Handmade Books for Croix des Bouquets

A big thank you to everyone who participated in our handmade book drive and helping us reach our goal of 50 books!  
We had such a good experience collaborating with our blogging friends to make this project work.  

For a compiled view of all posts covering the Haiti book project, click here.

Overview of Project:

At the beginning of June this year, I finally printed, cut out and sewed together the first Handmade-for-Haiti children’s book, titled “Our Hopes, Our Dreams, Our Future in Haiti.”  This accomplishment came only after months of planning, writing and illustrating 10 full color pages that make up the culturally sensitive story for the children the Croix des Bouquets orphanage in Haiti.  Throughout the writing/illustrating process, I worked closely along side Stephanie Victor, the president of The Abundant Ground, a 501(c)(3) Public Charity which is associated directly with the people of Haiti (www.abundantground.org).  Stephanie Victor and other members of the Abundant Ground board provided essential understanding of the Haitian culture and language for the production and distribution of this book.

This book idea, pattern design and distribution is a result of multiple collaborative efforts.  Sarah Hanson from Dolly Donations helped network this project and allowed the use of photos from her website.  The design for the book assembly follows the Toddler Memory book pattern by Katie Lewis at www.Notesfromaveryredkitichen.blogspot.com
The result of combined talents from these fabulous team members is a beautiful handmade, stiff, sturdy and easy to clean children’s book appropriate for ages 2-6.  The illustrations and text are simple and install a sense of education, hope and positive outlook.  

Sonia from Three Unique Rabbits planned one of the sewing groups for the project.

This is a really easy project once you get the hang of it and the books turn out so cute! 

If you would like a fully illustrated book to make for your own kids, you can check out our downloadable fully illustrated PDF for "A Story Without Words" here.

I am so grateful to Stephanie Victor from Abundant Ground and all of her expertise and willingness to work on this project.  
I truly feel like this project has been divinely inspired.  Every time I feel a little distracted or discouraged by it, a friend or fellow blogger comes to my aid and encourages me.

Here is a beautiful piece that Kara Wheeler, a friend we met through blogging, wrote as she contributed to the project:

I'm notoriously un-crafty.  I gave up on domestic creations twenty years ago when I unwittingly cut a huge hole in the middle of my sewing project while attempting to serge a seam.  I don't knit, I can't paint, and even though I now have three kids of my own, I still beg my Mom to hem my pants.

So why in the world would I volunteer to handcraft books, particularly when the project involved... (dum dum dum)sewing?

The answer lies in the sparkling eyes of a girl named Dixie whose bright smile positively jumps out of her ebony face, lighting up the entire room.  The motivation is nestled in the clinging hugs of Panashe, the sweet boy who, having been abandoned one too many times, never wanted to let go.  And of course, the reason can be heard in the high-pitched toddler voice of Jesús as he belts out a Spanish rendition of "I've Got a Friend in Jesus" through pursed lips, convinced that the song is about him.

The Handmade for Haiti books are thoughtfully composed and gorgeously illustrated.  The creators should feel extremely proud of their work.  Yet high quality as this project may be, I didn't step out of my craft-less comfort zone because I love the books.  I dusted off my sewing machine because I love these kids.  As hard as I try to envision the children in Haiti, I still see the faces of these orphans from Zimbabwe and Peru.   They live on unchanged in my memory, despite the fact that some have grown and some are gone.

So Dixie, Panashe, Jesús, and so many others--these books are for you.  Despite the flaws and imperfections, they are crafted with love.  They are also for the future--for your children and your children's children.  No matter where in the world you may be, please know that you are not forgotten.  And yes, there is always hope for the future--in you.

Kara Wheeler

Details of Assembly:

-Full color ink printer plus ink (we had one contributor print out the book pages at Staples.  She used reward coupons to get the prints which turned out to be a great deal!)

-10 pieces of glossy photo paper
-5 sheet protectors (you may want a few extra to allow for mistakes on your first try)
-5 pieces of light weight cardboard- I use the sides of empty cereal boxes.
-A paper cutter and scissors
-Stick glue or glue dots
-Stapler and Staples (approx. 5-10)

-A sewing machine and thread

Step 1:  Set your printer's settings to a high quality color print & glossy paper setting.  Insert 10 pieces of glossy photo paper and print out all 10 illustrations found at the above link.  

Step 2:  Using the paper cutter, cut out each illustration right on the edge.

Step 3:  cut out the cereal box cardboard to make a perfect square, just slightly smaller (about 1/4 inch smaller) than the illustrations.

Step 4:  Organize the pages in order starting with the front cover.  Pages should rest back-to-back, front-to-front (ie the copyright page should be on the "inside" cover, opposite of the first page featuring two girls smiling).  Put a piece of the card board between each back-to-back illustration (Katie Lewis's Toddler Memory Book tutorial shows a picture of this step). 

Step 5:  Put a scant amount of stick glue or a single glue dot on the back of each illustration to keep the pieces of cardboard hidden and in place as you work.  Do not put too much glue on the paper as this will cause the paper to ripple.  

Step 6:  There is a blank line on the last page or back-inside cover of the book.  That is a place for YOU to write YOUR name.  The text says in Creole, "This book was assembled by...[write your name here].

Step 7:  Follow Katie Lewis's Toddler Memory Book tutorial here :

Katie's tutorial is very clear and easy to follow as you assemble the book!

Translation of Book:

Here is the English translation of the book, provided by Stephanie Victor, president of Abundant Ground (www.abundantground.org)

Cover Page Title (First letter of each word capitalized)

Our Hopes
Espere Ke Nou

Our Dreams
Rèv Nou Yo

Our Future in Haiti
Lavni Nou Yo An Ayiti

Copyright Page 1:

Copyright 2011 Bedtime Tales (stays the same)

All rights reserved by Carrie Kimmel at www.MadebyBedtimeTales.com

Tout dwa rezève pa Carrie Kimmel a www.MadebyBedtimeTales.com

This book idea, pattern, design and distribution is a result of multiple
collaborative efforts by the following parties:

Lide pou liv sa a, model, desen, ak distribisyon se yon rezilta efò miltip
kolaborasyon pa pati moun sa yo:
Copyright Page 1 Continued:

This book is authored and illustrated by Carrie Kimmel (of Bedtime
tales) in collaboration with Stephanie Victor from The Abundant
Ground. Stephanie Victor’s cooperative support and her understanding
of the Haitian culture and langue have been vital to the production and

distribution of the book. www. AbundantGround.org.

Liv sa a redije ak ilistre pa Carrie Kimmel (pa Bedtime Tales) an
kolaborasyon ak Stephanie Victor de The Abundant Ground. Gen
Koperatif sipò Stephanie Victor an ak konpreyansyon li nan kilti
ayisyen an ak langue yo te vital pwodiksyon ak distribisyon liv la. www.

The design for the book and assembly follow the Toddler Memory book
pattern by Katie Lewis at www.Notesfromaveryredkitich.blogspot.com

Desen an pou liv la ak tout pèp swiv “The Toddler Memory” pa Katie
Lewis nan www.Notesfromaveryredkitich.blogspot.com

Special thanks to Sarah Hanson for helping to network this project and
allow the use of photos from her website. The dolls and beautiful wall-
hanging featured at the end of this book were specially designed for the
children of Haiti. www.Dollydonations.blogsppot.com

Mèsi espesyal Sara Hanson pou ede nan rezo pwojè sa ak pèmèt
yo sèvi ak foto sou sit entènèt li. Poupe yo ak bèl mi-tap pandye
nan fen liv sa a yo te fèt espesyalman pou timoun yo an Ayiti.

We would also like to thank the countless number of people who have
come together to print, cut, sew and assemble these books on their own
time and effort.

Nou ta renmen tou remèsye kantite moun ki te vini ansanm pou enprime,
koupe, koud epi rasanble liv sa yo sou lè pwòp yo ak efò.

This book is dedicated to the children of Croix des Bouquets, sent with
care, love and hope for the children and their future.

Liv sa a dedye ak timoun yo nan Croix des Bouquets, voye avèk swen,
renmen ak espwa pou timoun yo ak avni yo.

Smiles Brighten My Day Page 2:

It brightens my day when people smile.
Li klere jou m’ / Le moun souri.

Soccer Illustration Page 3

When I’m outside I like to play soccer.
Lè m deyò / Mwen renmen jwe foutbòl.

Market Illustration Page 4

When I’m at the market, I like to talk with my friends.
Lè m nan mache a, / Mwen renmen pale ak zanmi m’.

Classroom Illustration Page 5

I love going to school and I love to learn.
Mwen renmen ale lekòl / Epi mwen renmen aprann

Vocation Illustration Page 6

Because I want to be a doctor, an engineer, a business man or a nurse
Paske mwen vle vin/ Yon Doktè/ Yon Enjenyè/ Yon Nonm Biznis / Oswa
Yon Enfimyè demen…

Rainbow Illustration Page 7

I know nothing is impossible for me. I can do anything. I can become

Mwen konnen pa gen anyen enposib pou m './ Mwen ka fè nenpòt bagay./
Mwen ka vin nenpòt bagay.

My future is bright and Haiti’s future is bright too.
Lavni mwen se byen klere /ak fiti Ayiti a se klere tou.

Nothing is impossible for us.
Pa gen anyen ki enposib pou nou.

Sarah Hanson Wall’s Page 8

This book was assembled by

Liv sa a te asanble pa

Sent with love to the children of Croix des Bouquets.

Voye avèk l'amour pou timoun yo nan Croix des Bouquets.

Wall hanging by Sarah Hanson of Dolly Donations

Miray pandye pa Sarah Hanson de Dolly Donations

Back Cover

Pou timoun yo nan Croix des Bouquets, Ayiti.
(double space)
Nou espere liv sa a enspire nou yo pouswiv edikasyon ou ak rèv.
(double space)
Nou renmen ou. Nou priye pou ou. Nou vle pi bon an pou ou

Carrie, again thank you for giving our kids this opportunity. I can’t express how grateful
they are and how grateful I am for people like you. They are forever changed thanks to
people like you and so am I. Thank you.

Yours Truly,

Stephanie Victor


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