Archive for Life

Color Me Happy Artisan Hop

Color Me Happy Artisan Hop

It’s time for another Artisan Hop and this time we are inspiring you with the Color Me Happy Stamp Set.  I fell in love with the little chubby birds in this stamp set. You know I love birdies, and it’s even better when they are chubby.  SO dang cutely.

I’ve also written a little update on my life at the bottom of this post.  It’s WAY overdue.


Color with Stampin’ Blends 

It’s great to have Stampin’ Blends as another coloring option.  I find the coloring of any kind relaxing, and this just gave me something else in my line up of coloring tools.

As I was creating my card to share, I realized the images in the Color Me Happy stamp set could be used in so many ways.  In fact, when I first started this first project I was moving towards a Christmas theme, but then suddenly changed it to the sweet birds saying hello to each other.

Color Me Happy, Stampin' Up!


Mix Up Your Coloring Tools

I started this project with watercoloring and a simple watercolor wash on my Stitched Shapes Die Cut circle.  The birds were colored using my Cherry Cobbler and Pool Party Stampin’ Blends.  I start coloring with the lightest color first; then I like to add highlights to the edges of the images using the darker Stampin’ Blends.  The last step is to blend the colors using the lightest Stampin’ Blend over the entire image.

Color Me Happy, Stampin' Up!


I decided my chubby birds would look even better fussy cut and sitting on the branch.  Tip: I stamped the branch using Early Espresso ink, then went over the image with my Aqua Painter to create a watercolor look.

Color Me Happy, Stampin' Up!


The last touch for this card was adding some embellishments.  You can see the complete list of supplies I used at the bottom of this post.  You know I’m a fan of layering embellishments and this card is no different.


Party Lanterns

I wanted to share one more card with you that I created for my stamp club using this stamp set.  I love how this card turned out, and it was a big hit with my stamp club as it gave them the chance to use the Stampin’ Blends.

Color Me Happy, Stampin' Up!


Color Me Happy, Stampin' Up!

Again, this is reasonably simple stamping with a few layers to add interest to the card.
Color Me Happy, Stampin' Up!

Be Inspired!

It’s crazy that the Artisan year is coming to a quick end.  Just one more blog hop with the current team, and then you will be inspired by our new team.  Exciting times for everyone.

Take a tour of the blog hop and be inspired by our Amazing Artisan Team.  Your first stop is Louise Sharp. Just click the button below to follow the hop.

Merry Little Labels, 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



Update Time!

I’m sure you have noticed quite a decrease in the amount I’ve been posting lately.  The truth is I’m swamped with my classes.  I added a class for the later portion of the Fall schedule, and I’m quickly finding out that two classes are BRUTAL.

The amount of reading is the biggest obstacle.  I find myself reading EVERYWHERE. Average per week is around 90-120 pages. I love to read, but even that is a lot for me.   The books go everywhere with me and if I get the chance to soak up a few pages, I will.

This semester I’m taking Philosophy and a Global Missions class.  The classes are amazing, and I love both of them.  Philosophy has my eyeballs spinning most of the time, but it’s so exciting.  The key is I’m surviving, and my family is super supportive.  Makes my heart happy.


Happy Kids!

It’s also been a hectic year for the kids.  It seems like there is always something going on.  Honestly, it’s never a dull moment. I must admit that I love that also.  The kids are super happy, doing great in school and overall enjoying life.


Happy Husband!

Russ is busy fixing up his Mustangs, and our garage now looks like a car shop.  I’m happy that he’s happy and has found something enjoyable to do in his spare time.  His new job that he’s been involved with has been great, and the transition from military to civilian life is finally setting in.  For those of you that have done this before, you know it’s not easy.  The change was challenging.  It’s a new way of life, but God is so good, and he’s blessed us abundantly.

We are a super grateful people.   It’s pretty impressive when I look back FOUR years ago when Russ had his stroke, and now he’s putting Mustang parts together in the living room.  This is precisely what I mean when I say God is GOOD.


Trip of a Lifetime!

Next month Russ and I are taking ourselves and our kids on a trip of a lifetime.  We are headed to Israel to visit the Holy Land.  I am beyond excited and happy that we can take our children to experience this with us.  We are also over the moon that we will be experiencing this with our Pastor and his wife, and he will be narrating the biblical portions of our trip.  Oh, my word… I’m giddy.  I will let you know how that trip goes and I’m sure there will be an abundance of pictures and my thoughts expressed.


Season of Life

While I know blogging has taken a back seat during a new season of my life, please know I’m still at work in my stamp room, just at a slower pace.  God has placed me in this season for a reason, and I love the journey.  If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 1000x… MY plans are not HIS.  I’m following His plan, and it’s SO good.  It’s not easy, but most things in this life on earth are not.

Next month I will be sharing my last project as a Stampin’ Up! Artisan.  It’s bittersweet.  It’s been such a fantastic experience over the last two years.  I’m thankful for Stampin’ Up! whose giving me such a wonderful opportunity and most of all believing in my abilities.  Who knew 14 years ago I’d be able to do something so awesome like Artisan? Two years in a ROW!!  What a blessing.


You are Loved!

Lastly, I love you for reading, the comments you have left and the sweet emails.  Your encouragement is heartfelt, and I can’t express enough gratitude.  XOXOXOXO




Price: $110.00

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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Life is Precious-Love it!

Life is Precious-Love it!

Life… Love it.

Love this Life, Enjoy the Little Things, Stampin' Up!


Sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow- love this life!

I love when we can take a piece of paper and create something to lift up the spirits of another human being.



Enjoy the Little Things

Today’s NEW favorite stamp set should be on every paper crafters stamp table- Enjoy the Little Things.

This stamp set actually coordinates with a fantastic kit that would make a great addition to anyones home, but the stamp set speaks VOLUMES to me.

Enjoy the Little Things, Stampin' Up!


Below is the kit that coordinates with the stamp set.  Look at this amazing kit!  All of these pieces below fit onto a clip board that comes with the kit.

You can find the kit in your Occasions catalog on page 33.  It’s jam packed with products.




Of course you can use the stamp set to make SO many great projects like this one below.




I loved using this set with the Bloomin’ Heart Thinlits Die and Love Blossoms Embellishment Kit.


Love this Life, Enjoy the Little Things, Stampin' Up!


Tips & Tricks 

  • Use the Precision Base Plate and the Magnetic Plate together when using the Blooming’ Heart Thinlits Die.  This helps to cut this intricate die MUCH better easier.  I know that typically we say to not use the Magnetic Plate with the Precision Plate, but for this particular die cut- it works better.
  • If you are die cutting Glimmer Paper, place the die cut so it will cut through the back of the glimmer paper making it easier to die cut.
  • The Big Shot Die Brush can be your new BFF (Bigshot Friend Forever) when using intricate dies.
  • Use the Fine-Tip Glue pen to adhere this die cut onto your cardstock.  It’s perfection when trying to get into the small areas.

I love the “faux” embossed look this card has by placing the Whisper White die cut onto Whisper White cardstock.  Ewwwww Weeeee I love it.

The last thing I added was the trinkets from the Love Blossoms Embellishment Kit.  The Acrylic dots- SWOON!


Love this Life, Enjoy the Little Things, Stampin' Up!



Love this life!  We know that there can be dark days and there are many people around us dealing with hard times.  Lift the spirits of others by sending the paper hug.  This set is PERFECT. Be Brave. Enjoy the little things. Dream Big and let’s not forget to celebrate the joys.

Have an AWESOME weekend, you are loved.


New Month- New Gift with Purchase!

Any $25 order placed in January will receive a FREE gift from me PLUS  my Exclusive January Inspiration Project Tutorials. Use the hostess code below. 

Paper Pumpkin is on SALE. Click HERE to read all the news…

Become part of something EPIC… a community of stampers that is amazing… Join My Team!

It’s a great time to join Stampin’ Up! and my team of stampers is nothing short of AMAZE-ING! Many of these beautiful people have been with me for close to 10 years. We love the product, we love to share and I love to train women both creatively and the business side.  Maybe you are thinking about starting your own adventure this new year… I’d love for you to be a part of this epic journey with us.  Click HERE or contact me today so we can talk one on one.  No experience necessary.  We are ordinary people doing EXTRAORDINARY things!  

Gift with Purchase, Stampin' Up!,

Click the links below to view the products in my Online Store.  Products with the price of $0 means they are Sale-a-Bration products. 

For every $50 you spend from the Idea Book & Catalog or the NEW Occasions catalog you can choose a product FREE from the Sale-a-Bration catalog. 

Comparison! Did I Just Do That?

Yes, I did do that.


Comparing myself to others when I know our worlds are so different.  Our creativity is different.  Our styles are different.  Our seasons of life are completely different, but yet I find myself comparing “ME” to “THEM!”


Comparison is the Thief of Creativity


Do you find yourself doing this? Comparing yourself with someone else or in my case it’s a lot of people.


I mean, I find myself getting angry over this at times.  Like the other person has no right to be doing great things with their life when my own life is a crazy tornado out of control.  This is how my mind can play CRAZY tricks on me.  My thinking is this: If my life is a train wreck we should ALL have train wreck lives.






Of course I bring myself back to reality.  Typically it’s over my quiet time in the morning where I can just meditate and I know that in reality while I think my life is a train wreck, it’s not.



I use to hear this topic frequently at business conferences, but honestly I think this applies to ANYONE business or not.  Moms, friends, everyday peeps, it applies to them.  When I had my babies at home I would compare my parenting styles with other mama’s.  Crap, I find myself doing this today.  In a matter of seconds I can think I am the worst parent on the planet and the other mom is SO amazing.  However, I’m not behind her closed door.  Maybe she is hurting, struggling or even thinking the same things as myself.


Stop Comparing!

When will it stop? When will we be so comfortable in our own shoes that we don’t have to compare ourselves to everyone else? I’m not simply talking about our artistic abilities. I’m talking in everything we do. This is something that steals my joy and creativity so quickly.  What about you?


What can we do for each other?

  • Encouraging each other in all that we do.
  • Uplift each other by sending a card, a text or GASP… pick up the phone.
  • Loving each other for who we are- we will all never agree.  God made us unique.  We need to remember that.  There is no one like me.  There is no one like YOU.  We are all special.


So what’s my point today?

I participated in a fantastic swap recently.  Like Ah-Mazing! I pulled out all my swaps from the gallon bag and I was blown away at how awesome these cards were.

Want to know what I was thinking? I’m a bit embarrassed.

  • Instantly I felt I needed to put my card in the trash-ola.  (granted when I was creating it I thought it was the bomb!)
  • Instantly I felt an overwhelming sense of frustration and resentment for not having the time they must have to create such beauties.
  • Instantly I brought myself back to REALITY! I’m not letting that pesky comparison issue STEAL MY JOY which in turn steals my CREATIVITY.

Again.. I’m Wicked!

Wicked to have these thoughts.  Right?

I love my card. I’m going to share it with you.  I think you will like it too even if you are not a Halloweenie person. Just think of the play Wicked.  It was the BEST.

Friends, do NOT let the comparison bug bring you down.  You are beautiful people.  You have amazing talents.  You are unique because God made you that way.  Rejoice in it.

Let’s talk creativity!

Howl-o-Ween Treat stamp set, Stampin' Up!

I *love* this wicked font.  I think Stampin’ Up! should make an entire alphabet set with this font.  Now, if I could change one thing on this card… “maybe” I wouldn’t have put a doily on it.  But maybe I love the doily? I do love that Happy Haunting Designer Washi Tape.  OH MY WORD.  BATS!!

Howl-o-Ween Treat stamp set, Stampin' Up!

The fact that this Howl-o-Ween Treat stamp set has matching framelits makes me giddy.  TIME SAVER.  It’s a bundle.  Which makes it a savings & time saver.  #savex2

Howl-o-Ween Treat stamp set, Stampin' Up!

Lastly, the colors.  I just dig these colors together.  That Delightful Dijon with the Blackberry Bliss = Yummy!

Okay friends.  The moral to my long story today is we will STOP comparing ourselves to anything or anyone.  We will NOT let “things” rob us of our greatness.  Yes, that’s right… WE ARE GREAT.  It’s okay to say that.  XO



P.S. Don’t forget…

New Stamps in the Mail- Christmas Series

Holiday Catalog is LIVE– Enjoy a shopping trip in your pajamas.

New Weekly Deals. Click to check it out AND the Clearance Rack *might* be updated.






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