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Michelle Laycock - Michelle Laycock
Caledonia, WI
INK! I just can't get enough of the stuff... I go to work with inky fingers and I come home from work with inky fingers! I'm very honored to become a part of the awesome Dirty Dozen Design Team. I'm thrilled that I've been asked to join, although a bit nervous as well, since there are many great stamp artists on Splitcoaststampers.

I grew up with an artist's bug in me. One of my favorite toys as a child was a beginner artist pastel kit. I entered college with the intent to major in art. That didn't `sit' very well with my mother and father who I'm sure had visions of supporting their `starving artist'. So instead I ended up a history and English major. I also hold a Masters in Library and Information Science.

I'm happy to call Caledonia (Racine), Wisconsin my hometown. I work full time, as Online Content Editor/News Librarian/Archivist (i.e. jack of all trades) at a small Wisconsin daily newspaper. I've been here for 10 years. I'm the coordinator for the online daily edition. I act as librarian to a reporting staff of about 40 reporters. I coordinate digital segmentation of each edition and provide news database quality control. I'm also responsible for issuing copyright clearance for published photos and news stories. I usually get ink all over my fingers from handling the newspapers... it's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it! I still get a thrill when I see the day's work move from the mind of the reporter, to the printed paper at the end of the night.

As far as my art, I generally create just for its sake. I rarely enter anything into contests or send any cards in to publications. The first time I entered a project in the Stampin' Up! WOW Art File contest (January 2003) I happened to have "beginner's luck" and won. I think I've only entered 2 items since then. I'm just not into contests. I've been stamping since around 1998 and became a demonstrator 4 years ago. I'm a stamp art instructor at my local community center where I do monthly classes. I also do monthly classes at a local Coffee House/Art Store and I will be teaching classes at a public library this fall. I also do classes out of my home and I do workshops for hostesses. I teach "purpose driven" stamping. What exactly does this mean? I'll tell you with a few key descriptive words: creating art with respect, love, friendship, balance, renewal, trust and service as a main focus. To me, it is not important how "good of an artist" you are, the most important aspects of being a stamper is a sense of the all the qualities listed above collectively working to improve your life and achieve your goals. I think that is what Shelli Gardner means with the company's Statement of the Heart. For more about me, please read my rubber stamping diary at http://www.inkartist.blogspot.com (Not you, mom – just my stamper friends!)

My best friend and fully-supportive husband is Frank. We have 4 lovely feline members of the family: Sunshine Louise, Stormy Twilight, Jeeves Alexander, and Bertram Wilberforce Wooster. They help mom stamp.