The last couple of years I have had the privilege of participating in the Collaborate for a Cause Charity Auction.  The auction, affectionately hashtagged as #c4ac2016 on social media, is the brainchild of sewing enthusiast, Jen Kennedy.  Since 2011, this ‘little’ event has raised over $185,000 for the benefit of hundreds of charities across Australia; and to be blunt, if you haven’t heard of Collaborate for a Cause then you’re probably not part of the handmade world.  Or maybe you’re not on social media…  Regardless, it is fast becoming one of the key events of handmade’s annual calendar, with handmaidens from all over the globe participating.  Read more about Jen and this ‘Collaborate for a Cause’ baby of hers here.

Collaborate for a Cause

This year I teamed up with a lovely and very talented bunch of ladies to create a collaboration that I have to say is going to make one little girl very happy.  All proceeds will be going to Autism Queensland, a very worthy charity that provides education, therapy and support services to people with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Their aim is to assist all people with ASD to have a life of participation, opportunity and choice – things that those of us who don’t have this disorder most likely take for granted.

Collaborate for a Cause Cotton Candy


Diamond dolls and wings, a picnic blanket and wee peg dolls, a twirly bubble-skirted dress, and not one, but two (!) floral crowns to adorn a lucky little head.  We chose Cotton Candy, designed by the talented Susan Driscoll for Dashwood Studio, as our fabric muse and the lovely Cristy of Muddy Ruffles generously donated all our fabric requirements to make our creative ideas a reality.

Each element on its own is delightful.  That word might seem underwhelming, but I think it’s the perfect word to describe this collaboration.  It was truly a pleasure to touch and look at each item.  And I think any child would be delighted to own it all!

'diamonds' by Squirrel & Fink


For instance, I could have looked at these three little ‘diamonds’, created by Nat of Squirrel & Fink, for hours.  True story.  And I had to surgically remove them from Rosie’s little hands.  The detail is eye-catching and they are the perfect size – not too big, not too small, but just right for little kiddy hands.  As someone who is not a ‘doll person’ I have suddenly had a desire to start collecting dolls.  Don’t tell my husband.


And those wee peg dolls by Two Little Loves are just so sweet.  I can see them displayed on a book shelf in a little one’s room, taken down each day when it’s time for quiet play, or stored in a linen drawstring bag and kept in Mummy’s handbag for those times (usually in doctor surgeries or plane trips) when a little distraction is needed/necessary/for goodness sake, someone give that kid a toy!

Avierley Boutique Floral Crown

Ofalaine of Avierley Boutique has done exquisite work on the floral crowns.  The colours of the flowers perfectly compliment the Cotton Candy fabric, with touches of hot pink and aqua, and hints of gold that match the straps on my wings.

Quilt by Piccolo Studio

And then there’s the quilt by Sarah of Piccolo Studio.  Precision quilting I tell you.  Those points are perfectly matched!  (Also, I need to tell you it was my idea to photograph Harlow climbing the fence.  Because how cute is that photo?!?  Oh, and it was also my idea to hang the quilt over the fence.  On an angle.  Window dresser extraordinaire over here.  Just sayin’.)


And last but not least, the twirliest little bubble-dress I ever did see by Bel of My Little I Designs.  The bias cut over-shirt; the beautiful full bubble skirt that’s perfect for spinning (and modest too – no knicker shots round here!)…


And pockets.  Perfect for wee peg dolls and miscellaneous junk (most likely a few rocks, sand from the pit and sticky chocolate wrappers covered in dirt.  Not that I have any experience in this matter at all.).


And my wings.  A new shape!  And a little bigger!


The truth is though, until this precious little poppet called Harlow of Harlow Ever After, and her lovely Mum, Sarah of My Heart Project Photography, put their magic touch on it, it was all just bits and pieces.  And then suddenly the parts became a magical Cotton Candy-filled whole!

So, if you’re in the market for a bundle of sugary-but-calorie-free goodness like this then the only chance you’ll have to get it starts this Friday, 29 July, on the Collaborate for a Cause Facebook page.  Bidding commences at 8pm and ends Sunday, 31 July at 8pm.  Our item is #25.  Harlow not included.

And just in case you were wondering, I asked Harlow if she would tell me who does her lashes and what hair products she uses and if she could give me some posing tips and maybe if she wanted to get together some time and do each other’s make-up, but she just stared at me blankly like she gets asked this all the time, and then mumbled something about trade secrets, and so I said, so I guess that’s a no then?  And then she kept playing with the dolls.  So, yeah, I guess that’s a no.

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