Crystal Kiters


Over the next few weeks, I’ll be hosting fellow-winners of the Crystal Kite Awards. I thought it might be interesting to meet some creators from around the world. Initially, I’ll just be posting a jpeg of their winning books and a brief bio with links to websites/blogs etc.

I’m looking forward to meeting some new people and learning more about others.

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Flowers and Lace




I had lunch with my cousin yesterday, at her house. Delightful as that was, it was not the whole reason for being there. She’s sorting out things and one of those ‘things’ was a suitcase full of lace. Lace that mostly came from our grandmother. There were bits from her mother, my aunt, and her paternal grandmother, but mostly it was from Nana.

Nana made lingerie, amongst other things. When she came to Australia as a warbride after WW1, there wasn’t much money around. Then came the depression. Nana may have brought some of the lace with her, but other bits she bought here, or salvaged from other garments. There is ‘used’ or ‘recycled’ lace and some new lace. There are bits of lace that would have been inserted into linen or cotton fabric as tray cloths, or table cloths.

We went through bag after bag, exclaiming and trying to explain to my cousin’s daughter (my first cousin once removed?) just why this was such a special collection. There was bobbin lace, Brussels lace, crochet lace and more.

Here are a few samples …











But wait – there’s more

There was a pair of half-sewn brown leather gloves, some soft, soft rich-butter chamois, and these two patterns, should a pair of day gloves or men’s gloves be required.



The ranunculi are in my lounge room. They are bright and messy and gorgeous.

Froth and Bubble Literature Festival

Today, Jackie Kerin and I travelled to Torquay to present at the Froth and Bubble Literature Festival (which continues tomorrow without us!).

Jackie and I do a combo presentation based around ‘There Was an Old Sailor’. We construct a new sailor story and then have the attendees perform it. It’s great fun, and is one way to model the creation of a new story, by using the skeleton of an existing one. We had a smallish but very enthusiastic group of participants. We require a strong sense of the ridiculous and here we must acknowledge the assistance of an earlier presenter, Andy Griffiths. The kids were primed! Here’s their wonderful story-rhyme, collaboratively written and then performed in just under an hour.

There Was an Old Sailor who Swallowed a Snail

There was an old sailor who swallowed a snail
I don’t know why he swallowed a snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed a snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a crab
He grabbed that crab, it tasted fab.
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a snake
Yes, rattle and shake, he swallowed the snake
He swallowed the snake to catch the crab
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a clam
The jam-covered clam tasted like lamb
He swallowed the clam to catch the snake
He swallowed the snake to catch the crab
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a cow
Wow …no…POW! He ploughed that cow
He swallowed the cow to catch the clam
He swallowed the clam to catch the snake
He swallowed the snake to catch the crab
He swallowed the crab to catch the star
that puckered and suckered and juckered too far
He swallowed the star to catch the snail
I don’t know why he swallowed that snail
He looks a bit pale

There was an old sailor who swallowed a lion
oh – so full, he’s cryin’!

Rose helped us pack up. Thanks Rose!


Afterwards Jackie presented a talk on the art of storytelling, generating discussion that was only halted when the man with the vacuum cleaner threatened our feet (okay, only almost).

Great fun.

moonglow

The moon was full … and dare I say luminous?

Last night we drove to Seymour for a fundraiser dinner for the Bushrangers Cricket Team who are off to Sri Lanka shortly. At a family house (admittedly a larger-than-average house for a larger-than-average family) we (and about 68 others) were served a five course banquet cooked in a domestic kitchen. Lovely food, even more enjoyable given the effort to get the food to us hot.

They’d set up marquees in the yard, carpeted the grass, and set us all at long tables. It was a freezing cold night, but with a combo of hot food and the odd bit of cuddling, we all stayed warm. A lovely night, catching up with old friends and remembered new ones. And the boys can go to Sri Lanka.