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!