Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

Hello everyone! Sorry I've been so quiet, but this bug really and truly got the better of me this month, and I've spent the vast proportion of it in bed. I think I'm finally on the mend but am not going to tempt fate by promising too much today. So let me keep this short and sweet, by thanking all of you for your love and support throughout this year. I love my job, and couldn't do it without you behind me, cheering me on and loving Stampin' Up! as much as I do, so thank you!

I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a happy, healthy, successful and - above all - creative 2013! See you in the New Year!!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Earth Without Art

Hello! I've still got the dreaded lurgy so not much from me today, but I thought you'd like to see one of the new posters that Stampin' Up! has produced. It made me smile, which given how grotty I'm feeling is no mean achievement. Enjoy!

Back as soon as possible...

Monday, 3 December 2012

Going Up In The World!

Is it really over a week since my last post?! Last week was sooooo busy, and then to cap it all I've spent most of the weekend in bed with the lurgy (well, with the rotten bug that Alan very kindly donated to me). I'm up and running again, though coughing well, so you'll probably be glad you're reading this, rather than me telling you in person!

My husband Alan, as a lot of you know, works for BT. Well, last week saw him travelling down to London twice, to be shmoozed at the top of the BT Tower, and on Friday I was able to join him. Now I know it isn't the tallest building in London, but it's still pretty darned high, and being invited to go up it is a BIG thing, as it isn't open to the public any more. The photo above shows part of the view from the 34th floor of the tower, which actually rotates so you can see across the whole of London without having to move, if you want to. The tall building in the centre of the photo is the Shard, which IS London's tallest building.

And here's another picture of the view, taken before the sun quite went down. I don't know what the brightly coloured buildings were, but I loved them!

And after dark - I love all the lights! Sorry this one's a bit blurry, but the floor was rotating by then (and no, it wasn't the champagne!), and I only had my phone to take pictures with.

They served cakes...

And the neatest rows of sandwiches I'd ever seen...

And here's a picture of the hotel room that we stayed in, courtesy of BT. It was a FIVE STAR (never stayed in such a posh hotel!) literally across the road from St Paul's cathedral. Amazing!

I can't finish this post without saying how proud I am of Alan. The reason we were invited to London was because he was being recognised by BT for going above and beyond what his job demands of him over the past year - sort of a really swish pat on the back. To be one of only thirty people recognised in this way, out of over 13,000 in the division of BT that he works for is incredible - well done sweetheart, so proud of you!

Back soon (cough and cold permitting!) with some more crafting... Thanks for dropping by!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Collage Stamping

I've wanted to show you this card for a while - I love it!

It's one of the cards I made during a Make and Take session at one of Stampin' Up!'s regional training events, and I made a set of four like this, all with matching envelopes. I am continually impressed with the sheer quality of our products, and the stamping on this card and envelope looks as if it has been professionally printed, rather than stamped by hand. The stamps are all from the "Clockworks" stamp set, and I love how they all work together to produce this gorgeous collage effect. The sentiment is from "Lacy and Lovely".

When we made this project, I hadn't actually used our Note Cards before - and they are incredible, both in terms of quality (sooooo smooth!) and value (£5.50 for twenty cards with envelopes). It is an absolute dream to stamp on these surfaces!

That's reminded me of the very first event I did as a brand new Stampin' Up! demonstrator two-and-a-half years ago. I got people to stamp an all-over design across an A5 piece of Whisper White cardstock. When I showed them the sample I'd stamped, they simply didn't believe that I had hand-stamped it - they thought it was pre-printed cardstock. It was only when they started stamping and saw what they were able to produce that they actually believed what I'd said! Honestly, ANYONE can produce stamped images of print-quality by using our stamps and cardstock.

Fancy giving it a go? Give me a call, or email me, and let's book a Stampin' Up! party - I'll show you and your friends and family just what you can create, and I promise you, you'll have a fabulous time.

Wow - Thank You!

Aaargh - you'd have thought that, after all this time, I would have got used to the scheduling option on Blogger, wouldn't you? Well, apparently, you'd be wrong... I'm SO sorry, this post should have appeared yesterday but I muddled my dates up. (On the upside, that means you're going to get TWO posts from me today - I've rescheduled the one that should have gone up this morning, and that one will appear later on this afternoon...)

A few days ago, this landed on my doormat:

Isn't is pretty? It's a thank you card from Paula Gorry, the UK Country Manager for Stampin' Up!!!!! And inside is a handwritten message, thanking me for the "Workshop WOW" presentation that I did at our recent European Convention. Wow!!!

I was so touched to get this. For me, it is a perfect demonstration of why I love Stampin' Up! -- I have never come across a company that CARES so much.

If you want to be involved with this fantastic company, then why not join my team? If you join before the end of November, you'll earn yourself six FREE packs of Designer Series Paper over the next six months, in addition to all the usual fab benefits on offer. Click here for more details...

Thanks for dropping in, and I'll see you soon!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Quick and Easy, Last Minute Christmas Cards

Hello! I hate to say it, but it's almost December (I know - dont shoot the messenger!). And that means that you're running out of time to make all those Christmas cards you promised yourself you'd get done. Or maybe you've never actually made your own cards, but would love to give them a go - except you don't know where to start?

Well, I can help. On Saturday 1st December and Thursday 6th December, I'm running a very special "Cards ...and More!" class. Suitable for both absolute beginners (or not-yet-crafters, as I like to call them) or for experienced crafters needing a really quick and easy project, at this class we'll be making twenty (yes, TWENTY!) fabulous Christmas cards that will solve your last-minute card crisis.

Full details are available on my Class Dates and Details page, so hope across and take a look. You can book by clicking on the links in the sidebar. It's quick, easy and secure and you don't have to have a PayPal account in order to pay.Alternatively, email me or give me a call and I can tell you about the other ways in which you can pay me.

If you can't get to either of these dates, but you live within an hour and a half of Ipswich, then I can bring the class to you! All you need to do is to arrange a venue and get together at least five people, and I will come along and hold the class at a time and date that suits you. If you're interested in doing this, then just drop me an email and let me know, and we'll get something sorted out.

One last thing. Did you know that if you've been to any of my classes before, and you bring with you someone who isn't yet on my mailing list, then I'll even give you a £5 voucher, redeemable against your next purchase of Stampin' Up! products from me? Why not tell all your friends and come as a group - I'd love to see you!

Tomorrow, I have a really special card to show you, so I hope you'll be able to pop back then. Thanks for dropping in!

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Get Your Free Tutorial Here....

Hello! How do you like this little treat pouch?

I love this design and use this basic template often. I'm always being asked how it's made, so I've decided to put together a little tutorial to show you. I'll be sending it out automatically later on today, to all the lovely people who are subscribers to my newsletters.

If you don't subscribe yet (what do you mean, you're not on my mailing list?!) then it's really easy to do. Just click on the link in the sidebar and fill in the form that appears - it'll only take you a moment or two. If you subscribe before the end of November I'll make sure you get a copy of the newsletter that I'm sending out today, so you'll get the link to the tutorial. I won't be posting this tutorial anywhere else, it's exclusive to my newsletter subscribers.

As well as offering exclusive tutorials, my newsletters give you lots of other fab things, such as details of my forthcoming classes and current special offers, as well as lots of Stampin' Up! news - plus free entry into my monthly prize draw (UK residents only, I'm afraid).

Pop back tomorrow for details of December's "Cards ...and More!" class. It's an extra-special one, perfect for existing crafters and not-yet-crafters alike.... In the meantime, have you booked on tomorrow's "Create Your Own Christmas" class yet? We're going to make this gorgeous garland:

There are still a few places left, so why not click on the link in the sidebar and secure your place. Don't leave it too long... I'll be taking the link down later on this evening.

Thanks for dropping in!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

There's A New App In Town!

There aren't many occasions when I wish I had an i-phone, but at the moment I have to confess to a little bit of Apple-envy. And why, when usually I rave unreservedly about my Galaxy Note? Well, Stampin' Up! have created a brilliant new card-making application, and they're calling it "Simply Sent"!

This brand new iPhone app will allow you to create an e-card—from a template or completely on your own—and send it via e-mail or post it on Facebook. And it’s totally free! 

My own phone is Android-based, so I'm crossing my fingers that a compatible app is produced soon, but in the meantime, having heard rave reviews from my fellow-demonstrators who are "i-connected" I'd recommend that you head straight off to i-tunes or the App Store and download it for yourself. Give it a whirl, and I'd love to see what you produce using it. Why not post a comment after this post, and link to a photo of your creations?

Back soon, I'm off to do some more craft-room sorting....

Friday, 16 November 2012

Our New Craft Room - Half Way There!

I'm so excited - our new craft room is really taking shape and it's going to be EXACTLY what we wanted!!!! If you can close your eyes to the mess all over the floor, here is how it looks at the moment. This first picture is "my" end of the room:

And here's Alan's end of the room, with all his computer-y stuff and wargaming / painting things. And yes, a lot of my stuff there too....

I can't believe how much surface space we've got! This was a real problem in our other room, but I can really see this working well. Honestly, I could kiss the feet of the man who founded Ikea right now!

We're still very much sorting things out, and there is still a lot of stuff to come through from the "old" craft room, but hopefully we're on the home straight now. I'll post more detailed photos when we've finished, but I hope these are fun to look at for now.

Yesterday's class was great fun - thank you ladies! If you want to come to next week's garland-making class to make this

then there are still a few spaces left. The booking link is over in the sidebar. Hope to see you then.

Back soon, and thanks for visiting!

Monday, 12 November 2012

Create A Christmas Garland....

Hello! Well, that weekend went by in a flash! Loved my "Cards ...and More!" class on Saturday with some really lovely ladies, and then Alan and I spent yesterday at Ikea buying furniture for our new craft room. I've finally persuaded him that we need to move out of the smallest bedroom and into the middle one, in order not to be falling over each other all the time. After all - it's probably the room that we spend the most time in, so I think we deserve to give ourselves a little more space, don't you? (I'm not sure we'll be doing Ikea on a Sunday again in a hurry though.... I've never seen so many children just tearing round the place with no visible sign of parents keeping an eye on them. Alan is the most placid man I know, yet even he was visibly tetchy by the time we got to the checkout.)

I'm SOOOOO excited to be getting a new craft room!!!! I'll pop photos on as soon as we're all sorted. You really wouldn't want to see it as it is now....

Next Wednesday, I'm running my "Create Your Own Christmas" class, and we'll be making a gorgeous garland. Here is is hanging on our craftroom door:

Alan's brother reckons it looks a bit like a dreamcatcher. I just think it's really pretty...You can't see the sparkle terribly well in the photo, but it catches the light beautifully!

There are still some spaces left, so if you'd like to come and join in, you can book by clicking on the link in the sidebar. I'd love to see you there - we'll be at Cedarwood Primary School next Wednesday, 21st November, from 7:30pm. The class costs just £15 and includes as much tuition as you need, full step-by-step instructions, light refreshments and all the products you need except adhesive.

Back soon, I'm off to start moving (and building!) furniture...

Friday, 9 November 2012

2012 Convention Memento Mall Stash

Hello! One of the things I enjoy about Convention is being able to buy lovely goodies that are exclusive to Demonstrators, way before they make it onto the general Supply List. Many of them, indeed, don't ever make it onto the Supply List as stocks sell out completely at Convention. A couple of years ago I bought my beloved Greenhouse Garden design tote that goes with me EVERYWHERE when I go crafting, and they're like gold dust now!

I thought you might like to see my Memento Mall haul from this year's Convention. I bought LOADS, most of it now squirrelled away to be used as gift in the welcome packs I put together for new demonstrators who join my team...

I always LOVE our bags! The one above is based on the Comfort Cafe Suite and is probably my favourite.

This one is based on the Floral District Suite - very bright and cheerful!

And this third one is based on the Patio Party Suite. Loving all the butterflies!

Then there were the pens....

These sold out, so I was SO glad to have got a pack.

Next, this gorgeous Wish List notepad. Love this!

These next things are little magnetic Dry-Wipe Boards, perfect for popping onto the fridge. Again, they sold out really quickly.

I think these little Sticky Notes are my favourite out of everything. I'm a bit of a sticky note addict....

Stampin' Up! Flip-Top Mittens!!!!!

And still on the winter theme, Stampin' Up! lipsalve. This one's the Watermelon flavour, but I got Pomegranate (it's yummy!).

Hungry now? Exclusive Cookie Presses, not available in our catalogues.

I just HAD to get this card tree - isn't it BEAUTIFUL!!!!? Look out for this appearing at my parties and fairs soon.

And how cool is this? A hammer, that has three different screwdrivers inside the handle! Not particularly crafty,  but I LOVE tools and these are so much prettier to keep in the house than the other ones I have.

I also got the matching tape measure, but didn't take a picture of that, for some reason.

Finally, I took this photo of people paying for their stash. It's a bit blurry, my hands were a bit full at the time!

Hope you enjoyed the peek into Memento Mall - see you soon!

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Convention WOW Projects - And Last Chance to Book on Saturday's Class

Hello! I promised you I'd show you the projects I demonstrated at Convention at the weekend, and I wanted to say a huge thank you for the brilliant response I've had to these - I really appreciate all the lovely feedback!

I was asked to demonstrate projects using our gorgeous fabrics and decided to focus on things that you can do with them that need NO SEWING at all. After all, not everyone is comfortable with a needle and thread or sewing machine, but I'm firmly convinced that this doesn't need to stop you getting hands on with these beautiful cotton fabrics. This box is perfect for that special gift, or even for storing trinkets on your dressing table (the fabric used here is from the Comfort Cafe pack):

Here's a closer look at the fabric flower - just look at that texture!

The box is made from these envelopes (two patterns from the Essential Designer Fabric Selection used here):

I remember being blown away the first time I realised you could cover card with fabric  and then put it through the Big Shot - and still get perfect cuts and perfect scorelines. 

On the subject of scorelines, you can use our Simply Scored tool too... This envelope is simply a piece of copier paper that's been covered on both sides with Summer Smooches fabric.

And finally, how about using our fabric like ribbon? A bit of a twist, a pretty brad and a brooch finding, and this is what you could make (two more patterns from the Essential Designer Fabric pack):

I'll be demonstrating some of these techniques at my forthcoming parties, so if you're within a couple of hours of Ipswich and would like me to come to you, why not drop me an email and we'll get a date in the diary. I'd love to share these ideas with you and your friends.

Lastly, and changing topic a little bit, you still have just enough time to book onto Saturday's "Cards ...and More!" class in Kesgrave. We'll be making these cute little characters - you can use them either as decorations or as sweet gift boxes for a fun present.

Just £10 per person gets you all materials, except adhesives, full tuition and printed instructions and light refreshments throughout. If you can't make Saturday, then the class will be repeated at Pennikkity Pots Ceramics Cafe in the centre of Ipswich next Thursday (15th November). Or if neither of those work for you, I can come to you! All you need to do is get at least five people together and arrange a venue, and I'll bring the class to you.

Thanks for dropping in, and I'll be back tomorrow... have a lovely day!