Monday, November 21, 2011

Family Time, Crafting, & Reading, Too

Farm boy for a few months
Life has been busy lately! My brother and his family arrived a couple of weeks ago from Tanzania. They had planned to come in December for my January wedding, but my sister-in-law is expecting in May, and pregnancy-related illness sent her into the hospital in Mwanza at the end of October. As a result, they moved up their travel dates and flew into Knoxville the first week of November. Ever since, we've been spending every second possible with them, especially my cuter-than-cute nephew.

Our Craft Fair booth (I'm in the back corner)
This past weekend, my mom, brother, sister-in-law and I had a booth at our local Craft Fair. It's a grand affair hosted by one of the banks in town. It began Thursday night, with a Sneak Peek event that benefited the American Cancer Society's Relay For Life, and went through Saturday night. A friend of my mom's snapped a photo of us and our booth (which looks kind of empty, as it was towards the end of the day on Saturday). We sold a ton of stuff, including more than $700 worth of handbags and smaller zipper bags sewn by Holly's Tanzanian friend Suzy, out of wax batik fabric made in Africa.

All of those proceeds go back into the mission work Carson and Holly are doing, specifically to a film project called Mbegu Films. The mission of Mbegu Films is to create short films that will be distributed in Tanzania for educational purposes, on topics such as malaria, AIDS & HIV, road safety, and cooking safety. Carson has created an inspiration video for Mbegu Films, which can be seen here. If you're interested in finding ways to help, be sure to visit them on Facebook and send them a message.

My book wreath
I contributed a few items to the booth, including a book wreath that I'm pretty proud of. I was inspired by Pinterest (of course), and followed the link to instructions on the fabulous crafting blog Addicted 2 Decorating. I sold one immediately, during Thursday night's Sneak Peek. I woke up bright and early Saturday morning so that I could make another to sell that day, but it sadly did not sell. Well, not too sadly, because now I have a book wreath of my own to hang on my walls!

People asked over and over which book I used; I had to admit that I used a book I didn't love that I had received for free. Although I think it would be cool to make a wreath out of a book you love, I also can't imagine tearing apart a book I like a lot. So, for now, no deep meaning from the book wreaths I make. Just pages. Yard sale finds would be perfect, as would old books that are falling apart. My mom wants a children's book version for her classroom, so I'll be working on that next.

Wielding our craft guns
Speaking of crafting, some of my best friends hosted a night last weekend to help me get some wedding tasks started. We hot-glued lace and burlap to glass jars for hours.  Such a fun night, and so nice of them!

Even through all the excitement that the past few weeks have brought, I've still managed to find some reading time.

I'm currently reading an ARC for the paperback release of Ellen Meister's The Other Life, which is unique and interesting. The Office's Mindy Kaling's new book of humorous essays/ memoir stories was my latest purchase from Audible. Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) is read by the author, and I can hardly turn it off when I start listening. So funny. Look for reviews of both of them coming soon, as well as a giveaway the first week of December for The Other Life.

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