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Free cards night!

Hi everyone,
I am busy at the SENZ show this weekend (it’s a fabulous show this year, come check it out – see my previous blog post HERE).  But I just wanted to share with you that I am offering a free girls’ night out on Monday 8th July!

One of the really great things about Stampin’ Up! is their focus on making a difference for others and they are  great at supporting those in need when there are particular causes like the bush fires in Australia.  But they recently announced that they’ve extended their support of Ronald McDonald House Charities to NZ and Australia, so there is a fabulous new stamp set in the catalogue that you can buy and $3.50 (for NZ) from each set goes to support this wonderful charity.

I have a lot of card fronts that I’ve used in the past to show off some of our fabulous products but a lot of those products are now retired, so my card fronts are retired too!  Rather than throw them out, I want to re-mount them and donate them to charities including Ronald McDonald House.

So this is where you come in!  I don’t have enough time to do the hundreds of cards I have here, so I am offering a fun night where you can come and sit with me and help me put these cards together. We’ll just be re-mounting cards, not making them from scratch, but during our time together there’s every chance you’ll learn some tips from me and the others attending!  For every 10 that you put together, you can choose one to take one home.  I’m supplying everything for us to do this, but if you would like to contribute and bring your own adhesives to use on the night, that would be wonderful!  I’ll have a few snacks to nibble on and it will be a nice relaxing catch up with a great cause to give us all the “feel good” factor!

Seats are limited so if you’re interested, please email me now (click here) to reserve your spot!

SENZ 2013

Hi Everyone!
Yes, I’m still here (sorry, I know I say that a lot after long blog “holidays”!).  Since we went to Convention at the end of May I’ve been frantically busy preparing for the launch of the new catalogue and the SENZ show which is on this weekend at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau!  This is my home turf which is just as well as I couldn’t fit all the tables and displays into the car in one load, so was glad I didn’t have to drive far to get everything else!

Here’s a peek at our stand which Karen, Rosie and I set up today.  They are in the third photo looking very happy as we’d just finally finished setting it up the way we wanted it and we were pretty pleased with ourselves!  As you may know, I love MDS and hence that has become a feature of our stand!  But I did a lot of hand-created stuff too – if you can spot the “clock” on our stand wall, I die cut the backgrounds for the numbers out of our Subtles colour range plus a couple of fabulous new in-colors too.  It was fun although by the end I was getting a bit tired of poking all the bits out of my doily die-cuts!

The show is open Friday to Sunday, it opens for pre-paid ticket holders from 9:30am or you can buy tickets at the door from 10am.  It closes at 5pm on Friday and Saturday and 4pm on Sunday.  You do need to come and visit us to see everything up close – it looks far better in real life than in these quick snapshots!  I will be presenting “what’s new” from Stampin’ Up! each day at 11am in the Demonstrator Theatre area – which just happens to be right next to our stand.

We have some fabulous offers on our stand this year and there’s a big range of retired products from our collective craft rooms that you’ll love having a look through – come and get them while you can!

See you there!

My Digital Studio – it’s child’s play

Hi everyone,
I’m a little late in sharing this – and I didn’t make it either.  I am sharing one of my daughter’s first creations using My Digital Studio!  She loves it – one of her favourite things these days is for me to set her up with my laptop so she can play to her heart’s content.  I’ve taught her very little about the program – the thing with kids these days is that they’re not scared of technology, so all I did was set up a project size for her and let her go for it.  She just has a look around, tries out the various functions and uses the “undo” button if she doesn’t like what it does!  She’s already figured out how to colour the stamps with multiple colours (check it out below – our cat actually does have mostly black fur with an orange spot on her head – how’s that for detail!).  I know she can’t break it, so I don’t even bother supervising her as she uses it, I get to do something else and just answer the odd question when she gets stuck.  She knows not to open any of Mummy’s MDS project files, she has her own folder for her projects that she can save to and re-open later!

This is the card that she made for my Mum for Mother’s Day. She absolutely adores the All in the Family stamp set.  I love that although she created it digitally, it still looks like a card made by an 8 year old.   That shows you that you can have full control with MDS to create from scratch and really make it your own!  Of course after having me print it for her, she did have to add the required level of glitter glue appropriate for a crafter her age (lots!).  Oh I should say – I don’t have red hair and neither does Emma – call that artistic licence!

I hope this shows you that whatever your age, you can really show off your creative flair with MDS.  And if you’re not in a particularly creative mood, you can just go with one of the professionally designed templates that come with the software (or you can do as I’m now doing and shopping online regularly for more MDS digital downloads!)

To try the 30-day free trial of My Digital Studio, click HERE to visit my online store.  Simply create your account (or sign in if you’ve already set up your account with me) and then click on the My Digital Studio link to find the page where you can download the free trial.  Be warned it does take quite a while, and you’ll need a good broadband connection, but it’s worth the effort!  Set up your account with me and download the free trial by the end of June, and you’ll get a little gift from me (NZ only, sorry!).

Happy digital crafting!

Pop n Cuts Gift Card

Hi everyone,
Oops I’m sorry, it’s been 2 weeks since my last post.  Rest assured I have not been lazing around doing nothing!  I have been busy planning for upcoming events and also my team training event that I held on the weekend.  We had a lot of fun together and I hope I didn’t overwhelm them all with too many make n takes. You can never have too much stamping, surely?!

Anyway, you’ve come here to see a new creation and I don’t want to disappoint!  One thing that my class attendees sometimes tell me off about is for “making” them have to buy something.  I love what I do and I get so excited about all the new products we have coming out all the time, it tends to rub off on others!  Well this time, it happened to ME, and not by anyone who even knows me.  I am blaming the fabulous Tanya Bell, a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator in Australia, for making me buy the Pop n Cuts products.  When the Seasonal Catalogue first came out, I said NO WAY am I buying that stuff, what, all that money just to make “dress cards”?  Now I am eating my words – when I saw what Tanya does with just the base die, let alone the rest of it, I had to have it!  I have been happily creating things with just the base Pop n Cuts die and even more happily sharing the projects with my lovely class attendees and my wonderful team.  And I haven’t even gotten around to making anything with a dress on it, yet!

So here is one of the projects I have taught recently – a gift card holder using the Pop n Cuts base die!  Tanya gave me the idea for the gift card holder concept, but the decoration is my own design.  I loved that the leaves from the bird builder punch were perfectly angled to frame the oval die, like they were made to go together!

I had fun with this one – breaking out the Tea for Two designer series paper (see the hexagons?  I love hexagons at the moment!) and the Oh, Hello stamp set.  I also used the flower trim and sponged the flower with a little calypso coral ink, it came out so pretty!  The sentiment flag I curled slightly with my fingers, so it doesn’t sit flat on the card.  Here’s the inside view:

I decided to make the gift holder part really easy to do and just had a folded insert inside the card.  You just pull this up out of the pocket and because it’s folded, the gift card you pop inside just comes up with the insert.  It also gives you plenty of space to write a message for that special person you’re thanking!

If you’d like to learn how to make this, let me know.  It would make a fun make & take at a workshop or party – don’t forget that right now, you can earn an extra $75 worth of free product for qualifying events!

Email me now (click here) to schedule your party in!

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!

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!

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!

$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!

Whalecome!

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!

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!