Making and selling hand-painted coconut shell jewellery at the Port Douglas markets was not what I had in mind when I first arrived in Australia in 1983. At the time I was studying horticulture in Germany and I came to Australia to learn about growing tropical fruit.
Right from the start I loved life in the tropics. I had never seen anything grow like it does in the wet season here. I was constantly amazed at the vibrant colours: the blue of the sea in October, gold, pink, orange and white Frangipanni and Hibiscus blossoms in spring and of course the brilliant Poincianas set against the lush green backdrop of the rainforest that herald the coming wet. I fell in love with the place, the people and the lifestyle here.
My life then took an unexpected turn and I found myself living on a beach with more time than money on my hands. That's when I started to play around with coconut shells, first I sanding them and turning out small bowls, and then cutting them up and carving earrings. It did not take long before I began to paint the shells taking my cues from the colours that give me joy. Necklaces joined the earrings and Coconut Creations was born.
It has been more than 30 years since I made my first pair of earrings and I still love making jewellery. Nothing pleases me more than going out somewhere and seeing a pair of my earrings or a necklace I made years ago walking by, still worn and loved.
For more than 30 years I had a stall every Sunday at the Port Douglas markets. However, I no longer live on the beach and instead, home these days is a small hobby farm on the Atherton Tablelands. With this move, I have decided to focus on markets closer to home, in Yungaburra and Mareeba.
For the loyal customers that are still looking for me at the Port Douglas markets, I hope this website will help you to stay in touch with what I am doing and when you are looking for some colour in your life you can find your next pair of earrings or necklace here.