2015 Year in Review

My little word (AKA 'my one word') for 2015 was "live".

My intention behind this word was to remind myself to put less energy into work and more into life. I love my job and company, but being in a high profile, warp-speed and stressful environment for years was taking it's toll on me and my house. It was time to change before I/we hit a wall.

Looking back, just putting this specific lens on my life enabled us to enjoy many amazing moments. Here's a recap of our household highlights from 2015.    **WARNING - LOTs of photos**

The Top 5

  1. Harrison's 18th
  2. High School Graduation 
  3. Conner's 15th 
  4. Off to College! 
  5. Azores, Portugal Vacation

The Next 5
  1. Tim's 40th
  2. Water Polo CCS Champions
  3. Ski Trip
  4. Enjoying my hobbies and interests
  5. Christmas at Home

Fun with Family & Friends 
It was so nice to spend quality time with friends, family and colleagues. I spent time getting to know our newest extended family members under the age of 5, making new friends through my volunteer work as a Team Mom for Baby #2's water polo team and leading the seamstress production efforts for his school's annual scholarship fundraising fashion show, honing my culinary skills with my Cooking Club peeps, and working on mad board game skills.

Fun @ the Office
I went on my usual tour of trade shows right after the new year for work and Wow! Embossing Powder: Consumer Electronics Show (CES) & Craft Hobby Association (CHA).

One cool moment at CES this year was having a business meeting with the infamous Shaquille O'Neal to work on potential partnerships. The other cool moment was winning eCommerce Retailer of the Year from Monster (well know for their Beats headphones) and seeing the Steve Miller Band at their private concert right after. (Yes, I know all the words to their songs. My parents played a lot of music over my childhood.)

In April, I moved from the Deals team to a new team where I focus on growing retail businesses on our marketplace. I work across all sizes of sellers from small to enterprise, and my flagship service/product was a promotions-based service. Being on this team inspired me to amp up my own retail game and I opened up Papergloss on Etsy and at Amazon Handmade. I sell other goods on eBay, but hope to have Papergloss here soon.

I was able to take, not 1 but 2 convention trips for Wow! Embossing with the UK team in 2015! Bonus points for making it out to Boston for the first time! Checked Massachusetts off my bucket list, leaving 9 more states to visit.

I am positive 2016 will present us with a new and different set of memories, experiences and learnings. I plan to be ready to see new perspectives as I 'focus' on what is important. What about you? 

From all of us to all of you, we wish you all the best in 2016! 


Flights of Fancy Stamp Set

We had one full week of autumn weather that put me in the mood for pumpkin spice lattes and all things fall. I started down the path of autumn card making when a heat wave hit with temperatures soaring well about 80 degrees.

The compromise I made at the craft table as a result of warmer temps making me feel more bright was a muted version of falling leaves using a newly release stamp set from Wow Embossing called Flights of Fancy.

I can see many more great designs with this stamp set for all seasons!


Stamp-A-Faire 2015 with Papertrey Ink

I started halfway through the day, but I did it! I finally participated in one of Papertrey Ink's annual Stamp-A-Faire worldwide online day of crafting. It's like a national scrapbook day chock-full of fun, inspiring projects except in August, themed, online and free. Well, free, if you don't start shopping for every little stamp set, embellishment and tool you see others using. LOL. 

If you are curious about what happens during stamp-a-faire, Nichole Heady outlines the schedule and rules of play here. And...even though it wasn't an official "favor or giveaway", I love that PTI created a soundtrack for the day and posted their playlist on Spotify. FIVE hours of great music to accompany your crafting experience. I am not great at watching TV and crafting but I can definitely sing along with my madz crafting skills. All others around me beware. 

In this post, I list all my completed projects from five of the challenges I was able to get to on Saturday. I intend to finish up the whole event's list of challenges on my own. 

I also doubled down on the challenge and used products within reach of my desk. Perhaps not exciting to you, but I found it thrilling to use up random pieces of things left behind from other projects. 

Essentially...white on white with a touch of accent color. 
The vanilla embossed figures are more subtle in real life. 

Products Used: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (design name unknown), Wow Embossing Powders in Opaque Vanilla White (figures) and Metallic Plantinum (text), Papertrey Ink Stamp Sets - Simply Jane and Big & Bold Wishes.

Apologies for the quality of this picture. I was trying to show the subtlety of the figures in vanilla. 

For the next challenge, I selected a card sketch by Heather Nichols. I turned my card vertical and spritzed water onto the stamp before pressing it to the paper for a watercolor affect. 

Products Used: Papertrey Ink stamp set - Friends til the End, Papertrey Ink Scripted Die, Maya Roads washi tape, Lawn Fawn dye ink pad - Freshly Cut Grass, hemp twine, 

I tried two of the threads challenge techniques shared by Laura and Danielle. I think sales of silver thread are going to go up in the next week thanks to Laura's video tutorial. I know I'm in for one! 

Here is the card with my thread nest. I used a pop of pink that I had on hand. 

Products Used: Papertrey Ink stamp set - Sending My Love, Wow Embossing Powder in opaque white, American Crafts Dear Lizzy Fine & Dandy 6x6 pad, bling (from stash - used pieces of one that was cut up)

And here are my twine and yarn flowers. I love this technique. Super easy especially with full adhesive on the paper. 

Products used: American Crafts Dear Lizzy Fine & Dandy 6x6 pad, Papertrey Ink stamp set (sentiment) - Happy Hexagons, twine/yarn and bling from my stash.

The next challenge was right up my alley. It's the one style I can pull together in the morning. What? People don't typically mix prints in outfits? Oh.

Anyway....I made a pocket card. Even in a very small space, mixing prints can work.....and it's great for scraps. 

Products Used: American Crafts Dear Lizzy Fine & Dandy 6x6 pad, Papertrey Ink stamp set (sentiment) - Happy Hexagons,  Papertrey Ink Scripted Die, sequins.

Finally, the last challenge I completed for the day. "Make it work" seems like my normal mode of craftiness given the scarcity of free time and lack of impulse imagination. I admit though, after a few hours of stamp-a-faire, I was just finding my stride. 

As I as testing out different ideas, I did as suggested and put aside the pieces I was not using. In the end, a few came together for this card. 

Products Used: Cuttlebug Embossing Folder (design name unknown), Papertrey Ink stamp set - Friends til the End and Sending my Love (sentiment), Lawn Fawn dye ink pad - Freshly Cut Grass, hemp twine, Hero Arts Shadow Ink in Pale Tomato and Butter Bar, Tim Holtz distress ink pad in Fired Brick.

I'd love to hear if you participated in stamp-a-faire. Drop me a line! 

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