Tuesday, October 30, 2007

When Life Gives You Burnt Lemons...

Crafty people stick together; there is no doubt about it. When you start looking around, there are crafters all over the world. But when a big event like this happens, the world becomes surprisingly (and reassuringly) small. Since starting this project I have run across all sorts of neighbors I didn’t know I had. Some of us lived so close we could have grown up together. I met Michelle on Etsy, but I certainly lived close enough to through a rock at her house in Westwood, an area that is now totally unrecognizable due to the fires. She posted a link to her flickr photos of the street she grew up on and they were startling. On my trip down this last weekend, I didn’t venture to that side of town. Since there are so many (sick) looky loos, most areas are shut down and police/sheriffs/National Guard members are asking for IDs to enter. But her pictures are amazing. You can take a peek here. Our conversation is good too, so I just pulled it out and am posting it here.

Me: Those pictures are so sad. I used to live in Westwood too and even though I was a shitty little teenager who hated living there, I grew up and now it's just devastating. My parents are over off Valle Verde in Poway. I just came back and though their house and street are fine, a couple of streets away it's a wasteland. And they've been evacuated for like a week now. The power just went back on. I guess the transformer that blew and started the whole [witch fire] thing was actually the one the neighborhood was using their ACs off of. Oh the irony…

Michelle: You know, I hated living there too as a teenager...that's why I live in University Heights now. ;) But it's been really hard seeing what my parents are going through and what my former neighbors are going through.

I didn't mention this on flickr, but we're convinced that one of the main reasons that our house is still standing is that we had a news crew in our cul-de-sac (Danza Circle) while the other homes were burning...and as our roof started to smolder (we watched this on TV minutes after my parents made it to my place after evacuating--it was awful), a news producer ran around to our backyard, found the garden hose, and hosed down the hot spot on the roof.

Eek, right?

eWomen Network helps out Fire Victims

Hey I'm back from the wreckage and back to my handy dandy internet connection. More importantly I am back in a place that has power. Yay! I'll be back later today with pictures and stories galore.

This email was in the emailbox this morning I think it is important to pass it on to you all:

Over a million people, including eWomenNetwork members, have been displaced by the fires ravaging the Southern California area. What we don’t see on the news is that the fires have taken not only homes, but also schools and small businesses, like the ones we seek to support. And to a very large extent, senior citizens have been particularly impacted, given the high population of retirees in the ravaged areas.

We know we can make a difference, and we’re calling on you to help. Please make a donation today of any amount you feel comfortable with. We will be working with our Orange County and San Diego eWomenNetwork chapters to identify the best and most impactful use of Foundation funds and calling upon the resources of our extended network, to help those in need.

Our Intention:

At your encouragement, we are pursuing a strategy to complement the efforts of the government and large relief organizations by serving women and children we know can benefit from additional assistance. We will particularly focus on opportunities to make a big impact through supporting small, local nonprofit organizations that may be most devastated by the loss of their facilities or their clients’ homes. We will also look for ways to bring safety and comfort to those senior women who may be particularly adrift due to the loss of their places of residence.

We further commit to “femtoring®” and tracking the progress of these organizations and individuals. As they experience a new and powerful network filled with the resources, ideas, information and tools, they will create a new beginning which will yield long-term results. We will apprise you regularly by publishing these success stories through the Foundation web site, email updates and the 2008 International Conference. As with all the Foundation dollars we collect, you will see first-hand how your contributions are actually being used to create a better life for those displaced and impacted by the fires in Southern California!

We request your support and generosity:

Together we can make an important and positive impact on this tragic situation. Your participation and donation are essential to rebuilding the lives of many. We kindly and respectfully ask for you to open your hearts and, yes, your purse, as well, to help us help others so desperate for our assistance. Remember, giving is at its best when you can help someone who can never pay you back. Let’s join together to make a profound difference.

Let us take this time to thank you in advance for what we know will be an overwhelming response to this request. There’s one thing we know for sure about eWomenNetwork members and supporters, we aren’t just “go-getters”—we’re “go-givers” as well!

Please know that no donation is too small. We’ve long learned that doing little things usually leads to BIG RESULTS!

To donate, please visit their site.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Big Marimello Hugs to Everyone!

Big hugs to everyone who has posted about the Witch Fire project.

I feel famous! Modish, Wolfie and the Sneak, PR Couture, The Runway Scoop, and Organic Stills, you all make me blush...Keep on spreading the good word.

So on to the important news. Melissa from Hayworth Handmade won Tutu Monkey's oh so cute tutu. Go check out Melissa's donations in the shop.

Fires around California are getting under control. Well some are and some aren't, but don't take my word for it. Go read the news. It's going to be a long time before everything is back to normal. There was even still a little char left from the last fires when these new ones started up. Thank goodness it is a little over cast today at least in LA. I'll be in San Diego this weekend helping out and making swag, so I hope I have lots of good things to report when I get back.

Wild Animal Park Update

I KNOW you've been checking the Wild Animal Park site daily. Remember? I used to work there. And before that I went through all the summer programs. I love that place. I am happy just thinking about it now.
I know. Sappy. But just look at that cutie on the left.

Ok on to the update:

Of the over 3,500 animals that reside at the Park, two animals (a clapper rail and a kiang) were lost due to complications from the fire. More than 600 acres of Wild Animal Park property were burned. These were open buffer zone areas and not exhibit or public access space.

The California condors and other endangered bird species, as well as other animals that had been relocated to the Paul Harter Veterinary Medical Center’s fire-safe area, have been returned to their home habitats.

The animals remain safe, secure, and have weathered the firestorm well. The Wild Animal Park did lose one of the empty condor breeding facilities to the fire as well as a storage facility containing Festival of Lights event materials. Winds have damaged trees throughout the Park, but again the animals and exhibits have weathered the storm. A core group of employees is on hand to care for the wildlife. Other employees and some contractors are currently assisting with clean up and restoration efforts. As an energy conservation measure, the Wild Animal Park has voluntarily removed itself from the SDG&E power grid and is operating on generators.

You can send in a donation directly here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fire Aid San Diego: another way to help

Here's something to do tomorrow! They're open late so you know you have no excuse if you are in San Diego, or San Di-Fuego, as I have taken to calling it. (I know. Terrible joke. It's been a rough week.)

On friday, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. st UTC, Fire Aid San Diego will be taking donations.
Amilyn Pharmaceuticals
9625 Towne Centre Drive
Crisis Relief Supplies!
Bedding: cots, air mattresses, sheets, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, Camping gear, tents, flashlights, batteries Face masks, gloves, sanitary wipes
Warm Clothing: Clean clothes: Jackets, hats, sweatshirts, blankets (good condition only)
Household goods!
Personal items: contact lens solutions, reading glasses, deodorant
Hygenic items: baby wipes, diapers, depends, sanitary napkins, tooth brushes, tooth paste
Family items: baby formula, canned goods, vitamins, baby wipes, sunscreen
Food: canned vegetables, canned fruit
Children: toys, games, stuffed animals, balls
Other: pet food
Gift Cards and Certificates!
Calling cards
Restaurant and fast food outlets
Grocery stores
Discount household goods (Target, Walmart, etc.)
Home improvement stores
Register to volunteer your time and skills over the next few weeks.

The Shop is Up

The shop is up on Etsy, finally. I will be posting a bunch more items as soon as I take pictures. You can see the items I have already put up over there on the side, but rest assured, there will be more by the time you read this. Remember, the raffle is tomorrow, so get involved! See below for Tutumonkey's beautiful donation!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scary Story from PrettyCheap

Our Etsy pal and fellow CCCOE Street Team member, PrettyCheap, sent in this story of a recent trip to Sea World that was foiled by the Fires...

Here's a little account of my personal experience with the fire and a picture from my front yard. (above)

Red world in my backyard (and my front yard) Sunday mid afternoon. It was 2pm about an hour after the Malibu had fire started. Now I live dozens and dozens of miles from Malibu. But it was scary.

I had planned a Seaworld trip with my kids for the Monday/Tuesday as school was out for the week. We headed to LA to stay with my MIL and my hubby and the dog went up to our weekend property (he had taken a couple days off). Good timing, so we thought, to escape the smoke. And there was a fire started far to the east near I5 as well to escape.

Down to LA, no problems there. Monday morn we got on the road after rush hour and went through another orange world in Orange County, (no pun this time). Not fun. Then into San Diego where a fire had started in Northeastern SD County. Our hotel was under mostly clear blue sky (except for a little smoke) but things were getting pretty hairy. More fires were starting by the hour and evacuations drove people to fill every room in the large area filled with hotels where we were.

Everyone was in good spirits but things were definitely getting worse. By Tues dawn I consulted with my husband via cell about the practicality of going to Seaworld. We absolutely bailed and got out of there by 7am practically flooring the gas pedal to make sure we could get north before something forced closure of I5.

We didn't stop until Sta Barbara and went to the zoo. Whew. Back home that evening things were in much better shape than I'd worried.

And the winds are gone. Thank goodness.

PrettyCheap will be entered in the drawing at the end of the week. PrettyCheap also raised the point that throwing money at a situation is not the only answer. "A gas card, grocery card, drug store card and the like would be hugely useful to people at this time probably." Not probably, definitely. Follow the links on the right up there to see what else you can do. If you find other links, let me know and I will post those up too!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SEE the devotion!

What a hottie. Hunk o' love is making BUTTONS for you all!

Wow that was QUICK!

First sale wheeeee! I don't know what is best about tonight; setting this all up and meeting all you rad kids, or watching my hot, not so crafty boyfriend making buttons on the floor of our apartment!
The Muy Calente washrag is sold, so I will just need to put something else up quick...

How about this?

Kids are a mess. Well, not your kids, but you know what we mean. Sometimes it's tempting to throw a tarp over the whole house.

But when you're out on the town, draping little ones in a plastic bag just isn't going to get you a whole lot of smiles. And it certainly won't get you anywhere near the Bullocks Wilshire Tearoom. Thus the need for the newly launched Babimello line.

Cotton, Machine washable and vividly girly this bib is the precursor to your chic child's pinafore.

Talkin' the Talk: Walkin' the Walk

Here's something to buy everyone! For tonight and tonight only I will continue to host it in my Etsy shop. (Frankly I am still figuring out how to swing this whole thing financially.) Rest assured that all the dollars will go to the Wild Animal Park fund wherever I end up selling it. Today they lost part of their condor facility (or CRES, which also saving Pandas). And if you know about California, you know these birds are SUPER rare. I used to work at the Park when I was younger and I think it's a great cause. If you have a better idea of how to help San Diego and the SoCal Region, you are welcome to contact me and let me know what you would like to do.

On to the goods:

Spill too much tequila salsa this weekend? Did that paper towel just make it worse AND kill a tree? Down with paper towels and up up with washrags!

Get clean and green with this colorful fiesta washrag. Guaranteed to beat any paper towel or generic washcloth at their own game. In the kitchen or in the bathroom this soft cotton piece is sure to delight.

OK so here's how it's going to work. Go to the Etsy shop and pay that way. Let me know that it is for the benefit via convo and I will send you real proof that the donation went through. Sure I could wait until I gather a real significant amount, but I'd rather put proof in the pudding if you know what I mean.

Remember, any one who participates will be entered in the drawing of the week. This week the drawing is for a SUPER cute Good Witch Halloween costume. How appropriate, huh? The house is threatened by the WITCH fire. I love it.

TuTu Monkey comes to the rescue!

We have our first donation! I am loving this tutu and wishing this came in a bigger size and that I hadn't already started crafting my Hamburger costume! Oh well...
TuTu Monkey has donated this tutu and the cute topper (but not the cutest girl in the world so don't get greedy). And I'll raffle it off just in time for Halloween! There are three ways to enter the raffle; send in a donation, tell me about a donation you have made (not that I don't trust you, but gimme proof), or buy something once I get the shop set up. Look for updates here.
Raffle will be closed on Friday the 26th.

Fires Fires All Around

As of this morning, 1000 homes had burned near where my parents live. I used to live there too and this is terribly sad news. Disasters of this type are so emotionally crippling, but through this blog I am hoping to band together the DIY and Crafty communities and send help to those who need it.

Please contact me if you would like to donate some items that will be sold on this site. They don't have to be super valuable. I will donate all proceeds to various charities (check here for updates). Both buyers and seller can enter a raffle for a sampler that I will put together from donated items. If you still want to be eligible for the drawing, send me a great story of how you contributed to fire relief efforts in SoCal and I will post them here.

This set up is so spur of the moment but I felt I had to do something. I will be posting items here as the day goes on. I promise I will update the charities that will be receiving the proceeds, but for now, check on the side bar for links to a few that I have already stumbled upon.

Think about it, this could be a great way to help to a lot of people who need it, but it will also be a great way to promote your business/blog/whatever.