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Notes Left Behind

I received an email from a co-worker today that was absolutely beautiful.  I’m so thankful to have recieved this, as it is something that needs to be shared.  I hope by posting and sharing with you that I am able to make even a tiny difference in someone’s life, just as Elena, the miracle behind this message, has done herself. 

The following is the email that was sent by Jeff Wheaton, Manufacturing Engineer, Newell Rubbermaid (pictured below).  Thank you for sending this, Jeff.  Sometimes, it can be so easy to lose sight of what the important things in life truly are.


Most people want to feel that their work is making a difference in the world.  That it is not just about making money to pay the bills.  Well how does making/selling Sharpies make the world better? 

The below story beautifully illustrates how Sharpie markers make a difference in the world.  They are all about enabling people to share feelings with each other.  To give each other “hugs” when least expected and most needed.  I don’t know if Elena used Sharpies for her notes, but I would like to think she did; that my job helped enable her beautiful expression of love for her family.

- J.Wheaton, Newell Rubbermaid.

elena picWhen 6-year-old Elena Desserich was diagnosed with brain cancer, she began hiding hundreds of little love notes around the house for her parents to find after she was gone.  Here’s the story:
Just before her sixth birthday, Elena Desserich (pictured) was diagnosed with brain cancer and given 135 days to live. She lived 255 days, passing away in 2007. After her death, Elena’s parents, Brooke and Keith, found hundreds of notes from Elena hidden around the house — in between CD cases, between bookshelves, in dresser drawers, in backpacks….
“It just felt like a little hug from her, like she was telling us she was looking over us”

Elena left hundreds of notes like these:

elana 1


for mom


grace 1


hearts 1



red and white




See more of Elena’s notes

 Elena’s parents, Brooke and Keith Desserich, have now published these notes in a book called Notes Left Behind to fund a non-profit organization The Cure Starts Now dedicated to fighting pediatric brain cancer.

notes left behind





Purchase your copy of Notes Left Behind.

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Sharpie to Tie-Dye for …

Groovy, Baby

CRAFTY GIRL SCOUTS AND ’60′S HIPPIES have known about it forever, but using Sharpie markers to tie dye clothing and other items has remained pretty much under wraps.

Now you can uncover the secrets and learn how to create some of the most brilliant designs in the boldest and brightest colors with Sharpie markers. Easy and affordable (important in these trying economic times!).

To get started, see details below from

Sharpie Pen Tie-Dye:  Use Science to Create Wearable Art

By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D.,

Normal tie dying can be messy and time-consuming. You can get a really cool tie dye effect using colored Sharpie pens on a t-shirt. This is a fun project that even young kids can try. You’ll get wearable art and may learn something about diffusion and solvents. Let’s get started!

Sharpie Pen Tie Dye Materials

  • colored Sharpie pens (permanent ink pens)
  • rubbing alcohol (e.g., 70% or 90% isopropyl alcohol)
  • white or light-colored cotton t-shirt
  • plastic cup

Let’s Do Tie Dye!

… except you don’t have to tie anything.

  1. Smooth a section of the shirt over your plastic cup. You can secure it with a rubber band if you want.
  2. Dot a Sharpie to form a circle in the center of the area formed by the cup. You are aiming for a dotted ring about 1″ in diameter. You can use more than one color.
  3. Drip rubbing alcohol on the blank center of the circle. I used the extremely low-tech method of dipping a pencil in the alcohol and dotting it on the shirt. After a few drops, you will see the alcohol spread outward from the center of the ring, taking the Sharpie ink with it. Continue reading