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1  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / New Swap Theme Ideas / Geezer Swap Anyone? on: Today at 01:04:45 AM

I was asked if I'd be doing another round of this fun swap at our recent Craftsters Meetup in Asheville, NC.  I took a look back and the last one we did was in 2017!  

Rise of the Cougars Geezer Swap, Round 7


If any of you old geezers want to play please comment below.  I'm thinking of signups in June with a crafting time from Saturday, June 15, 2019 - Saturday, August 31, 2019.

For those of you who are too young to remember this swap here are some details:

Limited to a certain number of people? (optional): Nope

Restricted to people who all live in the same country? NO

Age requirement?  30 years old or older before June 2019

Details of swap: (thanks to Dulcinea and Sevsonlygirl!)
This is a swap for the geezers.  The idea here is that we've all been crafting for eons, and are pretty good at what we do.

This is also a swap where there is a sizeable commitment, both for time, and resources.  We are going to be crafting one really big, really nice item for our partner.  If you cannot commit to the time or resources, please consider carefully before signing up for this swap.

You'll make up a list of 5-10 large things that you would love if someone made for you.  You'll also make up a list of 5-10 things that you're really good at, that you'd love to make for your fellow geezers.  And if you can make it from your stash, and reduce the stash, making room for more, NEW stash, so much the better.  

What's a large item, you ask?  generally, we're talking something that takes 3 or more hours, is large in physical size, or costs $30 or more in materials (or any combination of those).

You need to post to this thread, so that it comes up as unread replies if I have something to tell y'all.

I will not tolerate flakers.  We all will have 2.5 months to craft and send out.  That should be enough time.  A DC or Customs number is required, if available.  If you do not have a DC or Customs number, you MUST send me a scan of your postal receipt, showing that the package was sent out.

If you are a week late sending (after the sendout date), you will receive a temporary negative.  This will be changed back to In Progress upon proof of sending.
2  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Hand decorated Mugs for Seniors by Difference Makers on: May 02, 2019 03:42:23 AM
Hi all!  Just wanted to share the mugs that the Difference Makers Teen Ambassadors led as a project at the DM convention this past weekend (April 26-28).  Our club is composed of highschoolers from all around MD.  Our mission is to support the middle school club Difference Makers as well as perform a few community projects of our own.  

DM Ambassadors Amelia and Jamie ran the project.  Originally Lana was going to lead it, but she wasn't there because she had a robotics competition in MI and I wasn't there because I had a wonderful Craftsters Meetup in Asheville to go to.  Luckily my hubby was able to go and offer his support. (Corralling 6-8th graders in a room and giving them Sharpies can be tricky!)  

It was done as a team project which was a fun mixer where kids added their touches to several mugs.  These mugs are being donated to the seniors receiving food from Meals on Wheels.  Hopefully they will brighten their day.

Finished mugs:

Action shots and a group shot of all the kids (Yes, I have their permission to post):

Just in case anyone wants to make these here's what we did:  
1. use oil-based Sharpies
2. clean the mug with alcohol (we used alcohol pads-small and easy), allow to dry completely, and do not handle any part of the surface that you are drawing on
3. draw with oil-based Sharpies and allow it to dry for 24 hours before baking
4. they say to bake at 400 for 30 minutes, but someone did a durability and color test and the colors didn't chip or burn out when baked for 3 hours at 250 so we did 2 hours at 300.

I think the kids did a great job and this is definitely something that we'll be doing again.  Smiley  
Thanks for looking! Rox
3  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / Craftster Meetup Asheville Adventure Commemorative Buttons on: April 30, 2019 07:08:47 PM
I wanted to make a little something to commemorate our Asheville Adventure and I thought a nice button would be the perfect way to do that...especially since Alwaysinmyroom gave us this machine and she couldn't make it to the meetup so this way she'd be with us in spirit.  

Mistress Jennie provided the artwork which I moved around a bit so that it would fit a circle format better.

I also decided to add all the attendees' Craftster name to them.  Smiley

I was really proud of myself because Lana is the real button designer and this time I had to learn how to put the names in a circle...not only that, but 2 circles which meant balancing out the letters too.  Smiley  

Anyhow I had lots of fun making these and I hope they were enjoyed. Smiley
4  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / More fabric paper on: April 29, 2019 02:51:16 PM
Wanted to share the fun paper that we made at the Asheville Craftsters Meetup (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=454476.0) this past weekend.  It wasn't a formal class per se, but we had paper goddesses craftylittlemonkey and geekgirl1000100 helping us and sharing their tips and techniques.  

Action shots!

Together we made 6 papers:
#1-4 were made by geekgirl1000100, Averia, my mom, and me
#5-6 were made by craftylittlemonkey, anna.wahnsinn, craftADDchick, my mom, and me

1. tissue paper, acrylic paint

2. tissue paper, acrylic paint

3. geekgirl1000100's gelli prints, acrylic paint, splatter

4. geekgirl1000100's gelli prints, acrylic paint, thread

5. tissue paper, geekgirl1000100's gelli prints, acrylic paint

6. tissue paper, geekgirl1000100's gelli prints, acrylic paint

kbrison and CLM also made some foam stamps for me to try.  Can't wait!

I added thread and paint spatter to #3 and #4 once we got home.  These sheets will be cut up and made into bookmarks.  Thank you craftylittlemonkey, geekgirl1000100, Averia, anna.wahnsinn, craftADDchick, and mom for  sharing your time and talents! We can't wait to share these with the kids at our 2 upcoming book distributions in June!  I'll post pics here once we have them all pressed and cut up.  Smiley
5  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Difference Makers and Small Things Matter Silent Auction, April 12, 2019 on: January 30, 2019 08:20:11 PM

Hi everyone!

Difference Makers and Small Things Matter are co-hosting the auction again this year.  Our silent auction will take place on April 12, 2019 from 6-8:30pm at Takoma Park Middle School to raise money our various projects. 

Difference Makers is a student run 501(c)3 nonprofit at TPMS that performs many community service projects including running the Kokua Foods Program, which supplies fresh food and pantry-nonperishable food items for TPMS, RTES, New Hampshire Tower Apts and 6 area shelters including Shepherd's Table and Casa Ruby (LGBT youth shelter).

Small Things Matter is Lana's 501(c)3 nonprofit that engages youth to help those in need with a literacy program and a crafting for charity program. This year STM gave out over 1000 brand new books to kids in need.  Lana and her friends also read to underserved children at the Difference Makers food distribution.  We have also made hundreds and hundreds of stuffies for hospitals and made 650 fleece scarves and 200 decorated toiletry bags filled with supplies for the homeless in honor of MLK Day of Service. 

Our auction is a nice blend of items donated by businesses (gift cards, theatre tickets, autographed baseballs) and handcrafted items.  My Craftster friends have contributed many wonderful items to our event (including handmade jewelry, greeting cards, purses, stuffed animals, scarves, and cloth covered notebooks.  People are seriously in love with the handcrafted items BTW!!!  Smiley

This is last year's poster!

If anyone is willing to donate an auction item to us please send it by March 30 so that I can get the placards, space, everything else made in time.  The earlier it is received the better because I can also post it to thank you!  Smiley  Please include your name/company name, website, and business cards for me to share with others that might have lost the bidding and would like to contact you.   I can also provide you with an acknowledgement letter that you can use for tax purposes if you itemize and give me an approximate value. 

Please send your items to the following address:
DM&STM Auction
Attn: Bryan Goehring/Craftster Friends
9295 Maxwell Court
Laurel MD 20723

Please mark it Craftster and please PM me when you send to him so that I can ask Bryan to be on the lookout for it.  Thanks!

If any of you want to get Small Things Matter's newsletter please PM me your email!  Smiley  You can find past issues of our newsletter on our website.

THANK YOU for your continued kindness and support!!!

Find out more about DM here:

Find more about STM here:

6  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Small Things Matter: Frida Kahlo Stuffie on: January 28, 2019 04:00:36 PM

Hi all!

I designed a simple stuffie pattern a while back that we use at Small Things Matter in our Crafting for Charity Program.  You can read about Hiro here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=453237.0

Anyhow a couple of weeks ago I found out that Takoma Park resident Todd Carter was doing a Frida Kahlo Street Art piece called Night of 1000 Fridas.  I thought it would be a fun way for us to interact with our community and hopefully let others know about our crafting program so I whipped up a little Frida stuffie.  Various businesses hosted the Fridas.  Ours was at the Richardson School of Music. Smiley

side view

pic with hubby John, Todd, and my friend Eleanor

There are tons of Fridas on Facebook.  They are tagged #1KFridas.  You can see a few of them on our page:

Like us if you want to follow STM's adventures! Literacy for underserved children and Crafting for Charity.  Smiley

7  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Fleece Scarves for the Homeless by Small Things Matter on: November 01, 2018 07:40:07 PM
Hi all!

Just wanted to share some pics of our recent crafting event.  Small Things Matter hosted a fleece scarves for the homeless on October 24 and 25 in honor of Community Service Week.  We were joined by volunteers from Difference Makers, Montgomery County volunteers, and 80 preK and preschoolers from a local preschool.  I was proud of Lana and the other STMers that stepped up to lead this crafting event.

We crafted for 3 hours each day and ended up with 167 scarves that were donated to 3 shelters.  

tiny hands at work
The preschoolers made 40 of those scarves with pairs working together to make a single scarf.  ADORABLE!

w/Difference Makers on Wed (1 hour during their meeting)

w/MoCo Volunteers on Wed (2 hours)

w/Difference Makers on Thurs (1 hour during their meeting)

w/MoCo Volunteers on Thurs (2 hours)

Group shot of the recipients: National Center for Children and Families, Stepping Stones Shelter, and Interfaith Works Women's Shelter.

Gratuitous shot of Lana and her friend Jamie!

It was great fun meeting new people and spreading some love!  Hope to do this again for MLK Day of Service!

Take care!
Small Things Matter

P.S. If you would like to receive our e-newsletter please PM me your email address and I'll add you.  We have a new one coming out next week.  Smiley  Follow us https://www.facebook.com/thesmallthingsmatter/
8  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Paper Crafts: Completed Projects: General / Paper Fabric Bookmarks inspired by CLM! on: September 11, 2018 05:53:03 PM
So the wonderful craftylittlemonkey sent me some amazing bookmarks for our nonprofit that gives out books to underserved kids.  She introduced me to fabric paper.  You can see her post here: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=455699.0

Anyhow I have a wonderful bunch of Difference Makers Teen Ambassadors that I get to teach to craft and as part of their day of service (12 hours together) in August they made some amazing fabric paper.  I found a simple tutorial that we tried.  Our are not as fancy as CLM's but they were fun to make!!

Here are my Ambassadors getting into it!

They worked in little teams and ended up with these! top left and bottom right were made with colored tissues, top right with Chinese joss paper, and bottom left with newspaper

All cut up.  We made 144 bookmarks from 1 yard of muslin, glue, paper, acyrlic paint!

Here's what we did:
1. get cheap muslin and place it on a plastic sheet
2. wet entire cloth with diluted glue (1 part glue: 2 parts water)
3. add tissue, or any paper, even newspaper and paint over with glue
4. splatter and add designs with paint (used cups, pieces of wood, bubble wrap) anything goes
5. let dry
6. cut into bookmarks

Thank you CLM for introducing me to a world of wonder!  We'll be doing this again!
9  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Random Acts of Kindness....rock painting part deux on: August 04, 2018 05:29:54 AM
Since the rock painting challenge is in full swing on Craftsters now I decided to do a little post on Lana's second rock painting event.  

Back in April 2018 she led a rock painting event for Global Youth Service Day (GYSD), the largest day of youth service.  It was a hit with young and old alike!  The rocks were distributed around the community to brighten people's day.  Smiley  You can read about it here:

This summer the organizer of Lunch and Learn, a low-income camp, asked if Lana/Small Things Matter would come and lead some art activities for their campers (1st-4th graders).  They didn't have the funds to help pay for the supplies and had over 100 campers.  Lana decided that rock painting would be a fun and affordable way to spread kindness.

Lana met with the kids in small groups and shared the mission of STM...kid-powered kindness for those in need.  She told them how STM engages children to craft for other children in need by making monster stuffies to be donated to children's hospitals and about our literacy program which provides new books to underserved youth.  

The kids had a great time with their creations. Some of the kids agreed to abandon their rocks for others to find while others wanted to keep their rocks. Smiley The kids also colored bookmarks to go along with our book giveaways and were happy to be helping others!

Lana and Ms. Doris, Asst. Director of Lunch and Learn.

Lana had a great time and they invited her to come again next summer.  This time they want her to lead a crafting event for their entire camp!  ACK!
10  CRAFTING FOR GOOD AND NOT EVIL / Crafty Charitable/Social Causes / Graduation Stoles and Buttons for Vision PreK on: August 02, 2018 09:09:18 PM
Lana has had the honor and pleasure of making friends with a blind/visually challenged group of pre-Kindergartens over the past few months.  It started when I saw an appeal by their teacher for donations on a neighborhood board I frequent.  I asked if there was anything Small Things Matter could do and their teacher asked if we would be interested in making GAK for them.  Of course Lana was all over it and made several different types with various consistencies and additives.

The kids loved it!

The teacher subsequently invited Lana to come observe her class and Lana immediately fell in love with them.  Lana learned that there were 3 different types of students in the class: completely blind, partially blind, and completed sighted, but with cognitive impairments.  Lana asked if there was anything else she could do to help and the teacher asked if she could possible sew graduation stoles for them.  Lana rose to the challenge, drafted a pattern, and sewed them up!  This was really a challenge because Lana doesn't sew much and has never made up a pattern before.  She based it on one of John's ties after googling for a photo.  It came out pretty cute I think.

Lana also made high-color contrast, easy to read buttons for them with their names in their favorite color.  The teacher will be adding Braille dots to them.  The smaller ones will be pinned on the stoles. 


Anyhow, thanks for listening.  Just wanted to share this because this is really what Small Things Matters is about...finding small ways to help support those in need.  I'm proud of Lana for wanting to help these little kids.  She really has a soft spot for the little ones.  Smiley

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