a ut ismOne child with autism is one child too many. One adult with autism is one adult too many. While the diagnosis isn't the end of the world, and autism shouldn't define one's life, it is certainly the beginning of a difficult journey. When special education and training ends, and as parents age, there is no greater worry than how a disabled child will fare as an adult. We need to raise awareness and money to find better ways to prevent, diagnose, treat, and dare I say, someday, cure autism -- a condition that is affecting way too many kids. Let's do our part. April is Autism Awareness Month and I've teamed up with Gina K Designs to offer an awesome (if I say so myself) contest. Purchase Gina's Love You to Pieces set (8$ of every set purchased goes to Autism Speaks) and make a card with it. (Is this set stinkin' cute or what!!?? -- I've already ordered it.) Send the card to me. One lucky winner (to be chosen at random) will win a $50 gift certificate to be used at Gina's store! Just in case you are wondering, I have no affiliation with Gina. I am not getting anything out of this (I paid full price for my set!) other than the knowledge that I've helped raise funds towards autism research -- oh, and I'll get a boatload of awesome cards (I hope)! The fine print: 1. Your card must use Gina's Love You to Pieces set. You may use any other materials, including other stamps, but you must use at least one of the stamps in this set. 2. The card must be no bigger than a standard A2 card -- 5.5 x 4.25" (or it won't fit in my post office box). 3. Leave the inside of the card blank, although you may put your signature, etc. on the back of the card. 4. Please make sure to put your name on the return address of the envelope. (I will be putting all the envelopes in a bag and selecting an envelope at random to choose the winner.) 5. Deadline: I must receive the card no later than May 20, 2006. (The stamps won't ship until mid-April, so this gives you time to get your set and send me a card.) 6. I'll announce the winner here on my blog on May 21st! 7. The cards become my property. I will either use the cards for personal RAKs or donate them to charity. I will not use them for any other purpose -- enter a contest, submit to a publication, sell them, etc. If I post them online, I will do so with your name on the picture of the card and in a separate gallery, similar to the one I created for the Black and White card contest. 8. Send your card (one entry per person please) to: Joan Bardee P.O. Box 2913 Fairfax, Virginia 22031 (Yes, I got a post office box just to run these contests!!) If you don't want to, or can't, purchase the set, there are other ways to help raise awareness of autism. I'll be sharing some of these ideas throughout the month of April. If you have any questions about the rules, please post them here as a comment to this post and I'll answer them in a separate post. *********** And since every post "needs" a card, here's one I made for a friend who has some difficult problems. They don't involve autism, but they do involve considerable worries. I am honored that she feels comfortable talking with me about them, and I wanted a card that encourages her to continue to do so, but be upbeat as well. Who can resist ladybugs? Ladybugs on ribbon?? I've been hoarding this ribbon for a year, waiting for just the right moment. Here's a close up of the bug and the ribbon. Too cute! How I made this card: There is nothing unusual about this layout or techniques, so I will just list supplies used. All supplies by Stampin Up unless otherwise noted. Stamp: Very Punny; Cardstock: Green Galore, Real Red, Basic Black and Beckett's Expression #80 Iceberg cardstocks; Cuttlebug A2 Bloom Dots Embossing Folder; Real Red and Green Galore markers; Memories Black Dye ink; Horizontal Slot Punch; ribbon from Really Reasonable Ribbon. After I trimmed the ribbon, I had 2 ladybugs left over, so I trimmed them and stuck them on the card with a bit of Ranger Glossy accents.