Saturday, May 23, 2009


This morning I bumped into Bernie's cousin Elaine, who, like me,was doing the rounds of the Garage Sales. Elaine's Mum Penelope had asked her to look out for some wool for her knitting. I should add that Penelope, in spite of passing her four score years, likes to keep her legs active and her hands busy. She mainly knits beanies and gloves, like the ones that Noelene received for her birthday recently.

In my younger days, when gloves were more of a fashion item, I liked to have a pair to match every outfit!
I have a fairly early memory of farewelling a relative who was leaving on her overseas trip by ship. Part of her travelling wardrobe was a very special pair of pigskin gloves - how I envied her! Pigskin gloves sounded so glamorous and classy!

Many of us recall wearing these lacy crocheted gloves to special occasions like weddings, parties and Sunday School anniversaries. I purchased this pair from someone about five years ago - I was in the right place at the right time, and they made me feel very nostalgic.

Gloves are associated with a somewhat embarrassing memory of a time when I was in my teens. I was attending a Baptist Youth Evening in a theatre/auditorium in the city. I went alone - but was probably hoping to catch the eye of some nice Christian young man!

For some reason, I decided that my outfit needed a pair of green gloves. Buying a pair was out of the question, so I got some white ones and dyed them green - with food colouring!!!

During the evening, I got chatting to the people beside me, but I cannot recall if they were male! It got warm in the auditorium, and my hands were sweating, so I took my gloves off. My hands were bright green!

When my sister got married, the bridesmaids wore elbow length gloves. The dress at weddings was so modest in those days.

Now I am not a great wearer of gloves nowadays. My sense of touch has become very important to me, and things like gardening gloves and washing up gloves would never stay on my hands for very long. Even thimbles I find restrictive.

But I was delighted to find a plastic bag hanging on my door yesterday. In it was a parcel from Holly, who lives in Western Australia. She had sent it to me via her son Steve, who lives here on Norfolk Island.

Now I should tell you that I have admired Holly long before I ever met her. Edie, who is Steve's mother-in-law, used to tell me about this wonderful person who did all these amazing things with her arts and crafts, including dyeing fabric in the microwave. I longed to meet this lady, who obviously regarded her Craft as a bit of an adventure, rather than something to be measured exactly and followed to the last detail of the pattern!

Here is a picture of Holly teaching us to have fun on one of her visits to Norfolk. Holly is quite "over the top" - and this extends to her generosity in sharing her time and skills

By the time I did meet Holly in person, I had discovered for myself how to use the microwave for dyeing, but I knew for sure that you cannot dye successfully with food colouring! However, I have had wonderful results with Kool Aid, an American concentrated drink powder.

But there are so many other things Holly has taught me and inspired me with! And there are hundreds, probably thousands of people in West Australia who will thank Holly for bringing the joy of creating to them, particularly people in more remote areas. Most of all, Holly has taught us to be creative with what we have to hand, to forget "rules", and above all to have fun!

Anyway, this is one of the things in Holly's parcel - a magnificent pair of gloves "just for fun". Holly obviously had fun making them, and I am going to hang them somewhere where lots of people will enjoy them.

A card attached to the gloves reads:
Oh what can I do, what can I do?

I want something exciting, something new-

Something really quite over the top-

Something no one else has got!

So here's your special gardening gloves-

Made for you with lots of love!

I am glad she doesn't expect me to wear them! Or does she?

A postscript to this posting - I saw Elaine today and asked if she had been to the other garage sale (the one I had just come from). She said she had, and had found a box of lovely old gloves. She had bought them because "you never know when someone may find them useful". Elaine is a person after my own heart - she recognises treasures that we will soon have been tossed and lost, and has appointed herself as an archivist/conservator/librarian of all sorts of lovely old things, particularly clothing and textiles. A person after my own heart!

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