Friday, October 23, 2009

Mariah's Challenge

On November 1, 2009 I will be running in the NY Marathon for Mariah's Challenge, a non-profit in Butte, Montana aimed a curbing underage drinking and promoting responsible of-age drinking. Mariah's Challenge was founded nearly two years ago after a (underage) drunk driver struck three teen girls in a residential neighborhood: Mariah McCarthy, Valerie Kilmer, and Kaitlyn Okrusch. The driver left the scene. Had he stayed and summoned emergency assistance immediately, Mariah may have survived. Instead, the McCarthy family had to bury their child at 14-years-old. Leo McCarthy stood at Mariah's funeral and issued a challenge to the citizens of Butte to learn from this lesson. Out of tragedy, the city of Butte has found purpose. Please help support me as I run in the greatest race in the world for the most determined non-profit I've ever volunteered for!

Any little bit helps as I venture into the frightening world of distance running. I've been running since June and I've lost 30 pounds! I've ran as far as 20 miles and I'm eager to run the full 26.2 miles!

You can send donations via PayPal to stephanie(dot)gruss(at)gmail(dot)com.

Thank you in advance for supporting both Mariah's Challenge and me! Now, onto the cards!

So, if you follow me on Twitter much (@sagruss) you may have noticed that I've been working on a mass mailing of handmade cards. I present to you "begging in style"!

I am raising money for Mariah's Challenge and I wanted a classy way to request funds from my friends and family. (Look out, the low down FB posts, emails, tweets, and calls are coming soon!) I designed and created 80 of these tri-fold cards and learned some things along the way. The picture inside is of me at the Montana Governor's Cup in Billings, MT.

1) Double sided tape, glue strips, and glue dots are superior to liquid glue in an assembly line.
2) A punch is far less work than using a circle cutter.
3) A circle cutter will not stand up to 240 cuts well. That included expensive circle cutters (I went through two).
4) Just sit down and do them all at once, this shouldn't have taken the week it took to do them all.

Overall, I think the cards turned out well.

-- Stephanie

The first of many "card swap" posts

I am happy to bring you the first of many card swap blog posts. Laurie, Belinda, Ren-Yi, and I are now on a crafty adventure! Laurie and Belinda are exhilarated and enthused. (Of course, they've been entering card competitions!) Ren-Yi and I are just frightened! (But eager, we did agree to this!) So, here's how it works: each month one person sends the same supplies to the other three people and we all post our creations using the same supplies. This is month one, I promise nothing.

So these are my cards. I recently bought an embossing tool and some buttons so I used those on the cards for the first time. Oh, and thanks to my CutterBee piercing bug, that is real stitching on the lower card. :)

I like the one with multiple buttons better. I used a nice blue and green pattern with the buttons and actually sewed them to the paper (the glue was failing me). The one with the star on would have looked better if I had used an embossing powder that was visible to the human eye. But, hey, I'm calling it a "creative decision" and chalking it up as a "learning experience". In other words, I'm not going to emboss on paper that has already been glued to the card anymore!

The supplies we were sent (that I wasn't smart enough to photograph) were 2 6x6 patterned papers, a green paper star, a length of blue ribbon, and some green and yellow square brads. I didn't use the ribbon or brads and I have a sliver of paper left. I may be posting another card soon! :)

Hope you are enjoying this little adventure of ours! I know I am!


The blog list, so you can see what the others have created for your viewing pleasure!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Crafty people are giving people!

I had never heard of Polycystic Kidney Disease before reading about it on my friend Belinda's blog a few months back. This was also the same blog where I first heard of "blog candy", another new term for me. Now, Belinda's bringing the two together to raise some money for PKD research. Here's a link to her post (Belinda's Blog) and some information about the disease.

Polycystic Kidney Disease is one of the most common, life-threatening genetic diseases, affecting 600,000 Americans and 12.5 million people worldwide. PKD is more common than Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and sickle cell anemia - combined. Polycystic Kidney Disease causes fluid filled cysts to form on both kidneys. Over time, these cysts grow and multiply, sometimes dramatically in size. For most patients, their PKD ultimately causes the kidneys to shut down. Once that happens, dialysis and transplant are their only options to prolong life. Parents with the dominant form of PKD have a 50% chance of passing the disease on to each of their children. For the recessive form, ARPKD, parents have usually never heard of PKD until their newborn is diagnosed with it. For 30% of newborns, ARPKD is fatal.

Although there is no treatment or cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease, there is hope… Stacey's dad has had 2 kidney transplants in the last year (the 2nd kidney is doing very well and as of June 30th he's past the 3 month post transplant mark!). But even though he now has a functioning kidney, the battle is far from over. He has other PKD related health issues to deal with on a daily basis. Plus, both Stacey and her sister each have a 50% chance of getting PKD. Please consider joining our fight — by donating to the cause, registering for the walk (and raising funds) — or both! Every little bit helps!

Donations to Stacey T and the PKD Foundation can be made here:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wow! So much for that goal!

It's been a long time since I blogged last. I was living in CA and working full time. I didn't have tons of homework to do and I was missing Butte! Wow! A lot has changed but much has stayed the same. I'm still a student and I'm graduating this year. I'll always owe Lucy a hike and Molli lunch. And more often than not, I miss Ryan while he's at work and I'm in class!

On to the real reason I started this blog: crafty goodness! I've started to beg people to donate money to me for Mariah's Challenge. I'm going to be running in the New York Marathon on November 1 and I still have some fundraising to do. If you'd like to help, let me know! The whole point is that I've been busy making thank you cards for the people who have given me money. Follow the Picasa link below to see them! Lovely, eh? (There were more but I got too excited and sent them without taking pictures! :P)

Thank you cards