Sunday, April 26, 2009

i'm back! and volunteering, among other things!

sorry for the extended radio silence folks!

again, health issues were a big part of it. i've just been so up and down the last few months, i almost preferred it when my health was consistently worse! not really, of course, but some days it gets discouraging.
(for those of you who read my blog who don't know me in "real life" or who aren't close friends, i have fibromyalgia and chronic fatique. i've had it for a long time, but it's been disabling the last few years after a car accident)

i've had lots of stuff that i've wanted to post about, but i never seem to have the energy to actually post it.

so, things i've been up to-

- i went on a cleaning rampage over easter weekend, as i had the house to myself. this is the closest to clean and organized that my studio have ever been, really that ANY of my studios have ever been, and it's super exciting! of course, i paid for the cleaning binge for almost a week after...

- i was determined to get out of the house and go to swap-o-rama-rama, a clothing and craft supply swap. i'll do a post about it later, when i finally get a chance to work with some of the goodies that i scored, but in the meantime, definitely check out the post (complete with pics!) on the got craft? blog. i lasted for about an hour and a half before my hips seized up, but it was totally worth feeling crappy for it! it would have been even more fun with a friend, but i didn't have the energy to be social AND search for cool finds!

- all of my chunky houses for the Chunky House Swap Round 3 on have been received, so i can post pics! i had a lot of fun with them.

- my pendants are being received for the Pendant Swap on, and i'm super impatient, i want to post them!!

- my atcs for the Fabric ATC Swap Round 4 that i hosted on are currently winging their way around the world. i sent them canada post instead of USPS, so they're gonna be way slower.

- i've been machine embroidering! i've been buying patterns from urban threads and from embroidery library, as well as digitizing my own designs.

- i've got some fabulous thrift store finds to get photographed and posted, i've made some great scores lately!

- i'm obsessed with twitter. really. it's just so easy to keep up with! follow me on twitter!

- i won books from craftychica!

- after freaking out over the state of my finances, i finally started working on stuff for my etsy shop again! the poor shop's been so neglected since everyone started having babies! AND, i've started weeding through my stash, and i'm hoping to open a second shop with supplies and vintage goodies, since god knows i have enough of both!

- i've obviously failed at Make Something Cool Every Day April (MSCEApril), but i have made some cool stuff, so i'll have to post them. the pics below count too!

- i've been volunteering! it started out as part of my disability company's "get amy back to work" campaign, they wanted me to volunteer somewhere, basically to get me out of the house! i looked around for opportunities and found some really cool ones, but most were either totally inappropriate for me (really physical, etc), were ones that require a long criminal record check (and the disability company wanted me to start RIGHT AWAY), or they wanted long time commitments, which i didn't feel comfortable with, because i don't know what'll be going on in my life in 6 months, so i don't want to agree to volunteer every wednesday morning for a year or something when i know i wouldn't be able to do it once i'm back at work.

i was starting to get a bit discouraged. i've done a ton of volunteer work over the years, mostly political based, but all the groups i've worked with were in vancouver. i loved working with them, and one day i'd like to be able to do HIV/AIDS education work again, but i needed something local. and then i found Caring Hearts!

Caring Hearts is an organization that provides handmade clothing and blankets/afghans to children in crisis.

from their website -
Caring Hearts has hundreds of volunteers donating their time and skills to make clothing, blankets and quilts for children in sizes that range from newborn to teenagers. We provide clothing for all seasons and distribute our finished items throughout the year to many community programs in all areas of the lower mainland.Our volunteers create the hand crafted items in their own homes on their own time.

Caring Hearts is helping reduce the trauma for children in crisis, who become placed in difficult situations by giving them hand made items. These items may be the first article that was ever made ... just for them. Imagine the feeling of knowing that someone you haven't even met, did this for you! This is where your charitable contributions have the greatest social effect. Since a child's self esteem and sense of worth ultimately effects their social attitudes, giving them both pride and comfort, can produce enormous long-term rewards for our community and society at large.

i go in once a week and help put together the bundles of "orders" from the different community groups that request items, and i've started sewing for them as well. we have lots of knitting and crocheting volunteers, but we're short on sewing, so i've been focusing mostly on the stuff that we're lowest on. i've done a bunch of 2T stuff, and we're really low on jackets/hoodies for all ages, so i'm going to do some of those next.

the first things i made -

a little boy's outfit (caring hearts is really into binary gender. it's been a little weird for me, quite frankly!)
2T outfit
all the fabric is donated to the charity, and the size of the pieces can vary quite a lot. i didn't realize quite how small these pieces were when i took them home with me! i barely had enough, hence the mismatched cuffs on the pants!

and little girl's outfits (again, misjudged the size of the pieces, these two were much bigger than i realized!)
pink shirts

flowery shirts

white shirt



i gave up entirely on basting ruffles, and just cut strips of fabric and used my ruffle foot. much much faster!

and these i finished up last week. the fabric for these were actually from my stash. i got it from a friend on new year's day, thinking it would make cute bags, but didn't realize that it had stretch in it. perfect for little kid clothes!



it's been fun to just whip stuff up, without struggling with fabrics, or trying to do something quirky that requires a lot of thought. i just kind of zone out, and it's good.


Jonette said...

Congratulations on your creations! These look really comfy to wear, and seem perfect for a cold, rainy or wintry evening at home! It's great to know they're all going to a good cause. Good for you! :D

amy dame said...


i hope they aren't too warm, since we're going into spring, but yeah, they're definitely comfy cozy. the corduroy's a bit wintery, but everything else is just jersey knit.

i grew up wearing uncomfy things that my relatives gave gifted me, so i refuse to make kids clothes that aren't comfy!

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