More Corners of my Home

These are the only things on show in my bathroom. I use them all and so they need to be close at hand. The silver tray unifies them and makes it easier to clean the vanity top.

This is on prominent display in our main living area because my son, a budding architect, made it with infinite patience.

All three of these items came from Italy and they now adorn our entrance room.

All these items also came from Italy including this glorious metal safe. It is rather heavy but it can be carried so we don’t keep anything important in it.

This is my latest handbag purchase and my favourite. It’s a stunning mushroom colour which goes with most colours and carries everything I need for work.

I created this little scene inside a glass cabinet. Some of the items are quite precious while others are handcrafted by me to create this vignette.

These are books by my favourite author, Jodi Picoult.

Interesting Fashion Blogs

Here are a few of my favourite fashion blogs and believe me there are thousands out there of varying quality and interest.   Leandra Medine started up her blog after complaining to her friends about her lack of man-attracting skills and her friends came to the decision it was because of her man-repelling clothes so she started a blog about the clothes she wears and it has become one of the most popular fashion blogs on the web. She has a wicked tongue as well as a unique sense of style. Framel has style in buckets – thin, oh so pretty and graceful. Most young women and not so young would kill to have half her natural style.   Haleigh is an American living in Paris and shows us glorious, dreamy photographs of herself and the city she lives in. It is her unique take on her life as shown in photographs that is her special appeal. This is the very popular blog of Scott Schuman who snaps photographs of people in the streets of major cities in the Northern Hemisphere. We here in New Zealand have a thing or two to learn about how to dress from these shots of the stylish, the quirky and the downright unusual. Lee Oliveira is a Brazilian living in Australia and he too photographs people in the streets  – but in the Southern Hemisphere. Gala Darling is uniquely quirky and she’s one of our own – a New Zealander living in The States. She was recently named one of the 10 most influential style bloggers in the world by Fashionista.

From The Glamourai to Portmans

For a while now I have been following a fellow fashion blogger called The Glamourai and yesterday I saw that she had partnered with Portmans to model some of their latest range. I have chosen the outfit I covet the most and you can go to the Portmans website to find the individual garments. Then I have found garments on Trademe to recreate a version of the outfit. Recreating it exactly would be impossible but the idea is the same. Here we go.

Find the garments at these links: Jacket, Top, Scarf, Pants, Shoes.

As a bonus I have put together one of the other looks that Kelly Framel from The Glamourai wore. This comes in a close second.

Buying on Trademe – enter a new world

Q I see a garment I would like to keep my eye on. How do I not lose it?

A If you scroll down the listing, you will see a Watchlist button and you can push that to ensure it will show under your Watchlist section on the left of the listings.

Q I like a garment. Do I bid immediately even though the auction doesn’t close for several days?

A The more seasoned bidder usually waits until shortly before the auction closes and then makes his move. By then you will know what your competition, if any, is and you can make a better decision as to whether it is worth your while bidding. The garment might already be beyond what you would like to pay and so you move on. If the bidding is still reasonable, jump in and see what happens. A word of warning – set your upper limit and discipline yourself to stick to it rigidly. It is very easy to get caught up in the excitement and become over-competitive with the invisible other parties. If there are no bids yet, then go ahead and start with the minimum bid and hope anyone else who is interested has forgotten to turn on their computer for the closing of the auction.

Q What should I do if I can’t be at a computer when the auction closes?

A This is where the auto-bid function comes in handy. Decide what your maximum is for that garment and enter that amount as an auto-bid and then relax. But do make sure it is the auto-bid button and not the bid button. If you win the auction, then it was meant to be. If not, then fortunately you weren’t there to be tempted to increase your upper limit. Auction gavil
Q I see a garment I want but how do I know if it will fit?

A There are two ways to get a fair idea. A garment is entered under a particular size so, if the garment is a well-known brand, you can check the sizing of their garments in a store. If you don’t know where to find that brand or if it is impractical for you to go to the shops before the auction closes, then check out any measurements that might be given and compare them to your own measurements. Unfortunately many listings don’t have measurements and expect you to guess at the sizing. But there is the function for asking the trader a question and this is where you can ask for precise measurements. Don’t be vague – ask for exactly what you want. Eg: bust, waist and length. Surprisingly I sometimes get traders answering that they don’t have a tape measure, which floors me and, of course, I don’t buy the garment.

Q What about the sizing of footwear?

A Again check the brand against an actual shoe or boot in a shop or ask for the inner sole measurement. Get hold of your most comfortable pair of shoes and measure the inner sole and write that somewhere you can find it when you see footwear you fancy online. Only bid if that measurement is exactly the same or you will regret your purchase. The other thing to check is the heel height. This can be deceptive in a photo. Measure your own shoes and see what is the highest heel you are comfortable with and stick to that.

Q I have a particular shade of a colour in mind. How can I be sure the garment is exactly the same?

A In short, you can’t be sure. Photographs can distort the colour, especially if a flash has been used. Black can often look quite grey. You can ask the trader for clarification by asking, for example, if a red is a blue red or a yellow red. That way you might get a better idea but you can never be sure that the trader’s sense of colour is the same as yours. I have had some odd experiences with garments I have bought that looked one colour and turned out to be quite different. That is not really an offence for which you could ask for a refund as no one is really at fault. However, I did once sell a nice turquoise cardigan and was surprised when I had communication from the purchaser that she was unhappy with the colour because it didn’t match her skirt. Rather than get into a battle no one would win, I refunded her money and even the postage both ways, which she demanded was included. I went on to sell it for more money so I didn’t lose out but colour is certainly a sticky issue.

Q What do I do after I win an auction?

A You enter your address on the listing or choose one you have previously entered so the trader knows where to send the item. They will leave payment instructions, you pay and then you wait for your garment to arrive. Some traders are a little slack and the garment doesn’t arrive for some time but I have never had an item not arrive eventually.
Q What can I do if the garment doesn’t fit or is not what was described in the listing?
A If the trader gave accurate measurements but the garment still doesn’t fit, then you will have to keep the item. You can always sell it again on Trademe and hopefully recoup your money. I have occasionally received garments that weren’t suitable but were accurate to the listing description and in good condition. In that case I have always sold them on, sometimes for a profit because I display the clothes on a mannequin and not draped across a bed. If they gave the wrong measurements, then you can contact them and return the garment. They should pay for all postage costs in this case. This has only happened once to me. The trader actually had two skirt exactly the same and had sent me the wrong skirt. He was very gracious and paid all my costs back even before I returned the skirt.
If the garment is damaged and this was not mentioned, then you can definitely return it and expect a full refund. Once I received a garment with blood splatters on it and, as we all know, blood does not come out. I returned it. Another time, I received a jacket in a fabulous pumpkin colour which I loved and was very disappointed to find two marks on it which were still there even after I had it dry-cleaned. I could have returned it but I really wanted to keep it as it matched a floral skirt beautifully so I bought a couple of stick-on motifs and ironed them on over the marks.

Q What happens if the trader doesn’t agree to a refund?

A You can take him/her to the small claims court if the amount of money involved makes it worth it. With all the items I have sold and bought, this has never happened to me as the majority of people on Trademe are there for genuine reasons and don’t wish to stiff anyone.

Q I live in the same town as the trader. Can I pick up the garment from them and pay cash?

A You can check on their listing to see if they allow pick ups. Some people are nervous about having the purchaser turn up at their private home but I personally don’t have a problem with this. In these cases, you can usually pay cash directly to the trader when you pick up the item. But check first with the trader. You have access to their email once you win their auction but not before.

New Zealand Top Model – who can distinguish between them?

My difficulty this season is distinguishing between the girls. They all seem made from the same stamp with a few stand outs. As the season continues, I am sure their personalities will show through and help the process of separating them out. Meanwhile these are the four who have caught my eye for their individuality.
New Zealand top model, Rosanagh Wypych
Rosanagh Wypych
New Zealand top model Aminah Mohammed
Aminah Mohammed
New Zealand top model Aroha Newby
Aroha Newby
New Zealand top model Arihana Taiaroa
Arihana Taiaroa

Love Storm garments? Look at these on Trademe

Storm garments

If any of these look like they might work for you, follow these links:

Jacket Size 12, Patterned tunic (top middle) size 10, Grey dress size 10, Green top size 8, Red dress size 6, Patterned dress (bottom right) size 10, Boots size 9, Belt.

CFDA Awards – from long gowns to trousers suits

Even the designers we love have their own awards and I guess everyone thinks very carefully about what to wear on this special night. There’s a wide variety of outfits worn for this most designer of events.
Below are a few I have chosen for various reasons.
Jessica Alba and Sarah Jessica Parker
Look at these gorgeous colours on Sarah Jessica Parker and the wonderfully pregnant Jessica Alba.
Leelee Sobieski, Kirsten Dunst
Trousers suits represent the height of fashion for Leelee Sobieski and Kirsten Dunst.
Miranda Kerr, Lucy Liu
Black it is for new mother Miranda Kerr and Lucy Liu.

Marcia Cross and Naomi Watts chose to sparkle in their shiny gowns.

Lady Gaga

And as for Lady Gaga who won the Fashion Icon Award, you have to give her props for staying upright on those shoes.

Olivia Palermo in Pleated Chiffon

Pleated chiffon skirts, short, long and mid-length, are right on trend right now. You can find heaps of celebrities in them, creating all sorts of different looks. Wear one with a twin set and pearls for a sweet, retro look or grunge it up with boots and an edgy jacket.

I went onto Trademe to see what pleated chiffon skirts I could find and came up with these.

To find these garments follow these links: long black skirt – size 10, long cream skirt – sizes 6-10, Supre black mini – size 10, raspberry mini – size 6.

Find this skirt here. Size 10.

Find this skirt here. Size 10.

Max – Beautiful Dresses on Sale

Got to love all these sales which are on at the moment. Above is a communication I got today from Max. Click here and you will find some great dresses at well reduced prices.

Black Not Black's Daily Sale

Many of you probably don’t know that the online boutique, Black Not Black has a daily sale for one particular garment, changing it every day.
Today the sale is for a Cassette Society garment, their snowbird jersey mini dress. It was $145 and today it is $70.
You can find them here.