Thursday, 16 April 2015

April tea cosy newsletter


Welcome to the April newsletter for the 2015 Tea Cosy Soft Toy Competition.

Since the last update, I’ve received the first entries for the soft toy section from the Chicks with Sticks knitting group, and for the tea cosy section, from Gill in Berwick, Vic. Thanks everyone; they’re gorgeous. Someone has already tried to buy one!! But they’re not for sale yet; they’ll be on display first at the Warratina Lavender Farm in July. The closing date for entries, both tea cosies and soft toys, is 26th June.

Spotlight has once again given us two $50 gift cards, which we’ll use as ‘runner-up’ prizes.

Bendigo Bank at East Ringwood is offering a $25 bank account as a prize for the best entry by a school student.

Announcing the AFL footy prize!!!! Submit a tea cosy or soft toy in the colours of an AFL team, for your chance to win 4 tickets to a 2015 AFL home-and-away game of your choice. (NOT a finals game). Please add a note to let me know that you are competing for the AFL tickets.

Officeworks in Ringwood has printed flyers as a community service, which I’ve been distributing to people who are happy to help promote the competition.

Maroondah Handicrafts has once again agreed to be a drop-off point for tea cosies; so if you live somewhere nearby (shop 3/95 Bedford Rd, East Ringwood), you can save on postage by leaving your tea cosies and soft toys there.

Warratina Lavender Farm is the venue for the display in July, and entries can also be left with Annemarie at the tea rooms at Warratina.

Café Orchard, in Hopetoun Rd Park Orchards, continues to display and sell tea cosies from last year, with all proceeds being donated to

Our current fundraising total is $4900.

Many thanks to these businesses for their support for the fundraiser.

I’m still on the lookout for second hand teapots to display the cosies in July. The best ones are the plain, uninteresting teapots. Please contact me by phone or email if you can donate an old teapot or two. Phone is 0400102554; email is As I live in Heathmont, don’t worry about collecting teapots unless you live somewhere close by!

Attention quilters!!!!! Once again this year, the drying shed at the Lavender Farm will be decorated with beautiful handmade quilts. If you have some quilts that you would be happy to display for the 16 days of the tea cosy exhibition at Wandin, please contact me on 0400102554, or by email.

I’ve attached some flyers that you can print, and distribute to anyone that may be interested in the Tea Cosy Competition.

Happy knitting/sewing/crocheting/felting/embroidering!!!!!!

Thanks for your support,


Friday, 10 April 2015

New prizes!!!!
Announcing some exciting new prizes for our competition.

Enter an AFL themed tea cosy or small soft toy, for your chance to win 4 tickets to the AFL home and away game of your choice
Junior prize
The Bendigo Bank at East Ringwood have donated a $25 bank  account for the best entry by a school aged child. Come on kids, make a tea cosy or soft toy to help raise money for the Cancer Council.
Spotlight vouchers.
Once again, Spotlight stores have donated two $50 vouchers. These will be offered as second prizes in each of the two sections; tea cosies and small soft toys.
First prize in each of the two section is $250 cash.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

The Strathewen Chooks

You may have noticed in the latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, an article on these colourful chooks, produced by the folks in Strathewen. The full story about how making these colourful chickens has helped the community recover from the horror of the 2009 bushfires is below. If you would like to get hold of the pattern, check out Barbara's website,, or you can contact her via email;


Strathewen Chook Story - Comfort after trauma
After the Black Saturday firestorm, 29 people lost their lives in Strathewen. Residents were traumatised at the loss of friends, neighbours and the black destruction that surrounded them.
For three years after this tragedy, Barbara Joyce, an art therapist, organised a group of local the women to undertake a project for the children of Strathewen who had lost their school in the firestorm. Each Primary School age child was asked to colour in a drawing of a chook and then the women undertook the knitting of a life size chook. The unique drawings featured stripes, flames, dots and patterns, often in the colours of the recovering landscape. Barbara gave the children a questionnaire to fill in after 3 years and they all said that their chook slept with them in their bedroom.
This project brought children comfort, nurtured close friendships between the women, fostered connections within the community, assisted the recovery process and reminded everyone that they could laugh again. The chooks were an ice-breaker and a way for people to start connecting again.
The project was not contained to just children. Chook envy gripped the local community and proved quite contagious. People tracked down the pattern and wool, and all sorts of chooks started emerging. Many chooks were knitted for bereaved people to add a smile and comfort to their lives.
Barbara sees the hen as an ancient symbol of regeneration and rebirth and when the world turned black, the humble chook found its way into everyone’s heart.
( to view story on line go to: big stories small towns/Strathewen chook project or isiiad chook project)