Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Fairy Glad

In between posting 'letters from the U.K' I wanted to get Fairy Glad out into the world.

Here she is- my creation from scraps; she is an environmentalist of sorts. Fairy Glad lives on the edge of the park where the lawnmowing stops and the rubbish begins. She makes quite a few friends there; from egg cartons, corks, safety pins... anything you might find in a dump. Here she is with Korky the Katipo and Tip the Terrier. She thinks smart and makes things - not just another cute fairy who waves a wand. Fairy Glad waves a brush and saves the day and at the end of the book you can make the things she saved it with- all from things you find in your own rubbish. So if there is a publisher out there who wants a different angle on fairies in this age of petrol prices going up (because one day we may just have to make do and mend again) ...then drop me a line!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Letters from Blighty

I was sorting through 'my docs' and came across my letters and poems from the U.K, where we spent 2001 and 2002. It made for nostalgic reading so I thought I'd share them one by one over the next few weeks. If you are planning to go and throw the family into chaos by planning such an adventure, there are some useful do's and don'ts to ignore as you do your own thing anyway.
The watercolour style pictures are from my diary I kept at the time which also makes for interesting reading, though you'll have to come visit me for that!

The others, including the poems are what I produced for Next Magazine- the column I had for many years until we had all had enough of it.
Enjoy...cheers Fifi

Bargain Basement

We picnicked all of Britain,
From Loch Ness to the South,
With Thermos flask and sandwiches
Whilst dodging foot and mouth.

No Roman Bath or Aqueduct
Escaped our thirsty gaze,
And shopping trips at Sainsburys
Filled up the rainy days.

But holidays come to an end
And we ran out of dosh,
Looking for a rental
In a suburb that’s quite posh.

In the nicest part of Bristol,
We laid our welcome mat,
But you can’t really see it much
Outside the basement flat.

The house above is grandiose,
With buxus hedging too,
We glimpse it through our iron rails,
Like otters in a zoo.

Pining for dear Wellington,
Amidst the mildew mopping
I strangely miss the forty steps,
Up which we lugged our shopping.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Kina cool

Wacko! 17 out of 20 velvets sold in the exhibition and I am now taking on private commissions. Kakapo have featured lately and I am working on Kina- the shells not the insides which I tasted recently down at Chaffers wharf. I'm still trying to get the taste out of my mouth. They are an acquired taste apparently- perhaps you have to grow up on them (not throw up on them).

The big one for me this year is that I am a judge for the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards. I have read and digested around 140 books researched, written and illustrated by our wonderful talent in New Zealand. Confidentiality clauses with NZ Booksellers means I cannot comment on the judging process at all, but for any writer or illustrator reading this, I would like to say it has been a privilege and an honour to be in this position and thank-you for scribing and painting when surely the odds of publishing seem to be against us all so many times. The process has made me acutely aware of the fact that there can only be 5 finalists per category and one winner per section. I shall apply this new revelation to my Wearable Art entries (and get over it!)