Monday, December 21

away from it all

a christmas e-card i rcvd today....

Friday, December 18

sling thing

A few days ago we had one of those typical Outpost days - which reminds me of why I opened a boutique  in such a remote location in the first place. One does wonder at times..... A young gent entered in urgent need of a baby sling. "I'll make you one, you know like African women wear  " i replied ever the resourceful designer...." can you bring in the baby ?"  I asked as I was unsure of sling sizing.... so Mum and baby came in, I brought out different cloths  and we found this one - which was perfect. The muted  muddy colours were what the client liked, and I felt confident the tight weave would make the sling sturdy. Also on the plus side it was tubular, one of those Javanese  men worker sarongs - so not needing any seaming.

We discussed the appropriate width and I cut it with my pinking shears on the shop floor. Lastly, I knotted one end of it so that the sling would be the right length when worn.
At which point I couldn't resist hand stitching one of our labels inside....


Sunday, November 22

more from our man in Finland

  our man in Finland enjoys the cold - he's heading out to the Hokianga where things are warming up.

Saturday, November 14

kete / kemp house / keri keri

Some of this country's finest kete are on show until the 29th of November at the historic Kemp House
in  Keri Keri. I have been privileged to see them up close and personal and it is only as I have begun
to delve into the story of their making ( for a piece that I am writing) that I realise just what goes into
their making: harvesting the fibres, processing them, weaving them  with patterns of meanings and history.
In an industrial age where everything is made in multiples - it is humbling to see these one off pieces stand their ground.
Photos by Robert Ueberfeldt.

Sunday, November 8


Ever since some designer ( probably McQueen) lifted the skull motif from the goths in the nineties - this  stark emblem of death has remained in the fashion scene.

You'd have to literally walk over my dead body before you'll see me in one ( I must have lived in Italy too long...non si scherza!)  but I thought this lady made the theme look sporty and cheery. 

Can you imagine?


Friday, November 6

out postin'

Preparing parcels and and letters to send off this morning I wanted to  visualise their destination.
Topographic patterns reveal the difference between hi and lo density areas.
I wonder what earth's overall percentage is -
From top -Westmere, Auckland

 followed by :
North London

Outpost Hokianga, Rawene

Asti, Italy

Salamanca, Madrid.


Wednesday, November 4

gallery floor talk

a really good talk given by the artist Barbara Strathdee-
attendees -    Mrs Gillian McGrath, Mrs AnneMarie Booth and Amaru, Mr Chris Booth (right),
Mr Alistair K Lambie munching into a deluxe asparagus roll.

Saturday, October 31

boyz in da hood

on a return trip rawene - the narrows

a compliment

it's always nice to recieve a compliment  as this blog did yesterday from the girls at seed gallery.
its nice to be appreciated.

Friday, October 30

gumboots red stripe

                                                     sometimes things done in haste look pretty cool.

Sunday, October 25

perche' parquet?

Although parquet is a European and not Antipodean thing ( we do floorboards) I have  wondered  why, when I was in Milan,  the  aspirational dream  apartment was the one with the ( often  v. creaky)   parquet floor. With this 'wall to wall' parquet flooring installation by Shay Alkalay and Yael Mer for Established and Sons, the answer, i think, is obvious.


Friday, October 23

antipodean lei

                    Christine Butler juggling a couple of glitter balls at the Outpost.Note the fluoro plastic tote-
                   its inflatable and can become a cushion  or life saver.
                   Detail of Antipodean Lei made by Butler  utilising shopping bags and crochet.

Sunday, October 18

in the mood

Hvittrask, Finland  the former home and studio of architect Eero Saarinen
photos by Ross T Smith -

Saturday, October 17

about riffs and transitions.....

         All welcome to Barbara's gallery floor talk next Saturday 24th of October at 2pm.
         5 Parnell Street, Rawene, Hokianga Harbour, Northland, New Zealand


riffs & transitions

Saturday, October 3

fashion classic

as another round of fashion weeks comes soon to a close in Paris - with liquid gold lame' and couture rips
becoming the next collective fantasy - on K'road it is humbing to see some street fashion classics - the
expressive imagination constrained by a budget. 'Fluoro-essence' in a mysterious space which looked like
nothing was for sale and that tomboy meets punk classic wearing hi-tops.


I have just realised how long it has been inbetween posts.
My head has been in two other places - pics to follow.

art web

a work made by sometimes Outposter Ramona Cording
currently art-iculating at Elam Auckland.

Tuesday, August 18

a society of leisure

Some time ago - I went to the Auckland City Art Gallery to view
the Yinka Shonibare show. I had Gina in tow and asked at reception
if I could bring her in with me - should I have left her in the car?
The answer was an obvious no.
Upon entering the room with the lady walking her pet jaguars
the concept of a society of elegant leisure which
includes elegant pets on a leash is evidently an
historical one.
Admittedly Gina is a Huntaway and not a leopard and her collar
is in neoprene and nylon and not encrusted with diamonds.

Sunday, August 16


Thursday, August 13

travel van

The touring season is about to start - i always enjoy checking out the
drivers of these arty vans. Like did they just rent the available one or did
they choose the one with their favourite image?
It takes matching your wheels
to your look to a whole new level....

Tuesday, August 11

bike like

You know the guy is into his motorcycle when the riding outfit matches the bike.

Wednesday, August 5

something getting on your goat

can't always be that bad......and what about
when it gets on all your goats?

Thursday, July 30


Portrait by Ross T Smith

Thursday, July 16

a buggs life

Light series designed by Sebastian Wrong of
British company Established & Sons.

Wednesday, July 15

god draug era web

Monday, July 6


I spent Saturday sorting out an old collection of books.
What struck me is how distinct eras of human existence
are so well defined by their assembly of content and by
graphic design. Typography, paper stock, cover images
or embossing.
E-books will probably takeover as a convenient way of
conveying content in
its pure form and I think books will
become even more precious objects than they are today.
Their musty smell and smooth surfaces. The sometimes
archaic form of language. The stories within. A re- edition
of a classic offers a form of time travel which remains linked
to the
present - as it is repackaged for a contemporary eye.

What a revelation when one sets hands on a first edition.
It forces you to leave the comfortable context of 'today'
as time and place and enter into one of 'then'. Not always
interesting or easy to interpret at first glance.

Above, a picture of first edition Penguins found at Tivoli Gallery,
Waiheke Island. Paperback the fragrance captures the musty
essence of old books left to moulder in a summer house.

Thursday, June 25

flora hauora

These were published in urbis magazine at
least two years ago. It was one of my favourite

I had the idea that I wanted to do flower arrangement
story that only utilised native flora. I had this leafy green
and stark white vision in my head but actually when I
met up with Katie Lockhart - the stylist - all I said was
that it had to be a still life story featuring native flora.
I knew that Katie would come up with something beautiful.
Katie worked with Derek Henderson - the photographer-
to create these pictures. Katie took the idea further
and found native plants that have medicinal properties.
Derek kept it simple and played with light and shadow in
a very subtle way.
Looking at it again today I am struck by how
crisp and
it is and I feel an interesting aesthetic quality
was uncovered.