My last Q&A post was well received, so apparently you all found it interesting! I have been compiling another for your amusement. If you have things you've been wondering about, constructive suggestions, or are just plain curious, email me and it might show up in the next installment! Chances are, if you're wondering, someone else is, too.
What is that gray granite thingy I see in some of your photographs, especially the photo tutorials?
That, my friends, is my favorite new stamping tool, a 12x12 ceramic floor tile. I have an architect friend (thanks, Tracy!) who gave it to me from her showroom samples, to use with the Heat Tool so that the table doesn't get ruined from the intense heat. Isn't that a great idea? I put felt feet on it so it doesn't slide around and won't damage the table underneath, either.
However, I have so little space in my stamp room, that I began using it as my work surface, too (it's usually the only part of my table that isn't piled high with paraphenalia). I didn't realize how much I had come to love my tile until I went to a scrapbooking retreat and didn't think to bring it along. It really makes a fabulous difference in the smoothness of the stamping because it is so perfectly flat. I need all the help I can get!
You see it more in the photo tutorials because those photos aren't staged with a backdrop like the others. Ironically, the reason my crafting table is no longer flat and not a good stamping surface by itself is because I heat-embossed directly on it and it buckled... ruh roh!
What's your personal favorite adhesive, and why?
My favorite everyday adhesive is SNAIL, hands down. I go through tons of the stuff in the course of making literally hundreds of cards per year. However, one adhesive does not fit all. A serious papercrafter will have several different kinds of adhesive on hand, because some are more suited to one task than another. Mono adhesives like SNAIL are meant to be used only when flat paper or cardstock is being adhered to flat paper or cardstock, period. People use it sometimes for other things, like adhering ribbons or layers with ribbon running between them, crimped or textured layers, or what have you, but it can eventually spring apart from the tension. No sense in blaming the adhesive when it was the crafter's fault.
Stampin' Up carries everything I need for ANY situation that might occur: SNAIL; Mini Glue Dots; Stampin' Dimensionals; Tombow Multipurpose; Crystal Effects; Sticky Strip (and Sticky Sheets); Anywhere Glue Sticks; and Multipurpose Adhesive Sheets for the Big Shot. If you're ever unsure what adhesive is best, give me a jingle--I've been doing this a while now : )
Your kids are so cute! Can you explain what SPD is?
They ARE adorable, aren't they? Thanks for asking about SPD. Sensory Processing Disorder (sometimes termed Sensory Integration Disfunction) is an "Autism Spectrum" disorder that affects hundreds of thousands of American children (latest stats for ASD's say one in 110 children, a terrible epidemic). Basically, the child with sensory issues doesn't process sensation in the way an average person would. They either under-react or over-react to it, and sometimes both, depending on the day. There are two main types: sensory seekers and sensory avoiders. God has a sense of humor, because He gave us one of each type!
Imagine being so bothered by the tag on your shirt collar that you were literally unable to function, to learn, to sit still, even to listen... or alternatively, to have such a slow reaction to pain messages that you don't realize you have walked a blister into a bloody mess. It's no joke, and it requires extremely hands-on parenting and a lot of educating teachers, family and friends.
Most of the time SPD that is not caused by drugs or alcohol during pregnancy is idiopathic, meaning there is no known cause. Whatever the reasons God brought this into our lives, we are thankful for many things--that it is not any worse, compared to what many parents of SPD kids go through (I forget all the time that I am technically a "special needs" mom, when there are so many women who would give anything for a few blissful moments of relief from that stress); that it is alleviated by lots of simple things including diet, excercise, supplements and chiropractic; that each day that goes by gets better in terms of the kids learning to self-regulate their responses as they grow; and that it causes us to be super tuned-in to our children, proactive about our parenting and very bonded as a family. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the whole wide world (not even stamps).
Imagine, God even gave our precious Natalie and Daniel a sibling who would understand what they are going through. How merciful is our Father!
How come you don't do video tutorials?
There are a lot of reasons for this. For starters, it takes a LOT of time to come up with projects even apart from blogging them. Video taking, editing and then uploading is just more than I want to do right now. Too much techiness for my blood. I personally don't care for video tutorials--there's no way to print them out, and it's tedious to stop and pause, work on the project and then come back to the video again if you have questions. It also slows down your site considerably, and I've had a lot of people thank me for my consideration of my website's loading time!
I also can't stand the way my voice sounds on tape. Does that happen to you? Sometimes I catch myself on a phone message or something and I'm like UGH! That's not the way I sound in my head. So I can't promise I will NEVER do a video, but it is highly unlikely. My photo tutorials, however, are always free and always will be, and I hope you like them. I know, I know, I need to do more.
How many stamp sets do you personally own? Or will your hubby see this so you can't say?
I'm afraid the answer to this one is going to disappoint some of you. You've probably imagined a fabulous Shangri-La of a stamp room with floor to ceiling shelves and stacks upon stacks of stamp cases. The truth is, my stamp space is very VERY crowded, and I don't keep sets after they retire from the catalog and can no longer be demonstrated (well, you could, but it wouldn't make much business sense to show people sets they can't purchase). I think I have an all-time high right now of about eighty. That might sound like a lot, but many of my demo friends have hundreds and hundreds of sets.
I try to make sure I have a good variety of styles, plenty of sentiments, and a couple of fun ones. It helps that Stampin' Up is incredibly generous with their demonstrator incentives and I often earn 15 or more free any-price stamp sets in any given year, not to mention the ones we get for attending conferences or earn for contests and other challenges. Recently I went through and put a dot on every stamp set I have that I got for free. There were only about fifteen of 80+ that I actually paid for. I'm tellin' ya, this demo thing ROCKS!!
Now for the second half of the question--Mike does check in here now and again : ) But I have nothing to hide. He recognizes that it takes money to make money. The Bible says of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, who is very definitely a business person, that "the heart of her husband rests safely in her." I try to honor his trust in me by being wise with my own money as well as the family money. I'm very blessed in my spouse.
Whatever happened to that amazing historic house you were looking at?
It's not going to happen, unfortunately (insert long and whiny sob story here). But as soon as we do decide to move, you can be sure I'll be shouting it from the skies. I can't wait to get out of my sardine-can and into a bigger space where I can hold classes and crops. In the meantime, I choose to keep reminding myself to wait on God's timing and that awesome things have come from that itty-bitty stamp room, including a Top 100 Demonstrator of the Year : ) Don't let your limitations tell you what you can and can't acheive!
Ok! That's all I have time for now. My poor little dolly is home today with a cold and I am playing nurse. Time for some chicken soup and a Barbie movie. Another blessing of being a work at home mom!