When I laid out all of my goodies from Stampin’ Up! to prepare for the three day virtual demonstrator conference, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew there would be stamping presentations, and that we were going to make some cards together, but I didn’t know how I would be affected. I’m not sure I was even thinking about it. Three days “away” from my daily grind was reason enough to sign up, along with early access to all the new and shiny products.
VIP access is why I signed up to be a demonstrator. Well, that and the discount. But in the almost five years I’ve been with Stampin’ Up! I’ve received so much more. This conference was no different. The CEO led us through a self-discovery exercise that led to a moment of clarity. Being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator, one that is basically at the hobby + level, satisfies a lot of my personal needs.
I come from many generations of educators. The one thing I’m always doing is taking a class or learning something new. Other demonstrators are always sharing what they know, teaching a new technique or fun fold or even marketing tips. I’m always learning something. Not only that, I get to teach. I love teaching. The very best thing to do with new information is to give it to someone else. During the event, I learned a great new technique to create this card.
The stamp set, In the Moment, came with my On Stage swag. And another demonstrator used it to showcase this coloring/not coloring technique. Basically, you stamp the image in Versamark and heat emboss with white embossing powder. Then use a white water color pencil to fill in areas of the image. It works best on darker card stock colors. I mounted my image done on Bermuda Bay on a layer of white card and then used Dimensionals to place it on my Mango Melody card base. And because you know I can’t live without texture, I used the Drybrush background stamp with the matching ink to add interest. In the Moment stamp set is coming out in January. (See, early access to products).
I have been a crafty person my entire life. I’ve cross-stitched, sewn, hooked rugs, painted by number, collaged, made jewelry, and attended plenty of paint nights. But card making has fed my need for creativity in so many ways. At any point in time, I can be a painter, a collager, a 3-D artist—all with paper. I like that I can fit my creativity in around the edges of my life. With one stamp set, ink, and a pre-cut notecard, I’m ready to go. Now, let me be honest, I have a craft room that holds much more than a single ink pad, stamp set and some pre-cut cards. But the point is, I could be creative with just that. I can even take my crafting hobby with me when I travel, and have. (Not sure what the hotel staff thought of that visit!)
There is something wonderful about being able to take a piece of paper and transform it into something unique. Even when I follow along with other demonstrators, my cards have tiny touches that are expressions of my creativity. When I guide others in crafting, I always try to encourage them to do something on their own, alter a “mistake” into a moment, or just throw the box away rather than just think outside of it. Paper is very forgiving and has two sides, so I can always get a do over. I made these cards to the left during On Stage @ Home with the new Blessings of Home bundle and Heart and Home paper and not one of them is identical to those made by the instructor. Isn’t that wonderful?
Independent Demonstrator and Connections
I heard so many of the demonstrators who presented mention that they are introverts, as am I. All that means is that I restore my energy by being alone. But introverts need connections. Just like any other human, we need other people, even if it is in limited doses. Because I’m an independent demonstrator, I can make my business look exactly like what I need. At first, I just needed the early access to products, the discounts, and the tutorials. But through stamping, I’ve strengthened friendships, made friends I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I’ve connected with people all over the world. It’s kind of amazing that putting ink on stamps and glue on paper has had this type of impact in my life. But it has. And I’m truly grateful for the gifts I’ve received from being a demonstrator (not just the discounts).
Besides all of the teaching and learning connections, I’ve been able to send my cards to people I know, reminding them that I care about them, and people I don’t know, like seniors and the military, reminding them they are valued and thought of. I don’t know if I would make the time to do that if I hadn’t become involved in Stampin’ Up. But I’m proud that I have connected with so many people, even in a small way. I love sending positive energy into the world. There can’t be enough.
The best outcome from On Stage @ Home was that I found my motivation to share more with you. I’ve been active on Instagram, but a bit absent from this blog. I’ll do my best to post more regularly, although with much shorter posts! If you’ve ever considered being a demonstrator, even just for the discount, let me know. I’d love to have you on my team.