It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at my house! I don't have everything photographed yet so I'm not going to do the big ol' Christmastime post just yet...but here are a few pics for fun!
It's been a busy weekend already, with birthday parties, going-away parties, and then the pleasant experience of getting rear-ended while stopped at a stoplight. Not just a fender-bender either - the guy's truck managed to crush my bumper and cave in the back hatch of my minivan. I've decided I'm a rear-end-accident magnet...this is the 3rd time it has happened to me. The first one, when I was a teenager, was partly my fault, but the other 2 were simply because the driver behind me wasn't paying attention. Sigh. So add that to my list of things to deal with this week!
ANYWAY...My kids weren't sure what those silvery cones were...mountains? Trees? Either one works for me! That's all the Christmas stuff I'm sharing right now...I'll have a big giant Christmas post soon, I promise.
I want you to meet Parker, the very nice owner of the Circle Sewing Studios. Parker has kindly agreed to be a drop-off/mail-to destination for the Sewing For Orphans bags! (Please see my sidebar for the clickable button about this project) Now I can publish a real address online for where to send/bring in your drawstring bags, and then Parker will contact me when they arrive and I can go pick them up.
Here's the address where you can now send your drawstring bags for the Sewing For Orphans Project:
Circle Sewing Studios c/o Shelley Detton
2212 Tackett's Mill Dr. Woodbridge, VA 22192
I met Parker while searching for my first "real" sewing machine...I've been using my Singer CG550 for the past 10 years or so, but now that I'm getting much more involved in quilting I need a more capable machine. After a lot of research, I've narrowed it down to the Janome Horizon 7700, which has an 11" harp and it free-motion quilts like a DREAM. Not to mention all the fancy stitches and alphabets and Accufeed and all sorts of other great features! PLUS it has a red panel on front, which really sealed the deal. :-) The 7700 is not a pocket-change kind of machine, however, so I'll probably have to wait awhile before my dream machine is in my hot little hands. Unless Santa suddenly has a big surplus of funds and decides to spend it all on me...but I'm not exactly holding my breath. :-)
Anyway, check out the huge selection of gorgeous batiks at the Circle Sewing Studios!
There is a workshop area where people can come and work on their projects and/or take classes,
and there are lots of other fun fabrics there as well. If any of you live in Northern Virginia, you should swing by! It's fairly close to IKEA and Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, so you could make a day of it and give yourself a fabric treat after (or before!) doing all your Christmas shopping.
Do any of you recognize the bags that you sent? Nickolai (the Bulgarian director of One Heart Bulgaria) gave some to the children in the Gabrovo Orphanage sewing class, and they were so happy to receive them!
The kids in the sewing class are going to start making the bags for other orphan children too, since the bags are such a hit over there. The demand for these drawstring bags far exceeds supply, so if any of you have any spare time it would be so wonderful if you could make some!
I fell in love with this darling boy - he looks like such a sweetie! I hope someday I can meet him in person - I really want to go over to Bulgaria to work with the sewing class, maybe paint some murals and, most importantly, shower love and attention on these precious children.
Here is the sewing teacher for the class at the Gabrovo orphanage. It costs a mere $100 monthly salary to provide a sewing teacher for these children. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could guarantee the continuation of the program at Gabrovo and create sewing classes at other orphanages? It can be done with donations by us, if we can just sacrifice a little and commit to doing it. To find out more about supporting this and other valuable programs for the orphans, just go to the link HERE.
Here are two eager helpers cutting fabric to make curtains for the orphanage windows.
The sewing program is so important to these kids. A huge percentage of orphan children in Bulgaria fall between the cracks, so to speak, once they age out of the orphanage system. They turn to gangs, drugs, prostitution, and other terrible lifestyles because they are not prepared to become contributing members of society. Many, many children and young adults commit suicide because they feel like their lives are hopeless and worthless.
Which is why it's so important to teach these children a skill like sewing. It not only gives them a fun past-time and increases their confidence, but it gives them a useful skill-set upon which they can rely to earn income, independence, and self respect.
Don't you just want to give all of them a great big hug?
I'm going to be having a jewelry fund-raiser for the orphans this month with the jewelry I've made and will be making in the next several days. I'll probably list the pieces that I don't sell locally during my Studio Open House (I still haven't taken pictures of my studio, and it's all messy again, dangit) on my Etsy site, so I'll keep you posted on that. Plus I'll probably have an online raffle ($1 per entry, all money goes to the orphans) for some sewn items here pretty soon once I can get all my ducks in a row. December is going to be busy!!