November 23, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Uncategorized)
October 9, 2016 at 8:54 pm (Uncategorized)
HELLLOOOOO PARTY PEOPLE!!!!!!OH. MY. PUMPKINSPICEDLATTE. How have y’all been? How is this gorgeous fall treating you? I AM PUMPED for fall, and all of the awesomeness that it promises.
Crunchy leaves. Cooler temps. Pumpkin-flavored-donuts/creamcheese/pies/bakedgoodsingeneral. Oh, and CARDIGANS!!!!! Yup, I’m a fall girl through and through. But then again…I also LOVES ME SOME CHRISTMAS!!!! WOOOHOOOO! (too soon?)I’ve been crazy busy, making all kinds of crafty, chocolatey, and artsy treasures for you and your loved ones, and I’m excited to share it all with you at this year’s Open House! Drum roll, please….***************************************************Please Save The Date!8th Annual Simple Gifts Open HouseFriday, November 18, 2016 ** 4pm – 8pmSaturday, November 19, 2016 ** 10am – 2pm@ the Kerwin home225 Overlook DriveSchwenksville, PA 19473(more details at www.overflowcreations.wordpress.com)***************************************************What’s at the Open House?Fair Trade Gifts. Recycled crayons. Jewelry made with beads from recycled paper. Shea butter products. Cards and prints of original artwork. Snowmen and Santas and ornaments. Advent crafts. Handmade bags, zipper pouches, and pillows. CHOCOLATE! Upcycled leather belt cuff bracelets. Necklaces and earrings. Free raffle prizes and yummy snacks. Hugs. And more chocolate… (You know, for Jesus…)What’s NOT at the Open House?Soapboxes. Pressure. Clean windows. Kale. Me in yoga pants (Lord have mercy..).This year, our purchases will be helping to bring clean water and sanitation to the most desperate of families around the world. Together, our ‘gifts that give twice’ will be helping women in Uganda become self-sustaining so that they and their families might thrive. We will help orphans in Uganda have a better life while they wait for their ‘forever home’, and we’ll help families in Swaziland keep their beloved children out of orphanages until they can financially and emotionally welcome them home. Our gifts will help doctors who are willing to risk it all and serve in desperate and difficult places. In the words of my word-hero, Toby Mac: “We’ll spread (God’s) love like dandelions.” OH YEAH WE WILL!One of my favorite quotes…“Our human compassion binds us the one to the other – not in pity, or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future.” Nelson MandelaTHIS is why we gather, and shop with purpose. THIS is why I get excited to get together, and share our dust bunnies. THIS is why we count our blessings, and share what we can, from where we are. And God takes our perfectly imperfect gifts, and makes them enough. Always. Isn’t that AWESOME!!?!!!?!!!!So please come on over and party with the cool kids! And speaking of kids, we are ready to roll with Three Below, our Secret Santa Shoppe, restocked with buckets of new & awesome gifts, all priced $3 and under, 100% for charity. No need to RSVP – just come and bring a friend! We have coloring pages and a ‘quiet corner’ for the little ones, and a party favor for each of our youngest guests. And hugs. And chocolate.
Because chocolate can change the world, too. #TRUTHLove ya – and I can’t wait to party with you!Blessings,Kristen & familyHappy Fall, Y’all!P.S. If you’re an Instagram-er, come visit me @looksomethingshiny to see what I’ve been working on…or take a peek here: http://gramlove.com/user.php?id=1915643568&name=looksomethingshiny (also…Facebook page coming soon!)P.P.S. Official Stuff: You are receiving this invite because of a connection with Floral & Hardy in Skippack, Best Kept Secrets Tour, My Green Crayon, Small Steps Preschool, Fairview Village Church, Bible Study, WOW, MOPS, Schwenksville Elementary, Middle School West, PVHS and/or Key Club, Goddard School & Next to New Shop in Schwenksville, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Lisa’s knitting club, you work at ACMoore (a.k.a. my other home), we’re related, camping, the ‘hood, we met once at that store near that thing, we both love chocolate, or I’m stalking you. If you would like to run the other way and not receive future emails – I understand! Just let me know, and I will keep my epic-length emails to myself. Promise! :-)
November 18, 2015 at 1:04 am (Uncategorized)
The 7th Annual Simple Gifts Open House was a huge success!
September 25, 2015 at 9:18 pm (Uncategorized)
Comfort for Children In Crisis is the creation of Emma & Danielle Kerwin, who developed the project for their Girl Scout Silver Service Award in 2015. The project’s goal is to provide comfort items, namely soft fleece blankets and emoji-faced pillows, to local children and teens in crisis situations locally – to be distributed by first responders, such as EMTs, firefighters, and law enforcement officers. Both Emma and Danielle have experienced receiving comfort from others during crisis situations, and they wanted to give that same comfort to other children in our community.
When Emma was 6 years old, and was bike riding with her father in our neighborhood, he was in an accident that left his leg broken in two places, and unable to seek help. Emma had to find someone to help and call 911, and was comforted by a neighbor with a sweatshirt and snack, while waiting for the ambulance. As a very young child in such a scary situation, the help and comfort given by our neighbor was invaluable. We are so thankful to “Mr. Mike” for his quick thinking and care for Emma!
Danielle was only 4 years old when she accidentally swallowed a penny, while we were vacationing far from home. The coin became lodged in her throat, and was very painful. The local ER could not get the penny to move, so she needed to be taken to a private children’s hospital in a neighboring state. The staff and volunteers at the children’s hospital were amazing, skilled, and compassionate, and they helped to make the situation as child-friendly as possible. The hospital had a group of volunteers that made and donated teddy bears and scrub pants to each child that came to them for care, and Danielle was greatly comforted by those gifts. She still has them today!
Our hope is that the blankets and pillows will bring comfort to other children and teens in our community, paying forward the love and compassion that we have been shown. And our love and prayers accompany each one!
September 1, 2015 at 4:39 pm (Uncategorized)
Oh yeah, it’s that time again when I
actually clean the house a bit am blessed to see you, and invite y’all over to change the world with me! Our corner of the world might be smallish, but I just love the way that our collective drops of love and generosity add together to be an awesome force of change. Our bucket fills up so beautifully when we come together.
I can’t wait!
OK, Just the facts…
Simple Gifts Open House
Friday, November 6, 2015 * 4pm – 8pm
Saturday, November 7, 2015 * 10am – 2pm
@ The Kerwin Home
225 Overlook Drive
Schwenksville, PA 19473
This year’s event will continue to support Charity Water (charitywater.org), Bead for Life (beadforlife.org), Doctors Without Borders (msf.org), and will also raise funds to support the challenging and freedom-giving work of International Justice Mission / IJM (IJM.org). God is pretty cool…He’s international and local. He’s in the big stuff and the tiny deets. His heart breaks for what breaks our hearts. And he’s often doing His thing with everyday folks (me). I am so excited to be a part of it, WITH YOU!
Kristen & family😉
December 2, 2014 at 6:24 pm (Uncategorized)
Hello Elf – Friends!!!
Are you a sister / fellow CLEARANCE SHOPPER, GIFT STASH KEEPER, or REGIFTER? Do you love to troll the clearance section at Target, visit dollar stores, or get excited to find post-holiday stuff on clearance for 75% off? ME TOO!!!!! I might get a little TOO excited, just sayin’…..but I do love to find cool things for our Three Below shoppers to share with their friends and families, and I do shop ALL YEAR!
So what exactly am I asking? Maybe you are a person, like me, that always has some basic gifts on hand – usually purchased on clearance or great sales! – and it’s time to go through it and clear out anything that just hasn’t been ‘perfect’ for anyone for awhile. Or maybe you get an odd ‘treasure’ from Aunt Mabel every year (think of the ‘one-of-a-kind’ ornament, or that not-your-color-scarf, or a figurine or two that might not make it to your shelves!)…that you’d like to regift? OR, you are a hard-core clearance shopper, that has a good eye for a great bargain, and you just need a ‘good reason’ to pick up a few extra items? Well, YOU ARE IN LUCK, and you are JUST the PERFECT ELF we are looking for! ;-)
When I was preparing for our first Open House (in 2008) the idea to have a good old-fashioned Secret Santa Shoppe came to life from an abundant gift closet / stash of my mom’s, and my own. She taught me well! And since she was a teacher for many-a-year, she had built up a pretty good collection of candles / stationery / ornaments / etc. from her many wonderful students….so THREE BELOW was fully stocked! We just LOVE watching the smiles on the littlest shoppers, as they find the perfect gift for Mom or Dad or Grammie & Pop Pop…then as they wrap each gift up tight, so no one can peek. And hopefully it can be done without breaking the bank!
For me, as I shop throughout the year, I think of my purchases this way….
An example: I could write a $25 check to Charity Water, and in that way be a part of the life-giving work they do….OR I can keep my eyes peeled for 75% off or greater sales during the year (which is gobs of fun for me!), and donate the items to Three Below. These items can then be sold at almost-full or full-price (say, $1, though I only paid $.25) in the Secret Santa Shoppe, and my contribution has now quadrupled to a $100 contribution. A win-win!!! WOOHOO!
100% of sales from Three Below goes directly to Charity Water (charitywater.org), an amazing non-profit that works tirelessly to bring clean water and proper sanitation to the most desperate of children, and their families, around the world. And 100% of donations to Charity Water go directly to water & sanitation projects….all overhead costs are covered from completely separate fundraising sources, allowing each dollar that we raise to confidently go where it’s needed most. I love this organization, and am thrilled to be a small part of their efforts, through the Open House and the sale of My Green Crayons. Woohoo!
SO…sound interesting? I have NO expectations, other than a hope that you’d have fun helping me restock Three Below for 2015. Found one thing? AWESOME! Found a bunch of things throughout the year? THANK YOU! Just have some regifts and other new items to share from your current stash? WOOHOO! Every little bit counts, and I appreciate your time and contributions so very much. God Bless You!!!
Love, Your Sister-Elf, Kristen🙂
October 23, 2014 at 5:46 pm (Uncategorized)
Friday, November 21, 2014 * 4pm – 8pm
Saturday, November 22, 2014 * 10am – 2pm
@ the Kerwin Home, 225 Overlook Drive, Schwenksville, PA 19473
**Handmade crafts, jewelry, and food gifts, by Kristen
I believe that often the best gifts are made by hand, and are from the heart. I strive to make all of my handmade creations with heirloom quality, as I’d love for you to enjoy them for years to come! (That is, until the zombie apocalypse…then, all bets are off!) My creations include handstitched and painted ornaments, painted wooden signs, fun and original jewelry, items made from recycled and repurposed games and ephemera, and delish homemade chocolates. I have also started trying my hand at pen & ink art, and will soon have framable prints and cards in my etsy shop, too! (looksomethingshiny .etsy.com)
10% of sales supports Doctors Without Borders (www.doctorswithoutborders.org)
**Three Below – a ‘Secret Santa Shoppe’, where kids, teens (and curious parents!) can buy new items for $3 or less. There’s something for everyone on your list – family, friends, neighbors, bus drivers, coaches…and more! All gifts are then wrapped up tightly and ready to go before you leave, so there’s no peeking!
100% of sales supports charity: water. (www.charitywater.org)
**BeadforLife jewelry and gifts – gorgeous and colorful gifts that give twice! This is my 7th year partnering with BeadforLife, and I just love getting to share the story and the works of this amazing non-profit. 100% of sales supports the women in Uganda who make this beautiful beaded jewelry from recycled paper. (www.beadforlife.org)
**My Green Crayon – recycled crayons & gifts. These crayons come in dozens of fun shapes (penguins, owls, butterflies, dinosaurs, stars and hearts..), and they are priced $1 (small), $3 (large), and $7 (for boxed sets). They make perfect stocking stuffers, Pollyanna gifts, food-alternative classroom gifts, and more! Since the start of the project in 2009, close to 4,000 crayons have been sold (just locally!), and over $5,500 has been raised…all because of awesome crayon-partners like YOU! Thank you!!!
50% of sales supports clean water projects around the world through charity: water. (www.charitywater.org)
Crayons also for sale @ BLOSSOM gift shop, and Floral & Hardy in Skippack, PA
(across from Mal’s Diner)
Oh, my Dear Ones…there is so much to share with you! We are CRAY-Z-EXCITED to get to see you, and to share all that we have been working on. Whether you are looking to knock out some holiday shopping before Thanksgiving (without getting trampled!), or just want to come and chill, we hope to have what you need to help make the upcoming holiday season just a bit more…Peaceful. Simple. Precious!
What’s your favorite thing to shop for? Ornaments, ruffle scarves, decorated trees, Advent calendars, original artwork, snowmen? Yep, we got ya covered. Repurposed home decor items, or recycled crayons (My Green Crayon) that raise funds for clean water? Got those, too. Beautifully made and meaningful jewelry made from recycled paper (including bangle bracelets for $5, in a zillion colors)? Believe it! And if you like things dipped in yummy chocolate…well, don’t even get me started!!!
And please don’t forget to bring the littlest shoppers to our Secret Santa Shoppe, Three Below – where all items are $3 or less, and 100% of sales directly supports the initiatives of charity: water, an amazing non-profit that works to bring clean water to those children in desperate need around the globe! (www.charitywater.org)
CASH, CHECK, or CREDIT CARDS accepted. (Also hugs and chocolate. And Pepsi. Did I mention chocolate?🙂 )
Everyone is welcome! Admission is free, and you won’t want to miss out on a (no purchase necessary!) chance to win one of our raffle prizes. Pop in for 2 seconds, or two hours! We’ll be here with smiles, refreshments, free raffle prizes, coloring pages and a ‘quiet corner’ for little ones, & lots of gifts that give twice. No need to RSVP – just come on by, and feel free to bring
chocolate a friend. :-) The more, the merrier!
🙂 Kristen & crew
February 4, 2014 at 6:04 pm (Uncategorized)
To Evergreen Elementary….WOW and THANK YOU SO MUCH for your January 2014 crayon donations to My Green Crayon!!! We were overjoyed with the amazing collection that you so generously donated to our project – over $118,000 crayons in all! Your donation is a great encouragement to us, and is crucial to the continuation of this project. Countless remolded crayons will be made from your “well-loved” crayon donations, and the sales generated will bring clean water and improved sanitation to the most desperate of children around the world. Thank you for partnering with us this way, ensuring that we can continue our project. We are so grateful for you!
And to Perkiomen Valley High School…YOU DA BEST! I just wanted to let you know that out of the 118.6 lbs of crayons donated (amounting to approx. 118,600 crayons!), your group peeled 48.4 lbs (again, that’s about 4,840 crayons!)….which is CRAZY and AMAZING! Wowza…I am SO set up for success because of your time and care (and nimble fingers!). Thank you for taking the time to help us with this project – you have truly made a difference, and helped turn trash to treasure in a life-giving way. Couldn’t do this without you! Below is a link to some great pix of the coolest Peeling Partners around. Thank you for giving your time (on a day off of school, no less!) and love to our project!
🙂 Kristen Kerwin & gang
January 4, 2014 at 9:46 pm (Uncategorized)
In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, on Monday, January 20, 2014, My Green Crayon is partnering with Evergreen Elementary and Perkiomen Valley High School, to transform used crayons into clean water!
My Green Crayon is a local project that collects “well-loved” crayons – donated by schools, restaurants, churches, preschools, and more! – and then remolds them into fun-shaped new crayons for endless creative possibilities! The remolded crayons – shaped like dinosaurs, butterflies, cars, flowers, and more! – are then sold locally, raising funds to support the efforts of Charity Water (charitywater.org), an amazing non-profit that brings clean water and sanitation to the most desperate of children and their families around the world. 50% of each crayon sale directly supports Charity Water.
Evergreen Elementary students, with the support of the Home & School Association, are invited to bring their used crayons to school, January 6 – 17, 2014. Any and all sizes /shapes /types of crayons are welcome, and there is no need to remove the paper wrappers (unless you want to!)…and new crayons are always welcome, too. Just place your crayon donation in a bag / baggie, and place it in the donation boxes in the Main Hallway at Evergreen Elementary. That’s it – and thank you for your donations!
On the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Monday January 20, students from Perkiomen Valley High School will then be volunteering their time to peel the crayon paper wrappers from the crayon donations, to help prepare them for melting and remolding. A huge THANK YOU to all of the “Peeling Partners” out there, who help this way. A special shout out to the PVHS Key Club for their many hours of peeling help over the past few years!!!
Thank you in advance for sharing your “well-loved” crayons with my project…I love working together with “like-hearted” folks like you, to help bring clean water to children around the world. Together, we can help a child, while helping the earth…and make a little help go a long way! THANK YOU! 😉 Kristen
Evergreen Elementary – Mary Cook, HSA – firstname.lastname@example.org
PVHS / MLK Jr. Day Service Project – Jessica Lester – email@example.com
My Green Crayon – Kristen Kerwin – firstname.lastname@example.org
January 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm (Uncategorized)
RAFFLE PRIZES AND WINNERS: