Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Some Thank You Cards

Hello! Did you have a good Christmas? I did - I was spoiled rotten and didn't even have to cook as we decided to treat ourselves to Christmas lunch at a restaurant. Lovely! Alan bought me a Kindle, and I love it. I've always read voraciously and now I can have a whole library with me wherever I go - I can't wait, thank you sweetheart!

Today, I'm going to share with you some of the thank you cards I sent out recently to my customers. I loved these - the paper is just gorgeous! It's from the beautiful Paisley Petals pack. I've sponged the edges with ink (Always Articoke or Soft Suede) and popped the paper onto the co-ordinating cardstock. A length of Victoria crocheted ribbon (love this!) across the front, with a simple topper using a Curly Cute sentiment stamped onto a Large Oval, then layered onto one of the tags from the Lots Of Tags set of Sizzlits dies. Really pretty, yet quick and simple to produce in large numbers.

This is the time of year when everyone needs thank you cards. If you'd prefer to give handmade ones, rather than mass-produced, shop-bought ones, then why don't you book onto one of my January "Cards and More" classes? We'll be making cards using the lovely "Pocket Silhouettes" stamp set, and for just £30 the class includes your very own stamp set, so you can make as many cards as you want when you get home. You have two dates to choose from (12th or 14th January), but you need to book by 10:00pm on 4th January. Booking is simplicity itself: just click on the link in the left-hand sidebar. I'd love to see you there, to help you get 2012 off to a wonderfully crafty start!

Thanks for popping in, see you soon.



Sunday, 25 December 2011

Merry Christmas!!!

Hello! Merry Christmas to all of you!!!

I wanted to show you this card last of all, because I think this is probably my favourite. The centrepiece of this card was actually one of the tags we made at our Gift Tags class a few weeks ago, and I made the card up to show how you could easily tweak the design to make a card. Stupidly, I didn't take any pictures of the tags and now, of course, they're attached to various presents that have already been distributed. Doh!

There's quite a lot of detail on this card, but it's actually quite quick to put together. All the stamps are from the lovely "Winter Post" set. The Top Note shape is, of course, courtesy of the Big Shot (one of my favourite dies, this one) and I've stamped around it using the snowflake stamp and Versamark ink. The reindeer and Post Card stamps are in Early Espresso, the postmark stamp in Always Artichoke and the date stamp in Cherry Cobbler. The little fllower is really sweet, and great fun to make 'cause it's shaped by spritzing the Boho Blossoms bloom with water, then sitting it in the palm of your hand and "prodding" it with your finger gently, until it curves up around your finger. When it dries, you have a lovely, shaped flower without any creases - almost like shaping papier mache! A leaf made with the wing part of the Bird Builder Punch, and a little pearl in the centre of the flower, and you're done.

I hop you enjoyed my whistle-stop tour through some of this year's Christmas cards. Thanks so much for visiting, and I hope you all have a lovely Christmas, however you're celebrating it. I'll see you again soon.



Saturday, 24 December 2011

Pennant Parade Christmas Card

Just two more cards to show you, before Christmas Eve clicks over to Christmas Day (love the ability to schedule posts in advance). This little card is one that I did as a Make and Take in some of my November workshop parties, and I was thrilled to bits that everyone loved making it.

It uses the versatile "Pennant Parade" stamp set, which is one of  my favourites of all the gorgeous new sets in the 2011-2012 Idea Book and Catalogue. When I showed the card, the ladies couldn't believe that the patterned paper wasn't actually one that you bought - well, I promise you it is all stamped. This is something that I come across time and again with Stampin' Up!, the sheer quality of the images that you get with our stamps is something that most people don't associate with stamping, and it's the reason that I demo for Stampin' Up! Oh - by the way - if you thought all that wavy cutting around the Christmas Tree looks WAY too even to be true, let me tell you that the tree is punched out using the Petite Pennants punch. Much simpler and far more accurate than my cutting!

Thanks for looking. Back at midnight with one last card for you to look at.



Vintage Dasher

Hello! Another card for you, this one using the ever-popular "Dasher" stamp. This is another one from my Christmas card classes, a  litte more involved than some of the others.

I've glittered his antlers with Dazzling Diamonds (wish I could find a way to take photos of this amazingly iridescent glitter so you can actually SEE it!). The Crumb Cake layer has been textured, in part, using the Big Shot and the Vintage Wallpaper embossing folder, and I've popped a cardstock ribbon across, cut using the Lace Ribbon border punch. I wanted to make something with a traditional feel to it, so I've used a classic Christmas colour scheme of Old Olive, Real Red and Crumb Cake, with the image and sentiment stamped on Very Vanilla. Colour fascinates me - this same card, done in EXACTLY the same way, but using a different set of colours, would look completely different.

Thanks for popping in, back soon with another.


This next card is another I did in some of my Christmas card classes. The bauble is from "Delightful Decorations", and the sentiment is from "Contempo Christmas", and this was the first time I discovered that our scalloped oval punch works beautifully layered onto the Decorative Label punch - really pretty!

I never used to be a very "ribbon-y" girl, but I'm finding I'm using a lot more now than I ever used to. I had to laugh at the horrified looks on the faces of the ladies (and gent) at my classes when they realised they were going to have to tie a bow, because I used to react in exactly the same way - I never tied ribbon bows 'cause they always looked DREADFUL! They're still not perfect (as you can tell from the photo - this one isn't my best), but my lovely upline, Bekka, showed me a really simple technique and I was amazed - all of a sudden I could tie bows that actually looked like bows. Stampin' Up! is about sharing, and that's one of the many things I love about it, and if you'd like to get over  your bow-phobia (there's probably a proper word for that) then get in touch and I'd love to show you how.

Back soon with another card for you to look at. Thanks for looking!



Easy Events Mistletoe Card

I wanted you to see this card, it's one of my favourites. I saw this card on another Stampin' Up! demo's blog (All Things Stampy) and copied it straight away - isn't it beautiful?

 I made several variants of this card, just changing things slightly. This one uses our textured cardstock for the card base (the colours, if you're interested, are Sahara Sand, Always Artichoke and Very Vanilla) and some of our little pearls to pick out the mistletoe berries. I did take some photos of a version I made using Dazzling Diamonds glitter instead of the pearls, but I couldn't get the glitter to show up.

By the way, I don't know if you've noticed, but the backgroud I'm using for my photos has changed. My lovely hubby made a photo booth for me, by cutting open a Stampin' Up! delivery box (as you can imagine, we get LOADS of those here!) and spraying the inside black. It's brilliant, but I'm not the best photographer and I can't seem to get the lighting quite right. I'm seriously thinking of going on a digital photography course in the New Year - any of you know any in the Ipswich area you can recommend?

See you in a while, with another of this year's cards. Thanks for visiting!



Something For Christmas!

Hello again! Here's another of the cards we sent this year. This one uses one of our "A La Carte" stamps, called "Something For Christmas", and I inked up the image using Stampin' Write Markers; it's a great way to inject several colours easily into one stamped image.

The colours are all from our In Colour palette: Pool Party, Wisteria Wonder and Blushing Bride. I think they make the card look really wintry and, although it isn't a combination I'd used before, I'll definitely use it again - I love it!

Thanks for popping in, back soon...



Friday, 23 December 2011

A Simple Christmas Card


How are your preparations for Christmas coming along? We're almost ready, finally, and I've just got five minutes to show you one of the Christmas card designs I've been making this year. I'll show you a few over the next few days - I wanted to wait until we'd delivered all of them before posting photos, so I didn't spoil the surprise for those who will be receiving them. Here's the first one:

We made this in a card class that I ran for a lovely group of ladies, most of whom had never done any crafting before. It's a really simple design, but nonetheless effective for all that. I love the way the bauble folds completely flat for posting, and the fact that you don't need to cut the bauble shape out yourself, 'cause we have a fabby punch that does all that for you!

Pop back for another one soon. Thanks for looking!



Sunday, 18 December 2011

January Scrapbooking Club - Christmas Memories

Hello! Did you have a good weekend? We had a ball! A whistle-stop visit to several lovely friends, and then a laughter-filled evening eating Chinese food and playing "Taboo" with Laura and Adrian last night, before driving home this afternoon. Well, Alan drove. I slept. Practically all the way home - the only time I can stay awake in a car is if I'm driving!

Anyhow - I promised you a look at January's Scrapbooking Club, so here it is. January is the perfect time to reflect on the Christmas just gone, and to scrapbook those wonderful memories before they fade into those gloomy January days. In our first Scrapbooking Club of the New Year we will create some wonderful layouts to record the many and varied events of the festive season.

We will be using the amazing Holly Berry Bouquet Speciality Designer Series Paper, (you can see it pictured above). Now, if you haven't seen this paper "in the flesh" yet, then you are in for the most wonderful surprise, because even our fabulous catalogue can't do it justice in a photograph - the texture and vibrancy of these glittered sheets has to be seen to be believed. As always, you'll get a materials pack enabling you to create at least three or four scrapbook pages, including half a pack of the Holly Berry Bouquet paper along with assorted, carefully chosen accessories to ensure you can create layouts to be proud of.

For those who haven't been before, let me just remind you that the Scrapbooking Club is perfect for everyone - whatever your level of scrapbooking experience. The cost is just £15, but if it's your first time with us, then for just £33 you will get, in addition to the monthly materials pack, one of our luxury 12" x 12" Linen Scrapbooks, so you can store and display your pagesbeautifully and keep them from harm.

Come and join us at Cedarwood School on Wednesday 18th January, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm, and get your 2012 scrapbooking off to a fantastic start. If you are too far away to come, or you're busy that night, don't forget you can take part by post for the same cost, and I'll send your club pack to you (only available to those with UK mailing addresses, I'm afraid).

You can book by calling or emailing me, but the easiest way is simply to click on the appropriate PayPal link in the sidebar and then follow the instructions.

Right. I have several last pressies to make, so I'm off to get crafting. Back soon, and thanks as always for popping by. Do leave me a comment to say hello, I love hearing from you.



Saturday, 17 December 2011

2012 Class Dates Now Available

Hello! I'm thrilled to bits to be able to tell you that my "Cards and More" class and Scrapbooking Club dates for 2012 are now available on the "Ipswich Class Dates" page of my website. Click on the link and you'll find dates for the whole year, as well as full details of the January classes, for which you can now book your places.

Pop back tomorrow for details of the January Scrapbooking Club, but in the meantime here is the information you need about January's "Cards and More" Class:

In the January "Cards and More" Class we will be making Thank You cards - perfect in the aftermath of Christmas for you to use yourself or to give as a gift. We'll be using the gorgeous "Pocket Silhouettes" stamp set, which is so versatile and perfect for all kinds of occasions. I've loved planning the projects for this class and I know you're going to love making them!

The price for the class is just £30 and includes your very own "Pocket Silhouettes" stamp set to use in the class and then take away with you afterwards. (If you already have "Pocket Silhouettes" - you can substitute any other stamp set up to £17.95: just let me know when you book your place and make sure you bring your own stamp set along with you to use at the class.) You can take the class without the stamp set for £15.

Some really exciting news is that I'm actually offering this class twice: on the afternoon of Saturday 14th January at my usual venue, Cedarwood Primary School, but also a couple of days earlier, on the morning of Thursday 12th January at Pennikkity Pots in the centre of Ipswich. This latter venue is a new venture for me, and I'm so excited that the lovely ladies at this fantastic ceramics cafe have invited me to hold classes in their upstairs studio. If you haven't been to Pennikkity Pots before, then I would really encourage you to pop in and try it - as well as offering all the facilities you would expect from a ceramics painting centre, they also do the most incredible homemade cakes, and delicious Italian coffee and other refreshments. If you choose to take the class at Pennikkity Pots, I will give you a credit of £1.50 towards any refreshments purchased at the cafe during or immediately after the class.

To book, just click on the PayPal link in the sidebar and follow the instructions. It's secure and simple, and you don't have to have a PayPal account in order to be able to pay this way. Alternatively, I can accept payment by cheque, cash or bank transfer; just contact me to arrange this. In order to allow me time to order enough materials and stamp sets for the class, bookings and payments must be made by no later than 10:00pm on 4th January, please.

Back tomorrow with the lowdown on January's Scrapbooking Club. Thanks for popping by!



Monday, 5 December 2011

At Last - Some Convention Photos!

Hello! I am still here, I promise, despite appearances to the contrary! It seems like a century ago that I was at Euro Disney, enjoying this year's Stampin' Up! European Convention, yet this is the first chance I've had to show you any of the pictures I took. I have been SO busy since I got home, which has been fantastic, but since my functioning day is much shorter than most people's (thanks to the M.E. I have to have regular rests during each day in order to keep going) it means that my blogging has really suffered as a result. So, thanks for being patient and sorry for keeping you waiting!

Wow - EuroDisney! I'd never been before, and I deliberately didn't head into the theme park area as I want to go there with Alan at some point. But the hotel we stayed in was just outside the Disney Village, and the hotel that the business bits of Convention were held in was even closer. Here is the latter, the New York Hotel (really posh and SERIOUSLY expensive):

Just LOOK at that weather - it was like this for the whole weekend. Very cold, but somehow that doesn't matter when it's so beautifully sunny. See the lake in front of the hotel? Well, if you turn to the left, you can see this across the other side:

I thought this was brilliant - I'd have loved to go up in it and it's on my "to do" list for whenever I get to go back. Mind you, if you thought it was a hot-air balloon, then think again! In this next photo, you can just about see the cable.

I took several of these photos, at different stages of the balloon's ascent. I have a sneaking suspicion they're going to turn up on a scrapbooking page in the very near future....

The lake was fed by what I'm pretty sure was an artificial river, but nevertheless it looked very pretty. Here is the view from the far side of the bridge, looking along the river:

And on the bridge were several of these lampposts. Is it just me that likes pretty lampposts? I have a real thing about them - why shouldn't something practical be beautiful in its own right?

Here it is in close-up:

I didn't take many pictures of our hotel itself, mainly because most of the time when I was there I was on my way to or from the convention venue, doing a pretty good impression of a pack-horse, thus with no free hands to take photos! However, I did manage to take this one of the gorgeous Native American headdress that was just by the exit to the gardens. Isn't it beautiful!

It must take SO long to make something like this. Truly spectacular!

Right. That's enough photos for one day - I hope you've enjoyed looking at them. I'll be back soon with some more Convention pics. And by "soon", I definitely mean soon. I'm going to try really hard to update this website more regularly. Note to self: must be more organised!

Thanks for dropping in. Leave me a comment if you've visited, I love to hear from people who visit my blog - and if you leave me your web address I can pop by and say hello to you too!



Saturday, 12 November 2011

December "Cards and More" Class, and Scrapbooking Club, Bookings Now Open!

Hello! There is nothing quite like receiving a gift that is prettily wrapped and presented with a beautiful hand-made tag. My husband always teases me for taking ages to open presents - I never like to tear the paper - and I always save handmade tags along with handmade cards. Somehow it's all that little bit more personal and precious, I think.

In December's "Cards and More" class, we'll be making gorgeous tags to adorn those special gifts, using a variety of Stampin' Up! products. I'll also show you how to adapt the ideas to make any last-minute cards you may need. As always, there'll be free tea, coffee and soft drinks on offer, as well as the obligatory biscuits, and of course lots of laughs and good company. Come along and join in the fun, and bring your friends too!

The class will take place on Saturday 3rd December from 2:15pm to 4:45pm at Cedarwood Primary School in Kesgrave and costs £10 per person, which includes all materials. If you order £35 worth of Stampin' Up! products from me on the day, I'll refund your class fee in full (I realise this is an increase from last month. My introductory rate on the room has come to an end and so my room hire costs have increased by 50% this month).

For those scrapbookers, or would-be-scrapbookers amongst you, why not come along to my Scrapbooking Club? Not just for experienced scrapbookers, nor exclusively for beginners, this club can be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of your level of experience or skill. We cover a variety of techniques, and you'll find that you can transfer the ideas you'll come away with, to cardmaking or other papercrafting types as well. From tackling the fear of the blank page to climbing out of a scrapbooking rut, to discovering ideas and techniques you might not associate with scrapping, this club aims to provide a relaxing and friendly environment in which to spend a couple of hours creating beautiful pages and layouts that you can be proud of, whatever your scrapbooking history. Pages are designed so that there is no need to bring your photos along with you - they can easily be popped onto your pages afterwards. Come along and join in the fun!

(Please note the change of date. Scrapbooking Club is being held earlier than usual in December, so it doesn't clash too closely with Christmas.)

The club will be held on Wednesday 7th December from 7:30pm to 9:30pm at Cedarwood Primary School in Kesgrave. If you've been before, then the club costs £15, which includes all materials. If you haven't been along before, then the cost for your first month is £33, which includes the monthly kit, plus our luxurious Linen 12" x 12" Scrapbook, to keep your beautiful pages in pristine condition.

This month, we'll be using the scrummy "Tickets and Tags" Simply Scrappin' kit. Colours are Crumb Cake, Poppy Parade, Baja Breeze and Basic Gray and I know you're going to be knocked as far sideways by this kit as I was when I first saw it. You can see the catalogue picture of the kit at the top of this post - isn't it just DELICIOUS??!!

If you don't live locally, then you can still join in by post - for the same price I will send your monthly kit to you (in the UK), along with full colour photographic instructions. Just send me a note saying you want to take part by post when you book your place.

Looking forward to seeing you soon, and thanks for visiting!



Tuesday, 1 November 2011

It's Good To Be The Hostess....

November already! It really feels like autumn now, with all the leaves falling and that extra hour in bed in the morning after the clocks went back. Hallowe'en has been and gone and the countdown to Christmas has well and truly begun. I love this time of year!

And now there's even more to love! Hosting a Stampin' Up! workshop is always a lot of fun, and the benefits available to our hostesses are superb, but from now until 15th December there is even more on offer....

Stampin' Up! workshop hostesses who host a £300 workshop from 1 November – 15 December, will receive the Paisley Petals Stamp Set and a package of Paisley Petals Designer Series Paper—up to a £33.90 value–for FREE in addition to the regular hostess benefits! You can see a sneak peek of this beautiful stamp set and luscious Designer Series Paper in the photo above; they are both truly gorgeous and you will have so much fun and get SO much use from this bundle of goodies!

And don't forget - when your workshop nets sales of £300, as a hostess you will already qualify for £50 worth of products free from the Idea Book and Catalogue, plus any product from the IBC at Half Price. So with this new offer you will be getting nearly £84 worth of scrummy Stampin' Up! goodies FREE, plus anything you want from the catalogue at half price - how great is that?!

If you have been thinking of hosting a Stampin' Up! workshop, then now really is the time to get your diary out and schedule that date. Give me a call, email me or contact me via Facebook to book your party, and let's get planning to earn you this fab stamp set and paper. I can do workshops whenever suits you: daytime, evening, week or weekend. My calendar is filling up but I'll squeeze you in somewhere - this offer really is too good to miss....



Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Beautiful Christmas Cards Class

Technology - it's fantastic when it works, but when it doesn't, well.....! We've had severe computer problems in the last few weeks and have ended up having to invest in a new laptop for me and a total rebuild of Alan's HORRENDOUSLY powerful PC. We're up and running again, but it does mean that my newsletter for October has yet to make an appearance, and I've been more than a little behind with my blogging. Thanks for bearing with me, normal online service will be resumed as soon as possible, I promise!

On to business.... There are just another few days to book your place at my November Beautiful Christmas Cards class. If you haven't tried my classes before, then this will be a fantastic opportunity - the class costs just £10, and if you place an order with me on the day for Stampin' Up! products worth £30 or more (excluding shipping), then I'll refund your class fee IN FULL. That means you could have made three stunning cards for absolutely NOTHING! You really can't get better than that!

To book, just click on the PayPal link in the sidebar and follow the instructions. You don't have to have a PayPal account, and your payment will be completely secure. If you have friends who would love to come, you can pay for more than one place at once (and if you do, you'll save me a bit on the PayPal fees too, which would be lovely). I need bookings and payments by the end of 28th October, please, so that I can make sure I have enough materials for everyone on the day.

I'm looking forward to seeing you on 5th November for a fantastic afternoon. Full details are on my Ipswich Class Dates page.

Back (computer willing) in a day or so with another reminder about something you really won't want to miss. See you soon!



Friday, 7 October 2011

October Scrapbooking Club Booking NOW!

Hello! This month's Scrapbooking Club will happen on Wednesday 19th October, between 7:30pm and 9:30pm, at Cedarwood Primary School in Kesgrave, as usual. If you'd like to come and join us (and I'd love to see you!) then you can book now by clicking on the PayPal link in the sidebar.

This month, we'll be scrapping with the beautiful Timeless Portrait Designer Series Paper.

There it is, with its co-ordinating stamp set, "Forever Young", and I know you're going to love creating gorgeous pages with these. I'm currently preparing my sample pages for the day and am absolutely loving working with this new collection.

All levels of experience are welcome, from absolute beginners to experienced scrappers. I call this a Scrapbooking "Club", and not a "Class" for a reason - whilst I do teach one layout each month, my aim at these meetings is to be a facilitator, rather than an instructor. If you want simply to craft quietly in a friendly environment, away from the pressures and demands of home, then you are welcome to do that. If, on the other hand, you are unsure of where to start, then I will offer you as much help, tuition and encouragement as you need. My aim is to make sure you go away at the end of the evening with at least one page completed, knowing that you are happy with, and proud of what you have achieved.

Light refreshments are provided at no additional charge, and everyone who joins in will get all the materials you'll need, as well as a photographic instruction sheet showing all my example pages for the month.On the first occasion you join us, you will receive a sumptuous Linen 12"x12" Scrapbook, to ensure that your lovely pages stay clean and damage-free. This is included in the first meeting fee of £33 (subsequent months cost just £15) and represents a considerable discount on the retail price.

I am often asked: what if I can't come every month? The answer to this is - nothing! There is no requirement to attend regularly (although, of course, I'd love it if you did!); I know that life gets busy and that sometimes it is simply not possible to commit to a regular slot. If you can't make it on the night, but would still like to take part, then for no extra charge I will send your monthly pack to you. If, some months, you need to miss out altogether, then that's fine too.

I need bookings and payment by the end of 12 October, so that I have time to order the club supplies. Payment is easy: there's a PayPal link in the sidebar, so all you need to do is indicate whether you're a first-timer or you've been to my Scrapbooking Club before, and PayPal will do all the rest.

I hope you can make it, and look forward to seeing you on the 19th!



Thursday, 6 October 2011

And The Winners Are .....

Hello! Oh yes, I have winners for you - but you'll have to wait until the end of this post to find out!

First of all, I want to introduce you to something else that is brand new this month. We have FABRIC!!!!!! Yes! For those of you stitchers who have longed to be able to bring Stampin' Up! into your "material world", or for those of you who love the added dimension and texture that fabric can bring to your otherwise paper-based projects, we can now offer you FIVE Designer Fabric collections!

When I ordered mine (so far I have Flirtatious and Timeless Portrait) on Demonstrator Pre-Order, I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I love sewing and have a massive stash - although since I discovered Stampin' Up! I don't do much stitching any more - and I know as well as anyone that fabric comes in all different qualities. Well, I needn't have wondered. Stampin' Up! have made sure that this fabric is of the same superb quality that the rest of the range is, and I'm so excited that we are expanding in this direction. 

I have to confess.... I haven't got beyond the "stroking it" stage yet, with my fabrics (*blush*), but I have seen some wonderful projects made with them and can't wait to get started. I just have to summon up the courage to cut into it. (I always joke that there is a reason that our Designer Paper comes in packs with two sheets of each design: one to use and one to stroke! Now, each fabric collection only contains one piece of each gorgeous design, so I need a little more time to just LOOK at it, and fondle it, first. Is it just me?!)

Watch this space for some gorgeous fabric-centred projects shortly...!

Now. I promised you WINNERS! Here goes....

Subscribers to my newsletter will know that at the end of every month I draw one of them to win a fab Stampin' Up! prize, as a "thank you" for their support. I am delighted to announce that the winner of the September Subscribers' Draw is ROSALIND JOINER!!!! Congratulations, Rosalind, your prize of a Stampin' Up! stamp set, cardstock and Stampin' Spot inkpad will be with you very soon.

This month, to celebrate the launch of our fabby new Idea Book & Catalogue, I ran a competition at my Open Day and Launch Party last Saturday. I gave everyone who came along, the chance to enter a Catalogue Treasure Hunt and, from the feedback I got, everyone really enjoyed doing it, and it certainly gave them a chance to familiarise themselves with the new book! The prize was one of these luscious gift bags, with ribbon and clips, from our August promotion:
And the lucky winner of this gorgeous selection of goodies is: BONA GERRIE!!! Congratulations Bona! Your prize is on its way...

A big well done to both of my prizewinners, and I hope you enjoy your goodies! If you want to be in with a chance to win, all you need to do is to click on the "Join My Mailing List" icon in the sidebar, and then fill in your details. Everyone who joins my mailing list in October will be added to the October draw, and one you have joined, you'll be in the draw each month so long as you remain on my mailing list.

Phew! (Virtual) medals awarded to all of you who have stayed with me to the end of this post!  I'll be back again soon with some of the projects I've been making with my new catalogue goodies. See you soon, and thanks for popping in!



Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Hostess Benefits Are Now Even Better - Book Your Workshop Now!

Hello! Yes, I know you all know it by now - hosting a Stampin' Up! Workshop is a fantastic way to enjoy crafting time with friends and to earn amazing hostess-only benefits. Well, I'm so pleased to be able to tell you that with the new Idea Book and Catalogue, those Hostess Benefits are even BETTER than before!

The new system is more simple and straightforward than it used to be (phew!) and far more versatile for our lovely hostesses. Hostesses now earn "Hostess Pounds" to spend in our catalogue, based on the level of sales achieved at their workshop. These Hostess Pounds are as good as cash - better! - and can be put towards absolutely anything in the catalogue. There are still Hostess Exclusive Stamp Sets, and if a hostess chooses to put her Hostess Pounds towards these, then they will go further, as these are available at a huge discount from what they would cost if they were available to buy in the main part of the catalogue. And oh my goodness, the Hostess Stamp Sets are incredible this year!!!

Sounds fab, yes? It gets even better... When you host a workshop at which sales reach £300 or more, you get the chance to start choosing items from the catalogue, at a massive 50% discount! That's in addition to the £50 Hostess Pounds that you will have to spend at that level! Just think - you could host a workshop and bag yourself a Big Shot for half price, as well as getting £50 worth of products absolutely FREE (based on a workshop sales level of £300)!

I am so excited by this new system of Hostess Benefits - there really has never been a better time to host a Stampin' Up! workshop.  Here is the full Hostess Benefits table for you to feast your eyes on. Click on the picture if you want to make it bigger:

My contact details are in the sidebar, so don't hesitate, contact me to book your Stampin' Up! workshop now! I can't wait to share Stampin' Up! with you and your guests, and you won't be able to wait to choose all that lovely free merchandise!

Back soon, thanks again for dropping in.



Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Fabulous New Colours, and an Offer You Can't Refuse...

I love colour! It's what makes our world interesting and keeps it fresh, it can reflect our mood, change our mood, affirm our individuality and make a brick or stone box into a home. At its core, Stampin' Up! is all about colour and, every year, we get to bring you five stunning new colours, to inject new life into our core range. We call these our "In Colours" (well, it should be without the "u" really, but I just can't bring myself to type it like that!) and the five that joined us on Saturday in the new Idea Book and Catalogue are just beautiful. Have a look at them:

Aren't they gorgeous?! Wouldn't you love to get your hands on all of them RIGHT NOW?! Yes? What if I told you you could get inkpads and cardstock in all these beautiful colours absolutely FREE? Wouldn't that be even better?

Sounds too good to be true? Well, if you decide to sign up as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator before the end of October 2011, then you will get the 2011-2013 In Colour Pack, containing five classic Stampin' Pads (that's inkpads, in non-Stampin' Up! speak) and a pack of A4 cardstock, again in all five of the new In Colours, totally free! This kit - total value £27.95 - will be added to the many new and exciting products you’ll receive in the recently updated new-demonstrator Starter Kit (£119, but containing products valued at more than £250!), to give you the tools you need to start a successful business or simply support a hobby you already love.

Interested? Want to find out more? Click here, or contact me using the details and links in the sidebar, and we can talk about how you can start your Stampin' Up! journey today. Whether you want to do Stampin' Up! as a hobby, or you want to develop your very own, income-generating and life-changing business, then I would love to welcome you as part of my team. Why wait? I promise I don't bite, and it might just be the very thing you've been looking for. I am so excited about talking to you!

Back soon. Thanks for visiting.



Monday, 3 October 2011

Woohoo - It's Finally Here!

Hello! Well, I hope you had as good a weekend as I did - Saturday saw the release of the brand new, ultra-gorgeous Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalogue for 2011-2012. I wanted to show it to you before now, but my feet have hardly touched the ground for the last two weeks, in preparation. Just feast your eyes on this beauty!

Bigger than ever before and - somehow they've managed it - even BETTER than before! I am just in a whirl from poring over all the beautiful new goodies that Stampin' Up! have crammed into this new book. Over the next few days I'll be telling you about some of the new things we have to offer, but for now, just make yourself a cup of whatever you like ti drink and click on the link in the sidebar, and you'll be whisked off to a world of ideas, inspiration and delight - and if you're anything like me you won't sleep tonight for dreaming of all the beautiful things you'll be planning to make.

I want to say a huge thank you to all the lovely people (I nearly said, all the lovely LADIES, but almost half of the people who came were men - and NOT just to accompany their significant others. I'm on a mission to get more men crafting...) who came along to my Open Day and Launch Party on Saturday. I loved seeing old friends, and meeting some lovely new ones. I'm looking forward to getting to know you better and am excited to have been able to introduce you to a brand new world of crafting, Stampin' Up! style. The weather couldn't have been more glorious, and it was a delight to be able to share such a beautiful afternoon with people who share my passion.

I know I've said it before, but I love my job! If you would like to explore what Stampin' Up! can offer you, whether it be a way of buying your crafting stash at a discount, funding your hobby or building your very own business, then I'd love to talk to you. Joining the Stampin' Up! family is always a fantastic thing to do, but for the whole of October we have the most incredible offer to make it even better! Intrigued? Then pop back tomorrow and I'll tell you more....

Thanks for dropping by. Big hugs,


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Inlaid Embossing Workshop Card

One of the things I enjoy most about my Stampin' Up! business is when I get invited to do a workshop at someone's home. They are always such enjoyable times, meeting new people and spending time crafting with them and sharing what I love to do so much. Everyone who comes to a Stampin' Up! workshop gets a chance to make something to take away with them, and I always love seeing people's faces light up when they see what they have made.

Here is the make and take that everyone made at one of my workshops recently:

And here is the same card, just "glammed up" a little, using a few extra products. It's amazing how different they look! 

Now, if you're at all familiar with my blog you'll know that I love this inlaid embossing technique. It's so simple to do, yet incredibly effective. And it shows another way to use the Big Shot and embossing folders, which in my book is always good news. After all, crafters spend a lot of money on buying things, so it's important to know as many ways to use them as possible, so you make sure you're getting even better value for money. I hate it when people say to me that they have a room full of crafting stuff that they never use, it seems a crying shame! My customers know that they can always call me if they have items they've run out of ideas for - part of my job is to make sure they don't just sit on the shelf, gathering dust.
If you're a crafter who is struggling to find new ideas, if you're someone who has always wanted to craft but not quite known where to start, or if you're just plain fed up with not being able to find products of the quality that you want to use, then we need to talk. You can contact me by email or phone (details are in the sidebar) or, if you're within reach of Ipswich, then come along to my Open Day and Catalogue Launch Party on 1st October. You'll find details of it here, and I'd love to see you there.

Back soon, and thanks again for dropping in. 



Monday, 19 September 2011

Fast and Fabulous Thank You Card!

Well, I honestly wondered when I was going to get a moment to blog again, I've been so BUSY lately! The run-up to the launch of the new Idea Book and Catalogue on 1st October is always a bit frantic, with so much to look forward to and to prepare for and, what with one thing and another I've had hardly a moment to post any pictures for you. It's so exciting! My pre-order arrived earlier today, with all my new goodies from the new catalogue, and Oh My Goodness, they are even more gorgeous in real life - you are going to LOVE THEM!

I've got so many things I want to show you, and I'd intended to post a lot more pics of things made with items on the Retired Products List, but I'm really behind with my photo-editing. Here is one, though, made with one of the hostess sets that will go at the end of September.

"Fast and Fabulous" is a gorgeous set, and uses my beloved two-step stampin' technique. The paper used is the luscious Sweet & Sour Speciality Designer Paper, and I'm really going to miss it, 'cause it's so smack-you-between-the-eyes-bright, and most of the sheets have really glossy embossed highlights. If you want the stamp set, then you need to call me to book a workshop double-quick, because it's only available for workshops that take place before 1st October. The paper will be retiring then too, so let me know if you want to order it, before it's all gone.

Right, I'm off to play with my new goodies (can't resist it any longer!). Pop back tomorrow and I'll put up details of the launch party that I'll be holding to celebrate the launch of the new Idea Book and Catalogue. I've been planning it for ages and, now that my pre-order has arrived, I can start making samples for it. I can't wait!

Thanks for dropping by, and I'll be back soon.



Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Revised Retired List

Things are selling out fast, from this year's Retired List, so do make sure you get your orders in quickly if there is anything you MUST have, before it goes. Click here to be taken to the current list, which is correct at the time of posting. I've updated the link in the sidebar too, if that's easier.

Alan is back at work today, after a week off for his birthday. I've got a hectic couple of days catching up with all the things that have been sitting there waiting for me, but I'll be back as soon as I can be with something pretty for you to look at. Thanks for dropping by.



Thursday, 1 September 2011

It's Time To Say Goodbye.... But The Countdown Begins

Oh my goodness, it's September already, and you know what that means! There's only one month to go until the launch of the new Stampin' Up! Idea Book and Catalogue and I'm SOOOOOOOO excited!!!!  

But in order to make room for all the fantastic new products, we have to say goodbye to some old friends, so today sees the release of the Retired List - your chance to stock up on those products which will be retiring at the end of September. I will be so sad to see these go, and I know you will too, but the Retired List always brings some amazing discounts. This year is no exception, so click here to go to the Retired List and start putting your order together.

A word of warning - items on the Retired List are only available while stocks last, so I can't guarantee that your favourites will be here right up until the end of September. If you want it, you need to order it QUICKLY, or you might miss out.

Those of you with keen eyes will notice that there is nothing from the current Mini-Catalogue on the Retired List. That doesn't mean that everything will definitely stay around - everything that doesn't make it into the big new Idea Book and Catalogue will go at the end of the month so, again, if you want it, make sure you order it now or it may be gone.

Keep your eyes peeled on this blog and on my Facebook page for details of the fantastic launch party I'm going to be hosting on 1st October, to celebrate the release on that day of the 2011-2012 Idea Book and Catalogue.I've got all sorts of treats in store for you, so make sure you put the date in your diary so you don't miss out!

Right - I'm off to have a browse through my preview copy of the new IBC. Jealous? Well, if you fancy getting advance peeks at Stampin' Up!'s new products before anyone else does, then you NEED to be a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, 'cause this is one of the many perks. Click here for more details about how to join my team, or simply email me or call me for a chat.

Back soon - thanks for popping in!



Thursday, 25 August 2011

They'll Soon Be Gone! - Elegant Soiree

Yesterday I promised you another project using papers that will be retiring soon, and something else that will be used every day. Well, here it is:

I have been needing a proper shopping list for the longest time! I bought a pack of these long, narrow pads from Morrisons ages ago (must have been at least two years ago, 'cause I haven't been to Morrisons since I moved away from Peterborough, and that'll be two years this weekend!) and they've been sitting in a drawer ever since, until I found them a couple of days ago when I was looking for something else.

Things like this are so easy to customise! A couple of small pieces of Elegant Soiree paper from my bits box, Early Espresso ribbon wrapped around to cover the join, and a filigree brad with a coloured brad substituted for the usual silver one to cover the join in the ribbon.The spine was covered with a piece of Soft Suede cardstock that I punched along one edge, then I cut lettering out with my beloved Timeless Type Alphabet dies from another scrap. The final touch was a pen loop made from the same taffeta ribbon, so that I've always got a pen handy. Then I stuck on a strip of self-adhesive magnet that I bought from The Works yesterday during my lovely wander-round-the-shops with Marisa - and the photo was taken as my new Shopping List pad was hanging in pride of place on the fridge. (I even moved my favourite sunflowers magnet to the side, which says something. Sunflowers are one of my favourite things, they're so sunny and cheerful).

If you love the Elegant Soiree paper too (and who doesn't, it's been one of my biggest sellers through the year) then you won't want to run out when it disappears from the new Ideas Book and Catalogue. Contact me to place your order, and you'll be able to use these beautiful papers far into the future.

Back again soon - thanks as always for dropping in!



Wednesday, 24 August 2011

They'll Soon Be Gone! - Springtime Vintage

I can't wait for the new Stampin' Up! Ideas Book and Catalogue to be released on 1st October, but I will be so sad to lose our gorgeous Designer Series Paper Packs. Every single one of them has been an absolute triumph this year, and my only consolation is the fact that I know I will love the new papers when I see them, just as much...

I've said before that I love to create things for our home, that show off our lovely papers. Here is a project I've been working on over the last couple of evenings, using the beautiful Springtime Vintage papers. We have a little cupboard in our hall that I bought many years ago from Ikea and, just as many years ago, painted to fit in with the room it was in at the time. Here, you can see it as it was a couple of days ago (excuse the lousy photo!):

 And here it is now, back on the wall where it belongs:

Now I'm not a particularly floral person, but I love these papers, they remind me somehow of cream-teas, and picnics in the countryside and lovely, relaxing, perfect times. Does that sound daft? Probably, but I've long had a nostalgic streak and these papers always make me smile.

Here's a close-up of one of the corners of the centre panel.

I used Rich Razzleberry narrow taffeta ribbon round the outside of the panel, to conceal the cut edges of the paper, and then added a section of one of the Boho Blossoms flowers, with a large pearl on top, to hide the overlapping of the ribbon in the corners. The handle was first painted over with white acrylic paint and then inked up using the Rich Razzleberry Marker (yes, really!) and sealed with Crystal Effects.

So often we think only of using papercrafting products in cards and scrapbooking, yet there are so many other things we can do with them. Why not look around you and choose something you have, which needs an update, and then use those beautiful papers to create something you can be proud of, and which you will look at and use every day. Go on - it'll make your day and you'll smile every time you look at it!

If, like me, you'll miss these papers when they're gone, then contact me to order yours before it's too late. Don't forget, if you place an order worth £75 or more (excluding shipping) before the end of August, you will get a fabulous free gift as well. More details here, if you have no idea what I'm talking about!

Pop back soon, for another project using our gorgeous papers to make something that will be used every day. And thanks for dropping by - do leave a comment to let me know you've been here, then I can hop over to see your blog, too.



Friday, 19 August 2011

August Scrapbooking Club

I wanted to show you the layouts I prepared for this month's Scrapbooking Club, which took place a couple of days ago. We used the gorgeous Greenhouse Gala Designer Series Paper - I have adored this pack since it came out and scrapbooking is the ideal way to put the papers to good use, and yet still get to keep them!

 Yes - more honeymoon photos! Two from the Eden Project this time, and one from the enchanting Lost Gardens of Heligan.

If you take part in the Scrapbooking Club either in person or by post, then you get full step-by-step instructions for one page (the first one, in this case) and then detailed photos of the others. Let me just show you, though, the hidden journaling feature that I incorporated into the Bumble Bee page:

Great fun!

I wanted to say a huge thank you to all the ladies who took part - many of you by post this time - and that I'm really looking forward to next month's club. There's a PayPal link in the sidebar if you want to join in the party next time!

Thanks for dropping by. Back soon..



Monday, 15 August 2011

Book Now - Beautiful Journals Class 3rd September

I'm so excited about my next "Cards and More" class, which will be on Saturday 3rd September. We're going to be creating our very own "Beautiful Journals", using Stampin' Up!'s exquisite Art Journals and the incredibly useful Spiral Border Punch.

The picture above is a notebook that I decorated a little while back, as a gift for a very good friend of mine. I LOVE to give personal gifts like this!

Everyone loves beautiful notebooks, and you can pay a fortune in the shops for something which, when all is said and done, hundreds of other people will have too. Here is your chance to learn how to decorate totally unique and beautiful books to give as gifts, use as art journals or diaries, or simply to make that essential everyday jotting a complete delight rather than a chore. I remember so clearly when someone taught me how to cover books - it was a complete revelation and I still take immense joy in taking a plain book and making it completely my own creation.

This is really a not-to-be-missed opportunity, as I suspect VERY STRONGLY that the Spiral Border Punch may be retiring when our new Idea Book and Catalogue comes out in October. A quick glance at the new American and Australian catalogues has shown me that the punch is no longer available to those markets, so it's a pretty safe assumption that we won't be able to get hold of it here, after the end of September.

The class will include your very own Stampin' Up! Art Journal, along with a Spiral Border punch for you to keep and all the materials you need to decorate your own Beautiful Journal. The kit you will receive will be worth at least £25, making the class price of just £35 exceptional value for money.

There is a link in the sidebar so you can book your place easily and pay by PayPal or, of course you can email me or call me if you'd prefer.

I can't wait to see you there, and to share with you the sheer delight that comes from taking something plain and ordinary and transforming it into the unique and beautiful.

Thanks for dropping by.



Saturday, 13 August 2011

Colour All The Way!

Well, I've had a couple of days dealing with my accounts - and anyone who knows me and my relationship with numbers will know EXACTLY how that left me feeling! Still, the worst of it is over... I feel I've earned my creativity time now - and boy! am I going to make the most of it!!

I've been a busy bee already this morning (well, after the lie in that followed the early morning seeing Alan off to work, that is!). I was hunting around for a little piece of Melon Mambo cardstock and for some reason decided to tackle a job I've been meaning to do for ages. I've rearranged my cardstock filing drawer... Yay! I was so chuffed when I first got my filing cabinet (thanks again, Karenna!) that I didn't really think beyond the fact that I no longer had to have dozens of expanding files springing open all over the place, and I just popped my cardstock in according to colour collections. Which was fine, except I could never remember which colour was in which collection, so I spent ages hunting for a particular colour, and I'm sure I neglected certain colours because they were tucked away towards the back of the drawer. So, today, I decided enough was enough, and I reorganised it all like a rainbow. Now, okay, I know I said I was going to have a creative day, and this sounds like a chore, but, honestly, it made me smile getting all those lovely colours out and deciding which went next to which, and now it just looks GORGEOUS! Look!

Hee hee, I'm so pleased with myself, and it's so easy to find things now!

And anyway. The thing that started all that off was hunting for a little piece of Melon Mambo (I didn't have a tiny piece, so I had to turn to the filing cabinet which is where everything goes if it's bigger than A5, and I couldn't find the right sling so....). I found my Melon Mambo card in the end, and this is what I wanted it for:

I've been doing a lot of craft fairs recently, and I wanted to have a new name tag (I got coffee over the old one..). If you know me, you'll know it just HAD to be pink, and you don't get much pinker than Melon Mambo! I'm really pleased with it, and it makes me smile every time I look at it, it's so bright and cheerful. The name is stamped using mostly the "Just Perfect Alphabet" (how did I manage without that?), with the beautiful capital letter coming from the "Jumble Alphabet" set, which I absolutely love to bits, it's so quirky.

By the way - if you want to get your hands on the little flower stamps I used, you'll have to be quick! They're from what has to be my favourite hostess stamp set ever - "Silhouette Sentiments" - and it is certain to retire when our new Ideas Book and Catalogue comes out in October. I know I'm going to miss this set SO MUCH, mine has been used and used and used all through this year, so if you don't have yours I can promise you, you really NEED it. It's not available to buy, you can only get it if you host a Stampin' Up! workshop, so if you want it, you need to be booking your party NOW. If you leave it until after the end of September, you'll be too late, because it'll be gone for good. I have a few spaces left, so get in quick if you don't want to miss out...

Right. I have a load of "Thank You"s to make for a lovely group of ladies who bought things at a workshop a week or so ago, and the order is now ready for me to pop round to the hostess. I'm off to get those done, but I'll be back soon.

Thanks for popping by, and big hugs,


Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Christmas Cards and More......

I had such a fantastic time at my Christmas Cards and More class on Saturday, with a group of lovely ladies - sorry to be late posting the photos but as usual a busy weekend has been followed by a tired patch. Here is what we made:

Heavy use of the Delightful Decorations stamp set (everyone had a go at doing one of my very favourite things, too - making their own patterned cardstock!) and the amazingly versatile Square Lattice embossing Folder. I LOVED these projects, I had such fun designing them and everyone seemed to love making theirs too. And, because my class packs always include extra goodies, they had lovely stash to take home with them to carry on crafting even after their class projects were done.

Here's a closer look at the projects, one by one...

I hope you like them! If you fancy making your own, then I will be putting up a link to buy the instructions later on today. Full photographic step-by step details for each of these projects, along with a comprehensive list of all you'll need. And don't forget - if you want to get your hands on any or all of the materials you need, then contact me and I can put a pack together for you..

Thanks for looking! I'll be back soon.