Roses are red : Be my Valentine

Just in time for Valentine’s Day: “Hearts & Flowers” jewellery set, “Be My Valentine” bracelet, “Roses are Red” bracelet, with earrings to come – and more being created daily!

Natural fibre artwork sells!

Two of my fibre artworks have sold this week, Silver Birch with Lavender through from out of the blue studio gallery in Ōpunake, and Summer into Autumn at the Waikanae Community Market. The second sale followed a conversation about the fibres I used, and I mentioned that work submitted to the gallery in Ōpunake is required to be made from “all natural fibres – no synthetics allowed”, and how it’s influenced my choices so that (unless using up bits of my old stash) I now try to use all NZ wool, sometimes cotton, but no acrylics. The ‘browsers’ returned a short time later to purchase a fibre artwork, saying, “We’d like to support you.”

Links to: Silver Birch Forest, Stitching inspired by mosaic art, and Fibre Art

Images © bronwyn angela white (2021)

Stitching inspired by mosaic art

I’ve always loved silver birch trees with their intriguing bark and silvery trunks. I’ve included them in tapestries, along with pines and other trees, but it was a mosaic image I found on Pinterest that stayed at the back of my mind for a year or more while I worked on other projects.

Now I have time to work on them, my Silver Birch Forest series is up to #8 completed and another one (or maybe more) planned.

You can see the evolution of my ideas and fibre artworks on my Current Projects page, Silver Birch Forest series.

Too many chokos

Gave a bag of chokos and other greens to friend, who offered me recipes for them.

It’s okay, thanks.

We’ve had chokos in stir fry, in soup, roasted, steamed, in chutney, in lasagne… just don’t like them! This year, they weren’t ripe in time to use as a base for relish or jam.

Husband’s brother sent us 3 a few years ago; we ate one, planted the others, and now every year up they come, prolific as convolvulus, along the vege garden’s wind break, sheltering the passionfruit vine, through and over the huge hydrangeas and creeping up to tangle in the fig tree.

Last year when husband was trying to get rid of loads of them (even the food bank and the Sallies refused to take any more), I was with my daughter in Queensland, where a single choko cost $1 in the supermarket. I laughed and laughed.

We’re just so happy to give them away!

PS Don’t get in touch to ask for some. We think the season’s over—for this year.

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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.