Thursday, April 24, 2014

DIY Blitz

It's been far too long between hand made projects, which could explain a lot of creative frustration in recent weeks.
So last weekend I bit the bullet and spent the next few days throwing a few useful things together.
I started off with a tulip-print spring frock, even though it's supposed to be autumn here.
No, they are not white tights, they are white legs.

Frock - made by me using a 1970s pattern and fabric from an op shop
Bangles, earrings, plastic fruit necklace and fox stole - op shops
1960s bag - Dandelion Vintage sale
VW Wings shoes - Amazon

First up, I attacked this piece of upholstery fabric, hellbent on making a bag.
The inside of the fabric has many loops and threads, so to avoid my bag contents catching on them, I cut lining out of some purple spotty fabric (same size as the main bag).

This means that I made two bags, connecting them at the top and partly down the open sides.
Then I used a lovely bamboo handle I've had for years and threaded it through a casing I sewed at the top.
Everything was from op shops and the bag cost me about $2 to make.
I used my new granny bag for shopping today and she felt like a dear old friend.

While I was out I found this brand new piece of cotton fabric, about 2m long, for $4.
I've been after something like this for a new skirt.

Then I found this hideous standard lamp and shade at the Salvos and dragged it home on the bus with my overloaded shopping trolley.
I think the driver was too surprised to say anything.

Then I spotted my new orange fabric lying nearby and knew they were a match made in heaven, so off came the shade and the brown braiding was ripped away.
A pair of scissors, hot glue gun, a roll of yellow fringing I bought at Vinnies ages ago and some Doc Martin in the background was all I needed to make the transformation.


It wasn't until I got up to inserting the zip and sleeves into this frock I was making using a 50-cent 1970s pattern and some cotton from my fabric stash, that I decided I would never wear it once it was finished.
But this afternoon I persevered, making sure I pressed every seam flat between steps to ensure I would nail my first sweetheart neckline and get my zip-insertion mojo back (lost in despair following a trouser zip incident about six months ago).
Success, plus I like it and wore it out this afternoon.
I do like a fluttery sleeve.

Our weekend has started early as it's ANZAC Day tomorrow.
I don't have any family that served, but The Phoenix's grandfather was in the British Navy for a decade and survived every single naval WWII conflict, from the Russian convoys to the North African and Pacific conflicts.
It's incredible he and a few of his mates survived being dive-bombed and sunk three times by state-of-the-art aircraft ranging from Stukas to Zeros.
I hope your 99th ANZAC commemorations are special, we'll be having a quiet one.
I may swan about in 1940s knickers.
Baci, D xo

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hide the Lube!

I didn't think of it until The Stylist and I arrived at the meeting point for our date with Will and Kate yesterday afternoon.
I should have made the Duchess a rose headband fit for a future queen!
I'm sure she would have popped it on immediately and finished her pit stop Brisbane visit in real proper style like.
My wee lassie and I were the only ones in our family up for a long, hot wait to grab a glimpse of the royal heads.
It seems there's nothing like a celeb-royal visit to release our local loonies and precious bogans (white trash) onto the streets for wonderful slinging matches over barricade space and anything closely resembling a legalised scrum.
It's an experience neither of us will forget.

 Killing time on the train.

We traveled to Southbank and found an excellent shady spot with a view of the Wheel of Brisbane, suitable for a very long wait.

 I found a good spot for The Stylist and she waited patiently, slathered with 50+ sunblock - Mama's orders.

 We got a good, close look at Kate and she even shook The Stylist's hand, which naturally, will not be washed for a couple of weeks.
Kate is very beautiful in real life.
As for her old man Will, he was too far away, but I expect it was for the best as the natives were revolting.

After all the fuss died down, we had a swim at the artificial beach, I finally had my first cuppa and bite to eat and we enjoyed a stroll through the night markets.

Headband - DIY
Earrings, tooth necklace, yellow African necklace, 1950s handbag, gold skirt - op shops
Frida necklace - gift from dear Tamera
Klimt swimsuit - Black Milk
Neon creepers - Dolls Kill sale
Thank you so much for your kind comments on my last post, luckily Kate read it and told me she and Will would be delighted to pop over for a BBQ and bring themselves a couple of cardboard casks of plonk.
I'd better get tidying up pronto, my bedside table is a disgrace!
Love D xo 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

We Have No Secrets

A week ago today, we had people over for drinks and finger food, which turned into dinner, thanks to our dear foodie friend Paul who was staying with us.
I remarked in my last post it was the first time I'd entertained a decent-sized crowd in five years.
Truth is, it was the first time in half a decade that I'd fed and watered any group other that my immediate family.
Because I was scared of falling off the wagon.
It will be five years on May 2 since I had a drink and I still haven't had a drop.
I've been blogging for four years and each year I make a point of giving myself a pat on the back here.
But don't congratulate me, I don't expect accolades.
Before that date in 2009, despite my ernest efforts, I'd slowly been making a big mess of myself and couldn't face a social occasion without getting hammered to some degree.
Three days later I was having my first stay in the loony bin.
The people I hurt the most were my children.  But they still seem to like me.
The words of #3 Son will always ring in my ears. 
I was making my daily late afternoon detour to the bottle shop for supplies and the wee chap (aged 7 at the time) piped up "Why are we ALWAYS coming here?"
I will be forever grateful for their forgiveness and for my dear husband, The Phoenix, for getting me through.

So, I've broken the spell, I'm not afraid to be within a metre of alcohol, I can entertain again and I've finally relinquished my self-imposed titles of party-pooper and social pariah.
If you can ignore the rant about The Onion, Emily has some interesting things to say about socialising without a drink in a piece published in xo Jane today, which reveals similar problems she faced when she decided on sobriety.

Yesterday I craved another poison: neon!
I couldn't get enough of it so as you can see, I piled it on, even my lipstick was a neon shade of red.
Earrings, sunnies and 1940s navy slip - Etsy
Green necklace - secondhand market
Yellow African necklace and bracelets, 1970s pendant and bangles - op shops
Pink spiked bracelet - gift from darling Vix
Slave bracelet - Phussy
Lipstick - Suedeberry by Lime Crime

Oh and remember my Frida lamp?
For those interested, it wasn't purchased from an op shop, anyone who gave that away would need their head read.
No, the lamp and hand painted cushion were from a wonderful local emporium called Creative Treasures which stocks locally-made crafts, clothing and soft furnishings, retro records, vintage clothing and collectibles.

Pics of the lamp illuminated and our gorgeous new cushion, both made by Recycled by Wendy, who has an amazing eye and knack for mixing stunning fabrics and tapestries to make cushions, reupholstered second-hand furniture, throws, footstools, bags and clothing.

I need this enormous cheongsam satin cushion and footstool in our house pronto.
Even the chillies are handmade using satin fabric.

The kimono lady, reef, windmill and mountain scenic fabrics are all tapestries and are mixed in with sequinned Indian fabrics and colourful cottons.  
The perfect throw, couch cover or wall hanging.

I bought these vintage sunnies from Creative Treasures for $5.

Tonight, blinged up once more and my hair curled with hot rods.
Not enough jewellery though ... never enough!

1960s top, shoes, globe earrings - eBay
Shiny skirt - op shop
Slave bracelet - Creative Treasures
Ring - craft market
Zip hair clip - gift from Erica Louise of Recycled Fashion

I hope you're all enjoying your long weekend.
We're off to Southbank tomorrow to ask Will and Kate to dinner. haaaaa!!
Baci, D xx

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Purple-Rinse Set

I gave you a sneak peak of my purple-rinse in the last post shortly after The Stylist cut and coloured my hair.
Yes, I let my 11-year-old daughter do my hair.
I think she does a lovely job and it's a great confidence booster for her to be given carte blanche with my mop.
I hope it's a fun way for her to learn some small aspects of responsibility - especially with the rather serious task of ladies' hairstyling.
I've given up on hairdressers.
In the past 15 years, my favourites have either become so successful they can charge prices I refuse to pay, or they've gone completely insane.
Must be the chemicals.
I'm not precious, so I've been cutting my own hair for the past four years and I couldn't be happier.
I'd rather spend the money I've saved on a yummy treat for the kids or something nice for  The Phoenix.

Notice I didn't mention buying something for me?
No, I'm not being a martyr, I'm just trying to get my wardrobe under control, which means this year's long, hard look at my collection has become an extended project.
I'm focussing on finding new ways to wear things I've owned for a long time, being realistic about what I feel good in, cherishing the things I love, trying out things I haven't worn for a long time to see if I still like them and most of all, finding new ways to wear old shite.
If I can't wear it anymore, it goes.

Did I mention I broke the car?  Long story, not going there, so it's the bus for now to run daily chores.
Today #3 Son, The Stylist and I caught the bus to town and public transport means comfortable clothes are a priority for me.
But I'm not about to surrender my personality for comfort.
I never know what my beady eyes will spy at the op shops and I want to be prepared to lug a chair home on the bus if I simply must have it.
Today it was a Frida Kahlo lamp and a hand-painted cushion in addition to sundry op shop bargains.

No driver would dare refuse Frida entry.

Dashiki tunic, earrings, 1950s handbag - op shops
Sequin belt - gift from lovely Claire
Leggings - Black Milk
Shoes - Dolls Kill sale
Day of the Dead necklace - craft market
Sunnies - Etsy
Peace man.
D x
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