Monday, December 18, 2017

Give Love! CAS08 December Inspiration Challenge

CAS-ual Fridays Calling All Sistahs Encouragement Challenge CAS08

     I can't believe it is now December 18th and we're nearing the end of 2017.  Christmas will soon be upon us, as well as 2018.  This year has been a very rough one in my family with lots of relatives and friends passing away or being diagnosed with illnesses.  It's been very therapeutic for me to be actively participating with the Encouragement Squad for CAS-ual Fridays to make monthly encouragement cards to send.  
     This month's Inspiration Board, pictured above, intrigued me. I love navy blue and burgundy, so I was very excited to see this color combo.  I also never really use that color green, so this was taking me out of my comfort zone with that hue.  
     Since it is December, I decided to try the Mistletoe & Holly set, stamping it in Gina K's "In the Navy" premium dye ink. I colored the leaves with a green prismacolor pencil and left the berries uncolored so they're white. The sentiment is from the Dream Then Do set. I embossed the sentiment with Alabaster embossing powder from Brutus Monroe on burgundy cardstock.

     Now that you've seen my card, let's see what you can do with the inspiration board pictured above.  Here are the rules to the challenge:

How to Play with Us
We'd love to have you play with us! 
The main idea of the challenge is encouragement cards.
We all know someone at some point who could use a little lift.
Whether it's an illness, a loss, a crossroad in life, or simply someone in need of a hug, encouragement cards can put a smile on someone's face when they really need it.
We'll provide a new inspiration board on the 18th of each
month for you to use to create your encouragement card.
Use the colors we highlight, draw inspiration from the photo, or both.

1.  There are NO product requirements to play or win.
This challenge is designed to inspire you to create encouragement cards.
You may use any product you have in your crafty stash.
We will be showcasing CAS-ual Fridays Stamps and Fri-Dies regularly,
and we'd love to see you putting yours into action too,
 but you are NOT required to use CFS products in order to play or win.

2. There are NO style restrictions.
Just have fun!
Use the monthly challenge inspiration board to create an encouragement card.
You can draw inspiration from the photo itself or use the color chips provided or both as you create an encouragement card.
There are no style restrictions so if you're feeling clean and simple, utterly adorable layers, mixed media or anything in between, go for it! 

3. Enter as many projects as you'd like!
Just be sure to enter each of them separately.
Remember, your projects must be new...that means not posted anywhere prior to the start of our challenge.

4. We need to be easily directed to your project. 
Please link to your project post, and not just a generic link to your blog or gallery. 
You can link to a blog post, flickr post, SCS post or any other gallery that doesn't require us to be a member in order to see your work.
**Also, please provide a link back to our challenge in your post so your fans can find us and play along too.

5. Let the Happy Dancing begin! 
When the challenge closes, we will announce the Winner and 2 favorites.
Whether you are new to blogging, or a seasoned challenge lover, we can't wait to see your projects!
Good luck!  

Check out what the other Encouragement Squad members have made to help you get inspired by clicking here to enter the blog post! 

Thank you for dropping by!  I hope the rest of your December is wonderful and I wish you all well as we embark on a new year.  I challenge you to send more encouragement cards during 2018.  It's something I need to work on myself and make a priority.

Much Junkie Love! 


Sunday, December 17, 2017

It's That Time Of Year....CAS-ual Fridays BCA Reminder

It's Time for Christmas AND Time for Your Self-Check!

     Welcome to CAS-ual Fridays "Calling All Sistahs" Breast Cancer Awareness reminder for the month of December.  As 2017 winds down and we look ahead to the beginning of another fantastic year, it's important to be thankful for what this year has brought and to make sure we continue to be mindful of making 2018 even better.  

     As women, we have many things we need to keep track of monthly during the year.  Paying bills, important appointments, work tasks, family activities and more.  Why not add one of the most important things you can do every month into your schedule. One of the first things you need to mark on your schedule is one of the easiest things to check off your list: Breast Self Exam.

     These few minutes should be an important part of your normal monthly routine and we're here to remind you to do it in case you forget. In case you have never done a Breast Self Exam, click here to see exactly how to do it. 

     And now on to my card for this month.  I went a little wintry with a little bling.  I used CAS-ual Fridays Snowy Sayings and Calling All Sistahs stamp sets and the Ruffled Ribbon Fri-die. I hope you enjoy my card as much as I enjoyed making it.  

      After that sparkly pink ribbon, my favorite part of this card is the subtle white embossed snowflakes on the lower background.  Here are the stamp sets and Fri-Die I used to create my card:
     Be sure to head over to CAS-ual Fridays to read all about Calling All Sistahs and Michele's desire to remind all women how important self exams are. 

Thank you for joining us and I'll see you in January!  



Friday, November 24, 2017

Celebrate Your Unique Talent Blog Hop

You never know when, or how, you will touch someone.

     This blog hop is to celebrate the unique talent and awesomeness of Iliana, inventor of the MISTI.  I'm going to share my story with you on how her awesomeness changed my life, and I'm sure many others, over the past 3 years.  

     Sorry for the novella. (You'll want to read it to the very end).  There's a chance to win a MISTI!

     I didn't know Iliana prior to a couple years ago.  I had stumbled upon her invention, the MISTI, while looking at homemade card pins on Pinterest.  It was in a Jennifer McGuire video that I first caught site of that beautiful pink square and I immediately ordered one.  I tirelessly watched every video and read every post I could find until 5:00 am that morning. 
     Let's look back at my crafty life for about a year prior to finding the MISTI.  My husband and I worked separate shifts and never saw each other.  We passed each other every once in a while without much of a sideways glance at the other.  I had three children who had reached the ages where they didn't need their mom to help them with daily life and I had started to suffer again with clinical depression. The only thing that helped my extreme loneliness was stamping cards at night, after the kids went to bed.  I'd listen to my music and just lose myself in my paper and ink.  I was previously a demonstrator with a stamping company, but had grown bored with it and I was pretty much just making cards with paper and stickers because stamping had lost its luster.  Pretty soon the stickers lost their luster as well.  I just wanted to give up.  

     Then.....I saw it.  I couldn't tell you how long it had been since I was excited about ANYTHING. That my heart was beating so fast watching the videos and blog posts about the MISTI, seemed pretty outrageous.  It's a stamping tool.  Settle down.  But I couldn't.  A week later, I received my MISTI in the mail with that cute little pink business card.  I was smitten.  If you ask Iliana now, she'd say I was obsessed.  


     To not bore you, I'll make the next two and half years short.  Through the discovery of this amazing tool, I have found crafty people, just like me, who love the MISTI as much as I do and we started a Facebook Group called Stamp Junkies.  Through this page, I've gained 4 best friends who are my sisters, thousands of member friends, and I have taken my stamping to new heights.  I've traveled to many different states, been to CHA, met many business owners, design team members and bloggers who, like me, have been changed with this wonderful invention. 
     My life has gone from feeling isolated and nonexistent to full of color and vibrant art.  My depression had been so bad that I often thought that no one would notice if I was gone.  The MISTI gave me something to focus on and I tirelessly fought on Iliana's behalf while she was going through the patent pending period and the awfulness of copycat companies.  I'm really not sure how it began, but I became friends with Iliana and have gotten to meet her and I've grown to love her even more than my obsession level had reached from afar.  I will continue to stalk her and look for her in every plane ride I take and the back seat of every car that picks me up from the airport.  

     I can never express to Iliana, or anyone for that matter, how much her invention and passion changed my life.  No, SAVED my life.  I hated myself.  I hated life.  I had no one.  Now?  I'm so blessed with a brand new world filled with just the loveliest people.  All from a tool that lets me stamp so much better.  

     Iliana's unique talent, I believe, is her grace.  This woman had an idea, brought it to life, expanded from her garage, became a company and was granted a patent.  This should have been a huge celebration (which we did celebrate), but it has just brought out so many copycats and legal issues trying to protect what's hers.  She has fought this battle with such grace and courage that I'm in awe of her every day.  When I see her in person, I still get tight in the throat.  I can't speak for a bit and in my head I wonder what in the world I could ever say to her that would explain my life before and my life after her idea.  

     I have fought, and will continue to fight, for you, Iliana.  I love you more than you'll ever know.  I'm just a girl from a little town in Pennsylvania who stamped in her lonely craft room for years and wanted to quit.  You've opened up the world for me and I no longer want to disappear.  
Standing:  Kim ZumMallen-Pietruszewski (Stamp Junkies Admin), Me,
Julie Halvin Brase (Stamp Junkies Admin), Chris Dayton (Stamp Junkies Admin).
Seated:  Iliana Myska (My Hero, inventor of the MISTI), and Gina K.  (Gina K. Designs and
StampTV star/owner of Village Paper and Ink in Greendale, WI and Stamp Junkies Sponsor of JunkieFest 2017)

     I'm pretty sure I'm supposed to make a card for Iliana to show in this post, but I only invited myself into this blog hop a couple nights ago, late.  With Thanksgiving, I haven't had a moment to sit down and make a card worthy of celebrating my hero.  I mean really, none would ever be good enough.  (You'll get one for Christmas, promise).  Love ya.

     So, would YOU like to win the item that changed my life?  If you would, visit each of the my wonderful friends' blogs listed below.  Comment on every post and you will be entered for a chance to win a MISTI, your choice of an original size or mini.  Thank you so much for reading my story.

     Here are the blogs to visit!

Marci  <----You are here.

Click here for more information on Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day!  

     If I had to pick what MY unique talent would be, I'd have to say that sharing my love and utter devotion to Iliana with thousands of people every day with creativity, humor and respect.  My passion is now networking with everyone in this industry to make sure everyone succeeds.  We need to lift each other up and I like being a rung on that ladder. It's now my purpose.

Much Junkie love to Chris Dayton who told Lydia I was whining about not being in the blog hop because I love Iliana more than anyone else.  She graciously let me in.  You girls are the best.



Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sending Prayers CAS07 November Inspiration Challenge

Welcome Back to the Calling All Sistahs Monthly Challenge

     Thanks for joining me again this month for the CAS-ual Fridays CAS Challenge.  If you caught my post last month, or if you've followed any of the other Encouragement Squad members, you know that each month a new inspiration board is posted for a new challenge.  You can use the colors that are shown or draw your inspiration from the photo.  Both if you'd like!  Here's November's Inspiration board:

    The Challenge is to create a card you would send someone for encouragement using the elements or colors on the board.  Each Encouragement Squad member posts their card they made and then everyone is welcome to enter the challenge.  The criteria to enter is here.

     So let's see the card I came up with this month, shall we?

I wanted to use CAS-ual Fridays Amber Waves stamp, seen here, since we're so close to Thanksgiving!  I love sheaves of wheat and this set has both a large and small wheat stamp.  I used the colors only from the inspiration board this month and decided I wanted the yellow as my focal color and the green and brown as accents.  I used distress inks to do an ink blending technique behind the wheat and I also added some green ink splatter.  To soften it up a touch, I sprinkled clear water on the yellow and lifted it with a paper towel after a few seconds, creating lighter spots.

I used my MISTI to align the sentiments from the Casual Comfort stamp set.  I popped up the top panel on my card base and used brown card stock on both to outline the green and white.  I think I did really well following the color scheme of the board but making it feel a little like Thanksgiving.  

We would love for you to enter our Encouragement Challenge.  Everyone can use a card in their stash to send to someone who needs it.  Why not brighten someone's day and win something for yourself at the same time!  Again, here is how you enter: 

Be sure to check out the CAS-ual Fridays Blog for the rest of the cards our Encouragement Squad came up with to showcase the beautiful inspiration board for November!  

I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and hope that you all get to spend the day with loved ones.  (And eat some great food as well).  

Much Junkie Love,



Friday, November 17, 2017

Kick it Girl! CAS-ual Fridays BCA Reminder Card

Girls check your girls!  It's time for your monthly reminder!

I'm reminding all the ladies in my life, along with the rest of the CAS-ual Fridays Encouragement  Squad, to do you self breast exam if you haven't already.  Encourage the ladies in your life as well!  You never know when you could save a life, whether your own or someone you love.  It takes just a few moments! 

This month's card is very clean and simple, but it packs a powerful message!  I just learned that a friend of mine was just diagnosed with lung cancer.  Thankfully they caught it early.  She will have to undergo chemo and radiation to her lung and also radiation to her brain, as the type of aggressive cancer she has typically spreads to the brain quickly.  I made this card with her in mind and I think I'll send it to her as it is a good card for any type of cancer.  So here it is: 

I used CAS-ual Fridays Amber Waves stamp set seen here.  Using a simple white card base and the border stamps found at the bottom of the set, I created a bold but pretty design.  Stamping with both a light and dark pink (Catherine Pooler Inks:  Party Dress and It's a Girl) adds interest and adding the black border in allowed me to use black for my sentiment, from the Calling All Sistahs Stamp set seen here, and frame. 

I was able to align the border stamp up twice, reaching to both sides of the card, by using my MISTI for perfect placement, as well as the ability to stamp my image twice in the exact same spot for an intense color.  I decided to use silver glitter paper for my girl die, seen here, to give it some pop and it also allowed me to put silver sequins on as well and they all coordinated. 

Thank you for taking a look at my card this month and be sure to use this as a reminder to take care of yourself by doing monthly breast exams. 

Please take a moment to click on over to CAS-ual Fridays Blog for more reminder information and to see the rest of the Encouragment Squad's cards.  You won't be disappointed!  I can never resist more PINK!   

See you in December!  

Much Junkie Love,


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Just Breathe CAS06 October Inspiration Challenge

They let me come back!

Welcome back to my place.  Today I'm back on CAS-ual Fridays Stamps for their monthly Encouragement Challenge. This challenge is based on making a card to lift someone's spirits, whether it's due to illness, loss, hardship or just to send a hug or put a smile on someone's face.

Each month a new inspiration board is posted on the 18th.  You can use the colors that are shown or draw your inspiration from the photo.  Both if you'd like!  Here's October's Inspiration board:


Each Encouragement Squad member posts their card they made and then everyone is welcome to enter the challenge.  The criteria to enter is here.

This is the card I came up with.

Stamp sets & floral dies:  CAS-ual Fridays, Inks:  Gina K, Adhesive: Brutus Monroe

I used both the color scheme and the picture from which to draw inspiration.  The three white circles, die cut, represent the candles.  I used the Casual Comfort stamp set and matching Casual Trees Fri-Dies to bring out the floral feel in the picture and also used the Breathe Stamp set for the sentiment.  I used a dark brown background to anchor my design and then put a brown metallic washi tape along the bottom for just a pop of shine.  The last touch I added to represent the water are dew drops adhered with Brutus Monroe All purpose craft glue. Gina K's Innocent Pink and Dusty Rose inks were used for the two shades of pink.     

I hope you join in with us and create an encouragement card to enter the challenge!

One person will win a $25 gift code to use on anything in the CAS-ual Fridays Stamps store.  All products are welcome, but if you use CAS-ual Fridays stamps or dies on your card, Michele will DOUBLE your prize!!!

To enter go to the Calling All Sistahs blog and follow directions to upload your card.  Winners are announced next month on the 15th.

To read more about Calling All Sistahs and what the mission of owner, Michele, is, click here.   

Thanks for playing along and good luck entering the challenge!  Don't forget the send your beautiful card(s) to someone who could use a smile.

Much Junkie love!  Craft on!


Tuesday, October 17, 2017

You've Got This! CAS-ual Fridays BCA Challenge

     I'm so excited to have been added to CAS-ual Fridays Encouragement Squad last month!  This is my first blog post for their Calling All Sistahs reminder to do your self-examinations this month.  We do this on the 17th of every month.  It takes 5 minutes and could very well save your life!  Also, if you are due, please go get your mammograms.  If you are not sure if you should have your first one yet, or if you need a repeated test, please ask your physician.

     You can also help find a cure by purchasing products from the Calling All Sistahs line where 50% of the profits go towards breast cancer research.

     Now, on to my reminder card.  I just love the whole Calling All Sistahs line of stamps and Fri-Dies.  What a pleasure it will be to create a monthly card with these supplies.  Today my card uses the Word Ribbon Stamp Set, the Dream Then Do stamp set and the Ruffled Ribbon Fri-Die

Highlighting emboss-resist technique

     I created the card base out of white paper and used the same to cut out the ribbon die and background.  Once I had the ribbon cut out, I embossed the coordinating stamps from Word Ribbon using VersaMark embossing ink and detail white embossing powder.  My MISTI helped me stamp perfectly on my ribbon by using the negative of die cut left over to hold my ribbon in place while I stamped.

     Once heated, I used two shades of pink to create an ombre effect on the ribbon.  I used a lighter pink blending from the top of the ribbon to 3/4 down, becoming very light at the bottom.  I then two the darker shade of pink and went over the top and 1/4 of the way down. I then went over the ribbon with a soft cloth to take the pink ink off the words.  I love the resist technique and it went perfectly and I got the look I wanted to achieve.

     On my background panel, I did the same.  Blending the lighter color 3/4 of the way up and then the darker color over it about 1/3 up.
     I embossed the sentiment from the Dream Then Do stamp set in the same detail white powder.  I used my MISTI to stamp the sentiment twice as my VersaMark pad is getting on the dry side.  

     I wanted the darker pinks on opposite ends of the ribbon and background so as to better highlight the ribbon and sentiment.  I popped the ribbon up on the background to add depth and interest. I think it looks really pretty.

    Continuing with really pretty, I added sequins and a glittery silver card stock lining to the background for more pop.  A girl's gotta have bling.

     Thank you so much for taking the time to look at my blog.  This may be one of the most important things I do each month.  Reminding lovely women to do their self-exams.  I will mail my card to a friend and let her know she should do hers as well.  

     See you next month, craft on!   Love, Marci


Friday, May 26, 2017

Welcome to the Unity & My Sweet Petunia Blog Hop & Giveaway!

     Thanks so much for stopping by to see my projects utilizing the amazing MISTI, by My Sweet Petunia, and beautiful stamps from one of my favorite companies, the Unity Stamp Company.   

     This is my very first blog hop and I'm so excited to be included in this one specifically.  If you haven't heard, I head up the MISTI Fan Club as President in Chief (totally made up) and am honored to be one of the stops on this ride.  Imagine my surprise when I found out we were spotlighting Unity as well!  I just love their stamps and pretty much stalk their Facebook site hourly.

     Here are my projects I created.  I hope you enjoy them!

     My first project was using Unity's May Sentiment Kit,  ...happy snail mail. It''s such a cute set and I immediately fell in love with it!  I used my MISTI to stamp and emboss my image perfectly.  For a little flair, I put three dots of different colored Nuvo Drops in the mushroom circles and swirled them together using a straight pin.  I think it's kinda cool.  I thought I made this up all on my own, but a friend said she saw someone else do it....doh!  (maybe Jennifer McGuire)

     This little snail is so cute, I thought I'd make a note-card and matching envelope real quick.  My MISTI Creative Corners helped me stamp off my image over the side of the paper, giving me a sturdy corner to work with.  They also helped me create my rough square on my envelope, which I drew over to make thicker.

     Lastly, I used one of my favorite Unity stamps, Mystical Mermaid, to create a card using what I call "selective embossing."  I first stamped on my watercolor paper using the MISTI and black detail ink.  I then watercolored the image.  After I was happy with the look, I took a VersaMarker and colored directly onto the red rubber of the stamp where I wanted gold embossing.  Hopefully you can see in the picture that it's her body and hair piece embossed and not her arms, hair or flowers on her fins.  I then took the same marker and dabbed all the dots to make them look like bubbles using silver embossing powder.

     Thank you so much for taking a moment to look at my creations.  It was very fun to collaborate with these two amazing businesses.

     ***Watch my quick video below to see how easy it is to transition between stamping with thin, clear photopolymer stamps to the thicker red rubber, foam mounted stamps.

GIVEAWAY: As a spectacular THANK YOU for visiting all our pages, Unity & My Sweet Petunia are having a drawing to award prizes for those that comment on every site. 

     Unity will award three (3) prize packs.  One to each of the three winners.
My Sweet Petunia will be awarding winners choice of MISTIS. Please comment by May 30th, 2017.  The drawing will be held at noon (CST).  Winners will be posted on both My Sweet Petunia and Unity blogs on May 31st, 2017.  Good luck to everyone!

     Here is the listing of bloggers participating in this fun endeavor!  Make sure you comment on every blog to qualify for the prize drawings!