hey stranger! MY REPEAT OFFENDER Mimi & myrtle uncustomary art tammy gabriel cholae whittingham
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WELL, HELLO THERE! It’s been a long time I could talk about that but I’d rather tell you an embarrassing story about my day. I had this idea to have a “Street People” section in this issue of the magazine and set off into central Auckland to find women to interview. When it came to the crunch, I CHOKED! I saw quite a few ladies I would have loved to include, but shyness got the better of me and I completely bombed!! I was aimlessly wandering, pondering my awkwardness - it was well and truly time to leave to collect my kindergartener after all!
I was *just* about to turn around when I noticed a stylish young woman - who appeared to be looking in my direction! ‘This could be it!’ I thought - then realised it was my honest-togoodness Step Sister!! Turns out you’ll get to meet Cholae towards the end of this issue... Thank heavens for her! Hopefully I’ll be brave and snap some street people for the next issue! (I’m still wondering what happened!) Got any advice for me?? How do you deal with your nerves? Tell me on Facebook!
anywho! I am thrilled to introduce you to some incredible women in this issue. Youâ€™ll see some ridiculously talented (and LOVELY AS PIE) Melbourne ladies, an American woman who is completely bonkers (IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY), a Bob-Marley-Adoring Jamaican bombshell / fashionista, a wonderful, up & coming New Zealand Artist whose work I know youâ€™ll enjoy - and of course, my step-sister! I do hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed putting it all together. If you like this mag, please support me by liking my Facebook page and/or subscribing to my email list.
Thank you for reading!
FAS H I O N My Repeat Offender Kristia Franklin LET’S FIRST HEAD TO JAMAICA BECAUSE SERIOUSLY, WHO DOESN’T WANT TO HEAD TO JAMAICA FOR SOME FREE & EASY, ISLAND LIVING? I FOUND KRISTIA THROUGH INSTAGRAM IN THE SEARCH FOR INTERESTING FASHIONISTA’S AND OH MY GOSH WHAT A FIND SHE WAS!
I SIMPLY COULDN’T BELIEVE THIS WAS THE SAME WOMAN IN ALL THE PHOTOS! KRISTIA IS A MUSTFOLLOW FOR WOMEN WHO ENJOY FUN IN FASHION. I’M POSITIVE YOU WILL BE INSPIRED WHILE S I M I L U TA N E O U S LY, WHISKED AWAY INTO PARADISE.
Where do you live & what do you love about living there?
I live in Jamaica, Jamaica is paradise to me, I love the people and the culture and of course Jamaica is beautiful so its hard not to fall in love with my country. See video of my first cookbook featuring my country HERE
When someone asks you what you do, what do you say?
I would say Iâ€™m an entrepreneur because beneath all this fashion is a true entrepreneur. My blogging came from me being a retailer. Iâ€™m an entrepreneur at heart involved in all sorts of different businesses; products services, fashion related and non fashion related.
Tell us about your love of Bob Marley - when did it start, why do you love him / his music etc. Who doesnâ€™t love Bob Marley lol, His music lives on forever and he was a man filled with wisdom so of course I fell involve. Iâ€™ve learnt so much from his music and these are lessons I have applied to my life and to my morals. Furthermore his music takes me away. He is just an incredible person who lives on forever, truly an inspiration. he left a huge mark on the world and I aspire to do the same :) Watch out world! lol
What's the story behind the blog? How did it come about? My blog is about repeating clothes. I started blogging first with a lifestyle and business blog. But my love of fashion was always there and persons would ask if I’m a fashion blogger and I got tired of saying “No I’m not” So I figured why not start one so I can start to say “Yes I am”.
I dedicated my blog to repeating clothes, hence My Repeat Offender, I wanted to show people that being fashionable doesn’t mean you need to go shopping every week and that you can actually get innovative with your closet and get some really cool outfits out of what you already have.
Do you have a day-job? What do you do?
I do accounting for a company on Mondays and Tuesday, I am also a stylist; personal, fashion and wardrobe, I am a retailer also and Iâ€™m a partner in several upcoming businesses.
What/Who are your biggest inspirations?
Music, art and my mood are the major influences on my style.
Your favorite item of clothing? High waist jeans.....MUST!
What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone who is stuck in a fashion rut?
I would tell the person to take some time and find out who he or she is, do some soul searching and when you have found yourself, spend sometime in a store, not necessarily buying anything but do a whole lot of window shopping and see what things you like, what things you donâ€™t like. Then its time to play dress up and try them on until you find an outfit that suits the new found you. After you find the first one it pretty much gets easier each time and you will become more secure in who you are and in your personal style :) Happy hunting!
Where are your fave local places to hang out?
I go to restaurants a lot, I love country trips to river and beaches, I choose those over clubbing any day and I LOVEEE concerts, I attend as many as I can each year.
Do you have any favorite patterns / colors / combinations to wear?
I like mixing prints, always a fun challenge for me :) I wear any color I feel like wearing but if you ask my friends they will tell you I like to wear white which is true.
If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be? To be yourself, not one person in this world is exactly like another person so why should you try to change that? Be the best version of you. I would also want people to know that we were made to love so we should love freely, unconditionally and endlessly.
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STYLI N G Mimi + Myrtle Miriam & Megan WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU COMBINE TWO INSANELY, CREATIVE, STYLISH INDIVIDUALS WITH BUSINESS? MIMI + MYRTLE IS WHAT! THIS SWEET DUO PLANS PARTIES, STYLE SPACES, RUN WORKSHOPS AND THEN SOME! ALSO, THEY’RE LOVELY, LOVELY PEOPLE. IT’S WORTH SAYING. THEY ARE.
When someone asks you what you do, what do you say? Meg: We are a ďŹ‚orist and graphic design girl team who work together styling up spaces and events. Miriam: I say Iâ€™m a freelance graphic designer, that has joined forces with my ďŹ‚orist bestie to collaborate on styling spaces and events.
Where do you live & what do you love about living there?
Miriam: I live in Spotswood, in the innerwest of Melbourne. I enjoy living here as it’s close to Williamstown beach (10 min drive - 15min ride), so I can even smell the sea! I also love the little street we live on because we are surrounded by cute little cafe’s, a local pub and a brewery and it’s only a 2min walk to the train station and 15 minute train ride into the city. It’s a real village feel.
Meg: Melbourne, my favourite city in the world! I live in Toorak a tree lined leafy suburb with a tram stop out the front that takes me straight to the city. It is a 10min walk from Chapel street with shops and amazing food options. It feels really homely but also like we’re on holiday. We eat dinner out a lot, walk around the block and choose mansions that we will live in one day or sit in the sun watching local cricket matches at the oval
How would you describe your decorating style? Miriam: I would describe my decorating style as bright and bold, eclectically vintage, maximalist, colourful, textural, layered and a little quirky. I enjoy collecting each piece for it’s vibrancy of colour, pattern, texture, shape and individuality – things that speak to me, and tell a story of another time, or a place I’ve visited, or a piece by an artist or designer I admire. I love pieces predominantly from the 1960’s and 70’s and also more contemporary works that align with my sense of style.
Meg: I love textures, prints and colour with a fondness for anything botanical and sentimental. I’m naturally drawn to blues, greens and pinks and I prefer things to look a little more eclectic rather than matching. I love using contrasting materials like natural ﬁbres/textures with luxurious velvets and mixing vintage pieces with new. I feel a real love for special ﬁnds- it might be a chair or a lamp that I know I will love forever rather than ﬁlling a space with whats trending.
This was an apartment the team styled for Ustay Accomodation You can view all the photos here
What made you decide to join forces and start a business together? Miriam & Meg: Ever since we met in high school, we were often mistaken as twins, not just for our looks, but for our style and taste in most things. We chose different creative industries to focus on (ďŹ‚owers and graphic design), but always love the same things and naturally joined together to organise and style events just as friends. One day a few years ago we were on a weekend away with our other halves in the seaside town of Barwon Heads and were browsing the gorgeous shop windows and dreaming of owning our own creative business, and then it just struck us that it would be so fun and make total sense to do something together. We got very excited, and started brainstorming and over about a year long process, things fell into place and we formed Mimi-Myrtle +Co. which has evolved into what is is today.
When styling a space, do you have any go-to moves? Miriam: It really depends on the space, and the clients intentions. We always love adding greenery to a space, bringing the outdoors in to create a bit of calm and nature inside. It also revolves intrinsically around the colour palette, which is often dictated by the clients requests, once this is established everything else seems to fall into place.
Meg: For me its the power of the plant! A space isnâ€™t ďŹ nished until it is sprinkled with plants, although Iâ€™m personally responsible for a plant graveyard at my own home! Flowers, herbs and foliage are my go to, they bring life, colour and fragrance and can update a room instantly. I also like beautifying storage solutions, placing practical items in jars, metallic bags, baskets and tins, simple yet satisfying!
When did you realise you could style homes, plan parties, create gorgeous florals, design all sorts of things etc for a job? Miriam: I ﬁnished a degree in Communication Design (Graphic Design) over a decade ago, so have always been able to make a living off my design work, which is great, but it’s been more recently that my love of planning events and styling interiors has become a reality as a job. This is the perfect area where Megan and I cross over - we have both always been the one’s in any group organising parties for ourselves, and our friends and families, we have both been having fun making spaces more beautifully intuitively since we were little girls! So it just made sense for us to use this passion and talent as a service.
Meg: I’ve been a ﬂorist for 12 years so it’s always been a part of my work to style weddings, parties and merchandise stores/ windows. I’m lucky to work with ﬂowers not a day goes by that someone doesn’t say to me “I wish I was a ﬂorist” and I think yeah its pretty awesome! Miriam and I have known each other for 15 years, we have always loved beautifying spaces so it feels pretty natural that we’ve both continued on this path. Basically we love parties, decorating them, throwing them and going to them!
When are you happiest Miriam: When I’m sitting in the sunshine with a nice view of the ocean, or around a long, lusciously laden table catching up with my family and friends over a sparkling wine. Meg: When I’ve got a long drive ahead with the radio on and realise its RnB Fridays. When I ﬁnally go and buy the donuts I’ve been Instagram dreaming about. Impromptu living room dance parties and reminiscing all the forgotten but deﬁnitely excellent music from our youth. Any scenario that results in hanging out and laughter with all my favourite people.
Any go-to moves for party planning? Miriam: Create a solid theme, whether an obvious or subtle concept, which every element of the event links back to. A venue is a must, which can often deﬁne your theme. From there, work out a timeline and what’s needed by when and work back and set some deadlines to get everything set in place for the big date. Your guests are the key element to the event, so after a theme is established, an invitation designed, you need to invite your guests with a lot of notice in mind - and a reminder closer to the event, as people forget! Then it’s the fun part; creating a mood board for colors, prop ideas, textures, ﬂoral and design elements which deﬁnes the direction of the styling, design and botanicals and then you can start collecting props, organising catering and drinks all appropriate to your chosen theme.
Meg: My go to move is deﬁnitely achieving the right lighting! It is so important to create the right feel for the party to take shape. I love using festoon lighting (string lights), lamps and as much candlelight as possible. Honestly every element of a party is important to me, killer soundtrack sets the mood, subtle or ﬂamboyant colour schemes followed through from invite to the space. Well thought out signature drinks and menu and of course ﬂowers, so many ﬂowers!
What do you love most about what you do? Miriam: The creative outlet and freedom to do what I love, the collaborative element of our job, where Megan and I can cross over in skills and ideas, the hunt for unique props and working with clients to create the best outcome to their brief.
Meg: The variety, weâ€™re always creating something we have never made before! Also when we work with clients who are absolutely on the same page, trust us and appreciate how much work has gone into the event/space
What was your fave project you've worked on together? Miriam & Meg: Hmmmmm, a tough one, but perhaps styling the Seniors High Tea event, for Boyd Community Hub in December last year. We had a large wall in the entrance area and we had the freedom to come up with a look and feel through styling, design and botanicals for the event. Traditionally you may expect china tea cups lined up neatly in a row and a lace doily or two but in true M-M style we decided we would bring some nonnanny colour to the day. The theme was â€œSweet treats amongst the tea leavesâ€?. We cut leaves for hours to make the entrance look as if a rainbow autumn storm had just swept through the door. Then used plants and mint inside to bring the leafy theme to life. I designed signs that made the decision of selecting treats and tea one without regret. Baskets were collected, tea inspired props were sourced, Alice in wonderland was screened & tea was served in pineapple cups. All the guests left with bellies full of tea and locally made delights, handfuls of fragrant mint and lemons and smiles like cheshire cats.
Take a look at some pics of the project HERE:
Fave local hangouts? Miriam: The beach, The Sun Theatre and Barkley Johnson wine bar in Yarraville, Two Birds Brewery and meeting in the city for drinks (too many fab bars to name!) and Japanese, ramen or dumpling feasts (multiple venues).
C O N T I N U E D Meg: When I’m hanging out locally you’ll ﬁnd me eating my favourite Vietnamese food and sipping coconuts at Hanoi Hannah or Miss Chu. This is usually followed by dessert at Gelato Messina and/ or drinks and late night fried chicken at Leonards House of Love
Best/worst things about having your own business? Miriam: Best - the freedom to manage your own time and projects, and work in multiple spaces (not always chained to one desk - I love having a laptop and will never get a desktop). Worst: having to keep onto of admin, with quoting and invoicing for jobs, so you get work and get paid!
C O N T I N U E D Meg: I like new challenges and jobs that aren’t so ﬂower focused so I can explore using different mediums. The ﬂexibility and chances to work in different areas and even different countries. The worst is late night emails! I work with my hands all day it is a different environment to working a desk job so it’s hard to keep up with quotes and enquiries
Are there any side-projects/ people/events etc. coming up you'd like to tell people about?
Miriam & Meg: We are hosting a workshop at a gallery called BOOM (boomgallery.com.au) on June 18th, teaching people to create a â€˜Party Pom Pom Garlandâ€™ to wear on their head / neck or hang up in their home. Using pom poms that they make, and other felt and metallic leather botanical cut-out elements. There will be morning tea included and a party playlist created especially for the event.
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M E RRY MA Uncustomary Art Mary England I’VE BEEN FOLLOWING MARY ON INSTAGRAM FOR A WEE WHILE NOW, SO I WAS COMPLETELY STOKED WHEN SHE AGREED TO BE INTERVIEWED FOR MY MAG! MARY BRINGS HAPPINESS TO THE MASSES THROUGH HER AWESOME, GUERILLA ART. SHE LIVES IN BALTIMORE (SO NATURALLY I ASKED HER ABOUT ”THE WIRE” - BUT I GET ASKED ABOUT LORD OF THE RINGS SO FAIR IS FAIR!) IF YOU’RE NOT SMILING YET, YOU WILL tBE SOON... ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU SEE THE TROLL PIC...
My fave project of yours is the garden of balloon-dogs for your friends brother.Â Tell me about that My friend, April, is one of the coolest people to exist on planet earth. She knows how to walk on stilts and has a ball pit in her basement. A couple years ago, her brother died and she wanted to honor him with an elaborate installation using balloon dogs (he always loved her balloon twisting). We selected a spot with a lot of foot traffic and installed over 400 balloon dogs in a grass patch in Baltimore with a memorial sign. You can see more about that HERE
What was the idea behind the no-pants / walking-around-inyour-underwear thing?
The No Pants Subway Ride is an annual tradition that was started in the early 2000â€™s by the founder of Improv Everywhere , Charlie Todd. He is all about creating public scenes where people can either interact and become involved or just have a crazy story to tell their friends later. The organization has grown immensely since that day in January where he and six of his friends rode the Subway in their underwear without explanation, and now dozens of cities participate around the world every year. New York alone has over 10,000 participants. I participate in the DC version every year, and generally just love the idea of doing something strange in public that makes people pay attention.
I note The Wire is absent from your favorite TV shows, despite living and breathing Baltimore! The Wire is a great show! I honestly never finished it, but not for lack of interest or desire. It just never happened, but it’s on my overall life to do list. That said, there is a part of me that doesn’t want to promote The Wire as a Baltimorean simply because when I go out of state, all people seem to think about Charm City is we’re full of murder, drugs, crime, and have great soft shell crabs. Those things are all true, but there’s way more to Baltimore than that.
Fantasy dinner guests?
Amy Poehler, Keri Smith, Lena Dunham, Chris Pratt, Charlie Day, Zooey Deschanel, Katie Sokoler, SARK, Roald Dahl.
Tell me about your book and where to buy it My book is called This Is About You: Amazing, Weird, Beautiful You. It was the number one thing on my Bucket List for a long time, and I’m finally able to cross it off! It’s about self love and self esteem. It talks about loving yourself from a real perspective, including a firsthand mental health angle, and I’m really proud of it. It’s full color with gorgeous photographs by Maura Housley, and it’s available online! You can get it from my publisher , or Amazon , Barnes and Noble or Books-AMillion
What is your favourite project you've ever worked on??Â My favorite guerrilla art projects are always the kind that get people to interact with them. I absolutely adore doing disposable camera installations where strangers can take pictures and Iâ€™ll develop them later to share online. I also love doing performance art pieces on the street, like dressing up as a 90â€™s Troll doll and hanging out on a bridge .
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Tell me about your free e-course I love providing free and fun resources to people, whether thatâ€™s a local event or digital education. My free e-course is called 7 Steps To A Life Of Gratitude, and it will teach you the beginning steps/foundation for finding sparkly linings in your life and being more appreciative and positive about your life. You can sign up here , and if you enjoy it you will definitely enjoy my Self Love e-course , which goes into this topic in great detail, in addition to 9 other topics.
â€œMy friend, Suzie, sent me a ton of temporary tattoos. The only option was to wear them all at once.â€?
Where are your favorite places to hang out?
II love hanging out at my boyfriend’s house. He has a few roommates and their friend group is always in and out. There’s always something to do there, and I’ve been thrilled to become a part of the group and add my colorfulness to it. I also like driving around the city alone or with friends, people watching and searching for new street art.
Do you remember the first time you ... guerrilla-arted?Â I was always into leaving things for people to find. I would write notes and leave them in books in stores or write positive quotes on white mailing labels and stick them to poles in the city.
The first official guerrilla art project I did was a yarnbomb for Lovelyarnsâ€™ Yarnbomb Contest. I knitted a rectangle that would fit a parking meter and installed it. I won fourth place, but the act of sewing that colorful rectangle on that metal pole was more rewarding than any prize. That was in May of 2012 and I havenâ€™t stopped yet, nor do I have any intention to.
You seem insanely busy, how do you manage it all?
Hah! I don’t! Something is always falling through the cracks to be honest. I have way too many things on my to do list every day, and I always want to be doing more, more, more! I try to balance everything, so I rotate what’s suffering—be it my blogging, hobbies, social life, business, art, etc. Having people in my life who support me is essential, because otherwise I’d go crazy. Also, ToDoIst is the best app for organizing things I have to get done.
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ARTIST Tammy Gabriel Portraits TAMMY IS ONE CLEVER LADY. SHE HAS THE INCREDIBLE ABILITY TO DEPICT LIKENESS. IT’S A PLEASURE TO VIEW TAMMY’S WORK, THERE IS A CONSTANT STREAM OF BEAUTIFUL ARTWORK ON HER FACEBOOK & INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS! SHE’S ALSO A VERY CARING, LOVELY HUMAN BEING AND FUN TO HAVE A WINE WITH.
Tell me about your art. How would you describe your style? I do mostly realistic sketching and painting, however recently have been experimenting with colour and contrast, simplifying and stylising.
What are your favourite colours and mediums? My current favourite medium is watercolour, itâ€™s fun to use and the colours come out so bright.
TALK US THROUGH YOUR PROCESS I am untrained but have always had a certain way I draw. I always start from the left eye and work outwards. With faces I tend to choose photos where the eyes really capture my attention. I find eyes the most important part of the face as it can really bring a picture to life. I measure out my space with a general outline and then fill in the detail. With watercolour paintings, Iâ€™ve been using ink for the outline and then painting the detail with watercolour.
Who are your fave artists? What do you love about them? I love Sarina Khoo, a NZ artist. She has a similar style to me but paints directly onto plywood. I also love this Darina Denali, she gets such amazing vibrant colours with oils.
What does your workspace look like? I actually donâ€™t have one! I tend to work in the lounge on the coffee table! And sometimes the floor.... I like to work flat as opposed to at an easel
guilty pleasures? I love good TV, especially comedies....
Fantasy dinner guests? Douglas Adams, Amy Poehler, Danny Bhoy... yeah it would be a weird mix but the important thing is it would be a funny and entertaining night!
When you're feeling unmotivated, how do you break through? Scroll through Pinterest for inspiration! I am inspired by photography with interesting compositions and an emotive mood
Is it ever hard to put your work out there for people to see? Were you ever shy? I wouldn’t say I’m shy but have always struggled with confidence in my work. Putting it out on facebook and instagram and getting good feedback has helped my confidence... Until recently I did not like to use the term ‘Artist’ to describe myself but am getting more comfortable with that.
You seem inspired to depict young women, what is it about women you enjoy painting? I honestly donâ€™t know! I have been drawing women / girls since I was very young. I guess I just find their faces and bodies more interesting than men in terms of shape and variation! Also, since I work from photos, there is just a lot more interesting photography of women I think, in terms of composition
What kind of philosophies do you live by? Live in the moment and take pleasure in the small things in life.
This one sits proudly on my wall (Rosie)
tammy would love to hear from you
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SUPER QUICK INTERVIEW WITH... Cholae Whittingham
How old is Jaxon now? Heâ€™s 11 weeks today
So Cholae, what are you doing here?
I am walking Jaxon and weâ€™ve stopped for some Tank Juice and a bit of lunch with Jaxon
How's your partner going?
Gino’s good, he’s back at work. He gets up at night if he needs to do a nappy change and when he gets home from work he’ll take Jaxon for a little while so I get to relax. He’s been really good.
How are you finding adjusting to motherhood? It’s been great, it’s different. A lot has changed but I’m loving every minute, taking it in my stride.
What do you miss the most about life before Jaxon?? I miss not having to lug around 50,000 things with me every time I leave the house!
Are you looking after yourself? Eating OK..,.?
I’m trying!! I’m pretty good at skipping meals but when I eat them, they’re good, pretty healthy.
Are you getting much sleep?
Last night was his first full night down - 6 and a half hours was very good.
and now for some random "arty" photos i took after interviewing cholae just because I can..
Oh Jerry, of course Iâ€™ll run away with you... right after I like Rosieteapot on Facebook and subscribe to her email list