My ramblings as a lover of adventure, all things crafty,art, life, and mostly bacon....

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Remember I am just a girl Whatever you think I am. Whatever you think you know about my life. I'm this girl A LOT

Because life is not kind. its hard and awesome and Life is to experience

and even when I feel like this. I will be a happy people in the end.


Friday, February 07, 2014

The truth about how much I make.

When I tell someone about Charity Wings, I see their minds working through 2 questions:

1) What charities do they support.
2) How much is she getting paid.

It's true! At the end of most conversations, people who don't do non profit work for a living either ask or are left wondering how much I am making.  So here it is folks.  I have been working non stop for about 8 years (April will be 8).  When I was married, our household covered most the expenses for the organization for the first 3 years.  (Storage, phone, internet, travel, taxes, website etc.)  Then when I became single, I was able to restructure so that the organization could pay its own bills. because I NEVER PAID MYSELF A SALARY. 

So see how this works? I start a company that is structured to be 100% volunteer run.  
Then when I am on my own and need to take care of myself.... Oops!  
My mother always told me not to becoming dependent on someone else and did I listen?  NO!
I really do have a college degree and so much potential 
which she reminds me about weekly at family night. :)

So, for the last almost 5 years I have been trying to build a non profit business model that would allow us to continue our work and pay administrative costs.  At this point, I am not successful.

And, I am not independently wealthy so.  Therein lies the dilemma.

Luckily for me, I have an amazing family. When I moved out on my own, I lived with my brother for the first 6 months and then my amazing mother bought a condo for me to live in.  My car is paid for and I don't have kids so my expenses are pretty manageable.

So, back to the question on everyone's mind.

1) We support EVERY non profit.  Any 501(c)(3) can come to us and we will offer them free classes and or help with fundraising through Art and Creativity.
2) I only started paying myself about 2 years ago.  Depending on the state of our finances, just like with any business owner, my salary goes up and down.  between $500 and $1500 a month. So at best I make $18,000 a year. I don't ever make that but you get the picture.

So there you have it.  I struggle and I love what I do. 

If you have read this far, then you are truly my friend :) or just super nosy which works for me too!

So how can I live on that? Well, I can't. I left my marriage with some hefty debt and have been paying it off for 5 years!  Yay!! next month is my last payment.  But since then have racked up another little pile of debt trying to keep the Art Center open.  :( So I will start working on this mountain next month :(

I can't actually continue to live off such a small salary 
and I can't grow the organization without being able to pay an administrative staff. 

I LOVE MY VOLUNTEERS WITH MY WHOLE HEART.(imagine this is blinking and neon)

There are so many amazing volunteers. They make this organization so awesome and what it is today. But there are not enough hours in the day to recruit volunteers, manage them, deal with turnover and  deal with the ones that decide they can't finish a task or whose dog ate their homework :)  Just kidding but seriously, for some volunteers, they don't quite understand that this is a business and being a volunteer is a commitment and requires dedication just like a job.  And I can't yell at them cause they are volunteers!  get it?  Ok, off my soap box.

So, volunteers are great. but I need to fill several key positions if I want to be able to keep going.  I need a Volunteer Coordinator.  I need an Accountant. I need a Grant Writer.  I need to build an active Board of Directors. I need a Community Liaison.  I need a Marketing Manager.

So you can see. I need I want I need I want. But most of all I just want to be able to build a  non profit business model that allows me to replicate the Art Center. Every city needs one of these!  If I can get this to the point that it has a solid business model to follow I could open them and EASILY FILL THEM WITH PRODUCT. All over the country.  You know I can! 

But its the money. I hate it, its always the money.

So, now if you have read this far, you are really really my friend.  I hope you were enlightened or at least a little entertained by my story.

If you feel compelled to support my mission which is:

The mission of the Charity Wings Art & Craft Center is to be an inspiring place for people of all ages to Gather, Give Back and Create; as well as to partner with other charities to give free classes to those who can benefit from the Hope, Happiness, and Healing that art can provide!

Would you please consider becoming a member?  It's more like KPBS than 24 Hour Fitness.  Your membership is not to use the Art Center. ANYONE CAN COME AND USE THE ART CENTER!  Your membership supports our programs and allows us to continue the great work that we do.

We are providing a service to the community at large that can come and be introduced to Art and how Therapeutic it is to the mind, body, and soul.

We are also providing a service to our community of Art Lovers, Art Makers, and Art Supporters by giving them a way to give back through something they are passionate about.

If you are not a member, please join and help us build a Fleet of Art Centers and an Army of Volunteers that heal a World of People through ART!

If you are already a member, please spread the word and ask a friend (or two) to join.  Or consider raising your monthly donation.  Its less than 4 special coffee drinks a month to be at the $20 level :) And makes all the difference in the world to what we are doing.


Thank you for helping me fly!

Monday, December 30, 2013

No Excuses! I need you.

Hi Friends! It's me the Traveling Princess #crazycharitygirl 
ready to ring in 2014!

Maybe you know me really really well,
maybe you are a facebook friend,
maybe you are someone that likes what I do.
and maybe, just maybe you are a member of the Charity Wings Art Center.

I am asking a favor from all of you that see how hard I work every day to create opportunities for people.

I work hard for events! tiara and all

Sometimes it is for the people who need it, 
Some of the sweetest people I have had the pleasure of knowing from Teri Inc.

and other times, it is for the people who need an opportunity to give.

150 people, 2 days, 5 classes and a whole lot of fun for the Boys & Girls Club
Making card with Scripps Hospital visitors on National Card Making Day.

Making Seaside Soiree beautiful and welcoming for our guests!

Making Styrofoam stars to decorate the goody bags for the Friends of Scott Prom for Kids with Cancer.
making awesome art at the Save the TaTas event

Dressed up and still hauling stuff. We do it all!
 These are just a few of the hundreds of events we have hosted in the past 7 years. 
over $400,000 raised
87 charities served
Thousands of people reached.


If you see value in what I do, please support
         It takes 2 minutes and cost .33 cents a day.
                 It comes with perks and happy feelings and 
                        makes all the difference in the world to me.

It's the holiday season and almost a New Year so I'm asking.

Please become a member of the Charity Wings Art Center.  It is not about using the Art Center. It is not about coming to the Art Center. It is about giving the gift of ART to people all over the world that can benefit from the Hope, Happiness and Healing that Art can provide.

Take a moment.  Click here now.  Join me in a very simple do-able way and together we can make this world a brighter more colorful happy place!


Thursday, November 21, 2013

On the outside I smile.

I have so many things I want to do in this life before I die.  Every time I pluck a grey hair I think I am one step closer to NOT getting to reach my goals and it scares me.

Having the Art Center requires me to smile and present a happy exterior but on the inside I feel like there is a constant drip of blood coming from the hole in my heart. This unstoppable hole is not from any relationship or pain caused by a person-people leave their mark but it heals and scars just make you stronger.  The real injury comes from the pain of an unfulfilled life and complete lack of comprehension of why mine is turning out this way.  I make art to release some of the pressure and that scares people because they worry that I am not ok. The truth is, I will never be ok until I have the one thing in life I truly desire.  And that is to be a mother.  As you can see by this chart, my odds are almost 0%.

It is a heartbreak that I live with every day. I am not sure how to fill it. I am not sure how to change the way I feel. Nothing anyone can say makes it better. I just spread my pain through my art and hope that some day it will go away.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

I have to try harder.

I need strength.  This is so hard.  I hate it.

I don't blog often and I hesitate to blog now but I have to. I have to get this out of me.  It's tearing me apart from the inside.

I have blogged before about my struggle with infertility and my deepest desire to have a child.  (post is here)

And last night I was on the phone with my friend Natasha and she really helped me sort through some underlying pain. The reality of it is, I spend every day of my life trying to fill a hole in my heart that is so huge and deep that no matter what happens, no matter what I do, it won't go away.  Everyone has their "stuff" to deal with and this is mine. 

I have to refocus my energy to make my life complete. I have to find my child.  There is a small heart out there looking for me and I am not trying hard enough. So I am refocusing my energy and spirit.

I don't know what the plan is yet. I am not sure how to get there but I am going to really try.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

This little piggie

I feel like if I dont get a blog post up, I will explode!  I keep starting them and not publishing so here is just a quick story for a quick little giggle.

My brother and in the car and a guy walks by walking a little tiny mini pig. It was so cute!
Elena:"I want to have a pet pig someday!"
Eric:"They don't stay small and cute you know."
Elena:"That's ok, when they grow too big, we can eat him."
Eric:"You really think you are going to eat your pet pig?"
Elena:"Yes! I would eat him"
Eric:"Really Elena, you would eat a pig that was your pet?"

I don't think I could eat my pet pig, but I do love little piggies and I can't help it that they taste so good!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Meltdown #1

I have been trying to blog for months and even though i feel like I am being squeezed so hard in all directions, I have to sit and write this post.  For me.

Finding the Art Center space is such a huge blessing.

And for someone like me a a bit of a curse. 

I tend to overdo everything/take on too much.  I have a vision and I want it to go just as planned. Not having it go as planned is making me sick.

My brain, already having A.D.D. tendencies is spinnnig.  I feel like someone standing at the edge of a cliff all the time.  not a big cliff that could kill me :)  Just one that is daring me to jump off. Which is exciting and terrifying at the same time.

At the bottom of the cliff?  A HUGE GIANT ENORMOUS to do list that leads to my dreams coming true!

Every single thing on the list needs my attention in some way. I can't just hand things off or people (amazing volunteers who I am so grateful to) Everything needs guidance.

And the biggest scare as come in the form of money.  I have made the decision to personally fund the Art Center.  Not because I have money, but because I have credit and I have big dreams and big faith.  And because I know more people will sign up when they can see the center open and running.  It's just not happening right now.

My brother once told me  something like...I am not a philanthropist. Philanthropists have money. I am a person who wants to do good things.  This is exactly what I am and I hate that it requires money to do this.

THE REAL PROBLEM IS... I AM SCARED I CAN'T DO IT ALL. THAT I WILL FAIL. but im not going to stop so it's going to be what it is....

So if you read this far, you know my brain is not working right but I know I am doing the right thing and I know it will all work out, because it always does.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Still a happy people!

Now to go open an Art Center and bring free art to soooo many people!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Do you know what Charity Wings does?

I want to grow my organization, Charity Wings.

I want to open a Charity Wings Art Center!

Will you support me?

Only if you know what the heck it is I do!

So here it is in a nutshell.

Charity Wings has been around since April 2006 and we have:
  • hosted over 150 fundraising and awareness raising events
  • raised over $460,000
  • helped more than 73 different non profit organizations
  • collected socks for the homeless during the cold rainy season
  • collected over 5000 cards for military men and women stationed overseas
  • created 73 scrapbooks for families coping with cancer
  • hosted art events for breast cancer support groups
  • and many more....
These are just a few of the things we have done.

What we are doing now is opening a Charity Wings Art Center.

Its going to be a place for everyone to Give, Gather and Create!

The Art Center will have two main functions:
  1. To partner with other non- profits to offer free art and creativity classes and events to their beneficiaries.
  2. To serve the Arts and Crafts Community by hosting classes, events and open studio time for our online and patron members.
 Partnering with other non profits will allow us to reach many people that can benefit from the therapeutic rewards of creating. We will not have to qualify people to join the free classes as long as they are referred by a partnering non profit.  We can also reach non profits all over the world by shipping them supplies then teaching them through internet technology like skype or google hangout.  The skies the limit on this one!

So what do I need from you?

We need members.

The Charity Wings Art Center will be mostly funded by memberships.  We will have different levels from online memberships starting at $10 per month, to patron memberships starting at $20 per month.  There will be something for everyone.

We are still in the process of figuring out a few of the details but we will be taking members very soon.

I hope you will join me in this movement and help us spread the joy of creating around the world,

 because everyone is happy when they are being creative.

Learn more about the Art Center here

Want to help? email me  We are always looking for volunteers.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

This breaks my heart.

I got an email yesterday from a fellow artist who warned me of a scam being emailed around about a woman who claims to be collecting money for one of the Sandyhook Elementary School shooting victims.  UGH!  Why do people do this?

I had gotten an email from this same woman during the Hurricane Sandy aftermath asking for donations and I did some research and it did not look legit so I didn't give.  I had planned to contact the woman since I see her on facebook, but then I got busy with Seaside Soiree and forgot.

Then... last night Matt told me about this story and this morning Paul also told me about it.

It's so sad because she says she is a victim of ememies in the crafting community.  OMG!!  the look on Anderson's face when he hears this is priceless! Seriously this video tells the story better than I can.

Charity Wings is a registered 501(c)(3) organization. We file taxes, we pay sales tax on auction items, we follow the rules and we are open for the public to scrutinize.  Whoever you give your money to should be just this open.


I want our organization to ALWAYS OPERATE ABOVE REPROACH.  Ask us anything. We are happy to answer any questions you have.

Here is what we are doing for Hurricane Sandy Victims:

"Hope" for Hurricane Sandy Canvas

Here is what we are doing for Newtown, CT:

"Hope" for a Change Canvas

Monday, November 05, 2012

"Hope" for Hurricane Sandy Victims

As Hurricane Sandy was approaching I knew I needed to come up with a plan to help with the aftermath and the devastation it was going to leave behind.  But how?  I just couldn't come up with a good idea.  Until one morning I woke to terrible news and I knew I absolutely had to...

It happened when I read a story about a woman who was driving and trying to evacuate with her 2 young boys (2&4 years old I believe). They stalled in a flooded road and she got out of her car, holding them both. The water was too strong and over powered her and her two young precious boys were swept out of her arms.  The story I read was about the boys bodies being found 3 days later.

I cried.
A lot.

It is a horror I couldn't imagine.

So after brainstorming and asking for suggestions, this is what I came up with.  I contacted a few friends and asked for their help.  I would start a canvas and then send it to the next person so they could add to it.  The catch was, it needed to be passed on within 2 days.  The response was instantaneous and positive.

Charity Wings is pre-selling 8x10 matted prints of the final product for $24.99+ shipping


(keep the free one for yourself!)


Please don't be sad if I did not ask you to be a part of this. I don't know how I picked these girls, it was just the way my heart and mind went this time :) there are about a million wonderful amazing artists I could have asked and I know most of them would say yes!

This is what I do.

I create opportunities for our community of Artists, Crafters, and Scrapbookers to do good.
This is the gift I was given and I am going to use it every day for as long as I can!

About the canvas:

I started with a 9x12 canvas and added a blue sky.  Because of course!  Blue skies are ahead.

Then I cut a heart out of chipboard and covered it with "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" sheet music.  Because of course! Rain brings rainbows.

Then I covered it with Hard Coat Mod Podge, inked with Tim Holtz Distress Ink (old paper and tattered rose) and glittered with Tattered Angles Chandelier Glam and Goosebumps shimmer spray

and Voila! A Canvas is started.

It's on it way to Jamie Dougherty and then the rest of the girls on the list.  See all of the fabulous artists by clicking here.