By Helen Hyland, Fundraising Manager, ME Association.
The ‘makers’ who together contribute to the Marketplace4ME team have really excelled themselves over the last few months. This small, but growing crowd of people make and sell their crafts and kindly donate some or all the proceeds to the ME Association.
Image key: (left to right, top to bottom): Rosey Lowry, necklace; Melanie Blane, ME Night Cream; Liz Rush, bracelet; Louise McAllan, Bluebirds of Hope; Clare Blowers, hand-crocheted scarf; John Hill-Daniel, ‘Snow Bow'.
Special thanks must be made to team members, Sue Barrett (who is selling her beautiful handmade cards all around shops in Jersey); Rosey Lowry (handmade bracelets and necklaces); Melanie Blane (White Rabbit Skincare – It’s all about ME Night Cream); and Jacqueline Blair.
And we’ve had a flurry of new pages added over recent weeks too. John Rush has set up a page for his wife Liz’s exquisite bead bracelets (pictured). He tells me that they can be made to fit different wrist sizes. John has his own bracelet that he hangs over his mirror in his car. If you are interested in Liz’s bracelets you can email John and he’ll be happy to sort things out for you.
Louise McAllan has begun to knit her pretty ‘Bluebirds of Hope’. Like many people with M.E., I think she finds that doing crafts – any craft – helps her to keep her illness in perspective. She’s a strong advocate for Chronic Creatives – a Facebook group for people who are creative but must work round chronic illness(es).
Louise tells me that the group welcomes “all achy artists, catatonic card makers, poorly photographers, malaised musicians, sickly sewists, knackered knitters, woozy writers, diseased dancers, weary website designers, bushed bakers (abandon diet all ye who enter here!) – in short Chronic Creatives”. Whatever your chronic condition, Louise says that they’d like to welcome you to join.
Clare Blowers kindly donated her month’s proceeds from her Etsy shop to the ME Association. Clare makes delicately hand crocheted scarves, shawls, blankets and accessories, with an emphasis on texture and minimalist design. She often uses yarn from plant fibres (cotton, bamboo and linen).
“I am housebound with M.E. so having an Etsy shop is a lifeline for me. Some days are better than others, but crocheting gives me something fun to focus on while also being a way to support my family. One day I will be well enough to do all the things I used to like gardening, bike rides and long walks, but for now, thank you for supporting my business and helping raise awareness of M.E.”
John Hill-Daniel is kindly donating profits from any sale of a selection of limited edition prints to the ME Association. John has an extensive collection of seasonal photographs that he turns into pictures, cards, clothes, and many other items, in his online shop.
And, we must also not forget Lindsay Pascoe, who ran her annual stall at St Thomas Community Fair in Exeter, selling her comfy crocheted slippers.
Thank you to everyone who is working to make this initiative such a success.
If you enjoy creating crafts and artwork, are hoping to sell or auction what you produce to others, and want to donate some or all of the proceeds to the ME Association, please consider joining our Marketplace4ME team on JustGiving.
Simply get in touch with me via email or phone, and we can discuss the ways in which I can support you:
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01280 838964
If you you’re looking for that unique festive gift for someone you hold dear, do take a look at the Marketplace4ME, and contact the makers direct. If they don't happen to provide contact details, then contact Helen and she can put you in touch with them.