Archive for Teenagers

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. 

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Tutorial Bundle Blog Hop, Stampin' Up!


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The Joys of Parenting!

The Joys of Parenting!

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but parenting is not always a joy.

This week has been tough with my teenagers. Lucky for them they are cute!

You might be new to my blog and don’t let this title scare you.  I have something crafty and fun to share at the end of this post.


Let Them Fall

Over the last few months, Brandon has been struggling with one particular class, Honors Algebra 2.  I was watching his grades and asking him frequently what plan he had in place to get help.  I even went as far as contacting the teacher about tutoring.  However, Brandon felt like he could handle this struggle on his own.  That’s when I watched him fall flat on his face.  It was time he learned the hard way.

Don’t get me wrong.  This was not an easy task on my part.  I don’t particularly enjoy watching my kids fail at something, but when they seem to know EVERYTHING… it was time to let him be in control so he could finally see I’m not as stupid as he thinks.


Taking the Easy Road

This week Brandon approached Russ and I that he was going to drop out of Honors Algebra 2 and take the regular Algebra 2.  I, as well as the school counselor, might have considered this an option if he had done the class assignments and showed an ounce of effort.  Sadly, not the case and Brandon was sure his idea of switching classes was EASY PEASY.

Not so fast Mister! The school counselor called me, and we both chatted that he is SUPER smart and the underlying problem is not spending an ounce of time on this class.  It appears the X-box was slightly hindering his attention.


The Meet Up!

I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t disappointed.  When parenting issues come up, I immediately think about the things I could have done differently.  I picked up Brandon at the bus stop and decided to take him to Starbucks.  I knew I couldn’t get CRAY CRAY in public. This was good for both of us.

He was mopey because his idea of switching classes was not happening.  Obviously,  this was ALL my fault. I let him spill his guts.  I shut my mouth (never happens) and listened.  Once he was done telling me how he should be able to switch classes, tutoring was a lost cause, and he was only going to fail… I stepped in.

When ZERO effort is applied, failure is going to happen.  Had my kid showed a little effort he wouldn’t be in this pickle.  But just like many adults I know, he wanted to QUIT because it didn’t go his way.  If I quit, I can take the easy way out.  That suited him fine. Dang! Only 15 and just like that you want the easy road? WHERE did you learn this, son?

Thankfully we were in a public setting.  It was a genius moment on my part.

Here is the problem, there is no easy way.  Life is not easy and quitting is not an option!

Over and over Brandon kept telling me he failed.  In my eyes failing was changing that class when you never put an ounce of effort into it.  What happened to FIGHTING for something you want?  Even if we do fail at the task, we learn to get back up and start over.

The Solution!

Obviously, Brandon did not get the solution he was hoping for.  Switching classes was not an option.  Had he made an effort, but struggled that would have been an entirely different situation.  However, you chose the easy road of NOT doing anything and expecting to get off easy.

Our house will be quiet with the gaming console in the off position for a little while.  Well, until we see an improvement in the grades and attitude.  Brandon seems to think the gaming community could end due to his parents whacko thinking.  I guess time will tell.

Meanwhile… I’ll be on tutoring pick up duty on Wednesdays and watching my young man learn how to gain control of his work ethic.

Alexis and I are heading to another gymnastics meet.  There is nothing better than spending a car ride with my daughter as she makes her selfies into strawberry, dog, and a fox face at least 100x and then falls asleep.  YAY me.

Parenting has not been a joy this week, but I love them more than they will ever understand.  While they may think I’m an awful parent  (this was said earlier this week) I will march on and know that I’m developing kinder, hard working human beings.  Life is not about taking the easy road.  They must learn to try and if you don’t succeed, try again.  Don’t give up!


Big Monster Hugs

This card couldn’t be more perfect!  Despite Brandon being angry over the situation, he is loved.  A giant monster hug will be perfect for him.  I created this card using the Yummy in My Tummy stamp set.

Parenting, Yummy in My Tummy, Stampin' Up!


Tips & Tricks

  • Create the large polka dot background by using the center piece of rubber in the Monster’s belly.  I used Pool Party and Smoky Slate ink.
  • The monster was stamped onto Watercolor Paper and colored using the Aqua Painter.
  • Download the instructions to create this card HERE.

Parenting, Yummy in My Tummy, Stampin' Up!


Don’t miss out on this adorable stamp set for Valentines.

Parenting, Yummy in My Tummy, Stampin' Up!

Price: $110.00

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Celebrating a Teenager!

Celebrating a Teenager!

Can it be that my baby is really a teenager?

A few weeks ago I told you we were working on invitations for Alexis and I’m super excited to share.


I have to admit that Stampin’ Up! saved the day once again.  The new Occasions catalog had the perfect stamp set to work with- Number of Years!


Celebrating a Teenager, Number of Years, Stampin' Up!


Handmade Happiness

There has not been one year that my princess has not had a handmade invitation.  That’s truth.  She was only 6 months old when I started my journey with Stampin’ Up! and she’s had a handmade invitation ever since.


The only thing I have to deal with now is her approval of the actual invite but I love that she is part of the creative process with me.

Celebrating a Teenager, Number of Years, Stampin' Up!

Turning 13 is a BIG deal.  How soon I had forgotten but she has reminded me daily.

Once Alexis had the colors picked out it was my turn to make it happen.  I think we did okay, what do you think?

You might be thinking to yourself, “Stitching?” Are you for real?

Stitching on cards with a sewing machine is SUPER easy and FAST.  It’s what keeps my elements on the card together and it’s a straight stitch.  Honestly, you can’t screw it up.  I have a regular home sewing machine I believe I bought at JoAnn’s many years back and it works like a dream.

I love how the stitching pulls the ribbon and numbers together and keeps them nice and tidy.


Creating a Party Favor

Celebrating a Teenager, Number of Years, Stampin' Up!


Tips and Tricks-

  • Not only was the invitation easy to create this year so was the party favor.  This adorable Pyramid Box was perfect for her to put a small trinket inside.  Utilizing all the colors she had picked out and of course adding the big “13” made my girls eyes light up.  She is a star at 13! I used the Little Number Thinlits on the box to create the 13.  I love both the letters and number Thinlits.  They are perfect for any project.
  • I used Filter Paper on the front of the box along with a die from the Pyramid Pals Thinlits to create the frayed look.  Once I had all the layers cut from the Filter Paper I used the Tombow Multipurpose Glue to keep it intact.
  • I cut the 1-1/4″ Bermuda Bay Striped Grosgrain Ribbon in half with my Ribbon Scissors and was able to use for both the card and box.
  • The Cutie Pie Thinlit was used to create the Old Olive scallop border at the bottom of the card.
  • I used the Mini Treat Bag Thinlit to create the star border on the party favor.
  • The wooden arrow element was used from the Memories in the Making Project Life Accessory Pack.  You can switch out the wooden arrow with the wooden heart making 6 cards from one pack.  Then use the remaining contents to create fun Project Life album from the event.




I encourage you to look at ways you can create handmade for any celebration.  Not only does it make it special it’s a fun process to get family involved to create with you.  Mothers, Grandmothers alike can enjoy the paper crafting together making memories along the way.


Below you will see all the supplies I used to create both projects.

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Change of Plans- It Happens

Change of Plans

It’s a typical way of life for the Van Deep in Troubles. Never are we not on guard for a quick change of plans and Sunday was no different.

Our well laid plans for Sunday involved a morning at church, proceeded by a fun day at the county fair.  A portion of this happened so I guess I can’t be too disappointed.

We did make it to church this morning and I must tell you even the 23 minute ride to church was unscathed.  As in we all got along and said fairly nice things to each other the entire way.

On a typical Sunday we look like this:

4 crazy people inside a moving vehicle- one still getting ready putting make up on.  Another looking stressed as if we might be late to church.  Another one falling asleep in the back of the truck and now his hair is standing on end.  Then their is me.  Asking questions… such as:

Did you brush your teeth? Do you have deodorant on? Why did you pick that shirt with a hole in the armpit? Do you realize there is a stain on it too?  Are you sure that dress is long enough? What exactly did you do to your hair? You didn’t have a better pair of shoes? Did you realize those are hospital socks and not everyday socks you are wearing?

We arrive at the church parking lot and the questions are still happening, the answers are only making me feel like a crazy mother and then it happens…

We walk out of the car as if we have every thing together.  A family well put together, smiling and greeted at the door.  The greeters always ask, “how are you?”  We always say, “Doing GREAT,” and we continue to walk to our chairs strutting as if the car ride didn’t exist.  We are just F.I.N.E!

Of course I am thankful our service starts with worship and I can sing loudly and get my “crazy mother” moment out of my head.

I’m not kidding at all.  This happens every Sunday except for today.  We actually managed to stay sane.  Of course the shirt incident occurred this morning, I knew if I remotely brought it up it would be the same Sunday as usual.  I let it go. I let it all go.  None of this mattered at all.  I think I tend to think about going to church with my grandmother and if you were attending with her you looked your Sunday best from head to toe and if you didn’t, she was the one talking about you to everyone.  Yes, she was like this.

It didn’t matter at all today.  What did matter was hearing my kids talk about the sermon. It meant they listened.  Even with a stain filled shirt, weird socks, possibly not brushed teeth, they heard the message.  Now whether we see a change in our own hearts… that’s another post for another day.

As we left church today we could see the rain clouds starting to form and knew that our day at the fair probably wasn’t the best choice.  As we rounded the corner to come home there was the lonely pumpkin patch and the kids wanted to pick a pumpkin.  The plan was to get one.  We ended up with 4.

Gourds, Kimberly Van Diepen,

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of all these Gourds.  I wanted a big basket of them but decided on a big pumpkin instead.

Change of Plans, Kimberly Van Diepen,Pumpkin Patch

Alexis struggled to carry hers and in the end Brandon’s stem on his pumpkin broke, it fell and cracked….

It’s the story of our lives.

Our pumpkins are awaiting the big carving as they sit on our front porch.

Do I dare say that I was happy to see rain?

The change of plans meant a day for me to take a nap curled up with my doggie. A change of plans meant a needed REST day.  I was happy!

Onward and upward….

Monday Inspiration 

I did stamp over the weekend and I have some fun cards I’ll be sharing this week.  Here is one I created using the Peaceful Pines stamp set.

Peaceful Pines stamp set, Shaker Card, Stampin' Up!


I loved creating this shaker card using the Perfect Pines Framelits  along with the Holly Jolly Greetings stamp set.

The only thing to make sure when creating this is lining up the tree framelit.  I used the smallest tree in the framelit set to create this card.

Peaceful Pines stamp set, Shaker Card, Stampin' Up!

Using the Brights Sequin Assortment was perfect because they looked like vintage light bulbs to me.

Peaceful Pines stamp set, Shaker Card, Stampin' Up!

I used the Washi Label punch for the greeting and kept it very simple.

The Perfect Pines stamp set is by far my most widely used stamp set in the holiday catalog.  Whether you want to create simple or elaborate the Perfect Pines stamp set is perfect for both.  Click the photos and you can add this set to your shopping cart.

Friends, I hope your weekend was amazing and I hope your week ahead is splendid.  Hopefully your ride to church is a little calmer than ours but know that the Van Deep in Troubles see hope!




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Encouraging Words!

Would you agree that encouraging words are important for anyone? I have found over the last 3 years that encouraging words helped me see an inner strength I didn’t know I had.

I believe that encouraging words are important for all of us and definitely for the two teenagers in my house.

The kids have been in school going on the 4th week.  They are both settling in to their routines just fine.  I’ve noticed however that the kids are tired and you can see the homework dread on their faces.


Recently I started writing little love notes on post it’s and sticking it to each of the kids bathroom mirrors.  I’m hopeful they are brushing their teeth in the morning and seeing a little encouragement can help get them through their day and possibly even make them brush longer.  <girn>


I love how different my kids are and how they deal with these little notes.  Alexis makes sure to tell me how much she loves her notes.  She keeps them hanging on her mirror so she can see them daily.


Brandon on the other hand has not said a word.  His notes are gone but he’s been very affectionate towards his mama lately.  This could be a number of things… like he wants something or just maybe the encouraging words are giving him a little pep in his step. I’m not exactly sure but I can see a difference.


Whether you have kids or not a small note of encouraging words goes a long way.  It reminds me of the 5 Love Languages.  If you have never taken this quiz, I recommend it.  If you are married, I strongly recommend it.  It’s good to know what Love Language you and your partner are.  Click HERE and you can take the short quiz. You will see the PDF version of the quiz at the bottom of the site.  BE HONEST and don’t rush through it.


Tonight my cards are nothing over the top nor are they fancy.  They are something I stamped for my kids with some FUN and encouraging words.  Brandon has a few tests on Friday and Alexis has been so busy trying to manage all things.  I thought these would be fun for them and I encourage you to do the same.  Something like this is filled with love and when it comes right down to it, this IS why we create cards. To show and share our love.


Here is the little note card I created for Brandon.

Words of Truth, Stampin' Up!, Kimberly Van Diepen

Tips & Tricks:

I used the Gorgeous Grunge stamp set to create the perfect teenager background.  Don’t you think? SPLAT!!  I then used the Words of Truth stamp set over the grunge.  Words of Truth is a must have set for all.  Every word will be used by me.  They are encouraging and fun.  I think Brandon will get a kick out of this one.

Words of Truth, Stampin' Up!, Kimberly Van Diepen

To make it little more manly I added a few stars and star sequins.

Words of Truth, Stampin' Up!, Kimberly Van Diepen

When I started creating Alexis’ card I was going to go for my usual layered look but then I thought if one card had more than the other my encouraging words might end up in the toilet as the two compare their cards.  Yes, my kids are at that age.  UGH.

Words of Truth, Stampin' Up!, Kimberly Van Diepen

I kept her card simple only changing the colors and adding hearts for a more girlie feel.

Once again I will place these in their bathrooms and hopefully as they are going out the door they will both have a big smile on their face.

I don’t want to add something to your to do list because if it’s anything like mine it’s a mile long.  BUT… I do want to encourage you to create a small card with encouraging words inside of someone you know that needs it.  You have NO idea how this will impact their life.  It’s really a game changer.  If we all did this more often it could be a life changing experience.

One thing I know, I love you guys and I love that you take the time to read my cray cray stories.

Oh… wish me luck tonight please.  I’m doing my first REAL LIVE local class tonight at my house.  It’s been 3 years since I held a class.  WOW WOW WOW.  I’m a wee bit nervous. I’m SO super excited about the cards I can barely contain myself.  SQUEALS….

Words of encouragement needed…..

Yes.. I plan to share these cards and will have kits to go.  WHOOP WHOOP.


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