Thursday, February 24, 2011

Safe and Sound

Just a quick post to let you know we are safe and sound. We have escaped an hour north to Josh's parents in Waikari for some respite, running water and electricity. Our house is still in pretty good condtion, but had no power or water when we left. Will post a more detailed account at a later date.

Friday, February 11, 2011

'One Couples Quilts' Exhibition

While I was in Tapawera a couple of weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be there at the same time as a quilt exhibition on at the school hall. The exhibition was made up of the largest private collection of quilts in New Zealand, owned by Rinny and Peter Gordon of Mapua. The Gordon's purchased 25 of the quilts from leading artists over 30 years. This includes the one pictured above, called Putanga O Te Ra (birth of the sun). It was created by Waikato artist Gwen Wanigasekera, and it won a national competion in 1990.

Another 15 quilts in the exhibiton were made by Rinny herself, who sadly passsed away from cancer a year ago. Unfortunately I didn't get a copy of the program, so I can't tell you which ones are hers. The exhibition also had quilts from local quilters, and a guest quilter, Barbara Bilyard.

(edit: This quilt was one of Rinny's)
Dad came along for a look as well, and was really impressed by the works. I was speaking to one of the organisers who was telling me how the men that came to take a look all really liked it. Especially interesting since this was in the country, so a lot of the men would have been farmers!

(edit: The quilt on the left was made by Rinny)
I was really inspired by the variety, and all the different techniques and fabric choices used. I didn't really know a lot about quilting, but this has made me think perhaps it is something I might like to try sometime. Just not this week...

All in all it was a great weekend, as this and my previous post on the painting workshop can attest.

Please excuse the quality of some of the photographs, the lighting wasn't ideal.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Painting workshop

In the last weekend of January, I took a road trip back to my hometown* of Tapawera to do a weekend painting workshop. The Visual Arts Society of Tapawera had organised the workshop to be taken by award winning mural and trompe l'oeil artist Marc Spijkerbosch. My mother is a member of the society, but as she isn't a painter, and I've been known to do the occasional painting, she thought I might like to take part.

Our project for the weekend was to paint a picture of Mitre Peak. Marc took us through the process step-by-step, and like all good painting tutors, made it look really easy. You'd think I'd have learned by now that it's never as easy as they make it look... but no.

My painting at the end of the first day

On the first day it was quite hot, and the paint was drying as soon as it went on the canvas which was a little frustrating when you were trying to blend it. So I wasn't real happy with my efforts after the first day of painting.

On the second day we worked on the foreground, and learnt some glazing techniques which I have never done before, plus some other tricks like how to paint underwater rocks.

Marc diligently following the instructions of his students

Marc's finished painting – ie what mine was supposed to look like!

My finished painting

I think it was a successful weekend all up. I learned some new tricks, and have more confidence to attempt some of the more difficult aspects of landscapes in the future.

While I was there, I went to take a look at the VAST exhibition which had a fantastic array of talent. There was also an amazing quilt exhibition on at the school hall, which I will dedicate a seperate post to. It was a little strange walking in my old school for the first time in over ten years! There was also a motorhome rally on in the school grounds (it was a long weekend in Nelson), so I went for a walk around the school too. It was funny how some things were exactly the same, where others were completely different to how they were when I was there.

I also took a look through the trunk of paintings my grandmother did. I had looked through them more than once before, but it still felt like I was looking through them for the first time. I was really impressed by the variety of different subjects and mediums she had used, there seemed to be an example of everything. Except acrylics, which is what I usually use!

*It's far too small to be considered a town, really. Village is probably a better word.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crafty Mumma's Market this Sunday

This weekend I will be at the Craft Mumma's Creative Market on the 6th February from 10am – 2pm at the Cashmere Club Carpark. I will have some of my brand new heart tealights for Valentine Day, along with my usual selection. There will be a bouncy castle to entertain the kids while you browse the selection of wonderful crafts. Sounds like a great excuse for an outing to me!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Candles for Valentines day

Valentines day is fast approaching, and if you're stuck for gift ideas, candles are always a great choice! Always popular are the teardrop heart candles, which come in your choice of rose or passion fragrance. The Passion fragrance is an Oriental bouquet of kumquat, lily, patchouli and cassis on a background of amber and musk. It's a great alternative if you're not a huge fan of rose.

This year I have launched a new product – a red heart-shaped tealight. These are very cute, and add an extra touch of romance! They are also available in rose and passion fragrances.

If you're after a candle that will work year round, and isn't Valentine's themed, I have plenty of candles to choose from in my Felt store. The soy tin candles are very popular, particularly in Mandarin and Mimosa fragrance. The teardrops are also popular – get in quick and get a set of five mini-teardrops while you still can!