Tag Archives: Stampin’ Up

Bye Bye Summer Memories Time Line!

5 Nov

Last week the east coast suffered a horrible, devastating hurricane, Hurricane Sandy.

Before reading this post, please remember all of those who are still reeling from this event. Although we were not personally affected, as you’ll read below, so many we know were.

If you would like to donate, I have linked to the American Red Cross and their Hurricane relief site.
You can click here to make your own donation.

Thank you, and enjoy today’s post.


Our Summer Time Line has been up for a long, long time.

You all remember our Summer Memories Time Line, right?

Started in June, finished in August.

It’s November.

I was thrilled with how the Time Line came out. I loved the pictures, I loved re-living my favorite season.

Til about October. Early October.

“I’m going to take the Time Line down soon,” I’d say.

“No, don’t! I still like looking at it,” someone 13 and under would say.

“I still like remembering all the fun things we did,” another would say.

So I’d leave it longer.

Caroline was 12 when the Time Line went up and 13 by the time it came down.

Caroline’s birthday came at the end of October. The cards went up on the wall, above the Time Line. Halloween decorations went up, around the Time Line.

Christmas was coming, cards would be coming in a matter of weeks. I knew I had to take the Time Line down. I wasn’t going to throw it out, I don’t throw anything out. Ever. I was going to save it.

Then came Hurricane Sandy.

I was wandering around Target the day before the storm, picking up canned goods and thinking about the possibility of being out of electricity for what they said could be weeks.

With an S.


I tried not to think about that possibility and tried instead, to think of what kinds of things one could do with three kids with no power, for weeks, or even a few days.

I wandered through their scrapbooking aisle, and that’s when it hit me, like a ton of canned goods.

The Time Line!! We could scrapbook the Time Line. Together. I’d let them do it, each creating their own pages, using the photos I’d printed for it and the little papers they’d written the events on.

Being a former Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, I had tons of empty scrapbooks and probably thousands of pieces of paper to use.


With an S.

It was perfect.

We never lost power.

Not even a day. Without an S.

They watched TV for two days straight, while we prepared on Sunday and while I typed like crazy on Monday for an extra-early deadline, with us thinking that any minute the lights would go off and I’d whip out my plan.

But, then Tuesday came, the day after the storm ended. Lights on but no school again. Thankfully we were unscathed by the storm.

So many papers to choose from!

This would definitely be the day. We went out during the day and ran some errands and then after lunch but before dinner, we cleared off the dining room table (or at least one end of it) and brought up all the scrapbooking stuff.

I picked out an album. The kids started looking through all the designer papers.

Lots to choose from.

And I started. I began to dis-assemble the Time Line.

Piece by piece, and they were fine with it. I’d give each child a page to work on and give them all the pictures and the posted events to go with it.

Everyone knew the pages they wanted to work on before we started.

They went to town. It was totally their project. I let them put the pictures on the pages they wanted, in the order they wanted. No direction from me.

That’s really big for me you know. I’m a director. I like things to be a certain way usually, but I really liked that this was all them. They owned it.

In about an hour and a half we were done.

The Time Line was empty, ripped off the wall and thrown away and our Summer Memories Scrapbook was done, filled with the events and photos showing our summer of 2012, preserved forever, in their writing, their words. There’s even room in the book for next year’s Time Line photos.

Total independence. Very hard for me, great for them.

Because we already decided, we’re doing it again next summer.

And soon, we’ll have thousands of memories of our summers.


With an S.

All gone!

So proud of all the pages the girls created!

The Mother of all Inspiration

14 May

A long time ago I worked as a waitress in an ice cream shop. I did it for years. I loved ice cream, I loved my job. I had ice cream on my break during almost every shift. I’d have hot fudge banana sundaes or chocolate chip cookie sandwich sundaes (all in place of a “real meal” of course.)  My boss came to my wedding and gave me hot fudge sundae glasses, a scoop, and hot fudge topping as my gift. I still have them (well all except the hot fudge topping). I ate ice cream all the time.

And then I didn’t.

For a while after leaving that job to marry and pursue a teaching job, I couldn’t even look at ice cream. I couldn’t look at banana sundaes or banana splits or chocolate chip cookie hot fudge anything. I was so done with ice cream.

And then I wasn’t.

One day, it just came back to me, and now although I still don’t love ice cream all the time, and I eat it nowhere near as much as I did during those four or five years, I do love myself a good hot fudge banana sundae every once in a while.

Why do I tell you all this, you ask? (I know, you were saying that in your head, saying. “Where the heck is she going with this story??”)

I tell you this because this weekend, just in time for Mother’s Day, I was inspired to do something I hadn’t wanted to do in a long time: paper crafting. As many people know, I worked in direct sales as a Stampin’ Up! consultant for eleven years. I was a stamper even before I worked for them, even as a kid. I loved rubber stamping, scrapbooking, paper crafting. For more than a decade I was immersed in anything to do with paper, ink, ribbon, and stamps.

And then I wasn’t.

Last August I was dropped for having insufficient sales (and really just insufficient time to devote to the job) and for the first time in eleven years I wasn’t a Stampin’ Up! consultant anymore.

I was inspired to make four photo cards for Mother’s Day, paper crafting for the first time in a long time.

I didn’t miss it. I didn’t even think about it, other than to worry and wonder: will I ever want to pick up a stamp to make something again? I worked with the kids at Christmas time on our cards, a card Elizabeth had designed, but I wasn’t *feeling it* the way I used to. It just wasn’t there. I had lots of “stuff” for stamping and scrapbooking in my office, still, and scrapbooking was on the list of “things to do when all my kids were in school all day” but so was blogging, so I got one of the two checked off that list, but I just had no desire to even go into the crafting room or to make one. single. thing.

And then it happened.

The week leading up to Mother’s Day I got an email from CVS boasting 2 for 1 photo cards just in time for Mother’s Day. The deal was pay $1.99 for one card and get another for free. My very first thought was, “I could MAKE that same card for free.”

There it was: my inspiration to make a card for the first time in almost a year. I went down to my office, printed out photos to make four Mother’s Day cards (saving myself $4.00 at CVS) and found some pretty card stock and designer paper. And then I went to town. I printed and I cut and I scored and I designed and I layered and I did all the things that I used to spend hours doing before. I was on a roll.

The cards were done, but I wasn’t. There was still more I could create with my scraps.

I finished the four photo cards and I had paper and ribbon and designer paper left over. There was just enough to make a matching gift to go with each card: book marks. So I got busy all over again, cutting strips and lengths of ribbon and punching holes and at the end I had four gorgeous cards with four coordinating book marks and very little waste to throw away. I loved the projects and I couldn’t wait to give them to my family members on Mother’s Day. It was just like it’d been for eleven years of Mother’s Days when I was with Stampin’ Up.

So now, we’ll have to wait and see whether this was a one-time thing or whether or not this will be the thing that gets me “back on the wagon” with paper crafting. I know I won’t have the pressure of always having to make and prep things for classes and parties, but instead I can wait for the inspiration to strike me, just like it did last week, when I received the mother of all inspiration, just in time for Mother’s Day.

Bookmarks and cards, all finished.

The four cards.

*The* Christmas card revealed…Liz’s big debut

24 Dec
Warm Winter Wishes 2011 Christmas Card

Liz's idea for this year's card: a snowman

I’ve been getting word that the 100 cards we made and mailed have been arriving at homes around the country, so now I think it’s fair to reveal this year’s Christmas card, designed by Elizabeth. Last year when we were making the cards, she said to me, “Mommy I have an idea for next year’s card: A Snowman. There’s three of us so each of us can be one part of the snowman.” That worked for me! I printed out 100 copies of one photo that had all three of them and our new dog in it, so as not to waste ink and then I started punching out 1″ circles of each of them. I chose some plum paper and some celery ribbon, just to be different than the typical reds and greens, and then we began our assembly line.

We now have a dog, so I did have to amend the card design to be a snowman plus a little snowball off to the side as well.

2011 snowman card

It takes total concentration to tape 100 little circles onto cards.

Each girl was responsible for putting their own photo onto each card so they sat in order and passed from one to the next. They also had to each sign the cards too. Alex really experimented with her signature, and the girls were quite concerned that no one would know what she wrote, but I told them I thought people would be fine.

Alex helped me put the glue dots on the ribbons and Elizabeth stamped all the “Warm Winter Wishes.” Caroline helped me to assemble the card stock layers.

I thought it was funny that I printed out and punched out exactly 100 cards and circles, but at the end, they all ended up with different numbers left. One had only three photos left, one had four and one had six. So, if anyone gets a card with a missing kid or puppy, that would be why.

Merry Christmas everyone!

There were three of them and one of me so I kept getting behind. Caroline helped out by assembling the card fronts with me as well.

card making 2011 snowman card

We all, but especially Elizabeth, hope you enjoy our cards this year!

*The* Christmas Card…day three

23 Dec

As promised here’s a look at the last few years’ handmade Christmas cards. Up next will be…this year’s card, designed by Liz, revealed!

Double Time stamped card

2006 Double-Time stamped card: super fast and easy!

All in the Family card

2007: All in the Family card, the hardest card I ever made. I had to stamp each head and each body. I ended up stamping it once and photo copying the finished image 100 times because I couldn't get it right more than once! I did let them each color their own outfits on this card that year!

2008: The first year the girls helped with the cards

2008: The first year the girls helped with the cards. This one was colored by Alex.

2009 Ornament Punch card

2009 Ornament Punch card: as soon as I saw that punch in the Stampin' Up! catalog I knew it had to be my card that year.

2010 Snowglobe card

2010 The Snowglobe card that the girls and Don made last year when I was sick.

*The* Christmas Card…continued

22 Dec

Yesterday I explained my obsession with our Christmas cards, and I promised a look back at past years’ handmade cards while I waited for this year’s card to arrive in mailboxes around the country. Therefore, as promised, here are the cards going back as far as I’ve got them. There is one year missing, my first year as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, when Caroline was a year old. Not sure where that one went, although I do remember making it.

2002 Brayered tri-fold card. Kids were 3 and 5 months

shaker card

2003 Shaker Card: "snow" fell when you shook it. The girls were four and one. I chose that stamp because it looked like them. Each image was hand colored by me.

2004 Gold Heat Embossed Card

2004 Gold Heat Embossed Card- I was pregnant with my third that year.

2005 Waterfall card

2005 Waterfall card, everyone's top favorite. The girls were 9 months, 3 and 6 I think.

Waterfall card

The cool thing about a waterfall card is that when you pull the ribbon the images "fall" in front of you.

Waterfall card

So...each girl got a chance to be front and center.

Tomorrow….cards from 2006-2010.

*The* Christmas Cards

21 Dec
Stampin' Up! Christmas Card 2010

This was last year's card... all three kids in the snow globe.

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a former Stampin’ Up! rubber stamping and scrapbooking demonstrator. I did that job for eleven years. What that means is that I am unusually obsessive about making my Christmas cards. Soon after Christmas ends one year, I am already thinking, planning and scoping out ideas for what my card will look like the following year. I know… it’s unhealthy.

When my kids were little, like babies and then a toddler plus a baby…preschooler, toddler, baby (you see what I mean), I made them all by myself. I’d sit up nights for weeks making them. Each year my goal was to top the card from the year before and each year I did. I save one card each year in our family scrapbook, and as I look back each year, I truly do NOT know how I did it each year.

Girls helping with 2008 Christmas Cards

Three years ago, everyone wanted to help make the cards.

Girls helping out with cards in 2008

Everyone had a carefully chosen "job" in the assembly line of card-making.

Three years ago, all of my girls were old enough to want to help out making the cards. We send out 100 cards each year, so suddenly having three extra sets of hands was a blessing, but it also meant that I had to change my focus quite a bit. Instead of having an detailed, amazing “WOW” card, I had to come up with a simple design that everyone could help out with somehow, no matter how big or little they were. It also meant I had to *really* let go of some of my obsessiveness when it came to the cards. I had to remind myself (a lot) that they were not going to be perfect, but that it was going to mean more to my kids and to our recipients that the girls had made them themselves. And

Girls showing off cards 2008

The girls were incredibly proud of their cards in 2008.

110 cards from 2008

Their first year helping, the girls made 110 cards!

I must say not only did we get a ton of compliments on these cards that year, but the girls were SO proud to say they’d be an integral part of the process as well.

Last year, as is typical for me this time of year every year, I was sick. I’m still sick now, in fact! I was “this close” to giving up on the handmade cards. I told the kids I was too sick, I wasn’t going to be able to pull it off this time. My daughter Elizabeth said, “But Mommy it’s okay, you have us! We’ll do the cards!” And together with Don, they did all 100 cards, and off they went. It was at this same time last year that Elizabeth informed me that she had a design for this year’s card, and when I heard her idea, I told her we’d do it and I didn’t forget. That meant that this whole year I didn’t have to do ANY thinking about the design at all!

2011 Card making day

On our sick day last week, I put the girls to work making our 2011 cards.

So last week I was home sick AND all three girls were home sick. We stayed in our pj’s all day and we created our cards together. It took us about four or five hours but we pulled it off and by the end of the day they were done. It was so much easier, it gets easier each year, and the cards get to be a little less “me” each year and more “them” each year.

Since I’ve only just put my cards in the mail yesterday, I’m not going to show you the finished product yet. I wish I could make and send out several hundred cards so that everyone can get one, but I cannot. Therefore, in a few days I will post the big reveal of the girls’ card this year so that you can see.

Until then, for the next couple of days I will be posting some photos of Christmas Cards From Years Past, a timeline of sorts. In the meantime, we’ll start thinking about the Christmas Card 2012!