Jul 20, 2017

Let's Talk about Thailand

Oh my word. I had such an amazing time in Thailand for the Stampin' Up incentive trip last week! It was most definitely a trip of a lifetime. I am completely messed up schedule-wise still, though. It is 5AM and I have been up for nearly 3 hours already! Those of you that know me, know that I am NOT an early morning girl, but perhaps this trip is going to change me! I even stayed up later than I've managed to do since I got home (a whopping 9PM), but yet, I still woke up five hours later wide awake and ready to get my day started.

Oh well, at least I'm being productive, right? I've written two press releases, uploaded all my photos for printing and updated my to-do list all before 5AM!

Anway, I won't bore you with all the details of my trips (want to sit down and view my 5,000 slides anyone? lol), but I did want to write a little bit about the trip.

First, I just want to say thank YOU. If it weren't for you and my fabulous Shore Stampers team I would not have had this amazing experience. I probably don't say this enough, but thank you so, so much for all your support of my little business. And I don't just say that because I've earned a trip because of it (although that is a really great perk!), I honestly am so very grateful for the impact that my customers and stamping family of Shore Stampers have had on me. I said it before, but this company, it's products and the people it has connected me to has been a life-changer.

Enough of my blubbering... let's talk about the trip! 

The hands-down favorite of the trip was my excursion to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary (I highly recommend you follow them on Facebook -- so fun to see the elephant adventures). It was so amazing to be walking with these creatures and witnessing them "just being elephants." There are currently four elephants at the sanctuary, all of which were rescued from either the tourism industry or the logging industry. Pioneering ethical elephant tourism, the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary offers a retirement home for sick, injured, and old elephants who have worked an exhausting life. 

This is Madee on the left and Kannika on the right (I think!). Kannika is the youngest elephant at the sanctuary. She is in her mid-30s. Our guide, Nong, told us that they hope that she will eventually be able to have a baby, but they need to build more elephant shelters to house male elephants.

In the photo above, the two of them were playing in a mud puddle. They got themselves good and covered in mud (which they actually often do as sunblock), but this day immediately after playing in the mud (and they were truly playing, stomping their feet and spraying mud everywhere -- in fact I got sprayed with mud at one point!) they went for a swim in the lagoon.

I love this photo right after Kannika (I think!) got in... look at the water around her... it's filthy!

Probably the best part of the day was shortly after this photo was taken. Kannika decided to go up on the hill and knock down some bamboo trees (they eat them because it's good for their digestion). Well, she was apparently up there too long, because Madee started making a raucous until she came back down. Kannika quickly came "running" down the hill and met her in the water to trumpets and happy squeaks. You can actually see the whole thing in the video I took below. It seriously gave me goosebumps. So, so sweet.

Be sure to have your sound up when you watch. The first noise is strange! I didn't know what it was at first when I was at the sanctuary, but our lovely guide Nong told us it was Madee telling Kannika to come back. I love that when Kannika comes down she has bamboo leaves on her face (you can see it when I zoom in) and the person talking is our guide. She was so cute! 

(Note: The downloaded video is a little blurry... you can view a better version of it on my Facebook page HERE)


And here is a picture of me with the adorable Nong (with all four elephants in the background):

Well, I had planned to talk about other things besides the elephant sanctuary today, but that took me a while! So I won't bore you with more now. Maybe I'll add some more posts about Thailand in the coming days/weeks.

Thanks so much for reading through my blabbering... and thanks again for all your support. It truly means the world to me!

Until next time...

Happy Stampin'!


Jul 4, 2017

Teach Me Tuesday: 3D Dynamic Textured Embossing Folders

Happy Fourth of July, friends! I hope you're spending the day doing something relaxing... beach? cookout? crafting?  We've been blessed with beautiful weather here on the Cape for the holiday. I did a little of the beach yesterday, a cookout tonight and some crafting today. So all in all, a great holiday.

Although I must admit as much as I enjoyed getting a base tan for my vacation at the beach with my bestie, yesterday wasn't the best of days. I got bit by a dog on my walk yesterday morning -- no worries, he only caught my pants (he ripped a whole in them, though!). Thankfully, they were just my workout pants. And then last night I scraped the decorative wall in my sister's driveway with my new car. I'm so bummed. Good news is that it shouldn't cost too much to fix. Just an added thing "to do."

I'm a bit ridiculously sad about it, though. For those of you that know me, you know I get pretty attached to my cars. My last one I had for 212,000 miles. I literally cried when I traded her in last year. Me and Rosy were partners in crime (not really -- there were no crimes!) for 10 years! My new little car and I are relatively new, but I feel so sad that I hurt her (yes, I know, I'm nuts). But no worries, it's just a car. I'll get her fixed up good as new. The best part is that no one was hurt. I'm mostly just mad at myself as it was totally preventable. I was just being dumb.

Anyway, I do have some craftiness to share with you today. This card is actually the "thank you" card my Stamp of the Month attendees will get this week.

I'm hosting one more class before my amazing vacation to Thailand courtesy of Stampin' Up (I still can't believe this is happening)! Stamp of the Month class features one stamp set (this month it's the adorable Crafting Forever set) and we make four "stepped up" cards -- this month we're focusing on coloring with blender pens.

Each month I also make a fifth design to give everyone as a thank you for attending class (or purchasing the "to go" kit). That's the card I'm sharing today. Guests also get a hand-stamped thank you gift from me, too. I like to spoil my stampers at this class.

My Teach Me Tuesday video this week features this card. So you can watch that HERE and see how I made this card using the 3D Dynamic Textured Embossing Folders from Stampin' Up.

Would you like to get the kits "to go?" All you need to do is order the Crafting Forever stamp set and the two inks we use (Lemon Lime Twist and Berry Burst) in my online store using this month's hostess code: TTV2TRT2. Then shoot me an email at jen pitta (at) comcast (dot) net and let me know you'd like one of the kits and I'll pop one in the mail to you. Be quick, though, as I only prepped 10 kits this month.

Okay... that's all for today. I have a ton of stuff to do to get ready for my trip. I hope you enjoy your Fourth of July! A special shout out to all the military personnel (past and present!) that have worked so hard and sacrificed so much so that I can be free. Each and every one of you are my hero. Thank you!


Jun 30, 2017

Reflecting on 11 Years with Stampin' Up!

It's so hard to believe this, but I've been a Stampin' Up demonstrator for 11 years! I could not have imagined how much my life would have been impacted over a decade ago when I first filled out the paperwork.

I was reading the back story of the newest Million Dollar Achiever in our company (they've sold a million dollars worth of product since they first started as a demonstrator) and it made me want to go back and re-read some of the other achiever's stories. It's amazing how many different reasons there are for joining, and all the different ways each of these demonstrators have been successful. But what stood out in almost every story I read (there have been 18 demonstrators worldwide that have reached this milestone) is that each person identified the relationships they had formed as one of the most treasured parts of their journey.

I can totally relate to that. I have over 650 friends on Facebook. I don't say that to brag. I'm just illustrating a point. Without actually going in there to count, I would be willing to bet that well over half of those people are beautiful souls I met over stamping. What is the most amazing to me is that even though I may only see some of these people once or twice a year, we have a true friendship thanks to our shared love of stamping and crafting. And they've become an extended family that has helped me through some of the toughest days of my life, including the loss of my Mom five years ago. 

I didn't share a lot of the story about my Mom being ill when it happened. I was too busy trying to get her better and spending as much time with her as I could. But once she passed, I felt I needed to share the news with my "tribe" just so they would know why I was "off," or why I might be MIA for a bit. 

Just two weeks after my Mom passed I realized I was just under $2,000 away from earning my very first incentive trip with Stampin' Up. It was a smaller getaway trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina. I didn't have the energy in me to throw together an event or class. So I put out a little email saying that I was close, and asking if anyone needed to order any "staple" crafting items so that I could reach this goal. I honestly, didn't think I would do it. I just threw it out there as a last ditch effort. At that time in my career, I was happy if I made $1,000 in sales in a month never mind almost double that in just 2 weeks.

But, my friends, this is where I first saw the power of the relationships I had been forming over the previous six years. Seriously, crafters are some of the most thoughtful and generous people I know (and if you're reading this, you probably are too!). Well, I had customers order $100 and $200 worth of product just to help me get there. I even had members of my team place orders with ME (when they could have ordered through themselves with a discount!). Thanks to the generosity of those amazing customers and Shore Stampers, I earned that trip. I can't tell you how grateful I was to have that getaway that year. It had been such a difficult year (my Mom got sick in February and died in June) that I needed the rest and solace. 

I threw a little Hilton Head appreciation party that year to thank all my valued customers and team members, but it honestly didn't seem like enough. It made such a huge, huge impact on me.  It made me more committed than ever to serve my customers and my team to the best of my ability. And I've never looked back.

It was then that I discovered this company is so much more than ink and stamps. I've been impacted not only by the friendships with my customers and team members, but also with other demonstrators across the globe, and the amazing team of people at the Stampin' Up home office. These folks genuinely care about their demonstrators (I have stories, but that will have to be another day).

If you love to paper craft and love Stampin' Up product as much as I do, you may want to consider purchasing the starter kit to see what type of impact this company can have in your life. I started just to get a discount on my wedding invitation supplies and now run this as my full-time job. It can be a lot of work, but what other job requires you to make pretty things and then help others make it, too (while making money at the same time)? And we impact not only the people we teach, but also the people that receive our beautiful creations (have you ever received a thank you email or text for your thank you card? I do. All. the. time.). We all need a creative escape from life sometimes. And it'is so amazing to be able to help other people have that escape -- even if it's only for a few hours in class.

If you want to help people unleash their creativity (and earn some money and a discount!) you may want to consider joining us. In July (that's tomorrow!), this amazing opportunity is even better than ever. You can purchase the starter kit for just $99 plus tax (free shipping!), and select $125 worth of product of YOUR choice (did I tell you we have a brand new catalog)? PLUS, Stampin' Up is adding on a special Essentials Gift Pack (a $72 value!) for FREE.  That's $197 worth of product for just $99 plus tax! Here are the items included in your Essentials Gift Pack

  • (2) Size "D" clear stamping blocks (one for you and one for a friend!)
  • A pad of Grid Sheet table sheets (to protect your table surface)
  • Paper Snips Scissors (the best scissors around!)
  • Snail Adhesive
  • A bone folder (to get a nice, crisp crease on your cards)
  • And a brand new holiday stamp set called Carols of Christmas (you can see it below)

There are so many other perks and advantages to being a part of this amazing company, but I've already babbled on enough here. I hope you can tell that this is 100% authentic. I love this company emphatically.  Please feel free to email me if you have questions or need more information (hit the "contact me" bar in the sidebar of this blog post). 

And if you are like me and think this is a great opportunity (and there really is no obligation), you can click HERE to sign-up (just make sure you wait until July 1!). I'm 100% positive you won't regret it.


May 23, 2017

Teach Me Tuesday: Baby Wipe Stamp Pad

Do you ever feel like you're on a hamster wheel and can't get off? That's how I've been feeling lately! Working for yourself is exhausting ... wink, wink (well, and I've taken on a few other projects recently so that's added to the work load.)

Anyway, one of my favorite things to do to stop the crazy wheel from spinning in my head is to create something. Granted, when I first start the wheel (of unending thoughts) will keep distracting me, but eventually I get so involved with what I'm creating that all that other "stuff" stops, and that makes that stupid, squeaky wheel stop, too -- for at least a moment.

Creativity truly does take up most of your brain space when you're actively in create mode -- so it is a great solution when you're feeling overwhelmed with life. And I've got the perfect thing for you to try to test out this theory!

It's Tuesday, so as you know, that means it's time for another Teach Me Tuesday episode. Today, I'm showing you the Baby Wipe Stamp pad technique. This is a great way to get multiple colors on a stamped image without having to hand color them with your markers.

Here's some samples of today's technique:

It creates this really cool "merged" color effect. Check out the video below and then let me know what you think! While you're over on YouTube, be sure to subscribe to my channel

And here's a sample of the finished card using this technique. It uses the Friendly Wishes stamp set, which sadly is retiring at the end of this month. As of yesterday (May 22), all stamp sets are now on a "while supplies last" basis. So if you see anything you like, make sure you get it ASAP!

Thanks so much for stopping by today. If you'd like to do a little shopping (and check out what will be retiring from the Stampin' Up catalog, visit my online store HERE.)

Until next time...

Keep Stampin' (it keeps the hamster wheel quiet)!

May 9, 2017

Teach Me Tuesday: Scrapbooking with Stamps

I have a confession today. I hoard stamp sets. Like lots of them. And there's nothing wrong with that (and I'm sure many of you likely do the same thing!). So today I wanted to share with you a fun way to get lots of mileage out of your stamp sets -- particularly if you are a scrapbooker!

Today's post actually goes along with my Teach Me Tuesday video from today. So maybe you should check that out first. Go ahead... go watch now. I'll wait here.

Did that give you some ideas? I hope so. Scrapbooking with stamps has so many benefits... you always have the right color embellishment, you can make as many of a certain element as you need and you can use it over and over again and get different looks each time!

So I wanted to share the finished results with you here since the page wasn't quite finished in my video.

Here is the full 2-page spread:

Here is the finished two-page spread. Now that it is all together, I think it might have been better if I did the chevron pattern on the right-hand side of the second page. Oh well. Done is better than perfect, right? Also, you'll notice I added a little journaling block to the left-hand page and I added the chevron pattern to that, too. Love the coordination! You can see a close-up of the journaling box below:

And here is the close-up of the embellishment I created in the video... except I did end up adding in a red scallop circle layer to add a bit more contrast. I also added some bling, because every page is more complete with a little bling (wink, wink)!

I hope you have been inspired to pull out those stamp sets! If you want a little more inspiration for scrapbooking with stamps, be sure to check out this post, and this one... oh, and this one, too!

Thanks so much for visiting. If you need some more stamps for your stash, you can shop online HERE. (hee hee)

Apr 25, 2017

Whew.... what a weekend!

I am pretty much on cloud nine this week (even though I'm dragging a little bit, still!). It was such a wonderful weekend at my 7th (!) Cape Cod Creative Escape event. As always, my amazing helpers (Sherry, Anna, Linda, Jackie & Heather) helped me pull off an amazing weekend of fun.

I thought I'd share some of the highlights here with you today... for those of you that weren't able to join us... maybe it will help entice you to join us in November -- from Nov. 16-19 at the Four Points Sheraton in Eastham. Registration for the fall event will begin August 1st. So be sure to join my mailing list if you want to be in the loop on that.

Each event has a "theme" and for this one it was "carnival." So we tried to make everything match that theme... here were the centerpieces that my niece put together using some carnival tickets and some fun photo props (which we encouraged the attendees to use in their photos throughout the weekend):

This was the registration table centerpiece and a bunch of the "welcome" gifts everyone received.

This was a picture of one of the table centerpieces with one of the guest goody bags. Each event includes a $50 goody bag that is all brand new product. We use that product throughout the weekend on our make and takes. This event actually had SIX free make and takes (we usually have 5)... three "make in your seat" make and takes and three that were guided.

Here are the three "guided" make and takes:

We made an envelope mini album, a "bagalope" using a Crumb Cake envelope and a card featuring the "thumping" technique. 

Throughout the weekend, the "Pillow Gift fairy" left presents on all the tables... this was one of the after dinner "fairy" treats. I had the Zebra popcorn (drizzled with chocolate and white chocolate) and it was yummy!

Above were a couple more of the SIX pillow gifts everyone received... the top one was a cute little journaling notebook and the bottom was a full pack of the Tasty Treats Designer Series paper. So fun spoiling everyone!

We also had a special dessert on our last night... to go with our "Carnival" theme, I had the marvelous Ursula Kavanagh make us Chocolate Pretzel and Cotton Candy flavored cupcakes. So, so yummy. If you ever need treats you should check her little biz... it's called Sweet Celebrations. Above is me and my niece Heather enjoying a late night Cotton Candy cupcake.

Here are a few photos with our photo props:


 and Gloria

Food was a big part of the event (smile) -- and the hotel does an amazing job with the buffet each night! For the first night we had cranberry stuffed chicken, baked scrod, Roasted squash, salad and potatoes. Yum!

We always have a little "inspiration station" to spur some creativity

A full room of busy scrappers!

Swirly Scribbles card class with Linda

What's a carnival themed event without games? This was the Lucky Duck game... everyone got to play each day and could win up to 15 tickets for the prize giveaway... or even win an instant prize!

Make & Takes were also held throughout the weekend... this was one of the groups happily stamping their three guided projects.

Okay... that's it for now. Before I close, I'd just like to say thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart to each and every one of you that chose to attend Creative Escape. It means so very much to me and I truly do love spoiling each and every one of you!

I hope to see you November 16-19!

Don't forget to sign up for my mailing list if you'd like to join us!

Until next time...


Apr 12, 2017

The Crying Curse is over!

I survived! For those of you that are on my email list, you may remember that I had a big presentation this past weekend at the Stampin' Up OnStage event.

I got to present some ideas for a new stamp set from the 2017-2018 annual catalog coming out in June.

During rehearsals on Friday, I was super nervous... I really wanted to vomit before it was my turn to have my "test" run. But I made it through that (and actually nailed the time allotment I had!) so I was feeling much better.

On the day of the actual presentation I went over a bit on my time, and forgot to mention one important part of the stamp set, but overall it was fine. It was kind of funny because at the beginning I told them a little bit about my previous public speaking experiences (the fact that I always cried) so I told them not to yell at me if they couldn't see something or if I did something wrong as I'd probably cry (I was really only joking -- well, kind of). Well, for my first two projects the camera wasn't working, but no one told me! They were so good (and didn't want to make me cry!). I finally figured it out and remedied the problem, and all was good. Seriously, you couldn't ask for a better audience then a bunch of crafters... they are really the sweetest kind of people!

I was really happy that I had the first stamping presentation of the day. It allowed me to get it over with and then I could focus on all the other speakers (because I was certainly in no condition to listen during rehearsals!). There was so much great information about the new product lines and stamp sets... this new catalog is truly beautiful! I can't wait for you to see it!

This was my very happy "after" walk back to my seat. I was so relieved to have it done. :) It was truly an honor to be asked ... and actually a bit fun once I settled down (probably about 10 minutes after I sat down! Ha!). 

So thanks again for all your kind words and positive thoughts last week. It really helped to know that I had so many friends back home rooting for me. You are the best! Here are a couple more photos... This first one is of me and Kim Fifita. She's the Communications Manager for Stampin' Up. She was the person who asked me to present and she was really the sweetest! And she did an amazing job on her talks and stamping showcase! She made the event really fun, so I'm glad I got to work with her...

And one last one... this one is kind of funny. When Kim was telling me to show up for rehearsal she told me that she'd be the one with the bright red hair and Mike would be the tallest guy in the room. So I said, "well, I'll likely be the shortest girl in the room." So, needless to say Mike and I made a fun picture! He's 6 foot 6 inches tall! 

I don't even make it to his shoulders!! Too funny... anyway, thanks again for all the support. Hope you enjoyed these pictures... I'll be sharing some sneak peeks of new catalog projects in the weeks to come so stay tuned. And be sure to sign up for my email list (if you haven't already) as I'm very good at sending that out once a week with a new video! (In fact I did a new one today if you didn't see it! Check it out HERE.)

Thanks for stopping by!

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