Friday, February 27, 2009

True Beauty - how do you rate?

Here is a quiz to help you personalize the two December posts titled "Teach Your Daughter True Beauty", from an article by Ryan Malone. Consider hosting a girls' study group or a father and daughter picnic, read "Teach Your Daughter True Beauty" aloud, then go through the questionnaire together. I'm sure you'll find it a great blessing.

Images in this post are of the 2005 Father & Daughter Retreat at the Callaway Gardens in Georgia, courtesy of Doug Phillip's Blog). Click on the image above to find out more about this year's retreat.

SECTION 1: The Pressure

How often do you worry if you look pretty or not?
a. Always
b. Often
c. Sometimes
d. Seldom
e. Never

Four years after Western television penetrated the islands of the South Pacific for the first time, what are 4 things a survey of Fijian girls revealed?
1. Almost immediately they began to dress and fix their hair like Western women.
2. There were serious changes in eating habits among adolescents.
3. Those who watched TV 3 times per week or more were 50 percent more likely to perceive themselves as 'too big' or 'too fat' than those who did not.
4. More than 62 percent had attempted to diet in the previous 30 days.

To whom do you look most often as a guide for your appearance?

Is the desire to be pretty a pressure that effects your life? In what ways does it effect you?

SECTION 2: Make Your Daughter Beautiful

In Genesis 3:20-21, the Hebrew for "clothed" implies which of these?
a. Adding attractiveness
b. Hiding shamefulness

How can fathers help their daughters to be beautiful?
Adorn them (and teach them how to adorn themselves) God's way.

The main seat of physical beauty for the female is in the...
a. Body
b. Clothing
c. Face

SECTION 3: How Supermodels Make Themselves Ugly

How do supermodels make themselves ugly?
They wear sour/selfish/seductive expressions. They forget to smile.

A girl exudes true beauty when she has...
a. A negative attitude and expression on her face.
b. A positive attitude and expression on her face.

According to Herbert W. Armstrong, what percentage of sex appeal is what one sees from the neck up?
a. 5%
b. 20%
c. 50%
d. 95%

Is God against outward beauty?

What does God say about outward beauty?
It is vain. It will only last a few years.

Name 3 beautiful righteous women in the Bible.

SECTION 4: A Facelift for Free

How is the decline of our nations directly tied to women? (Isaiah chapter 3)
Through the improper values in women's appearance.

What does Ecclesiastes 8:1 say makes the face to shine?

I Peter chapter 3 shows us the real beauty of the legendary Sarah, wife of Abraham, lay where?
In her trust in God and His government.

SECTION 5: Help Her Stand Out in Society

What are some ways a father can set an example to his daughter and help her radiate the genuine happiness that enhances her beauty?
1. Give her support and encouragement.
2. Show proper love and attention. Love and adore her.
3. Show her she is worthy of his love, attention, and care.
4. Teach her about the attributes of lasting spiritual beauty.
5. Teach her that the majority of her outward beauty rests in her face, in her eyes and smile.
6. Teach her (with the aid of her mother) that good hygiene and proper health often do more for the appearance than clothing.
7. Encourage her to develope feminine mannerisms.

There are thousands of rather plain women with irregular features and faulty builds who succeed in being attractive to men because they...
a. Have superior intellect
b. Are strong and fit and can keep up with the men
c. Never get emotional
d. Are models of femininity

What are some expressions of femininity that men find attractive?

If a girl stands out a little in this ugly world, it should be for what?
The radiant beauty that God is creating in her and for being the royal princess that she is.


PONDER upon what attitudes you need to change.
Ask God for POWER to change.
PRACTICE the new attitudes.
PRAY for your father/daughter.

Answers to the above questionnaire are found in the Boutique Narelle post, "Teach Your Daughter True Beauty", parts 1 and 2.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Palaver - how to sell/buy handcrafted items

Girls, if you're keen to sell what you sew, check this out!
New sell-it-yourself website for hand-crafted items!

Here's an easy way for Kiwis to sell what they've made, similar to TradeMe, but it works like your own personal website, with a personalized web address that you can pop on your business card. You can load your own banner onto your page, and even a bio if you wish.

Easy for the seller.
Easy for the buyer.


* Accessories
* Art
* Bath & Beauty
* Candles
* Ceramics & Pottery
* Clothing
* Food
* Homewares
* Jewellery
* Kids & Babies
* Miscellaneous
* Pets
* Vintage
* Weddings

If you don't see a suitable category for your wares, the web managers are keen to hear your suggestion.


Sellers must establish a Palaver account with a minimum of $10, from which listing fees of 50 cents per item will be drawn. A listing lasts for 90 days. A success fee of 5% of the sale price (minimum of 50c) will be debited from the seller's account.

Payment for goods is arranged between you and your buyer -- it is not processed through your Palaver account.

You must be at least 18 years of age to use Palaver.

If you haven't started on a sewing venture yet, remember, you don't have to begin with adult-size garments. For ideas, type "Little Girl Dresses" in BN's blogger search bar at the left of the blue bar at the top of your screen.

Do you already have a favourite selling space? Tell us about it.
Email BoutiqueNarelle(at)

Escape the Blues - Spring Into Color!

newCreation Women's Apparel are featuring a colourful special.

Escape the Blues Spring into Color!

They say, "Re-energize your wardrobe by adding a little color. We make it easy by offering a 25% discount on all red, pink, coral, and magenta colored skirts. Good while product is available, no back orders. Sale ends February 28. ACT NOW and enjoy energizing colors."

Here are two examples.
Signature Skirt - Coral
Timeless design with three slenderizing stitched seams in the front; two small front kick pleats for walking ease, and two slant pockets, no waistband, and invisible back zipper. The skirt is tailored in comfortable cotton with a little stretch in a soft coral color. A perfect year around skirt, easy to match with your favorite top for a personal look.

Riveted Waffle Red
Stylish brass rivet design at front godet and brass rivet cargo pocket closure. Waffle weave natural cotton. No waistband, hidden back zipper. Enjoy the comfort of this fashionable skirt.
Also available in Black and Wheat.

Do check out the website sales section as well. There are some gorgeous skirts (covering a range of colours) going for as little as US$16.50. Stock is limited due to demand, but you may just find one in your size.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Love is in the Air

With the approach of February 14th, St. Valentine's Day, the advertisements promise that Love is In the Air.
We live in a society where individuals' sense of entitlement leads them to believe they are “owed” expensive things, therefore they disdain the simple gifts and think they are not worthy of acknowledgement. Let's not encourage that mentality. Let's take the time to show love and appreciation to those around us. Here are some ideas to help you share love and laughter with your family and friends during the commercialism that surrounds February 14th.
The garments featured in this post are all from, available now at significantly reduced prices.

Warm Chocolate Rum Cake with Roses and Raspberries
Find out how to make this delectable dessert at ZoeBakes. I love recipes that are illustrated!

13 Inexpensive Ways To Show Your Love
(with grateful acknowledgement to

What's an expensive gift if we don't pay attention to each other? Here are 13 ways to show your loved ones you truly care about them.

1. Write a love letter (see this wonderful sample at Pensieve — it got him the girl and 20+ years later, it’s still her favorite valentine of all time).

2. Write a poem.

3. Take your loved ones to a picnic on the beach, park or some pleasant but secluded spot.

4. Rent family-friendly movies, make a fire in the fireplace, dim the lights, make or buy a tiny cake for two or dip some strawberries in chocolate, serve some sparkling apple cider in crystal flutes.

5. Read or recite poetry while you massage your loved one’s feet. Get a tiny book edition to make it easy to hold in one hand.

6. Make a special dinner at home. Think small portions and ingredients you don’t use everyday. Don’t go out to a crowded, noisy, expensive restaurant. Where’s the sweetness in that?

7. Tuck a heart-shaped cookie and an “I love you” note in your loved one’s lunch bag.

8. Also for the lunch bag or briefcase or even the front seat of the car, place a few Hugs and Kisses chocolates in a decorative cellophane bag or other pretty container with a promise for more at home.

9. Do a chore your loved one would normally have to do. (Do it well! Don’t make your loved one have to redo it or clean up your mess. The thought only counts so far in this case.)

10. Remember the phrase “As you wish” from “The Princess Bride”? It meant “I love you.” Use it or come up with your own phrase and see how quickly your Bride or Prince Charming figures out what you truly mean.

11. Pick out a book and read it to your loved ones or to each other before bedtime.

12. Create a vase or box full of 365 heart-shaped slips of paper. On each heart write a reason why you are in love, a compliment, an “I love you,” a promise for a kiss, etc. and fold in half. Each day, for an entire year, your loved one gets to open a heart. You can make it as platonic or as explicit as your relationship allows.

13. Make the decision to make your loved one happy year-round. Base all your actions on whether it would make your loved one happy. It will do wonders for your relationship and soon, without even realizing it, your loved one will reciprocate. (c=

Plus a few more...

14. Write a thank-you note. If you tend to go through yards of paper and lead trying to figure out what to say, here's how, including sample ideas.

15. Pay It Forward With a Letter
It doesn’t take much to brighten someone’s day. Even a postcard will let them know that someone remembered them, that someone thinks they are special, or that someone loves them.

16. Did you ever wonder what to do with a blouse you love that doesn't match any of the current skirts in your wardrobe? Did you ever see a pretty skirt going for a song but knew the colour or style wasn't quite right for you? Have you considered which of your friends for whom it might be PERFECT? Who can you bless with the unexpected gift of something new to wear?

17. HOST A PICTURE PARTY. Make Love Cards.
  • If you have a digital camera, host a picture party. Invite your family or friends to bring 3 or 4 favourite or attractive objects.
  • Provide a selection of basecloths, such as a tablecloth (ironed), satin robe, blanket, or a length of fabric.
  • Clear a surface to work on -- table, couch, bed, floor.
  • Work together to create collages of your objects and take photographs of them.
  • Upload the images to your PC. Crop, colour treat, and print your pictures on glossy photo paper. (If you don't have software to do this, download the free photo enhancing program Picasa.)
  • Think up ways to share your love cards, distributing them right away or instigate a pass-the-love-around postcard chain. (The ladies in my family share a mini "101 Hugs" book which periodically turns up in someone's letterbox.)
You'll find a variety of love-themed crafts at

What are some of your ideas for showing love to those you care about? Can we stretch this list to 20 items? Email BoutiqueNarelle(at)

Remember this dessert from last year? It will taste just as good in 2009. See Boutique Narelle's Valentine Special 2008 for more ideas.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Waitangi Special 2009

Waitangi Day dawned hot and still, the cicadas rejoicing with a chirpy roar. I chose my patriotic outfit to help me cope with the heat.


A non-crease, quick-drying polyster/rayon shirt dress in navy blue check, over a full length cotton chemise (who wants to wear a bra in this heat?).

Originally from Ezibuy, I got the dress for a few dollars at SaveMart Recycled Clothing. I've been wearing it for several years and enjoyed watching the shirt dress style mount in popularity. I didn't like the reflective shell buttons, so I turned them back-to-front for a stripey brown look. The buttons stopped just above the knee and the hem wasn't long enough, so I stitched the button placket up to mid-thigh and added a band of navy blue crepe to the length. (Note: if you're shopping for navy fabric to match an existing garment, make sure you take the garment with you and compare the colours in natural light.)

I have wide shoulders and a narrow chest, so this style is practical for achieving a good fit. When I'm interested in a loose, cool feeling, the drawstrings at the back are pulled in just a little bit. When I want to look trim and stylish, the drawstrings are tightened.

Here's how the drawstrings were made. A buttonhole was created where the drawstrings emerge from the inside of the dress. On the inside, the drawstrings were stitched into the sideseams, then threaded through the buttonholes. A casing was stitched over the top of the drawstrings on the inside. If you have an existing dress or blouse that's just a little bit too sack-like, try using this method for comfort and convenience.




My mother found these jandals at The Number 1 Shoe Warehouse yesterday for NZ$20. I can never find anything good when I go in there, but every time she goes she finds amazing bargains. This pair was the first half of a "buy 1--get 1 half price" deal. The humble thong style has risen to gorgeous heights of charm and delight. The blue/indigo/violet shading of the sole and straps won't show the dirt, coordinates with lots of outfits, and the two bars over the thong provide extra support, not to mention cute buckles and sophisticated strappiness.

Remember to keep your toenails clean and tidy if you wear open shoes! Try keeping your cuticles neat by scrubbing regularly with a boar-bristle brush in soap and water.


My outfit wouldn't be complete without a hat, providing both style and shade. My preference rests with a navy cotton hat, but I've played a pale blue one as well. In my opinion, an unadorned hat is boring. Decorating one doesn't have to involve fiddly hours with a needle and thread. Here's how to twitch something together in five minutes.

You'll need a selection of hat pins. Here I have a range of pearl-headed pins, and four vintage pins from my grandmother.

You'll need flowers (fake ones last longer and can handle a bit of rough treatment), ribbon, feathers, a flag, or whatever objects your creativity fancies. [See below for how to make the flag.]

For this arrangement, fix one red flower with a hat pin poked into the fabric like this: O---------- ---- -----------

The blue lily on the alligator clip then slides onto the mid-section of the pin. (The upper jaw of the alligator clip is covered by the leaves.)

Add additional flower/s to fill gaps and hide unsightly clips, securing with a second pearl-headed pin.

One quick and classy hat

For a bow and feathers arrangement, poke a hat pin in and out of the fabric, spike the back of the bow, then poke in and out of the hat again.

Slide the feathers behind the mid-section of the pin.

The bow came directly off a boxed set of stationery, holding the paper in a loop. I removed the stickytape holding the ribbon ends together and clipped them into smart tails. The turkey feathers came in a multi-coloured pack from Spotlight.

I love using our flag in decorations. To make this one, print a flag image on glossy photo paper, making sure you reverse the second image. Allow an hour or so for the ink to dry, then fold the flag over an iceblock/popsicle stick. Notice the bar between the two flag images? This allows the paper to fold over the spine of the stick without losing sight of the image.

Use double sided tape (or glue) to secure the flag to the stick and to cover the flagpole with blue satin ribbon.
Take a length of white double-sided satin ribbon and bind the flagpole. Tie off in a bow or knot, front or back, and trim the ends.
Now you're ready to add it to your hat. I've used two vintage silver hat pins.

Flag with Blue Bow

Flag with Red Poppies

Voila! Le Chapeau!

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