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Sunday, December 30, 2007


Hey y'all,

So in conversing with one coyotescall, one of the mods over at the livejournal community militarylove and one of our newest members, it seems like our two groups might be able to cooperate on the project I mentioned in my last post. Perhaps something along the lines of us making the homemade stuff (bags, socks?) and military love providing the "stuffing." People from both/either groups could then work on the shipping.

If this is ringing your chimes, please let me know when you get a chance. Again, this is not mandatory, but I want to get a feel for whether anyone is interested. If both groups are working on this together, I think it could end up being a project that reaches out to an awful lot of people.


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Hey Everyone!

I hope everyone is having a good holiday season and that you will all have a restful New Years celebration. When you come back, I have some ideas and goals that I'd like to run by you.

First, I'd like to get out of the gate fast for 2008. I'd like to try to hit 100 items for January. There are a lot of reasons for this, but perhaps the most pressing is that I want to try to avoid a big post-holiday drop-off. It's always a big problem for charities -- people give a ton from Thanksgiving to NYE, attributable to the holiday spirit or late-year tax write-offs. But then, once the holidays are over, the less privileged are kind of left in the lurch. I also want to get off to a good start in January to show that our group is still going strong as the new year begins.

Second, I thought of another project, and I am wondering if anyone would want to spearhead it or if there are any thoughts/recommendations/objections, etc. The idea is basically an expansion of the Bag O'Sunshine concept, except that we would post our group contact information to military communities and would make little bags by request. The bags could be of varying size, and military families could use them to send their soldiers things overseas. I just thought it would be a nice little homemade addition to phone cards, PlayStation games, gatorade, and other things that soldiers need. I was thinking of calling it the Bag O' Home project or something like that.

I am going to begin posting once again to other livejournal communities to see if anyone wants to join us for 2008. If you know of any communities that might let you post an informational post about this group, by all means, go for it!

Immense gratitude again to all of you for making 2007 such a great year. May 2008 allow us to spread even more sunshine!

Monday, December 24, 2007

are you resting those hands and fingers??

Well, if you all are anything like me, you are pretty excited that tomorrow is Christmas, if only because crafting deadlines are here, which means you can stop with the holiday crafting!! yayyyyyyy :) Of course, I am already plotting for next year, but that's beside the point.

Anyway, this year has been a real joy for me thanks to all of. I can't wait to see what next year brings...how much will we accomplish? Who will join our ranks?

Here's to another great year, and Merry Christmas to those who are marking it!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

one last year end surge

One last donation. 17 scarves and 11 hats that are going to be donated to a youth center for at-risk teens.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Heads UP!

As you see below, our dear dear Robyn, aka craftyone, has gotten our typepad site going with her web crew. You can check it out at


She has a place to link to charities we support and she is working on a section for ongoing projects. Here is what I have so far. Let me know if there is anything to add.

Bag O'Sunshine:

Bag O'Sunshine is a charity for US veterans residing in nursing homes or at vet hospitals. The bags can be any size, but we make a far amount that have handles long enough to hang off of walkers. We fill the bags with toiletries, candies, and in the Winter, they get filled with scarves, hats, and mittens.

Bag O'Sunshine Sweets:

These are teeny tiny bags (any size or shape is fine) that can be placed into packages or into the Bags o'Sunshine. The idea is to fill them with a few chocolate kisses or little sweets like that. Just a nice little touch.

How Many People Can We Dress:

The goal of this project is to put together "outfits" and determine how many people we are dressing with our items. Outfit can include hats, scarves, mittens, gloves, ponchos, socks, or anything else. We try to color coordinate them so that they really go together. Goods have been shipped to Afghans for Afghans and to shelters across the United States.

Warm Up America Squares:

We support Warm Up America by making squares squares squares! Our members sew those together and donate the finished afghans to the WUA.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

website up, running, super duper bare bones

so, i got the website up. running. still needs a banner (but i think i've got someone to help me with that) and all the pages i'd like to add still need to be added. but it's there. over the next few days it will grow and change a lot, but if people could e-mail me at craftyone77.hh@gmail.com with any information about any of the charity drives we've been doing, that would be hugely helpful, as i want to give each one it's own page, with an explanation and contact info.


also, the tip jar is set up. it's just under $15 a month to have the site set up through typepad, but we've got full website functionality with no coding. i've got it set up to charge my credit card every month, so any donations people can make would be great. typepad calculates those donations up for me and applies them directly to the monthly bill, so there's no risk in your donation getting caught up in my paypal account or anything like that.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

one more web-related post

i'd like to get the group's opinion on this one. i'd like to set up a "donations" button over on the website after it gets set up, with the express purpose of helping to circumvent the costs of maintaining the site (monthly hosting fees). the money would all go to that purpose alone, and once there was enough to cover the fees, it would be taken down. it would also be linked to a page that describes this in detail, so if people had questions they'd be answered there.

let me know what you all think of this!

website stuffs

hey all! so, we've been busy little bees over in the "website committee" and we've got a few things getting started! yay! now we need some help from the rest of the community. we need a banner. something we can put at the top of not just the website, but this space and the livejournal space as well to unify it all. and we're hoping there's someone out here in blogger land who has the skills to do so and would be willing to donate that time to us! we'd need it fast, though, as we're hoping to get the site up and moving by the end of the month!

and as for what that banner would look like? to an extent we want the community to help decide that as well! so if you've got any ideas (like, you DEFINITELY want there to be no neon orange, or you think a certain picture would be nice to use), comment here and let us know. all of it will be taken into consideration.

thanks folks!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Shipment # 1

Hi all!

One box is being sent to the Boston Rescue Mission (http://www.brm.org/). A second box is being sent to children in need in Chicago and distributed by thefannishwaldo. The third box is full of wool items and is on the way to Afghans for Afghans.

Thus, we dressed at total of 18 people! Each person will get a set of three items to keep them warm this winter in Boston and Chicago.

The Afghans for Afghans box contained 10 separate wool items. Again, Afghans for Afghans will distribute individual items in order to serve as many people as possible.

There are extra acrylic items that were not matched into sets. I decided to hold-on to these for or second shipment later this winter. I will post the details about that in a separate post.

Well done everyone! I was blown away by the quality of the items and all the care that went into making them.

Now on to the pics ...

Afghans for Afghans:



Want to join the "website committee" with me?

Robyn here, taking over duties as the group growth expert! First up on my long long list of ideas is gettign the Homespun Helpers website up and running, and I’m looking for a few people who want to help with ideas and such. If you’re interested, here’s what to do:
  • First, set up a gmail acct with the ".hh" at the end of it. Mine’s "craftyone77.hh@gmail.com" to give you an idea. This way we all have "Homespun Helpers" gmail addresses, and you can pick whatever name you want to have attached to it. Plus, it’s free!
  • Second, e-mail me FROM your new gmail to my ".hh" gmail, listed above, with the tagline "HH website group", so they all get filtered properly, and let me know you want in on the group! I’ll send a confirmation e-mail (so if you don’t get a confirmation e-mail it means I didn’t get your e-mail), with further instructions.

I know that sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it’ll be worth it. We’ll be communicating via google docs (this way you can hop on when you want and add stuff as much or as little as you want, and at your liesure!), so having a gmail is imperative to that process.

I’d like to have the website up and beginning to function by the 1st of January, so there’s a lot to talk about really fast, although i’ve already got a ton of stuff thought through and awaiting yays and nays and some finalization. So if you join up, it’ll mean the whole thing won’t be "the robyn project" and will truly become a group effort!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Letter Writing

I was thinking of another idea for 2008. We create a form letter that could be sent to other organizations or individuals who run other charities or who go out there and see what is needed. The letter could be something like this:

In 2007, Homespun Helpers created and donated over 3,000 items to charity. Because our members can donate to any group they choose so long as what they are contributing is home made, we donated as a group to a variety of groups and charities that asked for items for people in need.

In 2008 we'd like to be a little more ambitious, and we are asking you for your help. We are not asking you to donate to us or contribute anything tangible. But we would like to know what you see as being needed. Are there groups we should donate to that are dear to your heart? Are there groups you are donating to that you think could use some homemade items as well?

Let us know where we can be of service and we will be happy to add those groups, those needs, to our list.

Something like that. What do you think?

The goal is dead. Long live the goal!

Hello everyone,

I'd like to announce the goal for 2008. For 2008, I'd like for this group to make 4,000 items. As of today, just under 4,000 US soldiers have died in Iraq. I think it makes sense to continue to spread good in the name of those who have fallen, no matter how you feel about the war.

I also have the following ideas/questions.

1) Because our dear doclegs is getting eaten by her life, she will not be able to spearhead the continuing bag o'sunshine project in 08. Is there any one who would like to take this over?

2) I had 2 volunteers say they wanted to be in charge of some stuff for 2008. Craftyone, you volunteered for group growth, and newdaydawning, you volunteered for either contests or collecting non-crafted material. If you definitely want to do this, please respond by 12/15/07!

3) I thought of a new project called Christmas in July. There is a local women's shelter that is very near and dear to my heart. In my own county, homelessness has increased by 450%, so the shelters are all having a terrible time providing for their tennants. Since most people donate things at this time of year, the Summer can be tough for the homeless and the shelters that help them. So what if we tried to target one or two shelters and really inundate them with stuff they'd receive on July 25?

Thoughts, ideas, questions, complaints, comments, etc...more than welcome!

Thanks, everybody :)