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Postcard Project For a Special Friend

Our good friend and Journal Study Group artist Melanie Testa was diagnosed with breast cancer in January.  Pat, Teri, Benedicte, and I were devastated and questioned Melly re: all of the things we might do to help her through the chemotherapy-surgery-radiation.  She received the love and support of the "art quilt community" and they made a group quilt for her to wrap up in during the bad days.  When we asked Melly what we might do, in addition to planning fun activities for her "upswing week," (the week before the next course of chemotherapy), these were some of her suggestions:

"If you would like to 'do' something for me, a nice handmade post/card, an occasional email, a live plant, a cheap iTunes card sent three or four months from now."

We immediately launched a postcard project and were joined by Pamela from San Diego and Gwen Diehn (honorary members of our Journal Study Group),  We each selected a day of the week, and on our individual day every week, we mail Melly a postcard that we make.  My day is Saturday.  At the end of this project, we will work with Melly to see what we can make to keep all of the postcards together.

It was only after she received our second cycle of postcards that she realized that there was a postcard campaign.  She has received 4 cycles of chemotherapy so far and next week will be her upswing week, so she should have more than 70 postcards of love by now.

This was a snippet from one of her recent emails (Melly - I hope you don't mind me sharing this):

"I have been loving the postcards you guys are sending. Pamela always sends a quilted card, exquisitely finished with a quote or poem printed on the back. Perhaps when she comes next she might describe and demo the process. Gwen keeps me up to date on her most current creative endeavor-I have gotten small pieces of the puzzle and this week, I may be seeing the whole picture, it is amazing. Pat, I imagine you stamping out each word, I want to see you do it. Shirley's colors are getting brighter and more confident and she seems to settle into her style with each month, day, and certainly each card. Benedicte is firmly entrenched in envelope use. Teri pipes up and and pulls things from her hat. My collection of cards is growing and I feel truly honored that you guys have been doing this for me. I have pulled the stack out my desk, I will need a new and longer ribbon to contain them all."

Here are my last 2 postcards for Melly: my tulips from last week and my daffodil from this week - which will soon be delivered to my corner letter box for mailing.





These are absolutely gorgeous! Melly will be so delighted.

Beautiful cards! And what a super group you are to take on this project in such a meaningful way! I wish I had a group of friends like you closer to home.....and I'm guessing a lot of it has to do with the friend Melly has been to you!

What a wonderful group of friends you are! It must make such a difference to Melly and once she is over the worst and well on the way to recovery, your support will continue to lift her up. I found your post so moving and heart-warming.

True friends are those who are there in the bad times and good times. You have all shown to Melly what truly wonderful friends you are. The postcard idea is inspired and something she can treasure once all of this is over. Beautiful tulips and daffs, Shirley.

Your cards are absolutely lovely, but even more wonderful is the support and caring that each of you are giving to your friend.

I first heard about Melly's cancer from you. Would you please let me know how I can send mail to her? I wouldn't be doing a postcard, but I do have lots of cards, and I'd love to send her one, every so often. I also pray for her daily.

These flowers are gorgeous Shirley! =) I haven't drawn any flowers or trees for the longest time... Hmmmm

What a wonderful and thoughtful project - how lucky she is to have your support! I'm a stranger, and a lurker at that, but my best wishes to her and to you.

Is there a snail mail address to send a postcard, should I want to do so?

What a wonderfully supportive group and a delightful bunch of tulips. Awesome. All of it.

Beautiful cards, Shirley! And I love what your group is doing for Melly. Sending my best wishes for a full recovery!

What a sweet project. I keep thinking that we must be getting closer to a knowing the cause of breast cancer and me ticks me off that we haven't found it yet. Please, let us know where to mail the postcard.

This is a lovely idea, I'm sure Melly feels loved everyday she recieves one.

What a kind,loving, and thoughtful thing for you and your friends to do. I've no doubt that receiving them in the mail just boosts her spirits and helps with the healing. Your cards are lovely! nancy

Lovely sketches Shirley

This is such a loving idea...wonderful! I'm sending her healing thoughts....

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