Tuesday, July 20, 2010

blanket statements

My gorgeous friend Melissa Gregan recently had an exhibition blanket statements to launch her range of embroidered artworks. Melissa is an amazing person - full of fun, life, creativity, with interesting ideas and observations bursting out of every pore of her body. She embraces life fully and has a million ideas and projects racing around in her head and taking various shapes and forms in her craft room. Melissa's designs have heart. They capture the little things about what it means to be a New Zealander. They are delightful, whimsical and can have a quirky twist. She uses vintage blankets and fabrics, beautiful designer fabrics, vintage buttons and trimmings. Her embroidery is meticulous. She spends hours making sure each piece is finished to perfection. The exhibition was a summary of her latest ideas, embracing aspects of kiwiana, nz flora and fauna and so much more......
The Southern Cross image is one of my favourites. It says "home" to me.
It's the finishing touches and details that are a signature part of all of Melissa's artworks. I love the addition of Guide and Scout badges. A great reference back to the traditional Girl Guide and Scout blankets that we would wrap ourselves up in at camps (well I did back in the day!). These have a modern day use as laptop covers.
Cigana Cafe was the perfect setting for Melissa's artworks. There was a lovely mix of vintage glass, china, furniture and accessories that made a natural home for them.
Photo by Beth Peters
Congratulations Melissa. It was a wonderful exhibition. I know how much thought, time, love, creative energy, patience and work that you put into it. So proud of you!!

Monday, July 19, 2010


One of the most inspiring things that I've been involved with lately was Cre-8, an arts based project with the primary aged kids at St Paul's. For several weeks the kids were involved in creative workshops working on ongoing projects to produce something to exhibit or share in film, photography, music, song, art works or sculpture. This creative extravaganza culminated with an exhibition in the Crypt at church.
RE:CRE-8 sculpture workshop
The very beginning of the bible tells us that God was the original creator of everything..... and he created us to create. The RE:CRE-8 kids were asked to recreate something God created, from stuff that man created. First they drew some ideas of what they wanted to sculpt and wrote down the stuff to get their parents to help them find. Then they brought that stuff along to church, and got RE:CRE-8ing.
The world as I see it - film and photography workshop
Being given a disposable camera, each of the kids were given the task of photographing favourite aspects of their lives - a place, a person, an activity... trying to capture a feeling or moment, so you could feel it too. Then they were encouraged to talk about it, why they took it, what they were trying to convey, what they like about the photo. Then this was made into a video. The point of this all was to get them thinking about photography and film/video - how it enables us to share our points of view, relate to each other through experiences, and convey different feelings. But most importantly the point of the exercise was to encourage them to have a go - we can all be photographers and video makers. It is accessible and it is fun!
Zine workshop
Each participant in the zine group picked a topic they were passionate about. They collected, collated, photocopied, cut, pasted, written and drew pictures with the intent to share what they found interesting about their topic. The zines were reproduced with multiple copies to give the kids the opportunity to share their work with lots of different people who might not get to interact with their work usually. Copies were available for 50c, with proceeds going to World Vision.
How cool is that? Selling copies of your own zine while still at primary school!
Photo by Beth Peters
Photo by Beth Peters
Photography workshop
On a gray and drizzly Sunday morning our artists had just 20 minutes to venture outside and capture these images around the church building. Our artists loved experimenting with light, zoom, angles and patterns, each one of them expressing their individuality and unique perspective of the world around us!
Photo by Stacy McIvor
We had live performances from the Cre-8 kids musik group, who performed their original song "It's a New Day." They composed and practised it in three one hour sessions! Amazing!!
And then the gorgeous music/percussion group made up of 5 and 6 year olds performed. They had been talking about cool creations - things they love, created by God or by people and the kind of sounds they make. They then presented a response to these things through poetry, rhythm and sound. They stole the show!
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up." Pablo Picasso (Spanish Artist and Painter. 1881-1973).

The kids truly embraced the concept of creativity, engaging in the workshops with great gusto. They could hardly wait to get back to church each week to work on their projects. They were proud to see their work exhibited in a "proper" exhibition. As you can see, it was stunning.

Quotes from Cre-8 programme in italics
Exhibition photos by Samantha Wee

Friday, July 2, 2010

classy cocktails

Beth recently celebrated her 25th birthday. I still find it hard to believe that my gorgeous, bubbly, baby Bethie is a grown up, beautiful, sophisticated, amazing woman. I am in awe of her - her drive, her creativity and sense of who she is. She inspires me.
25 is such a milestone and can also seem a little overwhelming in the grown up/adult stakes so Beth wanted to celebrate her 25th birthday with style. We had a very classy cocktail party at my place. Being Beth's party - it was well organised, planned, styled and executed!! It was the perfect occasion for Beth and I to bring out our vintage cut glass, crystal and china. The food was simple and elegant. The flowers were lovely, showing off the white vases to best effect. I love how my Crown Lynn swan looks with Beth's arrangement. I haven't been brave enough to use it myself!
The cocktails were amazing. We had jugs of mojitos and a vodka, orange and ginger cocktail...... and a martini bar! Beth wrote the recipe on my queen blackboard so people could mix their own martinis with all the trimmings. And apparently stirring (not shaking) a martini releases the flavours properly. So there James Bond!
 So a birthday celebrated with panache and style. Happy Birthday, baby!

Photos sourced from Stacy McIvor and Beth Peters


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