07 July 2014

I'm Crafting for a Cause

Last fall, between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I had a bit of a breakdown. Work stunk. I was in a funk. Blah, blah, blah. After a really uncomfortable "discussion" with my boss, I realized a lot of things - about life, about myself. I might go into that at some point, but the important takeaway today is that all of that chaos led to something pretty awesome: Northwest Ohio Crafting for a Cause.

I needed to find balance between work and, well, life. Crafting has always been a hobby of mine, but spending time on it honestly makes me feel guilty. There's always laundry or dishes to do. Toilets to clean. Windows to wash. Dust to, um, dust.

More importantly, there's always BB to play with, read to and spend time with.

But, in a stroke of genius (if I do say so myself), I decided that crafting can be important as well - if I have a good excuse. That was how Northwest Ohio Crafting for a Cause was born.

I rounded up several of my crafty friends and started talking through my idea: what if we organize our other crafty friends and make things for organizations in need. Things they could use or raffle or auction off to raise funds for things they could use. (I should note that a lot of people do this. We're not the only ones by any means.)

Thanks to some amazingly supportive friends, we started our first project in April, creating items the Theatre Workshop of Toledo could auction off at their annual fundraiser to raise money for summer camps. I made these (terrible) bags:



But several other people made some pretty awesome stuff, which you can check out at our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/nwocraftingforacause.

We are currently making blankets for the Troy/Oakland County Chapter of Project Linus, which collects handmade blankets and donates them to children in various situations who could use them. Our goal is to donate 10 blankets by the end of the month! Here's one I made:




We have an advisory committee made up of 6 crafty ladies, including myself. Our goal is to participate in 4 projects a year, primarily to benefit small, local non-profits. If you want to help us with our projects (we're always looking for crafters!) or if you would like to suggest an organization for us to support, e-mail us at info@nwocraftingforacause.com. You can also check out our Facebook page, where we share information about our projects, including photos of completed donations. We also hold fan raffles every so often, so like us, too! Here are two things we've given away in the raffles so far:


Isn't it amazing how that old cliche about good things coming out of trying times can sometimes come true? Happy Crafting!

Summer 2014 Handmade Gift Exchange Results!

Earlier this summer, when my to-do list was already bursting at the seams, I stumbled across the Craftaholics Anonymous Summer 2014 Handmade Gift Exchange. Wendy has gotten me into a few of these types of exchanges in the past, but this is the first I decided to do on my own.

I was paired up with another crafter with whom to exchange handmade awesomeness and got to work. My partner was extremely easy going, which is great and also a little painful. I snooped around her Pinterest page a bit and didn't get anywhere. I wanted to make her something she would love or needed or had her eye on, but nothing jumped out at me. With little to go on, I stuck to what I (currently) love, stitching. The things I made her:



The first is a cross-stitched monogram necklace, the second, an embroidered and framed flower (the flower was made by my friend Barbara; I can't crochet or knit to save my life).

My partner sent me these handmade goodies in return:



I especially love the wreath because I haven't had one to put up in what feels like forever (I should probably made myself one, huh?).

The next Handmade Gift Exchange starts in December. Click here to sign up for an e-mail reminder so you can join the fun!

26 June 2014

I'm Drawn to these Magnets!*

Have you ever seen a craft or project or recipe on Pinterest and thought, "I need that in my life! Now!"? That's how I felt when I saw these adorable Pantone chip magnets from How About Orange.

Luckily I have access to some Pantone chips and was able to get right to work making my own magnets! The hardest part was finding Aleene's Paper Glaze. So hard, in fact, that I couldn't find it at all. I used Ranger's Glossy Accents instead and it seemed to work pretty well. ← Those are my magnets!

Jump over to How About Orange for the easy-to-follow tutorial! She has a bunch of fun tutorials to check out while you're there.

* See what I did there? :-)

04 June 2014

You Want What?!

Every so often, one of my friends will ask me to make them birthday invites, holiday cards, etc. It makes my heart happy every time, and, of course, I say yes.

The most recent request, from my most loyal 'customer', was for a birthday invite. Something with deer. And camo.

Can you repeat that? Deer? Camo?

Done.

30 April 2014

My Crafting Partner

For some odd reason (seriously, it's odd), BB doesn't like to color. I thought all kids liked to color? To be honest, it makes me a little sad because I was looking forward to having an excuse to color. Looks like I'll have to give all my new coloring books away. (Or not. :-) )

Besides wanting an excuse to color, I also looked forward to BB coloring to see and encourage his creativity and because it's kind of a lazy parent/child activity and sometimes I really need a lazy parent/child activity.

Fortunately, he does like to be creative and I love encouraging that! 

He really enjoys participating in art classes at Hero's, although I think it's the bouncing that he likes the most.


He also enjoyed doing some spring projects I stole from Pinterest recently:


The first was our Easter cards, made by sticking paper strips to these rabbit-shaped cards I picked up at Michaels. They come already sticky, so we didn't have to mess with glue or double-sided tape. Very fun.

The second was salt dough ornaments. I don't know why, but he really loved this project, from the mixing of the dough to rolling it out to cutting it out to painting. It was a lot of fun to see him so excited about something I was so excited about!

I can't wait for our next project!