Sunday, 21 September 2014

Dressing up your place on a budget

 I went on my weekly walk with my friend. This time we walked from Lyttelton to Cash bay.

Lyttelton is a pretty port town close to Christchurch. As the earthquakes epicentre was in Lyttelton every second building was severely damaged. The people in this town are very resilient and soon all sorts of improvised coffee shops appeared. Lyttelton always had a bohemian feeling to it which makes it so attractive. A pleasure I indulge in is drinking coffee at a cafe with atmosphere.

After our walk we had a stroll over the farmers market where I discovered some gorgeous coffee tables. Someone covered old tables with vintage postcards and I had to have one.

Top right is the little table I bought. It has a crib underneath for magazines. It is in the first little room we fixed up. We still have two rooms to go. Another great find recently was a cheap wooden crate. My husband had the idea of using it as a shelving unit on the wall in our kitchen. We also painted our sixty year old kitchen unit. My mum send me the lace curtains as you can't buy these ones in NZ.
Furthermore after the earthquake my husband fixed up the bathroom, took out the bath and put a new shower in.

Now I know how much is involved in doing up your house, although my husband does most of the work. I have an enormous respect for my brother Pieter. He worked 10 years on an old house and changed it into a palace. In the last years he changed his garden into a wonderland.

 Here is a little glimpse in my brothers garden. In every corner you find some treasures. These photo's are a couple of years old so I can't wait to see it next year again.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Quotes with a sea breeze

Last Sunday instead of only walking along the beach we walked uphill in Sumner in Christchurch to enjoy the amazing views.

Imagine a light breeze in your hair, the sun warming your skin, hear the waves crushing into the shore, take in the view and contemplate the quotes.

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add colour to my sunset sky. Rabindranath Tagore.

Don't let the waves of others frown out your own ocean song. Hold your heart as though it was a seashell. And listen to it. Listen to its music. To the whispers of your ocean within. And than swim. Swim to your own ocean music. S.C. Lourie

If you run after things, nothing will come to you
Let things run after you
The sea never sends an invitation to the rivers.
That's why they run to the sea.
The sea is content.
It doesn't want anything.
That's the secret in life.
Swami Satchidananda

As the sea swallowed the sun once more, A tear fell from her eyes and dissolved in the sand beneath us "What is it, why the tears," I asked And with a smile that nearly leaped across the cheeks she answered:" Here comes the moon." I knew within that moment that it is, The most simple things that plant the most phenomenal truths inside us. Christopher Poindexter.

You can never cross the ocean unless you
have the courage to lose sight of the shore.
Christopher Columbus
I crave the ones who've seen confusion and know struggle ,who have pulled themselves up from the shackles of heartache and strife ,disappointment and darkness ,exhaustion and drain and have risen with a heart as open and unwaveringly wide as the ocean itself. Give me those people. The brave ,the vulnerable, the wise, the ones who cares for a world and how to better it along with themselves. To know their ability in making waves in shifting patterns with tides and in creating change. Let us become that open ocean....And make it rise . Victoria Erickson

Friday, 12 September 2014

The power of beauty

I believe in the power of beauty and then I don't talk about handsome people although there was a time that I fell for that magic as well, no the power of beauty of art like dancing, music, painting and poetry and of course nature. 
The last one and a half year I have been dealing with challenge after challenge. You could argue that   it is part of normal live but the hardest thing is when you don't have any clue as how to deal with some things. In some cases you have to choose options that are the least worst instead of good.
Talking about it helps but the main thing w
hat gets me through is a high dose of trees, flowers, poetry and music. They are miracle workers to me. Today I give myself the following potion of incredible beauty. I am very great full for these treasures.

The Quiet Power

I walked backwards, against time
and that’s where I caught the moon,
singing at me.

I steeped downwards, into my seat
and that’s where I caught freedom,
waiting for me, like a lilac.

I ended thought, and I ended story.

I stopped designing, and arguing, and
sculpting a happy life.

I didn’t die. I didn’t turn to dust.

Instead I chopped vegetables,
and made a calm lake in me
where the water was clear and sourced and still.

And when the ones I loved came to it,
I had something to give them, and
it offered them a soft road out of pain.

I became beloved.

And I came to know that this was it.
The quiet power.
I could give something mighty, lasting,
that stopped the wheel of chaos,

by tending to the river inside,
keeping the water rich and deep,
keeping a bench for you to visit.

Tara Sophia More

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Stewart Island

We are busy, busy, busy so not much time to blog
Therefore I show you some old photos from last summer when we went to Stewart Island with my brother.
The Maori name of Stewart Island is Raikiura, which means place of the glowing skies. It is an unspoiled Island in the South of the South Island. There are only 400 people living on the third largest island of NZ. We only saw a little bit of it as there are not many roads.
The kiwi is abundant on Stewart Island. Because it is a nocturnal bird you won't see him walking around. We did see the kaka though, a member of the parrot family.

 We stayed in the South Sea Hotel in the Middle of half moon Bay in the main settlement of Oban.
  That's were we started 2014 and it was a great beginning (didn't last though but that's live)
   This is the view from the restaurant and on the left is the place where the ferry arrives.

 We did a lot of walking and walked around the Bay, which was beautiful

 In the evening one of the islanders released her horses and dogs on the beach for a run
 Another great walk on the horseshoe point track
 In front of the houses we saw some kaka's. They go there as in the evening some islanders feed them nuts.
 A stone house built by Lewis Acker in 1835 at Harrold Bay. The person inside is slightly younger but not a native. Has blended in with the kiwis though.
View from the lookout in Oban on Golden Bay where we walked the.....Golden bay track
We hope to come back one day sigh

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Project declared finished.

The good thing about the earthquake was that we finally were forced to do up my daughters room (who loves colour). There were lots of cracks in the wall and in the ceiling, so my husband put in a false ceiling and covered up the cracks with wallpaper. The green wall is painted. A 60 year old carpet was replaced and we bought two gorgeous bed covers on sale. I also found some Moroccan lamps on TradeMe.
Last year I decided to make a frame with cloth behind it and string to hang cards on. The next day we were on a fair for work and next to us was a table, where they sold the self made frame you see on the right side wall.....ok That was a time safer.

Paintings made by my daughter and pillows cases were bought second
hand on Trade Me to bring more colour to the room.

We found a good deal for bed site tables as there was a chip out of it and made our own coat rack

We always love collecting driftwood but never
had a purpose for it. I enjoyed making this so much that I started to collect knobs from markets for the next piece of driftwood.
Correction: I helped making this as I am not good with tools. My husband drilled the holes and I was holding the wood...while looking important :)

Sunday, 24 August 2014

My present:a trip to Nelson

This year like other years I received a gorgeous present for my birthday. A trip to Nelson. I love trips and we found a deal on GrabOne for two nights at the honest lawyer in Nelson. Yes they do exist. It was not only  half price but included a delicious breakfast as well. What more does a Dutch person want.
It turned out to be a beautiful English country Pub which is situated on the water side in Monaco. No not the European one . Better than that. Monaco in Nelson NZ.

The honest Lawyer

The trip to Nelson was a treat. We drove for 5 hours through the Lewis Pass. I was in the clouds listening to music from the Secret Garden and looking at the stunning scenery. Wild rivers, snow covered peaks and a clear blue sky. Hubby was so good to stop plenty of times for me when I blurted "Awesome", so I could jump out and take a picture. We even stopped on a bridge as it was very quiet and an upcoming car behind us nicely waited at the start of the bridge, so I survived!

In Nelson the next day....again summer temperatures. It was 13 degrees according to the news but it felt more like 20 degrees. We stayed out of trouble by going to the Saturday morning market, the Founders Heritage Park, a walk uphill to the centre of New Zealand from which we had fantastic views on Nelson and we had a walk on the beach as well. At night there was a function on at the Honest lawyer and we really wouldn't have fit in, with our walking boots as all were dressed up in suits. We ended up in Cafe Istanbul and had a fantastic meal. We highly recommend it if you ever visit Nelson.

The next morning back home again and when we passed Hanmer I said "Ok I have enough pictures now so you don't have to stop anymore and right then the weather turned around and it became cloudy and dark.

Noble blue fills the veins of the Lewis pass

Hurunui High Country Land
where sun rays dance on water 

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

We lost an incredible man

Normally I don't keep up with the celebrities but one stands out for me and I was very shocked today to hear that Robin WIlliams has passed away. He starred in two of my favourite movies "Good will hunting" and "Dead poets society" He was incredibly funny and talented but remained a genuine caring human being. I light my candle on my sidebar in remembrance of him and hope he has found peace. My heart goes out to his wife and children.
Robin loved New Zealand and had friends here. He said "New Zealand was the closest thing to Heaven on Earth" and he also donated the money from a show to the red Cross after the first Christchurch earthquake. We lost an incredible man. Underneath he is in an interview in NZ 5 years ago.

"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world"

"You're only given a little spark of madness You mustn't loose it"

Robin Williams