Another Q&A

As I was reading comments on my blog today (I reward myself every now and again because I don’t have time every day), I thought about how reading my blog makes me happy—everyone (well, almost) who responds makes me smile, laugh out loud, cry, and feel grateful!

For example—

  • The video of little Sarah with Down Syndrome stamping cards for her friend
  • Rose saying that Sterling would have to be special to be married to me (Hmmm…I wonder how she meant that? LOL!)
  • Wendy sharing about her dad and the last Father’s Day card she made for him
  • Shannon’s comment about whether to bling or not to bling being a trick question (the minute I read it, I didn’t have to see her last name to know it was “my” Shannon who works in demonstrator training!

I read comments from kids I taught in church years ago who now have families of their own, extended family members I haven’t seen in years, people I’ve never met but feel like I know personally—all people who share things in common with me.

Although I don’t answer every question or respond to every comment, I love reading my blog—thank you for your comments, support, and enthusiasm. And for those of you who shared new product suggestions, Memento Mall ideas, or ideas to improve the business, know that I’ve forwarded those to the appropriate people for consideration.

Also, a couple of you posted comments about questions or problems you’re having as a demonstrator; you wondered how to make sure I’m aware of the situation. I do read these comments on the blog, but sometimes it’s days or even weeks before I read them. I’ve talked to our demonstrator support agents, and we’ve decided that it will work best—and be much faster usually—to communicate through our demonstrator support department.

Make sure you put “To Shelli” in the subject field. You’ll receive a response from a demonstrator support agent, who will also forward the comment to me. Most of the time I won’t respond personally, but I will read every one, I promise.

Where did you find the mannequin that is in the picture showing Vonna’s necklace?

I found it in an antique store, of course! (I love antiquing. . . .) While they’re not all over the place, they’re not too hard to find, if you’re on the lookout for them. I’d seen several wire ones, but when I saw this one, I knew it was the one. I love it . . . thanks for loving it too!

How was the heart window done on the Loving Valentine’s projects?

I used window sheets. I folded the bottom flap of the box up, and then punched the heart through that. I used a leftover scrap of card stock to cover the bottom of the box, so the candy wouldn’t fall out.

How are your dad’s hands doing?

They are great! When I picked him up at the airport to go to the funeral, I asked him if he felt like he could drive, and he did. He ended up driving all day, while I sat in the passenger seat, working a little and chatting a lot.

There’s still some stiffness, of course, but his recovery has been great! In fact, he mentioned that he was thinking about climbing back into a race car again. He promised me he was done after this last accident, so I have mixed feelings. It’s a dangerous hobby, but I’m certainly thrilled that he is feeling good enough to think about it. I’m not going to worry too much about it yet. . . .

Can I send a thank-you card to the employees in Kanab who sewed the quilt blocks for leadership attendees?

Several of you have already sent cards to us at the Riverton facility; we’ve forwarded those to Kanab. If you would still like to send a card, you can send it to us at the home office or straight to Kanab at: Stampin’ Up!, 1400 South 100 West, Kanab  UT  84741.

Can you share a list of some of the movies you and Sterling watch in your rare free time?

We do enjoy watching movies when we have time. Sterling and I are both chick-flick fans; we like romance and comedy, not so much action and adventure. We don’t watch movies that are rated R, and we are fans of independent movies.

I like watching movies because I can watch the screen and still stamp or cut or assemble, so I’m multitasking. Of course, once in a while, I just sit and cuddle with Sterling too. . . .

Here are some of the movies we’ve watched recently and liked, or movies we’ve watched more than once:

Though None Go with Me
Definitely, Maybe
Behind the Mask
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (a Christmas movie—cute!)
Maid in Manhattan
Just Like Heaven
First Knight
The Ultimate Gift (a must for every home!)

Can you post the Vintage scrapbook page you showed at leadership?

I showed two pages, but I think the one you’re referring to I lent to one of our demonstrator training presenters to use at regionals this spring, so I don’t have it anymore. So sorry. . .

Do you always use the air art tool when you splatter on your projects?

Actually, I usually use a paintbrush. I ink up the brush with watered down ink, then tap it against my finger. I like the look that creates. It can get a little bit messy, so when I splatter I always wear an apron and make sure that there’s nothing in the work area that will be ruined if it gets ink spots on it.

I have a Mover and Shaper that I bought before Stampin’ Up! offered them, but mine doesn’t have the magnet. I’d like to buy the magnet separately. . .

We don’t offer the magnets separately because we don’t buy them separately either! They come with the Mover and Shaper, so we don’t have the ability to offer them alone.

Which is your preference these days? Wood mount or clear mount stamps? 

I’m kind of a wood purist. There’s something about holding a block of wood in my hand that just feels better to me. Plus, I’m always worried that I’m going to accidentally throw away smaller stamps that aren’t mounted on wood because they get lost in a pile of scraps. (I’m just not as organized when I get in the creative mode. . . ) However, I know that many of our demonstrators and customers are loving the clear mount; there are certainly advantages to both.

At the first Workshop of a Lifetime that I had earlier this week, this topic came up. The demonstrators mentioned—almost unanimously—that they liked having the choice. And they also loved that we were still offering the rubber images.

One customer commented that she had used many, many clear stamps over the years, and hadn’t yet found anything that came close to the quality of the rubber. That’s been my experience as well, especially when I stamp off. I’ve not found a clear (photopolymer) stamp that doesn’t stick to the paper when I’m stamping repeated images. Rubber seems to consistently produce a crisper, clean image.

I’m glad that as a company we are offering the choice. Over time, if demonstrators and customers choose one over another by a significant margin, we may reconsider our decision—but for now I’m certainly glad we can choose what we want.

Are items sold at the Memento Mall going to be offered to other demonstrators as supply items?

Sometimes. How’s that for a definitive answer? (smile)

Our goal, of course, is to have just the right number of Memento Mall items that everyone at the event can purchase what they want, and we have none left over. But that doesn’t happen very often. When there are extra items, offering them as supply items is an option we look at.

Do most of your girls live close enough that they can visit often?

I wish! Actually, I shouldn’t complain—I am lucky enough to have most of the girls at least close enough that we can see them frequently (although not nearly as often as I’d like!). Shanna and Sara (and her family) live very close, within a few miles. Sage and Jason live less than thirty minutes away. Megan and Nate live about two hours away, and Shalae and Jon live across the country. Way too far, but I’m grateful I can see them as often as I do.

Where do you all stay when you gather in Kanab for Grandma Pat’s Christmas party?

The actual party is held at our Stampin’ Up! facility, but people sleep with family members who still live in town or the surrounding area, or sometimes they’ll stay in hotel rooms.

Any chance we can get directions for Shalae’s Christmas card?

I asked her and she will send them to me. I’ll post them when I receive them.

I admire your fashion sense; do you have a favourite store you like to shop at?

I love smaller boutique stores. I can find all kinds of unique clothing, and sometimes great bargains, in these shops. I do shop at larger retail stores and chain stores, but when possible I like to support smaller businesswomen, of course!

Why don’t you carry the same products in all the markets?

Wouldn’t that be wonderful if we could? There are actually all sorts of factors we have to consider when we’re deciding which products will be available in which market, including things like the cost of the product, the cost of getting it into the market, and government regulations. These are only a few of the things we look at.

We are always working to offer the best, most-requested products to all our demonstrators and customers.

Did you get to meet Robert De Niro when you were on the TODAY Show?

Nope. We decided that there must be a famous and a nonfamous green room—and we were in the nonfamous one! Bummer.

I loved the little “wine” glasses you used for the grandchildren during your Thanksgiving meal. Where did you get those?

I just picked up one or two at a time at antique stores. They don’t match, of course; they are all different styles and sizes.

I can’t keep all of your girls and their husbands and children straight. Can you post a family tree?

Well, not exactly a family tree (not sure how to do that), but here’s a list of the girls, their husbands, and their children. And you can see a family photo in our current Idea Book & Catalog.

Megan: Married to Nate, children are Tanner, Cameron, Zach, and Olivia

Sara: Married to Sean, children are Sidney, Seth, Sam, Shelby, and Stella

Shalae: Married to Jon, children are Ashton, Cooper, and Phoebe

Sage: Married to Jason, Kona is their son

Shanna: Just came back from a mission in Spain, and is dating someone quite seriously—that’s all I can say about that right now!

What is Jon’s recipe for chocolate malts?

He doesn’t follow a specific recipe. He uses Breyer’s Natural Vanilla ice cream and adds a little milk, Nesquick chocolate, and malt flavoring (which Shalae says they only carry in one grocery store in Savannah—it took them a week to find it!). He doesn’t follow any specific measurement, just eyeballs it and tastes it. Whatever he does, it works every time!