Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sending Love One Doll at a Time


It's no surprise that I love to sew and it's equally not surprising that I love sharing the things that I make with others. It brings me so much joy to know that something I created with my own two hands just might bring a smile to a child's face. I ship out packages all week long headed to little ones celebrating birthdays and other special occasions, but today I sent out a very important package. You can see their seven smiling faces above.

Many months ago I stumbled upon the Dolly Donations blog run by Sarah, from Dolls and Daydreams, who creates adorable doll and softie patterns. In fact I made one of her dolls for my daughter's last birthday. Sarah designed a free pattern that can be used by anyone to make dolls to be donated to orphaned children around the world. As you can imagine many of these children have very little in their lives and have suffered in ways we cannot fully comprehend. It is my belief that every child deserves to feel love, joy, and security. 

So, these dolls are headed on a very long journey to South Africa where the UTHANDO PROJECT will distribute them to sweet little ones in desperate need of love and compassion. I realize that these seven dolls are a mere "drop in the bucket" when it comes to the overwhelming need of children in the world, but these dolls were made with love and there's never a dose of love that is too small.  

The beauty of Dolly Donations is that anyone can help with this project. You don't have to be skilled with a needle and thread to make a contribution. If you knit or crochet there are free patterns on the blog for you too. Want to learn more? Check out the Dolly Donations Blog or Facebook page and see how you can help send love to a child in need. 

Goodbye, my sweet little friends! I enjoyed watching you come to life. If just one of you brings a smile to the face of a little one holding you then my mission will be complete. 

Monday, January 9, 2012



Today I am grateful. That's not to say that I'm not grateful other days, because I do make an effort every day to count my blessings. But, today I am especially grateful. This weekend we got a call from my daughter's teacher. Unfortunately, it was news we had been expecting. One of my daughter's friends lost her mother to breast cancer this weekend. It was a long battle. We knew that the end was near and we tried to prepare our daughter a few weeks ago by delivering the news that her friend would soon need extra love and support.

I admit I took the news harder than I expected. Frankly, I had never met the mother and I have not yet had the opportunity to meet her daughter either. But that didn't stop me from connecting with the sadness that her family must be feeling right now. And I couldn't help feeling the loss that the mother must have felt when she realized that she wasn't going to see her young children grow up.

So, today I feel great gratitude that I have been blessed with another day. It's another day to see my girls smile and to feel their arms wrapped around me. Life as a parent isn't always easy. It's filled with tough decisions, exhaustion, and moments of pure frustration. It involves days when we have to break up fights between siblings, clean up never ending messes, and wash enormous piles of laundry. For many it means coming home from a job to face many more hours of work at home. It means nagging kids to get their homework done and to say "please" and "thank you". It's a job with no pay raises or monetary bonuses. We have to do it every day, 24 hours a day, even if we don't want to! And we never know if we are "doing it right".

But today I am grateful for all of it because without the hard stuff I wouldn't have the really good stuff. I embrace the things that my kids do that seem to drive me crazy. I am grateful to be driven crazy by such amazing girls! I look forward to the dirty dishes, the spots on the kitchen floor 10 minutes after mopping, and the toys spread all throughout the house...that I keep tripping over. My home is full of energy and life, and I'm blessed to be able to see it, hear it, and feel it all.

I don't normally set resolutions for the new year, but this year I made an exception. I have vowed to take better care of myself. It's easy to put our families before ourselves, but if I don't take care of myself too I'll miss out on so much and so will they. So, I'm working to add regular exercise into my week and trying to eat healthier. I'm going to make every effort to enjoy being a mother even on the toughest days. I'm going to try to let go of what isn't truly important and I'm going to do my best to be a better parent every day even if I don't always succeed. I want to be here to see it all for as long as I can. Today I am grateful for being here....

It's as simple as that.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Wow, What a Day!!

Wow, what a day it has been! I had the very great honor of having one of my crowns featured on the Front Page of Etsy!! Every Etsy seller dreams of hitting the front page. It's such a rewarding honor to be noticed even if just for a moment. I want to thank Susan of Life in The Sass Lane for curating the fun treasury that got me there! Here's a peek. :)

And then, as if I wasn't already having a wonderful day in Etsy land, I reached 300 sales in my shop today! Talk about the cherry on top of an already delicious sundae! It's hard to believe that in just over 2 years I have made over 300 crowns! That's 300 children around the world that are enjoying (hopefully) something that I made with my own two hands. That really is a humbling thought, and a true honor. I love what I do and I love my customers. I get a chance to spread cheer to some of the very best people around~kids!

I want to thank each and every one of my customers and all of my followers and supporters. I appreciate you more than you can know! So, thank you for today's treat! And thank you to my little bluebirds for your inspiration and support. You are the true highlight of very day! :)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who has the best Etsy Team in the land? EtsyKids Team! Please show your love and support for EtsyKids Team and vote for our team on Handmadeology's Handmade Top 10 as many times as you wish over the next 6 days!

EtsyKids Team members can add 2 listings from your shop and have all your friends, family and fans vote for YOU! Find out how to participate in this discussion on Ning: Handmade Top 10 Etsy Team Challenge

Friday, June 3, 2011

Taking Some Time Off to Enjoy My Two Little Bluebirds


I will be taking some time off to enjoy my sweet little ones. Please note that I will be unable to accept custom orders from June 4th - June 20th. I will have limited access to the internet during this time so feel free to message me with
questions or future custom requests, but please know that I will be unable to reply until June 20th. I'll be back with lots and lots of new crowns and other fun stuff after my break (I promise)! Thanks so much for your patience and understanding. Have a great start to your summer everyone! :)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Invisible Mother


“It all began to make sense, the blank stares, the lack of response, the way one of the kids will walk into the room while I’m on the phone, start talking to me, asking for some such thing. Inside I’m thinking, “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?”

Obviously not; No one can see if I’m on the phone, or cooking, or sweeping the floor, doing the endless piles of laundry, or even standing on my head… Because no one can see me at all. I’m invisible. The invisible Mom! Some days I am only a pair of hands, nothing more! Can you fix this? Can you tie this? Can you open this?? Can you write this? Sign this? Find this?

Some days I’m not a pair of hands; I’m not even a human being. I’m a clock to ask, “What time is it?” I’m a TV guide to answer, “What number is the Disney Channel?” I’m a car to order, “Right around 5:30, please.”

I was certain that these were the hands that once held books… The eyes that studied history… The mind that graduated Magna Cum Laude from college. But now, they had disappeared into the peanut butter, never to be seen again??

One night, a group of us were having dinner, celebrating the return of a friend from England. Janice had just gotten back from a fabulous trip, and she was going on and on about the hotel sand where she went. I was sitting there, looking around at the women present, all put together so well. It was hard not to compare and feel sorry for myself. I was feeling pretty pathetic, when Janice turned to me with a beautifully wrapped package, and said, “I brought you this.” It was a book on the great cathedrals of Europe . I wasn’t exactly sure why she’d given it to me until I read her inscription: “To Charlotte , with admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.”

In the days ahead I would read – no, devour – the book. And I would discover what would become for me, four life-changing truths, after which I could pattern my work:
No one can say who built the great cathedrals – we have no record of their names. These builders gave their whole lives for a work they would never see finished. They made great sacrifices and expected no credit. The passion of their building was fueled by their faith that the eyes of God saw everything.

A legendary story in the book told of a rich man who came to visit the cathedral while it was being built, and he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, “Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof, No one will ever see it?”
The workman replied, “Because God sees.”

I closed the book, feeling the missing piece fall into place. It was almost as if I heard God whispering to me, “I see you! I see the sacrifices you make every day, even when no one around you does. No act of kindness you’ve done, no button you’ve sewn on, no cupcake you’ve baked, is too small for me to notice and smile over. You are building a great cathedral, but you can’t see right now what it will become.”

At times, my invisibility feels like an affliction. But it is not a disease that is erasing my life. It is the cure for the disease of my own self-centeredness. It is the antidote to my strong, stubborn pride.

I keep the right perspective when I see myself as a great builder. As one of the people who shows up at a job that they will never see finished, to work on something that their name will never be on. The writer of the book went so far as to say that no cathedrals could ever be built in our lifetime because there are so few people willing to sacrifice to that degree.

When I really think about it, I don’t want my son to tell the friend he’s bringing home from school for dinner, “My Mom gets up at 5 in the morning and does laundry, gets us breakfast, bakes, cleans and is on the go all day long, doing stuff for us.” That would mean I’d built a shrine or a monument to myself. I just want him to want to come home and feel comfortable and happy enough to invite his friends.

As mothers, we are building great cathedrals. We cannot be seen if we’re doing it right. And one day, it is very possible that the world will marvel, not only at what we have built, but at the beauty that has been added to the world by the sacrifices of invisible women.” --Author Unknown

Happy Mother's Day to all of the women out there building their great cathedrals!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yay! I'm a Guest Blogger!

So in between making dinner, doing laundry, picking up toys for the umpteenth time, and making crowns of course, I've been given the opportunity to do a guest series on another blog. I'm a member of EtsyKids Team and I curate on the EtsyKids Treasury Team. Product photography has always been something I've struggled with. Anyone who sells online can relate to my hair pulling battles with backgrounds, lighting, camera settings, and photo editing. In an effort to help all of my fellow busy EtsyKids teammates, I'm writing a Photo Makeovers Series over on the EtsyKids Treasury Team Blog. Looking to increase your online sales? Come check out my easy to implement photography tips in my first two posts on Choosing Backgrounds and Lighting. You might just find a useful tidbit or two! There's more to come in the series too so be sure to check back at the end of every month! :)