Crafty, Stamping

Swimming for Katie

From October 10-12 some of the best stampers are joining together to support and encourage our friend and fellow stamper, Katie Renz, who is currently battling inoperable gastric cancer.  If you’re not familiar with her, Katie’s cancer story started just before Christmas last year.  This young, beautiful, healthy, vibrant mother of 3 with her infectious smile was suddenly diagnosed with an inoperable cancer, virtually overnight.  A few tummy aches and then stage 4 gastric cancer.  Her first post about it is here.  The idea of “Swimming for Katie” came from her recent post here.

This exclusive stamp used in my sample, designed by Becky Oehlers is available as a clear stamp, as well as a digis or a dig and SVG cut file.  100% of the profits go to Katie’s fund to help her and her young family.  Her husband Kevin and her three young children need our help and support.  In addition to the Keep Swimming Octopus, Marianne Walker and True =D Doodle Designs both also donated digis that are for sale.  Direct donations are also being accepted.  Information central is HERE.  This is a permanent page that will stay active at i {heart} papers with current information and the full 3 day blog hop listing, as well as the donation button.

Here are all the items available for sale:


Keep Swimming Octopus
Peachy Clear stamp

$5.50 with free shipping


Keep Swimming Octopus DIGIstamp
$3.00 with instant download

Keep Swimming Octopus DIGIstamp with SVG cut file
$3.50 with instant download

Keep Swimming Mermaid DIGIstamp
$3.50 with instant download

Keep Swimming Ribbon Fish DIGIstamp and DIGIpapers
$5.00 with instant download

I hope you will join me in supporting Katie through a purchase or donation.  The following is a list of everyone who has projects posted today.  I hope you will be inspired by them and moved to purchase or donate.  If you would like to send Katie a card, her mailing address is:

Katie Renz
PO Box 5913
Bellingham, WA 98227-5913

The great thing about digital stamps is that with a little digital ingenuity, you can alter and enhance them. To create my card, I first enlarged the digital image so it would fill most of my card base. Then I turned the little wavy pattern at the bottom of the octopus into a background with Photoshop so I could fill the canvas around the image with it. I also changed the color of the line art and the background from black to a deep teal using a Photoshop and Photoshop Elements technique called masking. The inside and outside edges of the octopus got a quick swipe with pale aqua and gray markers to add a little more depth. And I printed the flag again on white cardstock so that I could pop it up.

I hope you’ll consider supporting Katie in any way that you can. And if you’re inclined, give the digital stamps a try. There are so many more ideas on how to use this adorable octopus along the hop, so keep checking them out:

Amy Heller
Jackie Pedro
Julie Masse
Kecia Waters
Sandie Dunne
Susan Liles
Latisha Yoast
Laurie Schmidlin
Lisa Arana
Lisa Henke
Lisa Silver
Lydia Fiedler
Lyn Bernatovich
Maria Gurnsey
Meg Craig
Melissa Bickford
Michelle Woerner
Mona Pendleton
Niki Estes
Robyn Weatherspoon
Sarah Jay
Sarah Martina Parker
Savannah O’Gwynn
Stephanie Washburn
Susanna Boyd
Tobi Crawford
Julie Lacey
Kim Kesti
Shemaine Smith
Danielle Lounds
Debbie Carriere
DoBea A.
Fran Gumprecht
Geny Cassady
Gina K.
Holly McMillen
Jak Heath
Kimberly Crawford
Trudy Sjolander

To help raise money for Katie, Creating for Causes has generously donated a FREE ticket (value: $249.95) to one of their upcoming 3-day Scrap & Stamp Retreats.

The winner of the free ticket will enjoy 3 days of non-stop fun and creativity with fellow scrappers, stampers and paper crafters, and can choose between the Charlotte, NC Scrap & Stamp Ritzy Retreat at The Ritz-Carlton on October 21-23 or the Orlando, FL Scrap & Stamp Retreat at the Marriott World Center on November 4-6. Both retreats promise to spoil you and provide 48-straight hours of creating, camaraderie and fun!

To learn more about the events, please visit the Creating for Causes site.

Not only will you be raising money for Katie by making a donation, you get a chance to win a wonderful weekend getaway for yourself! And, because all of Creating for Causes’ events are charity events that raise money for local charities, you’ll be giving back twice!

Wow, a weekend retreat for you and two chances to help others. Does it get any better than that?

Here’s how it works:

Simply make a $33 donation (or more) for Katie and indicate that you want to be entered in the Creating for Causes Retreat ticket drawing. Everyone who makes a qualifying donation will be entered into the drawing and one lucky person will be attending this 3-day retreat for FREE! That lucky person could just be you! (If you have already donated and wish to be included, just email kate(at) iheartpapers (dot) com)

DEADLINE TO ENTER FOR THIS GIVEAWAY IS FRIDAY 9PM EST, although other donations will be accepted for weeks to come.

Thank you!


  • Angelica

    October 12, 2011

    Absolutely stunning, Sarah!! Just wonderful!! Love how you have the sweet octopus off the card a bit and how you created the background.

  • ~amy~

    October 12, 2011

    CUTEST ever…love it!

  • Debbie Carriere

    October 12, 2011

    This is awesome!!!! Such creative digital manipulation!

  • Kate - i {heart} papers

    October 12, 2011

    Oh my gosh! This is so clever! Love it!! Thank you for helping! Please be sure to tag your card with swimkatie when you upload to SCS. Thanks!

  • Ashley N Newell

    October 12, 2011

    So pretty! I love the size of the octopus on this! Thanks for spreading the word to help Katie!

  • Nichole Bryant

    October 12, 2011

    Pretty card TFS!

  • Lisa Lara

    October 12, 2011

    Awesome card Sarah. Thank you for doing this for Katie!

  • Michelle Mathey - POMI

    October 13, 2011

    Amazing – I noticed right away that you resized the image – perfect!!

Comments are closed.