Friday, October 28, 2011

Baby Gifts

Today's topic: Baby gifts. Do you buy from the registry or go off registry?

I actually do both with close friends. Before the baby is born, I always stick to the registry for the mom's sake. After all, parents legitimately need a stroller, a pack & play, car seat and high chair and the purpose of the shower is to help the families out by getting them what they need. When the baby arrives, I like to give a little something sentimental. Something monogrammed works great. Here's a picture frame idea by Kelley Eubanks. She's stamped the baby's monogram on the bottom of the frame using PSA Essentials black ink and her PSA Archive Peel & Stick stamps. The turquoise on the painted frame and the black and white ribbon are such a great contrast. She's used a really heavy weight ribbon and sturdy frame - this is a lasting gift.

When there's no time to make something or get a gift monogrammed , there's always flowers. Gorgeous ones like these suit me more than just fine.

 Image sources unknown, pulled from Pinterest. 

Tell me your thoughts today – buy on registry or off? 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Banner

Have you decorated your house for Halloween? Even if you aren't the household that has a graveyard and ghosts outside, and every inch of your house covered with pumpkins, witches and goblins, you can do a simple banner over your fireplace for a festive touch. Mae Armstrong created this easy banner to hang from her mantel. She kept it true to the holiday with orange and black cardstock, themed Halloween paper and PSA Archive Peel & Stick stamps to spell "Halloween."

To make this great banner at home, follow these quick and easy steps:

  • Print the flags from your Silhouette3D, or cut a triangle by hand to make a pattern. Repeat on orange and black paper 9 times.
  • Stamp each letter of "Halloween" from PSA Archive Peel & Stick stamps on white paper
  • Use a round punch to cut out each letter.
  • Use a die to cut the theme Halloween paper.
  • Adhere the white stamped paper to the themed paper, then adhere to the flags.
  • Punch two holes in the corners of the flags and thread bakers twine through.
  • You're done! Hang on your mantel or on a window.



Wednesday, October 26, 2011


I have a few days off and I am on a huge adventure! To celebrate my 30th birthday, my mom, friend Ashley and her mom and I are going to Paris! I'm lucky to say I've been several times before, but something about being in the workforce and being a mom makes you appreciate vacations and travel unlike before. I've been spending a lot of time researching what I'd like to do, where I'd like to eat, what entertainment there is, and all the places I want to hit up. I am not a crazy itinerary planner, but I think it helps to have a general plan -- then just go with the flow.

Here it is:

  • Wednesday- We arrive in Paris at 11.30 AM in the morning, which will be 3.30 AM EST. Our apartment where we are staying won't be ready until 4pm, though we will be able to drop off our luggage there is nowhere for us to take a nap, so we will have to power through it! We are staying in the 8th arrondissement of Paris on Rue de La Boetie, steps from the Champs – Elysse. I see a stroll down the Champs – Elysees, towards the Palace De La Concord, through the Jardins des Tuileries, into the Louvre. After the Louvre & some lunch, I'd like to cross the banks to the Musee d'Orsay. Dinner in the 8th arrondissement near where we are staying.

  • Thursday - I'd like to head to Latin Quarter, the historic part of Paris, filled with remnants of the old royal Paris. Must see sites are St. Germain des-Pres (oldest church in Paris), Saint Chapel & Cathedral Notre-Dame. In the afternoon, cross the Sienne for lunch and afternoon shopping in the Marais, the heart of modern Paris. The district is filled with a mixture of trendy and quirky boutiques, antique dealers and is Paris' gay district. It's also home to two of my favorite museums: The Pompidou & Picasso. Both are must visits for me.

  • Friday - In the morning, stroll up the Champs – Elysse, home to the upscale stores in the world (Chanel, Vuitton, Lacroix) to the Arc De Triomphe, the huge neoclassical arch that hovers the street. Maybe we will go to the top. After, head over to the Eiffel Tower. Some Lunch. The Rodin museum or shopping in the afternoon. Dinner.

  • Saturday - Montmartre district in the morning. Visit Sacre-Cour and a walk down the old charming steep streets and a look at all the ivy covered houses. Check out the once very seedy part of the city, Pigalle – known for burlesque shows, sex shows, and the famous Moulin Rouge. Lunch. Afternoon shopping. Dinner. Maybe Ashley & I will hit a dance club. I've scoped out a trendy one – Le Baron.

  • Sunday - Our flight home leaves at 1.40 in the afternoon, so we will only have time for a leisurely brunch and a little walking or shopping.

Have you been to Paris and have some suggestions for me? Isn't this Peel & Stick pack perfect for my scrapbooking when I get back? It's called Frenchie. Perfect!


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

What's a girl to do with pumpkins everywhere? Bake! This tasty treat idea comes to us from Heidi Ferguson. She's created yummy pumpkin spice cupcakes with cinnamon cream cheese frosting. To make them look extra special, she's created cupcake toppers using cupcake stamps from PSA Whimsy Cakes Peel & Stick stamps!

Make them at home with this recipe!

Ingredients, Cupcakes

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree

  • Ingredients
    , Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Sift together the flour, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, allspice, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.
  2. Beat 1/2 cup of butter, the white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in the milk and pumpkin puree after the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the frosting by beating the cream cheese and 1/4 butter with an electric mixer in a bowl until smooth. Beat in the confectioners' sugar a little at a time until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon; beat until fluffy. Once the cupcakes are cool, frost with the cream cheese icing. 

This post was posted to Today's Creative Blog -

Today's Creative Blog

Monday, October 24, 2011

Trick or Treat Sign

While we are on the subject of creating Halloween décor for your home, I wanted to share this great idea by Angie Holden. Take a distressed piece of wood and paint it white. You can thin out the paint with a little medium, or even just good old fashioned water. This keeps the distressed and vintage look up. When it's dry, stamp the pumpkin , "boo", and skull from PSA Haunted Shack using your PSA Essentials stamper. Have it loaded with orange ink and stamp randomly all over the painted wood. Use a "trick or treat" stencil and spray paint in chocolate brown. Ta-Da! 

See our PSA Haunted Shack Peel & Stick collection, one of my all-time favorites here!

Friday, October 21, 2011

School House Card

I found some great, crafty ideas today on Pinterest for Teacher's Gifts. I love this pot of flowers, painted in chalkboard paint. The "Sharpie" and "Smartie" treat jar is also really cute! 

Heidi Ferguson created a school house card, perfect for thanking teachers! First she cut red and black felt in the shape of a school house, a circle for the clock. 

She stamped Hello Kitty with the apple on her head from Hello Kitty School Days, and the A+ from PSA Super Star. She drew in the clock and sewed the felt onto the card.

Inside, she stamped – "Well Done" from PSA Super Star. She left plenty of room so you can write a message to the teacher, thanking them for all their hard work.

Love this idea! What other great teacher gift ideas do you have?

Image sources/idea sources: 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Birthday to….

Me! Today is my 30th birthday. We are celebrating tonight as a small family. Mike, Molly and I are going to a casual dinner. Tomorrow night we are headed to my parents to celebrate with my extended family and in-laws , then Saturday night I am having drinks on the rooftop bar of one of my favorite Hilton Head restaurants – Santa Fe Café. I love birthday's that get stretched out over days and even a few weeks! 

Don't you love these cards by Carly Robertson? She's used Whimsy Cakes Peel & Stick for the cupcake on the first, and stamped "hb2u" using PSA Vanilla Peel & Stick stamps.  I've shown them once before on our PSA Stamp Camp blog, but I couldn't resist showing them again! 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Facebook Giveaway - Ends 10/23

Check out our great, spur of the moment Facebook giveaway!   Head on over to our Facebook page and comment on the photo that's posted there of these three stamp sets.  Let us know which is your favorite by Sunday, 10/23 and we will choose one lucky person using to win it.   Please one comment per person, and comments here on the blog don't count, the comment must be on the photo on Facebook.  If you aren't already a fan, like us today.    

So what will it be?   Rudolph & Co, Peanuts Christmas Wishes or Hello Kitty Reindeer Games?  Let us know on Facebook for your chance to win.   

Baby Onesie

I distinctly remember my husband saying: "What's a onesie?" before Molly was born. As he quickly learned, these body suits are vital the first few months of life. They stay put, don't ride up, make diaper changing easy, and help get your baby dressed without much effort. Though the basic white ones are practical, it's always fun to have a cute saying, picture or design. I found these ones which made me laugh out loud.

Heidi Ferguson made her own – rather than pay $16.99 for above. Turned out way cuter, too! She was inspired by PSA Little Bunny Peel & Stick stamp designs, and a master seamstress, she stamped the sheep, elephant, and dog onto paper, then needle pointed the design onto the onesie. What a cute baby gift!

Vera Yates was inspired by the onesie for this "Welcome Little One" card. She used the turtle stamp from Skelanimals Thomas & Friends and adhered to this adorable template printed on purple cardstock.

Kelley Eubanks was also inspired by the onesie to create a card! She used the template from Paper Smooches, printed it at home, cut out carefully and started stamping. She used the "K" from Gigi Monogram K Peel & Stick pack. Isn't this is a great idea to further personalize your cards – stamp the initials or monogram of the baby you are welcoming into the world!

The onesie sure is versatile for baby! Apparently, it's versatile in design, too.   This was posted to:  Sew Much Ado - We Did It Wednesday! 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Love Letters

Carrie Bradshaw sat up reading Love Letters of Great Men to Mr. Big in the movie Sex in the City, and fans everywhere raced out to purchase this book. Only it didn't exist. This is the book that was inspired by the movie. The letters are truly "swoom-worthy" by Mark Twain, Lord Byron, Mozart, and Beethoven. 

Have you ever written a love letter? Or received one? Kelley Eubanks created a card that would be perfect for writing a love letter on. This simple card uses heavy weight purple cardstock, and thick quality coordinating purple and white stripped ribbon. She's stamped from Smirk Kiss Me Now and colored up the bride and groom, and used the outer ring from the same Peel & Stick pack. 

Mike wrote me a letter which I read on the day of my wedding day…. Just before I walked down the aisle. I love this idea for brides and grooms – it takes the pressure off the big "event" that is ahead, and reminds you why you are going through with it. And after not seeing him all day, it was great to hear from him with a reassuring love note. People don't seem to write love letters like they did in the days of Lord Byron, but a little written expression of feelings is wonderful.

Great, great card by Kelley Eubanks!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

More than Paper

I am digging this store! A PSA Essentials dealer, More than Paper also carries some unique products. Their "Camp" section would have been fantastic for my days at Camp Towanda.  I absolutely adore "Notes from the Bunk" personalized stationery.

I would have flipped for a personalized care package like this.

They have back-to-school items, cute personalized cookie jars, tote bags, things for the college dorm room, and I found the personalized children's books I have been looking for. My goddaughter Ella would love this – I can personalize with her name, and 2 of her friend's names, a dedication and her hometown. Love!

Of course, they have adult products, too. (Though can you tell I am focused on kid shopping right now?) They have a line of awesome stationery for families and adults. I love the simplicity of this line of stationery. See all of their stationery – it ranges from modern and trendy to whimsical to classic, there's definitely something for everyone.

More than Paper is participating in the PSA Essentials Super Sale – our normally priced $40 custom stamps are now just $30. And we are running a deal with them right now – if you buy a custom stamp now through 10/20, you will get a free Haunted Shack Peel & Stick pack. That's a $15 value! Hurry, offer ends 10/20. Click here to see More than Paper!




Friday, October 14, 2011

Halloween Treat Bags

Go all out this Halloween, go the extra mile and jazz up trick or treating by creating these treat bags for candy. Gather your kiddos and their friends because this idea by our designer Mae Armstrong is something you can do together – it's super easy! 
You can find mini brown paper sacks at Michael's, they make a perfect treat bag, even before you have a chance to dress them up. You'll need to first precut the scallop from festive paper and cut decorative tags. Use the Skelanimals Thomas & Friends Peel and Stick stamps by PSA Essentials – Mae is really digging the spider from this one. Stamp right in the center of the scalloped tag using your PSA Stamper loaded with black ink, then glue to the decorative tag. Then fill the bag with your favorite candy! Candy corns, M&M's…. whatever your fancy.

You can take this idea even further (as Mae always does) for your Halloween party and hang the treat bags from a centerpiece. To create the centerpiece, Mae found some branches from her backyard, spray painted them, and placed them in a vase. She punched holes in the sacks and thread natural twine, then hung them from the branches. She snuck in a crow, too….
What a cute idea!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

For the kids this Halloween

Yesterday I shared Mae Armstrong incredible Halloween party– complete with cupcakes, cookies, pudding, and her amazing PSA Essentials stamped décor. Here's a bit more on those cute Jello-O spiders treats for kids…. They are sure to be a hit! 

Mae used baby food jars that she had saved up from her twins. (She has a lot of them, as you can imagine feeding two hungry and growing boys!) To use them for your project, clean them well and soak in warm water with soap. Scrub the food label, rinse and air dry. This project is great for your little helpers. A two-day project, it is a perfect way of teaching kids about patience! 

Prepare your Jell-O mixture and pour half way through the jar. Refrigerate to set the Jell-O. When that's set, add your creepy crawlers – like the Spider she did here- and fill with more Jell-O. This is also a great treat your kids can share at school. A snack with your very own insect inside! 
She used Skelanimals Chip & Friends Peel & Stick stamps – the spider – to stamp tags for the outside. This completes the "look" and unifies this great spidery theme. I can't wait to try this for Molly's school when I am in charge of the Halloween party! 



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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Halloween Entertaining

It's Halloween posting time! There doesn't seem to be a shortage of sugar and good taste on today's post. Our design team member Mae Armstrong and her friend Katie (of Katie's Cakes) got together and baked up some chocolate cupcakes with vanilla bean buttercream frosting and if that wasn't enough – then they got their stamp on. Using the spider from Skelanimals Chip and Friends by PSA Essentials, Mae stamped cupcake liners and created cupcake toppers.
They whipped up scrumptious chocolate pudding and piped "RIP" in black glitter gel on white chocolate cookies. They also made orange Jell-O with floating plastic spiders in recycled baby jars. Then, Mae stamped a tag to hang outside the jar to complete the spider theme. Could this be any cuter? 
The table set up is beautiful – this is sure to be one heck of a party! I love the orange paper fans in the background, the black and white striped table cloth, the cupcake display, and the whole classy Halloween aesthetic. 
Mae and Katie – you've out done yourselves! More on the Jell-O containers tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Miss you!

Two of my best friends Jenny and Kara quit their high powered, fast paced jobs in Manhattan seven months ago to travel the world. Overwhelmed and unimpressed with the daily grind, they decided to make a major life change and experience something very few of us will ever get to do. They started in Europe, explored India, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and seemingly everywhere in between. They are headed to New Zealand next.

I miss them terribly! Though I wouldn't see them that often when they were in the US, it seems like I could have flown up there on a moment's notice, or picked up the phone to call them, or shoot them a quick text to let them know I was thinking of them. I get emails and updates from Jenny frequently, but it seems to make me miss them more! Here are two cards that reminded me of my good friends out exploring the world.

By Carly Robertson – Using Sailboat stamp from PSA Anchors Aweigh Peel & Stick

By Kelley Eubanks – Using the telephone stamp from PSA Frenchie Peel & Stick

Miss those girls and am so proud of them for doing something they've always wanted to do!


Monday, October 10, 2011

DIY, Recycled Gift Wrap

Jamie Smith, our contributor from C.R.A.F.T. , designed this recycled gift wrap and I think it makes a whole lot of sense. Sure, it has that homemade look – but that's part of the charm. Start with a brown paper shopping bag – use anyone that you get from your next shopping trip. Open the bag up using scissors.

On the clean side of the paper, stamp away! Jamie used the letter "j" from PSA Vanilla Peel & Stick stamps and her PSA Stamper. Make sure to stamp on a flat surface and that there are no ribbons or creases underneath if you are particular about having perfect impressions. Jamie went for a more carefree look – she stamped randomly all over the paper to create that whimsical look. (She wasn't even bothered that she stamped over the handle and it didn't come out perfectly – neither would I have been.) This entire gift wrap took under a few minutes – it's inexpensive, green and personalized! And I think it looks pretty good!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Whimsical Wednesdays Halloween Hop

Welcome to the Whimsical Wednesdays Halloween Blog Hop, sponsored by PSA Essentials!   If you are joining us from Star, you are in the right place. If not, start at Whimsical Wednesday's!  So even though I am completely biased, PSA Essentials has the CUTEST Halloween stamp sets. PSA original designed Haunted Shack, UBU Happy Halloween, and Hello Kitty Trick or Treat are are all so festive!

Melyssa Connolly created the most adorable Halloween cards to share using PSA Peel & Stick stamps. For the first, she used four different Hello Kitty's and colored them up. This green, purple, black and orange color combination screams Halloween! They look so cute all line-up together. Note that she took the time to sew the white card stock on to the orange and black layered base. She tied green ribbon and used black and white Twine from The Twinery to add dimension.

Melyssa is great at creating a set of cards – point proven here with these "potion" cards. Here is also a wonderful technique to try when stamping. Melyssa stamped the pumpkin from PSA Haunted Shack in orange ink on white paper. Then when the ink dried, she stamped "Trick or Treat" from PSA Haunted Shack on top of it. It creates a layered effect and gives the stamps depth.

See the technique again here - she has stamped the cat from PSA Haunted Shack with a light blue ink. It almost looks like a silhouette. Then she stamped BOO from PSA Haunted Shack. The stamp isn't just one dimensional. Now it's layered.

BLOG HOP PRIZE PACKAGE DETAILS!  As a sponsor of this hop, you could win a prize package from PSA Essentials value at over $75. To win, comment, comment, & comment. We hope that you will follow our blog & become fans of ours on Facebook.


Head to More than Paper, you will receive a Free Haunted Shack Peel & Stick pack with custom stamp purchase!   They are participating in our super sale - a custom stamp is normally $40, but on-sale for $30.   You get the custom stamp plus free Haunted Shack pack!  Head over to More than Paper

Now hop on over to Nanne: for the rest of the hop!