Bliss balls, chocolate brownies and fresh raspberries.
Denise is a fabulous cook - and it's all gluten free. Denise had been Gluten free for several years, until I met her I had no idea how debilitating it can be.
So - here I am in New Zealand, Christchurch to be exact. Am in a motel for the night as I have an earlyish flight in the morning to start my journey back to the UK. I really don't want to leave - I do so love it here.
I have had a wonderful time here. I have been soooooo well looked after by my lovely friend Denise Cleghorn and her husband the very funny Barry. He tolerated me with good humour. I also saw another good friend Christine Marks and her gorgeous man Bob for a couple of days in Blenheim. We have all had a good catch up. Whilst Facebook and emails can help when there is a long distance between you, there is nothing like a big hug when you do get to see each other.
Most of my visit has been spent on Denise and Barry's farm just outside Cheviot on the South Island.
The view across the road.
The view across the vegetable garden
My view from the deck out side Denise's studio. A great view to look up at when you are hand stitching - Sigh!
Across the fields.
Wherever you travel on the South Island, it feels as though you are 'inside' the landscape. There will be a mountain range, river, lake, stunning view or beach quite close by. I think you can see why I love it here.
While I have been here I have been finalising my 6 week teaching 'tour' of both islands for April/May 2017. I am very pleased with how it is coming along.
Denise gave me the run of her studio, we even got a chance to work together. I have started on the work for my exhibition with Susan Chapman in March at the NEC. It is a great relief to have got started, I was feeling very 'stuck'.
I had great fun printing with my printing blocks. I had made blocks from a drawing of a shell from the beach at Moeraki. What I had even more fun with was the baby wipes I used to clean the blocks. I have been using these wipes for years to clean up but am now taking more care how I use them and dry them. They are fast becoming a favourite.
A few of the printed and overprinted baby wipes.
Starting to hand stitch one of the baby wipes.
I have put by the best baby wipe prints to stitch into later in the month. The prints that weren't so successful I ironed Bondaweb onto the back of them and then cut shell\spiral shapes to be ironed down as applique.
The final arrangement - it took a while . . .
Now it just needs to be hand stitched. The piece measures 33 inches by 22 inches.
I did escape for a few days and drove up to St Arnauds with Christine, on our way along the Kaikoura coast we saw some seals - loads of them. It was great fun watching them.
Seals on the rocks.
Closer to home the closest beach to Cheviot is Gore Bay - just stunning. What is it about water? I am so drawn to it . . . .
Fantastic crashing waves. Such energy.
It was hard to leave Denise, but I will be back in 2017 and this year is going to be very busy with a lot of travel - I have a lot to look forward to.
I will get back to the UK on Wednesday 3rd February, ready to dash up to Redditch on Friday to teach my ExTex 4 girls at the weekend. I can't wait to see them and discover what they have all been up to. They were asked to develop their metal samples for homework. This weekend we will be looking at silk paper and how to mould it.
So watch this space . . . I will be reporting back on the girls latest antics.
I am off to re pack my suit case!!!!
Hello Diana - have a great show - Hello Jill, not long now - gulp!! Hello Tod Oh Lovely One and Hello Denise - thank you.
x x x