Bon Voyage Pastor Alvin

September 2nd, 2012

I’m headed off to church in just a few minutes, but thought I’d pop in here to share a card before I go.  Today is a bittersweet day.  We are having a big Labor Day Celebration lunch – fresh grilled tacos by Luis – right after the morning service.  But the lunch is also a send-off for the Colston family.  Alvin Colston has been our family Pastor for the last 2 1/2 years and he has answered the call of the Lord to serve another congregation.

Pastor Alvin is one of those guys who just lights up a room.  He has been tremendously patient and helpful to me in my new Office Manager position.  I know the church as a whole will miss him and his entire family.  I will especially miss his presence in the office throughout the week.

We had a staff lunch last week that was a combination good-bye to Pastor Alvin and surprise birthday for Pastor Jeff.  Jeff had asked me to create a card for Alvin for the staff to sign.  Here it is:

I wanted to do something a little light-hearted and I thought “Bon Voyage” would be the perfect sentiment.  The stamp set is Bon Voyage from Taylored Expressions.

I know the Lord has great things ahead for our church and for the Colston family, but I can’t help feeling sad today…actually more so than I even expected.  I’m heading up the efforts for the lunch today, so I imagine I’ll be too busy to  wallow in it.  *sigh*  I really need to get out the door, but I seem to be dragging my feet a bit.  Good-bye’s are never easy.  I’m really glad now that I made a happy looking card!

I hope you are enjoying your long weekend.  Please be sure to stop in tomorrow, when the Taylored Expressions 4th Birthday Bash will be kicked off.  There’s a ton of fun stuff this month.  You won’t want to miss a thing!

  One week ago today was my 50th birthday and we celebrated with a BIG wonderful party!  I have a bunch of photos and will be getting more from several friends over the next few days, so I thought I’d share a few of them with you today. 

 Last week was quite a week!  The excitement started on Saturday the 28th as I headed out to Anaheim to meet up with Taylor, Melody, Regina, and Wanda for CHA.  Both Sunday and Monday were spent on the convention floor, with dinners with very special women each evening.  Tuesday I was home to get back on track with all the final party details – and boy was there a lot to do!  Fortunately I had a ton of help from both local friends and from two very dear friends from out of state.  We worked all week long to insure a good time would be had by all!

Oh and just to make things even a little more interesting, the Rocket Scientist had lithotripsy on Thursday to have 2 GIANT kidney stones blasted.  Poor guy had to have a stent put in and the recovery has not been nearly as easy as he had been led to believe.  There was some doubt if he would even make it to the party, but fortunatley he did make it and did well most of the evening.  He had to be taken home just a little while before things ended.

The theme of the party was “Life is Sweet” and the colors were black and white, fucshia and pink. Guests were invited to enjoy decadent desserts and live music.  Here are the favors that were set at each place.

Thes cute little jars (from Specialty Bottle) were filled with pink and white taffy and I had custom stickers printed with my party logo for a personal touch.  As guests walked in they were greeted by my sweet friends Lisa and Lori and they could find their table assignment on this poster. (Papers are Echo Park Be Mine Collection and that was the jumping off point for all the party decor.)

Tables were indicated by a number as well as different photos of me throughout my life.  Some people expressed surprised at having table assignments, but when I host a party I’m all about doing everything possible to make sure guests have fun.  I think part of that is making sure people will get to sit with people they know or people they will be likely to enjoy.  (No one who knows me is surprised that I’m a bit of a control freak!  LOL!)  Here’s what the tables looked like. 

I couldn’t have been more thrilled with how everything looked.  It was really stunning!  We had two dessert stations serving crepes and ice cream sundaes over warm cookies or brownies, plus there were mini cupcakes.  My one party regret is that I never got even one cupcake!  I heard they were yummy though!

We had a photo booth set up where people could get their pictures taken for my guest book.  They could go serious or silly or both.  It was a HUGE hit!

There was a live band called The Balcony Boys and they were awesome!  Everyone loved them!  Curt and I found them playing out on an apartment balcony in Seal Beach last Summer.  I hadn’t origianlly planned to have a dance floor, but decided a week before the party to add one and I’m so glad I did.  More people got up and danced than I had expected.  You know, I managed the Long Beach Arthur Murray Studio in my 20’s and have been missing dancing quite a bit.  My BFF, Ruth, worked there with me as well and we got up and danced a few songs together at the party.  What a blast, despite the fact that we both had trouble remebering the man’s part to lead.  LOL!

We called up everyone at the party that will turn 50 this year and had a special toast.  I’ve known some of these girls since elementary school or Jr. High.

Here I am with my nieces Kira and Britta and their mom Lill.

Here are some very special friends Lisa, Stephanie and Darla. 

And sweet friends Lori Craig and Taylor VanBruggen who I’m sure all of my blog readers know well!  What a blessing to have them here from Missouri and Iowa.  Taylor gave me an incredible gift that I didn’t get to open till the next day.  It included handmade cards from over 25 different “internet friends”.  It was so amazing to open each one of them.  I haven’t had a chance to thank each person, but please know that if you sent a card, I love it and appreciate it and am so grateful!

My BFF since high school came down from Vancouver, WA.  She and her hubby stayed in SoCal for almost a week and it was wonderful to spend time with them.

All in all we had about 90 guests come from every realm of my life to help me celebrate the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!  There are lots more photos and maybe I’ll share some more next week. (I’m hoping someone has a good one of Curt and I together.) From everyone at the party, to everyone who sent cards, to everyone who left me birthday wishes on Facebook – THANK YOU! And a huge thank you to my Uncle Bernie and my Mom and Dad for hosting this big shindig and to the friends on my “Party Planning Committee” who worked tirelessly and kept me sane! It’s been a week and I’m almost recovered. I feel so loved and so special and so happy and so BLESSED!!!!  Really really so BLESSED!  Who knew 50 could be so fabulous???

Welcome to this Fantasy Birthday Tour for sweet friend Taylor VanBruggen.  Since we couldn’t all be together today to throw a party, all of Taylor’s teams – Baker’s Dozen, Key Ingredients, Sketch Crew –  are throwing a virtual Birthday Party Across the Miles and everyone is invited to come along!  Taylor, I hope you have a wonderful birthday and I hope you enjoy your party!

  What’s a fantasy party without fantasy gifts?  I figured as along as we were going with money-is-no-object-fantasy gifts, I might as well think big!  Taylor, you know that I would love nothing more than to have you back in SoCal, so I chose this beautiful Pasadena Estate as your birthday gift.  There is even a guest house for the TE Store!  Heck, there might even be room for me to have an office.  LOL!

Elegant Mediterranean on an estate lot with guest house and outdoor pavillion. Beautifully maintained and features 5 bedrooms, 2 family rooms, garden room, 4 fireplaces and newer kitchen.  Enjoy!

And here’s the birthday card I made for Taylor and actually sent in the mail!  I’m hoping it arrived yesterday.



This card was inspired by Cindy Lawrence.  I just love the way she’s been punching wide borders up the side of cards and I jumped at the chance to get this Martha Stewart deep border punch on sale at Michael’s last week.  I just had to use one of my very favorite TE images from For the Love of Cupcakes because, Taylor, if you were here we would be indulging in a tray of sweets just like this!  Paper is MME Lime Twist Happy Go Lucky.

Your next stop on the tour is Wanda Guess at A Blog Called Wanda.

Here’s the full list just in case you get lost along the way:

 And please be sure to hop over to Taylor’s blog and leave her a little birthday love!
Happy Birthday Taylor!  I feel so blessed to call you friend!  I pray that the coming year will be the best yet as the Lord continues to bless you and unfold his plan for you! Love you friend!!!

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.

Happy Birthday Jodi!!

December 27th, 2010

Today we’re celebrating the birthday of the FABULOUS Jodi Collins!!!  If you’ve come here from Joanne Basile’s blog, you’re on the right track.  If you just happened by today, then you might want to hop back over to our hostess Karen Motz’s blog to start from the beginning.

Here’ the card I created for Jodi using SSSC97 (Karen Giron’s Sweet Sunday Sketch from last week.) Click on it to see it larger.

This card is 9.25″ x 4″ to fit in a standard business size envelope and I had tons of fun with it.  I even got out a full sized background stamp and used it…yes I said background stamp…remember those?  The cute little baker girl is from MFT as is the felt and the rolled rose die (pretty sure I didn’t use that die correctly, but I did end up with a flower of some sort – LOL!)  Most of the rest of the card elements (including designer paper and stamps) are SU.  To get the strip of punched paper ribbon behind the girl’s legs I just cut slits with a craft knife and slippped it in.  The awning is made with the Word Window Punch and 2 different sheets of patterned paper. Final touch is Bisque Liquid Pearls.  I just love the new LP formulation!  It’s even pearlier than before and I find I don’t have as much issue with it forming little points.

JodiI am so happy to call you friend and feel so lucky that I’ve actually had the chance to meet you in person!  I wish we weren’t on opposite coasts…and if you were close by I’d really bake something for you…today you’ll have to settle for papercrafted sweets!  Have a wonderful day my Long Island friend!

And now it’s time to hop to The Paper Landscaper – Denise Marzec.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Little Cupcake Girl Challenge

September 27th, 2010

Happy Monday!  When I got together with friends Lisa. Rachel and Jen last week we set up a little challenge to all make a card with the same image – a super cutie from Rachel’s stash – and post them all today.  Of course I didn’t get my card made until this morning and now I am rushing to get my post typed and published for the deadline.  I mean, gosh, I only had a week to get this done!

Love the way my card turned out.  I used Jen del Muro’s SFYTT and Echo Park papers I got from TE.  Carstock colors are all SU – Blushing Bride, Wild Wasabi and Early Espresso.

Image was colored with copics and I added stickles as well as lots of Taylor’s Tiny Twinkles.

(ETA: Links above have been added now.  🙂 )

Dying to see what the other girls have done with this image.  Let’s go check it out:  Lisa, Rachel, Jen.

Thanks for stopping by!  My main goal for today will be to stay cool.  The forcast is 107!  YUCK!!


The Quickest Card Ever!

September 20th, 2010

Happy Monday!  I hope you had a wonderful weekend – I certainly did!  I had the opportunity to get together with some stampin’ buddies for the afternoon/evening on Saturday!  Jen Visser has been a friend for several years and fellow TESC Sketch Crew members Rachel Sztonyk and Lisa Hjulberg felt like old friends even though this was our first time to stamp together (in the same room as opposed to playing the sketch together.  LOL!)  We had a blast.  I had everything set up so they could try out the Cinch Machine and make a little notebook project.  Everyone brought images so we could stamp and take them home.  And of course we talked and talked and talked!


 Lisa, Jen. Rachel


Lisa, me & Tessa, Rachel


The Rocket Scientist was off to a family party celebrating the 16th birthday of an absolutely wonderful kid!  I told him Saturday morning that I would make a birthday card for him to take, but as the girls arrived I didn’t have it done yet.  TRS was in a hurry to get out the door so I needed to whip up something quick.  I don’t know about you, but I’m not very creative amongst a lot of tanner-bday-2010-jami-small.jpgchatter, not to mention time pressure.  I excused myself to my stamp room to put something together.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I cannot stand to be away from the action and out of the loop so I was super motivated to get this card done quickly.  I think I did it in less than 5 minutes – which really is beyond record time for me.  And I was actually super happy with how it turned out!  Wow!

I knew I wanted to use the TE set You’re My Hero because that’s my go-to for teenagers – especially boys. This young man is a drummer so the “ROCK” theme of the set was perfect, but I didn’t want to use any of the guitar images – so I just kept it super simple with a little distressing.

Colors are Old Olive, Ruby Red and Chocolate Chip.  Images stamped on TE Choice Buttercream cs.

Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll be back tomorrow with the Taylored Expressions Blast from the Past Blog Hop.  And that card definitely was NOT done in 5 minutes.  LOL!  Have a great day!