Monday, March 5, 2012

The mythical nose picking opera

When I was about five or six, my Uncle dated an opera singer.

My Mum and Nanna made the mistake of taking me to one of her concerts. I was bored and began climbing all over squeaky chairs.
("Who brings their child to the opera? How rude.")

Nanna told me that I was impolite and needed to quieten down. This logic does not work on a five year old. I continued to roll around on the seats.

She leaned over, "Did you hear that? She just sung about picking her nose!"

I sat there as still as I possibly could for the rest of the show. Straining to hear the illicit lyrics that never came.

When I went back to school the next day, I decided to take class singing to a marvellous new level.

We began to sing Miss Mary Mac, and I pulled out my secret weapon. All the other children sat on the mat and sung, but I stood up and expressed myself. In full operatic voice.
Or whatever that actually sounds like for a five year old.

It definitely involved standing or at least kneeling for the appropriate lung expansion.

I continued this until one day I took a moment to snap out of my singing rapture. Kneeling on the mat, arms out wide, singing as high as I possibly could, I opened my eyes and looked around.

The children were horrified.

I sunk to the ground and proceeded to sing in a very normal voice.

Nothing would ever compare to that fleeting opera ecstasy.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The pendrell

Sewn: The Pendrell Blouse

It is made out of this lovely Marc Jacobs silk that I really should zoom in on, because is is so fabulous.

One good thing about living on an island is that I don't have so many opportunities to fall in love with fabric. It can make a girl into a pauper!

The album is taking forever to finish- waiting on other people. In the mean time, I've started songwriting again for the next project-but I might just sew up a storm while I have this little bit of grace.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I am back on Waiheke island. This place always calls me home.

I lived here when I was in primary school, and also in my late teens when I couldn't handle the regular schooling system and decided to finish my academic career in a school that overlooked the ocean. Somewhere I could spend all of my time in the art room and sneak out of history class to eat ice creams at the beach.

What I love is my new studio. There is diffused light and it was built especially for me.

This is the view from my desk.

There is lavender under all of my windows.

I have utilitarian storage for my fabrics. Space to sew, paint and play music. Note the bare wall. It was just built this weekend.

And this is what my commute to town looks like as I travel to my day job.

Friday, December 2, 2011

The turtleneck matches his eyes

This week I began recording the album- whooop!

The first step was drum tracking. Logan used this AMAZING record as his drumming inspiration:

As you can imagine, it really added extra intensity and passion.

 This is Olly Harmer, he is our recording engineer at The Lab:

 He won Best Engineer at the NZ Music awards last year. But it is very strange, the 'technical' awards (Best Engineer, Producer, and Album Art) are actually HIGHLY creative, but they are held on a different night to the main awards- like they don't even matter!

As if shaping the sound of an album is of no importance.

Anyway, he won. Hurrah. Working with Olly was wonderful, and we are just getting started. When the live song frenzy came upon me, he was there, getting creative with vintage room microphones to capture the song 'Lazarus' in one solid take.

What you cant see here are the boys stomping and clapping till their hands bled, and one very talented bass player.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Album Art

Creating an album is a bit of a logistical challenge, so I've been neglecting blog duties somewhat.

The album is a crazy amount of work. Something else that has taken me by surprise is the amount of work that goes into orchestrating a magnificent photoshoot.

The lovely and talented Brooke Tyson is on board to style the shoot, providing her beautiful feminine and dramatic clothing, which is a thrill. I can't wait for my first fitting. I love playing dress-ups. I was also planning to diet, but my compulsive relationship with Tahini has ruined those plans somewhat.

On Sunday I even had  a papercraft party with some of my girlfriends so that we could make the props for the shoot, which is loosely based on Erica Lack's paper art. 

Who knew making things out of paper took such a bloody long time!! (I'm sure plenty of you do.) We worked for 5 hours, and are only about half-way there- if I am generous.

Erica is also doing the album artwork, which will be spectacular. I am so excited. The artwork is in production at the moment. I have only seen the sketches, but they are amazing.

I can't wait till I can show you. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sweet Caravans

Lately, I have been thinking that I would very much like to buy a wee run-down caravan and fix it up to live in.... much like these pics (uncredited, sorry! I can't remember where I found them):

Which makes me wonder: do I have the general craftiness needed to embark on a project like this? Yes, probably.
Do I have the attention span? Doubtful.
How about the attention to detail that would ensure I did a good job? Um.....errrrr....

But can you imagine how delightful it would be to live in? Small, but delightful. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Snow in Auckland!!

Many of you will wonder what the big deal is. Snow. And about two minutes of it, at that. Pa-thetic.

The thing is, in Auckland, New Zealand it doesn't snow. Well it hasn't for 80 years.

So, yup, it may seem a little lame to get so excited, but growing up in Auckland it was the kind of thing us kids dreamed about. A magical idea that still seemed magical into my adulthood.

AND THEN IT HAPPENED! And, even better, I didn't read about it in the paper, enviously wishing that I had seen it (I do this with water-spouts and tornadoes), but for the two minutes that it snowed, I was right there at the window.

Well, that, and running around like a maniac yelling "COME AND LOOK! IT'S SNOWING!"

First snowflakes in upstate NY

To be honest, I'd only ever seen snow flakes once before, when I was visiting a good friend in upstate New York. I was so excited that I locked myself out of the house in my pajamas (see diagram.)

So, Auckland snow day was an excellent day...

Despite the fact that due to our un-insulated home with no central heating, I slept in 1x thermal pants, 1x thermal top, 1x pair socks, 1 x t-shirt, 1x full set of pajamas, with 1x hot water bottle, under 1x synthetic duvet/comforter, 1x feather duvet/comforter, 1x wool duvet/comforter and a fluffy blanket.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


The best view would have been right outside my flatmates room- but lurking outside their window with a camera at 6.30am might have seemed a little creepy.

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