flowery bead creations

See my latest range of floral themed jewellery

Part of my enjoyment in creating jewellery comes from finding names for each item. I’ve named my creations after cocktails, birds, seasons and places. Just now, I’m loving creating earrings using acrylic and glass flowers and leaves, in my new “floral” range.

See them on my jewellery page, and go to my online shop for prices and details: bronzbeads.felt.co.nz

Fibre craft: a work in progress

I’m creating an artwork for the Creative Fibre 2019 Festival. It has to include “a pot of gold” and fit on an A4 sheet of paper.

I’ve created fabric art before but nothing thus elaborate. I’m using it to try some techniques I haven’t done before, including brick stitch and Dorset buttons.

It’s almost finished, and will fit in this frame I already own.  Not sure if it will be accepted framed, as that takes it larger than A4.

 

 

 

 

“Nanna says” stuff about her quirky colourful knitting (& grandsons)

You can find links here to my latest little brother big brother website “Nanna says” posts; sign up to that site to get occasional knitting related updates.

#NannaKnits
#bronzart
#littlebrotherbigbrother

…and find those colourful quirky things to buy at bronzart on felt

 

Happy New Year & lackadaisical resolution

Hi everyone! As you’ve gathered by now, I don’t blog or post often – too busy doing, making, creating, collating, advertising and sometimes even selling, to let you know what I’m up to. Which is, as I keep being advised, counterproductive.

So, here’s a summary from 2018, along with a well-meant resolve to communicate more often this year:

Knitting Lots of knitting, which you can see on my little brother big brother website, and buy from my online shop, bronzart.felt.co.nz. Knitting for my family – including the grandsons who star as my “little brother and big brother” models – and a trip to South Korea to visit them. “Little brother” asked me to knit him “a red scarf and mittens to wear on my head!” I made him a red scarf and hat for Christmas.

Also quite a lot of knitting for charity, including Foster Hope and the Otaki Health Camp, renamed STAND, soft hats for cancer patients at the regional hospital. And currently, for “Operation Brighten“, a challenge for the Creative Fibre Wellington area members, to create colourful winter clothing and accessories for women at Women’s Refuge.

Beading and jewellery I’ve made and sold jewellery this year, including some steampunk inspired things! Also enjoying a fortnightly group, part of Kapiti Arts and Crafts Society, where we learn new techniques and help fundraise for the society by repairing jewellery for members and others. We sell our work as individuals or on behalf of the group in the society’s Gallery and Shop.

Card making and selling I’ve set up a new online shops to sell cards made by my daughter and me; mostly her cards listed so far, as I need to make some more! You can see my bronzart and her azolloza ranges at lozabronz.felt.co.nz

Creative writing and publishing Produced the second in a trilogy of “Spirit and Faith” poetry and liturgical resources. You can buy both “Something new to say” and “You who delight me” from my website. My third book will be published in 2019.

I continue write and publish the occasional liturgical work on my Words of spirit and faith website, which you can follow, as well as via my spirit and faith Facebook page.

Conference admin This year I’ve been occupied, and preoccupied, with admin—committee secretary, marketing, website, bookkeeping, registrations—for NZ’s 3rd Progressive Spirituality/Christianity Conference in September, hosted this year by St Andrew’s on The Terrace Presbyterian Church in Wellington. It was a successful event, despite the organising committee’s initial trials as not one, not two, but three guest speakers were unable to make it, one dropping out after we’d begun marketing. The overall theme was environmental—“Creation: ecology, theology, revolution”.

I ran a workshop, “Creating down to earth prayers” for people who don’t believe in a literal, interventionist God but still want to participate in liturgy of an inclusive, progressive kind. I plan to publish the workshop notes as an ebook.

I’m also involved in fundraising for refurbishment of the church’s unique pipe organ.

Gardening As we come to the end of 2018, the gardens are flourishing—it’s been a great spring and summer for lovely, lush flowers and now the veges (lettuce, beetroot, beans, courgettes etc) and fruit (apples, plums, figs, grapefruit, raspberries and currants) are abundant. The downside of growing your own produce is the amount of water (we’re on water meters now and seem to pay per drop) needed to wash strawberries and lettuces to get the slugs and sand out. It’s great to have a prolific lemon tree—my husband’s limoncello is delish!

Early Christmas Presents Finally, our apartment in central Wellington sold. We plan to use a wee bit of the proceeds on refurbishing our place here in Kāpiti—new carpet, some painting etc. And maybe a little overseas travel…

For early Christmas presents, we’ve bought each other brand new laptops, with Windows 10 and all, which has taken up an enormous amount of time wrangling all the downloading, synchronising and general looking up the how-to stuff online!

Web spinning and FB page admin In case you’re wondering, I’m admin of my 4 personal websites, several Facebook pages and 3 online shops, as well as web-spinning the Progressive Christianity Aotearoa website and media presence. I create monthly posters for Kapiti Arts and Crafts Society to promote exhibitions, manage its 3 Facebook pages and this year will probably take on the role of webspinner, as the website needs a bit of TLC.

Discount OFFER! If you’ve read this far, and there’s anything you’d like to buy from my ranges of knitting, jewellery, cards, publications etc, QUOTE “BLOGGING SELLS” in your subject line or order form for a 10% discount on any one product of your choice.

I do get around to posting on Pinterest, LinkedIn and Instagram, and tweeting from time to time. But if you’re wondering why I don’t post more often… I’m probably doing this:

 

 

New book for Advent and Christmas

Just in time for Advent and Christmas: “Something new to say”. Christmas messages and reflections for thinking people in the 21st Century; realistic expressions of “spirit and faith” for post-Christians, Progressive Christians and evolving christians – and all who see the sacred in the every day.

“Bronwyn’s words are more powerful and real than a thousand theological treatises on incarnation” – Rev Dr Margaret Mayman

Order from my website: Words of Spirit and Faith

These prayers, affirmations, reflections and blessings are in inclusive language, with an emphasis on “faith not belief”, and social justice.

The title comes from a Christmas Day reflection led by Bronwyn: “Every year, in manses and studies and at the kitchen table, preachers and worship leaders approach Advent with a mixture of joy and trepidation. Joy, because Christmas is the penultimate Christian festival—each week the excitement builds, every week another candle is lit, every year is pregnant with possibilities—but trepidation, because December 25 after December 25, the person leading the service tries to find something new to say!”

This book is ideal for progressive and liberal faith communities and churches; lay and ordained worship leaders will find them especially helpful, and there’s plenty for individual contemplation and enjoyment, too.

Order and buy online

 

Finally with family

We arrived at Ulsan KTX Station, Eonyang in the late afternoon, and were met by son-in-law SG, his mother and his two sons (our grandsons). So wonderful to see them for the first time since they moved to South Korea at the beginning of 2018.

Halmoni (son-in-law’s mother, Korean for “grandmother”) took us straight to her home where she gave us snacks and drinks, and left us to spend time with the boys while she prepared a stupendous Korean-style meal for us!

Daughter arrived by bus from her work teaching English at UNIST, in time for hugs and tea. We ate as much as we could, from a table covered in bowls and dishes and platters Korean-style, with far more food than 8 people could get through.

The grandparents’ home, which we nicknamed “the mushroom house”, is an unusual style even for Korea, and was originally built as a summer restaurant. Halmoni spends a lot of time picking mushrooms on the nearby mountain, which she on-sells to the local market.

The boys, aged 5 and 3, loved the puzzles we brought with us.

300 kph on KTX!

We stayed the night at the Grand Hyatt Hotel – and it was very grand! Lovely young trainees on Reception using their best manners and English, and a great shuttle service from, and back to, Incheon Airport in the morning.

(Above centre & right: the view from our hotel window looking out towards Incheon airport – to left of picture)

From the airport we caught the subway into Seoul station, already bustling with people; not sure if it was a normal weekday or if the annual trek to spend Chuseok holidays with family had begun. We had our first experience of ultra sweet food at Berries and Beans cafe, and wished we’d chosen one waffle or pastry each instead of one of each…

Soon, we were on the KTX speeding at 300 kph from Seoul to Ulsan! We were going too fast to take good photos!

Only two hours to travel the distance between Wellington and Auckland. Bliss! Although the scenery was less interesting than we’d anticipated.

From Kapiti to Eonyang

Our trip began with the flight from our hometown of Paraparaumu Beach, Kapiti, to Auckland. We’d chosen to support Chathams Air who are providing flights since Air New Zealand pulled out of Kapiti and other provincial domestic services.

This meant a long wait at Auckland airport. Luckily we found the fantastically comfortable Strata Lounge, where for just under $60 each, we had comfortable seats, delicious fresh food – salads and veges to die for! – free WiFi and last-minute iPad charging, and showers if we’d needed them. Although the charge was for 3 hours we didn’t get kicked out and were able to relax there until it was time to board our 1:00 am flight to Hong Kong, en route to South Korea.

Can’t remember much about the HK stopover.

At Auckland airport there were signs around the place asking for patience while they upgrade the facilities. They need it! Without the Strata Lounge it would have been a very uncomfortable wait.

More from Incheon!

South Korea: Ulsan

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Bamboo Forest: one of my favourite places we’ve visited in South Korea. It’s part of a huge park in Ulsan. We got to the bamboo part via a gourd tunnel!

About 10 types of bamboo were labelled, and it was really peaceful to wander along the paths…

…until people began striding through on their way to work, with loud music from iPods etc, and the public address system started, with its mixture of cheesy advertising, schmaltzy 60s pop music and occasional classical tunes. 

Such contrasts in this country that seems to have “grown up” too fast; there’s a lot of glitz and a lot of dirt, strict social hierarchies and cartoonish kitsch. We learned you have to take your shoes off before going indoors because the streets and pavements are filthy and never cleaned.

 

 

 

 

 

South Korea: Chuseok

On the weekend just past, Koreans celebrated Chuseok when families get together and honour their ancestors and visit in each others’ homes: a bit like Thanksgiving plus the get-together of Xmas.

Being family, we were invited to the home of our so -in-law’s Uncle (his oldest male relative) and Aunty; they’d stayed with us when they came across to SG and LW’s wedding with SG’s parents.

SG’s father & uncles and some of his cousins were there; SG and the boys – splendid in traditional hanboks – had arrived earlier, and the others had already eaten when Warwick and I arrived with L at about 10:30 am.

We were made to sit down on the floor at the low table and eat, watched by the men at the table and probably by the women in the kitchen. We provided a great deal of amusement, and the men had Warwick drinking shots of alcohol (only 19% proof, thank goodness)!

Some good luck made me more skilful than ever before (or since) with my chopsticks, as every mouthful was tracked from bowl to mouth, and more and more food pressed on us. We managed to communicate with signs and gestures and a great deal of laughter, and finally I was allowed to sit up on the sofa before my knees and legs totally lost all feeling. Thereafter I was offered more fruit and bean paste sweets that looked like big chocolates but tasted like nothing much. Eventually I copied L, accepting everything but leaving it on the plate next to me.

Warwick continued to sit with the men, which did his hip no good, but made a great impression, with many gestures and much hilarity! We left around midday with much bowing, and kissing and hugs – most unusual in Korean society except with close family – and felt we’d provided them with a great deal of entertainment!

It was wonderful to be made to feel so welcome and included in such a special family and cultural event.

 

 

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holidays are fun, so long as…

Home again after a fortnight holidaying in the beautiful South Island. As we drove, in rental car, from Picton to Christchurch, then (after TranzAlpine train trip) from Greymouth via Haast and Wanaka to Dunedin, then Oamaru and back to Christchurch to fly home, some reflections on holidaying arose.

They begin with (1) at the bottom of the page, and end on the last day of our holiday at (6).

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Some thoughts about traveling:

(6) Before telling airport check-in staff you know you’ve exceeded your suitcase’s weight restriction, check that the $2 shop bag scale is weighing in kilograms.

NB My suitcase did NOT weigh 35kg and only had two more items in it than when we left home (and I’m probably going to wear one of them on the plane.)

(5) The towels are skinnier than they used to be. Motels must get their linen from the same supplier, because although they’re very thick and white and long, the towels are not very wide. Unless you’re quite short, if you want to wrap the towel around yourself, you’ll have to decide which half of you you’re going to wrap! (BTW, I appreciated the motels which provided make-up remover wipes and mushroom coloured face cloth!)

(4) Another motel observation: in most motels, the bed is too soft and the pillows too hard. Curious.

(3) Why do motels have a single switch for the light and fan, and why is the fan so damn loud? Especially in the middle of the night.

(2) South Island roads are great, and well signposted. You can drive for miles and miles at 100kph. You need to take the “slower around corners” warnings seriously, however. The speed limit before towns is sensibly graded down to 80 then 60 then 50 kph, rather than suddenly halved from 100 to 50.

(1) You’ll enjoy your holiday better if you don’t keep a count of roadkill.

 

New book: “Something new to say”

Buy now in Kindle or Paperback format from Amazon.

from Endless Advent:

“This year, may we enjoy this time of preparation, thrilling to angel song and sparkling lights, Snoopy’s Christmas and Silent Night; may the little boy drum for us, and the wise ones’ gifts be ours, as we birth each day the Christ of synagogue and stable. Let us be the gift we long for, after the paper’s discarded and the cards are put away…”

From Space for wonder:

“At this time of year, we can get caught up in the myth, the image of a baby as the fulfillment of hope rather than the start of a lifetime’s responsibility and care, the work of the village, not just the single parent or unstable family. So we hold all parents, all families in our hearts—the wounded and abused, the loved but uncared for, the grandparents exhausted from bringing up children when their own daughter or son is in prison or drug-dependent, mentally or physically unwell…”

from Where are the others?

“As we gather around the child of hope, we’re joined by a heavenly host; the kin-dom of heaven gathers with us—
But where are the others? The brothers and sisters, the half-brothers and step-sisters, the broken relations, torn-apart siblings, the unblended families, the reconstituted ones. All the children with bruises on their bodies; fathers with bruises on their psyches; mothers with bruises on their hearts? Here they are! The jailbird cousin and the crazy aunt. The depressed daughter who’s dragged herself out; the edge-of-hysteria, manic sister; the autistic grandson beind a haybale, rocking; the transgendered, the cis-gendered, the queer and the straight, the birth children and adopted children and fostered children; these fragile families of blood and of choice. All the whanau of Jesus: gathered to celebrate heaven on earth, in the promise of a child…”

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