Hi, I'm Jess from Rustic Wren, of Lenswood in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia that has had devastating fires run though my small home town and surrounding Adelaide Hills townships.
We have personally been deeply affected by the Cudlee Creek fire as it raged towards our home and neighbouring lands in December 2019 - just days before Christmas when the fires occurred. My husband, Shayne got caught in an up draught and was badly burnt while defending my family and neighboring properties. While a wall of fire approached, his tractor got stuck on a fallen tree. He ran for his life, ringing his own Ambulance and trying to coordinate a safe pickup. As he ran, it was miraculous in amongst the thick smoke that he was heard then met by the CFS who were about to turn around as the fires were getting too dangerous. He was rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital and has had 3 skin graph and surgeries already.
It has been an extremely tough few weeks as a family with 3 young girls under 9, my husband and the girls dad just out of hospital trying to recover together with our evacuation from our home over the Xmas period. Seeing their dad badly burnt (with severe burns to his body and face) has been and ordeal and there are many new normals we have to adopt.
It's been hard to keep our spirits high and stay positive, but I'm staying strong for my family.
Thankfully I am grateful Shayne has received the absolute best treatment from the burns unit at the RAH. He is a mechanic and is always using his hands so its been amazing to see the way the skin grafts to his arms and legs has taken place however we all know there is a long road to recovery ahead.
There are no words to really explain how we all feel about this fire, it has touched us all in one way or another and has changed us. We look out over the blackened landscape and are speechless, with many questions and stories to come from this disaster.
One thing that keeps me going is my emotional + creative outlet - Rustic Wren. This is my small business where I handcraft and architecturally design leather products from my workshop in Lenswood. Its also another way I support my family especially needed at this time. I use the highest quality leather to create bespoke tote bags, journals/notebooks, artist brush rolls, and assorted accessories. I am thankful for any support and purchases during our time right now to keep me feeling productive and positive of the year ahead.