Blogging for Lila Blog Hop

by Sarah

Today begins a month long blog hop in honor of my friend Maria’s daughter-Lila. Last month I introduced Lila and her family to you and for the month of April a wonderful group of creatives are gathering for a blog hop to raise awareness for Cerebral Palsy and for Lila. I will begin the hop today by introducing the bloggers for the week and sharing a few thoughts of my own on giving back.

This weeks bloggers include:

Tuesday, April 5th: mairi a. mairialexpoulou; Mairi is an artist in Greece that is part of the Creative Coconuts Community (Creative Coconuts is where the idea of this blog hop was born)

Wednesday, April 6th: tami. ahbliss; Tami is an East Coast artist coming to us via Stacie from Stacies Jewelry

Thursday, April 7th: maria b. mommyyouknowwhat; The wonderful mommy of Lila, an incredible artist and designer and my dear friend;

Friday, April 8th: belinda f. drawnfromfire; another wonderful Creative Coconuts artist that joins us from Canada.

So Mairi, Tami, and Belinda thank you for participating this week; and Maria thank you for showing me that happiness and love exists in this world…..

So my reason for the blog hop? Simply to support a dear friend and to bring awareness to raising funds for stem cell therapy for Lila. It is my hope that by reaching out to our online community that we as artists and designers can hear the call to give back through our art and our talents online. What can we do? Read, write, paint, photograph and share our own passions about how important it is to create a worldwide community of givers. If we start small and share with our own circles we can make a difference. From there our community and our awareness grows and like minded individuals will join us and share an even stronger message.

Giving to me is a quiet thing so writing this post today is a difficult thing. I choose to do my giving privately and with great care to those I am helping. There is no financial gain for me or recognition needed just the quiet satisfaction that I have helped to improve someone elses chances at a better life. Mother Teresa has two quotes that I try to live my life by:

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.”
Mother Teresa

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.”
Mother Teresa

My daughter Emily and I spent some time with Lila a few weeks ago and I can tell you that she is an amazing little girl. She loves art and she loves to create. Most importantly she loves to smile……The entire time of our visit was filled with smiles and such a sweet innocence that I have been filled to the top with joy since our visit. The fact that she loves art so much also makes me feel good about supporting her as an artist in our community and giving her the chance to live a long and happy life.

So for Lila and her family it is with great love and smiles that I start off this blog hop. We still have several dates available in the coming weeks so if you would like to join us, please do so, we would love to have you.

So for now, I pass the paint brush over to Mairi in Greece…thanks for joining us…..

and for Lila:

“Peace begins with a smile..”
Mother Teresa

(quotes from Mother Teresa can be found : Good Reads)

“blogging for hope, blogging for awareness, blogging for smiles” Blogging for Lila



Blogging For Lila

by Sarah


Hi everyone…today I would like to introduce you to a very special friend of mine, Lila. Lila is the daughter of my friend Maria and her husband Matt. Maria and I worked in Chicago for a large interiors firm and later both moved west to the Reno/Tahoe area and we have known each other for about 15 years. Maria is also, the owner of emkadesigns a local interior architecture and design firm. A few years after moving west, Matt and Maria gave birth to a beautiful girl that they named Lila. Lila has cerebral palsy and Maria and Matt are hoping to raise awareness of her disease, which is why I bring you their story today.

“Lila is a beautiful 4-year-old girl, who lives with cerebral palsy and hasn’t been given a fair chance at life.  We, Lila’s parents, are on a quest to give her that fair chance by allowing her to have a stem cell treatment this coming summer.

Since birth, Lila’s cerebellum has been growing at a slower rate than the rest of her brain.  The cerebellum controls a multitude of things that we all take for granted (i.e. balance, coordination, emotion, muscle tone, muscle control).  The majority of Lila’s issues are physical, as she walks with a walker, has no balance or coordination, and has low muscle tone.

Stem cell treatments with CP have been proven to help the child with speech annunciation, balance, strength, and increased levels of cognitive abilities.   In every child, the levels of these changes differ, however they have all been seen time and time again.  If these changes are all we see in Lila, this will certainly change her life forever, and you will have helped!

All of that being said, she is a very happy little girl who seems to shine a light on everyone she comes across.  There are people in our community that know and love her, whom we don’t even know!  I seem to believe it is her smile that captures everyone’s hearts, as she has ours.   What a special little girl, one that has taught us how to love unconditionally, to not take the little things for granted, and to know that each little milestone is truly a really big milestone!

We love her so much and just want to give her a chance for a more “normal” life.  For Lila that means that she may have the chance to have a college education, career, marriage and a family.  Our goal is to raise $20,000 by mid-June, however we hope to surpass that goal give Lila have a second treatment after one year, which is recommended by the doctors and could benefit her tremendously.  We hope that you all will join us on our journey, and embrace our little girl just as we have!” (as told by Maria)

To read more about Lila’s journey you can connect to mommyyouknowwhat? from my sidebar or by clicking on the link. By bringing this story to you today, it is my hope  to help Maria and Matt bring awareness to their daughters disease and help them in their journey to receive stem cell therapy for their child.

One way I have offered to do this, is by sponsoring a Blog Hop in honor of Lila. The idea of the blog hop came about during discussion with a special group of artists called the Creative Coconuts. During the month of April, if you have a blog, you can sign up to participate in our blog hop, Blogging for Lila….As you can see from the smiles on this child’s face our tag line for the hop will be: “blogging for hope, blogging for awareness, blogging for smiles

Even if you don’t have a blog, you can follow along during the month and be introduced to some amazing artists. Artists that feel it is important to give back…Just click on the Blogging for Lila tab at the top of the page to see who might be joining in that day….

If you would like to participate:

1. pick a date in the month of April that you would like to write your post. (begininng Monday, April 4 and ending Friday, April 29.

Just click on the link below and place your name and link to your blog on a calendar date. Feel free to blog on the same day as someone else if you wish.

Blogging For Lila Calendar (click on the month of April at the bottom of the calendar and then add your name and blog link to the calendar)

I will also add your name to the Blogging for Lila list that has been created under the Blogging for Lila link at the top of the blog.

2. share your thoughts on giving back-who you are and why  you are blogging for Lila-share your work, write a post, what ever your creativity leads you towards

3. introduce the blogger for the next day with a link to their site

4. Link to Mommy, you know what?

5. Link back to what is design?

Most importantly, thank you so much for participating in this wonderful blog hop and thank you for bringing awareness to this therapy and research. (Please note: all photography of Lila has been provided by Maria B.)

Have a great Wednesday everyone…

Feel free to grab a blog button as well: (link it to:



Artists Giving Back

by Sarah

Today I want to share a very special project by a fellow Creative Coconut, Stephey Baker. Stephey is the artist behind marked by the muse, a website and blog dedicated to art, counseling and daily inspiration for its readers. Stephey began a project in September to make ornaments to originally sell in her online shop. During this process she joined Craft for a Cause and found out about Enchanted Makeovers a non for profit group that provides interior makeovers for womens shelters all over the country.

Stephey sent me a press release yesterday that I have included below. I have also included links to her website and to Enchanted Makeovers so that you can find out more information. Basically, she is reaching out to the artist community and asking for help in creating 150 ornaments that can be given to shelter residents for the holiday.

Red Line Design will be participating in this endeavour at our holiday stop and shop on December 4th. If you can’t join us that day please feel free to coordinate directly with Stephey. There are many ways you can participate and Stephey is open to additional ideas.

Here’s the press release:

Contact: Stephey Baker, Creative Entrepreneur  and Licensed Spiritual Counselor | Email: info [at] stephey [dot] com

Richmond, VA—Each year, women’s shelters across the US take in thousands of women and children looking to escape abuse and start a new life. Operating with minuscule budgets, these shelters struggle to provide a safe, healing space.

Artist and licensed spiritual counselor Stephey Baker wants to use hand-made objects to create inspiring spaces for abused women and children during the holidays. So this year, she’s donating over 100 hand-made holiday ornaments to Enchanted Makeovers, a non-profit organization devoted to redecorating women’s shelters to bring inspiration and hope to the lives of their residents. She needs help to create this volume of original pieces, so she’s is asking for a small donation and opening her studio on Sunday, November 14, hoping and hoping you will help.

“I can’t do it alone,“ says Baker. “But I am committed to getting it done. So I thought if I provide the supplies and the space, and make an event out of it, perhaps others will be inspired to lend a hand. And what’s more inspiring than beautiful hand-made artwork?”

Baker believes, “Hand-made art possess the power to heal…. Hand-crafted objects carry all the love, hope and inspiration of their creator to those who need it most. And the holidays are the perfect time to give life at a women’s shelter an extra little sparkle.”

Giving back to the community is something I am very passionate about and will be sharing more ideas and ways we can do that as my blog grows. Have a great Friday everyone.