I began with needlepoint on plastic canvas (thank you Aunt Arlys!) more than 10 years ago, making anything I could get my hands on or brain to think up, from masks for school plays to picture frames and small trinkets but recently (less than a year ago), I’ve gotten into jewelry making and working on my crocheting/sewing/etc.
I currently only work part time and have many financial obligations to meet and being that crafting is my true passion, I’m hoping this adventure will turn into a career for me.
This will be a blog of me. Great things, bad things, mistakes, tips, suggestions and whatever else I can think of both in life and in my crafting. My goal is for this to keep somewhat of a journal of my adventures along the way.
I chose the name Eye Love Knots in honor of the Burckhalter/Lindhorn family (my very close cousins). Our family has been affected by Retinoblastoma, a cancer of one or both eyes which occurs in young children. There are approximately 350 new diagnosed cases per year in the US and affect about one in every 15,000 births. Although children may be born with retinoblastoma, it is rarely diagnosed at birth. As a rapidly growing cancer, studies of the bones, bone marrow and spinal fluid are also performed upon discovery. If the tumor is contained within the eye, more than 95% of patients can be cured. For those children with tumors in both eyes, close to 70-80% of the eyes can be saved, although many of them need radiation therapy, or possibly even chemotherapy.
I grew up very close to my cousin Tiffany who was one of five children but the only that had retinoblastoma. Now I won’t go into details other then she has a glass eye (due to having to get one eye removed) and only peripheral vision in her other eye (due to a large now non-active tumor). She grew up like the rest of us though and as a young person I never really understood what she faced. She went to karate and received her black belt alongside of me, rode a bike, could take the bus anywhere, went to school and held a job among other things, only with a few more doctor appointments than the rest of us. It wasn’t until she had her first child that I really learned about this retinoblastoma.
Tyler (now 8) and Madison (and 7), both have the retinoblastoma. They could have been born without it, with a not-so aggressive case of it, or a very aggressive case. No one could say one way or the other prior to the children being born.
Tyler has had a not-so aggressive case being that after minor laser surgeries, Tyler has not had any activity in a while and his vision won’t be affected much. However, Madison was born with a rather large tumor in one of her eyes, and very short after birth had to begin Chemo. She is now only having to have the minor laser surgeries but will have a lot of growing to do as she will only have the full vision in one eye and peripheral vision of the other.
I decided when I started Eye<3Knots that I wanted to donate ten percent of every purchase made from me (from one of my EyeLoveKnots shop: ie, Etsy, Craftsy, and select eBay purchases) to aid in the medical advances and new discoveries on the fight against Retinoblastoma, blindness and other eye diseases.
The donations go to the National Retinoblastoma Research & Support Foundation headed by Dr. Timothy Murray. Dr. Murray is “recognized in Top Doctors in America, Top Doctors in Florida, and Top Cancer Doctors in America”, according to the American Society of Retina Specialists. He is truly a gift and has been a big part of my family’s lives for almost 30 years!
**Just to be clear, all donations are 100% my choice because I love helping out! I do not get paid or endorsed by any company or organizations nor have I been asked to make the donations.
Please feel free to contact me should you have any questions, concerns, or feedback.