Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sew you want to make some jam?

I am super stoked to have Camilla guest posting today! We have lot's in common...and a lot not in common which makes it a fun friendship. One of the best parts of having a blog is getting to meet people like her and becoming friends :) She is super crafty and a skilled seamstress and has a big desire to help others...take a look for yourself...

Hi! I'm Camilla and I frequently blog over at ACandiedApple.blogspot.com. I am so excited that DeAnn invited me to guest post today! 

Every year I choose a theme for my family to focus on that year. In 2011 my theme was Nothing New. We didn't buy anything new other than a very short list of things like toothpaste and laundry detergent and food. It was a wonderful challenge and I feel like I learned so much. I got used to going without things I wanted (instead of needed) and was greatly humbled by the experience. I think I was a lot more receptive to what we were supposed to focus on in 2012. This year our focus is on Service. It's a very broad topic and as anyone who has tried to come up with a service project knows, it can be challenging to nail down just one idea. 

We have all been given very special talents and encouraged to use them for ourselves and to bless the lives of others. I have been blessed with the ability to sew as well as other domestic arts. I taught myself in college and just never stopped. It is amazing to me how many people want to learn to sew but are afraid to try. I have been blessed with the opportunity to make many dear friendships while teaching others to sew. I love to make things for people, but my greatest joy is teaching someone how to create something themselves. It is so much more fulfilling to know that you can take some random materials and make beautiful things. And it is amazing how much I learn from my friends as we go along.

 One of my recent projects was to teach a friend how to make jam. She had attempted before but it didn't turn out. Together we were able to make delicious (sugar free) strawberry jam. I put my portion in small 4oz jars and used cute scrap fabrics for the tops. This was a very simple project but now I can make a loaf of bread and deliver jam and bread to anyone who I feel prompted to visit. I am really striving to be lead to those in need instead of just deciding who is in need. It has been miraculous how much the Lord has prompted me, just because I asked.

For the last year or two I have been noticing a lot of people at stop lights asking for money. I always feel uncomfortable just giving money and often try to give them a granola bar, bottle of water or apple out of my bag. I feel terrible when I don't have any snacks to give, so I have been making these little kits to give out. I know most of these people aren't homeless (yet) but they can still use these very necessary items. I just get a bunch of stuff from the sample section at Target and then throw in whatever snacks we have that week. It is amazing how happy people are when they receive these kits.

 To make your own kits you can just use a gallon size baggie. I like to make zippered pouches because In my mind people can always use a zippered pouch. It can hold your lunch, a change of clothes, wet items or just about anything. These take me about 10 minutes to make and I can whip up a whole bunch of them if I assembly line things. I feel so much better knowing these are hanging out in my glove box and I can just reach in and grab one when I come across someone in need.

I know we all have talents to share and if sewing isn't yours, that's okay. There is always something we can do. I have big dreams of doing a lot more for my community but for right now, while my kids are small, I want to focus on them. One on one interactions seem to impact children more, so I am including them in the project and trying to find meaningful service activities that they can understand. My son loves giving things to those in need and I'm thankful he is enjoying service, even if he can't express it that way.

Thanks Camilla for being here today!

Hope you take a moment to show some love by leaving your thoughts/feelings..."And how did that make you feel?"

See you soon :)


  1. I love that hygiene kit idea! I totally agree that it is kind of weird when I see those people, I want to help but I also don't want to encourage their situation to continue, if that makes sense. Great ideas!

  2. What a gorgeous idea and a wonderful post C:

  3. I loved the idea of using a zippered bag instead of a plastic ziplock bag, and the fact that Camilla is trying to teach her children about service. I find that always to be a challenge, when you want to help out, but don't know how to involve your kids or how to explain to them why you are doing something (especially when it is a prompting and there doesn't really seem to be a need...I hope this makes sense!)
    Thanks for the Post!

  4. This was a very inspiring post! Finding a project where there really is a need is a challenge for me. Something as simple as hygiene kits is a fantastic place to start! Awesome post!

  5. This is a great post with great ideas! I love the hygiene bag idea and giving snacks instead of money. People who are really in need must really appreciate the thought you've put into these gifts! Great post, DeAnn and Camilla!


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