Most people call me Amy, but I am also affectionately known as Mom (this is more recognizable to me if you say it with a loud, sing-song kind of a voice). You might also hear my hubby call me Hun, or friends call me Aim.
My first exposure to stamping would have likely involved potatoes, but that was quite some time ago and much less refined compared to my stamping these days. In 2000, I made all of my wedding invitations. I was shocked at how much it would cost to order some boring and completely unoriginal invitations, so I stamped. That was 18 years ago!
I didn’t discover Stampin’ Up! until 2005 when I was invited to a workshop. I fell instantly in love! I was amazed at how easy it was to make something beautiful (and something much more refined than what I made with potato stamps!).
I consider myself a mom and wife first, then a Stampin’ Up Demonstrator, then… well, I don’t know. I am in search of myself and in discovery of where I fit into the world. Now that my kids need me a little less (they are now 9, 12, and 13), I am moving into a new phase of my life. At 43 years old, I feel like I am searching to redefine who I am. I said I’m a mom first and I believe that will always be true, but that is not ALL I am. I am not defined by what I do. So, I guess … I consider myself to be a work in progress; I am a partially painted canvas waiting for the next brush stroke.
My stamping friends would say that I am a little silly perhaps. I don’t mind appearing just a little foolish now and then, but I still love to wear heals and act civilized. I can be a bit absent-minded and don’t keep track of things very well. I’m friendly. I like to laugh. I love to tease and play. I’m forgiving and understanding. I care about people and I believe that everyone deserves joy.
I’m not really sure how I would define my stamping style. Involved, maybe? I heard a friend call my style “fancy”. I can live with that. I’m learning to keep things simple, but I always want to add just a little bit more. I can’t seem to make a card without adding something that requires a bit of fiddling. I can do clean and simple, but it’s tough. I like clean lines, but enjoy distressing and sponging as well. Maybe you can tell me what my style is after you’ve seen a few things, lol!
My stamping space is a spare room in our basement and is pretty much always a disaster. It gets so chaotic and out of control that I can barely find a space to walk, let alone stamp! There are times when it looks pretty good, but only because I am blessed with an amazing friend who likes to clean when she comes to visit (love you, Melanie!).
The first thing I do when I start a project is make a latte. Then I might consider what colour combination I want to use for my project. The colour defines the mood, so I figure that’s a good place to start: somber or cheerful? Mellow or upbeat? – Colour evokes emotion.
When I have some extra time to myself I’m going to make a schedule and get organized. I can’t concentrate with the noise and bustle of my kids around me (they talk to me all. the. time. lol!). I need a quiet space so I can think and plan.
There are two life lessons I’ve learned from stamping: 1. If you don’t do something, nothing will happen and 2. Having support and encouragement is the key to success.
Do Something: I’ve been a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator for over 11 years now and have come to realize that I hold myself back in my creativity and my business because I just don’t get around to “it”, whether it’s making a card for my brother’s birthday, scheduling a workshop, or making a Christmas wreath for my front door. You just have to put things into motion, push aside your fears, fight your procrastination tendencies and do something. Once you start, it’s easy to get into it (not unlike housework, exercise, or other things that are anti-couch-potato activities). I tend to do things as I “feel” like it, so really, end up doing not much of anything (except drinking a lot of coffee!). But when I push myself to get off the computer chair to start doing something … Voila! Something happens (go figure!) and I might actually complete it, or even better, get into a groove that pumps my blood and gets me excited so that I’m more eager to get off the couch the next time, then the next, and soon I find I’m doing so much more!
Having support: I struggled on my own for the first 5 of my 11 years as a demonstrator, managing to do enough to hold my status with Stampin’ Up!, but never really believing that I could get past that level in my business. But in 2011, I was adopted into the fabulous Kaleidoscope Stampers team with Desirée Spenst and found encouragement and support in my abilities and business. Not only have I seen improvements in my business since joining that group, but I love the friends that I’ve made! We encourage and support each other, share ideas, and laugh a lot! I see what others have accomplished who are also moms and have jobs and lives and other interests, and I think that maybe I could do that too. I’ve often believed that it isn’t the job that determines if you enjoy it or not, it’s the people you work with. So, if I ever want something to happen in any area of my life, I will do something and I will look to others to cheer me on!