Fire, Fundraising, and Organ Donation!

As you likely know, it’s been a very uneasy week here in Northern California with the dramatic wildfires engulfing large sections of several North Bay counties. My husband, a Battalion Chief with the city of Petaluma, went into work Sunday evening, October 8, just to cover the night end of a fire shift for another firefighter, expecting to be home again first thing in the morning. Already tired from a long day after returning from a camping trip 5 hours away, he remained awake and in full gear fighting fire for several days as they expanded and threatened so much and so many. I was able to sneak a minute with him as he returned to the fire station to swap out vehicles.

In the meantime, my daughter and I packed two vehicles with the most important tangible things we could think of. That exercise in itself was a very taxing and emotional experience. We are heartbroken for those who never had that chance, but either had to evacuate their homes immediately, or tragically, never made it out. We already know several close friends who have lost everything. This story has yet to end as the fires are still raging, but as of today there seems to be some handle on them. 

The air quality in our area is at dangerous levels and many of us are wearing breathing masks just go go outside. Thankfully, we seem quite safe here in our area near Petaluma, so my neighbor Susan and I have been able to host firefighting crews from Petaluma and Lompoc at our home this week for rest and meals.

The outpouring of help in our community is simply amazing. There are so many needs that will need to be met for thousands. I am donating 100% of all sales from now until November 30, 2017 from any of my Etsy digital download house template kits to the North Bay Fire Relief. Please share this fundraising effort with your friends. Maybe even put together a fun workshop to raise even more to help. Every single bit helps. The fund I’ve chosen donates 100% to the effort. So please craft houses to help those who’ve lost theirs.

In other news, yesterday, October 15, was my one year anniversary to the day I started my weight-loss program. I combined diet with daily exercise and workouts to loose 70lbs and gain strength. One of my big goals throughout this year has been to become healthy enough to donate a kidney. So, in two days, “Lefty” (as I lovingly call it) will be removed, packed up, and flown out for transplant into a gentleman in the Washington DC area.

Though I don’t know the recipient, I would sincerely appreciate any prayers and good wishes you can spare that the organ is received safe, transplanted smoothly, and working right away towards his good health. My recovery includes lots of rest, sleeping, and loads of walking. No lifting over 10lbs for 6 weeks. Please follow me on Instagram for updates!

Thank you for all your wonderful support through my many ventures and journeys.

 

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The Eye-Vac Pro Craft Studio Review and Giveaway

Earlier this year, while at the hair salon, I watched a hairdresser sweeping up after a client and pushing a large pile of hair on the floor toward a machine in the corner. All of the hair disappeared instantly from the floor by being sucked into the machine. I’d never seen anything like it. It was the Pro model of the EyeVac. I was so impressed I ordered one for our house right from my iPhone before leaving the salon chair.Having replaced our carpet with wood floors a few years ago, and with two shedding dogs on the family roster, the sweeping is never-ending. Our EyeVac is in our kitchen and is one of the best household purchases I’ve ever made. So when offered one for my craft studio to review and another to give away, of course I said YES!!

It’s so great having the EyeVac Pro at Inspired Barn for sweeping away the multitude of dust and debris elements that land on these Pergo floors- from tracked-in dirt, small leaves, and cobwebs, to craft glitter, tiny paper scraps, wood dust, metal shavings, and sewing thread. Straight from the box, you just plug it in and it’s ready to go. Simply sweep your pile of dust, dirt, hair, and other debris up to the infrared sensors at the base of the unit and it’s automatically suctioned in. No more annoying dustpan use.

When the unit reaches capacity, a light will go on to let you know it’s time to empty the large-capacity canister. Just remove the canister, open the lid, dump into the trash and replace. We had our household EyeVac for many months of constant sweeping before needing to be dumped. The Eye-Vac is a cyclonic vacuum with HEPA filtration that provides not only a clean floor but also clean air. You can shop three different models at EyeVac.com:  The 1000-watt motor EyeVac Home, and the 1400-watt EyeVac Pro and EyeVac Pet.When shopping, enter the Inspired Barn promo code EVBLOG at checkout to receive 20% OFF your order!

For more product information and promotions, follow EyeVac on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

THE GIVEAWAY!

EyeVac is kindly giving away an EyeVac Pro to one lucky Inspired Barn blog reader!

—–ENTRY IS NOW CLOSED—–

  • Entry is open to Continental US residents only.
  • One entry per person and household.
  • Deadline is noon (PST) Wednesday, October 4, 2017.
  • The winner will be randomly chosen and notified by email shortly thereafter.
  • The EyeVac Pro will be shipped to winner direct from EyeVac.

TO ENTER CLICK HERE!

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The Mary Engelbreit Event and Upcoming Workshops

Home from a wonderful trip to the Midwest, I’m excited to share my exciting experience finally meeting and spending time with the marvelous Mary Engelbreit herself, and my sweet friend Charlotte Lyons at the Mary and Charlotte’s Studio Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri. To celebrate 40 years as a licensed artist, Mary along with Charlotte hosted over twenty creative women from around the US, and four crafty instructors, yours truly included! Just stepping into her studio was the chance of a lifetime- see my video here!

Over the long weekend event, Jenn McGlon of NoodleAndLou taught attendees how to make this sweet Happy Bird project. Charlotte Lyons of House Wren Studio shared a felt stitching project that was taken to various awesome levels by the class. Crystal Sloane of Vintage by Crystal showed us how to make our own adorable spun cotton figures. Jone Hallmark of polkadotponie gave a wonderful stamp carving demo to all. And Mary gave us a peek into her techniques for coloring artwork with pencils and markers utilizing a page from one of her latest coloring books.Saturday morning in the studio I taught one of my all-time favorite projects- the Mason Jar Luminary House Cloche. Yes, that’s a mouthful, but it’s just so many things wrapped up in one craft!…And the women ROCKED IT!Here are the (mostly-) finished projects lined up, and HERE is a more detailed video I shared of them as well.One of my favorite moments of the weekend was happening upon a group of gals further embellishing their little houses in the lobby of our hotel at 10pm that night!Nothing beat spending time with my good friend, the ever creative Debi Adams of Spellbinders who flew out from Phoenix for the event. We had loads of laughs and girlfriend time in and out of the studio.But one of the best moments of all was being welcomed into Mary Engelbreits home. Oh, look, there’s one of my art pieces, Girls’ Friendly Society, on Mary’s mantle!!!! You can find a wonderful photo tour of her home from that night on Debi’s blog here and here.

Thank you to all the wonderful women who made that weekend so special. And to my new friends, you know who you are, I can’t wait to spend time with you again.

Group photo by Jack Fulton

–UPCOMING WORKSHOPS–

If you are in or visiting Northern California, please visit me at my studio for an upcoming workshop to craft your own Mason Jar Luminary House Cloche July 22 or August 3, 2017. You’ll find more details on the EVENTS page.

 

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