Tuesday, 22 March 2016

New job, new house, new studio, new project …

Sunrise over the Tawharanui Penisula

I’m not sure how it works, but there seem to be times of calm and then nexii (hopefully that is the plural of nexus) of events in life. For us, this last month or so has been a swirl of energy and change. Now we are starting to settle into the future with optimism and plans a-plenty.
We are now officially ‘childless’ – empty nesters -  or at least, they are all at University or in work and will only arrive back home when it suits them. I am told that the theory of children leaving home is not much more than a myth in practice. Any advice please?

New Job.
I have already talked about the new job, and so far, so good with this!

New house.
Once we gave up looking for a house, deciding that it was too difficult to find a single property which ticked enough of our boxes, one simply dropped on our lap. Within three weeks we were moving in, and now we can begin the process of making the changes which, if it all works out, will gradually allow Brian his dream of being off grid and growing at least some of our food. Stage 1 (a small step) – the wormery and a compost bin will be delivered this week. We are used to having chickens, but decided to give them to the neighbours rather than move them here, however we quickly found that we couldn’t stand the thought of the kitchen scraps going in the waste. The wormery will eat up pretty much all of our waste food and provide us with both liquid fertiliser and compost. I have also been improving my chainsaw skills, Brian keeps whizzing round on his new toy, the ride on mower, and I bought two machetes today to begin cutting a few paths into the 5 hectares of bush! In essence the house has been designed as a passive house, and has the bones for becoming a great eco-house. This will be mostly Brian’s project as he is the engineer, though we have been jointly interested in the ideas for a long time. 

Home for the Midgelow-Marsdens

View to the beach

The lovely, and not at all shy, NZ kingfisher
Local beach with fabulous dunes and clear seas.

New Studio
A big draw to this house was the barn. Giving me space to develop a studio for myself and maybe for classes. At the moment I have simply placed boxes around tables, run an extension lead in and put the sewing machine out. It will serve! It was christened last week when a couple of friends came over and we stitched for the morning.

Studio? Well a barn with boxes at the moment!

Ruth and Marj - talking or sewing?

New Project
One of my aims this year was to enter the World of WearableArt (WOW).  I have made odd muttering noises about doing this since moving to New Zealand, but the incredibly high standard of entries and the over the top nature of the wearable art has so far made me delay any entry. This year I had some ideas developed, building on my ‘Change’ sculpture from the Kaipara Sculpture Park. Then the house move happened and I had thought that I would put off entering once again. However, yesterday I decided to make my attempt at entering WOW my inaugural work for the new studio, before getting to grips with an exhibition for the Knitting and Stitching Show in October.

Bit of an idea for the WOW piece

Going to use these lush stainless steel fabrics for the piece

End of day one, seeing how the fabric might behave in 3D

 Don’t forget to check out my teaching dates around NZ, Australia and the UK in 2016. My outing to Koala Conventions (24 June to 5 July) still has spaces, if you want to go, get in touch with Wendy soon. It will be a great group of like-minded creative embroiderers, have a go at any of these courses there:

Golden Romance -silk fibres, paper, gilding and stitching

Miao Folded Thread booklets

The Crown Jewels gone mad - have fun with Angelina fibres

Time for tea - Teabags, gel medium and stitch