Aug 8, 2017

Teach Me Tuesday: Quick & Easy Scrapbook Pages

Do you ever suffer from "page envy?" You know, that time when you look at someone's scrapbook page (or any creative endeavor!) and think, "I wish my project looked like that." I had a bout of that recently. Everything I did felt too linear. Too straight. Too boring.

But then I took a step back and realized this is my style at the moment. It may not be the same a month from now, a week from now or even a day from now. But it is what I produced right now and it's okay. In fact, it's more than okay! It's me. We should embrace who we are creatively, right? And I still firmly believe Theodore Roosevelt was right when he said "Comparison is the thief of joy" -- in all areas of life!

With that said, sometimes we don't have a lot of time to spend on our creativity (and sometimes I think more time spent on one project translates into more stress and lack of joy... I think that was what happened at my recent crafty weekend. Anyway I digress!). Today's Teach Me Tuesday tip is all about scrapbooking with Stampin' Up's new Memories & More card packs. These beautiful, inexpensive card kits come with 72 double-sided cards for all sorts of craftiness! They will most certainly have you creating in minutes.

In today's video, I do a start-to-finish page using the Color Theory card collection. I actually really love how it came out and can't wait to complete the second "side" of the page (which will answer the question in my journaling!).

Here is the finished page:


And here is the close-up of the page:


And if you want to see the video, you can watch that here:





If you enjoyed the video, I would love if you subscribe to my channel


I'm also hosting my annual Summer Scrap-A-Thon event next Saturday, August 19 in Hyannis. You'll get $25 worth of brand new Stampin' Up product, a full lunch, all the pre-cut kits to create (5) double-page 12 x 12 scrapbook pages, plus two hand-stamped pillow gifts as my thank you! More information is available here or you can email me at jenpitta (at) comcast (dot) net.

Most importantly, I hope you are feeling inspired to document your memories. It's so important to share your thoughts and musings. Not just for your family and future generations, but for YOU. That's the most important part. You're not creating for someone else. You're creating for you. So embrace your creations and know that how you express yourself will evolve and change. And that's what makes it uniquely you... and perfect, just the way it is.

Until next time... happy crafting!

xoxo
Jen


Jul 31, 2017

Going Above & Beyond...

If there is one thing that Stampin' Up knows how to do, it is to spoil it's top achievers! This company knows how to put together an incentive trip and is the absolute best at pulling off all those little details.

Anyway, I wanted to share some more photos from my trip to Thailand courtesy of Stampin' Up. From the moment we arrive, we are treated like royalty. Stampin' Up rented the entire Angsana Laguna resort for us (so only Stampin' Up families and staff were on site)! Here are some photos from the resort:


First we were welcomed with our name on our door. It's really fun to walk down the hallway and find all the names of my fellow achievers and friends!


This was the view from our balcony

This was our room

This was outside one of the restaurants (Baan Talay)


I loved all these adorable little lanterns. They were really beautiful when it was all lit up at night.

The entire resort was set in the middle of a lagoon, so there were fun little "rivers" and bridges throughout the resort.

Here's one of the cute bridges.

The resort was huge! We were still discovering new places a day or two after we arrived. That could have been because we were still in a jet lag fog, too, but regardless... the resort was BIG.

There was an amazing pool on the property, that swirled it's way through the resort and ended at this big pool complete with a beach! The sand actually continued into the water so you could really feel like you were on the beach.

Speaking of the beach... there was that, too! You couldn't swim in the water where we were (I heard you could if you walked a ways down the beach), but we did have a delightful dinner buffet on the beach one night.

This is one of the restaurants (Bodega Grill) all lit up at night. As a side note, we had breakfast one morning right at that table behind the front pole in the middle. :)

This was the cool swim up bar... we had a cocktail one afternoon while swimming around. It was quite delightful!

So clearly, Stampin' Up selected an amazing hotel for us. They also covered our meals for us (in addition to the flight and hotel costs for two!). We had a grand buffet every morning in one of three different restaurants... the Marketplace was my favorite. Here are some photos from that buffet.

A lovely welcome to us each morning... all carved out of watermelon!

This was the top of the fruit table, with the two carved watermelons

This was the fruit buffet

This was the other side of the fruit buffet... I think it was mostly salad-type options. I didn't eat from here as I'm not a salad-in-the morning kind of person. (smile)

This was the hot food station. We had an assortment of things to try from bacon and sausage, to more "meal" type stuff like rice and curries.

This was one of the egg stations

This was the bread and pastries section


This was one of my favorite spots... at the very end was the waffle and pancakes station (complete with chocolate sauce and whipped cream) and then at the closest end here was the juice station. I became completely obsessed with guava juice! The fresh squeeze grape juice was pretty amazing, too.

So that amazing breakfast was included every morning thanks to Stampin' Up. Plus, we also had the hospitality room every day. There was always a daily treat of some kind, plus an endless stash of candy (both American and Thai) and beverages. It also had cute little couches and lounging areas for us to catch up and chat with fellow demonstrators. I'll share those photos in a separate post as this one is already photo heavy. I'll also share our pillow gifts with you -- but that will have to wait until after the new holiday catalog is live - since we received lots and lots of new catalog goodies!

If you've ever thought about becoming a demonstrator, now is a great time. Today is the last day to take advantage of the amazing starter kit deal! In addition to getting a great deal on the best paper crafting products around, you'll also be signing up just in time for the busy holiday crafting season and just in time to start working towards earning a cruise to the Greek Isles! Wouldn't that be amazing?

Here's the details: If you join the SU family (and my Shore Stampers Community), you will get to select $125 worth of product of YOUR choice for just $99 plus tax (FREE shipping!). PLUS, through the end of today, you'll also get an extra essentials gift pack included free of charge. That includes two "D" size blocks, a package of grid paper, paper snips scissors, a snail adhesive, a bone folder and the brand new Carols of Christmas stamp set. This is a $72 value all for free! Want to give it a try? Click HERE to join now. Or you can email me at jenpitta (at) comcast (dot) net if you have questions. I would be honored to have you as a part of my team!

Thanks for stopping by today... until next time, Happy Stampin'!

xoxo
Jen


Jul 28, 2017

Stampin' Up Incentive Trip: Thailand Swap Inspiration

How did it get to be Friday already? Seriously, this week has been a whirlwind. I'm sorry I'm a day late with this post -- I had all good intentions of getting these swap cards up yesterday, but Thursday was a marathon of meetings... I didn't even get to eat lunch yesterday! I was so happy to get back home at 10PM and just plop on my couch!

Anyway, as promised, here are some of my favorite swaps from the Thailand incentive trip. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of my own swap so I can't share that with you -- but these are awesome so I'm sure you'll find some great inspiration here! In no particular order...

This beauty was made by Winona Semler, Canada

I love this one -- I'm going to need to make one of these, too! This one is by Barbara Lash, Massachusetts (Funny how I go to the other side of the world to swap cards with someone right in my own state, right?? :)

This lovely is by Debra Burgin, Illinois
This card inspired this week's Teach Me Tuesday video!

I love this one by my friend Lorri Heiling, Arizona


This set is gorgeous and Nadine Langenscheidt from Germany (I think!) did a beautiful job with her swap.


Last but certainly not least was the beautiful creation (love the embossing paste) from Pam McLean, Canada

Swapping is one of my favorite parts of being a demonstrator! So many wonderful ideas and seriously some of the nicest people you'll ever meet! 

Don't forget, if you'd like to become one of the greatest crafting families on the planet (we are a worldwide company, you know!), the starter kit special is still in effect for just a few more days!


As always, the starter kit is a great deal at just $99 plus tax (FREE shipping). You get to select $125 worth of product of YOUR choice -- anything you want! Then during the "Christmas in July" promotion, you will also receive a stamping essentials gift pack (a $72 value) for FREE! It includes two size "D" blocks, a pack of grid paper for stamping, paper snips scissors, a snail adhesive, a bone folder and the brand new Carols of Christmas stamp set that will be available to customers in a pre-release next month -- but you can have it now!

For more information about becoming a Shore Stamper with me, click HERE. And if you're ready to start your crafting journey (for the discount or as a business!) click HERE. And as always, if you have any questions or if I can help with anything... be sure to email me at jenpitta (at) comcast (dot) net.

Thanks so much for stopping in today... have a great weekend!

xoxo
Jen

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)


video

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'!

xoxo
Jen



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!

xoxo
Jen

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.

xoxo
Jen


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)!

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