Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Last Day for Free Ribbon Gift with Purchase!

Hi everyone,

Today is the last day of the September Ribbon Bundle Promotion, where you will receive two rolls of gorgeous ribbon with a purchase of $100 or more. That's great!

However!! The special package of So Saffron wide grosgrain and Certainly Celery poly twill ribbon has sold out, so Stampin' Up! have generously substituted 2 other different rolls of ribbon, worth even more at $40! They are the 1" double stitched ribbons in Rose Red and Chocolate Chip and you can see them on page 150 of the Idea Book and Catalogue.

I've also had a quick browse to find some images, thanks to Jacqui Crouch who has used the Rose Red double stitched grosgrain in the Simply Sent card above. The choc chip colour can be seen in the other photo taken by Yvonne Campbell, croppd down to show the ribbon.

These ribbons are fantastic for using as bands across pages, and for gift items. Gorgeous colours, so be super quick and get your orders in to me today!!

How can you place an order with me? You can either email your order to or call me on (02) 9484 9447. Don't have a catalogue handy? Click on the covers of the catalogues at the right hand side of this blog to see the online PDF versions. Your order can be delivered directly to you for a cost of just $5.95 or 5%, whichever is greater.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Masculine and Feminine Birthday cards

September is a big month in our house for birthdays, and it seems to be a popular month amongst our friends and their children too!

For the weekend just gone, there were two cards to make, one for a preschool friend of my daughter, the gorgeous Charlotte, and one for my own dad, who turned the BIG 70 yesterday! Happy Birthday Dad!

Dad's card uses Lovely As A Tree (please, please Stampin' Up, don't retire this set, ever!) I have coloured the image using markers in Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke for the leaves and Chocolate Chip for the trunks and ground. It is stamped on a piece of Very Vanilla.

I used the same colours for the card base (Mellow Moss) and matting (Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip , Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke (textured), and added some brass Jumbo Eyelets and hemp twine, through a tag made from large and small tag punches. The greeting is from On Your Birthday.

The card for Charlotte uses the Window Dressing hostess set, and Candy Lane Designer Series papers. I have stamped the image in Stazon onto Watercolor paper, and used the ink pad puddle technique and blender pens to colour in. Colours used are Riding Hood Red, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Blush Blossom, So Saffron and Pretty in Pink. I cut around the stamped image and then matted it onto a piece of Riding Hood Red cardstock, before cutting out again. Because of the hand-drawn style of the stamp, this was pretty easy to do (ie, perfection not required!!)

The card base is Close to Cocoa, then there is a thin mat of Pink Pirouette. Over this is a piece of Candy Lane DSP. It is so easy to choose colours when the paper is there, already decided for you! I have inked the edges for definition.

To finish, I made a scallop oval punch out of Riding Hood Red cardstock, and used the co-ordinating large oval punch to punch out "Happy Birthday" from the Family Phrases set. I popped it up on Stampin Dimensionals and then added a tie of Vanilla tafetta ribbon.

Friday, 25 September 2009

I have such lovely customers! THINK PINK in October

One of my favourite things about being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator is the friendships that have developed with my customers. It is so wonderfully satisfying to have the privilege of helping people discover and develop their talents as stampers and cardmakers, as well as introducing them to a useful outlet and diversion in their busy lives. It has also enabled me to become directly involved in fundraising for various groups, both locally with schools and community groups, and nationally for Camp Quality and Breast Cancer Charities.

The gorgeous card above was made for me by a lovely lady to thank me for running my regular Stampin'Crop days, she enjoys them so much and learns something new each time. Thank YOU! for coming along Barbara!

Barbara has adapted a card design we all made at the Spring Mini launch event, using the set "Great Friend" and also the Hostess set "Best Yet". The card base is Pink Pirouette, and the strip backing is Regal Rose. The stamping is also done using Regal Rose ink, and Not Quite Navy for the sentiment. The butterfly in Regal Rose on Whisper White cardstock has had Crystal Effects added to the white pattern, so it really 'pops' A strip of patterned paper, some ribbon and a sticky rhinestone complete the card. So pretty!

More 'warm fuzzies' came on Monday this week, when Kim Tonnet and I attended a fund raising event for the McGrath Foundation hosted by the Muirfield Golf Club Ladies group. The McGrath Foundation, in loving memory of the courageous Jane McGrath, support women diagnosed with breast cancer by funding the employment of specialist Breast Care nurses, particularly in regional and rural areas. You can find out more about the invaluable work of the McGrath foundation, and make a donation yourself if you are able HERE. Each of the ladies attending donated $10 towards the foundation, and have also donated their group's Hostess Benefits towards a raffle to raise even more! Stampin' Up! Australia have been extremely generous in donating a large box of goodies to add to the raffle and prizes for this event and also our October Christmas Craft Day, and we thank them sincerely for their support - they are truly a Company with heart.

Would you like to join me and my team in our efforts to make the world a nicer place? For more information on becoming a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, please contact me for a no pressure, no obligation chat, or to receive a Joining Kit in the mail.

Meanwhile, if you are Sydney-based, there are still places available at our "Get Ready for Christmas Craft Day", on October 10th at Epping Creative Centre. Registration cost is $40 and includes morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, lunch, use of stamps and tools, demonstrations and more. There will be lots of prizes and giveaways, and a number of Make n Take projects to enjoy for a gold-coin donation to Breast Cancer charities. Do join us if you can for a fun, creative day, while supporting these most important causes during Pink Month! Call Michelle on (02) 9484 9447 or email to book your place today.

Monday, 21 September 2009

QUICK! Last call for Early Birds!

Early Bird registrations for our "Get Ready for Christmas" Craft day to be held October 1oth, 9.30am - 5pm

(that's just TWO MORE DAYS!)

Registrations will still be open after that date, but we're trying to firm up numbers attending to help us with our planning, so the price will rise to $40 for the day.

What do you get?

* Morning tea - an assortment of homemade goodies - cakes, biscuits, slices

* Lunch - buffet-style cold meats, veggie slice, salads and rolls

* Afternoon tea - more homebaked goodies

* Tea, Coffee and Filtered water all day

* Access to our extensive stamp, punch and tool library

* Inspiration by the bucketload, with samples on display, books and magazines to browse and more

* Make and takes (for gold-coin donation to Breast Cancer Charities)

* Lucky Door Prizes

* Creative Challenges to complete if you wish - more prizes to win!

* Demonstrations and more!

Already planned on coming? Please ensure Kim or myself have received your payment ASAP to confirm your place

Thinking about it? Go on! It will be a great day, productive and enjoyable, with good company and yummy food.
Just saw this? Check your diaries and give us a call for all the details (or read below)
Michelle: 9484 9447 or 0403 175790
Kim: 0402 347010

Sunday, 20 September 2009

September Ribbon Bundle - Free with qualifying purchase!

OOOOPPPSS!! I've been terribly remiss in not posting about this already. September around here is a little crazy schedule-wise and it slipped the net sorry!

But!!! It's not at all tooo late, let's just say I've given you a while to get your wishlists in order, what do you think? Yes? Righto, here we go!

* The ribbon bundle consists of 10 yards of Wide Grosgrain ribbon in So Saffron, a buttery soft yellow, and 10 yards of Poly Twill ribbon in Certainly Celery (my favourite green!) The poly twill is a new style of ribbon, with a fine diagonal weave, like cotton twill tape, but silky like satin ribbon. The So Saffron Grosgrain is a new colour in this range, so you sure won't be doubling up with either of these!

* How do you get it? Either place an order totalling $100 or more, or host a workshop with $600 or more in sales. Easy! (one ribbon bundle per qualifying order)

* The bundle is valued at over $25, so it's a great time to get your Christmas craft needs sorted with an order for cardstock and accessories for your cards and gifts. Oh! And don't forget the Whisper White cardstock as per below LOL!

Friday, 18 September 2009

Why Whisper White is Wonderful and Well Worth Whacking on your Wishlists!

In the tradition of Stampin' Up!'s colour name alliteration theme, welcome to my post on the wonders of Whisper White fine stamping cardstock!

The issue of getting a great stamped image has come up several times since the launch of the new catalogue, and I think it is in part due to the set shown here, Upsy Daisy, although what I am sharing here has always applied to all stamping, particularly solid stamps.

Upsy Daisy is a complex yet solid stamp - it has lots of detail, and how well it appears is dependent on good coverage of ink and good ink transfer to the paper.

In the image above (click the picture itself to see an enlarged version) you will see the same stamp and same ink applied to four different cardstocks.

Upper left is Tangerine Tango Dye Ink applied to white Bazzill canvas textured cardstock, and it looks pretty patchy. You might be wanting this distressed kind of look, and if that's the case, go right ahead! So, WHY does it look this way? The textured surface of the canvas cardstock is preventing the whole film of ink on the rubber image from being transferred, despite applying significant pressure. The surface of the cardstock is also not very absorbent, so the ink does not transfer well from the stamp.

Under this at bottom left, we have the same ink applied to the best non-Stampin' Up! white cardstock I have been able to find. It's a good heavy weight, so it is great for card bases. That's where I believe its uses end! This particular Upsy Daisy stamp is well 'broken in' so it has no residue from manufacture, and the surface has been gently keyed with repeated use and cleaning on the microfibre pads of the Stampin' Scrub. So, this image quality is as good as you are going to get on this cardstock. Again, it's quite mottled and patchy. The surface of the 'other white cardstock' is not as smooth as Whisper White. So, the ink transfer is relatively uneven, leading to the blotchy look. I have also tried it on a few other white cardstocks I had lying about, and they are even worse than this, in addition to having a greyish or bluish tone to them that I don't find appealing.

At the top right, I have used Whisper White, and the same simple rub/tap application of ink as used with the other samples. I think it is quite obvious that the intensity of the image is better, and sharper, the ink has transferred evenly onto the cardstock and given a clear impression. The colour is also a nice clear neutral white, with no overly yellow, blue or grey tones. The supersmooth surface means there is excellent contact between the rubber and paper. The weight is a little lighter than other Stampin' Up! coloured cardstocks, but it can be used for card bases with no problems. If you prefer a stiffer card base, try applying a coloured mat over the card base (like in the just beachy/dear dad fathers day card below), or build your card base from coloured cardstock, but stamp your images using Whisper White and mount them as a separate layer.

At the bottom right is another sample of Whisper White. Here, I have used a rubber brayer (p156 IBC, 102395 $23.95) to apply the ink to the rubber. This gives the most perfect ink application possible, with no streaks or marks that you may get with the rub and tap method. Simply roll the brayer repeatedly over the inkpad, and then onto the rubber, as if you were painting a wall. You will be able to feel the ink cling to the rubber stamp, and will see a perfect ink film on the surface. Brayers are also excellent for inking up background stamps and several other techniques, why not add one to your wishlist?

Whisper White cardstock is specially designed for stamping on, and has very tightly packed paper fibres and an ultrasmooth polished surface with even absorbency. I think the benefits are clearly seen in the photo above. Additionally, it is economical! You can find it on page 130 of the IBC, and it costs $13.50 for 40 A4 sheets , around 34 cents per A4 sheet.
So, in summary, to get a good stamped impression from your stamps, especially solid images, try these tips:

*Clean the stamp thoroughly using Stampin' Mist and Stampin' Scrub before use, to remove residue and prepare the rubber surface for accepting an ink film

*Stamp using Whisper White (or the almost as great Very Vanilla)

*Hold the stamp in contact with the cardstock for a moment or two, to get great transfer

*For the best application, use a brayer to apply ink to the stamp.

I hope that helps you get the best out of your stamp collection, and I look forward to helping you with your Stampin' Up! wishlists!

Monday, 14 September 2009

A Winter Post Christmas and Christmas Craft day approaches!

I fell in love with the Winter Post set (p 33, $47.95 115902) when I saw it in the catalogue, it has so many elements that you can use in combination or separately. I know some people don't like the wintery theme for their Christmas cards, but I've never had a problem with rugged-up Santas and snowflakes! Probably because I prefer to be able to get warm near a roaring fire in winter, rather than trying to beat the stifling heat of a Sydney summer! Tradition is probably another factor, as I do like to celebrate with the hot roast dinner followed by pudding - again this would be much more suited to a chilly climate...

On to the card, I wanted to create a vintage look and to use the fabulous Postcard and Postmark stamps, so I have created a postcard lookalike using a Kraft cardstock base, sponged with Chocolate Chip ink around the outside. over this is a piece of Confetti Cream cardstock, and the stamps are inked with Close to Cocoa ink.

For the skaters image, I stamped onto Watercolor paper, and used Riding Hood Red, Chocolate Chip and Close to Cocoa inks and a blender pen to colour the image. This is matted with Riding Hood Red, and the edges have been put through the postal service wringer by applying my distressing tool.

The greeting comes next, and I have used a sentiment more usually placed on the inside of a card, from the Many Merry Messages set, stamped in Chocolate Chip ink, as if it were writing on the postcard.

A strip of Kraft taffeta ribbon completes the almost monochrome look, and I added a smidge of bling in the form of a "fire" square rhinestone en pointe, threaded through a small felt flower from the felt Flower Fusion Too set.

The final touch was dropping my inkpad on the finished card, while trying to close it. Hmm. I guess Aussie Post were a touch heavy handed with the ink in the postmarking machine, what do you reckon?? LOL!

And onto other important news, it is now less than ONE MONTH until our "Get Ready for Christmas Craft Day" on October 10th at Epping Creative Centre, Dence Park. If you would like to come along, please get in touch with Kim Tonnet or myself to have an e-invite forwarded to you.

The details:

When: 9.30am - 5pm on Saturday 10 October 2009

Where: Epping Creative Centre (Dence Park), 26 Stanley Street, Epping.

What we'll provide: Morning tea, lunch and afternoon snacks, juice, tea, coffee and water (BYO other drinks). Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements. There will also be a huge selection of stamp sets, punches and papercrafting tools available to borrow, along with loads of inspiration and samples. Great prizes too!

Bring your own: Basic tools and adhesives and projects to work on. Coins/small notes to pay for extra make-and-takes (all takings will be donated to the NSW Cancer Council Breast Cancer Cause, in honour of Pink Ribbon Month).

Cost: $35 *Early Bird Price. Payment required at the time of registration. Methods of payment accepted are cash, cheque, bank deposit, PayPal or credit card (MasterCard or Visa).

Registration: Please phone Michelle on 0403 175 790 or email us. *Early Bird Registrations close Wednesday 23rd September. Full Price Registration fee is $40. Full Price Registrations close Friday 2nd October 2009.

PLACES ARE LIMITED, SO PLEASE BOOK IN NOW! We have been collecting items for goodie bags, some of which are limited in number, so the sooner you register and pay, the plumper it will be... Why not come with a group of friends and enjoy a great day creating?

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Fathers Day - belatedly!

I saw my own dad today, and gave him his Father's day gift. So, I thought I should get around to posting the cards that I made for the event. The first card is a quick and simple one, but proved to be a big success with the several groups that made it with me. It uses a Kraft cardstock base, stamped with Not Quite Navy ink using the Sanded background. Next up we have a hand-cut pocket template in Not Quite Navy, stamped the same way. I made a chipboard template for these pockets to help with mass production.

Next I cut a length of twill tape and frayed the ends a little before attaching to the front of the card. The pocket was applied over this, and a white gel pen faux stitching effect was added.

For the greeting, I have used the Happy Fathers Day stamp from the Occasional Greetings set, stamped in Not Quite Navy onto Confetti Cream cardstock. I cut around this and matted on a piece of Kraft cardstock, and popped it up using Stampin Dimensionals.

Very quick, very easy!

The second card was a little more involved, and combines paper piecing techniques with the cute "Just Beachy" stamp set from the Spring Mini. The card base is Whisper White, and I have used strips of Baja Breeze and Kiwi Kiss to form the grass, sea and sky. A thin scalloped edge of Pacific Point cardstock goes between the grass and the sea to form some waves.

In addition to the Just Beachy set which provided the car and sun images, I also used the "dear dad" stamp from the Occasionally set. You can find this set on page 30of the IBC, and it's packed with 28 stamps to cover everything from mothers day, christmas, babies, love, easter, weddings and lots more. You might also be able to recognise another set I have used, although not in its usual form. If you'd like to be the recipient of a RAK goodie bag, just be the first to post a comment here identifying the set.

I stamped the car and sun images onto watercolor paper using Stazon Black ink, and coloured them using Earth Elements Watercolor Wonder Crayons and a Blender Pen. I added some gloss using Crystal Effects in the centre of the sun and the car windows. The top edge of the grass panel is distressed with the cutter kit distressing tool.

To finish, I added a snippet of Kiwi Kiss striped grosgrain ribbon and attached it with a large brad from the Styled Silver Hodgepodge kit.

Hope you like them :)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Ribbon share - places available!

Thanks everyone for your interest in the ribbon share! Group 1 has been filled, but there are still 3 places available in Group 2, so if you've been thinking about it, now's the time to jump on in! You will receive 1/4 roll of each of th 5 ribbons, so for a little more than the cost of one roll, you have 5 times the variety. Group 1 has been ordered and I will hopefully receive it today, and send out the delicious lengths to their new homes! Next up, by request is a share in the delectable Corduroy buttons from the Spring Mini catalogue - more details very soon!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

And the verdict is in!

Thanks everyone for participating in my poll about the best days for you to attend classes. Saturday classes will definitely continue, and it looks as if Thursdays are the most popular day during the week. So, I will get started on scheduling a class or two on weekday evenings, low stress, great for a bit of relaxation after a day at work or with the kids. Sign up for my blog and newsletter if you'd like to be kept up to date with any plans.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Ribbon Share - pictures at last!

Sorry everyone, I have been more than usually busy with other life stuff over the last few days, and never got around to taking a daylight photo of the ribbon groups in the share I am offering.

So, here they are, with Group 1 at the left and Group 2 at the right.

There are still spaces available in both groups, so please send me an email with your name and address details and the group you are wishing to participate in. Other Stampin' Up! demonstrators are most welcome to join in!