Blog, featured, kindness

#exponentialkindness

We are keeping our kids home from school tomorrow March 14. Our reason is because we did not want our kids to feel pressured to participate in the school walkout. This is not a political rant so please, keep it civil.

I am not looking for a debate as to why there is a walkout, or on gun control. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on that matter and I respect that. I will not have the same opinion as everyone in this matter and I know that, but the beauty of the United States is that everyone is entitled to their own opinions or to disagree with opinions. What isn’t okay- attacking someone because they don’t agree with your opinion, so, as a disclaimer, please don’t do that on this post. This is not a post about gun control, the walkout, or anything of the sort. This is a post about doing something in the wake of the Florida tragedy because I believe that teaching my children they can make a difference is important for them as well as myself.

So what is the point of this post? I want my kids to be able to think about and process how their actions can and do affect others.

I read about #whatsyour17 on Facebook, if you want to know what it is, I am sure a google search can lead you to the relevant information. Essentially, a student challenged the efficacy of a walk out when they can take immediate action to affect the lives of 17 people around them through simple acts of kindness. I talked about this with my kids and my husband. The idea continued to fester and bother me though as I heard my kids talking about the walk out and following social media attention in our local area. I wondered how we could put this lesson in to action that has visual, measurable results. We decided we would stay home March 14 and work on a project we have called #exponentialkindness based loosely on the idea shared on Facebook.

We are creating kindness cards and packaging them in bags. Each bag has 17 cards in it, each card contains a quote and information on how to make your own. The point is to show people that everyone is capable of touching someone else’s life, even if it just for a moment, in a positive way. Everyone is capable of intentionally being kind to someone they don’t normally talk to, of smiling at a stranger, holding a door open for someone, being polite, you get the idea. Exponential Kindness is an idea that if you touch 17 people in a positive way, then they reach 17, together you’ve reached 258 people, if those 258 each touch 17 people then we have impacted 4,386 in turn those 4,386 can each touch 17 lives reaching 74,562 people- all through a simple act of kindness. When we figured out the numbers my kids were definitely shocked, they just said, man, that is a LOT of people.

Exponents…math…Mr. Holmes, maybe I did learn something?! (Ok, I did have my husband check my math, some things haven’t changed.)

Anyway, we came up with a few social media hashtags as well in hopes that their peers and mine would show everyone their kindness cards and keep the idea of kindness growing. We tailored ours to be specific to our school district and our school, which I would encourage everyone to do if this idea is one you would like to try. Our kids will be the ones voting soon, I hope they always take the time to think about an issue and look at both sides logically and with facts not emotion before they form an opinion. I have always taught them to think for themselves and not just regurgitate what they hear from me or their peers. We made a few extra as well in case any of their friends who go to other schools wanted to participate.

You can check out the files here: https://goo.gl/LaqHr9 and download them or create your own. I used the business card template on MS Word and just printed them with the boundary boxes.

If you decide to participate be sure to use the hashtags and feel free to follow us and tag us on Instagram @exponentialkindess

Blog, crafts, featured, sewing

Finished Projects

Alright. Last week was a whirlwind of birthday sewing and school work. I managed to make three jolly roger raglans for my nephew and two nieces. We went to my niece’s birthday party last Friday, she likes the movie Nightmare Before Christmas, so I tracked down fabric to make her this inspired hoodie. I think it turned out pretty well. She loved it and that’s all that matters.

Next I made one for my other niece. It wasn’t her birthday but since hers is in June and that isn’t hoodie weather…I went ahead and made it anyway. She’s our little firecracker. So, she got ninja unicorns and stars for her hoodie. I also found her fabric in a buy/sell/trade group so it wasn’t easy to find. I love the ninja unicorns though. They’re adorable.

I love being able to customize these for each kid. The inset pockets are my favorite part of this. I did mine a bit different from the pattern and they work out well. My kids love theirs.

The last one was fabric from Joann fabrics. This was for my youngest nephew. He just turned 5! This fabric is the doodle line at Joann Fabrics and is pretty reasonably priced. It was very easy to work with and didn’t roll as much as the cotton lycra I’ve used, which was useful when cutting. The blue fabric though- amazing. It’s a thicker feeling fabric and seriously nice to sew.

Sadly, he didn’t get thumbholes like my nieces. He does have the inset pockets at least. The fabric was a tad thinner than the cotton lycra and my machine kept eating the seam allowance. If I make another from doodle fabric, I may have to get hem tape or a thin stabilizer just to add some weight while sewing cuffs. I absolutely adore the Jolly Roger from Patterns for Pirates. There are so many sizes offered in the pattern and it is so customizable. I now need to make myself a hoodie using the Wonder Woman fabric I have been stashing for a rainy day.

Blog, crafts, featured, sewing

Teach Me Tuesday (on a Thursday)

I know, I know! It’s not Tuesday. I made these on Tuesday but they were for Valentine’s Day so I delayed in posting. Let’s get to it!

Hanging cell phone holders- easy gift for my kids. I winged these from a picture I saw on Pinterest. Now, you have to take in to account the size of your phone when making these. The giant washers- Walmart. I got these probably two years ago and never used them, they’re meant to hold a shower curtain. Genius. If I make these again, I have a few changes I will make, the seams were a bit bulky because I used scrap interfacing I had lying around so it’s thick- which adds a lot of bulk in the seams.

The basic shape is a rectangle. I cut mine 11″ x 7″ (height x width) and the pockets were about 6″ x 7″. For this, I cut two of each and only interfaced one side of each. Then I sewed up the pocket and attached it to the front side of the interfaced rectangle, sewing around the three outer edges. After that, I placed the last rectangle on top of the one with the pocket- right sides together. I sewed around with 1/4″ seam leaving about 3″ open above the pocket so I could turn it afterwards.

Once I had them turned, I ironed them to get them nice and smooth. To close the opening from turning, I top stitched around the entire thing with a 1/8″ seam. The next part was attaching the grommets.

The grommets came with a template. So, I found the center of each piece, lined up the template and traced the circle. Next step seems obvious- right? Cut out the circle.

Line up the grommet, then slip the top on and push it shut. Super easy!

These took me less than an hour to make. I do have modifications I’d like to make for future pockets, and that one seam on TheRebel’s is bugging me. It’s ok though! They liked them and we attached them by command hook to the side of their beds. The phones go in the pocket charging port sticking out. It keeps them from losing their phone and offers a convenient place to charge their phone.

Video tutorial anyone? Sloth wants to learn to make videos, so two birds, one stone!

Blog, crafts, featured, sewing

Works in Progress

I manage to get myself into a time crunch all the time. It’s ok though, I seem to work well under pressure! Next week I have birthdays to celebrate and the current state of my gifts- fabric! No worries though, I got this. I’m making two Jolly Roger Raglans from Patterns for Pirates as well as a fun birthday shirt for my nephew. I don’t have to worry about spoilers because they’re too young for social media.

I’ve also got my own Relaxed Raglan that I’m itching to sew and a pair of pants. Did I mention I’m a full time grad student too? I have several papers and discussion boards, a few tests and a million pages of reading. Still- no worries.

I’ll be sure to post completed pictures. Here’s just a sample of the fun fabrics I have managed to hoard. They were hard to come by and are all thanks to Facebook buy/sell/trade groups and eBay.