Category Archives: crafts

That was a surprise!

Wow! I wasn’t quite expecting such a phenomenal response to our puppet making workshops. In just two days all 64 places have been taken but, with so many others still getting in touch to book a place we have decided to add on another date with two more sessions So, for those of you in Algiers that want to attend,  on Sunday 26th March there will be sessions at 10-12 and 1-3...places are going fast so get in quick !

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What is also really lovely is that a few organisations have got in touch and asked us if we could hold craft sessions for them, including one that wants us to help them paint a mural on the side of their community room…of course, we said yes! We want to reach all sections of the community so if you know of an organisation/school/group etc who who might be interested in our crafty workshops do get in touch and let me know – I would love to hear from you! (info@algerianaction.co.uk)

Next week it is ‘International book giving day’ so we are busy making up gift bags that include a book, crayons, sweets and a few other treats which we will be giving out to children on the day…I hope it doesn’t rain!

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For us in Algeria the weekend starts tomorrow, I am planning to spend the time making an Emu puppet for our event next month…I hope you too have fun whatever you do!

Emma x

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Excited!

I mentioned a little while ago about our plans to run craft workshops for children in Algiers, now with funding in place I  am so excited to be able to announce the first two dates – 22nd and 29th March which coincides with school holiday time in Algeria.  Little Stars language Centre in Baba Hassen has generously allowed us to use their premises for these sessions  but, we plan to hold them all over and wherever we can to reach as wide a section of the community as possible…if you have any suggestions or would like us to hold one where you are please let me know.

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So, the session will be a fun -filled two hours of cutting, painting and gluing! During the workshop, each child will get to make a variety of puppets including Spoon, Shadow and Mask. Children will be encouraged to make up stories using their puppets and play them out in our specially made puppet theatre.

The workshop will develop creativity and imagination and build confidence through self-expression. Instruction is in English so it will also be an opportunity for those learning the language to develop vocabulary and practice speaking skills. Knowledge of English is not a prerequisite though-ALL children are very welcome.

The workshop will be led by a U.K. qualified teacher who is a native English speaker .

These sessions are  suitable for children aged 5-11 years and are completely free of charge. Places are limited so it is essential to book a space for your child(ren) as soon as possible to avoid disappointment(details on the flyer)

If you would like to download and share the flyer (and it would be great if you did!)please use the links below.

If you are in Algiers I would LOVE for you to book spaces -I promise, your children will have so much crafty fun…and it is always nice to meet our supporters!

Emma x

english-puppet-workshop

french-puppet-workshop-flyer

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You’re the best!

You lot are just wonderful! It has only been two weeks since I wrote about our ‘toy drive’ and our plans to give out as many toys as we can this year but, I have already been inundated with emails telling me about the fabulous toys that so many of you are in the process of making and of groups that are going to do teddy and doll making as their monthly challenges and then send them on to us…it is just absolutely brilliant that you have all leapt on-board wanting to help. Thank you!

So far 96 toys have been sent in, that includes a whopping 45(some pictured below) from the lovelies at ‘Loving Hands’.

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People have also contacted to say that they would love to help but don’t craft so ask can they buy a toy instead? The answer is Yes, of course! So many of our supporters make amazing things and they like to gift those things to the children and families we help but, bought toys are very much welcomed too.

For those that sew or would like to try, Del told me about this wonderful free pattern for a ‘ Mermaid Milly doll’ available for free here  I haven’t had time to try it out yet but, it does look really good and there are accompanying youtube videos too for the more visual learners among you.

A week or so ago, a friend posted in a facebook group that i’m in  asking if there was anyone who could make some little dolls for her. She will shortly be visiting children in a cancer ward at Mustapha Pasha hospital in Algiers and she wanted some small toys to give to the younger children there. She was quite specific about what she wanted- small dolls with no facial features wearing typical muslim dress (a scarf and a long dress) I agreed to do it but couldn’t find any type of pattern on line that was suitable….I wanted simple as she needed them quickly and I also wanted them to be pretty-ish too. So I made up my own. In case you fancy making one I will add the pattern here  They remind me a bit of Russian dolls.

dollys

 

And for now, that’s it from me.

Hoping you all have a very happy weekend!

Emma x

 

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DZ dollies (& other soft toys)

This year Algerian Action reaches it’s 10th Anniversary- how time flies! One of the ways we hope to mark the milestone is by giving as many children as we can a handmade doll or stuffed toy. From the beginning we have been giving children toys ,this isn’t anything new…in fact it was the distinct lack of toys that spurred me on to start the charity in the first place and it is for this reason that it seems so appropriate that a decade on, we continue our efforts and put as many toys as we can into the hands of children that need them.

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The dolls/stuffed toys will be given to children all over- street children, orphans, refugees, those in hospital and those from the many families that struggle to make ends meet.

Now, as I have said so many times before ‘ we can’t do it without YOUR help’ I really am relying on you dear sewers , crafters , knitters and other kind supporters to help us pull this off. Algerian Action has always been about the small actions of many making a big difference…and believe me to the person wearing rags, to the one who is cold, to the one who is hungry, to the mother with nothing for her child your donations of clothing, blankets and food do make a big difference, they make every difference.

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So, about the dolls or stuffed toys… I know what a creative bunch you are and I really want you to use your imagination and creativity- Remember, the doll that you make may be the only toy the child has or will ever have so make it special!

Just a few considerations-

*They shouldn’t be too large, I’m thinking around 15cm-25cm tall. Some children will receive toys as a group so it is better if toys are of a similar size.

*Make sure that any embellishments are securely stitched on so they wont fall off or be a hazard for younger children.

*They can be made using any fabric or yarn and can be in any colour.

That’s it, the rest is up to you!

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We really want to give as many toys as we can so, if you know of a child (or children) living in Algeria that would love  a doll or soft toy to cuddle and play with please let me know by emailing me at info@algerianaction.co.uk 

And for those living in Algiers there are some fun, toy related children’s workshops being lined up for Spring so watch this space for more details coming soon!

As always, thank-you so much for your continued support.

Have a great weekend! Emma x

P.S. If you come across any fab free patterns please share and I will post them up to give others inspiration.

Edited to add– If you are not a crafter but, still want to help bought toys are very much appreciated too!

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Can you help in 2016?

Beautiful knits, squares and pre-loved clothing has continued to arrive and all in time to catch our next shipment, thank you so much! If you still wish to donate items to our ‘Warm for Winter’ appeal it needs to reach us by 15th Jan to be sent off in our next batch.  Now though, I am rather looking forward to thinking about Spring and the warmer weather….I remember making some really easy pillowcase dresses last year and hope to make a few more again.

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Talking of thinking ahead, these fab bracelets were also donated this week. When I saw them my first thought was how perfect they will be for our Eid gift bags. Eid will fall around the beginning of July so there is only six months to get organised and you know how time flies…..

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People often get in touch to ask what is most needed and the short answer is ‘everything’. Clothing to fit all ages is always in big demand however, at the moment there seems to be an extra special need for baby clothing. Our baby pack project is what started Algerian Action off nine years ago and it continues to be needed, at times more than ever before. Our packs contain a blanket, a vest, a baby-gro, a cardigan/jumper, a hat and some mittens. When possible we also like to include a small toy. The aim is simply to ensure that new babies have something clean and warm to wear. Our stocks are running low on everything so all and anything sized newborn, 0-3 months and even 3-6 months is really needed right now. As always items can be new, pre-loved or handmade. They can be in any colour and in the case of knits can be made from any type of yarn.

baby packs

Now for something new, I was going to wait a few weeks but, actually I am too excited about our latest project to not share now! I don’t know if I have ever mentioned it before but, I am an avid gardener, actually I think I am quite addicted to anything plant related so I am totally thrilled that we have been given the opportunity to help turn this barren scrub-land into something lush and amazing!

As you can see from the pic- it is going to involve a lot of hard-work! The aim is to create a beautiful, inclusive outdoor space complete with playground and seating that will provide a clean and safe recreational area for the local community.

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This really is a fantastic opportunity to make a long lasting difference to so many people. We are currently drawing up the plans and working out what will be needed so watch out for updates on how you can help! In the meantime though, I wanted to make a special request for seeds. It would be amazing to have plants growing in the park that have come from all over and it would really represent the wider community spirit of Algerian Action and our belief that small actions can make a big difference- just think- one small seed can make a difference! Will you help us to make a global garden?

The climate is Mediterranean so plants that like dry conditions and/or sunshine might do best but, I am happy to try and grow anything and am always up for a gardening challenge!

If you can help do please include your name and the area you are from with your seed(s) as I want to have a map showing where all the support has come from.

Lastly  before I forget, I wanted to let you know about a A series of colouring pages and activities that we have created for our younger supporters. They are aimed at teaching children facts about Algeria in a fun and creative way. New pages will be added every week and they are free to download from our website.

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As always thank you so much for your continued support. Together, lets make 2016 the best year yet!

Have a great weekend, Emma x

 

 

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Inspirational creations

In among the marvelous donations that have arrived recently were these two poncho’s from Jan- along with some super easy instructions  on how to make them. Using some of the fantastic 5”squares that have been donated I had a go and am so pleased to see how a few squares can so easily and quickly be turned into something warm and wearable.

jane poncho

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Below are squares for our knitted coats, blankets and now ponchos! We are still collecting squares, they can be made from any yarn in any colour and should ideally be around  5”in size.

squares

So many beautiful things have been arriving for those in need, and so much attention to detail -here are pics of just a few of them.

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As always thank you so much for your kindness and support, your efforts really do make a difference to those in need.

Have a fab day!

Emma x

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Shopping in Algiers

I wanted to tell you about a new shop that has opened in Dely Ibrahim, Algiers. It is called Silver Rose and is a jewellery and gift boutique where everything on the shelves has been made by hand.

The shop is owned by me and two other ladies: Aishah and Meriem. Lots of things being sold have been made by the three of us but, we are also committed to providing shelf space to others who would like to sell their handmade creations and increase their income.

 

shop window

As you all already know, I love to craft, sew and make. I have done craft fairs so many times in the UK and it is just fabulous on a personal level to be able to have a shop. Aside from that though, it has given me the opportunity to do fundraising for Algerian Action as I donate 20% of all sales. Aisha also kindly donates 10% too.

So, if you are in Algiers anytime do pop in to see us, have a look around, buy handmade and support AA at the same time-there are some wonderful treats to be had!

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Have a great week!

Emma x

Oh, and if you happen to be in Algiers, make things by hand and would like to sell your wares at Silver Rose we would be very happy to hear from you!

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