Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause
“It started with a pillowcase dress…and grew into a worldwide movement: crafters using their passion to help those in need. The Craft Hope blog-which organizes crafters to make handmade items for charities-has attracted followers around the world. This book, written by the site’s founder and featuring crafting’s hottest start, celebrates the cause and encourages others to join in.
Each project is matched with a specific charity, with alternative suggestions for local places to contribute the item. The projects-all with beautiful photographs, step-by-step instructions, and templates-include: cheerful quilts for hospitalized children, soft dolls for Nicaraguan orphans, tug toys for animal shelters, knit gloves for homeless shelters, a cloth backpack for schoolchildren in Africa, a stylish purse for women moving out of abusive relationships, and knit scarves for fostercare teens heading off to college. Contributors range from fabric designers Amy Butler and Heather Bailey to popular authors and bloggers such as Amanda Soule (www.soulemama.com, Handmade Home), Karri Meng (French General), Amy Ray (Doodle Stitching), Celine Dupuy (Simple Sewing with a French Twist), Vickie Howell (Craft Corps), Cathie Filian (Creative Juice), Susan Wasinger (Eco Crafts), and Betsy Greer (Knitting for Good).
In addition, there are plenty of helpful tips on how to give locally and globally, how to give thoughtfully and appropriately, and how to empower those you are helping.” → more info
The idea of recycling isn’t just about separating your household waste into piles of glass, paper and organic waste. Like the above photo from Skip To My Lou, recycling is a cute way of having fun – as well as keeping little people busy and entertained with these juice carton boats.
I love the idea of simple, easy to make crafts and home made treats – especially when minimal mess is acquired making said crafts and home made treats!
Much like these yummy looking Ritz cracker snacks, made by my sister-in-law, Amy.
These are a straight forward make and you will need:
Ritz crackers/a cheaper alternative.
Chocolate (Amy has used white chocolate, but you can probably use just about any variety.)
Melt the chocolate: you can try the bowl in the pan method or the microwave method. Sandwich together 2 plain crackers, spread a little peanut butter in the middle (to hold the crackers together) then dip into the melted chocolate and add sprinkles to them – the last two steps my 4 year old nephew helped out with meanwhile my 2 year old nephew sat that part out and was on hand to taste-test.
I was so impressed with these cute little treats and it further affirms to me that from simple things come great things – and you don’t need to break the banks doing it, or expend a lot of energy making things.
Much like these sweet (literally) building block marshmallow straws from Makes and Takes, a crafting blog jam-packed full of crafty ideas for kids, family time, recipes, home projects and so on.
For instructions to make these marshmallow/straw building blocks.
So when keeping it simple on the craft and making front with kids, make it accessible and inclusive to kids of all ages. Devise tasks for all age groups according to their ability levels, encourage (but don’t over bear) their creative and crafty sides – and remember to get them to help with the cleaning up process, too!
A beautiful alternative to sometimes questionably-mined diamond rings.
It wasn’t too hard to choose who to write about this week. I recently moved my studio and set up shop with a new studio mate. Dear readers, please meet Kim Of Stella Marie Soap Company. She is in charge of making our space smell great!
Kim makes soaps with a twist. Looking more like deserts, they are quite enticing. And we can’t forget her “last call” soap made with Narragansett Lager, which may seem good enough to drink, but really, drinking soap isn’t recommended. We’ll stick to bathing and save the beer for later.
Stella Marie Soaps may take on some unusual forms and incorporate many local ingredients (read: New Harvest Coffee in the form of java lava) but her main goals remain solid: “The mission is to produce fresh, skin-nourishing products of the highest possible quality in an environmentally responsible manner while offering an exciting alternative to the mainstream.”
She doesn’t just stick to soap either. Lip balm and body scrubs are also a staple among her fan base.
Don’t take the term fan base lightly. This woman has followers in this state. Winning such awards as Best of Rhode Island and The Phoenix Best doesn’t allow you to slip quietly around in RI. Just today two women came out to our studio to sniff around a bit. They just couldn’t wait to see her at the Providence Open Market during our fall season there. They needed their soap and needed it today.
It has been great to catch glimpses of Kim making her Stella Marie Soap while I am at my jewelers bench. She cares about her product through all of the steps. While a batch is baking she is printing labels and packaging another batch with care. Though she does stop on occasion to pet my irresistible dog who shares our space with us. Really though, who can resist a Bernese Mountain dog with the biggest, sweetest brown eyes? Enough about the dog, get on shopping and stock up on some stocking stuffers.
Kiersten Essenpreis: I’m a freelance illustrator and gallery artist living/working in Brooklyn NY. I do work for various magazines, newspapers, and books as well as paintings for gallery shows around the world.
I decided to open my Etsy shop as an accessible alternative to the gallery scene.. a way to offer small, fun, and affordable pieces that anyone can own.