Saturday, April 25, 2009

Been MIA but I am back

Sorry I have been MIA lately. Just busy, busy, busy. But I am stitching still.
I have received some new ornaments from friends and hope to have the pictures posted later this weekend. To say the least, they are spectacular.
I had a team captain meeting today with Relay For Life. I told them our goal for this year was $5000. There were a lot of "oh WOWs" heard around the room. The chairperson for ACS here told several of them they should see the ornaments so far and people were really interested in the project.
I am going to have an ACS supported online account that people can donate money for Relay to. They can purchase tickets for the raffle or just donate. As soon as I get it all set up I will post a link on this site.
One thing I learned today is that there is a new ribbon color for "unknown" cancers. It is zebra print. Instantly I tried to imagine how I could make an ornament in a zebra print. Still trying to figure this one out.
I heard stories of survivors today. I also met a man who is doing Relay for the first time. He didn't have a team yet, but he lost his wife to lung cancer last year.
I know you all are stitching away. I have seen posts and pics about ornaments you are working on. I am doing several ornaments with just the word "Hope" stitched on it. It is the bottom of the pattern of the blackwork pattern. I was given several small pieces of mat board that are just the perfect size to mount these on. They will make nice "filler" ornaments and also I think "hope" is what gets many patients through their treatments.
These will stitch up so quick and do look really pretty.
I am going to continue to educate you on the different cancers. But today, I would like to tell you about one of the programs that ACS provides for cancer patients. It is called the Look good, feel better program. Here is what I found on the ACS website:
Look Good...Feel Better
For women
The Look Good...Feel Better program is a community-based, free, national service. It teaches female cancer patients beauty tips to look better and feel good about how they look during chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Group workshops
Volunteer beauty professionals lead small groups, usually about 6 to 10 women, through practical, hands-on experience. Women learn about makeup, skin care, nail care, and ways to deal with hair loss such as with wigs, turbans, and scarves. Each woman gets a free makeup kit to use during and after the workshop.
One-on-one salon consultations
For patients who are unable to go to a group workshop, a free, one-time, individual salon consultation with a volunteer cosmetologist may be available in their area. These trained beauty experts help each patient manage her skin, nail, and hair needs and also help her find ways to feel better about how she looks during treatment.
Self-help materials
Free self-help materials can be ordered through the Look Good...Feel Better toll-free number, 1-800-395-LOOK (1-800-395-5665).
The self-help materials include a 30-minute video entitled Just for You: A Step-by-Step Guide to Help You Look Good and Feel Better During Cancer Treatment, a step-by-step instructional booklet and an evaluation form. The videotape features cancer survivors and volunteers talking about the ways cancer treatment and side effects can affect the way you look. It also covers detailed skin care information, "how to" makeup tips, wig information, and pointers on head coverings. The booklet that goes with the video also covers nail care.
Materials are also offered in Spanish, and bilingual programs are available in some areas.
For men
Self-help materials
A free self-help brochure for men can be ordered through the Look Good…Feel Better toll-free number, 1-800-395-LOOK (1-800-395-5665) or through your local American Cancer Society office.
The self-help brochure is for men who are getting chemotherapy or radiation treatment. It gives them information on how to deal with the way treatment and side effects can change the way they look, as well as other information that is useful during this challenging time. The brochure also features a tear-out sheet of steps to help men with their daily skin and hair care routines. This brochure is available in English and Spanish.
For more information, call our toll-free number, 1-800-395-LOOK (1-800-395-5665) or visit the Look Good...Feel Better Web site for men at
The Look Good...Feel Better program
The Look Good...Feel Better program was founded and developed in 1989 by the Personal Care Products Council (at the time called the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Fragrance Association, or CTFA), a charitable organization supported by the cosmetic industry, in cooperation with your American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Cosmetology Association (NCA), a national organization that represents hairstylists, wig experts, estheticians, makeup artists, and other professionals in the cosmetic industry.
All cosmetology volunteers who are part of the program attend a 4-hour certification class to become a Look Good...Feel Better volunteer.
Look Good...Feel Better is free, non-medical, and salon and product neutral. Volunteers and program participants do not promote any cosmetic product line or manufacturer. All cosmetics used in the group program have been donated.

So yes, we are stitching for a cure. But there is so much more we can do along the way. Thanks again for "listening". You all are amazing!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A challenge

For those of you who follow both my blogs, please excuse me but I will have the same message on both blogs.
Most of you know I am working on a project for American Cancer Society. We are stitching Christmas ornaments for a tree that will be raffled off and the money given to American Cancer Society.
My friend Mary and I were talking last night. I have been focused on getting enough ornaments for the tree. But I forgot one very important part of the tree: THE TOPPER!
I am thinking an angel would look great on top.
So here is my question to you: Do you know of a pattern for an angel to go on the top of the tree? Do you have any ideas on how I can make one? I would hate to have a store bought angel on top of this beautifully hand stitched decorated tree.
Any suggestions would be welcome! You can leave me a msg. here or an e-mail at
So put your thinking caps on and help me! Thanks.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Has it really been 10 days since i posted last?

I cannot believe that it has been 10 days since I posted last. So much has happened.
First off, I am stitching on several ornaments at one time. I have run out of mat board to mount them on, as well as double sided tape. Speaking of tape, I use Terrifically Tacky Tape that is found in the scrapbooking aisle to mount my ornaments on the mat board. It is acid free, double sided and is seriously the tackiest tape I have ever used. The last ornament I stitched (the black one) was a little hard to get to stick, but I made it work. I use the 1/4" one instead of the 1/8" one.
Second off, I am completely blown away with the support of this project and of me in the past few days. My Cross Stitch Addiction group threw a challenge out to it's members (you must be a member of this group to participate in the challenge).
Jess, the group owner said that whoever stitches the most ornaments for the project by July (I don't remember the exact date) will receive a $20 gc to their fav online needlework shop. Several of us threw another $20 in the hat and now it is up to $80.
Amazing. I have also received the nicest, kindest messages from you all about this project.
I know we can do this. I know we can make a difference. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart for all you do. YOU ARE ALL AMAZING!
I want to write a book about this project. So if you are "stitching for a cure" for someone special can you shoot me an e-mail or enclose the reason in the package when you ship your ornament? I have heard so many stories and I just want to get it all down.
Thank you so much for all you do and thank you for sharing your amazing talents!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Childhood Cancer

The Gold Ribbon is for childhood cancer.
I made this ornament for Hallie, my friend Julie's daughter. Hallie had hepatoblastoma (a rare childhood liver cancer). Hallie is doing just great now! And this was an honor to stitch for her. Her favorite colors are black and gold so this was just perfect for her.

I stitched this on black 28 count fabric with #4 Kreinik braid. I finished it on the back with black fabric embossed with gold flowers. It is quite stunning in person if I do say so myself.
But I almost lost my mind stitching it. The black fabric combined with stitching with that creeping metallic thread made for some interesting language at my house. I couldn't keep the needle threaded no matter what trick I pulled out of my hat.
In the end though, it is truly one of my prettiest ornaments I have made. So losing my mind was worth it.
Now for some education:
What are the differences between cancers in adults and children?
The types of cancers that develop in children are different from the types that develop in adults. Although there are exceptions, childhood cancers tend to respond better to chemotherapy. Children also tolerate chemotherapy better than adults. But, because chemotherapy can have some long-term side effects, children who survive their cancer need careful attention for the rest of their lives.
Most children with cancer in the United States are treated at a center that is a member of the Children's Oncology Group (COG). All of these centers are associated with a university or children's hospital. As we have learned more about treating childhood cancer, it has become even more important that treatment be given by experienced experts. To find a listing of COG institutions by state, go to their Web site at
What is childhood cancer?
About 10,730 children under the age of 15 in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer in 2008. Because of significant advances in treatment, 80% of these children will survive 5 years or more. This is a major increase from before the
1970's, when the 5-year survival rate was less than 50%.
Despite its rarity and the major advances in treatment and supportive care, cancer is still the leading cause of death from disease in children younger than 15 years old. About 1,490 children will die from cancer in 2008. Cancer deaths are second only to accidents in most age groups.
The types of cancers that occur in children vary greatly from those seen in adults. Leukemias, brain and other nervous system tumors, lymphomas (lymph tissue cancers), bone cancers, soft tissue sarcomas, kidney cancers, eye cancers, and adrenal gland cancers are the most common cancers of children. In contrast, skin, prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal cancers are the most common in adults. The stage of growth and development is another important difference between adults and children. The immaturity of children's organ systems often has important effects on treatment.
Let's all say Hooray! for Hallie and her family! And let's all say a quiet prayer for those families who are dealing with childhood cancers! May those children go on to lead wonderful lives with a cure for cancer!

Friday, April 3, 2009

An ornament from a friend for a friend

I received this ornament from Phyllis. She said she stitched this ornament in memory of her dear friend, Gayla. Gayla had deep tissue cancer that she found when she had problems with her stomach and bowels. She fought the cancer for a year to 18 months. She passed away September 30, 2007. Gayla had a very sweet spirit and she is missed by many, including Phyllis.
Here is her ornament for her friend:

Phyllis hand laced the two pieces of fabric, 18 count, together. It is quite beautiful and I love the shades of purple she used.
Thank you Phyllis for being so kind and for remembering your friend in such a wonderful way.