How to Use Your Crafting Skills to Help Animals Displaced by Australia's Fires

Mark Brake/Stringer/Getty Images
Mark Brake/Stringer/Getty Images

Roughly 1 billion animals have died since wildfires started burning across Australia at the start of last year's bushfire season. If you're looking for a way to help that goes beyond donating money to rescue groups, consider using your knitting skills for a good cause. As WCNC reports, the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue is looking for handmade nests and pouches to provide for displaced wildlife in Australia.

Last spring, the North Carolina-based organization put out a call for knitted nests to hold the rescue chicks in its bird sanctuary. It received a surplus of donations from generous crafters, and in light of the news coming out of Australia, the group plans to ships its extra nests to rescue groups working in the affected areas.

Anyone interested in donating additional crafts to the shipments can help. Australia's Animal Rescue Craft Guild published a guide of knitted and crafted items it's looking for, with medium to extra-large joey pouched, carry bag pouches, and 3D hanging pouches being the most needed. There's also a high need for smaller joey pouches, bird nests, bat wraps, blankets, and possum and bird boxes. The Carolina Waterfowl Rescue published the full guide on its Facebook page.

If you have a craft to contribute and live in the area, you can drop it off with the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue at 5403 Poplin Rd, Indian Trail in North Carolina. The organization is also looking for donors to sponsor the cost of postage, which you can set up by emailing waterfowlrescue@aol.com. For more ways to support the people and animals affected by the Australian wildfires, go here.

[h/t WCNC]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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A Wily Fox With a Passion for Fashion Stole More Than 100 Shoes From a Berlin Neighborhood

The smirk.
The smirk.
Brett Jordan, Unsplash

In Berlin, Germany, a fox has embarked on a crime spree that puts Dora the Explorer’s Swiper completely to shame.

CNN-News18 reports that residents of Zehlendorf, a locality in southeastern Berlin, spent weeks scratching their heads as shoes continued to disappear from their stoops and patios overnight. After posting about the mystery on a neighborhood watch site and reading accounts from various bewildered barefooters, a local named Christian Meyer began to think the thief might be a fox.

He was right. Meyer caught sight of the roguish robber with a mouthful of flip-flop and followed him to a field, where he found more than 100 stolen shoes. The fox appears to have an affinity for Crocs, but the cache also contained sandals, sneakers, a pair of rubber boots, and one black ballet flat, among other footwear. Unfortunately, according to BBC News, Meyer’s own vanished running shoe was nowhere to be seen.

Foxes are known for their playfulness, and it’s not uncommon for one to trot off with an item left unattended in a yard. Birmingham & Black Country Wildlife explains that foxes are drawn to “things that smell good,” which, to a fox, includes dog toys, balls, gardening gloves, and worn shoes. And if your former cat’s backyard gravesite is suddenly empty one day, you can probably blame a fox for that, too; they bury their own food to eat later, so a deceased pet is basically a free meal.

The fate of Zehlendorf’s furriest burglar remains unclear, but The Cut’s Amanda Arnold has a radical idea: that the residents simply let the fox keep what is obviously a well-curated collection.

[h/t CNN-News18]