Le Grá, Fingal
One of my work colleagues came up with the idea that we could have a Sale-of-Work of items all Hand-made and donated by staff of the Council I work for. 100% of the proceeds would go towards the Crumlin Medical Research Fund, which is attached to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital in Crumlin – the same charity I ran the Mini-Marathon for in June. She called the venture “Le Grá Fingal” which means “With Love, Fingal” in Irish.
It was astonishing to see the volume and the quality of the work that poured in. In our department alone, two of my colleagues do lino-cut and drypoint printing and sell their work through Etsy. Another makes homeopathic balms and essences. Yet another made cards using photographs she’d made and another made chutneys and preserves with produce from her allotment. From the other departments, there was hand-made jewelery; framed water-colours and photographs, hand-knitted and crocheted scarves and baby clothes; a carpenter in the depot made bird-boxes; someone else’s mother made candle-holders from hole-y limestone pieces.
This was the reason behind making the Advent Wreaths that I said I’d explain later. I also donated “Mole”, some Christmas Fiddle-Faddle from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Almanac; and my Wine Bottle Gift Bag. I made the gift bag two Christmases ago and gave it to DH, but he agreed he didn’t really want or need and would be happy to donate it.
The Sale took place last Tuesday, 15th December, and the original idea was that they would be selling to staff only. By 10:30 they had already made €1,000. When they’d whittled down the number of items to one small table’s worth they moved the display to the reception atrium and managed to clear everything by the end of lunch-time.
In total they raised €2,083. This includes ticket sales for a Raffle, which was drawn by the County Architect on Thursday. One of the prizes in the raffle was a fabulous knitted crib. It was made by two talented knitters in the Planning Department that I’ve been lucky to get to know recently, through the Nimble Fingers Crafting Club that one of them set up.
I’m delighted to know that Mole has finally found a new home – he was bought to be given to a baby who’s due in January. Two of my closest friends in work bought two wreaths each. I didn’t hear who bought the gift bag but I hope they enjoyed the bottle of Mulled Berry Punch, that I bought in The Hopsack last Saturday. I bought back the Fiddle-Faddle myself and put it into my Secret Swap Parcel. [Aside: I like to include a little bit of hand-knitting in my Secret Pal Parcel for the Irish Knitters Swap. In 2007, I made some wash-cloths for Sue (SusyMcQ) and last year Heather (Nearlythere) got a Moebius Cowl. It’s very conceited of me, really; but this year’s theme was The Seven Deadly Sins so “Pride” it’s totally allowed. Anyway, I can report that Mairead (Fourboys) received her package yesterday and was genuinely thrilled with its contents. Yeay! + Phew!]
In the Charity Sale-of-Work I also bought:
- a jumper for DS#1, knit by a member of the Nimble Fingers Crafting Club;
- a hand-pulled lino-cut print of Bosbok Strand in South Africa, made by a colleague in our Department;
- a jar of Green Tomato Chutney – made by another colleague of mine;
- a jar of mincemeat, made with plums and Calvados by a friend of the organiser;
- four cards made by three different colleagues – three of which I’ve already sent off;
- a combination pack of lavender barrier cream and clove oil balm – made by the organiser.
- two decorated gingerbread biscuits
- a sachet of “Magic Reindeer Dust” – basically porridge oats mixed with glitter and edible confetti. You leave it out for Rudolf to eat – the glitter is the magic dust that helps him fly.
So the stash I’m letting you know about today is not yarn but lots of hand-made goodies, made by talented members of staff in my place of work.