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Sweet Reunions

After nearly a year away from my former home sweet home, the littles and I returned to the great state of Texas. I learned a lot while traveling alone with two children under the age of three– it all boils down to these two things: stuff their faces with snacks, and for the sake of your sanity, ask for and accept help when you need it. Whether help comes from a friend who is willing to help you at the airport, a flight attendant who holds baby #2 while you change your stubborn and squirmy preschooler’s dirty diaper in a porta-potty sized airplane bathroom, or a well-meaning business traveler who offers to carry a bag for you during his long layover, those moments will become the silver lining of a challenging situation.

Travel days aside, the remaining five days were a whirlwind of graduation festivities for my “baby” brother, quality time with family, and sweet reunions with dear friends. Being a military wife frequently means living far away from family, and it also means opportunities for meeting the most wonderful people and bonding with them to the point that they might as well be family. I am blessed beyond measure that I have so many of those family-friends in my life that I could hardly see them all in a brief two-day visit when we made the 2-1/2 hour trek from my mom’s small, lively TX town to our former stomping grounds. I think a month wouldn’t have been enough quality time to catch up with my¬† friend/family… “friendly’s.” Nevertheless, we made it work and squeezed every last second out of our visit. I think we ended up back at my mom’s house around midnight the day before we left TX, because we were having so much fun I couldn’t bring myself to pack up the kids and leave! They may have been slightly sleep deprived, but their heavy eyelids finally overpowered them for the entire last leg of our flight home (and they even kept sleeping even through landing and the other passengers’ deplaning. Mission accomplished!).

One of the people I was most excited to see during my trip is my “friendly” and team member, Rachel. She introduced me to Stampin’ Up! all those years ago, was a part of my book club when we endured a tragedy that forged forever friendships, and conveniently lived a couple blocks away for part of our time in TX. Rachel is one of the most talented stampers I’ve known, her cards and projects are absolutely beautiful and provide me with lots of inspiration (you can see the French Foliage card she made me here). Naturally we had to set aside some time to stamp together! I was excited to get my hands on the new In Colors, and since my order with all the new products arrived at my house while I was traveling, I was even more anxious to work with something fresh. The result was a mash-up of techniques, some of which I saw while digging through Rachel’s box of finished cards– it was like a treasure trove of stamping inspiration! If you’re new to stamping, definitely use the In Colors as an easy way to coordinate with perfect results and limited supplies. They are gorgeous!

Stampin' Up! "Celebrate with Cake" card by Becky Gifford The Social Stamper

Did you notice that subtle color-washed look of the textured background? I simply dragged my ink pad over the card stock one direction and then perpendicular in the other direction before running through the Big Shot with the Square Lattice Textured Impressions Folder. Stay tuned for a video tutorial of the super simple “color drag” technique!

Stampin' Up! "Celebrate with Cake" card detail by Becky Gifford The Social Stamper

Also, be sure not to miss out on the chance to get the Woo Hoo! single stamp I used. Stampin’ Up! has released limited-time availability of single, clear-mount stamps with exclusive artwork. They’re perfect if you find yourself needing a stamp for a specific occasion, like a wedding, but don’t want to invest in a whole set of that theme. They’re also perfect if you just adore cute stamps! All single stamps are under $8 when purchased through a demonstrator (ahem… me!), and they’re only available until July 31st. Start filling your shopping bag with single stamps today so you don’t miss out!

Create the look

Tips: Drag your ink pad lightly over the length and then width of your card stock, a technique I call “color drag,” for a subtle color wash with a linen-like texture. You can then stamp over the background you’ve created, or run in through the Big Shot with a Textured Impressions Folder.

Products:

Stamps: Woo Hoo (132661)
Ink: Crisp Cantaloupe (131176), Coastal Cabana (131175)
Card Stock: Crisp Cantaloupe (131298), Strawberry Slush (131295), Whisper White (100730)
Terrific Tools: Big Shot (113439), Top Note Bigz Die (113463), Square Lattice Textured Impressions Folder (119976), 1-3/8″ Circle Punch (119860)
Exceptional Embellishments: Silver Glimmer Paper (124005), Linen Thread (104199)

A special shout-out to my “friendly’s” and my team members, you all bring so much joy to my life. I am blessed because of you!

Happy Stamping!

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