Main | July 2012 »

MDS Unwrapped

 

My Digital Studio (MDS) is a Stampin' Up! product I've come to adore!  It's our digital scrapbooking software--a perfect tool for this day & age....

 

Here'sDad & Me-001 a page I've been creating--and recreating--while I've been teaching the basics of MDS. (I'd love to help YOU, too! We can set up a free class anytime our schedules coordinate. Just ask!)

 

The design is pretty simple but it's totally my style. I love that--digitally--I have access to tons of stamp sets, punches, ALL MY COLORS, embellishments, designer paper, etc.

 

Before I go on, I want to remind you that the Express version of MDS is available as a FREE download--30 day FREE trial basis.

  • There are absolutely no strings attached!
  • You do NOT give your card # to be charged after the 30 days....you just lose access to the content and your digital projects until you to buy.
  • You have all services (printing, etc.) available for the 30 days, as if you had purchased the product.
  • MDS Express has about half the content as the full version; if you choose to purchase later, you can buy either version.

If you just want to play and see if you like it, "shop online" and add it to your cart anytime and download it.

If you're hoping you might finish a project within the 30 day FREE trial offer, I'd suggest you make sure the pics you intend to work with are organized a little--in a file or group of files on your computer. Then go "shop online."

 

 

My guess is that most of us have digital cameras now, so we already have our pictures on our computers. (But you only need a pic or 2 to start playing.) And many of us just plain like to spend time on the computer.

My Digital Studio (MDS) is a perfect fit!

 

First, let me just say that MDS is not JUST for scrapbooking! You can make your own calendars, cards--even the picture Christmas cards many people love to send out, journals and tags.

(But I'll talk about that a little later.)

 

Second, I have to be completely honest and admit that I'm not really a scrapbooker. I SHOW scrapbooking, and I think it's amazing! I just don't take the time to do it. I could tell you all my excuses, but it wouldn't encourage YOU to move forward with YOURS. It would just remind you of how human I am! *Ü*

 

However, last year (probably a year and half after I actually purchased MDS) I finally sat down to make my own scrapbook. I wanted an MDS project to show--and have for me!!

 

The program amazed me!! I loved having all the stuff [I play with at my stamping table] at my fingertips on the computer!  Crafting on the computer--best of both worlds!!!!

Once you get a feel for the ins and outs, it's really simple to use....If you're already used to editing your pics in Photoshop or Picasa, etc., it will trim down your learning curve even more.

 

So the first half of my scrapbook ended up being rather "collage-y", because I squeezed in 22 years of our family pictures!!!!  The last half was probably more my style with fewer pictures to a page.

But I absolutely LOVE the whole thing. When we received it (came in a week!!), Elizabeth says she looked through it 7 times that day!

 

Well, part of why I'm telling you all this right now is because I've been using MDS again lately--not for scrapbooking.  I used it to design my Blog Header, and I even had individual scrapbook pages printed which are now signs I can use at my events!

VIP Landing-001

 

One of the cool things about having individual pages printed is that once you get them, you can add your own ribbon or buttons, etc. to make what's called a hybrid page, OR you can simply drop them into a scrapbook you already have in progress.

 

I preferred a bound book for my scrapbook. I learned another tip after I already printed mine....Print a softcover book to give to your children when they leave the house, too.  Saves a few dollars, but they get the same thing!

 

I'm sure there are a lot more questions I could address about MDS, but I wanted to introduce you to it a little. Please ask questions that you've been wondering about MDS! Maybe others have the same questions but are afraid to ask!

 

Here to help you channel your inner (& digital? *Ü*) Creative Genius....

 

Have a great day!

Steph

 

Click HERE to subscribe to my FREE newsletter and receive my "5 Tips for Making Fabulous Hand-Stamped Creations." Don't miss out!

 

 

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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The Love of Morgan & Isabela...

 

Each day we have fresh opportunities to make an impact on the lives of those around us!

 

It's amazing how easily it can happen--and probably even more amazing how many opportunities we actually have--and even pass up, without realizing it.

 

I really can't speak about the impact I'm making, but I have to share the impact 2 of my nieces had on me at 2 separate times within the last few days....

 

Morgan, 5, found out she was going to be with her mom instead of her dad for a fewMorgan loves me! hours and saved a popcorn flavored Jelly Belly just for me. (We live 3 doors away, and she knows I like them occasionally. That may have even been the only reason they came over. I don't know; I never specifically asked.)

 

When she/they arrived, it was a wonderful surprise in itself! I didn't think I'd see them for a couple weeks! Then Morgan told me she had something for me and held her hand out.  She explained, "It used to be yellow, but it came off in my hand."  It was the single worst looking, all white, non-coated (pitty, not smooth) jelly bean I'd ever seen!  But it was full of love! 

 

I found out she had NOT actually held it ALL the way home from Wisconsin (like it looked!), but she HAD held it in the car for awhile, in the store, (don't remember where else). I knew, by her gift, that she wanted to show me she loved me and thought I was THAT special. I gave her hugs and kisses and thanked her for her thoughtfulness.  I also asked her if it was ok if "I had it later." (It was a good thing, too, because I found out from my sister that she dropped it a couple times, too.)

Morgan and her jelly bean warmed my heart and made an impact on my day, my week, my life. I love that girl!

 

Scan0093Then I received a love note in the mail from my niece Isabela. (She and her family had moved to Florida a few weeks ago.) The note (quoted by Mom) said, "I love you. I pray for you and I just love you!"

Now, I have to admit that I wasn't the only one who received a love note. But she had me on her heart and in her mind--and took the time (out of her busy schedule! *Ü*) to tell me so! That/she is just so precious!

 

And what a good example!

 

Both of my nieces took the time to make sure I knew they cared about me.

 

We stampers have such a unique opportunity to do the same thing! We have these beautiful or fun cards and other projects we make, and we need to share them--send them to the people we love!  We can make an impact in such a simple way!

 

I'm sorry to say that's an area I'm working on--have needed to work on. Sometimes I need precious little reminders, like my Morgan and Isabela....I thought you might, too.

 

Comment at the bottom of this post to let me know who you're sending a "love note" to today. I'm starting with my 2 girls.

 

Have a great day!

Steph

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter, so you don't miss out on anything I have to share with you!

 

 

 

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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Standing Room Only!

 

THANK YOU SO MUCH to those of you who showed up at my open house Saturday. I guess we had a little more than "standing room only", but I DO love a full room of friends!

Hope you all had as much fun as me!!

 

For those of you who couldn't make it, YOU MISSED OUT!!...on 3 new projects (4 if you shared a new friend with me) and a chance at winning cool door prizes:

  • the new Essentials Paper-Piercing Pack
  • Chevron Embossing Folder (Ask Mary Kay how her month is going! *Ü*)
  • In Color Dahlias
  • Vintage Faceted Buttons.  

Speaking of which, the winner of my RSVP Blog Comments random drawing was Connie Good!! Congrats, Connie! She's getting a sampler of designer paper: Floral District, Comfort Cafe, and Be of Good Cheer.

 

Oh, man! Back to door prizes....Those new faceted buttons ROCK!!! They make your card look like you have a huge faceted piece of glass on your card. I seriously LOVE them!!

 

There are 3 sizes, and I just adore the HUGE one. Of course, you know they will require extra postage if you mail them.

 

But it's worth it!!!!!

 

To see the card we made with the faceted buttons, you'll have to sign up for my free newsletter on the left. I'll have a pic and tips I shared for the card in my newsletter tomorrow.

 

Scan0084This card we made uses a new set Summer Silhouettes and the same color combo as on Keana's Pop-up Card I showed you a couple weeks ago.

(Remember, it's from the Color Coach--Gumball Green, So Saffron, Melon Mambo.  So good!)

 

How cute are the little stamp of flowers (looks like Queen Anne's Lace) in So Saffron on top?!

This set is easy to work with because the pieces are separate (2-step)...you don't have to use markers to get the  different colors.

 

And then there's the ribbon! If you haven't played with it yet, you'll love it!  It's a good thickness and easier to tie than some.  It TRIES to work WITH you. (How thoughtful!) 

Many of my customers from Saturday will receive some of each color with their orders. You still have that opportunity through today. (Read last week's newsletter if you haven't already.)

 

Thanks for checking in today!

 

Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Have a great day!

Steph

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter, so you don't miss out on anything I have to share with you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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Reservation for Two?!

 

Hey--

 

Are you coming to my New Catalog Open House tomorrow?!  And are you bringing a friend?  I can reserve a couple spots for you at my VIP table!

 

Remember, you get extra perks for sharing a new friend with me.  (Read HERE for details.)

 

I'm so excited for my open house, and I've been having a blast playing with new stuff Scan0080myself! One of my favorite stamping activities starts with a Simply Scrappin' Kit....

I divide it in half and start playing!  I JUST LOVE IT SO MUCH!!!

So, Razzleberry Splash is "done" and ready for class in August.  Here's a sneak peek. This is one of the 3" x 3" cards we'll be making. Can you tell why I love it?!

 

You can see the rest of the designs at the open house.  Sign up by August 2. Space is limited.

 

Have a great weekend!  Hope to see you tomorrow!

 

Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

Steph

 

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter, so you don't miss out on anything I have to share with you!

 

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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Clear-Mount, "Stamper-Friendly"

 

Yesterday I shared my insights on whether to buy Stampin' Up! sets in wood-mount or clear-mount.

 

Both options come with the same great quality you and I expect from Stampin' Up!  And they both have positives and negatives to consider.

 

But Clear-Mount can offer you a few snags that you may like a little help maneuvering through.  So I thought I'd give you some pointers today....

 

Tips for Making Clear-Mount More "Stamper-Friendly"

  • If/when you mount the stickers on the clear-mount stamps, do it on a flat surface so the stamps are not bowed.
    • Your stamp will "stick" to the block better.
    • Your sticker will be lined up well for more accurate stamping.

 

  • I always find the best way to mount my stamp on my block is by leaving the stamp image-side down and pressing the block onto it (as opposed to holding one in each hand and pressing them together.)
    • It tends to squeeze out any air bubbles that may be present otherwise.
    • Now it's mounted as securely as possible.

 

  • If your stamp wants to fall off the block easily (and you've already covered the top 2 steps), then the block and/or the stamp itself must be dirty.
    • Clear-mount "sticks" to the block by static cling.  If there are oils from your hands or even Stampin' Mist, they'll fall off more easily.
    • Clean the block and the stamp (sticker side).
    • I always keep a little bottle of rubbing alcohol around to spritz and wipe off; works well.

 

Now your clear-mount stamp should be as ready to use as your wood-mount would be.

 

I have one more TIP for you to consider when choosing clear-mount or wood-mount:

 

I told you yesterday that I really like how comfy the acrylic blocks are for the clear-mount stamps.  Plus, I like to have some of each, just so I can show either--as a demonstrator.

However, if the stamp set has tiny pieces, I ALWAYS buy it in wood-mount.  I'm afraid of losing the pieces--especially considering I stamp before running out the door. *Ü*

 

If there's something more you'd like to know, just ask!

I'm here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius!

 

Have a great day!

Steph

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter, so you don't miss out on anything I have to share with you!

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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To Switch or Not to Switch...

 

...that is the question.

 

As you (may or may not) know, Stampin' Up! released their line of clear-mount stamps and blocks a few years ago. They still carry the traditional wood-mount, of course!

 

But now you have a choice!  So will you switch?  I know some people are still trying to decide what they like best.

 

So I thought I'd help you with a little insight...

 

First, let me just say that Stampin' Up! did it SO RIGHT when 100_0467they "finally" did it.  (Demonstrators and customers had been asking for "clear" for years.)

 

But SU! didn't want to give up quality for the "clear" option. So even for clear-mount, the stamps themselves are [our normal] good quality rubber.

 

They're so smart!

 

Reasons I Love Clear-Mount Stamps

 

  • Obviously, they are more easily positionable. Since you can see through the block, you can see where you're stamping better.

100_0468 

  • They are less expensive--in the long run, since you don't pay for the wood blocks each time.
    • You buy a clear block (or blocks) in whatever size necessary and use it for many different stamp sets.
    • "C" block is what I most often use.

 

  • They can be stored more easily.
    • Come in a thin dvd case--less space
    • Has the name of the set, along with images, on the binding--easier to find

 

  • And one of the BEST things?  Our clear blocks are comfy to use!!!!
    • They are ergonomically correct.
    • No "sharp" edges.  My fingers appreciate that!
    • Didn't I tell you SU! did it right?!

 

Reasons I Prefer Wood-Mount Stamps

That's right. For the most part, I prefer wood--even after listing all the wonderful things about clear-mount.

And for me, it's all about convenience....I'm a stamp-n-go kind of girl afterall!

 

  • They are always ready for me when I'm ready to use them!
    • Well, yah! That's huge for me when I suddenly realize as I'm ready to walk out the door that I still have to stamp my card for the occasion!
    • Yes, I procrastinate--and need all the help I can get....sad but true.

 

  • They don't have to be remounted in the middle of stamping with the same set.
    • My perception is that a lot of the stamp sets have similar sized stamps in it, which is great for keeping your stamp/block investment down.
    • But for me, that means I either need several of the same size blocks (yes, I have duplicates) or I have to clean and remount in the middle of stamping....NOT what I prefer when heading out the door! *Ü*

 

  • They are MUCH less likely to come off the block when cleaning--or stamping.
    • Yes, I have had the wood-mount rubber come off stamps when cleaning, especially if they're older or smaller. I just attach again with my SNAIL Adhesive, and it's fine.
    • Clear-mount come off the block easily when cleaning and can even come off when stamping.

I'll be back tomorrow with tips on encouraging your Clear-Mount stamps to be a little more "stamper-friendly."

 

So I did I help you decide to switch or not to switch?  If you still need a little direction, let me know. 

 

If you've already decided, COMMENT below and tell us which you chose and why!

(Maybe you have a different reason than I've listed.)

 

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it!

Here to help you channel that inner Creative Genius....

 

Have a great day!

Steph

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter, so you don't miss out on anything I have to share with you!

 

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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Follow me on Pinterest.

 


Step It Up!

 

I'm a big fan of "keeping it simple" when it comes to stamping. In fact, I often say I'm aScan0069 stamp-n-go kind of girl.

(That would be why coloring doesn't happen often on "my watch." *Ü*)

Quick, cute and done is what I love!

 

So, I was working on a big set of cards and wanted something really simple, but cute. Here are the basics of what I started with:

 

Bright Blossoms (set from Summer Smooches bundle),

Raspberry Ripple, Perfect Plum, Crumb Cake and Gumball Green.

Oh--and the greeting in Early Espresso uses the Made for You set.

 

Do any of you have Made for You on your Wish List? (pg 44) It's an amazing, simple little set that warms my heart! And the simplicity works well with the effect I used on the greeting.

 

I stamped it a few times in a column to add some interest. (No re-inking in between.) The Stamp-a-ma-jig works great for that sort of thing.

 

 

So--simple is great, but sometimes I want a little more finesse--to "Step It Up" a bit. And there are so many ways to do that:

  • simply increasing the number of layers/colors
  • punching more pieces to attach
  • raising a layer with Stampin' Dimensionals
  • adding some bling
  • piercing "here & there"

 

Here's how I played....

 

Scan0068This first "step up" just has a couple of the new Dahlias that we've all fallen in love with.

How cute are they?! And so easy to use--just pop one on with a glue dot.

 

 

This one not only has the Dahlia, but also the AMAZINGLY FABULOUS Essentials PaperScan0067 Piercing Pack!

Seriously, this is a MUST HAVE for any stamper!

  • ONE of the templates coordinates with 5 punches and all of our circles;
  • the 2nd one works with 3 of our new (Big Shot) Framelits;
  • the 3rd one goes with our (Big Shot) Edgelits and also has just the straight lines.

 

I just can't tell you how much you NEED this!

AND what a good deal it is!! 3 templates package deal:  $7.95!

The new pad (sold separately) is thicker and better quality, too.

 

...Just so good!

 

 

My last card has the Vintage Faceted Buttons (instead of the Dahlias), the Paper Piercing template, AND the Chevron Embossing Folder.100_0479

Don't you love the look of the piercing circling the actual flowers? It's just so fun!!  (And no more "free-hand.")

 

You can ORDER products that I use to make anything I post here with the link on the right side of this blog or HERE.

And you can PLAY with these at my open house this Saturday, 6/23.  See details by clicking Events at the top or HERE.

 

Thanks for checking in today!

Remember, you can learn to create anything you fall in love with!  And I'm here to help!

 

Have a great day!

Steph

 

Subscribe to my free newsletter, so you don't miss out on anything I have to share with you!

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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It's Medicine Time Again!

 

Does anyone else remember that line from "Little Rascals?" Spanky was the BEST when he was around 3 or 4 years old.

 

 

Before I distracted myself, I was thinking Masculine time again....

 

 

We had a fantastic Masculine Mini-Stack last night!Scan0055

 

My favorite card is still my CASE of Gwen's card from the other day. We used the Chevron embossing folder instead of Houndstooth. I ABSOLUTELY ADORE IT!!!

 

 

100_0461.1And isn't the metallic look fabulous?! It's aluminum foil!

 We....

  1. covered a strip of cardstock with Anywhere Gluestick.
  2. pressed/smoothed it onto the heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  3. wrapped the foil like gift-wrapping.
  4. ran it through the Big Shot with the embossing folder.



TIP: Gwen told me to be sure to use heavy-duty foil....So I went out specifically to buy it (from the Dollar store. It SAID "heavy-duty!")



Well, this was thinner than my foil I always buy from Aldi! I was afraid it was going to rip, but it didn't.



And that may have been saved, because I used a thicker cardstock (it was a "naturals" color) rather than our Whisper White or Very Vanilla.



I don't know; it's just a guess, but we didn't have any problems.

The sets we used were Daring Adventure and Word Play.  And in case you couldn't tell, the colors are Basic Gray and Basic Black (plus Whisper White!)

Here's my masculine, collage-y version of Midnight Muse--by Color Coach. Not tooScan0060 shabby, huh?

 

I designed a "DAD" one, too, but I wanted to show other options, in case there was a need for someone other than Dad.

Besides More Mustard & Rich Razzleberry, we used the new sets Postage Due and Morning Post Alphabet--plus the Postage Stamp Punch.



The more I use Midnight Muse, the more I like it.

Hope you were able to use some of my ideas to make your own creations for the males in your life this weekend!



Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it.

Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius....



Have a great weekend!

Steph



Subscribe to my newsletter to make sure you don't miss anything!  (And don't forget there's an "action" deadline today in my last post.  Check it out!)



Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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It's a PLUG!!

 

(for my open house, that is)

 

Scan0033But first, here's another of Betsy's Blossoms, just for fun.  Same basic design as a previous one I've shown, just different colors.

 

I'm having a blast using my brand new product from the new Stampin' Up! catalog!! New colors, new stamp sets, new accessories.......

 

And a great way to share them with you next week!

 

How many of you remember my New Catalog Open House is next week? Does Saturday, June 23, 10am-noon ring a bell?

Home School Building (sign says HSB), room 2.  Here's a map.

 

I'll have stamping projects, displays, door prizes every half hour, specials and snacks.

Oh--and new catalogs, too, if you haven't received yours yet!

(Remember, they're free from me now.)

 

And while an RSVP is NOT required, I'd love to know you're coming!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

So, please leave me a comment!

 

IF YOU DO:

  • leave me a comment, by Friday, 6/15, (at the bottom, below this post) telling me you're coming 

AND

  • show up for my open house, Saturday, 6/23

 

OR (for those of you who cannot be present in person) LEAVE ME A COMMENT (by Friday, 6/15) THAT YOU WILL BE "present online" AND PLACE AN ONLINE ORDER (before Friday, 6/22) THAT QUALIFIES FOR MY OPEN HOUSE SPECIAL

(will publish special in my newsletter Tuesday, 6/19)

 

Not only will you have a great time...

 

But you will also be entered into a special door prize drawing (besides my normal) at the end of the open house--just for being involved!

(You don't have to be present WHEN I do the drawing.)

  

And you might want to check out my new VIP Program again before you finalize your plans to come. Bringing new friends earns you cool perks! Read HERE. Then start inviting!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 

So before I can completely get ready for my open house, I had to be ready for my Masculine Mini-Stack today. Seriously lovin' my new stuff!!

 

I'll share a little tomorrow.

 

**ONE MORE THING:  For those of you who received my newsletter Tuesday, I have to apologize....I made a note on the pic itself, but I didn't mention that I didn't design the card.  A fellow demonstrator, Elizabeth Balk did.

(Thanks for the cute idea, Elizabeth.  Sorry for the absent-mindedness.)

 

If you'd like a copy of my weekly newsletter, subscribe HERE.

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a creation, you can learn to create it!

Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius....

 

Have a great day!

Steph

 

Subscribe to my newsletter.

 

 

Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

Like me on Facebook.

Follow me on Pinterest.

 


So Who's Betsy Anyway?!

 

Scan0032

Have you noticed how often I've been using Betsy's Blossoms in my samples? It's just stuck!

  

 

But who IS Betsy anyway?

 

That's what my husband Todd wanted to know at Tyler & Elizabeth's choir concert several years ago.

 

He was walking Elizabeth to her practice room when a friend of hers walked by and said, "Hi, Betsy!!"Grand Haven 7.2

 

Todd did a double-take and was, in his words, generally perplexed. (Elizabeth's friend recently recalled, between giggles, "that look" on his face.)

 

His words were something like, "Betsy, huh?" And her response was, "Yah, all my friends know me as Betsy."

 

Elizabeth is one to live her own style--and at that time--it included her friends (and no one else) knowing her as Betsy.

 

NOW, she has no idea what attracted her to the name--and rolls her eyes when I read the title on an old school folder that says "Betsy's folder."

 

Hol Beach 11.2I smile when she chuckles at her cousins' clothing choices--the same kinds of choices she made at that age...no matter what Tyler or I had to say about them.

 

Elizabeth has changed a lot.

 

And honestly, I don't know who the Betsy is that inspired Betsy's Blossoms. (I DID ask Stampin' Up!)

 

But she could very well be a bold little spitfire just like "my Betsy."

 

The set is fun, sassy and versatile. And it works well with all the bold colors I LOVE.

 

When you use it, I hope it reminds you to live life on your terms. Stand for what you believe in, and just be the BEST YOU possible.



I know I personally can only do that with the Lord's help.  However, He uses many people in my life to inspire me toward that.

 

Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius--and maybe even inspire you to be your BEST SELF....

 

Have a great day!

Steph

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Remember, if you can fall in love with a project, you can learn to create it! Here to help you channel your inner Creative Genius...

 

Steph

 

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