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August 2018
Introducing Caden
A Beautiful Baby and Our Newest Knit Pattern
Dear Readers,

Our family suffered an extremely sad loss this past March.  Caden, our 10 month old grandnephew's earthly journey ended much too soon.  Our newest knit pattern is named after this sweet little fellow.  I had been thinking about introducing a new knit pattern, and with his parents' blessings, I chose to bring our love for Caden into this extra special pattern.

My heartfelt thank you goes out to Karin (one of our very talented contributors who has made over 100 items for us) who helped bring this all into fruition.  Well, she really did everything once I shared the photo and charted pattern instructions for the stitch.  It is a well-written and easy to follow pattern.  As you can see by the photo below, the end result is stunning.  You can click on the stitch picture to see the pattern on our website, and you'll be able to print up the PDF's for the lap blanket and prayer shawl. 

Because this pattern was introduced on our Facebook page on July 20th, I've already heard from quite a few knitters who will not only be making it for us, but for a special loved one who has lost a child.  I have a good feeling that these Caden blankets and shawls will be providing comfort and warmth to our recipients, but they will also help with healing the hearts of a lot of people... at least that's my hope.

Sincerely,

Diane

The pattern's story in more detail...

Mom absolutely loved babies. She not only had four of them herself, but she had four grandchildren that she willingly and happily took care of whenever she was needed. Soothing a fussy baby never fazed Mom.  The baby could be crying when she picked him or her up, but give it just a few moments in Mom’s loving arms and that baby would likely be calm and happy again. There are those people who are just so natural with babies - Mom was definitely one of them.  And babies loved her, too. She had such a warm and loving presence that they sensed it when she held them. (See our Kindhearted pattern for more about babies in Mom’s retirement years.)

Because of Mom’s love of babies, we have created this extra special and unique Alice’s Embrace pattern.  It is named after Caden, my grandnephew, who sadly left his earthly journey just shy of eleven months of age.  He had complications with his heart shortly after he was born.  Although he was just here with us for a short time, the amount of love we all have for him is indescribable. Mom would’ve absolutely loved holding and cooing over this little guy.

Needless to say, this loss has been devastating for his parents, Ryan and Brittney.  They feel very blessed that they had Caden in their lives, but it was for much too brief of a time and they will forever cherish their sweet little boy. After Caden passed away, I quickly knit Ryan and Brittney an extra long prayer shawl - I wanted it to be able to wrap around the two of them. I made it in a vivid blue that reminded me of the color of Caden’s beautiful eyes. The shawl meant a lot to them and because they would like to help others going through what they went through, this pattern is created not only for Alice’s Embrace recipients, but also for you to give to someone who has lost a child.  If you know exactly who would benefit from a Caden blanket or shawl, please knit one for them; or if not, make one for us.

From Mom and from Caden… this special knit piece will give comfort and warmth to someone special when they need it most.


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VACAVILLE, CALIFORNIA
Our delivery to Paramount House was a fun one.  There were so many sweet and appreciative residents and staff at this community.  The Alice's Embrace team consisted of Betsy, Carole, Chiz, Diane, and Judy.  We've found that having at least five of us at the deliveries is helpful.  We can give more individual attention to each resident and we are quite efficient... finishing before their lunchtime is often a must, so the team of five is a good way to go.
You've heard us say this before, but it's always fun when family members are present for our deliveries.  Joyce had visitors who were there to spend the day with her, but we were able to help her find an extra special gift before she headed out.  You can see by the smile on her face that, of the options Diane showed her, this cozy and vivid blue blanket was just perfect for her.  Joyce's family seemed to have enjoyed watching her choose a pretty lap blanket.  We hope her day with her loved ones was absolutely lovely.
There are those folks who are beside themselves from the moment we walk in the door.  That mood perfectly describes Teresa.  She was sitting among her fellow residents and when Diane was giving her brief introduction, Teresa was enjoying the whole concept of Alice's Embrace.  She quickly found her purple shawl and throughout the delivery we would catch a glimpse of her smiling and looking at her recently acquired gift.  These photos truly show the joy Teresa experienced... we think Judy had nearly as much fun interacting with this fun woman as Teresa had with our visit.
At the very beginning of the delivery, Diane approached Mattie.  She asked her if she would like to come on up to the table to do a little shopping.  The words that came from Mattie surprised Diane.  She told Diane that she would rather her fellow residents find their gifts first, and then she will find something special.  Her wheelchair was "parked" about six feet from the table... front and center.  We let her take it all in and enjoy watching her friends find some special gifts, and when it came time for Mattie to find her own, she couldn't have had more fun.  By the look of the smile on her face (and Chiz's and staff member, Niije's) we believe the wait was completely worth it.  Mattie is such a thoughtful and kind woman and we hope she always enjoys the comfort and warmth of this pretty and cozy lap blanket.
 
*   *   *   *   *  
Jim was in his room when the delivery was taking place.  He had told the caregivers that he wasn't up to coming out for the activity that morning.  We were contemplating finding something special for him.  We usually do everything we can to make sure that each resident has received an Alice's Embrace gift.  So, as we were looking through the remaining items on the table, all of a sudden, Jim walked up to the table and instantly chose this red blanket.  It was remarkable!  We all looked at each other and smiled.  We have a feeling he was in his room hearing all the commotion and maybe he didn't want to be left out.  Whatever caused him to come out... we were so happy he found this special gift.
If you're an Alice's Embrace fan, you recognize these five people:  Betsy, Judy, Diane, Chiz, and Carole.   The hour or two that we spend together, we share a lot of special moments and plenty of smiles.
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DAVIS, CALIFORNIA
The Atria Covell Gardens delivery took place just a couple hours after Paramount House Senior Living's delivery.  All five of the morning women were at this delivery, along with another Betsy.  The six of us got down to business right away.  All of the residents were so attentive to Diane's brief introduction.  We could tell that these folks were going to be a lot of fun, and they did proved us right!!
Here is Chiz's recollection of her little bit of time with Teri.  "Teri was just amazed at all the items on the table.  She thought they were machine made and I explained to her that they are all hand made by many volunteers across the country.  She was dressed in all medium blue clothes and commented she's a 'blue' person.  When I showed the royal blue shawl to her, she was just so excited to receive it.  She placed it on the back of the chair and then covered it with her jacket because she didn't want it left unattended. Teri was very appreciative of the gift, she was also excited to help the gentleman sitting next to her."

We agree with Chiz.  Teri was everyone's friend and she always had a smile on her face.  We liked this lady!
We wish Loretta would have shown a little more enthusiasm during our delivery.  Well, if you don't know, we're fibbing here... we cannot express how excited Loretta was when Judy showed her some options and she found one perfectly suitable.  Well, it was beyond suitable.  Loretta was absolutely and completely delighted over this prayer shawl.  She was the first person Judy helped and believe us, throughout the delivery, she cuddled and nuzzled her shawl.  We are thrilled that she found such a perfect gift. 
 
 
 
Ron definitely enjoys spending time with his fellow residents.  He was going around the room telling everyone how much he liked their blanket or shawl, but then we realized that he hadn't chosen one for himself.  He happily came up to the table and shopped a bit before choosing this one.  He liked the texture of it, and what is extra special about this gold lap blanket is that Chiz crocheted it.  In a little email to Diane after the delivery, she said, "It made me feel so good that someone would be so happy with something that I made, especially when I enjoy crocheting and knitting so much."  Ron felt extra special that that the person who created his gift was right there among our team members.  Nice work, Chiz!!
The top photo is the organized table full of goodies right before the delivery begins, and the bottom photo is our team behind the happily gone-through table.  We love it when it looks like this because it means that the residents (and the AE team) really searched through to find the ideal gift.

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RENO, NEVADA
Sometimes, when Diane and Mike are on vacation, Diane just feels like scheduling a delivery while they're in a new town.  They were in Truckee, California, which is just a short drive to Reno, Nevada, so Diane called Summit Estates Senior Living and Memory Care.  She coordinated all the specifics with Teri, their Activity Director, and everything came together beautifully.  Luckily Betsy was up for a few days so that she could help, too.  Just the three of them wouldn't be enough to make up the Alice's Embrace team for this delivery, so when Alex and Kyle from Reno's own Jimmy Beans Wool (one of our partnering yarn shops) volunteered to help, that put Diane's mind at ease.  Well, this delivery was one special moment after another.  It truly was a memorable one.  When we put together the stories about our deliveries, we aim to write about two or three people who really touched us, but at this one, we really could have written about so many of them. 
Let's hear from Alex about the experience, and especially about Shirley...

"What a day that was!  I can't thank you enough for inviting Kyle and me to participate.  I felt I was given such a gift to interact with the community - I loved seeing every smile and hearing every giggle.  You guys are amazing at what you do and it's such an added benefit to our society.  Thank you for all your hard work!

I think my most favorite story of the day (it's so hard to pick one) was Shirley.  When I approached her to pick her shawl, she was quiet and observant.  She mentioned she was overwhelmed - every item on the table was just too pretty.  We established her favorite color, blue, and narrowed down a shawl she absolutely loved.  Watching me write HER name on the tag made her so happy and she beamed from ear to ear when I showed her that this pretty new shawl belonged just to her.  She was so quiet and still at first but ended up out of her chair, walking around with her new shawl around her shoulders.  Kyle mentioned she tried to sneak into a variety of pictures being taken, she became chatty, and couldn't stop touching her new gift.  She completely blossomed!

She came back to me towards the end of the visit to have me put her shawl back around her shoulders.  She laughed and laughed as she requested I put it over her head first to 'help smooth out her hair'.  When it was time for lunch, she didn't want to leave us.  I overheard her say, 'but why would I have lunch, when they're still here?!'  She was a joy and will be forever ingrained in my mind and heart.  I feel so lucky to have that memory.

Thanks again for including us!! "
Let's meet Betty...

Betty wasn't in the gathering room when the delivery was first taking place.  She arrived when things were winding down.  Mike met her in the hallway as one of the caregivers was wheeling her up to the activity.  He asked her if she would like to go shopping and she immediately said, "Yes!"  He asked her if she had a favorite color, and she replied, "What do you think?"  He said, "Well, you're wearing lots of pink, and you have pink slippers on, but your top is kind of a coral pink, so I'm not sure which color would be good."  She told him that she just loves pink.  Mike wheeled her up closer to the table so she could get a better look.  He says that it was a quick sale - she instantly pointed to the one that she's wearing in the photos above.  You can see that she thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.  We have a feeling Mike did, too!
Let's meet Edie and Ted...

Alex helped Edie, and Mike helped Ted.  Edie was a soft-spoken and very thankful woman.  She was thrilled to find this pretty shawl and Alex really enjoyed visiting with her and helping her find the perfect gift.  Mike loves telling everyone the name of the pattern they chose.  No matter where Diane is in the room, or if she is in deep conversation with a resident, he will holler out, "Diane, what pattern is this?"  Diane never minds this - she knows them all and she loves that her sweetie is just having fun with the residents and interacting with them on a more personal level.  Ted definitely wanted something blue.  He immediately spotted this one on the table and when Mike told him (after hollering to Diane) that it was knit in Family Dinner Night, he knew for sure it was the right one because family is so important to him. 

Ted and Edie were close friends and they both were very appreciative of their beautiful shawls.  Over and over again, Ted would tell Diane and Mike that he couldn't believe that people were so nice to make these items.  He told them that he had never heard of anything like this.  He just couldn't get over it.  

When Diane heard that Ted enjoyed reading the newspaper every day, she asked Teri if she could possibly give Ted an Alice's Embrace brochure.  He was so enthralled with what we did, that she thought he might like one.  Teri told Diane that that would be just fine.  Diane gave him the brochure, and at the dining table, while he was waiting for his lunch, he was reading through it.  Ted had a friend visiting - she was sitting at the table with him.  She had heard a little about the delivery, but Diane thought it might be nice to give her a brochure that had the story behind the story tucked inside.  When Ted saw that he didn't have the story behind the story inside the brochure, he asked Diane if he could have that... she obliged.  You can see him in the middle bottom photo of the collage above thoroughly enjoying perusing through the brochure.  Ted was a sincere and thoughtful gentleman.  He will stay with Mike and Diane for a long time.   
The Alice's Embrace team for the day:  Mike, Kyle, Alex, Diane, and Betsy.  Kyle took all of the phenomenal photos and he really enjoyed interacting with the residents.  They felt comfortable with him and the smiles came easily.  Alex just shined at this delivery, and it was obvious that she put her heart into helping each resident because they seemed to enjoy her company and enthusiasm. We cannot thank these two remarkable young people more.  We're guessing they are great assets to Jimmy Beans Wool.

A fun-filled and memorable morning had by the whole team.


All's Good With Osgoode Marley -
Third Quarter Contest
 
This is the second time Osgoode Marley has generously donated beautiful purple leather pouches for one of our quarterly contests.  Osgoode Marley is a family owned business.  Mike Murphy and his father, Bob, are the owners of this fine leather company.  Because Diane uses their backpack purse (she owns it in many different colors) on a daily basis, she reached out to them a couple years ago.  Mike was on board last time she contacted them, and again he was happy to help. 
 
 
We've added a few extra special gadgets:  two tapestry needles along with a holder; two removable stitch markers; two dropped stitch tools; fold-able scissors with a pretty sleeve to store them (made by Diane); and a gorgeous miniature wood Alice's Embrace tape measure.  The back side of the tape measure says:  "Measuring Joy... One Lap Blanket or Prayer Shawl at a Time."  We even threw in a $10 Starbucks Card - just for kicks.  Please note Diane's handiwork changing "me" to "ae".  How fun is that?!!  All in all, this is one fabulous and unique contest.  We can't wait to pull the four winners on September 30th.  Each and every item you donate during the three month period will get your name in the drawing, so have fun creating some beautiful gifts for our recipients, and you just might be receiving this awesome pouch full of goodies in a few months.  A big thank you goes out to Mike at Osgood Marley!

Amazon Smile continues to help us help others.  Amazingly enough, we're happy to say that we've received $918 since joining this program in 2016!  This is possible because you have added us as your charity to your Amazon Smile account, so thank you for that!! 

So many people seem to shop Amazon on a regular basis.  If you haven't already done so, please consider changing your Amazon account to one that will benefit Alice's Embrace.  With each qualifying purchase, Amazon donates a small amount to us.  This is an ongoing effort - nothing you have to do except click on the picture above and then it just does it automatically.  There is no cost to you, you just shop like you always shop, but you're using
Amazon Smile instead. 
 
Thank you!

THE ALICE SOCIETY
 
The creation of this special society is a small way for us to acknowledge some of our amazing contributors.  Each person who knits or crochets at least 15 lap blankets or prayer shawls for Alice's Embrace and each person who gives $500 in monetary donations, or a combination of both, will receive this recognition and the pin shown above. 

Our hope with creating The Alice Society is that the members will feel a special connection to the folks we help at each delivery and that they will wear their pins and when asked, they will happily engage in conversations about what we do here at Alice's Embrace.  As our donors qualify for The Alice Society, we will put the unique pin into the mail to them. 


WE OPERATE ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET, HOWEVER.....

 
no matter how thrifty we are, we do have everyday expenses. We are very fortunate to have generous and giving knitters and crocheters who truly make us who we are, but happily, we have plenty of Alice's Embrace fans, as well.  We truly enjoy what we do and no compensation is paid to any of those associated with Alice's Embrace, therefore your tax deductible donation will help cover the costs for our general office supplies, brochures, Alice's Embrace labels, etc. If you're considering giving a little donation to help offset our expenses, please click the picture above. 

Thank you!
Thank you for reading our newsletter.  Whether you knit or crochet for us, or you are one of our many fans... Alice's Embrace thanks you for your continued support. 

Together, we are making a difference.
Copyright © 2018 Alice's Embrace, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
9762 Silvertrail Lane, Elk Grove CA  95624

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Alice's Embrace · 9762 Silvertrail Lane · Elk Grove, CA 95624 · USA

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