Turning Upside Down

Turning Upside Down

I’ve been meaning to blog for awhile about what’s going on in my world, but every time I start I just end up deleting.  I guess that is par for the course when you feel like everything around you is turning upside down.

Have you ever felt like you are constantly in a raging war with life? I guess that is the best possible way I can describe my thoughts.  A raging war… every single day!

Even as I start to write this, I have the compulsion to just delete and start again another day.  Although I know it may be therapeutic to get a little bit of my raging war off my chest, as I know I can’t possibly be the only one feeling the way I am.  In fact, I know thousands and thousands suffer from the same thing.  It’s called anxiety!

 

The Vicious Cycle

Interestingly enough in June, I decided that I wanted to go back to school.  I started the process to complete my bachelor’s degree in Religion with a minor in Christian Counseling.  But as with anything I’ve done over the last 3 years the inevitable happens.  Something in life blows up and it feels like the devil is standing in front of me saying, “Not so fast, lady!”

I cannot tell you how many times this has been the case with my business.  I start something great, then an illness, life crisis or something chaotic happens preventing me from following through.  Time and time again this has happened, and if I’m honest I believe it’s one of the sources that brought on some of the anxiety I’ve felt the last 6 weeks.  Although this time it really did me in.

 

Time to Cancel

The beginning of July Russ and I were set to board a plane to Thailand with our first stop in Hawaii for a few days of rest before meeting up with all of our Stampin’ Up! family. We look forward to being reunited with our friends and spending quality quiet time with them.  This year there was a change in plans.

Two days prior to the trip I felt like I had a sinus infection brewing. That turned into actually being a dental issue (the big battle I’ve had for 4 years) and there was no way flying 30+ hours was going to happen.  Telling Russ to “unpack” his suitcase was awful and I cried for days with disappointment. More disappointment in myself than anything.

Russ was amazing as any good husband should be, but how could he not be disappointed?

It was time to push past that and take care of the issue at hand.  A trip to the oral surgeon, one tooth extracted and I was hopeful the issue was cleared.

Not so fast….

4 days later that sinus infection I felt brewing was rearing its ugly head. This started a trip to the doctor, then back to the dentist and then to the doctor again. It wasn’t until about 2 weeks ago when my internal volcano finally erupted.

 

Impending Doom

I was sitting in the church nursery about two weeks ago when all of a sudden I felt really odd.  I could feel my heart rate climbing out of control and everything around me felt like it was fading. My first reaction was to jump up from my chair.  I felt like I was dying.  It was panic.  This horrible feeling of impending doom.

As awful as I felt, I couldn’t bring myself to tell the other nursery worker what was happening from sheer embarrassment. I know, ridiculous.  You don’t have to tell me that.  Thankfully, church ended quickly I grabbed my kids and we headed home. Russ had just left for a business trip that morning so I was alone with the kids.

We weren’t home 20 minutes when a friend called from church to ask if I was okay.  I guess my abnormal quick exit was a clue.  Typically I am one of the last ones to leave because of my Chatty Cathy self.  Not that day.  I ran to my car.

So here I was on the phone with my friend and I couldn’t even tell her what I was feeling.  But she could sense I wasn’t my normal self. Not long after she offered to come grab my kids.

 

Alone and Panic

After the kids left I sat to try and gather my thoughts.  Only I couldn’t do that.  In fact, I noticed my heart rate was a steady race, and I just felt like crap.  With no one around, I was starting to panic more.  My parents were just driving in from Kentucky after being away on a mission trip.  How was I going to explain this with a phone call?

Literally, as they pulled into their driveway I was calling.  My mom knew something was wrong just in my voice. They were on their way to get me.

I sat with them for a few hours before agreeing to be seen just in case this was something more than anxiety, and I’m thankful I did.

Of course with my heart rate sky high, I was quickly shuffled into a room as a cardiac patient. My heart was running a race but my feet were not.  Truly exhausting.  This is clearly why I don’t run.

I was blessed with the kindest doctor, and for once in 3 weeks I felt like someone was listening to me.  I shed many tears, and my thoughts were overcome with worry.  What if something was wrong with me? I couldn’t shake that thought.  What was happening to me? What happened to this strong girl I’ve always been?

Dr. Lucky

Even though I was scared out of my mind,  I knew God was with me every second.  Dr. Lucky (yes, that was his name) spoke with the softest voice, showed concern, held my hand and I was able to calm down.  I was also thankful to have my mother sitting next to me.

With a diagnosis of anxiety, continued sinus infection and labs drawn I was given some great meds and I was on my way home.   I followed up with my regular doctor last week and went over my labs.  That was interesting.  It appears that my hormones are in FULL swing and menopause has begun.  All I can say is poor Russ.  This probably explains why my kids are running around the house with hoodies and I’m half naked in my house.  Who knew?

 

Light at the End of the Tunnel

This past Saturday was the first day I felt GOOD in 6 weeks! It was like a Christmas miracle.  I spent 4 hours at the beach with my kids enjoying the sunshine, laughter and the kids from our youth group.  I loved every minute.

While the last 6 weeks have been extremely trying, I am thankful for a God that never leaves me. I am thankful for the love of friends who have prayed every single day, sent cards, texted, called and lifted my spirits.  The past 6 weeks felt like an eternity at times, but the light is bright at the end of my tunnel and I feel better! Now to get my cheerful self back in the groove of life and get back to my happy self.

 

Something Pretty

Lastly, I have something pretty to share.  It felt great to stamp and use products collecting dust on my shelf.  I thought I would start with a set that made me smile, Message in a Bottle.

Turning Upside Down, Message in a Bottle, Stampin' Up!

 

This set brought a smile to my face with the whimsical sea images.

Turning Upside Down, Message in a Bottle, Stampin' Up!

 

I added the gorgeous Wood Textures Designer Series Paper. I love how the planked wood looks with this set.  So pirate!  I ran the Crumb Cake cardstock through the Seaside Textured Impressions Folder and I love how this looked in the background.

 

Turning Upside Down, Message in a Bottle, Stampin' Up!

 

Lastly, one of my favorite embellishments I added to this card was the Copper Trim. I love how it pulls apart and reminded me of fish netting.

 

I hope this sheds some light on my absence.

 

Products Used

 

Price: $110.00

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Artisan Hop- Carols of Christmas

Artisan Hop- Carols of Christmas

Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!, Artisan Blog Hop

It’s time for another Artisan Blog Hop and I’m excited to share the fun new Carols of Christmas Bundle.  The best news is you can order this new bundle and save 10% the entire month of August.

 

Mix it Up!

Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!, Artisan Blog Hop

 

One of the things I love is looking through my stamp collection and putting stamps together to create a card.  While I love the bigger greetings in the Carols of Christmas, I wanted to focus on the FANTABULOUS Card Front Builder Thinlits that comes with this bundle and pair it with the Star of Light stamp set.

Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!, Artisan Blog Hop

 

I love, love, love these beautiful trees and even more fun to add a little Dazzling Diamonds to the trees for a little sparkle.

Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!, Artisan Blog Hop

 

Tips & Tricks

Here are a few tips to create this card:

  • I used the moon and stars thinlit at the top of the Crumb Cake cardstock (4″ x 5-1/4″) using the Big Shot, then I placed a piece of Whisper White cardstock the same size behind the Crumb Cake.  The card base is Whisper White Thick Cardstock 4-1/4″ x 11″.
  • The greeting was stamped onto a piece of Whisper White scrap cardstock and die cut using the Lots of Labels Framelits.
  • The label was placed on top of a piece of White Delicate Doily, 3/8″ Soft Sky Classic Weave Ribbon and a small 1/4″ sliver of Silver Foil.
  • I added a small strip of the Foil Frenzy Specialty Designer Series Paper for a little pop of color on the Crumb Cake cardstock.
  • The sweet little deer was stamped from the Carols of Christmas stamp set and then die cut using the coordinating Thinlits.

Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!, Artisan Blog Hop

 

Be Inspired!

Now be inspired by the Artisan Design Team and see more greatness using the Carols of Christmas stamp set.  First up is the great Lousie Sharp.  Simply click the button below to start the hop.

Don’t forget, save 10% on the Carols of Christmas bundle. Click HERE to order today.

Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!, Artisan Blog Hop

 

Allison Okamitsu
Aurelie Fabre
Cathy Caines
Dani Dziama
Holly Stene
Jennifer Sootkoos
Jessica Winter
Katy Harrison
Kimberly Van Diepen
Louise Sharp 
Maike Ulbrich
Martha Inchley
Mercedes Weber
Mindy Bingamon 
Miriam van Eyden
Paula Dobson
Rochelle Blok
Shannon Lane
Sylwia Schreck 
Tanya Boser

Don’t Forget!

Looking for more inspiring ideas? Become a subscriber to my new Exclusive Tutorials.  Click HERE to find out more information,  or HERE to become a subscriber. These tutorials are exclusive and not seen anywhere on the internet.

 

 

 

Price: $110.00

New Tutorial Bundle Team & Hop!

New Tutorial Bundle Team & Hop

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

 

It’s time for an all new Tutorial Bundle with an all NEW design team! I’m super excited about our new team and I think you will too.  Let’s get started!

 

Meet the Team!

Before I get started let me share the new design team with you.

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

 

Many of our original designers are back and we have added a few new designers you are going to love. Each month the tutorial is packed with 12 beautiful projects (both cards and 3-D projects) that are exclusive and not seen anywhere on the internet.

 

Tutorial Facts!

You can become a subscriber,  you get 12 tutorials every month for six months – that is 72 tutorials all together for the next six months! These tutorials are EXCLUSIVE.  They are NOT seen anywhere else on the internet.  The cost to become a subscriber is $75. Basically, you are receiving the sixth tutorial FREE.

Subscribers receive the monthly tutorial on the first of each month delivered straight to their email.  Interested in becoming a subscriber? Click HERE to read more information and become a subscriber or the button below.

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

Not interested in becoming a subscriber but would like to purchase the tutorials individually? No problem.

Each month the tutorials are available for $15 HERE.  You will find current and past exclusive tutorials and the tutorials are automatically sent your email ready for download.

-OR-

Purchase $50 in my Online Store and you will receive the tutorial for FREE for the current month.

My team receives this tutorial for FREE each month. It has been a fantastic resource for my team to use for business with the diverse projects shared in each tutorial.

Below is a little sneak peek of our August tutorial.  The projects are fantastic!!

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

 

 

Lemon Zest Bundle

This month I used the Lemon Zest Bundle for my project.  I love this set and the Lemon Builder Punch.  This is a fantastic bundle.  Each month our Tutorial Bundle Design Team creates a project for the tutorial and a project for our blog hop.

Here is what I created using the Lemon Zest Bundle.

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

 

I love the greetings in this stamp set!

Tips & Tricks 

Here are a few tips on how I created this card:

  • The background was created using the Pattern Party Decorative Masks with an Aqua Painter and ink.  I used Daffodil Delight, Flirty Flamingo, and Melon Mambo inks.
  • Once the ink for the background was dry, I created splatter using an Aqua Painter loaded with Melon Mambo ink and tapped it lightly over the background.

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

  • I love adding small details to cards by using the Enamel Shapes.

 

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

You can find all of the products I used for this project in the links below!

 

Time to Be Inspired!

I love that you will be inspired by so many artists today.  Your first stop is my beautiful friend Lorri Heiling.  Her projects are always gorgeous and I love her attention to detail.  Simply click the next button below to enjoy the hop!

 

 

Tutorial Bundle, Lemon Zest, Stampin' Up!

Please visit the All Star Tutorial Designers:

 

Don’t Forget

If you want to see more tutorials… check out my PDF library filled with fun tutorials to inspire your creativity.

Tutorials, Stampin' Up!

 

 

 

Colorful Seasons Artisan Hop

Colorful Seasons Artisan Hop

It’s time for another Artisan Blog Hop, and it’s all about the Colorful Seasons stamp set.  YAY! I can’t wait to show you what I created for today’s hop.

Let me add in something really quick because I know a few of you are wondering.  I’m ALIVE.  I know I’ve been absent and for many reasons.  I have some splaining to do and that is coming, soon!

But first… a pretty!

Artisan Hop, Colorful Seasons, Stampin' Up!

 

Colorful Seasons

I’m not sure you can look at this stamp set and NOT think about all of the beautiful seasons wrapped into ONE set. This bundle rocks my stampin’ world for a few reasons.

  • Fabulous greetings with wonderful fonts!
  • Stamps that coordinate!
  • Layering Framelits that are so beautiful!
  • A beautiful scallop Framelit that makes me happy happy happy!

As I started to create these cards, I chose the colors for each of the seasons first and then ran with the theme.  Each card has a layer of Watercolor Paper and a finely placed color wash for a background.  Nothing is too fancy, yet simple and elegant for each card.

Next, I stamped the “just breathe” onto a layer of coordinating cardstock.  I love how this greeting pops on the card.

Lastly, I layered the coordinating die cuts onto the Watercolor Paper.  You will notice that many of the layered die cuts I dabbled with a little watercolor on them. Note, I used Watercolor Paper for the die cuts as well.  I love the texture of Watercolor Paper.

Now let’s take a peek at each of the cards.  I would love to hear what your favorite is.

Summer

Artisan Hop, Colorful Seasons, Stampin' Up!

I can’t help but start with summer.  It’s blistering hot here in Florida.  Thankfully I live close to a beach.  Sadly, I haven’t seen it enough.  More on that later.

 

Fall

Artisan Hop, Colorful Seasons, Stampin' Up!

The fall card was so fun as I used the gorgeous Fresh Fig color palette.  I love how vibrant this color looks.

 

Winter

Artisan Hop, Colorful Seasons, Stampin' Up!

I always enjoy a fun snowflake card.  Living in Florida, it’s the only snowflakes I’m going to see.  I love how this card looks so “icy” using the Bermuda Bay and a mix of Pool Party for the water coloring.

 

Spring

Artisan Hop, Colorful Seasons, Stampin' Up!

Spring always brings such a fresh look.  The new Berry Burst was the perfect addition to the flowers along with the soft Powder Pink.

 

What’s Your Favorite?

I would love to hear what your favorite season is and which card you love the most.  I love how we can all love a different season for different reasons.  It’s what makes us all unique, right?

Artisan Hop, Colorful Seasons, Stampin' Up!

Make sure to see click the next button below and be inspired by the great Lousie Sharp.  You can also click any of the links below to hop around and stay on track.  Maybe even share this post so others can be inspired as well from the Stampin’ Up! Artisan Team.  This team is filled with amazing artists from around the world.

You can find all of the products I used for these cards in the links below.

Artisan Hop, Colorful Seasons, Stampin' Up!

 

 

Allison Okamitsu
Aurelie Fabre
Cathy Caines
Dani Dziama
Holly Stene
Jennifer Sootkoos
Jessica Winter
Katy Harrison
Kimberly Van Diepen
Louise Sharp 
Maike Ulbrich
Martha Inchley
Mercedes Weber
Mindy Bingamon 
Miriam van Eyden
Paula Dobson
Rochelle Blok
Shannon Lane
Sylwia Schreck 
Tanya Boser

 

 

Price: $110.00

Need more ideas? Inspiration? 

Make sure to check out my digital tutorials!

Tutorials, Stampin' Up!

New Products & Artisan Hop

New Products & Artisan Hop

 

Is there any stamper that doesn’t love NEW products? I don’t think so. What about a new Christmas bundle?   Stampin’ Up! has released a brand new product that demonstrators can pre-order from July 1st-31st.

I have lots to tell you and a fun card to share using this new stamp set.  PLUS,  the Artisan blog hop will inspire you with you lots of great ideas using this stamp set.

 

A Fantastic Promotion!

New Products, Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!

The Carols of Christmas stamp set and Card Front Builder Dies are the perfect way to get ahead start on your Christmas cards this year. There are a few great promotions with this stamp set.

Demonstrators can purchase this bundle now and save 10% when you purchase the bundle.

Even more exciting… right now customers can earn coupons during our Bonus Days Promotion.  For every $50 you spend from July 1st-31st you will get a $5 coupon to use from August 1st-31st.  Customers can then use your coupons to order the Carols of Christmas stamp set.

But wait… there is more!

Become a demonstrator now until July 31st, and you can also get your hands on this fun stamp set and MUCH more!  Click HERE to see the July Recruiting promotion you don’t want to miss out on.  Click HERE to join my team!

 

Carols of Christmas = Versatile!

When I first started playing with this stamp set, I was drawn to the two large greetings included with the set. At first glance, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with the peace on earth image.

New Products, Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!

 

I love how this image fits perfectly inside one of the Layering Circles Framelits.  Instantly I thought to create a globe. This was super simple using Watercolor Paper and a little Gold Embossing Powder.

Once I had the image embossed, I watercolored over the gold embossing using Pool Party, Bermuda Bay inks to create the water.  Then I used Crumb Cake and Soft Suede to create the land.  This was simple to watercolor using my Aqua Painter.

New Products, Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!

 

I layered the die cut onto another piece of Watercolor Paper along with a few of the trees that I die cut from Whisper White cardstock. The trees were die cut from the Card Front Builder Thinlits Dies that coordinate with the Carols of Christmas stamp set.   A few layering additions such as a Delicate White Doily and twine finished off the card front.

Of course, I couldn’t help but add a little more splash of color by adding the Pool Party scallop edge from the Seasonal Layers Thinlits Dies.  I love that big scallop, and it’s perfect to add along the edge of a card.

The last detail I added was some Perfect White Accents. I love how these look on any project I create.

 

New Products, Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!

 

Be Inspired!

The Carols of Christmas bundle will be a favorite in our upcoming Holiday Catalog.  The good news is you don’t have to wait! Grab this set now and get a head start on your Christmas card planning.

Now be inspired by the rest of the Artisan Design Team.  Just click the button below to see what my friend Louise Sharp has designed and enjoy the rest of the blog hop using this fantastic bundle.

 

New Products, Carols of Christmas, Stampin' Up!

Allison Okamitsu
Aurelie Fabre
Cathy Caines
Dani Dziama
Holly Stene
Jennifer Sootkoos
Jessica Winter
Katy Harrison
Kimberly Van Diepen
Louise Sharp 
Maike Ulbrich
Martha Inchley
Mercedes Weber
Mindy Bingamon 
Miriam van Eyden
Paula Dobson
Rochelle Blok
Shannon Lane
Sylwia Schreck 
Tanya Boser

 

 

Supply List

Need more ideas? Inspiration? 

Make sure to check out my digital tutorials!

Tutorials, Stampin' Up!