Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Now its February

Eek February. So much for my goal of getting back to blogging regularly. Life continues to be busy but once upon a time I had 4 kids at home, was working as a supply teacher regularly and my husband was working long hours so not at home to help out as much. Now we are retired empty nesters and some days I am still so busy. Well too busy to blog it seems.

I had a quick trip to Brisbane and Sydney at the end of January to see family. My sister Joy has MND (Motor Neurone Disease) and I am getting in as many visits to her as I can. My mum is also 95 so frequent visits to her are also essential. Joy has been been a patchworker longer than I. She is still sewing. She makes simple quilts that are given to refugees through Sydney's House of Welcome. Because of her detirorating health she can no longer get down on the floor to pin her quilts (and she doesn't have a table) so each time I visit her I pin the quilts that she has ready. She then quilts them and now she has friends from a quilting group who are helping her bind them. Over the visits I made in September, November and January I together with my my trusty minion (I had a different one each time) pinned a total of 22 quilts. Here's a photo of me pinning quilts with my latest minions, My definitely non crafty oldest sister Beth and Joy's daughter Jude

Joy in the background, Beth and I on the ground pinning! Notice how we were all so colour co-ordinated. The 3 sisters all in blue, pinning a blue quilt and even a blue quilt on the couch (that one I made my bil for his 70th birthday)

My niece and I pinning. No quite so colour co-ordinated this time but Jude and I matched up in our black. Joy also was wearing a black and white top.

I have taken over as co-ordinator of the Handmade With Love group but so far that has just entailed taking possession of all the stock for sale and getting the forms to change the bank signatories. Not a whole heap. I have started to take photographs of the stock to put onto the Etsy shop. That is going to be a long process. I have to represent the group to the monthly meetings of the Our Rainbow House and present a report. We are also on Facebook if you want to look us up and follow us there Our Rainbow House Handmade With Love.

Speaking of the Etsy shop have you popped in to check out what we have there? www.HandmadeWithLoveORH.etsy.com Please do. Even if you don't buy anything if you could favourite the shop and some items in it that would be great - it helps bump us up the algorithms and directs more traffic to our site. Sales have been steady - not huge but ticking over a bit.

Exciting news on the travel front is that I am off to Zambia in May to visit the school, "Our Rainbow House" that we support. I am going with Peggy, the former co-ordinator of Handmade With Love.

Peggy and I - off to Zambia in May

We will work together in the school with the kids and staff - maybe some sewing, some music, some teaching, - not exactly sure what we are going to do... probably all of the above and a whole lot more. I am not sure how much in the way of photographs I am going to be able to put on the blog, especially of the children themselves, as the charity is very strict about privacy to protect the children but I'm hopeful that I will be able to share some of the experience with you.

We are also off to Fiji in July for a wedding so that is going to be exciting too.

The latest project I have been working on for Handmade With Love have been produce bags, to use in the fruit and vegie section of the supermarket. Our state (Queensland) is banning single use plastic bags at the point of sale later this year and it is promting awareness of the use of plastics. A tv show "War on Waste" has also been instrumental in raising awareness of ... well waste.  Anyway I made a set of 6 bags and a little pouch to put them in. I put a photo of them on Facebook and asked my friends if they would be interested in buying them at 6 of $10.

 In 5 days I had orders for 35 sets!! I sewed madly for the next week.

Initially I used up some lace curtaining and netting which I had on hand and then I went to the local second hand shops and purchased a couple more curtains and a bag of netting scraps. I made 24 sets from those. I  bought some more netting from Spotlight and made the rest of the bags I needed. I had hoped to have some left over to put on Etsy but as I sewed and posted updates on my progress I kept getting more orders and thus all 36 sets I made were ordered. 

The price is going to go up after this as in order to have a consistent product on Etsy I will be using new fabric. From now on they will be $15. I don't mind that my friends got a bargain. Many of them have been very generous supporters of the charity over the years. Its been a crazy few weeks. 

To be honest the reason I took the photos was to put on this blog. I had started writing this post and mentioned the bags and thought I should photograph them... once they were photographed I decided to share them on Instagram and then shared it to Facebook as well. Things got so crazy so quickly I didn't get back to finishing this blog.... and then I had to rewrite a heap. Talk about crazy.

If you are interested in buying some produce bags you can drop me a line... or wait till I get them up on Etsy and order that way. I'll let you know when we actually go live with them. (if I ever get through my back orders)

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