Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Year Begins

Happy New Year everyone!  It has been a long time since the last post and a lot has gone on.  In May I took on a full time job at a Lapco Leather Company in Auckland.  This was very timely as Isaac and I truly needed some stability after such an up and down year.  Since that time, I have found it difficult to balance Spiro time with work schedule.  I am settled into the routine now and feel a new vigor to communicate so here we go!

I have been in NZ two years now...what a feat!  It seems unreal that this amount of time has passed.  Since moving to Auckland a lot of life has finally come together.  I am slowly making great friends and beginning to feel like NZ could be my home.

In light of two years I miss the weirdest things, though hard to put into words...I miss the 'feeling' that Canada gives me...certain smells and sights which I can't conjure up here.  I miss the crisp smell of fall and crunching leaves.  I miss the animals, I miss the sounds of snow crunching under my boots.  I miss having numb cheeks and seeing my breath.  I miss truck stop restaurants and pick up trucks with dogs.  I miss the First Nations community and the diversity of ethnic identity in Canada.  I miss quiet lakes and stately pines, wide straight country roads which go on forever without a hill or curve.  I miss the warmth of my family and friends.  I miss the smell of cinnamon and apples.  I truly miss my home...it amazes me how much of my identity is wrapped up in where I originate from.  I am so proud to be Canadian...it is hard to transition to a new land.

NZ smells sweet and is lush and green.  The bird life is amazing and I adore the Tui's and Fan tails.  It rains a lot here.  The natural land scape is breathtaking and reminiscent of Middle earth.  I love the blend of British and Island/Maori culture.  The amount of tea cup envy is amazing!  I love how people love the outdoors and truly live their lives.  Kiwi's are very carefree and yet reserved...an interesting mix.  The fish and chips are to die for and the lemons heaven on earth!  I love the amount of bare feet I see and the fact that a beach is only potentially an hour away from any part of the Island. 

I have made some incredible friends and taking a full time job has really helped me to open up and feel capable.  Working at home by myself all the time was not helping me to transition into NZ life.  Though I do feel the grind of trying to balance creative time with means to an end work time, I am grateful for stability.  I am also learning a lot about leather and the leather artisan community in NZ.  Isaac is also working full time at the moment for Meadowlark jewellery as well as making some wedding rings on the side.  We are very grateful for a time of peace and rest.  We are making enough money to survive and feel very nourished in our beautiful home.

looking into our studio space

In Sept of last year we headed home to visit my family and our friends in Canada.  This was an amazing trip, so good for the soul and wonderful to invest again in incredible people.  I ate enormous amounts of dill pickles (can't get this here) and my mothers home cooking!  We had a whirl wind week in Winnipeg(5 w's)...it was crazy to try to fit everyone in and in the end I wish we could have stayed longer!  Winnipeg has a huge piece of my heart and I truly miss my place there.  The majority of the trip was focused on supporting my mom and dad.  My dad has been fighting cancer for a long time, and due to recent complications with his blood, is now in need of a bone marrow transplant.  If you have any moments over the next few weeks, can you please pray for them both as my father is going to be doing his transplant mid February.  This has been very hard as my heart is quite torn.  Thank fully Isaac and I were able to really spend some amazing time while helping practically around the house which allowed me to be able to return to NZ.  This is another element of marrying into a different land...someones heart is always a bit torn.  I believe in my dad and know he is a fighter.  He also has an incredible family and friend base around him which I know makes all the difference.  (thanks Aunt Linda!)  Thank fully Isaac and I also have supportive family and friends here...thank you guys!

Dad, mom me and Isaac in the wagon dad built.

me and my dad:)

Isaac and I on my parents property
These photos were taken by my beautiful life long friend Tracy of Fathers Eye Photography.

I have been doing a lot of thinking about where to take Spiro as I had lost a lot of my inspiration and essentially needed to let it evolve.  I still am trying to get my act together...classes are on the list for this year, as well as a new range of shoes and boots.  I will keep you updated as I design and put the pieces in place.

I have been struggling a lot with feeling like I 'have a place' or have become 'someone'.  A huge amount of this is linked to having to completely redefine myself in a new place.  The readjustment period really disabled me from being able to move forward in a creative sense and I felt a bit lost for direction.  I am still very keen to begin a masters in Art therapy later this year as well as working slowly to grow Spiro again.  I'm sure you can relate to having a creative dry time...its a bit unnerving and has kept me up late at nights.  Thank you again to all the friends who have kept me sane through this...I have so much to learn.

Isaac and I have worked hard to put our house together...Here are a few photos of our space as well as some of Isaac's latest creations.

Our new bed Isaac just finished making. Note the rigging...there are no nails.

Updated bedroom 

Isaac's studio

Updated Kitchen
Updated Lounge

A beautiful Shaker side table that Isaac designed and made.
My studio

Our new movie corner!

Isaac's new tattoo...bison playing the accordion and smoking a pipe!

I hope that gives you a window into our life....until next time!


  1. LOVE your words and your heart...you are beautiful! This post is so lovely - I'm looking forward to seeing much more of your writing - you are overflowing with talent my friend! Looking forward to seeing the updated treehouse in person soon - you both have done exquisite work on making it such a cozy home/studio. Much LOVE!

  2. thank you dear friend. you have such a big heart. adopting a new country and people into your life. what a feat! don't rush. it will take years. let the loss of the old continue to sink in. not to dwell on it but not be afraid of it either. you are allowed to feel it.
    we miss you here. the snow is deep and the hoar frost this morning was magnificent. though i didn't have a camera.…
    i will write you more soon.
    love mre

  3. Loved reading this and catching up on your life. Your home is amazing and it seems like you are on such a great journey. I always knew that you would grow into this fantastic character straight out of a adventure novel. I love living vicariously through you... keep writing


  4. lovely home & life you have there down-under! give shariyah hugs and kisses from her mama, would you?!