Sunday, September 21, 2014

Two special sisters

I am fortunate enough to work for an organization that I love - Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Sometimes, the universe connects my work with my friends.

Now, no one ever wants to stay at a Ronald McDonald House because it means your child is sick. However, we have these beautiful houses around the world waiting for the time that you might need us so that you don't have to worry about where you're going to stay or what you're going to eat while your child is in the hospital. You get to stay together as a family and let us try to take away a little bit of the stress.

Well, this past month brought an interesting twist of fate to my life. I have previously written about the loss of my friend Deyla in April to breast cancer. It was a devastating experience that has left many of us sad, and I still miss her to this day. Her photo is my office, and I often turn and see her beautifully smiling at me.

So you can imagine my complete shock to find out that Deyla's cousin had a daughter that would need to undergo a Stem Cell Transplant, and they would be staying at my Ronald McDonald House. It sent chills through my whole body, but it was a wonderful way for me to continue showing her family that I was there to support them.

Without going in to too much detail, Emily received a transplant donation from her younger sister, Olivia, and she has successfully completed the inpatient portion of her treatment. I'm now lucky to host her and her mama in my world. 

I heard from their mom that these beautiful little girls love mail, so of course I had to crack open the supplies to create something special.  I can't wait to put these in their mail box tomorrow.

Every time I see Emily, I get so excited that she's done with the inpatient portion of her treatment, and I celebrate her arrival to RMH. I'm pretty sure she thinks I'm crazy.

I have a thing for layers and loved adding more and more.

I think this little fighter is a star, and I wanted her to know that.

Olivia was amazing lucky to be an exact match for her sister and SUPER brave to undergo the procedure to harvest stem cells for her sister. Most kids her age would be terrified (and I'm sure she was), but she toughed it out for her sister!

I absolutely love this superhero stamp set from Stampin Up! I'm pretty sure I'll use it a lot for our RMH kiddos. They are all superheroes in disguise.

I had a little trouble with ink stains as I was stamping my message inside the card, so I had to embellish with comic book like symbols. I think it added just the right amount of pizzazz.

La Fiesta Stamp Set

I love Papel Picado!

The intricate designs that artists create on tissue paper flags always amazes me. I was lucky enough to take an on-line class through Crafty Chica about 2 or 3 years ago, and I learned firsthand how difficult it is to design and cut the tissue paper. It was fun to learn, but I bow down to the artists that painstakingly cut away to create these beautiful images. can imagine I was uber excited to find this stamp set that would allow me to fake the funk.

Yes, I had to spend some time fussy cutting each of the flags, but it was worth the final product.

I really like the flexibility of the Fiesta stamp set by A*Muse Studios. The papel picado images stamp clearly and the flags are relatively easy to cut out by hand which makes it easy to modify color-wise to suit your taste.

My first attempt to use the stamp set got out of hand for my personal taste (see below), but it was fun to see that I could layer parts of the flags on to each other to create a multi-colored flag. I could have, of course, colored my stamp with markers for a one dimensional flag, but I don't tend to like to do things the easy way.

Hispanic Heritage Month Craft-a-thon!

I have taken a hiatus from my beloved stress reliever for far too long.

I thought it was appropriate that I had just attended the Scrapbook Expo when it was time to relaunch the fun in my life. I have ALL these tools and supplies, but they have been collecting dust for months!

Well, I spent all weekend at the crop creating 50+ cards of a pinterest inspired design. I don't know what I was thinking when I modified the simpler version to this version!  I had 72 to make in total to thank so many friends for helping me raise a lot of funds for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana.  It took me well over three days total to complete, but I was able to send a heartfelt thank to everyone.

While finishing up these cards, I came across the A*Muse Studio's booth. I was so excited to find a stamp set called Fiesta but was even more delighted to see more Latino-oriented sets that I have to add to my collection.

I was able to purchase the set on the right on-site and knew that I would need to launch a month-long Craft-a-thon to celebrating my heritage through my papercrafting.

So stay tuned for some fun stuff and please let me know if you're doing something similar so I can see your wonderful projects!