Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Hand-in-Hand, Month after Month

The giveaway for this post is closed. Feel free to keep adding your ideas, though! :)

Thank you all for your requests for coloring tutorials, hands and hippy, cuddly animals are at the top of my list of things to do LOL! Until I finish getting them photographed, I am blessed to be able to treat you to my third week of Guest Designer Allison Cope, and her lovely sample "A Friend", which uses "Hand-in-Hand" with "A Year of Flowers"...isn't this fabulous?!

I love how she added a few tiny wrinkles to the finger joints and nails, this makes this image work with the more realistically drawn and detailed flower, and are relatively simple to draw in (just copy hers LOL!) The colors and patterns she chose just lift me up!
Here's what Ally has to say about today's card:

"I loved the idea that you can take the double hand images from Melanie's "Hand-in-Hand" set and create a single hand to hold something. With the cool "friend" sentiment in the set, I knew I had to find something that meant friendship for my hand to hold. While browsing through all my Gina K. stamps I came across Melanie's "A Year of Flowers" and I knew the rose in the set would be perfect! After all, a yellow rose symbolizes friendship in the world of flowers!"

Stamps: Gina K. Designs (Hand-in-Hand, A Year of Flowers) Tools: Spellbinder's Nestabilities, Cuttlebug Embossing FoldersInks: Ranger, Copics Papers: BoBunny Cardstock: Bazzill Brad: BasicGreyPen: SharpieRibbon: American Traditions Other: thread, clear embossing powder

Thank you, Ally! Your talent and creativity truly inspire me!!! :)

Now, for that contest I've been hinting about!

Here is a poem I discovered and pasted from Kerianne Young's blog after I drew my hand in hand set, but before it was released (she doesn't know I copied the poem... til now!) :

Do you know what hope is?

It's magic and it's free.

It's not in a prescription. It's not in an IV.
It punctuates our laughter. It sparkles in our tears.
It simmers under sorrows. It dissipates our fears.
Do you know what hope is? It's reaching past today.
It's dreaming of tomorrow. It's trying a new way.
It's pushing past impossible. It's pounding on the door.
It's questioning the answer. It's always seeking more.
It's rumours of a break. It's whispers of a cure.
A roller coaster ride. Of remedies, unsure.
Do you know what hope is? It's candy for the soul.
It's perfume for the spirit. To share it makes you whole.
Take my hand...come... Let's share this hope...together...

And it really touched my heart! And it had me wanting to do something with this set that wasn't tied to any one charity, organization or person, because I feel the set is universal.

So many of the images and greetings in "Hand-in-Hand" are perfect to support people needing it or show people in helping professions they are appreciated, so I would like to issue and host a challenge, which will be ongoing. I would love to have you all join me each month, beginning whenever you would like, participate every month if you choose, or only as often as you can/wish.

Each month I will post a new project with the "Hand-in-Hand" set here on my blog and some info about a different cause or need and an address where to send cards. Please use the "Hand in Hand"* set to create your own card to send to this cause, post a pic of your card on your blog or gallery with a short message about the cause (you can write your own summary or copy and paste my write- up, that's up to you), and send me the link. All who play will be entered into a drawing to win my new release set the following month! More details on the first month coming soon!

Today's giveaway is: "Rectangle Greetings" stamp set by Gina K Designs from ME (I got an extra when I splurged on more Copics over Christmas!) ;) These greetings work terrifically with the "Hand-in-Hand" set, see this sample. :) Please let me know if you have ideas for organizations that could benefit from this type of card shower! I won't be able to use them all, but would love your suggestions to help set the wheels in motion, this is going to be fun!!! Looking forward to it, I really hope you'll join us!

A couple more blogs to browse in our blog hop: Donna and Theresa! (Want to get in on the blog hop yourself tomorrow? Get ready to add a link to your blog here Thursday for a project using any of my stamps so we can come check you out! :)

*If you don't have the set, you are, of course, free to make cards to send for the cause, but this drawing each month will be for "Hand-in-Hand" cards only.
I will, of course, keep having other opportunities, contests, blog candies and challenges for you to use other stamps you have, so even if you never get this set, there will still be ways to win fun stuff! :)


  1. I make cards and items for fundraising for my dog rescue every month and then sell them at one of my favorite vet's office. Great way to raise much needed funds but also the people purchasing win in two ways ... they know they're helping save dogs and getting cute items as well!

  2. Beautiful card Ally! Great idea Melanie! I can't wait to see the designs everyone comes up with - and maybe I'll join in myself when I can!

  3. Just wanted to follow up and say thanks for what you do. You are one of the most caring people I know. I've been on both ends and you are great! Linda Crowder

  4. I live in a town with a large military presence and have several friends who are military/family of military. One soldier from our church wrote us recently: "So many of my soldiers...[are] very thankful for everything I give them that comes directly from you!!" I know the soldiers deployed to the Middle East would love cards!

  5. Wow! I love your way of reaching out to the community.

  6. I make cards and give them away to people for gifts. I gave several of my in laws family some for Christmas and they loved them.

  7. That is such a great idea Melanie. I hope I get to participate Every month!

  8. Ohhh Melanie!!! The hand holding the yellow rose is sooo beautiful and touching!! And I love Keri!! She's amazing and what a perfect poem to accompany this special stamp set!! I absolutely can't wait to participate in your special monthly challenges!!!

  9. Cards donated to charities for their use is always a great idea. I'm partial to animal charities, particularly shelters & rescue groups. My favorite animal shelter is Best Friends Animal Society in southern Utah. I'm sure they'd be happy to think of some way to use these cards for the purpose of raising money for the animals. By the way, Melanie, your card is lovely!

  10. I think you are going to be inundated with suggestions. Thursday should be fun hopping to the different blogs. I don't have blog so I'll enjoy everyone elses work.

  11. There are so many worthy organizations for cards. One of my favorite is Make a Wish, because I just love what they do for the kids.

    Can't wait to see more colored samples of your animals!

  12. I LOVE that poem. I'd like to get permission from the author to post it to my blog and pass on to other parents with children with life-threatening illnesses. The mention of IVs, prescriptions, fear, tears and remedies really hit home for me... and the poem reaches out to me and envelopes me with love and hope. I just LOVE it!

    I have several charities I can recommend: our local "Tu Nidito" support group provides services to about 300 families who have children with life-threatening illnesses. It's my daughter's favorite place to go! They have social workers and many volunteers who help with support group meetings and many other activities. We also have a volunteer who comes to our house to visit and our social worker comes to visit every other week. They provide endless support no matter what our children's conditions are. They come to help even when our children are in the hospital or dying... they are there. (We've had several close friends pass away and Tu Nidito was there for the families and us too). They also offer support for families who are grieving the death of a family member. Families like mine are so thankful for these services.

    I know several charities that support children born with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD). CHD is the #1 birth defect and the #1 birth defect that kills the most children. I've known too many children who have passed away from CHD. (and mine will be another statistic - hopefully not very soon).

    My nephew had brain cancer and I know that my sister was in contact with a support group through the cancer society. I think that the cancer society has quite a few outreach programs where cards could be sent to. If you would like more specific information I'm sure I could get it from Karen.

    I could go on and on.... unfortunately it's due to the need of the services of said charities and organizations.

    I love the idea behind your "Hand-in-Hand" stamp set (and I just ordered it with Gina's coupon the other day - yay!). :D It's an amazing set! And I think that your idea of making cards and sending them to the charities & organizations is AWESOME! You are so sweet!

    Ally's card is gorgeous!

  13. There is need in every community for people to reach out to each other. I find the elderly are often overlooked and crave interaction and recognition of any kind. If everyone could make a few cards a month and ask local care facilities for a few names of people who have very little interaction with family or friends who'd benefit from getting one, it would be a HUGE gesture. You've definitely got a great idea. We can all do SOMETHING.

  14. You are a gem, Mel!! Thank you for all that you do!!

  15. Well - I do not know of a contact - but I know our troops over seas always appreciate cards.
    I am glad you asked this I am getting lots of ideas from reading through the comments.
    thanks for the fun, sharing and caring!

  16. Hi Melanie, I just love your latest post, I have recently discovered Prisma Colours so am very excited about seeing what you can do with the Copics.
    Thank you for inspiring us.

  17. love your yellow rose very pretty
    I do cards for Soldiers and I have to say they really appreciate it just my small way of trying to help

  18. One great cause that could use some of your cards is
    My dear friend Lesa (a fellow stamper) is currently fighting breast cancer and rather than be preoccupied with her own issues she has started this awesome program where she sends cards of encouragement to other women who are fighting this horrible disease. I send Lesa my spare cards and some postage and envelopes whenever I can.

    Thanks for always being such a great inspiration.


  19. Lovely card! Love that she made the hand even more realistic.

    I think reaching out to some churches possibly for their elderly shut-ins list would be a great way to spread some love..of course you may need to use your own church (privacy issues possibly) or give them the cards to send out themselves.

    I often think about the older folks that have no one to reach out to them and make them feel loved.

    thanks Melanie.

  20. wow! she's so good I almost thought it was your card! love it & great poem/idea to reach out to others!

  21. Loved the poem! A hand holding a yellow rose could be used so many ways. I like the idea of supporting different agencies and ministries who are there for those hurting and with special needs. I like sending Love Gifts to various women's shelters in our area. The ladies need to believe in HOPE.

  22. What a great cause and something amazing to do with them something else that could be done mabie donate some of them to the cancer unit or even a burn unit for kids or adults either one at either your local hospital or St Judes Ronald Mc Donald House Etc

  23. Beautiful card. And what a wonderful idea. Looking forward to participating:)

  24. I am new to GinaK stamps and do not have any. I think your monthly idea is awesome. Any group that you choose would be very happy to receive cards. I took a look at the card you made with the stamp and as always it is lovely. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  25. What a beautiful card and what a great idea! One of my resolutions this year is to help others with my cards this year so this would fit right in. Last year I participated in Gina's collection of cards for the military. That was my favorite! Thanks for the chance to win....

  26. This card is gorgeous!! What a great way to combine sets. I have both on their way to me and can't wait to play. A great place to donate cards is to your local legion, they have contacts to many seniors and veterans who would love to receive a card on their birthday or a get well soon card when in hospital. Anniversary cards, or even a sympathy cards to celebrate or mark the passing of a loved one or friend.

  27. What a wonderful idea! I love this idea and I loved the poem. I am a supporter of St. Jude. Children with any illness is heartbreaking but the resiliency these children show is truly amazing! The stamp set and poem are both so inspirational.

  28. What a beautiful card and what an inspirational idea. I know that our service men are always happy to receive pre-made card to send to their families.

    Elaine Allen

  29. This month I am doing Valentines for a Children's Hospital. I think the Ronald McDonald Houses are aalso a good charity. I really love doing things for children and their parents. What a wonderful idea Melanie. I love that stampers have such big hearts. darlene

  30. What a wonderful idea Melanie!!! I do know of a couple of charities in my local area that would appreciate some bits of love from our stamping community.

    One is Vista Maria...they are a local organization that helps children dealing with hardships and abuse. Their website is

    The other is Hospice. They were amazing with the level of care and support they offered to my family with both of my grandparents passed away. Not only during their last few months, but for many months after they passed away. And we still recieve phone calls and cards from them and the caregivers checking in with the family to see how we're coping with the loss. The website is

    I can't wait until tomorrow....I have the perfect project to share with everyone...unless I change my mind and make a new one tonight. :-)

  31. I have done cards for sick kids' hospitals and for soldiers. Perhaps the parents of sick kids should be showered more often with this kind of thing; so much focus is put on their sick children that maybe we tend to forget or neglect their suffering.
    TY for a very inspirational post!

  32. Melanie, you always think of others! There are so many causes! I think anything that helps animals is wonderful, but I think something for sick children would be awesome. I don't know of any particular organizations, but there are so many out there. If there's anything we can do to help you help an organization like that would be awesome!

  33. Beautiful card, Allison! Love it!

    Great idea for a challenge, Melanie. This set is so inspiring, it is just perfect for it.

    Have you seen this case. It's gorgeous.

  34. Ive done alot of funraiser In the online commmunity.I try to help when I can I dont have that set may be one day so ill have sit this one out We dont have the money for it right now for ,But Ill keep watching for a chance to win it maybe So far it hasnt been my lucky year .

  35. Great idea for this stamp set. I donate my cards to local groups--the local USO sends cards for the troops to send home to their friends/family and our church sends to our shut-ins. I would think nursing homes and cancer agencies would love donations.

  36. That's a great idea Melanie! I will for sure join in. I just purchased the set and can't wait to get it. The first card I plan on making is for my mom using the childs hand along with the adult. Since I told you my little story...(remember the news article :S)well...I think that would be a great way to thank my mom for all she's done for me since day 1. As for the donations...the ones that come into mind right now are Alzheimers, my dad can always use a hand and I know mnay Alz patients will feel the love with cards of caring hands. Then there's St. Jude and Ronald McDonald House...but I know there's many many more out there...

  37. Fabulous idea!! :) For other ideas...nursing home residents love to receive mail. Children's hospitals are also a great source for sending cards.

  38. I'm Claudia from Cards For Heroes. We send handmade all occasion/holiday cards overseas to our troops to choose from and send home to their families. We'd be honored to receive cards anytime.

  39. How about the Ronald McDonald house? Beautiful projects!

  40. For anyone who's been a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer's Disease, you know the hardship physically, mentally and emotionally that you must endure despite all the love you bestow to your patient. I would like to mention the Alzheimer's Support Groups who could always use a little support for themselves too. These caregivers meet to share their stories, ideas and grief but also get the emotional support from others who are going through the same experience. Wouldn't it be nice to share some cards with these people letting them know that they are not alone? MarilynY (

  41. You are sooo sweet, loving and sharing, not to mention caring. I would love to help out. As soon as I am well again, I will help out. Oh, my, I'll have to buy the new set! :)

  42. I think sending cards to a Nursing Home would be fantastic. Blank cards or those with simple sentiments, so that those that are able will have something available to them to use....

    Very similar to what we do for Active Duty military, which is always near and dear to my heart (we are an active duty military family serving overseas)........

    The Forgotten Soldier a a wonderful group that mailed my husband packages each month when he was on deployment!!!

  43. Great idea!!! I can't wait to see what organizations you end up using.

  44. Beautiful card! I think sending cards to nursing homes would be nice.

  45. Beautiful card, Ally. The poem is so inspiring & your new challenge is such a wonderful idea which shows how BIG YOUR HEART is. Truly a talented & caring lady. Thanks for sharing so much with all of us.

  46. Wow Melanie, you are wonderful! This one took some thought for me. Military personal and their families came to mind as well as Seniors. My sister works in a Seniors Facility and often comments on how so many Seniors do not get visits or calls from their families. I think flooding them with cards to let them know someone cares would make their day.
    God Bless
    And on behalf of all those that will recieve cards THANK YOU!
    Catherine M

  47. What a fabulous idea Melanie! So incredibly sweet & generous of you!! So many people out there need a little something to brighten their days! I hope to play along with some of these. I may just have to pick up that set as well - I love the Hand in Hand stamps!!

  48. i love the idea of cards being donated to charities. love your blog Melanie and of course i am a subscriber! lol

  49. Being that my neighbor's grandson (6 years old) was just diagnosed with Children's Leukemia, I think some cards for children stuck in the hospital would be fabulous.

  50. Wow!!!! This is such a great card. I love the colors and patterns.

  51. I have a heavy heart for children so I think a childrens hospital like St Judes would be a great place to send cards.

  52. There are many womens' shelters for women coming out of abusive domestic situations...we have one in town (few know its location for obvious reasons) but our church often sends things there as they are often without any resources. Cards they could use for their family or children would be nice. I'm not sure if there is one specific overseeing organization; the one in our town works through Chances and Changes.

    What a great idea!

    Kim Marie

  53. The contest sounds like fun, can't wait to play. SharriC

  54. I work at a special education school in a suburb of Detroit. I would love to be able to shower the staff there with cards showing them love and encouragement. Most of the teachers and support staff don't get the recognition they deserve for putting their all into working with all these students. Most of the students are severe in their disabilities. Being a parent also of a student that goes there I see both sides of the issue. My "parent" side wants to do something very special for them and this would really be a morale booster. I would be so honored in sharing your readers special talents with my coworkers.
    Janet Sisk
    Para Educator(and parent)
    Cooke School
    Northville, MI

  55. I am watching the people's choice awards and saw the trophy. IT has your hands clasping the other on it. :)

    I was like..Melanie designed the award! ;)

    Well...i know you didn't. But you should have!

  56. Beautiful card. I am sure this has already been mentioned here today, but I think that the elderly and womens shelters are places that would be in need of cards.

  57. Terrific idea. I'll have to save my pennies for your wonderful set.

    Hospice is in most cities and have many venues for a program like you are proposing. AID's programs would benefit too. I remember the impact Princess Diana made just by shaking hands with AIDs patients and that was one of the first things that came to mind when I saw your lovely "Hands" set.

  58. I just sent off a package of hand made valentines that will be going to a children's hospital, and our card ministry is busy each month making cards for church and community members.

  59. You just made me ball like a baby!! Isn't that poem amazing!! I am so happy to see it inspire you to do such a wonderful thing. Here are my ideas for places for cards to be sent: to the elderly, to sick kiddos, to our troops, to teachers, to law enforcement, to paramedics/firefighters/emts. I think I could go on and on, there are so many people that deserve to know how great they are!! Including YOU!!!

  60. What a great idea, Mel! I wonder if the Ronald McDonald House could benefit from the cards. I don't have a blog, but I'd love to participate by sending cards when I can. As for postings, I'll look at everyone else's eye candy!

  61. Congrats to the winner, I didn't post in time to be included in the drawing but wanted to tell you of a very worthwhile cause here in the greater Detroit area where I live. Its called Cards4Kids and it benefits Children's Hospital in Detroit Michigan. How it got started and what they do is on this blogspot: and info for mailing can be inquired at the following email:

    Basically people make cards that the children on the pediatric floors and their parents can give. So the cards need to be blank inside. More details again are on the blogspot posted above.

    Once my blog comes out of construction I am going to post about this also.

    I think its a great and worthy cause and I hope you'll be able to look more into it.

    {{{HUGS}}} Robin


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