Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Day Australia Cried

A friend who lost their home sent me this poem today - thought I'd share it.

The Day Australia Cried

(author unknown but greatly appreciated)

We love to hate Victorians throughout the footy season,

Just for the fact they’re from Victoria would seem a valid reason,

They tend to think Australian Rules belongs to them, at least,

In the west we simply label them “the know alls from the East”.

But Australians came together, sporting squabbles set aside,

When disaster struck Victoria, The Day Australia Cried.

We’ve seen pictures in the papers; we’ve seen them on TV,

Homes and buildings burnt to ashes, the pain and misery,

The faces of survivors, the tears they tried to hide,

Gave us just the briefest glimpse of how they feel inside.

We saw the flames engulf the trees; we saw the sky turn red,

And, in the aftermath, the cars, where some died as they fled.

We heard the graphic stories of the panic they felt that day,

As the townsfolk faced decisions, should they go or should they stay?

The horrors of reality, their lives gone up in smoke,

The loss of whole communities with pretty sounding names.

The toll we don’t want to hear, the numbers who have died,

On that black Saturday, the day Australia cried.

The worst peacetime disaster Australia’s ever seen,

In surroundings long regarded as being lush and green,

Drought throughout the country had left it tinder dry,

At the mercy of the fireballs that “rained down from the sky”

The fires that raged through the hills that February day,

Have changed the course of countless lives in every kind of way.

There’s absolutely nothing left of the futures that were planned,

Just twisted tin and ashes and scars upon the land.

Survivors say they’ll build again in their old neighbourhood,

And life will become normal, and life will become good,

But their lives will be so different and they won’t forget the cost,

Of absent family and friends that they have loved and lost.

No matter where you come from, or how far you may roam,

There’s some place in Australia your heart will know as ‘home’

But above all we are Australians, State issues can’t divide,

And we won’t forget what happened The Day Australia Cried.


A xo

Friday, April 17, 2009

Those Clifton Quilters have done it again!

During the holidays I went over to school to pick up a 'box' that had arrived from the Clifton Quilters in Bristol. Michaela had given me the 'heads up' as to what was coming - but, as usual, I was unprepared for what arrived. They had a 'sew-in' and sent what they'd completed.

All I can say is - WOW ... you gals can sew up a storm!!

The box was packed tight with bags ... William helped me unpack it all.

We had quite a task ahead of us ... but ... where to begin??

William chose one, and off we went ...

What a treasure-trove lay within ...
... blocks, tops and finished quilts ... so many!!

Blocks ...

Finished quilts ...

Note: NOT to scale!
Matching quillow and cushion cover

Quilt tops ...

Fabric and labels ...

You'd have to agree with me - the Clifton Quilters are quite an amazing bunch ... I'm so thankful to them for their love and generosity.
To 'see' the gals, pop over to their website ... http://www.cliftonquilters.org.uk/
A xo

Sunday, April 12, 2009

More finished quilt tops

Here are some more of the finished quilt tops. The diversity between them all never ceases to amaze me.
Not happy with the colour of this one - it's mauve and purple with mauve and white check and spots!
A xo


As I sit and type I think of the range of emotions that must be running around our community today. I'm sitting here waiting to meet my daughter and her fiance at an engagement party. We have friends and their 4 month old baby staying with us, and have just returned from a great time of fellowship at our Church. Yes, there's a HEAP of work to be done (as always) ... but ... what a joy today is for us.

It's easy for me to be joyful ... but it's also a day for thinking of others - especially those in our wider community affected by the fires. How would I be feeling if I'd lost my home? ... my job? ... my family? How would I be feeling if I'd been terrified by that ferociously powerful 'thing' that struck on Black Saturday? I have NO idea!

Last Friday Wayne and I met friends at the burnt-out remains of their home in Bald Spur Rd, Kinglake. I'd seen photos. I'd heard the stories. But I wasn't prepared for what was there. I didn't know where I was. I know the road - but the landmarks that guided me were gone. I thought I knew the 'lie of the land' ... but I'd never seen its 'real' shape before. I didn't know it. Their home had always seemed such a long way down the road - but we were 'there' in no time. We saw their car almost immediately we entered the road
- there was no dense forest around us to slow our path.

The thing that struck me the most was how 'naked' it all seemed. There was nothing ... NOTHING ... beneath the trees ... for as far as the eye could see. Just black towering sticks above the vacant earth. The home was twisted, crippled rubble.
The silence was deafening. Glass from the windows lay on the bricks where it had melted into blobs. Only the fireplace was still intact - where I had sat drinking red wine, shamelessly teasing and laughing with our friends. We'll still do that again ... but not at that hearth.

As the late afternoon 'Kinglake fog' descended, blanketing everything with its eerie presence, we walked the street where so many had perished, stopping to pay our respect at a home where cups of tea had been shared on the brick patio, beneath the vines, surrounded by a garden filled with vegetables and flowers. The paradise had gone - but not the memories - they were as clear as if it were yesterday.

We were startled by bird calls - but there wasn't a tree with a leaf on its branches in sight. We spied the crimson rosellas nearby - their vivid colour an amazing sight on the blackened branches, surrounded by the fog. A feeding station had been set up ... they were 'back'. As we looked down we saw other life returning. Bulbs were poking their way through the burnt earth. Trees were sprouting - the grey-green of new gum growth looking like 'fluff' on the blackened trunks. Fungus was growing in the earth around the burnt, old, fallen logs. The ivy, oxalis and
agapanthus were sprouting (no wonder we can't get rid of them!), as was the pineapple sage, pelargoniums and aquilegia. From the depths of death and despair there emerged new life.

I was staring at the Easter story.

At times like this we're so blessed to know the love of God and His promise for our future. There will be pain, and suffering, and despair - but new life is close by.A xo

Saturday, April 11, 2009

My fabric mountain

Just thought I'd let you know what ALL that gorgeous fabric looks like when it's waiting to be washed ...
... a fabric MOUNTAIN!
... I had to scale Everest to get to get out of the laundry! :-)
... just as well it's easy to control when it's been ironed, eh?
A xo

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bounty from Ballarat Christian College

Remember I said that several bags of goodies had arrived at school the other Friday? Well - here's the treasure they contained.

One bag contained three gorgeous quilts. How cute are they??

Two were packed to the hilt with fabric.
There was a large bag that, I thought, contained more quilts.

Imagine my surprise when I unzipped it to find it BURSTING with ...
... teddies!

Look at those little faces ... aren't they adorable!
Many thanks to Mrs Morgan and the Ballarat Christian College community.
A xo

Thursday, April 9, 2009

As I mentioned in last Saturday's blog ... I arrived at school last week to find a box sitting on my desk. The box contained the first 'hint' that God was still at work in people's hearts.

Kym had been busy spreading 'the word' ... inside were fabrics and stitcheries given by two generous quilting and fabric shops.

William helped me unpack it all when I got home. He was a little startled by the 'Pampered Pooch' charm pack.
It's OK William ... we'll make sure the cats of the world are represented on another quilt.
The fabrics came from Kathryn at thepersianbazaar online shop ( http://tinyurl.com/dkaqos ).
Kym's mum added some 'camo' backing fabic.Aren't the panels fabulous?
The stitcheries (all packaged up with their needles and thread) are from Marilyn at The Patchwork Teahouse in Warburton. The idea was for students to complete them. This was a bit of a dilemma as I didn't know 'who' I could get to take this on (it was too hard for my Primary students). As it turns out, there has been discussions afoot about starting a craft group for some of the Secondary students, and the staff were trying to work out where to begin ... perfect!
... guess what you're doing guys? Yay!William was particularly attracted to one with butterflies.
You keep an eye on it mate ... don't let it fly away .. ;-)
When the stitcheries are finished we'll put them together into a quilt - it will look fabulous.

Thank you for your generosity - they are all on the way into quilts as we speak (er ... I write).
A xo