One more adventure…

… To go on this trip. But lots to catch up on now that I can get back into my blog!


The National Basketry Gathering that the various AU states put on is really a great event. Queensland folks ran it this year in the Gold Coast region south of Brisbane. Not actually on he coast, but in a campgrounds situated high within an old volcano caldera. After a windy and cold start, the place warmed up – might have been the heat of all those Basketmakers working! – and tons of sharing of knowledge happened. Tons of basketry materials were also shared – there were heaps of naturals and manmade to choose from. Made a bush toy ( I think it is a goana/lizard) and shared drilled ribs, mini style among many other activities.


Anne and I took off on a three day road trip through New South Wales to get back to Melbourne, staying in Armidale, Mudgee (overnight with a new friend from the Gathering and indulging in wine and cheese tastings) and outside of Albury in Victoria (overnight at a nurse friend’s home overlooking the the Hume Weir. Along the way we saw a camel in the field with cattle, sheep, kangaroos with joeys in pouches, and roadkill echidnas, wombats, roos and foxes. Foxes are an introduced pest so no sounds of sorrow over their demise were heard. Lots of kukuburros, magpies, cockatoos, budgees and other small winged critters were seen and heard.


One day of teaching mudcloth in Meeniyan outside of Melbourne – took the bus there and got a ride back to Anne’s. Overnight in the hills of Foster – lovely high, rounded hills with cattle and sheep – beautifully picturesque.


Tagged along with Anne to her fiber group meeting for a pleasant Sunday afternoon. And now enjoying the quiet company of Borris the cat as the rain plays tag with the sun. Some paper/book time scheduled with Anne when she returns later.


Wednesday I will bid Anne farewell (for this year!) and fly to Sydney for one last teaching gig before heading home. More on at as it happens! (Pics will have to happen after I get home…too difficult while traveling on borrowed wifi.)

Back in Australia

I think time is faster down under!

Had a whirlwind two days of teaching eight lovely and lively students the joys and surprises of twining with seagrass. They all did marvelously well – and may even continue doing it!
(Hmmm…things have changed and I can’t figure out how to add images now! Will figure it out later.)

The Naked Possum, Mussel Inn and Tinky’s are a few of the restaurants/pubs I have visited recently for some very satisfying meals.

Monday was a day of chores (getting ready to leave) and touring as Bruce took us over to see the other end of Golden Bay. It really is a lovely spot on this earth.

We hoped to catch sight of the aurora australis that was being touted as very visible to NZ, but alas… Try as we might, and Nicola DID try a number of different spots for better views, we did not see any lovely sky colors other than the wide array of brilliant stars and planets.

Tuesday was a before-the-crack-of-dawn day, heading to Nelson for our flight to Auckland, winding our way slowly through the crowd of folks assembled for the ANZAC Day dawn service. (Similar to our Veterans Day.)

Lovely to see the mountains we were actually driving through since I missed the views in the dark and rain on the way in.

Bit of breakfast at the airport and we were off. Met up with an older acquaintance and hubby during our layover in Auckland – so good to see Rosemary and Bill! Bit of lunch with them and then off again to Brisbane.

Uneventful flight which was mostly taken up with the life tales of our seat partner. Touchdown, train and a short walk to the overnight accommodations with Anne, Ann, Marion and Tony. A bit of Vietnamese for a late dinner/tea, some pleasant catching up and then a good sleep.

Today, Wednesday, has dawned lovely over is bustling city. Intending to do some city center sightseeing, drop in on a welcoming fellow fiber artist and the. Arrive at the camp where the National Basketry Gathering is happening the rest of the week.

If you don’t hear from me till next week it will be due to

Quick Catch-up

i have been remiss in keeping up-to-date on my travel adventure So!


In quick order since I need to get out to teach this morning…


Investigated Nicola’s willow patch and found signs of aphids and cycadas- she will need to spray!


Got my hair trimmed – so much better now!


Visited the Whareriki (sp?) beach and saw seal pups up close – the rest of the family nearby. Hilly track from car park to beach.

image 17 Judy Dominic Fiber Artist The Fiber Art of Judy Dominic


Visited the Farewell Spit beach where the huge number of whales beached during the past summer. Low tide land stretched forever – easy to see how they beached.


Found another baby whale recently made next to the big one – the family continues to grow!


Met one of the weekend tutors – she and family live on a huge skow that they sailed in on, are fixing up and intending to sail out again on in the future!


Ready for for the Go Wild Iwth Willow Weekend to start shortly -should be great! Gotta run!

More on the Whales

The town is still buzzing with the excitement from the driftwood whale building!

image 15 e1492512021924 Judy Dominic Fiber Artist The Fiber Art of Judy Dominic

View from the tail/fluke – body still needs filling in and rounding up. It eventually had a dors

image 14 e1492511515995 Judy Dominic Fiber Artist The Fiber Art of Judy Dominic

Four of the smaller whales closer to the tide line – each whale needed a spout of water coming out of a blow hole!

image 13 Judy Dominic Fiber Artist The Fiber Art of Judy Dominic

The bay at low tide/evening – looking east.


So far the big whale and baby next to it have not been affected by the tide much as there have been decreasingly lower tides since the weekend.  But there have been additional smaller whales built nearby by unknown visitors to the beach.


Quite wonderful that folks have felt empowered to create temporary art on the beach!

Whale Building

A glorious day to build a whale!


Nicola and I had scouted out the best location and possible set of ‘bones’ to start with on Friday with fingers crossed that the intervening tides would not change things much. Our favorite bones were still there but headed in the wrong direction to have the whale headed out to sea. So, with a bit of flinging away of sand and a couple extra bodies, we pushe and shoved it around to face the water.


The official whale building started with a Maori blessing of the water and all it gives. And then we got at it. We were a bit afraid it would be jus the two of us all day (plus Erhardt the photographer) but shortly after noon groups of people started to arrive. We set them to work gathering large pieces of driftwood and they were super at scouring the beach for just the right pieces.

image 11 e1492293597806 Judy Dominic Fiber Artist The Fiber Art of Judy Dominic

Lots of kids showed up, too, and had great fun collecting and adding in wood. Our youngest builder was just one year old. We had grandparents, teens, young adults – every age and relationship demographic possible.

image 12 e1492294795562 Judy Dominic Fiber Artist The Fiber Art of Judy Dominic

The community builders were so energetic about the whole idea that they took ownership of the project – and everyone had their own idea of what kind of whale was being created and what it should look like. Eventually the big whale was proclaimed a sperm whale, complete with spout.  And all this was finished in an hour and a half! We had till 6pm to be building in the beach!


So, we built babies. Pilot whales (sleeker and smaller than sperm whales). First one, then another closer to the tide line, then another… Eventually there were 6 smaller pilot whales all ready to swim to sea as soon as the tide hit them. A total of 8 whales built!


And at the very end of the building, a guy with a drone camera came to tack pics from the air.


The project ended as it began, with a Maori blessing.


High tide was due again at midnight – Nicola and I were back at the beach about 10:30pm to see how all the whales were faring. The first fiour along the tide line were already adrift in pieces; we watched as the next two were taken apart by the tide. Going back in the morning to see how the big one survived as only its nose should have been hit by the tide at this point. It should survive until the next new moon when the tide is expected to be very high again.


Great fun, great community togetherness, great spot on this earth! (More pics in a follow up post soon.)