Category Archives: Uncategorized

Spinning Spark a Smile

Spark a Smile kicked off December’s whirlwind holiday season with spinning cards for the Garnet Assisted Living Home! Miss Jane brought us this great technique for a spinning, interactive card. Here are three of the 127 hand-crafted cards we made (click here to see the rest!)

If you tilt the card from side to side, the fun little circle spins across the top of the card!
This one was made by one of our new faces, Barbara. Barbara and her mom, Nola, were wandering at Michael’s when Miss Jane approached them and invited them to join us. “I picked ’em up,” Miss Jane said, as if they were at a club, rather than a craft store! We’re so glad she picked them up, because they’re both delightful company at our table!
My (actual) Aunt Betty made this fun wintery wonderland card. She and Miss Jane, along with Miss Marlene, pre-cut ALL the pieces for this project! Thanks for all your hard work, ladies! It’s such a gift to have you at Spark a Smile! 
Our next party is Wednesday, January 11th, from 5-7 PM. We meet every second Wednesday at Yang and Horsley Dentistry, 325 E. Cottonwood Lane. Hope to see you there! 

November’s Spark a Smile

Look what we made for Thanksgiving! We made “dessert” for 300+ people who were served Thanksgiving dinner by Seeds of Hope, St. Vincent’s, Salvation Army, and a few other organizations.

We had a LOT of help in creating our 400+ Orbit gum toppers. Miss Marlene used her Cuttlebug to cut over 400 autumn leaves, and printed the “Give thanks” labels. Our assistant Amanda, and even Dr. Phil, stepped in to help cut, fold, and staple all the toppers. On Spark a Smile night, our crew of 6 (including a new face!) assembled everything in an hour and a half! I really love how we all had the same few materials to work with, but each and every piece came out different… similar to real autumn leaves!

We heard from an ‘inside source’ (Miss Terri :)) that the Seeds of Hope director “had several nice things to say about the gum packets Spark a Smile did for the Thanksgiving Day lunch. He loved them! Thanks for being so generous :)” Glad we could make a small contribution to the amazing things that our community is doing!

We’re Back! Sweet!

Spark a Smile returns this Wednesday, November 9, from 5-7 PM, just in time for the holiday season! We took a short hiatus from September to October for a pretty sweet reason:

Our little sweet pea, Philip Horsley III, was born September 11th! It’s a lot of hard work, but every smile and giggle is worth it!!

In between all the feedings and diaper changes, Miss Marlene and I were able to get together for a short time to create some sweet cards for Halloween.

Hope you’ll join us next Wednesday from 5-7, at Yang and Horsley Dentistry, to help spark some more sweet smiles! We’re making little after-dinner treats for the Thanksgiving meal being served by Seeds of Hope, Salvation Army, and St. Vincent’s, so we need your help… They’re planning to serve over 300 people… this is a big one! 🙂

Aloha in July

Hot July in Arizona usually makes everyone run for the San Diego beach, so last month we had our own little tropical getaway by staying close to the air conditioning and dreaming of waves! Here are some of the cards we made. Click here to see the rest!

These cute mini-cards were distributed to Casa Grande Elementary/Middle School teachers who visited our booth at the CG Elementary Business Showcase. It was so fun to meet creative teachers who were eager to contribute their own cards – stay tuned for photos of their creations! 

It was Miss Bethany’s first visit to Spark a Smile, and even though she was a little nervous about making cards for the first time, I think she did a great job! Doesn’t her sparkly fish make you want to go swimming?

Miss Janie thought outside the box, using pre-punched, pre-chalked scalloped circles as clouds. Ah, reminds me of blue skies and cool waves.

For the first time since Spark a Smile started in October 2009, Miss Marlene wasn’t able to join us, but she took some supplies with her on vacation and crafted a stack of sunny cards!  
Aren’t they cute? Come join us this Wednesday, August 10th, from 5-7PM: we’ll be making birthday cards for the New Life Pregnancy Center to send to their contacts. We chose to donate to the pregnancy center and thought the “birthday” theme was perfect as we prepare for our newest addition to the Yang and Horsley Dentistry family… our own little guy should be making his debut in September! Hope to see you at our celebration! 

July Sneak Peek – Aloha!

Here’s a quick look at what we’ll be doing at our July 13th Spark a Smile party (click here to see the rest). We’re making mini-cards to hand out to employees from the Casa Grande Elementary School District! Wouldn’t it be great to stick one of these in your wallet or on a bulletin board, and have a little reminder of summer vacation throughout the whole school year?

Join us tomorrow at Yang and Horsley Dentistry (325 E. Cottonwood Lane) from 5-7 PM to create your own little piece of paradise!

Military Thank You – Part 2

Remember these cards we made back in May to help Stephen say “Thank You” to all the active military service members worldwide? With help from the Boys and Girls’ Club (thanks to Mrs. Jeanine L for getting them involved!), and visitors at the Community Health and Safety Fair, we filled out 145 to send overseas! Even the men (who typically don’t help out with cards) were eager to get involved and wrote lots of heart-felt messages to the troops. Click here to see the rest, but here are some of my favorites. 

Thank you to everyone who helped us send some cheer to the troops!! 

Military Thank You Cards

A few months ago, we received a HUGE donation from our friendly neighbor, Jan Skelley! She was cleaning out her closets and brought over this enormous box of paper-crafting supplies! We are SO grateful for this generous donation.

Miss Marlene and I sorted paper for four hours, and came out with piles that coordinated perfectly for our May (Memorial Day) project – cards for military serving worldwide. She cut all the paper into pieces to make assembly very easy, and we cranked out 207 cards! Here are a few of the cards we made (click here to see the rest).

The only thing missing on these wonderful cards? Hand-written Thank You greetings on the inside! Would you be willing to help us fill out these cards with a hand-written note for our brave US soldiers? Come enjoy the Community Health and Safety Fair (it’s free!) this Wednesday, June 8th, from 6-8 PM, at Gilbert Park (behind Trinity Southern Baptist Church on Trekell Rd) for Spark a Smile On-The-Road. Look for our blue tablecloth, and stop by to send a little note to servicemen and women around the world!

April’s Regularly-Scheduled Spark a Smile

This month we worked on cards for the CG Alliance next door. They have many local businesses, charities, and organizations as members of their coalition. The Alliance wants to send cards to their members whenever the member appears in the newspaper, so we made “Congratulations, Saw You In The News!” cards for their on-going project! 

We used this card as a guideline: Embossed paper on top, embellishment somewhere on top, plain paper on bottom, with pre-printed “Congratulations” and “Saw you in the news”. 

I love how they all came out so differently, even with a guideline to follow! Different colors, different embellishments, some creative shapes, but they still kept to the basic pattern. Click here to see the rest!

Our next monthly party is THIS Wednesday, May 11th, from 5-7PM at our office (Yang and Horsley Dentistry – 325 E. Cottonwood Lane). We’ll be making cards for the troops in honor of Memorial Day (end of May). This project is quite special, as we’ll be helping a boy from Surprise provide hand-written Thank You cards for EVERY active US military member around the world – that’s over 180,000 cards!! Click here to see the full story.

And… one more incentive for you to join us this month. For every five cards you make, Bazzill Cardstock Company will enter you to win a drawing for two free tickets to Creative Escape 2011, a inspirational weekend crafting experience in Phoenix!! Click here to find out more. 

With free, pre-cut supplies available for you to create a simple and beautiful card, this month’s Spark a Smile is really win-win for everyone!! Just come join the fun!!

April’s On-The-Road Spark a Smile

This month we were invited to Hospice Compassus’ Casa Grande office to have a spring-themed crafting get-together!

We used their bright, welcoming, and spacious conference room to spread out our supplies, and they even provided snacks!

Our original goal was to make about 40 cards for the Hospice patients, but we decided to also create cards for the nurses and caregivers on staff, which brought our needed total to 66. We didn’t count until the end of the evening – we made 67! Perfect. Here are a few happy cards that we made; click here to see the rest!

Our sweet host, Monica, made this one with some simple strips of green paper.

We definitely loved those glitter eggs and bunnies that our awesome assistant, Jane, picked up at Dollar Tree! 

A Hospice volunteer created this flower pot on her own… don’t believe anyone when they claim they’re “not creative”!

Miss Vivian made this one with a leftover Valentine’s Day card. We’ll miss her when she moves away next month!! She’s brought a lot of innovative ideas and funny conversations to our table over the last few months.  

Another one of the Hospice volunteer ladies created this fun dotty card. Another “I’ve never done this before” person! 🙂 

Join us TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 13th from 5-7 PM. We’ll be back at our normal meeting place – Yang and Horsley Dentistry at 325 E. Cottonwood Lane. We’re making “Saw you in the News” cards for the Casa Grande Alliance (our neighbors!) to send to their members! Hope to see you there!

Hospice Compassus Magazine

Thanks to one of our sweet patients, Monica White, Spark a Smile was featured in the Hospice Compassus magazine, Everyday Compassion!!! This magazine goes nationwide to caregivers and others involved with the hospice-care providers. What an honor it is to be recognized, and even more of an honor to know that we’ve helped bring joy to people who have dedicated their lives to caring for other people.

The article reads:

“During a recent dentist appointment, Dr. Janelle Yang Horsley asked if I enjoyed scrapbooking and crafts. I replied that I did but had not had much time lately to be creative. Janelle enlightened me about her greeting card program called Spark a Smile. She began having greeting card parties over a year ago in the lobby of her office to “spark a smile” from each card recipient. She told me they make cards for private non-profit organizations, senior centers, teen moms, and hospitals in our community.

Instantly I had an idea! What a great way to honor our patients’ caregivers – to “spark a smile” by giving each of them a card during National Hospice Month in November! I ran the idea by our Executive Director and my fellow Social Worker, and both agreed that our caregivers would benefit from our creativity. Perhaps a greeting card doesn’t seem like much, but it would show those providing the day-to-day nurturing that we understand how challenging yet rewarding it is to care for someone who is dying. Their caregivers provide the love and comfort our hospice patients need during a very difficult time.

Two of my co-workers and I were guests at Spark a Smile’s first birthday party and card-making night. One of the crafters had made homemade carrot cake cupcakes for all of us to enjoy while we made our cards. In attendance were card crafters of all ages, and everyone had a great time creating cards in bright colors filled with encouraging words. Over the past year, Spark a Smile has donated 1,036 greeting cards and 1,036 smiles!

A smile is a facial expression formed by turning up the corners of your mouth, usually displaying happiness. A hospice caregiver is someone who has principal responsibility for caring for a dependent person with a terminal illness. What better way to show our gratitude than to play a role in placing a smile on the faces of our wonderful caregivers!”
– Monica White, MSW, Bereavement Coordinator
Casa Grande, AZ

Join us on Wednesday, April 6th, at Hospice Compassus (1675 E. Monument Plaza Circle, Casa Grande. Near Arizola Road and Florence Blvd) from 5-7PM to create more cards for the hospice patients and caregivers!