THANK YOU, PARTY PEOPLE!

WOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOO!   

The 7th Annual Simple Gifts Open House was a huge success!

Y’all know how to PAR-TAY!  You amaze me.  You not only showed up, but you spread some serious love.  Thank you for your support of our little Open House, and for blessing folks around the globe by shopping with purpose.  YOU ROCK!
 
 
Because of YOU…through your recycled crayon and Three Below purchases, we are sending $300 to charity water, to bring clean water to those who need it most around the world. (charitywater.org)
 
Because of YOU…through your purchases of Timbali pouches and bags, $155 will be shared with the women of Swaziland, Africa, so they may continue their ministry to orphans.  (timbalicrafts.org)
 
Because of YOU…through your Ornaments 4 Orphans support of $480, orphans in Uganda will have the care and comfort that they need.  (ornaments4orphans.org
 
Because of YOU…through your purchases of Shea Butter products and recycled paper jewelry, $474 will support the Bead for Life artisans in Uganda as they strive to make a better life for their families. (beadforlife.org)
 
Because of YOU…and your support of me and my crafty / artsy / chocolatey endeavors, we’ll be sending $150 to Doctors Without Borders (msf.org) to help the Syrian refugees…and $150 to International Justice Mission (IJM.org), to help rescue girls from heart-breaking modern-day slavery.  
 
You have made a big difference in the lives of so many, my dear ones, and I cannot thank you enough for your support!  Making this journey (7 years now!) with such awesome, like-hearted folks like YOU has been the best trip ever…and I’m already looking forward to next year!   
 
But first…pumpkin pie.  :-)  
 
Happy Thanksgiving, and Happy Holidays, my friends!  
Love,
Kristen Kerwin & squad 
 
www.overflowcreations.wordpress.com
IG:  looksomethingshiny
P.S.  Congrats to our raffle winners!!!
*Sophia Pham & family – Leah Reiter Creative photography session 
*Amy Lynn Criger & family – Delicious scones by Karen Hoffman
*Dana Boettinger – Gift certificate from Floral & Hardy, Skippack PA
*Tina Townsend – Gifts from Barn Pretty, Worcester PA
*The Pensyl family – My Green Crayon gift basket
*The Marino Family – Chocolate…mmmm!

Comfort for Children In Crisis

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!

7th Annual Simple Gifts Open House * November 6 & 7, 2015

WOOHOO!!!!

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

(H) 610-287-5687

kristenkerwin@gmail.com

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!

Many blessings!

xo

Kristen & family😉

Calling All “Elves”, to help restock Three Below’s Secret Santa Shoppe for 2015!

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🙂

6th Annual * Simple Gifts * Crafts for Charity Open House

Friday, November 21, 2014 * 4pm – 8pm
Saturday, November 22, 2014 * 10am – 2pm

@ the Kerwin Home, 225 Overlook Drive, Schwenksville, PA 19473

*****************************************************************************************

What:

**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!

Blessings!

🙂 Kristen & crew

An update on MLK Jr. Day….what an AMAZING community we live in!

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!

http://pvsd.schoolfusion.us/modules/cms/pages.phtml?sessionid=06dbf56d31bb4fedd749e111b7a6360c&pageid=308326

🙂 Kristen Kerwin & gang

“Rainbow Rescue” Used Crayon Drive @ Evergreen Elementary * January 6-17, 2014

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

Contact Information:

Evergreen Elementary – Mary Cook, HSA – mrc.mobile@me.com

PVHS / MLK Jr. Day Service Project – Jessica Lester – jlester@pvsd.org

My Green Crayon – Kristen Kerwin – kristenkerwin@gmail.com

Thank you for a wonderful 2013 Open House!

Ohmygoodness, friends…I have so much to say, and so few words that can adequately express how grateful I am to all of you!   You have all been such a great encouragement to me, and it was the best of gifts for you to come out and support me for this year’s Simple Gifts Open House.   As we come upon Thanksgiving this week, and the Advent Season shortly after, I am reminded that I have the best family and friends around…I’m so grateful.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!
 
 
 
Here’s a brief summary of your collective awesomeness:  
 

RAFFLE PRIZES AND WINNERS:  

Cathy Pilipczuk  won the Mary Kay raffle gift – sponsored by my dear friend Michelle McFadden, MK Independent Beauty Consultant.  Thank you so much Michelle!
 
The Decadent Chocolate Cake was won by Donna Bondi & family (& small group).   Congratulations!  Lovingly made and donated by my father-in-law, Bob ‘the Baker’ Kerwin.  bkerwin@usa.net   Thank you Dad!
 
The beautiful and fragrant Bird Candle was won by Thekli Sariano.   Donated by the ‘shop girls’, Missy and Catherine, at Heart’s Desire in Skippack.   This shop is chock full of all kinds of home decor and gifts, jewelry, funny stuff, vintage items.   You will love it – I promise!   www.heartsdesireshop.com   Thank you, Shop Girls!
 
Brenda Conrad won the gift of Classic & Vintage toys from Heart’s Desire in Skippack.  If you like educational and old-fashioned, quality toys, you just have to visit this shop in downtown Skippack (behind Mal’s Diner).   www.heartsdesireshop.com
 
And the wonderful prize of a free Photo Session by Leah Reiter Creative was won by  Stacia Hang & family.  Congratulations to this beautiful family!   Please keep my dear, talented, creative friend Leah in mind for all of your photography needs and dreams!  lrcreative01@gmail.com   Thank you, Leah!
 
…and a big thank you to Jill Seitz, a friend and the art teacher of my kiddos at Schwenksville Elementary (as well as the art teacher at Middle School East, PV District), for sharing your beautifully crafted pottery with us.   So gorgeous!  jseitz@pvsd.org
 
 
FUNDRAISING TOTALS:
 
Bead for Life (www.beadforlife.org) jewelry and gifts, made by women in Uganda from recycled paper and Shea Nuts.   You raised $469 for these amazing women & their families!   Bead for Life is now partnering with Mercy Corps to provide immediate relief to the Philippines.  And your support will help them to make this a reality – thank you!
 
Through the crayon sales for My Green Crayon, plus the funds raised in the Secret Santa Shoppe, Three Below ($336.58  =  wow!)….the total raised for Charity Water(www.charitywater.org) for 2013 is up to $505.74!!!!   I am so thankful to partner with all of you, to bring clean drinking water to the most desperate of children and their families around the globe.   What a joy to partner with you!
 
Through the sales of my blingy / crafty / chocolatey creations, you raised $86.88 to support the heroic efforts of Doctors Without Borders(www.doctorswithoutborders.org), who are entrenched in the recovery efforts in the Philippines right now.   Thank you SO MUCH!!!
 
…and a little note about Holiday Shopping.   I am in love with small businesses, like Heart’s Desire in Skippack, PA (full disclosure: they sell my creations and crayons)…so I’m biased when it comes to holiday shopping!   But whether you want to avoid the Black Friday crush, or you’re just curious about what can be found around the corner, please remember that next Saturday (11/30/13) isSmall Business Saturday. Shopping locally makes a huge difference in our communities!   
 
And if you have always wanted to take a stroll through Skippack, PA, you are invited to kick off the holiday season with Jack Frost Friday on Friday, December 6, 2013.   A host of shops will be participating in this event, and the prize that you could win for just coming out to check out these small businesses is a $500 gift basket!  
Questions?  610-584-0797.   Also, please visit www.iloveskippack.com for more fun events and info!  See you there!
 
Happy Thanksgiving everyone – and thank you again for all of your invaluable support.   I’ll be in touch again when I (finally!) open my online shop on etsy.com (www.looksomethingshiny.etsy.com).   But until then – many blessings to you and your families.    Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas!!!
 
Love,
Kristen Kerwin & family
 
 
 
 

Crafty Open House Goodness a-comin’…

November….WHA?!  Can’t be…let me check real quick.  OH SNAP! YES IT IS!!!

Sooooooo, you know what November brings, right?  Pumpkin pie 

The Simple Gifts Open House!

@ The Kerwin House  ** 225 Overlook Drive,  Schwenksville, PA  19473

Friday, November 15, 2013  **   4pm – 8pm

Saturday, November 16, 2013   **   10am – 2pm

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!

Admission is free, and you won’t want to miss out on a (no purchase necessary!) chance to win one of our raffle prizes.   Vintage and lovely gifts from Heart’s Desire in Skippack, Hand-dipped chocolates, a photo-session from Leah Reiter Creative, and MORE!

What’s your favorite thing to shop for?   Pottery, ornaments, original artwork, stitched gifts?  Yep, we got ya covered.   Repurposed home decor items, or recycled crayons (My Green Crayon) that raise funds for clean water?  Got those, too.   Or are you up for a mini-indoor-yardsale?   We’re on it!   And if you like things dipped in yummy chocolate…well, don’t even get me started!!!

And don’t forget to bring the younger 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 is accepted.   (Also hugs and chocolate.   And Pepsi.   Did I mention chocolate?🙂 )

So please come on by, and feel free to bring chocolate a friend.   The more, the merrier!

Blessings!

🙂 Kristen & crew

5th Annual Kerwin Open House is almost here!!!

Simple Gifts

5th Annual Open House * 2013

 

Friday, November 15  *  4pm – 8pm

Saturday, November 16  *  10am – 2pm

Where:

@ the Kerwin Home,   225 Overlook Drive,   Schwenksville, PA 19473

What:

**Handmade crafts, jewelry, and food gifts, by Kristen (www.overflowcreations.wordpress.com)   (www.etsy.com/shop/LookSomethingShiny)

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 there’s a 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!

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 6th 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,   #3477 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 @ Heart’s Desire in Skippack, PA (behind Mal’s Diner) and (soon!) on my etsy site:   http://www.etsy.com/shop/LookSomethingShiny

**New to You – a mini-indoor yard sale, featuring home decor items, craft supplies, and holiday decorations.    This is something new I’m trying…cuz sometimes, it’s just fun to find a lil’ somethin’ that’s gently-loved, and ‘New to You’!

100% of sales supports charity: water.   (www.charitywater.org)

*********************************************

Everyone is welcome!  Please feel free to bring a friend or two – no admission cost, and no need to RSVP.

So please come on over and check it out.   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!    We can’t wait to see you!

For information, directions, and more…

email:  kristenkerwin@gmail.com

www.overflowcreations.wordpress.com

www.etsy.com/shop/LookSomethingShiny

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