Tuesday, 27 January 2015

New Zealand - The North Island, part the third

 The tutors had a short bus ride to the symposium every morning - we decided the group name for a gathering tutors should be a cacophony. 
Can you imagine why?

 The Quilt Symposium 2015 Palmerston North was a brilliant event. I have never been part of something so large and so very well organised. It was VERY impressive. I taught 5 one day workshops. All my workshops were full which was very satisfying - you never quite know when you are an international tutor, has anyone heard of you? 
The first workshop was A New Starting Point which I wrote about in the previous post. 
So - to continue . . . .
The second workshop was Transforming Transfer. We had great fun painting papers with disperse dye (transfer paint) and then transferring the designs onto synthetic fabric. You can achieve fabulous layered effects with this process.

 Some of the group getting stuck into painting the disperse dye (transfer paint) onto paper ready to transfer onto synthetic fabric.

 Playing with layers of colour . . .

 We had time to get the soldering irons out and do some applique with Bondaweb/Vliesofix.

The tutors lunch was delivered to our classroom every day -  along with a handmade gift. It was such a beautiful idea, I will treasure all the keepsakes.

 Everyday had a different comical saying.

The third workshop was Decorated Papers. Working with all kinds of paper and old books along with painted Bondaweb/Vliesofix, gilding flake and transfer foils.
There were some fabulous old books and magazines brought to the class. It was more of a social history class at times, with some very funny moments - we did have a good laugh.

 Samples of decorated and layered papers - gorgeous.

 Workshop four was On the Surface - my basic workshop that takes you through painting and layering Bondaweb/Vliesofix and Tyvek. There was some splendid work done in the class - here are just two of the samples.

 Lovely stuff.

The last workshop was The Journey - I had to go from the design exercises to finished printing blocks on one day - a tall order, but we did it - just! We had 16. As you can imagine, it was a very busy day. The group worked hard and produced some very beautiful work. I was very pleased with them.

The girls produced some fabulous printing blocks - all original designs. Fabulous!

This is the link to the symposium website - quiltsymposium.co.nz

The day after the symposium I was whisked away and given a lift to Wellington where we got a ferry over Picton the South Island. Ever since arriving in New Zealand I had been waiting for this  - the South Island means my good friends Denise and Christine. I was soooo excited - and just a wee bit tired. I had had a very full on few days. It was lovely to spend a few hours on the windy deck of the ferry and enjoy the sunshine. It certainly blew the cobwebs away!!
It was has been and continues to be hot!!! Averaging 25 - 28 degrees - Phew!! A tad warm for this old bird.

Views from the ferry along the Marlborough Sounds.

Denise and Christine met me off the ferry and carried me off to Blenheim where we would stay for the next few days. I can't tell you how good it was to see them. We had exciting things planned - more of that to come in the next post.

The view over to Picton.

Denise and Christine.

We have had a great few days together, now Denise has left to fly to Auckland and her daughters wedding. I missed her husband this time - he is great fun, never mind - next time.
Christine, her husband Bob and family have a house on Lake Rotoiti and we are about to leave for a few days there before they drive me to Christchurch to begin my fight home on Friday. 

Will tell you about my exploits in Blenheim in the next post and no doubt add a few shots of the lake. It will be great to have a rest for a few days.

More soon.

x x x 

Saturday, 17 January 2015

New Zealand - The North Island, part the second

A detail of 'Off the Floor' by Gael O'Donnell.

So - here I am in Palmerston North teaching at the Quilt Sympossium. It is easily the largest event I have ever been involved in and it is running like clockwork. The organisation required in an event such as this is mind boggling.
There are 32 tutors and around 1200 students - amazing.

Yesterday we were setting up our classrooms and also had a chance to get a good look at the fabulous exhibition - Growing the Passion. As most of you will know I am not passionately interested in quilting, I admire the craft but  . . . 
However, the quilts on show were just fantastic. A fabulous array of different styles and such skill - it was very interesting to see the variety.

Here are my favourites . . .

'Off the Floor' by Gael O'Donnell.

'Is it Art?' by Melanie Martin - my favourite.

'Nightwatch' by Anna Prussing.

'My Kind of Garden' by Sheryl Anicich.

You are greeted at the entrance by a quilt bombed car - that's new on on me! As you can imagine it was the cause of much merriment and many photographs. A great idea.

A quilt bombed car!!! Not seen that before . . .

A remarkable goody bag for all 32 tutors.

There were even chocolate buttons and scissors and quilt blocks and . . .

I have taught at several residential Forums, Festivals and Art Schools in the Antipodes now - but never have I been given a goody bag on arrival. And SUCH a goody bag - it even had a bottle of wine in it - am just having a glass as I write this post - Cheers!!!

Today was my first of 5 one day workshops. A New Starting Point, my newspaper based workshop.

 My group of gorgeous girlies - we did have good laugh today.

 It was VERY hot today, 28 degrees and very humid - not good for teaching - or learning. Luckily I am in a room with 2 doors - one at either end and windows that open. We had a through draft most of the day - but Blimey it was HOT!!

 We layered Bondaweb/Vliesofix with painted newspaper.

The layered papers were decorated with the usual suspects, gilding flake, transfer foils, glitter and all manner of sparkle.

 It was good to see this old Bernina 1130 amongst all the new, plastic computerised jobs!!! You know much I adore these old work horses.

This workshop also includes making faux chenille with newspaper . . . 


We also printed onto the torn and layered backgrounds . . . . 

This was printed . . . . 

 And then the prints were highlighted with stitch.

This layered sample was used as a background for some fee machine embroidery - Fabulous!

The group worked very hard and produced some fabulous samples - it was great way to start my run of workshops, let's hope they are all as successful . . . .

Tomorrow I am teaching my transfer print workshop and in the evening we have our Gala Dinner where each tutor hosts a table - I do hope the students at my table aren't dissappointed when they end up with me rather than one of the very famous quilters we have teaching here - watch this space!!!

I will try to write another post before I leave for the South Island and all my mates down there - I am very much looking forward to seeing them again. I haven't seen them since - April! 
While I am here I will be sorting a 6 week visit in 2017 with workshop planned for both islands.

I hope you are all coping with the cold weather in the UK - take it steady and no sliding on the pavements.

x x x 

Monday, 12 January 2015

New Zealand - The North Island, part the first.

 A stunning exhibit at the Museum of Auckland.

Well I'm here!! 
I have been on the North Island for three days now. I was collected from the airport by Alysn Midgelow-Marsden, a brilliant textile artist and tutor who lives over here full time (apart from when she is teaching in the UK). Alysn has been kindness itself. While we both knew of each other, we had never met properly, so her offer to look after me for my first couple of days on the island was very generous.
It was great to be absorbed into such a fabulous family. Brian, Alysns husband and the two girls Bryony and Amber, were very welcoming. we had a great time together - as you will see!

On Saturday we visited The Domain which is home to Auckland Museum - a remarkable and very beautiful building in stunning grounds. Well worth at least one visit if you are ever over here. 
The reason we visited was the WOW exhibition . . . . .

 One of several sayings that were projected onto the walls of the exhibition.

WOW, or the World of Wearable Art is very big in New Zealand. It is an annual competition and the 'garments' are created for this event are quite frankly remarkable.  worldofwearableart.com/
I highly recommend you take a look at the site. The home of WOW is in Nelson, on the South Island and I visited this amazing project when I was on the South Island in April 2014 with my good friend Denise Cleghorn. 
It is not permitted to take photographs at the venue in Nelson, but you were allowed to at the museum exhibition. 
If you want to see more images - have a look at my Facebook page.

 Just three of the amazing garments.

 Auckland Museum has many attractions, one being beautiful gardens. A bit like a mini Kew Gardens. Much easier to get around in the heat. Have I mentioned the temperature is around 26 degrees at the moment??? Glorious!

 There are several glass houses and beautiful walled gardens with rather exotic planting than we are used to in the UK.

 There is an amazing profusion of voluptuous shapes and colour. . . . . 

Such beautiful forms.

Brian and  Amber in one of the 'hot' houses - I couldn't stay in there very long - it was tooooo hot!

 Not quite the size of the lily pads at Kew - but still very lovely.

 There were fantastic shadows everywhere due to the strong sunlight.

The next day I was delivered to my motel in Devonport where I am staying for two days - to catch up with blog and a bit of stitch, generally lounge about and gently explore.
Before we left, Brian spent half an hour attaching several of Alysyn's lovely garden sculptures that had just arrived back from an exhibition to their balcony.

 Gorgeous! it is just as well there is no room what so ever in my suitcase . . .

On the way the family took me to Little and Friday in Takapuna. It is a fabulous cafe that makes and sells scrummy cakes and savouries. It was VERY difficult to choose which cake to have. In the end I chose Banana and caramel, but my goodness the choice took some time. 
The food in New Zealand is of a remarkably high standard. Both the quality of the food and the presentation is first class. One of the many reasons I so love it here.

 A small selection of the fresh cakes - the shop cant keep up with supply. It is soooo popular.

 The Midgelow-Marsdens at brunch!

Alysn writes a blog - have a look.  alysnsburntofferings.blogspot.co.uk 
We will be teaching together the Geelong Forum in September, so we wont be apart for too long (poor Alysn). We have become firm friends and will be keeping in touch regularly.

So - here I am in Devonport - a very beautiful part of Auckland.
The beach is lovely and it has a busy harbour with ferries running to Auckland city every ten minutes. It has a colonial feel and well tended gardens. I have adopted a cafe/bar named Bettes as my local. One other thing I love about about New Zealand is the quality of the service.

 I have discovered the panorama app on my phone - this is a view of the beach.

 I love this . . . 

 The gardens are a riot of colour, Agapanthus grows like a weed.

That's it for today. I have some thinking and some stitching to do now. Later I will tootle over to Bettes for dinner and the odd glass of wine. Then tomorrow Alysn will whisk me away to Auckland city where we will visit a gallery, have lunch and then I will catch my flight to Palmerston North where I am teaching at The Quilt Sympossium. 

Watch this space . . . . 

x x x