Fun felt flowers and heavenly hearts
I have been having a lot of fun experimenting with hand-dyed Falkland Islands wool lately. The fantastic bright colours prompted me to create a few funky felt brooches, adding a little sparkle using iridescent coloured beads. Needle-felting is rather addictive and I have so much to learn from all the skilled felters in the Falkland Islands, but these little needle-felted brooches are an enjoyable small start in the art of felting. And, we all need a little sparkle and colour in our lives.
A wild and unforgettable place
In December Anton and I grasped the rare opportunity to spend three weeks on Beauchêne Island, assisting a friend from Falklands Conservation conducting research on penguins and albatrosses. Beauchêne is the southernmost island in the Falklands archipelago, lying a distant 54 kilometers south off Porpoise Point, Lafonia, which is on East Falkland. It is a small dot in a vast, unpredictable ocean, frequently battered by icy winds and wild seas. It is so far south that I have often noticed it being completely omitted from maps of the Falkland Islands, being inconveniently too far away from the rest of the archipelago to justify the extra map space required for its inclusion. Due to its remote location, it has remained free from disturbance and permanent human settlement, boasting a pristine environment teeming with wildlife. It is free of introduced predators so is home to sensitive burrowing birds such as storm petrels and Fairy Prions. It has the second-largest population of Black-browed Albatrosses and Rockhopper Penguins in the world, and is also home to Imperial Cormorants, Magellanic Penguins, Cobb’s Wren and Striated Caracaras. Southern Sea Lions prowl the beaches and lie slumbering in the dense tussac covered slopes, with the occasional Elephant Seal making a landing on the rocky coastline. It is a haven for wildlife and we felt very privileged to spend a few weeks exploring this wild and beautiful world. We had one of the most memorable journeys of our lives and I will look back fondly on our time on that stunningly beautiful speck in the ocean with its multitude of natural wonders.