Before the first day of the new year slips away…..

Before the first day of the new year slips away let me wish you….

…..   from the country!

One of the many things in my In Box today was a post from my favorite online rabbi.   She reintroduced me to a man whose work I had read and enjoyed in college and I thought I’d share his prayer in a basic MDS page.  My plan for the new year is to print this and post it where I can see and pray it often and add it to the front of a new album for the year ahead.

Here’s the original post with a very cool story added to the prayer –

Here’s my page:

Here’s a Word doc with the text of the prayer in case you’d like to do some creating of your own:

Prayer – Through the Coming Year – Howard Thurman

Oops…forgot to mention that this page makes use of the new Sale-a-Bration CD-Rom that will be available January 24th as a freebie when you buy $50 worth of Stampin’ Up product.  That disk is amazing!  It contains all the unique SAB images and papers, ribbons and brads in digital form.  Even includes the Decor Element piece as a brush image!   What a wonderful way to be able to use all the lovely SAB products.   Granted the physical paper Everyday Enchantment that I used digitally is even more fun to work with since I can die cut and punch with it.   In an upcoming blog hop later this week you’ll see more samples of it.  I love the use it makes of our many In Colors.  This page also uses the digital version of All Scallops brush image (the stamp set itself is retired)  and the coordinating In Colors Pool Party and Calypso Coral. 

Hugs and Blessings and may you find joy in the  new year ahead!   – Jean



And lest you forget…the Holiday Mini and the Clearance Rack Blitz are also about to slip away.     Holiday Mini order period ends January 3rd and the Blitz ends January 5th.    A few items from the Holiday Mini have carried over and you can find those here:

Holiday Mini Carryover Flyer

Christmas Blessings



Christmas Blessings to one and all!


Inspiration comes from many places and fills our heart and soul until we must join in the creativity….

Today is one such time for me and for many throughout the world today.  

May you be blessed today and everyday and find your creativity rekindled anew within each special moment that you live.



From the hand and from the heart….

Christmas hugs & blessings from myself and Miss Wicketcat. – Jean

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you be blessed,

And be a blessing

 at this time of Thanksgiving….


Thanksgiving, a time of year to pause and reflect and remember the blessings of the year.   This year I’ll be sharing time and a meal with a friend and her family and thanking God for the gift of friendship and so much more.  

Another friend passed along this video of the song ThankfulSeemed appropriate today.



Here’s the lyrics in case you’d like to sing along:



Somedays we forget
To look around us
Somedays we can’t see
The joy that surrounds us
So caught up inside ourselves
We take when we should give.So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be.
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see.
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Look beyond ourselves
There’s so much sorrow
It’s way too late to say
I’ll cry tomorrow
Each of us must find our truth
It’s so long overdue

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And every day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though we all can still do more
There’s so much to be thankful for.

Even with our differences
There is a place we’re all connected
Each of us can find each other’s light

So for tonight we pray for
What we know can be
And on this day we hope for
What we still can’t see
It’s up to us to be the change
And even though this world needs so much more

There’s so much to be thankful for


Hugs and blessings today and always – Jean

A Memorial Day Sunday Montage of images and thoughts

 A  Memorial Day Montage

While we visit sales and fire up the BBQ and attend parades or just veg in front of the electronic babysitter here are a few other images to consider on this Memorial Day holiday weekend.



Memorial Day Severe Weather Threat…..If only that was the only threat to freedom…..and to the memory of those who paid a price.


 Something to remember…

the Price continues to be paid and the Cost to be counted


In the everyday pressure of battle…

Men give their lives less for freedom than for each other.  

In that lies the glory.


Some live only in memory and have no marker to remind us as they await the day of resurrection.


They were the candle that held freedom’s beacon in their lives and death…

we are now the mirror that reflects and holds the meaning of that light in trust.


 Whatever our politics or our religion, we are united in being Americans blessed with freedom on this day of memory.  My grateful thanks to all who sacrificed to make it so.

Hugs and Blessings to you all – Jean

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Hi All,
Happy Valentine’s Day to you all from myself and Wicketcat. 
May your hearts be merry and filled with love and joy and wrapped in hugs and ribbon and may your mouth find its way to some chocolate and kisses (both varieties if possible!).
And hoping you have opportunities to love and be loved and also to find some time to stamp!  LOL!  
Interesting don’t you think that Sale-a-Bration and Valentine’s always seem to happen in the same month?   Guess Stampin’ Up wants to make the gift situation for our significant others easy…and wants to show how much they love us all!   Either way…I’m grateful!  Come back later this week to see some wonderful links to inspiring projects using our SAB sets.   Frugal Friday is about to start up once again……
Hugs and blessings – Jean
It is possible
to give without loving
but it is impossible
to love without giving.
Hm…I think Stampin’ Up! learned that early on!

Fifth Avenue Floral Monochromatic


The loveliest masterpiece
of the heart of God
is the heart of a mother.

St. Therese of Lisieux




Becoming a mother
creates a relationship
with a new life
that can never be undone.


Hi All,

Whether you have children or not….In my experience every woman has the heart of a mother and should be celebrated for that on this day.    On the other hand if you do have kids…you’ve definitely earned the celebration – lol!   

I rejoice that my twins that I lost in a miscarriage 20 years ago are celebrating this day and everyday with their Grandparents and their Dad in Heaven.   And forever grateful to a good friend who convinced me that I’m a mom whether my children lived or not.  That kind act healed my heart considerably. 

I rejoice too in all my many and varied “other” mothers who’ve made my life a joy.   Over the years many wonderful women adopted me (figuratively), mentored me and loved me in various ways that made my life better.  I’m celebrating each and every one of them today too!

I hope you have the chance to share the day with someone you love.


Fifth Avenue Floral Monochromatic

Shsh…..don’t tell….this is the card I sent to my Mom for Mother’s Day.   Oh yeah…it is Mother’s Day….Hi Mom!


Stamps: Fifth Avenue Floral

Paper: Shimmer Paper, Very Vanilla Cardstock, Shimmery White Cardstock

Inks: Versamark – Reinkers used – Blush Blossom, Rose Red, Cameo Coral, Regal Rose 

Other: Gold Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Big Shot, Top Note Bigz Die, Manhattan Floral Embossing Folder, Kraft (soon to be Crumb Cake) Taffeta Ribbon, Aqua Painter, Craft Knife, Paper Snips, Spray Bottle with water.


This is a fairly basic mostly monochromatic  card with the lilies providing the punch of color.

Started with a plain Very Vanilla card base.  Added a Very Vanilla Top Note die cut that had been run through my Manhattan Flower embossing folder.  Both steps accomplished with my trusty Big Shot.   The taffeta ribbon was also pretty simple though with one trick – I used my Craft Knife to cut a small slit in the Top Note piece and fed the ribbon through that so that the knot of the tied ribbon could snuggle up to the lily pieces.

The two lilies are from the Fifth Avenue Floral Stamp set.   Following the ever popular Reinker Spread (or Reinker Float) technique introduced by Crystal French I embossed the lily image from the stamp set with Versamark on Shimmery White paper, embossed using Gold Powder instead of the traditional Whisper White craft ink with Clear embossing powder.  Cut out each lily with my trusty paper snips from Stampin’ Up.  Misted with water and using an aqua painter with reinker drops I moved the color around then let the pieces dry.   After drying I mounted each lily with a couple of dimensionals and Voila!  a very elegant card.    Actually a very quick card as I had premade quite a number of these lily pieces for various other projects while watching a movie.  So mostly it was Big Shot time and assembly so pretty much a 10 minute card (shsh…don’t tell my Mom it didn’t take all day okay?).


I found basic directions for the technique used on this card at the following:  – Sharon Rogers Reinker Spread (also becoming known as reinker float) technique video – Patty Bennett’s video for the Reinker Spread technique

Awhile back I created a PDF with a description of the technique Sharon learned from Crystal French the originator that you can download here:

Reinker Spread Technique – Seattle Regional 2009 PDF 


That’s it for today folks.  Have a blessed Sunday everyone and don’t forget to thank your Mom’s for all they’ve done and do. – Jean

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Loving is a conscious choice, an active discipline of letting go of our need to impose our will on others and becoming other-centered.

It is possible to give without loving but it is impossible to love without giving.

The great mystery of relationships is that there is really only one source of love.

God, our Creator, thank you for being the source and foundation of all human love!


Hi All,

A blessed Sunday and Valentine’s Day to you all.  The above is my virtual valentine to you all along with a few sentiments from my favorite eCard site. 

A few days ago I shared a personal Valentine story on a fellow demo’s blog and received some emails suggesting I repeat the story here.   And with Sunday being a day of reflection as well as Valentine’s it seems appropriate.

Remembering Valentines and my late husband Stephen…..


For Stephen and I Valentines was always a special time.  Filled with cards sweet and silly –  put under pillows or left in lunches, taped on mirrors or other fun places. Little gifts and coupons and all sorts of crazy things – many handmade by both of us.
Over 19 years together though the most special Valentine I ever received was the last one my husband gave me on the Valentines a few months before he died of Kidney Cancer in 1997.  A couple of days before Valentine’s we had been given the news of Stephen’s cancer diagnosis and the likely prognosis was not good as he was then at Stage 4. 
Stephen found a card with a sketch image of an angel writing a letter and inside left me a short but meaningful note as a forever valentine to last me in the years to come.  It surely has! I turn to that card whenever I need a reminder of love that goes on and on and on.  The love that went into it blows my mind away.  He thought only of how I would be missing him and he wanted me to know that his love was eternal.  Romantic, heartbreaking and everything in between all wrapped into one card. The strength it took at age 42 to face his own impending death and still be thinking of me and planning for my future years took my breath away (and still does).  
Today 12 + years later that Valentine and the love it contains still reminds me of the importance of love, caring and sharing unselfishly with one another.  And also the importance of letting those around us know that they are loved and cherished on a daily basis.  After all you never know just how much time you will have together.
So today of all days I want to let you know that I cherish all of you, my friends, and my family.  All of you are unique and blessed and deserving of all good things.  I hope you are having a fun day filled with love, goofy gifts, chocolate and most of all dear ones to hug close and wish a Happy Valentine’s Day. 
Hugs and blessings from me and the kitties – Jean
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