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10 Clumsy Emus

BOOK LAUNCH:  10 CLUMSY EMUS
by Scholastic, illustrated by WENDY
will be LAUNCHED on Saturday 9th August 5pm at THE WINE TREE boutique winery, Holyoake Rd, DWELLINGUP.
(1¼  HOURS SOUTH OF PERTH, WA).

Giveaways and a chance to win one of two limited edition prints from the book. ALL WELCOME.

 

Stripey is an adventurer! Here are some of the places he has been. If you have taken Stripey on your travels, and have a photo you would like to share on my website, please send via the contact us page. Please include the location the photo was taken, and your name if you'd like it included. We can't guarantee to include them all, but we'd love to see them!

Stripey in Paris
From John
From John
Stripey in Dubai in front of the world's tallest building
From Andrew, minus 30 Celcius in Ulaanbaatar with Chinggis Khaan
 
  From Andrew, Stipey in Gdansk
Notre Dame Paris. Stripey in the Louvre Paris.
from Karen Forrest.
Sacre Coeur Paris Stripey on the Eiffel Tower Paris.
 

JANUARY 2013

STRIPEY AT THE MELBOURNE RECITAL CENTRE

Once again the talented Southern Cross Soloists performed ‘Invisible Me’, this time at the Melbourne Recital Centre. My family went across to see it, and apart from having to pay for my own ticket, it was sensational. The reactions of the kids were great, and they really got involved. I still love it when the echidna plays the violin on her back with her feet in the air (that takes some practice!) It would be great if the performers were offered a gig in Perth, Stripey’s home ground!

I'm a bird I'm getting sleep again
I'm a bird I'm getting sleep again
I'm invisible Shuffle said I don't belong
I'm invisible Shuffle said " I don't belong"
What's that sound Which way
What's that sound

Which way

Shuffle waking up It's Shuffle
Shuffle waking up It's Shuffle

 

JANUARY 2013

NUMBATS!

My next picture book is a collaboration with AJ Betts, who is a young adult author and poet. It is about Russell the numbat, and will be in rhyme. I am very excited about this project, and to be working with such a talented and funny person. Numbats are Western Australia’s state mammal emblem, and extremely endangered. Amanda had never seen a numbat, coming from Queensland, so zookeepers Dani and Renee were generous enough to not only show us Apari, the then resident ‘public liaison’ numbat at Perth zoo, but to tell us all about numbat behavior, so Amanda could get some ideas.

She has now written the words, and they are fantastic! Now it’s my job to create Russell- not as easy as you think. I have made hundreds of sketches of numbats now, to get very familiar with their anatomy, movements and character.

I fortuitously met Rob, who is a Department of Environment and Conservation wildlife officer working in Dryandra, WA. His job is to monitor numbats and woylies, many of which have radio collars. I asked if I could come out for a couple of days. Rob doesn’t need to sight the numbats when he tracks them, just note their location and hiding log of choice, so I didn’t expect to see a numbat. But a juvenile numbat named Pelican needed her collar changed to an adult sized one, so we set off to find her. After tracking her to the same log twice in a row, Rob was convinced she had been swallowed by a python, who was sleeping it off in the log. In such a case the collar is usually retrieved in a couple of weeks, unharmed after going through a snake’s digestive tract, but minus the numbat. We tracked the supposed snake the next day to another log, and when I shone a light in, I said to Rob, unless you have hairy snakes here, we have a perfectly alive numbat! He was very excited, as I was, and Bec, who was a young DEC officer who had come to get experience in radio tracking and collars. I had the longest arm, so managed to pull her out very carefully. She was beautiful! We took her back to the office and there Rob talked Bec through the weighing, measuring etc procedure, and the collar changing. Getting just the right fit was extremely important. And contrary to some people’s belief, the collars are NEVER left on after the battery has died. They are always retrieved well before the batteries life expectancy. The radio tracking is very important in establishing what is the main cause of the diminishing numbers of numbats. They do not affect the numbat’s normal day-to-day life at all.

Anyway, after a couple of days tagging along, with eyes peeled for new numbats, I was exhausted, but happy. I had lots of great photos of Pelican, plus spent time in the bush learning new things from someone refreshingly passionate about what they do. Thanks Rob!

About to be measured
About to be measured Bec measuring her ears
Carefully adjusting the collar They are very placid animals
Carefully adjusting the collar They are very placid animals
Carpet Python beautiful Pelican and me Letting Pelican go in the same log
Carpet Python beautiful Pelican and me Letting Pelican go
in the same log

OCTOBER 2012

MAKING A BOOK WITH THE SCHOOL KIDS OF LORD HOWE ISLAND

Back to Lord Howe Island, to make a book with the school kids. I felt very lucky to be invited back to their amazing island, even though it was challenging and hard work. The kids were fantastic- I still miss them! There are 30 kids from kindy to grade 6, and a couple of grade 7’s. They were enthusiastic and a joy to work with. I think I brought out some drawing and painting skills they never knew they had, and the results were amazing. I showed them how to draw birds and animals using shapes, which even the kindy kids did well. The pictures shown were done by 5 and 6 year olds. I have included a sketch of the shapes used to make the mutton birds- a very difficult bird to draw. Some people back here didn’t believe that the kids did them. The title ‘WHERE ELSE?’ was created by a 5 year old, Lucinda, and voted on unanimously. The children chose what was important and unique to them about the island (and there is lots to choose from!) Then with only 6 weeks to get the book finished, I brought all the raw material back to Fremantle and spent hours with the graphic designer putting it together. As books normally take more than a year to complete, it was a hefty effort.

It made it all easier that I self-publish, so could organize the whole production from beginning to end. Then we decided to go back to LHI to present the books to the kids at their end of school presentation night. It was worth going just for the skits the kids put on. There are some great actors there! Overall, it was a great learning experience for me, and the book turned out great. It will be sold at the visitor centre on the Island, with all proceeds going to the school.

Concentrating Phasmid
Mutton Bird Concentrating Phasmid
This is how to use a brush Brainstorming titles
This is how to use a brush Brainstorming titles
All at once Beginning of awesome snorkeller Drawing themselves
All at once Beginning of awesome snorkeller Drawing themselves
Booby by a five year old by an 11 year old Jake is 7 years old
Booby by a 5 year old By an 11 year old Jake is 7 years old
Beginning of the Moss forest
Beginning of the moss forest Moss forest
Fantastic brush work Grade ones drawing mutton birds
Fantastic brush work Little island Grade ones drawing Mutton birds
Turtle by a five year old In our sheltered lagoon unconcerned turtles glide by The pages before being cut
Turtle by a 5 year old In our lagoon unconcerned turtles
glide by
The pages before being cut
Hot off the press
Hot off the press

OCTOBER 2012

AUTHOR VISIT IN NSW

I was invited to spend 3 days in Lismore, NSW visiting schools in the Richmond-Tweed region. It is a very large region, with great scenery and lots of driving. Fantastic librarians, and the kids and teachers were so grateful to the library for enabling my visit. It is a very community involved library, busy with different events all the time. My librarian chauffeur Nicole was a hoot, and kept me laughing, even when we were running late all the time! One of the highlights was Lucy, the ‘boss’ librarian, showing me the wild koalas on her farm, and taking me to see the koala rescue centre. She often picked me up from my accommodation in her big cattle truck! I also had my first interactive classroom session, speaking via camera to 2 to 3 classrooms in different schools.

Byron Bay Public smallest Koala in tree Lismore
Byron Bay Public smallest Koala in tree Lismore

 

August 2012

AUTHOR VISITS

As part of Children’s Book Week 2012, I spent 2 weeks travelling around Metropolitan schools and libraries, speaking to over 1000 children. Then onto the Kimberley, for a week of author visits in Derby (after going to ‘Opera Under the Stars’ in Broome), visiting local and remote schools and indigenous communities.
Fantastic experience!

APRIL 2012

‘ONE WORD, ONE DAY’
This is a collaboration between Micador Group (manufacturers of art materials) and the Australian Society of Authors with support from the Australian Broadcasting Commission.  Its aim is to bring illustrators together in different Australian cities to learn and play and be challenged to think differently and work with materials they wouldn’t normally be exposed to. Artists are given a single word along with luscious Micador materials and one day to create an original artwork. The completed artworks will be displayed on the Micador and ASA websites and will be auctioned in July to raise funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. This will help raise literacy levels and improve the lives and opportunities of Indigenous Australians living in remote and isolated regions.

I attended the event for Perth illustrators on 18th April and had a great day playing with new mediums such as pastels and watercolours which I normally avoid!  (I’m far too messy for pastels and too impatient for watercolours). Our word was ‘nightly,’ and the accompanying picture was done using handmade pastels, which were beautifully soft and bright. The background is in watercolour. You might recognize Hanger the fruit bat!

One word one day April 2012

One word one day April 2012

MARCH 2012

‘A NIGHT WITH OUR STARS!
‘A Night With Our Stars’ is an annual event organised by The Children’s Book Council of Australia, WA branch. It is held at Westbooks in Victoria Park and WA authors and illustrators with a book published in the previous year are invited to talk for 3 minutes about their book.   It is a great evening and not only gave me the opportunity to talk about “Invisible Me” but also catch up with other authors and illustrators and a range of guests from libraries, schools, bookshops and other literary organisations.

STRIPEY GETS THE ROYAL SEAL OF APPROVAL!
The Duke of Edinburgh is well known for helping endangered species, and during his recent visit here expressed an interest in the Western Ground Parrot, which has featured in my book, Invisible Me. So my manager Lin sent him a copy of the book, and we received a reply from his Private Secretary. Here it is:

Letter from the Duke

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STRIPEY STEPS OUT ON THE RED CARPET IN 2012!!
This is an exciting year for Stripey, with many things happening, as you can see below.

Stripey Reading

STRIPEY HELPS LITERACY
Recently, the State Library of WA purchased 800 'Where's Stripey?' picture books, as part of their Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program for Aboriginal Communities, which is focusing on literacy in remote indigenous communities, where there are simply not enough books. They are encouraging parents everywhere to read to their children every day, to improve literacy. 'Where's Stripey?" was one of 8 children's books chosen with potential appeal to indigenous children, and has been made into a DVD, with the story read by EAGLES PLAYER WILL SCHOFIELD.

Stripey on TV STRIPEY ON TV!
In another exciting development, 'Where's Stripey?' will be read on TV by Shane Jacobson ("Kenny" fame) as part of a BBC Worldwide Australia series called CBeebies Story Time. This will air on Foxtel in Australia on THURSDAY MAY 24TH AT 6.15PM.
Stripey with instruments STRIPEY GOES CLASSICAL!
What a year! The Southern Cross Soloists, leading classical chamber group in Brisbane Queensland, are adapting 'Invisible Me' to specially composed classical music as part of the QPAC 'Out of the Box' Children's festival at the Queensland performing Arts Centre. This will be from the 12 -17 June 2012. So Stripey will get some culture!

 

February 2012

LORD HOWE ISLAND
I have always wanted to go to Lord Howe Island and the trip was a birthday present from my partner John (of course he didn't enjoy it one bit!) It was more amazing than I had imagined. To be able to get so close to birds was a real treat for me, and many of the seabirds were nesting at this time of the year. We snorkelled in crystal clear waters with turtles, reef sharks and lion fish, and climbed the 2 cloud shrouded mountains (I was so sore I had to walk backwards down steps for the next 2 days - but it was worth it, honest!). We saw up-close nesting red-tailed tropic birds, and delicate white terns. In the mist forest at the top of Mt Gower we met the LHI woodhen, which was the rarest bird on earth until recent intervention increased its numbers to 300 on the island. This is a unique island in many ways, and I felt privileged to meet the very community and environmentally minded locals, and to even read my latest book 'Invisible Me' to some of the kids at the school. Standard dress at the school is bare feet, and there are approximately 28 students, from kindy to year 11. About 350 locals live on the island and about 250 tourists are allowed at any one time. I am very excited to have been invited back to help the school kids write and illustrate a book based on their island. I can't wait!

This fish was extra curious and circled me for ages These White Terns were my favourite The White Terns laid their eggs right on the Norfolk Pine branches in the tiniest depressions
The family unit Mist Forest at the top of Mt Gower Lord Howe Island Woodhen brought back from the brink of extinction
The white Tern babies were on very precarious perches The beautiful Red Tailed Tropic Bird nesting on Mt Lidgbird Majestic volcanic island
Like a huge swimming pool with fish Lion Fish Friendly Turtles at Settlement Beach
Fish feeding frenzy at Ned's beach just don't put your fingers in! Beautiful reef shark, it would be less beautiful if it were larger! An impromptu visit to the school to read my latest book to the kids

 

October 2011

'INVISIBLE ME' BOOK LAUNCH
Jan Nicholls, President of the WA Branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia launched 'Invisible Me' on 22 Oct at Kidogo Arthouse in Fremantle. Jan took a Stripey plush toy on a recent trip to France, and showed pictures of Stripey on his travels, which delighted children and adults alike. The MC was Glenn Swift, who in his usual smooth style had the guests joining in, and even applauding my dress!.

There were about 350 guest attending, who were treated to a behind the scenes look at some of the processes involved in creating ‘Invisible Me’, including rough sketches and resource material. The original illustrations kept children and adults enthralled as they tried to find the hidden animals. An even bigger treat for guests was being able to cuddle one day old emu chicks (kindly loaned by Kip and Charm Venn from Toodyay Free Range Emu Farm). Some people had never seen an emu chick, and these newly hatched, cute fluffy chicks, so unlike their parents, were still very wobbly on their legs. One of the chicks had only hatched a couple of hours before, and looked like he had drunk too much wine!

I have done quite a bit of volunteer work with the Western Ground Parrot recovery program, and in order to raise awareness of this critically endangered species, I have included a Western Ground Parrot, called ‘Toot’ in ‘Invisible me’. On the night of the book launch $5.00 from every book sale went to help these threatened birds. The Western Ground Parrot is so rare it is believed there are only 140 left in existence. Brenda Newby from the 'Friends of the Western Ground Parrot' spoke about the parrot and the attempt to save it from extinction, and most people learnt of a unique and beautiful bird they never knew existed. Brenda said my book was the first time a non-indigenous story had included a Western Ground Parrot, and believed it would go a long way to helping the bird. I hope so!

Thank you to Matilda's Estate winery in Denmark for donating most of the wine for the evening, under their label Quarram Rocks.
The research and planning stages of this latest book have been very time consuming and the drawings have taken me longer than any others I have ever done!! Doing illustrations showing animals camouflaged has been very technical requiring so much attention to detail. Although I enjoyed the process, it is exciting to finally have 'Invisible me' finished. The idea for this book came from doing one of my author visits at a school. I wonder where the next idea will come from?

Brenda Newby from 'The Friends of the Western Ground Parrot' Finally I can stand! Glenn Swift with the gift of the gab. Helen stroking a chick
Brenda Newby from
'The Friends of the Western Ground Parrot'
Finally I can stand! Glenn Swift with the gift
of the gab.
Helen stroking a chick.
Glenn Swifts grin! Just hatched and very pathetic soaking upthe heat lamp.
Glenn Swifts grin! Just hatched and very pathetic soaking up
the heat lamp.
He's cute. Jan Nicholls stripey for the occasion. Speech time! Why do they have to grow up.
He's cute. Jan Nicholls stripey for
the occasion.
Speech time! Why do they have to grow up.
Looking at the process. My folks with my cousin whose 6 year old son named 'Invisible Me'
Looking at the process. My folks with my cousin whose
6 year old son named 'Invisible Me'.
My friends Ken and Pam and my parents. With my friend Sue.
My friends Ken and Pam and my parents. With my friend Sue.
The process of making a picture book. Two chicks.
The process of making a picture book. Two chicks.
With friends. With Lin my manager who I dedicated the book to.  
With friends. With Lin my manager who I dedicated the book to.  
Invisible Me
Jan Nicholls, President of the Children's Book Council of Australia, WA Branch wrote: "'Invisible Me' is about an insatiably curious emu chick who, intrigued by the notion of camouflage, scours the bush looking for his own special place where he can blend into the landscape and become invisible. 'Invisible Me' is a perfect read-aloud book for parents, grandparents or teachers to share and young children will enjoy the challenge of finding native creatures cleverly hidden within the illustrations."

To purchase Invisible me please Click here!
so cute when they're just hatched! Jan Nicholls me and emu chick  
So cute when they're just hatched!

 Jan Nicholls with a camouflaged chick!

 

STRIPEY IN AFGHANISTAN! Recently I had an email from Katrina Schulz, who is currently deployed in Afghanistan with the RAAF. The camp she is based in is all concrete and dust and she wanted to brighten up the courtyard where they have BBQs with some Australian art. She requested my permission to paint my 'Stripey and legs' image on one of the walls, as the very first picture. I was delighted, and willingly agreed. As you can see by the picture, she did a great job.

Stripey's travels in Afganistan
Stripey painting in Afghanistan.
The artist Katarina
The artist Katrina.

 

SEPTEMBER 2011

SCRAMBLED EGG PRODUCTION IN ALICE SPRINGS. As part of the Desert Festival in Alice Springs this year, Margi from 'Katapilla Kids' (who also performed Where's Stripey? 2 years ago), asked my permission to produce an adaptation of 'Scrambled egg'. I readily agreed, although she hadn't left herself with much time! I don't know how she did it, but it was amazing. There were 2 performances and four of us travelled to Alice Springs to see them, and it was absolutely worthwhile. She had replaced some of the animals in my story with ones she already had costumes for, being short of time. Plus added a bilby and hopping mouse, who sang to the audience- "we don't lay eggs, we don't lay eggs, we're ma-ma-ma-mar-supials!" My favourite added character was the tadpole, who was the tiny son of cartwheeling Bertie the frog! There was much interaction with the audience, and at one point when Bluey the red kangaroo asked the audience if they knew what other animals laid eggs, one child yelled out 'camels do!' to much laughter. The echidna costume was amazing - luckily it wasn't too hot that day. Thanks Margi! I wonder how hard it would be to adapt my new book?

Bandy Bandy and the snake. Bluey Bertie the cartwheeling frog.
Bandy Bandy the snake. Bluey Bertie the cartwheeling frog.
Emu chicks. Who else lays eggs. The cutest tadpole. We don't lay eggs!
Emu chicks. Who else lays eggs. The cutest tadpole. We don't lay eggs!
We're ma-mar-supials. With Shuffle the echidna and puggle.  

We're ma-mar-supials.

With Shuffle the echidna and puggle.  

 

August 2011

NEW PRODUCT!

Cow parade figurines. In 2010 I was one of 87 artists chosen to paint a life-size cow for the Margaret River Cow Parade. My cow, “We didn’t do it” was one of the 5 chosen to be made into miniature figurines and is now available on-line and in my stores.
Cow figurine
Stripey

STRIPEY GOES LIVE!

I am very excited to announce that  my baby emu character ‘Stripey’ will be starring in his very own musical theatre production.   Gary Ginivan Attractions is regarded as the leading company in Australia in music theatre for children and families.  Gary had a huge success with his tour of ‘Wombat Stew’ which played at 55 theatres to over 90,000 patrons. Gary is currently busy writing the script for Stripey’s show which includes lots of fun songs and some innovative and top secret, new ideas in its production!  The musical adaptation of Stripey is due to be performed at the Regal Theatre, Perth in September/October 2012 and also tour nationally.  The show will be accompanied by a CD and other Stripey merchandise.  Due to popular demand, I already have Stripey t shirts for sale!
Watch this space!!


‘INVISIBLE ME’ 

I am now on track for my new children’s book, ‘Invisible Me’ the third featuring Stripey, to be launched in October! The research and planning stages have been very time consuming and the drawings have taken me longer than any others I have ever done!! Doing illustrations showing animals camouflaged has been very technical requiring so much attention to detail.  But, I know it will be worth the effort as the feedback from children in schools who have had a sneak preview of my drawings has been very positive and have kept me inspired.
Invisible Me

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CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK

Throughout the year, I present various Author Visits at schools and Libraries in Western Australia, but around Children’s Book Week in August is always the busiest. Children’s Book Week is the longest running Children’s festival in Australia, this being its 66th year. The Children’s Book Council of Australia is run mostly by volunteers, and they organise many great events highlighting the importance of children’s literature.

This year I went to Carnarvon the week prior to CBW and visited every school there, including Shark Bay and Useless Loop primary schools and the School of the Air. Presenting a School of the Air session was a first for me and I had to extensively adapt my presentation for it to work via computer. The children participating were from remote areas up to 600 km away and it was an absolute joy talking to them and sharing my stories with them.
School of the air

I also conducted a painting workshop in the Forrestfield library, for 18 school children ranging from grade one to seven. These children were all prize winners in an art competition based on the Book Week theme this year, “One world, many stories.” Our project was to create a large painting to be displayed in the Forrestfield library, based on the same theme. I chose a 3-panel triptych which would be easier to fit all the painters around. Book characters from around the world were added onto my backdrop of the earth.

During Book Week I also had a full schedule, presenting at Somerly primary school in Clarkson, and libraries at Bentley, Maylands, Bayswater, Kalamunda, Forrestfield and High-Wycombe.

 



ONYA BAGS – NEW DESIGN COMING SHORTLY!

In response to requests, I have designed a new print for the pocket on my onya bags. “Chewing the Cud”, my popular camel character, will soon be adorning both the onya shopping bags and backpacks. These will be available along with my other designs at my two shops and also from onya Innovations: www.onyabags.com.au

     

“Chewing the cud” will be available on onya:shopping bags and backpacks





RECENT TRAVELS - November 2010 – February 2011

Earlier this year, I travelled to Tasmania and Bali.  What a contrast in climate and temperatures!!!  As always, I had my camera with me to capture images for my photographic archives.  I am always looking for subject matter for new paintings.
In November 2010 – I went on a trip to Kenya. I travelled to the town of Nakuru where I was a volunteer working in the slums on “Gabriel’s Project” (Children and adult learning and care). I also had the opportunity to research and take photographs for future art projects. I was able to fit in a safari and from those photographs, on my return; I created some large paintings featuring African wildlife. Two of them were bought from my Gallery in Fremantle by a woman who is moving to live in South Africa and she will be taking them with her!

These are 4 of the paintings I did on my return.

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PAINTING WORKSHOP – October 2010

I am always up for a new challenge and In October I ran my first ever painting workshop for the Bibbulman Track Foundation. I was joined in a wooded location in the Perth Hills, by a lovely group of people and we spent the day painting and socializing. Every person painted a practice piece and then a larger painting. Some people had been painting for a while and others were complete novices. The art work they produced was amazing and every piece was so different. 
See: www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au

  

A sample of paintings produced by members of the workshop




SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS -  September 2010

September was full of speaking engagements with a variety of audiences and topics.

Geraldton Writer’s Festival

 I attended the Geraldton’s Writer’s Festival. It was great to have so many writers together to share ideas and knowledge. I participated in several workshops and also presented two workshops of my own: an adult workshop “True Blue Emu, The Making of a Children’s Picture Book”; and a children’s workshop “Meet the Author”.

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Workshop Camera Club Inc


I gave a presentation to the Workshop Camera Club Inc, Riverton, based on the 10 week solo walk I did in 2009, walking 700km on the Australian Alps Walking Track. I showed photographs I took on the walk, some of which I used to create paintings. Here are two of the paintings inspired by my walk.

'Snow gum'

 




The Glyde-in Community Centre, Fremantle

I presented two talks at the Glyde- in Centre. The first was about my adventure on the Australian Alps Walking Track and the second about my trek to Everest Base Camp, several years ago.

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Children’s Book Week – August 2010

Every year, I participate in the’ Author Visit’s Program’, for Children’s Book Week. I attend schools and libraries in rural and metropolitan WA. In August 2010, I visited 20 libraries and presented to over 2,000 children and accompanying adults. When I am working in my shop at the markets, or in the Gallery, it is lovely when children I have talked to come in to meet me and say “Hello”. Many of them introduce their parents and families to my books!



Margaret River Cow Parade -  February to July 2010

I was one of 86 artists invited to paint a life size fibre glass cow for the Margaret River Cow Parade. Margaret river was the first region to host Cow Parade and it was generated a huge amount of interest bringing thousands of visitors to the area. My cow “We didn’t do it” was on exhibit at Busselton Shopping Centre from March to July.  I was thrilled that at auction in July, “We didn’t do it” fetched the highest price selling for $18,000. All proceeds went to charity. “We didn’t do it” now lives on an Arabian stud farm in Serpentine and proudly looks down from the hills over the amazing landscape.
I had also collaborated with friends to paint the cow for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI).  The SCBWI cow was purchased by the State Library WA where it is now on show in the Children’s Section.

Painting a cow is hard work!!         “We didn’t do it” on location!

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“STUNNED EMU DESIGNS” GALLERY – opened January 2010

At the beginning of 2010, I fulfilled a long held ambition and opened “STUNNED EMU DESIGNS” Gallery at 56 South Terrace, Fremantle. Having my own gallery has given me the opportunity to increase my range of products and have far more of my art work on display. For Gallery opening times and map please contact me.

 

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'WHERE'S STRIPEY?" AND "SCRAMBLED EGG" ACTIVITY BOOK - 2009

Feedback from teachers and librarians during my Author Visits has prompted me to write and publish an Activity Book to accompany “Where’s Stripey?” and “Scrambled Egg”. The Activity Book has 32 pages full of various activities for a range of ages. It includes colouring, dot to dot, quizzes, puzzles, wordsearch and more! The fun activities are for teachers, parents and children. Pages may be reproduced for educational purposes only. RRP &8.00.

Stripey Activity Book

 


ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY ONYA BAGS WITH STUNNED EMU POCKETS

Two of my unique Stunned Emu Designs are now available on onya bags. These bags by Onya Innovations are made from recycled plastic bottles. They are planet friendly and versatile.
I will stock the bags with my designs at both my shops and they will also be available from www.onyabags.co.auwww.onyabags.com.au.
Shopping bags RRP $12 and backpacks RRP $2

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CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK 2009

In August 2009, during Children's book week, I spoke to more than 1500 children from various schools and libraries about my books, my drawings and Australian animals. During Book Week children dress up as their favourite characters from books, and below is a picture of one of Stripey's cutest fans, kindly sent to me from a teacher.

 

Child Stripey



STRIPEY PRODUCTION IN ALICE SPRINGS!!!   September 2009

In September 2009 as part of the Alice Springs Desert Festival, "Katapilla Kids Productions" performed an inspiring interpretation of "Where's Stripey". I travelled to the outback town to watch my book come to life with about 20 striped and feathered emu chick kids and lots of colourful adults as well. It was an awesome production, and I had such fun. Well done Margaret and Katapilla Kids, you were fabulous



MY GREAT TREKKING ADVENTURE!  APRIL TO JUNE 2009

650km walk along The Australian Alps Walking Track

From April to June 2009 I embarked on a solo bushwalking adventure across the high country of Victoria, NSW and the ACT. The Australian Alps Walking Track has extreme terrain and unpredictable weather, and the track ranges from fire trails, to faint foot pads, to trackless forest. Navigational skills and self sufficiency are a pre requisite for the trail and many months of preparation were involved. I dehydrated all my own food and had to make 11 food drops prior to beginning the walk, carrying up to 6 days worth of food with me at a time. Although the 2 month walk was a huge challenge both mentally and physically, the rewards in experience and awesome scenery made it worthwhile. Some of the highlights for me were encounters with the wild brumbies and lyre birds mimicking outside my tent. Other memorable moments included being caught in deep snow at the end of April as well as having to have a massive dreadlock cut out of my hair when I returned! A hair brush is not a necessity when mountain walking!

Horses

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