Tag Archives: Charitable Crafting

Boredom is the Crafter’s Friend

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I get bored easily. Especially now, living in a 30 foot trailer, without most of my craft stuff available. For the moment, thanks to Arthur (aka Arthritis) I am not crocheting.  I did manage to finish this crocheted cap for a child – a contribution to my current charitable endeavor for Kaps for Kendall. You can find out all about that here: http://www.kapsforkendall.com/

1000 caps by December 15th,2011. I am doing it via the web site Craftsy.com If you want to bypass all the folderol – mail your completed caps directly to Craftsy, who will deliver them to Kaps for Kendall. Send caps to:

Keep a Kid Warm
c/o Sympoz Inc.
1553 Platte #202
Denver, CO 80202

  • The hats can be in all sizes
  • The hats should be fun! Children like to wear bright colors
  • Hats for little boys are especially welcome
  • The hats don’t have to be knit or crochet, sewn hats are great, too!

So that solved the boredom problem for a while! Now, with a little over a month to go before I move back into a real house, with space for all my treasures,  I am doing two things: 1) searching for good craft projects for the future, including holiday ideas and 2) browsing the internet for patterns and ideas to share with my readers! SO here are today’s ideas for boredom busters!

In the mood to do some decorating for Halloween? (PLEASE, let’s wait until after Thanksgiving to do Christmas decorating, okay? Christmas gift planning is great, just skip putting out the santas and snowmen until the Friday after Thanksgiving!)

Andrea Kay Porter from Poppies at Play has posted a downloadable, printable set of Halloween letters for making Halloween Blocks. Too, Too cute! You can find all the details and the complete tute on her site. The tutorial is not as complete as I would like, since it doesn’t give the actual dimensions to cut, but I am going to print out the letters in B/W and using my Elmer’s Spray Adhesive – which will bond temporarily to the wood (see can instructions!) I can then use that as a template to cut the blocks before permanently attaching the design. Voila!

Another Halloween idea I simply adored was one for making a reader’s delight with “Well Mannered Pumpkins.” She calls them well-mannered because she used an old book of Etiquette tips! My book, for this project, is an old book of quotes. Use the above link to get to the tute – you will have to scroll down the blog a bit to this project, her September 13th post. Easy to make, inexpensive as all get out (around $2 each!) and something you can put your own unique spin on so easily! This project really appeals to me, because I am, as most of you know, an avid reader, and “Readerwoman” is my nickname!

Halloween is becoming America’s #2 holiday, behind Christmas, so break out your creativity and get going on some of these fun ideas for decorating your house for those trick or treaters!

Blogwise – I have come across some sites that I subscribed to because they scratched the itch of what to do next!

Crafter Hours has some marvelous ideas – especially this one for making a tank top out of a tee-shirt!

If you share my interest in Steampunk crafting and decorating, you will find this blog right up your alley! Gothic Rainbows has some simply awesome steampunk and goth ideas.  I intend to attempt to make the marvelous goth watch – there is no tute, but the picture is great, so I am going to go to Fire Mountain for some of the needed “parts” and give it a try when we get back to California!

A new favorite blog is The Long Thread. Ellen does wonderful things with needle and thread, and I adore her felt projects. Take some time here to browse the tutorials, and look at the projects. Simply Divine.

Here is a blog with a great giveaway – CASH! Nikki, In Stitches is offering $250 in cash! While you are there entering, take a look at the section of her blog called “Make it Together.”  Great projects and tutes in a variety of mediums – paper, fabric, jewelry, yarn and more. Nikki is a new blogger, and her ideas and projects are clever and inspiring.

Well – that’s it for today. I may set up my own tute for the Halloween Blocks to show you how it goes – it depends on how hot it gets – its 95 out there now – and it is only 10:30 in the morning!

Until we meet again – Happy Crafting!

Blogging Mavens ~ The World of Craft Blogs!

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First, I want to send you all to a marvelous charity blog – which ties in so well with the Craftivism mode I have been in lately! Jog on over to World of Charity Stitching and enter their wonderful contest for fat quarters – even if you don’t quilt, you will find tons of uses for fat quarters; in fact, yesterday’s blog about my own “pretty little project” used a fat quarter (well, actually, about 1/3 of a fat quarter!)  If you are not familiar with the term fat quarter – read on!

One of my favorite Tee-Shirts says

Basically, a fat quarter is fabric that is cut in half between the selvedges so you end up with a piece of fabric that is approximately 18″ by 22″. A normal cut of fabric for 1/4 of a yard (a “quarter”) would be 9 x 44.  For a great chart, see about.com’s quilting pages.  Here is a photo of bundles of fat quarters. They can also be sold in rounds, so don’t be mislead when looking for them in your fabric store!

Fat Quarters pictures from "I'm no Chef" Diet Recipe site

ANYWAY – this is all just to encourage you to head on over to World of Charity Stitching. Whether or not you enter the giveaway, please take time to browse the site, as Craftivism, as demonstrated so well by World of Charity, is dear to my heart.

There are many blogs online about and for crafters. I am enamored of many, and subscribe to several. If you know how many emails trot across  my desktop daily, you will know that I am very picky about what I subscribe to, lest I be swamped by ideas and have a serious email meltdown. Here are five of my favorites, all of whom to which I subscribe. (I hate trying to write grammatically correct sentences.  They never seem to sound right!)

1. The Zen of Making  Haley Pierson-Cox is the maven here at The Zen of Making. She does all kinds of DIY (do it yourself) projects, and does product testing as well. (one of the things I am trying to expand into – product reviews) Her tutorials (which I have recently learned to call “tutes” {ye gads} ) are fantastic, her humor is “zenny” (so, so sorry, I am on a roll here…) and I simply love to wander through her site with mind wide open to crafting possibilities! And if you understood that paragraph, you win! (my everlasting gratitude!) (or would that be ‘tude, dude?)

2. I love the mother-daughter Aussies on Craftbits. They too have a charitable “arm” called Bottles of Hope. They have a lot of advertising on their site, but they take the time to explain why, and their projects and ideas are so much fun that who cares anyway!?  Browse their site and their fantastic free projects; I particularly love the section on Therapy Crafts. Great ideas for kids and classrooms as well. What a dynamic duo!

3. Next up, the wonderfully wacky (why are all crafters so nutty? It is just our creativity spilling out into the world!) Ashley, over at Make It and Love It  A mom of three, she finds time for her blog, and some really clever ideas. Particularly like her flip-flop makeovers, (in the no-sew section) and the gifts section. Since she has three kiddies, of course lots of the ideas are child-oriented, but I figure those of you who don’t have your own (or they are grown and gone, like mine) have other kids in your life to make things for, and this site will give you plenty of fodder for fooling around with crafts and sewing.

4.  Gwenny Penny is another mom-blogger. Her site includes printables, which are unique and fun (some geared to kids, some not.) She has  some really thoughtful ideas on creating unusual crafts for home and gifts. I love the tute on making your own personalized labels, which is high up on my list of things to do before Christmas. As with all the blogs I mention here, or will mention in the future, take some time to really check out her site, especially the “about me” page; somehow knowing the blogger and her background, her interest in specific crafting methods and her ideas really make “friends” out of strangers.

5. Last but definitely not least, is the Wool Food Mama. Yep. Wool. I adore her fabric boxes tutorial (I was tired of saying “tute”) and her specialty, felting, is the next new skill I intend to develop. If you want an hysterical bout of laughter, read the left sidebar on her homepage, which includes such statements as “I’m soaking hungry” and she calls that column, Gusty Bleu’s Backseat Blurt-outs… Yep, she is another blogging mommy. So many of them, with so much talent. Her site is about a lot more than crafting tho’ so if you just want the idea part, head over to the crafting portion of her site. Take time to look at the rest though!

When my kids we young, (and I only had two!) there were no blogs, in fact, there were barely computers, and the internet was in its infancy. But you know, I was amazed that I even had time to dress in the morning, and although I did a lot of crafts, I had to create my own ideas, or spend a lot of time at the library. Not complaining, they were lovely years, but I am stating this as a tribute to these talented moms who take the time to share their ideas and their lives with the rest of us.

ENJOY!

Craftivism: An Old-Fashioned Vision with a New Name

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Over 10 years ago, I got aboard the crafting for charity bandwagon.  And nothing pleases me more than to know that the trend is growing stronger. My personal inclination is to make things for charities in the United States, for no matter what the need is Internationally, there are hungry, homeless children in this country that need our love and support. But of course, just that fact that charitable creations are on your radar is a plus, and you can just ignore me if you are interested in a multi-national approach. 😉

You don’t have to look for a big charity, or a national organization to find a place to give, either!  You can do it in your own backyard, so to speak. Contact local churches, food closets, social services and women’s shelters. Most can give you a list of what they need (for instance, blankets, socks, hats & mittens, shawls, layettes etc.) and then you can fine-tune their needs to your talents and interests.

Stumped for ideas? Here are some of my favorite charities that are online:

Project Linus Their mission, should you chose to accept it, is to give children from birth to age 18 with a blanket to call their own. Begun in 1995, they have donated more than THREE million blankets to children in need. The site has patterns, lists of chapters you can join (you don’t need to join a chapter, but donations should be made through a chapter – or if no chapter exists locally, you can mail your handmade blankets in…or consider starting a chapter in your area; I did, and it was a joyful several years that I worked on it!) Be sure to start with the FAQ’s when you go to the site for the first time.

Craft Hope This is a somewhat new organization that started with a dynamite idea – sewing, knitting, crocheting and all manner of crafting can be donated to inspire hope in others. Jade Sims is the founder of the group, and her book, Craft Hope, is delightful. Many of the ideas and patterns are available online as well, though. There are 32 projects in the book, and a dozen or so online. Their methodology is by project. You sign up for the current project, if you are interested, and follow the guidelines and deadlines for that project. The current project is # 14 – the making of Christmas stockings for families severely impacted by tornadoes in this country, some 12,000 of them.  You can find out more about this project on the page Christmas in Dixie.

A new book is coming out in late September, which I will review on this site as soon as I get my copy. Called Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In,  it looks to be a wonderful collection of ideas and patterns. Look it up on your favorite online bookstore, but don’t buy it until you see my review!

There are some interesting blogs around the ‘net that seem to be focusing on creativity and ideas for charitable crafting. I encourage you to sign up for some, check them out. You can always drop your subscription if it isn’t what you are looking for.

For example: Betsy Greer has a far-reaching blog, discussing craftivism worldwide, which can be found at Craft+Activism=Craftivism Betsy has written a book as well, Knitting for Good, which you can find out about on her blog.

Etsy has some teams and communities, such as that are focused on charitable gifting of handmade items, check that out and see what you think. You may have to prowl around to find others, since things change daily there.

Another aspect of crafting for charity is fundraisers. Churches and non-profits often have craft fairs and special events where they sell homemade crafts to raise money for specific projects. Your best bet, if this is where your interest lies, is to contact local churches, clubs (e.g. Soroptimists or Lions clubs…) and local organizations advertising in the paper.

Last but not least, check online bulletin boards. There’s a good one at Craftster (Crafting for Good and Not Evil) which has some ideas, patterns, charities etc. on their community bulletin board. I am not 100% certain, but you may have to register before posting, although I think you can read the posts anonymously.

I did a review of Crocheted Prayer Shawl Companion here on the site recently – look on the right-hand sidebar for a link to that posting.

Hope this gave you some good ideas, and will help fuel your interest and excitement in creating for charity. Craftivism is a new word, but it’s meaning is timeless!