CHA Designer Giving Tree Ornament

The CHA theme this year was The Power of Community. Some wonderful Charities were doing all kinds of activities during the show. The Designer Members were given the opportunity to create an ornament for one of the charities of their choice and it hang in one of those Community Parks from a tree and was later auctioned off.

I chose to create my ornament for Crafting for a Cure – which “is  a not-for-profit registered charity that looks for opportunities to insure children are having a positive experience when a hospital visit is necessary.”

Having spent a lot of time of my childhood in hospitals – something that I for sure never mentioned and also almost never talk about- this charity rings a personal string in me and I love the thought behind this charity.

Being in the hospital as a kid is scary. You do not understand everything that happens whether it be the things that are happening with you or around you.

I remember one of the times I was in the hospital – I had an operation the next day and I was 6 or 7 and the night before the operation I was brought to this special room – I actually still don’t know why they did this- but they brought me and another boy there because we had our operation the next day and it had something to do with getting us ready easier the next morning or so. So anyway- we both were lying in bed the whole night scared about our upcoming operation and talked. I’m sure it just felt for us as if it was the whole night and it was only a couple of hours- but anyway we talked about our fear of the operation.

The boy was getting a heart operation.When we were rolled out to the elevator the next morning to get to OP we actually said bye-bye and promised to visit each other later. A couple of days after my operation I asked my mother to find out where the boy was – so I could visit him. She came back and had to tell me the boy did not make it.

Still to this day I don’t like hospitals. I have a hard time visiting hospitals. You must be a really good friend or family member that I actually do visit you. I will have all kinds of excuses why I can’t make it. The smell, the look, the atmosphere – everything reminds me of those times back then. And once in a while- not often- but once in a while I think about the little boy with whom I had spent a scary night in the hospital and who I never  even asked about his name, because all that mattered for us was our fear.

Thank you Crafting for a Cure for doing such an amazing work! I hope my little ornament helped a lot towards your cause!

Also thank you to Candice Windham for organizing this  for CHA – what a wonderful idea!




  1. Nathalie, that was heart wrenching. I’m so glad your operation was successful and that I got to meet you at the Designer Showcase.

    Gail Green

  2. thank you for sharing this so close to you story….love the things you made, so beautiful

  3. These are beautiful Nat! Thanks for sharing your story from the hospital… so sad…

  4. oh my, do i understand why these hearts look so emotionally appealing! that little boy must have been an angel, put there to hold your hand during that scary night.

    thanks for sharing the whole story, it puts things in perspective!

  5. Nathalie,
    Thank you for sharing about the Designer Giving Tree and your wonderful story. This project would not have been done without the CHA staff, Keri Cunningham and the 29 designers who made the ornaments.Of all the Designer Galleries I have participated in, this one is my favorite.
    Your piece is lovely and I know Crafting for a Cure is very appreciative!

  6. Sue Clarke says:

    Delightful ornaments and thanks for sharing your story. The little boy seems to be part of the heart ornament and will bring love to the person who buys it.

  7. Your ornament is so beautiful. It will definitely brighten several people’s day as whoever receives it will no doubt share with their friends and family. I’m so sorry you had to go through that as a kid. It would be scary for an adult, much less a little one!

  8. Hallo Nathalie,
    die Art und Weise, in der Du Deine Erlebnisse und damit auch Deine Verbindung zu Deinen Arbeiten beschreibst, motiviert noch einmal stärker, sich für solche Zwecke einzusetzen. Grundsätzlich finde ich es auch am Schwersten auszuhalten, wenn Kinder betroffen sind. Krankenhäuser sind aus meiner Sicht überhaupt nur dann zu ein schöner Ort, wenn man sich auf der Wöchnerinnenstation befindet oder dort jemanden besucht :). Ein herzliches Danke für Deine offenen Worte,

  9. Hi Nat! I adore these gorgeous pieces…such beautiful colors, layers, and textures!

    My sister was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 16, and she also spent lots of time in the hospital, as doctors performed surgeries to remove/repair damaged intestines and tried to get her condition under control. I can certainly relate to what you’ve described here. So important for kids in these kinds of circumstances to feel there are others out there who’ve had similar experiences!

  10. Nancy Sapp says:

    Nathalie – Thank you for everything U do for SO MANY!! You’re so brave! I can’t do much but I’d LOVE to make & send cards for the children that need cheering up… please send me an address that I may send cards. I bet there are more people who would like to send cards or crafts too!

    LOVE your heart tree ornament too!

    Thanks for sharing,

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