After a delicious breakfast of porridge with a dash of milk and brown sugar, Xavier and Patrick decided is was high time they took advantage of the beautiful Autumn weather and head down to the beach! They discussed which was the best beach to visit, in the end they both agreed Clovelly would be ideal. That way they could avoid getting sandy and they could go snorkelling! Patrick and Xavier packed their bags, jumped on a bus and off they went.
Once Patrick and Xavier were at the water's edge they stood and contemplated the temperature of the water, it looked extremely cold!
Xavier said the best way to get in is to count to three and then jump. Patrick wholeheartedly agreed, but when Xavier looked up (from the water after counting to three) Patrick was still standing on the step! Eventually Patrick got in and they spent at least an hour in the water looking at all the interesting fish.
Afterwards they read all about the fish they'd seen.
Followed by some sun-baking to dry off.
And once they were dry they examined the inhabitants of the rock pools. They saw three crabs, some tiny mini fish and lots of snails.
A few days before Easter Esmeralda decided to call her good friend Alfred, otherwise known as the Easter Bunny, to see how he was holding up with Easter just around the corner. He said he was run off his feet so Esmeralda offered to give him a hand with Easter-egg hiding duties. Alfred jumped at the chance to get some help! So they worked out which houses Esmeralda would visit, one of which was the Herbert House.
Full of excitement Esmeralda got up extremely early to hide the eggs, she visited five different houses and finished at the Herbert House.
She opened her bag of eggs and started to plan her hiding spots. When she was content that they were hidden well (not too easy, but not impossible) she went back to bed and pretended she'd been asleep the whole morning.
When Rosa the raccoon, Norris the yeti, Gina the giraffe and Roman the fox woke up and remembered it was Easter they ran outside to start their hunt for delicious chocolate eggs!
First to find an egg was Rosa. Using her excellent climbing skills she raced up the passionfruit vine to find an egg hiding among the passionfruit. Then she found another egg camouflaged in the oregano.
Roman with his keen eye spotted the glint of a wrapper hiding in the bottom of a pot, and from his new vantage point found another balancing on the top one of his favourite plants.
Gina, being a tall giraffe, was in a very good position to spot easter eggs. She scanned all the plants at her eye-level and saw a twinkle in the Thyme that was unmistakably the twinkle of a colourful egg. Then she scanned the garden again and her eyes passed over Didi, the garden flamingo, and noticed something was different. With a closer look realised the bump on Didi's neck was in fact an egg! She had to admire the Easter Bunny's hiding skills, the pink on pink was quite cunning.
Norris was the last to find an egg. He looked and looked and couldn't understand why he was having so much trouble! He glanced over at his friends who had all made excellent progress and their piles of easter eggs were growing quickly. Finally when he was weaving his way through the basil he spotted an egg! And what a magnificent easter egg! It was by far the biggest he'd ever seen. This filled Norris with confidence and he continued to find many more.
After almost an hour the critters decided they'd found all the eggs so they piled up their loot on the table. They were definitely going to have an excellent chocolate-filled day!
The critters and I are very excited to be taking part in the Sydney and Melbourne Finders Keepers markets coming up. Sydney will be on the 6th and 7th of June and Melbourne on the 25th and 26th July. Time to get making!
I entered this inspirational lady into the Reginald Portrait Prize for Softies, and she was chosen as a finalist! There are 12 finalists out of 63 entries, all the finalists are currently being exhibited at the CAE Info Shop, 44 Degraves Street, Melbourne. As part of the Portrait Prize there is a People's Choice Award, this is where I could use your help. If you think Tove Jansson is super amazing and that my portrait is pretty great too please head to reginald.com.au/vote-for-peoples-prize/ and vote for her. She and I would both really appreciate it!
Kevin awoke from his morning nap with a serious sugar craving! There was only one thing for it, look through his favourite cookbook for a recipe that would give him the sugar fix he needed.
He went straight to the Birthday Party section and found just what he was after, Vanilla Circles. They looked simple, delicious and they only need 10 minutes in the oven!
He collected the ingredients.
Then set to work!
He beat the butter, sugar and egg.
Combined the flour, baking powder and vanilla sugar.
Then he mixed the two together.
He quickly made the vanilla circle dollops on the baking tray and patiently waited for 10 minutes...
And then they were ready and looking delicious!
Kevin hurriedly put them all on a plate, made a cup of tea and ate vanilla circles until his heart's content.
For International Women's Day I wanted to share with you an amazing woman who is a huge inspiration to me, Tove Jansson. She's the creator, writer and illustrator of the wonderfully magical world of the Moomin Trolls.
Her books were read to me from a young age and now whenever I see a Moomin Troll (which is often because I own heaps of them!) they always make me smile. This year also happens to be the centenary of her birth, so to pay tribute to such an important role model I decided to make a softie portrait of Tove.
Happy International Women's Day everyone!
Rehearsals for the Theatrical Performance of the Year are in full swing! Everyone is working extremely hard and they're almost ready to set the date for the opening night.
Alice (aka Little Red Riding hood) has spent every waking moment in her red cape, and even some sleeping, because she wants to stay in character.
Janey (aka the woodcutter) has been practicing her woodcutting skills by pruning back the passionfruit vine in the courtyard in-between rehearsals.
Willis the turtle is relishing his role as the wolf and is planning to send in the video of his performance to Hollywood once it's finished.
Willis also thoroughly enjoys acting the wolf whose pretending to be the grandmother, it's very complex. Stay tuned! The Theatrical Performance of the Year is coming soon!
Xavier the zebra awoke this morning all too aware that Valentines day was looming. He decided to get to work on his special poem for Gina the giraffe.
No matter how hard he tried he couldn't seem to get anywhere. He tried again and again, getting more frustrated by the second because he's actually fairly well known for his romantic flair and poetry writing. Then all of a sudden he thought maybe he had something.
But upon reading it a second time his heart sank.
He scrunched up the page with a sigh, feeling quite despondent.
To take his mind off the whole thing Xavier went to check the letterbox.
As it happened the mail hadn't arrived, but he found an intriguing flyer (normally he'd be a little irritated to find a flyer in the letterbox seeing as it has a 'no junk mail' sticker on it). He read the flyer and could hardly believe his luck! A poetry expert just in the nick of time!
Xavier hurried inside and called Edgar the Casanova. Xavier explained it was a bit of an emergency and Edgar agreed to drop what he was doing and rush over. Edgar is all too familiar with poetry emergencies and takes them very seriously.
As soon as Xavier opened the door and saw Edgar the Casanova he breathed a sigh of relief, he definitely looked like he knew his way around poetry. Edgar said he brought the rose for inspiration as well as some of his own poems.
Edgar proceeded to show Xavier his poems and explained that a truly romantic poem should always start with 'Roses are red, violets are blue'. The floral descriptions set the tone for the rest of the poem.
Feeling very impressed and extremely inspired Xavier tried once again to write a poem for Gina.
This time he ended up writing so many good ones he didn't know which one to choose!
Then Edgar helped Xavier make a card and in his neatest handwriting he wrote out the poem he felt Gina would appreciate the most.
It was finished! Xavier knew Gina would appreciate the kung-fu reference (one of her favourite stories of Xavier when he was little is one where he was forced to do kung-fu classes against his will and in the final performance he fell off the stage, mid kick and landed in the lap of his friend's grandmother. He blushed so much his stripes disappeared altogether!).
In the spirit of Valentines day we're giving away Edgar the Casanova so you too can have some help with your poetry writing. Edgar is also a ski instructor and the free-diving champion of the interspecies games.
To win this fine fellow all you need to do is leave a comment on this post!
The winner will be drawn at random at 6pm tomorrow (Valentines Day). Good luck!
Edgar is also available in my Big Cartel shop.
Henry sent some more travel photos! In his email he explained that he left his Israel tour when he received an exclusive invite to Sundance Film Festival from none other than Mr Redford himself! Henry quickly made himself a spiffy bow-tie and jumped on a plane.