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A walk around town

Quinn and I met Kylie in Hagley park on friday, it was a lovely sunny spring afternoon and I brought homemade scones and quince jelly (feeling very domestic these days.. except when it comes to cleaning). After Kylie dashed back to work Quinn and I went walking – I had heard rumour of a photographic exhibit and I have been getting some pretty bad culture and art withdrawals these days so I took the first chance I could get to go and find it.

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I still avoid town to be honest. The desolation and memories of how it all was, get me down, but as time goes by it stings much less and is becoming more and more “thats just the way it is” with no emotion attached. Thank goodness for the park that has not changed a jot, except in growth of course!

We found the exhibition, it was very child friendly with big black boxes in the center, of a ‘u” shape made out of container rooms with large images hung inside. I got to have a good look and Quinn got to wander around the outside area, pointing out all sorts of things to complete strangers.

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What I really liked was the art around the newly opened square. The fences had all been decorated by Sara Hughs and Chris Heaphy with plastic cubes that slotted into the mesh, creating patterns and effects with light. It looked like a cross stitched/pixelated tapestry, all in cheerful bright tones, a contrast to the empty lots and still half collapsed cathedral whose fate is still being fought over in the courts. Nice to see something lovely to make a person smile!

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Then there is the temporary shopping area where the old shopping area used to be, new topiary animals and plantings were out and looking luscious, beautiful with a dash of fun.

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Thats my report on town! We had to speed back to the car at that point as Quinn with the endless energy also has a bottomless pit for a stomach and needed MORE food.

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dude, whats with all the videos?

Yeah, so true. Kylie was telling me pretty much the same thing the other day.


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Sanna Annukka – Lovely video

You may have noticed I love videos about printmaking, textiles and the like. Here’s another lovely video for you to enjoy this Autumnal Sunday!

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Featured Pinterest Board – Textiles

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textile + fiber art – Curated by “Catherine T”

I have had this particular “Pinterest” board up on my saved tabs to gaze at everyday for the last week. I thought I might share. So many of these textile works of art inspire me… they even inspired me to get out the needle and thread!

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Project finishing – Crewel Embroidery

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Once upon a month or so ago I looked at my tall boy (piece of furniture), which, as it happens, is the place I hang my “project bags” – the cloth bags that I keep my knitting, embroidery, crochet, hand sewing and whatever else took my fancy that day many moons ago. It was covered in project bags, any time now my little antique handles would probably break off under the weight. I declared it was time to finish some stuff. Here is the first project…. Last year while still getting up to feed the little Quinn in the middle of the night. I took some Crewel embroidery courses in the evening at our local and delicious embroidery shop “Broomfields“. I was usually pretty jaded by then but I enjoyed them immensely! Our Tutor was amazing and had such knowledge about all things embroidery that I came to every session that I could manage and took notes! 🙂 We did two different types from existing patterns. The first one I pulled out all stops to get done before the next class so I could use the same frame. Did you know that “crewel” embroidery means to embroider with wool? I just thought it was the stitches used.. like cross stitch. But its not Crewel embroidery is to embroider with wool. Jacobean crewel embroidery is the most commonly seen sort.

I also ended up buying this great book to help out with future projects, Crewelwork (Essential Stitch Guide)

Now I just need to get these babies framed and decide on what the next embroidery project will be.

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Newness and not having to go back there again!

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The newborn Quinn.

I went to see a new mum and her delicious bundle of joy the other day. One month old and completely sleepy, making those tiny baby sounds that one forgets about about when yours becomes a screaming giggling chatty little busy man. He moved in such a small baby way – that does tend to freak “new to baby” people out (even me a little). I was there amazed at how well she seemed to be going, remembering my just hanging on – but loving it too.. It took me back in ways I would not expect. Yes I was clucky again for newness! Goodness yes, but after hearing the broken drifting conversation between the two new mums – as I made sure my one year old was fed, I was fed and he did not break their house… would I go back to the virgin couple with newborn mode? h**** no! Knowing so little figuring everything out as you went, reading books and crying out “MY BABY DOESN’T DO THAT!!”.  By far the worst (and still is) is the constant second guessing yourself and the caring about what other people thought when it came to diapers, clothes, how he was crying, should or shouldn’t he be having a dummy, when were his naps, breastfeeding blah blah blah…(you mums know what I mean). GO back to that, I don’t think so. So in a few words, being a mum to a small boy and not a baby anymore. Loving it, I feel like I have my feet, my routine and my life on track. Being back in that foggy haze of new mum land.. as much as those wonderful hormones rocked my world… so so happy I will never be there again, in quite that way. When and if number two comes along I will be a slightly more mature (maybe?!) seasoned mum and will know whats ahead and will have made all those decisions already. So that I can get on with my life in a way that means no conversations about diapers, dummies and the like. My baby turned one on Saturday, he really is looking very little boy now. I love him so much like this, he makes me burst out in laughter all the time, his absolute love for anything and everything, the giggles when he buries his grubby hands in cat fur, his furious passionate screams when nothing goes as planned… Ahh my son you are taking on life full steam ahead.

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Amazing paper cut Artists

Inspired: Angie Lewin

One whole year ago I thought I should blog about this amazing lady. Finally I am getting around to it! Angie Lewin, a British Printmaker/Artist business woman extraordinaire . I brought her book with my birthday money when wandering around my favorite bookshop “Minerva” in Wellington last year. I saw the cover and was drawn in. LOVE her work, I get it… It makes me want to make stuff.Angie Lewin book
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Angie Lewin book

To be honest I only recognized her work, I didn’t actually know who she was. But now I do! I have read the book cover to cover and spent much longer looking at all the pictures. It never stays on the bookshelf long before I take it down to flick through and feel inspired to draw, paint, design.

Here are some piccies of some things I have made pretty much directly inspired by her work.

A wardrobe door mural for Quinn’s room.
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A baby mobile I drew then traced in illustrator – this has been printed and glued together several times as gifts for people having babies. Something fun for baby (the black and white picture) and the print is a bit more grown up for the big kids suddenly surrounding themselves with loads of baby stuff. Seems to go down pretty well with both!
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Poor Quinn got the slightly more messy prototype (as will probably be my kids lot in life) I found the best one was one with proper thin nylon rope from a hardware store and small pom poms as the ‘beads’ great way to use up yarn, much quicker than these crocheted beads and the nylon thin rope looks much tidier. But you get the idea!

There are quite a few random sketches and things aswell, none really that interesting! But the point is I am getting my arty self moving.

You don’t need to book to be suitably inspired – just go to her website. Or buy all sorts by her and similar artists through this online shop.

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Overdue for an update

Well life has changed a bit around here and this woman has decided that she is not super woman and since she can (thanks so much to her amazing man) she will be a stay at home mum (that does not work in every other spare minute allowed to her). I now have a very deep respect for all those freelance type people coupling work with parenting. When I get a nap time I genrally catch up on emails then thats it… the little man is awake and I am being Mum again! I stay far saner if I admit it’s too hard and shelve working until it makes sense again! I just love being present for the little guy even if its taking the time to watch him play. He has already grown more than I can cope with… I know he is still little but seriously from tiny baby to bouncy fun mad little baby in what seems like weeks is actually 9 months! Time flys when your a parent! Wooooosh.

So, no working for me – which means changes to the website again. Might flick it into a standard wordpress template with some adjustments, import the posts from other blog and just make it all one blog again until some other scheme means it morphs into something else!

Winter Wonderland

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Out of the kitchen window

In the past few weeks winter has well and truly come. Quinn and I frequently find ourselves stuck inside waiting for rain and cold to pass. Rather out of the norm not long ago it was snow. Snow that fell ALL DAY. This happens not too often in Christchurch, (however it did happen last year – which we missed because we were in Cambridge) so I worried and felt child-like excitement all at the same time. I worried about the electricity supply rendering our only form of heating useless (planning on getting a logburner too.. eventually) I had Quinn’s wardrobe all decided should the power go off. I worried about Kylie who headed off to work that morning when it was only sleeting and his attempt to get home again on roads with cars not organised for such weather. But he did get home early enough to take Quinn and chuck me out the house so I could take some photos. Have I not a good partner? Here are the results:

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Poor old Ducks, one duck came up to me for food. I chased him off the snow and back into the “steaming” pond.

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