Tuesday, September 2, 2008

When One Falls Down: Nie Benefit Auction

Some of you may know of a blogger named Stephanie Nielson, author of the The NieNie Dialogues. I've been lurking at her blog on and off for a couple of years. She is a wife and young stay-at-home mother of small children who loves interior design and clever projects and cooking tasty organic things from scratch and teaching yoga and generally just carving out a sunny, magical corner of the world. I frequently checked in just to see what charming things she'd been up to.

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More than anything, Stephanie took immense, palpable joy in her four small children and the beautiful minutiae of their lives inside a bright little ranch house in Mesa, Arizona, and that kind of joy is always inspiring and frequently downright infectious.

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But here is where Stephanie's story changed forever: two weeks ago, she and her husband were in a private plane crash that killed their pilot friend and left Stephanie and Christian with extensive injuries and burns. Stephanie, specifically, has suffered third-degree burns over 80% of her body. Both Nielsons are currently in medically-induced comas as doctors fight to treat and heal their burns. The couple's four darling children (two girls, 6 and 5; two boys, 3 and 1) are being cared for by family in Utah, and you can read more about their story here.

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So, being that bloggers are mostly kind-hearted people of generous spirit and not shadowy Internet weirdos, an extensive fund-raising effort to help with the Nielsons' medical and household expenses is under way, much of it coordinated by Gabrielle at Design Mom. You can check out a complete list of current benefit auction items and sales here.

And here is what I'm auctioning: a custom-designed, one-of-a-kind blog make-over (complete with new graphics, template tweaks, and coordinating color scheme), lovingly created from scratch and installed by yours truly. I will happily work with either your own source materials and photos OR my own photography and artwork. Click here to read more about my design services and see examples of my work.

Bidding starts at the incredibly low price of $10. Enter your bid(s) into the comments and check back frequently. Auction ends at midnight (PST) on Sunday, September 7th. Winning bidder will donate the funds directly to the Nielson PayPal account, e-mail me their receipt, and enter into a thrilling little back-and-forth about their wildest design dreams. Fun!

Bid big, bid often, and please accept my deepest thanks in advance! And if you just don't have the resources or reason to bid on this auction, kindly check out the other ways to help over here. Or you can make a donation of any denomination by clicking the little bird:




Thanks a million, from the bottom of my heart. You're good eggs, all of you.

41 comments:

Mike Golch said...

nice post. I hope that you have a great day today.

Madge said...

OK. Is this where I bid? Because I want to bed -- I'll put in the first bid for $10.....

Melanie said...

Go, Madge! Thanks!

Christina said...

So, I don't even have a blog... but perhaps the promise of a killer blog design would be inspiration to start one??

I will place the second bid, $11!

Patti said...

what a wonderful thing you're doing. Put me in for $15.

Shana said...

Come on, you guys. This is for an extremely good cause. I'm going to up the ante' and bid $50. If this is not the place to bid, point me in the right direction.

Kiki said...

Awesome: $55

Oliver Rain said...

I bid $60. I've been following their story too.

reneedesigns said...

I'll hit you with $65. My heart really goes out to them.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Hi Melanie~

This is a beautiful thing you are doing.

$100 from Blog This Mom!

Love, Cheri

MamaBird said...

Melanie, you rock. $110 from SurelyYouNest.

Candy Yum Yum said...

$125 from the girl in the corner eating chocolate

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

What a great contribution you're making. I'll definitely head over to the links.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Surely you jest Candy Yum Yum.

$150 from Blog This Mom!

Shana said...

$175 ... back of, Bloggers, this is mine!

Melanie said...

Yes! Throwdowns!

Keep going! And thank you, thank you, thank you, you wonderful people.

Mrs. G. said...

I just want to weigh in here and mention that my traffic quadrupled after Melanie installed my new header. She's magic people.

Sta said...

Thank you, Melanie, for doing this thoughtful auction, for Nie's family, and for us.

My thoughts are with her and her family.

I bid $180.00.

Stacy (mama-om) said...

Oh my!

Spazzy-hands... hit send somehow while I was typing in my name.

Sta = Stacy (mama-om)

Mrs. G. said...

Yay Mama Om! I also wanted to point out that whenever I place my cursor over the banner Melanie made for me, for, say, 15 to 20seconds, I lose, like, two pounds. True Story.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Two pounds in 15-20 seconds? I believe everything Mrs. G. says.

$200 from Blog This Mom!

Lucy Arin said...

$225....from someone who surfed over from Derfwad Mannor.

J. said...

I don't need a site re-design, even though I love your site, but I bid $250 -- and you can pick/offer your services to the deserving site of your choice.

The Girl Next Door said...

Thanks Mrs. G. for linking me and to Melanie for the other links. I'll head over with Jenn to the contribution links. have fun bidding!

Sojourner said...

WOW! That is a wonderful thing going on here!! Unfortunately, I do not have the resources to top the last bid. So I will use one of the other links. But you are all wonderful people!!

Melanie said...

The deal has been officially sweetened, bidders! Read update here.

chris said...

So am I starting to bid on design package #2? If I'm doing this incorrectly, let me know. I'll start a new bid - for something - at $100.

Mrs. G. sold the car!

Melanie said...

Thanks, Chris! To clarify: the top three highest bidders in THIS thread by the end of Sunday will each get a blog design. So bid your little heart out right here. The current high bids are:

J. @ 250
Lucy Arin @ 225
Cheri @ 200

chris said...

Okay. Thank you for clarifying. I'll jump in at $210. Sorry Cheri.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

No need to apologize Chris.

$300 from Cheri & Blog This Mom!

;-)

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Um, that was supposed to say Cheri @ Blog This Mom!. @ not &. Sorry. Bronchitis blows. Of course, I never make typos when I'm well.

chris said...

Yay Cheri! (Hope you feel better soon.) Okay, let's try raising the current lowest bid. I'm in for $235...

J. said...

$305 from the not-so-mysterious J.! (I just hate being outbid -- and love a good cause. ; )

J. said...

The story of the Nielsons' crash and about all the bloggers helping the family out is in today's New York Times and NYT online, which you can also find (if the hyperlink I just inserted didn't work) at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/fashion/07burn.html.

The Girl Next Door said...

OK I am confused - if I get in at $250 am I in?

Melanie said...

Hi, TGND!

The current high bids are:

J: 305
Cheri: 300
Chris: 235

Go for it!

Mrs. G. said...

OK, this is the last time I'm going to chime in, but it's only fair that I share this crucial information. Since Melanie installed my new header and tweaked my blog, Johnny Depp and George Clooney have been showing up in my dreams (at least three times a week) and caressing my hair.

Melanie said...

Bless her heart, she's been in the gin.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

Mrs. G. in the gin at 10 AM? Love her! I've only bid on Melanie's header and I had a dream of Johnny last night. Well, I dream of him every night, but last night he dreamed back. Or maybe it was the Rx cough syrup.

The Girl Next Door said...

To be clear I'm in at 250!

Claire B. said...

Aaack! I've been traipsing around Yellowstone and have just come back to civilization only to find out I'm too late to bid! And boy do I need a makeover. Nice job, Melanie--you did a great thing here with your auction!