Monday, January 26, 2015

Symposium Classes

Quilt Symposium Manawatu finished last Wednesday, it was a week of learning, exhibitions, shopping, lectures and fun with friends.

I took two classes - the first was a 2 day class with Betty Busby painting silk.  Fortunately there were only 7 of us in the class which meant we had plenty of space.  I'd never tried painting silk before, the silk was easy to paint and we had a lot of fun. Everyone in the class produced amazing pieces.  Now to find where to buy it.  Betty is a great teacher and is also a fellow 'Redirecting the Ordinary' artist. 
painted silk
The second 2 day class 'Earth, Wind and Fire' with Rosalie Dace. I picked 'Wind' to create a peice based on wind blown trees.  I'd taken along pictures of sunsets, trees, etc but on the day decided to tackle 'wind'.  
There are some windblown trees near Foxton that seem to be going towards horizontal. The idea was not recreate an actual picture.  I started on the left with piecing rectangles then sort of moved to piecing small pieces, including curves, a la Gwen Marston.  It even has some silk from the previous class.  Now to add more stitching, then quilt it.

These tutors were fantastic, thanks to Helen and her team for all their amazing work  organising a great week of classes. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Oparara Basin

On our recent holiday (here and here) to the West Coast we walked in the Oparara Basin area.
half of Oparara Arch

The photos don't quite show the size of the Oparara Arch, it is ~40m high. 
arch from below
The colour of the river is caused by tannin.  Tannin leaches from decomposing leaves on the forest floor and stains the water, this happens in forests with high rainfall.  Luckily not on the day we visited, just light mist.
Oparara River
tannin stained river

possible quilting patterns

From the arch we walked to Moria Gate Arch.  Alot smaller yet still impressive.

Moria Gate arch
view of Moria Gate arch

Then on to Mirror Tarn, where in light rain it had good reflections, on a clear sunny day these would be amazing.
Mirror Tarn

Friday, January 16, 2015

Quilts on show

Quilt Symposium Manawatu is currently on in Palmerston North.  I can now show my four entries - the rules stated that quilts couldn't be shown before the event.

Aqua Panels
Now Sew HSTs

Market Fresh

As well as the Symposium exhibitions, Aotearoa Quilters' (AQ) also has exhibitions.  The 'Growth' Challenge makes an appearance as it tours the country, so I'll see 'Increasingly Modern' again.

Increasingly Modern

Out my Window II
AQ also have a Silent Auction, I've donated 'Out My Window II'.  This is a bigger version of 'Out My Window' that was part of the 'Beneath the Southern Sky' travelling exhibition.

The purpose of the silent auction is to raise funds for AQ, while showcasing quilts from well known (!) NZ quilters.  Not sure how I managed that, maybe because I know one of the organisers!!


and finally AQ's Purple 12x12 challenge.  The triangles are painted iwth textile paint and the ric rac is coloured with oil pastels using freezer paper stencils.  The scooters piece is commercial fabric, quilted and trapunto-ed.
my three entries

Monday, January 12, 2015

Miniature Huts

This summer a series of miniature huts have been installed throughout Wellington.  This public art project is called 'Miniature Hikes' created by Kemi Niko & Co.  The colourful huts have been hidden in the bush, at the beach and on windy summits. 

So far the kids and I have visited three of the huts.  We've attempted to find a fourth - this is on the rocky shore at Tarakena Bay, on the south coast. These huts have been 'disappearing' and apparently replacements are planned.

Aoraki Biv is the largest and two kids mostly fit inside.

Aoraki Biv, Mt Cook
stunning city view
on the hill amongst the trees
inside view
complete with spouting

testing the water system

The other huts are smaller ...
Crystal Hut, Aro Valley

bit less cloud and the South Is would be visible

Robin Hut, Red Rocks

Now to visit the other huts - including the one on Matiu Somes Island.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Sailing away

The week before Christmas we travelled to the South Island for about two weeks. 

The first sailing, across Cook Strait, on the Kaitake ferry took a slightly different route.  Usually the ferries enter the Marlborough Sounds through Tory Channel (click here for a map) but for some reason we went the longer way via Brothers Islands.  It would have been interesting except for the low visibility.

Brothers island lighthouse

misty Marlborough Sounds

The crossing was quite smooth as was the return journey - one of the smoothest I've ever been on.  

Aratere leaving Picton

evening light

Tory Channel entrance to Cook Strait

I've posted here and here about some of our trip, there may be more posts over the next week or so.

Monday, January 5, 2015

A Touch of Crimson

While the Pohutukawa is often regarded as NZ's Christmas tree with its red flowers, there is also the Rata.

Recently, in the Karamea area (West Coast of the South Island), we saw a mixture of flowering Northern and Southern Rata.  Seeing the large splashes of brilliant crimson on the hills was amazing - especially when the NZ forest is mostly green.

Unlike most trees the Northern Rata usually starts as an epiphyte (a perching plant).  We'd spend awhile looking for the original 'tree' which was often a very dead tree! 

After being away from Wellington for a couple of weeks it was great seeing large numbers of Pohutukawa in flower - on the hills, in parks, gardens and along the streets.
outside Te Papa

                         Must keep the street cleaners busy ...
red gutters
While Pohutukawa does seem common, Project Crimson is an organisation focused on ensuring the survival of Pohutukawa and Rata.  Their mission is 'Enabling pohutukawa and rata to flourish again in their natural habitat, as icons in the hearts and minds of all New Zealanders'.  Their website has plenty of information about Pohutukawa and Rata, including trails in various areas. 

And for something a little different we spotted a Yellow Pohutukawa in a garden near Granity.
Yellow Pohutukawa