Sunday, 15 February 2009

Rangitoto Island From St Heliers Beach

This postcard was made for a February/Winter exchange on Goldilocks and Friends, and measures 18x15cm.
The materials: "sky dye" fabric for sky and sea; commercial batik cotton for island and grass, rocks & flax bushes; rust dyed fabric for sand. I put a very thin layer of fused then teased Aurora Crystalina Angelina on the sea to make it sparkle. Fussy cut rocks and flax, hand and FM machine embroidered.
On the rear of the card is a brief description, and pronunciation guide to the Maori words I've used.
I almost became unstuck when I came to bind the edges - my original plan was a wide black bias tape, but then discovered it would cover the words on the back, so plaited some lovely fibres from the scrapbook shop and handsewed them on.
It's currently summer in New Zealand - we had 30 deg C (84F) and 100% humidity for a week, with temperatures averaging around 25 deg C (78F) and 80-90% humidity. To even think of doing a "winter" theme was laughable.
Auckland city is built on an isthmus, at its narrowest only a mile or so wide, with the Manukau Harbour and Tasman sea on the western side, and the Waitemata Harbour and Pacific Ocean on the other. This site has been fought over for hundreds of years, before and after the coming of Europeans. The isthmus is covered with over 50 volcanic cones, and while many are extinct, some are only dormant. The last to explode was the island of Rangitoto, only 600 years ago.
Rangitoto Island is an iconic landmark, and a piece of what we call "kiwiana" - an idyllic EnZed summer.
For those that are interested, the rear of the card says:
Rangitoto Island from St Heliers Beach, Auckland, New Zealand. (Pron: Rang-e-toe-toe)
Phonetic pronunciation & translation:
Haere mai ki te Waitemata o Tamaki Makaurau.
High-ray my key tay Why-tea-ma-tar O Tar-Mar-key Mar-cow-row (rhymes with cow)
Maori (Mow-ree) greeting: Welcome to the Sparkling Waters of Tamaki of One Hundred Lovers.

I really enjoyed making this - I love doing the fussy cutting - I have a lovely pair of sharp-ended, spring-loaded Fiskars' scissors, and fuse iron-on webbing onto the fabric, leaving the paper backing on to provide some stiffening. I usually cut this sort of thing out while watching TV - as I'd rather be doing other things during daylight.
I have three more cards to do - one for March, and two for Easter/April - tho of course it's not actually Easter in the southern hemisphere.... but we won't go there right now.
There's a batch of fabric on the rust for a fat quarter swap - tannin dyed first.
Oh, and don't forget the TT1 & TT2 stuff. TT1 has been pretty boring, and I don't want to go out and buy any fabric. TT2, I've already bought most of the bits, and already used one technique - the angelina, so that's more useful.

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