Monday, 31 December 2012

Review of 2012

Well, what a year of sewing this has been!  In 2011 I raised about £1500 from bag sales.  In 2012 I raised over £3500.  Not bad for a load of old jeans! That equates to the cost of running the feeding programme for nearly two months.  I am so grateful to all who have donated jeans, helped to cut them up, helped to sell the bags and bought them. It is wonderful to know (first hand) what a difference the money makes. 
When I went to Kenya, nearly two years ago now, one of the children who struck me was Gereza.  He had newly arrived at Casuarina House when I was there - one of the last four children to be admitted.  I remember him as having a smile on his face nearly all the time.  I remember his joy when I gave him a balloon, and the fun he had keeping it in the air. He was featured in the Christmas appeal from The Sure Foundation this year:
On Christmas morning, Gereza will wake up happy and excited about what the day will bring. His life has changed enormously in the last two years and this is due to the wonderful generosity that you have shown by supporting him and the other orphans in Utange.
Gereza was just 9 years old when I first met him, his parents had died years before and he had been taken in by a frail old lady. Unfortunat...ely, her family resented Gereza and treated him very badly when she wasn’t around, not feeding him or letting him into the mud hut where they lived; they wanted nothing to do with him. I felt we were his last hope.
I took him back to Casuarina House to see how he got on with the other children, but he just sat in a corner staring at the ground and didn't interact with any of them. He didn't seem to know how to communicate as he’d never had someone showing interest in him.
One of our children went over to him with a hoop to engage him in play and a big smile broke out on Gereza’s face. That was when my heart melted and I knew he just needed the opportunity to grow up where he would be loved, nurtured and cherished.
This year Gereza has worked very hard and finished second in his class at school. As you can see from his picture, he is bright-eyed and very mischievous and always has a cheeky grin on his face. He’s learnt to swim and loves to play football and is often one of the first to offer to help with chores. His affectionate and lively nature is a far cry from the lost little boy I first met and I hope you can see what an enormous impact your support makes.
We are totally reliant on voluntary donations to fund our work with the Utange orphans. Gereza’s home along with 23 other orphans is Casuarina House and it costs £26,000 a year to run. It costs a further £12,000 a year to fund the Feed500 programme for the orphans in the village. If you are able to support us with an extra gift this Christmas we would be so grateful and you can be sure that it will make all the difference to these children’s lives.

How is this a review as the post title suggests?  Simply because the children I met in Utange have inspired me to continue what I started and to do more.  I have gained so very much from my involvement - doing this has changed me, changed how I am, given me confidence and self belief.  Please consider donating - or even better, becoming a "friend" of The Sure Foundation by a regular monthly donation.  You can donate through Paypal here, or download a form to donate regularly here, or set up a one-off or regular payment through Just Giving here.

Thank you to all who have followed my creations this year, and to those who have commented, or featured my work on their own blogs.  You have all had a part in this; you have all helped to feed and support truly needy children who are grateful for what, in Western terms, is so little.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Stained glass coasters

These are yet more embroidery designs I have had for some time.  I love the stained glass effect of them.  In contrast to the previous set, where I used the same design in varying colourways, this time I used different designs for each mat.  I think they work well together, however.
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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Owl keyrings

I bought this beautiful "in the hoop" pattern online.  I have to admit I have not yet mastered sewing it entirely in the hoop, but I completed all but the binding on my embroidery machine. These keyring tags have a credit card sized pocket on the back.  I think they are lovely!

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Friday, 28 December 2012

Heart shaped coasters

Another embroidery project I have enjoyed is sets of coasters.  I embroidered this design straight onto denim, changing the colour scheme each time.  I added a simple circle round each as a guide for cutting.  I then backed each with some African fabric and edged with simple zigzag stitch on my sewing machine.  I plan to sell these as a set.
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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Alphabet Keyrings

I have been enjoying embroidering since the Christmas holidays started.  The embroidery machine is working so much better after its service, and is giving me huge pleasure.  I have been focusing on small items, as these sell so much better than larger ones at the moment, and one of my first projects has been keyrings.  I decided to bite the bullet and go with monogrammed ones.  This alphabet design is one I have had for a while, and it embroidered very well.

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Monday, 17 December 2012

New bag

I have completed a project which has been on my "to do" list for some time. I have procrastinated endlessly, because making the bag involved a technique I have never tried before. Tonight I could put it off no longer. The result is this; a fairly ordinary looking bag in many ways, but the first I have made with a recessed zip at the top. Being a glutton for punishment I also included two more zips - one on an inner pocket and one an outer pocket. It has been a challenge. I hope the recipient will enjoy it. It is destined to be a Christmas present - fortunately the person it is intended for doesn't read this blog!

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Pocket purses

This ever popular item needed restocking again.  I enjoy making these - they are so easy to make differently each time, and so fast to make.  Plus the appeal of knowing that each purse, when sold, raises enough to feed a child in Kenya for a week, makes these very rewarding.

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Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Owl phone cases again

Medium sized this time - large ones are next in line.  These continue to be a very popular line.



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