Tuesday, January 20, 2015

We Did It! Love to Soldiers is Complete!

A few weeks ago I asked if any of you would be interested in gathering some items to send to a troop of soldiers in Kuwait. My hope was that we could send four large priority boxes. Well, we sent EIGHT boxes, 85 valentines, and made a $35.00 donation to the AnySoldier project!
 I should have known that my blogger friends would respond in this way!
You're a group of generous, kindhearted women!
Enjoy these pictures. :)
Jumbo valentines made by Maddie.
A box from Erica and Maddie.
 Another box from Erica and Maddie.
 Patriotic Valentines, and a big box of things from Lynn.
click to visit Lynn's Etsy Shop. It's so cute!
 Adorable Valentines, and a large box of things from Dorothy.
 A big box of snacks, and handmade valentines, from Chris M.
 Tons of DVDs, and assorted mini things from Shirley.
 Four beautiful handmade valentines, plus a generous monetary donation from Kim.
 The sweetest handmade patriotic cards, made by Marlynne and her Great Grandson Eli.
Candy, Mints, and Gum from Viv.
 Sweet vintage style valentines, from Sandy.
Pretty handmade cards and lots of fun things from Pam.
 A big stack of unused greeting cards for the soldiers to send home, from Chris L.
  Deb's handmade cards, and items she sent.
And Tammy (The Air-Man's Mom), sent these cheerful handmade valentines.
 My (kind of weird) handmade valentines for the soldiers.
Jackson Brown checks out my contribution. My Aunt Judy donated $20 toward this batch too!
In addition, Marci and Susan, helped by making a monetary donation, which helped to send some of the things in this picture!
Several of the gals above also sent money to help with shipping costs. And for those of you who sent cards, I can't thank you enough! Because of you, we were able to make our goal of sending exactly 85 valentines!
I don't know what I would have done without Deb's help on this!
We got together on two different days at her house. We sorted, labeled, and boxed things up. Then we would realize we did something wrong, and have to take it apart and re-box things. lol
There was a lot of laughing, and sighing (from me not her), and then we (me) needed a couple of drinks when it was all said and done! We learned a lot about how to do this! And it was fun!
Sweet Pea and Jackson Brown helped out too!
Sending a HUGE thank you to Deb, and Everyone who participated in sending love to this particular group of soldiers! Maybe we will hear back from some of them. Let me know if you do!
Hugs- Erica :)


Monday, January 12, 2015

Snowmen in January! Brrrrrr

As I post this, my phone says it's 3 degrees outside. Three. Degrees. Ahhh!   
I thought it would be fitting to show my vintage snowman collection today.
  I put them all on one shelf in the living room this time.
The tall one with the red buttons was made by Elizabeth.
 The one on the right needed some help, so he got a jar of candy canes and a new hat!
You got 6 "Cocoanut" covered ice cream balls, plus 6 candles, and 6 doilies in this box!
 I like using vintage cards in all of my holiday displays.
 The one on the right is a candy container.
 On top, one of the older blow molds that I have.
 My very first Christmas corsage (with the spun cotton snowman), is tucked into a candy container.

 The snowman on the top left was my great grandmothers. I found the navy blue card (on the bottom) last summer at the flea market. I love it's style!
 I recently made the clay snowman on the right. His vintage wreath is by "Shiny Brite", and his bow is made out of my favorite old tinsel ribbon.
My friend, Mandy, gave me the wonderful guy on the right with the gold ribbon on his hat. He's the largest snowman that I have!
Oh greaaat! I see now that in the time it took me to create this post, we LOST three degrees! So now my phone says it's 0 degrees! As in...None. No degrees at all. haha
Oh well, warmer days are ahead, right?
Tonight is a definite "stay in and order pizza" kind of night!
Hugs to you all-
Erica :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gifts From a Friend: Ruth is back! :)

 Last month I received such a special package. It was so unexpected, it actually made me a little choked up. Ruth sent me a box full of vintage Christmas things, including the cat, above.
December is my birthday month, so it's even more special!
(Click above to learn how I met Ruth. She's a kindred spirit! )
 I know some of you have asked if Ruth and I still keep in touch, and yes we do! She is a honey! Still busy living her "second childhood" as she calls it. She makes clothes for her dolls, and the most detailed dollhouses you've ever seen!
 Can you believe she sent these beaded ornaments? The trees are my new favorite!
 She sent a whole stack of vintage angel cards! I already have a project in mind for them!
 And look at these! She knows that my dog's name is Noel (Wellie), and she named one of her dolls Noel. We like that name! lol  And I love these candle holders!

Something about this mouse looked familiar. I asked Ruth if she made it, and course she did! Look at her tiny crocheted shawl. Ruth used a Jennifer Murphy pattern. I don't know if she knows this or not, but I'm a big fan! I have a Cat made by Jennifer, a Rabbit made by Me (with tons of help from Jennifer) at one of her workshops, and now a Mouse from Ruth!!!
My favorite thing about Ruth (besides her sweet nature) is her imagination. She hand makes many of the things she uses with her dolls. One of her recent projects was to design, write, and photograph, the story of Goldilocks using her dolls as the characters! 
I need to ask her before I share the whole thing with you, but here is a sneak peak.
It's adorable! Keep in mind, this is all done at her house, with things she has on hand! If she can't find it, she makes it!
 I'm ruining these pictures! They really are great, but I had to take shots with my cell.
I hope I can share the real ones with you. But look at the bear picture over the mantle, and the tiny cross stitch that Mama Bear is holding!
 Goldilocks is approaching the house. That's real ivy and tiny laundry!
Sitting in Papa Bears chair.
Again, I'm sorry that I didn't do this justice. I wanted you girls to see how talented Ruth is though. It's inspiring, and makes me smile when I look at it!
Some people come into our lives, and for some reason or another we just "click" with them. Ruth is one of those people for me. So easy to talk to, and so full of kindness and support.
I'm sure she'll inspire you as much as she inspires me! Hopefully I'll get to share her whole story with you soon!
I'm linking up today! I never do that for some reason! Seems like I should! lol
Linking up with Share Your Cup!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Thank you girls so much for joining me in sending love to the soldiers in Kuwait!
Sign-up is still open HERE! 
I wanted to clarify a couple things.
1. You don't have to use a shoe box. That was just a suggestion. But feel free to use any box! Smaller than a shoe box is fine! A padded envelope is fine. Anything that you can contribute will be appreciated!
2. So far, I think we have 14 of us. So $6.00 (not $10.00) is what you can include in your package. This will go towards our shipping cost and a donation to the program.
3. Shirley said that she's going to send some DVD's that she has. This is great! If you have books, magazines, or DVD's that aren't getting used at home then by all means, send those things.
4. Any Valentine's Cards that we send can't be in sealed envelopes. So just tuck them in your package as is. I think I'll put each one in a plain white envelope, stamp a heart on the outside, and write "To Any Soldier" on the front. If the card looks like it's for a girl, I'll be sure to put "To Any Girl Soldier". Feel free to write your name and email address on any card that you send. The site says that many soldiers like to send emails of thanks, but that we shouldn't expect them to...which of course we wouldn't. :)
5. I hate to rush anyone, but the sooner the better as far as sending your package to me.
It would be great if I could ship the large boxes to Kuwait by January 12th. So I'd need to receive them by the 10th at the latest. I know this is tough! I'm sorry! 
6. Email me if you don't have my mailing address or have any questions at all!
I can't tell you how much I appreciate that you girls signed up to do this with me.
I want 2015 to be less about myself, and more about helping others...so we are all off to a great start!
Hugs- Erica :)

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Sending LOVE to Soldiers: A Very Different Kind of Swap!

I was thinking about a Valentine's Swap for 2015, and then I started thinking about my huge Rubbermaid container of Valentine's Day d├ęcor, crafting supplies, and vintage cards. I can't fit the lid on it anymore because it's overflowing.
I love swapping with my bloggy pals, but what if we did something different this year? What if we sent Love (and Gratitude) to a group of soldiers overseas?

I went to AnySolider.com and chose a group of  U.S soldiers of the Army who are stationed in Kuwait. I purposely chose a unit that was full of junior enlisted soldiers who are on their first deployment, and away from their families for the first time. The soldier's name who represents this unit is Brandon S. He has contact with 75 male, and 10 female soldiers.
The site has tons of helpful information about what to send. It's so interesting to read all the requests from the soldiers too. It's mind blowing to me that our country pays it's professional sports team players millions of dollars a year, when our soldiers have to buy their own soap and gloves!
Here's what I'm thinking, but please give your opinions and advice!
I haven't done anything like this before. :)
I want to fill four, large, Priority USPS boxes with things for this army unit in Kuwait.
The boxes will contain dozens of things that the soldiers need, including personal hygiene items, and snacks. These things aren't expensive. Dehydrated noodle bowls, jerky, razors, lotion, magazines, candy, etc.
Because we are vintage loving, crafty girls, we will send handmade Valentine's for every solider. Another thing I kept coming across on the site was the fact that they don't have access to greeting cards to send home to family and friends. If any of you are especially good at making cards (not me), and could send handmade Easter, Fourth of July, Birthday, and blank cards for the soldiers to send back home, that would be wonderful!
Once I get some feedback and know how many of you are on board with me, I'll post more details. I'm a little nervous that I bit off more than I can chew, but it shouldn't take long to fill four boxes. I believe that it will cost $53.00 to send 4 large, flat rate priority boxes.  I'm hoping that (if you choose to participate) each gal will send ME a shoebox filled with a mix of items, and $5 to $10  to cover shipping, plus the small monetary donation to "Any Soldier" itself. I'll open the shoe boxes, do some rearranging, and then everything will go into the 4 larger boxes. We must ship edible things separate from things like soap and deodorant.
Because Valentine's Day will be here before we know it, we need to get this moving FAST!
I think it can take 3 to 4 weeks for packages to be received.
Let's show the soldiers that they are loved!
Erica :)
p.s  You don't need to have a blog to participate, and of course
 "The More The Merrier"!
We will send as many boxes as we can!
Here is a list of things that are needed.
Many of them can be found at your local Dollar Store! I *stared the ones that are asked for the most.
*Baby Wipes
Hair Ties and Bobby Pins
Dryer Sheets
*Easy Mac n Cheese/Noodles
*Tuna/Cracker packs
*Nuts and Trail Mix
*Granola and Protein Bars
***Beef Jerky
Chex Mix
Cheetos and Doritos
Sugar Free Gum
*Candy, Gummy Candy
Hacky Sacks
Crossword and Sudoku Puzzles
*MIO or Gatorade Water Flavoring
Shaving Cream
Dried Fruit
Blank Greeting Cards
*Travel Sized Items
Card Games
Small Games and Puzzles
Books and Magazines
*Shampoo and Conditioner
*Body Wash/Spray
*Coffee/Instant Creamers