Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Good Morning America

My favorite morning news program is Good Morning America. I've been watching it since I was in high school, I grew up watching Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson. I have come to love George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts, I know most of the reporters names and faces and have favorites amongst those. One of my favorites is Andrea Canning – she's most known for her interview with Charlie Sheen, but I know her better for all the great reporting she's done over the years. She did a report on childcare the time that Molly was just born that I respected and carried the information with me for the last two years.

So you can imagine how thrilled I am that for 3 days only – Good Morning America is featuring PSA Essentials personalized, Peel & Stick stamps, and inks on another of my favorite reporters, Tory Johnson's "Secret Deals and Steals" segment online. For these next three days, you can purchase 

 This offer is exclusive to GMA viewers and our fans and followers. PSA Essentials has never had a sale like this before! This makes a personalized stamp just $22.50 and Peel & Stick packs $9.50.  To take advantage of this Good Morning America offer, click here: Use offer code: GMA. Hurry, this offer ends 12/2 at 11.59 PT.

Choose from all of our personalized stamps & Peel & Stick packs – I wonder, which will you choose?






Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Countdown to Christmas

Halloween down, Thanksgiving down – Christmas to go! Hard to believe that tomorrow is December 1st – where has the time gone? With the countdown to Christmas on, it is time to get working on your holiday cards if you are planning on making them this year. Here are two fabulous ideas from Jennifer Holmes to get you started.

Jennifer created a post card within a card, a real fun idea to try! The post card is so real looking, she's created a postage stamp of a tree from PSA Tree-O Peel & Stick stamps. She's stamped the red card base using a snowflake from PSA Fancy Flakes. Using two variations of red ink on pink cardstock, she stamped the snowflake over and over again to create a pattern. Using similar ink and cardstock colors are fun to try because the stamp fades into the cardstock and becomes a background. I love how she's rounded the corners of the cardstock on this card, too.

On this card, she's used the stocking from PSA Vintage Snowman (which is one of my favorite sets!) She's tied baker's twine to "hang" the stockings – which adds texture and a handmade quality to the design. The white scalloped ribbon also adds texture, as well as the die cut white frame. The textured green cardstock also works nicely with all the elements on the card.

Jennifer's designs are beautifully crafted and flawlessly executed. They're true works of art! Wouldn't you just love to receive one in the mail this season?

Monday, November 28, 2011

How Peel & Stick get their groove back

My friend Jenny Regan recently emailed me with this question: "some of my Peel and Stick stamps aren't sticky anymore. Is there a way to get them to stick again?" She's planning on making her own Christmas gift wrap using Peel & Stick stamps, Kraft paper and Baker's Twine. Love it! Can't wait to see how it comes out. Well she needs them sticky to get it done so here's how to do it. 

Peel & Stick stamps most often temporarily lose their stickiness when there's ink build up on them. If you aren't diligent about washing them after you use them (like me), just rise them under some warm water. Even if you are diligent about washing them after use, they can still lose some stickiness from dirt and oil from your hands.  And even lint is a nasty cuprit.    No worries - they really do bounce back!

Give them a brief bath in dish soap. Palmolive works great for me.

Then dry them with a paper towel. You will notice there's still some color on the stamps – this happens if you don't wash them right away after use but doesn't affect any further stamping.

Within a few seconds after their bath, they are sticky again! Look I stuck mine to the window.

You will see they really do bounce right back – it's quite amazing! Stick them over and over again – they really never do lose their stickiness.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

It's the day after Thanksgiving which means it's BLACK FRIDAY! It seems that today, most people fall into either of two categories. Those who avoid shopping like the plague and those that are hunting for the bargains and fighting the crowds. Which one are you?

There ARE some amazing deals out there and a good place to start (if you aren't already out shopping) is the Black Friday website. You will find all the major retailers like Toys R Us, Walmart, Target, Sears, Best Buy listed with information about their specific Black Friday sale. Browse each stores circulars by clicking on the name of the store. (Toys R Us is almost selling everything at 50% off!) The site also gives information about special store hours, printable coupons, and alerts to when items are sold out.

 Rossomer Square

Be sure to check out Rossomer Square's version of "Black Friday" where our Peel & Stick packs are 20% off. Now you can fall into a third category - a person who is shopping, but also comfortable at home and not fighting the crowds! If you buy a personalized stamp at Rossomer from 11/21 to 12/5, you get a free alignment tool!  Enter PSA20 at checkout. 

Our ground shipping deadline to order to GUARANTEE arrival before Christmas is 12/6. Hurry now to Rossomer Square for this great deal on Peel & Stick!

Happy Black Friday!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Give Thanks Banner

Here's a quick and easy way to spice up your Thanksgiving table.  If you haven't already come up with a centerpiece, this won't take too much time and is super festive.    Angie Holden stamped "Give Thanks" from PSA Archive Peel & Stick stamps and her PSA Poppy Ink and Stamper onto organic, handmade paper.   She cut the letters out into pennant flag banner shapes and glued them to thin natural rope.  

Then she hung the rope from bamboo sticks and placed the sticks into a bowl of gourds and pumpkins.  I love how rustic and shabby chic this is.  It's totally Angie's style!  Have you checked out her cool blog at  She brings "farmhouse flair to your home through creative crafts and vintage finds!"  It's such a clever blog. 





Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Layout

Kim Schofield used an antique approach to documenting her 2010 Thanksgiving. She used designer paper by Reminisce to set the entire tone. Some might consider such an ornate paper over the top, but it really conveys Thanksgiving! She used PSA Romance Alphabet letters to stamp "Thanks" which coordinate beautifully with the paper. I love how she documented the food… she did three close up shots of the delicious food and used ribbon journaling tags to document everything.

Here's a close up of the stamped "Thanks." She's used Ranger gold ink with her acrylic blocks. Proof positive here that you do not need to use our stamper all the time! Our Peel & Stick stamps really do work just like any other clear stamp – use them with the acrylic blocks if you like!

Let us know what you think about this layout today!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Paper Playtime Blog Hop

PSA Stamp Camp is the first stop today on the Paper Playtime Blog Hop. If you are arriving at PSA Stamp Camp for the first time, welcome! For those new to PSA Essentials, we manufacture self-inking, personalized stamps.

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 here: . That's why our PSA Essentials stamps are perfect for addressing your holiday cards!

But what you are also going to see today is that our Peel & Stick stamps are great 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. . These talented Paper Playtime designers are going to show you their stuff!

Here's a wonderful card by Kelley Eubanks just to give you a quick idea of the types of cards you can create. Kelley has stamped the friends from PSA Smirk Caffeine Confidents and colored them up. They're adorable and really brought to life!

Now it's time to get hopping to the designers blogs! I hope you enjoy PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamps. Visit our friends at Rossomer Square now through 12/5 for 20% off all Peel & Stick stamps and a FREE ALIGNMENT TOOL (a $10 value).  Enter PSA20 for discount. Now get hopping!

Start here: to hop! 


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanksgiving Plans

Thanksgiving is all about traditions and being with family. In honor of what Thanksgiving is all about, we are headed to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (our family tradition for six years now) accompanied by the Smith clan (my mom's side of our family.) There are 18 of us traveling together to celebrate my grandfather's 85 birthday. My two uncles and aunts, cousins, parents, Molly and Mike – I am so looking forward to spending quality time with everyone. I feel blessed to have this opportunity and know it must sound silly having just returned from a tremendous vacation a few weeks ago. But the timing was such and I couldn't be more appreciative or excited about the trip.

Would you believe it, but this will be my two year old daughter's third trip to Cabo for Thanksgiving. Here she is just six weeks old. I was into hats!

And here she is last year, walking on the beach.

We spend most of our time at the pool or on the beach, not doing much at all. Molly's nearly swimming now, and I am excited to see how she progresses as the week goes on. So I'm off to get the luggage tags ready, off for another adventure Saturday. Aren't these cute – you can use your PSA Essentials personalized address stamp to stamp the tags. Say goodbye to the icky airline ones – and it also helps identify your luggage in the sea of bags at baggage claim. 

I'll be posting all week from Cabo (with the help of scheduled posts!) We have a great hop coming up on 11/21 and a crafting challenge with a prize opportunity! Stay tuned all week & Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thanksgiving Cards

This Thanksgiving, pop a card in the mail to a friend to and let them know that you are thankful for them. It is wonderful to receive personal mail buried amongst bills and it's important to remember what Thanksgiving is about. It truly is about taking time to acknowledge what you are thankful for, and appreciate the friends, family and blessings in your life. Here are three ideas from Jeanne Streiff.

Jeanne used the Hello Kitty from PSA Essentials Hello Kitty Trick or Treat Peel & Stick. She colored her up beautifully to bring her to life. I love the black and white gingham ribbon. It really pops!

On this variation, she used natural ribbon. This asymmetric design is very interesting. I love Hello Kitty holding the pie! This stamp wouldn't be the same if she hadn't colored her up. This just goes to show what a difference coloring in your stamps can make.

This adorable Hello Kitty on a pumpkin brings a cute factor to the card. Jeanne has tied twine from The Twinery around the card to add dimension, and used different dies to add visual interest.

The trio of cards work well together. These would also work well in a gift box as a hostess gift or housewarming, wouldn't it? I am thankful for so many things this season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thanksgiving Greeting Cards

Card makers take note of these two simple and really beautiful cards by Kelley Eubanks. I love the colors (and sentiments) that truly celebrate fall. Here's a quick step by step on how to recreate both. Get creative with different sentiment and image stamps, colors and materials to make it your own.

First, cut and score base. Round bottom corners and ink edges with distress ink. Stamp the letters to spell "fall" using PSA Essentials Vanilla Peel & Stick stamps. Use an acrylic block and Not Quite Navy, More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie, Garden Green and Riding Hood Red by Stampin' Up! (These are GREAT fall colors, aren't they?). Then tie twine at the top.

For this card, cut and score base. Cut cream 3.5 square and stamp sentiment. Stamp Hello Kitty from PSA Hello Kitty Trick or Treat, color and punch both circles. Ink all edges with distress ink. Adhere all layers with dimensionals.

Both cards are great to send family and friends who are far away that you aren't seeing during the holidays! Do you send Thanksgiving greeting cards? For me, any holiday is an excuse to send a card!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fall Frame

I love the idea of a stamped picture frame. Transforming a white mat into something more interesting can enhance the artwork itself. So long as your artwork isn't too busy and the design around the frame compliments the colors and patterns of the artwork, you can achieve a really nice effect. See this great example by Angie Holden. She has stamped the wreath , which is the outer ring of PSA Topiary Peel & Stick stamps in orange ink and black ink around the page. She's managed to achieve really crisp and clean impressions, even close to the borders! Careful when you are doing this to start with one color, let it dry, and then stamp over it.

What a fun idea to frame colorful leaves, too!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Evening with Friends

Friday night I hosted 9 people at our house for Thanksgiving dinner. Since our family tradition is to be in Mexico for the week of Thanksgiving and we eat chili rellenos instead of turkey, I always try to make a feast before or after the holiday so we don't miss out. I spent two nights cooking this feast: 

  • Turkey – Brined for 24 hours & then cooked in an oven bag 
  • Homemade Gravy
  • Stuffing (not Homemade. I admit that I use to Stove Top – not because I am lazy, but because it's delicious and why mess with a good thing?) 
  • Fresh Cranberry Relish 
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes with Garlic & Chive Butter 
  • Green beans with garlic 
  • Mashed butternut squash with browned butter & sage
  • Creamed Spinach 
  • Apple pie 
  • Pumpkin Pie 
  • Mint ginger ale with Bourbon 
  • Hot apple cider with Captain Morgan Rum 

I broke out the china, crystal and silver which never gets used and set the table with a Thanksgiving theme. 

I created place cards for our guests using the bundle of flowers (which I thought to be quite rustic looking) from PSA Topiary Peel & Stick and Cabernet ink by PSA Essentials. 

How adorable is this Turkey pinecone? I picked two up at World Market. (Which I am LOVING these days!) 

I was so busy cooking at the party and enjoying the company of our friends, I didn't have time to take many pictures. I snapped this one of Lisa & Susan when they got their food. 

It was a great night with great friends! Everyone really seemed to appreciate all the work that was involved in cooking the feast, and that was appreciated by me. I'd do it again in a heartbeat - we had a great time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Fireplace Mantel Design

Decorating your house for the season can be so much fun. We really go into decorating for Halloween this year, and this week we're breaking out the Thanksgiving décor. Mae Armstrong came up with this fabulous banner to display on a fireplace mantel or across a window. I hope I get the time to make it because it would look great on our fireplace mantel. Here's what I love the most about this banner: it is three-dimensional! She found orange maple leaf doilies at Michael's and sewed "thanks" stamped on paper onto the leaves. Check this out! 

Mae used PSA Romance Peel & Stick stamps and stamped "THANKS" on pre-cut circle tags. She attached the stamped letters to the doilies. To create the 3-D effect, she used three to four sheets of maple leaf doilies. She folded each leaves all the way to the middle, separated the leaves carefully and used twine to hang. She then used a 1/2" inch natural rope for hanging. I love, love, love this natural rope and the look it creates.

Mae also took the remaining leaves and hung them up from spray painted branches in a vase to mimic foliage. Also check out the turkey silhouette she framed in a black frame. She kept the festive Thanksgiving theme going with silver spray painted pumpkins.

This mantel set up is so classy! So how are you decorating this Thanksgiving?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanksgiving Muffins

Do you have company staying with you this Thanksgiving? Here are some great muffins for your house guests. Have them wake up to the smell of pumpkin, cinnamon and vanilla. Add a roaring fire and comfy pajamas and furry slippers and everyone's in heaven. For the muffins, you will need: 

1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
3 eggs
1 lb. can pumpkin
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

Measure all ingredients in a big mixing bowl and beat together well for 5 minutes. Pour into cupcake pans (fill more than 1/2 full). Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Optional: Mix in cranberries and pecans. Top it with cinnamon, sugar and whole oats. Then use a combination of silver foils and mini mason jars.

To make the muffins extra special and impress her house guests, Mae Armstrong used the PSA Essentials Peel & Stick Country Set on tags. She stamped the spoon on top of the pre-cut 2"x2" squares, punch holes, thread natural twine through and wrap around the jars.

Enjoy these!


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thanksgiving Table Top

We have a Thanksgiving tradition in our family where we go around the table and say what we are thankful for. Some family members go on and on gushing about their year, their spouse and their kids. Others are more subtle. Some family members surprise you with what they are thankful for – like when my husband announced he was thankful for Mark Sanchez joining the NY Jets. A variation of this idea, Mae Armstrong created a table centerpiece where everyone can write what they thankful on. I am calling it the Thankful Tree. It's such a beautiful idea and love how interactive it is!

To create the Happy Thanksgiving dangly pieces, Mae used the spoon and rooster stamps from Country Home Peel & Stick on pre-cut linen card stock sheets purchased from Envelopperinc. She downloaded the online template and typed "Happy Thanksgiving" across each square, then stamped the images. After stamping, she used Polymark dimensional fabric paint and added tiny dots to the spoons – just to jazz it up a bit. When they dangle, light catches the gems. After letting it the glue dry for 15 minutes, she punched and threaded natural twine.

When the images are complete, Mae added doily maple leaves (find them at Michael's). This is where guests will write what they are thankful for.

To ground her centerpiece, Mae picked up branches in her backyard and used hurricane candle holders wrapped with dark brown felt. She created some felt rosettes glued them on around the felt sleeve. To keep the twigs in place, she stuffed them with beige crinkled paper.

I love how natural and creative this idea is! And what fun it will be to read what everyone is thankful for around the table.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thanksgiving Advent Calendar

I am always in search of educational and seasonal projects to do with my 2-year old daughter, Molly. For Halloween we did various activities like making paper pumpkins and carving pumpkins (though I did all the carving….) and Molly got a kick out of these special projects. Heidi Ferguson created an advent calendar for Thanksgiving that is perfect for us to do. It teaches colors, numbers, and involves painting and stamping. These are things that Molly is sure to get a kick out of.

To replicate this project, you will want to start by tracing little ones hands. To get the effect Heidi has created, use different sized little hands – maybe there are multiple kids at home, or this would be a great group activity for friends. Then break out the water color or acrylic paints. Let the kids color in the individual fingers and whole hand. Stamp the numbers from PSA Funky Numbers Peel & Stick pack onto white paper. Use your 1 ½ inch circle punch and adhere the stamp to different colored construction paper that's been punched out with a 2" in punch.

You can see up close just how cute these really are here.

How adorable is this project!