My friend, Kathy, is making her living these days as a freelance editor, and a new book that she developed and edited has just come out. I’m particularly excited about it–and not just because Kathy is the editor. It’s called Craft Hope: Handmade Crafts for a Cause, and it is written by Jade Sims (a beautiful woman under 50!) Here is how Kathy describes the book’s origins, in an article featured on the website of Lark Books, one of the premier publishers of craft books in this country (to read the whole interview, click here):
A year and a half ago, I was tooling around on the Internet, half goofing off from my then-job as managing editor at Lark Crafts and half hunting for book ideas. I wanted to do a book that offered both beautiful craft projects and a way to make a difference in the world, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to do it. I googled “craft” and “charity,” probably for the 20th time in months, and this time I landed on the recently launched Craft Hope site. As soon as I saw the Craft Hope logo, I knew I loved the aesthetics of Jade Sims, the site’s creator. Part way into her description of the first project—sewing pillowcase dresses and bandana shorts for a children’s shelter in Mexico—I knew I loved Craft Hope and had found my author. What I didn’t know was that I’d also find a friend.
After looking over this wonderful book, I asked Kathy to let us feature it on the blog. I also asked her to send us a description of the book in her own words. What follows is what Kathy, our featured beautiful woman over 50, sent me from her home in Charleston, South Carolina.
The book, she says, “tells about crafters using their passion to help those in need. Part of the movement of crafts online has been the tremendous number of people sharing their love of crafts through personal blogs. Jade Sims was one such crafting/blogging mother in Austin, Texas. After a few years of successfully blogging, she began to wonder if she could find more meaning from this mix of craft and community, so she launched Craft Hope, an organization that combines love of crafting with a desire to help others. Her first project,” (the pillowcase dress project described above), “brought a surprisingly large response. Her next project, handmade cloth dolls for an orphanage in Nicaragua, resulted in over 400 dolls sent in from all over the world. In July, she shipped 2,614 handmade blankets, booties, and beanies to infants in orphanages in India. These items were sent to Craft Hope from crafters in the United States, Canada, Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, Holland, and Malaysia. Crafters in more than 100 countries now follow the Craft Hope site, and the audience just keeps growing with each project.
The book Craft Hope presents photos, instructions, and templates for 30+ craft projects by top designers, each matched with a specific charity and with alternative suggestions for local places to contribute the item. It also highlights the charities that are being helped through Craft Hope.com. There’s information on how to give locally, how to give thoughtfully (making sure items are appropriate and useful), and how to empower those you are helping. One dollar from the sale of each book will go to Global Impact, an organization representing more than 50 leading U.S.-based international charities.”
So, to all our crafters out there, can you think of a better way to spend your time than working on some of the following projects to help Jade Sims with her important work?
- Pillowcase dresses for girls in a shelter in Mexico
- Cheerful quilts for homeless children
- Soft dolls for orphans in Nicaragua
- Patchwork Pillows for families in transition
- Sock monkeys for children in African communities affected by HIV/AIDS
- Knit scarves for teens who have aged out of foster care
- Soft puppies for children convalescing from cancer treatment
- Art Kits for children undergoing heart surgery in Iraq
By the way, here’s what the book looks like:
You can purchase it on the website for Barnes and Noble.