David Lupton's passion for pressed flowers started with a simple love story.
The Manawatu photographer was asked some time ago to photograph an inner-city garden in Palmerston North for a book.
Lupton got to know the owner, who showed him the treasured books in her library, many of which contained pressed flowers between their pages; little love tokens from her late husband.
This sparked Lupton's fascination with pressing flowers, and he began a journey of discovery of his own on how to press, light, shoot and preserve the ephemeral beauty of a garden that was tended with love.
"I was intrigued by many things, illuminated manuscripts, the Victorian fascination with collecting, the history of botanical drawing, all sorts of stuff like that as I worked," he said.
"Once I started taking the photos, lots of magical things started to happen."
Lupton has been photographing pressed flowers for the past six years, constantly experimenting and refining his technique to capture their remains on camera.
He reckons he's crushed around 4000 flowers in pursuit of their inner beauty.
His intensely detailed work reveals the hidden life of flowers, an almost bee's-eye-view of their inner embrace and architectural forms.
Lupton's work can now be enjoyed by the public in an exhibition of riotous colour, now touring the country and about to open at Te Kōngahu Museum of Waitangi on August 10.
The exhibition, called Devine Remains, will run until November 3.
It was funded by a grant from the Earle Creativity Trust and it brought to Waitangi by Haunui Press.
Entry is free for Friends of Waitangi and day pass holders. Visit www.waitangi.org.nz for details.
The Focus Paihia Op Shop has moved into new premises and grown into the tourist town's top pre-loved boutique.
Shop manager Kath Williams said the move from Paihia Laneways Mall to the former TMO sports bar in Selwyn Mall was a great move.
The op shop, which is run by dedicated volunteers, has also undergone a complete refurbishment.
"This is much bigger so we can get a bigger variety of stock and we can sell furniture now," Kath said.
"There's also an outside area with seating and bean bags so you can have a rest after you've been shopping.
"It's absolutely amazing, and many visitors are telling us it's an upmarket boutique op shop and we're the best op shop they've been into for a long time. It's wonderful."
Kath and her husband Geoff established the shop nine years ago and, with help from local businesses, it's gone from strength to strength.
Selling pre-loved men's and women's clothing, the shop has some great vintage and second-hand finds, along with an array of household items and books.
They moved into their permanent site in June.
"We moved originally from Selwyn Rd to Paihia Laneway and outgrew that; now we've gone much bigger and we've taken over the TMO," Kath said.
"We're on a lease to buy agreement so we will have our own premises. We're masters of our own fate."
Kath said donations of good furniture are always welcome, along with quality towels and books.
All money raised goes back into the community for local projects.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call in at the shop if you would like to help.
The Kaikohe Business Association is organising a formal dinner to celebrate the town's future and acknowledge past businesses.
"Te Wairua o Kaikohe – The Spirit of Kaikohe" will feature a live band playing music from the 1940s and 50s, along with modern-day tunes, a two-course silver service dinner and nibbles and drinks at Kaikohe Memorial Hall on September 7.
The evening will also be a time for everyone to listen and share stories celebrating past businesses and business owners of Kaikohe during this era.
The keynote guest speaker will be "the people interpreter" Allie Mooney (nee Downie), who grew up in Kaikohe with her family and attended local schools.
Mooney has been awarded speaker of the year three times by the National Speakers Association of New Zealand and is one of the country's most in demand public speakers.
Tickets can be purchased from New World Kaikohe, The Mint at Left Bank, Petersons Motors and Tu Pu O Te Wheke on Broadway.
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Rachel Paterson from Conduit Bookkeeping is thrilled with her win at the Bookkeeping Excellence Awards.
Paterson's Paihia-based business scooped the "Emerging Bookkeeper of the Year" award at the bookkeeping conference in Christchurch on July 27.
Delivered annually by the Institute of Certified NZ Bookkeepers, the awards recognise and celebrate the success of bookkeepers and their businesses and play an important role in raising awareness of the profession in New Zealand.
"I'm completely blown away," Paterson said.
"It's been a fantastic acknowledgement and I had such meaningful testimonials that came from my clients and contractors so that was really outstanding."
Flexitime chief marketing officer and judge Jake Harvey said it was an honour to present Paterson with the award.
"Rachel's entry really stood out among some strong competition and her win is very well deserved," he said.
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