Cee’s Black and White Challenge: Art Deco lights

Art Deco Lights (640x499)

Welcome to my entry for Cee’s challenge.

Thank you Cee for featuring my cola bottles from my post a couple of weeks ago.


These photos were taken yesterday while I wandered around town.

All the lights are in the Art Deco style in the CBD.  This first photo mirrors the road below it.

Art Deco Lights 2 (639x640)

Art Deco  Lights 1 (640x499)

Art Deco Light + reindeer (498x640)

And finally a Christmas photo.

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Lights

Plus I can enter this for Debbie and her Look Up, Look Down Challenge:

Liver Birds Overhead


Thanks for visiting.




Floral Friday: Bird of Paradise

Bird of Paradise 5 (640x482)

Strelitzia reginae is a monocotyledonous flowering plant indigenous to South Africa. Common names include Strelitzia, Crane Flower orBird of Paradise, though these names are also collectively applied to other species in the genus Strelitzia. Its scientific name commemorates Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, queen consort of the United Kingdom, wife of H.M. King George III. The species is native to South Africa but naturalized in Mexico, Belize, Bangladesh, Madeira Islands and Juan Fernández Islands off the coast of Chile.[2]

The plant grows to 2 m (6.6 ft) tall, with large, strong leaves 25–70 cm (9.8–27.6 in) long and 10–30 cm (3.9–11.8 in) broad, produced onpetioles up to 1 m (39 in) long. The leaves are evergreen and arranged in two ranks, making a fan-shaped crown. The flowers stand above the foliage at the tips of long stalks. The hard, beak-like sheath from which the flower emerges is termed the spathe. This is placed perpendicular to the stem, which gives it the appearance of a bird’s head and beak; it makes a durable perch for holding the sunbirdswhich pollinate the flowers. The flowers, which emerge one at a time from the spathe, consist of three brilliant orange sepals and three purplish-blue petals. Two of the blue petals are joined together to form an arrow-like nectary. When the sunbirds sit to drink the nectar, the petals open to cover their feet in pollen.[3]

Cultivation and uses

S. reginae is very popular as an ornamental plant. It was first introduced to Europe in 1773, when it was grown at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Since then, it has been widely introduced around the world, including the Americas and Australia, growing well in any area that is sunny and warm. In the United States, Florida and California are the main areas of cultivation, due to their warm climate. It is a common ornamental plant in Southern California, and has been chosen as the Official Flower of the City of Los Angeles. It has gained theRoyal Horticultural Society‘s Award of Garden Merit.[4]

It is propagated by division or from seeds, and is a low-maintenance plant that is easy to grow in the garden; it is fairly tolerant of soil conditions and needs little water once established. If cared for well, they will flower several times in a year. They will thrive in rich loamy soil, especially when they get plenty of water throughout the year. They do well in full sun to semi-shade and respond well to regular feeding with a controlled release fertiliser and compost. They are sensitive to cold and need to be sheltered from frost, as it can damage the flowers and leaves.

S. reginae is slow-growing and will not bloom until three to five years have passed since germination (though it can exceptionally flower at two years).[5] It flowers only when properly established and division of the plant may affect flowering patterns. The flowers are, however, quite long-lasting once they appear. Peak flowering is in the winter and early spring. There is a yellow-flowered cultivar of this plant known as Mandela’s Gold.


Bird of Paradise flowers are associated with liberty, magnificence and good perspective.

Yesterday while I was in the CBD I found these birds of paradise plants.  So here is some more info which I didn’t know about.  So I have learnt something new today.

Bird of Paradise 4 (640x482)

Bird of Paradise 3 (640x482)

Bird of Paradise 1 (485x640)

I even managed to find some bees.

Bird of Paradise (485x640)

Which gave me quite a scare.


Thanks for visiting.


A photo a week: White

Christening gown (640x480)

For this challenge Nancy has given us the colour white.

These photos show a christening gown that I have made with pure Indian silk, lace and organza with lots of ribboned bows and a little bit of bling.

I used some Christening gowns at the Victoria and Albert museum as my inspiration but then found this information about why the gowns are so long.

The Christening Gown: A Quick History

article by Sarah McGallan

Up until the seventeenth century, young babies were tightly wrapped in swaddling clothes and carried to the font in a “bearing cloth”. This was a large square piece of silk, edged with trimmings of gold lace and braid.

The Christening robe, as we know it today, evolved in the mid-eighteenth century when babies were freed of swaddling at an earlier age. In white silk, the earliest surviving examples have a front opening which was either fastened with ribbon ties or left open to show a petticoat beneath. The decorative curving lines of braid are similar to those applied to women’s gowns of the period.

Made in the same style as every day eighteenth century boys and girls, the first Christening robes wore worn by both boys and girls. Boys and girls wore “slip” dresses; these dresses had a very long flowing skirt which fell from a short bodice and a low neck and short sleeves. Other items such as bonnets and bootees could be made to go with the robe. A number of exquisite Christening sets survived from the seventeenth and eighteenth century, these included bibs, mittens, pincushion covers, head bands and handkerchiefs in embroidered linen.

Victorian babies were dressed in gowns which were beautifully decorated with Ayrshire work. Ayrshire is an exquisite form of white-on-white embroidery that originated in the Scottish Lowlands.

Pinning a piece of shortbread to the Christening robe was an old Scottish custom and was to be worn throughout the ceremony. If an unmarried girl was to eat the shortbread afterwards, she was thought to dream of her future husband that very night. It was also vital that the baby was to sleep in its Christening robe for the night of the baptism; this was to bring luck and good health into the baby’s future.

An ageless tradition

Over the years, the same fashion for Christenings has remained popular. This is partly due to the fact that Christening robes are traditionally handed down from one generation to the next, so Christening robes may be worn by dozens of babies over many years.

If your family has no tradition of an antique gown, you can begin this tradition for future generations with a gown from our range of traditionally made gowns, composed of fine natural pure silk and embellished with exquisite embroidery and tucking.

The Christening Gown: A Quick History

Christening gown 1 (640x480)

I even embroidered some tiny booties to go with it.

Booties (640x480)

And a coat hanger for it to hang up to protect it.

coathanger (640x480)

I took the photos as I need to put this on TradeMe which is New Zealand’s version of EBay.

The baby is one of those realistic looking dolls which I use to try on the baby clothes I made.


Thanks for visiting.


Cee’s Fun Foto: Abandoned buildings:The Albert Hotel, Hastings

IMG_0730 (640x480)

Good morning from a wet Hastings day.  Yesterday I had noticed that in some streets the grass was dying off from the heat and no rain so it is nice to see some rain.

Last night my son had his prize giving.  For the first year he didn’t get an award.  I am still proud of him as he did get a scholarship for his studies next year.

So onto Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge:

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Abandoned Buildings or Barns

We don’t have a lot of old barns where I live, nor do we have a lot of abandoned buildings as such.  A lot of empty shops.  I had a chance to wander around the CBD and took photos of the Albert Hotel.

The Albert Hotel is Hastings’ oldest inner-city building. It was constructed around 1882 by William Dennett, an Australian immigrant and former soldier who later became Mayor of Hastings. The hotel was fortunate to survive the 1893 fire and remained a hotel until 1976, when it was converted into a tavern. Permanent boarders occupy the first floor of the building today. For much of the twentieth century, the building was concurrently owned by two breweries. Various plans to demolish the building, the first in 1971 and the second in 1984, have come to nothing and the hotel’s future now seems assured.

This building has historical significance, not only as the oldest inner-city building in Hastings, but also as a continuously operating hotel; a place visited by generations of Hastings residents and visitors. It is also important for its association with Dennett.

The Albert Hotel is a significant Hastings landmark, particularly as a timber building from the 1880s in a central business area now dominated by post-earthquake concrete buildings of the 1930s. It has high townscape value on a prominent corner site, contrasting with its neighbours in terms of age and materials but being compatible in terms of scale and height. It is a good example of a building type that was once common throughout New Zealand; a corner hotel built in timber and with verandah around both street facades. In addition, it is in reasonably authentic condition with much of the exterior fabric and the main staircase inside true to its 1880s form.

Actually this information is not quite correct on this site


The last I read was that it was to be demolished and the site redeveloped.  It isn’t safe which is a shame and to completely restore it would cost too much.  That is thanks to the Christchurch earthquake in 2011, and all the buildings are now required to undergo earthquake strengthening.  A bit ironic when it survived the big one in 1931.

So it nice to have some photos of it before it disappears from our memories.

Here are some more photos which I edited as vintage photos just to add some authenticity.

IMG_0729 (480x640)

IMG_0728 (480x640)

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IMG_0726 (480x640)







Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Abandoned Buildings Wellington


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