Thursday, November 1, 2018

Escape to Lillingstone Lovell

After my lovely time in Brighton I hopped on the train to Milton Keynes and was picked up by the lovely Nicola whom we met when we were in the UK in 2011. This post here talks about our outings back then.
Off to the delightful village of Lillingstone Lovell we went! I have spent three lovely calm days there - Nicola and I have pottered about vintage shops, eaten delicious Chinese food, her own fabulous home cooking too. And we saw Johnny English which was silly and fun.
This morning before leaving I grabbed some photos of this place which is straight off a chocolate box!
The village noticeboard
Thatch looking good! I love the wee cat.
The church which is ancient and glorious
The decommissioned phone box being overtaken by nature. Creepy but cool.

One of the gorgeous double gable houses
The Gables itself - two old cottages made into one and an extension in the same style. It's the most wonderful marriage of old charm and modern comforts.
Looking down Brookside, which is the name of the street. The eponymous brook is really a ditch and on the right.
Looking the other way along Brookside.
Duvet covers drying in the conservatory -with five guest rooms there's always plenty drying. I love them because they look like ceremonial robes.
I love this Emma Bridgewater wallpaper mural in the dining room. We sell a lot of EB tins and all the designs are on here.
This is Morse - Nicola's Chocolate Labrador who took a shine to me and decided that my bed was the place to be, when I wasn't rubbing his tummy. This is the best Sorry Not Sorry face!
 It doesn't surprise me at all that people stay with Nicola even when they need to drive miles to their destination - it is such a lovely place to stay.
I'm feeling refreshed, my sore legs are feeling better. And tomorrow night, I have my first gig!! Eep!
 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Prinny the Maximalist and me - Royal Pavilion Brighton


Today I visited the Royal Pavilion in Brighton. I knew I would love it, and I did. I wasn't expecting to have such a profound connection to it however and this has moved me to write.
The ceiling of the Music room, with Lotus chandeliers that moved me to tears. More amazing photos can be found here, given one is not allowed to take photos oneself!
The Royal Pavilion is a Temple to Maximalism, but also to consumerism. Prince George (Prinny) let himself go bonkers on this building. More was never enough! It spoke directly into my heart on several levels.
The thought that struck me very early on in the tour was that people talk about Prinny creating the RP, but he didn't. He paid - or in many cases failed to pay - other people to create it for him. He never so much as stitched a stitch in a drape or gilded a cockel shell himself. He was the consumer. It reminded me of a wardrobe of designer clothes curated by a stylist - something that suits the wearer but gives them little agency in the process. No wonder he never found his "top end."  Hearing his story today, I could feel an almost visceral yearning from him to create something himself, that he never sated. But I doubt it would have ever occurred to him to get stuck in and have a go. Or if it did, the urge would be immediately suppressed. Was he ever that self-aware? Who knows. Being a royal at a time when class distinction meant that any kind of manual or physical labour was not for a royal personage would put a stop to that.
The Gallery, which is really a very posh hallway. Photo from link above.
And yet, he loved even the kitchen behind the dining hall, with its four gorgeous palm pillars, and had even dined in it. He seemed to be involved in appointing house staff especially the cook, and paid his staff many times more than the going rate. I hear in all of this a man wanting to connect. His parties where he preferred to be social than play cards, the dining tables laid out in exquisite edible mosaics that were swept away at the end of the night. He clearly had a respect or at least an appreciation for the people who created his world for him.
The Meat kitchen, directly behind the dining room, was a state of the art space for its time - unshown is the high ceiling with windows to let out the heat, and the palm leaves at the top of the four columns.
I have a strong connection to my surroundings at home. If I have curtains on my windows, I chose that fabric and sewed it myself. David and I would have worked out how to hang them, painted and papered the walls - all very hands on and while that is tiring and annoying sometimes, I know it is an expression of who we are. Without this visceral connection to my spaces, I think I would get bored and move on. The combination of knowing we did it ourselves and the daunting reality of the financial and time cost of changing it combine to keep me happy with my lot!
This dining room, with its dragon chandeliers, is beyond words magnificent.
Queen Vic's bedroom with the most beautiful wallpaper. She decided to strip and sell the Pavilion as it was in the city and too exposed, and too small for her tribe of children!
 Prinny's voracious appetite for sex, food, drink, company, beautiful surroundings, never seemed to be sated. He consumed but never really experienced satisfaction or contentment. I wonder what the same man, born into a different family in a different time, might have been like? A painter, an interior decorator, a rock musician maybe? What talents might he have developed if he had to DIY?
Prinny I feel for you.
I can't believe my luck in being here after the eight year restoration of the Saloon was completed.
The Saloon as it now stands, based upon the 1823 schema.
Here is a short video about the restoration. Upstairs was an exhibit showing samples of the originals and some of the processes gone into to make it happen. While the Music Room was hands down my favourite space, having this insight into the restoration process was so exciting. It made my palms itch - I would have loved to help make the gold tassels, or to hand gild the walls. I love me some of that.
So many feels. In the shop at the end of my tour, I bought many, many things. Tea towels and cards and stationery mostly, because these items of paper and fabric imprinted with details from the various spaces, seem to be the closest link to the painstaking creative work gone into creating and then restoring this very special building.
Thank you Prinny you bat sh!t crazy guy, for making this pleasure dome that was never built to last; but in a city so committed to being Extra, is held close to minds and hearts and will forever be preserved.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Brighton, I HEART you, and corsetry!

I am skipping across what happened between leaving Auckland and arriving in Brighton on the south coast of England. Short version: binge watching TV, officious airport staff, insomnia, tube stations and suitcases, kittens, trains.
And here I am in Brighton! What a place, it speaks directly to my heart as a Wellingtonian, but added value is AMAZING architecture everywhere. These are all from the street I stayed on my first night here.



I was laughing with my lovely friend Hester who lives here, how our kiwi eyes see so many details and think, how can that be allowed, it would kill someone in a quake! and then realise, no chance of that happening!
So far I have been on a tour of the pier, water front and some of the town, stocked up at Boots, drunk lots of good coffee, and finally slept for a few hours. Oh, and I had the most exciting experience that I could have, being me. Some of you will appreciate this!
I stayed in an AirBnB on the street shown, and my landlady mentioned in passing that a corsetry business was over the road, in a perfectly unassuming house! This business is Axfords and I was over there knocking on the door asking to chat to Michael the owner in two minutes.
 Michael was happy to talk to me, and the more I saw the more I was blown away. These guys make their own spiral boning, have coutil and cotton/viscose satin and other fabrics woven for them - they've been at it 125 years and in the cutting room (photo) I got to touch and coo and the quality of the garments is fantastic.
I love that this company started in 1880 making utility garments really, at a time when most women would be wearing a corset of some kind. And right through until corsetry evolved into a specific kind of garment for much more niche purposes. Michael says they make corsets for the theatre and TV, and the current production of Rocky Horror.They have three manufacturing locations as Brighton is a place where you have to work around the buildings not vice versa. Their HQ is 82 Centurion Road, where I found them, however...
...this is the other side of the house which is built into the hill so it appears a lot bigger from New Dorset Street that runs behind. The garment construction and boning making happen in two other buildings around the town. There's a big A bricked into the gable that you may be able to make out in the photo - this building was built for Axfords, pretty impressive.
Every corset is made from start to finish by the same corsetiere. Those of us who sew will appreciate what a difference this makes to the quality of the garment. There's as much engineering as sewing in a corset and controlling this is a big part of the quality and durability of the resulting garment.
And can I say that the cutting room smelled like it should? Like an Atelier should. Just magical.
Thank you Michael for letting this random kiwi fizzing with excitement and spouting nonsense in her tired state, into your business and talking to her. I couldn't think of a more fun thing to do - beats the Pier hands down!





Thursday, October 25, 2018

Day one, the long flight


23/10 10.02pm. Auckland International Terminal.
Finally, departure day has arrived. After a day of finding things to occupy myself including dishes, ironing shirts and watching Hustle to get a feel for London, I finally go to the shop to meet David. Putting the smaller case on the shop scales confirms my doubts that it is more than 7kg. Off to the airport we finally head, and we have a teary departing at the drop off.
First things first – weighing bags, My large suitcase which could be 23kg and which I was convinced was close to that, weighs 16kg. What can I say, in spite of appearances, I am a weakling. The small one however weighs 9.5kg. So I remove 2.5 kg of crap from it and transfer the crap over to the big one. Sorted.
Then I try to check in at a kiosk. It will not read my passport. Uh oh. I take a look and there is my unsaggy 2011 photo. I had left home with my expired passport!
A quick panicky call to David and he is on the job; happily I am an hour early. The amazing woman at the desk reassures me it is all fine, checks me into the best seats all the way (as I discover later), we chat about grandparents and our childhoods and badly designed things and she labels my suitcase and all the things and soon my knight in shining Peugeot is back with the new, saggy face photo passport. (I don’t really mind it just amuses me!) He’s my hero! A bit anti-climactic after the teary farewell.
An uneventful flight north and a pleasant stroll through a cool, still evening from the Auckland Domestic to the International terminal and here I am, with three hours to kill and nothing to do but buy over-priced food or souvenirs. I buy a jaunty travel pillow festooned with pohutukawa flowers. The woman shop assistant whispers that she is afraid of another customer who appears to be under the influence of something – extreme tiredness, drugs, who knows. Luckily that customer follows me out rambling and wanders off. I feel like I have opened a window to let a wasp escape.
I finally pass through the passenger-only gates, abandoning the bottle of L&P I bought to wash down pills, and am faced with a huge concourse of booze and perfumes and makeup. The smell is overpowering, my sinuses are not happy. How ironic that we cannot bring more than 100mls of liquid into this space filled with tens of thousands of bottles. With my precious reserves of fund raised money, it just seems so surplus. Finally out the other side, I am sitting quietly in the departure area of my gate, with a handful of travellers. The flight is very under full and I hope to get a row to myself. Or at last an empty seat beside me.
I feel so very unprepared for this trip. I’ve never been apart from David for so long since our first year of long distance bonding. My comfort zone does not include solo travel, lugging suitcases, public transport, staying with people, and living with minimal clothes. For these reasons alone it is good that I am doing it. I desperately need a kick up my butt – performing was meant to be that but it comes too easily to me. I need my life shaking up.
I know that millions do this every day, but I feel like Bear Grylls taking on the Amazon.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Four more sleeps before the UK!

I am pinching myself - only four sleeps to go. A week ago the planning board was crammed with jobs to do, and now most have a black line through them. Very satisfying.
Packing is fun. I need day time clothes as well as costumes and all of the paraphernalia that goes into making hair and face look the part. But things are looking good for a two suitcase only situation, which will allow me at the other end to only need to take one anywhere with me at a time.
It's a plan anyway.
This cross stitch pattern on Etsy is designed by a Wellington based student teacher - I love his work!
So deep am I in the details, I have really only just started to realise what is happening - when people say, see you next week and they are in Brighton!
I have actual paid work to tackle before I go, and focussing is hard. But I feel like I've got the that moment when the stressy jobs are handled. Trains booked, travel hair dryer located, costumes vacuum packed. Roaming for phone sorted, netbook brought up to date, adaptor plug purchased etc.
I even made a money belt! I'm not posting about it until I've test driven it though!!
Wish me luck!

Friday, October 12, 2018

Eugenie knocks it out of the park!

 People I have made 1,000+ wedding outfits in my time. I got married in purple velvet. I am not judging on anyone's taste; as far as I am concerned, what you wear to your wedding is your call, you do you. As a designer and maker, it was my job to go through the impacts of designs with a bride and sometimes suggest an alternative approach. I've troubleshot dresses that don't work front to back, for example. That you can't move in, or breathe in, or that won't stay up! But also it was part of my job to get them to consider the impacts of the venue/s, photos, all kinds of factors. And together we would incorporate all of this into a dress that really expressed the bride's personality, and that PERFORMED. There's never any need to trade these off against each other.
Royal wedding dresses have a lot more performance considerations than commoner ones. Those huge venues, long shots, eternal scrutiny on display in a museum etc etc. There is absolutely no reason why these constraints should stop a royal bride from having a dress that delights her.
Well as far as I am concerned, I think Princess Eugenie nailed it. Her dress is simple, but majestic and beautfiully executed. Unlike her Aunt Diana and her Cousin Meg, both of whose dresses were made poorly. And like her Mother's dress and Cousin Kate's it fits perfectly, and the back is a nod to the back of Sarah's dress but executed in an up to date way.
I also loved her choice not to wear a veil, although I have nothing against veils at all. It was her choice and good on her for doing what she wanted. What I LOVE is that her dress looks good close up and far away, its scale suits the venue and occasion, I cannot say enough how well made it is - OMG that collar is a nightmare to get perfect and it really is. The underpinnings are perfect!

See how that skirt springs directly from her waist and then gracefully falls. That's magic!

Enough train to look good from all those wacky camera angles in the Chapel. Gorgeous from front AND back.
Look at the shape of that skirt! Honestly it is SO GOOD. And that collar is staying put - not easy with a V front and back and a heavy collar to work with. Technically this dress is the hardest one yet.
 I'd never knock the wearer for the quality of the product - and who knows why certain calls were allowed to get a pass, like Meg's short stubby train that just looked stupid under the hugely long veil from the overhead shots, when another 1.5m would have nailed it. And as for Di's, well I am sure they were all coked up or high on hair spray after all it was the 80's and who knows why the sleeves had to be so huge they enveloped a good half of the bodice? But to see a dress that truly realises the vision of the wearer (she was obviously very happy!) and the occasion, well that makes my designer heart very happy indeed!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Getting to the UK one Frida at a time

Hi all, I am on a plane in 14 sleeps and the big old whiteboard is covered in things to do! I arrive at Heathrow on 24 October and will be back in New Zealand by 16 November.
I am broke, cassé, skint, and in order to be able to eat, travel and have somewhere to stay while I am there, I've been fundraising. The gigs I have do pay, and for that I am grateful, but to raise the balance I have been making and selling Frida and Mary jacket patches. Frida outsells Mary by about 10 to one but that's to be expected!
It's actually really satisfying to be able to raise money by making things myself. And with these sales, sales of false drag lashes and performance fees I've raised enough to get by without having to rely on my credit card too much!
Other than that, I'm doing some free lance work, sewing for myself and others, and dealing with three massive things going totally wrong in my life all at once.  Two of them could be sorted by me getting a full time job or a longer term contract, and the third will probably come right faster if I did as well, because the stress of the situation would diminish a lot.
I don't want to go into details about any of them here, sorry to be vague but I'm in that weird place where pretending everything is OK is just not possible because it isn't, yet sharing the details is not a thing I can do right now either. Suffice to say that corporate greed and earthquakes are behind the troubles. One day I'll tell all.
In the meantime, I am blown away by the kindness of people!!! Friends and family who through small and huge acts of kindness just keep reminding me that life is worth persisting with.
On my to-do list is Fabricabrac this Saturday. The bi annual huge destash market that started in Wellington and is now happening all over NZ. I decided to use it as  chance to clear out my ridiculous stash of fabric in the shop store room and today Penny and I hauled out boxes and bins full of it!
This is a FRACTION of what we unearthed. It was crazy. I found stuff I forgot I had, had bought again, and generally realised that I am a HOARDER.
Anyway it's sorted more or less, scraps in colour themed bags, size and value sorted, everything. And I tell you I am not bringing stuff back. I kept back about a binful at most, the rest if it doesn't sell is going to a charity. But I think I'll be seeing lots of happy people walk out with it.
And thus will I make just a little bit more for my trip. :) In full knowledge of the money wasted on buying it in the first place. But to be honest I've not really added to my hoards much in the past few years, I've just dragged the stuff around after me. So by getting rid of it, it is an end of yet another era!
If you are in Wellington and love fabric, come to Fabricabrac - at St Anne's Hall, Emmett Street, Newtown 10am-2pm this Saturday 13 October. There's a huge car park and the church collects a gold coin donation for it. You can do your fruit and vege shopping next door too! https://fabricabrac.wordpress.com/wgtn/
Update after Fabricabrac: I went with five boxes and came back with one small box! WIN!

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Test run!

Hello all! Last night at my favourite little bar S&Ms,* I tried out the wee show that I'll be doing in Glasgow on 10 November. A group of diverse and devoted friends and fans turned up, and it was lovely to look down upon such a warm room, as we say.
It's been quite a week. It started on Monday with a funeral of a friend from the Burlesque community who died suddenly of a stroke. She was only a year older than me and we are all heartbroken. I had the privilege of speaking on behalf of our community, and at her husband's request, we formed an ostrich feather fan of honour over her coffin as it was carried out. Sober times, but as is so often the case at a funeral, the sheer goodness of people is also moving.
I spent Friday afternoon/evening and Saturday with my darling sis Jo and a bunch of other quilters at a retreat. It was SO GOOD to hang out with these wonderful women, and churn out a whole range of things! I love binge sewing and retreats are heaven - no interruptions, no cooking, just sewing.
Because I was performing in a fundraiser in the afternoon as well as the evening show, I went home late on Saturday. I had also reached an impasse with the quilt project I was working on, as one does.
The things that happened in the rest of the week I can' share about but they are huge. When some kind of way forward is found, I will share.
For today, getting my passport updated before I leave in three weeks is a priority!

*Stands for Scotty and Mal the owners, not something else!

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Our value as Women - or lack thereof.

I realise that I don't write much about the tumultuous side of my life; but THIS is something on my mind. Be warned - the curve from rhinestoning to this post is a steep one. But it's been brewing.
The above is me. I am 53, about a size 26, 5' 10". I love what I see in the mirror, because it is what I have to work with. I didn't get to be this way because one day when I was super modelling I thought, "eh this sucks, I'm eating all the pies." I was born and have always been a fat person.
For MANY people, this means I am less than human. I am a drain on the tax payer, lazy, unmotivated blah blah blah. For someone who is clearly MORE than, I am LESS than.
I live with this and am fairly inured to it as a result, however from time to time it cross-ignites with other things in life and I get angry.
Women readers, do you understand and relate to the experience that men make so many decisions about women based on how f*ckable we are? Men reading, please hang in there because this is important.
The woman above is unf*ckable. She is too old now to breed and she's fat so basically, she's almost invisible. Not to those who know her but walking down the street, in the supermarket, just not there.
THIS woman is f*ckable:
Yeah, right...
THIS woman gets hit on all the time. This is by men of all ages and types too. Mostly younger than me. It is not even remotely flattering; really, being hit on by someone who can't see past thick makeup, fake hair and eyebrows and sparkly clothes is like being attacked by a magpie.

SO here's what I am beginning to work out. When I was fertile, I was not every guy's idea of being f*ckable. Fat women or women who prefer to dress and groom in a masculine way (I'm going to use the word "butch" for this), have taken themselves out of trying to be as f*ckable as possible and are treated as LESS all the time. I know a disturbing number of butch women who have been beaten up, I have been threatened myself. From the oiks hanging out car windows driving past shouting out insults just so I am absolutely sure that I am unf*ckable to them, to the physical menacing that can also happen.
HOW DARE a woman of fertile age take themselves out of the game like that?
Since I hit menopause and got old and invisible, I don't get this any more. Age is something that clearly we can't help. Women who colour their hair, get face lifts or whatever and try to push back on age - they risk being judged as having failed in their attempts, although I notice this is a BIG driver for many women. I didn't realise how anxious I was not to be seen as a woman trying to push back, but it appears that I occur like that when I am Constance. Because men hit on me, women want makeup tips and I get told off when I do makeup looks that are not pretty. Like this:
It's not about looking pretty, people!
So where did this all come from? Well, on another blog I read, this image was posted, and the commenters went to town judging and speculating among themselves the relative value of the model Tess Holliday (not that anyone gave her her name as a human being) and WHY the magazine did this.

Source
For me, this is a great example of the purpose of modelling being accurate for once. Fat women find it hard to work out if RTW clothes will fit and suit them if they cannot see them on a model who represents them. Cosmo is helping to market a product to a demographic of women that is underrepresented in fashion publications, to the detriment of the industry.
But what most people see is something quite different. They see an unf*ckable on the cover of a mag and they are affronted. Because obviously a women's magazine cover is there to appeal to men, right?
SO much judgement about "The Obese" about Tess, about Cosmopolitan.
FFS people, it's a magazine cover, not an invitation for sex. WHY oh WHY must everything be about whether men want to f*ck us, how appalling it is to present as unf*ckable, how worthless we are if we are no longer f*ckable, how hopeless we are if we cannnot maintain a level of f*ckability.

I'm not sure I've nailed how I feel about this or the issue at all, but the women I have talked to about it are not at all surprised by this theory. They often hadn't thought of it quite that way but it lands as very real when they do.
To the men in the world, you have a 0.03 second moment when you decide if you would f*ck a woman or not, you can't help it but you are not animals, you can choose how you respond. Please consider that we may not care, we may not be interested, we may have other things on our minds and other intentions. PLEASE mind your own business.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

How to Rhinestone

This is the costume I've been working on forever. Today I started the back of the skirt
I refer to rhinestoning as just stoning, and given the need to heat things in spoons on elements and little plastic baggies, frankly the whole set up is a bit Stoner!

This is how I do it. It works really, really well, does not involve toxic glues and doesn't take very long. I took photos as I went, hopefully these will illuminate the process!
You need:
My menu of rhinestones - AB Rosaline and AB Rose, AB Peridot, Peridot and Emerald. These wee baggies are worth nearly as much as I imagine they would be if they contained an illicit substance ;-) These are from www.rhinestonz.co.nz
  • Something to Rhinestone (my robe as shown above)
  • Flatback rhinestones - I use Arabesques because I am a cheapskate - they are fifth of the price of Swarovskis and not quite as good, but on this costume it's all about the quantity. 
  • Beeswax
  • A wooden skewer
  • A teaspoon with a heatproof handle
  • Aleene's Tacky Glue - it is by far the best glue as it holds its shape really well and dries fast. For stretch fabrics or things you will need to wash, use Aleene's Flexible and Stretchable, which isn't quite as thick but holds a blob well.
  • Silicone baking paper - pretty much essential for thin fabrics or areas like sleeves where you have to have one layer of a costume over the other.
  • PATIENCE
 To make an applicator stick, first cut a sliver off a block of beeswax. Pop this into the bowl of the teaspoon and put on an element to soften/melt.
 You only need a little bit of beeswax for this - you can use the rest for sniffing!
 When it is soft enough to mash up with the end of the skewer, gather up some and form a  knob of it on the skewer end. Let it get a bit firmer before using.
 I am starting with the dark green stones. I tip enough to do the job onto a lid, so I can move them around easily while working.
 While my beeswax is cooling, I turned all of the stones up this way.
I spread the gown on the kitchen bench return, over a layer of the silicon paper.
 Now squeeze out wee blobs of the glue where you want the stones to go. With these deep green stones, I am working on the darkest branches of foliage in the pattern.
See how many blobs I can do in advance! You can do more than this too. The glue stays wet for plenty of time, though I wouldn't wander off halfway through to take a long phone call. I use the wax stick to gently catch the top of a rhinestone and transfer it to a blob of glue. Gently press it in.
  This is the whole branch completed. See all that white glue showing? It's a good thing! It dries clear but the ring of glue means the stone is held well in place.
This shows the second round of stoning - once I completed the first branch (top of pic) I then glued up two more.
Here's the finished area after I've gone over it again with the other colours of stones. Because this is the back, I've been pretty light-handed - the fronts have about three times as many stones. But I have found the hard way that backs of costumes get a hard time with sitting etc, so this is just about it not being obviously not done!

Top tips:
  • Your beeswax applicator my get less effective if it is cold.  I use my fingers to soften it back up again. Remember you need only the lightest pressure to lift the stone and transfer. It should release, really easily as a result.
  •  Aleene's dries enough to peel the fabric off the paper in about an hour. Gently peel it off - it will be stuck but it will still lift. It is not dry enough to wear until at least the next day but preferably a good week of curing is best. But with a huge job like this neverending robe, I need to shift the completed stuff so I can do the next section
  • Of course you can follow a pattern - I do this too but it is far easier to follow the pattern of a piece of lace, a print or a brocade design. Same principles apply.
  • If you can't find non-hot fix in your colour, get the hot fix ones and stick them on this way. It's no biggie.
  • ALWAYS stretch out garments that are worn stretched, before you do them. 
  • ALWAYS use a thick, tacky glue like Aleenes - if you are working on a foam cup bra or some other surface that is not flat, it won't dribble down the slope like GemTac or Tiger Grip. Not all PVA based glues are the same!
Good luck and let me know how it goes!





Monday, August 20, 2018

A Perfect Wedding

The perfect wedding is one where the couple feel truly like their love is expressed in their own unique way. Whether it's a picnic or a banquet; if that's who they are then that's perfect.
On Saturday evening Clever Hansel and I had the incredible honour of entertaining guests at a beautiful, unique wedding. A couple who had been together for 23 years.
The venue was the Wellesley Hotel -the closest thing Wellington has to a proper old style hotel.
 This is the foyer, photo found in a Google search that doesn't do it justice. My job was to come down those stairs at the back sing Diamonds Are Forever, segueing into Diamonds are a Boy's Best Friend dressed to the nines!
These are the Nines to which I was dressed! I dropped the amazing organza coat on the landing to much whooping. Thanks to Amanduh La for the lend of coat and much blingy jewellery!

This is the reception room photo from the Hotel's website. 
An actual photo in the reception room of Clever Hansel, using the auto setting on his phone as I was wearing gloves and no glasses, so no photo taking for me! So suave. Clever sang Putting on the Ritz straight after my number. It was fun!

Later, we entertained during the reception (after I changed into something more comfortable, also covered in sequins!) with a rewrite of our song about food intolerances, renamed the Catering Song, and then a song we wrote especially for the happy couple.
It was a beautiful wedding and the couple were over the moon about the whole thing. Tons of floral arrangements, candles, handmade chocolate favours, black tie and sequins on the guests and the couple themselves looking immaculate in tuxedos. Magical.

After, I was hyped and decided to go to the Southern Cross to catch High Society's late night spot. I love this jazz band and I love Nicole their singer forever.
 Here we are being silly! Naturally I didn't change as there's nothing quite like arriving at someone else's gig in head to toe sequins ;-)

I do so love my night job!