I have a few favorite non-papercrafting blogs. Lisa Leonard's would be one of them. Lots of photos... well-chosen words... exudes love and happiness and warmth... good ideas, both her own and those she collects from others... just love her blog. And she loves sweets like cupcakes, too. She and I could be best friends. :)
She also has a handstamped jewelry and accessory company. So — can I rave for a few minutes about Lisa Leonard Designs? (I promise that there will be a paper craft-y spin coming...)
The story begins months ago when I began thinking about what to get the preschool staff for their yearly "birthday" gift. We call it a birthday gift... and the previous director was great about giving it to them individually on or at least close to their birthdays. Somehow, I couldn't make that happen. Seems to have something to do with that procrastination thing that I struggle with. So — now everyone's birthday is usually around April because it takes me that long to get my act together. :)
Anyway, we usually don't spend a lot of money... just a token item. One year we gave coffee mugs with the school logo on one side and their name on the other (so they'd stop using so many styrofoam cups... haha... that didn't really work...). We've given them sets of notecards with special artwork done by the students on the front. We've given them calendars with photos taken in their classrooms. Like I said, not very expensive stuff, but hopefully things that are somewhat meaningful.
This year we had a little extra money that we'd been squirreling away for awhile. And long about the beginning of May it came to me as I was drooling over items in Lisa's online store... necklaces... stamped with their first initial. The design on the Petite Family Crest necklace reminded me a bit of a shield. In our monthly prayer breakfasts this year we've walked through Ephesians 6:10-18 — The Armor of God. I could write a note to put with each necklace saying that it was a reminder to always carry their shield of faith to use for fending off the darts lobbed at them by the evil one. Maybe the idea would help to strengthen their faith. The extra money would be worth it.
But, time was running short. Way short. So I shot off an email to customer service which was promptly responded to by the delightful Katie who not only told me how it would be possible to get them in time, but also gave me a tip on how to save money (by signing up for their newsletter if I wasn't already getting it). To make a long story short, somehow my order got... hmmm... I'm not sure... delayed... forgotten... pushed aside... I don't know, but when I sent an email a couple weeks later to ask about it I immediately got a phone call, an apology, a refund on the expensive shipping I had paid for, and my order arrived a few days later. Just in the nick of time, actually. So — yes... if I loved Lisa Leonard Designs before, well... now I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them!
Ready for some pictures? When I opened the shipping box, this was on the top...
And, how about a pair of earrings and a gift card as an apology for the delay? (I kinda felt a little guilty about that... still do... it's not like it was my money... but I do think I know what I'm going to use it toward... and they do have a fan and a customer for life now! I'll have to get over my guilt...)
The 27 necklaces with 12 different first initials were attractively boxed...
and, I don't know if you can tell, but the initial was written in the lower right hand corner of the included tag — so sorting was quick. And, it would've been easy to distribute them just like this, but, now... that wouldn't be very Janelle-like, would it? :)
And they looked great in the staff mailboxes, too...
I think it was a pretty popular gift with the staff. They got them just a couple days before the end of the school year, and I think most of them wore their new necklace at least once.
In any case, I hope they haven't gotten their expectations too high. Because next year it'll probably be time to give the coffee mugs another try. :)
Thanks for stopping by today. I really love having you as my guests! :) See you again soon.