Category Archives: Business

Web Site Is Up

Man, my head hurts from all the banging on the desktop I’ve been doing 😦  Well, not really but it should be.

Check out my new website – Message In A Fold.

There are some glitches in it that I’ll be working to correct over the next couple days.  Not all pages have the “Back”, “Next”, “Home”, and “Top” buttons active.  Some pages just have the links but no buttons.

I’ve created this website for “Newbie’s” so most of the information will be stuff you already know…..Shelly, Lynn, Maureen, Jann, and Nancy.  I still have to add the “Inks” in the “Glossary” section and probably a few more things.  But I have to get the buttons working and find out where my “Join My Team” page went.  It bailed on me somewhere. Also, there are a couple of other pages that have bailed on me.  The buttons across the top for “Scrapbook Layouts” and “Creating Cards” you will get messages they don’t exist.

You can click around and check it out.  Let me know what you think.  I’m sure you will think of something I’ve missed so I can add it to my list.

I still have to take my Final Exam for this “Creating Web Pages” class.  Think I will do well on it.

Pati and I spent all morning going around to the two bead stores in town.  We hit Big Lots, Hobby Lobby, Tuesday Morning, and Michaels.  She finally found stuff she wants to work with for the items Maureen has “Commissioned To Be Created” 🙂  She’s off on her own now going back to Wal-Mart and maybe Micheals for a couple things she forgot to get.  Time for her to get out and wonder around our town unaided.

Joe and Les will be delivering in Romulus, Michigan tonight.  They picked up two car hauler tractor trailers on Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas and are delivering them in Romulus.  They will fly out of Romulus tomorrow morning and be in Dallas, Texas , about 10 a.m. tomorrow, to do this all over again.  Joe would much rather be the pilot than a passenger (although he’s never driven one of those huge passenger planes) so he’s not looking forward to getting on the airplane.  As far as I know, this is Les’ first airplane ride so he is “Stoked” about flying.  God Speed to both of our men and prayers for their safety are ongoing.

Pati is excited.  She’ll get to see her ‘Sweetheart” tomorrow night before our “Road Warriors” get back on the road.  Both will be home in time for Christmas.  Joe has more turkey and dressing planned for the days feasting so he will be in the kitchen on Christmas day.  If Pati and Les will be here then, she will get to help him out in the kitchen if she wants to.

It is such a thrill listening to her talk about what she can do in jewelry making.  Some doors have banged open and others are ajar for her.  Wheels are spinning in her head and I get to watch it all happen.  Yippee Skippy!!

Everyone have a great weekend.  I’ll be spending mine catching up on all the emails I’ve neglected, new YouTube subscribers, and checking on Facebook to see how my Arizona daughter, Carissa, or as I call her “Little Mommy” is doing.  Plus getting my website fixed.

Right now….I have no plans on taking on that kind of a task again anytime soon in the near future.  I’m happy with what I’ve learned but what a chore that has been!!!  Satisfying?  Yes.  Difficult?  Yes.  Worth the $79 for the class?  Yes.  Would I recommend this class to anyone else?  Yes, I would.

Okay, off to get some adjustments made before I get really “googly eyed”.


Stamp That? blog

I’ve got it done….I think.  A separate blog for my Stampin’ Up! tutorials and sales pitches.

My first blog entry is here, so make a note (where ever you do that) to stop by and check on what I’m doing with Stampin’ Up! at

When I first became a demonstrator there were, and still are, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators.  Some of them have stirred things up with their overt practices of promoting non Stampin’ Up! items.

The literature I read given me by Stampin’ Up! declared that nearly all people that come to Stampin’ Up! have come from working in paper crafting and have items already in their homes they have used and love.  When the upset came last year it was because of quite a few demonstrators that, shall we say, played both sides against the middle – and had been for quite a long time.

There were blogs and videos all over the internet from demonstrators that would promote papers, punches, and other items from craft/hobby stores as well as their Stampin’ Up! products.  It got to the point that some of the demonstrators were bashing Stampin’ Up! products, or lack of product lines, and actively telling their audiences to go to such and such store or website to purchase a product.

I understand why Stampin’ Up! chose to take a stand as they did in this regard.  Demonstrators sales were being hurt by these other demonstrators.  Now, really, you and I both know that if you could purchase a 3/4 inch circle punch from your local craft store at $8.95 or purchase the same sized punch from Stampin’ Up! for $5.95 plus shipping and handling you would choose the craft/hobby store punch.  I would myself.  I can get the punch today, within the hour and begin using it that same day.  Not have to wait until a demonstrator put my order in and it be shipped, then wait for it to be delivered to my home.

The basic premise of Stampin’ Up! is a gathering of friends and like minded women to spend time together in a creative environment and learn a new technique, see a new product, and place an order for the convenience factor.  There are some people that have demanding jobs and family obligations that limit the time they can spend in a craft/hobby store so ordering in the comfort of their home or at a class is better for them.

My whole problem with the situation sprang from the fact that I had next to no Stampin’ Up! products to promote.  When I wanted to create something I have a plethora of papers, embellishments, and stuff to create anything I want, I just didn’t have the Stampin’ Up! products and I felt gagged and tied.  Feared that the Stampin’ Up! Police would be knocking at my door and take me to an overly brightly lit room and work me over with a rubber hose.  Now that won’t happen but I just did not feel right and I had a rebellious stripe a mile wide.

Over the past two years (nearly 2 years now) I’ve acquired quite a stash of products.  I’m at another wall though.  The papers I have in my stash  are out dated and are no longer sold.  Papers don’t matter though, it is the creative process and pushing the boundaries that inspire me.  I’ll use the older papers in my creations, purchase newer papers – so they can become obsolete – and go about my business.

Now, as if I don’t already have my nose in the computer or my iPhone enough, I’ve got two blogs to manage, a website to get updated later in October, four email accounts to keep track of and my crazy “Day Job”.  Oh, and I have another YouTube channel too.  It is “messageinafold” and will deal strictly with Stampin’ Up! stuff I’ve created.

A Book For Les

Inside pages

Joe and I have used sticky notes, small legal pads, letter size legal pads, scraps of paper, and just about all other forms of paper to keep track of our load numbers, the truck VIN numbers, name and address of the pick up point and delivery point, total miles of the trip, how much we get paid for the miles, and amounts of ComCheck advances from the companies we drive for.  Not to mention the state mileage notations when we enter each state, where we end our day and the mileage, and each weigh station we have to stop at for permits.

Joe spent a weekend in his office creating this form to contain all the information in one easy to get to place.  This is so much easier than flipping pages on a note pad to find where we made our last entry and tearing off the pages without destroying them in the process.

I’ve made books for both Joe and I for his really great pages.  I have to make one for Les to have and start him out right.

Regular cardboard from a box

The pages measure 4-1/4 x 7.  I have some cardboard box lids that I’ve lopped off from a box.  The sides are stored away for use on some other project.

The cardboard measures 4-3/4 x 7-1/2.  This will give a 1/4 inch reveal around the pages.

I’ve had to use my Tonic Studios guillotine trimmer to cut the cardboard.  This stuff is pretty thick and is a bit difficult to cut with my rotary trimmer or my sliding blade trimmer.

I had a bit of shifting while I cut through this cardboard but not so much that it made the pieces overly wonky.  You can use a good sturdy pair of scissors to cut the cardboard, just take care while cutting so you don’t bend the book back and front pieces.  Any bends or creases you make in the back or front will remain there and the strength will be iffy.  You can also use a craft knife or box cutter and a ruler.

K&Company Life's Journey paper

I had bought this paper from Michaels early this spring to use on the bulletin boards I made.  Looking through the pad I tried to find something that was masculine and appropriate for the book.

There are two papers in the pad that have the Canadian map and the US map on each page.  I cut them both up to have Canada on one cover and the US on another cover.

Les is going to be doing some traveling and I felt a map paper would be great for this application.  Besides, I don’t know him very well and what his likes and dislikes are so I stayed away from personal stuff.  Just safer to generalize .

Each of the two papers were cut at 5-3/4 x 8-1/2.  This is one inch larger around all sides of the cardboard.  Enough extra to pull up on the backside of each piece while making the covers.

If you have not made a book before, you can click on this link and it will take you to one of my posts long ago on making a journal from cardboard scrap.  As far as glue goes.  Any liquid white glue will work in this process.  I prefer Club Scrap’s Bookbinding glue when I do this kind of a project.  I have no idea if it can be ordered outside the US or not.  So, any liquid white glue will work.  Even Mod Podge will do the trick for adhering the paper to the cardboard.  It might not be as flexible as the bookbinding glue is but it will still work.

Inside cover pieces

The inside pieces, these will cover the cardboard on the inside after you have glued the outside covers in place.  These pieces measure 5-1/4 x 8.

In looking through the K&Company paper pad I  had to decide between pages with lots of addressed post cards, floral pages, and brightly colored papers.  These pages with really old newspaper advertisements I thought would be just the right thing.  Nothing too feminine and off the wall graphics.

Some of the ads have addresses in New York, and Chicago so I thought since he will be traveling to far flung places then this paper would fit well.  His first trip out will be from Oklahoma City to somewhere in Illinois.  I don’t have the details yet.

Line drawing map of the US

I purchased this stamp from Michaels in 2003 on one of my binges.  Got it home and thought “What the heck were you thinkin’?” .  It has been moved from one storage place to another.  I had not quite got myself to throw it out or sell it on eBay.

I’ve stamped it on some Whisper White card stock with Basic Black ink.  Not wanting to take the chance of the ink smearing, as most of the time happens with me, I put the heat tool to it for a bit to make sure the ink was dry before I did anything to it.

I used some Tattered Angels glimmer mists that I purchased from Roxyfur.  A yellow, green, and walnut were used in random places on the whisper white and then I used the heat tool on it to dry the glimmer mist.

Club Scrap stamp

This is a Club Scrap stamp from the Road Trip 2005 collection.

Les will be doing some traveling in a regular vehicle between jobs.  I don’t have a stamp with the semi truck so this will have to do.  He and Pati will have things to tell each other during the course of the day about their adventures so I felt this stamp was still appropriate.

Again, it is stamped on Whisper White card stock using Basic Black ink.  I heat set the ink once more so that I did not smear it.  After it was dry I cut out each of the tags and sprayed them with the Tattered Angels glimmer mists I used on the US map.

After spraying I used the heat tool to make sure the papers were dry.  I debated with myself about putting brads in the corners, writing on the tags, or doing anything other than the glimmer mists.  After about 20 minutes of thinking on this I gave up and just left them alone.

Hey, I won’t tell Les he has a book with glitter on it.  He’ll have to find out on his own.

Finished Front

The most trickiest part of making this book, other than what to do with the tags I just mentioned, was getting the holes lined up that I had made on the inside sheets and the covers I had done with the Bind It All.

Since I don’t use it very often then I forget how to make sure the covers and the inside pages are all lined up correctly.

The next problem is that I never remember which way to put in the binding wires.  I usually have to throw out one set I’ve made and closed before I get it right.  Even with the pictures they supply with the machine I still get it backwards.

As you can see, I drew lines on the US map.  Sort of travel points in a cross country journey.  They will get to see quite a few places on this map before the two weeks are up.

Inside cover and Les' name in the book

This is the inside of the front cover.  It finishes the piece nicely and makes it look more professional.

Joe created a cover page with Les’ name on it so he will have a personalized book that has been made especially for him.

Joe was so pleased with himself when he made his book pages and mine.  Each of them have our names in them so we don’t get them mixed up and fight over who’s book is who’s.  HA!  I made Joe’s red, since that is his favorite color, and I have a blueprint sort of print on the paper and some decorative tags that mention tools.  Mine is a dark blue with pillar motifs on it.

Now none of us can get them mixed up with each others and end up squabbling over them 🙂

Back inside cover

This is the back inside cover of Les’ book.

I’m pretty proud of how it came together.  It is sturdy and he can fold the book open all the way and turn it back on itself to write on only one side.

You know how that goes when you have a book that opens flat.  Trying to write on the left side if you are a “righty” makes you adjust the book in wonky ways to write in it.  Same goes for “lefties” when they try to write in books that don’t open out of the way.

That Bind It All and I need to become more familiar with each other.  More to the point, I need to use it more often so I know how it works with more confidence than I have right now.

Back of the book

And this is the back of the book with the other two tags glued on.  I put one of my Stampin’ Up! mailing labels on just in case someone asks “Where did you get that book?” and he can be an inadvertent advertiser 🙂

Should you consider making a book for yourself or for someone else, whether it is a journal, art journal, or a diary of sorts, you will need to consider how often the book will be used and how it will be handled.

I’ve used some pretty dense card stocks in these books.  They will be tossed up on dashboards, crammed in briefcases, shoved in purses, dropped many times, and will get wet from the rain and snow.

If you make one of these books and you are sure it will not be as abused as we treat ours you can use a thinner decorative paper.  Care will need to be taken when using thinner papers as you press down the corners of the top flaps and adhere to the inside of the book.  Your corners could tear with all the mashing, pushing, and rubbing you will be doing to get the wet glue to adhere to the cardboard.  Some papers get even less stable when a liquid glue is used and they tear easily.

This is a fun project to do and it can be personalized in so many ways.  Something beautiful can be created from trash cardboard.  With all the stuff going on about recycling and cutting down your carbon footprint you can be green and make others “green with envy” when they see what you have created out of junk cardboard.

Attended My First Meeting

My 15 minutes of fame

Having spent the last nine years on the road with my husband moving trucks across country, getting to know my neighbors has been a bit difficult.

Not being home long enough for any one time to get out and knock on doors I don’t know my community very well.

When I decided to get off the road and let my “passion” be my job I have found it to be a challenge.  Not impossible, just a challenge.

I’ve gone door to door in my immediate community armed with a brochure and tidbits of information all neatly tucked in the clear bags that hang from door knobs.  I’ve knocked on doors along my street and spoke with whomever answered the door.  I have encountered resistance in many forms.  Just plain “No”, an occasional “No thank you”, quite a few of “No speak English”, and I’ve had the occupant make a trek to the dumpster to deposit my literature where they thought it was best to be stored.

None of these things have stopped me from sharing my passion.  I changed tactics.  Distributing my business card to all I come in contact with at the grocery store, hair dresser, the cashier at stores I spend my money in, and even at my local craft/hobby store.  What eventually happens to my business card is anybodies guess, but I’m sure that someone will call me and say they got my name from my business card – someday.

Seeking to engage people in your business is not the easiest thing to do.  There are more “No’s” than there are “Yes'” and that is the norm.  Don’t give up on yourself.  Keep trying, shift things up a bit now and again.  If you believe in yourself and the products you offer then it will come.

I have been wanting to attend a meeting of other Stampin’ Up! Demonstrators in my local area but did not know of any that attended meetings.  I finally heard about a group meeting and I made sure I attended it.  It is always best to find a group of like minded people that share your same passion to bolster you during the times when you feel discouraged or are now asking yourself “What was I thinking?”

I do know that each woman I met today began the same way I have.  They  had a few friends and family members to help them out and they kept with it, kept trying to make one more contact.  Just because I have no family or friends where I live right now doesn’t mean that it will always be that way.  Meeting this group of women  has helped to bolster my resolve to hand out more business cards and knock on a few more doors.

During today’s meeting I learned of different ways to approach a problem.  Just because you have always done something a certain way doesn’t mean it has to always be that way.  Change is good, although we fight it.  Change should be embraced,  maybe not totally loved and welcomed but at least shake hands with change.  You never know who you are shaking hands with or talking to.

So, armed with some great information on what to take to Workshops, how to demonstrate at a Workshop, and seeing how to engage the people around you in what you are trying to sell was both enlightening and refreshing.

What I learned today, most of all, is that I am not a Stampin’ Up! Demonstrator just to sell paper, inks, and stamps.  I am a Demonstrator sharing my knowledge and passion to someone that wants to give their family and friends a unique item they have made by hand to celebrate the events in their loved ones lives.  The products sell themselves.  What you can do with the products is what I am selling.

So I am glad I found a group of women that share my passion and enthusiasm for paper crafting.  It hasn’t hurt that each of these women are Stampin’ Up! “Sisters”.

January 5, 2010 – FREE STUFF

I had to go to the Stampin’ Up! main website and do some scouting around.  I went to the Demonstrator area on the site and found the information I had been looking for.

The new stamp sets coming out by Stampin’ Up! will be available January 5.  Clear stamps.  I’m so excited about this.  To be accurate, the stamps are not clear, just the blocks.  The stamps are still the rubber everyone is used to but the blocks are clear acrylic.  They look to be hefty also.  Nooooo, no heavy hefty.  Good and thick so you can get your fingers on them and have good control of where you put the stamp.  Thick to allow pressure to be applied without the acrylic bending or bowing.

Now for the FREE STUFF.  There is a separate catalog that begins January 5 and runs through March 31, 2010.  All the items in the catalog will be in the regular catalog in 2011.  When this Sale-A-Bration is over the stamp sets, papers, and punches will go away into storage and not brought back out for purchase until the 2011 catalog comes out.

Soooo.  For every order placed online, at a workshop, or in a class that is $50 or more you get to have one item from the Sale-A-Bration catalog FREE.  Absolutely FREE.    You will get to have, in your hot little hands, a product that is not available until 2011.  The product you get from the Sale-A-Bration catalog is yours to play with all year long.

Just think about it.  You choose a product from the Sale-A-Bration catalog from your $50 order, make a few cards, gifts, scrapbook layouts, notes, or anything else.  Someone asks you where you got the punch or the stamp and you can reply from Stampin’ Up!.  When they ask how they can get one you will tell them, of course with a sad look on your face but laughter in your heart, “Sorry, you’ll have to wait until next year to get one”.

The Occasions Mini Catalog comes out on January 5th also and runs through April 30, 2010.  Brand new punch styles, more clear stamps, papers, epoxy brads, corduroy buttons, and lots of other stuff.  New vinyl wall art has been added to the Definitely Decorative line also.

So many ways to get new, never seen before, items and FREE STUFF with your $50 order.  Plus, beginning January 4th my brand new tutorials will be up in my website, Message In A Fold, to get you thinking about what you can do to prepare for all the upcoming events in your life in 2010.  So much happening and what a great time for it to happen.

Changes Are Coming – January 4, 2010

Filming of the projects for the first full week of January of 2010 are under way.

I am so excited by the new focus of Message In A Fold and what is going to be done, and what is happening already.

Stampin’ Up! will be coming out with clear stamp blocks.  That part I am truly excited about.  Not being much of a rubber stamper myself, using the wood block rubber stamps has kept me from really diving into the craft.  I’ve used the wood block rubber stamps made by other companies and just have not gotten excited about using them.

Stampin’ Up!’s stamps will continue to be the deep impression rubber with the foam attached that has been so successful.  The only difference will be the clear mounting blocks and the system they have of getting the stamp to adhere to the clear block.  Pure Genius.  The best part is the new stamp sets will be packaged in containers that are similar to DVD holders.  With limited storage space this is a big plus for me.

Those of you that absolutely love the wood block rubber stamps of Stampin’ Up! don’t have to worry.  You will still be able to purchase them and keep your beloved stamps.  Win Win for all of us.

Sale-A-Bration will begin soon.  This will be my first time of Sale-A-Bration so I’m trying to figure that one out at this time.  What it seems to be to me is added Hostess Benefits.  For an order of $150 you get to choose from the regular Level 1 Hostess items PLUS you get to order some awesome things from the Sale-A-Bration catalog also.  Such a deal, if I am understanding the process correctly.

For Message In A Fold and the exciting news going on here……well I’ll tell you that there is finally focus and some great things happening.  There will be video tutorials posted to the Message In A Fold website each week.  Not just one a week but 5 a week.

Monday – Scrapbook Monday – Layouts, mini albums, lunch bag albums, squash books, and more will be done on Mondays.

Tuesday – Tool Time Tuesday – We have all bought a trimmer, a punch, or some scissors and have them fail.  Or we’ve purchased a punch and used it one time only and now it sits making us feel guilty.  Tool Time Tuesday will be chock full of maintenance tips on our tools plus we’ll put those tools to use in ways to get them back out and used again.

Wednesday – Wet Wednesday – All things wet.  Glues, reinkers, stamp pads, water, and more will be dealt with.  I’m surprising myself by the many uses of all the “wet” stuff.  This should prove to be fun.

Thursday – Thrifty Thursday – We all have scraps that seem to pile up and don’t go away.  There are so many tips and tricks on the internet on what to do with the scraps from storing them to giving them away.  We will be dealing with those scraps and other paper problems on Thursday.

Friday – Friendship Friday – This will be a card and small gift day.  All of us have people in our lives with birthdays, anniversaries, births, weddings, and graduations (to name a few).  Most of the time we don’t have anything suitable when the event arrives or an idea of what to do so we go to the store and find something – anything – that will do.

Everything you will see in the tutorials will be available at my Stampin’ Up! website 24/7 with so easy online ordering.

So be looking for things to begin popping on Monday, January 4, 2010.  I look forward to hearing from you and seeing what you will be posting when you finish a project you’ve been trying to work on for a long time.

Heat Embossing

Today’s video tutorial is about Heat Embossing.  I had a special request from my daughter for it.   She is new to stamping and I want to make sure that she is armed with proper information when the time comes for her to try this technique.

I once was at her stage and did not have a clue what to do.  My frustration level with bad stamped images put me off stamping for quite a while.  In educating myself with all of the videos out there I learned what to do from my own mistakes.  Let me tell you, there were PLENTY of things that ended up in the trash.

I didn’t even know how to use a Heat Tool.  I learned, first hand, how hot that air is.  I had blisters on my left index finger from the Heat Tool and from touching the freshly heated embossing powder.  There is no where to go to get away from that hot stuff when it is on your fingers and burning.  Ooops, I forgot to mention that tidbit of information.

Persistence, practice, and a dose of “I’m going to figure this out one way or another” is what helped me learn how to stamp properly.  The same applied to Heat Embossing.  And like any good Mom it is my job to keep my child from harms way and make her attempts turn out correct – almost the first time.  I know she will have a learning curve to go through, who hasn’t had one, but it is my hope that it won’t take months for her to get it like it did me.  She’s a sharp cookie and I know she will do fine.

It is also my aim to help any of you that have experienced the let down when you see a stamped image go bad right before your eyes and don’t know why it has happened.

These items are available at my Stampin’ UP! website 24/7 for easy online ordering.

Heat Tool - Product #100005

Heat Tool - Product #100005

The Heat Tool is hand held, plugs into a 110 outlet, the cord is approximately 4 feet long.  It is U/L Approved and comes with a 1 year Manufacturer’s Warranty on workmanship and defects.  360 watts of power and heats up to 572 degrees Fahrenheit (300 degrees Celsius).

Heat Tool Product #100005  Price is $29.95

Embossing Buddy - Product #103083

Embossing Buddy - Product #103083

The Embossing Buddy is a MUST HAVE if you want a clean image after embossing.

This little package of special stuff eliminates static on your paper that causes embossing powder to cling, and it absorbs finger print oils that will also attract embossing powder and ruin your image.  It works on all kinds of papers and other surfaces you emboss on.

The little bag is 3″ x 1-1/2″ and comes in a ziplock pouch for storage.

Embossing Buddy Product #103083  Price is $5.95

Black Stampin' Emboss Powder - Product #109133

Black Stampin' Emboss Powder - Product #109133

Black Stampin’ Emboss Powder comes in a 1/2 ounce container.  You may think that is not much, but it is quite a lot.

After you pour the embossing powder over your image and tap off the excess the remaining powder can be returned to the container for use at a later time.  This is true with any of the other colors of embossing powders that Stampin’ UP! sells.

Black Stampin’ Emboss Powder Product #109133 Price $4.75.

VersaMark Ink Pad - Product #102283

VersaMark Ink Pad - Product #102283

VersaMark Ink Pad is fantastic for Heat Embossing.  The ink stays wet longer to hold all the embossing powder until it is heat set.  There are many other uses for the VersaMark pad which I will show at a later time.

The VersaMark Pad is approximately 3-3/4″ x 2-1/2″.  A refill is also available if your current pad is getting dry.

VersaMark Pad Product #102283 Price $7.50

VersaMark Refill Product #102193 Price $3.95

Powder Pals (set of 3) - Product #102197

Powder Pals (set of 3) - Product #102197

Powder Pals make the Heat Embossing technique a breeze.  There are two trays and a brush for cleanup.

The large tray measures “10 x 14″ x 1″, the small tray measures 6″ x 8″ x 1”.  Each tray has a 1/2″ funnel opening and a stopper to keep embossing powder or glitter from escaping all over your work area.

Powder Pals Product #102197 Price $19.95

Anyone who purchases $50.00 from my Stampin’ UP! website through October 31, 2009 will receive a FREE 1/2 ounce container of Silver Stampin’ Emboss Powder from me.   The Christmas cards you are planning to make this year will be beautiful with the addition of Silver Stampin’ Emboss Powder.