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2016….it wasn’t so bad after all?

This year, in many respects, has been pretty brutal. Just consider all the musicians, actors and actresses, icons of science and history who we’ve lost. We’ve been through a brutal electoral year, seen the world killing each other and Mother Nature wreaking havoc. I’ve had friends undergoing major medical issues, job problems, losses, and so much more. It’s enough to make you want to bubble wrap your favorite person to keep them safe from 2016!

In a year like this, it takes a special effort to really consider our blessings. It took me a while to ponder, that’s for sure…this past month having to replace my poor car, and having a really crazy cold – it took some effort to break through and consider all the amazing things that 2016 did bring. *See link list at the end of the post if you missed any of these things.

Links to popular posts noted above…have you seen them all?

Customer Appreciation Week” giveaways happen all year long. When I have too many stamps and dies overwhelming me, I pack them into envelopes and send them out to random wonderful customers and patrons! Learn more about joining our Patreon family HERE.

So 2016, farewell.

You’ve been a pain in the drain. But you’ve had your moments of redemption, too. We’re truly ready to put you behind us, though, don’t take it personally. Bring on 2017, and let’s make it a good one. Big plans are afoot!

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Santa, I’ll be good for today!

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you’re ready for Santa!

I’ve been sick all week since returning from a week with family back east – but the puppies wanted to make a little video yesterday. I say they “wanted” to….I just wanted Christmas pictures of them, but then we had just enough energy for a tiny training session. I turned on the camera to see if they’d do anything good. And…yeah. Giallo did a whole new trick – and Vienna is learning from her brother that shaking a paw means more treats! (We worked on that the day Giallo was at the vet for his snip-n-chip and dew claw removal…she did better at learning without her brother as a distraction.) So….here’s a quick little stocking stuffer for your Christmas! Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

Have a Merry Christmas….see you next week!
Sandy

Sale ends tonight!

PS Last day for the $ale on most of my online classes – if choosing a class as a Christmas gift, I’ll be sending your recipient an email on Christmas morning with their link and password! 🙂  And if you are asking for it for Christmas, have Santa purchase it so I can send YOU the email. *wink!*

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Yule Dogs II

Winner! The cow pun post from the other day was HILARIOUS—go read comments if you need a laugh! And random.org selected Bea (crsftystampr) as the winner of the $50 GC! Congrats!!!!

 

A few years ago, I created a “Yule Dogs” video with my elderly golden, Ciara…and I decided to gather some sleeping puppy footage with the two new babies who came to live with me in September. With puppies – you can’t have Christmas trees or decorations in the background….so it’s just regular puppy footage 😉

Yule Dogs II

Watch the video below – or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube!

 

The original Yule Dogs:

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Winners! and coloring broadcasts to replay

What a fun day it was, sharing a few live video broadcasts! I don’t do so many of them anymore, but who knows what the future holds? Anyhow- since there are three replay tutorials out there, (I broadcast a 4th on Facebook but it kinda disappeared!??) I’m including stills of each card, along with links to the re-broadcasts and stamp sets. Because, just in case, ya know? It’s getting closer to Christmas so you might want to pin some for next season if you’re done with cards for 2016! (Is anyone done!?!?)

First…winners!!

  • a Christmas card from the puppies: Natalie (QSOgirl)
  • Arkon Kitchen Desk Table Stand + ball adaptor: Kathy Stacy

Email me your info from my contact form and I’ll get ya hooked up! 🙂

 

 

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Fun-stuff Sunday (with a giveaways!)

 

Puppy Card tricks – and giveaway! {GIVEAWAY ENDED}

Sundays are a good day to share silly tidbits…and I shot a vlog to celebrate this one! And if you’d like to get a card from Giallo and Vienna, leave a comment on this post about what you think of their tricks; be kind with Vienna, sitting is about all she can handle. LOL. (Journal shown is THIS one…Roomba is HERE.) Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube:

Arkon Giveaway! {GIVEAWAY ENDED}

With the current 20% off sale going on (til Christmas!) using coupon code sandyallnock, Arkon has been so excited by the response they decided to do a giveaway of the Kitchen Desk Table Stand and Swivel ball with camera adaptor! Yes both! (See THIS video for more info on how it works.) There are a few ways to get entries….

  1. Fill out the contact form below and tell me what you’d use the stand for. (Filling out the form assures you’re attempting to actually enter for the stand.)
  2. Watch Periscopes and Facebook Live videos today, and comment during the live broadcasts for extra entries!

 

Society 6 recent additions

If you’ve read this far…. 🙂

A few folks have asked for direct links to get some S6 gear for Christmas…the site can be a little challenging to navigate. What I look at is the “NEW” text link right next to “POPULAR” once you’re in a category to see what someone uploaded recently. As for fairly recent stuff – I’ve bought a few items so I could see the quality, and can attest to the totes, mugs, and prints. Not thrilled with rugs or shower curtains (LOL) so buyer beware, little paintings blown up look a bit crazy!

There’s a sale on right now – check prices per item in the shop. S6 guarantees delivery to U.S. customers if an order is placed before December 16thHere are some direct links to a few of my faves, see captions below each:

Newest piece, Copic Marker. Titled “Winter Sparrow.” Note this is NOT how it comes framed, this is the original drawing in the frame and mat I put it in for display at my church. To see S6’s prints, click HERE.
Watercolor: “Rainy Day Umbrellas” – looks really cute as a pouch (they have a couple sizes), also available in prints, pillows and more. Click HERE.
Watercolor: “Cascading Orchids” in a framed print – also pretty as a tote bag or pillow. Click HERE.
Watercolor: “Soft Bouquet.” The prints are gorgeous but it looks lovely on a lot of other items as well like tote bags and pillows. Click HERE.
Watercolor, “Bright Leaf Study.” Because, yellow, right? Click HERE.

 

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Holiday Care Guide: Gifts for people with major illnesses

You might have seen either my Bible Journaling Gift Guide, or my Art/Papercraft Gift Guide. Well this gift guide’s a bit different.

One of my readers, Heather, sent me a note about a topic she feels passionately about – and I agreed to share her message with you. I think she’s on to a great idea for this post, and if you know someone struggling with health issues, this might help you too.

Heather is an 11-year mesothelioma cancer survivor. The holidays were a hard time for her family and friends, from splitting time between home and the hospital to figuring out what gifts were appropriate for someone who was just diagnosed. She found herself getting sick or nauseous from all the food baskets, and she couldn’t drink the caffeinated teas. But to this day she is extremely grateful for the gifts that were geared toward her as a person and not the illness. Here’s some of what she said of her experience:

“I was not myself when I was going through treatment – the radiation particularly knocked me off my feet – but it was my family and friends that helped me through that time, the people that knew me best. They all had my best wishes at heart and I am eternally grateful for their generosity. I really appreciated getting a gift card to my favorite clothing store so I could have a shopping day and feel normal, one friend paid a car payment for me since she knew money was tight from medical bills, and I was most moved by a friend who donated to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation in my name! It was such a touching gesture. I’d love to collaborate with you to create a “Holiday Care Guide” for your blog featuring experiences and items – including receiving hand written cards – for someone battling a diagnosis during the holiday season.” (Read more of Heather’s story HERE.)

From my own experience, it has been hard for me in the past when I have had health challenges – I didn’t know what to ask for help with, and people sometimes would provide things that weren’t always the most helpful. I loved Heather’s suggestions, and I’ve added a few to her list, too (and added a few from the comments section too!):

  • a subscription to Spotify (or Pandora, or Sirius…be sure to get a few months worth at least!)
  • soft and plush slippers or throw – it is important to be comfortable.
  • a book on tape – sometimes an actual book can be hard to focus on.
  • tickets to a local event that they would love (sports game, spa, concert)
  • a portable phone charger and cord – for times when long hours are spent waiting in hospitals and there’s not a plug nearby.
  • a cleaning/laundry service – treatment is draining so a lot of times the energy to pick up the house is not there
  • collection of travel size items – treatment means a lot of traveling back and forth to the hospital, sometimes out of state.
  • for those who can’t have live flowers or plants – make them a tissue paper bouquet or hanging mobile!
  • grocery shop – call and ask for a few items to add to your own list.
  • take out the trash for them weekly.
  • cook for them – perhaps *in* their home. the smell of home cooked food, soups, breads…mmm.
  • donate to a research foundation tackling their illness.
  • yard work – either rake/mow yourself, or hire a service for them.
  • specific things an individual may have challenges with:
    • Uber gift cards to get them to doctors appointments, or gas cards to help pay for their expense.
    • Give a mom a rest and take their kids out for a day of shopping and play – maybe bake Christmas cookies with them.
    • Or perhaps take their dog for a weekend, or set up a weekly play date at your house.
    • Scoop and change cat litter for them on a regular basis.
    • Pay a bill for them that you know they need help with.
    • If they have a PO box or a group mailbox down the street, arrange to pick up their mail for them and drop it off inside the screen door daily.
  • and of course a hand written note is always the most meaningful!

Last night I made a donation to Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation in Heather’s name…feel free to do that too if you’d like.

Please share this post on your Pinterest or Facebook or other social media to help your friends give with compassion, too. And leave your gift ideas in the comments section, too, especially if you’ve had a major illness and have thoughts on items that would be helpful.

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Giving Tuesday 2016: Matching your gifts to K.I.N.D. Fund and IAVA

I heard recently that the endorphins released when we give to a cause we care about are the same ones released when we’re with our loved ones. How cool is that? It explains why I just love #givingtuesday every year – almost more than holidays themselves!

This year, I’d like to invite you to join me in supporting either of two causes that have struck my heart this year: the K.I.N.D. Fund and IAVA. I’ve been saving up for a while to be able to give BIG today—and you can help me spend the money I’ve saved up! Read on for more about the projects, why I care – and how you can make a donation to one of these orgs today and have it matched!

Kids in Need of Desks Fund – K.I.N.D. Fund

cx-zf_1xcaqqi0w70% of school children in Malawi don’t have a desk or a chair. Can you fathom how hard that would be? I picture sitting next to my friends – and the poking that would happen. “She kicked me!” “Teacher, somebody stuck a pencil in my back!” Oy. Kids are kids wherever they are, right?

And how do kids learn when they’re sitting on a concrete floor, or in the dirt outside? (I’d have been distracted by bugs! *freakout*) Just look at all the kids in this photo – they *are* in school, but how much is being learned when they’re sitting on a hard concrete floor?

Well, the K.I.N.D. Fund, a program promoted by Lawrence O’Donnell and administered by UNICEF, gives desks to these kids who have been sitting on the floor. Desks and benches to sit on where they can sit up and pay attention, and have a hard surface to write on and lay a book flat. And maybe, just maybe, they’ll do a little drawing in their notebooks too. I’m pretty sure they can’t resist doodling.

Lawrence O’Donnell just got back days ago from a trip to Malawi to see the distribution in action, and the photos here are from his twitter feed. I was overjoyed to see the change from the kids seated on the floor – to the smiles with their new desks!

cyoin4bvqaeiph8

cx6isdywqaaobolOne of the other things I just love about this program is that the desks are made locally. Right there in Malawi. That creates jobs for local people, supports a local business, all at the same times as the kids are getting help! This is a photo of Dave Thomas (he doesn’t look related to the Wendy’s guy!), who makes the desks. Just look at his happy smile too! His family is supported by this work. And the families of everyone who works with him to make the desks. One gift of a desk ripples out through the community!

So now that you know all about the K.I.N.D. Fund, maybe you’re jazzed about it like I am. (If not, scroll up and look at those smiling faces again!) I’d like to see if we can get a whole bunch of desks for kids in Malawi….whatcha think? Are you game to get a desk? Maybe two? You can even give an ecard when you give one – make it a Christmas gift in someone’s honor. Perfect for that person who’s already got all they need!

Here’s what your gift can buy:

  • $27.50: one desk and bench
  • $55: two desks and bench
  • $110: four desks and bench
  • $1,300: Furnish a class of 40 with desks!

MATCHING GIFTS {ENDED}

So here’s the deal for this charity: I will match, desk for desk, your giving, up to a full classroom! That means between you and me, we could tackle TWO classrooms. I’m picturing the wide eyes when the big truck arrives with those shiny new desks and the excitement of not having to sit on the floor. Yeah!! Release those endorphins! If you give a desk, or two, or four….to let me know without shouting to the world about it, you can fill out the form to let me know how much I’m matching. (You can leave a comment on this post as well to encourage others to give!) To give a desk, click right HERE. 🙂

 

IAVA: Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America

iava

For those more domestically-inclined, another charity I am 100% behind is IAVA, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. IAVA is the #1 post-9/11 veteran organization; they don’t just support veterans, they empower them! You may have seen the Commander In Chief Forum earlier this year – that was spearheaded by IAVA, and I was so proud of their work in putting that important event together.

Their leader, Paul Rieckhoff, is the smartest, most passionate advocate for veterans. When any vet issues arise, you’ll see him being interviewed and not taking a partisan side. IAVA’s side is the veterans’ side. If you’re ever wondering which of any number of candidates is “right” on a veteran issue, see what Paul is saying. I trust him far more than politicians as far as what policies will best support our veterans. He and all of IAVA will go to the mat fighting for our service men and women, and I stand with them.

Here’s just a taste of the impact they’ve had – and this doesn’t even include their advocacy work:

To get involved with IAVA, you can become a member, make a donation, or get some gear  – the last two would also be great gifts for veterans in your life!

MATCHING GIFTS {GIVEAWAY ENDED}

I’ll be matching my readers’ donations to IAVA today – up to the same $1,300 as I’m doing for the desks for kids! To let me know without shouting to the world about it, you can fill out the form below to let me know how much I’m matching. (You can leave a comment on this post as well to encourage others to give!) To give to IAVA, click right HERE. 🙂

 

THANK YOU for making an impact in Malawi – and across the USA!

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Winners…and more

Happy Sunday!

I’ve got a couple fun things for you as we all recover from our thanksgiving turkey comas…one is a bit of Hamilton magic applied to the Christmas season…Hamildolph should make you smile! I love Eclipse6 – if you like accapella Christmas music, be sure to check out their website – amazing voices.

While I’m in a video-sharing mood, I’m going to take a moment to brag on my young cousin Wesley. He’s so talented – check out his latest dance piece!

Winners

And of course – this is what most of you came for! lol. Kim and Terry, send me your email address from my contact form, and I’ll be mailing these out tomorrow, along with a ton of “customer appreciation day” packets to clear out my stash…it’s getting deep in the studio!

  • Kuretake set of 12 watercolors: Kim Perkins
  • Wplus9 Santa’s Reindeer stamp set: Terry DuMoulin

Giallo was my little helper packing up the packets! He’s growing up so fast…

gialloraks

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Happy Black Friday!

I’m not a Black Friday shopper – I adore Small Business Saturday instead – however my inbox is noticing the sales, and I figured I’d gather ’em up for you in a short list. See the websites for full details and restrictions. Just a few of these are affiliate links (read more here).

NOTE

For those not yet decided on their holiday stamps, here’s a heads up on what’s coming up on my blog – if you want to pick it up while on sale, in advance of the coloring video: Wplus9 Santa’s Reindeer; LF Scalloped Treat Box with Fairies; AI mouse; Honey Bee Flakey Friends and Sentiments; AE Christmas Kitsch; LF Snow Cool and Popup die; TE Holy Night, Stamping Bella Seasons Greetings. And I just saw that the Daniel Smith Essentials 6 set is on a huge discount! gah! Note that there’s not much time before Christmas so some of these will be cutting it close to use for your cards! So many stamps, so little time!

Sales

List below is in random order that they showed up in my inbox….I ate too much stuffing to even alphabetize. LOL. Happy shopping!

    • Ellen Hutson –  20% off along with a FREE gift in any order. Orders over $75 get the Sparkle stamp set and orders over $150 get the Sparkle stamp set and die! Free gift offer is good through 11/28/16 while supplies last.
      • Code “early2016” is valid 12:00-9:00am PST on Friday 11/25/16. Shop HERE.
      • Code “anniv2016” for 15% on all in stock items any time over the weekend -11/25/16 through 11/28/16. Shop HERE.
      • Code “cyber2016” for 20% on any remaining in-stock items on 11/28/16. Shop HERE.
    • AmazonOMGPrismacolor Premier Colored Pencils, 150 set 71% off!?!? Go NOW. #fullsetsyndrome
    • Dick Blick
      • In store: 20% off entire purchase from 11/25/16-11/27/16.
      • Online: 15% off $79 or more, 20% off $99 or more, 25% off $159 or more, 20% off $259 or more! Plus free shipping $45+! Coupon code WKD2016. Ends midnight 11/27
    • Dayspring – 30% off site wide with coupon code FRIDAY16
    • Honey Beea “thanks” stamp free with $75 purchase; “thanks” stamp and die with $125 purchase AND free US shipping, good through 11/25.
    • Taylored Expressions30% off everything, no code required.
    • Stamping Bella 30% storewide, and up to 50% on sale category items, with code GRATEFUL16
    • Gerda Steiner Designs – sale details HERE!
    • Lawn FawnFree shipping ($4 discount for intl orders), and spend $35+ and get a free stamp set; spend $60+ for stamp and die!
    • The Greeting Farm30% off everything 11/25/16  to 11/28/16 with code BLKFRI30
    • Avery Elle – free shipping on all US orders, spend $40+ get two rolls of twine. 11/24/16  to 11/29/16. No code needed.
    • Winnie & Walter15% off all instock items with code wwBLACKFRIDAY2016 – coordinating digital elements/cut files will be sent to you by email *free* this weekend! Spend $35 or more (after discount + prior to s&h and tax) and receive a 4×6 stamp set while supplies last.
    • My Sweet Petunia – 20% off the entire store. 11/25/16 to 11/27/16. No code needed.
    • Copic30% off Multiliner sets, with coupon code MLBlackFriday
    • Altenewup to 50% off. No codes needed for any deals, see THIS page for details, but here’s an overview:
      • 11/25/16 only – Up to 50% off on selected items
      • 11/25/16 to 11/28/16 – 20% off stamp & die bundles
      • 11/28/16 —-> Up to 50% off on selected items
    • MFT – 30% off site-wide (excludes Nov release) with code THANKS, through Monday 11/28/16.
    • Mo’s Digital Pencil – 20% off your total order, with code BLACKFRIDAY through 11/27
    • Sunny Studio Stampsfree shipping on orders over $25 , and 15% off sales will be donated to charity!
    • Our Daily Bread Designs30% off everything, coupon code SAVE30
    • Tombow 40% off lettering sets
    • Simon Says Stamp15% off 11/25 only with code SSSBFS
    • Society620% off everything + free shipping! No coupon needed.
    • Adorn the Hunter30% off all jewelry (love their rings!) with coupon code BLACK
    • Petsmartup to 50% off on over 1000 items (Giallo and Vienna are ecstatic)
    • Sandy AllnockCopic Jumpstart and Exploring Watercolor are discounted through this weekend! And the “giftable” versions are discounted through Christmas Eve – your recipient will receive an email on Christmas morning telling them of their class gift. Copic and Watercolor classes available as gifts. No coupon needed.

Don’t forget to save some of your funds for Giving Tuesday – or maybe count up what you’ve saved, and donate that to charity…win win! 🙂

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Art and Papercrafting Gift Guide 2016

 

Hello friends! It’s that time of year – Black Friday sales will be upon us, and the whole holiday season as well. Fill up your cart and be ready to click once the sales get underway! I hear Ellen has a crazy-awesome sale ahead and will add that info here as soon as I know details!

  • (Note that Blick already has a sale going: use code CEER for 15% off non-sale orders of $79 or more, 20% off non-sale orders of $99 or more, and free shipping on orders of $45 or more. Exclusions apply. Offers end midnight PST 11/24/16.)

Giveaway: the set of 12 watercolors shown in the video! I’ll announce a winner Sunday! Leave a comment on this post. 🙂

Art and Papercrafting Gift Guide 2016

The holiday shopping season is fast coming up on us…and since I regularly get questions anyway about getting “started” with a variety of mediums, I’m tackling a bunch here. It’s not exhaustive – but it’s a start, and in the video I share a bunch of ideas for things you can do personally to help people get a little education too. Let’s go!Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.

And now…the links! First a picture of each, and below it are links to the items. Go share some art! Affiliate links used. Read More

sandy-allnock-coloring-book-gift-guide

Coloring Books

sandy-allnock-copic-flowers-gift-guide

Copic Flowers

sandy-allnock-copic-animals-gift-guide

Beginning Copic for cardmakers – animals

sandy-allnock-copic-people-gift-guide

Copic People

sandy-allnock-watercolor-gift-guide

Beginning watercolor for cardmakers

sandy-allnock-stamped-watercolor-gift-guide

Art Impressions Watercolor

sandy-allnock-misti-gift-guide

MISTI + backgrounds stamps (or any other kind!)

sandy-allnock-arkon-stand-gift-guide

Arkon Mounts

Gift a Class! (Or get one for yourself!)

Choose a gift class – at a $2 discount until Dec 24th at midnight – to give as a Christmas gift! I will send an email on Christmas morning telling your recipient that you’ve provided them with this class, so be sure to put your recipient’s address in the notes section when you order. And after you purchase the class, in your receipt you will receive a link to a PDF you can print out as a “gift certificate” to wrap up! (Note: I don’t think I can tell them in the email who the class was gifted by, so you’ll need to let them know that yourself.) If you wish to gift a class at another time of year, just email me and we can arrange that manually.

Give yourself a class Prices are discounted for current Copic Jumpstart and Exploring Watercolor classes through Nov 27th!)
giftjsclass

giftwcclass