Monday, December 7, 2015

Mary Beth's Monday Musings...December 2015 Edition

Last month I told the story of how StencilGirl started, the original six stencils that I designed and how we got our name. If you missed that tale, you can always click this previous Blog Post to catch up.
Today, I am giving you a little peek behind the scenes. 
Because here's the thing. 
We are a very small, family run company, manufacturing stencils here in the USA. I realize our website makes us look like a big company and many folks imagine we have hundreds of employees working for us.
But that is so.not.true. 
I started the company with my husband John in 2010. We brought our son-in-law, Frank on board a couple years later. We have a few other people who work with us, but the group is small, we haven't reached 2 digits in number. 
We work out of our house and own lasers. They are really simple to operate, but they are pricey little devils. When we have huge demand stencils we sub them out to an undisclosed location also in the USA, people I adore and trust to maintain the quality we demand.
We are that kind of company. We are close knit and do things the old fashioned way. 
We don't package all the stencils, the ones we sell directly to our customers are mailed unpackaged due to our efforts to be 'green.' We do package the stencils that are purchased by Retail operations worldwide.
As you know, we have Artists who design every single stencil. What you might not know is that we pay our artists a royalty for each and every stencil that is sold. I am so proud of this it makes me squeal with delight. 
I shot some footage of our operation and made a video for you to get the idea.

video

And now......announcing the release of Art Journaling Live 2. I was rocked beyond words to be selected to participate in this Live event which was recorded in June of this year. I feel like such a journal newbie compared to the other superstars. Wow oh wow, to hang out with Julie, Dina & Nathalie was beyond my wildest dreams. And now it has been preserved as a DVD value at $49.99.
I am thrilled to give away a copy of this DVD to one lucky winner! 
Leave me a comment below as to why this DVD would change your life - don't hold back! Your entry will be judged for creativity and authenticity. 
I need your email (of course), you know the drill, email at dot com. Don't forget that part. 
We will make our decision on December 12th at midnight CST and announce our winner.
Good luck!
And......should you find yourself wanting to purchase the DVD, you may find it here. 




55 comments:

  1. I am interested in this because as an artist myself I grow by learning from others. Getting a chance to look at the world through another artist's eyes makes my world larger. As an art educator myself- learning from others makes me a better teacher and artist. The mixed media community is such a supportive place and I am so glad there are things to help us all continue to learn. terrygarrett763(at)gmail(dot com)

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    1. Awesome, Terry :)
      Thanks for reading & entering.

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  2. Next year will be a time of transition for my family as we are moving to a new state. Art journaling certainly keeps me a little less stressed. It would be great to learn a bit more from some of my favorites!

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    1. Forgot to leave email! Consiesindet at gmail dot com

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    2. Me too, Consie, Art Journaling keeps me sane :)

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  3. Kudos to you
    , MaryBeth, John and Frank and your team, for all the hard work you do! I'm sure the other designers feel as grateful and happy as I do ... so glad to be with SGP.

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    1. We love that you are part of our family, Cecilia. xo

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  4. Opportunity knocks and I am opening the door. Should I be selected to receive the DVD I will be using it at work. As the activities coordinator, I am in the process of helping my participants, adults with disabilities, develop their own memory book/art journal. We received a grant from the Junior Services League to help fund the project supplies. We will have lots of great photos of our participants engaged in activities, but, more than a photo album, it is a journal illustrating feelings about activity and creative engagement. The project will last one year. One of the goals is to present the journal to our family caregivers for review at a special dinner meant to recognize the partnership between our family caregivers and the center in providing care and supervision for an adult with disabilities who is able to reside in the community not be made to live in an institution. Caregivers often work, or just need a break from caregiving, they worry about the safety and happiness of the person who is disabled. The objectives of the memory book/art journal are in part to provide solace for the caregiver. With permission from the participants and StencilGirl Products I will share the incorporation of the DVD and results of the project with the blog. Additionally, I am very proud to be a member of StencilClub, the awesome stencils are but one component of the bargain, my favorite part of this group is the mutual support and encouragement provided by other members and operators of StencilClub. Thank you for your consideration. mrsjetjr(at)yahoo(dot com)

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  5. This DVs would help establish and Mai rain a focus in a year with lots of transitions. I have not done much art journaling but find myself fascinated with it. It will also have me using the stenci girl stencils I already have. What a great opportunity. Candyce54atgmaildotcom

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  6. Wonderful, MaryBeth!! I'm very happy to hear your company is a cottage industry in the USA; I am very much in support of both those initiatives!

    As for how the DVD will change my life... My mother passed away year ago in September. She and I were extremely close and I, rather intensely over the past 4 to 5 years of her life, helped her to live in her own home. It was my honor and pleasure to care for her as I did and, if I had my wish, would be doing so still.

    As we all know, family dynamics can be extremely difficult. After my mom passed, some of my 5 siblings had shown their true colors - both positively and negatively.

    I've never called myself an "Artist", only a crafter, rubber stamper, quilter, etc. The art journals I have begun are to house the styles of work particular to an instructor or class I have taken. I do not have a general or daily art journal I use to get the feelings out that need to be expressed, or to try different techniques. I think there is still some fear/anxiety there.

    I am hoping working with this DVD will teach me to bury that fear in a very deep hole in the back yard while I work through some of the lingering feelings I have with my family and my mom's passing. I need to allow myself to become an "Artist" versus a crafter. That is what I hope to accomplish. It is a very tall order!

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    1. Such a thoughtful post, Jezebel, I appreciate you taking the time to share. I have had illness in my family over the past few years and this is when I really started to Art Journal in earnest. It has helped me immensely.

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  7. Kudos to you and your 'staff'! You have great product and wonderful service!

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  8. I love knowing that you are manufacturing the stencil line yourself! YAY YAY YAY for business in the USA. Props for no packaging as well. Businesses like yours are what will change our culture. Lastly, paying your artists royalties? Imagine a world where all contractors, vendors and distributors treated each other this way..! Your post helps restore my faith in commerce. Love, tj

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    1. TJ, thank you SO much for the kind comment. It is very important for me (as a person & a business owner) to treat people the way that I want to be treated.

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  9. I NEED this DVD because after my dad passed away from cancer last year, and I being his caregiver for 4 years, I have been working hard to push myself as an artist. Some days the grief and emptiness is overwhelming, other days I'm at peace. But I haven't been able to give myself permission to experiment with my art. I think this would be wonderful to win and would definetely be a huge benefit for the push and direction I need. adlopez77@gmail.com

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  10. I have just started journaling, and I am at a bit of a loss as to how to continue. Winning this DVD would really help me figure out my way.
    It is nice to know that your company is a small, family run operation, I love hearing about success stories like yours.
    Thank you, Jane.

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  11. Oops, forgot my email address, it's jperala (at) shaw (dot ca)
    Thanks, Jane

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  12. Cheers to family owned, small businesses! I know how hard you and and John work! Would love to watch and learn from the video!

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  13. I have just started out with art journaling and Stencil Girl's enthusiastically awaited monthly Club shippment. The stencils add to what I'm able to accomplish and challenge me to think beyond my comfort level. I think tthe DVD onn art journaling, with its exposureto so many practicing artists could take my hobby of jounaling into the next step of being my art. This is my hope and plan. ann_choate at yahoo.com

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  14. I totally loved the behind the scenes peeks thank you for that it was quite moving and amazing!! I would love to be selected for the DVD giveaway not only for use myself but I am starting a local monthly art journaling class in January that is going to be free other than a small donation to our Ophelia's Place that helps people with eating disorders. I have decided to start this class that will be for anyone who wants to learn art journaling but not just that ones to want to incorporate art into their lives as a form of healing for any past hurts or to help them deal with difficult situations. Art has been life changing to me and I want to share my gift with others. This DVD I feel would be life changing for those in my class and definitely inspire them. Thank you for this opportunity to win such an amazing prize!! : ) Sherry Canino Caninosartisticcafe@gmail.com

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  15. I love reading about your company> Congrats! I am sorry I cannot purchase more of your wonderful stencils. I use them for the mixed media canvases I sell as well as for cards, scrapbooks and other projects!

    mjmarmo@comcast.net

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  16. Thank you for sharing about hour company. It makes me live my stencils even more. I look forwars to receiving my stencils every month and can't wait to use them. Receiving the DVD would help me become a better artist by learning waus to create in my journal.

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  17. Thank you for sharing about hour company. It makes me live my stencils even more. I look forwars to receiving my stencils every month and can't wait to use them. Receiving the DVD would help me become a better artist by learning waus to create in my journal.

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  18. winning the DVD would be HUGEE! All artist I am familiar with in one place.. talk about a treasure!! DVD means I can watch it on the BIG screen, ball up in a corner with my journal and a few supplies from my traveling kit. I won't feel less of a crafter on my days I suffer with chronic pain I can watch without needing my crappy wifi, which always acts stinky.. or taking it with me on a long road trip, because I don't fly with my daughter.. :) How exciting! tmcblogz at gmail dot com

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  19. I just wanted to say "Kudos" to you and your family. You have done an outstanding job with StencilGirl....who knew?? Good for you on treating your stencil artists so well. I'm proud to purchase stencils from you:)

    mannwielermaggie(at)gmail(dot)com

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  20. Amazing opportunity! Thank you! I would love to have this video. I am a registered nurse who would much rather be a full time artist. But that's not possible right now. Art journaling helps me keep my sanity but my art time is quite limited. I am always looking for opportunities to learn new techniques and enjoy the imagination and creativity of others. I find it difficult to partake of workshops as life usually makes it hard for me to keep up with the class. Working at my own pace is my best bet. I love the artists in this video...love all your styles and creations. As I move toward retirement and the hope to spend more time on my art, this DVD would go a long way toward my goal to learn and play and create. Thanks for the opportunity to win.
    redrider55(at)gmail(dot)com

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  21. Loved that class! So excited that the videos have been released. So much I forgot.

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  24. Winning a copy of this video would bring me joy and opportunity. Recently we moved from Florida back to NY..due to a job offer for my husband. It has been really hard to adjust to being back in NY. The only joy i have found recently has been from watching videos inspiring me to get back into my creative mode. It helps me get through the many things like missing my mom, dealing with my medical issues. Every new technique i learn, brings me more into the light and away from that darkness. Hopefully soon, i can start working from home after my heart procedures. Thank you for this opportunity and thank you for being the type of business you are. Good luck to all. I just found this site recently through caroline duby's link. I look forward having fun shopping on your site. :) Happy holidays to all. - kthompsonwk149 (at) gmail (dot)com

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  25. Hello Mary Beth. Thanks for this opportunity to win something wonderful! A few years ago I took a few of Mary Ann Moss's classes on journal making and sketchbookery. awesome stuff there! I am officially addicted to mixed media journaling, making journals out of repurposed pages and my piles of scrapbook paper, etc. It is so freeing, putting down paint glue, paper, collage, to document my life or be in the moment to make art as I see fit. I am new to stenciling, however and have only recently purchased a bunch of your beeutiful and unique stencils. Your small business grown in the USA is fantastic and I tell all my arty friends about you guys. Thank you for doing great things and sharing it with us. It is a win win! Happy everything! Lori Schoen lorquil3@gmail.com (dot com)

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  26. I just love the type of site you are and that you stay true to you! If I would win the DVD I would use it to hone my skills and try to get my dream of living the creative life back on track by opening my online store. You see in 2010 I resigned from my 23 yr career in Early Childhood to live the creative life full time from home. With the blessings and support of my husband I started on this journey. And then it happened... mystery pains started in 2011 - severe pains - after 7 drs. And a kabillion tests in June 2012 I found out I had a bulging disc in my back and in July 2012 came the diagnosis of fibromyalgia. The next 2 years were horrible pain filled years as they tried to see what meditations worked, didn't work and what ones reacted horribly with others. I literally went from 2 meds to 10 meds because of this.most causing drowsiness. Every ounce of strength I had was spent in my studio trying to regain the dream I know I am to live. In 2014 came the diagnosis of degenerative back disease and rheumatoid arthritis and in 2015 came lymphedema due to narrow veins and vessels in my legs so fluid collects in my calves and feet. And through all this every time I can get to my studio - I do because I may be in pain and have a lot going on but this will not take away my God given talents or my creativity. I am determined to reach my goal and have my dream of living the creative life and your DVD will add greatly to that.Thank you for the chance. Kris Johnson stampcrafter at yahoo dot com. Happy Holidays to your family and the stencil girl family!

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  27. Mary Beth - anything taught by you will change my life. Thanks for the chance to win! Stephanie sltresso (at) hotmail dot com

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  28. I don't have a lot of variety in my journals and often feel stuck. Seeing how others work and being inspired by established artists would benefit me enormously...Bea. Bsavellano(at)gmail(dot com)

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  29. I have never been able to buy any workshop from your great list of talented artist. It would be wonderful to win and learn from all of you .I have some recovery to do from surgery on the 31st from breast cancer and what a fun way to pass the time and forget for a few moments by doing art You never know I might just become the next best artist after watching all of you ! Art is what got me through the chemo I did journals and had so much fun doing them and it really did help me process the journey and all I had to do to kick cancers butt ! Thanks for a chance to win ! Deborah (Deb.Hopkins at Frontier dot com )

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  30. wow! incredible and looks like so much fun!!!!! wish i could work for you!

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  31. I am like a sponge soaking in as much as I can relating to art. I am a stencil addict and am glued to your FB and blog just waiting to learn a new technique, see some fabulous creations or shop, of course. This video might even take me to the place and time when I can truly say (and mean it) "I AM an artist"! Thank you. suzschultz23(at)aol(dot)com suzschultz23@aol.com

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  32. Dina was recently in Australia and I took her class
    She loved a colour called penny which looked like brass
    I'd love to learn too from the other teachers
    Because I am an paper lover and art preacher!!
    Once you start learning you just can't stop
    until your pile of papers, gelli prints and journals reaches the top!!
    Thanks for the opportunity to win!
    orrell_kelli@hotmail.com

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  33. Here is my all.....I was one of those people that did not think I could do art. I am a late bloomer! I will be 58 in a few days. I started with stamps a few years ago. I love stamps but quickly became bored with the "normal cards". Then about a year ago I discovered the world of mixed media. I caught the mixed media fever very quickly. I started looking for mixed media on Pinterest which led me to You Tube, amazing artists and StencilGirls. While recovering from three surgeries in the last eight months which included a hip and total knee replacement, I have been educating myself on the world of mixed media, stocking up on supplies and dreaming about the projects I plan to create. Does anyone else out there dream about art? I now have a little tablet on my bedside table so I can jot down my ideas when I wake dreaming about art. I have been patiently (not so patiently according to my spouse) waiting to feel strong enough to organize "my room" and start creating. It has been three months since my total knee replacement. A little more about me; I work full time. I am married to a wonderful guy that bought me lots of StencilGirl stuff on Cyber Monday (early birthday present), mother to four, stepmother to two, grandmother to 15 and a Master Gardner. I have been busy during my recovery playing with my new stencils, doodling and making a special Christmas ornament for each of my grandchildren. I can be pretty intense ( I call it passion). I can be hard to follow in conversation because I can carry on three conversations at the same time, jumping from one thought to another without notice! �� I joined the StencilGirl Club last summer and love to follow all of the amazing artists on Facebook, You Tube, Pinterest and their blogs....I have meant through Facebook and blogs some amazing artists and truly wonderful people. I discovered through this "mixed media journey" that I have a favorite shape. I love circles. I am so impressed by the StencilGirl story and your small bisiness. I am the granddaughter, daughter and spouse of small business owners. I would love, love to have the DVD that you are giving away to continue my "mixed media journey" and increase my knowledge of art. And.... my favorite color is yellow!

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  35. This would be wonderful to win. I've been absent from producing art for many months and could use new inspiration. There have been a series of life events and changes that leave me with little energy. So I took advantage of the cyber Monday sale and ordered several stencils. They arrived lightning quick! I'm so impressed with your service. Now I need some extra inspiration to kick start my experiments with them. And it's my birthday this week. That should get me a few points closer to the prize!

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  36. OMGosh! I had no idea that you really did the stencils on your own! Thanks so much for sharing this glimpse into your company and the video with peeks into your set up! You and John must really be proud of your "baby" Great to have a few handpicked employees that can help bring all of the stencils to life as well! Really happy you shared this- Small business rocks!Small family business is the bomb!
    Wow! I am so happy to see you all together in one super dvd! And MaryBeth, true the other artists are awesome journalers, but girlfriend, you are NO slouch! heehee
    I truly would be so excited and pleased to win this and I know that it would absolutely change my life! I say this because, I still find it difficult to let go and just journal artfully! There is some tidbit holding me back somewhere that my muse refuses to let go of!So,having said this,I can imagine a fun filled,color packed dvd full of some of the most inspiring journalers I know would surely bring my artful journal journey Finally to my blank white pages! Phew- did you get all that? I feel better since I wrote it! ")
    Thanks for the chance and fingers are crossed!
    Jackie

    (kampysgirl)(@)(gmail)(dot)(com)

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    1. Thanks, Jackie, so lovely to hear from you. It thrilled me to see you on the Blog!!

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  37. Wow, winning this DVD would totally change my life by allowing me to explore even more new & cool techniques in my artsy realm and the best part would be having them all in one spot so I don't have to search all over the world wide web for inspiration. Well, I would probably do that anyway since there's still so much more out there but this DVD would surely help to save me a little time, too. Thanks for the chance to win, Mary Beth!! iluv2cre84u (at) gmail (dot com)

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  38. I loved your continuation of the story of your StencilGirl operation, and the video. You Rock, Mary Beth! And that includes your husband John (so patient & helpful) your son in law, all your cats & other helpers. I loved learning more of your back story.

    As far as the DVD, I would be so excited to learn from all of the outstanding artists! What a wonderful creative jolt that would add to my life - zooom! Thank you for the opportunity. :)
    creativelenna [at] gmail.com

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  39. Thanks for the insight into your business. I thought it was a big company, given international customers, like me. I feel very much in the dark re art journals, so dvd would provide much needed info from great artists.... provided of course its acceptable to enter from across the pond.
    Bevtextart (at) btinternet (dot com)

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  40. I need this DVD because I love all the artist and love to play in my journal. bethinil2003(at)yahoo (dotcom) BTW, I loved watching your video and seeing that you are a small company.

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  41. I would love to win this. What a talented bunch of artists!!! Winter is coming so it is time to stay in and play/create!!!! Basketbuddies (at) gmail (dot com)

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  42. Mary Beth, What wonderful news about Art Journaling 2. I learned a lot from the 1st one and it broke barriers that I didn't realize I had put up. (That nasty inner critic had dug in.) I have learned many different things from your tutorials and the idea of a whole class with you is exciting. I would love to win the DVD. weaverclarke (at) gmail (dot com)

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  43. Hi Mary Beth, I would also like to have the opportunity to win this. I am training to be an Art Therapist and know this will help me with my future dreams.
    Good luck to every else who has entered :)
    Little-Miss-Lilly@hotmail.com.au

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  44. Would Love, Love, Love to be selected to receive the Art Journaling Live 2 DVD. As I am predominately identified as "Olivia's Mom", I don't have a lot of opportunities to get out in the art world and rub brushes with all those fabulous creatives. So instead, at 5 a.m., while my daughter is sleeping, I drink my coffee and watch artist videos and read blogs. I take notes on techniques and copy inspirational quotes while dreaming of the next stencil I will order as I ponder my next art journal masterpiece. This past year has been a conscious journey of acceptance and freedom. I find it nearly impossible to call myself an artist, not a real one anyways, I am a work in progress. Being chosen for the DVD would be an invitation to come play with the "real art girls". WOW! ldobry6 at gmail.com

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  45. That is so neat. Wonderful to hear how you work!! It's lovely company. Well done.

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If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

marybeth (at) stencilgirltalk (dot com)

Thank You!