Saturday, December 5, 2009

GOD IS AND ALL IS WELL.........

The word stamp that is to my left right now on my Emboss Resist card, has become one of my very favorites in the last few years. Let me start off this post by saying that I don't call it A Stamper's Diary for nothin.....I really pour my heart out here and if that kind of thing makes you uncomfortable, you may want to exit now. For the last three years or so, actually maybe even 4 or 5, I have felt pretty dry spiritually. I think we go thru times of loving God passionately and feeling HIM almost constantly, to times of severe drought where at times, all I could say is "God is, and all is well" to get myself thru. I blame it on menopause....cuz menopause has big shoulders - us women have been blaming menopause for years now.....there must be some truth to it!! Anyway, just recently, I have started to FEEL God again. Was God on vacation for the last 5 years. I think not. I know not. God is always there, it's just LIFE that makes us check out from time to time I think. But you know even in my times of deepest doubt and confusion, I could always say with complete sincerity, "God is and all is well." Breaking through, which I have been doing lately almost makes the drought worth it, cuz lately I have had several times of feeling intense closeness to God, almost like HE is sitting in the room with me keeping me company. This is my theory of what happens, or at least what has happened to me. Somehow, no matter how much we know we are wrong to do this, we think if we follow God, life will be easy.
Then when it's NOT easy, like things don't turn out perfectly, and everything
does not go our way, we sort of start building a wall of bitterness. I think I have been constructing this thing for years. Hey, life is hard. And I have probably led a charmed life compared to many, but somehow, I still constructed this wall that said, "HEY listen God, I tried to do everything right...I raised my kids just how I thought you wanted me to raise them, now why are they struggling so much?" And slowly~ each one of my kids has made their peace with God and followed after HIM, just like I prayed all those years, but there were detours along the way, and now as adults, they struggle with trials I would just not choose for them health wise and even in other ways......and I guess I was shaking my fist at God and saying WHY??? You know what, God can take it when we shake our fist at HIM. Remember when one of your kids said "I hate you" when they were young? I can still feel the pain thinking about it, but it never made me stop loving them and I always knew they didn't mean it. Same thing with God. HE has been patiently waiting for me to come around, and lately, little by little, I am coming around. The intense worry that I struggle with has more and more turned into me saying, "God this one is WAY too big for me, Take my child,
and turn their mourning into joy, turn their ashes into beauty, I cannot do it for them." I am learning to let go and let GOD. And isn't that the whole reason we walk this earth? To grow closer and closer to HIM? Count it all JOY when trials come upon you......HE SAYS THAT!!! WELL.....this morning I had an incredible break through with GOD. Note the FRIENDSHIP card to my left. How many of you have had a friendship where you just KNOW God brought that person into your life at just the right time and they become a life long confidant, friend, sister, companion in this journey.....I am so blessed to have this person in my life. This morning this person texted me and asked me to pray for her adult children.....and could not share details but just said that they need prayers more then ever. I felt the strongest urge to just stop everything I was doing and pray. Lord, please be with these beautiful children of yours, whatever they are going thru let them feel your everlasting arms everywhere and all around. Take them in your arms and rock them. Hold them close and tell them everything is going to be okay. Heal them. Touch them. Walk with them through this valley. Bring them up. Bring them out. Make them shine. Wrap your loving arms around them and don't let them go. Be with my friend who is closer then a sister.....give her your peace that passes all understanding. AND AS I PRAYED for this friend who I love like a sister, I felt HIS arms rocking me, holding me, and I heard HIM saying,
I am still here Karen, I have never left you, I have never forsaken you, I am waiting for you to return to me, HEART AND ALL....I will always be here.....and I wept and I prayed and I wept and I prayed and when I stood up, I felt like God was lifting me up, and I am back on my feet again, and I am saying, "I am sorry God, I am sorry I ever doubted you - I am sorry I ever mistrusted you, I love you, I am back, HOLD ME CLOSE, don't ever let me go, rock me in your everlasting arms......with renewed passion and newfound JOY, I can say and say it with conviction, "GOD IS, AND ALL IS WELL. " Until next time, remember, GOD LOVES YOU and wants to hold YOU in his everlasting arms.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A GRATEFUL HEART.......

You know....sometimes it's hard to remember to have a grateful heart. I want to remember to have a grateful heart. I don't know how many times I have fervently prayed for something to happen and then when it does, I forget to turn right to God and say thank you. More often, I remember to complain when my prayers are NOT answered. I also want to interject here that that is Black Magic on my right.....you must be all getting sick to death of my Black Magic with a White Twist creations, but sorry to say, I am not.....it's my favorite technique and one I return to time and time again. For those of you NOT sick or it, or better yet, NEW to it, scroll down a few blog entries for a tutorial. Now, below this card is an emboss resist snowflake card- emboss in white and then smear with color - another favorite technique of mine. Okay, back to the subject at hand which is having a grateful heart.....can I tell you a story of something that happened to me that gave me a grateful heart - so grateful that the feelings swelled up inside me and I cried my little eyes out? About.....oh......maybe....who really knows, 5 or 6 months ago, I got an email from my daughter Jen and it said, Mom, Tovah asked me to ask Gramma Karen to please send her some pretty hair ribbons.......oh my....that's all I need to hear from one of my 7 sweet grand daughters. Tovah and Lami live in the Congo, East Africa where their parents are missionaries, and hair ribbon I am thinking is pretty scarce. Anyone who knows me knows that I probably did not stop at sending them a few little hair ribbons. I think I sent enough ribbon so that when they have children of their own, (Tovah and Lami that is)there just may still be some left. :) I packaged up a really sweet little package with lets see.....polka dot ribbons in at least 6 different colors, white satin ribbon, organdy ribbon, gros grain ribbon, and we are talking SPOOLS here people....every color their little hearts could desire......fat ribbons, skinny ribbons, elegant ribbons, and cute ribbons. Then of course a good gramma can't JUST send RIBBON, lets see,what
else can I throw in there....Starburst, no chocolate to melt but Starburst would be okay, and Lip gloss, cotton candy, watermelon, mango, and strawberry....let's see, what else can I throw in there, a few stickers would be sure to bring smiles to their pretty little faces.....and of course- birthday cards.....so i made them each a House Mouse card,,,,and I even found one for Tovah who dreams of being a ballerina - of a House Mouse ballerina!! (Tovah once told me that when she grows up she wants to be a ballerina animal vet dentist - hmmmm....that would give her quite a trade to fall back on, eh?)So I made two quite beautiful cards for their birthdays, all pink and pretty....and I put it all into a little mailer along with a piece of my heart and mailed it to the Congo. Little package cost me like $20+ just to send if I remember correctly, and in hind sight, I probably should not have sent that much ribbon overseas to a country that does not have the best track record for getting packages to where they are supposed to go.....but you know what they say about hind sight........So as the weeks went by I sort of dreamed of how excited they would be when my little package finally got to them. The other one of my grand daughter's who loves hair ribbon is Layla....but Layla is a little lady. Most of the time it is the feminine side of Layla that you see. Tovah on the other hand, though she LOOKS just as feminine can go from feminine to rough and tumble tom boy in the blink of an eye. But this little girl LOVES hair ribbon and pony tails, and tutus. So I would imagine her squealing with delight when she got my package, and it would make me warm all over......and it sorta eases some of the deep pain I can feel just missing them so badly that tears are always just right there, ready to make their way down my cheeks.....Every couple of weeks I would say in an email, "Jen, did you
get the package yet with the hair ribbons?" and it was always returned with, "Not yet mom, but it can take a long time - we'll keep watching...." In the meantime I sent another big package out with someone traveling out there from their mission and I kep thinking why oh why did I try to send thru the regular post office.....my heart was breaking thinking they will never get that package.....some other little girls are enjoying it somewhere......and I would try to be happy about that. I even prayed about it quite a bit and my prayers would go something like this, "Now I realize that in the grand scheme of things, what with wars, and rumors of wars, famine, hunger, poverty, abuse of all kinds, etc etc etc and the list goes on, that my little package to Tovah and Lami is small stuff.....but Lord if they could just get that package I will feel so happy.....I will feel so blessed....I will be so grateful.....because I sent a piece of my heart out with that package and somehow picturing those two girls with ribbon in their hair and lip gloss smeared up to their cute little noses and mouths full of Starbursts.....while they squeal over the cute cards I made them......well Lord.....it just eases my pain somehow.....but I do know it's small stuff God......and as the months dragged on, I figured I was right, it was small stuff, and I should just be happy to think of some little girls somewhere enjoying my gift to Tovah and Lami. Somehow, that was not a lot of comfort. I asked Jen again and again and again and
again, "No ribbon package yet, huh?" and then one day she said, "I am going to ask Davis to ask again because recently one came that had been mailed months and months ago from Gramma Crocetti." Interject here, the card above this is just watercoloring - but this one to the left I am pretty proud of as I threw away 3 or 4 attempts at sketching on this silhouette stamp before I made this one I love....pretty sweet, huh? Back to my story......while getting ready for work the other day my cell phone dinged or whatever to let me know I had a text. Jen and I have discovered we can text - such joy!!! I went over and picked up the phone and thot "Oh no, something must be the matter because we just talked on Saturday,,,,I hope they are safe, etc etc etc which is what ALWAYS goes thru my mind when I am about to hear from them and this is what my text said.....and I quote, "davis found the package! thank u lord!! the girls r putting on lip balm now:)" I just sat down at my kitchen table and cried so hard I had to go put my face back on for work before I left the house. Thank you Lord.....my girls by now are smeared up to their cute little noses and I am sure they have ribbons in their hair by now and Starburst in their mouths and they are squealing over the mouse cards......Thank you Lord, that you love me enough to really truly care about my small stuff. All is right wtih the world, Tovah has her hair ribbons from Gramma Karen! Until next time - remember - God really does care about the small stuff!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

36 YEARS...MARRIED TO THE SAME GUY!!!

Happy Anniversary to me!! Yesterday was 36 years and counting......wow....I can think back to our wedding day, and I remember some good friends of our family, passing thru the reception line and saying, "25 years and we are still happy, don't let anyone tell you it has to be any different" and then after they walked away and we said all the wow polite things, I looked at Keith and said, "Man, they are OLD!!" - And here we are married 36 years.......and well, uh, yah, getting OLD. Keith surprised me last night - I didn't know he would be making it home at all and when I got home there were flowers on the table and flowers on the counter, and a candlelight dinner on the table. SWEET. Life is good, but I will just say here that life is not easy. Marriage is good, but marriage is not easy. Raising children is good, but raising children is not easy. Watching your adult kids live adult lives is good, but it is not easy. Three of our four kids have been battered with trials this last month, and the fourth had her share a little earlier in the year. Life is hard. No two ways about it. We have watched one of our kids struggle with tough, grueling health problems. The other two have struggled with serious issues of waiting on God for some needed things to happen.......and some wanted things to happen. I think it's harder to
watch your kids struggle then it is to just go thru stuff yourself. Every day I remind myself that Jesus holds each one of them, and loves each one of them more then I do. I will tell you one thing...without knowing Jesus, I don't think we would be here talking about 36 years together. One of the sweetest friends I have met since moving to Ohio is struggling with brain cancer. I think she is one of the sweetest people on earth. Hard hard stuff to understand. There are so many things like that that touch all of our lives.....how do you get THRU this life without God? I just don't know. Okay- about these cards - the top one is made with the Big Shot- so much fun. I bought a dress for a baby that's not born yet - my hairdressers baby, well actually by now she probably has been born - but I bought her a dress and sweater that I fashioned the card after - that was fun. All punches and big shot dies. The second one - with the Autumn leaves is made by stamping the leaves with versamark on designer paper and embossing with clear powder and then brayering over the top with a dark color, (chocolate chip) over and over until the design barely shows thru but is highlighted by the emboss resist. This was a fun one. I saw the technique while blog hopping one day done with other stamps - and I am sad to say I have no idea whose blog I was visiting......anyway - that is a fun technique. The blogger called it Faux Joseph's Coat - so cool!! Then, this next one is my beloved Black Magic with a White Twist again, I can only go so long without creating a Black Magic card and then I get withdrawal. This one is done in Black Magic and then I clear embossed over the top - The background on this card is created by taking the same stamp and just stamping it over and over very close together - my favorite way to add texture to a background. This is from the new set called Charmed in SU's spring mini catalog. If you should want to order it, you can go to my website linked on this blog and online order it from me - I will LOVE you for it - and you will LOVE me for it!! What an awesome set!! If you do order this set and let me know, I will send you several more samples via email made with it!! All these ovals come from the SU punches and Big Shot Dies. I am sort of crazy for ovals.....I will buy every oval they ever come out with. What's up with that?? At the end of this month, I have my ladies from eastern Ohio coming to stamp away the whole weekend, like last year only this year we extended it from an overnight to a weekend - we had so much fun last year but it just went by tooo tooo quickly!! So this year we will stretch it out a bit. Well, I hope this post hasn't been too depressing. Life is hard, but life is good. And if we remember that as Christians, we are just a passin thru.......then it makes the trip easier. Some day HE will come back, and take us to be with HIM. There will be no more tears,
no more pain, just everlasting JOY in HIS presence and we will understand then what these trials are all about. COUNT IT ALL JOY. That's a tough thing to do, but these bodies are wasting away but inside we are becoming what HE wants us to be!! Ending here with my Happy Halloween card.....I have this one on my desk at work.....I have a card dancing in my head right now but it's bedtime....and I am going to listen to the little voice in my head that is saying, "Go to bed you moron....you will not be able to get up tomorrow otherwise" - and that card will have to keep on dancin......and then tomorrow night I will let it out. I love stamping......don't you??? Remember God see's the whole picture, and we don't and someday, someday, SOMEDAY, we will understand. I wish you all a wonderful fall.......remember God LOVES you!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Wherever you go.....go with all your heart......

I love the saying on this great new hostess set - it says, "Wherever you go, go with all your heart" - and it really makes me think of "stuff" that went down this week at SU and SCS. Stampin'Up! clarified our IDA - Independent Demo Agreement which is our agreement that we will represent and sell for SU and only SU.....in recent years with blogs and facebook and twitter, the lines had blurred and there were many BLURRY situations that were going on and SU felt it was time to clarify. Of course, as with ANY change, this was met with lots of opposition from all sides. So much stuff got exaggerated and twisted that I started calling the postings, the TWIST AND SHOUT FORUM....cuz literally, demonstrators along with the general public were doing just that. When it comes right down to it, I signed on to sell SU products and all direct sales companies have these rules. Eventually, everyone will decide to either comply and sign, or move on. And I hope we all end up respecting eachother for whatever heart wrenching decisions we come to. For me it's a no brainer easy thing - I may be friends with a lot of other companies, enough to appreciate their products and use them occasionally - but I am "married" so to speak to SU, for better or worse, they are my company. They have given me financial security along with self confidence, balance and friendships that no price tag can be attached to. I will die with a stamp in my hand, and most likely it will be an SU stamp since 99 times out of 100 that is the namebrand you will find in my hand......and in the end, I think we should all do what the new hostess set stamp says, "Wherever we go, we should go with all our hearts" - For me that means representing and selling for my first love, SU. :) Maybe this all sounds corny, but the agreement we enter in to is not so different from a marriage. I just hope that when all is said and done, we can all go back to being stamping friends and accept and love eachother enough that the "us and them" mentality fades into nothingness. This set over here on your left - another great new hostess set - it has some of the most wonderful word stamps in it as well... All these great new hostess sets- maybe you want to have a catalog workshop - or better yet - a REAL workshop- - give me a call.....or maybe you want to become a demonstrator and join my group.......only SAY THE WORD......I can tell you first hand that SU rocks!! Can you believe that this is like my SIXTH attempt too post this blog tonite????? I always get down on myself for waiting so long between blogs, but then after an episode like tonite, (and I still have not been successful yet at actually posting this as I type now.....)I think maybe blogging just is NOT for me....but my plan is to begin posting in shorter increments - like one card at a time......maybe I can handle that better.....someone once told me to have success blogging you post one card at a time, get in and get out as fast as you can, I thought that was pretty funny.....but there is probably wisdom to it.......so anyway - I promise not to let this much time go by....I have received several emails asking me when I was going to update my blog and one even said just simply, UPDATE YOUR BLOG!!!! Made my day actually cuz sometimes with a diary you feel like you are talking to yourself and it proves other people are listening. So anyway, I promise pics of the new grand daughters next time, I had to share my thoughts and feelings about the "stuff" going on at SU right now......from now until we meet again, Remember, Wherever you go......go with all your heart.......I think that's mighty good advice for just about everything in this thing we call LIFE!! Keep on spreading the JOY of STAMPING!!~

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's a WAITING GAME......

I thought I would download a couple of more Black Magic with a White Twist cards since I just did the tutorial for them before this entry....just to show a couple of different things you can do with that technique. I was frustrated with the detail on the first card here....but overall when I got it done I liked it okay. :) I call Black Magic with a White Twist my "have faith" technique, cuz you work on it all the way through thinking, "Man THIS doesn't look like much....." and then when you add the white gel pen it sort of jumps off the page.....and says, "Well what do you think of me NOW???" Life is like that, so many times it's a waiting game. Seems like we are always waiting for something. Sometimes I listen to people and they seem to always want it to be Friday....so they can get to the weekend. It's kinda weird because Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday all have something to offer too, but ever find yourself just waiting for them to be over, cuz Friday's comin'?? Isn't that WEIRD when you actually think about it- that's our LIFE we are wishing away......I guess the older I get the more I realize I want to embrace EVERY day, not just the weekends!! How did I get from Black Magic to waiting patiently?? Oh yes, waiting for the card to look good.....it's a work in progress just like us. I think a lot of times we think, "If I just get the right job", or if "I just lose some weight", or WHATEVER.....but it's cool to think God Loves us just the way we are.......and when we mess up HE is right there to forgive us and take us back again. HE knows we are a work in progress too, HE sees us whole, not all broken like we see ourselves. HE is just working away on us, chipping off the rough edges and smoothing us off.....making us soft and pliable....and someday, though we may not look so perfect now, HE will look at us and say, "Wow - I'm glad I stuck with that project"... ever see that little kids t-shirt that says, Be Patient, God isn't finished with me yet" - That's how I sometimes feel. Anyway, when you work with this technique try to hang in there till the end of your card because it will not look pretty when you first start. And remember, whatever you are waiting for in life is probably worth waiting for, but enjoy the journey too. I think the only thing harder then waiting for something is watching your children wait for something that they really really want. One of my children is going thru something like this now, and it breaks my heart. I wish with all my heart I could just give my child what she wants....but God is in control and so we wait. I have faith that in the end what she wants is going to come to pass, and what a day of rejoicing that will be.....but until then, we wait, we cry sometimes, and we trust in a loving God who sees the whole picture and says, "Wait my child, wait". And in the meantime, we are enjoying the journey. Have a blessed week, and remember that God sees you as perfect and loves you just the way you are. Happy Stamping until next time......


Friday, May 8, 2009

TUTORIAL - FINALLY- BLACK MAGIC WITH A WHITE TWIST!!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!! Here with my very first tutorial....I am kind of hopeful because I have gotten this far,,,a tutorial on this blog has to be built from the last part to the first part so I am almost done here!! If it just loads without wiping anything out I am going to do the dance of JOY! So here is the completed card you are going for....or at least here is the completed card that has the strip of Black Magic with a White Twist which is the technique you want to learn to do....I DO love this technique.....and I hope you have as much fun with it as I do! Gee, I am even blabby in tutorials.....anyway - here we go.........

Choose a solid image stamp and stamp it on dark cardstock with white craft ink. You can use black, brown, grey, or any other color. Way back in my blog I even experimented with some lighter colors like River Rock and that was also very striking! The technique is called Black Magic but you can really experiment and use it on any color cardstock - brown is one of my very favorites to use!! Once you start with this technique it gets kind of addicting and you find yourself buying all kinds of solid stamp images. Way back in my blog I even experimented with some outline stamps- it works if the image is more solid then not - like on the old Floral background stamp - I have one with that stamp way way back on my blog.....take a journey- you will see Black Magic all the way through my blog. I can only go so long without creating a new one - I just LOVE this technique!




Use your heat tool to dry your white craft ink stamped image - or you can let it sit out long enough to dry but it's much quicker with your heat tool!







See I have chosen two colors for each flower or leave. Make sure they are sharply contrasting. That is what makes the shading so dramatic and the colors pop is starting out with very pale pink and shading with red! Starting out with such a pale blue it's almost white and then shading with a bold, bright blue, and then using two very colors of green, one is a spring green that is bright and I used a hunter green to shade. If the colors are too close, you will not get the great contrast and shading that makes the Black Magic Technique so effective!! Experiment with your colored pencils. Make sure you are using a pigment pencil, like pure colored pencils or those other famous ones that artists use - I forget the name right now but make sure they are PIGMENT pencils! Do not be afraid to bear down when applying color- that's how you get it to POP by really bearing down.
You start by applying the colored pencils in a very light shade solidly to your entire image. You can see if you stopped here it's pretty bland...but that's where you start and then you build color on color- you can see in the leaves on the right that I started out with the light shade of green and then used a darker color of green to shade the leaves. See how they pop when you shade them? But you have to start with that very pale shade and then build onto it.



Here is how it looks after you have shaded - you can see the flowers on the left have NOT been shaded, (the blue ones I mean) and the flowers on the right have been shaded -this step is crucial to making the colors come alive - Note how the leaves pop after the second shade of green is added for accent - and don't forget to leave enough of your original color on there so that the contrast is evident. (don't get carried away with the second shade because it looks so much prettier because part of why it looks so much prettier is the contrast between the first layer of color and the second!! Control yourself with the shading and you will be so much happier with the final result of your masterpiece - it's just so pretty that writing about it makes me wanna go make another one!! You will love this technique once you get going with it - Trust me!!
After you have finished applying both the base layer of lighter colored pencil and then shaded with a darker shade of similar color, then you are ready to apply the white gel pen which will make your images POP!! This is the part I thought of on my own, (proud moment here) I always loved the Black Magic technique but sometimes it just looked DULL to me when I was finished and like it blended into the background too much. So I played around with a white gel pen, added a bit here and there and that is when I fell in LOVE with this technique - with the white gel on top for POP!! Try it - you will see what I mean - I call them my have faith cards, because all the way thru they look dull and boring and then POP! As soon as you add the white - they come to life and sing you a song!!
This background is just the small flower stamp from Simple Friendship repeated over and over and over and over.....I used the eyelet punch to make a lacey border, I paper pierced along the border of the main panel, I embossed Happy Mother's Day on the center of the card, and added a one hole bow with that yummy white satin ribbon in the spring mini catalog.....(which incidentally can be dyed to any color in our entire spectrum of gorgeous colors with just a sponge dauber and a well inked pad!!



So here you have it - the final card!! Once you start playing with this technique I promise you you will not be able to STOP!! It's one of my favorite things to do, and I can only go so long before I just have to come up with another Black Magic with a White Twist card! If you wander way back in my blog you will see gobs of samples using it, and there are lots on my SCS gallery too! I hope you have as much fun playing with this technique as I do!! Go make one now!! :O) Before you forget how!! I can't believe I finally got through my first tutorial!! Happy Stamping everyone!!







Thursday, April 16, 2009

OUT OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART, THE MOUTH SPEAKS.....


Today I am sure was one of THE hardest days in the history of Stampin'Up! for each and every member of their team at the home office. Fifty employees at the home office had to be layed off from their jobs. SU announced that it would be happening a month in advance. It must have been an excrutiatingly long month as they all waited to see who would stay and who would go. This morning one of the dear people who we all love and respect greatly put an entry on her blog that told her story - and shared some of her hurts. As a demonstrator, my heart goes out to all the wonderful people who lost their jobs. I put a comment on this employees blog telling her she would be sorely missed, but you know what, it's not MY PLACE to decide if she was treated fairly or not. Lay offs cause deep hurt and it is understandable that she and others were hurt. Here is MY GRIPE. I went on Shelli's blog to see if she addressed the issue at all. Heaven knows she was not obligated to open herself up like she did to all the comments and advice she was given on her blog today. Can I just say, I am almost ashamed, no, not almost, I am ashamed of many of my fellow demonstrators at some of the callous, heartless, hurtful statements they made concerning the lay off. Don't worry, I won't mention any names- in fact I can't because the demonstrators who left scathing and rotten comments didn't happen to mention their own names, they just signed it with things like "sad demo" and "upset in IL" - Man I will never write a bunch of negative stuff on someones blog and not have the guts to sign my own name to it. If I am too ashamed to sign my name then chances are I shouldn't be writing it in the first place, eh?? I just had to sound off and say what is going on inside of ME now, because it just makes me so angry. They said things like the 3 mentioned were the 'FACE OF STAMPIN UP, THE HEART OF STAMPIN UP - AND IF THEY AREN'T THERE ANYMORE THEN I'M NOT EITHER...ETC ETC ETC. It amazes me that in the face of the grief that everyone is already feeling at Stampin'Up! they can rub more salt in the wounds, (to borrow a phrase that one demo used on the blog) HOW TRUE. Shelli isn't hurting enough already but we as demonstrators need to spew all this poison on her blog. There is no easy way to lay off 50 people. There just IS no EASY way. I know Shelli enough to know these layoffs were not done without many tears and many prayers. And no THREE, OR MAINLY TWO PEOPLE ARE THE WHOLE ENTIRE HEART OF STAMPIN UP.....what about Pam Morgan, Selma, Carrie, Shannon, Courtney, the SAMS, Ann, oh gosh I could go on and on - what about SHELLI - the heart and face of Stampin'Up is made up of MANY and yes, this is sad, and it's a blue day, but honestly, no one has the right to say hurtful, rotten, terrible things when we don't know what went in to these decisions. Let's get BEHIND Shelli and pray like she asked us to instead of trying to figure it all out. It's really not our place. And yes, it will be sad at Convention this year not to see those familiar faces.....but come on friends, this is not a reason to not go on supporting this fantastic company. Maybe you need to be around for a while and work for some other kinds of places but Stampin'Up is an incredible place - run by incredible people....and I am baffled by people who judge when they don't see the whole picture. Can't we express our love and support for those who were let go, but also express our love and support to those who had to make these difficult decisions? And at the very least, if you have to say something negative, at least have the courage to give your NAME. Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. I think we all need to reach down into our hearts and try to dole out a little sympathy for everyone involved all the way around, and hold our nasty comments and judgements back. I'm sorry for this big long epistle, but I already left 2 comments on Shelli's blog - and for some reason I keep going back and torturing myself by reading the comments. Many have nice things to say, but oh those mean ones are just SO MEAN, and I can only imagine the tears that are flowing - on account of the thoughtless words. Come on demonstrators, suck it up - life happens, hard things happen, the economy is bad, and it's not anyones fault. How can you say if little bags were not given to people to put their Hawaii tickets in then three peoples jobs could have stayed in place???? Listen to yourself, and watch your words......hasn't it already been a painful enough day at Stampin'Up without causing more by careless words? I feel better, just getting this out.......hey- it's a stamper's diary, and sometimes you gotta talk to your diary when you just feel like no one else will listen........if you have any negative comments to make on this entry - either keep them to yourself or at least be courageous enough to sign your name. Say a prayer tonite and tomorrow and the next day and the day after that, for everyone at SU......those layed off and those who remain.......and especially for those who had to make these decisions and implement them. And to all those demonstrators who decided they aren't going to go to convention because a layoff had to happen, how sad. I will go with a certain sadness for all fifty employees who had to be let go, but now more then ever we should be supporting this awesome and wonderful company with our presence and our prayers.



Saturday, March 21, 2009

WELCOME LITTLE ONE......BROOKLYN SOPHIA ARRIVES......

On Wednesday, March 18th, 2009, our SIXTH little grand daughter made her way into this big world.....and the chain of girls goes unbroken. :) Brooklyn Sophia weighed 8lbs, 2oz and was born to our son Mike, and his lovely wife Jenna, and to her "big sister" Layla Paige. Each time it is just as wonderful as the first time......and can I just say, technology today is something else, we had pictures over our phones only MINUTES after her birth.....(if I was computer savvy I would have downloaded one from the phone but hey, you're fresh out of luck there.....) We went through the labor and delivery with our son texting us all thru the day, and I am afraid Dr. Sato did not get the best from me on Wednesday because my feet were off the ground, considering the wonder of it all, our newest precious bundle of joy, with all her fingers and all her toes, and God is in HIS heaven, and who could ever doubt that when they see a newborn baby? I am busy looking for a good ticket - NEW YORK BOUND ASAP!!! Thank you God for the safe arrival of our precious Brooklyn Sophia.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Stamping in my Dreams......

Lately, I've been getting up after I go to bed to stamp some card that keeps racing around in my little pea brain.....man I hate that cuz like the next day at work my brain is like fried.....(that's how it was today......) I get sleepy way before bed time and I think I can't go to sleep this early so I push myself to stay up, and when I should be doing taxes or something productive like that, instead I run up to my warm and cozy room and make the latest card that has been bashing to and fro in my head....and then I sit up too late, and then I can hardly drag myself awake in the morning, but I get up and start over. This card to your left is where you take an envelope, lick it shut....(lick it shut??, errr...you know what I mean, seal the thing) and then you cut it off at the bottom of the licked part. Then you crimp and decorate the bottom of your envy and then put it thru the crimper so the top of your envelope fits over it....and then you make a one layer card to put inside. Ain't that cute and hows that for a super tutorial?? That's about as good as it gets with me. Okay, so for valentines day, keith says lets go get you a laptop - he found out about some place in Cincinnati that was selling refurbished ones cheap....so off we went, thinking we would get back in plenty of time for a nice valentines dinner, and that we could do this quickly. We bought one after calling about 14 friends to make sure we were getting a good deal....and by that time we had to RUSH back to make it before our favoritie Thai restaurant closed. We made it in the knick of time. We both would have been so so bummed if we ended up eating at like Steak and Shake or somewhere lame like that because it took us so long to buy the computer. But here's the thing...that was Valentines Day, and I have YET to use the laptop like a laptop, I can only hook it up to my modem, I cannot make it work with the router. It is so frustrating......I cannot begin to tell you....arghhhhhh......I want to be cool and
sit in my living room like cool people do and why the heck did this thing just change fonts on me.....I hate blogger, I really do.......why is this as hard as making a computer run off a router??? Why am I not cool enough to make it use the same font all the way thru and do it in my living room??? I have to sit with one wire hooked up to my modem and I don't even get the battery thing yet, I am not even sure where the battery IS on this thing or what to do when it dies....a laptop in my hands is like giving a baby a food grinder....like he does not know what to DO with it...ya know? The thing is refurbished and I SWEAR sometimes other people are on it with me. It blows my mind but sometimes I think it's like possessed!! It makes this ding dong noise like ding ding ding ding,,,,,ding ding ding ding.... ding ding ding ding.....only sorta like a grandfather clock and whatever I am doing it just makes that noise right in the middle of it and I'm like okay, WHATEVER....I like don't have a train of thought, it's okay.....whatever I was doing I don't even REMEMBER cuz it's ding donging so loud I can't hear myself think!! Oh, and that card up there was a recent inspiration challenge and my inspiration was the PRETTIEST set of sheets.....now mind you, I could go up there and try to make this font stay pretty like I started out but I would lose the whole darn thing....I WOULD....so I will just stay with being NOT SO COOL...and use this boring font and just be glad I have gotten this far without wiping out a card!! Back to my possessed computer.....maybe someday I will figure out how to make it run off the router,,,,I think I may have to hire this guy I know for 80 bucks an hour....man do I miss my friend John Wollman in New York......never knew how much we would miss our friends PERIOD, just for their friendship, but also for their expertise. :) If I wanna be cool like all the other myriads of folks who use their (oh man it just started ding donging again.....so so annoying)laptops in the living room - then I am gonna have to PAY. That's all there is to it. You need friends you have known for a very long time to bother them with stuff like that. You just can't take those blooming friendships and let them know how lame you are about stuff like this or they will run in the other direction, and who can blame them? My sister's significant other guy Will tried to help me go wireless for TWO HOURS...and he was a bit distracted by the ding dong thing too.......it's a very strange computer indeed..... but I think it's me, maybe more then the computer....like a normal person would have gone wireless a long TIME AGO.....it's gotta be me. And Keith knows less about computers then I do which is....well....bad. Yah, pretty darn bad. We are like the blind leading the blind, I mean he like thinks I know a lot. haha......just cuz I know DENTRIX.......but I have no clue how to even put my email onto this computer...and meanwhile the other one is like slower then molasses in February....I can like take a shower, do my hair and get dressed and it's still loading my email messages.....arghhhh.......I am so pathetic. Like about now, I want that last card to come up......
There we go, and I am so afraid to go close to it and hit delete or try to get that big old space out of there cuz when I try, lots of times POOF, the card disappears!! I'm gonna go try to wipe out that line and see what happens....This card is my masterpiece....I just LOVE this card if I can love my own card......Wow I am pretty impressed with myself - I took out a space without wiping out the card - this is no small thing for me!! This card was made with the three flower punch, another flower punch for the leaves, and lots of patience. I thought I was gonna make a small wreath but it just kept growing and growing and growing...... so anyway, I stink at computers....but my stamping is not too shabby, right? And I'll get this thing up and wireless yet, I will!! I just need to persevere!! Ain't that a pretty card???? I bet the guy with the best computer mind ever couldn't make a card like that?? HUH??? What da ya think?? Believe it or not, it's ding donging again, whose computer does that???? Tell me, cuz I'm not gonna lie to ya, I'm a little afraid of this thing.......and I am not kidding!! Okay, Until next time, if you have any great computer secrets for me, don't hold out on me!! Leave me a comment, ya hear??


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

MY HAPPY PLACE.....

"THESE ARE A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS......" Following THIS post is the original post about my newly painted stamp room..... I just discovered how to add more pictures then five to the same post -but I didn't know how till now so this journey thru my stamp room is divided into two posts........Isn't it so cool to have a happy place like a stamp room? When my husband and I looked at this house, this was a young girls' bedroom. The man who owned our house was a custom closet builder.....and when we went into this bedroom they opened her closet and there was no where to hang clothes, just awesome little cubby holes and I just thought THIS IS THE HOUSE FOR US........cuz heaven knows it took me about five minutes to fill up all of those cubby holes with stampin'STUFF. :) I know you can all relate. So this is my main table where I do all of my creating.....I bought it with Great Rewards money from Stampin'UP! :) I looked at this oak table for about a year before I actually bought it. I used to have those tan plastic tables that give when you try to stamp.... not cool. :) Usually in all honesty my table does not look like this. Usually it is not worthy to take a picture OF it is so covered. It does not seem to matter with me how much space I start out with, I manage to end up stamping on about a foot square space....what's up with that? I am an absolutely sloppy stamper. One of my friends says she cleans up everything in between cards, and I'm like well aren't you somethin???? Just kidding but not really......like who really does that? I just keep piling stuff on stuff until I can't find anything and I think the creative juices flow much better when you are a slob, I really do. Okay, I seriously cannot blab thru all the rest of these pictures, how can I possibly do that?
Here is how I store my ribbon. I was narrowing my Stampin'Up! brand new catalog order down to a manageable size last week and I innocently said to my friend Melanie, "I think I can hold off on ribbon, I think I have enough when there are so many other things I want right now", and she said, "Karen, uh, yah, I think you can hold off alright, you have so much freakin ribbon it isn't funny" and it helped give me a dose of reality. I do have enough ribbon, huh? My friend Melanie is a new stamping person. I helped her see the light. It's so fun to have a stamping friend at work. Someone who speaks the language, she's not totally fluent yet, but she is getting there. It was so cool this year for my birthday, she made my card, and it's a really cute one too!! I make the office cards, so when it comes to my birthday they usually buy one but this year I got a really cute home made one. :) Okay, I seriously cannot think of enough stuff to say to get thru all these pictures~ I seriously cannot. I am fresh out of blab. We are getting a really big snowstorm. Now that's pretty random. But I am hoping a wee bit way down in my heart that we get the day off tomorrow.....we are expecting ice and sleet and snow etc.....and I would love to just hunker down and enjoy my stamp room for a day when I least expected it. :) Here to my left you see an accident waiting to happen, eh? But Luca managed to keep Keith company much of the time he spent painting the stamp room and he never did knock over the paint tray.....or step on the paint lid! Isn't he a cute dog? I sure think so. :) Okay seriously, this will help me get thru these pics in record time. My mom said she loves it when I switch to this font. :) Next pic down is Keith taking us from ugly mint melody to cozy
creamy caramel.....isn't that old paint so
ikky??? So here's Keith......my better half.....BTW, I explained in my first post about the stamp room that this was one of Keith's Christmas gifts to me, to paint the room and now MINE to him, is supposed to be an album of family pictures he can take on his truck with him and now that I have a nice cozy stamp room I can get that underway.... Hey I think I'm gonna end this puppy with a small caption under each pic coming up - why not? DO I have to blab thru the whole entire thing? I think not........so.....here goes.........


Got this really cool card rack at Pottery Barn......it's so cute and I have waited for the paint job to hang it......





This is my antique printers tray that I used for all my weeny stamps.....it's one of my favorite things.......


Some of my favorite cards hanging on my favorite Pottery Barn card rack.........








And here is the way cool closet built by the guy who owned our house before us that was the "sign" that THIS was the house for US!! Who has a closet like this in their bedroom???? A House after my own heart.........


And the outside of the closet makes my room look neat as a pin, (like once in a blue moon right before I take a picture...) And the far shelf is my word stamp and punch shelf that Keith built me........(what would I do without that guy??) And this my friends is the end of your journey thru my stamp room; oh no it's not - there is another post following this one which is the one before I figured out how to add more pics to the same post. I am getting to be a blog expert....if I ever quit my day job I might become a consultant for blogspot......uh......not. Happy stamping everyone! Hope you enjoyed seeing a few of my favorite things, and my Happy Place!!