Friday in Collingwood…

… was a mix of showers, sun and rainbows.

 

After doing a bit of laundry which we spread throughout the house to dry, my lovely hostess, Nicola, and I checked out the beach for the driftwood and whale scene. The cyclone had definitely changed the amount of driftwood available, burying tons of wood under the sand. But we have some good ‘backbones’ to work with for the community build today. The cyclone also dumped a lot  of rain which we had to wade through to get to the actual beach.

 

Saw a bit of the gorgeous countryside including the Devil’s Boot rock formation: (having technical difficulties in uploading those pics – will try again later).

 

Sampled two favorite local eateries and enjoyed the company of some of the locals. Nicola also shows me the rudiments of basket making with flax – great material!

 

Mostly sunny predicted for today – Hope it holds true for our community driftwood build! Will post results later. Off to the beach!

 

 

Travel adventure!

Immediately after class was finished on Wednesday I joined another tutor in an express drive to Sydney for an overnight stay with one of my students. We both had flights out Thursday and were grateful to have the hospitality and transportation.

 

Beating the the morning rush hour, I was driven to the nearest train station, hopped on the train to city central, changed trains for the airport, got my flight to Wellington, NZ and …. Waited. A cyclone was doing its thing over the NZ islands which had caused a number of flight cancellations the day before and was continuing the routine this day.  We had flown above and through clouds all the way from Sydney and really could not see the ground until we were almost touched down.

 

I had booked a flight on a small local airline to take me directly to Golden Bay, the northwestern tip of the south island. The afternoon flight to Wellington was delayed which meant we were delayed in leaving Wellington. A group of four women trekkers/hikers shared the flight for a total of 6 (including pilot) on the plane – it’s maximum!

I got to be copilot – way cool even though I did nothing but sit there and watch! Chris, our pilot, was good, getting us through the clouds, rain and wind with hardly a bump. We raced the sun even though we couldn’t see it since the airport at Takaka/Golden Bay had no lights. Unfortunately we ran out of daylight after we had already passed Nelson so we turned around and made a very decent landing in Nelson.

 

Managed to get a bite to eat at the Nelson airport (pumpkin frittata piled high) while waiting for the van from the Takaka airport to scoop us up. The trekkers needed a grocery store stop since most businesses were scheduled to be closed on Friday due to the holy day/holiday. The drive from Nelson to Takaka was about 1.5 hours and up/down a mountain with lots of twists and turns. Must be beautiful to see – all we saw was the rain on the road.

So, what should have been an arrival of 6pm or so turned into a getting picked up after 10pm. Straight to bed!

Catching Up

Contrary to the rumors going around, I am still alive and kicking! Teaching and travel days got very busy, so I will attempt to catch you up on the adventures.

The basketry class went superbly well. At least I think it did – you will have to ask my students for their opinion. Everyone seemed to leave with a smile on their face, so I think I am safe in my assessment.

They pushed themselves in what they wanted to try.

Working hard.
Discussing options.

 

Some quite lovely and unique work was accomplished in three very busy days.  Very proud of all those folks who gave it a go and found success in trying new materials and techniques.

Monday, Monday

 

 

After a huge thunderstorm and gale force winds yesterday evening, this morning was COLD! No snow, but nippier than most of us preferred. The coffe cart was kept busy al day and the chicken soup at lunch was a popular item.

 

Started the three-day basketry class with thirteen lovely ladies. About half of the class had minimal to no experience; a third had very strong backgrounds in basketry work; two had taken this same workshop three years ago and could have taught the class this time. Expectations are high that they will have a thoroughly delightful and rewarding basketry experience. Pressure is on!

 

And with just one day into it, the beginners are doing grand and the advanced gals have already reached some of their goals. Everything is looking good!

 

A lovely varied dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Katoomba and the sky is clear with a brilliant star display.

 

Earlier in the day I caught a much closer display:

Unintentional skip

Well, I had a post all ready to go yesterday, but it has disappeared into ether air. Suffice to say I had an enjoyable time in Melbourne and environs, got reorganized for the next stage of the trip and made my way via plane and train to the Bule Mountains outside Sydney.

Already at the start of the second day of a mudcloth class, my 10 enthusiastic students have produced a multitude of lovely patterns and designs with the gorgeous colored dirts from around the area. We will finish up today and do a show and tell from all the workshops this evening.

The day is off to a brilliant start sun-wise as well as in general. Heading off for a cup of hot chocolate and a peek at the vendors before class starts.