Words from Courtney E. Martin

Blogger, speaker, author, activist and feminist. This quote sums up what I'd like my brand - and ultimately this fickle, judgemental industry - to be all about:


"You know what's really, powerfully sexy? A sense of humour. A taste for adventure. A healthy glow. Hips to grab on to. Openness. Confidence. Humility. Appetite. Intuition . . . Smart-ass comebacks. Presence. A quick wit. Dirty jokes told by an innocent-looking lady . . . A woman who realises how beautiful she is."


Go forth and conquer.


j xx

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Today, in Extra Cool Patternmaking Tool News . . .

 . . . tools which I didn't know existed but now I don't think I can live without:



THE BUTTON MARKER MEASURY DOOHICKY. Useful one or two times every six months or so (kindof like that melon baller in the back of the kitchen drawer that you can't let go of), but when it comes in handy, BOY, does it come in handy.

To the button-marking-doohicky store!

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santolina preorder night

#instagrid by my darling friends at novella collective. we had a wee soire last night at the beautiful In Good Company Space, introducing Summer '16 'Santolina' to some friends. A lovely night of tryons, nibbles and sangria. Oh sangria. Why do you taste so good but hurt so bad today?! Sunglasses are being worn.


J xx

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Behind the scenes - Summer 16 'Santolina'

Behind the scenes - Summer 16 'Santolina'

Back in February I got together with the team from novella to create a coastal themed lookbook for summer 2016’s ‘Santolina’ collection. Windswept, of course, because that’s how we roll down here. We thought or way around the situations that changing light, encroaching waves and nosey seagulls threw our way – James and Michelle’s extensive experience with wedding shoots was invaluable – to create a playful, whimsical set of images that perfectly sums up the collection. Here are the behind the scenes shots from our day out at the seaside.


the change tent was pretty quickly abandoned . . .

james is a really cheerful chap in real life. This is his Resting Face.

lovely ivy

I'm wearing the Duke Tshirt in black from the winter gravel+gold collection - you can find it here

cameo appearance by air new zealand


TRENDING: The Butt Scarf.

Go, team! Such a joyful day. I do wish we'd thought to re-apply sunscreen though.

All images by James and Michelle Phillips for novella collective

Styling by Ivy Mae Hair, Make up and Fashion Styling

Model – Imogen from Kirsty Bunny Management


Shot on location at Princess Bay, on the south coast of Wellington, NZ

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Desperation Stations.

Desperation Stations.

Someone, for the love of jebus, tell me why I don't have $700 lying around to buy myself this . . .

National Geographic - Around the World in 125 Years. Weighing in at 20kgs for the three volumes, she's 1404 pages (slightly under A3 size) of glorious full-colour images from the back-catalogues of everyone's favourite educational magazine and OH MY GOD IT'S GLORIOUS. I had to be dragged away from the stand at Whitcoulls. The slip cover turns into a display stand! Limited to 125,000 editions worldwide, I doubt they'll be around for long.


j xx

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the best dang christmas fruit mince in the universe

the best dang christmas fruit mince in the universe


I'm not kidding. I've been making this fruit mince for six years now, and it's been known to turn haters into lovers with a single bite. Peeps be all "uhh, I'm not really a fan. but I guess I'll tr- HOLY SMOKES, WHAT'S IN THIS?!?" It uses fresh lemon and orange zest to give a little kick, rather than mixed peel (I guess you could use peel if you preferred, but, ick), and pine nuts lend a lovely dense bite. I also used to make the pastry for the pies too, but anyone who's tried to make a nice sweet short pastry in a 30+ degree kitchen on Christmas Eve knows it's a fool's errand. Southern hemisphere pastry fans are better off with the pre-bought stuff imho, but make sure you get the kind that lists butter as an ingredient. So here we go - prepare now and it will last for weeks in your fridge!


APPLE FRUIT MINCE (originally published in the New Zealand Gardener magazine)

3 apples, cored and peeled

120g raisins

200g sultanas

150g currants

150g prunes, stones removed

2 tbspns fresh orange juice

1/3 cup raw sugar

1/4 cup kremelta

1/2 cup pine nuts

1/2 tspn each mixed spice, ground nutmeg and cinnamon

grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

Shed the apples in your food processor or with a grater. Add the raisins, sultanas, currants and prunes. Moisten with orange juice to help it blend. Add the remaining ingredients and whizz until well combined. I don't process as I go as I like it to have a bit of chunk to it. Store in jars in the fridge and use as required. to make into pies, cut pastry into rounds and fit into greased muffin tins, add fruit mince and bake at 200degC for 11 minutes(ish). Dust with icing sugar and serve warm. You won't look back.


J xx

(ps - I recently found a jar with the last bit of last Christmas' fruit in my freezer. Gave it a quick defrost, mixed it through some basic bread dough and made lovely fruit buns for lunch. Win.)

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let's travel back in time . . .

Let's travel back, shall we, to last Thursday - the first day of what would turn out to be a five day long incarceration with two small children (let's call them Misery A and Misery B), who I suspect may have had the 'flu, or something very close to it. They have looooved my company, as of of course the old saying goes.

I, on the other hand, was pretty desperate today to be somewhere - ANYWHERE - that wasn't my living room. Somewhere indoors that was warm, wasn't filled with a sea of used tissues, that we could wander for an indeterminate time with the sneezers in the double buggy. It would preferably feature a large flat white. Westfield it is, then.

Allow me to take us even further back - five and a bit years in fact - to my soon-to-be husband giving me Dior's 'Midnight Poison' perfume for my birthday. I saved it faithfully to use for the first time on our wedding day, and it's pretty much all I've worn since then. But a couple of weeks ago, the good times ran out (the perfume good times. Not the marriage good times). Do I reinvest in the scent I love? Or try something new? (At this point it's probably fair to point out that yes, this is a ridiculous first world problem. You'd be searching for a happy-place-treat too if you'd just lived my last five days.) With a little bit of help I've narrowed my options down to four:

Dior 'Midnight Poison'  Floral, but not flowery. Patchouli, citrus, rose and amber.

Chanel 'Coco Mademoiselle'   Citrus, patchouli and white floral. Like Midnight Poison it opens with citrus. Show me someone who doesn't love Mademoiselle and I'll give you five dollars.

Estee Lauder 'Modern Muse'  Citrus again! Mandarin, honeysuckle and jasmine with patchouli and amber down the list. Such a lovely bottle.

Elie Saab  'Le Parfum'  Opens with orange blossom (predictably), with jasmine, cedar and patchouli underneath. The prettiest of the four, but still not too sweet.

So. What say you, internet friends?


j xx

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morning, through cabbage trees


 . . . best viewed over the top of a (very) strong coffee. One of the worst parts of small children = seeing every dawn in. One of the best parts = seeing every dawn in. yaaaawn.

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beautiful machine

As a New Zealander, nothing sums up the music of my teens (the bad bits as well as the good bits), more that Shihad, so I'm super excited to watch Beautiful Machine (tv3, 10.25pm Friday 18th April). I might even wear my dr martens - 15 years old and still going strong after many a mosh pit!

j xx

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Well Travelled Bride

On Tuesday night I joined my friend Desiree (find her website here) for an evening with the founders of Well Travelled Bride as well as a host of other fashion industry people. Well Travelled Bride is a new venture, the only place to look to when planning bespoke or destination weddings. The food was lovely, the wine delicious, the company delightful. Thanks to Kelsey and Yvette of Well Travelled Bride, and everyone at arcana Imperii for a great evening.

all images copyright Hiroaki Teraoka and Grace Gemuhluoglu (photographers).


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