Saturday, June 16, 2012

Having a 'Date' With You !

Oh my goodness !
Day #3 is here already . . . one more to go.

In case you didn't have a chance to get to the post from
yesterday (my guest spot with Rubbernecker Stamps)
You still have time to visit to the post HERE
I'd thought I would go ahead and share the finished card
because I truly do love these stamp sets . . .

I'm hoping to cover a little more ground with this post, but I'm
sure you know that to fit THREE YEARS of blogging memories
into 4 days is simply impossible.
By my calculations, it would take SIX YEARS because with every
post comes some sort of idea . . . thought . . . challenge . . .

Can you tell I love what I do ?
I hope so.
The truth is, many of us who get involved in the 'business' end of
designing, do spend more of our days creating and posts specifically
for those times.  It goes with the territory.
I've chosen to try and weave in personal stories along the way because
I know that is what brought some of you to my blog in the first place.
I didn't work for anyone or have a lot of projects to post . . .
when I shared 'tiny' little photos 
(because I had NO idea how to edit them)
and when I finally learned a *little*, one of the first things 
I posted were photos I had taken of my three oldest grandsons.

Yep, those are three of the four from the photo I
posted on Day #1 of our party (HERE)
Baby Finn wasn't even a twinkle in his mom's eye at that time.

Yes . . . I know. I am STILL on the first month of blogging in '09.
So let's move it along.  I think you get it.
ON MY BLOG ! ! !

Before we get to the next story, you KNOW I have to
give a shout out to some special people because let's face it . . .
as much as you are enjoying my posts (as you share with each note),
you are definitely lovin' the giveaways!

I am so excited about this upcoming week over at The Twinery
because we are teaming up with the uber-creative girls from

and look at what my friend Shemaine Smith arranged
for this anniversary celebration . . .

Make sure you plan to join us June 18-22 for so much fun
and inspiration using baker's twine & terrific scrapbooking elements
To see all MLS has to offer, visit their website too!

Oh heck !  Let's do one more that has a story with it . . .

Last summer, I met someone who had become a dear friend
through blogging when I first met her as she joined the DT
over at The Twinery.  From there, I had the pleasure of meeting
up with her twice last summer at a consumer show & at CHA.

Angelica Suarez, owner of Market Street Stamps is one
of the sweetest ladies in the biz.  I have enjoyed our
friendship so much and have been so inspired by watching
her grow her stamp company to be one that people are in love with.
I had the blessing of being a part of their design team in 2011
and am so excited to see what is on the horizon for them.

Here are a few of my favorites created using MSS . . .

 With husband Jorge, they are a GREAT team !

Market Street Stamps are sharing a

for one of our winners during the celebration !
A big thanks to Angelica & Jorge & continued success to you both!

So I asked you to take your best guess on what this photo was . . .

I so enjoyed all of your answers, especially those who felt as
though they might be cheating because they 'copied off someone
elses paper while leaving their comment'  LOL

Yes, it was the very first challenge graphic for what would become
a HUGE part of my blogging life, 
It's a big part of my life because of the time it takes to physically
work on it each week, but there is an even greater reason . . .
It became a huge part of my life because of the aMAZing friendships
I've made along the way.  We started The Play Date Cafe Challenge
back in October 2009 and what a journey it has been.

 It's beginnings were fairly primitive . . .
We didn't even have a separate blog set up for it, but before the first
week ended, we sure did !  The response what quite amazing 
and we will be celebrating our 3rd anniversary this October.
{YES . . . another fabulous party with lots of prizes & guests}

My bestie Sarah (you read about her on Friday's post) and I
partnered together to make the challenge happen.  We knew
we needed to find a small and talented team to work with us
and fill special 'roles' that we had.
You see, we wanted the PDCC to be more than just a
card-making challenge.  We wanted to encourage all types
of work and in recent months, we've even had cupcakes entered
into our challenges !
So we asked the very talented Alison Spellman & Sandra Kelly
to join our team.  Shortly after, Julie Campbell joined us as well.

As the challenge grew, we knew we wanted to create a 'designer position'
that was by invitation-only and the Private Blend Designer born.

This is a designer who we recognize (at the time they come on)
that they are designers who deserve a platform to share their work,
maybe have never been on a team before, but are really talented and
would add just the 'missing' piece to our own team.

Although our first designer was well on her way to becoming a
very popular designer & blogger, she still agreed to fill the role.
 Our first PBD was none other than my friend
Mona has gone on to represent some of the biggest companies in
the industry and has been featured in publications.
Paul and I had the pleasure of spending time with Mona & her husband Scott
a couple of summers ago during CHA in Chicago.
It was an blast to share coffee & great conversation.
Mona & I had spent hours on the phone in our early blogging
days and still enjoy sharing comments with one another.

From there, our PBD's have included:
Andrea Ewen, Colleen Dietrich, Julie Day, Stacy Rodriguez
and our current designer, Donna Bowman.

Even though the PDCC team changes from time to time,
we remain a family of friends.  We are currently having a
DT Call to add SEVEN NEW DESIGNERS to our team
and I KNOW they will become family as well.

Today we are blessed to have Jaclyn Miller as our
Color Story Coordinator.  She is the genius behind
the colors that bring us all together each week.

We are also home to the 'Color Splash' Challenge,
which has become a favorite by so many players.
It began week #15 and continues to this day.
Our very first 'splash' is featured in the graphic above
and was Black & White with a 'splash' of teal.

I want to thank each of the designers here who have been a
part of my life way beYOND The Play Date Cafe team:

Michele Gross
Andrea Ewen
Libby Hickson
Tracey Kuzniak
Fiona Shultz
Julie Campbell
Suzanne Czosek
Sandra Kelly
Lisa Somerville
Alison Spelman 

and our current team:

Savannah O'Gwynn
Ruby McGuire
Jaclyn Miller
Colleen Dietrich
Jinny Newlin
Denise January
Stacy Rodriguez
Alicia Thelin
Donna Bowman

 You will find a link to all the blogs of all these fantastic
designers over at The Play Date Cafe.
I hope you will take time to visit them & check out what
they are up to today!

BTW . . . we are not losing 7 designers : )
But you'll have to stay tuned to see what IS happening.
And of course, we would LOVE to see your submission for the Call.

So I mentioned that when we first started the challenge, we had
specific needs to be filled along with the idea of fabulous design-work.
Keep in mind, I barely knew how to edit my own photos back then!
I was extremely happy when Alison shared with me that she knew how
to do graphics & would be happy to do all of our color stories for us.
So each month, our designer chose the photo they wanted as the
inspiration for that week and Alison made them come to life !

Today, Alison runs her own stamp company called
The Alley Way Stamps and has generously offered our party

 $35 Shopping Spree

You can read all about the company and check out all of
their adorable stamp designs by visiting their website HERE

OK  . . .  while I know this post probably took you maybe a
minute or two to read through (not counting visiting the links),
it took me nearly two hours to write.
(My husband and daughter called for a few minutes of that time)
so it's time for me to take a break.

Tonight . . . I will be sharing a post that is all giveaways!
Yep . . . GIVEAWAYS !

So I'll let you know when that post goes live, but until then,
I hope you enjoyed your visit.
Tomorrow, I will be sharing a very special post which will include
some very special people and I hope you will make plans to
stop by for that too.  It will be the final day of the celebration
and of course, we will wrap it up with some pretty cool prizes as well!

Today . . . 

All you need to do to win any one of today's featured prizes
(from this post)
is to let me know this about The Play Date Cafe Challenge :

a.  it's NEW to you

b.  You've heard of it, but haven't had a chance to play 

c.  You play and LOVE it!

Thanks again for your visit!

A BIG thank you to:
My Little Shoebox
Market Street Stamps
The Alley Way Stamps


Jennie said...

I knew it was PDCC!! My answer is C. I play (when I can) and love it!

Rochelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rochelle said...

What a wonderful post Julie! I am normally an AVID follower and player at the PDCC! I'm just a little pre-occupied. BUT...It's the source of so much inspiration even when I don't play along! So, my answer is C!

Cyndee K. said...

I've heard of the Play Date Cafe & love checking out the challenges. I haven't had a chance to play along yet though, but plan to soon!

Percilla G said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Bryant said...

B.... I've heard of it but never played. Who knows, this might just get me going to join in!

julie e said...

I've visited PDC and even posted some of the challenges on my "color" board on Pinterest, but haven't had a chance to play.

Percilla G said...

I have joined a couple of your challenges. Love that they inspire me

Lisa said...

I keep meaning to play. But life's "stuff" has whacked my mojo lately....

Anonymous said...

A. it's all new to me but looking forward to taking the big plunge. Love the prizes and thanks for all the chances to win.


Linda R. said...

Fun to read about your beginnings as I'm a total beginner! So, for me, the answer is definitely "a"

Andrea said...

I have only played officially once before because I always forget to post my cards in time to link them up hee hee. I need to do a better job of that!

Lyndal said...

C. for me!
Play Date Cafe was one of the first Challenges I played along with - don't get to do it every week, but thoroughly enjoy it when I do :)

Fiona said...

while not as often as I would like, I am definitely a "C" - thank you Julie for having me as part of your DT for The Play Date Cafe :)

Karin said...

I love looking and get inspired by the blogs and that includes PDC, and I wanna play along, but i'm simply too scared to fail :) (so i haven't yet). So it's a B for me :D

Angelica Suarez said...

Thanks for the sweet shout out Julie! I hope you know the feeling is completely mutual! You are fantastic at what you do and it's been great to see YOU grow as well in the blogosphere! Big hugs to you!

Tammy Ortiz said...

Outstanding card. I have this stampset and it is amazing

Kathy Mc said...

My answer is B, but I have been following your blog for quite some time ~ just don't comment often! This card is beautifully orchestrated.

jengd said...

I honestly hadn't heard of it until yesterday. I too was one of those folks who didn't know a thing about the photo you'd posted until I read some of the other comments. I did go into the Cafe and do a bit of research for my answer to make up for it though. :) I also subscribed while there- looking forward to some future challenges.

Caroline said...

Hi ! My answer is a. I never heard of it but I'm glad I came to see your blog...

*Alison* said...

:) Julie, what a sweet post.. I am so blessed to have you as a friend.. the PDCC has been a constant favorite of mine since it started.. Thanks so much for the shout out.. :)
And you know how I got started.. :) hehe.. hugs

Audrey said...

I play with the PDCC and LOVE it! :) I loved reading how it got started :)

Emily H said...

A. It is new to me. I am just about to go. Heck it though. Thanks for sharing!

Jen Carter said...

C. I've heard of it, have played it before but haven't played for a while. Need to reaquaint myself!

Jen Carter said...

C. I've heard of it, have played it before but haven't played for a while. Need to reaquaint myself!

Miriam Prantner said...

C. I play and love it. It's one of the first challenges I tried, and I wish I had the time to do it every week, but I do always check to see what is going on. really enjoying the party!

Becky G said...

I knew about PDCC for a while but didn't really have time to play along just stopped in to look at the great colors and cards created. Ihave the summer off from one of my jobs and just recently started playing along!

=) Becky G

Lisa's Creative Niche said...

I love the play date cafe and in fact I just did a challenge entry for this weeks earlier today ( it will post tomorrow! ). The inspiration I gain from there is unbelievable!!! Thanks so much!

Sassy said...

Love reading your post tonight. And the answer to the question for me is

b. You've heard of it, but haven't had a chance to play .

Jennifer Scull said...

I am answering
A. because as many challenges as I play, this one is new to me. you can bet I'll be checking it out though!
lots of 'big' names in the DT list. :) yours included, of course. tee hee!

thanks for sharing all of the history. it's been fun to read.

Ruby Taylor said...

Alas, it's B for me. I've heard of it but never gotten involved...slap my hand...

Tana said...

I have to go with B, unfortunately. I hope to play along soon, though!

Sandy said...

Yay! I knew it! I know about it, but I haven't had a chance to give it a try yet. Still trying to get a CAS card

Cristine said...

I have played once and was chosen as one of the "Cream in our Coffee" winners that week. Not too bad for my first shot at it, I'd say. :)

Tracy said...

I have played along with The Play Date Cafe when I have time and loved it!

Tami said...

I play as often as possible! Love color challenges!

Jessica S said...

This celebration is a great way for someone like me to learn so much about you just by reading one post. Thank you for sharing the stories of your journeys!
Yes, I have played in the PDCC challenges often (although lately my focus is more DT related), but I love the inspiration you gain from each color palette offered every week!
Jessica S

Erin (Homemade Cards by Erin) said...

What a loved filled post! I'm so option c. I've posted 97 posts with PDC love in the last 2 years... perhaps I should have a party when I hit 100? (Might fall right in the time of birthday).

Lin said...

Your walk down memory lane has been really fun, Julie; I've really enjoyed hearing the why's and how's of how you've evolved!

As to your question today, YES, I play often and I think I've told you before, but my fave of your challenges are the color splash ones - they really have stretched me!

jessica said...

Another awesome post packed full of great stories!! I have to say that PDCC is all new to me....having found out about it through you :)
I will have to check it out and play along!! I always love a new challenge site!!
Thanks for sharing another day of your story!

Savannah O'Gwynn said...

LOL! I knew it was a PDCC color story!

Fab post--wow! The PDCC has had some amazing DT members!

I still remember my first PDCC challenge that I played--purple, red, and silver. Not my fav colors--esp. that PURPLE! I've enjoyed playing along each week since March 2010! I cannot believe there are THAT many color stories with different color combos! LOL!

Amy said...

My answer is C. I love these color challenges!!! I've played and WON! Keep up the great work PDCC!!!

Lalo said...

I never knew so much about not only your crafting journey but that of some of these AWESOME companies that I just LOVE!!! So much fun!!! Oh and as for there an option between B & C? Like I played but but totally need to play more!!! Thanks for all you do and for the fun PARTY :)

Ruza's Craft Corner said...

My answer is C. It's been a while since I've played ... lots going with Katie these days. Hoping to jump back into the fray soon! ;o)

Kaylee Snyder said...

I keep looking at the play date cafe and keep trying to play. Usually by the time I think of a good idea and create it and then blog about it the week has passed and a new challenge is up. LOL It's fun to see how different and unique everyone's take on the challenges are though.

Tonya said...

I have been enjoying reading your stories so much. Thank you for sharing them. :o)

Unlike most everyone else my answer is A.

Anonymous said...

A: it is new to me but then, so are a lot of things connected with stamping. I love blogs like this on that link me up with the greater blogosphere!

Romaine said...

My answer is C; but I only played for the first time a couple of weeks ago...I have felt intimidated by the amazing things I have hope to play again and again !

Annette said...

C for sure...I only played a couple of times...Must stop by more often to play along...

Ashley Nguyen Newell said...

c. You play and LOVE it! I've played several times. I need to try to play along more.

Lisa said...

I play at the Play Date Cafe and I love it!!!

Ashley Pearl said...

b. I've heard of it, but I don't know too much about it and haven't gotten a chance to play yet!! This post has inspired me to check it out :) Thanks for all the chances to win!

Jay Gee said...

I have most certainly heard of The Play Date Cafe and LOVE it, but have not played as much as I would like :)

Jennifer said...

I LOVE the PDCC! It was the first challenge blog I found and my mouth dropped when I saw the inspiration photos. Such eye candy! I play when I can though I would love to play more!

Can't wait to see what day 4 has in store!

Suze said...

My answer is A...but after reading the post yesterday I had to create a card using those gorgeous colours. Now, I just have to make sure I post it on my blog and link it up. So, this will be my first entry into PDCC but I hope to do more. Hugs, Suze

Angela Crafty Spot said...

My answer is A

Karen B. said...

That sure was a beautiful card, the flowers are just gorgeous! Play Date Cafe is my favorite color challenge, I try to play each week!

April said...

It's new to me but sounds like so much fun!! ;)

Alina said...

Ok... ok... unfortunately I am in the category b. But I hope I'll improve that ;)

Pattie said...

So, it's B for me, but I truly wish I played along more! I do check out the color stories and samples EVERY week and get inspiration from your designers! I'm thinking about applying to the DT call too! Then I'll be sure to make the time to play along! Color Challenges are my favorite!

Chriss America Real said...


I am playing catch-up! I was doing Relay for Life this weekend so I am just now going back and reading through your blogs. The followers of my blog & I raised $575.00 for Relay for Life! Whoo hoo! I am sorry to say that I have never heard of Play Date Cafe. I will go bookmark it now!


Jessica said...

Congratulations on this huge milestone for you, Julie!! I enjoyed all your cards as well as the personal stories & photos you've shared with us! My answer would have to be B - know about it and LOVE those color stories but haven't had a chance to play yet! Maybe this summer I will!!

nancyparker55 said...

This is new to me. First I've heard of PDCC...where in the world hve I been!?! sounds like a lot of fun.

Viji Siddharth said...

My answer is 2!! I hope I can play next time! Your cards are fab! I love you are out of this world!

Donna Bowman said...

Great post Julie! I loved reading and learning more about the history of the PDCC. I've played lots of times and I'm delighted to be the current Private Blend Designer. I love being on this team that is filled with some of the nicest, most amazingly talented women I know!! And we have the greatest boss ever!! :)

Jingle said...

I've heard of the Play Date challenges, but I haven't yet participated. They always look fun, though!

arlsmom aka Lynda said...

I knew what it was and I look and drool over the samples, but have yet to play have inspired me to join in the fun!

Sheri (a.k.a PaperCrafty) said...

B...I've heard of it but haven't had a chance to play yet. Hopefully with summer here I will be able to play along!!

Ivanka said...

I love PDCC and play as often as i can. I find some of the color challenges hard...but i guess that is the pooint of the challeng!:) Love the splash of color weeks, they've become my favorite! Loved learning how it started.

Donna said...

I've heard of the PDCC and maybe even played once or twice but I have a terrible memory so I can never keep straight when the challenge blogs are posting. So I usually play with the challenges that will email you each post. I didn't see that feature at PDCC. If they add that I would play more often. Thanks a bunch!

Jessica Pascarella said...

My answer is B! But it is on my list to try! It will not be long!

callyannc said...

Love all these projects and all the great colors! The Playdate challenge is new to me! Thanks Callyann

Lindsey said...

I always check the PDC challenge, and often MEAN to play, but then the week goes *poof* and I've missed it again! So I'm partway between answers B and C, I guess. ;)

SandiB said...

My answer is A. This is all new to me, but it sounds very interesting and I plan to see more about it. Love your stories. They have all been very interesting. Again, thanks for the chances to win.

Froggietalks said...

I have heard of the Play Date Cafe, but I've only been able to play a few times. Real life keeps getting in the way of my actually making the card, scanning it and uploading it in time for the challenge to end. I hope to spend more time playing PDCC because I LOVE colour, and I do make nice cards when I sit down and play with the colours given. :)

Dawn Mercedes said...

I think it's halfway between B and C...I've heard of it..and played a couple of times a while back...but basically now...Not enough inky hours in the day!

Meagan Vaughn said...

I would say I am an a. Super excited to play along

Kelly Sas said...

It is new to me but after meeting you throug one of the generous companies celebrating with you I am excited to give them a try.

rlovew said...

I have heard of play day cafe but haven't had a chance to play. I have only in the last month been able to upload any photos to the computer and I don't have a blog at all to play along with most challenges.

Diana Maldonado said...

For me is B!!! I have heard of it, actually when you told me about it, lol! Hope to play soon!!!

You rock!!! you are an amazing creative lady and very hard worker!!


Kara Lynne said...

For me, the answer is C! This was one of my first challenges to play, and I love to see what everyone creates for this challenge!

Sue D said...

The Play date Cafe Challenge is letter a --New to me.
slrdowney at hotmail dot com

beadz said...

I've seen it, but haven't had the chance to play it {yet...}

Michelle said...

I may have played once but I will go with b. :) Congrats on 3 years!!!

Janetcraft said...

Wow, YES! 3 years of blogging with superb response is a truly time flies. You own a lovely blog and never stops!
Happy 3 years of Blogging and way to go!!
Yes, I submiited my one to you!

SmilynStef said...

I love joining in at The Play Date Cafe ... congrats on your celebration.

Tammy V said...

B. I do know about The Play Date Cafe, however I haven't had a chance to play. Actually, I haven't done any challenges yet. Someday ;)

Anonymous said...

I am new to it!

Congrats on your Celebration!!

HeatherLynn said...

I played along at the PDCC a couple of times a while back..had a lot of fun with it! :) Thanks for all of the awesome giveaways and for your wonderful writing!

Karen L said...

Wow, not only am I seeing lots of amazing projects, but I am getting the behind the scenes story and look at so many manufacturers and designers that I always see online! I have heard of the PlayDate Cafe, but have yet to participate in any of their challenges. But now I will certainly give them a try!! Loving all the newsy posts!!

Houses Built of Cards said...

I commented a bit on another post about it - but I LOVE to play along with the Playdate Cafe challenge whenever I find I have the time and opportunity! And I can see why the color splash is so popular - it's FUN!!!

Margie said...

My answer is B-but I would love to play soon!

Jackie said...

Super sweet post today! Play Dat Cafe Challenge is new to me, but I will be sure to check it out. Good challenges are always lots of fun! Lovely giveaways again!

Jessica Fitzgerald (aka MommaJess) said...

What a great post. I love hearing about people's crafting journeys. As for the Play Date Cafe challenges, I have not played along. I am busy running my own challenge blog, but I have seen your posts.

Tabitha said...

A- New to me and would love a chance to play! ;0)

SHartl said...

I had never heard of the Play Date Cafe before this post but I will go check it out now!

melllisssa said...

My answer is A. I'm new to the crafting/blogging world so I haven't had much exposure to learn about all the different hops, challenges or even terminology! Lol.

Thanks so much for sharing!
misshoanggg (at)

Anita Rex said...

I love the playdate challenge! Always so inspiring! And the first tine I ever played I won! I remember being shocked about that! :>

Amy C said...

For sure it is C. I love PDCC!! I just wish I had more time to play along every week.


Ruby said...

Hey Julie! That first colour splash was how I found the PDCC blog in the first place!!!!! So fun to see it again! Thanks for the link up :o)