Thanks so much to everyone that has sold and bought items and donated to the Red Cross and/or Wildlife Victoria. If you have not yet emailed your donation amount and details could you please do so - Include your item no, how much you donated in AUD, who you donated to and the receipt number that they will give you on your receipt. Thanks so much for everyones good efforts.readmore »»
well we have had some very busy little beavers working away on the cook book. The main task being completed now is the collation of copyright and recipe donor information. A huge thank you goes out to Isla for her wonderful work in collating that information - trust me its enough to make your eyes square!
Editing work is continuing too thanks to Anna and Bev - again - a time consuming task, and one we very much appreciate them doing.
Other tasks on the horizon include formatting and putting it all together so it actually looks like a cook book!
Thanks again gals and we will let you know when there is more to report! Stay tuned :)
Theresa has sewn and knitted all her life, she's an old school crafter big time. As a young woman she worked in the garment industry in her native Italy and when she started the flower farm in Kinglake with her husband and sons she didn't stop sewing and knitting for herself and her family.
The fires destroyed not just her home, her business and her extensive store of preserves and home made produce, it also took out her studio space, sewing machines, stash and much of what she had made over many years.
Theresa considers herself lucky to have survived - her whole family were in Kinglake at the time of the fires, including her 6 year old grandson and survived by taking cover in the cellar and then the dam. She is also very happy to have found a temporary home in Kinglake until rebuilding can take place.
She wanted to pass on her thanks to Handmade Help for re-stocking her with sewing kit and knitting needles and yarn to get started on some things to keep everyone warm when the weather starts to get really cold. She was particularly delighted to find a couple of sets of DPNS just right for knitting socks, because she thought no one aside from her bothered these days. I really enjoyed talking to Theresa about her plans for jumpers and hats and I was so glad to be able to give her wool I knew she would enjoy knitting and wearing.
Like many people, Theresa didn't ask for supplies because she was sure others would need them more than her. Her daughter helped us by letting us know what kinds of things would be useful to her and it was great to know that the right things were going to the right person. If you know someone who has a need, please let us know so we can stock them up without them needing to ask.
Today we delivered some donations on behalf of Handmade Help....
We headed to Whittlesea with the art supplies (boxed AS Oil Paints, Turps, Brushes, Rembrandt Pastels, Sketch Pad and Canvas Board) - for a lovely lady who needed things to start painting again. We also passed on a beautiful crocheted rug and a cute softie to her. Thanks for those lovely donations, Handmade Helpers. She was so grateful and teary - and especially loved the softie. She showed us a photo album full of images of some of the HUNDRED or more paintings she lost in the fires. Her paintings are really beautiful - lots of lovely landscapes and botanical pieces too. So terribly sad that her life's work was destroyed. Thank you SO much to everyone that donated money to help us buy her paints and things. We'll be visiting again in a few weeks time to see how she's going
After Whittlesea, we drove through the hills - via Kinglake - and on to Healesville. It was a horrible, horrible eerie drive. Blackened trees, burnt out vehicles and homes destroyed all along the roadside. Signs were hung saying 'Keep Out Looters' and 'Respect Locals! No Photos!' The trees are shooting green now, from their black trunks - and new growth is dotting the forest floor - but these are tiny hopeful signs on a long, hard trek back to recovery for these towns. It was really awful up there, and I can't imagine how hard it is for the people that are living in caravans beside the devastated remains of their former homes. It was shocking and sad - and I'm an outsider. I can't imagine how it feels to be part of these communities. Australian flags were hung all over the place, a testament to the fighting spirit of these amazing people.
At Healesville we met with a lady from the Salvation Army who has started receiving requests for knitting needles, sewing kits, sewing machines and fabric. So we took a boot load of things to her. She'll be distributing it over the next couple of weeks - and then we'll do another run up to restock her.
On behalf of the team at Handmade Help, thank you for your donations. Now begins the time when people are starting to assess their losses - and your donations will be needed. We mustn't forget about the hard times these people are enduring.
Things you can do:
Donate to The Red Cross.
Send us something hand-made-with-love for someone who has very little.
Drop off some Shampoo! They need shampoo donations in Healesville (they are overloaded with conditioner!) - if you live nearby take it to the Salvation Army near the supermarket or bring it to us at Mike's.
Via email today - Does anyone have any ideas about anyone that would appreciate this kind donation? Huge thank you to Beryl.
I got your name etc from an e-mail- ANHLC update no 8 fire affected houses,and
I have a spinning wheel and equipment plus fleece that I would like to
give to a spinner who has lost all their equipment in the recent fires.
The wheel is an Ashford painted the colours of the rainbow and called the "Rainbow Wheel',and comes complete with everything needed to start spinning-except a chair, suitable for someone who already spins.
I would prefer it to go to a spinner in Gippsland as I live in Wonthaggi and could deliver it. Also there is a 4 shaft loom if a weaver has lost their loom in the fires.
As a spinner for many years I can not imagine life without my wheels and spinning- its a very theraputic occupation.
Please let me know if you can find a spinner to use the 'Rainbow Wheel'
Edit - Thank you everyone - we're all organised now!
Wow - what a wonderful response... BAGS of craft materials to help restash the crafters who lost their materials in the fires.
At the moment it looks like this.... all a jumble.
‘The teacups are making people smile’; they haven’t been smiling, and that’s what we want, isn’t it?’ – volunteer, Alexandra Relief Centre servicing Marysville, Taggerty, Buxton region
“Please pass on my thanks for the ‘Comforting Cup of Tea’; how blessed was I? There was a lovely ‘Willow’ cup and saucer! My absolute favourite. It’s small, special gestures like this that touch us, we who have lost all our worldly goods… May God bless you” – letter signed ‘Barbara (exMarysville)’
“I just wanted to personally thank you for the beautiful and comforting teacups. They arrived in Flowerdale and were SO needed… Please, please, please thank everyone else for what they did. On behalf of the Flowerdale community, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts” – telephone message from Dianne, co-ordinator of Flowerdale Community Hall Relief Centre.
“These are better than excellent. These are life-saving!” - the gentle, gorgeous Bob, volunteer, Alexandra Relief Centre “Thank you for my beautiful teacup. I had thought of my two special ones I had lost, but now this one is as special” - text message; Mel Giovanetti, Buxton
“My teacup is just like a little piece of heaven. Until I saw it I didn’t realise how much I needed something beautiful of my own again, thank you” - Flowerdale survivor, in conversation with Holly Craig (11).
It has been both confronting and a privilege to have been able to take them directly to the various relief centres where people come daily to get essential supplies. Having done so, I shall never again think the term ‘natural disaster’ adequate to describe firestorms of the kind that attacked on Black Saturday. They must have borne down terrifyingly upon people - huge, wild, ruinous creatures of cruelly supernatural strength and speed, and of vast and heedless appetite.
Great swathes of the landscape - so desolately charred and ashy – and the small, heaped ruins of human dwelling places bear testament to the extraordinary scale and ferocity of these fire events. In peoples’ exhausted faces, in the tears that spring unbidden to their eyes or lie just under their voices, one can sense the great and grievous injury the encounter has done them. And even having been to some of these areas, I struggle to comprehend how it would be to live everyday still amongst the immensity of this loss: of loved ones, friends, workmates, neighbours, children. Of farms, schools, streetscapes, and community buildings. Of pets and livestock, native wildlife, gardens and orchards and greenness. Of livelihoods, and of homes – over two thousand of them.
Could I reassure those of you who would like to gift a special teacup that these are well taken care of on their journey, and that they look so very beautiful nestled in pale blue tissue in their purpose-cut, Australian-made gift boxes, and against the lavender colour of the Twinings tea given by that company. The sign above them reads: ‘Please take the teacup that you love, thank you.’ The volunteers on the ground have loved them too, and I have seen them immediately and tenderly leading grief-stricken people to the table, and urging them choose.
The note enclosed in each teacup box, also in pale blue, reads:
Thank you for choosing this teacup. Many have been involved in bringing it to you today, so making it brimful with good wishes. The teacups are all different, and may be vintage, antique, or newly-made. But in all cases they have been purchased, or gifted from home, with the express wish of offering you some small but daily comfort. We wish you well.
Teacups can be left at: 7 Malvern Grove, North Caulfield; at 41 Finlayson Street , Malvern: at Patchwork on Central Park (148 Burke Road, East Malvern); at the office of Malvern Primary School (17 Tooronga Road, Malvern East), at Books in Print (100 Glenferrie Road, Malvern) or at Leonard Joel Auction House (333 Malvern Road, South Yarra). At each of these places you can see how pretty and inviting your teacup will look.
A copy of this letter is available in email format if you have a workplace, book group, mothers’ group or other set of people whom you think would like a chance to take part. Please email me at: Sallyanne@arkpictures(dot)com(dot)au and I will forward it to you.
Handmade Help received a call this morning from a wonderful lady who lost her Humevale home in the fires. She's now in rented accommodation not far from her previous home of 35 years. She is a painter and she has lost all of her art supplies, amongst countless other treasures. She painted on both canvas and china, exhibited regularly - and had been painting for most of her adult life.
We have coaxed out of her a list of things she is in need of: some canvas boards, some pastels (preferably Rembrandt), some oil paints (preferably AS type) and a dozen or so brushes. She is very, very keen to start painting again. We can help with that, right?
We're asking for a small donation - and then we're off to the Art Supply Store to haggle a very excellent deal. We'll be taking her things up to her later in the week - so time is of the essence. Use the button below to contribute what you can. If you'd like to discuss your donation - please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can drop any painting supplies you think will be helpful off at Mike's too. 63 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy - 9416 3724
Hi there,readmore »»
I am part of an organisation who are involved with providing relief to people affected by the recent bushfires, primarily for the domestic pets. We are doing this by providing free pet supplies (donated and purchased) and foster care for the displaced pets while their owners get back on their feet. More in depth info here:
We are based in metro Melbourne but our representatives have been doing weekly trips up to the fire zone to speak to the people on the ground and ascertaining some of their needs. It is only now that the people affected are facing the realities and hardships of rebuilding their lives.
I could go on, but I will get to the heart of the reason I am getting in touch with you:
We have had some dog coat patterns drawn up and are looking for crafty people who wish to donate their time, materials and care into making some of these dog coats. There is a real sense that people do not want to be seen as victims so this is why old, second-hand stuff is not being distributed. It is our intention to drive into the more isolated areas and give people access to these newly made coats in an understated way as possible. The nights are getting cooler and for many, their dogs are too large to fit in the caravan or tent, and have to be outdoors 24/7.
So if you think you know of people who want to contribute, please feel free to provide them with my email (email@example.com) and I can send them a dog coat pattern (or three!) and requirements and the address to send the finished coats to. The patterns are for larger dogs, as we have had many smaller dog coats donated, but are lacking in the medium to larger dog sizes.
ps. on another bushfire fundraiser note: there is an event happening Easter Long Weekend at Masonic Hall, Cowes, Philip Island starting on the 10th of April until the 12th of April - "Artists Offering Fundraiser" - primarily felters, who have donated pieces for sale from all around the world. Info here: http://karensfeltworks.blogspot.com/2009/02/australian-bush-fire-fundraiser.html
EDIT - thank you ! All sorted out! Of course we need all the sewing machines we can lay our hands on - so if there are more going begging, do let us know!
I am admitting to you all my less than perfect filing system here...
Way back at the very start of handmade help's re-stash project someone sent me an email saying they had a sewing machine to donate. I carefully filed the email away, never suspecting that in the following days I would end up with so so so many email responses that I would never be able to find it again!
I now have a group who would dearly love that machine! Five survivors have moved into a temporary house donated for their use and they are itching to get sewing as we can imagine. If you made the original offer, or have an old machine lying about the place gathering dust please let me know so I can make a whole household happy!
For everyone who is planning to head on down to the Stitches and Craft show at the Melbourne show grounds this coming week, there will be a drop off point for re-stash a crafter and handmade items donations. It will be in the main exhibition hall so it will be easy to find and save a few people the trouble of either posting or delivering items to the other drop off points.readmore »»
via a Kinglake Resident today - about Handmade Horticulture:
Just a thought...readmore »»
I am from Kinglake and talking about plants to some of my fellow Lakers at the relief centre when I have been helping out. There are a lot of us still living up there at the moment- in caravans, tents or sheds- and one of the things people are missing is obviously a bit of variety in colour from the grey, black and brown we see everywhere. The green is starting to poke through already helped on by the recent rain. But for some of us, to have our plants to care for and watch grow and thrive is a part of life. Having a simple thing like plants, I think, is another step towards the healing of ourselves as well as the land.
It is a great service that you are helping out from this perspective. Please be careful which plants you send up- with the land the way it is. Any sort of weedy or voracious plant will take off as there is no competition. Natives, obviously- but more specifically indigenous natives should be recommended firstly. I know that people will want to revive also, their private flower gardens and other species. And vegetable gardens and edible plants also have been destroyed (although we managed to salvage some potatoes!) Perhaps working with the local landcare group could be a good option.
The idea suggested for vouchers offered and a long term expiry is a good one. Re-establishing the gardens around houses once they are built will also be required- as in the case of my parents. But they will have to wait for maybe over a year before they can start this.
I sincerely thank all of you wonderful people for your efforts. You may not get many direct thank-you's from us in these affected areas, but please know that you are making a difference and you really are amazing.
Re-stash has received a specific request and we need your help!
Catherine is a crafter and artist who lived in Kinglake with her partner and their home of many years was completely destroyed. Catherine previously lived in the Adelaide Hills and experienced the Ash Wednesday Bushfires there as well.
Within their immediate neighborhood there were many lives lost and although Catherine has lost everything she is very conscious of the fact that as survivors they were the lucky ones. Catherine was one of the group who fled from the fire and congregated at a Pheasant Creek store where they believed they were safe. Thankfully a police patrol car that was present received information just in time that they needed to evacuate the area which saved the lives of all the people gathered there.
Catherine loves the area dearly and intends to rebuild. At this stage that will be at least a year away as they need to start from scratch. One of Catherine's greatest sorrows is that she is an artist who has lost so many of the significant things she has created .
Catherine also makes her own clothes and while she has gained access to a sewing machine, she doesn't have fabric. Anyone who could find something in their stash that would be suitable for making clothes and could pass on to Catherine, she would be very grateful. Her favourite colours are greens, blues and burgundy and she likes interesting and unconventional fabrics (though she generally avoids stretchy and lightweight synthetics). She is particularly keen to sew some new nightdresses, so some lightweight cottons or lawns would be fantastic.
One of Catherine's favoured media for her art is sculpting in leather. Anyone who has pieces, even scraps, of leather they would also be gratefully received.
Fabric and leather for Catherine can be sent to:
1 Salisbury Street
Alternatively pick up can be organised from a small number of central locations - email me (soozs[dot]com[at]gmail[dot]com) if you want to organise something.
We urgently need a courier company to pick up a couple of big boxes of donations from the NSW Central Coast and deliver to Melbourne.
Does anyone have any contacts we could use, who might do this for FREE? Please email us if you do - Rachel is overwhelmed with donations and cannot get to her kitchen sink.
Okay - not really HANDMADE, granted, but where would we be without our computers? Technology has really aided our speedy response to the Victorian Bushfires - and Handmade Help would not exist without it.
If you are a local IT expert - or if you work for a company that wholesales or retails Computers - then Infoxchange needs you. They are co-ordinating a project which involves providing IT support and access to computers/internet/technology in the fire affected communities.
Please go here to see how you or your company might help. It's important. Email this post on to others who might help too.
Hello lovely people!
Just wanted to pop in and say firstly.... THANK YOU! Oh my gosh! We have had HUNDREDS of donations over the last couple of weeks - to both Re-Stash a Crafter and the Handmade Help Handmade Donation Drive too! The donations are currently residing at Mike's (in our second change room) - under our stairs - and in the storage area of another Handmade Helper's home. We are overflowing - but in a very good way! We definitely want you to keep donating, too!
We are now liaising with the Neighbourhood House Association about getting donations into Neighbourhood Houses in the affected areas (as well as the surrounding, resource-depleted areas too). Word is that these community facilities are up and running again, and there is plenty of demand for things like Craft Supplies and other Children's Items. I'll let you know as soon as we have a firm plan - so you know where the Handmade Help things are going.
We packed over 100 kits at our Brown Owls Crafty Club meeting on Tuesday. These contain lots of the craft supplies which have been donated - balls of yarn, knitting needles, embroidery kits, cross-stitch kits, crochet hooks, that sort of thing. We've packed them into logical, project based bundles - and they are destined for project-less crafters in the areas affected. There are still more to unpack and sort - and I think it's important to keep in mind that these things will be needed and much appreciated in the long term too.
We have received toys and children's clothing, some handmade jewellery and some quilts too. It's been very humbling to see how much people want to help. Thanks to all of you, from all of us. Please DO keep your donations coming! We'll be storing them carefully, whilst ensuring that any immediate needs in these communities are met too.
Further updates as they come to hand. Please consider donating to The Red Cross, if you can afford it. Or start saving up $1 a day to donate on June 1st - this is a long term effort, and we need to help in little ways each day.