Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Book Your Fall Workshop ~ Earn an extra Stamp-Set FREE!

Would you like to spent an afternoon and learn to make a a couple of cards, project or a scrapbook page? Is there a particular technique that you'd like to try? 

Would you like to host a workshop in your home for your family and friends? Hostesses earn a exclusive hostess benefits including a free catalog and idea book, free product, and for a limited time I am offering an additional stamp set completely FREE - as my gift to you. 

Check with me to see which stamp sets I currently have in my giveaway basket.  I'll put your chosen set away with your name on it to be given to you in the company of your guests at your party. 

Don't want to host a party at your place? Ask me about hosting your party at my place. I also offer monthly workshops, and mystery hostess events - Ask me for more info. 

Until next time.. 

Don't just think it, INK it! 

Project Share: Fall Flower Jar


• Toxic Treats*

• Jet Black StāzOn® Ink Pad

• Gumball Green 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
• Glass jar
• White spray paint
• Silk flowers
*From the 2012-2013 holiday catalog.

To order supplies to create this or any other project you may be working on with Stampin' Up! visit my demonstrator website or contact me directly and we'll place your order together. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

Cheers to another trip around the sun with the GP..

Isn't that always the way.. 

Just about ready to sign off the end of the post and there's a click, a whirr, and the monitor blue screens. (Sigh).  So where was I.. 

Ah Yes.. 

18 years..  Where did the time go?

It has been many months of going for a test then waiting 3 weeks to get the results. I'd finally been put in queue for surgery but was in a holding pattern waiting..  that last morning I'd been up all night, I couldn't eat, couldn't drink for getting sick and I was admitted through Emergency instead. Spent that first day in the hallway, so great to be sick and feel like you're on display. 

I don't think that I'd allowed myself to really think about things. In fact, it wasn't until I was lying in my hospital room that evening; my dad and aunt had arrived to visit and the surgeon thought that despite my best objections that it would be a good idea for me to tell them the news.  I hadn't admitted to anyone, not even myself that I was scared, and no tears had fallen up until the point that I had to tell Dad the news. I didn't want to tell him, I didn't want him to worry - in hindsight I think too that the idea of telling Dad made it REAL.  Thankfully the surgeon stayed, because once I dropped the initial bomb, she was able to explain the rest - I don't think I could have at that point. 

I remember being on morphine and trying to explain to a nurse how that "nice lady" that had come to visit with my Dad was *not* my Mom and after having revealed that, well no I didn't know where she was.  The nurse had come in talking about my Mom and Dad and was ready to call the doctor because she thought I was tripping on morphine - meanwhile I was trying to figure out how my mother had been there and I hadn't seen her, and who had even told her I was there.  I cannot help but think of Dad's laugh when I told him that the nurse thought that Auntie Eileen was my Mom and how he'd laughed even harder when I told him that I'd told the nurse that she was his sister and that was just gross..  

I was thinking of Auntie Eileen this morning too. God I wish I could call her and celebrate this day with her too. I have to believe that somewhere up there she's looking down and smiling ~ she was there ~ she'd remember. 

5 1/2 pounds of cancer and my right ovary they removed that day. I recall piling pounds of hamburger individually wrapped on my counter and realizing just how BIG that really was. 

A second surgery the following year took a pound and a half more of me, and most of my left ovary but turned out to be non-cancerous in the end. Just one more snatch and grab for this year's body part donation I guess. 

Ovarian Cancer - Germ Cell Tumor - Chemotherapy - just the start of the new medical knowledge I would come to learn, that I never cared to know. Lymphedema, PCOS, Diabetes II among the treasures to follow. Years down the road I would come to call this journey, "My Life As A Guinea Pig"...  

All in all I find myself looking back over most of those years as much of a learning experience. In some areas it was a real crash course in the way things are. Amazing how you find out who your real friends are - and I'm every-so grateful that I have a few. From Jim and Matt who 
came down and brought me a Pumpkin bucket with "real food" inside ~ back in those "Young" days when we still called McD's "food"..  That pumpkin bucket lived on my IV pole for the whole 13 days I was in hospital ~ it gave quite a few a real chuckle and along with the big teddybear slippers my Dad bought me as an early birthday present helped earn me the nickname "Sunshine" because I was always smiling and wandering the halls as though I was there by mistake.  

I still laugh when I think of Jim "babenapping" me with a group of friends to go for coffee just to give me a break, and how grateful I was that the nurses were willing to cap the IV port and let me leave for a little reprieve.  There I sat with balding head, wrist bracelet and my port-o-cath as my friends told everyone who came by that I was out on a day pass.  People must have thought we were crazy, but we had so much fun!  

I still have the bulldog that John left on my TV when he'd arrived to find me gone, bed and all for a test.  He'd gone out to his car trying to think of how he'd let me know he'd been there, and came in with a stuffed bulldog that he'd had as a mascot in his car that I always teased him I was going to pilfer..  He knew that if he left that behind I would recognize it instantly. He was right!  

At that time, Tequilla Sunrise was still in full swing, and there was a whole host of friends that lived in that little box, including great new friends like Mary, Dallas and Ardith that I'd met in the Carcinoma and Survivor groups that I'd talk to regularly.  Never underestimate the value of hearing "I know how you feel", from someone who actually does. I never realized how often we say that particular phrase just trying to empathize without really having a clue. It became one of my biggest pet peeves..

I spent a lot of of my time in hospital in a room across the hall going through my phone book phoning friends. I never wanted to disturb my room-mate. It was so much better than sitting in my room, and you could only pace the halls or watch SO much tv.  The rest of my time was spent writing, and listening to CD's or the radio passing the time.  

I never thought I was in denial, but I always marvelled at how whatever person I ended up bunked with each time was always so much worse off than I, and wondering if they did that on purpose.  Dad used to call it my holiday because I'd go in with a bag of my clothes and personal effects, and the other bag (read anvil) packed with notebooks, books to read, CD's and a ghetto blaster that Tom lent me (and then later told me to keep) that was a constant reminder that I had friends who cared. 

Another awesome friend John, came to my rescue just a few days after hospital release to help me move unexpectedly. I never thought we'd get so much stuff moved in his car, but it would have rivaled National Lampoon's vacation.  We never did take any pictures but let me assure you it was quite the sight! 

I remember having a conversation with one of the nurses at the cancer agency. She wanted  to know which of these guys was *mine* and she'd been so surprised when I said none of them. I never told her that there was one that I'd hoped would one day be mine, but there were very few that actually knew that information.  I didn't want to jinx it, I guess. 

Made me laugh to think that the nurse thought I was such a player because I was single and had "all these guys" coming to call.. the truth is, that I've always had more "guy friends"  that girls.  Maybe it's because I grew up in a single parent home with my Dad and my little sister, I always related to guys better than girls ~ who knows.. but it is what it is.. I'm not complaining.. 

Even now, after spending most of 2008 in hospital, after having my gastric bypass and having complications relating to my asthma and wound care afterwards - having to stand and walk again, nerve damage and a leg brace ~ and more recently adding a gall bladder surgery to the mix If I look at it rationally I can see many good things that came out of all of my medical drama. 

I am ever amazed at how being faced with a serious surgery puts you in a mode of personal reflection, looking at where you've been and where you're going and often where you *thought* you'd be by now.  I cannot help but think that someone up there has a twisted sense of humor and is trying to remind me that life is short and that I need to work on my bucket list. 

I found myself marvelling this morning that when our youngest was being born I was well into my planning for my surgeries. She turned 18 in May ~ it really doesn't seem like it has been that long..  in so many ways .. when I became her Stepmom, she was only 2.. wow.. time really does fly. 

Some of my biggest memories of that time period are of me berating myself for not having attained many of the things I'd wanted for myself in this life - at least not "yet". I remember one journal entry from my second cancer surgery where I started out with "Here we are again.." seemed like rather
my anthem at the time.

We all run through this life as if today is the first day of the rest of our live and there is an unlimited supply remaining for us to draw on.  The truth is, that nothing is certain. We could  walk outside and be run over by a bus without a moment's notice or a routine check-up could uncover something we weren't even aware we had.  Nothing is promised. Cherish every day as if it were your last, because one day it will be. 

There are things in our lives that we all wonder after-the-fact if we should h ave done them differently - should I have said yes to that date, or passed up on an opportunity, but let your friends laugh as they may at your choices.  Every one of those peaks and valleys in the road was something you wanted at the time, and each one of them helped to shape you into who and what you are today. 

I used to spend a lot of time in "What might have beens", wondering if I had done this or that differently how things might have been different. What could I have changed in myself to create  a different outcome - though I've come to realize that while in some cases that might have made  a difference, for many more it wouldn't have done a thing because it was never about me in the first place. My biggest regret in life is not giving myself the credit and support to pursue the  goals I wanted for myself.  I spent way too much time worrying about what others thought, and how things would be perceived and it cost me much. 

The same could be said for my apparent affinity for chasing the wind.  Like a dog with a bone there were times when I just would not let an idea go.  Ironic that the best things in my life came to me when I stopped looking, and he found *me*.  

This last round of med-drama seemed so much different to me somehow.  I wasn't at all worried, I went in confident that this was just a speedbump and tomorrow we'd carry  on right where we left off. 

Maybe it's just that I finally feel like I'm on the right path.  I have the man of my dreams - my teddybear - and the 3 (not so) little (anymore) bears that he shares with me.  So many trials and tribulations that that cuddly ol' bear has seen me through ~ I cannot help but feel grateful.  I'm not sure that any other stand-in in his place would have done the same. 

I am working in local media - a life-long dream finally realized - there are some truly remarkable people doing awesome things in our communities if only you take the time to look.  I am fortunate to be among those that get to seek them out and shine a little spotlight on them.  

I am an active volunteer in our community working with a variety of tasks, groups and organizations - some in just a brainstorming capacity but I really enjoy that.  

Not everything is exactly as it could be or perhaps should be, but so long as there is room for improvement or advancement there is much left to do.  At least the toes are pointing in the right direction for a change. 

In true "Me" fashion, I didn't go about getting any of it the way that I planned, or even in the order  I thought they'd get here.. but I suppose the important part of the message is that I'm not that 24 year old little girl anymore dreaming of what could have been and what might be, but this 42 year old is taking it one day at a time, and plodding ahead. 

I didn't take the easy way out, or the direct route - in fact I definitely took the long way around but in the end the only thing that's really important is that I finally made it HOME and for once I'm right where I want to be. <3 font="font">

Hang on tight ~ The best is yet to be.  <3 font="font">

If you've been around for a while you know that this is the time when I normally announce what my not so RAK of this year will be.  Every year I've tried to do something a little different, last year we had the vendor
fair (for example) to benefit the Food Bank.  

This year with all of the med drama in our lives - not just with me but with our Dads also, as well as the basement reconstruction I decided to keep it a little more low key ~ however tradition is tradition. 

So be sure to check my blog/Facebook/G+ for both Epicure and Stampin' Up! from now until my birthday ~ there will be a variety of specials and promotions running.  The biggest perhaps is that for every purchase placed through my demonstrator websites from today, September 24, 2012 until Oct 9th, 2012 - I will donate my commissions from all orders placed to the Canadian Cancer Society. There will be other promotions in addition to this, but you will have to watch for those..  



Friday, 21 September 2012

New to the Craft? Overwhelmed? Read On..

Do you flip through the catalog and feel overwhelmed and unsure of where to start?  

If you're new to the craft, I'm sure that our menu can certainly seem daunting ~ but it really isn't as bad as you might think. 

Consider joining me for one of my beginners classes!  Offered in Scrapbooking, Rubber Stamping (Card Making), and Die-Cutting varieties, my 101 classes may be just what the doctor ordered!

Join me for a low-impact and stress free session among friends.  View my inspiration station and sample boards, enjoy our featured project and take your finished sample home with you.  A great chance to check out my upcoming class schedule, and current promotions. 

There is no supply fee to attend my 101 classes ~ you have nothing to lose!  

Now booking - Thursdays: Sept 27, Oct 25 and Nov 29th 
                      Saturday:  Oct 27, Nov 29

Classes are available in morning, afternoon, evening and weekend time slots.  Space is limited, please call ahead to reserve your spot.  If the posted class time doesn't work for you, feel free to contact me with a date that works for you.  If there is enough interest we'll set up a class. If not, we can set up something one on one. 

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Time Is Running Out on Our September "Back to Spool" Special!

Don't Miss Out on FREE Ribbon with every $50 Purchase!

Promotion Runs Only Til Sep 30

Promotion Details: 
While the kids are heading back to school, 
Stampin' Up! is going back to 'spool'!

 For the month of September, 
get a FREE package of 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
-an $12.25 value-for every $50 you spend!

Choose from the following ribbons:
Retail Value
Ribbon Gumball Green 3/8" Stitched Satin
Midnight Muse 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
Primrose Petals 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
Raspberry Ripple 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon
Summer Starfruit 3/8" Stitched Satin Ribbon

Have you SEEN the new colors yet?  

Gumball Green #126848                             Midnight Muse #126847

   Primrose Petals #126844                           Summer Starfruit #126846 

Raspberry Ripple #126845

Details to Note: 

  • There is NO limit to how many free spools of ribbon that you can earn.  You'll get a free package of 3/8" satin ribbon for each and every $50 you spend!!
  • Promotion applies to all orders placed through a workshop, demonstrator or online. 
  • Hostess dollars cannot be used for this promotion. (Sorry!)

Which colors will make it to your craft room this month?  Choose one, or collect 'em all; it's up to you.  

Place YOUR Order before Sept 30

Order Online           E-mail Your Order

You can also place your order in person or via telephone! 

Friday, 14 September 2012

What's New In The Craft Room This Week

I've been a little bit remiss over the last couple of weeks in sharing my What's New so I thought I'd play a little catch-up here.  
In addition to receiving my Spooktacular Bonus for having signed up a new member of my team this past month ~ I have collected some more goodies that I am looking forward to sharing with all of you..
Please feel free to contact me to book a time to come in and check out all of the new additions to my craft room.  Keep an eye on my calendar for my upcoming Classes, Crops, and other opportunities to come in and work on your projects in the comfort of my Craft Room. 

I am continually adding to my library, and in my Craft Room Play-testing is not only welcomed, but encouraged. 

So without further ado..   Here is the list of new goodies since my last update..  Feel free to click on the link to get a look at each of the items.
Big Shot Textured Impressions Embossing Folders

Holiday Frame

Big Shot Dies - Edgelits - Framelits
Hostess - Four Seasons
Hostess - Priority Mail
Hostess - Happy You
Hostess - Mixed Medley

My Digital Studio Discs & Downloads:

To order any of the stamps, tools, and embellishments you see here ~ or other products, please visit my demonstrator website at your leisure.  Remember my site is open 24/7. I can ship direct to you anywhere in Canada also for no additional charge! 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Product of the Week ~ Samples

I love this bird card!
Stampin' Up! Bird Punch Nancy Amato Robin

 These are but a few samples of the wonderful artistry that can be made with this week's Product of the week ~ the Bird Builder Punch.  

I just love that when you find yourself in a creative slump that there are so many wonderful ideas out there to help rejuvenate your  spark. If you've spent any time surfing the net you'll see the term "CASE" often. It is an acronym that simply means "copy and share everything".  

I chose these samples from my collection of swap cards, samples, and ideas that I maintain as part of what I have affectionately dubbed my Inspiration Station.

The Inspiration Story came about after I'd gone wandering on Stampin' Connection (a Facebook of sorts, just for Stampin' Up! demonstrators).  I had just rebuilt my hard drive, and I set up my digital samples and templates in folders so that I could re-visit them at a later date. 

I have been fortunate to meet some truly talented people during my Stampin' Up! journey!

Unfortunately, I haven't always been the best about writing down the source for my inspiration, but if you recognize one of these cards as yours please feel free to send me an e-mail so that I can properly give you credit for your lovely work. 

The first card here is one that I've re-created a few times ~ usually in yellows and greens.  It totally reminds me of our peach-faced lovebirds and how they like to hide in their breeder boxes! 

Check back tomorrow for another helping from my inspiration station. 

To order supplies for this or any other paper crafting project, please visit my demonstrator website at your leisure.  Remember my site is open 24/7. I can ship direct to you anywhere in Canada for no additional charge!

Thinking of hosting a workshop for you and your friends or family?  I am now booking for September shows ~ let me know what works for you!   Host in your home or mine and you reap the rewards as hostess for the event.  Ask me for more info. 

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Product of the Week: Bird Punch

Bird Punch - by Stampin' Up!I'm dubbing today I-want-it-Wednesday!  

Each week I will feature a product, or coordinating products that I hope will inspire your creativity in re-creating shared projects, but also to encourage you to dig out your toys and tools and create new projects of your own. 

If you CASE (Copy and Share Everything) a project you have seen here, I hope you will credit my blog as your source.  I'd love it if you'd share your creations with me also. 

I chose the Bird Punch (#117191) $22.95 this week as an "oldie but a goodie" in that it has been a long-time favorite and staple in my craftbox for some time now. 

The punched bird stands alone on it's own merit, but can also be stepped up and customized and colorized to represent a variety of different birds. I found the illustration shown here on the blog of a fellow demonstrator in the US, Sue Lehrer.  She doesn't say where she found it, but it is a wonderful illustration of what adding a little extra crafty (or as our son would call it artsy-fartsy) into the mix can do. 

It also coordinates with not one, but two stamp sets in our regular catalog.  
Language of Friendship pictured on page 74 is available in Wood Mount (122750) $19.95 and Clear Mount (122752) $14.95.  

It also coordinates with Blissful Bird (pictured on page 72) stamp set which is only available in Wood Mount (127472) at a cost of $10.95.

Why not add a little dimension to your bird and add a Googly eye (127539)  from our holiday mini (page 27) At just $2.95 for 50 adhesive-backed googly eyes you can create a whole flock of birds! 

If you would like to add the bird punch or either of its coordinating punches to your collection you can click on the link provided to take you to the corresponding page on my demonstrator website.  If you prefer, I would be happy to combine your order with other orders to save you shipping ~ Just give me a shout! 

Watch my blog this week for projects created using this week's featured product. I look forward to seeing your creativity shine! 

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


It's Tuesday, the day we all know as Digital Tuesday!  

If you've popped by to view the latest digital downloads, you have come to the right place. 

View our latest digital downloads here! To see all of our digital downloads, visit my customer homepage, click on SHOP NOW, then My Digital Studio or for a speedy shortcut just click *HERE*  

Don't forget to check out the blog on MyDigitalStudio.net for plenty of ideas on how to use your new downloads!

Please note: During quality assurance testing, we sometimes discover minor discrepancies between what's on the weekly PDS, and what comes in the download.  Sometimes there will be a different coordinating color or a 6-piece stamp brush set instead of a 5 piece.  The download descriptions in the Online store reflect the accurate download details.  Our monthly My Digital Studio PDF (available the first week of every month) also shows the accurate information for each download. 

You can view and print this week's digital offerings in PDF format by clicking here:  

To order this week's offerings or any other My digital studio download visit my online store and download right to your computer of choice.  Let me know if I can be of any help with placing your order.

Don't forget you still have time to get in on our 31% Off Digital Download Special.  Click here to check it out before it's gone.. 

Happy Craftin'!