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1  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Adopt a Soldier and/or an Afghan Child "Swap" on: January 10, 2007 02:04:42 PM

OK, so this one isn't exactly a swap, in the sense that you wouldn't get a return package in the mail.  But it's still pretty darn rewarding, so please read on...!

As we hear more and more about the escalation of violence in Iraq, the number of American deaths passing 3,000, etc., lately I've been wondering whether there was some small concrete action I could take to show support for our troops.  After some research, I discovered www.AnySoldier.com,a Web site where you can request the address of a service member who will pass your letters and packages to fellow soldiers that don't often receive mail.   

Two care packages later, and I'm hooked!  Care packages are fun to put together, and it's incredibly cool to know you're making a difference in the quality of life for someone who's doing so much for our country.

Anyway, how does Craftster fit in...?  I thought it might be neat to do a "swap" where we all send our packages to an AnySoldier address rather than to one another....

There's one place that seems particularly promising -- it's a Combat Support Hospital in Afghanistan.  There are 50 soldiers who work there, and they have very simple housing that's basically a room with a bed.  So, lots of opportunities for crafting items like floor coverings / thow rugs (apparently a big need), mirrors, pillows, and other things to make the room more cozy.  Then there are the injured soldiers.  They  often need clothing (such as sweatshirts) while they recuperate, plus I'm sure there's a need for comfort items like pillows or blankets.  And this clinic also treats Afghan trauma patients, many of them children.  When the children leave, they try to send them home with  clothes and a stuffed animal or toy.  Plus, they keep shelves stocked with treats, toiletries, snacks, etc. from home for one and all to take as needed.

This all seems to leave a lot of room for crafting options.  Plus, even people who are anti-war can get behind people who heal.  And there's also the option of crafting specifically for the Afghani children -- international peace through crafting!

Experienced organizers, any reasons this swap might be particularly hard to organize?  Would a requirement of posting photos of the package be a suitable substitute for a DC number?  Or just a requirement for a personal message that the package has gone?  (But we'd want photos anyway, to see what everyone sends!)

Any questions or ideas?  Anyone?

(Sorry this has been such a book ... has anyone even read this far???)  Embarrassed

Thanks!  Tara (twowishes)
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / XMas Gift for Young Newbie Knitter? on: November 28, 2005 01:32:24 PM

Last night I found out that my 9-year-old niece has learned how to knit and is already becoming hooked.  As a supporter of all crafty endeavors, of course I immediately knew what her Christmas gift will center around! 

However, knitting isn't actually one of my crafts, and I have no idea what would make the best gift.  Can anyone suggest something that would be particularly appreciated by a young girl who's learning to knit?

Many thanks, fellow Craftsters!!
3  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Old labels from fruit crates, cans, soap, etc. on: May 10, 2005 02:23:51 PM
OK, so I've got this slight ... well, maybe we should make that "major" ... ebay addiction problem.  Sometimes I get obsessed with a new item and purchase it in quantity, without any idea of what I'll actually do with it when it arrives.  On the plus side, this is how lots of craft projects get started!

My latest obsession is with old labels from fruit crates, cans, soap and beautry products, and the like.  Manufacturers used drawings to differentiate their products, and many of them are perfect little retro works of art.  They can be expensive when collected as individual labels, but some careful shopping on ebay yields sets of dozens or hundreds for 10 to 30 cents each.  (I like old hotel / travel luggage stickers even more, but those are tough to find on the cheap.)

I've come up with some rather boring ideas for them, like use in greeting cards or as a decorative element on packaging.  But can you creative Craftster types suggest something better?  I'm particularly stumped by grape crate labels, which are an awkward size of 4 x 13".

Thanks for any suggestions you can come up with!!
4  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / New Book of Image Transfer (Haupert) on: April 02, 2005 04:10:51 PM
So, my Crafters Choice book club keeps managing to suck me back in every time I complete the purchase requirements by offering me those tempting $1 sign-up offers over and over again....  As a result, I've read my share of craft books lately.  "The New Book of Image Transfer," by Debba Haupert (2004) is one of my favorites.

The technology couldn't be simpler ... it's based on transfer paper that you run through your printer or a color copier and then stick onto surfaces ranging from glass (glass bottles, dishware, and the like) to fabric (she shows a shower curtain, silk screen, and pillows) to metal (a variety of metal tins) and even painted walls, rocks, and candles.  Some of the projects in the book aren't for me, but it has a higher "yeah, that would be cool" percentage than a lot of these books.  (I'm a big fan of the dishware, like glass bottles with flowers or whatnot and little white sushi plates with realistic-looking sushi.)  But the main value of the book was just showing me that the technology is out there and giving me inspiration to get started coming up with ideas of my own.

Definitely recommended.  Unfortunately it's $24.95, but there's always the public library!   
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