Welcome to the first day of February Anniversary Release festivities! Everyone at Papertrey Ink has been working tirelessly behind the scenes to bring you TEN days of fun contests & challenges, prizes, inspiration and SO much more!
Let's kick things off with an introduction to the 2014 Papertrey Ink Design Team. I have asked each of them to share seven of their favorite Papertrey projects with you, in honor of our seventh anniversary!
While there are no "new" introductions, I feel as though it is still important to take this opportunity to give each of them a shout out and commend them for their contributions to creativity, not only on behalf of Papertrey, but to the entire paper crafting industry and community.
Ashley says, "As we prepared for Stamp-a-Faire 2013, I got a little nervous about being on camera for the intro and outro videos that the participants view. I wanted to be genuine, yet creative and fun, so I was thinking of a new way to say hello and goodbye without being too corny. This year, I joked about sharing my baby bump, which was very tiny at the time, and rubbing my stomach on camera. The idea was scrapped after thinking the viewers would probably not catch the hint that I was expecting, but think I was hungry for a snack! Perhaps in the future I'll come up with something a bit more fun and not too corny. Since being on the team for a little over two years, there's always fun times behind the scenes!"
Ashley is a designer that executes modern style effortlessly. She is always incorporating trends into her projects, making me stop and take note every time I see one of her new creations. She is such a professional in everything that she does, making it an absolute joy to work with her. That beautiful smile can certainly light up an entire room (or in this case, web page!) and I just know she will be a wonderful mother once she brings her new little one into this world.
CLICK HERE to see more from Ashley Cannon Newell.
Betsy says, "Looking back through my projects from the past year reminded me of how much I enjoy creating with Papertrey’s products. Each and every month is such a treat! I’ve been with Papertrey for 5 1/2 years and I still get excited to see the email each month from Nichole containing the product images for the next release. There were so many great things that happened with Papertrey this year and looking back through my projects reminded me of each one. I have great memories of collaborating with the rest of the team to plan Stamp-a-Faire this year…with lots of giggling as we shared our (horror) stories of trying to video tape ourselves for our welcome videos (who enjoys seeing themselves on camera??). I also love release time each month as we gather to encourage each other through the busiest time of the month…a little comic relief is great for the creative spirit! I’m so happy to be along for the ride for another year!"
Betsy is definitely one of the most innovative ladies in the business! Sometimes I cannot help but wonder what she is going to come up with next! She mixes and matches product, magically putting together things I never would have imagined pairing up. She is always punctual with her deadlines (actually, in general she's early!), which I love since that gives me extra time to drool over her gorgeous projects. One of the things I love most is the way she brings trends found elsewhere (fashion, home decor, etc...) into paper crafting. It is fun to sit and watch her pull all of these different elements into our hobby!
CLICK HERE to see more from Betsy Veldman.
Cristina says, "One of my favorite things about being on the Papertrey Ink design team for this past year and a half is the way that all of the designers are like a close-knit family, and the way we are all genuinely supportive of each other. I remember during Stamp-a-faire when we had to make our videos to share with you guys. I loved watching all my teamies, of course, who I know from afar, but what was even more fun was commiserating with each other behind the scenes about how terrible we thought each of ours were and laughing about how many takes each of us did until we got it right. Such a great group."
Cristina creates impecable, flawless designs that have a wonderful classic and timeless feel to them. Just enough of a modern twist to keep them current, but at the same time a look that will never go out of style. When I think of clean and simple, I think of Cristina's work. She uses white space amazingly well, something I strive to learn from her with each project I get to see. One of the things I love most about her projects is her use of the negative space created when die-cutting. Sometimes I think she must have been some sort of engineer in a past life with the way her brain works! And don't get me started on her swoon worthy color combos! Just love this girl!
CLICK HERE to see more from Cristina Kowalczyk.
Danielle says, "I can't believe I've been in the Papertrey Ink family for 3 years now. I started designing for Papertrey Ink February 4th, 2011. I say "family" because it really is like a family. Everyone is so supportive of one another, and it's really just an amazing group. Designing for Papertrey Ink doesn't feel like a "job" to me, it feels more like a community where I am welcomed and encouraged for what I love to do the most, create. A family is a community that cheers you on, a family supports you, a family gets you when you need something and encourages you to be your best. This group, with Nichole very much included and leading us, makes me feel at home and really inspires me to be a better designer. I love that, and I'm so thrilled to be included in the Papertrey Ink family for another year. I cannot wait for you to see what we have in store for you this year! We hope to inspire you as much as we inspire each other!"
If I had to sum up Danielle as a paper crafter in a single word, I would choose eclectic. Not only is she incredibly talented when it comes to layering, she has an amazing knack of being able to essentially transform trash into treasure! Little scraps and bits & pieces I might normally throw away, end up incorporated into her projects and look absolutely stunning! I also love that she is able to morph her work into so many styles, but always maintains her signature look. Whether it is shabby chic or bright and bold, she can do it all and this makes her such a valuable asset to the team! So glad she is joining us for another round!
CLICK HERE to see more from Danielle Flanders.
Dawn says, "I can’t believe it’s Papertrey’s anniversary again -- it’s always such a festive time! I never would have imagined, back when I started with Papertrey in July of 2008, how much fun we would have over the years, or how much I would grow as a designer. I’m so grateful for the opportunities that this company has blessed me with and I’m so grateful for each of the other designers on the team! They never cease to amaze me with their endless fount of creativity -- every month I think to myself, “Now why didn’t I think of that?!” And I love the fact that each designer is just as nice as can be behind the scenes too. I love when we’re nearing the end of each Countdown and one designer or another will start a thread checking on everyone, to see how we’re all holding up. We tend to get a little chatty once we’re wrapping up another month, and I always look forward to hearing how everyone’s doing and to laughing together in the process. Mostly, I love that everyone on the team, including Nichole - our fearless leader, is so kind and compassionate and so willing to help each other out. This is a group of extremely gracious and humble ladies and I’m beyond blessed to get to work with them every day."
I think anyone would agree that Dawn is bright & colorful, both inside & out. Her bold color schemes are one of her signature trademarks, not to mention the amazing artistic accessory arrangements she sets up for each of her photo shoots. Visiting her blog always gives us the opportunity to get away and escape into a world of inspiration and beautiful eye candy! Oh, and we can't forget to mention her fabulous fingernail polish colors, always up for discussion on the forum after a new Make It Monday video goes live! One of the many things I love about her is her big personality. She is all about sunshine and rainbows and always sees the *the glass half full*. She lifts the spirits of the whole team with her sunny disposition and we are so glad she's here for the long haul!
CLICK HERE to see more from Dawn McVey.
Erin says, "I think my favorite moment just happened this week! Just in time to write this conveniently. Every month on the Design Team Board, we eagerly await the arrival of the "box". There are daily updates and excitement as one by one, it arrives on our doorsteps. This month it seems a large group of us got it on the same day. I wasn't one of them...drat! And apparently, there was a nice surprise that we weren't previously told about lurking at the bottom. But nobody was fessing up to what it was exactly. Instead, the teasers (like myself) were turned into the teased. After one plea for a hint, Heather told us, "Well, I'll tell you one thing, you can use it to make cards." HA! Touche.
Erin is the queen bee when it comes to being unconventional, which is so admirable. I literally can hardly wait to download her projects for the group posts once her email pops up in my inbox, because I know without a doubt it will be clever! She looks at stamps so differently, always coming up with ways to pair sets that I never would have imagined together. How she does all this with three little ones underfoot is prize-worthy in of itself! You can't talk about Erin without also mentioning her sense of humor. She keeps us laughing behind the scenes with her witty banter! Oh, the stories I could tell! She is one fabulous lady and I am grateful to count her as a friend and team member!
CLICK HERE to see more from Erin Lincoln.
Heather says, "One of my favorite memories this past year was having a small get together at my home for Stamp-a-Faire in August with some of the members of the forum that are from Minnesota. It was such a great day of crafting together and it reminds me about why I love this company so much. The people, a craft I love so much, and the inspiration and ideas that we all share with each other. So much goes on behind the scenes to get ready for events like Stamp-a-Faire, for that stamp set to arrive on your doorstep and for those blog posts & videos to get uploaded online. A funny story from getting tutorials ready for Stamp-a-Faire this year was when I was tea dyeing felt and lace for one of my tutorials. I had not ever tea dyed before, and did I look up exactly what I needed? No. Because it was tea that I needed and that shouldn't be difficult, right? Well, I chose an herbal tea and that type of tea is not dark enough to tea dye. Nope. Of course this was after 9PM at night and I am working right up to my deadline! My husband Chad was right there for me when I needed him and went out to the store to pick me up black tea so I could finish tea dying for my tutorial that evening. If that's not love, I don't know what is... although I am sure it was to stop the already started stress meltdown because my tea dyed felt looked exactly the same as when I started!"
Heather is known for her rustic style that has a touch of whimsy. But you definitely can't think of Heather without thinking about Classic Kraft, her main staple! Sometimes I wonder if we should have somehow named that color after her, rather than Pinefeather. Her scrapbooking projects have always gotten my attention and we are all in for an extra special treat as she introduces her new product line this month. But one of the things I love most about Heather is her passion. She is always willing to do whatever it takes to make soemthing a reality. Whether it be this new product line or raising over $7,000 for her special-needs daughter. If she wants it, she goes for it with everything she's got! She is truly amazing and we are so blessed to have her with us!
CLICK HERE to see more from Heather Nichols.
Laura says, "I haven't been on the Papertrey Ink team very long, just since last September, but the best part so far has been getting to know these talented ladies behind the scenes. From hilarious pet stories to shared laughs about using concealer and aging, a common love of french fries and chocolate and wonderful baby announcements. These gals have become for than just admired designers, they have become friends. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to know them better."
Laura IS clean and simple, period. I've never seen someone that is able to incorporate so much impact into their projects with so little. It truly amazes me every single time I see one of her projects. I'm most amazed by her work with dies. She does amazing things with those die-cut shapes and words that I never would have thought of! All of her designs have a modern twist, which really allows her to stand out from the pack. I love reading her blog posts too. She is so down-to-earth and is all about keeping it real. I think that may be why all of us are able to indentify with her so well. I consider it an honor that Laura has opted to stay on with us another year, and I know you will be thrilled as well!!!
CLICK HERE to see more from Laura Bassen.
Maile Belles is actually taking a few months off, but will be rejoining us for the March Release! I definitely wanted to include her in today's post all the same though! I selected seven of my favorite projects from her, which was definitely a challenge since eveything on her blog is amazing! Maile has a knack for positioning stamp images in unique arrangments that give them a whole different vibe. I just love that about her! She also plays around a lot with subtle shimmer and shine, which has been a fun treat lately too. We'll be so happy to have her back for another year beginning in March!
Melissa says, "It's hard for me to believe that I have been with Papertrey Ink since September of 2008! Time has flown by and it's because I have enjoyed each moment I have been with Papertrey Ink. I still get excited to see what new and inspiring products will be introduced and am still just as anxious as ever to get to create with those new items. I love what I do and continue to find so much joy in creating. One behind the scenes "funny" would be the time when Nichole clued us in about what NOT to type into the search bar on Pinterest :). I could tell you what it was, but then you'd all want to give it a try and to protect your innocent little eyes, I'll keep it to myself...but it gave us all a good laugh. It's so nice to have someone take the hit for you when it comes to things like that :). Looking forward to another wonderful year with you all."
Melissa has taken our little Papertrey world by storm with her fabulous Make It Monday videos. I cannot even begin to tell you how many emails I have received from all of you regarding her sweet natured tutorials in that soft spoken way she has about her. I definitely love them as much as you do! One of things that I admire most in Melissa is how she is passionate about being creative to her core. She literally lives and breathes creativity. I am always inspired by the quotes and things she shares with all of us regarding her thoughts on creativity. It really reminds me how much this hobby can add to our lives. Melissa has an AMAZING work ethic, always dependable and flexible even at the last minute. I am SO looking forward to another year together with her!
CLICK HERE to see more from Melissa Phillips.
Although we had no new introductions this month, we do have one farewell. Debbie Olson has been working with us since the very beginning! Seven whole years! She has been there for every. single. release. Debbie is a truly amazing designer with a heart of gold that comes through in her writing style. When visiting her blog, I always felt I was pulling up a chair in her warm cozy kitchen to have a hot cup of tea with her. Debbie has been an absolute joy to work with all these years and I almost have to pinch myself that her Papertrey legacy is coming to a close! Debbie has chosen to step away from her responsibilities with us to concentrate on some things in her personal life. I know all of us here at Papertrey Ink send her off with three cheers and big hugs. She will forever be considered a dear friend.
On a brighter note, I have a VERY fun announcement to make regarding a new feature here on the blog that I think you will all enjoy!
Beginning this month of February 15th, I will be offering a free download of printable Release in Review Inspiration Cards. These cards will showcase color combos and sketches inspired by the amazing projects the team has created that release. You can choose to keep the 8-1/2"x11" pages whole and add them to a binder. Or you can cut them down into recipe cards using the guidelines and tuck them into one of our recipe boxes. You will definitely want to stop by every month on the 15th to download your copy and collect them all!
I have an extra set I have put together just for you today in honor of our anniversary festivities!
Seven sketches and seven color schemes for our 7th nniversary! Now's your chance to make a project using this inspiration as well as an opportunity to leave some love for the best team in the business!
1. Create a new project that uses one Color Recipe Card and one Sketch Recipe Card from the options above.
2. Your project must use at least one Papertrey product.
3. Upload a photo of your project to your blog, online gallery or any other photo-hosting site (such as photobucket or flickr).
4. Add the direct link to your project on our InLinkz list below.
5. You may create as many projects as you like for the challenge, but each project should have a separate link.
6. And/or you can leave a comment here to be eligible to win. Leave a "thank you" for the amazing design team members and all of the inspiration they have provided you this past year! Only one comment per person please. (Just click the small "comments" link in blue beside the date in the footer of this post. If you are reading this as an email subscription, be sure to click through to the actual blog to leave an eligible comment)
7. You have until 7am EST, Saturday, February 15th to add your project link or comment and qualify for the contest.
8. The lucky winner will be announced on our February Release Winner page no later than noon EST, February 15th.
One lucky winner will receive their Papertrey wish list for FREE (up to a $300 value)! Be sure to create a special wish list within your account on our website labeled "2014 PTI Wishlist". If you are randomly selected as a winner, you will be sent the first $300 worth of items on that list!!! We encourage customers to include more than $300 worth of items on their anniversary wish list because if a particular item is out of stock on the morning of February 15th when the winner is selected, we will replace it with the next item on the list. Best of luck with the contest!