We Need You

It’s been quite a week for us this week … we have started assembling the panels for our rather large displays this week …. and we have a very long way to go.  Many thousands of poppies to attach to 800 square metres of netting.  It’s a huge undertaking and one that will take many many (perhaps thousands) of manhours to achieve. Poppies are still pouring in and we expect that we will have somewhere up around the 200,000 mark … so we are desperately calling for volunteers to help us.  We are currently working 9.00 – 5.00 Monday to Friday in the Melbourne Town Hall … and will organise some evening and weekends as well to cater for those who would like to help but can’t make it during office hours.

In the first instance if you could email us at 5000poppies@gmail.com to register your interest.  We still have many vacancies for all days next week and we are looking for up to 20 volunteers a day.  Please help if you can spare a day and bring along your best friend as well … it’s fun, communal and the outcome will be worth every second you spend helping us.  We are trying to find a way to put together an online roster so you can just fill in your name … anybody with skills to do this out there?

We must thank the Melbourne City Council for access to the room … if only until 19 March … it is beautiful … light and airy and right in the heart of the City … could not be located any better really.

You may have noticed that we have also been incredibly busy in the media this week … a really LOVELY article in Leader Newspapers all over Melbourne, and yesterday a spot on the Today Show with Lisa and Karl (we are on first name terms now) for Marg and I.  The result is a new wave of interest in the project and many people offering to volunteer.  If you have offered to volunteer … we will respond to you as soon as we can.

Our silent auction for Margo Vigorito’s beautiful painting Serendipity is gathering momentum … you are welcome to email your bid to us at 5000poppies@gmail.com … so that’s also very exciting (see our earlier post for an image of the painting).

In the meantime … we continue to assemble our poppy panels at the Melbourne Town Hall … hope to see you there for a day or two.

Bunny The girls

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Assembling the Beast

Good morning poppy friends …. we have now moved into our wonderful (albeit temporary) space at the Melbourne Town Hall … lots of room to move … very central CBD within a couple of minutes walking distance from Flinders Street Station.

11006380_868298729880115_7671913092665551534_nMy wonderful big brother Chris Beasley has constructed some rather spectacular worktables for us to spread out … and we were helped in the move by Chris, my good friend Mark Newham and Ray McKenzie … all those boxes and that lifting … we had a 15 minute window to unload a 4 tonne truck … I won’t say it was packed to the rafters but it was pretty full.  We have never moved so fast in our lives ….

The address is Melbourne Town Hall, Cnr Little Collins Street and Swanston Street Melbourne.  Ask at the concierge desk for the 5000 Poppies group.  So work will begin in earnest at 9.00 a.m. this morning.  We will set up a roster system asap so you can book some time with us if you like.  Its fun, communal … such a wonderful thing to see it come together … and we are keen to get as many people as we can over the coming weeks to help lighten the considerable load … we are now on the downhill run to Anzac Day.  Could not be more excited!!!!!

If you would like to join us for a day or two (or more) we would love to have you.  We have enough tools for up to 20 volunteers each day … Monday to Friday and occasional weekends.  Please email me your name and phone number if you would like to join us.  We will be in touch when we get a break in the assembly.

See you at the Town Hall.  We are ready!

Lynn and Marg

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It’s all happening in Poppyland ….

Good morning poppy friends …. there has been much happening at Poppy HQ this week.

Firstly … our official total stands at 120,803 … but … we have had at least another 7,000 plus delivered this week so now pushing 130,000.  That is incredible … who knew?

Our volunteer group has been working overtime, and work has been completed on 5,000 gorgeous stemmed poppies … plus … our nets have finally arrived …. at least some of them …  so we have been able to start work on the the first of the 80 x 10m panels we are making for the display.  #1 is coming together nicely … and it’s been a bit of a test for our attaching mechanisms … pleased to say that it is all working well!!!  We have been offered temporary space at the Melbourne Town Hall for a few weeks to work on the panels, and will let you all know when we are up and running so that you can come and join us for an hour or two or more.

My lovely brother Chris Beasley has constructed four fabulously huge purpose built tables to make the whole process easier, with timber donated by #1 Son’s employer Bowen’s Timber and Hardware 717 Warrigal Road Oakleigh South Ph. 9579 1188

BowensAnd in some other wonderful news … we have been donated THE most beautiful painting by the very fabulous Margo Vigorito  … It’s called Serendipity …. A stunning original mixed media piece … I want it … Size 100 x 143cm.

Serendipity by Margo VigoritoAs part of our fundraising for 5000 Poppies we are offering this amazing artwork for silent auction … Bidding is open from now until 12 April. You can make a bid by email to 5000poppies@gmail.com  Please note … a reserve applies.  Shipping costs are additional and will be advised to the winning bidder.  This auction is open to Australian residents only as we have no way of shipping internationally. 

Not long to go now … I don’t like to look at the clock but the hour is looming and we are in full production mode, as many thousands of poppies of all shapes and sizes and media are delivered each week … So keep your eye on the blog and the facebook group for more exciting developments.


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Poppy Mania …. it’s all happening here!

It’s been a while … and soooooo much has been happening.

The exciting news is we have passed the 100,000 mark … on Monday we counted 23,414 poppies taking us to a total of 114,530 … we now think we will have in excess of 150,000 gorgeous handmade poppies to show off to the world … we are AWESOME ….

So we have asked now for people to down tools and start sending their precious poppies to us … especially those with large quantities.  We really need to have an idea of what we are working with so we can plan accordingly.  For those who have just joined us … we will still be collecting up until the mid-March deadline … but would love larger quantities sooner rather than later.

We are still fundraising … and so incredibly grateful for the helping hand from all those poppy friends out there who have donated small and large amounts … every cent will go towards the display …

5000 Poppies Craft and Quilt Melbourne 2014

As we count down to Anzac Day … there is much work to be done and we are feverishly looking for a suitable space to act as a workshop … this is our most urgent need … we need a space from NOW until the end of April.  Specifically, we need somewhere relatively close to the city on the eastern side … Richmond, South Yarra, Prahran, Malvern, Glen Iris etc.  big enough for us to set up two big worktables, and house somewhere in the vicinity of 20 people at a time, along with all our boxes (around 80 boxes at this stage).  We want to be able to set up our work and leave it up with access seven days a week … so obviously we need it to be secure, with power for a cup of tea, and good lighting for us to work in.  No rent or nominal rent would be a huge bonus of course.  Can you help?  A hall, a shopfront, a warehouse … somewhere around 50 to 100 sqm close to public transport (for those who don’t drive).  Not asking for too much here!!!!!!!

Once we have settled in to our new premises we will need volunteers … many and regular … we expect the display will take many man hours to complete and we will be asking for help from just about everyone we know to help pull it together over what remains of February, March and into April.  We hope to have it complete by the first or second week in April to give us time to catch our breath before the next stage. It’s so close now I can taste it!

What a journey this project has been, and Marg and I as always are humbled by your commitment, your contribution … large and small … and we are beyond thrilled to have been part of such an amazing undertaking.

I should also make mention here that the Peninsula Ladies are organising a wonderful Poppy Luncheon at The Briars in Mt Martha on Friday 13 March with all funds raised going towards the project … it will be a wonderful social afternoon … from midday til 2.00 p.m.  Contact Carol Copp on 0411405597 for more information … tickets are selling fast at $30.00 each … Marg and I will be there … I think perhaps one of us might say a few words about the project as well … but mostly it will be an opportunity for us to meet without needles or crochet hooks in hand.  It will be fun.


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This post is all about fundraising ….

So if you don’t want to hear about fundraising look away now!!!!

SPONSOR US : for as little as $12.00 you can sponsor a poppy … or you can choose your own sponsorship level here SPONSORSHIP

Download the sponsors form here Sponsorship form, fill it in and send, along with your contribution to P.O. Box 115, Ashburton Vic 3147 OR scan and email to us for your direct deposit to our account NAB BSB 083 004 Account 740830413

If you prefer to be anonymous (and many do) that is also fine …


This project started its life as a very small personal project to make 120 …. yes that’s 120 poppies as a tribute from Marg and I to our fathers who both fought in WWII.  We talk about that a lot when we talk about the project because I think it demonstrates just how personal this is for us.

IMG_0231_0802Remembrance Day 2013When we decided to take it to the wider community … we did so because there was such interest in what we were doing … and it was obvious to us that others felt the same.  So in the early days … we thought 5000 was quite a challenge but that we would be able to reach that goal in the 20 or so months leading up to ANZAC Day 2015.

Since then (that was only July 2013 by the way) … many many thousands of contributors have sent in many more thousands of poppies … to date a smidge under 90,000 to be exact and by the project’s end we expect that number to swell to well over 100,000 …. in fact we are expecting somewhere in the vicinity of 130,000 – 150,000 poppies to land on our doorstep by March this year.

Fast forward to what that means in terms of putting together a display … and then the logistics of travelling that display to all states … because let’s face it … EVERYBODY should have an opportunity to see this amazing community work of art in their home state.

It will be breathtaking!!!!!!!

And that’s where the money comes in.

Putting a display together with more than 130,000 precious creations is a mammoth task.  And putting it together in a way that will withstand the rigors of touring is an even bigger task.  We need high quality materials and fixings, we need tools to work with and we need space to work in (my house is only so big), and we need to provide some form of housing to ship this unbelievable display in … to keep it safe.  We will also need many many many volunteers and many man hours to get it to a state where we can display it safely and securely in Fed Square. And we need public liability insurance … the list is endless.

When it was 5000 poppies … all these things could be relatively easily managed … 130,000 plus poppies is a whole different story.

It is all very well to say that the Government should fund it … and we are exploring that possibility constantly.  BUT … in real terms we have always thought of this project as a community project … our project … that’s yours and mine and all those many thousands of contributors … and then there are all those people who are not crafty but want to contribute in some way ….

Sponsoring a poppy … just one poppy even at $12.00 is a great way to spread the cost across many ….

It may be that we end up with some government funding.  We are working on it.  But in the meantime … things need to happen … materials need to be purchased … poppies need to be attached.

For those who have seen the value in supporting us financially … thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

For those who are sitting on the fence … feel free to jump off …

For those who are just hearing about the project … we know you would love to be part of something home grown, grassroots, made with love, spectacularly important and we would value your support.

Follow us on facebook : 5000 Poppies and join in the dialogue.





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7 Days to Pledge

Good morning poppy makers and friends …

This time next week we will know if we have done the impossible …. raised $40,000 in pledges in just seven days to get us over the line with our crowdfunding initiative.

We are still at less than slightly less than 20% of our target, so if you are sitting on the fence … this is your big chance to support our wonderful grassroots, made by hand with love project …

It is our way of showing honour, respect and remembrance in a very visual way … please sponsor a poppy and ask all your friends family and colleagues to do the same.


Seven days …. $40,000

We can do this!!!!

Theresa Peters



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This is the year!!!!

Half of January gone already and I feel like it’s only just started.

Is the world revolving faster … or am I a little slower …. OR … is it an optical illusion.

So much to achieve in a few short months. And we will be looking for many volunteers to help us to pull the display together once we have final sign off from those who govern OHS practices for community art project in public spaces (please let it be soon).

In the meantime, we are busily attaching poppies to stems for our March outing at the Melbourne Flower and Garden Show as part of Phillip Johnson’s Anzac Tribute Garden the teaser to the main event in April.

We have ONLY 12 days to go on our POZIBLE crowdfunding campaign to raise $50,000 towards the costs of display and transportation of the installation.  We are well short of our target … with just over $8,000 pledged.  In the event that a miracle happens within the 12 day period … I will be able to rest a little easier.  If not … we will be activating plan B ….

Please be assured that the display will go ahead funds or no funds … it may just be a little different … although no less spectacular.  We have come far too far … and have invested far to much in the project not to make it amazing for us all and it will be amazing … no matter how we display it.

Goolwa South AustraliaThank you to the Goolwa team for use of the photograph

But … a couple of people have asked me recently why so much money? And the answer that I gave on the facebook page follows :

 … Firstly …. Let me just say … This project has had an amazing response from the wider community right from the very start … Marg and I have been overwhelmed … Literally and figuratively by the generosity of people … All of us really … Have given our time, our hearts, our own money to make this project what it is today … And what it will become. There are many points of view on the raising of funds and how to do it … But a little history … In the beginning … When it was just 5000 poppies … My husband and I were more than happy to fund the display … Of course … We wouldn’t have done it otherwise. We estimated we would need around $10,000 to do it well and we were willing to bear that cost. The generosity of a few friends early in the piece also helped with the ongoing admin costs … So moving on … The truth is now … This will be a major work …. 100,000 plus poppies is HUGE … We are looking at approx 1200 square metres of poppies … The materials cost alone to pull that together is around $15,000 – $20,000 plus transport plus storage plus rigging and equipment hire … Major art installations in public places are governed by stringent OH&S guidelines and we need to make sure these are covered … And then there is public liability insurance … And so the list goes on. And I just don’t have that kind of money! And we have not been eligible for a government grant to date. So we thought that crowdfunding might be a good way to go. Spread the cost over a large number of people to help to make our little project happen …

So … and this is really important. I am delighted that people have pledged on the Pozible site for us … BUT … I don’t want anyone to feel they MUST or feel like they are letting the side down if they don’t contribute. We WILL get enough funds … I am determined. If you don’t want to contribute money please don’t. There is NO judgement on your choice. You don’t need to justify to us or anyone … Contribute or don’t contribute … Your contribution of poppies and your wonderful support for the project to date is enough!!! It’s as simple as that. This project is ultimately about the sentiment … honouring our servicemen and women … And also the community and connection that such an amazing project has developed … We WILL find enough money …

…. On that note … I would like to point out that all money raised (no matter how it is raised) will go towards the costs of displaying the installation throughout the Centenary period … no one in our volunteer admin group is taking a cent out of funds.  In fact, on the contrary … many have supplied yarn and tools, and personal donations (some very generous) towards the cost of printing etc and admin.

I am feeling like that was all just a bit too serious …. but it needed to be said.

On a lighter note ….. we have amassed an amazing 81,983 poppies with more pouring in every day and thousands more still out there.

Please feel free to start sending in your poppies now if you haven’t already … we would like to get a feel for what we will be working with.

If you haven’t already, please consider supporting us on Pozible and ask your friends, family, work colleagues, customers, everybody really … to do the same.

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