Sunday, 28 December 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all! And, a BIG THANK YOU!!

Hi everyone,

Well, Christmas is over for another year, roll on 2009! I sincerely hope all my visitors have been enjoying a happy and safe holiday season, and that the year ahead brings you all lots of luck and good times. I have returned from a few days away at my parent's property, and now have a week to catch up on some neglected things, like posting here for one! My two children are spending the week with Grandma and Grandpa in the country, so it's child free as a bonus!! We're planning some interior painting, wish us luck!

I'd also like to send a huge THANK YOU to my Secret Santa from the Elite Stampers team, of which I am a part. I haven't worked out yet who you are, despite quite a bit of browsing blogs for clues. I was thoroughly and indecently spoiled by my Secret Santa, and I love everything you chose for me :D Thanks again!! Visitors, please feel free to leave a comment with a hint if you recognise the gorgeous card included with my goodies shown in the picture with this post! I really do love being part of such a great team, the friends I have made over the last 15 months are many and wonderful without exception! The sense of cameraderie and community spirit is a very uplifting and positive experience, I just love being an SU demonstrator!!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

A forest of tiny treats!

Thanks very much to Jayne Mercer for the idea for these little treats, which she made in a different version for her team members attending our retreat this year. My kids were very taken with them, and I decided to put a Christmas spin on them and use them for my son's classmates this year. I guess they are either lollipop flowerpots or topiary trees, depending on your point of view. I used last year's Holiday Thyme designer series papers, available this year in a different colourway as Wintergreen. The double sided papers lend themselves beautifully to the folding technique, and the punches for the tops are quick and easy. You can either use up small scraps, or alternatively, there is almost zero waste when cutting from a 12x12 sheet, which makes 12 lollipop trees.

Here's the method:

Cut a 12x12 sheet into 2 6x12" pieces, and then cut the 6x12" pieces into 2 inch strips, each 6 inches long.

Score from each end at 3/4" and 2 1/2", giving you four score lines.

Decide which is the facing side of the paper and fold back the 3/4" flaps to show the reverse.

Pinch these folded edges together and fold the strip in half - this will make a crease at the bottom which falls between the 2 score lines.

Using scissors or your trimmer, cut a wedge from the bottom fold slanting out to the bottom of the folded flaps at the top, to create a flowerpot shape.

Use your 1/16" hole punch to pierce through all layers at one side of the top folded section, and secure with a brad

Insert your lollipop, and then secure the other side with the punch and brad again.

For the topper you could use several punches depending on what you have on hand, or even hand-cut some triangle shapes for Christmas trees. But, the scallop circle punch I have used here is quick and easy, and layers nicely with the 1 3/8 and 1 1/4" circles.

Stamp your desired image onto cardstock and use the 1 1/4" punch to cut out, 2 per tree. Layer this onto a 1 3/8" circle, and then attach these to the scallop circles. Here I used the snowflake circle from "Season of Joy" - gone now from the Spring mini, hope it will return in April (please?)

To attach the scallops to the stick, I found that foam tape was ideal. Cut 2 small lengths and position them with a small gap in between, enough to wedge the stick into. This allows the 2 sides of the scallop to stick well, without the thickness of the stick causing problems.

I finished the trees with a stamped tag and ribbon, and they were done! The kids were happy, or so I am led to believe!

Some OTP fun with Teacher's gifts

I had several teachers to create thankyou gifts for this year, as my son has two classroom teachers, and has also participated in Learning Assistance for reading and Reading Recovery programmes. Here is a sample of what I created to thank them for their mammoth efforts in helping him achieve his best.

I made some mini Christmas fruit cakes in a Baba cake tin (they look like a mega muffin pan with tubes in the centre, or a baby ring tin) with the mixture that won't fit inside my smaller round cake tin. Nice and easy, they take just 50 minutes to cook, and the finished cakes sit nicely in a large muffin case. I wrapped them in cello and added a topper made from Confetti Cream cardstock, punched and embossed using the delightful Labels 1 set of Nestabilities. I have stamped them with a sneak preview of an upcoming set... And that's all I'm going to say about that, except that I think it is going to be on LOTS of wishlists!!!

Then I chose some of my most favourite patterned papers (other than the SU DSPs of course!) - Basic Grey Blush - Devotion. Kind of apt really, given the handful that is my firstborn child!! and used these to decorate a Heaven Hot Chocolate tin (sadly, this delectable treat has disappeared from supermarket shelves, sob!) You can't really see from this picture, but I used Baroque Motifs background stamp to stamp the lid, and added a chipboard monogram of the teacher's initial. I used the flower motif to stamp the scallop circle in the flower centre. I experimented a little here, using a Colorbox Queue chalk ink as the base (because it matched the dusty opaque pink I was wanting), then I used the Stampin' Write Marker "thumping" technique over the top of the pigment ink, with my Ruby Red marker. Nice!!
Thumping is a method of adding touches of colour by lightly dabbing over the top of a base colour with a second of third colour, to get a sort of mottled or marbled effect. I've used it with dye inks before, but not pigment ink as a base, so now I can't wait for more colours in the Stampin' Up! Craft inks so I can match away to my heart's content, and have the lovely opacity that pigment inks add!! I trimmed the tin with vanilla taffeta ribbon and added a rhinestone brad to the centre of the flower. Inside, the tin is full of erasers. Yes, pencil erasers! Covered in small pieces of Blush range papers to match the tin. From my time in the classroom doing reading groups, I knew that LOTS and LOTS of erasers are a very good thing! I also added a small stamp for the teacher to use for her marking.

Finally, I made a matching series of cards, this is one of them. It uses Ruby Red cardstock as a base, and the Scallop Border punch from the Summer Mini along the bottom edge. This is underlayed with a strip of Confetti Cream to show off the scallops. A strip of Blush Devotion is also matted with Confetti Cream. I added a tie of Vanilla Taffeta ribbon, and used the Square Scallop punch to punch a stamp from the "Say it with Scallops" set. I matted this with a slightly larger nesting square scallop punch by EK Success, who make our lovely SU punches for us.
off to do some vacuuming....

Monday, 8 December 2008

Tying Up Christmas! December Promotion

In addition to the Single Marker promotion being extended until December 14th (quick!!), there are a host of other goodies on special this month at 20% off!

It's a real Santa's Sack assortment, with something for everyone! There are several stamp sets, scrap-able calendars in both 6x6 and 12x12 sizes, a Christmas-themed Simply Scrappin' Kit, the delectable "Three for You" punch box, ribbons and more. Click HERE for a link to the list of products with their catalogue page numbers and prices.

So, who's left on YOUR Christmas list this year?? (Shhh, of COURSE it's alright to get something for yourself! heehee!!) I know I am getting myself the "Three for You" punch box - irresistable value at just $68.76 (+ 5% p/h) for a Trio Flower jumbo punch, 3 stampin' spot ink pads and a 9 piece die-cut stamp set to match the punch! And, it comes all packaged for gift-giving delight in a special lunch-box style tin!

Ordinarily, you have to spend $20 in normal priced merchandise to qualify for the discount on these products, but if you are local to me, or are able to pick up from Cherrybrook in North Western Sydney, I will take care of that pre-requisite for orders placed by 8pm THIS SUNDAY 14th December (also when the Single Marker special comes to an end)

Ho Ho Ho!! Happy week everyone!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Summer Mini Catalogue is ONLINE NOW!

For those of you who just can't wait to get their very own hard copy (email me!), the Summer Mini is now available to browse online - click HERE

Monday, 1 December 2008

Woooo HOOO! It's SUMMER!

And it was a lovely day here in Sydney! A brief shower (just enough to have me dash out to get the washing off before it stopped of course!) amongst plenty of sunshine and warmth, with that touch of steamy coastal humidity that I still struggle with, being a country girl!

But, much more exciting than the official beginning of the Summer Season is the official beginning of the Summer Mini catalogue! It runs from today until 31st March, 2009 and is crammed with delicious goodies that are sure to tempt you! There are some long anticipated accessories including a SQUARE scallop punch and a fabulous Border Scallop punch! To make these even more must-have, there are stamp sets to match! Other highlights include chunky glitter, just the thing for adding a more dramatic touch of bling to your Christmas projects and more. Stay tuned for more images and projects created with these sets and accessories, and do give me a call on 02 9484 9447 or email if you would like a complimentary copy of the Summer Mini posted to you. For now, here's a card I designed using the delightful Eastern Blooms set, the Scallop Border punch and Ginger Blossom Designer Series papers.
I began with a card base of Groovy Guava, and chopped off the bottom edge with the Scallop edge punch. I used Sponge Daubers along the edge to highlight, and laid a strip of Ruby Red behind the scallops, returning the card base to level-headedness! Next I stamped the blossom branch image in colours co-ordinating with the Ginger Blossom DSP - Cameo Coral, River Rock, Groovy Guava and Ruby Red across the top of the card. I filled in the space below the stems with the small flower stamped in Versamark. I sponged the edges of a strip of Ginger Blossom paper with Ruby Red, and layered this on a piece of River Rock, again with it's edges sponged. I stamped off the triple flower image in River Rock on a scrap of vanilla, overstamed a greeting from Simple Delights, and mounted this on a River Rock Scallop. I used wide Vanilla Grosgrain across the patterned paper and it was all done! Now, I have to say, this was the most strikingly bold sheet of paper in this pack, and I hope I have shown you a way to tame it!

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Something a little bit different...

This is the first card I have made using the Petal Prints set. I have always admired it, but don't have it in my collection (yet!) Thanks to Kim Tonnet I was able to borrow it and have a play. I don't know why this is the first idea I had to do with it, but I like it! I also had a bit of a dig through my hoard to find some neglected mulberry papers and a Hero Arts background stamp.

The base card is Whisper White, stamped in Ruby Red using the Hero Arts background stamp both front and back.
I then used some Vellum tape to overlay the base with the flecked mulberry paper. Because this resulted in a 'vanilla' colour, I chose Very vanilla cardstock to stamp my image and greeting with, in Ruby Red.
I stamped all over the cardstock sheet, using the 'stamping off' technique to vary the intensity of the red, and using the 2 step stamps to overlay. It's sort of a different take on the 'one sheet wonder' style cards I guess.
I used a ticket corner punch to nip out the corners and mounted it on Ruby Red cardstock, with cream brads in the corners. The sentiment is from "Occasional Greetings" and has a Petal Prints flower stamped off 3 times behind it. Possibly should have been 4 x - maybe next time!! This panel is also mounted onto Ruby Red card and popped up from the base with Stampin Dimensionals foam dots. What do you think??

oops! forgot about the flowers!! I had some Prima flowers that matched Ruby Red and Very Vanilla SO well, I just had to add those as well, with a red brad in the middle. Ta da!

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

A reprieve! Marker offer extended to 14th December

Are you the sort of person who wants to have their cake and eat it too?? Have you been holding onto your craft budget waiting to see what's in the Summer Mini, studiously trying to convince yourself that you don't REALLY want some yummy markers??

If so, you are in luck! As of this morning, Stampin' Up! have extended the deadline for the Individual Marker promotion until Sunday 14th December. So, now you can order from the Summer Mini AND get some markers at the same time!! :) This is of course hot on the heels of my email newsletter last night, advising you all of the 5 days (now 4) left *rolling eyes*, making an unintentional liar out of me!!

It doesn't extend to the Spring Mini or rub-ons offer though, so I'm standing by to take your getting-down-to-the-last-minute orders for those.
Enjoy your Wednesday everyone!

Monday, 24 November 2008

Just 6 days left!!

Time is definitely running out to order from several promotions running only until 30th November...

Spring Mini ends - The papers, accessories and stamp sets in the Spring Mini, including the Christmas themed items will be disappearing. While some products may make a re-appearance in upcoming main Idea Book and Catalogues, it's a risk you might not want to take if it's on your 'must have' list!

Rub-ons Promotion - Have you tried our lovely Rub-ons yet? There are two large 15 x 30cm sheets in each pack, one black and one white, for just $15.96, that's 20% off their already great-value price! Excellent for applying to personalised Christmas gifts!

Single Markers Promotion - There is just 6 days left to grab some individual markers, so check your sets for any that are lost or damaged, or take a unique opportunity to build your own custom set of colours. See my post below "A Baker's Dozen" for my picks for an all-purpose great colour mix.

I'm taking orders up until 8pm on Sunday, when my final order will be submitted. Please don't miss out! Email or call 02 9484 9447

Remember there is also a prize of a stamp set plus ribbon sampler pack to be drawn from November orders of $50 or more! You must be on my Newsletter Subscriber list to be entered, so if you're not signed up, click on the box at the side NOW!

Here's a bonus card, to show that not every creation needs to be a masterpiece of stamping art! This card was put together literally in 5 minutes flat - the time I had between finishing wrapping the birthday gift for the last minute invitation and when I dashed out the door with 7yo in tow. I'm a bit ho-hum about it in terms of it's creative merit, but hey! It was certainly a lot faster than stopping at the shops for a bought card!! I have used the fabulous markers to colour the little birdy, he has an orange beak and legs if you look closely!! The background is the versatile Polka Dot, stamped in Brilliant Blue on a Brilliant Blue card base. "Wild about You" and "Seeing Spots" were the sets used, in Wild Wasabi and Real Red on Whisper White cardstock, and the greeting is from the "Family Phrases" set. I used the Seeing Spots stamps to stamp the border of the white panel, stamping off the edge to link with the spotty background. I used River Rock ink and an Aquapainter brush to put some 'dirt' for the croc to stand on, and assembled.... I added some white gel pen accents to finish. Voila! I'm sure that took longer to write than to actually DO! The 8yo recipient was delighted!

Friday, 21 November 2008

A technique tip - solid stamps

Probably the most common stamping hiccup I'm questioned about is how to get a decent impression from solid stamps - the ones where there is a large block of colour, rather than outline-style. While creating the rainbow of markers image in the post below, I was reminded of this, when I used the "Tart and Tangy" set, full of these bold solid stamps. Here are a few tips I can offer to hopefully improve your results:

* New stamps will nearly always have a residue of some kind on the surface, from the moulding/manufacturing process. This residue is usually oil-based, which is why the water-based marker ink tends to bead up on the stamp surface - and this inevitably leads to blobby incomplete stamped impressions. Before I was truly converted to the delight of wood mounted rubber stamps, I often found the same issue with acrylic and polymer stamps. The solution?? Give all your stamps a good cleaning on the Stampin' Scrub with a squirt of Stampin' Mist cleaner before first use. The microfibre mats will gently but thoroughly remove any buildup. It's also important to clean well after using pigment based inks, which might also leave a residue

* Next - the choice of cardstock matters most for solid stamps. The fibres in our Whisper White and Very Vanilla cardstocks are tightly packed, and the surface is very smooth. Other coloured cardstocks have a rougher texture and absorb the ink a little less evenly. This is great when you are looking for a distressed or aged appearance, but for a crisp clear solid image, choose WW or VV!

* Inking technique matters too - I use the "rub and tap" method, where I first rub firmly over the surface of the inkpad and then tap gently on the pad to finish. Make sure to flip the stamp over to check ink coverage before stamping.

* For our massive background stamps, rub and tap sometimes isn't enough - a rubber brayer (102395 $23.95) will give beautifully even application of ink to your stamp, similar to applying paint to a wall with a roller. It's also useful for rolling over the top of your cardstock piece when on the background stamp, to get the best impression. (remember to rinse the colour off first, or invest in a couple of brayers for 'clean' and 'inky')

* The jeans technique - Sometimes the rubber surface is so smooth, that it won't hold the ink as a complete film coverage. This can be corrected by giving a good rub on your fave pair of denims. Note to self - pay attention and clean FIRST to avoid looking like a pre-schooler let loose in the paint box, also remember that velveteen pants will leave fluffy fibre-y bits! If the jeans don't do the trick, try your Adhesive remover eraser (103684 $3.75) to key the surface a little more intensively.

And, finally, if you still aren't satisfied, just keep on stamping - good workout will definitely improve your results, my set of "Lovely Labels" solid stamps is now behaving nicely after a trip to a stamping retreat weekend where it was well borrowed!

I hope you found this technique tip helpful, please don't hesitate to ask me YOUR questions, and I'll see what I can rustle up for future editions :)

A Baker's Dozen

Usually, it's lots cheaper to buy things in sets, compared with individually purchasing the set's contents. Yes?? Well, with the current Stampin' Write Individual marker promotion running till 30th November, it's still true, by a whopping 12 cents per marker! (insert ironic smiley here!) So, why not take the opportunity to build your own "custom" set of colours, either built around your favourites for stamping with, colours you don't own in inkpads, or around other markers you might have already. One of my Stampin' Up! uplines, the lovely Kim Tonnet gave me the idea of creating a "Baker's Dozen" of 13 markers to cover most occasions. I've selected what I think gives a nice coverage of the rainbow, remembering you always have the option of lightening up darker pen shades by use of an Aquapainter brush or Blender pen, and when applying direct to rubber, you can stamp-off first to get a paler shade on your project also.

So, what do you think? It's probably more a "Fruit Shop Dozen" based on the stamp set I used, the cute Tart and Tangy from the (soon to end!) Spring Mini (113031 $21.95) The colours are, left to right:

Chocolate Chip

Blush Blossom (for skintone)

Regal Rose

Rose Red

Real Red

Pumpkin Pie

Summer Sun

Always Artichoke

Old Olive

Certainly Celery

Bordering Blue (for creating shadow and outline effects)

Night of Navy

and.... Lovely Lilac!

Act fast to get your order to me, as this promotion only runs another 9 days, ending strictly 30th November. I am taking orders up to 8pm :) Happy colouring!

Bookmark these instructions!

Well, I didn't quite get to write the tutorial or post yesterday, but in my defense I DID take all the pics - so here are the instructions as promised...

Start with a 6x6" square of double sided Designer Series Paper - this means you can make 4 bookmarks from ONE sheet of 12x12! Place it with the face side chosen down

Fold the square in half diagonally

Fold one point back down to the long fold

Fold both pointed ends of the long fold back up to the top, to form a smaller diamond/square

Tuck the folded points down under the flap

Use a Crop-a-Dile or similar to make a hole through all layers, near the top of the folded point, you can sort of wriggle it so it doesn't make a hole through all the layers, sort of between the fold (you'll see what I mean when you try it)

Feed a folded ribbon length through the hole, a paper piercer will help, and pass the ends through the loop

Decorate a scrap of co-ordinating cardstock, here I stamped off an image from Simply Said in Old Olive and a monogram-style C from the Wild West alphabet in Not quite Navy. I layered this on a circle scallop of Not Quite Navy cardstock and stuck it firmly to the front - Sticky Strip is best for this so it won't come adrift.

Present finished bookmark to delighted child :P Easy peasy!

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A quick and easy gift

Here is a little creation that I adapted from a Kaisercraft template, for a corner page bookmark. It starts with a 6x6" square of our gorgeous double sided patterned paper, and with a few folds that are easier than they look, it transformed into an origami-like creation ideal for adding that extra touch to a gift of a book or magazine. I've dressed it up a little by adding a stamped embellishment, ribbon tail and a rhinestone brad. I hope to create a step by step photo tutorial today (HAH! I can hear you say, but I'll try!!), but for now here's a glimpse of the finished product, created in last year's Enchante papers - this year's colourway of the same designs is called Le Jardin, and it's one of my favourites. Stay tuned for instructions!

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Stamp-a-Stack THIS SATURDAY!

It's the last one for the year, and a great opportunity to finish (or start!) those handmade Christmas cards you've been promising to make since, um, February! It's at my home in Cherrybrook, and there are a couple of places available. Give me a call on 9484 9447 to book, and I'll see you Saturday 10am-1pm. We're making 6 cards, 3 each of two designs, and the class cost is $15 for all materials and comprehensive written instructions. Bring a friend new to Stampin' Up! and there will be a bonus for both of you!

The cards we're making are shown above, and use some great marker techniques on glossy white cardstock - effective yet quick and easy for mass production, and you can try out the markers while they are available individually on promotion!

Saturday, 15 November 2008

A sneak Peek!

Spring Mini is almost GONE (quick!! have you sent those orders in yet??!!) And, Summer Mini is just around the corner starting December 1st. As always, there are some yummy stamps and accessories, and no way to tell what will be making a brief visit and what will be back in a future catalogue. Here's a card giving you just a little taste of what was (one of) my favourite set (s!)... I must be having a purple card phase right now... That peek will have to do you until December 1st, but if you'd like a copy of the Summer Mini mailed to you for December 1st, please join my mailing list by sending your address to my email or by clicking the box at right. Happy Guessing!

Just 2 weeks left for Spring Mini!

Don't delay, or you'll miss out!! Check your Spring Mini catalogue wishlists, stock up on the Apple Cider and Summer Picnic Designer Series Papers, stamp sets and accessories - there's only 2 weeks left!!! The last 3 months have gone so fast, and it's getting to the busy end of the year when it's easy to put things on the 'i'll do it later' pile. Phone or email your orders to me by 8pm on Sunday 30th November to make the deadline. There are other November benefits - take advantage of the single marker and rub-ons promotions, and be entered into the draw for my November Newsletter prize as well! CLICK HERE and just write "subscribe" to receive my monthly-ish newsletter in your email in-box.

The card above is a more 'pretty' design than I usually create, but I do quite like the lacy effect! It uses the soon to disappear (perhaps for good!) "Always" set (113007- p 16 Spring Mini $55.95) - a great set for Scrapbookers and cardmakers alike. I've used those bargain $4.95 single markers in Pale Plum, Perfect Plum and Mellow Moss to colour the heart, my favourite technique with both markers and this set! So much more interesting than an image stamped in one colour, and easy to do with the precision fine and brush dual marker tips. I've also used the Polka Dot background stamp and a stamp from Delight in Life Simply Sent kit, on a Designer Label punch, mounted on white taffeta ribbon, threaded with a piece of Silver Hodgepodge! Let me know what yout think of my experiment with the frilly aspects of stamping!!

Friday, 14 November 2008

A Sale-a-Bration reminder! And some Christmas Cards

Well, it's nearly my FAVOURITE time of the SU year again! Sale-a-bration will be running again in from January 1st - February 28th. Save up those Christmas gift dollars and make them go further, with a FREE extra stamp set with every individual customer order of $100 or more. Last year there were four free sets to choose from, specially created for SAB and strictly limited edition. The Christmas cards above show one of them, "Lots of Thoughts" It has a great range of sentiments for lots of occasions, and it is one I keep reaching for, even though it is officially "retired" I'm sure this year's sets will be just as great, and there is no limit, so if your wish list is BIG you could earn several! I am taking bookings now for January and February, so check your new diaries and call me on 9484 9447 to set a date! For hostesses, there are extra benefits for Level 2 workshops (with $600 or more in sales) with an additional SAB set for you!

More about the cards above... I have used Glossy White cardstock ($9.50 for 25 A4 sheets, 106555) to stamp images from the exclusive hostess set "In the Spotlight" in Wild Wasabi, Ruby Red, Garden Green and Real Red all over the sheet in a random pattern. I then cut it into strips and mounted it to create quick and easy yet striking card fronts. I have added a few brads to give some dimension also, and finished with the Lots of Thoughts Merry Wishes sentiment mounted on a scallop circle and a wide grosgrain ribbon tie.

Hope you like them!!

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

And another November Promotion!

That's right, we sure are being spoiled with the 20th Birthday Celebrations! From November 10th to 30th, take 20% off the cost of ALL Stampin' Up!'s Rub-on transfers, from both the main catalogue and the Spring Mini. There are 2 large 6x12" sheets per pack, one in white and one in black - so there is something for every coloured background. Use the words, sentiments or images on cards, or use the alphabets to add monograms for a very personal touch. Rubons have been a favourite with Scrapbookers for years, and the gorgeous designs available complement many of Stampin' Up!'s stamp sets. During this promotion, they are priced at just $15.96 per pack with any $20 spent on regular priced catalogue merchandise. They are excellent quality, with clean and smooth transfer of images - just like your favourite Scrapbooking brands such as Basic Grey. A smart demo from the Elite team (Claire Daly) worked out they are 30% cheaper than Basic Grey per square centimetre, even when full priced!! So, don't miss out on this opportunity to grab some to try. You can also use them on off the page projects like picture frames, vases, door hangers and more - the only limit is your imagination! Contact me today on 02 9484 9447 or by email at to place your order.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Stampin' Write Markers Promotion 10th-30th November

We've been asking for it for ages, and for a strictly limited time, we have it!!
From the 10th to the 30th November, the fabulously versatile Stampin' Write markers are available individually, for a tiny $4.95 each! It's a great time to test out what these great pens can techniques
*Colour specific parts of images and leave unwanted words or sections out
*Journal or write in matching colours with the precision fine point tip
*Create unique backgrounds with acetate transfer techniques
and lots more!!

If you already know and love our markers in their colour family sets, then it is an unmissable opportunity to replace your favourites or any that have become accidentally damaged. It's also a cheap and versatile way of grabbing some useful colours that you don't own in inkpads, as the pens contain the same dye ink, and can be used to ink up your stamps, as described above! I know that I'll be grabbing the opportunity to purchase a spare Ruby Red, Old Olive, Night of Navy and Rose Red pen for my collection. And probably quite a few more!
There is no limit to the number of markers you can purchase individually, subject to stocks lasting of course, so don't delay, and send me your 'must have' list today!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Product focus - Stampin' Up! Paper Snips

I have always loved and appreciated good quality tools - probably instilled in me by my parents and their 'right tool for the job' philosophy. Neither myself nor my sister would even comtemplate being caught cutting anything other than fabric with Mum's dressmaking shears, the threatened consequences were simply too dire!
When I was working as a research scientist, I had a fabbo pair of the finest microscopy tweezers and a you-beaut pair of surgical scissors. Both were so good they would often 'visit' other lab benches, usually when I needed them ASAP. Aunty Jack style labels were thus affixed: "Take my XYZ again and I'll rip yer bl**dy arms off" Did the trick, and I have both to this day!

The same love of quality tools goes for papercrafting scissors too. There are scissors and then there are Stampin' Up! paper snips. I thought I had not one, but several good pairs of paper scissors, ideal for getting into the various nooks and crannies for cutting out delicate shapes, snipping ribbon ends just-so etc. I resisted buying the SU paper snips for many months - don't need em, I thought. Hmmmm. Yes. Well. Then I actually got to use a pair at a Stampin' Up gathering. I was so instantly sold on them that a pair went on my very next order. This very same thing has happened to several other people I know too, so it's no co-incidence.

They really aren't expensive, just $18.95, and are worth every single cent 10 times over! They have precision tips that cut all the way to the end, and even though I am left handed, I can see and cut in the exact position I want, no 'oops' with these little wonders! They are perfect for trimming the fussiest of ribbon ends too. They have a protective snap on cover to protect those precious blades when not in use, and to stop you from stabbing yourself on their sharp tips in your craft caddy! Find them on page 149 of the IB&C, code 103579, and contact me to order your very own pair!

Back with a pic tomorrow, where I'll add another secret scissor find, perfect for placating the kids as they craft by your side...

OK, I'm back - picture taken at night again, it was a busy day around here! Please excuse the reflected light spot! In the photo above you can see the black handled paper snips with their blade cover - unassuming in appearance, yet simply the best ever papercrafting scissors - so good in fact that they have won Creating Keepsakes Magazine Readers Choice Awards in 2003, 2005 and 2006 to date! Beside them is a bargain find, well worth picking up a few pairs of. They are from IKEA, and a set of this small pair of aqua handled ones, a medium sized pair with yellow handles and a large pair with red handles costs a massive $3.95. The aqua and yellow handled ones are pretty darn good for general purpose cutting in the craft room. So, keep some on hand for the kids to use, to cut sticky gunky adhesive with, and anything else you should NOT subject your SU Paper Snips to!

A couple of tips to finish with - the bright braid tied around the handles of my scissors is a quick identity tag - all my scissors have the same tag, easy to recognise at a glance, even across a cluttered bench. The second tip is that you can clean your scissor blades from time to time with either a small amount of eucalyptus oil, or a squirt of the 'goo remover' type citrus based products available from your supermarket. This will get any yuk off and leave them cutting smooth as silk all over again :)

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Christmas Stamp-a-Stack 22nd November 2008

The next (and final) Stamp-a-Stacks for the year will be held at my home in Cherrybrook on Saturday 22nd November, 10am - 1pm. Come along and create 6 cards, 3 each of 2 different designs. All materials and comprehensive written instructions are included, as are light refreshments and home-baked goodies. I am happy to run either an afternoon 2pm-5pm or evening 7.30pm-10.30 pm session if there is sufficient interest - contact me with your preference ASAP and I'll decide which it will be. It's your last chance to get some great ideas for easily mass-produced, yet elegant cards, in perfect time to send them out. The designs above are the ones we made at our last session on 11th October. Thanks very much to Jayne Mercer for designing the Season of Joy card, it was our charity card of the month for Camp Quality.
As always, each class is $15.00, and when you place an order of $50 or more on the day of the class, the class cost is halved to $7.50. Bring a friend new to Stampin' Up! for a bonus gift for each of you. Ring now 9484 9447 to book, or email me at See you there!


Pics finally downloaded, here are a selection from the day!
The room pics were taken at lunchtime, the first chance I had to catch my breath and grab the camera. It was lovely and spacious though, even when every seat had a busily crafting guest! My kids also had fun selecting their favourites from our challenges.
I'm trying a new watermark thingy in Picasa 3 - so, let's see how it turns out...

Saturday, 25 October 2008

A great day was had by all!

I haven't downloaded the pics from my camera yet, but I am pretty confident in saying that everyone that was lucky to be able to attend our Christmas Craft day today had a wonderful time creating all manner of papercrafty things in an inspiring environment!! I am SOOOOO tired, after a couple of solid weeks of late nights preparing everything, as is Kim Tonnet, my co-host today! But, it was most definitely worth it to see all the happy smiling faces busily working away! Thanks SO much to everyone who came, and stand by for the date for next year - we'll be sorting venues, schedules etc as soon as we can, so you an all write it into your diaries!

I'll also be going through my calendar to schedule at least one more Christmas Stamp-a-Stack class between now and early December, stay tuned for the details very soon! Tomorrow hopefully, but I am hoping my kids will let me catch up on lost sleep with a decent lie-in tomorrow!! They were so great today, and it was certainly wonderful for one guest to meet my now 7yo son, as she was our ECHN back then! Hi Mia!! He most certainly HAS grown a bit!

And, as it's getting to the busy/nigh-on-inpossible time of the year to gather groups of friends together for a workshop, why not consider a January or February workshop booking? It's a fantastic time, with the Annual Sale-a-Bration promotion running - that means a free stamp set from a limited edition catalogue for each $100 in catalogue merchandise PLUS extra hostess benefits for level 2 workshops. It's not too early to book, my calendar is standing by, but the dates will tend to book fast, so grab your diaries and make plans now for first choice!

Having said that, if you're keen to arrange a get together of 4 or more friends, for a Christmas themed class or workshop, there are dates still available. Workshops or classes can be held at your home or mine, so contact me to make a date!

off to bed with this tired chook!

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Sneak Peeks!!

Just a few days to go for the ones lucky enough to be able to make it to our Christmas Craft Day! To tease them, and hopefully NOT torture those less fortunate, here are some sneak peeks. I am still madly busy preparing, hence my terrible slackness posting here over the last couple of weeks - rest assured I am creating!! And, after Saturday, there will be a big PHEW!! and you'll probably be inundated again!
At the top we have one of the Make and Take projects, a 6x6 scrapbook page for Christmas. I also show you how easy it is to take this small page, and by adding some co-ordinating Designer Series Paper, turn it into a full sized 12x12 layout, with extra space for either more embellishment or journalling. The colours are the fabulous Purely Pomegranate and Wild Wasabi, and the stamp set is Merry Merry.
The bottom picture shows an altered notebook, a great way to dress up an everyday necessity ( well, they are if you have my slightly frazzled brain!!) and use up some scraps at the same time. Quick Quick Quick, and who WOULDN'T like a personalised gift?
These are just a couple of the M&T's planned, and the best thing about them is that they will be raising money for the best possible cause for an October event - October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, and Monday 27th October is Pink Ribbon Day. Given that my co-host for the day, Kim Tonnet, is a breast cancer survivor, we hope everyone will support crucial research into prevention and cure by making a gold coin donation for each Make & Take completed on the day.
Back to the prep work!

Saturday, 18 October 2008

Goodness! Only a week to go!!

That's right, just a week until our "Get Ready for Christmas" Craft day at Pennant Hills on Saturday 25th October, 9.15-4.45pm. Bookings have closed, but if you meant to RSVP and it slipped your radar, we might be able to squeak you in if you call NOW!! (Michelle 9484 9447 or Kim 0402 237 010) Scroll down a few posts for all the details of what we'll be up to...
I have been busy packing goody bag contents, designing and preparing Make and Takes, Challenges, prizes and more. It's going to be great!! See you there!

Friday, 10 October 2008

My creative children - part 2!

Back in August, I posted the results of my 3yo daughter's stamping and punching efforts (remember the technicolour 'Tart and Tangy' card and mountain of paper flower punchies?) Today it is my 7yo son's turn in the limelight! He was much inspired by my Chocolate pull treat posted just down below a bit, and took it on himself to recreate it, in his own style of course! My kids have a shoebox and tray full of scraps, old scrapping papers, dodgy diecuts, ribbon snips, wrapping paper and the like that I add to whenever I have a stash clear out. Aren't I a nice mummy?? Umm, yeah, but there is an ulterior motive... preservation of my good stuff!! - I rationalise that if there is enough cool/glittery stuff in there, they won't dare dip into my rhinestone brads supply ever again!!

He presented me with a block of Lindt from the pantry, and a sheet of 12x12, and asking for some string and a stapler. I helped him a bit by showing the places to crease the paper around the edges of the block, but the rest was his own work. I especially like the little wrapping paper pockets stapled to the outside, holding an attached tag and a rhinestone ribbon charm he found somewhere (not mine!!) He wrote 'bad' on the tag, cos it was for his dad (haven't conquered the letter reversals yet!) and very proudly presented it to him that afternoon. Awwwwww, proud mummy moment!!! There are other examples of his card making style, specialising in action and pop up/tag creations, with hidden pockets etc, must photograph them one day!

What's happening today?? Preparing for my Christmas Stamp-a-Stack tomorrow 10-1.30. I've had a couple of cancellations, so give me a call on 9484 9447 if you can squeeze in some sanity time this close to the end of the school hols!!

There is also ONLY TODAY AND TOMORROW to place your orders for Simply Sent kits at 20% off!! I keep saying it, but I think these make a gorgeous gift, and with the discount they are priced at just $67.16 or $85.64 depending on your selection including shipping to your door! Call or email to place your order before 6pm on Saturday

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A spot of tweaking! And a card...

I spent a while early this morning having a bit of a play with the scarier part of blogging.... tweaking the actual code to see if I could make more room for my layout. So, with the old template firmly saved in case I stuffed it up, I jumped in to the depths of HTML gibberish. I'm so proud I managed to tick the right box to show every smidge of code so I could locate the pixel widths I wanted to play with in the sidebar. VOILA! It worked!! What a sense of accomplishment! I also added a calendar of events, where you will be able to see at a glance what is coming up, thanks to Lin Mei Yap for giving me the idea! It did take me till just now to realise that there was another option to select so that blog visitors could actually VIEW the calendar events, DOH! so if you visited earlier and were puzzled by the blank box, that's why! There is also more widthways room for my posts, so you won't have to scroll down quite so far when I get a bit carried away LOL!

Now, onto the card I made the other day, my first with the "Wild About You" set. I don't really know why it took me so long to get this set, it makes great fun cards and is a must for making kids cards. The little elephant has such a cheeky sideways grin on him, he never fails to make me smile. Along with the elephant and flower, the set also has a giraffe, crocodile, birdie, lion and penguin, and can be found on page 66 of the IBC I stamped the elephant twice, once 'normal' and again after "Kissing Off" some of the ink with the clean Paisley background stamp. I then cut out the ear from the 'paisley elephant' and mounted it as a second layer with Stampin' Dimensionals foam dots.
*Stamps: Wild About You (108958), Paisley Background (108887)
*Cardstock: Bordering Blue, Real Red, Whisper White
*Inks and Markers: Bordering Blue, Real Red, Green Galore
*Accessories: Real Red wide grosgrain ribbon
*Techniques: 'Kissing'

Cute isn't he! I hope you get a smile from him too :)

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

A trio of Blooms!

I loved the "Blooming with Beauty" set from the Spring Mini catalogue as soon as I saw it, and at our stamping retreat a couple of months back, I got to play with someone else's set - thus cementing it's place on my wish list!! I had stuck with traditional pansy-type colours until now, until my clever team member Carolyn Gibbs told me she'd discovered using it with the In Colors for 2008 with great effect.

With my newly arrived set, it dawned on me that this bunch of blooms could well be hydrangeas, which definitely allows scope for the blues! I still wasn't sure I'd heard her right when she said Soft Sky, Bayou Blue and River Rock, but here's the proof - I hope you'll agree this is a fine bunch of hydrangeas! Next time I'm going to try some lovely pinky/mauve shades, in an effort to re-create a pink hydrangea my mum grows. Thanks Ryn for the inspiration!

I have used Aquapainters and the inkpad puddle technique to colour these images, stamped on watercolour paper in Stazon Black ink. I first coloured all over the blossom area in Soft Sky, building the colour intensity until it was right, then I added Bayou Blue in the areas where the stamped image suggests depth, such as the shadowed areas at the centre of the florets. Wild Wasabi was just right for the leaves, and the River Rock pot makes a nice 'sandstone' alternative to traditional terracotta type colours. Having made the first card, I decided to play with the colour combinations to see what kind of variety of looks I could create with essentially the same image, by mounting on different coloured bases. I have used another recent aquisition, the lovely "Weathered" background, and I have stamped in the respective background colour - River Rock, Soft Sky or Bayou Blue. Different greetings and stitched grosgrain finish them off. The River Rock card is off today to some very special garden loving friends, hope they like it :)

All products available to purchase through me, CONTACT ME to order today! Remember the October promotions of 20% off Simply Sent Kits (ends Saturday) and 20% off 5 selected sets for the 20th Birthday celebrations make it a great time!