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So I haven't written a card making blog post in a while, and I haven't been posting as much on social media – and here's the update…

I am not a writer, I am not a social media junkie, I could go the rest of my life and not take a selfie.  I am an introvert.

In our home, we are stressed.  My husband and I met in the late 90's in paramedic school.  While I keep up my certifications, I craft for a living – he doesn't.  He goes to work for 24 hours at a time taking care of patients.  Just playing with rough numbers, he has logged over 200,000 hours on an ambulance.  I got in about 100,000 before I became a work at home mom.

When you have been in that profession for more than a hot minute, it really takes a lot to get your adrenaline pumping – not much surprises you.  This…. this has surprised him.  This has his adrenaline pumping.  This has us talking about if/when he needs to move out of our house for many weeks.  This has him worried about his family in a way that he hasn't had to worry before.

I think we feel like many families, we are okay, but we aren't okay.

For me, I've retreated into my places of comfort.  I handle it by closing in and connecting with those I really feel closest to.  I find myself not doing things I don't love, even if they need to get done.  Recently in an email I encouraged my subscribers to create.  To create and send.  To create and share.  To use your creativity to brighten the lives of others.

I am doing all of those things – I am just not blogging about it or posting it on social.  There is a place that I am sharing so many of these card creations, and it's with my stamping family – my literal stamping family.

When I created Stamping Family many years ago, my napkin where I did all my planning, was very specific for who it is for.  It's for those like me.  Those that don't do well in the spotlight, those that aren't camera loving extroverts – not that these members aren't welcome, it was just a place where you could come and be you and your creative card making self.

In that site, I have shared hundreds of videos, over 560 – every video is geared to teach something, not sell something.  Yep, you heard me right.  I have been in free and paid groups where all they want you to do is buy this and buy that and buy, buy, buy.  What I envisioned was to replace that with…

Try, Try, Try!  Try something, make something, watch something, send something, join in where you are comfortable – try, try, try!

When I was trying to name Stamping Family – it actually started as a completely different name, something with playhouse in it, and I struggled to launch the site – I think because if you bomb the name, then what have you got?  After about a month, I was talking to a friend about it and the struggle of the name.  He asked me to really paint a picture for him of what I wanted it to look like, and I said I wanted it to feel like a kitchen table.  Where there was a chair at the table for everyone – no one felt left out of the circle.  A really feeling of be a part of a family.  And away I went.  Within five minutes I had found and bought stampingfamily.com – all the graphics had to change, the entire theme and layout of the site had to change.  Everything was completely different within a week and I was excited to finally launch something that was six months in the making.

That's the place I always go when I am stressed.  I don't go to post most of the time, I go to read the comments, to see the interactions, to look in the gallery.  While I am the video maker and idea starter for these projects, at heart, I am a member like everyone else.  So that's where I have been, when Matt's at work, when Emily's doing schoolwork, I am with my Stamping Family.

I have two contractors who help me with tech stuff for the site.  A few weeks ago, I reached out to both of them to take an idea we had tried many years ago when the site was on an entirely different platform and such to see what it would take to recreate this idea for the upgraded site.  One was eager, the other was buried under with tasks for his other clients.  He asked me why now?  Why does it need to be now?  Can it wait?

To that I shared – I think card makers need Stamping Family now more than ever before.  I think they need a home like I have a home in the paper crafting world.  I think they need a distraction, a new way to connect, to binge watch, to create more, to have their seat at the table.

He agreed.

The three of us worked hard to get it done and made it possible – a way for everyone to come and check it out for a next-to-nothing expense.  $1.  Yep.  $1.  $1 to come and check us out for three days.  No hard sales, no minimum number of months you have to stay, no pressure – just $1 to see if it's right for you.

I made this available to our email list only for the first week.  We added quite a few members – and we lost a few too.  And that's great – that's exactly what we hoped would happen.  We created a way for you to come and see if it's the right table for you.  Those that have left have been thanked for trying it, no 25 emails begging them to come back, just a simple thank you.

But those that have stayed… it's making a difference in their lives.  One family member emailed me and said she had been buying stamps for over 6 months, but with the videos, finally had the courage to make her first card – she had started many times and always threw her project in the trash.  Another family member said she has never made as many cards as she has in the last week.  Another family member said she hasn't made a single project, but she loves to just watch the videos and be entertained and distracted all at the same time.  The stories from these new members are ones I cherish – because they pulled up their chair.

I don't know how long we will keep this $1 trial open, not for too much longer – there is a lot of work that goes into this on the backend, but I do want to open it up to my blog readers and let you see if it's the right table for you.  I have always said the best families are the ones you get to pick!

So if you want to try us out, if you want to see if you are inspired, if you are wanting to connect, if you are wanting to share, or if you are wanting to lurk – we love our lurkers too – then what better way is there to try it out.  Click here to take the $1 trial for 3 days.