Southern Cross Creations

An Australian Woman's Journal
about life in remote, rural
Far North Queensland


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Southern Cross Creations

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Journal Archive: July 2003

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29 July 2003
Jerry wears wool socks handknitted by Martin's Mum in Norway

Gorgeous winter weather - cold nights and sunny days. Temperature fell to 10C (50F) last night. Jerry's feet keep warm thanks to handknitted socks from Martin's Mum in Norway. (If you haven't read Martin's journal about his visit to Far North Queensland, click on the above photo of blue socks to go to his web-journal.) Each winter I like to sit by a flickering fire and join the dreams of my ancestors. But we're lucky to live in the tropics where we can manage without a fireplace or other heating without great discomfort. That's because we have mild winters and use multiple layers of clothing, hot water bottles and warm doonas.

sugar gliders love honey gem grevillea blossoms

Going to bed late, we surprised three sugar gliders in the honey gem grevillea trees outside our bedroom. We watched them briefly with our flashlights. They decided to move on and climbed to the tops of the small grevilleas to pause and consider a getaway plan. Little acrobats of the Bush. One by one they leaped off the treetop and glided to a nearby dead tree trunk, landing not far above the ground. A quick dash up that tall dead trunk gave them plenty of room for the next, longer glide and a landing not so close to the ground where they are vulnerable to dogs and cats. Away they went, leaping and gliding from tree to tree until we couldn't see them in the darkness. The next night a single sugar glider watched us warily from the same group of grevilleas. We stopped in our track, only three metres from his perch. We could see the relaxed ruffle of the gliding membrane gathered between his forelimb and hindlimb. We left him to feed on nectar in peace. (I have taken artistic license in rendering the colours of the sugar gliders, but the honey gem blossoms are true.)

Razi performed a sword dance.



We attended "Cairo Cabaret", a Beaches Belly Dance performance at the Brothers League Club in Cairns. Click on Razi's photo at left for more pix. I appreciate the dancers' joyous expression of life, movement, beauty, feminine energy and their promise of the future.


Jude's winning smile



Neighbour Jude crochets hats and slippers. This purple hat looks a winner. She also volunteers for our Community Centre and the Fire Brigade. (Ever notice how creative people have busy lives?)


handspun, handwoven linen bag


Another neighbour is handspinner and weaver Gillian who created this linen bag and lined it with silk. At the lower left you can see a sample of the flax fibre Gillian used to spin her linen yarn for weaving. Another busy person, Gillian volunteers at our Community Centre and at the local school.

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hard yakka
It is the Dry Season, the roof is off, the fireplace gone.

We learn:
Taking off the roof is equivalent to doing a rain dance in Queensland.

So clouds gathered, thunder rumbled in the distance. We kept working on the house, it wouldn't rain, and we were almost finished for the day. The sky darkened. Lightning zapped, thunder roared, rain bucketed down. We dropped everything and fled to the Shed. Rain hammered on the Shed's tin roof while a fierce west wind rattled walls and tested tarps. Hail increased the din and terrified our panting, trembling dog. One inch of rain in 30 minutes.

In the aftermath we checked on our stored goods in the roofed section of the house. We stared in shock at the pool of water there, an inch deep. Our loom, various trunks and boxes awaited rescue. The floor of the unroofed side of the house had served as a rainwater catchment and directed the water to the lower, roofed side of the house. We had believed that storage corner would be safe, considering only dust, debris and mist. Wrong! We set to work shifting everything out of the water before darkness fell. What a day. Clear, sunny days followed. We got things dried out and moved into safer storage. We're wiser.... maybe.

Tuckered out, Mate?

copper ore ruler

The deadline for the Atherton Show approached. I felt too overwhelmed by home renovations to enter any craftwork. Then Gillian phoned. She reported that Aileen, one of our guild's kindest and most generous members, was concerned that so few people were entering the fibre section of the Show. It would be a great pity to see the category eliminated. Gillian promised to enter and so did I. (Peer pressure works!!! and who could say no to Aileen?)

It sounds easy to enter skeins of yarn in a Show. But there's more to it. I had to include a sample of the starting material. Oh, didn't I save a lock of that alpaca fleece? and could I find my craft bits after recent struggles to de-clutter, pack and store or give away superfluous items in my life.... Uh, oh, I didn't have a copy of the Show's entry categories and requirements, though I did have the list for the Cairns Show. Surely they would be similar. I read that a knitted sample is also required with my skein. Maybe my woven sample would do. And finally, a written description to accompany the entry.

And how would I present all of this in my last minute efforts? I decided to fold old posters in half, glue them together, then layout and attach skein, fibre sample, woven sample and written description.... sheesh.... I roped Jerry into gluing and attaching while I tried to remember the dyeing process used and write it down in readable form in a space about yay big. Gillian arrived before we finished. She had promised to pick up our entries and deliver them to the Show-grounds. We paused to oooooo and aaaaaa over her handspun, handwoven wool belt, linen bag and other goodies. Unexpected pleasure grew at seeing our joint assemblage of handwork. We smiled. We've done all that? Maybe the Show IS a good idea....

Gillian got a warm reception at the Showgrounds where she was asked to give a spinning demonstration during the Show. After some hesitation, Gillian agreed to bring her wheel and needed only a small space to spin in the Craft Hall. She wasn't sure she could find other spinners at such short notice. Well, they bargained, how about next year? Would you get a group together next year which is the Atherton Show's 100th anniversary? Yes, definitely next year, our group will be well prepared, Gillian promised.

Gillian must have good karma. She found two willing fellow spinners. Betty, a spinner and herder of angora goats, was feeling pleased at having her herd shorn by a group of young shearers after a long period of shearing them herself. She promised Gillian she'd join her for spinning in the Craft Hall. Meike, too, volunteered to spin, as she always encourages regular meetings of our little group of fibrecrafters on the Tableland. And me? Well, this little red hen stayed home with a sore throat!

paperbark colours

cool days for squats



Jerry's gashed leg is much better, no problem with the healing process. He's feeling so good that we resumed weight training at Bear's Gym.

Starting weights after a break isn't easy. After a session or two we'll smile again.


going for strong bones


I feel my phantom muscles complaining... you know the ones... no one can see them but they do ache!

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