Gail Garber Designs
gail@gailgarber.com
http://GailGarber.com/

Logo: Gail Garber Designs

Gail's Quilting Blog

Fish Story

We headed back to the Manson’s beach house, hunger gnawing at our bellies.  Had the boys been successful in their fishing expedition?  Fullfy dark by now, there was no sign of them when we returned.  But, they showed up shortly afterward with stories of a bad fishing day!

The Fishermen

The Fishermen

Perhaps it was the smirk on Kerry’s face that gave it away, but I didn’t believe him even though his mates confirmed their lack of protein for our dinner.

Red Snappers a'la fillet!

Red Snappers a’la fillet!

Turns out that fishing had been exceptional with a take of 22 Red Snappers!  My mouth was watering as Kerry prepared the catch of the day.

Chef Kerry

Chef Kerry

The best part is that Kerry takes charge in the kitchen as well, cooking up the catch!  Dining was fine for my final New Zealand dinner along with loads of laughs and jeers as we all watched the rugby game on television – that was a first for me too.

Coromandel Sunrise

Coromandel Sunrise

Up early, the sunrise that greeted me was spectacular!  Kerry was up too, and invited me to accompany him on his morning task.

At the beach

At the beach

He told me that we had to hurry to get down to the beach while the tide was still out.  To my surprise, he drove right down onto the beach and parked close to this coastal formation, where he went to the back of the truck and pulled out a large tub.

Throwing out the Fish

Recycling the Fish

He waded out into the cold water with the tub, and returned to the sea the uncooked remains would feed others,

Southern Black-backed Gull

Southern Black-backed Gull

like this Southern Black-backed Gull.  I tried for better images, but the gulls were so intent on their meal that none of the images were in focus.

Thank you, Marion and Kerry, for a wonderful time in a magical land!

 

 

 

Add your comment!

Cathedral Cove

After a quick lunch, Marion and I headed back out, destination Cathedral Cove, one of the most photographed natural geographic sites in New Zealand.

Viewing the Cove Below

Viewing the Cove Below

Although it was a winter day, many people were present on the viewing platform and trails heading down to the iconic cove below.

Ancient Pohutukawa

Ancient Pohutukawa

This huge pohutukawa tree greeted us as we stepped onto the beach.

Looking Through the Keyhole

Looking Through the Keyhole

Massive doesn’t begin to adequately describe the wonder that awaits at the bottom of the trail.

Cathedral Tower

Cathedral Tower

The natural rock formations formed by the sea boggle the mind.

Cathedral Cove

Cathedral Cove

But it’s the scale of the landscape that creates the majesty that is Cathedral Cove!  It is so well worth the hike!  As we climbed back to the top of the cliff,

Sunset at Cathedral Cove

Sunset at Cathedral Cove

the sun was setting on this magical place.

Add your comment!

On the Coromandel – Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach - Return to the Sea

Hot Water Beach – Return to the Sea

Marion and Kerry took me to Hot Water Beach on my first New Zealand trip, in 1997. My memories of that day have remained foremost in my thoughts and I longed for a return visit.  So, when Kerry and his mates set off for afternoon fishing, Marion and I headed south a few miles.  So named because of the hot springs located right on the beach, each day of the year, humans are drawn to this place.

Hot Water Beach

Hot Water Beach

They arrive in synchronicity with the departing tide, and they begin digging.  Digging what will become the soak pools.  There, they relax in the soothing waters until the sea returns to reclaim it’s rightful place as master of the coast.  If you stand on the beach sand and squish your feet down into the sand, depending on where you stand, it can be so hot that you must move on.  When the tide returns, it is then that the humans begin their frantic, and sometimes hilarious quest to defeat the inevitable, building their sand walls higher and higher in the hopes of soaking a little longer.  Inevitably, with each incoming tide, humans lose the battle.  I think it’s an extraordinary place, and . . .

New Zealand Dotterel

New Zealand Dotterel

so do the birds.  Above is a New Zealand Dotterel who calls Hot Water Beach home. The New Zealand dotterel/tūturiwhatu is an endangered species found only in this country. It was once widespread and common but there are only about 1700 birds left. This serious decline in numbers is due to a combination of habitat loss, predation by introduced mammals and disturbance during breeding.

Protect the Nesting Birds

Protect the Nesting Birds

The Department of Conservation, fences off nesting areas and their observers protect them for the dotterel and other endangered species like the Fairy Tern. Pied Oystercatchers, the most abundant wading birds in New Zealand, also benefit from the protected beaches.

Pied Oystercatcher

Pied Oystercatcher

We found a couple of these little fellows too, foraging on the beach for macro-invertebrates hiding beneath the sand.  There’s room for everyone on New Zealand’s beaches.

 

 

Add your comment!

On the Coromandel – Morning Stroll

Atop Shakespeare Cliff, Marion and I were very distracted by the small birds flitting around us.  Kerry decided to head off for an invigorating walk along the coast (read Up and Down), while Marion and I tried to capture flying things with our cameras.  We first tried for images of the sweetly singing Grey Warbler, a New Zealand endemic, unsuccessfully.  But,

Fantail

Fantail

this little fellow was far more cooperative.  Fantails are the endemic flycatcher, and the little fellow just followed us around as we kicked up insects for him to eat.

Fantail

Fantail

In fact, he often was too close for a decent photo, plus he never held still for a second.  After 1/2 hour or so, Marion captured this image and we descended the two hundred steps back down the cliff, where we continued our morning walk along the coast.

Looking out on the Bay

Looking out on the Bay

When this very fun beach chair appeared right beside the water, we just had to stop to take more photos.

Baby Goat on Vacation at the Beach

Baby Goat on Vacation at the Beach

Our next mini-adventure was the encounter with a woman and her grandaughter,  walking a baby goat on a leash.  We stopped to chat, only to learn that since the family was going on holiday that they decided to take baby goat along with them!  Then, it turns out that

Inga and Yours Truly

Inga and Yours Truly

Inga was a quilter too, and she had heard that I was in New Zealand.  So we took another photo of the two of us, proof that her story was the ‘real deal’.  It was about then that Kerry called Marion’s cell to inquire as to our whereabouts, so we turned around and headed back to the beach house.

Picking Mandarins

Picking Mandarins

But, we had one last quick stop, to pick the Mandarin oranges that grow in the untended tree right beside the driveway to their home.  There is nothing sweeter than a fresh picked Mandarin.

We said hello to Kerry, who was off with his mates to try their luck, catching our dinner in the sea.  We wished them luck, and soon set off again.

Add your comment!

Last Few Days in Paradise – On the Coromandel

View from the Manson's Beach House

View from the Manson’s Beach House

My final days in New Zealand were spent with Kerry and Marion Manson at their beach house at Cook’s Beach on the Coromandel Peninsula.  They were meant strictly for relaxing, something that I rarely get to do.

Lonely Bay

Lonely Bay

The first morning, the three of us set off for a walk to the Manson’s favorite haunts.  First stop was Lonely Bay where the Pohutukawa trees towered over the small beach.

Marion and the Pohutakawa tree

Marion and the Pohutukawa tree

I asked Marion to pose beside the behemoth tree for perspective.  Pohutukawa trees ring the coastline in warmer parts of New Zealand, clinging to every rock and crevice.  They bloom bright red flowers right at Christmastime and are called the New Zealand Christmas tree.

Lonely Beach

Lonely Beach

The beach at Lonely Bay is covered with shells.  It’s where Marion has collected the extensive shell collection displayed at both her beach home and her Hamilton home.

Shakespeare Cliff

Shakespeare Cliff

After a stroll to marvel at the geology of Lonely Bay, we headed for Shakespeare Cliff, where . .  .

200 Steps

200 Steps

we got to enjoy a Step Workout!  It’s about 200 steps, cut into the rock cliffside, to the top.  But,

View from Shakespeare Cliff

View from Shakespeare Cliff

the view was incomparable.  I could see our footsteps on the beach and I wondered if I could zoom in close enough with my Canon XS 40 to capture them.

Footsteps on the Beach

Footsteps on the Beach

And, this was just the prelude to my final, magical day in Paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add your comment!

Meet Marion Manson, Fiber Artist

Marion Manson

Marion Manson

If you’ve been following my New Zealand blog posts, you’ve seen the images of Marion Manson  collecting leaves.   Marion and I became friends back in the early 1990s when she ordered a pattern from me.  It was the very first time that anyone from overseas had ordered a pattern from me.  I was so thrilled that I wrote to her and then she wrote back.  We became pen pals.  And, it was Marion, one of the conveners of the 1997 New Zealand Quilt Symposium, who made it possible for me to teach in my very first overseas venue.  We have remained friends throughout the years and I love to visit her, and husband Kerry each time I return to New Zealand.

Marion's Leaves

Marion’s Leaves

In recent years, Marion’s passion for quilting has evolved into creating her own textiles, using natural dyes and tannins from the foliage of different plants.  Her back yard and garage are full of various pots with bundles of fiber carefully wrapped around different types of leaves, each of which creates different colors and shapes on her fabrics.

Marion's Shawl

Marion’s Shawl

She had an exhibit of her works at a gallery in Hamilton during my visit where I was able to see many of her beautiful designs, both garments like the shawl above, and wall hangings.

Wall Hanging by Marion Manson

Wall Hanging by Marion Manson

I love the delicate fibers and subtle texture in her layered works.

Wall Hanging by Marion Manson

Wall Hanging by Marion Manson

All of the textiles in Marion’s work are created by natural dyes obtained from plants.  The dark color in this piece is particularly dramatic.

Large Wall Hanging by Marion Manson

Large Wall Hanging by Marion Manson

In this larger, sampler piece, the various techniques that she uses are evident.  I hope that she has another exhibit when our tour visits Hamilton in April 2014 so others can also see her works.  Thanks Marion, for being my New Zealand BFF!

 

 

 

Add your comment!

A Little Wildlife

Pukeko

Pukeko

Wildlife and watching wildlife remains one of my passions.  I clearly remember my very first sighting of a Pukeko, the iconic New Zealand bird.  On this trip, I hadn’t seen any Pukekos and was concerned about where they go in the winter months.  After all, it is a relatively small island!  Then, when we were taking our morning constitutional walk around the lake near her home, there they were!  In fact, they were everywhere, wandering around on the maincured lawns and foraging among the reeds!  Yay!  The trip would have been lacking had I not had another Pukeko interaction to take home with me!

Add your comment!

Shibori by Jean Carbon

Shibori Silk Skirt

Shibori Silk Skirt

While Jean’s scarves were stunning, her large pieces were unbelievable.  This turquoise and black silk wrap is just one of the pieces that Jean creates using ancient shibori techniques.

Jean's Work Area

Jean’s Work Area

Jean took us back into her dye studio and talked to us about her techniques.  She not only works in silks, but also in other textiles.

Ikat Style Dying

Ikat Style Dyed Cottons and Linens

Above is a sample of other types of dying techniques that Jean uses.  These are often made into garments and also a more rustic style of scarf.

Silk Shibori in Red and Black

Silk Shibori in Red and Black

Each piece is a work of art.

Silk Shibori in White and Black

Silk Shibori in White and Black

Although I’ve only shown images of Jean’s silk work, she also creates garments in velvets and other techniques.  This will be an unforgettable stop on our tour next April.  I know that you will enjoy her work and her studio as much as I did.

 

 

 

 

Add your comment!

Page 7 of 32« First...56789...2030...Last »