Friday, December 30, 2011

Flourishes Tin-for-All-Friday

It's Free for All Friday with the Flourishes Sr. Design team, and today we're feeling a little tin-like!  Jan Marie sent us all these great alterable tins awhile back and today our challenge was to see what we could create with them!  I think you'll find some great ideas from all the designers listed at the end of my post, and you'll want to pick up a few of these tins yourself... especially since they're on sale right now for only $0.75! You can find them by clicking HERE.  (The After-Christmas sale ends tonight at midnight, so don't dawdle!)

For my tin, I'm feelin' a little Valentine love!  I used the Tokens of Affection stamp set, stamping the "kiss" token on a piece of paper from the "Love Me" collection from My Mind's Eye.  I have some of these old circle tags from Buttons Galore laying around, so I adhered the Good For One Kiss token to the tag for more stability.  Then I just tied a ribbon in a bow snugly around the tin, and attached the tag with some red and pink baker's twine.  The ribbon can just slide off the tin for opening, and inside....

... are three tubes of Burt's Bees lip balm so that you can give out plenty of Valentine kisses!  The "or 100!" is computer-generated and I added a die-cut heart stamped with a Valentine sentiment from the Tokens of Affection set.  I cut and scored three small scraps of paper from the "Love Me" paper pad to make little "boxes" around the lip balm to keep them from rolling around in the tin, and added another piece of paper from the pad to the inside of the lid.

Be sure to visit the other Flourishes Sr. Designers to see what they've done with their tins today...

My little tin was a lot of fun to make, and I hope I've inspired you today!  :)

Happy stamping!

Happy Retirement, Bar!

Someone very special to me is celebrating a very special day!  My BFF Barbara Anders (better known as "Bar") is retiring today from the daily grind!  I know how anxiously she's been waiting for this day, so I thought it'd be fun to help her celebrate!  I gathered up a few stamping friends to have a little Happy Retirement Blog Hop for her today, so be sure to check out the list of bloggers at the end of my post, and check out the celebratory cards for Bar today!

For my card, I thought the beautiful new Always Time for Tea stamp set and Die-Namics from My Favorite Things would make a beautiful retirement card!  I computer-generated the "Retirement suits you...." sentiment for the front of the card, and...

... I added this on the inside.  "To a" is computer-generated and "Tea" is from the stamp set, along with the teapot stamped at the bottom.

Please hop over and also check out the Happy Retirement cards from these friends...

CONGRATULATIONS on your retirement, Bar!  I know how much all your co-workers are going to miss you, but I also know how much you're going to enjoy this next phase of life!  Happy stamping, happy gardening, happy everything!!!!!!!!!!!!  I love you!  :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Snowflakes and Storage

We had a few gifts cards to give out for Christmas this year, so I used my Snowflake Cut-Ups die from The Cat's Pajamas to dress up the envelopes a little bit.  The purple envelopes are what we put our gift cards in at the store, and these were for my niece's two young girls, so I wanted to dress them up with some sparkle so they'd be a little more excited over boring gift cards.  (At ages 2 and 5, they don't yet realize the value of a gift card, but they really seemed to love the sparkly snowflakes and ribbon!)  And the gift card holder on the right is like some similar ones I made for the Dirty Dozen gallery this month at Splitcoaststampers.

And I just have to share one of my new Christmas "toys" too.... my sweet hubby took me to Harbor Freight to get this awesome revolving 4-tier unit for storage!  I just LOVE it, and even after doing a little reorganizing of my supplies, I still have room for more things on it!  :)  I love it!

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy stamping!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Flourishes After-Christmas Sale

If you have Christmas money to spend, Flourishes has got a great deal you won’t want to miss! From now through Friday, everything in the store is 25% off. Even the goodies on our sale page that have already been reduced for quick sale are 25% off the sale price!

                 TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SALE….. Simply use XMAS11                         in the coupon code box at the time of checkout.

Be sure to hit the recalculate button on the page so that your total adjusts to the sale price. Keep in mind, there are no rain checks or back orders. Once some of these items are gone, they will be gone for good! So, shop early for the best selection!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas at the Gas Station

The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn't been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn't hate Christmas, just couldn't find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through. 

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. "Thank you, but I don't mean to intrude," said the stranger. "I see you're busy, I'll just go." 

"Not without something hot in your belly." George said. 

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. "It ain't much, but it's hot and tasty. Stew ... Made it myself. When you're done, there's coffee and it's fresh." 

Just at that moment he heard the "ding" of the driveway bell. "Excuse me, be right back," George said. There in the driveway was an old '53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. "Mister can you help me!" said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. "My wife is with child and my car is broken." George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead. 

"You ain't going in this thing," George said as he turned away. 

"But Mister, please help ..." The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. "Here, take my truck," he said. "She ain't the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good." 

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. "Glad I gave 'em the truck, their tires were shot too. That 'ol truck has brand new ." George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. "Well, at least he got something in his belly," George thought. 

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the the block hadn't cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. "Well, shoot, I can fix this," he said to himself. So he put a new one on. 

"Those tires ain't gonna get 'em through the winter either." He took the snow treads off of his wife's old Lincoln . They were like new and he wasn't going to drive the car anyway. 

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, "Please help me." 

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. "Pressure to stop the bleeding," he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. "Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin'," he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease. 

"Something for pain," George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. "These ought to work." He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. "You hang in there, I'm going to get you an ambulance." 

The phone was dead. "Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car." He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio. 

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. "Thanks," said the officer. "You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area." 

George sat down beside him, "I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain't gonna leave you." George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. "Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through 'ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain." 

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. "How do you take it?" he asked. 

"None for me," said the officer.. 

"Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain't got no donuts." The officer laughed and winced at the same time. 

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. "Give me all your cash! Do it now!" the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before. 

"That's the guy that shot me!" exclaimed the officer. 

"Son, why are you doing this?" asked George, "You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt." 

The young man was confused. "Shut up old man, or I'll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!" 

The cop was reaching for his gun. "Put that thing away," George said to the cop, "we got one too many in here now." 

He turned his attention to the young man. "Son, it's Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain't much but it's all I got. Now put that pea shooter away." 

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. "I'm not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son," he went on. "I've lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week." 

George handed the gun to the cop. "Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can." 

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. "Sometimes we do stupid things." George handed the young man a cup of coffee. "Bein' stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin' in here with a gun ain't the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we'll sort this thing out." 

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. "Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I'm sorry officer." 

"Shut up and drink your coffee " the cop said. 

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. "Chuck! You ok?" one of the cops asked the wounded officer. 

"Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?" 

"GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?" the other cop asked as he approached the young man. 

Chuck answered him, "I don't know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran." 

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other. 

"That guy work here?" the wounded cop continued. 

"Yep," George said, "just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job." 

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, "Why?" 

Chuck just said, "Merry Christmas boy ... and you too, George, and thanks for everything." 

"Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems." 

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. "Here you go, something for the little woman. I don't think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day." 

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. "I can't take this," said the young man. "It means something to you." 

"And now it means something to you," replied George. "I got my memories. That's all I need." 

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. "Here's something for that little man of yours." 

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier. 

"And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too," George said. "Now git home to your family." 

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. "I'll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good." 

"Nope. I'm closed Christmas day," George said. "See ya the day after." 

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. "Where'd you come from? I thought you left?" 

"I have been here. I have always been here," said the stranger. "You say you don't celebrate Christmas. Why?" 

"Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin' up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin' cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn't the same by myself and besides I was gettin' a little chubby." 

The stranger put his hand on George's shoulder. "But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor. 

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. "That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man." 

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. "And how do you know all this?" asked the old man. 

"Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again." 

The stranger moved toward the door. "If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned." 

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room. 

"You see, George ... it's My birthday. Merry Christmas." 

George fell to his knees and replied, "Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus."


(Thank you, Joann at Old Hippie for sharing this story!)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Flourishes Friday Free-for-All

It may be almost Christmas, but as usual the Flourishes Sr. Design team has some Free-for-All Friday cards to share with you!  You'll find everyone today using stamps from the recent new release, so hopefully you'll be inspired!

I couldn't resist inking up these beautiful Pears once more.  I'm so excited for more opportunities to use these stamps... the images are so beautiful and unique.  This time I decided to stamp directly onto some designer paper and let that be my "coloring" for today.  I simply accented the shadows under the pears with a Warm Grey #3 marker, and the leaf with a YG95 marker.  The papers I used here are Prima "Madeline" and I accented with some brown gingham, Prima flowers and chocolate Kaisercraft pearls.

Remember, today is your last chance to pick up both of the newly released stamp sets, Snow Wonderful and Pears in the New Release Bundle and save 10%!

Stop and see what the other Sr. Designers have created today, then leave a little note for hubby to do some Christmas shopping for you in the Flourishes online store!  :)

Barbara Anders
Christine Okken
Danielle Kennedy
Dawn Burnworth
Julie Koerber
Sharon Doolittle
Stacy Morgan

Happy stamping, and thanks so much for stopping by today!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Timeless Tuesday #149

Since it's Tuesday, we've got one last Timeless Tuesday challenge for you in 2011!  Beate is our hostess today, and she's got a great technique for you to try!  I know you're probably super-busy this week getting ready for Christmas, but take a little time for yourself to do some stamping and give this Telescoping Image technique a try.  It may look a little intimidating but trust me when I say it isn't, especially if you check out Beate's easy tutorial over on the Flourishes blog!

I have to say, it was a relief to stamp something other than a Christmas card for today's challenge!  Whew... I love the holidays but I am tired of Christmas stamps, papers and colors!  :)

For my card, I decided to use the beautiful Gerber Daisies stamp set and the Labels 11 Nestabilities for my Telescoping Image.  I matted everything on the Lattice Rectangle Nestabilities with a piece of gray gingham paper from the October Afternoon "Farmhouse" paper pad.  My daises were colored with Copics from the Sunflower and Warm Neutrals Copic collections on Flourishes Classic Ivory cardstock, and I embellished with some dark gray seam binding, silver cord, a button and some Kaisercraft pearls colored with a W3 Copic marker.

Be sure you visit the other Timeless Tuesday team members today because I'm SURE they're going to have some beautiful inspiration for you using this technique!

Theresa Pollack, December Guest Designer

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Be sure to visit the Flourishes blog for all the challenge details, and play along with us for your chance to win some Flourishes spending money!

Happy stamping!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Beary Christmas

I needed to get one last Christmas card done this weekend, so the weekly TCP Tuesday challenge at The Cat's Pajamas, and the sketch from CardPatterns were a perfect combination for me to get the job done.  My sweet polar bear here is Big Bear from The Cat's Pajamas and I added a Cut-Ups Snowflake die as an embellishment.  (And I honestly did use the Big Scallop Cut-Ups die... it's the strip of snowflake paper on the left side!  But it ended up being covered by the center panel, and if I'd read the challenge closer and realized it was actually a major part of the challenge, I would have changed up the layout!  LOL  *smacks forehead*)

My snowflake is cut from white felt, and I applied a boatload of Rock Candy Distress Stickles to it for sparkle.  Hopefully you can catch a little of it by clicking on the photo below.  I also spritzed the circle behind the bear with Perfect Pearls, but unfortunately my poor photography doesn't show it.

So, we're down to the wire now... are ya' ready for Christmas!  :)  If not, you better get busy!

Happy stamping!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Quickie Christmas Treats

There are several families at our church who have little kids that I just adore and every holiday I have to have a little special treat for them.  Since I've been sick all week, I didn't think I'd get anything done but luckily I felt better tonight.  The Christmas Ornaments Die and Stamp set from My Favorite Things came to my rescue to make these quick tags for each candy cane!  Now I have a little something for all of my favorite kiddies at church!

Happy stamping!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Flourishes New Release Day

It's the last day of sneak peeks for Flourishes' new release this week, and instead of a new stamp set today, the designers are all showcasing the 123 Create Kits that are available in the Flourishes online store!  The newest one for December is shown above.  Details for this kit can be found HERE.  There are kits from other months also available in the Flourishes online store, so be sure to check them all out HERE.  

With my card today, I'm showing you the November 123 Kit that contains a beautiful pad of paper from Kaisercraft along with matching metallic gold cardstock, ribbons, lace and pearls!  For my card I used the new Sentimental Christmas stamp set, along with the Forest of Trees stamp set.

Want to win a 123 Create Kit? All you need to do is leave some love in the form of a comment on the blogs below! Why? You need to try to figure out…..

One of the ladies on our link list below will be picking a name from the comments on her blog post today. We don’t know which one it is… so the more blogs you leave comments on, the more chances you have to win! And, if you need some more eye candy, all you need to do is pay these ladies a visit – they are all showcasing one of Flourishes’ 123 Create Kits!

And then be sure to hop over to the Flourishes online store and do a little pre-Christmas shopping for yourself!  All the new stamps sets are now available!

Please forgive my short-and-sweet post today, but I'm battling bronchitis.  It's back to bed for me!

Happy stamping!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Flourishes New Release Day 2

Well, it's ap-pear-ant that everyone loved the new "Snow Wonderful" stamp set from Flourishes that we sneak peeked for you yesterday.... the comments were just FULL of gushing praise!  So I hope you'll continue with the gushing when you see what we've got for you today... the beautiful new "Pears" stamp set!  The images in this set are gorgeous beauties, yet this set is really fun and kinda' whimsical at the same time!  Trust me.... YOU. WILL. LOVE. IT!  Be sure to hit the blog links down below to see what the other Flourishes designers created today with these beautiful pears!

For my card, I pulled out some gorgeous Crate Paper to go with my blushing pears, and borrowed the layout from Karen's Sweet Sunday Sketch #147 from this past week, inverting the sketch to fit my image and panels better.  My pears were colored with Copics from the collections shown below.

Want to win this set and matching die? All you need to do is leave some love in the form of a comment on the blogs below! Why? You need to try to figure out…..

One of the ladies on our link list below will be picking a name from the comments on her blog post today. We don’t know which one it is… so the more blogs you leave comments on, the more chances you have to win! So, head on over and see how our fabulously talented DT used this beautiful new set and matching die combo that is sure to be a holiday fave for years to come!

Tammy Hershberger <--<-- you're here!

There are several other ways that you can win, too!  There's still time to join in with the Pre-Release Feminine Flair challenge from last Friday, there's the Noontime Challenge from Wednesday, and there will be another one at noon Central time today!  Check 'em all out over on the Flourishes blog!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Flourishes New Release Day 1

It's that time once again.... Flourishes New Release!  This week we've got two wonderful new stamp sets to share with you and as always, you're going to LOVE them!  Up first for today is Snow Wonderful, a beautiful stamp set for Winter that coordinates with the new Tailor-Made Classic Keyhole Die Set that was released last month.  Now you've got even more uses for that beautiful new die set with two stunning images in this new stamp set, and loads of wonderful sentiments.

I chose to use these sweet birds nestled in the pine trees for my card, stamping directly onto some designer paper from the "Breeze" 6x6 paper pad from My Mind's Eye and lightly coloring with Copics from the collections shown below.  I added some more papers from the 6x6 pad to my design, some chocolate Kaisercraft pearls, some stitching, and some white cotton lace trim.  My layout was inspired by Iwona's Sketchbook Saturday challenge #41.

Want to win this set and matching die? All you need to do is leave some love in the form of a comment on the blogs below! Why? You need to try to figure out…..

One of the ladies on our link list below will be picking a name from the comments on her blog post today. We don’t know which one it is… so the more blogs you leave comments on, the more chances you have to win! So, head on over and see how our fabulously talented DT used this beautiful new set and matching die combo that is sure to be a holiday fave for years to come!

Tammy Hershberger <--<-- you're here!

Good luck, and happy stamping!