I love the bush!
I have just returned from my five day stay on Yougawalla station, with my wonderful friends the Sale family and once again I am all teary having left behind the spiritual desert and beautiful friends. During my time on the Station I helped out where needed with the cattle work and when I wasn’t riding a motorbike, chasing cows, reveling in the scene from the chopper with Haydo or playing with adorable Gus and Tilly in their new school room; I was enjoying sunset drinks over the majestic desert of wildflowers and vivid red cliffs with Jane and oh, how I loved it all!
Those of you that have known me for years are completely aware that I hold an infatuation with life on the land that seems to only grow more intense with age. I feel so at home in the bush. Of course, I love my home in Broome and to return to this sanctuary by the sea is perfect but there’s just something about the land that was obviously seeded with my childhood, being born and bred on a NSW sheep property and blooms like the wildflowers as the years goes on.
On this leg of the adventure, as milliner on the move, there were great moments of inspiration for creation during my time on the Station and it would seem the creative bug was catching as Jane, too, after a long and dusty day in the yards, found some millinery inspiration of her own.
And it would seem the creativity and keenness was infectious and even the fellas got into the game.
Amongst all the fun and hard work, there was also an event of sadness during my time on Yougawalla, with the loss of Jane’s treasured six year old, three legged loyal Kelpie friend, Ruby. We don’t know Ruby’s fate but she passed away leaving a great sense of loss for all on the station. I took a moment at the yards when the others were chasing cows on motorbikes, horse and chopper (not the usual moment one takes with toilet paper in hand), to jot down a headpiece creation that was forming in my mind since the loss of beautiful Ruby cakes.
The final creation inspired by Ruby cakes will not too far away, so stay tuned.
On my way home from Yougawalla I stopped in at Bulka Station, to take a few Kodak moments of Jim Motter in the yards for a little yarn I am working on for the Outback magazine before embarking on the 6 hour drive back to Broome.
At Willare I tracked down my youngest brother, Matt, who is working on a nearby fence line and who too, is immersed in and enjoying the Kimberley bush. We had a beer together and a catch up before I got back into my trusty Subaru and drove the last leg into town.
Tomorrow is Broome’s first race meet for the year, so no sooner had my feet touched the home ground I was back in my studio shed and to work. My milliner on the move adventure from QLD through the NT, into the East Kimberley and then home into the West has been nothing short of sensational.
The great news is Penny, from The Bower in Cloncurry has purchased four more creations since I departed and has sent the remainder of the collection home to Broome for the season. This brings my total sales from the Cloncurry visit to 15 pieces. Excitedly, Penny will continue to stock a collection of Hats by Felicity in The Bower and is officially my first wholesale customer.
One day after my return to Broome I had a call from a local Broome boutique called “Nowhere Else But Here” who was also keen to stock my work and would you believe, wanted pieces before tomorrow’s first race meet. So, after continuing my Station early morning rise time this morning, I was in my studio from before the sun rose, till I completed three new creations to hand deliver to this shop and lo and behold, “Nowhere Else But Here” is now a Hats by Felicity wholesale customer too.
I now officially have two wholesale customers and a swag of custom made commissions for whom to create; not to mention a parade at the Kimberley Cup races and perhaps an exhibition later in the year.
This milliner on the move trip not only provided these opportunities but also allowed me to pursue my photojournalism passion, covering two stories for the West Australian and another for RM Williams Outback magazine. These story opportunities, in addition to the hat show, the design opportunities, travelling the fabulous countryside and most importantly of all, the quality time spent with treasured friends means that I am truly living the dream and I take this opportunity to thank you all for making this happen. xflic