This week kind of killed me. One minute I’m virtually talking trash to myself, and the next minute I’m singing my praises. My non crafty side asks what on earth I think I’m doing and my creative determined side pats me on the back when I have a finished product. I sound like a broken record, but I can’t say it enough. There are so many variables! Each project has a new twist that I’ve got to figure out. For example, I didn’t know that heat pressing over a seam would make one of those ugly seam marks we get when we iron. I had to research how to avoid that, which led me to purchasing heat press pillows. Then I had my blade inserted wrong, which led to having to take a couple of hours off of work so I could connect with Silhouette customer service, plus tons of wasted vinyl, and vinyl is money.
I know I sound grumpy as I work through this learning process. And at times I am super grumpy. I’m frustrated that I don’t know how to put vinyl on t-shirts, what settings to put on the Cameo machine for the various materials, and that I can’t see the cut marks to weed them off of their carrier. But then I come up with a design that I’m sure will please my friend (customer) and you’d think the Blazers won game 3 in the Western Conference Finals.
Or, I get perspective.
On Saturday I got to help at a fundraiser for an organization called Ethiopian Orphans Relief. I never thought I’d be helping with an organization about Ethiopian orphans. I have worked really hard to stay focused on the things that tug at my heart. I tend to be scattered with a lot of interests and I have to be dogged not to be distracted from the things that are already on my list of causes. It’s a challenge to know where to stop helping all the causes that need attention. I have a dream of starting an organization to help single moms who don’t have families to help them. They are in a sense orphans and I know God did not intend that anyone do life alone. The dream has so much potential, if only…
In the elevator from the parking garage I was making small talk with a couple dressed like they were country music fans. I was in downtown Portland and country music fans usually play in the suburbs or rural areas, yet, I’m definitely not in the know about where to go country dancing these days. The woman asked where I was going and when I heard myself say, “A fundraiser for Ethiopian orphans” I followed it with, “Really, I am. I mean, I’m helping at it.”
There are so many people in need close to home that I have this kind of promise to myself that I won’t get distracted by the needs across the world, when my neighbors are in need. That when my friend who is suffering from cancer and another good acquaintance recently died, that my energies will be put toward those things if I’m asked. With my sparse resources I have chosen Compassion First and Young Life as the two organizations I donate to consistently. And the way I work toward my dream of helping single moms, is to help single moms. When a single mom friend I know needs something, I do my best to be a resource for her. So, when I told the couple that I was going to a fundraiser for Ethiopian orphans, it sounded like I was trying to imitate a socialite in a movie, and I grappled to remedy it.
I wanted to explain to the couple that I was helping because the co-founder of the organization introduced me to the Silhouette Cameo 3 that I now use for my business. She was integral in showing me what the machine was all about and I wanted to do something for her in return. But the elevator door indicated the conversation was over and we went on our separate ways. Which by the way, I was almost hit by a guy driving a big black SUV as I crossed the street (legally). Because I was voice texting the EOR founder as I crossed the street, my phone still has the words I was saying to the potential manslaughter criminal.
But he didn’t hit me (nor did he apologize, but a nice bystander witnessed my near death and comforted me by calling the driver a bad name) and on to the fundraiser I proceeded.
First, I have to say, it’s been a very long time since I’ve been in a nice hotel. The event was at the downtown Hilton. This sounds so ridiculous, but I didn’t realize that I’d missed being in a hotel. For awhile nice hotels caused me distress. I think I had a kind of PTSD about them after my divorce. I won’t go into that, but hotels had lost their innocence and I was happy to live a simple life where I could count on what I could see.
But I’m over my PTSD, and in fact had forgotten I’d ever had it. The evidence is how much satisfaction I had by just walking into the lobby and enjoying the luxury of design and service. The high ceilings, soft lights, and furniture design that reflects the current trends of mixing metals and wood. Oh, I loved it!
Working at the fundraiser was fabulous. The people I worked with care about their cause like I care about mine and it is equally legitimate. The organizers gave the guests good reason to spend their evening with them. The auction items were hard to say no to, and easy to say yes to. Guests were incredibly generous, as I observed when a dozen NOLA donuts went for $2800 and a three tiered chocolate cake went for $2700. The guests held back and only paid $700 for the bundt cake.
I love to watch people spend money at fundraisers. We can affect change in many ways, and sharing our money and for some, their wealth, is one of them. I was impressed and proud of my friend who makes such an impact for the orphans in Ethiopia, and grateful to discover this need and to bring it closer to home. And as always, perspective…
I’m sharing a few items I’ve made over the last couple of weeks. Sometimes I have to hold back posting them because it would spoil the surprise for someone.