Sunday, June 14, 2015

visiting the land of the long white cloud

 Last week I went to my birthplace -  my soul spot - my country. While I live in Australia and have done so for a long time, I still call New Zealand my home - my soul lives there and my spirit needs to reignite regularly. I am proud to be a citizen and covet my NZ passport where ever I am in the world. Above is my favourite  coastline - just north of Pukerua Bay before Paekakariki - I love it when the skies are grey and bleak and the waves come crashing as they did when I drove north.

This is work from another wild west coast beach but in the South Island. The more I work with cocoon strippings and silk rods, the more I discover about them.

I took my wild woman with me to stitch - I have discovered Drizzle Stitch which has been perfect for her hair - sometimes stitching can be for learning and for sheer pleasure and fun. I used my New york nail varnish on her nails and if you look carefully you will see she has her own nail bag.

I also took a collection of stuff to start something else but it isn't finished yet.

I was on a grave hopping mission. I have been doing heaps of family research especially on the females - and concentrating on two grannies at this stage. There is plenty about the males. As one of my degree majors was in History, I am sure you are all aware that history is merely a euphemism for nosey parker but with serious concern - well I hope so anyway. I have been badgering cousins and siblings for  photos and memories etc - in some cases it is a bit like getting blood out of a stone but I have now built up quite a collection - Grannie Ethel has been the hardest because she died when I was 8 months old and no-one seems to remember much what she did or liked or said. But I don't give up easily - I caught up with cousins not seem for years and one - Carol - very kindly gave me a poker worked tray which Ethel had made. I know we had a piece in our house but no idea where it went.

So that was very kind - poker work was all the rage back then and I intend to recreate this in my own way to fit in my work. Then my brother produced a few pieces but they were too large to even consider nicking off with.

My grave hopping involved checking out a few other relatives as well as grannies - on my way up I called into the Foxton Cemetery (my home town) and after checking out my parents and adding flowers to their graves, I spent ages looking for my great great grand parents who I never even knew existed and I wandered all over and was about to give up when I spotted two graves half way up a hill - and there they were - how exciting. Their own romantic spot - alone. Actually in the photos I had, his grave was lying on its side and was very black and impossible so I know someone else has cleaned up the pristine white marble. Anyway I had a chat to them (dead relations cannot answer you back or tell you off) and found them some roses and off I went.

My main trip was the Wanganui where I spent all day at both the old town cemetery and the new one where I found my grandparents straight off. They already had their own rose bush so that was good. In the old cemetery after I sorted how to, I found all the people I was looking for including Mr and Mrs Death and their daughter Miss Eustace Death.  I should have taken a photo - I guess with that name it is kind of inevitable. So now I can get further to work.

My other reason for going was for Bev's birthday - a weekend of excitement. Luncheon for 25 women on the Saturday - dim sum on Sunday and Monday night two of Bev's sons flew over from Qld to surprise her.  This is Bev and Ross on the Sunday.

Then I drove back to Wellington (I forgot to add how exciting was the Hurricanes game on the Friday night and now after the last game - they have won 14 from 16 and are at the top of the ladder with the finals coming up.) Wellington was wonderful as always. Coming home I scored a one-up - an upgrade so it was the end of a profitable week. Til next trip.

Back home I have been flat out but with a few orders still outstanding but we will catch up in the next few days. One thing which really bugged me - didn't have to be in NZ - could be anywhere - is when people ask you what you do - you think before you reply - I always say I sell threads and wait for the reaction. A cousin not seen for a long  long time, told me she didn't do crafty stuff as she had no where to store that sort of junk. Charming eh? All textile artists suffer this sort of fate - I don't sell my work - it is precious to me and I read an interview with Sue Spargo who made the same comment - same cousin asked why I bothered. I remain as unhelpful as I can with my answers. What about you?

Let's all have a good week - I have assembled and started stitching my Red Obsesion for Berry Patchwork exhibition.


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