Thursday, January 28, 2010

Another Collector with me.

I was not the only one collecting badges wherever we went. My son collected Scout badges for his camp blanket and my daughter and I egged each other one wherever we were!  She had lots of penfriends in the days of real mail and they were often Guides.

Here is her banner....

She has lots of countries in there that I don't have....I can see, Norway, Greenland, Nevada ...she has Guide Badges where I have Brownie ones...and she even has a Chinese coin with a hole in the middle

 .........and some original Fimo creations that she is so good at.

A little while ago she told me that I could have all her badges...she has moved on....or realises how much room collections takes up and how many more things she is going to want to collect. But giving it to your mother is not quite the same as throwing it away!

Maybe I will show some of my Irish Badges by way of coming to the end of this project. You have been very good to stay with me.

There are so many that I have had to start another banner.

The blue ones on the right are Brownie badges and the green ones on the left are Guide badges and in the middle are specials.

Looking at these interest and group badges, they are just the same as they were in the 1950's when I would have been Brownie age. I still have the badges sewn on my Guide Blouse and they are just the same. It took us a long time to modernise, now our onterest badges actually look 'interesting' and attractive.....but they will all be sewn on to my second banner....eventually!!

I love the special commemorative badges.....let's zoom in on a few.

This was the first special badge a I ever saw and I was hooked!

This was our 70th Anniversary celebrations. Guiding didn't start in Ireland until 1911, most countries will be celebrating their centenary this year but ours isn't until next year,

We planted hundreds of Daffodils all over Ireland, ours were round our community center. Imagine my horror the following spring to be greeted by a little Brownies with a few daffodils clutched in her hand. "These are for you Brown Owl"

What could I say....except to explain to them all why we shouldn't pick them.

Suffice to say within a few years they were gone!!

These were for our 75th Celebrations.

Here is our 80th Celebrations......our entry into the European union....Trees for Africa when we raised money to buy trees......Water badge when we learned how to conserve water and what it was like to live without running water....Thinking day Peace badge...and so on.

Our latest anniversary was our 90th in 2001...but that's on my new banner. if I ever get them sewn on I will show that's a threat.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Last but not least are the posters from England. My SIL was my contact in Braintree Essex and the Brownies were from Braintree and Bocking.
It seemed that all the local packs wanted to get involved so I received a whole sheaf of posters.

Wow, what a lot of Brownies!

Now for my UK badge banner, I thought that this was all of them until i went through my swops box today and discovered loads more badges that need sewing on.

 The Brown badges on the right are the old style that are very similar to ours. The rectangular ones are the six/little groups) badges and the triangular ones are interest badges. the square ones are for the footpath, road and highway along which they travel on their Brownie Journey.

On the left are the new funky badges that the kids love. The oval one is a six badge and the diamond shapes are interest badges.

Maybe this merits closer inspection.

Along the top are (well some of them are) badges for the different counties and regions. the ones in the center are mostly for special events. the rainbow in the middle is the badge of Rainbow Guides...the littlest ones. the yellow metal badge on the left is the new Brownie Enrollment pin.

I have got tremendous feedback and lots of groups wanting to take part. USA and Canada are the dominant ones...isn't there any one else out there.

Comments are more than welcome.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Closer to home was a Brownie pack from Anglesey, an island off the coast of North Wales. On old school friend had a daughter in the pack.....mmm very soon we read that my friend(who also learned to tat at school with me!) had taken over as temporary Brown Owl.....sounds familiar!!
We were friends with this pack for several years, exchanging photos, letters and making scrapbooks for each other. It was great for the packs to see what other Brownies were doing.

They even tried to teach us a bit of Welsh.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Dar es Salaam is another special place for me. I was so happy to get a reply from a Brownie Pack.

A super poster. I hope they will take part again.
I don't have a badge collection from Africa. Would love some.

Thank you all for the responses that I am getting , keep them coming and do please leave a comment if you are enjoying this world journey.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Fiji, where the day begins.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Fiji so it was with delight that I got a response from the Guides of Fiji.
2nd Suva Brownie Pack sent this poster.

They also sent a photo of their group and a sheet about the songs and names of their sixes....
they are the traditional Brownie Figures of Gnomes, Sprites, Imps and Leprechauns. The names and songs are fascinating.

Also a leaders handbook and a gorgeous book about Guiding in the Pacific.

As well as Fiji there are Brownies in The Cook daughter and I had the pleasure of visiting a Guide Company in Rarotonga......Kiribati, Solomon Islands,Tonga,Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Western Samoa.
I remember crossing the International dateline between Fiji and Tonga....on my birthday...and losing half of it!!

Joy of joys they also sent a badge!
Here it is in my tiny Pacific Collection.

Saturday, January 23, 2010


We received a poster back from a primary school in Sicily.

Wowee! this was a work of art.

With it came a letter......signed by all of the pupils.

The translation the best of our ability

Dear friends,

We are 16 schoolchildren, 9 girls and 7 boys, in Class 4B in the elementary school in Ficarenzzia district of Aciostello near Catania. Catania is a beautiful city in Sicily bathed by the sea of Tonio.

We have received your letter together with the drawing of your land and we are happy to take part in your 'sign of peace'.

We also wish so much for there to be peace always in the world.

For this we send  to you a beautiful poem by the poet Lim-Tiem-Mim called


It's not important who you are,
man or woman,
old or young,
workman or peasant,
soldier or student or merchant.

It's not important what is your creed,
politics or religion.

If you had asked me what is the thing most important to mankind.

I would reply,
first, next, always,


We send many regards to you and return an embrace with the right hand.

Isn't that beautiful.

Can any of my Italian tatting friends find me a link to a Cerchio (Brownie pack) of  Coccinelle  (ladybirds.)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Australia and New Zealand.

My contact in Australia turned out to be a Lone Ranger Guide who also works with a Brownie Pack.
I was so delighted to get a poster back from New South Wales as we were in Sydney for 4 months in 1986 and for two of those we helped out with  a Brownie Guide Pack in Sydney. I still use some of the idea that they taught me. Wonderful kids and a wonderful leader. What are they all doing now?

Lots of interesting things on here, rubbings of the coins....she also sent a sheet of photocopies of all the bank notes.

I don't remember if she sent any badges. My badge banner for Australia is bursting with memories.

Let's zoom in on some of my favourite bits .... the little Koala in Brownie uniform and the Kangaroo in Guide uniform. O also like the woven bookmarks with the Promise and Law on them.

I guess they are celebrating their centenary this year as are Canada, we don't celebrate until next year.

Now to another favourite place....New Zealand. I didn't meet any Guides but I did get to the Guide shop in Aukland to buy as many badges as I could.

I wrote to the Guide shop and they passed our poster on to a Brownie pack who sent this lovely poster back.

Such a lot of work went into this. lets look at a few details.

These are the groups that the Brownies are divided into to. Each one is a six, with a sixer as a leader.

The silver fern is one of the badges that they work for. You can see them all on my badge banner.

A close up of some of my favourites.....

.......they even have Brownie and Guide Buttons!!...and they have the embroidered bookmarks too.Their enrollment badges/pins are just like the Briitsh ones.See the little green plastic good luck Tiki.  Just realised where the little gold Tiki pin that  is rattling around on my desk, came from...the 2 little holes above the plastic one. Now I have to zoom in on the Kiwi brooch set with paua shell.

Battater has just shown a tatted Kiwi and given the HAVE to tat it!


I NEED new contacts for Australia and New date I have, potentially Singapore, Texas. North Carolina, Georgia and Canada(Ottawa).

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Wowee! Texas yesterday and today I have been able to contact the Guide association in Singapore.

I would love to be able to send one to Singapore as it holds many happy memories for me.

Last time the only poster that I received from Asia was from the Taiwanese Brownies, Taiwan, Republic of China.

This poster is just delightful and one of my treasures.

Let's have a closer look at some of the drawings.

Isn't this a delightful drawing of a Brownie in uniform.

Pinned to the poster was the Brownie badge (with the frog)and  a Friendship badge, the start of my Asian Collection.

As well as a letter with great stamps the Brownies had made ornaments to hang up, each with a stamp set into it.

It would be so nice to know what the writing means.

Are there any more tatters out there who might be able to find out about Brownies in their country?

All comments will be appreciated even if you can't help.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

U.S.A. and Canada.

I now have a link with a Brownie Girl Scout Troop in Texas...yipee!

Last time my only contact in the states was with a leader in Maine who had a relative living near me. The Brownies were all in the 6 to 7 age group and sent us this poster.
Their troop is part of the Abnaki Girls Scout Council which means Land of the Morning they are the first to see the sunrise in the United States of America.

We were delighted when this leader and her daughter came to visit our pack. This really brings home to the girls the fact that there are Brownies all over the world. We wrote to them and swopped scrapbooks and photos and badges/patches.

This is their Brownie Girl Scout pin which is on my very small American badge collection.

My contact in Canada was with a group of Pathfinders in the 12 to 15 age group.

They sent this poster....

 .....and a gigantic laminated poster about Canada.

More posters coming soon, more comments welcome!

Peace begins....

..........................with you and me!

Many years ago.....back in the dark ages......well 1989.....there was a badge going for a Peace Project...and I am a sucker for a Brownie badge!

In our leaders magazine there was a Children's Peace Treaty, and this gave me an idea.

So I got all of my Brownies to draw a picture of something either related to Brownies or to Ireland, just a pencil outline drawing. They came up with some great pictures. I cut them out and made a collage of them around the treaty on a large sheet of paper A3 size..that's about 11.5in by 16in.

 The following week they all signed the treaty, and yet another week later they were all given several photocopies of the sheet to colour.
These things are always long drawn out when you only meet once a week.

This is my coloured copy to just show you how it comes to life.

So we come to the crunch
What were we going to do with our poster????

My idea was to send off as many copies as possible all over the world, to Brownies Guide/Brownie Girl Scouts. Known also by many other names in the different countries.....but all in the age group of 7 to 11 years.
Remember that in those days.....21 years ago we didn't have personal scanners or the internet at home.

Snail mail ruled.

The pack to be sent out contained our treaty and a blank one which we asked them to decorate, sign and send back to us, as well as information about Brownies in Ireland and about our own pack and local area....and anything else we could think of!!


My daughter who is a great illustrator had a big part to play in the finished products. She also had lots of penfriends all over the world, some in Guiding, who were sent a copy...with a request to pass it on to a Brownie pack.

Friends, relatives, Brownies all came up with names. Then there were  places we had visited and Brownie packs and Guide shops that we had worked with and visited,  and when all else failed...I just sent them to the Guide HQ in  the capital city of a country, and the 4 World Guiding Centers and hoped for a response.

Altogether I sent out to 25 countries.....Australia, Brazil, Canada, Republic of China, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, Greece, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Papua New Guinea, Portugal, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, UK, USA, and Zimbabwe.

In 1990 there were 112 member countries, not sure how many there are now.

The red ticks are where I sent to and  the green ticks are ones that sent a poster back...tho' some did write but my poster never did get  a response from a Brownie Pack.
We marked them in on a map...great way to learn some geography!

For me this project goes down in history as one of the best things that I ever did.

21 years later.
  These children are now in their late 20's or early 30's that's a whole generation ago!
And we still don't have peace!

You will not know this but the uniform that our Brownies wear has changed considerably in  21 years.
 In the 1980's I was doing a  doll making badge not a Brownie badge!!

I had to make 3 dolls and one had to be a character doll, made of felt with a moulded face...and it had to be able to stand. So this was my character doll. The uniform is authentic even to the actual material.
She has all her badges and the scratchy wool hat that the brownies used to hate. She stands courtesy of copper rivets in her shoes!!

Now they wear a yellow sweatshirt, navy trackpants, navy neckerchief and navy badge sash and NO hat. Much more child friendly but no where near as smart.
The nearest I can do to show you is my Brownie TatBead from Jane Eb's TatBead family, look under TatBead family and friends in her people section.

OK! well that's the the required tatting element .

So now you are wondering why I said that you might be able to help.
Well I showed my Book Of Peace with all this in it and more, to the latest leaders of the pack and they were so taken by it that they want to repeat it for Thinking Day February 22nd, this year. For those who don't know Thinking day is a special day for all members of the Guide and Scout Associations all over the World.

21 years later now I have so many internet friends, and folks who have email, and so do the other leaders. The Brownies have cousins all over the world...and their mums have email.

 Some of you must have girls of Brownie age, others must be able to find out about a Brownie Guide/Girl Scout/ etc group near you.
Please go out there and find names and addresses that I can send my packs to and lets make the 2010 project a humdinger!!

If you send me your contact info  in a comment, I will not publish it......but you will have to send a second comment that I can publish! Do please leave a comment if you think this is a good idea and may be able to help,
leave a comment PLEASE.

Go, Go, Go!!

Next time I will show you some of the replies that I got.