Monthly Archives: October 2016

SOUL SOOTHING ACTION BY KEEPING THE HOMELESS WARM AND SECURE AND REPURPOSING THROUGH ART

Standard

NEW BLOG POST

Below highlights how Musa Macenyane soothes her Soul by making hats and mats for the homeless.
For as long as I can remember, I have been a crafter. I was always looking for a new project, new craft or a new creation. In 2010 while working in corporate America, I began to look at waste and think “how can I create something from all of this waste?” I began to look at everyday items in a new way.  I began ‘repurposing’, creating creations from everyday items. I began making coasters from cardboard, bags from plastic grocery bags, and jewelry from various paper products. Utilizing my craftiness in a new way was exhilarating.

Then in the fall of 2015, I saw a news story about a lady who was feeding the homeless in Humbolt Park out of her own kitchen. I was amazed by this sister’s spirit of service. I reached out to Carol Boyd of Humble Heart and asked what I could do to help. She said whatever assistance I could provide would be greatly appreciated.

I knew I couldn’t feed the homeless three times a week like Carol did, but I could craft. So I started on my “Hats for the Homeless” project. Last winter, I made 35 hats and donated them to Carol to distribute while she was in the park feeding. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. I began using my crocheting plarn (plastic yarn) skills to create mats for the homeless to protect them from sleeping directly on the ground. In the spring of 2016, I, along with a group of Sistahs, who wanted to make an impact on the lives of others, organized a purse project to distribute hygiene products to our Sistahs affected by homelessness.

We filled over 40 purses with hygiene products, and Carol was able to distribute to the ladies on the street. Currently, I am again in the throes of the Hats for the Homeless project. This year, my goal is that with the help of my happy hookers (crocheters) and chicks with sticks (knitters) we can make 100 hats to donate to Humble Hearts.

I continue to craft and create gift items from repurposed materials, but serving others makes me tick. I enjoy utilizing my craftiness to serve others. Crafting to serve is what I do for me.

Musa is a social worker and dedicated and creative crafter. She is the owner of Chiseko Artistic Endeavors, a company dedicated to crafting through repurposing. 

Advertisements

THIS…I…DO…FOR…ME MONTHLY PHOTO CONTEST!

Standard

 

So here we go!

This…I…Do…For…Me (TIDFM) wants YOU to submit a photo for its monthly “Photo of the Month” contest, and we will post the month’s selection on my blog http://www.thisidoforme.wordpress.com

 

Criteria:  The photo should highlight some form of caring for others, self-care or care of the environment.  Caring is the central theme!

After the twelfth month, we will select the photo of the year, and the winner will receive a $100.00 card from the contest’s sponsor!  Contest requirements will be shared later.

We at TIDFM are excited because the world needs more CARE and CARING, and you can show it how its done!  We look forward to receiving your photos

I’M NOT OLD –I’M JUST GETTING STARTED!

Standard

NEW BLOG POST!

Let’s face it, once you reach age 50+, all types of beliefs and images crop up about the exciting part of our lives being over, dead, kaputz.  However, it is at this stage of my life that I, like so many other women at this point, feel more alive than ever!

I feel truly free to try new things without worrying about their outcome!  I can do something for the sheer enjoyment of it, and as soon as I scratch it off my list after completing it, I feel confident and emboldened to add to the list and sample something else!

My daringness extends even further!   Trying new recipes –Italian, Mexican, Thai and even Vegan!  Through cooking I get to expand my creativity and expand my horizons about other cultures, and when I actually get to travel to a country where the recipes emanates from, I am on cloud 9!

I’m also taking a photography class with a group of young women half my age — there are days where I walk away feeling empowered, and there are days when I ask myself during the class “why am I here?” or where I swallow a regular dose of “I’m too old to get this.” However, I put my big girl panties on and keep it moving.  I won’t give up, I tell you!

Over the past year, I’ve created a new business that serves women age 50+. This endeavor allows me to bring all that I’ve learned, experienced, seen and dreamed about to others to share.  I’m not focused on being perfect, but on perfectly expressing myself for my own fulfillment.

img_1613

I’m traveling more now than at any other stage of my life! Sometimes I think “you should have been doing all this whirlwind travel in your twenties and thirties!”  Then I take a deep breath and add more countries and cities to my list. I’m just getting reved up!  Croatia, Prague, Maldives and Tanzania– all places now on my list once I turned 50+!

img_1341

I now think with greater clarity; I express myself in a firm manner, and I feel at a much deeper level — all of this after I turned 50.

I am engaging in new things all of the time, and my excitement when planning new experiences is unparalleled.  I get extremely enthused when I think about all the new possibilities for my life.

I only hope that after reading this, you are also propelled to live your life OUT LOUD!

BEEN ALL OVER THE WORLD, BUT I HAVEN’T BEEN TO PILSEN IN MY OWN HOMETOWN!

Standard

NEW BLOG POST!!

It’s a damn shame!  I’ve been to Australia, France, China, Africa, Spain and a host of other foreign countries.  I pride myself on being a global citizen, who partakes in a variety of cultural offerings.  I’m open to diverse cultures and sampling unique foods. I have even tried learning French at age 50+.

So with all this cultural exposure, how in the world could I have never been to The Pilsen community on the lower west side of Chicago?

I have been trying to get to The National Mexican Museum of Art since 2002; every year I vow that I am going to visit there, but it keeps greeting pushed off.  Back in 2015, I clearly stated in a blog post that I would no longer put it off and visit this treasure in 2016. Have I done it, yet? Not yet, BUT…

Recently I enrolled in a photography class with a phenomenal organization — Blue 1647!! Blue is a technology innovation center “where diverse people making a positive impact in the world gather to create, collaborate, learn and build (from Mission Statement).” With a mission like this, it’s no wonder Blue 1647 would find themselves in the heart of Pilsen — a community ripe for technological innovation, business development and culture.

When I found myself having to go there for my class, I was a bit excited because I’d never spent anytime in Pilsen.  Conversely, I was a bit uneasy about going there for the same reason — I’d never been there. If  I am honest with myself, I would have to acknowledge that no matter how adventurous I have been throughout my life, doing something for the first time was still daunting, even for me!

I love serendipity!  Here I am taking a class in a neighborhood that I have heard so much about but hadn’t spent any time there.  Once I arrived for my class and had to go out to shoot photos, I immediately felt the electricity and specialness of Pilsen. How could I have overlooked it, underestimated the importance of spending time there, and as much as I love Mexican food, what was my problem? I wondered.

Being surrounded by a number of beautiful murals depicting  Mexican culture, being in the midst of coffee houses like Cafe Jumping Bean, taquerias and the lure of the aromas of Churros and other edibles, I became overjoyed and blessed to be present here on a Saturday — a day where you can truly capture (with a camera) the the life of a community.  I could feel Pilsen’s spirit.

Residents rode by on bikes and even stopped to take pics with the women in my class.  Cars whizzing by slowed down to a crawl to checkout why seven women  were clicking away with their 35mm cameras.

Like many Chicago neighborhoods, Pilsen has gone through its share of gentrification; many families have moved out because of what’s been called an affordability factor. However, Pilsen hasn’t seemed to have lost its true essence.

It has a great balance of older adults who maintain the stories, music and history of its residents. There is other end of the spectrum where there are young people with high energy, new ideas and dreams.  There are small business owners like shoe cobblers, hardware stores, dress shops and long established restaurants.

Street food, Horchata and Huaraches can be found everywhere!

There is a lightness in the air — the kind that says, “we are family; welcome to it!”

I look forward to hanging out more and more (with my camera, of course) in Pilsen! I plan to get to know her well.