I am very excited today to open the doors and invite you to a new part of my world. After much thought, I decided to step out into the warm glow of Flourishes with a new blog - one that really shows who I am - Jan Marie's Flourishes! I wanted to create a place that just wraps my guests with friendship. And, that's why I picked this special quote to be at the head of my blog. I liked this quote so very much, I had it created into a stamp!
If you like this sentiment as much as I do, please leave a comment on this post. I will be giving away 25 of these stamp sets to the first people who leave me a comment here to celebrate my new blog! Don't worry, you can always find this beautiful sentiment in the Flourishes store, here, if you don't want to hedge your bets!
Would you like to see a creation made with this beauty?
To make this creation, I used a bit of My Mind's Eye Paper (Blush) and cut out an area using the Classic Keyhole Die. I added some cotton linen ribbon in a nice shade of hot pink and the frame was create with a set that you'll see later this week - this is a bit of a sneek peak.
Here's a close up. If you'd like to know more about the supplies that I used, please scroll down to the bottom of this post.
WHY A NEW BLOG?
The reason goes right back to the very beginning of Flourishes. What many don't know is - when this company was started I was a very sick lady, and the prognosis was dim. Several friends that had been students of mine for years asked what I would like to leave behind if I, in fact, "kicked the bucket." I knew the answer. I wanted to leave a company that would produce beautiful art that would be timeless for today's paper crafters. And so, while I was in the fight of my life, I began Flourishes and set very high standards for this company.
It wasn't easy. In fact, the very day we opened Flourishes, I laid in a hospital bed. Why didn't I share this with anyone? I didn't want my health to hold my dream back and I especially didn't want sympathy. I wanted a company that would be noticed for it's own merit - a company that set new standards for art in the industry. I am not a prideful person, but I am proud. I have a smile on my face and in my heart when I see each and every new stamp set released and I get to hold them in my hands. I have an even bigger smile when I see the creations made by YOUR hands.
SO, HOW BAD WAS IT?
Now that I am on the road to wellness, I can reflect on how truly bad it was. Doctors gave me a 2% chance of survival. Over the course of six years, there have been many surgeries. I have lost a portion of my stomach and my pancreas in the process. There were days, of course, that I wondered why all of this was happening to me. Thank God for my faith and for the love of my wonderful husband, Mike (the Shipping Guy). I knew God had a plan for me and that I should take every opportunity that I had to live in the moment. Flourishes was a reason to live each day and do the best I could manage on that day. Over the years, I attempted to "put on the right face" and represent Flourishes. Some of you may have seen me at CHA. Others came to my home for classes and I am sure that many suspected I was not well. I never addressed the issue with anyone other than a trusted few. I stood in the shadows so that Flourishes could make its own mark on the industry in spite of my health. I am proud to say that I really feel that this has been mission accomplished.
WHERE IS MY HEALTH NOW?
This year, along with Flourishes' 5th Birthday (which we will celebrate with a bang this August), I have made it to another milestone. I have made it to the five year point of survival. It is a point that most don't make facing this type of medical situation, but I did. I made it against the odds! Today, I am blessed to say that I am well and Flourishes is indeed flourishing! I felt that now that my future is full of hope, it was time to step out of the shadows and tell my story. It's long overdue.
EXCITING THINGS AHEAD!
A few weeks ago, I shared pictures and thoughts from overseas as I traveled to Australia for a huge paper craft convention in Brisbane. I never imagined that I would be in that spot! It was the first time in the last six years that my doctors agreed to let me travel out of the country. Some of my friends said they held their breath and made me PROMISE to come home healthy (my friends are very protective of me). Truth be told, I did better than well, I think I did exceptional. I was face to face with stampers -- stampers that love Flourishes! I rediscovered that I really enjoy teaching, sharing and being a part of stampers' lives and sharing my life with them. I found that there was no longer a reason to lurk in the shadows of Flourishes! Flourishes is now global. Did you know we are in hundreds of stores worldwide? That is in addition to the thousands of loyal customers that we have in our own store! It's amazing to me. And, we've only just begun! You will have to stay tuned because we have a lot of new and exciting plans in the works. The main mission is simple - to hold true to our philosophy to be "timeless for today's papercrafters." This means that what was good yesterday will be good for years to come. I did not accomplish this by myself. I have the greatest support system in the world! Mike has worked along side of me. Sharon Doolittle has been the best friend and colleague that anyone could ask for. Julie Koerber is my strongest ally. All of my designers both past and present have never given less than their best for Flourishes! I owe a great deal to all of them.
COME, SIT & STAY AWHILE
I have found over the years that the quote I have at the top of my blog is indeed true. "In the sweetness of friendship there IS laughter and the sharing of pleasure. I am truly blessed. Some very great people have become a part of my life because of Flourishes (some virtually and some "in real life") and our mutual shared pleasure of stamping. There has also been a lot of laughter!
So, come, sit, stay awhile and share my stamping world with me. Remember, if you leave a comment on this post - the first 25 will be given the "Sweetness of Friendship" stamp, which is the keystone of my new blog. I hope you will walk down this new road with me. I hope that you and I will become better friends and that we will enjoy much sharing and laughter! I am Jan Marie. I am Flourishes!
Stamps: Sweetness of Friendship, Flowers & Frames
Dies: Tailor Made Classic Keyhole
Ink: Black, Copic Markers
Ribbon: Linen Cotton
All from Flourishes Store
Misc: Button, foam tape