Monday, June 30, 2008

A message between friends...

I was asked to post this wonderful message from Sally of to her dear friend Jackie of and I do so with the greatest of pleasure...

The word "FATE" can be used in so many different ways to describe situations, good and bad... That word has played a very important part in Jim's, MayBeth's and my life together, so I guess I should have realized that it would also play an important part in a very special friendship that has been formed between two people here on Etsy... We met because of the ETC forums, the change a letter threads. I had moved from CT to NH in March of 2007; if you would have asked me years earlier I would have told you that NO way would I ever leave CT - nope - no way - was not gonna happen - but silly me fell in love with a man from NH, hook, line and sinker! I know my Dad and my Mom had a hand in it somehow, telling me in some way that it was time for MayBeth and I to move on and start a brand new life after they had passed away. So they found Jim and brought us together - even though we lived 174.5 miles apart!

Anyway, I had started to get home sick last fall and I then Joined Etsy. I just took the plunge one day and jumped into the forums... eek! Scary!! seeing as my brain was never wired for computer technology (LMAO). I noticed this woman, Jackie, who made jewelry and thought: hmmm, she's from CT... So I happened to mention to her that I had moved from CT and had been born and raised there - and well, the rest is history as A True Special Friendship was formed. Never even thinking that we would ever meet in person, Jackie and Tony came up to see us for the first time after just about all of the 13ft of snow had melted!! It was like we had known each other all of our lives - the 5 of us (including MayBeth) got along so well :)

Jackie has been my rock through Jim's cancer; his surgeries; his treatments; finding out that he is a diabetic; me VENTING (BIG time!) - Jackie was just there for me; listening, helping and advising me; and giving me hugs to lift me up on the darkest days, reminding me that God does not give us more then we can handle. BUT as I told her "Please tell Him to stop!" as it seemed like we had got other people's shares as well!! I can honestly say that if it were not for Jackie, I don't know how I would have come through any of this. It got to the point when last Saturday the oil tank ran dry; we had $10 left to our name; no gas in the truck, and just enough food stamps to last us till the end of the month (yep, we had to go that route) and it was really hard to accept that - even though it would only be for the short term. Jackie pointed out that Jim and I had worked hard all our lives and had paid into it, so now it was our time to receive... Jackie and Tony saw to it that we were able to get some diesel for the oil tank, as the minimum for oil delivery is 125 and at 4.69 a gallon... NO WAY!!! We had a grand time with them both this week - they both got their exercise helping us with wood; MayBeth conned Tony into playing cards with her - she even got Jackie and I to play Black Jack (only played for pennies but that little monkey butt won!!).

I know there are a lot of you who have helped us - please do not think I am excluding you from this message - but once in a lifetime, you have the opportunity to gain a true best friend, and at the age of 50 (yikes), I have found my true and bestest friend in Jackie. Jackie, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being you; for being here for me and helping me get through this :)

Hearts and hugssssssssssss, Sally

PS - we didn't win the lottery on Saturday night, so Lowes won't be delivering the fire pit - sorry!!


Welcome new members!

Well, since we have a bit of a 'good news' theme going, we thought it would be nice to greet two lovely Etsians who have decided to join the HOST team! 'Welcome' to Terra from Arrets Place and Rachel from Tile Smile. We are delighted to have you on board and looking forward to getting to know you better.
If anyone else would like to join the team, just drop by our HOST chat thread in the Teams & Events forum, or register at our team place which you'll find here: The more, the merrier - and we are a merry bunch :) - red, white and blue afghan - love, life & laughter tile


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Good news has gone to our heads now!

HOST is packed full of little treasures...

...oh and the stuff in their shops is pretty nice too!!

The HOST treasury stalkers are on a roll; check it out and show it some love :)

Come on sales fairy - we KNOW you're out there somewhere!
Stop by and take a load off... :)

More good news!

We recently posted about our HOSTie Sally - of - who was having an operation on her arm. We are delighted to report that the surgery went well, and Sally is now recovering at home... She is *allegedly* behaving herself and not overdoing things but we only have her word for that since nurse Jackie - of - who was looking after her following the surgery has now returned home! Sally's husband has also been given a clean bill of health following some serious health issues of his own, so things are definitely on the up-turn.

Sally: we are delighted about your hubby's news and we wish you a speedy (but not too speedy, mind!) and full recovery yourself. Jackie: thank you for taking such good care of Sally. You have obviously done much to raise her spirits and we are so glad that she had you close. Some of the HOSTies were beginning to consider medical intervention too - anything to get a slice of all that fabulous yumminess that you were reportedly turning out in Sally's kitchen!!!

Life's a beach at Sally's place these days :)


The good news blog!

Our readers will know that we frequently post about our attempts to help fellow Etsians and their families. We also want this to be a 'good news' blog, so we have decided to post updates about Etsians who have managed to turn things around; get closer to, or achieve their goals; and where HOST has been able to participate a little in this process. Pictured: crocheted tan and white oven gloves from

Recently, HOST was asked for help by Terra, who owns the Etsy shop: Terra's husband had secured a new job but in the interim before the paycheck came through, they were unable to pay some overdue utility bills and things were pretty tough. With funds obtained through sales in our HOST shop, we were able to send Terra sufficient funds to settle these bills - thus ensuring that she retained access to the internet and could continue to manage and promote her Etsy shop. Pictured: hooded cardigan from

This is what Terra had to say - before:

I appreciate any help your group can give at this point. I'd hate to be without the internet just in case I get any sales. And with gas prices...right now life is tough for everyone. I am hoping that somewhere in the future months I can join your group and help others as you have helped us.

...and after:

Thank whoever sent something into my Paypal. It will be a big help. I really appreciate it more than you sure to thank everyone for me. I can now pay my electric and phone bill and get them updated. Thanks to all the HOST participants who have helped me and my husband out. His new position will begin June 18th...we can now make a budget...and finally start getting ourselves out of the hole we've been in for so long.

Many thanks and God Bless you all,

Terra: HOST was only too happy to help! We wish you and your family every success, and we hope John enjoys his new job. Please keep us posted with your news :)


Where to find HOST - a reminder

Just a little reminder of where to find us HOSTies when you need us...

Obviously you found our blog! This is where we post about some of the situations we are trying to help with. We always appreciate feedback, so please leave your comments as you read through our updates. We also invite you to bookmark this blog so you can visit often :)

We always have a chat thread running in the Etsy 'Teams & Events' forum but we welcome non-members too, so feel free to drop in and visit with us.

HOST also posts a weekly 'Promo' thread every Tuesday, so do look out for us and help give us a B-U-M-P. Our promo threads include everything from the HOST shop to particular causes or promotions being run by other Etsians in need.

Our HOST shop can be found at Our items are all generously donated by other Etsy sellers and all proceeds - minus shipping and paypal fees - go towards helping other Etsians in need.

If you would like to join the team, or you would like to find out more about us, visit our team page here: The qualifying criteria is simply to have a big, friendly heart :)


Treasured HOSTies

HOST members spend a lot of time jumping up and down, waving flags, bumping promos, and making smoke signals - whatever we can think of to attract the attention of the sales fairy into the shops of Etsians we are trying to help! The truth is though that most of the HOSTies are longing for a visit from the sales fairy themselves, so we decided as a group to jump up and down a little for ourselves... hope that's ok with everyone?! The plan has started well since yesterday, two members managed to snag two treasuries - YAY!! We decided to post our treasuries here for the team - and our readers - to enjoy because we just love to share! :)

Compiled by HOSTie Cornucopias

Compiled by HOSTie maisyh

Watch for the next HOSTies list when our treasury stalking pays off - there are many more of us to introduce :)


Saturday, June 28, 2008

AWBAR update

We wanted to give a brief update on the parvo crisis at the AWBAR - Abandoned Wild Babies Animal Rescue - centre. Very sadly, 13 babies have lost their battle with parvo but Amanda is continuing on, determined to provide the best possible care for the remaining 14 little raccoons who are not quite out of the woods. There is hope but there is some way still to go and vet bills are mounting up. So many etsians have generously donated to AWBAR to help raise money for essential medication, and both AWBAR and close friends at the EFA - Etsy For Animals - team have been proactive and supportive with AWBAR promo threads in the etsy forums. Thank you everyone for your continued help; hopefully the crisis will be over soon, and the remaining little guys will be back enjoying their cornflake snacks with their usual vigour!

Can you help? - kitty love earrings

Your support and donations would be most gratefully received. - Ringer pin


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Two Mothers with the same dream

As daunting as the big 'C' can be, there is one message that we hear from all over the globe: think positive! If you're the person who has cancer, positive thinking may not be so easy because you're probably a little terrified. If you're a friend or family member, chances are you're probably feeling pretty terrified too. That fear is something to watch out for though; it's like a foothold that the cancer uses to get a better grip - so don't let fear take over!!! You have to put your faith in something, whether it be religion, yourself, your doctors, or alternative therapies and treatments - we all have our beliefs but the important thing is to invest your positive energy and your hope in 'something' and not let your fear take over. So long as you have hope, you will be fighting your cause, and you will have a plan.

HOST recently heard about an Etsy seller - Annette Cook - whose daughter is currently battling ovarian cancer at the age of 25. She will finish her chemotherapy this month and then she faces surgery to remove her ovaries. Annette's daughter has a wonderful Mother and family behind her every step of the way, willing her to keep fighting and beat the disease. She also has another reason to fight: her own 8 year old daughter - and she has a plan... Also keeping this young woman battling is the dream that she and Annette share: Annette is trying to save enough money to send her daughter and grand-daughter to Disneyland together, once her daughter has beaten the cancer. The dream of sharing this experience with her own little girl is keeping Annette's daughter determined in her fight and positive in her outlook.

Pictured above: - gem of a dragonfly set

HOST wanted to send well wishes and hugs to Annette and her brave daughter. We are hoping for the best possible outcome for your family, Annette, and we wanted to spotlight your story to help raise awareness and hopefully brings about some sales for you since all sales in your shop - - will go towards funding this dream trip for your girls. Please keep us posted on the Disneyland Dream. Nothing would make us happier than to post an update with Disney photographs of your girls to document the outcome that everyone is praying for :)

Pictured above: - speckle in pink bracelet


Healing, well wishes

We at HOST wanted to send love and best wishes to Amanda and all the poorly furry babies at the AWBAR - Abandoned Wild Babies Animal Rescue. Sadly 3 of the raccoons recently brought to AWBAR were infected with the deadly parvo virus and in the last two days, Amanda has lost 10 baby raccoons :( The virus is difficult to fight and highly contagious but Amanda is battling on with incredible resolve despite being utterly heartbroken by her losses - many of them babies that she had hand-reared since they first opened their eyes. The vet bills are mounting up but Amanda is doing whatever it takes to care for her little patients. So many Etsy sellers have generously donated items for sale in the AWBAR shop to help raise funds for the centre but particularly in the last 48 hours to help raise money for essential anti-biotics and IVs. We would like to thank everyone who has supported AWBAR and express our deep admiration for the stoic work that Amanda is doing - particularly when she has had barely 2 hours sleep in the last 48 hours! Hang in there Amanda - and hang in there furry babies - we are all cheering for you and sending well wishes. If you would like to make a purchase, or donate an item to assist AWBAR with raising finds to cover these new vet bills, please visit the AWBAR shop, or get in touch with Amanda or another member of the team at: Any support will be most gratefully received; also check out the 'HHH' AWBAR items we have listed (left).


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A miracle in motion?

The accident

One of our Etsy community, Retro Cycle, recently posted in the forums about her step-son - Greg - who was seriously injured on April 14th of this year after being struck by a car whilst crossing the street near his college. Greg is 20 years old and until the accident, he was a Junior in college, with great plans for the future and his imminent Spring break... Doctors told Retro Cycle and Greg's Father that Greg was unlikely to survive his injuries, and that even if he did, he would likely be left with irreparable brain damage... - vintage prom dress

The update

Greg remains hospitalised but incredibly, Retro Cycle was able to report back to Etsians who had been waiting and praying for good news, that on June 11th Greg actually managed to STAND upright, and was now talking to his Father and able to read! Clearly this young man is a real fighter and it is his sheer determination that is helping him defy the initial prognosis from his doctors - and they couldn't be happier! Greg obviously still has a looooooong battle ahead of him but the indicators are positive and his doctors are now saying he may even be able to return home in October. This is fantastic news - especially to Greg's Father, who has been staying in New York to be near Greg since the accident - and to Retro Cycle, who does her best to support Father and son from home in Tennessee. - vintage milk glass

Dealing with the expense

Greg's medical bills are unsurprisingly huge and they continue to grow. In addition, there is the expense of Greg's Dad staying in NY and commuting between NY and Tennessee when he returns to spend any time at home. The family have been looking for ways to address some of their expenses and Retro Cycle subsequently posted that ALL proceeds from sales in her Etsy shop will go towards helping her husband to stay with Greg until his recovery and release from hospital. - gorgeous vintage Summer purse

How to help

Other kind-hearted and generous Etsians have donated items from their own shops, with proceeds from those sales going to help with the family's expenses. These items have been tagged "For Gregory" and HOST is doing everything possible to help promote the sale of these items, as well as sales in Retro Cycle's own Etsy shop: If you would like to make a contribution to help this family, you can search for Etsy items tagged "For Gregory" to find listings where the proceeds will go to Greg. Alternatively, if you would like to donate an item, please convo Retro Cycle for more information. - vintage retro earrings - fabulous vintage wedding outfit


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Warm wishes for another of our own

One of our HOSTies - Sally of Sally's Creations - is going under the knife next week. Hopefully the procedure will resolve some of the discomfort she has been having down one arm, so the rest of us are crossing our collective fingers and toes, and wishing our Sally a speedy recovery with positive results at the end of it.

We know the real challenge Sally faces is doing what she is told about taking her post-op recovery easy and putting her feet up... Somehow we couldn't really see that happening, so we were all mightily relieved to hear that our favourite nurse Jackie - owner of A Doll's Closet - will be in attendance and enforcing strict rest and relaxation conditions at Sally's place :) - beautiful sunflower wind chime - by Sally (probably the world's worst patient!) - adorable beach cover-up for dolly - by favourite nurse Jackie :)

Sally: we will all be thinking of you and waiting for news. You be sure and do as the doctor (and nurse Jackie) tell you - no sneaking off to chop down trees and cut granite slabs, or else!!! We want you back in action soon but not ahead of time...

Jackie: we realise you will probably need the patience of a saint to keep Sally in her swing seat, so we also wish you well for this challenge - don't let her wear out the bell, summoning you all day long for this and that!!!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One of our own - Three Muses Art

This feature is our way of sending HOST hugs to one of our own, who has been through the emotional wringer recently and so we wanted to show her some extra HOST love...

Our very own Monique of has been on hospital hand-holding duty for her Mum who has had quite a scare. Happily, after some fantastic care by a wonderful team of nurses, Mother of Three (so to speak :) is back on her feet and due to be released from hospital today - yaaaayyy Mother of Three!!

Events have been stressful to say the least but this is the perfect ending to the story - oh, except for those pesky hospital bills which are a worry in themselves on account of there being no medical insurance...

So: because we want to celebrate Monique's Mum's recovery and release from hospital and hopefully attract a visit from the sales fairy to help some way towards the medical bills, we wanted to show off some of the super items from

Wicked Wind - available from

Winter Berries - available from

Shower Stones - available from

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!))))))


Thursday, June 12, 2008

HOST update

You may have noticed recently that we have been doing a lot to promote HOST and to tell other Etsy members about the team and what we do. This week, we started the first of our planned Etsy promo threads for the HOST shop and blog... We met up with old friends - and some new - and were truly delighted when donations for the shop were offered through that same thread! We are hoping to repeat this weekly, so look out for us and remember to tell your friends to stop by and join us for some chit chat.

One of our members is slowly reopening her own Etsy shop - check it out at - and had the fantastic idea of featuring interviews of HOST members on her blog! She has just posted her first in this series - an interview with our lovely Michelle of Go read the interview at and keep an eye out for the next HOSTie seller to be featured :)

Another of our members was also lucky enough to snag a treasury west today - yay crochetmaggie! Check out her lovely shop at
We have pasted the treasury in here in case you don't catch it while it's live (just click on the image for the larger version):

All of these are HOST shop items that were
generously donated by Etsy members.
You can view the rest of our listings at

We also wanted to give you a little update on the shop: so far for June, we have sold 10 items - yay!!! We would like to pass on our biggest HOST (((((hugs))))) to everyone who has purchased something from us this month - also (((((hugs))))) and our sincere thanks to all of you who have donated items to the shop (including those of you who have made items specially for this purpose :) We want you to know that your generosity is hugely appreciated and your support of HOST really keeps us motivated to do the best job we can. Remember to share this blog with your friends and we would love to read your comments and feedback on here too!
Thanks for stopping by today :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cup of tea and a convo anyone?

We HOSTies have busy lives! Many of us have families and our businesses to run but we still manage to do an awful lot of chatting! We always have a thread going in the Etsy 'Teams & Events' forum and most or many of us sign in there daily for updates on each others' lives. Sometimes we have a giggle and sometimes there are troubles to share. We are always happy to meet new Etsians in the threads, so don't feel awkward - just jump on in and say hello. If you come weighed down with things you need to get off your chest, we are all good listeners and will try to be supportive and think of ways to help. If you prefer somewhere a bit more private to chat about things - or if you need specific help - you can convo us through the shop: or the team page:
If you recognise one of our usernames, we are all very convo friendly so just go ahead and drop us a private line :)

We thought this might be a fun way to illustrate our message...

Are you feeling hemmed in, or trapped?

Are your troubles weighing on your mind
and keeping you awake at night?
What you need is a nice cup of tea and a chat :)
Come on over to HOST
and we'll put the kettle on...
...and get out the best cups!

Remember, HOST is there for you!

(And HOSTies are always ready for a cup of tea and a convo!)

PS - we illustrated our message with some of the fun items available from these Etsy shops:

Thanks everyone and have a healthy, happy, creative week!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Happy Monday

Welcome to a fresh new week everyone! We know some of you will have come flying into it, excited to find out what lies ahead this week - and others have come to it more slowly, a little weighed down by the things you have going on in your lives. Whatever the week holds, remember that HOST is here for you, to celebrate the good and offer support during the not so good.

From a team perspective, this particular Monday started off on a happy note, when one of our early risers (well, not really a morning person if the truth be told - just luckily placed because of her time zone!) managed to snag a treasury west space and filled up the list with some great goodies currently available in the HOST team shop - yay!!

The new HOST treasury west is pasted in here for all of you to enjoy even after it is timed out on Etsy. If these items have been snatched up by the time you run to the HOST shop, don't worry because thanks to all the generous hearts of the Etsy sellers, we receive some really wonderful donated items and the shop will re-stock, so keep stopping by as often as you can.

Remember that ALL proceeds from the HOST shop sales go towards Etsians who are having a tougher time of it than others. We HOSTies take nothing away for ourselves but the feeling of satisfaction that we have managed to help someone along. Well... actually, we're not really that selfless. Nope. Truth be told: we do it for the hugs - LOL :)

Click on the image for a more detailed view - or click straight through to the HOST team shop and check out all the other items we currently have available:-

Saturday, June 7, 2008

HOST hugs

Hugs are VERY important over here at the HOST team. We give a lot of hugs and that means we are all pretty good huggers. We hug by convo; we hug each other daily in our chat threads; we hug those who tell us they need hugs, and we don't need much of a nudge to hug them when they don't! You could say we are all hugaholics over at HOST but the best part is that being a hugaholic is therapy in its own right!
Our hugs are not exclusive to HOST members only - they are for anyone who needs them. You may just want to chat to us, or rant at us - just have someone at the other end of a convo who won't be judging you but will be listening while you get a load off your chest. We'll do our best to offer comfort, or any other support that we can; so remember that we're here when you need us and we're doing this for you!
With that in mind, here are a few other Etsy style hugs and supportive words that we thought would make you smile :)

This is what you will find at HOST...

...and this is what we do best!

Whatever the problem is, remember to also count your blessings. - Just be happy
Don't let anyone steal your hope; it belongs to YOU!

Find your angel and ask for help!
It could be a friend or a family member, or one or all of us at HOST :)


Thursday, June 5, 2008

Look what we have!!!

Yay!!! The long awaited "DONATE to HOST" button is now up and running!!! Take a look at the top left hand corner of your screen... and don't be shy to use it :)

HOST has been very lucky lately and we are counting our blessings :) We have been picking up speed and lots of FABULOUS Etsy sellers have been donating items to our team shop. We have been able to list about 2-3 items a day non-stop since we opened - can you believe that?! We would like to thank all of the wonderful sellers who have donated items, and send out special HOST hugs to each of them :) Please take a moment to check out the shop, as well as those of our contributors:


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