Archive for Love

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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Inspiring Monday-Card Buffet

Inspiring Monday-Card Buffet

This weekend I did a little cleaning purge of my desk.  It’s amazing what I find laying around when I finally sift through all of the piles of papers sitting around.  In fact, as I was sifting through my piles I found three cards I had to share.  I feel like I have a little card buffet to share with the cards that I found.

 

A Quick & Simple Technique

Recently I created a card using a fun technique that Stampin’ Up! posted on Instagram. If you haven’t followed them on Instagram, you should.  This feed is nothing but happiness and great eye candy. They share tips from the Artisans that are eye-opening and fun.

With that said, I don’t think my tip is AWE dropping, but I believe that it’s a quick and straightforward wow card you can create using the Big on Birthdays stamp set.  This stamp set will carry over to the new Annual Catalog which is super exciting.

Card Buffet, Big on Birthdays, Stampin' Up!

 

Use Your Markers

I find that I don’t use my markers enough.  Not because I don’t love them, but I forget about them.  I just stamped the Happy Birthday image onto Whisper White cardstock, then outlined the image using my markers.  Believe it or not, I created six fun cards using this technique, and the cards were SO simple and fast to create.

I love this stamp set because of the big bold images.  They are simple to color, and each had their unique look with the marker.  Isn’t that fun?

 

 

Everyday Hero

My next card uses the Everyday Hero stamp set.

I jokingly talk about being superwoman, and I bet we can all think of many women in our lives that we could give this title.  While I also jokingly say I’ve buried my cape in the backyard, I think I’ve had to put it back on a few times the last six weeks.  I don’t know; I believe this card is super fun and one that would make a mom smile.

Card Buffet, Everyday Hero, Stampin' Up!

 

Of course, I had to add a little frilly to the card.  A doily made it all the more feminine, and the ribbon as well.

Card Buffet, Everyday Hero, Stampin' Up!

 

There is one thing retiring on this card that I probably did cry over- the Tags & Labels Framelits.  I’ve loved these dies and used them for SO SO many cards.  Make sure to check them out while they are still available.  The Everyday Hero’s set is one that is retiring also.  I’m sad to see it go as well but I think this will be a keeper for when I remind my friends what a hero they are.

Download a FREE tutorial to create this card HERE.

Love Sparkles

The last one I’m sharing for today’s card buffet is from the stamp set Love Sparkles.

Card Buffet, Love Sparkles, Stampin' Up!

 

One of my favorite things I love to add to a card is using a greeting for the background.  It’s something very simple, but it always gives a fun look to a card. For this card, I used the Flirty Flamingo and Watermelon Wonder inks and alternated the colors with the greeting.  I added a touch of the Delightful Dijon for a pop of color.

Card Buffet, Love Sparkles, Stampin' Up!

 

Another die cut that is retiring and seen a ton of use in my stamp room is the Stars, Framelits Dies.  These are on sale, so get them before they are gone.  I love how the three layers of stars and the colors look together.
Card Buffet, Love Sparkles, Stampin' Up!

 

Lastly, I added the tiny greeting by stamping the greeting onto Basic Black cardstock using VersaMark ink. Then I placed White Embossing Powder over it and heated.  Again, this gave a little pop to the card.

 

I have a FREE tutorial for this last card that you can download HERE.

 

Inspiring Monday

I guess the moral of my story today is I should clean my desk more often.  Who knew these gems were hiding under stacks of papers.

The last thing these cards need on them is a matching stamped envelope with a stamp and address.  They are ready to leave my house for good and bring a smile to someone’s face.

A couple of reminders…

Check out the retiring list HERE.  Lots of great sales.  AND… another must check is the Clearance Rack.  GREAT buys and tons of fun things to stock up on.  Click HERE to see it.

Card Buffet, Eastern Palace, Stampin' Up!

I’ve had a BALL with the Eastern Palace Suite.  Ths is one promotion I wouldn’t miss out on.  You can see all of the cards I’ve created using this bundle below.  Click HERE to see the bundles and get your free gifts before May 31st.  Remember, you get TWO tutorials when you purchase this bundle from my Online Store.  Combined together, these tutorials have 39 cards and 3d projects you don’t want to miss.

Card Buffet, Eastern Palace, Stampin' Up!

Looking for fun tutorials that will knock your socks off? Click the photo below to see my tutorial library.

Tutorials, Stampin' Up!

Be Inspired- Sending Love

Be Inspired- Sending Love

Sending Love, Stampin' Up!, Carousel Birthday

 

I’m super excited about today’s Be Inspired Blog Hop with a theme all about sending love.  You might have just come from Carolynn’s blog.  What a fun hop we have in store for today!

The past two weeks I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants with EVERYTHING in my life. I’m having one of those months where I completely over-scheduled events.  Not so much stamping events, but life events.  Have you experienced this?

Typically I do not find the month of February causing this much angst, more like the month of December.  However, Alexis gymnastic meets have added busy-ness to our schedule with the traveling.  In fact, we just came back from a competition in Orlando over the weekend, and I’m steadily trying to catch up.

 

Two Ships Sailing Different Directions

I’ve been feeling like Russ, and I are two passing ships with the crazy schedule we’ve created.

Obviously, this is a season in our lives when raising two teenagers.  We totally get it, but as you know when schedules get chaotic the lines of communication are drastically reduced, and this only causes tension.  This tension is what I like to call, communication chaos.

Luckily for me, I can get a little creative in my communications to Russ.

 

Creative Love

As you know, stamping gives us a way of communicating a simple sweet love message.  I like leaving Russ love notes, and I love when I have a stamp set that has the perfect words to convey my message.

I couldn’t have said this any better…. “You’re My Person!”

Sending Love, Stampin' Up!, Falling For You stamp set

 

As much as my Prince can get on my nerves, he’s my person.  He gets me.  He still loves me when I’m grouchy, and I love him although it can be hard.  Know what I mean?

The stamp set Falling for You summed it all up!  It’s a great set for all types of LOVE occasions such as anniversaries, bride & grooms and of course a simple love message.

 

Sending Love, Stampin' Up!, Falling For You stamp set

 

 

Keeping it Simple

Keeping things simple for me is always difficult.  I wanted to keep this card simple. However, I also wanted to use a different flower for the focal point of this card.

I loved the flower from the So in Love stamp set.  It’s a beautiful flower to watercolor.

Sending Love, Stampin' Up!, Falling For You stamp set

 

 

Tips & Tricks

  • The flower was stamped using Archival Basic Black ink onto Whisper White cardstock then watercolored using my Aqua Painter with Blushing Bride and Watermelon Wonder ink.
  • I watercolored the image using the Blushing Bride ink first and then heat set with my Heat Tool.  Then I added the Watermelon Wonder ink over a few of the petals to add contrast.
  • I loved the So Detailed Thinlits die cut and placed this under the circle die cut.  I love how this individual die cut adds a very delicate look to the entire card.

Sending Love, Stampin' Up!, Falling For You stamp set

Find all of the products used for today’s project in the clickable links below.

 

  • Save 10% by purchasing the So in Love Bundle.  Look at the beautiful details found in the So Detailed Thinlits.

Sending Love, Stampin' Up!, Falling For You stamp set

 

 

 

While Russ and I continue to plug along with our scheduled chaos, I know something simple like this card can bring a smile to his face and he will know how much I love him despite our ships passing in the wind.

 

Be Inspired

While I hope today’s card and message inspires you to do the same, there is more inspiration to see.  The Be Inspired Team has a great line up of beautiful projects for you to see.  Click the button below to see Nadine’s project.

Cupcakes Sending Love, Stampin' Up!, Falling For You stamp set& Carousels, Stampin' Up!, Carousel Birthday

 

Louise Sharp

Price: $110.00

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Tutorial Bundle Blog Hop, Stampin' Up!

Order $50 in products from my Online Store and receive a FREE tutorial packed with exclusive projects.

Plus receive a hand stamped card from me with a gift.

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Always My Love Bug-Valentines

Always My Love Bug

I’m working on a few Valentines for my kids and making one for my son is never easy. I always want to create the frilly, fluffy card with lots of hearts and love all over it.  Then I thought about what I love to call him… my love bug.  Instantly I knew exactly which stamp set I was going to choose, Beetles & Bugs!

 

Creating For My Son

Love Bug, Beetles & Bugs stamp set, Stampin' Up!

 

I’ve called Brandon my love bug since he was little.  Even at fifteen, he’s still my love bug.  Even during the most trying times as a teenager, he’s still my love bug.

Ironically, when I first caught my eyes on this stamp set, it reminded me so much of who he is and what he loves.  Bugs, bugs, bugs.

Since he was a toddler, he has always loved bugs.  I remember sitting on the soccer field watching all the little boys run after the soccer ball, and there my boy sat… on the grass finding bugs.  He was always proud of his latest catch.  At the time I can remember Russ and I thinking, “ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Chase the ball!”  Now those are precious memories, and he still loves bugs.

He still sends me pictures of ginormous spiders or creepy crawly things he finds while camping with the scouts.  Each picture makes me itch and gives me a tiny freak out because I do not like bugs.  I instantly think, “Is this poisonous? Are you touching that? Please stop!”

 

Beetles & Bugs- Perfect Valentines

Love Bug, Beetles & Bugs stamp set, Stampin' Up!

 

The Beetles & Bugs stamp set is perfect for any BIG or little boy’s birthday party favors, but what about a Valentine?

With a few added greetings and embellishments, this became a perfect Valentines card for my teenage love bug.

 

Tips & Tricks 

  • The Beetles & Bugs stamp set has 32 Photopolymer stamp images.  This is a two-step stamp set which makes it so fun to create any color bugs you desire.
  • Today’s card uses inks from Stampin’ Up!’s Brights collection.
  • Sunshine Wishes Thinlits created the perfect “LOVE” die cut for this card.  Once die cut, I watercolored over the image using Bermuda Bay ink.
  • Looking for a fun way to add personalized names or word images to cards? The Labeler Alphabet is the ticket.  This alphabet comes with two different fonts you can use to create the perfect word or greeting for any card.
  • Lastly, I added the Enamel Shapes around the bugs.  I love how these looked dispersed amongst the bugs.

Love Bug, Beetles & Bugs stamp set, Stampin' Up!

 

Of course, my son knows my love of crafting and also is quite aware of my love for frilly.  I’m sure he will be okay with my doily I had to add.

 

Valentines or Not?

Whether you are creating the perfect Valentines or a simple “buggy” card, the Beetles & Bugs stamp set will provide endless opportunities to create fun cards.

I’m sure Brandon will enjoy it, and this will go with the many other cards his mama has made over the years.

Love Bug, Beetles & Bugs stamp set, Stampin' Up!

See all the products used for today’s card in the clickable links below. 

Time is Running Out!

Are you a subscriber?

Becoming a subscriber to receive the monthly Tutorial Bundle is only available until the end of February.

Read all the news about becoming a subscriber HERE.

Tutorial Bundle Blog Hop, Stampin' Up!

 

Order $50 in products from my Online Store and receive a FREE tutorial packed with exclusive projects.

Plus receive a hand stamped card from me with a gift.

Looking to learn new stamping ideas and techniques? 

Click HERE to see my online class tutorials and stamp in the comfort of your home!

Looking for fun birthday card ideas? Click HERE to be inspired.

Price: $110.00

Love Everywhere-Spread Kindness

Love Everywhere-Spread Kindness

Every year around this time frame as I share Valentines love I can’t help but think of our ability to share love and kindness all through the year.

It reminds me of why I’m a paper crafter.  Love is everywhere and as paper crafters, we can spread kindness ALL year long.

Isn’t that exciting?

Today I have a fantastic project that is perfect to spread love and kindness.  Even better, a blog hop with my Creation Station friends to share more love.  Love is everywhere.

Creative Gift Packaging, Creation Station, Stampin' Up!

Perfect Chocolate Box

I was browsing Pinterest trying to get some inspiration for a “love” project.  I love to create treat boxes for valentines so that was on my list to hunt.  The box was originally created by a UK demonstrator named Ann Melvin.

Then I created a fun card to go with the boxes.  Chocolate and a card… YES!

 

Let’s Create!

Spread Kindness, Valentines, Stampin' Up!

This box is super easy to create.  Below you will find a simple template that’s easy to follow and grab the following supplies!

  • Early Espresso cardstock 10″ x 7-1/2″.
  • Designer Series Paper 1″ x 9-1/2
  • Embellishments of your choice.
  • You will see a complete list of what I used for this project in my tips & tricks and at the bottom of the post in clickable links.

 

Spread Kindness, Valentines, Stampin' Up!

 

This box opens up so you can place a few chocolates inside or even a few love notes.

Spread Kindness, Valentines, Stampin' Up!

 

Spread Kindness, Valentines, Stampin' Up!

Tips & Tricks 

Here is a simple template you can follow to create the box.

 

Spread Kindness, Valentines, Stampin' Up!

  • The scribbled black lines are areas you will CUT out.
  • Make sure you score each fold very well.  This makes a box nice and crisp.
  • I added an extra score line on the lid so that the lid would tuck into the box.  You can see this in red on the template.
  • Stamp hearts on the box front using the Sealed with Love stamp set and Early Espresso ink.
  • The belly band was created using the Succulent Garden Designer Series Paper.

Spread Kindness, Valentines, Stampin' Up!

 

  • Die cut the heart using the Sweet & Sassy Framelits using Watermelon Wonder cardstock.  Then Texture emboss the heart die cut using the Falling Petals Textured Impressions Embossing Folder.
  • The Lace Doilies in the Occasions catalog on page 51 are delicate and perfect for any project.  I simply added underneath the belly band.
  • Lastly, die cut the word Love using the Sunshine Wishes Thinlits and add to the heart using a few Mini Glue Dots.

 

Spread Kindness in the Mail

Spread Kindness, Valentines, Stampin' Up!

 

I couldn’t help but create a card using the same theme as the box.  Let us not forget that sending love in the mail is the BEST.  We need to send more of it.

 

Be Inspired

One last thing before I go, I was so inspired by the holiday season because of random acts of kindness.  Not once, but TWICE I was in the Starbucks drive thru and my drink order was paid for by the person in front of me.  Honestly, it blew me away.  It’s only happened once before in my life.  This inspired me to keep the random act of kindness continuing.  It feels SO good.

While the holidays may be over, let’s continue to spread the love and continue to spread kindness.  Think big and the entire YEAR, not just Valentines.

Now be inspired by the other great designers from the Creation Station Team.

Simply click the buttons below and hop along and see more LOVE spread.

Creative Gift Packaging, Creation Station, Stampin' Up! Creation Station Spread the Love, Stampin' Up!

 

New Exclusive Tutorial Available!

January Tutorial, Spectacular Birthday Cake Crazy, Stampin' Up!

Exciting news.  The January Exclusive tutorial is available and it’s AWESOME.

12 beautiful projects to inspire your creativity.  Each project has step by step instructions.

You can receive this tutorial 2 ways:

  1. Purchase $50 in my Online Store and this tutorial will be sent to you for FREE- 59 pages of AMAZING creativity.
  2. Purchase the tutorial HERE for $15.  You will automatically receive the tutorial download after purchasing.

If you are a tutorial subscriber, this tutorial was emailed yesterday to you.  Please email me directly if you did not receive it.  

 

Price: $110.00