The Adventures of Lola & Alice

We've joined the masses of websites who have added a blog to their site.  Our blog adventures are to give some escapism to your day.  There will be stories of where we've been and where we'll be next.  Lots of images to go make you go "Oooooh" and "Ahhhhh" at.  Interesting and unexpected stuff, because that's what we're about.  Keeping it real and surprising.    Do come along for the ride and subscribe.

“offering instantaneous emotional gratification without intellectual effort”.

Walter Benjamin, German philosopher, cultural critic and essayist, on the subject of Kitsch.

garden gnome meditating.
The gnome is at one with Kitsch.

It's both fun and cringeworthy at the same time - how can you not love it?!

Love it or hate it, you've likely smiled (disguised by a smirk) at the odd piece of kitsch. That little shiny ornament your

Gran used to let you hold, if you were good. Or the butterfly stuck to the side of the typical Kiwi weatherboard bungalow. Kitsch has a wonderful element of the sentimental attached. Nostalgic memories from childhood and days gone by. Interior fashion items that once looked WOW, now look wow, in a whole different way 30 years on. Fashions version of hindsight cruelty.

Kitsch collection of nostalgic items. Gnome, flamingo,bride ,hula, modern kitch sculptures.
Kitsch, How can you not love the fun of it?


To those who appreciate and enjoy Kitsch, the definitions sound scathing and a little hurtful.

Kitsch is a German word, that is generally used to describe objects that are considered tasteless or common while aspiring to high art. The word Kitsch roughly translates to the English “tacky”.



art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way. "the lava lamp is a bizarre example of sixties kitsch"

Low-brow style of mass-produced art or design using popular or cultural icons.

Something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste


Thankfully, The Urban Dictionary does have a more appreciative view in this definition;

Vladimir Tretchikoff, The Green Lady. Chinese Girl painting. Kitsch art
Chinese Girl. by Vladimir Tretchikoff.P ainted 1952. Popularly known as; The Green Lady.
As an art movement, lifestyle, or literature and film genre, kitsch is pleasingly distasteful. It's melodramatic, overdone, gaudy and tacky or sentimental and folksy. It's so bad that it's cool. Your cat might attack it, but it's hot. And, no, Martha Stewart and Jerry Springer are NOT bad enough to be kitsch. At all. Paris and Nicole though...
You're looking rather kitschy today, your grandma's neckace is hot. I saw an awesome Andy Warhol knockoff at the gallery yesterday, it was so kitsch. I couldn't get it though, I didn't have the cash. *sounds dissappointed*
by Avant-Garde Hero August 15, 2004


Lola & Allice green grocer fruit brooch
'Green Grocer' fruit brooch. 5+ A Day the Lola & Alice way.

It's true. It can not be denied. We love Kitsch. Not all of it, but certainly a lot of it.

Our love affair with flamingos and 3D Fruit, out 'Kitschen' range, definitely a kitsch vibe.

Kitsch is fun. It's usually bright, gaudy and in slight bad taste. It most definitely makes people smile. Often people get a misty look in their eyes as they remember back to when their parents had one of those.

Retro Christmas image. TinseldTree, Kitsch Christmas image.
Nostalgic memories of Christmas's past.

Nostalgia is a mainstay of what we're about. Nostalgia is very much a big part of what makes up Kitsch. Lots of memories go hand in hand with the nostalgic beauty that is kitsch. The faded, yellowed photographs of tinsel Christmas trees in front of the most fabulously garish wallpaper and clashing setee. But it's the memories associated with the image that are the wonderful bit. The beauty of kitsch.


Not that long ago, in 2018 or there abouts, pineapples, flamingos, toucans and watermelons, they were everywhere, on everything, including blow up versions for pool lounging. The fashion trend many wouldn't even have realised that they were embracing was Kitsch, because these motifs and items were seen as cool and trendy. Suckers! Those in the know have always appreciated them.

Kitsch interiors. Home furnishing. Sofa Toucan and pineapple wall paper
Kitsch interiors. Toucans & pineapples blend together in kitsch harmony.

Interior decor has continued to embrace kitschy items, from flamingo watering cans to ceramic miniature head vases and plant pots. Aha, kitsch! The craze of Frida Kahlo printed on everything, kitsch! Surrealist merges of styles which become cool, yet there's something about said item, that you wouldn't be game enough to have in your home. What would your friends think?!


Today, the idea that something can be “so bad it’s good” is so common that the term “kitsch” no longer retains the negative associations it once did, and artists today often create works that embrace bad taste and question the high- and lowbrow division in art.

LOCAL Kitch Finds to Buy NOW!

To show you Kitsch isn't all horrid memories. Here are some fabulous local finds you can buy right now! Of course the links attached. You know these are cool items your friends would be envious of. #supportlocal

Kitsch, it's not that bad is it! - yes, that's a statement. It's good, REAL good!

Just like any piece of kitsch is a statement. Kitsch covers so many areas of visual life. Art, fashion, even music, interiors, books, architecture and Kiwiana. Love it or loathe it, it's part of the Kiwi DNA... Paua shell house anyone....

I Hope you enjoyed this smiling instalment from the Journey of Lola & Alice.

Let us know what you think in the comments and share with your kitsch loving friends.

Until next time



Car, people
Kirsten & I after The Rock n' Hop in Timaru 2021

Who am I kidding, it's not a little,

it's A LOT!

Lola & Alice wouldn't be what it is without the amazing friendship and help from Kirsten. I would never have been brave enough to go out in public to risk markets on my own. The self doubt of what I was doing was too strong.

Sometimes it just takes one person to give you a bit of confidence to take a risk. Taking your quirky products out to the world. Kirsten was, is, that person. She understands the quirk - completely gets it! We laugh together at the madness.

Kirsten makes beautiful bags, quirky totes and appliqued cushions amongst other delectable treasure. She's not half talented! Kirsten's pieces blend perfectly with the array of Lola & Alice products. We really do have something for almost everyone.

I'd hate to think how many times we've packed and unpacked our cars of tables and gazebos over the last five years. We've certainly picked up a thing or two about essential market items - and it's nothing to do with the product you're there to sell.

If you're thinking about selling you wares at a market, this list is very much for you!


- In addition to a gazebo and tables (we use any where from three to six, and they all fit in the car with a coupe of gazebos!), table covers, gazebo walls, back up tarp for wet ground.... you'll need:

Tent Pegs

For pinning gazebo legs into grass - if the venue allows.

Two per leg is good. Have extras on hand.

'Sand' Bags

A Selection of Tapes (no, not cassette..)

A Hammer

Screw Drivers

Cable Ties


Black Marker Pen

Ballpoint Pen & Note Papaer

Yellow Card

String and/or fine rope.

Extra Printed Prices

Hand Sanitizer

Baby Wipes

Cheap plastic table cloth

Safety Pins

  • Other Essentials for us include; extra eftpos rolls; business cards; rubber pin backs; earring stud backs; sticky velcro; giant push pins; wonderclips; charged powerbank and cord for when the eftpos charge gets low.

If I've forgotten something, Kirsten has usually remembered it. Such as rubbish bag, thermos of hot water, a selction of tea and mugs. A Towel for spills. Water to drink!

All of that before any stock even reaches the car, which is really a tardis.

My friends are treasured. Their help at events in any capacity, I am so very grateful for.

Especially the out of town events, when a market and the madness of them, isn't something they're used to. There's the lovely ones who give you somewhere to stay, who see you, me, far from my best, in the morning, and far from my most coherent at the end of the day. Events are always much more fun with someone else to share them with. There are some sights you just can't relay, but sharing that knowing look of, 'we-can't-unsee-that-and-you-know-it!', is priceless. Sharing these times with friends adds to the escapist qualities of what Lola & Alice is about. It's work but it doesn't feel like work, more an adventure. Then there are the friends who visit the events, those who are sounding boards and support your ideas, squash your fears and want to wear your product. They've been there, they get it.

Truly treasured. That's what they are.

Toolkits and treasured friends. Markets are a piece of cake when you've got those.

Do you have a market buddy? Have they helped you conquor any market fears you may have had? How about a toolkit? What are your top essentials? Leave your comments below.

Thanks for joining the journey. Until the next escapist instalment....



Welcome Inside (a Land of Escapism)

You may have met me at a market or event, or purchased from our felt store.

You may, perhaps have an image in your head of some young thing who makes shiny trinkets between real jobs. Or perhaps not.

This is me.

In my head, I'm giving the age 32 another try on for size. I like the sound of it. Reckon I'll hold on to that one for a few years yet before maybe moving to 35.. ya'can't plan these things.

That is your first introduction to my world of Escapism. Some may call it denial.

This blog is likely to meander in a number of directions. Of course it will continue the running story of what and where, Lola & Alice is at. New ranges, ideas and inspiration. aka: lots of pretty pictures. Everybody needs something to look at that gives a moment of escape from reality. A reminder that there are beautiful shoes to dream about. Flowers to make you marvel at the wonders of nature. Or images of times gone by, which bring a smile, laugh or sense of amazement at how times have changed.

The brand Lola & Alice started as a scratch that needed an itch. Five years on, it's practically full blown ecema! Looking at how big the ranges have grown and the ideas of madness and wonder have developed. We have taken a few risks along the way.

Risk; that would be trying out markets that were more than $30. Then going really bold, heading to events outside of Christchurch.

2021 has been the boldest to date. Looking for a direction or stepping stone of what to do with this wee collection of funny earrings and things, the phrase "Go big or go home!" came to mind. So last April, I headed to Wellington for the Women's Lifestyle Expo. Not only a pricey event, but an overseas one too! (In Covid times, crossing Cook Straight is as close to going to another country as we're going to get!) We stayed at the very lovely U Residence Hotel in Wakefield Street, a ten minute dawdle along the water front from the Arena. Location couldn't have been better. Being from Christchurch, the buildings in Wellington terrified me. (You just think differently about buildings after Feb 2011).

I'd heard people say you can't beat Wellington on a good day.
Wellington on a good day. sunny
Wellington putting on perfect weather.

We had a great site in the ASB Arena. A bit of a double edged sword, looking right across at #koakoa NZ made Lemon Cello. The expo was busy, the feedback so lovely and positive about L&A. But overall, the event didn't show me enough of the direction I was hoping for, needing to know how to go forward. There was much less stock to take home, so that showed me there was something in my shiny trinkets of madness and quirk, afterall. Little did I know, the soon to be slippery slope, Armageddon Expo was happening in Wellington that same weekend.

poster advertising #chchgeddon 2021 armageddon expo
Armageddon Christchurch 2021

Fast Forward a few weeks and a giant leap of risk. It was May. There we were, setting up in the Christchurch Arena as an exhibitor in #chchgeddon The 2021 Christchurch Armageddon Expo. You never know if you don't try, right. With no idea of what to possibly expect over the next two days. Arriving before kick-off at 9am, I was astounded to see the queues of people, cosplay clad and eager to get in those doors. I could tell this was going to be one interesting weekend. Rain and all.

A truly phenomenal event is the only way to describe the experience. Any expectation of sales and sights to be seen, were surpassed by anything I could ever have thought of. For the first three hours on Saturday morning, I kept thinking all the girls in school uniforms had just come from school! It was a whole new world. Both fascinating and frightening at the same time. It made even the raunchiest drag show look tame! Lola & Alice had found their niche! After that one event, I was hooked. Slippery slope, down I went and signed up for Palmerston North, or, #palmygeddon the following August. After Palmy, there was no going back. I had become like soap on a water slide. #auckgeddon, at Labour weekend, was a no brainer. Annoyingly, Covid had other plans.

earrings for armageddon expo swords
Creepier than our usual pretty things.

With our entry into the new world of Amrmageddon Expo's, the ranges have now expanded into unchartered territory. The wapons and skulls entered into the floral and sparkly world we so love. The closest to creepy stuff I'd previously done, was the Anatomical range, with skeletons and anatomical hearts, brains and lungs. But the ranges for Armageddon, were next level on the creepy scale from what we were used to.

The journey continues....

This blog has been pushed along to happen, due to that 'thing', that is stopping events from happening and everyone being terrified of the unknown... yes, Omiwhatsit. Six months of booked events, which are now no longer, means I have excellent stock levels and will do for some months. Armageddon Tauranga, Chrischurch and Wellington were due to be Feb, March and April, so that meant earring making on a silly scale. I've been reading about all the social media melarky, trying to work out the right bits to do and how, for brand coverage. Evidently, so 'they' say, a blog is a good way to do this to get google rankings better? When it isn't your specialty, it is all quite overwhelming. Remember when Instagram was just about pretty pictures only... they were the days.

enamel pins
Pins, Pins, Pins!

As much as we're not about anything serious, (except the Double Helix earring), the serious side of trying to tackle the unknown that is social media, is buzzing like a mosquito that needs a good slap.

The feeling of my head wanting to explode, when trying to understand there's more to social media than just pretty pictures, indicates I've been spending too long on my Island of Denial.

With plentiful stock, enamel pins fighting for space and no events for the forseeable future, the website now has a Pin Store so everyone can get their pin fix. You can find it under Ranges in the website menu.

To the next adventure...

brooch sparkling bugs
Sparkling bug brooches from the new Bugs'n'Bees range.

Speaking of buzzing... the release of our Bugs n' Bees range was due to happen at Tauranga Armageddon at the end of Feb, Now, like so much else, we'll launch it on line. It's full of lots of really attractive and cute bugs, that woud be terrifying in real life. The irony. These monsters of brooches are quite stunning. They'll be in the bug section of the store soon.

So, come along for the ride, won't you. Escape into a land where there will always be something to smile at and surprise.