Happy Valentine's Day

After church one Sunday many years ago, my husband introduced me to his friend Eddie.  Eddie then introduced me to his wife, whose name is Cindy.  Cindy and I smiled and said "hello" to one another, and that was about it.  After all, I was busy looking after my pre-teenage kids and she had a baby in her arms.  

Our path's crossed every once and awhile because our husband's friendship.  Even though Cindy and I saw one another we really didn't engage in a conversation.  We just stood quietly while our husbands talked and talked and talked, something they still do to this day.    

That all changed at a Christmas dinner hosted by our friend Karin many years ago.  At this dinner Cindy sat across the table for me.  As we were enjoying dinner someone brought up the subject of crafting and in minutes we connected!  We started talking and couldn't stop, it was like a spark had been lit!  Suddenly this person whom I assumed I had nothing in common with and I were instantly connected with so much to share.  

 I think about that now, so many years later and I laugh!  Cindy is one of my most cherished friends, more than that she is my sister!  We are seen together so often that many refer to us as "The Cindy's."  

The Cindy's

The Cindy's

Although we both enjoy creative things, we do different types of projects.   Cindy can sew and makes beautiful projects with fabric.  Cindy also creates amazing treats such as toffee, cake pops, rice krispie cakes, gingerbread houses, chocolate dipped pretzels and she can slice a watermelon into a work of art!  You can follow her on her business Facebook or Instagram called Zoe.Hawaii.

 The thing she is most famous for is her cookies.  Cindy is the ultimate Cookie Mama!  Her cookies are so beautiful, you don't want to eat them.  However, if you are tempted to take a bite then you can't stop because they are so good.

For the past few years, we've partnered together to host a Mother/Child Valentine Class at her home.  This year's class was this past weekend and once again it was such a blessing to share this creative time with her.  

Would you like to see the projects we made at the class?

All of our projects that day featured the Painted With Love Designer Paper as well as the Painted Love Vinyl Stickers.  In fact, each kit included two sheets of the stickers for everyone to use that day and to take home after.

The first project was a friendly Panda Valentine Card. 

Panda Valentine Card

Panda Valentine Card

This card was made on one of our new Narrow Note Cards.  These cards come with envelopes and are the perfect size for creating gift card holders or cute cards for Valentine's Day.

This card is simple to make, as many of my projects are, and the everyone seemed to enjoy making them.  Especially my little assistant Raymee, pictured below, who was so good at helping others at the class.

Raymee is a happy stamper!

Raymee is a happy stamper!

The next project led everyone to the kitchen where Cindy provided a station for them to dip and decorate fortune cookies.  They dipped them in colorful chocolate and covered them in decorative candy sprinkles.

Cindy showed them how to take a damp paper towel and carefully wrap the cookie.  Then you place it in the microwave for 15 seconds and when it comes out you can carefully pry it open with tongs, take out the fortune and replace it with your own hand written one.  Then you pinch it together for a few minutes while it is still cooling down  to seal it and then dip it and decorate it.

Valentine's Day Class

Valentine's Day Class

The girls seemed really excited to learn this technique and even more excited to have the opportunity to write their own personalized fortunes. 

After their cookies dried they brought them to a station where I had provided supplies to make a bag topper.  They placed their cookies in the bag and then created this cute Take Out Box topper.

Fortunate To Know You Cookie Topper

Fortunate To Know You Cookie Topper

The sentiment on this project "Fortunate to Know You" works perfectly if you are planning on giving this to someone as a Valentine or Thank You gift.  The stamps on this project all come from the set with that same name, "Fortunate to Know You" which is a new set in our Occasions catalog.  

The final project was a Chinese Take Out Box.  

Valentine Take Out Box

Valentine Take Out Box

I cut a 3 x 3 piece of Blushing Bride card stock and adhered it to the front of the box with dimensionals.  I added a piece of Painted With Love Designer Paper that had large sections of gold on it.  I die cut a heart and everyone layered a gold sticker on top of it.  The vinyl stickers are easy to use and add a perfect finishing touch that really compliments the gold in the designer paper.

Look what Nicole made!

Look what Nicole made!

The kids all did such a great job on their projects.  

Here is Nicole showing me her completed box.  It made me feel so happy to see all the smiles that day from these wonderful kids who were enjoying this creative time together.

Are you ready to see what went inside the box?  Are you sitting down?  This one was "over the top" Amazing!!!

Cookie Box

Cookie Box

Inside each box was a box!  

What kind of box you might ask?  A COOKIE BOX!!!!  This might look like an extra large cookie but it is actually several cookies that have been iced together.  Cindy created cookie kits so that the kids would only have to ice the layers together to form their box.

Creating a Cookie Box

Creating a Cookie Box

The kit included a finished topper cookie, a solid heart shaped base cookie and 2 cut out heart cookies that everyone added icing to and glued together to form their boxes.  After assembling the box they had a variety of candy choices to fill their box.

 Here is what is looks like when completed.

Cookie Box - inside

Cookie Box - inside

All I can say is WOW!  What a beautiful treat to make and take!  Its the perfect gift for your Valentine, that is if you can control yourself from not eating it yourself.

One of the sweetest moments at the class for me was watching little Andrew who asked me for some paper and stickers because he wanted to make something.  I gave him some scrap supplies and off he went to a station to make a Valentine card.  When it was completed, I handed him a pen and told him to write a message.  He wrote the words, "I Love Mommy" and ran off with the card in hand.  I assumed he was on his way to hand it to Cindy.  

Just minutes later I found him in front of the refridgerator where he had GLUED his card to the door, proudly displaying it to surprise his Cookie Mama whom he loves so much!

Andrew's Valentine Card

Andrew's Valentine Card

A priceless moment that can be easily fixed with a little "goo-gone" after Valentine's Day is over!

Assuming Cindy and I had "nothing" in common was a huge mistake.  I have learned a valuable lesson about not making assumptions.  

Being a part of Stampin' Up! has taught me that same lesson too.  I've seen people from all walks of life can become the best of friends when they just take the time to get to know one another.  

I wonder if there is someone in your life that you might see on a regular basis but haven't really taken the time to get to know.  Who knows, you might have a undiscovered best friend in someone who delivers your mail?  Perhaps its someone who sits in the next cubicle at work?  Maybe even someone whom you go to church with or see at the gym or grocery store.  If someone comes to mind, next time you see them why not slow down a little bit and take a few moment to start a conversation.  You may just "spark" something that will lead to you both becoming the best of friends at the very least you can speak words of encouragement and bless someone's day!.

Valentine's Day Projects - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Valentine's Day Projects - www.stampedwithaloha.com

That's how it happened with Cindy and I.  I just wish I had talked to her sooner so we could have shared even more creative adventures together.  However, I trust that God's timing is perfect and I am thankful to Him for blessing me with such a wonderful sister and friend, I couldn't imagine my life without her.

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!  

With Love and Stamped Blessings, Cindy

 

 

Unexpected Blessings

This past week I had the most amazing day with two of my stampin' sisters, Tisha and Laura.  On Tuesday, what started as an impromptu get together, turned into a day filled with unexpected blessings as we spent time with each other.

We had breakfast at Cinnamon's in Waikiki.  I'm so thankful for this new location.  It's at the Ilikai hotel, right by the Marina pictured below.

Ilikai Marina

Ilikai Marina

There was lots of seating and the menu had plenty of good things to choose from.  They are famous for their Red Velvet Pancakes so we got one short stack to share.  It was basically because we all wanted just one bite!

Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes

Gosh, just seeing this photo makes me miss Laura so much!  She has already returned back to the mainland but I am hoping and praying it won't be long till we can be reunited again!  She is such a blessing!

Our brunch was delicious!  The service there was great.  We didn't feel rushed and we had a really enjoyable conversation with the sounds of this waterfall flowing behind us.  It was a beautiful day!

Laura at Cinnamon's

Laura at Cinnamon's

Being with them reminded me of why I feel so fortunate to be a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.  When these ladies became a part of my life through Stampin' Up!, they became a part of my family.  Both Tisha and Laura have been friends for over 18 years and I feel so fortunate that we were joined together because of the love we had for ink, stamps, and paper which resulted in an amazing friendship and support system that has lasted all these years.

Brunch at Cinnamon's

Brunch at Cinnamon's

I am truly grateful for this sisterhood and our friendship!  

After brunch we stopped by Pearl Ridge and discovered that a new store, The Blessed Life had just opened a few days prior.  I had been to the one at Windward Mall and was so happy that they had come to Pearl Ridge which is a lot closer for me to get to.  

When we stepped inside the store, we were greeted by the store owner, Junior and his wife.  They were so friendly and kind.  They made us feel so welcome as they excitedly showed us around their beautiful new store.

The Blessed Life is now at Pearl Ridge Mall

The Blessed Life is now at Pearl Ridge Mall

Junior shared an amazing testimony with us about how God had transformed His life.  He spoke to us about the power of prayer and he reminded us to remember to be thankful for all of God's blessings, especially the unexpected ones.

He used an example of finding money on the ground.  He said to us, "when you look down and find a small coin, you pick it up and think nothing of it, but how do you react when you look down and find a thousand dollars? It's usually only then that you say things like, 'Praise God' for this blessing!"  He reminded us that we can be thankful even for the little things and we should learn to live with a greater awareness that God is at work around us.  

When we left his store we weren't twenty steps away when Laura saw something on the ground!  It was a coin!!!  Laura reached down and picked it up with a smile.  We all just laughed as she smiled and looked up to heaven to say "thanks" for the unexpected blessing.  It wasn't just the value of the coin, but the reminder that someone was watching over her from above and showing her His love.

Next time you are at the mall at Pearl Ridge or Windward, be sure to check out The Blessed Life store.  You can buy shirts from all different Christian vendors, two of my favorites are Blessed and Faith, Hope, Aloha.

After we got back to Tisha's house she told me she had something for me.  Next thing you know she is coming out of her house carrying a cake!  It was a cake she made out of FLOWERS!  What an unexpected blessing!

 

Flower Cake

Flower Cake

The cake stood on top of a cute red cake stand and had a black and white birthday balloon attached to the top as well as three gold candles.

Flower Cake and Balloon

Flower Cake and Balloon

I was so touched by her kind and thoughtful gift that I came home to stamp her a thank you card.  I set the cake and balloon on my stamp room table and began to pull Stampin' Up! products that were inspired by this beautiful gift.  

Petal Pair Thank You Card

Petal Pair Thank You Card

This card was textured with one of our newest embossing folders called Petal Pair.  I used Real Red and Whisper White card stock with a touch of Gold Foil which represented the 3 gold candles.  I also added Petal Passion Designer Paper to the middle to pick up on the colors of the Black and White birthday balloon.

Birthday Flower Cake and Card

Birthday Flower Cake and Card

I am thankful for my kind friends and the amazing day we shared that was filled with unexpected blessings and lots of love.  

Tag, You're It!

Last week I went to Kahala Mall to pick up the dress I bought to wear at my daughter's wedding.  While headed to the store, I passed by this cute boutique called 33 Butterflies.  I was with a friend and we couldn't help but go in.   There were lots of unique pieces of clothing in this cute boutique and we both ended up making an unexpected purchases.  

When I got home I took the tag off the item I purchased and noticed how cute it was.

33 Butterflies Tag

33 Butterflies Tag

The next day I had to create a birthday card.  I felt a little stuck on where to begin or what stamp set to use.  This can happen sometimes when you have a lot of great products to choose from.  

I remembered the cute tag and it became the inspiration for the birthday card I needed to make.  Here is the card I came up with.

Butterfly Basics Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Butterfly Basics Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card combines something old with something new!  The old is the stamp set Butterfly Basics.  This is a beautiful stamp set with 11 images in it.  The new set is Charming Cafe' which is from our new Occasions Catalog and has a really great set of coordinating framelits called Cafe' Builder which I also used on this card. 

Here is a side view of the card so you can see how the layers were put together.

Butterfly Basics Card - www.stamedwithaloha.com  

Butterfly Basics Card - www.stamedwithaloha.com  

The bottom of card has a black strip of card stock that was punched with the Ticket Tear Border Punch.  A piece of linen thread was wrapped around the bottom to add a finishing touch as well.

What sparks your creativity?  Are there any of you out there who find inspiration in everyday things they might see like a photo from a magazine, a piece of fabric or even a tag from a new piece of clothing?  I love creating cards this way.  It is especially helpful when I don't know where to begin.  If you've never stamped this way I'd encourage you to take a look around you and create something inspired by something you see that you think is unique and beautiful.

Butterfly Basics Card

Butterfly Basics Card

In creating this project I received a double blessing.  Not only was I inspired to create a fun card but I also got a really cute new top to wear as well.  Hmmm, perhaps I should go back to the mall to look for more inspiration tomorrow!

False Alarm

A few days ago while having lunch with a friend I was told that one of my stamping sisters had unexpectedly passed away.  I was stunned.  This girl was young and healthy and so full of life the last time I had spoken to her.  As I continued to hear about the situation something didn't feel right to me,  After all, hadn't I just spoken to her recently?  I did some research to discover that my stamping sister was alive!  It turned out that there was a miscommunication and although sadly someone died, it was not my friend.

This reminded me of the false alarm we experienced in the state of Hawaii just a few days prior.  Early on a Saturday morning, we received alerts our phones telling us to seek shelter immediately because a bomb was headed our way and it was not a drill.  

In both cases, there was a 10 to 15 minute period of time where everything stopped.  I began to think of my family and friends.  Had I been there when they needed me?  Had I told them how much I loved them or even more importantly did I remind them how much God loved them?  Going through this experience made me want to work harder at showing my love and appreciation for those God brings across my path.

When I held my first stamp a stack class for the new year, I was so happy to see everyone!    Hugging them all a little tighter that morning.

Dene and Cindy

Dene and Cindy

Dene is holding the first card we made at class.  It was a thank you card.   What an appropriate place to start because of all the thankfulness I was feeling that morning.  Especially for people like Dene who has been such a wonderful customer and friend to me for many, many years.

 Here is a close up of the card.

Petal Palette Thank You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Petal Palette Thank You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card featured a lot of brand new product.  I used the Scattered Sequins dynamic textured impressions folder for texture.  I colored the roses with our new Stampin' Blends. The stamp is new as well, its called Petal Palette and has coordinating designer paper called Petal Passion.  In fact, this gorgeous black and white paper was the featured product in my class and could be seen on all my samples that day.

Petal Passion Designer Series Paper

Petal Passion Designer Series Paper

The next card gave me another opportunity to show the Stampin Blends on a sweet card made with our new set called Bird Banter.  Everyone really seemed to enjoy coloring the birds for this cute birthday card.

Norine and Pat at Stamp A Stack

Norine and Pat at Stamp A Stack

I love the sentiment on this card and the cute little hat you can add to any image in the set.

Bird Banter Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bird Banter Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I also love the bold black and white print of the Petal Passion designer paper.  It is great for masculine cards.

The next card we created was a Valentine Card.

Leigh

Leigh

It was fun to see everyone's faces light up when they saw the Stamparatus.  A new stamp positioning tool that will be available soon.  

Wray and Cheryl

Wray and Cheryl

I used it for the first time at my Stamp a Stack class to create this Valentine card with the Sure Do Love You stamp set.  Cheryl, pictured above with her friend Wray, said she can't wait to get her own Stamparatus.

Sure Do Love You Valentine Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Sure Do Love You Valentine Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

 Have you seen or heard about the Stamparatus yet?   Here is a video to learn a little more about it.

This tool costs $49 and will be available soon.  If you would like me to put your name on a waiting list to get one, like Cheryl did, let me know.

My final card of the class featured not only the Petal Passion Designer Paper but also my favorite Saleabration stamp set called Party Pandas. 

Just look at all my panda loving friends who are equally excited about this adorable set that you can earn for FREE with a $50 order.

Sarina, Pam and Linda

Sarina, Pam and Linda

Here are the Panda cards we created at class.

Party Panda Narrow Note Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Party Panda Narrow Note Cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Aren't these narrow note cards cute?  They are new and they come with cute envelopes.  The sentiments on the two outside cards is from the Petal Pallette stamp set.  The "just for you" on the inside card comes from the Sure Do Love You set.  I love to show how versatile our products are by using them on multiple projects.

Our class came to an end with a very unexpected surprise.  Two of my long time downline and stamping sisters who live in the mainland came over to visit me!!!!  I love these ladies and felt so blessed that they were both here at the same time.

Laura and Mary are in Hawaii!!!

Laura and Mary are in Hawaii!!!

It was wonderful to have them here,  especially because of what I had just experienced with the false alarms.  It gave me the opportunity to share with both of them how grateful I was for their love and friendship.

Both of these false alarms resulted in the same conclusion, I know that God is in control.  My life is in His hands.  I was created to love Him and to show that love to others.  I am thankful that He has surrounded me with wonderful family and friends.  Grateful, that He has blessed me with the opportunity to share what I love and love what I do.

January Stamp A Stack - www.stampedwithaloha.com

January Stamp A Stack - www.stampedwithaloha.com

With love and a grateful heart,

Cindy