Charlene Merrick - LilLuvsStampin
Eaton Rapids, MI
Astonishment: (noun) overpowering wonder or surprise; amazement.

Astonishment perfectly describes my reaction when Lydia asked me to join the Dirty Dozen. My jaw literally dropped, and I stupidly asked, “What?” She giggled in that cute way of hers and said it was true! Forgive me, dear Lydia, for screaming in your ear when I ran out of my room down the hallway, yelling to my husband that it was you asking me to be dirty!!

My story is similar to many others who have deliriously plunged into our love for card designing. It began with an invitation to a friend’s Stampin’ Up party several years ago. I went to the party without the slightest clue of what was in store for me and a promise to my husband that I wasn’t going to buy anything. Ha! Famous last words. It was love at first sight!! The fish hook was set and continues to be secure.

I live in Michigan with my husband, who is my number one fan and source of encouragement. I was fortunate to join him in retirement bliss when I took an early retirement as a civil servant in December of 2010. I absolutely love my time being MY time to do whatever floats my boat on any given day and, as you can imagine, I devote as much time as I can to my card designs. I have three adult stepsons and five grandchildren. The two oldest sons (with all the grandchildren) live quite a distance from us, so you can imagine that we don’t get to see them often.

I discovered Splitcoaststampers (SCS) via a stamping friend in late 2004. I timidly lurked and admired all the talent being displayed. Ultimately, I took the plunge into the card gallery waters in 2005 when I became a Fan Club member and started my own gallery. I have learned and grown so much in my stamping due to the inspiration provided by other stamping artists who have generously shared their talent on SCS.

I’ve had people ask me over the years how I chose my user ID of LilLuvsStampin. My clever husband is my go-to person whenever I need help, and I asked him for his ideas for my SCS user ID. Several years ago, he and I dressed up for a costume party in 1940’s style with rented period clothing from our local theatre. I loved the black dress I wore with long black gloves, seamed stockings, and veiled hat. We attended the party as Jake and Lil where I took my Lil persona seriously, calling everyone “dahling.” It’s a really fond memory of ours, so he suggested I use Lil in my user ID, tacking on LuvsStampin!

I am an eclectic stamper, ranging in style from clean and simple to anything more elaborate, and I LOVE trying different techniques! My favorite cards to make are Christmas and florals.

They keep telling me that these six months are going to go by so fast. I hope you find inspiration from my projects!