Art Bra Inspiration!

Monday, August 25, 2008

One woman, one journey... making one big difference.

Writing this blog and planning the Crop for a Cure is a lot of fun, as I'm sure you can tell. It's also a lot of work. But fun, or work, nothing can compare with the real reason we do it all....the "moments". Some of you may know what I mean, and some of you may not. But I will do my best to explain. Putting on an event like this, you have to ask a lot of strangers for some pretty big things. I don't just mean asking a total stranger for a donation. Yes, that's part of it, but what I really mean is: we ask total strangers to become a part of our story. We ask them to stop, in the middle of some pretty busy moments, and allow themselves to be drawn into what, for some, may seem like too emotional a trip to take. At first it's awfully hard to walk up to someone and say, "Hi, I had cancer. I want to help others. Please help me." It's hard because: 1. You're interrupting someone in the middle of their day and asking them to help you. (And often you're asking them to give you something for free that they're charging everyone else for.) 2. You could be totally making your story up. 3. If you're not making your story up, you are telling them something terribly personal and asking them to take it personally, too. I can tell you that more often than not, people say "Sorry, I can't help you." But almost as often, people say, "Here. Take this." before you can even finish telling them your story. I suppose it's easier for them that way. Sometimes it's just too hard to listen. But once in a while, someone actually stops what they're doing, looks you straight in the eye, and waits patiently, often expressionless, as you tell them your story. Now, you never know how this is going to end, but from experience I can tell you if they're looking you in the eye, it's of those "moments". Hopefully over time we will get the chance to tell you about a lot of the moments like those that we have had over the last two times we've prepared for this event. Moments full of tears (ours and theirs), moments ended with hugs, moments that put a knot in your throat and leave you standing in a sea of people wishing that everyone could notice the wonderful, human miracle that just happened there. But today, I want to focus on one particular moment that Julie and I had during our trip to Chicago. I have to back track a little and tell you that before we made the trip, we did our research. We emailed people we had met last year to tell them we'd be coming, we checked out the list of the vendors that would be there, and tried to find some way we could "get" to them. Well, during one of these research efforts, Julie found out that a woman, named Melissa Frances, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. If you are not familiar with the name, Melissa Frances is a brand of home decor and scrapbooking supplies made in Canada. And it turns out, it's not just the name of the company: there really is a Melissa Frances. So, Julie found out that Melissa was diagnosed and we speculated that perhaps we could talk to her, survivor to survivor, about what we're trying to do. Well, it's not like there's a survivor handshake or anything. And there's something a little icky about approaching someone and leveraging their illness for your own benefit. Of course, we tried not to look at it that way, but let's just say that the situation was a very delicate one indeed. So, while we were in Chicago, Julie and I finally decided it was time to visit the Melissa Frances booth. Now, these booths are bustling with people who are there to do business: selling and buying products. We had no idea if Melissa Frances would even be there. Well, of course, we rounded the corner and there she was: talking to a buyer, with what was clear (to us) was a freshly sprouted crop of short chemo-comeback hair. (Cue the knot in our throats.) Julie and I perused the booth waiting for the right time. Melissa has a whole line of products related to breast cancer: papers, albums, stickers, and more. We nervously oohed and aahed over the samples. Soon, Melissa was free and we made our uncomfortable approach. Needless to say, it was one of those "moments". Soon after we had told her why we were there, we were talking with Melissa about our treatments and recovery and sharing experiences like soldiers swapping war stories. Despite her own struggles, Melissa was eager to help and absolutely did not disappoint us. She promised that even though a portion of the proceeds from the sale of her items goes to a wonderful charity, she would still have some items for us if we came back at the end of the show. We had no idea what she would give us, and I certainly do not want to give away any surprises, but she was unbelievably generous. In fact, she apologized for not having more to give! The only request that Melissa had for donating to the Crop was that we would blog about her and her cancer experience. She wanted to help other women who share her diagnosis as well as inform women about their risk. She is a brave, generous, talented woman. We are so grateful to have met her, and feel truly blessed to have shared some time with such a special lady. If you are interested in seeing the breast cancer themed products she offers as well as all of her other beautiful items, visit her website at . Once you're there, be sure to check out the gallery to see some of the beautiful creations her designers and fans have made. It will absolutely knock your socks off!

Thanks for reading. I hope you have some special "moments" of your own, too.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Addendum: Okay, I am NOT that insane!!! I just noticed that at the end of my post it puts the time that I wrote is SO NOT 5:54 AM right now! I do NOT need an intervention! It is currently 8:09. I have to fix that....Julie, Kim, don't get the straight jacket and hand cuffs yet!

Just a quickie!!!

Good morning, scrappers!!!

I thought I would pop on in and write a quick post while I have my first cup of coffee! (It's a miracle that I'm chipper and I haven't had my first cup!) You may have noticed that there is a little stat counter thingie on the page that is counting how many visitors we get to our little blog site. Well, I got an email this morning saying we have had 50 individual, first time visitors over the weekend!!! Woohoo!!! That makes the countdown until our registrations are all filled up pretty exciting indeed! I don't have a head count at the moment... (since our Royal headcounter lives on the other side of the United States and is most likely snoring away right now!!!) ...BUT I am excited to see the numbers!!! You ladies in Duluth need to know that you have some competition for your spots! We have had a lot of interest from some very enthusiastic scrappers in Wisconsin as well as farther south! I suppose I should warn you that I have posted our event on lots if internet message boards. (The kind for scrapbookers, not people looking for a date!)
Sorry, but I needed to spread the excitement. So come on in and register!

I also thought I would give you a little update on some recent deliveries that the UPS man has made to my door. A few of the companies are:

Hero Arts
Unity Stamp Co. (Check them out: they're from Spicer, MN and they rock!!!)
Big Picture Scrapbooking (If you haven't checked the classes out at you are missing out!)
Lion Brand Yarn
Wright's Manufacturing
and Fiskars
just to name a few!!!

In fact, I have so much stuff in my craft room that it's hard to tell what's mine. I'll try not to dip in to the Crop stash, I promise!


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WOW!!!! The scrappers of Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin do not disappoint!!!!

Wowie Zowie is all I can say!!!

Registration for this year's Crop for a Cure has only been open for four days and we are already closing in on the half way mark!!! That's right, we are capping the number of registrations for this year's event and we are almost half full! We are so grateful for all of the enthusiasm we have received! Keep it up, ladies! With this kind of excitement we are sure to exceed the amount in donations we raised last year. Thank you so much, we are really looking forward to the Crop and can't tell you how grateful we are to have such generous, enthusiastic participants! You make all of our hard work a joy!!!

I will post again with more sneak peaks, but here's one that I think you'll get a kick out of...I know I do!


Seriously....have you ever seen so many flowers? The picture doesn't really do this justice...the bag is the size of a large grocery bag!!! I wonder what we'll be doing with them...hmmmm!

Friday, August 8, 2008


Yes, He has to think I am either a shop-a-holic or completely crazy (or both!) what with all of the deliveries he's been making at my house lately! That's right, deliveries of MORE DONATIONS!!! I am sure I solidified my place as craziest woman on his route yesterday when I snapped these pics of him making yet another delivery! Coming to my house is harrowing enough what with two big dogs barking and jumping at him, but now he has even more reason to be afraid! I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't start making his deliveries under cover of darkness just to avoid me!

Here's a behind the scenes look into the process of getting our donations...

In order to give you an idea of the excitement around here, I decided I needed to take a couple of pictures showing you the pile of boxes of donations that is rapidly taking over my scrapbooking space. Don't look too closely...I don't want to give away any surprises! Julie raided the liquor store for some boxes to sort things in. Just so you know, here's the process: we take all the donations from each company, sort, count, and catalog them, and then we need to find out the retail price of each item. (Not a small feat, let me tell you! Thanks for handling that, Julie!) Anyway, then we have to store all of the items until we are ready to start putting together prizes, goody bags, class supplies, etc. My craft room is serving as operation central for these proceedings. So, I took these pictures showing you the pile of donations that have gone through this process. Doesn't it make you want to peek inside those boxes? No way, baby, this is TOP SECRET!!! Enjoy!!!

Oh, and for a laugh, check out this link to read how others are blogging about meeting us at CHA! (Or at least they met someone named "Ann Davis & Friends" who look an awful lot like us!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sneak Peek!

A little birdie told me he'd be making an appearance at the Crop for a Cure!

I wonder what we could make with all of THIS?
Need more choices?
I think that's all for now...but why don't you check back here on Thursday?  We'll give you another reason (or two, or three) that you won't want to miss Friday's Registration Day!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Countdown is ON! 8-8-08!

We're not counting down to the Olympic Games...we're counting down to our Crop Registration Day!  ((please read Alane's previous post, my apologies for stepping on her toes)).
Alane promised I'd add more pics from CHA, so here they are!
First, this is outside our hotel, after loading up our two carloads of donations.  We have never been so in need of showers in our lives!  YUCK!  But we were feeling so good!  We got 'er done!
For those of you who don't know, Paula joined us at CHA this year (on the left).  She was instrumental in keeping us all on task...and I swear, she had that show floor map memorized!
We would not have been able to do what we did in Chicago without her.  Thanks Paula!

And now, for a couple of our celebrity visits:
Check this one out!  We met the ProvoCraft Cricut!  We left the giant insect (insect?)
appropriately accessorized with a Scrapbook Royalty princess pin!

Next, it's Stacy Julian.  She was great fun (note the pigtails!) and spent quite a bit of time with us, learning why we were at CHA and she even looked at every page of Alane's book!  Alane is currently taking three classes through Stacy's Big Picture Scrapbooking.  (Awesome online classes - check them out if you haven't already!  But maybe just start with one?)
Thanks, Stacy!  We loved meeting you!

OK-this next one is me with Ali Edwards.  I was so excited to meet Ali she was our first stop on Friday morning.  (I read her blog every day & knew her schedule).  OK, so I felt a bit like a stalker on this trip...but really, I get great scrapbooking tips from reading scrap-blogs.  Ali's especially, I just love her philosophy on life, family, and scrapbooking.

Ali is so down to Earth, just as I've heard so many people say.  Thanks, Ali!  We loved meeting you, too!
Alright, so there you have it.  A few more pictures from our trip.

Next post, how about some previews of some of the items you'll see in October?
Sounds good to me!  We'll try and have something up for you by Monday or Tuesday!

And Don't Forget!  REGISTRATION: 8-8-08!  Do it early!  We're capping it this year!

Registration Opens August 8th!!! Put on your tiaras and...

...get ready to scrapbook!!!
Seriously, we are so pumped up for the Crop for a Cure this year. It will be hard to believe, but we know it's going to be even better than last year! AND by the buzz that has been circulating around scrapping tables, we are going to fill up fast! Since last year's Crop we have been telling every scrapper we meet about our event and they are all fired up to come. Plus, we're glad that each scrapper will have plenty of time to raise their donations. (PLEASE don't just shoot for your $100 minimum. It would be so awesome if everyone would work toward a higher goal.) In case you didn't get a save the date card in the mail, remember: in addition to crowning the Queen of Philanthropy we will be having the $250 Club (Think $500 Club lite) with special prizes for anyone who raises $250 in donations! And let me tell you, the prizes are going to be awesome!!!
Kim told you a little about our trip to CHA, and I must say we trucked home some mighty nice goodies. It took us two and a half hours to get everything to our cars and load them! That's a lot of goodies! We promise, you will NOT be disappointed. Suffice it to say that we have got more and better donations than last year. And last year was staggering!
One of the BIG highlights of CHA was meeting some scrapping celebrities. Now I know that not everyone is a scrapaholic like myself, but surely you've heard of Stacy Julian, founding editor of Simple Scrapbooks Magazine, teacher on Big Picture Scrapbooking, author and incredibly FUN lady? Or, maybe you've heard of Ali Edwards, regular contributor to Creating Keepsakes Magazine, author, artist and all around cool-beyond-belief woman? Well, yes indeedy, we got to meet 'em both! And they were so unbelievably nice! And generous! And they're donating things for prizes (oops...I let that slip!) And we took our picture with them! (Of course!!! We are scrappers, aren't we?)
So, I'm adding the pics I have of us with Stacy Julian. Kim has some more pics with Stacy and Ali so she'll be uploading those as well.
Check back often for some sneak peaks of what's in store!