Stampin' Up 2014 Occasions Catalog, I'm sure you know that it is beautiful. Each time I look at the two-page spreads on pages 2 through 17 I find something new to drool over. The samples, the colors the products are all some of the best I think we've ever had.
While I was at Leadership in Houston last month (you can read more about that trip here, here and here), I took a class called "Maximizing the Occasions Catalog" with one of my favorite presenters, Carrie Cudney. Honestly, I really debated once I arrived whether or not I wanted to stick with that class or "cut class" and go to a different one. But it turns out, I'm very glad I went. Sure, I learned some great tips and tricks for the product in our new Occasions catalog (and some interesting tid-bits such as the fact that the light-up arrow on page 2 was made with Stampin' Up paper), but I really learned a lot more about the SU philosophy and, it turns out, it perfectly coincides with mine.
Many of you may already know that I spent 13 years as a journalist working for small town weekly newspapers (covering things like the Miss Apple Peach Festival and the local felting class) and graduated to news anchor/reporter for one of the main radio stations on Cape Cod (covering things like the death of Ted Kennedy and the impact of 9-11 on the Cape). Now I'm a Public Relations Specialist for the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra and tell stories about our guest artists, the featured music and orchestra members.
I grew up writing in journal after journal after journal. I still keep a "quote a day" journal and a more general "diary" type journal that I write in when the mood strikes. What I'm getting at with all of this is that I like telling stories. I like making connections. I like words and documenting life.
I have to be honest and say that before I took the Leadership class, I didn't notice that the theme of the Occasions catalog was "Celebrate the Everyday." Sure, I read it on the cover... but I was too excited to see the new goodies to really take in what that meant... and then see that it connected to much of the "content" in the catalog.
So let's start with the first two-page spread on pages 2 and 3. It's titled: "What can a card help you say?" And yes, there are the obvious: Happy Birthday, Thank You, Get Well. But what else can a card say? It can say I love you, I miss you, You're my hero, I'm sorry, I'm thinking of you, You're cute, I owe you... basically that you're important. You see, each of is going about our lives, playing the main character in our story, and by connecting with someone in person or via a card, you have a supporting role in their life. It's making a connection. One that I cherish. What makes it even better? Cards are personal. If I sit down at my craft table, I envision you in my head and then make something especially for you. Then I plop a (postage) stamp on it, send it in the mail and get the warm fuzzies when I think about you opening that small little envelope (that's clearly not a bil!l) and the smile that will bring you. That's a connection. I can personally impact your day doing something I love. Making something with my hands. Writing a quick personal message to you. That's the power of a card.
It's not just paper, stamps and ink. We make a difference each time we drop a card in the mail. Who could you make smile with a hand-stamped card? What connections can you make? Whose stories do you want to be part of?
Let's revive the letter (or card) writing movement. Leave a comment below for who is going to receive YOUR card.