Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Secret Garden Preview

In a couple of days' time, I'll be able to show you the fabulous new Spring Summer catalogue (can't wait!). I've been having a ball playing with all my gorgeous pre-order goodies and lining up lots of beautiful projects for you to have a look at. Here's one to be going on with, using a whole host of new things:

Aren't those flowers fab?! The stamp set is called "Secret Garden" and co-ordinates brilliantly with the matching set of Framelits dies (no, I didn't have to cut everything out by hand, thank goodness!). I have a feeling that this co-ordinating set is going to be one of my favourites in the coming months, I've already used it LOADS, and will be showing you another fab project in a few days.

The pretty papers - told you I was going to make myself use my papers more, rather than just stroking them - come from a pack I've already given you a sneak peek of - have a look here if you'd like a reminder. It's called "Print Poetry" and is another dinky paper stack ideal for those who are perhaps a little daunted by 12" x 12" paper; it measures just 4 1/2" x 6 1/2" (11.4cm x 16.5cm for the metrically minded). The sentiment comes from the "Affection Collection" stamp set.

Thanks for dropping in, and do pop back to see me again soon...

Monday, 28 January 2013

New Year, New Career?

Have you ever thought of running your own business? Maybe you'd love to earn an income from your crafting passion, but never quite knew where to start? What would you think if I told you that you could party for a living?

Working for yourself can sound pretty scary, so what if I told you that there was a way that you could start your own, independent business for just £99, and yet have all the help, support, training and encouragement that even those in the biggest companies can only dream of? A way in which you could build a business that would work the way you work, which would work around your commitments and family, and where your success really IS in your hands? And, even better, a way in which your business could be so enjoyable you really will feel like you party for a living!

Sound interesting? Join my team of independent Stampin' Up! Demonstrators, and that's exactly what you could begin to do!

What's more, if you join my team before 23rd March 2013, you will be able to choose an additional 25% of crafting products for your Starter Kit, as part of Stampin' Up!'s Sale-A-Bration promotion.

For a minimal investment of just £99.00, you will get:
  • Up to £162.50 worth of products from our current catalogues;
  • A free business materials pack, worth £45;
  • Total Starter Kit value of up to £207.50;
  • Amazing discounts on all the crafting products you order - whether for yourself or your customers.
In addition, you will get:
  • A free, exclusive welcome gift from me;
  • Monthly team newsletters;
  • Invitations to regular team training and crafting events;
  • Access to my team's own Facebook Group;
  • As much help, support and advice as you ask for;
Click here to find out more...

I'd love to hear from you! You can email me by clicking here.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A Sale-A-Bration Make and Take

By the time you read this, my New Year Craft Event will have taken place - hopefully successfully! I love the little make and take cards I designed for everyone to make, and thought you might like to see them too...

Now it might just be me as someone who is more comfortable stroking pretty paper than (shock horror!) cutting into it, but I enjoyed the fact that you can get so many of these cards from just one sheet of paper. It makes the pack last for EVER! Always a good thing, in my book. And if you fancy it, you can earn this Designer Series Paper absolutely free. Find out how here.

The butterfly is from the Papillon Potpourri stamp set, which is the one we're using in my February "Cards ...and More!" class. If you book before midnight tonight (26th January) there is still time to secure a place on the Kesgrave class, which takes place next Saturday 2nd February. If you're interested, you can find out more details by visiting this page.

Here are close-ups of the three samples I made. Everyone got a choice of base card colour, and a choice of butterfly colour, and the chance to choose any design of paper they wanted from the Sale-A-Bration pack. That way, everyone's card was unique to them - perfect!

See you soon...

Friday, 25 January 2013

Pretty Petites In Pink...

Yesterday I showed you a card using (amongst other Sale-A-Bration goodies) the "Pretty Petites" stamp set. I wanted to show you another one today, with a completely different "feel" to it...

I think this is a really sweet card, love the colour combination - Primrose Petals, Raspberry Ripple and Very Vanilla. As well as the sentiment from "Pretty Petites", there are a few previews of lovely things coming up in the Spring / Summer Catalogue (only a few days to wait now!). That gorgeous brad, for example, holds a little secret, and can you see the too-cute-for-words tiny scallop circle punch sitting behind the sentiment? And as for the Designer Series Paper, well.... there just Are No Words to describe its utter gorgeousness!

Now, if you're coming to my New Year Craft Event tomorrow, then you'll be able to have a first look at the forthcoming Spring / Summer Catalogue, and I'll be taking pre-orders too. As for the rest of you, well you'll just have to wait a few more days, I'm afraid. It launches on the 1st February and you'll be able to see the online version on here first thing. I promise you it'll be worth the wait...

Back tomorrow to show you the Make and Take that I've designed for my New Year Craft Event. To avoid spoiling the surprise, though, the post won't go up until after the event has happened. If you want to see it earlier than that, then you'll just have to come along!

See you then!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Loving This Sale-A-Bration DSP!!

I've been having a lovely play for the last few days with the lovely things that you can earn free during Sale-A-Bration. I love them! Here's a quick and simple card I put together last night - what do you think?

For me, the star of the show on this one is the Designer Series Paper. Honestly, I think I'm going to go into withdrawal when we have to say goodbye to this Sycamore Street paper pack. This print looks a bit Moorish to me (okay, if you know anything about Moorish design then it probably doesn't, but that's what it reminds me of) - I would never normally put these colours together but they work SO well.

The ribbon, buttons (also called "Sycamore Street" and both available as a set with just one £45 order) and stamp set  (Pretty Petites) are also Sale-A-Bration freebies. Can't be bad!

If you're coming to my New Year Craft Event on Saturday, you'll have a chance to use some of this gorgeous DSP, as the Make and Take uses it (I can't believe I'm sharing!!). Don't forget - if you're in (or can get to) the Ipswich area that day, then you're very welcome to come along.

Back soon, with more for you to look at. I'd love to know what your Sale-A-Bration favourite is - why not leave a comment and let me know?

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Time To Sale-A-Brate At Last!

Woohoo - it's here! Sale-A-Bration, the biggest promotion of the Stampin' Up! year, is with us once again! And it's bigger and better than ever before....

So what's all the fuss about? It's easy - free crafting goodies for everyone, whether you are a Stampin' Up! customer, party hostess or brand new Stampin' Up! demonstrator. Now, that's got to be good!

Here's a quick sneaky peek at the things you can earn...

 And you can click here to find the full details....

I'll be bringing you lots of projects using these gorgeous free products over the next few weeks, so do keep popping back to check. In the meantime, if you'd like to make sure that Sale-A-Bration works its magic for you, give me a call or drop me an email and we'll get the ball rolling.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Sale-A-Bration Sneaky Peek - and other excitement...

Wow - exciting day!!!! If you pop back tomorrow you'll be able to see all the gorgeousness that is this year's Sale-A-Bration. I've just been updating all my blog pages, so if you're wondering why some of them have disappeared, I promise it's only until midnight tonight, when I can show you the details. Here's a sneaky peek at something I made today, using some of the products that you'll be able to earn free. I think I'm going to tinker about a bit more with this, but I wanted you to see it - aren't those papers bee-yoo-tiful!

Excuse the awful photo, but you wouldn't credit how untidy my craft room is, I couldn't find anywhere to take a decent pic! There is a reason...., and it's the other part of my exciting day. I've been sorting through loads more gorgeous things to put on my Retired Stash sale table at my Craft Event on Saturday, pricing it all up and getting ready for you to come and choose from.

You are NOT going to believe your luck! I've got stamp sets, punches, Designer Series Paper, ribbons, cardstock, Stampin' Write Markers, embellishments.... you name it, I've probably got it! All at knock-down prices as I can't demonstrate with it any more. It seems such a shame to have it sitting in my cupboards when you could be loving it as much as I do - but you'll be able to USE IT!

If you're in the Ipswich area on Saturday between 2:15 and 4:45pm then do pop over and say hello. You can find all the details here, or by going to my Facebook page and clicking on the events tab. I'd love to see you!

Back soon with SALE-A-BRATION INFO!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Craft Sale Bargains!

I've been ploughing through my lovely retired Stampin ' Up! stuff and pricing it up for my New Year Craft Event next Saturday. Here are just a few of the bargains that will be on offer...

Much more still to sort through, and more pictures to follow.

The craft sale is just a part of what will be on offer, so do come along if you're free that afternoon. More details by clicking here - I hope you can come!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013


I'm going to take a brief pause today, to show you a photo of our little cat, Rosie. I know I've put pictures on here before, but they've always been an add-on at the bottom of another post, rather than being just here in their own right. Apologies to those of you who are not pet-people, but normal service will be resumed with my next post...

Here is Rosie, sleeping on Alan's lap.

At the moment Rosie is being treated a bit like a princess. She's an elderly lady of fourteen now and, about six months ago, she was diagnosed as being hyperthyroidic. The vet prescribed tablets twice a day to suppress her thyroxin production; they seem to be doing the trick, and she's (thankfully!) putting a bit of weight back on. However, when we took her to the vet a couple of weeks back we had a nasty shock. Rosie reacted really badly to the routine blood-test that she has to have every three months and collapsed on the table when the vet brought her back to the consultation room. It took her a good twenty minutes to start responding again and, needless to say, we were both starting to think that we might be going to lose her.

We've been told that Rosie may not have long left with us. Her kidneys are starting to struggle now - apparently a common symptom in hyperthyroidic cats. This is being managed with further medication, and we've both become experts in administering feline tablets. Amazingly, in the last couple of weeks Rosie has been much more like herself, and has been getting into everything and generally ruling the roost. The only indicator that she's poorly has been the clean-up operations that we have had to undertake rather more often than we'd like, when her food has troubled her or she has forgotten what the litter-tray is for.

The vet nurse told us weeks ago that most people wouldn't have been prepared to cope with a cat on constant medication, and the messiness that goes with a pooly animal. We've been told that the time may come soon when we have to decide to let her go, but that she would let us know when that time had arrived. I don't like to think of that day coming; Rosie has been my constant companion for all but the first six months of her life and, quite honestly, I'm not sure how I'll deal with it when I have to say goodbye.

But, for now, she's happy and affectionate, and isn't troubled by her symptoms. For as long as that remains the case, we'll cuddle her, and feed her chicken, and give her her tablets, and clean up after her whenever we have to. She's part of our little family, and inconvenience isn't a deal-breaker. We both love her to bits and until she's in pain and has had enough, we'll do whatever we need to do.

Here's a video I shot earlier this evening, and you can see that she's still very much a kitten at heart. I love how she suddenly realises she's being watched and starts to behave in a very dignified fashion. (The video is very basic; I have zero editing skills and you have no idea how long it took me to work out how to attach it to this post. I hope you can see it!)

Thanks for indulging me. Back soon.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Great New Year Craft Event

Are you free on the afternoon of Saturday 26th January? Will you be within travelling distance of Ipswich? If so, then I'd love you to join me for


Everyone's welcome to come along, and you don't have to pay a penny to join in the fun! In case you haven't seen the posters yet, here is what it's all about...

This will be your first opportunity to see loads of gorgeous new products from the forthcoming Spring / Summer catalogue, and I'll be taking advance orders so you can get your hands on the new stuff as quickly as humanly possible. I'll also have a host of retired Stampin' Up! products for sale, so lots of bargains to take advantage of - when they're gone, they're gone. You'll even be able to earn yourself extra stuff for FREE!

Everyone's welcome, so spread the word and bring your friends along. I'm so excited to see you all there - I have loads planned for you!

Those of you who are in my VIP Customer Club will be receiving their personal, handmade invitations in the next day or two and will be able to collect your very own free VIP goodie bag on the day.

Looking forward to seeing you on the 26th! Back soon..

Monday, 14 January 2013

Stamping To My Heart's Content...

I've been LOVING these new stamp sets! You saw this one being used a couple of days ago, and I wanted to show you this card that I made on Friday.

If you read yesterday's post, you'll see that the design of the card is similar - I loved the card I made for Dan so thought I'd make another one, only swapping out a couple of things.  Obviously, there's a change of colour scheme as well as a different stamp set: this time I've used Rich Razzleberry, Pool Party and Tangerine Tango. Totally changes the feel of the card, doesn't it?

The ribbon is the same type as yesterday, but this time in Tangerine Tango rather than Island Indigo, and it's one that you'll be able to earn free in a couple of weeks time (got to love free stuff!). The button will be available then too, as will the stamp set. And there's something even more exciting about all these things too, but I'm not going to tell you what that is yet - you'll have to guess!

If you've got a card design that you love, why not try changing out the stamp set and the colour scheme and seeing how different that same design can look? I'd love to see what you come up with..

Thanks for dropping in, and I'll be back soon with more for you to look at. See you then!

Sunday, 13 January 2013

A "Welcome" Preview

I told you a couple of days ago that my pre-order from the forthcoming Spring / Summer catalogue had arrived, and I've been having such fun playing with it! Recently, one of my lovely Sunshine Stampers signed up a new member to her team and I hadn't had chance to make him a welcome card yet, having been so much under the weather since the beginning of December. (Yes - I said, "make HIM a welcome card" - I'm thrilled to be able to welcome the first male Sunshine Stamper to our team - Hi Dan!).

So, a more masculine card was in order and, since I've been playing with lots of butterfly stamps recently I thought I needed a change of tack. The perfect time to get one of my brand new stamp sets inky! Even better, as I actually got this stamp set FREE, as part of a bundle from the upcoming seasonal catalogue. Here's what I made:

I love this colour scheme, and even though there are some brights in it, it passed the Alan test as having man-appeal (so I hope you liked it, Dan!). Every time I bring the Basic Grey out of the cupboard I kick myself for not using it more often: it really grounds a colour scheme. Here, I've used it with Island Indigo and Tangerine Tango.

Lots of the things used on this card will be available in a short time (I am LOVING that ribbon!!!), but one thing I have used here that you may not be able to get hold of for much longer is the sweet little ribbon slider. Here's a closer look:

How cute is that?! You'll need to be quick if you want some of these, though, 'cause they're in the Autumn Winter catalogue that finishes at the end of January. At just £4.50 for sixteen, it'd be a shame to miss out. Drop me a line if you'd like to get hold of a pack.

I mentioned that I got this stamp set free. If you'd like to find out about the amazing rewards and incentives that are available if you join Stampin' Up!, then I'd love to hear from you. Click here to find out more, or just email or call me (my number's in the sidebar).

Back tomorrow with another card using the gorgeous stamp set you saw in yesterday's post. See you then!

Saturday, 12 January 2013

A Swapping We Will Go...

If all goes according to plan, by the time this post goes live I should be in Peterborough with a whole host of lovely ladies (and a gentleman) enjoying a whole day's crafting and training. A big part of these events is the swaps - everyone makes card-fronts or other small samples of their work, and brings them along to swap with those made by other demonstrators. That way, everyone gets to be able to showcase lots of styles, not just their own. I always love seeing what people make, I get such wonderful ideas and am always amazed by how differently people interpret our stamp sets and other products.

I didn't let on, but yesterday's post was a preview of some of the swaps that I made for today. Here is the full range (well, one of each design, anyhow):

All these stamps are from the same stamp set, and it's one that you'll be able to get your hands on soon. I've loved having a play with this set - on Monday I'll be posting another card I made using it. Here's a closer look at each of the cards in the picture:


Tomorrow I'll share a little something I made for one of the newest members of my team. I hope you'll be able to pop back and have a look, 'cause it's going to give you another preview of something that will be coming soon....

Friday, 11 January 2013

A Little Sneak Peek....

It feels like Christmas all over again here, with all the gorgeous new crafting goodies that have arrived in the last few days. I've been in my element trying them all out, and thought you might like a sneaky preview of something that will be coming along in the next couple of weeks.

This card, with its matching envelope, is a mixture of current and soon-to-be-launched products. Can you spot which is which?

(By the way, I had a couple of reports that the booking links for my February classes were playing up. I've tinkered about with them and they should be working properly now. You can find the links by clicking here. Thanks to those of you who let me know!)

Back soon, thanks for dropping by..

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

New Year, New Classes!

I'm so excited about this year! I've revamped my class offerings to give you even more value and to bring you more of the things you've asked me for. I've updated the way you can read about them on my website, too, so click here to have a look. I'd love to know what you think, so do tell me.

You can book now for February's classes, either by clicking here or by clicking the link in the sidebar. Here's a preview of one of the prototypes I've put together for the first class of the year:

The "Cards ...and More!" class on Saturday 2nd February will be themed around the gorgeous "Papillon Potpourri" stamp set - and you'll get the stamp set included in your class price when you book. The sentiment stamp you can see in the picture is a sneaky peek at something that is coming up soon - loving this stamp set!

New for 2013 I'm introducing a monthly "Tantalising Techniques" class. Month by month, this will build up into a library of techniques that will really help you take your crafting up a notch. You can find out about the first one, to take place in February, by clicking here.

If you haven't been to any of my classes before, make 2013 the year you come and join in. I promise you'll have a great time, and if you want to read what some of my customers have said about my classes, then click here.

Looking forward to seeing you in class!

Monday, 7 January 2013

So Quick and Simple

Absolutely the easiest papercrafting project in the world for you today...

We took our Christmas decorations down yesterday, and our living room was feeling a bit dark and dreary afterwards. On the wall, strung across between two nails that were put in at a very odd height by a previous occupant, hung a picture that I bought from Ikea years ago. In it were three beautiful postcards of poppies - one of my favourite flowers. Beautiful, yes, but kind of muted and pastel-coloured. And as they were sitting above a striking Cherry Cobbler sofa, completely lacking in impact.

Now, I'm the kind of girl who LOVES pretty paper! But I lament every time I cut it up to put on a card that then gets sent out in an envelope, never to be seen again (well, by me, at least!). So I try to use it up in ways that mean I get to keep it myself. I'm not the only one, am I??

So here's what I made in about five minutes flat last night - told you it was simple:

I love it!!!! The Lucky Limeade papers from "Candlelight Christmas" tone in beautifully with the Pear Pizzazz wallpaper on the feature wall opposite (oh how I miss Pear Pizzazz!!!!) and the piece in the middle (from "Twitterpated") works really well against the mushroom-coloured wall that the picture hangs on. The red isn't quite right, being Riding Hood Red, rather than Cherry Cobbler, but that doesn't actually matter, given that there's such a small amount of it. What do you think? I wanted to take a photo in the room itself, but it's too dark now and I didn't want to leave it until tomorrow, so you'll just have to imagine...

And I get to look at the papers any time I want!

Because we're going to be redecorating soon, I attached the papers behind the picture mount with Tombow glue that I'd let dry first - did you know it becomes a repositionable glue if you do this? - so I can swap the papers out when the fancy takes me.

Let me know what you think - I'd love to see pics of anything similar you've done.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Introducing Talking Tags!

I love technology! I'm a bit of a girly geek, to tell the truth, and I do have a thing for all sorts of gadgets (bought an amazing label printer yesterday - more about that another time). You don't normally think of papercrafting being particularly tech-y though. Or at least I didn't, until I looked at the new gizmo Stampin' Up! has brought us...

The little sticker is a "Talking Tag", and you can add it to any flat surface that takes your fancy.

So what does a Talking Tag do? Well, ir carries a personalised message wherever you want to send the tag! You just download the free "TalkingTag" app (from, iTunes or Google Play) and scan the tag. Then you can record a message and, when the tag is scanned again, the message will play back. Imagine all the fun you could have! Personalised messages inside greetings cards springs immediately to mind, but there are all sorts of other things too. How about adding one to a gift tag for a present you are posting rather than delivering in person?

If you want to have a closer look, click here and you'll bring up a flyer with full details. On there is a Taking Tag which, if you scan it, will deliver to you a special message from the Stampin' Up! CEO, Shelli Gardner.

You can order Talking Tags from me right now - just £7.25 for a pack of ten. Call me if you fancy giving them a go. What would you use a Talking Tag for?

Thursday, 3 January 2013

For You, With Love....

Well, Christmas is done and dusted, 2013 is underway, and Valentine's Day is only a few weeks round the corner.. Here's the perfect kit for sending all those little notes to your loved ones.

Available only from 3rd January to 21st January, the pretty "My Little Valentine" stamp set comes with a free "Sealed With Love" Simply Sent kit absolutely FREE. That's £18.20 worth of gorgeousness for just £9.95! If you want to see the full details, you can click here to look at the flyer.

Here's a closer look at that stamp set. I love it!

Don't get your heart broken - you have less than three weeks to get your hands on this set, and then the stamps will be Gone Forever. Contact me to place your order now!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Sunny New Year!

Happy New Year!!! I can't believe 2013 is here, and I just KNOW It's going to take me ages before I get used to writing a new year - it can't just be me who spends the first few weeks crossing out or amending the last digit, can it?

I'm definitely feeling a lot better now. Christmas Day for me meant spending the day in bed with a migraine, whilst for Alan it meant heading off to work as usual. He's working this week too, though as he's on lates this week we managed to head off to Felixstowe for a lovely walk along the seafront this morning. Look how sunny it was:

Having grown up about as far from the sea as it is possible to get in this country, I don't think I'll ever get used to living ten minutes away from the coast now.

I love all the cheery little beach huts. I wish I'd taken some pictures closer up than this now...

And here are me and Alan, in silhouette at least:

What have you all been up to today? Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and fulfilling New Year. I hope it brings you all you've been hoping for!