Sunday, June 12, 2016

Making Predictions...

Hi There Stampers,
Happy Sunday! Hope you enjoyed a nice weekend. I had a very busy (and fun!) weekend. Saturday was my annual Catalog Launch & BOGO sale. Always a fun time... this card was one of the two free make and takes I offered for the catalog launch.

I used the "Best Birds" stamp set for this card. I'm actually going to predict that this will be a really popular set this catalog cycle... at least it will be for me. It was one of the first bundles to draw my attention (well, right after I got over screaming about the new "By the Shore" suite!).

This card is rather simple because I knew the ladies would be busy shopping yesterday so I wanted to provide some super simple make and takes.

This is a Crumb Cake base and I only used the Best Birds stamp set. So you can see it's got some great layering elements and beautiful greetings (and I love the font!). I used the fabulous new Sweet Sugar Plum as the color pop, as well as Early Espresso for the bird.

I'm trying to narrow down all my favorite stamp sets to four for a fun training event for my Shore Stampers team. We're doing an all day training on Saturday where we'll be making 20 different cards using four different stamp sets. Yup. Just four. Oy, this is going to be some hard decisions. I'm thinking that this bird stamp set may make the cut -- especially since it has thinlits that match!

If you've ever considered being a Stampin' Up demonstrator, or if you just really, really love Stampin' Up products like I do, you may want to consider buying the starter kit. It's a fabulous deal and comes with a 20% discount - can't beat that, right? Well, actually I can! The starter kit is $99 and you get to select $125 worth of product of YOUR choice. Then, if you purchase the kit in June you also get to select TWO stamp sets of your choice of any value for free! Email me if you have questions or would like to take advantage of the starter kit special and I'll help you out!

Okay... I'm off to bed I think. It's a super busy week for me... I have my online catalog launch party on Tuesday night -- you should join us! Click here to see what we're up to - then my Stamp of the Month class on Thursday and my big training on Saturday! So much stamping fun :)

Until next time... keep stampin'!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

My 5 Steps for viewing the new Stampin' Up catalog

Hey there friends! Happy June. I'm so excited for this month. Summer is my favorite and we're finally seeing some warmer summer-like (or maybe even spring-like!) temperatures here on Cape Cod. It had been cold and breezy (and rainy!) for weeks before I left on my trip to France, Italy & Spain for the Stampin' Up incentive trip last week (more on that later). So while it has been a little cloudy the past couple of days, the warmth is a welcomed addition.

Anyway, in case you haven't heard - June 1st is also new Catalog Day at By the Shore Stamping. And this year's Stampin' Up catalog is gorgeous. Did you get one? If not, (and you don't already have a demonstrator), I'd be happy to send you one. I just charge $5 (unless you have purchased from me in the last year) and you'll receive a $5 coupon to use on your first order (so it's really essentially free!). Just email me at jen pitta at comcast dot net and let me know you'd like one.

I love to pour over my new annual catalog for weeks (sometimes months!) after it comes out. There's always so much to see -- new products, samples, color combinations! Last year, I included tips for "how to view the new catalog" in one of my weekly emails and everyone seemed to enjoy it, so I thought I'd share my method for going through a new catalog again here.

STEP ONE:
Of course, the first time I go through the catalog, it's just a thorough (yet not too in depth) look at what new products are introduced. I try to read through all the sentiments and find the really unique ones. I do glance at a lot of the samples, but I don't analyze them too closely yet. That's next.

STEP TWO:
This time I look at all the pretty samples. I check for cards I might want to copy exactly, card layouts I might want to try and color combinations that I love. I often will have a stack of post-it notes nearby at this stage so I can flag the samples I like with a "copy," "sketch" or "color combo" note so I remember when I go back.

STEP THREE:
The third look is all about stamps. I will normally go through with a highlighter and highlight any of the sets I already own. I used to do this with ink pads, too, way back in the day, but well, now I own them all so there's no question about that (wink, wink).

STEP FOUR:
This is my shopping step. My "the sky is the limit" step. Here I pull out a notebook and I write down every stamp set I want. Every package of paper I want. Every new embellishment, tool and Big Shot item I need. (This is usually a long list). Nothing is held back. (It's really just for fun). Then I laugh at the total and I get serious and move on to Step Five. (This year's "dream" list total was $900)

STEP FIVE:
Here is where I am realistic. For me as a demonstrator I pull out my calendar and see what events I have coming up, I see how many free sets I have earned (yes, this is an amazing perk of being a demo!) and I dive back into the catalog. As a customer, I would think about what projects you have on the docket, what "holes" you may have in your collection (do you need sentiments? Christmas stamps? Not enough Get Well? Kids themes?... etc.). Then I start at the beginning of the catalog and I analyze each set (sentiments, images, occasions covered) and I decide which are must haves. I do the same thing with embellishments, Big Shot items, tools and paper. I usually select at least one whole product suite (maybe two, or three) that I can purchase just because it makes life so dang easy. Everything is already thought out for you and there is no worry about "will this coordinate?" My favorite suite this year is of course the one called "By the Shore."

Now a couple of tips... have a budge in mind when you start. Then you can narrow it down if you are over on your first (or fifth!) run through. Try to take inventory of your current supplies before you sit down with the new catalog. This way you'll know what you truly need and what is an "extra." And finally, don't just open up the computer and start entering items into your cart - this is very, very dangerous (ask me how I know!), but really fun! As much as I'd love to have your great big giant order, we really don't want any buyers remorse tomorrow (wink, wink).

AND, if you have a really large list that you just can't narrow down... maybe you should consider the Ultimate Stamper's Bundle. It's just $99 plus tax and you get to select $125 worth of product of YOUR CHOICE. Plus, if you purchase the bundle in June you can also add two additional stamp sets (of any value) for FREE! This is such an amazing deal. And while it does officially make you a demonstrator, there is no obligation to sell or host classes if you don't want to -- and of course, you'll have me to help you if you decide that earning a little cash doing something you love sounds like a good idea. You can purchase the kit here (just scroll down and click on the purplish-pink "join" bar about half way down).

Are you ready to browse all the pretty things? You can shop here.

Let me know in the comments below how YOU go through the new catalog. Curious minds want to know!

Until next time,











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).

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