Christmas gifting – My 10 picks for shopping independent and local!

It’s that holly jolly time of year! I’ve mostly finished my Christmas shopping, and it didn’t involve any stress or trips to the mall fighting the masses! And not because I’m super organised either… hats off to all of you who get your gifts by February… but chaos reigns around here and Christmas doesn’t even get a thought until at least November. So what’s my trick? I have a few to share!

Firstly, my family (my parents, siblings and their families) have scaled down Christmas gifting to focus on just getting together and enjoying the holiday. We’ve never been crazy big spenders, and Christmas has always been about food, fun and family anyway. And lot’s of good wine of course! But everything adds up and it’s easy to get excited and spend too much, so a few years ago we started having a $25 limit on gifts, for the adults at least!

The great thing about this is it takes the pressure off. It’s not a hard and fast limit, it just means we don’t have an awkward moment Christmas morning when I’ve bought my brother a box of beers … and he’s given me a new leaf blower! Sometimes we might find something really cool and spend a bit more, but it’s fun hunting down more creative and even making homemade pressies!

The second big change I’ve made is trying hard to shop for local and handmade pressies. There are so many benefits to this! As well as supporting local, you will save on shipping if shopping online. Buying hand crafted items means finding something unique and memorable and no chance of a double up too!

So here are my top picks for shopping handmade, local and independent makers this Christmas … and yes, there is still time!

  1. Trio Soy Candles – one of my all time faves for myself and pressies! Matakana based, you can find these luxury candles, melts, diffusers and more both online and at local markets. They are cheaper (and nicer!) than imported brands like Ecoya too!
  2. Etsy!! Maybe a little late for ordering from overseas sellers for Christmas now, but I LOVE Etsy! My own shop is on Etsy, and it’s my go to for all things handmade and vintage. From a digital print to a beautiful vintage scarf to a piece of 80s pop culture, Etsy is a wonderful treasure trove of unique items from sellers around the world.
  3. Made By Mum (MBM) – A Facebook selling platform for NZ makers of handmade items. Join this group and it’s a gold mine of beautiful handmade and custom items! With over 50 000 members it covers a lot of ground, post an ISO (in search of) and a budget and you will be inundated with creative offers!
  4. Felt is a similar platform to Etsy, but is NZ based. It’s like an online craft market!
    Check out the Felt Christmas gift guide here
    “Everything on Felt is made in New Zealand by passionate local artists, designers, makers and craftspeople. When you make a purchase on Felt, you’re not only buying something beautiful – you’re investing in your community, nurturing local creativity, celebrating Kiwi ingenuity and supporting the little guys. We think that’s a pretty epic way to shop!”

    You Legend tea towel by ifeelnatty $20

  5. Local markets – get along to your local craft and Christmas markets – there are always interesting gifts and bargains to be had – as well as entertainment and tasty food – beats the fluorescent lighting of a mall any day! And they are everywhere at this time of year – big and small.
  6. Vouchers, vouchers, vouchers! No not for the Farmers or the Warehouse silly… for local goods and services! For the vintage or pinup loving lady, shops like Rita Sue (Auckland) , 19 Black (Hamilton), Kabella Baby (Christchurch) and 2 Lippy Ladies (Napier) are located around the country and all offer both gift vouchers and online shopping too! For the person who has everything? What about a voucher for a massage or beauty treatment from a place nearby to them? Or even a voucher from their fave tattoo artist!
  7. Endemic World – for art prints, graphics and paintings – curated in NZ. Art is a great gift idea! They have free NZ shipping at the moment too!

    Art print by Olivia Bezett $30

  8. For those that are Auckland based – check out local stores like Retro Addiction (New North Rd, Mt Albert) and Junk & Disorderly (Northcote).
  9. Red Bubble – this is an awesome site where independent designers sell their designs printed on just about anything! I buy t shirts as gifts often from this site – they are high quality and whatever floats your boat, there is likely someone on there who has designed a t shirt for it!
    “Redbubble was born in 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. The dream was simple. Give independent artists a meaningful new way to sell their creations. Today, we connect over 400k artists and designers across the planet with millions of passionate fans. A brave (and dare we say stylish) new world of self expression.”

    Cthuluau t shirt by HeartattackJack

  10. Give the gift of giving! A great stocking stuffer or addition to a Christmas hamper is a donation to a charity. There are so many to choose from but a few are
    Women’s RefugeFoodbank NZ
    Starship tea towel – Designed by cancer survivor Ruby and only $10 – $6 from each tea towel goes to Starship!

    Pineapple tea towel supporting Starship $10

What are some of your ideas for making Christmas less stressful and all about the spend?

Wishing you all a magical Christmas!

Love Natalie Louise xx



The Very Vintage Weekend: Part One – Strawberry matching fun!

Wow what an amazing weekend, I’m still decompressing! I had SO much fun, it was a whirlwind of dress-ups, catching up with old and new friends (and making new ones!), gaping at the incredible spectacle of beautiful vendor stalls, amazing outifits, fun entertainment and of course the Miss Pinup NZ competition! There was so MUCH, I can’t fit it into one blog post (and I’m still recovering from social overload) so here is Part One … details of the outfits I put together for myself and my two gorgeous daughters on Day 2 (Sunday) and a few gorgeous shots from some of the talented photographers who captured us on the day!

My Outfit

My vintage strawberry swing dress was a lucky find at the Vintage Textile Fair a few months back, from one of my fave local shops – Retro Addiction. How this strawberry dream had not been snapped up already… AND it fit my waist AND generous bust… it must have been meant to be! I knew right away it would be perfect to style for a VVDO outfit… and that the strawberry theme pushed all my vintage kitschy theme loving buttons, so I was inspired to track down matchy outfits for my two girls! My first dress I had bought from overseas with VVDO in mind was sadly lost in the post, but que sera sera!

Serendipity Photography

David Rowe

Thanks to Lynn of Serendipity Photography and photographer David Rowe for the awesome shots!

Accessories – I could have gone all out themey (is that a word? If not, it should be!) – but I wanted to keep a classic vintage feel. I thought my vintage straw hat would be perfect, and carried that tan/brown colour throughout. I trimmed the hat with a cute strawberry ribbon and made my jewelry based on 40s and 50s bakelite designs, using true vintage bakelite and lucite pieces. My shoes were vintage espadrille style, found secondhand on Trademe.

Full outfit details:
Dress: 70s era vintage Retro Addiction
Hat and gloves, vintage
Necklace and Earrings: Handmade by me – Retro Resins – using vintage components
Bangles: Bakelite, thrifted and repro from Cobalt Heights
Petticoats: Green from Pettiskirt Style, red Tatyana
Shoes: Hush Puppies, secondhand from Trademe
Hair flower: made by me
Bag: Ebay with handle from Spotlight

Girls outfits
I LOVE Etsy! As well as being a seller, I source many vintage supplies for my jewelry, and regularly find vintage clothing and accessories for myself and my girls, it’s a treasure trove of handmade and vintage goodness from all around the world, so addicting too. As soon as I found my amazing strawberry dress, I started hunting on Etsy for vintage dresses for my girls to match! I hit the jackpot and found a perfect red gingham and strawberry dress with matching bloomers for Lila Jean. Her cute black patent baby Mary Jane shoes I found at a thrift store, and her baby headband I made myself.And with some hunting, I also found a vintage red gingham dress for Juliet which I knew would be amazing with some alterations, matching rick rack trim and strawberry embellishments. I took these to the gorgeous and talented Janette (Silver Needles) and she did an amazing job! I trimmed Juliet’s straw hat with the same ribbon as mine and also made her strawberry hair bow.

I was so lucky to have my Mum on board looking after my girls for the weekend! They arrived, looking cute as strawberry pie, on Sunday for some fun and photos with mama!

Photos – Serendipity Photography

I was so proud of my gorgeous girls – they even – strutted their stuff on stage for the Best Dressed competition … and won! I had planned to hold the baby and walk with Juliet, but right before the time came… my stubborn fiesty big girl refused to walk unless I stayed stage-side and she carried her baby sister! Thanks Ella (Miss Victory Violet) for this cute video of them taking the stage! And to Rockabilly Rose for the prize voucher they won – I can’t wait to pick out some of their gorgeous handmade kids clothes for the girls.


VVDO 2017 Best Dressed kids – YouTube

Lila Jean and Juliet Very Vintage Day Out 2017 at Shed 10 Sunday – Best dressed competition


Lila Jean with Miss VV



Have your very best Very Vintage Day Out!

Only 8 days to go until NZ’s biggest vintage and pinup event of the year – the Very Vintage Day Out! I am getting very excited, it will be my 5th year of attending this year. It is looking looking like it will be the best one yet too – in it’s shiny new location in the city and with 2 whole days full of more to see and do! Whether you are a veteran attendee, or this is your first time attending – I’ve put together a survival guide to making sure you have a great day out, avoid potentially stressful situations and make sure you get the most out of the experience.

First of all, a disclaimer! I make so secret of the fact I LOVE to go all out putting together outfits, doing hair and makeup, getting crafty with creating accessories and hunting down vintage bargains to complete a look … because that’s MY jam! So some of these tips will be for those that like doing this too. BUT YOU DO YOU! Don’t stress or feel pressured if you don’t feel like dressing up or doing your hair and makeup “pinup” or are just going to check things out. Or if you don’t have something “new” to wear just for the event. There is nothing wrong with wearing something pretty that you have and like, even if you have worn it a many times before. ALSO whatever your style, if you want to strut a gown in the daytime, go goth, rock some androgynous style in a suit, wear “modern” clothes, be rockabilly, steam punk, a 70s queen or a fucking princess – DO IT! There are no rules and you don’t have to look a certain way to go along and have fun – be yourself! 


As a naturally quite disorganised and chaotic person, who also suffers from anxiety (both social, and the kind where I worry about everything!) … large social occasions are fraught with potential stress! So I like lists (which I inevitably lose,  but it’s the thought that counts, right?) and being super prepared helps!

With a week to go, don’t panic if there are still items you have left to sort out for your outfits! Or if items haven’t turned up in the post (I’m not even going to go there haha). There is still time! Try on what you are planning on wearing to make sure it fits and there aren’t any broken zips, stains, undone hems, broken clasps etc (this always happens to me when wearing vintage!). This is a good time to take out, try on, set aside what accessories you are going to wear too. Pick out handbags and shoes if you haven’t already, decide if you want a belt, gloves, hat and jewelry. If there is anything you feel you can’t live without embrace the online community! It’s amazing what you will find on short notice to buy, or even borrow – don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice ♥

List of Essentials

This could also be titled “Things I have forgotten many times and wished I hadn’t”!
Like any festival or big event, it’s a few long few days of mostly being on your feet – both indoor and outdoor with changeable weather, so it helps to be prepared and have all the items and extras you need to keep comfortable and also fix any little hair, makeup or wardrobe malfunctions!
A tote bag or shopping bag! I’ll have my cute matchy matchy purse… but also my large “Mom bag” – it’s worth it … for all the things you will need, plus any shopping you do on the day!
A little survival pack with a few bandaids, safety pins, bobby pins, Panadol … (gin, if that’s your thing … only partially kidding)
Flat shoes. If you are fine to wear heels for two full on days and maybe a night, I applaud you! But for all of us regular folk – it might save your bacon. And at least partially, your dignity … yup that was me last year in bare feet! Rock those pretty shoes for your grand entry, photos… but have a back up… just in case. Because blisters and aching footsies are not pleasant
A big bottle of water to keep hydrated
Cash – many vendors may have EFTPOS but some may not
Your fully charged phone (and one of those charge banks if you have one!)
Snacks. Snacks are important.
Weather related stuff – sunscreen, sunnies, a cardi or jacket (thanks Mom!). If rain is forecast, bring a brolly, especially if you are going to be outside doing the Photo Safari!
A small compact or mirror and a makeup wipe for makeup touch-ups if needed
If you are planning on shopping for clothing and trying quite a few things on, consider wearing a full slip under your clothes! Changing rooms are in hot demand to say the least so I find this a good way to skip the queue while (mostly) retaining my modesty (and not horrifying people nearby)

Feel welcome, because you are!

I’ve seen a lot of chat over the years on social media about people sometimes coming to events and possibly feeling a bit left out. Here’s my take. Events can be REALLY crazy busy. It’s impossible to have a conversation or even say hello to everyone, even just your good friends, although we can give it a good go! In a crowd, it’s basic psychology to gravitate to those you already know too, it’s how our little human minds cope with the chaos 😉 In the past five years of attending many events, and even getting brave enough to go on my own, I have been lucky to have met SO many amazing people and make some lasting friendships. But not all at once … good things take time. Come and say hello to me, I’m a bit shy too, although you might not realise that at first!

On the Weekend

Have a squizz at the timetable of events to make sure you know when the things you want to see are on and make sure you don’t miss out!
Don’t stress about the little things, whatever they are… disguise a hair “disaster” with a headscarf, hat, or hair flowers. If it’s windy and/or raining, just give up. Everyone else will be in the same boat… call it windswept … I will be. Or head along to one of the talented teams manning the Hair and Beauty section this year!
Sanity Check. If you are anything like me and suffer from anxiety, navigating such a big event can be quite stressful. Even if not, it’s normal to be both excited and nervous! Being prepared and not arriving rushed helps a little. During the day, take some breaks. Yes, breaks from fun, weird huh. Just to sit by yourself, or with a friend or two where it isn’t busy. Have a snack, relax and take in the atmosphere, have a breather.
Shopping – there will be SO MANY amazing things to buy. Just breathe. Seriously. Innn and out. Have a good wander round and see what’s on offer! If you love something but can’t decide or don’t have the cash on the day, grab a business card, subscribe or give them a “Like” them on FB – another way you can support us hard working small businesses!

If you see me on the day, please come say hello! I hope to see many friends both old and new and meet some of you lovely ladies I only know from Facebook land. I wish all of the Miss Pinup contestants the best of luck, but most of all this advice  – enjoy and make the most of the experience – do your best, be confident, be yourself and pat yourself on the back … you are awesome! Whether you come away with a sash or tiara or not, you have worked hard and achieved something, BE PROUD. And have some champagne, because damn… you deserve it!
Vendors – may your sales be plenty and your feet not too sore …
Everyone else, have an utterly amazing weekend!

Love, Natalie Louise xx

Brow Wow – Review of Eyebrow Henna & Shaping at Off & On

Brow goals. Whether you favour a full brow, a thin brow, a vintage brow, a delicately arched brow or anything in between  … a well groomed brow makes such a difference to your look. The great thing is that brows are something you can change if you are not natural endowed with the look you desire. Personally, I’d love to have full lips, but barring plastic surgery there’s not much I can do about them except learn to love what I have … and not let having thin lips stop me from rocking the bright and bold lipsticks I love! My thin brows however, those I can definitely do something about!

Unfortunately when it comes to brows, DIY is NOT in my DNA. After an incident with home waxing several years ago that left me sans half an eyebrow (WARNING DO NOT DRINK AND WAX), I have only entrusted my eye framing arches to the professionals. I just follow along with a bit of tweeze here and there and handle my monobrow strip!

My go to thus far has been a brow tint as well as my regular brow shape. The tint is great because it colours all those little fine hairs and gives a fuller and more defined look, even when I don’t wear makeup. I’m all about looking as good as I can when I wake up because honestly quite often that’s as good as it gets! Having pretty fair and patchy brows naturally, I’m always on the lookout for good brow ideas. I’ve been quite interested in brow microblading lately, I would love to see some of your results if any of you ladies have had this done!

I recently saw a few posts online about brow henna, and then also saw a good friend with amazing brows, who had had them done with henna. It sounded like a perfect solution to me, greater coverage that lasts twice as long as normal tinting, but not much more expensive – brilliant. I discovered Off & On brows after searching for henna brow treatments online and I was quite excited – it sounded like brow heaven! I used the handy online  system to book myself an appointment at my nearest branch – Takapuna – and was ready to go!

From Off & On’s website:


Walking in I was made to feel very welcome, even encumbered by my large pram, complete with small baby. The salon is roomy, modern and clean and seemed quite a busy, bustling place – in a good way! Lots of friendly staff, and I really liked how all the ladies who came in while I was there seemed to be regulars – a good sign!

Anyway, down to business! My friendly brow technician sat me down, efficiently measured my brows to decide how best to shape and then gave my brows a full spa treatment. Wow, my brows had never had it so good, they got a cleanse and exfoliation… a mini salon experience. There was much detailed waxing, the henna filling in and then even some tweezing to get every last determined straggler. For my first appointment, she has stuck to my natural shape but left some baby hairs so that I can start growing my brows into my desired more vintage look.

Overall I’m very pleased! My brows look well shaped and already more like I’ve filled them in (no makeup in picture). The colour is lovely and natural. I do wish they were a bit more vintage shaped but I know this is something I will have to be patient and wait for them to grow in a bit and keep using my usual brow wax and powder to shape them in the interim. I love all of the Benefit range for this!

Several days later, with brow product

Ten days on I’m really happy, they still look very defined and are a definite improvement over regular tinting. At $65, I probably won’t go every time my brows need shaping but I it will definitely be something I work into my regular beauty routine every few months! It’s a big YES from me! I would highly recommend both henna as an option for brows, and Off and On as a one stop shop for all things brows (and waxing, if I did that…)

My Photoshoot with Cherry Dollface + Tips for your pinup shoot!

Wow, it’s hard to believe been a whole two years since I had the amazing experience to meet and have my hair and makeup done by Cherry Dollface, and then have a photoshoot with the talented Katherine of Undefined Photography, at the Classics Museum in Hamilton. With Cherry about to arrive in NZ for her second trip down under, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the shots from my own photoshoot and also some tips and tricks for any newbie pinups doing their own shoots. I am definitely no professional model, but I have been behind the camera many times, over (too) many years – dabbling in vintage and pinup and before that a more glamour style.

I haven’t shared these images yet as I saved them for submission to a magazine, which unfortunately was unsuccessful! So I am quite excited to share them now!

All of you ladies that have booked in with Cherry for her hair and makeup and photoshoot packages and workshops are in for a treat – she really is a talented lady! My favourite part about my makeup was my eyebrows – wow …

You can read all about my photoshoot experience and what I learned from Cherry’s workshop in my previous post here 🙂

So here are the shots from my shoot – I was lucky to work with the multi talented Katherine from Undefined Photography. Katherine also has a fabulous style blog The Wardrobe – you can check it out here!

Some quick tips for getting great shots at your own photoshoots! 

  1. Do your research! Think about why, what, when and how much you would like to spend on your photoshoot. Look online,ask for advice on social media, get in touch with potential photographers, talk to friends. Have a clear idea what it is you want as this will help both you and the photographer. Do you want to shoot a variety of outfits in an outdoor setting? A “cheesecake” pinup shoot in a studio setting? Many shots or just a few of the best? Do you want a package with hair and makeup service included or will you do your own? Are there some particular looks or images you would like to use as inspiration? Also sometimes a photoshoot may seem a little expensive – but you are paying for a photographers expertise, time, equipment, software, business costs and so much more!
  2. Be prepared. This might seem really obvious, but many times I’ve forgotten something, and being stressed will definitely not help you get the best shots on the day! Put together, try on and pack neatly all of your outfits and any props you might need. It’s always better to throw something in just in case! Do your nails (neat and short is fine!) and eyebrows (or have them done) as these will really improve your grooming and overall look! If it makes you feel good, do a face mask or otherwise pamper yourself the night before and best of all drink lots of water and get a good nights sleep!
  3. On the day! You have your hair and makeup done, all your outfits sorted and are ready for lights, camera, action! Do what you need to do to make yourself feel comfortable and relaxed. Whether that means bringing a friend or partner, listening to music, even having a glass of wine! Don’t feel shy, just ask your photographer if it’s ok!
  4. Getting your best shot. Listen to your photographer! They have a wealth of experience and are happy to direct. No one expects you to know what to do! It’s completely ok 🙂 It may help to practice at home in front of a mirror beforehand just to get a feel of what poses and facial expressions make you feel sassy (only your cat will judge you!). When you are posing for your photos, each shot will probably be set up but vary your expression and make small adjustments to your stance or hands every few shots  – it will give you more to choose from!
  5. Most of all… have fun! A photoshoot should be a fun experience – enjoy being the star of your own show. Because you ARE beautiful, and the more you feel that, it will shine through!

A letter to my boobs – thanks for the mammaries

As I embark on my second breastfeeding journey, I find myself musing about my breasts, these miraculous milk making mammaries and my relationship with them. As women, for better or worse, our boobies are something we are stuck with. Be they itti bitty titties, or bountiful bosoms, our breasts can shape our self perception as women and at times can seem both a blessing, and a curse. There was once upon a time a much younger girl version of me, who wished so desperately for breasts. Breasts of course being that magical bridge between being a girl, and becoming a woman … and I wanted some, damnit! Fast forward to now – when as a 33 year old woman, I can look down at you, my boobs, where you have been hanging out (literally) for the best part of 20 years. How we have changed, and the roads we have travelled!

This is my letter to you, my tatas, boobies, titties, hooters, hoo-has, chesticles, fun bags, jugs ….

You were late to come to the party. Way later than fashionable late. Terribly, painfully late – my teenage self was utterly traumatised at her boob-less existence. Thanks genetics! At aged 12,  I had that certain awkward conversation with my mother about purchasing your first ever bras… although you didn’t even exist yet. I just wanted to fit in, and make changing for PE less fraught with pre-teen anxiety. If I couldn’t have boobs, I was determined to at least have a bra! In retrospect, knowing the lifelong sentence of expense and discomfort of said over the shoulder boulder holders, I might have rejoiced a little more in my pre-bra days of freedom. I confess, at this point I also I may have supplemented your non existence with tissues, I apologize for the misrepresentation.

When you did indeed arrive…finally… at around age 15 or so, I was so so ready. Your perky roundness I showcased under tight tops and I loved to show you off, to anyone and everyone. Look at my beautiful boobies! No really, LOOK AT THEM! I’m afraid I have never grown out of this….

Oh hey, highschool bikini boobies!

When triangle bikinis still worked

I discovered that other people liked to look at you too, and as a poor yet enterprising university student, I found a way to turn this general fascination of men with you into cash dollars . Naked, body painted, wet t-shirted, tequila covered… we had some adventures together to be sure. Although you were already a pert C cup, I yearned to surgically enhance you to be BIGGER and MORE BOOBIE. I stuffed you into ill-fitting push up bras and never truly appreciated your natural beauty.

OMG so perky!!

When bodypaint was acceptable attire for a night on the town

My first pregnancy in my mid twenties gave you a new purpose. You became functional and essential, rather than purely decorative. You grew to new (gigantic) proportions, to say the least. Your cleavage was magnificent, You nourished our daughter, until gradually she didn’t need your sustenance, warmth and soft comfort any longer. We suffered together through cracked nipples, painful blocked ducts and bouts of mastitis, If we were a cow, we would have been humanely out out of our misery but we soldiered on, for a whole two and a half years. I felt so proud of you!

Breastfeeding at polo

But then I felt sad, as I gazed at the aftermath of just doing what you were made to do. Your stretch mark battle scars horrified me, and so did your new shape, which I likened to sagging, deflated balloons.You were no longer my favourite body part and I missed and longed for your younger incarnation. I fell out of love with you.

Now, we are older still, and (somewhat) wiser…. I hope. I have seen you grow to your biggest proportions yet during our latest pregnancy. I once again have marvelled at your magnificence! As you feed our daughter, I feel thankful. What an amazing thing it is, to provide sole sustenance to a whole other human being. When our daughter gives a cheeky grin mid feed, ducking down under your rosy nipple, I feel like a life giving goddess. I look at you in the mirror – my bountiful breasts – unsupported and full, and admire you. You might not look like you did a decade ago… but who does!? I am learning to embrace and appreciate your natural shape and beauty, without always covering, lifting, disguising.

So I thank you, my boobs. I raise a glass to your awesomeness and look forward to many more breast-alicious years. Gravity might be a bitch, but there is always Thailand….

Ladies and your bosoms – be they big, small and everything in between … give your lady lumps some love. They are beautiful, and so are you! And please, check them for lumps and bumps!

My lovely friend Miss Lily Kate created this piece, which couldn’t be more perfect for boob appreciation! You can get yourself a print, click on the pic for the link!

Love Lorelei Louise xx

Inside my wardrobe – how I organise my vintage collection!

A question I notice get asked a lot is “how on earth do I organise and store my pinup collection!?” … which for many of us fashion loving ladies is a real dilemma! As well as frocks for every occasion, a pair of shoes or 100, gloves, hats, bangles, jewelry and more jewelry, petticoats …. the list goes on! For those of us not blessed with a customised dream walk in ward-room (you can just go away now please haha), clever storage and display solutions are needed! So here are my particular problems and solutions, some tips and a little video of my bedroom so you can see for yourself!

For me, having a husband and 2 kids in a small 3 bedroom house means storage for anything is difficult, let alone my huge vintage and pinup wardrobe! And no, just “getting rid of some stuff” is NOT a solution thank you very much … everything is much loved, carefully collected and necessary haha! Yes that includes at least 100 dresses, a rainbow of petticoats and oodles of accessories! So much thinking, trial and error and a little investment were needed so that we can all happily co-exist … happy wife, happy life, right!?

First problem… clearly I don’t get a separate room for my things! So everything must fit in to our medium sized bedroom with it’s king sized bed. Also, alas, my husband needs closet space too!

Solution – we decided to create a giant floor to ceiling wardrobe by expanding the old fashioned existing wardrobe and taking over the closet from the adjacent bedroom to make a 3m wide space that takes up the entire end wall of the bedroom. This was done on a budget of only around $1000, with my lovely hubby doing the renovation work, using mostly leftover building materials and paint from previous projects and ordering a flatpack modular closet system that I designed the layout for. We got ours from EzyNeezy and was much cheaper and of better quality than similar systems at Mitre10 and Bunnings. Eventually we will have sliding wardrobe doors but and interim budget friendly solution was bright curtains from the bargain bin at Spotlight!

Having this generous space (half his and hers!) meant we could free up floor space by not having an free standing drawers or cupboards. I keep all of my clothes in the wardrobe except for an industrial clothes rack on one wall where I hang all of my dresses! There is a bit of room underneath for some shoes, bags etc.

Not having a dressing table meant I had to think a little about how to store accessories! I found a few inexpensive drawer and shelving units from Kmart which work well and take up very little room.

I highly recommend this awesome jewelry organiser from Amazon also! Not very pretty but so very practical, and putting things away in the little pockets is so easy, even I will actually do it!

Gloves and hats are stored in pretty hat boxes that I stash around the room wherever they will fit. Petticoats fit well into a vertical hanging sweater organiser that hangs from my clothing rack. A sock drying rack with pegs from the $2 store is great for clipping scarves too and also hangs up on the rack. I use various hanging belt organisers to store these! Most of my shoes live on a rack I found secondhand at Surplus Traders, it was used to store industrial paper rolls! I use “S” hooks from the hardware store to hang bags off it as well!

Miscellaneous items are stored under the bed in rolling organisers!

Just a few general tips for making the most out of a small space and budget…

  • Make the most of vertical area! Use baskets, old suitcases etc underneath hanging items, hang things from hooks in the ceiling, attach high shelves above closets or racks for items like hats.
  • Use ALL the spaces! Bins under the bed, hooks behind the door, a basket or box in a gap under a table or dresser.
  • Explore the storage solutions at places like Kmart! There are tons of cheap and clever bits and bobs – over the door hooks, shelving, hanging organisers, pretty boxes and bins
  • Re-purpose what you have and look through op shops and junk stores. Old suitcases, wooden boxes, hat boxes, old shop shelving, vintage sewing boxes and storage ottomans… there are so many ways to make storing and displaying your collections interesting and pretty … and that don’t cost much or anything at all!

I hope you enjoyed this post and found some of my ideas useful!

A Very Pinup Valentines Day – Style Ideas

Love it or hate it … Valentines Day is fast approaching! Manufactured by greeting card manufacturers or not … I’m in the “love” camp! No, I don’t need a special day to spoil the ones I love or be romantic, but isn’t it fun? I’d be mortified if my husband spent money on extravagant flowers, however a thoughtful card, home baking or an excuse to grab a sitter and have a dinner out or a picnic at the beach is always welcome! I have great memories as a kid of getting out the craft supplies and making Valentines Day cards… and every year I still get one from my mama – usually with one of her awesome poems which always makes my day special!

And for ladies like me who love any excuse to dress up … Valentines Day is a perfect occasion – whatever your style. I’ve put together a few different looks below and paired them with some of my new Retro Resins jewelry pieces!
Find inspiration to look through your own wardrobe, or click on the Polyvore set for direct shopping links.

You can shop Retro Resins Valentines pieces here:

If pink, red and hearts make you cringe, a black wiggle or swing dress jazzed up with some cute black and white accessories (maybe with a splash of red!) might be just the thing …

If you love pink and red, hearts and novelty prints – Valentines Day is made for you because you can wear them all!

Hot date or a night out with friends? Get sassy in a wiggle dress red lippy and vintage glam accessories!

Why not make someone’s Valentines Day this year with a surprise! A handmade card, some home baking, flowers from the garden … there is nothing like receiving something unexpected and heartfelt!

Wishing you all a wonderful Valentines Day – however you choose to spend it!

Love Lorelei Louise xx


Art prints – a unique and budget friendly gift!

I love art cards and prints, and I think they make such a great gift idea too! Little cards are perfect stocking stuffers, and larger or framed prints make perfect one of a kind presents – even for that hard to buy for person in your life! A bonus is that you can support a local or small business too!

There are SO many wonderful local artists and places to find prints …here are just a few to get you started!

Amy Trouble

Amy is well known locally for her awesome tattoo art and you will probably recognize her illustrations as the Very Vintage Day Out logo each year! She has some beautiful colorful prints of sassy pinups and princesses as well as the cutest Christmas cards you ever will see … and at some special prices for Christmas too! Perfect for the pinup or Disney lover in your life!
Shop here ♥

Odd One Out NZ

Cute and quirky cards, prints and patches
How perfect are these A5 prints for the hobbyist or crafter in your life?? I definitely need the Junk Store Addict one!

I also love this pretty but fierce knuckle tattoo card which you can purchase blank or with customized letters!

♥ Shop here ♥






Endemic World: Art prints and graphics curated in NZ

This is a great site with a big range of art prints and originals and many different styles – from graphic to Kiwiana to animals! There is definitely something for everyone here!
Shop here ♥Flamingo art print by local artist Olivia Bezett – available on Endemic World $20

Malangeo’s Monsters

I came across local artist Micheal Kennedy at a market recently and loved his work … Creepy-cute critters, monsters, zombie vegetables – definitely something different!
Shop here ♥


A few more to check out…
Deisel and Her Bone
Miss Lily Kate
Red Bubble

Frame it!

Turn your art print gift into something really special by framing it! You could get really fancy and have it professionally framed … or you could go the budget friendly option by framing it yourself!

Frames of all shapes and sizes can be found at the stores like the Warehouse and Briscoes, and often on sale too. Some come with mats for a professional look, just check your print size carefully!

I also like to use pretty coloured or patterned paper as a background to complement the print, depending on what it is 🙂 If you are crafty, painting or adding embellishment to the frame can be fun … just don’t drink too much wine and get over enthusiastic or it might come out looking like a kids craft project … not speaking from personal experience or anything …

DIY Print

If you are looking for something really unique or specific, go DIY!

Search Etsy for digital prints and you’ll be sure to find almost anything under the sun 🙂  Print your digital file (you can download almost instantly after purchase) from a quality home printer, use the printing service at Warehouse Stationary or have it professionally printed on art paper at Endemic World.

OR if you really want to go DIY… have a go making your own digital art! Even a complete non artist who doesn’t know a scrap about fancy software such a Photoshop or Illustrator such as myself can do this, if you have a bit of time, creativity and patience … and something relatively simple to create – such as some custom text or a pretty design.

Draw is some free software that is part of the Open Office suite and is similar to Publisher – perfect for creating simple projects. There are loads of amazing free fonts available on the internet, and you can also find digital design components, clip art and stock photos specifically for this purpose, for very little coin. Etsy is also a good source for this!

I hope you enjoyed this post!
Love LL

All I want for Christmas is …. A NZ Pinup wishlist

Ok so this isn’t my REAL wishlist … because in our family we have decided in the last few years to keep gift giving to handmade and small gifts under $20!

But I love pretty things (and making lists!) so this is my wishful Christmas wishlist!
All festive themed and available from New Zealand businesses! I hope you can find some inspiring ideas for your own Christmas shopping … and wishing ♥

  1. BESAME COSMETICS Victory Red Lipstick and Pin Special Edition 2016

    $65 from 19 Black – shop hereBesame Victory Red

  2. Retrospec’d Dyann Flower Pot dress

    I think this may just be the perfect summer Christmas dress!
    $220 from Kabella Baby – shop here 
    Dyann Flower Pot dress

  3. Trio Soy Candle in Summer or Mistletoe

    Locally based in Matakana, these are my favourite candles. The scents are utterly divine and long lasting and I find these even nicer than many more expensive luxury brands.
    I love this large one packaged in a vintage water glass, which you can wash out and re-use – $24 shop heregreen_tumbler_vintage2

  4. What Katie Did contrast seamed stockings in Red or Green

    Oh La La! I adore seamed stockings and these are just so fun and festive in red and green!
    $30 a pair from Rita Sue Clothing – shop hereseamed-stockings-green-glamour-ct_2_large_6288b3e4-339d-43ca-9be7-7c7225093f7a_1024x1024redstock_1024x1024

  5.  Woody Ellen Retro Handbag in Paris

    The whole range of these gorgeous bags in AMAZING, but I particularly love the red, white and pink of the Paris collection!
    $145 from Moxie Mama – shop here

  6. Unicorn Petticoat

    SO floofy and colorful! Now if only this existed in bright rainbow colours… but a pastel rainbow is pretty freakin’ awesome!
    $109 from Two Lippy Ladies – shop here

    Unicorn Petticoat

  7. BAIT Robbie Red Starlet Heels

    I’ve always wanted a pair of red sparkly heels! I love the vintage look and the nice low heel of these!
    $160 from 19 Black – shop here

  8. Honey Lamour Princess blouse in Red

    Perfect for your holiday ensemble and a beautiful wardrobe basic all year round!
    $95 from Honey Lamour – shop here
    Honey Lamour princess blouse

  9. Red Mistletoe Hair flower
    Photographer and fashion blogger Katherine of The Wardrobe blog also sells on Etsy some of the beautiful handmade hair pieces she features in her posts! The delicate detail of this one is so lovely… I would wear it all year round!
    $65 from Shop the Wardrobe – shop here
    Red Mistletoe hair flower
  10. The Foodbank Project Christmas Bundles

    All of us know Christmas is a time that really stretches the budget … and for many kiwis there is sadly no budget at all. The Foodbank Project is an easy peasy way to help those in need this festive season – just add a bundle or individual most needed items to your donation “cart” – it’s as simple as online shopping!
    I really like that they have included a Feminine Hygiene bundle  – an often overlooked aspect of being in need that no woman should have to suffer!The Foodbank ProjectFeminine Hygiene Bundle $15 – shop here
    Small Christmas Bundle $29.94 – shop here
    Medium Christmas Bundle $60.02 – shop here


I hope you enjoyed my little list … wishing you all a wonderful holiday season!
Love Lorelei Louise xx