Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Paper Sweeties April Release Rewind!

Well, what did you think of the new releases this month? Aren't they adorable? Today is rewind day, where we create a card with a previously released set.

My husband has been out of town this week for work. We all miss him, so I had the idea of making welcome home cards for him. Below is the card I made for him using the Home Sweet Home set.

Then, I stamped the two houses from the same set onto some card stock, along with some sentiments, and gave them to the kids to color and decorate. I think it's a great way to get your kids interested in creativity. Just stamp some images on cardstock and give them to your kids to color and embellish as they wish. I know my husband is going to love getting these from them.

The card on the left is from my eight year old son, Jack. He loves geography, so he decided to throw in a personal touch by drawing a map of the area where his dad is staying. My sweet five year old, Elise, made the card on the right. What you can't see is the back and the inside. My kids like to decorate every single panel when they make cards! The had a lot of fun with these!

Find out what the rest of the team created with the adorable Paper Sweeties stamps!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Paper Sweeties April Release Party!

It's party time at Paper Sweeties! The new releases are now available in the store and are easily found in the What's New  section. There are three new releases this month: Two stamp sets and one Sweet Cut.

In today's post, I used the new set ConGRADulations, which features a cap, gown, scroll and some encouraging sentiments for the new graduate. Sophie is graduating in my card today.

For more inspiration, visit my design teammates at their blog addresses below:

Monday, April 14, 2014

Paper Sweeties April Release Countdown!

Let the April countdown begin. We've got some new sweet products to release tomorrow and here's a taste of what's to come.

The other design team members have some fun sneaks for you to enjoy, too! Please hop along to see their inspirational creations.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Paper Sweeties April Release Sneak Peeks!

Well, I'm a little late with my post, but I did it! Hip hip hooray! I finally did my post! LOL. You'll get to see the full reveal of this stamp set and sweet dies on Tuesday.

Click on my teammate's links to see their awesome projects.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Easter Topiary with Eyelet Outlet Products!

Sometimes I get tired of making cards all the time. I love it, but it's nice to change it up a bit, isn't it? Well, that's what I've done today. I made an Easter egg topiary that can be used as a centerpiece at Easter dinner.

The project was actually pretty easy once I figured out the best way to do it.

Paper Flowers - Checked, Light Purple,Yellow, Stitched Flower, Pink
Jewel and Pearl Brads
Stitched Flower Brads
Stitched Washi Tape Shell Colors
Stitched Washi Tape Ladybug Colors
Zots glue dots
Fast Finish decoupage glue
Styrofoam Egg

 All you need is a styrofoam egg, some paper flowers, brads and glue dots. At first, I tried sticking the brads into the styrofoam, but they kept popping out. I figured out a trick to make them stay. First, adhere the paper flowers with a glue dot, then stick the brad through the hole. It works great! After I finished decorating the egg, I used a chopstick I found in my junk drawer to prop it up. I didn't want a plain wooden (and splintered) chopstick, so I wrapped it in washi tape. I applied a layer of Fast Finish decoupage glue from Beacon adhesives over the egg to give a protective coat. Easy peasy. If you're looking for a fun, easy way to dress up your Easter table, give it a try!

 Project number two is a card. Yep, back to basics. I wanted to try something new. I thought it would be fun to actually write a sentiment with bling!

I first used a die from Memory Box to cut out "hello". Then I just stuck bling on top of it. I added a few flowers and some butterflies to give it a spring look.

Bling Strips
Stitched Flower Brads
Mini Stitched Flower Brads
Butterfly Brads
Die-Memory Box

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Paper Sweeties April Inspiration Challenge #18 - 'Sweet Treats'

It's time for a new challenge at Paper Sweeties and you're going to love the inspiration photo this month. The color palette is so feminine and refreshing. I love the little flowers and as you can see, they were a big theme in my card.

I used stamps and dies from a couple sets. The big flower and the cute little chick is from the latest release Hippity Hoppity Easter Wishes. I used both the stamps and Sweet Cuts, which you can buy as a bundle here.

For the tiny flowers adorning the sentiment, I used the little flower with leaves stamp and die in the Sending Sweet Thoughts set. The little flowers are my favorite! The sentiment is from Welcome Spring.

The card sketch is from the latest CASe This Sketch challenge. I thought I would throw my hat in the ring!

Please see what the others made with the inspiration photo. It always amazes me how very different our projects turn out from the same inspiration! I love how unique we all are!

April Guest Designer:  Larissa Heskett

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Tribute and A Testimony

Hello dear friends and followers,

Before you get into this post, I suggest you put on your wading boots because I'm about to get deep. Most of my posts are primarily card and paper crafting related because that is my target audience. I occasionally reveal some personal information about my life as it relates to paper crafting, but I usually keep it light.

Not today. Although I'm sharing a card, I also feel compelled to share the journey that led to this card, and the journey that took place afterward.

I made this for my dear friend, Mariana Geissel, while she was in hospice battling brain cancer. On Saturday, her battle ended and she is now cancer free in heaven. I could write that she lost the battle and most people would agree. But they don't know Mariana and they haven't yet read this amazing story I'm about to share. She didn't lose the battle. She won.

My dear friend was a woman of incredible faith. She felt God's protection since her journey began 19 months ago when she first learned she had brain cancer after suffering from a seizure. Her outlook on life and death is one of the most inspirational I have ever experienced.

Mariana would say:
"I win no matter what. If I beat cancer and live another twenty to thirty years, I win. If I don't beat cancer, then I will go to heaven and I still win!"
 I, on the other hand, struggled with understanding why God would let such a lovely person and mother of three young boys get brain cancer. I decided the best way to handle my lack of faith was to take it straight to God. After all, He already knew I was angry at Him because God knows all.

Me and Mariana at her birthday party shortly after being diagnosed with brain cancer.
We all wore orange, Mariana's favorite color, to show our support.

When Mariana was first diagnosed, I cried out "God, why?! WHY? How could you let this happen to her? I know you're supposed to have a perfect plan, but how could this be a part of it? I don't like it!! I'm angry with you, God!" My husband said "You can't be mad at God" to which I replied "Oh, yes I can and I am!"

During that time, I heard God say to me "Annette, you need to have more faith in me. Don't you think I'm going to take care of her?"  Those words gave me some peace and comfort until two months ago, when I learned the tumor was not responding to treatment and Mariana was in hospice.

I was shaken to the core and so was my faith. I could feel it weakening again as I questioned why this had to happen. Then, this past Saturday evening, the news came. I was devastated.

I knew going to church the next morning was going to be tough. Mariana was also a member of my church. In fact, that's how we met. I knew the entire congregation was going to be in mourning. We had been rallying around Mariana and supporting her and her family in every way possible including wearing her favorite color - orange - to church, bringing meals to her family and driving her to treatments.

I was tempted to skip, but I knew that I needed to go. I needed to see my church family. More importantly, I needed to be in God's house because my faith had been rocked. During worship service, I fought back tears and muddled my way through the songs. I was also doing something else. Inside, I was crying out to God. "How could you let this happen!?!"

Then, in typical God fashion, He revealed something to me. Something that seems so obvious, yet so profound. He simply said:
"Annette, you're looking at this all wrong. You're looking at this as though I am the problem. I didn't give Mariana cancer. I am not the problem. I am the solution."
 I was too dimwitted to completely understand what He was saying at the time, so I noodled on it for a couple of days while still feeling anguish over Mariana's loss. I'm going to be honest, I was a hot mess ... until Tuesday.

On Tuesday morning, I started Googling stories about people who had gone to heaven and come back. As I was reading these accounts from different people, I could feel God working in me again.

Every story I read had a similar theme. They all experienced this incredible joy. There was no pain and they felt nothing but love. Then it all clicked and God started revealing His plan to me.

He explained that we live on earth, where there is cancer There are other sicknesses on earth, too. There is also shame, guilt, lust, greed, anger and just plain sin. He didn't give her cancer. It just happened because she was on earth where there is cancer. He was not the problem.

He then revealed that in Heaven, there is no cancer. There is no pain. There is no sin. Because He reigned in Heaven, none of those things was allowed inside. As a result, nothing but love and pure joy was left because there were no sin and no pain. He had completely taken care of her!! He wasn't the problem, He was the solution!! She was with Him in heaven and she was experiencing nothing but pure joy!!

He then revealed to me that yes, he could have cured her from cancer on earth, but He chose not to because He had a better plan and it was Heaven!! He could completely protect her in Heaven because that is where He had full reign. Had she remained on earth, the cancer could have returned or she could have fallen ill from something else. She could still experience anger, hurt, guilt, etc. because those things exist on earth. Why cure her of one thing, when He could cure her of everything in Heaven? He could completely protect her there!!

Yes, God!! I get it now!! I totally get it!! You solved it all by giving us the opportunity to be with you under your full protection in Heaven, where you have full reign!! Mariana understood that and she is there with Him now!! She is experiencing nothing but pure joy!!

We will have trials and tribulations because we are on earth and bad things exist here. Yes, good things exist, too. (Have you been to Disneyworld?) Seriously, though, that's just how it is on earth, but in Heaven there is nothing but pure joy because that is all that exists because that is all God wants for us!!

Wow!!! Mind. Blown.


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