Monday, 27 June 2011

Busy, Busy Bee!

Wow - what a fantastic weekend I've had! On Saturday, I had a stall at the monthly Craft Fair in Ipswich Central Library. I was really quite nervous, 'cause I hadn't done a fair on my own before, but the regular ladies down there were so friendly and welcoming, that I soon felt at home. I had a superb day, chatted to loads of lovely people and had lots of interest in my classes and new scrapbooking club, which was all very exciting. Everyone who came in looked very hot and bothered by the high humidity outside and I was glad to be inside an air-conditioned building.

I was so pleased with how my table looked!

Isn't it funny how photos show you things you hadn't seen? Like the orange juice bottle by the table leg that I forgot to move (!), and the fact that my display board looks like it didn't travel particularly well - all the samples are wonky! I had such a fab time - and I've booked a stall for the next Craft Fair, on 30th July, so hopefully I might see you there. If you're in the area, do pop in and say hello, I'd love to see you!

Saturday evening was spent outside - it was less humid by this stage, but still beautifully warm. Alan and I went with two lovely friends and their children to an open-air concert in the grounds of Alan's workplace. After my day in the library I was SO tired that all I wanted to do was sleep, but once I was there I was so glad I'd made the effort. The bands (well, most of them, anyway) were excellent and the company was even better. It was such a shame when we had to go home, but I can't really do late nights any more, and we left the ABBA tribute band in full swing, with me very sleepy but happy.

And then yesterday was Swaps Day! Every time Stampin' Up! demonstrators meet up for training days, we take swaps to share around, little samples of our work. That way we aren't just displaying our own taste or style, and we can have samples using products and stamp sets we don't own ourselves. Well, normally I get my self into a blue panic the day before I'm due to go to training, and my swaps are a really last minute affair. I know I'm not the only one, so my lovely downline Helen and the equally lovely Marisa (who I keep forgetting isn't part of my team, because she and I have known each other pretty much since we signed up with SU! and so have "grown up" together) decided we would meet up to get our swaps prepared well in advance next time. Our next training event is on 10th July, so yesterday was The Day and the girls and I spent a lovely afternoon making our swaps, all the time chatting, giggling and generally putting the world to rights. I can't believe how quickly the time went and it was such a shame when they both had to go home! (Mind you, I think Alan was glad of some time to himself. He's painting what seems like gazillions of war-gaming figures and they're so detailed he really doesn't need me chattering away to him all the time when he's concentrating.)

I can't show you the swaps I made, as I don't want to spoil the surprise for the other girls who will be at training. I do want to show you a smashing card I made a couple of days ago though - but you'll have to wait till tomorrow for that! Oh, I'm such a tease!

Thanks for popping in! Big hugs,


Monday, 20 June 2011

Dream, Create, Inspire!


Alan and I were in a certain craft superstore the other day, when I came across lots of plywood words like this:
 Now, as you know, we've been working on our craft room and there is a little space next to my punch racks that was just crying out for some decoration and I'd been wondering what to put there. These fitted the bill perfectly!

I love my card-making, but sometimes it's just so hard to see all my beautiful papers attached to a card and posted off to far-flung places, never to be seen (by me) again. This is why I love to make things that I can keep on display around our home. It's so much more satisfying than buying ready-made things from the shop, and more often than not it's a fraction of the price too.

So, a few hours and some glue and pretty paper later, here is what I came up with:

Aren't they great!? I thought this expressed so well what being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is all about for me, and now I can have this (as my mantra, if you like) on my craft room wall to look at and inspire me every time I walk in there.

And the papers? The "Dream" paper is from the neutrals Designer Paper Stack, and the other two are both from the gorgeous Springtime Vintage pack. The little files in the Distressing Essentials came in so handy for smoothing off the paper round the edges of the letters and then I sponged River Rock ink all around the edges with a little sponge dauber to take the "newness" away. Really messy and inky to do, and SO satisfying!

Hope you like them! Got to dash - I'm having my hair cut in ten minutes and need to get a move on...

Back soon. Hugs till then.


Friday, 17 June 2011

Plane and Simply Father's Day


I know it's not Father's Day till tomorrow, but I think I'm pretty safe posting these today, given that neither my Dad nor my father-in-law watch my blog. I love this Plane & Simple stamp set for making men's cards - it makes such a refreshing change from football or beer themes!

This one is for John, my father-in-law:

And here's the one I made for my own Dad. Similar, but using the motorbike stamp, rather than the plane:

I love the fact that the smaller stamps work so well for backgrounds, like the compass and goggles stamps I've used in these cards. To make the images recede, I "stamped-off" some of the ink before stamping on the card.

The maps paper is from the "Newsprint" Designer Series Paper pack. I LOVE this paper - you can use it for SO much. The sentiment is cut using the Decorative Label Punch.

Don't forget - there is still time to book for my "Cards For Men" class on 2nd July. We'll be using this stamp set and, included in the price, you'll get your very own "Plane and Simple" stamp set to keep and use time and again. Click on the link in the sidebar to book your place (I need bookings and payments by 22nd June in order to have time to order your stamp set and class materials).

Thanks for visiting, and I'll be back soon with more.



Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Birthdays Three

Hello again!

Last week I had to make three birthday cards in double-quick time. Now, anyone who knows my husband will agree with me that he is one of the loveliest men you could ever hope to know, but he is HOPELESS with birthdays! Apart from mine, he usually forgets or, if he remembers, he gets the date wrong. I got a panicky message telling me about three birthdays in the space of three days, one of which we were already late for, one was the next day and the third was the day after that (actually it was a couple of days later than he thought, but as I said, he's not good with birthdays..).

So, what to do. I was in the middle of doing accounts and needed to find my creative head in a matter of moments. It's at times like this that I love the fact that our catalogue is an Ideas Book and Catalogue - I rifled through and found a gorgeous card that I'd been meaning to adapt. Now was the time! Here are the cards I made, all slight variations on a theme:


 Here is the inside of one of them - I did them all slightly differently.

Helen, Charlotte and Sonja - I hope you liked your cards, and that you all had fantastic days! Next year you should get your cards on time, 'cause I've put them all in MY calendar :-D

Back soon. Thanks for visiting.



Tuesday, 14 June 2011

New Baby Card


One of Alan's closest friends became a granddad a short while ago, and we wanted to send a card to Chloe and her fiancé to congratulate them on the birth of their gorgeous little boy, Alfie. Here is what I made:

I think these little baby-grows are so sweet! I stamped them and cut them out, before "hanging" them on the tiny little coathangers I'd stamped on the washing line. This card is the first outing for my new Square Lattice Embossing Folder - I love this! I think it looks a bit like the texture of knitting, don't you?

I decorated the inside too.

The little alphabet block stamp was inked up using Stampin' Write Markers, so I could get three different colours on the one stamp. I loved how it came out looking a bit watercolour-y, so much so that I stamped the same image again on the envelope (you can just see it peeping out beneath the card in the first picture).

(By the way, sorry about the lousy photography. The card base is Chocolate Chip and, when I took the photos, it showed up nicely against the black background, honest! The contrast didn't turn out as well when I took the pics off the memory card though, so I hope you can see it okay.)

All the stamps are from the "Little Additions" set in the current Mini-Catalogue, which is fab for baby cards but has loads of images that work really well for other things too. There are twenty-one stamps in total - here is the set in full:

(C) Stampin' Up! 2011

If you host a Stampin' Up! workshop before the end of July, you could get this set for free with Stampin' Up!'s fab Hostess Benefits special offer! Contact me to ask for more details and to book your party.

Back tomorrow with some birthday cards to show you - thanks for popping in!



Wednesday, 8 June 2011

New Scrapbooking Club On Its Way!

Hello again!
I have had a number of people ask me for more scrapbooking, and so I'm thrilled to announce that I'm starting a brand new Scrapbooking Club! Starting on 20th July I'll be running a monthly club, to be held at Cedarwood Primary School on the third Wednesday evening in each month, between 7:30pm and 9:30pm.

Scrapbooking is the art of capturing your memories in a way that brings your photographs and memorabilia to life! The club is open to everyone, whether you are new to scrapbooking or have years of experience in recording your memories in this creative fashion. Each month's meeting will have its own theme, and I would encourage you to bring along with you photographs to suit that theme. We will be creating pages in 12" x 12" format and at each meeting I will teach one layout and then help you to create another page yourself.
Your first club meeting will cost £30, which will include a 12" x 12" scrapbook as well as that month's class pack. Thereafter, meetings will cost £15. Each month your class pack will contain a selection of Stampin' Up! products (worth around £10) carefully chosen with that month's theme in mind.
The first meeting will be on 20th July at 7:30pm, and the theme will be, "My Favourite Pace". I hope you'll come along to join us!
Thanks for dropping in, see you soon!


Monday, 6 June 2011

Cards For Men - My Classes are Back!!


At last - I've been dying to tell you about my new class programme! I had a few difficulties when I tried to renew our contents insurance recently. Having been running classes (with their full knowledge and with no problems) in our home for the past year, my insurers decided that they won't allow me to do so any more. This has meant that I've had to find an external venue which, in the middle of moving house, took a little longer than I would have liked. However, I've found one, and I'm thrilled to bits to be able to tell you that my classes will now be held at Cedarwood Primary School, in the Grange Farm area of Kesgrave, just to the north-east of Ipswich. It's about a five minute walk from my home, which is fab for me, but it's even better for you, as the space is just amazing and there's loads of free parking on site!! We'll be using their gorgeous studio, which will be give us so much more room than my dining room and the amount of light there is just fantastic. I really can't wait to start!

Now I don't know a crafter who doesn't find making cards for men REALLY difficult. It seems we are quite happy making girly cards, but the thought of having to create something with masculine appeal leaves us at best cold, and at worst, positively stressed. No more need to worry - at my next class we will make cards that you can use and adapt for all occasions and for all the men in your life. Included in the price is a complete stamp set ("Plane & Simple" is from the new Mini-Catalogue and it you can see a picture of it just above - you're going to LOVE IT).

My class pages are live again now, so click on the tabs for more information, but here's a quick heads-up for you to take note of:

Saturday 2nd July: 2:00pm to 4:45pm - Cards For Men 
Class Price £35 (includes Stampin' Up! products worth a total of £25, including "Plane & Simple" 7-piece stamp set )
Bookings and payments must be received by 22nd June.

To book, call me or - easier still - click on the PayPal link in the sidebar to secure your place. Advance booking and payment is essential in order to make sure I have a class pack ready for you.

Back with more crafting soon. Hope it's not too rainy where you are...



Extra, Extra! - Additional Benefits for Hostesses!

Hello again!

Well, Stampin' Up! has come up with another fantastic offer for all you lovely hosts and hostesses out there. If you host a Stampin' Up! workshop party before the end of July 2011, you can earn yourself an additional £20 of free products from our current UK catalogues! Yes - I said "additional" - this is over and above all the normal hostess benefits that you can earn as a Stampin' Up! hostess.

Now if you're anything like me, then the prospect of free crafting goodies will have made your ears prick up, so here's what you have to do. Just click here, or on the link in the sidebar to email me, and we'll book a date for your Stampin' Up! workshop party. You invite the guests and lay on some light refreshments and I'll do the rest. You'll all have a great time and, if the orders placed at your workshop total £250 or more (excluding shipping), then you'll earn a minimum of £45 to spend in our catalogues, as well as a free hostess-exclusive stamp set. You can see more numbers in the table below:

So, if you've been meaning to get round to booking that Stampin' Up! workshop but haven't done it yet, now is the time to set the date. And with delivery right to your door, you could be enjoying those free crafting goodies sooner than you think!

Back soon, and thanks for visiting.



Sunday, 5 June 2011

Back At Last - and our Anniversary Card!


Crumbs - it's been a long time since I've posted on here.. House move over and done with, and the M.E. beaten back into submission, hopefully I'll be back a little more often now! We have the best ever craft room now (well, we think it's brilliant!), with lovely sunny views and loads of light, and Alan's been brilliant, putting up shelves and storage racks all over the place so I can reach practically everything from where I sit, and when we went to Ikea a few weeks back he bought me a HUGE new desk. It has adjustable height legs, so I can work standing up when I want to, or sitting down when I'm having an achey-leg day. And the best bit is that Alan has another desk in the same room, so we can both be in there at once, either both crafting or me crafting and him (as now) working away on the computer. Loving it!

It was our anniversary last weekend, and I was able to make Alan's card in our lovely new room. Alan was out for the day, so I didn't have to be too Secret Squirrel, although he did have instructions to give me warning before he came back so I could clear up. This is the card I made:

The colour scheme is Night Of Navy, Crumb Cake and Early Espresso, and the larger lettering is die cut using the Big Shot "Timeless Type Alphabet  Junior Sizzlits" (Stampin' Up! exclusive dies). Once cut, I embossed some of them with the "Vintage Wallpaper" embossing folder (love these Stampin' Up! exclusives!!) and others I stamped with the flourish from "Vintage Vogue". I "aged" all the letters using Early Espresso ink on a sponge dauber, before sticking them to the background using our two-way glue pen. The background is "En Francais", stamped in (and on!) Crumb Cake and then the whole thing is distressed as before. The small letters are the "Just Perfect Alphabet" and then the flowers are punched with the Boho Blossoms punch, aged as before and secured with brads and a mini glue-dot. I use that punch soooooo much!!!

This is the inside. Wording from "Basic Phrases" and the flourish is from "Vintage Vogue".

And the envelope I stamped (the "Just For You" stamp is from "Just Believe"):

I loved making this card, it felt so good to get flexing those crafting muscles again. Alan, I'm pleased to say, was thrilled with it. Phew!

Back soon (I promise!)