All posts filed under: Miscellenia

A souvenir fan

I’ve mentioned before that one of the things I collect is antique fans.  I like that they are small and easy to store, and that they are so evocative of the events they might have been carried at. I wonder where they came from.  Were they a gift from a beau?  A commemoration of being grown-up enough to go out from a parent? What secrets were told behind them?  What faces did they cool after a spirited dance?  What frocks were they worn with, and what flirtations did they signal?  So many stories in a fan! This particular fan from my collection is particularly gorgeous, and particularly evocative of a fascinating back-story.  Whose face was reflected in the mirror.  Did she use it to spy on other partigoers?  Or to check that every hair was in place?   The other side of the fan tells the rest of the story.  The fan was a souvenir, brought back from somewhere exotic.   Did the owner buy it herself, as a memento from a special trip? Or …

Support your local craft and fabric stores!

Wellington is a very crafty city: for it’s population, it’s full of craft and fabric stores.  There are booming craft markets every weekend, and incredibly popular Fabric-A-Brac sales a couple of times a year. And yet, for all the apparent crafty fabulosity, the Wellington craft scene is rather precariously positioned.  Four wonderful fabric stores have closed (or are on the brink of closing) shop in the last quarter.  We’ve lost Arthur Toyes and the Asia Gallery, and Sherazad Silks and Piece by Piece are both in the last weeks of their closing down sales. Beautiful fabrics at Piece by Piece With Piece by Piece gone there are no craft stores in Karori.  The loss of Arthur Toyes and Sheherezad leaves Made on Marion Lambton Quay as the only craft store in the CBD, with a few on the outskirts in the Cuba Precinct and down Thorndon Quay and Old Hutt Road.  And Asia Gallery was pretty much the only vintage fabric seller in town, so they leave a big hole. Gorgeous kimono at the Asia …

Some birds of the South Island

I adore all animals (with the notable exception of sandflies, which can all burn in bleach, and centipedes – the less said there the better!), from bunnies to bambis, and even to mice and rats.  However, I’ve never lived anywhere where mammals were native, and I feel a bit bad going all gooey over what are essentially introduced pets. So it’s a good thing I like birds!  And New Zealand has some amazing birds.  Around Wellington, in the near vicinity of our house, I can see tui and fantail, kereru and the occasional bellbird.  On my recent South Island road trip I got to see far more exciting birds. Like this kea: Yep.  It’s a parrot.  An alpine parrot.  In NZ.  Living way up in the mountains, above the snowline! And they really are parrots.  Check out the colouring on the feathers: *Swoon!*  I live in hope of finding a discarded kea feather, just for the iridescent olive gorgeousness of it (fun side note: the Metropolitan Museum of Art uses round coloured metal tags as …