Yongzhu moving on to better things...

Blue Sheep accountant and store manager, Yongzhu, is leaving Blue Sheep after working for 2 years at the shop, and volunteering here for much longer than that!

She is moving to neighbouring province, Yunnan, to expand her skill set.  

She says hat she will continue to help us informally, and may be able to help us to find new disadvantaged artisans to support in Yunnan!

We all wish her all the best for the future, and hope she will be blessed as she has been a blessing to us! 

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Blue Sheep at X-Games China!

Blue Sheep employee Dave and a friend Shaun both sporting Blue Sheep t-shirts at the X-Games finals in Shenyang!

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Happy Birthday Ray!  (May 18th)

(Belated post, birthday was on May 18th!) 

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Happy 'Niu' Year!

Blue Sheep will be closed from the 11th to the 14th of February to celebrate Spring Festival. We will be open from 10:00 - 18:00 on the 15th, 16th and 17th, resuming normal opening hours (10:00 - 21:00) from the 18th.Blessings from all of us at Blue Sheep to all of our friends, near and far: wishing you all a very happy 'niu' (牛) year! 

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Live Streaming Event at Blue Sheep!

Thanks to everyone who helped with our live streaming sales activity yesterday! 

This marks the opening of our online Taobao and Kaola presence, and helped us to reach at least 67,000 people.  Ray was able to join from the UK via video call, and we were able to introduce our shop, and some of our producers and products to a wide audience.  

Check our 'Order' page to see our new online ordering options!

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Happy Mid Autumn Festival, Ray!

Ever warm-hearted, friend fo Blue Sheep Teacher Li organised an event at Blue Sheep to help celebrate Mid Autumn festival and National day Holiday with Ray (who is still in the UK!).  

We tried lots of interesting food and drink, including alcohol made from 'worm grass', goose meat and mooncakes!  

During the party we were able to use Wechat to video-call with Ray herself and wish her all the best, and that she will come back to Chengdu soon! 

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Donations arrive at Liangshan!

Recently, Blue Sheep heard that a school in Liangshan was in need of some supplies - namely personal care products such as soap and toothpaste, and some toys and materials for education.  We sent the news out to our friends on social media, and all of the things needed had arrived from kind-hearted donors one day later!  Stuff continued to roll in for about a week after, and in the end three cars were needed to take all the things and a team of volunteers to the school!

The photo shows donations being unloaded in Liangshan.

Liangshan is an area currently still developing, and many of the roads were thick with mud, which made the travel there trecherous!  However, Blue Sheep staff member Sherap did eventually arrive at the destination with the other volunteers, and the kind donations.  The children in the school were overjoyed!  

Thanks to everyone who donated, and for the team of volunteers who told us about the needs there, and for enabling the event!  We look forward to hearing Sherap's stories when she arrives back in Chengdu!

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Blackboard Inspiring Quotes

Outside of our shop, often referred to as an 'Aladdin's cave' of handcrafts, there is an inviting message, chalked on a free-standing board.

Sometimes we advertise freshly baked goods, sometimes new craft arrivals, but frequently we post inspiring quotes to uplift those on their way to (or from!) work.

Above is one such example.  Do you have any ideas for more inspiring quotes you'd like to see on our blackboard?  Maybe you could suggest a (tasteful!) joke?  Suggestions to viddy_well@hotmail.com - this 'competition' is just for fun, but we'll try to notify you if your suggestion/s get used!

The staff of Blue Sheep painted this blackboard themselves!  We received some 'chalkboard' paint to replenish an old blackboard in a state of disrepair.  Repair!  Re-use!  Recycle!  


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Joy's Story!

Here is a story of Ray's friends - an example of amazing perseverance in the face of adversity and cheerfulness against the odds.

Joy was buried underneath the rubble of her house for 4 days during the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. After she was rescued, she was sent to Chengdu for treatment. Unfortunately, she lost one arm and both legs. This did not defeat her, and she was determined to help others who also suffer from disability. Now unable to sew, she has become an inspiration to others and, well supported by her husband, is the President of 10 NGOs that do great work in partnership with the Dujiangyen Federation for the Disabled. They provide a range of activities and make various handcrafts including Qiang embroidery, and can give training in leather craft. They also provide daily care for mentally challenged children. Blue Sheep is happy to work with them and support those who are overcoming such adversities to improve their lives and their own economy. 

Joy, her English name, is very apt for her. Her face glows with a ready smile, despite her struggle with daily living activities. 

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Recycled Skateboard Pens by Eugene Yu

The Yu Family continue to demonstrate their creativity and industriousness! 

Eugene, the eldest of the three Yu children, suffers from Beta Talassemia and, along with his mother, began making leather crafts to support himself and his family.  His condition means that he needs regular, expensive blood transfusions in order to survive.

This latest craft is a pen made from old skateboard plywood; maple ply dyed in a variety of colours.  He glues many pieces of the wood together, along with hardwood 'plug' at each end of each oiece, before turning on a lathe. The result is beautiful!

Eugene has already turned many pieces from the wood given to him just a few days ago!  The broken skateboards from which the pens were made came from local Chengdu skate shop called Flow, who helped us to find the pieces with the most vibrant colours!

Thanks to both Flow and the Yu family for their help!

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