Little Treasures: Kamakura Lotus Leaves

Through the Lens of Aliscia Young:

Intangible fleeting moments of time captured within fractions of a second and then produced into a physical form, which is then named a photograph.

This is what I sought to bring to my audience when taking photographs recently in Tokyo, Japan. Forty-five minutes from Tokyo, in a prefecture called Kanagawa, I found a beautiful place named Kamakura, it was truly peaceful and beautiful. Kamakura is far removed from the sprawling concrete jungles of the International City. As a photographer, I wanted to uncover the amenity of nature tucked away in this magnificent place.

Water has always attracted me as a photographer, with its reflective and ever-rippling surface and the way light dances. The beautiful lotus flower pond called to me on this occasion – sacred and special, I captured my subject matter as it moved on the surface before me.

I wanted to then produce a dynamic range of prints from the series to share this visual beauty and warm the hearts of my viewers. I designed a small frame collection called “Kamakura Lotus Leaves”.

As I caught the train back to the city, I thought about Japan and especially Tokyo. As a centre of both old and new in culture and identity, Tokyo inspired a rush of ideas as the landscape flew past my windown on the JR train line. I jotted down a few thoughts:

Kamakura Lotus Leaves:

Light dances upon waters, colour illuminates the surface for those who watch closely. Fleeting moments of time reflect like mirrors.

Stories of the ancient world are buried beneath the surface. A thousand years of layers and memories are waters to many habitats. Some ancient, some new.

Today’s moments captured, tomorrow’s story yet to be told. These photographs reveal today’s story as one that dances with colour and light.

This collection has been showcased in an exhibition called Femmes d’Art Exhibition in Wellington, New Zealand, which is about female artists evoking emotions such as pure bliss and empathy through photography. The collection was such a hit that I decided to produce a second print and I also wanted to make them available at affordable prices.

The individual prints come in a range of sizes or you can choose a set of four framed prints that are constructed to fit inside each other – both look beautiful on a table or hanging on a wall. They give you a sense of peace, love and warmth through their vibrancy and colour. Because they are abstract photographs they will mesmerize you for hours! They come encased in white frames and make the perfect Christmas, birthday or wedding present.

Love Aliscia x

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Quirk it this Christmas!

As we tumble into December and Christmas starts truly sneaking up, I always worry the ever-entertaining operation of present buying will slip into a nightmarish stress fest. Every year, I feel I am beaten over the head by jingles and advertising until I become certain the little drummer boy has started following me home. I’m convinced I can hear a faint ra-pa-pum-pum and the sound of his little slippers quietly trotting along the pavement behind me.

When I’m not concerned about being haunted by carols, I worry about what to buy the hard-to-buy-for persons I know. You know the ones, they merrily buy themselves everything they could ever want and every year you panic and buy them something practical like a rotary hoe. But who really wants a rotary hoe for Christmas?

Enter Jumping Tangents, where we have a collection of deliciously quirky gifts that we promise sir-I-already-have-that does not already have! To save you from stressing about the ever-stressful gift recipient, I have compiled a list (I really do love lists) of Christmas gift ideas that venture off the beaten track. If the little drummer boy follows you there too, I’m sorry I don’t think I can help.

First up: The Penguin of Death Screen Cleaner. We have so much Edward Monkton awesomeness in store, but if I had to pick a favourite this would be it. He has an enigmatic stare that will lull you into a false sense of security before he kills your foes AND he will keep your laptop screen smudge free. You don’t need friends when you have a plushie this bad ass.

He is also strangely attractive

In other things bad ass, these Gangster Flashcards are where it’s at. 30 flashcards feature classic lines from gangster flicks that you can tuck away to bust out in formal situations and increase your mobster cred. Christmas dinner is the perfect time to practice, call your mother-in-law a “gun moll” to really win her over.

Gangster Flash Cards

Next we have All My Friends are Dead. He only came into the store two days ago but he has already become the most beloved mixture of hilarity/sadness. I wish I could crawl into the pages so I can be friends with all the adorable friendless cartoons, but especially the little dinosaur on the cover.

Will you be his friend?

Even though Einstein is dead, he can still be your friend as this adorable Little Thinker Doll. You can even carry him around with you in your bag (but make sure you leave the zip open a little so he can breathe), he likes that.

He has lots of thoughts in his little head

If someone you know has absolutely everything on the terrestrial plane, the best present you can give them is somewhere to stash their cash. This money tin is a great way to let special people in your life know you care and that you’re already planning for them cracking up, like a true pal.

I'm Savin' Up for Therapy!

Yo, check the perm. But seriously, just check it. This little book is a hilarious tribute to the most beautiful of hairstyles. You think your Dad has everything? Bet he hasn’t had a perm. Give him a little nudge in the right direction this Christmas.

I look pretty chill with ma 'do

I really appreciate my pair of Freudian Slippers when I’m in my house, and I think everyone should get that much happiness in life. Slippers are such a nifty gift(y), too, because you can’t really have too many pairs and a NEW pair is just the best thing ever. Also, ‘Freudian Slippers’ is so punny. Everyone loves puns and everyone loves slippers. It’s a win-win for all involved.

Did I mention your toes go in the tongue? YOU CAN MAKE HIM TALK.

Finally, I just want to share this adorable little pack of chewing gum with you. It’s a really cute addition to whatever else you have in mind for your partner and you might even get a really special Christmas giggle when they open it. If you’re lucky. There’s nothing like Christmas spirit captured in a giggle.

But ... we actually did ...

Be sure to check out our website for all your gift-buying needs this Christmas and don’t forget we have free shipping within New Zealand for all orders over $50! Phwoar!

Love Claire x

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Kiwis are the Best(est)

Every now and then, you come across something that really makes you feel great about being a Kiwi, or at least makes you appreciate all things Kiwi even if you aren’t one! Now, I am not talking about plastic tikis and tacky tees with reputed colloquialisms on them like: “shoots, roots and leaves” … you know what we are talking about!

No, I am talking about the amazingness that is the Kiwi Diary for 2012. The Kiwi Diary is a collaborative effort – always good in our opinion – and it stands out as a refreshing addition to books that seek to define what ‘Kiwi’ is all about. The Kiwi Diary will walk us through 2012 with fascinating contributions of poetry, writing, art work and delicious recipes.

Thanks to the Kiwi Diary, I have totally fallen in love with the art works of Stephen Templar, and  I have become the most amazing creator of garden salads thanks to Martin Bosley’s recipe for Jam Jar Vinaigrette. As for those scones … oh, Lord. Plus, I now have an easy calendar to follow that will help me mark commemorative occasions such as National Handmade Day (July 14) – who’da thunk it? With acid free, recycled and stylie pages, this diary is my new favourite thing.

You can’t escape the passion for the environment that the Kiwi Diary contains yet there is nothing trite about its placing in the publication. Environmental awareness and concerns are just slotted in there, dotted throughout the days – a lot like cleaning your teeth or brushing your hair. It is just part of daily life, right?

The other thing I really love about the Kiwi Diary is the celebration of Te Reo and the inclusion of the wonderful diversity in these beautiful isles – it is all in there – the wonderful substance and solace of different destinations and cultures scattered throughout our country.

Thankfully, there are no silly comparatives with other countries. This little diary owns its content without apology or any need for global approval or influence. It is packed full of wonderful examples of Kiwis getting on with their creativity – at its source and perhaps as a consequence of this reasoning at its richest.

Love Cathie xx

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Climb Into My Pod … (I promise you will like it)

How does the sound of you and a warm summer breeze  in an idyllic hideaway with your favourite book and absolute peace sound? Pretty good no doubt, and we also suggest you make it even better by adding this fantastic new piece of furniture to your summer surrounds this year.

This remarkably designed chair has a flat pack assembly system. Everything interlocks and there are no screws or other nuisance things to worry about – even Cathie can assemble one! The chair is made from marine grade plywood which means it is recommended for external covered use and internal use. It comes in three natural colour tones: walnut stain, white wash or natural ply.

Walnut Stain

Natural Ply

White Wash

The elegance of this design is rather stunning and sympathetic to any natural setting. This is largely thanks to the clever design by innovative New Zealand architect, John Deuchrass.

NZ made
Comfortable – with or without a cushion
Available either fully assembled or delivered flat pack
Assembly instructions included
Stainless steel carabeana included
All ropes necessary for hanging the chair are included

weight: 8-10kg
height: 1600mm
width: 860mm

The Deuchrass Chair in our Little Gallery!

There a just a couple more things to complete your idyllic summer … the perfect book in one hand and a delicious drink in the other! And, finally, we leave you with a little philosophy. We are pretty sure that Frank Lloyd Wright would have really (REALLY) loved this chair.

The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes. If you foolishly ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it. Your life will be impoverished. But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life.

Please note the price listed on the website includes $90 postage fee.

Deuchrass Chair, buy me here!

Love Cathie xo

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One Book Lover To Another

It has probably occurred to you that we here at Jumping Tangents rather enjoy reading. Both Kimberley and I majored in English at university and have spent years perfecting the answer to: “Oh, that’s interesting! And what are you going to do with that?” Currently, the favoured response is: “I’M GOING TO EAT BOOKS UNTIL MY HEAD EXPLODES.” Then, to prove a point, angrily tear out a chunk of whatever one is holding (hopefully it’s not living but sometimes there must be sacrifices).

NEWEST NEWBIE: The Dovekeepers

Luckily we both have the privilege of working for Jumping Tangents where books are FRIENDS. In my spare time I befriend cats, but during work time (serious time) I go about introducing myself to all the books in the store and we become instant besties because the JT bookshop has the most kickass collection. It’s a rather eclectic mix, we will concede. Cathie has an amazing art background and is a voracious reader, Kimberley (in her spare time) works in publishing and I eat/befriend books, so between us we really have come up with a super (tasty) collection. Some of the wonderful new ones we have in store at the moment are The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman; Rose C’est Paris, a beautiful photography book; and  Missed Connections. I don’t think the cover work of the latter does justice to how cool Missed Connections is – it is a collection of illustrated love stories and the pictures are just amazing. (Yes, I do still read books for the pictures).

Paris + books is almost too much awesome. Embrace it.

I am FULL of so much booky-goodness

We are always getting new books in so keep an eye on our facebook and twitter and we’ll keep you updated! Of course, being the book fiends that we are, it is not enough to simply read the books. No no no, we must also convert all others to the amazingness that is reading. Kimberley and I both own the Reading is Sexy Tee  (Also, friends, it’s on sale! SALE!) but we also have a mug and a magnet for you to let everyone know about the sexiness.

But, it really is ...

If you are, really, seriously, totes committed to the reading cause, check the Great Writers Puppet Set. Unlike books, these ones actually talk back to me (kind of) and I’m hoping that someone will buy this for me for Christmas (… Mum?) I have extravagant plans involving a book feast with me and the puppets, I promise to keep you updated with how that goes. I will also be doing a review of The Dovekeepers in the next week, so keep a wary eye on the horizon fellow booklings!

If I owned these, I would make Shakespeare eat Virginia Woolf's head ...

Love Claire x

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BREAKING NEWS: We Found a Moa!

There has been a beautiful moa discovered at the Little Gallery, Little Brown House!

“Tricky” and “boring” is not the best combination of words, but in my experience this is exactly what a lot of square rectangular rugs are. Sure, you might get some stunning colours and designs, and they might be kind of safe … but it’s your home, right? do you want to play with your home design?

Here’s a few reasons why playing at yours is good:

1) You no longer have to get antsy wondering whether you have followed the right trend for the season or not. Simplify your life by asking one question: Do you like it? I mean really like it, enough to incorporate it into your everyday or intimate home space? If the answer is YES, GOSH YES! then trust your judgment and get on with enjoying your life in your home.

2) you can reflect some confidence and individual, playful spirit in your home design. It turns out that the structured and pared down, “get-rid-of-all-the-clutter”, look was not really that simple after all. We heard that some people even went and tried to sleep in the wrong bed with the wrong person because their house was identical to their neighbour’s! Seriously though, you are a big kid now and you really can fill your home with fun and creativity without trying too hard. Because you want to relax there, right?

So, how do I suggest you begin to play? You really need to meet the Moa Room Rug by Wanaka Living. The peeps at Wanaka Living tell us this rug shape is all the rage in Europe but NZers are a little slower to pick up on its clever design.  Well, this little kiwi immediately fell in love. I have all too often struggled with rectangle and square rugs because unless they are intended for a certain room size, they can push the chairs that bit too far from the fire place and make the whole room look overly prescribed and boring.  Plus, you can’t change the furniture around as much as you can when you have a Moa Room Rug. Whoar! Told you this was fun …

You might be wondering well, where can I put my Moa Room Rug? Any floor surface you like, sweetheart! See the paragraph above – it’s your home right? It can be a big ol’ grand room like the library on Downton Abbey or it can be in a gorgeous Alpine Cabin like mine (just sayin’). See, we really do love the moa room rug at ours!

Moa Room Rug looking extraordinarily good in our house!

You can read more on the wonderful Wanaka Living story here and see the entire range here. Even better, you can see a real live Moa (Rug) in our Little Gallery at Little Brown House, 4 Little Street, Wanaka.

Love Cathie x

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Under $50

The past few weeks I have been going a little bit cuckoo. You are likely thinking, “well, thank my gosh she has finally noticed” but just recently I’ve found this thing called organisation and preparedness. I don’t know where it came from, I tried to attribute it to maturity but, well, it’s obviously not that. I still don’t ever wear pants (they are the Devil) and my best friend is my cat. So, let’s attribute it to a little bit more crazy seeping into my brain (very likely).

This excessive organising has led me to scurry around little brown house buying all the things and putting them in little bags to send to friends and family overseas. Having just completed four years of university I am completely skint, but the great thing about Jumping Tangents is that I can still find the most amazing and personal gifts within my limited price range. It occurred to me as I kept stacking trinkets on my order that you guys might appreciate some help with finding your own awesome gifts and getting value for your money (we are in an F-word R-word after all).

So, without further ado, these are the things in store that I am in love with and can actually afford as Christmas gifts this year:

Lady Masquerade 2012 Calendar $34.95 – Calendars are always a great Christmas gift and the art in this one quietly makes my life.

Music Listography $40.99 – As an avid music fan with equally obsessed friends, this is such a great present idea. Write playlist after playlist on everything to do with life.

Drink the Drops Water Bottle $39.50 – this drink bottle is exceptionally adorable and environmentally friendly.

Kitty Laser Wallet $19.50 – Kittens and lasers. Yes, life can get this awesome.

Love Monkey Hot Water Bottle $24.99 – I’m going to be having my very first white Christmas this year so shamelessly purchased this as a Christmas present to myself. It is SO cute and has been incredibly popular.

The French Cat  $29.95 – This one just came in today and as you may have noticed, I love cats and I like to force cats upon everyone else too as they are just that great. Most of all, at only 30 bucks this book of photography is an absolute steal.

The Book of Awesome $29.90 – I am fortunate enough to have incredibly awesome friends and family so this gift is particularly apt!

The Monster That Ate Stars $15.00 –  This little book is one of my favourite things ever and I have bought so many of them to give as gifts. They are pocket-sized joy.

Beach Strawberry Pocket Mirror $19.50 – These pocket mirrors are beautiful and, like The Monster That Ate Stars, I have bought many as lovely gifts.

And there you have it! Sorry to everyone who will be slightly less surprised this Christmas but at least you know your presents are filled with JOY and WONDER! There are so many affordable and wonderful gifts at Jumping Tangents so pop over and have a look. You might even find yourself attempting to be organised before the Christmas rush begins!

Please also note that Jumping Tangents offers free shipping within NZ for all orders over $50, so if you wanted to bulk buy everyone’s gifts we will wrap them all individually (and very beautifully!) for you then send them all off within 24hours of receiving the order. I mean, you can’t go wrong!

Love Claire x

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Making Friends

I made a friend today. His name is Earl. We haven’t really talked about it yet, but he might be my best friend ever. I’m trying not to make a big deal of it, so don’t tell him. I’m playing it cool, pretending that I’m a very busy and important person but secretly when I’m not hanging out with Earl, I’m at home knitting more friends to add to my collection.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure Earl likes me too. Today we played this game where he ran away from me and I chased him, he hid from me and I had to look in all the cupboards until I found him, and this other game where he fronts like he doesn’t want to be my friend and I laugh it off then force-hug him. We totally bonded.

After it was decided that we were friends for life, I tried to take him home to show my mum that I’d made a friend and he joked around and said he didn’t want to come, it was SO funny. He’s SUCH a joker, always saying “Claire, leave me alone” and then I follow him around until he pays attention to me. I also suggested this game that I know he LOVES called put stuff on Earl.

Right now we’re making plans for more Earls (so I can have more friends) but for now, I’ve made a drawing to show everyone that YES, I do have a friend. A best friend, actually. I know you’re pretty jealous, but try to be happy for me. It’s not everyday someone finds their best friend.

Love Claire x

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We Heart She Chocolat

I’m not sure if anyone has noticed, but we at Jumping Tangents have a fiendish affection for chocolate. It’s a tough life, we have to eat A LOT of chocolate most days and sometimes we think, can we handle any more deliciousness? Then we eat some more and it turns out yes, yes I could have some more deliciousness. We have even emailed the Official-Food-Pyramid-Maker to let him know that it deserves its own grouping. He hasn’t replied yet but we are hopeful. He’s probably too busy eating chocolate.

For all these reasons, we are hugely excited and proud to now be stocking She Chocolat. This also makes us the first business in Wanaka to support the Dare to Care initiative. She Chocolat is made with loads of love and care at the beautiful Governors Bay in Lyttelton, Christchurch NZ and has some amazing stories as a business.

Little Brown House has long retold the history of chocolate (it’s our favourite bedtime fable). When used in its pure form, chocolate is a super food that invigorates your very being. The Spanish Army were switched onto this when they used hot chocolate to fortify their troops after noticing it was actually more effective than the expected protein source of meat. I’ve started to wonder if savage beasts might feast on chocolate when we’re not looking …

She Hot Chocolate Bombs

After the Dutch developed cocoa powder and England yelled “hurrah!” and leapt upon the bandwagon, chocolate gained a reputation as a soothing bedtime drink. This is simply not the case with Jumping Tangents hot chocolate and nor is it so with She Chocolat. Each She Chocolat bar is a work of art filled with pep and invigoration. This is especially true of their chilli and cocoa nib bars – a mantra repeated as we crack into them at 3.30 every Monday afternoon.

Chili and Cocoa Tablets

The Decadent Dates are nothing like the dehydrated cardboard hidden in the back of everyone’s cupboard from Christmas last year. They are succulent and delicious pieces of heaven. Then there is the truffles, sigh … handpainted and so beautiful. Perhaps a hot chocolate bomb good sirs and madams? If you have been feeling left out because you haven’t been able to come into LBH and try our hot chocolate yet, this could be the salve for your wounds!

She Chocolat Truffles

If you are pushed for time or do not possess thumbs, She Chocolat is a very special and easy way to provide an amazing dessert at dinner parties. Whether host or guest, it is so easy to delight people with a shy mendiant or seven. Any of the She Chocolat range is going to bring a lot of happiness so soldier forth to the party armed with your chocolate and do not fear!

She Chocolat Mendiants

Love Claire x

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Fishtail Braid Tutorial

Sometimes I just do not have the time to do my hair in the morning. It is long and thick and hard to deal with occasionally. A fishtail or fishbone, I’ve heard both, is my go-to-do for when I am on the run. So, because this is my “I don’t feel like doing my hair” solution, I am surprised by the reactions I get from people when I wear my hair like this. Not once have I had my hair in a fishtail and NOT had someone compliment it. No exaggeration. People are amazed at how it looks and always ask how to do it too. It has always surprised me because it is so simple to do, and yes, it does look fabulous. So here is a step by step tutorial to show you just how easy it is!

The Happiness Mane!

I started with curly hair here, which I don’t suggest, BUT the best part of a fishtail braid is that it is so easy to quickly style your hair to impress, no matter what you start with. I usually do a fishtail when my hair has been slept on and I am too lazy to do anything else.


The only reason I have my hair in a pony in these first photos, is to show you the first few steps. Later you will see that my hair is out of a pony. NOTE: you could start with a pony, do the entire braid, then take the top elastic out, for a loose look (see final photo.)

Step one

1. In a pony or not, split your hair evenly into two pieces.

Step two

2. Take a small piece of hair from the outside of one half.

Step three

3. Take that small piece of hair and bring it across to the other half of hair. Once that piece has crossed over, make sure you still have two separate halves of hair.

Step four

4. Hold the one half, and take a small piece from the outside of the opposite half.

Step five

5. Take that small piece and join it with the hair in the opposite half of hair. Now you will start to see how the rest of the braid will be going.

Step six

6. To continue, repeat steps 2-5. Always make sure you have your hair parted into two distinct chunks. From there you will alternate crossing small pieces from the outside of each side.

Step seven

7. And this is the final look! How loose or tight it is depends on how firm you hold the hair in the process. It also depends on how big your small pieces of hair are when crossing over. The smaller the pieces, the more it will look tight like a zipper.

Isn't it pretty?

This is a wee bit tighter and with smaller pieces used. But believe me, you can get really tight and really small pieces, it all depends on the look you are going for. Personally, I like a looser look with smaller pieces. Like I said, this is my go-to-do when I am in a hurry and I find that it looks great a little messy too.

A Fishtail Braid!

NOTE: I will usually start with my hair behind me and since my hair is so long, I will have to bring it around to the side of my head to finish.

Twist it up!

The cool thing about doing it to the side too is that you can twist it a bit and put it down your back for a really fishy look. Have fun with it, once you know the basics you can do a lot with it!

Love Diane x

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