Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 Days of Home for the Holidays Welcomes Cheryl Waters

Welcome Cheryl, multi-talented, loving crafter and person. Many crafters know Cheryl as founding Fiskateer Lead, Fiskars Crafting Ambassador, and now Fiskateer Legend. Cheryl now owns her own crafting business at Artsy Findings Shop. Cheryl has a deep commitment to sharing her talent and time with others through her charity work and is well known for her involvement in Brave Girl's Club. I hope you find new and renewed inspiration from Cheryl and her Holiday Tradition of Gratitude.
A Tradition of Gratitude
Traditions are such an important part of each culture and people group.  I love that each of us have unique traditions that we pass down that help make us who we are as a family and individual.  Both Thanksgiving and Christmas are rich in traditions for my family and I.  It is a time that we cherish all that the past year has brought and look forward to what the new year holds.

Some of you may celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanza.  I feel that this a tradition that can transcend to any way you celebrate the season.  This is a tradition of gratitude and thankfulness.

It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bussel of the season.  One of the ways we slow down to have a heart of gratitude is that after we pray and eat Christmas Eve dinner, we meet in the living room . . . the eldest on chairs and couches and the young people usually sitting on the floor.  Before we open any gifts, which as you know for kids . . . it’s hard to wait, we go around the room one by one and share what we are thankful for that year.  Thanksgiving isn’t the only time to stop and be thankful . . . we also stop throughout the year but make it a part of our Christmas evening.  We as a family are foremost thankful for our faith and the reason for the season.  Our hearts are also filled with gratitude for all the rich blessings the blessings.  After we conclude our time of sharing, we pray and go on with gift giving.  There is one particular time of sharing in years  past that stands out.

I’ll never forget the Christmas of 2001.  My uncle’s headquarters were in New York City but he had a home here in California.  You see he was in New York City on September 11th, 2001 in his downtown Manhattan.  What he witnessed changed his outlook on life in some simple but profound ways.  He shares about how he felt so helpless to assist others and really all he could do was give blood, walk the streets and assist where he could.  It was like witnessing a war.

My uncle is 6’9” and calls himself a cupcake shy of 400 lbs.  He’s big and strong but a gentle and caring man.  He didn’t come from money and because of my grandparents hard work and his, he was able to flourish in law and business.  I will never forget that year when he opened up the sharing . . . with a few tears; he was so grateful for home (in California), for family and for health.  He’s a pretty grateful man as it is, however this was a deep sense of gratitude and it was evident.  He had seen things some of us will never see in our lifetime or hope not to see.

So we make gratitude a part of our season both at Thanksgiving and Christmas.  In fact, I attempt to make it a part of each day.  Especially as we ponder all that the previous year held and all that the new year has for us . . . it’s always a warm and wonderful gesture to stop and take time out to outwardly be thankful.

I’m preparing by heart of gratitude by creating an art journal page in my ‘Grow’ journal all about the importance of being having this type of heart.  Do you have a time you stop and are grateful for all that the year has shown you?  Do you record it?  I’d love to know.  I’m thankful for new and established friends I’ve met through the art community.  I’m grateful for you and the way you’ve touched my life.  I’m wishing you a beautiful season full of life, light, love and gratitude.  Here is California, despite that it’s Winter, the season usually brings some sunshine.  I’m reminded . . . Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. ~ Helen Keller
 

For a little holiday artsy fun I thought I'd share with you some quick simple artsy mixed media tags you can top your special gifts with.  While the gift doesn't have to be extravagant as it's given from the heart, a handcrafted tag is sure to top it with a special touch.  Taking that extra little step of handcraftedness says, I'm grateful for you and you're special.  Enjoy the video.


Gratitude Overflowing
Since I shared the contents of my post with Debby, on November 2nd I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  Here's the post on my blog in which I shared . . . Day One of Doing Battle.
Of course there were feelings of uncertainty and fear especially at first but they were slight compared to those of overwhelming gratitude as I shared with family, friends and co-workers and felt their love and support.  That gratitude . . . absolutely overwhelming and overflowing like a wave that rushes in and covers you like a warm blanket.  Like I've never felt before.  As I look at the many blessings in my life, the disease and the future ahead seems doable with great strength.  It's almost as if those around you stand you up by their love and support to face what is ahead.  While I'm not grateful I have to fight this disease, I am grateful for love, support, encouragement, those that have gone before me on this journey, seeing how this journey has already brought some people together, seeing a strength in numbers and more.  It's amazing.  Sometimes adversity brings greater things that we could have ever imagined.

My Christmas will be a little different this year . . . recuperating from surgery but one way it will remain the same . . .Overflowing gratitude for the reason for the season, the priceless gifts in my life and for gratitude overflowing.  Once again I'm wishing you each a season to remember . . . one of love, peace and joy.

Cheryl Waters
Artsy Findings
 Pink Warrior Leather Bracelet Tutorial

Cheryl is my hero!  I love this woman's heart and soul.Thank you Cheryl for being that woman of God that we can look to as an example of His Love and Strength.

This has been an incredible journey this year.  I am grateful for all of you that came and shared in the comments with each of the guests.  I'll draw a winner on Friday and wrap it all up then.  

Giveaway
What an incredible giveaway from Graphic 45, X-ACTO, Sizzix, and May Arts! 
  1. Leave a comment for  Cheryl and I’ll put your name in the drawing.  
  2. Leave a comment on each of the 12 day's posts to be entered for12 opportunities to win this gorgeous prize package!  Yes, you can go back to any of the post to leave a comment.
  3. You can also go to X-ACTO's, Graphic 45's, Sizzix's, and May Art's Facebook page and “like,” leaving a comment you came from D’s Paper Studio and leave another comment on one of the blog posts letting me know to be entered again.  I love that these manufactures jumped on board to sponsor this generous giveaway.  I encourage you to wish them a Wonderful Crafty Holiday from this blog event.  I'll like to give a shout out to Tammy Tutterrow for her wonderful work designing for Sizzix and working with them to have Sizzix's portion of this great giveaway. 
One blog reader's name will be drawn and announced on Friday, December 14th.  

Have a Wonderful Crafty Holiday!


42 comments:

  1. Having an attitude of gratitude is so important! Thank you for sharing Cheryl! You'll be in my thoughts and prayers brave girl!!!

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  2. cheryl what a wonderful attitude- thanks for sharing with us!! in my thoughts

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  3. Cheryl - this is such an important reminder!! It is too easy to get caught up in this whilrwind of a season! Will be thinking of you during this time.

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  4. First of all, my best wishes and support for you!!! So sorry you have to go through this, but I know with your amazing outlook you are going to whoop cancer!

    I love that your family recaps their things to be thankful for at Christmas too. Putting up my ornaments brings so many memories and that is when I love to reflect on the year.

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  5. Remembering to be thankful is so easy when all is going well - being thankful when all is not well is a gift - thank you for sharing yours. Your family tradition of giving thanks first is beautiful.
    Wishing you the best as you fight your battle.

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  6. Cheryl,my friend, you have always been an inspiration to me in both your art and your life. Keep up the good fight.

    Blessings to you and your family.

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  7. Oh, Cheryl! Thank you very much for your beautiful post! Yes, every day is a thanksgiving! I will be praying for you as you continue in the journey ahead! God is good!...Nancy :o)

    Debbie,
    Thank you for a wonderful 12 days of meeting beautiful and inspiring women! A Very Merry Christmas to you! :o)

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  8. Sending you some Fiskateer love this season, Cheryl, and some healing strength for the year to come. I sincerely hope the worst is over.

    Veronica (Scrappyrat)
    Fiskateer #1135

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  9. Debbie, thank you for the fun, care and awesomeness you always put into these 12 days. You are a blessing. Thank you Debbie and to all for your encouragement. I am so grateful! Yes, it will be a fight but with friends (some of you here), my faith, and family I have a core strength to move forward. New friends too . . . some of which are here. :) Thank you and thank you. Wishing you the warmest most wonderful time this year!

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  10. It has been a beautiful 12 day journey. Cheryl is such a sweet ray of Sunshine. Hugs to you both.

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  11. What a wonderful tradition....I love that idea and I think we'll incorporate it this year....love thinking about being grateful vice just heading straight to the gifts!

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  12. Cheryl you are truly an inspiration not just in talent but in spirit. Continuing to lift you and family in prayer and trusting faith and strength will always be your hope. Merry Christmas and TFS.

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  13. Cheryl, you are such a inspiration in everything you do. Wishing you the best. Always.

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  14. Thank you for such heartfelt words. Sending you wishes for a full and as easy as possible recovery. As for your tags--I LOVED them! I liked how messy and unfussy the process was but how simple and perfect they looked! I will definitely try this:)

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  15. What a wonderful tradition - love what you do on Christmas Eve. Sometimes the best lessons come from the hardest trials. My love, good thoughts and prayers are with you. Wishing your family a blessed Christmas season!

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  16. Cheryl you are very inspirational! Thank you for your words and strength. I hope that your holiday is everything you need and could ever want it to be.

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  17. Kam mccallan11:30 AM

    Oh Cheryl you are always so inspiring! I am so glad that you are surrounded by love and encouragement. It is a difficult journey you are on and yet choosing to concentrate on the blessings will make a huge difference! You are so loved!

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  18. Brittany George11:47 AM

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful family traditions with us. I am wishing you a speedy recovery and hope you kick cancer where it hurts. ;)

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  19. Yours is a wonderful way to celebrate the season and the perfect way to defeat this disease. Best to you and your family.

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  20. Cheryl, As my eyes lit up when I saw it was you posting today, tears also ran down my face as I read. Your Grace, strength, gratitude, and art inspire me everyday. It is hard for so many to stop and be thankful for things. When we are dealing with the tough times, we dont always think to be thankful for what they taught us and how they molded us into who we are today. You are an inspiration to so many and you have touched souls so deep. Your spirit is overwhelming at times and that is why I love you so much. I will continue to pray for you every day as I have continued to do thus far. Prayers for a safe surgery and a full recovery sent your way. Thank you for sharing your family traditions with us. Your uncle sounds as amazing as you.
    Thank you Debbie for this fun and inspiring week.

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  21. Inspiring post today!I have loved these 12 days of christmas!

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  22. Anonymous1:36 PM

    I LOVE how you used the inky side of the stencil and turned it over to add a twist on to how to transfer the image to the tag. I also like you "paint brush"/finger for poinsettia painting! They are beautiful tags...I want to go make some right now! Kellystar #6446

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  23. Cheryl,
    First I want to remember to answer your question...I am so thankful for everything God has seen fit to give me. No complaints that it is not much. There are times I feel so rich. I live in a warm house, have never known the feeling of going hungry and have to give clothes away when my closet gets too full. So, although both my husband and I had to give up working, due to completely different illnesses, we are richly blessed!

    Then there is YOU! You have been such a blessing in my life through your inspiration of creativity and loving attitude! You are in my prayers and thoughts several times a day. I wish you nothing but the best through your journey.

    It has to be good to know you are loved by so many...

    Debby,

    Thank you so much all of the work you have gone to bringing us 12 incredibly talented and inspirational crafters to your blog to share their traditions. You, too, are a blessing.

    I have liked all of your sponsors on FB (had liked most of them already).

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  24. Thanks for sharing Cheryl and keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

    Thank you Debby for taking the time to do this again this year. I really enjoyed it.

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  25. Cheryl- I adored her as a Fiskateer Leader and now I follow her blog and wish her well along her breast cancer journey. Thanks for sharing the story of your uncle. I would have felt very removed from the 9-11 happenings had I not had a trip back there planned for the end of the month that very year. We were able to make our trip and so special to be their 2 weeks after and see for ourselves the hurt and devasation and to try and imagine what those poor people were feeling that very day it happened. TFS

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  26. Cheryl,
    My prayers and thoughts are with you and your love ones. I love your family traditions of "heart of gratitude." Wishing you lots of success in Artsy Findings Shop.

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  27. Debby,
    Thanks for bringing such talented women together. It was amazing! You are truly inspirational and in great company.

    I thanked all the sponsors. And I would like to thank you for choosing such amazing sponsors.

    Happy holidays!

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  28. Words fail me when it comes to Cheryl-she is such an inspiration in so many ways.Wishing her and her family a truly blessed Christmas and new year.

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  29. Gratitude is such a wondeful thing! Love the tags and bracelet. You will eb in my thoguhts and prayers Cheryl! Thanks for sharing her with us Debby!

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  30. Cheryl, I love your positive attitude, and your gratitude and appreciation for life. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

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  31. thank you for sharing your gratitude tradition with us. Thank you for sharing your heart and for touching mine. I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and praying for your health to be restored. May God bless you ~

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  32. This post is so inspiring! I can't thank Cheryl enough for sharing so deeply... you never know who can be helped by sharing this way!

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  33. So inspiring Cheryl~I wish you all the best and pray for you. Enjoy your ART so much!

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  34. Thanks for sharing. Keep up the fight! I will be praying for all of the precious ladies that I know who are fighting cancer.

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  35. A wonderful post--love the video on the tags.. Hugs and sending prayers to you in fighting this cancer.

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  36. That's our girl!

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  37. I am grateful for Cheryl and for Debbie for providing the forum. Thank you to both. Prayers for you and your family and friends and for everyone with a hand or thought in your treatment and recovery, Cheryl.

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  38. Left a comment on Graphic 45's FB page.Much love and prayers to our Cheryl.

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  39. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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  40. left love on Graphic 45 page.

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  41. Kairn Hall9:50 PM

    Cheryl .. thank you for always sharing such wonderful and moving stories with us. You are a true blessing. God Bless you and your family this Christmas

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  42. @Cheryl, thank you for sharing with us your beautiful traditions and stories. Keep the faith lovely lady!

    @Debby, thank you for the past 12 days of inspiration and traditions. This was soo much fun!

    Happy Holidays to you both!

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