Saturday, September 26, 2015

Stampin' Up Founder's Circle Event: Swap Card

So I promised I'd come back and share with you the swap card I made for the Founder's Circle event last week in St. George, Utah. I felt there was a little pressure with this as it's the top 100 demonstrators in the country! And while, I normally make cards for classes and events that are easy to copy and duplicate, this one I wanted to "step up" a bit.

So here it is...

I used the new Lighthearted Leaves set from the 2015 Stampin' Up Holiday Catalog. It is my new favorite for sure. If you love to color, then this set is for YOU! It's so beautiful. I thought I'd share a few more swaps that I received that also used this set:

The one above is designed by Kelly Acheson. It doesn't show all that well in the photograph, but all the black parts are black embossed. And I'm totally in love with the new corrugated paper. Have you see it?

This colorful one was designed by Linda Heller. I love the layering. And the Cherry Cobbler baker's twine layered on the Hello Honey linen ribbon? Beautiful... and something I would have never thought to do!

Finally, below is one more card... this was actually my Founder's Circle "reject" card. And while I don't hate it, it just wasn't "enough" I guess for me swap with the top 100. It must be because the coloring wouldn't have been so intense... or perhaps because it would have been waaay easier! ;) I still really like this one, too, though:

What do you think? Did I make the right choice? I don't know... now that I'm looking at it again, I kind of like this one, too. And, I don't really think it would have been too much easier -- that white embossed frame would have had to be hand cut!

Anyway, you can find all the supplies I used on my Founder's Circle card below (the top card in this post).

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Stampin' Up Founder's Circle Event: Day 2

So it was over a week ago now that I actually jumped off a cliff in St. George, Utah. Jet lag really had me down for the count this week. I've been struggling with vertigo and just a general sense of I don't want to do anything. That is problematic when you've got a full schedule!

Anyway, I probably won't give you a full play by play of the rest of my trip -- since I've already been home for almost a week - and it would probably take 14 posts. And who wants to read all of that?? But I did want to share a few more things (mostly because I want it documented for when I get to my Project Life album for Founder's Circle!) so hopefully you'll stick around...

Anyway, on my first full day at Founder's Circle I decided to jump off a cliff! Well, not really, I ziplined across a gorge...same thing, right? It was funny because Tami (in the black) was the first to zip across and I was sitting on the rock (maybe in the fetal position) waiting for my turn. When she was finished, I just yelled, "I'm next!" Because I knew if I didn't do it then and had to listen to the guide say things like "Don't touch this" and "Don't do this or you'll pull Matt off the cliff" two more times that I'd never get up the nerve to do it!

I don't know how often I've talked about it here since we don't really have any snakes to be worried about in the Northeast, but I actually have a pretty severe phobia of snakes. So when we first step out of the truck and started climbing up the mountain, all of our instincts were to go to the edge of the gorge and see how far down it was. Well, Todd, one of our guides (and the owner of Paragon Adventures), said you're all making me nervous so close to the edge, especially with it being rattlesnake season and all... umm, what? That would have been nice to tell us BEFORE we left the safety of the office!! I'll tell you what, though. One way to get a bunch of women to listen to what you have to say... tell them it's rattlesnake season! I don't think any of us strayed more than a foot away from them for the rest of the adventure!

Well, the best way for me to tell you the rest of this story is for you to watch my video (yup! We got a video -- how cool is that!). Now, when it appears that I "trip" over a rock... that was actually me noticing a whole in the ground (snake-size) and jumping over it saying, "What is that hole??" I told you, I have some serious concerns around snakes... particularly snakes that can poison me. The guide thought it would be helpful to tell us that we have a 50/50 chance in getting a no-venom bite. Um, not the time I want to gamble, Todd. :)

So here you go... check it out!

So for the remainder of day 2, we just "hung" out (ha ha) and chit chatted with each other and checked out the hospitality room (full of treats all day, every day!) until it was time for the pajama party swap and business share.

First let me show you the hospitality room:

Crazy, right? The candy and display items were up 24/7 and that special treat table changed every day... this day it happened to be a table of meats, cheeses and fruits.

That night, as I said, was pajama party and business share night. We each made a swap to share and then a bunch of the demonstrators stood up and share business tips. We even got a little booklet of tips that each of us shared with Stampin' Up upon learning we were among the top 100 demonstrators. That's a gold mine of information let me tell you (you can see it in the photo below). So here's some photos of the swapping, meeting and of course, the treats after the event!

The long line of swappers "snaked" all the way through the lobby, down the hall and around the hospitality room! There were 110 of us after all!

It was pretty exciting, too, because I realized last night that I made it to Shelli Gardner's blog, too (Her daughter Sara is the interim CEO and President and attended Founder's Circle, so she was the one posting). You can check that out here! So exciting.

Well that's probably enough babbling for one day.... I'll share my Founder's Circle swap with you next time... Thanks for sharing this with me... can you tell I'm so excited that I earned this opportunity... AND I get to do this all again on the Mediterranean Cruise in May! Honestly, joining Stampin' Up was the BEST DECISION I EVER MADE! You should consider joining me!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Stampin' Up Founder's Circle Event: Day 1

 I don't even know where to begin to document my four days in St. George, Utah for Stampin' Up's annual Founder's Circle Event. It's an exclusive all-expense paid trip to southern Utah for the top 100 demonstrators in the country. And I am still pinching myself that it actually happened. It was a little bittersweet as this was the last year to earn this incentive event so it was my first and last time to Founder's Circle.

Even so, it was truly a once-in-a-lifetime event. I'll admit it got off to a little bit of a bad start. This picture was of me on Wednesday evening. I was supposed to be joining my fellow achievers at a pool-side party to celebrate our achievement. Unfortunately, my plane got delayed in Providence so I didn't make it in time to catch the bus to St. George so I had to wait for a shuttle to take me instead. Fortunately, the wonderful Jennifer Kruse stayed with me (I wish I got a picture with her!!) and I arrived to the hotel just in time for the first timers meeting, where we each shared what we thought we did differently that got us to this point in our business. It was really fun to get to know these other "newbies." In fact, there were 14 of us that earned Founder's Circle for the first time this year.

I can't even get over how awesome everyone was... it was not "clique-y" at all. Whether it was their first or 14th (yes, there were actually two demonstrators who have earned the trip all 14 times!) time at Founder's Circle they were so welcoming and willing to share. I just wish I had more time to spend whether everyone so I could have met and chatted with each and every person.

The friendships and networking were really the best part of this trip, but boy does Stampin' Up know how to spoil you! After the first timers meeting I came up to my room to find this HUGE piece of yummy chocolate cake and my hand painted "place card" from the pool party table. I guess they thought I needed some extra chocolate after the long day I had! :)

Of course, every night of Founder's Circle includes a little pillow gift, too! It's so fun to go to bed each night to race upstairs and find what is waiting for you. For night one it was a bag of goodies from the not-even-released Occasions catalog. I can't show you what was in there, but this is a picture of the presentation...

Isn't it cute? The hotel was awesome, too. We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott in St. George, Utah. I would definitely recommend you stay there if you're ever there. It was a great hotel and they were so sweet. The housekeeping staff left us little notes each night (whenever they switched housekeepers) and when we left the management even gave us a little "pillow gift!" It was a cute little key chain flashlight and chocolate.

My claim to fame for the whole weekend was being "the one who came late" as apparently they announced me as a first timer at the pool party, but of course I was not there to stand... it's okay, though, it was a great ice breaker! Here are a few more photos from my first day in Utah... I'll be back to share more soon.

The first housekeeper mixed up the notes... I had my friend Angela Waters note, she had mine... still a sweet gesture, though! :)

Hey look! That's me! :)

Hope you had a nice weekend. Today was a pretty fall-ish day here on the Cape. I hope that doesn't stick around yet. I'm not quite done with summer yet!

Before I go, just want to let you know that the October Paper Pumpkin kit will be in an adorable bright pink box and will support Breast Cancer research with every active subscription. Stampin' Up will donate $1 for every active subscriber next month AND $2 for every NEW subscriber to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. So if you haven't joined, you'll definitely want to! Who doesn't love a fun pre-designed, pre-cut crafting kit in their mailbox every month! Click here to join before the cut-off date, October 10.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hello September... the perfect time for PUMPKIN!

Hello September! I have to say I'm loving that summer isn't making a fast exit. Summer is by far my favorite season and it always seems to go so fast! Don't get me wrong, I actually do like fall, too. It's just that fall leads to.... well, you know what and after last winter? I'm not ready!

Anyway, you know what fall also brings? Pumpkins! And you know what kind of pumpkin is my favorite? Paper Pumpkin! What's that? You don't know what Paper Pumpkin is? Well, it's only the best monthly paper crafting subscription there is! These all inclusive kits include a full stamp set, one or two ink "spots" (just adorable little ink pads), a pre-designed, pre-cut project that you can usually make a bunch of and all the accessories and embellishments you need to complete the projects. Most of the time it even includes the adhesive you need (glue dots, stampin' dimensionals) -- you may just need to supply a tape runner of some sort.

And for ONE MORE DAY (through September 10), you can get your first two months of Paper Pumpkin at half off (even at full price it's a great deal... it's usually just $19.95/mo. and that includes shipping -- but join before the end of the day on the 10th and you get TWO for that price! You'll be charged just $9.95 a month!). These are such a great value, too. Let me show you what I did with the August kit.

So here are the pre-designed projects that the kit made... there was enough to make 3 of each card and 3 boxes.

There adorable all on their own, right? Of course! It's the perfect solution for new crafters or maybe those of you who have done anything crafty in a while. But what about those of you that have ink on your fingers every day? And LOVE to paper craft. Are these too simple for you? Absolutely not! Check out what I did with the contents of my kit plus a few extra little products I had on hand:

This one (above) I'm going to use on a little cello bag of chocolate treats! Won't that be fun?

A little note card to brighten someone's day....

I broke out my gold embossing powder for the card above... just rubbed my versamark along the edge of the basic black cardstock, sprinkled with gold embossing powder and heat set. Instant glam!

Have you seen the gold and silver super fine thread in the new 2015-2016 idea book and catalog? Oh my goodness... I am so in love with this stuff. I. Can't. Stop. Using. It.

So now do you see the amazing value that Paper Pumpkin is? You should really try it out. If you're a new subscriber (you haven't subscribed in the past), just go to here and sign-up. Be sure to use the code "HALFOFF" so you get the discounted price. If you already were a subscriber, but want to come back -- DO IT! You may not get the current special, but it's still an amazing value, and who wouldn't want to get something other than bills in the mail??

And just so you'll have it... here are the few extra products I added to these cards... everything else was included in the kit! Wahoo!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Scrapbooking With Stamps... Part 2!

Hello, hello friends! So I'm back again (for day four in a row!) and I wanted to share with you some more tips for using your stamps in your scrapbooks. First let me start by apologizing again for the poor photo... I tried to fix it, but let's just face it yesterday was not a good day for taking photos (rainy = dark!). I did try and lighten it up for you, but then I made it a little crooked, but I still think you'll get the idea. You're smart... I know this!

Anyway, would you like some more tips on how to use your beautiful assortment of stamps on your scrapbook pages?

Okay... here we go!

4. Stamping ON your photos. Did you know you can use Staz-On ink directly on your photos? See the "Life is Good" sentiment on the upper right photo? Yup. Used my black Staz-On ink straight on my photo. TIP: I would recommend you practice stamping on scrap pieces of photos (you know, the one where you cropped that strange looking person behind Aunt Annie at the picnic? Yeah. That one). The reason why is because photos are slick (a.k.a. slippery) and as you stamp it is very easy to slide and smear your image. So practice, practice practice!

5. Create your own embellishment. See that focal point circle on the left (which is actually my title as well so two for the price of one here...)? I created my own stamped embellishment by stamping a pattern, decorating it with coordinating cardstock and ribbon and the putting my title on top. The best part about this technique? You ALWAYS have the correct color embellishment... and you never run out of them!

6. Make your own (coordinating!) journaling card. See the yellow polka dot paper to the right of the bottom right photo? I just used a small circle stamp, inked it up and then "stamped it off" on grid paper before stamping on the matching yellow cardstock (Hello Honey). That gives a lighter look and will therefore allow you to journal over them. I haven't filled in the journaling on this one yet, but I plan to write (with my fabulous Project Life Journaling pens) on the yellow piece of cardstock (above the white border). Perfectly coordinated. Love.

If you missed my first three scrapbooking with stamps tips, be sure to click here. If you want to order any cool Stampin' Up products, click here. And guess what? If you live in Massachusetts, this weekend is a Sales Tax Holiday -- you can shop on Saturday, April 15 and/or Sunday April 16 with no tax! Yippee!

Thanks for stopping by... I probably have more to show you so don't go too far! :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Scrapbooking With Stamps

Hello! Can you believe it? Day three... I'm working on creating a habit here people! And I've actually wanted to share a couple of scrapbook pages with you for a while now. So how about one today and one tomorrow okay?

Last month I was actually asked to do a "Scrapbooking with Stamps" class. Apparently a lot of people struggle with stamping on their layouts. This very technique is one of the reasons why I joined Stampin' Up nine years ago. I had been scrapbooking for about six years and I got "bored" with the usual pre-made embellishments and wanted a way to add more flair to my pages and this was exactly it!

So first let me apologize for the poor photography on this page. I really should have took an extra minute to retake this photo, but it's late at night when I'm typing this, I'm actually pretty comfy on my couch and you know what? I'm being a bit lazy! But I think you'll still find my tips helpful (hopefully, anyway).

So back to my class. I created two pages that showcased at least SIX ways to use stamps on your scrapbook pages. This one uses three... and I promise you, this is a super fast page to complete. So can you spot the three stamping techniques here?

1. Stamping as a border. So on the Crumb Cake strip of cardstock (the beige color across the center of the page), I used the 'line image" from Gorgeous Grunge (the BEST scrapbooking stamp set evah!) and stamped it vertically across the whole length of the paper creating a fun textured-looking border.

2. Stamping as a title. The "You Make My Heart Happy" is a sentiment from the Lovely Amazing You set and was the perfect title for this page. I just punched it out with a circle punch and inked the edges in red to make it pop and voila!

3. Stamping as a background. Again with the Gorgeous Grunge! I used the splatter images (both sizes) to create the look of blue paint splattered on the base piece of cardstock for this page (whisper white). I think it's the perfect accent for a page about a little boy and the color scheme of Pacific Point and Real Red totally highlighting the coloring in the photos. As an extra little something, I took the small heart (also from the Lovely Amazing You stamp set) and stamped two amongst the splatters. I think that small little touch just reinforces the title of the page.

Another little tip to share about this layout (although it isn't a stamping technique!) is the "trio" of red accents: the title inked in red, the decorative label punched out of red cardstock and folded over the second photo and the smaller photo mat on the left side of the page. It's great to position repeating elements in a "triangle" pattern around your photos because it will naturally draw your eye into the photos. So that is what I did here.

I so love these photos of my Mom and my youngest nephew Jeffrey. The joy is just so evident in both of them. It truly does make my heart smile when I look at these photos. I miss my Mom every day, but having such beautiful photos of her to scrapbook and share with my family ease the pain sometimes.

I'll have some more scrapbooking with stamps tips tomorrow so be sure to come back! And as always, if you find something you have to have be sure to take a peek in my online store.

Monday, August 10, 2015

For the Love of Animals...

 Hey there! Welcome back. For those of you that don't know me so well... I have a very small (just kidding... a HUGE) love for animals especially doggies! So when I saw a request for vendors at a local craft fair to support our local animal shelter I couldn't sign up fast enough! And while it wasn't super busy (it was the first time they've done this fair), it was SO much fun... the event and the prep for it! I made some really fun exclusive crafts for the fair and I thought I'd share them with you today!

First up were some birthday cards. I used two stamp sets from the 2015-2016 Idea Book and Catalog for all these projects. The first one is Hot Diggity Dog and the second was You Little Furball.

Here are the stamp sets:

Hot Diggity Dog

You Little Furball

So, as I said first up was some birthday cards. I made all my projects with a "dog variety" and a cat variety:

I used the new Go Wild 6x6 paper stack from the new 2015-2016 annual catalog as the patterned paper for all four of these cards. I must say I kind of love how they came out! I made five of each design.

Next up I made some pet sympathy cards. It's so sad when an animal friend dies so I thought the MSPCA crowd might like to have some pet sympathy cards on hand just in case. Both of these stamp sets have some great sayings for the loss of a pet:

(sorry for the less than stellar photo of the kitty sympathy cards... I forgot to take pictures of some of the items before I packaged them up for sale!).

I also made a boxed set of two different cards to donate to the MSPCA. My thought was that they could send a card to knew pet "parents" when they adopt a cat or dog! So this is what I made:

And finally, I figured we might have some furry friends visiting at this craft fair so I also made up some cute little treat bags ( I also may have had a box of milk bones under my table to attract all the cute doggies... because I must admit I love them best... mostly because I'm allergic to kitties!). Here are the treat bags I made:

My niece Heather helped me prep over 540 cards to take to this fair and while I was making these treat bags she predicted that the kitty treat bags would be big sellers... and she was right. I sold four of the five bags I made and no doggy treat bags (maybe that was because I was handing out a free Milkbones to any doggies that would come visit me -- yes, I was bribing them!). I used the Tag A Bag Accessory Kit to help make the treat bag project move along a little quicker. I love how it includes both tags and stamping elements as well as twine and the cute little paper clips to attach to the bags (which makes those tags totally re-usable and we love that)! I also used the petite cafe bags and gusseted cello bags to hold the treats.

Anyway, if you're an animal lover I think you really could get some serious mileage out of either the Hot Diggity Dog set or the You Little Furball set. I would recommend the Stamp-A-Majig, though with both of these sets. That nifty little tool really makes lining up the heads and bodies super easy (and faster than "fussy cutting" the heads out and popping them up -- although as you can see I really loved that look, too!).

Okay and just because this post cries out for a fun animal shot.... here is one of my nieces' dog Caramel... this is her "please pay attention to me because I'm oh so cute" look (smile):

Now if that doesn't make you smile on a Monday, I don't know what will!

If you'd like to purchase any of the products I used on these projects and you don't already have a demonstrator, I'd be happy to send you one of these pet themed cards as my thank you. Just place an order in my online store and then send a note to me at jen pitta at comcast dot net with which card you'd like and I'll send it right away! Thanks so much for stopping by!

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