Saturday, December 19, 2009

Merry Christmas

Wow, it's almost three months since I updated this blog. I knew I'd be terrible at it, that's why my Facebook page gets totally ignored, I don't have the time for it.

This afternoon my daughter, son-in-law and grandies are coming for Christmas dinner, the full works, so that is something to look forward to. Not the cooking though, I'm a good cook but I don't enjoy it at all. I just prefer good, home cooked food to packaged or pre-prepared meals.

Just letting anyone interested know that the acrylics are now all gone. Yeah! I had one large box of those 'squares' that were of much poorer quality than I could use (generally donated by non-knitters and school children who wanted to help but just weren't really up to the task). I had planned to reknit them into toys and clothes for charities but the mother of my work colleague is somehow managing to join them together into blankets. They are not the standard of blankets you or I would want but the animal shelters are apparently rapt with them which is great. After all, many of the residents there are also victims of the fires.
Unfortunately fire season has already arrived again with fires near Canberra and about 300km east of here. Let's keep our fingers crossed that this year we have no fatalities and as little loss of homes and properties as possible. Reading in yesterdays paper I was shocked to see how many donated goods are still there, hopefully not any of our blankets, but at least if we do have some people unfortunate enough to lose their homes they will be well provided for with esseentials to start off with.

Anyway must be off to stuff the turkey. Have a great Christmas and a safe new year.

Monday, September 28, 2009

About time I updated

Not a lot has been going on, well I have been busy but nothing much worth reporting about. Still plodding along putting the blankets together. At the moment I am working on 4-5" crocheted squares and joining them using the tunisian method which is rather time consuming but has a nice effect.

One of the local teachers saw that I am still floundering under a mass of blankets so called and offered to put one together for me during the school holidays when she needs a break from marking and assessing papers. And in a couple of weeks I'm back to Melbourne with a loaded car as one of the S&B groups from Ravelry have offered to do some sewing together too.

In addition to that I had my Mum over from Britain for a ten day visit and during her time here she crocheted together two blankets and kindly (?) left me to sew off all the ends. She did a great job and quite enjoyed it too I think as she hadn't done any knitting or crochet for years. As children we lived in hand knits all the time but I don't think she's done any since her children flew the coop

During the week I received a lovely email from a lady at an animal shelter in St Andrews. I know the blankets weren't intended for animals but these photos are so cute so how could I complain? She wanted me to share them with you so I will load them tomorrow when I have more time.

She also posted me a DVD to look at showing what their area look at pre and post the fires so I look forward to looking at it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Newspaper Articles

Here are a couple of the newspaper articles from the Yarra Ranges Journal and Lilydale and Yarra Valley Leader.

Christine Fyffe's office also sent press releases to our local papers here and I have emailed them too but have heard nothing so I'm guessing they are not at all interested which is a pity as so many people from this region contributed squares or full blankets


Last weekend (9-10th August) Karen and I travelled to the Yarra Ranges region to deliver 110 blankets as well as knitted toys, scarves and childrens clothing. We left on Sunday morning and, using Karen's GPS (hereon known as Betty) we found our way without incident to Healesville (although yesterday I received a speeding fine for doing 76km in a 60 zone along the way). We had lunch in Healesville and headed straight to Marysville.

What a delight the town is. It was buzzing with tourists and the townfolk were all very friendly. We had a good buy up in the Lolly Shop, currently situated in a shipping container, and visited Bruno's sculpture garden that he has just reopened. It was sad to see the damage the fire has done to the sculptures but also heartening to hear that he intends to rebuild it all.

Unfortunately the relief centre was closed but we were lucky to find a Lions lady in the food tent who gratefully accepted one huge bag of blankets as well as some of the other items.

We returned to Healesville and stayed at the Sanctuary Resort, a lovely quiet little motel who even gave us a discount when they learnt the reason for our trip. That evening we joined Lucy and Meaghan, both fellow Ravelers, at Meaghans house for dinner - pizza, pasta, dip with corn chips and yummy cake. Not at all healthy but very tasty. Meaghan and Lucy were great and we all got on like a house on fire.

The next morning Karen and I made our way to Yarra Glen where we met with the local MP, Christine Fyffe, who has been very helpful in organising for us to be able to drop the blankets off at the relief centre, despite the fact it is closed on Mondays. She also arranged for a couple of the local papers to be there to give the project a bit of publicity. We spent an hour at the centre and were lucky enough to meet a couple of the blanket recipients, including Ron Andrews a delightful man who lost everything in the fires and was then roped into the photos for the press. He took it all in good fun though and it was lovely to see a few of the blankets find a new home while we were there. Another Raveler, Lorraine, also joined us from Riddells Creek and it was nice to meet her again, we first met at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show.

From there we drove to Kinglake but Betty took us along the windy road through the hills (and EVERYONE knows how I am terrified of heights) instead of along the better roads. Poor Lorraine was at Kinglake waiting for us and wondering where we'd gotten to. We met a lovely nun at the relief centre who accepted our last two bags of blankets - all up about 110 blankets went to the region as well as the added extras.

It was a great trip and Karen and I had a ball. We didn't know each other very well before the trip but now we are very firm friends.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

IIOIO it's off to Yarra Glen we go.

Today's the day. The car is packed to bursting with only the front seats not packed with blankets. It was a real effort and a lot of juggling but DH and I managed to get all 110 blankets into the car as well as toys and knitted clothes. We did ensure I have clear vision through my back window though, I don't need to cause an accident that's for sure.

Now as soon as Karen arrives here from Lakes Entrance we're off. Meagan, a fellow raveller, has invited us to her home for dinner tonight and we shall be joined by another raveller, Lucy, whom I was lucky enough to meet at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show last month.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Off to the Yarra Glen Region soon

Oh wow, is this blog so out of date. Unfortunately I spent about ten days struggling with a shocking bout of my depression, which is usually very well controlled, and then last week my work colleague was on holidays so by the time I got home from work the last thing I wanted to do was look at a computer.

I was one of the many knitters to invade Bendigo last month for the Sheep and Wool show. The weather man looked after us well, it was chilly but dry and sunny - a perfect winters day. Unfortunately that was when the anxiety and depression overwhelmed me so I didn't enjoy myself which is sad because I'd been looking forward to it for so long.

Next week, on the 10th, I am off to the Yarra Glen region to deliver about 110 completed blankets as well as toys, scarves and childrens clothes. Well as much of it as I can fit in the car anyway. Karen Detering, from Stitches and Things in Lakes Entrance, will be coming with me. Karen is the one who converted Denise Sutherlands wonderful logo into an embroidered label that has been sewn onto each and every blanket. We're going on the Sunday night and booking into local accommodation there and maybe even driving around the area a bit depending on what time we arrive.

On Monday morning we are scheduled to meet with a couple of the local politicians, Christine Fyffe and Fran Bailey, for an official welcome and hand over of all the stuff. A couple of the local papers will be there too so I'm hoping they will have on-line links I can post for everyone to read the stories. Ms Fyffe's media liaison officer has been very helpful organising this for me as she feels that the people in the area are becoming a bit despondent with the slow pace of things and they could do with a cheerful story for a change. Let's hope she's right.

So if anyone is free and lives close to Yarra Glen please join us, especially if you are one of the contributors to the blankets.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Blankets are going out

What a busy month, no wonder I haven't had time to add to this seriously neglected blog.

Since I was last on I have delivered the first 50 blankets to the relief centre at Traralgon South and today gave two blankets to Rachael for her and Parker. Rachael is the person that inspired this project when she lost her husband in the fires and it was decided to collect squares and put together a blanket for her - but of course we are all aware of how it has grown from that.

I have been busy sewing on logo's to more blankets and now the first 100 are on and I am just waiting for the next lot to arrive from Karen at Stitches and Things in Lakes Entrance. She is kindly donating her time and materials to making these badges and has done a terrific job.

Pictured here is Rachael with her blanket standing in her cafe in Moe called 'Groovy Tuesdays'. What a gorgeous cafe it is too with very yummy cakes so worth a visit. There is also a photo of a few of the children at Traralgon South with the blankets they selected.

I am hoping to make the trip to the King Lake/Marysville/Flowerdale region soon with at least 100 blankets to make it worth driving all that way. That will clear some space then to start piling up some more.