Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Calling in from outer space

Earthlings! Here I am. Not blogging from the shop, not even talking about the shop, which leaves me with

um. All I do is have a shop now (which, yes, I'm currently in).

Which is going very well, thanks.

I still have no counter. Bastards (I did want to use a much ruder word, but now the shop has the same name as my blog, I can't really get away with that shit anymore. I mean "stuff".)

My son has slapped cheek, which has to be the best name for a virus ever. Especially as nobody has heard of it, because you tell them, they're like "you did what to his cheek?!", and I'm like NO, and then we all laugh and eat lamingtons.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Time for some bullet points (be still my beating heart, I love bullet points an indecent amount)

  • My dog is asleep on her back, and she is bloody cute.
  • I have some extremely splendid books coming to the store that aren't available anywhere in NZ, they're all design ones, and I don't want to sell them because I love them so.
  • In fact, everything in the store was bought for my house, in a weird way. Just so you know, the shop looks like my dream home.
  • Tomorrow I'm going to a Wadestown Kindergarten fundraiser in the evening. It will be quite posh I reckon, like me (riiiiiiiiight).
  • Possibly now I have a shop I need to stop wearing Chuck Taylors and the same pants every day. The effort.
  • Man, these bullet points aren't coming easily. I feel I need to resume a social life.
  • Ooooooooh, Macbook time! I've been waiting for Leopard, and it comes out tomorrow. Yayayayayyayayayayayy. And we have the internet connected in the shop now. Flash.
  • Yeah, I'm still braindead.

Hutt reprazent!

Our local MP just biffed another MP. In Hutt terms, this is like conquering Everest. Mallard will secure another term I reckon... the Hutt respects scrappers.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So, like, hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii

I haven't got any new or delicious scandal to report. Things are quite quiet around these parts actually, surprisingly so. After all the palaver of getting my ducks in a row with the shop, and chasing up phone people and movers and so on, it is all kind of done. Until we get discovered by shoppers, and become totally flat out, and really freakishly wealthy. Ha! "It all starts with a dream", okay? That is what a lady working at Michael Hill told me once when I was looking at hideous big blingy diamonds. I thought it was a gorgeous thing to say, and even though I had no interest in her jewels I credit her with my most oft repeated saying (when I'm not quoting, you know, Keats and Plato and stuff).

We've been open this week, but without having advertised or even put up signage, we're getting a pretty random group of punters. People are really nice, and say lovely things about the shop. I think basically now it is all your jobs to go and tell everyone you know about the store, and then if it doesn't fly, I'll know who to blame.

Got it? Your mission is to make me massively successful and the owner of a Concorde.


Monday, October 22, 2007


Thanks so much to everyone who has said nice things and visited the shop. I love you all, even the scary guy that loitered outside for 5 hours on Saturday. Yes, even him.

I hope you all go and tell everyone in your offices about the place, and then come back over the next few weeks as lots more great stuff arrives... Mr Reasonable makes me want to get a Francis Francis or 7 for the shop too.

Sue has brought in some amazing jewellery - which you must come and see and buy, and a lovely bottle of grog. Ms Hubris came bearing bubbly too. I'm going to hold the grog hostage for a launch party at some time in the not too distant future, so that I can share it with them. Cathi was my first eftpos, and I'm chuffed she made the effort. In fact, I'm not sure we would have managed to open without the prospect of a real visitor who isn't related.

I was very stoked to see young Mark, who I haven't seen for possibly 10 years? How time flies. This shop is bringing people TOGETHER.

Tom came and got some Foxton Fizz Creaming Soda for his vodka, and that sounds like a very fine dish. Maybe I'll have to get a licence and double up as a bar.

Man, if I did that, life might just be perfect.

Oh, the address:

Wanda Harland
148 Jackson St

We are next to Handles, Knockers and Knobs. Try beating that for a name.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Originally uploaded by Wanda Harland
Photos at last! I took them with my phone, so I would apologise for the quality, but I'm actually quite surprised at how well they worked out, I suspect better than our proper camera would have taken.

We opened the doors for a short spell yesterday, and slightly longer today. It was fun, although without having told anyone we exist, it was a little quiet.

Now you can see what Black White looks like, definitely more white than black.

Here is a picture with oodles of notes, if you'd care to click through to flickr.


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Shop a squillionty zillion

Nup, not open yet. Bloody close. I'm at home with the kids while Glen hangs up the pictures and does some hammery stuff. I'll head back in this afternoon, and possibly open the doors for a few minutes in a symbolic opening type fashion.

A few lessons learned:

  • Just because all the boxes are there doesn't mean all the bits for the shelves are. We are missing 6 glass shelves and a hanging rail, so our display is kind of crazy.
  • It is a good thing we got a lighting plan. We are going to need it, the lighting is definitely lacking, and we can look forward to spending a small fortune in the near future.
  • Sitting on the phone getting assistance can swallow up valuable shelf stocking time.
  • You should try and remember to get change from the bank before a long weekend, or any weekend for that matter.
  • Connecting to the internet from a new connection isn't instinctive.
  • Windows get really, really dirty without you noticing when they're covered with brown paper.
  • Foxton Fizz is seriously delicious. It is extremely fizzy and can give one the hiccups. Cocktail flavour and raspberry are best, although Creaming Soda is also great, and I haven't tried lime, lemonade and Kola, so can hardly judge. I've got the most beautiful, fat, green straws to drink it with.
  • The counter is an essential part of the decor, and our counter hasn't arrived.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Good question

Cathi has asked if we're still on for tomorrow.

No idea.

Sorry! We could be open, the shelves have arrived, the cash register has been replaced with a working one, the phone is connected, the eftpos terminal has stubbornly started working, we haz stock. I just have absolutely no idea whether we'll be able to make the place presentable by morning.

At this stage:

Pictures need hanging
Shelves need assembling
Stock needs pricing
Stock needs to be taken from home to shop
My brain needs to stop hurting.

And I don't know whether any or all of these things matter. I'm that shagged.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Beaut ute

We have furniture in the shop! It is a big day. We may even open on Saturday, depending on phones, shelves blahdy blah.

Ms Megan came to ours with their fabulous new (old) ute. I have serious ute envy. Megan and I had to actually help with lugging things, which kind of sucked. I'm pleased blokes can usually be convinced that they're better at that job, but tonight there was a shortage of blokes, and unfortunately Megan and I had to let on to Glen that we're perfectly capable of lifting.

We chucked a few things in our formerly exquisitely black white shop, and now it is black white with much red and pink and green and other things. I think it will be quite ace (just quietly).

Tomorrow I'm going to be there faffing around, and I'll try and take a few pictures and post them here, since I'm sure you all have wallets bulging full of money to purge chez Marth.

Did I mention I have Foxton Fizz? See, you won't be able to resist the store now. We sampled the "Cocktail" flavour today, and whilst it lacks the subtlety of a fine dirty martini, and was a jolly good little spritz.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


On a more positive note (from my previous post - Jon Stewart has cheered me into a good mood again), I was thinking about my awesome new neighbours at the shop. If you come out you can get some gouda from the Dutch shop opposite, some delicious mango chutney from Spice Planet on the corner, some biltong from On Trays (the South African shop) just around the corner, some Speights from the Speights bar, some Ripe coffee from Go Bang a block down the road, some Turkish food from the new Turkish cafe over the road (owned by the Istanbul people), some of the best Chinese food in Wellington from Shanghai Kitchen, also over the road...

We have some very awesome neighbours. I shall become as large as a house.

One of THOSE days

Do people want to hear about boring crap? Occasionally things go a bit roughly, and today was one of those days...

I got my first blue face on Trademe. Bloody hell. I won the auction on a cash register, and was contacted reasonably promptly, but after the initial contact it was a loooong time to get any responses, and I didn't feel overly confident about the trade. Also, I actually needed the thing, and it didn't seem like it was going to arrive in a hurry. It was all very civil, and then I get the grump face, and the bad attitude. Oh well, I suppose Trademe is full of crazy people. And I ended up getting a fabulous cash register, extremely promptly, from very nice people.

And my counter is stuck in Auckland still. The movers have been to get it twice, and decided they need more people. Obviously I can't open without a counter, so I'm a bit gutted about that, especially as I booked them ages ago, and they haven't been letting me know what is happening, I've been chasing them on the phone.

AND my phoneline hasn't been installed, when it was "going to be in by Monday", so someone else to chase up, and you know what telecommunications are like to get hold of (tele-noncommunications).

Oh, and my old spouse is sick as a dog, but unable to take sick leave, because it is his last week of work (yay!), and that is not a good look.

Bah grumpy.

On a more positive note, we've painted the floor of the shop, and it is looking very dishy. It has a modem, so if I wanted I could take a computer in and surf teh internets. And Jon Stewart is on telly, and that always makes me happy. AND, I'm told my stuff is in the window of Kirks! The window!

So, while it has been a kind of crappy day, I'm reasonably content, and things can only get better...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Shop diaries, again

My cash register arrived today. It is cool. I might possibly have bought the cheapest one around (which also happens to be the prettiest), and the manual is very chinglish. Who needs all that gst palaver? Receipt? Pah, so old skool.

I spent quite a bit of time painting the shop over the weekend. It is black white, a colour I probably picked because of the craziness of the name - is it black? Is it white? Is it grey?

And I have spent waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time chasing suppliers. You'd think if you went to a gift fair, and gave out samples, and spent thousands of dollars on getting there, you'd actually be kind of keen to get back to people who have said they will definitely buy your product. Such logic doesn't seem to exist. Oh well.

Oh, and if you're passing by the NZ store in Kirks, I have some stock there now. SO EXCITING. I love Kirks. I must go and have a look.

That is all. I hope you're all awesome and good looking, because I'm not. I'm all covered in paint. quite tired and doing online grocery shopping, such is my rock and roll existence.

Friday, October 12, 2007

It is still light outside

The weather is giving us a glimpse of summer. I guess it isn't the weather, but the fact for the first time in about 23 years it isn't raining and cloudy, and outside we have a beautiful sky.

I got to wear my sash at lunchtime, and as a surprise, Mrs Llew had arranged for a pink boa halo. Lots of old men said I looked "quite fetching". People were very generous, and I felt very virtuous and angelic collecting their donations for a great cause. Mr Llew came and gave me a big bag of his delicious nuts (ooo err) - macadamias! What were you thinking? And where did that Benny Hill music spring from?

This afternoon I trotted along to a consultation with lighting designers for the shop. Man, the problem with things like lighting designers is that they make you realise fluorescent tubes really won't do the trick. They're too smart to come out and say it, but they show you lots of lovely alternatives that ruin fluorescents for you forever.

In theory we're at the shop painting all weekend (apart from when we're at a birthday party). In practice, we're both perched on the couch being in denial. I did buy a cash register today, that has to count for something (like the fact that I'd like it to be full of money, and I'm still a child and want to play shop).

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I'm a beauty Queeeeeeeeen

Tomorrow, I'm collecting for the New Zealand Breast Cancer Foundation for Pink Ribbon Day. Mike has written it all up properly here. I get to wear a pink sash!

I'll be there 11.30-12, so come and give me some ping mmkay?

Hee hee

I love Spareroom. Look what they found (nsfw, but your boss would have to have very beady eyes to see what is going on in the background, to the right. It involves a pennith).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

ciga cigar

I keep starting writing, and getting pulled away to do something, or realise that what I have written is about as interesting as watching paint dry, but there you go. Actually, I'd love to be watching paint dry right now, it would mean that the plastering had been finished, and we'd be ready to get our shelving installed.

Yeah, life is kind of renovatingy. Also, it is shoppingy, and shopping happens to be one of my most favourite things. I've even got a legit excuse to peruse magazines all day long, but without the time to do it.

So, shop updates for you all. Um, I'm not going to open with a big launch party, because frankly my signage won't be ready when everything else is, and I'm waiting on some stock, but I don't want to delay opening for those small matters. I might go for a Christmas shopping party instead, in a month, when all my goodies have arrived. All going to plan (and dependent on aforementioned shelves), we should be open on the 20th October. I'm calling it a soft opening, a term I learned on the best show on telly, Top Chef.

And uh, that is it.

Oh, apart from the fact you should buy the new Phoenix Foundation album.


Sunday, October 07, 2007

More bullet points for Sunday/Monday

  • My brain is still not working very well due to excessive fun at an opening at the Dowse on Friday.
  • The rugby sucked, and reminded me why I'm better off not watching it - I can live without the tension.
  • Yesterday I was grumpy when I started this list, and today I am chipper.
  • I managed to use some of my crazy random ingredients from the other day in a most delicious lasagne - mmm, it starred chipotle sauce from the trip to Auckland, and it was great.
  • The last time it rained like this I seem to recall flooding, huge flooding.
  • I forgot to do my Arthritis collection last week (well, forgot/waited for decent weather). Looks like we'll be making a nice big donation ourselves to make up for it. If you would like to donate, why not go through me, then I'll look less inadequate.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Sentimental song Friday

This song is running around in my head, so I thought I'd see if I can make it run around in yours.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Get out of jail free card

Mike has just suggested I stop complaining about being tired, and go to bed.

Let it be known, Martha has a new "get out of jail free card", and his name is Jon Stewart. I've informed Glen, so now I need to make sure that I don't miss an episode of the Daily Show, on the off chance that Jon Stewart invites me for a "date" (and by "date" I mean "pash") one night, and I miss it...

It seems like an appropriate opportunity to invite you to share your own "get out of jail" frees ie., the person you are allowed to enjoy without jeopardising your existing relationship... go on, share.

Shopping list

I'm back from Moore Wilson's. Moore Wilson's invariably leads to an eclectic assortment of groceries, today was no exception. If someone could guide me along on a cohesive meal including the following, I'd be eternally grateful:

Arborio rice
Israeli couscous
Green curry paste
Those rice things you soften and fill with other stuff, none of which I have
500g smoked salmon

This could be one of those Ready Steady Cook challenges - on your marks, get set, go!


The kids are going fucking ballistic. These holidays have been terrible, rain is a complete killjoy, add to it raging wind, a 3 year old and a 5 year old, and you have a recipe for disaster.

They've decided to speak at full volume ALL DAY LONG AND ALL MORNING AND ALL NIGHT.

Malo: "YEAH"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Bullet point, uh, Wednesday

Every time I think of bullet points I hear a little "peow peow" in my head, and it is quite cute, but also hard to replicate in written form.

  • The unwanted wall is down in the shop. The space is splendid.
  • The shelves that the bloke said will take 2 weeks will in fact take "15-20 working days". This means the shop is, in fact, 15-20 working days from opening.
  • All the sickness seems to have left the house. I'm madly touching wood, because I managed to avoid it (well, I didn't get it, but I didn't entirely avoid it, given the need for me to look after sick blokes).
  • I cooked an actual meal tonight. Nobody commented, so perhaps they haven't noticed I've been getting away with pretty much making toast for the past 3 years.
  • I'm going to a cocktail function on Friday. I will carry around 4 olives on a stick and call myself a Dirty Marthini. I'm not really, but that is as far as I have got to thinking about what to wear to the damn thing.
  • I'm having an issue with canned food. Doesn't an entire tin and label seem an excessive amount of packaging for 4 tomatoes? And how do they do that for 79 cents?
  • Currently my version of "deep" is very, very shallow. I quite like it. Who can ask for more than a complete absence of angst? Could I have written a more confusing sentence?
  • Peow peow.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Drawing breath

While I'd like to be discussing Britney, and craving the ipod touch, and other exciting things like that, basically I'm as snowed under as I've ever been.

The trip to Auckland put me behind a bit for getting through orders, and then the sudden onset of a really crappy vomit thing with Finn set me back last night, and then the sudden onset of aforementioned bug with Glen set me back today...

At least I managed to get a big order done tonight for a new stockist in Invercargill - Invercargill! Cool aye? I'm pretty stoked with it. Well, stoked now it is finished.

The shop is coming along. Um, each day a few more details get sorted, today it involved picking up my eftpos machine. I can't imagine not working at all hours right now, and I think I really need a drink. Really. Jon Stewart is good, but a little grog with friends is so much better.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Shagadelic baby

Yeah, I'm shagged, as in knackered. I went to Auckland in the weekend to scope out the Gift Fair. I tells ya, if you're after some fake flowers, mirrors with Holdens on them, scented candles... well, don't be coming to my shop. The gift fair was chock full of that stuff though - it was MASSIVE. We walked pretty much solidly for 3.5 hours to get around it, with barely a stop. I did manage to find some really pretty bloody awesome stuff amidst the dross, and I can't wait for it to all start arriving.

My friend and I also went to Brazil for a last coffee shake before they closed. It was delicious. And I went and checked out a shop counter, which I'm going to get. It is beautiful.

We saw lots of famous people. Auckland is such a great celeb spotting locale. And um, our plane was late home, now I'm exhausted and so are the children.

So instead of continuing to write a completely humourless post, I'm going to write a whole lot of entirely humourless account application forms for all my various new suppliers.