Saturday, 29 January 2011

Children of the Floods

In the scheme of things, missing precious toys seem unimportant when considering all that has been lost during the recent Queensland and Victorian floods.  However, little children have been traumatised and the loss of their special toys only adds to their pain.

Lovely BrisStyle member Steph of Mon Petit Poppet has rallied to the cause and launched an appeal for soft toys to replace those lost during the floods.

I have had this adorable dinosaur pattern designed by the talented Melly and Me for some time and the pea fabric was lying in a jumble on my cutting table - the two were made for each other. 

I have to confess that I found it VERY HARD to let him go. I'm hoping that he may find a little boy to love him, as I am sure there are many gorgeous dolls being made for little girls.  No matter, as long as he helps one little soul feel a wee bit better, that's all you can hope for.

And don't forget the BrisStyle Handmade Ark Appeal - thank you so much for your incredible generosity, but there are still many folk in dire need of your help.

Friday, 28 January 2011

The perfect cookbook

One of gifts I received at Christmas was this beautiful cookbook/journal by renowned author Belinda Jeffery.  It's such a joy to read and I am savouring every page, trying not to drool as I read.

With most of my cookbooks I tend to ogle the tempting images and stick post-its on about 200 pages with vague promises of trying one of the recipes somewhere down the track.  However, this book is not only full of the most beautiful images by photographer Rodney Weidland, but it incorporates a journal of Belinda's life in northern coastal New South Wales, where the temperature is not dissimilar to our own here in Brisbane.  I am up to February, reading it slowly and planning meals as the season progresses.  This is not a book to rush through and it would work just as well for those living in the Northern Hemisphere by simply following the seasons rather than the months.

Dolphins, not sharks!

With two lovely ribbon bookmarks, it's so easy to read the journal with one and mark a recipe which I intend to cook with the other.

Next on the list

These are not idle promises, as you can see from the image at the top of this post that I have indeed made her Poached White Nectarines, which are in abundance at this time of the year.  I have also made her shortbread recipe which earned me brownie points not only with Mr Fudge, but with our local computer man.  He did such a marvellous job saving my sanity that I gave him some to take home to his family.

Thanks my wonderful family, I have a mother lode of books to read which should get me through to next Christmas. Bliss.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Australia Day

It's Australia Day and once again my name has failed to appear in the Honours List.  Quite disappointing.  Still it's a public holiday, so that's some consolation.

To celebrate our national day, the Sydney Etsy Team has organised a nationwide Australia Day promotion.  Teams from all around the country are participating - the Down Under Street Team (DUST), the Sydney Etsy Team, the MadeOnTheLeft team from Perth, and our own Brisbane team, BrisStyle. 

This is one of the dresses in my Etsy shop which sells for $US50, but with the Australia Day promotion is discounted 20% to $40.  All items in my shop will be on sale at 20% discount between 26 and 31 January, so now is a good time to get some bargain shopping done.  To receive the discount, simply enter the discount code ausday20 in the coupon code space during checkout between 26th-31st.

The only items in my shop which I would prefer the code not to be entered are the two dresses which are headed BRISSTYLE HANDMADE ARK FLOOD APPEAL, as the proceeds of these sales will go directly to the Handmade Ark Flood Appeal and I would like them to receive the full amount.

You can read full details on how to get some really fantastic bargains here

No matter where you are, have a very happy Australia Day!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Flood Relief

In times of adversity human nature and compassion become very close companions.  Being without power for much of the crisis, Tony and I had no idea that our State had the eyes of the world on it.  We drove to the city this morning and although the Brisbane River is still high and very muddy, the heart of the city is again beating strongly and life does indeed go on.

On the other side of the world in Tennessee (home of my great great grandfather) my favourite fabric designer Anna Maria Horner was moved by Queensland's plight.

This quilt,  a mix of her cotton voile and cotton quilt weight fabrics, has special meaning for Anna Maria, but she has put it up for auction, with the successful bidder sending the entire amount to the  Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.  At last count the highest bid was $1,000 - thank you so much Anna Maria.

Down in Canberra Jennie McClelland, whose blog Posie Patchwork has a huge following, is auctioning a quilt as well as holding a raffle in aid of the flood appeal and has raised over $600.  Jennie's soldier husband has been on duty in the Lockyer Valley where the most heart-breaking flooding took place with far too many lives lost, so in my eyes they are both heroes.

Meanwhile our own BrisStyle Hanmade Ark Flood Appeal has raised over $3,000 for the  Queensland Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.  

BrisStyler Steph of Mon Petit Poppett is organising shipments of softie dolls for children who have lost everything in the floods.  I will be sending off something to her this week, if there is still room in her house!

There are so many wonderful people out there who are doing it tough, so it's heart-warming to know that so many care.  Thank you.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Thank you

My computer has decided to throw a hissy at the most inconvenient time, so I have "borrowed" Mr Fudge's Notebook to type this post. 

Like most members of BrisStyle, I have been blown away by the generosity and support our flood appeal has engendered. The  bunting has sold, but the two dresses are still available with all proceeds going to the appeal.

Despite being caught up in the flood, widely read Kid Independent has thrown her weight behind our appeal - what a trouper. 

Our suburb is slowly returning to something resembling civilisation with the Army helping out, and bus loads of volunteers arrived this morning to assist in clearing away the debris.  Our street is unscathed (we live in Lagoon Crescent, which made us a little nervous), but less than a kilometre away lives have been left in tatters.  It makes me feel a little guilty, which I guess is a natural reaction in these traumatic times.

When our family was young we literally ran from a bushfire in Sydney - again our house was saved.  A couple of years back a light plane crash-landed into a house a couple of hundred of metres from ours.  They say things come in threes - hope they're right!

So please keep up your support - I'm sure you know how deeply it is appreciated.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Random Acts of Kindness

It may not look much, but this little collection reduced me to tears a couple of days ago.

As the world knows, our State of Queensland is emerging from the most devastating floods.  We were among the fortunate ones, our house here in Brisbane was saved - but we were left without power for several days and were cut off from the rest of the city by flooded roads and a river ferry which broke its cable spectacularly.  Our landline telephone didn't work - needed electricity of course.  Our two mobile phones were our only means of communication with the outside world.  We had calls and text messages from all over the country from concerned relatives and friends.  They obviously knew a lot more than we did, sitting here without any television coverage. 

However, we are blessed with wonderful young neighbours who made it their mission in life to see that we were OK (don't tell me we've reached that stage of our lives already!).  On our second day without power, one next door neighbour who with her husband and three young children was staying with relatives up the road (they still had power) dropped by and lent us their primus stove and came back later with her father-in-law with a dozen eggs, some cheese, a large packet of cashews and some cucumbers.  A little later two young mothers on the other side of us knocked on the door, one with freshly baked banana bread cooked on their barbecue (I am in awe), while the other neighbour gave us some long-life milk.  After they left I had a little cry - these are young families with children and babies to care for and they took the time to check up on a couple of old fogies. 

But we were fine, thanks to those battery operated lights bought for the BrisStyle Twilight Market in December.  Wine looks so beautiful under twinkling lights and we tried it ignore the fact that it was warm.  Pity the same couldn't be said for the main course of peanut and sultana sandwiches.  However, the dessert of mini meringues which the grandchildren didn't eat at our Christmas lunch went down a treat.

A Little Night Reading - I can see the musical now.

The power has been restored, the roads are open and this morning we drove miles to find fuel for the almost-empty car and food to re-stock what had to be thrown out of our fridge and freezer.  It was the first time we had an opportunity to see first-hand some of the devastation left by the flood.  We have so much to be thankful for - our family and friends are all safe.

The BrisStyle committee has quickly swung into action with an appeal linked to the Premier's Flood Relief Appeal.  If you would like to contribute, please click on the handmade ark appeal button above, where you will find all the necessary details. Please spread the word among your friends, as every little helps.  I have some items in my Etsy shop, with all proceeds going to the appeal.  

Monday, 10 January 2011

Come again another day

It's my fault, I know.  I should have known better than to put up a bright, sunny banner for Summer.  Perhaps it's not too late to change it:

We drove through this water over the main highway a couple of days ago on our way home from Sydney.  A little further on we crawled gingerly through Cunningham's Gap, an "interesting" drive at the best of times with its precariously steep drops on one side and sheer dirt and rock cliffs rising above you on the other. Add to this one section of the road half-closed due to partial road collapse.  We diverted our gaze to the other side and tried not to scream, only to be confronted with a huge waterfall cascading down the cliff, threatening to take out the remaining bits of road.  We looked back at the partial road collapse. I was too stunned to even think of taking a photo.

Thankfully we arrived home safely and our hearts go out to all those poor folk throughout Queensland who have been devastated by the enormity of the flood waters.  It's hard to believe that this time last year we were in the grip of a drought.

The local bird life is providing us with our own personal weather forecast.

Two days ago

One day ago

Today ... oo-er!

Where's Alfred Hitchcock when you need him?

Spare a thought for the thousands of flood victims who are in dire need of our help.  Members of BrisStyle will be launching an appeal through their Etsy shops over the next few days.  Please stay tuned for details - every little helps.