Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thankful - Artisan Design Team Blog Hop

Thank-you for joining me today for the Stampin' Up!'s weekly Intentional Artisan Design Team Blog Hop!

Thankful. Grateful. Sacrifice. Honor. I deeply reflected on these words as I designed this project. I felt the need to make this project perfect. I spent a great deal of time on the details and poured a lot of love into it. All because I am truly thankful.

Last week Canada fell victim to two terrorist attacks, on two separate occasions, that cost the lives of two soldiers. Many countries around our globe have fallen victim to this same travesty before us. It is an action that I can not wrap my brain around.

It got me thinking about service men and women. Remembrance Day is on November 11th. A day that we steady our hearts and minds to pay gratitude to all of the brave souls that have served to protect us. My mother raised me to always take that moment of silence. To respect the day and that moment. To stand and honor. To sing our anthem and recite "In Flanders Fields".

And I do. I am raising my children with the same lessons. I share with them the heartache that other countries face. I explain the blessings we have as Canadians.

In these quiet moments and in my lessons to my children we talk about the fallen hero's. Often I forget the lesson about the living hero's. Our neighbors, friends and family members that actively serve us, our country and the greater good of our world.

The events of last week hit home personally for me. We have someone close to our family that is with the Canadian Military. Don't we all? I am sure you know someone that serves. He was my inspiration for this weeks project. Often I forget exactly what he does each day as he steps out of the door to go to work. The danger of his career became very real. To express my gratitude I wanted to do what I do best. Create something and tell the world here on this platform.

For his personal security, and the security of his family, I can not share his name, his photograph or personal details about him. In fact, I learned that after the terrorist attacks last week, Military Personnel were asked not to wear their uniforms when off duty and commuting to and from work. Understandably, it was for their own safety. Think about it though for a moment. That is like asking a nurse to not wear scrubs to and from work each day because it could put them in danger. Or asking a City worker not to wear their overalls and safety vest to grab a coffee at Tim Horton's. Terrifying, right?

I can tell you a few things about this local hero. He is a husband and a father, a brother and a son, and an uncle and a friend. He loves being a paratrooper. (Can you imagine loving that?! Frightens the heck out of me!). He loves his famliy. My son idolizes him. He is a man of very few words, but his actions do not need any.

He works each day to serve and protect our country. Over the 7 years I have know him he continuously leaves on training exercises and has actively served over seas three times. (He has Served a total 5 times in his 16 years with the Military). This summer he was deployed last minute to Poland. I have watched what this does to his family. His wife steps into a single mother role. Hockey, soccer, work, fevers, yard work ... you name it. Weeks on end she holds it all together. Their children experience heartbreak with each good-bye. Each day away brings challenges for them. They, of course, miss him. There are greater expectations on them to help out. They hear more "no's". After all, that single Mother can only be in one place at one time, one birthday party, one hockey game, one soccer practice. Friends and neighbors step in to help shuttle kids and support the family but I am sure it is never the same as if he were there to help.

He has missed many Birthdays, hockey games, soccer games, family days, movie nights and even their recent 1st wedding Anniversary. All while doing something that is unimaginable to most of us.

When I asked his wife for photographs to do this project our conversation gave me goose bumps. She had one photograph in a frame in the basement with him in his fatigues. She told me that she wasn't sure if I wanted that one because that was the photograph that they use for funerals. That struck me. When I take photographs it is to capture joy, happiness, love and a single moment in time. I could not image starting a career and getting my photograph taken knowing that one day this could be the image at my funeral and the announcement of my death. It breaks my heart.

As I scrapbooked the image it really resonated with me. I needed to move past the somber thoughts and focus on my gratitude for all men and women that serve. I want this Remembrance day to be about the fallen hero's and the living hero's. My family will take the day to pay tribute to them all. They do so much for us all ... every single day.

The poppies were created using Cherry Cobbler Classic Stamp Pad & Cheery Cobbler Cardstock with the Everything Elanor Stamp Set. I fussy cut the flowers out. The centers are Basic Black Cardstock punched with the Boho Blossom Punch. The tread background is Mossy Meadow Ribbon frayed.

The background page is Very Vanilla Cardstock.
I inked the Brayer with Smoky Slate Classic Ink and gently rolled the soft background.

I hope that I have inspired you to share your love and gratitude. To take a moment to remember those who have served and as well as those who are serving and continually sacrificing for our freedom.

Next on the blog hop is Lisa Harlow
Visit her page and see what she has created this week!

God Bless Canada. Strong and free.

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Warm & Cozy Cards - Artisan Design Team Blog Hop

Welcome to the weekly Stampin' Up! Artisan Design Team Blog Hop. 

If you joined me last week you may remember that I created a Halloween Banner with the Seasonal Snap Shot Project Life Card Collection and Accessory Pack. I just could not get enough of it and had to use those kits some more. 

The leaves are vibrant colors and the weather is beautiful ... I am in an Autumn kind of mood. I can feel a flood of happiness in my life and I wanted to create a few cards "just because". When I was creating these I was thinking of a few people in my life that I just want to send a warm cozy hug to. 

I had the most relaxing time putting these cards together. It was very easy to let the creativity flow with the Project Life kits spread out all over my desk. I did not even have to use a stamp set! The only supplies that I added were some Soft Suede Cardstok, Hello Honey Cardstock and Linen Thread. 

Remaining in the card collection are a load of Christmas Project Life Cards. I just wish that I could have kept creating to play with those! Maybe that will be my blog hop next week!! 

Next up on the hop is Lisa Harlow ... 

Thank-you for visiting! Have a creative day!

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Dolce Winter Retreat - new project kits added!

Are you registered for my day long Stampin' event on November 8th?

Registration is closing this week on Thursday! You do not want to miss all of the fun!

Today Stampin' Up! released the NEW 2014 Holiday Supplement Catalogue. With this there are three kits that I will be adding to the Dolce Winter Retreat Kit offer! Check them out!

I love each of these kits! Have you looked at the other 5 project kits available for this event? You are going to love them too! How ever will you decide what to create???

Here are some of the event details that you need to know! We would love to have you join us! If you have any questions at all just drop me a message!

Have a creative day!

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You can never have too much Christmas!

The NEW 2014 Holiday Supplement is available starting today! 

This tiny catalogue is fresh new Holiday project to keep you inspired and crafting through the Holidays! I have to say that one of my all time favorite products are in this kit! ... Many Merry Stars Simply Created Kit!!!

To see this kit in my online store click here!

To see the full catalogue in PDF format click on the image on my sidebar. To shop the supplement catalogue online click here!

What is your favorite new product?

Have a creative day!

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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

ghosts of Halloween past banner - Artisan Design Team blog hop

Welcome to the weekly Stampin' Up! Artisan Design Team Blog Hop! 

Once a month we (the Artisan Design Team) submit a project to Stampin' Up! for the monthly Artisan Design Team Facebook post. For October I chose to do a Halloween banner using the Seasonal Snapshot Project Life Card Collection!

The photographs on this banner are from our 2013 Halloween festivities. It is almost magic how much kids grow from one year to the next. Halloween is like a animated time capsule. Remembering last year ... 'S' was Rapunzel, the bride. At that time it was still the height of the Rapunzel obsession, just prior to the discovery of Frozen. This year 'S' will be Anna from Frozen (her and about 137,482 other children).

'J' was big into super hero's and all things "boy" last year and dressed as Bat Girl. She has come to like "girl" things again and Monster High is the top of that "girl" list. This year she will be Draculaura. The bonus is that I get to listen to her talk like a 8 year old going on 14 and say things like "what ev's", "totes", "BFF" and my favorite, "like" (insert eye roll here).

'A' was (and still is) obsessed with construction workers and construction trucks. In fact he wanted to wear the costume again this year but we settled on a Fireman. I am not sure if he is so simple because he is only 4 or if he is the laid back 3rd child or if it is a boy thing. But I will take it. Give the boy YouTube video's of laying asphalt and he is happy as a Vampire at a blood donor clinic.

Okay, enough about my kids ... I could take about them all day. Back to the beautiful project ...

I had a lot of fun creating the tombstones on the banner. The clever names are not my creative genius ... but they are so stinkin' cute! Come on - Izzy Dead and Colden Burried. Bahaha!

The majority of the banners were created with the wiggle of my nose using the Seasonal Snapshot Project Life Card Collection and Accessory Pack.

These are all of the Halloween cards in the
Seasonal Snapshot Project Life Accessory Pack.
But wait - the pack also has Fall or Thanksgiving cards and Christmas!
Each Project Life by Stampin' Up! Card Collection has a coordinating
accessory pack. This is the Seasonal Snapshot accessory pack.
I only used a small amount of accessories on my banner.
I have a load left over and can feel a fall banner and a
Christmas banner coming on!
Take a closer peek at all of the banners. It has been hanging on our fireplace for a couple of weeks and it looks just beautiful! 

The left banner was created using Basic Grey Cardstock. I cut it to the same dimensions as the Project Life cards (4" x 4"). Quick accessories were added from the Seasonal Snapshot Project Life Accessory Pack.

I had every intention of using the Project Life cards to cover the clothes pins with pattered cardstock. I had started the process but when I took a break I forgot to go back to finish it up. It wasn't until I was writing this post that I realized it! At this point I am cutting my post deadline a little close and that it is not going to happen. So just use your imagination! Looks good, right?
To finish it off I added gobs of ribbon. Cute knots and ribbon loops are hanging in Blackberry Bliss and Gold Sequin Trim.

I hope you were bewitched by this eek-celent Halloween banner!

Fly on over to Lisa Harlow and see what she is brewing this week ... 

Have a haunted Day!

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