Auction in aid of 4Ellie-Phant

You’re probably all sick of hearing about my charity efforts by now, and I promise I won’t go on about them (here) for much longer).
However, I must post about it at least once more ๐Ÿ™‚
My charity auction in aid of 4Ellie-Phant is taking shape! The site is online and most of the items are already up! Bidding will start on 15 November, at which point commenting on the posts will be opened. Until then, though, you’re welcome to go and preview the items. I’m especially fond of these red earrings:

In fact, if they don’t go I might keep them for myself ๐Ÿ˜‰ (would it be weird to pay for something I made myself? Even if the money is going to charity?).

If you don’t know what 4Ellie-Phant is check out their website: http://www.4ellie-phant.webs.com/
Or read the about page on the auction site: http://4elliephantauction.wordpress.com/
Then check out all thelovely, lovely handmade items that will be for sale very soon. 9 days to go… ๐Ÿ™‚

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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’sย  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…

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, whichย  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!

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!

Finally Friday

It’s been a log, long week, despite the fact that I had Monday off work (we went to visit Jan’s dad) and I’m unbelievably glad it’s over. For some reason I just couldn’t concentrate. Everything seemed to take three times as long as it should have, then we had a customer complain and spent 2 hours on Tuesday and Wednesday sorting that out. Yep, that’s one week I’m pleased to see the back off.

Baby Ellie’s funeral was yesterday. I wish so much that I could have been there to support her parents – well, her mum mostly, I’ve only met her dad once – but for obvious reasons that wasn’t possible. One of the disdvantages of living in Germany. I know they had lots of friends and family there for them though, and I hear she had a good send off.ย  Quite a bit of money was put in the donation tin as well, and Ellie’s memorial page on Just Giving has already raised more than 1,500 pounds for the Tiny Lives charity! Not bad considering it was only created a little over a week ago. You can see the page here: http://www.justgiving.com/Naomi-Warburton Please pass the link on, even if you don’t feel you can donate to total strangers. They are trying to get the message out to as many people as possible and every little helps.

I must go and finish cooking tea now – we’re having fish and chips the healthy way (home-made and oven-cooked) and I really don’t think the potatoes are going to peel themselves!

For Ellie, with love (an appeal)

On 5th February 2011 my friend Naomi gave birth to a baby girl at 35 weeks gestation.

Baby Ellie was suffering from a reare genetic disease, ARPKD โ€“ the recessive form of Polycystic Kidney Disease (ARPKD = autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease). Despite the staff at the RVI (Royal Victoria Infirmary) doing everything they could, Ellie fell asleep in her mum’s arms on 7th February 2011.

Now Ellie’s mum and dad, and their friends and family, are determined to give something back to the hospital that gave so much to Ellie during her short time on Earth, while at the same time raising awareness of ARPKD. Naomi has set up a fund for Ellie on JustGiving, and people are spreading awareness through Twitter. They’ve even managed to get a few celebrities involved in tweeting (I believe that’s the technical term…). And a local newspaper has also got wind of Ellie’s cause and now want to write an article about her and the various charity events. What a little star! And now, along with everyone else who would have liked to get to know Ellie, I want to do my bit to get people involved. That’s where you come in!

Please could those of you who have Twitter “tweet” the following link: http://www.justgiving.com/Naomi-Warburton
Obviously none of you know the family, and if we all gave money to every cause out there we’d be broke within minutes, but even so if you think you could perhaps donate a little something that would be amazing! Even if it’s just a pound or two, every penny that the RVI tiny lives charity gets could make a huge difference to a premature or sick baby’s life. (If you do decide to donate, maybe mention that you came from my blog, just so Ellie’s family can keep some kind of overview of where the donations are coming from). The point of this post is really to raise awareness though, not to ask you for money. Which is why all I really want is for the tweeters (twitterers?) among you to at least pass on the link. I know Ellie’s mum will be beyond grateful! I’m not on twitter myself so I thought my blog was the best chance I had to pass on the message. Thank you all!