A Dude, You're Welcome Valentine

I don't mean to brag.


Yes, I do.  I totally mean to brag!


I got a handmade Valentine from my husband!

Rob valentineTechnically it's not the first handmade card I've received from him, but it is the first one he made by himself.  The previous card, ironically, also a Valentine, was also made by the dog.  This time around he was completely on his own.

When the Dude, You're Welcome Kitcame out, I bought one for my husband thinking that he would embrace the idea whole-heartedly.  NOT!  It was met with ambivalence and not nearly the excitement (or at least gratitude) that I was hoping for.  So, for the past month or so it has sat on my shelf collecting dust.  I was resigned to the fact that I would most likely be the one using it - perhaps to make a card for HIM. 

So, yesterday morning, I went to pull out the kit and begin creating a fabulous Valentine for my husband.  But, I couldn't find the stinkin' kit!!  Where the heck did I put it?  I looked everywhere!  Now, mind you, my craft room can be a little chaotic at times and to "misplace" items is not all that uncommon, but I do eventually find them.  Nope, not this time.

I suspect you know the ending.  At some point yesterday he came in to my room, grabbed and put it in his briefcase to take to work.

He was very proud of his work - and frankly, so was I.  He described in detail what he had to do to create this. From inking the stamp and making sure it was inked completely, to trying to clean the stamp when he was done.  I told him how impressed I was with the pink accent.  He told me it's a highlighter and he had an option of yellow or pink - and went with the pink.  Gotta work with the materials you have and, at work, highlighters were the only source of color.

So, there you have it.  If you buy the kit, it does get used...eventually.  And, honestly, this card means more to me than any Hallmark I could ever get.  Going forward, my husband will know exactly where to find the kit - just in case he is motivated to make another in the future.  I won't count on anything too soon, but at least now I all that all things are possible!

Thanks for letting me brag!

Interested in the Dude, You're Welcome KitYou can get it here.

Have a great day.

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The circle of life

My sweet girl and crafting buddy went to Heaven yesterday. After a 6-month battle with Lymphoma, Kayla is finally at peace.  I miss her deeply.  My heart is broken and my emotions are raw, so I am taking just a short hiatus from crafting to re-group.

Thank you to all of you who have emailed me offering your support in the past.  I am profoundly grateful for your kind words.

I'll be back soon.

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Another Kayla post

I have just a quick share for you today.  Kayla had her final chemotherapy treatment on Monday followed by acupuncture today.  "Chemo weeks", as we call them, are the hardest as it takes her several days to return to her normal self.  She definitely turned a corner today and her appetite has dramatically improved.  She is enjoying remission (and so are her humans).  Kayla goes back to the oncologist in 4 weeks for a re-check which I am certain will continue to show her cancer-free.

With so many people involved in her care, we make a lot of thank you cards. We made another one today.  The image is not Stampin' Up! but all of the other products are. This dog image so closely resembles Kayla I couldn't use anything else (I'm sure SU! would understand).


I've received some really awesome emails from some of you expressing your concern and support for Kayla.  I can't tell you what it means to me.  Thank you! 

Have a great weekend!

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Can you say, "remission"! - a Kayla update

I've been absent from my blog for awhile.  I guess the best explanation is to say that I have been tending to matters of the heart - me, my family and my beloved dog, Kayla. The good news is, everyone is doing well, especially the dog.  Kayla was diagnosed with Lymphoma a couple of months ago as I explained in this post.  Between modern medicine and alternative medicine, I am happy to say Kayla is officially in remission!  She has responded to all the treatment protocols, conventional and holistic and is enjoying a "normal" dog life.  She still has a few more chemo treatments left to go.  I'm not able to be with her during her chemo treatments, but I am with her during her acupuncture.  This is what holistically fighting canine cancer looks like:

Acupuncture often gets a bad rap, but as someone who partakes in acupuncture myself, I know first-hand the healing benefits it offers.  Kayla loves her acupuncture appointments.  She often drifts off to sleep for the 30 minute session.  She knows a good thing when she sees it!

In addition to acupuncture and chemo, she takes a plethora of meds and supplements - 19 pills a day to be exact.  She's such a trooper.


So, we are enjoying having a "healthy" dog again and are grateful for each day we have with her.  It's been such an emotional roller coaster ride, but I have learned so much.  We don't know how long this good fortune will last, but I have come to appreciate living in the moment.  My heart is full and I feel so blessed.

And because this is a stamping blog, I do have a card to show you.  It uses some non-Stampin' Up! items and retired items as well.  This dog stamp from Inky Antics looks so much like Kayla, I had to get it.  This is a card for Kayla's acupuncturist - she loved it and has it proudly displayed in her clinic.  Kayla even put a real paw print on the inside with ink!

Kayla thank you

Thank you for letting me share my update with you.  I have received such wonderful emails from some of you and I can't begin to tell you how much your support means.  Thank you!

Tomorrow I get to introduce you to a new member of my Ink Happens team!  C'mon back tomorrow to learn more about her!

Enjoy this day!

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Confronting the Big "C" - a non-stamping related post

It has been an emotional few weeks at the Reiner house which has contributed to my lack of creativity and posts. I have debated whether to post anything personal on my business stamping blog, and ultimately decided I would simply to explain my sudden absence for awhile. Thank you to those who have sent me emails inquiring about where I have been lately.

For those of you who know me, even remotely, you likely know of the special bond I have with my dog, Kayla.  For more than 12 years we have been a dynamic duo.  Trust me when I say, I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have my furry friend now that she is well into her mid 80's (in human years). But perhaps it's because of that length of time that has made this past week so difficult.

Kayla has cancer.  Lymphoma to be exact.

And my heart is broken.

The good news, if it can be called that, is that lymphoma can be treated.  Not cured, but treated.  After speaking with many doctors, conventional and holistic, all agree that Kayla is in fact very sick, but by all accounts still has some good days ahead.  No one knows for sure how long or what to expect, but I have committed to the fight for as long as Kayla is willing to fight.  I know, without question, she will tell me when she has had enough. 

For those of you who are not dog owners/lovers, I recognize this post may come across as "over-the-top".  It wouldn't be the first time I have been accused of such a thing.  I'm okay with that.

I will do my best to use stamping as a distraction, and it will be just that.  Kayla has spent endless hours with me in my stamp room and will continue to do so.  We will do our best to come up with something clever to post.

My faith has brought me through some very difficult times and will continue to guide me through the days and months ahead.  Below is one of my favorite quotes and I have had it on my desk for years.  I read it daily and wanted to share it:

"There is nothing -

no circumstance, no trouble,

no testing

that can ever touch me

until it has first come past God

and past Christ,

right through to me.

If it has come that far,

it has come with a great purpose."

- Alan Redpath

Thank you for allowing me to share what has been so heavy on my heart.  I have met so many wonderful friends as a result of this blog and in the stamping community.  I appreciate the concern so many of you have expressed in the last couple of weeks.

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Unexpected Valentine...and blog maintenance

In my post on Valentine's Day I explained that my husband and I really don't buy into the commercialized holidays - Valentine's Day being one of them.  I had a full schedule that day and got home around 10pm.  On the kitchen counter was a small card...a card with a Stampin' Up! image on it.  And, it was a card that I had not made.  We are empty nesters so the only other person who had access to my stamps was the husband - oh, and the dog.

This is 12 year old pup and the other love of my life.  Apparently, she's very talented because she made this card:

Rob valentine

She was very considerate of my card stock because she went into my scrap bin to make this so as not to use paper that I need for workshops and classes.  She has an affinity for pink, with the retired Pixie Pink a personal favorite - hence the Pixie Pink heart.  Is this a great dog, or what?  I <heart> her!

Rob valentine inside
A keeper of a card for sure!

On a different note, you may have noticed my blog looks a little different.  I have had the same blog look for almost 4 years and I wanted a change.  It's a work in progress and I expect there will be several more changes before it's complete.  Bear with me and my temporary construction zone as I work towards a fresh look.

Happy Weekend!

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I've converted another one!

Last week my son was home for Spring Break and he brought his girlfriend with him.  This was our first time meeting her so we were excited to get to know her.  They were here for 5 days which gave me lots of time to introduce her to stamping.  To my surprise she actually approached me about stamping first!  She wanted to make birthday cards for her mom and dad and I was happy to oblige.  She picked out the stamps she wanted to use based on her parent's interests.  Take a look:

Angela thumbs up

This is Angela at work...isn't she a cutie?


And here are her two finished cards.  She did such an awesome job and she did them completely on her own!  I am SO proud!  She said she had a blast and wants to do it again.  Too bad she lives 1000 miles away...but she'll be back.

Have a great day.

Non-stamping related

It's been a bit of a roller coaster around here lately.  The beginning of the week was good in that my niece was visiting from Colorado.  We spent a long weekend together visiting a few of the theme parks, going out to eat and "catching up".  It was wonderful to see her again.  Mid-week I had a job interview.  I won't know if I got the job until the end of next week, but I'm hopeful.  On Thursday, things went down hill.  One of our dogs, Luna, got very sick as a result of a recent vaccination and passed away on Friday morning.  We are very, very sad and we miss her a lot.  It's hard to concentrate when her absence is so noticeable.  I don't feel like stamping much these days.  I'm going to take the next few days to "regroup" and hope to be back in the swing of things again soon.

We miss you, Luna!

Mary Ann