Saturday, July 31, 2010

Leaf earrings giveaway: the winner

Okay, so this is the second time I write this post (computer crashed yesterday as I was trying to download photos... sigh SIGH SIIIIGHHHH). I have been very quiet, mainly because our internet still hates blogs and crashes every time I try to visit one, also because Josh was away for work and took the computer with him. Now that he's back, he lost the camera, so my weekly mini art journal is on pause until I find a way around this (anyone got a trick to grow money on trees?).
I still would like to announce the winner of the leaf earrings giveaway : congratulations to Catherine Lowe! Please contact me to claim your prize:

I thought I'd try to add some colors to this post, here are some photos taken a few weeks ago while we enjoyed a nice sunny day with a walk up Makorori hill. Breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding hills... Lucky!

Monday, July 12, 2010

mini art journal challenge: week 15

This week's prompt: "Your parents".
Well, as the story goes, they met, fell in love, had babies... Yes they did, and at the time it was quite an achievement: My mum's french (born in the French West indies) and my dad's chinese (born in Hong Kong). They met in England, while they were both spending a year there to study english. Then my mum moved to Hong Kong, a bold move in the pre-internet/ cheap flights years. They lived there about 7 years I think, had me and my brother, then divorced and we moved to France with my mum. We saw my dad during the school holidays and spent a month every summer in Hong Kong while we were kids. Not your typical family, but not out of the ordinary when we were growing up and certainly not now!
So I wanted to base this card around my mother, mainly because she brought us up really and because I owe her so much. I would have hated to be told this in my rebellious teenage years, but I probably resemble her more than I realize and I am so glad.
She is a strong woman who raised two kids on her own with a full time job, never seemed to complain and did everything she could to make us happy (even dump her at the time boyfriend!). I admire her drive and dedication to us, am grateful she raised us well, with strong values and a sense of honor and independence.
She was always open to our desires and ambitions and always respected our choices. She is a person who does not judge, accepts people as they are and a faithful friend.
My friends at school used to be scared of her, because she seemed so strict. She's only little, but still managed to make a strong impression on them! I was never a model teenage daughter, even pretty angry at times, but I understand now that her reaction was just her way of showing me she worried for me.
Now, the interesting thing about our family, is that my brother and I have followed the same pattern as my parents did: we both got involved with partners that come from far away. My brother is happily married to a beautiful chinese woman and I am living here in New Zealand with my kiwi lover and our son.
As hard as I find it now to live far away from friends and family, I can't imagine what my mum must have felt like at times, while living in Hong Kong. At the time, the only two ways to keep in touch with loved ones back in France would have been writing letters and phone calls (and the quality was very poor). Buying a plane ticket was outrageously expensive (although it seems to be heading that way again).
Anyway, here's my card of the week:

So the flower represents my mum (!), and the background is a piece with chinese writing on it (taken from a chinese calendar) that represents my dad. It's quite cheesy but since I had no decent photo of them to stick on the card, that's the best I could come up with! I wrote some more cheesy stuff in french about them.

Monday, July 5, 2010

mini art journal challenge: week 14

This week's prompt: "Birds". I was looking forward to this one. I like birds. Somehow I don't think it is really reflected in my card though.
Since moving to New Zealand, I have come to be at times obsessed with birds. I would have my binoculars handy wherever I'd go, along with my "Field guide to the birds of New Zealand". I would go for bush walks in the Waitakere and marvel at the sight and sound of native birds. I have come to love bird watching. There is something fascinating about the natural history of New Zealand in the fact that both island were mainly populated by birds until the arrival of the first human beings. A lot of birds were flightless, and had no defense mechanism against intruders such as rats, possums or even humans. The largest eagle of all times lived in New Zealand and hunted Moa (a big ostrich-like bird).
Bill Hammond's bird headed people reflect this heritage best in my opinion. I went to see an exhibition of his paintings at the art gallery in Wellington last year, I was so impressed.
Anyway, I have been a bird lover and keen bird watcher for a few years now, although I've found it harder to get my fix here in Gisborne with a 2 and a half year old. I've done quite a few trips to Kapiti island (where I saw a Kiwi real close and calling!), wish I had done more to Tiritiri Matangi island (where I saw from upclose a beautiful Kokako!) and a lot of bird surrounded walks around both islands. And I look forward to passing on my love and knowledge to my son! He already know the names of the few birds we see on the coast and during our walks, but they are hard to spot sometimes, especially for a little person who doesn't know what to look for.
As fate would have it, it turned out that our local monthly newsletter, Wasab!, had also themed this month around birds. So I didn't have to look very far for pictures of birds! Since taking a picture of my card though I have added a feather or two, so I will have to update the photo at some stage.

And here's the finished card: