Friday, 29 July 2011

Last Few Days to Book - Christmas Cards and More Class

It's my "Cards and More" class next weekend - this time we're getting all Christmassy! I will need to order the class packs this weekend, so you only have a couple more days to book. Here is a sneak peek at a couple of the projects we'll be making:

Don't forget, included in the cost of the class is the fab "Delightful Decorations" wood-mount stamp set. I love this set. Obviously it's essential for all your Christmas cards and projects, but it's amazingly versatile and you'll find yourself reaching for it all year round. It's amazing what you can turn those baubles into!

It's easy to book, just click on the link in the sidebar and you'll be taken to a PayPal booking page - nice and simple! Or, if you're going to be in Ipswich tomorrow, you can bring me a cheque, 'cause I'll have a table at their craft fair from 10:00am to 3:30pm. Do pop along, it'd be lovely to see you.

Back soon. I've got something super-gorgeous which I'm working on, and I hope to be able to bring you piccies soon..

Hugs, and thanks for dropping by,


Monday, 25 July 2011

Fun Flowers Birthday Card

It was Marisa's birthday on Saturday. Marisa is a fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator and she's one of the loveliest people you could hope to meet, I feel truly privileged to call her my friend. I was thrilled to bits that I had just got the gorgeous Bigz L Fun Flowers die (a Stampin' Up! exclusive) a couple of days before and could use it to make her card. I really hope she liked it!

And here it is with the envelope I stamped:


The colour combination came straight from the Colour Coach (don't know how I got by before I had this useful little tool!) and consists of Baja Breeze, Rose Red and Elegant Eggplant. The flower petals have been embossed with the Square Lattice Embossing Folder to give them some texture.
So - I hope you had a fantastic birthday Marisa and I can't wait to hear all about it when we next meet up for coffee and cake. (Cake has no calories when someone else persuades you to eat it, you know!)

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


Friday, 22 July 2011

First Scrapbooking Club

I had such fun preparing for our first Scrapbooking Club on Wednesday! I'm scrapping our honeymoon at the moment and, as the topic this month was "My Favourite Place", I decided to base my sample pages on the Eden Project. This was the layout that I taught:

I don't use black very often in my scrapbooking, but I love the impact it gives this page. The photo is of one of the displays in Eden's education centre, The Core. I'm no lover of maths, but the way they demonstrated the instances of fractals and the Fibonacci sequence in nature was compelling. And no, I'm not going to explain the Fibonacci sequence here (I only knew what it was because of reading The DaVinci Code, anyway!) because I'd make it sound really boring and I don't want to lose you!

As well as this layout, I took along these two, which the ladies could either copy or use as inspiration (or completely ignore, if they wanted to). I have to confess that the layout with all the punched-out circles was based on one I'd seen on Bekka's blog, and I love the way all the circles echo the contours of the Biodomes in the photo.

Now to me, scrapbooking is a lot more than making a "pretty photo album", and I always encourage people to put in their pages the story behind the photographs. One thing I hear often is the comment that people don't like their handwriting enough to have it on display, as they think it'll spoil their page. Well, apart from learning calligraphy (hard work!), I think there are two solutions to this. One is to print your journalling from your computer, but that brings its own challenges, in terms of getting the finished piece to be the size you want it to be. It's also extremely impersonal. My preferred option retains the personal aspect of using your own handwriting, but hides it. Two of these pages have a hidden journalling tag, and this was the main technique I taught. If you want to see them, here they are:

 I love this technique, and I think the ladies who came along enjoyed learning it, too.

Every month, if you join my Scrapbooking Club, you'll get a pack of crafting materials, from which you'll be able to recreate the pages we do on the night, but you'll have lots left over to create your own pages afterwards. This month's pack was based around the gorgeous "One Great Year" Simply Scrappin' Kit, from Stampin' Up! Don't you love the colour scheme? As well as exclusive Designer Paper and gorgeous 12" x 12" cardstock, these kits include sheets of beautifully designed stickers, which co-ordinate perfectly with the papers and card in the kit. But to describe them as "stickers" really doesn't do them justice, ' cause they are actually die-cut, self-adhesive cardstock. I know I'm a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, and you'd probably expect me to say they're brilliant, but honestly - you have to see them and feel them to appreciate how far superior to the norm they are. I'm not a "peel it off and stick it on" crafter, but I LOVE these kits! Have a look at how I used some of them on these pages:

One of the nicest things about my Scrapbook Club is that you don't even have to live nearby to take part! You can join by post if you're too far away to come to the club, and I'll send your Materials Pack and full instructions out to wherever (in the UK) you live. So if you fancy taking part in the next one, why not get in touch? I'd love to hear from you.

Phew, this was a long post! Thanks for sticking with it all the way to the end - can you tell I'm excited by my new Scrapbooking Club?! I had a brilliant time and can't wait till next month...

Thanks for visiting. Do leave me a comment, I love reading comments! (Please be gentle with me!) See you soon.

Big hugs,


Monday, 18 July 2011

Next Class: Christmas Cards and More

Now I've warmed you up for Christmas by showing you all the fab swaps I received at training last week, I wanted to tell you about my next "Cards and More" class. On 6th August, we'll be making some gorgeous Christmas projects to help you get a real headstart on those Christmas preparations. The class will cost £35, which includes a materials pack as well as a complete stamp set (total value at least £25); light refreshments will be provided too, and of course fun and laughter is obligatory!

To book, just click on the link in the sidebar to pay by PayPal, or you can phone or email me if you'd rather. I do need bookings and payment by 30th July, and I'd love to see you there.

Thanks for looking. Big hugs,


Sunday, 17 July 2011

Christmas In July - Part Three!

Thank you so much for dropping in again! This time, I want to share with you the beautiful selection of swaps that we brought back from last week's training with us. I LOVE swaps, it never ceases to amaze me how people come up with so many different ideas. Time and again I see stamp sets and papers used in ways I'd never thought of, and the inspiration and encouragement that I get whenever I meet with other Stampin' Up! demonstrators is never-ending. Have a look at these beauties:

Aren't they just incredible? I'm so in awe of these talented ladies.

If you've been as inspired as me, and are interested in finding out more about the amazing training and other opportunities open to you as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, then drop me an email today. You don't have to be a pushy salesperson, or even to want to run it as a business - there are lots of demonstrators who signed up simply because they love to craft as a hobby. On the other hand, if you are looking for an opportunity to build a business that will work round you and your commitments, and that can take you as high and as far as you want to go, then this might be just what you've been looking for. I'd love to show you how Stampin' Up! could fit into your life, and to welcome you into my team of Sunshine Stampers, so do get in touch.

Thanks again for dropping in, I really appreciate your visits.



Friday, 15 July 2011

Christmas In July - Swaps Part 2

The swaps Alan made to take to training last Sunday really went down a storm. I'm not surprised - look at these:

Aren't they fab? The funny thing about these was that I'd been reading a thread on the excellent "In Love With Stamping" forum about stamping on candles, and was thinking that I really ought to do some more of this. I hadn't mentioned it to Alan and I know he never looks at the forum, so how surprised was I when he suddenly announced he wanted to stamp up some tealights as his swaps!(Just realised - I didn't change the watermark on the photo. It wasn't me who made these, it was Alan, despite what I've put on the photo. Doh!)

Several people asked us, over the course of the day, how he managed to stamp on the wax. So, I'm going to put together a mini-tutorial to show you. If you want to see it though, you'll have to subscribe to my newsletter, 'cause I'm only going to make it available to people on my mailing list, as a "thank you" for the support they give me. If you want to subscribe too, there's a link you can click on, in the sidebar.

Well, you've seen the swaps we took to training, and I really hope you liked them. Next time, I'll show you the gorgeous swaps we received in return. They are just bee-yoot-i-ful!!

Thanks so much for dropping by! See you soon.



Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Christmas In July - Swaps!

I've been a bit quiet for a while, I know. Another busy week and therefore, I'm afraid, another few days resting while my energy levels get themselves back up to normal. Hey ho.... Back up and functioning again now though (be warned!). Anyhow - part of my lovely weekend was spent in Peterborough, at another of our fabby training days. Now one of the things I love about the training days I get to attend as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, is that every time we meet with other demos, we get to swap sample cards and projects with each other. For last Sunday's training, the theme was Christmas (yes, I know, but you need to get started early!). This is what I took along with me:

Told you I love this inlaid embossing technique. Somehow the added texture makes the card look (and almost feel) like fabric. It's so tactile, everyone I swapped with couldn't help but stroke the card. Maybe it's just a crafters' thing, but it's so PRETTY! (Sorry about the flare on the photo, I thought it'd be quicker to take the pic in a different spot from normal, but it didn't work so well. The frame is the same Cherry Cobbler red as the mat behind the bauble, honest!)

Because I'm lucky enough to have a husband who crafts too, Alan always comes along with me to training, and loves all the attention of being the only guy in a room of about forty women. He wanted to take something a little different.... Ah, but that'd be telling! If you pop back soon I'll show you what Alan took as his swaps. They were gorgeous!! Hee hee, now you have to come back... ;-D

Thanks for dropping by, I really appreciate it. See you soon.



Friday, 8 July 2011

Pretty Vintage Vogue

I promised you a pretty card, and I hope you like this one. I made it for my Mum and Dad's recent wedding anniversary, and it features one of my all-time favourite stamp sets: "Vintage Vogue".

Another "Z"-card, but I make no apologies for that - I told you I had a "thing" for them at the moment. More Blueberry Crisp Designer Series Paper here, but this time I've embossed it with the Big Shot and the Designer Wallpaper embossing folder and distressed it a bit with my sanding block. I love the effect! The image was "rock'n'roll-ed" using three colours of ink (Crumb Cake, Pacific Point and Not Quite Navy) and then on the insert it was just stamped in Crumb Cake behind the sentiment. The sentiment on the front of the card was cut and layered using the Decorative Label Punch. Finally, those of you who know me know I love this Seam Binding Ribbon - doesn't it make just the most beautiful bows!

I hope you like it! Back soon with some more. Thanks for looking!



Thursday, 7 July 2011

Cards For Men #1

I thought you might like to see the projects from my "Cards For Men" class. Here's the first one, using the "Plane and Simple" stamp set, which was included in the class price:

I've got a bit of a "thing" about these "Z"-shaped cards at the moment. So easy to make yet just that little bit different. The paper is from the "Newsprint" Designer Paper pack, and I love how well it works with these stamps.

Here's an alternative version, using the A La Carte Motorbike stamp. The tyre-track is made using the border stamp from the "Plane and Simple" set, partially inked using a Stampin' Write marker and stamped twice. This is one of the reasons I love stamping. There is always more than one way to use a stamp and it's amazing what you can come up with, with a little bit of imagination.(I can't remember where I first saw this idea, but thanks to whoever's blog it was, for the inspiration!).

I'll post the rest of the class projects another day. Next time, though, I've got a really pretty, romantic card to show you. Thanks for looking!



Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Useful AND Beautiful!

**Oops - thought I'd scheduled this for Sunday but only managed to save it as draft! D'oh!** Hello! I've had a lovely few days, with lots of time to sit and craft. I don't know about you, but I love to be able to make pretty things that I will actually use, as well as things that will just be looked at. One of my heroes is William Morris, whose advice was to, "Have nothing in your home that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful". Of course, he was a master of designing things that were both useful AND beautiful, which has got to be the very best of all worlds.

There is a point to this musing. When I did the craft fair a couple of weekends ago, just before I left I grabbed an old clipboard that I used to use many years ago in my former career. Useful, yes - but beautiful? Hardly! It didn't occur to me until I got to the library and was sitting, surrounded by my display of pretty things, just how drab and boring my old clipboard was. So I decided to decorate it, and on Friday I had the chance. At the moment, I'm loving the gorgeous Blueberry Crisp Designer Papers, so this was my starting point. I didn't take a "before" photo (stupidly!), but here is the "after":

Don't you love it?! I couldn't use much in the way of dimension on the front, because of course any lumps and bumps would just cause problems when using the clipboard for writing on. However, our seam binding ribbon is so fine that I was able to use it to cover the join between the two papers. I used Baja Breeze seam binding, which isn't actually one of the colours listed in the Blueberry Crisp papers, but doesn't it go well! I will never get over how well SU! colours co-ordinate together, I know I go on about it, but if (as I have) you've spent years crafting with things that NEARLY go together, you'll know how wonderful it is when co-ordination is as effortless as Stampin' Up! makes it!

Here is the back of the clipboard:

And yes, I know the monogram isn't quite central, but it was meant to be that way (!). Actually, it wasn't, but I stuck it on with Tombow Multi-Purpose Glue and centred it on the stripes on the paper. It was only after it had stuck that I realised the paper wasn't quite centred either, and then I couldn't persuade it to come off again! Ah well. Good glue, Tombow...

Did you see the pen I've tied to the board? It matches too! It's one of the SU! pens I got at last year's convention and I didn't realise until after I'd finished, that I had one of the Baja Breeze ones left. How lucky was that?!

Thanks for dropping by. Back soon to show you piccies of the cards from my "Cards For Men" class.



Friday, 1 July 2011

Inlaid Embossing

Hello! Sorry to be quiet again for a few days. I suppose it was to be expected that my busy week would catch up with me, but it was definitely worth a few days of tiredness! Here is the card I said in my last post that I wanted to show you:

The basic card was made at our training evening last week, but I decided when I got home that I wanted to add a little something, so popped some pearls on as accents. I love this technique! It's called "inlaid embossing" and is so easy to do on the Big Shot - looks far more intricate and complicated than it actually is.

Have any of you been watching Wimbledon? I've been taking the opportunity of a tired week to snuggle on the sofa watching probably far more tennis than is good for me, but I've loved it! Didn't love Andy Murray being defeated QUITE so much though. Ah well, with true British optimism, (or is that just stoicism?), there's always next year...

Don't forget you need to book in the next few days for the first meeting of my new Scrapbooking Club. Only £30 and you get your own 12" x 12" scrapbook included in the price, as well as all the materials to create at least two pages if not more. Just click on the link in the sidebar to secure your place.

Back soon. Thanks for dropping in!