Monday, April 30

Bright Blossoms

Summer Smooches ends today...  and no that's not kisses I give Brayden during the Summer...  it's the SU April special promotion ....  the Bright Blossom Stamp Set will be back again June 1st when the new Sampin' Up Catalog begins... if you can't wait.. just be sure to order it today... otherwise it's another 31 days to sit on pins and needles....

Here's two very cute yet simple cards made with the simple little flower in the Bright Blossoms set by Debra Hoekstra.. now see she didn't waste any time....

Razzleberry bright blossoms

Here's to you

Hummm... wonder if this will show up at my June 9th SAS....

Sunday, April 29

Farewell to Flower Fest

Well it's a little discouraging.... when you see the incredibly long list of Stampin' Up Sets and Accessories that are retiring May 31st.... that's the glass is half empty scenario..... so the glass if half full scenario would be ... just think of all the new goodies that will be available really soon!! woo  hoo!

One of the sets that is Going Going Gone... has always been my favorite.. Flower Fest...  Well Mary Fish came up with some quick and easy darling little note cards made using the flowers and butterfly from that set... which fit perfectly into the new Petite Purse Bigz L Die....
Stampin up retired stamps flower fest butterfly punch sponge dauber video demonstrator tutorial
  • Using Stampin' Up! Sponge Daubers to add color to the Flower Fest line images gives a hip, modern finish.  The less precise you are with the color--the better! 
Stampin up petite purse bigz l die big shot die cutting machine retired stamp list video demonstrator tutorial
  • The four mini cards (1 1/2 x 1 3/4") tuck into the Petite Purse. Each card has a single message from the Fabulous Phrases stamp set (fabulous, beautiful, kind, friend). 
Stampin up butterfly punch retired stamp accessories flower fest petite purse die cards tutorial
    The best part about the Flower Fest set was they all were made intentionally to pair with a matching hand Punch... just too easy to be creative!

    Stamp Set: 
    Flower Fest (Wood-Mount 122278, Clear-Mount 122280),
    Fabulous Phrases (Wood-Mount 117002, Clear-Mount 120501)

    Sweet Shop Specialty Designer Series Paper (125408),
    Whisper White (100730)

    Basic Black (101179),
    Calypso Coral (122939),
    Lucky Limeade (122935),
    Pool Party (122938),
    Wisteria Wonder (122936)

    Cool Tools: 
    1 3/8" Circle Punch (119860),
    Butterfly Punch (119848),
    1" Square Punch (for flagged end, 124094)),
    Big Shot Die-Cutting Machine (113439),
    Petite Purse Bigz L Die (125606),
    Sponge Daubers (102892)

    The Perfect Touch: 
    2011-2013 In Color Designer Printed Brads (122940),
    Mini Glue Dots (103683),
    Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)

    Flower fest rubber stamps stampin up

    I'll miss you little flutterbys.....

    Saturday, April 28

    Don't Be Afraid..... of (SU) Changes!

    Many of us are excited but a bit overwhelmed by the size of the STAMPIN' UP! RETIRING ACCESSORIES LIST. WOWZA!  Here is a brief overview with details gathered from Stampin' Up!  I'm hoping this will lessen the confusion. Go to the Stampin' Up Website to view both lists

    Please keep in mind that the retiring products are ONLY AVAILABLE WHILE SUPPLIES LAST.  Many items are discounted!  That means items will sell out so PLEASE DON'T WAIT! Contact me now!

    When you look at the retired accessories list, you'll note that all of our Stampin' Pads are listed. This is for two reasons: (1) Craft Stampin' Pads will now only be available in black and white; and (2) we are introducing a new Firm Foam pad in our Classic Stampin' Pads with the 2012-2013 annual catalog.

    The Firm Foam pads offer better ink coverage and, in turn, better stamped images. They will be available for customer order on June 1.

    In addition, please note the following changes in the new catalog, which explain some of the products appearing on the retired list:
    • Only select Stampin' Write Markers will be available individually (Stampin' Write Markers in color collections will continue to be offered)
    • 12" x 12" Textured Card Stock will no longer be offered.
    • 12" x 12" Smooth Card Stock will only be available in select individual colors and color collections.
    • Any item with an asterisk next to it is being reconfigured.  An example of this could be repackaging, as in the example above of the markers.
    • Craft Ink Pads (other than black or white per above) and Craft Refills will no longer be offered.
    • Classic Ink Refills (other than the retiring 2010-2012 In Colors) will still be available.
    • Stampin' Spots are being discontinued.  Stampin' Up! may possibly reconfigure & sell some of the Classic Ink Spots.
    • Other than the retiring 2010-2012 In Colors, the Stampin' Up! colors are NOT retiring.
    Two items that were included on the Retiring Accessories List are not actually retiring.... Craft Scissors and the Paper Snips.


    I have always been one to embrace change and am very optimistic that the new catalog will fulfill my stamping dreams of dishy new stamps, creative tools, yummy paper and splashy embellishments!

    Friday, April 27

    Special Family Photo Shoot

    Sorry, no, it's not mine I'm talking about (although I do have a very special family!) .... but rememberr Michelle and my friend at work... and all the wonderful professional photos they had taken already of Abigail their newborn daughter.... well this is a story about their photographer, Masen and another special family he encountered... It's a little lengthy.. but sooo worth it... take some time to sit back for a minute and soak this in... oh and get the Kleenex box ready too... I did remove some of the many photos just so you could get the gist of the story...

    A Very Special Family Shoot
    February 2012  A couple of days ago I headed over to Coronado Island to photograph a family I had the pleasure of working with a couple of years ago. At the conclusion of our session, the father told me a story about an incident that occurred shortly after our last session back in 2009. More on that story towards the end of the post…

    To begin, here are a few of my favorite shots from our get together. This couple has two adorable little boys, and they wanted some updated family photos. Check’em out!

    Alright… onto the story. After returning to their home following our shoot at the beach, the father shared this story with me, and I starting tearing up. Seriously.
    I first photographed this family on November 1st, 2009, 2 weeks after the birth of their first son.  Here's that story:

    A New Born Photo Shoot
    November 2009 This past Thursday I headed over the Coronado bridge to meet a special family, and their beautiful new baby boy. He is 2 weeks old, and such an amazingly cute little guy! Here are a couple of my favorite images from our afternoon:

    The next 2 are my favorites from the day. Since Dane’s Dad is a military man, he asked to get a couple shots of his little boy in his helmet, and with the American flag. I was more than happy to accommodate.

    Ok.. now back to the story... (February 2012)

    The Dad is a US Navy Seal, and was sent out for deployment just 2 days after our session back in November.

    Being a father myself, I CANNOT FATHOM having to leave home for an extended period just days after my first child was born. While on deployment, Dad would take that very same American flag, and wrap it around the armor that was inserted into his vest to remind him of his little boy, and why he was serving his country. I can’t get into any detail here, but shortly into his deployment, Dad was shot multiple times in the chest. He survived, thanks to the armor he was wearing around his chest. When we walked into his house, he told me this story, and then pointed to a wall in his living room, where the flag was hanging, with multiple bullet holes torn right through the flag:

    Shivers. That’s about all I can say.

    Dad is just fine, and is still serving our country. I received his permission to take the photos, and to share his story. For that, and for his service, I thank him. This session reminded me of why it is that I do what I do for a living. Because it allows me into the homes and the lives of some amazing people, and to somehow, however little, help document those lives and the amazing stories within.


    Tell me you aren't crying...
    and thanking God.

    Thursday, April 26

    Wacky Bookmarks!

    Can't you kinda sense that school is almost out.. and summer is on it's way?? I think most of the schools are in testing now and that means only a few more weeks of school...

    I saw these darling wacky bookmarks that Debbie Henderson featured... how cute to make for your favorite students.... why would a child not want to read when they have this cute little compaion to mark off their pages.. might be a good summer project for them... to read and make their own bookmarks!!

    Mr. Monster Bookmark is created with the following:
    • Cardstock: Pear Pizzazz, Basic Black, Whisper White, Baja Breeze
    • DSP: Summer Smooches
    • Tools: Pinking Hearts Punch, 1" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Punch Pack (circle)
    • Inks: Signo White Gel Pen

    Mr. Monkey Bookmark is created with the following:
    • Cardstock: Chocolate Chip, Basic Black, Whisper White, Sahara Sand
    • Inks: Chocolate Chip Stampin' Write Marker, Signo White Gel Pen
    • Tools: 1" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, 1/2" Circle Punch, Punch Pack (circle) Large Oval Punch, Owl Punch (nostrils), Stampin' Dimensionals

    Miss Piggy Bookmark is created with the following:
    • Cardstock: Pretty In Pink, Basic Black, Whisper White, Blush Blossom
    • Tools: Blossom Petals Punch, 1/2" Circle Punch, Punch Pack (circle), Small Oval Punch, Owl Punch (nostrils), Stampin Dimensionals
    • Inks: White Signo Gel Pen

    Mr. Lizard Bookmark is created with the following:
    • Cardstock: Garden Green, Poppy Parade, Basic Black, Whisper White
    • Inks: Signo White Gel Pen
    • Tools: Big Shot, Perfect Polka Dots Textured Impressions Folder, 1" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, Punch Pack (circle), Stocking Punch (nostrils), Stampin' Dimensionals

    Wednesday, April 25

    Disappearing Smooches

    I'm loving the new DSP Summer Smooches that has been featured all this month.... for those of us who just can't wait to get our hands on the new merchandise...  you can get it now but remember the offer ends April 30th.. otherwise you'll have to wait until June!

    Here's some more great ideas from Debbie Henderson..... using many of the products from the Summer Smooches special.

    Don't you just love the "3/8" Pleated Satin Ribbon"? So easy to add to a card and I'm crossing my fingers that more colors will be available in the new catalog!

    And loving the new Daffodil Delight Seam Binding...

    Card Supplies:
    • Cardstock: Whisper White, Island Indigo, Daffodil Delight, Tangerine Tango
    • Inks: Wild Wasabi, Island Indigo
    • Stamps: Petite Pairs, Bright Blossoms-available in wood mount & clear mount
    • Tools: Modern Label Punch, Large Oval Punch, 1" Circle Punch, 3/4" Circle Punch, 1/2" Circle Punch, Punch Pack (circle), Stampin' Dimensionals, Sticky Strip, Corner Rounder Punch
    • Accessories: Rhinestone Jewels, Riding Hood Red 3/8" Pleated Satin Ribbon

    And here's another darling example of 
    the new Petite Purse Bigz Die

    Here is the line-up of new products:
    • Daffodil Delight 1/2" Seam Binding Ribbon
    • Bright Blossoms Stamp Set-available in Clear or Wood Mount
    • Summer Smoochies Decor Stencil
    • Summer Smoochies Designer Fabric
    • Summer Smoochies Designer Paper
    • Petite Purse Bigz Die
    • Summer Smoochies Digital Kit
    • Summer Smoochies Photobook Template
    Woo Hoo.... I'm so excited to see the entire line up of products in the new catalog... hope you are too!

    Tuesday, April 24


    One of the gals I work with  became a new mom for the very first time at the end of March!  I've been so excited for her, throughout her pregnancy, sharing stories of the miracle and of motherhood and expressing the importance of her soon to be "new job"... far more important than her current...  I'm afraid inwardly she was always rolling her eyes at me. She wanted to be surprised so didn't find out if it was a boy or a girl, didn't have any names picked out, or at least didn't divulge to any of us.

    Michelle's been pretty much a "career" gal and was pretty sure she'd be right back to work, not skipping a beat... she's obviously a very dedicated worker and loves her job working in Marketing and travels the world coordinating many of our Tradeshows and Conferences .... she worked right up to nearly the day she gave birth.... texting and IMing from home, being sure she was answering emails and following up on her meetings and schedule.... before those first labor pains started.

    Then silence. Nothing for an entire day... then another and another. Sure enough we got the word that Michelle had her baby... it's a girl! The next day she sent me an IM that Abigail was here and that I was right... she's a gift from God and a miracle. She'd never forgotten the things I mentioned, admitted she didn't think it would be as I said... but she now had The Most Important Job in The World.. and SHE ABSOLUTELY LOVES IT.... made me cry!

    Michelle and Abigail are coming to visit today at lunch time. I can hardly wait! They've already had professional photos taken of Abigail and I wanted to share those with you..



    What a treasure.. what a gift...
    and definitely what a miracle... all from God.

    Monday, April 23

    Grandpa's Gardening Tips

    Wow what a wonderful weekend! Saturday I had a very fun Stamp-a-Stack... all the gals were busy as bees working away on all the cards and projects! And to my delight, David and Brayden dropped in for awhile to drop some things off for Jerry... so I got to show off Brayden to the gals ... but most of the time Brayden spent outside and in the garden with Grandpa while I was inside with the girls stamping the day away...

    I'd catch a glimpse of them out in the yard...  I so love watching Brayden with Jerry.... and Jerry with Brayden... bridging the generations for sure.The wisdom of one and the innocence of another... God certainly knows what he's doing planting seeds in the hearts of families...

    Speaking of planting seeds.... that's exactly what Jerry did... teaching him how to plant a garden, water it and watch it grow....

    So his lesson begins, first to start with energy and vitality..
    so that calls for some lunch first...
    Then they start to dig in and plow up the soil with a little shovel and muscle... ready to plant the seeds...  well in this case a little tomato bush to start with...




    Water and Watch... not only is vital to the plant, but to the planter too... having fun along the way and being patient for the result...

    Take time to sit back and think about the accomplishments.....

    Be sure to share your experience with those you love...
    Brayden comes in to cool off and tell Grandma all about it...
    Then comes the reward....
    a feeling of accomplishment and refreshment to the soul
    (and taste buds)...

    Brayden first gave all the gals at SAS a chocolate fudge bar,
    before he sat and enjoyed his own....

    God gives us the soil to cultivate; like our own hearts...
    the seeds to grow; like our own life...
    and fruit as a result; like our family and friends...

    Enjoy the fruits of your labor!