Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pinwheel fun!

Hi everyone,
With the school holidays on at the moment that has messed up my usual schedule but don't worry, I haven't forgotten my blog!  Some of the observant among you have noticed I've been fiddling around with my blog header - let me know what you think!  I made it myself, using MDS.  A bit of trial and error figuring out the correct sizing (and my first attempt was a bit bad really, I could see gaps in things and I forgot to add any drop shadows to the flowers).  I hope it's looking a bit better today - not quite so big and a little bit more attention to detail from me!  I'm normally a detail freak so I don't know what I was thinking, throwing it up there without checking everything first.

Anyway, I was just reminded of a card I made a while back, in February in fact - I was looking at some other blogs and saw my own work on one of them that I forgot to share with you here, so I'll do that now!

As you may know from reading my blog, I quite often take part in team swaps where we make a heap of one card and swap them with each other to get ideas and samples we can use in our own businesses.  I don't tend to blog other's cards because I figure I'll let them do that on their own blogs (let's face it, coming up with stuff to blog does take a little time!) but by the time I'm done I'm quite often "over" the card I made and forget to share it with you here.

I love pinwheels, we even have one spinning around in the wind in our garden.  Granted, hubby stuck it out there trying to scare the birds away from his vege garden (did it work?  Not as far as I can tell!).  But there are more of them inside the house than outside, because I've taught Miss 8 how to make them too and she loved that!

We have a sweet little sizzlit die in the Seasonal catalogue that makes pinwheel creating a cinch!  I used the Sunshine & Sprinkles DSP for the pinwheel and the Cloudy Day embossing folder for the background (how cute are those clouds!).  The sentiment came from the Wishes Your Way stamp set and I embellished it using some of the gorgeous Striped Organdy Ribbon.  All of that is also from the Seasonal catalogue - it was a swap that was to feature something from that catalogue so I went a little crazy using lots of new things!

I don't always share the inside of my cards - I don't always decorate them, especially for swaps as they tend to be kept inside a cello bag and the inside isn't shown.  But because of the bulk of the pinwheel, this card is most likely not going to be kept by everyone inside a bag so I decided to do a little stamping on the inside.  This stamp was perfect - it's from the hostess set Happy You from the annual catalogue.  I stamped it in Basic Gray and then used my blender pen and ink pads to do a little colouring.

Hope you like it!  Click on the "Shop Now" button at the top right of my blog to create your online account with me and order your own pinwheel die.  It's too cute not to get it!  And just NZ $10.95 too.  Love that!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Uh oh, the game is up!

Hi everyone!
I hadn't planned to blog today, but I just had to share this!  When I got up this morning, hubby was already on the computer.  He was looking up stuff on Google images for inspiration for his classes - he's a math teacher, but he likes to entertain his students with real-life examples so they understand why he's making them do algebra!  Anyway, he asked me if I wanted him to leave it on on for me to use, and when I sat down, this is what he'd left on the screen for me....

Rats, the game is up!  Although really, who did I think I was kidding - I have a lot of stuff and it's impossible to hide it all.  Just as well I've started buying digital "supplies".  They're the easiest supplies to hide!

I don't know where he found this quote, and I hope I'm not infringing copyright or anything... If it's your original work, please let me know so I can give you credit!  But I thought it was too funny not to share.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Clear Mount Case Gift

Happy Friday everyone!  Where did the week go?!

Ages ago I ran a class at my home, making gifts using empty Clear Mount stamp cases (page 7 in the Annual Catalogue, in case you overlooked these gems!).  These cases have a tonne of uses, from housing clear mount stamps (obviously!) to sets of markers, sheets of Basic Pearls, Adhesive Rhinestones, bits of scrap cardstock, and anything else you can think of that fits inside!  I've even been known to carry one in my handbag with a few sample cards in it, in case I need to use one.  But anyway, until now, I've decorated these the traditional way - by cutting Designer Series Paper to fit, adding a layer of stamped or die cut cardstock or two to decorate, and sliding it in between the plastic case and the protective plastic cover.  They've usually been fairly flat because of the protective cover - there's not a huge amount of "wiggle" room in there!  Inside, I like to adhere a small notepad, some Post-It notes, a little calendar and add in a pen with coordinating DSP inside it, to match the cover.  These gifts are always well received and are a great size to pop in your handbag.

Fast forward to now... what do we now have that makes awesome but flat projects?  My Digital Studio!  So when I wanted to make a gift for one of my team (who missed out on a Christmas present from me on time as she was busy having a fun time overseas!) I thought I'd give it a try, and I had so much fun!  Here's the end result:

I used the Special Delivery Subtle Designer kit as Samantha liked that best out of the papers that she could see on her copy of MDS (I have a lot more digital downloads already, but this is one that comes with the full version of the software).  If the colours look familar, it's the same designer kit I shared earlier on my blog with photos of my daughter as a baby.

This is probably my most "involved" MDS creation to date, purely because of the layers I added with the name label and the overlapping flower in the top left corner of it.  I had fun playing around with the different flower shapes, adding drop shadows & choosing from the different buttons, brads and rhinestone embellishments that I could play with - and no sticky fingers at the end of it either!  I did alter the paper a bit by adding that grey strip with the script on it - that's covering a stripe that says "it's a girl" on it.  I didn't think that was quite appropriate for this occasion!

I made my project big enough so that it fit the case perfectly when I printed it out using my trusty laser printer and some high-quality printer paper.  I prefer to print on Whisper White or Very Vanilla cardstock but in this case it needed to be a bit thinner so that it could bend nicely around the spine of the case.  After I printed and trimmed my design and inserted it into the case I finished it off just by simply tying some So Saffron Taffeta ribbon onto the spine.  I just love how Stampin' Up! colour coordinates everything so perfectly - it makes my life a lot easier not having to look too far to find "in real life" coordinating embellishments!

I thought I'd show you the back of the case too - I had a little fun and added the Stampin' Up! logo and MDS logo on there - made it look all professional-like, even though it was designed by a total novice!  Unfortunately the photos really don't do it justice - I wish you could see the real thing!

Hope you like it!  To try MDS out for yourself, click HERE to go to my online store (select "My Digital Studio" on the left hand side near the bottom of the page) and try the 30 day free trial!  Or go ahead and purchase the full version of the software, to be in to win some goodies from me (see the end of my blog post HERE for details!).

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

$75 in FREE product... & more My Digital Studio fun!

Good morning!
Tuesday already - how time flies when you're having fun!  I have to say, the news and changes are coming thick and fast from Stampin' Up! this year - I can hardly keep up but it's all so exciting!  I know I promised an MDS creation and I won't disappoint, but I have to share this offer with you first!

Now I know I've probably said it before (and next year I'll say it again) but traditionally, Sale-A-Bration has been the best time to host a party or join my team as a new Demonstrator.  Just when I think I have it sussed, Stampin' Up! goes and changes the game on me, but in a good way!  For a limited time there are now two fabulous ways to earn $75 in FREE products of your choice!

Option 1: Host a Party!
From now until May 30th (NOT the last day of the month of May, but the 30th!), when you host a party with me and reach $500 or more in orders, you will earn an extra $75 in free product as your Hostess Benefits!  A $500 party already earns $70 in hostess benefits so that makes a whopping $145 in FREE stuff just for hosting a $500 party.  Wow!  If you get to $700 in product, you'll earn $185 in free product and be able to purchase one item at half price (fancy a 50% off Big Shot?!).  That's amazing!  If you're interested in having a fun stamping party, do get in contact with me because I have some dates available in May still.  We can even have the party at my house if you'd like!
But wait! Some of you tell me you don't have time or the space to host a real live party, and that's perfectly OK!  You can do a virtual party - get a few friends together, let me know, and I'll raise a Hostess code for you so you can each put your orders through my online store to make a party order.  They'll add up together to earn the extra hostess benefits when you hit $500 in product or more.  Share the freebies, or scoop the lot yourself if you've seen this first and you coordinate the virtual party with your friends!  Of of course you could have all the fun and just party by yourself...You can order the paid version of My Digital Studio and a bunch of digital downloads so it doesn't look like to your family that you just spent the entire monthly grocery budget on stamping stuff (wink!).  Click HERE to go to my online store if you just want to shop your way to $75 in freebies!

Option 2: Join my Team!
The second way to earn $75 in FREE stuff is to join my fabulous team of Demonstrators from all over NZ.  When you join between now and May 30th you'll pay just $189 for your starter kit full of $360 worth of product entirely of your choice!  Normally the starter kit gives you $285 in product for $189, which is still a great deal, but this is even better!  And as a new Demonstrator you have the chance to earn lots of free products and of course purchase your own supplies at a nice discount over the retail price. I wish that they'd had this deal when I joined, 6 years ago!  Seriously, if you love Stampin' Up! products I'd encourage you to think about this offer.  You'll have lots of helpful support and inspiration when you join my team, I have been enjoying spending time with my new team members recently to help them get started and I would love to do that for you too!  Joining Stampin' Up! has been one of the best decisions I ever made and has enriched my life like you wouldn't believe!

If you're interested in either offer, just email me for more info or to get started (click here) and we'll get things organised for you.

Now to the promised My Digital Studio project!  Well, actually it's a hybrid.  Recently I took part in a "masculine" themed swap with other Demonstrators from my wider team.  I'm not sure how "masculine" my swaps are because my 8 year old daughter didn't think they were particularly "Man-ish", despite my use of the Parker's Patterns DSP which screams masculine to me!  But I have to say, these have been pretty well received by the team and by the two groups of fabulous ladies I've taught this project to in the last couple of weeks!

The box is made using the Petite Pocket die and adding some extra score lines and cuts.  I won't go into how it's made here, as it's all over the net (if you google "Stampin' Up! Petite Pocket Box" I'm sure you'll find it).  I understand it was originally demonstrated by one of my favourite Stampin' Up! staff presenters, Bonnie Thurber, at a regional training event in the USA.

The key thing with my version of the box is the super cute embellishments I used to decorate them.  I've had lots of people ask me what stamp set I used to stamp out the images and the truth is, they aren't stamped at all.  They're "embellishment" files from the Storybook Digital disk that I manipulated using MDS to add a drop shadow and size them to fit inside my 1" circle punch so that I could layer them up on a 1 1/4" scallop circle and add them to my box.  The owl was a clear favourite, I know because now I only have a couple of those images left and there were more of those than any other one!

Here's a pic of them with my "images sheet" which I had so far just punched out 10 of, to make the boxes in the picture.  I made a lot more than just these!  And my students in the past couple of weeks had fun deciding on their favourite one to use for their own box in my class.  I managed to fit 60 of these cuties onto one A4 sheet of Very Vanilla.  I do have a great laser printer which is why they look so good.

Supplies (you can order these for yourself now on my online store!):
Stamps: Happy You (Hostess stamp from the Annual Catalogue, for "thank you" tag)
Cardstock: Naturals Ivory, Very Vanilla, Cherry Cobbler or Early Espresso
Designer Series paper: Parker's Patterns
Marker: Early Espresso
Punches: 1" circle, 1 1/4" scallop circle, Jewellery tag, 1/16" handheld punch
Other: My Digital Studio, Storybook digital content DVD, Petite Pocket die, Simply Scored tool, Early Espresso Baker's twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

Oh I nearly forgot - in the US these were designed to hold the Hershey Nugget chocolates that they have there.  We don't have those in NZ - but I discovered these cute little boxes are the perfect size for our Cadbury Dairy Milk treat bars that come in a pack of 15.  You can fit two of them in one little box!  Maybe that's why this little project has been so popular...

If you'd like to learn how to make your own one of these boxes, complete with chocolate, let me know - we could even have this as the make & take project when you host your party between now and May 30th!

Have a fabulously chocolately day!

Friday, April 12, 2013


Hi everyone,
Sorry for the short disappearance - that's what happens when you're busy running classes and you get sick with the new season's cold or flu (I'm not sure which it is, all I know is - I don't like it!).  Why is it that as soon as the temperature drops, I get sick?  I woke up feeling like an elephant had trampled me - or maybe a whale might be more appropriate given this blog post!

Anyway, I've been wanting to share these cards for a little while, but had to wait until they all got to the lovely recipients first.  These are the cards that I sent to my newest team members, they all joined during Sale-A-Bration and I am so excited to have them join me!  Whalecome to my team, ladies!

These cards are fully stamped - there's no My Digital Studio in here at all, although I did spy in my latest browsing session of the MDS downloads that the stamp set is available as a digital download, hmm....  I just may be tempted later!

Here's the card recipe:
Stamps: Oh, Whale!
Wheel: Oh, Wave Jumbo (yes, I wheeled!)
Cardstock: Lucky Limeade, Whisper White
Ink: Marina Mist, Pacific Point, Melon Mambo
Dies: Happy Whale Clearlits, Bitty Banner Framelits
DSP: Sunshine & Sprinkles
Ribbon: Marina Mist Striped Organdy
Other: Stampin' Dimensionals

If you'd like to be "whalecomed" to my fabulous team, just email me (click here) if you have questions, otherwise you can join up and become a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator by signing up on my official website (click HERE).

Back soon with another MDS creation!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Stop Press! Colour Changes are coming!

Hi everyone
I had planned to blog about something else tonight but we've just had a couple of important announcements that I want you to know about!

Firstly, Stampin' Up! have announced that due to problems with supply, they are discontinuing our Watercolour Pencils and Watercolour crayons.  If you love watercolouring and need more of these, you'll want to order them as soon as possible while they're still in stock!  Here are the details:

101879: Watercolor Pencils
119802: Subtles Collection Watercolor Wonder Crayons
119803: Regals Collection Watercolor Wonder Crayons
119804: Brights Collection Watercolor Wonder Crayons
119805: Neutrals Collection Watercolor Wonder Crayons

Secondly, Stampin' Up! have announced our next Colour Renovation!! Some of our current standard colours are now only available in limited supplies and if they run out before the end of the current catalogue, they run out!   Check out the list below (click on the picture to enlarge it) to see the colours that are retiring and the new colours that are being added to our core collections - you may recognise them as many are previous trendy in-colours!  I am excited to finally get my hands on Bermuda Bay and Crushed Curry as those were previously only available in the US and Canada.

If you love any of the colours that are retiring and you would like to have more of the cardstock, ink pads and refills (you need refills if you have the ink pads already!) or those colour ribbons and embellishments, please do plan to buy them NOW before you miss out.

There is bound to be a panic rush on these as there always is when they announce retiring colours, so please don't wait!  In fact, click HERE to go to my online store and order what you need, right this minute!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Digital Scrapbooking!

Hi everyone,
Gosh isn't this a bit of a shock, my third blog post in around a week?!  I have to say it's all due to My Digital Studio, I am having too much fun playing with it and enjoying sharing with you!  (More MDS and traditional projects to come, I'm just waiting to do a couple of events and send some cards before I share those projects!).  I never thought of myself as a techie girl, so I think perhaps I'm just getting a lot of satisfaction from being able to use a program to make things that are still "me" but take a lot less time and effort.  Who doesn't love that?!

OK so drum roll please - I scrapbooked!!  Seriously I haven't completed a page in probably a couple of years.  Shameful - I have lots of half done pages, but there was always something that stopped me finishing it, like needing a different size/colour photo printed, needing just the right embellishment, not being totally happy with the layout.  I always suspected MDS would be my go-to for scrapbooking because of speed and the "undo" button! So you can imagine my delight when I was looking through the templates on MDS and found a baby one, I knew immediately that I had the right photos to use in it - the colours even matched my photo colours!

It kind of feels like I'm cheating a bit because all I had to do here was to drop my photos in, write the text and move one or two embellishments around a little bit.  It's from the Special Delivery designer kit which comes free with the paid version of the software (sorry, it's not included in the free trial version). The colours are Peach Parfait (a retired in-colour as far as the traditional catalogue goes - but colours never retire in MDS!), Pool Party, Basic Gray and Whisper White.  MDS puts together a "supplies" list for you with each project so if you use one of the pre-made templates, you can look up what colours were used in case you want to make a hybrid project and add coordinating embellishments or cardstock layers later.  How great is that!

It took me maybe 5 minutes to put the layout together and most of that was in choosing my photos - less time than it took me to figure out how best to make my laser printer print this 8x8" layout on Whisper White cardstock.  Within an hour of sitting down to try digi-scrapping, this layout was printed, trimmed and ready to show off, safely inserted in my brand new album!  (The one on page 31 of the seasonal catalogue).  And I didn't actually feel the need to add any extra "real" stuff to make a hybrid project the way I've been doing with my other MDS projects so far.  I've even emailed the layout to my US relatives already!  They think I'm really clever, so don't tell them the truth!

I should mention that there's a white strip at the top of the layout which you can't see that easily because the background here is white.  I couldn't believe my luck with the colours they used in the template, it looks like I   made the layout to match my photos, but I didn't have to do anything!

If you think the baby is cute, I'm taking credit for that (well 50% of it) as she's my little baby who is now a very energetic 8 year old.  She loves this layout - and said her favourite of the photos is the one where she's stretching and screwing her face up.  I think it shows how funny a kid she is!  And the left photo shows she's stubborn, just like her mother...

I'll be back soon, there's a fabulous new promotion that's just started that I keep forgetting to talk about and use the products I bought to show you (I'm too excited about MDS, did I mention?!), so I'll do that soon.  In the meantime if you want to give MDS a try, click here to go to my online store and download the free trial for yourself!

Happy scrapping!