Sunday, June 15, 2008

NEWSFLASH: waterlogged flamingo needs your urgent assistance

Recently in chat, some of our HOST members have complained about the heat and others have complained about the rain. It seems that whichever of the two we have, we always want the other - it’s called the ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome! For some of us though, such extremes in the weather can lead to calamity and this is currently the case for Dee (you will know her as Flamingo Lady) and Craig Brieske.

Flamingo magnet

Having gone through torrential rain in their area, a huge leak in their supply line then caused serious leaks which flooded the basement of their Derwood home in Maryland, bringing down the ceiling in one room and causing extensive internal damage to the property, carpets and kitchen units. The house was also struck by lightning and the power surge from the strike fried their telephone and cable lines. Dee, who is a wheelchair user, has been unable to help Craig with the clean up but remains philosophical:

“It could have been worse - the power had been knocked out, so that probably saved us from worse damages, and at least our house isn't floating down the river like so many that are going through floods, fires, and earthquakes, so I can't complain!”

Clock - beautifully embellished with handpainted roses.

Craig took early retirement from his former job to be a self employed mediator, trainer and HR advisor. Dee did the same but for medical reasons - she suffers from arthritis, chronic pain and has nerve and disc damage which now prevent her from working outside the home. Due to her disability, Craig and Dee’s business plans did not go quite as planned but she is one determined lady and now pursues her artistic expression by painting and creating items for her Etsy shop.

“I actually paint while lying somewhat reclined …where there is a will, there is a way, right! I also occasionally teach painting at the local craft store - I love teaching and hope to expand that if my health improves.”

Small bucket - embellished with handpainted English Garden roses and lilacs.

The following is lifted from Dee’s Etsy shop profile:

“My art is shaped and influenced by nature and color. Much of my art work is about turning practical everyday items into something beautiful and decorative at the same time. I like to see beauty in every day items; and I see God's beauty in every person. I am a Christian who loves colors and people, plus, I was born and raised by the Atlantic Ocean, and love the waves, beach, and water. I enjoy making art that makes people happy and can brighten lives; therefore my art and works usually reflect realistic and happy themes such as florals and beach themes…”

Dee has been a much appreciated and generous supporter of HOST. She has donated items to be sold in the HOST shop, with all proceeds going towards helping other Etsians in need. Dee and Craig now face expensive essential repairs to get their home back into shape, which is especially important for Dee’s wellbeing and to enable her to continue to paint and express her creativity in a safe environment.

When we at HOST learned of Dee and Craig’s situation, we immediately wanted to bring you their story and to call upon the support and generosity of fellow Etsians. We encourage you to visit Dee’s Etsy shop and to encourage your friends to do the same. The sales fairy has been a Godsend to Etsians in situations such as these and her assistance (and yours!) will go towards helping fund the extensive repairs to Dee and Craig’s home. So, that was HOST’s primary purpose for blogging this story but talking with Dee about what happened also produced another message, which this author in particular found incredibly touching. Even coping with the stress and worry of how to resolve the damage to their home, and given her own physical limitations, Dee has this message:

“I hope to inspire other disabled people to not give up doing what they love.”

Cigar box purse with handpainted sunflowers - a speciality of Dee's :)

Dee lives her life by example and who could help but be inspired by these simple words and their powerful message? The beautiful paintings and work that she creates for her Etsy shop are testimony to her talent, and her determination to encourage creativity in others through her teaching – despite the discomfort to herself – is nothing short of awesome. Dee and Craig appreciate your prayers and well wishes but the HOST message is: if you happen to see the sales fairy, please direct her to where she will receive a very warm welcome and the sincere appreciation of two very deserving people who need the help and support of our great Etsy community...

((((((Thank you for reading!))))))



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