Guest Artist Extraordinaire

Cyndee Rust is my guest artist. Extraordinaire really describes her in so many ways. She is an extra-ordinary Stampin' Up! demonstrator with a growing organization and an extra-ordinary artist. Proof positive – Stampin' Up! big-time corporate office has chosen her cards many times to put on their demonstrator-only site. She's given lots of demonstrators many ideas for inspiration throughout the years, including little ole' me.

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Cyndee made this card to showcase several things from the Spring Mini catalog. She used the "That's Nice" stamp set, Au Chocolat designer papers, and the spiral punch. With all the talk about retiring stamp sets and new stamps coming out next month, it's easy to forget we can still enjoy the offerings from the Spring Mini.

Img_1439_stitch_3 I hope you can see from this picture that Cyndee used a really fun technique to get the faux stitching effect on the right side of the card. She used the the paper piercing template from the mat pack to punch holes in the card and then connected the dots with a brown marker. It's a really a fun and easy way to get stitching on your card without dragging out the sewing machine.

Peter Pearls Several of you commented that you'd like to join me in my journey to de-clutter. So, I thought I might invite you to my little book club here and just share a few excerpts from Peter Walsh's book, It's All Too Much.

He calls Chapter 2 "Excuses, Excuses." Much of his book is about learning to dispose of the clutter rather than just organizing it. Here's some of his pearls of wisdom to break down my hoarder's excuse: "I might need it some day."

Some of us are afraid of the mysteries that the future holds. Life can take some pretty scary turns. Who knows what could happen? You want to be prepared. You can't throw away that collection of empty shoeboxes. Your daughter might need one for a school project. You can't get rid of those skinny jeans. You might lose twenty pounds! Those old, funky clothes might be good for Halloween or a costume party, not to mention the piles of ticket stubs for a scrapbook you might find time to make someday [ouch]. This is "I might need it one day" clutter.

It's hard to let go of things that don't seem to have fulfilled their purpose. You only wore those jeans once and they were expensive. This lamp works perfectly well, it just doesn't look good in this house. It's okay to hold on to one or two items of reasonable size that have a genuine chance of a future life. But let's be honest. Is it really only one or two items? Or are you saving enough stuff to furnish a whole alternate universe in which a skinnier you uses that dusty abdominal crunch machine every morning before inserting all your photos into a new album and then dons that old wig you've been storing for a costume party you're hosting at which everyone will be lounging in the extra chairs that have been languishing in your basement for the last six years?

Okay . . . drum roll . . . here's the pearl . . .

Most things that you save for the future represent hopes and dreams. Those things we hoard for an imaginary future do little other than limit our possibilities and stunt our growth. When I urge you to get rid of them, I'm not telling you to discard your hopes and dreams. It's actually quite the opposite. Because if you throw out the stuff that does a rather shabby job of representing your hopes and dreams, you actually create room to make dreams come true.

Yep, I highlighted that last sentence in yellow in my book. I bet no less than 25% of my scrapbook stash fits into that "I might use it someday" category, especially some half-done projects from classes when I never came home and actually inserted pictures into the project pages. So, I'm thinking, I'm just going to appreciate that I enjoyed the class and no doubt learned something from it. But, it's time to donate or discard the never-finished project.

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