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Sending Love and Hugs - Sami Stamps Showcase!

Happy Friday!
I hope your week has been super fabulous!  It's been chilly here in Washington!  Not sure I'm quite ready for fall, even though it's my favorite time of year.  Just doesn't feel like we really had much of a summer.  But alas, it's here anyhow!

Today at Sami Stamps we are doing a Think Pink showcase!  This means that each image that the DT has used will be half off for the week!  These are some super cute images, and with October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, they will all work perfect for any project!

I decided to reuse an image I had created something for a long time ago.  This Butterfly for a Cause image is really sweet and I wasn't totally happy with my first go around with it.
For the first time in what seems like forever, I actually attempted to follow along for some challenges!  Both Share Joy and Creative Inspirations have a bingo board this week, so I pulled lines from both to make my card.

I started by using some distress inks and blending them out into a striped background.  I started with Squeezed Lemonade, then moved to Mustard Seed, Spiced Marmalade, Fired Brick, Abandoned Coral, and ended with Tattered Rose.  I overlapped them just slightly in each stripe so that they had a nice flow between them.

For some extra detail and fun, I took my white gel pen and a sparkle pen and went back over each stripe to add some dots.  I tried to concentrate a lot of dots on the top left side of each stripe and then scattered them to the bottom of the stripe.  It kind of gives a fun burst feel to each color.

Then I started on my image.  I did some super quick coloring with this by creating a mask and used the same colors from the background to blend the color on!  It was fast and still looks awesome!  To finish it off, I did a little light stippling around the image with some super soft blue colors.  I may have gone a little crazy with the dots on this card...but it was too much fun to stop!

The sentiment is from the WPlus9 set Sending Hoping Wishing.  I white heat embossed that onto some vellum and then trimmed it out into a double flagged banner.  There are some Sparkling Clear Sequins scattered around the card to pull it all together!

Be sure to stop by Sami Stamps to see the wonderful DT creations!

I'd like to enter this into the following challenges:
    Creative Inspirations #258-Bingo (white, distress, dots)
    Fussy and Fancy #173-My Favorite Things (distress inks and sparkle!)
    Incy Wincy Designs-Things That Fly
    Share Joy Challenge #55-Tic Tac Toe/Sketch (ink sponging, orange, sequins)
    Simon Says Stamp-Anything Goes
    Word Art Wednesday #250-Anything Goes

Thanks for visiting!
<3 Emily
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Noble Little King

Happy Friday!
I have another super cute card to share with you today featuring one of the images from our newest Sami Stamps release - Little King.
This card was really fun to design and even more fun to put together.  I love it when things fall in to place exactly as I want them too!

I started by inking up a sun ray type pattern in the background with Fossilized Amber.  This is super easy to do.  All you need is a post it note!  I found the center of the top side of my card and made that my starting point.  Placed my post it note there and then took my ink blender, started on the post it and swiped away from it.  This left a darker line right at the edge of the post it that faded away.  Picked up the post it and moved it to the left of the line I just did and repeated the process around the whole card front.  So gorgeous!

Then I printed off my image and colored it in with some ShinHan markers.  I wanted quick and simple and for me, the markers are the easiest for that.  The image was cut out with an oval die cut and then I matted it with black and did a scallop vellum frame around that.

To add some detail to the background, I took one of the awesome new dies from the September Hero Arts kit and die cut it a couple times.  Then took the same markers I used in my image and colored it all in to sort of look like wheat.

I wanted a really golden feel to this whole card and I think that was pretty well represented!  It's all finished off with a black glitter embossed sentiment and some Sparkling Clear Sequins from Pretty Pink Posh.

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!!
Thanks for visiting! <3
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Peace on Earth

Happy Tuesday!
Here to share a quick little card with you for our new Easel Card challenge at Tuesday Throwdown!
I know it looks a little complicated, but really it wasn't!
I started by blending some Evergreen Bough, Faded Jeans, and Chipped Sapphire to my trimmed front.  Then splattered the whole thing with some white shimmer paint and set that aside to dry while I worked on the ornament.

This image is from our awesome sponsor this week - The Stamping Boutique!!  It's called Cardinal Ornament and is oh so gorgeous!  I did some simple coloring with my ShinHan markers and then a little ink blending around the outside to match the background, leaving the area around the cardinal super light to represent a glow.  I added some little shimmer dots with my gel pen around the bird and then took some clear embossing ink and covered the whole image.  I was a little freaked out to do this thinking it might smear my image, but all was good!

Once the whole thing was covered with this embossing ink, I coated it with clear embossing powder and heat set it.  I did this about 3 times to get a nice thick layer with lots of shine.  The nice thing with this smallish sized image was I could keep the whole thing warm and just dip it back into the embossing powder to get another coat.  The heat picks up the powder and then it's super easy to just set it with the heat tool!

After the embossing was done, I threaded a string through the back center of the ornament and into the frame so it's suspended in the window like a spinner card.  Cut out a cute branch and added some ink and puffy snow stuff and then attached it so it looks like the ornament is hanging from that branch.

I added my sentiment on the inside, hidden behind the image so you only see it when you open the easel card.  Love it!!

Be sure to swing by Tuesday Throwdown to see the rest of the DT's awesome easel cards!

Thanks for visiting! <3
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The Reason

Happy Friday!
Time for another awesome release at Sami Stamps!  It's a little early, but let's be honest...everyone is thinking about Christmas right now.  It can't be helped :)  But that's what makes this next release so awesome!  It's titled Noble Little King and is absolutely perfect!
I decided to try my hand at something new.  It was a super challenge but in the end, I think it turned out pretty adorable!  I used the Our Little King image and turned it into a pop up card!  Or pop out...box card?  Not sure what you call this :)

I started by inking up my background.  I wasn't going for anything fancy, just something that could resemble a night sky.  Once I had it all inked, I splattered it with water, dried the whole thing and then went back over it all with a second layer of ink.  Then splattered it again with the water.  This gave a lot of varied looks to the splatters and gave great texture for the sky.  Then I worked on coloring my images.

I wanted to mimic the colors of the sky to give the whole card a nice flow, so I pulled out my colored pencils and gamsol.  I wanted to use markers but the colors I have were just off or too bright and didn't match very well.  The image is printed twice so that I could cut out sweet baby Jesus and pop Him onto His own layer.

Once everything was colored and cut out, it was time to assemble it all.  That was the toughest part and I'm not even sure I could explain how I did it in a way that you'd understand.  I folded up the sides of the background and laid each layer next to it in the alignment that I wanted.  Then marked where the folds needed to be, folded down flaps and added adhesive.  Getting the slots cut out correctly was the hardest part.  Normally you just attach the flaps on the inside, but I wanted to hide them on the outside, so I needed to cut openings to slide everything through.  Plus getting them lined up properly with each other and straight...lots of work.

But eventually, with the help of my T-ruler, I got everything cut straight and adhered down.  I just cut little panels of white cardstock to adhere on the outside of everything to help cover up the ink spots that bled through from the background and the flaps from each pop up panel.

Remember we have an Add Dots challenge running through September, so pull out your Sami Stamps and join in for your chance to win!!!

Thanks for visiting!  Have a great weekend! <3
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School Spirit!!

Happy Tuesday!
I hope everyone had an awesome long weekend!!!
Today we are showing off our School Spirit with the start of our new challenge at Tuesday Throwdown!
Our fabulous sponsor is MyGrafico and they've provided us with the super cute Back To School image set!  I decided to do some watercoloring on that awesome globe and filled in the paint pallet to match the colors that I've used.  I also coated all of the water with some shimmer pen as well so it's nice and sparkly.

Be sure to stop by Tuesday Throwdown to see some amazing inspiration and then join in the fun!

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Pawesome Friend - New Sami Stamps Release!!

Happy Friday!!!
We have another super cute release for you today at Sami Stamps!  This one is all about Greyhounds!  And we are starting a new challenge to add dots to your project!  Just remember to use a Sami Stamps image!
I've used Greyhound Friends and turned my card into a simple shaker frame!!  By putting foam tape and acetate around the outside of my image, that allowed me to put some tiny beads and sparkly shimmer dots into my shaker, while leaving my image framed in the middle.

My sentiment was black glitter embossed onto some vellum and adhered with some of the Stick It adhesive, since that doesn't show through!!  Hurray for that!

Stop by Sami Stamps to see the rest of this adorable release!!
Thanks for visiting! <3
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Your Own Kind of Fabulous!

Happy Friday!!!
Stopping in to share a super cute little image with you from our most recent release at Sami Stamps!
This card is nothing like what I originally envisioned for it.  I used Mr. Pencil Peep on this card, but he was totally giving me a Harry Potter vibe from the beginning!  I tried so hard to come up with a great idea to turn it into that, but nothing was working out.  So I switched gears and want with something else.

I still wanted this cutie to be colored like Hedwig though...or at least like a white snowy owl.  So I fussed around with that for a good long while.  I didn't want to do just flat shading, I wanted there to be feathers and puffs...not sure it looks like that...but he's still cute :)

Then I set to working on my background.  I decided to do some ink blending around an embossed frame.  So, using my rubber embossing mat in my Cuttlebug, I embossed this fun design into my card front and then created a mask so I could ink the background around it.  After that was done, I cut out my owl and was starting to assemble everything, but really felt like the whole card was too plain.

So I put the die back into place that I had used for the embossing, and then used the same inks to blend on the inside of the frame.  Having the frame in place allowed for there to still be this nice white border so there is separation between the inside and outside areas.  Once it was all colored, I flicked on some white, black, and purple shimmer sprays.  Much better!  Plus now if you look close, you can see that his glasses are see through!

I printed just his glasses onto some transparency!  Cutting them apart was a bit tough but you just have to take it slow and really focus.  Before I adhered the transparent glasses, I outlined the eyes and added the white highlights in with a white gel pen so that they were a little bit bolder.  The transparency was dulling them down a bit so they needed some touching up.  Then I took some glossy accents and added little dots to the eyes and stuck the "glasses" down!  Worked like a charm!

I embossed my sentiment from Honey Bee Stamps Beautiful Life set onto some vellum and then flagged the ends and added it to my card with tiny strips of foam tape.  Scattered a few shimmy dots of glossy accents around the card and it was done!

You have just a few more days to enter our Anything Goes challenge, so don't miss out!  Just be sure to use a Sami Stamps image!!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    As You Like It-Favorite Shaped Card Base (I don't really get into making anything other than the standard A2 size card base.  It's easy for me to visualize this style card and find great ways to use that space, whereas if I try to do any other shape, the design gets muddy or I just can't make it flow well enough.)
    Fussy and Fancy #171-Let's Fly Away
    Penny's Paper Crafty #292-Anything Goes

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Watercoloring Embossed Florals

Happy Tuesday!
We have a fun new challenge for you today at Tuesday Throwdown.  We want to see Sparkle!!
And our fabulous sponsor this week is Honey Bee Stamps!!!  I'm so thrilled to have them as a sponsor!  Their products are absolutely adorable and every release they just get better!

I'm totally smitten with their stamps...not only are they gorgeous, but they have taken on a huge roll in my strive to overcome my creative rut.  And honestly, I think their designs are perfect to work with when searching for inspiration because they are lovely, yes, but they are simple in that loveliness.. So you don't have to always think of complicated techniques to pair with the stamps.  They are gorgeous on their own and I love that!

So I shared my tips on getting through a rut last week.  While I was making that card, this card happened to pop out as well :)
There is nothing overly complicated with this card and yet I feel like it is absolutely striking!  Again, to focus on getting my creativity flowing again, I stuck with the techniques and materials that I love, so sparkle, watercolors, and embossing.

I embossed all of the flowers that I used from the Country Wreath set in white onto watercolor paper.  Then I did super simple washes to color them.  Nothing fancy, just cover the image with water and drop your colors on.  Move them around a bit until they fill the image the way you want them to and then let them dry.  Simple as that.  It satisfies that desire to watercolor without having to think super hard about getting the right blend or not dropping too much water into the image.

I did blend a few colors together on each of the images.  For the flowers I did a blue and pink.  Nothing too crazy but just enough to change the colors from flower to flower.  And the leaves are all just 2 different shades of green.  Once everything was dry, I fussy cut them out.

For the background, I didn't want anything that would pull away from these super pretty flowers, so I stamped a simple stripe background with the Winnie & Walter Scenery: Stripes set in a super super light blue.

Then cut out a stitched rectangle frame with my Silhouette and mounted that to the card front with some foam tape.  I also applied a heavy coat of some Spectrum Noir Clear Shimmer because...why not? :)  Once that was all put together, I started assembling my flowers.  I wanted there to be a heavy cluster in the bottom right and a small cluster in the top left.  So I started with the bottom right and got everything arranged the way I liked it, adding foam tape to some and regular tape adhesive to others so there was a variation in their heights.  Then took the left over pieces and added them to the top left corner.

After all that was done, I realized I hadn't added a sentiment or figured out what I wanted that sentiment to be.  So I pulled out the Beautiful Life set and started testing which sentiment would work.  I totally meant to stamp more than just the Beautiful...but forgot and then couldn't find a good place to put the rest.  So I left it at just the Beautiful stamped onto some vellum and embossed with Liquid Platinum.

I scattered a few Sparkling Clear Sequins around the arrangements and added a little bit of Ice White Pearl Pen to the centers.  Love love Love!!

I hope you will stop by Tuesday Throwdown to see the rest of the DT's creations and then join in this super fun challenge!!

I'd like to enter this into the AAA Cards challenge - Blending!

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Pencil Peeps! - New Sami Stamps Release!!

Happy Friday!
It's time for a new release at Sami Stamps and just in time for school to start, we have Pencil Peeps!  These guys are adorable, you don't want to miss them :)

We also have a few new ladies on the team!  Meet Rae Ann and Tracey!  Stop by their blogs and show them some love! 

Since I'm still working through my crafty rut (see THIS post for more on that), I struggled a bit to get something put together that really made these sweet images shine.  The first few ideas I had failed miserably...but I was determined to push through.
I'm working with Mrs. Apple Peep today for my card.  She's just so fancy!  She deserves a ton of sparkle!  But who knew working with glitter was a pain in the behind....

I've watched so many other videos of people using glitter and cleaning it up with a swifer cloth like it was not big deal...not me!  I still had glitter all over after "clean up"...hands, face, floor...legs...yeah I was totally covered!  So I had to rethink the whole sparkle idea.

Fortunately, I have this awesome glitter washi tape from Best Creation in my stash!  I tested it out a little bit to see what I could do with it, and turns out it takes marker really well!  So I pulled out a burgundy color that I'd also use on the apple so the color was consistent throughout the whole card, along with a light grey to give me a silverish color glitter.  Colored up several stripes and then cut it into varying widths.

All of those cut stripes of glitter tape were then affixed to a piece of vellum.  The cool thing about washi tape is that it's low tack, so you can put it onto cardstock to make cutting it apart much easier.  Then just peel it off the cardstock and put it on your card front!  Worked like a charm!

Once the background was done, I colored in my image with my ShinHan markers, layered it onto a scallop cut piece of vellum so that the background wasn't covered up, but the image something to keep it separate.  Added a sentiment, and some sequins to finish it all off!

Thanks so much for stopping by today!  Have a great weekend! <3
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Overcoming a Rut

That dreaded rut....something I push so hard to avoid and yet somehow manage to fall into more often than I should....it can be very depressing to hit that stage, especially when your job and income rely on you Not falling into a rut.

I've been stuck in this for a few weeks now.  It sucks.  My mind has been completely blank.  What once was filled with so many swirling ideas that I never had enough time to complete became an empty void of cricket chirps.  I felt like nothing as going to pull me out and it infuriated me.

But I want to let you know, if you ever fall into a rut...there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  Don't give up or throw in the towel.  Just keep pushing yourself forward, no matter how frustrating and depressing that blank void is.

I can't say that I've fully pulled out of this rut yet...but I'm making progress and that makes me happy.

A few things to try if you find yourself there:
~Search the internet for inspiration
~Organize your supplies.  Sometimes being reminded of what you have can help inspire you.
~Browse back through your past work.  I know that seeing some of my old cards can often trigger an idea or make me balk at how awful that card was and push me to remake it :)
~Get outside!  Work in the yard or go for long walks every day.  Clearing your head and working with nature can be great inspiration.
~Give yourself a couple days off.  Maybe your brain just really needs a break.  Grab a great book and just chill.

But the one thing that worked for me (since I tried everything above..repeatedly) was to pull out my favorite supplies and force an idea out.  I just started watercoloring and stamping stuff.  It was all horrible and probably a waste, but every time I blended something together or inked up another stamp, a new thought came to mind.  It may take a little bit of time and lots of random playing around, but if you're using the supplies and techniques that you absolutely love, something will trigger!

So my favorites are all featured in today's card, which is my breakthrough card that I will cherish forever because it became my light at the end of this horrible rutted tunnel.
First fav is ink blending!  Who doesn't love a great color combo to feature on a card?  And for me, I can never resist a blue/purple combo.  This background was inked with Peacock Feathers, Faded Jeans, and Dusty Concord.  Of course, you can't do a distress background without some water drops.

And that leads to my next fav which is sparkle!  I sprayed the entire background with a shimmer spray.  I just needed a lot of sparkle to make me smile :)

I also took the Beautiful Life stamp set from Honey Bee Stamps and silver sparkle embossed the outlines of the hearts.  Then went back over just a few of those hearts with a clear embossing powder and embossed the solid heart.  This helped make a few of the hearts pop on the card.  I also white embossed some itty bitty hearts around the background too.

Next favorites - Vellum and Stitching!!  With such a colorful busy background, I didn't want to cover it up or try to put a sentiment directly on it since it would probably get lost.  So I took a simple piece of vellum and white embossed my sentiments on that.  Then did a zigzag stitch across the top to affix it to my card.

When you focus on using your favorites, I feel like it can really pull great ideas out.  Maybe all of your favorites don't work together on one card, but some of them will definitely mesh well, and that is a great start to get your mind working again.

If you've ever hit a rut, leave me a comment and let me know how you pulled out of it.  I love to hear other peoples ideas, because while it is never fun to fall into those dreaded ruts, it happens and knowing ways to get out is always a huge help!

Thanks for sticking around for this long winded post!  I know it was lengthy, but I wanted to share all of my thoughts with you :)

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    Addicted to Stamps #207-Make Your Mark
    Fab n Funky #316-Anything Goes
    Penny's Paper Crafty #291-Anything Goes
    Word Art Wednesday #244-Anything Goes

Love to everyone! <3
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Hello Handsome

Happy Tuesday!
Quick little post for you today as we kick off another fun challenge at Tuesday Throwdown!  Our theme this week is New Addition and our awesome sponsor is All Dressed Up!!
We were provided with some super cute images, but I decided to use an older image for my card called Cute Got Cuter.  It doesn't appear to be in her shop anymore though...but look at that face!  He's so sweet!

I kept the layout pretty simple and just added a few glitter paste chevrons and some silver foiled chevrons.  I had a ton of those cut out from a project I did awhile ago and have been trying to figure out what to do with them.  Turns out adding a bit of glue and then covering each chevron with some foil works great!  And now they are pretty embellishments!

I decided on watercoloring this sweet pup with my Inktense pencils because...well...I'm obsessed with those now :)  The paper I used wasn't all that great and it didn't move the color around as nicely as I wanted, but I think in the end the image turned out cute anyhow!

I wanted to keep the sentiment relatively simple so I chose this adorable little saying from a Hero Arts set and embossed it in Liquid Platinum onto vellum.  Flagged the end and stuck it behind my little pup.  A few black splatters before assembling everything helped to finish off the card!

Be sure to stop by Tuesday Throwdown for this fun challenge!

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Strong is Beautiful

Heelllooooooooooo!!!
It's been a little while!  My absence these last few weeks has been because we took a vacation!  We had a couple of weddings in Michigan to attend, so we made it our full vacation for this year!  We went to the beach, spent lots of time with friends.  We even went the Michigan's Adventure and had a total blast!  I love vacations and doing all the things that we enjoyed as a kid :)

But now we are home and life has to return to normal.  And what better way to come back than with a brand new Sami Stamps release!  This one pairs perfectly with our Getting Stronger release from a couple weeks ago because this times it's all about the ladies!
My card features the Strong image.  I love her!  She's classy and feminine but also isn't afraid to hold her own.  Such a perfect image!

To highlight this beauty, I did some fun watercolor washing for the background, mixing together a pink, purple, and green.  While that was still wet, I splattered some glitter paint around it as well so it has some sparkle.

It's super hard to see, but the white card front has actually been dry embossed.  I created my own custom stencil with my Silhouette by repeating the word "Strong" in an area that would fit my card front, and ran it through my embossing machine to get the design embossed on the paper.  It's a perfect subtle detail for the card.

The image was colored with my pencils.  The layout was inspired by the sketch at Case this Sketch, though it doesn't follow their design exactly.  I liked the idea of having the details through the center of the card with the sentiment across the middle area.

For my sentiment, I knew I wanted it to be on vellum but I didn't have any stamps that said what I wanted them to.  So I printed it off onto some white cardstock, and then traced it onto the vellum!  Super simple and it's exactly what I want!

Everything is finished off with a few Sparkling Clear sequins from Pretty Pink Posh!

Stop by Sami Stamps to see this awesome release, and then join in our Anything Goes challenge!!

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    CAS(E) This Sketch #183

    Incy Wincy Designs-Anything Goes
    Word Art Wednesday #242-Anything Goes

Thanks for visiting! <3
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Let's Party!!

Hello!!!
I hope you are ready for another fun challenge at Tuesday Throwdown!  This week we want to see your birthday themed cards!!  And we have an awesome sponsor for you - Winnie & Walter!!!  They have provided us with some uber amazing products for this challenge so be sure to stop by the Tuesday Throwdown blog to see lots of inspiration!
For my card, I have used the Scenery: Stripes stamp set and the In A Word: Hello Cutaway die.  I have been dying to get my hands on a stripe stamp set for some time now, but they were always sold out or I opted to go with something else...so when the opportunity came to get this set from Winnie & Walter, I didn't hesitate :)

I figure you can never go wrong with having a good stripe set in your collection.  There are a million things you can use it for!! 

So I used one of the solid stripes in the set to stamp some blue and yellow stripes for my background.  Originally I was just going to do an opening with the word die hung across it...but then decided it would look better as a shaker card!  So I filled it with some fun Pretty Pink Posh sequins that coordinated well with the background.  Then added a solid black frame around the oval and adhered my Hello word across the front.

The final detail I added was a few scattered sequins around the outside and some little black dots.  Honestly, the card could have gone without these...I'm not super fond of them.  But it's too late to remove them now, so oh well :)

Thanks so much for stopping by!! <3
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Get Back Up - New Sami Stamps Release!!

Happy Friday!
It's time for a new Sami Stamps release!  This one is super fun!  Totally different from anything Sami has done before and I love it!  The release is called Getting Stronger and you are going to love it!
It's all about macho men!  I love it so much!  For my card, I used the Stronger Already image and colored it in with my colored pencils.  I wanted to keep my card pretty simple since it is a masculine theme so I opted to just to a simple striped panel and leave the rest plain.

There is a tiny little silver strip across the middle that has been recessed back behind the other panels that have been adhered with some fun foam.

I paired this fun image with a sentiment that felt appropriate and is a great one to live by.  It's never about how you fall, but how many times you get back up and I totally agree with that.  When we fall, sometimes it may seem easier to just stay down.  I know I feel that way sometimes...but we have to fight.  We have to keep pushing forward.  Never give up and always do your best to believe in you!  Because while it is nice to have others believe in you and be the ones to build you up...you can't rely on that, someone will let you down.....you have to be there for yourself!  Stay strong :)

I'd like to enter this card into the following challenges:
    Addicted to CAS #92-Stripes
    Fab n Funky #313-Add a Sentiment
    Freshly Made Sketches #245

Have a fabulous weekend!! <3
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