Saturday, February 19, 2011


Our Tuesday Craft Group must have been going for more then 17 years. Well, for the first year or two I recall it was a Thursday morning, but for absolutely yonks, Tuesday afternoons have been a sacred appointment in our diaries for a gentle time of stitching, chatting, and a bit of peace from the normal household routine. There are usually about 10 of us, and people come and go. I think only Shirley, Andrea and myself go right back to the start, although Agnes was there early in the piece. she came back to the group a year or two ago after a few years' break.
We are all starting to get on a bit, but Joy (pictured here) would probably be our "grandma". Joy is also the most productive of us, with by far the greatest output! She makes wonderful colourful quilts - big ones!! - and we are really in awe of her level of productivity.
Here Joy is working on beautiful bedrunners for her granddaughter's tourist apartments.

Lorraine is also a very productive lady. She has recently returned to live on Norfolk Island with her Norfolk Islander husband, and we are so glad to have her here as a very inspiring member of our group. Lorraine recently had a spell of working in blues, and is busily quilting a table runner.

Annette, in the foreground, is an extremely resourceful craftswoman, and can turn her hand to all sorts of things. Her current project is a baby's jacket knitted from a very old, but practical pattern.

We sit around a long table in the SDA Hall. Sometimes when we have extra visitors, we need to draw up another table. We have a strict rule that if you come along and just don't feel like working at anything, then you are allowed to sit and do nothing - just enjoy the company and conversation!
One of Shirley's favourite crafts is longstitch. When asked what she will do with it, she usually says it will go in the cupboard with all tyhe others! One of these days, Shirley..... Meanwhile, it is the process, and the opportunity to gather with others in this relaxed way that is most important.
Margaret is staying on the island for about three months, while her husband is the Church of England Chaplain. She says the group is a wonderful way for her to get out and meet new people. Margaret is working on some fine cross stitch.

Last week I was working on some of my cards. I took along a heap of pressed flowers to arrange on silk paper backgrounds.

Val is a regular visitor from Australia, and joins us when ever she is here on holiday (she has been to Norfolk Island 34 times!) Val is a very versatile craftsperson. This time she is doing some "redwork" (in green!)

 Andrea's favourite activity is rice paper decoupage - in fact it has been her only activity for years. But she really enjoys the regular outing and the company.
 Here are some closer shots of Joy's bedrunners. Joy has a most wonderful gift with colour harmony!

 And here is one of Joy's larger quilts, this one with a poinsettia theme. She has been working on the binding, and we all admire the finished product!!
 Almost every one of Joy's quilts (and she has made dozens)  use the "Drunkard's Path" block. Joy uses it because they give her quilts a more flowing and organic look. Every quilt is completely individual, with the use of different fabrics and colours and different arrangements of the blocks.
I just love this group, and it would have to be a pretty important commitment for me to let something take its place on Tuesday afternoons!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


 Our grandaughters Sarah and Emily were here for five wonderful weeks over the Christmas holidays. Their Mum, our daughter Miriam, came for two of those weeks. It is so good when Devon is full of happy chatter and activity!
 Mind you, they are out and about much of the time, just enjoying the freedom and beauty of Norfolk Island.
 Most mornings, they got some early morning exercise on the Flagstaff Hill walk(climb!). Ruby usually joined them, but as her legs are so small, she was carried for part of the way.
 But the view from the top was well worth it.
 Ruby had no trouble trotting along between the girls when they walked along the Slaughter Bay wall.
 Miriam's friend Lambie, and cousin Anna joined them on a picnic to Crystal Pool. Anna's Dad and Peter joined them too.
     That water looks so refreshing.

 I think it took them ages to get this great shot!
 Ruby enjoyed trips to Cemetery Beach with the girls.
 And Emily Bay....

 She loved to join in the fun...
 Especially the digging....
 Norfolk Island has plenty of lovely rockpools to enjoy.
 Now Sarah is 16, she is able to drive, and make the most of their days. It certainly frees us up from the job of being Granny and Grandad-on-wheels!
 Sarah and friend Ashley sometimes took the horses out. Here Ruby joins them for her very first horseride!

 There were many hours spent at the beach, enjoying our perfect summer weather.
 The Emily Bay Raft is a great gathering place for the young people.
 A trip to a local cafe.
 We got together with cousin Tina and family on this occasion.
 I think the girls tried out all the swimming spots, some of which needed a climb down the cliff.

They were usually glad to get to bed at nights. Once again, our upstairs area became a somewhat upmarket "camping site"
 And Ruby usually joioned them there!
 Back at Devon, hosing off the sand on the front lawn.

 Jumping off the Kingston Pier.
 I love this picture of Sarah.

 Footsteps in the sand at the bottom of Anson Bay.
 The girls were sad when the day came to go home to New Zealand.
Ashley, Anna, Gracie and Uncle John were all there to see them off.
 As Grandad says, the sooner you leave, the sooner you come back......

Thursday, February 03, 2011


When our parents passed away, neither Bernie nor I inherited an empire or a large fortune. But we have had passed on to us some lovely items - not necessarily valuable - that we regard as family treasures.

One such item is "the magnet."
When my mother died, she left all of her estate to be divided equally between my sister and me. In the days following her death, my sister's husband asked us what we would each like from our mother's estate....and with almost one voice, we both replied instantly "The fuse wire and the magnet!"
Now, the reel of fuse wire had been in our home as long as I could remember. It may well have been used for its real purpose, but as children, my sister and I used to make wonderful things from it, including little "springs", which were produced by wrapping the wire tightly around things like pencils and knitting needles.
The magnet had appeared around the time I was about ten or eleven. My father worked at a place called "Austral Bronze", which did things with metal(not sure what). One day he came home with this very solid and heavy horseshoe magnet. I think it had originally been bolted to a piece of machinery, but had broken into two pieces.
Now a magnet in two pieces is much more fun than a single piece, because you can play with the attraction and resistance of the two poles.
I clearly recall the time when I was sick in bed, and my mother called the doctor. Doctor Grace paid little attention to me and my illness, but he had great fun moving bobby pins and paper clips up and down the surface of the door, by running the magnet on the other side!
Anyway, after my mother's funeral, I came home to Norfolk Island with half of the magnet, which gives a special meaning to inheriting half of her estate!
The other day, William and I were reading a "Science" book, and I remembered the magnet. I use it as a pincushion, just like my mother did.

I found a few miscellaneous metal items for him to play with, and then I brought out one of my tins of metal buttons. William had great fun....but it turned out that fewer than 5% of those buttons were actually real metal, of the sort that would cling to a magnet!

Nevertheless, William had the most enormous fun, especially when he discovered you can magnetise other metal objects. That old magnet, which has been in our family for well over 50 years, is still as strong and powerful as ever.

He also loved the effect of the shiny buttons hanging on the magnet, and declared that it would make a lovely decoration for the tree next Christmas!

When Charles came to pick William up, he was keen to show his Dad what he had been playing with. Charles recalled many happy hours playing with that same magnet when he was a young boy staying at Nana's house.
So that family magnet has amused four generations! And hopefully the other half is amusing the continuing generations of my sister's family!

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