Q & A, Part 2

What does a creative and talented person like you do in your church?

You’re so kind to call me creative and talented! Thank you! Unfortunately, I’m not in town on a regular basis, which limits me somewhat in the service I can do in my church.

Currently, I make monthly phone calls to ladies in our ward (congregation) to see if they’ve done their visiting teaching. (In our church, most adult women are asked to visit two or three other adult women every month, just to check in and see how they’re doing; this is called visiting teaching.)  It’s a very easy calling; sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t do more.

And, of course, several leaders in our ward are aware of what I do in my business, so it’s not unusual for me to be asked to create invitations to various events, such as ward parties or activities. Earlier this month, Shalae and I made more than 100 invitations to a special Mother’s Day presentation. I enjoy doing those types of things a lot!

Why did Vonna quit Stampin’ Up!

Vonna is younger than I am, and she had children who were younger than mine. As most of you know, we started Stampin’ Up! together and worked together for the first 10 years—and had a great time! But as Vonna had more children, she felt pulled between work and family; it was a difficult place to be. Eventually, she chose to focus on her family and children. I was in a position where I could continue building Stampin’ Up!, so it worked out for both of us.

Do you feel a rivalry with Jeanette Lynton (founder of Close to My Heart)?

No, not at all. I honestly don’t think about Jeanette or Close to My Heart—unless someone asks me a question like this. Of course, the two companies are in competition, so I wouldn’t be honest if I said I wish her the greatest success (smile), but I am more concerned and focused on what’s going on  here at Stampin’ Up! and what we’re trying to achieve and build. What Jeanette is doing, and what her company is doing, isn’t really something I think about.

I’d love to see pictures of Shanna’s princess party. Can you share some with us?

I would love to see pictures too! Shanna told us she took some, and she’s promised to send them, but I haven’t seen them yet. I don’t think she’s developed them yet—her mind is understandably on other things. But when I get them, I’ll post them.

It sounds like Sterling loves to ride horses. Do you ride too?

You’re right, Sterling does love riding. It’s one of his favorite pastimes. I used to ride; however, it wasn’t one of my favorite things to do. On the infrequent occasions that I did ride, I wasn’t as comfortable as I used to be, and horses can sense that. When I got a little nervous, the horse got nervous. And when the horse got nervous, Sterling got nervous.

So that’s the long way of saying, No, I don’t ride. I can, I just don’t. I try to go with Sterling on his long rides as often as I can, but while he’s off enjoying the exhilaration of riding across the countryside on one of his favorite horses, I’m back at camp, working or stamping or reading a book or magazine. We enjoy spending the time together in the outdoors before and after the actual riding part.

Does Jon have a website?

He doesn’t have a website yet, but he does have a blog where he’s posted a bunch of his pictures. If you want to check out his blog, it’s at seeingbrown.blogspot.com.

A quick disclaimer here: if you visit, you’ll see some photos of my girls that look a little sexy. Jon wanted me to make sure you knew that all the girls were fully clothed, and that I was there the entire time he was shooting!

Jon is working on a website though, and when it’s up and running, if you’re interested, I’ll post it.

Do you open the submissions for the Artisan Award as they arrive or wait until the due date and open them all at the same time? Who judges the submissions and selects the winners? Where do you put all the submissions after the contest is over? How many entries do you receive?

We wait to open the Artisan Awards all at the same time. Once the deadline has passed, we open all the submissions and spread them out in one area at the home office. Then our concept artists and Brent do the judging thing and select the winners.

This year we received about 180 submissions; the number varies a little bit every year. I’m always amazed at what we see—you all do incredible work!

Once the contest is over, the projects are given to our events team members, who select some of the projects for the display boards at convention. They are also considered for Stamper’s Showcase or for project displays in our international markets.

What are the half-day regionals all about? I heard regionals are being discontinued? Tell me it’s not true!

We’ve actually offered half-day regionals for several years; they are not new this year. They are a terrific option for demonstrators who live in geographical areas where we don’t have a high enough demonstrator population to justify scheduling a whole-day regional but we have demonstrators who would still love to participate in some type of Stampin’ Up! gathering.

Regionals are not being discontinued—I can’t imagine ever not having regionals! Reaching out to our demonstrators, providing training and information and education is what we’re all about. In fact, we’re looking for ways to make regionals more available and accessible, in whatever way we can. I LOVE connecting with you; it’s always very disappointing to me when I can’t make it to one of our regionals. 

What paper did you use on the box that you showed for the Seattle projects? Was it newspaper or a sneak peek at a future product?

Actually, that paper was a page from an old dictionary or encyclopedia. I browse antique stores, and sometimes I’ll see old books, and I’ll grab a handful to use on projects—I love the look and feel it adds.I’ve been hinting to our design folks that I’d love to see something similar in an upcoming product offering. . . .

Could you drop hints about new sets that are coming or sets that are staying in the new catalog? I want to get a head start on my hundreds of swaps.

You know better than that—I could get in an awful lot of trouble if I did that! However, if you haven’t heard by now (and I’m sure you probably have), the new Idea Book & Catalog is being shipped out to demonstrators now, with their first demonstrator order. So people are already getting much more than a hint about what sets will be available!