You've Got This

I was shopping at Target the other day with one of my stampin friends and as we passed the greeting card section I asked her, "How long has it been since you've walked down the card section of a store"?  She laughed and replied, "it has been YEARS!!!".  I said, "ME too, I don't think I've shopped for a card in over 17 years".  

Most of the cards I receive are hand made but occasionally people will send me store bought cards and I don't mind at all, I think the act of taking the time to send a card is such a thoughtful gesture, especially now a days!  Most of the time however when I do receive store bought cards it is because the person sending it is not a crafter.  So when my very crafty friend came to visit me bringing me a card and gift, I had to smile when I saw that her card was store bought.

As I opened up the envelope,  I saw the name impressed on the back of the envelope flap.  You know the name from the company that makes tv commercials that make you cry.   The same company that makes the cheesiest love story movies that I am not ashamed to admit I'm addicted to, LOL.   So I pull the card out of the envelope mentioning "the name" with a smile on my face and my friend starts to laugh.  It was a REALLY good laugh!  She knows exactly what I am thinking, I don't have to say a word!

I smiled and laughed too.  It felt good to laugh especially with her.  

When I opened the card, It saw that it was really beautiful.  Do you want to see it?  Ta-Da, here it is:

IMG_8480.JPG

The funny thing is, it LOOKS hand made, don't you think?.  

Although my friend and I laughed about it being store bought, I was especially touched that she would take the time to not only bring me a card but with it a beautiful Brighton Power of Pink Bracelet. 

 Brighton Power of Pink Bracelet 2017 

Brighton Power of Pink Bracelet 2017 

You see, my friend said she wanted to do something for me because of what I went through.  The thing is, she understands fully because she went through and is STILL going through the same type of situation.  The challenging part is her cancer was invasive and her treatments are on going and have been really difficult for her.   What I went through pales in comparison with what she is still dealing with today.  It is those circumstances that have kept her from crafting and doing the things she loves.

As we spent time together, we laughed and I told her that her card was beautiful and that it "INSPIRED" me to stamp something similar.  I told her "I'm going to use this card as my inspiration to create a card with Stampin' Up! products."  She smiled and asked,  "Are you going to do it right now?",  I said, "Set your timer for ten minutes and don't watch me".  

So I gave her a Stampin' Up! catalog to look at and I went to work.  

On your mark, get set, GO.  The challenge was on and in exactly ten minutes, this is what I made.

 You've Got This card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

You've Got This card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

To make this card I grabbed the first set that had a similar flower.  It was the set called You've Got This.   I grabbed my black ink pad and stamped the flower.  I watercolored it with an Aqua Painter using Rose Red Ink, Daffodil Delight Ink and Sweet Sugarplum Ink.  

 You Got This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

You Got This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

When I watercolored the leaves I just tried to follow a similar pattern by coloring way outside the lines.  I also used the Fluttering Textured Embossing Folder to add butterflies to the black background piece of card stock.  This represented the beautiful gift I received along with the card.

To finish the card I added some of our new black rhinestones and some mini gold sequins I had left over from our Water Color Christmas Card kit.

 You Got This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

You Got This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I love the black and gold sparkly details that give this card the perfect finishing touch.  

When I finished stamping we both sat and looked at the completed card and smiled.  I told my friend, I'm making this card for you!  However you can't take it today cause I need to write a message in it and I'll send it to you soon. 

As I looked at the card suddenly it hit me.  Of all the stamp sets in my entire stamp studio the one I choose in ten minutes or less was You've Got This.  My mission was to copy a card and then give it to my friend.  My beautiful, vibrant, strong friend who has been going through a challenging season.  It felt like a divine moment where the words in this set were the exact message God wanted her to hear.  With all she is going through she needed encouragement.

Do you want to know what other sentiments are in this set?  One stamp says, "Good Things ARE going to happen".  Another image says, "I'm HERE for you" and of course the one I used which shares the same name as the set, "You've Got This".

Prior to sending it I looked at it one more time and noticed that the leaf images in the original card look more stamped than watercolored.  So I made a second card.  

 You've Got This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

You've Got This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This time rather than watercoloring the leaves I used Sweet Sugarplum Ink and I stamped over them using leaves from the Bunch of Blossoms stamp set.  I used two different generations of the ink so one would appear darker than the other.  I also used a Daffodil Delight Stampin' Marker to color and brighten up the center before I added the embellishments.

 You've God This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

You've God This Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I think both versions of this card turned out beautiful and I hope my friend will act surprised when it arrives in her mail box this week.

I Thessalonians 5:11 says, "Encourage One Another and Build Each Other Up"!  I hope that when my friend receives my card that she will feel that way, the same way that she made me feel when she came by to visit me.  

This week you will encounter many people who need love and encouragement.  It may be people you know or someone you've never met.   As you go through this week I hope you will remember that you have the power to make a difference.  

Thank you "friend", you know who you are, for making a difference in my life.  Be strong, Be Courageous, Keep Fighting and Remember You've Got This!!!

Gather Together and Give Thanks

This morning I gathered together with two of my friends to spend time going through a new study our church is going through called Faith Fixer Upper.    I am really excited about this small group study because I know there are areas in my life that I need to work on, areas that need to be "fixed".  

We had a wonderful time of sharing together.  During the teaching I wrote this one statement down in my notes, "EVERY miracle comes from a problem".  As I thought about how I react to problems, I know this is an area where I could use some improvements.  With my recent breast cancer diagnosis it was easy for me to give it to God and ask for His help.  It was a challenge that was simply too big for me to "fix".  However when it comes to the smaller, day to day challenges that arise, sometimes I react quickly to try to fix things on my own.  

As we discussed how we handle problems, we discussed what happens when we encounter others who may be going through something difficult.  The question came up, when it comes to our faith, how comfortable are we sharing it?

 Immediately I thought of a time recently where I felt led to pray for someone.  Instead of praying at that moment, I just hugged them and walked away saying, "I'll be praying for you".    It's not that praying for them on my own was a problem.  Its just that at that moment I should have over come my insecurities and just asked if I could pray for them right then and there because I was feeling led to do so!

As I shared this with friends today, they prayed for me that God would help me to "fix" my fears so that the next time I felt led to pray, there would be no hesitation.

Well, "next time" came about 15 minutes after they left.   

My parents came to visit and they brought over a young caregiver they wanted me to meet.  This young gal had just gotten engaged yesterday and my Mom wanted me to see her beautiful ring.   I was introduced to her and then my Mom asked her to show me her engagement ring.  This young gal was all smiles until she lifted her hand to see that the ring was GONE!   At first she smiled shyly, she asked my Mom for the keys to the car and went outside to look for it.  A few minutes later she came back in no longer smiling but looking distraught.  Then she began to quietly say things like, "where could it be"?, "what am I going to tell him"? and "I don't know what to do"?  I could sense she was trying to control her emotions in front of me, after all she was in a strange house meeting someone for the first time. 

As I saw her, I thought about the study we had just finished.  I knew that God was providing me with an opportunity to pray for someone I didn't know who needed to be comforted and who needed a miracle.  So I just stood up and said to her, "I know what to do, let's Pray". 

We circled around her and I prayed.  I asked God to give her peace and to help us find the ring.  When we were done she had tears in her eyes.  We went out and checked the car one more time.  Still no ring.  To make matters worse she had just come from the beach and she knew that she had lost it somewhere between the beach and my house.   I jumped in the car to go to the beach to look and my parents went back to their home to empty the car and check one last time.  Well, as they looked a little deeper in the cracks of the back seat, there it was!  Praise God, the ring was found!

I believe this happened so that this young girl would know that there is a God and He answers prayers.  He answered not only the prayer to find the ring but he also answered my friends prayers who asked God to help me to be more comfortable in sharing my faith.  God is so good!

I have much to be thankful for today.  I am really thankful for my friends who came over to go through this amazing study with me.

Before my friends left I gave them a small gift I had purchased last week.  Did you know  Fall is one of my favorite seasons?

 Last week I passed by the Honolulu Cookie Company at Ala Moana Shopping center and saw they had their Pumpkin flavored cookies out.   I couldn't resist purchasing a few of their adorable pumpkin tins, aren't they cute???.  

Since we were going to be "gathering together" I had just the perfect card to go with this gift.

 Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card was a part of my September Stamp A Stack class.  The leaves and sentiment come from the Painted Harvest stamp set.  

 Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I also used the large pumpkin thinlit from the Patterned Pumpkin Thinlit Dies.  Our new leaf punch was used to add some dimension to the top of the pumpkin.

My friends were really grateful for the surprise Fall blessing.

 Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Painted Harvest Pumpkin Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I was really grateful too.   Grateful for the fabulous Faith Fixer Upper study that I will be going through over the next several weeks.

 Faith Fixer Upper Ohana Group Study - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Faith Fixer Upper Ohana Group Study - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Grateful for "ohana" who gathered with me and prayed for me.  

Thankful to God for hearing those prayers and providing an opportunity for us to witness a problem turn into a miracle!  

Blessed to have the opportunity to share this story with you with hopes that you will be encouraged.

With a grateful heart,

Cindy

ps.  If you live on Oahu and would like to be a part of this study you can jump in on the last four sessions.  They will be held at the New Hope Leeward Kapolei Campus every Wednesday night in October at 6:30pm.  

 

 

The Little Things

One of my favorite new products in our Holiday Catalog is our Pizza Boxes.  These cute little boxes are simple to put together.  They are very sturdy, lined with a plastic coating and are the perfect size to hold our 3 x 3 envelopes, in case you want to create mini gift cards to put inside.

For my September Inspiration Night, I designed 4 boxes for various occasions and packaged them all in a cute tall cello bag.  

All of these pizza boxes were created using a stamp set called, The Little Things.  This stamp set has everything you need to create adorable projects for many different occasions.   The images are the perfect size for the box tops of the pizza boxes too!

Here are the ones I designed for this gathering.

 Extra Special Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Extra Special Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Pizza Box one was made as an "All Occasion" box.  You can use this to wrap a birthday or graduation gift or just to make a quick thank you gift for a friend.  Inside you could put little cards, some gold wrapped candy,  a gift certificate or a small gift.

Halloween is coming soon, so that makes this next Pizza Box one that you could be creating now.  It is very "Spookylicious" and the perfect little package to hold some candy corn or favorite candy of your choice.  Since so many popular candies are packaged in orange and black wrappers this month it would be easy to find something that would be a perfect match for this treat box.

 Haloween Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Haloween Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This box also has one of our new black rhinestones on the back of the little spider.  Just that tiny added touch makes this box sparkle.   This is an extra special treat for those of us gals like myself who love to add jewels to our projects.  Looks like Terry is a fan jewels too!

 Terry at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Terry at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Speaking of sparkling, the next box we made did just that because I used red glimmer paper to make some tiny heart embellishments.  When you need to make a lot of little hearts our Mini Treat Bag Framelit has just the right piece to create mini hearts and stars in a flash!  

These little hearts were adhered to a glossy white heart that I stamped using the "Sweets for my Sweet" stamp from The Little Things stamp set.

 Valentine Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Valentine Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I thought the ladies might find it challenging stamping red ink on glossy paper but everyone did a great job.  The secret is having a steady hand and allowing the ink a few minutes to dry.

 Zeny and Verilyn at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Zeny and Verilyn at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Did you notice that most of these boxes also used a square or circle of card stock that was run through the Big Shot with our Stitched Shapes Framelits.  That little added stitching adds the perfect touch to make these box tops look complete.

Christmas is coming so our final box was created to store some December Deliciousness.  There are so many options for this adorable box.

 Christmas Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Christmas Pizza Box - www.stampedwithaloha.com

You could fill it with candy canes, peppermint bark, gingerbread cookies or even better yet how about some sparkly jewelry?  I think that counts as December Deliciousness too, don't you?

When all the boxes were complete I had everyone make this tiny tag. 

 The Little Things Tag - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The Little Things Tag - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The boxes were then stacked back to back and placed inside a tall cello bag.

 Stampin' Up! Pizza Boxes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Stampin' Up! Pizza Boxes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This cute little tower was tied together with one of our new Black and White striped ribbons that is super cute!

 Stampin' Up! Pizza Boxes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Stampin' Up! Pizza Boxes - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Everyone who came seemed really anxious to make this project.  Even though there were chairs, I noticed everyone at this table was stamping standing up!

 SWA Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

SWA Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

It was fun to make new friends and get reacquainted with those we hadn't seen in a while.  I really enjoy these fun nights with these wonderful ladies.

 Julie and Sandy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Julie and Sandy at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Speaking of wonderful ladies, we were all blessed when Roxanne shared the watercolor technique that she used to create her Magical Mermaid card.  

 Roxannes Mermaid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roxannes Mermaid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roxanne used an aqua painter and dropped ink and let it blend together for the background of this card.  After the ink dried she ran the card stock through the Big Shot with the Ruffled textured Impressions folder.  I love how that folder made the colorful water look like waves.  This card is really detailed and beautiful.  Here's a closer look.

 Magical Mermaid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Magical Mermaid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Since we swap cards at Bunco now, I was blessed to receive one of these beautiful cards from Roxanne.  

In addition to all the fun we had at Inspiration Night, we also enjoyed a delicious dinner cooked by Chef Craig.  Craig makes the most wonderful dishes and his chicken dish tonight was a hit.   Craig was telling us that his chicken only required three ingredients.  Since so many asked for the recipe, I thought I'd post it here for all to enjoy!

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Craig's Ono-licious Panko Chicken

Ingredients:

Boneless skinless chicken thighs

Halms BBQ sauce

Panko

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Dip chicken in the BBQ sauce

Coat both sides with the Panko

Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil

Bake for 20 minutes.

I am glad we had such a great time of not only sharing creativity but also inspiration for our kitchen too.  I'm sure many of us will try and recreate Craig's chicken especially during the busy holiday season.

 Maile and Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Maile and Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Well, I hope you enjoyed a peek into our September Inspiration Night.  These gatherings always make me happy because I love these ladies so much.  They are such good people, so positive to be around and they make me laugh.  Especially this "sweet" and "innocent" lady named Ann below!

 Ann at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Ann at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Our next Inspiration Night is going to be a Holiday Shoebox swap where we will also make a Holiday Card Organizer.  That's coming up soon at the start of next month!

I can't believe that Christmas is almost here.  I am glad that we now carry these awesome pizza boxes because I know that they will come in handy this Holiday Season.  I look forward to finding many creative ways to use them.

I hope you will try and recreate some Pizza Box Treats of your own.  Whether you make them for party favors or even just to make one to give to a friend they are sure to be a fun way to let someone know you care.

It may seem like a small gesture but I think sometimes we forget that taking the time to do "The Little Things" can really make a difference in the lives of others!

Climbing Orchid

The other day I was talking with someone about the mud pie I had made as a welcome gift for my new neighbor.  The person I was talking to was surprised that people still do those types of gestures.  I told her that I was not sure if giving new neighbor gifts was common but it is something that I have always done because I think its important to make someone new feel welcome.

It made me think about how much it meant to us the day we moved into this neighborhood 18 years ago.  Maura who lived in the corner house came over as we were unloading the moving truck with a pitcher of lemonade.   Her kind and thoughtful gesture made an impression on us as a family.  She made all of us feel welcomed.  

Later that same day, I came home and there was a knock on my front door.   It was our new neighbors, the one I had made the pie for.  They were holding a beautiful orchid plant, a card and an empty pie plate.  

The orchid plant was gorgeous.  It had so many beautiful flowers and the color was so nice.

 Orchid Plant - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Orchid Plant - www.stampedwithaloha.com

They gave me the plant and a nice card and when they handed me the pie plate I told them that I had meant for them to keep it.  The husband smiled and with a twinkle in his eye he said, "its for refills".  I thought that was the cutest thing ever.  So now I will look to see what different type of treat I can send there way in the days to come.

As I looked at the beautiful Orchid I knew just what stamp set I would use to make them a thank you card.  You see I had just purchased the Climbing Orchid stamp set and coordination Orchid Builder framelits.  I hadn't used them yet and honestly I was a little nervous because it had a lot of pieces and looked a little intimidating.

I set the orchid plant on the table and began to examine the colors.   I saw Lemon Lime Twist and Rich Razzleberry.  I wonder how many of you reading this see things in Stampin' Up! colors like I do?

 Orchid plant - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Orchid plant - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I also noticed that the stem and leaves were more of a Wild Wasabi color, so these were the colors I chose for my card.   I stamped the Orchid image with Lemon Lime Twist ink and then used an aqua painter that I dipped in the lid of that same ink pad to color in the flower.  I stamped off the Rich Razzleberry to give it a slightly lighter shade for the center of the flowers.

 It was fun assembling these paper flowers and in no time at all, I had a beautiful card for my new neighbor.   I made this card to let them know that I was not only thankful for the beautiful orchid plant but also thankful to have such kind people living next door.

 Orchid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Orchid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I Love this set.  I am definitely gong to work with it some more but it was such a pleasant surprise  to see how easy it was to make some three dimensional cards that were inspired by a very thoughtful gift.

 Orchid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Orchid Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Life can get busy, especially at this time of the year.  Sometimes we go through life moving so fast that we forget to check in with others we may pass by on a regular basis to make sure they are ok.  That sometimes happens in neighborhoods, we may not even realize what others are going through.  

 In this new season I am hoping to be a better neighbor and a better friend.  Life is precious and you never know how much a kind gesture means to someone in need.  I know this kind gesture from people who I've only known for a few days really blessed me and inspired me to continue to spread aloha and be a blessing to others.