting cooler and so I’ve pulled out my tights, a lovely woolen grey and white skirt and my lovely vintage oxfords. Normally Dunedin gets a warm snap at the end of February so I’m looking forward to that.

Yesterday I was sick – I woke up with the fourth migraine I’ve ever had in my life. The first time I ever got a migraine was my first year at university, I initially got what I call ‘sparkly eyes’ (lots of random colour and sparkles in your vision, and it’s kinda hard to see anything). The sparkles lasted for about 10minutes and then went away, I then went to class and sat in the middle of a huge lecture theatre (luckily up the back) and about half way into the lesson I started feeling like I was about to vomit, so packed up all my stuff and left with the whole room staring at me - it would have been more embarrassing if I threw up in there though!!. It took me a while to get home on a normal 10minute walk because of all the stops next to bushes that I had to make. I eventually made it to my room and put my head in a bucket and then the headache started. Migraines are just the worst kind of headache, you can’t move or do anything except lay there, and no matter how much medication you take, it doesn’t take the edge off.

I always feel a bit pathetic when I’m sick, I feel like I should just snap out of it especially if it’s on a work day. I’m not a slacker when it comes to my job and I feel like if I’m sick then I’m slacking off and making everyone else do my jobs – I told everyone that I would be checking emails from home and that I would come in in the afternoon if my nausea subsided, but my awesome team told me not to come in even if I was feeling better and that they were coping just fine and gave me strict instructions to stay in bed.

When others are sick I’d do just about anything for them if they thought it would make them better, but I just don’t have the same sympathy for myself. Is that strange?


Ps) I’ve updated my links, if you are still not on there and think you should be (I think you should be) then please let me know!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Good Start to Feb...

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This is my very first 100% thrifted outfit – I decided I had better make it a good one. The dress is a vintage one I got last year, shoes are vintage that I managed to find last week and the full slip I’m wearing underneath that you can’t see is a pretty little vintage number too, only the cardi isn’t vintage, but it most certainly is thrifted. I decided to put the cardi on because the straps on the dress are slightly too long and I don’t have my sewing machine (still) to fix them up, but it does have the prettiest detailing on the top of the bodice.

David went away to Naseby on Saturday night with his dad to do some biking on the tracks around there, I decided to stay at home a) because David took my bike and b) last week was super busy and I just wanted some quite time hanging out at home.

It’s the start of another busy week as my first major event for the year looms - I just had a really big, very important meeting about it with some very important people. I was extremely nervous all morning and had to keep visiting the bathroom. It turned out very very well and I had many people say to me how impressed they were with the organization and wished me luck for the year. I had the two girls from my office on either side (the lonely boy in the office was unable to attend) and pushed past my nerves. So I’m on a little buzz now, this managers thing is totally fine, easy peasy lemon squeasy!!

Hope you are all having a great Monday,




Dear Mr Sewing Machine Repair Man,

I would quite like my sewing machine back now – I have many a project I’m itching to start. There are plans a foot and my sewing machine is a major key to completion, without it, these plans are nothing more than dreams.

I would much appreciate it if you could hurry things along,