Wednesday, November 29, 2006

ghost readers
since going on my travels around NZ I've discovered I have a number of ghost readers - people who I had no idea read my blog as they'd never mentioned it or commented. so I have installed a map at the bottom of my sidebar which makes little red dots wherever someone is reading my blog from. no idea how that works, but I'll have a little more idea who's watching from where...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


so after my return from texas and mum & dad having 2 weeks on the road in rose, we had a little family break to Fiordland. 5 days total with 3 days in Te Anau and 2 days at/going to Milford Sound (below).

in Milford we went sea kayaking which was really fun and pretty knackering as mum and I shared a kayak while dad opted for the stability of experienced fran to keep him dry. it was pretty windy & rough, though our return to base was made under sail power. I saw my first wild penguin which was very very cool.

mum & the abominable snowman sea kayaking on some quieter waters

we got to see some cool bird life including this endangered old doddery takahe (150 pairs left) and the alpine parakeets that I love (they look like vibrant forest green budgies) in gorgeous mossy forest, not to mention the cheeky alpine parrot - the kea, which I had an up close & personal chat to... I'm pretty sure he would have gone for my nose if I let him!

mmm, mossy forest

I also discovered the macro setting on my camera (d'oh!) so I'm ridiculously happy as I love close ups of leaves, lichens, bark & moss... my blog will be inundated with them from now on!

mum on 'cilla' and me on 'nipper' showing signs he might be about to lose his mind...

in Te Anau mum and I went horseriding while fran and dad went quad biking. the boys definately got the best deal being the only ones booked on and gots to do lots of fun stuff. mum and I, on the other hand, were with 5 inexperienced riders so got to plod along at a leisurely walk for most of the ride - until we persuaded the girls to have a bit of a canter... nipper (my horse) had been a bit fed up with the slow pace for a while and decided a flat out gallop was much more fun - towards a barbed wire fence! pulling on the reins would NOT stop him and I was preparing for my first jump in about 12 years when he finally decided to grind to a halt, and so I did 'the perfect fall', tucking over my shoulder and landing flat out against the fence posts! the poor young instructors were more freaked out than me, worrying I was going to go through the fence or off into the distance if I made the next field. I banged my legs a bit, and the beauty of new zealand is free accident medical & physio for everyone (residents to tourists) so now Al is getting my knee fixed and solving the problem of my weak glutes at the same time! incidently, this accident scheme means there's no sueing people for silly amounts of money for falling over curbs or slipping on a wet floor as ACC even takes care of income loss. good eh?

fern trees. nice.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

quick prayer request - we'd really like to sell our van by december 1st which is when the insurance is up for renewal and it would be great not to have pay that as you don't get much money back on a partial year and wee rosie's not a cheap one to insure!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

clearing the way

having had some belated rest time after my 3 hectic weeks going overseas and hosting people, I'm doing a little spring cleaning. not of my house, but of my art life. I'm getting round to finishing my partly done projects - cushion covers, half-done paintings, funky bag embroidery... in short tying off creative ends which got started and have been fluttering around my creative space. it feels really good. my biggest challenge will be my rather large quilt but that mainly requires a little planning and organisation.

sunset from the balcony this week

on an entirely different note I have a practical reccomendation to make... I got quite bad skin/spots while I was in methven and tried quite a few remedies but the thing that really helped was tea tree oil (applied on a damp cotton wool pad) and has really speeded up the healing process which is really nice for me!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

a little more spangle

so what happened in austin? most significantly I got really affirmed as an artist - as someone meant to be creating art. since I can remember I wanted to be an artist, but that desire always came with a bunch of issues why it shouldn't/wouldn't/couldn't work. not so anymore. I really feel like I'm meant to be making art, and fran is 110% behind me doing that - even if it means living on a small budget for a while. so that's what I'm going to be doing.

one thing I felt coming back was that we really needed a bigger place - a better place for me to create in and a real spare room for our soon to be guests. without moving or paying more rent that's happening - by moving my art space upstairs, which leaves much more room in our 2nd bedroom for fran to sew (and leave threads all over the floor without driving me nutty!) and for guest's space including a little side table and comfy armchair. it also means I'm in a more sociable space and have the great views from our balcony next to me. I'm really chuffed as our place is great in many ways and moving/finding tenants to take over our contract would have been demanding.

check out oddshapedhouse art for updates...

Monday, November 06, 2006

27 and just got my first mix tape...
phew, finally landed, home, and on my own. a 26 hour journey and quite a few coffees got me from austin to christchurch, a bus to dan & emma's new (fab) place and a nice hot bath and a cup of tea and being back in the same timezone as fran felt great. not having slept on the journey, nine episodes of the O.C. kept me awake for the rest of wednesday and then my parents arrived on thursday from england. flukey timing had my parking rose up next to the runway as mum and dad's plane taxied in to the gate and a wildly waving hand in one of the windows confirmed they'd seen me! then a 2 day drive back to queenstown in rose, a couple of easy days getting over jetlag and having some family time, and mum & dad are now off in rose for a week and a half and fran and I will actually get to catch up on what was an amazing trip!

vintage funk south of the river

not sure how much I can tell you as my head's still spinning and needing to process lots of different things. it was great to see much loved and missed friends, and get to spend more time with people I've met briefly and meet new people. we had a great mixture of visual/fine/graphic artists, writers/poets, musicians, vj's, sculpters. here are the photo highlights...

brain(spirit)storm photocall

larrrrrge art stores

one of my most favorite people in the world

coffee house art installations

inescapably funky cars

birthday dessert at the table of the stars @ four seasons

and reminders of home...

and whilst I was away fran made me a CD - my first ever compilation from a boyfriend(husband!). remember guys - it's ALL about the little things ;)

back soon with words...