So I was thinking maybe I would share how I got started as a stamper. I owe this obsession to my wonderful sister (and blogmaster guru), Kimberly. Exactly 3 years ago, Kimberly showed up at my house (we were stationed at Fort Hood, TX at the time) and said we were going to stamp. I had looked at the catalog before but always said “why would I make this when I can buy cards??” Little did I know….

I have always loved cards. In college, I frequented the “out of the blue” section at Hallmark. I loved those ‘for no reason’ cards. I love e-cards. I just like cards. I am often not good at saying heart to heart things aloud, but I can write them down. So I like cards.

I have never thought of myself as artistically inclined. I cannot draw. I have never done anything artsy in my life. I do love color and I think I have an eye for color combinations…you might not think so….

Anyway, back to how I got started. I had just had my 3rd baby boy in 3 years. I was very worn out and desperately in need of some outlet for myself….one that did not involve kids! I think that Kimberly came at just the right time, divine intervention perhaps. I don’t know, I just know I needed an outlet and she showed up. I loved it the very first time I tried it! Kimberly just brought a few cards down and we sat at my kitchen table and stamped. I was hooked. I made her start a Stampers 5 club so I could start my collection. I made most of my Christmas cards that very first year. They weren’t good, but I started!

Just a few months after that, my husband was deployed to Iraq for a year. I moved back to live with my mom while he was gone. I didn’t want to be by myself with the boys. They were 3.5, 2 and 6 mos when he left. I stored all my stamp things in rubbermaid tubs in the corner of my mom’s kitchen. I stamped more and more as the months went on. It was a wonderful escape for me from the stress of being a single parent and missing my husband. I made lots of cards that I sent to him while he was gone. He has a box where he has saved every card I ever sent him.

About halfway through that year he was gone, I took the plunge. I signed up to be a Stampin Up! demonstrator. I had a pretty good start with demonstrating. Then we moved again and I had to start all over. I never really got any clientele after we moved. I’ve not done a workshop in almost 2 years. I do have a regular group of stampers who come to Stamp Camp once a month. This fall I have tried to start having more classes and so far it has gone pretty well! I am trying to find a way to use my hobby to help out a bit with finances.

I learned all I know about stamping from Mamakimberly or the internet. I have Beate Johns to thank for my introduction to Splitcoaststampers.com, the best stamping website ever! I was on a yahoo group with her and she mentioned this site. I joined in January 2004 and have loved it ever since. So many talented artists in one place! I think that I truly grew as a stamper when we moved back to Texas about a year and a half ago. I got my own stamp room then and it has really helped me tremendously to have my own stamping space.

So that’s my story! I will be forever grateful to my sister Kimberly for introducing me to Stampin Up! and rubber stamping. I know it has helped me through a lot of stressful times in my life….divorce (not mine!), unemployment, deployment, etc. It is a wonderful outlet for me to creatively express myself. I view it as therapy. I think that Kimberly came along at just the right moment for me, and I love her for sharing it with me.

wow! that was alot longer that I intended. If you got through all of this, thanks for reading my story!