Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Halloween Prep - Day 3

I know, I know… it's only August. But good projects take time so all week long we are sharing great projects (and a chance to win PSA Haunted Shack Peel & Stick stamp set) for Halloween. Check out this fun gift idea for a hostess of a dinner party, your kid's teacher, or a birthday party favor. It is a beautifully designed tin of magnets by Jennifer Holmes. She's used stamps from UBU Happy Halloween, they are the most adorable Halloween characters you ever did see.

Here's a step instruction on how to complete this project. Start by designing the magnets.

  1. Stamp PSA UBU Happy Halloween characters on white paper
  2. Heat emboss and color them in with markers
  3. Use 1" circle punch to cut them out
  4. Adhere onto magnets
  5. Apply Mod Podge Sparkle to finish
Next design the tin.

  1. Choose two papers – a striped paper and solid, that work well. Find adhesive tape
  2. Glue together the papers, add adhesive tape in the middle as a border
  3. Stamp Happy Halloween sentiment and the UBU character of choice using your PSA Essentials Stamper with Orange & Black ink inside
  4. Color up the stamp
  5. Punch with a circle punch and adhere to black paper to frame
  6. Adhere to tin
Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win! At the end of the week, we will choose one winner via to receive a free Haunted Shack Peel & Stick pack! One comment per day please.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Halloween Prep – Day 2

A spider's web on a card is a great way to add a graphic nature to your design. Case in point, see these two Halloween cards. Anthonette Chavez created this rounded edged masterpiece with spider's web and finished it off with Skellanimals sentiment "I've got time to waste" and spider. I respect the time it took her to cut out and color in the stamps – it shows care in her work (always true of Anthonette's work). The Skellanimals collections are fantastic for Halloween. Note the tagline "Dead animals need love, too." Check them all out here ( and let us know what you think. All week long, your comments enter you to win a Haunted Shack Peel & Stick stamp set. (Limit 1 comment per day please.)

Our contributor Monika Wright designed this card "Happy Halloween" from our UBU Happy Halloween Peel & Stick collection ( These adorable UBU characters add much character to your designs. She's used black and white twine from The Twinery to create a spider's web of sorts. I like that Monika is not afraid of white space. All too often, designers feel the need to address all areas of the space. Sometimes – it adds a lot to your design.


Monika also created this fun and easy pencil holder using UBU Happy Halloween stamps, black and white twine from The Twinery, and a fun pencil. This is a great classroom project, easy to make with your kids, or a favor at a kids party.


I look forward to your comments and hope we've inspired some ideas for the upcoming Halloween…. Still 12 weeks away so there's plenty of time.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Halloween Prep - Day 1

Judging from the enormous section at Michael's and every crafty magazine out there, you'd think Halloween was tomorrow. Check out Paper Crafts magazine on sale 8/16, it's loaded with great ideas, including a card and an easy candle project using PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamps from our own Kelley Eubanks!

The reality is that Halloween is more than 12 weeks away. But every crafty lady knows that your creations don't happen overnight and the really good projects take time, which is why I am dedicating a whole week to Halloween ideas in the summer! Use this week as inspiration for your September and October projects. Leave a comment any one of the days to be entered to win a PSA Haunted Shack Peel & Stick pack! Each comment is an entry to win, but please – limit to one comment per day. Now you have a chance to win and you'll have plenty of time to get your projects done!

First project for your Halloween inspiration, see these treat bags by Kelley Eubanks. She's stamped the Haunted Shack, Pumpkin and Cat from PSA Haunted Shack using Orange & Black, and Black & Orange inks. She's also stamped "Boo" from PSA Haunted Shack. Adorable & easy! Put candy inside these and pass out to trick-or-treaters. You'll be the envy of the mom's on the block for sure.

Since this project should only take you 10 minutes depending on how many you are doing, check back tomorrow for more great ideas!



We have a winner!  The Last Days of Summer Blog Hop was the biggest we have ever had at PSA Stamp Camp.  Thank-you to everyone participating.  We used Random.Org to choose a winner..... 

And that lucky person was Betsy Burnett!  

You have won a truly incredible prize package worth over $300 in goodies.  The details here: 

  • Discount CardStock -  2 metallic sheets of 8.5 x 11 cardstock   (MSRP $19.99) 
  • Flower Soft - 4 pots (MSRP: 26.95) 
  • Helmar USA -  Scrapdots, Quick Dry Adhesive, Premium Craft Glue, and Gemstone Glue ($25 MRSP) 
  • Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker -  School is Cool Collection Kit.   The kit includes two sheets of each of the double-sided patterned paper (16 sheets total) plus one bonus sheet, plus one element sticker sheet, one alpha sticker sheet and one sheet of punch-outs.   MSRP is ($19.99).
  • PSA Essentials -  3 Peel & Stick stamp packs, 1 stamper.    MSRP:  $65
  • Purple Onion Designs – 2 Stamp Sets ,  MSRP:   $25
  • Really Reasonable Ribbon – August Ribbon of the Month  (MSRP 19.99)
  • Scor-Pal -  1 Scor-pal  (MSRP:  $30.00) 
  • The Twinery - BRAND NEW Colorful Bunch Sampler Pack as a prize (MSRP $26.00).
  • Urban Swank Embellishment Pack: $30.00 
  • Want2Scrap -  $25 in merchandise from their online store  (MSRP $25.00) 

The additional PSA Stamp Camp blog candy winner is Regina, aka Mrs. Ham.   Congrats, you won 2 Peel & Stick packs!    Thanks for being a new follower of our blog. 

Stay tuned everyone for Halloween week! Starting today at PSA Stamp Camp!   We have blog candy and great inspiration for Halloween crafts. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Last Days of Summer Blog Hop

You may be joining us from The Twinery or just starting out but either way, welcome! Just leave a comment on each of the 11 blogs on the hop to be entered to win the grand prize. The incredible prize is worth over $330 in crafty goodies from PSA Essentials, Purple Onion Designs, Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker, Really Reasonable Ribbon, Want2Scrap, Discount Cardstock, The Twinery, Scor-pal, Flower Soft, and Urban Lily.
I am so excited that all of these wonderful companies have joined together for this hop. The crafting community is such a welcoming one and the creativity is abundant. I hope you enjoy all these great ideas and products. 

For those new to PSA Essentials, we manufacture self-inking, personalized stamps. Think return address labels and see here for a visual. We have patent-pending Peel & Stick technology which allows you to switch out your personal stamp with thousands of stamps, from summery designs, Halloween, Christmas, Holiday, Valentine's Day, baby, bridal, sentiments, Hello Kitty, Peanuts, Rudolph & more.  It's this switchable technology that makes PSA Essentials stamps perfect for creating cards, scrapbook layouts, party favors, home décor, artwork, DIY projects, and so much more! You can use them with the PSA Stamper to get crisp and clean impressions or with an acrylic block – they work just like any other clear stamp! Watch this video to learn more about how they work. This blog is dedicated to all the great things you can do with our Peel & Stick stamps!

Here is a card that Tami Mayberry created using our "Surf's Up" stamp from PSA Life's A Beach. Perfect for the last days of summer.

Here is a mini scrapbook that Jennifer Holmes created, since we all know that the last days of summer means it's also back to school time. She stamped the "A+" and "Teacher Approved" from PSA Super Star. 

She also stamped PSA Vanilla Peel & Stick letters here! Super cute. 

PSA Essentials would like to offer some additional blog candy! You could win these two Peel & Stick stamp packs in addition to the grand prize, by becoming a follower of this blog. Just follow us and leave a comment letting me know you did, and I will choose one lucky winner to receive these two Peel & Stick packs. Existing followers eligible, too – just leave an extra comment.

Now hop on over to Discount Cardstock  if you are just starting out. To win the grand prize, remember to comment on each of the 11 blogs. The good news is you have 2 days to do it! We will choose using and announce the winner Monday at PSA Stamp Camp & Facebook. Good luck!

Entire hop line-up: 

Grand Prize Details:

  • Discount CardStock -  2 metallic sheets of 8.5 x 11 cardstock   (MSRP $19.99)
  • Flower Soft - 4 pots (MSRP: 26.95)
  • Helmar USA -  Scrapdots, Quick Dry Adhesive, Premium Craft Glue, and Gemstone Glue ($25 MRSP)
  • Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker -  School is Cool Collection Kit.   The kit includes two sheets of each of the double-sided patterned paper (16 sheets total) plus one bonus sheet, plus one element sticker sheet, one alpha sticker sheet and one sheet of punch-outs.   MSRP is ($19.99).
  • PSA Essentials -  3 Peel & Stick stamp packs, 1 stamper.    MSRP:  $65
  • Purple Onion Designs – 2 Stamp Sets ,  MSRP:   $25
  • Really Reasonable Ribbon – August Ribbon of the Month  (MSRP 19.99)
  • Scor-Pal -  1 Scor-pal  (MSRP:  $30.00)
  • The Twinery - BRAND NEW Colorful Bunch Sampler Pack as a prize (MSRP $26.00).
  • Urban Swank Embellishment Pack: $30.00
  • Want2Scrap -  $25 in merchandise from their online store  (MSRP $25.00)


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Gift Wrap

Our friend Lindsay Harrell always gives good gifts but a long time ago, we noticed how pretty her packages came wrapped too. Susan was the first to start emulating this trend and now I am following in these stylish gift givers footsteps. From now on, gift wrap is part of the gift and I will make wrapping special. (And declaring it in a public forum will ensure I follow through.) I'll need some tips from Lori (one of PSA Essentials' owners and one of the most creative people I know, she's an expert gift wrapper). I've picked up some inspiration to share too.

Once I have my pretty packaging nailed down, I'll want to add a gift tag. Tags can be intricate or easy, depending on how much time you have, but a handmade one is a great touch. These are ideas by Melyssa Connolly. She's used PSA Whimsy Cake Peel & Stick to stamp the cupcake. I love how she's colored them in and shaded them with her Copics.

Even if you appreciate it more than the recipient, it's a whole lot of fun and really elevates the gift. Happy gift giving!

Gift wrapping images sources:

    Photo credit: photo: Roberto Caruso
Supply Spotlight for Gift Tags: 

Stamps-Whimsy cakes-PSA Originals.  Manila tags-Office Supply store. Pattern paper-Summer Days paper pad from Echo Park (Teal polka dot-Odds and Ends mini deck-October Afternoon. Cardstock-Neenah. Ink-Juniper-Tulip and Crème Brule-CTMH, Black-Memento. Sentiments-Birthday Cheer-Paper Makeup Stamps. Buttons-PTI.  Ribbon-Ribbon Carousel.  Border punch-Cherish-Martha Stewart. Circle Scallops Nesties-Spellbinders.  Copic Markers

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Emma’s 1st Birthday Party

Last week, we attended Molly's friend Emma Caron's 1st birthday party.  The Tutu & Tie themed party was held at the Colleton River Country Club  indoors due to rain which turned out to be a blessing in disguise.  All those kids in the pool can be chaotic and Kelly did an amazing job decorating the clubhouse.   Colleton River is a pretty stunning spot in the LowCountry.

Kelly crafted the pinwheel decorations, the "Happy Birthday Emma Banner", the pom-poms, and all of the decorations.  They ordered the enormous balloons online which was a real focal point for the kids table.  Molly got to take a balloon home, and although it is now deflated,  still loves it.   Check out the lower right picture, you will see Molly and our god-daughter Ella transfixed.  They are patiently waiting for cupcakes.   I've never seen either of them sit so still.  

Kelly gave all her guests either a Tutu or a Tie (depending on the child's gender) and she stamped the gift bag with Emma's monogram with her Antique Cipher personalized stamp from PSA Essentials .  She'll use it to create stationery for her thank-you notes (you should have seen the loot this girl took in), the inside of her books, and to play with at home.   I see lots of UBU, Smirk, Peanuts and Original PSA designs in Emma's future… 

We feasted on coconut fried shrimp, jerk chicken, plantains, sweet potato fries, and Ronnie's Cupcakes for dessert.   The kids all played with toys and the adults socialized and drank adult beverages.  It was a great Friday night and we were so happy and honroed to be invited!  Happy 1st Birthday Emma!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Vacation Recap

If you tried to reach me Wednesday to Sunday, I didn't answer. There was no pinning on Pinterest, no reading my newsfeed on Facebook, no tweeting on Twitter, no emails on my Blackberry, and I set timers to post on blogger. I was entirely unplugged and I loved it.

Mike and I were at Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma, The Bahamas.  It's an all-inclusive resort, meaning we never took out or wallet, not once, not even for a drink. This was our third and favorite Sandal's resort, we just love that freedom. The resort was previously owned by The Four Seasons and it was very luxurious – we had a beautiful view of the turquoise water from our bedroom, the pool is gargantuan, and everything is so comfy. The white sand beach was incredible, we spent our mornings lounging on the beach reading and dipping in the ocean, and our afternoon's pool side at the swim up bar making friends.

I read an entire 500-page novel (The American Wife by Curtis Sientenfield) and ate 5 meals a day. One day I ate six. A doughnut at the Paris Café with a latte, followed by a massage to work up my appetite, then a regular breakfast at the buffet, lunch at the buffet, pizza at 3 in the afternoon, Italian restaurant for dinner, and then we ordered room service. A bacon cheeseburger. Just because we could. I probably gained 6 lbs but I could care less. I sang karaoke with our new friends at the Drunken Duck Pub but mostly went to bed early.

Best part of all, I spent time talking (and sometimes just not talking) to my husband. It was time together unlike any we have had in the last two years since my daughter was born. Just us. It was really special and really needed. I am sure not everyone can get away for 4 or 5 days to the Bahamas, and this was a special treat for us, but being together the two of us definitely reminded me why I married him.

I missed Molly, and the only reason I was desperate to get home was to see her. Now I am busy thinking about our next vacation that might include her. Beaches in Turks & Caicos came highly recommended… In my research, I found that there's a Martha Stewart Craft Studio and scrapbooking classes. Maybe they need someone to teach it, and I can bring PSA into the mix! Now there's an idea!

Catching up on 140+ emails and getting my ducks in a row for this week. Did you know we are hosting the "Last Days of Summer Blog Hop" starting Friday? There's a chance to win a prize from Purple Onion Designs, The Twinery, Helmar, Really Reasonable Ribbon, Nikki Sivils Scrapbooker, Flower Soft, Scor-pal and Urban Swank… details to follow.



Introducing PSA Contributors!

I'd like to introduce two talented designers that will be contributing on a regular basis to PSA Stamp Camp. Welcome Monika Wright & Jamie Smith as PSA Stamp Camp Contributors! These busy ladies are accomplished designers who don't have the time to commit to the "demands" of official Design Team positions, but we are lucky enough that they are going to play with our stamps and share their unique ideas with our readers. Join me in welcoming these ladies. 


I discovered Monika when PSA Essentials & The Twinery partnered for a product swap and blog hop. I instantly fell in love with her CAS style and her creative, out of the box ideas. Check out her blog. She's been a guest poster at Ali Edwards, Amy Cromwell Designs, Balzer Designs, The Crafting Chicks, Ideas for Scrapbookers, Making Memories, Perfectly Imperfect, SEI Lifestyle, Someday Crafts, The Spunky Diva, and will be on Scrap RDV in September. She's designed for The Twinery, Paper Issues, Write.Click.Scrapbook, Momenta, and Ella Publishing. See this great layout cover she did. She opened an Etsy store 14 months ago and just surpassed 600 sales! Check her store out at - I just pinned a bunch of her stationery and subway art.


Jamie has a very successful blog called C.R.A.F.T., which is short for "Creating Really Awesome Free Things" – where she shows her 2500+ followers ideas for home, wardrobe, kitchen and kids. She hosts "Making Mondays Marvelous" linking parties, where hundreds of followers link up their ideas. Her work has been featured on Tip Junkie, Tatertots and Jello, Dollar Store Crafts, and over a hundred more. Her ideas are unique and break the card mold. I am excited to showcase projects from this Austin, TX designer! 

You will also see the work past design team members Stephanie Jones, Anthonette Chavez and Mara Campbell occasionally. Welcome Contributors!

Friday, August 19, 2011

2nd Birthday Party

Go big or go home. Proving that I do not know how to do things on a small scale, see case in point: Molly's 2nd birthday party invitations. Literally, I die. In working at PSA Essentials over the last year, writing this blog, and searching for creative things to share with people, I have come to discover myself. Though I always sort of knew it – it's confirmed. I truly love stationery. I love paper. I love stamps. I love vintage postage stamps. And I love planning parties. 

Here's a peek at the invite from Tiny Prints. This design is by Tallu-lah who is well-known for her stunning letter press stationery. See her greeting cards and learn more about her here: tale/. Sadly, I have to blur out details of the invite and also my address...

I ordered vintage stamps from Paper Nickel Stamp Company ( The owner and mastermind behind this business Holly, picked out these stamps me once I showed her the invitation – she customized the postage stamps to the theme of the party and the colors in the invitation. Now, do you think anyone will notice that? I don't care! If it's just me, so be it. Love it.

Since the party is an ice cream social, I asked Dawn at PSA Essentials to create a truly custom PSA Essentials stamp. It reads "Molly's 2nd Birthday Party" and has an ice-cream cone in the center.  I've switched out the middle on the below invitation with a "2" from PSA Vanilla Peel & Stick stamps.    I'll be using it to craft party hats, pennant flags and more decorations! I stamped the backs of these invitations and the fronts of a few I was hand delivering.


  Can't wait to share more of Molly's party with readers!  Stay tuned... 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Photo Canvas

Since my daughter Molly was born, I've taken thousands of photos. It's a real challenge to come up with different ways to use them. Last year for Molly's 1st birthday, I created this poster with pictures from each month of her life, 0 to 12 months. It is so much fun to see how she changes from month to month! 

For her 2nd birthday, I was inspired by this idea that's been circulating on Pinterest, originally from Martha Stewart. I loved the idea of arranging photos into the shape of the number. And having them all black and white unifies the idea. 

This WAS a great inspiration image, but I needed to make several changes. First of all, I wanted a more permanent piece of artwork (these photos are just taped to the wall.) So I went with a large canvas. I also wanted sepia photos, and I wanted to incorporate mixed media - paint, stamps, Gesso, Mod Podge and Wood Stain. Working on this piece brought me back to my studio days at U of Michigan art school. My hands have been stained for days and the smell of gesso and paint really brought on the nostalgia!

First I gessoed the entire canvas. For those not familiar with gesso, it's a fabulous medium. Use it to thin out paint to make it more transparent or as a base coat. To get my background to have some texture and interest, I stamped "2" from PSA Vanilla Peel & Stick stamps using an acrylic block and pigment ink in different colors. 

Next I drew a large "2" in charcoal and added the photos. I painted, white washed, and then stained. When all was dry, I sealed the photos to the canvas with Glossy Mod Podge. 

The end result hangs proudly on my living room wall. 

Since it's been up, Molly's stopped to check it out. "Pictures of Molly!" she says. Or "Molly's eating soup!" Or "Molly's running!" I hope she'll appreciate it more and more over the years.   I know I will.   

This post was posted to a PAINT PARTY!   Domestically Speaking

And I was also so proud of it - I shared it on Made by you Monday at Skip to My Lou 

Lastly (but not least) this was linked to Under the Table & Dreaming.  


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Baby Boy Layout

My friend in blogging land and design coordinator for Want2Scrap Mimi Leinbach created this darling layout. It's so darling she has titled it "Darling."

There's a lot to point out on this page. First note the layering of paper – she has 5 different patterned paper stacked, creating depth within the page. She's used decorative tape – and not just horizontally – she's underlined her son's picture with an askew heart tape which adds motion and visual interest. Tilting an image can really bring things to life! The three circles pop off the page, and the stamps from PSA Little Bunny really add character. I like how she's journaled, too – and what a great line: "No matter how old you are, you will always be my darling boy!" 

Check out the stamp detail. I love how crisp and clean these images came out. The royal ink is such a great color, too!

Let us know what you think today of this layout and this darling stamp set, Little Bunny!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Pure Love

These two cards by Kelley Eubanks are beautiful in their simplicity and design. The message is clear and simple. It reads "Pure love." 


Our wedding photographer Mark Staff  met us on the beach in Hilton Head last week to capture the same message. "Pure love" in our family. I couldn't be happier with the result.

And my number one favorite… pure love…

There's nothing like family!