Entries for the ‘helping others’ Category


Sunday, September 11th, 2011

photo by Sarah E Photography

All over the blogosphere today are stories of where people were when the tragedies of 9-11-01 happened.  I could tell you where I was and how I heard the news, but I would rather tell you about what I remember the most.

I remember the After.  I remember the streets and sidewalks being very empty.  I remember radio stations playing only news coverage, for DAYS after.  Mostly, I remember the American flag.  It was everywhere, from the bumper of the passing car to the t-shirt of the man at the bus stop.  Being an American wasn’t just about the place you lived, it was a feeling, a belief, a hope, a strength.

I felt like I was a part of a large community that extended from the furthest lighthouse in Maine to the sunny beaches of California.  We were one nation, one.  While the tragedies took place in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC- they were merely an extension of my home.  Because when you struck one of us, you struck all of us.  It was a sentiment that was felt and lived all over the nation during the “after”.  Men and women from all over the nation turned out to give blood, help with relief efforts,  anything to be a part of rebuilding and strengthening.  Sometimes it was just the simple act of checking on your neighbor.

The horrific events of the day still haunt many people, the stories of the heroes that were born out of those tragedies still live on, the memorials still attract visitors; but the feelings of unity no longer exist.

If I can edit a quote by  President Lincoln: “A house(read Nation) divided against itself cannot stand.”

In the 10 years that have followed 9-11, we have divided ourselves.  Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Rich, Poor, Educated, Religious, Tea Party, the labels we give to differentiate ourselves can sometimes divide.

I worry for the feelings that will come in the upcoming election year.  Will our houses divide into even tinier factions?  Can we stand together united in a hope for a better nation, can we see beyond the figure head that leads for a given time?   A few years back I was babysitting a child, who at the tender age of four told me (more than once) that our President was a bad man and that he should be shot.  To say I was aghast was an understatement!

I will continue to teach my children the principles that I want them to live by, the principles I believe in.  I will also teach them to respect people who think differently.  I will teach them to respect the office of President, because there should be a sense of reverence and respect for whomever holds the office.

While “my” candidate may or may win the election, I will continue to hope for a better nation.  I will hope that whomever will lead our nation for the next four years will be a man or woman that I can respect as a person (even if I don’t agree with their politics).  An individual that believes America is great and can continue to be an example to the world.

So, on this day, September 11, when I see the phrase “We will Never Forget”; I will never forget the what it feels like to be united with my fellow Americans.  Because on that day, and every day I am proud to be an American.


Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

I heard a segment on the Diane Rhem show today about the book “The Power of Half“. It was totally worth listening to, you can listen online here.

basically an upper middle-class family sold their huge home and gave 1/2 the proceeds to charity.  They downsized everything in their lives by 1/2 to allow them to give more.  Worth listening to, very interesting!

They talk about the psychology of giving and how it improves your mood (scientifically founded).

I intend to get the book, I think it’s a great idea to evaluate what in our lives we could live without in an attempt to A. curb consumerism and B. improve the lives of others.

I was perusing the authors blog and it seems that they regularly receive negative comments, people who are unemployed, low income and decry the authors message of “everyone can give half”.  What I really like about their message is that you can give of what you have.  Maybe you don’t have money to give, but in my 30+ years of life I have learned that sometimes what people really need is:

  • your time
  • your listening ear
  • your empathy
  • your courage
  • your shoulder

Maybe you aren’t in a place financially to give half, or even a few pennies, but I think when we evaluate our lives we will see that there are things that we have to offer that can bring change or comfort to the lives of others.

I love the notion of using/consuming less in an attempt to give more.  I realize this post rambles and runs around, I was just really impressed by the show and wanted to share my thoughts.


Safety & Giveaway

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

While reading over at the Baby Gardner today, I was made aware of some new child product safety standards that will make it impossible for crafters to legally sell their wares.  It has to do with something called Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.  Read more about how you can help here.

The thought of actually penning a letter to my congressman scares the pants off me.  I’m horrible at business writing and am sure that I would sound like a kindergartner saying, “hey, it’s not fair, I want to play too!”.  So, if someone out there would like to pen a letter and let the rest of us use it, please let me know!

On to more pleasant things, I did a little shop update today- some aprons and a bib.  AND, I decided it was time for a holiday give away!!  Simply leave me a comment telling me your favorite holiday dish and you will be entered to win this fun towel and pot holder set.  Comments are open until I go to bed Friday night (I have a date with the husband, so it should be late).  I’ll announce the winner Saturday morning!

holiday giveaway!

Patchwork Pillow Giveaway!

Friday, October 17th, 2008

If you’re new here, I like to hold a giveaway once a month, because sharing is nice.  This month I am giving away a Patchwork Pillow Case  (no pillow just the sham/case, you’ll have to supply your own 14×14 pillow, may I suggest using your 40% JoAnn’s coupon?- that’s where I get my pillows).


I was just really hankering to make something pretty- for fun.  I was inspired by Elizabeth’s paint box quilt and I’ve always loved the coin quilt pattern.  However, it is not without it’s flaws, as in seams not quite matching and quilting not spaced evenly…etc.  But, notice how eye catching it is?


I backed it in what is almost the last of the brown sheet I thrifted (so far I’ve made, 1 dress, 1 blanket and now a pillow from 1 sheet!).  The binding features the same fabrics that are featured on the front.  Everything is 100% cotton and already washed for that lovely crinkly look.  Quilted with my favorite all natural bamboo batting.


In the lower left I added a special cream patch with the word “laugh” hand embroidered by me.  With this many colors, you know it will look good somewhere in your house!

All you have to do to win this pillow is to leave me a comment, if you want an additional entry you can add this button to your blog.

Just copy/paste this code into your sidebar:

<a title=”patchwork pillow giveaway!” href=”http://heatherhalesdesigns.com/blog/patchwork-pillow-giveaway/”><img src=”http://www.heatherhalesdesigns.com/blog/images/sidebar_add.jpg” width=”200″ height=”300″ /></a>

**the code wasn’t working earlier, I’ve updated it and it is now working!**

Comments will be accepted until I go to bed on Friday October 24th.

Nie Nie Recovery Silent Auction

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Many of you are long time NieNieDialogue readers and some of you have only begun reading about her life recently.  You are all here because we have a common desire to help Stephanie, Christian and their family.

One of the things that really drew me into Stephanie’s online life was her beautiful portrayal of daily life.  I don’t believe for one minute that her life was roses all the time, but I do believe that she chose to see the good in everything that came her way.  I’m sure like many of us she could have complained about the diapers, or the messes her kids made.  Yet, she didn’t.  She chose to find the humor and the fun and the sweetness that comes from being a mother and wife.  She reminded us that “Men (& women) are, that they might have joy”.

So, here’s to helping the Nielson’s & for finding our own daily joy!  Be sure to check out the complete list of auctions here.

I’m offering 2 auctions today, a J Crew Blouse & a Fabric Bunting (click the links to go directly to the auctions for each item).  Please be sure you read the “rules” before posting your bid.

Shirt Front Full Banner


Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Tomorrow is the big day, silence through out the blog-o-sphere…The Silent Auction for Christian & Stephanie Nielson.  I thought I would tease you with 2 pictures of what I will be auctioning off tomorrow and explain the “rules” of the game.

teaser 1 teaser 2

I will have 2 auctions running at the same time, they will go live around 10am Pacific Time (unless I am totally on the ball and get it done before preschool starts), I will leave a comment with the opening bid on each item.  In your comment please leave your bid amount, bidding will end about 8pm Pacific Time.  I’m working on over-riding the comment moderation for the auctions so that your bid will be live immediately (instead of waiting for me to moderate them).  Winning bidder will send money via PAYPAL to the Stephanie Nielson Recovery Fund, be sure to send me a copy of your receipt.  After I get a copy of your receipt I’ll ship out your lovely item!

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers holding auctions as well, Design Mom will post a full list tomorrow AM.

Oh- check out these lovely ballerina’s I found today!

Ballerina Candle Holder

Blissful Living Studio

Monday, August 25th, 2008

watermark.jpgYou might remember me hinting about BLS last week, or maybe you remember me mentioning them back in the spring.  It is official now, I am teaching classes at the studio in October.

I’m both excited and nervous, in some ways success scares me.  I’ll be teaching a pillow making class and a vintage sheet skirt class.  If you are local, I’d love to meet you, so please sign up and come sew with me!

Big thank you’s to Georganne– for believing in my work, to Kristin for allowing me to be a part of her studio and to Sarah for making me look pretty!

Also of note- I will be participating/hosting in a silent auction to raise money for Stephanie & Christian Nielson this Thursday.  Check out Design Mom to get all the details.  From what I understand it won’t take long for Stephanie & Christian to max out their insurance benefits, many of us on the internet are doing what we can to raise funds to help cover their soaring medical expenses.  If you would like to help, you can donate using the button in the side bar, wait for thrusday’s silent acution, or come back next month and purchase something from here.   Oh, and if you are local you can come to the Blissfest Market in October and take part in the raffle.  Whew!  That is a lot of options!!

Thank you to all of my readers/customers for your support of my work and creations, I totally would not be here without you and your encouragement!

Hope & Faith

Saturday, August 23rd, 2008

Balloons filled with good wishes, hopes and prayers for The Nielsons.


Writing a Message

At first I felt a bit silly about being there because I’ve never formally met Stephanie, but then I thought about how it wasn’t all about me.  I thought of their families, and I thought that a large turn out would probably give them comfort.  Knowing that so many people were praying and supporting them.  I may not know her in person, but I love the online Stephanie and hope for much good for her and her sweet husband.


Sunday, August 17th, 2008

I strongly believe in the power of prayer.

One of the things I have always loved about the blogging world is how small the community becomes when there is a tragedy.  We daily step into other people’s lives by reading their blogs, after awhile you begin to feel like you know them.  I think some of the best blogs are the ones you read and you think “If she lived in my city, I bet we could be friends”.  I am also keenly aware that while it feels like we know people, it really is only the part they want you to see.  None the less, they open a part of themselves up for the world to share.

For some time now I have been reading NieNieDialogues,  a delightful little blog written by Stephanie.  A woman who is really a woman in all senses of the word- femininity is the name of her game.  Her blog is incredibly upbeat and artistic.  She is a mother and a wife, she writes and photographs her life- showing us all the good and fun that is to be had.  She is local and lives not too far from here.  I had hoped to meet her through Blissful Living in the next month or so.

This weekend she and her husband were in a terrible accident, her family and friends are appealing to the masses for prayers and good thoughts.  Again, I believe in the power of prayer.


Tuesday, June 17th, 2008


1. Tap Water, 2. fun with water, 3. Cool Water!, 4. Water is life!

I spent 8 hours in the desert yesterday with a local cub scout pack, it was 112 (no I am not kidding).  I will do it again today, my main focus is making sure myself and each of the boys is drinking their weight in water! We’ve had bee stings, hurt knees and tears- who knew 8-10yr old boys would cry in front of other boys?

Drink an extra glass for me today!