Author Archives: rainingsugar

About rainingsugar

a woman whose wondering spills out in words and takes shape in conversation, whose dreams are remembered, and big, and whose creativity frolicks freely across many fields

Usable Goods, Back in Service


I get it, sometimes the lure is simply too difficult to resist — all those paints, the fancy papers, the fabric, the jewelry-making, card-making, and quilt-making supplies, the sumptuous yarns, the wax, the canvas, the sequins — all those tools and processes we use to express ourselves through art and craft.

0506141805  0506141759    0506141749

We dabble a bit or we dive in to explore every aspect of a medium, and when our interests have been served, there’s still, well, there’s still all that stuff!

0506141754  0506141758  0506141801

If you’re up to your ankles in remnants of all those crafty interests and artful endeavors, let The Bee help you clear the decks and get those goods into the hands of the next lucky arts & crafts explorer.

0506141807  0506141809  0506141747

On the other end, and want to try something new? Come explore the possibilities at one of our creative reuse pop up shops – the third Saturday of each month from 9Am to 3PM at CoWork155 – where you’ll find lots of stuff (including everything you see in these photos) to feed your creative hunger at a fraction of buying it new.

Terrific for starving artists, home schooling families, teachers, and others. See you soon!!

Sew Day


Four inches. Eight inches. Twelve inches.  Typically, a post here that begins like this would be about measuring fabric, right? But today, here in south central Pennsylvania,  I’m referring to Snow. Snow. Snow!

Which is to be expected in mid February in Pennsylvania, of course. And to a homegrown PA girl like me, this winter finally feels like winter again. This is how I remember the winters of my childhood.  So even though I have to give up vacation days and keep my nose closer to the grindstone at the day job to make up for time off, I have LOVED these snow days!

Last week, the man of the house was away at a conference and I spent a couple days indoors  – other than shoveling – left to my own devises, resulting in a freshly-cleaned and organized sewing room. (Hallelujah! It was WAY past time.)   Then today, feeling industrious, I got in there and got busy.

cutting and piecing coming together pins

This feels like winter to me, too. plaid patch detail

Call for Bees!


Wow! Things are buzzing right along for The Bee. We have some exciting new projects in the works and are looking to share the love. The time has come to put out an official call to gather bees to the hive!

bee w megaphonePlease contact us if you are:

- an experienced seamstress and/or professional apparel sewist,

- a sewist and/or creative reuse crafter looking to increase your earning potential,

- willing to volunteer to teach basic sewing, yarn work (knitting, crochet), embroidery, creative reuse crafting, etc., and/or

- willing to volunteer to sort and organize inventory for our creative reuse center operation.

FOR THE EXPERIENCED SEWIST:  We have immediate work-at-home opportunities ( on-site opportunities expected to be available in a few months) available for experienced sewists on a project-by-project basis. Use your sewing machine or we may be able to provide one. All materials are provided. Method and rate of pay are dependent on the project with the understanding that it is part of our vision to provide fair pay opportunities in supportive work environments.

FOR THE PERSON ALREADY PRODUCING ITEMS:   If you are making items by repurposing or upcycling materials, particularly those produced through the traditional home arts (sewing, knitting, etc.) or creative reuse crafting, we invite you to join our collective.  Upon completion of an application and review and approval of your items, you can sell through The Bee’s Etsy shop, as well as join us at local fairs (like Go Green in the City coming up in April), our pop-up boutiques, and our (soon to be announced) retail location. Being part of the collective also entitles you to first access to items donated to our creative reuse center, as well as other benefits.

FOR THE PERSON WILLING TO TAKE ON ONE OF OUR PROJECTS:  We have a number of existing and new product lines waiting for you to jump right in. The variety of items allows for varying degrees of skill; most are well within the realm of someone with intermediate experience. Some projects are straight up sewing; some will make use of your creative input. All items are created using repurposed or upcycled materials.

Please email us at or call 717-873-1411 for more information.

VOLUNTEERS: There are many opportunities to pitch in and be part of all that’s going on with The Bee. Anyone with an interest in creative reuse and/or enlivening the traditional home arts is invited to contact us.

GETTING TOGETHER: The Bee’s tagline is “gathering with purpose.” That means we collect stuff (like all the cool things that are donated to our creative reuse center) and we provide opportunities for people to get together, too.  Join us at a once-a-month informal session where we simply meet to chat and work on collective or individual projects, or attend a fun creative reuse class.

People are happy to give.


And give they did.

A big thank you to everyone who donated items for our Creative Reuse Pop Up Shop on December 6 at CoWork 155. We appreciate that you are willing to part with some of the contents of your craft rooms, closets, basements, and such, offering it up so others may share in the crafty goodness.

It makes us happy, too, to offer you the option to clean out while also keeping usable items out of the waste stream.   Stay tuned; we’re initiating some opportunities to get together in the very near future to talk about furthering these ideas and we want you to be part of the conversation!

Together in Spirit


First Fridays in downtown York City are always a lot of fun, but one of the best is the one in December.

Tree lighting on the Square, ringing bells and holiday songs, friendly greetings by familiars and strangers  as the holiday spirit begins to stir in our hearts. The downtown shops, restaurants, and galleries are all lit up and beautifully decorated, abundant with treasures and tasty treats and greetings of welcome that warm us whether the weather outside is frightful or not.

rainy nightLike when the rain is pouring down. And it’s cold. And we seriously all want to be curled up at home in our jammies with a cup of hot cocoa. Yet that’s when things seem to get cheerier.

Dodging raindrops or trying to keep the chill wind from whipping in every time the door opens seems to encourage a sense of kinship among us. It becomes part of the festive mood. And so it was Friday evening.  Sturdy Yorkers and others donned their Wellies, popped open their bumbershoots, and buttoned up their overcoats against the weather, and sallying forth into the night visiting one spot after another.

Speaking with Melissa Grove of Sweet Melissa’s Dream yesterday afternoon, we recognized we were in firm agreement that even when we’re each engaged in our individual enterprises (and as a result unable to patronize one another in person during the festivities), we’re building a wonderful host of options for downtown neighbors and visitors and we are united at heart; together in spirit.

Even if the number of footfalls on our own doorstep are a little sparse some nights while we see another shop is bustling, we don’t begrudge one another the patronage. Maybe it causes us to look more closely at what we do and step up our game.  Healthy competition is okay if it serves to keep us on our toes and presenting our best possible selves. We understand that a city bursting with diverse shopping and eating/drinking and entertainment options is good business for all of us.

We are one another’s customers. We are one another’s friends. We are in community. Together.

Colorful Craftiness


A colourful sampling of items that will be available for purchase at our creative reuse pop-up shop this coming Friday – First Friday in December – at CoWork155.

clay pot kits  colours  pastels and paint

play doh  ribbon ric rac and fabric  specialty papers

Have children in your life? Bring them with you!  

With as little as $5, they can buy all sorts of supplies for making gifts for holiday giving.

Creating, Naturally



Do a search on Pinterest with the words pine cones DIY. Go ahead; I dare you. I got lost in there for a half an hour.   Here are some of my favorites:

pinecone with pompoms


 pinecone mice pinecone garland on cake

pinecone ornaments pinecone bouquet pincone placeholders

If you don’t have time to head to the woods and gather your own pine cones for holiday decorating fun, not to worry. We’ll have some on hand (for purchase, cheap) at the Creative Reuse Pop Up Shop.  




Buzzed in to our storage area at CoWork 155 this morning to spend a few hours sorting and organizing all the goods that have been making their way in for our first Creative Reuse Center Pop Up Shop!  Can’t believe it’s coming up one week from today!

wooly bits

The shelves and tables (and under the tables) are filling up with lots of crafting supplies and other items perfect for your DIY creative reuse projects.

We’ll be posting photos of some of the many items all this week, sharing ideas for ways to reuse them.  Feel free to add YOUR comments and suggestions on our Facebook page, too.


The difference


Lately I’ve been waking about two hours earlier than I typically do. Willingly. On purpose.

To sew.

Saying I’m working on meeting  a deadline for a wholesale order betrays the joy I find in rising in the darkness, making my way quietly to the sewing room, turning on the lights in least-bright order until the room glows warmly, ready.

First (half) cup of coffee will come later. The radio station that accompanies me on weekend mornings (“the quiet sounds of Sleepy Hollow” with John Diliberto on WXPN) waits silently; I want only the musical whir from the trio of instruments I use in concert for the production at hand.

And as the break of day eases up from the city below, peeking over the edge of the hill to slowly cast light on the park across the street, I take a minute to appreciate it. To appreciate that this is my view as day begins:

view from the sewing room

Appreciate that my work is so enjoyable to me it feels like play (an objective I set for myself). Specifically, in this month of gratitude (although always, really), for this I am thankful.

Being thankful, aware of one’s blessings, is important, I think. But it’s also not enough.

I sit in my  comfortable home, mindful of  those – the women, men, and children – who awake in the darkness to work in less than desirable conditions. Those who do not have the benefit of a view that inspires them or the luxury of expecting playfulness in their work are the ones making so much of what we use. 

Supporting fair trade enterprises, identifying and eschewing companies who exploit workers, encouraging others to recognize and appreciate the value of practical and creative reuse is, admittedly, a minor effort but perhaps it’s a start.


Creative Reuse Pop-Up Shop


Hooray! Our vision of opening a creative reuse center is materializing (no pun intended).

eventbuttonWhile it’s not a permanent space (yet), we’re excited to announce The Bee will be popping up at CoWork 155 - 155 W. Market Street, York – for First Friday on December 6.

Adding to our own stash of miscellaneous widgets and whatzits, fabric, doodads, and more, will be the donated goods of others in our community who are excited to clear out their storage bins and offer the goodies for us to sell to YOU!

There’s already a buzz about town as you all are getting excited for an enterprise like this to be coming into existence in York. We couldn’t be happier to be bringing it to you and look forward to seeing everyone on Friday, December 6.

We’ll have examples of creatively repurposed goods as well as a boutique of Bee-made items for sale, and a make-and-take table for trying your hand at a little creative reuse.

The shop will be open from 5 to 8PM.

——-   If you have goods you’d like to keep cycling through the realm of usefulness, please email us at to make arrangements.  Do recognize that for now our space is limited and while we enjoy collecting odd things and want to do our part, we can’t accept everything. ——-