Monday, January 28, 2019

I'm Here for You with Artfully Aware

At OnStage in Orlando, I can remember being very moved by Million Dollar Sales Achiever Janet Wakeland's presentation of her inspiration stamp set, Artfully Aware. Her mother struggles with Alzheimer's and it affects the whole family and they have to support each other to get through the tragedy of it. I love the style of sketched images because they convey very strong emotions with just a few lines and you can use them many different ways. You can colour them in, leave them white and fill in the background, or stamp them right on a watercolour wash as I did in this card. Whichever you do, the strength of the lines works to give you the same powerful message.

I used Balmy Blue and Highland Heather in my watercolour wash, colours which I seem to be turning to a lot lately.

  • My background DSP is from the Botanical Butterfly Designer Series Paper, a Sale-A-Bration reward. The DSP in front is from the Tranquil Textures Designer Series Paper in the Annual Catalogue. I created a frame for my watercoloured image by cutting an oval in the DSP using one of the Layering Oval Framelits.
  • After layering on Balmy Blue ink and Highland Heather and a bit of Gorgeous Grape using an Aqua Painter on Watercolour Paper, I used the Stamparatus to stamp the image with Memento Tuxedo Black ink. I know that it takes a few times stamping on Watercolour Paper to get a dark enough image with the Memento ink and with the Stamparatus , this poses no problem, because you stamp exactly in the same spot each time.
  • The sentiment I chose from the Artfully Aware stamp set has special meaning for me, which I'll explain below. Again, I used the Stamparatus to stamp that a couple of times to get it dark enough.
  • I apologize for using the Organdy Ribbon for my bow, but it's the only one that's the right colour. Unfortunately, demand for the Organdy Ribbon Combo Pack as a Sale-A-Bration reward has been so high that it is not available to choose right now. You should be able to order it again in the beginning of March. A few pearls finish off the look.
I wanted to share with you a bit about why I chose that particular sentiment and why Janet's presentation was so moving to me. During the first half of my life, tragedy was no stranger to me and I got through it, like the rest of my family, by leaning on each other. When I was 13 years old, my younger brother, who was 11, was killed in an accident. This was a very traumatic event for my family, and we all coped with it in different ways. Back then, there was no counselling for children to help them deal with these things. In fact, our parents were so devastated that they could barely function themselves, let alone see what was happening with us children. They didn't know for example, that my younger sister blamed herself for years for his death because he had asked her to do his paper route that day and she had declined. They didn't know that I refused to believe that he was really dead, that there had been a big mistake, and I just pretended he was still alive and "talked to him" in my head for months. But I know that we instinctively sought each other out for comfort and support, and I think we have a stronger bond today because of that time. 

Just 10 years later, my mother passed away from breast cancer, and we were still in our late teens and early twenties. It was a long difficult decline and we cared for her at home until the end, and again, my dad was lost without her, and we ended up being his caretaker in a lot of ways before he remarried a couple of years later. But we didn't know how to deal with grief, and each of us had our own way of coping, but we had each other and our faith. 

Finally, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's as well many years later and suffered for 10 years before he finally passed away, so I understand the pain of watching the parent you once knew slowly disappear to become an empty shell. 

So, I am well-acquainted with grief and tragedy, but we all deal with it in our lives at some stage or another, and I have to say that those difficult times were nonetheless some of the most meaningful times in my life, and the times I grew closest to my family and to God. Life was real and the struggle was what made it real! This image summed it up for me:

Click on the links below to take you to my On-Line Store, where you can read about, look at, and purchase if you wish, the products used to make this card today.

Product List
Heat Tool
Big Shot
Glue Dots


  1. What a beautiful card and post today, Heather. It is true - we all go through seasons of grief at some time in our lives. Thank you for sharing that. The stamp set is was well designed. - Rebecca Hendricks


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