I've just come back from a magical four day craft retreat in the gorgeous Golden Valley, Tasmania. I ate organic meals with eggs from happy farm chickens and strawberries picked straight from the bush. There was also fresh milk and cream from the cows for those who could eat dairy. Our water came from a spring on the property and tasted incredible. Days of craft were interspersed with walks on the land where I was staying and in the surrounding area.
Is it a thing? It might be a thing. I'm not sure if it's a thing yet or will become a thing but so far it's the second year in a row that I've gone to visit my beautiful friend and stay with her family. This time I took my youngest daughter along with me and she had a great time playing with the dogs, climbing the mountain near the house and drinking fresh water from the creek.
And while she was happily exploring and roaming free, I crafted with my friend's 14 year old son. He's sewing some amazing bags out of leather, carving wooden spoons, forging knife blades and making Viking chess sets. My gorgeous friend made us delicious vegetarian meals to eat and drove us around to all the local places she loves.
We explored the area on the Central Plateau around Pine Lake and marvelled at the tiny pencils pines, survivors of Ice Ages, who give the lake its name. I also returned to Liffey Falls and sat atop a cliff, listening to the water falling and falling and falling on to the rocks below.
We visited the towns of Deloraine and Latrobe and popped into second hand shops along the way to poke around the rusty bits and pieces. If you ever get to Latrobe, there's a great yarn shop I plan on visiting next time I'm in Tassie (ie spending lots of money there) as well as Reliquaire, an incredible gift shop filed with all sorts of amazing goodies. As my friend's son says, it's a museum where everything is for sale. I didn't make it to Sew 'n' Sew (don't you just love a shop with a pun in its name?) but it's on my list for next time. We also popped into Simon Martin Whips & Leathercraft in Spreyton to pick up a cow hide for future projects. I loved this shop - it had a section where you could stamp your own bookmark, coaster or key tag on scraps of leather. There were also two workspaces where you could watch Australian stock whips or saddles being made.
It was the perfect visit and I can't wait to go back and spend some more time chatting, crafting and exploring.