Happy Halloween & Thank You!

I did it, I made it to October 31 and completed my 31 Day Blog Challenge.  So, Happy Halloween & Thank You!

I loved the challenge of writing every day and creating cards and posts to share with you.  It was a lot of work, but I really enjoyed it. Thanks to all of you for reading and following along. I am especially thankful to those of you who took the time to comment either in a post or by replying to the email you receive. I can’t tell you how much it means to receive feedback and comments.  Thank you to each of you!

I will continue to blog but not every day like this month. It will probably be 3 – 4 days a week just because there will be so much going on and new things to share with you from now until after the New Year. The new Stampin’ Blends will be available this week, November 1 and I will be attending Convention in early November and hearing about the new catalogs and products. Of course, we are still making cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year. I won’t be able to share information regarding the new catalogs right away but as soon as we can I’ll be excited to share so that you can begin planning for January and the best sale of the year, Sale-a-bration! 

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So enjoy all the little ghosts and goblins for Halloween but please be sure to keep pets inside and safe, all the excitement can be upsetting to them.

Double double toil and trouble;  Fire burn and cauldron bubble.    – William Shakespeare

Create Joy! Deena


Whole Lot of Lovely

I hope you enjoyed my slight departure from daily Stampin’ Up! posts regarding my theatre day this weekend. Unfortunately Les Miserables ended but if it returns, make sure to see it.  It is probably my favorite musical so I was so happy to see it before it ended.  To have the opportunity to stay and see Hamilton at night was amazing! It may have taken a top spot on my favorite list. It is awesome, if you live in Illinois make sure to see it before it leaves Chicago in March.  It is crazy how fast time is flying by and one other thing you don’t want to miss is the end of the Buy Three, Get One Free Designer Series Paper special.  It ends on Tuesday, October 31.  I will post the papers that can be ordered as part of the special below.  But today, I am featuring one of the designs from Whole Lot of Lovely DSP. This flower pattern is one of my favorite of the designs. 

For those new to Stampin’ Up! 12×12 Designer Series Paper packs, there are 12 sheets, 2 sheets of each of 6 double-sided designs (unless it is a foil sheet, then single-sided). The Paper Stacks, such as the Wood Textures DSP stack including in this special, are different. They have 48 sheets, four 6×6 sheets each of 12 double-sided designs. 

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Click here to visit my Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator site for a list of all the papers available and an ability to see the designs for each pack. 

There is nothing like a dream to create the future.   Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Create Joy! Deena


Les Mis and Hamilton

Guess what I am doing today, Saturday, Les Mis and Hamilton! If you haven’t figured it out, I write the post in the evening for the next day to post at 6 a.m   So, we had tickets for Les Mis at the Cadillac and decided to walk over to CIBC to see if there were tickets for Hamilton for the night! You can buy anything online!

So no one can say I am not spontaneous!!

Enjoy life


Create Joy! Deena

Peace on Earth

I combined Peace on Earth from the Carols of Christmas stamp set and Bethlehem Edgelit Dies to create my favorite Christmas Card so far this year! I absolutely love this card! I want to try several variations of the Night of Bethlehem stamp set and the Edgelit Dies with the sentiment.  

I used Gold Foil Sheets to create the Bethlehem background and the Christmas Star.  There are many beautiful sentiments in the Night of Bethlehem stamp set but I think it is perfect with “Peace on Earth”.  This is certainly a message that I pray for and a sentiment we all need to share more. 

I can vision this combination of stamp and Edgelit dies used with so many of our pretty cardstock colors but I love Tranquil Tide as the background and for the figures of Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem. 

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O little town of Bethlehem

How still we see thee lie

Above thy deep and dreamless sleep

The silent stars go by

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting Light

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.     

– Rector Phillips Brooks (1835-1903) wrote these words in 1868 after a trip to the Holy Land. He was inspired by the view of Bethlehem from the hills of Palestine.

Create Joy! Deena

Blizzard in Minnesota?!

Wow, did  you see the news regarding the blizzard in Minnesota?!  What strange weather this year and so hard to believe that there they are getting so much snow already! I had heard Denver Colorado and Casper Wyoming had some a couple of weeks ago, but then it warmed up. The pictures of MN look like it will stick around awhile!

Instead of crazy blizzard snow, this is a lovely gentle snowflake with the warm candles of Christmas glowing. We made this card at Stamp Night the other night. I will have to try to remember one of the variations made by Gloria, it was so pretty! I will post as we get closer to Christmas. 

The foil snowflakes are in the Holiday Catalog this year. There are gold and silver snowflakes. The package includes 24 total, 12 of each. I cut mine in half and then adhered to the Stitched Oval Shape Framelit to create a bit more silver elegance behind the sentiment.   The “Merry Christmas” sentiment and the candles are stamps in the Merry Patterns stamp set that I have discussed in previous posts. It can only be obtained as a free stamp set with a qualifying order, whether personal or as a result of a virtual party order.  The red background Designer Series Paper is from the Be Merry Christmas paper in the Annual Catalog.

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Be sure to read tomorrow’s post, I have created my favorite Christmas card so far this year!  I think you will like it too!

A snowflake is winter’s butterfly.    – Author Unknown

Create Joy! Deena

Mini Treat Bag Thinlit Dies

I have viewed posts of the Mini Treat Bag Thinlit Dies and thought they were adorable.  I ordered them on my last order and finally had a chance to play with them!  On my Weds., Stamping – Short and Sweet I featured the Mini Treat Bags.  Using our Designer Series Paper, which are two-sided unless it is one of the Foil Papers, will result in a cute design inside of the bag too. 

I used the Christmas Around the World DSP for the treat bag with the Christmas Wishes sentiment. The label on both treat bags is one of the dies included of the Mini Treat Bag Thinlits Dies. The “For You” and the thin little bow are also included. I used Red Glimmer Paper for the bow. I wanted to add a little to the white label so I added the green pine branches by using the Pretty Pines Thinlits Dies from the Annual Catalog.  I added more color by using the red star from the Stitched Felt Embellishments.

Don’t forget about the Designer Series Paper Special, buy three get one free, on sale through the end of October. The Christmas Around the World DSP is one of the papers included in the options to purchase 3 and get 1 free.

As I said in the Stamping – Short and Sweet Facebook Live Video these treat bags will make adorable gifts for Halloween treats, Thanksgiving table place setting, St. Nicholas Day treats or Advent, Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa gifts.

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The Designer Series Paper Sale Options

Click here to visit the Specials Page on my website.

Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.    – Richard Bach

Create Joy! Deena

It feels like it could snow

It feels like it could snow here in Illinois,  so why not make a Christmas Card!  We made some at Stamp Night this week but I want to make a Christmas card for my swaps for Stampin’ Up! convention in November. So I have to start playing with different cards to decide what to make.

If you have never been to a convention or even a large stamp retreat or workshop, swaps are a very popular event.  You make as many cards (or sometimes just the card fronts to use as ideas for card classes and workshops) as those participating in the swap or at convention, as many cards as you want to swap and come home with.  I have gotten so many beautiful cards over the years!  Other demonstrators have told me that they put these out at their card workshops for a dollar and let stampers buy them.  I might start sharing them at Stamp Night. We usually put them in nice plastic envelopes so they stay very nice during the swap. I want to make between 50  – 100 so I have to start planning so that I can order paper or embellishments that I might not have enough of.  

So the chilly weather has put me in the mood for snowflakes, reindeer and winter scenery and trees.  You may see a lot of card samples of this nature before I leave in November!

I chose the reindeer and “Merry Christmas” from the Merry Patterns stamp set. This is the stamp set that can be earned FREE by placing a $300 order by the end of October or hosting a virtual party by the end of the month with a combined order total by you and your friends of $300.  I used the Card Front Builder Thinlit Dies to add the trees to the front. The evergreen with bow is from the Merry Mistletoe stamp set, a new Christmas stamp set in the Annual Catalog.  The cardstock used is Garden Green, Real Red and Whisper White. I’ve listed the products below.

Listen! The wind is rising, and the air wild with leaves, We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!     – Humbert Wolfe 

Create Joy! Deena

I love our stamp nights!

I love our stamp nights! What a great group for Stamp Night this month.  I love watching the enthusiasm of creating beautiful cards and projects.  Others have warned that it can become overwhelming to allow stampers to make changes using the rest of my stamps and Designer Series Papers but I love when those attending change up the card idea I present to make it their own! That is why stamping is so much fun – making a special card to send to those who mean something to you. 

For those who haven’t attending a Stamp Night with me, I make about 6 or 7 cards and/or a project to choose from.  Similar to a card buffet. The stampers can choose which cards to make – there is a price for 4 or more, you can make one of each or two of one, etc., any combination.  If you have a special occasion to make a card for, I can help with that too. 

This was one of the choices tonight. I saw this design on Pinterest but last Stamp Night everyone mentioned they would like to have a Sympathy card, so I modified it with a Sympathy sentiment. 

Products used to create this card are listed below:

Our next Stamp Night is November 13.  On Monday, Dec 4, we will have a longer daytime event to work on Christmas Cards (or other cards you might need if we plan in advance). I’d love to have you join the fun!

This is the power of gathering: it inspires us, delightfully, to be more hopeful, more joyful, more thoughtful: in a word, more alive.        – Alice Waters (chef and the author of The Art of Simple Food)

Create Joy! Deena

Thankful, Grateful and Blessed

Stamping and sharing my love of putting ink on paper is so much fun and easier to create with all of the social media groups we can join or participate in as stampers. Of course, Pinterest is an amazing source of card creations and ideas.  I feel Thankful, Grateful and Blessed to be a part of the Stampin’ Up! demonstrator community as well as all the wonderful stampers who also share their ideas online and in these groups.  Everyone is so supportive and we love to comment, “like” and acknowledge others for their creative efforts.  I am constantly amazed by the creations I see posted!

One of our Stampin’ Up! leaders, Janice Weightman, posted this pretty card as one of the cards they were making at her Stamp Retreat this past weekend.  I love the simplicity but the embossed background and gold foil label behind the sentiment are so pretty and make the card quite elegant.

This card features a sentiment from the Paisleys and Poisies stamp set.  The embossing folder used is new this year in our Annual Catalog, it is called Layered Leaves.

If you love to stamp and share ideas, we would love to have you join our stamping community at Stampin’ Up!  Even if you are a hobbyist and don’t want to host workshops or stamp at parties, but you spend $300 in 3 months (or order with friends) you would love (and should take advantage of) the discount on your orders. 

Of course it is fun to hear about new items and be able to order them before our customers!  An initial order when you sign up will allow you to order $125 of product for $99 and a business supply kit valued at $50 included.  The advantage of joining this time of year is that since you are starting after a selling quarter (Oct – Dec) has started, you would have until March (end of first quarter 2018) to meet your $300 minimum.  By then we will have the new catalog and Sale-a-bration items for January and you would be able to order before others!  If this sounds appealing, let me know. I would love to have you on my team.  You can find more details on my Stampin’ Up! demonstrator website by clicking here.

Reminder – stamp night at my house Mon., Oct 22 from 6 – 9 p.m.

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or you take them with gratitude.                               –  GK Chesterton

Create Joy! Deena

Bright colors, bright lights and busy hands

What makes you happy? Really happy? That “at peace” kind of happy? It doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be a simple formula – bright colors, bright lights and busy hands. On a drive home from Rock Island I thought about the joy of creating cards or working in the garden or that peace I feel when I see all the bright lights and colorful decorations at Christmas. I don’t mean store decorations and the hectic pace of shopping. The past few years I’ve been trying to focus on enjoying and savoring the spirit of Christmas and spending precious time of family, not getting caught up in the commercial version of the holiday.

This 31 Day Blog Challenge has been a challenge! It takes much more work and planning that I thought. But I have enjoyed learning and sharing with each of you. I’ve been reading a lot about successful blogging and social media posts. A common theme is that it is important to share things about ourselves, not just focus on product and technique sharing. So today’s post will be a little different than you have seen from me. Maybe a little bit more like the newsletters I used to write when I had a retail business and taught personal growth and development workshops. I hope you find something of benefit within.

I am a Benedictine Oblate, which means a lay associate of a Monastery.  I am associated with St. Mary Monastery in Rock Island, Illinois. Saturday was the annual Oblate Day at the Monastery. We gather monthly in our regional areas, or as a bigger community annually at the Monastery, to reflect on ways to live Benedictine spirituality in our daily lives in the “real world”. Oblates come from different religious backgrounds and we live and work in many different communities and types of employment, while attempting to remain faithful to the Benedictine Rule (way of living).

Our presentation today was by Sr. Sandra Brunenn, the Prioress of the Monastery. She talked about the Monastery as a center of peace and how The Rule gives us an outline of how to live, to be a path to peace.  Benedict, in 500 A.D. said “seek peace and pursue it”.

Sr. Sandra, also shared a poem that is a beautiful perspective on faith and spirituality but it also reminded me about creating or having a creative spirit.  We have to remain open, accepting and mostly at peace in the process.  I’d like to share it with you.

Mary Oliver:  The Fist

There are days

when the sun goes down

like a fist,

though of course


if you see anything

in the heavens

in this way

you had better get


your eyes checked

or, better, still

your diminished spirit.

The heavens


have no fist,

or wouldn’t they have been

shaking in

for a thousand years now,


and even

longer than that,

at the dull, brutish

ways of mankind –


heaven’s own


Instead: such patience!

Such willingness


to let us continue!

To hear,

little by little,

the voices –


only, so far, in

pockets of the world –


the possibilities


of peace?

Keep looking.

Behold, how the fist opens

with invitation.


“The Fist” by Mary Oliver

Text as published in Thirst: Poems (Beacon Press, 2007)

Look around for beauty. Look around for the good and be open to it.  My creative expression in cards and projects is simple. I want it to be light, bright and joyful.  Just like putting my hands in dirt when working with my plants and flowers, it is a peaceful escape and meant to be a expression of a love of life and an expression of the joy I find in it. 

Look around…

Create joy! Deena