Today I can share the stitching I was doing before I left for New Zealand. I decided to make prayer flags for a few people I knew I would definitely be seeing during the trip. Today I handed over the final one to a very delighted recipient so I can share some pictures without spoiling any surprises. I took these photographs when we were at Kahoe in Northland, right at the beginning of our trip. The sunshine was gorgeous, much better than today!
Today we have been into Auckland and escaped from the wind and rain in the lovely art gallery. We had to get a bus back to Al's niece's home and here's the view from the bus stop - not good eh?!!
New Zealand is full of inspiring images. I have taken many, many pictures and I expect that only a few will make it into some form of textile but I have a head full of possibilities. Here are a few of my favourites so far:
If nothing else I can see what my colour palette is and start gathering interesting threads!
I got all poetic (and maybe pretentious) and declared to Al that the two things we have enjoyed today have been branches of the same tree.
In the first the heating, melting and manipulating of a natural material was controlled and exploited by a man to create beautiful things. In the second the heating of the natural material was powered by the Earth and is really beyond our control (although we do exploit it for hydro-electricity) and beautiful sights are created but destruction (to our lives) can be the result.
Anyway, we firstly visited the studio of glass artist, Lyndon Over, in Taupo and enjoyed his amazing glass sculpture garden.
Secondly, we explored the geothermal environment known as Craters of the Moon, again in Taupo.
We are in wonderful Wellington at the moment and having a fabulous time.
Wellington is the capital city of NZ but is much smaller than either Auckland or Christchurch, much more contained. It has a great arts culture and I am in love with it!
We are by the sea of course and I have been making progress on my Meeting of the Oceans textile. I have also taken a few pictures of city dwelling Tuis so I can work on that outline for my other piece!
Today we met up with a school friend of my DD, we haven't seen Jemma for years and years. We had a great time. Jemma had arranged both wonderful weather and a great tour of her hometown including Mount Victoria, fabric shops and cake!
Can you believe today was the first time during our trip that I have bought fabric? I also bought threads and a back copy of NZ Quilter magazine because it had an article on eco dyeing and one on WOW - the World of WearableArt.
Three more days to enjoy here in Wellington, I shall be sorry to leave.
After a couple of quiet days I have started a new piece of stitchery today.
We are at BiL for the weekend, which includes Monday as it is a public holiday, and then we are heading south to explore Wellington.
We have never spent time in Wellington during past visits other than going to Te Papa, the wonderful museum of New Zealand, and having an overnight stop prior to or after crossing between North and South Islands on the Interislander ferry. As Wellington is the capital city of NZ this seems rather remiss so we are going to stay for a while and enjoy the city and the culture.
Back to the sewing.
This piece is inspired by the "meeting of the oceans" off Cape Reinga in the far north.
It will be a turbulent swirl of threads and stitches by the time I have finished. The piece of embroidery I started at Kahoe is resting! The next step is to add a tui bird and I am having difficulty getting the outline just right.
I thought I'd take the opportunity to publish another post while I have some wifi. Today I visited a great beach in Kuaotunu and was taken with the textures of the various rocks and this tree trunk, there's got to be a piece of embroidery coming out of these somewhere, sometime!
And Al found this urchin shell, French knots anyone?
On our wet journey down from Kahoe we decided to stop in Whangarei. We have previously visited the Town Basin which is full of cafes and interesting arts and crafts places but the Quarry Arts Centre, a craft collective, tempted us. As fortune would have it, it turned out that yesterday was an open studios day so there was a lot happening in addition to excellent coffee and cake. As I couldn't be at Angela Daymond's Woad Weekend it felt good to be supporting other artists.
The centre is, as the name suggests, sited in an old quarry.
A treasure trove of native plants and bird life filled the space and it was sometimes hard to judge whether what we saw was the recent installation of an artist or the remains of the space as a working quarry!
I spotted these great NZ themed printed prayer flags but unfortunately the textile artist was not in her studio.
All around were exciting sculptures, adding to the atmosphere of the quarry.
A resident potter was setting up a raku firing in an old bath. It will be opened on Tuesday, I shall be sorry not to see the results.
I have made myself at home in the Kahoe farmhouse where we are staying in the far north of NZ. A combination of days out and about exploring the area and blissful days at the farm stitching, sitting and relaxing in the sunshine.
The Spring mornings are a little misty before the sun burns through. My sewing can't compare with the work of this spider.
This is my collection from a beautiful beach we visited yesterday.