Saturday, April 5, 2014

Healing Hearts Touching Hearts

Healing Hearts are taking off and touching the hearts of others.  Earlier this week I shipped the first Healing Heart to a buyer who is not connected to me in any way.  She found my Etsy shop and ordered a Healing Heart for her daughter whose kitty recently passed away.  The customer asked if I could add a green crystal with the charm because the cat's eyes were green.  I had been considering adding an option for a crystal.  I am so pleased with how it turned out that I will be adding this as an option as soon as I order the crystals.  You can see for yourself what a nice touch it is (in the lower right hand corner).

I have a few more fabric colors to add to the current fifteen shown in my Etsy shop.  I need to make samples and get them online.  But before I can do that, I have a couple of Healing Hearts that I need to complete and ship.

There is a story behind each Healing Heart and I'm familiar with most of them.  Many have gone to pet parents who have recently lost a pet.  Winston, Reese, Scout, Grace, Patches, and Ozzie left behind owners/parents who were devastated by their deaths.  Others have gone to friends struggling with life's challenges:  a young woman recently diagnosed with cancer, a high school girl struggling with the difficulties of growing up, and a woman who lost her mother.

The photograph to the left is Reese's "mom", Amanda when she received her Healing Heart.  She sent the picture to my friend who gave her the Healing Heart and graciously gave me permission to use it.

My sister received this response about a Healing Heart she gave to a friend:

I just got your beautiful Healing Heart and it touched me so tenderly.  That was so thoughtful of you.  Thank you!  With the whirlwind week preparing for mom's memorial service and having my sisters around, I know the full impact of her death has not hit me.  The Healing Heart will help with my feelings next week and in the weeks to come when the service is over and the family goes back to their usual routines.

A recent custom order really tugged at my heart.  This heart with the polka dot bow was purchased by my friend, Terri Lynn.  Her cousin's three year old son, Brayden was nearing the end of a 15 month battle with cancer.  Brayden carried a polka dot blanket everywhere he went.  Terri Lynn wanted to incorporate elements of the blanket in the Healing Heart she purchased for her cousin.  She sent me a couple pictures of the blanket and I headed off to the store where I purchase my ribbon and found this polka dot ribbon that was a very close match.  It was a successful custom order.   Sadly, Brayden passed away on March 24, 2014.

It is such an honor to know that my Healing Hearts are touching the hearts of others.  Healing Hearts are sold exclusively in my Etsy shop, The Pink Contessa.

Friday, April 4, 2014

50th Birthday Celebration - Western Style

We recently celebrated my sister's 50th birthday western style in Tombstone, Arizona.  Faith wanted a simple, relaxing weekend in the old western town laden with history.

My parents and I (we both live in the Phoenix area) drove to Tombstone to meet up with Faith and her boyfriend, John (they live in the Seattle area).  Faith, John, and I stayed in a small, comfortable cabin at Katie's Cozy Cabins just two blocks from downtown Tombstone.  Katie's has four cabins that sleep up to six people.  Each cabin has a kitchenette consisting of a microwave, stovetop, refrigerator, sink and coffee maker.  A 19" television with cable and a DVD player was located in the main cabin area.  There were three DVDs in the cabin including. . .yes, you guessed it, Tombstone! The bathroom was small but adequate with a toilet, shower, and sink.  Although none of us traveled with our dogs, Katie's does allow pets for a small additional fee.  I would stay here again without hesitation.  My parents stayed at the Tombstone Grand Hotel and were very comfortable.

Katie's Cozy Cabins
The town of Tombstone is adorable.  We started our Saturday with breakfast at a local diner.  The next stop was 1880's Costume Rental where Faith had reserved a costume for the day.  Shop owner, Diane Fenton greeted us and helped Faith become an 1880's woman from head to toe.  While some might think she was alone in her idea to dress up, a day spent in town made it clear that dressing the part is very common.

Our day consisted of wandering through the shops in town, visiting the O.K. Corral, the Tombstone Historama, the Birdcage Theater, and Boot Hill Cemetery.  Faith's birthday dinner was at The Crystal Palace Saloon.

Faith and John with the Earp brothers &
Doc Holliday at the O.K. Corral gunfight

We spent the evening playing BINGO with other guests at the Tombstone Grand Hotel, opening birthday gifts, enjoying western birthday cookies, and playing cards and a few other games.  It was a perfect, low-key evening.

I made the western birthday cookies.  Although I do a fair amount of baking, this was my first go at royal icing.  I read a lot of blogs about making it and making it flavorful.  The frosting did the job.  The cookies were easy to pack and the hard frosting prevented any damage to the designs but, the tradeoff in taste wasn't worth it.  I will stick to buttercream.  I had some hits and some misses with the decorating but all in all it was a fun project and the cookies looked good and fit the western theme.  Of course they were pink!

Keeping with the western theme (and pink).  I used my Silhouette Cameo to make this cute cowgirl boot birthday card.  The card design isn't mine - it was a purchased designed.  The card folds open and there are two small brads that allow it to be propped in the open position as shown in the photo below.  My design contribution is the envelope.  I know, isn't an envelope and envelope?  Yes, it is. . .sort of.  It was the first thing I designed using the Silhouette software.  Perhaps I'll post some new, more adventurous designs soon.