Monday, November 30, 2009

Handmade Treasures and Good Causes

The annual Handmade Treasures Sale is over again ... it was a hot and hectic day, but I think we created a great atmosphere which lived up to the prior advertising as ‘stress free and non-commercial Christmas shopping for good causes – and free morning and afternoon tea included!” The work from all the contributing artists was stunning, and everyone who came commented on the quality of the work.

I was very fortunate to have made contact with the Hunter East Timor Sisters after I saw the movie ”Balibo” and we had beautiful hand woven tais to sell to support an educational scholarship for a young East Timorese woman.

Other money raised goes towards the purchase of a Rotary Shelter Box , temporary accommodation and emergency supplies in a “box” ready to be taken anywhere in the world where people are made homeless by natural disaster. Humanity Coffee and bilums (string bags from Papua New Guinea) were also on sale to supplement the funds for medical equipment at Goroka Hospital (Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea). Tonight, I am proud and happy to say we raised a substantial amount for all three very worthwhile projects . It has taken me hours today to do the bookwork and sort out the money for each artist and the packing up but I love hosting this event every year. Everyone benefits from this sale – the customers , the artists and people worldwide needing support.

Close to home, the outstanding success of last Thursday’s Hunter Homeless Connect Day is still being broadcast.

About 1500 people attended the day and participated in the services available – health checks of all kinds, swine flu vaccinations, birth certificate recovery, financial advice, housing and accommodation advice, haircuts, massages and facials, living skills and creative workshops, and of course our Rotary daily essentials bags- all for free. The 250 bags we provided didn’t really go very far – we needed many more, but the ones we distributed were gratefully received. Congratulations to our friend, Nicola, who was the coordinator for this amazing event – sad it is so needed, but happy we have been able to participate to make life just a tiny bit easier for those doing it tough in tough times.

And next week, I am temporarily going back to work for a couple of days in the Principal's Unit at Callaghan College ...for a rest!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Felted Fallalery and Homeless Bags

What is fallalery? It is the using and making of fallals (trifling, decorative ornaments). This was the basis of my talk at NCEATA – Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists on Saturday. I have recently joined this group and will be one of the tutors at their Creative Retreat in May 2010. I am offering a workshop called “Felted Fashion and Fallalery”. The felted art bowls in the photos are samples for the workshop where participants will create beautiful handmade felt for fashion accessories and jewellery and/or decorative art pieces like these bowls or art dolls and embellished them with handmade polymer clay pieces, buttons, beads and embroidery. More information from NCEATA website

Second episode of the Homeless Day - packing night was last Sunday., the hottest day of the year so far. I don’t think it needs too much explanation About 20 Rotarians friends came to our place , brought more donations, packed 250+ daily essentials packs and made up beautiful "hampers" to be distributed at the Hunter Homeless Connect day. Each pack has a towel, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap, other toieltries, underpants , tissues, bottle of water, and a few other useful bits and pieces. Nicola, a young member of my Rotary club is one of the coordinators and sent this message “. On behalf of the Hunter Homeless Connect Day organisers and guests, my thanks to Rotarians for your efforts in collecting and packing goods for our special day this week, and the gorgeous hampers which will bring extra joy to a few who are probably not used to being 'winners'.   Thanks of course for your own generous donations and to your suppliers for their care for those in tough times.  “

and a last reminder about the fantastic HANDMADE TREASURES CHRISTMAS SALE
  Saturday, 28th November, 8.30am - 5.30pm

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Diary for 2010?

It just seems too early to think about a diary for 2010, but this week, I ran out of room in the back of my 2009 diary with dates already booked in for next year. I have made a couple of felted diary covers this week in preparation. I am not sure why I have been attracted to red the last couple of weeks... colour biorhythms? In my colour bible, it says " ...wear red when you need a pick-me-up, or when you are tired or lethargic or need to encourage physical exercise and a competitive spirit. Red will help with positive progress and success, and to put your plans into action..."

Putting plans into action is certainly on the agenda this week.  A couple of Rotarian friends and I had an idea about two months ago and we weren't sure how or what would eventuate, but it seems to have come together. We heard about how a city council had destroyed belongings of homeless people, and thought we should do something about  supporting the homeless in our own city.  Coincidentally, a young member of my Rotary club was also coordinating a combined service clubs/welfare agencies day to support homeless people in the Hunter. So, we became involved with 20 other groups supporting the Hunter Homeless Connect Day - a day of education, support, advice, care and goodwill dedicated to the homeless, including those living in refuges in our city.  Our Rotary club is taking care of "daily essentials" and we have been overwhelmed with donations from our community of soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, etc......

Here is my lounge room in readiness for the packing day on Sunday.

 During the week, Dylan made a headstart with packing a couple of bags in readiness for the Hunter Homeless Connect Day on 26th November. Never too early to learn about helping others.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Weeekend Gatherings

What a weekend of and Christmas sale gatherings.

Yesterday the new socksillies gathered for a Christmas photo before getting ready for my annual charity Handmade Treasures Christmas sale. For those who have not seen socksillies before, they are my silly soft sculptures made from a sock or two socks. The photo shows them looking very festive.

LamboArt friends, Bobbi and Jane also came over to bring their handmade treasures to go on sale on 28 November. They will be in USA then, so gathering and sorting their work had to be done early this year.

On Saturday, it was the annual gathering of the “Yan” family at Budgewoi – a central meeting place. It was great to see cousins and their families again. Jim used it as an opportunity to gather more information for his family history documents (now two huge folders and about 600 people on the family tree). The children particularly had lots of fun – love those orange peel smiles!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Winner of the Pink Giveaway!

Here is Dylan who has the responsibility of drawing the name of the winner of the Pink Giveaway from last week . The names were printed on paper. folded and put into a  Thomas the Tank Engine box.  The print you can see on one piece of paper is just because we used recyced paper -no cheating.

Just take one piece of paper, Dylan. And the winner is...

Show us the name, please

Turn it over so we can see it, please ...

And the winner is Berrylicious Buttons - congratulations

 Sorry to everyone else who entered and thanks, Dylan.

 A great blog to visit this week:  Visit for another fantastic giveaway and to see some beautiful beaded art.