Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Favourites.

Favourites 24/2/09

Some divine photographs from Flickr to soothe the soul - seems I have a home and hearth theme this week - I'm feeling very homebody at the moment.

I want to send out a big thankyou to everyone who has commented lately, dropped in to say hello, and offered their thoughts after the bushfires.

It's been a rough time for us Aussies lately, but a time when all the things that are important to us are put into sharp relief. I am grateful to be part of such a loving community, and hearing stories of good people, banding together to help, give what they can, and create something new for the ravaged communities makes me feel better amidst all the stories of loss.

In my own little home, restash packs have been made, scarves have been knitted, and $150 raised from my shop to donate to the Red Cross. Thanks again to those of you who made purchases, your parcels are on the way, and your money will be put to good use.

I'll be back to the regular light hearted programming soon, but first I have a house that needs a drastic spring clean, and a pile and a half of Nongs to make. So, my friends, I'll be seeing you on the other side.

Lots of love and thanks to you all.

Leah xxxx

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Handmade Help.

Today I have listed two hand knitted scarves in my Shop:

Bushfire Relief Scarf

Bushfire Relief Scarf

Remember; 100% of all profits in February will be donated to Bushfire relief programs.

I've also been doing some crafting about the place, making some things to be sent directly to victims.....

some restash packs in progress:

restash packs for Handmade Help

They contain a handmade pincushion, some fabric pieces, a tape measure, seam ripper and some pins.

I'm also knitting a few things to send over as well:

knitting for handmade help

If it seems trivial or silly to be sending craft supplies and hand knitted scarves at a time when so many basic things are needed, I'd like to direct you to this post by Soosz - so very well said, and articulate in a way I'm having trouble with at the moment.

In the comments, a reference is made to an open letter (written by Liz Tilley, a survivor of the 2003 firestorm in Canberra) on the ABC website on how to help - the whole letter is worth reading; especially if you're looking for a tangible, practical way to help, but I'd like to reference one paragraph here that pertains to us, and how crafters can make a difference:

"Make something. Some of our most treasured items are the ones that were made, with love, by complete strangers. The quilt that was one of the hundreds that arrived from all over Australia, the hand-knitted rugs that my children like to snuggle under in winter. If you make jewellery, make a few pairs of earrings or a necklace. If you make toys, make something for the children who have lost theirs. If you knit, make a winter scarf. If you sew, make some table placemats or a beautiful table runner. If you're an artist, paint a picture or frame a drawing.

I still find it incredibly moving that people cared enough to put time and love into making something that has now become a new family treasure for us."


Surely that's motivation for all of us?

xxxxx

Handmade Help

Australian Red Cross

Wildlife Victoria

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

From This:




To This:



Only her poor chimneys left. Even in her destruction, she is still a majestic old girl.

I am feeling unspeakably sad right now, and I feel a long way from home and the people I love - luckily for me I have only a house to mourn; there are so, so many others who have lost so much, so I encourage everyone to help out in whatever way they can - whether with a few dollars or a handmade item or a fundraising auction.

For those of you looking to help, there are plenty of options and efforts outlined over on Pip's blog, (see the side bar for plenty of links), and Coles have said that they will donate their entire Friday profit to the Bushfire Appeal - so please save your grocery shopping until then.

If you're overseas, I recommend donating to the Red Cross - they accept credit card payments if you'd like to help out.



I have also decided to donate 100% of my profits from my Shop in February to the relief effort, so any support would be brilliant.

It's hard to put this topic down at the moment - I'm sure at some point we will be back to the knitting and sewing, but for now this is all I can think about. So tonight, I'm breaking out the yarn stash to do some knitting for Handmade Help, and hoping that we can hear some positive news very soon.

Thanks for listening and helping, all of you.

xxxx

Monday, 9 February 2009

mourning.

My love and thoughts are devoted today to those affected by the bushfires in Victoria...



Those of us who remember Ash Wednesday or Black Friday know how deeply ingrained the bushfire fear is; especially in those of us who have lived in the bush - the horror of people and animals and beloved houses trapped in the flames.

And today I bid farewell to a grand old dame of a house that holds a huge chunk of my heart in her now charred and burnt rooms:



Roslyn Farm - a 150 year old farmhouse in the Cathedral Ranges - holiday and weekend and every-spare-minute destination for myself and many, many other friends for the last ten years - in the case of my dear friend Tom, since he was a baby.

I will miss this house desperately. She was my retirement plan.

But the loss of this house is nothing compared to all the lives lost in the last two days - thoughts and sympathy to all of those affected - hang in there, friends.

xxxxx

*edited to add: I just want to add that I am not in Victoria, and therefore not in any danger, and all my loved ones are safe and sound - my expatriate guilt is huge today, and I'm simply mourning for my home state and those who have been affected..... thanks so much for your concern.... xxx

If you would like to donate to the bushfire relief you can call:

Red Cross Appeal 1800 811 700 (or online at their website)
Salvation Army 137 258

Otherwise donations of money can be made at Commonwealth Banks and Bunnings centres. Cheers.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Don't Mention The Heatwave....

Needless to say, I have been locked in a small room with only the air conditioner, the cat, and Season One and Two of Veronica Mars for the past week. We were all literally climbing the walls:

puzz

It's still stinking hot over here in Adelaide, but I have finally come out of my hole, opened the doors and windows, and sacrificed myself to the perils of Global Warming, but believe me, a relocation to Canada is still not out of the question....

Paradoxically, in the midst of the hellish haze of nightmare temperatures, this arrived in the mail from Uruguay:

new yarns

divine, no?

So I spent most of the heatwave knitting - knitting so much I thought my hands might drop off:

heat wave knitting

There are some moss stitch scarves and handwarmers which will find their way into the shop once the ends have been woven in.....

heat wave knitting

Plus a first on two accounts; following a pattern, and doing cables! The pattern for this magical scarf is via here; this Lady Havartine post being the inspiration for my own attempt.... it still needs to be blocked and finished off, which will hopefully fix up the wonkyness of my knitting!

Another heatwave project done and dusted:

New Quilt finished from vintage blocks

A pile of vintage quilt blocks included in the Big Box of Staggering Genius were sewn together, backed, batted and machine quilted....

New Quilt finished from vintage blocks

and the finished quilt has now become a firm favourite with one member of the family:

puzz

She loves it. Will not get off it.

So, apart from the climatic confusion of knitting and quilting in the dead heat of Summer, I feel I have accomplished some things in my absence - let's see if I can keep it up and get those other straggling projects done and dusted!

I hope those of you in the Southern Hemisphere are keeping cool, and those of you in the Northern are staying snug and warm - puts a new spin on 'polar opposites' don't you think?

Cheers, m'dears....

Leah xxx