Happy New Year Friends!  I cannot believe we are already in 2015!  I just wanted to thank you for being a part of this journey and wish you a wonderful year full of happiness, love, and laughter!  I also wanted to reflect on what we were able to accomplish together in 2014.  Part of the reason I started Atiliay and began making cards for a cause was because I strongly believe that if everyone does a little bit and we combine our efforts, we can make a strong impact!  With every card or paper goods product each person purchases, we are raising funds together to help support the work of several non-profits and the truly life-saving and life-changing work that they do.

Here are some of the highlights from 2014!

Together we…

…raised 14,621 meals for The Ebongalethu Educare Center Preschool and Nursery!

Atiliay's Valentine's Day Cards For A Cause Campaign

The EEC Preschool and Nursery is located in South Africa and I began sponsoring the center through Food4Africa, after meeting the team on a TOMS shoe drop back in November of 2007.  Their work providing nutritious meals to babies and toddlers to give them a good start in life has a very special place in my heart and it has been so rewarding to share and support their work with you!  Atiliay’s 3rd annual Valentine’s Day Cards For A Cause Campaigns is coming up this February!  Each card provides meals that will be donated to Food4Africa to feed the 60 children who attend The EEC. If you’d like to know when the campaign launches, sign up for Atiliay’s newsletter or follow on social media for all the updates!

…funded 2 more Kiva microloans!

Fathers Day 2014 Kiva Loans

The awesome thing about Kiva loans is that they continue to give and give and give!  Once a loan is repaid that money will go towards another loan and the cycle keeps on going!  The Father’s Day Cards For A Cause Campaign goes towards Kiva loans and we lent to two Fathers trying to improve and expand their businesses to provide for their families and secure a good future for their children- Ali in Lebanon who sells fruits and vegetables and Path in Cambodia who is a cassava farmer.  During Father’s Day of 2015, Atiliay will be raising funds for another loan and we will also use what we have been paid back as well- I am hoping to be able to fund 3 loans this year!

…raised 490 meals for FeedingAmerica.org!

Thanksgiving & Winter Holidays Cards For A Cause Supporting Feeding America

We raised 240 meals from the Thanksgiving Cards For A Cause and 250 meals from Winter Holidays Cards For A Cause for FeedingAmerica.org!  Feeding America works with local food banks throughout the country to provide meals to children, the elderly, families, and anyone who is facing hunger.  Their mission is to feed America’s hungry– which is something 1 in 6 Americans struggles with– through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger.  Food is such a big part of the holidays and it’s nice to share some of what we have with others!

 …raised $1167.88 for Made By Survivors to fight against human trafficking! 

The Relevee Benefit

Through The Relevee Benefit we were able to raise funds and awareness about human trafficking! It was really amazing and wonderful to connect with so many creative folks who felt just as passionately as I did about taking a stand against human trafficking and help survivors rebuild and take back their lives.  Made By Survivors fights human trafficking, specifically sexual slavery, in several ways- they rescue and shelter those who are currently enslaved, they educate those who have been rescued as well as children of survivors, they provide job training and employment, and they work with survivors to ensure they are free forever.   Founder Sarah Symon’s story and passion to help those affected by human trafficking is so inspiring– I highly recommend her book, This Is No Ordinary Joy which details her journey with MBS.

In addition to the highlights above, Atiliay also supported Freely In Hope, Room To Read, The Lange Foundation, Knots of Love, Peace of Heart Choir, The Gentle Barn, Schools for Salone, Red Bucket Equine Rescue,  Hands Producing Hope, and All The Arts For All The Kids.  I hope that in 2015 Atiliay can make a bigger impact and donation to these organizations!

I look forward to creating, supporting, and giving throughout the next 12 months and can’t wait to share all of it with you!

Posted in philanthropy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment


The Relevee Fundraiser Results

Thank you to all of our wonderful participating vendors and to everyone who donated to make this benefit a success!  100% of all funds raised will be donated to Made By Survivors to support their work in fighting human trafficking and helping survivors and those at risk live a full and free life forever!

Congratulations to all the winners!  I hope you enjoy your prizes!

Posted in fundraising | Tagged | Leave a comment


The Relevee Benefit

The name “Relevee” means “rise up” or “to help another person rise” in French and is the new name of the jewelry line from Made By Survivors. {Photo credit: Francisco Antunes}


Join us in the fight against human trafficking by supporting The Relevee Benefit Fundraiser! 100% of the proceeds raised will be donated to Made By Survivors  and support their fight against human trafficking with employment, education and entrepreneurship, and helping survivors and those at risk get free and remain free forever from slavery and exploitation.  The goal of The Relevee Benefit is to help raise awareness of human trafficking and to support Made By Survivors and their work in fighting against it for the next 30 days while supporting the handmade community!


Please make a donation directly to Made By Survivors which is a project of The Emancipation Network by going here. The Emancipation Network is a a 501 (3) nonprofit and you can view their profile on Guidestar.

Please indicate “The Relevee Benefit” in the program description space. 

With every dollar donated, you will receive one chance to win a selection of store credit / goodies from the wonderful makers and shops below!  5 winners will be randomly chosen with 1st place winning 15 prizes from the prize pool of his / her choice, with first dibbs! 

2nd Place wins 10 prizes from the remaining prizes of his / her choice
3rd place wins 8 prizes from the remaining prizes of his / her choice
4th place wins 6 prizes from the remaining prizes of his / her choice
5th place wins the remaining 5 prizes

Donate more and get more chances to win (in additional to the amount of chances your donated dollars amount to)!

$5+ = 2 extra chances     $10+ = 3 extra chances     $20+ = 5 extra chances
$30+ = 10 extra chances     $40+ = 15 extra chances     $50+ = 20 extra chances

The fundraiser begins on September 2nd and ends on October 1st, end of day.

 The Relevee Benefit - Donate Now



These talented makers and shops are supporting The Relevee Benefit and joining us in taking a stand against human trafficking!  Go here to learn more about each of the supporting companies or click on the images below.

The Relevee Benefit - Supporting Companies

The Relevee Benefit - Supporting Companies

The Relevee Benefit - Supporting CompaniesThe Relevee Benefit - Supporting CompaniesThe Relevee Benefit - Supporting CompaniesThe Relevee Benefit - Supporting Companies The Relevee Benefit - Supporting CompaniesThe Relevee Benefit - Supporting Companiesline


Please share The Relevee Benefit with your friends and family! Let them know about the amazing life saving and changing work Made By Survivors are doing; together we can make this fundraiser a success!

If you have any questions, please email Olivia at hi.atiliay (at) gmail (dot) com.



Priyanka's Story

Priyanka was born into extreme poverty in a Calcutta red light district.  She was raised in a brothel where she was exposed to constant danger and outcast by society.  Eventually, her mother sent her to a shelter to keep her from being trafficked and forced into prostitution. At age 18, Priyanka joined the Made By Survivors jewelry team.  She worked hard during the intensive year of training, becoming one of our most accomplished goldsmiths and designers.  The training and the loving atmosphere of the jewelry center were healing for Priyanka and helped build up her damaged self-esteem.

Priyanka takes pride in having several designs in our new Relevee Jewelry collection and in being one of the top producers and earners in her studio.  Her dream is to become a jewelry trainer so she can share this gift with other women in need.

Priyanka is now ready to move out of the shelter and support herself independently.  She is also pulling her mom out of the red light district so they can both live in safety and dignity.

100% of proceeds from The Relevee Benefit will be donated to Made By Survivors to help them train more women in the art of jewelry making as well as heal them, give them a way to create a living, allow them to support themselves and their families, and break the cycle of poverty.



In the past years I have learned and read a lot about human trafficking, specifically girls and women who become victims of sexual slavery.  Last Christmas, I bought a book called This is No Ordinary Joy which is the story of Sarah Symons, founder of Made by Survivors.  It made me cry, it made me angry, it made me laugh, it made me hopeful– it was truly inspiring to read about Sarah’s journey from knowing nothing about human trafficking to creating a way to help as well as the stories of survival and hope.  I think about the women I read about in that book often.

As I approach my 30th birthday on September 2nd, it made me think about how many girls and women will never see their 30th year.  As sad as this reality is, we do have the power to try to change that and help ensure they do live to be 30– and much longer! Please join me in raising awareness and funds through the Relevee Benefit and create a positive change!

Posted in fundraising | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments


A beautiful and versatile theme for you to try at your next bridal shower, baby shower, or birthday celebration is a garden tea party!

Tissue Paper Flower Decor for Garden Tea Party

Ever since my friend Emi asked me to be her Maid of Honor, I have been thinking and obsessing about her bridal shower!  After hours and hours of late night Pinteresting and scouring through tutorials, I decided a garden tea party would be a great theme for Emi’s shower. She has always loved her cup of tea so it seemed like the perfect theme to celebrate this bride-to-be and we could easily incorporate her color palette of green, yellow, and grey.

I decided to use paper as the main material for the decor since that is the medium I work with the most and it’s also light weight, inexpensive, and can be recycled.  I had a LOT of fun making everything and coming up with the decor and table setting!  This theme can be easily customized by switching up the colors, changing up the fonts, and tablecloths to fit the bride you are throwing the shower for.  It also works for birthdays and other gatherings as well!

The guest list for the shower was at 32 so my goal was to keep it sophisticated and pretty while being cost efficient!  I wanted to share how you can easily throw your own garden party so read on for more details on how to throw your own garden tea party!

I am splitting up this post into 3 different sections: Decor, Games, and Food.  The other 2 sections are coming soon!

Find items from this shower in my Etsy Shop for your next shower or event!


Tissue Paper Flowers

Tissue Paper Flower Wall Decor

Materials + Source: tissue paper [Party City + PaperMart.com], construction paper (optional to cut out large leaves from) [Joann], scissors, tape

This was the main element in the decor and I spent a week catching up on shows on Hulu while making these!  I went through HUNDREDS of pins to pick out what kind of flowers I liked and wanted to use– different types of paper give the flowers a different feel.  I settled on tissue paper because you can make a ton without spending a lot, and I liked the look of these flowers the best since I was trying to stay away from them looking too much like a tissue pom.

These were my main inspiration pins:
1) This paper flower table center piece pin (does anyone know where this came from? I’d love to give the credit but have not been able to find the original source.)
2) Icing Design’s A Sweet Spring Table
3) This floral backdrop for the dining table from Lovelyfest (4th row down on the very right)

I based my flowers on this great Giant Paper Flowers from Ruche post on Design*Sponge. The only things I did differently was:
* I did not make the stems.
* I changed the centers of the flowers.  Instead of the moss centers, I started the flowers with a yellow tissue paper for the centers and wrapped smaller petals around each other to create a center.  I then added a few more yellow petals that were more fanned out to make the centers and the pop color more prominent.
* I tried different edges on the petals to make the flowers look different.  The more scalloping on the edges of each petal makes the flowers look more and more like a tissue pom.  The petals with clean edges or a point I liked to make a crease in the center of them to create some depth.
* I made large flowers as well as smaller ones by experimenting with different petal sizes.

The larger flowers I used as the main wall decor and on the front door and I arranged the smaller flowers in a bunch at the center of each table for the centerpieces.

Front Door Decor - Tissue Paper Flowers

Paper Flower Decor for Garden Tea Party Bridal Shower

I also used the tissue paper flowers as the cake toppers by attached them with hot glue to skewers.  You can push the skewers all the way down the cake like I did or leave the skewer part showing like the flower stems.

Tissue Paper Flower Topper For Cake

For the cupcakes I wanted to make mini flowers to top them with.  For a quicker way to do this, I followed this tissue paper flower tutorial from WeddingChicks.com.  You cut petals from tissue paper then insert a toothpick in the center.  Add a drop of hot glue then press the petals together and it instantly creates a lovely flower that you can easily place into any dessert!

Tissue Paper Flower Toppers for Cupcakes

Leaf Garlands

Materials + Source: string or twine [99 Ranch Super Market (they have balls of natural colored twine)], construction paper [Joann] , small hole punch [Michael’s or Joann], hot glue gun // [Michael’s in the gardening and foam section]

I wanted to add a little bit of color, especially to the burlap on the dessert table, but also wanted it to fit into the garden theme.  I came up with these leaf garlands that are super easy to make! If I had more time I’d make one more to hang by the drinks or layer below the banner.

Paper Leaf Garland

I drew outlines of small and large leaves on the backside of the construction paper. I stacked that sheet on top of another and cut the leaves out– don’t worry about making them perfect, the outline acts as a guide and I think it looks more organic with different shapes and edges!  Punch a small hole at the top of each leaf and put your string through. Then spread out the leaves as you would like them spaced, back side up.  Add a dot of hot glue to attach the leaf to the string.  This way when you hang it they won’t move around and get clumped in one area.  Just be careful when transporting that they don’t get tangled- putting them carefully in a large envelope or zip lock bag and keeping it laid flat helps!


Burlap Bridal Shower Banner

Materials + Source: ribbon [Michael’s], burlap [Joann] , cardstock [Michael’s or Joann], hot glue gun [Michaels]

I also did a lot of research when trying to figure out what type of banner I wanted to make. I decided on a burlap banner to match the table tops and also to use up the leftover scraps I had.  I layered it with paper printed with grey letters and used the same yellow ribbon from the table setting.

Before you start I would recommend measuring the area you want to hang the banner from and how long the actual banner needs to be along with the excess ribbon on both ends.

I created the paper portion and letters in illustrator. (Don’t forget to leave an extra 1/2″ to 3/4″ at the top to fold over!) Then I printed and cut one out and added a 3/4″ border for the burlap layer.  Each paper layer was hot glue gunned to the burlap layer then both were folded over the ribbon and hot glued to stay.

This banner was a bit heavy so we actually nailed them to the wall with thumbtacks to get them to stay up!

The Table Setting

DIY // Garden Tea Party Bridal Shower // KindWedding.com

Materials + Source: burlap [Joann, don’t forget to sign up for their e-newsletter for weekly 40% off coupons!], clear plastic plates [Party City], silver utensils [Dollar Store, 4 sets of forks, spoons, and knives for $1], white napkins [Party City], yellow ribbon [Michael’s], packing tape, safety pins (optional)

Since this was a larger party and we couldn’t use real plates and utensils, my goal for the tale setting was to make it look as real (and not disposable!) as possible!  

The table itself were the 6 ft. fold out tables and we sat 8 to each comfortably, 3 on both sides, one at each end.  Each table was covered with burlap.  To save on time and money, I didn’t make table clothes but cut pieces for each table that just had enough at the edges to fold under and tape.  We used LOTS of packing tape to keep it secure and it was easy to remove.  You can also use safety pins to help pin together the corners that are folded and have extra fabric.  I was really happy with how this turned out!

I picked out the best quality clear plastic plates I could find, silver utensils, and at the tables we did use actual teacups and saucers.  I didn’t want the dining items to clash with the greens in the paper flower center pieces so I kept the color palette simple.  The napkins were white and utensils were tied with a yellow ribbon.

Z-A- welcome table setting

I also made place cards for each seat.  I made ones with the names for the bride and bridal party, and for the guests the place card said “Welcome!” so that they could pick their own seats.  You can customize and purchase these place cards for your next event in Atiliay’s Etsy Shop!  

I hope this information is helpful when it’s time for you to plan a shower or your next party!  Part 2 and 3 of this post is coming soon!

Tea Party Bridal Shower Table Setting

Posted in Parties | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment


Father's Day Cards 2014

Thank you to everyone who purchased a Father’s Day card or spread the word on this campaign!

With your help two loans have been made to Kiva.org to help two fathers in different parts of the world support their families and improve their businesses!

Kiva.org is a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.  They believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.  I couldn’t agree more and really love being able to lend through them– the great thing about funding loans is that once a loan has been paid, the money can be used to fund another loan and help a different person in another part of the world!  It’s a wonderful cycle!

This is the 2nd year we are doing this and with $1 from each Father’s Day card sold as well as some funds that have already been repaid from last year’s loan to the Puente De Tierra Group in Guatemala, we are able to help fund loans to the following 2 recipients:


Path- Kiva Loan Father's Day 2014

Path, 34, is a father of 3 and lives with his wife and children in a village in Siem Reap province’s Srey Snom district, Cambodia.  2 of his children are still in school.  To make a living, he and his wife have been farming rice for almost 16 years and they supplement the family’s income by growing cassava.

Path has been with Kiva’s partner, VisionFund, for two loan cycles and completely paid back the loans. With the loans from VisionFund, he has managed to improve his livelihood and send and keep his children in school. He is requesting another loan of 2,500,000 KHR to buy fertilizers and pay for plowing the cassava field. He hopes to grow his cassava to make a living better.

We were the first to contribute to Path’s loan and I hope that by doing so we are helping his children continue their education and secure a bright future for them!


Ali- Kiva Loan Fathers Day 2014

Ali is a married father of two children, whom he works hard to improve and secure their living conditions.

He lives in a conflict zone, but he is working hard to keep his business improving and his family in a good living.

His shop’s location is very attractive to new customers, but just like any business, Ali needs an external support to increase his business income and develop it through adding new released products.

Today, Ali is requesting a loan from Kiva’s field partner Al Majmoua to increase his stock with special seasonal fruits and vegetables at good prices and with special offers.  He is working hard to start wholesale trade but he needs more capital to take this step forward, and hopes that the conflict in his region will be solved soon.

My heart really goes out to those who are living in areas of conflict.  I hope that by funding a loan to Ali we can help to contribute in a small way to his family and neighborhood an also hope that the conflict will come to an end soon.

Posted in Cards for a Cause | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment