Craft It Forward: Celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week with Michaels

Michaels is participating in Random Acts of Kindness Week, Feb. 11-17, by asking customers to share their own random acts of kindness on the Michaels Facebook page, (use the hashtag #RAOKDIY when sharing on Twitter and Instagram.) In celebration, Sunday, Feb. 17, Michaels hopes to inspire customers to participate by giving away more than $100,000 in gift cards at its nearly 1,100 U.S. and Canada stores. Gift card recipients will be encouraged to “craft it forward” and exhibit their own random act of kindness towards another person. Customers who want to “craft it forward” can find inspiration for Random Acts of Kindness projects to give to others on the Michaels Random Acts of Crafting Pinterest board.RAOK1I was contacted by a Michaels representative to participate in the movement and given a nice stipend to work with for my craft-it-forward project. I’d had someone very special on my mind lately, so the timing was perfect. There’s a lovely woman I met on a plane one day while on my way to teach at a creative conference. I was on the second flight to my destination when she boarded with two other women and they all sat across the aisle from me. Turns out they were headed to the same place. Two of them were even taking my workshop there! Well, when those two nodded off during the flight the third gal and I spent what must have been a good two hours talking. My new friend shared some amazing information about her life and her family. I won’t go into personal details, but I was awestruck at the challenges and gifts God entrusted her with. I spent a good many nights thereafter praying for my new friend. Over the next year or so, I have had the great fortune to spend a bit more time with her at other creative events we’ve both traveled to. She has begun to invest in her creativity at a new level, now that her children are older, and from what I can tell, is really enjoying collage work, with an emphasis on Steampunk style in many of her projects. So when presented with a gift card to create a craft-it-forward project, I knew exactly who the recipient would be. And off to my local Michaels I went!ROAK2As much as I wanted to craft some off-the-chart project, the reality is that I’m super strapped on time right now while I sort out my new studio and meet lots of project deadlines. So I came up with a project that took very little time but has a nice big punch. I had to first start with a container of some sort… and look what my Michaels had on the shelves! Lovely suitcase-style boxes in lots of different sizes and designs. JSIM-Michaels-Random-6I snagged up the one with the clock faces and hot air balloons. A perfect steampunk style piece. I grabbed a few other goodies and back to the studio I went to put my project together. My plan- to create a box of collage components for crafting, including a few new craft-making items and lots of vintage goodies from my own studio stash. I started by embellishing the suitcase with glitter using a Martha Stewart fine tip glue pen. Uhm, love that pen! I added a strip of elastic to the inside lid with hot glue and tacked on faux (scrapbook embellishement) rivits. This was to hold a nice fat collection of various vintage bingo game cards, and vintage photographs, both real and reproduced.JSIM-Michaels-Random-2That was the extent of the crafting on my part, hoping that taking a pre-made item and adding a couple of personal touches was enough. I purchased a Tim Holtz Idea-ology configuration box that not only was perfect for holding lots of small vintage components, but can be used for a collage project. I filled it with goodies such as vintage labels and star stickers, watch part vials, a vintage pocket watch, old postage stamps, Kodak slides, metro tickets, vintage keys and zipper pulls, watch crystals, milk bottle caps, and a few other crafty delectables. I compiled a nice fat stack of vintage ephemera, an antique record cylinder case, a small stretched canvas, a pair of vintage leather gloves, a beefy brass cow tag, an old glass apothecary bottle, upper and lower case rubber stamp sets, a brown ink stamp pad, brown gold, and silver glitter, and a glitter pen.JSIM-Michaels-Random-1All goodies tucked right into the suitcase. I think it will be a wonderful addition to my friend’s collage supply.JSIM-Michaels-Random-3I will be shipping this off to her this weekend. So…what do you think? Will she like it? Are you a collage artist? Dabble in it? Do you like steampunk or vintage style? Well, guess what… I had enough of everything to create TWO awesome suitcases full of fun! One for my friend, and one to share with a JSIM reader!JSIM-Michaels-Random-5To enter to win, please do one or more of the following with Michaels: RAOK3Then, leave a nice comment on this post telling me why YOU would like this suitcase of collage goods in 50 words or less. Entry open to US residents only. Deadline to enter is Sunday, February 17 at noon, Pacific Time. Winner will be chosen, notified, and announced here shortly after.

I have also been supplied with several $5 Michaels gift cards. So if you are a Petaluma, California Michaels shopper, you just might find me handing them out in the check-out line in the next few days!


UPDATE: Thanks for all the nice entries. always helps me out when choosing winners, and it chose #51: Maggie Raguse as the winner of this giveaway. Congratulations Maggie!

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59 Responses to Craft It Forward: Celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Week with Michaels

  1. #1 - wendy baker says:

    i am so enchanted with this idea. so many folks enjoy the pleasure of paying for the coffee in the car behind them at the drive through… but this speaks more to who i am interested in. other crafters who are hobbled by their lack of good materials to play with. some folks just lack confidence and fun stuff to create super and meaningful artistic things from their hands and hearts.
    personally, i do not need a single other thing to play with. i am significantly happy with my own stashes of goodies. i think though that i could gift this to some teenager in the children’s hospital near my home. it is hard enough in this world to endure high school, but to have a chronic illness during adolescence has got to be a particularly horrible thing. i bet having some way to take your mind off of that would really be a swell idea.
    thanks for the great idea cathe. i may have to weed out a few of my own bins to fill up a suitcase regardless of how your giveaway ends up. xow.

  2. #2 - Betsy Rowan says:

    This gorgeous gathering of goodies makes my heart flutter! I adore vintage ephemera and steampunk. My creativity has been idle lately but this case has me thinking of several projects. Whoever wins will be one lucky crafter!

  3. #3 - Dorothy says:

    You are such an awesome, thoughtful friend.

  4. #4 - Coley says:

    I’m the Mom of a son with multiple special needs and life can be pretty tough at times. Crafting is my therapy. It centers me and refreshes my soul. Recently, I have begun creating mixed media art collages and art journaling. It’s a new concept to me and I don’t have many supplies yet and would LOVE to win that suitcase full of goodies! 🙂

  5. #5 - Kari Wolf says:

    Boy, the ideas are bubbling over in my mind. Well I make steam ink jewelry also!! All the little do dads would be amazing, to make one of a kind pieces! But I also enjoy soldering, so as the paper would be lovely to work into my designs between glass, or under flattened marbles. Or I could hammer up a metal cuff bracelet using those nice gloves to protect my hands. That awesome old pocket watch would make for a mixed media master piece, one of a kind necklace design.Thanks, Kari

  6. #6 - Cindy says:

    I commend you for giving of your talents to others! I teach children with dyslexia, and often craft them beautiful game boards or teaching materials that will help them understand key reading and spelling concepts. I would enjoy using your craft items to make special teaching materials for my students.

  7. #7 - Celine says:

    Steampunk is awesome. What a great gift for your friend–I wish her much success! I’ve been making collages since my teens. I collage book covers, cards and ATCs.

  8. #8 - Leann says:

    Hi Cathe

    Just signed up to follow on Pinterest. The gifts that you are giving truly come from your heart. You put so much time and thought into them. Your friend will certainly enjoy it as would I! I’m a cross between vintage and steam punk style. Thanks for opportunity!


  9. #9 - Diana Johannesen says:

    I love this…if I don’t win I have to replace it I love this.
    I am trying to think of a girls get together. I could use vintage suitcases and buy from MICHAEL S all the other stuff….just so cute and I think comforting. Little treasures in a box. Thanks for sharing Happy Valentine’s day….

  10. #10 - Richard says:

    Wow, that could not be more beautiful or HANDY! I am a card maker, and ALL of those things would be WONDERFUL additions to my supply stash. I can’t evern fathom how much inspiration I would find in that fantastic little case!

  11. #11 - Heidi Anderson-Ferdinand says:

    A random, serendipitous meeting of minds and you have a new friend! I love the way people cross our paths and enrich our lives, and the way you took this lovely woman’s stories to heart and prayed for her. It’s good to remember that we have each others backs.

  12. #12 - Frances Leal says:

    ARandom Acts of Kindness! Is my heart. Although I am not in the position to bless people in a restaurant or better yet a Michael’s it is my heart to bless. One day I faith I will be a Cathe and be able to hand out gift cards to random people I smile at the thought of that. This gift you have put together is just my style I love steampunk I would be blessed to receive such an amazing gift as I live in a small community with the closest Michael’s or any craft store for that matter is 100 miles away thankfully I can get very creative with thrift store and yard sale finds! Thank you for the opportunity to win a fabulous giveaway! Happy Valentine’s Day!

  13. #13 - Lynne Weinberger says:

    I loved seeing your laden suitcase and love even more that it’s a pay-it-forward gift! Just finished mailing my craft-it-forward gifts to friends near & far. Would LOVE to create with your Steampunk set…to feed my love of Europe, architecture, machinery and rusty stuff!

  14. #14 - Lillian Child says:

    Oh my good gravy, but I would LOVE to be your lucky winner. This box of vintage is AMAZING and I would play it forward and give it to my sister, who just celebrated her first year as a breast cancer survivor. She is my hero and companion in all things crafty!

  15. #15 - Anne says:

    You have shared a wonderful story and an inspiring way to represent Random Acts of Kindness! Thank you!

  16. #16 - Stephanie M says:

    How creative and generous you are. What a thoughtful pay it forward act you have created. Many thx for all of your ideas of making and giving!
    Happy Valentines day to you!

  17. #17 - Joni Owens says:

    All I can say is OH WOW! I love the suitcase, that would be a beautiful addition to my decor and all of the wonderful supplies inside would be so much fun to create with and try new techniques.

  18. #18 - Kath says:

    I could make lots of cards for friends and family with that suitcase full of goodies!

  19. #19 - Sharon Wall says:

    I would love to host a girls night out and share the wares and get creative.

  20. #20 - Kim says:

    I love everything about Cathe’s inspired suitcase. There is so much to go PLAY with. I would have to quit my day job. For a day. And play! Thank you for the inspiration! 🙂 Kim @ecrafty

  21. #21 - Carol Rehme says:

    I was instantly attracted to this handsome suitcase. Lest you think I’m shallow, I also adore what’s inside. I’d love to meet him, face-to-face, and see the sparks fly. Oh, the connection we’d have. I’ve found it at last … love on Valentine’s Day.

  22. #22 - Colleayn Klaibourne says:

    I would give this to my Mom. She is starting to create art journals, but is shy about her level of talent (I think she does great creative work), but she won’t buy anything fun for herself. This would be great to help her play and make really fun things!

  23. #23 - Peg says:

    I am always checking out the Tim Holtz products at Michael’s and love all the goodies in your giveaway box. I’d use them to make greeting cards and craft projects with my grandkids. Thanks, Cathe.

  24. #24 - Dawn says:

    Are you kidding me? Who wouldn’t love to get this , it would be like finding a treasure box in the back of my grammas closet. It all looks so amazing!

  25. #25 - Julia D. says:

    You are certainly the generosity girl! What a huge amount of sweet delightful goodness. Love the suit case boxes. I would love to Craft It Forward and make something for my wonderful sister who’s suffering with hard times right now. It would be a wonderful blessing for her at this time.

  26. #26 - Nita Singleton says:

    I absolutely love this idea. The other day I found a suitcase filled with poker chips and cards. I decided to put it to good use after seeing this idea. I would really love to win your project!

  27. #27 - Amy says:

    For the first time ever, I FINALLY have a workroom all to myself. And I don’t use it. Why? Because all of the ephemera and art supplies have exploded all over the room. It’s so hard to get it all organized!!! I love this sweet little case with a place for everything. It would be perfect for taking with me to my craft club meeting with friends.

    PS I am in the Petaluma Michael’s all the time. How come I never seem to run into you there?!!!

  28. #28 - Stephanie O. says:

    Love the supply suitcase you made…I’ve seen it done with vintage suitcases, but how much less intimidating/easier to make one if you can grab the suitcase at Michaels…

    Plus their promotion to hand out gift cards to be given away by the recipient is a pretty cool idea. As far as whether I prefer steampunk or vintage—I adore all things that look like they have lived in a barn loft for 100 years, so I must say that I am a vintage girl…

  29. #29 - Melissa Dunajski says:

    I love craft supplies, ideas and organizing – containers to keep craft supplies in make my heart happy. I love the fact that it’s so portable since it’s a suitcase.
    I have some old scrabble tiles and pocket watch parts that would be fun to play with along with the lovely collage goodies you have here.
    thanks for your generosity!

  30. #30 - Michele Sherwin says:

    Just the sight of the cute suitcases had me drooling, even before I saw the fabulous contents you put inside! My fingers almost started twitching when I saw all the vintage goodness you included! And you organized it and displayed it so attractively!

  31. #31 - Karyn Miracle says:

    I love your gift and the thoughtful story behind it! Truth is that I have never tried collaging but would love to try! Not sure I know where to start but I bet I could get going with your amazing box of goodies! Thank you for sharing!

  32. #32 - Vanessa says:

    I would love this suitcase of collage goods! Not only is the style right up my alley, but I moved for the winter to the east coast and many of my supplies were left in storage on the west coast. I need some crafty goodness. Thanks!

  33. #33 - Cynthia R says:

    Would love to win this and share it with my dear friend who lives steam punk ephemera. Your talents never cease to amaze and I pray God will continue to bless you as you share your gift with others.

  34. #34 - Candy Freeman says:

    I love your blog. I would hopefully gain the giveaway because I am a dedicated artist. I am currently on disability and have very little in the way of affording my craft supplies. Right now the goal is to make a few good pieces and maybe sell on Etsy. Thanks for the opportunity!

  35. #35 - Laura Ingalls Gunn says:

    What a lovely, sweet gesture. Thank you for the opportunity.

  36. #36 - Barbara Axmacher says:

    Wow! What a great gift you are sending your friend. I love this craft it forward idea and am looking at what to do myself. I certainly have plenty in my stash and am thinking of how to share the love of crafting with others. There are so many possibilities! Thanks for sharing another one.

  37. #37 - Linda Smith says:

    I love your idea and story. i could see my daughter and I sharing this on one of our crafting days.

  38. #38 - Nancy D says:

    This is such a awesome suitcase! I love the idea of Random Acts of Kindness. I’m a true believer in karma. Most of the crafts I make go to others. It’s very rare I keep something for myself. The joy for me is in the making and creating and the giving. This case would bring inspiration to me. To know that it too was handmade makes it even more special. Especially coming from such a talented lady! I am also following Michaels on Pinterest!

  39. #39 - Ginny D says:

    Vintage all the way! If I won this though I would give it to my momma! She loves stuff like this, especially the suit case! I am sure she would invite me to do a wonderful craft though! This is very kind of you!

  40. #40 - Tina says:

    Oooooo……so pretty. You have such a knack for putting lovely things together. How nice you were able to strike up a friendship with the gal on the airplane. There is nothing better then friendships! I have been creating mixed media collages for a while and would so love to use the wonderful items you have put together. Thanks for the chance. I sure hope, I’m lucky this time.

  41. #41 - Kathy Garrison says:

    I am a teacher of creative writing and I often have journal writing /smash journal keeping as part of the class this collection would be a wonderful addition to my collection of goodies to share with my students.

    Kathy G.

  42. #42 - Terri Gordon says:

    Oh how wonderful! This is so beautiful! I love vintage suitcases and filled with all these beautiful craft supplies, what a thrill it would be to win! Thank you for the opportunity. Have a wonderful weekend. Hugs, Terri+-

  43. #43 - Margaret says:

    I love to create one of a kind gifts for friends rather than buy something. I am just finishing a quilt now. It will be autographed by his friends & family for his 5 year Anniversary of being clean & sober!

  44. #44 - Lori says:

    What a sweet gesture on your part. Isn’t it fun to share? I did not realize it was RAK Week this week when I was able to bless a total stranger with some fabric I had in my stash that she was anxious to find. It was just plain fun, as always, to bless someone else that way. I just wanted to say that, not so much in hopes of winning, but just to share that with someone who might read this and not be sure about sharing something they have. DO. IT. The blessings that you’ll receive will be amazing.
    Thanks for letting me be the cheer squad.

  45. #45 - Sandy says:

    I’d love to win this! I am hoping to do a scrapbook about my mom who recently died. The items in the this case would decorate the scrapbook pages beautifully! Thanks for all the great ideas on your blog!

  46. #46 - Jenny F says:

    What a creative idea! All these supplies would help me start out and provide inspiration. Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  47. #47 - Toni says:

    My 17 year old daughter loves Steampunk. She is a super hardworking student who could use a creative outlet. We would love to see you at the Santa Rosa Michaels!

  48. #48 - Stacy High says:

    I made something similar for both of my sisters for their birthdays last year. They loved it! I’m getting inspired just looking at all the fun goodies in that suitcase!

  49. #49 - ann says:

    To die for supplies for a large blended family! Beautifully displayed for easy storage. Excellent for the girls & boys and their busy mom.

  50. #50 - Valerie says:

    Paper arts, art journaling, and crafting in general is such cheap therapy for me. I love using my gifts to bless others, and the supplies in this giveaway would be the perfect addition to my collection!

  51. #51 - maggie raguse says:

    Your chance meeting on the airplane is a wonderful story, and your random act of Steampunk-y kindness for your new friend is inspiring, Cathe! The suitcase full of cool supplies would be put to good use, making gifts for friends and family. Karma is a good thing:-)

  52. #52 - Cassie says:

    Cathe, I always enjoy your posts. you are so clever with your creativity and amazing vision for things I’ve seen 100 times and never quite seen in a certain way. I *love* what you’ve done with that suitcase! I have several of those myself in the “romantic travel” theme and I plan to add elastic to them A.S.A.P.!! The reason I am posting, though, is to tell you how much your comment about your friend struck a nerve with me. I have been facing a lot of challenges lately, and while I have thanked God every day for His guidance and love and strength to surmount the challenges, I have not considered that He was blessing me by ‘gifting’ me. Girl, you caused me to get religion at 6 o’clock in the morning! 🙂 Seriously, I am weeping right now as I am humbled by the greatness and wisdom of our God. The growth I am experiencing because of these challenges is creating a new, much stronger me, and I have not thanked God for trusting me with so much. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. God bless you today, Cathe.

  53. #53 - LeeW says:

    Not only would this suitcase make my little craft corner rock, I would be able to share it with my friend when we get together to craft– it would be therapy for her as her husband battles cancer. Thank you, Cathe, for the chance!

  54. #54 - Lisa says:

    What a wonderful idea. I love making things for others and with limited resources I often need to be quite resourceful. This makes it easy to pass on a blessing to another.

  55. #55 - cat says:

    the last four years have very rough..a string of medical bills has caused every holiday, birthday, and gift occasion to just be rolled forward to better times when funds are there. the focus to stay positive is heavy..i realized recently that my gratitude for all the great people in my life had become dormant in the presence of such stress. in an effort to get back on track, i now go to my car for my lunch hour ..sit in the backseat where i have more room and make cards and send them out to others struggling more than i and to thank those who have encouraged me.Pay it Forward is my favorite movie and i am determined to get back to that place even if only with a card and kind, thankful words…never forgetting many others have it much worse and remembering the joy of words of encouragement i have received..thank you for being a great example..

  56. #56 - Kelly Baxter says:

    If I were chosen to win this suitcase, I would pass on the random act of crafty kindness to my friend Jules who lives in Australia. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the people who have the least to give, give the most? Jules is this person. She is brilliant, and doesn’t realize it, at 57 she is having to reinvent her life again. She is perhaps the strongest and kindest woman I’ve ever known. She is a gift to my life, although I’ve never seen her in person, she adopted me after being assigned to me as a crafty swap partner a few years ago~ She has struggled through life with two Autistic sons, and most recently a late in life divorce when her husband bailed bc. he decided he just couldn’t and didn’t want to deal with Autism anymore. She lived on a beautiful little hobby farm much like you Cathe, her saving grace, a life she built in spite of raising 4 boys, two of which has Autism, and caring for an elderly mother…. recently she lost it all, she lives in a small flat now with her Autistic son, in a city that is not that kind, instead of curling into a ball and giving up she has started to take college courses again, she deals with the everyday trials of all of this devastation, yet never complains, never has said, ‘I give up’, and still in the midst of all she remembers to send warm cards, and thoughtful gestures, even if she goes without. She’s my hero, my inspiration of strength, a person who lives by a strong moral code no matter how may times she takes it on the chin… she’s just an amazing woman and also an amazing artist…. I believe the best kindness is the one that’s passed on~ so if I were so lucky to win this amazing little suitcase I would send it across the pond to an amazing woman. This is her website: Thanks as always for your intention and generosity Cathe! XXOO

  57. #57 - Kristin Covarrubias says:

    Love love love what you have put together Cathe! If I were to win this I would craft it forward to my friend and co-worker, Lyneen who is crazy about Steampunk and is a fantastic Steampunk artist! xoxo

  58. Pingback: Craft it Forward: Living Journal | gardeningnirvana

  59. #58 - Petals Daye says:

    I got an invite to participate and have been having a ball. So far, I sent 3 Craft It Forward projects thru the mail and actually got to hand deliver the last one on a holiday to her home town. Having a blast.

    I think your Collage Suitcase of treasures was so flippin’ fabulous. Lucky ladies who received those. I bet they screamed with joy, I know I would have.