We CAN Make a Difference - A Story That Inspires Me

Many times, more often than any of us would like, we see places that are devastated by natural disaster, families that lose everything to a house fire, a town that is destroyed by flooding, or earthquakes, entire countries that are are on the brink of disaster because of war or famine. It's overwhelming. Truly and utterly overwhelming. We want to help, we really do, but the scope of the situation is so completely uncomprehendable, that we don't know where to start.

Sound familiar? I know it does to me!

I saw a spot on tv the other day that has inspired me. It was about a boy who saw the same things we did, but at the tender age of 4, he didn't just say "it's too much, what could I possible do that would make a difference?" At that amazingly young age, he took steps to work for change.

I don't remember what it was that spurred him on to action, but he saw something on tv that moved him. It was a hurricane or an earthquake, something like that. He had a bake sale to raise money to send to this afflicted area. At age 4, he did more than most of us ever think of doing. Think about it, he took the time, he baked treats and goodies, set up the table, let people know about it and then rather than using that money for himself, he sent it to people who truly needed it. At age 4.

Over the next few years, he continued doing this sort thing. As disasters would hit areas of the world, he would organize fundraisers and send money.

Now, he is the face of youth for UNICEF. Again, forgive me, I don't know the details, this was a quick spot I saw on tv. When the earthquake hit Haiti, he challenged children all over Canada to help raise relief money.

They raised over 1 million dollars.

This is an inspiring story to me. A child, a young person has done more for others in his short life than I have done in my almost 40 years.

It also shows something else to me, not just my shortcomings. It shows me that little things count. Little things add up to big things. He started with a bake sale. A simple little bake sale in his front yard. Nothing huge, nothing overly organized, just a heart for others and a willingness to work.

What can you do? If a 4 year old child can do that, what can you, as a full grown adult do if you put away your excuses and have a heart to give?

Just think. If everyone did that, if we all stopped making excuses, stopped saying "it's too big. What can I do? I have no money to send." or whatever your excuse of the day is, imagine what a difference we could make to those who truly need our help.

Will you join me? Will you take the step to stop making excuses and just do something? It doesn't need to be big, it just needs to be something.

Kraftouch Treasures

Kraftouch Treasures is the newest rider on the Artfire Crazy Train. I have to say I adore this studio!! All of her creations are so delicate and feminine, any woman would be proud to wear one!

This is my ultimate favourite, a Fuschia Hibiscus May Day Bracelet. Not only does it use my colour, pink, it also uses my absolute favourite, flowers. I've already added this one to my favourites and will hopefully be back soon to purchase it for myself. So, you all stay away from it, it's mine! LOL!

Running a very close, and I do mean very close second on my list of favourites is this Plumeria Necklace. Look how delicate and gorgeous it is!!

And who doesn't need a Dragonfly Pin? It's cute, it's whimsical and it's a perfect compliment to any outfit.

I've already added this shop to my list of places to do my Christmas shopping. I'm absolutely and totally in love with her items! Be sure to stop by Kraftouch Treasures to see more of her amazing items!

I just found a shop on Artfire, that I love! The shop is called Acadienne and she has some lovely crocheted items. Although I do crochet myself, I've found lately that I just don't have time, and I know these items take a LOT of time to make!

Isn't this knitted lightweight shawl gorgeous?

If you've never used handknitted dishcloths, then you absolutely have to start. And where better to find some than in Acadienne's shop? I love the colours in this set of three.

It's never too early to start Christmas shopping! Look at this gorgeous Hardanger Christmas Ornament! Wowzers! :)

Be sure to stop by Acadienne's studio on Artfire. You're going to be very happy you did!

Some Good News!

I've been praying a lot lately for help with our finances. I've been learning a lot at the same time about having faith in God in times of need, not worrying, just continuing to praise and worship and know that He will bring you through.

Lately, things have been getting worse instead of better. My computer is on the outs, our basement flooded, the steering in the van is going, the list goes on.

Today, during my prayer time, I had a feeling that I wasn't actually relying on God to bring us through. I was working myself, praying for blessing on my business (not this one, another shop) stressing out over lack of sales, etc.

I made a decision to put that shop in vacation mode. I'll be finishing up the orders but I'm focusing on trusting and relying on Him, while at the same time focusing on this shop, trying to raise money for a ministry I want to start.

About 1 hour later, while I was on the phone with my mother and a call came in. Since it came up unknown name, I didn't bother answering it figuring it was a telemarketer. After I got off the phone I checked the message. It was from one of the higher ups where my hubby works, asking him to call back.

Since hubby is in working overtime, I emailed him and let him know.

He is getting an interview for a promotion that he didn't even apply for, 10 days after the application deadline. It would mean moving up in the company and a move towards no more shift work. It would also mean a substantial pay increase.

He didn't apply for this job. He thought about it, but our computer couldn't keep a connection long enough for him to fill out the application. (we're on dial up so that happens fairly often)

I know not everyone shares my beliefs. I respect that. I'm so overwhelmed right now, though, that I could literally cry.

This is no guarantee that he'll get the job, but to me, it shows me that He's listening. :)

Sunshine and Whimsy - Living With New Purpose

Do you ever have those feelings that you're not complete, that something very important is missing from your life?

I've been feeling that way for a while now. After a lot of prayer and meditation, I've discovered what it is.

I've been living my life for myself, only. I think only of my own wants, my own needs, my own desires. Yes, I have a lot of stress in my life. I could list them all here for you, but really, everyone has stress, mine are not important.

After realizing this, I spent more time in prayer and meditation, trying to find out what it is that I should do to rectify that.

It came to me as I was in the van, driving home from an AquaFit class one Monday morning.

There are so many children in our area that live well below the poverty line. The parents, both married couples and single parents that struggle every day just to be able to feed their children a healthy breakfast. Having worked at our school every lunch hour for the past two years, I have seen first hand those children that don't start their day with good food, or have a healthy lunch to see them through the rest of the day.

A while ago, I took up Joyce Meyers' Love Revolution challenge. If you're not familiar with it, this is the creed:

"I take up compassion and surrender my excuses. I stand against injustice and commit to act out simple acts of God's love. I refuse to do nothing. This is my resolve. I am the Love Revolution"

I have a mission. I want to be able to feed our local children a healthy breakfast to start their school day. At this point, I'm simply trying to raise money to buy food and find a small place to rent. My goal is to be operational by the first day of school this year.

Eventually, I would like to be able to offer lunches as well to those that need it. It pains me to know that there are children that aren't getting the food they need.

Of course, as I stated earlier, I need money to make this happen. So, I've opened a shop on Etsy and on Artfire where I will be selling photography and crocheted items. All proceeds from these sales will go towards purchasing food, paying rent, hydro and all other bills that will occur.

I need help. I can't do this on my own. If it is in your heart to support this project, I promise, you will receive a great product to call your own. Whether it is a gorgeous photo or a crocheted item, you'll not only be supporting a great ministry, you'll also receive something that you can cherish for years to come, along with the knowledge that your purchase helped a child in need.

You can find my shop here. We're also on Facebook and Twitter.

You can also help by spreading the word. If you're able, please tweet or Facebook the link. I would also love to share blog links with interested parties.

This project is very important to me and I thank you now for your help and support.

It Was Quite A Storm!

Yesterday, my family and I went to see the new movie "Inception". I have to say, it was an amazing movie! It was 148 minutes long and I was hooked from the opening scene. Not once did I become bored or fidgety, I was glued to my seat the entire time. If you have the chance and you love intricate plotlines, be sure to get out and see this one. I promise, you won't be disappointed.

When we left the theatre, it was raining quite hard, which really surprised me, because the sun was shining so brightly when we left. But, that's Canadian weather for you right?

As we drove up the road, I noticed that the lounge chairs that sit out front of a local hotel's rooms were scattered all over the parking lot and down into a ditch. I pointed it out to hubby and we both wondered if a storm had moved through while we were in watching the movie. "That would have to have been one heck of a wind to blow those chairs around." I suggested, but he just grunted his usual grunt. :)

As we travelled home, I was noticing branches down along the side of the road, small trees knocked over in some yards and I knew we had missed something whilst engrossed in our movie.

We turned our corner and my heart just sank. There, laying across the road, blocking traffic was more than half of the tree that sits at the bottom of our driveway.

I almost cried.

This tree is at least 100 years old. It has shaded our yard, created a canopy over our driveway, provided homes to innumerous wildlife throughout it's many years. To know what this tree would know, to have seen what it has seen, is mind numbing. It has stood sentry over this house, this part of our road for a century.

The fellows came to after a while to clean up the road. My husband heard them mention that they would have the inspector come out and take a look at the rest of the tree. It seems they may have to take the whole thing down.

I don't understand why I'm so upset about this, but I am. My heart is broken. We've only been here two years, but that tree has come to mean so much to me.

If they take the tree, we will be planting a sapling in the spring in the same spot. Of course, we'll never see the new tree grow to the same splendour this one achieved, but our kids and grandkids will.

The storm moved through not long before we got home, apparently. It blew through our little town that no one has ever heard of, taking shingles off houses, branches off trees, blowing around lawn furniture. The mess was very large, although the damage was kept to a minimum, thankfully. At the time I called the roads department to report our tree down, there were five other trees blocking roads that they needed to clean up.

Nature can be such a force to be reckoned with. We live in a very "safe" part of the world. We rarely have dangerous weather. This sunner, however, we've had earthquakes and tornado's all in one day (my hubby's 40th birthday, actually. LOL!) and some very intense thunderstorms. It's been a bit odd for us here.

I'm hopeful this will be the end of our intense weather. But, who knows what tomorrow will bring, right? :)


I have a confession to make. It's a shameful one, and you may think less of me when I tell you this.

I am a soap addict.

There, I said it. Now you know the awful truth.

I can't stop myself! The scents, the shapes, the wonderful soapy goodness! It's too much for me, I can't control myself!!!

And since misery loves company, I've decided to corrupt all of you too. Just look at all this wonderful soap!

Honestly, I'm not sure if I should wash with this, or eat it! Baby Cinnamon Rolls from Soapotomus

Or how about a slice of Pomegranate Fig Bundt Cake with your bath from Soap Store?

These brightly coloured, flower shape soaps from Satin and Birch are a gorgeous addition to your bathroom decor. They're gorgeous and smell delicious too!

Seriously, I can't believe these are actually soap! These are art, pure and simple. Wonderful, fragrant, sudsy art.

I'm in love!!

Where's the Sun?

I woke up today to a cloudy, dreary day. So, I decided to add a bit of sunshine and colour!

I adore (and just may be back to purchase) this Pink Butterfly Cotton Tea Towel from Murdock Design on Etsy. Not only do I adore butterflies, but this towel has all my favourite colours in it as well. It's like it was made just for me!

Boy, do I wish this was outside my window! A gorgeous print called Good Morning Sunshine by John W. Golden

So Much Fun!

1. Pink Circle Pillow - 4 Hands
2.Handmade Plush Microbe - Bubbletime
3. Bright Sunshine Yellow Pet Tag - Metamorph Designs
4. Hug Me Slug - The Art of Elizabeth Ruffing

This Blog Needs a New Name! - Part 2

Due to a recent death in the family, I wasn't able to give this contest the attention it deserved. So, I'm going to run it a bit longer so more people can enter. Those who have entered aleady will of course still be in the running. :)

Here is the original post:

I need your help!

I want to rename my blog, but I'm can't seem to come up with anything good.

So, I'm going to have contest!

I will collect names starting today until Monday. All you need to do is leave your choice for a name for my blog in the comment section. On Monday, I will choose my favourite. The winner will receive a free 125x125 web ad from my shop!

This Blog Needs a New Name!

I need your help!

I want to rename my blog, but I'm can't seem to come up with anything good.

So, I'm going to have contest!

I will collect names starting today until Monday. All you need to do is leave your choice for a name for my blog in the comment section. On Monday, I will choose my favourite. The winner will receive a free 125x125 web ad from my shop!So, get your thinking cap on. I need your brains!

So Hot!

Oh my goodness it is so hot today!

Last week, I had the furnace running in the morning because it was 64 degrees in my house. Today, it's 78 degrees in the shade!

It wouldn't be so bad, except we haven't had a chance to climatize to it. Going from normal temperatures to broiling heat is exhausting. And sitting with a laptop on your lap isn't helpful either! :)

Thankfully the temperature will be more normal in a couple of days. We'll at least be able to breathe.

My Heart Has Been Stolen

Isn't this just the cutest thing you've ever seen?? Dotty the Wiener Dog has stolen my heart with her bright stripes and polka dotted ears.

A Time To Dream

There are days when I dream I lived in a different time. A quieter, romantic time. A era where men were gallant and women were elegant.

This shawl reminds me of that dream.

Today's Featured Shop - ChristalDreamz!

When I decided to start this blog, featuring shops that I've done work for, ChristalDreamz was at the top of my list. Not only was her banner incredibly fun to design, I found her work just made me..happy! My daughter would absolultely love this shop!

So, as soon as I could, I sent off the questions. Lets see what she had to say, shall we?

Tell us a bit about you and your shop.

My name is Shantelle. I'm an active duty military member, who has an addiction to everything artsy and crafty. ChristalDreamZ is my baby, It's a handmade jewelry site featuring cute and sassy pieces for everyone. Every piece I make is made with love, I feel that if you don't have a passion and a love for your items regardless of what it is, it will definitely show in the end result.

What inspires you?

My passion for making and creating pieces that I love and that I'd personally where are my inspiration. I know everyone will not like my pieces, and I'm ok with that, as long as I stay true to myself, I will always be successful.

What is your fa
vourite item in your shop and why?

My current favorite item in my shop "today" would definitely have to be the Sun Rayz Bracelet. I absolutely love this bracelet, it's fun and colorful, it's like having a little bit of sunshine on you at all times. I love it!!!!!!!!

What do you love about Etsy?

What's not to love about Etsy, until about a month ago I didn't know about the forums, etc. I have learned so much from fellow Etsyians, I love the interaction among individuals and the fact that even though everyone is competing with other shops, people still are looking to help and encourage others, it's like another family for me.

If the world could only know one thing about you, wh
at would you want that to be?

If the world could know only one thing about me, it would be "2 Know Me is 2 Luv Me"

Now for the fun questions:

If you were a colour, which one would you be?

I would be fuschia, a nice blend of pink (sweetness), and red (fiesty) what better description of my personality lol.

What did you have for breakfast this morning?

I had some kind of extremely sweet pastry that someone brought in to our office.

Coffee or tea?

I'm definitely a coffee girl.