I can, I can, I can...so (year in review)

When I started thinking about the past year and wanting to do a Year in Review post for New Years Eve, I thought about all of the things that we have experienced and how to sum them up. Last year, I did a month by month photo recap. This year? This year is different.

2013 has left a profound mark on my heart and soul. We have been through the wringer this year, but at the end of the day...I have learned one thing.

I can do anything



I can make it through heartache
I can start a new facet of my business
I can run an amazing charity campaign with my incredible team
I can host a party for BlogHer with my bloggy bff
I can get my work into galleries, and book a solo exhibition for 2014
I can run a 5km...then another...a 6km...and another 5km
I can do Insanity, and actually finish it
I can
I can
I can
so

Happy 2013. Thank you for being there throughout every step, tear, smile, post.

Cheers to a year gone by, and a new beginnings for 2014.

Photobucket

BlogHer Sponsors: Thank You!

From the bottom of my heart, I want to send out a huge thank you to all of the amazing sponsors who helped me board a plane today, put gorgeous media cards together for me, provided inspiration and photography, designed incredible outfits, jewelry and tutu's....

Without you all, BlogHer'12 would be but a dream for me. You helped make this possible!







Special Post: Mother's Day Crafting with Shizz



So its the day before Mother's Day, and did you get anything for Grandma?  No?

Well, here I am to save your day :)

This super easy craft is cute, quick (30 minutes tops) and definitely something any grandmother/mother/aunt/sister/friend would love!



Supplies:
small flower pot
hole punch
craft knife
scissors
colored cardstock
green pipecleaners
small block of floral foam
self-healing cutting mat

1 more supply item:
Toddler for tracing :)

Cut our your hand template.
I labeled mine with his age, because I plan on using it again in the near future.

Pick out your colors of cardstock, trace out the number of hand "flowers" you want.

Using your craft knife on your self-healing mat, cut out your flowers.  Make sure to cut ever so slightly inside your traced line, so that you don't have a line that shows up on the flowers.

Next (not pictured) punch holes in the bottom of your flowers, about 1/4 inch from the bottom of the flower.
Then, fold a pipecleaner in half.  Insert the folded end through the hole in the flower, and fold down the tip about 1/2 inch and pinch flat.  This allows your flower to stand straight, and not flop over.

Now twist the ends of your pipecleaner together to make it more sturdy.

Using a bread knife (don't worry Mizzle, I used the cheap one), cut a small cube of flower foam that will squish down in your flower pot.

Then, using scissors to first poke holes in the foam, insert your flower stems and arrange to your liking.
I added a little bit of brown shredded paper "dirt" in the bottom, which also helped to make the flowers stand better.
Now give it to Grandma!

This is a super easy craft that can be used for almost any holiday.  Birthdays, Easter, Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation (use a handprint from each child in the class), Grandparent's Day, etc.

Enjoy, Happy Crafting!






Special Post: Giveaways Galore!

November 1st, 2011 marks such an amazing day for us here at Sweet Stella's.

1. Year. In. Business.

As a HUGE thank-you to all of you awesome customers, moms, kiddos and fellow artists, I'm going to be hosting a whack of giveaways during the month of November.

Right now, you can enter to win two handpainted custom ornaments over at Peanut's Tale.

Next week, right here, you'll be able to enter to win a MyMemories digital scrapbooking Software package!

The week after...a Tina Dean Designs basket full of Sweet Stella's holiday goodies!

Then over on Baby Shmizz, you'll be able to win a Holiday Stationary package, and check out the new papered and personalized ornaments for 2012!

Lastly, a chance to win a $25 Sweet Stella's Gift Certificate on The Mommyhood Chronicles! Pretty awesome!


So, as you can see...lots of things to win, in a variety of ways, and all because i am just so thankful to have made it one full year, and still be going strong.

Thank you all, SO much!

Thankful Thursday: Two Treasuries

Wow!

I could hear drops of rain hitting the deck when I woke up this morning, then about five minutes later...the sun came out to say hello. As if that wasn't reason enough to be thankful today, I logged onto Etsy and found that my work was included in TWO treasuries overnight.

How awesome!






Click on the photos to see them larger, and on Etsy! They are truly great collections, full of warmth and lovely inspiration!

Y3W Friday: All About Candy

Happy Friday! You made it, and I have a sweet treat for you for hanging in there!

My week has been All About Candy







I've recently teamed up with Candy Couture Events, and our first event together (the Sunshine Foundation Golf Tournament). It was an absolute blast from set up to running the CCEvents girls back to the proshop, to getting people's feedback and networking!

Looking forward to many more shows and events together!



Sneak Peek: Handcut Thank You Rounds

Another product to give you a peek at!!

While creating super cute favour tags for a Yellow Submarine themed First Birthday Party, I got to thinking...

Who doesn't love getting cute little personal thank-you notes in the mail? The art of handwritten notes has definitely been lost in our technologically advanced age, but how could you not want to send (or receive!) something like this in the mail





3" cardstock circles with a handcut embellishment on the front, with Thank You stamped in your choice of ink!

Fun to send, and to receive!

Thankful Thursday: Crib Teething Bumpers

Do you have a teething baby? Does he or she like to chew on their crib, leaving nasty marks like these?



Then you, my dear reader, would likely be just as thankful as I am for this lovely creation



It's a Crib Teething Bumper that I got off of Etsy, and that I am incredibly thankful for! Given that Owen's bed converts to a double bed, and likely will be the bed that he (insert tear here) moves out of the house with, I'd like for it to stay in beautiful condition.

Thankfully, we have the crib bumper and no more damage will ensue!



It is absolutely beautifully quilted. You can feel the warmth and love that went into making the product!



You can get one here!! Gail is fabulous to work with!

Thanks, Gail!

Thankful Thursday: Jenni From The Blog

I'm taking a moment on this dreary day, while my son is still napping, after I've finished up a cake banner....to reflect.

Today, I am so incredibly thankful for Jenni from Jenni From The Blog.

You see, I met this great and amazing woman when I was pregnant with my son. It seemed that we had alot in common, namely our Monster babies and our love for party planning.

After having our babies (my first and her second) we stayed in touch through blogging, facebook and twitter. She has been incredibly supportive to Sweet Stella's, and even ordered her amazing party favours and custom items for her daughter's 1st birthday party from me.



Since advertising over on Jenni From the Blog, some really awesome parties have come my way, including one that I've just finished up the last item for and will be shipping out tomorrow!



So, Jenni, I am very thankful to call you a friend. Thank you so much for being so incredibly supportive of Sweet Stella's, and this mama's attempt to make-it with her craftiness!

Thankful Thursday: Kristal and Denise

Last night, The Artisan Group held its very first Twitter Party. It was a HUGE success and the conversation lasted a full half an hour after the party wrap up time! #artisangroup was even a trending topic only minutes into the party!



Big congratulations to the winners from the party last night, which will be formally announced on the brand shiny new Artisan Group blog!

Winners are:

Q1 Tiffany Ard - ArtbyAfton – 8x10 print
Q2 Barbie Spruill - Little Free Radical – Giftcard to Etsy shop $15
Q3 Cheryl Morreale - Sweet Stella’s – stationary box with custom notestack
Q4 Ashley Harris - BeezKneez – stationary set
Q5 Miranda Bouck - AJSweet Soap – popcorn and gelato soaps
Q6 Summer Ison - AWE Shop – silver spiral earrings
Q7 Staci Salazar - Honeyprint - $20gift card
Q8 Katherine Kennerly - BeezKneez – stationary set
B1 Ashley Harris - FancyDesigns - choice of stationary
B2 Charline Williams - Sweet Stella's - hand painted journal
B3 S. Dulaney - BeezKnees - stationary set

Today, I wanted to send out a very special thank you to my co-hosts last night, Kristal from Atutudes and Denise from AJSweetSoaps.

Last night during the party, what you didn't see was me frantically trying to post and reply to everyone's questions while Kristal collected all of the correct trivia answers and Denise interacted with participants and kept the conversation going.

What you didn't see was the moment at Question6 when TweetDeck told me that I was over my status update limit and had been placed in Twitter jail, essentially. You didn't see the direct messages frantically sent to Denise and Kristal for their support, but you did see them come to the rescue to keep the party going!

What you didn't see was the excitement being shared between the members of The Artisan Group with all of your involvement, and that we can't wait to do it all over again once this years Nominees are announced! Stay Tuned!

Y3W Friday: Flat Note Cards

Happy Friday!

This week, I had the pleasure of working with one of my absolute most favourite customers, Shan. She is the mom to an adorable little boy named Jack, and is throwing the cutest birthday party for him very soon!!

I recently sent her a new and fun product that I'll be releasing next month, for her to review and give away on her blog (stay tuned for details!!) and included a little note of thanks, as I do with all of my orders (because, truly, I am incredibly thankful for all of you!)

We got to talking, and she mentioned that she needed notecards to say thanks to the lovely friends and family that will be at the party.

Well!! I may, or may not (okay...may), have gone a little crazy designing everything for her. I am IN LOVE with the results!







So fun!! The giraffes are on 3dimensional pop dots, so they jump off the paper, and I love the way the sentiment turned out with the Moonlight ink.

They'll be on their way to Shannon and Mr. Jack soon!

Have a great weekend, and to all you Mom's out there...Happy Mother's Day - you're awesome!

Thankful Thursday: My Dad

Well...Thursday is almost over, but it's never to late to pay tribute and be thankful.


Last night, I was working on some hanging decor (new product!! To be revealed soon!) for my son's birthday and I looked up at this


















I have a picture of my Dad, the only one of us dancing together at my God Mom's wedding back in late 80's, a favour tag from my wedding that read All You Need Is Love (they were tied to homemade chocolate chip cookies, using my Dad's recipe) and a heart from a donation I made to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.


I get alot of my inspiration from my Dad, who (very) unfortunately passed away in 2005 from a sudden and massive heart attack. Not a day goes by that I don't miss him, and not a day goes by that I don't think I hear his voice, feel a breeze by my shoulder, or see my son looking far past me and smile...I think at my Dad.


So today, Thanks Dad! Thank you for being there, watching over me while I work and dance like a fool in my studio. Thank you for brushing past me and whispering "I'm proud of you" when I need it most!

Special Post: Facebook Fanpage GIVEAWAY!

To celebrate 100+ fans over on Facebook, I've decided to do a little giveaway!

Up for grabs is a set of 12 custom made notecards! For all of you mama's out there who are throwing 1st birthday parties soon, these little beauties will certainly come in handy!

Head on over to the Facebook fanpage and comment on the Giveaway status with your favourite paper from the Papers album!

Good luck!