My new passion: Fair Trade Arts. Fair Trade items are crafted by women in many countries as a way to increase their income, so they can provide food and education for themselves and their children. These cottage industries are making a difference in the health and well being of thousands of women and children around the world.
I have known about such items for a long time, but their importance was made very clear to me after I read Half The Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Kristof and WuDunn. So my plan is to buy something, some jewelry, or other item, whenever I can, to support my global sisters. That can only help make the world a better place for all human beings.
Last time I was browsing through the Greater Good end hunger site, this darling little basket made in Nicaragua called out to me. Do you ever have things that 'sing' to you, "buy me, buy me !"? Well, this basket did. I can't imagine having the patience to wrap those coils and have such nice even spacing for the threading. It is a fine piece of work. Very colorful and it 'sang', how could not BUY it?? I also ordered a coil bead bracelet from Africa, that I've been eying for while.....
The order came today. I am delighted. The basket is oval, about 4" x 6" and a couple inches deep. A great size and there are tons of things it could be use for. BUT the bottom is not completely woven, so there are holes in each corner, limiting how useful this little beauty could be. NEVER FEAR, I have a quick and easy solution.
Cutting mats. That's right, I took a piece of clear cutting mat that I bought at Dollar Tree, (2 per pack, a generous 11x14") traced around the bottom of the basket and cut it to fit. I have plans to cut the rest of the mats to fit a wire shelf so none will go to waste. Anyway, now this gem of basket is ready for useful prettiness.
I'm going to use it for jewelry. Often when I get home in the afternoon, I take off my jewelry: necklace, earrings and rings, but know I'll need them again when I go out later, so I set them on the dresser. Several times earrings and rings have been knocked off dresser requiring a game of hide and seek to retrieve them. That's not going to be a problem anymore. This basket will be the new temporary holding bin for jewelry pieces.
There could be many other uses for a basket this size. Think how darling it would be with a floral arrangement. OR filled cookies as a gift. OR it could be a candy dish. It is also a great size for things like alcohol wipes. If you're someone that needs regular injections why not have a pretty place to keep your med gear. OR it could be a desk organizer for holding post-its, paper clips and pushpins. I'm sure there are dozens of other uses, that is just a few that popped into my head.
And here is my shameless plug for http://greatergood.com/. where you can click once a day to support a number of great causes. I found my pretty basket and some fun folk art jewelry on the 'hunger' section. Take a look around and maybe snag a pretty something for yourself or as a gift for someone else. While you're there sign up for an email reminder and make a daily habit of clicking for a cause or two.