Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Tina had given the girls some canvas boards for Christmas, and had promised to spend some time painting with them. They had almost run out of holiday when they finally managed to find a suitable time!

Tina is an excellent decorative painter, and when she lived in Noosa, she sold several pieces from a gallery in Hastings Street. Here on the island, she designed a series of commemorative postage stamps for Banyan Park Playcentre, and they are the most cheerful and colourful stamps you could ever hope to see. She has also designed Christmas Cards, which are sold as a fundraiser for Banyan Park.

These are pictures of the series of stamps Tina designed - one has slipped in the frame a bit

The girls thumbed through Tina's albums and chose their subjects, and then Tina started them off with some basic chalk outlines.
It was an absorbing morning as colours were chosen, mixed and applied to canvas. The time just flew.

Tina was kept busy giving encouragement, ideas and suggestions.

It was finally time for the girls to move on to their next activity - a Pony Club Gymkhana. Tina offered to keep the canvases and add a few finishing touches.The girls received their finished pictures just before they left for the airport. They were looking forward to hanging them on their bedroom walls!

Thursday, January 22, 2009


Soon after my last posting, Miriam emailed from New Zealand to say she had enjoyed reading about the girls' efforts in the Wearable Arts Show. She said that they would never have participated in something like that back where they live. That is a great thing about a small and sort-of-self-contained community, where we make much of our own entertainment, and where community life and participation flourish, largely thanks to volunteers lie the members of our local Community Arts Society.
I thought I would show you a few more pictures of some of the contestants and their wonderful wearable creations!
This sea dragon was the best in the Open section.
This one, made from several hundred pairs of disposable gloves, looked like feathers!
Tony won a prize with this creation from black plastic!
The photo is a bit blurred, but the Cabbage Patch doll was a real charmer!

The designer of this one was inspired by sleepless nights with a new baby, and features nappies, nappy pins and baby toys.
It is amazing what you can do with a few lids!
This entry in the 'Bizarre Bra' section was called "Playing your Cards close to your Chest."Weaving this dress out of local flax would have taken Wayne B. a long time. The dresses and hats are modelled by sister Maree and niece Michaela, and represent Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

I must confess this was one of my favourites - a dress made from Ferrero Rocher chocolate wrappers!

A pair of birds - of course the male is the colourful one!

Garments made from natural materials

There was also an Edible section - Bradley's outfilt features Jatz crackers and musk sticks!
Greg's armour includes a number of sardine cans!
I could show you heaps more, but I hope this has given you a little taste of the wonderful creativity, ingenuity and resourcefulness of people in this little community on Norfolk Island.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


For the past three or four years, Norfolk Island has been holding an annual Wearable Art Show.
Of course, our four "Life Be In It" girls decided they just had to enter, and young Will wanted to be included as well.

After an initial panic at the thought of creating five costumes, the adult accomplices got into action to assist and provide some ideas. At first they thought they would dress as cowgirls, but this was later modified to "The Stablehands" -after all, this is where they spend a lot of their time!!
Joanne had the inspiration to call on Tony G. to help. Tony has a background in sewing for theatre, and was all too willing to drop everything and come and cut out garments to fit the kids.

The "fabric" was sacks provided by Kaye at Silky Oaks Stables.

Kaye also gave us five old horseshoes to "recycle", because the "Recycled" section was the ones the girls had decided to nter.

I found some old chain in the shed, which Charles cut into lengths, and with some fencing wire and the horseshoes, we fashioned some "pendants". Some gold spray paint, and faux jewels made them look great.
Meanwhile Nana Clare had the job of sewing the outfits up on her sewing machine.

There was a rehearsal on Thursday, where the kids had a chance to try out the catwalk and think about a routine.

They gathered together some accessories from here and there. On Saturday afternoon, it was "Make-up" time, and Joanne handled that task remarkably well!

The excitement was building.

It was a great night. There were 79 entries in the show - a real record, and marvellous when you think that there are fewer than 2000 people in this community.

We arrived an hour before starting time, and the hall was already filling fast.

Bernie and I got great seats right at the end of the catwalk, which was terrific for photos, as well as for admiring the incredible ingenuity that had gone into producing the costumes.

The whole production was great fun, and both the designers and models entertained an enthusiastic audience in great style.
Teddy and Sienna enjoyed watching. I am sure they will really twist Tina's arm to be allowed to participate next time.

The girls did not win a prize, but they had enormous fun participating.
They are already planning for next year!

In my next posting I will show you some pictures of other entrants.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


The girls have continued to fill their days...horseriding with PJ, games of Monopoly with their uncles, trips up the hill to Sweeties, shopping, visiting, swimming, and an occasional video. All this week they have spent each morning at the Tennis Club, enjoying a coaching clinic. They must be exhausted!
Right now they are focussed on the Wearable Art Competition this Saturday. All four of them are entering as a group, plus Anna and Amy's brother should be a hoot. I will keep you posted!

Can those people who have asked if I will send them a copy of the magazine 2899 please email me with their postal details - names and addresses.
I can be contacted at

If I hear from you by tomorrow, I will be able to get the package away on the weekend's plane. If not, it will have to wait until the following week!

Friday, January 09, 2009


I never knew being a Granny could be such fun, watching the kids enjoying themselves with cousins and other relatives and friends. Their delight in new experiences and friendships just makes the holiday season so joyful. I will mainly show you what happens through pictures - they are better than words!!
A couple of days after Christmas, the weather turned warmer, and everyone flocked to the beach. This time the raft was so crowded, it was nearly submerged!

Miriam suggested they should head out to Crystal Pool. This was definitely a first for the girls. The pool is located on the west side of the island, and it is quite a climb down to reach it. But it is well worth the effort.

Crystal Pool is about 5 metres deep, and as the name suggests is clear right to the bottom. The girls found a high ledge to dive from - what an adventure. The pool can sometimes become treacherous, as a wave rolls in from the sea, turning the pool into a frothy cauldron.

The girls wave to a passing boat!

Never tiring of the water, the girls headed for Fletcher Christian pool, where they had fun with Teddy and Sienna.
Roany the dog always gets distressed when he sees them in the pool, especially if they splash around,and runs around trying to rescue them.

After plenty of splashing and diving, they are ready for a feed!
After our family breakfast on Saturday, there was a short and sharp cloudburst, with enough rain to create big puddles at the end of the path. Teddy and Sienna were quick to take advantage of the mud. I don't know what was most fun - painting one's body with mud, or getting it hosed off afterwards!
One night. the girls thought it would be a good idea to camp in the woodland. Joanne thought she had a tent but could not find it. Not to be deterred, they found some ropes and tarpaulins, old sheets and pegs from the clothesline, and with the help of an obliging uncle Puk, they soon had quite an impressive little campsite. They even rigged up an electric light.

Unfortunately the camping experience only lasted about half an hour. The combination of mosquitoes, uncles playing pranks, and too-vivid imaginations soon drove them inside the house. But the "tent" has remained in place, and provides a great daytime cubby.

Yesterday was something of a "chill-out" day after lots of outings and family get-togethers. Sarah and Amy persuaded Uncle Ed to join them in a game of Kiwi Monopoly (this was a Christmas present to Kim and Charles, but they thought they may as well get some use from it first!)
This took me back to my childhood, and many happy hours spent playing the British version of the game. Sarah proved to be the big entrepreneur, but Uncle Ed pointed out that she would be responsible for future global financial crises as she cheerfully lent money to players who could not afford to pay her back!

A game of cards with more cousins and friends during another family get-together one night was good, too. This was a good chance to get to know the "boy cousins" James and Stephen.

And here are some more special times - they keep on coming!
One day we visited Aunt Amy's - a very old house that now belongs to Matt, Anna and Amy's uncle. The girls were fascinated!

At another get-together, the kids were allowed to pull giant Bon-bons left over from Christmas. They had some really good stuff inside, but thwe jokes were no better than the usual!
Here the girls are all lined up on the grass, joined by Will and Lachlan and Roany the dog.

Any one for ice cream? Lovely with fresh passionfruit, and caramel bananas!
Anna and Sarah organised a morning tea, and rang around to invite friends and family.
Uncle John, Anna and Amy's Mum, brother Will, Tina and the kids, Gracie, and Uncle Roy and Aunty Sally were among the visitors.

More fun and games at a Christening party for second cousins Lachlan and Liam.

I am sure they will all look back on this summer as the greatest ever!
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