Fourth Decade: Sucking the marrow out of life since 1969.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

ecollageArt and IMHA

While we all may know someone we'd figuratively refer to as "toxic" or at times we might even feel ourselves full of toxicity, needing to detox from work, life, society, etc., I would like to introduce you to someone who lives with the effects of toxic poisoning and finds a way to make each day count, because she's grateful to be alive.

Melinda is anything but toxic. She's a light of inspiration to me. I met her through Dogster after my sweet Sena died of cancer a few years ago. We shared a sad connection. She'd also lost a beloved Belgian, her dear Mica, to another devastating disease, Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA).

While my Sena may have been my best friend, Mica was Melinda's therapy dog. Melinda was seriously injured on the job, and she will always have to face daily challenges to live in the world unlike the rest of us do. A simple task might cause her incredible pain if chemicals are involved, so her world must be chemical-free, which is no easy task. Mica helped Melinda cope with the stresses. Since Mica's tragic unexpected passing, Melinda has devoted her time and energy to raising awareness and funds for IMHA research.

In addition to being an activist, Melinda is also an amazing artist. She calls her artwork a "happy accident." She's taken a craft that soothes her and turned it into some of the most original, beautiful, handmade cards I've ever seen. Here are some of my favorites, including the 12 Days of Christmas...depicted in 12 cards.

Each piece of paper is handcut and placed. There is love and compassion in each design. She will even customize a card if you have an idea but lack the artist touch.

If you are a card lover or you're looking for a truly unique gift, Melinda's artwork is a must-buy. I encourage you to check out her ecollageArt shop on Etsy. She also has some gorgeous jewelry, and she has recently begun carrying some chemical-free sweaters and adorable mittens.

Melinda donates 5% of her profits to Mica's IMHA Research Fund.

Permanent links to both the fund and Melinda's Etsy site will remain in the side bar. Please consider them when you're shopping for unique items this holiday season and all year round.

Friday, November 5, 2010

California Dreamin'

Finally threw the photos from California together...

Enjoyed meeting @redsox1234 and @missmelisamae very much, and seeing Craig Ferguson tape a live show, but sadly missed meeting @premiddleage.

My niece's wedding was spectacular. Looking forward to seeing the movie, starring the happy couple themselves!

If you haven't been to California, you may want to consider a visit. LA, San Francisco, and Napa proved to be too much for me to do in one week, so I suggest you pace yourself.

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