How Cancer Inspired A Creative Journey with Melissa

How Cancer Inspired A Creative Journey with Melissa is the story we have today. We do have a giveaway but no tutorials. I have had a few people ask me why and how I got started doing stamps and thought others may want to know too so I decided to share this with all of you. Just about everyone has had to deal with Cancer in way or another whether it be oneself, a loved one, a friend a friend of a friend, etc. There really isn’t anything that is inspiring about it however Cancer Inspired A Creative Journey with Melissa.

First, I should give you a little background on me. I grew up in Chicago and met my husband on a blind date in Chicago. We were introduced by my co-worker and Jon’s childhood friend that were dating. When we got married on June 18, 1994, I moved from Chicago to the St. Louis area where my hubby was from and living. We then ended up moving to California for my hubby’s work so that is how we landed here in LA.

Now.. back to Cancer Inspired A Creative Journey with Melissa … and YES THIS IS REALLY HOW I TALK LOL More than likely it is my ADHD (Seriously, I am diagnosed and on meds and SOMETIMES they help. LOL) ANYHOW, my Uncle Herb AKA UH lived in San Diego, CA since before I was born. Even though he lived quite a ways away, UH would always come out for large events like my prom (pictured above is my Dad on the left and UH on the right. Yes that is me in the middle) wedding, graduation, etc. He visited me when I was pregnant and after I had my kids too.

UH didn’t have children of his own but he was quite the cool Uncle. Once we moved to California, we grew closer in proximity and our relationship grew as well. My kids really admired him and had a great bond with him too.

I am VERY blessed to have a number of amazing people in my life that support me. Of course “My Boys” are my top three (my hubby and my two sons) and had a lot to do with the actual name of the business. Their first names are Austin, Christian and Jon, and with that A Creative Journey with Melissa was born in February 2011.

I was also fortunate to have the support of a number of others as well. I am ever so grateful for the support, love and encouragement. For a long time I had wanted to start my own stamp line but was too scared of failure, putting myself out there and really causing a financial burden on my family. I was not going to take a loan, (I never did either) or use money that I didn’t have on hand so I decided to scrap the idea. (A little paper crafting humor! LOL)

Unfortunately, in August of 2012 UH was diagnosed with cancer. Needless to say we were heart broken and it wasn’t looking very good.

UH had a wonderful group of friends and support system. I would also come out to visit and stay with him for a few days or even a few weeks when he was having a procedure or when he needed me.

One day while I was sitting with UH chatting after he had been recently been going though chemo in passing I said, “Someday, I am going to start my own stamp line…” and UH said, “If not now, when?”

Well, needless to say that lit a fire under me.  Can’t really argue with someone that has stage 4 cancer throughout his body including his brain. He really encouraged me to be the best I can be and supported me regardless. The questions of if I am going to fail and being scared turned into CAN I REALLY DO THIS? With the support of “My Boys” and of course UH and numerous others, the adventure began. I had been creating handmade items for a few years as a business but wanted to expand it to stamps.

UH and Cancer Inspired A Creative Journey with Melissa started with my first two set of stamps that I released. Specifically the second one. After he completed radiation, he was given a radiation diploma. He and I both thought it was cool how they tried to make a negative into a positive and with that the concept of Awareness Ribbon Stamp Sets were born. Awareness Ribbon #1 and Awareness Ribbon #2 were my first two stamp sets released and have since added Awareness Ribbon Stamp Set #3 – Ready for a Fight. UH lived in San Diego as I said and we live in LA. We would visit a few times a year but when he was diagnosed with Cancer, it was at least monthly if not weekly as time went on. My first stamp release was September 18, 2013. UH enjoyed watching me package my stamps and sending them out to my first set of customers! I was so excited and UH was too!

Sadly, the next day UH passed. I really think he waited to see the release and the success of the first day.

I have been inspired by numerous people in my Creative Journey in addition to UH.

Two friends of mine that have inspired me are Julie Gonzalez and Cristal (Pinky) Hobbs. They are amazing Moms that I have met. They are amazing, strong, intelligent women and they also have sons that have Autism. Julie’s son was diagnosed with Autism and she was participating in an Autism walk to raise awareness. This inspired me to create the above stamp set Awareness Ribbon Set #4 – Autism Awareness. A portion of this set supports the walk that Julie does every year in honor of her son Anthony.

I was inspired to create these two stamp sets Awareness Ribbon Set #5 – See Autism with your Heart and Awareness Ribbon Set #6 – Angels with Autism to raise awareness by Pinky. A portion of Angels with Autism is donated to a wonderful school program near and dear to Pinky’s heart. What amazing women they both are! I feel very blessed.

These cards were created using them!

Sign Language was spoken fluently in our home as my brother is deaf. My Dad and UH were brothers and both of their parents were deaf. It truly is a beautiful language and I thought what better way to inspire people to learn sign language then create stamps showcasing its beauty! I used the Sign Language Alphabet Stamp Set to create the above sentiment “Remember” for the scrapbook page I made with UH’s picture above.

We also have Sign Language Sentiments and Sign Language Sentiments 2

as well as Sign Language Alphabet Numbers and a closer pic of the Sign Language Alphabet stamp set.

We also have some amazing alphabet stamp sets that work perfectly with planners, cards, scrapbooks, project life and just about everything!

I love to create clean and simple cards and what I use are the Spring and Summer Holiday Celebrations and our Fall and Winter Holiday Sentiments stamp sets. Awesome for those creations needing a holiday sentiment.

Who doesn’t love coffee? I know I sure do and these stamp sets are perfect for your creations! We have the Coffee is my Liquid Therapy and the Coffee, Tea and Wine – OH MY! Stamp sets. They are so much fun to create with!

Here are close ups of two creations I made with them. I used recycled packaging for the left one and a penny for the slider on the right one! Be sure to check out my blog or YouTube channel to see how they were made!

Now for this weeks GIVEAWAY! We are giving away a $25.00 store credit to our store!!

I have had a number of people say how much they love these stamp sets for organizing, their planners, lists and just about everything else under the moon so I thought this would be the perfect prize for this week. You can pick out what YOU want!

To qualify to win, you must be BOTH:

A public follower on YouTube, subscribe to our mailing list/blog posts and you may also comment on this blog post for an additional entry to win! Winners will be announced next week on our Mondays with Melissa blog post!

If you do not contact me within two weeks of the announcement of winning, you will forfeit your prize. Thank you for your understanding.

NOTE: You must be subscribed to BOTH with MATCHING NAMES. If I am unable to match you with your subscription to both the email list and the YouTube Channel, you will miss your chance to win a prize. If I can’t decipher if you are a matching subscriber (if your profile doesn’t show publicly who you subscribe to) and I can’t confirm you have subscribed to both, I won’t be able to enter you in for the prize. **DO NOT COMMENT WITH YOUR ENTIRE EMAIL ADDY. Only give me the first 6 NOT INCLUDING YOUR HOST. Just enough for me to match your name will work perfectly.

 Here’s the GIVEAWAY from last weeks post which is

 the A Creative Journey with Melissa Everyday Alphabet Upper Case and Emoticon stamp set  and the winner is Andrea G!

We are also giving away the A Creative Journey with Melissa Awareness Ribbon #3 – Ready for a Fight Stamp Set  and the winner is Melissa M!

Andrea & Melissa,  please send me your contact information via contact page on our website, which post you are a winner from and I will get your prize out to you! Thank you so much for being a YouTube follower and subscribing to our mailing list/blog posts!

 We hope you enjoyed our How Cancer Inspired A Creative Journey with Melissa post and we hope you are inspired to do something you may not have the courage for. In the words of UH…. if not now, WHEN?

Have a wonderful week and thank you for going on A Creative Journey with Melissa.