Friday, December 9, 2011

COWBelles Community Craft on show at the Glebe Library!

It's been a long week.....have been sick with food poisoning - so have not been able to let everyone know about the COWBelles Community Craft  Exhibition and Sale currently on at the Glebe Library  cnr Glebe Point Rd and Wigram Rd.  The exhibition was a generous offer to COWBelles by Library Manager Margaret Whittaker as an opportunity to showcase the great craftwork made by some of Glebe's wonderfully talented older ladies. On show are handmade jewellery, scarves, handbags, light catchers, greeting cards and bookmarks (well, it IS a library!)  The exhibition has run since the 5th and will culminate in a Sale day tomorrow 10th with the opportunity to also make your own earrings on the spot. If you catch the chance tomorrow to race in for a look our ladies look forward to showing you their treasures.
Artist and COWBelles Community Craft facilitator Irene, with 'Serious Crafter' and papercrafts workshop tutor David, sitting with the COWBelles Community Craft exhibition showcase at Glebe Library. 
The ladies work looks great!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The new website is coming!!

Yay, the new website is on its way! Have bought the the site is under construction and should be ready to launch in January. Not yet certain if we will be an e-commerce site as still have to get the 'business' parts of our group happening but it will be exciting to have an 'official' web presence and showcase the work of the Belles for all to see. Keep an eye out for us!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

COW and our Belles at the Mitchell St. Fete.

 The day was fabulous!!! Our display was one to be proud of, the Belles were in fine spirits, there was sausage sizzles and balloons, performances and seedlings, painting, pets and people on parade AND the day was warm and the rain held off until it was all over - honestly...what more could have made this community collaborative day any better? Well...for us it did get better....the Belles sold a small stack of their beautiful craft products and Ned's homemade cakes were a very popular sold-out success!! Was a good day and great fun!!! Our thanks and congratulations to all the organisers. Photos can be seen in the Events column at right.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ready for the Mitchel St Fete Sat.29/10?

Wow!! it's been ages since I last wrote but it most certainly hasn't been still at all in the last months at the Old Firestation!

Our COWBelles have had the most productive winter........a mass of wonderful scarves, a huge heap of baubles and bling and some of the most amazing knitted bags you have ever seen.

It will be a fabulous presentation on the stall next weekend when all our treasures will be out on display and ready for sale. Prices will be reasonable with a discount of 25% available for people on Centrelink.....we want to raise funds but we also want everyone to be able to buy something that they really like as well!!

So bring along yourself and your's a Fete so there is heaps of fun planned for the kids!!....and check out our stall  for something nice to spoil  yourself with. See you there.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day Fundraiser 2011

Our COWBelles gathered at 10am and set up a wonderful display of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, bookmarks and sparkling lightcatchers for the community Mother's Day morning tea held with the generous cake and coffee donation from Glebe's Hopestreet mission. 

The Old Firestation was abuzz with chat and laughter as local women (and a few curious men!) cruised up and down the sales displays choosing their favourite trinkets and stockpiling them at their coffee tables while they waited to pay. Ladies tried on their purchases and compared colours, shapes and designs with each other.

Glebe doyen Sarah has recently moved house and donated several treasures for sale to help raise extra funds for COWBelles. I must admit I had to fend off several contenders for the glorious porcelain teapot in the shape of Edinburgh Castle!! It is just beautiful and now has pride of place in my kitchen!

Our great thanks and appreciation must go to Julie and Geoff, both of Hopestreet and of course, dedicated volunteer Nina for the yummy devonshire tea provided free to our community Mums and Nannas. Beside the jam and cream laden scones, there were a selection of unusual and very tempting treats provided by generous community members to accompany our coffee orders and much 'I'm just tasting' went on all morning.

COWBelles raised $200 and considerable confidence from the fundraising morning and another is being planned. The COWBelles inaugural findraiser was a very enjoyable and tasty community led initiative, it was a pleasure to be there! Photos of the event can be seen by clicking the link at right.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

News update for April

Hello to all!
It's been a busy month behind the scenes for COWBelles this last month or so.

Our Internet presence is slowly growing with our little influence on 3 websites so far and more to come as I get a grip on the whole social media thing!!  Maybe in modern terms I am a bit of a dinosaur to still value paper-based promotion but there is also the proven influence of the Internet in getting the word out about our group activities, so the need and time to learn all this 'new-fangled' stuff has arrived! Very frustrating though......several times I have threatened to push my computer off the table!!!!

We received notification from City of Sydney about our Matching Grant application and it appears we have made it through the first round of assessments! Very excited but still have fingers crossed we go all the way. So many new craft possibilites but we will definitely need the money to make them happen.

Adding new jewellery skills to my repetoire so will have wonderfully quirky new approaches to 'jewellery' when we expand in June. Felt, polymer clay, and odd bits of 'junk' will materialise as pretty objects for neck and ear ornaments when we grow our interests mid-year. Definitely looking forward to the wonderfully experimental jewellery that our COWBelles are sure to create.

Our group is settling in to the necessary changes that have happened with COW and COWBelles now that our fabulous Beckie has left us and had her the way, was Cordelia BEAUTIFUL or just BEAUTIFUL!!!!  last Friday, 15th when Bec came to visit us with baby in tow? So many sooky, cooing 'nannas' handing Cordelia about. Both mother and daughter looked well and fabulous as they were off to see Dad graduate from Uni. (Congratulations Ethan, we are proud of you!) I know all COW members want the best for this young family!!

Some of the changes affecting COWBelles are our self-funding for a period of time while the Grant is considered and a slight change to the bus booking proceedure. It is taking a little time to get used to the changes but the Belles are a committed lot and take change in their stride. A copy of the COWBelles April Newsletter is available to read at right in the 'Publications' list.

A sturdy group of COW members is set to convene en masse at the Old Firestation on Friday 29 April for the unpleasant but very necessary bi-annual visit to the BreastScreen clinic. Inventive as usual, they have booked the community bus to take them as a mutually supportive group, along with books, food, cross word puzzles and crafty bits, to the Prince Alfred clinic to have their breast checks and provide community support to each other while they wait. A great example of the closeness of support that is such a fundamental mainstay of women in Glebe's community.

Finally but most importantly!!......we are having our first fundraising sale for Mother's Day!!!!!!! Yay!!
On Friday 6th May COWBelles will hold it's first fundraiser at the Old Firestation from 11am-2pm. The ladies will show off their handmade jewellery treasures amid tea, coffee and homemade treats. We are inviting people to come along have a look at our jewellery, buy some of course and stop for a chat about the great Mum, or Nanna! in their life. We are looking forwrd to a great community day. The flyer can be seen in the 'Publications' listing at lright.

Monday, March 21, 2011

At last, at last....the Grant is done at last!

Yes, today at 2pm I drove to City of Sydney council and handed over our appliction for a 2011-2012 Matching Grant that we so hope will see the much anticipated extension and expansion of our COW Belles craft initiative into a small wonder of the Glebe community area.

One big block to community initiatives in our modern society is the huge cost of Public Liability insurance for even the simplest, most modest community-based ventures. This too, was to be a big stumbling block for us but the City cleared the way for our progress by accepting the responsibility liability for our group at the Old Firestation on Fridays and also for our proposed new group at the St. Helen's Community Centre. This is fantastic news for us as it saves us about $1500!! that we would obviously prefer to spend elsewhere.

Extra money will now be allocated to our promotion and advertising budget for our fundraising efforts which will now concentrate on sales made from the community centres themselves, from the local stores who may stock our products for us and from our up coming online shop. These options for fundraising mean that expenses and volunteers for a regular market stall will be channelled into less consistently dispruptive situations. A little easier for all of us I think.

So, fingers crossed for a positive outcome late in May and the opportunity to see our wonderful COW Belles grow in it's new and challenging directions over the next year.

Friday, February 18, 2011

COW Belles back at work

Yay!! The COW Belles were back for 2011 today and ready to pick up some new challenges for this year.

Lynne and Ashley from City of Sydney council came to visit us this morning and speak to us about the possibilities of applying for a new Matching grant to expand and develop our COW Belles craft sessions further.

Our first newsletter titled  'COW Belles Community Craft Collective' outlines some of the choices and directions that our COW Belles may want to see the group move towards. We have options to fundraise at Senior's Week,  Mother's Day,  September Spring Sale,  The Michell St Fete,  The Glebe Street Fair and  Christmas. This gives us 6 opportunities to fundraise for further supplies....and coffees of course!

We can also expand our options into other crafts such as cardmaking and scrapbooking. Also possible are crochet and knitting (of which someone far more capable than me must teach!!) and the opportunity to further develop our jeweller's skills into more advanced techniques.

A great opportunity to really promote the group and our products exists with a new grant funding thing like pricelists, business cards, posters and leaflets for distribution around the Glebe community. This would let community members know COW Belles exists in the area and that we are serious!

And, best of all, a City of Sydney grant would see our community bus on the road and paid up for a whole year!!! That is really exciting as it would mean that none of our Belles would miss out!

Included in this post is a copy of our preliminary Pricelist. This is a start for us and open to adjustment in the future as we decide what products we want to focus on and the exact prices we want to have.

To finish I'd like to say how pleased I am with the continued dedication our COW Belles have for their group. A group cannot exist without it's loyal members and our COW Belles are committed to the continuation, expansion and thorough enjoyment of the COW Belles community craft sessions that we have all come to look forward to each fortnight.

Welcome back for 2011 COW Belles!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Happy New Year 2011 !!

What an amazing 2 months for our intrepid COW Belles - a franitic pre-Christmas beading frenzy saw some beautiful gifts made for loved ones and some of our Belles 'addicted' to their beading boxes have continued over the holiday period at an unabated pace!  COW Belles is due to restart on Friday 18/2/11 with a few changes from last year.

Our 2010 grant has expired and a new 2011 grant with City of Sydney is being drawn up but in the meantime the community spirit of our Belles will see them providing their own supplies and contributing to the upkeep of the community bus service which many of our members rely on for their attendance, while we wait for the grant results.

Another aspect of COW Belles 'growing up' is that the administration of the COW Belles venture is to be handed over from the Glebe Community Development Project into the hands of COW Belles members themselves. This is exciting and a bit scary too!

Some ideas for 2011 are extending our invitation for women from other Centre's in the Sydney LGA to join us. Also fundraising sales for Seniors Week, Mother's Day, a September Spring Sale, the Mitchell St Fete and the Glebe Street Fair.  The COW Belles WILL be very busy this year! A monthly market stall at Balmain's Handmade Markets and possibly an e-commerce website are also being considered.

A big push foreward for this year for our creative Belles so keep an eye on us as we expand and bring our craft creations closer to wider community recognition.