Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fantastic Fabric Pins

Fabric Pins made at Cambodian Hope Organization - "New Bloom"
(Click on photo to enlarge)

My team member, Paula, had handed me a large ziplock bag of fabric squares and pin backings, just before she left Poipet. She suggested I show the workers at "New Bloom" the supplies and sample, and assured me they would take off with massive pin making. Since I couldn't quite figure out how the fabric twisted as it was stitched together, I rested easy after hearing her reassuring words.

After the initial rush of card making, the "New Bloom" staff certainly did tackle the pin making project with skill and ease. At one point, I sat with them on the floor as they sewed the colorful pins. (Sitting on the floor is the normal work environment.) Wanting to fully participate, I asked for help with threading the needle that seemed to have an unusually small head. Then I took off, sewing on pin backings with alacrity. New Bloomers seemed to be able to stitch up twice as many as I, in the same amount of time. 
They also pulled out a bag of brightly colored buttons they thought might make the pins even nicer. All "communication" about the project, with each other, was without translation, so it was fun and exciting to see the project come together without words. Art can do that - communication without translation.

The "New Bloom" staff is a multi-talented, hard-working group in the heart of Poipet, Cambodia. I have tremendous love and respect for them. The skills they have acquired with the card making, key chain making, jewelry making and pin making, will help them in producing a variety of items for sale at the cafe in the Hope Transformation Center. I hope some of you get to meet them someday.


  1. Great story Marcia-you have soooo many new friends! Loved that phrase-"communication without translation".

  2. Thanks so much, Marge! Thanks for your encouragement in this journey of art and story.