Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Introducing Jennifer Blomquist

Jennifer Blomquist started crafting in high school, making basic scrapbooks.  One day, a friend of hers invited her to a “card party”, which actually turned out to be the first stamp camp her friend was holding as a new Stampin’ Up! demonstrator.  Jennifer LOVED it and came back to the next event, and then hosted Workshops herself over the next few years.  At one point, Jennifer’s friend sent her all the supplies for the Workshop, and Jennifer did the demonstrating herself!  She was a natural, and finally signed up to be a demonstrator herself, three years ago.
Jennifer’s favorite product currently is the Big Shot.  While she loves the die cuts, she finds that she is constantly pressing her embossing folders into service.  Jennifer also loves Crystal Effects, especially to create the Stained Glass technique.  Jennifer admits that she loves all Stampin’ Up!’s tools, and notes that the right punch, the paper piercer, or the Stamp-a-Majig can amazingly enhance the look of even a quick and easy project.
Jennifer gets inspiration from samples others make, and also from watching her customers in classes and Workshops take the design she created, and turn it into something of their own!  She also enjoys browsing color combinations and patterns in store displays or catalogs, especially Pottery Barn and Crate and Barrel.  Jennifer has found that when she doesn’t feel particularly creative or inspired, a surefire remedy is to schedule an event, and have a deadline to plan a project.  She’ll start with something simple, and just stamp it, and seeing her finished project really motivates her to keep going.  Also, seeing everyone enjoy making that project at the event just fuels more creation, which in turn motivates Jennifer in a continuous cycle.

Jennifer leaves us with a couple of tips…first, she reveals that the clear mount stamp case can double as a mount for your clear stamps if you happen to forget to bring along your clear blocks!  It’s a bit awkward, but definitely works.  And second, you can save yourself some cleaning of your Stampin’ Scrub if you clean your brayer by spraying it directly with Stampin’ Mist, and wiping it clean with a tissue or bit of paper towel.  Thanks for sharing that, Jennifer, I’m all for saving myself from unnecessary cleaning!

Introducing Robby Rubela

Robby tells us that her sister and her mother first got her interested in stamping.  One weekend, they were stamping and invited Robby to join them.  The rest, as they say, “is history”!  She was instantly hooked on stamping and Stampin’ Up! products and has not regretted her decision to become an Independent  Demonstrator.  

When identifying a favorite product, Robby tells us that she especially loves the Stampin’ Up inks, and how well they match the cardstock, making color combinations and creations very easy.  Robby says that everyone especially notes how well she does putting colors together in a pleasing palate and design.  She gets her ideas from a variety of sources, but especially loves to participate in online stamping challenges, and also enjoys checking out other people’s blogs to jumpstart her imagination.

If there is ever a day that Robby can’t stamp, she says that she has trouble finding her mojo.  She recommends that everyone stamp at least something each day!
That’s great advice Robby!  We can’t wait to see what you’ve created to share with us on the Royal Blog Tour.  This time, you’ll be inspiring us!

Introducing Angela Walters

Angela began her journey in paper crafting with scrapbooking.  She made a scrapbook of a trip to Thailand and of course she had to do one for Frankfurter, her little wiener dogJ. Yes, the wiener dog in the signature rings a bell now, doesn’t it? I know - I chuckled too. It is just too cute!!! She resisted the peer pressure to start stamping until she saw a Stampin’ Up catalog. She was hooked instantly and knew she would be buying so much that she had to become a demonstrator. She did not want to miss out on any of the perks we all enjoy. It has been five years and she has had to move twice. Although she finds it difficult to find new customers, she is always hopeful she will find someone who loves to stamp as much as she does.

One of her funniest stamping moments is one I can certainly relate to. She was getting ready for one of her very first workshops. She was so excited! She checked and double checked to be sure she had everything she needed and more. She got to the workshop and put everything out only to realize she had forgotten the Whisper White cardstock she had cut for the cards. Angela was much more upset than anyone there and her hostess was happy to provide the cardstock for her. I am sure many of us have been in that situation a time or two.

Angela’s favorite SU product is ribbon. She likes the fun variety of it we have right now and loves to add it to all of her projects. It blends right in with her style which is clean and simple. She tries to push herself to get more creative with sketches but feels most comfortable when using nice clean lines. But, she is always open to learning something new. She finds her inspiration in color and sketch challenges, too. She uses them to force herself to think of new styles and colors she would not normally choose. And it really makes her happy when she tries it and ends up really liking what she creates.

She rarely loses her mojo for long, especially since she starting blogging in May. She examines other stampers’ creations for inspiration and uses challenges and a few card magazines to get her creative juices flowing again. It also helps her to think of someone special to send a card too to keep her on track. She lives by her own advice of “just do it!” Although she expects perfection of herself, she realizes that whoever receives that card is not going to critique it – they will just be thrilled that she thought of them. She tells others to think that way, too. She looks back on the cards she created in the past and compares them to what she is doing now and sees how she has grown creatively. She encourages everyone she meets to just create and share what they love. That attitude alone will make those around you do the same.

Be sure to visit Angela’s castle to see her wonderful creations and say “hi” to Frankfurter when you do :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Introducing Kristy Bettenhausen

Kristy Bettenhausen

Kristy Bettenhausen was introduced to Stampin’ Up! when she was pregnant with their youngest child who is now four.  She went to her first workshop and ordered stuff to make his birth announcements that night. A few months later she signed up for a stampin’ club.  When their youngest was 5 months old he was in the hospital in the Pediatric ICU for 28 days. Kristy and her husband decided at the end of his hospital stay that her full time job would no longer be outside the house, but at home, dedicated to caring for their four children. When the baby was just over a year old, Kristy signed up as a demonstrator. At that time it was basically to take advantage of the discount for her hobby, but now she’s concentrating on turning that into the business she wants it to be. Her youngest goes to pre-school now for 2 ½ hours each day and she uses that time to concentrate on building her Stampin’Up! Business. She adds, “The best thing about Stampin’ UP is that we can do what we want with our own businesses.”

Her favorite product is the Big Shot, or as she puts it -” The Big Shot, the Big Shot, the Big shot! I fall in love with it more each time I use it, and I especially love the embossing folders. They make anything just pop a little more.”  

Her stampin’ area is about half of their family room plus a big closet where she keeps all of her supplies. Their dog Gizmo & cat Artemis are either running around or sleeping while she works. They even come check out the guests when an event is going on. When nobody else is home, she stamps to music or TV; otherwise the house is way too quiet.

She finds inspiration everywhere, even in her oldest daughter’s pajama pants! She really liked the colors in them, so she made a card using that combination.  Still, there are times when the “mojo” fails.  “Sometimes when I just can’t come up with anything “creative” I will go to the computer & look at some fellow demonstrator’s blogs. We have such a talented group out there that there is always something to find inspirational.”

Kristy says her expertise isn’t a technique or a suggestion that she teaches, it is the patience and understanding that she puts into her teaching, understanding that not everyone learns the same way or will understand in the same time frame.  “Recently I had a scrapbook in a day event & had two ladies come who said they weren’t very crafty. I said no problem, for this event you just have to be able to glue. So both ladies signed up, had a great time that day and both have already come to another of my events. I tell people that there is no right or wrong with being “crafty” it is just about having fun & enjoying yourself.”

It’s obvious that Kristy is Having Fun!! She  Loves what she is doing!  And she’s very good at it!

Introducing Kirsten Brown

It’s one thing to promote Stampin’ Up! by handing out flyers and mini catalogs.  It’s quite another to walk around all day with the word, “Celebrate,” stamped on your arm.  When it’s obvsiouly not a tattoo, it’s bound to draw attention!  That’s what happened to Kirsten Brown just after her first workshop as a demonstrator when she inadvertently managed to get that stamped image on the back of her arm and showed it off all over town the rest of the day!

But today Kirsten is a veteran Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator, though she started out bound and determined not to get involved.  It started when she felt obligated to attend a Stampin’ Up! workshop for which her Mother-in-Law was the hostess.  She started her rather long drive to her Mother-in-Law’s home by first reinforcing in herself the idea that she wasn’t going to buy anything.  That changed to, “I’ll spend $15 - $20 to be nice, but that’s it!”  You know the rest.  Kirsten got her hand on that rubber stamp with the wood block, stamped her make and take, and she was hooked.  Then she started helping the ladies around her who were struggling a bit and that was when Kirsten knew she had to sign up right away to be a demonstrator herself.  She says it was literally 7 minutes from the time she made her first stamped image to the time she was helping others with their stamping. 

Kirsten’s husband has it easy when it comes time for gift giving.  Imagine what Kirsten responds when he asks what she’d like – something from Stampin’ Up!, of course!  Right now her favorite products are the ribbons – ALL the ribbons.  And she doesn’t limit herself to using them for cards and other paper crafting.  She uses them for gifts and even making bows and ponytail holders for her little girls’ hair!

With all her talent, Kirsten says that her area of real expertise is in the field of correcting mistakes.  She doesn’t just toss something that didn’t work – she always finds a way to correct it, embellish it (glitter covers a multitude of sins!), or even just take the project apart and use the good parts for other projects.  Now every time I see one of Kirsten’s projects, I’ll always wonder if it really started out that way! 

Monday, November 1, 2010

Introducing Trish Cortez

Trish tells us that got interested in Stampin’ Up! and became a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator in order to go to Convention!  As she puts it, “There are no words to describe the feeling you receive!”  She fell in love with Stampin’ Up!’s products when she kept buying and buying!  She would bring her orders home and would tell her husband, “Honey… I won all the raffles today!”  He eventually caught on to Trish, and she became an Independent Demontrator in order to receive the discount on products.

Trish’s favorite product is currently the new Glitter Brads.  She uses these brads on everything that needs a little extra ‘BLING’.  Her favorite technique, and one that she feels she can call herself an expert on, is the Direct to Paper technique.  She says that she’s inspired by everything … flowers, everything around her! 
When Trish lost her job (her job outside of her craft room!), she lost interest in everything and says that she was even giving all of her things away.  Her upline and other ladies that she stamps with on a regular basis all came together to bring her back to stamping, reminding her why she is a stamper and that she has a family in Stampin’ Up!  

Trish’s words that she would like to share with us is that we definitely need to practice, but we should always have fun and never criticize our own work – every creation is beautiful as long as it is made from the heart!
What great words of advice!  We can’t wait to see what Trish is preparing from her heart just for us on the Royal Blog Tour!

Introducing Tracy Raymond

Tracy tells us that she calls her stamping story the “Journey of the Unmounted Stamp”!  She was introduced to Stampin’ Up! at a workshop approximately 4 years ago when she remembers falling in love with all of the ideas and creative possibilities that Stampin’ Up! had to offer,  but with the birth of her 2 children, these stamps sat un-mounted until last year!  She joined a stamp club with a friend about 1 year ago, and says that the Stampin’ Up! passion was re-ignited.  She signed up to be an Independent Demonstrator for the discount and savings, but with much support and encouragement, she is now happy to offer workshops, classes and more!

Tracy’s favorite product is the Big Shot with all of its accompanying texture plates and embossing folders.  She loves to create texture in the projects that she makes, and loves to pay attention to the little details in a project.  She laughingly tells us that her husband even asked what this “embossing thing” was the other day after a class as he heard her mention the term repeatedly!  She also recalls one of her favorite workshop experiences when an attendee actually shouted out because she was so excited to see the embossed paper and could not believe that anyone could do something so “magic”!
Tracy is blessed to have a stamping space to call her own.  It had been a slow process to create this unique space with her parenting responsibilities, but she says that her husband is always coming up with different ideas for storage.  She says that when she enters her stamping space, she’s instantly happy and ready to create!  Tracy tells us that through Stampin’ Up!, she has been able to find the balance and passion again in her life.  She has had to re-examine who she was after becoming a mom, and says that some of the wonderful relationships that she has formed during her “stamping time” at workshops, classes, or club nights has been the vehicle to help her discover who she is and to help her through the ups and downs of parenting.  She says that one of her favorite experiences is sharing stamping time with a friend that is now a member of her Team.  She feels very special that her friend is a part of her team, and her friend had even given her a beautiful birthday with a strip of her friend’s favorite designer paper!

Tracy’s advice to us to not get stuck on making our project “perfect”!  She tells us that it is only paper that it usually has two sides for a reason!  She tells us that she finds just doing something and putting it on paper starts the creativity process, and the more we stamp, the easier it becomes to create!
Check out Tracy’s castle on the Royal Blog Tour!  It doesn’t sound like we’ll be disappointed with any of the creations that she looks forward to sharing with us!