Sweet Stampin' ~ Valentines

Hey there my lovely blog buddies. How has your week been? I have been run off my feet, racing after the bairns who are in their final days of their Summer break. 6 weeks flew past! Today though, we're starting a new challenge at Sweet Stampin' and with Valentine's Day just around the corner, we're all about spreading a little love. So we're keen to see all your creations showing expressions of love.

I've just had my 22nd Wedding Anniversary, so this card is for my hubby to celebrate the 22 years we've shared together. We've survived some storms and had some calm waters, this past year has been a tough one for our family, and yet we survive. That is something to celebrate. Like Audrey Hepburn once said, 'The best thing to hold onto in life, is each other'. 

I loved this image from Mo Manning called 'Embrace' the instant I saw it and went straight to her shop to grab it without hesitation. The image reminded me of that young couple we once were, about to embark on a life time together, full of dreams and hopes and possibility. We had photos taken for our engagement 23 years ago, that this image of Mo's so reminded me. I thought it was perfect to celebrate 22 years married to my lovely hubby.

I wanted to keep the card style quite 'masculine' as Greg prefers the CAS style without fru fru elements. No pearls or glitter! But it was too plain for the vision I had without a little embellishing, so I went for a red feather and a lovely Whiff of Joy Waterfall of Hearts die. I also used a Whiff of Joy Tiny Hearts Pocket Page die. There were tears in my coffee the day Whiff of Joy closed their doors. So sad to see that wonderful store close. I really liked their stamps and dies and they were perfect for my make today. The sweet little sentiment tags are from Whimsy and I used the matching die to cut them. The small red tag left of the image is from a Simon Says Stamp Bundle of Stitched Shapes ~ Cold Hands Warm.

While I was making this card I was listening to Leather & Lace by Stevie Nicks and Don Henley, and though hubby isn't keen on the frou frou, I couldn't resist putting a bit of lace in the make, just a shame I didn't have any leather! I did cover it with a simpler ribbon, so it wasn't 'too' lacey! 

I can't believe I've been married 22 years, have two (longed for) kiddies and one is about to start Intermediate! Georgie is super excited about starting her new school. Intermediate, is our equivalent of Middle School just for ages 11 & 12. Such a special and wonderful time focusing on and supporting the changes during the adolescent years. I loved Intermediate, they were my favourite years of school, so I'm excited for her and the school we've found for her is fabulous. We're ready for the next batch of adventures in store for our family this year, just hoping for a little less stress than this last year.

I hope you'll come and join in this lovely Valentine's themed challenge with us this week at Sweet Stampin'. We've got a fab prize up for grabs from Crafty Ribbons, so our winner's in for a treat! I can't wait to see what you're inspired to do. Just remember you need to do some 'stamping' either rubber or digital on your project to be eligible for the prize. See you all again soon. For those of you who don't mind a few family pics, read on. Otherwise, my post ends here.
Hugs to you all, have a fabby week! Wends x

Challenge Entries:
The Ribbon Girl: Love ~ GDT Challenge
Whimsy Stamps Challenge: #90 ~ With Love
Crafty Cardmakers: #156 ~ Punches and/or dies
Bunny Zoe's Crafts Challenges: January ~ Hearts
Simon Says Wednesday Challenge: Anything Goes
Simon Says Monday Challenge: Love Is In The Air
Creative Inspirations Challenge: #43 ~ Anything Goes +/- Sketch
Mo's Digital Pencil Challenge: #259 ~ Anything Goes with a Mo Image
As You Like It: Favourite - One or Multi Layer? I love both styles, but my preferred style is multiple layers. Not usually more than 3, but I play around occasionally with more or less layers.

Update: Yippee yip yip! I was named in the Top 3 for Mo's Digital Pencil. Thank you Mo and your wonderful DT! Doing a little happy dance.

Second Update: Woohoo! Just spotted that I've been named in the Top 3 for the As You Like It challenge. 

This next bit, is more for me than anyone else, a wee trip down memory lane. I hope you won't mind me sharing a little montage of pics to celebrate the life my hubby and I have built together. One of my dear friends lost her sister late last year, and as part of her funeral they showed a heartbreaking montage of family photos. She left behind a hubby who loved her dearly and 3 children only just in their teens. It occurred to me we shouldn't wait to celebrate the precious things in our lives. So I am embracing life, and counting my blessings, of which there are many. Here is a snippet I'd like to share with you...

Our Wedding Day, Wellington, New Zealand ~ 1994
Two young very much in love kids took the plunge.

Cocktail Inferno Party, Wellington, New Zealand ~ 1998
Celebrating one of our best friends birthday

We moved from New Zealand to the UK in 1999

Lago d'Orta, Italy ~ 2000
I lost my beloved daddy earlier this year, so this trip was food for the soul.

We also celebrated the wedding of two of our dearest friends that trip.
This is us enjoying the local Lemoncello rather too much!

La Seine, Paris ~ 2004
A birthday surprise from hubby

Then there were three...

Welcome little Georgia ~ Feb 2005
Our Miracle Baby

Santa Monica Water Park ~ 2006

Rockin' out with Daddy ~ Sep 2007

Rotterdam visiting our besties ~ Feb 2008

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland ~ Jan 2009

 Daddy's 40th ~ May 2009

London Snow ~ Jan 2010

My hubby is a creative soul,
he NEEDS to express that creativity
So here he is jamming out at a friends birthday ~ Feb 2010

The Louvre, Paris ~ March 2010
My beautiful girl. I'm heavily pregnant with Zac here!

Then there were four...

Brand New. Big sis cuddles.
Welcome our little man, Zac ~ May 2010
Our second miracle to complete our family

Love this portrait done by my talented sister

My sister won a Highly Commended Place in the 'IGPOTY' competition 2011
in the category 'Breathing Spaces' with another pic of Georgie from this series.

 Hot Summer Night Shenanigans
with buddies in the garden of our London Flat ~ 2012

We went years without any 'family' pics, but thanks to a lovely pal, we have several in one year!

Chinatown, London ~ Jan 2012

London Snow ~ Feb 2012

Our utterly awesome, gorgeous boy ~ Aug 2012

 Overlooking Stackpole Quay, Wales ~ Sep 2012

We moved back to New Zealand from the UK in 2013
 Packing up our London life
 Our home and car had to fit in this box!

It snowed like crazy right before our move.

Our little London babes saying goodbye to our last London flat

Celebrating Zac's 4th Birthday ~ May 2014

Matariki (Maori New Year) at Zac's Playcentre ~ July 2014

Realising how 'few' photos we have together as a family, I think I might aim to at least get one every year! LOL. I hope I didn't bore you with too many family pics. But I feel so blessed to have this beautiful family that for a long while we never thought was possible. I hope you don't mind me sharing. Big hugs, Wends x


Fikreta said…
Your card is very beautiful !
great photos
Bad Kitty's Craftroom
Chris said…
Your card is so beautiful Wends, such a lovely romantic design and image...I can see why you couldn't resist it after looking at the photo underneath! Congratulations on your 22 years anniversary and thank you for sharing the photos of your lovely family, you're right in that we should celebrate what we have more often!
Have a lovely weekend!
Just added myself to your followers again, grrr, gorgeous photo and gorgeous card. Love Stevie Nicks x
Pat said…
Such a beautiful card Wends I am sure hubby will love it, many congratulations on your anniversary. Enjoyed looking at your beautiful photo's. Have a good weekend.

Pat xx
Tracey T said…
What a lovely card and even more special because of the story behind it. Now that's quite something coming from someone who doesn't do romantic - the best my hubby can hope for is a pat on the shoulder and something nice for his tea!! Have a lovely weekend xx
Sarah said…
I really loved reading your post and looking at your wonderful memories Wendy. The anniversary card is fantastic and so perfect for your Hubby. Here's to many more happy years together xx
Debs said…
WOW Wendy 22 years - huge congrats and Happy Anniversary.
Fabulous card - great detailing.
Gorgeous photo - treasured times.
Debs xx
Jane said…
Gorgeous card and love the old photos xx
Aww Wends, what a lovely post. Thank you for sharing all those photos of your beautiful family and all those lovely memories. Congratulations on 22 years and getting through the ups and downs! I can totally see why you have to have that Mo image for your card, it's uncanny! Love aforementioned card btw, it's a stunner.

Hugs xx
mixamatoasties said…
Fab card Wends. Love everything about it.

Can't believe you've been married 22 years right enough!! Hope you both had a lovely day.

Enjoy the last few days of the hols.

Susan xx
Elise said…
Happy Anniversary to you and your hubby Wendy!!! Wishing you both forever years of love!! I so love how you chose this image for your card .. it's just PERFECT! And you've coloured them so gorgeously too!!! I do think the red feathers add more "love" to the card .. hehehehe .. it's beautiful!!!!!! An I Know your hubby will love it too!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Big hugs,
aussie aNNie said…
How much alike to your photo, love it.xxx
What a gorgeous card Wendy - and I loved your reminiscing and photos.
Our families are precious and it is good to treasure them and have the photographic record too. We are blessed to have our adult offspring, and their spouses and children living in the same town as us. Most unexpectedly as they both swore never to come back :-)
What a truly heartwarming post! First off, your card is beautiful and is such a perfect representation of your own love story! I couldn't believe how similar the couple on the card looked to you and your hubby! And you did a wonderful job of creating such a lovely scene on your card. I love how the colors you used on the couple goes so beautifully with the background and those pops of red are perfect! And then it was so fun to see the history of your family! I don't know you personally, but I felt like I did after seeing all of those wonderful photos. Congratulations on this post, which is such a tender story of love! I thoroughly enjoyed this post and your card and I'm so glad you shared your story with us for this week's Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge!
Gayatri said…
Your card is very glamorous! Love your card. Thanks for playing along Simon Says Stamp Anything Goes Wednesday Challenge!
Gayatri xx
Elaine Stark said…
A beautiful card. I loved all your photos. Beautiful memories. Thanks for joining AYLI challenge. Elaine
suzanne2 said…
gorgeous card and beautiful family. you are so blessed. thank you for joining us at creative inspirations.
coldwaters2 said…
Hi Wends this is absolutely gorgeous and so romantic, the image, the embellishments and card design are stupendous
lorraine x
moi said…
You are such a lovely family. Card for your hubby is amazing and congrats for your anniversary.
Judith said…
What a fabulous post Wends - beautiful romantic card and even more beautiful photographs. You're so right about family photographs you really need to take the time to make sure you take them. I made a scrapbook for my MIL's 80th birthday - 7 years ago now and realised almost the opposite - we had family photos but few recent ones of just Dean and me by ourselves so we made an effort since to put that right! happy anniversary to you both here's to the adventure of next 22. hugs Judith
Karen Oliver said…
Oh my gosh Wendy its beautiful and so appropriate. I love the photo its so romantic. Congratulations lovely lady and here's to 22 more years ahead of you. xoxo
Maikreations said…
Such a cute image and stunning colouring! Love that you felt reminded of your engagement photos ;o) Thank you for joining our „Dies & Punches“ challenge over at the Crafty Cardmakers ;o) Happy crafting,
Josephine said…
Great card.

Thanks for joining us at Crafty Cardmakers!
Darnell said…
I haven't been a very good visitor, but I sure picked the right day to come by, Wends! Congratulations on 22 years of marriage and best wishes for many, many more!! Your card for your hubby is spectacular! And thank you for sharing the progressive photos of your years together. They tell the story in bullet points and it was a real pleasure to "see" you as you journeyed!! Enjoy your day! Hugs, Darnell
Anonymous said…
Fabulous card I totally love this! so vibrant too! Thanks for joining in with our challenge at As You Like It,
hugs Samantha :0)
creationsnz said…
A gorgeous card; strong and bright! Love how you echoed the heart motif.
Mynn xx said…
A perfect anniversary card--I am sure your hubby loved it! The feather with a border over it was a fab touch! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! ;) Sending HUGS! :) Mynn xx
Sylvia Zet said…
Fabulous photo of you both, a pleasure to look at! :)

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