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!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Introducing Marisol Gutierrez

Marisol became interested in stamping when she was looking for invitations for her daughter’s baptism.  She couldn’t  find anything that she liked, so she started searching the web for ideas.  Stampin’ Up! came up in her search and she ordered some products.  She was immediately hooked and signed on as an Independent demonstrator approximately 3 years later.  She’s holding her first workshop in October of this year!  She didn’t ever want to appear pushy so she never outright asked for bookings, but at a kindergarten gathering this fall, she mentioned Stampin’ Up! to one of the other mothers and that mother  booked a workshop!

Presently, Marisol’s stamping area is in her bedroom.  She’s working to clean out the basement so she will have her own space to stamp and create.  She laughingly tells us that she used to have her own space until the birth of her son, Joaquin, but with the option of him either sleeping in her crafting space or sleeping in the hall, she felt that it wasn’t fair to for him to sleep in the hall!  Marisol usually crafts to Freestyle or Merengue-style music and says that she does her best work with this in the background.

Marisol finds that she is inspired by her children and current trends.  She says that she doesn’t have a favorite Stampin’ Up! product but she loves to use brads on many of her projects.  Just recently, Marisol created 500 Triangle Boxes for an event, and also was a bit overworked from doing her sister’s wedding invitations.  She tells us that she always gets her mojo back sooner or later though, because she loves to create with her hands! 

Check out Marisol’s castle on the Royal Blog Tour coming soon, and see what she’s been busy creating for us!

Introducing Erin Calhoun-Mangat

Erin has experience in many different jobs, but she tells us that she has never regretted buying the Stampin’ Up! Starter Kit.  Before that, none of the jobs felt “right” to her.  Now, Erin looks forward to a new workday and wants to make a career out of paper crafting!  She sells Stampin’ Up! products, teaches classes, and also sells and donates her finished paper-crafted creations.  She has made many new friends, and laughingly tells us that her calendar has gone from “Free all the time” to “Let me go check that day”!

Erin’s favorite product is the Big Shot because of its versatility.  She loves that it can emboss paper for new textures or designs, or cut shapes with just a few cranks of the handle.  She’s anxiously awaiting the arrival of her Fancy Favor Die – she ordered it and can’t wait to make the Christmas favors and other 3D projects like luminaries that she’s seen on so many blogs!  Erin finds much of her inspiration from card swaps that she participates in, as well as from online stamping forums, as she says it is a great place to learn new techniques and color schemes.   She also loves going to events, especially those that Stampin’ Up! hosts – she has learned many new techniques and remembers many a time that she’s come home the same day to make a bunch of samples that utilize new techniques that she’s been shown.  

Because of Erin’s background in designing (Graphic/Web Design and Production, as well as a stint making Costume Jewelry), Erin loves patterns and paper.  She tells us that she buys paper because of the color or design of it, buys journals because of the pattern, and feels that her strength is in gluing!  She tells us that she loves glue almost as much as she loves paper, and has fun experimenting with the different types of glue that Stampin’ Up! has.  She loves the sticky tape as it is fantastic for 3D projects, but also loves Crystal Effects, and says that she uses it on probably every three out of five projects! Erin says that the Snail Adhesive is her “best friend”, especially at Christmas-time, and she enjoys watching people open her gifts as they try to figure out where the tape went!  

As for stamping secrets, Erin tells us that Home Depot is a great place to find material to use for her projects:  she loves to use the bathroom tiles, washers, metal sheeting and even paint chips in her projects for truly amazing effects!  

We can’t wait to see what Erin has used to make her projects truly spectacular for the Royal Blog Tour!

Introducing Mickey Roberts

The first thing that you’ll notice about Mickey Roberts blog are her dynamite scrap page layouts!  So many blogs these days focus on cards; but Mickey is right in there with fabulous scrap ideas.  In fact, Mickey first became interested in Stampin’ Up! because of her interest in scrapbooking.  She loved the stamping that went along with it, and joined with some friends in a club with a local Stampin’ Up! demonstrator.  After a few years, the demonstrator had to discontinue the club, and guess who became a demonstrator to keep the club going?  Not hard to figure that one out!  Since then, Mickey has established many more clubs and is continuing to share her love of paper crafting with an ever-expanding customer base.

Mickey’s favorite parts of the whole paper crafting experience are the stamps and the inks.  She loves to use inks both in traditional as well as non-traditional ways.  In a recent blog post, she showed off some of Stampin’ Up!’s stencils as a border for a set of scrap pages which really met her stated goals of using inks to enhance projects and create interest in the project’s elements.

The one thing that Mickey tells all her stamping friends is that there are no bad ideas in paper crafting.  If you go with your gut instincts, you’ll seldom go astray.  And if you don’t feel comfortable with what you’ve created, walk away from it.  When you return and look at the project with rested eyes, you’ll know exactly what to do.  Mickey recently took her own advice when she was struggling with a particular color combination.  She stopped her crafting and went to a movie with her husband.   There in one of the scenes was that exact color combination – and inspiration struck!  Problem solved.

I can hardly wait to see what Princess Mickey has in store for us with all that creativity she’s been showing off!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Introducing Madeline Morcelo

Madeline is originally from Puerto Rico and has always loved doing crafts. After coming to live in the United States, she enrolled in a card class. The teacher was a Stampin’ Demonstrator and Madeline instantly fell in love with all of the products used for the class. She wanted to know how she could get them so she talked to the demonstrator, who introduced her to her upline. After seeing more wonderful products in the catalog, Madeline was hooked and signed up herself.

The stamp sets that contain greetings or messages have become her favorites. She can always find just the right one and loves to add them her cards. Her favorite projects are 3-D items. She finds inspiration for those from all sorts of sources, but especially television and hardware stores. She loves to see unique items and adapt them to paper. She is a bit of an expert at that J and loves adding her own little twist to designs that have been around awhile.

When Madeline first moved to her area, she lost her “mojo” quite often. It is difficult for her to find customers where she is living. So, she decided to try a new venue. She now designs for her own online classes and that has given her new inspiration. She enjoys creating many spectacular 3-D items for all of the online members.

Be sure to stop by Madeline’s castle to see her beautiful projects!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Introducing Karen Trelfa

Karen truly became a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator quite by accident!  She was asked by her niece to hostess a workshop since her niece’s space was too small.  Karen filled out two order forms with her wish list, but because she claims she “does not like to shop”, she filled out 4 more type-written pages of further orders for herself approximately 2 weeks later when she decided she needed more!!   The demonstrator at that workshop wisely suggested to Karen that she sign up as a demonstrator with Stampin’ Up to receive the discount on her order, and that was exactly what she did!  Despite a long period of time of non-use of the supplies, both at her regular home and her winter home in Florida, Karen finally took out her supplies when someone suggested she use her supplies to teach a card-making class to the “old ladies” in the community.  She had so much fun that her business took off and Karen just recently earned 5th place as Rising Star with Stampin’ Up!  The stories just get more humorous as Karen recalls recently signing up two new demonstrators at a funeral home, and tells us that you never know where opportunities lie (not literally!)!

Karen’s favorite Stampin’ Up! product to work with is ribbon.  She loves the texture and dimension that it gives to her projects, and laughingly tells us that her customers would think she was “ill” if a project did not contain some sort of ribbon!  Karen enjoys teaching, and feels that her strength is her eye for balance.   She also consistently reminds everyone about keeping stamping projects simple (“KISS”).  As she says, there is a time for “over the top” in projects, but Karen feels that it is classic simplicity that makes stamping and creating most relaxing and fun.

Karen is most inspired by her customers who she says challenge her to find new and creative ways of doing things and have her think “outside the box” regularly!  She works full-time as the owner of a construction company, so she appreciates her time for stamping and becomes newly motivated when her students are excited about Stampin’ Up!  

Whether simple or “over the top”, we’re sure to be wowed by Karen’s creations on the Royal Blog Tour!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Introducing Kim Innis

Kim Innis became a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator about 12 years ago—on advice from her doctor!  Kim began stamping as a hobby, for relaxation and stress release, about a year after nearly dying from a bad bout of pneumonia.  She had previously done a lot of counted cross-stitch, but found stamping a lot easier and more fun, because of the almost instant gratification from completing a project in just a few minutes.

It should come as no surprise to learn that one of Kim’s favorite techniques is the One Sheet Wonder.  With this technique, she can create her own background paper in a jiffy, use a little on a current project, and save pieces to use later on other projects.  Another favorite for Kim is making 3D projects, like creating birdhouses from the mini milk carton die.  Her favorite Stampin’ Up! product is ribbon, and she rarely makes a project without it.

Kim loves blog hopping to get stamping inspiration…she finds projects to duplicate, and modifies them to give them her own unique style.  Whenever she is stressed, or loses her stamping mojo, Kim just checks out some blogs and gets busy stamping, and everything is right again in her world.  Kim encourages us all to stamp something every day…after all, it is just what the doctor ordered!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Introducing Frances Hicks

Frances was introduced to stamping by her best friend’s cousin.  Little did she know then that a stack of cards that they created would lead to her stamping addiction!  At the end of this month (October), Frances will be celebrating her 6th anniversary with Stampin’ Up as a demonstrator.  She works as a demonstrator in her “spare time”, noting that she also works fulltime as an electrical designer for an Architectural/Engineering firm (and tells us that the “coolest” part of her job is commuting to and working in the same department as her youngest son!).  

Frances uses her dining room area to stamp.  Her husband has provided her with a large cabinet space to keep her supplies.  She says she does her best work in the morning, but is known for her “stamping marathons” when she stamps all hours of the day and night to finish swaps or to prepare for a workshop or other stamping/scrapbooking event!

Frances especially loves to scrapbook, and has recently started her 2 oldest granddaughters (ages 7 and 8) scrapbooking as well.  They accompanied her to a scrapbooking crop recently, and Frances fondly recalls how much fun they all had together – she looks forward to many more “relationship-building experiences” in the future.  Frances also tells us that, though the family has endured many hardships this past year, she turns to her stamping to perk her up and get her mind off of her troubles and to get her excited again!

Frances’s strength is in choosing stamps and colors that work well with the Designer Series papers.  She tells us that she picks a stamp set that fits the season or works well with the paper, and then chooses a sketch.  She enjoys participating in the online sketch challenges – it is in these challenges that Frances says she goes to when she needs inspiration to design her scrapbook pages or cards.  Her favorite tool is the Big Shot, as she loves its versatility, but she’s quick to add that she’s also in love with the glitter, punches, and the many other products that Stampin’ Up carries. 
I’m sure Frances right now is busy planning all of her wonderful projects that she intends to share with us during the Royal Blog Tour!  We can’t wait to see them!