The idea for this challenge came to me a little under two years ago when I looked at the box full of cards I had made for challenges but had no recipients for and thought that up and down the UK there must be other card makers who were in the same boat. What if we could something useful with these brilliant cards? As my father had died 3 years before in St Luke's hospice of lung cancer, I thought that collecting these cards to sell on their behalf would be a perfect way to give a little back. I thought we would get maybe 20 or 30 cards each month and that it would take a while to build up enough stocks for a sale, but I was so overwhelmed when you lovely, generous and creative people started to send not only your challenge cards but also boxes full of others. I need to do a final count but I estimate that we will have received around 2250 cards in the 18 months we've been running which is not bad for a half baked idea! The problem has been in the selling of the cards - it's been a tough year both due to the bad weather and resulting low fair turnout and cancellations, but also for me personally as my father-in-law now has terminal cancer and my mother is now housebound which means I just haven't had the weekends to give up to attend fairs in the last 6 months. Even though the cards go to the hospice, there isn't anyone there that does anything with them, it's all me and I'm afraid I just don't have the necessary time to commit currently. I have been frantically investigating other methods to sell the cards - I had always hoped when I set up the challenge that the cards could stock the hospice's charity shops across the city, but now I've looked into this a little more the prices they put on cards in the shops just does not match the quality of cards you send us and therefore I just didn't feel comfortable with asking you to donate anymore knowing they wouldn't fetch a fair price. The staff at the hospice were also not able to track cards donated or sold so we would have no information going on the blog about your donations or the money they had raised - again not something I felt comfortable with. Therefore I have no option but to stop the challenge.
We still have a few prizes from our kind sponsors so I thought the best thing to do would be to go out with one final challenge but this is one is being run just for fun and as a thank you to you all for all your previous donations. You can still link up your cards and be in with a chance to win this one final bumper prize worth over £30.
This is the final challenge, but I won't be totally closing the blog will stay active as there is still a job to do with all the stock you have so kindly donated already. Again, the hospice don't really know what to do with them (they suggested storing them in their cellar!) so they will be stored by me at home until next year and will be taken to St Luke's own summer fair (I will continue to man the card stall there for them each year as a volunteer) and if I get a little more time next year I will try and do a few more fairs until I run the stocks down. Any new sales will be updated on the blog from time to time, so if you're a follower you'll get the updates as they happen.
All that's left to say is a MASSIVE THANK YOU for all your support and we hope you had a little fun while it lasted.
And so to that final challenge - we're leaving you with an easy one - all we want to see is a traditional Christmas card - you can interpret that in any way - traditional colours, religious theme or other traditional Christmas imagery. And here are my wonderful DT members with their final inspirational projects for you - thank you ladies - you've all been a real pleasure to work with and have made this challenge what it is - couldn't have done it without you :-D
Thanks again to all who have joined in with our challenges - you've all made a great contribution to the work of the hospice and for that I can't thank you enough.