Friday, 31 August 2012

Say Goodbye To Summer....

Hello! Yes, it's time to say goodbye to Summer.Well, to the Summer Mini-Catalogue at least (although looking out of the window maybe the weather is taking my headline a little too literally). We've had some wonderful months together, but this evening we will be bidding farewell to those lovely stamps, papers and accessories, many of them for ever.....

But before you get too upset, remember two things:

ONE - you still have just enough time to email your order to me if there are still things you NEED from the Summer Mini-Catalogue. Just make sure I get your order and payment details by no later than six o'clock this evening (BST) in order to give me time to put your order through. It doesn't matter where you are, as long as you're in the UK, 'cause I can have your order delivered direct to your door. Click here for more details about how to order.

TWO - tomorrow sees the launch of our first ever Autumn / Winter Seasonal Catalogue, and you are going to LOOOOOOOOVE it! I'll be away in Reading for Stampin' Up!'s Leadership Training Day, but by the power of scheduled posting (Blogger permitting!) you'll be able to find a link to this brand new book of gorgeousness bright and early tomorrow, so make sure you pop back for a look.

In the meantime, I'm sitting here all smug and impressed with myself because, for the first time ever I'm all ready with my swaps for tomorrow with time to spare! Normally, I'd be beavering away at gone midnight trying to finish them, and I'd be popping labels on in the car on the way, but no! This time they're all done, labelled and ready to go. I was so taken aback I had to go and have a lie down for a while. Seriously.

Those of you who know me won't believe I've actually done them, so look - here they are:

(Well, you didn't think I was going to show you the FRONTS, did you? What, and spoil the surprise for those who are going tomorrow? You'll just have to be patient and wait till Sunday.... Tee hee!)

Back tomorrow, with a brand new, sparkly Autumn / Winter Catalogue to show you all. Thanks for popping in today.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Texture All The Way: Book Your September "Cards ...and More!" Place Now

Hello! Oh my, what a busy weekend - but how much fun have I had???!!!! Two craft fairs, and just the best time ever chatting to lots of lovely people. A big hello if you've made your way here after meeting me over the weekend, it's lovely to see you here!

Whether this is your first time here or not, you've chosen a very good time to drop in, 'cause I've got news for you of my September "Cards ...and More!" classes. By the end of today (if not by the time you read this), there will be booking links in the sidebar for you to book your place at one or both of these classes, and full details on my "Class Dates" page (just click on the link to be taken to that page). I hope you can make it to one or other of the dates but, if you can't, don't worry. If you're within a reasonable travelling distance from Ipswich, and you can get five or more people together, I can bring my classes to you, at a time and a place to suit everyone.

September's classes are all about TEXTURE. I think it's so important when creating pretty things, that we appeal to more senses than just our vision. Touch plays an enormous part in our everyday lives, and "strokeability" is a wonderful asset to be able to bring to our creations. There are so many gorgeous, tactile new products in the forthcoming Autumn / Winter catalogue that I wanted to create a class aimed at helping us to really explore this avenue. I've had so much fun planning the projects - including three-dimensional items as well as cards - and I know you're going to love what I have in store for you! Keep popping back for more sneak peeks in the coming days.

Don't forget, you get all materials included in the class save for adhesives, plus refreshments thrown in as well. And, if you order the Class Bundle when you book your place you will get a specially chosen group of products at a unique discount - giving you even greater value for money. Full details of the class can be found by clicking here, as well as details of the exclusive Class Bundle that I've put together for you.

If you are new to my blog, then I'd love it if you'd leave me a comment to say hello! Just click on the link below my signature and let me know you've been here...

Back soon - thanks for dropping in!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Yet Another Reason To Smile - A Birthday!

Hello! Another "Reason To Smile" card to share with you today, this time one I made for my lovely friend and downline Helen, for her birthday.

I'm loving this set, and I'll be so sad when it vanishes in a few days' time at the end of August. I think I have a soft spot for flower two-step stamp sets, as the very first Stampin' Up! stamp set I used was this kind of thing, and I've loved them ever since. I can never quite get over how easy it is to create fabby coloured images just by stamping!

The card base is our lovely Confetti White, which I thought gave a really soft "feel" to the card. It's almost like having tiny bits of flower petals embedded in the fibres of the card. Really pretty!

If you, like me, have fallen in love with the "Reason To Smile" stamp set, then you need to move quickly, because it's only around until the end of this month. You can buy it, or earn it free with a £60 purchase (excluding shipping). More details by clicking here, and then just call me or email me with your order. The phone numbers are in the sidebar..

Thanks for dropping in, it's always lovely to have your company. Do remember to leave me a comment, though, I love to hear your thoughts..

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A Mixed Bunch Version..

Hello! When I come up with a design, or a colour combination I really like, I tend to play around with it for a while, making several cards along similar lines, maybe tweaking one of two bits if I feel like it, Today's card obviously owes a lot to the one I showed you yesterday, but I've used a different stamp set and added an extra step for a bit more "oomph".

So there you have it. A "Mixed Bunch" take on the "Reason To Smile" card I showed you yesterday. Same colours, but I think you'll agree a different "feel" to the card. I hope you like it.

Just a very quick post today, because I'm finishing off preparing for this evening's Team Training evening that I'm running with my dear friend Marisa. I'm so excited to be able to spend time with my downline and fellow-demonstrators, and of course there will be crafting involved, so I need to get the card packs put together.

We have a number of people joining us this evening who aren't Stampin' Up! Demonstrators but who are interested in finding out more, and I'm really looking forward to being able to share the evening with them too. If you'd be interested in finding out more about what it's really like being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, then why not give me a call? You'll find my numbers in the sidebar or, of course, you're always welcome to email me. Stampin' Up! is all about sharing what you love, so I'd love to talk to you. If you're able to get to Ipswich, we could even meet up for a coffee!

Back soon, thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Another Reason To Smile...

Hello! There are still a few days left to get your hands on the gorgeous "Reason To Smile" stamp set.. I've been loving playing with this one, it's so versatile! Have a look at this quick and easy card I made with it a few days ago:

This beautiful stamp set is only available until the end of August, but there are two ways in which you can acquire it during that time. It's FREE with orders over £60 (excluding shipping), or you can purchase it at retail price if you aren't putting a large order through at the moment. Click here for all the details, and if you decide you NEED a "Reason To Smile" in your craft stash, then email your order to me, and I'll do the rest.

Oh - by the way, if you're thinking that you don't recognise the sentiment stamped at the bottom of the card, that's because it isn't out yet. You'll have to wait until October to be able to get hold of it, but believe me, it'll be worth the wait, 'cause it's part of a brilliant set!

Thanks for dropping in, I'll be back again soon with more for you to look at.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Create Your Own Christmas - The First Projects...

Hello! Finally, a day cool enough to actually DO something! I love the sun, but oh my goodness, I've struggled to cope with recent temperatures and the accompanying humidity. There's a lovely breeze today, though, so I'm gradually ticking things off my very looooooong to-do list.

Last week saw the first of my new "Create Your Own Christmas" classes, and we had such a fantastic evening! It was lovely to have a chance to get all sparkly and festive, and I know the ladies who came along were all really excited to be making a start on getting organised for Christmas, even though at the moment it does seem an age away.

Here's the first project we tackled on the night, and I was so pleased that everyone loved this really different colour combination: Blushing Bride and Pear Pizzazz.

Well, I had to, didn't I? These colours are retiring at the end of September so I am really making the most of them while I can. I think this makes for a really zingy feel to the card, while the glitter brings the ornament to life and makes the whole thing fizz with life. Love it!

Here's the second card, a fabby little three-dimensional card that folds lovely and flat for postage.

You'll notice the Pleated Satin Ribbon is on all of these cards; I've just found out that this is retiring at the end of August (I can't believe we're going to lose this!!!!) so again, I wanted to make the most of it. If you've never touched this ribbon then you really won't believe how gorgeously soft and tactile it is. I'm not the biggest ribbon person in the world, but I shall miss this one soooo much! By the way - that scalloped piece underneath the tree, that seems to glow, well that's our beautiful Brushed Gold cardstock. At last! a sophisticated way to bring gold card onto our projects.

And finally, a technique-y card.

The snowflakes are stamped onto Glossy White cardstock with Versamark ink, then brayered over with Crumb Cake ink so they pop out at you like magic. The ladies had never seen this technique before, and really loved it, surprising themselves with how easy it is to achieve. And again, more of the Pleated Satin Ribbon... lush!

I want to thank Monica Gale for designing the second and third of these projects for a recent training session - I wouldn't be being honest if I claimed credit for myself. It's rare that I put non-original designs in my classes, but these were just too gorgeous to NOT include them. The pink card is my own design, as is everything else you see on this blog, unless I say otherwise.

Right. Thanks for dropping by. I'd love to stay and chat, but I've soooo much still on that to-do list that I really need to go. I'll be back soon, and look forward to seeing you then.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Bright Blossoms Mini-Notecards Set

Hello! Back again after a few days' (semi-)downtime. Knew that was going to happen - it's been such a busy few weeks I should have known it was only a matter of time before my system decided it needed a proper recharge. Feeling loads better and set to go, go, go now, so you have been warned!!

I thought you might like to see the sweet little projects we made at my August "Cards ...and More!" classes. I absolutely LOVE these... I don't know what it is about projects in miniature that has such an appeal, but they make me smile every time I see them. Hopefully they'll do the same for you..

If you haven't tried the gorgeous "Bright Blossoms" stamp set from the Summer Mini-Catalogue yet, you really should. It's another two-step set (love these!) and there are so many possibilities with it. The ladies who came to my class had great fun experimenting with colouring direct-to stamp with our Stampin' Write markers, and so getting multi-coloured images in one go, as well as mixing and matching the stamps to build up composite pictures.

Here's a close-up of the little notecards:

And one of the gift-box I deisgned to put them all in:

Finally, here are all the little envelopes:

I couldn't resist the opportunity to focus on the five In Colours that are going to be retiring at the end of September. I have loved these, and am going to miss them SO MUCH. It took me a while to get into Blushing Bride (the pink) and Concord Crush (the purple), but the others, particularly Poppy Parade and Pear Pizzazz, have been favourites ever since they arrived nearly two years ago. I can't believe their time is almost up. (HINT: There are some new, just-as-gorgeous, In Colours on their way soon. You'll get a sneaky preview of some of them when the Autumn Winter Seasonal Catalogue launches at the start of September.)

If you've fallen in love with the "Bright Blossoms" stamp set, but don't yet have it in your craft room, then you need to act quickly. It features in the Summer Mini-Catalogue, which ends at the end of this month. I can still get hold of the set for you, but the sooner you email me to place your order, the sooner you'll be creating your own cute projects like this one. And the sooner you order, the less likely you are to forget. And if you forget, you'll kick yourself, you know you will.

Because this was the second in my classes focussing on the Simply Scored range of products, there was a lot of scoring involved in these projects. Now, I'm not saying you CAN'T make these things without the Simply Scored Scoring Tool, but I AM saying that it makes life a whole lot easier and more accurate. And if you're a neat-freak like me, then something that guarantees your scorelines will be both accurately measured AND parallel where they're supposed to be.. well, that's worth it's weight in gold!

One of the questions I have been asked several times is whether left-handers can use the Simply Scored Tool. Well, I have two left-handers amongst my regular class-goers, and they have both been using it with great success. I think if you're left-handed, you need to angle the board differently, and one of my ladies has even tried turning it upside-down so that the ruler down the left-hand edge isn't in her way, but after a little practice (and in these two classes she has had a LOT of practice) she is now finding it much easier, and incredibly useful.

As with anything, whether you're left-handed or right-handed, trying a different way of doing something - even something that will make life easier - can take a bit of getting used to. Muscles have memories, even in our fingers, and even something that feels awkward to begin with becomes second nature when our fingers work out what they're supposed to do. If you're finding that you feel "all fingers and thumbs" when you use a scoring board, then all I can say is: stick with it, you'll find a bit of perseverance pays dividends!

Back soon - thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

How To Get an Exclusive Tutorial - and July's Subscriber Prize Draw Winner


Yesterday, I sent out my monthly customer newsletter. Apart from lots of exciting news about all things Stampin' Up!, and updates about what I'm getting up to, subscribers received a link to an exclusive tutorial showing them how to make their own beautiful, bespoke envelopes using the Simply Scored Diagonal Scoring Plate. Sometimes it can be a bit of a puzzle to work out what size of paper to use, and where to score, so I put this tutorial together in response to a number of requests from my customers.

If you would like to subscribe to my newsletter, then you can easily do so by clicking the link in the sidebar and completing your details. If you subscribe before the end of August and send me a separate email to say you have done so, then I'll send you the link to the Envelope Tutorial as a thank you.

Another great benefit to subscribing to my email newsletter is that you will be entered each month into a prize draw - and one lucky subscriber will will a prize of some beautiful Stampin' Up! goodies. In July, the prize was this lovely stamp set, along with a Stampin' Spot (mini-inkpad) and some cardstock:

And the lucky winner of the July prize draw was......

Karen Hall, of Kesgrave

Congratulations Karen! Since you don't live too far from me, I can probably drop your prize round to you. I'll be in touch soon to arrange this. (Karen hasn't been a subscriber to my newsletter for very long, sothis just goes to show that anyone can win the draw!)

I have a busy day today, with the second round of my August "Cards ...and More!" classes this afternoon and lots to do before then, so I'll sign off now and wish you all a lovely day. Thanks so much for visiting!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

WOYWW - Not So Neat!


I wasn't able to take part in last week's "What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday" but wanted to join in this week. Partly because I had such fun looking at what other bloggers are up to, but also because I got so many comments about how neat my desk was. Well, have a look at this... Not quite so tidy this time!

I've had such a hectic few weeks and am still in the middle of putting everything away after doing a class and a Fair this weekend. I have a crafts-to-do list as long as my arm but can't actually get near my crafting space at the moment! Guess what I'm doing this afternoon!

Right in the middle of my desk you can see my amazing Stampin' Up! tote. I have no idea what I would do without this wonderful bag - it holds so much! Just off to the left you can see the proof of my busy time recently: I STILL haven't finished that button frame I posted on WOYWW a couple of weeks ago. Every time I get to it, something else crops us and it gets moved to the side again. I promise it WILL get done as soon as I possibly can, and I'll show it to you when it's finished.

Okay. I'll hold my hands up... I am a bit of a neat freak and it really bothers me to see my desk like this. I'm getting twitchy just looking at the photo. (I'm typing this on my laptop while sitting downstairs on the sofa, so I don't have to deal with the mess JUST yet). If you ask my husband, he'll tell you that actually I am either extremely neat and tidy, or in total chaos. There is no in-between. I HAVE to be tidy, or I have no idea what I'm doing, or which way is up. Being organised really is the only way for me to function properly. Hmm.... I'm sure a psychologist would have something to say about that.

Rosie has been taking up a lot of our time recently. Regular readers will remember that she's on tablets for hyperthyroidism, and she seemed to be improving rapidly and was beginning to put on weight. Unfortunately, I'm starting to realise that she's not a kitten any more, and at fourteen she's just started (only occasionally, thank goodness!) to miss the litter tray. Euch! Ah well, that'll teach me! I thought that not having children would mean I never had to clear up unmentionable substances from floors. Apparently not. Time will tell whether it's a phase or whether it's just the beginning of an ongoing problem. My poor Rosie - she has been getting so distressed when it happens and is SO grateful when we clear up after her and Make It Go Away.. Love, love love our gorgeous little cat...

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

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Special Care Baby Unit Fundraiser Hellos and Thanks....

Hello! Another full weekend, so apologies for the silence yesterday - I was asleep for most of it! What an amazing weekend, though: a brilliant class on Saturday [*waving to the lovely ladies who were there!!!!*] and then an inspirational day with some of my team on Sunday, at the Special Baby Unit Fun Day at St Clement's Hospital.

I am so lucky with my team of demonstrators! I am privileged to be able to work with this fantastic group of people and to be able to share their journey as they grow and develop their own, independent Stampin' Up! businesses. It was so lovely to be able to share Sunday with some of them, and to watch their confidence grow as the day progressed. Here are some photos of our stall (thanks for these, Pat!) - doesn't it look fab?!

For the most part, the weather behaved itself, although there were a couple of periods when we had to move our display away from the edge of the gazebo. Hmm... rain and papercrafting - always a good combination! We met some amazing people [*waving hello!!!*] and will be in touch with those of you who left your details with us very soon. Yet again, it's the people that make events like these such a joy to take part in, and I will never tire of introducing people to everything that Stampin' Up! can bring. It's about the crafting, but it's about so much more than the crafting. I really believe that Stampin' Up! has the power to make lives better, and I'm so proud to be part of this amazing business in some small way.

If you are interested in joining Stampin' Up!, either to get discounts on our fabulous products, or to develop your own business, then you can find more information by clicking here. You can even join my team by filling out the online application form you'll find there or, of course, you can call or email me and we can talk about how Stampin' Up! could work for you.

There is still time to book onto my "Cards ...and More!" class this coming Thursday, if you want to do so. Just click on the link in the sidebar to secure your place and I'll look forward to seeing you there! I'll be putting up detailed photos of the projects in a few days' time..

Back soon with more for you to look at. Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A New Way To Join My Team

Hello! One of the most rewarding things about my job is when I sit down with someone who is excited about joining Team Sunshine as a brand new Stampin' Up! Demonstrator. Having the opportunity to share in someone's dreams, and to look forward to celebrating with them their achievements and joy as they realise that they actually can succeed in this fantastic business, is a real honour.

One of the things that has always been most time consuming and cumbersome about these meetings, though, is the paperwork. Because not all of my team-members live locally to me, I have often posted out packs of documentation to prospective team members, and I know the frustration that goes hand-in-hand with waiting for those all-important papers to arrive. Then, once they have been filled in, they have had to be posted to Stampin' Up!, or scanned and emailed on, in order to enable Stampin' Up! to process the new demonstrator's application.

Now, thanks to a new service that Stampin' Up! has provided to us, there is a way to shorten the process considerably. And, if you're reading this, then you have the means of taking advantage of it. As of the start of August, you can join Stampin' Up! as a member of my team by simply filling in and submitting an online application. No paperwork needed! The whole process can take less than fifteen minutes, and your Demonstratorship will be confirmed immediately.

If you click on the link above, you'll be taken to the online application page, and you'll automatically become a member of my team, Team Sunshine, when you have completed the application process. Quick, simple, and no more stalking the postman!

If you want to find out more, then you can click here for more information. Or, of course, you can call or email me and I'd be delighted to talk to you about the opportunity, and the options open to you. Joining Stampin' Up! could be the best decision you ever make, and now you could get started on that amazing journey even sooner than before..

I can't wait to share all the possibilities with you!

Friday, 3 August 2012

Create Your Own Christmas!

Hello! Yes, I KNOW it's early, but we all know how Christmas creeps up on us. How many times have you said to yourself that THIS year, you'll make all your own cards, you'll decorate your home in a more individual way than whatever the shops dictate, and you'll give hand-made gifts (so much more thoughtful) - and how many times have you ended up giving up because yet AGAIN you've left it to the last minute? Well, this year can be different. Yes. Really. Here's how....

Thanks to my brand new monthly class, "Create Your Own Christmas", you'll be able to get ready for your most creative Christmas yet. With no rush, and no stress. And, when the festive season does get here, you'll be able to relax and enjoy it, safe in the knowledge that you'll finally have succeeded in creating your very own, handmade Christmas.

We'll start with getting a really good stash of Christmas cards made (you can ever write them in the classes if you want to be even more organised) and then, as we get ever closer to the festive season, we'll be making some beautiful gift items and decorations for your home. You will be amazed at what you can achieve!

The first class will take place on Wednesday 15th August, at Cedarwood Primary School in Kesgrave (just outside Ipswich, for those of you who aren't local). It will start at 7:30pm and run for two hours, and in those two hours, you'll make TWELVE Christmas cards, four each of three designs. All materials will be provided, including premium quality envelopes, and the class will cost you just £15. All you will need to supply is adhesives, and even these will be available for purchase at the class should you need them. You don't need any cardmaking experience whatsoever, as all tuition will be provided and you'll be given fully-illustrated step-by-step instruction sheets to take away with you as well.

You'll need to book your place in advance and, as always, you can book by clicking on the PayPal link in the sidebar. You don't need a PayPal account to use the link, and it is the most secure way you can pay - or you can call or email me to ask about other ways to pay.

I'd love you to join me, and let me help you make 2012 the year you finally Create Your Own Christmas!

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Special Care Baby Unit Fun Day - This Sunday

Hello! I'm so excited to be able to invite you all to come along on Sunday (5th August) to St Clements Hospital in Ipswich, to take part in the Fun Day to raise funds for the Special Care Baby Unit. I'll be there, along with some of my Team Sunshine ladies, and we'll have a fantastic display for you to look at, as well as a gorgeous make and take for you to have a go at.

 Please come and support this day, this cause is very understated and slips through the net as far as funds are concerned sometimes, so the organisers want to raise as much as possible to help towards new equipment for the unit.

The event runs from 12 noon to 5pm on Sunday 5th August, and there will be loads of stalls for you to visit, as well as lots of other things for you and your family to do. Please do come - and don't forget to pop along and see us!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Brand New Reason To Smile

Hello! Can you believe it's the start of a new month already? I'm so excited to be able to tell you about the brand new Special Offer that Stampin' Up! have for you this morning:

Here's the stamp set used to make these lovely projects. How do you fancy getting your crafting mitts on this little beauty?

This is the exclusive "Reason To Smile" stamp set, and it's only available from Stampin' Up! Demonstrators during August. There are two different ways you can get hold of it:
  • It's FREE when you place an order worth £60 or more (excluding shipping); or
  • You can buy it at the regular retail price (no additional purchase needed)
Full details can be found by clicking on the flyer in the sidebar, or just click here to go to my Current Offers page.

As with all Stampin' Up! products, they're only available through Independent Demonstrators like me, so if you would love to add this gorgeous stamp set to your craft stash there are several ways you can place your order. Click here to find out how.

Back soon - enjoy your day...