Saturday, December 22, 2012

Holiday Hopes and Hazards

What's your biggest Hope or Hazard during this season?

We took a break from sedate shooting to explore a few high hopes and hazards. Please, spin on down to join the party. We wish you a Happy Holiday! Let us know which of these resonates with you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

15 Ways to Wear a Scarf - Lilith Moon tutorial

I know how much you love to look at ideas for tying a scarf. Scarf-tying posts are among Boutique Narelle's most popular. A scarf is such an easy way to add a touch of flair or femininity to an outfit, or fix a lack of modest coverage.

I love them too, so again, here's a bunch of styles for you and I to enjoy experimenting with.  Lilith Moon has created for us another fabulous tutorial demonstrating 15 different ways to wear a scarf.

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Do you have a favourite scarf shape or tying style? Do you like a particular look but struggle to make that look sit well on you? Please share with us in the comment section below.

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Source of Beauty

We invite you to join us in a PosterPicnic celebrating 5 years of helping women be radiantly feminine and modest!

Narelle and Boutique Narelle have come a long way in 5 years and we thank God for it. How about you?  Have you grown in knowledge and wisdom, grace and favour? I love the line, "I'm not where I want to be, but thank you, Lord, that I'm not where I used to be!"

Looking back, can you see the difference in you between Then and Now? If so, we praise God with you! If you struggle to see a difference, please don't give in to failure. Use today as an opportunity to examine whether you are in the faith (see 2 Corinthians 13:5 and Matthew 7:17-18) and start again, with Christ as your strength. Let us know how you're doing so we can pray for you.

We hope you enjoy these 5 InspiraGraphics reminding us of the source of true beauty.

If you share this InspiraGraphic, please include this information.
The Source of Beauty

If you share this InspiraGraphic, please include this information.
The Source of Beauty

If you share this InspiraGraphic, please include this information.
The Source of Beauty

If you share this InspiraGraphic, please include this information.
The Source of Beauty
If you share this InspiraGraphic, please include this information.
The Source of Beauty

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Bouquets of gratitude to Samalah Gray of Website Creation NZ for her Big Stick administrance to Blogger recalcitrance during the site upgrade. It was wonderful to see how Blogger transformed under her touch.

Don't miss the new banner at the bottom of the webpage. Thank you for using the Boutique Narelle resource. May the blessing of the LORD be upon you.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

How to Fish for a Fashion Bargain

Kathmandu Tonaca Pacific shirt, 81% off! Here’s how.

Fishing for a bargain, I found a Kathmandu women's shirt in Pacific.

  1. Install family member or friend in city location within reach of shops.
  2. Send parents to visit her (using a $1 ticket on NakedBus – you can’t beat that for economical travel).
  3. Browse Kathmandu online for clearance items.
  4. When website says Out of Stock in the size you want, email sister/friend to request that she phone her local Kathmandu retail store to ask if they have that Out of Stock item in shop.
  5. If purchase is successful, avoid shipping costs by having parents bring garment home with them.

A cap adds to the sporty look.

The shop had the size I wanted. The next day my sister went in to buy it for me (and gained an additional, friendly 10% discount). She liked the shirt so much that she bought one for herself and was wearing it as she texted me of her success. Shopping for identical clothing is unusual (now that we’re grown up) because she’s Winter colouring and I’m Spring, but the shirt is one of the four universal colours, so we’ll both look great in it.

I got a shock when the shirt was delivered to me via that $1 bus ticket. The colour wasn’t what it had appeared on the website. Here’s a warning: even if the web image is large and clear, if there’s an enlarge feature, use it. If I had done so, I would have been prepared for, not a plain aqua shirt, but a checked aqua shirt. The gray amidst the white and aqua means that the shirt has a chameleon quality depending on the lighting atmosphere. In a gloomy room, the shirt appears darker, almost teal. In bright sunlight, it is tropical aqua as appeared on the website. Given this adaptability, I can’t say the shirt is truly Universal in appearance, but I’ve decided that’s quibbling.

Just how big of a bargain was it? Originally priced at NZ$189.98, with double discounts, I paid just NZ$36 for it. If quality SaveMart/thrift store shopping isn’t readily available to you, then this sort of pricing and convenience is incredible. No matter what the original price, when time and effort are assets of even greater value to you than dollars, this quality for this expenditure is a BARGAIN.

Easy way to a different look: change the hat. Add a feather or flower for further feminine enhancement.

More Positives

The No-Fly-Zone bug proofing is guaranteed to last 100 washings. The shirt, I’m certain, will last many more than that.

It’s a shirt colour I’ve been on the lookout for. Yay!

The shaped hem is long enough to drape my rear when I’m wearing trousers.

It may be designed for rugged outdoor wear, but look at all the feminine detailing in the design! Practical and pretty!


The button settings on the placket are modest, but the V neck will leave my collarbone exposed under the intense Downunder sun. While there are two extra buttons on the tag, the placket curves back toward the collar from the point of the top button, meaning there isn’t room for an additional buttonhole. My best solution will be to add a hook and eye at the point above the top button where the front and back plackets diverge (when flattened) so that when I’m outdoors, I don’t have to worry about getting burnt.

The more pockets, the less I have need of a purse or tote bag. The shirt has three pockets, two buttoned and one daintily zipped. Another asset is that when it’s really hot, having breast pockets means you're modest enough not to need extra layers underneath. Anyone say Like?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

TRANSFORMALD: from formal to everyday delight, no cost

PEACHY-KEEN REVIVAL: preview of an outfit that promises potential and not a dollar spent!

With a flutter of excitement, I have set out to repurpose one of my semi-formal concert gowns, with the aid of a striped viscose scarf. I know the fashion of this world passeth away, but that doesn't prevent me getting all bubbly over the possibilities of fabric, colours, textures, and whatnot. The joy is supremely enhanced when necessity requires you live with 2 outfits per season!

Spring is known to bring
Petals new and pretty.

I have a lot for which to thank the Lord, Who gives only good gifts. Seeing my joy over this outfit, a friend commented, "Who, being Peachee, cannot bubble?"

*Our favourite fizz from Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is Peachee.

I don't yet have even one dress ready for the approaching summer, so a midnight "bling!" moment on a possible way to resolve this was very welcome. I remembered a cotton lined, broderie camisole dress in my collection of concert gowns. I last wore it when I sang at St. John's Anglican Church in July of 2009, an event you can relive in A Princess Moment.

How I found the dress in the first place is related in Peachy-Keen Shopping Team.

The dress has handkerchief godets that are hemmed for wearing with high heels, which I only do for formal occasions. I can fold-and-stitch or cut off the extra length, and since the fabric is cotton, the dress will adapt well to my everyday summer needs--provided I can find something to cover shoulders, back, and chest.

The climate is still cool, so I started my experimenting by placing a long sleeved tee shirt under the dress, but that was too tight for comfort. Provided I layer it with a jacket or cardigan of similar length, the tee can be worn on top of the dress. This number of layers will be far too warm for summer, and that's where the striped Postie scarf (shown in the first illustration) will prove useful. It's wide enough to make into a tunic. Well, that's the plan.

When the underlayer has lumpiness in bodice design or fabric, as you see above with gathers, appliqued lace, diamantes, and the lace trim I've tried to hide by handstitching to the lining, wearing delicate or clingy fabrics over top isn't ideal if you're keen to draw the eye to your face rather than your bust. I shall be strong-minded--the pretties must come off.

What you see in the following pictures is the result of not being able to wear the dress yet. I succumbed to the urge to play with it. I've left my favourite ensemble on the mannequin and I poke my nose into the room now and then just to enjoy looking at it. I took photos so you can enjoy looking too.

 Below is the same knot as above, pulled tight.

  • Peach cotton broderie dress on clearance from Ezibuy
  • Natural crewneck long-sleeved tee shirt from Victoria Hill/Damart (proving to be a Very Useful Garment) 
  • Melon acrylic cardigan from The Warehouse 
  • Printed square chiffon scarves, $2 each from 123+ 

See Modesty Mall tab for shop links.

For this look, tie a loose overhand knot in one tail of the scarf, feed the other tail through the knot, then tug gently to place the tails and tighten the knot. Fluff the ends.
I tried two scarves together, the overhand knots tied in opposite directions (the lemon knot is flat side up; the peach knot you can see the 'workings'). I fed one tail of the peach scarf through the knot of the lemon scarf to keep the two scarves together.
Here, I've used the overhand knot on an oblong [rectangular] scarf. Setting the knot below your bust will make your bust look smaller.

Scarf closeup: Our debt to Israel

  • Lemon denim jacket from Ezibuy
  • Yellow crewneck long-sleeved tee shirt from Ezibuy
  • Incredibly delicate wool scarf bought for me by my father when he was in Israel

Other accessories used in this post:

  • "Snugglefeet" sheepskin slippers from Classic Sheepskins
  • Ivory Twist faux-leather purse on clearance from The Warehouse
  • Reversible floral-print shoulder bag by Boutique Narelle
  • Strawberry ruched Castro cap (The Warehouse) with organza rosebuds (Boutique Narelle)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Major discount on all SMS modest swimwear!

30% off ALL SWIMSUITS at Simply Modest Swimwear thanks to a generous donor!

This includes all ready-made and custom suits and swimshirts, while the subsidy lasts. Sale will end without notice. If you've been wanting SMS swimwear for you or your kiddies, get 'em now @ ! Use coupon code MODESTYMATTERS.

The video below gives examples of the range of style and fabric you can choose.

link to share:

Crystal of Simply Modest Swimwear shares how this amazing discount came about.

She says, "Due to the generosity of Glen from Lexington, KY, I am able to offer 30% off ALL swimsuits! Glen values modesty and wants to make modest swimwear more affordable for those who haven't been able to purchase one yet due to finances."
Here are some of Glen's comments:

"Crystal, A recent experience prompted my writing you. I am a Christian husband and father who has been taking the 2 sons of the wife of my youth to the water park. Gradually over my lifetime women's swimsuits have shrunk away to this current state of covering 5% of their bodies. HONESTLY, FROM WHAT CAN BE SEEN, THEY MIGHT AS WELL BE NAKED. I find myself expending intense energy to keep my eyes away, suppressing an urge God put in me for a legitimate purpose from being abused. Their choice to wear that stuff grieves me. Lately I question whether this is a wholesome environment to bring our children to. Can you imagine when the boys go through puberty? It is such a pity that water-slides and sprinklers have to be ruined by this.

"I read your "Why Modesty?" and really agree with all you wrote. I like your suits. They show it is totally possible for women to look feminine and pretty without looking sleazy."

Crystal says, "Glen isn't alone... I can't tell you how many emails I have received from men around the world who wish ladies knew how important modesty is! That they have the power to be an encouragement to their brothers in the Lord, or to be a stumbling block. Modesty not only shows respect for those around us, but also for our own bodies."

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Portions of Beauty Webinar FREE for you!

We have two exciting updates for you on the "Reclaiming Beauty" webinar which begins next Wednesday, September 26, noon to 1pm (NZ time)*.

*USA: Tuesday, 25 September, 7-8pm Central Time

Anna-Sofia (16)and Elizabeth (14) with their mother in 2001, before the days of hairstyling, makeup, or clothes that fit.

First, Anna-Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin have persuaded their mother to share some helpful words for mothers on how mothers should approach the issue of beauty and help their daughters with it. The girls consider it so important (and I concur on its importance!) that they've made this 15 minute message available for free. You can listen to it here:

Second, the first one-hour LIVE session of the "Reclaiming Beauty" webinar has been made available for FREE. That's right, you and the ladies of your family can listen and watch and type chat questions from wherever you are in the world for free.

Join us for an eye-opening look at "What God Says About Beauty and Beautification: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" -- a fascinating introduction to the issue that launched a thousand ships. Bring your questions, and get ready for a new look at how to glorify God in your body! (1 Cor. 6:20)

Space is limited, so after registered participants, seats will be awarded on a first-come, first served basis. Click here to sign up for the first session free of charge. Don't forget to let your friends know about this opportunity!

For a full list of the NZ event times spanning the 8 weeks of the webinar, click here:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Turning Hat Springs

I've gone slightly hat mad. I could attribute it to the balmy August spring, but the truth is I've been well enough to turn a few handsprings [figuratively], including some short creative projects.

I made a new hat for "Stitch On", where I sang a somersault under my hat. You can read details and a special Boutique Narelle hair tip here at Songuine.

Narelle after performing at "Stitch On"

I've been studying on how to bring spring into old hats. I've done this by watching YouTube craft videos demonstrating flower-making techniques. It's extraordinary that I can sit at home and learn from skilled craftsmen for free! I've compiled a floral craft playlist and a millinery playlist, so you can learn too.

I tried to dump an old hat, but it found its way to my head before I got it to the door...whereupon I learned two things.

PROBLEM #1: Does your hat look old and pilled? Do the colours make you wonder why you bought it?

SOLUTION: Try pairing it with different colours and you may be surprised at the sudden new life and love in your hat.

I used to wear this hat with a dark blue outfit (back when I erroneously believed I shouldn't wear yellow). I bought the hat because it was the only cosy one I could find (early polarfleece days, and before I discovered I could make my own hats). It generated lots of enthusiasm from onlookers, but I never liked it for its own sake. But now, worn with yellow...let me know in the comment box what you think!
The bouquet was a gift from the organizers of "Stitch On".

PROBLEM #2: Does your hat look boring on your head?

SOLUTION: Ditch the straight angles. Flip the brim up or down or both, or wear it backwards, or try a dent or pinch in the crown.

Watch Roy Rogers shape his iconic hat here, or browse Terry Graziano's hat blog here -- it may give you some inspiration on how to put pizzazz into your garments. Style is not so much what a lady wears, but rather the way a lady wears it.


Below, the brim has been tilted up on the left side and pulled down on the right side, with a sassy dip above the right eye. It's just rolled fleece, so the curvature is subtle and won't stay permanently, but I think it makes all the difference. What do you think?

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