May 28, 2008

I am in Sydney! On holiday, officially, though i just spent 45mins working through emails to sort out some niggly things...painful, that.

So far I have:
  • had numerous asses connect with my shoulder as people pushed by my seat to get to the toilet on the plane
  • walked around Balmain with my big bro (so much to look at! why didn't i take my camera?)
  • scoped out shops to visit tomorrow and saturday (Tapestry Craft are having a SALE and Tessuti (a fabric shop apparently) is just down the road)
  • worked. see my grumpy face
  • felt the need to collapse in a heap and sleep for hours - which i will be able to do in oh, about twenty minutes. bliss.

May 26, 2008

I am loving...

Looking out my window this morning, it is dark and grey, people are hunched under their umbrellas dodging the rain. Streaking from around the corner, a pair of red, red scooters look like a couple on a going to work date and brighten the street instantly.

I love this weather...

other things i'm loving at the moment?
  • My orange wool blanket with the linen patches from Mary Potter Hospice shop in Miramar,
  • hot water bottles
  • staring out the window
  • wrapping scarves on
  • writing (or attempting to) emails in french to my friend who is off to Paris in four weeks...
  • daydreaming of the snow - only four weeks to go!
  • and of Sydney - only two days to go!

May 21, 2008


Don't tell anyone - i'm blogging at work. naughty!

Couple of great things from the last couple of days:

Craft night at Juniper - what a freaking great geeky way to have fun of an evening. And i officially want to either a)live at Juniper or b)kidnap Mindy. Happy with either :)

I'm not there - or that Bob Dylan Movie. Fabbo. Without giving too much away, i spent the first half, i don't get it. Then figured, it's Bob Dylan, i'm not meant to. By the end i'd wrapped my head around it - all the mystery, the masks, the characters of Dylan are there - you just have to look for them . My conclusion - Dylan is god. He is everything and nothing, everyone and noone. Oh and Heath Ledger - full frontal. yes indeedy.

May 17, 2008


I ADORE the illustration for their posters...mmmm

More pics from yesterday...which isn't to say i didn't do anything today. Much progress has been made on thermal's first sleeve, and i have officially converted another friend to knitting.
Nikki made it along to Crafternoon Tea and brought Hannah - my goodness she is so cute. I know have loads of pictures by her to grace my fridge!

May 16, 2008

head over heels love with Wellington

What an absolutely amazing morning. The light is perfect for photos today - so that's what the boy and i did. Up and down Cuba, round to one of the bays...
We also finally made a visit up to Swonderful in the Brooklyn village, and it really is wonderful. 

not much

Well, the week was a bit mad. Sitting on the bus i would have sworn it was about 8pm, when it was actually three hours earlier than that. 

Though there are some exciting things in the coming weeks:
  • we're doing knack! on a whim, i emailed asking about stalls - and there were cancellations!
  • one new project is on the cusp of being launched
  • crafternoon tea strikes again on sunday
  • there are exhibition openings around about tomorrow to attend
  • Surprise craft night at Juniper (preceded somehow by a pot luck slash castle construction do)
Not so exciting things:

  • My skin has gone ass. In particular, my forehead. I've never had very bad skin in my life...i'm going to blame the airconditioning at work. I think i shall have to splurge on some Trilogy cleanser. It's got comfrey, ya'know.
  • I'm tired
  • I still can't find my camera battery
  • i need to go to the supermarket before i sit down with my knitting 
i want to knit so much i'm going to prise myself from the chair right now to walk down to the giant yellow dairy on the corner. 

Here's hoping i find my battery!

May 13, 2008

Not much

except the early starts and late nights are wearing thin - where is all the time i'd like to spend reading frankie, knitting and dreaming?

May 9, 2008

the joy of the unexpected

I woke up this morning with absolutely no intention of going to the knitter's weekend out at the Dowse...until i got (woken up by) a text from my mum telling me that i was allowed to sit it on my Grandma's workshop this morning if i wanted...i wanted! So after some quick rearranging of my day, i was out the door in record time and out to the hutt for about the fifth time this week (i'm getting to know the Dowse to Petone interchange works really well, i tell ya!). 

The workshop was an introduction to lace knitting, something i'd had a go at before but had left to one side since. My reward for going? A copy to borrow of the Knitting Sutra - Craft as a Spiritual Practice by Susan Gordon Lydon and copies for my own of Mary Thomas' Knitting Book and Book of Knitting Patterns. Stoked! The covers of the two Mary Thomas books are great, and they have all these cute little cartoons and illustrations...which you'd know if i hadn't dropped one of my rechargeable batteries somewhere not to be found when trying to put them back in my camera.

 I got to see the inside of Knit World's new knitting studio and had to force myself to stop looking because, my goodness, the yarns in there are delicious. Much, much higher quality than what is stoked in the shop and a wall full of fantastically geeky knitting tools...I managed to leave with only my last balls of yarn for thermal and a set of bamboo double pointed needles - why bamboo? Do i really need bamboo? Uh, no. But there they are in my bag anyway. Ha. 

After the workshop i tootled off to the New Dowse and drooled over more yarn (please santa, bring me a sack of organic merino!), met Mel Clark who co-wrote this book, and was pleasantly surprised by the number of young'uns there. I was most impressed by the blind lady knitting, and a couple of guys dotted around the place. One, admittedly, was wearing a skirt. You see it all in Lower Hutt...

My job in the next hour is to have another crack at knitting with dpns, so that i can get some grandmotherly advice on technique tomorrow. 

Keep warm!

May 5, 2008


Thanks to the magic of the cube (my desktop rubbish bin) ikkinlala is the winner of my 100 post draw - congrats!

It is way too early in the morning to think of a proper post, so I shall mention the weather. Winter is by far my favourite season. I love the moodiness of the skies, listening to the rain fall, being rugged up nice and warm and drinking mulled wine. I adore the colours of lights in the rain and the reflections on the road....and, of course, snow. There has been a bit falling lately in the central plateau and i am very glad to have purchased my season pass for Ruapehu - but i may spend a bit of time sleeping in the car on weekends away!

Have a great day....

May 4, 2008

Would you sell your kidney for $60,000?

something to mull over for a monday!

May 3, 2008

Things to do on cold days

How cold has this weekend been? winter is well and truly here...please note that I am very happy having seen that snow has fallen on the slopes of Mt Ruapehu...pffft to any nonsense about volcanic activity there. If the petrol man reads this, can you please put petrol down to oh, say $1 a litre so I can afford to go snowboarding every weekend this winter? that would be great, thanks.

Obviously there isn't yet enough snow for riding, so I had to settle for hanging out with the boy at Pataka. Tough, i know. I was actually not too keen to go, as I knew there was some Samoan art exhibition on. Three years working at Te Papa and not studying any contemporary Pacific art during my art history degree gave me the distinct impression that Pacific art was all tapa cloths and garish quilts. I am happily proved wrong.

Samoa Contemporary opens with a not-too exciting entrance, and made me wonder if that was 'it'. A beautiful waka carved from what seemed to be deep blue acrylic had wavy grooves running the length of it, offset with blue light above that made the waka itself look like the depths of the ocean. It was somewhat mysterious in its simplicity. The catalogue tells me (of course i didn't pay attention to names when i was there) that it is the work of John Ioane. There you go.

Hmm this catalogue is going to come in very handy...

Niki Hastings-McFall's work is I feel the Samoan version of Judy Darragh. Lamps collected from TradeMe (where else!) and second hand shops have their lampshades covered with $2 shop lei flowers, resulting in a cluster of glowing colour. I found the tacky kitsch totally appealling, and saw the first exploration of a theme that seemed to run through the whole show - the Samoan culture is one that does not do things by halves. Lamps overrun with flowers, lounge rooms crammed proudly full of children's successes, huge charcoal drawings and full-body tattoos. 

Following was a video of a performance work by Shigeyuki Kihara which was haunting and beautiful...There is something infinitely graceful in Pacific dance, the way the hands are used to tell a story and their movement is so fluid. The exhibition leads you on (something equally good about it, which i'll mention later...) through another installation, this one by my waka-making friend, John Ioane. Wasn't so fussed by the totem-like poles that seemed to serve as trees as you walked through to the next part. Apparently that's part of the meaning - journey - so i guess it works but they weren't terribly pretty.

Michel Tuffery's giant flies stuck to the walls through to the next section...and as with John's installation, I could take or leave Tuffery's flies. They're ok i suppose, but i much prefer his corned beef bulls (one of which is at the entrance to the exhibition on permanent display). The large room though, blew me away. All my previous Samoan-art stereotypes disintegrated in front of Greg Semu (the best) and Lonnie Hutchinson's work. 

I'll start with Lonnie as hers was my favourite. Vinyl-inspired circles of petal-like spirals dotted the walls to either side of the larger works. Made from building paper, they were fragile in design and construction but their darkness and the shadows cast on the white gallery walls made for a fantastic composition of opposites. Two 'clouds' cut from black acrylic floated by in their pattern-induced lightness. Taking centre stage was a massive black frame enclosing a pseudo-Maori pattern cut from more black acrylic. The whole was overlaid with clear acrylic and up close I felt like I was looking at a tv. The shiny-ness (is that a word?!) and clean lines coupled with the dimensions made me feel as if i was standing in an art collector's lounge looking at their plasma screen. Standing back the effect was even more impressive - strong curves complemented the rectangular outline and were projected onto the wall by the clever lighting. I was speechless, it was so fantastic. In my opinion, it doesn't really matter what the meaning of a work is if you find it staggeringly beautiful. This, i would very very happily part with some cash for. Couldn't care less what it means. For me, the contrast of black and white, matt and gloss, curves and lines, delicate and strong, was IT.

Greg Semu's photographs were Epic with a capital E. There was a set of three self portraits of his pe'a. Damn those tattoos are impressive. I liked the way he 'chopped off his own head' in the images, leaving us only to wonder who the person was behind the ink. The boy pointed out the amount of solid black on his legs - just how much that would have hurt. I was more curious by the fact in the third picture he could hold all his bits in one hand. But anyway...

Directly opposite were two more images by the same artist. Greg was artist in residence at the Musee du quai Branly in Paris, and the effect of working in a museum is evident in his work. One of the very large photos recreates a battle scene during the New Zealand Maori wars. My art history degree did come in handy here - I could see his reference to Jacque Louis David's grand battle scenes of the 18th century, and the Maori man in full uniform is a clear imitation of the magnificent 'Napolean on his steed' (or whatever it's called) painting. The glossiness of the image and the obvious stage setting again calls upon the past masters. The boy  and i had great fun pulling apart his oh-so-meticulously planned composition - diagonals to the corners, a patu blocking your eye from exiting the image, the lines leading you to look around and finally fall on the man astride his rearing horse. Brilliant. 

Right next door is an incredibly confronting image of what appears to be a shrunken Maori head. Quite appropriate considering - i think it's the French who are refusing to return the heads they have in their museum collections. On closer inspection the head is clearly carved from wood, but it is haunting all the same. It is a stark colour image of black on white, and if i think about it this could be looking at the issue of returning Maori artifacts. Most would see it as a black and white situation - return what was never yours to take. Obviously nothing is ever so simple....

I think i've rambled on enough. I must quickly mention Lorene Taurerewa's back-lit mobile of pen and ink drawings, a fascinating piece that one could spend ages looking at because of the detail in all the sketches. On stepping back from it, it looked different again - a play on how things change when you actually take the time to look closer and find out more, as opposed to standing back and just seeing the superficial information. Which sums it up nicely for me, I think. I walked into the exhibition thinking i knew what there was to know about Samoan art, and came out of it with a new appreciation. Having seen the details, and discovering some new favourite artists, it certainly expanded my horizons.

The other great thing about the exhibit was that it flowed brilliantly. For once I was left foundering, wondering where on earth to turn next in order to see everything, i was led the whole way. Love it, Pataka.

Also on - photos by John Whincup in a show called 'Walk on Water - Kiribati in crisis?' Check it out - the photos are amazing and I LOVED the frames (noticing the important things, as aways!)

May 2, 2008

It's Friday!!!

That's all.