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Zipping it Up….

November 21st, 2017

If you’ve been following here for a while, you know I’ve been making zipper pouches for charity. Last summer, a friend and I made 100 to send to an orphanage in Indonesia of girls affected by the tsunami a few years ago. After that project, I decided to make 400 *gulp*, one for each child in the school I work with in Colombia. It was definitely a lesson in perseverance, many times I thought I was never going to finish. But I am finally finished!!!!! This bag is filled with 200 of the zipper pouches, the other 200 are already back in Ohio.

I have been collecting school supplies and raising funds to purchase additional supplies (stickers, erasers, small toys, etc). to fill the bag. So far I have quite a stockpile going. In February, a group of 15 is heading down to the school and they will be taking them to the kids. I’m looking forward to seeing photos of them receiving the pouches. Most of these kids are so poor they can barely afford clothing, let alone good school supplies. The charity I work for runs a sponsor a child type program where we raise scholarships to pay for their education.

This project was not only a lesson in perseverance for me, but also a great lesson in the value of small pieces of time. I very rarely sat down and made large quantities of these pouches. Most of the work was done in 5-15 minute segments when I had a few minutes here and there. Over the course of a year, a lot can be accomplished in seemingly small chunks of time.



Now that this project is finished, I’m moving on to make more zipper pouches for my marketplace. Yesterday I made the one pictured above, which is probably my most favorite of any I have made. These pouches will be slightly bigger (9″x6″), many of them will have metal made in USA zippers, and there will only be a few made in each pattern. I will most likely make different sizes as well. For each zipper pouch purchased, I’ll make another zipper pouch to donate somewhere in the future. No doubt I’ll find another charity that can use them, when I have enough, I’ll send them along. If you’ve been looking for a few gifts for friends/family, check out the market when it launches.

What charitable projects have you been working on recently?

Decluttering with a Cause

January 10th, 2017

Every year I minimize more and more things around the house. It’s like a breath of fresh air to get rid of things that are no longer needed or used. One space that I want to focus on this year is my sewing room. Over the years I’ve collected lots of fabric, people give it to me, I purchase some, some is from old pieces of clothing, some from scraps of past projects. I want to get rid of a lot of this fabric, but I wasn’t quite sure what to do with it.
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Then I remembered the zipper pouches I made to send to an orphanage last summer and decided to start making lots more of these to send down to the school I work with in Colombia. The only problem is that if I want to send them to the school, I’ll need around 400 – yes FOUR HUNDRED!
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With that in mind, I set a goal to sew one pouch each day this year. So far I’ve managed to do 2-4 per day, which is great because in the summer I won’t have as much time to sew. It’s proving to be the perfect project to reach my goal. I get to sew and be creative, while using up fabric from my stash. I’m even using up all the random spools of thread that I got from my grandmother’s sewing supplies. My scrap jar is overflowing with all the tiny scraps of fabric that are too small for using (these make perfect stuffing for various projects). One thing I will need to buy is more zippers, I only had about 50 in my stash (many came from my grandmother’s sewing supplies). I’ll purchase moreĀ from Zip-It on Etsy.
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If I end up making four hundred of these pencil cases I’ll use up most of my unwanted fabric, which will be just perfect. Last time I counted I had made 25 zipper pouches as of the first of the year. Each pouch is unique, I want no two to be the same, partly because each child is unique and partly because it makes it more difficult for them to be stolen by another kid.

What charitable goals do you have for 2017?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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