Sunday, December 7, 2008

As My Scrapping World Turns: Episode Three

My trips to Minnesota eventually came to an end. That was okay though. I had enough stamps to last 15 lifetimes and I had lots of time to play and experiment with all the cool stuff I had accumulated. Besides, I had spent all the money and my husband wasn’t real happy with me. Thankfully he couldn’t afford to divorce me so for now things were good. I had lots to keep me busy.

Then one day I came upon a store right in my neighborhood that sold rubber stamps and scrapbooking supplies. How could I have missed this place? Ironically, they had only been open for a short time and were in need of an instructor. I brought in some of my work and they were impressed. I started teaching there on the weekends and made a lot of new friends. I met so many wonderful ladies and cultivated some great relationships.

Teaching was very gratifying. Not only did it keep my creative juices flowing, but it also allowed me to get up in front of a group of people and share with them my love for stamping. I got such a charge out of all the ladies as they tapped into their creative veins. There was something magical about hearing their squeals of delight the first time they did heat embossing. And of course, I was able to, you guessed it, buy more stamps.

Disclaimer: For those of you that are thinking “Aha! Now I know what I can do to get more stuff!” Please know that teaching classes is a lot of work. If you are going to do it well, you have to prepare. You have to treat it just like you would any job. These folks that are coming to your classes are your customers. They are paying for a service. They are expecting value for their money. You have to be ready with a quality product that will excite them.

A lot of preparation went into my classes. Hours and hours I would spend developing classes, testing products, looking at catalogs and samples, playing with different techniques and then preparing materials. I would stay on top of the trends by reading magazines and seeing what had already been done. I would cut paper, count brads, punch holes, measure fibers, score cardstock and package up class materials. Because I also had a full time job and two school age kids, I could only prepare on the weekends. This would mean that I would sit in my Stamp Room from sun up to sun down and sometimes I would ignore my family. I would then go to the shop Saturday morning and teach all day. (I usually taught two classes back to back once or twice a month). After teaching, around 4:30 PM, I would drag myself home, flop on the couch dead dog tired from being up half the night before and I would try not to ignore my family the rest of the weekend. Monday it was back to work.

At work I would think about creating, stamping and planning my next class. All the while, knowing that I needed to be concentrating on my job. After all, it did put bread on the table. But I couldn't help myself. It was almost like torture to be at work each day. I was spending so much time exercising my right brain that when it would come time to shift into left brain, I had difficulty. My work didn't really suffer, but my enthusiasm for the work that I was doing did.

As much as I loved teaching, one day it occurred to me that this gig was really like working two jobs. My weekends evaporated and the fruits of my labor were stacks and stacks of card samples, a room full of rubber stamps, a desk drawer full of credit card bills, an aggravated husband and a blurred image of my two little boys that were growing up way to fast right before my eyes. Add to that the pressures to perform at work and dare I say I was getting burnt out.

All the while, at the shop the girls would tell me "Try scrapbooking! You would be good at it. You would love it. It is so much fun." "Ha, like I need another obsession.” I would tell them. I had no desire to scrapbook. It was then that I first uttered the words “I will never scrapbook, it is just ‘so not me’”. But during this time the scrapbooking companies had started coming out with some really fun papers and embellishments and I must admit, I was becoming intrigued.

Around that same time my nephew got married and I was looking for a heartfelt gift to give. Someone down at the shop suggested that I do a scrapbook for him. 'Maybe something small' I thought. Yes I will try it. I was at the point where I was becoming disenchanted with stamping and the idea of peel-and-stick was appealing. So I bought all the stuff to do an album and got started. I know what you are thinking. "Here we go again". Right?

Stay tuned to see what happens on the next episode of As My Scrapping World Turns


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