Tuesday, April 05, 2011

nga waiata

I'm so glad that Nga Waiata's website provides helpful guidance as the the pronounciation of her name (FYI: naaaa-y-a-taa). She informs that it is Maori for 'the songs' or 'music'. 

And she is living true to her namesake because there is something about her rings that indeed makes me want to sing....

There are so many reasons why I am so taken by these rings. I love that, by the very nature of stone and wood, every ring is truly unique. There is something truly earthy about them and somehow very delicate, despite their chunkiness. I love that each ring is made and sold not just for decoration, but also for the spiritual connections some feel with gemstones and crystals and the blessings different stones can bring to your life.

When I went to Australia, a very dear friend who has found great solace in crystals gave me a ruby (my birthstone) and a moonstone (to bring safe travel). What a perfect gift to a traveller! I followed the instructions to cleanse and belong myself to the stones and took them with me everywhere. Whether it was the power of the stones or the power of the belief of a good friend within them, I felt their presence. Then in turn, when my sister was heading to India for 5 months, I sent her an amethyst for emotional stability and inner strength, neccessary for what would be a gut-renching first long stint abroad. I think these rings make fantastic gifts for loved ones (or even ourselves) needing similar reassurance. True or not - there is surely no harm in belief.

My favourite of these? I do truly love them all but I am particularly besotted by the first image, the Lapis Lazuli rings. If not only for their aesthetic value but also for the description delivered alongside it. It promises itself as 'the stone of total awareness, helping to expand the intellect and intuitive aspects of ones character, facilitates clear expression of thoughts, helps you say the right thing at the right time!'

All this in a beautiful objet d'art-come-ring? Yes please!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

douglas + bec (+carlos)

Arriving in Auckland was not ideal. We'd been on the road and living out of a suitcase for a few days, we were tired and our accomodation was rubbish. I needed a pick me up and by heck did I find me one.

A walk up the hill to Ponsonby not only offered a fantastic view it also allowed me a look in the super-fantastic Douglas + Bec. My favourite sort of shop in many ways; I just felt completely at ease there, despite immense product excitement.


Inside, it really feels like being in someone's house. The fantastic products do not overwhelm you from traditional retail displays. Instead, what is a vast selection of super stock is subtly placed to feel more like a gallery of great design and actually, a very relaxing experience.


And in case I've not exhausted my list of excitable positive adjectives, did I mention how terrific the products are? I am saving my very favourite bits for their own posts but you can see, even from these shop shots, a whole host of gems. I love the clusters of skeletal globe shades, those (surprisingly comfortable) chairs and the hand picked and uber thoughtful textiles. I even like all the lamps which is a big deal because I'm kind of hard to please in the lighting stakes!

So, you've seen all this talk on the delectable Douglas + Bec.... I bet you'd like to know who Carlos is?

Bit of a shocker of a photo quality-wise I'm afraid...
My equipment for subtle dog pap-ing leaves much to be desired
The Shop Dog! I must admit being a real sucker for a well placed shop pet. Very cute!

PS. I've just had a gander on Douglas + Bec's website and am excited to report some stunning product photography in preparation for their new online store. EVEN if it won't permit international purchase, it will still be great to get a better look!

smalltown joys

The biggest thing we took away from our oh-so-brief time in New Zealand was the joy of the small towns. Sure, we were impressed by Wellington and Auckland but after 6 months in the marvellous Melbourne, not to mention a lifetime in London and extensive trips to world cities in the past, it was unlikely that there would be anything in these pretty small urban hubs to really wow us.

The small towns on the other side.... WOW.

I always imagined New Zealand to resemble to UK pretty closely but was instantly charmed to see the street-width roads they passed off as their highways and the one-horse towns that constituted worthy dots in an otherwise open expanse on the map.

But what made me really realize the joys of the small town was the first thing that happened....

As 21st Century 20 somethings we overlooked something so simple as jotting down an address that had been received in an email. I wouldn't go so far as to say we assumed WIFI or 3G connectivity upon arrival at New Zealand's capital city Wellington's international airport, in reality we never questioned it would be not be so.

Alas, we were wrong and thus we were in Wellington with a rental car and a free map but wider than that, no idea where we were going, where my boyfriend's aunt lived or indeed how to contact her to find out either of these pieces of information. All telephone numbers and addresses were stuck in the un-tappable realm of cyberspace we so often thought nothing of.

Sensible beings we are though, we led ourselves along the relatively simple one-road-north system and did indeed find Greytown, the town in which the aunt lived. Fortunately also, Aunt P runs a shop, so that was our first look out. After two drives along the long strip that is Greytown (pop. 2000), we finally spotted her discretely located shop and pulled up around the corner. Frustratingly the shop was locked up so our plan to locate her that way was not going to work. 

Spotting a 'community supermarket' across the road, I suggested we ask in there, honestly otherwise not knowing what to do (bar calling back to the UK from a payphone). I may be from the city but I have heard distant tales of country folk knowing their neighbours. The girl hovering the front foyer didn’t know so she suggested we ask at the till. Thinking it would be rude to ask for information without purchase we hastily grabbed a bottle of wine to go with our pursuit. We needn’t have bothered, they were more than happy to help us out. The Lady in the Supermarket (Sue) first provided us with the phonebook where we looked up Aunt P under her maiden name, her second married name and even her first married name. All to no avail.

Another supermarket worker then piped up when we connected Aunt P with her shop saying 
‘I don’t know where she lives but I know someone that does’. Within less than a minute, she’d located a ‘Judy’ in the phonebook, called her up and got Aunt P's address. Naturally, we were assured that they wouldn’t have given out the information had they not heard on the grapevine that Penny was expecting her English nephew and his girlfriend in town. For a committed urbanite this knowledge of one's neighbours was both an alien and terrifying concept.

Our next problem was then, having got the street address, not knowing where to find the street. But oh no, returning to the car we discovered that yes, we had actually parked on the street itself.

I wish I lived in a small town.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...