'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Calabash - sold

It's always exciting when a painting sells.  It's like a child you created is led by the hand to the door and is out into the world on their own, an orphan.  I think someone said that before me…

Anyway, "Calabash" has gone. That's the painting on the right immediately below.  (In the corner you can see one of my reproduction calabash gourds in its special basket.)

The painting is about some of the methods the Maori used to capture and preserve godwits.  This began with the growing of the pumpkin-like gourds (the bigger the better) that were dried and used as containers.  (Maori did not make pottery and had no metal.)  The wooden frames were decorated with exquisite basketry and the gourds containing the roasted birds sealed with their own fat, were placed inside the basket stand when entertaining guests.  Each guest was given his or her own gourd.

Friday, 17 April 2015

Trip to Hawkes Bay

Last Monday I attended a dear friend's mother's funeral.
Every weekday morning throughout high school, I would bike around to their place and stand in the kitchen, often chatting to Irene if she wasn't on a shift, as I waited for Wendy to be ready. Then the two and a half mile bike to school. Never mind the rain, frost, orchard spray, or baking Hawkes Bay afternoon sun. 
From that house I remember: the Escher print they had on the wall, a cuckoo clock, the beehives in the garden, and rows of seedling trees to supplement those supplied to the council by nurseries, the occasional Indonesian meal, a scornful look at my mentioning curry powder, clothes always being made on a sewing machine, Irene telling us to use a little power on our lids to stop eyeshadow going into the crease, Nick telling me about the century plants of Havelock North, that flower only once, and die once they have flowered ...

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Little Lesson

Yesterday I bumped against the wardrobe doors I had recently repainted. It was remarkable how little effort was required to continue the scratch.
So I have learnt not to try and short-cut by painting over a really good paint job, without a good sand to roughen it up.
It also takes a lot longer when one has to sand off the bad top coat.
It's quite interesting to see how the gold pattern has held hands with both the lower and upper coats, however. As I sand, it is very happy to stay affixed.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


I had to rush off down to Hawkes Bay for my old school friend's mum's funeral straight after the garage sale, but here's what's left. Some of it will be going to the thrift / opportunity shop this afternoon, but if you see anything you like, come around and it could be a bargain. Or send the postage.

Tiny model ship? Lampshade? A book of science experiments? Oilskin drover's hat? Electric loppers? Wool for felting? Pale lemon chiffon ball dress? Monopoly set, all pieces there? We got it all. Special price just for you, Guv.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Garage Sale

Tomorrow morning early, we hope for hoards through the gate, running in up the drive, pushing each other to be there first, to pick excitedly over our personal belongings, rejecting scornfully things we have held dear for decades and part with reluctantly, delighting in everything and offering us more than we asked for them.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Ohope Beach Friday

Weather : warm, overcast and humid
Dogs : sandy, salty and delightful.
Cat : smoochy
Bedding : in the washing machine
Jersey started four years ago : finished
House/Pet sitting : nearly over.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Ohope Beach Collage

A grey drizzly day on the beach today, so we just threw and retrieved* a tennis ball that we found, and I took photos of little bits and pieces on the edge of the water.

* The dogs retrieved sometimes and I threw and sometimes retrieved.