First of all, I couldn't decide which title to use for this post. I have so much to write about today, mostly focusing on two different topics, and I want to address them both in one post, so you are getting double your pleasure & double your fun information! HA!
CHANGE IS GOOD...
Ummm...notice anything different? I'll come back to this in a minute. ;)
DREAMS COME TRUE...
I did it. Four years in the making, and I finally did it! I FINALLY got to go to a stamp show and meet the woman whose designs and creativity profoundly changed my life four whole years ago. I met THE amazingly wonderful NAMI NAKAMURA! I'm sure those of you who read my blog know exactly who that is, but if not...get it? NAMI...as in DENAMI...as in DENAMI DESIGN! AHHHHHHHHH! This was a BIG DEAL for me. This was HUGE! And, I must say, she was more gracious, kind, and brilliant than I ever could have imagined. WOW. I am even more starstruck after meeting than I was before yesterday! She is PHENOMENAL! Oh, and seriously, she is STUNNINGLY GORGEOUS! She just glows with vibrant energy and shines with inner beauty. Don't believe me? Check out the photos below!
Now, some of you may know my background story, but in case you don't, I'm gonna open up and share this again. Back in 2009, I had to make the excruciating decision to leave New York City and return to the Midwest (Indiana, specifically). Leaving NYC was something I didn't think I'd EVER do, but circumstances made it necessary. I needed a break. I needed to be closer to family. However, I ended up in Nashville, IN. "Nashville...INDIANA?" you ask? Yes, you read that correctly. Nashville is a teeny, tiny little tourist town in southern central Indiana. We used to vacation there when I was a kid, and that's where I ended up. You can imagine, though, how hard it was to go from Manhattan (the city that never sleeps) to Nashville (the town with 3 stoplights, where shops are all closed by 5pm and restaurants by 7pm). It was a HUGE culture shock. I felt lost. I felt overwhelmed. I was floundering a bit. My mom took me a local rubber stamp and papercrafting store to help inspire me, and it was at Papertrix that I found DeNami Design stamps. I saw sample cards from one of Wendy Elliot's Christmas card classes for DeNami, and I fell in love. They were the most beautiful, charming, elegant, and sweet cards I'd ever seen. I knew that I wanted to make cards like that. Now, don't get me wrong...I love other stamps, too, but there is something about DeNami's stamps that tug at my heartstrings and inspire me like CRAZY. Now, to be honest, that year, I couldn't afford to take the classes. *sniffles* But, my love of those stamps just grew from there. I discovered their website and blog. The rest is pretty much history (and you can view it in my blog history! Ha!). I was so inspired that I started entering the online challenges...and starting participating in blog hops...and I even started designing sample cards featuring DeNami's stamps as a member of Papertrix's Design Team. When helping out in Papertrix, I was constantly showing the DeNami stamps to customers, and I loved to watch them fall in love just like I did. It was wonderful...simply wonderful. So, over the past four years, my love for this company has grown and deepened, and the Nakamura family has inspired in so many ways (do I even need to mention how insanely talented, wonderful, kind, and beautiful -inside and out- Nami's daughter Paulina is? She's awesome!) This blog was created originally for the sole purpose of entering DeNami blog challenges, and I have had so much for over the past few years posting here! Not long after I started my blog, Wendy Harrell created her blog, Confessions of a DeNami Addict. That was a moment where I thought, "Why didn't I think of THAT?" and also, "Oh, she and I are going to be friends." LOL! I realized that I was not the only stamper out there in the universe who was completely obsessed with DeNami Design! There are more of us! YAY! I just adore Wendy, and now Tina Milbourn has taken their blog to a whole new level of FABULOUS! They are kindred spirits to me in this blog land, and I'm so grateful to know them, even if we haven't met in person (yet...I'm hopeful!) Anyway...let's get back to this weekend, shall we?
Last year, I relocated again, ending up in Michigan (long story involving theatre, friends, loss, love, and Trader Joe's). I am happily living in Wixom which just happens to be right next to Novi, where a FANTASTIC stamp show is held each year, and TADAA! I was able to attend this year! Meeting Nami was surreal. She is the sweetest woman, and her demonstrations boggled my mind! Here's a picture of her showing off some awesome pearl pen and glitter techniques:
See? I told you she is gorgeous!
Side note: If you EVER get a chance to attend a stamp show and see the DeNami Design booth, DO IT! Soooooo much inspiration! LOVE LOVE LOVE!
Now, remember when I asked you if you noticed anything different? Well, here's where we get to THAT part of the story! I was telling Nami about how much I love DeNami Design and how inspired I am, and I realized how this blog really IS all about my love of their stamps. I am so in awe of Tina and Wendy's blog, and I love how they so proudly show their love of DeNami. I can't ever compete with their amazingness (I'm making up that word because it fits. Just deal with that. HA!), but I realized that I also wanted to really represent WHY this blog exists. Yes, I am still a performer, and if exciting performing things happen, I'll try to remember to blog about them. Plus, I have been cooking a lot recently, and a lot of people have been telling me to blog about that, too, so you might see some recipes and ideas pop up. BUT...the overwhelming reason I have this blog and use it on a semi-regular basis (my work schedule hasn't allowed as much crafty time as I wish recently) is because of my overwhelming love and devotion to DeNami Design's stamps. So, without further ado, I am making my debut as...
THE DENAMI DIVA!
Yup, that's me posing with Nami!
I am officially dedicating the heart of this blog to the stamp company that has inspired 99% of my creations for the past 4 years.
Thank you, Nami, for the inspiration! Thank you, Paulina, for your encouragement and leadership in the blog world. Thank you, Tina & Wendy, for paving the way for awesome fan blogs! Thank you, Dana, for
making me feel so inadequate pushing me to be better and inspiring me with your creations. Thank you to all the DeNami Design DT members, past and present, who have been supportive and blown my mind with all your gorgeous creations. Thank you to my friends and family (especially my mother) who have loved me and supported my creative endeavors. Thank you to each and every one of you who read my blog and leave comments and feedback. It means more than you could possibly know.
I am so lucky.
Life is good.
Amy, The DeNami Diva
Disclaimer: This is simply a fan blog. I am not affiliated with DeNami Design. I just want to share my love of their products.
UPDATE: I can't believe I forgot to show a picture of my haul from the show! I would have bought every DeNami stamp that I don't already own, but finances are tight right now. However, I budgeted a bit for this show and couldn't resist the amazing deal on the cardstock, so TADAA!!!