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Category Archives: She’s Crafty

Advent :: How Pinteresting!

As we approach the middle of November and prepare ourselves for the feast of Thanksgiving, I am getting ready to begin traditions with my Husband! We missed our first Christmas as husband and wife and this year I am working really hard to make the most out of the holidays since we get to spend them together! First and foremost we are going to start an Advent tradition!

Pretty Packages!

I found this wandering around on pinterest and have decided we are going to make something similar this year! What a fun weekend project! We are headed to Michaels or Lowe’s today to maybe get a board to paint and decorate! clothespins are an easy find at the Dollar Store and we can paint those with craft glue too! I’m thinking this will be the perfect piece to hang over our fireplace!

We also have set a budget of $100 per person. I wanted to go with $50- that’s $2 a gift on average. Hubs was not at all feeling that challenge and wanted it increased. Fine, on average you get $4 a day for cute little gifts! Every day in december we get to open one and spend a little quality time with each other celebrating. I think the fun part will be shopping for each other and really finding things that speak to each of us. I already have a few thoughts in mind for things I’m going to make him! Sneaky, sneaky!

The most fun will be making these this year, and having them for years to come to celebrate the season! It is also killing me to wait until the 25th of November to place out my Nativity! It was a wedding gift from Nan and we have yet to enjoy it!

I know we’re still celebrating Thanksgiving, but we’re preparing ourselves for Christmas too!


Mele Kalikimaka, Y’all! :: Etsy Loving!

I was so excited when Jane won a giveaway for some shop credit to my Etsy store. She loved my gift tags but asked me if there was anyway I could incorporate their duty station in Hawaii into them. My first thought was bright colors and beaches… and one of my favorite Christmas songs! Who doesn’t love Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters? Christmas will be green and bright, and so can your Hawaiian inspired gift tags!

(click picture to be taken to this listing in my shop!)

This particular pink and green are my absolute favorite colors and I would stamp everything in them if I could! All three colors are from Stampin’ Up: Pink Passion, Green Galore and Only Orange. I looped through some contrasting colored twine and we are all set! In the shop, these little fellas come in sets of ten, but I can do any quantity you’d like!

The holidays are fast approaching! How do you wrap your gifts? Fun, funky and fresh? Or do you go more traditional? I am working on a few other designs and can’t wait to have them in the shop! It’s so awkward getting ready for the holidays this early!

*As a side note:: I am still sitting out on the patio, except now it’s about 77* and I am listening to Christmas music. I wonder how crazy the neighbors think I am, if they can hear the gentle luls of Christmas hymns coming over the fence!

Mama, I’m Comin Home*

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Autumn brings with it bountiful harvests and a time for thanksgiving. Last year, Hubs and I sat in a barely furnished house with no Macy’s Parade of football while one of those (soon to be discovered by us, DISGUSTING) processed turkey breast baked away in the oven. It was depressing and all I wanted to do was cry. We were celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas all in one weekend as deployment was days away. Military life finally made me realize how I missed my family, however dysfunctional they are. Oh, and trust me: you couldn’t script the crazy my family is.

When I knew we would be going home (home, home) this autumn I knew it was going to be a whirlwind! We’re meeting the movers, packing our stuff and heading back home (to California home). I knew the one thing I wanted was to celebrate the family I hadn’t seen in a year and that I might not see for the next two years! I planned a fun “feast of Thanksgiving” for the Sunday we’ll be in town. Then the question arose: since it’s a family gathering, do I invite my mother? The mother whom I haven’t spoken to since around November 2009? The mother who I was made to invite to my wedding, and who didn’t even bring a card? (I know it’s petty that I hold onto that, and I own that, but I mean: who goes to an event such as a wedding and doesn’t even take or send a card?)

I e-mailed Dr. J (my life coach, not the famous basketball player) and outlined the three possibilities

  1. I do not send her an invitation. She catches word that there was a family event she was excluded from, but I’m already gone and she takes it out on my grandmother (since it will be at Nan’s house).
  2. I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” by having the audacity to invite her out of the blue. She thinks she is being spiteful and doesn’t come. (this is the best case scenario in my book)
  3. I send an invitation and she thinks I’m a “C U Next Tuesday” but actually comes (out of spite, because she is hateful) and I have to slap a smile on and play it cool. (this is the worst case scenario in my book)

Dr. J called me this morning and we talked about it. After much prayer and discussion with both Nan and him, we came to a conclusion. I send her the invitation, fly into the freak show that is my family (Hubs calls it a war zone and I think he would take a year in A-Stan over a three-hour family get-together with my mother in attendance, true story, no exaggeration.) and let the pieces fall where they may. I do not own their reactions because quite frankly, when it comes to my family, there is no right.

The adorable invitation/notes sent out to family asking them to join us! Oh yeah, I use the very things I sell!

 I’m not going to lie: her “note” is a little snarky and more to inform her it is happening than to invite her to join in. I’m trying God, I’m trying, just not hard enough when it comes to the woman who has hurt me for the last 27 years of my life. (Well, 27 years as of next week! Man, I’m getting old!)

Next step is to work out a survival strategy in the event she actually shows her face. If you are reading this thinking “what in the world is that girl’s problem?” think of it like this: my mother is worse than the worst mother-in-law horror story you have ever heard. I’ll be sure to share how it goes down and my survival strategy with you all once Dr. J and I come up with it!

How do you handle those horrific family members or in-laws? I am not looking forward to being home with my family. I am only very, very, very excited to be home with Nan!

Oh, and I thought I would make this my song of the week for Amber’s link up!

“Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come but I ain’t the same
Mama, I’m comin home
Times go by, seems to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I’m comin home

You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized, yeah
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes

You made me cry, you told me lies
But I can’t stand to say goodbye
Mama, I’m comin home
I could be right, I could be wrong
It hurts so bad it’s been so long
Mama, I’m comin home”

I’m gearing up and am ready for the inevitable emotional journey that will be going home this time.

*Oh, you didn’t think I was an Ozzy type of gal, huh? Well, I am!

13 Ounces or Less :: Sent With Love

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While perusing Facebook today I happened to see the link to a blog that Jess (from Jessica Lynn Writes) posted. You know Jess, right? She just moved to ITALY! Anyway: It was to a fun blog she posted about, Giver’s Log. She posts these “Fun Mail” stories about how she sends items to friends through the normal mail. Things like flip-flops, plastic eggs, bouncy balls. You can check her out : Here.

I immediately thought about what a cool idea that would be. I am collecting addresses of folks who would like to get something fun, of 13 ounces or less, in the mail. I am NOT setting this up in a swap format at this time. I am asking if you would like something from me, on some random day, in your mailbox. I am thinking once every other month or so. In turn, maybe you would send something back, at some random day, when the mood hits. As you all know from my shop, I believe in the art of the handwritten letter. I believe there is a strong community found here in blogland, and I would like to make that leap to mail friends! Getting to know each other on a closer level. Opening our mailboxes and getting something other than bills! 

If you are interested:: check out Giver’s Log and see some of the fun ideas she has come up with! If you want to be a 13 ounce package pal, drop me a line! Maybe this will take off and become something bigger than I am expecting. In that event maybe I will set it up as a swap where each month we all send one package to one person (minimum). I just don’t feel organized enough right now to want to spearhead that.

There is no spending limit! It just has to be creative and under 13 ounces. Maybe one month it will be something cute from the dollar store, maybe one month it will be something a little more intense. It all just depends on my mood that month and yours in your package. CREATIVITY is what counts.

***If Interested:: send me an e-mail (theyoungretiree {at} gmail {dot} com) with your address! Also, feel free to include your favorite color(s), any hobbies, allergies or things you just plain hate … oh, and your birthday 🙂

Swippity Swapping!

It’s that time of year where the USPS gets bogged down with packages going to and fro! All over the blogosphere you can find Fall swaps, Holiday swaps, Ornament swaps, Cookie swaps, et cetera! Are you participating in one? I have good news if you are: I will offer free shipping on a note card or gift tag (well, you’ll get the whole set) from the shop for you if you are! Are you hosting one? Let me know and I can give you a coupon code if you would like to advertise this deal to your participants!

I have some cute autumn goodies in my shop right now:


Click on image to be taken to shop!

There are a few more autumn goodies coming this week as well as tons of Christmas cards and tags 😀 Keep your eyes open for them! If you’re interested, let me know what swap you’re signed up for and you can get free shipping!

We’re OPEN!

I couldn’t hold it any longer! The excitement was killing me and I opened my etsy shop tonight! Currently there are six items for sale.

cute gift tags available now 😀

I’ve been on a baby kick and a Christmas kick, but the little cupcakes are cute too! I have some note cards waiting to go live as well! I’m trying to figure out if I should list combo packages (like a card and gift tag) or just sell the separately. Right now gift tags are in sets of 6, but I can sell them individually. I’m going back and forth with whether or not I want to list individual tags, or just let the customer know I can create an individual tag in a custom listing for them. We shall see how it works.

I send my first order out tomorrow… to Nan! She’s the guinea pig to make sure I’m charging reasonably for shipping. That’s the hardest part of opening the shop- making sure my expenses were covered in the product price!

Here is the best part, friends: I am giving you all a coupon code for the shop for the “GRAND” OPENING. Once items are added to your cart, you can add the coupon code “HELLOWORLD” to take 10% off your order 😀 This code will be good beginning right now and will go through the next two weeks, in celebration of the opening.

There are some great giveaways coming up, so be on the lookout for them! Until then, stay updated over on The Young Retiree, STAMPED! on facebook! Here is where you can get sneak peaks of what I’m working on (like the cards coming into my shop this week), FLASH SALES for fans, and shop news.

I can’t wait for my first sale, and to know someone appreciates the love of handstamped notes, and wants to spread them on!

Honoring Those Who Serve

Wounded Warrior Project

Image via Wikipedia

My dear friends, I have been working on my Etsy shop the last few days and am getting more and more excited about opening my virtual doors (coming to a web browser near you 24 Oct 2011!). I figured I would wait until after our actual vacation to get the ball rolling.

I ordered a few very awesome stamp sets that focus on those who serve. The word choices will include:

  • “MILES may separate us but LOVE keeps us CLOSE at HEART”
  • “As your LOVED one SERVES our country, may GOD’S BLESSINGS rest upon you.”
  • “THANKS for your dedicated SERVICE and SACRIFICE.”
  • “A real HERO is someone who puts BELIEFS into ACTIONS.”
  • “CONGRATULATIONS on you promotion.” 
  • “As you bravely watch over us, may God watch over you.”

Along with my favorite:

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality that guarantees all others.” – Winston Churchill

I can’t wait to get them in and begin creating beautiful notecards that I know will reach so many amazing men and women. I have set up a special section in my store for these items – you can find them under “Wounded Warrior Support” as a portion of the profit will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project! It is an organization created in 2003 to help those men and women returning wounded from Iraq and Afghanistan, and the caregivers who give so much of their time to them.

I can’t wait to get these products on the shelf and in the hands of men and women who serve via snail mail and care packages sent to them. While my shop is not military focused, these items will be and with your purchases we’ll be helping a greater good!