Yip Yip

I would like to make an official announcement although I write on this thing like there are people out there reading it who care, well I do...Congrats to Jordan (my bro) and his wife and their brand new baby as of today Sydney Arcadia Larson.

This is my happy picture that I love and it is my visual communication of the happiness for my new niecy!

I completed my first week of Graphic Design school but I feel completely overwhelmed by it all. I love it and am very excited to be learning away but wonder if I will ever be able to actually know these programs and be any good. Of course, here I am the psycho perfectionist. My tutor, Carol, is fantastic and doesn't mind my never ending questions. But since Mike is still in Queenstown, I have been spending a lot of time on Photoshop playing around and trying to get some it to sink in.

Also, I am a total and complete convert to Apple. It's true. They make me feel cool when I am even in their presence...especially the one we have (well have been oh so fortunate to borrow). The three C's. Clean, clear, and Cool. I will never look back.

It's not just a computer, it's a harmonious piece of wholly aesthetic furniture. It is sublime.


New Site

Okay folks...I've got something new in the works. I am going to attempt to post a new design every day while I am in my course...or as close to that as I can. Then later I can see my progress and enjoy posting them along the way.

go to Aesthetics in Progress

I am also going to try and do them in 20 minutes or less...just because.


First Day of School

Today was the first day of the rest of my life...well not exactly but I did begin my Graphic Design Course and am thrilled to be getting into it. I have volumes of ideas (and ideas I want to steal) that I have no idea how to actually create so this course will be my doorway into creating. I am going to start another blog where I post a daily design so i can plot my progess during the course and share some of what I am up to. It will be my blog of all things designy. There are so many designs and designers that are incredible and somehow I can't seem to believe that I can join the ranks as Graphic Designer (too elite for me) but I am charging ahead and determined. So that should be along in the next couple of days when I load up the software to actually create something everyday.

Until then...


La Primavera

Today was Spring in Christchurch.
Gorgeous Spring. Everything Spring
Should be. Yum. The air is warming up so now the sun feels hot but there's still a breeze. Everyone's out of their offices and workspaces for
a bit of fun in the sun. Christchurch is lovely in the spring and summer.
Come one, Come all.



Okay maybe not the best or most artistic pictures, but here it is. My Turkey Coat. It's very very soft lamb skin. Again, I have never had any desire to own a leather jacket but hello??? This is hot. Sorry, it took so long but I am happy to share.


That "What What" of Fall 2006

I am really not a fashionista but hey I want to be in the design world and I've been doing lots of research of graphic and interior so I thought I'd see all about the "what what" of Fall 2006 from the NY show ...of course I am going into Spring so I won't be able to dawn any of these looks but I thought some of you (that is if anyone reads this) might appreciate some advice (according to "the" trend setters).

First we have the Bubble:
Look forward to ballooning skirts. They just hide your hips and tummy and make you look 1 trillion times worse. But if you do feel the bubble look is for you, make sure you find a hat just like that one. It's an extraordinary look that I think it could really enhance our looks.

Next: Oversize
Wow, I need this look...I think this would really say who I am on my first day back at school. I might be able to achieve this very look if I cut a hole in a circular side table, pull it up to my hips, and then drap a ruffly table cloth over me head. Yes, I think that could really look great!

Thirdly there is Layering:

I think this look will really help us all feel better abour ourselves and our bodies. Plus, we can take all the crap we have sitting in our closet that we need to chuck and wear it all at once. I think I might actually have to buy that mask/hat thing she's wearing though. That's a must and I am going to get busy right away gluing toothpicks to my boots to try and mimic that spike look. Just inspriring.

And Finally (and this one I actually quite like) Napoleonic:

Yes, she looks sexy. Just gotta get rid of my hips and boobs. Who would of thought that short little General would have inspired a line of fashion hundreds of years after his demise...I bet he'd love it. Yes, I like this look...and quite a few of the other Napoleonic fashions I've seen.

Will I buy into it? NO! Following trends is a waste of time and too damn expensive. But I hope you've enjoyed this bit of Fashion Informing for Fall 2006. I know I have. Now we all know a little bit about some of the more important things going on in the world this week.

Happy Fashioning.

Not much news...

Not too much news these past few days. Mike and I have made the move back up to Christchurch. Our days as restaurant staff are complete (never to be repeated, I hope) and onwards to a a future of impoverished students. I am starting my graphic Design program next week and Mike is in an assundry of courses. Here are a few new pictures of the little ones. What can I say, I haven't seen them all in ages so I post copious amounts of pictures of them. Hey, it's my blog, I can do what I want!

Joys' girls...Alanah, Shannon, and Miranda.
Brig and Anders watching some cartoons on their vacation. I love them and their remotes.
Brig coloring with Anders and Madeline. Look at that blond hair. Love it!


Turkey 2006! Finally Finished

Finally I am finished! I have now posted all of the pictures from our trip to Turkey this past May. It was a fantastic trip and a new favorite spot. So much texture and layer of culture. It was brilliant.Our trip began with a a lay over in Dubai. We were starving and I'm not sure if it was out of humour or hunger that I ordered the "McArabia" but the experience began here.

After our arrival to Istanbul and a very quick drive to our guesthouse in Sultanhmet (which is the place to stay, at least on your first visit because it's close to everything) we got out for a walk to get some fresh air when we were seduced into a carpet shop. Luckily, we learned so quickly upon arrival how vicious and thirsty for sales these carpet salesmen can be...we barely got out alive. Now, the carpets were AMAZING and somehow I snapped these pictures (I think I said my mother might like to buy one...which was one of our schemes to buy a little time as he wasn't going to let us leave without buying) while they showed us some of the hundreds of carpets they had in their shop. They are gorgeous and sure, I'd love to have one but I don't have several thousand kicking around. Hussein was his name and he has us cornered with some apple tea ( yum yum) and wanted us to make an offer on this rug that he had sort of picked out for us somehow and we just couldn't do it anymore...pretend like we could afford it. So we just up and made a B-line for the door, promising we'd return the next day to purchase. He even offered that we take the rug home with us and an accompanying carpet bag to ensure we'd return. We got out and didn't look back. In fact, we were moderatley traumatized by the experience and took a back alley for the rest of our time so we wouldn't have to pass the store again. We had learned our lesson and knew what it meant when they said they just wanted to sit down for some apple tea and chat.

Our wonderful little Marmara guesthouse. I would highly suggest staying there if you are in the area. Wonderful family, nice breakfast, and very convienient. The family made our entrance to Turkey great. What a trip. Enjoy the Pix!

Quite a sight

It was quite an experience to be able to go inside of the Hagia Sophia, something I had studied in school. It was breaktaking and so immense in size. It would have been spectacular back in it's day covered in golden mosaics. As we walked through, you could see the layers of history from the conversion from Church to Mosque in 1453. Sadly, these first pictures we took were all on 2 mega pixels and because it was so dark, a good picture was somewhat hard to take but it was incredible and reminded me of all those visits to the cold, echoe-y cathedrals in England. What's amazing is how old it is and what a feat of engineering and design it was so many hundreds of years ago. Yes, tis true that the outside is a wee bit tatered compared to the grand Blue Mosque mirroring it across the street, but there is something so rustic and mystical about this building.

How cool are those guys with all the bread on their head? These were pretty yummy donut like things. Very cheap. Very sesame seedish.
We went over to Topkapi Palace...the home of the Sultan. Very impressive. There were some amazing treasures and jewels that the Sultans had collected. Wowza.
That's the Sultan's bathroom. Very interesting. And those were the quarters of the Harem.
This was from our visit from the Blue Mosque. It is one of the most beautiful Mosques in the world so it is quite the place of pilgramage and is still a working Temple so I covered my head as asked when entering. Very inviting and grand space.
More mosques.
We paid extra to go to the Harem. This is where the Sultan kept all his many many women.
More Topkapi designs and colors.
and more.

Istanbul continues...

The Grand Bazaare. It is one of the oldest covered Markets in the world! I must say that if you've been to a market in Asia, there are very few Markets that can top that but the Grand Bazaare was brimming with beautiful yumminess. We didn't know particularly how to get there but just wandered into one of the entrances and we found magic. Lanterns, Leather, Clothing, Rugs, Scarves, Pottery, Leather, Jewelry, Antiques, Bags, did I say Leather...it was overwhelming at the beginning but we got into it. It was difficult to know who was actually being straight with you, as they are VERY aggressive salespeople but we found this one jewelry stall and they seemed direct and we indulged in some beautiful coral lovelies for me. My knees get weak around turquoise and coral and here was BOTH! Help me. If my aunties could see all this.
After my time with the jewelry we were more warmed up to the shopping thing and began looking for some new shirts for Mike. We went to stall after stall looking for bargains and most importantly, bright colors. We found some rad colored collared shirts for Mike...all Lacoste...we go for nothing less but I think they sew the aligator on backwards in Turkey. hee hee. This one stall had some great colors and it was like a jackpot for Mike. He found what he felt was "the coolest shirt ever" with orange and blue stripes. It is pretty cool. Mike liked it so much he even wanted to get two. He got enough to warrant a deal. Now, it certainly wasn't as cheap as Asia, but it was fun!
It was easy to get completely turned around and lost in there. I left Mike for a few minutes and could not find my way back because it all looks the same. Same lanterns, same rugs, same scarves. I tried to mentally take note of where I turned left or right but it was so difficult to differeniate between everything. We certainly got into it. Sadly, I don't have a picture of the purchase of the day....the Red and White Leather Jacket that I got. Mike has noticed it in a window at one point and you get all excited about being there, he was determined to find it again. We wandered ALL over looking for it until we found it again. Mike really wanted me to try it on and I wasn't so into it...I mean I hadn't thought of getting a leather jacket and didn't realize that Turkey is actually the Leather capital of the world. Well I tried it on and it was pretty damn cool. It's knee length, red with white accents. Trust me, it's one amazing leather jacket. A guy just today said, and I quote, "That is the coolest jacket I have ever seen". I was a little aprehensive but Mike bargained it down and I know my children will be fighting over who gets that jacket. Thank you Grand Bazaare!

And after our long day at the Bazaare we wandered around the Sultanhmet neighborhood and I found some cool Turkish design details. It's a great area.
More wanders around Sultanahmet found us walking past this window with AMAZING felt hats...handmade felt in Western Turkey, in fact. This place has some beautiful hand made felt clothes as well. Although enticing, I had my incredible leather jacket. That's the outside of our wee pension. The pink one was the pension and the one next door was the family home. They were lovely people and always peeking out the window to check on us as we waited for some people to go to dinner with. I loved wandering around the area. Very funky and stylish but not too busy as I can only imagine the influx of backpackers come summer.
So our pension was about 5 minutes from the Hagia and Sophia and Topapi palace so we walked past them to get anywhere.
and we took copious pictures of the Mosques...especially the Blue because it was just so cool.
Stands of olives, blocks of fresh feta cheese, fresh fish, and real Turkish delight...which is much better than I imagined. We bought a goodie bag of one of each sort to munch on. I wouldn't munch on them all the time but hey, it was part of the experience...now the feta and olives, I wish I could have packed some home.
We strolled through the Spice Market and this is some of what we saw. I wish I could have brought some of the spices with us but NZ is very strict on bringing things back. Look at all those Olives!

We wandered all over that day. Although I must say, we didn't get too adventurous and stayed within one area. That's a feel of the inside of the Grand Bazaare. I'll just have to go back to get it all in. We did meet this old man on a park bench and he was so happy to meet us. He didn't speak much English but just seemed so happy, maybe because people don't generally chat to him but he was sweet....until he kept kissing my cheek and Mike had to intervene. I like his glasses. And one more picture of me with the Hagia Sophia.
I loved that everywhere we went, there was a Mosque in the background. I love the shape of these buildings and especially at prayer time because you could hear the echoing and overlappings of the calls to prayer reverberate through out the city.

This is the lovely woman who helped us out with her family's pension. It was a great family run place with a great view of the Bosphorus and the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosques. We had a great stay at the Marama Pension and a fantastic time in Istanbul


Next stop, ISTANBUL. I sort of don't want to finish it up because that means it's over. It's time. I have this issue with having to post pictures...I don't just like text so I added this little pic I doctored up in Photoshop when I was making my recent CV (rezoome). That's me with the Blue Mosque in Istanbul which is in a tight race for my favorite city. So amidst the last 2 weeks you'll find all of Cappadoccia which was a fantastic part of Turkey, maybe my favorite??? Check it yo.

Welcome to Goreme

After the 13 hour bus trip, we found ourselves plopped in Goreme at about 8AM. I had read about some places to stay but they have a very handy centre with all the hostels listed and pictures of them. We saw one that seemed like a bargain, the man called him up, and within minutes they were there taking us to the Shoe-String hostel up the road. We thought we'd save some money and stay in the dorm room but luckily our dorm was up that ladder in that wee cave. So we sort of had our privacy. It was very funky and fun. It was a really fun place and we met lots of people in our few days there. After checking into our cave, we wandered around the little village and then headed out on a walk with some people from the hostel.
Walking out of town and into the Valleys.


After arriving, finding a place, and getting some breakfast, we began to see all that the area had to offer and try to figure out how to see it all. We could rent a car to get to some of the Valleys we wanted to see or a scooter but our hostel offered all sorts of tours and after looking at budget we signed up for one on the next day. One of the guys at the hostel, Rico, well that's not his name, he's Turkish and is the nephew of the owner of the ShoeString, actually born in what is now dorm2, but he had sideburns and could pass as Mexican...he took us and a group on a guided walk (4 hours worth) into some of the Valleys nearby...Rose and I forget the other name. There are a plethora of Valleys with paths for your free enjoyment but it was fun going with Rico as he has tromped around these areas his whole life. It was gorgeous. A free National Park. Sorry for the collages...I can't seem to post single pix.

We passed along the occasional carved church. I wouldn't mind just carving myself a wee house.
It was amazing stuff we were just wandering amidst.
Beautiful textures and soft colors.
That's Rico in the bottom right picture. He was so much fun to guide us around...even getting lost and taking us through some places he hadn't even been. I am really impressed with that hostel and everything they offer. I think we were there at a good time as well. Not too too busy.

Cappadoccia cont...

So I could only get them to load in these gigantic collages. Oh well, it works!
Next stop on our trip was to Ilhana Valley which is a gorgeous canyon...not like the Grand but lovely and quiet. You can actually go there and hike through the whole thing and camp but we only wandered for a few kilometres of it. It was spring green and just beautfiul.
Some more from the Valley and also a good picture of the traditional garb of Turkish women from this area. Mostly seen on older women. These women were selling these wee hand made dolls and I don't know why I didn't get one. Stupid. Those are those sorts of things I love to collect.

Our first stop on the tour were to these under ground cities. We just kept going down and down. These were home to thousands of Christians ( at one point) when they had to hide out. Very interesting history.
A group of people staying at our hostel that we went on a walk with through some of the valleys on our first day in Goreme. It was a great time meeting all sorts of people and chatting about their lives. It's odd how close travelers can be and the info that they confide in eachother. I guess it's safe, you can vent and never see them again. Also, one of the stands that I grew to LOVE in Turkey. Such amazing dried Apricots and nuts. Another cool Turkish lady.