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Monday, 29 December 2014

Are you into New Year's Resolutions?

I'll admit that I feel slightly sad that the Christmas ham is practically finished. This year's ham was better than the last one - something I didn't think possible. It had a crust which, although looked revolting, provided a spectacular contrast of treacle, mustard and slightly crunchy bread crumbs, to go alongside the smooth sweetness of the fat and the saltiness of the ham itself. How I have enjoyed my (totally unnecessary) trips to the fridge to slice a bit more off during the ad breaks on late night TV. (Wasn't it Victoria Wood who said that calories consumed standing up don't count..?)

Another thing I will admit. My thoughts are turning to potential resolutions I might make come Thursday. You can laugh, but my mental list so far includes: running more (for that, read actually doing some running, in comparison to current non-existent miles being travelled at jogging pace); doing Davina's new 7 minute workout DVD every day; joining in with WaterAid's #justwater for January (as opposed to #justteaandtheoccasionalredwine - watch out for the caffeine withdrawal shakes by day 2); and, casual thoughts (but not actually sharing them with anyone I live with) about being more tidy and shouting less.

One idea I have come up with for 2015 is more likely to be stuck to - namely, because it involves getting my sewing machine out, rather than putting on trainers at 6 am on a freezing cold morning.

Here goes.

During 2015, I will try my hand at sewing slightly less selfishly than normal. That is, I'd like to see if I can put my sewing skills to good use for raising money for charity.

I have a couple of charities in mind - WaterAid and The Salvation Army.

My plan is to make notebooks to order.

I loved making them as presents this Christmas, and (unless the recipients are lying and being polite) they went down pretty well. I'm not sure how this will pan out yet, as I have never really made things to sell. Part of the reason for this has been that I don't like making the same thing again and again. Which is why personalised notebooks are so appealing to me. I'm happy for people to Tweet me a sketch me their idea, or to ask for a certain fabric, style, colour, word, letter or trim... or to ask for a similar design to one of my other notebooks.

Another thing that has put me off making things to sell, is scepticism that there is not enough money in it. People just don't value the time that goes into handmade items, I've said, and there is a reason why factories are a much more viable option economically. I have feared that effectively working for what I consider to be a smaller hourly rate than I think I am worth, coupled with a self imposed pressure for perfection on items intended to be sold for hard cash, would kill the joy I get from making things. I am spoilt/lucky enough that my life is comfortable enough at the moment that sewing can remain my hobby.

And there comes part of the motivation behind this notebook project. Just that. My life is comfortable. I think there is enough slack in the system that I can and should be thinking a bit more about other people than I currently do. I am not slow in lecturing my children about how lucky they are. (The latest version of the `Think of children less fortunate than you' speech being prompted by the Middle Girl, complaining on Christmas night about the pile of presents not being quite what she was hoping for.) But. And there's the but. On a regular basis, I don't do a lot that really has much of a practical impact on those imagined less fortunate kids I refer to.

So, for one year, I am going to give priority to sewing up stuff that might have some benefit for other people.

The initial price I am suggesting is going to be £10 - at least half of that will go directly to the two charities, although, I am hoping to shift the making costs down so that a bigger chunk goes to charity.

Interested in getting your hands on a notebook, or, sending some nice scrap fabric my way, to become a notebook? Please check out my page here.

And, please, if you think this idea is not completely bonkers, and might indeed have legs. Please share it. Hit those icons for social media for me, and follow the progress at #NotJustAnotherNotebook



  1. I think that's a lovy idea! And as I way say to my fiancรฉ "yes there's no money in handmade , but it's nice to have an excuse to make things x

    1. Exactly - nice to have an excuse, huh? ๐Ÿ˜Š

  2. Replies
    1. Yay! I'd be delighted to make you a notebook. It's the perfect project to indulge in some favourite fabrics - when you're ready, let me know what you'd like it to look like.

  3. Great idea - I'll send you some scrap fabrics ; )

    1. Why, thank you, you're a star. Hope you (and the lovely red jumper) had a nice Christmas. ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. Replies
    1. Aw, thanks. I am hoping that the idea will catch on! ๐Ÿ˜Š

  5. Once again, you are a genius. I would like a book, and I will donate some fabric to the cause too. I will start spreading the news :-))

    1. Thanks, lovely. Looking forward to a post Christmas catch up soon. Hopefully over a glass of something nice, and with some stitching in front of us. X