Moving right along …

The last couple of weeks have seen us still reminiscing about our London visit last year with Facebook bringing up memory after memory … I am still pinching myself … it was such a surreal experience meeting the Queen and the rest of the Royal Family, and I expect one that will never be repeated.  The thing that I still marvel about is how the British public really got the whole sentiment behind our wonderful installation and how respectful and incredibly patient they were given the huge crowds we had visit the installation.

One of my most treasured memories is of meeting the last VC recipient Johnson Beharry and his wife … he is such a humble man, and it was such an honour for all of us but especially for our resident ex-Army team member Tim Lewis who has military blood running through his veins.

However, here we are, just over a year later and our focus is now firmly on the future … with two HUGE projects coming up over the next year … 50,000 poppies for the RSL for their 2018 Poppy Appeal next year and our super huge grand finale installation at the Australian War Memorial for the Centenary of the end of WWI on Remembrance Day 2018.

And so, we are looking to recruit as many poppy makers as we can to the cause.

So if you are itching to get on board … we would love to have you.  We have developed a couple of really simple, very quick knit and crochet patterns which will have you addicted in absolutely no time … we will publish them to the blog in the next few days.

Poppy on!


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One year on from Chelsea …

This week marks the first anniversary of our sojourn to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show … and our appointment with Queen Elizabeth II … One year ago to the day we walked onto this amazing site to start work on what was to be a spectacular installation.  We were both elated and exhausted after a full on year of rehabilitating the nets following the torrential rain in Melbourne on Anzac Day 2015 … a herculean effort by anyone’s standards.  Plus there was the making of an additional 20,000 poppies on stems by an incredibly dedicated team of stem specialists all over Australia and in the UK.

It feels like a year … and it feels like it was yesterday.

And I still marvel at how this lovely little community project projected itself into the lives of so many wonderful people … who took up the gauntlet and made it their own.

5000 Poppies had become a project with two sides to the story essentially bound by its original purpose.  To honour our servicemen and women, their families and their communities … AND the galvanising of community working with incredible heart and commitment towards a common purpose.

It’s astounding on so many levels.

So .. a lot has happened since Chelsea … and we are now (still) working towards 2018 … creating an additional 50,000 lapel poppies for the RSL … AND creating another amazing installation with Phillip and his team … this time for the Australian War Memorial to commemorate the Centenary of the end of the Great War.

What a beautiful evolving  and meaningful work of art we have all created … full of love and honour and respect and remembrance.


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Anzac Week has come and gone in a blur … the one day of year when our New Zealand cousins across the ditch and Australia collectively honour all servicemen and women for their service and sacrifice. It’s a solemn day of remembrance for many of us … and an opportunity to say thank you to those who have served.

We were lucky enough to again have the opportunity to support the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir with their program Requiem on Anzac night … the program was so incredibly moving and St Paul’s Cathedral looked stunning all decked out in our beautiful poppies.

We also created a wonderful display at PHQ – the East Malvern RSL for the Dawn Service … despite the rain it was a beautiful backdrop for the service and the breakfast to follow.

I also had a wonderful opportunity to talk to the Children at Lloyd Street School where my son went to school many years ago.  The children were lovely and made their own wreaths to honour our Anzacs.  So gorgeous and oh so intimidating … all those expectant faces!

And … we held a lovely poppy catch up in Federation Square … It was so much fun to be able to talk to people including many of our veterans about the project.  We may have even garnered a few new knitters/crocheters.   Anzac Day in the city centre is always so special, and I loved catching up with many of the team.

I should also add that in honour of our Anzacs, the Australian Embassy in France planted a stunning“> 2,500 poppies left in France from our visit to Fromelles last year …. that’s a bit exciting

And our wonderful Rotary Friends at Armentieres in France created two stunning displays at Anzac Day services at the cimetery Cité Bonjean France, the Toronto cemetery in Ploegsteert, Belgium (Australian graves of the Hill 60) and the ceremony for the New Zealanders, also in Ploegsteert. The Poppy carpet was made by our French Rotarian (District 1520) friends. Beautiful.


And Hornsby Shire Council created a fabulous wall of poppies which looked amazing.

And these fabulous installations posted by Maureen York in Darwin on our Facebook page.

And then there is the Malaysian contingent … Members of the MANZA The Malaysia Australia New Zealand Association Craft Group, as well as staff and spouses from the Australian High Commission and NZ High Commission Kuala Lumpur have been crocheting, knitting and sewing poppies for a banner which will be displayed at the Kuala Lumpur ANZAC Day ceremony at Tugu Negara Monument and at the Gun Fire breakfast on Anzac Day.  

I love it that our poppy family is growing and growing and that everyone is putting their own stamp on the concept … it’s beautiful to see the many and varies ways our crafty pursuits come together in a wonderful array of Remembrance tributes.

And this week the State Library’s Writing the War Exhibition comes to the Williamstown Library and will be in situ until late June.  It looks like this will be the last outing of this particular exhibition and is well worth a look.  Our beautiful poppies will be playing a cameo role for the duration of the exhibition.

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What’s coming up at PHQ and beyond

Howdy all …

Life continues on at a pace at PHQ in Melbourne.

While our focus has been on creating 50,000 new poppies for the RSL for their annual Poppy Appeal in 2018 … we are also working towards our stem quota for our grand finale spectacular at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra for Remembrance Day 2018.  All exciting stuff, and all consuming in so many ways.  So if you are thinking about making poppies for us for either of these projects … we would absolutely love it!!

However, in the meantime, there will be workshops and talks and making and chatting and enjoying the comraderie of working towards a pair of common (if rather lofty) goals.

If you are Melbourne based, we meet regularly at the East Malvern RSL … Tuesdays and Thursdays most weeks (although there will be some disruption to the timetable in April so keep your eyes on the facebook group) from 10.00 until 3.30ish.  You are welcome to join us anytime … lunch is always great.  And, until June, second Monday of the month at Fed Square from 12.00 til 2.00 p.m.  More will be announced soon.

It occurs to me that together we are an incredible force to be reckoned with … and we’ve already shown what we can achieve on a micro and at a macro level.  Amazing things.  Amazing friendships.  Tentacles of connection to past and present … reaching out into our community and bringing us all together to create such wonderful far reaching works.  How proud we should all be.  Waxing lyrical here lol

So … with that in mind I want to tell you about another wonderful project with heart that’s reaching out into the community.  Grounded in love and connection on so many levels and achieving the most amazing things … The Baby Trees Project and Beekeeper Parade.

I have to say, I have never, in my life, been so awestruck by an individual as I am by Koky Saly … chief beekeeper at Beekeeper Parade. I have written about Beekeeper before on this blog … so I won’t go through it all again … however if you are Melbourne based (and even if you are not) you now have the opportunity to hear Koky talk live about his background, his project(s), his vision and the inspiration behind it all … and believe me when I say, you will be so inspired by this man and his vision … this is pure heart stuff … so PLEASE register right now …

Oh and by the way … lucky me (no pressure) and two other awe inspiring and equally magnetic individuals Bec Scott (Streat) and Chris Cincotta (Humans in Melbourne) get share our equally inspiring stories on the same stage as Koky … in the hope that we can ignite the spark that encourages you to follow your dreams …

Fantastic stuff

Book now : Tickets here

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Sometimes my heart swells with so much pride … this was one of those times

Things have been achanging at PHQ.

The poppies have found a new home at the East Malvern RSL and it’s a fantastic space for us … and now my #1 Son, Evan, is about to fly the coop …

Evan came with us to Chelsea and it was the making of him.  I was (am) so proud of him … I loved watching him work with genuine enjoyment … we were all grateful for his strength and his willingness to pitch in wherever he was needed alongside the rest of the team … his interactions with the British public chatting with them about the project and handing out leaflets every day as they waited to see the display and so thankful for the way he cared for his mum.

He had a ball … as we all did … and as an added bonus he got up close and personal with Demi Moore!!!!!

New beginnings my gorgeous boy.

img_5007evan-at-chelseaevan-and-lynn-1evan-and-demi-moore evan-lynn-maryanne-at-chelsea-hospital evan-with-brendan-nelson-at-chelsea

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Planning Ahead

11/11/2018 will bring the end of the Centenary of  Anzac.  Four years of commemorating our brave Australian heroes from the last 100 years.

For 5000 Poppies which seems to have become a movement of sorts (it seems this amazing tribute has grown legs all over the world),  2018 in Australia will be the culmination, with a stunning final installation at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.  The AWM has been on our wish list from the beginning of the 5000 Poppies project and it’s fitting that Remembrance Day 2018 at the AWM is where our final installation will be.

Brendan Nelson

Have you listened to Dr Nelson’s speech from July last year … our small team was in France installing Fromelles when he gave this speech at the National Press Club … it was so moving … there was not a dry eye in the house. 

As with all of our installations this one will be different to the last one, which was different from the one before.  Bigger, bolder, but also much more accessible.  Phil, Kate and I have worked on a concept that will be incredibly beautiful in its simplicity.  Can’t say more until all the announcements are made but it’s very exciting for all of us.

It will take some pulling together, but I know that we are up to the task, as we have been up to the task many times before.  More news on that soon as well.

In the meantime, we are in urgent need of more poppies.  We have 50,000 poppies to deliver to the RSL by end April next year and that is our key focus for the moment …


Any pattern can be used as long as it is tightly knitted or crocheted maximum 9-10 cm and the rule of thumb is that if you would be proud to wear it then someone else will be too.  There are many beautiful patterns on the blog for you to choose from.  I particularly love Ing’s pattern (crochet) but the Chelsea patterns are also beautiful and quick.  Use your imagination for centres, buttons, flowers, whatever you would like … the more different centres, the better.  There will be workshops announced soon … these are always fun so keep your eye on the workshops page on the blog.  If you have a brooch pin or a standard pin, feel free to attach one to the back of your poppies, it saves the task being done by the RSL.

Marg and I cannot thank you enough for your continued support of our “little” project.  It continues to to remind us of the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women, their families and communities, and the money raised by the sale of the RSL poppies will be used in the provision of much needed services to our veterans and their families.

On that note, Kate, Deb and I attended a couple of commemorative services in Ballarat last week.  The first one for the unveiling of the Garden of the Grieving Mother, a beautiful and poignant memorial to the mothers in particular, and families in general who have lost sons and daughters in war … the suffering at home was horrific for these families and their communities.  It was an emotional unveiling and a beautiful tribute.  We were grateful for the opportunity to attend.

grieving-motherThe second service was to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore.   … It was an honour to be there.  It is simply unfathomable to me as it is to all of us … the  sheer inhumanity that those brave souls … men and women … faced … And their battles did not end at the end of the war as we know …


fall-of-singapore-commemorationWith love.
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Top 50 Influencer Awards

Good morning poppy friends. We have been invited to participate in this year’s Top 50 Influencer Awards (which is all about how we use social media to connect with our audience). We are entered in the main awards but also in the Social Media Queen category .. but we need your vote to win … so I am asking as many of you as possible to vote for us … we’d love to win. There is a cash element to the prize which is always very handy for a limited (no) budget community enterprise. It’s not difficult to vote … and to get all your friends to vote as well. We are VERY late entering so behind the eight ball already … with only 9 days left to vote … so … Please vote for us … here is the link 


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