That girl that girl’s got No bones

Sister Dearest,

This weekend I volunteered at the Auckland Reader and Writer Festival. Aside from it being absolutely AWESOME I met some really cool people. I met this girl named Anna who recently launched her very own music video under her stage name “Grace Pageant”.

She decided to use stop motion for the WHOLE THING! In chatting with her about the video, she remembers that the cross-stitched “SPINELESS” scene took 3 hours alone! DAYYYUUMM!

Anyway, I thought the video turned out pretty cool! So I thought I’d pass it on. Alongside being pretty impressive, it’s also adorably Kiwi.

Advertisement

The Green Life

Sister Dearest,

I’m currently putting together DIY stories for the magazine, and I had the best interview with someone yesterday. Her name is Dustyn, she’s about my age and grows her own garden with her boyfriend in their backyard. The thing is…their garden is KICKASS!



They have their very own walk-in greenhouse to harvest veges all throughout the winter. It was all so simple and achievable, nothing fancy.


I was so inspired by their ability to grow in their own backyard to the extent that it sustains their need for produce year round. I really think that everyone should take a couple of notes from these guys! She was totally in touch with the earth, its seasonal patterns and what her little patch of land was capable of providing her in terms of food.

When we sat down for some tea she chatted with me about the importance of knowing where your food comes from and how it was grown. That was her main incentive for starting her own garden. She stressed that we shouldn’t be completely reliant on the supermarkets, and take matters into our own hands. I thought she was totally amazing!

Public Announcement

Sister Dearest,

HAD to share this with you. I knew you’d get just as much of a kick out of it as I did. After I got a coffee at a local shop the other day, I was perusing their community announcement board outside. Amongst the regulars (flatmates wanted, bike for sales, yada yada yada) I found THIS! Gold.

I love that the short dressed chick just laid it out there via public notice board. I wonder if hot tattooed man will ever see this note? Would he even know that she was talking to him?

Here’s the way I’ve played the story out in my head.

On Tuesday, hot tattooed man will walk into local cafe “X”, and order a trim flat white (trim because he’s an athlete and OBVIOUSLY keeps an eye on his figure). He’ll spot the note, and take a minute to blow on his coffee (completely unnecessary –but it will casually buy him a minute to ponder) and consider whether he is indeed the intended recipient of this public love letter. In the end, he’ll post a reply letter, which will read:
Dear Mystery Brunette,

If your face is as cute as your bum in that little dress, I’ll see you here Friday. Coffee on me.

Sincerely,

Hot Tattooed Man.

THE END.

Love,

Ashley

Where does inspiration come from?

Sister Dearest,

I just watched this incredible TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love. She entertains the notion that inspiration may in fact be divine, and that a creative may not be the sole contributor to his or her creative work.

Interesting thought. Although I don’t believe that magic inspiration fairies visit from la la land, I think she’s got something here. At the very least, it made me stop and reflect where most of my inspiration comes from. Without noticing, do I experience divine inspiration in the most particular of environments or circumstances? Maybe I only have groundbreaking creative thoughts on Tuesdays, or when I wear my hair down?…I think I’m going to start taking notes!

Anyway–food for thought. I quite enjoyed her talk. Hope you do too : )

Love,

Ashley

Cycling in Style

Sister Dearest,

Went to such an awesome event this weekend called Cycle Style. It’s an event that surrounds the movement “Frocks on Bikes” and promotes everyday people to maintain sustainable travel habits and look fabulous while doing it! Auckland fashion labels and bike shops collaborated in sending beautiful people and cycles down the runway!  The event was in Shed 10 at Auckland’s waterfront which was great because there were events and vendors sprawled both inside and outside.

Starfish

We’Ar.it

LOVED how well this outfit coordinated with the bike!

Vintage Shop Sunnies! You would’ve been all over these!

There were some great designers and market stalls showing off the best of cycle friendly fashion. One of things I liked best about the shows was the range of models. There were proper models for some of the more serious fashion lines, and other ranges had everyday women rocking their pieces. It was a great reminder that ANYONE can look good while riding a bike!

Alongside the fashion events, there were local bike shops showing off their products and specialty bikes. I was OBSESSING over this coffee mug holder (just have to work out how to fit it on with my front basket) !!

There was even some bicycle polo action. It was fun to watch, but I’m pretty sure I’d break both ankles and at least four toes if I tried to get involved!

There was such a diverse audience; everything from Bike geeks to fashion enthusiasts to young children on tricycles (future Cycle Style models?). It was great to see an event that appealed to the masses!

Had a blast spending a few hours at this event on Sunday. Wish you could’ve been here!

Lots of love,

Ashley

Community Street Art

Sister Dearest,

I think you caught the front end of this community  project while you were visiting me in Auckland. There’s a section of swampy dilapidated property at the corner of Williamson and Ponsonby that will (…one day) be constructed into Auckland’s SoHo region. In the mean time, Auckland council threw up some majorly huge white walls to cover the eyesore from people on the street. Since then, local artists have been spraying art on the walls, and some of the pieces are SICK!

I found out about a month ago that the projects were each commissioned and asked to represent the community in some way. Some artists used quotes, some painted NZ landscapes. An artist called Otis Frizzell painted kick ass portraits of neighborhood personalities. Those painting are most definitely my favorite.

The murals kind of pop up over night, and I love the mornings that I wake up and discover some new art on the wall!

Hope these photos find you well and bring back memories of Auckland!

Lots of love,

Ash

Belle and Beau

Sister Dearest!

Every Friday down in the Silo Park by the waterfront, there are a bunch of vendors that sell food, crafts, clothing….all sorts of little treats.

photo of sling back black dress from http://www.belleandbeau.co.nz

This past Friday I rode my bike down from work (it was gorgeous out!) and checked out the Silo Markets for myself!

One stall seriously stood out–a girl by the name of Claire has started up a sustainable clothing fashion line called Belle and Beau http://belleandbeau.co.nz. Her pieces were simple and durable. I particularly liked the sage drop back dress.

photo of back drop sage dress from http://www.belleandbeau.co.nz

She had an article published in a local newspaper which explained her philosophy behind the Belle and Beau line. It summarized her frustrations with “throw away clothing” that girls so often buy for one time use. The materials and labor that go into those garments end up becoming wasted resources and energy.

I think I’m going to be more thoughtful about the clothes I buy in the next few months–where are they coming from? Who made them? What are they made of?

Anyway–enjoy checking out her little blog site.

Lots of ❤ ❤ ❤

Ash

It’s Rainin’ and I’m Singin’

Sistaaa Dearest,

Damn…it’s pouring already in Auckland and it’s not even winter yet. Forecast: Rain for 5 days!

But, on the flip side…

The Auckland theaters are running some special feature films every week, bringing back old classics to the big screen. Tonight, the cinema downtown was screening “Singing in the Rain”…you know I was ALL ABOUT THAT!

I put on my gumboots and rode down to the cinema singing the whole way (“Make ’em laugh”…people thought I was crazy).

Em–seriously this movie is even BETTER than we remember. The dancing blew me away, it’s SO synchronized! The songs…don’t even get me started. I think this is my favorite scene of the film hands down.

Let’s buy tap shoes and learn this whole thing, okay?

So anyway, I’m going to tap into my inner Gene Kelly (totally un-funny pun) and embrace this rain with a smile on  my face and a pep in my step…Check back on Friday to see if I’m still as enthusiastic about the absurd amount of precipitation : )

Peace, Love, and Rain boots,

Ash