Behind The Scenes Of The Good Medicine Project

IN JULY, 2009

I thought it might be good to let those of you participating in The Good Medicine Project know exactly what happens to the bags and charms you send me. I guess more than anything I’m trying to prove to myself that I’m not just sitting around on my rear all the time (although I admit to a fair amount of that).

When I receive your bag and charms, the first thing I do is try to take a “purdy pitcher” of it. I then have to upload that to my computer, crop the picture, re-size the picture, upload it to Flickr, and add a link back to you (if I have the link to your website). For three bags, this can take me thirty minutes or more — it depends how long it takes me to find an uncluttered flat surface in my house! Once it is uploaded, you will find it at the Flickr page. Click the badge above to see what we have right now.

After that’s all done, I check to see if you included a tag to go with every charm and every bag that you sent. If you sent tags, I laminate them.
[Yes, I laminate them! Last year when we gave out the afghans, the small children were so excited bout wrapping themselves in their blankets that they ripped the tags right off the squares. I cringed, but didn’t say anything — after all, it was their blanket at that point. But, this year I want to make it a little harder for them to rip!]

If you didn’t send tags, I go to my clunky pc (which is still running–but just barely) and cuss at it while I make tags for your items. That tag includes a tiny bit of clip art and your name and location. Then, I beat on the printer until it spits those tags out. I trim around them with scissors that make those fancy edges, laminate them, then trim the plastic away. I have to wait until I get enough charms and bags to bother with the laminating. This whole process can take as much as an hour for a handful of charms and bags.
Bagging the charms

The medicine bags get one of your tags tied to them. The charms are put individually into plastic “bagettes” with one of your tags. Bagettes are little3″ x 5″ ziploc plastic bags. I put aside the charms until I have a large enough collection to match a charm from 3 different people with a bag made by a 4th person. When I’ve made the match of charms and bags, those are put into a sandwich bag. It’s not the prettiest packaging, but we need to be able to see the bag that we are giving to each child (to make sure that some macho 9 year old boy doesn’t get a frilly, lacy bag!).

The gift gets put aside until the first week of July when it will be delivered into the eager little hands of a child at Camp Sanguinity. That child may be one fighting cancer…or may be the sibling of a child fighting cancer. Either way, they are going to love these Medicine Bags! And, they will know that four people cared about them.

So did you want to participate?
It’s easy! Here’s my address:

Shelly Tucker
P.O. Box 2241
Denton, TX 76202

Now, remember that arrowhead you have tucked away in a drawer? Or, maybe you have a “lucky coin” or two? Perhaps you have a tiny figurine or charm for a bracelet that a little kid might treasure? Tuck one, two, or three of those into an envelope and mail it to me. I will not be the least bit offended if you make your own tags for each one that I can laminate for you.

Are you crafty? You can make a medicine bag. Knit, crochet, weave, stitch, felt, bead … I don’t care. Make a bag that is no more than 4 inches by 4 inches and designed to hang around the neck. To be perfectly honest, I could use more bags that would interest teenage boys or are “gender neutral.” I know, I know! It’s more fun to make the frou frou stuff. Think “Native American.” That’s going to be the theme at camp, anyway.

Do you have a blog? You can add a button for The Good Medicine Project to your sidebar. Are you on Facebook? A member of a craft group? Spread the word and send people to this post. If you tell three people and they tell three people we just might get so many medicine bags that I have to find a second camp to take them all! I promise I won’t complain about that!

When do I need this?
Originally I had hoped to have everything here by December, but that didn’t happen. I really don’t need it until June. Let’s call it the first week of June.

Comments on my posts are closed after 14 days. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at:

shelly [dot] tucker [at] gmail [dot] com

And, if I don’t respond quickly … now you know what I’m doing!

See all the posts for
The Good Medicine Project
in the archives

  20 comments for “Behind The Scenes Of The Good Medicine Project

  1. January 26, 2009 at 7:19 pm

    Excellent post, Shelly! I cut the first bag out today! Momentum started.

    Marcias last blog post..A little less ashamed

    Thank you, darlin’. Here we go!

  2. January 26, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    I’ll put the word out again. I love your tags. They are is a big improvement on the ones I sent.

    I found that making the bags seemed like a daunting task…so I found some bags that some one else had hand made.

    How many more bags do you need?

    Sheila Atwoods last blog post..Blogging on Typepad

    πŸ˜† Most of them! But, let’s give folks a chance to step up to the plate. Hang on to the thought until we see what the next two months do. I’m betting that I start hearing from people. I’ll keep you posted on the progress. I appreciate you and your hard work AND promotion!

  3. January 27, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Do you have a sidebar button we can use to link to the project?

    Robins last blog post..PakNaks Giveaway – bling your backpacks

    I have a reader who says she is working on one this week. My photo program isn’t very good…
    If you want to make one that fits the look of your blog, feel free to steal a photo. THIS page might be a good one to link. I think it explains the project better. I appreciate you!

  4. January 27, 2009 at 8:14 am

    I have one bag about completed it is in “CAMO” and then I have some hunter green and some blue yarn out for 2 more…I will be making “Male” bags for you….and will be hunting down some “charms”

    Wendys last blog post..A couple of things

    FANTASTIC πŸ˜† That’s exactly what I need. Thank you so much, Wendy!

  5. January 27, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I still need to send you the milagros I have. I was tempted to BUY some little medicine bags I saw recently and send them to you since I’m not “crafty” at all.
    The milagros would be great. Don’t worry about being “crafty,” there are folks out there who are πŸ˜‰ I’d prefer that the bags be hand made by the donor, because it just would mean a little more to the kids. But, if you told anyone about the project (three people—because 3 is a lucky number), that would be cool :cool:.

  6. January 27, 2009 at 11:45 am

    I am so sorry… I didn’t realize that you needed tags to go with everything. I will make the ones for this new batch I am sending… I am so so sorry, I didn’t know.

    carol gs last blog post..Manic Monday ~ SNOW

    No need to apologize! You were not alone. I didn’t get the message across.

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    March 3, 2009 at 4:48 am

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  8. maureen
    March 17, 2009 at 9:15 am

    any pattern? How long should the “handle” be? Maureen

    My bad. I haven’t put together a “pattern.” As for the “handle,” it’s for the kids to wear around their neck (as traditional medicine bags were. Just measure it to be a necklace for you, and it should be fine. I appreciate you!

  9. Kim Barlow
    March 18, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    Read about your project after being linked to it from Love’s Many Cloths. I’ll be looking thru my stuff to see what I might be able to send in the way of charms. Also passed this on to my sister who wears a medicine bag. Idea to share – an easy “charm” to make is a kind of wish stone. Take a ball of clay around an inch thick, roll it in any type of spice – cinnamon, salt and pepper work great and work it into the clay surface – then stamp or write a word into the surface. Bake it or let it air dry according to manufacturer’s instructions. Paint the letters in a contrasting color and you’re done. Kids love to make these! You can buy something similar – if you want to spend mucho bucks! Make some yourself for very little!

    I like that idea! A wish stone…are you talking about that fimo clay? hmm. Thanks for the idea!

  10. Kim Barlow
    March 19, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I will be dropping a number of tokens, charms and such to you in today’s mail!


    I’ll be watching for them πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much!

  11. Kim Barlow
    March 20, 2009 at 11:32 am

    The “wish stones” can be made from any bake-able clay. I personally haven’t tried it with any other type. Try the translucent – when the spices are mixed in, you can see thru the clay to the pieces that get embedded below the surface. Way cool!

    I’m going to try it. The fimo is a brand of clay that is bakeable…I just didn’t know if there are others. I’m going to try it a couple of different ways and see what I think about it. I’m curious to know if you can actually smell the spices!

  12. Dana
    March 31, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Do you accept sewn bags or only crocheted & knitted bags?

  13. Meg T
    April 6, 2009 at 5:54 am

    Dear Shelly!
    A lovely postcard reached from you today.
    Arigato!(Yes、 It’s a meaning of “Thank you” in Japanese. )
    Will it have been serious that you made a lot of postcards (Moreover, card that had put one hand-written message)?
    I was surprised at your polite correspondence. I was very glad.

    A thank you card was the least I could do after your beautiful work! I appreciate you, and so will the children. You have a kind heart.

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