A New Season

November 1st, 2013

I’m here today to share my heart and some personal news. I have stepped down from my position as Design Team Coordinator for Taylored Expressions.   This decision did not come easily, in fact it was a heart-wrenching struggle over some time.  I love Taylor, TE, and the Baker’s Dozen Design Team.  Being the Design Team Coordinator was a dream I had from the very earliest days of TE and I was thrilled when Taylor offered to move me into the position.  I have loved doing it.

That being said, I have more recently found myself overwhelmed, exhausted, and unhappy as I have struggled to keep up with the combination of  TE DTC and my job as the church Office Manager.  I never want to give less than my heart and soul, MY ALL, but that’s where I’ve found myself.  Both jobs require a tremendous amount of mental and emotional energy and I found myself constantly coming up short.  I finally had to admit that something had to give.

I have to take this opportunity to publically thank Taylor for allowing me to be a part of TE from the beginning.  I really can’t express how much I love being involved in the company and watching it grow!  I am beaming with pride for you and all you have accomplished with TE in 5 short years!  I know that Taylor and I will always be friends and I plan to continue to work with her behind the scenes in product development as I have always done, but in a much smaller capacity.

As of today, Stephanie Kraft is the new TE Design Team Coordinator.  Stephanie is going to be wonderful and I’m so happy for her and for the team!

I’ve never been a person to embrace change or run towards it, but throughout my life I have gotten better at accepting it and trusting the Lord through it.

Even though this is quite difficult at the moment, I know it will be a good thing in the long run.  I look forward to having more time (and hopefully finding the passion again) to stamp just for fun.  I might even renew the desire to blog on a more regular basis again.  I will continue to teach my monthly stamp classes and am hopeful that the prep will seem less stressful now.  Overall, I’m just needing a little simpler, more peaceful life. {Perhaps that is just menopause talking?  I’m not sure!  LOL} I will remain plenty busy, that’s for sure, and I look forward to this new season of my life.

Here is a devotional blog post that helped me as I struggled to make this decision: When Change is Hard.  I’d encourage you to read it.

I had planned to create a card to share today along with this post, but when it came right down to it, I was honestly just too emotionally exhausted to create anything.  Instead I am re-posting one of my all-time favorite TE creations from way back in April of ’09 featuring one of my all-time favorite stamp sets, Branching Out.  Your friendship is a blessing. I love this sentiment as I have been so blessed by my friendships with so many of you!

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  I appreciate each one of you!  With much love…

Happy Monday! Exciting news from Taylored Expressions – today we launch a brand new web store with lots of improved features!  It will make your shopping experience even better than before!  To celebrate the launch, TE is offering an exclusive set FREE with any $20 purchase now through Sunday 7/14.  The special launch set is called Summer Love and I have a sample to share with you today.

 

I started my card with this fun ice cream truck image and some Echo Park 6×6 paper – A Perfect Summer.  I actually had a sheet out that has ice cream cones on it, but didn’t end up using it.  I guess I need to make another card!   I used several Taylored Dies, including the sunshine covered in stickles, the banner, and Label Stacklets.  This is such a cute little stamp set! And what a deal!  This is a great time to treat yourself to something on your TE wishlist!

Be sure to hop over to Taylor’s Blog to get the link list of all the samples from the Baker’s Dozen today and to get details on how you can win a $25 gift certificate just for setting up an account!!  Also make sure you check out the fresh new look at www.tayloredexpressions.com

This will be a fun week with lots of activities, so be sure to check in at Taylor’s blog each day this week for fun party games and prizes.

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

Would you like a spot as a Guest Designer for two months with Taylored Expressions?

Taylored Expressions is proud to announce the premiere of a new and exciting stamping talent competition, Last Card Standing. Based in part on very popular reality competitions such as Last Comic Standing, Project Runway, and Chopped, TE is looking for the very best and creative card-makers to stamp their way to the top. Each week, finalists will be challenged to create a themed card for a panel of celebrity judges in hope of avoiding elimination. Finally, the Top 5 Finalists will be voted on by the public, with the stamper receiving the most votes to win the title of Last Card Standing!

What’s at stake? An amazing prize package that includes a 3 month subscription to the Key Ingredients kit club plus 2 full size stamp sets of the winner’s choice and a coveted Guest Designer spot for the November/December Release!

Going on now:  Open Casting Round. To enter, simply upload your best cards to your Splitcoaststampers Gallery using keyword: TELASTCARD. For this round, ANYTHING GOES — Birthday, Thank You, Holidays, Get Well, Congratulations…the sky’s the limit! The only requirement is that you use at least 1 stamped image from Taylored Expressions. Do you have a card that you think could get you a callback to the next round? Go for it — submissions do NOT have to be a new creation for the Open Casting Round and you may enter as many cards as you want! Both new and old projects will be considered.

Deadline for submission to Open Casting Round: Thursday, September 20, 2012 by 11:59 pm PST.

For contest details, visit the Taylored Expressions Member Company Forum at Splitcoaststampers. They even have free digital images you can use!  Good luck!

I made a pair of cards featuring TE Let’s Chat, Circles Big Background and dies Take Note 1 and 3 with SU Melon Mambo cardstock.  With all these similar elements, each of these cards has it’s own personality.

For the first card I stamped the Circles BG in Melon Mambo ink on white cardstock.  I kept this card pretty simple and straighforward, adding the Curly Border Die and some Goosbumps sparklers for some fun finishing touches. I used a black layer of cardstock to tie in with the black candlestick phone.

For the second card I stamped the Circles with Versamark ink and heat embossed it with white embossing powder onto shimmery white cardstock.  Then I watercolored over that with ink from SU markers.  I just scribbled them onto a cd and picked up the ink with an aquapainter.  I love the ombre effect it produced.  The payphone was also watercolored and then cut with the coordinating die and popped up on foam tape. I didn’t want to add an extra layer like I did on the first card, so I just rounded the corners for a little extra interest.  I added some rhinestone sparkle and a fun flower brad from my stash.

These were really fun to create!  I’m looking forward to playing with this set some more!  I apologize for the quality of the photos.  I took these indoors with my phone.  A little moment of honesty here – I love making cards, but I don’t so much enjoy photographing and editing the photos.  In this case, it was a choice between sharing less-than-great photos, or not sharing these cards at all.  Of course, they are so much cuter in person and a better photo would be awesome, but for now I’d rather share than not.  I hope you get where I’m coming from on that.

 

Thanks so much for stopping by.  I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

  • At Taylored Expressions we are celebrating our 4th Birthday and you’re invited to our Birthday Bash!
  • All of the new products will be available for purchase on Thursday, September 6th at 8am PST. You’ll find it all in the Fresh out of the Oven Department.
  • Sneak peeks Monday through Wednesday and the party continues with spotlights Thursday and Friday – lots of inspiration!
  • Check the Current Specials on Thursday morning to find out how you can earn a FREE Belated Birthday A la Carte stamp or a FREE You Take the Cake full-size stamp set. Birthday Bash Specials will award you FREE stamps with purchases over $50 and over $150.
  • 2 WAYS TO WIN!
1. You Take the Cake Contest Go to Taylor’s blog  to get all the details on how you can win two stamp sets of your choice by guessing which illustrator contributed each image in our You Take the Cake Sampler Set.
2.  Join us on Facebook for an early reveal of all the new stamp sets Wednesday night beginning at approximately 6 pm PST. Leave comments during the party for a chance to win one of the gift certificates we’ll be giving away!
We have quite the week ahead as this is the biggest TE Release EVER!  With 17 new stamps/stamp sets and 7 new dies/die sets, we’ve extended the fun into 5 days!  I’ve been stamping like crazy and I’ve barely scratched the surface of all the new goodies!  Today the Baker’s Dozen will be featuring all the stamps that are part of the FREE stamps Promo mentioned above.
I have a sample showcasing Belated Birthday A la Carte – Oh Rats!
Oh Rats!   And the inside – Sorry I missed your birthday!
I added Ranger Glossy Accents and some of Taylor’s Tiny Twinkles to the frosting.  I also added some stickles to the candle and balloon.  Spellbinders Labels 1 and Labels 1 Small were used to cut and mat the image and I sponged some Daffodil Delight ink around the image while it was still in the die.  I colored the image with Copics, using my colorless blender pen to dot onto the rats (let’s say “mice” ’cause it sounds nicer) to create a fur effect.
I don’t often forget a birthday, but I can never get a card mailed on time!  UGH!  I don’t know why that it is, but it spurred me to present this concept to Taylor back in 2010 and she handed it over to Doug for his fun illustrations.  We released seven of the A la Cartes at the Birthday Bash that year (click here to see the gallery), but I had plenty more.  😉  So I was thrilled when Taylor said she wanted to continue the series this year.  Curt was especially excited when he saw that “Oh Carp” was coming out.  That one was his idea when I was originally putting the concept sheet together.  He was so disappointed when it wasn’t in the first release. Now I’m trying to get him to actually create a card with it!
We’ve got 4 new Belated Birthday A la Cartes coming out on Thursday.  Each comes with a main image plus two sentiments (outside and inside), so it’s everything you need to create a cute and funny late wish!  You can purchase them individually -OR- you can get one FREE with a $50 order!  Here they are – both new and previously released –
These images are so much fun to color.  You need several of these in your stamping arsenal.  You can stamp some and get them colored up and then when you realize you didn’t get that birthday card out, you can can put a card together quickly and get it in the mail!
The rest of the team is also previewing a new full-size set called You Take the Cake. It’s the first time TE has ever presented a sampler set with illustrations from all of our artists.  It’s a great birthday set and there’s a little contest where you can win a nifty prize, so be sure to hop over to Taylor’s blog and play!
Let’s see what the Baker’s Dozen has cooked up today!  We’re super excited to welcome Guest Designer Cammie King to play along!
    Thanks for stopping by.  Happy Labor Day.  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful long weekend!

TE Release Day!

  • All of the new products are now available for purchase! Check out the Fresh Out of the Oven Department to see everything in one place!
  • More projects from the Baker’s Dozen to inspire you.  Just follow the link list below.
  • Be sure to check the TE Current Specials page for May Release Bundle options.  The new Father’s Day Digi Image and inspiration sheet is available FREE with purchase of any Bundle!
  • Did you win one of the Mystery Baker’s Dozen Blog Giveaways? Find the list of winners on Taylor’s Blog.
Have you been following along with all the fabulous sneak peeks this week?  I didn’t get a chance to play along with the Baker’s Dozen this week, but I’ve blown away by all of their samples.  There is so much cute stuff in this May Release!  I can hardly wait to dig into all of of.  Today I have a fairly quick card that I created featuring the Petite stamp set Daisy Bouquet. It’s such a pretty little set and I just love the way the little sentiments work with the new Mini Tag Taylored Die set.
I stamped the bouquet image on shimmery white cardstock (yes, yes, I am on a kick with this stuff!) and colored it with Copics. I added some diamond stickles to the flower centers which really sparkles nicely IRL.  I die cut it with a Spellbinders blossom die and sponged Lucky Limeade ink while it was still in the die.  I layered that onto a paper doily and attached that adorable mini tag.  The patterned paper is from the Echo park Victoria Gardens 6×6 pad and cardstock is Melon Mambo.  Here are the Copics I used.
And here’s that Mini Tag Die set – so cute, HUH???
If you’d like a little more inspiration before you go shopping or if you’ve already placed your order and just want to see some more incredible eye candy, let’s go see what the Baker’s Dozen has cooked up.
Thanks so much for stopping by!

 

TE Release Day!

  • All of the new products are now available for purchase! Check out the Fresh Out of the Oven Department to see everything in one place!
  • More projects from the Baker’s Dozen to inspire you.  Just follow the link list below.
  • Be sure to check the TE Current Specials page for Release Weekend Specials and Bundle Deals! 
  • Did you win one of the Mystery Baker’s Dozen Blog Giveaways? Find the list of winners on Taylor’s Blog.

 

I hope you’ve been following the peeks this week as they have really been fantastic.  I’m dying to ink up those two new adorable abodes by Doug!  I love them!  The whole team has more to share today and I’m jumping in with a set of cards made with some of the new Word A la Cartes.  You can purchase these images separately – so pick and choose the ones you want. Of course I think you might need them all.  LOL!

Each card in this set is 4.25″ square and uses papers from the MME 6×6 Miss Caroline Dilly Dally pad along with Sahara Sand and Basic Black cardstock.  I colored the images with Copics and then used various products to embellish: Ranger Crackle Accents on the letters, Glossy Accents and Stickles on the flowers.

I used the new Majestic Border Die on all of the cards. Above, I added red Liquid Pearls.  For the Grace card, below, I used the negative space left from the die.  I think it makes a really cool 2nd border option.

On the Faith card I also used the Jumbo Hearts Border die.  I filled in the hearts with Glossy Accents and used Platinum Liquid Pearls on the tiny circle openings.

Before you head off to shop, you might want to check out what the Baker’s Dozen has cooked up.  It’s sure to be yummy!

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I’d love to hear what your favorite new stamp set or die is from this release!  Let me know in a comment.  Besides all the new stamp sets and dies, Taylor has gotten in lots of new products from CHA.  Be sure to scroll through everything in the Fresh Out of The Oven Department:) Happy shopping!

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!

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