All posts filed under: Travel

Visiting Matiu/Somes Island, Wellington

It is bitterly, bitterly cold in Wellington today – it even snowed a little bit, which is extremely unusual in the capitol.  It’s not going to be a great deal better for the next few days either, so I’m thinking longingly of summertime, and warm days. That, and all the blogging I’ve been doing about visiting other places, reminded me that I have a local visit from this summer which I’ve never covered. This is Wellington, centred around Wellington Harbour (Port Nicholson, or, to be even more accurate, Te Whanganui a Tara): Right in the middle of the harbour is an island: Matiu/Somes Island.* Prior to Western contact, Maori used Matiu Island as a place of refuge during war.  Post-Western contact, the New Zealand Company took possession of the island.  In 1866 the first harbour lighthouse in NZ was built there, and it was home to the lighthouse keeper and his family.  The 1866 lighthouse was replaced circa 1900, and its replacement still stands on the island. In the 1870s the island was used as a …

A (not totally overwhelming) tour of the LA Fabric district

Heading off to LA for Costume College, lots of people told me that one of the things I must do is go to the Garment/Fabric District. The only people who didn’t tell me this were my sewing students who had been to the Fabric District in the last couple of years.  Every single student who has been in LA and gone has come back and reported that everything was either 1) polyester (blech) or 2) 3x the price it would be in NZ. Most of it looks like this: tons of stretch lycra, tons of minky – not so much my thing.  Like this: It really didn’t seem worth the fuss. But pretty much half of the Costume College attendees go to the Fabric District in the days before and after the conference, and everyone there said I definitely should, and with local guides, at least I would see the best stuff! So, with Lauren of Wearing History, and Beth of V is for Vintage at the helm; Ginger of Scene in the Past, Jenny-Rose of Jenny …

Costume College, or How I learned to stop worrying and have a fabulous time: advice and reflections for first timers.

This July/August I got to go to Costume College in LA for the first time.  It was amazing, and I had a fabulous time in every possible way. Now that I’ve been, I desperately want to go back, and can’t believe I didn’t manage to get there sooner! I also can’t believe how stressed I was about the thought of Costume College.  I’m a worrier, I fretted and built up huge obstacles in my mind, which prevented me from really attempting to go for years, and which also made the run-up to it much more emotionally fraught that it needed to be. I think a lot of the things I worried about with Costume College are pretty common among first timers, so I thought I’d address my biggest fears, and how they turned out to be not at all a problem, which will hopefully reassure some future attendees! Worry #1: I’m not good enough, and my work isn’t good enough. Like many people in the arts, I’m hyper-critical of my own work. I know every tiny …