Group Spotlight: Sassy Stampers

Trudi Searles’ passion is in the cards.

Searles is president of GroupWorks’ own Sassy Stampers, an activity club based at Robson Ranch Texas, the master-planned community for mature adults located near Dallas.

“The main thing we do is card-making, so it’s paper-crafting, but it’s really geared toward making cards,” Searles says.

Every card-maker’s process is different, Searles says. The craft itself is idiosyncratic: There’s no central organization or national chartering group; some clubs focus on card-making; others on scrapbooking. “Within the world of crafts,” the New York Times reported in 2013, “stamping occupies its own niche.”

Robson Ranch’s roughly decade-old Sassy Stampers is no different. “We kind of like the idea of being sassy,” Searles says. “We don’t necessarily want to blend into the woodwork, and we’re out there a little bit, and if we think something we just might get in your face about it.”

Searles discovered stamping and card-making more than 25 years ago during a visit to Atlanta from her Texas home. Her niece invited to the equivalent of a Tupperware party. “I thought okaaaay,” Searles says.

But she stamped and inked, and, as promised, she left the event with a card — and a spark.

“I never believed I had an artistic bone in my body, but I really enjoyed that,” Searles says. “After, I bought a few things, but I didn’t really do anything until I moved to Robson Ranch.”

The Sassy Stampers brought out the stamper in Searles. She says the club helped her realize she was good at putting colors together, and she came to enjoy it as a social outlet, too.

Today, the club uses GroupWorks to keep stoking the fires of its more than 60 dues-paying members. Instructions, pictures and supply lists for the club’s group craft projects are cataloged on its GroupWorks page. “That’s very useful,” Searles says.

For Sassy Stampers members, the holiday season can be a prolonged affair.

“When we make a homemade card, it’s not probably something that happened in two to three hours,” Searles says. “Most of us that do our homemade Christmas cards for our friends and family are working on them six months out of the year.”

After planning her year-end cards in the summer, Searles says in the fall she moves onto cutting base cardstock, scoring ink stamps — and getting production ready to roll.

“I prefer to do things assembly-line. If I’m going to work on cards, everything is on my dining-room table,” she says, adding with a laugh, “which is fine because we don’t have to eat on the dining-room table.”