I noticed, the other day, that I don't have much respect for mats.
I look at them in their pristine state and I am dissatisfied.
This is the first mat upon which I let loose my doodling fingers.
I wanted to personalize the Costco frame for Bethany. She loved bears, so I copied some Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations in the margins. I outlined the drawings in ink and filled in with coloured pencils. So far, the copyright police have stayed away from my door.
I would like it to stay that way, so don't you tell them!
I became so enamoured of the idea that I created a frame for each of the kids around the time of their 18th birthdays.
Jon's theme was easy.
He has since spent considerable time critiquing the accuracy of my drawings, but I tell him nobody cares!
My plan is to finish each frame with a bride and groom kissing, so you can see I am woefully behind.
Annie, I need a photo of you guys kissing!
Annie was all about the dance and the music.
Sam, I need a picture of you and Charlie K-I-S-S-I-N-G!
I think I need to add some variety to that one. A guitar, maybe, and a cowboy hat.
When we repainted the living room, I framed these photos that I took on one of my NZ jaunts. The stark white mat seemed jarring against the warm browns and blues of the room, so I did some gradated shading around the openings in the mat. Once again, regular coloured pencils did the trick, along with a little finger smudging to smooth it out.
I learned this trick while shading maps in Third Form geography class.
I found this print in Mum's house. It is part of a set of three musically themed prints, one of which she had already given me in a frame. I didn't want to spend too much on the frame, so I found one that almost worked and had a friend cut the mat down to fit. Once again, it was white and looked very stark against the picture and black frame, so I used pastels in two shades, blue and black, and smudged the two colours on the mat.
I'm not totally happy with it, but I like it better than the white.
And I thought you might like to see one of the Haitian paintings that I got framed.
Painting: about $12.
Oops, Bethany reminded me of this one. I got a collage made of Elsie photos and, once again, didn't like the white mat. Bethany very carefully decoupaged some pink tissue paper over the mat.
...that this is the last of my New Zealand posts. I was debating whether or not to even put this one up, but the gloominess of our Oregon spring and summer has persuaded me.
First, a short lesson on the Maori language. I know that you have been skimming over the Maori place names because they are intimidating. I tried to get my choir at church to sing a Maori hymn and, my goodness, I got such resistance that I gave up!
It's really quite easy, from a little white girl's perspective.
The Maori language has five distinct vowels, the same as in English. When vowels are placed next to each other, both are pronounced. Most vowel sounds are short, with long vowels being designated by a macron.While the vowel pronunciation can vary from one word to another, you should be able to manage a fairly accurate pronunciation by making sure that you pronounce every vowel in a word.
There are ten consonant phonemes in Maori: h, k, m, n, ng, p, r, t, w, and wh. "Ng" is a strange one, articulated at the back of the throat. "Wh" is pronounced as an "f". So you can imagine the fun that Australian comedians have with names like Whakapapa.
So, on my last day in Onemana (can you say it now? On-eh-mah-nah) we took a short drive to Whangamata (Fan-ga-mah-tah) and walked on the beach.
It was a glorious morning.
These two were in their element, as usual, and managed to scrounge a thing or two from the tides.
I could have spent all day, paddling in the surf and letting the sun burn my retinas.
Some marine creatures come to a sorry end on this beach.
That one eye is rather disconcerting, eh what?
It's been raining today in Oregon. This seems like such a distant memory already.
All too soon, we had to leave for the airport.
But not before I visited this.
The world's most sophisticated toilet.
It speaks to you.
And plays music.
And flushes automatically.
And locks electronically.
It proved to be too much for me and I couldn't get it to lock.
It kept flushing instead.
I was videotaping the whole thing but it is too embarrassing to post.
My last two days passed quickly. Anne and I had accomplished what we had hoped, which was sorting out Mum's belongings and making a start on getting her house ready to sell. I had spent some quality time with Mum and spent three hours leading sing-alongs with her group. I said goodbye to Mum on Monday, so all that was left was relaxing after the busyness and stress of the last week.
And relax we did.
Except for John, who is enclosing the poles of their house to make more living space.
What you don't see about this frail sturdy scaffolding is that it is about 30 feet above the ground.
I ventured out on it and felt quite wobbly in my tummy, but John is an old hand and struts his stuff with abandon.
In no particular order, we ate awesome fish and chips on the beach at Whangamata.
We drove up the coast to Opoutere and went for a short hike in the forest.
This is looking over Wharekawa Harbour, where the trail begins.
The forest floor was littered with these beautiful mushrooms.
We drove on a little further around stomach-churning curvy roads to Tairua, where the twin-coned volcano, Mount Paku, awaited us. Tairua Beach, at the base of the volcano, is the site of the earliest evidence of Polynesian settlement.
There she is!
We drove as far as the road would take us and then hiked the rest of the way to the top.
Here we go...
The bush was full of birdsong, especially the tui. I recorded the song but it didn't turn out too well, so here's one from YouTube.
Looking down at Pauanui and Tairua.
After consulting with the local tourist centre, we decided to attempt a walk along the ridge, although directions were decidedly vague.
It was muddy and steep and slippery, but we did our best.