Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Can you believe it's going to be 2011? I truly cannot since it feels like yesterday we fearing Y2K and discussing the oddity of writing '00 on a check. What will this decade be remembered for? Newsweek calls this decade "dazing" finding it hard to give a name since it's been so "dazzling, cataclysmic, and catastrophic to pin point". This decade will sadly be remembered for 9/11/01, two major wars, Hurricane Katrina, and a scary economy. Proudly, our nation's history will record it as the decade America elected our first black president. It will be remembered for major developments in technology: the iPod, the iPad, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Bing. Remembered for Pop culture such as American Idol, Harry Potter, Justin Bieber, Britney Spears. Need more of a recap on this decade? Check out this awesome video: http://2010.newsweek.com/essay/one-dazing-decade.html

At PSA Essentials, we'll always remember this decade because it's the time we started Peel & Stick stamps. It was the time we obtained some of the hardest licenses to come by - with Hello Kitty, Peanuts, Smirk, U.B.U, Rudolph, collegiate and Greek. It was the time we launched this blog and personally, I started here at PSA.

We have a few New Years crafts to share today. The first is a decoration that can be placed in a flower arrangement, a gift bag, a plant, or on a tray of food. It's festive and celebrates 2011 proudly. Marie Ramierez is the designer and she used "2011" from PSA Vintage Snowman.






















She also created this candy favor to go along with the decoration. Insert a few chocolates and distribute at your party this year!














Carly Robertson created this fun Happy New Year card. She stamped the champagne glasses from PSA Love Birds (one of my favorites – whole pack shown below.) For anyone looking to send a New Years card – this is a fun idea.


















































Happy New Year everyone! I am excited to see what the next decade brings us all…. See you next year!


Supply Spotlight:
  1. Treat cracker:  Stamps: Vintage Snowman (PSA Essentials), royal blue ink (PSA Essentials) tp roll, tissue paper, scallop punch, stickles, tape, ribbon, pop dots
  2. 2011 wand:  Stamps: Vintage Snowman (PSA Essentials), royal blue ink (PSA Essentials.)  Crepe paper streamers, scallop punch, sickles, pop dots, bamboo skewers
  3. Happy New Year Card:  Stamps:  PSA Love Birds (PSA Essentials.   Paper:  Black (Bazzill), silver (A Muse).   Ribbon:  Black sheer (A Muse).  Tools:  Large scallop square (Spellbinders.)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Product Review: Marvy Clever Lever Craft Punch

Craft punches add so much value to paper craft projects. There's not much doubt about that in our industry. Scissors and exact-o knives can only cut so straight and a good solid punch elevates your paper craft design to a new level. Designs look more professional when you use punches, they are more polished. There are so many on the market, and it's easy to spend a lot of money on them. They also take up quite a bit of real estate in your craft room – so we crafters should choose carefully.

This week I took a look at two punches we have in the craft room: The Clever Lever Xtra Giga-Square 2.475 and Clever Lever Circle 1.5 by Marvy.

 
















The bottom line is I think both of these are essential. They cut cleanly, no edges were jagged or frayed. The view finder underneath allows you to guide where you are cutting, eliminating guess work. It's not hard to press down – the "clever lever" glides down with a simple press of your hand. I tried it on thicker card stock and it wasn't a problem. Simply put: these punches are easy to use and they work well. Prices range from $16-24. They are sold at Amazon.com and numerous scrapbooking websites. Google shop around for the best price if you are interested. 

I made a quick card last night using the punches. This card would have taken me substantially longer had I not had them. But I used the square punch to create the 4 tiles and the circle punch for the sentiments. I used my trusty Glue Glider and I was in business in a flash. I love both of these stamps - Thinking of You is from PSA Dare to Dream and the flower/rosetta is from PSA Rosettas. I love patterned papers and mixing circles and squares in a geometric way is always fun for me.






















What kind of punches do you use? What are your favorites - you must have some!  Leave a comment here today and let us know.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Holiday Goodies


Do you eat as much as I do during the holidays? It's hard not to when you are surrounded by chocolates, fruit cakes, candy canes, baked goods, pies, and more. While some estimates say the average person gains between 7 and 10 pounds from Thanksgiving to Christmas, a 2007 study revealed that the average person actually only gains 1 pound! (Turns out the average person doesn't lose it but no one needs to know that!) So toss aside any weight gain fears, INDULGE in some goodies and do some crafts…. that burns calories, right?

One of our designers, Mara Campbell loves to bake. Her blog is always full of ideas that she's made up. Recently she posted a recipe for apple cinnamon rolls that I am dying to try…. Check it out at http://loveyourmotherearth.blogspot.com/2010/11/apple-cinnamon-rolls.html. For us she made holiday treat bags. If you were having a party and wanted to send your guests home with a few baked goods, send them home with these.











































Christina Padilla also had sweets on the brain. She decorated this jar full of peppermints using PSA Whimsy Tree stamps. I'd love to leave this out for guests – or even just to jazz up what Mike, Molly and I are snacking on from home.























Okay, so this falls off topic of goodies to eat, but did you notice the great candle that Christina created here? I love when designers do this! Take a simple candle and spice it up with your own flair. Christina stamped Merry Christmas from PSA North Pole, layered with punches and pretty papers, and embellished with glitter, ribbons and garland.






















Hope you are having a "sweet" holiday season!


Supply Spotlight:
  1. Treat bags:  Stamps:  PSA Treeo-O (PSA Essentials),  Paper:  Cardstock in Red and White (Michael's), Cloths pins, brown paper bags
  2. Candy & Candles:   PSA North Pole (PSA Essentilas), Paper:  Cardstock in White (Michael's), 3M Adhesive, Spellbinders dies, ribbon. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday Inspiration Challenge: 12/27


Has the dust settled at your house yet?  Christmas came and went like a tornado for us!  Welcome back to PSA Stamp Camp blog.    We are working this week and will have some great posts for our readers. 

 
Last week I was inspired by this fun idea for a homemade wreath.   I know a woman that collects wine and champagne corks.   She writes the date and who she was with when she shared the drink.   Her collection is full of great memories.   Wouldn't this wreath be a great way to display her corks? 






















I was inspired to create a quick holiday card. The wreath was so simple, so wintery – it conjured up the holidays for me. I stamped the snowman from PSA Vintage Snowman and colored him up with a metallic marker to make it pop. I love these papers, too – they really stand out.
















For this week's inspiration image, I am choosing something that screams New Years Eve! Have you visited Art Rising.com? It's a division of Art.com that sells emerging and established artists work across the world. The artist of this work is new to me: her name is Jackie Johnston from Wasco, WA. You can view her complete profile and see her online gallery here. http://www.artistrising.com/shop/profile/5346/Jackie-Johnston.htm . You can buy this print here too.






















Wouldn't it look great in your bar or dining room? What will you create inspired by this image?    We have a great stamp that goes along perfectly with this image.  It's from PSA Love Birds and it's toasting champagne glasses.   

 

























Send me a photo of your craft inspired by this image by no later than Sunday, 1/2 at 5 pm to be posted Monday, 1/3.   You don't HAVE to use Peel & Stick stamps - just whatever you have around the house.   Happy Crafting!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Setting your Christmas Table

It's so much fun to set a holiday table. I do my Christmas table weeks in advance, and the dining room table sits festive, ready and waiting for a feast to come and our family to gather. (I am sure to wash the plates and glasses before the meal now…made the mistake one year of not doing that. Mike wrote: "hi" in the dust of his plate to tease me about it. Ewww and thanks, hubby). I have two huge bins in my closet with different linens and napkin rings – playing around with them is so much fun. Now my head is full of all kinds of additions to the table thanks to our design team – and it doesn't involve hundreds of dollars at Pier 1. Better yet, they are handmade!

Our designers Julia Aston and Mara Campbell have some great ideas to set your table this year. Mara created these fun napkin rings using Peel & Stick stamps from our Rudolph & Co. collection. These Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer stamps are a new license for 2010 for PSA Essentials. They are too cute for words. Check out both the packs if you have a second at http://www.psaessentials.com/rudolph.htm. I love how Mara colored the stamps up to give them even more character.




























Julia's ideas are fun too – and I always love when a designer doesn't use literal colors to celebrate a holiday. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all of the red and green that blue is very refreshing and calming. Julia created a napkin ring, a treat bag, and place card. She stamped using Peel & Stick Tree-O.

Put it all together and it looks something like this…





Supply Spotlight:


Holiday Napkin Rings.  Stamps: Rudolph & Friends Peel & Stick (PSA Essentials), Paper: October Afternoon and Crate Paper, Tools: Cricut, Other: Pen (Sakura)
Coordinating Place Card, Napkin Holder & Treat Bag.  Stamps: Trees (PSA Essentials), Simple Alphabet (Papertrey Ink).  Card Stock: Vintage Cream (Papertrey Ink), Pacific Point (Stampin Up). Patterned Paper: Daydream/Freshly Mown Lawn (October Afternoon). Ink: Espresso/Turquoise (PSA Essentials) Dies:  Fancy Tags, Big Scalloped Circle Nestabilities, Labels 16 Nestabilities (Spellbinder). Other:  Rhinstone Stickers (Michaels), glassine metal closure bag (Papertrey Ink), Wrinkled Seam Ribbon  




Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Product Review: Glue Glider Pro


Last week I announced that we would be reviewing products on Thursday's here at PSA Stamp Camp. We aren't trying to be Craft Critique or The Scrap Review (two sites we love!) but as PSA Essentials gets deeper and deeper into the craft industry, we think it's important to start testing products and sharing them with our readers. In my opinion, all craft products and tools fall under one of three categories: essential, desirable or extra.

For our first review, I chose the Glue Glider Pro by Glue Arts. Let me cut to the chase: this product is ESSENTIAL for any crafter!


The Glue Glider Pro is an adhesive tape that glides effortlessly onto paper and has an enormously strong hold. There are no bubbles. It seamlessly adheres your papers and embellishments. I like the size of it since it fits perfectly in my hand and is light weight. YouTube is amazing - there are dozens of videos and reviews of this product. I am linking the video by Glue Glider Pro here so you can see how it works and how to change your cartridge. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7mNn-xarEE&feature=related. The well-worth it cost is $24.95 and replacement cartridges are $14.95. Amazon.com and various scrapping stores online carry this product. Just google search it to shop around!

With my Glue Glider Pro, I made two layouts for Christmas. I will add photos and journaling to these after Christmas next week!


























Do you have a Glue Glider Pro? Leave a comment a let us know what you think of my assessment. I think it's a must have!

Supply Spotlight:  Stamps:  PSA North Pole (PSA Essentials), Paper:  DCWV Tis The Season, Stickers: K & Company & Jolee,  Tools:  Glue Glider Pro.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O’Regan Holiday Cards

I had the lofty aspiration of hand making my Christmas cards this year… Turns out it was too lofty! I ended up ordering photo cards from Kodak Gallery, and I am so happy with the way they turned out. Here's the final product.


















I did manage to spice up the card with my PSA Essentials custom stamp and a few Peel & Stick stamps. I took time to color in some of the Whimsy Trees to make them pop off the white envelope. I also stamped the back of my cards, just to give them a little something extra. I switched out my inks, changed up the packs, and tried my hardest to take it one step further.



















Did you blog about your Christmas cards this year? Share your link here – we want to see what you sent out! Happy Holidays to everyone!

Supply Spotlight:   PSA Peel & Stick packs: PSA Whimsy Tree, PSA North Pole, PSA Vintage Snowman & PSA Fancy Flakes: http://www.psaessentials.com/psaoriginals.htm

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A cookie party exchange

On Sunday, I hosted the second annual cookie party exchange. Are you familiar with this kind of party? It is super fun this time of year. I asked that my guests bring 3 dozen cookies, and everyone swaps – so you get to go home with various types of cookies. The girls brought everything from peppermint bark, toffee, organic oatmeal scotchies, chocolate chip, sugar cookies, almond crescents dipped in chocolate, and red velvet cupcakes.


 













The cookie exchange is really a disguise for a girls' afternoon. We enjoyed some bubbly, good food and each other's company. On Susan's recommendation, I made some leek quiches (http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/mini-leek-quiches-recipe/index.html), and my mom's ham buns, artichoke dip, spinach dip, and a new recipe – Caesar salad bites. These turned out to be a big hit and are so easy. http://www.southernliving.com/food/entertaining/appetizer-recipes-00400000052549/page32.html

I did some quick labels so that guest would know which cookies they were taking. I used place cards, spray painted them red, added some decorative tape, and stamped my favorite tree from PSA Whimsy Tree.



 










Design Team member Jen Witmer (who has been recovering from back surgery) found some time to craft and bring cookies to the exchange. She made organic oatmeal scotchies – they are to die for! She created these adorable bags for guests to bring home, too. She stamped the snowman from PSA Vintage Snowman and colored him up. How cute!



 
















Everyone had a great time!



 













Already looking forward to the 3rd annual.


Supply Spolight:
  1. Place cards:    Stamps: PSA Whimsy Tree (PSA Essentials), Decorative Tape (K&Company), Scallop punch (Michael's), Glue Glider Pro.
  2. Bags:  Stamps:  PSA Vintage Snowman (PSA Essentials), Crayola Classic Markers, Zots, and Fiskars scissors.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Inspiration Challenge: 12/20

Our first image for the Weekly Inspiration Challenge came from Eat.Chic.Drink.com, it has been sitting in my inspiration folder for months.   With all the holiday madness, the red, green and blue everywhere – I thought we could all use a little retreat.   (No, I am not scrooge! Just needed a change.)    To me this springtime image conjured up visions of a fantastic garden wedding, a chic bridal shower, or an upscale baby shower.  





















I was inspired to create a baby shower invitation and a few items to place on the table.    I learned my friend Katelin is expecting her second baby this Spring.  Hard for me to imagine she is having her second baby, her first is 2 months younger than my daughter Molly.   Congrats to Katelin!




















These place cards would fittingly direct guests to their seats and inform guest what tea or food they are eating. 













And this flag is meant to place on the buffet table, next to the food item.   Mocked here as “Raspberry Tarts.” 













One of our readers, Andrea Farthofer is a cookbook author and photographer from Vienna, Austria.   She figured the only thing missing in our image was a few lovely little cakes!  So she sent us this image inspired by our challenge.    Actually these are soaps that she has packaged as cakes.   Super cute!   















Another of our readers Tracy Schultz, made this seasonal card inspired by the colors in the photo!  She fittingly called it Pink Peace.   What a beautiful job she did.



















For this week’s inspirational challenge, I’ve gone back to the season.  This is a wreath idea from Better Homes and Gardens magazine.   I feel like I should be apr├Ęs ski in an Aspen lodge… or it should hang on the bar of my fictional chalet in Jackson Hole.    Are you inspired by it?    Look forward to seeing what you create with it.    Remember to send your images to me by 5 pm Sunday 12/26 to be posted 12/27.
  
























PSA Cupcake and PSA Carriage Stamps were used in all three of my projects. http://www.psaessentials.com/peelandstick.htm 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Weekend Plans

What are your weekend plans? Mine are drinks on Friday night with some girls. This cute card "Drinks" card by Carly Robertson is adorable and I would love to send them out to friends for the next girls night or for an invitation for a special night out on the town. She used the "Drinks" stamp from PSA Date Night and embellished with a ribbon. I love the way she has colored in the stamp, too!




















Every married couple with children needs a date night! Not a night out with other friends, and going to holiday parties don't count (because the girls just end up in one room while the guys end up playing poker in another) but a TRUE date night. I am talking about a dinner at a quiet, amazing restaurant like Michael Anthony's or Sage Room in Hilton Head. We don't do a date night all that often, I know some couples who make it a habit of doing one once a month, some even go as crazy as once a week. Mike & I truthfully are home bodies – we put Molly to bed around 7 pm and lately we have been sitting outside with a bottle of wine in front of the fire pit, but every so often we have a really nice date night.





















This card by Carly Robertson is an adorable way to invite your hubby or significant other to a night out. Of course, you will probably have more fun making it (and certainly spend more time creating it then he will reading it). But save it on your fridge and remind yourselves to do a date night more often!

Leave a comment today and we will give one lucky winner a PSA Date Night Peel & Stick pack.   Have a great weekend – whatever your weekend plans may be!

Supply Spotlight:
Drinks Card:  Stamps: PSA-Date Night (PSA Essentials). Paper: silver, black, sugar (A Muse). Ribbon: black polka dot sheer (A Muse). Other: Glossy Accents (Ranger), Markers (Copics). Tools: circle punches (Stampin’ Up!)

Date Night Card:  Stamps: PSA-Date Night and PSA-Frenchie (PSA Essentials). Paper: Papertrey Ink. Other: Star Dust Stickles (Ranger)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Introducing Product Reviews: Thursday's at PSA Stamp Camp

Crafting tools and products can be overwhelming because there are so many on the market and all they seem to do different things.  It’s no surprise that the craft industry is a 30 billion dollar a year industry – just look at one aisle at Michael’s:  it’s besieged with merchandise!  In my opinion, all tools & products fall under one of three categories:  essential, desirable, or extras.  Essential you need, desirable you want, and extras are extra!

All crafters have their essentials.   They are the ones that you need to make just about anything:  a good pair of scissors, a sharp blade, a sturdy cutting mat, and a dependable adhesive.   The circle punch (1”, 2”, and 3”),  a couple sized square punches and at least one scallop punch are essential because they instantly upgrade and make a project more professional.  I also find that a scoring tool and a set of excellent markers are a must for your crafts. 
Tools that fall under the desirable category are great to purchase if you have the money.   For example, the Crop-a-Dille III falls under this category.    The Crop-A-Dille III allows you to punch and place eyelets, snaps, grommets, and other metal embellishments anywhere on your scrapbook page or craft project.  It can “bite” through paper, leather, fabric, plastic (such as CD's), thin tin, and chipboard and reaches across a 12x12 scrapbook page.   Not essential, but really cool!   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uscFiPDbcmY
Extra tools are great to have around and they may come in handy one day, but they are extra!

I’d like to introduce you to Thursday’s at PSA Stamp.   Every week I will review a craft tool or product and decide for myself:   is it essential, desirable, or extra?  Every product reviewed will ultimately fall under one of the three categories.    We’d like to hear from you in the comments section – do you have the product, do you agree with my classification?  If you have any suggestions for products to review, be sure to send me an email at libby@psaessentials.com
Let’s sort through the cluttered craft stores aisles together every Thursday, right here at PSA Stamp Camp. 

Today - be sure to head over to Atlanta Scrapbook Examiner and Angela's article on PSA Essentials.   http://www.examiner.com/scrapbooking-in-atlanta/personalize-your-stamping-and-scrapbooking-with-psa-essentials

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

And the winner is...

Our friends at Paper Crafts Magazine hosted a giveaway on behalf of PSA Essentials on Monday 12/13.   There were 263 entries in 24 hours!  To enter to win, fans of Paper Crafts had to comment on the photo below and also become a fan of PSA Essentials.   We are happy to have made so many new friends.  We look forward to "meeting" you all through Facebook and our blog!  Welcome. 




Without further delay, congrats  Sharon Kendall Moyer!  You are the proud winner of 1 personalized stamp, 3 Peel & Stick packs, 1 alignment tool and 1 ink.   Please email me libby@psaessentials.com to claim your prize!


A huge thank-you to our friends at Paper Crafts for hosting this great giveaway and introducing PSA Essentials to their 20,000+ fans!   The new Paper Crafts magazine is on sale now and is chalk full of great ideas for Valentine's Day projects.   Their blog can also be found here:  http://www.papercraftsconnection.com/.  



Before I go!  On Friday, 12/10 we held our first "blog candy".  One commenter was randomly selected to win a PSA Peel & Stick pack, the Dare to Dream.  http://www.psaessentials.com/psaoriginals.htmCongrats to Vera Yates!  Thanks for all the great comments.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Introducing Monday Craft Challenges at PSA Stamp Camp

I do a lot of blog surfing.  I recently came across Kristina Werner’s blog (http://www.kwernerdesign.com/blog/) and I was incredibly inspired for many reasons.  She does videos like it is nobody’s business and does them regularly (269 YouTube videos posted by her.)   I have been looking for weekly feature ideas for PSA Stamp Camp and when I saw her “MACM: Make A Card Monday” everything clicked.    See, not only do I blog surf but I also internet surf for design ideas and beautiful things.    I keep a folder of all these images on my desktop so whenever I am ready to create, I have sources of inspiration.   Here’s a peak at what is in my folder right now. 

The craft community is fueled by inspiration and my hope is that in all my surfing, I am inspired.   I hope readers of this blog are also inspired.    So I am starting a weekly inspiration challenge for my fellow crafters – this is open to everyone and not just our design team.    Every Monday I will select an image of inspiration and post it on our blog.    Crafters are welcome to create a project inspired by that image.   You don’t have to use PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamps (though it would be fun if you did) and you can participate as frequently or as infrequently as you like.   Your creation can be a card, a scrapbook page, a photograph, a party favor, a home decoration – the sky is the limit.    Send a photo of your project to libby@psaessentials.com by Sunday at 5 pm and I will post a few readers projects on Monday morning.    I am planning on participating too and this should give me the added oomph to get back to my crafting. 
I needed a little spring in the winter (it’s been pretty chilly in SC!) so the first inspirational image is designed to warm us all up.    What will you create with this image?  What will I create with this image?  Can’t wait to see…Remember to send a photograph by Sunday at 5 pm.     Happy Crafting!   

Friday, December 10, 2010

All occassion gifts & cards

There’s always an occasion to send a card to a friend.   The day there’s not an occasion to send a card is even better!   When was the last time you just sent a card to a friend – just because?    My friend Danielle has a knack for it.   I get one on a random Tuesday during the month and they seem to come at a time when I need them the most.   Usually they are about friendship, shopping, or they have a cute baby or dog on it.    They make me smile. 

Inspirational cards are special to send, too.  Maybe your friend is going through a stressful time and needs an encouraging sentiment.   Our friend Eleonor McCary (who unfortunately isn’t on our design team) made a card for us that would be a perfect card to send to a friend.   She used PSA Dare to Dream Peel & Stick stamps to create this Live for the Moment card. 






















 
Our design team member Mara Campbell created this amazing Dare to Dream card set.  She made a series of 6 cards, all coordinating but different, and tied them up to make a perfect gift package.   Send one individually or send them all so the recipient can send them out.   She uses such great papers!
  








































Leave a comment today and let us know what is the nicest card you ever received?  What was the sentiment?  I’ll put all the comments as entries into a drawing and one lucky winner will receive a Dare to Dream Peel & Stick pack.





















Supply Spotlight:

1.  Stamps:  Dare to Dream Peel & Stick (PSA Essentials).   Paper:  Patterned paper (Minds Eye) and Cardstock.   Tools:  2 inch circle punch (Fiskars).   Other: Ribbon.
2.   Stamps:  Dare to Dream Peel & Stick (PSA Essentials).   Paper:  PaperTrey Ink patterned.  Tools:  Circle punch (Martha Stewart)., adhesive dots (3M).  Other: Ribboon (Reasonable Ribbon).