Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Quick Twitterpated / Apothecary Card

Hello! Just a quick post today; I wanted to show you this simple little card I made for a lady I met recently, who wanted to book a Stampin’ Up! party with me. Simple, but effective, I hope you’ll agree:

“Twitterpated” Designer Series Paper, “Apothecary Art” stamp set (and, of course, one of the Framelits dies) and Baja Breeze Seam Binding, with a little bit of detailing at the bottom courtesy of the Simply Scored. Lovely!

Back tomorrow with a quick reminder for you..


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Focus On Framelits

Hello! If you’ve spent any time at all looking at our gorgeous Summer Mini-Catalogue, you won’t have been able to miss the incredible new Framelits dies. I’m finding that I reach for them All. The. Time. You know that feeling when you add something to your crafty stash and you just KNOW that it won’t ever be worth putting it away, ‘cause you’ll need it again in two minutes? Well, that’s how I am with the Framelits.

These are a completely different type of die from any that Stampin’ Up! have offered in the past. They are wafer-thin (why do I always want to say that with a French accent?!) and although they are designed to be used with the Big Shot, they also work a treat with any of the other die-cutting systems out there. The thicker dies work by having a steel rule buried inside thick foam, whereas these have a teeny little ridge right round the inside edge of the die, and it’s this little ridge that does the cutting. Because of this, you can also position your die exactly where you want it, so you can cut out stamped images perfectly – I predict lots of co-ordinating stamps sets coming our way (and have you SEEN the gorgeous “Apothecary Art” stamp set???). Look how well the system works…

I have tried other makes of wafer-thin dies and was surprised to find that the colour isn’t the only difference with these ones. Somehow, these feel sturdier, even though they’re just as thin. I don’t know, just a little more… substantial, somehow. The Framelits (and the Edgelits, which work in exactly the same way) are supplied in a great little plastic wallet that you can keep them in, so you don’t need to worry about how you’re going to store them safely. Because I use mine at parties and classes, I have cut a piece of magnetic sheet to store them on, and I just slip this into the wallet with the dies attached. You don’t need to do this, but for me it’s a really easy way of telling if all the dies are there, of if there’s one still floating round in the room somewhere.

Officially, the Framelits are designed to cut through one sheet of cardstock or paper, but I’ve used them to cut through two layers with ease, so you can create fancy card blanks really quickly. And click here to be taken to a couple of projects that were also made by cutting through more than one sheet of cardstock at a time. As always, experiment..

If you want to see more of the Framelits dies, why not contact me to book a Stampin’ Up! party? It’s free, and you get a complimentary Idea Book and Catalogue, a handmade gift from me and the chance to earn items off your Wish List for free! Click here for more details, and drop me an email to get the ball rolling.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

With Sympathy….

Hello! I don’t know about you, but I always find it really hard to make cards to people who have suffered a bereavement. The ones you can get in the shops usually have quite flowery verses in them and they never really express what I want to say. After all, what CAN you say to someone who has just lost a loved one?

A lovely friend and customer of mine recently lost her Mum, and this is the card I made for her:

Very simple, and using Basic Gray rather than the more traditional black, so it was less stark than it would otherwise have been. The Basic Rhinestones add a touch of elegant sparkle, and the very simple sentiment says it all, without being at all wordy. I hope it conveyed what I want it to.

Back tomorrow, and I’ll be focussing on one of the new products from the Summer Mini-Catalogue – one that is rapidly becoming one of my “can’t craft without it” essentials. See you then, and thanks for dropping in.


Monday, 28 May 2012

Subscribers’ Prize Draw Results

Hello! Every month, all those people who subscribe to my newsletter are entered into a prize draw, and one of them wins a special little something from me as a thank-you. This month, the prize was this fab “Sprinkled Expressions” stamp set:

And the winner is…. [*cue drum roll!*]


Congratulations Sue! Your stamp set will be on its way to you in the next week or so (when Alan and I get back from holiday), and I KNOW you’re going to love using it.

If you’d like to be in with a shot at winning a fab Stampin’ Up! prize from me, and you live in the UK, all you need to do is subscribe to my newsletter. You can subscribe by clicking on the link in the sidebar and don’t forget to include your full name and postal address, or I won’t be able to send you your prize if you win. (I’m sorry, I can't offer the prize to non-UK subscribers, unfortunately).

Huge thanks, as always, to my newsletter subscribers and loyal customers, because without you I wouldn’t have a business, or the opportunity to do this wonderful job! Sorry if you weren’t lucky this month, keep your fingers crossed and you’ll have another chance in a month’s time.

Back tomorrow with an example of the sort of card that, unfortunately, we all have to send from time to time. Sympathy cards are never easy, so pop back to see the one I made recently for a friend.

Thanks for visiting.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

New Possibilities – Handmade Envelopes!

Hello! Have you got your hands on the new Simply Scored Scoring Tool yet? I absolutely love mine, and my current passion, since my Diagonal Scoring Plate arrived, is making my own envelopes. Now, I’ve made envelopes before, but they’ve always been a bit of a hassle, all that measuring and checking and re-checking, only to find out half the time that I’ve messed up the sizing (I told you maths wasn’t my thing!). Either that, or my scorelines weren’t right, so the envelope wasn’t symmetrical. No more, all I need to do is cut my paper to size and the Simply Scored takes care of the rest – I love it! Here are just a few of the envelopes I’ve been making.

If you haven’t seen the Diagonal Scoring Plate, then here’s a close-up.

There are grooves across a full 12” x 12” area, at ⅛” intervals, so you can make pretty much any size of envelope you want. The idea is that you can score two of the sides of your envelope at the same time, turn the paper by ninety degrees and then score the other two sides. And that’s the hard work done! Perfectly parallel scorelines, so your envelopes fold up perfectly and look professional every time.

There’s even an easy way of snipping out the little triangles where the scorelines intersect: just slip your paper into your 1¼” Square Punch and, using just the corner of the square, punch out the waste section. Easy!

Our Designer Series Paper is the perfect weight for making your own envelopes, and of course it means you’ll get really pretty insides to your envelopes too:

And, if your paper is highly patterned, or just to add that extra touch of luxury, you can add a beautiful address label too. Here I’ve just the Framelits dies on the larger envelopes and the Word Window and Modern Label punches on the tiny one. Just imagine the impact your cards will have when you present them this way!

I haven’t posted the results of my monthly Subscribers’ prize draw for a while, so pop back tomorrow and I’ll rectify that. If you subscribe to my newsletter, you could have won yourself a free stamp set! See you then…


Saturday, 26 May 2012

It’s All In The Detail

Hello! Have you ever looked at a project that you’ve worked on for ages, but you’re just not happy with how it’s turned out? I do, often. When I started papercrafting, this really used to worry me, and more often than not I used to ditch the project altogether, and start over again, usually coming up with something even more complex and time-consuming. Because I have no design training I worried that I was missing some vital knowledge, some “knack” that would make everything work, all the time. It bugged me.

The answer is usually a lot more simple than I thought it ought to be. Often, all that is needed is one small touch, a tiny bit of detail to turn an “okay-ish” project into a “wow, that’s fantastic!” project. The card I posted yesterday is a really good example. Here’s a close-up of the flower embellishment.

Now, as an experiment, I tried making up this card with a slightly different flower. The punch I used was the same, and I added a punched-out circle of Daffodil Delight cardstock in the centre in the same way, but I left off the button, and I didn’t snip into the petals. This is what the flower looked like:

And the card? Well, it looked alright, I suppose, but it looked unfinished – something was missing. As soon as I added that button to the centre, and snipped into the petals, the card came to life. No change to the basic layout, and only a minute or so of additional work needed – no skill and certainly no rocket science. But it made all the difference between a card that NEARLY worked, and a card that leaped off the table and demanded attention.

The next time you feel a little flat because the project you’ve put so much love into doesn’t quite come off, don’t worry, don’t beat yourself up and CERTAINLY don’t consign it to the bin! Just have a think about where you can add a little finishing touch, to breathe life into what will already be ALMOST perfect. A quick flick through the Stampin’ Up! Idea Book and Catalogue will show you our amazing range of “finishing touches” so that, whether your project needs a bit of sparkle, a button, ribbon or brad, you’re sure to find exactly the right thing – after all, Stampin’ Up! is all about making it easy for you to create projects that are spot on!

Friday, 25 May 2012

It Doesn’t Have To Be Complicated!

Hello! Sometimes, the simplest ideas are the best, and this is as true with crafting as it is in any other area of life. Just have a look at this card that we made at Stampin’ Up! Regional Training recently.

The stamp set used is the lovely Mixed Bunch set, from the Summer Mini-Catalogue. I love how fresh it looks in these bright colours, and although the card is full of impact it didn’t take much time to make. All the pattern is hand-stamped (it always amazes me how much it looks like it’s been professionally printed) and what looks like ric-rac ribbon is actually textured cardstock, punched out using the Scallop Border Punch. The sentiment is from the “Creative Elements” stamp set, and the focal point is a couple of punched-out flowers, made using the new Blossom punch and snipped into to add some extra texture. A circle of card for the flower centre, topped off with a button and some of the gorgeous new Baker’s Twine, and that’s it!

Here’s the envelope that I stamped to accompany the card. It sounds daft, but I have to keep stoking it, ‘cause I can never believe how smooth our envelopes are – lovely!

If you like the idea of not only stamping up your envelopes, but making your own as well, I’ll be showing you how you can create your very own bespoke envelopes in a couple of days’ time.

Tomorrow, I’ll be showing you how it’s the final touches that can make all the difference to a project. See you then, and thanks for popping in to see me today…

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

June Class Bundles Are Up!

Hello! Finally, the class bundle details for June are up, and you can find them by clicking here.

You have three options to choose from, all of them at a discount from the catalogue price, and all of them with FREE SHIPPING if you book your class place and order your bundle before 2nd June (shipping is £2.50 per bundle after that).

If you haven't ordered one before, here's what my Class Bundles are all about. Every month, when you book your place at my "Cards ...and More!" class, I give you the exclusive opportunity to buy some of the gorgeous products we'll be using at the class, at a special discounted price and reduced shipping (FREE shipping if you order before a specified date - for the June bundles it's June 2nd). It may be a stamp set, it may be a punch, it may be accessories or something else, but it will always be exciting, and it will always be at a price not available anywhere else.

For those of you who haven't been to one of my classes yet, here's what some of my customers have said about why they like coming along:
  • "Becki is really knowledgeable and well organised and prepared for the class in advance. REALLY friendly and relaxed atmosphere - perfect balance!!"
  • "Brilliant - easy going but well explained"
  • "Excellent teaching from Becki. I have learned a lot and increased in confidence as I was new to cardmaking and papercraft.

Why don't you come along too, and join in the fun? I'd love to see you, and don't forget, you'll be welcome whatever your level of skill or experience. Just click on the link in the sidebar to book your place.

Back soon!

Monday, 21 May 2012

Saturday's Stall

Hello! I had a FAB time at the Library Craft Fair on Saturday  - big hellos to all the lovely people who came to see me, and to the lovely people I met for the first time and who were all so friendly. I say it all the time, the best thing about this job is the people you meet! Here's a photo of my stall, for those of you who couldn't make it. I did try to post it on Saturday but for some reason my phone wasn't playing ball. Ah, technology...
Sorry it's so out of focus, I didn't realise until I downloaded it. I hope you don't hurt your eyes trying to make too much sense out of it!
Back later on with details of the Class Bundles for June's "Cards ...and More!" classes (assuming I can move after going to the physio this afternoon!). They would have been up yesterday, but I was shattered after the fair and those of you who know me will know that I can't do numbers even when I'm really on the ball, so I wanted to check all my figures today when I was a bit more compos mentis. See you then.

Friday, 18 May 2012

Ipswich Library Craft Fair - Free Gift Offer


Just a quick post for now... I'm at the Craft Fair at Ipswich Library tomorrow - why don't you pop along and say hello if you're in the area? I'd love to see  you!
As a special offer, anyone who books a party with me tomorrow, and mentions this blog post, will get an additional free gift from me at their party - in addition to all the fantastic things you already get for hosting a Stampin' Up! party. For more information, click here.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, 17 May 2012

June "Cards ...and More!" Sneak Peeks

Hello! I hope you can join me to enjoy some crafting fun at my June "Cards ...and More!" classes, where we'll be making several projects using a variety of techniques, all of which will include the use of the fabulous new Simply Scored Scoring Tool from Stampin' Up!
Here are some sneak peeks at a couple of the projects we'll be making, just to whet your appetite:

You have two dates, and two venues to choose from, and you can book your place at either class using the PayPal link in the sidebar. The class itself costs just £10 and includes all materials (except adhesives) and light refreshments. If you decide to order a Class Bundle in addition (details coming soon) then you will get some gorgeous class-related products at a fab discount, giving you even better value for money.

Click here for more details of my classes. And, if you love Stampin' Up! as much as I do, why not host your very own Stampin' Up! party - it's a brilliant way to enjoy some crafting time with friends and you can earn exclusive, free crafting products too! You don't even have to be local to me to join in the fun, so long as you're in the UK. Click here for more details.

Watch out for details of the exclusive Class Bundles to go with the June classes, and thanks again for dropping in! I'll be back soon...

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

More Simple Designer Series Paper Cards

Hello! This isn't the post I'd intended to put up today, but I've had a rotten headache all day so my plans went out of the window a little, so do forgive me!

I had some lovely comments about the card I posted yesterday (thank you for your lovely emails!) so I thought I'd show you some more, made along the same lines. It's amazing how much difference it can make if you just swap out the Designer Paper you use. Yesterday's card used one of the "Beyond The Garden" papers; even using different papers from the same pack can change the look of the card. Have a look at these:


 And, if you use a different pack of Designer Series Papers altogether, then you get a totally different "feel" to the card. Here are a couple using the new "Attic Boutique" papers (they're a slightly different layout, but basically the same):

Making these cards really doesn't take much DSP, but it's a really good way of showcasing the beautiful designs; these were made with the pieces left over from the strips of card I cut to make my swatch samplers for these two packs. I've said before, I think, that I really struggle with cutting up my pretty paper to start with - it's just tooooo gorgeous!!! Once I've got my samplers cut, I can cope with using the paper for other things, 'cause it's not all brand new and untouched any more. Is it just me?

Thanks for looking. I'll be back soon, hopefully with the post that I'd intended to put up today, giving you details of June's "Cards ...and More!" classes. See you then, and thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Beyond The Garden Get Well Wishes

A really pretty, and very quick, card for you today. I heard the other day that one of my lovely customers is poorly, so I wanted to send her a quick get well wish to speed her recovery. I took the opportunity to use my new Simply Scored board, and the Beyond The Garden Designer Series Papers (love these!) and this is what I came up with:
The sentiment is from the fabby "Delightful Dozen" stamp set - I only just got this and am kicking myself for not having bought it sooner, it's sooooo useful! I have to say I love this card, and I really hope my lovely lady liked it too! Get well soon, Pauline!
I hope you like it too! Thanks for dropping in.
Back soon...

Monday, 14 May 2012

A Twitterpated Welcome

Hello! Have you seen the Twitterpated Designer Series Paper that's in our new Summer Mini-Catalogue? I love it and have been making all sorts of things with it. Here are the gifts I made for one of my new team members (*Hi Kerry!!*) - I've been waiting for ages to show you photos of them, 'cause I didn't want to spoil the surprise for her, but I think I'm safe to do so now...

First, the card:

Next, here's the matching notebook I covered (I left this blank, so Kerry can write whatever she wants to on the front):

And finally, the little folder, containing swatches of all the current Stampin' Up! colours.

No apologies for using the Apothecary Art stamp set again - I love it!!! Watercoloured with Stampin' Pads and Blender Pens, and cut out using the new Framlits dies. You can see the new Pleated Satin Ribbon really well in these pics too, but it's such a shame you can't actually touch it - it's so soft and tactile. I very nearly couldn't give these up! I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo of all three together, because they looked so sweet as a set, but I was so excited to post them off that I nearly forgot to take any pictures at all!

If you fancy getting your hands on a welcome pack like this, as well as some other Stampin' Up! goodies to get your business off to a good start, then now is a fantastic time to join my team of Sunshine Stampers. At just £99, the Starter Kit is amazing value, and you can customise it completely to suit your tastes, and if you join in May then you get a FREE TICKET to November's Stampin' Up! Convention in Mainz, which is worth £149. That's a total of up to £324 worth of value, for an investment of just £99!!!! (I still can't believe Stampin' Up! is offering this!). Click here for more details, and if you want to get started, or just want to talk things through with me then you can contact me for more information (details in the sidebar).

Back soon!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Useful AND Pretty - Designer Series Paper Coasters

Hello! When we were pottering round a certain supermarket a couple of weeks ago, I found some DIY coaster kits for tuppence-ha'penny each and popped a couple in the trolley. When we got home I tidied them away and forgot all about them. I found them again the other night and decided to pop something into them, so they could be used. There is no depth to the space inside the coasters, they're designed to seal a photograph behind a foam adhesive backing, so Designer Series Paper fitted the bill beautifully.

I wanted to make a coaster for Alan to use on his desk at work, so set to finding some paper that would work for that. My classes this month have focussed on the Under The Big Top stamps, so there was a pack of the matching Big Top Birthday Designer Series Paper on my desk. Perfect! I cut out the strong man from the corner of one sheet and sealed it into the coaster - really quick and easy, and he loves it (thank goodness!)
Now I don't know about you, but I find it really hard to cut into a piece of Designer Series Paper for the first time. Usually the first thing I do, when it's a pack I haven't had before, is cut some strips to make a sampler swatch. Once I've done that, it's as if the taboo is broken and I can relax and set to using the rest of the pack. Until then, I really struggle to do anything but look at the paper and stroke it - daft I know, but other crafters will understand, I'm sure. Well, I hadn't yet made my sampler for this pack, but once I spotted the strong man nothing else would do for Alan's coaster, so I had to steel myself to cut into a completely fresh sheet from a completely untouched pack. Oh my goodness, I have a problem, it was SO hard to cut into that paper! My name is Becki - and I'm a Paper Addict!

The next one was easier, because I had already made my sampler from the Beyond The Garden pack, so I had some left-over pieces sitting on my desk. Now you know me and my pinks so, when I saw a piece of this Melon Mambo design that was just (and I mean ONLY JUST) the right width, I thought it would be just right to pop into a coaster for my craft desk. It's so bright and cheerful, and it makes me smile every time I pop my cup of tea onto it!

So there you go - quick and easy Designer Series Paper coasters. I hope you like them!
Back soon,

Thursday, 10 May 2012

New Ipswich Class Dates

I've finally got dates sorted out for the rest of the year, for my "Cards ..and More!" classes at Pennikkity Pots in Ipswich. You can click here for full details, and for Kesgrave dates, but here are all the Pennikkity Pots class dates for your diary:

Thursday 17th May
Thursday 14th June
Thursday 12th July
Thursday 9th August
Thursday 13th September
Thursday 11th October
Thursday 15th November
Thursday 6th December
Here's what we're making at the May class; there are still some spaces left, so do contact me if you'd like to join in. 
 Back soon!


Tuesday, 8 May 2012

May "Cards ...and More!" Projects

Hello! Don’t you love Bank Holiday weekends? Even though we didn’t have a huge amount of sun, it was lovely just to be able to have that extra day pottering round, no deadlines to meet and – best of all – no early morning alarm clock! I did run my “Cards …and More!” class on Saturday, though, and as always loved every minute! Normally, I wait until both classes have been run before showing full pictures of the projects, but the Pennikkity Pots session isn’t until 17th May, so I thought I’d show you them now, rather than making you wait… 

Here’s a group picture of the cards we made:

And here they all are, a bit closer up, so you can see the detail.


The stars of this month’s classes are Stampin’ Up!’s Watercolour Wonder crayons (we were using the Brights Collection). These look for all the world like children’s wax crayons, but just look at the detail you can get with them, when you team them up with our Blender Pens! 

The stamp set is “Under The Big Top”. Everyone loved the cheery images, and they are such fun to colour in.  I keep changing my mind about which is my favourite, at the moment I think it’s probably the sealion. Or maybe the clown... Or maybe… Oh I don’t know – they’re all gorgeous! Which one is your favourite? 

There are actually two additional images that you can’t see in these cards, so here’s the set in full:

As well as playing with colouring techniques, this was everyone’s first chance to have a go with the new Framelits dies from the Summer Mini-Catalogue - you can see them in two of the cards. These are so easy to use and, because you can see through them, you can place the die accurately over your stamped image, so  no worrying about whether your image is central or not. (I know my class really appreciated this!)

If you’d like to make these cards, and get to grips with the Watercolour Wonder crayons and the new Framelits dies, then I’ll be running this class again on 17th May at 10:30am in Pennikkity Pots Ceramics cafĂ©, in the centre of Ipswich. Click here for more details and don’t forget to order one of the specially selected Class Bundles to get a great discount.

Back soon!