All posts filed under: Miscellenia

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 …

A family tragedy

My sister the Chef is named after our great-great-grandmother.  It’s a very unusual name: so unusual, in fact, that every single google result for it is about GGGrandmother, one of her ancestors, or one of the five women named after her, including my sister. So I won’t be telling you GGGrandmother’s name, because my sister deserves a little privacy on the internets.  Instead, I’ll call her Anna, a name she sometimes used, perhaps because it was easier for the general public to pronounce and wrap their head around. Growing up, I wondered why my sister was named after our GGGrandmother.  I’m named after my paternal grandmother, and my youngest sister after our maternal grandmother, but three generations back is a long way to go for a name. And why all those other women (and men, carrying the slightly more common masculine version of her name)? The answer, at least in part, is the story of her life.  As a child I was told a very simple version of it: a child friendly, bowlderised version (not …