Wednesday, January 1, 2014

a new year

I always feel very retrospective at the end of another year and the beginning of the next.

I've never been one for writing resolutions, but one of the things I am going to start doing this year is to keep a notebook of positivity. I'm going to try and write down something positive for each day; a highlight of the day, something I've done, created, something to remember, to be grateful for. A word, a sentence or a paragraph.

I often feel like I haven't accomplished enough each day, well not what I want to accomplish! Hopefully by writing things down I'll feel like each day has been lived more fully. Hopefully by taking the time to notice the small things, and not worry about the big picture, the anxiety will lessen.

I've also thought about what I want to do with this blog. And I'm going to worry less about it! Not worry about how often I post, or how many followers I have, or how many comments I get. Not to compare it to other blogs I read.

The photos were taken today, on a not very summery beginning to 2014. Between showers we managed a half hour walk beside the sea. To the Motueka Sandspit a place we'd never been before, yet is only 20 minutes from home. It's currently home to the godwits after their epic flight of 11,500 kms from Alaska, along with numerous other birds. It's good to get out and explore new places.

Later in the afternoon looking out the window I saw this rainbow. A good omen for 2014. Wishing you all  the best for this year, may you find happiness and joy in your endeavours. Sally x

Friday, December 20, 2013

absent to present

 I have been absent  (see the bottom of the post for a brief explanation). Here's what I've been up to over the past few weeks.

Beach walks and enjoying our balmy summer evenings, although there should have been more walking.

Enjoying the company of our animals, especially Mumbai.

Mr Frizz (our rescued frizzle rooster) still hasn't regrown his feathers. But he's the loveliest, kindest rooster we could ask for, and he keeps the girls under control too.

The alpacas lost their winter coats.
Shiraz wondering what's about to happen to her.

Rounding Shiraz up again after her escape, while she's wondering what just happened to Chardonnay.
Telling her it's going to be alright, and will be over before she knows it!
I stopped to take photos of the wildflowers (from a packet!) that grow in a spot along the road from us.

I've not had much time in my studio since the Open Studios at the beginning of November  (which I still want to share in a separate post, along with my long overdue giveaway!)

After what seemed like non-stop sewing for six weeks in preparation for two craft markets (one of which I helped organise) it was nice to make something for myself. Although I do have to make sure how I display the cushion otherwise it can look quite rude!

Wishing you all the best for the season. A special thanks to my faithful followers who brighten my day with their much appreciated comments. Sorry I haven't been so good on the commenting lately.

Pohutakawa flowers - New Zealand's Christmas tree.
Footnote:  There's been a little grey dog called anxiety nipping at my heels. I've had to admit I'm not as tough as I thought I was. I've had to seek help - not something that comes easily. I'm trying to take things easy, which is not easy to do in this "silly season." We need to remember be kind to ourselves as well as others. xx

Friday, November 1, 2013


I'm not quite sure where this week has gone. I've been very busy getting my studio ready for the Ruby Coast Arts Open Studios which are on this weekend. It'll be the first time "the public" have been in my studio, as its recently been renovated. This time last week we were eagerly anticipating the return of the hubby from his two week stint in Fiji. After picking him up from the airport on Saturday morning we went into town for lunch and a wander about.

It was a lovely day for looking up.

But we weren't there to look at the sky, but my paintings in the Spring Exhibition at the Suter Art Gallery.  This year I entered three paintings and they were hung together in the first gallery.

Pink Horizon, Kowhai and Capsules all in a row. (How I hate coming up with titles!)

I was also keen to go to an exhibition of paintings by Margaret Petchell  at The Bridge Street Collective. But it were closed (it was a long weekend so I might let them off). My favourite paintings of hers are the large budgie heads, and one was hanging in the window as a poster.

The exhibition ends tomorrow, so I'll just have to be satisfied with looking at her prints at Endemic World.

Driving home the sea was quite wild, but there were still lots of people at Tahunanui Beach.

Last night we went to the launch of the Ruby Coast Arts Festival in Mapua. There was a silent auction of postcard (A5 sized) artworks donated by various artists.  I was chuffed that my two paintings, imaginatively titled "Land" and "Sea" had a bit of lively bidding, and ended up being brought by a couple who have a local gallery.

I'll report on the how the Open Studios went next week, and share some photos of my studio while it's looking nice and tidy. Plus I'll finally get around to holding the 100 Days giveaway as that exhibition came down on Tuesday.  Have a lovely weekend.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

(op shopping) frocking it

Most of the clothes I wear are from the op shop (save the underwear) but I'm not an adventurous wearer of clothes. I'm far too conservative for my own taste. I love vintage and retro, but I'm not good at wearing it. I'm trying to inject a bit into my everyday wears.

One of the reasons I'm stepping out of the shadows is I've been following Kylie who has been frocking it (and blogging again) for Frocktober. Now Kylie is quite a shy girl too, and I thought if she can do it for a month, I can do it for a day. If you don't already know Kylie, please go and visit and support her in raising much needed funds for ovarian cancer research. 

Also I've often wanted to join in with Jane and her Shiny-T Tuesdays. But I've always felt too shy - well not today! Her theme for this week is The Big Top. Well not quite sure how my get-up fits this theme, although I did feel like a bit of a clown taking selfies, and my footwear is clownish (although several sizes smaller). And I maybe be more Big Bot than Top, but if I don't do this now I might never pluck up the courage again.

So what am I wearing:

The shoes are Deuces (cos my feet are too wide for Converse) brought off Trade Me for half the price of new ones, even though they were new.

The leggings are new from The Warehouse ("where everyone gets a bargain" but they might have changed their branding recently).

The cardy is a stripey Max merino (op shopped) but you'll be pleased to know I replaced it with a black one after seeing these photos (what was I thinking!)

The brooch is one of my latest creations, based on a kina (sea anemone) shell.

The dress is a a 1950s polished cotton shift dress, although I'm not sure it was made in the 50s, probably more 70s. It's been lurking in the wardrobe for months, so long I can't remember which oppy I brought it at or how much it cost. It is sleeveless, hence the cardy, as I don't like displaying my wings, and it also nips in the volume of the dress. After these photos were taken I quickly made some alterations to the dress. It's homemade, and had strange pleats at the seams on both sides at the hem. When I unpicked these and ironed it I noticed that is was very bell-shaped, which was adding to the volume. So I quickly took in the side seams, and rushed out the door to get to the hairdressers.

The last shots I took in the car when I'd arrived home from the two and a half hours I'd wasted spent at the hairdressers. Now I know why I don't go and get turned back into a redhead very often, it takes too long! But I did gain a fringe, something I haven't had for a while.

Now if you're still here after all that, here are some photos of the lovely evening light we've been having lately.

Ah, that's more like it. Linking like crazy here and here.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

airing dirty linen

Well I had to get your attention somehow! I love a bit of old linen, but preferably not too dirty. But I have been know to gingerly pick something out of the free bin and take it home and throw it in a bucket of soaker and be thrilled when the dirt vanished.

For the two weeks of the school holidays my op shopping was severely curtailed, but I did manage a couple of quickies. Amazingly when we were in Greymouth in the first weekend of the holidays the Sally Army was having a late opening on a Saturday afternoon, and between dancing we got in and had a bit of a rummage. The find of the day was the bright checked Onehunga woollen travel rug for 10 bucks.

With school going back on Monday my ability to op shop fully has been restored. Most of what I look for is linen and haberdashery. These are the ingredients for making things for my Mahana Redlegs label, where I try to be as close to 100% upcycled as possible.

In Motueka this week I found the two large pieces of floral fabric. The top piece was $2 and the bottom was $8, which I did hesitate with, but if I average it over the two pieces I'm happy. The photo doesn't really show the amazing neon pink flowers it the second pieces. I'm not quite sure what I'll do with it. There's enough to make a dress or skirt, but it'll probably end up lining my blanket bags, as it's a heavy twill.

In the Red Cross in Nelson I found this old blue cardboard box. It may have been a chocolate box once, and it used to have wee metal feet, but only one of those is still there. It was full of cottons, bias binding, needles, domes and embroidery cotton, again I hesitated at $6, but I think it was worth it. Has anyone else noticed that the prices in the oppies are getting higher and higher?

And I also scored an old cotton tea towel for $1 (that's more like it). I love these ones with the crochet edging, but after it's wash it hasn't remained whole for long. I've had fun cutting out the flowers and leaves and machine embroidering them onto my homemade wool felt to make into brooches. I'll save the crochet edging and think of something to use it for too.

Joining in with Max's Op Shop Show Off for the first time in weeks. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

holidays - part two

For us to go away twice over a two week period is almost unheard of. After our three nights away on the West Coast, and we've just had three nights in Golden Bay.  Golden Bay is surprisingly close to home, from our house to the bach (kiwi for holiday home) we rent at Patons Rock takes less than 1 1/2 hours. Over half of that journey is over the Takaka Hill which is quite an epic journey up and down, and around numerous corners, which makes us think it's further than it is. The last time we went was here at the end of the summer holidays in February. Each time we return to the same beach and the same bach.

Right I'm going to keep this brief, and let the photos do the talking......

Close to home, about 10 minutes into the journey. I often pass this old apple packing shed, and love the reflections when the tide is in. For once I wasn't driving, so could snap this out of the car window!
At the beach, there are not many people but the local horse trainer brings his horses down when the tide is out.
The hubby and my friend's hubby watching the kids kayak, and chewing the fat!
Miss L wondering why her friend is going for a swim in October!
The beach has lovely shells to collect.
Fishing at Tarakohe Wharf.
Cute wee boat at Tarakohe Wharf.
Bush walk.
Labyrinth Rocks.

Badminton on the front lawn.
The house we stay in is almost retro, in an 1980s sort of a way! It used to be a permanent home before it became a bach (holiday home). The owners have done some modernising, but mostly it's original. It one of the reasons we like coming here, because it isn't pretentious, and feels homely and relaxed. But if I owned it I'd go all out on the retro - as in 1960-70s, I can remember the 80s to well to want to relive that era!

A peach exterior with new deck and doors out of the bedrooms.
The pink and grey bathroom is straight from 1984!
A kina (sea anemone) hanging in the lounge.

A map of Golden Bay in the dining area.
But the piece de resistance has to be the carpet, in all it's amazing technicoloured-ness.
Yes that is a wet deck there. We were lucky with three beautiful sunny and warm days, but on Tuesday as we packed up to go home the rain came. When we got home we had to light the fire, something I don't think we'd done for over two weeks. This morning the snow was quite low on the mountains again. Ah, the fickleness of spring.
One of last week's sunrises from our front lawn.
While I enjoyed our time away, three days was enough for me. I've finally realised I don't find it easy to relax and do nothing when on holiday. I didn't pack any crafty stuff, and found that I was itching to be creative. Next time I need to be better prepared. I'm also a bit of a homebody, and miss all the animals. Especially as we were expecting new arrivals in the chook house.Thankfully my sister stayed at our house for two nights and looked after all the animals and reported on developments, which I'll report on in another post.