Handcrafted Gift Cards - The Ripples we Create

We've all heard the expression about throwing a pebble in the water and the ripples it creates we may never know. Well, I’m involved in the completion of the “ripple”. Here’s how it began.

In June 2003 my husband and I went to California to visit with his cousin who had been diagnosed with cancer. After our visit we drove north and one of our stops was Oregon. While my husband was taking photos of the beautiful scenery I spotted a gift shop, Blue Cottage Gifts. I found several things I liked, but what I couldn’t resist were tag gift cards with a magnet on the back. They looked like the old fashioned luggage tags of years gone by and were beautifully embossed and each message was better than the last. There were 4 left and I asked the clerk if there were anymore and she said no, she was expecting a shipment, but sadly I’d be home (in Florida) by the time they arrived. I purchased the 4 she had left and tucked them in with the other things I had gathered on that trip along with my notes.

In early March 2011 I decided to create more usable real estate in my closets and such in the process I came across the envelopes marked “6/2003 – Trip to California”. I needed a break and decided to look inside to see what was there. Well, that’s when I saw the cards and decided that they would make a great item to sell in my Ruby Plaza shop. I thought it would be easy, but it wasn’t. Blue Cottage Gifts had gone out of business, I checked for the author of the cards Dee Appel, couldn’t find her, checked on the artist that did the art work for the cards, no luck. I figured the whole world is on Face Book so I typed in the name “Dee Appel” and sure enough got a hit. My excitement was soon dashed…it was a memorial page. It seems that Dee Appel had survived breast cancer for 5 years but was again diagnosed, but this time it was her liver. She passed away in January 2006. I posted a note on the site and changed from wanting to sell them for profit to wanting to sell them at our up-coming Relay for Life fund raiser and just donate all the proceeds to the American Cancer Society.

A few days after I did the post on Face Book I received an e-mail from Dee’ s daughter. She does have some inventory left and I have made arrangements to purchase that inventory and will be selling them at the RFL with all the money going to the American Cancer Society. None of Dee Appel’s work is in print. Whatever is available is on the secondary market and the cards are no longer available. So what started out all those years ago in the Blue Cottage Gifts has now turned out to be a Dee’s contribution the very disease that took her life. She was a very active member in helping to raise money for research. It’s actually why she started to write these particular cards and books. It’s what helped her through treatment and recovery. So even now, though she’s gone her work continues.

Marie Pierce

Treasured-Delights on Ruby Plaza

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