Residents can get creative with annual Stamp Scrap Art Tour at Monroeville Convention Center

| Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Stampers are invited to make their mark at the upcoming Stamp Scrap Art Tour on Saturday and Sunday at the Monroeville Convention Center.

They, along with people who make scrapbooks or cards or do other paper crafts, can find supplies, share ideas or make personalized take-home creations.

Now in its eighth year, the touring expo, often called SSAT, brings together “rubber-stamp, scrapbook and paper-art exhibitors” to debut the latest in designs and techniques, said Debby Drabik, who is a partner in the Florida-based SSAT organization.

Scrapbooking is a popular hobby, Drabik said.

“Anybody can do this — even if you have no creativity,” said Drabik, of Trinity, Fla., formerly of Carnegie.

And for many people, it's good for the mind, she said.

“It can be great therapy,” Drabik said. “If you rubber stamp, you'll never need a psychiatrist or psychologist again because it's very relaxing.”

The show runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for both days if ordering online or $6 at the door, and children ages 12 and younger may attend for free.

SSAT holds 12 shows a year, mostly east of the Mississippi River, Drabik, 57, said. She said the shows are great events for people of all ages, and the featured activities can help develop eye-hand coordination in young children.

Drabik said many of the approximately 20 vendors there will offer a chance for visitors to create cards or do small projects to take home, whether for free or for a small fee.

Art-Tech Supplies Inc. in Greensburg will be returning this year as an exhibitor. It will offer two opportunities each day to create a free “make-it-and-take-it” project at the store's booth, owner Cecilia Morreo said.

Like many of the other vendors, it will have small tables set up for stamping artists to try out the latest stamping supplies.

Morreo, 51, of Greensburg said this year will feature the debut of a new envelope maker, as well as some new stamps that are used for making background designs.

Prices of stamps range from $1.99 to $20, she said.

Morreo said the store, which also sells art supplies, expanded over the years into stamping, as card-making products have grown in popularity.

Morreo said she has been making cards for almost 30 years and that many hobbyists enjoy creating items with a “personal touch.”

An instructor at her store, Karen Faser, agreed.

“It's nice to give someone a handmade card. They really appreciate it,” said Faser, of Blairsville. She said she started getting into scrapbooking after a “girls night out” with her mother about 10 years ago.

“We just got hooked. You don't need to be real artistic,” she said.

Drabik also said handmade cards and gifts allow for personal touches. “It's a lot more to treasure” than something that is purchased, she said.

Faser, 48, said the show is a great place to “get up close and personal” with the vendors' products, as well as see new techniques. Faser said she will assist people who want to do a project at the Art-Tech supplies booth.

“It's nice to help them,” she said.

Along with exhibitors who will be offering chances to make projects right at the show, there also will be a special Make and Take It Project Party beforehand, from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday. The party will feature at least eight different project-making sessions led by some of the show's vendors. The cost is $30, which includes instruction, supplies and dessert.

Tickets for that event can be ordered online only at and include admission for both show days.

Also before the show, a class called “Easy Fun Folds” will take place at 1 p.m. Friday. Melody Eberly, owner of Purple Daisy Design in Greencastle, which is in the south-central part of the state, will be the instructor.

Tickets can be ordered online for $35 to make four cards, and people who take the class will receive a complimentary butterfly stamp.

Those attending the class should bring light blue, pink and purple ink pads and clear Stickles glitter glue.

Eberly, 43, said she has been coming to the Pittsburgh-area show as a vendor for the last four consecutive years. She began her business with her husband John, 46, in 1989.

She said the show is great for anyone and that she has customers ranging in age from 6 to a “stamping grandma” who is 83.

“It makes you relax and makes you happy and (is something you can) share with your friends,” said Eberly, of Greencastle.

This year she'll be showing off some new stamp designs created by an artist who works for her.

Eberly said she has found Pittsburgh-area stampers have a favorite design.

“I sell lots of my penguins,” she said.

Natalie Beneviat is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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