Tag: america

Mobilizing the troops: How the makers are saving the world, one make at a time

Forbes , the magazine read by millions of business minded individuals put out this call for makers: “Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage” The current corona virus crisis has caused the working world to realize that we are an untapped resource involved in … read more

Forbes , the magazine read by millions of business minded individuals put out this call for makers:

“Calling All People Who Sew And Make: You Can Help Make Masks For 2020 Healthcare Worker PPE Shortage”

The current corona virus crisis has caused the working world to realize that we are an untapped resource involved in the supply chain. I’ve said for years that handmade is the new American manufacturing. So many jobs and manufacturing facilities have gone overseas that we barely make anything in this country any more. We’ve become so dependent on other countries to produce things for us ~ and it’s mainly China. When a pandemic breaks out in China, that’s gonna jack up the supply chain fo’ sho! This crisis has made millions realize how much we depend on other countries for our goods.

There is a desperate crisis for healthcare workers ~ they’re running out (many have already run out and are reusing masks, or going without) of their personal protective equipment like masks and face shields.

This from Forbes: “If you want to rally the world to your cause, think like a little bird and tweet. Hospitals and doctors are reaching out via social media to ask for mission-critical help in solving the shortage of N95-type masks during the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. “

When Australia had the horrible wildfires, we saw the maker community come together like nobody had ever seen before.. they made bat wraps, and kangaroo pockets, and nests by the thousands and had them shipped down under. Now it’s our turn to take care of our own, and makers are stepping up like nobody has ever seen before.

Our healthcare system is about to be completely swamped, and overwhelmed by the massive influx of sick people.

We have begun moblilizing the makers, they’re making cdc sanctioned masks….

Here’s a pattern that the CDC endorses:  How to make a face mask (pdf downloadable/printable) / Full pattern here

The ladies of GS Handmade have been busy, busy, busy!

This is just one of the makers working for the “war effort” against the corona virus! We are sending these to a contact of mine in New York (The Scientific Seamstress, Carla Crimm) and then she will distribute. These are masks that just one lady is making! We know the need there is greatest, as it’s the “epicenter” of the virus cases right now~ after these, we will begin to focus on other places…many are also making and donating them locally. This is a significant movement~perhaps even a revolution of epic noble intentions, is underway in hackerspaces, makerspaces, and sewing groups to come together and solve a problem to save lives at risk with the Coronavirus.  We got this!

If you’re out of elastic (and there has been a shortage it seems) I saw a workaround/hack using a tshirt on facebook that a friend posted:

A friend posted this today. Thought I’d share for those running out of elastic

Here’s what I’m doing to make mask ties instead of all the cutting/pressing/stitching for bias strips:

Cut the bottom hem off a t-shirt, then cut strips about ¾” to 1” wide (I just eyeball mine). Pull hard on the strips to get the stretch out, and you’re left with knit “cording” that won’t fray, requires no pressing/stitching, and sews/ties brilliantly. I get about 40yds from a single XL t-shirt.

Here’s another idea on how those of you with a 3-d printer can help our heroes on the front lines:

Calling All Makers With 3D Printers: Join Critical Mission To Make Face Masks And Shields For 2020 Healthcare Workers

From Forbes:

“After seeing the N95 shortage gripping the nation’s healthcare workers, HP Inc. and partners have mobilized to create 3D printed face mask and face shield solutions, plus a few other innovative ideas, to keep people safe during the COVID-19 outbreak.

There is a rallying cry, a peaceful, but intense call to arms, if you will. People all over the world are seeing that many of our biggest players are struggling or faltering and they are stepping in to fill the breach. This is not insignificant, but also this is not unprecedented in the 3D printing world. This is actually the norm for makers and hackers (the good kind); they are helpful and immensely generous, especially in the face of true need. I have written about this industry and its players for many years and I am always moved to tears of joy by the people and organizations who stand up for others and deliver to help solve a problem that 3D printing is uniquely able to solve. I want to tell you about a few of them during the challenging times we face in the Coronavirus.

HP Inc. and Partners Mobilize 3D Printing Solutions to Battle COVID-19 have more than 1,000 3D printed parts already delivered to local hospitals close to their 3D R&D centers in Barcelona, Spain; Corvallis, Oregon; San Diego, California; and Vancouver, Washington. They have made their and other company’s 3D Covid-19 models free to download here.

I forgot to mention Materialise as one of HP’s partners and they created a number of free to download files for COVID-19 prevention, including the Hands-Free 3D-Printed Door Opener found on the HP site above, plus a Shopping Cart Handle.

This ongoing GoFundMe: Save Lives w 3D Printed Face Shields is impressive and inspiring — this is a team of high school students in the Charlotte Latin School covering K-12 with a FabLab. Read their mission and overview and tell me you are not blown away by the effort these young people are making (led by two MD parents with children at the school).

In support of the #MillionMaskChallenge on Twitter, the engineering team at Charlotte Latin intend to 3D print face shields that will be provided to local hospitals in Charlotte, starting with the Levine Cancer Institute. The goal? To manufacture 10,000 face shields. Bravo.

From Forbes

MatterHackers, the largest distributor of desktop digital manufacturing equipment and materials in the USA, is arguably one of the dominant 3D printing voices in social media and they often rally behind various community initiatives. I am not surprised to see them drop everything and hit this virus with everything they can. Dave Gaylord, Chief Technical Officer, comes from a Medical Device R&D and manufacturing background and is passionately ensuring MatterHackers connects those in need with those who can make.

The MatterHackers initiative is called the COVID-19 Additive Manufacturing Community Response Hub and it will “connect those in the U.S. who need medical aid (Hospitals and Govt. Agencies) and those who can create it using Digital Manufacturing, for which MatterHackers has a broad base of customers to engage with.” It has been live for three days and hundreds have signed up.

Formlabs has an impressive medical capability with its 3D printers (before COVID-19) and opened up its networks and printers to help with a tiny item of critical concern to the medical community: COVID-19 Test Kit Swabs (Check out the detailed photo below). The site lists out several designs. Their PR rep messaged me to say:

“Formlabs is mobilizing its community of users to deploy nearly 1,000 printers to quickly mass-produce these swabs as well as other important personal protective equipment (PPE). A single print can produce 300 test swabs at a time enabling Formlabs to produce 75,000-150,000 swabs per day. This development will rapidly provide hospitals with access to large quantities of these essential COVID-19 test kit components.”

You can help. Today, right now. Are you sitting in your apartment or house in some sort of state-wide lockdown? You can do something to help others. People of all ages and walks of life are diving in to make a difference. Check out some of these amazing initiatives, both small and large:

Joost De Cock (Old Dutch for “The Cook”) started the FreeSewing Open Source Project from his home in the Netherlands to provide free sewing patterns. Recently, his wife who is a surgeon started seeing potential shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE). Joost knew what to do, so he posted it to FreeSewing in late February. People thought he was being silly as a handmade mask would never be used by professionals. (I love the brand for FreeSewing.org, by the way.)

But he was onto something when he posted: Calling all makers: Here’s a 1-page PDF facemask pattern; Now go make some and help beat this thing. I took inspiration from Joost’s call for help in the writing of my headline. Shoutout also to Katelyn Bowden who shared Joost’s post. It is her workshop photo above and she has been cranking out the DIY masks. She calls herself a “reluctant hacker” and also runs a nonprofit to help image abuse victims. She pointed me to a bunch of different resources.

If you think that a handmade mask cannot be used, think again. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a place for them — in times of crisis, like the one we are in right now. On the CDC page: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks, they explain that as a last resort, a homemade mask is acceptable. Frankly, we are at that stage right now. Here’s how they explain it in the Crisis Strategy section, When No Facemasks Are Available, Options Include:

“Healthcare personnel (HCP) use of homemade masks:

In settings where facemasks are not available, HCP might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect HCP is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.

It is possible that the government and manufacturers will ramp up in a wartime-like effort, but the reinforcement is more likely to come from the people. Millions of masks are needed. People are starting to make them and it is going to be a big deal.

Clearly, there is a shortage of the manufactured N95 respirator. You know this. Healthcare workers know this. If you have been hoarding them, let me cut to the chase — there are people and organizations who need your extras and you can do the right thing and donate them. Get in touch with Holly Figueroa O’Reilly on Twitter — she is organizing the distribution of masks. Karen Booth is another person listing out different projects as she starts making masks herself. Follow the hashtags #millionmaskchallenge and #millionmaskmayday and scroll through and you will find programs and projects around the USA and world.

People like Joost, Katelyn, Holly, and Karen are bringing enormous good into the world. When I asked Joost why he was doing this FreeSewing project, he pointed me to his Pledge page where he explains that all the funds that come into the project are donated to Doctors Without Borders. All of it. Why? He pointed me to that page again: “I don’t know if you’re familiar with the phrase ‘noblesse oblige’ but it essentially means that privilege entails responsibility.” Then said, “I mean every word of it.”

Makers, hackers, craftspeople are awesome.




We Must Dare To Be Great

We Must Dare To Be Great “A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage… For us is the life of action, of strenuous … read more

We Must Dare To Be Great
We Must Dare To Be Great

“A soft, easy life is not worth living, if it impairs the fibre of brain and heart and muscle. We must dare to be great; and we must realize that greatness is the fruit of toil and sacrifice and high courage… For us is the life of action, of strenuous performance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.”

I love to learn from great people and get inspired by their stories. Among them, Theodore Roosevelt (TR) is a favorite of mine. His story never ceases to inspire me.

I’d like to share the reasons why I find TR inspiring. After reading them, I think you will agree with me that he is a great model to learn from.

Without further ado, here are five reasons why TR is inspiring.

1. His achievements are extraordinary.

The list of TR’s achievements is almost unbelievable. He is the youngest ever U.S. president, the winner of Nobel Peace Prize, and a recipient of the Medal of Honor. He also authored more than 30 books despite his busy schedule. He even had time to become America’s first brown belt in judo!

Franklin Roosevelt, his cousin who later became U.S. President, said that TR “was the greatest man I ever knew.”

We Must Dare To Be Great
2. He excelled in all five aspects of life.

There are five aspects of life. While many people excel in just one or two, TR excelled in all five. In fact, I have yet to find another person who excels in all five aspects.

Let’s see how TR did in each:

      • Working: The list of achievements above says it all. There is no doubt about it.
      • Learning: He read three books a day while he was in the White House. Many people can’t read three books a month.
      • Physical: As mentioned above, he had a brown belt in judo. He was also a boxer. He thrived in physical activities.
      • Social: He was very good at connecting with people. In fact, he became an example in the popular book How to Win Friends and Influence People.
      • Spiritual: He maintained his integrity throughout his career. He was also a devout Christian: a Bible was found under his pillow upon his death.

    We Must Dare To Be Great

3. He thrived in both “extrovert” and “introvert” activities.

Normally, people thrive in just one kind of activities that matches their personalities, either extrovert or introvert. But TR excelled in both kinds of activities.

He excelled in getting along with people, an “extrovert” activity. But he also excelled in writing, an “introvert” activity. Again, it’s difficult to find someone who excels in both.

We Must Dare To Be Great
4. He was a great learner.

TR was a curious person. He read books in different fields. He also had a photographic memory. He often cited passages from books that he hadn’t seen for years.

I think the main reason for this ability was his focus. While he was reading, he couldn’t even hear his name being called. He was totally immersed in the book.

5. He excelled in energy management.

An important factor behind TR’s achievements is his energy. His energy was so abundant that he was called “steam engines in trousers”. This abundance of energy allowed him to do things with focus and enthusiasm.

This is remarkable because he was physically weak as a child. He got sick often. But one day his dad challenged him to make his body, and he did. He began exercising intensely, and over time became the energetic person he was.

I highly recommend this awesome documentary by the great Ken Burns about the Roosevelts, it will give you an insight into why I think he was fantastic: https://www.netflix.com/title/80013283

Dorcas Reilly

Dorcas Reilly : Who is she? and Why Are We Thankful For Her This Thanksgiving?

It started with a call from the Associated Press and a question: What’s a good recipe for a vegetable side dish that features common pantry products? It is the dish everyone is expecting on the holidays, and it is so easy to make, you can serve it any day. If you plan on eating green bean … read more

It started with a call from the Associated Press and a question: What’s a good recipe for a vegetable side dish that features common pantry products? It is the dish everyone is expecting on the holidays, and it is so easy to make, you can serve it any day. If you plan on eating green bean casserole this Thanksgiving, the memory of it’s inventor will live on. Created by Campbell Test Kitchen Manager Dorcas Reilly in 1955, its creamy, smooth sauce and un-matchable flavor combined with its simplicity makes Green Bean Casserole so appealing. Just six ingredients and 10 minutes to put together, this family pleasing side has been a favorite for over 60 years.

In 1955, the AP, like other newspapers and magazines of the time, was running a feature of an easy-to-make Campbell’s Soup side. The question came with a caveat: the recipe had to be built around green beans and Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup, two items most Americans regularly had in their homes in the ’50s.

The request fell to the Campbell’s Soup Co. test kitchen in Camden, N.J., an arm of the company that focused on coming up with recipes for its products. Dorcas Reilly, a supervisor for Campbell’s home economics department, was tasked with leading her team to figure out what could be done. The group would test and grade recipes repeatedly. Only a perfect score would qualify it as ready to go. In November of that year, Reilly and her team settled on what would be first known as “the Green Bean Bake,” an easily adaptable six-ingredient recipe of green beans, cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper and French fried onions that takes 10 minutes to prep and 30 minutes to bake.

dorcas reilly

Photo Credit: Campbell’s Soup

“We worked in the kitchen with things that were most likely to be in most homes,” she told NPR in 2015. “It’s so easy. And it’s not an expensive thing to make, too.”

During a time when many women were homemakers, Reilly embarked on a career at Campbell’s Soup in Camden, New Jersey.  She worked in the test kitchens, where she and her colleagues brainstormed recipes that used Campbell’s products, and then did blind taste-tests. The test kitchen employees rated a recipe on a scale of one to ten, tweaked it if necessary, and then submitted it to headquarters for approval. When Campbell’s started to put Reilly’s recipe on the cans of its cream of mushroom soup in 1960, the popularity of the dish hit new heights. More than 60 years since the dish was invented, green bean casserole is a Thanksgiving staple, with an estimated 20 million-plus American households expected to serve it this year, according to Campbell’s.

Dorcas Reilly

Throughout her life, Reilly, a culinary trail blazer during a time when women were often on the sidelines in corporate America, remained astonished at the success of a dish based on green beans and cream of mushroom soup, one referred to by Campbell’s as “the mother of all comfort foods.”

“We all thought this is very nice, etc., and then when we got the feelings of the consumer, we were really kinda pleasantly shocked,” she said in a Campbell’s promotional video for the dish. “I’m very proud of this, and I was shocked when I realized how popular it had become.”

Reilly, an influential innovator of beloved comfort food in the U.S., died on Oct. 15 of Alzheimer’s disease in Camden. She was 92. A visitation and celebration of her life will be held on Saturday in Haddonfield, N.J.

Rest in Peace Mrs. Reilly! We will all remember you this Thanksgiving as we take a big scoop of our favorite comfort food, We’re all thankful for you and your recipe!

Dorcas Reilly

photo credit: https://www.nj.com

*Source: The Washington Post

What’s the takeaway that we can learn from Mrs. Reilly?

1. Sometimes we can think we are just “doing our jobs” but to other people, it may make a big difference. This lady invented a recipe that was just a day on the job… but 60 years later, here we are, blogging about her and being inspired by her. Her recipe has been on a kabillion soup cans since 1960, everyone knows what “green bean casserole” is.

2. She was a team leader, and when talking about the challenge, she never took all the credit. She always said “we” when speaking of herself and her team. The TEAM was important, each member of the team contributed something, and she never lost sight of that. Although Reilly cooked up the recipe, she does not take sole credit for it.

“It was about the team working together,” she said. “I didn’t do it; we did it.”

3. Sometimes things start out small, and we never know how they may end up… I’m sure when Dorcas Reilly went to work that day, she never imagined her recipe invention would be called the “mother of all comfort foods” … She didn’t give up though, she stood by her work, and her work spoke for itself in the end~ gaining fame across the country. Keep your chins up, and keep on doing the “little things” that you may think are unimportant… you never know how they may end up in the long run. Dorcas Reilly was quoted as saying, “It was such a rewarding feeling when your recipe was published,” she added. Further stressing the importance of sticking with it, and following your ideas through to fruition.

4. She was a pioneer of sorts, in post World War II America, more than most women became homemakers. Dorcas pursued a college education. In the early 1950s, there was a cultural shift; a post-war wave of consumption was prevalent in America. Marketing departments of major companies were pushing products heavily, because Americans were spending more and the economy was flourishing. Campbell’s in particular published their signature recipes (all whipped up in the test kitchen) in ads, newspapers, magazines, and on their product labels. When Reilly’s green bean casserole recipe appeared in print, it took off. Some say its popularity was initially due to the fact that it used ingredients that were typically found in American pantries; others say that the flavor alone skyrocketed it to fame. Regardless, it was a dish that was being prepared in countless American homes.

5. The Campbell’s website boasts new, more modern spin offs of the recipe, and even more current versions but there is never quite anything like the original, is there?  This reminds us to appreciate the original, to respect the creator of the REAL recipe, and give credit where credit is due. This reminds me of handmade vs handmade knock-offs… what once was a totally handmade market (not mentioning any names) that is flooded with mass -produced goods masquerading as handmade… being produced in overseas factories and imported. Nothing is as quality as handmade, nothing can capture the attention to detail that a handmade garment, sign, purse or home decor item can. One person working on one piece at a time, paying attention to the details, giving the customer one on one service and customer care.

The New Revolution: Gypsy Spoonful

Back in 1776, our American forefathers gathered and penned the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, notice I didn’t say forefather.. nope,..fathers, as in multiple people came together to add their ideas, their thoughts, their verbage and their beliefs to the incredible document that formed our great nation. I’m fairly certain that if COLLABORATION hadn’t … read more

Back in 1776, our American forefathers gathered and penned the first draft of the Declaration of Independence, notice I didn’t say forefather.. nope,..fathers, as in multiple people came together to add their ideas, their thoughts, their verbage and their beliefs to the incredible document that formed our great nation. I’m fairly certain that if COLLABORATION hadn’t been a part of it, we would have crumbled years ago~ I believe the American forefathers knew intrinsically that everyone had something valuable to offer. I believe they understood that any sort of risk those colonists were going to be taking fighting King George for their freedom was weighted and everyone had skin in the game, and therefore they should have a voice in the newly forming Government.

I admire the process of collaboration , and community. I value multiple view points and opinions. When you surround yourself with others who can add their expertise and experience to a situation… or the birth of a country …or even perhaps a business… and they all come together for the good of all, then that’s something very special.
“Teamwork is harmonious cooperation that is willing, voluntary and free. Whenever the spirit of teamwork is the dominating influence in business or industry, success is inevitable…harmonious groups of two or more people who come together for a specific purpose, or around a specific topic, bring forth the power of creativity and support that you can’t find when you go it alone.”
~Napoleon Hill
If you are operating a small handmade business alone, or are lost in a sea of makers on a large selling platform~ and you feel like a number, or your voice doesn’t count, I would like to tell you about how Gypsy Spoonful can change your outlook. If you want to be part of something truly unique and special, we invite you to discover more about how Gypsy Spoonful differs.
I built this site for my maker friends who were very disillusioned creative sellers who felt they weren’t being heard. They felt as if their wares and creative process was not being valued, they felt it didn’t matter if they voiced their opinions in forums or chat boards to tell management about their unhappiness with the current climate.
I am not a do-nothing type of girl, I have been in this community of handmade makers for 14 years and these people are my friends. I know how dedicated they are to their craft, and how important the creative process is to them.
Handmade products are being undercut by imports and mass produced goods masquerading as handmade on many online platforms. It was very disheartening, they had invested their lives, their livelihoods, time, sweat and tears into building those venues and their small business~ and it’s like the table cloth was being pulled out from under them in a slow motion slight of hand magic act. Truth be told, it’s their venue, they will do what they want, they will do what is best for their stock holders, not their sellers. They will do what suits them, not what suits anyone else, and to be honest, it’s their venue, they can do as they wish. . . but I just knew I couldn’t be a part of it any longer.
I began talking to my friends, and the first group of Gypsy Spoonful community members surfaced, ready to take on a challenge of something new. Ready to believe in the vision of a totally handmade marketplace where art, passion, and creativity is valued. Also a place where community supercedes competition. After the word spread (kinda like a wild fire in a dry as hell California canyon) we were busting at the seams with more makers than we knew what to do with~ and it was then that it became very clear, I needed to give my friends more~ I worked 6 months tirelessly to build the site we have now, and it’s still being built, worked on , improved and tweaked every day~ but look at us go!
Today, on this Independence Day in America, We are celebrating over 100 glorious independently owned and operated shops, the vision is coming true! We’re ready for our next phase of development now, I believe~ and it’s only going to grow and get better from here.

Lack of representation or lack of understanding from the powers that be in one place, has led to the birth of an even better community~(sound familiar? ‘MURICA!) In this new place, there are business values I much more closely associate with, and we are hearing from so many people every day who think similarly.

We put community before competition, and we support each other in business and friendship~ and we’re smashing goals every. single. day.
We invite you to learn more regarding what we believe about handmade and small business,
and if you feel what we’re doing resonates with you and your business, please apply for a shop:
Apply Here! and add YOUR name to the new home of Handmade.

Happy Independence Day