Last year I was talking with Ma Snook when she mentioned possibly wanting to go to Camp Creative. Snookums groaned and mumbled something about “hippies” but I thought it sounded fun. Basically it’s like a summer camp for families where you take a class for five days. It’s held in Bellingen, which is this cute little artsy town on the northern coast of New South Wales. It’s within driving distance of Casa Snook so we figured we could make a proper holiday of it. I chose the “Funtasia Beads and Wild Wireworks” class and Ma Snook signed up for dollmaking. The fellas declined in favor of fishing. We flew out of Sydney on January 16 and landed in Coffs Harbour an hour later.

Beading exhibit

Camp started the next day. I lucked out because one of the beading instructors refused to work without air conditioning so we were one of the few classes that had it. There were about twenty of us in there, ranging from 70-year-old grandmas to 13-year-old girls. (There weren’t any men.) The experience was pretty good, overall. I wasn’t fond of a lot of the jewelry myself but I did learn some useful techniques. On the last day everyone puts their stuff out in the student exhibition. This is a shot of our beading table.

My stuff

Here’s a close-up of my stuff. On the far right are two little beaded bracelets I did using a “Slip and Stitch” pattern. The original design used lots of big chunky beads but I liked the way my little ones looked. Next is my “amulet bag”, which is basically just a necklace with a silly little fringed bag on the end. (I told Rodd I didn’t have any amulet to put in it, so he helpfully offered some of his toenail clippings. Puke!) Above my nametag are my two beaded cuffs. The white one has a butterfly design and the black is a skull with a pink box. To the left of them is my “herringbone spiral” bracelet, which I did using some pretty hematite-looking beads. It’s still a bit chunkier than I like, but it isn’t too bad. Below the nametag are three little peyote stitch rings I made along with my infamous green flower brooch. I don’t really like the brooch.


Ma Snook made two different dolls in her class. She did the pretty gray angel in the middle here. I’d go visit her classroom every day at lunch and just marvel at the things people were coming up with. From what I gather though, dollmaking is a LOT of work. I think I’m too lazy to try it for myself.

Old man with bird

Here’s the other doll she made. It’s an old man sitting down looking at a funny bird. Pretty cool, huh?

More beaded stuff

This is a shot of some more stuff from my beading class. See, that’s what the cuffs were supposed to look like, all strung with pearls and crystals. I’m not a fan of such chunkiness myself but I think this one is pretty.


The felting class made some gorgeous stuff, didn’t they? I love the funny little slippers. Ma Snook and I would stop by there every day to watch them working. Man, felting is tough! It was like eight hours a day of pounding, washing, and rubbing. That’s another one for the list of “Stuff I’d like to try but probably am, in all honesty, too darn lazy to do properly.”

Pregnant doll

Yes, it’s a naked pregnant doll. I told you those dollmakers were creative!

Dyed fabric

This was from the “heliographic dyeing” class. I believe the process involved putting things on the fabric (leaves, etc.) and then leaving it in the sun to set. Very pretty.