Thursday, May 27, 2010
Here is the card I made for my brother, Dean. Whipped out my trusty Lovely As A Tree stamp set, that I think is great for men's cards. Other items I love to use on masculine cards are the Sanded background stamp and my Colour Spritzer tool. These got a work-out, big-time, along with a sponge dauber!
Stamps: Sanded, Inspired by Nature, Lovely As A Tree, On Your Birthday
Card: Naturals Ivory, Basic Black, Chocolate Chip, Always Artichoke
Ink: Chocolate Chip and Always Artichoke stampin' pads and markers, Sahara Sand and Basic Black stampin' pads
Other: Top Note die, sponge dauber, Colour Spritzer tool, Jumbo Eyelets (set with Crop-a-Dile), Large Oval punch, edge distressing tool
Right, better go get this card in the mail!
Hubby has deemed my card "bland", so I have a feeling some of you, dear blog readers, will like it! Historically, any cards Andrew doesn't like have proven to be quite the opposite in 'female eyes'. Here it is, in its full photographed-at-night time glory:
... and here's a close-up of the tag, to show I stamped off the rose image a couple of times, then stamped it on a Very Vanilla tag. The little flowers were punched from Mellow Moss card that had been stamped in En Francais. Of course I sponged around all the edges!
Hmm, now that I see the close-up, I can see a brad prong sticking out (bugs me, but I'm not re-doing it!). If I hadn't have mentioned it, would you have noticed??
Here's a list of products used to make this card:
Stamps: Asian Artistry, En Francais, Trendy Trees (sentiment)
Card: Kraft, Rose Red, Mellow Moss, Very Vanilla, Watercolour Paper
Ink: Jet Black Staz-On, Rose Red stampin' pad and marker, Mellow Moss stampin' pad and marker, Regal Rose marker
Other: Aquapainter, sponge daubers, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Lots of Tags sizzlits die, Mellow Moss taffeta ribbon, Trio Flower Punch, Rose Red brads, mini glue dots, dimensionals
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Sounds very final, doesn't it??! I took rather a lot of photos at Convention in Sydney over the weekend, but I won't overwhelm you with them all. Thank you to my lovely friends who've also provided me with even MORE photos to sort through!
I just had to share with you a picture of Bonnie Thurber, one of the Home Office staff from Utah who came over to keep us in fits of laughter. Oh, I mean, train us! Bonnie is hilarious, and gorgeous, and I so didn't want her to return to the States.
Also, I want to share with you a photo of Pam Morgan, also one of the fantastic US staff members who spent the weekend with us. Pam demonstrated an add-on benefit of the Big Shot, incorporating it in her exercise routine.
To all my newsletter customers: this might help sway your decision, to take me up on my special offer on the Big Shot for May! LOL.
All in all, we had a great time at Convention. I have to say, I am still tired, 3 days down the track!
At Convention, a very exciting announcement was made for those of us looking to recruit new team members.
From now until the end of July, the Stampin' Up! Starter Kit is available for an amazing A$259 only!
Normally it is $324, which is already a massive saving on the products it contains (over $560 worth of stamping product and business supplies). So, if you'd like to take advantage of a 50% (retail value) saving, now is the time! You can choose which stamps, inkpads and cardstock you want in your Starter Kit, and there is no postage or handling charge on the kit. How's that for a bargain?
I am looking for all kinds of demonstrators to join my team. You may be a mad-keen stamper or scrapbooker who *needs* to buy lots of goodies, and would dearly love 20% discount off all of Stampin' Up!'s gorgeous products, every day. Or, you may be looking to develop your own business from home, that has the flexibility to work in with your family/other commitments.
Whichever category you fit into, I encourage you to contact me if you'd like to join my team. We can offer great friendship and support, and as a demonstrator you have several opportunities throughout the year to earn FREE STAMPS!! I'd be happy to send out an obligation-free information pack to you,if this sounds like it'd be a good fit in your life. Being at Convention cemented for me that I've made a GREAT decision to sign up with Stampin' Up!
For all the details, click on the following link to take a look at the Starter Kit Special flyer:
Please ignore the fact that it is "two to a page" - this little black duck is a little, ah, challenged when it comes to singling out one of them! Just consider it twice the excitement!
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
If you're visiting my blog for the first time in a little while, you might like to read my post from earlier today first.
I've taken a breather, had some lunch and taken care of some washing and dishes, so I thought I'd return to my recount of this past weekend's Convention in Sydney!
On the last night of Convention, we enjoyed an Awards and Recognition dinner and function. We were made to feel very special, entering the venue via a red carpet, all the while being photographed by 'paparazzi', and being welcomed by cheering Stampin' Up! staff members. We had a lot of laughs.
Take a look at the beautiful centrepiece on each table:
The tulips (my FAVOURITE flower), arranged around a candle inside the vase,were absolutely gorgeous.
As you probably already know, if you've checked in here before when I've taken part in blog hops, I belong to the Art With Heart team of demonstrators; our upline is Claire Daly. Well, Claire was awarded the #1 Demonstrator of the Year, for Australia - an amazing achievement. Here are a couple of photos of Claire up on stage:
(That's Claire, hugging Angela Sargeant, her upline's upline!)
Shelli (SU! co-founder), Aaron (SU! Australia), Claire, Angela, Ngaire, Marelle, Vanessa, and Emma (SU! NZ)
Next up is Sue Madex, who placed #15 Demonstrator in Australia. We were so excited that she'd made it into "the top 25", and even more excited when we learnt just how well Sue had done (there are over 2000 demonstrators in Australia).
Sue's the gorgeous, smiley one in the mod dress (between Claire, and Jayne Mercer, who deservedly won the "Heart of Stampin' Up!" award).
Another of our team members, Miriam Thomas, won the "Rising Star" award, based on her own personal sales and recruiting, and promotions within her team.
I have a few other, 'random', photos from Convention that I will share in yet another post, but for now I must sign off and devote some time to my family. I missed my boys while I was away, and I think now that I'm home (and it is nearing school pick-up time), I need to be with them for a bit. I'll catch you a bit later on!
Monday, May 24, 2010
I hope that the last few posts I scheduled kept you happy while I was away, living it up in Sydney! I'm now home, after a wonderful few days away at my very first Stampin' Up! Convention. Boy, am I tired!! It was fantastic to meet in person my stamping friends who I've 'met' and conversed with online, and it reinforced for me what a fantastic group of women are involved with Stampin' Up! in Australia. I have lots and lots of photos from the weekend, and I plan to share quite a few with you, so you might want to take this opportunity to make a cuppa and get comfy!
In Sydney, I shared an apartment with my friends (and team-mates) Judy and Nikki. I think we had the pick of the accommodation, given that most of our team (and many other Convention attendees) stayed in a different block of apartments, that were evacuated twice during the first night's stay! There were some tired girls around the traps on the first day of Convention.
I made a card for my 'roomies', since it was rather exciting for us to be away together, for such a major girls' weekend. I forgot to photograph one of them before putting it in an envelope, but here is the other (similar, but different colour) card so you can see what they were like:
"Swapping" on the first day of Convention was sheer madness! The idea is to make multiple copies of your own design of card front, to swap with other demonstrators/attendees, so we can all share ideas. There were almost 500 women at Convention, crowded into part of the Darling Harbour Convention Centre. It was rather frantic to begin with ... thankfully, the excitement level did ease a little! This is what my swap looked like (followed by the 'ingredients' used to make it):
Stamps: Baroque (background), Very Vintage wheel, Cute & Curly
Ink: Melon Mambo and Sahara Sand stampin' pads
Card: Kraft, Melon Mambo, Whisper White
Other: Sponge daubers, Curly Label Punch, Melon Mambo Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon, Kraft taffeta ribbon, Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, clear rhinestone brad, dimensionals, mini glue dot
Okay, now on to the apartment we stayed in. It was very spacious and comfortable .. thought I'd show you a few photos of the inside, and the view we had over Darling Harbour. Here's the dining area:
On the bench between the dining space, and the kitchen, we set up our own little snack bar:
.... and here's a shot of the lounge area:
From our apartment, this is what we saw:
and from the other side:
Really lovely accommodation, which helped to make the whole Convention experience very special.
I am very much a "details" person, so really appreciated all the lovely little touches provided by Stampin' Up! at Convention. A couple that tickled my fancy were these gerberas at the registration desk:
and the delicious, and varied, lunch packs we received:
I was teased mercilessly about photographing the lunch, but, hey, if I don't have to prepare it, I appreciate it all the more! The catering was fantastic. (Although I didn't get to enjoy the chocolatey-orange goodness of that cupcake, as it was whisked away when I made the mistake of leaving my chair for a few minutes!)
As well as listening to engaging and entertaining speakers, and getting to do some hands-on creating, we got the opportunity to shop in Stampin' Up!'s own "Memento Mall". Here's Judy indulging in some retail therapy:
I have numerous photos of my special stamping friends to share with you, so I hope you're not flagging yet!! I will break up my blog posts, and share a separate post about the recognition of our high-achieving team members. I want this post to focus on the friendship, fun and frivolity of our Sydney experience.
Here I am (in all my un-photogenic glory, hot and bothered), with some of my team-mates:
How gorgeous are these girls???
Some more of my sweet team members are:
Just a few more before I go on to our night-time pics!
Amidst all the wonderful friends I caught up with at Convention (sadly, several of whom I didn't get photos of), two highlights for me were meeting up with these girls:
This photo is of Jodene and me. I hope to spend more time with you at next Convention, girl!
Next up is the gorgeous Rach, who I was so thrilled to catch up with.
I hope you girls appreciate me posting these photos, because I normally don't want to be photographed at my fattest!!! However, this is me, and it was super-special to meet you both.
Alright, I am getting a bit tired of this photo-heavy post, so I can only hope you're still with me!
After the first full day of Convention, a group of us ate out together at Darling Harbour. The city had put on a jazz festival just for us ...
.... and we topped off a lovely evening by visiting the LINDT CHOCOLATE CAFE for a totally decadent dessert!
Judy didn't actually eat all three desserts herself .. she kindly shared them with Nikki and me. Divine!
I hope you've enjoyed my overview of Convention with my friends. I will be back to post about the awards night .... I just need a little rest!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I really enjoyed making this card, using several products from the gorgeous Autumn-Winter Mini catalogue. My Big Shot got a good work-out, cutting a couple of Top Note dies, and a label, and embossing the 'dotty' panel. Great fun! I've also used a few punches - the XL Two-Step Bird Punch provided the little branches, the Medium Jewelry Tag punch created the 3 tiny tags attached with a brad, and the Wide Oval punch (from the main Idea Book & Catalogue) was the perfect 'landing pad' for my butterfly. The Wide Oval fits perfectly inside the Sizzlits label, doesn't it? Love that look.
Stamps: All A Flutter, En Francais, Tiny Tags
Card: Kraft, Melon Mambo, Soft Suede, Whisper White
Ink: Melon Mambo and Soft Suede stampin' pads, Versamark inkpad
Other: Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, Wide Oval Punch, Lots of Tags Sizzlits die, Top Note die, Medium Jewelry Tag punch, XL Two-Step Bird Punch, Soft Suede Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon, sponge dauber, Vintage brad, dimensionals
I look forward to sharing with you soon some photos of my Stampin' Up! Convention experience ... just have to upload, and sort through my piccies. I hope that you've had some excitement in your life this week too!
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Stamps: Asian Artistry, Sanded, Teeny Tiny Sentiments
Card: Tempting Turquoise, Basic Gray, Watercolour Paper
Ink: Basic Gray stampin' pad, Tempting Turquoise stampin' pad and marker
Other: Basic Gray taffeta ribbon, Basic Gray corduroy button (retired), aquapainter, Word Window Punch, mini glue dots
Friday, May 21, 2010
With all the nervous energy I built up before going to Convention, I got more cards made than I normally would; see how often I can post on my blog when I really put my mind to it??!!
The other night, while hubby was watching one of his favourite travel and cooking/ travelling chef / cooking traveller shows on Foxtel, I had a play in my craft room. I still had out my Bella Bleu Designer Series Paper that had been feeling unloved, so I used a small panel on this card. I cut a Top Note in the DSP, then trimmed it down and adhered it to the front of a Kraft Top Note. I had a leftover sparkly butterfly on my desk, from when I'd experimented with Heat and Stick Powder, and Crystal Effects, so I used that too. It feels great to actually USE some of the bits and pieces that I have amassed on my desk!
(Now, if only hubby USED some of the knowledge he gains from the tv shows, and did some cooking ....)
Here's my pretty blue and kraft creation:
Stamps: All A Flutter, Vintage Vogue, Upsy Daisy
Card: Very Vanilla, Kraft
Ink: Sahara Sand, Brocade Blue and Night of Navy stampin' pads, Versamark inkpad
Other: Bella Bleu DSP, Top Note Die, Brocade Blue 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, Kraft taffeta ribbon, Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon, 1 3/8" Circle Punch, sponge dauber, Heat & Stick Powder, Dazzling Diamonds (glitter), Mat Pack and paper piercing tool
I really love this card, and think I'll make a few more, when I get back from Convention. Mind you, my mind may by then be filled with all sorts of new ideas, and I'll completely forget what I planned to do .... will fill you in, in a few days, friends! Thanks for stopping by!
Here is my card (an 'overhead' shot):
The card, and the little Curly Label Window, were cut out in one step - way too cool! Here's another view:
Stamps: Very Vintage wheel, Cute & Curly
Card: Kraft, Whisper White, Rich Razzleberry
Ink: Soft Suede and Rich Razzleberry stampin' pads, Whisper White craft stampin' pad
Other: Curly Label Movers & Shapers die (and Big Shot), Curly Label Punch, Stamp-a-ma-jig, Soft Suede Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon, Scallop Edge Punch, sponge daubers, Button Latte, Mat pack and paper piercing tool
I mentioned that the die co-ordinates perfectly with the Curly Label punch. The small panel of kraft card that was left after cutting the window, fit perfectly as a mat behind the white punchie created with the Curly Label punch. Just lovely, don't you think?
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
My newsletter subscribers have already seen this card, but I thought it was worthwhile posting it on my blog, because I've taken a decent photo of it (in my newsletter it looked very grey and dull, but in real life it's not). There's a lot to be said for photographing cards in the daytime, isn't there?! Most of my blogging (and composing of newsletters, for that matter) occurs at night, and I'm always a bit impulsive, so I resort to taking photos under artificial light in my craft room. Anyways, enough babbling, and on to my card:
Stamps: Organic Outlines, Thoughts & Prayers
Card: Always Artichoke, Whisper White
Ink: Mellow Moss and Always Artichoke stampin' pads, Versamark inkpad
Other: Top Note die (cut in the Big Shot), green rhinestones from Circle Ice brads, White Embossing Powder, sponge daubers, Mellow Moss taffeta ribbon, Autumn Traditions DSP, dimensionals, mini glue dots, corner rounder punch
I dug out my Bella Bleu Designer Series Paper for this one. LOVE this paper, but I don't use it very often; you know how you keep some things in a special spot because they're too pretty to use? Well, it was time for this paper to get some love. I have been trying to use more blue in my cards lately, because it's not one of my "go to" colours, but I always love how it looks in papercraft.
Firstly, I'll show you my card (and all the 'ingredients'), then I'll tell you some of the techniques I used. Please be impressed that I photographed this during the daytime, so it's nice and clear, ha ha!
Stamps: All A Flutter, Sweet Little Sentiments, Fifth Avenue Floral
Card: Very Vanilla, Brocade Blue, Kraft
Ink: Brocade Blue and Night of Navy stampin' pads, Very Vanilla craft stampin' pad, Versamark inkpad
Other: Bella Bleu DSP, Sizzlits Buttons #5 die, Sizzlits Lots of Tags die, Manhattan Flower embossing folder, sponge daubers, Heat & Stick Powder, Dazzling Diamonds (glitter), Night of Navy 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon, dimensionals, mini glue dot, Stamp-a-ma-jig
I think this is the first time I have ever used my Night of Navy ink and ribbon, and I love it! (Who knew?!) To make the tag, I first stamped the rose from Fifth Avenue Floral on the pre-cut kraft tag; once in Very Vanilla ink, and again in Brocade Blue ink (both times stamped off first, just to give a faint impression). I over-stamped the sentiment, using my trusty Stamp-a-ma-jig, in Night of Navy ink, and sponged the edges of the tag with Brocade Blue ink.
The butterfly was stamped in Night of Navy ink on a piece of kraft-coloured Bella Bleu DSP. I then used the Stamp-a-ma-jig, to stamp the butterfly again, over the top, in Versamark ink. Heat & Stick powder was sprinkled over the top, heated until sticky, and Dazzling Diamonds applied. A quick burst of heat with my heat gun 'set' the glitter, so it stays put. It's a day of 'firsts' today, as this was also the first time I've used Heat & Stick powder to apply Dazzling Diamonds - it's so easy! Much neater than using liquid glue, too. My pretty butterfly is raised up on dimensionals, to show it off a bit more!
The little button was cut out using the Buttons #5 Sizzlits die, using Very Vanilla card. I sponged it Brocade Blue (only because I changed my mind - should've just used Brocade Blue cardstock, shouldn't I?!), then sponged the edges in Night of Navy ink. A thin strip of kraft card was threaded through the button holes to finish off.
I really like this card, probably because it has flowers, a butterfly, ribbon and a button - some of my favourite things! I hope it brings a smile to your face too.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
This past weekend we had a lovely, relaxing, weekend at our little cabin (we call it our "sanity saver"). We have a comfortable, low-maintenance holiday home in a caravan park, on the banks of the Goulburn River - such a beautiful part of the world. It is really peaceful.
On Saturday we packed a picnic lunch, and drove to a nearby spot in the Rubicon Valley. I thought I'd share with you a few pictures of my boys. Such a simple family thing to do, but it was really nice to just 'be', and to soak up the autumn sunshine.
We don't really go anywhere without a cricket bat and ball in the car. Here are Jack and Ethan playing nicely (this lasted for about 10 minutes!):
We sat down to a simple picnic lunch, and some reading time ... here's hubby and my eldest:
Ethan was dying to cast a line into the river. He would've happily spent all afternoon fishing, but for the lack of patience of the other family members!
Do you think he looks like he was having fun?
While Ethan expended his energy casting, and reeling in, casting and reeling in, this is all Jack could muster up the energy to do ....
Such a hard life, being a teenager and getting dragged out of bed before midday to join his family on an outing! Once Jack realised I was taking photos of him, he decided to shut himself in the car and 'pump up the tunes'. I took one last photo of him before his father told him to "turn that noise off!!"
We don't take the time often enough to enjoy simple pleasures like this day. It was a highlight of the weekend (well, Jack may beg to differ, but in years to come he might understand!).
It's now only a few days until I fly up to Sydney for Stampin' Up! Convention. I plan to schedule a few blog posts for the time I'm away, so that if you do pop in to visit, there will be something new to look at. I won't be blogging from Convention, but will be sure to take lots of photos so that I can share my experience with you when I get back.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I started off making a very simple card for a challenge on my Stampin' Up! team's online forum, but it evolved into something completely different. I've been known to sponge cards to within an inch of their life .. couldn't not use sponge daubers on this one! The end result is waaaay out of my comfort zone; it's not really my 'style' of card, but I decided I'd share it with you anyway. I'm just enjoying having the time to create, and post on my blog .... hopefully you'll like this card a bit more than I do (and a LOT more than my husband does, LOL).
Stamps: En Francais, Asian Artistry, Life Definitions
Card: Ruby Red, Cameo Coral, Old Olive, Very Vanilla, Watercolour paper
Ink: Basic Gray stampin' pad, Old Olive stampin' pad and marker, Cameo Coral stampin' pad and marker, Ruby Red stampin' pad and marker, Versamark inkpad
Other: Old Olive 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, sponge daubers, dimensionals, Nestabilities (long deckled rectangle)
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I'm pretty sure it's okay to throw a 'neutral' into the mix. No prizes for guessing that I chose to use Kraft!
I love, love, love, the single "All A Flutter" stamp that is in Stampin' Up!'s new Autumn-Winter Mini catalogue, so was determined to use it in my challenge entry. I clear-embossed the butterfly onto Pretty in Pink, So Saffron, and Ruby Red card, by first inking the stamp in Versamark ink, then loading it with my chosen colour and stamping on the same coloured card. A sprinkle of clear embossing powder stuck to each image, thanks to the Versamark (sticky, clear) ink.
I've just re-read what I typed ... does that make sense to you?? I hope so! Just ask if you need clarification (I was described by my teacher, when I was 7, as "verbose", and have proudly carried that tag all my life, LOL).
Stamps: All A Flutter, Inspired By Nature, Asian Artistry
Card: Kraft, Ruby Red, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Soft Suede, So Saffron, Pretty in Pink and Ruby Red stampin' pads, Pretty in Pink marker
Other: Soft Suede Polka Dot grosgrain ribbon (reversed), Whisper White 1/4" grosgrain ribbon (coloured with marker), Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder, mat pack and paper piercer, sponge dauber, Button Latte, dimensionals, mini glue dot, Stamp-a-ma-jig
Saturday, May 8, 2010
The focal point of my card is the gorgeous bird, perched on bamboo; I've simply stamped the image in Basic Gray ink, and lightly 'painted' over the foliage with my aquapainter (water-colouring brush), to blur the lines a little. I scribbled with a Brilliant Blue marker onto my plastic 'palette' (the clamshell case of the stamps), and picked up the colour with my aquapainter to watercolour the bird. I don't gravitate towards blue very often, but I love the colours in this card. I was thinking it'd make a nice sympathy card; what do you think?
Stamps: Asian Artistry, En Francais, Trendy Trees (sentiment)
Card: Basic Gray, Bordering Blue, Brilliant Blue, Confetti White, Watercolour Paper
Ink: Basic Gray stampin' pad and marker, Brilliant Blue stampin' pad and marker, Bordering Blue stampin' pad, Very Vanilla craft stampin' pad
Other: Aquapainter, Eyelet Border Punch, sponge dauber, Basic Gray taffeta ribbon, corner rounder punch
Thursday, May 6, 2010
My friend Leanne makes the most beautiful cards, but doesn't have a blog to showcase them. So, I can unashamedly copy what she does, and post them on my blog, and pass them off as my own! No, not really ... but I was very inspired by a card Leanne showed me recently. She'd used a cut-out panel of embossed Manhattan Flowers on Whisper White, overlaid on some Kiwi Kiss Designer Series Paper.
I took that idea and ran with it, and this is what I came up with:
Stamps: Teeny Tiny Sentiments, Fifth Avenue Floral (stamped on the tag)
Card: Kiwi Kiss, Basic Gray, Whisper White
Ink: Versamark inkpad, Whisper White craft stampin' pad
Other: Bella Rose DSP, White embossing powder, Manhattan Flower embossing folder, Basic Gray taffeta ribbon, Dress Up Ribbon Originals, Sizzlits Lots of Tags die, mini glue dot, sponge dauber
Thanks to Leanne for the inspiration; I love your work, my friend! I'm rather pleased with how this card turned out; you might see a whole lot more using this cut-out floral panel!
One type of card that I (thankfully) don't have much need for, but which I'd like to have in my stash 'just in case' is Get Well cards. I have a couple of creations in the pipeline ... I'll share the Greenhouse Garden one with you today, and will post the other tomorrow.
The oranges that I've used in this card are Apricot Appeal (LOVE the softness of that colour), and the much bolder Pumpkin Pie. To soften the solid background card, I have stamped it in Very Vanilla using the Sanded background stamp, then have sponged around the card edges with Very Vanilla ink.
Even though this beautiful stamp set is not in our current Stampin' Up! range, I wanted to share my card with you, because I really like it - hope you do too!
Stamps: Greenhouse Garden, Sanded, Sincere Salutations, Vintage Vogue
Card: Pumpkin Pie, Very Vanilla
Ink: Very Vanilla craft stampin' pad, Apricot Appeal, Pumpkin Pie and Old Olive stampin' pads
Other: Top Note die, orange rhinestone brads, Wide Oval Punch, sponge daubers, Very Vanilla 5/8" grosgrain ribbon, Apricot Appeal 1/4" grosgrain ribbon, dimensionals