Always, Maybe we can do something (this thread seems to fit, but if another thread should be opened, please let me know) along the lines of crafting to make our neighborhoods better places?
My neighborhood isn't the best. I live in a military town, and there are many unique pressures that come from that-- lots of spouses and kids left behind during deployments, and the soldiers work such long hours that a normal family life is quite often a huge struggle. I also live in an older part of town, where the homes are small, and no one seems to have two cents to rub together, military and civilian alike. We've got problems with crime, much like any other community. But.... the vast majority of people in my neighborhood are good people.
We don't have anything like a Whole Foods Market here. Our main grocery-and-everything-else store DOES start with an "W", but that's where the similarities end, ya know?
I want to help my neighbor (and possibly other neighbors, depending on crop sizes) with fresh, straight-from-the-garden fruit, veggies, and herbs. It's always nice to receive gifts, especially when the gifts are something you'd have to buy anyway, and will be used.
I'd also like to beautify my yard so that perhaps other people can enjoy the scent of roses, lavender or lilacs wafting through the air. They're also a whole lot prettier than the crabgrass and bald patches of hard-baked soil that we seem to have in abundance here. It's a small thing, and I do garden for my own enjoyment, but maybe it would brighten someone's day just a little.
I love your idea of helping out elderly neighbors (or any neighbor who needs it, really) with DIY projects. Unfortunately, I'm not exactly handy myself, and would probably do a lot more harm than good, unless there is a method of crocheting drywall that I don't know about!
So, I've been nice to the fam lately, and while they seem to be a bit suspicious (!!!) things here are so much better. I wasn't being kind to make things better for ME, but it seems to have worked out that way. And I'm also quite embarrassed that I have been so unpleasant and short-tempered when stressed.
Now, I'm going to expand to a bit of a wider circle. It's a bit crafty, a bit not. I have started my vegetable garden, and planted extras so that I can share the literal fruits of my labor with our neighbors. I'm going to bring them some fresh stuff, as well as some home canned salsa, jams and pickles. My neighbor has three kids and she works really, really hard both to support her family as well as be a good mom, and it shows. She's such a nice lady, makes do with not-much, and has the best behaved kids on the block (yes, including mine!). She loves fresh produce, but just doesn't have time to grow it herself, and doesn't have the money to get the best, freshest produce at the store. I've also planned to plant blackberries/raspberries along our shared fence, so that they can have fresh berries when they decide to fruit.
THAT'S IT!!! For some reason, we have a 1000 sq ft house, but a 700 sq ft garage. I have NO idea why a house of this size (or a family with one car) needs a three car detached garage, but there you have it. That's perfect!
The kids don't go out there, and hubby doesn't mess around with any of my stuff in there. I'm sure a tote or three could easily be hidden with gardening stuff, and seasonal items. The pets won't be able to get into them, and if I bag things properly, I can easily keep any kind of dust or garage creepy crawlies off of my gifts.
I also occasionally go out there when it's just too chaotic or noisy for me in the house, to "organize my stuff"... which is a total lie, as anyone who has seen my garage could tell you in about three seconds. Still, it's widely accepted that I do lurk in there by myself from time to time, and no one thinks much of it at all. I'd be able to store WIPs and maybe even do some work out there for short periods of time... like Silvermoon said, rows do add up when you start early enough!
I just facepalmed for real. You guys are great, and while I SHOULD have thought of that before, I completely didn't. Here I was, planning a craft ninja year full of deception, secrecy and stealth, when all I really had to do was look at the structure that I can literally see as I'm typing, and put two and two together. Thank you thank you thank you!
Here's a small confession for you all: Because I am a chronic procrastinator who has random things like oven explosions happen, I manage to end up hating the holidays every single year. Once I think of a great gift idea to make, it's too late, or I can never find the right fabric/paper/yarn/etc and have to settle for something that I really wasn't how I envisioned it, because I didn't start at a much more reasonable time It is simply masochistic to start making 100 cards, 4 afghans, 6 sets of pjs, 20 dozen cookies and 10 knitted scarves on Dec 1st for mailing by Dec 7th.
I think it would be WAY too much for me to do 50+ projects, and then craft countless gifts for not only winter holidays, but birthdays, babies, weddings, etc, so I'm kind of doing the 50 thingsalong for all gift ideas that I have, as well as ideas for myself and for the house and so on.
Anyhoo. Here's a bit of an offtopic question that does kind of tie into this : Since my goal is not only make most of the gifties but also to be done early, I have to start early. For family members that I rarely see, this is fine, and no surprises will be ruined. For family members that I live with, it presents a problem. How do I start early on bigger projects, but still manage to surprise them on (insert gift giving occasion here)? I really want a WOW! from most of these bigger projects, and it's hard to get that without an element of surprise.
I live in a small house with very little closet space/hiding spots/crafting space, so everything I do has to be pretty much out in the open. I also live with two nosy kids, a hubby who is interested in every project that he sees me working on (not that it's a bad thing! I love the support!), strategically puking cats, a bunny who chews on everything in sight, and dogs that are not only hairy but also usually dirty. HELP! Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated!
Ha! I read it initially as Hi-C soup, and thought EWW, why would anyone use fruit flavored beverage as a soup base?!?! Once I read the ingredients and read the title again, I LOVE that idea. It's true Alphabet soup!
I wrote-n-published a book, and I while I KNOW it's copyright protected and I'd have issues with someone making a photocopy of the ENTIRE thing, especially to sell, I would have no issues with anyone making a copy to enlarge a page for personal use. It wasn't a craft book though, so maybe patterns/templates are different?
Of course, the author of the pattern (and even the publisher of the magazine) might feel the same way I do, and it's one of those incredibly annoying bureaucratic copyright issues that anyone who writes/creates has to deal with.
At any rate, I'm sorry. If you ever want to photocopy or enlarge a page from my book, consider this my express written permission! It probably won't help you much with apron making though...
Always, my loved ones deserve a lot of kindness. They're the ones I gripe to when common courtesy won't allow me to gripe at the people who are actually the ones irritating me, if that makes any sense.