August Stamp A Stack

This weekend was my monthly Stamp A Stack class.  The unique thing about this months stack is that normally most of my cards have rhinestones on them but I managed to create an entire stack of cards that didn't need a single rhinestone embellishment.  

Two of the cards I taught at my August stack class featured the Thoughtful Branches stamp set that is only available until the end of August.... just a few days away.  It is SUCH a beautiful stamp set and one that I highly recommend investing in because it is so versatile.

Here are this months cards.

August Stamp A Stack - www.stampedwithaloha.com

August Stamp A Stack - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The first card was made with Thoughtful Branches.  It features a simple two step stamped tree that would be perfect for stamping Christmas cards in the upcoming holiday season. 

I also used a strip of the Fabulous Foil acetate on this card.  One tip I forgot to mention is that when you use this beautiful acetate there is a thin film on it that needs to be removed.  Just rub your finger nail on the back corner of the acetate until the film begins to loosen and then gently pull it off.  

Thoughtful Branches Tree card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Thoughtful Branches Tree card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

I added a gold foil circle with a sentiment layered on top of it to match the polka dot pattern of the acetate.  This sentiment stamp also comes in the Thoughtful Branches stamp set.

The second card I did also was created with Thoughtful Branches.  This one featured this amazing tree that was created with the framelets that come in the Thoughtful Branches bundle.  I showed everyone how to use the precision plate and new Big Shot Die Brush to remove all the little pieces in a snap.  

I love the subtle colors on this card. a combination of Sahara Sand, Mint Macaroon, Pool Party and Very Vanilla.  The little pop of Real Red featured on the small bird stamp is all that is needed to make this card complete.

Thoughtful Branches Kindness Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Thoughtful Branches Kindness Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The next card was also done in shades of blue and green.  This card featured a set called The Places You'll Go and was a class favorite for some who attended.  This card was super simple and also featured a little touch of Real Red to make it complete.  I used the Heart Confetti border punch to create some heart confetti and then I just took three of the largest sized hearts and used glue dots to adhere them to this card to give it just the finishing touch it needed.

Places We Go Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Places We Go Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

The little touches of Red remind me of my friend Lynn who recently moved to the mainland and I am missing her greatly.  Lynn hosted a monthly stamp a stack in her home for the past several years and it has been hard adjusting to her not being close.  I know when she reads this she will smile and understand why the little touches of RED reminds me of her as well as this card that appropriately says, missing you!

The final card was this beautiful Flourishing Phrases card that many commented looked like a pattern you might find on a Mexican floral embroidered dress.  I love the bright colors on this card.  Even though it is a card you have to color, the coloring is easy and I love the combination of Melon Mambo, Pear Pizzaz and Calypso Coral.

www.stampedwithaloha.com

My next stamp a stack is the last weekend of September so if you live in Honolulu I'd love to have you join the fun but be sure to let me know early as this is my most popular class and space fills up fast.  

Thanks so much to all who came and stamped with me this weekend and also to those of you who enjoyed reading about these cards here on my blog.  I look forward to stamping and/or sharing more creative and fun projects with you soon!

Until then, Happy Stampin'

Remembering Pastor Jon

It has taken me several attempts to begin this blog post.  I've started and stopped dozens of times.  I need to do it though, because I want to share with you my thoughts about this amazing man of God who changed my life.

I met Pastor Jon Smith back in the late 80's.  He was the worship Pastor at Hawaii Kai Christian Church.  I had been singing my whole life and had sang many specials at church services, sang at special events with a christian band and in a youth for Christ ensemble and sang over seas with an international choir but I had never been up in front of people to lead them in worship.  Worship was different!  To me, worship is a private expression-highly personal; and being a private person, doing that up in the front of a congregation was something I was fearful of.  

Pastor Jon however lovingly encouraged me and taught me that worship wasn't just standing in front of people leading them to a greater awareness and encounter with God but worship was a lifestyle.  This is something that we should do at all times.  Psalm 34:1 says, "I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth".  So whether or not I was in front of others or not, as a believer in Jesus, worship should be a part of everyday life.

Jon and Cindy - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jon and Cindy - www.stampedwithaloha.com

When this photo was taken we had already been worshiping together for 7 years.  I love to sing harmony and really enjoyed harmonizing with Pastor Jon.  He encouraged me so much over the years and we were blessed with many opportunities to praise and worship together at many different places and events.

Jon and Cindy leading worship - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jon and Cindy leading worship - www.stampedwithaloha.com

He was at my wedding, at the hospital when I gave birth to both of my kids.  We still have the red Kalani High School baseball cap he brought my son Kalani when he was born.  He blessed us then and he blessed us 17 years later when he prayed over Kalani at his High School Baccalaureate.

Kalani's Baccalaureate at Christian Academy - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Kalani's Baccalaureate at Christian Academy - www.stampedwithaloha.com

And then entertained us all at his graduation fiesta when he dressed as Carlos Santana or should I say, Carlos "Jon-Tanna" (as we dubbed him) and blessed us with his amazing guitar skills.

Carlos "Jon" Tanna - Kalani's graduation fiesta - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Carlos "Jon" Tanna - Kalani's graduation fiesta - www.stampedwithaloha.com

He was there for so many important moments in our life.  I still remember him singing at Jessica's first birthday party at Hawaii School for Girls. He played his electric guitar and sang, "Isn't She Lovely" as Jessica was carried around the courtyard in Derek's arms waving at all the guests who had come to bless her. 

 

Jessica and Uncle Jon - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Jessica and Uncle Jon - www.stampedwithaloha.com

And years later he was always there for her as he was for everyone.  Always cheerful, always encouraging, always giving love and shining for Jesus.  

On Sunday one of the gals who has only been on worship team for a year stated that he had a way of making everyone he encountered feel like they were his favorite!  He made people he JUST met feel like he's known them and loved them forever.  He was so kind.  He always showed so much unconditional love to everyone and fulfilled God's greatest commandment to love God and love others more than himself!

We had seasons where we didn't see each other as often but when we did, nothing changed and it seemed from the time I met him doors continually opened that would allow us to minister together. 

www.stampedwithaloha.com

 Time, distance or circumstances never changed him.  He remained the same lovable pastor with the heart of a shepherd and a passion for worship. 

www.stampedwithaloha.com

Two weeks ago on a Friday evening we said goodbye.  When we arrived at the house Linda warned us that he was struggling and may be a little incoherent.  You see he had previously been diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and had been having some challenges due to it.  When he saw us (about 60 people from the worship team and church staff) he smiled and managed to say very slowly his three famous words, "let's do dis" and the worship service began.  

We worshiped for about an  hour and no one wanted it to end.  There were moments of awkward silence because we all hoped this night could go on forever and that Jon would be able to stay with us.  Then something miraculous happened.  After worship Jon was able to speak, the first thing he said was, "I saw HIM", as he pointed to heaven.  He again set an example to us all of us as to what can happen when we encounter God's presence.  We know it is there, in  His presence that chains are broken, hearts are restored, physical ailments are healed.  We all knew full well that God could have healed Jon but all trusted that no matter what happened, God was in control and we could trust His perfect will.

The miraculous part of the evening came at the end.  Jon who had been a little incoherent was now alert.  He asked to pray for us.   He prayed the most precise, clear, beautiful prayer about how he desired God to bless us with a fire, zeal and passion for the Lord.  As I listened to his beautiful prayer of blessing over us I realized in that moment that I had learned more from him in his last days on this earth than I had in all the years we've known one another.  He demonstrated his confidence and trust in God and showed us what it truly meant to bless the Lord at all times.  It was evident in the times he would show up at church, although very sick to be on the team and worship with us.

Pastor Jon and some of the NHL worship team - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Pastor Jon and some of the NHL worship team - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Creating cards for people is something I love to do.  I have to admit however that creating this one for Pastor Jon was especially hard to make, at least not without many tears flowing through the process.  I knew I had things I wanted to tell him before he went home to be with the Lord so I worked on a card with our new set Thoughtful Branches.  It had the perfect sentiment to match my feelings for Pastor Jon.  The words said, "you've always been there to lean on, to learn from and to look up to".

www.stampedwithaloha.com

It was this card that I handed him on the last day I saw him.  I cried so much writing the message inside as I poured my heart out telling this amazing man of God how much he meant to me.

 As I hugged him he spoke words of encouragement and love to me and I told him I would try my hardest to make him proud by continuing to follow his example of love and servanthood.  Then I handed him this card and gave him one final hug, a hug I will never forget as we said to each other, "I love you"

www.stampedwithaloha.com

Last night I led worship at his memorial service.  This was not an easy task because he was so amazing and worship was his specialty.  He was SO incredibly gifted at leading others.    At the families request I agreed and was honored, humbled and a little scared too!. 

Jon and his wife Linda were always good about gently pushing me outside my comfort zone.  I know it was for my own benefit and growth.  It is the greatest challenges we face in life that can produce amazing growth when we respond to them as God desires. 

Pastor Jon's Memorial Service - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Pastor Jon's Memorial Service - www.stampedwithaloha.com

 

Over 900 people showed up to celebrate his life.  It was an amazing sight to see the hundreds of lives who had been changed because of his influence.  
 

The worship team wanted to do something special for him so we ordered a guitar shaped floral arraignment.  We wanted to surprise the Smith Family.  The amazing thing is that they had the same idea! The family ordered the floral guitar on the right (in the photo above) which was an exact replica of one of his guitars. 

Here is a close up of the one the worship team ordered. 

Amazing floral guitar - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Amazing floral guitar - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Isn't it incredible.  It was made by Rodney and Glenda Iaea of iaea floral designs in Hawaii.  They did an amazing job and I will definitely call them in the future to order flowers. 

I had to laugh cause instead of one guitar at the service Jon had two.  I think he would have been pleased as he LOVED guitars.  I once asked him "how many guitars have you owned in your lifetime and he couldn't even guess cause he was famous for trading them and upgrading them after he had saved up some money or on special occasions like his Birthday or Christmas.

At the service we saw so many friends we hadn't seen in years and we remembered the very special times we shared with this incredible man of God who touched and blessed all of our lives in so many ways.

Fellowship at the Smith home - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Fellowship at the Smith home - www.stampedwithaloha.com

 God is moving in incredible ways at our church, New Hope Leeward and so many of the seeds Pastor Jon planted over the years are blossoming and producing fruit. 

As a worship team, we want to honor him by remembering how much he loved God; how much he loved others and how selflessly he lived.  We want to worship God the way he did, without ceasing.

When I think of him and I know I will often, I will continue to work hard at following His example.  He loved Jesus with all of his heart and that love so freely flowed to every single person he encountered.  He was someone who made a difference and went to the grave empty!

I will be forever grateful to God for blessing my life with the opportunity to know him.  I will always look up to him.  I will always love him. 

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com

And The Winner Is...

Sometimes when I write these posts I wonder if anyone is actually going to read them.   I have to admit blogging is something that I was VERY afraid to do.  It was something that I vowed if I did, I would strictly just share photos of projects and not write about anything personal.  I guess God had another plan for me because as soon as I took steps to overcome my fear, I found that I really enjoy blogging.  

As long as I've had a downline and customers in Stampin' Up!, I've always wanted to find ways to share what was happening in my stamp room.  So having this blog has provided a wonderful outlet to share with everyone. 

 As you know I promised to draw a name and offer my first ever "BLOG CANDY" to one person who would comment on any of my three posts last week that featured the Fabulous Foil Acetate.  I wrote all the names on slips of paper, even giving those who commented more than once another chance.  I drew the name today and the winner is.......(drumroll please)..........WANDA S.  

Congratulations Wanda, on being my first ever BLOG CANDY winner!!  Woo Hoo!  

In addition to the Fabulous Foil Acetate sample pack I will be giving Wanda, I also made her a card just to thank her for participating and for commenting.  

Here is the card I made for Wanda.

Thoughtful Branches Thank You - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Thoughtful Branches Thank You - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card was made with the Thoughtful Branches set, which is quickly becoming a favorite. I had to use the Fabulous Foil acetate again on this card and this time I used a polka dot piece so that Wanda would have a fun sample to go along with her prize.  I made this card a Thank You card so Wanda would know how much I appreciated her participating.  I did something a little different on this card than normal.  After running the stem and leaves through the Big Shot, I carefully removed it and didn't punch out the little sections.  This is something I saw last week on a card Kim Williams had created.

Kim's Thoughtful Branches Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Kim's Thoughtful Branches Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Isn't Kim's card gorgeous?

Again, I so appreciate all of those who have subscribed to my blog and who took the time to comment on my posts.  It was fun to hear from each and every one of you and I hope you will continue to give me your feedback in the future.  Its nice to know that you are there!!!

 Trust me, its something that I value and love.

Source: www,stampedwithaloha.com

Thoughtful Branches Birthday

Many years ago I received a phone call from a friend asking me if I would like to attend a women's business networking event in Waikiki.  It sounded interesting and I was honored she thought to invite me so I told her "yes".  That was one of the best decisions I've ever made, not because of all the valuable information I learned at the event but because of the valuable and lasting friendship I would make because of the decision to attend.

My friend Annie - www.stampedwithaloha.com

My friend Annie - www.stampedwithaloha.com

It was there I met Annie.  I can remember before the event even happened, Annie called me.  Although this was several years ago I can remember exactly where I was when I took the call because I was so impressed by her compassion for me as a business leader and I connected instantly with her heart that desired so much to bless and encourage others.

Since that initial call, I don't think a week has gone by that we haven't spoken to one another and whenever we do she is always encouraging and supportive and give me honest feedback, which I love!  I often seek her wise counsel and appreciate the time she takes to speak into my life.

Annie is also extremely thoughtful.  As a Pampered Chef consultant my customers are often spoiled when she comes to class because she brings such delicious treats to share with everyone.

For her birthday this year I wanted to create a card in her favorite color, purple.  I also know she likes flowers so I chose one of our newest stamp sets, Bunch of Blossoms.

Bunch of Blossoms Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Bunch of Blossoms Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card shows another example of the amazing Fabulous Foil Acetate I was telling you about in my last post.  This time I used the polka dot pattern and used the silver side up.  The floral background was created by stamping the same flower that is on the front several times on a Whisper White piece of card stock.  I then sponged the edges with Perfect Plum ink to give it a soft finishing touch. 

For her birthday gift I purchased Annie our Thoughtful Branches stamp set and coordinating framelits.  This is a brand new, exclusive "limited time offer" set that became available today!  It is only available while supplies last. 

The first card I made with this set was an appreciation card for Annie which is why I am once again stamping in Perfect Plum!

Thoughtful Branches Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Thoughtful Branches Card - www.stampedwithaloha.com

This card features another pattern of the Fabulous Foil acetate as well as a beautiful flower stamped and cut out with the wonderful coordinating Framelits.  One of the things that drew me to this set was the thoughtful sentiment stamps.  There are stamps in this set such as "Your Kindness Makes a Difference", "You're In My Thoughts" and "You've Always Been There To Lean On, To Learn From and to Look Up to, which any of those would be perfect on a card for Annie.

  On this card I used, "I Hope You Feel Appreciated... and on the inside it reads, Because You Are!". 

One of the things I appreciate about Annie is all the time and effort she gives so selflessly to serve the community.  Below is a photo of us at an open house to raise funds for the Hawaii Food bank one of Annie's favorite charitable organizations.

Collecting Food Donations for the Hawaii Foodbank - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Collecting Food Donations for the Hawaii Foodbank - www.stampedwithaloha.com

Since Annie is so thoughtful I think Thoughtful Branches will be a great addition to her ever growing Stampin' Up! collection.

Remember this set is only available while supplies last.  If you would like the bundle the cost is $52 (plus tax and shipping) and if you are planning on attending my August Stamp A Stack class on the last weekend of the month, you can apply this purchase to that class so that your class will be FREE.

Remember this week I will be posting one more sample and if you comment on any of the posts this week that feature the Fabulous Foil Acetate you will be entered into a drawing for a sampler pack of Fabulous Foil.  I will announce the winner at the end of the week.

Until then I hope you enjoyed seeing two more samples of cards created with the Fabulous Foil Acetate and were blessed to learn a little more about my wonderful mentor and friend Annie and the way I chose to bless her on her special day.

Happy Birthday Annie, I so LOVE and APPRECIATE you!

Source: www.stampedwithaloha.com