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Diary

Lucinda Barrett

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VIV, WINNIE and COURTNEY

FLATMATES

Viv, Winnie and Courtney are the sort of people you just want to be friends with. We had the loveliest time sitting in their beautiful ivy covered courtyard talking about how they became flatmates, then friends and now family.

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Lucinda: So the question is, how are you connected?

VIV: Randolph Street

COURTNEY: This is our connection, Randolph street.

C: Yeah, well actually, when I moved in upstairs we were kind of a bit separate, it was winter so we had the door shut the whole time but...

V: Don't make up excuses

WINNIE: We always wanted to hang out with you though

V: I was like who's that cool bitch? When's she going to come in? I'd sit there and be like make eye contact with me!

C: And I was like too nervous to look

V: She'd walk and flick her hair and I'd be like...

C: No I wouldn't haha, no but it wasn't until Viv was doing a wine tasting one day, and she was like 'I've got some wine left over, do you want to come in?' and I said to myself, in my neurotic voice, 'Courtney don't do what you always do...'

Lucinda: Get too friendly with the neighbours

C: Haha no, flake out and make up an excuse not to do stuff so I was like 'I'll do it'

V: It was about two o'clock in the afternoon

C: And we drank like four bottles of wine

Lucinda: Good effort

W: That was just those two by the way

C: And I took that as an invitation to just pop my head in every single time I walked past like ' Hi, only me!'

V: I would sit at my desk and hear footsteps and her head would pop up,

C: With my little chilly bin, heading home from gardening

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Lucinda: And what about you two (Winnie & Viv)

V: I thought she was a unicorn, I thought she didn't exist

W: Yeah, we met because Viv and my partner Josh are like besties, they'd go for walks up Mt Eden and rearrange furniture and stuff

V: Very cute

W: It was very cute, but yeah Viv didn't believe I existed

V: I met Josh when I worked at Orphans Kitchen, he had shot the hangi for the first ever Stone Soup edition, and I remember seeing him and talking to him and I basically, I didn't know you existed (to Winnie) so I tried to set him up with like two other girls, and his was like 'no I have a girlfriend' and I was like 'yeah yeah yeah but have you seen this chick over here' haha and then it must have been, honestly like a year and a half later. I had a pop up dinner here with The Cult Project and we had like forty people over and Winnie walked in the door, I literally met Winnie for the first time at that door

Lucinda: So Randolph St again

V: It was, and I looked at her and went 'ohhhhh you're real'

W: And then gives me a massive hug, I just cracked up

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Lucinda: and so you weren't living here then

W: No, we were living down on Cross St

V: And I moved in about three and a half years ago and took the flat with no flat mates, because the landlords cornered me, asking if I wanted it

Lucinda: How could you say no!

V: Well not knowing who will move in with me, I was like 'fuck! I don't have any money, fuck! I'll just make it work’ and then I actually specifically rung Josh, I knew he was on a plane to Papua New Guinea to shoot for Fair Trade and I was like I need to find someone to move in, and my brain was just like 'who would you live with? Josh and Winnie' and so I looked you (Winnie) up on messenger

W: Oh did you? Oh yeah and then I gave you my number

V: Yeah, then I rung you and I was throwing the pitch down hard

W: But the really weird thing was we were actually looking for somewhere. Josh and I were living on Cross St, and our flat mate at the time was moving overseas and we were trying to decided if we should stay and get someone else or if we could cover rent ourselves, and then when Viv called we were like yes!

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V: Then it was like a week or two before you were going to move in and there was word that the place upstairs was going to be available, and I knew that was their dream spot

W: Josh was like obsessed with that place

V: And so...

Lucinda: So you just didn't tell them haha

C: Haha didn't he go up with a tape measure? Because we were told that there were some people interested and they'd been up measuring

W: I think he probably did

C: I was like well tell those losers they can back off haha

V: Basically we knew that it wouldn't be free for at least another six weeks so I was like why don't you guys move in with me and then you would only have to move upstairs and it would buy me six more weeks to find someone else, and then if you don't get it your here anyway...

W: ...you get to stay!

V: So then these guys got that flat anyway (Courtney)

W: Yeah and it was a gift in the end

V: And when Courtney was going through bridge over troubled waters...

C: Bridge over rosé waters

V: Haha and it was like this light bulb moment, we can still keep the family together

Lucinda: Just a little switcheroo

V: Yeah Winnie and Josh moved up stairs and she came down here, I think I said to you one day 'would you move down here and pay this much rent?’

C: I was thinking it as well

Lucinda: So perfect!

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C: I think the first time I talked to you (Winnie) was when you would sit outside...

W: Oh when I was doing spinning, yeah that was a very good conversation starter

C: And then you had all those pieces of knitting that you had dyed sitting there drying, and we would talk about knitting and you had that beautiful woollen jumper with the bobbles on it

V: You would walk around the corner and Winnie is there sitting at a loom just like spinning yarn...

C: In a Victorian cotton lace dress...

W: Haha no that was just my nighty!

C: Yeah but who...

W: I remember you used to give me shit for watering the garden in my nighty

C: I was just like this is too much…

V: It was like Mother Gaia is here

Lucinda: Somebody's got to

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Lucinda: And so how has it changed now, your connection? I guess it's just grown?

C: Yeah it's grown, I think we do more together as a foursome now that Viv and I are living together

W: The cool thing is that we are just like a little family. You know when you want to be at home, in a cozy, safe place but you want people around too. Sometimes we just intuitively... like the other night just ended up being home all together

V: Yeah I'd been on a shoot all day and I found my self at the bottle store thinking I just want to be at home...

Lucinda: With the fam

V: With the girls, well and the guy, the girls and the guy

Lucinda: But that's so nice when you're happy to be home

W: Well yeah and we were all in sync

V: We all wanted the same thing

W: I had the door open and Viv was like 'do you want to come down for a wine' and I was like 'I want nothing more' like the only thing I really want do be doing right now is hanging out with Viv and Courtney

Courtney, Viv and Winnie are all wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison

Courtney, Viv and Winnie are all wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection
Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison

Lucinda Barrett

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ELLA and KATH

MOTHER and DAUGHTER

Here is our second story. Like us, Kath and Ella are mother and daughter. We have known Ella for a few years now and she and Kath have been wearing our jewellery since the early days.

Claire, who you met in the last story, came along with us as she is good friends with Ella. We all spent the morning in Kath’s beautiful Muriwai home eating strawberries, sharing stories and laughing in a room full of love.

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Lucinda: Tell us about your connection, what is it based on and how did it begin?

KATH: Well, I am Ella's mother

Lucinda: And where were you born? Were you born in Auckland?

ELLA: I was born in National Women’s. You should tell the birth story.

Lucinda: Yeah, is it a good story?

E: Mum was telling me that the other day, because it is part of this course that I’m doing

Lucinda: And this course you are doing is to be a Doula...?

K: Ok so Ella came a week early. She was born on the Sunday night, and on the Friday night I went to bed and woke up dreaming that I was about to give birth. I called my midwife and she came around and checked me out. She said ‘no no you’re fine, you haven't dilated but maybe you should go to the hospital just in case.’ I was living in Mt Eden so Pete, Ella’s dad and I, and a couple of our friends thought we would just walk there thinking it would bring it on. We get there and there was a young doctor who said ‘no no you’re not ready for another week, go home.’ I had a friend of mine, Peter up from Dunedin, who was coming over for dinner that night, and his wife Nicola, who was a midwife was going to fly up a week later for the birth. And so Peter came around for dinner and I just started going into…

Lucinda: …major labor

E: Weren’t you washing the dishes?

K: Yeah I was washing the dishes, and he...

Lucinda: Was he a doctor?

K: No he was just a great friend, he was an archeologist, and so he ended up coming to the birth

Lucinda: Instead of his partner who was the midwife?

K: Yeah, and he ended up staying the night because he was just blown away that I was in labor. Then my sister Nicci lived next door and at first she didn’t want to come to the birth, but then she had a dream that I didn’t tell her that I was going into labour and I had gone off to the hospital without her, so she ending up coming too

Lucinda: So everybody was dreaming it up

K: Yeah, so I ended up staying at home till 3 in the morning and then we went to hospital, and my other sister Denise flew up from Christchurch, so I had both my sisters at the birth and two Pete’s, and Ella came out waving

Lucinda: Like ‘hi everybody!’

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E: But one of the most amazing parts was that Peter wrote a letter of his experience straight after the birth for mum to give me on my 21st birthday, and they flew over from Australia for my 21st and we opened it together

Claire: That’s so cool you kept it

K: Oh no I treasured it, I didn’t want to lose it because obviously it was a special time

Lucinda: What a great experience, and so once you got to hospital it didn’t take long to have her?

K: I went to hospital at 3 or 4 on Sunday morning and didn’t leave till about 5 or 6 that evening

Lucinda: Oh so took a while

K: Yeah it was a long labour actually, so yeah that’s how we connected. But I've always felt connected to Ella

E: A little team

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Lucinda: So how do you feel about that story?

E: Well mum is so the centre of my world, we have always just been a little unit. I don’t know, I just feel like I haven’t needed much more than a mum

Lucinda: And has that been an influence on your doula thing?

E: Well I think as I am sort of thinking about it...

Lucinda: …it seems to be opening up more of a story?

Claire: What do you think of Ella doing her doula training? You must be really into it

K: I was really surprised actually that that was what she wanted to do, just because I didn’t know anything about it. But I think it makes a lot of sense because she has got that strong empathy and you are very good at making people feel at ease, you are very supportive but very matter of fact as well, you can be firm when you need to be but you are really in tune with what people would need

E: Actually we were talking about how if something comes up as an option and you are like ‘oh my god yes!’, then follow the impulse. So a friend of mine told me, I gravitated towards her at a party (because she was pregnant) and I was like ‘tell me all about it, what are you doing, what’s your birth plan’ and she said ‘I’ve got this doula’ and I was like ‘what is a doula’ and so she told me about the Byron Bay course and actually it wasn’t until I went to the Juliet Allen talk and she spoke about her background as a doula and I was sitting there going ‘oh my god this is the second time!’

Lucinda: see that’s a sign

E: Yeah and I think you know, there has always been lots of women around and both of your sisters were there when I was born, there is quite a lot of female energy, and then I feel like mum and I obviously have that mum and daughter connection and that is super strong

K: Well I think to, I was a single parent until Ella was six, until we met Marty and so those years...

Lucinda: …yeah those are big years

K: It’s a strong connection in those early years, that’s a lot to do with it too, and you’ve always lived at home (in New Zealand)

E: Yeah I think our connection has probably had a lot to do with that

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Lucinda: And so how has it changed now, now that you are both grown ups. Or it hasn't?

E: I don’t think it has

K: Well Ella is 28 and I was 25 when I had her and its hard to think that she’s actually older...

Lucinda: …than you were when you had her

E: You were 27 weren’t you?

K: Oh yeah sorry I was 27, 25 when I got married

Lucinda: So that was your Saturn return, having a baby

K: Yeah so the old Saturn return, Ella was telling me about that

E: And actually when I think about it, we have always been so constant. Mum and I don’t fight, or fall out or anything like that and actually we are both wobbly when we haven’t spoken, so mum's like ‘oh my god you didn’t ring me on your way home yesterday’

Lucinda: So do you speak everyday?

E: Everyday, sometimes twice a day

K: And I’ve always just thought communication is so important

Lucinda: Yeah communication is where its all at

E: Probably the biggest wobble we’ve had was when we were sitting on the ferry to Waiheke and you told me you were going to move to Gisbourne

K: Oh yeah

E: And you haven’t yet

K: People always say to me you’ve got such a lovely daughter and I just go ‘I’m blessed’ I’m just really lucky.

Ella and Kath are both wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison

Ella and Kath are both wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection
Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison

Lucinda Barrett

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LUCY and CLAIRE

FRIENDS

To celebrate the solstice Izzy and I have decided we wanted a new way to connect with you all, a way to tell stories about the people we love and make for, how we know them and how they know each other.

We design with you in mind and connecting with you is what it’s all about. This series will be a collection of conversations, focusing on human connection, old and new, how these connections have started and how they have changed. Everyone featured has inspired our work in some way. 

We begin this diary with the original muse goddesses, Lucy and Claire. Lucy is family and Claire might as well be. This conversation took place in Pakiri, over a lunch of homegrown salad and cheese scones, and as always we shuffled the tarot. 

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Lucinda: Tell us about your connection - how did it begin, what is it based on?

LUCY: It began wagging school to go and get Starbucks? Or Indian?

CLAIRE: No, it began... so, I think it was 6th form we decided to wag school together and go off in Lucy's little Toyota Corolla car and she said ‘let’s follow this car and see where we turn up’. We ended up in a cul de sac in Glenfield, we just thought it was the funniest thing ever... and ever since we were friends, especially in those couple of years when we were just ratbags. Our relationship then was based on being naughty, and like...

L: …getting food

C: …and getting food. When I look back on it now it was just us rebelling, but together, like we only really did the things that we did, together.

Lucinda: You didn't do it with any other friends?

C: No.

L: Not really.

C: And like all the boys and the drinking and the partying we did was just kinda like, together. We weren't naughty but it’s just I think we were young we went through this phase were we kinda tried to play the boys at their own game.

Lucinda: Oh yeah, as rough and tough?

C: Yeah and so we did that together and we supported each other through that, without even realising that’s what we were doing, like how your family always used to call me Lucy's boyfriend.

Lucinda: You were a team.

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Lucinda: So how has your connection changed, and where are you now?

C: its changed because, I think once we grew up...

Lucinda: How did you know when you were grown up?

C: We got to a point with the partying, well I did- I was about 21 and I was like, this isn't working, and Lucy went to Hawaii, that was a big thing too. I was really heartbroken, I remember doing a Tarot reading with you (Lucinda) and you were like 'I can feel how much you miss her'. I remember you saying that so vividly, so I think just that separation and then also, for me personally...

L: and slowing down a bit aye

C: Yeah going ok- what am I doing, this lifestyle doesn't work.

Lucinda: You hit 21 and you thought I don't want to be a kid like this anymore?

C: Yeah like ‘this isn't me’ and then just trying to figure out who 'me' was but that started happening when I started work at Miss Crabb. We did grow apart, and I think that was mostly me thinking I wanted quite a particular sort of life- like ok, I'm going to London, I’m going to work in fashion and I'm never coming home, you know.

L: You preparing for that.

C: Yeah sort of, without even realising it.

Lucinda: I've got to let go of people like Lucy.

C: Not even that, more like, ‘that’s where I’m going and what I’m focused on’. It wasn't about me leaving anyone. So what’s been really cool, is seeing where we’re at today in our lives. Starting to look really similar, our dudes are similar, they're from the same town, we’re both going to be living in the country very soon!

Lucinda: Full circle. So does it make you feel that your life was all mapped out? Are these the sort of moments where you think there’s no such thing as...

L: No its all choices.

C: I think there’s been a lot of uncovering.

L: I think there is fate but you choose which direction the fate goes in.

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Lucinda: Do you think you are making these choices that are bringing you back together because you really were friends anyway?

C: I think it was who we truly were underneath it all, we’re just stripping back all the crap.

L: Yeah and while Claire was doing her ‘I want to be in London’ thing I had gone to Hawaii and realised how much I need to be focusing on being active and you know surfing and diving and all those things that Claire doesn't do, it was like the perfect time for us to go our separate ways and then come back in and realise I didn't need to go overseas to do all that you know, I don't have to live in Hawaii to live that life, it was just an inspiring place.

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C: I think particularly in the last few months things feel really different in our relationship because of the life choices we’ve made recently, the moves we are making, or like Lucy's already made- coming up here to Pakiri.

Lucinda: And they are bringing you back together?

C: Not even bringing it back, it’s almost like a new friendship. It’s so different really, cause its like an adult one and its based upon something completely different.

L: I feel like we were so dependent on each other, it’s almost like the friendship has widened and softened.

Lucinda: That sounds nice, that sounds really great, so you're giving each other more space to be independent?

L: There’s more love with other people, other friends.

C: And that that’s ok, like when we were younger we would be quite jealous.

L: Yeah I remember that.

C: It’s been really nice, coming back together again.

Lucinda: You could have just as easily never come back from England…

C: Yeah but I got over there and realised that the lifestyle I thought I’d wanted wasn’t for me after all. Now I’ve come home, and we’re both entering a new phase of our lives.

Lucinda: Where you are going to have another whole set of things in common.

L: Yeah definitely. We had a really shit patch where it all kind of broke down, we were both having weird bad times in our own lives at the same time and neither of us was there for the other, but it obviously didn’t break down completely.

C: There’s no one else that I could sit and have a similar conversation with like this, that I’ve had a relationship with that’s gone through so many phases.

Lucinda: So you feel like its pivotal in your life, this connection, but in a way very separate?

C: I think it’s really fascinating how we have realigned.

L: Especially cause we are both so different.

C: It’s cool.

L: It’s nice.

Lucy and Claire are both wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison

Lucy and Claire are both wearing pieces from our ‘connection is what it’s all about’ collection
Photographs taken by Izzy Harrison