Friday, February 11, 2011

Charming Things I have spotted around Wellington

Every now and then I see an objet that jumps out from all the other gorgeous things in this prettiest of cities. For whatever reason - I find the connection of thought/mindset/preoccupation and what one notices quite interesting.

 Last weekend MrC and I had brunch at Floriditas, a gorgeous café on Cuba St. Everything about Floriditas is thought out to make being there a pleasure - the décor, the service and the FOOD. Our lady above sits on the end of the counter. Overtones of a chemise à la reine in her attire, which is what fascinated me about her.
 This is how they serve your boiled eggs at Floriditas - aren't Messrs Mallard and Reynard a delight! I did feel a little odd about bashing them over the head, but neither of them so much as flinched. And to see them in such harmony, unlike they would be in nature, and in a country where one of them has never caught on too, is also charming.
I saw this print on the wall of the Decorator Exchange in Kelburn - a charming little shop where you can buy second hand decorator objets - especially curtains. When Lady Kelburn decides that she is "bored with the Toile de Jouy in the Master Bedroom" after a whole three years and about $20k of Timney Fowler, her glorious soft furnishings may end up in this very shop. The print caught my eye as our dear American Duchess is plotting to take over the world of 18th C shoes, and it had such charming and amusing depictions of the most frivolous of footwear through the ages. The motto is, "Hurt not thy feet".
So, whether breakfasting, browsing or buying, there's always something divinely charming to see in Welly.
And now I hear there is a chance of spotting James Nesbitt or Richard Armitage; does it get any better??

Richard and James are both playing dwarves in the Hobbit movie. Thorin and Bifur respectively. Oh joy is mine to live in Wellywood!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Past projects: The Chest

Back in 1999, I was partying (Like it was 1999), admittedly, but I was also working hard and this took me to Hamilton, where I lived alone for the first time ever. I loved it! And I had a whole flat to furnish too.
I needed storage, and I needed a coffee table, so I decided to buy a chest. After getting over the shock of the cost of a really nice one, I found an mdf one at Target in Auckland for about $40 (I think) and decided to decorate it myself.
I also decorated a chest of drawers but that is long gone. The chest however is still with us.

The pattern is inspired by a duvet set I had at the time, long since passed on. I used testpots of paint and some gold.
It was a fun project and as I didn't have a TV at the time, it was a nice activity for the evenings. I just love it and am proud of the paintwork, even if it is not entirely original.
Happy days!

Gift from a broad Abroad!

The glorious Pen, who is on the continent saving the world, found this for me in a market in Bavaria:

It is from handmade wool felt - and there are so many things to love about it! The colours of course. I love reds with reds. The glorious roses. It is soft and looks so pretty on my bed. It reminds me of Pen, being a big heart. It helps me to deal with missing her so much. And it has the cutest tag
A slice of wood with the bark still on! I love it!
I really am an undeserving wretch, but a very blessed one!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rob's Wedding Dress

Rob is my bestie from a million years ago and ever since. We rode dinosaurs to school together. Our tastes are about as different as two women can have, and that's all part of the fun of it.
Actually our wedding dresses have a few things in common - I will have made both of them, both have high waists, split overskirts and are made of silk. That however is where the similarities end.
Rob is a beach bunny, and is getting married on her favourite beach. She wants something that will float and flutter to the max in the wind, but not fussy. I'm making it so it has to be silk - on my planet, wedding dresses are made of natural fibres as much as practical. I got 19 momme charmeuse, silk crepe chiffon and silk organza from the US, since such things are really hard to find here, let alone at a sensible price.
So, here are some pics:
A bad sketch of the dress, decided upon after toile fitting. Vertically ruched bodice with sash under it, under and over skirts.

Using the dummy as a 3-d aid to ruching the bodice. Ruching is cut on straight grain as in spite of getting 12 yards of 54 inch wide fabric, I am running close to the wind! The chiffon is very givey though, probably more than some fabrics on the bias so it works.

Silk organza, boned bodice underlining. I like to get just enough engineering into a summer wedding dress - it could be 35 degrees (Celsius) on the day so the less weight, the better. Silk organza has amazing structural integrity for its weight and makes excellent interlinings.

Using the quilting design wall to test out the over skirt fronts. Right first time! :)

The skirts tacked together along the tops, seen draped over the ironing board, very poshe. All in all, these bits and bobs of components don't really give much away do they! But that's the trouble with wedding dresses, they are kind of modular and all come together at the end in a rush.
Anyway darling Rob is over for this weekend to be fitted, hemmed and generally to finalise everything, giving me three weeks to complete the dress, which I will take over with me on the ferry two days before. We're taking the ferry so the sewing machine can come too, just in case.
More pics to come as it builds, and maybe a few structural technique shots, including the taping process, as this seems to interest at least one other blogger :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Another gorgeous gift from a gorgeous woman

On Christmas eve, while at a carol service, I got a text from my fab friend Ann, who had 10 people on Christmas Day and no dessert, due to the elevator in her building breaking down. I believe their place is on the 7th floor and I totally understand the lack of desire to go to a supermarket on Christmas
Eve at all, let alone have to lug the resulting provender up all those stairs! So, I made her a pav and surprised her with it at the 11pm service.

And she in turn made me these gorgeous cards! Ann makes the most beautiful cards, she is famous for them. She uses found things, ends of things, and makes them into exquisite little works of art.
I cannot express how perfectly perfect it feels to trade made for made like this. So beyond price!

I have had an idea for these cards. Instead of writing in them, I'm going to insert a separate leaf held in by a ribbon. The recipient can then keep the inset if they want, and do the same for someone else. A reusable card, giving pleasure to many recipients. Whaddya think, does it have potential?