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Posts Tagged ‘Kununurra’

MooWoo and the community of Kununurra have been supporting a wonderful little girl and her family during her illness.

Alyssa and her parents are friends of ours; she is the same age as my daughter – 7 yrs old. In April last year she was diagnosed with DIPG – an inoperable and terminal brain stem tumour. She was given only 9 months to live. She had become paralysed in her arm and leg and over time became very unwell.

Back in October last year Alyssa was given 24 hours to live, but through amazing strength and determination, combined with drug detox and natural therapies she really came along and within 2 months flew home on a plane back to KNX. She spent a lovely Christmas with her family but then became ill again 10 weeks ago. She had to head back to Adelaide and since then her parents have transferred her to Perth.

To show our love and support for Alyssa we asked our Facebook followers to make paper cranes in the spirit of the story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. If you aren’t familiar with this true story, it’s the tale of a little Japanese girl with leukaemia. There is a Japanese legend that says that the one who created a thousand origami cranes would be cured by the Gods so she spent her time creating cranes but sadly didn’t make it to 1000.

We decided to make 1000 origami cranes for Alyssa and called for help.  We have been overwhelmed by the support that came forward. These are just some of the cranes that were sent in.

cranesBy the 10th April, only a few days after asking for help, we had 1001 cranes ready to be delivered to Alyssa’s mum and more waiting at her home for Alyssa’s return.

We still have support with many schoolchildren folding cranes like crazy.

I hope you can all understand what your cranes have done for Alyssa and her family. It has given them support, love, strength and light at a time of absolute need, of which I can’t comprehend ever having to encounter. And yet again this little 7 year old girl is fighting; she is not going to give up and neither are we!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your beautiful cranes. If you would still like to make cranes for Alyssa we would love to accept them on her behalf and have them ready for her. Send them to MooWoo, PO Box 266, Kununurra, 6743.

Once again, thank you.

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Image credits - Blog: The Closest Fatman

Christmas is only six weeks away, and the pre-Christmas-chaos is closer than that. You’ve got a choice. You can go into it unprepared and spend the day before Christmas running around, trying to find the perfect gift for the one person you’ve forgotten about.

Or you can be organised and avoid the chaos altogether; even the inevitable lead up chaos that seems to be part of the general feel of the season.

Lists are your new best friend.   I know, you’re not a list person.  That’s exactly the reason that you need one at this time of year.  There’s no way that you’ll be able to keep everything crammed into your head at once and that’s how you forget someone or something…..  Like you did last year.

Image credits - greentrashcan.com.au

This year you’ll need to make two lists.  Make one listing the people you need to buy for, and another listing people you should send Christmas cards to.  Those two lists should keep you out of post-Christmas trouble.

Your first list will make shopping much easier if you also add a column for the age of the recipient, or, better still, a more specific idea of what you’d like to get them. In fact, the earlier you make your list, the longer you have to snoop out their likes and dislikes.

Christmas shopping doesn’t do itself, unfortunately. Grab your diary or planner and schedule in some Christmas shopping time, whether you’re doing it on or offline. Set aside some hours at night for online shopping, or a day or two for hitting the shopping centres.

Make sure that list is with you at all times!

And to make sure you don’t forget anyone.  Having some extra cards and generic presents on hand will save you a heap of trouble with either running around at the last minute, or being remembered forever as the “One who forgot to buy a present”.

Planning bulk shopping online at Moo Woo can also help – combine freight costs will save you money OR even better have Moo Woo wrap and ship the parcel for you.  They can include a message recorded on a basic Christmas Card or select a unique handmade Christmas Card from their Kimberley Red selection!

Kimberley Red Cards - 'Merry Christmas' Bikini Green

Good luck and have fun!!

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Kununurra, WA, East Kimberley, Wet-season

The Kimberly region is simply gorgeous; a rugged, all natural landscape, pristine rock pools and beaches, beautiful weather complete with clear blue skies and a warming sun. It’s the almost perfect way to give your mind and body a break.

It’s also located along the Tropic of Capricorn, and highly influenced by the seasons: more specifically, the Dry and Wet seasons.

As we move into the year that brings in the wet, it brings with it tropical monsoons, hot and humid days and nights, and unpredictable weather patterns.

Mossi

But that’s not all it brings. The soaking rains and damp natural surroundings are the perfect breeding ground for insects, including those that like to bite and sting.

Avoiding them is not all that simple, particularly if you need to leave the house. Repelling them, however, is easier done, with the aid of an insect repellent.

Like our natural surrounding wonderland, Totally Scentual; based in Kununurra, creates a range of insect repellents made entirely from natural ingredients.

Natural-insect-repellant, Insect-repellant

Creams can be rubbed into exposed areas of the body (and they’re safe for babies and infants who like to suck on fingers and toes) or you can spritz  your  face and body to enjoy some pest free time outdoors.

On the off chance you do receive a bit or sting, some bite soothing gel is an essential

Whilst the weather may not be all that appealing at this time of year, you can make it a little more bearable by keeping the bugs at bay. Available online through Moo Woo.

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dichroic glass jewellery

You might have seen our stunning dichroic glass pendants which have been handcrafted in Kununurra by Caren Burns of Caren’s Creations.  Each piece is an original and because it is handmade, cannot be reproduced exactly.   That means no one else will ever be wearing the same piece of jewellery as you.

I know you have been amazed by the colour and design of Caren’s dichroic glass pieces but you might not know much about what dichroic glass is and how these pendants are made.   There really is a lot of technique involved in the process.

dichroic glass, glass art, boabs

So what is dichroic glass?

Wikipedia says “Dichroic glass is glass containing multiple micro-layers of metals or oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties”.  Dichroic means that the glass actually splits the light into different rays which affects the colour you actually see.  It looks like one colour until you move it and see it in a different light and then it changes completely.  The word ‘dichroic’ comes from the Greek word di-chroos or (di) two  and (chroos) colour. 

Dichroic glass has been in use since at least the Roman times but more recently NASA refined it for use in their space program.

dichroic jewellery, dichroic art, ancient rome
Lycurgus Cup and Ancient Rome – photo credits http://www.frogheart.ca/

Dichroic jewellery is made with layers or hand cut glass.  First a base layer is cut.  That is often a black or dark colour so that the dichroic colours will shine out clearly.  Then the artist needs to cut the pieces of dichroic glass into shapes to use in the pendant and lay them out into the final design. They are stuck into place so they don’t shift.  When the artist is happy with the design, they place the clear sheet on top and it’s ready to be kiln fired.

Of course, there is a lot more to it than that but now you know a little bit about the jewellery that you love so much.  If you’d like to see some being made have a look at this clip.

(http://youtu.be/OFB2Ls6tZ0I )

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Kimberley, elquestro, outback, gibb river road

Pre children, our idea of camping was to pack the double swag and mozzie dome and head off to somewhere promising great fishing. These days, it’s rather more luxurious with the fully decked out camper trailer complete with queen sized bed, fold out kitchen, sink and running water. The camper was ‘slightly’ more expensive than the mozzie dome, but it’s been worth every cent to experience the wonders of the Kimberley with kids in tow.

One of the local destinations we keep heading back to is El Questro. With an exotic name, this amazing location can cater for the rich and famous with an abundance of cash, who might lap up the luxuries of “The Homestead”. It can also provide a relaxing break for families less lucky with money, who choose camping as an affordable adventure! As far as Kimberley holiday destinations go, El Questro Station is one of the best.

Located along the Gibb River Road (which now has so many sections of bitumen), El Q is about an hour’s drive from Kununurra. It has a range of accommodation options including private riverbank camp sites, the large communal campground and chalets. 4×4 is recommended to negotiate a couple of creek crossings on the drive in. There is a restaurant and bar, and the Saturday night buffet BBQ is a must if you stay on a weekend. A little pricey but worth it – we’ve managed to strike a good chef each time we’ve been.

The private river camp sites are great if you are equipped for self-contained camping (and if desperate you can drive back to the main campground for ablutions). The cattle wandering freely around the main campground add a novel dimension, but be wary as our dog was charged by some cattle last visit and the kids were very close by. A bit too close to nature for our liking!

elquestro station, kimberley travel, kununurra, gibb river road

Elquestro Station Camping Spot

Take your bathers as a visit to Zebedee Springs is a must. It’s a very easy walk and the littlies will love it but the earlier the better to avoid the crowds. There are numerous Gorge walks which aren’t as kid friendly as Zebedee’s unless the kids are small enough to carry in a pack or big enough to negotiate rough terrain. El Questro Gorge is absolutely stunning but the full walk requires a fair level of fitness, some climbing ability and a plunge into the water half way along – but even to go to the half-way point is worth it.

Elquesto gorge, elquestro station, kununurra, kimberley

A trek into Elquesto Gorge

elquestro gorge, elquestro, kimberley, kununurra, gibb river road

There are helicopter flights, cruises on Chamberlain Gorge and loads of other activities – it really is a tourist mecca. They put on a good dawn service for ANZAC day, complete with Stockman on horseback and dubious sherry. It really depends on your taste and budget as to how much or how little you want to do. There’s always the option of just relaxing and lapping up the sounds of nature (corellas at dawn, kids arguing, cattle calling, kids complaining they are hungry, braying donkeys, the baby screaming, cicadas chirping, the kids complaining of boredom . . . )!

Kimberley, outback australia, gibb river

Note from the Editor: Thank you Kimberely Mum – this is a fabulous round up of a truly unique and beautiful location…worth coming all the way to the Kimberley to visit!!

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kimberley adverntures, Kununurra, WA, travel the kimberley, outback adventures

1. Tell us briefly about the person behind the creations? Who are you? Where did you come from and how did you end up being based in the Kimberley?

I am not very good at doing nothing and always seek new ways to fill my time. I have been living and teaching in Kununurra for 11 years, prior to that I taught in Mullewa for 5 years. Born and bred in Kalgoorlie, I am definitely a country person. I went to Uni in Perth but deferred in the middle and went off to explore new things. In this time I spent 5 year in Port Hedland before working in Perth as an office manager among other things. I returned to Uni to complete my studies always knowing I would head north again. Kununurra was about as far north as I could go and now I have no idea where I would go after being here. When I drive to work in the morning (all of 5 mins) I pass some of the most magnificent landscapes – every day it is different. People pay a fortune to see what I see daily. It is a pretty special place.

In 1982, my first year at uni, I discovered pottery and fell in love with it straight away. I did not do it again for a number of years but new I would return to it someday. When I am working on the pottery wheel I am not thinking of anything else – it is my meditation and it helps keep me sane – or relatively sane.

boabs, caren's collections, kimberley, outback adventure, kununurra, wa

Caren’s Collection only recently came into existence. Although I have been working in pottery for a number of years the glass is a recent addition. Glass has allowed me to explore new things and keeps throwing challenges at me to keep me grounded.

2. Carens’ Collection is….?

my sanity. I am not good at doing nothing so I need to channel what I do. Caren’s Collection is a reflection of my creative energies. I make many things that are similar but they are never the same. The day I feel that I am repeating myself is when I change direction and work on new ideas.

pottery, dichroic, necklaces, jewellery, fashion jewellery

3. Why Caren’s Collection – what does it give you?

I work in a range of materials and do not want to limit what I will work with. My work is a whole – I do not separate the glass from the pottery, or the pottery from the mosaic. I am just starting to work with Silver Clay and it is all part of the same idea. It is one collection – my work and where it takes me.

4. How does the Kimberley inspire your work?

The nature of the Kimberley is of grandeur and originality. The landscape and the vegetation is so localised it is spectacular. I drive to Perth every year and reveal in the landscape and animals from one end of the state to the other, but I always have that special feeling coming back into Kununurra. I try to capture this feeling in all my work, both the boab and the geography.

boab trees, kimberley, outback adventure, kununurra, wa, touring the kimberley

5. Of all that you create, what would be your favourite thing to make and why?

All are special. They are never the same. Working with heat, both with glass and pottery, you never know exactly what the end result will be. It is a challenge to see how you can make each piece individual and unique.

6. Tell us about your favourite East Kimberley location

Parry’s Creek – always something different. After 11 years I never felt I was looking at the same thing. The drive from Kununurra to Wyndham is inspirational in itself and I never get bored of it.

kimberley travel, outback adventure, kimberley's, wet lands, Kununurra, WA


7. If you had to sum up the Kimberley with 3 words what would they be?

Amazing, unique and inspirational


8. You had a famous visitor to the Kimberley for one day only – what would their tour be?

boabs, kimberley travel, kununurra WA, outback advertures

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We’d love to welcome a new writer to the team, who would prefer to be known as ‘Kimberley Mum’. She hopes to provide you with a little insight into life and travel in the Kimberley – especially for those with children!

A little intro:
Although I was born in Kununurra, I spent most of my childhood in the South West of WA before heading to Perth for uni and subsequently work. In my mid-20’s work presented an opportunity to move to the Kimberley for six months . . . and that was 13 years ago. Love, marriage, three towns and three children later, we have been privileged to see the wonderful Kimberley from West to East. With a love of fishing, boating and camping, there is no better place to live. Yes, it is hot and wet for months at a time, but tourists from across the world will attest to the sublime conditions that the ‘dry’ can bring. For me the hardest part about living in the Kimberley is being away from close family and friends. But being a Mum in a small, remote town has many benefits – primarily an excuse to get out and meet new people who are in the same boat! My time in the Kimberley has provided many adventures, friendships, life lessons and laughs. It is a great place to bring up children with activities galore. Hopefully some of my stories will inspire you to visit and join in!” Kimberley Mum.

The Fertile Waters of the Ord . . .

Kimberley's, Kimberley, Kununurra, Outback Australia, gift shopping, handmade

Whilst Nicole and Keith’s Sunday Rose may be one of the more famous offspring to have been conceived in the wonderful East Kimberley, she is certainly only one of very many as a session at the local kindy gym “Crazy Crocs” can attest. After a highly uneventful post-Christmas period in town, local parents were obviously desperate for an excuse to get the under 5’s out of the house when Crocs started again. The air-conditioned, all weather venue meant a massive turn out for a couple of hours of chaos whilst the littlies burnt up some energy. It was a great opportunity for kids to catch up, parents to chat, and to meet some of the newest town residents who had been born over Christmas/New Year, a period renowned for an influx of new residents!

To say I am sick of ABC Kids would be an understatement, as well as an admission that I have been letting my children watch way too much TV. Interestingly, the state of the house has a direct correlation with the amount of TV that has been watched in the day. House tidy = lots of TV. House a bomb-site = little TV…or perhaps just an accumulation of small amounts of mess over numerous days . . .hhmmmm. But I stop short of labelling myself a ‘poor quality parent’ by reminding myself of everything we usually get involved with for the other 10 months of the year. And really, how much craft, play dough and baking can one do for two months without losing your mind??

Arial shot of Kununurra kindly borrowed from Grey Albatross' Flickr Photostream.

Kununurra is a fantastic place to live if you have young children, with a daily offering of activities available for the under-5’s (excluding Christmas/January of course)! So even though it is still hot and wet and we are all suffering from Cabin Fever, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Our town is coming out of its post-Christmas slumber and will soon be a hectic place for our children to once again indulge in stimulating, non-TV activities, including the many outback adventures on offer right on our Kimberley doorstep!!

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