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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Knitting and lots of Nattering and Aunty Gwen...

The last Tuesday of the month is the Zillmere K&N, and DH decided that he should drive me there, then head off to a nearby golf driving range to 'hit a 100 balls'. Then he would come back and together we would both go to the reasonably nearby Chermside Shopping centre. That was the plan but as we were driving along Old Northern Rd, I commented that I wasn't familiar with this route to Zillmere. He thought that I was heading off to Albany Creek K&N! Hmmm... the girls complain that he never listens to them either! lol (I did arrive at Zillmere Community centre eventually after a change of direction! )

Zillmere donations for this month amounted to over 120 items...including good sized knitted and crocheted blankets and patchwork quilts.

 I just love the cover someone has crocheted for the money donations' tin

For a little while, off and on, I have been crocheting 15 rounds' squares in indigenous colours. It's always handy having something simple like this to just pick up and work on without too much concentration required.
Originally another member was collecting up these squares and sewing them into blankets. Well she has started to join her squares as she goes and has no use for individual ones like mine. So I started to join the ones I've done already (12) . I'm double crocheting them together to speed up the process. So that's what I worked on, on Tuesday. Since then, I've started crocheting around the 12 (sewn into a 3 by 4 rectangle) and it won't be long before it is a single blanket size!

Now about Aunty Gwen...
Aunty Gwen is an Aboriginal elder who works for the Northern Territory Health department. Her job entails her travelling to communities, some quite remote. For a number of years Aunty Gwen has handed out jumpers to children in these communities because they didn't have anything warm to wear. After winter each year, Aunty Gwen collects all these jumpers and washes and mends them. There are some friends of Aunty Gwen's who have helped over the years by knitting jumpers.

Well, a friend of a friend  of a K4BN's member, told this member about Gwen. The matter was discussed as to how the group could help. Eventually it was decided that for our group's Summer Challenge, we would help build up a supply of new jumpers for Aunty Gwen. So for December to the end of February many of us have been working on that. Some members knitted quite a few each...I only started in early February  using a pattern uploaded to the group's pattern files, and just did the one. But I loved knitting it and will knit some more throughout the year. It's so quick to knit a child's jumper after doing my 200 stitch throws! lol

My contribution to the jumper drive...I love the variegated yarn in the stripes. It makes it so easy to get a colourful effect.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Here and there...

Last week DH was listening to the radio when a competition came up and he knew the answer. He rang and won a Tim McGraw CD and 2 tickets to an Aussie movie, 'Save Your Legs' which opens here tomorrow. We had to drive across town to Cannon Hill to where the office of 4BC is nowadays to collect the prizes.

After that DH and I headed towards the Gateway Motorway and started heading north. Then on to the small motorway known as the Deagon Deviation (it's always fascinated me that they would name a road that!) . from there it was a short drive over Bramble Bay (Houghton highway) and a little way farther north and we had arrived at our second destination of the day...Redcliffe.

This is what we came to see...

Last week the Moreton Bay District Council had the official opening of their tribute to the Bee Gees. Barry, the last surviving brother was there, as was his wife, mother, son and niece. The Gibbs family lived in various places on the Redcliffe Peninsula when they emigrated to Australia in 1958. They went on to be a great success both here in Australia, and of course overseas. The display included photos chosen by Barry Gibb.
So take a walk with me down Bee Gees Way...

DH stands in front of the sculpture made by Philip Piperides

On the opposite wall was this large mural

Yours truly looking a bit windblown! lol

Looking from the Walk towards the jetty which the boys spent a lot of time on as boys...

Their parents' wedding

A thank you to Col Joye

Looking towards the beachfront and the other new sculpture. Those rings revolved!

When we walked to the end of the wall I suggested that I just check out a fabric shop in the back street :-) where I bought some fabric to make more bunting.

It was a lovely day weatherwise rain ,just sunshine.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blog Meet

On Sunday there was a 'get together' for a group of bloggers who share a common interest in stitching and who live in the general vicinity of Brisbane.
This time we met at a cafe at Shorncliffe and we numbered 12 people this time. So we talked and laughed, shared and  inspired and had a wonderful couple of hours together.

Maree is taking the photo; clockwise from the left... Helen, Cheryl, Marilyn, Sandi, Noela, Teresa, De,  Debbie, Lynda, Susan and Moi

We had the customary 'Show and Tell'...some amazing quilts were shown...

Lunch was pretty good too...

This was my 'Ploughman's Salad with added chicken'....definitely yummy!

Then in the afternoon we had  musical entertainment...

This group played lots of the old 'jazz standards'...

It was a great day and it is wonderful to get the opportunity to meet up with fellow bloggers. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Taking retirement very seriously and keeping busy :-)

 Last week DH and I went to the movies on 'cheap Tuesday'

The movie we went to see was 'Lincoln' and Daniel Day Lewis gave a brilliant performance. However it was a long and slow moving movie :-/

I've already written about my busy Wednesday, so the next mischief we got up to was having lunch with a former workmate of DH's and her husband. DH and I also worked with Bill, the husband, last year on the elections. The venue for the lunch was the Eatons Hill Tavern which is in a lovely park like setting. I was taken with this obviously, old tree as we walked to the entrance...

Note the large staghorns attached to the tree
After lunch we went back to our friends' house for coffee...

The cheeky butcher bird arrived for a 'hand out'...

Our friends. Bill's dad was the principal for 4 of my 5 years at high school. Note the passionfruit vine growing on the railing...but the fruit doesn't seem to 'set'.

Yes I know this is DH but on the right hand edge of the photo is one of 2 large trees left when the area was cleared for development...

Our local Target store closed today at 4pm. On Friday afternoon we went to the store to see if there were any items worth buying. I quickly saw that there was nothing that interested me, so I took some photos of the store which was already being dismantled.

The Loot store next door had 2 signs out the front...

On Saturday, DH went to friends' place for lunch. I took a rather blurry photo of some shelves in their media room...

My clever friend David had made these shelves out of the discarded floorboards from our old veranda. His wife Majella needs a mention too! She sanded all the timber ready for the boards to be used... a huge effort...but what a result!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A little bit more about K4BN...

Yesterday's post featured a guest writer, Karen Croke, who is the founder of the charity knitting group, Knitting for Brisbane's Needy. I'm sure you would have enjoyed reading the 'journey' that Karen and her husband have made due to their concerns for the less fortunate in our communities. They are both such inspirational people.

BBQ for the Homeless in Musgrave Park, Feb 16, 2013

Last year the group was fortunate enough to be awarded a $5000 grant from Sunsuper and early this year, Pam Tatt who runs another knitting charity group, Knit for Charities, nominated Karen for a volunteer award run by the Heritage Bank. This competition is similar to last year's in so much that votes have to be collected to win, and this voting is all done via online. However, this time, people from all over the world can vote, not just in Australia. Now the (k)nitty gritty of this competition...what is the prize...????

Musgrave Park, Brisbane. BBQ for the Homeless

Well the winner will receive $1000 for themselves and $10 000 for their group/organisation. Would it surprise you, that if Karen should win, she plans to spend that $1000 on knitting yarns for the groups? The dreams for the use of the $10 000 include helping to acquire another vehicle to replace Peter's elderly truck and perhaps helping to build another shed for storage and sorting facilities. But the dreams are purely academic at the moment...the group is in second place. The #1 group are a Bat Conservation group and they are ahead by 200+.
Can you help? Here is the link... Heritage ; If you go to the 'vote now' page, Karen is the second name on the 'Top Ten'. It would seem that to vote, you have to have a Facebook account which many people do not. If you have more than one email address, you can use them all, including your Facebook email address. After voting, a confirmation email goes to the email address that you submitted. For your vote to count, you must click on the link in the confirmation.

 Now here is another 'story' from the recent BBQ for the Homeless. Karen explains:-

Then there was a young lady who was only there to get baby clothes for her baby due in September. Later in the afternoon we stood chatting, just her and I and she told me that she had 2 other children 9 and 7, but both had been taken from her years ago and put into foster care. She told me that she has "grown up now" and the social workers she has to deal with, think she may be able to keep this baby and not have it taken away from her. She also mentioned that she wanted to go down to NSW where her children are, to tell them that they were going to have a baby brother or sister, but she had to find out from her parole officer whether she was allowed to leave the state for a weekend. I didn't ask why she was on parole, but she went on to say how much she wanted this baby, had been "clean" for 2 years now, had a roof over her head and was trying to get a proper place because she wanted the best for this baby!! Wished her well, as she picked up her bags full of baby items, and walked in the rain, to get the bus to where ever it is she is living. She didn' want anything for herself, only the baby!

Knitted items handed in at Zillmere Knit and Natter

Bags full of knitted and crocheted blankets...
We have a public Facebook page. If you have a FB account we'd love you to visit and click on 'Like" :-)

PS Hopefully the competition  link is working well and if you enjoy voting maybe you could pass on the link to friends who might also like to help. Thank you :-)

A guest blogger...

Regular readers would know that I am a member of a charity knitting group, Knitting for Brisbane's Needy. A few weeks ago, I approached the founder of this group and asked her if she would like to be a guest blogger...and she agreed. So, here's Karen!

Hello, my name is Karen Croke from Knitting forBrisbane’s Needy, and Maria has invited me to be a guest writer on her blog to talk about the work of the group.

I started the group in 2006 with just 2 members. I was inspired to start the group after a chance meeting with a welfare officer from a not for profit charity, who helped homeless/needy families. She mentioned that Queenslanders didn’t seem to donate warm clothing as it was thought that it didn’t get cold enough in Queensland. When the welfare officer mentioned people being cold, living under bridges, in parks, doorways of buildings etc, I offered to knit some beanies and scarves. And that is how the group started…
Membership has reached over 400 members, who have provided more than 150,000 items up to December 2012 (including   41,000+ donations just in 2012 alone). K4BN receives no funding and all yarn is donated or bought by members themselves. (Although last year the group won $5000 which was a wonderful boost for buying supplies)

One of our members, Joy, manning our stall at a Seniors' Expo

Here we are at Petrie...ready with items to give away 

Items are donated to charities in Queensland and interstate which assist the needy. The charities must give the items DIRECTLY to those in need. The following gives you an idea of the scope of our giving. 
We help :-
·         Homeless
·         Crisis centres for women and children
·         Premature babies
·         Cancer sufferers
·         Youth in crisis
·         Aboriginal settlements
·         Animal refuges
·         Aged homes
·         Families in need

Now I mentioned that way back in 2006, I offered to knit scarves and beanies, well it wasn't long before many other items were added to the list of what the groups makes or collects for distribution. We make ‘Premmie’ and baby clothes (including booties, beanies, jackets, mittens, blankets), children’s beanies, gloves, jumpers, vests, scarves and probably most importantly, TOYS.

This lady is 91 and recently gave the group 900 squares which she had knitted. A number of these have already been sewn into blankets...

We make adult beanies, scarves, gloves, jumpers, vests and blankets; the latter we just never seem to have enough to keep up with demand. We also make blankets and toys (mainly for cats and dogs) to go to animal refuges. Another item that is in great demand are unused toiletry items to go into the hundreds of ‘hygiene packs’ our members make up each year for distribution to those in need; not only for the homeless but for those in domestic violence shelters, those adversely affected by natural disasters etc.
Some of our members sew beautiful quilts for the group to distribute...

Now Maria said I should include ‘a story’ as she said people love anecdotes…so here is something that happened recently at the BBQ for the Homeless event in Musgrave Park…

Angela Fohler ( one of the original members of the group) had made one of her incredible quillows in the indigenous colours. As soon as I saw this older indigenous man walking around I knew I wanted him to have the quillow, even before I spoke with him. When he got over to us, we gave him an indigenous beanie and then I offered him the quillow. I just can't explain the look that came over his face, it was one of incredulence (is that even a word??); he just held it and touched it, but then wanted to hand it back. I asked him why, "Because I have a beanie, someone else will need that".
I told him that I wanted him to have it, and at that, he hugged it to himself and then started crying. When we asked why he was crying he said it was because "no one has ever, ever given me anything in my life and now you have given 2 things and in my traditional colours". He then told us some stories of how he (and others) have been treated; spat on, sworn at, had their possessions stolen etc etc. He had just moved into some hostel type accommodation after many years of being homeless, after leaving the Australian Army!!! He was very proud of the fact that he had a key to his room, so he knew his beanie and quillow would be safe!!! Of course, by then I had joined him in crying!! I think after that he came back every 10 minutes or so, to thank us again and Bless us for making him feel "normal". All the time he was wearing his beanie, and hugging his quillow. Needless to say, when I went home that day I started on another indigenous beanie!

It’s stories like that, that keep Peter ( my husband) and I determined to keep doing what we do for the needy, as long as we are able to.