Secret cash stash a recipe for disaster

MARIKA HILL
Last updated 05:00 19/11/2012
When the cash raised for an SPCA fundraiser went up in smoke, Norman Samuels created an artwork of shredded money to recoup the lost dosh.
MADE OF MONEY: When the cash raised for an SPCA fundraiser went up in smoke, Norman Samuels created an artwork of shredded money to recoup the lost dosh.

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An Auckland couple learned the hard way that the oven is not the safest place to stash cash.

Natalie Tuki-Samuels watched in horror as her best intentions for the SPCA - $350 in cash - melted into a blob.

But rather than despairing, her husband Norman Samuels came to the rescue with the crafty idea of turning the ruined cash into a Trade Me charity art auction.

The drama was sparked when their house was robbed last year - police told them burglars never checked the oven.

So when they raised $350 for the SPCA's Cupcake Day in August it seemed the safest place to keep the cash.

Unfortunately the couple forgot about the hot tip for a hiding place when they turned on the oven to bake 20 batches of cupcakes.

A peculiar stench sparked alarm with the couple.

They found not only had the cash melted, so had the plastic container it had been kept in.

"I was worried about the money but Natalie was worried about the oven.

"She still had eight more batches of cupcakes to bake," Mr Samuels said.

Mr Samuels came up with the idea of sending the melted money to the Reserve Bank, which salvaged $85 from the damaged lot, and made up the rest with shredded notes.

He then went about creating an art work of a dog from the ruined notes.

Using tweezers, he created his money masterpiece over 14 hours of work.

"It's literally worth hundreds," he said.

"It got therapeutic in the end, but I wouldn't want to do it again."

The Trade Me auction had reached $280 last night and still had another five days to run.

All proceeds will go to the SPCA.

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