On-farm business keeps children and babies happy

The Sleepy Jays swing is a product hand made in Australia and will be available in the Country Lifestyle pavilion.

Creative grandmother Kerry Imrie turns out durable handmade children’s swings and hammocks from her farm in central western NSW.

Her sturdy range of Sleepy Jays swings come in a vast array of prints, including tractors and farm animals, and will be on display at Country Lifestyle for the first time.

Mrs Imrie lives on “Mt Tenandra”, a cattle and cropping property at Gulargambone, in central western NSW, and manufactures all of the swings and hammocks on-farm.

Sixteen years ago, she wanted to make a swing for her grandchildren and drew inspiration from an old photo of her aunt in a swing made by her grandfather.

“Making swings for my grandchildren was a natural extension of my craft in restoring pre-loved furniture and upholstery work,” Mrs Imrie said.

“Having the industrial equipment, left over canvas material and some creative thinking, I was able to make these colourful and functional swings.

“That swing was made for my first grandchild and got passed down to all the other grandchildren.”

After making many for friends, she was encouraged to sell the swings at markets and on-line, calling the business Sleepy Jays after her grandson, Jay.

Mrs Imrie exhibits at craft and art markets, and baby expos at Toowoomba, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Dubbo and Tamworth, and the Mudgee Small Farm Field Days.

She is now branching out to test the waters at the Henty and AgQuip field days.

The swings are decorated with tractors, farm animals, birds, exotic and forest animals, and sea creatures or the more traditional stripes, spots and vintage prints.

Mrs Imrie also produces muslin Hug Baby Hammocks suitable for newborn to 12kg infants.

She said the hammocks were ideal for babies with reflux as the gentle movement helps them to settle.

“The swings are made from 12 gauge canvas, or truck tarp canvas, which lasts a life time.

“The good quality linen breathes and doesn’t collect dirt – the swings are all water-proof and stain resistant.

“UV-resistant nylon rope and Tasmanian oak dowel are used in the construction of the swing, and they come with two cushions.

“The swings can handle weights up to a four-year-old child or 20kg.

“They enable children to develop cognitive skills, balance and eye co-ordination.”