Well, since the earthquake, things have been quite strange! Mostly it's been the weather, but at the same time most of my grandchildren (and my daughters) have had the H1N1 flu (despite innoculation), causing me a lot of worry. We've had nor'westerly gales, heavy rain (not usual where we live), some beautiful sunny weather and yesterday woke up to a 2cm blanket of snow which had arrived mysteriously in the night.
Last weekend my partner, Ken, and I spent a day shovelling sand for the base of the new water tank, then had to use considerable ingenuity to get the new tank up on top of the foundation. It must have been quite a sight! The new tank is 10,000 litres and about 2.5 metres high. It's still not full as our water supply is a trickle feed. I really feel for the people in Christchurch who still have no drinking water or toilet facilities.
So, what does a craft dyer do when there's no water to dye with? well, I've recently begum making beaded costume jewellery. You can see the results on this page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Heavenly-Adornments/148824178477925
A few years ago, I made a lot of polymer clay jewellery for various felt outfits. You can see some of this in my gallery image of the Celtic Moonrise cloak. It seemed like a good time to get the box of Fimo and Dukit out again, so I've also been working on new designs for brooches and necklace dangles. I've also bought some Art Clay silver to try my hand at making fine silver sculptural jewellery pieces. Yes, I like to keep busy!
As soon as we had enough water, I decided to start work on a new range of pastels. The first one is Peace, which you can see on the home page. I will be adding to this range so that eventually I will have two collections: Pastels and Contemporary.
Well, there is still a bit of shakin' going on, but at last I have enough water to get all my stock back up to scratch. I can now dye to order again, so the online shop is now back in business! Keep you eyes peeled for a new pastel, Peace, that I will be launching later in the week.
Thanks so much to all those who sent me messages of support after the earthquake.
Well, what a scary start to the weekend yesterday! Woken by the first earthquake shock at 4.35, we were unable to get back to sleep after the first major event, which was followed by numerous aftershocks which are still continuing today.
During the first shock, our tank stand collapsed, tipping the 5000 litre water tank onto the ground, where it burst apart, spilling its contents onto the driveway and lawn. We didn't know about this until it got light - I got up and looked out the window, and there it wasn't - as expected. Not so great for a craft dyer.
Anyway, this is small beer compared to having your bedroom wall collapse and falling a full storey to the ground under a shower of bricks as happened to one local lad. I'm just glad that nobody was killed - incredible for the size of the event. And we all thought Wellington would be the first city to get 'the big one'!
So in the meantime I won't be dyeing any wool. It may take some time to get a new tank and at present we have been lucky enough to be able to borrow a small tank so we can stay on the property in relative comfort.
I still have some stocks of most colours, so feel free to contact me if you have any queries.
Well, what a beautiful morning to welcome in the new season. The poor little triplet lambs that arrived in the neighbour's paddock yesterday have plenty of sunshine to frisk around in!
I've recently switched to a new fibre supplier. You will notice that the new sliver is slightly finer (22.5 micron) and a little bit more chalky in texture than my previous wool. I'm finding it is much harder to dye, requiring significantly more dye to get the same colour.
I've taken advantage of the change to reformulate some of the colours - you'll find that Bluegum is much more vibrant now, and some of the other colours are undergoing slight 'tweaks'. I'm updating the photos today to reflect this.
For the moment, I have still got stock in the 23 micron wool in a limited number of colours: all these are listed on my Trade Me page.
Coming soon: a feltmaking page; gallery of my work.
Kate is a semi-retired photographer and craft dyer who lives in Southland, New Zealand.