Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Well - sorry I haven't been around...things around here were crazy enough and then just got crazier. Needless to say, I am ecstatically awaiting the coming of 2010. Anyway, just a quick update on my disappearance and then we focus on card making! The end of August was hectic as I finished my doctoral studies - FINALLY!! And I defended September 1st in Florida - all by myself - and then came home, decided to rest a bit before I started on the paperwork follow-up that has to occur. Then all hell broke loose. September 11 my dad needed emergency surgery for internal bleeding, and I can thankfully say he is doing pretty good compared to what he was, although he is pretty frail. Because that was HIS second surgery since July. Then, my daughter-in-law's 18 year old son was in Myrtle Beach and was involved in a violent attack on he and his friends - where his one friend was killed and which ended up causing him to have emergency surgery for stab wounds and a deflated lung. So trying to help with the 8 year old twins who just started a new school and to get my daughter-in-law down to SC from PA was hellish. Being out of work actually helped me to be be of service to my family. Thankfully, our grandson is doing well physically, however I believe the non-physical scars will be with him for a long time. Then, my DH needed surgery again (after the fourth trip to the emergency room). The recovery for his original surgery was much longer than we ever anticipated - since the first surgery was in July and has been fraught with difficulties. Man, I abhor cancer. Then my big surprise. In amongst interviewing for jobs (been continually sending out resumes), I found I needed surgery. So - took care of that. Thankfully, mine was a piece of cake compared to the trials my dad and my husband have been going through. But - to maintain my sanity, I have stamped and created, and met with friends who buoy the spirit and lift the soul. Faith and Laughter are great healers that I fully believe in. So - believe it or not, still a smile on my face, gratitude for any and all good things in my heart, and laughter on my lips. So I hope to get fully back in the swing of things starting 2010. But who knows, look for a posting in the next several weeks - ya never know. So just in case I don't get back here in time - Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Teddy and Trains

I love this set...and will need to take a better picture...I always take pics at night...and I guess I need some more in, the light of day, LOL. But I will share it anyway - cuz the card IRL is so darn cute!! I made this for Kaite (Hi Kaite!!) - for her baby shower...and I loved it so much I made another few...they are 5 X 5 square and the colors are pretty in pink and certainly celery as well as working with whisper white as the background - and watercolor paper... again, sorry about the pic being dark...I even lightened it on my photoshop...will have to read up on whether or not I can do some more editing with the programming...ok - off to stamp some more...I owe a ton of peeps cards!!! You know the old saying....the shoemakers children... ta ta for now!!!

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Ahoy Matey!!! ARGHHH!

So I just love all the new stamp sets in the catalog!! And how fun are the pirates!! LOL Below is a sample of a card I made using the new set called Beware Pirates and the new paper in the catty called Cast a Spell...just because it is originally sold as Halloween paper, doesn't mean that it can't be used for other sets...look how perfect this pirate card works! I used the Zindorf brayer technique, so I stamped the image in black craft, used clear EP and then brayered the old olive all over. Then to give depth I sponged black around the edge...IMHO (LOL) I think it looks fabu!!! And it was easy peasy to make!!! Enjoy Matey!!!!

Stamps: Beware Pirates
Ink: Old Olive, Basic Black - craft & classic
Paper: Whisper White, Basic Black, Cast a Spell DSP
Access: dimensionals, 5/8" old olive grosgrain ribbon, clear EP, brayer, sponge

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


OK - so things are finally looking up!!! I have finally completed my doctorate...and I did not throw up on my committee's shoes while defending my dissertation - nor I might add did I cry like a baby as I thought might happen as well...SO - NOW when I tell y'all to go stamp - IT'S DOCTOR'S ORDERS!!!!! LOL (and you don't even need 2 aspirin either!!! total holistic therapy!!!! LOL)

So thank you all for your well wishes and prayers during the craziest year of my life (so far)...and look forward to some fab-u stamping times!!! LUV YA!!!

Maureen Stivala, EdD
aka Dr. Reen

Friday, August 28, 2009

Thank you Tina!

The fearless leader of our overall group of demonstrators is Tina Rosenkrans. She is a doll. Really...When she heard of my troubles, she said, "girl - you need to stamp...just get over here and do my class!!" AHHHH....just what the doctor ordered....and yes I felt so much better! Tina even told me she redid one of the cards especially for me - the saying on this card says"Every day holds the possibility of a miracle"...and sometimes, I think the miracle are all the wonderful people I have met through Stampin' Up! I have made some wonderful new friends - and friends all around the country. Then - I started blogging for my business and wallah!! New friends appeared from all over the world...all due to stamping...who knew?!?!? LOL So - enjoy this card with the new set from the catalog called Peace Within. I LOVE It...and THANK YOU TINA! LUV YA!

Monday, August 24, 2009

We get by with a little help from our friends...

Here is one of the most beautiful cards I have ever received. Its from my uber talented up-line Tracy know...Diana Gibbs BFF!! LOL Anyway...I had to share this with you. While yes it was my one-on-one swap...Tracy made it special since I've been going through a rough patch these days...and one way I definitely make it through all this fal-de-rol - is because of friends...and Tracy is a great one! Enjoy!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Wings of Friendship

Align CenterSo I just love this hostess set (level 2) in the new catalog called Wings of - since I was inspired by my own card in the previous post - I based my card on that layout. However, I decided I was in a monochromatic mood, and this Bermuda Bay color just calls my name (can you hear it, too? LOL) So - I went with the flow and lookie what I found! Sue's birthday card!! I hope you enjoy it as much as she did!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A One-on-one Swap

So I participated in a one-on-one swap and I made this card to send. I used a new hostess set - and I just love this bird (sorry Chatty!)...I used all new In Colors card stock and the pink flower is cut out and set on with dimensionals. I like the way it came out...I liked it so much I created a monochromatic card which I will share in the next few days. Enjoy!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Yo Daddy!

So here is the Father's Day card I made for my Bob...I used the Stampin' Up! set Totally Tool and paper I used was More Mustard, Basic Black, and some water color paper for the tools. I used the "wood" technique taught to me by my up-line Tracy Altemose, who learned it from her BFF Diana Gibbs - one of Stampin' Up!'s 2009 Artisan Award winners!!! Both those gals are WAY talented, let me tell ya! I am lucky to know them both (as well as some other INKredible stampers...). The tools were all done on the water color paper - cut and glued on after the wood dried...white and close to cocoa craft ink were used in the creation of the wood...Bob, my handyman, loved the did everyone else come to think on it! I wished I had done a double layer on the tape measure though...ah time! Enjoy!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Black Belt Beauty

So whaddya do when your grandson earns his black belt? You look to your asian inspired stamps that's what! So I dug out my Stampin' Up! Eastern Influences and then I used a contraband asian symbol...I forget what it means but I thought it added a great background. I used the branch and the birds, along with the colors sage and chocolate chip - and of course black grosgrain to represent THE black belt. We were so proud because he was one of the youngest to earn the belt...and its not all about the maneuvers, there was a long written test and essays to prepare...very complicated and involved...and he passed!! YIPPEE! So enjoy the card! Peace, out!
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

OK stamper fans - I'm back!

The last card I posted was one of our little girl's birthdays...two of our granddaughters were born within a week of each other and we often times celebrate with the family together with one big party...this was no exception. The previous cupcake card led me to create this card...and isn't it just YUMMY! I love sparkles...don't you? The cherry on top is colored in real red and then covered with crystal effects so its nice and shiny...I love the way both cards came out. ENJOY!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I am soooo sad that this paper has is beautiful, as is the baja blue paper that is the base of this 4X4 card. Just wanted to share one of my yummy creations with you, as our family celebrated our two little girls' birthdays....oh that's right....stay tuned for the next one!!! LOL

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Gifts I Made MY Secret Sister, Cassie

Well, what do you do when your Secret Sister is one talented lady and from Texas (everything's bigger and better in Texas ya know! lol)? Well - you kick it up a notch that's what!! So check out what I made for Cassie! Besides some purchased gifties: I made her a journal; a flower arrangement using my Big Shot, my inherited floral skills, and my luscious Corduroy buttons to make Daisies and Black Eyed Susans!, and then some lovely SU rub-ons for the lil watering can (I really scared myself with how well this turned out!! LOL); and I followed many of my talented stamping sisters (especially Gretchen Barrows) on the trail to creating the flower pot cards...and I really like how this turned out too!; and finally - a tin with a belly band and a Dahlia flower - that my own little baby Stephanie helped me make since I was short on time...Enjoy the pictures!

sorry - its a little blurry - take it from me though...

very beautiful IRL!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My Secret Sister Gifts

This is the wonderful package I received from Pam my secret sister thorugh SCS. THANK YOU PAM!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Just shoot me now...

So - my poor little mother fell at her Alzheimer's nursing home on Saturday and broke her hip...she had surgery yesterday and came through well. However, she is still groggy even today, but its so hard to tell...any prayers and good thoughts AGAIN would be greatly appreciated. {sigh}

Thursday, May 7, 2009

{SIGH} ...not yet...

OK - so I have been busting my butt working on my dissertation and job hunting...and this past week I successfully defended the first 3 chapters of my study...and now have to finish the data collection and, my dissertation chair, while a miracle worker, and I were trying desperately to get all finished before the summer term - we didn't make it...but the light at the end of this tunnel is BLINDING I am so close...YIPPEE! So, rather than totally kill myself working this all out, I think I want to spread it out two more weeks before I have to fly down to Florida...and then I can focus on just getting a new job...oh...didn't I mention I got laid off - officially - on April 28th? No? Well - that's just a little wrench in the scheme of things... something good is around the corner, I can really - no worries - well - ok - sometimes I worry a little - and then no worries again!! LOL Yeah - I should be the nurse in South Pacific , Nelly Forebush or something I think...cuz yup...the eternal cockeyed optimist!!! Got that from my mother, thank you very much!! One of the best things she passed on to me....

But what does that really mean for me? It means I need to cancel all Stampin Up events for May and restart in June...I just need to open a pressure valve somewhere, and unfortunately its my stamping...but not for long baby...wait til you see what I have been thinking up!! So - Now I have to ask for you to wait for me through the month of May - but I do think I will have some time to post now and again...unlike this last push to get Chapters 1,2 and 3 done. I miss all my stamping friends and the laughing we all know how much I love laughing and having a good time...not to mention its good for my blood pressure!! LOL

OK on that note I gotta fly, Sy! TTFN (ta ta for now!)

Friday, April 17, 2009

So give me to May 2nd...

So I promised that I would have candy - and I have been lax in getting cards posted, however, again - please "bear" with me - while I wind down the last 2 1/2 weeks of a 13 year doctoral degree...hey...13 is a lucky number for wonder I am finishing now!!! LOL Anyway - I had several stop outs - the biggest after Bob's second round of cancer - and I just worked around and through the other two bouts (yes - my dear DH has had FOUR primary cancers and YES he is a wonder to mankind) and then my three surgeries (bad but nothing compared to the big C), four house moves and your normal family,needless to say, the celebration will last at least for a whole year I imagine...but I can hear the clock ticking, and I got my shades on since the light at the end of this tunnel is so bright...but you just gotta stay with me here for few more weeks...and then LOOK OUT WORLD!!! LOL

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I know, I know...candy is a'comin'!!!!!

I know I promised you candy and candy you shall have...its just been a bit crazy (when not?)- I thought I had until May to defend my doctoral dissertation - in person - in Florida - and guess what? NOPE! I have to do it BEFORE April 23rd, when the semester ends...AHHHHH!! Anyway...I am coping...two meetings a week with my chairperson until its done...but I have been collecting...its just that some of the good stuff I want to add to the candy is "in a safe place"...kwim? Gonna take me a bit to find it...but I promise, pinky-swear - the candy will be up by this weekend!!! And you will LOVE IT! LOL

Monday, March 30, 2009

A New Year's Card

Just wanted to share with you a New Year's card I got from one of my SBS9 sisters...of course I don't have it with me to write down which sis, but it is so lovely and just as any handmade card, it made my day...what a good start to the year, eh?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kris' Christmas Card

Remember this cutie? Well Kris got the same stamp...and from that stamp she and her DH created a fab card of their precious pooches....Check it out below!!

Too bad I am not as good a photographer as Kris' husband!!! LOL I have GOT to get this blurring thing under control...ughhh!! But really....blurry and dang cute is this?

My watermark is on the picture of Kris' card for copyright protection...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Baby Nurseabella Thank You!

I know the main image is Bella, however every other piece of this card is Stampin' Up! From the paper to the eyelets and ribbon - all wonderful SU! product... But you can't get any more perfect an image for someone who is a maternity or NICU nurse...AND, just a little aside....the reason I chose this color blue is because the critical care nurses all wear this color in St. Luke's, where my daughter is LOVING her new job as an RN in the NICU....good bless her, she has turned out a stronger woman than I, because I would be a blathering mess over ill babies!!!! I am so glad she is compassionate, caring and kind...besides nerves of steel! Its what those families there need, I am sure...Anyway - enjoy the card! I loved making it! (therapy you know!!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Safari Boys Birthday Card

Here is the last of the boys' birthday cards in our celebration weeks...I used the Wild About You set and the Sanded BG stamp...The feature page is done on Very Vanilla paper, with an elephant that is "rocked and rolled" in Going Gray and Basic Gray, the Lion is More Mustard, with a Really Rust mane that I cut out separate, and I colored his facial features with the Close to Cocoa marker...then the little birdie who spilled the beans is done in Riding Hood Red...The sky is done with sponging - and I used a scallop circle to sponge around...its hard to see the cloud delineations, but they are there!! More Mustard ink on More Mustard card stock with the BG stamp, saying from A Little Birdie Told Me stamp set on Very Vanilla, punched with 1 1/4, and Really Rust punched with 1 3/8 circle punches...with a 3/4 inch circle punch stuck with a Chocolate corduroy button...and since you can't have your elephant float in the air, I used my aqua painter and did a quick grassy scene with Garden Green ink. And if you want to know how I got them to sit so nicely on top of each other...I just used my trusty Stamp-a-ma-jig...Wallah!! Easy Peasy!! Enjoy!

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Happy Birdy To You....Happy Birdy to You....

The children birthdays are upon us once here is Brent's card...I needed to use bright colors because I so desperately want Spring to come...and I love this paper from Stampin' Up!...and since the BG paper had circles, I thought the circles on the front would be a good addition....

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