Sunday, December 30, 2007

hanging out

Yesterday was one of my nieces third birthday. It began with a bout of excitement and present opening (second Christmas???!) and then evolved into one of those quite idyllic summer days. While the girls went off to an animal farm, I busied myself with baking an eggless sponge cake (Miss G is allergic to eggs. If anyone knows of a decent eggless cake, please let me know) which was an experiement of sorts, as I am not the baker of the family. It turned out ok, probably not as enticing as if my mother had had a go at it, but pink icing, marshmallows and blue and pink hydrangea flowers made it a pretty cake. The afternoon was spent at the beach, hunting for crabs in the rock pools (none were found, but I spotted a little fishy), enjoying the sunshine and warm water. A little party with cake and candles and other goodies followed. Singing the 'Happy Birthday' song always brings a grin to kids faces.

I like times like these. I hope 2008 brings some more. Its funny reading all the blog posts and noticing how people are getting sentimental over 2007 and being optimistic over the upcoming 2008. I of course have read all the horoscopes in the newspapers (guilty pleasure) and have had several ambiguious futures mapped out for me. I think that you read into them what you want to hear. I haven't thought of new years resolutions yet! That is worthy of a new years day post I'm sure!

See you in 2008!

Friday, December 21, 2007

the return of... top five friday!

I had previously thought that Top Five Friday was extinct, much like the dodo and the sabre tooth tiger. But no, there is still room for more, and to kick off Top Five Friday-ing again I'm devoting this one to Upcoming Holidays. I love the Southern hemispere holiday season, and seriously can't imagine having a winter Christmas.

5. Finishing Work. After a hectic year the last day or so should be devoted to 'tying up loose ends'. Otherwise known as spending as long as possible tidying ones desk (I swear that everytime I look more samples seem to appear). Much better than 11th hour patternmaking! Then two whole weeks of doing as little, or as much is possible.

4. Airport Anxiety. Ever since missing a (delayed, thankfully not international) flight about a year ago and having to wait overnight to get the next one I'm prone to a little airport anxiety. My only way to combat this is to get to airport quick smart, check in, and hover around til boarding time (at least half an hour). Not content until I'm on the plane.

3. The Craft Lite Kit. I still can't quite keep away from crafts even during the hotter months, but this year I'm taking a 'low commitment' approach to my holiday crafting (last year I took the embroidery (see previous post) and it got slightly out of hand...) so I'm taking a tightly edited kit for pincushions- several bobbins of thread, needles and felt that is already cut.

2. Holiday Gear. I'm hanging out to get some new sandal (or jandals more like). And some lighter clothes. And perhaps I should eventually use up some of my summer Liberty.

1. Home and Sunshine (I hope). Azzzzuuuuure. That is the view from my parent's living room- you can't help but relax in this place.

See you soon!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

at last, a finish

To celebrate my niece's 6th birthday, we held a party- there were games (including a bark-off), a treasure hunt, a cake decorated with dogs (dogs being number one favourite animal), and a small mob of suitably super- excited kids. It turned out really well.
I saw it fit to give Miss. E the cushion that I had been embroidering for her since she was a lttle one year old. Five years of work is quite long enough. I recall excitedly writing in September that I would finish the work soon, but it turned out to linger on for a few months longer. This didn't really seem to matter as it was gifted at an appropriate time! I was slightly nervous about gifting it- it was my baby as much as anything. I shouldn't had worried. Soon she was off showing her friends with a "Look what my Auntie made me!". :)

Crafts, I tell you, well worth the effort!

Friday, December 14, 2007

the god of small things and others

I like to read, and I have just finished reading Arundhati Roy's (I like her name. Ah-run -dah-ti. It has a good sound about it). The God of Small Things (for a complete spoiler go here). Like the other novels I have read that are set in India ( the epic A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth and The Life of Pi by fellow Booker Prize winner Yan Martell) the story centres around an endearingly eccentric Indian family and the tradgedy that soon engulfs them. What I like about this book is Roy's linguistic quirks she gives her characters- a chip/chop- mish/mash- kind of feel.

Meanwhile I'm chewing through my stack of books- of course borrowed and not owned! I am now reading Incidents on the Rue Laugier by Anita Brookner. It is taking me a little while to get used to the sparseness of her prose- especially in comparision to Roy. I have read a couple of her books before, and am now starting to see a common theme to her writing- usually dealing with female characters who somehow end up breaking away from dependency on others, inheiriting a property, and generally spending a lot of time thinking about their lives (in a clean, calm and rational manner).
After that I have a couple of Richard Ford's to read through.... I keep reminding myself that I must get a diary to keep track of all the books I read. Sometimes I wonder how many I read in a year...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

the haints of dean hall vs. jose gonzalez (part 2)

In January (not toooo far away when you think about it), my lovely sister Kathryn and Steve are set to open for the Jose Gonzalez tour of New Zealand. I've seen posters all over town advertising the tour- it is great to see people you know open for quite a well known act.

I am quite excited- not only is it a great opportuntiy for The Haints, but it also means that I should be able to see Jose Gonzalez again. This guy is amazing in concert- I'm not quite sure if the snippet from the Sony ad does him justice- his version of Teardrop (a cover of the Massive Attack song?) is lovely- especially live. He seems like such an earnest perfomer (the best desciption I can think of...).

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

spotted this

Spotted this artwork by Jen Corace (on sale at GRNY) via Design Sponge. Makes me want to paint large and figurative. A girl sitting on a cloud perhaps. Perhaps a good idea for the new year...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

the neverending cuff (part 1)

I had Christmas drinks about a week ago for my jewellery class, not only was I asked several times which night class I was in, but also whether I had finished my cuff or not. Quite simply, the answer is no.
I have made it this far though:

The design was orginally meant to have fabric looping through the main part of the cuff, but has developed in a quite organic manner to be a butterfly inspired style. The bulk of the work has been in bending the cuff over and tidying the edges of the cuff so that they don't scratch when you wear it. I still have to finish cutting and filing one more of the wing shapes, then I will solder the 'wings' to the cuff and link silver chain through some of the free loops at the end of the 'wings'. I'm looking at more of a high-shine finish to what it is now, and may possibly add a black stain to it- it has also been suggested that I could enamel the wing shapes. I'm choosing to leave the enamel to another project! I have a good two more cooking in my head, but for now I can admire my work-in- progress pictures and wait until my next round of classes start.