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Geeks, bullies, artists and guitars

By: Jen

In light of recent publicity for the movie “Bully”, I thought this was a perfect time to share some gems of wisdom.

“The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth” is a recent title I stumbled upon and boy am I glad I did. The author Alexandra Robbins reveals how students are ostracized or punished for their individuality while navigating the school halls and cafeteria of life. The shocking piece to the book is the school faculty who perpetuate some of the bad behavior.

As a young person I knew I was different from those on the playground, which later translated to resisting the drama which played out between the walls of the cafeteria in high school. Many times I just chose to eliminate myself from the scene, instead pouring myself into reading, working on my art or getting to know another interesting soul. Developing the ability to change your direction or take the time to view the subtle nuances of human interaction has greatly helped me in adulthood. Maintaining this mindset helps me identify subject matter and find interesting ways to create my art.

Miss Robbins follows the lives of seven students– from the popular bitch to the band geek. These children are painfully aware, yet unaware of the challenges of these difficult school years. I love how she inspires the students to practice changing their social situations in order to honor their individuality. The students come away more confident and ready to face the world at large.

DJ Ashba, the lead guitarist for Guns N’ Roses has just become the national spokesperson for He was bullied as a child. Thank you to DJ for sharing his unbelievable talent as an artist. Creative minds make the world go around!

Check out the trailer for Bully: 

Just imagine how many less adult bullies would be in the world today if we chose to be tolerant and actually celebrate the uniqueness of every individual from birth.


It’s all about community

One of my passions is sewing.

Through the common language and love of sewing you can help women in Rwanda rebuild their lives & become independent.
It’s not charity but an exchange of value, an Empowerment Project.

Photo by Les Stone

Isa of Noisette Academy designed an Empowerment Collection; a workbook & inspiring prints to empower YOU into action. This kit is suitable for anyone looking to take charge of their life & start reaching for their goals.

Every one Empowerment Kit sold will buy a sewing kit for disadvantaged women in Rwanda, that Isa will personally deliver next month when she travels back to Rwanda.

You can read more about Empowerment & follow Isa’s journey as she blogs about her trek to Rwanda and meeting the ladies receiving the sewing kits.

How will you put your Empowerment Kit into action? Let us know in the comment section below.

DIY T-Shirt Throw Pillow

DIY t-shirt throw pillow

DIY t-shirt throw pillow

Don’t discard your favorite T! Re-purpose your treasured memory into a throw pillow. It’s much simpler than you may think!

The finished size will depend on the size of your t-shirt. In the photos shown I was working with XL sized shirts.

Purchase a pillow form at your favorite store but keep in mind that you will need to cut your shirt 1/2” larger on each side. For my project I purchased an 18” x 18” square pillow form.

pieces cut before sewing

pieces cut before sewing

Start by cutting the shirt up each side, through the arms, continuing to the neck hole. You will now have 2 pieces. On the printed side, presumably the front of the shirt, center your design and cut a 19” x 19” square for the 18” x 18” square pillow form.

With your second piece of t-shirt, presumably the back of the shirt, cut 2 pieces 12.5” x 19”.

With both back t-shirt pieces, fold one 19” end ½” to the WRONG side, press. Fold again ½” and press again. Top stitch this folded edge in place. Repeat with second back t-shirt piece.

Overlap the 2 back pieces WRONG side up so that you are looking at what will essentially be the inside of the back pillow piece. The 2 edges you finished will overlap each other by 4”. Double check your overall measurement, which in this example would be 19”. Pin the overlapped pieces and sew together with a 3/8” SA.

Place your front t-shirt panel RIGHT side up. Place your now sewn back panel piece WRONG side up, so that your front and back panels are RIGHT sides together. Match up the raw edges and pin in place. Sew a ½” SA around all 4 raw edges of the pillow, backstitching at each end.

For extra strength finish the seam allowances by zigzag stitching around all 4 raw edges.

Snip the tips off the corners being careful not to cut any stitching.

Turn the pillow cover RIGHT side out, push out corners and press.

Insert pillow form through back opening and shazam! Your new throw pillow!

Share with us in the comments section your pillow masterpiece!

DIY t-shirt throw pillow

DIY t-shirt throw pillow

Spring has sprung with a new birthday chair

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By: Jen

Spring has sprung from a school house chair to a new birthday chair. Before and after at its best…

I love personal gift giving, especially the kind where an upcycled piece of family furniture gets a breath of fresh life. I had a lot of fun designing this birthday gift for my friend Michael to give to his lovely wife Denise as a surprise for her birthday! I pulled patterning from complimentary fabrics in the existing family living area and chose a bright color palette to give this chair “pop” and visual appeal.

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