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Creative Casey's Blog

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dress A Girl Around the World & Save a Life

At a local weekend arts festival a few weeks ago I came across this non-profit organization called Angels of Mercy; . They have a mission with a couple of different goals/projects and one of them is called Dress A Girl Around the World.  Once a month women from all over the city get together at a local church, bring their sewing machines and supplies and create dresses from pillowcases. They also create little dolls that go in the pocket of each dress.  These dresses are then sent all over the world to third world countries and distributed to little girls who need clothing.  If these girls are clothed nicely, they are viewed as having caring families and are less likely to be targeted for sex trafficking. An important part of the dress is the label that is placed on each one.  The label on the dress gives predators the message that these girls are under the care of an organization.

Often times there are over 90 women that get together once a month to create dresses and dolls. Dress A Girl programs can be found in other states and can be created any where. Together this project has dressed more than 105,000 girls. Our chapter has created over 31,000 of those dresses since they began the program two years ago.  I was asked to take part and began my volunteering this past Tuesday.  It was an amazing experience. Volunteers spend between 3-8pm that day creating and are served dinner.  My goal was to make dolls since I was familiar with how to do this. (As an art therapist we create these dolls with clients and they are called worry or wish dolls because in the head you write a wish or your worries on paper and crumple it up to make the head).  I made 3 complete dolls from start to finish and then they had an entire bin of dolls that needed outfits made for them so I preceded to create dresses for about 50 dolls.

Often times individuals continue to create dresses and dolls on their own and bring them to the monthly meeting.  It was pretty much all women but all different ages from teenagers to elderly ladies and different ethnicities (you could hear many languages being spoken- it was awesome).  It felt wonderful to be a part of this amazing project.  One of the things I'm now working on is getting a large group of students together at the college I work at (through are community service department) and get them to create dolls that we can deliver to the organization. I hope to be able to accomplish this by the end of October. I'll keep you posted.  For now below are pictures from Septembers get together.

A finished dress with doll in pocket.

A couple of women at my table. On the left the woman has been making dolls since the project began 2 years ago.

This is only a view of half of the room where we worked.

Dresses made out of pillowcases.  The longer off white dress was made from a curtain!

One of the dolls I made from scratch using just a piece of fabric, yarn and then fabric for the clothes.

Another finished doll I made.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dancing on Buildings & Zombie Apocalypse

My city held it's first Fringe Festival this past week; and I was able to attend a couple of the events despite a crazy work week.  I attended Bandaloop which I'd never hear of before and it was very awesome especially seeing the show at night under the lights. Here's the info. on the art of Bandaloop in case you're like me and never heard of it before this event;  It's basically performance art/dancing on the side of skyscrapers as the dancers are in harnesses.  They use the side of buildings as their dance floor/stage.

I also attended the improv show at Geva Theatre; called Zombie Apocalypse Saturday evening. It was a good show but I thought a lot more could have been done from a comedy perspective and given the topic.  However; there was vomit, blood spray, machine guns, Zombies and more!  I really wanted my picture taken with a zombie but there wasn't an opportunity.

Below are pictures of both events.

                                                Oops sorry so small. Someone else took the pics. Bandaloop

Zombie night at Geva.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Recycled T-Shirt Totes- sooooo easy

I saw this picture on pinterest and I have yet to actually get to the tutorial but here is the site it links to from pinterest;  I kept thinking "boy I have to be smarter about what I send to Goodwill." There are so many projects these days that you can recycle, this being one of them.  I have a co-worker who loves it when I make her things and I've been looking for a gift bag for her birthday gift. She loves the college we work for so I donated my Community Service College logo shirt for this project.  The easiest way is to show you how to make this 5 minute tote so check out the pics below.

Turn shirt inside out.

Sew the bottom closed.

Cut out both sleeves in a curve shape.

Cut out the neckline in a curve shape.

All done! 5 minutes and you have yourself a tote out of an old shirt.

A Weekend of Art Festivals, Massages and Food: What more could a woman ask for!

My mom was up for a girls weekend and we exhausted ourselves with shopping, attending art festivals, getting massages, and eating!  Here's some of the things we checked out locally this weekend that were fun:

  • We got massages at Onondago School of Massage- where my mother had the most amazing massage with Rebecca. Mine was pretty good also. Let's just say I'm looking forward to the next time I go for a massage.
  • The Sixth Annual Festival of the Arts-
  • The Eighth Annual Artist Row Juried Art Fair at the Rochester Public Market-
  • While at the Sixth Annual Festival of the Arts it was a cool day so we stopped and had coffee at this awesome new coffee shop which supports and empowers women in recovery-
  • While at teh Eighth Annual Artist Row Fair we became hungry and ate at "Tony Tomato's" Tuscan Wood Fired Pizza Mobile Truck- or  This guy is a genius. His truck is amazing. It really is a traveling wood fired pizza mobile.  My mom and I were going to share a buffalo chicken pizza "CONE" (yes it was shaped liked an ice cream cone) and it was so good we each ended up getting our own.  "Tony Tomato" even took our pic and posted it on Facebook (but since I've never joined I can't see it). Below is a couple of pics of me eating it. My face got cut off in one pic because my mom doesn't know how to use a camera phone that well. :) The cone pizza was amazing!!!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Whimsical "wish" Sticks

Here's another idea I saw at our local Clothesline Festival; this past weekend and decided to try out because I had all of the materials handy at home.  The vendor I saw that had created these decorations had a ton of them in a vase for sale for $5 each. The base was made out of a store boughten bamboo or cinnamon stick type of look.  I ended up using sticks I found all over the backyard.

This project is easy and is a good idea to help you use up all of your miscellaneous yarns, ribbons, raffia, even beads could be attached.  You simply take your left over yarn and wrap around the top portion of your base (my sticks from the back yard). You keep layering using different materials until you have the desired look you're going for.  I thought about other ideas that you could also incorporate such as attaching inspirational quotes or daily affirmations to each one. I also think kids would love these fun whimsical sticks. Some might even call them "make a wish sticks". The sky is the limit on this project.  Total time per stick about 10 minutes (it gets faster the more you create). Total cost; FREE using recycled materials.

Fun With Felt

I went to our local Clothesline Festival; this past weekend and left with my head spinning with creative inspiration and ideas.  Here's a couple of ideas I walked away with and tried out this week. I admit I cheated since I didn't have any raw felt to work with and I admit it was easier and cheaper to buy pre-made felt balls to work with on these projects. (2.50 with a coupon at Michaels for a pkg. of about 12)

The first is colorful creative flowers that will not die which I created to brighten up my office that has a hard time keeping plants alive. (Oh wait is that my inability to remember to water real plants?) I took the pre-made felt balls, a hot glue gun, wire cutters and some green flower wire (.99 a pkg- and I had left over from another project) and created this batch of flowers. It's pretty simple; cut the wire to desired length, poke a hole in the felt balls and hot glue the wire into the flower. Twist the green floral wire as desired and put in a cute vase. Took about 10 minutes total.

The acorns are also a 10 minute project.  I took the remaining felt balls, searched around at work under a tree for acorns that were hollowed out tops only and hot glued the felt balls into the acorn tops.  I put them in a fall decorative dish with scented pine cones and candles.

(sorry about poor quality of this picture)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

I've FINALLY Outsmarted the Squirrels!

When it comes to fall decorating on my outside doorsteps everyone who knows me knows that the huge annoying squirrels in my area have been the bane of my existence.  Every fall I've put out potted mums and real pumpkins on the steps and then carve the pumpkins for Halloween, except half of the time the pumpkins never make it to Halloween because within days the pesky squirrels have torn gigantic holes through the pumpkins and left a large mess all over my front stoop and driveway. I've even "Raided" the pumpkins and the squirrels still mangle them. This has been an ongoing war for the past three seasons until this year!!

I think I've finally outsmarted them...using fake pumpkins.  I used the pots I use to put mums in that were free to me. Cut up 2x4's to put inside. Found wooden dowels in my basement and found 4 fake pumpkins at Craft Bits & Pieces for a total of $2.  My mom then graciously gave me 2 large fake pumpkins from her collection to use on as the bottom pumpkins and these have a Halloween face carving on one side and plain on the other. With my dad's help (because he was around and helpful) we drilled holes at the top and bottom of each pumpkin (the middle was filled with styrofoam on the smaller ones) and then put the dowel rod through the pumpkins and into the 2x4. We did the same with the large pumpkins careful not to hit the lights (which we stuffed inside the large pumpkins because I didn't need them. Then you can decorate the pumpkins for fall on one side and Halloween on the other. It turned out pretty neat and they've been out for almost a week and a half and no squirrel marks on them!

**Since these pictures were taken I've decorated the Halloween side with sticks and raffia and it looks even better.

Here's another decorating idea I put together this weekend. I found these leaves clearance 50% off at Ride Aid and purchased them for 1.49.  I punched holes through each one and used a twine I had hanging around to weave them together and tie them to these hangers I had. They add a lot of color to the flower bed and bring your eye to the porch decorations.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Who's the BOSS?!

My dad asked for my help in tearing out the rotted side door to his garage and installing a new one. This was the frame, moulding, etc... the entire kit and caboodle.  He's never done a project like this before so he asked for my expertise. For once I knew more than my dad and he let me take charge and be the head contractor for the job while he was my brawny assitant. It was an awesome moment of POWER & CONTROL! mwaaaaaahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!  ;)

We demoed the old door pretty quickly using crow bars and hammers. Cleaned up around the door frame, lifted the old door frame in. It was a bit snug so we had to use a mallet, 2x4 and cloth to wedge it in. We made sure it was square and level on each side and screwed the door in place. We had to cut some wedges/shims for one side. Then we exchanged the door handles (recycling and using the old one) and then bought rot resistant moulding, cut the pieces to fit using a circular saw (I even got to run the saw and it's now on my x-mas list of must have tools), nailed the moulding on and finished up by caulking and painting where needed.  Minus the run to Lowe's which takes forever because my parents live in the middle of the country it took about 3 hours from start to finish. We were both pretty pumped that everything went well and it turned out great.

Below are some pics of the finished project. Forgot to take before and during pics. oops!

Bucket List Check Mark- Color Vibe 2012 5K

I participated in the Color Vibe 2012 5K race this past weekend. It has been on my bucket list of things to do once in your life.  I was slightly worried about being the slowest runner and not surviving it because I'm a 1.5-2 mile a day runner not 3.1 and I only practiced the longer run twice before the race. However; I kicked butt! I was in the top 25 of runners (well okay like the 25th person) but out of a thousand runners and hundreds of runners in my wave I think I did pretty darn good!

It took a few days to get all of the color off of me and after the run I went and mowed a friends lawn and kept wondering why his neighbors were staring at me. On the way home it dawned on me that I hadn't showered yet so I was a rainbow of colors mowing his lawn! I can only imagine that site.

Below are before and after pics. Enjoy! I would highly recommend this run to anyone. It was a blast!