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Disney Vacation Memory Book

This has been by far my favorite scrapbook to create. The more I scrapbook the more I learn what makes me happy during the process as well as flipping through the album after it’s complete. Since learning about pocket-scrapbooking, I’ve completed two (Summer 2014 & December Daily 2014) and started another (Project Life Sept 2014). I have enjoyed making each book and have learned something from each one. I hope by sharing my process and some of my techniques it inspires you to create your own pocket scrapbook for a trip, an event, or even to document your whole year. You can watch my YouTube Video walk-through here.

This past June we took our children to Disney World for the first time. Georgia was 4 years old and Conroy was almost 2 years old. Before we left I knew I wanted to make a 6x8 album for our trip. So far that’s been my favorite size album to use. It fits nicely on a shelf, but is still big enough to include many different photos and sufficiently tell our story. For most of the trip I had my “big camera” (aka my Canon Rebel DSLR). I wanted to get great images, so I committed to wearing that what feels like a 5 lb camera around my neck or over my shoulder the entire trip. I am very happy I did.

The main difference between this scrapbook and any other memory book I’ve made in the past was that I gave myself a deadline! By doing so, it allowed me to enjoy each part of the process. I was able to fully indulge in saving every single piece of paper, ticket stub, and brochure I could get my hands on! I took a special shopping spree to Michaels just for specific supplies. Best of all, within under 3 weeks I was able to show our album off to my family and friends.

My Process:

As I said, I knew I wanted to make this album before we left so I had the album in the back of my mind while I was taking photos. I used my “big camera,” my iPhone, plus any photos my parents or my aunt took while we were on the trip. Knowing these photos wouldn’t just be lost somewhere on my computer made it that much more exciting to take them in the first place. I wanted to remember the little moments and big ones. This meant taking an extra minute to get the photo. When we were all packed into the back of the airport shuttle bus I asked a stranger to take a photo of us. Many times I’d subtly snap a shot when no one was paying attention, but I’d also ask people to get together and pose more than usual. I knew I wanted to show our trip through the eyes of our kids so there was lots of squatting down to take photos in order to get on their level. Knowing the purpose of your photos before you take them often helps you get the photos you want. Also, thanks to digital, my new philosophy is “just take the photo.” If you don’t like it you can delete, but if you don’t take it you’ll never have it.

 

While on the trip I uploaded the photos at night and collected my favorites that other people had taken. Once we were back in Brooklyn I spent two evenings, after the kids were in bed, narrowing down the photos and deciding which sizes I wanted to print them. Thanks to some advice from Amy Tan, I downloaded the app PicFrame, which allowed me to put six 2x2 photos on a 4x6 print and two 3x4 photos on a 4x6 print. This took a little bit of time, but was much faster than doing it in Photoshop. I ordered all my photos from Snapfish and they were here in a couple days.

Then I took several hours from the weekend to lay out all the photos in chronological order and put them into the pocket protectors. I’ve found that if I break things down into steps I am much faster and it is more enjoyable. I don’t worry too much about if the layouts are exactly how I want them just as long as there’s space for photos and journaling cards.

Once I got all the photos roughly into pockets, the fun part really began. Embellishing and memory recording!! I like to lay out all my stickers, markers, extra paper, and stamps so I can see what I have to work with!

Supplies:

Before we left for the trip I saw these amazing Disney themed cards on the Big Picture Classes Instagram feed. I LOVED them, so immediately went online and ordered them. Yes, I paid more in shipping than on the cards themselves, but I really wanted to support the company. I have taken classes from them in the past. Plus, they have wonderful content and products. I couldn’t be happier with them and would do it again in a heartbeat. If you are ordering online, I’m sure you can buy more and possibly get free shipping.

Adding to the reasons this book is my favorite so far was my mini-shopping spree. Typically I have a decent amount of supplies in my studio. But for this book I took a special trip to Michaels. I bought a Mambi sticker set specifically for travel, plus a set that included some chipboard stickers that I loved. I first discovered this company’s modern designs and relatable sayings while making our December Daily album. I even had some stickers left over from that project.

I splurged on some Disney related stickers, including a red sparkly alphabet pack and a really nice embroidered “Disney” sticker for the cover.  I chose a 6x8 SN@P album with a black spine and picked up a pack of multiple colored SN@P alphabet stickers. I loved having multiple colored letters in the same font. I was able to easily mix and match while keeping the page cohesive.

Mementos:

Since I had given myself a deadline, I allowed myself to keep everything I wanted….and I mean everything! I knew I would come home, use what I could use, and trash what I didn’t. Oftentimes I hoard so much paper memorabilia and never get to put it in a book. For this project, I gave myself a rule: I’d either use it now or get rid of it. Knowing that, I was able to fully enjoy myself.

Below are some of my favorite mementos that made the cut.

Souvenir Pins 

When we arrived at Disney both kids were given “1st Visit” souvenir pins. I knew right away that I wanted to keep them. We attached them to our stroller for the day and I put them in my keepsake bag when we got back to the hotel. At home I used an exacto knife to cut the back of the pin and then popped out the paper. I trimmed it with scissors to make it smooth. This is the second time I’ve preserved a pin using this method and I love it. It takes up so much less space and allows me to save the memento.

 

Tickets

 Our tickets to the park were credit card style cards with images of the classic Disney characters on the front. Immediately I knew I wanted to save these. I ended up cutting them to fit into the 2x2 pockets. I used a large paper cutter to do this and made sure I pressed firmly when cutting to ensure it stayed in place.

 

Drink Umbrella 

Georgia had a smoothie with an umbrella in it the day she spent at the pool with my mom. When she brought it upstairs I giddily slipped it into my pile of memories. This is the perfect example of something I might generally tell myself not to keep because “I would never actually use it” but, since I was determined to create this scrapbook as soon as we were home, I didn’t feel guilty at all. To incorporate it, I simply cut the middle off so it would lay flat and then I used a Mambi Chipboard embellishment to cover up the hole. I put it right next to the photo of Georgia with the umbrella in her hair drinking her Mango Smoothie. Perfection! (Seriously, this probably shouldn’t make me so happy.)

Emergency Room Reminders 

Ok, the more I write this post the more I realize how deep down I truly am a paper hoarder!! After our visit to the ER (don’t panic, Conroy just had a fever and my cousin works there) I saved both our wristbands, plus the extra tongue depressor they gave Conroy to play with!! But seriously, I think it adds so much to the two-page spread. Plus, since they are securely glued to the photos and inside the plastic pocket, I know they won’t fall out or get lost.

Gold Confetti 

At the end of the Disney Junior show, gold confetti fell from the ceiling. Georgia spent a good 5 minutes collecting the “treasure” before we could convince her to leave. She nicely asked if we could “keep them forever” – which is something she says often these days. Knowing I was going to make this scrapbook I, of course, replied “definitely” and Chad put them in his wallet. When it came time to make this spread I forgot where they were since they weren’t with the rest of my stuff and almost didn’t include them. When I was almost finished, Chad found them in his wallet and reminded me he had them. Knowing how important they were to her, I changed a couple things and made sure to include them. I loved that they were slightly transparent, so I made sure I didn’t completely block them on the backside. I love how, because of the pocket pages, you can see through them.

 

ReCrafting Memories:

Even though I had my big camera around my neck and my iPhone in my back pocket there were a couple really great memories that I didn’t take a picture of. It actually makes perfect sense. I was so “in the moment” that I didn’t even think to snap a photo. I really wanted to capture these memories so I simply “reCrafted” them!

Ariel Ride

The first one was the Ariel Ride. We went on it once and then when it was time to pick another Fast Pass ride, Georgia chose the Ariel Ride again. Since this trip was about her I said, “Ok, let’s do it.” Chad, Georgia, Conroy and I all squeezed into the beautiful seashell. To reCraft the memory I did a quick Google Image search for “Ariel Ride.” I found a photo of some people on the ride and I had two copies printed at CVS. The page I had to work with was the twelve 2x2 page. I chose one section of the 4x6 image I had printed and cut it into four 2x2s. I inserted 3 of them. Then I cut another 2x2 from the second copy I had printed. If you look closely you can see how the people on the ride appear twice. To customize this memory, I cut out small photos of our heads from some of the extra photos and then glued them over the faces of the people from my Google Image. Looking at this page makes me smile from ear to ear.

Handsome Gaston

The second reCrafted memory was the photo of Gaston. We probably spent close to 15 minutes watching Gaston take pictures with people while he boasted about how handsome he was. He was very arrogant, but pretty funny. Georgia found it very amusing. When we got home I couldn’t believe I didn’t take a photo of her watching him. To remember this memory I did a quick Google Image for “Gaston in Disney World.” I really think the photo I found was of the same exact Gaston that we saw while we were there. To embellish the photo I added some cardstock with the word “Handsome” written on it.

The Art of The Dillydally 

Georgia has perfected the Art of The Dillydally. This is such a part of who she is right now I knew I wanted to remember it. She has seriously taught me to slow down and smell the roses. I documented this in two places and because this is so her, I didn’t have to reCraft any photos. I did change up the layout a little bit. The photo I took of her smelling flowers was so good I didn’t want to cut it into 6 squares to fit the current layout (and honestly this wasn’t posed…she was really smelling the flowers and I snapped the photo). I took a page from Kelly Purkey and allowed myself to mix layouts. She often glues two different pocket page layouts together. Since I liked the small photos on the top and bottom, I simply cut an extra pocket page so that the 4x6 photo fit and then glued and stapled it to the middle of the twelve 2x2 page. To keep things consistent I purposely used the same green card stock on the page behind it. This is one of my favorite photos in the whole album.

My Dad & his GoPro

My dad is kinda known for his gadgets and gizmos. For this vacation he bought himself a GoPro Camera. He took it everywhere with him. While we were on the Dumbo ride, he had his camera flying high right with the friendly elephant. A staff member came over the loud speaker and said, “ALL GO PRO CAMERAS MUST REMAIN IN THE VEHICLE AT ALL TIMES.” I don’t think my dad heard him the first time, so he said it twice. It made us all laugh and I knew I wanted to remember it. I simply used some alphabet stickers and an ultra-fine point sharpie marker to write the words. I included this memory next to a couple photos of my dad and his GoPro and the spread turned out perfectly! 

Completing the embellishments and memory recording took about four sessions. I stole a couple hours from the weekends and stayed up late a couple weeknights to make sure I met my deadline. Making my deadline public on Instagram truly helped me finish the project. To be completely honest, I actually finished the album on July 3rd, instead of the 1st, but without the deadline I doubt it would have ever been completed. Plus, since I made up the deadline it was totally fine if I didn’t hit it exactly!

I hope this inspires you to make your own pocket scrapbook. I’d love to see them or hear about them. One of my guilty pleasures is watching other scrapbookers walk through their Project Life Albums on YouTube. It’s a little embarrassing how many hours I’ve spent watching them. However, I learn so much and love seeing how people tell their story. I hope you enjoyed my walk-through video for this album. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or leave a comment! Happy memory keeping!

 

 

 

 

 

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Our 2nd National Stationery Show - 2015

This year’s National Stationery Show was amazing!! We more than doubled our first year’s orders. We were nominated twice for Best New Product. Our “Bumps in the Road” card was acknowledged for the Paper Love category and our new Inkable Envelope Stamp Set was featured in the Do It Yourself category. We met many talented, influential people and caught up with old friends. We were able to enjoy all of this success because we went into this year’s show with more realistic expectations and the confidence of who we are as a company.

This was our second year exhibiting and the overall experience was as different as night and day compared to last year. I do not mean to diminish last year’s experience. It was certainly wonderful (you can read more about it here), but I am beyond proud of our company for the fact that we decided to exhibit a second time.

Last year was a great experience, but it was a huge expense for our business and initially we weren’t sure if it was necessarily worth it. But, here’s the thing, I’m a competitive person. I knew we could do it better. You can only learn so much from listening to webinars, reading blog posts, and asking other people. Doing it was really the only way we could truly know if it would be worth it for our company. We saw first hand what worked and what didn’t, what was worth the investment and what we should have spent more money on. So, for that reason alone – I knew we could do it better - we decided to exhibit at the Stationery Show for the second time.

I joked a couple times we did the show a second time just so we could use a small notebook and tiny stapler to collect business cards.  Last year we used a three ring binder and a huge stapler. It as almost comical.  

Best decision ever! We took strategic actions and made informed decisions to improve the outcome of the show this year. Each one led to a boost in our morale and in our sales. We consider that a win-win!

We wanted to share some of what we learned in year one and how we executed in year two, so we have made this post two parts. Scroll down or click here to read our top two misconceptions from year one.

THANK YOU’S:

If I wasn’t so competitive we may have not exhibited at the show this year. I had to prove to myself we could learn, grow, and continue to take Love Jac to a new level. We have to thank all of our family and friends who constantly support us, this company, and exhibiting at this trade show. They trusted us that this was the right decision and supported us in every way possible. 

Chad Carter – I can’t tell you what a great husband this man is. He is constantly putting our family and my crazy ideas first! He shows his love in his actions and that does not get overlooked! Who he is always makes me strive to be a better person as well.

Cathy, Tom, & Tommy Conroy – My family…what would I do without you? Who would I be? Thank you for being amazing and in this case taking our children on the best adventures while we were working at the show. Also, thank you for the garage space, the cargo van, and the weekends of prep work!

Jen Jones – There are people who would love to spend an entire day with the one and only Jen Jones!! I feel honored that I had the opportunity. This woman is inspiring on so many levels – plus, she’s a true friend!!

Thanks to what feels like the entire staff of an Emmy Winning Talk Show! -- You know who you are and I am beyond grateful for how you without hesitation have supported and helped us out. Everything…from your encouraging Instagram likes to physically helping set up our booth. I thank all of you. I honestly think one of the reasons your show is so successful is because it is produced by such wonderful, talented, and good-souled individuals.

Our customers – and our friends. I am purposely listing these two together because I believe that our customers are our friends. Thank you for your text messages, emails, Instagram comments, and Facebook likes. Every single one is like getting a big hug. And thank you to all our friends who actually came by to give us a hug! Thank you, thank you, thank you! 

OUR NEIGHBORS

Once again we met many new people at the show this year. We wanted to introduce you to our neighbors this year!!!

Print Arms

Caz was one of the first people we met at the show this year. She was setting up next to us and, wouldn’t you know, she’s based in Brooklyn too!! She makes some wonderful cards, prints, and of course, the pillowcases that got everyone’s attention.

Ink Meets Paper

Allison and Daniel run their letterpress company from their studio in South Carolina. They want you to Text Less and Write More! And with their beautiful and well designed cards, you will be happy to oblige. Our favorite new addition is their line of fill-in invitations – making it more affordable for you to get the luxury of a letter-pressed card. Genius!

The Best Card Company

The people behind this company are veterans in the industry. They launched this branch of their company at the show. They offer themed sets of 10 unique notecards.

Sweet Domino Designs

Emily is the owner of Sweet Domino Designs and she is a fellow Trade Show Boot Camp Alum. Her color scheme and sweet sayings make her cards stand out. 

Draw me a Lion

Lisa is a very talented illustrator who has a great esthetic. Her cards, prints, and calendars are whimsical and bold. We particularly love her colour me postcards.

La Familia Green

I met Mollie when I first walked the National Stationery Show in 2007 -- when Love Jac was just an idea.  It was her first time exhibiting and she was hand cutting the beautiful paper images on all of her cards!  Now, her company has grown and her cards can be found in over 200 stores nationwide. We've kept in touch over the years and it was wonderful to have dinner in Brooklyn and get to know her a little better.  Oh - and we also ran into Nick Lachey on the way to the Paper Party! So that's pretty amazing!

Paper Bandit Press

We met Kim online. Ok, that sounds weird. But after last year’s show we both commented on each others blog posts and then we found each other again in one of the NSS webinars….or was it on The Oh So Beautiful Paper post? Let’s just say if the Internet was a city, we kept running into each other at the same parties.   You must check out this great video showcasing their business. Kim and her husband Brett make beautiful letterpress cards and prints in their Utah studio.

Trade Show Boot Camp

We knew about Trade Show Boot Camp during the preparation of our first show, but felt a little pricey and we couldn’t justify spending the money. This year we decided it would be a good investment. We had a little extra money in our budget and we had heard nothing but positive reviews.  Plus, we looked at it as supporting another small business as well.  Let me tell you, after the first five minutes of the first webinar I knew it was worth every penny. Katie Hunt started Trade Show Boot Camp after she exhibited at her first trade show. She felt that new companies could benefit from the knowledge of professionals in the industry. What she built is an amazing community of talented designers, store owners, and members of the press that all want to help each other succeed. We 100% recommend this program. If you have any questions, feel free to email me directly! 

Year two at The National Stationery Show was awesome. We are proud and so happy with where our company is right now. Please be sure to check out our new retailers: Read Between The Lines Shop in Dallas, TX; Verde in Philadelphia, PA, Cocoon in New Platz, NY, Curate in Millburn, NJ, NOMAD in Cambridge, MA, and The Coop Arts & Antiques in Peekskill, NY. When you stop by make sure you tell them we say hi.

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Our NSS Misconceptions Evaluated

As we stated, this year’s National Stationery Show was as different as night and day compared to last year’s show. The experience from doing it once gave us such a better understanding of how things worked. We’d like to share our top two misconceptions about The National Stationery Show with you. We hope sharing our experience and how we improved things year two will help anyone who is considering exhibiting in the future.

MISCONCEPTION #1: Buyers walking by will stop to browse, take the time to read all your cards, and then place orders.

The biggest misconception of The National Stationery Show for us was that buyers come to the show to browse and discover new companies. In our opinion, that is just not true. The Jacob K. Javits Center is enormous and no one walks in and thinks, “Ahh…I can’t wait to read every card in every booth.” It’s not happening. If you are a stationery lover, you walk in and first think, “I’ve died and gone to heaven.” Then, after one or two aisles, you begin to get overwhelmed and most booths begin to blur together. Even if each single booth has beautiful, funny and unique cards (which is 95% the case), how can one person take it all in?

ACTUALITY #1: If buyers know about you ahead of time and are interested, they will stop to take a closer look.

Here’s the truth: exhibiting at The National Stationery Show does show buyers you are the real deal and if you get their attention beforehand they will take interest. For NSS 2014, we mailed out 8 pre-show mailers. Eight! What were we thinking?!? Well, I’ll tell you. We wanted to really keep it personal so, instead of mailing directly to the stores, we contacted our customers and asked them to drop off a card at their favorite shops. Not a bad idea in theory, but in reality the odds of someone (a) doing this to begin with and then (b) that store actually planning on going to the show was not working in our favor. A couple weeks before the show I chose my top stores and dropped off a personal note myself. Truth be told – of the 8, we did get two orders; they just didn’t happen until months after the show.

Last year's mailers.

This year we mailed out 170 pre-show mailers. The best part of the process was we spent weeks researching stores and in turn discovered close to 200 fun, unique, and interesting stores across The United States. Identifying these stores as potential retailers for our cards was the win! Because of those mailers, before the show even started we received our first order via email.

This year's mailers.

The other small tweak associated with getting buyers’ attention that we think was extremely beneficial was enlarging 4 of our most popular cards. (We had this done at Print Icon – we highly recommend their work!) If someone doesn’t know beforehand to stop at your booth, it’s not very likely they will stop. Last year we felt like people didn’t even give us the chance to know if they liked or didn’t like us because they weren’t stopping to read our cards. This year, because we enlarged our normal 5’’x 7’’ card to a 15’’x 21’’ card, people walking by could quickly glance and know if they liked us.

This might sound like a simple statement, but the people who actually came into our booth were the ones with real interest...the ones who placed orders. The people who walked by probably wouldn’t place an order anyway, so we didn’t mind if they didn’t stop. People tell you to try to disconnect from your product and not take things personally at the show. This is incredibly difficult. Enlarging our cards was our way of getting our aesthetic across to those passing by so we didn’t have to feel badly if they didn’t stop.

We also made a couple other minor adjustments to our booth that we think made a big impact. This year we made each row of cards one color instead of choosing the card stock color based on the photo itself. We also ditched the darker furniture for a white toy chest, some plexi-stands, and our favorite yellow chair. Overall, the booth was brighter and more appealing from far away.

MISCONCEPTION #2: In order for the show to be successful we had to collect enough orders at the show to make our money back and turn a profit.

Our second misconception was that the number of orders we received at the show would be our barometer of success. When you put so much of your money into something it’s difficult not to be focused on making that money back and then turning a profit. Last year when the show finished we hadn’t come close to even making our money back. That’s a hard fact. After the show we followed up, continued getting several orders – including our largest store yet, Paper Presentation, and not only made our money back, but turned a profit. Not a huge profit, but still a profit. However, because we were so focused on the number of orders we received at the show, I still felt like a failure. It wasn’t until Katie Hunt from Trade Show Boot Camp and her wonderful panel of speakers said it directly to me that it clicked. “You cannot base your success of The National Stationery Show on your orders.” My friends and family had said similar things plenty of times before, but it took hearing it from other stationers who had exhibited at the show for it to really mean something. Thank you, Katie!

ACTUALITY #2: Exhibiting at The National Stationery Show is the success.

You’ve now brought your company to the next level, you will make connections with retailers, licensing companies, manufacturers, fellow stationers, and some really nice people. We went into this year not worrying about orders. It took many pep talks and a lot of re-shifting of our thought process to get here, but when we showed up at the Javits Center to build our booth we were not nervous, we were just excited. From day one we felt so much better…so much more confident. We had made it to the finish line of this leg of the race. It was time to enjoy it and be proud of all we had accomplished.

We need to mention that we did get orders – and, as my husband pointed out, you don’t worry about not having something when you already have it. But we do feel like the orders were icing on the cake -- icing that’s necessary for our company to thrive but, by not thinking about the orders, we really had a wonderful time.

Instead of focusing on orders, we focused on the people we could meet. The National Stationery Show is basically a big gathering of “our people” -- paper lovers, scrapbookers, and design enthusiasts. This year, especially with the release of our new Inkable Envelope Stamps, we did research ahead of time. We reached out to some of the bloggers we thought might be at the show. We looked at the show as an opportunity to meet individuals who we have admired for some time. It was nice to be able to congratulate them on the success they have created for themselves in their careers and thank them for sharing it with the world. 

The talented Amy Tan & her adorable son Jack.  They couldn't have been nicer!  We've been following Amy's scrapbooking for a while now.  We love these Amy Tangerine alpha stickers that she designed!  Her blog has been really helpful to us and we've learned a lot from her December Daily video.  Also, how cute are these baby onesies?

Kelly Purkey was as lovely in person as she seems online.  Her products are modern and fun.  We love this stamp set.  It's sold out in her shop, but we found it available here. We plan to use it in our summer mini album.  In the meantime, we just ordered this stamp set, which you can watch her use in this video!

While I was showing Sarah our Inkable Envleope Stamps, she mentioned she knew about clear stamps so I asked her if she scrapbooked.  Then I saw her badge! Studio Calico is our favorite scrapbook subscription plan! They recently teamed up with A Beautiful Mess and are producing the Messy Box!!  I felt so honored to meet such talented successful women including fellow Studio Calico team members Rachel & Cathy.

This being our second year, we also knew so many more people. Last year was like freshman year of high school. We didn’t know anyone and everything made us nervous. This year was our sophomore year and it was like coming back from summer vacation. We were excited to catch up with our booth mates from last year. Plus, over the course of the year we had met several people online that we were looking forward to meeting in person.

We met Melinda at NSS last year through a friend of a friend.  She was also exhibiting.  Her stationery and print line "Read Between The Lines" is wonderful.  (This is my favorite!  This is Chad's favorite.) This year she was walking the show for her new brick & mortar flagship store!  It was great to catch up, plus she placed an order!

I met Cyndie on Instagram.  She's an incredibly motivating business coach.  It was great to meet her in person at the show.  Megan is her friend and I found out later that she has a fabulous jewelry line & was on Elise Get's Crafty discussing Pintrest! It's a great interview! 

If you are considering doing the show, we hope our experience from year one to year two is helpful. Someone once told us you had to exhibit at a Trade Show for at least 4 years before you really started turning a profit. While we don’t know if that is exactly true, we do see their point. Year two was much better than year one and a large part of that is simply because it was year two. We learned, we grew, and people remembered us. We can’t wait to see what will be in store year three!!

 

 

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Introducing: Inkable Envelope Stamps

We are so excited to announce our newest product! Say hello to our Inkable Envelope Stamps™!

This set of 15 photopolymer stamps was designed specifically to decorate your mailing envelopes. If you scrapbook or frequent the craft store you probably know about this type of stamp already. Many companies make them and have talented artists create the designs. The first set I bought was a Martha Stewart Christmas collection! And, really, who is more trustworthy than Martha when it comes to crafts!

For those of you who don’t know, these stamps come on a plastic sheet. You peel them off and stick to an acrylic block.

This is what makes these stamps so desirable. Because you can see through the acrylic block you are able to align your image and stamp it in the exact spot you want it to appear. Sometimes that’s not as easy with your typical wooden block stamp. Once you are done, you simply clean it, peel it off, and put it back. The stamps are reusable and remain sticky allowing you to use them time and time again.

At Love Jac we strongly believe in having a fun envelope. All our envelopes come in bright colors so that when you get a Love Jac card in the mail you are immediately excited. Our Inkable Envelope Stamps take it one step further. We have designed them so you can embellish your envelope quickly. We have also given you “fill-in-the-blank” stamps that allow you to personalize your envelope even more. Below is a breakdown of each stamp, the reasons we love them, and examples of how you can use them to make your envelope that much more fun!

This has been an idea of mine for some time now and, thanks to a little help from my “One Little Word: Push,” I decided to make it happen this year. The response so far has been wonderful. Our Inkable Envelope Stamps have been selected as a finalist in The National Stationery Show’s Best New Product Contest! We can’t wait to get them in stores and into your hands.

Currently, we are selling limited number of stamp sets right here through our website. The price includes shipping and a bonus greeting card.  We hope you enjoy them as much as we do and they make your friends smile the moment they open their mailbox!

FROM/TO (with large arrows)

We personally love the large arrows of this stamp and how the two words fit together almost like a puzzle. It balances your envelope, filling up the area that is usually blank.

FROM/TO (with small arrows)

We like using this smaller version for instances when we write smaller or use a printed sticker. This stamp connects both addresses in a fun, friendly way.

DELIVER TO:

We love that the text on this stamp is the negative space. There’s something very official about it - in a gentle way. We often use this when we write our return address on the back of the envelope, but it can definitely be used with the return address on the front too.

HAND DRAWN ENVELOPE

We could draw envelopes for days! This one is cute and is kind of ironic in that I-just-stamped-an-envelope-on-an-envelope type of way. You can also repeat it for a wallpaper-like pattern.

HAND DRAWN HEART

We are Love Jac, so we had to include a hand drawn heart! You can use this anywhere. We even like to pair it up with some of the other stamps!

HAND DRAWN POSTAGE STAMP HEART

There’s something romantic about the squiggly border of a postage stamp, no? We put a heart inside to make it even more loveable. We use this stamp often when we are hand delivering our card. We also like to stamp it in front of our return address.  

#HAPPYMAIL

If you know us, you know we are a little obsessed with hashtags. We often watch that Jimmy and Justin skit for a pick-me-up! And if you want to smile, just click on #HAPPYMAIL on Instagram. At the time of this blog post there are over 216,890 photos of fun happy decorated mail!! If we don’t control ourselves we’d cover the entire envelope with this stamp. Actually, forget that, we are going for it!

SNAIL MAIL

Some may consider it a lost art form but, if you’re with us (and since you are reading this you probably are), we are here to keep snail mail alive! Just seeing those words warms our hearts. We used the negative space for this stamp to make it that much more cozy.

LOVE THIS STAMP

Anyone else obsessed with finding a good postage stamp!?! We will stock up when we find the latest interesting stamp at the post office. We designed this one to celebrate that postage stamp. It fits perfectly around the bottom left corner.

Now let’s personalize….

SEALED WITH

This is our version of a waxed seal. Stamp it on the back and make it sweet or funny. 

OPEN FOR

Your friend just opened their mailbox. Your envelope has caught their attention and they have forgotten all about the bills and junk mail also in their hand. This is your chance to give them a sneak peek into the contents of your note!

HANDLE WITH

We love our mailman (his name is George). This stamp is a friendly note to your postal carrier. If seeing this envelope makes their day a little better, our job is done!

I MEANT TO MAIL THIS ON

Possibly our favorite of all the stamps, this one is designed to mimic your typical postal date stamp and is for all of us who write that card and then forget to send it for weeks!! This will hopefully soften the blow when your card arrives later than you intended. We also hope it gives you the courage to send that note even if it is late. You can stamp it anywhere on the envelope. And even add the postal waves to make it extra official.

POSTAL WAVES & DOUBLE CIRCLE

Because we love those postal waves, we wanted you to be able to use them as much as possible.   You can use them alone, add them to any of the fill in the blank circles, or even pair them with this blank double circle.

Designing these stamps was truly a labor of love and we can’t wait to see how you use them on your envelopes. Tag us in your posts or hashtag #inkableenvelopestamps so we can see your creations!!

 

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Visit us at NSS 2015 - Booth #1454

The National Stationery Show is less than a week away! As we finalize all the last details, we would like to share our mailer with you.

Going into the show this year we knew we wanted to dedicate more time in advance researching stores and contacting them so they knew who we were before they walked into The Javits Center.

We took the advice we received from Katie Hunt and her team of panelists during the Trade Show Book Camp webinar series. We also found this article written by Emily Blistein, owner of Clementine, and Nole Garey of Oh, So Beautiful Paper extremely helpful.

Many of the steps that are necessary when participating in the National Stationery Show can be a little overwhelming. Instead of making an elaborate mailer, we decided to keep it simple and focus on three main goals. We wanted to showcase our cards, make it personal, and use our newest product to decorate our envelopes.

#1 – SHOWCASE OUR CARDS

Since our cards are all photography based, we knew we wanted to show a photo of one of our favorite cards. We decided on our best selling birthday card. We met the extremely talented photographer, Tal Kagan, down by the Brooklyn Bridge one really cold morning. While there we snapped a handful of photos and ultimately settled on this one.

#2 – MAKE IT PERSONAL

For the back for the cards we wanted to write a specific note to each retail store. We knew this would take time so we created a fill-in-the-blank card to allow us to focus on making it personal.

#3 – DECORATE THE ENVELOPES

Our Inkable Envelope Stamps arrived just in time to decorate our envelopes. We printed the addresses in typewriter font to match the esthetic of our greeting cards, then stamped each envelope to make it stand out. Because we can’t throw away an envelope, we had saved up an entire box filled with a rainbow spectrum. This was the perfect opportunity to put them to good use.

We spent weeks researching stores and creating a master list. We then spent an entire weekend printing, writing, and decorating these mailers.

We finally finished them on a Monday morning spent at one of our favorite coffee shops. It was the best feeling when we finally slipped that rainbow of envelopes into the blue mailbox.

We are so happy to let you know that all the hard work has started to pay off already. We received an email the following week from one of the stores. We were happy to offer them the show specials and they placed an order. Our cards can now be purchased at NOMAD in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

If you know anyone going to The National Stationery Show, please pass our mailer along to them. Make sure you tell them to say hi at the show.  We will be in Booth #1454 and excited to meet and talk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Make an Egg & Spoon Shaker

We are so excited to be teaming up with Miss Nina once again. We have loved Miss Nina from the moment we met her at a friend’s first birthday party. We quickly became obsessed with her weekly children’s music videos.  Read more about why we love Miss Nina here.  Over time we became friends and together we ramped up her birthday party packages – creating a Step & Repeat, StickersTemporary "Tattly" Tattoos, & Thank You Cards!!

Today – we are debuting our first Miss Nina + Love Jac Craft Video!! The Egg & Spoon Shaker!!

These videos will feature simple craft projects that will make watching Miss Nina’s videos even more interactive. Now you can sing-a-long, dance-a-long, and CRAFT-a-long for some fun together-time with your little one.

This week’s video features an easy Egg & Spoon Shaker. The project takes less than five minutes to make and will produce hours of fun.

Materials List:

Plastic Egg

Un-popped Popcorn Kernels

2 Plastic Spoons

Tape (we used decorative Duct Tape)

Watch the video once and you’ll be able to make our version of a maraca! Then sing-a-long & dance-a-long with Miss Nina!!

Our friends from Tiny But Mighty Popcorn are getting in on the fun too!! They are giving away a bag of their Kettle Ready-To-Eat Popcorn and a box of their NEW Butter Microwave Popcorn to 3 lucky winners.  To enter: post a photo of your egg shaker on Instagram or Twitter and hashtag #TBMPopcorn.  Three winners will be selected at random.  If you haven’t tried their popcorn yet, it’s a must. Our favorite is flavor is Kettle Corn.

Hope you have fun!! We’d love to see the shakers you make with your little ones…tag us on Instagram or Twitter - @LoveJacCards or leave a comment below.

Happy Crafting!

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We partnered up with Ink Cards for you!!

We are so excited to announce that we have partnered with an amazing new mobile app to make sending our cards one step easier!!

Ink Cards is an incredibly easy-to-use mobile app that allows you to physically send a greeting card directly from your smart phone. Their app was originally developed with personalization in mind. You choose one of their beautifully designed templates, add your own photo, and send it to your friends, all with the touch of a touch-screen! It’s a great concept.

Jenna, an Ink Card representative, reached out to us because she loved our cards and thought we would be a perfect fit for a new direction the company was exploring. They had found that some of their customers loved the simplicity and convenience of their app, but didn’t necessarily want to personalize their card with a photo. That’s where we come in. The photography featured in our cards fits seamlessly with the look of Ink Cards and appeals to their customers. Our clever sayings and bright colors provide the alternative they are looking for.  We can’t wait for their customers to send our cards with the ease of their smart phones.

 

 

We can’t tell you how many people have been encouraging us to incorporate a similar system to make it easier for them to send a card. And I will be honest here, the thought of this originally made my paper-loving, hand-writing self cringe. We whole-heartily believe in the handwritten message. That is the reason our cards are blank inside. We want you to tell your friend how you feel…put a piece of your heart on paper…get personal. Originally we wanted to inspire everyone to write letters. After this internal battle between my handmade card-making side and my technology-loving side, I finally realized we are not going to change those people who really don’t have the time to write in a card, but now we can help them. This is 2015 and it’s time we jumped onboard.

Ink Cards is the perfect partner. Their goal is the same as ours. They too want you to stay connected with your friends – and they’ve figured out a way to make it even easier for you to do so. They provide you with the space to write your personal message on the back of the card and then they do all the hard work for you. By not having to do anything else, it not only makes it logistically easier, but also mentally easier. No more excuses like “I never have a stamp” or “I wrote it, but it’s been in my purse for a week now.”

So let’s all together send more cards!! Ink Cards has chosen six designs for our initial collaboration.

Happy Birthday! (with sprinkles on top)

Congrats. You're one lucky duck.

The laundry is about to get super cute. (girl)

The laundry is about to get super cute. (boy)

I hope your recovery is filled with ice cream & popsicles.

The sun rises & the sun sets but know that it is always there.

We have received samples in the mail and are beyond satisfied with the quality. Head over to InkCards.com to text the download to your phone or search for it in the App store. We want to hear from you, so please let us know if you’ve sent or received a Love Jac card with the ease of Ink Cards!

 

 

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My Love Jac Aha Moment! - NSS is coming

This week I had an “aha moment!" and I'd like to share it with you...

Love Jac had been a dream of mine for years before I turned it into a reality. The summer after our daughter was born I wrote our mission statement. It had two parts. I believed whole-heartedly in both.

Part One: “We create unique, handmade cards that say exactly what you’re thinking...” The cards being sold in stores never said what I wanted them to say. They were either super cheesy or too cutesy. I wanted to give people a better option…cards that were clever, funny, and encouraging. I started by making the cards I needed and the cards I wanted to receive. I was over the moon when other people loved them as much as I did. To exaggerate slightly (but not really), I truly thought that the stationery industry needed me. I had to make these cards because no one else was making them and it was important they were available to the masses.

 

Left: Placing 2nd in Brooklyn's PowerUp Competition in 2011. 
Right: Posing with my cards in one of our first brick & mortar stores: Print Icon!

 

Bottom: At The Brooklyn Flea with my best friend Lindsay and our babies when they were itty bitty.

 

But here’s the thing…there are so many cool, unique cards out there. Take one look around The Javits Center during The National Stationery Show and you will be overwhelmed with how many amazing card designers there are. My biggest takeaway from our debut at the show last year was that we are one of thousands. I couldn’t help but wonder how we were supposed to compete with all of these talented people. Anyone who is anyone in the greeting card business exhibits at the show. You’ve got the big guys – Hallmark & American Greetings! You’ve got the well-established companies like Borealis Press, which has been one of my personal favorites for years. Then you have the “newbies” that hit it big like Emily McDowell & Anna Rifle Bond whose success stories are just incredible. And then there are the rest of us – hundreds of us. We all love designing cards and believe in making them accessible to the masses. Last year we were in the #fresh section so most of our neighbors were debuting as well. And they all have great cards! If I thought about it too much the whole thing would become completely overwhelming.

With one of my fellow Brooklyn makers - the extremely talent Ursula Jaroszewicz of Pepper Press.
 

Luckily, this is the stationery industry and there’s one thing I can tell you for sure about the people who make greeting cards their business. EVERYONE IS NICE!! I experienced this in 2007 when I first walked the show as a guest and met Mollie Green of La Familia Green. At that point I hadn’t even started my line and she was so kind and generous with her knowledge. Now, having 3 years under my belt, I can easily say that everyone I have come in contact with has been friendly.  No one is out to get you. No one wants to see you fail. We are all here because we want to spread a little love in this world. We want to make someone’s day better – and paper is our medium!!  

Getting to meet Emily Blistein, the owner of Clementine a shop in Vermont, just re-confirmed how nice "paper people" are...oh and added another reason I love Instgram! (that's how we connected)

 

This year’s National Stationery show is less than 75 days away! When I saw the image on NSS’s Instagram feed my heart stopped for a moment and the panic started to fill my body. Then something just clicked. Chalk it up to just getting over a cold in this freezing New York City weather or all the business podcasts I’ve been listening to lately, but suddenly the second part of my mission statement came into focus and my nerves subsided.

Part Two: “…helping you stay connected with your friends the old fashioned way.” This part is and will always be my heart and soul. I love hearing why people connect with our cards…the stories customers have shared with us at craft fairs, the emails we’ve received from people who were sent a Love Jac card from a friend, and the wonderful comments on Instagram. We don’t have to compete with anyone to accomplish this. We don’t have to be in 100 stores. We just need to find the customers who connect with our cards.

And right now we are doing just that. The first part of our mission statement is still true. We make unique cards by hand. Yes, we make them during Conroy's nap times, late at night, and on weekends. Yes, we hire a sitter when we get a big order so that we can deliver on time. We do craft shows, sell online, and are in over 10 brick-and-mortar stores. We are small, but we love it.

 

If you follow us on Instagram you know that the majority of my time is spent with my kids and that’s exactly how I prefer it. We explore New York City, cherish our friendships and play dates, and laugh often. We are busy, but that’s how we like it. We get as much out of life as we possibly can. And the entire time somewhere in the back of my head, I’m creating cards and coming up with new ideas.

We are excited to see how Love Jac grows! Soon Georgia and Conroy will both be in school and we’ll take this company to a new level. But for now - for this year's show - we are doing our research.  We know who our customer is.  We know what cards are their favorites.  Now we are singling out the stores where they shop. If you receive a pre-show mailer from us, know it’s for a reason. Instead of a mass mailing, we are keeping it specific and personal.

So as the time ticks down to this year’s National Stationery Show, we are going to enjoy this whole process. Nerves and anxiety are feelings of the past. We are enrolled in Katie Hunt’s Tradeshow Bootcamp Webinar Series and can’t wait to meet even more wonderful people. We have an incredible amount of support from friends, family, and a great group of fellow Brooklynite makers. We are adding several new designs that have been in the back of my mind for a while now and even a line of ink-able stamps.

It’s a really exciting time for Love Jac! We want to thank everyone in our life that has helped to make it so! And, of course, our customers who have ordered and reordered. Your support means the world to us and we are so happy that we are able to help you stay connected to your friends the old fashioned way! We look forward to continuing to do so! Let the countdown to the National Stationery Show continue. 

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A Weekend Project: Figurine Display

As a child I loved playing with little figurines. I could spend hours playing with my Fisher Price Little People toys, Barbie Dolls, or even small found objects. I have one vivid memory of myself pretending the tiny jars from a paint set were people and moving them around my desk in a land made up entirely by my imagination.

Georgia has entered that world and I am loving every moment. Seeing her across the room will her Daniel Tiger characters all lined up. Listening to the scenarios she comes up with for her tiny Elsa & Olaf. Watching as her Sophia the first miniatures, playing the part of the Wizard of Oz characters, have a pool party in the bathtub. I feel like I’m getting a peek into that brain of hers.

Several months ago while reading one of Dear Lizzy’s blog posts, I noticed this adorable figurine display in her daughter’s bedroom. I loved how it looked like it was passed down. It wasn’t brand new, it had character, but most of all it was filled with her daughter’s current treasures. I thought, I would have loved to have something like that as a child…a place to showcase my favorite figurines.

above 2 photos courtesy of elizabethkartchner.com

 

One weekend while in South Jersey visiting my parents we decided to build a display for Georgia. It was so much fun looking for something charming to showcase her toys. We didn’t want to buy something custom; we wanted to make something custom!

We found the perfect wooden serving tray at our favorite thrift store. It had a couple nicks and scrapes, but I immediately knew it was perfect. Plus, it was two dollars. We couldn’t go wrong. We bought three packages of craft wood at Michaels, as well as a pad of beautiful patterned paper. 

When I showed Georgia the serving tray and described our plan, she ran and got her figurines right away. Before we even began to customize it she loved it. Kids have the best imaginations!!

We built this in stages. While at my parents, in their basement, Chad cut the craft wood to size to act as dividers.

Back in Brooklyn, Georgia and I decided what patterns we wanted where and cut the paper accordingly. While Conroy napped and she played with her princess castle I hot glued the paper and wood dividers into place. It couldn’t have been easier.

Watching her play makes me smile from ear to ear. Seeing her pride because we made this together just melts my heart. When Conroy woke up from his nap, he wanted in on the action as well.

Sometimes, as a parent, the idea of a “weekend project” seems impossible. Before kids we were always painting, building, or creating something for our home on the weekends. We hope this post inspires you to make your own weekend project. If you have children, it might not be as simple as it once was, but it is possible. A little planning and a little extra time and you can make it happen!! We need to thank my parents for playing with the kids so we could go thrift-ing. And a big thank you to Conroy for taking a solid nap! With their help we completed our “weekend project.” It may have been more like an “entire week project” by the time we finished it, but the joy it brings us now is still the same!!

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One Little Word: Push - Vision Board!

This year I am participating in Ali Edward’s One Little Word class. I am completely loving it. Here’s how it works: basically, you choose one word you would like to focus on throughout the year. Ali then guides you monthly with different activities to help you stay connected to your word. In January we started our binder. If you know me, you know I love a binder, so immediately I was excited! We filled out a couple worksheets - defining our word and reflecting on it. This month we made a vision board. I LOVE A VISION BOARD!! And as an adult, when do you get a chance to make one? Ali, you’re giving me an excuse to cut up magazines and glue the images on canvas – I am in!!

My word is PUSH! You can read more about why I chose it – here! I am so happy with this word. Already it has helped with my business (you can now also buy our cards at Paper Presentation in NYC). I feel more organized than ever before in terms of running our house and being a mom. And who are we kidding? It’s not like I got much sleep before but now, with PUSH in the back of my mind, my kid-free time is even more productive. I like to compare it to when you are working out or training for something. When you think you can’t lift more weight or run any further, you reach inside yourself and do it!! Thank you, Ali Edwards, for being my motivational coach!!

To make my vision board I bought two new magazines. I went with Cosmopolitan & Shop Smart. Cosmo was very fun, plus, I love Gwen Stefani so that was an easy choice. I went with Shop Smart because I love organizing and I actually own those translucent, rainbow-colored, nesting boxes on the cover. I spent two separate “sessions” cutting. The first was at my parents’ kitchen table while Grammy played with my kids in the back yard. Listening to Taylor Swift and drinking my WaWa coffee, it was 15 minutes of pure bliss. Then life got busy again. The entire month almost went by, but I was determined to finish this before February came to an end. This past weekend I stayed up late Saturday night as my husband nodded off on the couch. I finished flipping through the pages and clipping sayings that spoke to me. I also had two envelopes of magazine clippings I had saved over the years. Yes, I tend to hoard paper. This was the perfect excuse to go through them and throw away the scraps I didn’t want to use on this project. It was very interesting to see what I cut out in my early twenties. Many of the clippings still applied and, ironically, I also had a couple pictures of Gwen Stefani.

I ended up using two canvases. They were sold as a set of two and I couldn’t figure out how to include everything on just one. On the left, I made my own pyramid of words. It was almost like writing a poem. “Start, Before-You-Begin-Checklist -> Discover the power of just one shower // notes to self // do good // LOVE // shop smarter // LIVE IT UP! // Get your money in order // purse smart // Let’s elevate the moment. // Declutter your desktop!” I cut out the letters to spell “push” and some other inspirational quotes. I really believe in the mantra, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” I found the first part of that saying in the current Cosmo and I love it juxtaposed next to the photo of Wonder Woman, which was in my envelope from my twenties. I also love the photo of Rosie The Riveter! I like the word bubble saying “We Can Do It.” It’s very supportive of other women!! For the background of this canvas, I wallpapered an old Love Jac Catalog from the National Stationery Show. I finished it off with the year in sparkly gold numbers at the top. I don’t even mind that it covers up some of the words, because I know they are there and connect with what they say.

The second canvas features my word PUSH in the same gold sparkly letters. The majority of the background of this canvas is filled with a beautiful cutout of a cherry blossom tree. I covered the model in the advertisement with a photo of Gwen. I did a lot of smaller words that make me happy on this canvas. Many organization nouns, some straight forward directions – such as “Toss your contact lens case” - and rows of business adjectives from a Bloomberg magazine I borrowed from a friend. I love the big clipping, “50 Things To Do This Month,” because that’s pretty much the story of my life. A quote about being grateful sets the tone and “3 Year Plan” helps me breathe and not get overwhelmed. 

I used both spray adhesive and a glue stick to keep my collage together. I finished it off with some washi tape to give it a border. Afterwards, because the washi tape wasn’t sticking as well as I had hoped, I covered with clear packing tape.

I hope you enjoyed this little peek into my crazy colorful brain. I highly recommend getting out some magazines and making your own vision board. It’s therapeutic during the process and extremely inspirational hanging on the wall. I definitely think there’s something to be said in putting things on paper and getting them out into the universe. So I say, try it!! You might just love it, and the things you want in life might start happening!!

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