Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring Trade Show and Education Event - Recap part two

If you are just joining me you can read part one HERE

So are you ready to hear about he second day?

Remember, due to lack of planning I had to drive up in the morning; but since it was a Saturday traffic was light and I arrived in time for my first class at 8:30am.

My first class was with Maya Road.  It was a very cute shadow box with lots of fun embellishments.  They have an adorable set of glitter in glass vials that I wanted to buy just for the bottles.  If you are interested in doing this as a class let me know and I will order the kits.  The nice thing is it comes with a full set of chipboard so you could do a different word, like "Hope" if you want.

Next up was a mixed media class sponsored by The Crafter's Workshop and taught by Cheryl Bogioli who is scheduled to be at The Inspiration Station on May 12.  We used a canvas album cover and stenciled on it with embossing paste, sprays and paint.  It was a fun but very messy class. just the beginning of the abuse my hands would suffer this weekend.

Lunch was again underwhelming.  A pizza buffet of bland frozen pizza. Dessert was something resembling chocolate cool whip topped with a slice of strawberry.  I was thankful I had a yogurt in the cooler of my car.

The afternoon started with a class at 12:30.  Jenn Shurkus taught the class for Lawn Fawn and we made a bunch of really cute cards.  I really love Lawn Fawn products, they are so cute and easy to color. We did some with Copics and some with Distress ink as a  watercolor. Here are 3 of the 5 cards we made in class (I didn't have time to finish the other two).

At 2:15 it was into a class with Fancy Pants.  The owners were very sweet and we did a cute Instagram album/brag book. I have not carried much of their line in the past but I am looking into their summer release because it is very cute.

The next class was Graphic 45.  They have such beautiful papers and they always have unique was of using them. They used their baby line, and took out the most beautiful florals and created this window pane shadow box. Isn't it gorgeous?

So after 4 very intense classes in one day you would think we would get a little time to recover, right?  Oh NO!  Saturday night is the legendary"Sample Making Frenzy".  

Imagine being given 3 hrs to go into a room with 40 or so vendors and trying to do make and take projects at each one...  It is impossible to do!  But - we try!  The rep group who sponsors the show does their best to keep our energy up by running a dessert buffet down the center of the room. Still, there is no way we can get to everyone so I start by scouting the room and looking for the tables who have products we carry so I can bring back ideas.  Next I look for the vendors who I WANT to bring in, to get a chance to play with the products before deciding; because remember, we still haven't gotten to the trade show portion of the weekend yet!

So I stopped by and saw my friend, Ken Oliver, and his Color Burst paints (very cool!) We also talked about having him return to the store to teach a class or two and are looking toward the summer (June or July).

Visited with Elizabeth Craft Designs and fell in love with Karen Burniston's new barn yard collection.

By the way - I spoke with Karen Burniston and we have tentatively scheduled to have her come here and teach the weekend of June 13-14.  I do not have a set day or time yet, but I will let you know as soon as I do.  We are looking at a class and hopefully also a demo if time allows.

Other tables I stopped at and made samples included: Sizzix, Impression Obsession, Ranger (Wendy Vecchi has new Archival inks and powders), BoBunny, Little B, and Stampendous who has the cutest pop up Kitten and Puppy stamps & dies along with new House Mouse for summer.

After the frenzy, I headed back to my room with the intention of checking my email and preparing orders for the show, but it didn't happen.  As soon as I climbed into the bed I crashed, right there under the pile of catalogs!

Sunday was the trade show during the day, I spent some time talking to several vendors and placing orders. I loved the graduation products from Impression Obsession. 

 I thanked many would had been very generous with products in their classes and got a little silly (ok. maybe very silly ) with the guys in Ken Oliver's booth.

So at the end of the show I was pretty wiped out.  I skipped dinner to spend time chatting with Kim, the owner of Kept Creations in Mass.  Then it was on to another workshop - Yes! Sunday night from 6:30-9pm I had a workshop with Sizzix.  Again, they were generous with the goody bag and we each got a precision cutting plate and a die brush tool.  I was also lucky enough to win an extended magnetic base plate as a door prize.

By the time I was done I was exhausted, but the fact that I skipped dinner was catching up with me so I made a quick run to McD before bed and picked up an extra yogurt parfait to put in the ice bucket because, well, breakfast at the hotel left a lot to be desired and my class with Dyan Reaveley started at 8am!

We had a chance to play with her new paints and stencils and get very messy.  The paints are very fast drying so they are perfect for art journals.  That is one reason I don't like to art journal - I am too impatient to dry between steps and with her paints and her application technique that is really not an issue.

After another awful lunch service, we moved into another room for our afternoon workshop with Tim Holtz.

Tim is always a great teacher and gives wonderful tips for using products.  Did you know you can use his Tiny Attacher stapler anywhere on a page?  Come to the After-Party on May 1st and I'll show you how!  Mario was there, of course, and I have to say he is one of the sweetest men in the industry.  He is the force behind all of the prep work that goes into Tim's classes and makes them run so smoothly.  This is the project we made in class.
That was it.  I was beat. I didn't hang around since I needed to head back on the Mass Pike during rush hour traffic. I have to say it was a wonderful weekend.  The promoters did an excellent job.  The vendors were wonderful and all of the classes I took were worthwhile.  I also appreciated the chance to network with other store owners and share ideas.

So that is my recap.  I really hope you will come and join us at our Trade Show After Party on Friday, May 1 from 5:30 - 8pm.  You will see everything is person, including the stuff I didn't show here.  Don't forget, Kim also came up and took several classes so those projects will be at the store then too.

As always, your comments are appreciated so I know that people actually read my long-winded essay!
See you soon.

Friday, April 17, 2015

This week's Design Team projects

I wanted to put links to all of this weeks project in one place, since I know many of you do not see our updates on Facebook.  If you would like updates more often please go there and "like" our page and then check the box to "get notifications".  Facebook has changed a lot of things and they no longer show things in your news feed unless you occasionally interact with our post (like, comment and share). So PLEASE  - like, comment & share!

Donna's mini travel book can be found HERE

Sarah's layout for the week is HERE.

And Patty's ATC project can be found  HERE

Also - Be on the lookout for our newsletter - It will give you information about our upcoming Craft Tag Sale and classes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring Trade Show and Education Event - Recap part one

One of my favorite things about being a papercraft store owner is having the chance to take classes from industry professionals. We have a rep group that puts on a trade show and education event in the spring and fall and I think is is better than going to the CHA shows.  It is much smaller and it is devoted to companies that sell products for papercrafters as opposed to other crafts like fabrics, jewelry, etc.

Because it is smaller and more focused, we have a chance to really speak to the vendors and learn about their products rather than getting a 60 second canned script in a booth as we fly by.  Many of the vendors teach classes and workshops and often times provide us with samples to take back to out stores to show our customers.

This past weekend was the spring show and I had a packed schedule of classes and workshops; and although it was a lot of fun, it was also exhausting so it has taken me a few days to catch up.  I think I can now share some of what I did with all of you and see what you think of the products and projects.  Please leave a comment below to let me know what you like.

Friday was my first full day of classes. We started at 8:00am with an overview of some of the vendors and load our goody bags with fun samples of product to try. It's a great way to test out new adhesives, look at the quality of the products we may not already carry, and get a peek at some new lines that are going to be released.

At 9:00, my first class started with Tombow.  Marie Browning, CZT, who has written several books geared toward Zentangle, was the instructor of a class called Pencil Potential.  She is a great teacher and I really enjoyed the class and learned a few new techniques that I plan to re-teach.

At 10:45, I was in my next class with Little B.  If you don't know who Little B is, you will.  They produce punches, dies, 3-d embellishments and washi tape.  In fact, if you have bought any washi tape from us in the past 6 months - it was probably from Little B!  Their products are great and affordable. They were very generous in class and let us each take home FIVE of their punches!

They gave us a short break for lunch - we won't talk about the food other than to say it was hotel food. We were not impressed.

At 1:00pm I went into a Copic class taught by Marianne Walker.  It was called Coloring Line Drawings and it was really amazing.  We started with a photo that had been converted into a line drawing on the computer to somewhat resemble a coloring book image and then she taught us to match the colors in the photo and color it to get a finished work of art.  I was very skeptical when she gave us a photo of a black & white dog (Rupert) and told us that would be our project... Black & White are two of the hardest colors to render in marker!  But when all was said and done; I was slightly impressed with myself.

Moving on the the next class - I was already feeling like it was 7:00 at night - at 2:45 I had a class from Imagine Crafts (Tsukenieko). It was an art journaling class that was very chaotic.  They provided a bunch of products I had not worked with before like the Stazon Glaze and Creative Medium and Pico Embellisher but because of the limited time and variety of mediums we really didn't finish anything. I will need to go back and play with the products on my own and see how I really like them.  Kim took a similar class with them to make Mixed Media cards and she really enjoyed it, so I am leaving the messy stuff to her.

At 4:30 (yes, it's only 4:30 and I am already dragging), I was able to take a class with Heidi Swapp.  In all these years I have never met her before and she really is a very nice person.  We were given a bunch of her Memorydex products to work with and she had everyone in the room crying when she told a story about why she felt memory keeping was so important.  Not kidding - there wasn't a dry eye in the room.  

The concept of the Memorydex is not new - we did altered Rolodex files years ago - but her take on it was really great.  By using her "dex" cards or re-purposed Project Life cards, she adds one memory to a card each night.  It can be a quote, a quick note about what happened that day or something she is thankful for.  It then goes in the Memorydex behind the monthly divider and once a week she adds small photos if she took any to the mix as well. So similar to Project Life but on a smaller scale and more about the journaling.  

Is this day ever going to end?  No.  It's just time for a break for dinner.  We couldn't handle another round of hotel food so I tagged along with several other store owners, including Tracie from Papercraft Clubhouse, to a quick dinner at Panera Bread.  Then it was back to work.

My evening workshop was with Impression Obsession.  The owner, Mitra, is an absolute doll.  I met her years ago and have taken classes from her at every show.  She even came to teach at The Inspiration Station a few years ago.  The project was a great Summer Beach Box Card and thankfully she pre-cut all of the tiny die pieces for us so all we had to do was stamp, color and glue.  Which was hard enough after such a long day!  Not only did she do all of that work she was also incredibly generous and gave us EVERY die and stamp used in the project so we could go home and re-teach it! I have added it to the calendar for June (it will take me that long to die cut all the pieces for you!).

Class ended at 10pm and you would think my day was over - but no.  Because I was late calling to book the hotel, it was sold out so I had to drive home... then be back in the morning for my next class.

To be Continued...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Crazy Weekend and I am falling behind!

Hi Everybody-
If you have been following me on Facebook you know that I was at a Trade Show & Education Event for 5 days up in the Boston area.
I have been completely overwhelmed with classes and projects, oh and that horrible thing known as Income Tax season...  So I am totally behind on posting.

My plan for today was to write up a blog post detailing the weekend events, but then I came into work and it went out the window!

I also never got around to posting Donna's Project for the week; which is awesome by the way!  So here's the link to that and hopefully the trade show post will get done tonight (or tomorrow).

Hello World Travel Album

Monday, April 06, 2015

Donna's Layout using Kaisercraft Off the Wall

Good morning!

Today I get to share another design team project from Donna. She made a great layout using Kaisercraft's Off the Wall line.  I love this line because it is so hard to find a line that works well for boys of ALL ages - especially teens and young adults.

Donna did a terrific job layering paper and stamps and I love the paint splatters and rings added to give extra texture.

Visit her blog HERE and see all the details close up!

Friday, April 03, 2015

All I can say is WOW! Patty knocked it out of the park with her firsts Design Team project! I gave her the Graphic 45 Time to Celebrate collection because I knew it would be a good fit for her. I was right! (I love saying that smile emoticon ) Check out her video here:

Patty's You Tube

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Sweet little Dream

Today is Sarah's first project for our Design Team.
I love what she's done with the products I sent her.  She has done a video on You Tube and that is posted on her blog as well.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Design Team post

Our first Design Team post is up and you can find it on Donna's Blog.
Today she shows you a beautiful layout made with the Hello World line from My Mind's Eye.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Tag Sale

All of the spots for our Rent-A-Space Tag sale are now SOLD OUT!

There are going to LOTS of fabulous deals so be sure to mark your calendar:

Rent- a –Space Craft Tag Sale
Sunday, April 26, 2015 (Rain date Sunday, May 3, 2015)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Introducing our 2015 Design Team

So I had this idea.
Let do a Design Team.
Won't that be fun?
We'll find crafty people who can make lots of pretty things with the stuff we sell at The Inspiration Station.

Well it was a lot harder than I thought. There are a lot of talented people out there!
I have to work within a budget, so I decided I needed to narrow it down to only 3 people.
I was looking for diversity.  I have a my own certain style which tends to be fairly simple, and linear; but I wanted people who would show a different perspective. I think I found a good mix.  So here they are.

First up - Sarah Swann of New Mexico
Sarah is a traditional scrapbooker who also works with pocket scrapbooking and card making. She has a large following on her You Tube channel  and that is something I have not gotten into so I think she will make an excellent addition to our creative team.

Next is Donna Coughlin of Pennsylvania
Donna is a 13 year scrapbooker who is both a mother and grandmother and loves to travel and is a Disney fan.  She has some design team experience and keeps her blog updated with her creativity.
She is new to You Tube but hopefully we will get to see more of her work shown there.

And finally, Patty Hair of Connecticut
Patty is a personal friend of mine who has incredible talent. She is amazing with mini albums and altered art pieces.  While her mini albums tend to be very traditional her altered art is something else all together. You may see cute and whimsical "tear" critters or crazy, Steampunk and Gothic inspired projects - you just never know. Take a look at her You Tube Channel and see what I mean.

This week I mailed out packages to each of the ladies.  For the first month, I chose items that I though would work well with their personal style.  You will begin to see their creations, in the coming weeks. I will link to the posts as soon as I have them. Meantime, visit their sites and leave them some love to welcome them to our team.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Save the Date

Lots of people have been asking for another Craft Tag Sale.

So, coming up on April 26 (rain date May 3) we will hold a Rent-a-Space Tag Sale at The Inspiration Station.  It will work differently than tag sales in the past.  Here is what you need to know.

Inspiration Station
Rent- a –Space Craft Tag Sale
Sunday, April 26, 2015 (Rain date Sunday, May 3, 2015)

Many people have been requesting this so here we go!  For $10 per table, you can rent a 6 foot table in our parking lot to sell off your previously loved crafting supplies and earn CASH to replenish your stash.  Here’s how it works.
·         Space is Limited so first-come first-served. Registration begins Saturday March 28
·         Cost of a table is $10 per table – Limit 2 tables per person.  Fee is non-refundable. Cash only.
·         Set up will begin at 10am, please be on time.  Tables and chairs will be provided. 
·         You are responsible for pricing, setting up, selling and packing up all of your merchandise.
·         You are responsible for all transactions – please be sure to bring adequate change for your cash box and bags for merchandise.
·         You will be located outside in the back parking lot so please plan accordingly; rain date is May 3rd. Refund of table fee will NOT be made if you are unable to make the rain date unless we can sell your space to another.
·         All of your merchandise must be packed up and removed by 4pm.

The Inspiration Station is not responsible for loss or damage to your merchandise. All sales are final.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Announcing our first-ever 2015 Design Team Call!

Announcing our first-ever 2015 Design Team Call!

Do you love scrapbooking and creating projects with a mix of amazing products from various manufacturers? Do you enjoy working alongside other creative individuals?  Do you actively communicate via social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube?  Do you have an active blog?  Are you willing to share your work and promote The Inspiration Station on various forms of social media?  Do you have a specific style that would be a good fit for our store? Then we want to hear from you!

Send all submissions to, subject line DT call
Submission deadline: Feb. 22, 2015

Project Submissions:
·         Please share a collection of your best work that represents your specific style.  Attach photos of 3 layouts and 3 cards.  1 layout and 1 card must be created specifically for this DT call.  If you are a Project Life scrapbooker, please add 3 Project Life layouts that showcase your style to your submission.
Include the following:
·         Name
·         Address
·         Phone Number
·         Email Address
·         Blog URL
·         Facebook Name/Page URL
·         Instagram URL
·         Twitter URL
·         YouTube Channel URL
·         Links to galleries where you post your projects:
** Not all are required but they will be considered when choosing a team

Please answer the following questions (2- 3 sentences each):
1.       Why would you be a good fit for the Inspiration Station Design Team?
2.       When and why did you start scrapbooking?
3.       How would you best describe your style?
4.       Are you currently on any other design teams? If so, please list the teams as well as their monthly commitments.
5.       List any previous design teams as well.
6.       What do you enjoy most about communicating and sharing your projects via all forms of social media?  (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and other social media communities).
7.       Have you and/or are you comfortable with creating step by step pictorial tutorials and/or project process videos?  If you have a YouTube channel, please provide a link.

Design Team Requirements:
·         6 month term (March 15 2015 – Sept. 15, 2015)
·         Each member must create 3 layouts, projects and/or cards with the products included in each month’s kit with descriptions, info, instructions and techniques.  Projects must be submitted by scheduled due dates.
·         Promote The Inspiration Station on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, message boards, etc…)
·         Willing to create pictorial tutorials and/or project process videos when requested.

Monthly Compensation:  $80 retail value of products to be used in projects.

*Open to US residents only.
Team members will be selected and announced by March 1st.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

It's a great day for crafting

Well the weather may not be beautiful today but that doesn't mean we can MAKE something beautiful.

C'mon, dig out those paper trimmers, dust off the adhesive, pull out those projects you've been meaning to finish!

Get those creative juices flowing.

You're gonna need to be warmed up and ready to roll if you want to be ready for my BIG Announcement tomorrow morning!

Landee See, Landee Do: I Just Want to Make Beautiful Things

Friday, January 23, 2015


Did I get your attention?
Yes, I have a big announcement to make.
Something I have wanted to do for years but have never made the time for.
Something I think you will really like.
A way for you to be a part of something big.
What is it?
Well, that your are going to have to wait to find out!

The big announcement will be made here on my blog on Sunday morning, January 25, 2015
Which just so happens to coincide with the 13th anniversary of The Inspiration Station...

Store Calendar

Class sample slideshow