|Me with Stephanie Barnard|
In April of 2013 I attended a Creating Keepsakes Convention (CKC) and took a class with Stephanie Barnard from The Stamps of Life. She designs clear stamps and dies. I had always attempted to stamp for card making, but just didn't seem to get the "knack". After taking her class, I fell in love with her products and spent the rest of my birthday money at her booth AND joined her monthly stamp club.
I came home and became thoroughly addicted to stamping and her products. The Stamps of Life website also has a ton of videos with Stephanie demonstrating how to use her products, sharing stamping techniques and projects, answering questions, and "Life with Stephanie" videos where she shares personal stories. She starts every video by saying, "Hello my friends!" I would spread out my supplies on the dining room table and watch video after video while getting my hands all inky.
Well, Dave never missed an opportunity to pick on me, and my new found addiction gave him plenty of opportunities. He would walk through the dining room, mimicking Stephanie's perky, "Hello my friends!" He would then tease me by saying, "You really think you're friends!" At that point I would either stick out my tongue at him or turn up the volume on my iPad.
When December rolled around, Dave asked me to print out The Stamps of Life checklist and circle any stamp sets or tools that I would want for Christmas. Then December 16th happened and I lost Dave. The day of Dave's viewing I came home to find a box from The Stamps of Life and I broke down and sobbed. I knew that was Dave's Christmas gift to me. I put the box under the tree just as it was.
On Christmas morning, I opened my last gift from David, and as I took out every stamp set and my awesome magnetic platform for my Sizzix die cutting machine I started crying. Then I heard Dave's voice echoing through my head, "Hello my friends . . ." and in spite of the tears, I couldn't help but laugh.
A couple of weeks later, still in the fog of grief and depression, I went on The Stamps of Life website and wrote a note telling Stephanie this story, and how her videos had brought some much needed rays of sunshine in some very dark days. In mid January my phone rang and it was Stephanie! I couldn't believe it and I smiled for days. She had read my email and wanted to call me to let me know that her and her family (who are also believers) were praying for me. I told her I would be at CKC in April and she asked me to introduce myself and that's where I took the selfie I shared here. I met one of my crafting "heroes" and it was a genuine highlight for me.
Fast forward to today. . . for the first time in a long time, I broke down and just sobbed. Not cried, but snotty nose, blotchy face sobbed. I was missing Dave and I just lost it. After I had calmed down I was sitting on my bed getting ready to play some mind-numbing Candy Crush when my phone rang. "Amy? This is Stephanie Barnard. . . "
I couldn't believe it!! "I was just driving and God brought you to my mind. I wanted to see how you were doing and let you know I was praying for you." WOW!! I told her how I had just been crying and we both agreed that God was amazing at how, just when I needed it the most, Stephanie was lead to pray for me.
Once again, my friend made me smile. I can't wait to see Dave in heaven and tell him, "See, she really is my friend!" God is so good! In the midst of heart wrenching pain he sent an unexpected blessing. I'm still smiling . . . .
(I've included pictures of some of the cards I've made using The Stamps of Life products so you can see just how awesome Stephanie's products are!)