Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Holiday of Intention

How did it go so fast? How is it that we are only a week away from Christmas and only two weeks away until 2011? Did I sleep too much that it flew by so fast? I am in awe at how quickly this holiday season was upon us and it seems from reading cards from family and friends, it hit us all blindsided. Even though we know its coming. Even though every year we vow not to let it happen again next year. Even though I have been making cards since August with many of you in classes. I just don't understand. But then I pause. I think about why CHRISTmas is even around. What are we to be really giving this holiday.

As I find myself praying though this morning how to get it all done without too much stress to me or my family, I realize, for me at least, how this has all happened.

This year, the Christmas season for me has been a Holiday of Intention.

- The classes we have been teaching have had meaning - with specific thoughts of who you or I may even be making he gifts for.
- The Christmas cards being sent out by me are not sent yet because I want send personal handwritten sentiments, not just a signature. They will update people on our lives for the ones we don't see often. They will ask about their families and their lives and they will remind each of them individually why they are special to us.
- The gifts we are giving family and friends, are about memories shared with them and how important they were to us. Recapturing the emotions and fun shared with them throughout this year or in years past where we can. Some may not even be done for Christmas (gasp!).
- The holiday parties we are attending will be with those people that matter to us and share life with us and we will be sure those events don't interfere with personal family time. It won't be just a "yes" because we got an invitation. Many events and gatherings will be with family we want to see and spend time with.
- The time has been spent caring for and helping friends in need. While many people have been running around to give the "perfect" Christmas with decorations and gifts, we have been intentional about calling and offering help, serving and reaching out to others:
* for the friends we have that are lonely and need a phone call just to say hi
* for the friend who had a negative stress test and are worried about heart disease and what may be needed to fix that, worrying that every pain could be a heart attack
* for the friend we have whose adult daughter is recovering from a stroke
* for the friends we have who have had surgery this week or are getting ready for surgery
* for the friends we have with a cancer diagnosis, or who are in limbo waiting for the possible diagnosis
* for the families that we minister to, many with loss of job or what we would consider lesser living conditions, but who we have built relationships with through the ministry this year, who we now know and share our lives with
* for the families of former prisoners/offenders, who are trying to get their life back on track and are struggling to fight addictions and situations
* for our friend trying to work full time and care for a mother and brother who are both dying of cancer, running to another state every week trying to make sure they spend all the time together they can before it's too late
* for our friends who have experienced great losses this year of family and people special to them in their lives for many different reasons
* for the people we have met this year who have lost someone to suicide
* for our daughter and her husband who just had her third child - with two boys already only 3 and 4 1/2
* for our son-in-law currently stationed in South Korea for a term and not able to be home with family this year, away from his wife who could not go with him for this year term, working our country

This holiday has definitely been about intention. It's been about spending time on the things that matter most to us. So even though the cards and notes may not get mailed until January, it's OK. Even though there is still shopping we want to do and should do, we will find rest. Even though everyone may not understand us not having extended holiday hours this year, we understand it is so we don't over-stress our bodies and end up sick the month of January and it's so we can spend time with family and friends. Even though we are closing between Christmas and New Years except for one day, we will be grateful to be spending the time with family from out of town. Some of them we haven't seen in a year or two so do those last minute sales really matter that much?

As you read this, I ask that you also take pause and think about what kind of Holiday and last week before Christmas that you will be having. The cards really aren't important if they come with just a signature, especially if you haven't been able to make time or connect with that person all year. Trying to just have a gift for someone, and not thinking of the person you are buying it for, or making it for, doesn't matter. Making sure you attend every holiday party so no one is offended will just leave you tired and feeling lost. Decorating and cooking for many, many hours to have the perfect meal for everyone coming over is not where our time should be spent.

Instead focus that time on calling an old friend to see how they are. That's even better than a card if it's been awhile since you have shared life with them. Share homemade cookies with neighbors if you get too many for yourself from friends. Invite others over for a cup of coffee. Help someone run and errand who may have pain if they go out in the very cold weather we have been having. Remember with love those you know who have had a loss this year or life changing event and who may not be experiencing any joy at all this holiday season. You still have time to make your own Holiday of Intention.

Be Blessed,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Sweet & Sassy Event

Hi everyone, I wanted to thank everyone who came out to our special Make & Take during the Shop Hop with Korin, owner of Sweet & Sassy stamps. We had about 70 people take advantage of the event and come join in the fun. The card was a beautiful sample of Korin's style and quality of her stamps. We are carrying several stamp sets of hers and can always order any additional ones we need to. Keep watching the blog for other photos and events to be posted and shared.

We'd love to have your feedback on anything you see on the blog or our website. Just email us at

Have a blessed day.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shop Hop Just Around the Corner

Things have been unbelievably crazy at the store lately. All the new CHA products ordered have been arriving and will continue to arrive over the next couple weeks. We have been busy preparing for the Shop Hop beginning October 7th - getting the make/take ready as well as trying to fill the walls. You have all been giving us some great feedback, ideas for classes and telling us what you like and don't like. Your opinions are making a difference, and we are hoping that we continue to be pleased with our various classes being offered, skill levels and also product availability. As we continue to expand and bring in new product, we hope that you'll join us soon for a crop or class as we all continue to get ready for the holidays which are coming way too quickly for me.

I hope you are enjoying the fall weather and beginning to think of pumpkins and other fun fall things. We continue to add new class ideas, so be sure to watch our calendar for upcoming classes and project ideas. We'll soon be loading our photos of the paper quilting there too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Conventions are Almost Here

Where does the time go. It's so hard to believe that the Creating Keepsakes Convention is just around the corner and so is the summer Craft and Hobby Association Convention (CHA). Both of these mean a great time to be ordering new products and continuing to change over the inventory. We have been busy making samples of new product lines, creating stuff for our classes and also just having fun. We're beginning to review the new paper lines being released and are so excited about some of the things we are seeing. This month is full of sales at the store to help us clean out the old and bring in the new and we're excited to see you getting excited about this too. If you need some inspiration, or just a kick start with your scrapbooking, come in and see some of the samples we've been making. We hope to see you soon, but most importantly, hope that you are making memories with your families and friends this summer. Keep scrappin'!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Fun Time is Here

I couldn't wait for summer to come this year. I don't know why - maybe it's looking forward to the time with the grandkids, maybe it's more about not liking to be cold muhc, but I couldn't wait.

Spring gave me the "bug" to get out and enjoy the warmer weather but being able to go to Hershey Gardens and other places in the heat has been a joy. I've been to Lake Tobias, Tennessee, Maine, Ocena City. the pictures have been great and I've been so excited I've even scrapped some of them already. We're continuing to do the Mosaic classes every month which are a blast. So far, so good - I'm sticking to my plan of at least one/month for 2010.

I've been doing lots of samples and classes and the store is a buzz! We hope you'll stop in and see us soon.

Don't forget our upcoming Yard sale August 13-14th. See our calendar for more details.

Be a blessing to someone today!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

National Scrapbook Day is coming...

We are so excited here at the store as we get ready for National Scrapbook Day. We are putting the finishing touches on all the activities planned and we have 24 people joining us for a fun-filled weekend of cropping, eating and spending time together. This is when friendships are built and enriched. I wish everyone could be here with us, but we would for sure need a larger place.

This is from an email I received this morning and it was such a poignant reminder of why scrapbooking is important. I pray that this will touch you as it did me and hope that you can take some time this weekend, or everyone once in a while to do what you love.

"Moments. There are moments in life that define us. Some of them are really big moments...falling in love...the birth of a child...graduating from school. These moments we know are big moments when they occur.

But there are also moments that seem little at the time...but turn out to be a big defining moment...we just didn't know it yet.

But all the moments of our lives...and the memories of those moments...are like boats floating in the water. Some are rowboats, some cruise ships, but most of them will float away off course unless they are anchored.

So how do we "anchor" those memories so they don't float away into the recesses of our mind? Scrapbooking, of course!

This Saturday is National Scrapbook Day. Every year at this time I take it as my duty to remind people to "anchor" their memories through scrapbooking. And every year at this time I also take it as my duty to remind everyone that there are lots of ways to scrapbook. Not everyone scrapbooks in the same way and however you choose to preserve your memories is what is right for you. What's important is that you do it! :-)

Oh, and take pictures. LOTS of pictures. Because you never know which of those little moments ends up being a big moment and you want to make sure you recorded it!

I hope you spend part of your Saturday making some new memories (and anchoring them) or reliving some old ones by scrapbooking them. And whatever your scrapbooking supplies needs are for those memories, we've got you covered!"

(Thanks Julie for these touching and meaningful words.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Here it comes!

Well, we are only a week away from our anniversary. This year has just flown by and I am amazed as I sit and look at all the projects we have done in the last year, as well as all the people I've had the privilege of meeting. This place has been my lifeline and I have never been happy with the work I'm doing and the people sharing in my life.

Activities have been busy getting things ready at the store for the sale next week - getting in new items still coming in from CHA show in January and preparing for all the details needed to have a successful weekend. We have several surprises in store for you, so you'll want to stop in the store next Thursday - Saturday to enjoy the make and take card and snacks - and most importantly the SALE!

Hope to see you soon. I'm attaching a photo from one of the faith layouts we did to give you some inspiration for some of those zoo pictures since we are getting to that time of year. The classes are filling up quickly and we are having a ball creating, creating creating and sharing those ideas with you.

Thanks for all you do for me and the store and the support you give us. We wouldn't be here without each of you guys.

Monday, March 15, 2010

It's Been Too Long...

I'm sorry everyone that it's been so long since I did a post. I get caught up in the samples for the store and classes and the newsletter and this is on my calendar for once/week but it just get moves in the priority listing. But I have been reading the magazine called Artful Blogging and it has been a wonderful inspiration to me to get back to it. I can't make any promises other than I will be making a concerted effort to continue to load new samples as products as often as I can. I've also been getting some information from a woman out of Australia that I love her ideas and samples and blog - so I'm hoping to expand mine and add things I haven't done before. I could end up knowing too much one day.

Today's new layout sample was created using the fun flower embellishments from Creative Charms. The flower petals are made from those rubber band elastic things you would use in a ponytail, but by adding a bright and fancy brad to the center - it just makes you want to use them. This layout was done the very day I got the embellishments from them I was so excited. They sent a sample for how to use the product and I varied it a little - but it so easily captures the everyday photos we all have and don't know how to use. Visit the store to see more of the great embellishments and ideas from this small company out of western PA.

Blessings - and thanks for sticking with me.