Sending Sunshine - Mini Blog Hop + Giveaway!

Happy Monday friends! 
Today I have a very special post lined up, and if you're just joining me, I hope you'll stay a while and enjoy the festivities! If you already know about the blog hop, you're in the right place :)

Today's post is a tad longer than most, but that's because I have a lot to share with you. 
So grab a cuppa and enjoy!

I'd like to take a moment to share the whole reason behind this blog hop celebration.

As some of you know, a very dear friend of mine and I got to meet for the first time this past Christmas. It was a dream come true and quickly turned into a week full of fun, laughter and special memories. I would like to share our story with you, but be sure to heard over to Aneta's blog, for her take, too.

Before we get to that, I'd like to share how this hop idea started.

OUR PROJECT

One of the wonderful things we got to do while visiting, was spend a little bit of time crafting together. Aneta brought back some crafty goodies for us - and we spent such a wonderful afternoon sharing, comparing, and playing. 

We created sweet stenciled backgrounds, using Pale Peony, Harvest Gold and Melon Berry re-inkers mixed with some fluffy texture paste. 
I used a pretty sunburst stencil from the Make it Market: Sunshine and Rainbows kit, and Aneta used a beautiful rose stencil from Tim Holtz. We each took our stenciled art away as a sweet keepsake, with a plan to finish our cards down the road sometime. Fast forward a few months, and here's what we each did with our projects! 


I wanted to use the piece in it's entirety, and decided to add some watercolors in between each little ray.


 I wanted to make a card that was bright, bold, beautiful and full of warmth - to reflect the joy I feel about our friendship!


To the center of the rays, I added a Scene It: Basic Backer die cut from Papertrey Ink, watercolored in bright hues. For all the watercoloring, I used these fab Artist's Loft Water Colors from Michael's.

At the top of the card, I added a couple of sweet clouds, from the Make it Market: Sunshine and Rainbows kit. Don't you just love the teeny heart cut-out?!




At the bottom, I added another die-cut from the kit, and a stamped sentiment from the Big Hugs stamp set. 

This card is quite a bold and bright departure from what I normally make, and I have to say it looks even more vibrant in person...But I love it! And what I love even more, is that it reminds of such a special time spent with a dear friend. 

Before you go and check out how Aneta used her stenciled background - which you are going to LOVE - I have a few more things to share:

Below you will find my giveaway prize - to enter simply comment on my blog and Aneta's blog. One randomly drawn winner will be selected from each blog and announced on March 24th! 

I'm sharing our story - feel free to keep on reading below and let me know if you've ever had the chance to meet your faraway friend or crafty idol!

I'm sharing a little bit about what I love about Aneta - I hope you'll enjoy getting to know  more about my dear friend and lastly, 

Don't forget to check out Aneta's Blog - I hope you will head over to her  blog and check out her gorgeous cards. I think you may just end up staying a while :) 

GIVEAWAY

To enter, simply comment below, and be sure to comment on Aneta's blog too! We will select one random winner from each blog. You will have until Friday March 23 to play along. Winners will be announced Saturday March 24 on both blogs.


I'll be giving away a Spring-inspired card kit, complete with stamps, dies, papers, ribbons, washi tape (from Aneta!!), and wee little accents! I love having kits like this on hand for crafting-on-the go, or for when I'm low on inspiration. 


I hope you'll play along and say hi! 

And now that all the official business in out of the way, I want to share a little more about our friendship.  

OUR STORY

How We Met:

Aneta and I met several years ago, via my blog. Aneta reached out to me about a few little packages I was trying to re-home. What started as a short exchange over some crafty goodies, quickly turned into friendship. We very quickly realized that we had a lot in common (besides crafting) and I found myself really enjoying our email friendship. With each email, we got to know each other better, and our friendship only grew stronger. 

During this time, we had a few chances to meet, but nothing ever lined up for both of us. So we kept on dreaming. That one day, we'd finally get to meet. 

That day finally came last Autumn, when we decided to spend Christmas together!

When we threw out the invitation, hoping and wishing it would work, we secretly felt that no one would come to Canada in the MIDDLE of Winter! But much to our surprise and incredible delight, our friends were totally up for the adventure! It was THE most exciting news!!! 

Our First Encounter:

It was late evening, December 21st, as we counted down the last few minutes before our friends would arrive. We had spent so long waiting for this moment, and then it happened! It was so surreal! Hubby first saw our friends, as the airport gates opened, and within seconds we were all in a warm embrace. It was the lovliest of  feelings - as if reuniting with a dear old friend. That night we chatted until the wee hours. My heart was so full. And I was so excited. I could hardly sleep. 

Our Christmas Together:

We spent the most wonderful time together during our visit. From cooking, to shopping, to sight-seeing, to crafting...It was all delightful. We learned that our new friends are caring, warm-hearted, generous, thoughtful, funny as can be, and completely and totally our soulmates. 

Each day brought new adventures and an opportunity to learn more about each other. 
We learned that we all love coffee way too much. As well as good food. 
We learned that we all love to talk, laugh and that we even share the same sense of humor. 
We learned that our friends are so appreciative - we've never quite felt so humbled by someone's gratefulness. It was overwhelming..In the best possible way. 

I have many fond memories of our time together, and we've missed them from the day they departed. But we are so glad to have such a special memory to hold onto and a few keepsakes from our time together. Aneta showered me with too many beautiful goodies, and I will forever cherish them. 
They will always remind me of our time together.


ABOUT ANETA

So now that you know how we met, I wanted to tell you a little bit about what makes my friend so special. 

As you can imagine, I love Aneta's creative eye. She is incredibly talented and such an inspiration to me. Two of my favorite projects of Aneta's just so happen to be her Christmas creations! I adore how she uses non traditional colors in these two pieces. And can we talk about those layers?! She is an expert at layering, and her style is so infused with delicate colors and details. I could spend hours looking at her stunning art. 


You can check these two favorites out here and here.


But more than just her creativity and endless inspiration that she radiates, she is just an all-around wonderful person. Determined, strong, smart, kind, and incredibly thoughtful. I am beyond-words-grateful to know her.

I hope that now you will head over to her blog so you can get to know her better too!

And before you go, we prepared a fun little Q&A, so here's what I had to say!

1.      What are three paper-crafting items you cannot live without?

I have to say I’m a bit of a PTI fangirl!  I just don’t know what my creative process would be like without their lovely stamps and dies. Also, can we just talk about their Rustic White cardstock for a second?! It's hands down my absolute favorite go-to!

2.      What does your craft space look like when you’re in the middle of your projects?

Unruly. Which is why I only craft in bursts – so cleanup is less daunting when all is said and done :)

3.      Do you listen to music when you craft?

While I looove music, when I craft, I'm much more inclined to sing to myself.
Don’t ask...But if you feel inclined to, Aneta can tell you all about my singing ;)

4.      What gets you inspired to create?

So many things! It can be the littlest of details, like a pretty napkin, or interesting packaging…But most of all, colors and prints. I love playing with color and pattern so I am always on the lookout for a good mix of the two. I also spend way too much time on Pinterest and visiting my uber talented friend’s blogs. I mean how can you not be inspired by someone as amazing as Aneta!!

5.      What surprised you about meeting Aneta in person?

I think the thing that surprised me the most was that…it was happening!! Such a surreal moment to meet someone so very near and dear to your heart for the first time. And with all the excitement and buildup, there were definitely a few moments when I had to pinch myself. And hold back a tear or two. But the ultimate surprise was how much we loved every second of our time together and how much we’ve missed our dear friends since!

Thank you friends for visiting today and for all of your love and support! I hope you enjoyed today's post. Please don't forget to play along below, and also to head over and meet my dear friend Aneta :) 

Ciao from all of us!


p.s. Friends - I'm trying out a NEW supplies list that will be featured at the end of each post. I hope it will make shopping a little easier and allow you to quickly see products I've used on each project. Using this feature will not add any additional costs to your purchase, but it will go a long way in helping me maintain this little blog of mine. Your purchases through any of the AMAZON or SCRAPBOOK.COM links below will help me convert a small portion of your sales towards running this little blog and creating new, exciting content on an on-going basis.
So if you like what you see here and you enjoy visiting my creative space, please consider using these links when you shop.

Also please note, although I do make a small commission on the sale of some products I feature, all products used on this blog and opinions shared are my own and are not influenced in any way.
I simply love to share the goodies that make crafting fun for me, in hopes that they'll do the same for you! :)


CONVERSATION

24 lovely comments:

  1. Your cards are always a great inspiration for me, and thanks for letting me know Aneta :)

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    1. Giorgia, it's such a pleasure to meet you! I am so glad you now know Aneta too, and I can't wait to check out your blog and your creations! Sending hugs!

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  2. Gorgeous makes Ivana and such a wonderful friendship!!!
    Hugs
    Samra
    Paper Talk with Samra

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Samra! It's such a blessing to have a dear and crafty friend such as Aneta!

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  3. Zachwycająca historia!
    Ogromnie się cieszę, że udało Wam się spotkać.
    Wasze projekty są przepiękne!!!

    Całuję
    Eva

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  4. *sigh*: ) What a wonderful wonderful story Ivana!!
    I enjoyed your post immensely~ First of all to hear
    that you had such a treasured time with Aneta, (wowzer)
    but also to see these gorgeous creations! (I used to see Aneta's art
    on SB.com when I was active there - her work is A mazing!)
    Thank you for sharing all this joy <3 love and hugs, Karen

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    1. Karen, Aneta is truly sooo talented and I am beyond lucky to have her in my life! And I feel the same way about you! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for visiting and all the love, support and kind words. Hope you are doing well, dear friend!

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  5. I loved hearing your stories as to how you both met, such a precious treasure to the 2 of you. I’ve followed you for sometime now because I first came across your stunning work on Pinterest and I absolutely adore your creations, super talented you. Tfs

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    1. Aw Rachel, it's so great to hear from you! Thank you so much for being a reader, and for the very sweet note! It just warms my heart that I am able to meet wonderful people such as you in this crafty online world. Sending you many crafty hugs! xo

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  6. Thank you for commenting on my blog because that led me to yours. You have absolutely amazing projects!! So my style and I just love all of them and now I know where to come when I need to be inspired. I loved reading all about you and your friendship with Aneta.

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    1. Sadie, it's so great to see you here! Thank you so much for visiting and for the sweet note! I hope I'll be seeing you in blogland more and I can't wait to visit your blog again. Your work is beautiful!

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  7. So nice to hear the story of your friendship! Love your creations!

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    1. It's a pleasure to meet you, Angie! Thank you so much for the sweet note! :)

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  8. Such a wonderful story! I love the texture paste and paint on your card. While it is not your usual palette, it still looks like you did it!

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    1. Oh, thank you so much!! That is such a lovely compliment! Biggest of thanks for always stopping by and the sweet comments!! Sending many crafty hugs :)

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  9. I love yalls sweet story and I too found my crafting buddy by reaching out and meeting up. We have become lunch and shopping and talking and mailing friends too. She as it turns out, only lives an hour away. Dreams do come true! I found your blog about 2 years ago and you never stop inspiring me.

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by Shelley, and for continuing to visit! It's such a pleasure to meet you :) I am so happy to hear that your crafty friend lives so close by! Oh how I wish! It sure is wonderful to have someone like that to connect with, especially so near! I just love how this blogworld has allowed us to meet friends all over the globe :) Sending you big hugs and big thanks again for all of your love and support!

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  10. Ivana, your story, and your cards remind me of a dear sweet bloggy friend who I traveled to meet! In fact, she's the reason I found YOU! Lisa [My Paper Tales], and her husband, returned the visit us this past Summer, and the time spent together will always be cherished! I'm sure you and Aneta feel the same: don't you wish we lived closer??? like next door???
    A gorgeous project, and loving post... I am off to visit Aneta!
    =]

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    Replies
    1. Aw, thank you so much Michelle!! And it is so wonderful to hear that you are friends with Lisa, AND that you were able to meet! She is so wonderful and talented! What a dream come true! Oh I sure do wish that our dear crafty friends lived closer...Wouldn't that be just wonderful!? But until that day, at least we all have this wonderful world of blogging to keep us connected :) It's such a pleasure to meet you and THANK YOU so much for visiting my little blog. Big hugs!

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  11. I saw your post on sb.com and had to check out your blog. WOW! I absolutely love love this post so much. I really liked reading about your friendship with Aneta. It is wonderful that riendships come out of blogging, scrapbooking and card making! This post amazing and fun to read! I loved seeing both of your works of art, too. Thank you!!! (I am off to check out Aneta's post now!) HUGS!!!

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    1. Oh Sharon, thank you so much for visiting! I often browse your gallery at SB.cm and I am blown away by your art! Your layouts are so feminine and sweet, and you inspire me endlessly! Thanks so much for stopping by! xo

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  12. I also came to your blog in response to your kind comment and I am totally blown away by your beautiful work and the sweet story of your friendship with Aneta. It's such a heart-warming story and I loved reading it. I will be back to admire and comment again. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Cindy, it's so nice to meet you! I am SUCH a fan of your art :) I can't tell you what it means to me that you took the time to pop by and say hi, and read our story! :) I'll definitely be vising your blog again - I can't wait to see more of your beautiful creations. Sending big hugs! xo

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Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and to leave a comment. I appreciate your kind words so much!

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