Monday, February 28, 2011

A Couples Shower

This past Saturday night, some friends & I held a couples shower for the betrothed Susan and Luke. Readers of our blog will recognize Susan – she's one of our design team members and also a very good friend of mine. We put on an excellent party with 26 guests including her bridesmaids from Massachusetts and his brother and best man from Chicago. The hosts were Ashley, Becca, Cynny, me, Britt and Laura. Here we are!

We all had different areas of responsibility. Mine were flowers and d├ęcor. Naturally, I got a personalized stamp made. I got made: "Celebrating Susan & Luke, February 26th, 2011." I stamped on some labels I got from Michaels, and tied a navy blue ribbon around a canning jar for flower vases. I got the flowers from Fresh Market – I got ranunculus, gerber daisies, delphinium, sun flowers, and hydrangeas. They were so colorful!

We got the food catered by Wise Guys on Hilton Head. On the menu was Tuna Tartare lettuce wraps, Kung Pao chicken lollipops, Kobe Beef Sliders, Mini Crab cakes & more. I created simple cards identifying the food using blank table cards, and stamping using PSA Mr. & Mrs. Peel & Stick stamp sets.

I created some gift wrap using the stamp. Susan really wanted the paper towel holder she registered for a Bed, Bath & Beyond…

Laura was responsible for the photo project. She became an expert PSA Essentials stamper, and used Susan's array of PSA Peel & Stick stamps. She stamped using PSA Archive and spelled out "The Delanos" and "Lucas" and "Susan." The pictures she got of the two are adorable and this project is so cute!

Here's the adorable couple opening gifts and them enjoying some cupcakes!

What a great party – can't wait for the wedding.

Monday Inspiration Challenge – 2/28

Last week's inspiration image was from a photography company called Turn Me Loose. I just love the colors in this photograph – they are so rosy!

Blog follower and reader, Anne Swanson created this card. She used earthy Kraft (Crumbcake) card stock to represent the nature in photo, chose bright pink paper to represent the flowers on the side of the road, and bright white for the wedding flowers and bells on the car. This would be a fabulous card to give to a wedding couple, wouldn't it? I love the ribbon, too. Thanks for participating Anne!

Next week's inspiration image is really sweet. We have a stamp set called Cupcake, and for anyone who has this set – I hope you will be inspired to use it. If you don't have the PSA Peel & Stick Cupcake set– see what you can find inspired by this image. I will choose one lucky person at random who participates in this inspiration challenge to receive a PSA Peel & Stick Cupcake set.   Send a photo of your creation inspired by this photo by no later than 3/6 and it may appear here on Monday, 3/7. Happy Crafting!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Oscars for the Design Team

With the Oscars coming up this weekend and our first design team term ending, I thought it appropriate to give out some awards to the talented ladies that began with August 2010. I cannot thank this team enough for helping launch our blog, getting us through HSN, and securing 27 publication features this Spring & Summer. We will miss those that are leaving. "And the award goes to…"

  • "Most creative with difficult assignments" goes to Amber Zimmerman! With assignments like "Kids Thankgiving day table" and "boy scouts day", Amber managed to pull off some amazing projects. I also think her kids are so cute, which is maybe why I keep giving her "kid" related projects.

  • "Most usable project" goes to Amy Kingsford. The banner she designed for Christmas must have cost a fortune and taken her weeks. It was professionally sewn and executed, stamped perfectly, and the most usable project I have seen on our design team.

  • "Most professional to work with" goes to Anthonette Chavez! There's not a thing missing when Anthonette submits a project, the work comes packaged perfectly and wrapped like I ordered it from Papyrus. And quality of her work is beyond professional. Her work was some of the most featured on HSN.

  • "Party Planner Extraordinare" goes to Carey Larson. Carey's forte is flawlessly planning a party and crafting each detail. From the cupcake markers, to the photo album, to the treat bags, there is no part of an event Carey can't make happen.

  • "Most published designer" goes to Carly Robertson. Not only have I shown her work on the blog more than any other designers, but she's single handedly responsible for 40% of all the publications we will be appearing in this Spring/Summer.

  • "Most talked-about project at CHA" goes to Christina Padilla. Christina's "Bonjour" banner was featured on one of eight boards at the CHA show in LA a few weeks ago. It was the most talked about project in our booth!

  • "Mentor of the Term" goes to Erika Taylor. Erika wrote us a 3-page email at the beginning of the term with all sorts of tips, ideas, and ways to expand the blog. She's the one who told me what a blog hop was, and then gave me all her contacts to organize one of my own. Couldn't have done it without her – the blog, the hop, or much anything else!

  • "Person who transformed PSA Rosettas" goes to Jennifer Holmes . When our owners Kendel and Lori created Rosettas , creating patterns on paper was not their primary intention. But Jennifer Holmes saw Rosettas potential and created my favorite project of all time (BOLD STATEMENT!) with the Rosetta note card set for HSN.

  • "Most labor intensive crafter" goes to Jen Witmer. All designers put their heart and soul into their work, but Jen Witmer also puts in days, weeks, and even months into her projects. The children's book she created for her son Elliott was a true testament to this, and why it earns her this award.

  • "Most diverse-styles of crafts" goes to Julia Aston. Usually, a designer is either CAS, Shabby Chic, retro, and sticks to that style. Not Julia. Julia can whip out Country Western like it's nothing and then pull out bridal – in a completely different and unique way. Impressive stuff. She's also been a mentor in helping me improve the photography on this site

  • "Best series card maker" goes to Mara Campbell. Mara's forte is starting with a theme and carrying it through to multiple projects, so you have a suite of work that works together. Just check out her bridal designs, her note card sets, or her thank-you card sets to see why. She has the ability to create a cohesive set like no other designer on the team!

  • "Craftiest" goes to Marie Ramirez. This talented lady doesn't just do cards or layouts – she does true crafts. Just revisit her Halloween treat cones and you'll know exactly what I am talking about. Her contribution to the team is valuable since it adds a fresh dimension.

  • "Most well-rounded" goes to Stephanie Jones. We have some designers that are crafty, some designers that are card makers. Stephanie is all of these things. Just see her lady bug card featured on the new monogram video (out soon!), or her Valentine's Day treat favors and you'll see what I mean.

  • "Boldest designer" goes to Susan D'Anna. Create a spooky but cute Halloween tree? A funky and fun Thanksgiving tree centerpiece? A "BUSY" door sign for Valentine's Day? Stamp in edible ink on cookies? All Susan's work. She doesn't stay within the traditional and expected realm of the craft world yet she's proved she could if she wanted to. See her published bridal set in Paper Creations this summer!

Our other designers Tami Mayberry, Jeanne Streiff, Melyssa Connolly and Kim Moreno just joined us and get the Newbie award! Their term started March '11 and they will be with us for the next 6 months. For our April '11 to August '11 design team line-up, stay tuned until next week!

Thank-you to all of the ladies for our inaugural design team term. We truly appreciate your contributions!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

A children’s book

Jen Witmer who's on our design team has a 15 month old son, Elliott.  He's one of my favorite of Molly's little friends – he's so happy, easy going, and good natured. I took care of him for a few hours several times – and I really am a big fan.   Here are Elliott and Molly on one of our weekly playdates. 

Since Jen and her husband Brian don't live close to all of their family, Jen created a book of Elliott's family, specifically for him.   He flips through it looking at the pictures, and learning about his family.   The amount of work that went into this project is truly incredible.  She asked her family members to send in pictures, write a blurb about themselves,  then she digi-scrapped and stamped the heck out of it using DOZENS of PSA Stamps.  Impressive, impressive work Jen Witmer.    And I am not just raving about it because we are friends!

(The title of it puzzles me though, because there's nothing ugly about their family. But that is Jen's humor, for sure.)

Amazing, right?   Here's a close up... Grand Dad likes baseball, golf and gardening! And look at this - there's a stamp for everything!

Here's a close up of the stamps on Paige's page.  How cute?

I like Aunt Lynne's page... I think I'd like to be friends with her! 

Cute page on Drew!   Love the Snoopy stamp, it's from Peanuts Snow Day. 

This book is a true labor of love - thanks Jen for sharing with us!  Tell us what you think of this work today.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

In Sympathy

We've all heard that "death is a part of life." It just doesn't make it easier, does it? I've read there are 5 stages of grief –denial (this can't be happening to me), anger (why me?), bargaining (if I could change this one thing, maybe it would be different), depression, and acceptance. What makes your sadness & grief easier and get to the acceptance stage faster? I think the answer is friends.

When my father passed away when I was 12 years old which was 17 years ago today,  one of my best friends Katie Cuff was with me when my mom got the news. Katie witnessed one of the hardest things in my life and we are forever bonded by it. To comfort me, she made me a card and wrote this inside – I saved it in my photo album of my dad.

When someone dies, they don't really go away
They stay with you until your very last day
Your head is filled with madness and anger of all kind.
But that doesn't mean you have to leave everything behind.
You'll always have those good times that float around inside,
And it's good to have some tear drops to help them on their ride.
Death really makes me think about the mystery of life.
And how so many things that happen can't possibly be right.
But we go on fighting and hope life brings the best
And having a close friend is better than the rest.
I love ya Libby. Katie Cuff. 
Pretty mature for an early teenager, don't you think? So how do you support your friends and family in tough times? Here are some beautiful sympathy cards that you can create. These ideas from our designers could be helpful the next time you want to help someone during their difficult time.

This card is from Julia Aston. She's stamped the butterflies from PSA Cupcake.

This card is from Carly Robertson– she's stamped the flowers from PSA Cupcake.

We'd love for readers to share stories of support and friendship during hard times today.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Preserving Family Memories

How do you preserve your family memories?

I am really into creating photo books on lately. It's not super creative, there are standard templates that you can plug your photos into and add text to tell the story, but they sure are easy and come out great. Though for Molly's first year of life, I scrapped everything. I filled up 2 scrapbooks and 36 pages with every holiday, event, and family detail I could possibly provide. It was a lot of work, but so much fun.

Our designer Jennifer Holmes shares my love of scrapbooking and has some beautiful ideas for us to see. Up first is a layout for Easter, here is her beautiful daughter coloring eggs. See the stamped detail in the eggs on the page, she's stamped from PSA Rosetta's. This was a fun way to use Rosettas.

Up next is a mini-scrapbook that Jennifer created to preserve her daughter's school memories. Here's the cover. I love the "Teacher Approved" PSA Essentials Peel & Stick stamp. Looks great on this page! I love the textures and patterns on this page, too.

Here's a page of Jen's daughter going to school. Jen has stamped "A", "B", "C" from PSA Vanilla and it looks great. Can we agree that her daughter is beautiful!? Thanks Jen for sharing these pictures with our readers.

Scrapping takes a lot of time. It's a lot more complicated and intricate than creating a card, but it's a real art form. How many scrappers do we have here? I tend to show more cards but let us know if you'd like to be seeing more layouts. And please leave a comment today and let us know – how do you preserve your family memories?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Monday Inspiration Challenge – 2/21/11

Last week, our inspiration image was a Monarch butterfly on some lilacs. I thought the photography was great, the colors were gorgeous and it was nature at its finest. Plus, we have a great butterfly on the PSA Cupcake Peel & Stick stamp set – so I was hoping to highlight it!

I have two works of art to show readers today based on this image. The first is a layout by blog follower & reader, Erin Reed. I am so happy Erin has participated, it's great to "meet" new people. It completely fits the challenge and is touching to see since it's quite personal. Isn't her family beautiful? I love her journaling on the far right side, too. Everything just screams "handcrafted with care" here!

The second image to share is a card done by our design team member, Jeanne Streiff. The butterflies are stamped from PSA Cupcake and colored up. I LOVE how she's layered the colors to create dimension to the stamp.

What will you create based on the image below for next week's challenge? It's from a photography company called Turn Me Loose. I hope you will participate and create something inspired by this! Send a photo of your creation by no later than Sunday, 5 pm EST on 2/27 and it may be featured here on Monday, 2/28. Stay tuned for a great week here at PSA Stamp Camp!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Monogram Video Shoot

Today we are on-location shooting another video! This time, we are introducing the monogram collection by PSA Essentials.

Have you seen the monogram collection yet? It's a great way to give a personal gift without getting personalized. We have 26 Peel & Stick packs, one for each letter of the alphabet and also one ampersand. Each Peel & Stick pack has 7 stamps : 4 switchable middles, 2 outer rings, and 1 super sized letter. I love that there's a font for every occasion. There's a casual, wood block, elegant, & a few modern ones in each. Here are two letters that I like… "L" and "O".

What's great about monograms is that everything you need is included in the box when you buy.  You get 1 stamper, 1 ink and 1 alignment tool. All you need to pick up then is the letters of your choice. It makes a great bridal shower gift. You can give the bride her initial, his initial and the ampersand.

Then she can use it to create her wedding favors, or stamp her programs or personalize her thank-you cards. Monograms work great for baby, graduation, Easter, & Mother's Day, too!

Can't wait to unveil the video here in a few weeks!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just a hello

I was born in Denver, CO, raised in Winchester, MA, went to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and now I live in Bluffton, SC. That's 4 states that I have held addresses in! In each of the states, I have left people "behind" and although modern technology like email and Facebook keeps me in touch with them, sometimes I can't help but think what if we didn't have these things? That's when I go back to my (newly created) motto: "USPS forever." It's so much fun to make and send cards to people through the US Mail who aren't nearby!

Our design team agrees and has come up with some great ideas for just a hello. This blue and white card by Carly Robertson is one of my favorites – mainly because of her use of die cutting. It's so clean and professional. The polka dot ribbon placed in an "x" brings your eye to the center, so the "hello" and butterfly are prominent. They are also prominent because she's chosen pink for them, so they really pop.

This "Call Me" card is a new favorite of mine, done by Jeanne Streiff. She has stamped the telephone from PSA Cupcake, and it opens up to say "Call Me". The red, white, yellow and black is an excellent color combination – and you'd have to see it in person to know how beautifully it's crafted. e

Another fun card by Carly Robertson to show you. These colors are so vibrant and playful. She's stamped the flowers from PSA Cupcake, as well.

Do you make and send cards – just to say hello? We'd like to hear about them. Include your blog address in the comments today, link and show us some hello cards!

Supply spotlight:  Please check back soon!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Some crafty things…

We tend to show a lot of cards on this blog, so it's always very refreshing to blog (and I am sure for you to read) about something completely different. One of our new design team members Jeanne Streiff created unique crafts to share with you today!

First up – something for dog lovers! I know so many of them. There's my friend Britt Bader who has two big Bernise Mountain Dogs, Kombi & Barney. Britt's my go-to girl (aka person I call when the vet is closed) when my dogs have eaten garbage, or my underwear, or when I want to talk about Georgia's health (my 8 year old chocolate lab has only 3 legs, she lost one to cancer). There's also Dayle Thomas who just got a puppy named Howard. Love the name! I would love to welcome a friend's new puppy, or give them a pooch this cute gift for a holiday.

Up next is a candle which would make an excellent hostess gift or thank-you gift. Better yet, it's incredibly simple to create. She has stamped the lips from PSA Frenchie using grapefruit ink. It looks great, too!

Lastly, we have a tin of magnets – she's stamped from PSA Rosettas. Perhaps a fun gift for a teacher, or a friend who's super organized? Cute use of this stamp set.

Let us know what you are up to with unique and creative crafts today!

Supply spotlight:  Please check back later!