Sunday, January 31, 2010

Happy February!

Can you believe it?? One month already GONE from 2010! I hope you're living your life to its fullest, living IN every moment. Life is short! I'm living for eternity, myself, but that's another subject.... :D

We've had lots of snow and ice here in middle Tennessee, so things have been closed down from Friday on - many schools are closed again, to give the roads a chance to de-ice and be safe again. SO, the Fancy Folds III class has been RESCHEDULED for February 13. If you'd like to come, call or email me! I'd LOVE to stamp with you!

SO. I've decided I want to try and show you a VALENTINE each day (that I post!) until Valentine's Day, as another way I can thank you for reading my blog! :) You have no clue how much I enjoy knowing you're out there, and that you get a little inspiration from what I show you. (OF course, I'd LOVE to hear from you more often, but I take what I can get!!! :D)

Here is the FIRST Valentine, just for you! These are NOT going to be done in any class or party; these are ideas I'm coming up with JUST to share with you!

:D Isn't it FUN? The background is just Real Red card stock I decided to use for a backdrop. :D

Card stock: Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White

Ink: Versamark, Creamy Caramel, Basic Brown, Real Red (inside)

Stamp sets: I {Heart} Hearts (Don't forget! $2 from EVERY stamp set purchase for this one goes to the Haiti Relief Fund!), Animal Crackers, Teeny Tiny Wishes (inside)

Accessories: Embossing Buddy, Heat & Stick Powder, Heat Tool, Fine Cosmo Glitter (rose pink, I THINK...!), Heart to Heart Punch, Ticket Corner Punch, Sending Love Specialty DSP (I LOVE THIS DSP!!!!!!!!!!), dimensionals

Isn't it FUN!?!??! I love this stamp set - I love puns, and it's SO cute.

Here's what the inside of the card looks like.... (Don't forget that you can click on any photo and see it at the size I uploaded it!)

So, I stamped the woodgrain hearts with Creamy Caramel, then inked just the small solid heart on the stamp that has three hearts on it with Versamark. Next, I swiped the whole card front with my embossing buddy - trust me, it will STILL stick, but not nearly as badly! :D - and then stamped several times with that small heart, re-inking each time. Then I sprinkled the hearts with Heat & Stick, and got rid of the excess - and then heated until the Heat & Stick melted to clear. Next came the glitter! :D I re-heat the Heat & Stick after putting on the glitter, just to set it and make sure nothing else would get stuck down. :D

I also used a Swiffer-type cloth to take off any extra glitter I didn't want on the card front. Those things are awesome! :D

Next, I stamped the image and inked around the Whisper White, just to set it off a bit. Matted it up the way you see it, and put it on with dimensionals.

Inside, I stamped the "Happy Valentine's Day" from Teeny Tiny Wishes, and punched the corners with the ticket corner punch FIRST, so I could see where the heart COULD be punched - if you got the new heart punch from the Occasions Mini, it would make those hearts MUCH easier to set in there, but I wanted to do this card NOW! :D Then I just matted that on Chocolate Chip, and adhered it inside the card.

SO fun, simple, and who wouldn't love to get that fun Valentine? :D

I'll see you tomorrow! GO STAMP SOMETHING!! :D

Friday, January 29, 2010

Snowy Friday! :D

Well, the studio is on its way to being clean(er), I've made banana bread and a dump cake, and I need to cut card stock for tomorrow and Sunday - but other than that, I'm really enjoying sitting here and watching the birds in the snow. :D

Here is the first of four cards we did at the Advanced Techniques last week; we had a great time! If you're not coming to classes, you're missing out a LOT on what you can do with the product you have!
This is another Technique Junkies technique; we had a lot of fun getting all shimmery! :D

This is a great technique to do if you want to create some special punches, too - do a sheet of this technique, then punch away! :D

OK, I'm off to get back to work. :D Just think: the next time you hear from me, it will be FEBRUARY! Wow. One month of Sale-a-Bration down, two more to go! GET YOUR PARTY BOOKED NOW! :D

Have a wonderful day! Stay safe - and go STAMP something! :D

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Oh, I'm feelin' it today! :D

I've got the creating bug today, and it's hard to sit still and do my blog - but I promised you the last card from the Stamp-a-Stack, so here I am! :D

There are two photos here - one of the inside of the card, too. Now, SAS are supposed to be pretty simple cards, which they are - but we dressed this one up just a bit. :)

Now, on some of them we used a Pumpkin Pie Stampin' Write Marker to color the embossed areas on the butterflies - but we also left a few of them uncolored. This is the new Beautiful Wings Embosslit; it makes FIVE embossed and punched butterflies with one pass through the Big Shot! It's SO much fun to work with!

Colors are Barely Banana, Bashful Blue, Always Artichoke, and Very Vanilla.

Now, take a look at the inside....

SO easy to get a classy, finished look, even without layering anything inside! As you can see, we used the Sincere Salutations "Get Well Soon" stamp; almost any in that set could be used in this card!

OK. Time to get busy again! :) Saturday's class is at 2:30, so even if we get the weather tomorrow they're predicting, it should be cleared by the time we're gathering for FANCY FOLDS III! :D And Mary N.'s Sale-a-bration party is Sunday afternoon - it's going to be a BLAST!

So many things to show you, so little time to TYPE! :D Have a wonderful day - and be SURE to take the time to STAMP something. You'll feel MUCH better...! :D

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are you having a great week?

This roller coaster called LIFE just never stops, does it! :D It's been an up-and-down week, but stampin' HELPS! :D

Today's card is a sympathy card from last week's Stamp-a-Stack. I really like its simplicity - and everyone really seemed to like it. The inside is stamped with two of the stamps from Close as a Memory; of course, this is Lovely as a Tree, one of my favorite stamp sets. :) Colors are Basic Gray, Sahara Sand, and Very Vanilla.

That's all I wanted to show you today! :D Tomorrow will be the last card from the SAS, and then I've got a really special card for you on Friday from last night's Advanced Techniques class. This weekend is Fancy Folds III, so if you haven't RSVP'd yet, DO IT NOW! :D

So much to show and do, only so many hours in the day.... :D Be SURE to take the time to STAMP something - the ink is flying around here! :D Have a fantastic day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Happy Tuesday! :D

Good morning! Today's quick share is another card from our Stamp-a-Stack last weekend.

Colors are Blush Blossom, Pink Passion, and Whisper White. Inside, it's stamped with "Happy Birthday" and the swirls from Simple Friendship.

That scallop trim punch we used at the bottom? You can get that for FREE if you purchase $50 worth of product! Just click on the pink mini in the right-hand column to find out more!

The heart is from I {Heart} Hearts, which is the stamp set that Stampin' Up! will give $2 for each purchase toward the Haiti relief fund.

OK, I need to fly! Have a wonderful day, and be sure to take the time to STAMP SOMETHING!!! :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't forget!

Today is the first DO SOMETHING FOR CHRISTMAS DAY of the year! :) Each 25th of the month, Becky and I have committed to doing SOMETHING for Christmas. Today, I'm trying to sort out my tree decorations as I put them away - I grew a brand-new tree this year. ;D
Be sure and leave me a comment about what YOU do today! Only 11 more months! :D

It's a new week!

I'm SO sorry I went AWOL on Friday; Kenn and I are teaching photography classes at a local Christian school, and it was rather sudden - so I've got to get used to having another BUSY day in my week. LOL!

You'll enjoy today's shares, though; we did an All-Occasion Stamp-a-Stack on Saturday, and I'll show you two of the designs today. We had a great time!

At my Stamp-a-Stacks, I give you a sentiment to stamp in each card - and, if you choose, you can just not stamp the inside sentiment and use the card for another occasion, stamping it when you get home. This one is going to be used for lots of birthdays, from what I heard Saturday. :D I put out the "Congratulations" stamp from Well Scripted, the new set in the Occasions Mini - I really love the fonts on it!

Colors are Barely Banana, Glorious Green, Gable Green, and Apricot Appeal. The stamp set it Animal Crackers; I took advantage of the bundle that was on sale toward the end of the year! :)

Isn't it CUTE? I just love the giraffe. :D

I think I'll show you the second card we did with this stamp set - this one, I put out the "Thanks So Much" from Sincere Salutations - but again, I heard birthday and thinking of you, among other uses!

I just LOVE this card, and I think he was a hit. :D Colors are Whisper White, YoYo Yellow, and Only Orange - and we cut the card stock with the Scallop Circle die and my BIG SHOT!

Yup, I love my Big Shot - and it is SO versatile! This year, I'm starting a series of classes, once every two months (unless it gets REALLY popular!), where we'll be using the Big Shot to do applications outside of card stock and paper. The first one is the middle of next month - and I can't wait! :D

OK, I'm off. Busy, busy - classes to prep for, new ideas to get out on card stock and paper, and Sale-a-Brations plans! Listen, if you haven't booked your party yet, DO IT NOW! Book party, quick party at your work during lunch hour, girls' night out, whatever type of party YOU want! Let's DO IT!!!! I can't wait for you to be able to earn some EXTRA free stuff! :D

Have a WONDERFUL day, and PLEASE! For your sanity, take the time to STAMP something! :D

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Has this been a long week??

Isn't it Friday yet? :D Phew. I feel like I need a new battery! :D

Here's a great announcement from Stampin' Up!:

From now until February 28, 2010, $2 from every I {Heart} Hearts stamp set you buy will be donated American Red Cross’ Haiti Relief and Development Fund. The Red Cross is already well-established in Haiti, and this money will be used to provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need.

Product Name Item # Price
I {Heart} Hearts – clear-mount (block D recommended) 118571 $18.95
I {Heart} Hearts – wood-mount 117010 $26.95

This is a simple and straightforward plan; the more stamp sets you buy, the greater the difference you make. Often it is the simplest plans that work best!

To order this stamp set, or any other products - why not get some more toys, and save on the shipping? :) - just go to my business site, and click on the SHOP NOW button in the top right corner!

Edited to add: I am SO proud to be a part of this company! Please click to go to Shelli's Blog, and see what ELSE the company has done!

So: some of you have asked about the test tubes and corks. They are NOT a Stampin' Up! product - but wouldn't it be GREAT if they were? :D For now, however, we have to purchase them elsewhere. If I get enough people interested, I will coordinate a share of some of them - the more we purchase, the cheaper they are. :) So leave me a comment or drop me a line. Of course, if you get some, I'll want to see what you did with your STAMPIN' UP! PRODUCT and the test tubes! :D

OK. On with today's share - which is another fun item from the Valentine Stamp Camp!

EVERYONE is surprised when they see this mini milk carton - because it IS a mini! :) This is pretty much full-size, what you see on your screen!

We used Regal Rose for the main color, and the new Very Vintage wheel from the Occasions Mini - as well as the mini milk carton die from the Occasions Mini.

I wanted to show that the wheel will coordinate with OTHER stamps we carry, so we also used the FRESH CUTS stamp set. We used ink to age things, and punches for the little accent you see here. :) Isn't it a great little accent? We put votive candles in this carton; it's just big enough to hold it! And we used our mini library clips to close them - SO fun, because you don't have to worry about tearing the carton apart to get to the "prize inside"! :)

OK, I'm outta here - I still have prep work for Saturday's Stamp-a-Stack. Busy, busy, busy! :) I hope you have a fantastic day! Be SURE to take the time to STAMP something!!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Easy Valentine's Gift!

So, Monday night was our Valentine's Stamp Camp - and this is one of the projects we did. It's SO cute IRL, and the Jelly Bellies were a hit! (Thanks, sweetheart!:D)

I love showing off the new product in the Occasions Mini - and a new way to use one of our Big Shot dies! (NOT an original idea, but I did figure out how to do it on my own! :D)

Card stock colors are Melon Mambo - which is a deeper pink than Pink Passion, but still a pink! - and Whisper White.

Expect to see a few more test tube projects for different holidays - they're fun to work with! :D

OK, I'm off - I still need to finish designing for this weekend! :) Have a wonderful day - and be SURE to take the time to STAMP SOMETHING!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's a Butterfly Party!

Good morning! I just have a few moments to post - I'm off to get my hair cut, FINALLY! :D But I wanted to share this card we did at our parties this last weekend - the Occasions Mini is PACKED with fun things to work with! :)

Card stock: Very Vanilla, Brilliant Blue, Bashful Blue, Only Orange, Orchid Opulence, Lovely Lilac

Ink: Bashful Blue, Brilliant Blue

Stamp set (inside): Happy Everything

Accessories: Jumbo Handle, Empty Ink Cartridge, Very Vintage SA Jumbo Wheel, Ticket Corner Punch, sponge dauber, Big Shot :D, SU! Beautiful Wings Embosslits Die

It's a fast, FUN card to put together! And TRUST ME, you NEED that Embosslit - it's SO much fun! :D

OK, I'm off! Have a WONDERFUL day - and be sure to take the time to STAMP SOMETHING!! :)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Good Monday Morning!

Did you have a good weekend? I did - we were partying ALL day long on Saturday here - with at least a few of us anxious to get in on those Sale-a-Bration freebies! :D You can place your order on my business site - just click SHOP HERE at the top right - or you can call or email me, OR even host your own party and earn even MORE! :D

Here's one of the cards we made! I think everyone loved it - how can Whisper White and Melon Mambo together NOT make you smile?!?!

Card stock: Melon Mambo, Whisper White

Ink: Melon Mambo, Whisper White craft

Stamp sets: I {Heart} Hearts (Occasions Mini), Define Your LIfe (inside)

Accessories: White embossing powder, embossing buddy, heat tool, dimensionals, Scallop Trim Edge Punch - new design of the punch itself, too! ONLY available when you purchase $50 in product OR host a $300 party during Sale-a-Bration!!

OK, I'm off - tonight is our Valentine's Stamp Camp! It's going to be SO MUCH FUN - but I have a little cleaning left to do from Saturday. :D Have a WONDERFUL day - and be SURE to take the time to STAMP something!!!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Did you want to know who won?

:D Well, so do I! So here we go....

Drum roll, anyone?

And the winner of the 15,000 hit BLOG CANDY is...

Carol P.!

Carol said, "
Congratulations, Lori! That's great. BTW, I loved reading your story on your blog about how you became a Stampin'Up Demo. Thanks, also, for all the inspiration and a chance to win."

Thank you, Carol, for reading - and for ALL of you for coming along on this ride. :)

Have a wonderful weekend! :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Versatile Vinyl!

Good Thursday morning! It's another beautiful day here, headed on its way into the high 40s! What a great day to stamp! :D And I'm gonna - I have LOTS to do today, so let's get right to the samples, shall we?

(Please note: although I neglected to put the copyright ON the photos, the letter design is copyrighted by Stampin' Up!®)

Here's the very first use I did with both the vinyl and my new Sizzlits alpha set, Timeless Type - USING MY BIG SHOT, OF COURSE. :) (Can I hear it, all together? "I LOVE MY BIG SHOT!!!" :D)As soon as UPS dropped the alpha set off, I pulled everything out! :D

Not only are all the letters included, but lots of other things, like an @ sign, so you can put your email address somewhere.... The heart is part of the alpha set, too! And that's the Real Red vinyl from Stampin' Up!, along with the Whisper White. Isn't it fun? This is one of Kenn's travel mugs that I just pulled out of the cupboard. :D I probably won't put it through the dishwasher, but I can certainly hand-wash it!

Now, to show you the real reason I'm SO excited about having both the vinyl AND the alpha diecut set!

(Please ignore the dirt and the frost! :D)

This is our main business, my husband's passion - our photography business. It's still trying to take off - we've been working at it for almost four years, and we just got a website done for it. I still need to get in and tweak several things, but it's THERE. We have a PRESENCE. And NOW, even though it's smaller than I wish, we are ANNOUNCING that we're out there everywhere Kenn goes in the car! :D

OK, I've GOT to get busy - my to-do list is INCREDIBLY long for today!!!! Have a WONDERFUL day, my friends, and be SURE to take the time to STAMP something! :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

What a Wednesday! :D

It's a beautiful, sunny day here in Middle Tennessee; it's supposed to hit 40° today! Woo, hoo! :D We're in a warming trend this week, so I expect no complaints about the weather near me.... :D

Don't forget! Today is the LAST DAY to enter for the BLOG CANDY for 15,000 HITS!!! Read that post for details!

I haven't shown you anything I've done with MY DIGITAL STUDIO (MDS) lately, so I thought I would. :) This is my beautiful stepdaughter and her husband on their wedding day.

Using MDS, I created an 8.5"x11" scrapbook page, then chose an Always Artichoke card stock layer. Because of the printing border, I made the AA 1/2" smaller all the way around than the Whisper White background. Next, I chose the Medallion stamp - which is available as a separate download, in case you, too, love the stamp and use a different program! - and shrunk it to the size I wanted, and colored it with Mellow Moss. (AA and MM are one of my favorite color combos!) Kaisa's heritage is very Celtic, and I feel like the color choices and the font reflect her and her personality pretty darn well. :D

Oh, and the three Whisper White brads in the top left corner are to balance the page. I'm afraid I'm not very frilly when it comes to my stamping OR scrapping - but I really love this page. Kenn took the shot; it was the last time we were in Oregon.

What do you think? Do you like the page?

OK, I'm off - I have many things on my TO DO list, and Kenn's not feeling well now. :( Please pray for him!

Have a WONDERFUL day! And please, take the time to STAMP something - or use MDS!!! :D

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SO sorry we missed Monday!

UGH, what a day! A NASTY stomach virus attached itself to our household last weekend, and yesterday was my turn. I won't gross you out with the details - suffice it to say, yesterday was totally LOST. :D

THEN, I logged on yesterday, only to find out I got hit by a bot in almost ALL comments on this blog - over 500 times! That's why I had to enable the "type in the word" safety thing, so it wouldn't continue happening. I'm sorry, but it's for YOU as well as ME. :)

Don't forget: Only ONE MORE DAY to enter for my blog candy! GO HERE TO ENTER!

OK. Today's card share is one I made JUST FOR YOU. :D

Card stock: Blush Blossom, Very Vanilla

Ink: Real Red, Blush Blossom (cartidge ink color)

Stamp set: Well Scripted (OCCASIONS MINI, page 19)

Accessories: Sending Love Specialty DSP (OCCASIONS MINI, page 13), Scallop Trim Border Punch (Sale-a-Brations Mini, page 9), red rhinestone brad from ROUND FIRE RHINESTONE BRADS, dimensionals, Very Vintage SA Jumbo Wheel (OCCASIONS MINI, page 27), jumbo handle

I love the new DSP, I think I said it last week. :D The big flower is cut from a sheet of it!

OK, I'm gonna go now - I'm trying to do a million things at one time. :D And I can't laugh or cough, cuz it hurts waaay too much! :D SO. You have a WONDERFUL day, and don't forget to take the time to STAMP SOMETHING! Sale-a-Bration is a GREAT time to stock up on things, too!!!! Call or email me to schedule your party, or your lunch-at-work party, or your book party! GET THE GREAT FREEBIES WHILE THEY'RE AVAILABLE!!! :D

Friday, January 8, 2010

Friday Fun! :D

Hey, it's still morning here. Barely, but still.... :D

Don't forget to CLICK HERE to enter for my blog candy giveaway - you've got until Wednesday!

It's cold here, as it is in most of the country today; I've had so much pleasure from sitting at my desk, watching the birds feed - so many cardinals, I don't know which ones to watch! :) But I've also been having fun with the new Build-a-Bear accessories dies from the Occasions Mini. Wanna see?? (If not, don't look! :D)

Here's the first one....

May I just say I LOVE THE BUNNY EARS!!!!!!!!!! This is a FUN Sizzlits die; it's got the basket, the eggs, the ears, a tie, and a couple of little things I'm not sure about yet - I haven't played with them. :D

Colors are Certainly Celery and Melon Mambo - surprise. :D Bear is in Close to Cocoa, the ears are pinked with Pretty in Pink Stampin' Pastel, and the eggs are cut from Razzleberry Lemonade DSP. The "Happy Easter" stamp is from TEENY TINY WISHES, and the edges of the Certainly Celery are distressed with the Cutter Kit.

But wait! There's more! :D

I love this LOVE card. :D Here, I'll do it the way I usually do, as a "recipe".

Card stock: Whisper White, Glorious Green, Melon Mambo, Very Vanilla, Basic Black, Pretty in Pink

Ink: Melon Mambo, White Craft

Stamp sets: Teeny Tiny Wishes, I {Heart} Hearts (Occasions Mini)

Accessories: Big Shot :D, dimensionals, modern label punch, Valentine's accessories Sizzlit

This Sizzlit is AWESOME. There's a bow, for either a hair bow or a bow tie, the scalloped heart AND the matted heart, the LOVE letters, the rosebud, and a tiara/necklace. SO cute!

The little heart stamp I used on the background actually says LOVE on it, but I didn't ink the stamp totally; I just wanted to give the card stock some texture! :)

OK, I'm outta here - we're shooting a big wedding tomorrow, and I'm kinda trying to take today easy. But I've been stamping - make sure you take time to stamp something, too~! And check out the OCCASIONS MINI in the side bar! Remember, for every $50 you purchase right now, SALE-A-BRATION rewards kick in!!! HAVE FUN!! Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Occasions Mini

Good morning! Goodness, creating something for you today has been difficult! :D I'm sure you don't want to see anything Christmas - although you haven't come CLOSE to seeing everything we created last year! :D And every time I tried to start a card, I'd think, "This is a great design for an upcoming class!"

SO! :D You're getting this mini treat: it's the new mini milk carton die from the Occasions Mini!

Isn't it cute?!?!? The way the photo's showing up on my screen, it's the EXACT size of the milk carton! :) I put 8 Hershey's Kisses in it, but you could do more. So, I guess, it's more of a milk CHOCOLATE carton! :D

The card stock is Melon Mambo, because I happened to have a sheet of it out. :D The DSP is also from the Occasions Mini, SENDING LOVE (item #117153). It's got glitter embossed on one side of each two-sided design! Glitter is SO hard to see on scans and pictures - it's FRUSTRATING! On this strip, it's on the top partial flowers, every other one. Can you see it? I LOVE this paper! And for those of you who don't like glitter (you KNOW who you are!:D), it doesn't come off, no matter how hard you rub your hand across it. There's some really fun, girlie paper here, moms!!!

The clip on top is to hold the box closed; I didn't seal it like a normal carton, because then you couldn't get the treats out! :) Those clips are from the Idea Book & Catalog, and are absolutely PERFECT for this use!!! (Overlooked them? They're on page 179!

OK, I'm off - I have a Hostess Club party tomorrow night, and I can't WAIT to show them what we're going to do - but I also have to clean up the studio, and put the new plastic covering on the table. :D I don't wanna! I want to PLAY - but playing sure makes messes.... :D

Have a wonderful day! Be sure to take the time to STAMP something!!!!! And don't forget to leave me a comment on yesterday's post to enter to win BLOG CANDY!!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Fifteen THOUSAND hits!

Today we're CELEBRATING! Wow, 15,000 hits in under a year! That's awesome! :D THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for sticking with me! :)

So, it's blog candy time! Just leave a comment, and you're entered to win! PLEASE be sure I have a way of reaching you - if your comments are ANONYMOUS, I haven't a clue who you are! :D And get another entry if you stamp something and send me a scan or a picture!!! :D

Up for grabs are TWO brand-new sets that you can't get anymore! :)

Good luck!!!! We'll choose a winner next Wednesday - that way, the people who catch up on the weekend can still enter, too. :) The comment HAS to be on this blog entry, so I can keep track. :)

OK, off to stamp! :D I hope YOU will take the time to stamp SOMEthing today, too! :) BE BLESSED!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

My Stampin' Up! Story

If you've been around for a while, you probably know why I became a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. This year marks my 10th anniversary with Stampin' Up!® - the longest I've worked in any field! I want to tell you my story from the beginning until now - so make sure your coffee cup is full, and enjoy the read! :D

About twelve years ago, my mom got an invitation to a SU! party. I'd never heard of it before, but Mom knew I was into crafts - when I got married, I gave away almost all my crafting stuff, so I wasn't doing a lot with my spare time. :) We went to that party together, and I sat there the whole time - back when most parties were mostly demonstration, very little hands-on - looking through the Idea Book & Catalog. I remember thinking, "Wow. This is expensive. I can do it cheaper with my discount coupons from [put in your favorite craft store here!]!"

I ordered a teddy bear set - now long-gone, called Button Bear - and blender pens and the Stampin' Pastels, and I was off! Couponing for card stock, ink pads, and stamps.

In 2000, I had a great job, bringing in lots of money a month (for us, it was a bunch of money!!!), and I decided I wanted to join Stampin' Up! for the discount. I knew of someone in Jackson, TN, who sold for the discount, and signed under her. She warned me that she wasn't active, and wouldn't do anything for me - and she didn't lie! She even QUIT SU! without letting me know - so I was an orphaned demo, and taught myself everything I know about stamping!

Fortunately, Stampin' Up! is FULL of people who are willing to help each other - and the company itself sends out a FANTASTIC monthly magazine for demonstrators, with stamping AND business tips and ideas. But I was only doing it for a discount, not to make money.

Then things changed. :D

The first thing that changed was that someone called me! She had called Stampin' Up! and gotten two demonstrator's names from them - she wanted to join up! I had no clue what to do, so we figured it out together. :) And not long after that, I was "restructured" out of my job.

We decided to move back to the Pacific Northwest; one fantastic thing about Stampin' Up! is that it goes with you - and is not demanding! We have a rather easy quarterly minimum, and from there you do whatever you want. So, it came with me when I started a part-time job at the lodge Kenn had been hired at.

I had my own stamping room, with a door to close when I didn't want to face the mess. :D I got the chance to meet and stamp with some wonderful demonstrators there, and picked up a second downline - a demonstrator who joins under you. Six months after we got there, Kenn's position was gone - and we were living on my part-time pay, unemployment, and whatever I could scrape together.

We moved back to Nashville - and my parents talked to us. They knew how desperate our finances were becoming, and offered us a place to live (paying rent, but not asking much!); we would all help each other, and I would be here for health issues - to be their advocates when needed, help with anything in that line.

I *think* we're going on 7 years we've been back - and I am SO blessed! My parents have been SO gracious and giving; they've given me use of the downstairs great room as my studio, to hold classes and to absolutely clutter with paqper crafting. :D Dad and I designed an easy crafting counter and storage areas, and while Kenn and I were in Oregon/Washington for my stepdaughter's wedding a few years ago, our contractor did the room. It's become a place where people I stamp with have become some of my dearest friends!

All the time we've been back, Kenn hasn't wanted me to go back to office work because of my health. Stampin' Up! was my pocket money when he was working in Corporate America - and since we've been doing just the photography, it's been really helpful to have the income. In the last year, when our main source of photography jobs closed down, Stampin' Up! has become my way of being able to pay some of our monthly bills. It's been a rare month when I haven't been able to take care of the ones I've committed to - thanks to YOU, and to a company that offers my customers great specials and incredible products!

I get to do what I love to do, make incredible friends while doing it, and feel that I'm making a contribution to our household as well. WOW! I am SO blessed!

And if you'd like to talk about how Stampin' Up! can become part of your life like it has mine, I'd LOVE to! You don't have to know ANYTHING about stamping - but if you DO stamp, it's a great way to support your habit. :D

IF you're just not interested in becoming a demonstrator, that's FINE. :D I need you as a customer or class attendee, too! Your support means SO MUCH to me - I tell EVERYONE I have the BEST stampers in the world. You are giving, and fun, and accept anyone who walks in to stamp with us. I've seen you share your products, show a brand-new stamper how to do any project step by step - and all the while, you're fun and caring. And there are some of you who really care about me! :D Keep bringing your friends to stamp at classes; book your parties! You help just by SMILING at me!! :D

Thank you for being in my life! Here's to 2010 - and lots more stamping together!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Wow, it's crazy. I expected December to let me get some rest - and, well, YOU know everything that was happening! I'm still wiped out - but I'm looking forward to stamping with friends again! Tonight is SAVE ME FROM MY SCRAPS, at 7 pm - if you'd like to come, just contact me and I'll get you directions! :D

Today's share is a new house card I made for someone at church. :)

This card uses a new Sizzlit from the Idea Book, a stamp and wheel from the OCCASIONS MINI, and a punch from the SALE-A-BRATION brochure! :D It was fun to do!

Colors are Blush Blossom (wheeled in Blush Blossom, in case you're wondering what that texture is - it's the new vintage wheel from the OCCASIONS MINI), Mellow Moss, and Whisper White. That "isn't it great" stamp is one my mom had made by Stampin' Up! several years ago, and I love using it! The scallop trim border punch is from the SAB mini; there are some AWESOME products in there!

Now, if you expect(ed) to get a book from me in the mail: Stampin' Up! has been told by the people they're using that the minis didn't get in the mail during the time period they were supposed to. SO be sure to check out the links in the sidebar! PLEASE NOTE: These products are not available until JANUARY 5. TODAY, you may still order from the Holiday Mini! :)

OK, I'm off - the studio looks like it threw up. :D Have a WONDERFUL day - and don't forget to take the time to STAMP something! :)