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Got plans for this Saturday?  If so change ‘em and come check out this free networking/workshop event  put on by CAR at the Chicago Cultural Center.   The Chicago Creative Expo will have “a record number of more than 140 vendors participating in this year’s Expo, including arts services, community organizations, arts educators, space and housing providers, health care and financial consultants and more.”  And don’t forget to stop by the Chicago Craft Mafia booth and say hi!


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California Dreaming?  Hurry and apply because applications are only open until April 1st!

(click on the city below to find the app.)

San Francisco Los Angeles

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Have you heard about the upcoming Empty Bowls event at Lillstreet?  It’s an amazing fundraising event to fight hunger.  Last year over $18,000 was raised.  You too can be involved.  Lillstreet is looking for donations of handmade bowls to serve soup on the day of the event.  Crafters making other items are welcome to donate to the silent auction.

I went last year and have to say it was one of the best fundraising events I’ve ever attended.   I paid $25, chose one of the donated bowls, and then selected which bowl of soup to be served.  Did I mention that I got to keep the bowl? There was music too and then, of course, there was the delight in hanging out and meeting new folks.

You  can bet that I’ll be donating an item for the silent auction… and returning for another bowl of soup.

Friday, March 25, 2011, 5-9pm

Learn more here.

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According to blogger and creative business woman Tara Gentile of Scoutie Girl “Spacious goals are the kind that push you to act.”  She has a made a FREE workbook to help all of us in need of setting big but realistic goals that we can actually follow through with.  I skimmed through it yesterday and plan on sitting down later today to re-read it and set some great big manageable goals for Moira K. Lime Jewelry!  Get your free copy here.

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Check out these great informational videos from the Rosen Group

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Now that there’s a new mayor in town, let’s make sure he knows how important a strong arts community is to all of us. The Arts Alliance Illinois is encouraging everyone to send the new mayor a short note asking him to keep a strong arts policy agenda and encourage the hiring of arts leaders on his transition team.

You can send a pre-scripted note or write your own at the Arts Alliance website, and choose to send it email or snail mail. Either way, let’s reinforce the idea that Chicago has a vital, vibrant arts community that needs his support.

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From the organizers:

Craft-O-Matic is a department store style, indie craft event featuring over sixty local artists, fun and funky live entertainment, and crafty make and takes from MADE Collective!  This St. Louis Craft Mafia production will happen on Saturday June 4, from 11am to 11pm at the Regional Arts Center in the Loop.

APPLY for free online starting March 1.

Check out our website for details - and

“Craft-O-Matic is guaranteed to reduce stress, increase happiness, and fulfill all your handmade desires!”

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Are you planning on tying the knot anytime soon? Do you live in Chicago or surrounding? Plan on coming to IndieWed… a unique wedding show and market. E-mail me at if you’d like to come (I may still have some free tickets available). I’ll also be having a special raffle giveaway for your special day!





Event details:
Saturday January 29th from 10am to 4pm at the Ravenswood Event Center
Entrance at 4043 N. Ravenswood Ave. Chicago, IL
Moira K. Lime Jewelry will have a table on the first floor (space number 31 on the map)
See you this weekend!

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Poster by L.N. Britton, 1918. Copyright 2010 the American National Red CrossCraftivism, or making for a cause, has a uniquely significant place in the patchwork quilt of America’s cultural history. In some ways, it shouldn’t be a surprise — in the age before the mass production of everything that can now be found at Walmart, people relied on one another and the creation of handmade products when resources were short and people were in need.

Knit Your Bit is an example of one such philanthropic handmade movement. Launched by the American Red Cross during World War 1, and then again during World War 2, it was created to encourage Americans to knit warm weather ware for ill-equipped troops fighting in the trenches during long European winters. It promoted mass knitting through poster ads, magazine editorials, and informational materials, urging those crafters at home to help a brother out and  “Knit your Bit!”

The movement was quick to be noticed by the American public, and launched a full-on nationwide knitting frenzy. Those looking to get involved went to their local Red Cross chapter and purchased 10 cent pamphlet tutorials — complete with knitting patterns, and instructions on how to obtain yarn and package knitware for shipment abroad.

Patterns were available for a slew of winter necessities — gloves, sweaters, head socks, scarves, mufflers, and even suits — and had to be stitched in navy blue or olive green wool. Volunteers also made sure the injured would be cozy by making items such as “Walking Cast Toe Socks” and “Caps for Bandaged Heads.”

Interestingly, the rallying cry inspired many more than early and mid-century housewives sitting around stoves while their loved ones were at war. Knit-ins and “Knitting Teas” became the trendy social past time for the fashionable social butterflies. These crafty gatherings were hardcore. Guests dressed in red, white and blue, with matching decorations and decor. They would practice complex patterns and skills ahead of time to show-off to their friends.

Often, the events would involve competitions, where women would scramble to knit patterns in a half hour or less. The races involved several sweaty-handed rounds before winners were declared, and garnered major respect in communities.

Even high-society Americans, such as the Rockefeller’s, showed their support of war-time craftivism by opening their New York mansion to knitting workers. Their massive and luxurious residence offered space for a yarn distribution and packaging centers, workrooms, a kitchen to feed volunteers, and gathering places for knit-ins and classes. This and other philanthropic gestures towards  knitters were touted  in the society pages of publications like the New York Times and Vogue magazine.

Men also partook in some good, old-fashioned knitting revelry. During World War 1, for example, a Hawaiian fire station held a competition where prizes were granted to the best fireman/knitter. The #1 fireman knit his first sweater in under 27 hours! No small feat.

But, ultimately,  the knitting rage was about more than entertaining competitions and rowdy, themed craft parties. The knitting enthusiasm really helped the soldiers the campaign was launched for, and by the final days of World War 1,  24 million military garments had been knit and sent to the boys abroad.

Knit Your Bit died down for a while, but today the National World War 2 Museum, located in New Orleans, has relaunched the campaign as a grassroots effort to encourage knitting for veterans on Veteran’s Day. For more info, click here!

And for some examples of American Red Cross Knitting patterns, check here! They’re a fascinating peek at the knitting practices of yore.

Have any knitting or craftivism stories you’d like to contribute? Please write below!

by Claire Menegus

Article Reposted with permission from Hello Craft

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