Losing a Daughter – Reflections

If you follow my facebook page, you probably know that my step-daughter Jennifer passed away this past week.  Jenn was only 42 years old.  Having difficulty breathing and pain in her chest, she was rushed to the ER, but an hour and a half later, she was gone, the result of a pulmonary embolism that sent her into cardiac arrest.

Jenn’s passing has taught me a few things that I would like to share with you.  These are in no particular order.

It is possible for pain and peace to co-exist.  While there is much pain in the loss, there is also peace. The supernatural peace that comes from God. The peace doesn’t replace the pain, it doesn’t crowd out the pain, but it lives alongside the pain, making the pain bearable.  The bible says “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7.    I am experiencing this kind of peace.

While Jenn’s passing was totally unexpected and a complete shock to us, IT DIDN’T CATCH GOD OFF-GUARD!  God has numbered our days before our days even began, and he has prepared us to do His work.  I believe Jenn accomplished her work here on earth and God was ready to call her home.  It is His timing, and He is in complete control.  This didn’t happen because God let go of the steering wheel!

Life is short; make the most of it.  Pick up the phone and call that friend you slipped out of touch with.  Hold your kids a little tighter and kiss them more often.  Tell you love them.  We aren’t promised tomorrow.

Don’t be afraid to say something to someone who just lost someone.  There are no words to change the situation, but there is comfort when someone just shares your grief by simply saying “I’m sorry for your loss” or “She was so _______, and I”m going to miss her too”.  Don’t be afraid that by saying something you are going to ‘remind’ me of the loss.  I may be going about my business as normal on the outside, but trust me, I didn’t ‘forget’.  It’s on my mind.  And if I well up with tears, you didn’t make me cry.  I will cry anyway.

Hugs are healing!  So many people who visited or attended the viewing and/or funeral hugged me, even several people I didn’t know.  But there was  a bit of healing in every hug.  When you don’t know what to say, just give a hug!

Tears are part of the grieving process, and the healing process. If I cry when I’m with you, just know that I am on the road to healing.  Just hand me a tissue, hug me, and let me cry.  I’ll stop soon enough.  – Thanks 🙂

There is comfort in company.  Having someone close when the raw pain of the loss is so fresh is comforting.  Be there when someone you love loses someone.  I realize that people tend to avoid being around someone who just lost someone so close because they don’t know what to say.  You can provide comfort by just being there, you don’t even have to say anything.  Just be there.

There is comfort in a casserole.    Nourishment and rest are so important, yet the thought of preparing a meal seemed insurmountable.  Bringing a meal to the family will always be appreciated.

There is comfort in a card.  I’ve always said that making Sympathy cards was not something most people want to do, but I always said they are the most important cards we as card-makers can make.  Make a stockpile of sympathy cards and mail them out!

Social Media has made the process of letting people know much easier.  But be respectful and allow time for the family to advise the family in person before posting anything.  Be respectful and don’t use social media to gossip or speculate on what may or may not have happened.    Social media has made it so much easier for people far away to share their condolences and for friends and family to share memories, pictures, etc.  Social media has also taken away a lot of the  ‘in-person’ interaction.  Post and comment, but don’t forget about the comfort in company or the comfort in a casserole.

Charitable Donations:  While is is fashionable to make a monetary donation in memory of the deceased, if you are going to send a donation, consider a monetary gift to the family, especially if  the deceased passed away without life insurance or a burial plot.  Please don’t think that I am against making a donations to charitable organizations, because I am not.  I support several non-profit organizations on a regular basis.  However, there are many expenses, other than the obvious funeral expenses, such as clothing, travel, flowers, etc.  If the deceased was ill, there could be tremendous medical expenses as well.  A monetary gift to help offset those expenses is extremely appreciated.

Get right with God while you still can.  The Bible teaches that there is a Heaven, and there is a Hell.  Our souls are created to live forever, the only question is where.  (He has also set eternity in the human heart… -Ecclesiatstes 3:11). The Bible teaches that “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” -Romans 3:23 and that “the wages of sin is death.” – Romans 6:23.  Therefore, we all deserve death (hell).  The answer to this dilemna is Jesus.  “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” – Romans 10:9  Jesus forgives our sins, and then  takes away the punishment we deserve (hell) and gives us eternal life in Heaven.  Because of this promise of Jesus, I know in my heart that Jennifer is in Heaven and that I will be reunited with her in Heaven when it’s my turn to  depart this earth.  That is why I can have peace even in loss.  God’s promises are true and dependable.  I can bank on it.  Many people send their adult lives planning for retirement, but don’t think about life after retirement.  If you want to talk about eternity, call me.   I want to see you in Heaven too!.

Thanks for listening to me.  I hope that this may help you when facing a friend or loved one who just lost someone.

I did finally get my class schedule for July & August finalized and posted.  You can find that here.  And I will get back to posting some projects real soon.  Thanks for letting me talk, that’s part of my healing journey as well!.

Nancy

 

It took less than 10 minutes to complete this!

Sometimes things just fall together so perfectly and this was one of those times.  I made this card is less than 10 minutes!  Share What You Love for the Paper Players 399

Not so shabby for a quick card, huh?  Want to know my secret?  I thought you did.  I’ll tell you in one word.  Inspiration!

I got my inspiration from the Paper Players sketch challenge this week.  I saw their sketch and immediately thought that this sketch would be a great way to show off the beautiful paper from the Share What You Love Specialty DSP.  Tranquil Tide and Mint Macaron pair together so beautifully (I’m so glad that Stampin’ Up! brought Mint Macaron back!) and I knew I wanted to use that color combination.  The more I thought about it, I knew I wanted to use the new “Subtle” Textured Impression Embossing Folder and of course, the Lovely Floral TIEF which is in the same product suite as the DSP.  The Share What You Love DSP is so striking with the pearlized finish that a little strip is enough to create some ‘wow’!

Let’s take a look at the sketch: The Paper Players sketch challenge PP399And here’s another look at my card:

Because I immediately ‘saw’ what I wanted to make with this sketch, and knew what colors to use, I was able to get right down to business and cut cardstock to size, emboss, glue, and stamp the sentiment and finish off the card with a couple of coordinating Tranquil Tide pearls from the Share What You Love Artisan  Pearls.  This literally took less than 10 minutes from start to finish!

Can you see the subtle texture in the Tranquil Tide layer?  That is from the new Subtle TIEF.  It looks very much the same as the ‘textured’ cardstock that Stampin’ UP! used to sell, probably about 10 years ago.  As the name implies, it’s a very subtle finish, but enough to give more interest than a plain piece of cardstock.  I think this will be showing up in many more of my projects!

If you want to buy this embossing folder, or any thing else, please feel free to shop my online store, open 24/7 for your shopping pleasure!

Have you ever been inspired by something you’ve seen to create something?  Have you ever just ‘seen’ something that you can go right to your craft room and just make it?  Feel free to leave a comment about a time when this happened to you.

Now before you run off, please make sure to sign up for my mailing list, and I’ll send you my Free Report “The 8 Essential Tools Every Paper Crafter Must Have to Be Successful”.

Happy Stampin,

Nancy

A Snappy Color Combination!

Whenever my husband goes out of town without me, I always make a card or two to tuck into his suitcase for him to find after he arrives at his destination.    I like to let him know that I’m thinking of him, and missing him when he’s gone.  I like to think that he enjoys these little surprises too!

So I needed to make a card today for him for just such an occasion.  I had so much fun playing with the Paper Players last week; they are such a nice bunch of folks and they always leave comments on my blog posts when I participate in their challenges.  I love when people leave me comments on my blog posts.  It’s almost like getting a little love note in your suitcase when you’re away from home!   Comments make me feel like all the time and effort I put into writing a blog post is worth it.  So, if you are reading this today, please leave me a little love note, I mean comment, at the end of this post.  Thanks!  🙂

Anyway, just as I was heading into My Stampin’ Space to make said card, I got an email from the Paper Players with a color challenge for this week.  Since I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do,  I jumped on the chance to use this snappy color combination as a starting point.  Here’s the color combination:  Paper Players PP397 Color ChallengeI figured if I used Crumb Cake as my main color, with just splashes of Calypso Coral and Lemon Lime Twist, it would pass as more masculine than feminine.  And with the bright colors of Calypso Coral and Lemon Lime Twist, it would need a lot of Crumb Cake to keep it toned down.  Here’s my card:

All of my Smiles for the Paper Players

I used the new “Detailed With Love” stamp set.  I just love the sentiment that says “So many of my Smiles begin with You“.  Perfect!  🙂  I stamped that onto Whisper White cardstock using Calypso Coral ink and cropped it out with an oval framelit from the Layering Oval framelits.  A tiny strip of Lemon Lime Twist cardstock provided just enough ‘pop’ behind it without overtaking center stage.  I was just wide enough to stamp the “I Love You” sentiment in Lemon Lime Twist ink.  A trio of Lemon Lime Twist sequins grab your eye and bring it from the main focal point to the smaller sentiment.  Boy, am I glad I stocked up on those Tutti Frutti self-adhesive sequins!

My background was a piece of 5″ x 3-3/4″ Crumb Cake Cardstock that I ran thru the Big Shot and the Basket Weave TIEF.  This was adhered onto a Crumb Cake cardbase.  That much Crumb Cake might be too much neutral but with these strong colors, it really needs that much to keep the card toned down.

Here’s a close up of all of the colors and elements.

A Snappy Color Combo for the PP397

It would be easy for the strong colors to steal the show.  But the heavily textured background creates enough visual interest to hold its own again the bold colors and the card balances out nicely. I hope you agree.  Here’s another look at the overall card: All of my Smiles for the Paper Players

Click on any of the product names above to go right to my online store if you want to buy any of the products used in today’s card.  Of course, you can click here to go to my online store and buy anything you want!

When you’re done shopping, don’t forget to hop over the Paper Players blog to see all the other projects made with this color challenge.    And finally, please leave me a comment!

Don’t forget to Like Me on Facebook either, and to Sign Up For My Mailing List.

Thanks for stopping into My Stampin’ Space to check out this snappy color combination!  See you soon,

Nancy Gleason. Stampin' UP! demonstrator, teacher, and blogger

Love What You Do

Love What You Do is the name of a new stamp set in the new 2018/19 Stampin’ Up! Annual Catalog.  It is from the Share What you Love Product Suite and I predict that this is going to be one of the top 3 product suites in the entire catalog!  You can find this suite on pages 176-178 of the catalog.

I loved sharing this project with the ladies in my stamp class earlier this week. Love What You Do stamp setI need to tell you that I am trying to participate in at least one challenge each week.  As a paper crafter, I feel that challenges are a good way to stretch your paper crafting skills.  And as a blogger, I think the challenges are a good way to gain more exposure for my blog and to increase my reader base.  A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this neat little challenge called WWYS – What Will You Stamp.  And I committed to participating in their challenge.  However, I did not own the stamp sets they were featuring in the past weeks so when I saw this weeks’ challenge was for the Love What You Do stamp set, I was in luck!  Here is the challenge:  WWYS#171 Love What You DoSo this card doubles as my entry into this challenge!  I hope the folks over at WWYS like my card as much as the ladies in my class did.

Here is it again:

Love What You Do stamp set

I showcased our new color, Petal Pink, which is really a peachy-pink.  I paired it with our Basic Gray and added just a small strip of Share What You Love Designer Series Specialty Paper.  This paper is a heavier weight than our normal DSP and it has a shiny, pearlized finish which didn’t really show up in the photo.  But trust me, it’s gorgeous in person!  I filled in the flowers in Flirty Flamingo to give a pop of bold color to this otherwise subtle color palette.  A few pearls form the Share What You Love  Artisan Pearls add the finishing touch.

A simple card to make, but the sentiment is so great, that I’m sure any friend you give this to is going to say ‘back at ya!’.

Do you want to order any of the items from the Share What You Love product suite?  Click here to start shopping!

Happy Shopping & Stampin,

Nancy Gleason. Stampin' UP! demonstrator, teacher, and blogger

 

 

PS:  Have you seen the Stamparatus yet?  It is available to order NOW!  Grab it while you can; this one tool will transform your stamping!  You’ll wonder how you ever lived without one.  A carrying case will soon be available for the Stamparatus. To make sure you are kept abreast of this, and other important annoucements, please subscribe to my mailing list.  Thanks!

What do a Kangaroo and A Koala Bear have in common?

What do a Kangaroo and a Koala Bear have in common?  Well for starters, they both begin with the letter “K“.  And they both hail from Australia.   And they both can be found in the new stamp set call “Animal Outing”.  And since they are both Animals, it is a perfect fit for the Paper Players Theme Challenge this week!

Paper Players Theme Challenge Animals PP396

I used the Animal Outing stamp set for my card.  Animal Outing Stamp Set #146600

Apparently the Momma Kangaroo is babysitting for her friends baby as she has a Koala bear in her pouch! 

Aren’t they so cute together?  I didn’t expect that!

Here is the card I made:  Animal Outing  I used several of the new colors just introduced to us by Stampin’ UP!.  First of all, I used Gray Granite ink to stamp the Kangaroo image and Gray Granite cardstock for that image panel layer.  Next I used Balmy Blue, Mango Melody, and Granny Apple Green cardstock for the background.  I used Granny Apple Green ink to  stamp up the leaves and I fussy cut them out and popped them behind the main image panel.  For my sentiment, I stamped in Berry Burst ink and cropped a circle of Berry Burst cardstock to layer my punched sentiment.  The card came together quickly, and a few dimensionals behind my layers give me height and dimension for interest and gives the leaves a place to pop out from.

So, what do a Kangaroo and a Koala bear have in common?  They both are perfect for welcoming a new little one into the world!  And they both are just plain cute together!

There are many  exciting coordinating products in the Animal Expedition Suite that coordinate with this stamp set.  You’ll find thinlits dies, designer series paper, and embellishments.  You’ll definitely want to add this to your collection.  And when you bundle the stamp set and thinlits, you’ll save 10%!  Sweet, right?

Don’t forget to bounce over to the Paper Players blog to see all the Animal Antics.  Before you go, make sure to SUBSCRIBE TO MY MAILING LIST, and LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE.   That way you and I can be friends and you won’t miss anything from me.

As always you can click on any of the highlighted product names in the blog post above, or click here, to shop my online store.  I appreciate if you would use the Host Code if your order is less than $150.  Thanks!

 

Introducing the 2018 In Colors with Varied Vases

Each year in the beginning of June when the new catalog makes it’s debut,  5 new In Colors are introduced.  The In Colors are designed to be trendy colors that will only be around for 2  years.  I’d like to introduce you to the 2018-20 In Colors2018-20 In Color Collection I made this set of 5 mini cards with my class earlier this week and the consensus was that everyone loved the new 2018-20 In Colors, & the Varied Vases stamp set!    You can see other projects I made with the Varied Vases stamp set here.Let me introduce you to the new 2018-20 In Colors, one by one.

Say “Hello” to Call Me Clover, a rich, luscious shade of green.

Say hello to Call Me Clover and Varied Vases

Next up, is Lovely Lipstick, a bright, primary color shade of red.  Just a touch ‘pinker’ than Real Red. 

The bright, primary Blue color is called Blueberry Bushel.  The flowers are outlined in Blueberry Bushel full strength.  The filler flower is stamped off and then stamped to create this lighter shade of blue. 

Our next color is called Grapefruit Grove and it is a soft shade of a peachy coral.  This card also features the flowers filled in with a stamped off lighter shade of the same color.

Last but not least is called Pineapple Punch.  This rich vibrant shade of yellow is so bright you might need to wear sunglasses! 

These little 3″ x 3″ mini cards are made for the Whisper White 3 x 3 envelopes.  And the whole set fits just perfectly in a Mini Pizza Box, perfect for gift-giving!

Which of the new 2018-20 In Colors is your favorite?  Please leave me a comment, I love to hear from you!

Click here to order the 2018-20 In Colors, the Varied Vases stamp set, or any item from the Stampin’ Up! catalog.  If your order is less than $150 (before shipping and tax) please use Host Code EC9EGJR6.  If your order is $150 or more, do NOT use the Host Code but rather claim the Host Rewards for yourself!

Enjoy the new 2018-20 In Colors and the new catalog.  Happy Shopping!

Nancy

 

The Top 3 ‘Must Haves’ from the new 2018 Catalog

If you’re like me, you have been pouring over the new 2018-19 Stampin’ UP! Annual Catalog and making your Shopping List.  Well the time is here that you can order from this catalog.  You can view the catalog by clicking on the image below or in the right sidebar. 2018-19 Annual Stampin' Up! catalogYou can download a printable Shopping List here.

There are a couple of items that I think EVERYONE should have  – they are my Top 3 ‘Must Haves’.

First is the new Stamparatus.

In my last few newsletters, I’ve been sharing videos from Stampin’ Up! showing how awesome this new stamp positioning tool is and why I think every stamper should have a Stamparatus of their very own.  If you’ve missed them, you can access the videos here.

Second are the new colors.

As soon as the new catalog, and new InColors make their debut each year,  I make sure to purchase the whole InColor collection; cardstock, ink pads, markers and ribbon and DSP if available.  This year we not only have 5 new 2018-20 InColors, but we have been treated to a Color Revamp!  A fresh new palette of colors to play with!  2018-20 In Color Collection2018/20 In Color Ink Pad collectionStampin' Up! New Color Collections

I did ‘go all out’ and get all of new colors of cardstock and ink pads.  Some of the colors are returning colors, such as Blackberry Bliss, Mint Macaron, Mossy Meadow and Poppy Parade.  I still had those colors of cardstock and ink pads.  Although the ink pads have gone under a redesign (including a re-formulation to the ink itself), I chose NOT to replace those ink pads, at least for the time being.  But all of the newly  introduced colors such as Merry Merlot, Gray Granite, Gorgeous Grape, Highland Heather, Granny Apple Green, Mango Melody, Petal Pink, Soft Sea Foam, Shaded Spruce & Balmy Blue have all found their way into my home and My Stampin’ Space!

Third is Varied Vases & Vase Builder Bundle

The stamp set that I think is going to be the most reached for stamp set from the new catalog is called Varied Vases. Varied Vases Bundle

This stamp set, and coordinating Vase Builder punch, is available as a bundle so you can save 10%!   This stamp set was designed by my upline Mary Fish who had the distinct privilege of designing her own stamp set as a reward for reaching a major milestone: $1 Million in sales over her career!  The stylish vases, the fresh florals and the cute sentiments in a lovely font style all add up to a “wow” stamp set.  Photopolymer makes stamping  the outline and filling in the florals a breeze.  I shared the card I made for Mary Fish using this stamp set on a previous blog post.  You can see that blog post here.    I also used this stamp set to introduce my students to the new 2018 In Colors at my last class.  Check back as I’ll be sharing that project on my next blog post.

So there you have it.  My Top 3 ‘Must Haves’.  Now that you’ve seen my top picks, what are yours?  Did my Top 3 make it on your list?  What reached your top 3?  Leave me a comment and share your thoughts with me.

COMMENT HERE

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Nancy Gleason. Stampin' UP! demonstrator, teacher, and blogger

Simply The Best (and you can get in on the action!)

I am having such a blast on my journey with Stampin’ Up!  I never imaged where this gig would have taken me and the people I have met, and the friends I have made along the way.  I am so blessed by it all!   It has been simply the best!

Simply the Best

I am honored to be part of Mary Fishs’ Stampin’ Pretty Pals.  Mary is the best of the best when it comes to all things Stampin’!  I was drawn to her style: clean, simple, sophisticated and chic!

Mary has been honored to be #1 Globally in Sales, Recruiting and Leadership.  Last fall she achieved the One Million Dollar Mark in Sales! I think that makes her simply the best.   As such she was recognized with having a stamp set designed just for her.  This is her stamp set and punch bundle.  Varied Vases BundleThis bundle will be available to purchase June 1st when the 2018/19 Stampin’ Up! Annual catalog is released.  As a demonstrator, one of the perks I enjoy is an early pre-order.  I was able to get this bundle several weeks ago.  Sweet, right?

This is the card I made for Mary to let her know what I think of her!  ( I mailed the card weeks ago, I sure hope she has received it before seeing this post! )

Varied Vases card for Mary Fish

I think Mary is simply the best!  And her stamp set and punch bundle rock!  Of course the stamp set wasn’t the only new product on this card.  I created an ombre effect background of all our red cardstock, starting from the bottom up, Merry Merlot, Cherry Cobbler, Real Red, Lovely Lipstick and Poppy Parade.  You can see the variation in colors in all of these luscious shades of red.

You will also be able to order the new colors of Merry Merlot, Lovely Lipstick and Poppy Parade on June 1st.

Well, I hope Mary likes her card as much as I like her stamp set and punch.  If you want to join me on this fun journey with Stampin’ Up!, order your $99 Starter Kit today and let’s see where it takes you!  My prediction is that you’ll make new friends, discover new talent and confidence and enjoy the ride!  My Stampin’ UP! journey is simply the best and yours can be too!

Nancy Gleason. Stampin' UP! demonstrator, teacher, and blogger

Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think of today’s project and the Varied Vases Stamp Set and Vase Builder Punch.  Is this bundle at the top of your must-have list?     Comment Here

Ready to join?  Purchase the $99 Starter Kit now.

Get Inked Up! New Ink Pad Redesign

The new 2018/19 Annual Stampin’ UP! catalog release is just days away and I couldn’t be more excited to share this new catalog with you!    One of the biggest product changes creating a lot of buzz is the redesign of the Classic Stampin’ Ink Pads.  I think these improvements are going to get you fired up to get inked up.

Watch this video to see the new ink pads in action and the newly designed case, labels and ink formula.

Isn’t that exciting! I just love the new design and since the pads stack, they take up less space and make storage more efficient. Gotta love that!

The ink formula just glides on and stamps so smoothly and creates a much more even stamped image.  Get inked up over that, too!

2018/20 In Color Ink Pad collection

The new ink pads will be available for all colors, including all of the new colors, on June 1st.  You can order the 2018-20 In Colors Ink Pad Collection as part of the Pre-Order right now.    When you order any of the Share What You Love bundles available in Pre-Order now, you’ll receive the new redesigned ink pads too.

Shop my online store now.   (And please use host code 9UBBQ3MG if your order is less than $150 before shipping and tax. – thanks!)   Now, Go Get Inked Up!

Nancy

Pop Paradise Pineapples

I am still saying good-bye to some of my  beloved stamps and such that will be retiring at the end of this month to make way for some new and exciting products in the new catalog to be released June 1st.

For my class earlier this week, I pulled out Pop of Paradise and some of the retiring 2016-28 InColors.  As I was stamping these playful pineapples, I wondered why it’s been so long since I inked up these stamps.  So much fun!

The retiring 2016-18 In Colors colors of Peekaboo Peach, Sweet Sugarplum and Flirty Flamingo*, it seemed like a match made in heaven for this stamp set.  Just look at this adorable card:Pop of Paradise PineappleStampin’ Write markers were used to color in each of the pineapples.  The sentiment is from Thoughtful Banners.

Such a cute card in fun, playful colors!  A perfect send-off for this lovely stamp  set.  Get yours before it’s gone.  Pop of Paradise

Retiring products

Click here to shop the retiring items.  NEW!  Many items on the Retiring List are now on sale.  Shop now before they’re gone.  Please remember to use HOST CODE 9UBBQ3MG when you place an online order less than $150.  If your order is $150 or more (before tax & shipping) do NOT use the host code but rather redeem the host rewards for yourself.

Thanks

Nancy