Estella Banks
Chief Creative Officer & Founder
Independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrator
To e-mail me, click here
(714) 264-0026

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Pssst... where have you been!?

Okay. So I was doing pretty well last week with posting semi-regularly and then silence. Not a peep out of me and not a peep out of you either! :-) Communication is a two-way street as they say.

So in the August 2008 e-Newsletter "Be a (Nearly) Perfect Neighbor," I was sharing an example of why knowing your neighbors is important...

I recently realized that besides the possibility that our neighbors are super cool people, who could possibly enrich our lives in some way, we just downright need to be inter-connected with those who live around us. Case in point... while in flight to Salt Lake City to attend the annual Stampin’ Up! convention a couple of weeks ago (so much fun, by the way … details are here on my blog), the Chino Hills Earthquake hit…

We were none the wiser ‘til we touched down in Utah and I received a text message from my sister. Her message read, “R u okay?” I responded “Yeah, y? What’s up?” Then the news came. An 5.8 earthquake had just hit. Mind you, we’re standing in the aisle of the plane, bags in hand, waiting to get off the plane. I must have been reading my text messages out loud because those around me were looking at me with questioning eyes. Some of them got on their cell phones to check in back at home.

Now, I'm thinking about how blessed are we to be completely out of range during the earthquake (don't know too many people who enjoy them)! My mom and daughter are fine, I'm fine... I wonder if our "stuff" is fine? Then a slight mental panic sets in.
Our stuff... it'll be days before we return. Do I need to worry about the condo and its contents, or is ignorance really "bliss?"

Enter our neighbor, L.J. Ms. L.J. contacted me a couple of years ago by pure coincidence through the Stampin' Up! demonstrator locator on the Stampin' Up! website. She had been to a stamping class or workshop recently and enjoyed her experience. So she searched for a demonstrator in her area. When she contacted me and I realized that we were neighbors, I was so excited because I'm thinking "Stampin' Buddy"!!! I did my best not to "bother" her too much, seeing that I could throw a stone across the walkway to her patio and kitchen window.

During the past couple of years we have had several cordial exchanges in the alley, at the local church where she works with the child and have even crossed paths at a stampin' class. Thankfully I had her number with me in my PalmTX, so I called to get the neighborhood scoop and hoping that she could check out the environment for me. I left a message for her and she returned my call later in the evening after returning from work. She agreed to scan the area that was visible to her and them she reported back to me that all was fine as far as she could see. Just this small gesture of neighborly helpfulness put my mind at ease. A simple phone call for a favor and kind follow through was all that was needed to allow us to enjoy our vacation. A huge THANK YOU goes out to our sweet neighbor L.J.!

The point of this long story is just to say that you never know when and how your connection with your neighbor may hit that crucial moment when you find that you can help them or they can help you. You just never know! Get to know your neighbors -- they could be uber cool and helpful, too!

By now, you're probably wondering, "does this chick ever stamp?" The answer is yes! Here is a sample of a project that my cousin Joy inspired me to do. My cuz and her husband are practically still newly-weds with one year of bliss under their belts, but let it be known that no grass grows under their feet. These folks are BUSY! They've recently launched a catering and event planning enterprise called Manna Feast ( Their food is excellent and the ambiance is so carefully prepared and executed; you would be amazed!

So back the the inspiration... Joy has been planning and preparing a British Carribean Tea Party and wanted to present some super special invitations to her client. Joy saw some samples in the new Fall Winter 2008 Idea Book and Catalog that she wanted to see. So I set about recreating and CASE-ing the catalog sample on page 134. She scoured the catalog for other stamp sets that we could use to create the look that she wanted to achieve. After a few e-mail exchanges, here is what I finally presented to her as the "final" sample. She also requested a table place card and a cellophane bag favor tag.

Paper: Only Orange, So Saffron, Gable Green and Whisper White cardstock.
Ink: Only Orange Classic Stampin' Pad
Stamps: Frames with a Flourish, Floral Background, Sincere Salutations, and Pun Fun
Accessories/Tools: Corner rounder punch and 1/8" Handheld Circle punch (to create"lacy" scalloped border), Paper Snips, Paper Cutter and SNAIL Adhesive.

Here are all the pieces together.

The other pieces basically use the same materials. The only addition is the use of the "Dare to be Fabulous" text from the Fabulous Flowers stamp set on the place card and "a Fabulous Gift for You" text from the Taking Care of Business stamp set on the cello bag favor tag.

Overall I'm pretty pleased with the samples and have learned that I must print the client's name on the place card as though it were the final product. It's easier for everyone to visualize what to expect!

Thanks for stopping by today and hanging in there with me! Next time I'll share some of the Techniques Class samples from previous and hopefully a sneak peak of the projects that we'll do this weekend at the Technique Class/New Catalog Unveiling. Would you like a copy to take home? Let's talk! Call me for details.

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Something to think about...