Q & A

I thought it was time for another Q&A. There weren’t a lot of questions the past few months, but here are the answers. As always, any product suggestions I’ve passed on to the appropriate product department. And I don’t respond to questions regarding how to make projects I’ve shared—if I felt like I had to do that, I’d probably stop posting projects! Sometimes I have the time to mention the products I use or share tips and tricks; other times I just don’t. But I’d rather share the projects and at least let it spark creative ideas for you than not share it at all. I hope you understand.

I like your holiday vignettes. Do your girls’ vignettes have this same shabby chic style? I would love to see what their vignettes look like. . .

Whether they like it or not, the girls’ vignettes are the same style as mine because I’ve given them most of their décor items. (smile) I think most of them have one vignette, which they put on a buffet in their entry or another similar area; I have several vignettes, because I’ve been collecting for more than 30 years! I’m sure their vignettes will grow—and reflect their own taste and style—as time passes. In the meantime, they’re appreciative for what they have.

And sorry. . . while I’d love to visit each of them and take pictures of their vignettes to show you, I just don’t have the time. I’m sure you all understand!

I love the wedding card you showed. I hope you don’t mine if I CASE it. .

Of course not! That’s actually why I share projects with you, so you can turn around and create them yourselves, either exact duplicates or with your own little variations. As far as stamping goes, duplication is a wonderful compliment!

Can you share information about the organization that you went with to Guatemala. I’d like to check into getting involved or maybe making a donation. . .

Of course. Their name is Smiles for Central America.Our experience with them was wonderful, and I’d encourage anyone else who can to share their talents and resources as well, if not with this group, with others who are involved in making a difference. You can reach them at smilesforcentralamerica@gmail.com.

For those of us who aren’t in the know, can you define what a “Rising Star,” as well as perhaps other groups or terms. How does someone earn the Rising Star trip?

Great question. Rising Stars are demonstrators who have been with Stampin’ Up! for 18 months or less and who have met certain criteria in building their business. Everyone who meets that criteria earns an incentive trip; this year that trip was a visit to the home office. Our business opportunity provides several different titles (or levels) that a demonstrator can achieve, based on her sales and leadership. Each of these different levels offers a variety of rewards and recognition. It’s an exciting—and fulfilling—opportunity! If you want to find out more, check out http://www.stampinup.com/home/join.

I loved the matching brooches that Shannon and one of the Rising Stars are wearing. Where those Make & Takes?

Those were gifts that our events team gave to the Rising Stars as well as several of our home office staff who were involved in the Rising Star trip—it was an amazing event, and I loved being part of it! Can’t wait for next year’s group!

Do you have any retired sets that you especially love and continue to use even though they’re no longer available?

That’s a big no-no for me! I feel like I need to show and use current product as much as possible. And that’s not hard to do—there are always new products that I love. I do take all the retired sets and store them in my garage for posterity, and there has been a time or two over the past 25 years when I’ve rummaged through those boxes looking for one particular set, but very rarely.

I am a frequent Stampin’ Up! customer, and I was disappointed about the recent Stampin’ Up! clearance sale. For two days (Saurdayt thru Monday), my demonstrator tried repeatedly to order several sale items and your website told her the items were sold out, yet they continued to be offered on the clearance rack. What is going on? Can’t you update the website so it accurately reflects what is available?

The website is supposed to accurately reflect our inventory so our demonstrators (and customers) know what is available in real-time. I apologize for the problems you experienced, and I’ve forwarded your comments to our IT department; I’m sure that they’re already aware of it and are working on ensuring that it won’t happen again.

I have a question about the embossing folder. Whenever I try to use it with Whisper White, I get creases, regardless of what kind of sandwich I try to use. Do you have any helpful hints or tips I could use so mine turn out with no creases like yours? I’m not feeling any love for this embossing folder right now. . .

I smiled when I read this because I’ve felt your frustration about this same issue. In fact, if you look closely enough, you’ll find that my card has creases too. I don’t have any suggestions. . . I’ve tried using different pieces of material as shims with various results, but I’ve simply accepted the creases. The problem is not unique to our folders; the more detailed the image, the more likely you are to get those creases. It’s kind of like when some types of fabrics or clothes have a note to expect some variation in colors or patterns. . . but I love the look so much that I just accept that as part of the charm of the  project.

 If anyone else has any suggestions, feel free to chime in and share your ideas!

The ornament you showed on your glitter blog was gorgeous. How did you get the “Believe” paper inside to unroll?

Take the bone folder and “curl” the paper with it before rolling it up and tucking it inside the ornament. That breaks the fibers in the paper and makes the paper softer, creating a tendency for the paper to unroll naturally. Also, several people asked how I adhered the glitter—I find our Multipurpose Liquid Glue (with the green lid) works best with glitter.

Could you tell us who is is in the ribbon-cutting picture at Brick Canvas? I think Thurl Bailey is in the picture. Am I right? (I love his voice!)

You are right! Thurl is a past Stampin’ Up! board member and a friend of mine. I invited him to emcee our grand opening, and he graciously accepted. In addition, my son-in-law Jason (Sage’s husband) is the third from the left—he managed the entire construction project and is currently the general manager of Brick Canvas. In addition, Karen and Alan Ashton (owners of Thanksgiving Point) are on Sterling’s left. Most of the others in the photos are local dignitaries and business leaders—I really appreciated the support of our local community.

Was Sidney’s carnival party held in your yard?

Yes, in both our front and backyard.

Do Sage and Jason live near you? It seems like your girls and their families spend a lot of time with you and Sterling. How do the hubbies feel about spending so much time with the Gardners?

It just so happens that we were together as a family when I read this question (I think we were having a meeting or on a family vacation or something), so I asked the boys how they felt. They laughed and said they loved spending time with us. (Of course, what else could they say, right?)

In all seriousness, one of our favorite things is spending time with our family, so we do plan lots of activities. In addition, we have several Stampin’ Up! events throughout the year that the girls and their husbands are welcome to attend. We invite everyone to all of these activities, but we also make sure they know they don’t have to attend every one of them, and we completely understand when they don’t. As a grandma, I know how much it means to spend time with grandchildren, and I want to make sure our grandchildren get to know and love all of their grandparents!

The girls do all live close to us (Sage and Jason live the farthest, about 20 minutes away), so we enjoy lots of opportunities to see them. And we’re so thankful that we get along well almost all the time! We invite them over most Sundays for dinner. . .some Sundays they all come and some Sundays no one can make it. We’re fine either way; we just like to extend the invitation. And we have been told we’re pretty fun to be around! (smile)