Monday, October 5, 2009

It's been a year?

Yes. It has. It has been a year since we landed on the other side of the world, settled into life on an island, and it's been a year since having real American food.
And the real American food bit is especially depressing because I'm craving it. BECAUSE


Yes, we decided now was the time to create a new work of art, and her/his name will be London. Right now she's almost 3 months in the oven. And I want Taco Bell. And trees, and fresh air... but I digress...

So as you can see, in this span of time, we've done a lot, we've grown a lot, we've found out a lot about ourselves, and we've followed our hearts to new and exciting places. You've seen some of it on this blog. But this is only the beginning. We have plans...

Our plan, if you want to be in on the secret, goes like this...
*shhh... don't tell anyone*
We are buying a van, selling our scooter, our furniture, and stuff we don't need. We going to load up our van, say goodbye to our wonderful friends here, pack up our pencils and sewing machines and take the ferry across to the South Island.

Up and moving to a new island we've never been to has been a technique that has worked well for us so far. Our destination: Nelson. The sunniest spot in NZ, and also the main arts-and-crafts area. To top it off, Abel Tasman national park is nearby, and there are both rivers AND ocean beaches. Plus, there are caves in the area, and all kinds of fun stuff to explore. The cost of living is lower and we can live closer to nature.
Sounds like the perfect place to raise a baby, and to pursue artistic endeavors.

Wonder what the next year will bring...

Friday, July 31, 2009

A week beautiful of sunrises.

21 July

22 July


23 July

24 July

25 July

26 July

27 July


1 August (today)
This city is a skywatcher's paradise. Every day, and sometimes every hour the sky changes dramatically. It can go from brooding shades of gray to bright blue with not a trace of fluffy white marshmallow clouds, and absolutely anything in between. The clouds flow past the sky so quickly most days, that you can watch a cloud morph rapidly from one shape to another without a dull moment.
These pictures were taken from the window of our fourth-floor art studio, at about 7.30am each morning.
That last picture was taken about 30 minutes ago. Those thick gray-blue clouds are forewarning the storm which is due to approach tonight. However, right now the sky has cleared to blue sky with broad strokes of rice-paper-thin layer clouds making the panorama a silky baby blue in hue and the sun is shining into the windows, as if the sun is saying "thanks for the publicity"!
Peace and love from the land of the long white and ever dynamic cloud.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dear friends,
A loooong overdue videoblog for your enjoyment. This is a preview for an extended video about Studio Lyons.
Music by the talented Mr. Adam Atwood

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Adventure day!

It's "winter" here in Wellington which means one thing in particular: rain. It's chilly but not freezing - not very winter-y by American standards. Instead it is the wet and cloudy season, which means wearing layers of wool, ducking under awnings through town, and saying hello to the sunshine in a big way when he makes his appearance.
After days and weeks of rain everyone is happy to see the sun. But when, oh when, will the sun come?

5.30am Thursday.
The alarm wakes us up to a blur of music. It is pitch black outside and our plan was the usual: get up, be out the door by 5.45am to catch the first bus of the morning. We like to get to work early.
It's been raining all week. For two weeks straight: rain and clouds and rain. The forecast said... well, nobody cares what the forecast said because it's note so much a "forecast" as a "blind guess". I think it's more like a form of conceptual art. Only even more meaningless. So they hedge their bets in the winter and "forecast" rain every day because the odds are that it will rain at least a little every day this time of year. Very technical. Don't question it - it's science.

Moving on. It's 5.30am, we lie in bed, cuddled together, warm and toasty. Pitch black outside, it's so early. And it's quiet.
I hear no raindrops for the first time in what must be two weeks.

"It's going to be a beautiful day!" said I.
"At work?" said J.
"Why would we go to work on such a beautiful day?"
"You want to play hooky?"
"Today it would be a shame to be at work, sitting inside. It's going to be beautiful. Let's go somewhere interesting!"
There wasn't much more convincing to be done. We have sick days so why not use them?!
We packed our bags, 'texted' our bosses (technology is so nice, it means that we don't even have to talk to our bosses on the phone, we just send them a text message), and went to catch a train.
By the time we got to the station, the sun was coming up, and it was still not raining. Perhaps the sun would show his shining face today?

We catch the Wairarapa line to Featherston, which is a little town on its way to becoming an artist village. We have some friends with an art studio there so we decided to check it out.
You remember the Wairarapa from our trip to Napier? The long, winding mountain road. This was a similar route, only without the winding roads, steep drop-offs, and carsickness. There were a couple very long tunnels.
The train was large and spacious, featuring vending machines, a bathroom, and seats with TABLES! It was only a 45 minute ride, but it was so enjoyable that it just wasn't long enough.
View out of the train window. That's Wellington city, our dear home, behind us!

And ahead of us is ADVENTURE.
Please note the beautiful blue sky and the sun about to burst from behind fluffy white clouds.

What a cool train.

Best $15 round trip ($7.50 USD) ever spent.

Going through a valley, it got really cloudy and looked rainy. Fog settled on the tops of hills.

Until we come out on the other side of a long tunnel. We're there and the sky is looking superfine!

We check out all the little shops "downtown", eat at a wonderful cafe called Cornucopia, and Jason tries some monkeybatics at the park.

There is a wonderful board game store, where we saw Tom on the Puerto Rico box.
And we bought Starship Catan. Catan! Catan! Wanna play Catan!
With food taken care of and a new game in hand, we ventured off into the hills. There are a few hiking trails here so we picked one. It's a long way up...

The view from the top is awesome!

"Featherston Domain"

The clouds are doing some amazing configurations for our viewing pleasure.

I always leave you with strange forest sights, so there you go.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Birthday road trip to Napier, in pictures (with some captions).

The town of Napier had a big earthquake earlier in the century, and everything was rebuilt during the age of Art Deco. This funky architecture is its main tourist attraction.

I didn't actually get many photos of the buildings, but here's one:

Then I got distracted with the pretty fountain.

And the plants, of course.

And the water.
And the sky.
And the birds.
And this is a place my mom needs to go to. It's just a little cheap and cheerful resturant that is right on the beach, and they roast chicken over hot volcano rocks. Mmmmmmmmm!

View from the road. Look closely.

Do you still see them? The biggest windfarm I've ever seen rolling along the mountain ridge!

Mount Bruce Bird Sanctuary.

Are we in the jungle??!?!

Looking into reflecting water, or looking up into the trees?

Birthday cheesecake kills kaka.

Looks like a bearded old fellow.
Protector of the forest.