Well I promised you 3 new items this week, so here is the second.
Oh, but first I need to say an absolute huge HI to all the new visitors to my blog. So lovely to meet you, I can see from all the traffic to loads of my old posts that you have been checking me out (LOL) - please feel free to come back and visit me here or at my facebook page, but the great thing about chatting in blogland is that I can talk a little longer here (have you already guessed that I talk a lot????).
I get inspired by many different things, and this little stitchery has had quite a life up to this point. In fact if you browse back a few postings, she was instrumental in helping a lot of flood victims earlier this year.
Anyway, I'm skipping around here, back to her story. My friend Dianne and I met when I was 18, she was 23. She was a friend of my husbands and they were both in a community service group called Rotaract (if you've heard of Rotary, it is the 18-28 yr old version). After I joined Rotaract we partied, we went camping, we laughed, we met our husbands to be, we became great friends .... we helped each other move into our new homes, we were eachother's shoulders to cry on when family passed away, she was my Matron Of Honour at my wedding .... but our history before that time was also so similar, we had both come from the UK in 1970 (me at 5, she at 10), we both stayed at the same location when we arrived in the country .... so I think you get the idea, we had a lot of history together.
Dianne had her babies early in her marriage (including a tragic loss of a baby at birth), while I waited 10 years to become a Mummy. By then I had moved up to the same country town as her and she was amazing support during my pregnancy and with my new baby girl (Jessica and Dianne shared the same middle name "Grace"). And so life continued on ....
Until 5 years ago when I got the call that she had found a lump, 2 days later she had a full mastectomy. I was on holiday, as soon as I got home I was on the phone to the Anti-Cancer Council to get all the information on support services for her and her family that I could, armed with a truck load of brochures, roses and chocolates I arrived at her door not knowing what to expect, but there she was with her welcoming smile, a hug for me, "was I okay?" and then we had our usual order of a cuppa "black sludge coffee" for Dianne and a "black tea with bag left in" for me. And we sat at the table where we had shared so many laughs and tears and cuppas and just talked.
And that's what you do for friends, you can really open up over a cuppa. So when I got the call a few weeks before last Christmas that things were not good I started to "doodle" this stitchery. Dianne and I both loved red, so it was the only colour I knew I could stitch it in. Half way through stitching, my friend of 27 years lost her amazingly brave and well fought battle. And so all the history and stories that we shared over our cuppas are now just left with me, and I have to smile through the tears, because that's what she did, she wouldn't let you be sad for her.
I put the stitchery down for a while, and only picked it up again around the time of the catastrophic floods that started in Queensland in February. So this little stitchery raised much needed funds with the amazing determination of The Country Quilt Co. You can read my old blog postings about its story.
So I decided the time had come for this stitchery to do some good for the people who helped my friend over the past 5 years of her life. So I have released "Cuppa With A Friend" as a Kit In A Card (The Greeting Card With The Kit Inside).
As you can see from the picture below, you get a greeting card, envelope, screenprinted stitchery on cream tone-on-tone cotton fabric, red DMC 221 thread, embroidery needle, iron-on pellon, instructions, spare traceable pattern and a zip lock storage bag. I am donating A$1 from every card I sell, to a Breast Cancer Support organisation (I'll look up the link and post it later)and I am encouraging stores to do something similar.
It just happens to be Breast Cancer Awareness month in October, and I know many people are getting together and doing different projects and events. This card will have a continuing lifespan, I will keep donating the money while the design sells. A long time ago I did a similar thing with another design - I screeprinted 1000 pieces of white linen with a gorgeous stitchery that was then called "Kit In A Box". I donated $4 from the sale to the Jane McGrath Foundation for breast care nurses. So I am very proud to say that their donation from us eventually reached A$4,000. I remember being at a trade show and another company there told me they only donated .10c from each metre of their breast cancer ribbon fabric, that I didn't need to donate so much. And I told this MAN, the best bit about owning your own business is that I get to make the final decisions that make me feel good!
So I hope you make lots of decisions that make you (and others) feel good .... and I know if Dianne had any time spare from her amazing duties as chief organising officer of the Angels upstairs, she would be tickled "red" that I did this card in her honour.
Have an amazing day, Janet xxx
(PS - if you would like to know if your local store can stock these cards, show them this link and they can order them from me directly for you - all orders are now turned around within 48 hours).