Life with Helen: DOCKATOT REVIEW

When baby number two was on the way I was still struggling to get preschooler one to stay in his bed all night. Would the revered baby product DockATot be the answer? (Hint, YES it would & this post contains affiliate links- you buy, I receive a percentage).

It’s no secret that new moms don’t get much sleep. (Prego moms don’t get much sleep either, making the start even rougher). Mom fears are the worst!

Helen loves her DockATot

Enter Helen. She is the sweetest. But, she wouldn’t sleep anywhere except on my chest. When you’re exhausted and your baby eats ever two hours and she won’t sleep ANYWHERE you start to go a little crazy. We tried it all- the bassinet, the crib, the swing, the bouncer during the day to practice. It didn’t work. Although she never cries at any other time and is a happy baby, she refused to sleep anywhere and I am very serious about safe sleep. I was too scared to have her sleep in the swing or rock and play type toy unsupervised (aka while I was sleeping). So we resorted to my husband sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my son’s room and me and baby camping out, sleeping sitting up in our king size bed, with no blankets or pillows.

By the four month mark I was getting desperate. Most nights she was still waking herself up every two hours. I had seen posts about the DockATot on Instagram before Helen was born. They have two sizes, the for babies 8 months and younger and the Grand for older babies to use into their toddler years. The online reviews seemed to all be unanimous – the DockATot is a must have! I have to admit I was a little reluctant to make the purchase. This gift from above comes with a price tag between $175-290, depending on the size and design you choose (click here to check out the variety of options they have to offer). I didn’t know if I would need it and didn’t want to buy it before she was born. But she was here now and the need was great. I decided that I needed to commit.

PS they have this new banana leaf pattern cover and I LOVE it!

Helen loves her DockATot

We are using the Dock-A-Tot to transition Helen to sleeping on her own, though it is important to note that DockATot does NOT recommend the use of the DockATot in the crib – Helen is always supervised – in our own bed for co-sleeping so that I can feed her as needed.

While its best quality is the quality of sleep I am now getting knowing she is both safe and sleeping longer at night, I also tote it around the house for Helen to play in while I do laundry, dishes or work.

It is definitely our favorite household thing!

Finally, because we are friends, I’d love to help you save a couple bucks for your own purchase of the Dock-A-Tot.  Click here for a sweet $10 discount!

Swede dreams (get it, it is made in Sweden), friends!

 

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial

It’s been busy around my house from Christmas to January’s flu epidemic, to February going non stop, plus this sweet little baby of mine. I haven’t had as much time to craft and blog as I would like, but I am working on making time for the things I love.

I finally got a chance to play with a few new products from the Occasions Catalog.  I LOVE the Southern Serenade stamp set for a few reasons:

1 It’s eclectic and the images are great for layering.

2 There are words for both the outer greeting and inside sentiment.

3 Lace. I love lace.

4 Outline images can be watercolored.

5 You can make an entire card with only one stamp set.

Here’s a snapshot of the stamps in the Southern Serenade set.

This card is relatively simple, but the fancy fold gives it a little something extra. It is essentially monochromatic with Berry Burst being the focal color and a little black and pop of Wild Wasabi. Keep reading for directions on how to make the double Z fold.

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

While some double Z fold cards open sideways, I opted for one that pulls down, but still folds flat to a standard size of 4 1/4 x 5 1/2″.

 

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Directions:

  1. Cut card base from Berry Burst card stock to 4 1/4 x 11″.
  2. Score at 2 3/4″ and 5 1/2″.
  3. Cut Black card stock to 3 1/2″ x 10″.  Score at 2 3/4″ x  5 1/2″.
  4. Cut White panels as follows: 3 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ and 2 1/2″ x 3″ (2 panels).
  5. Stamp lace randomly on Berry Burst card base.
  6. Stamp floral outline in Momento Black ink on white panel front.
  7. Stamp sentiments and flower on bottom two panels (they are the same size so it does not matter which piece you stamp on).
  8. Stamp lace onto sentiment panel.  Watercolor floral with Berry Burst and Wild Wasabi ink using Aquapainters.
  9. Adhere white panels to Basic Black folding piece.
  10. To adhere black panel to card base, place Tear & Tape as follows (picture below also for reference):
    1. On the TOP back panel of black piece.
    2. Two strips on the top and bottom of the very bottom panel.
    3. Directly above the first score line of the Berry Burst base in the center (about two inches, not extending to the sides of the base or it will show).
  11. Remove white paper backing from Tear Tape. Center the top Black panel over Berry Burst base about of 1/2″ down and adhere. To adhere the bottom section to the base, slowly begin to fold the card front down as if you are closing it, line up the bottom black portion over the bottom card base, and once the card is folded closed, the black portion will fall into place, press down to adhere.

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

 

 

Southern Serenade Double Z Fold Tutorial from StampinFool.com

 

 

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How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + Free Checklist

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

Have you seen the new Instagram Story highlights?  If you have a business account on Instagram (you can switch over under your profile) you can add your favorite “My Story” posts to the favorites bar, which will stay posted at the top of your IG page.  I love that I can feature my favorite on the go moments or deals of the day.

Not sure what I am talking about? Here is a snapshot of mine.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

{{ PS- if you haven’t already, hit that follow button so you don’t miss a thing! }}

While you can choose your favorite snapshots, you can also take it up a notch by branding your IG page and using icons to separate your posts into categories.  How cool is that?!  And it is super easy.

I’m going to walk you through creating these icons and uploading them, for FREE, and I’ll finish up the post with a checklist of how to get them going.

STEP 1: CREATE A CANVA ACCOUNT

Canva is a great free tool for creating graphics for everything from Facebook covers to ads to post cards, business cards and banner ads that arhttp://(itunes.apple.com/au/app/canva-graphic-design-photo-editing/id897446215?mt=8e already pre-sized to fit.  It is free; but note there is a paid version and paid graphics. If you want to keep it free, just look for the images that have a little “FREE” banner on them.

I suggest connecting to your Facebook account. It’s easy to log in and you can easily upload images to Facebook that you have created for albums, albums sales, covers, profile photos, and sponsored ads.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 2: FIND THE IG STORIES TEMPLATE

On the left hand side, click the Template button, then in the search bar (top middle) type “Instagram Stories”. A ton of options will come up. Choose a free template and double click. It will open a design page with the template.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 3: DELETE EVERYTHING

Select the elements on the template and delete them (top left, trash can button). Delete all of them so that you are left with a blank white template.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 4: CHOOSE A BACKGROUND

On the left menu, choose Background. Scroll through and find a background you like or better yet, that coordinates with your brand.  My blog, StampinFool.com, is pink, gold and black themed. I choose a light pink with circles background to mimic my blog header.  I LOVE the marble background. You can add the background to your template by clicking on it.

STEP 5: CHOOSE ICONS

Back to the left hand menu: Elements. Here you will find icons to your hearts content. I started with Shapes and added a circle design. I then selected Icons and chose icons that represented what I want to feature.  You can resize and recolor the icons easily.  If you center the image (Canva gives you placement guides), it will show up in the Instagram Stories Highlight circle once you upload the image.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

STEP 6: DOWNLOAD

On the top bar you will want to first rename the document by clicking the current design title.  Now you need to get the cover graphics onto your phone. You can 1) Click Download and email the image to yourself, open email on phone and Save to each image to Camera Roll or 2) download the Canva App.

In Canva App (iPhone): This one is a little trickier, so if you are tech saavy keep reading, if not, revert to downloading and email to yourself. Your Designs > Open the document > Share- let it process > Save to Files. Under the Files App, Open the file by clicking on it, select the upload button (bottom left) and Save Image to your photo roll.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

Here’s what it looks like in the Canva App on iPhone once you have saved it to the Files App.

STEP 7: LOAD ‘EM UP TO INSTAGRAM

On your phone: Open Instagram. Go to your profile. Click New + on the Stories bar. Upload the LAST IMAGE FIRST. The images will appear in the order uploaded, being newest first. So, make sure you upload them in reverse order.  To add stories to the icon, select each icon and click the More elipses (bottom right) > Edit Highlight > Archive. Archive will be where you select the photos you want to appear under that category. Click back over to Highlighted before hitting done and make sure te cover photo is the icon. You can Edit Cover and reselect the icon if needed.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

You’re all set!  Now this post may seem a little wordy, but really uploading them to Instagram in the correct order is the most difficult part, and I already learned that by trial and error for you. So, read the directions, make those icons and let me know what you come up with.

Instagram Stories Highlight Icons FREE CHECKLIST

Download the PDF CHECKLIST HERE.

How To Make Instagram Stories Highlight Icons + FREE CHECKLIST from StampinFool.com

I’d love to see what you made- comment below with your IG handle once you’ve uploaded your Instagram Stories Highlight Icons and I will check them out!

Instagram Stories_ Making Highlight Icons Checklist

 

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DIY Father’s Day Gift: #FollowYourArt

Note: As always, I share what I love & this post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. I was compensated for this post.

DIY Paint and Peel Tape Father’s Day Gift

DIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsored

This week while I was browsing Facebook, I noticed Gymboree’s #FollowYourArt.  I immediately thought about how perfect it would be to share with you a quick and easy Father’s Day project as a way of showing you how our family gets creative.

Do you know why we love crafting?

  1. It gets my brain working
  2. It keeps my wild child entertained – he has soon much energy, I have to direct it somewhere!
  3. Stress reliever. I’m starting to think that it may not be cheaper than therapy when you add up all of the crafting I dabble in, but for the occasional DIYer it’s definitely cheaper than therapy ;)

On to the good stuff!!  Do you want a quick and easy DIY Father’s Day gift? I am always wracking my brain for Father’s Day gift ideas and this is one of my favorites.  You can repeat it year after year and it never gets old! (Trust me, the hubs has an entire wall in his office devoted to every father’s day card we’ve made and canvases we have painted).

Supplies:

  • Painter’s Tape or cuttable Vinyl
  • Scissors or Silhouette E-machine
  • Canvas
  • Paint brushes or foam brushes
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paper plates

DIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsored

Directions:

  1. Use Silhouette to cut vinyl to say #1 DAD. Apply to canvas.  OR use painter’s tape to tape #1 DAD to blank canvas.
  2. Put paint blobs on paper plate.
  3. Let wild child cover the entire canvas with whichever colors they choose. (I know, sometimes it pains me that all the colors run together and make brown, but you gotta let them do what they do).
  4. Slowly peel off tape or vinyl to reveal the #1 DAD on canvas.
  5. Tie a huge ribbon bow and gift to your kids’ favorite dad!

DIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsoredDIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsoredDIY Father's Day Gift canvas painting. Get creative with your family #followyourart #gymboree #sponsored

In a world full of people, let your kids be Superhero’s for their Dads. 

I want to see what you make!  Share your pics in the comments and make sure to tag your photos of how your family get’s creative on social media with #followyourart for a chance to win a $50 Gymboree gift card.

About Gymboree: for over 30 years, Gymboree has been dressing kids from newborn to 12 years old by offering colorful, clothing and accessories from sweaters to rompers to sock and hats. Whether for playtime or family photos, you’ll find fully coordinated outfits for all your little ones.

And as an added bonus for my crafty friends here, you can enjoy up to 60% off over at the Gymboree.  You can’t beat the deals!! SHOP NOW BEFORE YOU MISS IT!

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Gymboree Sale On Now!

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Stampin’ Up! Painted with Love Birthday Card

I love gold. I really love pink and gold together, so when I browsed through the Stampin’ Up! Occasions catalog and saw this Painted with Love designer paper that had shiny gold swooshes and stripes all over it I was excited.  I continued flipping through the pages until the sequin embossing folder caught my eye- it’s glorious!!

At this stage in my life, and this close to Vday, I don’t really need to make Valentine cards, so I decided to use the paper for a Birthday card. I always need birthday cards.

Stampin' Up! Painted with Love Birthday Card from the 2018 Occasions Catalog

What do you think? I love it!! Drop a comment below with your favorite Occasions goodie!!

Hearts Come Home Decor

For this year’s annual Stampin’ party, I knew I wanted to use the Hearts Come Home framelits. I hit Home Goods to find the perfect hurricane vase. I flipped it over to measure the circumference and draw a circle template for the base to hide the cords and to figure out how many inches of town I needed to die cut.

I started with Shimmery White 4″ high card stock, running it through the Big Shot with the steeple at the top. I pieced together two strips to fit around the entire base. I made a smaller layer for the top. The battery box is under layer one which also has fairy lights wrapped around the outside and inside. In the base, I cut a thin slit to pull the lights through.

Joy to the World is heat embossed in gold. Here’s the finished project. Do you love it as much as I do?!

Supply list to come.

DIY Fall Wine Bottle Tag

DIY Fall Wine Bottle Tag from StampinFool.com, Sunflowers, Painted Harvest, Wine Tag

Fall DIY Love

Fall has arrived!  I am so glad that cooler days are among us. It’s almost Thanksgiving and that means wine; lots of wine.  My favorite hostess gift for all of our Thanksgiving and Friendsgiving festivities is a Trader Joe’s flower bunch and a nice bottle of red wine with a handmade wine bottle tag.  It says- thanks, you are special and worth the time to create a little something extra.

This DIY wine bottle tag is no exception. Its easy, but exceptional. The supplies are listed at the end of this post.  Below are the dimensions and directions.

Directions:

  1. Cut thick White card stock to 3″ x 7.5″.  Score at 3″ from top.  Fold score line.
  2. Punch 2″ circle in middle of small scored top section to make bottle neck hole.
  3. With scrap paper underneath, in the darkest color, Fresh Fig, ink and stamp 3-4 flowers making sure that parts of the sunflowers are extending off of the tag. Clean stamp and repeat in Berry Burst, clean and repeat in Crushed Curry ink.
  4. Using the flower center, stamp Crumb Cake interiors to each flower. Precision not required.
  5. Cut a piece of Berry Burst card stock to 1″ x 3″.  Stamp “the best wines” from Half Full stamp set in Versamark. Cover with Copper embossing powder, tap off excess and heat with tool until shiny. Let dry for 30 seconds.
  6. Cut 4″ Curry ribbon and scrunch and adhere to the back of 1″ Berry Burst embossed piece.  Adhere Berry Burst saying to the tag front with 4 dimensionals for added depth.
  7. Add a few faceted gold gems, hang around a bottle of your favorite red or white.
  8. Gift and enjoy!

DIY Fall Wine Bottle Tag from StampinFool.com, Sunflowers, Painted Harvest, Wine Tag

DIY Fall Wine Bottle Tag from StampinFool.com, Sunflowers, Painted Harvest, Wine Tag

Do you love it?  If you make a wine tag of your own, PLEASE PLEASE email me a picture! I love to see what you create with my DIY tutorials.

 

DIY Fall Wine Bottle Tag from StampinFool.com, Sunflowers, Painted Harvest, Wine Tag

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DESIGNER SERIES PAPER SALE

Let’s admit it: we all just love gorgeous Designer Series Paper! By popular demand, we are bringing back an incredible offer on Designer Series Paper. You can buy three packages of select Designer Series Paper and get one FREE during October! This sale includes Designer Series Paper from both the annual and holiday catalogs. And we’re even including select Specialty and Designer Series Paper Stacks on sale! So take advantage of this excellent opportunity to sell lots and lots of pretty paper.

Details

  • Sale period: October 1–31, 2017
  • All order types qualify for this promotion.
  • There is no limit to how many times you can buy three packages of Designer Series Paper and get one free during this sale.
  • YOU can choose which three packages of Designer Series Paper they will order from the sale items and which package to receive for free.
  • Designer Series Paper purchased as part of a Starter Kit does not qualify for this sale.
  • Designer Series Paper ordered with Stampin’ Rewards does not qualify for this sale.

 

DIY Make It: Coffee Break Gift Card Holder

DIY Make It: Coffee Break Gift Card Holder from StampinFool.com

Coffee Break Gift Card Holder Tutorial

How stinkin’ cute is this coffee cup gift card holder?!! Y’all know I love Starbuck, like really love it. I have stamping at Starbucks events, half of my Instagram feed is filled with photos of my Starbucks choice of the day, and if you lived in my house you would hear my husband ask me how much I spent at Starbucks this month every time we sit down to go over our budget.

Supply List

  • Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White, Garden Green
  • Ink: Sahara Sand, Crumb Cake, Garden Green, Early Espresso
  • Stamps: Coffee Break & Framelits Bundle, Brush Strokes background stamp
  • Paper Trimmer
  • TomBow & Tear Tape adhesive
  • Dimensions
  • Big Shot

Dimensions

Normally I would jump right into the directions, but with this card, I found it was easier to cut all of the pieces first, then start assembling them.  Make sure you follow the precise order, otherwise things won’t line up.

  • Card base: 4 1/4″ x 5 1/2″ Crumb Cake
  • Front Pocket: 2 3/4″ x 4 1/4″ Crumb Cake
  • Stripes & Straws: 1/4″ x 4 1/4″ Garden Green, Straws cut in half lengthwise
  • Gift Card Holder insert: 2 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ Whisper White
  • 1 Large Coffee cup
  • 2 whipped toppings- Stamp in Sahara Sand first, then die cut
  • 1 acetate round lid

Directions

  1. Cut all pieces described above.
  2. Stamp Brush Strokes in Crumb Cake ink on Crumb Cake card stock.
  3. Adhere two 1/4″ Garden Green stripes to the front pocket.  I lined up the bottom of the pocket with the grid paper and placed the stripes at the fourth from the bottom, skipped one, then added the other at the 6th from the bottom. This also made sure the pieces were straight.
  4. Score the White Pocket Insert at 1/4″ on the long edge & fold towards you so that it creates a lip.  (You can place a gift card here).
  5. Stamp sentiment in Garden Green on large Coffee Cup die cut piece.
  6. Stamp coffee beans on outer edges of card pocket with Early Espresso ink.
  7. Add tear tape or TomBow glue to three edges of the front pocket (leaving the top edge without adhesive) and adhere to the middle of the card base, towards the bottom.  Make sure the glue is right along the edge so that there is plenty of room for the insert. Set aside to dry.
  8. For the insert- run a thin line of glue on the back bottom of one whipped cream and adhere to top of insert, in the middle, with most of the whipped cream above the top of the insert.
  9. Adhere the straw (half of the skinny Garden Green strips mentioned above) to the insert, pointing slightly to the side with about 1″ above the top of the insert.
  10. Grab the large stamped cup and another whipped cream and adhere a thin line of glue to the front bottom of the whipped cream.  Place the middle top of the cup over the glue and press to seal. Let dry 30 seconds.
  11. Run a thin line of liquid glue over the middle top of the coffee cup (right under the whipped cream) and adhere the acetate rounded lid die cut.  Press firmly so that glue disperses (This will hide the glue  well once it dries).
  12. Place dry insert into the front pocket. Push down so that the whipped cream is peeking out as far as it can without the insert showing across the top.
  13. Put 4 dimensionals on the back of the finished coffee cup- NOT ON WHIPPED CREAM- only on the cup portion.
  14. Adhere the coffee cup to the front of the pocket making sure the whipped cream from the cup covers the whipped cream on the gift card insert.
  15. Ta-Da! You’re finished. Enjoy a coffee!

DIY Make It: Coffee Break Gift Card Holder from StampinFool.com

DIY Make It: Coffee Break Gift Card Holder from StampinFool.com DIY Make It: Coffee Break Gift Card Holder from StampinFool.com

DIY Make It: Coffee Break Gift Card Holder from StampinFool.com

DIY Make It: Coffee Break Gift Card Holder from StampinFool.com

 

PROMOTIONS

Promotion Details

  • Promotion dates: June 1–30
  • Party, Customer, and online orders all qualify for this promotion!
  • Starter Kit orders do not qualify for this promotion, however the extra Stampin’ Rewards can be used towards the purchase of the Starter Kit.
  • The qualifying amount must be reached prior to shipping and tax.

June 2017 Stampin Up Hostess Extras

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me HERE by email. I am expecting lots to join my team and also lots of orders to come through for this amazing new catalog – so I am here for you!
Thanks for all your support – I am truly appreciative.  I still get excited when I see an online order come through, a new team member join, or a new customer sign up for a class.  It is a blessing to share my favorite things with you and see the joy you share in these amazing crafting goodies!

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Must Have NEW 2017 Stampin’ Up! Products

MUST HAVES

Have you had a chance to browse through the new catalog yet?  [You can see it here].  I’ve made a list of my favorite things in the new catalog and I know they will be must haves on your list too!  So print out a copy of this Wishlist & start shopping!!

Get the Wishlist here!

Soft Sayings card kit (pg 10-11)

Soft Sayings Card Kit from Stampin Up!

Coffee Break DSP & Stamps with Framelit Bundle (30-1)

Coffee Break from Stampin Up!

At Home with You Bundle (54)

Fresh Florals with new In Color DSP Stack (95)

Ribbon of Courage (96)

Color Theory & Colorful Seasons Bundle (146-7)

Wood Textured 6×6 Paper Stack (159)

Floral Statements (163)

Crafting Forever (181)

Happy Birthday Thinlits (213, bottom row)

*BONUS* HOSTESS SET:  In The City (222)

PROMOTIONS

Promotion Details

  • Promotion dates: June 1–30
  • Party, Customer, and online orders all qualify for this promotion!
  • Starter Kit orders do not qualify for this promotion, however the extra Stampin’ Rewards can be used towards the purchase of the Starter Kit.
  • The qualifying amount must be reached prior to shipping and tax.

June 2017 Stampin Up Hostess Extras

PAPER PUMPKIN KITS

Don’t have time to plan a creative project? Paper Pumpkin has you covered. Get three months at 25% off if you sign up by June 10. Contact me for details.

EXCLUSIVE JUNE HOST CODE OFFER!June 2017 Hostess Code

GET CLEAR FACETED GEMS

GIFT & HOST CODE:  PLACE A PRODUCT ORDER OF $75 or more (before shipping and tax) thru ME in my on-line store in June, enter the host code JV2D7XE2 (see below) and you will earn the NEW Clear Faceted Gems (shown above) FREE.  This offer is available exclusively for orders placed through my online shop.   Your Gems will arrive in mid-July, separate from your order.

PLEASE REMEMBER!  If your order is $150 or more (before shipping and tax), you should NOT enter the code.  You will automatically qualify for Stampin’ (HOST) Rewards.

How to use the Stampin Up Hostess Code

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me HERE by email. I am expecting lots to join my team and also lots of orders to come through for this amazing new catalog – so I am here for you!
Thanks for all your support – I am truly appreciative.  I still get excited when I see an online order come through, a new team member join, or a new customer sign up for a class.  It is a blessing to share my favorite things with you and see the joy you share in these amazing crafting goodies!