Saturday, 28 February 2009

A baby boom?

I'm not sure if it is my new baby kitten, or the fact that there are several babies to be born within the next month or two, but I was inspired today to get out the pretty baby colours and create!
The first card uses Barely Banana cardstock, stamped with the Polka Dot Background in Barely Banana ink. The elephant is from Wild About You, and is stamped in Buckaroo Blue (07 in color), but using the "Kissing" technique and the Paisley background stamp. There are rumours that the Paisley stamp may be on the upcoming retirement list, so get in FAST to ensure you get your own before they disappear, as it is just fantastic for creating these effects on solid stamps, as well as being a great unisex background. I stamped the elephant again on Brocade Blue using Versamark ink and cut out the ears to mount over the base layer. To finish I used a length of Blue Bayou double stitched ribbon and a piece of Styled Silver Hodgepodge . The greeting is stamped from the Nursery Necessities set.
Next up we have my favourite from today's stamping session. It uses Nursery Necessities and stamping in Pretty in Pink, Bashful Blue, Certainly Celery and Barely Banana inks onto Whisper White cardstock.
Technique tip: To get even impressions from these solid stamps, I used a brayer to roll over the stamp surface after inking. This creates a thin even layer of ink on the stamp.
The base layer this time is Certainly Celery stamped with Polka Dot in Certainly Celery. Then I mounted a piece of cuttlebugged Whisper White onto a piece of Barely Banana and arranged cut out shapes on mounting foam. To finish I stamped the welcome little one greeting and punched with the large oval, and tied a length of wide Certainly Celery grosgrain around the centre band.
The next card is for a baby shower I'm attending tomorrow, and uses the Celery base, Polka Dot background, and a band of So Saffron edged with the Scallop Edge punch. Overlaying this is a strip of Designer Prints paper in Certainly Celery and a Pretties Kit flower with a scallop circle and circle punch centre. The welcome baby sentiment is from the Short and Sweet set. Quick and easy!
Finally there is another photo of my newest furbaby Bentley the British Blue! Everyone together, say awwwwwww....... :)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Last chance!

Quick!! Get those orders for your In Colour inkpads, reinkers and cardstocks NOW!! There are only a few days until the retirement list is announced on the 1st March, and after that date they will only be available WHILE STOCKS LAST. With some of the reinkers already on backorder, this is your last chance to stock up.

So, why get reinkers? Well, depending on how often you use your inkpad, your climate (and if you're like me, your propensity to leave the lids open accidentally...) eventually the liquid ink evaporates and your pad will be a little dry instead of nice and juicy with great impressions from it.

With a reinker, you can refresh your inkpad over and over as necessary, and be happily using it in years to come! Thanks to Kim Tonnet for the image.

Why not check out the Bushfire Appeal list of stamp sets, where 50% of the cost is being donated to the Red Cross by Stampin' Up, and my commission goes to Victoria Wildlife Rescue, and stock up on a few essentials to earn a free Sale-a-bration stamp set? Click here to view the catalogue online.

I'm taking orders up until about 9pm this SATURDAY, 28th February.... DON'T MISS OUT!!

Nothing to do with stamping again, but isn't HE cute

Nope, not a huge spider this time, but the latest addition to our family :) His name is Bentley, and he is a British Shorthair (often known as British Blue since he has the classic steel blue coat colour) We had absolutely NO intention of adding feline #3 to our family when we visited a large pet shop on Sunday. None. I had prepared some water for the mothballed fishtank, with the thought that the children would be thrilled to bring home some pets of the piscean variety.

The actual purpose of the visit was to donate some cat food to the Bushfire Appeal, for the displaced animals in Victoria. Good deed done, we wandered the massive shop, looking at all the interesting creatures. And one of them caught our eye in particular. He captivated the entire family with his antics in the enclosure with his Ragdoll kitten friends. And then we went home. And pondered. And wished that we'd asked for a cuddle. So, we decided, completely unanimously, to call on Monday to enquire about his price tag and other relevant details.

On Monday, the call was duly made, to find that his price had just been reduced because he was now 15 weeks and had been there since 8 weeks of age. Hmmm, that wasn't good, poor little thing needed a proper home. You can see where this is leading!

So, on relaying this information to dear hubby, he surprised me by saying that Lillian and I should go out and ask to hold him, and see how he went with a child around. Hmmm, fateful decision! It turns out that he didn't like being held in the pet shop, and was scratchy and scared. So, I asked if we could take him to a separate room and see how he went in a quieter environment. And he instantly changed to a purring schmoozy kitten. Decision made!

He's settling in well, although Monte and Fudge are a little less than impressed. I'll keep you posted on his progress...

Friday, 20 February 2009

A Happy Accident and a RAK

This card does not look quite the way I had intended, but I think I like it all the more for it! I have been itching to get this gorgeous background stamp, Baroque since seeing some inspiring cards using it for the "emerging colour" technique. But, I was in too much of a hurry to jump straight into that, and decided to have a play with my markers first. Straight out of the box. Without cleaning it. And, this was the serendipitous result! Somewhere below is my tutorial on solid stamps, where I explain that the manufacturing process can leave a residue that stops the ink from clinging well to the rubber, and that a thorough cleaning will do wonders. Well, this is what happens when you don't clean a new stamp! It's not often a mistake turns into a pleasing result, but I instantly realised that I couldn't achieve such an authentic sanded/distressed look even if I tried, and decided to go ahead and use the panel for my card.

I've used Night of Navy cardstock base, stamped with Sanded background in Night of Navy ink

Then I trimmed down the Whisper White Baroque panel to fit on a mat of Rose Red, and adhered these layers to the base.

Next I added some bands, white taffeta ribbon and a metal edge square tag topped with a 1 1/4" punched square, stamped with the Thanks and flower from the Live your Dreams set, popped up with Stampin Dimensionals.

Finally I added a few tiny half back pearls, not sure about those though, so they may come off later :)

So, who else has a tale of Happy Stampin Accident to tell? There's a RAK in it for my favourite story posted here as a comment, I'll choose next week.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy weekend!

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Chocolate-free Chocolate Sliders

In my tutorial somewhere down below about making the chocolate bar sliders, I mentioned that the pattern could be modified to suit a number of chocolate-bar -ish shaped items, such as CDs, paper backs etc. Well, I have tested it out on a couple of DVDs, with (I think!) great success. By a happy co-incidence, a 12x12 sheet of our Designer Series papers fits very neatly around a standard plastic-cased DVD, with just enough for a strip of double sided tape to seal. And, the excess length is 2 inches, the perfect size for a decorative band when reversed to the opposite side.
Here I've used a pattern from the Outlaw pack

Here's a quick run down:

*Trim 5cm from one side of the 12x12 sheet and set aside

*Score approx 10cm in from the short edge, and again 1.5cm further in, and fold along these lines. Place the DVD against the fold and mark on the inside where the other side of the DVD ends.

*Score along this mark, and again 1.5cm further out. Fold and test with DVD.

*Place DST along the very edge of the underlap and all the way across the bottom edge. Remove both liner tapes, but seal the vertical seam first, then the bottom edge, pleating the sides at the base before scoring or crimping to get a firm adhesion.

*Punch a half circle through both layers at the top, and a horizontal slot about 1cm below this for the ribbon to thread through. Cut enough ribbon to go right around the DVD lengthways with overlap for tying and thread this through the slots.

*Slide the DVD inside, which pushes the ribbon down to the base.

*Decorate with the scrap band, a few layered punches, a stamp or two to personalise and it's done! Hubby was quite impressed with the contents as well as the wrappings, so all was good!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Bright and colourful from me!

This is my take on Col's Pretty Princess card featured below, I made it for a little girl turning 4! I'm told her big thing of the moment is mermaids, but I don't have a mermaid stamp, and I figure princesses can't be far behind right?? I haven't been able to give it to her, as her party last Sunday was postponed because of the wet weather, fingers crossed for a FINE WARM day next Saturday! Anyway, a Happy Birthday to Mackenzie for last Sunday!!

SU materials in italics: This card uses Pixie Pink as a base, stamped in Pixie Pink ink using the Polka Dot background stamp.

Next I cut some nesting scallops, one from "Friendly Felt", a stiffened craft felt that can go through the Cuttlebug, and one from Whisper White cardstock, I also embossed this one with the same Nestabilities.

I stamped the Princess from Pretty Princess in Stazon ink, and then used my Bold Brights Watercolour Wonder Crayons and a Blender Pen to colour the image. It's very easy to be precise with this technique, as you can scribble a little crayon colour on a scrap of cardstock, and pick up tiny amounts with the Blender pen tip - places like her shoes where the Crayon tip itself would be too chunky direct to paper.

Then I punched a Scallop Circle from Tempting Turquoise cardstock, and sponged it with Taken with Teal ink to give it texture to match the felt. This is topped with a 1 3/8 and 1 1/4" circle punch stamped with the Happy Birthday from Pretty Princess in Taken with Teal ink

Finally, I added some Tempting Turquoise Narrow Grosgrain ribbon and tied a bow, mounting the Scallop piece with Stampin Dimensionals.

Ta Da!! Hope you like it :)

Friday, 13 February 2009

Wonderfully Versatile!

Here is my slight variation on a card created by Michelle Dawn, from Minnesota USA. I saw this gorgeously cute card amongst the creations submitted to Shelli Gardner's blog Valentine Creative Challenge, and although it was not selected as a winner, it certainly made it into my CASE book!! Thanks so much for the inspiration Michelle!

We don't have some of the stamp sets and elements Michelle used, such as the diecuts and grass stamps (here's hoping the Big Shot exclusive SU dies come SOOOOON!!), so I improvised! First I used Nestabilities Labels 1 design to cut a vanilla and a pomegranate label in nesting sizes

Next I sponged some Wild Wasabi 'grass' and some Soft Sky 'sky', over a heart cutout as a mask. Then I inked up the stems of the flower stamp in the "Live your Dream" set from the Summer Mini - it was the closest thing I could think of to make grass, and I stamped this several times, stamping off to vary the colour intensity.

Now, Michelle has used Whisper White for her sheep, and that might be well and good in freezing North America - but our sheep here down under get decidedly dusty looking. So, I chose Confetti Cream, for genuine burrs and dirt splotches. The sheep is made from the following punches:

* Circle Scallop x 1

* 5 petal flower x 1 in black

* Flower Trio punch from "Three for You" punch box, but you could substitute another small flower from a blossom punch.

Next I inked the edges for the authentically grubby look, using Sahara Sand ink.

The 5 petal flower is cut into 3 petals and 2 petals, and small notches are cut into the 2 petal piece to create hooves. Then the sheep is assembled, and I used Stampin Dimensional foam dots to pop up sheep's hairdo. The final touch is a couple of eyes made with SU white gel pen.

Now, to the greeting???? I ummed and ahhed about stamping alphabet letters, stamping on the cream at the top left, but decided to use a completely different stamp set - "Wonderful Favourites" There is pretty much something for every occasion in this set, with a series of greetings and people label stamps that all go with either of the large "wonderful" and "favourite" stamps. As an aside, if you don't already own this set, don't delay!! I don't expect that it will retire, as it was new in the current catalogue, but it is one of the pricing errors honoured by Stampin' Up! for the year. In the US catalogue it sells for US $40.95, but here it is a teeny, tiny AUD $39.95!! "You do the math" as our American friends would say! It will almost certainly be listed in the new 2009-10 catalogue at the proper price, $58.95 would be my best guestimate. Don't miss out on a great bargain for a fabulous set! You've only got until March 31, so why not add it to your Bushfire Appeal order?

And, finally, you are not experiencing double vision, just one of my usual tricks to get the most out of my stamping time. It doesn't take much longer to make 2 cards of the same design rather than one, and it also reduces the amount of part-sheet cardstock lying on my desk! The colours are the same, simply line them up on the desk and stamp step by step in duplicate. Until the end that is, because this is a versatile design, that combined with the versatile "Wonderful Favourites" set (pssst, have you ordered it yet???) can create a card for lots of different occasions. The one on the left is a Valentine's card for my hubby, who can actually shear a sheep, so it is quite appropriate! The one on the right is for my newest "nephew" - although he probably wasn't figuring on me becoming his Aunty by default when he decided that he wanted to be cousins with my son and daughter. Happy Birthday Ashley!! I'll be waiting to see how long before he notices...

Off to bed with me, this one ended up quite long, so well done to you if you reached the end!!

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Dig deep with Stampin' Up!

In support of the victims of the Bushfire Disaster in Victoria, which have so far claimed at least 181 lives and more than 750 houses, Stampin' Up! has selected 10 special stamp sets. For each of these sets, Stampin' Up! will donate 50% of the retail cost to the Australian Red Cross. For example, purchase Baroque Motifs for $39.95, and you will be indirectly giving nearly $20 to the cause!

Some of the sets listed (click on the image to see the flyer full-sized) are heading for the retirement list shortly, so it is your last chance to nab them before they're gone.

Do you need any more excuse to shop up big? No? Well, here's one anyway! As an added incentive, I will be delighted to add my commission for all of these selected sets into a donation to WIRES - the Wildlife Rescue service, to help take care of the hundreds of homeless and injured animals.

Finally, to get you all to dig really really deep, for anyone able to pick up their order from Cherrybrook NSW , I will cover the postage cost, saving you a minimum of $5.95!

So, get those orders in to me today, and I'll keep you updated on the fundraising tally being kept by Stampin' Up!

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Farewell Cassandra!

It is with regret that I pass on the news that Cassandra Grambau is hanging up her Stampin' Up! apron, and moving onto new and different challenges in her life. We (and I think I speak for her friends and team members here!) will miss her, and wish her all the best for her future endeavours. Thanks so much to Cass for introducing me to Stampin' Up!, and for guiding me through the early days, so very much appreciated.

In the meantime, if you are a customer of Cass, please feel free to contact any of the following: Myself, Kim Tonnet, Lesley Annabel or Kendall Joyce and we will be happy to answer your product questions or help you with your Stampin' needs. Kim and myself are also able to pass messages along to Cass, just email us and we'll forward them for you.

I have been suffering severe procrastination lately, so promise to get stuck into my 'to do' pile and post some positive inspiration. I'm going to try and concentrate on bright and happy things, to try and distract from the horrific disaster still ongoing in our southern neighbour state, Victoria. My heart goes out to each and every one affected by the firestorm tragedy, so many lives lost, so many more changed forever. My deepest sympathies and best wishes are with you all.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Pretty and Bright!

Here is a card made by one of my friends, Col from Sunny Queensland. She has made a wonderfully bright card (something that I don't do well, must file this away for inspiration!) Col has used her Cuttlebug embossing folders, Nestabilities Scallops, Bold Brights colours and the Pretty Princess stamp set, along with some double stitched ribbon and Scallop border punch. Well done Col, it's gorgeous, and I'm sure the recipient was tickled Pink Passion, Tempting Turquoise and Yoyo Yellow!
Do you have a card you'd like to show off? Simply send me an image to and I'll post my favourites. A brief description of techniques used would be great too, to share the inspiration!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Time to Stock Up!

It's time to stock up on our beautiful Designer Series Paper ranges!


*Because we are nearing the end of our current catalogue, and it is likely some patterns will disappear forever on 1st April, or at least in their current colourway

*Because they are great quality, heavy weight, double sided papers, with a multitude of uses on cards, scrap pages, Off The Page items and more

*Because they co-ordinate beautifully with our cardstock ranges, making for quick and trouble free colour selection

*Because it's Sale-a-bration time, where each order of $100 earns you a choice of four free stamp sets

*And, because they are fantastic value at just $11.95# for 12 double sided sheets, 2 each of 6 designs (# + 5% p/h)

However, this price won't be around for much longer! You may remember that Stampin' Up! generously honoured the $11.95 price printed in error in the 2008-09 Idea Book & Catalogue, these paper packs were $16.95 the previous year. While I'm sure they would love to keep it at the current cost, the sharp devaluation in the Australian dollar makes it a very slim chance indeed. The same deal applies to the gorgeous Bali Breeze, Afternoon Tea and Ginger Blossom designs in the Summer Mini catalogue.

So! Place your order with me today, to make sure you have your supplies on hand before the Retiring List rush.
As a bonus, each order placed with me during February containing Designer Series Papers will receive a free laminated guide to the co-ordinating colours for each range.

Where to find the paper patterns? Simply check pages 134-136 in the Idea Book and Catalogue , there's something for every taste from bright and preppy to soft and pretty, modern and classic. How to order? Call me on (02) 9484 9447, or send me your list and contact details by email to and I'll be happy to help you with your selections.

Have a wonderful weekend everybody! For those of us in NSW, stay cool with up to 47 degrees C (that's 116.6degF for my visitors from the USA) forecast for outer Western Sydney. Spare a thought though for the far west of NSW, where these temperatures are more common - they must be anticipating even more ridiculously high temperatures!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Groovy Afternoon Tea with Chocolate - Calendar

Yes, I know it is February (ALREADY!!!), but I forgot to tear off the little page for January before taking the photo. At the rate I am working, you will be seeing calendar ideas every month! Anyway, this one was inspired by a design in the pretty Afternoon Tea Designer Series Papers - available in the Summer Mini catalogue until only 31st March - get them before they're gone! This paper series co-ordinates beautifully with the 2008-2009 In Colours of Groovy Guava, Wild Wasabi, Soft Sky, as well as Whisper White and Chocolate Chip, so don't forget to stock up on the cardstock as well. This paper also co-ordinates perfectly with the versatile "Live Your Dreams" stamp set, also from the Summer Mini. It's a great set for scrappers and card-makers alike, with several versatile elements - I do love the little birdy, and the journalling dot block (behind the calendar in this example) is great!
Here's how it was done:
*I stamped the flower stamp in Chocolate Chip over a Close to Cocoa card base, concentrating on getting plenty of image on the outer edge which would be showing.
*I distressed the edges of a piece of Afternoon Tea paper, and inked them, before attaching to the base.
*Next I stamped the journal block stamp on a small piece of Groovy Guava to back the calendar, then mounted this again on Chocolate Chip.
*I stamped off the large floral stem stamp in Close to Cocoa over a larger piece of Groovy Guava, again distressing and inking the edges
*I stamped the bird and butterfly in Chocolate Chip ink, and then overstamped with Versamark using my SAMJ, and embossed with clear powder to give a 3D shiny look.
*To finish I stuck down the pieces, and added some white half pearls from the Pretties Kit and a piece of wide chocolate grosgrain. On the back I put magnetic strip tape, so it can go onto the fridge of a loved one :)

Hope you like it! I hope to get a newsletter out today, so stay tuned (bit of cleaning and tidying must be done first - even with children back at school this house seems to deteriorate into a bomb site before my very eyes!!)