Monday, July 28, 2014

Stampin' Up! Convention 2014: Project Life Tips From Becky Higgins

Hello there again friends... Can you believe it? I'm back again within two days! I'm really going to try and be better about my poor old blog... but I'm not promising anything!

Today I wanted to pop in with some fun pictures from the Meet & Mingle with Becky Higgins (Founder of the Project Life scrapbooking system) that I attended while at the Inspire. Create. Share. Stampin' Up! Convention in Salt Lake City. She limited the amount of people that could attend to 120 so she had the opportunity to chat, sign and take photos with everyone present. I became a little starstruck when I saw her (I've been following her blog/products for the past 14 years!). So I didn't ask her anything profound (actually I didn't ask her anything -- she was actually asking me questions! I told you I was starstruck... just "crickets" from my side of the conversation!).

Anyway, before the "meet and mingle" portion she did a little Q & A and a demo of her new Project Life App (so cool, but top secret right now!). She also had some of these yummy treats for us:

Don't they look delightful? It was breakfast time when we started this session so I went with the strawberry flavored cupcake as I figured fruit could pass as breakfast, right? Really, it was the chocolate covered strawberry on top that drew my attention! And boy was it yummy! I totally want another one right now...

I digress... Here's another photo from the event (below) -- this was me with the fabulous goody bag each of us was given. Inside was a brand spanking new Project Life by Stampin' Up card collection kit (Playground) as well as a bunch of other PL goodies. So, so fun.

Becky shared a bunch of tips with us during her presentation and I thought I would share those tips with you! But first, let me explain the Project Life system a little bit for those of you who are not familiar.

Basically, Project Life is a pocket-based scrapbooking system. Becky created this product because she found she was spending hours to create one layout (what scrapbooker doesn't now that pain??) -- and while that's a great creative outlet, it's not a great way to get pages DONE. So she came up with this system that basically involves you slipping photos into photo pocket pages and then adding adorable, decorated journaling cards (and just a few accessories if you'd like) to tell the story. The basic principle is to tell your stories in a fast and simple way, while also making it a fun book to look at and enjoy for generations to come.

Here is a sample of a Project Life by Stampin' Up page. This was showcased at convention by the fabulous Carrie Cudney (one of the demonstrator trainers for Stampin' Up). The card collection she used was Love Story (which is now available for purchase here):
Did you notice that she even stuck a ticket stub in the scrapbook? I love that it is so easy to include life's mementos into this style of scrapbooking. I also love this size album -- it's the 6 X 8 Expresso album (I'll be sharing some photos from my Key West album of the same size soon...).

Boy... I've gone off on a long tangent! Let's get to the "meat" of this post... Becky's tips! As I mentioned she gave some great tips for getting started with Project Life... here they are:

1. Keep it Simple! Don't overthink this method of scrapbooking... otherwise it gets daunting and that's the exact opposite result of the intention behind Project Life. And don't try to plan too much. Print all your photos 4 x 6 (rather than trying to decide which ones to print 4 x 6 and which ones to print 3 x 4) and then crop if necessary.

2. Focus on One Project at a Time! You know what happens when you start worrying about your daughter's graduation album, the baby album for your friends' neighbor, your wedding album from eight years ago and that friendship album you wanted to make for your best friend... you get overwhelmed and do nothing. Becky recommends "batch processing." So if you are working on your vacation album just focus on that project until it is completed. Begin by selecting/printing photos, then work on journaling for the trip and then assembling the album. 

3. Get over your dislike of your handwriting! So many of us are guilty of not writing in our albums because we hate our handwriting. One of the attendees shared a story about why she always includes her handwriting and since you don't know her I thought I'd share a story about me and why I always include my handwriting at least once in each of my albums. You may not know this, but my middle name is John. Yes, as in the boy's name. (My Mom wanted a boy and I didn't cooperate... but that's another story). Anyway, I was named after my great grandfather who I was fortunate enough to know. He was 89 when he died and I was just 9. He used to say that he had Johns all over England (where he was from) named after him, but I was the only girl. I am so fortunate to say that he gave me a handwritten birthday card for my 9th birthday... and I still have it today. I cherish his writing -- especially that it is messy and hard to read. You know why? Because he was aging and it was hard for him to write by that point... but he still made the effort to write that card for me... and I will cherish it always. Be sure you are not behaving in a selfish manner and depriving your friends, family and children from having that little piece of you -- your writing and thoughts - generations from now. I assure you it will be one of their most treasured items.

Ok... I think that's enough babbling for now... feel free to visit www.beckyhiggins.com for more info about Project Life and be sure to visit my store to see all the Project Life by Stampin' Up products. In fact, from now through Thursday, July 31 I am offering a special to help you get started with Project Life. Order any Project Life by Stampin' Up Card Collection and Accessory Pack and I will give you a free set of Project Life pens. These pens are amazing for journaling, but they are also fabulous for your stamping projects, too! Check out some of these samples from Lydia Fiedler - a fellow demonstrator - that all use these Project Life pens... trust me, you'll want some of your own!


The above samples were made by just drawing thick-to-thin black lines all around the petals. Beautiful, right?


The two samples above were used by drawing a "crosshatch" pattern on each of the petals. Totally amazing! Want some Project Life markers to use for yourself? Visit my online store and purchase any Project Life by Stampin' Up card collection and accessory kit by Thursday, July 31 and I'll send you your very own Project Life pens!

And since I'm so hit or miss here on the old blog -- feel free to comment below on what Project Life album you'll be starting with... it might encourage me to keep visiting this little blog of mine! ;) Thanks for visiting today... see you soon!

 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Stampin' Up Convention 2014

I so love this photo from the Inspire. Create. Share. Stampin' Up convention in Salt Lake City. This is what the streets look like when nearly 4,000 Stampin' Up demonstrators take over the city. Nearly ever crosswalk was littered with ladies! Too funny...

I had such a great time at convention and came home with a boat load of goodies.

I should have done this post right when I got back because reality has already erased some of my memory from this spectacular event. It's really a highlight of my year... that and Leadership! :)

One of the things I love about Stampin' Up's events is the attention to detail the events staff has. Check out some of these photos of the event:


Yummy beverages at the Paper Pumpkin Night Out


The recognition room for awards achievers -- that was me this year! :)

 Main stage set-up



One of my favorite parts of convention each year is connecting (or re-connecting in this case) with my Stampin' Up demonstrator friends from all over the country. This is my friend Susan from Minnesota. She "adopted" me at one of my first conventions I was attending by myself. Now we seem to run into each other at least once at every event. I love that!

Well, my to do list is fourteen miles long tonight so I'm going to jump off line now. I need to plan some cards for my next card class on Tuesday, July 29. Want to come? This will be our last session of all-occasion cards before we switch over to holiday cards for four months -- can you believe it??

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Meet the Crafter: Sarah K

Howdy stampers! Boy, it's been a long time. I've been thinking often of this poor neglected blog. I'm hoping to change that. I miss checking in with you, connecting and sharing! I thought today I'd start off with a new feature I want to add on a regular basis to my blog.

I don't know about you but I love to read about other crafters - what inspires them, what their favorite techniques are, favorite products, etc. So once a month I'd like to feature a different crafter friend who will share all the juicy details of their crafting life.

For first volunteer for this fun series was my friend and fellow Cape Codder, Sarah K. Here is a very happy picture of her after a fabulous crafting "score" from Craigslist! Let's get to know her a bit...


How did you start paper crafting and what is your paper craft of choice (card making, scrapbooking, etc.)?
My grandmother bought me my first rubber stamp at a craft fair on the Dennis green when I was a kid.  I loved to make stationary and gift tags!  A small collection of stamps followed.  Today I enjoy cardmaking but continue making gift tags.


Where do you find inspiration for your paper crafting projects?
Nature is a huge inspiration and a great way to clear thoughts in order to get creative.  Walks or just camping in the woods helps to ground me.  Any time I can get away from technology and just THINK. I often bring carding magazines camping and find it a great jump start for ideas.


What is your favorite Stampin' Up product and why? 
Dimensionals!  Can't get enough of them!  There are no substitutes for Stampin' Up Dimensionals and I use every piece.


What project(s) are on your "to do/try" list?
I need to get more adept at embossing.  I love the finished look but really don't feel I have mastered it.  I'd also like to explore more with vellum. I love the shadowed effect.

To the right is a photo of Sarah's Easter card this year. Cute, right?




Thanks so much for sharing, Sarah! I really appreciate it. So who is next? Want to be featured on my Meet the Crafter Series? Send me an e-mail and let me know!

Until next time... (which I promise... won't be so long!!)




Friday, April 25, 2014

Join the Club - Stamp Club, that is!

Hello, Hello Stampers. Happy Friday. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping. Yay! Spring is here :)

I wanted to pop in today and share with you a card that I created for my Stamp Club program. This class is offered both live at my house (on the third Thursday of every month - next class is Thursday, May 15) and as a "To Go" option for those of you who do not leave nearby. 

Each month I feature a different stamp set and show you a variety of ways to use it. This month (April) was the So Very Grateful stamp set from the Occasions Mini Catalog. I like this class because it gives me the opportunity to really play with techniques and showcase the versatility of stamping. Card class (the last Tuesday of every month in Chatham) is great for mass producing cards (cute, simple designs), but this is the class if you want to learn new things. (And hey, who says you can't attend both, right? wink, wink)

This is how it works: If you are local -- it's pretty simple -- you come to class make the cards and place your minimum order. Easy, peasy (we have a fun group of ladies that meet at my house, too!) For the "To Go" option, at the start of the month I e-mail you the supplies I use on the cards and then you place the minimum order in my online store using a hostess code. I then send you the pre-cut card kits and written directions (with pictures) for the cards. Each month a new member is the "hostess" meaning she earns the hostess benefits from all the orders (which is why the online orders need to use the hostess code). So you're guaranteed $30 worth of free product during your hostess month. The minimum order each month is just $30 (of course you could collect outside orders or host your own private class during your hostess month to earn EXTRA free hostess dollars!).

If you are new to stamping  Stamp Club is a great way to not only build your stash, but to also learn how to use it, too!

I thought I'd share with you today a sample of the directions. The card to the right features the "stained glass" technique. Click here to download the directions for this technique.

Do you like the idea of getting together once a month to learn some new stamping? Or maybe you'd like to get some "happy mail" each month to get your creativity started? I have openings in both the live stamp club class and the "To Go" option. E-mail me today to join!

Have a great weekend!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Going, Going Gone.... with FREE SHIPPING!

Happy Marathon Monday. Today is an exciting day in Stampin' Up world as well. Not only do we have the retiring stamp and accessories lists for you today, but we also have FREE SHIPPING today through Friday, April 25.

A couple quick reminders before I tell you my top five "sad to see go" items.

1. EVERYTHING is while supplies last so order quickly! The accessories are always while supplies last, but this year the stamps are, too. This means that once a stamp set (or other item) is sold out it is gone ... and that could happen today, tomorrow or not until June. So if there is something you really, really want order it ASAP. Note that all the 2012-2014 In Colors are retiring (Gumball Green, Summer Starfruit, Midnight Muse, Primrose Petals and Raspberry Ripple). The cardstock, ink refills, markers etc. WILL sell out and probably sooner rather than later so if you need any of those get them NOW. (Please note that the Raspberry Ripple ink refill is already sold out).

2. Free shipping is on EVERYTHING you order. This is a great time to head to my online store and place an order... no shipping! How cool is that? 

3. If you do plan on placing an order, be sure to use this hostess code: ZFVMF2PU
Anyone who orders between now and Friday, April 25 will be entered to win a free Envelope Punch Board from me. Just a little thank you for shopping with me. PLUS... if you use the code above I'll enter you twice! Free shipping and a possible free toy? Doesn't get much better than that, right?

Ok... here are the lists:
Retiring Stamp List PDF
Retiring Stamp List Excel

Retiring Accessories List PDF
Retiring Accessories List Excel

Now... want to know what I'm most sad to see go?

1. Number one for me - hands down -- is the Dazzling Diamonds Stampin' Glitter (#102023, $4.50). Boo hoo... I love me a little bling! This product was one of the first things that had me mesmerized when I was first introduced to Stampin' Up. I'm sure Stampin' Up will wow me with something else fun and exciting, though. I just need a moment to pout.

2.  Woodgrain Background stamp (clear: 127808, $13.95; wood: 128763, $17.95) - I love this background stamp so much. I do still have my woodgrain embossing folder, but this stamp always looked so beautiful with the nature stamps and, of course, the adorable owl builder punch (don't worry, though, that's not retiring!)

3. Eastern Elegance Designer Series Paper (#130131, $10.95) and the Happy Day Stamp Set (wood: #130294, $21.95; clear: #130297, $16.95) -- I know, I'm cheating because I'm putting to products in one listing -- but there are so many things I don't want you to miss out on!! I actually paired these together because these are the two products I've used so far on my wedding album and they are so gorgeous together. I also need to order Beautifully Baroque (#130895, $14.95) because that coordinates with these products and it is retiring as well.

Here's a picture of one of my scrapbook pages I made with these products:



4. Dress Up framelits - you might remember my small obsession with the Dress Up framelits (#130101, $24.95). It totally brought me back to my childhood and my love of paper dolls. Sadly, this one is going, too. So if you've still got a little girl trapped inside you, by all means -- add this one to your cart! Here's a couple more beauties using those framelits:



5. Lacy & Lovely (wood: #132025, $24.95; clear: #122887, $17.95) - This set doesn't really look like much when you see it in the catalog, but it is so very versatile. I love that it includes greetings as well. This makes it a one-stop-stamping set. No need to pull out a separate image set and a different greeting set -- just pull this beauty out and you're good to go. I can't find a picture of a card using this one right now -- but I'll be back with more photos of my favorites in the coming days and weeks. I actually just used this one recently in card class, I believe -- so I'll dig it up to show it to you.

Ok, I'm off to enjoy this beautiful sunshine. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Have You Heard?

I cannot tell you how excited I am about the announcement from Stampin' Up and Becky Higgins today. Have you heard? You can read all about it here, but let me fill you in.  Have you heard of Project Life? It's a phenomenal and easy way to document your life. Personally, I feel it's the best type of documentation because it really focuses on Everyday Life.

I find that the layouts I enjoy most when I look through my albums are not necessarily the ones that are about a big event (a wedding, birthday party, etc.) - it's the layouts where I see what my favorite song was five years ago or that showcases a family tradition or even just includes my "to do" list for the day. It's fun to see the nitty gritty of your day last year, last month (and sometimes even last week! ;)

Well, today, it was announced that Becky Higgins ever so popular Project Life projects are coming to Stampin' Up! So you'll have the best of both worlds -- color coordination, cool stamps and tools  all in the easy to work with (think fast!) format of Project Life.

Honestly, I should have known this was coming. I have wanting to jump on the Project Life bandwagon for years now. But I didn't because I am a Stampin' Up snob for the most part -- I love our products and don't stray very often. However, LAST WEEK -- last week, people -- I broke down and bought my first Project Life Core Kit and small album ( had a coupon!). And yes, less than a week later Stampin' Up announces that we will have our own line of fabulous products.

So, so exciting. So I'm curious... do you use Project Life products? Is this announcement exciting for you (you're probably not as excited as me... but I suspect most people aren't! :)

I am already working on plans in my head about how to incorporate this products into my classes -- maybe a Project Life club? Anyone interested?

Well, I'm off to think about this some more... do tell me what you're thinking. And hey, if you want to be able to order some of these cool products on Monday (yes, this coming Monday) -- let's chat about the opportunities available as a demonstrator -- whether you want to make some money or just save some money on these awesome products  :)   I can help. E-mail me and we can arrange to chat by phone or in person -- I know this wonderful place that has the best Frozen Mint Hot Chocolate (oh yes, it is as good as it sounds!).

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Say it isn't So.....

I can hardly believe it is already three days from April 1... no foolin'! It's odd that even though this winter has felt like the. longest. ever. I also feel like the start of Sale-A-Bration on January 28 was just yesterday! But all good things must come to an end, I guess.

This card was one I made for a swap with the Shore Stampers last month. The theme was Sale-A-Bration and I have to say one of my favorite products this month was the Sweet Sorbet Designer Series Paper (to the right). Honestly this photo doesn't do it justice... it's so spring-y (a theme of mine lately) and colorful.

Remember you can earn this paper (and many other exclusive items) for free with a $50 Stampin' Up purchase made prior to the end of the day March 31.

Anyone who orders with me (www.jenpitta.stampinup.net) before the end of Sale-A-Bration will get entered to win the Everyday Occasions Card kit for FREE. You'll get one entry for ordering with me and a second entry if you use this hostess code at checkout: KXKDUXBX.

Also, anyone who places a $50 order prior to the end of Sale-A-Bration will also get a hand-stamped invitation to my invite-only Sale-A-Bration appreciation event on Friday, April 11. This is an event where I love to spoil my guests, so you won't want to miss it!

Be sure to visit my Facebook page to see some more fabulous samples I've collected from other demonstrators throughout Sale-A-Bration. There are truly some amazing products you won't want to miss out on!

Here is a picture of the 20 cards completed with the Everyday Occasions card kit -- remember someone who orders in the next three days will get this great kit for free!






Thanks so much for stopping by... I hope to not be such a stranger on my own blog! (smiles...)



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