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Archive for the 'Good Works' Category


Give a Little, You’ll Never Regretsy It!

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012
By Twistie

There are a lot of worthy causes in the world. Most of them would like some money, too. But if you’re looking for a cause that’s not too big and where you can see real good done for specific people, you could do worse than take a look at Regretsy today.

You see, today they’re kicking off their second annual Secret Santa.

That’s right! Those heartless mockers of the worst of Etsy are opening their creaking chest cavities to give Christmas presents to children in need. If you know a child who isn’t going to have much in the way of a Christmas this year, you have until the seventh to nominate them. If you just want to help out, go throw some money at the problem. The goal is to help two hundred kids get some unexpected holiday magic thrown their way. Each child will receive one individually chosen present. Where possible, it will be just what they want most. Where not possible, it will at least be tailored to their specific tastes.

Oh, and since PayPal were such Grinches last year, all funds will be handled through Regretsy’s WePay store.

The craft community is good at sharing joy. Let’s all do our parts.

Oh, and if you know of a craft-related charity/program you’d like to see supported, feel free to let us all know about it in comments.


Love Is: Security

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
By Twistie

I grew up reading the adventures of Linus VanPelt and his friends in Peanuts. Actually, I lived in the same town Peanuts creator Charles Schulz lived in, visited his ice rink, and eventually grew up to sell him books at two different bookstores conveniently located close to said ice rink.

But that part is neither here nor there.

What is here and now and the whole point of this blog entry is Project Linus.

Some of you may have already heard of this wonderful organization, others not. But I urge you all to check out their website and get involved.

You see, Project Linus does just what one might expect: provide security blankets to children. The children range in age from infants to teens, and the reasons range from illness to disaster victims to homelessness and abuse. This is about helping children in crisis with something that tells them someone cares and wishes them well.

The project will only accept blankets made by hand from smoke-free environments and free of strongly scented detergents. They must also be free of easily swallowed (and thus choked upon) decorations such as buttons. But from there, it’s a free for all. Pick your size, your materials, your techniques, and do your best work.

If you are not in a position to make a blanket, the project will also happily accept donations of money and materials, too. And if you know a child in need, the website will direct you to the chapter to contact for help.

We all need a little security in life. Children facing chemotherapy or recovering from abuse need it even more.


Buy a Munny, and the Money Goes to Charity

Monday, June 11th, 2012
By Twistie

Crafts are big these days. It seems sometimes like everyone is doing them, and some big name celebrities have come out of the crafting closet to tell us what they like to do. Julia Roberts will be drawing on her actual knitting skills in an upcoming film, Tom Cruise bought Katie Holmes a sewing machine for her birthday… and Rosie O’Donnell is making art out of Munny Dolls for charity.

The whole point of Munny dolls is to take a blank shape and breathe your own life into it by decorating it in any way you see fit. O’Donnell uses Sharpie markers to paint them in unique designs. She then sells them in her Etsy story for $200.00 a pop.

Of course Rosie O’Donnell doesn’t need the money for herself. Star of stage and television with books on the market… yeah, she’s got plenty to live on. Instead the money goes to her charity, Rosie’s Theater Kids, which brings instruction in music, dance, and acting to kids who otherwise wouldn’t have access to performing arts programs. As a one-time drama jock, I heartily approve this idea. Arts programs are being cut all over the country, and kids need access to more than just the three r’s.

I also approve the idea of someone using art to support the arts.


Crafts Help Heal Veterans

Friday, June 1st, 2012
By Twistie

My father was a two war veteran.

He was sixteen when Pearl Harbor was raided by the Japanese. He ran away from home, lied about his age, and joined the navy the next day.

After WWII, he attended the California Maritime Academy. Then he rejoined civilian life.

He was recalled to active duty for Korea.

I don’t know what he did during either of those wars. He would talk about the boredom of shipboard life, the pranks he and his shipmates pulled on one another, the time when the only film they had to watch for six long months was State Fair. After a while, they turned off the sound and members of the crew played the different parts. The pig was considered the absolute plum role.

One day when I was about ten or so, I asked him why he wore that big, bushy walrusesque moustache. He just gruffly said ‘I can’t shave it off.’

I’d never looked carefully before, but that day I finally saw the huge, welty scar that ran the complete vertical length of his upper lip on one side. I asked him what happened. All he would tell me was it happened while he was in the navy. No year, no battle, no accident, not even which war.

(more…)


Quickie Question: Crafting for a Cause?

Monday, May 14th, 2012
By Twistie

(Illustration via Knitted Knockers)

I love a good cause. I always have. I started doing walk-a-thons for charity when I was… oooohh… about twelve or so. I’ve written my representatives, signed many a petition, written checks, collected signatures, even walked a picket line or two in my day. Activism has been a part of my life almost as long as I’ve been around.

And yes, I’ve done crafts for some of these causes. I’ve donated crafts to auctions to raise money, supplied dozens of bake sales, and for the past couple years I’ve crafted goodies to sell at my team’s booth at our local Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society.

So I’m wondering, do any of you out there craft for good causes?


Help a Fellow Crafter Win Her Dream Dress

Friday, February 17th, 2012
By Twistie

This is Ami Amour, for those of you not familiar with her blog devoted to all things amigurami. She’s getting married in june (best of luck and all happiness, Ami!) and has a dream of a fabulous wedding gown. In fact, she’s entered a contest to win said fabulous gown by Enzoani. The contest is being held by the design house and in order to win, Ami will need to get the most ‘likes’ on the Enzoani Facebook page for her video explaining why she feels she should win the gown.

It’s a mermaid gown with a detachable strap and… well, it’s the dress on the amigurumi in her hands, there. In fact, that doll is how she expresses her desire for the gown in her entry video. It’s entirely hand crocheted by Ami except for the lace ruffle at the bottom of the skirt.

So go to Facebook. Like Ami’s video. It’s the seventh one. She’s wearing a blue shirt and holding the doll. Right now, she’s in fourth place, but we have until Feb. 27 to change that.

What say you? Shall we help a crafty lady win her dream dress?


Doing Crafts, Doing Good

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011
By Twistie

Many of us who craft also enjoy giving back to the world, I find. But what if you’ve been looking for a way to intertwine the two concepts?

Get thee to Amazon and snap up a copy of Craft Activism: People, Ideas, and Projects from the New Community of Handmade and How You Can Join In. Okay, the title is wordy times eleven, but the ideas involved more than make up for that.

Inside you’ll find seventeen clever projects to make, but more than that you’ll find ideas for using your projects to make the world better. This book will help you do everything from organizing an online craft exchange to organizing your own crafts fair. That’s quite a bit for a book that costs just $22.99.

But wait! There’s more! If you get it from Amazon right now, it’s just $15.63!


Finally My Palms Can Breathe While My Fingers Keep Busy With the Electrical Sockets

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011
By Twistie

When I went to write my article for today, WordPress decided they didn’t want to let me in… for several hours. This happens. It ‘s annoying, but I survive, mostly without too much complaint. But finding myself with some time on my hands, I decided to spend it avoiding everything I have left to do for Christmas and go wander around Regretsy for a while.

And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Glingers.

Glingers are the result of a poll on Regretsy to pick the next big Etsy trend… for 2011. Yeah, I’m behind the curve. The poll is a year old. But in my defense, the bastard child results of the poll were reposted just a few days ago. Still, one of the responses (along with Amish Goth and Vintage Tampon Quilt Batting, both of which amused me greatly) was gloves that are just fingers.

Thus the glinger was born.

People sent in photos of the glingers they made, along with their tongue-in-cheek praises of their many virtues.

Regretsy reader Tonya had this to say of her grass green knitted glingers:

They’re perfect for those times when your fingers are cold but you need your palms free for things like accepting communion wafers or giving hand jobs

The title of this article is a direct quote from another Regretsy glinger devotee, Mary. But my personal favorite quote comes from Regretsy commenter and Evil Genius, Audrey:

Using the power of science, I made these labpunk scienceglam handless gloves happen in my artistic ability, a mystical unraveling of creative and scientific talent completely uncorrupted by artificial constraints such as ‘taste’ and ‘human decency.’ The lucky buyer can use them in the context of fashionable crimes, leaving no fingerprints while maintaining the important fashion objective of looking like a complete and total tool.

Also of interest on Regretsy, learn why if you’re trying to do good for others, PayPal may not be your best partner in generosity. While the situation has been resolved, it still doesn’t make me want to rush to PayPal the next time I need to help someone financially.


Do Some Knitting, Warm a Penguin

Thursday, October 20th, 2011
By Twistie

Sometimes I’m seriously late to a party… but that doesn’t mean I don’t show up dancing!

After a disastrous oil spill off the coast of Tauranga, the good folks at Skeinz, a knitting store in New Zealand, sprang into action. In their spring newsletter, they asked people to use the pattern they thoughtfully enclosed to knit sweaters for the penguins in need of extra warmth and protection.

People responded. Lots of people responded. The sweaters (jumpers in local terminology) have been pouring in. Hey,  who doesn’t want to help a penguin? Penguins are just plain awesome critters.

According to Skeinz’s blog entry for the 17th, they have reached ‘critical mass’ on penguin sweaters… but they encourage anyone interested to continue knitting and sending their work.

And if knitting for penguins isn’t your personal cuppa, the same good folk organize knitting projects for other good causes, such as victims of natural disasters.

Oh, and they carry a nice selection of gorgeous all-natural fiber yarns. Yes, they also ship internationally.


Help a Crafty Person, Feel Good

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011
By Twistie

Check out the pretty soaps. They smell good, too, like roses. They’re quite reasonably priced, too, at just $5.95 for two 2.5oz bars. They’re the work of  one Mary Thomas, known on Etsy as WickedCreation. She’s also a pretty amazing lady. You see, she’s the founder of April’s Army, an Etsy group that various crafters contribute work to in order to help fellow crafters through hard financial times. During the last week of every month, the craftwork donated for that month is sold, and all proceeds sent to help out a crafter facing unemployment, disease, injury, natural disaster… whatever has gone wrong in their lives.

Well, right now Mary herself needs help.

Her husband, a construction worker, sometimes has to go months without steady work, and then Mary lost her lucrative day job, too. Since October, they’ve been living on her Etsy shop earnings. Then her husband got a job, only to wind up with a stress fracture in his foot. He lost his job, they have no health insurance, and he needs foot surgery. Their utilities have been turned off, and they’re on the verge of eviction.

So please, if you have a few dollars to spare, take a moment to help out someone whose huge heart has unfortunately not made for a solid bank balance. Mary has spent her time helping others, an now she really needs our help as a community. Go to her shop and buy some soap or a pair of earrings. Go to April’s Army and purchase one of the items donated in her benefit. Or just go by her webpage and make a donation.

I don’t have a lot, but I can buy a couple bars of soap to help out someone who has done so much for others as her life slowly fell apart around her ears.

It’s really the least I can do.












Disclaimer: Manolo the Shoeblogger is not Manolo Blahnik
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