on the needles

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Photo of Jenie

We just got a new photo of Jenie! She is my daughter's second special sponsor kid. Jenie is nine and a half and she lives in the Philippines.

I love this photo of Jenie because she is wearing the dress she bought with some of the money we sent her for her birthday last year. It's so sweet that she dressed up for her photo. I think the red really suits her. Jenie has said she would like to be an actress someday but the case workers say she is rather shy around them at first.

These are some photos we received last year of Jenie at her "home". I say "home" because unfortunately Jenie's family is homeless. They are currently living under a bridge.

This is Jenie in front of the door to her "home". Her family has managed to use concrete blocks to brick in a space under the bridge in an attempt to make their home more secure. However, they are in constant danger from drug dealers (who do not want anyone living where they work) and also from gangs that are essentially in competition with the family to use the space under the bridge. It is not a safe place for a child to have to live!

Here you can see Jenie and her family in front of their "home". You can see the support beams for the bridge above. In addition to the danger from other people, just imagine trying to live with cars zooming by overhead, shaking the roof of your home. I know I would be terrified!

To top it all off, Jenie has to climb up and down this slope all day as she goes in and out of her home. In the rainy season this must be very, very slippery. I really worry about Jenie and her family being hurt in a fall.

I asked Children International about possibly raising money to get Jenie and her family into a proper, safe home but the report came back that it would cost $10,000. Unfortunately I can't afford that much! However, I am working on gathering funds to help the family set up a stable, income generating business (like the projects I have going over at Aura's House) so hopefully I will be able to get those funds together sometime this year. And hopefully, the family may then be able to afford to rent something safer to live in.

My daughter is devoted to her two sponsor children. This weekend we made some candied lemon peels (first time making anything like that - can't believe it worked!) and then my daughter sold them to friends and family to raise money to donate to Lesly's project at Aura's House. Thanks to a big hearted grandpa and other relatives that can't resist buying sweets from a kid with a sweet face my daughter was able to donate $32. She so was proud of earning money for "her kids". On top of this she has already donated a big chunk of the allowance she had saved as well. She's a wonder!

I know many people are feeling the pinch in this crappy economy but I still think there is room for charity, kindness and giving in every one's life. If you can't give money then give some of your time. If you can't think of any ideas about what you can do to give back to the world then just ask your kids for some. I'm sure they will inspire you!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Somethin' to show ya!

Okay - I finally have somethin' crafty to show you.

It's the Bo=Peep skirt from Anna Marie Horner's book Seams to Me.

I made mine in a ballet length (hit's mid-calf) and used an Alexander Henry print for the main panels. I absolutely adore the retro '70's type prints that are popular these days. The large scale and the strong colors just make me happy. My daughter loves it too - she has worn it twice already. And everywhere we go she gets compliments on how pretty it is.

This is the first article of clothing that I have made in years and years. The last time I attempted anything like this was when I was fourteen - so you can draw your own conclusion as to how long ago that was!

I learned so much from this project - french seams (so cool and useful!), rolled hems, basting (hate it), and working with ruffles (did mine by hand - can't wait until the local fabric store re-stocks the ruffle foot for my machine!). One of the coolest things about this particular design is that I can replace the elastic in the waistband as my daughter grows. She could still be wearing this skirt when she is in her teens.

I loved making this skirt! Especially because (prepare to be totally jealous of me) my Hubby made one also. It was so much fun to be able to work this whole sewing clothes thing out together. We are both totally hooked!

Here's Hubby's version:

He made his shorter than mine - just below the knee. The main print here is also an Alexander Henry. This picture really doesn't do the skirt justice - it is SO cute.

You can see more photos of reader made projects from the Seams to Me book in the Flickr pool here.

AND - Here's an update on the Aura's House Fundraising:

Ana's Project: $966/2770
Nyslin's Project: $149/550
Zoila's Project: $165/824
Joey's Project: $117/723
Lesly's Project: $184/393

I couldn't be happier! Thank you, thank you!!

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Monday, March 16, 2009

Finishy? And Meet Joey!

Well, we have all managed to survive the evil tummy bug and everything is back to "normal" around here. Phew.

I haven't been posting much lately because life has been keeping me busy (see above). But - the good news is that I have somehow managed to be super productive crafting-wise. In the past two months I have finished so many projects!

I have:

1. Finished my knitted Mitred Square Blanket. You've seen it in the early stages on the blog.

2. Finished my crocheted Hexagon Blanket. You've also seen bit and pieces of this one. I nearly frogged it but I'm glad I didn't.

3. Finished two (!) of the crochet Square Target blankets. You've seen some of the squares. I've still got stacks (and stacks and stacks...) of them that will become a king sized blanket when I get them put together. The leftovers became the two smaller blankets.

4. Finished my Nine Patch Quilt Top. Don't think I have ever shown this one on the blog. It turned out really well!

5. Finished the stitching for a needlepoint pillow. Haven't sent it off to be pillowized yet though.

I am also working on and close to finishing another quilt top, a skirt (!) and another needlepoint.

I don't know what came over me - I guess I have been feeling very finishy lately! :) It feels pretty good to clear the decks around here. (Okay - it would probably take another two months to actually clear the decks of all the projects I have in limbo - but I have made a huge dent.)

The problem is - I have been so busy working on projects that I haven't taken the time to photograph them. So for now you just have to take my word for it. :)

My other projects on Aura's House are moving along as well. Not as fast as I wish they would though!

Here are some pictures of another of my sponsor kids that you can see on Aura's House. His name is Joey and he is ten and a half and lives in the Philippines.

This is Joey at home with his family. Joey's father is a farmer. Aura's House is helping me to gather funds to help Joey's family set up a hog farming business that will provide them with a steady source of income. Currently Joey's family survives on around $21 a month! Joey is the poorest of all of my seventeen sponsor children.

Joey's sister Christine is seven and his brother Adrian is four. Neither of them have sponsors. Joey takes his responsibility as the oldest child very seriously. He tells me about helping his father tend the root vegetables that they grow. They grow some vegetables for themselves and the rest of the time Joey's father does day labor work for other farmers.

Joey's is fortunate to have fairly good housing. The family has wooden beds, a coal stove and a toilet but they still have to draw their water from a community well and do not have electricity. Their home is very basic - one bedroom and a kitchen room - but it looks well constructed.

The hog farming business would greatly increase the family's income and allow Joey's father to spend more of his working time at home. This is safer for everyone.

Here's the latest update on the fund raising at Aura's House:

Ana's Project: $531/2770 (went up!)
Nyslin's Project: $135/550
Zoila's Project: $110/824 (went up!)
Joey's Project: $117/723
Lesly's Project: $135/393 (went up!)

The projects are moving along but we still have a long way to go. Please remember that even a little bit helps...

And a big big thank you to everyone who has helped out so far!

Hopefully I'll be back soon with some crafting pictures...

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