Mighty fine PJ shorties

Posted by DeVille |

Finally after many weeks of restructures at work, hectic shopping trips a million family birthdays and goodness knows what else, things have settled a bit and I've had the chance to make something on my new machine!

I saw this great fabric at Ikes and instantly thought 'PJ shorties' (because it's nearly not winter)... I snapped it up and when I got home I perused my stash until I found Simplicity 1960, a men's underwear pattern which I'd recieved in a bulk lot and put aside pretty much for this purpose. I didn't have enough fabric to make the yoke, so went with the plain, boxer style short.

I also found some hilariously tacky clothing labels at Ikes which I just had to buy, and decided to use one of these just to make them look a little less homemade. Other than one wee mistake which was easily corrected, they went together super easy - about 20 mins sewing all up (including the mistake) and I think they look pretty great.

Don't you just love the tiki pegs? I got these this morning for $2.50 along with a set of Wahine Doll pegs. I'm going to use these to string up some photos in the sewing room (which I've made no progress at all on).

Melbourne in a nutshell

Posted by DeVille |

I love the this photo, which is another one from our Melbourne trip. We were on the way back from St Kilda and all of a sudden, Mum and I noticed this guy on a horse with this gorgeous 'hippie' girl in a flowing white poncho, standing there petting it (do you pet horses? sorry, never been a horse gal!). I quickly grabbed her camera, which switches on faster than mine, and snapped this shot just at the last minute. How great to see something like this right in the middle of a busy suburb!

Well, we obviously made it back from Melbourne in one piece! I managed to watch two movies on the way over (Monsters vs. Aliens and some
Dragonball Z thing) and despite the shuttle we booked not bothering to actually show at the airport to pick us up (read my review on trip advisor here for all the gory details), we got to the hotel with no other hassles. Unfortunately thanks to the shuttle bus incident, I didn't get into town on time to make it to Rathdowne Remnants (sniff, sniff!) but it was a gorgeous day so we headed down to St Kilda instead and spent the afternoon there, cruising around Luna Park and sitting on the beach until the wind got too cold.

We were going to get a caramel slice or eclair at one of the famous cake shops, but decided to try something totally different and each bought Baklava for afternoon tea. Golly but that is one weird tasting sweetie treat! Unfortunately I don't think either of us will be trying that one again, too
intense and sweet tasting for us :) We had a great time at Wicked on Saturday night, I think Mum really enjoyed it, at least I hope she did and it was great seeing all the horses and carts in the street afterwards.

The next day we went to breakfast at this great little diner around the corner from our hotel (where I took the beautiful photo of mum in the post below) and then spent a couple of hours at the markets. After the markets, we headed out to Bridge Road and looked around for a while, got some great deals at the
Bendon outlet shop and I found the best pair of jeans I've ever bought and a few tops, then back into town and to DFO where we spent the rest of the day shopping. We had to buy two extra suitcases to bring our goodies back in! After blobbing out for an hour, we had dinner at the restaurant downstairs from our hotel then just went upstairs and crashed. for the first time in weeks I was asleep in seconds and slept through until dawn, apart from a short wake-up when a bus load of tourists arrived from the airport at the backpackers across the road.

Of course, the shuttle company messed up our return trip too, but I'd allowed 2 hours to get to the airport, so even though they were an hour late, we still got there on time! The check in process was hilarious - Mum took a couple of travel sickness tablets which she normally never does, and if you've never taken them before they can make you a bit loopy! She was bumping her way around the airport like one of those toys that turns around when it hits something and then just keeps going in the other direction... I couldn't keep a straight face at the departure check point and we even had the lady stamping our passports laughing! I watched The Boat That Rocked on the way home which was fantastic, awesome music, awesome cast and a great upbeat storyline. It has three of my favourite actors (Bill
Nighy, Nick Frost, Chris O'Dowd) and one of my favourite comedians (Rhys Darby) and so I sat there through the whole movie tapping my feet to the tunes and laughing my head off. Mum watched it on the way over, but her ears were quite blocked so she didn't managed to catch it all (though she was also boogie-ing in her seat!) but I got a copy of the DVD for my birthday, so we're going to watch it again next weekend on the big screen with surround sound.

I have to admit, I still don't love Melbourne itself, but I adore the public transport system (though the trams could use some tidying up and surely there's got to be a limit to the number of people you can fit on one!) and the shopping there. I think we'd have to spend more than 2 or 3 days like I have done to take it all in. I plan on spending a whole day next time looking at the amazing architecture and taking hundreds of photos of the beautiful terraced houses and
Victorian buildings. I asked mum what her favourite part was, and she agreed the convenience of the trams is wonderful - and she loves riding them like I do :)

I had a really quiet birthday because I was just too shattered to do much, then took Mum and Dad to Soto on
Thursday night for Mum's birthday. We arrived early and had the whole place to ourselves for over half an hour! The food was gorgeous and even Dad had a good time... My friend Nick and I have a photo restoration challenge going and by good luck, he gave me some of the photos he'd been working on on Wednesday. One he did of mum as a child was just stunning and I decided to buy a frame for it and give it to her for her birthday. I grabbed some orange ribbon too, and wrapped up the Emmeline pattern and fabric in the orange poplin, and gave her this. I felt bad for not having much else to give her, but the dinner more than made up for it. I totally recommend you go to Soto if you're ever in Auckland, the food is amazing and the staff are super friendly.

Since then, I've been working on getting rid of this headache which has been hanging around for a few days now and slowly working my way through restoring some of Nick's photos! I've finally got two done (after a month of promising), though I've yet to colour them like he did to mine. I think he's going to be really pleased with them once they're all done though. I also finished the first book in the
Sookie Stackhouse series. It wasn't so great, but I'm strangely compelled to get the next one and keep reading! I'm going to trawl the second hand book stores next weekend to see if I can find them cheaper - $29 is just too much for something I can read in a night and now True Blood is out here, the price of the books on TM has gone through the roof.

Melbourn in Images...

Posted by DeVille |

Finally it's clicked

Posted by DeVille |

My skin feel crazy smooth and soft today. I think the photorejuvenation and Dr Hauschka products together are going to make a real difference this time.

I just realised last night after reading the new improved information sheet that I had been using the DH products completely wrong all the other times I tried. Apparently the cream cleanser should only be used on clean skin as it doesn't remove makeup, just the nasty stuff, so the ideal use is cleansing milk in the evening and cleansing cream in the morning, when your face is 'clean'. I was using just the cream and scrubbing it in, always annoyed it never removed the make-up. Duh! I'm an advocate of taking a holistic approach to products, (i.e. I believe good products are made to work together, and to get the best results you should use the same brand cleanser, moisturiser etc. etc. ) so while I've always loved the masks and conditioners, because I hated the cleanser, I just stopped using the products all together. I know it probably sounds hooey to have a cleanser you only use on clean skin and to not use night products, but it makes total sense in my head.

Anyway, I bought a trial kit at the same time as the conditioning ampules and this has both cleansers in it as well as the toner and 3 moisturisers; I also got the lavender bath which they recommend you use to rinse off the cleanser if you have rosacea or inflamed skin. an to help activate the cream cleanser. Now that I'm properly versed on how to use the products, I did things properly last night and this morning and oh wow, what a difference! I initially balked at buying two cleansers, but then I guess it'll last twice as long so I might pick some up in Melbourne. Also, because you don't use a moisturiser at night, that is a saving, or at least it will be once I've finished the rythmic conditioner cycle.

Argh, Melbourne! I just remembered I have to pack tonight! And make sure I have all my pre-prepared stuff (tram info etc)... Eeesh, time to make a list of things to do!

Day 2 and all is well

Posted by DeVille |

I woke up happy to see that I have no swelling and little redness in my face (or no more redness than usual). Actually, in general there was a great amount of improvement overall and in less than 12 hours!

I started a treatment of Dr Hauschka Rhythmic Night Conditioner for sensitive skin tonight and I hope that will take care of the remaining inflamed rosacea until I have my next torture session in 4.5 weeks time. I noticed one added benefit this morning, which is that my make up went on well and stayed on most of the day, which it hasn't done in over a month and a half. For the first time in weeks I felt comfortable in my own skin! So at this point, I have to say that while the treatment really was painful, (honestly, excruciatingly painful) if I keep seeing this sort of improvement over the next 4 months, it will be well worth it.

On an unrelated note, I started watching Eleventh Hour last night. I'm kind of on the fence about it... It's an interesting show but I'm having issues taking the lead actress (Marley Shelton) seriously...
I think it's because every time she's on screen I have flashbacks to her in Planet Terror. I always thought she'd hammed it up for the movie, like everyone else, but it seems she just has a really weird acting style. Great for Planet Terror, not so much for a 'drama'

Patterns and ouchies

Posted by DeVille |

Well, I just came back from the clinic and my photorejuvenation treatment. I'd read two different descriptions of the pain, 'none' and 'like descending into the seventh circle of hell'. Neither of which are correct, I would say it's more like the ninth circle of hell, way down there with the traitors. Supposedly the treatment should feel like a rubber band snapping against your skin, which I would have no problem with. It's the incredible burning sensation at the site of application that I couldn't take. At one point I was close to tears and each time the pulse happened I jumped and bit my lip, no matter how prepared I was. I've only just stopped shaking enough to be able to relax and my heart is still beating fast.

Afterwards, my cheeks were the colour of tomatoes though now there is only a little redness in the area (well, no worse than a bad rosacea attack) and no pain at all. I laugh now that I was more worried about the after effects than the actual process. Hey, only 4 more treatments to go (arrrrgghhh)! I'm interested to see how it is tomorrow and how much makeup I'll have to use to cover my cheeks!

I arrived home to find my Emmeline pattern (finally! I was getting worried) and the gorgeous Advance 3090 nightgown. I have been searching for this advance pattern for nearly a year and searched for it once a week until I finally found a copy. I had hoped to find an 18, but after a year of searching I decided the 14 would do, I'll just need to grade it and do an FBA. Because of that it'll be a few weeks before I can get around to making it but I'm looking forward to finding some lovely fabric for this at Rathdowne this weekend.

Desperately seeking bendy rollers

Posted by DeVille |

I've been hunting down bendy rollers for a couple of weeks now to no avail. Apparently velcro rollers are de rigueur these days (the ex hairdresser in me screams - why!?!?), but I want something I can whack in quickly before bed and then sleep in and bedsides, velcros don’t work on my hair at the best of times. Last night I managed to find some Avon bendables so I’ve ordered those – with any luck I’ll get them before the weekend so I can take them away!

I didn’t manage to get any work done on the room other than some planning of where this bit of junk and that bit of junk are going to go, but I did chop my hair to half its previous length and reinstated my fringe. I also coloured it slightly darker this time, a dark chocolate instead of a medium copper/mahogany. While the hair looks great, sadly my skin is really not loving the after effects of the colour and is blotchy and red. I suffer from mild rosacea and hair colour is one of the things that sets it off... Also, I was recently on a course of prednisone for a very bad chest and sinus infection and it has caused my rosacea to flare up like it never has before and nothing is soothing it this time. I’m actually starting treatment for it tomorrow, so it’s good timing! I’m having photo rejuvenation therapy to start with which will close down the broken capillaries causing the redness and hopefully smooth my complexion.

I’m half excited, half terrified, as I can’t find any images or descriptions of what my skin will look like the next day... The nurse who is doing the treatment started me on a course of skincare 3 weeks ago in preparation for the treatment tomorrow, but unfortunately this has really made my skin even worse so I stopped using that last Thursday and switched to Antipodes, which is an organic product packed full of essential fatty acids and oils which should counteract the chemicals. For extra good luck I’m using coconut oil at night too. It was improving until I coloured my hair, but I expected that. Fingers crossed I’ll get my $200 back for the other stuff! She did mention that they were obliged to refund me for anything that irritated my skin, and we spent a good 10 minutes reading all the ingredients before I bought it, so I think we’re covered. I personally feel much happier when I’m using organic or natural products on my skin, after all, that’s what women have used for thousands of years!

Today, part 2

Posted by DeVille |

Unsurprisingly I avoided going near the soon to be sewing room today (terrible I know but it's freezing and even colder in there) but I did manage to not buy a single piece of fabric!

I was looking for Gregory Maguire's Confessions of a an Ugly Stepsister today but couldn't find it, so I picked up a copy of Dead Until Dark instead. I also found Dylan Moran's Live collection (his Monster and Like Totally live shows), a cute set of cupcake cups and a great bag for our holiday for only $30. I also finally gave in and bought a handbag hook. It's a totally ridiculous thing but I figure it will help keep the canvas a little cleaner!

Wherefore art thou Emmeline?

Posted by DeVille |

I hoped and wished but unfortunately my Emmeline pattern did not show up yesterday which means that I won't have time to make it for my mum for her birthday. These are the pitfalls of buying internationally, but it's still disappointing when it doesn't show up after a couple of weeks. Between now and Mum's birthday we have the Melbourne trip and getting ready for the Melbourne trip and as I'll be spending all my free time with her, there's no way she won't notice what I'm up to! Oh well. It will make a lovely 'just because' surprise or perhaps a Christmas one. Or maybe if it arrives today, I can talk dad into taking mum out for the evening so have a few hours free to make it! But I guess it all just depends on when it arrives.

On another track, I bought this fantastic washing powder the other day by B_E_E (Beauty Engineered for Ever). It's a natural washing powder which comes in an awesome reusable bottle and labelled with names like "I Triumph over Grime and Evil" and "I'll Do Your Dirty Work". The powder is scented with lavender, bergamot and patchouli essential oils and is simply divine smelling. But it has one bonus that I don't usually find with natural powders... It makes your clothes feel like silk! I've done three loads of washing so far (on one rare sunny winter day) and everything has come out feeling better than new! I have many different allergies, so I always try to use the most natural products I can find. I usually use Cinderella cleaning sprays (their multi purpose spray is the best! Like walking through a field of mint) but they don't do laundry powder. Anyway, it's a kiwi product, but if you ever get the chance to try it, it's well worth the effort!

I went to Claudia's 10 year dinner last night (my Waitangi Melbourne Weekend room mate) along with a small group of people from work. As usual the food at Erawan was lovely, and I tried their sesame prawns which I hadn't had before. Oh, but were they devine...Tempura prawns rolled in sesame seeds with a plum dipping sauce! I could have just had one giant plate of them rather than anything else, mmmm.

Anyway - this weekend I plan on cutting my hair and starting on the new sewing room. I also hope to track down some bendy rollers for my hair so I can do the Nina from Reaper look. I have that fine straight hair that doesn't hold a curl so my only hope is to sleep in bendy rollers. I used to sleep in velcro rollers (my hair is too long for foam ones) but they were too un-comfy so I just gave up curling my hair completly. I'm desperate to find the rollers so I can get back on the curly train though!

Perhaps I should... Get a perm.