Category Archives: wellington

April List o’ Love: Siouxsie Sioux, The Emerald City & Trusting In Change

Chanel

April was a very healing month.

I had a lot of moments in the last couple of weeks where I have turned my face toward the sky, closed my eyes and silently said THANK YOU to the universe. Change comes.

Slowly but surely, I have been getting this chronic-pain trapped-nerve business sorted out. There have been doctors, surgeons, x-rays, scans, piles of pills, naturopathy, osteopathy, acupuncture, EFT, energy healing and chiropractic.

At times it has been a very hard, frustrating experience, but in many ways, the health ups and downs I have had over the last three years have been an incredible gift. I have learned how to nourish myself with amazing food. I have learned that I need to be fierce about following my dreams (and also very patient), and that I am hungry for big things.

I knew that the light at the end of this tunnel would begin getting closer eventually and it feels REAL good that the time has come. Yusss. This year I will run back into the arms of sewing. Even get my ass back to Bikram. It is exciting as hell.

For the last month or so, I have been seeing an amazing chiropractor – I came away deflated after my first shot at chiropractic, but when the orthopaedic surgeon I saw recently thought it was worth another shot, I figured I might as well visit a different practice with my fingers crossed and see what happened. It was such a good call!

The first week, I had three separate adjustments (an ‘adjustment’ is the chiropractic euphemism for cracking yer bones ♥). The few weeks that followed I went in twice weekly, and as of last week I have a weekly appointment. During this time a bunch of rad things having happened, including halving the amount of strong-ass painkillers I need to take, and being able to unglue myself from my hot water bottle. Coupled with continuing to eat empowering food, I am feeling better than ever. Onwards and upwards.

fr. Pulp Fiction

Mia and Vince, via Ffffound

Other awesome things about my April:

♥ Drinking an Emerald City Cocktail while watching Oz the Great & Powerful in 3D with Cam. So much fun. We sat in the supercomfy, reclining seats at Reading and ate up a popcorn storm. I loved the movie: some people get annoyed with the sensory overload of colour and the leaning towards style over substance, but I think: fuck yes. Disney was made for 3D eyeball confections. Pump ’em full, Disney. What I really wanna know is: when do I get to see 3D Chitty Chitty Bang Bang???

♥ The amazing Kris Carr! Kris just celebrated her 10 year cancer anniversary. She is a total star and definitely one of the inspirations behind my clean eating health adventure.

Ciaté‘s soon-to-be-launched Chalkboard Manicure sounds very, very cool. And also reminds me that I need to deal to the chipped mess of purple polish I’ve got on lingering on my nails right now (nail polish can’t handle me – I’m too handsy – if it lasts four days, it’s a miracle).

♥ Street Art Utopia has rounded up 100+ of their favourite 2012 street art photos.

Big hair forever, via Tumblr

Image via Tumblr

♥ Diana Eng’s laser lace tops are awesome; I want a black version of the All Over Tee so bad. Her fortune cookie coin purse is rad as hell too!

♥ I was excited to stumbled upon Constrvct while bouncing around online recently. It is a really interesting project, still in a public beta stage, that has potential to be very, very cool. Billing themselves as “the world’s first collaborative fashion label”, Constrvct enables people to upload their own images, to be printed digitally on to plain garments that are made to custom size from 3D patterns. Make your own Constrvct or buy from the shop. I’m gonna keep an eye on this one.

Acid Cult is lookin’ fresh thanks to Big Cartel introducing a new, no nonsense & beautiful theme for me to play with.

♥ PUFF PASTRY. There is something about pastry that is deliciously comforting. I wanna wrap everything in pastry right now.

LP Cover Lover: “The World’s Greatest LP Album Covers”. By ‘greatest’ they mean ‘most retro & ridiculous’… 😀

♥ Gabby Bernstein’s short & sweet EFT de-stress tutorial: How to Reduce Stress. It might seem a little woo-woo at first, but tapping (a kind of self-administered acupressure) works for all sorts of things that might be throwing you off your game. It totally helped with the depression challenges I struggled through during my early-mid twenties. It is very easy and can be super effective.

♥ Visual stimulus. I am VFiles bitch right now and it rules. That, coupled with the gravity of Pinterest pulling me further and further in, has kicked me in to aesthetic overdrive.

By Annie Owens

By Annie Owens, Supersonic Electronic

♥ Being taught diaphragmatic breathing during my first ever session with an energy healer. FUCK YES. A jaw-droppingly effective way of pulling myself back together in moments of stress or doubt. Calming, centring, veil-clearing.

♥ Photographs of abandoned places. I will never see enough of these. This collection is my favourite in a long time: The 33 Most Beautiful Abandoned Places in the World.

♥ The suave brains behind Haute Macabre have their very own perfume! Haute Macabre by Black Phoenix Alchemist Lab, they are taking backorders for the next run right this minute.

♥ Making spreadable vegan mozzerella! A delicious victory! Find the recipe, along with the very tip of the online vegan cheese iceberg, in my post for Kitchen Rebellion – The KR Guide to Vegan Cheese in New Zealand (& Beyond)

♥ The best housewarming gift EVER from my soul sis Lucy. She knows Cam & I so well!

♥ My custom Mortal Gods vest. So fucking rad! I love it to pieces and then some. Heavy-duty studded lapels and a big back patch with Siouxsie in the middle and “fall in love, not in line” in big lavender letters wrapped around it. Check it out:

Spikes!

Fall in love, not in line

♥ ♥ ♥

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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.

http://blackandwtf.tumblr.com/ 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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Back Around Again: Sevens Weekend 2013 (aka Wellington’s annual Festival of Drunkenness)

Having worked for a business that is largely famous for selling “Party Pills” has definitely informed my perspective of the Sevens. More than anything to do with rugby, it is Wellington’s annual festival of Let’s-Get-Fucking-Blitzed. You can absorb a lot of the spectacle walking through Cuba Mall, but working on the Cuba stretch is a whole other ball game. Shit gets crazy.

To be honest, though, it’s days like this that I really miss working for Cosmic. The parade of wastage gets more over the top each year, and being in the position of selling legal (& safe, actually, media bitches) drugs to people who are gloriously costumed & Council-mandated drunk as hell at 10am was a special kind of WTF/amazing.

It can be a magic weekend, above all because it is a great opportunity to take the piss, and the banter can be fucking hilarious at times; every now and then you’d need to boot someone out of the shop, but mostly err’one is a’ight.

The girls walking around with Pump bottles full of breakfast bourbon always cracked me up – walking emblems of the weekend’s excess, for sure – I mean, at least put something clear in there, ffs! There really is no pretence required over these next two days. It’s like all bets are off – the cops don’t give a fuck over Sevens weekend. The only people who care about the lawless free-for-all are the bunch of unlucky women getting bullied in the street in broad daylight because certain repressed-ass muppets have decided to use the weekend as a license to disguise themselves & behave like pieces of shit. Ahem. Sexual harassment is not supposed to be part of the schtick, motherfuckers.. Seriously. I know Wellington is full of hotties but look, don’t touch.

Other than that… the costumes can be truly priceless; some might have thought that the baby-crotch-Priest scenario was a little on the nose last year, but I thought it was effing brilliant. See also: Lego men, chewbaccas, storm troopers, Jesus bearing an 8-foot cross on wheels, jocks in all kinds of drag, the Inevitable Hair Metallers (see below), the Slut-o-ween bandwagon jumpers, the small town penis metaphors, travellers bemusedly caught up in it all. Epic stuff.

This time around, for the first time since living in this little city, I am not working! If I wanted to experience the madness, I would have to be out amongst it; jesus mofo christ; no behind-a-counter barrier, no sales jive protection. It feels very, very weird to be at home right now. My adjustment strategy involves my brothers homebrew pear cider and adding to my slowly evolving Ultimate Playlist.

As it turns out, my across-the-road neighbour and a bunch of his friends are hair metalling it up for the Sevens today. I couldn’t resist: I impromptu-invited myself over for a drink via shouting at them from my balcony, and ended up hangin’ out talking shit about porno & penii while they were post-BBQ chilling/getting ready to go into Central. Glorious.

I even got a signed “gig poster”…

Hair Metal As

Yes, they got posters printed. Dedicated shit. “Keep it slutty, slut!” may be my favourite signature, ever. We listened to Motley Crue and Black Sabbath. Needless to say, it was awesome.

Possibly the only time of year when I can look outside and see my neighbours casually donning leopard print spandex, permed wigs and fake dragon tattoos…

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Upswing: Counting Blessings, Making Progress


By Marynn via Illusion

 

Being back at work is so, so good.

There is a shitload to do and I am amping to get it done; it’s a good feeling. I really love my job; evenmoreso I love the fact that I have been gifted the freedom to fit my merchandising hours around my personal creative projects however works best for me. That is a big, liberating deal. I am a lucky bitch.

When things get stressful, I’ve just got to remind myself that being able to concentrate on visual merchandising in a place as small as Wellington is a very rare thing. Not many people get paid solely to be creative in retail here, which from my obviously biased perspective seems very counterproductive.

Walking into a vividly imagined, cohesive space, there is a completely different energy than walking into somewhere that hasn’t had a dedicated eye keeping things on the right track. It can be the difference between being compelled to look at *everything* and just wanting to give things a quick glance.

Less plonking-on-shelves, more investment-in-aesthetics, I say!

We’ve decided to enter the Cuba Mall shop in the WOW window dressing competition this year and it’s my job to throw it all together. Until today I had been freaking out about the seemingly inevitable, mindfucking complexity of pulling it off with no budget, without doing a tonne of unpaid work, while simultaneously cranking my usual VM gig.

This afternoon I had an epiphany and realised that it doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be a bit clever.

Ten minutes later a weight-lifting, evolved nugget of an idea bubbled up from my subconscious; I’ve sketched it out, brainstormed a little and now aim to not spend any more of my time thinking about it until I set foot in the shop tomorrow. I tend to have a problem switching off my at-Cosmic brain and I am going to knock that habit the fuck out, because it is 100% not productive!

The rest of the afternoon is all about the epic playlist I am about to queue and cookin’ some damn pie. Vegan Pie Adventure #2: Curried Lentil Victory is on the horizon. ♥

 

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Friday Love List: Cooking Up A Storm & Kids These Days

Embroidery on photographs is an amazing idea. I fucking love this.Via Candy Ping Pong; More here!

 

The back of the ladies’ toilet door at Enigma cafe on Courtenay Place

 

That door is always covered with the notes and scribblings of local misfits. Enigma happens to be the best cafe close to Cosmic on Manners St, which has been my focus at work lately (and I will be back to it soon: heal, leg, heal fast!). The courtyard out back is a really good spot to just hide away for a while – every now and then, I plonk myself on a table in front of the heaters with a pot of fruit tea and do some planning. I always have a few flashbacks to the old days, when it used to be Espressoholic (“open 8am ’til late am”) and I would regularly be in there to lounge around, smoking and studenting, sipping on the best soy chai latte around.

 

Nathaniel Goldberg for Harpers Bazaar, via Ffffound

 

Right now I have a whole lotta love for:

♥ Plotting from my couch throne.

Six Barrel Soda Co.  A boutique soda shop and cafe on Eva Street – I can’t wait to check this place out.

♥ It pleases me greatly that Karl Lagerfield is a crazy cat lady. From the article: “She eats with Karl at the table, twice a day, and her every action and emotion is recorded by the maids in a journal…” Love it.

♥ Auckland! NZers stereotypically love to hate it, but I think it is awesome. My being such a mess when I lived there five-or-so years ago got in the way of a full appreciation of the the place’s charms. It actually wasn’t until a holiday last November, spending a week chillin’ in the CBD sunshine, that I realised how cool it is. The inner city is so great, especially around High Street and the Britomart precinct. I miss the big sky; the more diverse, busier city; the tall, old buildings and everything being open late.

♥ The Wire. We just finished watching it through for the second time. Such an amazing, smart, hype-transcending TV show.

♥  Finding it hilarious how old and nefarious this article makes me feel: How Rave Music Conquered America

♥ “It’s the most valuable collection of western modern art outside Europe and the US.” Former queen of Iran on assembling Tehran’s art collection

♥ Cookbooks! I decided to grab a handful of vegan ones recently because, even though the internet is a jaw-dropping resource for all things food related, there is an indefinable something about flicking through a good book of recipes that makes cooking a lot more fun. Also, I can never return cookbooks to Central library on time, ever; checking out How It All Vegan every few months was becoming an expensive habit. Finally, it’s on my bookshelf permanently!

 

Heels by Hades, via Hades on Amazon.
As much as the words ‘steampunk fashion’ tend to colour me cynical, these shoes are fucking awesome.

 

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Tuesday Love List: No Diggity, No Doubt

 Via Ffffound

♥ Ginger beer; huge-ass 750ml bottles of ginger beer. Hell yeah.

♥ Making a game plan to cope with my frazzled nerves: I’ve let myself become super stressed out, worrying about things that I don’t need to. Time to refocus, move past this bump & get positive again.

♥ Date night! Just what I needed; I have the best boyfriend ever. Cam & I went out to the Roxy in Miramar, to see the Avengers (which was awesome; I love you, Robert Downey Jr) and have a lush dinner at CoCo, the theatre restaurant, beforehand. It was my first time at the Roxy and it was so, so much more satisfying than slumming it in the Reading complex. Tickets are cheaper, too, only $15 for an adult. The food and service (and cocktail list) at CoCo was amazing, we’ve already planned our next feast there! The Miramar locals are spoiled, I swear. There’s a lot of action happening in that little community.

♥ Baking a dozen vegan chocolate cupcakes. Icing them. Eating six.

♥ Visiting Newtown, which I hadn’t done in way too long. Opportunity for Animals ftw! I really like Newtown, it’s an eclectic as fuck part of town, real unpolished and down to earth. Reminds me of rainy student op-shop days & Port Royal rollies. In a good way.

♥ The following t-shirt, 100% on my want list:

Via Ffffound. This rocks my world so hard.

♥ My merchandising contract being extended! This has been my main work-related goal for the last three months, I’m proud that the hard work paid off. Part of my new game plan is going to be working out how to best keep cranking my Cosmic gig without it taking up space in my brain that 100% needs to be reserved for Acid Cult. Things feel kinda crazy at the moment, but I’m gonna figure it out and grow from the madness.

♥ Making a list of Wellington restaurants that have tempting menus, for future dining adventures.

♥ Taking the train out to Petone for the first time in years. Petone has this weird kind of charm; I lived there for a brief, mad whirlwind and have had a soft spot ever since. I love how the railroad from Wellington to the Hutt runs right alongside the harbour, the view is so wonderful. This particular day, my mum met me at Petone train station, and we drove out to a little cafe in Lower Hutt, called Shine, for a belated Mama’s Day lunch. Delicous food, good coffee (!!!) and it was fun hanging out with mum. It’s always good to catch up with her, get the family gossip!

Spiderbait‘s victorious cover of Black Betty.

♥ Speaking of which, I’ve been thrashing a ridic new walking soundtrack recently. Highlights: Blackstreet – No Diggity; Marilyn Manson – Little Horn (& also the Death Song); Sean Paul – Get Busy; Incubus – Certain Shade of Green; Tupac – California Love; Spiderbait – Black Betty; Eve – Who’s That Girl?

Via Ffffound

It’s gonna be allllll good.

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Wednesday Love List – Kicking Against The Pricks

This popped up, next to the Mill carpark in Wellington central, at the end of last year. It was awesome watching this slowly evolve into a complete piece; I love it. By BMD

Right now I am so fucking pissed off at the audacity of my property managers (do they ALL use their powers solely for evil?!); I have decided to channel that rage into a Love List, in an effort to redirect my energy towards something more positive than wishing a plague upon their collective houses.

The following things are awesome:

♥ Deciding to visit a Naturopath. Best money I have ever spent on my health, hands down. When it comes to chronic conditions, traditional western medicine is like the emperor with no clothes. That was one of the big lessons of 2011. I now have a treatment plan and an ally in becoming & staying well, and feel empowered about my ability to take control of my own health, rather than being at the mercy of an army of medical specialists.

♥ The sexy new Utorrent interface.

♥ Sushi for breakfast! Recent obsession; turns out that a vege snack box + large miso is an awesome way to dive into work.

♥ Treasure hunting for supplies and striking gold

♥ Binging on Atmosphere

♥ Geeking out with vegan cookbooks; I’m afraid to ask the library how much I owe them in late fines, so I snuck some new food love through when Cam needed a fantasy top-up!

♥ On the non-vegan food front: Inventing an awesome dairy-free tuna bake; cooking experiments are sooo satisfying when they turn out

Next to Aro preschool; makes me smile every time

♥ The beautiful shapes that my cats make; I love the kitties SO MUCH YOU HAVE NO IDEA (unless you, too, are a crazy cat lady*)

♥ Getting hit on by an amazing, drunk Karen Walker fan (the first time wearing that KW tee with the pearl necklace screen has paid off, to be honest! It looks great but is kinda unsatisfying to wear because the cotton is bollocks; there is no excuse to half-arse a t-shirt) while dining solo at Hede recently. I love the ruckus in there.

♥ Sucking it up and following my intuition; instant, life-changing payoff.

♥ Ditching mainstream media in favour of the blogs. 2011 was my year of the Media Diet; the lack of junk food news resulted in my becoming simultaneously much better informed and vastly more cynical. My New Zealand news is currently coming from: No Right Turn, The Dim Post, Tumeke (I ♥ Phoebe Fletcher), The Hand Mirror, Maui Street & Gordon Campbell (!). Fearfacts Exposed keeps an eye on the sordid situation at Fairfax Media. Outside of bloggers, Scoop is a great resource.

♥ My black wine glasses, that somehow make drinking feel sexy.

♥ Feeling as though I’m learning to let go of what’s unhelpful

Fruit painting by Dennis Wojtkiewicz, via Ffffound

♥ Mission accomplished as far as setting up an awesome foundation for the Cosmic Clearance Shop goes – my biggest job yet, and I cranked it hard.

♥ Blobbing out on the couch, eating snacks & watching Real Housewives of Atlanta with Maia before she moved back up to Auckland; so good. Am having withdrawals.

♥ Getting paid to be myself; the best gig ever. Recommended for every single working human being on the planet. I’m convinced that everyone who feels straightlaced by their work environment needs to take immediate steps to remedy the situation, because their well-being depends on it. Life is too short to go with the corporate flow.

♥ Impromptu dinner dates with Cam; tonight we went out for Japanese. Nom nom Kazu nom nom. On the way home we met an amazing bernese mountain dog (the fluffiest, happiest most gorgeous lump of a dog ever!) 😀

♥ Learning to be a priority ninja

Yeah. Lotsa stuff.

Time to do some more treasure hunting.

*btw, crazy cat lady is a gender neutral term!

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