I’m thrilled to be participating today alongside so many amazing designers in a very special blog hop hosted by Sandy Allnock. You should have arrived here from the blog of the incredibly talented Joanne, but if you didn’t, don’t worry. I’ll have a full list of the entire hop at the end of this post. If you get lost at any point during the hop, just head back over to Sandy’s post to find your place.
The focus for this hop is to encourage people to think about charitable giving as gifts for friends and loved ones. This is something I’ve been doing for many years, so when I heard about Sandy’s idea for the blog hop, I knew immediately I wanted to participate! The idea was for each of us to purchase a gift through a charitable organization then create a card/project inspired by our purchase.
For my gift, I chose bracelets from The Flourish Market. They work with 32 organizations from around the globe purchasing products created by artisans and makers in vulnerable communities which helps provide these artists dignity and a fair wage. The Flourish Market then sells these items in their online store, as well as in their retail store in Raleigh, NC. The bracelet I chose is made by a group of women in Rwanda.
I first learned about The Flourish Market when Catherine Pooler purchased a large number of the bracelets to include in her Foundations Box when it launched last fall. The bracelets were so popular, she now carries them for individual purchase in her online store as well. I fell in love with the bracelet as soon as I received my Foundations Box and purchased more of them to give as Christmas gifts. I’ve also purchased subsequent items directly from The Flourish Market since they office a wide variety of items such as jewelry, home decor items, clothing, etc. If you aren’t sure what your recipient would like, they even offer gift cards.
Since a bracelet is a fashion accessory, I decided to use the Beautiful You stamp set from Stampin’ Up!® for my card. This lovely fashionista seemed perfect for a card which uses a bracelet as the inspiration.
I stamped the image and sentiment on a piece of watercolor paper using Basic Black archival ink. I then used my inks and a water brush to color the image. Since the bracelet is also available in a rose/pink color, I used Rose Red for her dress and hat, Blushing Bride (watered down quite a bit) for her skin, and Island Indigo for the background around her.
After the watercoloring was dry, I trimmed the panel down and matted it on a piece of Island Indigo card stock using Tear and Tape. I adhered the matted panel to an A2 top-folding card base made of Whisper White Thick card stock using tape runner. For a bit of shimmer, I went over the dress and hat using a clear Wink of Stella pen and that finished my card.
As if the warm fuzzies of giving someone a gift that helps others wasn’t enough, there are prizes available as part of this blog hop. I just wanted to take a moment to give a big shout out of thanks to our wonderful sponsors! Your next stop in the hop will be the amazing Libby. Don’t forget! You’ll need to visit each stop around the hop and leave a comment by no later than Wednesday, March 22 to be eligible for the prize drawing. Winners will be announced on Sandy’s website on Thursday, March 23.
- Sandy Allnock – If you get lost at any point around the hop, go here to start over!
- Lisa Stein
- Caryn Davies
- Carly Tee Minner
- May Sukyong Park
- Lisa Spangler
- Aimes Gray
- Jessica Frost-Ballas
- Ellen Hutson Blog
- Julia Stainton
- Emily Midgett
- Taheerah Atchia
- Joanne Soukup
- Melissa Miller <– YOU ARE HERE
- Libby Hickson <– GO HERE NEXT
- May Flaum
- Cindy Lawrence
In addition to The Flourish Market which I used as my charitable gifting source for this hop, below is a list of some other resources which are great options for charitable gifting. The next time you have a gift-giving occasion, please think about giving a gift that keeps on giving by helping others in need!
If you want to learn more about how monies received by any given charity are spent/divided, check them out on Charity Navigator. It’s a great resource for ensuring your donation dollars are getting the most bang for their buck. The gift catalog resources listed below are some of my favorite organizations I’ve donated to over the years. They all have an overall Charity Navigator score of at least 85 or higher.
- Children International – Helping overcome poverty through child sponsorship. This organization doesn’t have a gift catalog, but I’ve been sponsoring children through them for over 10 years. They are very near and dear to my heart, so I wanted to include them on my list. (Charity Navigator Summary)
- St. Jude Children’s Hospital – St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. (Charity Navigator Summary)
- Heifer International – Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth. (Charity Navigator Summary)
- World Wildlife Fund – For 50 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature as the world’s leading conservation organization. (Charity Navigator Summary)
- UNICEF – UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to protect the rights of every child. (Charity Navigator Summary)
- International Rescue Committee – The IRC helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and regain control of their future.(Charity Navigator Summary)
- Best Friends Animal Society – BFAS runs the nation’s largest no-kill sanctuary for companion animals and builds effective programs that reduce the number of animals entering shelters. (Charity Navigator Summary)
- Oxfam – Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. (Charity Navigator Summary)
- CARE – The organization from which the term “CARE Package®” originated! CARE works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty and achieve social justice. (Charity Navigator Summary)
Before I go, I have to give one final shout out to a charitable organization very near and dear to my heart. It’s the Soup of Success program in Elkhart, IN. A very dear friend of mine (who is also a papercrafter!) is the Director of this program which is a job and life skills training program. As part of the program, they actually run a small enterprise and sell their products which includes mixes for things like soup, dips, cookies, etc. I even helped develop one of their soup mixes which explains why they’re so near and dear to me. 🙂
Until next time …