Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing Jennifer Eby

Jennifer Eby has been hooked on Stampin' Up! since attending a workshop in 2007.  She loves to send out her hand made cards, and wishes she could be there to see the look on every recipient's face when one arrives, because she knows how much she loves to receive cards herself!  In fact, Jennifer loves receiving cards so much, she hosts a Flood Swap nearly every year—apparently, in this type of swap, you get assigned a particular month, and you are flooded with Stampin' Up! cards.  How fun is that!?

Jennifer loves all Stampin' Up! product equally, and enjoys creating much more than just cards.  She admits having a special spot for Designer Series Paper, and creating punch art.  While she loves checking out the work of her talented peers, she gets the most satisfaction from coming up with an idea all on her own.

Jennifer sometimes loses her mojo when she can't find the tool or supply she wants, for a particular project.  She explains that she has "a problem" hoarding Stampin' Up! supplies, because she loves them all so much she doesn't want to get rid of any of them.  She says she actually has 3 rooms full of boxes of Stampin' Up! supplies!  She excitedly comments that this is changing, and that she is in the process of clearing out just one room for stamping, and one for stamping storage.

Jennifer is a visual person, and because of this, she loves all the video tutorials which are readily available online now.  One challenge she did have was learning what she wanted to learn on My Digital Studio, because she could not find videos that covered more advanced techniques.  However, she says she just fiddled around until she figured it out, and finally got that "aha" moment!  Speaking of "aha" moments, Jennifer has a special ribbon flower she makes, that she has not seen anywhere else.  I'm hoping she'll help us all have our own "aha" moment, by sharing a video tutorial with us someday on this secret project!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Introducing Marcia Santiago

Meet Marcia Santiago, Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator from Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico. Her stamping story began with an internet search!  Her original goal was searching for ideas for personalizing  her kids’ birthday parties, then printing all the things on her computer, but after buying too much ink, she decided  to look on the internet for something she could do herself and it would look good. She found a Stampin’Up! Catalog online and fell in love with all of the beautiful projects.

‘The first time I attended a class with a demonstrator, I was so proud of myself because I didn’t know I could do such beautiful cards.’   The next month, she became a demonstrator!

Her favorite product is the Big Shot. ‘I love to put texture in the cardstock.’ When My Digital Studio came out, Marcia really didn’t understand why the people loved it so much because they weren’t creating with their hands.  She finally had a chance to try it, and now she loves it too. ‘It’s creating without the mess!’

On Marcia’s blog you’ll find a list of 10 things she loves most in life. The first four are My God, My family, the smiles of my children, and stamping with music as number 5.  According to Marcia, her inspiration comes mostly from her family, and when she finds the time to stamp, she turns on the radio with relaxing music, and as she puts it, ‘That is my time!’.  

Spend some time on Stampin With Marcia. Listen to the music as you browse.  I guarantee you’ll come away relaxed, and find some great ideas for your own stamping.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Introducing Rose Marie Diehl

Rose Marie’s interest in stamping and Stampin’ Up! began in 2000, when an office mate brought in a Stampin’ Up catalog.  This person had attended a party and was talking about how much fun she had at the party!  She was showing off the cards she had made, which definitely intrigued Rose Marie.  At the time, Rose Marie was planning her wedding and saw the hydrangea stamp in the catalog, a perfect accessory for her tables at her reception.  It was the first stamp set she ordered, and it wasn’t long after that when Rose Marie signed up to be a demonstrator!  This November, she will be celebrating her 10th year with Stampin’ Up!

RoseMarie finds that she has been inspired by the many crafting blogs that she visits, but also is able to find inspiration in a variety of magazines or catalogs for fashion or furniture.  She enjoys participating in sketch and color challenges which she finds help her to “think outside of the box” and push her out of her comfort zone.  She tells us that we should participate in challenges as well to help encourage our creativity! Once Rose Marie was able to find a healthy balance between her crafting and her “day job”, she really feels that her stamping has moved to a new level.  Her crafting room is what she calls an “organized mess”.  She’s often accompanies by her cat, Oliver, which enjoys visiting with her and laying on her designer papers and card stock!

Her favorite stamping experience that Rose Marie recalls was a volunteer event that she did with a local organization which helps Women and Children in Crisis.  The ladies had a lot of fun creating the projects which Rose Marie prepared, and their hearfelt thankfulness to Rose Marie in helping them escape for a moment with handmade stamped items made the event so worthwhile to Rose Marie. 
Rose Marie remembers that she used to be an accessories hoarder – she loved buying all of the new, gorgeous accessories and stashing them away, but has discovered in the last few years that using the embellishments really does add to the pizzazz of her projects!  She recommends to us that we find a way to use these embellishments which truly look better on our creations, rather than stashed away in a drawer where it can’t be appreciated!  Besides the embellishments, Rose Marie’s other favorite product is the Big Shot which she turns to often for die-cutting and embossing. 

We can’t wait to visit Rose Marie’s castle during the Royal Blog Hop to enjoy some of her absolutely fabulous creations!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Introducing Loni Holt

Loni’s stamping story is much like every other Princess on the 2010 Royal Blog Tour. She was invited to a friend’s workshop during Sale-A-Bration 2003. She found it to be a creative hobby that could be done individually or in groups and could be applied to any project from cards to scrap booking, notepads to paint cans, and by April 2003 she had signed on as a demonstrator. 

Right now she shares her stamping space with her husband, and their Siamese-mix Mocha, who likes to help her stamp, but she’s in the process of moving her stamping area from her dining room to a cubby in one of the bedrooms upstairs.  She stamps and listens to whatever her hubby is watching on TV. Occasionally intrigued by the sounds coming from her area, her hubby will come to investigate heat embossing or eyelet placement... She figures it must be the tools!

Her inspiration for stamping comes from the Stampin’Up! Idea Book and Catalog, and from the Late Night Stampers as well, but she also finds inspiration in nature, in fabrics, in magazine pictures etc.  She likes clean quick and simple stamping, stating that a card doesn’t have to have a ton of layers and five embellishments to make it look great, so long as the color selection is great and the stamping is clean and crisp. Remember to keep it simple and keep it FUN! After all, we demonstrators get paid to lay with paper, ink, stamps, glue, glitter, punches and more! What more fun could you ask for?!

For Loni, To love what we do and share what we love, as we help others enjoy creativity and worthwhile accomplishments . . . in this we make a difference!   is the looks on the faces of first-time stampers when they see their hand-stamped projects come to life, or sharing her time and talent stamping for Operation Write Home, or riding her bicycle to raise money for various charities including the National MS Society, the American Diabetes Association, Make a Wish Foundation of North Texas and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

It’s no wonder she replied, ‘Life gets busy and sometimes I put some things on the back burner while taking care of other things. Then I have trouble getting back into the groove of the thing I put on the back burner!’  when asked if she has ever lost her mojo.  ‘I get my stamping mojo back by participating in the various challenges that can be found here on Late Night Stampers and all around the internet including Mojo Monday, and Stamping 411 or I keep my eyes open for a blog hop.’

I’d say she’s got her mojo working!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Introducing Jeanne Neilsen

Say Hello to Jeanne Nielsen! By day, an Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.
By night, an RN in a very busy Boston hospital on the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit. In the meantime,  Jeanne is a wife to a very busy, frequently traveling wonderful husband, and a mother to two fantastic kids (teen and pre-teen!) which also means I'm a cook, homemaker, cheerleader and taxi driver for everyone -- dance, baseball, basketball, etc.!! I wouldn't change a thing!!  I love to stamp and I aspire to scrapbook.

Her first introduction to stamping was at an Advent workshop at her church. She admits, like most everyone else, she was hooked. She joined a Stamper’s 6 Club with her up line and was one of her best customers for the next three years before she even officially met her! After that it was another year before Jeanne signed up as a demo under her.  To quote Jeanne, ‘Now I’m totally sold on Stampin’Up! and can’t figure out why everyone else doesn’t want to exclusively buy SU supplies too! Jeanne is totally sold on the Stamp-a-ma-jig, affectionately known as SAMJ!.  Being a perfectionist, this little tool ensures that everything about her card or stamping project is straight and  finished  just the way she wants it.  She doesn’t consider herself to  be artistic, just the absolutely best “case-r” around! According to Jeanne, all of her stamping friends have the best ideas and are so ready to share and let her copy!

One of Jeanne’s fondest stamping  memories is from her first workshop. Most of those in attendance were first time stampers who couldn’t wait to share their projects with their families! To quote Jeanne, ‘I love that kind of excitement!  On a more personal note, she recalls,  ’I recently found out that my mother-in-law has been keeping a scrapbook on her piano at home, filled with all of the cards that I had made for her and my father-in-law over the past few years! That’s when I knew it was really special to them.’

The cards you see here were probably made while she was on her knees on the floor!  She has a room specifically for stamping and can close the door on it at the end of the day, otherwise her stamping tends to spill out into other parts of the house before she knows it. Sound familiar? Still with all that room and even with open table space, she says she does her best work on the ground! Check it out!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Introducing Carolina Venegas

What do a degree in Industrial Design and Stampin’ Up! products have in common?  Well, the Sizzix Big Shot, of course!  And Carolina Venegas has that connection perfected to a “T.”  All you have to do is look at her collection of projects, and you just know that Carolina knows that you are not limited in using the Sizzix products just for the purpose for which they were designed.  Just one example:  texturize that paper (with the Big Shot, of course) before you make it into a box or bag (with the Big Shot, of course).  Fabulous results!

But how did someone with her educational background, with a specialty in designing kitchen cabinets and closets end up being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator?  Well, like many of us, Carolina needed to find something to occupy her time and, perhaps, to bring a little extra income at a time when the economy has been a bit, well, on the anemic side.  When she visited a friend of a friend to order up a cake for her daughter’s celebration and found a treasure trove of Stampin’ Up! products, Carolina was hooked on it almost immediately.  But, while most of us would have homed in on the cards and scrapbooking side of Stampin’ Up!, Carolina-the-industrial-engineer homed in on the 3-D possibilities. 

Carolina is still working as a professional designer.  But her favorite way to relax and get her mojo going is to sit with her friends and experiment with her Big Shot.  She says that they feel just like little kids squealing with excitement when they discover something new to share with her blog followers.  She encourages us all, even when we don’t feel like doing anything, to push ourselves – just get something out and start working with it.  The more we play with our tools, the more we can master them and discover new ways to use them – and share them with others!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Introducing Laurie Gibson

If you visit Laurie Gibson’s blog, it won’t surprise you one bit to discover that her favorite Stampin’ Up! Sizzix product is the Square Lattice Embossing Folder.  I am just amazed at what she has done with this fabulous product, and I will definitely be visiting her blog regularly to see what new wonderful project she has to share in which she uses it.  Who knows!  We may even see it in her castle on this fall’s Royal Blog Tour!

You’d think by looking at all that Laurie has done that she’s been a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator for years and years.  In fact, Laurie’s just been with us since 2006, when some coworkers brought in some cards that they had made to share at work.  Hard to believe it’s been just four short years with all that she’s accomplished.  Her latest accomplishment is that she’s been chosen by one of Stampin’ Up!’s top demonstrators to be on her personal design team.  Go, Laurie!

As I write this, Laurie has recently relocated and is living with her mom, who is also (ta da!) her downline!  Oh what a trip it must be to live with your downline, who is probably one of your most enthusiastic supporters (as mother’s tend to be).  So, even though Laurie still doesn’t have most of her own Stampin’ Up! supplies with her yet, she’s definitely got a place to be creative.

Being creative with Laurie right now means that you’re going to learn a lot about how to create using lots and lots of layers.   She really shines when it comes to laying out a project and getting those layers to look oh so effortless.  And it’s not just that they line up so beautifully; Laurie’s sense of color helps ensure that every layer really adds character as well as dimension to her projects.

In learning about Laurie and her creativity, my smile was the widest when I read what she had chosen as the name for her stamping team.  It’s the ATT - Always Thumpin' and Thwackin' team.  Can’t you just hear her stampin’ team just thumpin’ on those stamp pads and thwackin’ on their paper?  I certainly can.  And I definitely can hardly wait to see her blog on the Royal Blog Tour in November!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Introducing Jackie Watson

When Jackie was sent cards for the holidays and birthdays by her sister over the years, she started getting curious about card making and Stampin’ Up.   She remembers one Christmas workshop in particular that she attended with her sister where she was handed a heat gun and given glitter to play with!  She won’t soon forget that workshop, and the glitter that went everywhere!   Since then, Jackie’s been hooked on Stampin’ Up!  One group that she especially is proud to be a part of is Operation Write Home (OWH) which makes handmade cards for our soldiers to use and send home to their families and friends.

Jackie is in the process of buying a house, so her craft area is in her bedroom (which doubles also as her paint studio!).  She works at her kitchen table, and although she says it’s crowded, she still finds her supplies, lays them out, and gets her beautiful creations done!  She’s often accompanied by her son’s dog, Pearl, a beautiful white pit bull, who lays at her feet to “protect” her while she works.  Although Jackie suffers with Fibromyalgia and the severe pain that can always serve as a grim reminder of her illness, flipping through a magazine or seeing the sun come up for a brand new day can be enough to get Jackie creating, pulling her out of her “stamping slump”.

Jackie loves to try new techniques – she loves to mix inks and paper to make unique designs.  She is particularly inspired by old Victorian posters, and more importantly, by her sister.  She finds herself reaching often for her Big Shot, and will even go so far as to say that it’s her probably her favorite stamping tool. 

What is Jackie’s stamping advice to us?  She encourages us to practice until we discover our own unique stamping style.  Be sure to visit Jackie’s castle on the Royal Blog Tour and enjoy her stamping style!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Introducing Robin Messenheimer

Robin has always enjoyed handmade crafts, and has enjoyed making cards and gifts for others for a very long time.  She used to spend her evening hours doing needlework and hand sewing while watching TV, and that was okay, until she decided to stop watching TV!  All of a sudden, the needlework wasn’t so enjoyable anymore, so … luckily for us, she turned to scrapbooking and paper crafting!  It was several years before Robin was introduced to Stampin’ Up! at a club meeting with a friend.   No longer did she have to spend hours in a craft store trying to match papers, inks, stamps and embellishments!  

Robin spends her time in a room that is set up exclusively as HER craft room.  Don’t tell that to her cat and dog though – they both view it as their room and she’s ended up stocking it with chew toys and nap mats so they can keep her company while she creates.  Robin does her “best work” standing up, so she has two tables in her room – one at standing height for her, and a second table that accommodates her stamp groups that like to sit down.  She has all her card stock out in the open and lined up by color so she can easily scan the room to find what she’s looking for, and reach it without moving more than a few steps.  In that room, you’ll find her new favorite stamping product – Mini Glimmer Brads from the Holiday Mini Catalog!

This past year, Robin’s husband was very ill.  It was during this time that Robin couldn’t and didn’t feel like stamping, but her friends (especially her online stamping friends) and customers stepped in to provide support and encouragement, respecting the time that Robin needed to take care of her family before getting back to her crafting.  Her stamping friends immediately asked for her husband’s address so they could send him a homemade card to cheer him up.  In no other hobby would she have gotten this tremendous response!  This was particularly touching and important moment for Robin.

Robin is well known for her one-sheet stamping tutorials.  She has challenged herself to write these succinct instructions, not by making the photos or the fonts smaller, but by simplifying the instructions and choosing her words wisely.  She tries not to cover too much in a tutorial so as to not overwhelm her customers. She finds her inspiration in others.  Robin spends a little bit of time each morning, surfing the internet to see what’s new “out there”.  She then tackles one or two similar projects, changing them up with different colors or stamps, and turning them into unique and amazing creations  of her own!
Be sure to stop by Robin’s castle during the Royal Blog Tour!  We’re sure to see some of her favorite Glimmer Brads on her beautiful creations!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Introducing Judy Elting

Judy Eting had heard of Stampin' Up! many years before she had ever tried the product.  Her BFF finally invited her to a workshop and got her hooked!  Once the demonstrator explained the benefits to Judy, and the discount she'd get on her ever-growing list of "must haves", Judy signed up…and that was just over five years ago.  Judy was soooo excited about the product, and so eager to make sure all her customers knew everything they could about it, that her first demonstrator event lasted SIX HOURS!  Now, that's being thorough.

Judy is truly a late night stamper, usually starting around 10pm, with a cup or two of fresh black coffee.  Because Judy wears many hats, she has no time for stamper's block.  She has found that one of the best resources for inspiration is the Stampin' Up! Idea Book & Catalog, and a firm deadline.  The pressure is a double-edged sword that might at first induce a brain freeze, but then creates a focus under which Judy's creativity thrives.

Judy is an equal opportunity product and technique lover—so don’t ask her to pick favorites!  Some of the tools she reaches for most often, however, include the Big Shot, and punches.  Judy also mentioned that her stamping room doubles as a sewing/quilting room, among other things.  If you check out Judy's blog, I think you'll agree that her creations always feature some manner of texture and depth.  I'd sure love to see how Judy incorporates Stampin' Up!'s new Designer Fabric with the Big Shot, and all those great sewing and quilting notions and supplies, to add another dimension of sensation to her projects!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Introducing Kimberley Morris

Kimberly began stamping at a very early age – just not in places that her mother appreciated. But, in 1994, she was introduced to Stampin’ Up by her sister-in-law and immediately purchased her starter kit. The rest, they say, is history. She has been hooked ever since. She is blessed to be a stay-at-a-home mom and is able to devote her daytime hours to her Stampin’ Up business. She is often accompanied in her stamp room by her cat, Sneakers. He usually rules the room and Kimberly is often forced the change her routine to accommodate his nap time. When he is awake, Sneakers and Kimberly occasionally listen to the music of their favorite Aussie, Keith Urban.

                Kimberly’s favorite Stampin’ Up products are her Big Shot and punches. She loves tools that offer many possibilities without a lot of effort. It helps her projects go together quick and easy. Rather than the traditional way of making your project and then choosing the embellishments, Kimberly prefers to choose which embellishments to use and then design her projects around them. She gets her inspiration from many places such a display in a local store, other demonstrators, or just the mental notes she makes about the people she knows. Those mental notes are Kimberly’s greatest form of inspiration when she wants to stamp for someone else and is also her way of coming out of those periods when her mojo just isn’t working or, as Kimberly calls them, “the grouchy times.” The times that sheis making something for someone else are her happiest times.

                She enjoys a variety of styles but was most resistant to “vintage.” She is accustomed to being very precise in her stamping and the thought of stepping outside the box terrified her. But, once she started exploring the style and learned that she can achieve it simply by stamping an image and adding a little sponging, she decided it wasn’t so bad after all. In fact, it made her feel connected to her teenage daughter who has been resistant the whole idea of “crafts.” She doesn’t get involved much until Kimberly’s birthday comes around each year. She sneaks into the stamp room and makes a handmade card for her mom that never fails to touch Kimberly’s heart.

                Kimberly’s greatest area of expertise is teaching other stampers. Her customers often comment about how much they learn from her classes. She believes that it is important to not only know the “hows” of stamping, but also the “whys.” She teaches them why you chose a certain accessory for a certain technique or why you choose a particular kind of stamp to achieve your desired style. But, Kimberly has also learned a different kind of “why” when one of her customers became terminally ill. Upon the release of a mini catalog, she gathered up her new products and visited her customer. They spent the day stamping and sharing which turned out to be one of Kimberly’s most memorable moments. She helped her friend with small pieces that were too difficult for her to handle on what was most likely her last time stamping before she passed away. Kimberly learned that day that the most important “why” of stamping is to share love and kindness with others.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Introducing Heather Wright-Porto

Heather started out as a scrapbooker.  She met with a group of friends and worked on pages on a regular basis. One day they decided to host a Stampin’ Up workshop to explore rubber stamping. They were hooked right away and one of them signed up as a demonstrator. As time progressed and their love of stamping grew, three more of them, including Heather, signed on. Heather does not press her business right now and operates it mainly as a hobby. Once her children are grown and out of school, she will revamp that idea and take it to the next level.

                For the time being, Heather’s focus is on a few workshops, classes, and clubs to sustain her hobby.  She still enjoys scrapbooking in addition to making cards and her customers enjoy her projects as long as they don’t involve a lot of cutting. One of her most memorable moments with a class was when she taught a summer page that consisted of cutting out quite a few little crab images. Her customers constantly remind her about it and she hasn’t made them do it since.  It has become a “joke of the day” for them.  Another memorable moment for Heather was the number of handmade cards she received from her stamping friends when her son, Luke was born. It touched her heart in a very big way.
                Like most of us, Heather’s craft room is a work-in-progress. She usually works at her dining room table but is hoping to one day have a room of her own that she can devote totally to stamping and scrapbooking. She enjoys working with adults and children and occasionally conducts classes at the local library. She gets her inspiration from other crafters, Late Night Stampers, and the places she goes. Often times while shopping for her children she will get inspired by a pattern or texture on clothing and go straight home and recreate it with stamps. She seldom loses her “mojo” because she has this constant level of inspiration.

                Be sure to stop by Heather’s castle to see her fabulous cards and projects.