I have a card to share this evening, but first I want to tell you a little more about my trip last weekend and just how sweet our Lord is!  tesc104-snippet-custom-2.jpgThis is a long post, but I hope it will encourage you if you have a few minutes to read.

My wonderful friend Lori had been trying to get me to commit to the Iowa trip for awhile, but honestly leading up to CHA I just couldn’t do it.  As soon as CHA was over I realized I needed to make a decision very soon.  Although I very much wanted to see the great friends who would be there, plus take the Copic class, plus see Taylor’s new place, I also had several things holding me back.  After the holidays and then CHA and then being sick for a week I felt like I couldn’t catch up and just needed a break.  And all of our tax info had to be gathered and mailed to our tax lady by the first week of March. Oh and there was the little issue of the TE release that week and having a newsletter done the day I was to leave. Plus I really just didn’t have the money for the airline ticket.  And then there was my anxiety about flying – which is much worse if I’m feeling overwhelmed in other ways like I was at the time – honestly that was the worst part.  And to make matters worse there was the big news at SCS that had me reeling for a few days.  So, I hemmed and hawed…should I go or not?

Finally I decided that I just need to really live life as it comes.  Who’s to say that there will be another chance?  It would all come down to whether or not I had enough miles on my credit card to cover the airline ticket.  I sat down one evening to nervously explore flight options and finally found something that could work.  I didn’t have quite enough points to cover the flight, but I figured I could handle the $30-40 that would be left after my miles.  So I called Capital One to find out how to redeem my points when they only cover part of the cost of a flight.  I was crestfallen when the nice gentleman told me that I would not be able to do that.  You have to have enough points to cover the whole transaction.  Oh.  I thought “well I guess I’m not going to Iowa afterall.”  Then he asked if he could place me on hold for a few minutes and I said sure.  I was on hold for quite awhile when he came back and quoted my points total as 5000 points higher than he had confirmed earlier.  What???  He said there was some sort of program upgrade a few months ago and I qualified for the additonal points so he had spoken with a supervisor and had them added to my account.  OH MY!  I immediately said “Lord, I guess you want me to go to Iowa!”  And with that I got busy and booked my flight. 

I’d like to say that I immediately trusted the Lord and his grace and guidance, but the truth is I had a little anxiety attack that evening and again the next morning.  The trip was only two weeks away!  What the heck was I thinking?  I’m not actually afraid of flying in the sense of safety or crashing or anything, but having suffered from panic disorder (over 15 years ago) I still have some trouble with the idea of being trapped anywhere I can’t leave or get away from, which leads to a fear of having a panic attack.  Related to that is my fear of getting airsick. I’m very susceptible to motion sickness and being naseous can trigger an anxiety attack in me as well.  I have flown successfully many times over the last several years – without incident – but these issues still crop up when I’m planning a trip.

So the next Sunday in church the Lord addressed my issues head on.  Pastor Jeff has been preaching through the book of Mark and he came to Chapter 6:30-56 and specifically vs 45-52 spoke to me.  This is the story of Jesus walking on the water which I’ve read and heard many times, but of course there is always something new to learn.  Pastor Jeff pointed out that in v.45 Jesus told the disciples when and where to go and then they encountered a struggle with the wind and waves.  Was Jesus surprised when He looked out and saw them struggling?  Did He think “Oops – guess I shouldn’t have sent them out there.”?  Of course not!  He told them when and where to go and He knew what they would encounter and He walked out to them and calmed the sea.  They did not encounter difficulty because Jesus made a mistake, but rather this was an incredible chance for them to see Jesus’ glorious nature.

Well as soon as I heard this I just kept saying to myself “He told you when and where to go!” as I felt I had very clear direction from Him on this trip.  So from then on when I would think about the flight I would say “He told you when and where to go.  So it’s really up to Him.” I had a lot more peace about the trip and the flights after that.

My sweet friend Lisa took me to the airport the morning of my flight.  She understands my anxiety issues quite well and she presented me with an envelope for the flight. It contained some wonderful Bible verses decorated with stamping!  🙂  When I got on the flight I got out those verses and read them while listiening to some praise music on my iPhone.  I changed planes in Denver.  Both flights were uneventful and I was thrilled to see Taylor at the aiport.  I had such a wonderful time on this trip and I just kept thanking God for the opportunity to have such a great experience and for telling me “when and where to go.”

Sunday Sharon and I had flights departing Des Moines within just a few minutes of each other.  Sharon had a direct flight to Texas, while I had a little over an hour layover in Denver before heading to LAX.  We stopped at Archiver’s on our way to the aiport – my first time ever in an Archiver’s – and we were just too busy to even think about checking flights.  When we got to the airport we discovered that both of our flights were delayed by an hour.  No big deal except…there was a good chance I would not make my connection in Denver.  Not only that, but there was only one other flight that night from Denver to LA and it was full.  I was facing the very real possibility of being stuck in Denver overnight with pretty much nothing as I had checked my suitcase with everything in it.  All I had with me was some magazines, a book and a few snack items.  Now this is the type of thing that could freak me out a bit, but I immediately thought “Lord you told me when and where to go and you are not surprised by this” and I remained quite calm.

I met a lady named Judy who needed to make the same connection as me, except she would then be flying from LAX to Australia and missing this flight would delay her by more than 24 hours.  We made a pact that whoever could get to the gate first would make them hold the plane for the other…assuming either of us could get there.  We wouldn’t know until just before we landed just how tight the connection would be.  The gate agent moved my seat up to Row 8 from Row 33 so I’d have a better chance of getting off and running.  I calmly looked through a stamping magazine and listened to more praise music.  You’ve probably heard the saying “the safest place to be is in the center fo God’s will.”  I’ve always thought of that as a more *big picture* thing, but on that plan I had the peace of knowing I was where He had placed me.

As we were getting ready to land the flight attendant was giving gate info for all connecting flights and there were several.  For the 5 of us trying to make the LA flight we had about 20 minutes from the time the plane stopped until the next flight was to take off.  Judy and I went running down the terminal.  Running?  Am I crazy?  I don’t run when I’m in good shape and I’m NOT in shape at all right now.  I had to stop and walk gasping for air as Judy kept running.  When I arrived at the gate she was standing there and said she was determined she would make sure they held the plane for me.  How awesome is that?

I got settled in my seat, so happy to be on the flight (how ironic is that?  happy to be on a plane?  me? LOL!), and I watched Julie/Julia on my iPhone.  (That movie was really good!  Did you know you can rent movies on your phone?  Thanks Lori for that awesome tip!)  The flight was smooth, except for just a few minutes of slight turbulance, and honestly what I had anticpated to feel like a very long flight went by quite quickly.  No it wasn’t dramatic and miraculous like when Jesus walked on the water to meet the disciples, but He knew the struggle I would encounter and met me there just the same.  And I am oh so thankful!  I know this was a long story, but it was a really big deal to me and I thought it might be encouraging to someone out there to realize that Jesus doesn’t say “oops!” and He’s always ready to meet you in whatever struggle you may encounter  – large or small.

And now on to my card.  This is one of the cards we’ll be making in my class tomorrow night.  Everyone will make 2 of these – 1 to keep and 1 to donate to the Dragonfly Card Drive (get details here.)

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Stamps:  Dragonfly from TE Discover Your Wings, sentiment from TE Faith & Hope, plus SU Medallion

Cardstock: Kraft, Black, Plae Plum

Ink: Pale Plum Classic, Perfect Plum Craft, Memento Black

Other: SU Kraft Tafetta ribbon, Marvy Circle Punches, SU border punch, SU embssing folder, Hologram embossing powder, dimensionals

This card was inspired by a combination of two cards – one from a magazine and one I saw on the blog of Monika Davis (fellow TE Sketch Crew member.)  I’m really happy with how it turned out. 

Thanks so much for stopping by and if you made it through reading my entire novel of a post special thanks for hanging out with me!  I’ll be back in the morning with  a card for the TE sketch Challenge.

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Sending Love

February 18th, 2010

Yesterday I mentioned that it was a tough day.  That was because a big change at Splitcoaststampers was announced to the Moderators and Dirty Dozen Alumni yesterday and the community announcement was made today.  You can read all about it by clicking here.  The idea that the site has been sold by Name Media to Internet Brands doesn’t bother me, but I found the departure of both Daven and Jenn to be devastating.  I’ve been involved with SCS since 2004 and have been incredibly fortunate to develop friendships with the entire Admin Team of Daven, Jenn, Beate and Lori.  Having been in the Dirty Dozen and vounteering as a Moderator over the past few years I’ve had the privilege of seeing SCS behind the scenes.  I know the mountain of work that goes on to keep the site running smoothly and I honestly just can’t imagine SCS without either Jenn or Daven.  They are both immensely talented and I know they will be hugely successful in whatever lies ahead for them.  If you’ve been at all involved at SCS please go over and post a message of appreciation on this thread.  I have made life-long friends, developed creatively far beyond anything I could have imagined, grown as a person. and started this blog all because of SCS…and I am overflowing with appreciation for Daven and Jenn and Beate and Lori for the countless hours they have poured into that truly awesome community.

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I had planned to share my last class card today and I guess it’s appropriate for today’s post.

This is a very sweet and simple card featuring the TE stamp set Love is Everywhere.  Card base is Kraft cardstock and designer paper is from SU.  The girls had a choice of the image shown or a park bench with the sentiment “missing you”.  Of course I had to use the Corner Chomper again.  This card is the same layout as one of the Kraft cards I posted last week – it’s a great simple layout.

Thanks for stopping by.  I’ll be back in the morning with my sample for TESC101 and a way you can *give back* through stamping.

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After over 6-1/2 years, when I wake up tomorrow I will officially no longer be a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator.  This is something I have chosen not to talk about on my blog up until now, but honestly it has played a big part in my lack of consistent blogging in the past few months.  I did NOT want to give up being a SU Demo.  I have loved SU for many years – several even before I became a Demo.  I love my customers.  But it came down to the fact that I just could not sign the new agreement put forth to us last Fall.  While I could have *technically* continued both with SU and with TE it would not have worked on any practical level and bottom line – I just could not stomach having my speech regulated on my personal blog.  I had every intention of cutting the cord with my resignation letter before the end of 2009, but I found that I just couldn’t write the letter.  And today was my very last chance.

This has been a very emotional thing for me.  I have not wanted to badmouth SU in any way and yet I feel hurt and disappointed.  I’ve heard some other Demos describing it like being asked for a divorce.  Yep, I feel like I’ve been a good Demo with consistent sales who has always tried hard to abide by all the rules and now I’m being kicked to the curb. In all my time as a Demo, I’ve never even been on the pending list until this past quarter when I was locked out of the ordering system for failure to sign the IDA.   “Drink the kool-aide or get out!” 

I know that I must trust the Lord and be aware that He has a plan for me in all of this.  Over the past few months I’ve been able to focus on that sometimes better than others.  Sometimes I have felt ok and ready to move on and other times I have just been so sad.  I am not someone who embraces change in general and certainly not when it goes against my preference, but the Lord has been working with me on this and I am looking to Him to help me embrace the change and look to whatever may be ahead.  I know many Demos who have cleared out and sold off all of their SU product never to be touched again.  I am certainly not there.  I do intend to continue being a customer of SU albeit in a very limited capacity, but right now it’s just hard to stamp with SU.  I just got an order of new goodies from the Mini and I’m hoping I can have some fun playing with it next week.

I am very thankful to the Demo friends I have who have helped me and are helping me to finish out the committment I have to my wonderful Club customers.  And to all of my friends who are remaining Demonstrators – I want you to know that I hold no resentment toward you and I’m truly happy that you could remain unaffected by these issues.  I hope you will not be upset with me for expressing my feelings here. I mean no disrespect to you.

To anyone who has ever been a customer of mine – I want you to know that I truly appreciate you.  I have had a wonderful ride!  I plan to continue teaching stamp classes since that’s the part of being a Demo that I loved most!  My future classes will be NVR (No Vendor Restrictions) and I’m guessing that they will mostly be a combo of TE, OCL and some SU.  I promise they will continue to be high quality FUN and I hope you will continue to attend.  There’s a big wide wonderful stamping world out there and I now have the freedom to show it all to you!  Also I will be e-mailing out info soon to all customers on my mailing list regarding some area Demos who are friends of mine so you can continue to shop SU if you’d like to.

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I never got around to sharing the project we created at my December Club meeting, so now seems like the perfect time.  I won’t go into a lot of detail, but we made card sets using the SU Sunny Day Scrappin’ Kit and a coordinating ribbon share.  We also decorated a TE Perfect Package.  I love the Sunny Day SSK and had a lot of fun creating this class.  If you have questions about it, let me know.

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To all of my blog readers – wow – you just have no idea what it means to me to have people reading my blog.  I was stunned when several people came up to me at the SuperShow last weekend and said they knew me from reading More is More.  Wow.  I am so humbled.  Thank you!  I hope you’ll stick with me even if I’m not a SU Demo.

I have so much more to say…I could go on and on…but it’s very late and you don’t need to hear me ramble any more than you already have.  I’ve got a busy week ahead.  Did you know that it’s almost time for another Taylored Expressions release?  Yep – this Friday…some super cute new stuff…forging ahead!  🙂

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Christmas Eve 09

December 24th, 2009

Tessa wanted to show you her new coat…  🙂

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and our tree all decorated and ready for family to come and open presents…

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Hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve!

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-Jami

O Christmas Tree!

November 30th, 2009

For the past few years the month of December has seemed to overtake us and we have struggled to keep up, much less get ahead of the game.  As much as I adore Christmas trees (real live ones!), I have even uttered the suggestion that we skip getting one altogether *gasp* a couple of times in moments of exasperation.  Fortunately my husband knows me well and has never let that actually happen.  This year I was determined to get a tree and get it early, so we went to our very favorite tree lot yesterday and picked out a beautiful flocked tree a bit larger than we normally get.  Since we will have it for a full month it seemed worth it to splurge a bit.  It’s not even December and we have a Christmas tree!  I realize this is normal expected practice in many households, but this has NEVER happened before at our house!  We have a super busy week ahead so we don’t plan to get the tree decorated until next weekend, but it’s in our living room and I am truly thrilled!

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Before we brought the tree in yesterday we were playing with Tessa and I commented to Curt that I really don’t need anything for Christmas this year because I got my perfect puppy!  I still maintain that she was a gift from God dropped into our lap by angels and we both feel so blessed to have her in our family!  So it just melted my heart when I looked up from the computer last night to see Tessa plopped down under the Christmas tree with her bone.  She’s laying on the white sheet I always put down under the tree before I add the tree skirt.  And you can get a little glimpse of Beaker on his play tree in the background.

Both birds love the Christmas tree when it’s all lit up.  I can hardly wait to get the lights strung on this gorgeous tree.  And I’m anxious to see how Tessa will do with ornaments and presents…another new adventure for us.  LOL!

Now Christmas shopping is another story – I’m feeling pretty behind in that department.  And of course I still need to finish stamping cards…uh..I better sign off before I start to hyperventilate again!  Before I go….

 

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Today Curt and I are celebrating our
18th Wedding Anniversary!

I’ve always said that I married my husband because he makes me laugh and that still holds true. No one can make me laugh like he can!  Thanks for being with me through good times and plenty of bad times. I’m so glad you married me! I love you honey!
Happy Anniversary!

__________________
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God and Dog

August 25th, 2009

  Tonight one of the girls in my prayer group told us about a video she had seen on YouTube so we all watched it.  It so touched me that I had to come here and share it with all of you.  It’s only 2 minutes long.  If you’ve ever loved a dog I think you’ll appreciate this and even if you haven’t, it’s pretty sweet.

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Ceasar Millan always says “You don’t get the dog you want, but you do get the dog you need.”  It’s amazing how much joy I’ve found in a tiny little dog I wasn’t even looking for.  I’ve thanked God so many times in the last few months for dropping Tessa in my lap.  She is definitley a reflection of His love for me….even in the smallest things.

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New Do and Silly Chick

August 18th, 2009

Hey there! Just a quick post as I am out the door to work. Yesterday I got a new *do*….more accurately it’s back to closer to my standard *do*. I had the perm straightened, plus I had my color darkened up a bit. I loved having the curls, but I was getting tired of them. jami-hairstraight-aug-09-small.jpg I have always worn bangs and I could just never get used to not having them with the curly hairstyle. I was thrilled when I checked InStyle.com yesterday and saw that bangs are one of the hot trends right now! WooHoo! Anyway – here I am right when I got home from the salaon yesterday. Tessa barked at me when she first saw me – silly dog!  Myhair is not quite as dark as it looks in the photo and a dark color like this always fades just a bit on me so I think I’m going to love it once I get used to it.

I also have a quick card to share.  The other night I was looking through an old Paper Crafts magazine from 2004.  I saw a simple card with a punch art chick and I thought it would be fun to make something similar.

I used the following SU punches:

wide oval (body), word window (1/4 of one for each foot), scallop oval (wings), slot (beak), and the little double squares one (eyebrows).  I doodled around the edge and scored as well.  The felt trim at the bottom is from the dollar bin at Michael’s and the sentiment is hand written.

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I gotta run. Have a great day and thanks for stopping by!

-Jami