Sunday, 2 June 2019

Famous Model

Laura was our model for the second Minnie + Ree photoshoot with photographer Karolina Stus. Laura is a brilliant writer. Here's her story about being a Famous Model.

Lily dress with boro
Being taller than the average and heavier than the average, feeling and looking great in clothes can be a challenge.  Partly because many clothes are designed and constructed with a set of assumptions that don’t work on my body.  The other part of the challenge is how I see myself in clothes – sadly a common challenge.  

This is why agreeing to be a clothes model was a quietly confronting proposition.  Minnie + Ree clothes are great, and I feel great in them, but with very very limited experience in modelling could I make them look great?  Would I feel great when I saw the photographs?  Would I be happy for other people to see the photographs?  But I did it anyway.

I approached the day with a small amount of trepidation, a reasonable amount of ‘what the hell?!’, and a large amount of “ohmigosh I don’t want to muck this up for Minnie + Ree.”  Turns out, when you are wearing Minnie + Ree clothes, and being photographed by Karolina Stus, there isn’t anything to worry about.

On the day (following essential coffee drinking and outfit planning) we were straight into the modelling.  With a confident Ree and Karolina who knew exactly what was needed I was surprised at how quickly I relaxed and enjoyed it.  Karolina was clear and professional, giving me excellent and supportive direction on what to do.  I felt fantastic in the clothes.  Unexpectedly, and awesomely, I didn’t have to be anyone other than me.  I was wearing clothes I like, in the way I like to wear them, with my hair style, my make up, my jewellery, and my shoes.  I was so comfortable, in fact, that I found myself standing on a public walkway in M+R pants and my bra while Karolina photographed the linen dress looking gorgeous in the long, dry, summery grass!

Lily gauze dress
I love these clothes, so yes I want to support M+R.  Having said that, I don’t say things I don’t believe so this isn’t a puff-piece – I own Minnie + Ree clothes.  When I was thinking about why I feel good in these clothes, it’s because they don’t assume your shape.  When you put them on it feels like Ree has crafted them with the assumption that women want to feel fabulous.  She seems to know that we want to wear clothes that have enough personality to be interesting, but with enough space for us to inject our own personality into the outfit.

When I saw the photographs, they felt real.  Karolina has done a wonderful job of making them true to the clothing, true to me, and true to how the day had felt – warm, relaxed, fun.  I even thought I looked really good (I know!).  While I knew the photos would be used far and wide for promotion, I did wonder how I would feel about that when the time came.  Now I know – I have no qualms at all.  That’s because Minnie + Ree clothes are awesome, Karolina’s photographs are awesome, and I feel awesome about how I look.

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Up stitching

I love hand stitching - it's beautiful, meditative, creative, relaxing, and feminist. Check out this smock from about 1900, beautifully worked in the suffragette colours of purple, white and green. Women have always stitched, and it wasn't always as meek and mild as perceived.

So this year's 'holiday' in North Queensland is all about upping my stitch game, and developing my own style and designs. I travelled with two suitcases - one summer clothes, one full of the chaos of my embroidery life.

It looks like this when unpacked a little, but dig a bit deeper and it's crazy in there. Lots of colours, textures, WIPs ... love it!

There are also a few pre-purchased kits. My learning plan is to buy the kit, and complete it, WITHOUT MAKING ANY CHANGES. This is so not my thing, but I find it's the best way to make me learn new stitches and approaches. And there's a few books in there somewhere too. And some floss cards to tidy that mess!

So that's the plan. Let's see how it goes ;-)

And here's a pic of my new morning walk. AFTER I got over the ups and downs of two days of being very sick, a fabulous new haircut, and re-entry into the world of fitness...


Sunday, 21 April 2019

Photo shoot

Over the last few months we have done a couple of photo shoots with local photographer Karolina Stus.  This was huge fun!! I will let the pictures tell the story but do note - both models were friends and are not professional models. And they totally rocked it on their days!

Mollie dress

Mosey knit pant

Mollie dress

Lily dress with boro

Lily stripey gauze dress

Our next blog post will be written by our Famous Model Laura.

Friday, 21 September 2018

sunny and warm ...

Headed off to Queensland for a few days. The mission was to get some sun, find some fabrics, check out a few maybe-stockists for Minnie + Ree, and go to a class to start learning how to make Minnie + Ree necklaces! 

So I'd decided to go and stay at Redcliffe for a few nights. It's on the coast and has a big Sunday market. Maybe it wasn't quite what I expected but that's okay - it was by the sea and new experiences are good. To get there I rented a car and got a new Hyundai. 

So if I had a Bucket List and it included getting a brand new car I could give it a ✅. Not really that exciting though. Look here: I've done 50km, most of it lost in the dark with no sense of direction trying to get to Redcliffe!

And here's the big fabric shop ... aisles that go for miles, total overwhelm!

And the market - really long too!

Still hadn't found anything that excited me, and then I went to class. My sense of direction was still on holiday and I drove around Brisbane a bit more. The class was about using polymer clay. I'm applying the same theory as my pattern-making: learn enough of the rules so you can break them and do something new. Here's my hands getting into conditioning the clay... and turning green.

And I made this - not really where I think I'm going with this but good to experiment! And I now have so many ideas!!

And I went to Paddington (yep, got lost again), adored Dogstar... Note smirky face cos I really like Dogstar ... happy place!

And onto a store in Toowoomba. I've been following them on Facebook for ages and was very curious if they were the store of my dreams, or just really, really good at having an online presence??!!?? And the answer came from the Universe, conveniently written on a Tshirt:

And s
o lots to think about and do!


Thursday, 9 August 2018

Do you make yoghurt/yogurt?

EDITED March 2019

I am now using the amazing PUHOI Organic Half & Half (that's half cream and half milk). So my basic Reuteri yoghurt recipe is now:

  • approx 1/2 cup of current yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons inulin
  • approx 1500ml half & half 
  • for the first batch that I make in the beginning of the month, I add one or two crushed reuteri probiotic pills

ENJOY! But don't eat too much if you're new to it (side effects require regular visits to the toilet!).


Do you make your own yoghurt? And have you tried making the WheatBelly doctor's probiotic yoghurt? It's pretty amazing, click here to read all about the benefits... And then if you like playing with strange lifeforms, here's your chance to brew up some weird stuff!

You will need these:

And a Yoghurt making machine - I used this one as it makes fermented food as well as yoghurt and has several pre-programmed cycles. This yoghurt needs about 30-36 hours to create the mega-probiotics and this machine has a yoghurt cycle (10 hours at 42 degrees C) and a natto cycle (24 hours at 42 degrees C) so I just do the 24 hours and then another 10. And yes I do write on my appliances. You should see my sewing machine and overlockers!

I made the first batch with:
  • 10 crushed probiotic pills (you must use this particular strain from BioGaia. Flavour makes no diff so take what you can get, it's all gone by the time it's fermented)
  • 1 tbsp inulin
  • 1 litre of UHT milk
  • 300 mils cream

That created a thing that was very curdled, lots of whey, and smelt like parmesan. I'd picked up in the blogs that this may happen so I continued. 

Second batch was:
  • about a cup of the whey from the previous batch
  • 1 tbsp inulin
  • 1 litre UHT milk 
  • didn't bother with the cream as I was guessing this wouldn't be yoghurt either!
This batch was better but still very curdled/cottage cheesey - was nice enough on crackers when drained!

Third batch was:
  • half cup of whey from batch #2
  • 1 tbsp inulin
  • 1 litre of UHT milk
  • 300 mils cream
This batch was perfect thick yoghurt.

Since then I've used 1/2 cup of the previous yoghurt, inulin, UHT milk, cream. I added one crushed probiotic on version #5 and will add that every 4-5 batches to keep the strain up. You can crush the probiotic in a plastic bag (with a gin bottle) and then you look like a druggie which makes it even more exciting.

This yoghurt does have a weird 'stringy-ness' so I tend to use a knife to spoon it out of the big container and cut it off. 

Why don't you read the wheatbelly blog and give it a try?  

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Taking a walk every morning is bliss. Here's how I am currently starting my day.

From the beach ...

Up a few steps ...


Note in pic below: man using leaf blower on the paths "to keep them tidy" !! I'm expecting a red carpet next.

To get to the top of the hill and ...

Ah Wellington, only 4,000km away!

And back for coffee with the best coffee, best tables, and a special award for coordinating crockery.


Monday, 4 June 2018

Chilling out

Since Wellington recently had its first days with temperatures that stayed in single figures all day it was obviously time to skip across the Tasman to somewhere warm. And then to chill out and think about next summer's clothing. 

So Step 1 Chilling Out looks like this:

Find a coffee shop that makes great Long Blacks and sets the scene ... getting onto Tropical Time.

You can go to the park and gaze across the ocean but there's a full on white wedding - chandeliers in the trees, classical music, pony and buggy - going on behind this tranquillity. Luckily the sea provides the noise and you can't hear a thing - so peaceful and warm and lovely!

And back at the apartment there was a wee party going on in a nearby balcony. And the newest toy - bluetooth speaker and white noise machine - came to the rescue. Shrieking female voices blocked out by the sea noise. Bliss!

So at this rate the sketch pad will be out very soon.