New baby card

I mentioned on Friday that I have a new baby cousin – the first on my dad’s side of the family! Although my family is large on both sides, my dad only has one brother and until now he had no kids (that we know of). On Wednesday that changed – my new cousin was born on 12.12.2012 (what a great date!) at 10:50 a.m. Melbourne time (my uncle and his partner live in Australia).

Here’s the new baby card I made to send them:

Welcome babyUnderneath the lion it says the baby’s name. I blurred it out here because I don’t think I have the right to broadcast other people’s baby’s names across the Internet even if my readers have no real way of finding out who she is.
Here’s the cross stitched part of the card in more detail:

baby card detailIt went in the post along with a small gift on Thursday. I hope they like it!

Charity auction – sneak preview

Regular readers who’ve been around for a while (are there any of you?!) may remember me telling the story of my friend’s baby, Ellie, a while ago.
For those who don’t, here’s a quick recap.

At 28 weeks gestation, Ellie was diagnosed with Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD). As the name suggests, it’s a kidney disease, but it also affects the lungs, heart and other things. At birth, Ellie’s lungs were too small while her heart and kidneys were enlarged. She faced a life of dialysis,, medication, hospitals and transplants. Unfortunately, her lungs were just too weak and at 40 hours of age, Ellie passed away surrounded by her loving family.
After Ellie’s death, her mum, Naomi – a friend of mine from school days – started raising money for charity in her memory. Initially she was collecting for Tiny Lives, a charity associated with the hospital where Ellie was born. After only starting in February 2011, she’s  managed to raise over 4,000 pounds, which I think you’ll agree is amazing! But no Naomi is going one step further and doing something even more amazing (in my opinion). She’s setting up her own charity in memory of Ellie – 4Ellie-Phant. 4Ellie-Phant will “be working to provide children and babies with Magic Memories Keepsake boxes, to help them smile and make sure they capture all the memories they can during traumatic times” (that last bit being a direct quote from the website http://4ellie-phant.webs.com/ ). To help them get started on their way to registered charity status – for which they need to raise 5,000 pounds, I will be holding an online auction of handmade stuff in November, which is why I’ve been making Christmas cards for over a month now! Naturally I’m hoping you, my loyal readers, will dig deep and buy some of my stuff, if only to save me from the embarrassment of ending up not getting a single bid. And because I love you all sooo much I’m even giving you a sneak preview of some of the items that will be for sale. Only cards for now, but there will also be keyrings and jewellery, so watch this space if that’s what you’re interested in! in the meantime, here are some cards. I must apologise for the blurriness of some photos – not sure what went wrong, but I shall sort it out before the actual auction pictures go online! And now, without further ado, I shall let the photos do the talking…

All crafted out

Today was Reunification Day (Tag der deutschen Einheit), Germany’s national holiday, which meant my office was closed. ABout time a holiday fell on a useful day! A long weekend is never to be sneezed at. I decided to seize my extra day off and take the opportunity to get some crafting done ready for my auction – which I promise to actually explain to you all one of these days. I now have a grand total of eleven cards. For those of you who couldn’t believe I was starting on Christmas cards in September, now you know why. I am slow! I really must get on with things though, if I want to make all the Christmas cards to send to my family as well. Have I taken on too much, I wonder? I’m actually quite proud of a few of my cards. I’m definitely getting better at this creativity lark – surprising really, seeing as I had absolutely no talent for art at school. I’ve grown up knowing that my sister was the artistic one. The intelligent one as well, come to think of it. I wonder which one that makes me?
I’m planning on making some more cards after work one evening this week. For now though, I’m all crafted out. I shall dream of glitter tonight, I’m sure! At least that will be better than dreaming about being pregnant, which I have twice recently. And no, I am not before anyone gets any ideas!!

Here’s one I made earlier…

I was asked to upload some of my handmade cards to this blog (only by one person, as I recall, but I was still asked!) and now that Jan has sorted it out so the compter will recognise my camera again when I plug it in – which it had randomly decided to stop doing – I can actually deliver on my promise and show me what’s been keeping me away from the blogosphere for most of the past two months. Hope you like them!

Teddy bear greeting card with hand-stitched balloon
Wedding card

Make a Wish card

I also branched out and decided to make some keyrings, which  actually worked out better than I expected.

Some of this stuff is already for sale in my friend’s online shop, other’s will be coming soon. And there’s some amazing stuff in there made by other people. You really should check it out! It’s all for a good cause (Tiny Lives) and in memory of a very special little girl. And it would make me ridiculously happy if someone other than my mother were to actually buy something I’d made! Check out http://www.artfire.com/users/MyStarEllie today!

Busy, but happy

If you’d told me a couple of years ago that one day I’d be rushing home each night excited to try out my latest idea for a handmade greeting card I would probably have laughed at you. I was never the artistic one in my family – that role being reserved for my sister, who was well on her way to an excellent grade for A-Level art until she decided to drop out of sixth form. I, on the other hand, dropped art as soon as I was allowed – much to the relief of my long-suffering teacher. Stick men are the extent of my drawing skills! So it’s somewhat surprising to me that not only do I enjoying making my own greeting cards but, actually, I’m not all that bad it. At least I’ve had no complete disasters so far, and I’ve even managed one or two that I’m actually proud of.  Who could ever have imagined that this crafting business might actually be fun? I’ve even started branching out into jewellery! Not that I’ve done much with that yet.  So far I’ve only managed to make a couple of pairs of earrings and I’m currently waiting for more equipment to arrive, but once it does I shall get down to the jewellery making in earnest! I could seriously imagine dedicating a large part of my life to this making stuff for charity lark! The only problem is, I am now physically incapable of passing the stationary shops without popping in to look at the pretty paper. And of course I can never resist taking a couple of sheets with me. Then there’s the shop that sells the beads. And, of course, DaWanda, which is pretty much the German version of Etsy. Lots of materials there for both card making and jewellery making. And I can pay via PayPal, which is quite frankly dangerous! I really must start restraining myself, otherwise I’ll be finding myself completely broke before even one bill has been paid from my wages each month. Ooops!

We’re off to England for a long weekend tomorrow (my cousin is getting married), so my creativity shall have to be put on hold for a couple of days, but once I return I’ll be getting straight back into it. In between arranging my FSID tea party of course. So much to do! But when it’s all stuff I enjoy I really don’t mind not having a spare moment (my poor flat might disagree though, if it could talk! If my grandma could see my kitchen floor she’d have a fit!)

Getting crafty in memory of Ellie

Some of you may remember my post a few months ago about my friends little girl, Ellie, who sadly passed away from the genetic disease ARPKD (those who don’t know or remember what I’m on about can view the post here).
Ellie’s amazing mummy, my friend Naomi, has been raising money for the Tiny Lives charity, based at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, where Ellie spent her short life. Now Naomi has opened an online shop “My Star Ellie” where she is selling handmade stuff to raise even more money for Tiny Lives. Various people are getting involved with the project, including me! Yes, very soon you will be able to marvel at greeting cards and bookmarks made by my very own hand!

I (and Naomi) would really appreciate it if you could take a look at the My Star Ellie shop, pass it on to your friends, blog about it, tweet about it and anything else you can think of to get the word out. And keep checking back! More stuff will be coming in. Not just greeting cards, but also gift tags, book marks, jewellery and anything else people decide to make and donate.

Here is the link:
www.artfire.com/users/mystarellie

Thank you all muchly for your help!