Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sale-A-Bration 2011 - Sweet Summer Quick Card

Hi everyone,
Can it really be true?  I've just had a quick look on NZSU to see what everyone else has been doing with the new Sale-A-Bration (SAB) sets that are now available to everyone starting today, and it looks like I may be one of just a few NZ demos who actually has any of these sets already!  I guess that just shows I have no patience - I know a lot of my team have been waiting to earn these sets for free like the rest of the country, while I was unable to contain myself and "invested" in two of them!

Seriously now, I did consider waiting too, but I needed to have at least one of these sets to do design work for my team leader's stamp camp next weekend, we're holding this for our fabulous team of Demonstrators throughout NZ.  So I relented and pre-purchased two of the four sets.  I've been busy creating with them too!
For this card, I used the Sweet Summer and So Happy For You sets, and the patterned paper came from the Subtles Designer Series Paper Patterns stack.  The butterfly I die cut using the Beautiful Wings Embosslit, though I should probably have used one of the cute butterfly images in either of the stamp sets. The colour combination is straight from the Color Coach - Bashful Blue, Wild Wasabi and Rose Red.  With a little Chocolate Chip ink and cardstock thrown in for good measure of course, those of you who know me, know I go through a tonne of that colour! 
This card was super quick to make, with just a tiny bit of colouring using markers. You could easily step it up by adding some extra layers and a little bling, like our self adhesive jewels.

If you haven't been through a Sale-A-Bration sale with me before, this is an annual event, I am thrilled that it is finally here! 
Here's how it works, there are three ways to earn free stamps:

- It's a fabulous time to purchase your crafting needs through me as every time you place an order for $120 or more in product, you can choose one of the SAB sets for free! 

- Host a workshop that gets to $700 in product (believe me that isn't hard given that your guests will love what I have to offer and they'll all want their own free sets too!) and earn another free set just for reaching that workshop sales total. 

- If you've ever thought about joining my team, whether as a hobby demonstrator (purchase your own supplies at a discount) or as a part or full time demonstrator, now is a great time to do that too since you will also be able to choose any stamp set up to the value of $95.95, for free!  As a full time, experienced Demonstrator myself, I'm ideally placed to help you with your business goals, whatever they may be.  There's never any pressure from me to sell, just lots of support, fun and opportunities to learn, expand your skills and share what you love, too.  Contact me to find out more!

Check out the Sale-A-Bration stamp sets you can choose from this year:

For more details, click here to download a PDF of the Sale-A-Bration brochure, containing images of the sets and lots of projects to inspire you!  If you'd like a hard copy of this brochure, simply place a minimum $50 order with me and I'll pop one in with your order.  (By the way, my free magazine or sample offer with $50 orders from this post still applies, too!).

To try out the stamps and see more projects in real life (my launch party is tonight, woo hoo!), place an order to get your hands on your set(s), or for more information on joining my team, please contact me, click here to send me an email.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Play Date Notepad Gift

Hi everyone,
I don't know why it took me so long to blog again, it really isn't that difficult seeing as I can talk the hind legs off a donkey...  And now that I'm my own boss, I have a bit more time to make things to inspire you.  I'm getting paid to create, and blog, how cool is that!  I actually have a lot of stuff I've made and photographed that I've never shared on my blog.  So here I am back again already, with another project and tip to help you in your own creative journey!

This notepad is a relatively big one - A5 size.  More often, I decorate smaller note pads and other items to give away as gifts to my workshop hostesses. I picked up this notepad (undecorated of course!) in a clearance sale.  I can't remember how much it was as it was a while back, but I know I was pretty thrilled at the time to see the potential in a plain old pack of paper.  Score!  (Yes, it doesn't take much to get me excited - a cheap pack of notepads and I can be dancing around in the aisle!)

Anyway, I made this notepad as part of a team gift swap at my team leader's house in December.  I had a lot of fun making it, but I must admit that initially when I looked at the Play Date Designer Series Paper, while loving the bright colours, the sheer "busy-ness" of this particular sheet had me a little stumped.  Yikes!  How do you work with paper that has so many bright colours and so much detail, without your finished project looking like something out of a 70's movie?

Well, after a little bit of fiddling, I was happy with my design and there are two tips I can give you for how I work with very bright and detailed patterns.

1. Just use a little bit.  Less is more!  Just use a narrow strip on your card or layout, on a plain background in one of the colours in the paper.  Don't overcrowd the project with too many embellishments and make sure the colours match (Stampin' Up! is famous for coordinating colours of papers and inks with embellishments, by the way!).  That softens the impact on the eye and it won't be so "in your face".
If you have the Play Date DSP, you could cut out individual squares from this sheet and mount them onto slightly larger squares and use those as your focal point rather than using the paper as the background.  Hmm, that might be an idea for a future project to share with you!

2. Do as I did here.  Use lots of the detailed paper, but add a large area of "white space" with your focal point.  In my example it really is white, but it could be a soft colour, too.  Just a nice big patch of a single colour, as the eye will naturally be drawn to this calm place.  And then your focal image(s) placed in this white space will really pop, as they won't drown in the clutter of your background patterns.

I know some of you like to know what else I've used so here's a little recipe for this project:
Stamps: Funky Four (super cute!), Apple Blossoms (Hostess Level 2)
Colours: Real Red, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip, Tempting Turquoise, Old Olive, So Saffron
DSP: Play Date
Other: Square Scallop die from the Summer Mini catalogue (love it!), Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Big Shot Machine, Old Olive 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals.

Did you like this gift?  I'm currently taking workshop bookings and have spaces available during Feb and March if you're interested.  Not only will you receive a free copy of the current catalogue (worth $15.95) and a lovingly hand-made gift from me (priceless!), but you and your friends will each have the chance to earn FREE Sale-A-Bration stamp sets with orders of $120 in product and you'll earn extra set(s) with a qualifying workshop total.  So check your diaries (if you have one, if not, do check out my previous post here!) and let me know when would suit you! 

Workshops take around 2 hours and can be held at my place or yours, whichever you prefer!  You provide the guests and some light refreshments (I'm talking a bottle of juice and a pack of biscuits here, not a 3-course meal) and let me do the rest!  I'm now working very flexible hours - so with a bit of planning in my new diary and a little child care negotiation with my very supportive hubby, I can do weekdays, week nights or weekends. Have car will travel, too... you don't need to be in Auckland to book me for a workshop! 

If you have any questions about workshops or you have other tips for how to create with detailed patterns and not ruin your eyes looking at them, do post a comment or click here to email me and share!

But wait, there's more...I'm having a Sale-A-Bration launch party here next week, Tuesday 25th, the day it opens, at 7-9pm.  Yippee, I can't wait!  Check my sidebar for more details and email me to reserve your place!

Happy stamping!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Getting Organised for 2011!

Hi everyone, and Happy New Year!
I hope you've all had a lovely break for Christmas and New Year.  Isn't it bliss?  This is the first time in years that I've been home for a decent period of time during the summer school holidays to relax with my family.  My daughter is growing up so fast and I'm really glad I don't miss out on the fun anymore by going to work!  The working from home concept is turning out to be a fabulous lifestyle choice for me I must say.

Now I know it looks like I've been sitting on my butt doing nothing much, since I haven't blogged in over a month.  I don't believe in New Year's resolutions (I always break them!) but I know my new business coach will be kicking my butt if I don't start to blog regularly, so if you don't see that happening, feel free to harrass me too!

I've not really been lazing around doing nothing though.  I'm a bit like one of those ducklings you see in the pond in spring - it doesn't look like much is going on, but beneath the surface the little feet are paddling hard out!  In December I kept myself busy (other than the usual Christmas shopping panic!) by making Christmas gifts for my direct team members.  I've always wanted to do that to show them how much I appreciate them, but never had the time until this year, since I finished my day job at the end of November.  So I jumped at the chance to make some gifts for my team.  I covered a bunch of diaries in different designer series papers (DSP) and added a focal image and the year.  I also made a matching pen using the DSP, and also sent them some Christmas treats - jelly beans in Christmas colours all packaged up cute with a bit of punch art.  I love punch art!

Here's a few of the diaries I made:
Blueberry Crisp DSP - I used the matching set, Razzle Dazzle, with this paper. I love how Stampin' Up! give us things that match!

Sunny Garden DSP - and isn't that Beautiful Wings embosslit to die cut the butterflies, just to die for?  (Pun intended!)

Elegant Soiree DSP (you can see this one in person because I like that paper so much that I made one of these for me, too!).  It also uses the Top Note die among others, that gets a lot of use around here!

Play Date DSP - don't you just love the bright colours combo, I know Sam was thrilled to receive this as I had used her favourite paper!  I had a lot of fun with my markers inking up the stamps.

Woodland Walk DSP - so much fun watercolouring those flowers!  Love those Scallop Trim border and corner punches too.  I am not a colouring expert, but I'm practicing!

Since the start of the year I've already done my first mini-Extravaganza through a private request, thanks to the lovely ladies that attended!  I can't show you the projects yet because I've re-designed one of them to use at my team's stamp camp in a couple of weeks, and to show you would spoil the surprise for them.  So now I'm busy doing all the cutting work to prepare tonnes of kits to use there.  It's going to be a blast!  But once that event is done, I'll share the projects with you.

I loved making the diaries for my team and it's also something I really needed myself, I simply need to be more organised!  Here's an organisational tip: use only one diary/scheduler.  I used to have the computer schedule at work plus a hard diary to take to meetings, another diary for my stamping business, and a calendar at home for social events.  But seriously, maintaining all of those takes time, it's a total drag and you're more likely to miss something or clash appointments.  So if at all possible, just use one!

Do you still need a diary? 
I have a couple of extras here, so if you'd like me to make one for you too, you have a couple of options:
- join my team between now and February 15 (and you could also earn a free stamp set of your choice!!  Click here to ask me for more details!), or
- place a $50 or more order before Feb 15, receive a free copy of the current mini catalogue,
and you'll be in the draw to win!  You can choose the DSP you'd like me to use and I'll make you a matching pen, too.

All orders of $50 or more also qualify for a FREE gift, too!  I am currently clearing out a tonne of projects using retired items, and crafting magazines that I have collected over the past 6 years.  So if you're in need of inspiration, I can help!  You can choose between a magazine or a sample and either collect that in person when you order, or if you're ordering via phone or email I'll select something for you and it will be added to your new goodies when they arrive.  This is a limited offer - only available until I've cleared it all out!  What will you choose??

I'm working on my mailing list currently, and have so many ideas for newsletters with helpful tips and hints and projects and special subscriber-only offers, I hardly know where to begin!  If you'd like to sign up for my newsletters, please click here to email me, just put "Subscribe" in the subject heading.  If you're local, and keen to attend classes, keep an eye on my sidebar as I'm figuring out my schedule for the next couple of months too.  Please email me to request particular techniques or projects you've seen and want to try, too.  I love to customise my classes to meet your needs! 

Please note:  Stampin' Up! rules only allow me to sell product to you if you're based in NZ, thanks!

Have a great day!