I just noticed how long it’s been since I’ve posted and I am flabbergasted!!!! Where did those months go …. actually I know where … in a flurry of activity drying and refurbishing our wonderful nets. I promise we have not been idle. Plus we have been working on the next exciting steps for our beautiful poppies. So much to tell you!!!!!
We are now travelling with the Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience, currently in Tasmania but coming to Bendigo in November and then continuing it’s journey around Australia. You must see this wonderful exhibition … tickets are free but you need to book. Numbers are strictly limited for each session and tightly controlled. I can’t wait til it comes to Melbourne so I can have a good look.
We have a wonderful exhibition on at the National Vietnam Veterans Museum until the end of December
And over November the poppies will be heading down to Gippsland Victoria for a Shire wide collaboration of poppy pandemonium … 40 nets plus lots of stems, strings and loose poppies will find themselves spread throughout 12 towns in Gippsland including Newhaven, Cowes, Wonthaggi, Morwell, Warragul, Trafalgar, Briagolong, Bairnsdale, Lakes Entrance, Paynesville, Orbost and Omeo staged by Creative Gippsland, Regional Arts Victoria and many community groups coming together. You can find out more information in the weeks leading up to the event on the Regional Arts Victoria facebook page or website.
The next major installation will be at the Chelsea Flower Show in London in May next year. We are so excited about being invited to be a part of Chelsea … it really is the pinnacle of horticultural events world wide with a television audience on more than 3.5 billion … Of course our own Phillip Johnson‘s wonderful success story at Chelsea in 2013 probably had something to do with the invitation … nevertheless the Victorian Government through the Department of Premier and Cabinet has agreed to be our major sponsor for the event and we cannot thank Premier Daniel Andrews, the Minister for Veterans Affairs John Eren, the Victorian Anzac Centenary Committee and their teams for their tireless work in finding the funding to get us to Chelsea .. it’s a coup for all of us and we are planning to do everyone proud.
Lynn and Phillip with the Minister for Veterans Affairs, the Hon John Eren MP
After Chelsea we are hoping to do a short but poignant tour of the Western Front … perhaps not with all the poppies but a portion … 2016 is a huge year in European war history and we would love to be able to share our wonderful community tribute in some way … more news on this as it unfolds.
Although the nets all stood up relatively well to the rigors of ANZAC Day … they are quite dirty and all of the glued poppies were damaged. We lost most of the attached dedications in the rain as well and the nets have stretched somewhat with the weight. Of course we want our poppies to be perfect to visit Her Majesty in her home down, so we have spent the last 4 or 5 months removing, washing, repairing poppies and replacing them on to the nets. It’s been a HUGE undertaking with a very small group of volunteer helpers in my home. We have enjoyed the process and wonderful friendships have been cemented … not to mention the gorgeous foodstuffs consumed over lunch. We have completed 40 nets and still have 40 to go and will need to step up our net repair program to meet our deadlines.
We also now also have the enormous task of creating 20,000 additional stemmed poppies to take with us. This mammoth task will be coordinated for us by Susan McDougall … who many of you who worked with us on the nets in Melbourne will remember as our erstwhile coordinator. So that will be an enormous but incredibly worthwhile task. Australian Country Spinners have agreed to sponsor us with yarn to make the poppy stems … a whopping 70kg of premium acrylic yarn and we will be looking for teams of people to take on the task of making stems and assembling poppies around Victoria. More on this in the next week or so when we are a little more advanced with our planning.
In the meantime … we need more poppies. More more more. We are looking to gather an additional 20,000 poppies for our stems. I know that many of you have poppies waiting for a home … and would love to send them in to us. We are quite precise in our requirements because these special poppies will need to be able to hold their own if it rains … so they must be tightly knit or crocheted and not too small. We are suggesting using the same patterns used on the blog but with a size smaller hook or needle than you would normally use. They must be red but you can get as creative as you like with your centres. These babies are going to see the Queen (along with all the others of course).
So more news to follow … and I promise I will be good and post more often.
Hope we can get you on board to help us to manage the enormous task ahead of us … but one of course, that will be well and truly worth it.