Monday, May 8, 2017

Hi-de-hi-de-hi-de-hi!

Now folks here's the story of Constance the Moocher!
We did our show and it was fun! I found just the right jacket at City Chic, because tailoring jackets is not my bag for a costume. I made the trousers and the corset I embellished. The rad pink sequin trim that looks a bit like film was $1m. Cheapest costume I ever made!
 Three rows of the trim on the lapels.
 I trimmed the already pink corset with rows of the sequin
 Side trim for trousers, which are super wide, in keeping with the era but also my shape! I am not made for fitting trousers!
 The back wall of the stage area we decorated with clocks of all sizes.
It was strange using a hand held microphone, I usually have a head mike but it was feeding back everywhere so we ditched it. I felt very off not being able to wave both my arms around all the time!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Photos can make you look different!

This is me! It blows my mind! I am sitting on a chair backward, leaning forward, wearing a top hat. Sort of a la Marlene Dietrich. Because, you know, we're so alike hehe.
Sunday past, we did a photo shoot for our 1930s themed cabaret on 6 May and this was one of them.
L-R: Mz Twinkle aka Debbie, Me, Pip, Andrew, Dahlia Dangerous aka Stacey
Group shot. Sadly our two lovely boys couldn't make it to the photo session, but Andrew our inseparably important tech support and husband of Debbie, got scrubbed up to help out. He is very much an integral part of all of our shows so he deserves to be in the cast pic.
The upshot of all this is that we had so much fun! I get bored really fast in photo shoots because I get tired of being snapped, to be honest. But a group shoot is awesome because we had a laugh and we all got a break.
If you are in Wellington NZ and fancy a trip back in time, the show is on at S&Ms, 8pm 6 May, bookings on Eventfinda. xo


Friday, April 21, 2017

Cake for a Fifth Birthday

On 1 April, I turned 52 and my favourite show, Caburlesqe, turned 5. So we had a HUGE cake.
I love making tall cakes - they are so impressive but really not too hard to do. Time consuming yes. Difficult, not so much. The trick is to know your strengths and stick to 'em.
The cake, enough to feed the whole audience and provide cake for a bunch of lunchboxes for a week.
The little frames are made in white chocolate from a silicon mold then brushed with gold lustre dust. The images in them were printed onto an edible sheet by an Auckland company. A trim and a lick of tylose glue and they were all done.
I tried to create an imprinted velvet look by brushing red lustre dust through a rococco type of stencil onto the red fondant but it is a bit subtle! The bottom tier I sprayed with edible gold paint. I love that stuff.
Sadie von Scrumptious and I are the cake fairies - it was Sadie aka Emily, who got married last August. We share Emcee duties and it is rare for us both to be on stage together ad we had a pile of fun!
I got ambushed! Debbie our producer seen here planting one on my cheek, presented me with flowers! Such a lovely birthday surprise <3 p="">
Currently I am feeling the early stages of the nasty cold making its way around the city. Erg. So, it's vitamin C and rest for me. Wish me luck; I don't fancy a winter like last year again.
Mind you, the new shop is warmer and drier than the old one was and maybe I will shake it off!

 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Good Friday Catch Up!

Ah, Easter is upon us. I've been rather busy for the past however-many weeks, with new staff, new projects and chasing up evidence of past ones to share.
Finally, a result! Remember in February I had a show in the NZ Fringe Festival with my delightful friend Hans - it seems an eternity ago now. But finally I've had time to go over the videos of each night, choose the one I like best and start uploading them to YouTube. as you dotube.
Our show is Clever and Constance Sing Songs for Grownups. It is thus titled because we sing about things that young people don't really have to deal with.
Of all the songs we butchered in the show, this one is the one everyone keeps talking about. It is very long, but there's a reason for that. The actual song starts about 2:50.
Apologies to my overseas readers, as my accent can sound rather like a chicken clucking I feel. Happily the singing is a bit easier to follow!
If you enjoy this and want to see more, follow the video to YouTube - this song is in a playlist of other songs from the show.
More on weddings and other things soon xo

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The finish line is in sight!

Goodness me the endurance race that has been my February is close to the finishing line!
Songs for Grown Ups closed last night - it was the best fun! Our second venue was a small downstairs club seating about 50 people and it felt just right for what we do.
Costumes hung away, wigs and makeup stowed, sales tallied and initial post show reflections begun.
We have video being edited, but not photos.
Except a couple of selfies! From left to right: Gertrude aka Penny, our dour and terrifying stage manager/care giver. Penny is a smiler and it was an act of supreme self control to maintain a poker face! Constance in her new robe, revealing all her chins. Peeking in at right is Clever Hansel. We all look like our characters!
So, that complete, I've spent today organising everything I need to do in order to drive to Auckland tomorrow! It's an 8-10 hour drive so I am wanting to get going earlyish.  Our Sarah gets married on the 4th and I am part of the "week before pit crew"!
The sewing machine, steamer as well as all the usual stuff one needs for a week away are pretty much under control. NOT under control is the Stepmother of the bride outfit. It is mostly finished in a bag - I have some sewing tasks to do up there so I can finish it then. My attempts to make an orange lace bolero were stymied by me being an EEJIT (more later) so at my Kat's suggestion I dyed one I already own orange, then will overdye it red later. Nobody needs two orange lace boleros.
But today I did fit in some retail therapy. I rarely buy RTW, but I wanted a back up shrug option, and found a black chiffon one at City Chic which could be useful. Also making it into the bag are a leopard skin dress, a fetching halter neck top, and a bra and undies set SO BRIGHT it could be seen from space. I also talked another lady into buying a dress that looked amazing on her.
Oh my, I am looking forward to this week away. A change is as good as a rest and with an action packed schedule of preparation and fun, it will be change not rest, but joy is very invigorating and I am VERY joyful about this.
So many photos and tings to share when I get back. I've done so much interesting sewing but it will have to wait.
Love to you all xo





Thursday, February 16, 2017

Opening Night

We did it! We got through to the end!
It was crazy - Hans got delayed in Auckland and didn't land until about 6.30, I went to a meet and greet of a producer from the Melbourne Fringe before our show so I had to get my face and hair on hours early. And other chaos, not to mention sharing a dressing room, short tech turnarounds, first night nerves and that strange feeling of diving into the abyss that cabaret always gives one. There is only so much we can script after all, besides the songs.

 My Partner in Crime, Hans aka Clever Hansel. I love this picture as it shows him with his uke and two gadgets, all very quintessential!
I love this shot, it is us to a T. It's not from last night - honestly taking photos couldn't have been farther from our minds! 

I dropped surprisingly few lines, but am working to not drop any at all tonight. It's a strange feeling doing it again - with cabaret as we usually put a show together, it is a one off, like a chalk drawing on the foothpath washed away by the rain. A mixture of sadness and relief comes with this! 

So wish us luck!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Who's Queen?!

 So, how does one Emcee a Burlesque show dedicated to the band Queen? As a queen of course!
 Zip up RTW short jacket, embellished with real lace from my stash, and the pale blue sash of a Monarch.
 Bustle overskirt whipped by my shop seamstress Kat, when I realised the day before that I was not going to find the one I already had in time. Wee crown by my lovely friend Paul, on a lace headpiece and veil.
 Of course, it wouldn't be a Burlesque show without a bit of disrobing nonsense. In this case, while singing Crazy Little Thing Called Love!
 That's a worrying expression!
The final reveal! The devore velvet fashion corset I bought online in sale from Ashley Stewart. The velvet frayed away from the seam allowance on first wearing. Disappointing but I like it enough to fix it. RTW is what it is!
So now, back to show writing and rehearsing. As you were xo

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

What I have been up to.

Hello! I'm alive! I've been:
  • working in our new shop space, which is much busier with curious people popping in  - not buying necessarily but keeping us busy!
  • working on a wedding dress revamp. It may be summer here but this snowy white fluff ball of tulle feels like a snow blizzard, only hot to be stuck under! I can't show you photos yet as the bride hasn't seen it, Patience..
  • doing a gig! Yes in spite of swearing that this year I would not overdo it, I did a comedy show called Sing it Wrong on Saturday night, which is a bunch of stand up comics writing silly, satirical lyrics to popular songs. It is such a lot of fun to do and watch, my fave comedy show in my city. No pics tho.
  • writing a show! Yes, Clever and Constance sing Songs for Grownups is coming along very well.
The show I CAN share about. The weekend before last, Hans and I did a photo shoot as we only had photos together from our Sweeney Todd Little Priest number, which would scare anyone away!

Yes, the ukulele is used in the making of this show. We have a Hawaiian inspired number, and another classic that isn't generally associated with the ukulele, but it is fabulous!
Other songs are accompanied by more traditional backing tracks, a couple of which are being arranged by Hans' brother. Such a Clever family!
Locals who are interested in our Fringe Festival show, you can click here to see the dates and times
So, my evenings go - write some lyrics and/or rewrite lyrics already written, then bead bead bead the dress.
I have now finished beading, I think, and just have some construction things to do - put zip in, finish adjustments to lining and rehem. The dress was purchased new but needed a lot of tidying up and resizing and refining, and as is so often the case, the huge underskirt with train was bagged into a lining. But, it was 10cm longer on one side than the other! So, I thought I would undo the lining and finish it separately, and narrow hem the skirt. But now I am thinking I might bias hem the bits I've shortened, catching in both layers, and hand stitch to the lining.


Either way I have until Saturday to get it done as it is going back home on the plane with Ms Bride.
So, I'm off to catch some much needed sleep as I've got a couple of long sewing bees to get through yet.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Moooving Made on Marion to Tory



We have moved our business! Back in April 2016, 17 Marion St was sold to a developer whose plans for it did not include us. So, we had to find an alternative space, and after a long and frustrating search, we hit the jackpot!! We are now open at 1/100 Tory St. This is right opposite Moore Wilson’s which is the Wellington foodie mecca, and super busy.
Moving 200sqm of accumulated stock and STUFF was no mean feat. And over the summer break too, when getting movers and skip suppliers and sorting out power and phone and internet was a heck of a ride. And our new shop needed to be gutted and refinished from two smaller spaces, too. By golly those tradies did a fantastic job. In five weeks they turned two cafes into one shop.
The top two shots are the corner cafe and the bottom two are the secret one tucked in beside it that is now mostly our studio
It was really sad saying goodbye to Marion St, where Golding Handcrafts opened in 1997, the fourth location since 1968 and our base for nearly five years, but it was very timely too – the November quake damaged parts of the Marion Square Parking building opposite us causing it to close, the Post Office to permanently close and several other businesses to close temporarily, and the pedestrian access from Cuba St to be cordoned off. Overnight it went from a vibrant hub of design activity to a ghost street.
This space has not been empty since 1997. MrC took these pics and as a result got sent back to retrieve the fabric in the right corner of the left photo! It has reels of thread on it, naturally...

So, every cloud has a silver lining for someone. And we have a clean, bright shop in a building that is very safe when the ground shakes, and is in an exciting and vibrant pocket of the city.
Some shots of our new space, featuring my sister Jo!
We could not have achieved this huge task without the army of volunteers who turned up to pack and then unpack. Thank you so much to you all: To Kim (and her husband’s muffins!), Polly, Zara, Angie, Julia, Debbie, Andrew, Richard, Emily, Richard, Jane, Leslie, Fiona, Chrissy, Jo, Zoe, Ron and Jenny, Kirsten, Leimomi, Karen, Karyn, Glenn, Mel, Lucille, Jehanne, Kat, Grace, Felix; you are all heroes xo