Q & A
CK: In New Zealand, do you have big chain stores that sell craft supplies or small shops just for papercrafters? Do you have any favorites?
Melissa: We have Spotlight, and some smaller shops. I buy essential supplies like adhesive and cardstock from Spotlight, but otherwise I shop online from overseas because most shops here are not my style.
CK: What are some favorite foods unique to New Zealand?
Melissa: Kumara (sweet potato) and Hangi (which is Maori for earth oven) - it is food cooked in the ground over hot coals and is delicious. I'd like to say Pavlova (which is a big meringue covered in cream) is unique to New Zealand, but there is ongoing rivalry with our neighbours Australia, who claim it as theirs!
CK: Are there any other New Zealand scrapbookers who you follow and who inspire you?
Melissa: Virginia Walker, Dianne Williams (Dearly Dee) and Lara Moss.
CK: What are some of your family traditions?
Melissa: Our main family traditions happen during December, and I love it. We don't put the Christmas Tree up until 1 December, the kids have an advent calendar each, and they help me decorate the tree. We go to our local Saturday Market (which is only open during the warmer months), bake, and watch Christmas movies. And of course all of this is documented in my December Daily.
CK: Some favorite places to visit in New Zealand...
Melissa: I live in Queenstown, which is an alpine ski resort. So I love visiting the coast and going to the beach!
CK: Are there other genres of arts or crafts that are part of the local culture where you live?
Melissa: I live in a town that is one of New Zealand's most popular tourists spots, and it has a very international community with people from all around the world working and living here. Local arts and crafts include artists who paint the landscapes, and the performing arts scene is big here too.
CK: Can you teach us some of the words or phrases in the New Zealand version of English?
Melissa: "Kia Ora" which is Maori for "hello". Another thing we say which I don't particularly like is "yeah nah" which is a non-committal way of saying "no"!!
CK: Three things that most people do not know about you...
Melissa: 1) I'm naturally an introvert except when I sing, 2) I had Kidney disease when I was 23 and had part of my kidney removed 3) One day I plan to write a Christian book about parenting.
CK: Is there anything else you would like to share with us about life in New Zealand?
Melissa: I love living in New Zealand, especially Queenstown. I never take our beautiful mountainous landscape for granted, and feel blessed to call Queenstown home. We have 4 very distinctive seasons and I love them all. The outdoor sports here are great; within 20 minutes I can be on the ski field riding my snowboard in winter, and in summer I can be riding my mountain bike on the trails within 5 minutes from our house. It's a great place to raise a family!
This is a tourism photo I found of Melissa's hometown of Queenstown. It truly looks like a place I would love to see someday! How about you?