#300pencilcasesforafrica , we did it!!!!!!

Hey you beautiful ones,

I have finally found the time to sit and write/type a summary of the beautiful pencil cases which made their way to the beautiful children in beautiful Kenya (overuse of word ‘beautiful’ noted).

This is going to be full of pictures and hopefully if I manage it, a video at the end.

Pastors Surekha and Chrishani and their two children took over our little treasures, made with love, to the kids and they had an amazing time doing it!

Here is the the little lady who was the first to receive a pencil case with a ruler, rubber, sharpener and pencil inside. Hmm, which pencil case do we think will be the most popular with the girls? Could it be the sparkly silver space age ones?

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Right, enough said let’s let the pictures and video’s do the talking……

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Okay people, so here’s the thing, altogether we had 323 pencil cases, blowing our supposed needs out of the water. When the Pastors arrived they thought they were giving the cases to one school. The Pastor in Kenya said that he needed 50 for an orphanage, okay, no problem, off go the lovely ones made by Cathy & Imilda + a few extra (we don’t have pictures of the kids getting these ones, sorry guys!!). Then we have the Fountain School which had 215 kids. THEN the Pastor says oh, and I have started another school of 75 so we need for them as well. FREAK OUT!!  Now I am no mathematical genius but I do know that 50 + 215 + 75 does not make 323! ………..How sad is this! I just had to use a calculator to make sure that was saying was true. Ha ha as I said, no mathematical genius.

They decided they would go classroom by classroom so no one would be feel left out. They gave out the final one to the final child! Simply amazing! What a miracle!! It’s like feeding the 5000 but on a smaller scale and with pencil cases phnar phnar.

Speaking of feeding the 5000, we were also able to raise £400 to buy a meal of chicken for the kids and teachers which apparently is the biggest treat ever! here are a couple of pics of the meal being enjoyed.

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And here’s just a few extra cute ones that I love!

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And what about this little dude!! cheeky or what!!

This really has been an amazing blessing, not only to the kids but to the pastors, the teachers of the schools and to all of us who were able to contribute.

I would personally like to thank Cathy, Amber, Sandesh, Ann (best mother in law in the world), Fran,  Paul at Fabrics Galore Dawn, Katy, Becca, Sandryne, Delana, Deardra, Lisa, Imilda from Simply Fabrics Brixton, Jo (the sparkly ones were a hit) without whom it never would have happened and all you lot who were sending lovely messages of encouragement throughout the process.

Here’s a little video that a clever guy called Shan (son of our pastor) made. There’s a message from the head of the school, thank you message and this video sums it all up really.

God bless you guys! We did it!!!!

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#300pencilcasesforAfrica update

Hello All,

It snowed, yay!!! well maybe a centimetre or two but thats good enough for me, still counts!

Just thought I’d give you an update on how we are doing with the #300pencilcasesforafrica 

I put out a call for any sewers to help me out on my quest to give the kiddlings in Kenya a real treat.

I was so touched by the response. I had the wonderful soisewedthis regram and constantly plug the efforts. As a result the lovely Cathy made 10 of the most beautiful pencil cases along with her daughter.

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The very same soisewedthis made a whopping 25 cases that are winging their way to me as I type. They are so gorgeous with fun linings.

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I have also had a lady that I know knock up 20 in a day!! Can’t wait to see those! And another from my children’s school making another 20! And not forgetting two of my lovely friends Dawn and Katy coming over to help me bash out as many as we can on Thursday.

Here are my humble offerings although I am still sewing like a maniac to get another 100+ finished by this Saturday.

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So people, the running total is an amazing 159!!!! So we are well on the way to achieving the 300 needed.

God bless you people for the lovely comments, the help, the prayers or just for looking. Have a great day!

Life. Don’t stress!

I have spent the entire day lying on the sofa feeling a little burnt out and not particularly well after a crazy couple of weeks. This has then led me to feel guilty about all the things I have yet to do but can’t quite muster the energy to start. I have also had a realisation that point 2 of my new years resolution has been totally blown out of the water!!

There are the company accounts, the little Oliver & S dress that I have yet to finish (it’s only been 2 years!!) It keeps looking at me with it’s scrummy yellow and grey cotton eyes, saying, finish me, finish me!

Oliver & S

The last roman blind for a client, cleaning the front room after birthday sleepover for son number 1 (which also took 5 months to come around, don’t ask.).

Front Room

The pencil cases for Africa (actually have a few people helping me out on this one, update post to follow),

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Knitted top for headmistresses new baby (thankfully not due until July),

Erica Knight-Ribbon-tied wool vest

Scarf I promised to knit my daughter to go with the beanie, cute though huh!

Beanie

Putting stuff to sell on Ebay, sort out my house, etc, etc

But if all of this stuff doesn’t get done today, or tomorrow for that matter, no one is going to die. This is my favourite saying from my lovely husband. When I am stressing about my usual overload he says ‘is anyone going to die if it does’t get done?’ to which I reply ‘well,no’ and then with his Yoda of London wisdom he says ‘then stop stressing’ And he is so right!

In 2009 I went on a missions trip to Rwanda. I was instantly struck by how content the people were. They had, by our standards, nothing. No fancy clothes, no iPads, no iPhones, no toys, no tv, just each other. They had to walk for 4 miles daily to get to school, most times with an empty stomach and they arrived with smiles and laughter just like the happiest of our kids. It made me feel slightly ridiculous for filling my life with unnecessary stress and determined to chill out and spend all of the time, which I would then clearly have on my hands, to spend with loved ones. A fail of epic proportions then ensued but I kept it up for a couple of weeks. It made me realise that we shouldn’t let life steal our time.

I am learning slowly (very,very slowly) but surely how to take less on and how to be more relaxed and today was a good reminder of that.

I would like to leave you with my favourite quote;

Everything will be alright in the end, if it’s not alright, it’s not the end………Anonymous

SOS!!! 300 Pencil Cases needed ASAP for Africa

Hi you lot,

Here is another plea and it’s quite an ask!

My little church sponsors a school in Kenya. It’s called the fountain school and has over 300 kids that visit every day. Some of these kids get their one and only meal of the day at this school. We were so excited to be able to raise funds to buy a cow and also to replace their sub standard kitchen. Here’s the old Kitchen and the cow.

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They could only feed a restricted amount of kiddlings with the kitchen above but can now feed every child that is at school, woohoo!!!!

Every time our Pastor goes over (every year) he and his family take over as many supplies as they can fit into their suitcases. Here they are with some much loved chocolate they got last year.

Fountain School

This year we are supplying the school with stationery and pencil cases. We are a tiny church and can’t really afford 300 pencil cases etc. So I am asking for all you that sew to help me out! I am trying to sew as many pencil cases as I can and I was hoping some of you clever people out there could sew some as well. Then we can get them all together and send them off with our Pastors in February. That’s right guys, we only have about 2 1/2 weeks to pull this off! 300 pencil cases in just over 3 weeks!!!!

After you have made what you can, I am happy to pick up anywhere in London. Simply email me at ladysewful@gmail.com and let me know where to pick up. Or if you are sending from anywhere else email me and I will give you my address.

I have included a tutorial for my super easy zipped pencil case. Its not lined and does not have to be perfect, just functional.

Cut two pieces of oil cloth or sturdy fabric such as denim 23cm across x 13cm length. You can use a zip 25cm or more.

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Put your zipper foot on. If you don’t know what that is her’s a picture of mine for my Brother machine. Yours may be different according to your machine.

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Place one side of the zip face down at the very edge of the fabric length wise.

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Sew along the edge. I like to use colourful zips so I try to show as much of the zip as possible. To do this I sew quite far away from the zipper teeth. Note how the zip is facing down. You also want the zip pull to be facing the right side of the fabric.

You now want to sew the other side of the zip onto the right side of the second piece. Place the zip and sew in the same way.

Zipped Pencil Case

I  like to top stitch both sides now just because I like it, but if you have sewn far away enough from the zip then it shouldn’t be necessary.

Then put right sides together making sure that the zip is open all the way to the middle of both. Now sew from the zip at the top right hand side of the pencil case and sew all the way around and over the zip on the other side. When you reach the corners, stop maybe half a centimetre away from the end, put your needle down into the fabric and then turn and start on the other side (love that little tip).

Zipped Pencil Case

Then you just turn it the right way round and voila! You have made one little munchkin very happy!

Zipped Pencil Case

So come on guys! Lets do this! And then we can sit back and enjoy some more smiles like this….

Fountain School