Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Hurricane Story & Yellow Heart Art Gives Back

One of our fellow bloggers and shop owners, Leonora, experienced Hurricane Sandy first hand.
Below she shares her story, and not only that. Leonora is even raising money through the sales of these prints to help with hurricane relief efforts.

We are so happy Leonora is safe and that she's giving back through Handmade with purpose!

Leonora's story 10/29/2012
The lights keep flickering as I am watching my homegirl Teresa on Long Island Medium. I sit there on the couch waiting for the inevitable. The house rattles and I am convinced the air conditioning unit in my living room is going to be pelted at my forehead going 90mph.

7:30pm pitch black.

Hurricane Sandy hit and the power was officially gone. I was convinced that maybe I would be without power for 1 day, maybe 2 days tops. On Long Island we rarely get "hurricanes", they usually start out as a hurricane down south but by the time they reach us up here they are down graded to a tropical storm.

Bub was out playing "Captain America" on the fire truck. So I figured I should call him to let him know we lost power and that I was ok.

Except the cell towers were also taken out, so my cell phone was pointless at this point and was now my flashlight.

With nothing else to do I sit at my kitchen window and look outside. I see what I thought was lightning, the sky lit up about 3 times over the course of 20 minutes. I later realized those were transformers on the power lines going up in a blaze of glory.

About 2 hours later a fire truck pulls up to the house.

Bub runs off the truck, comes up stairs and tells me "Babe, it's bad out there"

There is one thing you should know bout bub, he is a "tell it like it is" guy, so for him to say it was bad I knew it was bad.

He had to leave me again to go on more fire calls which consisted of gas leaks, fires, trees down, power lines down, pretty much anything you can think of.

The next morning we drive around the neighborhood, this is what we see all around us.

 Trees uprooted and in the power lines

 Trees taking out cars

This was a side walk.

 a tree down in my parent's back yard, there is bub in the bottom left hand corner cutting it down

Tree taking up the entire block and into more power lines.

So, what I thought would turn into 2 days TOPS with no power turned into 7.


The first few days were manageable, I laughed in the face of Sandy saying "YOU'LL NEVER BREAK ME!"

But by day 6 she broke me, she broke me hard.

Yes, we had a generator, but the problem was we couldn't run it 24/7. We would run it for a few hours just to keep the fridge cold. We also have an electric stove so cooking food was pretty much non existent. By day #4 we finally found a way to hook it up to the heat because in New York temperatures were rapidly dropping from the 50's, to the 40s and now 30's.

I was worried for this little guy the entire time

you see apparently birds can't be in a climate thats below 50*, so I had get super creative to keep him warm.

I tried filling up chinese food containers with hot water, placing them in a cooler, then putting his cage on top of that so the heat could radiate in.

I tried packing socks full of those hand warmers that skiers use to put in their gloves to keep warm and tie it in the cage where he usually hangs out, but apparently a pink argyle sock hanging in a bird cage looks threatening and birdie bugged the eff out.

It's ok birdie, I'm bugging out too, we are in the same boat buddy.

Things were starting to get really bad starting day 3. Since 90% of long island was with out power that meant that 90% of the gas stations were also out of power.

No power = no pumping of gas

No pumping of gas = no one filling up their generators

Not being able to fill up your generator = people stealing generators from people's backyards in a desperate attempt to get power to their house

People waited hours...HOURS in the hopes that the gas station they were currently waiting in line on had gas to spare. No one can fill up their cars or gas cans to keep their generators running.

People were getting cranky and getting cranky fast. A woman ran over a gas station attendant when she found out there was no more gas for her car, a man stabbed another man at the gas station battling it out for gas, they had to call in the Air National Guard and the Police to "babysit" the gas stations and generators so people could "play nice".

 Driving was also fun. Most traffic lights are out at every intersection so it was an awesome game of "HOLY SH*T I MIGHT DIE RIGHT NOW BUT IM GONNA BOOK IT HARD AND FAST AND PRAY I DON'T GET T-BONED"

The grocery stores are bare, they have zero perishables on hand.

In all my 28 years I never ever would have guessed I would experience ANYTHING like this.

Most of my family is STILL with out power, they are saying they might be with out power for an additional 7-10 days ON TOP OF already not having power for 1 week.

Things are scary right now,  at first I was all like "this is no big deal, just a little storm" but the more time that goes by I am seeing the devastation. It's a hard pill to swallow knowing that the red cross and other organizations are sending aid to a place where I live and call home.

I want to help too, once I get my feet back on the ground I will be selling new items in the shop where the proceeds will go to the Sandy Relief Efforts.

Please, keep us in your thoughts. I just want life to be normal again. I am one of the really lucky ones, things could have been a lot worse.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Bow+Arrow Gives Back

Thanksgiving scripture print from

I'm so excited to share a new project I'm a part of!
I've been wanting to start giving back with the money I make from my shop, but I was never quite sure how or where I wanted to give.
When Lindsay over at Pen & Paint put out the word that she was organizing Handmade with Purpose to come together & raise money for Hurricane Sandy relief, I was sure I wanted to join her.
I can't even imagine what the victims of this storm are going through & it breaks my heart that as I'm making Christmas lists & planning Thanksgiving treats, there are so many left homeless or cleaning up from the destruction.

Handmade for a Purpose print from

That's why from now until December 17 (1 week before Christmas & Bow+Arrow's last shipping day) I'll be donating 50% of sales from my 8x10 Psalm 51:15 print to American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts.
I felt like I didn't have much to offer alone, but there are lots of other amazing shops donating too & I was inspired to join with my tiny little shop when Lindsay reminded us of this beautiful Mother Teresa quote:

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”
-Mother Teresa

So as you shop for your loved ones this holiday season, would you consider choosing a shop that will help you give to the relief efforts with your purchases?
Click on the image below and I just know you'll find plenty of beautiful gift ideas!

Thank you so much Ashley for giving back!
Bow + Arrow Blog . Bow + Arrow Shop

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hooked by Amber gives back

25% off all sales from now til the end of december will be donated to
 American Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy relief.

This also includes custom orders.

Happy shopping friends!

Thank you Amber for giving back!
Blog . Shop

Be sure to check out all the other shops giving back through Handmade with Purpose.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Blossom & Vine gives back

it's Thursday night and i just climbed into bed with my laptop. my sweet girls are all tucked in and sleeping soundly, bellies full. i have the heater going and extra blankets ready because it's finally fall here in San Diego, which means it may drop to 40 degrees or so. call me a wimp, but i don't know any different.

i look around at the laundry and the little toys scattered across my floor. there's a sink full of dishes downstairs and several messes that still need to be picked up. i know i'll have to deal with it in the morning but i'm tired now. we had a full day and i'll be up at 3am with the baby i'm sure.

i'm sitting here thinking about this: there are people - regular old American people just like you and me - who just happen to live on the east coast. and right now they would do anything to be experiencing everything i just described above. just to return to some kind of normalcy and familiarity. but they can't. the hurricane of the century swept through and ravaged their lives, leaving them homeless and hungry, taking all their earthly possessions, and even snatching children from their arms.

people are suffering. the storm has passed but the wreckage, both figuratively and literally, remains. and it's devastating. for some, there's no logical end in sight. no timeframe for when they can return home, if home still stands. for others, their children and loved ones are gone. life will never be the same. some are freezing and some are hungry and some need formula for their babies. there is still much need.

it's hard to imagine, isn't it? makes you a little bit sick to your stomach, knowing there's no reason it couldn't have been you or me.

sometimes i get so overwhelmed with something that i just want to help. i sincerely wish that i could write a check for five thousand dollars and make a solid contribution, but i don't have five thousand dollars. sometimes i get really discouraged by what little i have to offer. i tell myself if i can't do something substantial, i should just do nothing. but then i remember that if each one of us gives some, it multiplies into much. it's not glamorous or mind-blowing, it's just simple math. if lots of us do a little bit, big things can happen and communities can rebuild and people can feel loved and cared for.

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one."
- Mother Teresa

i know i told you this last week, but for my little part, i'll be donating 25% of all sales from my shop for November and December to the relief efforts.
oh, and just to persuade just a little bit more, from now through Thanksgiving 
you'll receive this lovely piece in 5x7 tucked into your order for free:

Blossom & Vine Blog . Blossom & Vine Shop

Thank you Aly for giving back!
Be sure to check out all the other shops giving back through Handmade with Purpose.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Days gives back

$5 from each purchase of these earrings will directly support hurricane sandy relief with a donation to the America Red Cross
With friends and family affected by this recent devastation, I know that every little bit we can do helps so much.

Thank you Hannah for giving back!

Be sure to check out all the other shops giving back through Handmade with Purpose.

Monday, November 12, 2012

We are helping!

So grateful for each of these shops helping with Handmade With Purpose and taking part in Hurricane Sandy Relief efforts. If you are are a blogger or shop owner who wants to participate please contact us!

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”

-Mother Teresa

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Can you help?

We are looking for bloggers and shop owners who are interested in the Handmade with Purpose Fall/Winter 2012 project.

We are asking bloggers to consider donating a portion of their sponsorship income and shop owners to consider donating a portion of their profits to the American Red Cross Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts (we are currently waiting for approval from the Red Cross to use their brand).

Please take a moment to read HOW you can get involved and email us if you are interested.

We are taking participant submissions through November 11th. On November 12th we will begin posting blog shop features sharing via social media the blogs and shops participating.
All participants will need to submit a 150x150 button which will be displayed here on the blog. Also, each participant will have a chance to submit a post featuring their blog/shop to share about how they are donating.

Thank you for understanding this is a work in progress and we will be updating information and FAQs as they arise.