Monday, September 29, 2014

Motivational Monday: Don't Take Anything for Granted

If you are new to my blog and would like to know why I started Motivational Monday, please go HERE.

Okay, so it has been a very looooooooong time since I've had the time to put together a motivational post, other than of course mid-month, when I share with all of my own readers, the introspection that I publish as part of the Path of Positivity midway post.  I actually hadn't planned on posting anything today.  However, something happened last night that shook me to my core and has once again reinforced the concept that none of us can take anything for granted.

A little after 11:00 p.m. last night, the hubs and I were in the living room watching TV while I worked on a card for an upcoming DT commitment.   I had heard some shouting that startled me, but basically ignored it.  Sadly, there have numerous instances of fighting or drunkenness on our street so I figured that was the case again this time.  I truly wish that was all it had been.

Five minutes later, the hubs and I looked at each other as the smell of smoke broke through to our senses.  I went to the window and inhaled to ensure that the smoke was coming from outside and not within.  It was very strong so the hubs got up and went to the door.  All I heard was 'Oh my God, the house beside is on fire'.  Actually as it turns out it wasn't the house beside us but the next one over.  As I hobbled down to the front door (which is actually on the side of our house), I could understand why his first thoughts were that it was the house beside us.  The flames had to be at least 10 to 15 feet in the air.  The two of us stumbled outside to our front lawn where we proceeded to watch the lives of two families being forever altered.

Let see of I can give you a bit of a visual.  Our side of the street is filled with semi-detached homes.

From what I was told by our next door neighbour, the fire originated in one of the bedrooms (which according to what the home owner said, was vacant at the time).  Apparently, it took all of two minutes to go from one side of the semi and engulf the other half.  When we stepped outside, one fire truck had arrived but hadn't started actually fighting the fire yet.  It was heart wrenching to listen to the man living in the left side of the semi, scream at the firemen to get some water on it.  More fire trucks and then the police started to arrive.  Then the battle to save two homes and prevent further destruction began.

I've had a few scares in my life and this definitely ranks up there.  It was so windy, that it was a miracle that the the flames didn't jump to the next house.  As it was, sparks kept drifting over all the way to our property.  I was truly terrified that one of those damn sparks would settle in the huge tree at the side of our property or on our roof itself.  The smoke which was thick and acrid, didn't help matters.  An hour later we stood there and the flames still weren't out but they appeared to finally be contained.  An hour is a long time to be standing (especially given my own circumstances) on high alert just waiting to see what would happen.  It was at that point that a frozen husband and I (standing around in cold winds with a nightgown and a jean jacket on, isn't something I'd recommend to anyone) went back inside, reassured that the firemen had things under control.

We headed upstairs and to bed where I proceeded to read for the next four hours.  Now normally, I'd have turned the light out between 2 and 3 but I was just still so anxious that it took me an additional two hours to mellow out enough to attempt sleep.  I had been listening during that time and by two-thirty things started to calm down outside as well, as one by one the police and fire service vehicles packed up and left with the final truck leaving the scene around 3:15 am.  I said a few extra prayers for those fine people and of course for the people who'd lost so much, along with several thank you prayers as well.  Just a little after 4:00 am I turned out the light and tried to go to sleep.  I was just about asleep at 5:15 when I heard the unmistakeable sound of a very large vehicle that sounded suspiciously like a fire truck rumble down our road.  A few moments later the smell of smoke filled my nose once again.  Terrified that it was starting all over again, I made my way downstairs and outside to see how bad things were.  Thankfully, I didn't see any more flames but obviously something was still smouldering because there was a huge cloud of smoke billowing above the house again.  I went back inside and trudged back up to bed although I knew sleep was not going to hit again any time soon.

An hour and a half later, the trucks were gone again...only to appear back once more, a mere thirty minutes later.  I finally drifted off to sleep around 7:45 am lulled by the dulcet tones of chain saws.  When the hubs headed out to his class this morning around 10:30 a.m., the fire trucks were still taking care of things.  I have no idea what time they finally left. 

According to the news, three people were injured along with a firefighter.  Thankfully, there were no fatalities.  There was over $400,000 in damages and worst of all, two families' lives have been forever changed.  My heart truly does ache for these individuals and their loss.

Once again it just reaffirms that we cannot take anything for granted.  The place that we call home--that place which shelters us from the elements; that place which provides comfort to us; that place where we live and grow--can be just as easily snatched away from us in mere moments.  I came across a quote that I've made into a sentiment for you if you would like it, that definitely fits this occasion:

While I used to say a daily thank you for a long list of things, including my home, I have become lax as of late.  Time to start saying those 'thank yous' once again.  Will you join me with a list of your own?

Until next time,

Font Information: 

Please be sure to click on the image to bring it up into the lightbox in its proper size before saving it.  Click on the font name to take you to a download location.  All these fonts were listed as free for commercial use at the time each of these project were made, and as such, it is my understanding, that I am within my rights to use these fonts in my creations and offer them to others.  Please refer to my full terms of service for what you can and cannot do with these digital creations.  

These word art creations are in png format and published at 300 ppi. They are quite large in order to accommodate different programs that people work with.   If you are a card maker you can always resize them smaller without distorting the quality. 

Credit Notes For This Creations
© 2014, Lisa L. Décosse. PUO. However, you are allowed to use the sentiment on handmade projects that you intend to sell on a small scale basis provided credit is given. You also need to include a credit note and a link to this blog should you use any of my images in your creations and post them on your blog. Please be sure to familiarize yourself with my full terms of use found in the 'Download Instructions & T.O.U.' tab at the top of this page. Of important note:  Please do not share my images with family, friends, etc. Additionally, do not post any images to file sharing services like Box®, 4-Shared®, etc. Instead, please direct people to my blog(s) so they can grab the image for themselves. If you would like to post a watermarked version of the image, please contact me to obtain one.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

12 Months of Christmas Link Up August Winners + An Announcement
Okay, so, I'm obviously running late with getting out the winner announcement for August but I do have a really good reason this time.  

In the early part of the summer, I started toying with the idea of creating a separate blog for The 12 Months of Christmas Link Up for 2015.  For just the first six months (from January to the end of June), the link up has seen over 400 cards entered.  That is pretty impressive since this link up has never been advertised.  After putting some more thought into it and flushing out some ideas, I decided to make the commitment.  Then after discussing the ideas with my good friend Monica Taylor, from TaylorMade Cards 4U, she decided to join me in this venture as a co-coordinator.  I couldn't be happier!!!  So, for the last two months we have been very busy working at all the behind the scenes stuff we need to get ready before we launch the new blog.

Now don't worry, the premise behind the link up is staying the same, we're just adding an extra incentive.  You'll still get the chance to link up as many cards as you want; each month that you link up a minimum of two cards, you'll still earn a free digital paper; and there will still be a bonus gift for a random winner at the end of the year.  However, now we're adding some changes that hopefully will provide incentive for even more people to play along.

We are expanding the link up to include an optional theme each month and are working on bringing on some sponsors.  Anyone who submits a card adhering to the monthly theme, will have the chance to win a prize from that month's guest sponsor.  We'll also be bringing on a team (stay tuned for a DT call coming soon), offering up tutorials and bringing you facts each month on holiday traditions and customs from around the world.  

The link up will stay over here until the end of this year, so that we can start fresh in January on the new blog.  However, we will start posting on the new blog in a few weeks and we sure hope that you will become a follower so that you do not miss out on any of the pre-challenge posts.   Monica and I are really excited and hope that you will stick by us during this transition and pop over to our new challenge blog to say hi over the next few months. You never know, there just might be some goodies...

Okay so now it is time to get on with announcing the stats for August.  Once again, I've been so impressed with the quality of cards being linked up.  I'm so pleased that so many of you are participating.  Here are the stats for the month of August...


YaY.  I actually got all the numbers to add up again this month.  That is two in a row.  Go me!  Eighteen people linked up a total of 88 cards to the 12 Months of Christmas Link Up during the month of August.  Sixteen of those individuals linked up a minimum of two cards each qualifying them to receive the eighth paper of the season, which I've included the watermark of, below. 

So, the following people need to send an email to decossesdynamitedoodles {at} yahoo {dot} ca, or by clicking HERE to bring the address up in your email program, with the subject heading, "Christmas Link Up--August": 
  • Crafting Vicky
  • Susan Renshaw
  • Hazel
  • Helen/Made by Helen
  • Marji--Tiggerscraps
  • Suze
  • D~DesignsByDragonfly
  • Margaret A
  • Edwina Brown
  • Pumpy
  • centralnyscrapper
  • Lady Anne
  • blossom cards:Rachel Taylor
  • Ellis
  • KT Fit Kitty
  • Borqna
Now, as always, if you thought you had linked up two cards but don't find your name in the list above, just let me know and we'll sort things out.

I ask that you continue to be patient with waiting for me to send out your paper.  I promise that I'll get to it as quick as I can.  I will also add these names to the link up page as soon as I can, for anyone who doesn't see this post.  Right now I am battling an abscessed tooth so I'm not in the best shape and not at the computer as much as usual. 

Don't forget, each month you have an opportunity to earn a new Christmas themed paper.  Then at the end of the year there will be an opportunity to potentially earn even more goodies in a special draw.  You can jump in at any time.  All you need to do is link up two cards in any one month, to my 12 Months of Christmas Link Up which can be found by clicking the same titled page above or HERE.  You'll find all the details you need on that post.  Hope to see your cards linked up there!

Well folks, that is it for today.  Time to get the DT Delight post for The Path of Positivity scheduled and then take a much needed break for a few hours.  Take care!

Until next time,

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Card Design: Gerda Steiner Designs Progressive Challenge...September
It is time to post my creation for the Gerda Steiner Designs Progressive Challenge.  Just love her images so much!  Check out the image we got to work with this month...
The Kid with the Pumpkin Cart is so sweet and versatile as well.  It could be used on a fall card or for Thanksgiving or even Hallowe'en.  Everyone who has played along in last month's challenge received this image for free.  If you decide to hop on and play along in the Gerda Steiner Designs Progressive Challenge, then you can purchase this digital by clicking HERE (or on the watermark above to head to its location in the store).  This way you'll receive next month's digital stamp for free. 

Here are my card and details...

Digital Image Details:  
  • Kid with the Pumpkin Cart:  You can find this image in the store.  Details above.
    • This image was coloured in and grounded with Copic Markers.  I then used coloured pencils to add some ground. 
Digital Sentiment Details: 
  • One I created.
Cricut Cartridge:
  • The peachy coloured border was created with my Elegant Edges cartridge.
Digital Sentiment:
  • This wonderful sentiment was created by Paulette from Create with TLC.  If you hurry you might just still be able to get it for free as it came out earlier this week.  Click HERE to go to Paulette's blog and HERE to go to the store.
Paper Products:
  • Card base, matting and peach border:  Michael's Recollection's Cardstock, Preppy Beach Collection.
  • Image and sentiment base: Michael's Recollection's Cardstock, white.
  • Designer paper: The paper on the inside is from Recollection's All Seasons Paper Pad.
Challenges I am entering:
 Other challenges I hope to enter... 
Well guys, I now have all my progressive posts complete for the month.  Time to finish up the winners post for the 12 Months of Christmas and get started on some more DT work.  I hope that you all enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Until next time,

Card Design: DS4J Progressive Christmas Card Challenge...September
It is time to submit my card to this month's Progressive Christmas Challenge taking place over at DigiStamps4Joy.  One more card to add to the Christmas Card Pot to help me avoid the yearly Christmas Card Panic.  I did manage to get another holiday card done at the beginning of September so I at least achieved my goal this month.  
Christmas Card Count to date: 20
Here is the adorable DS4J image we get to use this month:
 ...and here is my card, I hope that I haven't forgotten any important details:

General Information:
  • I decided to make the image the focus of the card.  The shape was just perfect to take up the full height of the card. Woo, hoo!  Another clean and simple card completed!
Digital Image Details: 
  • Two-wit twooo:  If you aren't part of the progressive challenge and would like to purchase it so that you can join in, click HERE or on the watermark above to find it in the DS4J store.
    • This image has been coloured in mostly with Copic Markers; although the tree was paper pieced using a paper from Marisa Lerin that I purchased over at Pixel Scrapper.  I also used glitter glue on the pompoms and hat edging.
  • The little pompoms are Crafts brand purchased at Dollarama.
INSIDEDigital Sentiment Details: 
  • One I created specifically for this card.
Paper Products: 
  • Card base and matting: Michael's Recollection's Cardstock, Neutral Collection.
  • Image and sentiment base: Michael's Recollection's Cardstock, white.
Digital Paper Products:
  • I took the same digital paper that I used for paper piecing and used it for the inside of my card.
Challenges I hope to enter...

If you are interested in joining the DS4J progressive Christmas card challenge you will need to contact Desíre (her details are at the bottom of the post).  I've linked the badge above to take you to that post. 

Well, one more card is finally done. Don't forget, I have a holiday card link up called the 12 Months of Christmas that you can jump in at any time and add your own holiday cards to. Click HERE for all the details. There are still a few days left to link up your two cards for September in order to get your free paper for the month. I'm rather behind in posting the winner list for August but I have a good reason and hope to tell you all about it (along with post the winners list) in a day or two.

As soon as I'm done here it is time to finish my final progressive challenge for the month so I'll see you very soon!

Until then,

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Card Design: Imagine That...Progressive Challenge for September
Hey peeps!  As I mentioned in a special post earlier this month...
Yup!  That's right, Kris opened up this month's progressive challenge so that you can enter using ANY IMAGINE THAT DIGI that you may own (must be an actual image and not just a sentiment).  If you don't own one, you can go over to their Facebook page by clicking HERE and grab a freebie or of course you can purchase any set you would like from the store and use it.  People already part of the progressive challenge can of course use an image from the set, Humphrey's Apples, which has already been mailed out (watermark below) or there is the option of using any Imagine That image.
Well, I tell you, it was a tough decision because I kept going back and forth over whether to make a thank you card using the Humphrey's Apples set or a Christmas card using another set that I own.  In the end the thank you card won.  Remember all those thank you cards I had to make for the hub's siblings to say thank you for a generous monetary gift that we received for our 25th wedding anniversary back at the end of April?  Uh....well...I still haven't made all the cards I need and it is now almost a full five months later.  At the rate I'm going they'll have them in time for Christmas.  At least after this week I now have a total of eight completed.  Only four more to go!  

This set was perfect and I decided to use the colour image so that I could whip out not one, but three thank you cards.  Each has the same front and inside sentiment but I changed up the designer papers on the inside so that they were at least a little bit different.  Check them out...

Here is a closer look at the front...
Digital Image Details: 
  • Humphrey's Apples: Click on the name to the left or the watermark above to head to the store page where you can find this image.  As mentioned above, I used the pre-coloured image.  I just love that Kris has this option in all of her sets.
Digital Sentiment Details: 
  • The digital sentiment on the front is also from this same set.

Digital Sentiment Details: 
  • One of my own.

Paper Products:
  • Card base: Michael's Recollection's Cardstock, white.
  • All the papers I used on the inside of the cards are from the Recollection's Bold Basics Paper Pad.
Lessons Learned:
  • This is bad, two lessons in one week.  Although I have since learned that reverse embossing is actually 'a thing' that some people do on their cards, so now I don't feel quite so bad about the first lesson.
  • I really need to stop getting distracted when I make cards.  You'll notice that one of the cards also has a designer paper on the left hand side as well.  That is actually an accident.  However, as accidents go, it was a minor one.
  • You see, I was watching the Top Six episode of America's Got Talent and I was so enthralled with the magician that I didn't realize I had glued my paper to the wrong side until it was too late--Now I still haven't seen the finale so please don't mention who won if you know...Back to the card--So, I had to cut out and glue another.  I do wish that I had the time to always add a paper to the inside on the left, as well.  It just makes it look so much more finished but that adds more time on to the card and of course more money because I'm using double the papers.  So, until I can actually start making some money or I get more time on my hands, I can't do this often. 
Other Notes:
  • I kept this particular set of cards very clean and simple for a reason.  Your Scrapbook Place is going back to the basics this month.  They don't want to see any layering, matting, embellishments, embossing, etc.  Participants are to create a card only using the white card front base, ink pads and rubber stamps or digital stamps. They just want to see a basic card in any theme you would like to do.  Your Scrapbook Place is one of the challenge blogs that I have already sponsored a couple times this year and will be doing so again at the beginning of November so I figured I would try and support them by entering their current challenge.
Challenges I am entering...  
Others I am hoping to enter...
I encourage you to go and check out the digis that Kris offers along with the Progressive Free Digi Challenge.  It is another fun place to shop and play. 

Time to get busy working on the next thing on my massive 'to do' list.  I hope that each of you are doing well.  Once again, I'm sorry that I haven't been visiting your blogs as of late.   Please know that while I haven't had the time to stop by, I think of each of you often.

Until next time,

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Card Design: FBD Lots of Lattés Challenge Reminder

Howdy doody to all you wonderful pattooties!  It is time to bring you all some freshly brewed inspiration to perk up the middle of your week.  Today starts the second week of our latest challenge going on over at Fresh Brewed Designs.  Right now we are halfway through our Lots of Lattés Challenge which means you have one more week to get your entries in.  It is the perfect time to be creating for this challenge.  Did you know that September 29th is International Coffee Day?  Well I didn't myself until I paid a visit to Create with TLC.  Paulette always lets us know what obscure occasions are coming up!  So get those cards done in time to celebrate and make sure that you enter our challenge with one for a chance to win!!!

  1. This challenge ends Tuesday, September 30th.
  2. You can enter up to 5 times with your NEW creations (no back linking please).
  3. If you use an FBD image, please add FBD to the end of your name.
We will be awarding one overall monthly lucky winner a guest designer spot for the month of November as well as awarding one winner in each challenge, 3 Digital Stamps.

For all the challenge details including the link up, please click HERE.

Here is a card that I have created to help inspire you...

General information:
  • I am probably one of the few people on the planet (okay maybe not the planet but definitely the western world and probably parts of the eastern one) who does not drink coffee or even tea for that matter.  So, this was an interesting challenge for me.  However, quite a while back I had come across a fabulous saying and wrote it down to create into a sentiment in the future.  Well future meet present, and as a result, I've got a great inspirational card for someone.  Uh...the great implies the meaning behind the card, not the quality.   Yup after two years, I'm still insecure about my abilities and still measuring them up to others; although, I'm at least not doing it as often as before so I suppose that is progress of sorts!

    Digital Image Details: 
    • Latté Cup:  The main image on the front is the Latté Cup.  The image is currently available in the FBD store.  You can find it by clicking on the image name or watermark below.  The image was coloured in digitally.
    Digital Sentiment Details: 
    • While I didn't create the saying (couldn't find an original author), I did create the sentiment. 

    Digital Image Details: 
    • This tea cup is the same image that you see in the digital paper.  For more details, see below.
    Digital Sentiment Details: 
    • The other half of the saying.

    Paper Products: 
    • Card, image and sentiment base:  Michael's Recollection's Cardstock, white.
    Digital Paper Products: 
    • I created the coffee cup paper and the tea paper using images from Scribbles Designs.  I also created the textured paper used in behind the image on the front and the sentiment on the inside.  Look for these new papers plus several more coming out soon as part of a new Scribble Doodle Designs paper set called, "Sip and Savour".
    Challenges I hope to enter...
    Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.  I hope you have the chance to go and check out the Latté Cup image I used, along with all the other great images available in the store.  If you are into coffee or know people who are, then FBD is the place to be.  Heather has such a wide variety of coffee images, you'll be able to easily find what you need. 

    If you are looking for more fresh brewed inspiration, I'll be back in a couple weeks to showcase a card made with another one of Heather's awesome new images.  

    At Fresh Brewed Designs we always have a fresh pot of creativity brewing. So stop by and join us for a cuppa whenever you want!

    Until next time,