End of an Era

January 11th, 2012

I know I promised to blog more regularly and here it is Wednesday evening and I haven’t posted anything since Friday. I actually have 2 cards ready to share, but just haven’t had the time as this has been a crazy week.  This is a NSR post as it was my last day at California Billing Specialists where I’ve worked for over 18 years and I just feel the need to write a bit. 

CBS is a medical billing company that is owned by my Mom and her business partner, Carol.  When they brought me in, so many years ago I didn’t even know what an EOB was. (That’s Explanation of Benefits – insurance statement – the most basic document in the industry.)  The company only had 3 employees when I started.  I learned the ins and outs of insurance and patient collections and as the company grew I became the Collection Supervisor.

A few years ago when my Aunt was seriously ill (and subsequently passed away), I cut back to working just one day a week.  Somehow I just never went back to a regular full-time schedule and eventually I took on my part time position with Taylored Expressions and worked both jobs.  CBS has been a security blanket for me.  It was a godsend when our family went through several tumultous years of illness and loss.  It’s a company where everyone is hired in because they are a friend or relative of someone already there.  It’s been a place where I can go in and sit at my desk and know the answers to almost all the questions I’m asked, where I can enjoy the company of those I work with, and where I can take pride in what we accomplish for our clients.

So, why would I leave?  The Lord presented an opportunity that I just couldn’t refuse.  I’ve been asked to take the position of Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to the Senior Pastor at our church as the Office Manager of 28 years prepares to retire.  I was completely stunned when I was asked, and the Lord so graciously made it clear to me through so many confirmations.  He knows I do not gravitate toward change, no matter how good it might sound, and He knew that I would need the path to be incredibly and totally clear to take this leap of faith.

I will be working at Bethel Grace 4 days a week (2 full half days and 2 full days) starting in mid-March and I will contiue working for TE from home.  It will be a huge adjustment, but I know it will be great!

I’m thankful and excited for what’s to come in the next couple of months, so today was a bittersweet day.  To be totally honest it was more difficult than I imagined as I cleaned out my desk and found all of my time sheets going back to 1996 – WOW!  My Mom has been an awesome boss and so gracious and supportive about my moving on.

I wanted to share a few photos taken at our office Christmas Party last month.  Unfortunately my Mom wasn’t there, as she now works in a different job while still owning CBS.  But my Dad is in these pictures – I told you the business is a family affair!  I will miss seeing him weekly.

And here I am with the 3 of the Collectors that work in my department – Jessica, Yoly and Sarah.  Yoly and I have been friends for over 15 years and she is the one taking over my position.  I know she’ll be great!

Here’s everyone –

Thanks for letting me just share my heart this evening.  I promise I’ll be back soon with those two cards.  I hope you are having a great week!

Follow Your Dreams

October 2nd, 2011

Happy Sunday!  I don’t often blog on Sundays, but I have some really fun news to share and I just couldn’t wait!  Have you seen Taylor’s blog today?  Well if you haven’t…most of you know that I have been with Taylored Expressions since it’s inception.  I have loved working for Taylor as the Marketing and Promotions Director, writing the newsletters and helping with lots of different things behind the scenes.  But my very favorite aspect of the job has been in the area of working with the Baker’s Dozen and helping them out where I can.  So when Taylor asked me if I’d like to make the move to being the Design Team Coordinator I did a major happy dance!


I began my new job a couple of weeks ago and I’m still giddy about it!  We have sneak peeks for the October release starting tomorrow and I’ll be playing along with the team all week.  I feel so fortunate to be working with such an incredibly talented group of women and I’m grateful to Taylor for both this opportunity and even more so for her friendship.

I wanted to make a card to celebrate. I’m flying high, so this seemed perfect!

Once again I used the bird cages from Birds of a Feather to make paper-pieced hot air balloons.  Paper is from the MME Lost and Found Two – Blush 6×6 pad.  The border on the left edge was created with the Cloud Border Taylored Die. The swirls are cut from Want2Scrap Clear Bling Swirls.

The sentiment from New Beginnings seemed perfect for how I’m feeling about this new postion, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.  Live the life you’ve imagined.”

This card is also for the Hope You Can Cling To Challenge presented by my sweet friend Lori yesterday over at SCS.  The challenge is all about bling…how could I pass that up?  I’ll be donating this card to the MD Anderson Cancer Center.  I know I won’t have a lot of time to stamp this month – lots going on – but I do hope to get a few more cards made to send along with this one.  Please be sure to check out the HYCCT forum and card drive, as there will be a new challenge presented every day in October and there are lots of prizes to be won.  I’m actually hostessing a challenge at the end of the month.

Thanks for stopping by today and thanks for letting me gush.  🙂  I hope you have a blessed day!

Are you feeling left out because you can’t make it to the CHA Craft Supershow this week?  Well some of the Baker’s Dozen and I were feeling the same way, so we got together to create some fun Taylored Expressions shopping specials of our own.  Because you know…


We’re throwing our own little party and you’re invited!  

Each of us perused the TE Store and  

chose a favorite product to bring to you  

at 20% off!!


My PickPicket Fence Border Die

Wanda’s Pick: Crafty Cuppie

Jodi’s Pick: Sweet Celebration

Karen M.’s Pick: Wings of Joy

Tori’s Pick: Sprinkled with Love

Regina’s Pick: 1/16″ foam tape & 1/8″ foam tape

Charmaine’s Pick: Take Note Die 3

Melissa’s Pick: Kitschy Kitchen Cardstock Stickers Homemade and RetroTag Collection


PLUS We’re bringing you the actual Show Specials to you so you can feel like you are there!

  • Purchase any 4 full-size stamp sets (including those on sale listed above) and receive a FREE Mini Binder Box! (Do not add the Binder Box to your cart, it will automatically be included in your package upon shipment.)
  • The first 10 orders each day (Thursday – Sunday) beginning at 8am PST will receive a free A la Carte stamp of our choice.
  • All orders placed  Thursday through Sunday will be entered into a random drawing to win our CHA Prize Package (pictured below) which includes two exclusive stamp sets never available for sale.  This prize package is valued at over $100! The winner will be announced on Taylor’s blog on Tuesday. 


Shipping Notes

  • Shipping is suspended from Monday July 18th through Monday July 25th while the TE Crew is away at CHA.  Shipping will resume on Tuesday July 26th.
  • Remember that shipping is FREE on all orders over $75 within the United States every day! 


My choice was the picket fence die because it’s so versatile.  I’m continually amazed at the cards created by the Baker’s Dozen using this die.  My sample above was the 3rd card we made in my class last week.  Seriously, if you don’t have this die YOU NEED IT!  And 20% off is a great deal!  Think of it with outdoor sets like In the Park, A Day in Paradise,  Garden Party Critters, etc…with florals…with blimps…with hot air balloons…and on and on!

My card features the new stamp set In the Clouds (withthe coordinating die set) and Alphabet Soup – Girl papers from My Mind’s Eye.  We hand cut the rolling hills and used the cloud border die both on the front of the card as well as the inside.  Notice that’s the same cloud die, but since it’s 6″ long, we just used different ends of the die for a different look on the inside.  Cute, huh?  I love that fresh fun color scheme with the pops of red!

I believe several of the mice girls are planning to post new samples featuring their sale picks, so you might want to hop around to check them out.

Glad you could join us!  Hopefully our little party wil help ease the pain of not being at the SuperShow in Chicago for all of us!  I’ll be back tomorrow with a new Taylored Expressions Sketch Challenge.  Thanks for stopping by.

Release Day!

  • All of the new products are now available for purchase! Check out the Fresh Out of the Oven category and Taylor’s Blog for all the deets!
  • Did you win one of the Mystery Baker’s Dozen Blog Giveaways? Find the list of winners on Taylor’s Blog
  • Another chance to win… head on over to our forum and tell us your favorite stamp set from this release. We’ll be choosing one person to win their favorite set FREE!  You have until Saturday June 4th at 6 pm PST to enter to win.

Before you head off to shop I have one more new sample to show you.  Or if you need to shop right now and get in the early bird special (deets on Taylor’s blog), I can wait right here for you…go ahead…I can hang out till you get back…

Of course my sample today is another with Green Acres.  This one is a long card – to fit into a legal size envelope.  You can click on it to see it larger.

Papers are from the Lily Bee This & That 6×6 Tablet.  I actually pieced together the blue background since I needed a piece wider than 6 inches.  I did it right behind the barn and the pattern is so small that you can barely even see the seam.  The barn is paper-pieced.  I loved having a pattern on the barn and to be honest coloring large areas red with a copic marker is not may favorite thing to do…’cause I’m not very good at it …LOL!  The cows were colored with copics and the whole line of them was cut out (just the top half) and adhered to the card on foam squares for a little dimension.

Here’s the inside of the card…

“Party till the cows come home!”  *grin*  I used the Frame It Up 1 Taylored Die for the sentiment.  Boy howdy do I ever LOVE this stamp set!  I hope Taylor stocked up on these because I feel a stampede comin’ on!!!

Let’s see what the Baker’s Dozen has cooked up today. Some of them have new projects and some are just sharing their favorite from the peeks this week.

  • Charmaine Ikach
  • Danielle Lounds
  • Jackie Pedro
  • Jodi Collins
  • Karen Giron
  • Karen Motz
  • Melissa Sauls
  • Regina Mangum
  • Sankari Wegman
  • Taylor VanBruggen – get all the release details here including bundle deals and an early bird special!
  • Tori Wild
  • Wanda Guess
  • Nancy McKinney –  Illustrator
  • Amber Hight – Guest Designer
  • Don’t forget – to be entered to win your favorite stamp set from this release come on over to the TE Forum on SCS and let us know which set you would pick!  If you’re not a member at SCS yet, it’s super easy to join and it’s free!

    Have a fantastic weekend!

    Happy Birthday, Lori!!!

    May 18th, 2011

    Today my wonderful friend Lori Craig celebrates her birthday (an important one *wink*) and, although I can’t be in Missouri to give her a big birthday hug, I will cyber-celebrate with her right here!  I have a feeling that blog-land will be filled with wishes for Lori since she is such a special girl and such a sweet friend to so many! 

    I never imagined when I joined SCS almost 7 years ago that it would be possible to make real friends on the internet.  But I can tell you that I have made some incredible, long-lasting true friends and I am still amazed by it. Lori is one of those true friendships! I still remember the first time I heard Lori’s voice.  It was on my answering machine in 2006.  Lori called to congratulate me on becoming a part of the Dirty Dozen Design Team.  I barely knew Lori then.  We had been on the SCS Moderator team together for about 4 months at that time (and certainly around SCS for longer than that), but here she was squealing with genuine excitement for me on my answering machine.  Boy did that ever touch my heart!  Then in the Spring of 2007 Lori decided to come out to SoCal for StampMania along with several other awesome *cyber-friends* from around the country.  That weekend together sealed the deal!  I’ve been fortunate to count her as a real friend ever since! {Hmmmm…after typing this, I wonder if Lori remembers the scenario the same or  differently?}

    Lori, this card should arrive in your mailbox today *fingers crosssed*.  Sorry to reveal it early, but you know they are always so much prettier in person anyway.  When I sat down to make a card for you, I just kept thinking of this sentiment stamp “My dear, kind & wonderful FRIEND”.  You are a blessing and an inspiration to me and I am so so very proud of all you have accomplished in this past year.  I believe this next year will be the best yet and I pray for the Lord’s richest blessings on your life!  Happy Birthday, friend!

    Please hop over to Lori’s blog and leave your birthday wishes for her.

    I am beyond thrilled to participate today with some special in friends to help Taylor spread the word that she’s expecting a GIRL in September!   Taylor invited each of us to share a sweet girlie project in celebration of this wonderful blessing!  Create something PINK and sparkly and share the joy of a sweet friend?  You didn’t have to ask me twice!

    I decided to decorate a Perfect Package to coordinate with the baby card I posted on Monday.  The box holds a little gift now and I’m hoping it can hold special keepsakes in the nursery in the future.  This was a really fun “play” project…the more pink and flowery and pearly, the better! Click on the photos below to see them larger.

    I love Perfect Packages and they are so easy to decorate!  The paper I used here is Girls Paperie *swoon*.  I think pretty much all of the supplies, other than the flowers, came from Taylored Expressions.  Spellbinders Fancy Tags, Fleur de Lis, celery silk ribbon, pearls, pom pom trim and more.  All of the pink cardstock elements were painted with Smooch Illuminate, so they have a pretty soft sparkle.

    Here’s the inside of the lid of the box.

    The two sentiments I used are from two new stamp sets at TE – Baby Cakes and Welcome Little One.

    I really couldn’t be happier for Taylor and Jon!  Well, ok…I’d be a tiny bit happier if they still lived in California and I could play Auntie in person!  I know they are going to be fabulous parents and that’s going to be one lucky little girl!

    I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone has created today. You’ll also want to hop around to the rest of the blogs linked below as Taylor will be giving away one stamp set of your choice from the May release to a lucky commenter on one of the blogs! You have through Sunday, May 8th to leave your comments and the winner will be announced on Taylor’s blog on Monday!

    • Thanks for celebrating with us today!

    IT’S TIME TO SHOP!   Everything we’ve been peeking over the past few days is now available at Taylored Expressions.  I have one more sample to show you.  My card features


    The pattern on the tiny 3D bag is one of the stamp images in It’s in the Bag, as is the “tissue” I stamped on patterned paper and cut out.  The little label is part of the Shopping Bag die set and I used it both on the bag and for the sentiment on the card.  The Heart Frame A la Carte, originally designed to hold a wallet sized photo, is just perfect for 2″ x 3″ stamped image panels!  The layout for this card is Karen G.’s Sweet Sunday Sketch SSSC115.

    Today the Baker’s Dozen has NEW samples to showcase ALL of the new sets, so check it out before you go fill up yur shopping cart!

    Thanks for stopping by!