love day

Have you ever noticed how a heart, the one that comes on greeting cards, or the one that boxes of chocolates are shaped after, basically all of the hearts you see leading up to Valentine’s Day, are always perfectly curved and perfectly symmetrical? And have you ever been frustrated when, after attempting to draw your own perfect heart, you pull your marker away and see that one side is lopsided, the curve too sharp or shallow, or one heart’s ear too floppy, and the other too narrow? And heart after heart, you just cannot seem to right the imperfection—indeed, the imperfections actually increase with each successive one you draw?

It’s funny how you strive for perfection when it comes to love, because you want it to look just right.

This Valentine’s Day, glassybaby has helped me learn that it is our imperfect qualities, as individuals, that make us each unique. Just as no two glassybaby are the same–its shape, its weight, its curve, its glow—no two of us are the same. That simple fact has helped me learn that, when it comes to drawing hearts, the imperfect ones mirror our human uniqueness. Our imperfections, and more importantly the way we accept, appreciate, and love one another’s imperfections is what Valentine’s Day is all about.

And so, this Valentine’s Day, I give a special thanks to glassybaby for helping me draw only one heart, and for the gifts that I have given that not only show my love for my mother and my family, but also go beyond, supporting Solid Tumor Translational Research in honor of Babes Against Brain Cancer (that’s ‘belle’), Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (that’s ‘goodness’), and the Seahawks Women’s Association (that’s ‘spirit of 12′). Finally, my imperfect Valentine’s Day has left me perfectly content!  

one size fits all

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I have been thinking about Valentine’s Days of years past. I remember Valentine’s Day in elementary school: the arts and crafts that came from cutting, gluing, and decorating Valentine’s mailboxes that would sit atop your table or desk. They awaited the store-bought Valentine’s Day cards—one year Buzz Lightyear and Woody spoke to love that was to infinity and beyond, and Woody lassoed a heart with a big grin on his face. With the cards came the store-bought candy—messages of be mine and hugs written on hearts and lollipops. Yes, the written messages on cards and candy were all very cliché, and oh-so-cheeky, but back then the unwritten messages carried the most weight. Everyone in class had to receive a Valentine, but you saved the extra large Valentine, or the handmade Valentine, for your special crush.

Love back then was simple: love everyone equally, and secretly love one person more. Valentine’s Days have changed since then, of course, with gifts becoming more complicated and the stakes greater. That may have changed, but the love has remained constant. There’s the love that you share with your mother—unconditional and unique in such a way that only your family understands. There’s the love that you share with your best friend—a love that grows through growing up, together. And there’s the love that you share with a pet—where it’s not about master and subject, but wholly about companionship. To be sure, there are a lot more types of love, but I love these three kinds because they all share something powerful and everlasting. Time will never erode these loves.

We all know that love comes in all kinds of shapes, and in so many different sizes. Showing your love can be difficult at this time of year—flowers are beautiful, but last only so long. Chocolates are a short-term joy as well. You want something that speaks to the everlasting nature of your love. A glassybaby, and the good that each one does, means your special love is just that: special. And this Valentine’s Day glassybaby is teaming up with the SFSPCA (San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals). For all the loves in your life, give something that will mean your love is forever, and help an organization that gives pets a new home, and a loving family. 

second stories

The fog from Saturday’s seconds sale was truly something mighty, but what lifted my spirits was first seeing everyone there who came to support Camp Korey, and then hearing all of their stories. With the line stretching around three sides of the block, there surely were a lot of stories, and here are some that I continue to smile about: 

A mother came to wait in line for devil dog, so that she could send it to her devil dog of a son-in-law, who is stationed in Japan. 

A nurse from Fred Hutchinson, who has been to every seconds sale, gives glassybaby to help spread their light to others, and to help all of our partnering charities help shed their light. 

A couple from Texas mentioned, at the end of their seconds sale experience, how their first encounter with glassybaby was their absolute highlight from their entire Seattle visit. I imagine the atmosphere, the anticipation, and the glassybaby family helped make their morning so unforgettable. 

Everyone had someone in mind as they stood in line for hours, especially Aaron, who waited for ten glassybaby so he could give them to a friend who could not make it. 

Another one of a kind story came from Brandon, who camped overnight to keep his girlfriend, Cassie, company!

And perhaps the best part of the entire day was that all of you who waited in line, no matter if you were there so you could give to others, or so that you could give to yourself—you all gave to Camp Korey, supporting their mission of giving children with serious life-altering medical conditions and their families the experience of camp. Your generosity will help a child put on a lifejacket for the first time in her life, paddling with a smile that stretches from one side of the canoe to the other. Your generosity will help a child sit around campfire on a summer night, mesmerized by the flames’ dance and the storyteller’s tale. And ultimately, by braving the fog this last Saturday, you will give a child the chance to be a child, carefree at camp for the first time in his life. That, I admit, has given me a second, and third, and hundredth smile this week as I think back to the foggy morning we all shared.

a second smile

The upcoming Seconds Sale has inspired me to consider other “seconds” in my life that I cherish. There are the seconds that I used to have at the dinner table, my mother having made a lot of food for her three growing, hungry boys, and her one, young but tomboy-ish daughter. I loved seconds because, yes, I loved my mother’s cooking, but I also loved extending the time, cheer, and laughter I shared with my family. I never wanted those dinners to end! There are the seconds that come in the form of sequels—books and movies that I get excited about because of their firsts that mean so much to me. And there are the seconds that are encounters—a second meeting, a second dance, a second laugh—that all help a first impression become something much more than it once was. 

The Seconds Sale reminds me of so much joy. Something sweeter, still, is how glassybaby has teamed up with Camp Korey this year to help every child and their family experience camp. Growing up in New Hampshire, I had the privilege to attend camp on Lake Winnipesaukee, where I made enduring friendships, learned to love the outdoors, and had the opportunity to be, well, just a kid. And reminiscing on those carefree summers makes me smile: the games of soccer, canoeing on the lake, oratory stories around a campfire, and even my first dance with a girl when the camp across the lake came to visit one evening! Reminiscing makes me realize: every child deserves the chance to experience camp. 

And Camp Korey does just that, by giving children with serious life-altering medical conditions and their families the experience of camp. These children and their families endure so much: hospitals, doctors and medical appointments, treatment, and so much more that rob these children from a carefree childhood. In 2013 alone, Camp Korey served more than 2,000 campers and their families, and the goal is to serve even more families in 2014. 

So cheers to everyone who will be in line Saturday (and Friday!) for the Seconds Sale. You all will be giving a home to the slightly imperfect glassybaby, while doing so much good for Camp Korey and the families they serve. It’s a second that everyone can get behind, and one that will brighten your day when you meet others who love glassybaby, and love supporting Camp Korey.

the 12th baby

Something’s sweeping our city, and it isn’t rain. Well, this winter, it has been rain, and wind, and fog, but it is also something else entirely: football fever. I’m not the first to tell you how our ‘hawks did on Sunday, and I probably won’t be the last, so let’s sit back and rejoice. Our ‘hawks are Super Bowl bound, and so many of us have come together to cheer on our team. Everyone’s getting involved, glassybaby included!

Seahawks pride and spirit of 12 are two of the newest members of the glassybaby family, and they glow in our little Northwestern corner of the country, reminding everyone out there just how spectacular Seattle is. All this month I have seen moments that have made me smile: a grandma reaching down to hold hands with her grandson, both wearing Russell Wilson jerseys; a 12th Man flag flying free atop our beloved Space Needle; construction workers wearing Seahawks helmets. Our city has been brought together because of our blue and green footballers, and there really is no escaping this blue and green pride.

Ask anyone in Seattle if Sunday’s game was just a game, and we will tell, nay, we will show you—on our streets and in our homes—it’s more than just a game. Just like how our glassybaby are so much more than just glass. We are united, as the 12th man, and now as the 12th baby.

glassybaby + San Francisco SPCA

10% from each ‘friendship’ will be donated to the San Francisco SPCA to save and protect animals in the Bay Area

A walk downtown to enjoy the department store windows in December has become an annual tradition in my family.  On a recent trip to San Francisco, I saw the most unusual holiday window ever:  a display with live puppies and kittens!  It was all part of the Macy’s and San Francisco SPCA Holiday Windows at Union Square.  This  event, now in its 9th year, is actually a pop-up pet adoption center that has raised $400,000 and found homes for 2,300 deserving dogs and cats. 

This is only one example of the great work done by the San Francisco SPCA to improve the lives of our four-legged friends.  We are pleased to announce that the San Francisco SPCA   (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is our newest giving partner. 10% from each ‘friendship’ will be donated to the San Francisco SPCA to save and protect animals in the Bay Area.  Founded in 1868, the San Francisco SPCA is an animal shelter, a spay/neuter clinic and a public animal hospital, dedicated to finding a home for every adoptable animal under their roof.  

To purchase ‘friendship’ click here.

glassybaby gives thanks

No matter how you begin your holiday season—whether it be gathering friends and family around a Thanksgiving feast, celebrating the miracle of Hanukkah, cheering on your favorite football team or shopping at a time when most people are sleeping—this time of year is the perfect time to honor tradition and reflect on all that is good in our lives.

At glassybaby, we have much to be thankful for:  our glassblowers that share their amazing artistry with us 7 days a week, our charitable partners that deliver on the promise to change lives, Seattle City Light (who graciously changed their plans to replace worn out electrical service so that we wouldn’t have to shut down our shop during a critical production time), the FedEx folks that deliver the light of glassybaby across the country and around the world, an amazing group of sales and marketing people that I am proud to call my friends and colleagues, a woman who, on her own difficult journey, reached out to help others, and, of course, you—our one-of-a-kind glassybaby community.

Because of your generosity, we were able to fund scholarships for some very deserving nursing students who plan to study oncology.

Because of your generosity, a 23-year old relapsed leukemia patient who had been told to go home and get her affairs in order is now cancer free.

Because of you, seriously ill children got to be kids and enjoy a week of summer camp at no charge.

Because of you, patients receiving treatment at UW Medical Center had a place to call home—and have their family stay with them.

Because of you, animals that were displaced by the fires in Colorado were placed in loving homes until they could be reunited with their owners.

Because of you, a dying mother had the opportunity to fly her relatives to Seattle so that they could meet the granddaughter they would soon be raising.

Because of you, veterans that could no longer chew normal food, were given blenders and attended classes on nutrition.

Because of you, the way that childhood cancers are being diagnosed and treated is changing.

Because of you, a chemo patient who lost her hair and eyelashes isn’t embarrassed to go to the grocery store or pick her children up from school.

Because of you, our neighbors have food to put on their tables.

The ways in which your generosity has touched and changed lives are countless.  Please know that in this season of thanksgiving and gratitude, you have ours.

Until next time,

Mary