Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Everything Old...

Take an ancient technique like chainmaille and add a craft from the 1960s and here's what you might get...

...a cracked marble pendant caged in chain...

...or, a caged cracked marble keychain.

Friday, 16 March 2012

Guest Post - We Are Bound Together

Here's another new humanitarian shop - We Are Bound Together.  Read, in her own words, how Andrea has combined her bookbinding skills with her desire to help others.

" My journey into bookbinding started when my husband and I began thinking seriously about where our stuff came from .  We started making an effort to buy products where the workers were being treated the way we would want to be treated - ethically and fairly.

This was before I knew much about Etsy.  I had the hardest time finding photo albums.  So I decided to look into making one myself.  I had always been artsy, so I figured that there must be some way.  Hence my adventure of bookbinding began.

I found that I really enjoyed the craft of creating hand bound books.  I love working with the pretty fabric and the different styles available to bookbinding.  At this point all of my books were gifts to people I knew.  But I felt that this was something I could really get into.

Parallel to all this, the desire to help others was something my husband and I both possessed.  We didn't always do it right, but we learn through our experiences.  At one point I really wished I could do more, especially for persecuted Christians around the world.  They are our brothers and sisters in Christ, and as a family we should support them.  We donated bits of money here and there, but the desire to help remained a passion of mine.

One day the idea came to me of the possibility of making hand bound books to sell and the proceeds going toward those who are suffering.  I had heard of Etsy by that time and that seemed like the perfect market.  I was unable to fulfill that idea at that time, but it remained a dream of mine.

A few months ago, the opportunity came where I could go through with my dream.  My husband greatly encouraged me, and now I have a store on Etsy, opened only just very recently.  Currently it features my "duct tape" books.  The covers are recycled book covers, covered with duct tape.  People like duct tape wallets so why not books too?  I will be producing my fabric covered books soon.

My store, "We Are Bound Together" combines my work of bookbinding with my desire to help persecuted Christians.  The name has a double meaning.  We are bound together as believers, and by binding books I hope to serve.  I do no donate to a single organization, but rather through a few.  Currently the three that I focus on are "Voice of the Martyrs", "Open Doors" and "International Christian Concern".

My store is still in its infancy, so I don't have any great advice for those considering something like what I'm doing.  Only take it one day at a time and try not to get too overwhelmed.  Getting started is more work than it looks, but I believe it's worth it in the end.

You can find me at:
my website,
my etsy store,
my facebook, http// "

"If we cannot now end our differences,
at least we can help make the world safe for diversity."
- John F. Kennedy

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Fish Creek Finery

Lucy at work.
Sometimes craftiness and humanitarianism take root young.

Lucy is a 10-year-old with a big heart.  She decided that she wanted to help less fortunate children and started making woven potholders and braided & breaded bookmarks to raise money for Child Fund International.  Instead of sponsoring another child (the family already sponsors a Haitian teen through World Vision), Lucy donates to specific projects.  So far, she has helped buy blankets for babies in Mozambique, mosquito netting in Africa, and school supplies and a school uniform for an orphaned girl in India.  Another $100 donation (that has turned into $1694 through matching grants) is helping to build Hospital Huts in Senegal villages that don't have doctor clinics.

The potholders are available in many different designs.
The next project Lucy is planning to fund is a fruit orchard for a farming family in a developing country.  Once she makes that donation (the target is $79), a family will be able to grow fruit for their own use and sell any extra in a market - helping both the family's health and financial well-being.

You can find Lucy's potholders and bookmarks in the Etsy shop she shares with both her mother and her aunt - Fish Creek Finery.

While you're there, check out the necklaces, bracelets, beaded dog & cat collars, dog coats, and dog collars made from vintage belts made by the other two-thirds of this shop.  20% of the proceeds from all the pet items are donated to pet rescue organizations.  Put that with the 100% Lucy donates from her items, and you have a whole lot of giving from 3 talented ladies.  What a family!

"No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child.  The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure." - Emma Goldman

Thursday, 1 March 2012


One of my goals for 2012 is to de-clutter and organize our house.  Two month in, and the going is slow.

So far, the downstairs bathroom has been done, my chainmaille supplies & tools are organized, and there is a box nearly full of items to donate.  But, I could use a few more hours in the day.  Finding time to work on this house-overhaul is not easy.  Dealing with the little one's naps and a husband who works nights and sleeps in the day complicate things.

And, the toys.  Oh my, the toys.  Every couple of weeks, I've been going through the toys in the living-room, pulling those that are broken or missing pieces and the ones that no one has been playing with.  Either the toys are reproducing when the lights go out or they are migrating from the boys' bedroom.  sigh.

Oh well.  It's only March, right?

"Don't agonize. Organize."  - Florence Kennedy