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,