Thursday, April 24, 2014


Just recently we were invited to a beautiful naming ceremony for a very special little baby girl.

This is Grace Peta Summerscales. Her Mum Belinda (Bindi) and Dad Grant (Gotty) welcomed her into their home about 6 weeks ago. Her arrival was a calm and joyful event for two parents who believe in doing things the natural time-tested way!

 I was a little late, and missed most of the formal ceremony, but I was told it was really beautiful.
It was certainly a magical setting, in the Summerscales extensive  garden known as "Strawberry Fields."

 Bindi had prepared a beautiful afternoon tea.
Here are Bindi and Grant along with proud grandmother Shirley and Uncle Alan.
 Grace is going to bring great joy to Bindi and Grant, and they are ensuring she has the very best start in life.

Strawberry Fields is a wonderful setting, where they grow many unusual plants. It is totally natural and organic, and provides much of their food supply. It is all so beautifully cared for.
 Did you ever see a climbing bean trellis like this one!!
 Visitors are always welcome to enjoy a stroll through Strawberry Fields, and there is even a maze!!

As I said - baby Grace is getting the very best start in life, and both Mum and Baby are very relaxed about it all.

Monday, April 07, 2014


I have known Angela and her family since she was about 8 or 9. In those early years I made Christmas stockings for Angela and her sister Belinda and her brothers Tim and Andrew.
They are all grown up now, and live in Australia, although their Mum and Dad still live here on Norfolk Island.
Last year, Angela had her own little boy, and his grandmother Barbara asked if I would carry on the tradition and make a stocking for him.
So here are the happy mother and son with my effort! I bet he won't fit inside that stocking for long!!

I had great fun making the stocking, although it is not my usual style! I did not think that my usual romantic, lacy style would go with a house in outback Queensland. So I pulled out some pieces of wool felt in primary colours, some ribbons and braids and buttons, and put it together country style!
Here are some other stockings that I have made for folk over the years.

This one was more collage than Crazy patch.

 These two were made for Archie and Celia's two youngest granddaughters. I tried to make them very individual. Not a good photo, sorry!
 This is one of a pair I made for Lynlee's twin great-nieces. They wanted something "pretty in pink and purple."

This stocking is the result of a Round Robin I took part in with the SouthernCross Crazies. I love it.
Now when Barbara gave me the photo of Oliver and his stocking today, she also gave me this one.

When Barbara was travelling to Australia for Angela's wedding, she asked if I had a little bag that Angela could carry on her wedding day. I gave her two little collaged lace bags.
One of them was adapted for a ring cushion, as you can see in the photo, and the other one was carried by Angela at her wedding reception.
I love it when my creations find a good home!!!

Thursday, March 06, 2014


It is guava season here on Norfolk Island. We call them "porpay" in the Norfolk language. They grow wild EVERYWHERE here.
We seem to have crops of them two or three times a year, at unpredictable times. At the moment, they are big, plump, sweet, juicy and free of grubs.

 We would have dozens of bushes around Devon, and some of them would be 6 metres tall - which means a lot of the ripe fruit ends up on the ground. Never mind, there are still bucketsful to gather each day at arm level.

 Lots of Norfolkers make guava jelly when it is porpay season. It is so easy to make, and tastes yummy. The fruit that is around at the moment is full of pectin, and nothing needs to be added, not even lemon juice.
 First you gather your guavas. At the moment they are so big, it takes very little time to fill your container.
For the best jelly, you go for the fruit that is just ripe, or even under ripe. Meanwhile you pop the lovely dark ruby red ones into your mouth...they are so sweet!
 Then you wash your fruit and boil it up with some water until it loses its colour. I always leave a few leaves in the mixture..I don't know if there is any good reason to do so, but it does no harm!
After straining the pulp, you take a cup of sugar for every cup of juice, bring it to a rolling boil on the stove, and in no time you have the lovely rich red jelly to put into your jars.
 I think I must have processed 10 - 12 litres of jelly so far! Usually I have to smack my hands when I am tempted to start "preserving" jams and pickles. So often they sit on the shelf for a couple of years before we end up throwing it out! We are not great jam eaters ourselves.
 But this lot is meant for Charles at the Pitcairn Settlers' Village. Some will be used to spread on biscuits for afternoon teas, and some will be sold to the visitors in the little shop.
 While having a cup of coffee this morning, I went surfing the net to see how other people make guava jelly. Some folk make it sound so complicated! And I felt sorry for all those people who had to BUY the fruit first!

Here on Norfolk Island, they are actually a weed, the seed being spread by the birds.

The trees are still laden. I have more jelly than I need! But I am sure I will not be able to resist picking more and making a few more jars just to give away!

Saturday, February 22, 2014


Our pool at Fletcher Christian has been there for about 25 years! We had finally got to the stage where the liner could be patched no more.
One thing led to another, and we ended up doing a major refurbishment!

First there were new timber surrounds and deck.
Then someone suggested that we build a gazebo, island style!
Our Vanuatan friends worked very hard producing the necessary palm frond tiles for the roof. This involved many hours of work every evening up at the Nakamal.
Finally came the day to fix the roof. We had Alan and Sam and George busy on the job.

It was amazing how quickly the job proceeded
With Charles lending a hand too!

A drink to cool off
A drink to cool off.
It really looks lovely and tropical!

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