Wednesday, 29 May 2013

New Zealand through a quilter's eyes (Part 2)

New Zealand is a beautiful country, and I took scads of touristy photos of all the gorgeous places we visited, but as I mentioned in my previous post on New Zealand through a quilter’s eyes, I also took some that appealed to the quilter in me and left my family scratching their heads.

At the Waitangi Treaty Grounds we saw a 35m waka or war canoe, built in 1940 for the centenary of the signing of the treaty between the British and the Maori. Its name was almost as long – Ngatokimatawhaorua. Old skills had to be relearned to construct the canoe in the traditional way, including intricate carving like this:

Such gorgeous texture and pattern.
More texture caught my eye in Waipoua Forest. The mighty kauri trees had such interesting bark, almost like dinosaur skin. 

You can’t see the effect so well on this one, but I loved the contrast of the fluffy, almost velvety green moss against the red whorls of the trunk.

More colour delight at Huka Falls:
Can you believe that fabulous clean blue-green water??

For a different shade of blue, here’s a shot across Lake Taupo, the biggest freshwater lake in Australasia, formed in the crater of an old volcano, which must have been truly enormous.

 You can see the peaks of active volcanoes in the background. When Taupo itself last erupted, about 2000 years ago, it buried the country for miles around in 200 metres of ash. The red light of it in the sky was seen as far away as Rome and China. I sure wouldn’t like to be around if it ever went up again!

In the town of Taupo itself I embarrassed my children enormously by taking photos of the garbage bins. I have to admit, even I felt a little peculiar about it, but look – they were so gorgeous! – how could I resist?

In Hamilton, there was lots to admire in the very pretty Hamilton Gardens.

Gorgeous repeating patterns:

and an absolute riot of colour:

How eye-popping is that colour combination? Wouldn’t it look sensational in a quilt?

Then there was this café at the glow worm cave at Waitomo. It made me think of quilting too, with the diamonds formed by the lovely arching lines of the overhead shelter very reminiscent of a quilting pattern.

Really, there’s quilting inspiration everywhere. If only there were enough time to make all the quilts I can imagine!

Monday, 20 May 2013

In which Turnip Brain does her best impression of a mummy

No calamities have befallen anyone here at Duckling Central, touch wood! My recent silence was due to nothing more serious than a prolonged case of holiday brain and general laziness. I have read a lot of books lately, including rereading some old favourites, and even finished a most beautiful crochet blanket, which I’ll show you soon, I promise. But every time I even contemplated posting on my blog, my brain cells dribbled straight out my ears and lay weeping on the floor.

The Carnivore swears he was hoping for some calamity to befall poor Two Planks, mind you. You may remember she went under the knife just before Easter to remove a few metres of ribbon from her insides. The Carnivore often talks big, about how much he loathes this dog – and yet, whenever you hear her barking hysterically, you can be sure it’s because he’s playing some crazy game with her.

He used to talk like that about our old dog too – yet who was in tears when the dog finally died? He’s not fooling anybody.

The fluffiest member of the household in fact made a miraculous recovery from her latest ordeal. She came home on Easter Saturday (after the operation on the Thursday), a little sore and slow, all bandaged up like a furry mummy. Next day the little turkey was bounding around the back yard full of beans again. And you should have seen the scar when we finally unwrapped her – it was a good foot long, held together with a million staples. This dog bounces back so fast she could be made of rubber.

In fact with this many lives she’d make a great cat.