Putangirua Pinnacles, New Zealand

pinnacles 3One of our many adventures while living in Wellington, New Zealand was traveling to the Putangirua Pinnacles where part of Lord of the Rings, Return of the King. 

My boyfriend and I hired a car and drove through the Wairarapa, which seems to have it’s own weather system. Low cloud and mist cover the winding roads surrounded by trees, then all of a sudden it opens out into the sun filled openness of the Wairarapa. It’s an amazing drive, although sometimes feels a little unsafe, especially if I’m the one driving. 

This continued on to a coastal drive, finally reaching the car park where the trail began. There had been quite a bit of heavy rain, and the trail cross the river multiple times, which was quite scary. We spent a long time trying to find a place to cross that didn’t feel like we were leaping over a rapid. We succeeded, continued along the ‘path’ and then up along an empty river bed that led directly into the pinnacles.

They were giant rock formations, a little bit daunting walking right underneath them but extremely beautiful. They were formed over the past 120,000 years by heavy rain that has eventually eroded an ancient gravel deposit , eventually forming spectacular individual pinnacles or ‘hoodoos’.

It’s definitely worth a visit, but beware, you will have to jump across the river a few times to get there!

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My paintings

So I’ve always loved to paint, to make things and find anything creative to do. I did art and textiles for A-levels and even worked in a gallery for five years. I’m currently trying to sell my art but struggling to find the best way to send large canvases, so any ideas are welcomed!



The last piece is a commission for a relative, of her two children. This was my first paid piece of work and I found it to be quite daunting at first and was continually worrying whether or not she would like it. In the end I gave up with that idea and just went with how I felt.

Moving to New Zealand

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So last year, 2014, I left my job to move to New Zealand for a six months… that turned into ten months because it was just so beautiful and I couldn’t bare to leave my boyfriend.

I flew all by myself, which was quite scary, spending most of my time in the airport following other people I recognised from my plane, just to make sure I didn’t miss the next flight. It probably didn’t help that I could never find my glasses and trying to squint and see the flight board sent me in many wrong directions and panicked me enough to text my boyfriends mum back in the UK so she could double check online for my gate number. I’m hoping after all this lone travelling I’m now a super expert and changing gate numbers will never phase me ever again.

But after all that, I finally landed in Wellington  to see my boyfriend that I hadn’t seen in so long and the whole epic journey was quickly forgotten and a new adventure was just about to begin.


 Bob MarleySo I had my first print made by ZheeKlay printing of my Bob Marley portrait. Came out amazing, printed on beautiful textured paper and the colours came out fantastic.

The original, I created as a Christmas gift, but there was a lot of interest so I am in the process of making prints to sell on my Etsy Shop AndSophieSaid.

After watching the documentary Marley (2012) I found I had even more of a draw to him than I did before, I can’t believe I didn’t know that much about his life and I found the documentary to be so touching and emotional that I couldn’t help but want to express it. Since then I have created two portraits and I find him so enjoyable to paint, I will no doubt make more.

And Sophie Said…

And so it begins, business and art all muddled together as one, trying to create my own little business and trying to be successful.

Scary thought, I must say, but I visit so many amazing blogs and sites and I couldn’t help but be inspired to do the same.

A little about me, I grew up in sunny south-east London, I love to paint…. portraits mostly, trying to develop my style,and find what works, using mostly acrylics and whatever house paints are lying around the house.

So I’m hoping this blog will be about art, travel, cooking and whatever else I can find to do, and hopefully its fun to read and explore with me.