Friday, February 12, 2010

Stitching from the heart. . .

Monica recently made a post that Cat, of Baumcat, was asking for help to give *Hope* to some children in Haiti. I thought it was a wonderful idea and I wanted to help, but I wrote Monica and told her there was no way I could do it in a couple days and have it shipped by the 31st of January. She shot me a note and let me know she thought a few extra days would be okay. So I swung by Cat's and let her know I would love to join in and asked if it would be alright if they were shipped out on Monday, February 1st. Cat said they would actually be shipping them when they had a shipping pod full. So don't worry about the date...have fun and ship them out as soon as you can. I also liked that these bags were going to a specific rescue center and orphanage in Haiti. It is called Real Hope For Haiti.

My sister and I were spending time together that weekend and I knew that she would want to help also. Although I do sew, we were on a time crunch, so we took the easy route. Monica mentioned that if you don't sew, remember that the Dollar Store tote bags hold just as much. In each Hope Ditty Bag you were to put inside:

1 toothbrush
1 travel size toothpaste
3 granola bars
1 small toy

Then mail to: Debbie Woodward (She is a part of RHFH and is collecting donated items)
1500 Jackson Street NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413

So that Saturday, Sissy and I were off to shop. We gathered our coupons and first headed to JoAnn's. We chose pre-made canvas totes in different colors, iron-on appliques and an assortment of buttons and embroidery floss. Then we were off for the essentials that needed to go into the bag. We chose stuffed animal puppets for the toy. I wished I had taken a picture of them. They were all different animals...a dog, a cat, a monkey, a elephant, etc. Leslie and I both wished we could include other things, but it wouldn't be fair to the children to do that. They also had a list of other things they were gathering, so Leslie and I included in the box:

6 boxes of gauze
6 tubes of triple anitibiotic ointment
6 bottles of antibacterial hand soap
6 bags of Tootsie Roll suckers
2 large boxes of Crayola Crayons
2 reams of paper
1 childrens book...*Goodnight Moon*

We had wanted to buy a few books, but then we both wondered how many people speak English in Haiti. When we got back home we checked and they speak Creole and French. We were glad we only bought one book. We hope that the story can be translated by someone though.

When we got back to Leslie's we started to work ironing the appliques and stitching buttons. I don't totally trust iron-ons so we tacked stitched them and sewed many buttons. Then when they were done we had fun filling each of them. When Sissy's husband heard what we were doing, he offered to ship our package through his company and it was so awesome of him to do that! We had so much fun doing this and it warmed our heart to help. Can you imagine the smile that one bag may bring to a child!

If anyone is still interested in making bags, there is still a little time left. I just read an update at Cat's blog and it looks like they will be shipped out on March 1st.

This is my sister, Leslie, ironing the creases from the bags and our two helpers, Maverick and Bailey! ;-) We had so much fun together that weekend!

Here are the bags done. We tried to make some for boys, girls and different ages.

Artbeads contacted me recently to share for Valentine's Day. I chose two beautiful pieces and I was so excited when they arrived and I saw them. I debated if I was going to make a necklace with one, but I ultimately decided to make them each into brooches.

The first piece I chose was this beautiful blue and red flowered heart shaped Stoneware Porcelain Pendant. Have you seen these? They are all so colorful and fun, it's hard to choose just one! They are made with stoneware clay and are glazed very well. They state they are durable and they look and feel very durable in the hand. This heart measures 24 x 24mm.

I stitched it on red EZ felt and it is backed with navy Ultrasuede. I thought I had enough Light Siam Swarvoski crystals in my stash and found out I didn't have enough. So I ordered some red and while looking I saw the dark indigo color and thought that may look even better, so I ordered both. I actually liked the dark indigo and added just a bit of the red. I peyote stitched the pendant with 11/0 transparent Czech navy blue seed beads with 13/0 transparent red charlottes. I then edged the peyote with 4mm Swarovski Dark Indigo bicones and a row of 3mm Swarovski Light Siam bicone beads with 15/0 round 24K lined crystal seed beads. It is picot edged with 8/0 transparent Dark Colbalt Japanese seed beads with the 11/0 Czech navy blue seed beads. I forgot to mention that I used a 2.5 mm Swarovski Light Siam bicone bead to fill the pendant hole. Finished it measures 1-3/4 x 1-3/4".

I love the heart symbol and, of course, it speaks Valentine's Day, but it speaks Mother's Day and any day to me too! ;-)

Here is the front and I took another picture so you could see the depth too.

The second piece I chose was this gorgeous 30 x 21mm, oval, orange/red, hand-painted Russian Mother of Pearl Pendant/Bead. It is so beautiful! These Russian pendants are amazing works of art. Each is hand-painted with the finest brushes for the most intricate detail. There are multiple layers of paint and lacquer applied to each one. I fell in love with it the minute I held it in my hand.

I stitched it on tan/golden Ultrasuede backed with Pellon, and it was backed in the same color of Ultrasuede. This bead/pendant has a bead whole running through the length of it, so I stitched it down well. I then peyote stitched the edge with 11/0 transparent orange Czech seed beads with 15/0 round 24K lined crystal seed beads. Since it was stitched down through the bead, I just barely edged it with peyote because I didn't want to cover the artist's signature or the design. I then edged the peyote with two rounds of 4mm Swarovski Hyacinth bicones with a row of 3mm Swarovski Sun bicone beads with 15/0 round 24K lined crystal seed beads. It is picot edged with 8/0 and 11/0 transparent orange Czech seed beads. Finished it measures 2" x 1-3/4".

Here is the front and I took another picture so you could see the depth too. I couldn't capture how sparkly this pin is, but it is shining! It makes me smile and reminds me of sunshine.

I have been working hard on a gift for a friend and I'm getting closer. It is going to be so fun to share this when it's complete and received. I also have been working on a couple of turtle squares for Jeanette's beaded quilt project. The squares are donated for Breast Cancer and auctioned at the Bead and Button Show. I'm sorry, I should have thought to post this as a reminder. They are due in Alaska, March 1st. They are 2" squares of Pellon and you bead a 1-1/2" square. If you have time and think you can get a square or two off to her, it would be great! You can find out the specifics and rules here.

Now, I'm off to catch up with you and back to stitching! I hope you have a nice day with your Valentine too! ~Lisa

Disclosure Statement: I have received the above items free of charge from Artbeads, and I am honestly reviewing the products and have not been paid for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received.