Silly girls….sewing is for boys…

Happy Monday!  It snowed here in Utah, not a whole lot, but let me tell you it is COLD!!! Are you getting all your holiday decorations up?  Shelley sure is!  Let me tell you, her front porch is something out of a Martha Stewart magazine, the girl has mad skills.  If you’ve never visited her blog, you must!  It’s loaded with free tutorials, gorgeous pictures and all kinds of other good things.

I swiped this from her blog….does your front porch look like this?  Yeah, mine doesn’t either.  A girl can wish though, right?

Many of you may or may not realize that Shelley’s patterns benefiting One Heart Bulgaria funds a youth sewing program.  Why is this important, you might ask?  To answer this question, we need to ask an important question.  When a child “ages” out of it’s orphanage, where do they go?  They have no family.  No skills.  They have nothing, I know I am always saying that, but it’s true, they have nothing.  Imagine having nothing.  Not even the clothes on your back are yours, everyone shares them in an orphanage.

The program we have chosen to fund with One Heart Bulgaria is a sewing class held once a month for some wonderful, bright, teens.  They are learning a life skill, something that can allow them to use as a profession or trade.  More importantly, they are learning a skill that will give them confidence and joy.  Sewing is fun!  Creating is so important to the human psyche, in discovering talents we learn more about who we are and what we are capable of.  I also believe that the time they spend with the sweet woman mentoring them is invaluable.  It’s important to understand that these children live in very large institutions, much like warehouses.  They are understaffed, run down, awful places to call home. Many of these children act out to get attention or even sadder they just shut down and resign themselves to the fact that they are just orphan #___ and nobody really cares.  Why it is a surprise to the government that these children turn to prostitution, gangs and suicide when they age out is beyond me.  Once again,  I just love  Kristin’s thoughts on the issue…”All children really need is love and a soft place to land”.

We received these great pictures taken at the most recent sewing class!  Look at those boys!  There is just something special about a teenage boy, I have four, so I might be a bit biased.  One look at these pictures and you can see that they are having a good time, working as a team and soaking up the attention of the camera and instructor.  I know the resolution is awful, but you get the idea, right?

She’s concentrating really hard, making sure those lines are straight and probably thinking…”hey, this is pretty cool!”  I can’t really tell, but it looks like she may be repairing some jeans?

Learning to measure twice and cut once!

Awwww….we love you too!  Seeing these pictures made me feel so good!  It’s nice to see where the money goes and to know that it’s making a difference even though it’s very little. Be sure to visit our store and pick up some of Shelley’s patterns if you haven’t yet, they are written so well, an amazing value at only 5.00!  Thank you for helping us to make this happen, we hope your week is amazing and full of good things, because you certainly deserve it!

Remember you are everything to someone with nothing!

Pillow Pack…a brand spankin’ new pattern!

I am so excited to share our newest pattern with you, Pillow Packs!  It’s from 7 Layer Studio,  Shelley has  been working really hard to populate our outreach for One Heart Bulgaria, hasn’t she?  How cute is this!?  What a great gift idea for a little person that needs to have all their “stuff” with them,  my 2 year old lugs around the entire toy room everyday.  I am going to make one up and put it under the tree this year, complete with a brand new book in one of the pockets.  Bella will love it, because it has a handle, she’s always got a “pooose” in tow.  The money we earn for One Heart Bulgaria is used to fund a sewing program.  One Heart Bulgaria is trying to ensure that the children they work with have a chance at life when they age out of the orphanage system.  This means they need life skills, education and preferably some sort of trade training.

Teen girls are given the opportunity to learn the trade of sewing!  They make fun things for themselves and also for other orphans.  I know that you understand the feeling of accomplishment when completing something you’ve made, imagine how a young girl with absolutely NOTHING feels when she is given the opportunity to make something that is useful and beautiful. This program right now is only in 1 of the 10 orphanages One Heart Bulgaria works with.  I about fell off my chair when I found out it only needs 200.00 a month to keep this program functioning.  Are you kidding me?!  They need 100.00 a month for the instructor and another 100.00 for supplies, we can do this!  Not only that, we can help open the program to other orphanages!

So today, I am asking you…please consider purchasing any of our patterns today benefiting One Heart Bulgaria.  I have made a change in the store…you can now click on One Heart Bulgaria in the menu and see in an instant all the gorgeous patterns benefiting this amazing foundation.

The same option is given to China Little Flower patterns.  Speaking of China Little Flower, check out our precious Mu Mu!  She started “kindergarten”!  Mind you, she’s not even 2, but she looks pretty thrilled doesn’t she?  She’s cuter than a bugs ear, and I happen to know that bugs have very cute ears.  Look how happy she is…that’s because she is loved, loved, loved.  So, thank you for supporting Create H.O.P.E, your money is put to good use, no?

Remember you are everything to someone with nothing!

Hopeful Threads giveaway!

I am so excited to introduce to you someone that is quite possibly sweeter than sugar. Kristy from Hopeful Threads is one good egg I tell ya.  Did you know she named Create H.O.P.E Designs?  I would have never gotten to know her if Create H.O.P.E  had never happened, she is just one of the many blessings this venture has brought me.  She, like many of our designers, jumped on board before the boat was in the water.  Humbly, she submitted a her A+ Art Portfolio, and simply asked if it could help. She then proceeded to tell me how special she wasn’t and if I didn’t want it, she completely understood, well…of course we wanted it, and you know what?  It’s a fantastic pattern!  This woman has a heart of gold and has been using her talents for others for quite awhile.  Her monthly sew along projects benefit so many people in need.  She has one happening right now,  she’s offering some really great pattern prizes and gorgeous fabric too, be sure to swing by and get in on the action!  Here is just one of her recent projects, preemie diaper covers for orphans in Cambodia…

Dolls, dresses, bibs and many other handmade goodies….

Kristy is one of those women that if you ask for help, not only will you get a “yes”, but an “ABSOLUTELY, how can I help and I am on it today!”.  She’s a mother, wife and friend, I am so grateful she’s in my corner.  Have you ever known someone that you just want to be around, because being around her makes you feel so good?  Have you ever known someone who emanates so much grace that you simply want to be like her even if it’s just in a very small way?  She’s familiar to my soul, I know she’s my friend, she has my back and most importantly…she truly desires for me to be happy and successful.  Kristy wants to be the wind in people’s sails, and she does a pretty good job if you ask me.

This is Kristy’s fabulous pattern, A+ Art Portfolio, you can buy it now in our store!

Today’s giveaway is all about creating the A+ Art Portfolio!

First up is….

Your very own finished A+ Art Portfolio, I love that it uses laminated fabric, to keep everything clean and tidy.  My own little two year old is a budding artist, so I am definitely making her one for Christmas.  Here’s an example of the finished portfolio’s fabric, Sock Monkeys are you kidding me?  I LOVE sock monkeys!

Second…is a kit to make an A+ Art Portfolio identical to Kristy’s!  Look at that button….swoon….

Third, and probably my favorite, is a box full of goodies….ooooh baby…I do love me some notions, especially when a few are vintage :o)

And last but DEFINITELY not least….50.00 gift card from Fat Quarter Shop!

That’s 3 winners, plus if you hop over to Hopeful Threads, you can try to win a fabulous bundle of Izzy & Ivy Designs patterns and some really cute fabric!

To enter this giveaway…

Leave us a comment…

1. Because you think we are all kinds of groovy, ya know the bee’s knee’s?

2. Put that fancy button on your blog AND tell people what it’s all about!  Or facebook it, but do more than just simply smack the thing on your sidebar.  Please :o)

3. Give us 5 comments (yeah, I know it’s a bit of a pain), if you buy any pattern in the shop, 10 if it’s an A+ Portfolio.

Finally…if you’ve read this far then this surprise is just for you…tell us about your favorite designer and how to get a hold of them, so we can ask, beg and plead for their help.  If they agree and submit, then I will personally send you a package of these….

SPRINKLES…for all your handmade goodies!  Yum, yum and yum!

This giveaway will end 11/8/2011 at midnight.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!

Results for the 7 Layer Studio giveaway results….finally

I am finally home and boy am I beat!  The past week and half has been crazy, fun, but crazy!  I took my laptop with me to keep you all updated, but completely forgot to bring my jump drive (is that what it is called) with all my pictures and yadayadayada.  The connection was dreadfully slow and spotty at best, not to mention my 7 seven children were looking for uninterrupted momma time.  So, better late than never is the slogan of the day!

I hope those of you that bought the 7 Layer Studio patterns were blown away with how well they are done.  Shelley is amazing isn’t she?  I have a tutorial coming up for those hilarious slugs, just in time for holiday gift giving.  Our giveaway this time was loaded with some really fantastic prizes, don’t you think?

Did you enjoy that little video of Mindy Gledhill’s visit to Bulgaria?  I love that song, I think it is perfect for our outreach.   It speaks about how no one was meant to bear burdens on their own.  Together we were meant to work our way through life, it’s up’s and down’s. Sadly, for many of us, the down’s seem to grossly outnumber the up’s.  I wonder often why.  It makes me so sad, I feel guilty, I become angry…I know you all know exactly what I am talking about.  I am not sure why so many have to suffer, while others seem to not suffer at all.  So, I am just going to keep doing what I know to be right and pray, pray, pray that it makes a difference.  Thank you again for supporting Create H.O.P.E Designs!  Your simple act of buying a pattern is so appreciated.  We hope that when you make the “fruits of our labor”, that it’s just a little bit more special.

I found the lyrics for the beautiful “Child Of Light” song, thought you’d enjoy reading them…

Did you ever wonder who you are
do your ever wonder as you stare into the stars
Where you began
And how you got this far
from home?

Have you ever walked along the shore
Have you ever seen the water dancing back and forth
Did you look inside
To see if there was more to life

There’s a dream taking wings
There’s a voice that wants to sing
Even in the deepest darkest night
The Torch is raised to the sky
There are hands that hold it high
You were born to keep it burning bright
You were made to fly you were meant to shine
Child of light

You will never ever stand alone
You were never called to bare your burdens on your own
Where there’s fear
Love will take control
And lead you on

There’s a dream taking wings
There’s a voice that wants to sing
Even in the deepest darkest night
The Torch is raised to the sky
There are hands that hold it high
You were born to keep it burning bright
You were made to fly you were meant to shine
Child of light

There’s a dream taking wings
There’s a voice that wants to sing
Even in the deepest darkest night
The Torch is raised to the sky
There are hands that hold it high
You were born to keep it burning bright
You were made to fly you were meant to shine
Child of light

Finally…the giveaway results.  The numbers were picked by Random.org.

#13…poppyinpink has won the fabric!

#38…Debbie K…has won the bag!

#8…MeanSarahJean…3, 7 Layer Studio patterns!

#27…Christie (HomeGrownMama)…3, 7 Layer Studio patterns!

#53…Marianne…3, 7 Layer Studio patterns!

#47…Heidi K…50.00 Fat Quarter Shop gift card!

The quilt will be raffled off as soon as we receive the bags a few of you have committed to make.  Should be by the end of this week.  Thank you again for buying Shelley’s patterns benefiting One Heart Bulgaria.

Winners, please EMAIL us, if there are any of you from prior giveaways that haven’t received your prizes could you please send me a message.  I believe there was a mistake with one winner getting the wrong prize.  I’d love to fix it, if you’d just let me know.

Meet me here tomorrow…I have another really great give-a-way featuring Hopeful Threads! One you won’t want to miss, another Fat Quarter Shop giftcard!!!

P.S.  Shelley has submitted another pattern called…Stripey Squares Quilt it’s available now in the shop.  I can’t wait to make one!  I think I will be using some boy lookin’ stripes and making it a tad bit bigger.  I love her recommendation of adding some embroidery in the center squares.  I’ll be sure to share pics when it’s done.

 

One Heart Bulgaria…7 Layer Studio Giveaway!

I am so excited to share with you some very exciting news!  We have added a new foundation to our efforts and a new designer with gorgeous patterns to benefit a wonderful organization, One Heart Bulgaria.  I’ve decided that I really am along for the ride with this whole Create H.O.P.E effort.  Just when I set meager goals, announce timelines, and wring my hands that it all isn’t going to work, I am given my seat assignment  and reminded that One larger than all of us is really the pilot and we’re simply the beloved passengers.  He’ll get us where we need to be, on time.  We just have to be there to jump on board, buckle up and keep our hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

So, let me tell you about One Heart Bulgaria or OHB, as they are affectionately called. OHB was founded by two women, who personally witnessed the deplorable conditions of overcrowded, understaffed Bulgarian orphanages.  Like most orphans, the children of Bulgaria are innocent, invisible children living in a country where they are warehoused and ignored.  The Bulgarian government allocates about 1.00 a day to the care of these children, that dollar doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what these children need. There are approximately 8700 orphans living in 144 institutions in Bulgaria.  Many of them have correctable special needs, many are deemed as handicapped when in reality all they need is  attention and much needed love.  Like all orphans, when they age out of the system, they have little or no tools to be successful members of society.  They fall prey to prostitution, gang activity, drugs, disease and suicide.

One Heart Bulgaria has developed many programs to bring aid to these children.  They not only provide funds and programs for survival, but they desire the children to be happy and prepared for life when they leave their orphanages.  Programs such as medical, dental, life skills training, foster grandmothers, music appreciation and orphanage staff training all are part of their outreach.  Like our other foundation, China Little Flower, One Heart Bulgaria operates with very little overhead, ensuring all of the funds that are generated benefit those that need it most.

This video was produced by Mindy Gledhill, she was able to visit Bulgaria with OHB and share her amazing musical talents with several orphanages, I encourage you to really listen to the words.  They are so powerful…

please install flash

How did we find One Heart Bulgaria?  Well, it’s a great story!  I was looking for a certain type of Christmas ornament tutorial and found EXACTLY what I needed on a blog I have never visited, 7 Layer Studio.  I spent at least an hour looking at all the beautiful tutorials, so excited to find this awesome resource.  Then I saw it…a button on the her sidebar called “Sewing For Orphans”.  Curiously, I clicked, read, linked to OHB, cried buckets of tears, and sent off an email asking if we can help.  Within minutes, I had a return email and an amazing designer ready to roll up her sleeves and link arms with Create H.O.P.E Designs. Turns out she already had a pattern benefiting OHB and was praying for opportunities to give more.  Like all of the designers at Create H.O.P.E, she KNEW she had to do something, so she used her talents, and now she’s part of our team.  Really that’s all it takes, just decide to say “no” to whatever injustice you’re witnessing and use what has been given to you. He’ll take over from there, I promise it’s true.  Here are Shelley’s Create H.O.P.E patterns…I love, love, love that slug!  The Hazel skirt?  Adorable right?  Get yours in our shop.

In celebration of having this amazing opportunity to work with One Heart Bulgaria and Shelley Detton of 7 Layer Studio we are doing another give-a-way!  Sooooo….here we go……

Shelley Detton, of 7 Layer Studio is a fabric designer!  Her first line, The Garden Club, with Benartex debuted this spring and is selling in stores now!  She’s giving away 1/3 yard cuts, totaling 2 yards to one lucky winner!  Look at that eye candy ladies….which one would you pick?  Me?  Sign me up for Cherry Lemonade!

Shelley is also giving a lucky winner the opportunity to win this bag…isn’t it adorable?  She made it herself, with her fabric, pretty cool right?

Wait, there’s more…3 winners will win a 3 pattern bundle…look at these beauties…

AND….1 winner to get a 50.00 gift card to Fat Quarter Shop!!!

That’s 6 winners!  Everyone is invited to participate!

The rules for the above giveaway are:

Follow us…1 entry

Tweet, facebook, or blog…1 entry

Buy either of 7 Layer Studios patterns…5 entries each

Buy any other Create H.O.P.E pattern…3 entries each

This give-a-way will end October 28th at midnight!

And just when you thought we were done…we are raffling off this gorgeous quilt made by Shelley out of her fabric!

The raffle works like this…buy one of Shelley’s patterns and get 5 entries, buy both and get 10.  No need to comment for the raffle, but be sure to comment for the give-a-way items. If you whip up a bag for Sewing For Orphans, then we’ll give you an additional 5 entries per bag!  Just let us know how many you are making and expected date of arrival.  These bags mean the world to these kids, and they are so easy to put together, please consider spending a few minutes sewing for an orphan.

That’s it!  Good luck and thank you again for supporting Create H.O.P.E Designs! Remember to a child with nothing you are everything!