Tuesday, January 30, 2007

escape from queenstown!

we took advantage of a bad weather day recently to escape from queenstown and get out into our surrounding countryside. we drove north through the cardrona mountains which look stunning in their summer grasses. mountains here aren't grazed so they're covered in beautiful long tussock grasses - the countryside is literally blushing with meadow grasses in golden yellows, rusty oranges, earthy red and pinks against the blue-green of the hills. the drive was wonderful both ways and I had to stop with this one picture or we'd have been pulling over every 5 minutes!

what else would you expect in a small winter ski village but a monster truck collection - including a candy pink cadillac and yellow school bus. made me chuckle for quite a ways afterwards I can tell you!

in wanaka we had a wander and found these gorgeous artworks filling a gallery - amazing colour compositions with printed elements, canvas cut out and pasted on, and thick thick thick layers of what looked like household oil based paints. interested me as I've been wanting to use household paints since someone gave me some to make them a painting which I did in methven. we chilled over chips & kebab, and coffee taking in the breeze, then a quick trip to puzzling world to tax our brains before driving leisurely back and stopping for a walk and grass seed fight on the way home (very itchy with grass seeds in your clothes I can tell you!!). visit my art blog for more and enlargenable versions of the above picture.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

believe it or not...

...prayer works! I think I tend to forget just how much sometimes. 2 weeks ago I started to pray every morning 'god, please get fran on camera today' (as in paid cameraman jumps) and a whole little sequence of events happened which got him onto stand-by camera and has kept him getting jumps when logic or the prior system says he wouldn't be jumping. actually, he's getting so much blessing at work I feel almost bad that we have the power of prayer on our side!

apart from the cameraman thing we've not had anything startling happen. my art's going ok - still working out my schedule, a new element of which is I get the car wednesdays, meaning I take fran to work in the morning and his collegues get to see I'm not some mythical creature they hear of but never meet, do the groceries (yey!), and then drive wherever I fancy for the day. yesterday I drove out into the hills north-east of queenstown. recently, the natural beauty of this area has really started to hit me - I think the hard start to living here stopped me seeing it. the colours here are so rich and deep and vibrant. I ended up buying some pastels while I was out and sketching some hills at the paragliders' 'flightpark' which backs onto a beautiful wooded ridge with a big jaggedy cliffed hill part way along. at the moment the meadow grasses are long and a really rich orangy-red colour. just gorgeous!

I've also been learning about colour. I didn't know how much I didn't know! pretty much all my art I do in the 'pure' colour scale which is mixed solely from primary colours and apparently means I have a 'gregarious, extroverted personality' and like the 'drama and excitement' the colours convey. but there is also a tint scale - with white added, a tone scale - with grey added, and shade scale - with black added. even simple stuff I've never purposely thought about - like the visual effect of yellow or red on a canvas is very strong so you have to be careful how you use it, or blue - a colour I've never been that keen on by itself - is a very peaceful colour because it's such a large element of the natural landscape. it's pretty interesting and is definately making me think about my use of colour and how to construct colours more.

Friday, January 05, 2007

he 'da man!
time to do my proud wifey bit... yesterday fran had a 12 hr day and did 49 packs, which is a superhuman effort. in his first month packing his entire month's total was 250! not only that, but the operations manager wanted him to do proper stand-by camerman jumps too! he didn't get to, because the other head honcho wants to see 2 more sets of stills, but he's basically been flagged as good enough to be on camera and ready to go right now. I'm so proud of him :)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

my head is exploding
last week I 'upgraded' to blogger beta, and for some reason blogger's doing a merry little dance with me when I try to log in. I have to find sneaky ways onto my dashboard... I managed to get here by logging in and commenting on a friend's page then cutting & pasting part of the blogger address into my nav bar. blogger beta - I am in NO way impressed.

Monday, January 01, 2007

christmas & new year!

christmas eve didn't quite turn out as expected - our first campsite was plagued by sandflies (bites itch & swell for about 3 weeks, 10 times worse than mossie bites - the only real native pest in this country) and the second was stunningly gorgeous (we'll be going back) but plagued by groups of 'young folk' with loud music getting pissed, so we woke up in the comfort of our beds on christmas day! tea in bed, open pressies and then we went up the lake to find a stunning BBQ spot...

it was the calmest I've ever seen the lake. we had a little grassy off road park and lovely shingle beach all to ourselves, sitting under the gum trees listening to the exotic calls of the tui bird. it was gorgeous. then we made it back in time for roast wild turkey at jimmy & lizzy's house - they made a fabulous feast and we ended up staying 10 hrs, watched 'bad santa', me & lizzy chatting and fran & jimmy spending hours trying to hit eachother with the styrofoam plane mum put in our stocking!

a delightful patch of bad weather meant fran almost had an entire week off, which was lovely, then we had new years... we went to our neighbours, matt & terri's (who got engaged after a helicopter flight to the top of the remarkables the day before) for a chilled BBQ, indoors due to the chilly, windy weather, and brought the new year in watching the sky channel navigation page! ...we needed an accurate time cause there's no countdown on NZ tv, how wierd is that? being very old & sensible people we then tootled off the bed, but not before taking some pictures of ourselves, and this one very nearly had me wetting my pants with laughter...