Wednesday, February 01, 2006

RAKs Repaid

The other day I posted about Random Acts of Kindness, and how the littlest thing can make a person's day. Well, I've had a couple RAKs come full-circle today.

1. A friend overseas emailed to say she had a message from the psot office that a package I sent surface a few weeks ago had arrived. She didn't know I had sent it, so it was a pleasant surprise arriving out of the blue like that. Imagining the smile on her face puts one on mine.

2. I mentioned how I had recently made some 75 cards for troops overseas to send back home to loved ones. This morning an email landed in my inbox from Sue, who was sending on an email she received:

D___ is both a colleague and friend or mine and showed me the beautiful cards that you sent her. We, as well as everyone who has looked at them, were very moved by the work that you and your friends put into them. They are absolutely gorgeous and priceless at the same time -- we have to ensure that the person/people we are sending them to are actually worthy of them!!! We have received, and are very appreciative of, the many packages that the American public has sent us, but for some reason, perhaps because of the intricate work required for each card, were practically speechless when we opened your package.

Again,thanks so much for sending us your "care" package.

How could something like that not make you happy -- or want to rush home and crank out another 50 or more cards?? And yes, 50 would be do-able in one day, if one had nothing else on the agenda and was keeping them "simple." By simple I mean not a lot of coloring in of images, no time-consuming styles or techniques, etc. The dozen I did last night were pretty simple, but with several birthdays approaching, I ended up with only three leftover for my troop supply. Will have to see how many I can whip out over the next month as Sue is requesting general birthday, thinking of you, St Pat's, Easter, and spring by month's end. It's a challenge I know I can meet!

3. I've been "paying it forward" the last few days in the
SCS gallery by commenting on as many cards uploaded as possible. That may not seem like much to some, but...the SCS gallery is a wonderful resource where Stampin' Up addicts such as myself can share ideas and challenge each other's creativity. The site offers weekly tutorials for those who like to try new techniques, or need a refresher. I personally love the weekly challenges -- especially the color challenge (Tuesday), sketch challenge (Wednesday) and limited supply challenge (Friday). They're good ways to challenge your own creativity. Last nights cards fit this week's color challenge and last week's sketch and LS challenges. I've already printed off this week's sketch, and also have ideas for the week's technique challenge. I don't usually do the tech ones as I tend not to have the supplies and shy away from anything messy or too time consuming. This week's TC however, is color blocking and I love blocking. It can be a little tricky getting your blocks just right, but I love how the cards look.

I do have one major irritation with some of my fellow stampers on SCS, and that is in regard to gallery comments. I know we all have our favorite stampers...people who are really good at creating stunning creations. People who have been at this a lot longer than even I have...or who have been able to put more time and effort into trying new techniques. What irritates me, though, especially in the challenge galleries, is when you see one card that has 1299 views and 35 comments and the cards on either side of it have only 218 views/5 comments and 351 views and 2 comments. Or less. Yes, I have seen a card with maybe 20 views next to one with thousands.

I know we all ooh and ahh over those that are truly gorgeous, but we shouldn't ignore the ones that maybe aren't as stunning, or aren't by the top stampers at the site. I know what it's like not to get a single comment on a card. I uploaded several cards for challenges last week, four of which have 50 or fewer views and no comments. I uploaded another six last night. One has 99 views and 7 comments, another 86 views and 6 comments. Which is great -- but then there are three others that have had no comments at all. 40+ views and no one had anything to say about them?

This is not to say I expect people to comment on everything I post, I am merely using my
personal gallery as an example. My point is that, when people only comment or look at cards by the best stampers and ignore everyone else, it is intimidating and discouraging to new stampers and newcomers to the site. When people see this they are then afraid to post their own work, lest it be rejected or ignored. And that's not what SCS is about.

So if any of my fellow SCS-ers are reading this, start paying it forward! Look for the cards that have few page views or comments and let them know what you like about their card, or what might make it better. If you participat ein one of the challenges, make sure you go back and look for new uploads to the challenge and let the creators know what you think of them. Don't be afraid to make suggestions for improvements. Is it too busy, need a little something? I know there are tons of times I look at one of my own cards and think, "this needs something." Often I can figure out what it's missing -- maybe an embellishment in this corner, or a bit more of that color to ballance it out -- but sometimes you can't. Sometimes people are afraid of coming right out and saying, "what does this card need?" and if you haven't been stamping long it can be frustrating and difficult to figure out that perfect touch. Heck, it can be hard sometimes for those who have been at it a while.

So, if anyone from SCS has found their way over here, go to the gallery, look for cards that have no or few comments and pay it forward. Your random act of kindness will make someone feel good, which in turn will make you feel good.


Maggie Nash said...

Phew...long post Heather!

That is so cool to hear that about the cards you sent!

And you are a wonderful generous person...!

Heather said...

Hehe...guess I was feeling a bit verbose.

Thank you - I do try. Today the new phone books were delivered. The guy rang our bell so he could leave the directories in the lobby neath the mail boxes. When I went down to get ours I grabbed some for the other apartments at this end of the building. Man are those things heavy!