Category Archives: creatives

Jan-Feb Big Love List: Stubborn Bitches Win Big. Red Lips, NP City & Ms Xoe Hall.

Kate Moss / Ellen Von Unworth

Kate Moss, photography by Ellen Von Unwerth (Vogue Italia, 1992); via Vfiles

A whole lotta love this January & February. Here is my list of goodness:

♥ Quality not quantity.

♥ My new MAC stash, especially my new lipstick in Russian Red; so matte, so good.

♥ Okay, this list of 25 Clever Ideas to Make Life Easier has some suggestions that made me go ohh. Like amplifying the sound of your mp3 player by placing it in a bowl, baby powder being an awesome post-beach sand remover and making a tray for half a dozen cupcakes by cutting crosses into the lid of a shoe box. Awesome!

♥ Gin cocktails & Reality TV. Me and my girl Maia know how to party.

♥ The Wellington Cup. I got dolled up and went along with my Mum, Dad, brother & his lady. It was a really fun day; my first ever time at Trentham and an excellent excuse to break out a pair of what I like to call my “sitting shoes” because they definitely are not made for much in the way of moving around. My folks are members so I got to hang out in the Member’s Lounge – wood-paneling and traditional airs contrasting wonderfully with the outré headwear and boisterous conversation – which is the perfect spot to hang out: mint seats and a private bar. Hell yeah. I also drank champagne out of a crystal winner’s cup; I don’t know who was more amused, me or the guys who’s celebratory shenanigans I tipsily jumped in on.

♥ Being far enough away from Central that the sirens give way to native birds singing; having a view of the horizon; a big wooden deck that warms in the sunshine. Home.

Ashley Smith by Ellen Von Unwerth

Ashley Smith, photography by Ellen Von Unworth; via Vfiles

♥ Eating at Pickle (posse time; shared an interesting menu with some of my favourite people, drank a delicious Jarjito*), Bin 44 (family time! First time at this place – the food was nothing to shimmy and shake about, but the service was rad) and Dragonfly (convoy time; fuck I love this restaurant – food, cocktails, service, atmosphere, everything; I feasted on eggplant and accidentally nailed myself to the wall with passionfruit caprioska slushies; superfun)

♥ The stubbornness that is holding my dreams together like superglue.

♥ Spending a week in New Plymouth with Cam at his folks’ place. So, so relaxing. The Taranaki coast is one of my favourite things about this country; it is beautiful in a different way to Wellington’s. Calmer. More powerful somehow. There is a restaurant called Arborio that rustled up an amazing vegan bruschetta with zero hassle and fucking impeccable service. See also: delicious guava daiquiri. If you are ever in the neighbourhood, pay them a visit, your belly will thank you.

♥ Lots more views on Kitchen Rebellion in the new year! Bring it; bring it BIG. YES YES YES.

♥ Dinner at Hede last month, catching up with a couple of friends on holiday from Melbourne**, during which I had my first taste of sake. As far as drinking strong, warm liquor can go down smooth, it went down very smooth… ahem.

* Being a Mojito in a jar
** Part of the ongoing Great Wellington-Melbourne Exodus

Bridget Hall by Ellen Von Unwerth

Bridget Hall, photography by Ellen Von Unwerth (Vogue UK, 1995); via Vfiles

♥ There are some sweet tutorials in this big ass list of how-tos: The World’s Best Sewing Tutorials over at Alinas Adventures. I am a shameless lover of rad storage options. Shameless.

♥ Catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in far too long, who introduced me to the beautiful secret that is Hashigo Zake; love her and love that bar. The craftiest of craft beer, good food, sweet & knowledgeable bogan bartenders.

Humanoid Robot Plays Motorhead’s Ace of Spaces. Irresistable.

♥ Reading about Scientology. I can’t get enough of The Crazy right now; it is insane, brutal stuff. I need to get my hands on a copy of Going Clear, the expose published recently; it was written by Lawrence Wright, an investigative journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007.

Xoe Hall! Xoe is one of my favourite local artists; her technicolour, pop-infused work can be seen around town lifting the game of businesses, gracing the walls of galleries, making the street sassier and, more recently, making the wardrobes of Wellington girls way more badass via Mortal Gods.

These are my five favourite pieces from her gallery:

Love Hurts by Xoe Hall

Love Hurts, 2012

Cute Kill by Xoe Hall

Cute Kill, 2012

The Geminis Battle For Sanity modified deck by Xoe Hall

The Geminis Battle for Sanity, 2012

Pyro Baby by Xoe Hall

Pyro Baby, 2012

Glitter Docs by Xoe Hall for Mortal Gods

Glitter docs for Mortal Gods

Check out Xoe’s site, and the Mortal Gods facebook page; there is lotsa crazy goodness to be had. You know you want in on the action! Right now I’m in the midst of arranging for a Mortal Gods Siouxsie Soux vest to be born. Cuz I need one. Hell yeah.


Here’s to an amazing March!

♥ ♥ ♥



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Art + Love: Upward

Upward by Ashley Church

Ash is supertalented, and also a total sweetheart!

This was part of her contribution to the Concerned Citizen’s ‘UNRECOGNISED’ exhibition, which featured an online auction fundraising for Active Stills, a group doing important work documenting the occupation in Palestine.

I fell in love with it and was lucky enough to win the auction ♥ such a beautiful photo.

Soulful and still.

It is going to take pride of place on the bad-ass-wall-of-inspiration-and-happiness that I am planning for my revamped studio space. I’ve made a plan to overhaul my creative environment – it’s about time! Time for a space that is solely dedicated to sewing, jewellery making, craft & collation & curating. A space focussed on stoking soulfire.

(I think if I was going to get knuckle tattoos, they would spell ‘soul fire’ … or ‘♥tea time’! )

I need to nurture Pennyroyal, which has taken a back seat to the logistics & long hours involved in setting up a sale shop for Cosmic at ye olde Cuba St store and helping things run smoothly down at the Mall store on Sunday. The upside is that spending a lot of hours at Cosmic has given my bank balance a much bigger smile than usual, which means that soon I’ll be investing in a whole lot of amazing new supplies!

I am soooo excited about the next range of Pennyroyal goodies!

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Pennyroyal News – Lady Death Neckwear

Calmer, more connected. Taking deeper breaths.

I have been holding myself back. Planning, without doing. Talking myself out of taking risks. I know what needs to be done; it’s time to dive in and be true to my intuition. This is the year that I get Pennyroyal flying.

I have kept thinking to myself: “I just need to get this done, and that sorted out first”

Enough excuses.

I already have some awesome jewellery, and amazing, unique tote bags. I am so proud of all of them, and am brimming with excitement about what is in the pipeline.

I had been doubting my ideas and that stalled things. No longer!

Even posting this is kind of scary.

Here is Pennyroyal’s latest! The Lady Death Cameo Necklace:

antique white on black, victorian setting


baby blue on black


pastel pink on black


blood red on black, art deco setting


antique white on black

available in the brand new Pennyroyal boutique; made to order ♥

Last week I started experimenting with some more elaborate pieces; I can happily spend hour upon hour up to the elbows in chain!



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Recharged Batteries – Tattoo Fest & Pennyroyal

Via Ffffound

Good times…

♠ The NZ Tattoo & Art Festival! It was a blast; good vibes the whole time. I’m so glad that they’ve decided to make it a biannual event. Next time, maybe: more umbrellas up outside, heaps more food (!), an appropriate DJ (wtf was Mambo #5 doing coming through the speakers at a Tattoo Festival?), bands on mid-afternoon when the max. number of people are milling around

♠ Having a mini-holiday; tattoos, beer, lifesaver sunglasses, cider & catching up with Shel & dancing too much at the after-party, leather roses, Pukekura park, walking over giant sea-smoothed rocks to watch waves crash, the kind of blue-sky sunshine that make you feel in bloom, flowers for new parents, lounging in lush surrounds, two wise cats, homemade sushi & dinner on the deck; it was awesome to get out of town for a handful of days

♠ Sizzling hot early summer days

On their way ♥

♠ Designed a business card for Pennyroyal and ordered a whole bunch. I had no idea what job title to put on my card – “owner/operator” just sounds DULL – so I’ve left it blank, pending inspiration

♠ Sorting out business banking. Initially, I made the mistake of doing zero research and just opened up a couple of new accounts with the same bank I do my personal banking with (ANZ). I ended up with something workable but not at all ideal; today I closed those accounts and tomorrow I’m going to get myself a sweeter deal elsewhere (ASB)

♠ Crafting rings and sourcing stock for the Pennyroyal shop ♥ ♥ ♥ I still have a little while to go but I can almost taste the launch already!

MIA: ‘People forgot what it’s like to be punk’. I love her.

Bowie mugshot, via Ffffound


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Up and Up

By K GUY (check out the gallery!) via Wooster Collective

I love his Lovehate print. One day, one will be mine!


♠ Licking cupcake batter; heaps of it

♠ The Tax Justice campaign

♠ My new Crystal deodorant; zero frightening ingredients, which is rare

♠ The weather getting warmer, days getting longer; people out and about, smiling in the sunshine; bring on Summer, I say!

♠ Curly fries for dinner

On the road with one of Cairo’s first female taxi divers. Enas Hammam is awesome ♥

♠ Lots of recent magazines to burrow into bed with

♠ Penny-the-little-cat. She is so cool

♠ Excitement about the Big Day Out. My goal health-wise is to be 100% able to go there and jump around like a mad thing 😀

♠ Watching Get Him to the Greek last night; it was way better than I thought – it has been ages since I laughed so hard during a film

Via Ffffound

…I want her hair!

It is a challenge to stay motivated during the times that I am unable to move around well or sit comfortably, but I am doin’ it (mostly), and every day trying to move forward, even just a tiny step, towards my goal of getting Pennyroyal up and running successfully.


One of the lessons learned this week is that taking good, detailed photos is very tricky with a years-old digital camera. This is going to delay getting my rings all up on sale and ripe for the plucking, which is a setback, but (I am telling myself emphatically) not a massive one.

In the interests of general sanity, I am refusing to time-pressure myself; that is so easy to do and so counterproductive.

Today I did managed to get a little bit of sewing done! AMAZING! There are so many projects just rearing to go, the moment I can sit down and really SEW again, it is going to be so great.


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Making Things is Awesome

Os Gémeos and Blu do beautiful things in Lisbon. Via Ffffound

It has been an amazing week. The most gorgeous selection of cameos and vintage cabochons are one their way to Pennyroyal HQ. I can really sink my teeth into producing the range when they arrive. Exciting beyond belief!

Hell yes…

♠ Seasonal vegetable curry from Khana Kharzana (sp?). Vegan; cheap; delicious

♠ Being accepting of change

♠ Craving chocolate, then remembering about an uneaten Aero. Victory!

♠ The Wire. If you haven’t seen it yet, obtain a copy somehow…

♠ Milo. Back with a vengence

♠ Going out for Japanese food with Cam, Paul and Maia; Hede is rad when it’s not super-busy. Inari, teriyaki fish, inappropriate Rosé. Good times ♥

♠ Being able to walk to the library on a sunny, warm, glittering Sunday

♠ Having a bunch of new books to read: The Tao of Now (Josh Baran), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (Kurt Vonnegut), Sixteen Shades of Crazy (Rachel Trezise) and The Unit (Ninni Holmqvist). Awesome! I’m also reading, after having had it sitting on my bookshelf for years, Hell’s Angels by Hunter S. Excellent

♠ Making a double batch of cupcakes (orange and blueberry; blue orange-flavoured icing and sprinkles ♥) and eating until I had them coming out of my ears

Shoe design by Kobi Levi! Via Ffffound

See also:

Postcard Set Kitties by Gemmabear. Via Ffffound

Through which I found the truly genius:

Pugs not Drugs tee by Gemmabear. Via Ffffound

Every single item in her shop brings a smile to my face 😀


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No More Fashion Tech / Kristen Ferrell

Coco Rocha by Solve Sundsbo, via Ffffound

On Friday afternoon I downloaded Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, TLC, Divinyls, Lady Gaga, The Runaways, Veruca Salt, Roxette, Salt ‘n Pepa. It was a ladyfest at work on Saturday!

Cool things that happened last week…

♠ One of the girls at Tech asked if she could do a tarot reading for me; I’d never had one done before, it was a really rewarding experience. I felt super-positive afterwards ♥

♠ Penny-the-kitten being fitted with a suave leopard print collar and becoming hilariously unhappy about it

♠ Assessment day at Tech went so well; Friday was also speech day (!), mine was about goth fashion, muahaha. I walked out of the building after class with a light heart and lucid head. So sweet

♠ A bunch of confirmation emails waiting in my inbox relating to various purchases of ring findings for my range. Exiting times!


For the last five weeks or so, I’ve been having post-surgery troubles. I’ve had to take a bunch of days off of class; too many days, as it turns out. Boo! The class schedule is too tight, from now until the end of course, for me to make up what I’ve missed so far (let alone the odd day that I’d likely have to miss during the next little while).

On one hand it is disappointing and frustrating as all hell. I busted my ass sooo hard to get into Pattern Design and now the same problem that held me back in Garment Tech has ruined my hope of graduating from this course. Yesterday I came home from Tech and had a big cry and moped around a little.

On the other hand, after having thought about things and gained perspective, ever since Cam came back from Sydney, asking if I want to move over there with him next year, my path moved away from Fashion Tech and towards SIT.

Unlike Tech, SIT’s Applied Fashion Diploma starts patternmaking from scratch, so everything I have learned and would have learned is bonus knowledge (which I was stoked about, but it isn’t essential).

It is tempting to keep going to class despite not being able to graduate. I am not going to.

Three things:

♠ Charm my way into full time work (+ Saturdays at Cosmic, keepin’ it real) in order to start save save saving $$$ for relocating to Sydney
♠ Release my range of rings successfully
♠ Obtain patternmaking tools and do what I can with what I’ve learned so far

By full time work I actually mean ’30 hours, 4 days a week’. That’d be IDEAL.

Hah, good luck lady.

After scouring a few websites I’ve rounded up a whole bunch of jobs to apply for and tomorrow aim to prepare an irresistable CV to wave in front of prospective employers. I’d love to get another job that inspires and delights me as much as working at Cosmic Corner does, but am not holding my breath. Cosmic’s right up there when it comes to sweet places to work.

Dentures Cupcake by Kristen Ferrell

I have one of Kristen’s t-shirts, a severed-finger print, it is morbidly wonderful. She is one cool cat, and one of the people whose work and kick-ass attitude inspired me to grab hold of my dreams. Buy her cupcakes!

“Every day the choice is presented to us, to live up to the spirit that is in us, or deny it.”
Henry Miller

The plan is to take it as easy as I have to until my abdomen is back up and running, hopefully only a week or two, then land a job that will help me fast-track to Sydney.

Everything happens for a reason!


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