The italian beauty…

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I have seen some spectacular scenery in recent days through the south of France and into the rugged coastline and stunning villages of Cinque Terre in northern Italy. Yet, it has not been the big dramatic vista’s that have inspired me as much as the tiny nooks and crannies, the doorways, the steps to mysterious gardens, the windows and balconies offering peeps into lives very different from my own, the cobbled paths, and the ancient plaques, statues and seats. And, inside buildings, ancient details….like this chandelier…not perfect but beautiful in its own right. It is the noticing of the tarnished, used, loved and adored that are so beautiful that has fascinated me…

Be still my beating heart….



Paris…what possibly is there to say about Paris that has not already been said during two thousand years of poets, artists and philosophers?

Paris…my adoration of you grew like a slow burn from indifference into an intense love affair…my first impressions being unfavourable and pinged with disappointment at the dirty streets, graffiti and general lack of seeming pride in the city. It seemed full of smokers, crazy drivers,  chaos and litter….yet a mere few days later, on departure,  the only emotion I felt was frustration…frustration that I had barely scratched the surface of this incredible city….frustration that there was so much I had not yet seen, experienced, or done….I felt like it all started to  make sense, this crazy city with its achingly beautiful architecture, it’s uniquely French sense of space, symmetry,  colour, the uniformity  and formality of the trees and park spaces and buildings, the absolute prettiness and uniqueness of the doorways and windows….such a contrast to the crazy people and traffic filled chaos of the streets.

If there is a city I must come back to, this surely is it. Paris,  you have got under my skin and into my heart and now I can’t stop thinking of you.

Inspiration on Pinterest…

Angela Sefton:

I will be adding my favourite images from London and Paris over next few days….enjoy!!

Originally posted on Black Box Art Studio:

I have been loving Pinterest recently – getting loads of inspiration on a whole range of things including art and photography but also great ideas I have collected about up-cycling furniture, gorgeous patterns and colours and drawings, wish list interiors and gardens, and awesome inspiring words. Please have a look and share anything you think is inspiring for you, or just leave a comment or share a pin. It is so great to see all the other people’s ideas and collections and passions. Share the love I think.

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I wasn’t expecting to love London.  It is my third short visit here in fifteen years…a city I recalled as dirty, crowded and busy. It is still crazy busy and crowded, but now seems imaculately clean, green, vibrant and I have fallen in love with it…

I am in love with your buildings, both ancient and modern. I love the way the old buildings are valued,  adored, restored and the incredible level detail in their facades, doorways, windows and frontage.  I am in love with your green ,green trees…filling the street with softness and natural beauty. I am in love with your public art, both ancient statues and monuments and modern editions. They are bold, delightful, thoughtful, inspiring…and everywhere. They say we care about our past….and we are also contemporary and live in a modern, forward thinking city. I love how you have no litter and how much pride there is. I love your fancy lamposts and litle pockets of green gardens full of flowers. I love your WiFi everywhere. I live your art galleries. I love your bridges and your red double decker buses too….but mostly I love the feeling that this is a place to be inspired at every turn……a place for creative’s,  thinkers, writers, photographers, doers, entreprenuers and revolutionaries….London….I adore you.

Leaving home…and my mountain…

Mount Taranaki today

The mountain was covered in mist and cloud today set against an abstract deep grey sky. It seemed moody, monstrous and majestic. I felt like it was saying to me “Yes, you will see gorgeous monuments, ancient buildings and spectacular scenery while you are away but I will be here still when you get back..I do not change. I am strong, proud and present – a resolute protector. Don’t forget me while you are away”.

The mountain view from the air will be, as for many others, the final visual and metaphorical symbol that I am leaving home and familiarity for a while. The first glimpse of it will be the sign that I am indeed home again, upon return.

Today  – Taranaki,

Tomorrow  – Packing…

Wednesday – The world!

I am off this week to explore, photograph, write, blog and be inspired by the sights of new (to me) places. I will be travelling through parts of Europe and Singapore… camera, tablet, and journal in hand – ready to share with you what inspires me along the way…what I notice, what inspires me, what I love. I hope you come for the trip. Keep an eye on my Facebook page and on Pinterest too (if you are not already signed up) as I will be posting on both regularly!

Reflecting on the Len Lye Centre

Len Lye at night

Our new contemporary art gallery and Len Lye centre looking rather stunning at night, reflecting one of our oldest hotels (The White Hart – now fully restored) in the night lights. I love the contrast between the shiny modernistic mirrors and the gracious, old and beautiful building being reflected…how two so very different buildings compliment each other so well. Opposites attract and look good!

Beauty in the Park today….

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I couldn’t decide which one I liked best, so here are two images from my walk in the park today.. There were loads of late winter bright blooms, but I loved these especially.

This was my first real chance to really test out the 50mm fixed lens and I love it. There hasn’t been much photography or blogging recently – the price I am paying for being a shop owner at present! But, I will be back!

New shop window display…

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Well week one is nearly over…it’s been such a great experience meeting lots of people and seeing all the collection out on display. Here are some pics of the latest shop window display….

Opening day….

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We opened the doors today – our first ever shop…it looked fabulous and it was great to meet so many lovely people who came in to see what we were doing and enjoyed the mix of my art and photography, the Fantail Collection, vintage treasures, Start Something kits and gorgeous flowers. The kids art/play area was also pretty popular with the younger crowd…

Here are a few pictures of the gallery/shop…

The mountain in blues…

The mountain shimmers

The mountain…indigo sky and a mountain silhouette…the mountain shimmering, the snow highlighted and glistening in  in the final moments of the place between twilight and total darkness…

A creatively modified photograph inspired by night time views of the mountain, it’s winter snow covering and the lovely night sky and a shadowy landscape.

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