Friday, July 30, 2010

Bunny invasion hits Queensland!

Chantelle and me and all the fluff with some extra necessary items like sleeping bags, spinning wheels, knitting needles and some clothes head off to Mapleton Camp, which is in land Sunshine coast. As soon as we left Brisbane the views were amazing with gorilla mountain (Im sorry I did not remember the aboriginal name that sounds so amazingly beautiful) and passed by heaps and heaps of pine plantations (which surprised me because I thought Queensland would be filled with tropical banana trees, lush sugar cane and palm We even passed by the Australia Zoo Crikey! You know, the famous Steve Irwin Crikey zoo, where we couldn’t stop to pat a croc because of the more important stop for lunch coming up at Maleny cheese ! Maleny Cheese artisan Factory is AMAZING! I can especially recommend the chilli cheese and the wasabi one but ofcourse I am biased and leaning towards Hot Stuff even the brie and camembert were YUM! I made a mental note to try and get the recipe of caramelised onion and figs that went so well with the platter of cheese and crackers. Safe to say that after visiting Maleny Cheese my brain is subliminally whispering “cheeeeeezzzze …crackers…cheeeeeeze”all the time : it’s hell, but what else can I do than give in? hahaha. After Maleny Cheese we visited a very cute tea and antique shop with amazing views and I was told scrumptious Earl Grey tea and scones.

We passed picturesque Montville where there were heaps and heaps of tourists venturing into the little quaint shopping area , where there were cuckoo clocks, Italian dolls, a gorgeous Gallery and shop called Silk Gallery (have a chat to Julie Gardner there !) Mapleton was just around the corner and oh boy what a nice place to have a camp! The camp grounds themselves were lush, excellently taken care of with lots of beautiful trees, a rainforest walk, and the craft hall where we would do all the spinning and weaving and felting and knitting and chatting was huge with a very nice welcoming fire burning !

Chantelle weaving for the first time on a rigid heddle loom with Colin looking over her shoulder in his hand woven Tartan

As soon as we arrived it was setting up time for the shop. I think my Tardis like car was uttering a sigh of relief as soon as we opened all the doors and let the fluff

I have to tell you something about Queensland regarding bunnies: they are illegal! There is actually a fine of $20.000 if you are caught with a bunny unless you are a school and have one for educational purposes or..and here is the Monty Python like bit that really makes me laugh uncontrollably…..when you are registered as a MAGICIAN!!! I wonder how many closet magicians there are in Queensland eh?lol

Anyway, the Queensland Spinners and Weavers and Fibre Artists who organised the Mapleton Camp really made me feel very very welcome and I thank them so so much for giving me the opportunity to share my love for the craft and my bunny fibres ofcourse. I think the Queensland Fibre Artists at the camp were very happy to indulge as well because every time I turned around I saw somebody hugging some bunny fibres :) It was great fun!!! And I have not even told you about the FOOD there!!!! I am not kidding you but the Mapleton Camp Cooks did not let you go until you could roll down the drive: they gave us SIX meals a day and since I am a very slow eater it seemed that once I finished one meal it was almost time for the next breakfast-morning tea or elevenses (as the Lord of The Ring fans might know it)-Lunch-afternoon tea-Dinner and then Supper !!!!! All in all I think it was extremely healthy coz they just do not give you time to snack in between…lol
Some of us Rebel Spinners did venture out to Mapleton Pub on the Friday night and I had a great time meeting Sandybags and Lollyanne and ofcourse her cute cuddly dogs :)

Thank you all so so much for sharing your wonderful photos and making Mapleton camp such an amazingly FUN experience! For more photos of Mapleton camp: there is a Mapleton 2010 group on !
I had a fabulous time spinning, talking about bunnies and fibre, showing some spinning and blending techniques and actually finishing a twinkle bunny tailkspun kid mohair curls yarn that was lovingly named Party Pete by Lindel, who adopted him gladly and gave party Pete a very good home.
Thank you Queensland Guild for the opportunity to visit and share and thank you everybody at the Mapleton Camp for making my visit so absolutely awesome! and last but not least thank you Chantelle and your beautiful family for letting me stay at your place before and after the Camp ! big big Hug!!

On the Monday I drove back home determined to make it in two days ! Which I did ! I was pulled over by Queensland Police once though, who thought I might be smuggling clandestine bunnies or illegal substances as soon as they saw my bright orange red and green hair and a zip lock bag in the front seat….”what’s in that bag?!”’ the cop shouted, ready to pull his gun on me just in case….I innocently pulled out the ziplock bag and showed him the illegal substance called cheese and bread, for which I would gladly go to jail if need be. Then, because he wanted to get me for something else illegal, he made me blow in a breathalyser thingy (at 10am in the morning I might add!) to find out that the only thing clouding my mind was cheese fumes….lol

I did have a brief stop in Coonabarabran at a mineral and fossil shop and museum. It has an amazing collection of fossils and no where else to be found minerals and crystals. I was tempted to get some woolly mammoth hair but there were only 4 guard hairs and a tiny bit of down in the display case that you could buy: not enough to make a shawl I’m afraid….I did buy fossilised glossoptera leaves dating from the Permian period (which is about 255 million years ago!) in the most amazing natural colours of pink and orange with so much details. When you are in the neighbourhood of Coonabarabran please stop at the crystal Kingdom shop ( where they display heaps and heaps of crystals and minerals and fossils found in the Warrumbungle Volcanic region that produced so many fossil leaves, petrified wood, agates and volcanic opals. The Bugaldie Chalk mines have a massive l;ayer of diatomaceous earth (diatoms are the skeletons of algae) which have yielded fish and plant fossils. The glossoptera leaves was a prolific plant 255 million years ago and was responsible for the vast coal deposits to the east of Coonabarabran and before they were turned into coal or fossils were the diet of Dinosaurs.

On my way I was again and I made it to Parkes NSW at around 8pm where I crashed in the bath and then on the bed and happily made it home the next day to be greeted by a very enthusiastic Jazz our bunny dog and a very happy hubbie and a flock of bunnies :)
I loved the road trip, I loved the challenge of the drive, I loved meeting people I only really knew from Ravelry but had never seen in real life and loved the holiday! I did come to realise one thing though: there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…….it’s good to be back !…but secretly I am soooo looking forward to my next adventure! Western Australia maybe? and definitely Queensland again next year ..I would not want to miss having so much fun ever again !

Since I was home earlier than expected I could not help myself and have some very luscious hand dyed fibre and yarns to offer you ! Just email me on or message me on ravelry where I am Ixchelbunny and I will get back to you asap!

Hand dyed BFL Bunny Kid mohair tops 100g AU$21

Bliss -sold-

Bunny Fun -sold-

Camp fire -2left-

Maleny Cheese Ecstasy -sold-

Mapleton Pub Crawl -sold-

Misty Morning -sold-

Montville -1left-

Hand dyed Blue Faced Leicester Bunny Silk Tops 100g AU$21

Kookaburra tree -sold-

Mapleton -1left-

Mountain Mist -sold-

Party Pete -sold-

Hand dyed 4ply spun Blue faced Leicester sock weight yarn 100g AU$26

Cloudy Sky -1left-

Dream time -1left-

Punkbunny -sold-

Sand storm -1left-

Seaweed -1left-

Shimmer -2left-

Sunshine on a rainy day-1left-
Next week get ready for the big Bendigo Show lottery draw with lots of pretty Ixchel prizes to be won ! and some new new hand dyed TWINKLE Bunny tops ! they were THE hit of Bendigo and Mapleton !


Dates to Remember:

Bunny Spin in at the Ixchel Fibre Farm…Saturday 21st of August and Thuirsday the 26th of August


kesalemma said...

I might try and get there after voting on the Saturday. Will depend on both how my car is running, and my usual health issues (have a big night out that night, don't know if I can manage early morning, long drives, and late night).
I would really love to have some guidance on my drop spindle spinning, as I've made two attempts and I'm not happy with the result, and don't know if it's me or the spindle or a combination of the two!

Anonymous said...

LOL at the cheese police and Party Pete's own colourway!


Lindelspinner said...

Hey lovely Charley girl, it was so great to meet you.the original (and of course the best) party pete is sitting impatiently on my table waiting to become a mobius scarf and perhaps a hat if there is enough left over. love the travel stories and the wonderful photos, especially of course of my man Colin. we will look forward to hopefully seeing you near Christmas when we are down that way.