30 June 2014

Today I'm going to...

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


28 June 2014

Auckland Art & Craft Fair, Jun 2014

MissionTo bring together a selection of New Zealand's best Designers, Artists & Crafters twice a year and enable them to have a professional, high-end platform to sell their unique goods.

Overview: The Auckland Art & Craft Fair is a one of a kind, special event happening twice a year during Summer & Winter. Designed to showcase a selection of New Zealand best independent and contemporary Designers, Artists & Crafters selling their products direct to the public for one day only.

| Facebook | Blog |

My second time at the twice-annual Auckland Art & Craft Fair was just as amazing as the first. The problem was trying to remain restrained when all I wanted to do was buy everything!

This fair's haul (pictured below) includes: retro CSI diorama (I coveted these last time!), ninja bear 'Totoro', brassy bracelet, Goblin King brooch (Jareth!!), and two sunglasses cases/pouches (I liked them both and couldn't decide! Naughty, I know).

Here are some of my favourites from the day - I'll definitely be looking them up again!

Bonjour SweetieBlogShop |
Jane's diorama's are unique and fun. There are numerous scenes, from the macabre (crimes/CSI, zombies, graveyards etc.), to everyday randomness. Here's a close-up of the retro CSI diorama I bought (it was a bit of nostalgia too, as my mum had one of these dioramas... sans the blood and gore!)

She also does necklaces/pendants:

Plastic FairyFacebook | Shop |
I spoke with Plastic Fairy - Facebook is the best place to contact her (as she has trouble finding the time to photograph and list all her products on Etsy or Big Cartel). On the first lap of the fair I spotted her Jareth fabric brooch (from the movie 'Labyrinth'). On the second lap I decided I had to buy it. With only $15 of 'market money' left (the brooch was $18), she immediately said it was mine for $15 - as a true fan of Labyrinth, she wanted me to have it (I did call him Jareth, even though he was labelled simply as The Goblin King. So points for me!). She had so many fun fabric brooches it was hard to pick just one (and not just celebs, but animals and objects too).

Chibli Crafts and Design / Ninja Bears | Blog |  Ninja Bears | FacebookShop |
What are Ninja Bears? Ninja Bear takes many forms and is super stealthy. Ninja Bear has the ability to control earthy elements. Ninja Bear is friend to you and will protect you from evil things. So cute, honestly I could've bought 5 or 6 of these bears! I restrained myself in this case, and just got the Totoro, or Toto Ninja Bear: is a friendly wood spirit Ninja. Likes to plant trees and sleep under them. Toto Ninja is very helpful and kind. This Ninja is at one with nature. Here's a shot of the stall:

Mademoiselle M | Website | FacebookShop (Etsy) | Shop (theMarket) |
I came away with a gorgeous bracelet - the geo bracelet made with an antique brass rectangle and handmade enamel (in light pink), and double antique brass chain. You can get one here. Today they were selling for $20, which was a bargain price - they are online for $28, which is still an awesome deal.

Whatnots | Facebook | Shop |
"Almost everything I make will have linen in it somewhere, I love the colours, the texture, the little bobbly bits, I could go on. Whether its combined with bright pops of colour or the soft muted shades it always looks beautiful on linen... All my listings are appliquéd with freehand machine embroidery, probably best described as drawing with the sewing machine. Each appliqué will have its own quirks and wobbles and the edges will fray a little but i think this just adds to the charm." I love the quirky nature to her designs. I didn't get anything last time (and regretted it), so this time I bought myself TWO sunglasses cases (or pouches for anything really). On the back of the dotty/spotty one, it says with stitching 'Slighty Dotty' (which is about right when it comes to me :P )

Gwyneth Hulse DesignFacebook | Shop |
Loved GHD's geometric aesthetic. Next time I might treat myself...

Work Shop | Website | Facebook |
Work Shop is a small hybrid boutique store on Karangahape Road (central Auckland). They design and create most of the products in the store front and stock prints from some amazing up and coming illustrators.

Claire Leblond Designs | Website | Facebook | Shop |
Beautiful handmade and uniquely designed dolls - all are made with vintage and upcycled fabrics. I'd like one of these one day, like 'Daisy' (pictured below)

iDear | Website | Facebook
If you like a good pun, you're in for a treat!! iDear began 3 1/2 years ago as a way to combine Ali's love of words with her love of paper products. iDear cards and paper goods are witty, quirky, funny and cute. Ali gathers inspiration from her love of playing with words, pop culture, song lyrics and everyday conversations. 

Adventures of Alex O & Co | Blog | Shop (NZ) | Shop (Worldwide) |
Recycled/Upcycled blankets galore! Lots of NZ wool blankets turned into iPad and pencil cases, pillows, and hot-water-bottle-holders. Twice I have regretted not buying something with a fox on it (I think their foxes are adorable).

Audrey Loves RubyFacebook |  Shop
Cute sterling silver jewellery.

24 June 2014

Umm... WTF?! #Ex

The Breakup.. was a while ago now. This was my first big relationship, which led to my first big breakup.

24th March 2012*. I had to look-up that date (good for me!). That was when he sent me an EMAIL (after two years together), telling me he didn't want to see me again; that he was unfriending me and my family on Facebook. As a matter of fact, I had realised it was over - we were on a break and I knew I had to end it for good. He emailed his break-up email before I had a chance to speak to him face-to-face.

And that was it. No nothing for all this time.

A few weeks ago I got a notification email from LinkedIn - my profile had been viewed... by my ex. It gives you a little jolt/shock inside. Today I got another notification...

Then he 'added' me.

Feel the weirdness of that... Nothing for more than two years, but: hey let's network!??!!??!

I accepted in order to message him, to tell him it's just weird; passive stalking... (ed: unless you have a paid/premium account, you can't message a non-contact on LinkedIn).

Now there is a small dialogue. I got to write the word 'coward' for him to read. Because he was (is?) one.

I still don't know why he sent me The Email (i.e why HE wanted to break-up). He now tells me he was angry, and couldn't talk with me face-to-face. Which doesn't explain anything, except "I was angry, so I sent an email"... I don't know what I did to make him so angry... I don't know if I'll ever know.

There would've been anger and tears if I'd had my way, but it would have been in person; messed-up adults. I know why I needed to end the relationship...

I did get an "I apologise" (quote). Too little, too late. And, really, I don't think "I'm sorry" means anything after all this time. It's not about wanting an apology for an email.

Was there a point when his anger had become less? The less-angry-point where a person might want to talk with the other person, and explain... understand. I wanted that closure, but I gave up on it as the days/weeks/months/years went by.

To be continued... ?

*Thinking back two years made me search back in this blog for that time..
20-Feb-12: The Talk
21-Feb-12: a picture said it all, broken
12-Mar-12: Not All Poetry Rhymes
25-Mar-12: aptly named post, It's Over
22-May-12: Somebody That I Used to Know
18-Jul-12: On Relationships and Matters of the Heart, where I compare my ex to a defective (murdering?!) toaster haha Go me!

Quite proud of myself reading back on those entries.

23 June 2014

I Keep My Blade...

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


IMPORTANT: YouShop & Sephora - Getting Products to NZ

Updated 5-Jan-2015: a friend reports her friend successfully received an order from Sephora using YouShop. Maybe it was just my bad-luck?! Annnd, I admit I've continued to use YouShop to purchase from other sites :P


Ed: I just had this response from YouShop (NZ Post), which is not really any help, nor shows any sympathy. It doesn't even acknowledge that previously Sephora DID deliver, and now thanks to the generic nature of the YouShop addresses, does not. I have now searched for 'Sephora' on their website, and found NO listings/warnings etc. Le Sigh:
"Unfortunately there a few Companies in the USA that will not deliver to the YouShop address. We have no control over this sorry. I apologise for any inconvenience caused. Thanks for contacting New Zealand Post."
When asking YouShop if they plan to change their addressing methods, or alert their users of US companies that won't use the YouShop address:
"We won't be changing our address at this stage. Usually the Company that will not ship to our address does not let the transaction go through. Unfortunately we can not force a Company to send items to our address."
A RIDICULOUS  answer! I believe I have used YouShop for the last time.


Well, my favourite thing online just died a painful death: SEPHORA WILL NO LONGER SHIP TO YOUSHOP.CO.NZ ADDRESSES.

And if you are a Buyusa.co.nz user, the same applies (I approached them when YouShop fell through, and they have reports of the same issue with their service - very honest of them to admit so off the bat).

I immediately contacted YouShop, but they haven't acknowledged or responded to my email.

I've had 5 or 6 successful parcels from Sephora using the YouShop service. My latest order was cancelled by Sephora, after they took my money of course. I am now in a battle with Sephora to release the hold they placed on my funds US$72.

The official line is, and I quote:
"...We regret that we are unable to ship to the shipping address you have provided as it is associated to multiple people. This was a business decision and we are unable to make an exception. We apologize for the inconvenience."
And in response to my reply:
"...We apologize we are unable to accept the shipping address you have provided. To place an order successfully with Sephora.com the shipping address must a private address (home or work) at this time we are unable to accept freight forwarding or hotel addresses." 
My love affair is over :( It's disappointing to no longer have a line to brands like: tarte, which you can't find easily in NZ (trademe is the best bet). But more so, is the song and dance I am going through just to get my money back :( Some people might say "serves you right for 'cheating'" - but they accepted my order, took my money, then cancelled it... SO JUST REFUND ME!!!!

#YouShop #Sephora #NewZealand #Tarte

16 June 2014

My Dad is my Hero

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


03 June 2014

This envelope is empty...

PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a homemade postcard.


Hidden Object Games: House of 1000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster

A Hidden Object Game at a basic level involves finding hidden objects in a picture. The HO games I play do involve this task, but also navigating scenes searching for clues/objects, solving puzzles and mysteries etc. (I'm into more of the sub-genre called HOPA, or Hidden Object Puzzle Adventures)

Today's game is...

... House of 1000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster Collector's Edition

Guide Kate Reed as she searches for the artifacts that can break the power of a cursed gem in House of 1,000 Doors: The Palm of Zoroaster! A cursed gem that has left a trail of smouldering bodies in its wake is threatening the residents of the House of 1,000 Doors, prompting the head of the mystical dwelling to once again summon Kate Reed to its aid. Guide Kate as she searches for the artifacts that can break the power of the gem! This is a special Collector's Edition release full of exclusive extras you won’t find in the standard version.
Developer: Alawar Games

(Played on a Mac)

Straight off the back of playing the first House of 1000 Doors I tackled the sequel, this time going for the Collector's Edition. Another beautifully designed HOPA, with a huge number of different locations and challenges. I played this in Expert mode - no sparkles around areas/objects, and a one minute hint recharge (there are only two modes: Casual and Expert), and didn't have much difficultly. I used the map a lot (which almost felt a little like cheating, as it allows you to jump directly to different scenes, and it highlights which scenes have an active component for you to complete). The mini-games are mostly straight forward, and I have mastered the art of making the objects work first click (some games like you to click using the object to activate, these games like you to click your cursor where you want to use an object).

I'm pleased I got the CE - the bonus Chapter is at least another hour of game play, and in never before visited locations. I would definitely recommend this game - and give it a go in Expert mode to up the challenge!

Download a free one hour trial here

Here is a list of all the Hidden Object Games I have played/reviewed, or, click the blogger tag below to load all the posts on Hidden Object Games! See my profile/reviews at Big Fish games here.