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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.

 

 

Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card

Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card is what we have for you today. This is a really cute way to add a little bit of movement on a card for Autism Awareness Month. This card technique can be used over and over again to create all different occasion cards. Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Supplies Needed

A Creative Journey with Melissa Awareness Ribbon Set #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Set

A Creative Journey with Melissa Awareness Ribbon Set #4 – Autism Awareness

Scissors

Hole Punch

Stamp Block

3-D Foam Dots

Chameleon Pens

Adhesive (I also used my ATG Gun)

Black Ink

Punch

Ribbon

Card Base

Paper to Stamp on

Phrase paper Mat

Paper to mount sentiments on

Back Mat of the red paper for ribbon flow

Embossing Folder

Manual Die Cut Machine

This is the creation we are making today. The Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card is movable by pulling the ribbon up and down.

You can grab it from one end at a time and pull so that you can see the “Autism Angel” flying.

Take out your manual die cut machine, platforms, paper and embossing folder.

Place your paper inside the embossing folder.

Sandwich your embossing folder in between the two clear platforms and on top of the sizzix main platform.

Turn the handle and run through the embossing folder through the die cut machine.

This is a close up of what it will look like once it has been run through. I love the texture on this!

For the next step in creating your Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card, take out your A Creative Journey with Melissa Awareness Ribbon Set #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Set, stamp block, ink and paper to stamp on. Place the puzzle piece with wings on your block.

Ink your stamp image and stamp it on the paper.

Take out your A Creative Journey with Melissa Awareness Ribbon Set #4 – Autism Awareness. Take off the connected puzzle pieces image and place them on your stamp block.

Ink and stamp the image on your paper.

Take out your BV4 Chameleon Pen.

You will color the puzzle piece on the puzzle piece with the wings image blue. Color the puzzle pieces on the connected puzzle pieces blue.

Take out your RD Chameleon Pen.

Using your RD4 Chameleon Pen, color the puzzle pieces on the connected puzzle pieces red.

Take out the YL2 Chameleon Pen. Color the angel wings yellow.

Color the remaining puzzle pieces with the YL2 Chameleon Pen.

Here is a close up of the finished coloring.

I used my Brother Scan and Cut 2 to cut out my images. If you do not have one or another electronic die cut machine that you can cut your images out with, fussy cut around your image and make a matching set for a duplicate piece.

Take out your embossed red piece of paper and punch one hole on either side or the right side of your paper as shown set aside.

I used approximately 10″ of ribbon for an A2 card. I did end up cutting some off but better to be safe than sorry.

Using my ATG gun, I applied adhesive to the two puzzle piece collections – front piece and back piece.

Place the back piece underneath the ribbon so the ribbon is showing on top of the cut out paper.

Now, you will put the puzzle piece collection colored image on top of the ribbon to make a “sandwich” of the two pieces of paper and the ribbon in the middle.

This is a close up of what it will look like once it is done.

**HELPFUL TIP**

Be sure when you are hole punching your bottom white paper that you don’t punch the hole too far off toward the middle or the ribbon will not pull correctly and you will have to re punch it with a new piece. Lesson Learned… LOL!

Punch holes in your white paper that will be used as a mat for the red embossed paper.

Carefully add adhesive to the red pieces of paper. DO NOT PRESS FIRMLY OR IT WILL STICK AND YOU WILL HAVE TO START OVER.

Take your ribbon that has the puzzle pieces attached to it. Starting at the top hole at the back of the white paper, feed your ribbon through the back and through the red embossed piece of paper.

Pull your ribbon through so it is on the outside of the red paper then to through the red paper.

Take the ribbon and continue it through to the bottom hole down on the white paper and push through.

Line up the paper ensuring the adhesive is not on the ribbon and the ribbon  moves freely.

 

Adhere the red paper to the white paper taking extra caution for the sides of the red paper and it’s adhesion.

Take out your puzzle piece with wings and back piece.

**TIP**

I cut off the head part of the back pieces of the stamped image. This will allow the puzzle pieces with wings to move all the way to the top. Be sure whatever image you use, it doesn’t interfere with where you are going to be putting your ribbon.

Apply adhesive on the back of the colored image and the front of the copy. Place your image under the ribbon at the bottom. This will give you an approximate idea how it will look. Once you are comfortable with it, adhere it to the back side of the blue ribbon as shown above.

Adhere the front of the image making a sandwich of the two images with the blue ribbon in the middle.

Pull the ribbon up and down ensuring that it flows properly.

**THIS IS OPTIONAL** Apply adhesive to the back of the colored puzzle pieces and the front of the copy. Adhere the front of the puzzle pieces to the back of the blue ribbon as shown. Above you can see both ways I made it.

Apply the colored puzzle pieces to the front making a sandwich with the blue ribbon in the middle.

If you would like to have the ribbon end sandwiched between the two papers, trim the ribbon so it does not continue through the image. Make sure you pull it all the way up before cutting to ensure plenty of ribbon for the Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card creation.

This is what it will look like once it is done.

Take out the phrase from the A Creative Journey with Melissa Awareness Ribbon Set #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Set.

Place it on your stamp block and ink it.

Stamp your phrase on the paper.

Using your choice of punch, punch out the phrase.

Mat the punched out phrase on a pieces of paper. Cut around it so it shows a little bit larger punched shape for a mat of the phrase. Take out your 3-D foam dots and adhere to the back of the phrase.

Apply your phrase to your mat paper.

Apply adhesive to the card front and apply your matted sentiment on the card front.

 Check to be sure your ribbon moves freely on your Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card creation.

You are finished creating your Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card.

Now, for the GIVEAWAY!

This week for our Giveaway, we are giving away the American Craft Creative Zen markers from last weeks haul!

To qualify to win, you must be BOTH:

A 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!

If you do not contact me within two weeks of the announcement of winning, you will unfortunately, forfeit your prize and it will be placed back in the giveaway stash for a future giveaway. Thank you for your understanding.

NOTE: Be sure you are not subscribed with two different names. If I am unable to match you with your subscription to both the blog 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.  Your understanding is appreciated.

 

For last weeks giveaway of the Elizabeth Craft die set

Jean Truchan is the winner!

Jean Truchan, please send me your contact information via contact page on our website, which post you are a winner from and I will get your certificate 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 Autism Awareness Ribbon Interactive Card tutorial! Have a wonderful week and thank you for going on A Creative Journey with Melissa.  

March 2016 Stamp Releases and Instagram Hop

Welcome to our March 2016 Stamp Releases and Instagram Hop as well as inspiration from our February releases. We are honored to have you here.  This is our second release for 2016 AND our SECOND INSTAGRAM HOP! We had really great feedback and thought we would do it again! I know it seems almost impossible but our AMAZING CREATIVE CREW DID IT AGAIN!! I know their creations are going to get your creative juices flowing!! Good thing you can sit comfortably in your office, home or car to join in if  you wish! We have THREE new stamp sets being released for the March Stamp Release and Instagram Hop. Here they are 🙂

Awareness Ribbon Set #5 – See Autism with your Heart

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Awareness Ribbon Set #5 See Autism with your Heart wm

Awareness Ribbon Set #6 – Angels with Autism

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Awareness Ribbon Set #6 Angels with Autism (3)wm

Coffee, Tea and Wine, OH-MY!

Coffee,-Tea-and-Wine,-OH-MY!-Final

Coffee Tea and Wine - OH MY!

Now don’t forget! We have projects EVERY DAY! Be sure to hop for all three days! It starts at 8:00 AM Pacific Time and runs from 3/16 – 3/18 until 8 PM PT. Prizes will be announced on Instagram on 3/19. Each day we will have a new creation for you to check out! For the details and directions, please check out our Instagram page for all of the details! Look for #ACJwMIGHop2 and be sure to follow the directions to be eligible to win!

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Awareness Ribbon #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE


Awareness Ribbon #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE is what we have today for you! We have one sneak peek but there are TWO more stamp sets coming out! Be sure to check out our blog and website on Wednesday, March 16, 2016 to see all what we have that is NEW! We are going to have directions for our Instagram Hop so you can hop along and win one of three prizes! For now though, we have this awesome creation to show you using our to be released Angels with Autism Stamp Set and Chameleon Pens! As an added bonus, I will show you how to color your own embellishments so that they match your project! Are you ready? Let’s get started!

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE e

Awareness Ribbon #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Set (TO BE RELEASED 3-16-16)

Stamp Block

Chameleon Pens

Ink

Card Base

Two Mats for Stamped Image

Paper for Stamped Image

Adhesive

Scissors

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE f

Take out your Paper, Ink and Awareness Ribbon #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Set out. Stamp the image on your paper. Set aside.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE g

Take out your colored papers for matting. Adhere the yellow mat to the red mat.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE h

Adhere the mat to the card base. Set aside.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE i

Take out your Chameleon Pens and your stamped image. You will need your CB (Colorless Blender), BL6, RD4, YL2, and CG8. Take out your CG8 pen. Take off the bullet nib cap off. Using the blending cartridge, place the bullet nib in the blending cartridge holding it upright so the blending solution cartridge is on the top. Hold upright for 10-12 seconds. Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE ia

Color the angel wings with your CG8 from the puzzle piece out to the end on both sides.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE j

Color various pieces of the puzzle on the image with your YL2   pen.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE k

Color various pieces of the puzzle on the image with your RD4 Pen.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE m

Color various pieces of the puzzle on the image with your BL6  Pen. If you feel at this point any of the colors need to be a bit lighter, you can use a light coloring of the colorless blender to smooth out any areas as well as lighten the colors on your project.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE o

Take out your rhinestones. The rhinestones are a light blue but we need them a darker blue so we are going to color our embellishment so that it matches our project.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE p

Using the B  Pen, color the rhinestones creating a deeper blue color.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE q

Cut apart the rhinestones only taking the ones you wish to use. Apply to the card front.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE r

Apply adhesive to the back of the stamped image paper. Adhere the stamped image to the card base.

Awareness Ribbon #6 - Autism Angel Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE b

Your project is complete! Thank you for joining us for the Awareness Ribbon #6 – Angels with Autism Stamp Release SNEAK PEEK and MORE!

Be sure to check back for info on here on our blog for our Instagram hop on Wednesday as well as the blog hop for the 2016 Spring Coffee Lovers Blog Hop that runs Friday, March 18 – Friday, March 25! There are a number of sponsors and WE are one of them! There are a BUNCH of great prizes up for grabs! Be sure to check it all out! You won’t want to miss it!

Thank you for joining us today and we hope you enjoyed going on A Creative Journey with Melissa.

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