Community Press/preterm

I really like giving back, it makes me feel good, and I feel like my little bit, however small can help.  I have never been much of a PTA mom, and my attention span is spotty at best if I agree to woman a table, or fundraise for an important cause.  I yearned for another way.

I am fascinated by the screen printing process and have always made do with bits of cardboard and my imagination. I jumped at the opportunity to purchase a professional screen press from a friend last year. It is one of a kind and quite quirky, like me.  The components and ink sprawl throughout my small basement, but also fill a need.  Instead of shying away from the bake sale or the volunteer gig I can offer a service to organizations by donating my skills at my convenience. Perfect!

If you are a reader of my blog, you know how I feel about reproductive rights. preterm is an organization here in Cleveland that has been providing “safe, compassionate sexual health care” for over 40 years.  I attempted to sponsor a bowling team a couple of years ago, we raised some decent money, but it is not where my talents lay, so I offered my services.

I was a little overzealous and agreed to a task above my current skill set, which is just how I do things (sigh).  After deciding on the design and actually figuring out how to line up two different colors on the back and the front,   I knocked them out.  The Associate made an apperance or two in the basement full of questions as usual, and we opened up an age appropriate conversation about reproductive rights.  They are not perfect. I did save preterm a bunch of money on printing costs, I expanded my abilities, and I planted a seed in the mind of my smallest child.  It is one my dreams to be able to open up this little press to the public  to help promote important causes in our community in healthly and clever ways.  I’ll keep you updated.

go to the website to learn more about this amazing organization.

http://www.preterm.org

 

 

 

Woman Warrior Cross body bag.

I have two daughters as you probably know.  I feel an overwhelming need to make sure the have the same rights and access that I had, and that so many have fought for. We (Sarah and I) wanted to design something that would show our support of women’s issues and raise money for Planned Parenthood.

In standard Shannon fashion I let it bang around in my head and Sarah let me take the lead.  Sarah usually does the artwork for our Pure and Sweet ventures, because well I can’t draw and she is awesome at it, but I had trouble verbalizing my vision.  I took to the computer to try to work it out.  I wanted layers, women are multi layered and expected to be all things.  I broke it down to three images: a doily in gold to represent femininity and delicacy: the graphic shape of the female reproductive organs in red, well because women are the only ones that can bring life into this world: and two black crossed swords to protect our freedoms.

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I then readied the screens.  Someday I will have a room to do this, but right now I am crossing my fingers that it works because the conditions in my basement are terrible.  In order to make an opaque silk screen of a doily I spray painted (color unimportant) it to thicken the lines, and when it dries, I use it instead of a transparency to make the screen.

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Yep, that is a uterus and fallopian tubes

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After some difficulty I get all of the images lined up so they print correctly, which is much easier said than done.

Now that I have the images printed, I set about figuring out the most efficient way to make these without sacrificing durability and style.  After several botched attempts I got a good method down and promptly made three to deliver to three members of Sleater-Kinney when they played House of Blues.  They were on tour raising money for Planned Parenthood so it seemed important that they get some.  The stupendous Kathy Blackman of the Grog and B-side helped me get them back stage and I was a happy girl.

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These are the most of the steps, sometimes I get too absorbed and forget to photograph every moment.

First we cut 4 pieces that make up the bag to the same size

Sew the top of the outside panels to their counterpart of the lining.  4 pieces become two.  Lay the two pieces facing each other and pin together.

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Here is where we are missing a step.  After the two sides are pinned together, measure the center top of the two lining pieces.  Measure and cut to slits that match your snap arms through both layers at the same time to ensure that they will match up.  Go in between the two pieces of lining to push the arms out through the slits.  I always add a bit of scrap vinyl (make the same slits on the vinyl)  to the arms before I put on the brace.  The snap gets a lot of use and the added layer keeps it from tearing.

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Now that your snap is in place sew the two sides. (see above picture)

Now turn the whole thing inside out.  and sew the bottom.

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Once the bottom is sewn. Pinch the corners and sew across to add volume to the bottom. (this is really hard to explain feel free to message with questions)

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Turn back right side out and check all sides to make sure you are all good.

Sew strap on and go…..

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Below is the Etsy listing (go buy one!)

BUY THIS AWESOME BAG

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made to order/ limited edition of 75

Modeled by the powerful Ruby.  The Woman Warrior Cross body is hand-made by the loving hands of Shannon and Sarah.  The images are hand screened on a deep turquoise blue cotton duck fabric. They are layered on top of one another representing our femininity, our womanhood and our strength.  (doily/gold, uterus/red, swords/black) The back side is a soft black vintage fabric with gold splatter design. The lining and the handle are constructed of heavy black cotton duck,  and all edges are serged with a contrasting red thread for added durability and flare. A heavy-duty magnetic snap keeps all your crap inside.

The ridiculous attacks on Planned Parenthood, and the attempts to take away our reproductive freedom is truly terrifying.  We responded by designing this bag to show your support!  10 dollars of each bag price will be donated to Planned Parenthood.
We must continue to have safe affordable access to healthcare, family planning and abortion.

This bag was inspired by all the strong women and men fighting for women’s rights.