Such a beautiful horizon...

Setting up a life in London was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but 7 months on- I wasn't ready to leave. I was broke as hell the whole time I was there, but determined to go back to Barcelona before I left Europe. So my friend Toni and I caught a cheap flight, picked up a car at the airport but couldn't find any accommodation that first night. We drove for what felt like hours in the dark, unfamiliar countryside, hoping to find the coast so we could sleep on the beach. Sometime after midnight we gave up and slept in the car in an orchard. We woke, stiff and sore, to find we were only 500 meters from the sea. This photo was taken that morning, at dawn.

How can I forget?

Tomorrow I fly to Barcelona.
When I was 22 I left my boyfriend in NZ and took off overseas for a year, desperate for Europe and adventure. I travelled alone across Western Europe before I found what I was looking for- Barcelona. Something (or everything) just rang true. These images were taken nearly 8 years ago, and have been on my walls ever since.

Butterbird

Easter is coming. I know this because of the wealth of Easter themed products which have appeared at the supermarket over the last week. In NZ, we pretty much just stick to the chocolate egg format. Never before have I seen bird butter. Lekker?
This little skirt I made for Kiearah. On Fridays Sanne takes her dancing and she was desperately in need of a cute tutu. I was at Albert Cyup market on saturday on another sewing mission and spotted this fluro pink tulle, so I had to make this. It's too cute!

Trees bow down their heads


Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you.
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.

"Who Has Seen the Wind?" -Christina Rossetti

Silversmith

Finished my first piece! I'm really proud of it. It's not perfect but I learnt so much making it. It was super satisfying to make something and actually finish it and wear it. I was inspired by a Dutch jeweller Corina Rietveld who mixes her silver work with wood, thread and other natural materials.
My tutor Susie is pushing me to experiment more with my work. It's still new to me- the idea the jewellery can be something more than a perfectly made object. I kept looking for perfection but I think it might be the search for that perfection that prevents me from just having fun with the process.

Are cake walks dangerous?


Michael, you will live forever in the art of fairgrounds across the world. Bumper cars rule!

Wedding train

This weekend was full of weddings. Spent Friday on skype discussing wedding invites for Lucy and Guy, Saturday wedding dress shopping for Merrin in Utrecht and Sunday in Leiden with a couple whose wedding I will be photographing in May.
Weddings make people crazy. Including me, and I like to think I don't buy into the big white wedding thing. But three days of discussing other people's weddings has left me drained and my head full of dresses.

You don’t hear anything


The camera’s broken?  It’s cold out,
and there are crows bigger than crows
usually are, scattering smoothly over there
across the fields.
Nothing over there.  Twilight.  Gold gray twilight
spreads out.  A tree in Poland
is over there the lost barren tree.
Lighted and empty, the bus drives over the levee.
On the riverbank, two men with their backs
to the dam, which neither begins nor ends.
You don’t hear anything.  You hear the slippage
of the floe, the circling floe.  You hear
for a long time yet, later, in the dark, the drifting ice.
The camera’s broken, else why are the pictures
blurry now?  Two men stood on the riverbank.
They came back.  They could tell the story.
Oderbruch by Jürgen Becker

Quack

Baby geese were waddling about in the park this morning. And for a different baby, here's the finished pair of shoes I made for Ava. 

Tree men

Slowly, quietly, trying not to be noticed....spring is creeping into Amsterdam. Crocuses are beginning to pop up along Minervalaan which I bike down on my way to work. Last year there was an outdoor sculpture exhibition in Amsterdam Zuid, and while most of it was eventually removed, these tree men remained. They are like big friendly guardians of the neighbourhood and were created by Tom Claassen.

Bar Cats

It's the complaint I hear most in Amsterdam- why is it so hard to find a place that serves good food and coffee and the service is friendly? Well- I found somewhere- Wilhelmina, a little cafe just off the Overtoom. Super sweet service and great food!
They also have a little cat that was hanging out next to us. That's one thing that I love about Amsterdam- so many cafes and bars have their live-in cat. The bar cats are fat from eating mice and just laze around looking all sleepy and nonchalant. I've been snapping them as I run into them- you can see some more here.

Rommelmarkt!


There's a long and frustrating story behind our trip to Woerden on Saturday, which involved a laptop, a train, a bus and an incompetent Apple employee...but when we got there we stumbled across a Rommelmarkt! (Which is Dutch for Fleamarket).  Daniel and I are half Dutch- our father was born here in the Netherlands and emigrated with his parents in 1952. Our Oma is a mad garage saler/fleamarketeer. So it's kinda in our blood. We go a little mad over weird second hand junk.
As we were in the middle of nowhere, everything was crazy cheap. My best score was definitely the set of egg warmers, little crocheted chicks to sit upon your boiled egg and keep it warm. 25 cents! Some poor Oma must've spent hours crocheting those.
I also picked up a sweet orange embroidered tablecloth which I cut up to make some baby shoes for my friend Jenni's beautiful new baby Ava. I'll post the finished results soon.

Teaspoons of soup

This little girl is called Kiearah. Her mum Sanne is my workmate and one of my few true real live dutch friends! The two of them are head over heels for cool sneakers. On Tuesday it was Sanne's birthday and we went out for dinner. Kiki carefully carried teaspoons of soup around the table for each of us to try. Too sweet.

NDSM4EVER

On the first Sunday of each month is the Ij-Hallen fleamarket, across the Ij at NDSM. This is a part of Amsterdam that took me awhile to explore and it's become one of my favourite places. Toby found some glasses to buy- I have nothing to further to add!

NDSM used to be Amsterdam's dock and where ships were built untill 1978. The empty buildings in the southwestern part of the NDSM area were squatted and the squatters united to become the Stichting Kinetisch Noord in 2001. In June 2002, Kinetisch Noord approached various agencies to develop the area as an incubator space, with affordable housing, workspaces for artists and supporting businesses. Kinetisch Noord has built basic studio units that the tenants then complete themselves, giving everyone a say in the costs, quality and design of their own spaces. The top photo is a shot of the warehouse interior where they are constructing some studios, which is also where the market is held. The whole place has a rough and ready, DIY, punk appeal which isn't so easy to find in Amsterdam.

Pancake zombies

My brother Daniel is in town, so we went for a real Dutch style brunch on The Pannekoekenboot. Basically a cruise along the Ij, and all-you-can-eat pancakes. We only just made it though- biking across Amsterdam through freezing wind and a hangover wasn't easy. Luckily our friends Kurt and Rebecca had made it there first and pleaded with the crew to wait for us. Kurt is a designer and has a penchant for making little notes during a conversation. The zombie head is Toby's addition. The pancakes were lekker.

Paranoid Icecream

You might notice these shots are a bit weird. That's çause I dropped the camera (and the film) in Lake Rotorua. The first photo was taken seconds before I dropped it- I ran down the jetty to scare the seagulls and my camera jumped out of my pocket and into the lake! Bugger.

For those of you who don't know him, the man who is thinking strange thoughts is my boyfriend Toby Morris. He's an illustrator and a graphic designer and his favourite saying is "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't after you", which would be a perect title for this photo! His blog is pretty amazing (even if I am a bit biased), and his dedication to it is what inspired me to do this blog.

Raglan, NZ is where the bottom three photos were taken. It's town not too far from Hamilton, where I grew up. My friends and I would ditch English and go spend the afternoon hanging out on the beach . Ice-creams were a compulsory ritual on the drive home in Miffy's car Thelma. I used to smoke ciggys out the window. And then spray myself with Impulse so mum wouldn't smell it. As if she didn't.

Barnacles


I had my second jewellery class last night with Susie. Last time we made a ring and my homework was to design something to add to it. I was inspired by Susie's jewellery, as she uses quite organic forms in her work. My idea was of a cluster of little barnacles attached to the ring. Susie translated my sketch technically- so I will add some more barnacles next week. It took a surprising amount of time just to make this little one.

Susie showed me a book by her favourite jeweller- Hermann Jünger, who as she puts it, "makes jewellery like he is drawing". His work is incredibly fluid and layered. It is so completely different to the modern standard that is so common today. Jünger's work with enamel is inspiring- enamel is something I am very keen to try. I feel like there is a whole world of artists and techniques and skills which I am just beginning to learn about.