Thursday, February 16, 2017

Opening Night

We did it! We got through to the end!
It was crazy - Hans got delayed in Auckland and didn't land until about 6.30, I went to a meet and greet of a producer from the Melbourne Fringe before our show so I had to get my face and hair on hours early. And other chaos, not to mention sharing a dressing room, short tech turnarounds, first night nerves and that strange feeling of diving into the abyss that cabaret always gives one. There is only so much we can script after all, besides the songs.

 My Partner in Crime, Hans aka Clever Hansel. I love this picture as it shows him with his uke and two gadgets, all very quintessential!
I love this shot, it is us to a T. It's not from last night - honestly taking photos couldn't have been farther from our minds! 

I dropped surprisingly few lines, but am working to not drop any at all tonight. It's a strange feeling doing it again - with cabaret as we usually put a show together, it is a one off, like a chalk drawing on the foothpath washed away by the rain. A mixture of sadness and relief comes with this! 

So wish us luck!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Who's Queen?!

 So, how does one Emcee a Burlesque show dedicated to the band Queen? As a queen of course!
 Zip up RTW short jacket, embellished with real lace from my stash, and the pale blue sash of a Monarch.
 Bustle overskirt whipped by my shop seamstress Kat, when I realised the day before that I was not going to find the one I already had in time. Wee crown by my lovely friend Paul, on a lace headpiece and veil.
 Of course, it wouldn't be a Burlesque show without a bit of disrobing nonsense. In this case, while singing Crazy Little Thing Called Love!
 That's a worrying expression!
The final reveal! The devore velvet fashion corset I bought online in sale from Ashley Stewart. The velvet frayed away from the seam allowance on first wearing. Disappointing but I like it enough to fix it. RTW is what it is!
So now, back to show writing and rehearsing. As you were xo

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What I have been up to.

Hello! I'm alive! I've been:
  • working in our new shop space, which is much busier with curious people popping in  - not buying necessarily but keeping us busy!
  • working on a wedding dress revamp. It may be summer here but this snowy white fluff ball of tulle feels like a snow blizzard, only hot to be stuck under! I can't show you photos yet as the bride hasn't seen it, Patience..
  • doing a gig! Yes in spite of swearing that this year I would not overdo it, I did a comedy show called Sing it Wrong on Saturday night, which is a bunch of stand up comics writing silly, satirical lyrics to popular songs. It is such a lot of fun to do and watch, my fave comedy show in my city. No pics tho.
  • writing a show! Yes, Clever and Constance sing Songs for Grownups is coming along very well.
The show I CAN share about. The weekend before last, Hans and I did a photo shoot as we only had photos together from our Sweeney Todd Little Priest number, which would scare anyone away!

Yes, the ukulele is used in the making of this show. We have a Hawaiian inspired number, and another classic that isn't generally associated with the ukulele, but it is fabulous!
Other songs are accompanied by more traditional backing tracks, a couple of which are being arranged by Hans' brother. Such a Clever family!
Locals who are interested in our Fringe Festival show, you can click here to see the dates and times
So, my evenings go - write some lyrics and/or rewrite lyrics already written, then bead bead bead the dress.
I have now finished beading, I think, and just have some construction things to do - put zip in, finish adjustments to lining and rehem. The dress was purchased new but needed a lot of tidying up and resizing and refining, and as is so often the case, the huge underskirt with train was bagged into a lining. But, it was 10cm longer on one side than the other! So, I thought I would undo the lining and finish it separately, and narrow hem the skirt. But now I am thinking I might bias hem the bits I've shortened, catching in both layers, and hand stitch to the lining.

Either way I have until Saturday to get it done as it is going back home on the plane with Ms Bride.
So, I'm off to catch some much needed sleep as I've got a couple of long sewing bees to get through yet.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Moooving Made on Marion to Tory

We have moved our business! Back in April 2016, 17 Marion St was sold to a developer whose plans for it did not include us. So, we had to find an alternative space, and after a long and frustrating search, we hit the jackpot!! We are now open at 1/100 Tory St. This is right opposite Moore Wilson’s which is the Wellington foodie mecca, and super busy.
Moving 200sqm of accumulated stock and STUFF was no mean feat. And over the summer break too, when getting movers and skip suppliers and sorting out power and phone and internet was a heck of a ride. And our new shop needed to be gutted and refinished from two smaller spaces, too. By golly those tradies did a fantastic job. In five weeks they turned two cafes into one shop.
The top two shots are the corner cafe and the bottom two are the secret one tucked in beside it that is now mostly our studio
It was really sad saying goodbye to Marion St, where Golding Handcrafts opened in 1997, the fourth location since 1968 and our base for nearly five years, but it was very timely too – the November quake damaged parts of the Marion Square Parking building opposite us causing it to close, the Post Office to permanently close and several other businesses to close temporarily, and the pedestrian access from Cuba St to be cordoned off. Overnight it went from a vibrant hub of design activity to a ghost street.
This space has not been empty since 1997. MrC took these pics and as a result got sent back to retrieve the fabric in the right corner of the left photo! It has reels of thread on it, naturally...

So, every cloud has a silver lining for someone. And we have a clean, bright shop in a building that is very safe when the ground shakes, and is in an exciting and vibrant pocket of the city.
Some shots of our new space, featuring my sister Jo!
We could not have achieved this huge task without the army of volunteers who turned up to pack and then unpack. Thank you so much to you all: To Kim (and her husband’s muffins!), Polly, Zara, Angie, Julia, Debbie, Andrew, Richard, Emily, Richard, Jane, Leslie, Fiona, Chrissy, Jo, Zoe, Ron and Jenny, Kirsten, Leimomi, Karen, Karyn, Glenn, Mel, Lucille, Jehanne, Kat, Grace, Felix; you are all heroes xo

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

Hello, good morning and Feliz Navidad. It's 9.30 on Christmas morning and we are off soon to brunch with delicious friends.
I left the window open in case I could hear Santa jingling across the sky. I didn't, as it happens...

However you choose to spend today -with friends, family, Netflix - I hope you enjoy it. It's all we human beans can hope for, and things are what we make them. xo

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Preparing for take off!

Well I went quiet for nearly a month. It's been off the charts busy!
Gigs - Viva Frida, Caburlesque's Christmas show, two extra cabaret gigs, the Wellington Quilters Guild, The Wellington Comedy awards too - I was nominated for the best MC award, which was uber cool.
All the while we are preparing to move, probably not putting enough into it in terms of letting all the right services know and nailing the details. But it is Christmas trade and it is finally picking up after the quake put the city into hiatus for three weeks.
So, here's my last four weeks in photos:
 Crazy Frida outfit for the first half of Viva Frida 19 Nov, Photo by Jac Lynch
 My favourite act from the Viva Frida show - Stephii Onassis and Harlie Lux bring the Two Fridas painting to life. Photo by Jac Lynch
 My two Christmas costumes for this season. The above was an appallingly ugly nativity panel I saw at Voldemart and an hour of sewing later, I had a new costume! Photo by Paradox Photography
Last year's Christmas costume - taken in, lengthened a little and the feathers replaced with vegan friendly silver embroidered organza frills. In both these outfits I have my legs out, which is something I've grown comfortable with only this past year! Photo by Paradox Photography
Made on a stolen afternoon - 70 tiny chocolate dipped Christmas puddings. It's been pretty tough here with the post quake fall out and I've not felt the Christmas spirit kick in, but making these like I have nearly every year for the last 20, really helps. Rituals have their place!
A selfie before I headed out to the Wellington Comedy Awards. I didn't win my category - Jerome Chandrahasen did and he is FANTASTIC. I was totally blown away to even be nominated as all the other nominees were stand up comedians.
 Our Fringe Festival show listing! Quite exciting seeing it in print! "Our" being mysellf, or Constance Craving, and Clever Hansel.
Most definitely not least, our new shop at 100 Tory St. The signwriters put up the new window decal this week. Since this pic was taken, the annoying builders' sign has been moved. Actually they are fantastic builders - they have four weeks only to pullout walls, fix the floor, put up new lights and ducting, new walls, and make it all ready for us. On Friday they were grinding the concrete floor ready to polish it. I've chosen a really simple, industrial feel for the studio area as much to get it done faster. The other part of the shop had big terracotta tiles and we're leaving them in place.
Photos of the interior when we get in there!

Our new branding! We can't be Made on Marion if we're not ON Marion any more. So,  we're now Made Marion Craft physically as well as online. Greg from Ash Creative did the design- my brief was that we really like what we had and didn't want to change it but we wanted to change it. He actually understood what I meant and I think he did a great job.

So, that's a bit of a whirlwind tour. I didn't hold a Thanksgiving dinner this year, it was all too much. I am so tired, and as a friend said, "white knuckling" it right now. My to-do list is a mile long,with a family wedding in March,fringe show to write, shop to move, but I am blown away as always by the people willing to help us pack up and unpack. Friends, customers, one and the same. We have a lovely team of professional movers coming in on the 29th Dec so that gives us three days to pack. BLOOMING HECK. It will be fine, it will be fine, it will be fine...

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I Feel the Earth. Move. Under my feet...

About 12.30am on Monday just as we were nearly asleep, New Zealand was hit by a 7.8 earthquake. It went on for over a minute, which for those of you who haven't been in an earthquake is about 25 "experience of being in it" minutes. The epicentre was off the cost of Kaikoura, which is on the upper North East coast of the South Island. It's the place you stop on the drive to or from the Picton Ferry for a coffee and to buy a crayfish, or to go whale watching.
Not for a while. The quake was the second largest ever to hit us since the 1920s. Or some such. Sea beds have risen, valleys have formed, it's amazing and terrifying. It was much bigger than the quakes that ravaged Christchurch in 2010 and 2011, just not centred somewhere with such dire consequences to an urban environment.
Meanwhile back in the Wellington CBD, we stood in the doorway listening to the banging and crashing go on and on and on and bloody on. When it finally calmed down, we went down into the courtyard with most of the residents of our complex, all trying to joke about it so we wouldn't scream or cry instead. In nothing but my robe, I went with MrC to the shop expecting a pile of rubble, but nope, a few unbreakables had toppled off the precariously made piles on the Christmas display. Out on the streets were groups of mostly young people in pjs, or wrapped in quilts, with backpacks. It felt like the Zombie apocalypse, sans Zombies.
Anyway, an hour of aftershocks and I was a mess. I rang my parents and we drove out to their place, which is on the flat, and new. And had brandy, it turns out. I say had, because the four of us finished the bottle before going to bed.
So, the CBD was closed on Monday, which is all very well but when 20,000 people live in it, what do you do?? We opened briefly but an aftershock was too much for me and I insisted we close again. Instead I spent the afternoon with my very calm friends Chris and Paul, eating chocolate and watching American football, and decompressing.
It has been BAU since then.
Except that several newer buildings in town are condemned, and none of the older ones which seemed to ride the rolling motion of this quake but maybe wouldn't handle a jolt from below? I'm not fussed about never finding out the hard way.
So, we here are now once again reminded that life on a sliver of land on a number of Pacific fault lines can be pretty exciting.
We are fine, if rattled; our business and home are fine. We do not mourn the two cheap wineglasses that broke, but we mourn the feeling that knowing we live on a fault line was an intellectual one, not a visceral experience.
The actual outcome is that the planned move of our business due to the building being sold earlier in the year, is brought forward to just after Christmas. The new building is newer, safer, and in a different if equivalently busy part of the city.
And last night in spite of it all, we did a show. More on that when the photos are available.
Right now I am going for a nap. I am really tired. Living on one's nerves for a week while getting a show onto the stage is a lot to handle.
TL,DR: Earthquakes suck, life goes on!