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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Tick tick tick

We are but a mere few hours away from the deadline for getting entered into the April "one item win a prize" contest. Winners will be pulled out of my straw hat early tomorrow morning!

Regarding our regional Summer contest, I have the following captains so far:

Team Godzilla: Kindergoth

Team Wicked Chowdaheads: Soapfairie

Team Arizona: The Ninja

So I think the only team still needing a capitan is Ohio + stragglers. And I think I am going to see if snoopingmother is up for the nomination :)

If you do not know who your captain is please let me know and I will make sure you are able to "meet" each other. Captains, make sure you visit other sites where we exist so that you can talk to all folks that might want to be on your team. If you need my help, just let me know!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

It's not quite Wednesday yet....

But I won't be around tomorrow, so I'm planning ahead.

Whatcha up to? Do you think we can get to 2,000 by July 1st? Do I have any more team captains for the Summer contest?

Talk to me, pretty people :D

Me 'n' My Macs

Today, I made 5 dozen mini coconut macaroons for the bake sale. I hope people like them and buy them so that we can raise money for The Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour.

I also hope that I don't eat any more before tomorrow's hand-over. I can always make more, I suppose.

Monday, April 27, 2009


Cookies. Crispy cookies. Shortbread cookies. Buttery cookies. 3 1/2 dozen cookies.
I made these cookies today for a friend's bake sale/fundraiser.
My friends' organization Century of Compassion is organizing a team to ride the Bike MS Bay to Bay Tour in October and they're having a fund-raising bake sale this Thursday. I've made cookies. If I don't eat all of them before I hand them over on Wednesday, they'll sell them, along with lots of other sweet treats and raise oodles of cash to help fund the National Multiple Sclerosis Society's research.

I plan to make more cookies tomorrow. Happy Monday!

Just 3 days left!

Hey everyone!

This is your friendly reminder that April is almost over! You have 3 days left to post an item and get entered into our monthly drawing!!

For May, we will be concentrating on Warm Up Winchester, a group that one of our original members went off and started! They exist primarily on Ravelry, so if you want the info you can find them there or just ask and someone can send the info to ya :)

We're still trying to get to 2,000 items by the end of June to be at our halfway point, and we're at 675 now. I think we can do it, don't you? :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Penny Homespuns is go for launch

Okay folks,

I've started recruiting for Penny Homespuns!

I created a Facebook cause, which I'm assuming will be the best chance of spreading the word. There are three levels of sponsorship people can do, and 4 causes they can donate to.

Level 1: sponsor us during the Summer contest (Memorial Day-Labor Day)

Level 2: sponsor us during any 6-month period

Level 3: sponsor us from May 1-December 31

The causes are:

Doctors w/out Borders
the international arm of the Humane Society
the American Red Cross
World Wildlife Foundation

I've asked people to email homespunhelpers@gmail.com if they want to participate. Sponsors can certainly remain anonymous, but I need to know who is doing what. At the end of the year, we'll tally not only the items we've made but also the money we've helped collect for each of those charities.

If you on Facebook, look for the cause and join but if you are already crafting for Homespun Helpers, I absolutely feel that you do not also need to be a Penny Homespun -- you are doing enough! Don't feel obligated, just help me spread the word if you feel like it.

Thanks all!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Ittttttttttttt's Wednesday!

And Earth Day, so that's pretty exciting :)

So let's see...

I just tallied item #670...woohoo! You are all awesome!

A couple of weeks left for the Afghans for Afghans drive...I *still* need to send my 2 pairs of socks but I keep thinking I'm going to do a couple more...maybe I should stop fooling myself, eh? :)

Regarding Penny Homespuns, I think what I'm going to do is invite people to donate to one of 4 charities -- 2 are US, 2 are international, 2 are animal-related, and 2 are people related. This way, I think everyone gets covered. Internationally I'm looking at the international arm of the Humane Society and Doctors w/out Borders. Domestically, the World Wildlife Fund and the American Red Cross. Of course US citizens can donate online to an international organization and someone in the UK can donate (I would assume) to a US charity, so I'm not going to monitor that. I'm also thinking of offering 3 pledge options: during the Summer contest only, 6 months, or the remainder of the year, starting May 1st. That being said, unless anyone here wants to give pause, Im going to start promoting this this week.

And of course, today, is works in progress day! What am *I* working on? Fun fur scarf #9 of 10 for my first batch of items for the Scott & White Center. I was figuring 10 scarves, 10 hats, etc., but I have never been so excited to start working on hats, let me tell you. Fun fur is NOT fun to work with. I wish I would stop buying it :)

What are you up to?

10 Cards for Operation Gratitude

(2 are hiding underneath the others)

These are going to out to Margie tomorrow!

Monday, April 20, 2009

several belated projects

man, nothing like getting married to help you fall down the rabbit hole! i've got several e-mails about the yarn bank i need to get to (no, nothing is lost in the mail - i'm still digging my way out of presents!), and these projects i've made and donated in the last few months that i'm just now getting around to posting! sheesh!

first up is this crochet blanket, using my two day baby blanket pattern. it's getting donated to the local NICU.

then there's these booties, donated to a blogger who's trying to gather up 31 gift baskets for her local hospital.

finally, there's these adorable spring shirts, made from a super easy pattern. they were meant to be for some little girls i know, but they ended up being too small, so they get to be donated!

How about this?

It seems like folks are interested in having donations go towards an animal charity since so much of our crafts go to people, and I have had one person point out to me that we should go for an international cause since we have members everywhere...

I found this: http://www.hsus.org/hsi/

Tell me what you think. Would you be motivated to craft if sponsors were donating there?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A poll and some other stuff :)

Hi everybody,

Not many answers yet on the pennies idea but I think I'm going to create a poll about it anyway -- if you have deep-seated feelings against it, or any other thoughts, please let me know, but here is my more refined thinking on how it'll work:

Our sponsors will be called Penny Homespuns. Technically, the goal will be to get sponsors to pledge to donate a penny for every item we make and donate. In doing more thinking about this, I decided it would be better if we as a group determine what charity we want our sponsors to donate to -- I think that'll be more meaningful than having one person donate $5 to one charity, another person donating 75 cents to another, etc. Not that money is the point, but at the end of the year it'll be nice for us and our sponsors if we can all say, we raised blah blah dollars for this charity. Woo! Make sense?

So, I present a poll for your votes -- if this happens and we get Penny Homespuns, where would you like their donations to go?

1. Red Cross

2. AMFA (Aids organization)


4. Humane Society

5. Cam Neely House/Hospital (the one the "Cheers" guy donated to in Boston)

Or any others.

Also, some reminders...I've got my captain for Team Chowdahead, but I need my other captains! I'd like to try and have my captains figured out by the end of this week so you can have plenty of time to gather up your team members and see if you want to try for the 20 extra points!

We're halfway through April -- your chances of winning a prize at the end of the month in our drawing are pretty good because we have very few entrants! 1 item and you're in! Not urine...that'd be mean AND gross.

Also, before the month is out, try to check out a version of our group where you haven't been in a long time or ever. Your options include:





Yahoo Groups

I don't really count Twitter cuz that's really just kind of an alarm system :) But it is there...and you're welcome to follow!

Alright, I'll keep the "poll" open until next Sunday. Have a good week, everybody! :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pennies add up

So I just saw a commercial for this cause a guy started -- collecting pennies and adding them all up to help people in need.

It made me think...

What if we gathered sponsors who would be willing to donate a penny for every item we make and donate?

We could accept some nominations, vote on the charity we'd want people to donate to, and go from there.

What do you think?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

WIP Thursday?

Didn't post yesterday, but I did stuff:

I'm working on a handful of things, mostly hats and scarves for the Scott & White Center in TX. I've knitted two scarves in about 10 days and yesterday I got tired of being impatient, so I made three hats. I finished another hat today.

I've started another scarf, but I'm crocheting, not knitting.
I finished my 15-hour long audio book (which was keeping me stitching as well as educated). I'm starting a book (reading), so I might not be as productive with the items.
And that's my WIP Thursday report... or Friday, soon enough.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

hand made cards & stuff

Hi everyone,

I have 2 boxes heading to Operation Gratitude that still have a little room. If you want to make some handmade cards, let me know. I'd like to have them by late next week if possible!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Our star of the month!

It's close enough to the middle of the month that I want to name our April star.

And that April star is: Sandy!!

Sandy is a blogger blogger (sounds like the ole "pizza pizza" commercials). She joined us last year and has been a mass producer of items, and ALL of them are always gorgeous. Late last year, Sandy took the initiative to start a parallel project for her local community called The Bridge Project (http://homelessbridge.blogspot.com/).

Sandy has been going through a very hard time over the last month and she needs all of our support now as she has done so wonderfully in supporting our group and those around her. So please stop by her blog and give her virtual hugs and tell her she's a star, because she is indeed.

We love you, Sandy!!

Check check

Hi everybody,

I wanted to check in with you all to make sure that you are still having fun with this group, and if you are not, to see what I can do to make it more fun! Please please please feel free (and encouraged) to make this community about crafting as well as charity work. If you are using your talents to make a present or a sweater for yourself, share with us! If you have questions there are very skilled crafters here. Don't disappear or worry about whether to post or not! :)

Anyway, if there is anything I can do or should do, just let me know (within reason) :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Regional Contest - Details1

Hi Everybody,

Today is the day! No, I'm not talking about Easter or the end of the weekend. It's the day I announce how this year's Regional Contest is going to work!

I'm going to try a few different things this year, but if any of them really make you want to pull your hair out...we can talk :)

So, first...it seemed like starting in June would work best for everyone, so once again, our contest will begin June 1 and end on Labor Day, whenever that may be. That's round about 3 months of competitive fun.

Second - because I am running the contest this year, my items aren't going to count for any team. I think that's fair.

Third, I see the teams breaking out like this:

The Chowdaheads (New England primarily)

Team Ohio (which can also include Michigan and Pennsylvania stragglers:))

Team Godzilla -- anyone not in Ohio or New England (that includes those of you who may be in, say, Korea...)

Team Arizona -- Ninja's slave shop!

So what's different this year?

I'm making these announcements early because I would like each of these teams to have a captain. The captain's job is basically to make sure that everyone on your team is tagging posts :)

Also, I will award 20 extra points if teams choose a single, local cause that they will work for and incorporate their community in their efforts.

I am also going to do away with counting different items at different amounts. It's true that some items are smaller, some are larger...some people knit like the wind, others knit like, well, me. But I don't want to devalue anybody's work. The key is that you are doing things! I hope that is okay with everyone.

What are you playing for? For the winning team, the top 4 producers will win a $25 gift certificate to a craft store of your choice. Again, I'll depend on the captains to help me keep track of who is really carrying your team.

I wish I could give more than that, but that is about as much as I can afford right now...I'll try to play the lottery lots between now and then :)

So that's it...please let me know who my captains will be, if there are any other teams, etc. And if you have any questions or concerns, just let me know!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

a great project for us!

Hey everybody,

I've made contact with a young lady named Alicia who is running a project called http://homelessbagproject.org/ in San Francisco. She mentioned on her site that she is looking for donations of resuable bags like the ones you can get at grocery stores and I said, "Hey...we could make bags that would look pretty!" And she said, "Yay!"

This is a good opportunity for quilters who don't get a whole lot of projects tossed your way -- bags would be a chance to be creative. Just make sure they're durable. Also, if you've always wanted to try cutting up your plastic bags and crocheting with the strips -- this is a perfect time to use those skills!

All of the contact info is at the URL I attached above.

Have fun :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Taking it to the Streets

Hi Everyone,

I am trying to get Homespun Helpers to take over the interwebs! Oh noes!

Actually, that's not quite my goal. However, I've done the following and would welcome you checking it all out (cuz otherwise it gets very boring).

I can't seem to get the group concept to work too well on Facebook, so I've started a Facebook account for Homespun Helpers. Look for Homespun Helpers and friend me! Hopefully this will make the exchange of ideas a little easier to accomplish.

I've also started a Twitter account. Now, Twitter is kind of going to serve a different sort of purpose -- in addition to doing updates on our group, I'm also hoping to develop it as a source for seeing what charities are looking for items, so it'll be kind of a reference source for crafters who give stuff to charity. Amazingly, the name I set up over there is HomespunHelpers. I know...I don't know how I come up with these names :)

Anyway, if you are on Twitter or Facebook, check it out why doncha!

Yeah, I knew you'd want to :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Itttttt's Wednesday!

Hi Everybody,

Hope y'all are well. It's been quiet around here lately!

As for me, I'm working on a present project this week. Almost done :)

And don't forget, give me time preferences and your general area of living by this Sunday so I can hammer out some details for our regional contest.

Thanks everyone!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Regional Contest

Hi Everyone,

Kindergoth brought up whether we were doing the regional contest again this year. I'm all for it if you are, but I feel like we need to reduce a bit of the confusion, so if we move forward I'll be a bit more.......ehm....bossy about the rules :)

I'd like this to run at a time when the most people feel they would be available.

So, please comment here with your general region of living and what 3-month span this year would work best for you. I'll do my best to make ever'body happy :)

Answers will be noted for the next week, so you have till April 12.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Some Sad News

Due to a growing mound of problems, I am going to have to shut Homespun Helpers down.

It's been a great run. Keep on with the good work!

Crafts and Illiteracy

I don't use patterns. I wish it were because I'm a free-spirit and I don't like to be tied down to somebody else's idea of a cool hat or because I'm so original that I design a new one each time I work.
I can't read. That's right. I don't know how to read or follow patterns. I fail in both crochetland as well as knittsville.
I'm not proud of it, but I've vowed to try to learn...
To begin that process, I did some research. I found a blog that might give me a good start. I wanted to share:

We have a winner!

And the winner of our March contest is.....


Now since you are big into jewelry making, if you would rather choose a thing of beads or wire or something like that, that is totally cool. But you win...something! So congratulations to you :)

We are now beginning the make one and possibly win something drawing for April, so don't forget, one is all you need (in the words of the immortal John Lennon).

In terms of a goal for this month, why don't we try to reach 900? We are at 590 right now. Sound good? Then we'll be able to aim for over 1,000 already by May!

Take care all, and Happy April Fools! Be good!