Leigh O'Brien - leigh obrien
Crystal Lake, IL
Psssst....Splitcoasters...come closer to your screen....I have a secret. I have infiltrated the Dirty Dozen Design Team. HA! I'm not sure how I got in but here I am!

I've always kinda considered myself a "dirty" girl. I was a tomboy from the get-go. My parents would frequently find me clinging to the top of a tree behind our house as they pulled up to the curb. My best friends were guys way back then. My favorite shoes were desert boots and when my mom bought me my first bra I immediately cut off that little pink bow - who's idea was that!?! Well, I am a bit more "frilly" now but I'm still a "dirty" girl at heart! So maybe I DO belong!!

Well, I've come a long way from my dirty little town of Upper Marlboro, Maryland! I am now in Chicagoland. I have been married to my wonderful husband, Bill, for 10 years and his job brought us out here to the heartland. There are many days when I ask myself, "How did I get to the Midwest?"? We do love it here though - and despite what they say - you can't beat the weather! I mean the summer weather - it's the best! My dream would be to live near the ocean though. (Hence the photo – the one that I had to take of myself when we were on vacation in April. If I didn't take a picture of myself all I'd have is thousands of pictures of my son!) If I could live by the ocean with my stamp room overlooking the water I'd be in heaven. Bill and I have an amazing "gift from God" in our 4 year old son, Kyle. He keeps me busy, that's for sure. And we just got ourselves a little kitty – 11 weeks old now, named Tom.

As far as my stamping history goes, I think I've been stamping for about nine years…at least one of the cards that I made (and that my sister kept) was dated 1997 so that's what I'm going with. I've always been a crafty girl, something I got from both of my parents. My mom does many different crafts my dad has worked with electronics, model planes and computers my whole life. I've done a little bit of everything but nothing in great depth until stamping. I just love it!

Anyone who really knows me will tell you though that I am a SUPPLY-A-HOLIC! I am a much better purchaser than user of my supplies. And, it's not that I don't know what to do with all of my stuff. It's that it's all TOO NICE to actually use. If I use it it'll be gone! TRAGEDY! I love my stamps, all of my patterned papers, fibers and ribbons (oh my!), inks, markers, paper, and on and on. When I find something I like I buy it in EVERY color too (you might need it later and what if you don't have it then, right – anybody out there with me on this??)

So, I joined Stampin' Up! in the fall of 2002. We had just moved to Chicago, we were far from anyone that we knew and I was a SAHM with a little kid. I thought it would be a great way to, first of all, get a discount, and, secondly, to meet people. I signed up after a quick demo workshop and without ever even buying any Stampin' Up! products from the woman that became my upline. I am definitely a "hobby" demo! I have not made one red cent from this stuff. BUT, what I have gained is some amazing friends – both online and here in my area. I have a handful of great customers that help me keep things going and we shop, shop, shop for new stamping stuff all the time.

I am a nighttime stamper since that's when my DH has time to play with Kyle and I can escape to the craft room. I think of myself as a "layman's" stamper. I do things pretty straight forward, clean lines, symmetrical most of the time. I am thrilled to have been asked to be a part of this amazing team of very talented stampers. I continue to learn from and delight in the artwork that is created by all members of this site! I am grateful for this excellent opportunity to share my artwork with all of you!!!

Woo hoo!! I'm hangin' out with the COOL GIRLS!!! Can ya believe it?! I'll find out everything I can and report back....please dispose of this message as it will self-destruct – or at least pop open like an explosion card!