2020 is a pretty scary place. As an Australian living a long way from home in the Netherlands, watching my country burn has been terrifying and heartbreaking. Although we’ve had some close calls, my family has been very lucky to not to lose anything precious but watching from afar, I have often felt pretty helpless. As a crafter (as we often do) I searched for ways I could help in my own small way.
I started by looking up ways to help the millions of animals affected by the environmental disasters happening at home. One of the first pages I found was the Animal Rescue Craft Guild – find their facebook group here. The guild is a group of volunteers using their crafting skills for good Down Under. They had an incredible influx of crafted pouches, nests, hanging bags and other glorious creations from all over the world and currently (February 2020) don’t need any more from overseas. They also recommended crafting for local groups or to fund raise which is now on my agenda!
Now, I haven’t worked much with polymer clay and not for a few years but thought it might be possible to put together some cute pieces to raise funds. After doing some little sketches (see my especially special creatures below) I got started!
As someone who loves stop motion and clay-mation style animations, I decided to go with goofy features that would translate well onto some of my favourite Aussie animals. The first prototypes were this koala and wombat which are quite big but still make me smile!
I ended up using some generic matte top coat (mine was from a shop called Action here in the Netherlands) to seal them which gives them a light sheen but will hopefully protect them for prosperity! Next, I knew my friend’s sister had a birthday coming up and they were going to make a lovely birthday donation to WIRES, the NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service. To say thank you and as a little surprise extra I thought I would try to recreate my koala as a pair of stud earrings with some classic eucalyptus leaves. I used some jewellery findings and beads to join the pieces, used E6000 glue to secure everything, and voila. I think I’ll have to make a pair of these for myself!
While these will be heading to Canada, I also experimented with some different Australian creatures which will be made into brooches or some cute magnets depending on what people would like. Hopefully some of my Dutch friends and acquaintances will be interested and these cuties will find new homes too – raising some money in the process!
There is something about the Great White Shark that makes me laugh. Every. Darn. Time.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how these cute little critters go down and please share any of your own fundraising efforts with me, I’d love to hear about them.
Don’t forget to visit my Polymer clay inpiration Pinterest board for some more ideas!