Thursday, 29 November 2012

Inspirational Friends - The Other Mad Hatter


Eight years ago one of my dreams of opening a shop where I could make and sell my creations became a reality.
When I embarked upon this adventure I was scared, excited and full of passion and energy.
There was no stopping me.

It was an experience where I set out to do one thing but I was rewarded with so many other things
One of those things was meeting so many wonderful, interesting and yes Inspirational people.
 Whilst there were many people that came into my life at that time, one of them who I have formed a long lasting friendship with is Catherine Kelly who has Embellish Atelier at Rozelle.
Catherine came into my shop (Which was a Hat and Accessory shop) one day, as she was passing.
As Catherine was studying Millinery at the time she introduced herself and we started chatting and we havn't stopped since!



Catherine would stop by reguarly and we would talk hat stuff.  We soon realised that our boys were at the same school, and that we had the same surname. 

I was so happy to meet someone else who made hats and finally be able to talk to someone else about being a Mad Hatter. 

Over the years Cath has encouraged and pushed me into doing things I would not do on my own.  I have watched her start out in the Millinery world and with her determination, spunk and talent and now has a very successful Millinery business where she does Hat, fascinator, flowermaking and various other workshops and designs and makes beautiful creations for a wide range of clients including Racing socialites, Brides, Mothers of the Bride and Groom and has made incredible pieces for theatrical productions.  Over the Spring Carnival period Catherine had pop up stores in the QVB in Sydney and at The Rocks. 

Unfortunately Cath lost her amazing husband John suddenly in 2010.  Needless to say the last two years have not been easy for Catherine and her children.  I have seen Catherine pick up and push herself through and seeing what she has achieved and done despite all she has been through is just amazing.  It just makes me aware that when I am having a bad day it is really just a walk in the park. 
At the time John died he had started working for an organization called Activate that  Mentors young people.

 Cath and the family  decided to set up a foundation in John's honour The Trust Company -
 John Skipper Kelly Fund - creating leadership opportunities for disadvantaged youth  to continue supporting the work he was doing .Which today has raised over $150,000.  If you would like to know more click on the link above.

Cath and I  had a fun afternoon going through her wardrobe which has some wonderful treasures like the Sage green Vintage dress she is wearing that was her Mum's. We did her hair and make up also.
 Cath has a bit of an obsession at the moment for duck egg blue so it features a lot in this post.  It is an amazing colour that looks beautiful on her too. 


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

What if we can't do Designer?

As you may have already discovered.  I love love love accessories!!!
That includes necklaces, bags, shoes, sunnies, watches, rings, cuffs and bangles and of course hats.  
It is not Rocket science, but  a necklace, cute bag or groovey sunnies can make the whole  look. 
I also love, love, love something a bit different and quirky in design.
  However my budget does not always allow for the price tag that comes with these items especially if a designer name is all over it.
  Not that I do not understand and appreciate the time, workmanship and quality of materials gone into the process of getting these beautiful items on to the shop floor for us mere mortals to moan over and spend more than we can afford to pay for one amazing piece. 
Taking all this in mind,  I do have some lovely pieces but have not bought that ultimate life changing item yet!!! I know that day will come and it is something I look forward to so much. 
In the mean time I don't mind doing and will do items that fit in with my budget and will help to achieve the look of the lust after items for now and just tame that yearning for a while! 
These include the $9.95 sunnies from Valleygirl, $29.95 bag from Tempt, Diva watch $29.95, Jennifer Kelly necklace 

Top Zara $45, Pants Zara $89, shoes (very comfortable, walked around for four hours today) Staccato $119

Monday, 26 November 2012

More Wedding outfits

As I said in last week's post I love a wedding and another reason, apart from what I said last week, is that I love seeing everyone dressed up.  Guys in a snazzy suit; girls in an eyecatching dress or skirt; maybe a hat and the hair and nails shimmering.
It is almost like the car that we know needs attention and a service. You have not had time to check that noise or thd leaking oil.  So the holidays are coming up and with the realisation that the car has to be up to transporting us that six hundred kms to get to our holiday destination, we have no choice but  to book it in and do without it for the day.
Once it is done though, it feels and runs so much better and we think why didn't I just do this before.
A bit like the process we go through to look our best at a special event. We love the end result but always put everything else ahead of spending the time on ourselves (or the car that is so important to us).
This is my gorgeous niece at her twin brother's wedding.  Melissa put this outfit together for the occassion and she looked beautiful.  A busy Mum of three, as a lot of us know it is not easy to find the time to worry about what we are going to wear to this or that.  Melissa you nailed it.  You looked absolutely radiant.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

What to wear to a wedding

I can't tell you how much I love a wedding!

The love in the air, the union of two people that you care about have found each other in this mad, crazy, wonderful world is just so much to be happy and excited about. 

The other reason of course, is because you get to plan an outfit.  Sometimes if we can, a new outfit (Can you feel me trembling with excitement). 
Yes, I do have lots of things I could have worn BUT there are a few Christmas events that I needed to save those outfits for. 

So when I do have to pick a new outfit for a special event like a wedding or big party, for myself or a client.  I will always try to choose carefully the pieces so that they can be worn more casually also. 


As I have done with the outfit I wore to my nephew's wedding on the weekend.

The top can be worn with jeans or shorts or pants for a smart casual look. Or a shorter skirt. The skirt which my friend Maree picked out for me as I would never have chosen something with the splits so bold. However it had the shear long skirt which was just so appealing to me. It did hide the bulk of my legs.
I was a bit nervous about wearing it but got myself a good fake tan and some very high heels.
I did feel nice in this outfit as it was very flowy and relaxed.

The moral of the story girls and guys is push yourself out of your comfort zone!

The Tree of life

 Thought I would share something that dawned on me the other day.
On the weekend I purchased a door mat.  It is a print of a tree.
I placed the tree so that when people come to the front door they can see the tree the right way around.
So I go out not long after I have placed it at the front door.

The Door matt
I get home and it is around the other way with the tree facing out so when you are leaving our front door you see the whole tree.  So I think to myself I thought I put it the other way.  Oh well I mustn't have. So I put it back again.

 I go out the next day and upon returning - What do I find? It has been turned around again!!! I turn it back.  Next day same again but this time as I am turning it around, the front door opens and my nineteen year old son is there and says "Mum, Stop turning it back around, it needs to be facing out. branches grow outward if they are the other way they dont grow"

 It was one of those wake up moments! What he was saying is so true and the funny thing is, it is a metaphor for the stage I am at with my boys.
Both my boys are growing up and branching out and I am having to let them go more and more each day.  I am struggling with this and the doormat incident is exactly what I am doing to them. Holding them back for my own purpose as I want to keep them safe and sound and close by me like when they were little.

My grown up boys
The last nineteen years of my life I have spent the majority of my time looking after the kids (as well as a part time job or business that worked around the school/activities hours)whilst it of course had its challenges, I loved and cherished the time and was so grateful I got to have that time at home with them .

 Now all of a sudden they have their drivers license, they are off doing their own thing and while I am still busy at the same time I have a lot more time to myself.
This is also a bit exciting for them and for me to see them explore life as I move into my next stage.
 While they were younger I did dream about the day I would have a bit more time to myself, now it is here I long to be crazy busy with them again!!! I see Mums picking up there kids from school and I feel very nostalgic.
I am definitely not moaning about it.  I know you busy Mums will being thinking what is wrong with her. 
I actually feel a lot calmer as our life is not just one big rush from here to there. I just have to get used to it and utilize the time.
Hubbie and me
 I need to find a new way of being me - A Mum of two fine young men, and wife to my hard working, now organic loving husband (another story for another time). 

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Making the effort

Melbourne Cup is now over for another year!
This is the first year in many years I have not been mad hattering away every day and night for weeks leading up to The Cup.
I am usually so exhausted and uninterested in thinking about putting a hat on my head once that last hat has been picked up (usually on the morning of The Cup).

This is what I ended up wearing
As I am no longer making hats, this was my first year to enjoy the festivities, and that I did!

The morning went on and I put a couple of potential outfits out and then went about what I was doing all of a sudden it was 11.00am then it was midday and we were meeting at 1.00pm.  I had to have a shower, wash my hair do my nails and make up and sort out how the hat would stay on my head.

Needless to say I love an opportunity to dress up and wear a hat but it does take a bit of an effort, of course it is well worth it when you win best hat, which I did !!!

Monday, 5 November 2012

What to wear?

So, have to leave in forty five minutes and still havn't decided what to wear to Melbourne Cup luncheon. I have two choices and luckily as I used to make hats, I have two that may work.  Here they are and will fill you in later tonight what I wore! Have a great day and Good Luck.

Very Frou Frou and not sure about the hat on me

Sunday, 4 November 2012

In the change room weekend outfits

Here is a selection of pieces I have put together from Zara that are in store now. 
I just love the fluro yellow colour especially with the tangerine shoes and my coloured necklace.This dress was in a variety of colours also.
The fabric of the dress is so cool and comfy for summer with a pair of blingy sandals or thongs (flip flops) and a jean jacket and wedges for another look. 
As you have seen in previous posts I am experimenting with the printed pants look.  I did like these ones in the Bali style print in the olive greens however they didn't have as much stretch as your jean or jegging variety so not as comfortable and as my thighs are bigger the smaller the print the better. 
  I put them with a tropical print top which is fairly shapeless but it was quite sheer so you can see your shape through. I loved the longer tail at the back this would also look fabulous with heels or put the top with black wet look pants for an evening look. 
 The cream leather jacket is also a like from me.  However perhaps a tad hot for our summer but for those breezy nights we have been having could be handy. Then would work through to Autumn/Winter. 
 Love a purchase that will transcend!
The sandals were so cute.  I did buy them!
 Last one is a knit maxi, a bit boxy but really comfy and loved the tassels, great for a summer evening having drinks by the pool. 

Thanks for reading xx

Zara cotton shirt dress $89,shoes $99, my necklace Valley girl

Zara Print jeans $69, Zara tropical mullet top $45,Zara leather jacket $299, Zara Valentino shoes $89

Zara maxi dress $79