Thursday, October 31, 2013

Struggling


I've been struggling.

Maybe you've noticed that I have been MIA for a few weeks now.  It's because I've been struggling.

Struggling with the hand I've been dealt recently. Struggling with what to say about it here on this blog. Struggling to find enough desire TO blog. This entire month has just been one big struggle after another. And instead of celebrating the end of a crappy month, I’m filled with trepidation for the one that lies ahead.

(Disclaimer: It’s a long story and it isn't about glitter and pretty paper. The decision to ultimately tell my story here was a difficult one. If you choose to stop reading now, I'll understand. I get it. If you continue on, however, thank you for taking the time and for sticking with me while I get it all out.)

Earlier this month, I mentioned surgery on my head. Let’s start there, shall we? After a little “scabby area” on my scalp turned out to be skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma), I was scheduled for surgery to remove it on September 30. Going in, we were expecting a two-hour procedure to remove a quarter-sized spot. When the surgeon emerged from the operating room FOUR hours later, he explained to my husband that the cancer was the size of a pancake, but he was able to remove all of it and with some tricky maneuvering and hundreds of stitches, was able to piece me back together.

I was sent home that same day to begin my recovery - in a fog, totally nauseous, head completely bandaged, with pain meds clutched in my fist. Fun times. While the first 48 hours truly sucked, each passing day became a bit more bearable. The constant pain has given way to occasional, quickly passing stabs of pain and an odd sensation of a tight/pulling/stretched-to-the-max feeling across the left side of my head.

If my story stopped there, I would be pretty happy. In fact, I’d be ecstatic.

But my story does not stop there.

Leading up to the surgery, I went about the business of getting some routine check-ups crossed off my list. You know the drill – those routine “girl” appointments we do (or are supposed to do) every year. ONE of them hadn't turned out to be as “routine” as usual. ONE of them had started to raise some flags and require a follow-up. Or three.

Bright and early, the very day after my head surgery, I received a call confirming one of my worst fears: breast cancer.

Thud.

I can’t tell you how hard it is to say those words. To admit this thing is real and not just a drug-induced dream nightmare.

And isn't it ironic that the news came on October 1st, kicking off breast cancer awareness month. The month long barrage campaign has been a constant reminder during the few moments I could shut it out of my brain.

In the following weeks, instead of resting and healing, my days have been filled with new doctors, more tests, poking, prodding, and yet another surgery – this time a bi-lateral lumpectomy. What started out as [finding] one tumor, turned into two tumors (one on each side), and most recently we learned a lymph node tested positive, meaning it had already started to spread.

As it stands now, the anticipated treatment plan (which wasn't that drastic) is up in the air. Things that were off the table are now back on the table. Our premature relief has been replaced with complete uncertainty while we await the results of a very specialized test that will guide our decisions about a course of action.

Meanwhile, I’m still recovering from the trauma my body endured over an 18-day time span. My body isn't as young as it used to be and it’s letting me know big time. Ouch.

Oh, and one more thing. We will be moving (again) in late December. Planning and preparing for a move across the state while all this is going on? CRAZY. That pretty much sums up how I feel about the subject. But, we don't really have a choice, so it is what it is.

Thank goodness for incredibly supportive, generous, and helpful friends (and an awesome husband holding my hand every step of the way). We will get through all of this. Somehow.

Going Forward
I've managed a few stamping/crafting sessions and hope to get some projects posted soon. Between doctor visits, treatments, and packing up an entire house, I just don’t know how often I’ll be posting over the next several months. That really bugs me, but I know there will be limitations and something has to give. I honestly don’t know if anyone has even noticed my absence or not, so maybe it’s no big deal anyway.

Hello? Anyone out there??  (tap. tap. this thing on?)

What I won’t be doing is turning this blog into a “cancer blog”. With no offense meant to those who choose to write about their experience in-depth on a regular basis, that isn’t me. It was hard enough to get up the nerve to write this one post. If asked, I will provide updates occasionally; otherwise, I’ll keep it devoted to my beloved papercrafting and post if and when I can.

If you are still reading (omg!), thank you for allowing me to address the elephant in the room and move on. The long silence here has felt like a big cloud hanging overhead that I needed to clear up. There are enough clouds already without adding one more.







Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




 Please share your questions and comments below.
I read every single comment and try my best to provide a timely response.

Got friends? 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Thank You Thursday Deal (Last One!)

Stampin' Up! Chevron Ribbon Sale

All month long, Stampin' Up! has offered a special Thank You Thursday Deal to celebrate a special blog milestone and today is the last Thank You Thursday. They are wrapping up the month with a bow - a Chevron bow! hee hee!!

Today only, save 25% on these favorite Chevron Ribbon colors:
Basic Black, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, Island Indigo, and Smoky Slate.

Need something fun to go along with that ribbon?

Check out the current weekly deals:

Stampin' Up! Sizzix dies and craft tools on sale!


Shop now for the weekly deals and remember to add your favorite colors of discounted Chevron ribbon.

Happy savings!








Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




Friends don't let friends miss a good deal! 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stampin' Up! Birthday Party + 25 Stamp Sets on Sale Now

Save 25% now on these 25 stamp sets by Stampin' Up!

It's birthday time! Stampin' Up! is celebrating their 25th birthday by bringing the gifts to us. Through October 28, save 25% on 25 stamp sets. The sale includes both the wood mount and clear mount options, and many sets are also available in Spanish and/or French.


Considering my birthday is in a few days, I happen to like this gift a lot!

Save even more when you take advantage of the Thank You Thursday Deal (good today only). This week's deals feature framelit dies and embossing folders for the Big Shot: Hearts a Flutter Framelits, Envelope Liners Framelits, Window Frames Framelits, Chalk Talk Framelits, Alphabet Press Embossing Folder, and Honeycomb Embossing Folder - all at 25% off. (Seeing a pattern here? Love those 25% savings!)

Enjoy the savings and happy stamping!







Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products





Share this news with your friends!!
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A Witches' Brew Halloween


Fright night is getting closer and I've been working on a few Halloween projects. Luckily for me, the Paper Players have a Halloween theme for their challenge this time and I found a great simple sketch to work with at Unscripted Sketches.

I love the Witches' Brew Designer Series Paper, so I really wanted to play it up. You'll notice there is hardly any stamping on this card; I let the spooky patterned paper do all the hard work. Ha!


I wanted to give the circle a little more definition from the background paper, so I lightly edged it using a 2-Way Glue Pen and then sprinkled on orange glitter. I think it does the job and adds just the right amount of sparkle.

I was dying to flag the ends of the patterned paper, but forced myself to leave them square just this once!


Love Patterned Paper?
Snag a deal (today only) on select Designer Series Paper packs in the online store. It's the Stampin' Up! Thankful Thursday Deal of the Day. Woot!



Choose from Etcetera, I Am Me, Soho Subway, and This That Epic Day Designer Series Papers. Each collection contains 12 sheets of double-sided 12x12 paper (2 each of 6 double-sided designs).

Regular Price: $10.95 Today Only: $8.21

While you're there don't forget the new weekly deals. Save 25% on cool papercrafting tools or 50% on a fabulous digital kit.








Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




Today's project featured the following Stampin' Up! products:
Stamps: Teeny Tiny Wishes (W-128748, C-127802)
Ink: Jet Black StazOn (101406)
Paper: Pumpkin Pie (105117), Basic Black (121045), Very Vanilla (101650), Witches' Brew Designer Series Paper (132185)
Tools: Big Shot (113439), Circles Collection Framelits Dies (130911), 2-Way Glue Pen (100425)
Accessories: Black/Orange Stampin' Glitter (132206), Basics Glimmer Brads (121003)


Did you enjoy today's project? Share your comments below!

Got friends? 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Online Store Weekly Deals!


Starting today, you'll find a fun surprise in the Stampin' Up! Online Store - Weekly Deals! 

The weekly deals will change every Tuesday and feature current Stampin' Up! products at discounted prices. 

The weekly deals will be offered while supplies last and the discount will appear in your shopping bag when you check out.

Be sure to check back every Tuesday for new weekly deals. 

While you're there, don't forget to check out the Clearance Rack. There are deep discounts on retired Stampin' Up! products in the Clearance Rack, and the selection is changing frequently. Get these great products at terrific prices before they disappear. (Popular items tend to disappear in hours - not days!)

Wanna know what the weekly deals are today?




Start shopping now on the Weekly Deals Page then hit the Clearance Rack before you check out!

Happy savings!








Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




Did you snag a Weekly Deal? Share your comments below!

Friends don't let friends miss a good deal!
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Look What's New in Digital From Stampin' Up!


Wow! Lots of new digital products from Stampin' Up! to catch up on this week!

1. Shaped postcards. You can now get your 5 x 7 postcards printed in two new fun styles - scallop and artisan. Obviously, these are perfect for weddings, birth announcements, invitations, and the holidays. You'll think of more uses, I'm sure.


Access these new shapes in My Digital Studio (be sure you have the latest update). Learn how to create shaped postcards here.

2. Our new (free!) app, My Library for My Digital Studio. It's a great way to easily organize downloads in your collection and keep track of your faves. This new app is currently available for iPad and is coming soon for iPhone and Android devices.




3. Planning a freaky Halloween Party? Check out these spooky new downloads:


The Fright Night Ensemble includes all you need for a spooky party: treat wrappers, treat toppers, food labels, invitations, décor, a banner, candle wrapper, and more. This kit includes a huge SVG stamp brush set to create your own designs in addition to the designer templates. (The pre-designed templates are incredible - go look now!)  Also coordinates with the Clear Oval Accents Bigz Die.



Or throw an unforgettably gruesome party with the Zombie Party Printables containing templates for invitations, a banner, food picks, décor, bottle wraps, and more.

If you're looking for even more spooky inspiration, check out these Halloween favorites.


4. In addition to Halloween, there are four more new downloads this week:





5. Even more new downloads you might have missed (released last week):




Still don't have My Digital Studio? It's the perfect time to hop on the MDS bandwagon. Get the MDS software here for just $19.95 or take a test drive with the free 30-day trial. Either way, you'll have plenty of time to do some digital creating for the holidays, try out our print services (only available through MDS), and see what all the fuss is about.









Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




What's your Halloween style - cute spooky or scary spooky?
Share your comments below!

Got friends? 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Monday, October 7, 2013

Stampin' Up! Pop + Place Holiday Gift Tags and Stamps


Hold on to your crafty hats, and look at this awesome new offering from Stampin' Up! - the Pop & Place Holiday Gift Tags and Stamps. This looks like so much fun and there is an option for every level of crafter, from novice to experienced. Best of all, no matter which option you choose, Stampin' Up! has made creating handmade gift tags quick, affordable, and convenient.



For quick and easy tags, check out the tag book with 70+ tags in five designs created from the existing line of Stampin' Up! punches and dies. If you are a beginning paper-crafter who doesn't yet have many punches or dies, these die-cut tags are a great solution and may help you determine which shapes you'd like to add to your supplies in the way of tools.

For more experienced stampers, the tags will coordinate with shapes you already own to allow you tons of mix and match possibilities. And of course, we know that die-cuts are fabulous for cards, scrapbooks, and other projects, in addition to creating handmade tags.




The tag book even has pockets built into the booklet to store tags you've removed, but decide to use another time. This is so clever - I always have loose bits floating around getting bent!





Of course, we love stamping and Stampin' Up! didn't disappoint. The new Christmas Tagables Photopolymer Stamp Set is fresh, trendy, and oh, so merry! This set is the perfect companion for the tag book, not to mention all your holiday stamping projects.




If you love both (like me), and you've already got basic supplies, you'll want to choose the Pop & Place Holiday Gift Tag Bundle (and save nearly 17%).



If you're just getting started with stamping and papercrafts, opt for the Starter Bundle which includes a clear block (Block C) and a mini ink pad (Stampin' Spot), in addition to the stamp set and tag book. And it's a great value too - these products, if purchased separately, would cost at least $32.85. The bundle, at just $24.95, means about 24% savings in your pocket!

How to Order


Choose the option that works best for you and

Having the best dressed gifts under the tree is going to be a snap this year!








Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




Did you enjoy today's project? Share your comments below!

Got friends? 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Wishing You ...

Wishing You: Birthday & Christmas

... a happy World Card Making Day! Woo hoo!! It's our very own little "holiday" in celebration of card makers the world over. It's so amazing to me to see other card makers from faaaar away countries. It's just so darn cool.

I've been pulling a little R&R this week after having a "little" surgery ... on my head, no less. (Fun times!) So now when I'm wondering "what was I thinking - I ought to have my head examined" (check) or "gee, I need that like I need a hole in my head" (check), I'm good to go. Seriously, I'm doing well, and today I was able to venture into the craft room for the first time this week. Yay!!

So, in honor of World Card Making Day and the "official" kickoff of the holiday card making season, I created two cards using the Stampin' Up! Wishing You stamp set. When I saw this cute set in the holiday catalog, I immediately knew it would make darling birthday cards in addition to festive Christmas cards. I love knowing that I'll get lots of use from this holiday stamp set for other occasions all year long.

Stampin' Up! Wishing You Stamp Set Christmas Card


For the Wishing You - Christmas version, I tucked the stamped presents behind an embossed Designer Frame with the area inside the frame cut out. (Use an exact-o or craft knife and a ruler for this.) For a little sparkle, I colored Rhinestone Basic Jewels with a red Sharpie and sprinkled them among plain rhinestones.



Cool discovery: I used the Chevron Border Punch to crop the ends of my greeting panel! How fun is that?!

Stampin' Up! Wishing You Stamp Set Birthday Card


The Wishing You - Birthday version gets some girly touches with lots of polka dots, Delicate Details Lace Tape, and that darn cute Ruffle Stretch Trim. I need to remember to stop hoarding that trim and use it more often - it adds such a sweet touch!



What are you doing today? Are you making cards and celebrating World Card Making Day?

If you are, Stampin' Up! is having a contest - come join us!

There are two ways to enter:

•E-mail a photo of a card (or of you making a card) on World Card Making Day to wcmd2013@stampinup.com.

•Post a photo of a card (or of you making a card) on Instagram on World Card Making Day. Mention us by typing @stampinup and use the hashtag: #wcmd2013 in the description.

This contest is open to everyone (over the age of 18) and you may enter as many times as you wish, but each entry must feature a different card.

You'll have until midnight tonight (Oct. 5) to enter the contest with your projects created using Stampin' Up! products. Prizes will be randomly awarded to 100 winners (from North American markets) and a selection of pictures will be featured on Stampin' Up!'s World Card Making Day Pinterest board.

Join in the fun and enter your project photos!

And Happy World Card Making Day!!








Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




Today's project featured the following Stampin' Up! products:

Wishing You (Christmas)
Stamps: Wishing You (W-131748, C-131751)
Ink: Cherry Cobbler (Regals Collection 131262) and Gumball Green (2012-2013 In Color Collection 126856) Stampin' Write Markers
Paper: Crumb Cake (120953), Whisper White (100730)
Tools: Big Shot (113439), Designer Frames Embossing Folders (123130), Chevron Border Punch (132154), Stampin' Dimensionals (104430)
Accessories: Cherry Cobbler Baker's Twine (123125), Rhinestone Basic Jewels (119246)

Wishing You (Birthday)
Stamps: Wishing You (W-131748, C-131751), Itty Bitty Banners (W-132022, C-126257)
Ink: Strawberry Slush (131178); Strawberry Slush (2013-2014 In Color Collection 131260) and Crumb Cake (Neutrals Collection 131261) Stampin' Write Markers
Paper: Crumb Cake (120953), Whisper White (100730), Pistachio Pudding (131294), Strawberry Slush (131295), Season of Style Designer Series Paper Stack (132181)
Tools: Big Shot (113439), Perfect Polka Dots Embossing Folder (117335), Bitty Banners Framelits Dies (129267)
Accessories: Delicate Details Lace Tape (130966), Pistachio Pudding Ruffle Stretch Trim (130020), Rhinestone Basic Jewels (119246)


Are you celebrating WCMD today? Share your comments below!

Got friends? 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thank You Thursday Deal: Washi Tape!


Stampin' Up! is celebrating a milestone - 250 blog posts - and they are including all of us in the celebration! Beginning today (October 3), Stampin' Up! will begin a series of Thank You Thursday posts with a one-day-only discount on a product (while supplies last).

Today's Deal is Designer Washi Tape! 

Choose from one of the designer Washi Tapes below - or get all three!



#1 - Epic Day This And That Designer Washi Tape
       Regular Price $4.95
       Sale Price $3.71

#2 - Gingham Garden Designer Washi Tape
        Regular Price $4.95
        Sale Price $3.71

#3 - Witches' Brew Designer Washi Tape
        Regular Price $4.95
        Sale Price $3.71

BUY WASHI TAPE HERE

*Please note: The discounted price will appear at checkout. This special deal is valid today only - while supplies last!

Washi Tape is so fun and can be used in a variety of ways. The beautiful project above is a Halloween tag created by the Stampin' Up! Concept Artists. For another fun idea, check out my washi tape mini birthday cards.

If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Stampin' Up! Blog for loads of crafty fun and inspiration.

Wow, this is awesome! I'm going to go get (more) Washi Tape and I can't wait to see what the deal will be next week.

Happy taping ;)








Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products




How do you like to use washi tape? Share your comments below!

Got friends? 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1

Merry Little Christmas Simply Created Card Kit Bundle


Create merry little Christmas cards in a snap with this Simply Created Card Kit Bundle.

The bundle includes the Merry Little Christmas stamp set (in your choice of wood-mount or clear-mount) plus the Merry Little Christmas Simply Created Card Kit with everything you need (except ink and adhesive) to make 8 cards:

  • Cardstock cards
  • Envelopes
  • Envelope liners
  • Die-cut Designer Series Paper and cardstock accents
  • Buttons
  • Baker's Twine

Stampin' Up! Merry Little Christmas Simply Created Card Kit
Merry Little Christmas Simply Created Card Kit + Merry Little Christmas 3-piece Stamp Set

Save 15% on the Bundle:
Merry Little Christmas Simply Created Card Kit Bundle
Wood-Mount Item 133286   $19.95
Clear-Mount Item 133287   $17.95


Also available to purchase separately:
Merry Little Christmas Stamp Set
Wood-Mount (Item 131826)  $13.95
Clear-Mount (Item 131829)  $10.95

Merry Little Christmas Simply Created Card Kit
(Item 132158)  $9.95

With non-traditional Christmas colors, the card kit could be used for many other occasions - think birthday or thank you for starters. The decorative elements in the stamp set will look great on other projects as well. And the mixed fonts of the sentiment? Very trendy. (Not to mention cute!)








Let's go shopping!
Click below to shop online for Stampin' Up! products





Do you love using non-traditional colors for Christmas? Share your comments below!

Got friends? 
Click the icons below to share on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google +1