Sunday, 28 May 2017

We work and we work ...

Just back from Port Douglas in Far North Queensland, Australia. The temperature was about 26-29 degrees Celsius and the water temperature was 25-26 degrees. That was pretty good 😎. Being a hardworking summer clothing designer I was there to test out all of Minnie + Ree's dresses and decide which were the most suitable in tropical climes...

Here's some pics to set the scene:


1. Favourite place to drink coffee - 4 Mile Beach. It tends to get windy in the afternoons so it's really nice to be there in the mornings. And after the coffee, it's time for a little reading and sunbathing until brunch time.


2. If you don't go to the beach in the morning then the best coffee is here. You can smell the coffee from the street, which is good because I can't remember the street name! 




3. And the best brunch has to be from my old favourite Fresq on Macrossan St (the main shopping street). How does this look? Yes, that's a wee bottle of Prosecco in the background - holidays should be taken seriously people!


4. I was also on a mission to try out an electric bike and see if they were as good as it is said and if they would be a good frock bike for me. 

I totally loved it BUT wasn't so good on my bike/selfie stick skills. 

And yes you do need tights under your knee-length dress.




5. I really enjoyed these flowers. They start out being very neat and tidy for the first day or so and then go totally loose, like they've had too many party nights.


6. And a couple of signs that took my fancy:

How would they ever get a builder with no dog or radio?

And this one for people who don't know how to cross the road ...


7. And there are nice bars ...


8. And the best dresses were undoubtedly the Ettie linen dresses - just perfect in that humid temperature. My favs were (of course) the colours that suit me best - red and yellow. 
RED linen Ettie dress

YELLOW linen Ettie dress
9. And keeping up with the yellow theme my favourite swimwear was my Sonsie bikini in yellow.

And yes, I am thinking about going back again next year. Maybe 10 days wasn't quite long enough - it's the perfect place to just chill out and if you go before the high season in June it is nice and quiet.

Ree
xox

Thursday, 19 January 2017

DIY Studio 3 - the last report

Doing well with the studio DIY but I guess I'm just not cut out for all this hard work! And my hammer skills are seriously out of practice. I could feel my arm seizing up as I hammered away and dreamed about having a Nail Gun. And I'm not even doing the whole job on the walls, just putting up enough ply panels so I can carry on with getting the shelving units in, getting organised, and moving the stash out of the bath!

So here are the plywood panels leaning up against their 'Forever Home'. I did get these pre-cut and delivered and the nice delivery guy helped put them in place ready to go. (Even though they were having a bad day and were 4 hours late!)






I decided to take Safety a little more seriously than usual and did not do the next stage in my jandals. Shoes are quite handy for climbing up and down the step ladder and kicking things in to place!





Here are the first two shelves in place. There are three more to go. Unfortunately they are not new ones but are spread throughout the house and are very, very full! So each one has had to be emptied, cleaned and then moved out to the studio. I have discovered lots of fabrics that I had forgotten about so that has been quite exciting. I am developing a filing system so all the fabrics will be stored by their intended design/style/use - a shelf for each one. Quite OCD (according to some rude people) but I don't do cleaning so I'm fine!

So where do you think the fabrics ended up while waiting to transition to their new home??? 

In the bath of course!!




I have just put together the kitset for this lovely thing. It will become home to all the threads, tools and other little things that seem to hang out in my sewing room. It will also be a good chance to get rid of some junk!








And one thing that won't be making it to the new studio is this Cover Stitch machine. I don't need it and rarely had the patience to use it anyway. 

So if you want to buy a hardly used machine that is comfortable with swear words let me know.


So tell me - are you a Konmari sort of declutterer or more of a Sarah Knight type? (Warning - Sarah is also very comfortable with swear words.)

No more pics of the studio now until I can do a Big Reveal and show the finished thing...
Ree
xox











Wednesday, 18 January 2017

DIY Studio 2

This is what happens when you watch too many DIY upcycling programmes on TV!! When I first started doing the demo on all the man-shelving in my garage (studio-to-be) I quite liked the huge, old, solid, work bench that was at one end. It was the right height so I had an idea to convert it into a huge, old, solid, cutting table. 

Apart from being very dirty it was also attached quite robustly to the wall (why??!). I nearly gave up then but managed to get it off. Wow, it was so heavy and I had no idea how I was going to move it around. But luckily I have a Dad who loved garage sales so in my tool box was a set of wheels. So I charged up my trusty old drill, flipped the bench on its side (more like let it fall onto a pile of old carpet next to it), and attached the wheels. Magic!

I scraped down the top a little - just to remove lumps as it will have a new top. Then scrubbed the whole thing, I'm not keen on cleaning but I think this thing hadn't been cleaned since it was made and I'm okay with once every 50 years or so.

 Then it was looking a lot better ...


And I had an idea that it would look better if I polished it or something. "Something" turned out to be an expensive ($36!) can of Liming Wax that I had bought years ago for some unrealised project so I thought I would give it a go. It certainly got that "chalk paint" look to it. There was a can of plain furniture wax with the liming one so I decided to give it a coat of that too. By then I was absolutely knackered and will not need to join a gym until this project is over! 

And here she is back in the garage studio all shiny and clean. And she smells fabulous ... wonder what that wax is made of?!





Then I just had to give it a new (huge) MDF top and it is all ready for work!



As soon as I finish off the floor, walls, shelving ...
Ree
xox

Sunday, 15 January 2017

DIY Studio

As Minnie + Ree has grown it has taken over too much of my house! We reached the final straw in December when I had to use the Emergency Storage Space (ESS) for the second time this year to store fabric deliveries. ESS is ... the bath!!

So I have embarked on a mission to convert my garage into a proper studio. This would have been a lot easier if it hadn't become the dumping ground for quite a few UFOs over the last few years. But here is my progress so far:

1. Take a good solid 1960s garage. Spend too many days demo-ing the man-shelving that has been built over the years across two sides of the garage and made from an eclectic collection of materials and about seven thousand nails and screws.
2. Buy a bargain second hand glass door and window unit on Trade Me and get it installed. 


 3. Also get builder to turn old leaky door into a window frame and have it glazed by your fabulous friends who just happen to own a glass business. Luckily there is already lots of lighting in there and now lots of natural light too!


4. Finally get around to installing underfloor insulation in your house and get the garage walls done at the same time. I can't believe how excited I got about that insulation. It made the space feel so unshedlike. And yes that is a proper word, well kind of.
5. Then start painting the concrete floor but don't finish cos you have to pack the car, put on proper clothes and go to a market!

Can't wait til it's finished.
Ree




  

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Summer in the Coromandel

Yay! It's summer time and the living is ... maybe not so easy until I've packed my car and driven to Coromandel.  

Can't wait to get there. And I'm staying right here on the beach!!!


This year Minnie + Ree will be at our two favourite market days. They are:


PAUANUI MARKET DAY, Coromandel
  • 9am - 3pm
    Tuesday 3 January 2017

    Kennedy Park, Pauanui


COOKS BEACH GALA, Coromandel

  • 9am - 3pm
    Wednesday 4 January 2017

    Central Reserve, Cooks Beach

I will have my new linen range with me. I think I will be wearing the favourite yellow, or maybe a new red one.
Ettie linen dress in Red
Ettie linen dress in Yellow



See you there?
Ree




Friday, 19 August 2016

Tokyo 2

One day I stopped for a while and just spent time photographing people walking by. I REALLY like the casual street style and do note the shoes!!