Nov 1 2011

2011 Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange

The year we lost our son I participated in a handmade gift exchange hosted by Mother Henna. It truly helped us get through our very first Christmas after our loss. It was such an inspiration. This year we have teamed up with Faces of Loss to create the 2011 Handmade Holiday Gift Exchange!

The call for participants is NOW OPEN! If you are interested in joining please leave a comment including your name and either your blog url or e-mail address. The cut-off date for all participants will be November 13th! November 14th we will post the partners list so make sure to check back then.

Here are the guidelines:

– This exchange is open to everyone from anywhere. You might end up with an overseas partner. Keep that in mind when shipping.

– Please have your package(s) post marked by December 15th. If you miss the date please contact your partner and let them know when to expect it.

– You will be contacting your partner for their mailing address. This will be a great opportunity to ask them about their loss and how you might incorporate them into your project.

Here are some tips & tricks:

– Don’t be afraid to ask your partner questions. The more you know about them, the more ideas you will have. Research things like birthstones or zodiac signs. Find out what their favorite color is. Your gift should be from your heart to theirs. Anything is possible.

– You can create using any type of medium you feel comfortable with, so long as it is handmade! Some examples include: baked goods, drawings, paintings, ornaments, jewelry, picture frames, fiber art and knits, photography, wall art, candles, music, cards, or tags. Think!

– Make sure to snap photos of your work-in-progress and the finished piece(s). We would like to do a photo collage of some of the projects you created.

– If you have any questions feel free to !

To help spread the word please share this graphic on your blog or website.

We look forward to seeing what you create!


Sep 30 2011

A Look Back

Today is the last day of my 30 days of muchness challenge. Want to take a moment to look back and share some of my experiences with you.

Day 1 was probably the hardest day of my entire challenge. There was a family baby shower happening over Labor Day weekend and I knew I wanted to create something unique for baby H.

It was my first creative project (and baby shower) since my own son died and just the idea of creating something for another baby (boy) had me in limbo. Found some woodblocks at the resale shop a few days prior and with a little burst of creativity I decided to create some nursery artwork. With the help of some black acrylic paint, a sharpie, a ruler and spray adhesive I began digging into my fabric stash and pulling out some of my favorite swatches.

By day 3 my present was complete with an added bonus of swatches used in my son’s nursery. Now a little piece of my son will be shared with their new family.

Day 13 was a prep day for my husband’s birthday. Decided early on that I would create monster cupcakes for him. Went to the candy store and bought loads of penny candies for decorating.

Day 14 was his birthday and so began hand-creating 30 uniquely different cupcakes. Along the way I found myself creating cupcakes for our son, since his birthday would be coming up next. Decided right then and there that this year I would ask my friends and family to honor our son by making or buying a cupcake and sending us a picture.

Day 17 I gather my son’s urn and carried him downstairs to take his annual picture next to his memorial jade plant. It’s amazing to see how much his plant has grown!

Day 18 was his 2 year birthday. We spent the day at Kings Island and made sure to walk through Planet Snoopy in his honor. When we returned home my best friend surprised me with a visit. She wrote his name out in cupcakes and goodies and it really made my day.

Later that evening a friend sent me a picture of her jade plant and a cupcake for our boy. It was another heart-warmer because I actually took a cutting from my jade plant to send to her in memory of her son R.

Day 28 I woke up to balloons and candy! I thought for sure my husband got his days mixed up. Comes to find out he wanted to kick off my 30th birthday with 3 days of celebration!

Day 29 I woke up to a beautiful fall mum with a note “A mum for Mom” (which totally melted my heart!)

Day 30 it was all about my chocolate cake!!!!!


I hope you have enjoyed the look back on my 30 days of muchness. Thanks to all who followed my journey and kept me on the muchness track. Special thanks to Tova for thinking this up and sharing it with us! If you are interested in taking the muchness challenge yourself, click here for all the info.

Dec 24 2010

Ho, Ho, Hope

Dec 13 2010

Facing the Holidays When You’ve Lost a Loved One

An article by Judith Johnson of the Huffington Post was sent to me and I wanted to pass it along to the rest of you. The holidys can be so difficult and there are some really great tips on how to honor our babes during the holidays.


  1. Pay attention and be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you feel and what you need to do and not do as you move through this holiday season. Whether you have other people to coordinate your plans with or are facing the holidays alone, be as true to yourself as possible. Others may try to include you in their plans, or they may not, but it is really up to you to figure out what would be best for you. If you feel like sitting home in your pajamas sipping hot chocolate and crying or nibbling on cold pizza crust from the night before, that’s OK. If you feel happy and want to joyfully participate in the holidays — that’s OK, too. Don’t judge your truth, just live it and trust your own inner wisdom to carry you through.
  2. Be patient, kind and compassionate with yourself about what is true for you. There are no set rules about how to face the holidays carrying the loss of a loved one. This is a very personal matter. For many of us, the holidays trigger memories of thoughts, feelings, tastes, smells, rituals and traditions shared with our loved one. Without this person, the holidays may feel hollow and meaningless. If possible, reach for the deeper meaning of these holy days and the privilege of having shared them with someone you loved. Sometimes we take that for granted until we lose it. So, if your loss feels overwhelming, consider transforming it into gratitude for the blessing of having had this person in your life who touched you so deeply.
  3. Take loving care of yourself. Grief takes many forms. You might find yourself lethargic or grumpy or somehow out of sorts. That’s OK. Just stay focused on what is happening inside you and tend to yourself as you would to anyone else you love deeply. Love yourself deeply through this time.
  4. Anticipate and plan ahead. Don’t wait for others to make plans for you that may or may not have anything at all to do with what you really need. Face your truth and communicate what you need this year to those with whom you would otherwise be spending the holidays. If you have no one, consider new options like volunteering in your community, spending a quiet holiday by yourself or asking someone to include you in part of their festivities. You might even take a trip to either avoid the whole experience or to immerse yourself in another culture’s interpretation of the holidays.
  5. Make room for your grief or sadness. Grief is a very private matter, and the holidays have a way of magnifying it. Welcome your grief. Your sadness and tears are expressions of the healing process of letting go and moving forward into your life without your loved one. If you try to postpone or ignore your grief, it will find other ways to manifest and demand your attention. So, be open to your grieving and trust that it is healing.
  6. If appropriate, create a new ritual to honor the memory of your deceased loved one as you celebrate the holidays. My mother and I decorated shoe boxes that we put under the Christmas tree. Each of us would take time to write little messages of love and appreciation for the other, put them in each other’s box and then read them on Christmas morning. I am immersing myself in our love this Christmas by rereading our messages and adding new notes of appreciation for my mother’s love. By putting the names of people who have loved me on the tags of all the presents I have bought myself, I am also remembering them and surrounding myself with their love this Christmas.
  7. Remember that the holidays will pass. Chances are they will present challenges. Rise to the occasion and take good care of your sweet self.


For the full article, please click here.