I had planned that my first blog post of 2011 might be something about my New Year's resolutions - stamping ones and otherwise - and perhaps a bit about school holidays and what we've been up to.

Instead, rather than blogging about anything at all, I have been transfixed by the images of the devastation in Queensland, where three quarters of the state has been ravaged by extreme flooding in the past few days.

Sitting on the other side of the country, I am filled with feelings of helplessness at being so far away, mixed at the same time with almost guilty thankfulness at the very same thing.  When it all gets too much, I have the luxury of being able to walk away or switch it off.

I'm concerned for the many friends in the area - lots of them fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators - as well as some dear friends of ours who just before Christmas packed up their lives in Perth and headed across the Nullabor to start a new chapter of their lives in Brisbane.  They arrived at their new house two days before the floods hit the city, but thankfully they're in a suburb that has not been directly affected.  A small mercy at least.

There are simply not enough words to describe the overwhelming images that are being flashed around the world and the stories that have emerged of people being swept away by raging waters.

The worst part is, that it's still all happening and the clean up - the gargantuan, expensive task of the clean up - can not even begin until the water goes away.

No doubt you will be aware of ways in which you can donate to the appeal that has been set up to assist in the aftermath of these horrific events, and chances are you have already done so.  I know I have.

Because it can't hurt to spread the word, -->HERE<-- is the website for the Queensland Premier's Appeal, where there is information on how you can help.

I have been trying to think of other ways that I can possibly contribute more to those who so desperately need it, and have decided that I will sell off my retired stamp sets - a job that has been put off for far too long already - and contribute the proceeds to the appeal.

There are a lot of stamp sets to be photographed and uploaded, and I will be getting that organised as soon as possible, so watch this space for how you can get yourself some hard-to-come-by retired sets and help out the flood victims at the same time.