Lessons for the New Year

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It’s time again to turn the page for a new year! 2022 had been much anticipated with the ever elusive dream of returning to normal. Perhaps with that page turn, it’s time to consider a new dream:

We can look to the beautiful bamboo plant for some lessons– or more appropriately– use it as a guide for how we approach this new year.

In Asian cultures, bamboo is symbolic of good luck, longevity, strength, health… all the things we would wish for in the new year. I felt it fitting to be the January for 2022.

One of the prominent characteristics of bamboo is that it is strongly rooted, yet flexible. This allows it to bend in the wind without breaking. I think this is good advice… Though we are all weary of the last couple of years, it’s difficult to think about approaching this coming year with this type of advice. However, if we’ve learned anything is how resilient we can be. If we can approach this new year as one with the wishes of luck and long life, however with the understanding that winds come and things change… however those things mold us and shape us into who we are meant to be. We can bend without breaking because we are rooted in the foundation of our faith, family, and friends.

For this calendar, I used Soft Suede as the backing and the bamboo stalks. I stamped off so that it would be a little lighter to see over the numbers of the calendar. I made a stencil with a scrap card stock and punched out a circle. I lined it up with my calendar and used the blender brushes to create the sun (so saffron, mango melody). Super easy but creates a nice sunset.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2022. Also wishing that you are able to remain rooted and established when the trials do come.

Anne and Cheryl have also created 2022 calendars to help ring in the New Year!!

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Joy to the World!

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Christmas brings such JOY to me! I love this stamp set with the bold declaration of “JOY”!

All the images come from the stamp set Peace and Joy. And, they’re great for mixing and matching–and adding the large script with a small block print. It works perfectly here and would be great on a Christmas card too! I used real red and old olive for the images. Expresso is used for the block text. Super simple, super easy, but a striking declaration of the season!

I can’t believe we are at the end of the year! It has come so quickly! I pray that you can know the Joy that has been declared to the world through the birth of our Savior! We celebrate Him this season!

If you happen to be on Maui, stop by our street! Come shop local makers and small businesses to finish up your Christmas lists! As an added treat, the Maui High School Choir will be caroling through the streets! Hope to see you!

Have a wonderful Christmas! And head on over to see what Anne and Cheryl have in store for you today!

With love and aloha!!– Crystal

Forever Thankful

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If you’ve been with us for this year, you will notice that this stamp set looks familiar….

Forever Fern!! It is what we used for the cover of our calendar this year. This set is amazingly versatile. You can change up the colors and have a completely different feel. For this month, I used the blackberry Bliss, Cajun Craze, Bumblee, and Pumpkin Pie to create the bundle of fall stems.

For me, November is when we start turning our focus to the holiday season. Our schedules ramp up and we get lost in the shuffle of trying to CREATE a holiday. Lets slow our focus and pause to think about the things for which we are thankful. And, let’s be forever thankful for those we love.

Head on over to see what Anne and Cheryl have for you.

Happy Little Pumpkin

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Happy October! It’s here! Officially fall and sweater weather (well, I can dream, right??) I currently am diffusing a harvest blend so that I can pretend I’m enjoying fall while I am sweating away in my office…

SU released a set called Harvest Hello (now retired) and it had a coordinating ‘apple’ punch to go with it. But, you could use that apple to also make pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns! I love using punches that coordinate with stamps… Makes it super easy to create cute projects. This little pumpkin would be a cute bag topper. It would even be cute just dimmensionaled (like how I turned the SU product into a verb??) to one of the snack size candy bars! And, because it’s so easy to make, you can make DOZENS in no time at all!

With the page turn to October, it makes my mind start thinking about the upcoming holiday crafting. And, then the panic that always comes with the ‘…I haven’t started my holiday crafting’ realization. So, if you need me, that is what I will be doing this month… 🙂 Namely starting on the 2022 easel calendar! See you next month!!

Check out what Anne and Cheryl have for you today!

Sweet September Sunflower

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If you have followed me for ANY length of time, you will know that I CANNOT turn down a beautiful sunflower. I positively love sunflowers. In fact, I believe they are my favorite flower. Something about…. you can take the girl out of Kansas, but can’t take Kansas out of the girl…

Imagine my delight when we got a sunflower farm on Maui:

I cannot believe I get to live HERE. So many blessings…

When Stampin’ Up released Celebrate Sunflower, I just knew I had to have it. And, I knew it would be a lot of fun to use with our stampin’ blends. The blends make coloring a true joy…

September is the month that turns our minds towards fall and the anticipation of all the excitement that will be coming. I love the fall colors and pumpkins and cozy sweaters (except, the sweaters are not so good for where I live).

I used crumb cake as a good neutral background to this flower. And, used a variety of blends (including daffodil, mango, crumb cake, bronze, and soft suede. There are many ways to accomplish a variety of looks. Play around with coloring! You will find your favorite.

Head on over to check out what Anne and Cheryl has for you today!

Thoughtful Blooms

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AAAAAHhhhhhhhh…. August. The month that is both full of excitement and trepidation…. Funny how the ONE event can have both feelings…. but, alas, school is starting again.

I am very excited to go back to school. I have missed students! But, I’m also anxious about it because it means getting back to the busy. I am trying to find a way to keep the ‘slowness’ of the shutdown alive a little longer…

This beautiful stamp set is called Thoughtful Blooms. And, it was an Sale-A-Bration offering from last year. (No longer available) It also had the coordinating flower punch which makes this set really pop!

I love paring smoky slate and flirty flamingo together. They are such a good combination… the peacefulness of the gray with the excitement of the pink. Kind of the balance I am searching to create in my own busy.

Thanks for stopping by! Happy back to school! Head on over to see what Anne and Cheryl have for you today!

Buzzing Through Summer

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I write while I am basking in the glory days of summer. The days are lazy and glorious, but we are SPEEDING through the weeks. And, I know that I will be returning to school in a few short weeks….. sigh.

Anyway, That’s what this bee means to me. Now, I know that bees are stereotypically busy… But, the serenity in these images and the feeling that I get to stop and actually notice the bees… That is what the glory days of summer are to me.

ANYAY…. I digress. This stamp set, (now retired) Is Honey Bee. It had a fantastic set of coordinating dies. The simplicity in the images and designs make for a fantastic calendar (and card). They are the epitome of simple stamping. Which is perfect for summer so that there is still time left over to sit and enjoy the world around you…and truly celebrate every moment.

The yellow I selected for this month is Bumble Bee (obviously) and it makes a simple monochromatic layout and image.

Hope you are able to slow down and enjoy summer. Head on over to see what Anne and Cheryl have for you today!

Prickly Little Bloom

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I used to kill all plants that came into my life. Total BLACK THUMB. If anyone gave me a plant, I would enjoy it for a couple days, and would quickly pass it along to someone I knew that could sustain it’s life much longer than me… Until we went on a small trip and my bff surprised me by redoing a large pot we had by our front porch (full of dead plant remains). She filled it with happy little succulents. And, left strict instructions to not touch it–she would care for it. So, I got to have a front row seat in Plant Care 101. And, what I learned is that succulents thrive on neglect. Which, I CAN DO! I can NEGLECT plants!! Fast forward a couple years and now we have our own succulent JUNGLE! So, when I saw this happy little succulent, I KNEW it had to be on one of my calendar months!

This simple little cactus came from ‘The Gang’s All Meer’ stamp set (sorry, now retired…) was the perfect stamp to use for me to celebrate the beginning of summer. This is ‘simple stamping’ at its finest… just ink and a little swipes with some blends and you’re all finished! This could easily be turned into a simple note card to send to someone to let them know you’re thinking of them…

It’s unbelievable that it is June already–but turning the page to June is the most glorious feeling—its turning the page to freedom and that comes with summertime! I hope you get to spend some time this summer doing something you enjoy with people you love!

Head on over to see how Anne and Cheryl decided to celebrate the start of summer!!

May Day is Lei Day

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I love the traditions of May Day here in Hawaii. May Day is Lei day and all the schools have the children create performances of hula for family and friends. It’s something I look forward to every year. And in addition, you are supposed to wear a flower lei!

Though I don’t have a lei for you this month, these flowers from the Honey Bee Stamp set would eh the perfect flowers to weave into a lei.

I really love the Honey Bee set and you will see it again this year. It is now retired. But it was a good one. I use the mango medley blends to color the flowers. Super simple but they give a nice gradient feel to the image.

I can’t believe May is already upon us. In some ways it is so fast but in other ways, I’m glad it is signaling the final stretch in what seems to be the never ending school year. It’s been a long year and I’m DEFINITELY looking forward to summer. And I love that these flowers symbolize that!

Check out what Anne and Cheryl have for you today!

Welcome Easter

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Well, I would like to blame my tardiness for this post on April Fools, but I really cannot. Just didn’t get to make it happen until now! But, I’m still on April 1st so you can enjoy this super cute little lamb for the WHOLE MONTH!

This is the Welcome Easter set (now retired). Super cute spring images that can be used for Easter, baby, or anything spring that you need!

Happy little lamb. I used the pear pizzazz greens to be the base color and the blends helped color this little lamb so beautifully..

I hope you can enjoy this Easter Season with your friends and loved ones. And know that the Lamb of God lives to give us hope for our future!

Jump on over to see what Anne and Cheryl have for you today!