Saturday, May 7, 2016

Choose Happiness with Stampin' Up!

I think it is very appropriate that the stamp set I'm going to share with you today is called "Choose Happiness." Because (of course) it is a Stampin' Up stamp set -- and I always choose stampin' to make me happy! So it fits, right? (smile)

Anyway, I wanted to share with you this set, which I adore. It will be going away forever at the end of this month! As I said, it's called "Choose Happiness" and it has a great vintage vibe and is perfect for layering and collaging.

This first picture to the right is one I made a while back just playing around with my "scrap bin." Do you have a scrap bin? It's basically a little box near my desk that I throw all the stamped images, pre-cut circles, beautiful piece of patterned paper, leftover piece of ribbon and any other stamping goodness into. Then every once in a while I pull out the bin and just make a bunch of "one-of-a-kind" cards with whatever is in the bucket. It's super fun, resourceful and I find it very inspiring - particularly when my mojo has left the building! You should try it!

My favorite part of the card above is the layering of the two flower pieces -- the petite petal punch and the smaller flower punch from the itty bitty accents punch pack -- that one is retiring! Gasp! Make sure you get yours before it is gone!

Anyway, I'm also including another card to the right that I made for my Business Development adviser at Stampin' Up. She is such a sweetheart and I had wanted to thank her for all her help and guidance so I sent her this beauty -- again using the "Choose Happiness" set.

This one has a lot of layering, stamping, embossing and embellishing so it's not one I would make in a card class or anything, but certainly one that you could make for that extra special person...

Finally, I'm sharing a cute little tea bag holder I made (again a while ago) using this stamp set -- I told you it has been one of my favorites for a long time! This is super simple. You just want to measure the tea bag you want to put in it and then cut a piece of cardstock that measures 1/2 inch bigger all the way around than you tea bag. So if the tea bag was 3 inches square, you would make the piece of paper 3.5 inches by 7 (because you have to fold it up to make a pocket). Then you can decorate it any way you wish!

For mine, I went with a vintage vibe and used just the leaf image and Blackberry Bliss ink (another item that is going away forever (unfortunately the ink pad is already sold out, but you can get the In Color markers here). I inked the edges of the image using Crumb Cake ink and a sponge (my favorite "vintage" technique). I also added some vintage crochet ribbon and the neutral designer buttons to finish it off... both of those are disappearing, too -- and they are on sale right now! I finished it off with the adorable clothespin... those are retiring, too!

Okay... I actually have one more sample for you -- that we just made in card class last week. It's a super simple one and you could easily mass produce it for thank you cards or just "thinking of you" cards!

You know what is the crazy part? I made a VIDEO for you! :) You can watch it below for one more card idea using the Choose Happiness stamp set... if you love it as much as me, be sure you get it before May 22 when all the stamps go on a "while supplies last" basis.

Thanks for visiting today! I hope you have a great weekend and if you're a Mom - have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Save the Date!

Hi friends...
Can you believe it? Twice in one week? I'm seriously going to try and be better about the old blog. It was always my way to connect with you and for some reason it became too difficult.

It was funny at OnStage last week, I was talking with a lot of my demonstrator friends and I was amazed how many of them knew my blog... really? You mean the one that hasn't been updated in six months?? Time to fix that!

Anywho... I did an initial run through my craft room this morning to find all the retiring items in my stash -- holy moly! Look at that picture -- that is a lot of goods up for grabs!

As always, I'll be hosting my annual Customer Appreciation/Retired Merchandise BOGO sale this summer to celebrate the launch of the new catalog (have I mentioned that it is amazing?). I'd love to have you join me... so save the date! Saturday, June 4 and possibly either Friday, June 3 or Sunday, June 5th as well. I know that weekend is likely to be graduation weekend for some folks so I'll try and give a couple of options for you to stop by.

Not familiar with my annual event? Basically, I set up my whole house as a store -- anything you buy in the retired "store," you'll get equal dollars to spend in the brand spanky new catalog for FREE (you just pay tax and shipping on the new). So all of this goodness in the picture above (plus more!) will be part of the retired store. There's also games, prizes and treats, too! It's one of my most popular events of the year and that's why I wanted to give you a heads up. More details will come as we get a bit closer so be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter if you haven't already.

Speaking of "heads up," I mentioned it in my last post, but the retiring list is now up -- that means it's your last chance to get some of the fabulous crafting products that are retiring from the current catalog. You can download the list as a PDF here or shop straight from the online store here. But hurry, lots of items are at a discount and some are already sold out!

I'm still playing with the By the Tide Stamp set... it's one of my favorite and I'm super sad to see it go. So here is one more card with that set... then I'll move on to the many, many others that I love that will disappear soon. It's so bittersweet, of course, because I love some many of these sets, but my wish list for the new catalog is already super long (see, some things never change!)

This is a simple collage card using By the Tide. I did a version of this card previously (not sure if I ever shared it on the blog), but I just reinvented it using different colors.

This is a great card to mass produce: just two pieces of cardstock (Real Red card base measures 11" x 4.25", so it folds at the top, and one piece of whisper white measuring 4"x 5.25"), three ink colors (Real Red, Crumb Cake and Bermuda Bay) and a little inking with Crumb Cake ink around the edges of the white (and a small piece of Crumb Cake cardstock with Basic Black ink for the sentiment -- you could stamp directly on the card, though, too!). Super simple stamping. That's what we all love right?

It's actually a great stamp set for collage stamping and would be perfect for beach photos in a scrapbook. Can you imagine the great collage and border backgrounds you could do with this baby? If I hadn't already told you I was going to put this one down, I may have to break out my Nauset Beach photos and do a couple layouts for you just to prove it! ;)

Okay... lots to do today... card class is on Tuesday, my Shore Stampers group meeting is on Thursday and the Cape Cod Mini Maker Faire is on Saturday (This is a super fun, interactive vendor event. It's being held Saturday, April 30 from 10am - to 4 p.m. at the Mashpee Middle-High School - yup, that's really it's name... I checked! You should come visit!) And if you'd like to stamp this week, you should check out my card class or my Shore Stampers Community (click on the Become a Shore Stamper tab above).

Till next time... happy stampin'!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tap, tap, tap... is this thing on?

Well, hello there! Long time no chat. I figured now was as good a time as any to jump back in to this little ol' blog. So sorry for the absence.

I just returned from Stampin' Up's OnStage Live event in Salt Lake City and I'm feeling inspired to share. We were actually challenged to add one more event per month as part of our #6monthstampinggoals so I'm going to be updating my website with some new events. But for now I'm still plotting and planning! (said with my most evil voice and laugh!) Just kidding... there's nothing evil about stamping!

My first update to my calendar, though, will be a revision of my Stamp Club. It just hasn't been working the way I would like. First, the whole "club" thing tends to scare people off. So I'd like it to be something that is more of an "opt in" when the timing is right for YOU rather than a long committment! Also, I think Paper Pumpkin has us covered in the "surprise" department so I'm planning to give you a little more insider information about this monthly event. It will still be held live on the second Thursday of the month at my house in Harwich Port, BUT if you can't attend live there will be the option for you to get a "to go" option. More details about all this below... first I wanted to share a few photos/updates from my recent trip to Salt Lake City.

I actually got to celebrate my 10 year anniversary with Stampin' Up with a walk across stage... here I am walking with my friend Marion and then a photo of what it looks like from stage -- there was a little over 1,200 people in attendance!

As a leader, I also got spoiled with a special Centerstage event before and after the general conference. The pre-event was a formal event with "mocktails" and appetizers to start and then a gourmet sit down meal with some fabulous dueling piano entertainment called the Jeff & Rhiannon Dueling Piano Show. They were fabulous and oh so funny. They played everything from opera to Metallica! It was truly impressive... especially their full-length rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody -- such a long song and they did all the parts so, so well (and they had us sing along -- and that is one of my favorite songs to sing -- although, I generally only do that in the car! (hee hee)

(I was so hungry I forgot to take pictures of the other three courses... I guess I was finally getting full by the time this beauty arrived so I remembered to take a photo! It was delish!)

There were so many other great highlights of the OnStage event -- like getting the brand new 2016-2017 Idea book and catalog! -- but I've got other things to tell you about!

For starters, the retiring list for the current catalog is now available! You can find it here. Remember a lot of these items are on sale and while supplies last so be sure to check them out and order soon. If you'd rather browse the items in the online store (rather than as a list), you can find that here

Finally, here is more details about my new Stamp of the Month Program:
April's featured set: By the Tide
Other inks needed: Real Red, Bermuda Bay & Crumb Cake (also a basic black)
Live event: This Thursday, April 21
Cost "to go:" $20 or just $8 (to help with shipping costs) if you purchase the stamp set and ink pads from me first 
What is included in the "to go" version: Pre-cut supplies for four cards/projects including envelopes, written directions with pictures, a pillow gift and a hand-stamped thank you card featuring the By The Tide Stamp set.

Stamp of the Month Q & A

Q: What if I already have that stamp set?
A: You can replace any of the ink pads or stamp sets with other items you need that total the same amount as that month's stamp set plus two ink pads (so a minimum of $33 for this first month). Or if you don't need anything else, you can just pay the $20 fee and I will send everything to you without a purchase.

Q: What is a pillow gift?
A: It's a hand-stamped thank you gift made especially for you and included in your to-go kit. (Live attendees will get this, too!) 

Q: When do I have to order?
A: Because I generally cut at the last minute, all "to-go" orders must be received by 5 p.m. the night before the live event happens, so for April, that would be by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20.

Q: Am I obligated to participate for multiple months?
A: Nope! That's the beauty of this one... you can participate in any or all months that appeal to you! The stamp set will be announced at the beginning of the month (or maybe even the end of the previous month) and you can decide if you want to get the kits that month -- if so, just email me to let me know and place your order (or send your $20 fee).

Q: Should I use a Hostess code when I order online?
A: Yes! I plan to treat one "live" attendee and one "to-go" participant with a surprise gift each month as long as they use that month's hostess code... Plus, it also helps me know who is purchasing for the Stamp of the Month class. So for April, please use this code when placing your order: UXVRFJ2B

Okay... so I think that's enough babbling for one day! As always, let me know if you have any questions... you can reach me by emailing jen pitta at comcast dot net.

Till next time... happy stampin'!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Phew... Another Cape Cod Creative Escape in the Books!

Hello there! It's Wednesday and we just wrapped up the fourth (!) Cape Cod Creative Escape this past weekend. I think three days later, I've finally recovered!

I never got a real good shot of our room with everyone in it... but imagine this little ballroom filled to the max with creativity and a bunch of super creative women... yup, that about sums up my weekend.

We had a great time -- 60 attendees, and loads of helpers. We had a "Home for the Holidays" theme this year complete with presents under the tree, Christmas music and a big Gift Giveaway to wrap it all up. Here are a few highlights from the weekend.

This was how the table looked when they arrived... one of the perks of Cape Cod Creative Escape is a goody bag filled with $50 worth of brand new Stampin' Up product. Since we had a "Home for the Holidays" theme we decided to wrap each one of those goody bag items and put it under the tree! So fun to see all the wide-eyed faces as they arrived :)

This was the Gift Giveaway/Prize Patrol tree. Each time I called someone's name they got to pick a present from under this tree. It was super fun to watch them lift and shake all the presents -- for those that don't like surprises (or didn't want to get something they already owned), I told them they could turn the gift over to reveal what was inside!

Throughout the weekend Cape Cod Creative Escape attendees get "pillow gifts" - hand-stamped gifts just to spoil them. This welcome "pillow gift" was certainly a good one -- the lovely Joanne made over 60 pillow boxes using the pillow box die, while Miss Anna volunteered to make dozens and dozens of homemade cookies (each attendee got three!) -- and they were yummy!

 This was pillow gift #2 - one of two product-themed pillow gifts...

Cape Cod Creative Escape isn't designed for weight loss, unfortunately. Pillow Gift #3 included some yummy Kettle Corn Popcorn... a yummy after dinner snack.

Of course in between pillow gifts and presents there were classes and make and takes... above was a shot of one of our make and take sessions and below was some "posing" during the Hello December album class.

Pillow Gift #4 was a challenge -- those that took the challenge were required to make a Christmas tag using all of the elements included in this cello bag. Each person got a different tag (we split up the product in the Oh What Fun Tag Kit in the 2015 Holiday Catalog). It was really fun to see what everyone came up with. Unfortunately, I never took a photo of the full table of tags. I think my niece did so I'll have to update this post with her picture!

We also had some "Make in your Seat" projects that everyone could do with just the products included in their goody bag and a few basic tools like adhesive and black ink.

Two of the amazing Cape Cod Creative Escape helpers -- Helene & Joanne. It was thanks to them that all the presents got wrapped!!

Another yummy treat! Saturday night I brought in some delicious double-dipped pretzel rods from Stephanie's Sweet Treats. Oh gosh were these good! (I had to do quality control, you know :)

Sisters Marie & Barbara enjoying their pretzels!

On Sunday we did a Last Chance Gift Giveaway where we had some amazing products to give out... including a full set of Marvelous Markers, several bundles and the Watercolor Wishes card kit - among other things... so fun!

Pillow Gifts #5 and #6 were also product-based goodies... Unfortunately, the weekend had to eventually come to an end (I must admit I was a bit ready for that -- I only slept 12 hours in three nights!). Overall, though, another successful event. As much work as this event is and as tired as I get (staying up until 3AM and getting up at 8 catches up with a girl as she gets older!), it is truly one of my favorite events. We have so much fun spoiling everyone and my favorite part is being together in one room for three days... it's always great to catch up with these amazing ladies... some of them I don't see but this one time each year!

So thank you all for attending Cape Cod Creative Escape -- and watch your inbox for details and dates for the Spring edition in March or April. What? You're not on my mailing list?? Well, let's fix this... just click on the "Sign up for My Newsletter" link in the right hand column and you'll be "in the know!"

Okay... I've got lots of thank you cards to catch up on and a team meeting to prep for... so I'm off for now!

Be sure to visit again soon...

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).

Built for Free Using: My Stampin Blog

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!

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