Monday, November 30, 2009

Reindeer box

Hi everyone!

Wow, can you believe I haven't blogged since Wednesday last week? Sorry about going awol again! I've been busy baking pies. I'm serious - I baked a pumpkin pie of sorts (not quite the authentic USA version, it was a NZ-ised one!) last week for work, as I was on duty to bake for our regular Friday morning tea. My workmates loved it so much they awarded me the baker of the week trophy, yay! OK, I was only up against some little cupcakes so it's not as big an achievement as it might have sounded, but I had several people ask for the recipe which is usually a pretty good indication they like what they're eating!

Anyway, I baked another pie yesterday for my class here, and served that up with a little ice cream on the side. It went down pretty well here too (hopefully the ladies weren't just being polite and they did actually like it!). For any overseas readers, pumpkin pie is not common in NZ - here we tend to eat it as a savoury dish, for example roasted like you would do roast potatoes. So having it as a sweet dessert is a bit of a stretch for some to cope with until they've tried it. My 5 year old LOVES it - every time I started cutting a piece she was glued to my leg with her mouth wide open! Makes it sound like I don't feed her enough I know, but honestly it's really just that she loved the pie :-)

OK now for the project you've come to see - this is the Reindeer box that I taught last weekend at Mandy's class. Raquel won this box at my class here yesterday, after I'd filled it with chocolates of course (remember there's always chocolate at my events!).
I must tell you that I wasn't the clever one to come up with this box - I learned how to make it from Heather Summers, one of the Canadian demonstrators whose work I take much inspiration from. It's Heather who really got me into punch art - she's amazing! This box was taught in one of her online classes. Check out her blog here.

Have a fabulous day and do come back tomorrow - I'll post up a link to the new Summer Mini catalogue! And for those who have booked in to my launch party this coming Saturday, I look forward to seeing you then! (If you haven't yet booked, e-mail me now and I'll see if I can squeeze you in!).

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tree Trimmings Christmas Card

Hi everyone,

The second project we made on Saturday at my class was this Tree Trimmings stamp set. Now I have to admit, when I first saw this set, I hadn't planned to buy it. I figured I had lots of Christmas sets already, what did I need a new one for? But it didn't take long before I changed my mind - the detail in this set is stunning and at just $28.95 plus shipping for four stamps, it's a steal! I've used this set over and over already, and it's not even December yet. This would make a fabulous set for a scrapbook layout too. But before I get sidetracked, I'd better give you the recipe for this card....

It's pretty self explanatory I think, we used the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig to line up the strings for the ornaments. Adhere the strip of Ski Slope DSP after you do the stamping, and then add your ribbon, before sticking the white piece to the card base. That way you can hide the ends of the "strings" and the raw edges of your ribbon. I had ends to hide as it's actually two pieces of ribbon, a technique I often use in classes as it makes for the easiest knot tying on cards, ever!

I love that ribbon - need to use it more often I think, so keep an eye out for that!

Stamps: Tree Trimmings, Many Merry Messages
Ink: Riding Hood Red, Baja Breeze, Old Olive
Other: Riding Hood Red striped ribbon, Ski Slope DSP, Scallop Edge Punch

Any questions, please just ask! (Click here)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Great Friend - one last time!

Morning everyone!

On Saturday Mandy wanted me to feature the Spring Mini products as she was looking to place her last order from that and wanted her friends to see how fabulous the products are in there. Although at this time of year we're all more focused on Christmas projects, I couldn't resist slipping in a card made using Great Friend and the coordinating Walk in the Park Designer Series paper. It's probably going to be the last project I make with these before they become unavailable at the end of the month. It's sad but there are lots of very cool things coming in the next Mini catalogue, so I'll get over it!

This card also features the scallop oval punch from the Spring Mini. I've added a little piercing to the Basic Grey cardstock strip and a couple of brads (Tip: add the brads before adhering the cardstock and DSP to your card front and avoid showing the prongs of the brads inside your card). Other than that I think it's pretty self explanatory how I made this, but any questions you have, just e-mail me to ask (click here).

Have a great day!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Oops I forgot!

Hi everyone,

Just a quick little post this morning. I totally forgot to blog yesterday, oops! Had such a lovely afternoon at Mandy's on Saturday and then "life" took over yesterday - went and got a WOF for the car, bought a new office chair for my craft room (it's just an ordinary chair but WOW does it make a difference to how easy it is for me to get at things in there!), sorted out a bit of stuff we had lying around and put a box of old toys together to donate to needy children for Christmas, figured out how much to hem my daughter's Snow White costume for this week's fairytale day at school... See, the life of a Demonstrator isn't all about stamping! Even though we sometimes wish it was :-).

OK, as promised I'm going to share the projects we made on Saturday. Today here's the door prize I threw together for the day, it's typically called a "sour cream" container (presumably in the USA this sort of container is how sour cream is packaged?). Super quick and easy to make, and when you close it like this, rather than sealing both ends with sticky strip and crimping them, you can still get the package open without ruining it. You just fold the edge back and punch holes to tie the ribbon through, easy! I learned that tip from Marelle Taylor when she demonstrated at the Stampin' Up! convention in Canberra earlier this year.

For this container I used Ski Slope DSP and the Best Yet hostess set for the greeting. Two of my favourite products right now. And it was filled with chocolates. They're my favourite too!

Back tomorrow to show you the first card we made. Until then, contact me if you have any questions!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An afternoon of stamping

Hi everyone,

It's a late post I'm doing today, but it still counts as another day where I have blogged, so I'm really just keeping you on your toes as to what time my posts appear!

The reason for the late post today is that I wanted to show you a gift I made for my wonderful hostess this afternoon, but I couldn't do that and spoil the surprise for Mandy. So I'm sure you'll forgive me!

As those of you who have hosted a workshop or class for me before will know, I love to make little gifts to thank you for hosting, on top of your free catalogue that you receive from me as part of your hostess pack when you confirm a date for your party. With my husband supporting my habit of collecting cute jars and tins to decorate, these little gifts are often 3D items, filled with some form of chocolate usually! As far as I'm concerned, workshops aren't complete without a little chocolate in there somewhere...

Today's hostess gift to Mandy was no exception. I used the fabulous Punch Pals stamp set (why didn't I buy this one earlier and make Christmas cards with it I wonder?!) to decorate this cute little jar. The patterned paper is the Ski Slope DSP yet again, and I used the Real Red 1/4" grosgrain ribbon to embellish the jar. I added some stamped images to the top of the jar as well as one side (which happens to hide the join in the paper, so there isn't a "bad" side to this project at all!). The punches I used were the Scallop Circle and 1-1/4" circle. And then I filled it with some mini chocolate bars. Yum! Jars like this would make great little gifts for workmates and friends this Christmas.

Thanks to Mandy for a lovely afternoon with her and her friends, I think from their reaction to the projects we made today, they enjoyed their little bit of creative time with me. I love to see the reactions I get when I introduce people to stamping for the first time, I really enjoyed myself too! And a big thanks to Mandy's husband Russell for coming to my rescue and changing my flat tyre (which I hadn't even noticed was flat!). I might be a quite independent woman but I was definitely happy to accept his help with that one!

If you'd like for me to make a gift for you like this one I made for Mandy, contact me now (click here) to book your early 2010 workshops!

I'll be back to show you the projects we made today, over the next few days. Sorry, I'm being a tease and not revealing them all in one go!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A very quick Christmas Ornament

Morning everyone!
Very quick post today as I'm in a wee bit of a rush! I thought I'd share this really cute little Christmas ornament with you. This was unbelievably quick and easy to make, but so effective, and a great way to use up those scraps of designer series paper you've been hoarding!

The designer of this project, called a Double Ball Ornament, is the fabulous Carol Dunstan who is from Australia and was asked to write a tutorial for it for Splitcoast. Way to go Carol! To see her original sample and find out how to make these, click here.

You'll need a hatpin and bead(s) from the Pretties kit as well as some ribbon and a paper piercing tool to make this. No adhesive whatsover!! I've used some of my favourite Ski Slope Designer Series paper and whisper white 1/4" grosgrain ribbon for mine. Oh how I'll miss this paper when it's gone - just 10 more days to order it!

Have a happy day! (It is Friday, after all, the weekend is nearly here!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

What else can I get?

Hi everyone,
Today I thought I'd tell you about what else I offer in my wonderful "second job" as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.

I'm often asked if I have products that people can buy when they come to my home to attend a class or workshop. For the most part, the answer is no. We sell products to order, as one of Stampin' Up!'s policies is that we are strictly forbidden to sell from stock. Of course, I have lots of cardstock and things here because I can often use several packs at a time when I'm preparing for a large event, but I cannot sell that to you when you attend a class. The reason for this policy is that Stampin' Up! have a 90 day guarantee that products are free from manufacturing faults, and that starts from the shipping date. So if I was to sell you something from my "stash", the chances are it's been sitting there for a while, so probably outside of the 90 days. It's fairly rare, but occasionally there are issues that I have to log with Stampin' Up!, and if that happens, you ideally want to be protected by the 90 day policy.

Having said that, there are times when I DO have product available to purchase when you attend a class at my home. These are retired items, which won't be going into a main catalogue. If you would like to see what I have available right now, check out the list here or use the link on my sidebar. You can order these by e-mail too, you don't have to attend a class to earn the chance to purchase them!

As a Manager with a wonderful team, I also have lots to offer to new Demonstrators who join me, but that would make for a very long post, so I'll focus on what else I offer to customers, for today! Personalised classes, free workshops, large crafting events like our Extravaganzas, handmade items sold at my events, a little something attached to every order for your inspiration, friendly service, and did I mention gift vouchers? If there's a crafter in your life who would enjoy shopping from the catalogue (or if you'd like to drop a hint to your nearest and dearest for one yourself, after all, Christmas is coming!), I can offer a gift voucher for any amount you care to spend! Please note that purchasers / recipients of gift vouchers must be resident in NZ, as we cannot sell inter-country.

Do ask if you would like to know more! And if there's something you'd like me to offer that I didn't mention, post a comment here and I'll do my best to accomodate you!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Parisian Purse

Morning everyone!

Did you miss me yesterday? Things are pretty full-on for me at work and with my stamping right now so I decided that I could afford a teeny break from blogging. So my record is 15 days in a row. I'm quite proud of myself for that little accomplishment. Not bad for a technophobe really!

Today I want to share with you a cute little purse that I've made out of Parisian Breeze Specialty DSP, which is in the Spring Mini. I bought this paper during our pre-order month back in July and I've mostly only drooled over it, having only used it for a couple of projects. I'm kicking myself now, because isn't it just gorgeous? I should have used it a lot more, and now we're about to farewell it!

This little purse is made using a template that Stampin' Up! made available to Demonstrators, it's one of the fabulous resources we have access to. One of the many benefits of being a Demonstrator! (Did I mention that we get to see what's coming up, in advance sometimes? You're going to love the Summer mini!)

The really nice thing about this DSP is that it's thick, like cardstock. So when you use it for making 3D items, it holds it's shape really well once you've folded it. Often, little purses like this one can seem so flimsy if made using ordinary patterned paper - but not this one! There's no way the handle is falling over on this purse, unless I happen to accidentally sit on it or something!
It's a little hard to see in the photo but around the front flap of the purse I've added a scalloped edge. I cut a piece of the DSP and used the Scallop Edge punch on it, then used my scissors to snip a few key bits so I could angle it around the curve.

I've used one of the Baja Breeze corduroy buttons as the "closure" on this purse, although actually it's held closed using velcro. With linen thread tied on, it is for decoration - much like a real-life purse can be! These buttons are also sailing off into the sunset at the end of this month, so don't forget to order them if you want them for your craft collection!

Please contact me if you have any questions about this project, or want to know about the other advantages of becoming a Demonstrator. I'd love to welcome you to my wonderful team!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Launch Party for the new Summer Mini Catalogue!

Hi everyone,
Just a quick announcement today. Some of you may have noticed that I've made a few changes to my sidebar in the last week or so, and one of those changes was to update information on my classes. Now, not all of my workshops / classes are mentioned in this section of my blog. I do conduct workshops and classes on request at the homes of my customers, so because those are private classes, I don't always list them here. (If you'd like to book a workshop or an exclusive class just for you and your friends, I'm taking bookings now for the New Year).

However, I do want to point out an exciting event that I am planning which you are welcome to book in for - for the first time ever, I'm holding a Launch Party at my home! We have a fabulous new Summer Mini Catalogue which will be available on December 1st, so I'm holding my party as soon as I'm able to, after it opens (given my day job!). Come and visit me in Botany Downs, Auckland, on the afternoon of December 5th - there will be free Make n Takes, new tools to try out, a complimentary copy of the Summer mini with all orders placed on the day, loads of inspiration, drinks & nibbles and the odd prize or two made by me...

In my view this is the best mini catalogue we've had so far! Drop in any time between 1-5pm, but you must RSVP by November 30th so I can prepare your make n takes kit. Please E-mail me for more details and to book in! As I'm holding this event over 4 hours, so you can pop in for a quick visit or stay longer as you prefer, I am hoping I won't need to put a limit on the numbers, but don't take too long to book in, just in case!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Special Christmas Card

Hi everyone,

Well after thinking I was just about done making Christmas cards (amazing I know, since it's only mid-November) my fabulous Stampin' Up! team have got me going again.

We have team swaps and challenges, and the challenge this month is to make a Christmas card that has at least one button. I couldn't not participate this time (I've skipped a few team challenges so far, just been too busy to enter!) since I am not exactly short of a few corduroy buttons from the Spring Mini catalogue!

This Christmas card is more elaborate than the others I've been making this year. For one, I've tried to design Christmas cards that my customers can reproduce fairly quickly and easily, if they need a lot of cards. Two, I've tried to make sure that my Christmas cards are ones that aren't too bulky - otherwise the postage can get a little expensive. Three, I know that some people (yes there are some!) don't always recognise the time and care (and love) that goes into making a handmade card. When that's the case, you want to make cards that don't take hours to put together, since they aren't really going to be appreciated!

That means that this card is just a little bit more special than my other designs. I've added some beautiful wide Real Red grosgrain ribbon in addition to that gorgeous Baja Breeze corduroy button attached to the sentiment piece. (This also means that this card is more luxurious and would have to be sold for a lot more than the cheap packs of Christmas cards you can buy at this time of year!).

The poinsetta flower is made using the Spotlight on Christmas stamp set, punching the images out with the 5-petal flower punch, then adhering together with a little snail adhesive and putting a silver brad through the centre. I curled it just a little using the tips of my fingers and used Stampin Dimensionals to attach it so it stands up a little from the card. The chocolate chip frame that it's layered on is from the Gallery stamp set in the Spring mini, and yes I hand cut that out (so you probably don't want to be making 100 of this card!).

I stamped the base card with the swirl from the Spotlight on Christmas set in Baja Breeze ink. You may notice that some of the swirls go off the edge of the cardstock. That's intentional - those of you who attend my classes and events may have heard me talking about "flow" on a card or layout. That's what I mean, a project will often look more polished if the background stamping "flows" off the edge. Try it next time you're stamping and see for yourself!
I wrapped the ribbon around a piece of Ski Slope designer series paper layered on Real Red cardstock and adhered it to my card before adding the embellishments. The sentiment is from the hostess set Best Yet (yes, here it is again, I can't get enough of that set!), punched out with the large oval punch, and layered on a chocolate chip scalloped oval. I attached the button and then used dimensionals to attach it to the card.

Here's a close up of the embellishments so you can see all the layering; the first photo doesn't show how much dimension there is to this card.

Now all I have to do is to find a special person to give this card to, someone who will appreciate the time and love poured into making it!

Hope you like it, do let me know if you have any questions (click here). If you'd like to order any of the products from the Spring Mini that I've used, don't forget to do that before the end of the month, when the Spring mini closes!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Christmas Card Bonanza #4 - Snow Swirled

Happy Saturday everyone!

Here's the 4th card from my World Cardmaking Day event. Not your traditional red and green colours, I wanted to make something a little different and modern. Believe it or not, purple is being used more and more for Christmas cards!

This card was pretty simple and quick to make, despite lots of stamping! The focal piece is the tree image from Snow Swirled, we used the Stamp-A-ma jig to position it perfectly as I had cut the cardstock to the right size and there wasn't too much room for error! We stamped it in Lavender Lace ink, and added a small piece of cardstock in the same colour for the trunk of the tree (or is that a pot??). The ribbon is the Elegant Eggplant 1/4" grosgrain, which I don't use nearly as often as I'd like to, tied in a simple knot and attached with a mini glue dot. We stamped the greeing and added some Dazzling Diamonds glitter to the tree for a bit of bling, although you probably can't see that in the photo. This piece was then layered on Elegant Eggplant cardstock to tie it in with the ribbon.

The base card was simply stamped all over with Lavendar Lace ink and the images from Snow Swirled, and then we used one of the stamps to go over the base card again using Whisper White craft ink. It makes a very nice interesting background to the card, don't you think?

And that's it! Simple, but effective. The sort of card you want to make for Christmas if you're now rushing to get your cards done. Do e-mail me if you have any questions or need more ideas for your Christmas cards this year. For the first time ever, I think I've already made enough Christmas cards, and it's not even December yet, so I'm not stressing about Christmas just yet (wait until I suddenly decide to make handmade gifts and then the panic will hit!).

Come and visit tomorrow to see what else I have in store!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Christmas Card Bonanza #3 - Occasionally

Hi everyone,

Here's the third card we made at my World Card Making day event. Another very simple design, and one where the layout might seem quite familiar. I've used the 3-circle layout quite a bit in the last year or so!

My regular readers will remember me using several of the stamps from the Occasionally set in earlier posts, most recently the Halloween card I made. I've got to say it again, it's a very useful set and well worth the investment! For this card I used the little Christmas tree from the set, but I could just as easily have used the candy cane, snowflake, one of the star stamps or the present stamp, and they'd all work just as well with the Christmas theme.

The sentiment is from the Many Merry Messages stamp set, stamped on Confetti White cardstock, and yes, that's more of the fantastic Ski Slope Designer Series paper, this time punched with the eyelet border punch. It's a pretty simple card but quite effective, and perfect if you need to make a lot of cards in a short space of time.

One more Christmas card from WCMD to go tomorrow and then I'll have to rummage around in my sample boxes for other things to show you!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas Card Bonanza #2

Morning everyone!

OK we're back to my Christmas card projects from my World Card Making Day event. Which seems so very long ago now. It wasn't really, just last month, but it's just that I do tend to cram a lot of stuff into my life so even last week seems like a long time ago!

This card I just HAD to make, to justify having bought the very cool Season's Surfin' stamp set. As a Demonstrator, I try to mainly buy supplies that I use in my classes and workshops, so that there is a financial justification for having them, but every now and then a particular set slips through that I bought just because I love it, and for no other reason! This set was almost one of those, until I gave myself a stern talking to and used it in the class! While it's limited to Christmas, that's one occasion I'm OK about having exclusive sets for - after all, it comes around every year and if I live to be as old as my grandparents did, I've got a good 40+ more years of use of this set ahead of me, ha!

In my class we stamped the image using Basic Brown ink, which is waterproof so that you can watercolour it without it smudging. Often I prefer Basic Brown to Basic Black, as I find that sometimes the black is a little too strong for my personal taste. We stamped it on Confetti White cardstock, which I think is often overlooked but I love the variation and flecks of colour in it so try to use it often. It's more forgiving than Whisper White when you're colouring, as in the cardstock is a little more robust and can handle you "working" the colour and going over the same area a few times to blend the colours in nicely. I offered my guests a range of colouring mediums so they could try them out - chalks, watercolour crayons etc - but they all decided to follow me and used blender pens with the ink from our ink pads to colour theirs in. Apparently it looked good so that's what they wanted too!

The card also uses the Ski Slope DSP, which I'm sure you've just about seen enough of with my Christmas projects this year. But I really love that stuff too (are you hearing a theme here?), and have gone through a tonne of it. I will miss it dearly! I simply punched one edge with the scallop edge punch to give it a bit of that something extra.

For the finishing touch we stamped the sentiment from the Best Yet hostess set (my favourite!) and layered that on a punched scallop oval in Baja Breeze, then popped that up on a Stampin' Dimensional. I'm really hoping that the scalloped oval will make it to our main catalogue in September next year because I'm really going to miss using it in my classes. My one has had a LOT of use in the last 3 months!

If you like this card and want to get the Season's Surfin stamp set from the Spring Mini (page 18) before it's too late, e-mail me to order it before the end of the month and I'll throw in a kit for this card which includes everything pre-cut to size ready for you to put together (please note the kit won't include stamped images as that's against Stampin' Up! policy). I was a little over-exhuberant when preparing the kits for this card and cut three extra ones. So the offer is limited to the first three people to order this set! It's just $39.95 plus shipping, and as well as this image with Santa, there's a palm tree and "Seasons Greetings" stamps, with Christmas lights wrapped around them. Equally fun to colour!

I'm on a roll now - back tomorrow with more to share!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Never Ending Card

Hi everyone,

Yesterday I showed you the little gift bag I made with the Great Friend stamp set. Today's project uses the same stamp set, but is one that I made more recently. I have a lovely group of ladies that I see every second month, and they're always looking for "wow" projects for me to teach them how to make. This Never Ending Card design is definitely a wow, people who experience it for the first time are always amazed! I've had ladies try and fail to work out how it works, but it's actually really quite simple to make once you know how. Thank you to the very clever person who originally invented this style of card, whoever you are!

This card features the Walk in the Park designer series paper which is in the Spring Mini catalogue. I think I will go into mourning at the end of the month when we won't be able to buy this any more, I really love this paper! (Even though it has Cameo Coral in it which is not my favourite pink!) A card like this design really showcases the paper as when you open the card you discover there are lots of folds to make before you get back to the start. It's hard to explain how it works and I'm not technically skilled enough to put a video on here to show you, so if you haven't seen one of these work you'll just have to e-mail me and we can work out a way to meet in person so I can show you!

The stamping was all done with Great Friend and the colours were the same ones used in the DSP (remember how I said Stampin' Up! made colour coordination so easy?). The card measures 6x6" but you could make them any sized square you like.

Want to learn how to make these? Book a private class (click here) and I'll be happy to come and teach you and your friends.

Back to Christmas projects tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Great Friend gift bag

Welcome back!

I have more Christmas cards to show you soon, but while I was digging around in my photo archives on the weekend I found a couple of projects that I haven't shown on here yet, and they use Spring Mini catalogue products, so I decided to take a wee detour from Christmas projects and show them to you.

The first is this cute little gift bag that I made back in August. One of the advantages of being a Stampin' Up! Independent Demonstrator is that we get to see and order from the new catalogues before the products are available to the public, and back in August I started playing with the goodies you can buy now from the Spring Mini. Great Friend is probably my favourite stamp set from the Spring Mini, and I just love Baja Breeze which is one of our current in-colours, so wanted to use that colour for my gift bag. I was also super excited to be able to buy White StazOn ink (which you need to stamp on acetate with, as regular inks won't dry on acetate) and made this bag to show off the stamp set and the White StazOn ink. Tip: White StazOn is NOT in the next mini catalogue, so if you didn't order it already, don't forget to do so before the end of the month!

I've stamped the gorgeous butterfly from this set using Pretty In Pink, to match the 1/4" grosgrain ribbon that I used for the bag handles. You might be able to see that the tips of the wings are darker - I "rolled" just the tips in a darker colour of ink, I think I used Regal Rose, then cut the butterfly out and curled it very slightly with my fingers so the wings would stand up on the bag. The antennae of the butterfly are actually from the Pretties kit, pulled out from some of the little flowers. I inked up the sentiment using Baja Breeze and then took an Old Olive stampin' write marker to ink the word "friend" so it matched the frame around the saying. I used the Stamp-a-ma-jig to position the frame stamp perfectly around the greeting, and then cut that piece out by hand. Tip: if you leave a little white border around images when you cut them out, it's more forgiving than if you try to cut directly on the lines!

I stamped the leaf image from Great Friend using White StazOn on the acetate, and underneath stamped using Baja Breeze for tone on tone stamping on that cardstock. A little piercing in the corners of the bag (which I covered with Kraft cardstock) finishes it off. Oh, the bag itself is just a little paper bag that I picked up at a discount store last year. I couldn't even tell you where that store was, as I was away for the weekend with some fellow Demonstrators for a girl's weekend away and I wasn't driving, so I don't know where we were!

Feel free to ask if you have any questions (click here), and don't forget to order that White StazOon while you still can!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Extravaganza Bag "Tags"

Hi everyone!

Well, can you believe that I've managed to blog every day for a week already? I never thought I'd manage it! Especially with the Extravaganza event I had to prepare for, and a hectic week at work as well. We'll see if I manage to make it to the 21 days that Jacque challenged me to do this month. It might require me to dig around in my archives of photos for projects to show you, as I do tend to reserve some of my projects for my customers to see in the flesh, so that there's another advantage to having me come and stamp with you! Aside from the fact that it's loads of fun, that is.

Anyway, as promised, today I'm showing you the "tags" I made for each of my guests on Saturday. I do have something of a reputation for making nice tags for these events. Before the very first Extravaganza, Jacque explained that we should make up a bag for each of our guests and label it with their name. Our first tags were pretty simple. I don't think I even have a record of what I made all those months (or is it years now?!) ago. I'm sure they were embarrassingly simple compared to what I make these days. Times have certainly changed, I have a reputation to live up to now!

So here they are....

They're actually little boxes, like matchboxes, that slide open from the side. I used Old Olive cardstock as the wrap-around piece and either Baja Breeze or Chocolate chip for the "drawer" part. Of course, I had to use some products from the Spring Mini catalogue (even if just to justify having bought them myself!), so each box had a strip of Ski Slope DSP around it and the gorgeous frame stamp is from the Gallery stamp set in the mini. I love this set and sadly hadn't gotten around to using it until now. Here's hoping it will be in our new catalogue next year so I can keep playing with it!

I had a few questions from my guests about the cute little Christmas puddings that decorated the boxes. Yes, I cut them by hand... Well, I used the 3/4" circle punch to start me off and then cut the icing by hand, anyway. The holly was a little tricky to make, being so small - it involved punching out a lot of tiny circles from a piece of Garden Green cardstock until I had shapes I was reasonably happy with. That made all of the boxes unique - the holly was different for every box, but then I guess that's what real holly is like too - in nature there's plenty of variation, right? Here's a closeup for you!

I dotted on a little crystal effects on the red berries (drawn with my fabulous stampin' write marker), for a miniature bit of "bling". The gorgeous 1/4" real red grosgrain ribbon was tied around the box and then I later tied the ends to my guests' welcome packs.

Do let me know what you think of these - I love to read your comments. And if you think you'd like me to make something like this for you, e-mail me to let me know you're keen on attending the next Extravaganza (which will be early next year) and I'll be sure to let you know the details as soon as we have them!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Christmas Extravaganza!

Hi everyone,

Thanks to all of you who attended our Creative Inkers Extravaganza yesterday. I had a great time and I hope you all did too. I'm hearing some wonderful feedback from my customers and fellow Demonstrators that everyone had a fun time.

Congratulations to Kate, who was the lucky winner of my Cookies in a Jar door prize that I made yesterday morning (yes, I was a bit disorganised for this event!). It was pretty much the same one I showed you in a previous post (click here) except that I coloured it slightly differently. I met Kate a few weeks ago at the Dunkleys Craft Show and I know she has the most adorable little daughter, so I'm sure the cookies are going to be most welcome at Kate's house! My own daughter has been eyeing up the jars as I've made them, so I know kids love the idea too! (Kate if you're reading this, I'd love to know how the baking goes!).

For my customers who were disappointed that they didn't win the prize, I'm in the process of making another - so keep an eye on my blog to find out how you can win it. Third time's a charm, right?

Now to the project I've got to show you today. This is a little gift box that I designed which held a chocolate brownie (prepackaged, so it wasn't messy making this box!). I taught this project at both the Hamilton and the Auckland Extravaganzas, so for a few days I had 200 brownies in my possession (OK, I had 199, I had to sample one to check the quality, right?!). That was a test of willpower, to stop at just one, as they are delicious!

We used the Spotlight on Christmas and Oval All stamp sets, which both coordinate beautifully with our punches (I've said it before, but I love using punches!), and the Ski Slope Designer series paper with this project. I took the colours from the DSP to use for the rest of the box. Stampin' Up! make colour coordination so easy, you don't have to think about it when you're using the DSP!

My sample box is empty (the brownie never stood a chance of making it in there, ha!) but this box would be ideal for a little gift for a friend for Christmas. A nice necklace or earrings in a little tissue paper would be lovely, some little chocolates, or if you want to take it a step further, how about some hand-made gift tags for the recipient to use year round?

If you would like to make your own boxes like this one, and you don't have the Oval All stamp set and coordinating Scallop Oval punch, or the Ski Slope DSP yet, you'll need to order them soon as they're in our Spring Mini which finishes at the end of November. I will be very sad to see these products go, but hopefully my favourites from the mini will make it into next year's main catalogue. But if you don't want to risk it, order your favourites now - click here to place your order with me!

Come back tomorrow to see the "tags" I made for my guests' welcome packs yesterday. I must admit, I did go a little overboard again this time. One of my fellow demos has even said to me she thinks my guests would come just to see what I make for their packs, let alone the projects we teach!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Come join me!

Hi everyone,

I'm delighted to announce a special promotion that Stampin' Up! is offering to new Demonstrators who join from now until the end of December. It's actually been going for a little while already but I haven't shared it with you here yet.

When you join my team of Demonstrators, not only will you be joining an incredible team and receive a fabulous selection of Stampin' Up! goodies in your heavily discounted starter kit, but with the special promotion you'll also receive a pack of Raspberry Tart DSP and a Pretty in Pink ink pad, both of which I used in a recent stack of cards I made, as shown in this post. Isn't that paper just gorgeous?

That's not all - you'll be doing something great by joining - for every new Demonstrator who joins during the special promotion period, Stampin' Up! are donating $5 to the New Zealand Breast Cancer foundation. This is one of the things I love about being part of the Stampin' Up! family - they support worthy causes that are dear to my heart. I've had a close friend, a workmate and Stampin' Up! team-mates who have all been diagnosed with breast cancer in the last year or so, that is way too many for my liking. This is such a worthwhile cause that I have decided to match Stampin' Up!'s donation - so sign up with me and I'll also donate to the NZ Breast Cancer Foundation. Help me to make a difference - click here to contact me and find out how I can help you to start your very own stamping business!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Christmas Card Bonanza!

Hi everyone,

I've decided that it's time to share with you some cards I designed a while ago. I've been making Christmas cards since August when as a Demonstrator I was able to pre-order from the Spring Mini catalogue. Much as I love Christmas projects, it's been quite a long time to be making them, so I'm rather looking forward to doing something else soon!

Anyway, this card was one of the ones that I taught at my World Card Making Day event in October. I think this one got the most "ooh" noises out of the ladies who attended, they loved the idea!

Acetate doesn't usually photograph too well, so hopefully you can see the outlines of this card. I used the White Stazon ink to stamp the greeting on the front of the card. Tip: the White Stazon ink is available in our Spring Mini catalogue, but it's not in the Summer one... So if you want it, e-mail me now to order it before it's too late! I'm guessing (hoping!) it'll be back in our next main catalogue, but that's due out in September next year and that's a rather long time to wait for it, don't you think? So don't miss out!

Another tricky feature of acetate is that, being clear, it'll show up any adhesive you use, on the other side. On this card, you can't see any adhesive however - I got around this problem by sticking another piece of card on the other side. So where you see the little punched stars, it's actually two layers of cardstock with the acetate sandwiched in between. I'm far too much of a perfectionist to possibly allow my adhesive to show!

I've used the Spotlight on Christmas stamp set to make this card. It's a gorgeous set which is often overlooked in the main catalogue (it's on page 28). One of the great features about this set is that every single image is designed to fit inside one or more of our punches. That's something a punch addict like me totally goes for in a stamp set. Love it!

If you have any questions about this card, don't hesitate to ask!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Extra special offer!

Hi everyone,

Fantastic news from Stampin' Up! - they've announced a change to the November promotion that I blogged about a couple of days ago, where you can earn a Scallop Square punch free with a $105 purchase from the Gift Giving Guide. Now, you can choose between the Scallop Square punch and the Boho Blossoms punch, how cool is that? If you liked the owl project I showed you yesterday (click here), then you definitely need the Boho Blossoms punch as it's used to make the ears, beak, chest feathers and the feet of this super cute bird!

I've used the Boho Blossoms punch a lot since we first were able to purchase it starting in the Spring Mini catalogue over a year ago. But I just checked through all of my photos and it seems that I didn't take any photos of the projects I've made with it, shock horror! So here's a picture of the punch itself, so there's no doubt for you which one it is.

If you're keen to see what else I can make with this punch, e-mail me to book a workshop and we can make a feature of it for you!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My very own little guest artist

Hi everyone,

Well this makes 3 days in a row I've posted for national blogging month, so far so good!

I thought I'd share a little giggle with you today. My darling 5 year old daughter Emma just LOVES to craft with Mummy. Hopefully she'll keep enjoying it and then when she's a bit older she can be my assistant at workshops and classes, a real demo-in-training!

My brother had a birthday last week and I decided to make a card for him that I'd admired in the latest Impressions newsletter, which is sent to all Stampin' Up! Demonstrators in NZ and Australia each month, to give us tips and ideas. I don't often totally case projects as my regular readers will know (I've tried to but usually go off on a creative tangent and wind up making something completely different!), but this time I really loved the card and thought it would be perfect for my not-so-little brother. I hope he's not reading this, as it won't have arrived yet! I'm also not telling you how old he turned as you'll know I'm older than that!

So, I made the card myself, which is the one on the left in this photo. It's exactly the same as the one from Impressions except that I changed the greeting, as I couldn't be bothered getting out the stamp from A Little Birthday Cheer that they'd used (I've got it, but it's not mounted yet) so I used Cheer & Wishes instead. I think the owl is so cute, don't you?

Emma liked it so much that she demanded to be allowed to make one too, so I punched out all the bits for her (her little hands aren't strong enough for the large punches yet), cut out the "tree" and let her loose with a 2-way glue pen. She did really well I think, those little eyes and feathers on the bird are very fiddly to stick down. The card on the right was the one she made first. If you click on the picture I think you can see it close up. It looks a little crazy, with the eyes at different heights, and looks like it's ready to fall off it's perch, like it has the jitters. So when Emma asked to make another one, I suggested she put the eyes on "straight" this time. The middle card is the second one she made - quite an improvement don't you think? I had to laugh at the way it seems to be looking at the owl on her first card as if to say "look at THAT weirdo".

The funny thing was, she thought that MY owl was the odd one!

Back tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Christmas Gift Giving Guide

Hi everyone,

Well Jacque has challenged me to blog at least 21 days out of this month for National Blogging Month (not sure whether that's USA national or NZ national, but never mind!). So are you ready to see if I can do it? I've already missed one day - November 1st, so the pressure's on... Let's go!

OK so yesterday I was a bit lazy and just directed you to my new Stampin' Up! website to view the latest promotion. I should really tell you a bit about it, shouldn't I!

Stampin' Up! have put together this fabulous flyer to give you some great ideas for Christmas gifts. Simply click on the picture to see it up close so you can read the details. And when you order just $105 worth of product from this flyer, you'll receive a scallop square punch (value $35.95) absolutely FREE! Who doesn't love free stuff?! Even if you have this punch already, it would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a crafty friend or relative - that's another present you can tick off your list! I've already taken advantage of this offer myself. I just went a little crazy stocking up on some of the items I use a lot, like Whisper White cardstock. I love that there is a wide range of items in this guide, there's something for everyone in here!

If you haven't purchased any of our Simply Scrappin' Kits, now would be a great time to do so. They are great for making cards as well as scrapbook layouts - I'm thinking I might take mine when I go on holiday in the New Year, that'll keep me occupied and avoid that "no crafting" withdrawl feeling! 6 of the 7 kits we have in the catalogue are available in the Gift Giving guide. Also in there is the From the Kitchen stamp set - you didn't see this yesterday in my post but I wrote the recipe for the cookies in a jar on that recipe stamp, and it was tied to the back of the jar for the lucky recipient to refer to!

If you want to check it out in person, you'll have to come to our Extravaganza on Saturday - thanks for the feedback from two of my wonderful customers, as long as I can get another of those jars I'll be making that again for Saturday!

OK so enjoy the Gift Giving Guide, and let me know if there's anything that catches your eye on there. Oh and of course, come back here tomorrow to see what else I have in store!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Be in to Win!

Hi everyone,

Hope you had a lovely weekend. I had a fabulous day yesterday - headed down to Gordonton to our annual Creative Inkers Christmas Extravaganza down there. Thanks so much to all of you who came - it was a great day for you too, I hear!

One of the fun parts of these events (aside from the projects!) are the door prizes that we offer up for grabs. I made something a little different this time and I hear there were quite a few ladies that were very keen to win it! It's a "cookies in a jar" gift - a baking mix that you just need to add a few other wet ingredients to, mix it up, and bake it for some yummy cookies to store back in the jar! In the second photo you can see the popular candy that is a key part of these cookies...

I'm contemplating making another one of these for the Auckland Extravaganza this coming Saturday, so if you'd like to be in to win it, post a comment on here or e-mail me to let me know I need to make another one, and if you haven't booked in to attend, let me know that too - we haven't quite filled up all of the seats yet, so I might just be able to squeeze you in!

Have a wonderful day! Oh, and check out my brand new Stampin' Up! website - for the latest November Promotion!