Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Catalog Crazy

One week from today we'll have our new catalog!!! I've been a consultant for 10 years and this is the first year that the company has not told us how much the catalogs will be. We will not know how much they cost until the day it is unveiled at convention. Such secrecy invites speculation...

What are they doing to the catalog???

Is it going online?

Are they redesigning it?

Is it changing sizes?

I've dreamed up several scenarios in my mind.... each of them somehow incorporates our bi-monthly mailing of Expressions... Our last Expressions covered three months, where normally it only covers two months.... things that make you go hmmmmm........ I can't quite put my finger on it, but I think Expressions holds the clue.... They are really successful. It allows us to constantly introduce new product.... How can we capitalize on that????

So... since I'm bored... and can hardly wait until I have that catalog in my hands in one short week.... Why don't you tell me what you think they're doing to our catalog?? Let's dream big... and see how close we get to the truth.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Psst.... Leave me a Note....

We had another fun crop on Saturday. (I took the camera, but got so involved in the fun that I forgot to take pictures...)

About 8 or 9 years ago I started holding monthly crops for some friends from church - they are now called the "Thursday" group. Over the years I started to get requests from other customers for a crop night and the "Friday" group was born....

For a long time I did the two crops back to back. I figured that way I only had to clean the stamp room once a month. But then I got called to work with our youth at church and that one week a month hit me hard because it made 3 big nights in a row... so I kept the church group on the first Thursday of the month and moved the Friday group to the second Friday of the month.

Everyone was happy. I was sane.... it was good.... until I stopped using paper tablecloths and switched to cloth covered with plastic. I thought it was beautiful. The room always looked clean. I could throw away the scratch paper and have clean tables in seconds. I thought my customers would LOVE it. They all did....except for Jean.

Jean loved to see what the Thursday group had stamped. She loved to see the color combinations they used, their writing, their scraps. It was her only connection to the other class. So I did what any teacher would do. I no longer threw away the scratch paper at Jean's spot. Every month she'd come check out what Heather (from Thursday) had stamped. She'd read the little notes where Heather practiced her journaling or tested the spelling of a word. It made her happy...

Heather moved to Utah so now a variety of people sit in that chair. Jean still checks out what they stamp and sometimes she'll ask me "who sat here on Thursday?"

Well I had a pretty big turnout on Saturday. Everyone who RSVP'd showed up and we even had a couple of bonus people come. As they filtered in throughout the day the tables started to fill up, new friends were made and there were fun conversations all over the room. Suddenly I realized I hadn't introduced the last two guests that arrived to the girls at their table. By the time I checked on them they had done it themselves and realized that one side of the table was the Thursday group and the other side was the Friday group. They've heard about each other for years.... and now they finally met. Jean had fun getting to know them and sharing her passion for seeing their artwork each month. They laughed and they giggled and now the Thursday girls are planning to leave little notes for Jean every month.....

And that....is why I love my job. I have the best customers in the world. They are creative, talented, kind, funny, accomodating, loyal..... and just plain fun. I love seeing the friendships that have grown over the years. As they scrapbook they share stories about their families and their adventures. They ask for advice. They help each other create beautiful layouts that celebrate the lives of those they love.....and sometimes....they reach out and leave notes for a fellow scrapper.....that follows along behind them.....

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Things learned at the ice skating rink....

1. It may be hot outside, but it's always cold at an ice skating rink. You will be miserable if you wear capri pants and sandals.

2. Teenagers never cease to surprise you.

3. I thought they would be embarassed if I took pictures. I didn't know they would actually pose and wave everytime they went by.

4. I thought they'd ignore me and wish I wasn't there. I didn't expect them to stop every couple of laps to pound on the glass in front of me and make faces.

5. It makes me happy to know that the kids are comfortable around me, and don't mind when I chaperone.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Book Club Night

Well my husband reminded me that I haven't done a blog entry in a while.... He's probably the only one that reads this blog anyway. LOL So here you go dear... a new blog entry....

Tonight is book club! We read City of Masks by Daniel Hecht. I loved it and can't wait to see what the rest of the group thought about it. It's a mystery, ghost story and romance all mixed together. I have an incredible sense of intuition and I've had some interesting experiences in my life, so I'm always fascinated when psychic abilities and intuition etc. show up in a novel. Sometimes it helps me feel more normal because I've never had experiences even close to that... other times... well it's nice to know I'm not the only one who has those kind of experiences. It makes me feel more normal.

Only one and a half weeks until I head out to Las Vegas... I'm excited, yet I have a pang of anxiety in my chest. I have sooo much to do. I've been trying to strike a balance between working on my projects and taking care of myself. When I go to the gym at night I just don't seem to have the time or energy to stamp.... and if I don't go to the gym.. I feel guilty... and tired... and grumpy.... I think the only thing that can be done to remedy the situation is to quit my job...... yea well that isn't going to happen. LOL.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Happy Birthday Joshua!

I've been struggling with what to share on this blog. Me, I'm an open book, but my poor family? Did they know that their lives would become a series of "blogable" moments? Rick and Josh both know about my blog. In fact Rick even bookmarked it and sneaks by to read my entries. Sometimes it makes me a little nervous, but mostly I think it's cute. He seems to get such a kick out of the things I write. Josh? I'm not sure what he thinks. He might think it's some sort of odd punishment when I exclaim "soon to be read in a blog near you." But then again he gives me the same look as when I walk through the house speaking in one of my made up languages. (Of course he forgets the times when he has jumped right into the fun and participated in the conversation.... I think that's when Rick get's that "look." Yea, buddy, you're surrounded and we outnumber you.)

So.... Joshua turned 15 last weekend. This has been a hard birthday. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad he's 15. In fact, for him, I wish he was 16. He's much younger than all of his friends, and at this age it causes a ton of problems. His friends can date - he can't. His friends can... well actually that's the only problem. He's not old enough to date. He's decided he's old enough to have a girlfriend, but I still haven't given up on the no dating rule.... So I have become the ultimate chaperoning mom.

This has created a ton of conflict for me. Am I doing the right thing? Should I just say "No," you can't go because girls are there?

Well I got my answer last Friday. We all went to the movies.... And we see someone else we know. Someone who is also 15 and not allowed to date. Someone who looked extremely guilty and didn't say "hi." Someone who was there with two members of the opposite sex. Did his/her parents know? (He/She said "sort of," when asked later) I think I'll stick to chaperoning. I'd rather know and thus be able to guide, influence, help set boundaries... besides.... for the moment I have succeeded in being the "cool" mom. I can be trusted to hang out with the friends without embarassing him. I told him I like being "cool" as long as he realizes I'm still "Mom." There are still rules.

And I can't help it. I like the girlfriend. She's cute. She's wacky. She fits in.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Short and quick

Eeek. I leave for convention in 25 days. How did the time fly by so fast. I'm finding it harder and harder to blog much as we get closer to the big day. All my creative time has been spent working on my boards and playing with new product.....in other words..... it's all top secret.

I have two boards almost completely done and three to go. The board I'm just finishing up right now is absolutely beautiful and different than anything I've ever done before. I've created some gorgeous wedding p*aper bag books. I played with the foil and cord and brads and fibers and...... they are gorgeous. I still have to do the board with my new set. I'm really excited about what I received but I'm afraid to start.... I'm worried I'll come up with a better idea as soon as I finish it. LOL. So for now I'm just sketching and dreaming up ideas for it.