Creative Chaos

Creative Chaos

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Christchurch 3

A few more pictures from the Christchurch city centre -

lots of construction work going on. But also lots of empty space where buildings were before the earthquakes, lots more car parks, shops/businesses with the date on when they were checked/cleared by emergency teams from around the world, lots of boarded up windows and still buildings needing to be demolished.
I'm not even sure, from looking at photos taken on previous visits, if I could really match up anything from corner to corner, as the landscape is constantly changing.
More pics to come.

Monday, 5 October 2015

books, books, books

I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself. I cycled a few kilometers up the road to the "village" post office instead of going to the super local (100 metres walk away) post office. The local post office is in a big shopping centre and I am trying ever so hard not to buy STUFF I just do NOT need.... the temptation of an entire shopping mall can be hard..
All winter I have been trying to spend less (well the post office is doing well, but letters, postcards and parcels always cheer someone else up don't they?) - the winter wardrobe buys consisted of a NZ made pair of tights, 2 merino jerseys, a decent bag and a pair of sandals. Pretty good for me.
The boys do need some clothing possibly, but they never complain or really even ask for it :)

I did however buy books in Christchurch last week. One always needs new books. And Christchurch needs help with their local economy after the earthquakes. And I still have quite a lot of money to spend for school on library books.

I came home with this lot - yeah - it was not surprising that the Air New Zealand lady was looking at me when I was attempting to lift my bag up onto the convey-about thingy.

There are some real gems in this lot. If you have young children and do not know Oliver Jeffers picture books, get to a local bookshop pronto! I highly recommend The day the crayons Quit and the subsequent sequel above The Day the Crayons came home. My absolute favourite is Stuck and the Hueys and subsequent Huey titles. Book is so divine, that I have ordered another copy for myself.
Joy Cowley and Kate de Goldi (NZ authors) both have new ones out - I read the new Cowley one on the plane home and it is brilliant.
Quite funny I had to go all the way to Christchurch to find Gagana Samoan language readers!
I could esily fly to Christchurch and buy books every few months - I recommend Scorpio books and The Children's Bookshop there.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

100th post of 2015 giveaway

It's my 100th post for 2015, so I'll do a giveaway!

A heart shaped soap bought in Gisborne in January (I bought a pile of them as love them!),
a Skinfood (NZ brand which I adore) exfoliating scrub (with aloe and almond) and a dishcloth or make up remover cloth made by yours truly.

Open worldwide - just make sure  I can contact you via your blog/e-mail. Closing date October 15. Leave a comment below.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

What's on the needles?

My knitting mojo is back. The last 3 weeks it was so manic and stupid crazy at school (and frustrating), that I'd go home and collapse (and attempt to write a 3000 word essay with no brain left), and do pretty much not much!
I can't have the school holidays without knitting and since I have started studying for the exam in 5 weeks, I knit. A lot.
The 2nd Ramona cardigan is still on the needles - I got on the plane to Christchurch to start knitting the sleeves - ah - no - no scissors to cut the cotton which had the sleeve stitches on. Finished a sleeve while at conference (I knit anywhere and had people admiring my knitting and knitted things I had on!). Then jumped on the plane to fly home and and duh - realized same predicament over next sleeve. It has not been touched since Christchurch.
The Falling Water scarf gets perhaps 10 rows knitted on it a day (the blue alpaca wool from Peru) - it is not the sort of thing you can knit while memorizing stuff.
So I have started a Everyday Wrap (which Zelana are doing a knit-a-long with). It is mindless easy knitting and I will be delighted if I end up with a wrap like the picture shows. The Zelana wool I am using is their new sock wool - Cozi - it is 58% merino; 22% nylon; 15% bushtail possum down and 5% alpaca and is truly divine to knit.
The impulse buy this week is my gorgeous Klippan wool blanket (100% New Zealand wool too!). Klippan is the Swedish town where one of my penfriends lives and I visited there in 1997. I so wish i had known about the Klippan wool factory (and linen and all sort of other amazing divine things!). It is so beautiful. I'm lucky in that Tina sends me a couple of surprise packages a couple of times a year with Klippan products and usually IKEA things too. I'm so lucky!

Hope school hols are going well for kiwis and Aussies - I've a kid whose body clock has flipped the totally wrong way.... yikes! One poor thing has been at school for exam tutorials - year 11-13 at his school get little school hols at this time of the year. Families are totally banned from going away.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Snail Mail

Oh - it has absolutely been like Christmas here with all the mail arriving in my letter box! I LOVE it! Swap-Bot does account for a lot of it, but also my fabulous penfriends too! I have written to a lot of people for many years and met a lot of them all around the world too. The great friend I stayed with in Christchurch was originally a penfriend and has lived in New Zealand for 8 years now. We have met up in Boston, London, Melbourne and around NZ at various locations. We spent a bit of our time together in Christchurch being mail geeks,with me oohing and ahhing over her stationery/washi tape etc . April even taught me a bit about the NZ Post website - hee hee. She said she now feels like a real kiwi when she can tell another kiwi stuff about NZ that they did not know!
I adore all the things I've been getting from fab study note cards (OMG they are awesome!) from Dotty's Daughter (now a penfriend!) to tea bags (and awesome tea pigs and other tea), postcards,  magnets,  keychains, wool, DMC cottons, magazines, serviettes, touristy things, pens etc.
Check out the absolute divine apple coasters.
People are so generous with things they post to others - I've spent a small fortune at the post office in the last month, but I love it and what doesn't brighten up people's days than finding a package or a simple letter in their letterbox. I think sometimes I am even better at remembering penfriend's birthdays (even if late!) than people I see in real life!
I've about a day's work in catching up with mail and packages these hols, but it is fab!
Oh school holidays - i love you too!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Christchurch 2

And I'm home after 6 days. I am so happy! Let the school holidays begin.

These photos are from the city centre of Christchurch - there is huge amounts of building happening. There are also a lot of empty parking lots where buildings used to be. There are buildings still waiting to be demolished, which look just like the day they did when the big February earthquake struck. You can still see the emergency writing on door/windows checking that the building was clear of people days after the quake. The big cathedral stands there behind a fence. It is very very hard to pinpoint things. There are road blocks in places. Roads open and close every day, all over the city. People drive to work one day, try it the next, then have to figure out an alternative route. (too many to post in one entry - what I am really trying to get across is the absolute devastation which is still very very apparent. The people are very strong. There are parts of the city which were not as affected as much. But the mental health of many many people, including children and teens, I think is very very worrying - years on people are still fighting insurance companies. The government too has let a lot of people down)
Christchurch -