With Heartfelt Sympathy

Today's post is dedicated to the memory of my sweet friend and stampin' sister Sarina.  On Friday, April 6th she unexpectedly passed away after suffering complications from a stroke.

Sarina was a full time care giver for her mom, Rosita.  Both of these lovely ladies came into my life a couple of years ago and have been such a blessing not only to me but to the other guests at my classes and events.

Rosita and Sarina

Rosita and Sarina

Sarina had such a giving heart, she was always thinking of ways to bless others.  In this photo above she and her mom are passing out little post it note holders that they had made for everyone who came to class that day.

Sarina and Rosita

Sarina and Rosita

Here they are again during a Christmas event.  I remember them waiting outside and then making a surprise grand entrance as Santa and Mrs. Claus!  Everyone was so surprised and delighted.  

In this photo they are also holding a gift they had made for me.  It was small Christmas tree made with a coat hanger, tinsel and it even had working Christmas lights on it.   

After stamping with me for a little while, Sarina decided to become a demonstrator.  Sarina joined Stampin' Up! and my team Stamped With Aloha and our group was never the same!  Whether it be at classes, Inspiration Night or other stamping events Sarina had a way of making everyone laugh.  

Sarina and Terry

Sarina and Terry

Her smile was infectious and her positive attitude so strong.  Sarina was so encouraging to all of us.  Whether it be about life of stamping she knew just what to say to make us feel affirmed and inspired.  

One of my favorite photos of her is this one with a group of my downline whom she was especially close to.

Roxy, Sarina, Lori and Charlene at Inspiration Night

Roxy, Sarina, Lori and Charlene at Inspiration Night

I'm pretty certain its because of something funny she said that all of these lovely ladies have such bright smiles.

Charlene and Sarina

Charlene and Sarina

Although I only had the blessing of knowing her for a couple of years she made an impact on my life from day one.

Rosita and Sarina

Rosita and Sarina

Both she and her Mom Rosita have taught me about strength, perseverance, selflessness and love.  

Next month we will celebrate her life.  I worked on a card I will give to her Mom at the memorial service.  As I created this card I thought of Sarina.  

Heartfelt Sympathy Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Heartfelt Sympathy Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The base of the card is Old Olive because green was her favorite color.  The roses on the card are yellow to represent the blessing of friendship we shared.  The words come from the set Heartfelt Sympathy.  The words beautifully express what I want to communicate to Rosita during this very difficult time.  Sarina truly was someone so special.

Sarina and Charlene

Sarina and Charlene

In this photo Sarina is wearing one of our Stamped With Aloha shirts.  The back says, "stand tall, wear a crown and be sweet on the inside".  Sarina represented that motto so well.

Sarina knew I loved pineapples so she was often suprising me with pineapple things she would make or find.  One of her last gifts to me was this pineapple air plant.  I remember how joyful she was when she gave it to me in February.  It was something she had seen on pinterest and took the time to create as a gift for me.

Pineapple Pine Cone from Sarina

Pineapple Pine Cone from Sarina

What a creative and thoughtful gift from my beautiful sister and friend.  

I am truly thankful for the honor and blessing of knowing someone so special.  

Sarina was taken from us very unexpectedly and it reminds me that we never know when that time will come for us or our loved ones.  

Is there someone in your life that you are thankful for, have you told them that recently?  How about someone you love.  Do they know how much you love them??  How I wish I had one more opportunity to tell Sarina how much she meant to me. 

 We can all learn from the life of Sarina to be strong, giving, caring, encouraging and inspiring with each day we are blessed to live on this earth.

Rest in Peace my sweet friend Sarina, you are loved and will be dearly missed.

Love and Hope

Yesterday I spent time in my stamp room working on swap cards that I had designed for my monthly inspiration night.  The theme was soft subtles so I chose to create a card featuring two of my favorite soft subtle colors, Marina Mist and Pear Pizzaz.  

Special Reason Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Special Reason Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I used the stamp set Special Reason to create the floral background and the sentiment "You're In my Thoughts and Prayers" came from the Flourishing Phrases stamp set.  I layered the sentiment on one of the square stitched shape framelits that have quickly become a favorite in my stamp room.

As I was making this card I got a phone call from a friend who was sad.  I spoke with her for a long time and my heart just broke for her because she was really going through a tough time.  I had the opportunity to pray for her but her pain was so deep that when I hung up the phone I just felt so burdened for her and wish I could have done more to lift her spirits.   

I know that the best thing I can do for my friend right now is to continue to pray for her and let her know I am here if she needs me.   

I am glad that this was the card I made for my swap because I was able to use an extra one I had to write her a thoughtful note to mail her this week so she know that she is not forgotten.  

We send cards for all types of occasions, birthdays, thank you's, anniversaries, graduations, etc but I think its the unexpected blessing of receiving a "thinking of you" card that means the most especially when people are struggling, feeling alone or discouraged.

Who do you know that needs a word of encouragment today?  You have the ability to make a difference by praying for them and offering words of love and hope!

Let's take our hand stamped creations and use them to do just that!  Let's continue to spread aloha, one stamp at a time.

 

 

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com

Comfort and Peace

This week I spent some time in my stamp room creating two sympathy cards for very special friends of mine who are hurting over the loss of precious loved ones.

Floral Boutique Sympathy cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Floral Boutique Sympathy cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I wanted to keep the cards simple and elegant, so I chose to use the Floral Boutique Designer Series Paper which has various beautiful patterns all in Night of Navy and Whisper White.  Both cards featured stamped images from our Flourishing Phrases stamp set.

Floral Boutique Sympathy card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Floral Boutique Sympathy card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This first card is extra large and long because it was given by a group of friends and I wanted there to be plenty of room for us to all write our heart-felt messages inside.

Flourishing Phrases Sympathy card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Flourishing Phrases Sympathy card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The second card featured a large image from the Flourishing Phrases stamp set on the front that I embellished with tiny punched flowers that were adorned with jewel rhinestones.

Both cards had the same message on the inside that read:

Flourishing Phrases Sentiment - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Flourishing Phrases Sentiment - www.stampedwithaloha.com

"Praying that your heart will be lifted by the many loving thoughts that surround you today."

I love this sentiment and think it perfectly expresses my desire for my friends who are in need of prayer, encouragement and support as they mourn the loss of someone dear.

Whenever I attend a funeral I am reminded of how precious life is.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed so I need to do my best to seek God and honor Him with the choices I make today and every day.  Choices that lead to me loving others, serving others and honoring God with each breath that He gives me.   

On Saturday, those thoughts passed through my mind as I attended our Pastor Art's daughter's funeral.  As Pastor Art shared about his beautiful daughter Lei he reminded us all that tomorrow is not a right, it is a privilege and we need to love others, forgive others and live with no regrets.

 I have seen Pastor Art in a new light these past few weeks.  Although I see his broken heart, I also see his love for God and his confidence in God's purpose and plan.  He has demonstrated to us all the importance of loving others.  He has demonstrated his reliance on God's strength as He continues to lead us and love on us, his church ohana, even in his grief.   His example is teaching us all how important it is to trust God even through extremely difficult circumstances. 

If you are one who recently lost someone you love or if you are going through a difficult season, know that I am praying for you today.  My prayer is that God would comfort you and heal your broken heart.  

Psalm 147:3 promises us that He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds.  

I pray that you would seek God and draw near to Him today.  When you do this, He promises to draw near to you.  He desires to comfort and help you.  He wants to heal your broken heart.  Rest in Him today knowing that you are not alone.  HE is with you!  May you find comfort and peace in His presence today and everyday.

 

  

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com

July Inspiration Night

Our July Inspiration night was held in honor of our friend Roanna Chang who passed away last month.  We all miss her terribly and wanted to do something to honor her memory as well as be a support to one another through this difficult time as many of us were very shocked at the news of her passing.

Our evening started as most do, with introductions, announcements and updates.  I was blessed to eat dinner with and also introduce a group that was very near and dear to Roanna.  Her downline Jennifer and her customers Pat, Shannon and Kimberly.

July Inspiration Night Friends - www.stampedwithaloha.com

July Inspiration Night Friends - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I was so touched by their stories about how much Roanna meant to them.  Roanna lived in Kapolei which was over a 40 minute drive for these three to attend her classes yet they didn't let the distance stop them.  They would often be at her home for hours and she always took such great care of them assisting them and making them feel special.

Jennifer shared a story about how one day when she went to visit Roanna who was sick and the two of them were going to read the Bible together.   Jennifer told Roanna, "you go ahead and open up the Bible and whatever page you turn to, let's study that part".  Roanna agreed and opened up the bible and guess what chapter she turned to?  The book of Proverbs, chapter 3.  Roanna smiled as she opened her favorite pink bible and they read the chapter together that talks about trusting in God!   Roanna and Jennifer agreed together in prayer that their hope and confidence was in God and his perfect plan no matter the outcome. 

It was this beautiful verse that Roanna and her family cherished so much that we decided to frame in her honor.  Here is the project we created together.  

Proverbs 3:5-6 in Hawaiian and English - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Proverbs 3:5-6 in Hawaiian and English - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roxanne helped to format the verses in both Hawaiian and English and did such a beautiful job.  I was so happy with the outcome.

When I gave this frame to the family I created a matching sympathy card to go with it.

Botanicals Sympathy Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Botanicals Sympathy Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

As we gathered at Inspiration Night to create the frame together, I encouraged people to share stories and memories about Roanna.  We also had a display table set up where many people brought projects that she had given them or that they had made at her classes.

Created by Roanna - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Created by Roanna - www.stampedwithaloha.com

It was fun to hear the many stories shared throughout the night.

 When Michelle walked through the door she smiled and pulled out this treasure chest card which is pictured below.  Michelle reminded me of when Roanna made this very detailed card to bring to convention and wanted to give one to Dawn Griffith because Dawn was such a treasure to her.  When I introduced Roanna to Dawn, Roanna shared some words with her and gave her this card and before you know it they were both crying!  It was a special moment to witness.

Roanna's Projects - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roanna's Projects - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jennifer shared how she is so happy that there is a recording on the Stamped With Aloha you tube channel of Roanna demoing at our Holiday Retreat.  She wowed us all when she demoed the projects below.  Jennifer said she watches it often just to hear her voice.

Roanna's Christmas Creations - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roanna's Christmas Creations - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Kimberly shared how patient and loving Roanna was with each one of them.  She said even though they were "slow" stampers Roanna never made them feel pressured to hurry up.  They said when they created the frame below that they camped out at her house for several hours but always had so much fun and although it was a lot of work they always appreciated all the prep work Roanna did in advance to make it easy for them to create such outstandingly beautiful projects such as this one below.  Just look at all the details!  WOW.

Roanna's Frame Class - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roanna's Frame Class - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jennifer shared about getting Roanna's help to design and invitation and showed some of the beautiful samples created in red and yellow that Roanna gave her.  

Goldie shared about the card in the middle and how it was a card that Goldie had made and Roanna was so interested she asked Goldie to show her how to make one.  Goldie remembered that moment fondly as one of the first conversations she and Roanna had shared.   Goldie also said that as they spoke they discovered they both had something in common, they were drawn to Stampin' Up! by watching videos where they would hear the "click-click" of the ink pad opening and shutting and that would always make them smile.

Roanna's Tropical Flower cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roanna's Tropical Flower cards - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Others shared how touched they were by the time she helped them create swaps.  Liane shared that when she was going to her first convention, Roanna gifted her with 100 beautiful swap cards to swap that were all completed.  That was just the kind of heart she had, so loving and so giving.

Roanna's Fence Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roanna's Fence Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Roanna loved punch art and this project as well was put on display.  Again a gift that Roanna had made to bless a friend.

A punch art gift from Roanna - www.stampedwithaloha.com

A punch art gift from Roanna - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I know Roanna would have been touched by all the kind words spoken about her.  There were even some funny stories shared that made us all laugh.

Terry and Lori at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Terry and Lori at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Terry spoke of meeting Roanna many years ago at a roller skating rink and how the two of them became childhood friends.  After High School they lost touch with each other but reunited in my living room at a Stamp Class just a few years ago.  It was such a fun moment and to think they both lived just minutes from each other and didn't even know it.

I think Roanna would have been pleased with the outcome.  She loved crafting!  Sharing creativity brought her so much joy and that was what the atmosphere was like as we remembered our special friend.

Verilyn at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Verilyn at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I think Roanna would have really appreciated the orderly manner that Verilyn (above) and Barbara (below) had sorted their flowers!

Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Barbara at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

And I know Ann would have made her smile.  Ann makes us ALL smile by her funny comments and contagious laugh.

Ann and Norine at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Ann and Norine at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

It was a special night.  Tasha pictured is creating the plumeria blossoms for the frame by cutting out white flowers and using an aqua painter to add color to the center.  Tasha remembered to wear her pin that we created for our last gathering.  It is our punch art Roanna pin that we can wear and keep her memory close to our heart.

Creating Plumeria flowers at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Creating Plumeria flowers at Inspiration Night - www.stampedwithaloha.com

There were two other parts of our evening.  I gave out recognition cards to any demonstrator who had promoted or anyone who qualified in our TOP TEN sales.  It was quite moving when I announced that despite her illness, Roanna was our number 2 demonstrator for the month of JUNE!  This card created in her favorite green color was received in her honor by Jennifer who will be taking it to Roanna's family this week.  I know that this sentiment truly reflects how Roanna was to her family and those she held dear to her heart.

Love you Lots card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Love you Lots card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Our swap was also done in her honor.  It was a green card swap since GREEN was her favorite color.  I made a card that was inspired by this cute card Lynsay had sent me in the mail last month.

Love You Lots Card by Lynsay - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Love You Lots Card by Lynsay - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I just adjusted the colors and laid it out a little different and this was the outcome.

Missing You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Missing You Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Its hard to see in the photo but I added glue from the fine tip glue pen to the back of the lady bugs to make them shiny and to give them dimension.  Looks just like crystal effects and dried a lot quicker.

Well the sentiment on this card certainly expresses how we all feel about Roanna.  She was a precious friend and stamping sister that will be missed dearly by us all.  

I want to end this post by sharing some words that I shared at this meeting.

Botanicals Framed Art - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Botanicals Framed Art - www.stampedwithaloha.com

 These words framed here are something Roanna and her family believed with all of their hearts.  It was their foundation.  It is the reason why during her most difficult days she was still able to smile.  It's the reason why when so many of us asked how she was doing she said she was fine even though if we had known the entire circumstance we may have thought otherwise.  Roanna knew that her life was in God’s hands and she trusted Him for every day she was blessed to live.  I hope that a you look at this project, you will be blessed by the words and allow them to sink in your heart.  I think Ro would have liked to know that she had the opportunity to share her faith with you as that was so important to her and the reason why she was confident about her future.  It's also the reason why her family was at peace.  Although she will be missed greatly, they know that they will be reunited with her again one day.

Thank you for taking the time to read today's post to hear about our special inspiration night in honor of our special sister and friend.  

Inspiration Night is so much more than a demonstrator meeting, and having one in honor of Roanna really demonstrated what our inspiration nights are all about.  A night for inspiration, creativity, sharing, love and aloha.   

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com