Saturday, November 17, 2012


They told us that Norfolk Island was going to be a good place to view the eclipse of the sun on Wednesday, because over 98% of the sun would be blocked out by the moon. When we got up that morning, it was a beautiful, clear, cloudless sky. However, as we had forgotten to buy any viewing lenses, we had resigned ourselves to just experiencing a few minutes of relative darkness at the peak time, 8:38 a.m.

Then our son John rang and suggested we head over to his workshop to view the event in safety through his welding helmet.

John had also taken the trouble to make a large periscope type thing through which we could see the progress of the eclipse safely. He had mounted it at just the right angle on the back of his tip-truck. Now that is ingenuity!!

At the base was some white paper which showed a precise picture of the "crescent sun."

 Dean had mounted his camera there too, hoping to get a video of it.

 Quite a few of John and Charles' staff and customers took the opportunity of having a look.

 Here is John's offsider Darren.
 And Kay from the Hospital, calling in to Charles' store before work.
 And Joey the Plasterer, with Brett waiting his turn.
 Ed came over before heading off to work.

When I tried to photograph the sun through the welding helmet, I was only managing to film the reflections of the scenery behind me! At least that was a good indication of the protection the lens was giving to my eyes.

 This is Liam's very first eclipse!

 You should see this Grandad!!
 Even at the peak of the eclipse, the sun's rays were strong enough to cast long clear shadows!! The sensation of darkness was only faint and only lasted a few minutes.
 One last look - dor about another decade!
 Then, that evening we were invited to join James' Barclays group of visitors for an astronomy session out at Simon's Water. The people had travelled from Australia and New Zealand just to see the eclipse here. They were all glad they had not gone to Cairns, where it was almost a fizzer!
It was so dark, we did not know who was there until I flashed my camera! The we realised Marylin and Tom were there too.Even so, I did not realise that one of the telescopes belonged to Rob (centre)until I loaded the picture onto my computer next day!
 Jupiter was so bright, that it was casting a reflection on the sea. Some of us tried to photograph it, but no luck. Obviously there was no moon - that one had made his grand appearance, putting the sun in the shade, that morning!
 Becky from the Travel Centre looks on while James "plots" another star or galaxy for us to look at.
 It was the perfect end to a lovely day for us.
And talking of sun, moon and stars, it had been Bernie's and my 42nd wedding anniversary. Full of lovely memories.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Yes, it seems to have started - the countdown to Christmas. An email came from the Soul Gallery, saying they had put up the Christmas tree, but that it was looking a little bare, and needed some decorations to sell.
In actual fact, I had been working on some little projects for a while, and they were just about ready to go!!
 It had all started when I bought an ol;d baby's blanket at the Op Shop. It was  not in marvellous condition, and had a few holes. But it was pure wool, and the fact that it had partly shrunk made it even better. A couple more washings made it felt up really nicely.
 The first project was a little flock of birds. At our local Craft shop, I bought some packets of these tiny bright red heart shape buttons, and decided to use them to create a theme. It was complemented by this ribbon featuring hearts.
Next came a series of felt heart hangers, onto which I sewed a variety of little white buttons, interspersed with some of the little red hearts, complemented by a cheerful red gingham ribbon.

 Next I made some little Christmas mini-stockings, embellished with old lace and more heart buttons.
 I had also been making some slightly larger Christmas stockings, using a lovely colourful linen fabric, some Christmas themed fabric prints, and lots of lace, beads and other embellishments.
 I had a few Christmas "tags" left from last year....
 And I remembered that I had made these little mini-Santas earlier too. To make the felt for these, I actually knitted up some tapestry wool in rows of red and black, then felted it. So they are really made "from scratch."

 All of these little stockings were made from old woollen jumpers which I had felted in the washing machine.
 The tree did not look nearly so bare after I had hung all these little things on it. But I do hope that it is bare again by Christmas, and that people come to buy these little treasures, which are handmade from natural and recycled materials.

 These two doves are also from last year's batch, and feature an assortment of ribbons and beads.
I am playing round (mainly just in my head for now) with some ideas for some little angels using lace and felt and pearls. But November is going to be a rather busy month for me in other areas, so they will have to go on the backburner!
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