Very informational reading
from a Stampin' Up! executive who shared this New York Times article about the
increase in crafting this past year despite the economic downturn Link to New York Times article here

The article credits the
Craft & Hobby Association for the statistic that 42 million households gave
handmade gifts this past year and that this figure will increase greatly. Wow!
A very interesting point made in the article is that consumers make handmade
gifts and cards to save money but also because doctors are recommending crafts
to reduce stress – wow again!

With my new catalog, I
inserted this note in every mailer. I hadn't intended to share it but after
reading what the SU executive shared, it sort of piggybacks into what I said to
my customers about making cards and scrapping. Here are my own words:

Last July, I drafted a funny little step-by-step to enjoying your first
viewing of the last catalog. This time, however, things are a little more sober
in our country (and world) so I wanted to use a different approach. I thank you
for indulging my philosophizing!


If you’re like me, you love to create but your schedule (mom? wife?
employee? caretaker? all the above?) does not always allow the extra time it
takes to create from scratch. Therefore, the best course of action for me is to
implement the C.A.S.E. method of stamping (Copy And Share Everything). This
idea book & catalog is exactly what you need for that so you’re halfway
there! What tends to happen is that I do not copy a card or project exactly but
I copy most of it allowing me to put my personal flavor on it. Even changing the
colors is a change. But changing nothing is also just fine. Just making it is
YOUR gift to someone!


You do not ever have to design your own card to make it your own! I
think that’s the biggest obstacle some of us have to feeling we can honestly
say we’re “creative”. Creativity is found in design but it’s also found in
execution. Making a card versus buying a card. There is 0% creativity in buying
it but there is 100% creativity in making it. It does not have to be your
original idea. Believe it and release all those lingering doubts. You ARE


One of my new year’s resolutions is to remember that and not allow
myself to say “I’m not creative… I could never think of something on my own
like she can…” It’s not a competition. It’s me giving of myself to whoever the
recipient of the card or handmade item is or to whoever inherits your family
scrapbooks. The recipient is not cross-referencing to see if that item was
designed by someone else. They only see that I made it with my own hands, just
for them, while appreciating the time it takes to do so. THAT is the gift of
what I do – the knowing that my time is my gift – and it is evidenced by my
handmade gift & it is always a product of feelings of the heart.


My challenge to you (and myself) this year, especially with many of us
teetering on all sorts of economic challenges, is to create like crazy. Copy a
card from this catalog, send it and know that when there is so much uncertainty
in our country right now as to how we are going to move forward, that a handmade
card will be appreciated more than ever. Or if you are mostly a scrapper, use
the time you scrap to rest, relax and reflect. Do it more than you’ve ever done
it before.


My perception of our country today is that it’s back-to-basics more than
ever and, to me, that means prioritize people first, “do” for others, and make
it simple and heartfelt. I actually think that this message is the “something
good that comes from something bad.” We need to care about one another. One
little card may just make someone’s day. That’s my focus right now. Want to
join me in that? I hope so. Let’s all go forth and create and share. And let’s
all do whatever we can, via a card or a kind word, to make someone’s day a
little brighter. Who doesn’t need that? I know I do.


Have a wonderful year
and enjoy our new catalog! Bless you for being my customer.

So, if you take the message
about crafting to reduce stress and to save money then marry it with my message
to craft to "do for others" then there is more reason than ever to
dust off any stamps and ink life's challenges have forced you to put aside.
Reduce stress, make a card for a friend and heal!