Toastandcupcakes.


Top of the class.
March 29, 2007, 8:02 pm
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I’ve never really been a ‘model student’.
I had the brains, but not the academic attitude to make use of them.
To make things harder I had/have a sister who is incredibly, insanely smart and very,very academic. She was awarded Dux of our high school and was already doing university work before even leaving school.
It’s not that I didn’t want to succeed, merely that the curriculum did absolutely nothing for me, and the environment wasn’t helpful to me. Not to mention those teen years are about the most emotionally draining time ever, how on earth are people meant to focus on studying when there are so many boys, girls, drugs, friends, drinks, cigarettes and other nasty distractions around. I have no idea how I even dragged myself through with mostly passes, getting amazing grades was just never really going to happen, sorry mum and dad.
I’ve been thinking about this today, because I got my results back from my first three workbooks of my fashion course.
I was absolutely amazed to find I had scored an A+ on all three booklets (2x 93% and 1x 94%!!), not only making me completely stoked, but also putting my work ahead of the other 12 people on my course! I was jumping up and down, and I still have a spring in my step. I expected to do okay, like usual, but I never suspected I would blow everyone else out of the water. I’m proud!



chimp!
March 28, 2007, 6:35 pm
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Quite awhile ago now I made a custom Hoodie for a delightful girlfriend of friend of a friend.
The story behind the design is a romantic one.
This sweet guy has been apart from his loved one for a long time (think over a year..) with her in Korea teaching English and him in New Zealand. He was preparing to head over to join her and wanted to take her an awesome present, and thought a Toast original might be the key.
She loves chimps, he even proposed to her in a garden full of chimp statues at a zoo (on account of the fact they didn’t have real chimps..) so it made sense for her hoodie to have a chimp on it.
Jen_hoody Firstprototype
He found this t-shirt online (sorry I can’t find the original link right now, but If it’s your image please contact me and I’ll give you full credit!) and from that I reversed the colours and appliqued it on white fabric onto grey. This was my first attempt, and you can see that I focused too much on the shapes of the lines of stitching and not enough on the actual outline of the contrasting fabric.
But eventually I got it sorted, and after a mammoth search for brown sweat-shirting (would you believe I rung stores all over the country and.. nothing! In the end I was lucky enough to have my designer friend in Nelson send me her leftovers from last winter. Thanks lainee!), the design became a reality:

Monkey2 Monkey3
And here’s a picture of the very lovely Jen wearing her new, chimpy hoodie:
Jennhoodie_2
Hope you like it! and I wish you many happy days with your sweet man in Korea : )



Ideas, ideas, ideas.
March 26, 2007, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been brainstorming today.
I’ve got two major ‘projects’ I’m working on at the moment. The first is, of course, my Winter skirts and dresses. This, thankfully seems to be coming along quite nicely.
Sketches Pattern1
Basically I want to make short jumper-like dresses, using an only slight-modified version of the pattern on the right (which is from the early 70’s). The dress on the right in the picture, but with different pockets. I want big pockets which are gathered along the top and that don’t sit flat on the dress. I want to make the dresses from beautiful wool blends, and nice thick plain cottons and linens, and have contrasting patterned pockets from vintage cottons.
The skirts will be a modified version of the pink skirt. They will be just below the knee in length, and the pockets will be much bigger, and more rounded, with contrasting top stitching. The insides of the pockets will be bright, bold vintage patterns and the skirts will be again, plain wool blends, cottons and linens. I might also do some patterned skirts with plain pockets. They’ll sit on the waist (the actual waist), and hopefully I’ll make some sort of top to go with them.
So luckily for me all that is left is to grade the patterns, draft the alterations and get sewing!
My other project on the other hand is going to take a little more brain work.
We’ve been invited to a cocktail party not this weekend but next. Sounds good right?
And it’s a themed cocktail party, sounds even better, right?
Except that they haven’t given us a theme. It’s a ‘surprise’ theme, where we have to choose our own, and basically just have the best idea, annnd the best costume.
The tricky bit? I have exactly NO money to put into my costume, and not alot of time either.
Fullcostume2 Makeup2
A few years ago in Nelson, about 14 weeks pregnant, we went to a costume party with the theme ’17th century pimps and ho’s’ (or at least I think that’s the right century?), I quite enjoyed the theme (the party itself only lasted 30mins before I got dizzy from the corset and smoke.. hmm) so we decided maybe we’d give it another go, now that I’m without child, and substantially smaller.
Costume
If you can excuse my pathetic excuse at drawing in paint, this is what I’m thinking. The same corset as last time, although I’m considering dyeing it black (will that work?), a gathered boobtube type covering, a huge big black tulle skirt (which I wore to my 5th form ball), perhaps with some sort of bustle. I think I’ll give the white face thing another go, with the rosy circles on the cheeks and bright red lipstick.
My hair is alot shorter this time around, but I can’t afford a wig, so I’ll just tease it right up and pin it with some flowers. What do you think? Any helpful suggestions?
Abraham has a three piece brown woolen pinstripe suit which will be perfect. We’ll find him a top hat of sorts, and his brother has some wingtips that might be able to be borrowed. It’s so easy for guys.
Do you think we can pull it together? Or more importantly, pull it off?



corners and care.
March 25, 2007, 6:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’ve been really struggling to juggle all of the things in my life lately.
I feel so torn between sewing, study, family, time to myself and boring daily chores like housework.
I really haven’t been feeling like I’ve been getting nearly enough done in well, any of these areas of my life.
I’ve been too busy sitting on my big bottom watching TV and cuddling.
Either that or sitting on this brain draining contraption, communicating with what seems like fairytale characters in other lands, nosey-ing at photos of beautiful creations and the art and creativity of those beautiful creations, and generally flitting around wasting precious time.
I can’t get motivated to get back into things, and then when I do get motivated I let everything else slide while I lunge completely into the task at hand. I really don’t know how people manage to find enough hours in the day to get everything done.
Part of me really wishes I could put my Internet usage at only a set time each day, say an hour in the evening or something. But I’m not even sure that would help. I think I would need some sort of robot with a sharp stick who was ready to poke me in the back everytime I started doing something other than what I need to be doing.
Anyway, the point of this long ramble, is that, among other things, I need to start keeping my house a little tidier. In the manic pre-craft 2.0 rush I completely neglected my house-keeping duties, and it seems the habit has stuck. I find myself leaving dishes around, not putting things away and generally being a lazy slob.
So today I tidied and remembered some of the things I love about my little house.

Housecorner5HousecornerHousecorner4

My book collection has grown quite nicely lately with the latest additions of a book about the wonderful Aubrey Beardsley ‘s drawings (his slightly less scandalous ones!) and a book that I won from the Phantom billstickers mag,  (oh my! I actually won something!) called wall and piece,  about the ever-awesome Banksy. My wardrobe has, of course, also grown quite substantially lately too, after my amazing loot from Rozi. And my little shrine in the ‘guest toilet’ is also about to grow with the addition of a painting I bought recently at the op shop for only $2! (I’ll have to take a photograph.)
My house does make me smile, I need to remember to look after it a little better!

Housecorner1Housecorner2Housecorner3

Aesop’s little room makes me smile too. His kitchen is almost better equipped than mine, after his recent birthday  gifts of a working, popping ‘Philips’ brand toaster and a jug for making ”cuppa tea’ from Aunty Holly. His beautiful rainbow fuzzibunz, which will hopefully soon not be so necessary (the potty is no longer the enemy!), and his huge collection of books and soft toys. He’s a lucky boy.

Life is so good right now. I guess perhaps I just need to relax and enjoy it a little more.



Boxing day?
March 24, 2007, 2:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

With me still being on a bit of a craft-break, after the very hectic rush to finish things over the last few weeks, I was a little worried about what I could blog about.
But luckily for me, Rozi arrived with even MORE stuff. So voila! something to blog about!
Rozilootno2again Rozilootno2again1 Rozilootno2again2
This haul was the accessories haul. Multiple beautiful handbags, a little bamboo sewing box, sequined purses, scarves, belts, a nighty, a corset, some barkcloth curtains, and of course.. jewellery.

Rozilootno2_2 Aesopleopardglasses_2
Aesop absolutely loved the leopard print glasses, and I might be a little biased but I really think he pulls them off better than anyone else I can think of. Me personally, I think I might be more inclined to dive for the fake pearls first, although the animal print aviators are quite spectacular! hah!

All in all I’ve had the most amazing things from Rozi and I’m so thankful. It looks like the gift goddesses are smiling on me lately, and the thrift gods too. I had the most amazing fabric scores this morning at the op shop. I’ll pick them up on Monday (it’s hard without a car to organise to pick things up, luckily the ladies at the shops are quite patient!) and I’m so excited. Lots of good plain fabrics for suspender skirts, and my soon-to-be-designed new winter skirts too. yay!

And another thing, a little off topic. I’m loving Kimya Dawson’s music at the moment. She sings with the moldy peaches and she has the most incredible, unique voice. She sings about politics, love and the usual things, but she does it in such an amazing way. Her voice makes me smile big smiles and I find myself pressing the repeat button after every song.



Christmas in March?
March 22, 2007, 11:41 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Roziloot

My sweet, and very, very talented friend Rozi turned up on my doorstep this morning with two HUGE big black rubbish bags full of vintage clothing.
She’s the queen of vintage, and her ‘wardrobe’ is a choc-a-block rail full of clothing that spans nearly the whole length of her long, long bedroom. And luckily for me she was cleaning out her ‘wardrobe’ ready for her big move to the city, and she decided I was to be the lucky recipient of some of her extras.

Roziloot1 Roziloot2 Rozilootthree

There are far too many beautiful frocks and things to photograph them all, this is a little taste of the wonderfulness. The sad part though? They’re TINY. Some of them have a mere 66cms in the waist (26"), and the pile of things I can squeeze into pales in comparison to the huge pile of things that I can only admire. There are a few things I could perhaps slither into if I dropped another five or ten kilos, but 66cms is something I could never achieve, even through the most drastic of measures.haha.

What I really need is another clothing rail in my studio. One for things I make and one for impossibly tiny, beautiful vintage dresses that I will look at, stroke and sigh over. It’s decided.



She returns!
March 20, 2007, 5:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I arrived home yesterday evening after my much-awaited trip to Wellington (and to craft 2.0).
All in all it was a pretty successful weekend.
In true Rhiannon fashion I somehow just happened to get some gross vomiting bug/ travel sickness that lasted most of the weekend, but in between rushes to the bathroom (which was conveniently close to my stall) I served many a lovely customer, sold many a hoodie, met many, many new people and many who I’d sort of already met through the Internet (Hi ladies!) and listened to some beautiful music.
Craft20 Craft201
Due to my lovely stomach, and therefore lack of nutrition, it seems I completely forgot to take any real pictures in my whole time in Wellington. These two badly lit shots of my stall are the only photographic evidence of my journey. I wish I’d had the energy to take more pictures, especially of all the other beautiful crafters. There was talent abound in that place, let me tell you. As well as my good old favourites, I discovered a few new beautiful talented faces including cloud of birds, and Ramari Textiles. Oh and I got to buy things/trade things with my official new favourite NZ crafters Paper Tin. They really are so incredibly clever.
I owe huge thank-yous, especially to Sue and Martha for rides, places to stay, cute children, photographs and musicians, words of encouragement, organisational skills and all round lovely, clever niceness. I would like to also thank Thom for a very delightful, sunny morning of coffee, wandering and great multi-leveled stories. Thank you soooo much to Lou (and Tony!) for coat-hangers, company, rides, support and loveliness. Thanks to Stacey (and flatties) for mousakka, spiceworld, hula hooping and 20 questions. Thanks to Dandylion for stocking me and for encouraging words, And thanks to well… everyone for a lovely, successful weekend. I can’t wait for next time!

Now to spring clean the house and the studio and start all over again!