Bigger Than You {we are almost there}

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My dear friend Kimberly Taylor has found her passion outside her gorgeous home and family and it is contagious.

I would love for you to hear her heart and consider helping in the final stretch of this amazing opportunity to give.

We are ALMOST there!

 

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My name is Kimberly Taylor and I am the founder of The Grow Hope Foundation.  We are a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people around the world improve their circumstances through education and a helping hand.  I recently returned from Uganda where I visited our pilot project that The Grow Hope Foundation has been working on in partnership with the Sustainable Community Education Program (SCEP) for the past year.  During my two weeks there I was able to witness first hand what the team in Uganda has accomplished in the past year.  The changes are incredible! We spent much of our time in the community, talking with the members of our pilot project and seeing all of the changes that they have made to improve their health through better sanitation and hygiene.  We visited every home that was a part of the 50 home project to witness first hand what impact it had had on their lives.

 

The community that we work in is rural and most of the residents lack education. However what they lack in knowledge they more than make up for in determination, heart and hard work. Our initial goal was to offer a better future for these families, but what we learned is that the thing they needed most was hope.  Hope had long since disappeared from this rural community, and when they began to realize that they had a reason to hope again, real changes began to happen.  Our community members in the pilot project have been so eager to learn and have attended the classes enthusiastically.  After each workshop they return home to implement the changes they have been taught.  In the last year every single family in our program has built a proper, safe and sanitary latrine as well as a tip-top (an apparatus for washing hands- an integral part of our program).  They have also learned about the importance of keeping their home free from pests and they built sanitation tables to wash and store their dishes, pots and mingling sticks- the tools they use to cook that were often stored on the ground in the dirt.  With these simple measures, illnesses have decreased dramatically over the past year and not one child was lost in our village to the secondary effects of poor sanitation.  While our community is healthier, we still see far too much malnutrition, especially in young children.  And that is where we came up with a plan.  A plan that we are really excited about and truly feel that it will impact this community and other communities around ours. Our hope is to create a sustainable program that offers education to the people around us, so that they in turn can begin to rise from the poverty that they currently exist in and create a life with hopes and dreams and a prosperous future.  We want to build something that will greatly increase their chances in doing that.

 

Our plan is to build an educational compound- Tusubira Village, which in the local language Lusoga means HOPE.  Tusubira Village would be a place where the surrounding community residents- many of whom weren’t a part of the pilot project but would like to be- are able to come and learn how to improve things such as hygiene, sanitation and nutrition.  We have found that the people in rural areas learn much more when they are able to see what they should do- when someone is available to actually demonstrate how to build a new latrine, or a sanitation table to store cooking utensils, or to plant a proper garden.  Tusubira Village will be just that- a place to come and learn, to practice, to ask questions.  When the people of the community leave the compound, they will leave with knowledge that they can take to their homes and replicate. They can make changes that will improve their lives, one step at a time.  Our hope is that we engage our initial community so completely that they will in turn become experts and be able to share the many things they have learned with others in their area.  Our goal is that with Tusubira Village we can impact not only our members but all of the residents of our area.  One day, maybe we will even help to improve the health and well-being of Ugandans in other rural areas.  We hope that once the seed is planted it will continue to spread and grow on its own.  I have seen how determined these people are, and how hard they are willing to work to make these changes.  With their hope restored, I truly believe that all they need is this helping hand- they will do the rest!

 

Tusubira Village itself will sit on three acres of land in the middle of the community we currently work with and will serve as not only an educational compound but a community gathering place to the surrounding area.  The land has already been purchased.  Tusubira Village will offer a wide range of benefits to the local community:

~The Well.  This will be the cornerstone of the compound and the reason that the community visits every single day.

30-40 separate gardens- each one planted with  different nutrient-rich crops that we hope the community will grow in their own gardens.  Experienced farmers will be available to teach growing techniques as well as answer any questions people may have after starting their own gardens.  Seedlings from these gardens will be shared with the community to give their gardens a healthy start.  Produce will be harvested from them to both stock the farm stand on the compound for purchase by locals as well as to be donated to local malnutrition facilities in the area, where children are in desperate need of nutrients.  This will be a “hands-on” facility where people will leave feeling confident that they are able to grow their own fruits and vegetables for their families.

~The main building- which will serve as a base for the local team as well as a place to host workshops.  People will come to learn skills that they can use to create work for themselves, thus an income for their family.  We will host artisans who will teach things such as weaving and sewing, which are useful skills in our area.  With an open space we also plan to host classes for adults such as reading, writing, not to mention teaching health and first-aid.  The possibilities are endless.

~The guest house – volunteer accommodations where people who are there to work with our program can stay.  It will have a western bathroom, a simple kitchen and a number of bedrooms.  It will also have a common area where meetings can be held or meals for large groups can be hosted.

~The meeting hut- a thatched roof structure that will host weekly meetings all year long- even in the rainy season.

~The lawn- a place for groups to gather or children to play while their parents learn.

It will also have:

~multiple varieties of fruit trees throughout the compound

~a 2-3 stall latrine for guests to use

~an area to raise chickens for eggs, meat, and to share baby chicks with the community

~an area to raise goats that will be milked and babies will be shared with the community to begin to raise goats of their own

~a caretaker hut

 

The first step to building Tusubira Village is the installation of a well.  This is THE MOST important part of getting this project going and also the most expensive.  The women and children of our community walk up to 2 miles each way, twice a day to collect water for cooking, washing and drinking.  The path to the water source is through a dense jungle- one that holds many dangers for them- especially the children.  With a well on the compound we can offer people a safe place to collect clean water for their families.  There would be no jungles to travel through, and the water itself would be safe not only for cooking and washing, but for drinking.  Water is a life-changing resource in places such as this.  When you remove the threat of water borne illnesses in combination with improved nutrition, you change the trajectory of the lives of these families.  You change their future.

a latrine before, and after

 

If we fully fund this campaign the money will go directly to getting the well installed.  If we were to go beyond our goal the next project would be to build one of the buildings so that we could establish a central workspace for the team in the community and classes could begin.  And yes, we would LOVE to go beyond our goal- and we know with your support we can make it happen!

I’ve often thought about the fact that because many of us were born in the countries we were, we will never have to struggle to survive, better yet have a chance to thrive like this community does.  But these women do- the ones who welcomed me into their homes, shared what little food they had with me and freely strapped their children to my back so that I could experience, for half an hour, what they live every day.  But do not be mistaken- they were no different than you or I inside. We are all daughters and mothers, wives and friends. These women are strong, and smart and they are willing to do whatever it takes to improve their lives.  They simply need a bit of help getting started.  They will do the rest- and not only that, but I know that they will take what they have learned and spread that knowledge to the communities surrounding them, so that everyone has an opportunity to thrive.  That is what we want with this project- a long lasting solution that will change the trajectory of their futures, as well as the futures of generations to come.

No donation is too small- as every dollar impacts this project.  And if you can’t donate, simply spreading the word would give this campaign the wings it needs to build this village. Facebook it, Tweet it, blog about it!  The more people that join the team to make Tusubira Village happen, the sooner we can give this community a safer, healthier hopeful future.  All they need is some education and a helping hand.  They will do the rest- I promise you.

To donate in ANY amount (everything helps and blesses) please click HERE.

Thank you for considering!

Jeanne

Did you think I forgot?

I wanted to announce the winner of the art supply giveaway and camera bag!

Thank you for being excited and sharing the new online art class Studying Under The Masters {portraits and self-portraits}.

If you love to learn about the lives of the artists, the styles they used and techniques that were a part of their work…this course is for you.

If you love to try new art with the encouragement and support of other creative members…this is the course for you.

If you love to learn about new supplies and how to use them…this is the course for you.

We hope to see you in class!

The winner is …

What a fantastic giveaway. This is very generous of you.
There are so many places I would love to go to create art but I think the most recent place I would like to go is to Slovenia. A friend is there right now and she keeps posting some fabulous pictures.

Congratulations!

Please email us at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com and we will arrange to get your goodies out.

{prizes must be claimed by September 5, 2014}

 

 

Drum Roll Please {The Winner of The Jane Eyre Collection Giveaway}

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Good morning!

Thank you for the huge and overwhelming response to the new collection!

{The new art deco photo set with wood stump stand}

We are almost completely sold out.

We are speechless and soooo thankful for all of you.

Thank you for sharing the collection with so many of your friends.

I know there were some that were disappointed that by the time they knew about the new collection so much was sold out.

I wanted to let you know what we still have in stock.

The Josie Camera Bag

Grain Sack Market Bag

The Luella Vintage Clutch

The Jane Handbag

Some pieces from our new jewelry collection.

We were so honored to collaborate with the talented Lisa Souers for this line.

Lisa took all of my vintage findings from my travels and created one of kind pieces that were a perfect reflection of the style of Jeanne Oliver Designs.

I bet you want to know who that giveaway winner is!

Congratulations to…

Oh Jeanne! My girls and I have loved taking your art classes online and we love your art prints most of all! As for bags, the art bag is my favorite ( I just pinned it) and I can imagine giving the vintage French linen bags as gifts. Can’t wait to see the next collection. Thank you for sharing your gifts! Jill

 

Jill, we are so happy for you and we hope you love all of your goodies!  Please email us at jeanneoliverdesigns@gmail.com with your address and we will get everything out to you.

Thank you to everyone that entered, shared and purchased the new collection!

You all make this possible!

{All giveaways must be claimed by August 4, 2014}

Have you thought lately what a friend really means?

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I have had a hard time with something lately and from what I am hearing…I am not the only one.

I have been walking my oldest son lately through the world of social media and it has given me lots to think about for myself and hopefully for him too.

Nothing points out things in yourself as watching them mirrored in your children. Humbling!

If we instantly took away social media that word “friends” would go back to more of how it was intended.

We would for sure save the word “friends” for people that we actually really knew… not just what they want you to know.

You may not know this or believe this but I am actually very private about my life online.

I don’t share too much. I save the details and most intimate pieces of me for my family and closest friends.

I think that is how it should be.

Because I do have a blog, Facebook, Instagram account etc. there are many glimpses of my life that goes out into the world but they are only glimpses.

In addition to talking to my son I was also talking to one of my closest friends this week about friendships and the modern perspective on the word and meaning.

We have all used the word “friend” inappropriately (myself included) and I want to really get better about this and save using the word friend for those that have earned it and I truly show it to them.

I think we have a blurry line now a days what a friend is and we need to step back, take a deep breath and see that it is not as hard as you may think to put things into perspective.

Social media and having the whole world available for learning, exploring and even creating relationships has allowed us to use words for sacred relationships in almost a flippant manner.

We use the word “friend” to describe people we barely know , maybe just an acquaintance or in some instances…a stranger.

What is that in between word?

We know what a stranger means.

We know what an acquaintance means.

Have we forgotten what a friend means?

 I have long loved the words and thoughts of Maya Angelou and I hope these words resonate with you as much as they do with me.

 

In a social media world of blogs, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and so much more we have given strangers the idea that they may really know you and then that makes you “friends”.

Do we just have bags and bags of acquaintances and some “deep and serious acquaintances” as Maya so clearly spoke?

Look again at what Maya said of friendship…

“But in a friendship you get to know the spirit of another person & your values coincide. Friends may disagree, but not about serious matters. A friend will stand for you when you no longer are able. A woman can say to her self “If I die, I know that my friend, my sister-friend will be here to hold up the banner”

THAT is a friendship I want to proclaim!

THAT is where I want to put my heart.

My time.

My energy.

My love.

My phone calls.

My attention.

Do you have deep and serious acquaintances in your life that are not actually friends and you haven’t taken the time to really process that?

Do you have bags and bags of people that you are giving out to and not saving the best of yourself for those that truly deserve it?

Are you wasting energy worrying about a person that is not worrying about you?

Do you have people in your life that expect friend privileges when they do not actually deserve them or reciprocate them?

Do you share your heart with everyone or have discernment about who actually listens and protects what you are feeling and sharing?

Do you know that it is completely OK to still be kind to people, care about them but not bring them over into the sacred space of true friendship?

I have a small but mighty tribe of friends and family.

These are the people I talk to each day in some form.

They love me at my best.  They love me even when I am not loveable.  They have been forgiven and have forgiven me.  They listen and I know my heart is heard.  They know me in joy and in pain.  They don’t love me because what I can do for them, give them or how I can promote them.  They don’t name drop or drop my name.  They are safe.  They are the ones that know how I am really doing and read between the lines and call to talk even though they have a million other things to do. They pick up the phone when they really shouldn’t and I do the same.  I trust them with my fears, sorrow, joy, questions, hurt…and they protect that.

I love all of the beautiful people I get to meet through teaching at retreats, teaching online, conferences, blog etc. but I could never keep up on all of these relationships.

I love that I get the honor of connecting deeply one on one when I teach and that our lives have beautiful, real and meaningful impacts on one another and our paths we are on.

I love this world that allows me to connect with so many in so many different ways but as I watch my own children navigate these new waters I want to hold myself to the same standard.

What are your thoughts?

How have you helped your own children?

How have you helped yourself?

Welcome To The Jane Eyre Collection! {a giveaway too}

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We launched the Jane Eyre Collection at 5pm MST on Saturday night and the response was amazing!

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Thank you for loving the new bags and jewelry and for selling out some bags so quickly.

Our collections are about storytelling and the gathering of vintage fabrics, new fabrics, vintage buttons, embellishments and vintage findings for the jewelry is one of the beautiful and exciting parts about offering our two collections a year.

I appreciate so much that we have customers that equally appreciate the attention to detail in each bag and the vintage elements that go into our collections.

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I am so excited that our brand new Matilda Art Bag sold out within only 1 1/2 hours!

We will be bringing the art bag back next collection and making sure we have even more to offer next time.

{My seamstresses spend months making each collection and they are already busy working on the next collection (you will flip out over the fabric in the next line)}

After seven years we still make bags because the response is so beautiful to them!

Thank you!

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We still have so many gorgeous jewelry pieces and we have a large supply of other bags so I hope you will come and take a peek at what we have been working on.

I also love to do a giveaway each collection and this one is no different.

I would love to giveaway:

* One Josie Camera Bag

*One Luella Vintage Clutch

* One Roll Up Paint Brush Holder

* One Art Deco Print Collection With Wood Stump

*One Art Deco Photo Collection With Wood Stump

* One necklace from our vintage jewelry line

* One complete package of all of our online courses totally over $500

*We are going to also offer the online course package to the friend of your choice so you can be creative together!

* $50 of art prints from the shop

This is over $1,000 in giveaway items!

So excited!!!

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To enter all you have to do is leave a comment on THIS post letting us know what piece you love from this collection.

For additional chances at the giveaways you can…

* Facebook about our new collection with links

* Pin this post to Pinterest

* Talk about the sale and celebration on Instagram and use the hashtag #jeanneoliverdesigns

* Blog about the collection

* Share this post on Twitter

 Each time you share about the sale or this post please come back and let us know.

How Are You In The Waiting?

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There is one place we are all at again and again in our lives.

You would think with this much practice we would be so much more graceful handling it and learning from it.

No matter your age or where you are at in your life we are constantly in a state of waiting.

Waiting to grow up

Waiting to leave home

Waiting to love someone

Waiting to figure out your calling

Waiting to find the person to spend your life with

Waiting for a relationship to heal

Waiting to have a family

Waiting for a promotion

Waiting to start your own business

Waiting to forgive

Waiting to travel

Waiting to use your gifts

Waiting to say goodbye

The list could go on and on.

What my younger self never understood is that the waiting…is all about getting you ready.

I know so much more about myself and this waiting than I have in the past.

I have known for many years now that there is a calling on my life and I believe it will be in a specific area.

When I look back over the past 7 years of my business I can in hindsight see what each step has prepared me for.

Only through experience, trust and knowing myself and the Lord better do I now know that it hasn’t happened yet because I am not ready yet.

I am in the waiting.

But, aren’t we always?

I trust that when I am ready that the next door will open and that in the waiting I am getting ready for what is next.

In the waiting we don’t need to rush it, get anxious or doubt that we have a path.

Take a deep breath and be ready for it.

Don’t be so anxious and controlling about what is next that you aren’t being present in what can be learned today.

The Jane Eyre Collection {Don’t Miss The Launch}

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I wanted to let you know that the brand new Jane Eyre Collection will be available this Saturday, July 19th at 5pm MST.

I hope you love all of the designs, fabrics and details in this collection.

The Jane Eyre Collection will have vintage pieces, photography collections, jewelry created from vintage findings and new bags from new and vintage fabrics!

Here is a peek at the Jane Eyre Collection…

Thank you for taking a peek at the new line and I hope to see you in the shop on Saturday!