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Author Archives: Mary

Etsy Item of the Day: Carved Christmas Candle

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A few months ago, I stumbled upon Primacandle’s Instagram account and was immediately mesmerized by her videos showing how she carves candles. First the candle is dipped in vats of colored wax. Then while the wax is still pliable, it is cut and twisted to create the intricate design you see here. This particular candle features traditional Christmas colors, and you can find many more candles in various colors in her Etsy shop. Any of these candles would be perfect for one’s home and a great gift for a candle lover!
Carved Christmas Candle

Etsy Seller: Primacandle

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

Let’s Bring Light and Hope to California Wildfire Victims

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Seeing news of wildfires ravaging California has been so heartbreaking. The photos and videos of the fires look like something out of a film, and yet this horrible reality is what thousands of people are experiencing. Disasters are devastating any time of the year, but especially during the holiday season. At a time when we normally celebrate in abundance and excess, it’s unbearable to think how many families have lost everything.

One city in particular that is heavy on my heart is Ventura. I’ve visited this city several times in the last few years while attending Craftcation Conference. The folks I’ve met at this conference are my crafty tribe, so naturally, I really wanted to find a way to help out. After doing a little digging online, I found a few ways lend a hand.

Keep reading for ways to get involved.

Buy a Ventura Pin

These lovely lapel pins were designed by none other than Nicole Stevenson, co-founder of Craftcation. Each enamel pin costs $10, and 100% of profits will aid fire victims in Ventura via RAKlife, a charity that will use the funds to provide direct assistance to those in the most need. Click here for the Ventura Strong pin or here for the Ventura Love pin.

Drop Off Items at Ventura Strong

Ventura Strong was created by Ventura native, Sara Masterson, to help those affected by the Thomas Fire. You can get involved by donating online, purchasing a product from their shop, or by dropping off much needed items at one of Ventura Strong’s drop off locations.

Donations Needed (as of 12/15/2017):

  • Clothing and shoes (all/any sizes)
  • Non-perishable food
  • Baby items
  • Toiletries and women’s sanitary products
  • Furniture and bed sheets
  • Pet food
  • Hangers
  • Laundry detergent and dish soap
  • Books

Donation Drop Off Locations:

Ventura Strong

482 E Santa Clara Street
Ventura, CA 93001

Mission Church

2875 Elba Street
Ventura, CA 93003

Ventura Fairgrounds (through Red Cross)

10 W Harbor Boulevard
Ventura, CA 93001

Give to a Verified GoFundMe Campaign

Eager to help, but don’t live nearby? Consider giving to a monetary gift online. GoFundMe has created a list of verified campaigns, which you can view by clicking here. If you, like me, find it hard to select one campaign over another, then you may prefer donating to The Direct Impact Fund, which provides help to all who are affected by the Southern California fires.
GoFundMe • California Wildfire Relief

More Ways to Lend a Hand

  • Red Cross of Ventura CountyApply online to be a volunteer or make a donation online.
  • United Way of Ventura County – Donations can be made online, over the phone by dialing (805) 485-6288, or by texting UWCC to 41444.
  • Ventura County Community Foundation – Give a donation online, by check, or wire transfer. Click here for details.

In this season of giving, will you join me in helping my friends in California?


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Category: Charities

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Providing Security Blankets All Across the United States

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The year was 1995. The day, Christmas Eve. As Karen Louck flipped through Parade Magazine, she was moved by an article about a toddler, Laura, undergoing intensive chemotherapy. Karen read about how a special blankie had comforted Laura, enabling her to get through numerous hospital visits for treatment. Inspired by this story, Karen began making security blankets to give to a nearby hospital, and soon thereafter Project Linus was born.

Project Linus

Since that night 22 years ago, Project Linus has expanded to all 50 states and has given more than 6.5 million blankets. That’s a lot of blankets! Given to children from newborn to eighteen, Project Linus specifically aims to bestow these handmade blankets on children who are very ill or traumatized. The blankets that Project Linus receives from volunteers are given to hospitals, social service agencies, shelters, and other places where there is a child in need.

Wondering how you can get involved in this heartwarming mission? Keep on reading!


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Category: Charities

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Etsy Item of the Day: Monogrammed Christmas Baby Pajamas

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When I saw these monogrammed baby pajamas, I’m sure my face looked just like the heart eyes emoji! I’m absolutely beside myself with how utterly adorable these cotton jammies are. With a monogram on the onesie and a trap door on the bloomers, this cute set would be perfect for a baby’s first Christmas. And since these pajamas are available in various sizes (up to 3 years old), you could give this outfit to any young child on your holiday list.
Monogrammed Christmas Baby Pajamas

Etsy Seller: Mabel

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

Etsy Item of the Day: Holiday Tree Doormat

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Made from natural coconut husk fibers, this holiday tree doormat is as sturdy as it is festive. Green trees and red stars are shown here, but you can customize your mat by selecting a different color for the trees or opting to remove the stars. Regardless of what you decide, this mat will add holiday charm to your entryway.
Holiday Tree Doormat

Etsy Seller: Nickel Designs

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our full disclosure here.

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