I recently had this crazy idea that I could earn a little side-cash for our family (you know, so someday we can afford to not live on sub-floors, or maybe take the children to Disneyland), while working/sewing from home.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Last Saturday morning I wrote a post, telling about a scam that I fell victim to. But today I get to share the 2nd half of that story: An amazing story of Redemption.
Little did I know last Saturday morning when I woke up, what would transpire in those next 48 hours.
In response to that Scam Story blog post, over the course of that weekend, astounding amounts of people came to my rescue! Literally. Friends of mine on IG posted (and re-posted) my story, and by 10:30 that Saturday morning I was being flooded with emails, heartfelt responses, and an outpouring of financial giving from you - family, friends, and this amazing quilting community (and even their family members). Each person giving out of the kindness of their hearts to help out a girl many hadn't even met before. It was unbelievable and I was blown away!
By Sunday evening, an astonishing $2400 had been raised, and I told my husband, "I don't know how to make it stop!"
The love and generosity you all poured out truly touched my heart and humbled me to my core. And what an amazing redemption story you all gave to me! Who would have ever known when I first found out I had lost all my "Bernina money", that something even better would come of it?!
I truly believe that God turned this into a testimony of how He is so powerful to act on our behalf. And the most exciting part? He used all of YOU to do it! What a thrilling thing. I tend to mentally limit God's ability to act to the few scenerios I can come up with in my mind. But how wrong that is! This situation was far and above anything I could have dreamed or imagined.
So the next morning (Monday) I set up an appointment to meet with a lady who was selling her Bernina 440 locally on Tuesday evening. I was so excited!!
However - God had even bigger plans.
Monday night I received an email from a lady who had given a donation that weekend, even though we were complete strangers. In her email she informed me that she wanted me to buy a NEW sewing machine, and that she was going to pay the difference. (from what I had raised, to cover the price of new). And she didn't take no for an answer. Crazy, right?!! Who does stuff like this? Only Dana.
At this point I felt like a cup being held under a faucet of blessing. I was filled to the brim, yet the blessing kept coming and now it was just running over the sides. (And I prayed and told God, "ok Lord, you can turn it off now!!")
Long story short, by the next morning she had called her local Bernina stores, checked online, priced things, had me call my Bernina store, and wanted it all arranged by the end of the day!
Late that night my husband walked through my bedroom door carrying a brand new Bernina 550QE from Thread Play, my local Bernina store here in Denver!!!
What a story of redemption, love, and a community pulling together for their own, isn't it?!
I don't know how to even begin to express my heartfelt thanks to each one of you who gave. There were approximately 50 donations, multiple re-postings of my story, emails from you who had found possible machine options for me, and so much compassion shown. You gave what you could, and I have to say, those $10 and $15 donations spoke volumes to me. I know what it's like to give all your eating-out money for the week. And I don't receive it lightly. Thank you for sacrificing for the good of someone else. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Every time I look at this machine, I am reminded of you - this community and family that I'm honored to call my own.
I'd love to give a special thanks to Kira (@quiltedkira) for taking it upon herself to set up a GoFundMe account, and who first got the word out there.
And especially to Dana (@danaquilts), who saw a girl with a story, and blessed me far beyond what I had dreamed of.
|Dana with her cutie-pie grandkids|
Thank you also to Erin (@twomoreseconds) for taking the first plunge to re-post my story to her (2000+) followers! And to all you amazing friends who re-posted and gave throughout that weekend! (I don't want to mention names - I'm afraid I'll miss someone - but you know who you are!)
And here's a quick tour of my sewing room (in our bedroom), for those of you who might like to see it...
So all this to say: thank you so very much to each one of you who showed me such an outpouring of kindness, compassion and undeserved generosity. I am forever grateful.
(if you missed the first post about the scam, you can read about it here)
Saturday, February 08, 2014
This is a post I've been dreading to write. It makes me feel vulnerable. And foolish. And it brings back emotions I'd rather not remember. But I've had an incredible number of sweet ladies show concern and ask questions, I feel like an explanation is necessary.
First off, I'd just like to say a huge thank you to each of you who had kind, sympathetic things to say on my Instagram post a few weeks ago. Even though it didn't change the circumstances of my situation, it's amazing what kindness and compassion can do to a hurting heart. So a big Thank You to each of you (you know who you are)!!
So here goes...
I bought my very first sewing machine back in 1996 with money gifts given to me when I graduated from High School. It was love at first sight. Nothing fancy, but she has treated me well and does all I've needed her to.
In November, my husband received an unexpected bonus from his work, and he surprised me by saying he thought we would have enough leftover (after paying bills) to buy one! I was over the moon! I began watching machines on ebay in ernest, and even tried to bid on a few. I decided to wait till January and the higher Christmas prices went back down.
A few weeks ago, through a series of events, I found a Bernina Aurora 440 on an online classified add, and I was able to talk the seller down to a great price. We chatted back and forth - she told me her husband was in the military and they had been relocated, but had to leave some of their things behind with a relocating company (Perfect Trade) to sell for them. The company's website was very reassuring, offering a 10-day-money-back gurarantee, etc.
I guess I am too trusting. And maybe I was a little over-eager as well. Regardless, I sent my money through Western Union (first time I've ever bought a money order) on a Sunday, and waited eagerly to get my machine that Friday. (I know, everyone tells me NOW that was a classic mistake - and I feel even worse!)
During the week I tried contacting the selling company twice, but didn't hear a word back - total silence. It was then my heart began to sink.
All day Friday I waited. Not knowing if I was going to be heartbroken, or if "Christmas" was going to come! Just hoping against hope that the UPS man would show up on my doorstep (he usually comes between 5-6pm). But when Josh walked through the doorway at 6:15, I knew it was over, and I just sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed...
Like I said, the range of emotions I felt are hard to put into words. Extreme disappointment that I wasn't getting my "dream machine", shame at loosing so much of Josh's hard-earned money, embarassement that I got scammed, anger that someone would take money from honest, hardworking families like us...
That weekend I did a lot of praying. I told God that it was hard, but I trusted Him, and that if/when He wanted me to have a nicer machine, He'd work it out. Otherwise, I'd be content with the machine I DO have, and the many other blessing He's already given me. Faith in a loving Heavenly Father got me through that emotional weekend when all I felt like doing was staying in bed and crying. =)
A few days later I posted a small version of the story on Instagram, and that's where you all came in. Your comments and offers to help were like balm to my heart. And it restored my faith in the goodwill of common man (or women). I've sewn for many years of my life, seriously quilted for the past 3.5, and been a part of the online sewing community for only the past year. But I have been blown away by the kindness I have seen there in all of you, and the compassion. You are amazing! Truly.
Anyways - this is the story in full. I wanted to make sure and let you know it had nothing to do with Ebay or Paypal, as some of you have asked. (How I wish it did! They have so much buyer protection). But I'm still working at trusting God. I'm still sewing. Still mothering my children. And still trying to be a loving wife to my grace-giving husband (who not once made me feel bad about this whole thing). Thank God for good men like him. =)
UPDATE: to read the amazing ending to this story, click here!
Thursday, January 09, 2014
I first saw this Sew-Together-Bag when a friend of mine (Krista @kristastitched) made one and put a picture of it on Instagram. I instantly fell in love with it, and all the pockets and organizing storage it offers - perfect for teachers supplies, makeup or sewing notions. Which then gave me the crazy idea to make one for teacher's Christmas gifts (the kids' Science/Spanish class) as well as Christmas gifts for a few of my friends.
8 bags later I can testify to it not being a super fast pattern, but a very satisfying project. I used scraps to make a pieced strip in the front, and then added monograms to personalize each one (I love the way they turned out!). But really, these can be personalized, or made as scrappy or streamlined as you want.
I ended up cutting out all the pieces for each bag at one time, which helped speed up the process. And then I'd sew 2-3 at a time - kinda like chain-piecing quilts...but...bags. On a few of them I mis-cut the front panels, and had to improvise by adding another narrow strip of fabric, and then made it look like it was on purpose!
For my friends that sew, I added a little felted wool rectangle (from a shrunken wool sweater) for pins/needles.
Since I needed (24) 9" zippers, I bought mine from a little shop over at Etsy, called ZipIt. Bulk pricing ended up being much better than buying individually at JoAnn's, and I was very pleased with the quality, not to mention it was so fun to pick colors from such a nice assortment!
Packaging got creative when I went to mail these - and necessity is indeed the mother of invention. My pantry provided the perfect mailing package, and after I wrapped the oats tubs in brown paper they looked "inventive" if nothing else. Even the Post Office employee commented on them being unique. At least she made me feel like it was cute - even if it was ghetto. =)
Overall they were a hit, and after Christmas was over and I could catch my breath, I made one more for me. Now I can't wait to fill it with all my sewing notions!
At first I hesitated a bit when I saw the price of the pattern, but when I realized how many bags I'd be making, averaged out, it ended up being a steal. =) Plus the pattern is brilliant.
Oh yeah - if you want to check out pictures of other Sew Together Bags, head on over to Instagram and look up @sewdemented's #sewtogetherbag. And be sure to let me know if you make one too.
Pattern: Sew Together Bag - pattern at Craftsy.com
Outside Fabric: Essex Yarn Dyed Linen - in black
zippers: ZipIt (Etsy.com)
Monday, January 06, 2014
I know it's been a while since I've written on this blog of mine. That usually happens whenever I am up to my eyes in projects and keeping everything else going. But boy has has it been fun! Now that Christmas is over, things have slowed down a bit and I have so much I'd like to write about and show you.
But first things first - it seemed appropriate to share a few of these snowy pictures from our cold weekend. We enjoyed talking and relaxing by the warm fire, but were also driven (by our children's energy levels) out to do some snow shoveling, hauling up firewood, and also fun.
(funny fact: I have no idea how these snowflakes started moving or how to make them stop! I guess my photo uploading software noticed the flakes in the picture and automatically added them - haha!)
Jack and Ellie did a lot of whittling and carving by the fireside, too. We had wood shavings everywhere (yes - everywhere), but it provided hours of creative entertainment.
A few weeks ago my Mom suggested setting this little man on the counter beside me while I work or cook in the kitchen. She said she did that with us kids when we were little. And from the first time I lifted him up, we've never gone back. It's been a lifesaver - he's happy to be near me and able to see what's going on, and I'm able to get things done without him holding onto my legs and fussing. Don't know why I didn't think of it myself - and I'm so thankful for others who give pointers along the way.