Tag Archives: music

Julia Bobbin fabric giveaway and Vogue 1267

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Last year when we were still living in Holland I won my first ever blog giveaway from the AH.MA.ZING Julia Bobbin. It traveled all the way from Australia to Holland and then back to New Zealand. This fabric has a seriously big carbon footprint. It needed to be made into something special. Which resulted in special-induced-inertia. (We all get that with certain fabric right?!)

After a lot of thought I made a gut decision when I saw Vogue 1267. I wanted a ‘sexy’ cocktail dress for a concert I was singing at and I thought this would fit the bill: covered up and comfortable, yet quite racy in its own way.

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My thoughts on the pattern: relatively easy to sew although asymmetrical hems are just trying. (Thankfully I had the family on board to help – I’m sure they were all sick of it by the end!)

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I made no adjustments apart from changing the fitting of the side seams. I went up two sizes (Vogue patterns are notoriously small) and needed to take it in all the way except to my ‘seat’ which happens to hit at the exact same place every pattern I ever make is tapering back in from the hips (of which I have none). I then let out the side seam from this point to the hem as I knew for stage I would appreciate the extra ‘wiggle’ room!

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My only fail with this pattern was making the lining up as a toile and not taking into consideration the asymmetrical hem – oops, wrong way around! I chopped it off, turned it around and reattached it. (Don’t look on the inside!)

My only other comment was that probably the pattern and the fabric weren’t the best of friends. Probably something much more fitted and structured would have suited the satin as it really catches the light at every seam, crease, dart, fold… However that’s also what makes it a great choice for stage as it lit so well. (One of my friends in the audience remarked “It was like the lighting guy designed all the lighting just for your dress!”)

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Every wondered how people get such great photos on their blogs – I’ve used a professional!!

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And so this is Christmas (5/5)

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So here we are at the last of the advent swap posts.

Day 21 – the world didn’t end and Zara gave me a lovely notebook from Typo; day 22 – a very sweet little piece of wall art/craft; day 23 – a gorgeous purse (you can never have too many of these I believe and love this fabric); Christmas Eve – cupcake shaped biscuit cutters and some very cute cupcake liners; and lucky last on Christmas Day – a very cool cushion cover made from a up-cycled tea-towel and a bag of Starburst lollies.

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What I gave: a copy of my EP The Rest is Elsewhere; an awesome vintage copy of Little Women (a favourite); a handmade Christmas decoration; a Christmas themed Little Golden Book and lastly for Christmas day a handmade necklace and a scrabble fridge magnet of the letter Z of course.

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The Advent Swap has been a lot of fun, both in the giving and receiving and I feel very spoiled to have had someone as creative as Zara to swap with. I’ve genuinely enjoyed the homemade gifts the most, the thought and the creativity that has gone into them have been much admired and appreciated.

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And now that Christmas is here I am looking forward to relaxing in the company of my loved ones and this lovely little lady who insisted on snuggling into me while I was trying to take my photos!

May your Christmas be merry and bright. See you in the New Year.

Like Horses

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Here is our latest song from our Speak Softly project. This is the last song written and recorded on the Nieuwemeerdijk, Holland so it’s fitting that it deals with the subjects of dreams, desires, letting go and saying goodbye.

I hope you enjoy it and if you do it’s available for free download. So head on over to Speak Softly and get it for your player – or if you’re old-school like us, you can burn it to a CD!

Disclaimer: While we have some renown for our awesome low budget videos, the fact that our computer is getting packed up and sent back to New Zealand in two days prevented us from living up to our normal standard, so please enjoy this slightly new-age image in the meantime and we’ll try and rectify this on our return.

Linking in with other creative types here.
I share my creative space on Village Voices
and here

Heading Home

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I thought it was about time for another songwriting post.

This song we actually wrote and recorded in February to commemorate the year anniversary of the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake and especially the loss of a friend. I didn’t share it here as I didn’t have this blog at the time, but it seems appropriate that I do now.

We have been living in Holland for a little under ten months and it’s not possible to stay here with the immigration laws the way they are. Consequently we have decided to return to Christchurch and will arrive back there in September – a little under a year after we left. We hope in some way to be able to contribute to the rebuild of the city.

So it’s a time for memories – both happy and sad. And for dreams and new plans. I hope this is somewhat encapsulated in this song.

Joining in here

I share my creative space on Village Voices

And the winner is…

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Thanks to the lovely people who entered my draw and to all the others who didn’t enter but came over for a visit and had a listen to the music. It was a lot of fun!

And now for the winner, I used random.org to choose the winner and it came out as Liz Humphreys! Congrats Liz and I will be emailing you the tracks asap.

Broken Man – and my first ever giveaway!

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This is our latest song. It’s called Broken Man and it’s essentially a song about disappointment, although I always like it when people read into songs their own meaning, so find in it what you will.

For those of you that are interested in the process, my better half comes up with musical ideas, I write the lyrics and the melody. He arranges, mixes and produces the final effort and usually at some point we drive each other a bit crazy with *unsolicited feedback* along the way!

We record in the lounge of our 55m2 apartment trying to avoid the sound of planes landing at Schipol Airport which we are under the flight path of. We use (and when I say “we” I mean my husband!) a Zoom H4N, a Shure Beta58A, a Nord Stage, Reaper and Reason and a truck load of creative thinking 😉

We make our super high-budget videos using a Canon digital camera (photographic not video), free footage we find on the net and a really bad editing programme Windows Movie Maker – much pulling out of hair and sighing!

And now for the giveaway! So exciting.

I am giving away a digital copy of our EP which at present contains 7 tracks including Broken Man.

You can enter a whole lot of ways:

  1. Go to our Bandcamp page, listen to the tracks and comment back here telling me which is your favourite.
  2. *like* our FB page and then comment back here to tell me you did.
  3. Share the Broken Man video on FB, Twitter or your blog and comment back here to tell me you did
  4. Comment on one of our YouTube videos here and then comment back here to tell me you did.

Every comment you make below telling me about one of these actions will get you a entry and for every 20 comments below I’ll give away another copy of the EP.

I’ll announce the winner(s) next Monday (May 28) so check back here on Monday to see if you got lucky.

Linking in with lots of other very creative types here.
I share my creative space on Village Voices

Jingles and holdalls

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Next Monday is Queen’s Day (Koninginnedag) here in Holland. It’s a national holiday and a big party all day for most people. You are also allowed to sell things on the street. People get up early tape off a square of the pavement and set up shop. I’m going down to Amstelveen with neighbours to sell goods together. I’m selling hand made bags and purses made from stash scraps.

Here’s some shots of the first few – no straps yet and ‘scuse the wrinkles!

A good way to use up scraps.

Me and the better half have also had some fun making jingles for the radio show I co-host on Mondays, English Breakfast Radio. Amsterdam’s only English language radio show. (That’s him looking all mysterious and sexy in the photos next to the track!)

They’re for two of our regular segments: Dutchies You Should Know (Particular Dutch people of interest) and Around the World (The quirky, the strange, the downright hilarious news stories from around the world).

Hope they make you smile.

See what other clever cookies are doing over here.