Spring 2018 …

September 16, 2018

It seems I have not posted for over a year and I have no excuse really …. just a little pictorial story of what has been going on in my life over the last little while.

5000 Poppies : 12,000 stemmed poppies were planted at the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne 2017.  A few thousand stems were left in France with our friend Daniele Aurich, who has planted them throughout France and Belgium during the Centenary of WWI.  We created a test planting for our grand finale at the Australian War Memorial for the Centenary of Armistice 2018, and we have created a couple of beautiful teaser installations leading up to the AWM planting at Floriade Canberra and the Canberra Airport.

Preparation for these and other incredible installations throughout the Centenary of WWI in Australia, the UK and France, has taken more than five years of my life, and I have been privileged and honoured to have worked with the most incredible team to make these and other magnificent installations a reality. Cannot thank you enough.

Our final installation(s) will be many and varied in Canberra, Victoria and Tasmania.  There will also be many thousands of small and large installations spawned by the 5000 Poppies project throughout towns and villages all over the world this Remembrance Day in honour of the Fallen.


I will be back in 2019 with another wonderful installation art project (a bit smaller this time).  Half a million poppies is enough.





Winter in Melbourne

June 24, 2017

The last few months have been a whirlwind of poppies and knitted lace … plus a few pom poms.

This week the gladRappers has installed its amazing wintry lace trees in Federation Square in the heart of Melbourne.  As part of Fed Square’s Winter Solstice Festival, we decorated twenty trees with who knows how many branches, twisty turns and knobbly bits … together with more than 1000 pom poms.  A true winter wonderland.  In the end it was quite a challenging install … around 10 hours … but it all came together beautifully, thanks to a spectacular team of makers and installers.  It’s amazing what you can achieve with a dedicated bunch of people … LOVE YOUR WORK!!!


And it WAS fun …

May 31, 2017

My last post showed our crochet coral artpiece called “In Our Lifetime” which pays tribute to the plight of Coral reefs … in particular the Great Barrier Reef in Australia … but also other reefs around the world.  This was our rationale :

There is a tragedy unfolding on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia – the largest living organism on the planet.

Large sections of the Reef are dead and dying.

And, although the Reef has been remarkably resilient over the last 8000 years or so, it is constantly under increasing pressure from severe weather, pollution, fishing, coral bleaching, ocean acidification, rising sea temperatures and overwhelming outbreaks of the crown-of-thorns starfish, among other things.

In Our Lifetime represents the plight of our beautiful Reef

Recently we entered the piece in the  inaugural Bass Coast Climart Exhibition in Wonthaggi Victoria (Australia).  What a wonderful concept … art (any media) based on climate awareness.

And we won …


Marg and I are gobsmacked … and very grateful all those wonderful souls who voted for our piece … and all those who made the trek to Wonthaggi to see the exhibition … which was fabulous by the way, and to the organisers.

Oh, and the piece sold too!

It’s been a good week!

What’s next?



Been Having a Little Fun

November 2, 2016

So Marg (sister-in-law and collaborator in all things fibre related) and I have recently put together a small bleached reef titled “In Our Life Time” … it’s a small piece portraying the plight of coral reefs around the globe, and features a collection of crocheted bleached “coral” mounted onto a lovely piece of driftwood that Marg found on the beach near her home in Phillip Island (Aus).

We had a lot of fun working with the different shapes and wholly enjoyed the process of pulling it together … which is a way we like to work.  This was really Marg’s baby, but as always, we collaborate so well that it’s so much more enjoyable to work together.

The upshot of all that is we entered the piece in the Phillip Island Artist’s Society Exhibition over Melbourne Cup weekend and while we didn’t win any of the major prizes, we did manage to snaffle a People’s Choice Award … that’s exciting.



Beekeeper Parade

October 17, 2016

In my wonderful life journey I have met some amazing people doing amazing things.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of spending a volunteer day with my friend Fiona Robins who introduced me to a wonderful social enterprise concept called Beekeeper Parade run by a remarkable human being …. Koky Saly.

I am continually inspired by the passion and drive of those who create directly from their heart.  There are countless examples of social enterprises all over the world … many of which were started by a selfless act, a vision, a promise …

Beekeeper Parade is one of those organisations  … this quote is directly from their website (you should go check them out).

BeeKeeper is a Social Business hatched between a brother (Koky) and sister (Sophia) in 2012 while Sophia was in hospital fighting cervical cancer.  

It was with the heaviest of hearts that we experienced the loss of Sophia on the 15th of August 2012, after an 18 month battle. We still feel her absence with such acute rawness. In her will, she left her car to her brother Koky, with instructions to sell it and use the money to create a business that would inspire change and help support the continued work of BabyTree Projects, a charity they founded together to fight for children’s rights and to bring quality education to the doorsteps of children in rural Cambodia.  

Since that time, Koky has dedicated his life to making sure that he keeps his promise to his sister. To this end Boy & Bee was born in 2012, and in 2014 we decided to change the name to BeeKeeper. And the Sophia Saly School was built in 2014, in a coastal village right near the sea.

Koky Saly, himself a refugee, now works tirelessly with his team to support the Cambodian school with the manufacture and sale of their amazing Beekeeper Backpacks and Weekenders (among other things).  The manufacture of these products is, in itself a good news story … with the use of recycled, donated and repurposed materials to create their really well thought out and very high quality products.

Apart from the high quality of the products, they a bit of fun and above all utilitarian, not to mention that the manufacture also creates employment opportunities.  Beekeeper ticks all the boxes.

Their model is simple and it works on so many levels.

The sale of one backpack/weekender will send a child to English classes for a whole year … and for these children, this could mean the difference between living in poverty for the whole of their lives or learning the skills to lead productive lives.

Currently based as a pop up in Melbourne Central (in the heart of Melbourne) until January 2017, Beekeeper has a great range of backpacks, weekenders, ipad and computer covers and more.  Do yourself a huge favour and pop in for some Christmas shopping with heart.  They also have an online store if you can’t make it into Melbourne Central.







P.S. I am now the proud owner of this lovely creation.  Anyone who knows me will know that this is a perfect fit.







OK … I am back!!!

October 7, 2016

Hot on the heels of the fantastic success of our Poppies in both Australia and Europe (and it’s still ongoing here I must admit).  I have a little (a very little) spare time on my hands to declutter.

And …. horror upon horror, I have decided to cull my yarn stash.  This was not a decision made lightly but there is SO much that I have collected over the last 20 years or so and I will NEVER use it … it’s a difficult thing, divesting oneself of one’s lovelies … but it’s got to be done.

So there is MUCH yarn to be sold off tomorrow at Open Drawer’s Destash Market, 1158 Toorak Road, Camberwell.  It is gorgeous … and because much of it is kinda unique yarn … a huge mix of specialty yarns in all the colours of the rainbow … I have separated it into packs suitable for freeform knitting/crochet, scarves, bags, jewellery, general yarn play.  It’s at bargain prices … I must admit to a little hesitation when it came to the really beautiful yarns but … someone somewhere will love it just as much as I do and find a use for it.

So come down to Open Drawer, from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. for a bargain.  There will be a few likeminded souls with lots of other crafty goodness on sale as well, fabrics, notions etc. A veritable feast for the crafters out there.

I have also committed to running a couple of Freeform knitting/crochet classes also at Open Drawer so you can learn to play with your new found yarny deliciousness … on Friday 18 and Saturday 19 November from 10.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. … you can do one half day or two half days if you would like.  It will be an enormous amount of fun and a return to teaching for me.  I would love to see you.  You can book here if you would like, or you can book tomorrow at the Destash Market.

You will learn the importance of colour, texture and shape in freeform knitting, together with a range of basic freeform stitches and techniques to create your own freeform fabric plus some techniques for creating a wide range of items including garments, handbags, jewellery, hats and other items.

freeform-handbagsWe will be using small scraps of plain and specialty yarns, freeform knitting is the art of creating and combining small, disparate pieces of knitting and crochet (scrumbles) into a patchwork fabric of colour and texture. Your own unique piece of fibre art.

In this fun filled class, you will learn to let go of commercial patterns, and give your creative expression free reign.

You will need a moderate degree of skill in knitting, crochet (or both) and a willingness to play. You will work at your own skill level and pace in a small group of up to 8.

Hope to see you at Open Drawer tomorrow.

Love and hugs.








Where did that two years go?

September 2, 2016

It seems I have not posted on this blog for some time.  It was never my intention to be away so long … but I have been a little preoccupied …

Just a warning that this is a long post … making up for lost time … mostly just images, because I think this is the best way to show you what I have been involved in over the last two years.

The 5000 Poppies Project is a community tribute of respect and remembrance to our servicemen and women, their families and their communities.  It was created by my sister in law Marg Knight and I in honour of our fathers.  If you’d like to know more about that you can read all about the project on the 5000 Poppies blog … there is a link at the bottom of this post.

So … 5000 Poppies kinda took over my life somewhat and has left very little room for extra curricular activities … although I must admit I was tempted a few times (but more on that in a later post).  And as I come up for air after a whirlwind two years I am delighted to share with you.

It has been an honour and a privilege I must admit.

In all we collected around 300,000 stunning handmade poppies from people all over the world, and in the process we have met many wonderful people and shared many wonderful stories with our contributors and volunteers.  It has been an incredibly humbling experience and we have created some amazing installations.

First there was the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show in March 2015 … in a collaboration with Australia’s acclaimed landscape designer Phillip Johnson, our wonderful team planted 5,000 beautiful stemmed poppies as part of a tribute garden in honour of Phillip’s great grandfather who fought and died on the Somme in WWI. It was a very beautiful, very moving installation and there were tears aplenty.  The poppies were knitted and crocheted, and attached to stems of knitted i-cord over bamboo skewers.

5000 Poppies Project Melbourne Flower and Garden Show March 2015 Photographer Clare Takacs

5000 Poppies Project Melbourne Flower and Garden Show March 2015 Photographer Claire Takacs 1

5000 Poppies MIFGS 2015


Next came our spectacular installation for Anzac Day as part of the Centenary of Anzac Commemorations in April 2015.  It was simply amazing.  Again, in collaboration with Phillip Johnson and his team who worked with us to put together a massive jigsaw of beautiful poppy panels on the steps of Fed Square in the heart of Melbourne.  Plus a series of static displays in the atrium. The installation featured Adrian Egglestone’s beautiful Gratitude Sculpture as a centrepiece.  Stunning! Emotional! Heartfelt! It goes without saying that there were many tears shed here.

2 day fm 6Fed Square Deakin Edge


Fracture Gallery Fed Square

The Atrium Fed Square post Anzac Day 2015 Marilyn Healy 2

On Anzac Day, not content with hundreds of sqm of poppies being laid on the steps of Fed Square … with the help of our many volunteers and the Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade we moved them onto Princes Bridge in the dead of night so that our Anzac Day March could march through the centre of them and then moved them back to Fed Square again.  It was wet wet wet on Anzac Day and every one of those 80 nets were very very heavy.

The outcome of these two amazing installations was an invitation to feature the whole project at the 2016 Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London.  Such an incredible honour … and we loved every minute of it to tell you the truth.  With the wonderful financial assistance of our major sponsor the Victorian Government, our official carrier Qantas who took us to London and home again, as well as our friends at Carpet Call who generously provided 300 sqm of carpet delivered to site … our incredible team of volunteers laid more than 2000 sqm of beautiful poppies in tribute including 26,500 stemmed poppies.  A mammoth effort.  London really turned on the weather for us and we thoroughly enjoyed talking about this amazing tribute to all who came to visit including the British Royal Family.  What an honour!!!


Chelsea 23

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Marg

Lynn has a chat to Prince Phillip and Princess Anne

Lynn Meets Prince Harry

Lynn Meets the British Home Secretary



And if that wasn’t enough, we managed to secure an Australian Government Grant along with some private funding, to take our poppies across to Fromelles France for the Centenary of the Battle of Fromelles.  An incredibly moving experience for all of us. Again our team came with us and were complemented by a team from the local Rotary District in France, the Australian military, and many others who wanted to help out on the day.  We installed approx 26,000 poppies at Cobbers, a small piece of sacred land in rural France that many Australians as well as British, French and others lost their lives fighting over in WWI.

Fromelles France 2016 Photographer Claire Takacs


We are also on tour with the fabulous Spirit of Anzac Centenary Experience … a spectacular WWI exhibition which is touring Australia from 2014 to 2017.




It has been a full on couple of years … and the truth is its been a massive community effort … I cannot stress enough how many thousands of contributors from all over Australia and indeed the world coupled with an amazing team of volunteers helped to pull it all together.  They have made this evolving dream a reality.  It’s probably taken around a million man hours …  I kid you not!

Words just cannot express my gratitude … it’s been amazing.

We will continue our work until 2018 which is the Centenary of the end of WWI, and are in discussions with the Australian War Memorial in Canberra about our final installation … We expect it will be HUGE!  Stay tuned … exciting stuff.

We are also continuing support smaller localised installations on request and have done quite a few … all beautiful, all unique … and all with one aim (at the risk of repeating myself), and that is to honour our servicemen and women, their families and their communities.

How lucky am I, are we, to get to do this work?

You can read more about the 5000 Poppies project, its origins, and its metamorphosis at 5000Poppies.wordpress.com

You can also join our facebook group if you would like to join the Project … 5000 Poppies

I would like to acknowledge the photographers … the professional Fed Square photographs were taken by Patrick Redmond and the Chelsea Flower Show and Fromelles professional photographs were taken by Claire Takacs.  All other photographs are either taken by me or have been posted on our facebook group … with many and varied authors.