Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Question for You...

Hi all!

I don't know how many of you out there still check my blog, but at least two of you have asked me lately if I'm still a Stampin' Up! demo. I haven't known quite what to answer, so I'll share some thoughts and then maybe you can give me some input. I'd appreciate it!

First off, let me say that I love Stampin' Up!. I've been with the company for 8 years, or so. Sometimes I've done really well, but I've also spent a number of months in pending. The Stampin' Up! style has changed over the past number of years. Remember Button Bear? How about Sunflower Serenade? Or even the Halloween Hedgehogs? That's my style. I miss those kinds of sets. For a couple of years now, I haven't been able to buy new sets because I haven't had extra money which was OK because I really haven't fallen in love with any of them. Now that the sets have gone up in price, I *really* will have a hard time buying them. OK - that was really negative. What do I love about SU??? I love the background stamps, and the coordinating cardstock and inkpads and markers. I love the new designer paper and the ribbons. I love the brads and the adhesives. I love (and want) the watercolor crayons. Is that enough to keep me in it? We will be moving by September 1st to a duplex where I will have a limited area to stamp in. What will I do with all of my wonderful wood mounted stamps? I'm afraid, for the most part, they will stay in a box in storage and I will keep out option two... 40 or 50 sets of unmounted stamps from the Angel Company (TAC) that are stored in CD cases and kept in a plastic sweater box. TAC stamps range in price from $5.95 to $19.95 per set... with an occasional alphabet breaking the $20 mark. They give a gift with purchase stamp for a $30 order, a $100 order receives hostess benefits, and they offer hostess 1/2 price items. Stampin' Up offers free merchandise, I know, so what's the big deal with a 1/2 price items?? I guess it's the worth of the product. For a $150 show with Stampin Up a hostess receives $15 in free merchandise. For a $100 show with TAC the hostess receives one 1/2 price item -- even if it's a $100 item for $50. That's a $50 savings!
So what would keep me from choosing TAC? TAC is only just *starting* to put together collections of cardstocks, papers, ribbons and ink. They use textured cardstock, which SU! is just coming out with, but which I am unfamiliar with, so I have to "think differently". Oh - one last comparison... SU requires $400 in orders every 3 months, TAC requires $100 in orders every 4 months.

So.... here's my dilemma. I'm moving. The area is crawling with SU demos. People don't have a lot of money in the town I will be going to... or at least I don't *know* those people. :) Do I switch to TAC? Do I stay with SU since I love the cardstock, ink and accessories? Do I do nothing and let my SU demonstratorship slide into retirement, and then just buy occasionally from whichever company I want? I often lean toward the last one, but I've been a demo for so long that I don't know if I can give it up entirely. I would love to put some things on my blog like a "Card Kit of the Month", or "Make N Takes in a Bag". Would those be things anyone would be interested in??

I'd love to hear your ideas, comments, suggestions - even criticisms... (Like... "How could you *think* of leaving Stampin' Up! Traitor!!) I really am struggling to make the wisest decision.

Sorry no picture today... just ramblings. Thanks for reading!


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Sketch Challenge

What a wonderful day! It's no wonder I have a "joyful smile" to share with you. It looks like we may have found a house to rent that will let us bring our dog!! :) We get to see it on Saturday morning. Praise the Lord!!!!

My card for tonight is for the sketch challenge on Poetic Artistry. I haven't done anything like this before, but she's drawing for a pre-release stamp set from Verve Visual that I just love, so I decided to try. All stamps are from The Angel Company. The vellum was an experiment that I was really please with. I took a piece of patterned vellum (retired from Stampin Up!) and 3 reinkers - rust, cranberry, and summer sun. I put a drop or two of each reinker on a cotton ball - not touching and then spritzed my cotton with alcohol and applied it to the vellum. While it was wet I covered it with clear embossing powder and heat set it. The leaf is actually stamped in black ink and then colored with markers on the back. The hardest part about the card was the circles it called for. I don't have any circle punches! So... Necessity is the mother of invention. I just traced the bottom of my spray bottle and cut it out by hand. :)

Thanks for reading. Drop me a line! :)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Just a Lion

Isn't this lion just the cutest thing??? :) He makes me smile everytime I see him. I've been playing around with my watercolor crayons lately and I really enjoy the look they give. Plus they are SO easy to use!! I do need to invest in some watercolor paper, though. The cardstock I've been using likes to bubble as it dries rather than lay flat.
Ribbon, brad, ink & window punch - Stampin' Up!
Images, cardstock & watercolor crayons - TAC
Happy Stampin!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Unknown Blessings

Here's a simple card I made with the TAC Stamp of the Month set for July. I love the giraffe with blue spots and I thought the gift with purchase stamp was appropriate for a new baby on the way...
"Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way".
It's also appropriate for me right now, since I still don't know where we'll be living after we move. I am so glad that my Good Shepherd knows the next pasture that He is taking us too. What a mighty God I serve!!

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Toys!!

I spent the afternoon stamping with my new TAC (The Angel Company) toys! :) I hadn't used their designer paper and textured cardstock before, but I really like it!! My daughter and I made 5 or 6 cards - very quick and easy. I do wish I had a scallop punch. It would be SO much easier than trying to cut evenly with my scallop scissors. I think I'll save up for that Spellbinders Wizard with the scalloped dies in all sizes that Debbie Olson keeps talking about on her blog.

No news on the move yet... Our house hasn't sold and we can't find a house that is in our price range that doesn't need tons of work. I can't wait to see how the Lord is going to provide! He is so good. If He loved me enough to send His Son to pay the price for my sins, He will certainly provide for us in this move.

Talk to you again soon, I hope!

Sunday, July 01, 2007


Hello everyone!! Life here has been so busy lately. My husband will be starting a new job on August 4th, so we have put our house up for sale and started the packing/sorting/moving process. I spent all day Friday and Saturday holding a rummage sale... my first one in 12 years. Today is Sunday - my day of rest - then tomorrow I clean the house and making it look less like a tornado hit it. I envy my dog with his own personal water fountain! :)

After the move I will be jumping into my stamping business with both feet. I would like to make the transition from being a hobby demo to running it as a business. Whether that will happen as a Stampin' Up! demo or a TAC angel is yet to be decided. I just saw SU's new catalog. It's beautiful! Lot's to love there!! Now I'm waiting to hear about TAC's new demonstrator benefits that were unveiled at their convention. I'll compare the two companies and decide which one will fit the needs of my family better, and I'll let you know!! :)

After the move my blog will get quite active with listings of specials, kits, clubs, workshop dates, etc., so be sure to check back often. If you would like to be included on my email update list, be sure to leave a comment and let me know! Even if we don't live near one another, I'll be happy to place an order (small or large!) for you!! :)

Today's pictures are from a paper bag scrapbook that I made awhile back. I do have an idea sheet available if you're interested. Thanks for reading!