Archive for April, 2008

Anzac day

It’s a holiday in here today, we are remembering those Australian and New Zealand soldiers killed in battle.

I don’t march or attend services on ANZAC day for the same reasons that In a Strange Land has written about so well. What I did do is tell my children why I think all war is such a terrible thing and how we all (including George W Bush) need to learn from the past.

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Happy Birthday Carmen!

For Carmen’s birthday I hosted a Tea Party! Carmen made a fabbo Pavlova, Shelly made Chocolate Eclairs and I made scones, pikelets and club sandwiches. I say!! We all wore aprons from my vintage apron collection and drank tea from Great Aunty Nora’s vintage tea service. Extreme girly fun was had by all! (full set on flickr)

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Bitch, Bust and Wanderlust

It’s the school holidays so my posts my be erratic over the next two weeks.

Okay, disclaimer over. We had a day in the big smoke yesterday. Oh the joys of escalators and lifts for my poor deprived children! We started off at the Public Library, where I finally got an “out of towner” card. I checked out a copy each of Bitch and Bust magazines and a copy of Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit. I’ve heard a lot about both Bitch and Bust and wanted to have a good look and compare the two. Bust is nice and glossy and it’s latest issue has Flight of the Concords on the cover (gotta be good!) but Bitch does seem to have a lot more substance. Ah well, why can’t a feminist have her cake and eat it too?

I came across Solnit through an article she wrote called “Men explain things to Me”, which really struck a chord with me. I don’t know why I hadn’t heard of her before but I’m looking forward to reading Wanderlust.

Here’s an extract from the blurb:

“What does it mean to be out walking in the world, whether in a landscape or a metropolis, on a pilgrimage or a protest march? In Wanderlust: A History of Walking, Rebecca Solnit draws together many histories – of anatomical evolution and city design, of treadmills and labyrinths, of walking clubs and sexual mores – to create a portrait of the range of possibilities for this most basic act… Solnit’s book finds a profound relationship between walking and thinking, walking and culture, and argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in an ever more automobile-dependant and accelerated world.”

We might all have to do a lot more walking when the oil crash comes!

In a lovely piece of synchronicity, a small square of paper fell out of the Bust magazine as I flicked through it. It had a web address on it. Go on, have a look, you know you want to!

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Tag, you’re it!

Drewzel kindly sent me a little thank you award for comments on her site and now it’s time to pass it on to a few folks I know for blog lurve:

Helen R

As Drewzel said:

If you’re named, please put my wee button on your site in a post and if you know of other good souls out there, tag them with it too, because spreading the bloggy lurve is a good thing, and your kindness is very appreciated! As me old mate Morrissey said “It’s so easy to laugh it’s so easy to hate, it take guts to be gentle and kind”…

Thanks everyone!

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Make you smile

Just a silly post, ’cause I can and I like them.

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So there.

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Farewell Mahinarangi

I’m shocked to be writing this post. Mahinarangi Tocker died yesterday after suffering from an asthma attack last week. A great loss to the music community, Maori community and gay community. You can see her briefly in this video about the Tuwhare CD, talking about responding to his poem through grief.

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I guess we all have moments of self doubt, we wonder – what the hell am I doing with my life?; Have I made the right choices?; Am I turning into my mother?; and so on…

On days like those it seems too hard to even put a load of washing on, then you beat yourself up some more – “Hell I’m lucky to be able to have such middle-class dilemmas!”

Anyway, if on a day like that, you get a bundle like this in the letter box you are very lucky! (and that’s only half of it!)

Who is that little woman? What is she doing? Why is she green?

Thanks so much Ms Stripy Socks.

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Brag time

The Little Gems are featured on the Felt blog at the moment, so have a look!

It’s hard to believe that it’s maybe only 9 months since we all started getting together, there must be a Gem baby due any minute by those calculations! We’ll be trying to get some things together to run parallel to the up-coming Amazing Lace exhibition at Pataka. At the same time there’ll be a textile exhibition also at Pataka, so mark them in your diary!

21 June– 28 September

Amazing Lace celebrates a current revival of lace ‘reinterpreted’ in contemporary art by a range of exciting artists including Lonnie Hutchinson, Jeff Thomson, Emily Wolfe, Cristina Beth, Ilse-Marie Erl and Kate Rivers. Photographs, jewellery, paintings and sculpture inspired by the intricate patterns of lace help to redefine how lace can be used and elevate it as an art form.

Exquisite historical lace will also be featured, including samples of the most famous European lace varieties such as Honiton, Chantilly and Brussels; these will be set against a backdrop of historical photographs illustrating how the tradition of lace was translated and adapted by colonial settlers in New Zealand.

The exhibition will enable students to study some of the techniques and processes involved in producing lace: the positive and negative spaces in the different designs and the historical impact of the social value of lace. Hands-on gallery activities will involve using, weaving and shaping threads and creating lace designs out of paper.


SHARING STORIES – Textiles from around the world
21 June – 21 September

This exhibition will glow with the colours and textures of over 80 garments and textiles from around the world – each piece with its own innate story woven around it about how it journeyed to New Zealand.

We will unravel some of those stories and introduce your students to the cultures from which they were created and how and why they were made. Fabrics and garments from places like the Congo, Jerusalem, Myanmar, Malaysia, Iraq and India will adorn the walls, made out of everything from raffia, bark, and silk through to wool. The textiles in this exhibition represent thousands of years of history and they have been gathered together from private collections found all over the Wellington region.

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Two old work mates are launching two new projects in one week. They are both very clever and talented in their field so I’m shamelessly promoting them. The connection is Unity Books, where we all worked in the 90s. I could write a post just about all the amazing people who have worked there but today I’ll just focus on two.

Stella is a dear friend and conceptual jeweller living in Nelson. If you are in the Nelson region do go and see Like at the Suter:

Adventurous, playful and provocative, LIKE: An Experiment in Interpretation explores the ‘translation’ of an object between media: from the physical to the written, and then back to the physical. LIKE takes an object, a writer and a group of jewellers on a rigorous expedition of exploration and interpretation. One object given to Bill Manhire to interpret in verse results in an array of objects in translation. The jewellers have deciphered the text and through their individual interpretation made the resultant objects. The objects are both similar and wildly different raising questions in regard to perception, interpretation and the process of making.
Floortalk April 13th, 2pm. Workshop May 11th, 2-4pm, Students Poetry Performance 21st May, 12.10pm

Damien Skinner was just a young fella when I first met him (we all were!), when I guess he was writing his masters thesis. This book is a version of his doctoral thesis. In The Herald Damien says the thesis is “the larger story, asking what is the carver, what is the artist and what might be the relationship between the two”. It is a journey likely to continue for a long time yet. You can read a review on Beattie’s Book Blog. You can get a copy of his book at Unity Books in NZ or Amazon if you’re abroad.

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