Thursday, August 26, 2010


Betty and Sam are from Vanuatu, but are currently living here on Norfolk Island with their children Tracy and Trevor. We have a number of people from Vanuatu and Fiji here now, and we love their warm and friendly ways and their cultural contribution to our community.
Betty and Sam have been looking forward to the arrival of their new baby son, and yesterday afternoon, my son John, who is very friendly with them, rang to tell me that the new little one had arrived the night before, just before midnight and his due date!

This morning I went round to see them, to welcome the new babe.

I was able to take a little gift which I knew would really please. You see I have a friend (also called Betty) who knits for babies and sells the garments at a stall at our markets. In a chance conversation. she had told me that the mum-to-be had been admiring a lovely little outfit and had been hoping it would not be sold before she could come back and buy it.
So I arranged to buy it instead - and was able to give it to her this morning.

Traydon is a beautiful little baby, and I know Betty and Sam,Tracy and Trevor, are very proud of their new little "Norfolk Islander!"

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Mondays are special to us, because that is the day that William comes up to spend time with Granny and Grandad.
Usually the first thing we have to deal with is his "I'm hungry!!" plea. This is normally satisfied with the provision of a few dry crackers! We would happily provide something more tasty and tempting, but he just loves these!!
His next request is "Can I do some painting?"
I am very happy to oblige here! I have very happy memories of being allowed to paint and create as a child. I just loved my paintbox, and names like "Scarlet Lake", "Crimson", "Turquoise", "Burnt Umber" and "Viridian Green" were etched on my mind at a very early age.
William loves to play with colours and textures. He will often load two colours onto his brush side by side, and take pleasure in the resulting effect when he blends them. He also likes to play with textures, varying the weight he puts on the brush.
One thing he does not really like, and many other children would agree with him, is when people ask what it is! His pictures do not necessarily represent anything - they are just wonderful  experiments with colour and texture and design.

He has obviously had experience of making "butterflies" by folding the paper, so we had a go at this, folding in both directions. This something I recall doing in my first year at school. We would paint one page in the first colour, and the second page in another colour, and then press them together. I remember  using the resulting patterned paper to cover a board, onto which we glued a little calendar, as a Christmas present for our parents.

We also played with letting the very wet paint dribble over the page.

While the paint was drying, William read some of his books. Bob the Builder is, of course, very "in" for three year olds!

But Hairy McClary is also much loved, and fortunately I have quite a few of those, being rather fond of them myself!
Next week, I think we may try some collage. I have plenty of bits and pieces he will enjoy gluing onto paper!
And I will enjoy it too!

Monday, August 09, 2010


A week or two ago, this is what my washing line looked like.
I had been making silk paper, and put it out to dry in a lovely breeze. Making silk paper is a little bit like felting, but the silk fibres do not hook together in the same way as wool fibres. You need to bind them with a medium like Textile medium, or even diluted PVA or wallpaper paste.
The resulting 'paper' can be quite beautiful, has a lovely shimmer, and can be put to a multitude of uses.

I have scanned some of them to show you.




You can still see the imprint of the net that I use to make the 'silk sandwich', but this will be ironed out - literally!!
Lately I have used pieces of silk paper to make cards. The paper makes a beautiful rich background for pressed flower arrangements.

This background inspired me to do something different.

So I went off to my stash of lace, and found what I needed.

I think I like the lace pieces almost as much as the pressed flowers - and they have the advantage of being much more acceptable to a fussy quarantine officer if the cards should be travelling to Australia or New Zealand!!

I was panicking because I was running short of window cards, and also wanted more of the lovely dragonfly lace motifs!
My dear online friend Peggy, from Kaliko Kottage, was able to come to the rescue with both!

Meanwhile, this is what my washing line looks like this morning!
These are pieces of woolen jumpers (from the Op Shop) that I have felted in my washing machine using very hot water! This produced beautiful thick and versatile felt pieces that I use for many things!


Believe it or not, I have a load of real washing sitting in my machine, waiting to be hung out. How boring!!

Monday, August 02, 2010


What are these, you may ask....

And what is this hanging on my washing line?
Well, it is true that my laundry gets used for all sorts of activities that have absolutely nothing to do with keeping clothes clean and ironed. (My iron is usually too gummed up with craft glue and the like to even use it on clothes.)
The pictures above are a stage in the production of the felted apples that I have been enjoying making lately. Here are some I made for our Spring Fair last year.
These turned out pretty well, and I made more for Christmas gifts and for my stalls for the Cruise ships.
It was time to build up the supply again. Here is a bowl of them out drying on the patio - a process that can take 2 or 3 weeks. Every time I walk by I sort of squeeze them into shape.

The trouble with this batch was that some of them are "lemons". They have rather wrinkly surfaces. This happened because I did not follow my own instructions! I take a weird sort of pride in not following recipes, patterns and instructions, and much prefer to wing it! I think I am scared of appearing too anal. But sometimes it does help to produce a consistent product if you observe the basic steps!!!
For the next lot, I thought about each step more carefully, and they turned out much better.

However the colour is not so good, because I had dyed a lot of my own wool, and quite a bit of it washed out in the felting process. I plan to order some on the internet already died, from someone who knows better what they are doing around the dyepot!
Meanwhile, here is another picture of my washing line being put to an unusual use...more about this one next time!

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