Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Vases are such fun to make!
Last Sunday I did my first bisque firing in my gas kiln here at home. Big thanks to Suzanne down the road, who has a gas kiln the same, and talked me through the all day firing. Bloody scary, as I am not keen on loud roaring fire taken up to over 900 degrees.... and my last firing largely exploded (Not here-in another kiln). Pictures here are of vases done last year. Will be doing a glaze in next few weeks. Mostly dogs. Will post once fired. So nice not to have to transport my greenware 20 km to fire. 
I wonder if there is a market to sell retro clothes, art and collections. I plan to sell alot of my retro clothes and collections etc. So if you are interested in anything...let me know...time to move on...........? Is there a market for creative retreats...let me know any ideas....

Day 36 -100 days project

Ella had riding lessons very early this morning (Day 36). The lessons are in a gully at the local pony club. It was bitterly cold and in the shadows. I have discovered it is more exciting dressing 'Retro' on nice days. Today's offering is a farm singlet that I have added an old 'peggy' rug (from the hospice) to as a hood. It is very cosy to wear down in the studio at night and on the farm over winter. The earrings are a find from the hospice about 5 years ago. They are 'clip on' ones which can be torturous toward the end of a day teaching... BUT I love them and they are great fun. Man, it has got cold here. Winter has come sooner than normal. Mind you, living on the edge of Egmont national park . . . what can I expect! I have a love hate relationship with the environment here. It is full on. 
But I am still committed to the original idea of moving here to connect more with the environment and live in a more sustainable way. For me this is what the 100 days is about. Recycling clothes and making do has become my passion. I do not manage to do it perfectly every day but the goal is to work toward that ideal. I think it is hard these days to live in a sustainable way due to disconnected community. 
Photo by Ella- aged 12

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 35 -100 days project

I haven't worn this dress much. I remember clearly the last time I wore it. The doctor rang when I was on holiday, 5 hours from home on top of Te Mata peak near Napier, to tell me that my daughter and I had tested positive for swine flu. It was a bit of a drama as it was at the start of the swine flu epidemic and was a notifiable disease. We had been very sick. I haven't worn the dress since as it triggers some pretty sick feelings! The dress has an intense koru type pattern all over it. The label in the neck indicates it is 1960 ish. The bag is a long time favourite. A hospice find with great detail in relief. 
The bantam hens in the background and Basil the rooster. . . that is another whole long story!

Day 32-100 days project

Not much to say around this one. It is from Hawaii and is lovely cotton fabric. I did alter the sleeves from the puffy long sleeves it had. Good one to wear to school with jeans and the yellow plastic sandals. But was rushing this morning so put on the white ones and for some reason that bothered me all day!
Photo by Ella-aged 12. There is a lot of grumpiness that goes into the photo taking at the moment. I get stressed by my photo being taken and Ella physically tries to mould my face into a smile by pushing parts of my face into the 'correct' position prior to her taking the photo. Wish I had worn the yellow sandals.  

Day 31- 100 days project

This dress has been around for about 20 years! The blues and greens in combination really do it for me! I like the basket. I have a collection of them. Years ago I worked for the IHC in Northcote and at their 'workshops' they made these baskets for sale. They are so practical and sturdy.The retro vinyl stuck on the base of the inside is a treat and matches the dress beautifully.
Photo by Ella-aged 12

Day 30-100 days project

I love this coat. The finishing and stitching indicate it was made at home by someone. It is lightweight nylon and the bright spots go so well with bright chunky 1950s beads on gloomy winter days. Lately I have dragged my collection of airline bags back into everyday use. Today I used an Australian airlines bag. It is such a cool 'garish' red. The local hospice is not as good a source of clothes as it used to be. Lots of other bargain hunters! The coat was a find last week for $2 and the bag was $1. I have also posted a picture of some of the other airline bags in the collection.
Photo by Ella-aged 12

Day 29-100 days project

Today the waterlogged camera finally died. Rest in peace sweet thing. It was such a cool camera. ANYWAY I am now borrowing one until I can replace it. I may have to do a few posts at once around the camera borrowing. The dress today is a tight and clingy number! It has not been worn much since Ella was born (12 years ago) as it is the kind of stretchy fabric that clings to every bump. Usually it hangs on a coat hanger over my wardrobe door as the pattern gives me pleasure to look at. I love the bold combination of colours.
Photo by Ella-aged 12

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 28-100 days project

This dress has been a long time favourite. I got it about 10 years ago at the Salvation Army store for $3...couldn't believe my luck! It has been worn on a lot of occasions....weddings, funerals, anniversaries. It holds many memories.
Photos by Cecily. 

Day 27- 100 days project

On a bit of a theme of short skirts, tights and Doc Marten boots. The weather is REALLY cold and is making getting dressed in the morning a bit of a challenge! Jeans and big jumpers seem really appealing. This skirt has the 'A' line that I like in retro skirts and a cute little fabric belt. I consider the 1970's and earlier as retro. The 1980's is way to recent in my memory and it was a fashion decade that does not grab me!
Photo by Ella-aged 12 years old

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 24- 100 days project

Lots of shiny black vinyl in the boots and coat today. This skirt must have been long at one point, but has been cut down shorter before it came into my life about 6 years ago. Mothers day today. Nice lunch out with the whanau and then trip to the beach with the dog.
Photos by Ella-aged 12

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Dry points

Here are a couple of new prints from a series of 15 I did yesterday. Drypoint is such a lovely process.

Day 23- 100 days project

Today's offering is a bright and cheery number from the islands. I have always been a sucker for anything with a hibiscus on it.
Photo by Ella.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 21-100 days project

Hey! Day 21! Today was the first day I struggled a bit with the project. Had to go to a course with a heap of new people for work. I really had trouble deciding what to wear, as I did not want to stand out. So I went for a less 'loud' retro look. The jacket is made out of 'Crimplene' and the label says designed by Sellincourt. I have quite a collection of 'diamante' jewellery. 
Interesting angles! Think the second photo could become a painting. Love the composition.
Photos by Clyde. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 20-100 days project

This dress is handmade. No label. I like to wear it with white boots, a  1950 'British airways' bag and this chain necklace from the 70's. It makes me feel like an air hostess! (That means adventure!) Loved wearing this to school today.  The 5 year olds I teach don't bat an eyelid, but going to the supermarket on the way home is always interesting! Lots of looks up and down...especially if I go 'all out' with the accessories. Our home town is.....well...a 'tad' conservative. I love living in a remote place....get excited by trips to Auckland and Wellington and live in fear each day about not fitting in here. 
Photos by Ella aged 12.
Tonight, Ella asked me if I was going to still dress 'like this' when I was as old as Nana. (Nana is 80) It does worry me. Where next? I better go read "Passages" by Gail Sheeney again! (I feel a mid life crisis coming on!) 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Day 19- 100 days project

It was wet and cold here today. I got this late 1970's /early 1980's jacket a couple of weeks back. It has a cool label and outrageous patterning.  When I wear it I feel 'snuggly'... but all puffy.
Photos by Ella aged 12

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 18- 100 days project.

Hmm. Interesting wearing todays top! Felt like I was being strangled around the neck all day! Is it the pink or the style of clothing! I had someone come up to me today and say their wedding dress was very similar to this top when they got married. I am picking it is 1970's.  Maybe late 1960's?

Photos by Ella at her school.

Day 17- 100 days project

Today I picked this smock top to wear so I could give orange and brown autumn colours an 'outing' on such a beautiful autumn day. The skirt has a great waist line but this is hidden under the smock top today. The smock zips undone down the front and has lovely little pockets on the front at the waist.  I really like the collar and neckline on this top. The bag is a remake of an old design.  I don't usually buy remakes...but I fell in love with this bag at 'Hunters and Collectors' in Wellington about five years ago.