Welcoming 2020 with Alexandra Renke

January 1, 2020

Happy New Year, crafty friends. It feels like just yesterday we were ringing in 2019, and here we are in 2020...and in a new decade. The last decade was probably the worst & best decade of my life. Losing a baby not once, but twice...it was like walking to hell and back. Two times. I will never understand why, and I don't know that it's meant to be understood. I think it's just meant to be carried. I have no idea how the composer, Horatio Spafford, wrote the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul". He penned that hymn just days after losing all 4 of his daughters, while sailing to his grieving wife, who survived the tragedy. 4 years after losing Ellie, and 3 years after losing Layton...it is not well with my soul. While the soul crushing pain is lighter, I don't know if I will ever be able to say it is well with my soul. I expected to raise those babies. To make a million memories with them. To see who they would become. So many things...and I lost all of it the days they died.

It's not easy to leave the only decade that my babies lived in, but as I do every year, I will continue to bring them with me. While I was only graced with their presences for a mere moment, it's the best gift I've ever been given. And I would walk to hell and back a million times over, if it were the only way to keep those moments. My faith, my grief and how I deal with it may look very different from Horatio, but I am certain of one thing. I know that I will spend eternity with my little ones when my time is done, and I am on the other side of the veil. Until then, I will speak of and keep the memories of both Ellie & Layton alive. It's the only way I know how to be their mom.

Before I get to today's card set, I wanted to let you know that I will do a Layton's Legacy update and get the winners posted in the next couple of days. I need to thank you for your grace - it's been a hard season for me this year. And GoFundMe is a lot harder to get funds from than YouCaring, so that didn't make things any easier. I am happy to say that the gift cards have been purchased, and the check to Ronald McDonald House has been written...and I will give you a complete update very soon. Thank you for being patient.

I've created a set of New Year's cards today, using some really beautiful products from Alexandra Renke. I also did a video tutorial for them too! What?! I told you I would be dusting off the cobwebs on my YouTube channel in 2020, and I thought it was a good idea to start the year off right!I am using some really gorgeous papers, along with a mix of stamps & dies to create both of these cards.

I would love for you to watch my card come together today. You can view my video below, or HERE in HD. It's a little bit long, as there are 2 cards and I don't really love to speed it up. I used to do that, but honestly...it's hard to voiceover. So, hopefully you won't get totally bored. Lol!

I hope you enjoyed my video for today. I would love for you to give it a thumbs up if you did, and subscribe to my channel if you don't already! I have a lot more videos planned for 2020 now that my crafty space is dialed in!

 I would suggest watching the video to see how these cards came together, because it's a bit easier than explaining. This technique of adding gold heat embossing to patterned paper is really gorgeous, and it just adds that much more to the papers! These cards feature the "Abstract Watercolors Dark Blue", and "Abstract Watercolor Violet" patterned papers from Alexandra Renke.

I've added the gold embossed detailing using the Meet Me Under the Mistletoe (US stores linked at end of the post) stamp set, with Gilded embossing powder from Brutus Monroe.

All of the dies I've used are from Alexandra Renke. She designs some really amazing dies that I just love. I've used the Stars Outline Small set on both cards. I've featured the Numbers dies on my first card, and the Best Wishes die on my second.

The stamped part of the sentiment on the first card is from the gorgeous Welcome Butterflies stamp set that released this past summer.

On the second card, I've featured numbers from the Diary Numbers stamp set, which is perfect for planners and calendars...but also perfect for adding a year, birthdate or age to your cards.

That is everything I have for you today! If you have any questions about my card, feel free to leave them in the comments and I will be sure to reply. I've linked to most items today in the Alexandra Renke shop. If there is a place to find them in the US, I've linked those below. The only way to make Alexandra's product more readily available here is to ask for it at your favorite store...whether it be online or brick & mortar. So, please be sure to ask if you would like to be able to get her products here! 

What are your heat embossing must haves? 
I thought I would start a new feature to my posts, where I ask you about something, but also answer it myself! I hope it helps me to know you better, and learn about products or techniques that I am unaware of. And hopefully it will be beneficial for you too! The question will likely relate to the card I've created for the post, and today is all about heat embossing! Here are my go to's:

1. WOW Embossing Ink (SSS | EH): I've tried A LOT of embossing ink. I really do get a better impression, and better embossing powder coverage with this ink than any other.

2. Most Used Embossing Powders: I reach for these three embossing powders more than any others.
  • Brutus Monroe Gilded (SSS | EH)
  • Avery Elle Rose Gold  (SSS | EH)
  • WOW opaque bright white, super fine (SSS | EH)
 3. WOW dual heat gun (SSS | EH): I had no idea what I would need 2 heat settings for. BUT...the lower heat setting is perfect for drying watercolor & pigment inks, and heat embossing on delicate surfaces like washi tape and vellum. I am so happy to have it, and I also love that it is white. That is purely about the fact that it matches my cardmaking studio, but it still totally makes me happy! ;)

I can't wait to hear your responses! Before you move along with your day, I wanted to invite you to follow me on social media. I would love to be crafty friends online! You will likely see my question on IG & FB too, so you can answer wherever you'd like!

Happy January 1st! I hope you get some crafty time in. :)

For your shopping convenience, all products are linked below, including affiliate linking when possible - this allows small compensation for me at no cost to you. I really appreciate your support! I typically link to 2-3 sites, in hopes that your preferred retailer will be among them. I only support legitimate retail sites, that are true partners to stamp, die and scrapbooking wholesalers.


  1. While your cards are beautiful & I'm excited to see more on your You Tube channel, I feel more compelled to comment about your loss. Our baby was due in October and I miscarried in March. Our entire lives from 2016 to the positive pregnancy test in January after IVF involved fertility testing, needles, procedures, more tests... even buying our forever home because of the location, the school, the land, the space to raise two babies. I felt strongly that we were going to have twins. At our 8 week US, the Dr confirmed it looked like the embryo had tried to split and then just... stopped.

    So this year has been extra hard on us. & I started counseling recently. She told me to allow myself grace. & I think I needed that encouragement. So I wanted to pass that on to you as we enter a new decade. You are strong, and brave, and you are handling this the best way you can. Don't forget to allow yourself grace. xo

  2. I hope 2020 starts the best decade of your life. Favorite embossing product is the simple little powder bag. My first one lasted 10 years! I tried the little plastic bottle but never got the product to come out right, so back to the simple cheap product.

  3. Happy new year to you! Our mortal minds can never fathom our almighty God, but He will continue to sustain you every day as you faithfully depend on Him. Every day that passes, you're one day closer to being reunited with your precious babies. Keep holding on.

  4. I can never imagine the pain you are undergoing everyday with the loss of two dear ones, but I wish you stay strong, you are awesome, Lea! Let the new year bring you happiness and joy in every walk of your life!
    I love these abstract designs, wonderful cards to welcome the new year! :)

  5. Lea you amaze me with your strength, grace and courage every day.
    Beautiful cards


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