My heart is shattered. Today our beautiful craft community mourns the loss of one of its most vibrant members, Camille Condon, AKA Curly Pops.
Cam was a fixture in Melbourne’s crafty community and an inspiration to us all. Always the first to donate her time and creativity to good causes – Cam brought people together.
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I first met Cam about 10 years ago, when Melbourne’s blogging community was in its infancy and we would all catch up in real life to chat and craft. She was always a supportive friend and would be the first to leave an encouraging comment on a blog post or pitch in to organize an event.
Later with the advent of Instagram I’d look forward to our almost daily fix of #wallyspam – Cam’s cute canine sidekick Wally.
Anyone that knew Cam could tell you her three loves: Wally the Wonderdog, Bacon and Colour! (I’m pretty sure it’s in that order).
Unfortunately Cam’s health was always a challenge but even when her lungs didn’t co-operate, she kept creating and sharing her love of colour with us through her blog Curly Pops.
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For my friend, @curlypops. ❤️ Camille “I have just a few weeks to live… Late last year I had my scheduled blood test.The GP told me I had very abnormal liver function. I had to go to the Alfred straight away. I was told that I had tumours in my liver. After more tests I was told I have a type of cancer that is extremely rare and is completely incurable.” “How long did they give you?” “At first they gave me a year to live but last week I was told that I have just a few weeks to go…” “Are you scared?” “I’ve made peace with it. With everything I have been through with my health, my lung transplant… death becomes a part of life. So, for me, I’m not scared… I’m not worried, the only thing I am really worried about are the people I will leave behind and my dog, Wally.” “What are the things you still wanted to do?” “Oh, there are so many things I wanted to do that I don’t get to do now… I really wanted to see my nephews grow up. But I was so lucky that I was able to have my lung transplant… I feel blessed that I had the extra time with everyone that I love. In the last few weeks I just want to spend time with them. I’m knitting a quilt for each of my nephews so they will have something from Aunty Cam and they can just curl up on the couch with it. I am so grateful for my family and friends over the years. I would have never gotten through everything without my family, especially my siblings and especially my sister Rachel. They all go above and beyond and if it wasn’t for them I would already be in palliative care because I can’t look after myself anymore. “If you could have one more great Melbourne experience what would it be?” “I would love to visit the NGV one last time.Have a lunch and some wine and just take in all the beautiful art.” “What advice would you give to everyone?” “My advice is to live your best life, don’t spend all day every day at work or even thinking about it. Time is precious. Smile more, travel, have a family, do all those things you want to do because life is so short. Enjoy every single moment you get, you just don’t know w when your time will be up…” #Melbourneiloveyou
Cam embraced life even though she was dealt a really shitty hand, and when she received her new lungs there was a collective cheer and a sigh of relief from us all.
With her new-found vitality Cam threw herself into fundraising activities for the Heart & Lung Transplant Trust Vic by using her creative talents to produce fundraising products like the very cute ‘Walender’, a calendar featuring Wally the Wonderdog! – You can make a donation to the Heart & Lung Transplant Trust Vic here
But Cam is gone now and it wasn’t her lungs that gave out. It was a rare type of liver cancer that took her from us and I’M SO FUCKING ANGRY and sad and heartbroken. And I can’t even imagine how devastated her family and those closest to her are feeling right now.
So it’s time to say Good-Bye my friend, you faced every challenge life threw at you with grace and optimism. I will try to honor your memory by embracing each day and appreciating every breath.
The world is a little less colourful now that you’ve gone.
In memory of Camille’s love of colour, I’m republishing a guest post that she wrote for My Poppet back in 2011
A Colour Story – A guest post by Curly Pops
When reading my blog, looking at what I create, or visiting my house, it’s not very hard to tell that I have a slight obsession with bright colours.
Furthermore, I’m completely obsessed with the combination of pink, orange, and red.
I was never a girly girl growing up, in fact I detested anything pink, but I remember borrowing a completely awe-inspiring book about Mexican architecture from the local library not long after I bought my first house. The way that they’d used colour both inside and out definitely altered my design / decorating direction.
The house was a completely cream blank canvas, so I set about changing that quick smart! I painted every interior wall. The kitchen / living room ended up being bright orange, the hallway hot pink, and the pergola a combination of the two.
I’ve moved house a couple of times since then, and instead of painting the white walls, I now collect, create, and display things all over my house in various shades of pink, orange, and red instead.
I like to think of my walls and shelves as a blank art gallery, which I can use to highlight the wonderful pieces of art and craft that I’ve created, or bought, or have been given by my lovely friends.
A lot of my favourite self-designed fabrics also feature these colours, and I sometimes combine them with yellows, and greens for a bit of extra pop! Of course, I always make sure to design in other colourways too. It seems that not everyone loves pink, orange and red quite as much as me.
At the moment, I’m working on a fabric design for some new curtains…in pink, orange and red of course!