Thursday 16 January 2020

Mary McMillan (Glitter Grammy Plays With Paper blog)

Please read this! 

The other day we had our Christmas card to Mary McMillan (USA) returned. In the past she was such a very loyal Playmate, who I assumed had eased off from crafting. This was now the second Christmas I'd heard nothing and naturally, 'being me' decided to play sleuth. But what I found out when I emailed was way beyond my imaginings - just stop right there and please take a look at this:

This is what remained of Mary and Richard's home, after they were caught up in the Camp Fire in Northern California, a year past November. They escaped with only the clothes on their backs, their beloved dog, a folder with important documents in and one vehicle in which to make that escape. Other than that - they were left with absolutely nothing, zilch, nada. Eventually, after months of searching, one of their four cats was located by their son and Freckles is back with them. Who knows what happened to the others though?

I've wept since finding out .......... and been told off by Mary lest we both cause flooding! She and Richard are finally settled into a new home in Illinois - close to some of their family but many miles from friends of many years standing. And I think it must be lonely without them. All of Mary's little crafting group of pals escaped safely but are now scattered in different areas as well.  

I've offered (my idea) to hunt for some precious dies and stamps that Mary lost - although she's very philosophical considering the trauma. Trauma which left her unable to remember how to even make a card, let alone cook a meal. She is slowly getting back on track and happily has joined a local craft group - but imagine losing close contact with so many friends in one fell swoop. And, as she wryly said, 'Well. it solved the problem of who should have what when we're no longer here'.

I also said I'd ask you if any of you have any craft supplies you would like to send to help out. I suspect that Mary would have refused but didn't like to hurt my feelings! I can be a little bit obstinate when faced with certain things!

I'm thinking that Mary can buy new stuff without a problem - but just think that she's lost so many items that can't be replaced. Many are out of production for example. I've had to comb through her blog to get a feeling for what might be suitable to send to her to rebuild her stocks. For instance, I'm desperately hunting for the Memory Box 'Piano Border' die. It's out of production and barring a minor miracle all I can now hope for is that someone, somewhere will sell one to me or even donate their own die. What's one die out of the, probably, hundreds we all have tucked away? EDIT! Huge thanks to Alice who spotted the Memory Box 'Piano Border' die for sale over in the USA! I've nipped in and ordered it, to be delivered straight to Mary's new address. So that's one ticked off the list :)

Mary wrote these words in her most recent email today:

Please tell people I’d really love to receive cards.  As for sharing the story ........ I’d like people to know that when you loose every physical possession, you mourn. But when you loose the close proximity of  your circle of friends, you mourn as though there was a death.  I thank the internet, texting, cell phones, blogs for keeping people in the lives of one another.  I often think of our pioneer days when families moved away, sometimes thousands of miles.  I think how precious every written communication must have been.  I think of how many months passed as people waited to hear about family and friends.  And I see how lucky we are in these modern times.  I hope each and every person takes a minute to hug a fellow crafter.  I hope each person sends a note to someone saying hello, I miss you, or I thank you for being you. It is so very important to keep in touch with others.   On November 7th my friends and I were planning on a craft get together on the following day.  Had we only known what the following morning would bring.    All of us lost our homes and every possession.  But none of us lost our lives.  Not so lucky were 86 others. 

One thing that has astonished me is how only one or two people I know seemed to be aware of all this - and no-one has yet stopped to think what we could do. Or if they did then I'm not aware of that.

Because we CAN do something - trust me! First off we can send Mary a card, be it funny (she has a great sense of humour) or whatever - just to let her know we're thinking of her, we're gonna be the wind beneath her wings to help her on the road to crafting again - or even just to let her know we care and want to help. 

I am happy to accept any donations for Mary from your pre-loved craft stash if you're in the UK (apart from a lorry load of snippets!!) as well as cards of course. Email me if you need either Mary's or my address), I would suggest that you take a look at Mary's blog to get a feel for her 'style' if you're thinking to donate anything. And I would then make up a parcel to send to Mary from the UK. If needs be I can book a flight and nip over with it :) Joke! Do bear in mind weight and size please if you do decide to help out. And please remember, we're trying to help Mary to get back on her feet and also to give her inspiration. If you have anything to donate, then I very politely ask you please to make sure it's useable - if you wouldn't want it as a gift then imagine how bad that might make someone already suffering from such an experience feel. These are my words, nothing of this ilk has come from Mary. I think the greatest gift to her would be our love and to know how much we care - a card is a great way to show this as well as it can be such an inspiration.

If you're in the USA and want to send something to Mary then please drop me an email for her address so you can send to her directly - the same goes with any donations of pre-loved goodies. I've very quickly whipped out one of my most loved stamp sets (my Habico Santa) - plus a new and pre-loved set of SU stamps and dies I've seen Mary using and I know she will do a much better job than me with them.

I thank you so much for reading this far my dear girls - I try hard in this life to make it a happier place, often through the Snippets Playground. And, how wonderful if we can turn all that fun and love we have for our Playground into something so, so positive for Mary. 

Bless you, and thank you, if you read this far. I think you will have - because I know my girls and their kind hearts. Any questions do please email me.

Can I please ask that you contact me via my email address on RHS of my blog page, if you wish to have Mary's address - do not leave just a comment but do follow up with an email please. I can't carry on with noting comments and then flipping around my email searching out your email addresses - it's taking me ages.

Please do carry on - it's just a bit overwhelming today! You darling girls - as always! xx


  1. Oh, such a terrible story, I am devasted. I will help Mary, of course, sending a card and checking her blog, if I have something for her. Thank you, Di for organizing all this, you are so kind.
    Crafty hugs to all xx

  2. Di, that is such a sad story and so glad that you have set this up.
    I am also thinking of all the horrible fires in our neighbouring Australia and the losses they have suffered there, including all the wildlife

  3. Mail on its way to you Di. x

  4. Wow. What a sad story. Thank you for bring such a good friend and sharing the story and organize this for Mary. I'll contact you for the adress.

  5. Oh Di what a sad story. I will go through my bits and pieces I am sure there is something I can send. Thank you for sharing. Take care. Hugs Jackie

  6. Well now I'm crying. This is devastating and I can't even imagine how she must feel losing absolutely everything. Praise God that she and hubby and two pets made it out alive. At the very least, I would like to send her a card. I'll email you for her address. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

  7. Di, Thank you for bringing this to our attention. So thankful Mary and her family escaped. How devestating to loose everything. I am glad they found a home close to family. I will shop my craft room over the next few days to see what I can contribue. I will email you to get the address.

  8. What a sad story Di. I didn't know Mary, just hadn't come across her for some reason but how devastating for her to lose everything and no wonder her mojo has got lost along the way. I have read the story of the fire on the internet and have also taken a look at her blog and can see she was a big paper fan and very talented at paper engineering, things like Graphics 45 and such like, and I think the cheap papers I have had as freebies, which is about all I have, and would not be what she would want to get, and my die collection isn't that great either, but I have an idea and maybe others may follow suit. If I should be a winner in the big draw you are running I would like to donate whatever I win to Mary. If I don't win then I will think of something else to donate instead, and I will send her a card anyway if you let me have her address. x

  9. Yikes! Pass the tissues and send me her address, please. Thanks for caring and digging in and following up on Mary. I think she needs some love from our paper crafting community. I suspect she'll get a lot of love. If I lived close I would love to craft with her. [Bunny]

  10. I knew that Mary had to step down from the design team at Sparkles Christmas which we were on together, after escaping with just the dog, a change of clothes and their medications - that's the last I'd heard. It's so tragic, so many people were affected and now it's all happening again over in Australia too. Can you email me her new address please Di?

  11. Such a difficult time - I can understand Mary's inability to do anything much initially. And it is also happening in Australia, as you and others have mentioned.
    I am on a lacemaking group, and know that there is at least one Aussie lacemaker who has lost her equipment.
    I will email you for her address

  12. Mary was on a design team with me when this happened, a terrible ordeal for her. I have a few things ready to post to you Di x

  13. That is such a sad story Di. Well done for being a sleuth! I’ll search out some stuff later on today.xx

  14. Di, How very like you to think of a fellow crafter. :-D
    I live in California and the Camp fire was unbelievably devastating. I don't happen to know anyone personally who suffered through that fire but would love to send Mary a card and some 'crafty' support. I'll visit her blog as you suggested then go through my stash of stamps and tools to see what I can send. I'll be emailing for her address later today. Bless you for organizing this and letting us all know about her situation. :-D

  15. OMG . . . poor Mary. So shocking. Thank you for bringing her plight to our attention Di. Will certainly do something to help. Will email you for her address.

    Hugs, Sarn xxx

  16. Such a sad story but so relieved she is ok - I'm actually on a Design Team she was on and hadn't heard about this - I would love to send her a card and some goodies so I'll email you - I'm in Hampshire so not far from you Diane x

  17. Oooh, I am so sorry for Mary and I would very much like to send her a card and also some crafting stuff, like dies and stamps.
    My brother is in the same circumstances now: he is living in Australia and there is fire all over the place....Yesterday there was some rain, thank God!!
    Di, I'll write you an email! And thank you so much for letting us know about Mary.

    Lia xx

  18. I'll get something out to you tomorrow, Di xoxo

  19. Hi Di

    What a fabulous thing to do. You have a heart of gold!

    I will get my donations together over the weekend.

    I would appreciate Mary's home address too please if you could send that my way sometime.

    Love Jules xx

  20. Hi Di - thanks for your post and sharing the info about Mary. I've just emailed you to ask for her address.
    Kath x

  21. I like many am a follower of Mary’s blog we where both on the Dt’s for Sparkles Christmas blog until l left l would love to have Mary’s address please Di l will be only to happy to send over some crafty items ...thank you for highlighting the situation and what a wonderful idea you have brought to many of us bloggers your so thoughtful.
    Sending lots of love xx

  22. I believe there is strength in numbers and I will be more than happy to help Mary get back on her crafty road to success! I will email you for her address.

  23. Oh my goodness--cannot imagine! That fire wasn't all that far from me in the scheme of things & now the horror is more real knowing a Playmate was one of the survivors. You are quite the detective & so glad you are!

  24. That is such a sad story Di, thanks for your post and sharing the info about Mary.
    I'll contact you for the address.
    Hugs, Majda

  25. Such a heartbreaking story and to think no-one was aware of it, only finding out by chance. A wonderful idea to rally round and send Mary something to help her back into crafting, which as we know is good therapy in itself, and how generous and kind of you to co-ordinate this effort. Something will be on its way to you as soon as I can get to a post office.

  26. So very sad, such horrible story happened to her!!!! Well done Di for your fabulous idea, and for organizing all this for Mary!! You are amazing!! I'm so happy to read that a lot of crafters that are sending cards and stash to help her! This is another proof of how fantastic is this crafting world full of people who have so much care about others.
    I will email you to have Mary's address, I have a card ready for her
    P.S: I have seen that the Memory Box Piano Border is still in stock in the USA, for ex. here
    perhaps some USA crafter could take it for you
    HUGS xxx

  27. Oh poor Mary, i shall happily send her a little something to help out - ive emailed you, thanks for organising. Emmax

  28. While I had not seen Mary's blog before, I am sadly aware of the loss from the Camp Fire in Northern California. My brother in law and his wife lost their home in that fire, as did her mother. All of them got out safely and are now living in Oregon but the entire town was burned to the ground. The devastation was so complete that all the roads and utilities are gone and rebuilding won't happen for a long time.
    The year before that fire, we had another terrible summer of wildfires just north of me, and my sister had many friends who lost their homes in her neighborhood. I can't even imagine how hard it is to lose everything at once, but am so glad that Mary and her family made it through safely. I will email you for her address and would be happy to send her a card and a goodie or two. Thanks for letting us know Di.

  29. Hi Miss Di, well I have missed a lot this past week while busy watching fires creep closer and closer, the strange thing is that when I made to pack some of my stash I picked my new distress oxide inks and my rather large collection of MFT and sentiment stamps, as for my clothes I packed on supermarket bag, which was thankfully not needed although the fire continues to burn close by. I have plans of a give away celebrating my 5th year of blogging and since finding Mary's story will sort through and see if anything will suit her style from blog posts. Many thanks for running the massive Christmas giveaway, I will drop you an email with my addy and request for Mary's. Have a wonderful week... Megan

  30. Thank you so much for updating us, you are very kind and caring. I worked on Sparkles Christmas challenge blog with her and she is 1 special lady. I shall be sending her a card etc.. I always say crafters are the kindest and thoughtful people who will help anyone. Big hugs lovely lady xxx


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