Launch & Learn: Acid Cult, Cool Shit & A Wearable Arts Window

Image via Ffffound

The last couple of days I have been laid up with some painful leg nonsense – physio, here I come! – which has turned out to have a silver lining in the form of motivating me to get serious about getting my online shop firmly established.

Enough stalling and obsessing over the “is it really good enough” and the “gotta be perfect”. Like Danielle La Porte said: Launch and learn. I am injecting this advice into my brain.

After mmming and ahhing for over a year about the merits of Etsy vs Big Cartel, and letting myself cave to my natural inclination to be an itinerant dabbler by bouncing between the two, I snapped myself out of it and made a decision. Big Cartel. Done.

Quickly followed by a flurry of photo editing, copywriting and listing everything possible.

Acid Cult is up and running in a form that works for me, with new cross stitch designs added to the range of Pennyroyal made to order totes and – finally! – the first four pieces in the Acid Cult range of sterling silver neckwear.

Yesterday I listed the first of the new Pennyroyal brand ‘Bitch Stitch’ range of upcycled clothing. I have wanted clothing in the shop for a long, long time; this is just the beginning! Come hither.

Now I need to connect with some amazing customers and drop my fear of networking. It’s been a bumpy road, but here we are. Momentum, movement, my own crazy way. I’ve just got to keep going. One day at a time, forward with focus.


Radness right now:

♥ My new tattoo; ‘tea time‘ written in beautiful handwriting on the side of my right hand. It is SO CUTE. It might be my favourite so far 😀

♥ Evernote. Fuck. Yes. Helping me keep my sometimes erratic mind on track since I belatedly discovered it earlier in the year. It is the perfect tool for obsessive note-takers.

♥ Reading The Help again.

♥ V Magazine’s From the Desk of Lady Gaga.

♥ Sushi in Civic Square. St. Pierre’s vege snack box = a vegan light lunch for under $5 in Wellington central ♥ thank fuck.

♥ Spring sunshine and nights getting lighter.

♥ My 50th post for
Kitchen Rebellion
! KR has had a little mini facelift recently, too.

♥ The Sopranos; Cam & I just watched the whole series for the first time. Now I finally know what all the fuss was about! It’s an amazing show; straight to number two on my list of all-time favourite TV dramas (number one being The Wire).

♥ The WOW window competition. The construction was a nightmare and I ruined the waist of half of the skirt while dressing the mannequin for the final time, resulted in a flurry of impromptu quick-fixing and barely held back tears; on the other hand, I pulled it off with no budget, passersby loved the window, and it’s not every day you get to incorporate Charlize Theron smoking an apple bong into a work-related project. It was an experience, that much I can say.


♥ ♥ ♥



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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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Thursday Night Love List: Lady Rebels, Fresh Air & Our Pirate Future

David Bowie & Elizabeth Taylor, Beverly Hills 1975; via ExShoesMe

Bring on spring, I say! I want more crisp mornings and cool sunshine; walking in town today was so invigorating. The atmosphere in Wellington on a wind-free, sunny day is something that never gets old, no matter how cynical I might get about this lil town sometimes.

I think the thing about me-and-Wellington is we need space every now and then; it has been time to start planning a holiday for a while and this week wheels started turning. The plan has evolved into a 3 week holiday split between Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Sydney. Fuck. Yes. I am so excited! I’ve started with the to-do lists already!

Holiday-planning aside, right now I am lovin’…

Femke Hiemstra‘s art.

♥ A friend of mine describing herself as a “house cat” ♥ I am so right there with her; home is where it’s at. My life basically revolves around cooking delicious food and hanging out on the couch with Cam.

♥ The Pussy Riot phenomenon. These ladies are awesome. For good measure, here is an interview they did with Vice magazine a few days before their arrest.

♥ Queuing an epic playlist; so satisfying. Currently grooving on Amon Tobin; I always find his music so wildly immersive. You kinda forget that it’s coming in from the outside and hear it in your pores. When an album comes to an end, the emptiness of the silence is always a jolt. You don’t realise how filled up with music the space had become – it just kinda slides in a fits right. Sexy, smoothly erratic. Right this minute, I’m swimming in The Bridge; it’s a kinda jazzy, slippery, film noir summer atmosphere album. Perfect.

♥ I really love Camille Rose Garcia’s work; somehow her Alice In Wonderland illustrations had escaped my attention until recently.

♥ Downloading a bunch of new episodes and movies. TV exists through torrents in my house. The networks and their fiendish advertising can dig their claws in elsewhere.

ONLY THE YOUNG DIE YOUNG. Hat tip for the avalanche of punk rock eye candy and a playlist is made of gold!

♥ It’s not certain yet, but it looks like NZ is finally going to make same sex marriage legal! Last night the Marriage Equality Bill got voted through to the select committee stage. Something like 80% of NZers (and 100% of awesome people) support the Bill; fingers crossed that enough of our MPs finally feel the same way to get it passed into law.

♥ Being back at work this week, after a month of ruptured blood vessel-induced bed rest (ffs!). It feels sooo good to be back doin my thing at Cosmic.

♥ The Little Bird Unbakery. Aucklanders, I am insanely jealous that you live in the same town as this joint. Little Bird chocolate raw organic macaroons are the stuff that dreams are made of. My mouth is watering right now just thinking about them; seriously one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten.

Via Ffffound

♥ Crying out some bad news, putting it in perspective then sitting on the deck in the sunshine, looking at the sea. Life is good.

John Locke has been installing these phone booth public libraries around New York City as part of a project called the Department of Urban Betterment. This is such a cool idea.

♥ Have you heard of Network 21? It was a pirate TV channel that broadcast from midnight on Fridays for a few months in mid-80s London. Alexis Petridis talks a little about it here in an article about pirate television. As he points out, the whole exciting affair has made it’s way on to YouTube and includes, among other weird and wonderful clips, live Einsteurzende Neubauten footage, William Burroughs reciting poetry, Genesis P-Orridge & dream machines, excerpts from Andy Warhol’s Trash, and the Rolling Stones in drag.

♥ Teenage Death Cult, Justin Blyth’s collection for Blood Is The New Black; amazing.

♥ Dark hair and a heavy fringe

Yayoi Kusama, via Ffffound

♥ ♥ ♥

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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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Keeping My Head Up + Monday List of Goodness

Belt by Mother of London. I covet every single item in her webstore!

Right now I am in recovery mode.

Thank fuck for the energy and strength that embracing wholefoods has given me, I would be a complete mess instead of a mini-mess otherwise.

What happened? I was standing up, giving my kittie a hug (she rules!), when I moved my leg and slipped a little, which caused something unfortunate to happen internally. Aaaargh! My doctor reckons I ruptured a blood vessel in my upper thigh. All I know is, I had been able to walk comfortably again, even run a little, do a little yoga and now I can’t. I had been able to sew again and now I can’t.

After being on the road to recovery for so long, finally feeling the warmth of the light at the end of the tunnel, I gotta admit I have been feeling really challenged by this new bump I gotta get over.

I have been laid up for a week and it is frustrating as hell – I’ve cried my way through a lot of tissues lately, that’s for sure. There have been a lot of deep breaths. I know that what I have to do to get through, though, is try to focus as much as possible on what I can do.

I can stretch out on the sofa with the laptop and write, research, set goals for Kitchen Rebellion. I can cross stitch and chart new designs. I can cook, carefully. I can dive into my documentary collection. I can motivate my shy ass to start networking online.

Dress by Marianna Barksdale, via Lancia.

Lissa’s List of Goodness:

♥ Recently Marilyn Manson was part of the Guardian’s ‘This Much I Know’ series. I think it’s a fun read.

♥ Starting Kitchen Rebellion! My brand new healthy food blog. I am excited and motivated about this project and have big plans! Watch this space:

♥ Obsessing over the kitties – they make such amazing shapes! I am such a cat lady. Vive le furry creatures!!!

♥ Being assigned a new role at work recently, and bringing myself around to seeing it as a great opportunity to flex different muscles and level up my management skills, instead of a sidetrack from visual merchandising. I am looking forward to making a lot more progress with my mission when I am back on my feet.

♥ JUICING. I asked Cam for a juicer for my birthday. Best idea ever. We have been juicing fruit and vegetables at least once daily since it arrived at the house mid-June. Love love love.

♥ Another birthday treat was a massage, and a haircut with one of the artistic directors at Cathy Davis Hair Design & Day Spa. I wish I could remember the name of the woman who cut my hair, she is truly fabulous!

♥ Havana’s organic espresso blend.

♥ The seaside drive from Owhiro Bay around to Lyall Bay. God help me if I ever live far from the ocean.

♥ “Senior citizens occupying a house is something we’ve never seen before.” Berlin’s ‘oldest squatters’ have taken over a community centre that has been marked for closure due to being in the way of someone’s real estate development plans. The youngest person involved is 67, the oldest 96.

♥ My lowriding black bloomers. Slinky.

John Robbins: Life on the Frontlines of the Food Revolution.

Today I have been appreciating the grey, misty sea view from my kitchen window, leftovers for late lunch (vegan stuffed capsicum – YUM) and snuggling up in my fluffy fur scarf.

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Kitchen Rebellion

Via Ffffound

I’ve started a veganish food blog, called Kitchen Rebellion. It’s my new baby, check it out:

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Rolled Oat Revelations

Dreams of Space by Fleck, via Ffffound

Pre-dawn lifeplanning over blueberry porridge.

I’m trying my best to get into breakfast lately. Right now it’s all about the rolled oat combos. Favourites so far:

1/3 cup rolled oats, 1 cup rice milk*, plus:

  • chopped dates and cinnamon with walnut pieces on top (the simple one)
  • frozen blueberries, cinnamon and LSA, with brown sugar & chopped walnuts on top (the fancy one)
I’m loving this being-up-early scenario. Sleeping city, quiet house, tea brewing, pottering productively. I’d love to be awake at 6am every day but the only time I am is, like today, when I wake up in the early hours and can’t get back to sleep again! I’ve been awake since 3.30am! Insomnia isn’t the sole culprit this time around, though, one of my molars has decided to start yelling “DESTROY!”.

Hopefully the ‘ol head-in-sand ignore-and-it’ll-go-away response bears fruit, because there is no way in hell I am paying for dental work right now.

The sun just began to shine outside.
Time for some balcony-seaview-cup-of-tea action.
I think I’d be lost without the ocean.

* So.much.better than soy; get on it


Filed under food