Friday, July 29, 2011



Spied some deep pink blossom trees out in bloom yesterday - a sure sign that Spring is somewhere around the corner... Blossoms are a favourite at su reaL, and have inspired my work over the years with various designs.  Apart from their aesthetic beauty, with the contrast of delicate, innocent petals sprouting from protective, twiggy stems - and their graceful draping - they represent personal growth to me.

Here's a quote I love, by author Anais Nin - 'And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.'


Monday, July 25, 2011


su reaL atelier INSULATED beanie, inspired by pink batts insulation.


As I strode up the hill on my early morning walk just now, I thanked GOD for my trusted su reaL atelier ‘INSULATED’  beanie!  Crafted from pieces of ultra thick fleece - this was inspired by pink batts insulation -  and boy it works!  I’m sure my face has cracked from the chill in the air this morning, and I’m kicking myself for not developing the knitted balaclava idea I’d played with... I think BLUE would be the appropriate colour for them to resemble the shade my face must have been – (one good thing about walking in the semi-dark), and it’s also interesting at this time watching the cafes opening up, cleaners buzzing around with vacuum cleaners, fairy lights in the trees, reflections on the road, and witnessing other mad people like me out in the arctic elements... 

This morning began with a light sprinkling, and then some mild hail thrown down from the heavens at which point I thought I should have worn my su reaL atelier reversible ‘SHOWER CAP’, which is a black waterproof beanie with the interior called ‘ICE-CAP’, lined in snow white fleece.  You never know when you will strike a mountain, or in this case the temperatures of one.  At least I beat my circuit timing record...

Anyway I’m heading off for a hot shower before I devour my toast and coffee on the couch, then going to tackle some knitting in front of the heater for awhile... that is of course, if I can get my fingers going!
Saw a wee clump of snowdrops on my walk today – just beautiful!  I stole this pic from Google.
Hoping that MY sounds won't be drowned out from the vibrations I can feel
coming from the teenagers' rooms above!
Had to cover my baby Mr Cameo Cream up coz he looked cold.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011


This pea was frozen at the time of shoot


It's been so bitterly cold these frosty nights, and i seem to have accumulated a mountain of emergency extras at the ready to throw on or off during the night.  Amused by the pile, I couldn't resist reaching inside the freezer for a pea to complete this contrived shot - the perfect embellishment at the summit.  The Princess and the Pea was a favourite fairy tale after all.  Roll on Spring!  It's far easier tidying up your bed.  

Sunday, July 17, 2011



Still good faithfuls from the archives - su reaL atelier woollen slouch beanie and chain necklace having an outing today, with my Grandmother's mesh snake bracelet and onyx ring coming along for the ride.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


From the archives of su reaL atelier - Chandelier Necklace
It was great catching up with all my nieces at the wedding the other week, and I just love my nieces to pieces! One in particular was especially pleased with me, as I finally handed back to her the necklace I made for her wedding (along with complementary earrings) a few years ago.  It was in my possession a bit longer than intended, as although I love to design and create, I loathe mending with a passion! Bad Aunty Jen! She faithfully wears it to celebrate her wedding anniversaries, and is keen to pass it onto her gorgeous, wee daughter one day. So sweet of her.  I think the gorgeous, wee girl got hold of it actually, which was why it was in the su reaL atelier Sick Bay.  Just about everything needs 'maintenance' at some stage of its life, whether it be shoes for reheeling, or women who insist on wearing oversized botoxed lips.

I originally brought into this necklace design symbols of what Kessid loves - her love of music (she sings like a bird), the fact that she had a baby on the way, the bluebird for happiness, and the bow? - that was just cute.  I found these enamel charms at an antique fair for this occasion, and believe they are from 1940/50s USA.  The necklace was then strung together with little crystals, vintage and new beads, French ribbon, and vintage chandelier pieces.

I made a series of these chandelier necklaces just prior to this with all manner of lighting paraphernalia hanging off them, which were popular and unique at the time.  These designs were really chunky unlike this refined version.  It was quite a fun project I do recall; and speaking of maintenance, I have a few things of my own to tend to, so it could be the most boring week of my life!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Already started it Donna!


The winner of the men’s knitted beanie is DONNA TUMARU from Dunedin, for her husband Colin!  Congrats Donna - will whizz that down to you this week, and thanks so much for your kind and generous feedback, and to all who entered. It was fun reading your emails. Have a great week all!

Friday, July 8, 2011


My daughter's lucky day - this is her favourite soup - at least out of the variety I make. I've modified this recipe to be vegetarian and vegan. The 'dangling carrot' is the logo of su reaL atelier, so I couldn't resist renaming the recipe.
su reaL Tomato and Dangling Carrot Soup
Add a good slosh of olive oil to a warmed saucepan, add 2 chopped onions and sauté gently for about 5 min, add a little bit of chopped celery, and 4 gigantic peeled and finely sliced carrot rings. Sweat this off gently in the pan with the lid on for 10 mins, then add enough boiling water to cover the veges, 2 tspns salt, freshly ground pepper, 2 cans tomatoes, and simmer gently with the lid on until carrots are tender - about 30 mins. Take lid off to allow soup to cool, then when you feel courageous enough, puree it.  Reheat when ready to serve, then add a drizzle of soy milk, and a mandatory parsley sprig. Easy peasy. Quite a strong flavoured soup, so you can always add more water to dilute a bit or make it go further, and adjust the seasoning to taste.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Choose your colour combination.


A couple of days left before I draw the winner of the knitted men's beanie.
CLICK HERE to enter! 
Thanks so much to those who have kindly given me feedback - I can't wait to get CLACKING on the prize. 

Monday, July 4, 2011


The most attractive kiwifruit orchard entrance I saw on my walk.

Just returned from a heart-warming weekend away with extended family in the kiwifruit region of Te Puke, AND with a huge box of export quality kiwifruit to replace the multitude of mandarins. Early morning walks amongst the orchards in the rural setting were refreshing, tranquil, and the perfect way to connect with the change of environment.

I was honoured to be asked by my niece to decorate the bridal table for her wedding – a task which I found completely pleasurable, especially for such a gorgeous, young couple; however, the glassware, napkins and other basics on the table were selected by someone else. Working with flowers, foliage, and sparkling vessels is a joy for me, and I simply used my own personal objects that were either in use, or hiding in the cupboard at home. The colours Crystal and Ray had chosen for their day were deep blue, silver and white - the rest of the ideas they left in my hands! Just as well Aunty Jen has broad shoulders.

Preparing the vessels of flowers etc prior to the wedding.

Deciding the feel for the table design was obvious really –  elegance, romance, with a touch of their Maori heritage. Taking advantage of the abundance of camellias (and one of my favourite blooms), I plucked different varieties for greater texture from trees in the area, and a snippet of whispy native fern. I only had to purchase a couple of tiny things to personalise the scene like t-lights that I decorated, a retro 45 record used as a placemat, a few candles, a Styles of Writing poetic tag, etc - so all done on the shortest shoestring budget in history, which was the challenge.
Nearly completed table set-up.

Mission accomplished, and congratulations again to Mr and Mrs Tuhaka!   XX