Color Me Cured

You know I am always down for a good charitable cause… but this one is just so special. Founded by Phoebe Steinfeld, a current high school sophomore in New Jersey, Color Me Cured is a non-profit organization with the sole purpose of raising money for cancer research. The money raised benefit Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center and aid in the fight against cancer. Color Me Cured features a line of nail polish and t-shirts. All of their products are of the highest quality, and the folks at Color Me Cured wish to spread the message of inspiration, hope and support, one bottle at a time.

Just had to share you guys… I totally dig this story.
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Color Me Cured

Appreciate Everything

I, like so many other people in the world, have turned my attention on Japan and the craziness that an earthquake then tsunami then nuclear worries have caused. It is amazing how you can expect today and then the next to be just like the ones before and then something like this happens and shatters that expectation all together. We are not promised a perfect world; it can be ripped away from us at any time and this whole week, watching things unfold, I have come to realize that more than ever. One Moment to reflect on all the sadness and destruction was not enough this week, it deserves action, even small. Here are some great things that our community has been doing to take part in even a little piece of the relief effort. Compassion is key for me and I wish for it to be key for many, many others.

   
Japan Disaster Relief Bracelet 100% of Proceeds, $5.00      

All items from Drenculture from 3/15-3/11, 400% of all proceeds
Bari J is raffling off a bag, among other things until March 26th
Tree of Life Pendant from Iris Jewelry, 100% of proceeds, $39.00
“Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.” Dalai Lama

Appreciate Everything

Little Things Go a Long Way

I was over at Curating Cuteness and saw a story that I just had to blog about. I am here to tell you that this is not an easy story to read. This tough little girl has been through a lot in the last months… but I thought her story was an important one to share. We have the opportunity to do something small for people every day, and this instance is no exception. We can make a difference if we just make the small effort to pop a stamp on a card… Well, first… let’s hear Emma’s story, told by her Mom Leanne:

In July 2010 our 10 year old daughter was diagnosed with a tumor in her face/neck/head.   This is not the sort of news any parent needs to hear. 
Emma went in for surgery to remove the tumor on the 9th of September and after a mammoth 10 hours we finally got to see her.  The surgeons were hopeful that they had managed to remove 99% of it unfortunately it had wrapped itself around the carotid artery so they could not get it all.  They did however tell us that it was a possibility that it would not grow anymore and just lay dormant.  This was definitely our wish….. 

She had her next MRI scheduled for beginning of November which would show us if it had grown.  In November we had her back to the hospital as her jaw was not healing where they had broken it so she then went back under to have the maxillofacial surgeons repair it again.  Surgery was successful and we were home two days later (minus a few teeth and a little less jaw bone) the teeth and jaw will be fixed further down the track.
On the 21st of December Emma complained of a lump appearing in her temple.  Both Stuart and I were hopeful that it was just a hematoma or something similar but deep down I think we both knew what it was.  Emma went in for a biopsy the following day.
Results would not be available until after Christmas so at least we could get through Christmas in denial and thinking all is OK. It is a tumor again…It has grown back to 70% of its original size within 6 weeks.  They are not going to operate this time as they would prefer to see if chemotherapy would work.  She was due for her first treatment on January 5th, just one day after her 11th birthday.  
The treatment had been going well and Emma did not suffer any major side effects apart from the odd feeling of nausea.   She had 8 weeks of chemo when she noticed a lump in her cheek.  Yep you guessed it, here we go again!  They took another MRI and confirmed that the tumour had now moved down into her cheek, which meant that the current chemo was not working.   On the 7th of this month Emma was admitted to the Royal Children’s Hospital where she underwent a stronger dose of chemo.  This one is given to her once a day for 4 days per month and will last for a total of 5 months.  Both of the chemicals that she will be receiving list hair loss as the most common side effect.  She has started to lose a tiny bit and has already picked out the wig that she wants.
She is a tough little girl and is hoping that if we all get together we can make heaps of beanies and or bandanas, that we can donate to the Hospital.  They do have a few but they are very old fashioned and not very appealing to children.  Emma wants to see fun bright colourful funky ones for the children to pick from.
We managed to get a big smile from her this week as she finally got her first Blythe Doll.  And so the addiction has begun…

So I am joining lots of other bloggers in sending Emma some stickers from the States, hoping to brighten her day a little. No person should have to see this kind of struggle, let alone a sweet child. Won’t you join me in bringing a little joy? Little things can go a long way…


Here are Emma’s details:
Miss Emma Love
PO Box 2849
Burleigh Waters, QLD, 4220
Australia

All pictures and sweetness comes from Emma’s mom, Leanne’s blog

Little Things Go a Long Way

Sea Lillie, a New Fave

I recently entered a giveaway at Olivia Carter’s For Me blog (which adorable or check her out on twitter @oliviakcarter) and was so elated when I won the Flower Petal necklace by Sea Lillie. The reason that I am busting out this blog post is because I just received my necklace in the mail yesterday… and I.AM.IN.LOVE. This necklace is the prettiest most dainty-ish little necklace that I have ever put on. The picture does not even do it justice.

Anyways, the girls at Sea Lillie are just the lovliest and I surely intend on going back over for this gorgeous little creature (see below). My love of elephants and charitable goodness combines in the adorable Hope Necklace. 100% of the profit from this sale will be donated to The Give Life Project, an initiative aimed at giving help, giving hope and giving Life to those who are in desperate need in Zambia, Africa. Please visit their website for more information: http://www.givelifeproject.com

I have found a new favorite in Sea Lillie and am hoping you will check them out as well. I love to share when I have found a talent (well that is new to me).

Sea Lillie, a New Fave

The Creative

This Martin Luther King Day, I was most inspired by the following quote that was popping up on all of my social media platforms.
 
“Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better. ” – Martin Luther King Jr.
Because I do make it my business to be dedicated to my creative endeavors, I decided to see if I could put this quote to work in my creative world, my online crafty community… in essence to see if it “stuck”… and it did.
Just in my creative world alone there are so many who are giving of their time and resources for something other than just “looking out for #1”. Some would say well, MLK was talking about making the world better as a whole, big picture type of stuff but in my mind, there are no small “good deeds” or “nice gestures”. A kind word can travel light years if met with the right recipient. One can never know how they will affect someone’s life on any particular day.
I am going to give some examples of what I think some of my peers have done to make the world better. Some may tell me that these are not the type of things that could/ would “change our world”… but to them I would say that the world I want to live in is a world where these are the values that would make a difference in my equations.
Ok, so why not get started… I’ll start with the good that I don’t feel can be physically measured for the most part. One of my favorite things to participate in are blog hops. These are usually orchestrated around a theme ( my most recent? A Crafty Holiday and 2011 Creative Goals) and multiple bloggers participate with their take on it. I think personally the blog hop is an absolutely amazing way for people to be encouraged by their peers and also instill a sense of community/ camaraderie amongst like minded people. My involvement with blog hops has, no lie, made me more excited about what I am doing, who I am sharing it with and makes me want to bring more into this happy circle of friends. Encouragement will lead to more encouragement. People need to feel loved and supported. Friends will need our support and we will eventually need theirs.
Speaking of my circle of friends, check out “The One Moment Weekly Meet Up” from Linda at Alamode Stuff. It is something I try to participate in weekly if I am able. Every week, I find a touching story from one blogger to the next and have honestly taken some life lessons from other people’s daily experiences. It sounds silly to people that are not involved but I dare you to “meet up” a couple of weeks in a row and NOT find some encouragement as you follow along. I sincerely believe that sharing these moments in our every day lives can and does help others.
om [one moment] meet upOM is a weekly meet up that promotes living in the moment. Whether funny, sad, ridiculous, or banal, actively looking for and sharing these moments will promote balance in our lives.
Besides the blogger to reader effect of the One Moment, there is also the content shared that is the actual “act”. Angela Flicker of The Artist’s House shared her “One Moment” this past week; I think it is the perfect example of how we can touch and be touched by someone’s life and maybe not even know it. Her Moment, A Custom Made Quilt, touched me but more importantly she shares how this stranger ended up reminding her of something very special. The good that came from this interaction cannot be measured but I know in my heart that it was something crazy off the scale.
Not just for the “sharing is caring” attitude, I believe that the creative community with which I am involved has also changed the world by literally working with meaningful causes… so much so that I am sure that I could fill multiple blog posts with just the ones I can name off the top of my head. Have I peaked your interest? Check out the massive creative uprising to raise much needed funds for the flooding in Australia. All proceeds from auctions from this MASTER list of products go to the Queensland Flood Relief Appeal. I was TRULY astonished by how many participants that there were; truly astonished that so many would hop right to in order to help… but then thinking about it? I actually wasn’t that surprised. Community is community and the creative community took action when they were needed. This type of act can be measured and in my opinion is making this world better for those who are suffering right now. (Thank You Above All Fabric for ensuring I knew all about this!)
Speaking of Above All Fabric, she is awesome. Melanie blogs under “Caring Communitieswhich is giving back with Above All Fabric. She sets out to help in her community with her craftiness. Great idea right? Why not give back and do something you love at the same time? Genius! Her ideas and projects have really inspired me, myself, to help out in ways I know I can as well. Take the Conkerr Cancer project with pillowcases. I know I can make a pillowcase. I am pretty sure you can make one too. Shouldn’t we be making this as we go along? Simple as that, we have made a child happy, we have made our world a better place to live in. Check out Melanie’s other great projects for different ways to craft/help out with good causes.
Ok, now I am starting to ramble here and this post is getting dangerously long ( so no one will read it) but I just wanted to show that I firmly believe that creative minds are changing the world all of the time, in even the smallest ways. I could list so many organizations that are out there, that need help (some below) but I guarantee you can find one in your own community or circle of friends, one that touches your heart and calls your name. Creative dedicated people are making a difference at every turn and that I can prove.
Check out:
Quilts for Kids -Volunteer quilters transforming into patchwork quilts that comfort children in need.
Threads of CompassionA Chicago based charity that works specifically with survivors of sexual assault. The charity supplies scarves to rape crisis workers who then pass them on to people who have undergone a sexual assault. 
Warm Hears- Warm Babies They sew, knit, crochet, and quilt for premature infants and babies in need.
Heartmade BlessingsA world-wide group of volunteers dedicated to providing hand-crafted items to those people suffering a loss, tragedy, or going through a rough time that need to be reminded of the simple fact that people care.
Red Scarf Project  Sending red scarves to orphans as a means of encouragement.
CraftHope– A great organization involved with many different causes.
Chemo Angels A volunteer organization dedicated to adding a ray of sunshine to the lives of those undergoing IV chemo treatment.
Soldiers’ Angels May No Soldier Go Unloved
The Creative

Happiest of New Year’s, my friends

I thought that that a great start to the new year would not be to lay out my resolutions (one of which usually includes a post-holiday diet) but rather, I would lay out some charitable organizations that I either have worked with or would like to work with in the future… and vow to volunteer my time or donate as much as possible this year. So here I am sharing where I want to spend some of my extra time and resources this year. I hope you approve 😉

I did the Breast Cancer 3-day a few years ago and have not forgotten what an amazing experience it was to walk 60 miles in the blistering heat (no lie over 100 degrees one day) for a mighty good cause. Please note: I was not being sarcastic. (See previous post about why this is near and dear to my heart). My goal this year is somehow to get involved again, whether it be to walk, volunteer or donate some sweet moola.

What an amazing cause for a crafty girl to partake in. You basically whip up some pillowcases but these aren’t just any pillow cases… these pillow cases go directly to kids suffering from different life changing illnesses. That was my blurb but read the longer (and more inspirational) version here. They give you the tools, and where to get your charitable craftiness on, so I am thinking why not? It would be fun an fulfilling for sure.

I have always wanted to volunteer with the Special Olympics and even went as far as to work on planning a trip out to Boise for the Winter Games (unfortunately it was going to be WAY too much work for me at that stage in the game) but this year, I thought if I gave myself a goal of volunteering at one event and then maybe another, I’d get my feet wet and also get a lay of the land, so to speak. I looked up my Massachusetts chapter and already requested to be added to the volunteer database. First step, taken.

I always him and haw on the morning of my once a month Big Sister opportunity but I ALWAYS feel great after completing that day’s activity. I volunteer for the girls on the waiting list for a Big Sister. This is a way for them to get out and socializing while they are waiting to be placed with that special someone. It is a year long, once a week committment and I am honest with myself about not being able to do that. Truthfully though? For the most part, I make a new little friend every time I pick one of them up for skating, self defense courses, the museum of science and so on an so forth. I want to keep this up this year of our lord 2011.

Happiest of New Year’s, my friends