Jan 20, 2010

Sun, surf and sea.

It really is summer here. Even though we have had plenty of rain this time, we have also had some gorgeous days. This is one of those , we went to my favourite beach; Ocean Beach. No doubt there are many beaches in the world called Ocean Beach , but I think this one is the prettiest.
It is only a 20 minute drive through the hills to get there.
And in case you are wondering about the blue sky; that's real, I did not tweak these photos at all. Unfortunately we are quite close to the ozone hole here in NZ, and you'd better protect yourself against the sun, because you will burn within 15 minutes. We don't really go brown as I did when I was a child in Europe. You just go red. Ouch.

Walking through the dunes and looking to my left, I can see the other side of Cape Kidnappers. This is where, in 1769, James Cook approached the coast and asked an tahitian passenger to translate what the Maoris in their canoes were saying, their respective languages being similar. During the transactions the Maoris pulled the Tahitian into their canoe and took off with him. Shots were fired from the "Endeavour", a Maori perished, and the Tahitian got back on board. The name Cape Kidnappers has stuck , but the Maori name is Matau o Maui, or Maui's Hook. Maui is a mythical hero, and he fished up the North Island like a big fish with this hook.
I love this story , and I already knew this story before I even migrated to New Zealand.

So this is how busy it is on this day. Probably 400 people, that's busy for here. Hopefully everyone in Europe is now insanely jealous....
People are swimming between the flags , because we get rips, where you get pulled further out to sea.
Looking to my right, there is a tiny community of mostly holiday houses. I'd like to do that one day; rent a little bach for a week. A swim and a walk every morning. Read lots of books, easy meals, comfy chair, take my sketchbook and pastels......aaahh.......

That is Bare Island. I think it has bushes growing on the other side, but on this side it is bare.
Sorry, that is the only story I know about it. A bit sparse...
And the surf was just right on this day! Great for body surfing or with one of those little boogie-boards. Exhilarating to feel the waves crash against you and to zoom in front of them.
I must admit I do squeal if a particularly big wave hits. I may be 43, but in the surf I feel like I am 11 again. Good fun.

You should never lose that child-like feeling, otherwise I reckon you become a sour-puss and a fuddy-duddy!! And later, a bitter old lady....

This is behind me, the road back up into the hills. They have widened it; you don't have that horrible quick stop and then having to maneuver around oncoming traffic. And the whole road has now been tar-sealed. No more gravel and dust. On the way home there were 7 cars in front of us. Quite a traffic jam....hehehe.

Time for a beach walk. A nice breeze , sound of seagulls and skylarks, waves rolling and salt on your lips.

If you click on the picture, you will see how clear the water is.
Don't you just want to run in.......woohoo!!!

Still snowing is it in Europe? Or has the thaw set in , with all that brown sludge.....

Jan 2, 2010

Vintage and new.

My family came back from Christchurch yesterday after a difficult week with much sadness. But also lots of laughter. It was very comforting to be with the family there , especially 2 of Ma's sisters , who had come over from The Netherlands. The funeral was of course a sad occasion , but as funerals go, I must say it was also uplifting and a celebration of the wonderful woman Ma was to so many people. Nearly a hundred people attended, and many I knew said that had it been held in Hawke's Bay, where she lived for about 18 years, we would have had standing room only.
On Thursday a family friend, and her last weaving pupil, and I went through all of her wool hoard. It took us most of the day. It felt really strange, going through all the boxes and baskets. So much thread and wool. She has inherited the large weaving loom, and most thread, which is good, since she likes doing it. And has the space to put it too; a standing 4-shaft loom of the size of a double bed demands a room of its own, with all the paraphernalia that goes with it. I took home a large amount of unspun wool etc. and I will share that around with her woolcrafting friends. While we were there, we also looked at her linen cupboards to sort it all for Dad , and her clothes and jewellery, which was so difficult......

I am just going to post a few photos from before things started to look dark.

That's what I call living on the edge. Excuse my teenager's mess , although Fox doesn't mind. That way there is always something interesting to sleep on; in this case the ukelele box our eldest got for Xmas. (It came with a pink v-shaped ukelele) Just one false move.......

Bought at an op-shop spree in Christchurch. 70's pop-art flowery sheets and pillowslips in blues, which is nice, since they often come in orange and yellow. A pile of children's handkerchiefs. I buy clean ones only of course. A sturdy jeans fabric printed with gingham patterns. And from the Savemart a set of skittles, all battered and played with. Delightful!
A cotton voile sari in pinks and blue-greens, an old pattern and vintage braiding in shiny forest green.
But then I found some fabric shops and could not resist.....I bought 2 lengths of silk voile , 1 a beautiful red and the other a bright light blue with pink and red patterns. I envision some beautiful nuno-felted wraps to be made in the future.
Strange how this combination of age and colours seemed to gel together. Pink, brown-yellow, black , touches of orange and green.
Clockwise from upper left; a 50's cotton with star shaped flowers, 70's cotton sheet with pop-art flowers, new Heather Ross fabric with mermaids and octopuss, and a new piece of my first ever Amy Butler fabric. The last 2 came from Bolt of Cloth fabric store in Chch , which was an amazing place; the fabrics were the kind I have only seen on the web. The colours were so vivid. Very dangerous to my budget!!
I want to make a pencil case for myself , so that I have my stationary with me all the time at my teacher-aide job. I have lost so many pens and pencils last year.
Another combination of old and new , although the new heavy cotton fabric with the coloured dots looks vintage. I think it will go very well with faded old embroideries.
Here are some vintage embroideries , some with dreadful rips in the fabric. I shall have to cut around all the nasty bits.
I love the floral tablecloth top left and the blue damask in the background. And the porcelain pepper and salt set were the oldest things I could find at Savemart. They are in the shape of a little beehive with clovers and a bee at the top. Sweet!


I should be saying"Happy New Year", but we don't feel that way here at home. Our Mother and Mother-in-law and Oma passed away on Boxing Day. She had been sick with some complications caused by her leukaemia , from which she had been suffering a number of years. And we were due in Christchurch before Christmas , planned it months ago. But things took a turn for the worse and , instead of recovering and having her home for the festive days , we all had to say goodbye instead. I have known my mother-i.l. , or as I always thought of my other mum , since I was a girl of 19. She was a woman of tremendous hugs and a store of practical advice on anything from child rearing to technical weaving skills. She taught me sewing and felting and spinning , and how to chill out about worrying over not having a pristine clean house.
Because of some family members coming from the Netherlands, her funeral has been delayed, and we will have to return again to Chch. in the coming days.
Those days will be very intense.

Here are a few images of things I bought and made a little while ago.
I scored big at the op-shop when I found these cheery 70's sheets and matching pillowslips , all still in their original packaging. Each pack had 2 cotton sheets or slips each. So 6 cotton sheets and 6 pillowslips for the price of $15.
Both my Mums would have approved heartily...
My oldest daughter can take some with her when she goes to university in February. Very handy she likes retro.

This is one of the little child-size handbags my friend N. and I made and sold . We used children's curtain fabric. and other cottons.
This is the back of this particular one , they all came out differently , some had another fabric with toadstools and gnomes and polkadots. Or blue and white hollie hobbie style girls.
I adore the little hedgehogs on this one.

They are lined for strength and have a little pocket for lipgloss and other essential things that a 5 year old might need. All 8 sold rapidly! It was fun making them , all so small in miniature.