06 November 2015

Rottnest Island

things I loved about Rottnest Island :

  • no cars - the kids could safely ride everywhere.
  • the kids rode everywhere - on their own, with their cousins, in smaller packs.  Even Lily.
  • no one owns Rottnest - everyone is staying in similar fairly basic accommodation, no one has more of a claim on the island than anyone else, no matter how rich or poor they might be.  It lends a very egalitarian air to the place.
  • the beaches are unbelievable.  Really unbelievable.  I'm reminded again why it is really never worthwhile travelling overseas for a beach holiday  -unless you are going for super cheap massages and hair braiding, rather than the actual beaches.  The water was perfectly clear and so clean, the sand so fine and white, the scenery so spectacular and everywhere we went it just seemed to get better.
  • my (extended) family.  We went with my brother and his 4 boys and his amazing wife, Jodi, a local Perth girl who has been going to Rottnest annually since she was a kid.  Jodi is the sort of person who effortlessly plans a week's worth of meals and snacks for 12 people and thinks to pack a decent knife and a cleaning mitt.
  • the weather - perfect 23-25 degree days and cool evenings.
  • walking through the salt lakes, to the lighthouse, down to remote beaches where there was not a soul in sight, listening to podcasts and getting my steps up all in one fell swoop.
  • lino floors. The accommodation is basic and the fact that half the beach was brought inside each day mattered not a damn, when the floors are lino, everyone is wearing sandals and there is  broom that can be used every so often.
  • Lily and Jack making sand balls for hours.
  • the endless hunts up trees, in water, and in dunes, for the frisbee.
  • our proximity to the beach.
  • the way my 14 year old nephew spent hours fishing, rigged up some PVC piping to his bike so he could carry his rods, then filleted and cooked his catch for lunch.
  • the little baby quokkas in their mothers' pouches.  Less appealing was the way they went through your bag at the pub looking for food.
Such a great holiday.

03 November 2015

Tall skinny animals and other things

These were some of the things I made for the fete this year.  I probably made fewer items, but enjoyed making them more and was happier with the outcome than in past years.  Though I quite enjoy the challenge of seeing what has been donated and turning it into something, it's rather nice working with fabric that I really love.

The monkeys, rabbits and rag dolls are mostly fabrics that I bought back from Japan.  All dots and stripes are not equal.

I'm still not over tiny owls and mice in tiny beds.  When I was a kid I did a Saturday morning pottery course for years and years.  I made lots of different things, but I kept returning to dragons again and again, even though I was not otherwise interested in them.  I wasn't into fantasy novels at all (romance all the way) nor was I attracted to other representation of dragons (I had a pig collection).  I just really liked making dragons.  And it seems in my 40's I really like making owls.  And mice.  And possibly now, bats.  We shall see.  I think tiny bats in beds could be quite adorable.

Signs of Spring

I couldn't help thinking of that Michael Leunig cartoon - Awful Aspects of Spring - The new dog digs up the old dog when I was putting up this post. Our dear old Cairn terrier, Pablo went missing one July day last year when our rear roller door malfunctioned and he (presumably) went wandering out. He was microchipped and had a collar, and we weren't too worried for the first few days - he'd gone missing before and had always turned up nearby.

But this time he didn't turn up and after endless calls and visits to the Lost Dogs Home and other animal shelters we slowly started to realise that he wasn't coming back. It was a very sad end to a very long relationship. Craig and I got Pablo and Winnie about 17 years ago when they were just little puppies and we had no children and a tiny courtyard in North Melbourne.  To not be able to say farewell and see him off seemed a bit unfair.  Pablo, by the time he went missing, had lost both his eyes and was mostly deaf, but was still a happy, fairly frisky little fella. At some point around the 15 year mark, he and Winnie had had a major falling out. She'd kicked him out of the communal kennel and exiled him to his own basket. But in the months before he went there appeared to have been rapprochement.  He was allowed back into the kennel, and they shared the basket, and seemed to be settling into a quite old age together.  I can't figure out what could have happened to him.  Surely no one would just keep such an aged and clearly loved beast? And yet there were no reports to the council of dogs killed in our area and its hard to imagine he would have gone terribly far being completely blind.

Anyway, after a suitable period of mourning, we started to talk about the possibility of a new dog.  On the one hand, we weren't sure if now-seventeen-year-old Winnie would cope - she has only 3 teeth left, she's entirely deaf, mostly blind and intermittently incontinent.  On the other, she just keeps on keeping on, despite all of the above.

So - meet Basil.  He's adorable and we love him.  Winnie is not so sure.  He's a bit boisterous and he's twigged to the fact that she can't actually do much beyond make threatening noises.  So he jumps all over her and tries to play and she closes her eyes in resignation.  Poor old Winne.  Dear young Basil.

Dolls in Tins

Little Miss Muffet

The Princess and the Pea

Sleeping Beauty
I find little things in little boxes very appealing.

Sleeping beauty has a mattress and bolster style pillow, the inspiration for which came from a holiday I took with my family when I was fourteen and we were spending a year in England on a teaching exchange.  We rented gite in France - Normandy I think - for a week and the beds all had these weird (to us) bolster type pillows that were terribly glamorous and terribly uncomfortable.

I did make a little felted pea for the Princess, to go under several mattresses, but it didn't make it to the photo.

And I tried to make a tuffet for Miss Muffet but it was just too odd.