Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a Bag for a Cause: Japan

This bag is going to do more than save a tree.  It's a bag that is for a cause.
When I sketched up this bag, I originally thought it was to help donate money to Japan.
But the more I thought about it I asked, why does it have to stop there?

Let me tell you-
Why I have a soft spot in my heart for Japan.
And why I waited this long-
and then WHY it doesn't need to stop there:
I didn't want to just jump on the band wagon.
I wanted it to have more meaning than that.
I wanted it to come from the heart.
We all live in the same world...save a tree, help Japan....these were my notes...
The day the tsunami hit pretty much every member of my family was in Hawaii.
That morning I didn't think about Japan.  I was being selfish. I was only thinking about my family in Hawaii.  I only wanted to know HOW BAD had it hit there?  Was MY family ok?
As the days went by I thought more and more about the people in Japan. My worries were short lived. My family was fine. My life had not changed. But for the people in Japan? How awful. How devastating.
BUT, I wasn't going to just say Yes, I want to make a donation. 
I didn't want it to be a random donation. I wanted it to have more meaning.
I started to write down my thoughts. What good is it helping Japan?
We all live in the same world.
so I drew a sketch.  I wanted the bag to be able to be used as a shopping bag.
Maybe it could also save a tree.
I wanted it to come from the heart so the world is shaped like a heart...
If you've ever taken a peek at my "aTRUE story" you might know I spent some of my younger years living in Hawaii.  Growing up there I was the white haole girl.
I remember crying and telling my mom I wanted to have those darling Asian eyes...like everyone else.
Besides having to learn hula {in public school}  I also learned Japanese.
It's sad, but I really only remember a few words now...
I grew up eating Asian food.
I guess it just became a part of me.
  That was a LONG time ago. But it still is in me.
That is where the soft spot comes from, but beyond that Japan is a part of OUR world.
it lies on OUR ocean.   
As I started putting this bag together I knew I wanted it to symbolize what I was trying to say.
I wanted the leaves of the tree to be fabric that came from Japan.
I finally decided to use a patchwork print from Japan that I truly love.
Each leaf is a piece of it:
 A print from Etsuko Furuya for Kokka.
Echino Story patchwork with birds and butterflies
It just is love-lovely.
The tree has an arrow at the top to symbolize letting our world grow and flourish, HEAL.
I spent a lot of time deciding what fabrics to use.  
I wanted it to be durable, a workhorse, but also feel good too.
The outside is made from a hearty natural cotton drill cloth.
It's just like sturdy canvas but it's soft and just a natural beauty.
Each bag is lined with this pretty 
chartreuse berry-ish print
{it matches the Japanese fabric.}
and has a pocket inside.
She's extra big  measuring about 17" wide and 16" tall  and and has a big base.  
Her handles are 1" wide webbing straps.
Finally, each bag has the words 
stamped in black fabric paint.
So here she is. 
I just love her.
I'd buy her just because. So it's a super bonus that each purchase is going to have $10 go to 
Red Cross for Japan.
It is going to start with Japan. Because Japan needs us right now.  But eventually, after that I'd like it to continue to do something good.  Something having to do with our one world.  
I will keep you posted.
I would love your suggestions.
Spread the word won't you?

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