January 16, 2013

Happy New Year, halfway through January!

I'm a bit late for a Happy New Year post, aren't I!?  

I am still enjoying holidays with the kids, they start back at school at the end of the month...gosh 6 weeks goes so fast, I am loving having them home and not at all missing the school morning and afternoon routine!

We had our first trip back to New Zealand since moving to Australia in 2011, and it was wonderful.  We got to catch up with our much loved and missed family and friends, and enjoyed it very much.  It was so nice for the kids to see their mates, too.  They miss them a lot.  We had two weeks there and it went so fast, as holidays tend to do.  Would have been nice if we could have spent longer with everyone but that is one of the downsides of choosing to move away, and I accept that.  
This is where we spent the bulk our of two weeks - at my parents' home in the Marlborough Sounds.  You can't drive there, it is boat access only which makes it even more special.  I took this photo standing on the deck of their home.  It is an absolutely stunning spot, and I am so glad that my parents had the foresight to buy a block of land in the bush 30 years ago (even though we had to go from a nice home to a doer-upper in order for them to afford it!)  They have worked really, really hard over the years to create a beautiful home and stunning landscaped gardens, and recently they have decided to share a piece of their paradise with others, renting out their holiday cottage on the property.  It is proving very popular and I think it is wonderful that they've done this.

Christmas morning fun getting dragged around behind a boat...we went faster once we got further out!

During our time in Christchurch, we had a wander around the CBD (what is left of it) and it was pretty overwhelming.  The lack of tall buildings left was a real eye opener, as was seeing our old work building (the Westpac Canterbury Centre) completely down.  I absolutely loved the Cashel Street container mall though, it was far better in person than I was expecting it to be, what a lovely buzz the place had about it...seeing and experiencing that gave me real hope and excitement for the future of Christchurch.  It will take a long time to rebuild but it will be an amazing city once it is all done.
Excuse the quality, this was taken from our moving car.  This was a large department store, Farmers.  The building still standing is the Central Library, also to come down I believe.
Again a moving car shot, and in the rain, not great sorry.  This lovely clock tower on Victoria Street stopped at at the time of the Feb 2011 earthquake...12.51pm, and still sits stuck on that time almost 2 years later.  Still can't believe this happened to my city!

Before we knew it we were saying our goodbyes and back on the plane to Sydney.  After a night there, (and a Saturday morning trip to Ikea!) we were in the car on our final leg home.  

Isn't home always sweeter after you've been away from it for a while?  Doesn't everything look a little bit different for the first day or so?  Or is that just me, lol!  When we opened the front door Geoff commented that it 'smelt like home', and it did.  You can only ever notice that once you've been away for a while.  I hope it is a good smell ;)

A week after we got home it was market day (last Saturday). 
It was a great day, and thankfully not windy like December.  My oilcloth doorstops proved very popular again, which is exciting.  I am waiting on the delivery of the next lot of oilcloth, which should arrive any day now.  I have lots more projects in mind for that, including a super cute retro kitchen step stool, will show you soon.  

Over the next couple of days I am picking up two custom jobs to start work on - a writing desk and a dining suite.  I am also dropping off some of my smaller painted items (and some more doorstops) to a local store - Paradiso in Hastings River Drive.  I've also been doing a few renovation jobs around home since we got home (I always do that...I miss my home so I come back all inspired to get stuck into it!)

So although it is still holidays, things are starting to wind up again, and I feel rested and ready for it...2013...bring it on!


  1. Such a gorgeous spot your family lives at Karen...it would have been hard to leave!! You've definitely been straight back into it, good on you and happy twenty thirteen!!

    1. Saying goodbyes is always the worst part Courts but the weather was actually shocking when we left (gale force winds) so that made it easier, ha! Happy 2013 to you :)

      xx Karen

  2. beautiful places in NZ that few know about...thanks for sharing!
    looking forward to 2013 posts!
    Bec x

    1. Thanks Bec...I think that I appreciate the beauty of NZ a little more now I don't live there...amazing what you take for granted when you see it/hear it all the time, then see and hear it again through fresh eyes!

      xx Karen

  3. I really love your oil cloth fabrics, but I have never seen any as pretty as your vintage floral ones, can you tell me where you get them from?

  4. What a beautiful spot! Hope you enjoyed your stay!

    Sounds like you're going to be busy - can't wait to see what you do!

  5. Looks like you had a great time.nice to see you back blogging-love dee x

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