3.22.2017

Masking Challenge Sneak Peek & Winners

Happy Wednesday!  It's the first week of Spring, so I felt the need to make a floral card for this week's challenge over at StampNation.  I used a double masking technique to create this one layer card, and spotlight some of the flowers with a bit of color.


Stamps: Enchanted Garden (SugarPea Designs)
Ink: Fiesta Blue, Midnight (Catherine Pooler Designs) Various Copics
Paper: Bright White (CPD)

The design team had a lot of fun with challenge! If you are a StampNation member and want to check out the full card along with the rest of the design team and member pictures, clicky.  If you aren't yet a member, sign up today and have full access to the site.  :)

Michele has announced the $15 CAS-ual Fridays Stamps winners from our Calling All Sistahs blog hop last week.  Were you a winner?  Clicky to go find out!  Our next hop will be on the 17th and we would love to have you be a part of it!   

3.17.2017

Calling All Sistahs March Blog Hop

It's the 17th of the month and that means it time to remind my sistahs (that's you) that it is time for us to do our monthly breast self-exams and get those mammograms scheduled if we are due.  We do this each month in the form of a fun blog hop.



My card uses scraps and a second technique piece I created for the November CAS blog hop. Clicky to see that card and video.  (but be sure to come back here for the hop)


Here is the video for this card.  You can also watch on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/edit?o=U&video_id=4389iuUYXCs




If you would like to be a stop on the blog hop next month, email me @ sistahoodhop@outlook.com and let me know.   You can also join our Facebook group to stay in touch with our group and get the latest updates.  I'm the last stop on this hop, so if you started somewhere in the middle please jump back to the top and visit the CAS-ual Fridays blog.  Be sure to also leave a comment on each stop on the hop for your chance to win one of the $15 gift certificates being given away to the CAS-ual Fridays store.  Let's get hopping!



Stamps: Be (CAS-ual Fridays Stamps)
Ink: Festive Berries, Picked Raspberry, Wilted Violet (Distress) Versamark
Paper: Black Cardstock (Stampin' Up) Distress Watercolor Cardstock (Tim Holtz)
Accesories: 2 Yous Fri-Dies, Sistahs Fri-Dies (CAS-ual Fridays Stamps) Blueprints 27 dies (My Favorite Things)


3.16.2017

Have You Missed Me?

Have you noticed I've been absent from the blog?  If not, it's ok, I don't blame you.  I know there is always so much going on in everyone's lives that it is sometimes hard to keep up.  I finally had to just take some time off this winter.  First I got really sick with bronchitis and couldn't keep up with my weekly posts.   It took the better part of 5 weeks and 2 doctor visits to feel better.

Then I had to make an emergency trip to California for some family issues.  My aunt had an aggressive and fast spreading tumor in her lungs.  By the time the doctors caught it, the cancer had spread to her back, liver and esophagus.  2 weeks later she passed away.  I was fortunate enough to make it down in time to see her one last time, as soon as my bronchitis cleared, about 48 hours before she passed away.  I was getting ready to see her again before my flight home when we got the call that she had passed in the night, so I stayed a few more days to be with my dad (it was his younger sister) and the rest of my family.  






On top of that I have other extended family in the area dealing with health & emotional issues, so I was able to spend time with lots of family members I don't get a chance to see all that often. Lots of hugging and a few tears were shared that week.  Thankfully I work from home, and could take this time off, but I need to get back to work to build up that emergency fund again.  My hope is that the next time I go down to visit CA it will be for a happy reason.  I was able to get some snuggles, and laughs in with my niece.  She is always good medicine for the soul.



Meeka loves cell phones.  She especially loves seeing herself on camera and helped me take this selfie.  :) 

Before I left I started a quick prayer quilt for my aunt and cousins.  I didn't realize before I got down there that my aunt is/was an avid quilter.  She has always been so creative and has made each of us blankets, scarfs, mittens, socks, hats, etc.  While I was working on this quilt I was hoping it would keep her warm in the coming months, but I also hoped it would bring her daughter comfort long after she was gone.  I prayed for both of them as well as several of my other cousins and uncles as I worked on this quilt.  I wasn't sure where this one would end up, but I was on a deadline to complete it.  I'll share more soon on a Sew Saturday, but here is one of the pictures I posted on Instagram. 


It's been hard to get back in the swing of things. I haven't been back in my sewing room since I returned from CA last week and it just dawned on me as I'm typing this why that is.  The last thing I worked on was Aunt Cathy's quilt.  I need to get back in there and work on my charity blocks for the Courage Circle at #dogoodstiches

My design team card for StampNation was due this week, so I have made 1 card.  Here is a sneak peek of the card for the Natural Elements challenge.  If you are a StampNation member you can see the full picture along with inspiration from the rest of the design team and other members HERE.


In addition to all of that I have also just completed our family taxes.  First for me and my hubby, then for our kids.  Perhaps I should ask for a commission.  ;)  I used turbo tax because it makes it so easy for me.  The program walks you through each category step by step.  I highly recommend it.  I needed a downloadable version because my desktop doesn't have a disk drive, and I found it on Amazon, so I thought I would share with you.



And then, because I was on Amazon and saw this adorable little dress that I think would look darling on my niece, I had to share it with my brother.  It comes in a dozen or more different colors.  I thought it might be perfect for her for Easter.  Unfortunately the smallest size it comes in is 2T, and she is barely in 18 months, but I am thinking it might work for her birthday.  ;)  Retail therapy truly does help when it comes in the form of pretty little things.  




That has been my Feb-March so far.  I'm need of some serious creative time to get my mojo going again.  I think I'll start by binge-watching youtube videos from my favorite crafty people, and visiting a couple of challenge blogs too.  What do you do when you find yourself in a creative slump.


2.21.2017

StampNation Slumber Party

The night before the new Stamp of Approval release of The Perfect Reason collection, StampNation had a slumber party to celebrate.  Catherine Pooler and some of her team that are night owls (or on the west coast, like yours truly) joined her for an hour of stamping fun with the new collection.  She then opened up shopping early for all StampNation members to get first dibs on the new release!  SWEET!  

Several of the team got on camera, but I was still coughing each time I talked and blowing my nose and was generally in a very un-camera  friendly state.  I did stamp along with them though and finished my cards when I was able to go to my stamp room a couple of days later.  Here are my cards.


This first card was a CASE of Catherine's card from day 1 of the blog hops. Clicky to see her card.  I simplified mine down to one layer, changed the colors and the sentiment up a bit.

Stamps: Everyday Mod (CPD)
Ink: Aquatini, Flirty Fuchsia, Midnight, Tutti Frutti (CPD)
Paper: Bright White (Catherine Pooler Designs)

My second card came about because I was playing with this sunflower.  During the live event I stamped out a couple of these flowers, but didn't have my big shot with me.  It was fun just to stamp.  This card reminds me of summer days to come.  Just what I needed during our recent snow storms.  I think the border I added looks like waves. Hmmm... I feel another card idea brewing.

Stamps: Everyday Mod, The Perfect Reason (CPD)
Ink: Fiesta Blue, Lime Rickey, Tiara, Tiki Torch, Tutti Frutti, Midnight (Catherine Pooler Designs)
Paper: Bright White (Catherine Pooler Designs) 
Accessories: Merry Label Dies (CAS-ual Fridays Stamps)



My last card was inspired by one of my LuLaRoe friends.  She always starts her live broadcasts by saying "Hello Loves".  She is just the sweetest thing, so I wanted to make her a card that she can send to one of her loves.  :)   This time I paired the sunny flower with not only the Merry Label die, but the large tag from the Lovely Flowers & Dies.  I left the background clean, simple and white, but added another pop of color with some pink twine from Pretty Pink Posh.

Stamps: The Perfect Reason (CPD)
Ink: Grass Skirt, Party Dress, Tiara, Tiki Torch (Catherine Pooler Designs)

Paper: Bright White (Catherine Pooler Designs) 
Accessories: Lovely Flowers & Banner Die (CPD) Merry Label Dies (CAS-ual Fridays Stamps) Pink Twine (Pretty Pink Posh) 


Want to go shopping?  There are still a limited few boxes left of The Perfect Reason collection and the other Catherine Pooler Designs products can be found if you clicky here.  In fact, the only thing I used on these 3 cards that can't be found in her shop is the twine.  Sweet! 

2.18.2017

Sew Saturday ~ SSMQG Patchwork City QAL

Last year, and part of the year before, our guild participated in a Patchwork City QAL from the book by Elizabeth Hartman.


It was a long journey and I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the finish line, but I did.  Sort-of.  I didn't get the quilt quilted and bound, but I did finish all of the blocks, and piece them together.  I even did one of the blocks twice.  Don't ask.  I don't know how I managed to do that one.   Anyway, I'm pretty proud of this one.  I'm not sure if I am up to quilting it.  I think I might send it to my friend, Melissa Dunworth and let her use her longarm magic on it.  If I wait for myself to be motivated to do it I could be out of love with aqua before that happens.  ;)


Several of the other members of our guild finished as well.  We even had a couple COMPLETE their quilts.  I'm so impressed with them!






2.16.2017

With Love From Your Sistah

Calling All Sistahs!



I love you and I want to be sure you are around for a long time.  This month our Calling All Sistahs theme is "With Love From Your Sistah" because we care so much about each of you! Cancer is not contagious, but it can be caught early and the earlier it is caught the better our chances for long term survival and cure!  So, go check yourselves, and make that appointment if it's time for your yearly mammogram.


Isn't the new Special Delivery stamp set from CAS-ual Fridays Stamps PERFECT for this month's theme?  You would think we planned it that way, but actually I floated the idea of the theme before I had seen the new release.

To view the video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5EMd9S0T6k



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This month I want to share a little of my family story with you.  If you don't have time, skip the next few paragraphs and go right back to hopping.  I understand.  The thing is, this has to do with my "why I joined this hop".

I'm one of those people that doesn't like to go to the doctor.  I don't want to find out what is wrong. I'm scared of the treatments, and I will avoid it as long as possible.  The problem is, I come from a family with a strong history of cancer, among other health issues, and I also am part of a family that "puts off" going to the doctor far longer than we should.  My grandma (dad's mom) who had breast cancer and a mastectomy in her 50's put off going to a cardiologist in her late 60's after the doctor found an irregular heart beat.   She ended up having a stroke and passing away soon after.

My aunt (dad's older sister) fought breast cancer the year I got married.  She wore a wig to my wedding, but she wasn't going to miss it.  14 years later she started having some health problems and hadn't gone in for her yearly mammogram.  She kept getting more sick, and by the time she went to the doctor and found she had cancer it was too late.  She died within weeks of discovering the cancer had spread throughout her body.

My dad has had cancer twice.  First in his prostrate, and then skin cancer.  He was tempted to let the dark spot that showed up on his slide until his prostate treatments were done, but went to the doctor and found out the dark spot was cancer and had it removed.  

My uncle (dad's younger brother) had colon cancer a few years ago and is currently fighting prostate cancer.  My Grandpa (dad's dad) had prostate cancer as well.  You better believe my boys will be getting theirs checked when they get old enough to start checking.  It will be embarrassing to ask them about it, but far better than losing them to it.

My other aunt (dad's younger sister) had cervical cancer and was treated decades ago.  She has also found a lump in breast, but refused treatment.  She put off going to the doctor for a nagging cough, but finally ended up in the emergency room.  This week we found out that the mass in her lungs has grown.  It was the size of a potato a few weeks ago and is now all over the lung, it's metastasized to her esophagus, back and liver.  It's aggressive and has spread too much to be treated.  She's been put on hospice and not given very long to live.  

I'm one who puts off going to the doctor too, but I've seen that ignoring possible cancer does not make it go away.  Please, if it is time for your checkup, make that appointment.  If you find something or don't feel right, get it checked and keep seeking answers until you find out what is wrong.  I don't want you to find cancer, but I really don't want to lose another person to cancer.  That is why I do this every month.  It's not been easy to talk about breast self-exams, but it's getting easier every month.  You are important enough to me to be a little uncomfortable having the discussion.  And, because I am having it with you, I can't stick my head in the sand either.  I'll be doing my exam on the 17th right along with all of you, and I will have my second mammogram in April when I am due for one.

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Up next on the hop is the talented Ceal Pritchett.  Be sure to leave comments on each stop of the hop because Michele will be picking 2 winners from among the comments made by February 19th, 2017.  If you would like to be a stop on the blog hop next month simply email me at sistahoodhop @ outlook . com  and join our Facebook group to get all the latest scoops.


Heather North *you are here*
Ceal Pritchett <<<go here next<<<

Stamps: Hope Ribbon, Special Delivery (CAS-ual Fridays Stamps)
Ink: Copic: 0, C0, C3, C4, C6, BV02, FV2, RV02, RV04, RV09; Onyx Black (Versafine) Versamark
Paper: Bright White (Catherine Pooler Designs) Painted Prints Smitten (My Favorite Things)
Accessories: Blueprints 20, Blueprints 24 (My Favorite Things) Clear Embossing Powder, Smoky Slate Embossing Powder (Stampin' Up) Mailbox Fri-Die (CAS-ual Fridays Stamps)