Sunday, 28 February 2010

Its In the Stars for the Stamp With Us challenge

Tomorrow is the start of a new Stampin' Up! offer.

Buy one of these qualifying stamp sets and get 20% off the co-ordinating punch!
  • Simply Said - Full Heart punch*
  • In the Stars - Large Star punch
  • Flight of the Butterfly - Butterfly punch
  • Say it With Scallops - Scallop Square punch
  • Oval All - Scallop Oval punch
* The Full Heart punch is only available while stocks last and will not be available again until the release of the 2010-2011 catalogue. Pop over to my offers page for the more details.

Today we have a new sketch challenge for you over at Stamp With Us and this is it:

I've used the In the Stars set with the co-ordinating Large Star punch for my sample:

Stamp set: In the Stars
Cardstock: Sage Shadow, Basic Gray
DSP: Nouveau Chic
Ink: Versamark
Punch: Large Star
Wide Striped Grosgrain Ribbon: Basic Black
Other: White EP

I stamped both the stars in Versamark on Basic Gray card and heat embossed with white EP for them to stand out. The smaller stamp uses the discounted Large Star punch. All the matted paper comes from the same Nouveau Chic set, the dark layers setting off the coloured layers. The striped ribbon is only a small scrap, it's so wide that you only need a small piece.

Please go check out all the other Design Team's wonderful creations.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sara xx

Saturday, 27 February 2010

A wedding invitation by a clever crafter

A quick post today just cos I gotta share this with you!

Don't you think this is gorgeous?

No it's not mine, lol. One of my clever customers is designing her own wedding invitations and she was kind enough to send me a sample to show what she's done with her SU goodies. It's clear embossed with more clear embossing on the pocket and insert on the inside. Isn't it yummy?

Thanks for letting me share it Laetitia. Looking forward to seeing what you make with this order :-)

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sara xx

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Sticky Cuts for a card with a bit of bling!

Each time I place an order I try to include a product I haven't used before. That way I can provide a better service for my customers as I know the product range in depth and it also pushes me beyond my normal crafting comfort zone. This time it was Sticky Cuts. These are great for anyone who likes a bit of bling (like me).

Now I'm a real Dazzling Diamonds fan, it's one of my absolute favourite products but the Sticky Cuts work better with the other glitters as they're opaque. Be warned - you do get rather glittery with this duo of products, great if you have a party planned, lol.

Stamp set: Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Orchid Opulence, Basic Black
DSP: Groom
Ink: Basic Black
Punches: 1-3/8" Circle, Large Oval
Other: Sticky Cuts Sweet, Circle Ice Rhinestone Brads, Fine Cosmo Glitter (Orchid)

I stuck the sticky flowers to the black cardstock and then rubbed the glitter into the adhesive. The flower centres were kept to use another day as I would be covering them over with the brads anyway. The flowers were punched and matted. To keep the bling going I added another rhinestone brad to the sentiment.

This card has only used a tiny portion of the two 12x12 Sticky Cuts sheets and a little goes a long way with the glitter too. I think these are a fun addition to my craft box and handy for quick cards with a wow factor.

Hope you like them.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Bunches of flowers for a girlie birthday card

A long day for me yesterday. I did make it to Birkenhead but we got stuck in traffic on the M62 so we had to reschedule meetings to the end of the afternoon. Tired already and there's still so much week to go :-( never mind, I'll have to craft to take my mind off it :-)

I'm rushing through another card using the free Sale-a-bration sets before they disappear at the weekend. There's still time to email me and order if you haven't got yours yet.

I've combined the Happy Moments with the Vintage Labels for this birthday card:

Stamp sets: Happy Moments, Vintage Labels
Cardstock: Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink: Black Stazon, Regal Rose, Pretty in Pink, SU Markers (Old Olive, Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose)
Punch: Scallop Circle
Wide Grosgrain Ribbon: Regal Rose

I stamped the flowers in Black Stazon on the white card and coloured them with SU markers. The pink background was made by stamping with Pretty in Pink ink on Pretty in Pink card but you could get the same sort of watermark effect by using Versamark. The scallop circle frame was stamped with Regal Rose and then the sentiment popped in the centre using the stamp-a-ma-jig. The whole was stamped out with the Scallop Circle punch and matted onto a Regal Rose Scallop Circle. Some ribbon to finish and that's the front done.

If you don't have a stamp-a-ma-jig then (you're missing out, lol) you could always stamp the sentiment separately, punch it out with a smaller circle punch and mat it onto the scallop.

For the inside I stamped the bunch of flowers again lightly in Pretty in Pink and used the sentiment from the Crazy for Cupcakes set.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Little and large using the Happy Moments present stack

We haven't managed to get to Bess's socialisation class today. (I'll post some more piccies of her soon Siobhan - have seen your request :-) ). We have snow again, about 4-5" so far and it's still falling (gulp). Hopefully we'll be able to dig the car out a little later. I'm supposed to be travelling to Birkenhead tomorrow for work and it's not looking too likely at the moment. Roll on summer!

A simple card for today using the present stack from Happy Moments as a model to build my own stack. I wanted to use bold, bright colours for the presents so I kept the card base neutral so that the colour scheme wouldn't get too busy.

Stamp set: Happy Moments
Cardstock: Kraft, Sahara Sand, Whisper White, Tempting Turquoise
DSP: Kaleidoscope
Ink: Black Stazon, Tempting Turquoise, SU markers
Punches: Tag, Word Window
Other: Silver Elastic Cord, Brads (Bold Brights)

I chose DSPs with spots and stripes and backed them with some scrap card so that I could raise them on dimensionals. For the plain parcel I used plain card (turquoise). The parcels are placed so that they're not quite straight (yes that's on purpose, lol), to match the stamped image.

Take care and keep warm wherever you are.

Sara xx

Friday, 19 February 2010

Some projects from last nights workshop

Last night's workshop was great fun as usual, though it was a bit hairy getting home afterwards. It had started snowing a little before the end and there was a light covering when we came out. The closer I got to home, the thicker the snow and there's a steep road to go down on the last mile. I'm not sure who was most worried, me or the car in front that was going even slower than I would have preferred to do. Anyhow, I got home safe and the workshop was well worth it, I just love getting together with other crafters.

If you've stopped by for a look ladies then - Hi, nice to see you here! *waves* Please leave me a comment so that I know you were here.

Here are a couple of the projects we covered.

Stamp sets: Greenhouse Garden, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Regal Rose (plain and textured), Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
Ink: Regal Rose, Chocolate Chip
Punches: Eyelet Border, 1-1/4" Circle, 1-3/8" Circle
Wide Grosgrain Ribbon: Regal Rose
Other: Pretties Kit

I used the stamp-a-ma-jig to line the flower detail up within the solid flower stamps. A piece of ribbon is wrapped around the chocolate border and then a shorter piece of ribbon tied around the first. The textured card and the halfback pearls (which I nearly forgot to add, lol) give the card a luxury feel.

This little Easter basket was the make and take that everyone had a go at. I had wondered if it was too early in the year to share it but I was assured that it was ideal timing.

Stamp sets: Vintage Labels, Forest Friends, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: So Saffron, Almost Amethyst, Whisper White
DSP: Tea Party
Ink: Perfect Plum
Punches: Scallop Circle, 1-1/4" Circle

Vintage labels was used to decorate the scallop background. The Easter bunny is on one side of the basket and on the other, is the sentiment Easter Wishes from the Occasional Greetings set.

The snow's melted here now, thank goodness.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Sara xx

Thursday, 18 February 2010

A summery sunflower for a happy birthday

I've used a bit of summer sun today to try and counteract the miserable weather we're having at the moment. Hope it's better where you are. We've had a combination of sleet, light snow and freezing fog for the last couple of days.

Just hope that I can also spread a bit of sunshine at the workshop I'm giving tonight and that we don't get snowed in!

Stamp sets: A Flower for all Seasons, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Summer Sun, Whisper White, Old Olive, Certainly Celery
DSP: Pink Flamingo
Ink: Black Stazon, Always Artichoke, Markers
Punches: 1-3/8" Circle, 1" Circle, 3/4" Circle, Corner Rounder
Other: Mat Pack, Paper Piercer

The sunny circles were punched, matted and then arranged around my stamped image and the whole set raised on dimensionals. I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to position the sentiment around the corner.

Take care and keep warm.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Happy Moments are ticking away

Bess did a little better in class on Sunday. Her training (or is it ours lol?) now involves walking her backwards every time she tries to pull forwards too much. I think we're going to see a lot of places we've already been in the foreseeable future!

And talking of foreseeable future - there's just over a week left to get your free Sale-a-bration sets. Please email me if you'd like to order.

Today's card is back to Happy Moments - my favourite set I have to admit. And then I used Whimsical Words for the sentiment inside - my other favourite, heehee.

Stamp sets: Happy Moments, Whimsical Words (inside)
Cardstock: Creamy Caramel, Ruby Red, Close to Cocoa, Summer Sun, Whisper White
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Markers
Punches: Boho Blossoms, Word Window, Eyelet Border
Wide Grosgrain Ribbon: So Saffron (from previous SU offer)
Other: Circle Fire Rhinestones

I decided to use the flowers on the cake as a motif for my card. My flowers are made using the Boho Blossom punch with each flower snipped between the petals and shaped.

Here's the inside:

Which is your favourite Sale-a-bration set?

Sara xx

Monday, 15 February 2010

A happy blog award

The super talented Hayley has kindly passed this blog award on to me - you're a gem, thanks hun.

The deal is that I tell you 10 things that make me happy, then pass it on to 5 more blogging buddies who do the same (all of us linking back to the person who sent it to us and forward to those we're passing it to).

So, 10 things that make me happy, in no order at all (I'll leave you to guess or to make it up, lol):
  1. Chocolate
  2. My hubby
  3. My dog, Bess (when she's behaving well, hmm guess that goes for hubby too, lol)
  4. Opening a parcel of craft goodies
  5. A glass of sparkling wine cocktail (then a second ...)
  6. Travel (particularly with DH, my no. 1 travel buddy)
  7. A good thriller to read
  8. A good sci-fi film to watch
  9. A craft project coming together
  10. Kind comments on my work (whether from the recipient or from other crafters)
And I'm passing this on now to:

Have fun with it ladies and I look forward to discovering what makes you happy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Calorie free cupcakes for the Stamp With Us challenge

A Happy Valentine's Day to all. I hope that your loved one is pampering and spoiling you and if you don't have a loved one at the moment then all the more reason to pamper and spoil yourself.

I'm getting a bit of a lie-in today and letting DH take my other loved one (Bess the dog) to socialisation class on his own. We've been to class three times now and we think we see a glimmer of hope though Bess still pulls like crazy and wears herself out most times. We've had cut paws from her pulling too hard over the gravel and she usually can't move on a Monday morning because she's tired herself out so much the previous day. Today hubby'll be trying a different technique and swapping dogs with the class organiser. She thinks that Bess may be trying too hard to protect us and may calm down a bit if she walks with someone else and sees that we're still safe. Fingers crossed.

And onto the crafting ...

Today's challenge over at Stamp With Us is a colour one and this is our inspiration:

How sweet are these cupcakes? Great for anyone still on a diet ;-)

I know it's predictable but I just had to use the Crazy for Cupcakes set, on the other hand I don't think I've ever kept it so pastel before. I also figured I'd resisted an easel card for long enough to make another, lol.

Stamp sets: Crazy for Cupcakes, Happy Moments (sentiment)
Cardstock: Pretty in Pink, Creamy Caramel, Sage Shadow, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Grey, Regal Rose, Markers
DSP: To the Nines
Punches: Word Window
Gingham Ribbon: Light Pink
Other: Square Fire Rhinestone Brads
Non-SU: Die-cut ovals

I'd already matted my caramel and DSP layers when I realised that the ribbon would show around the back of the top half of the card. To get round that I matted again onto some Sage Shadow . The sentiment was made by stamping and punching with the Word Window and then reinserting the sentiment into the punch again to shorten it. It's then matted onto a full size Word Window punch in Pretty in Pink, to echo the frame around the main image.

Here you can see the easel stand a little better:

Please stop by and take a look at the inspiration provided by the rest of the Design Team.

Can't wait to see your creations for this one.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sara xx

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Join my team before the end of Feb to get an extra free stamp set

How would you like to save or earn money from doing what you love? Become a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator and get a discount on your crafting purchases and/or income from sales.

Sign up during Sale-a-bration (30 December 2009 - 28 February 2010) and choose additional stamp set from the catalogue* (a value of up to £38.95) to add to the great list of benefits below.

Benefits of becoming a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator:
  • Huge discount on the customisable starter kit (£240 of tools and products for just £139)
  • Significant discount on all Stampin' Up! products
  • Sneak peeks of upcoming products and chance to pre-order
  • Free newsletter every month with tips and techniques
  • No need to hold a workshop or "sell" if you prefer to remain a "hobby demo"
  • Bonuses and incentives available to those who want follow the career plan
  • Access to on-line resources and business support
  • Ability to drop out at any time, no tie-ins (but you cannot then rejoin for set period)
  • Opportunity to attend regional field training events and the annual convention which will take place in London in 2010 (charges apply)
  • Ability to earn free stamp sets in your first 6 months
Additional benefits exclusive to joining through me:
  • 2 A4 sheets of every coloured cardstock not included in your starter pack (eg. if you choose Bold Brights for your Starter Kit then I'll supply 2 A4 sheets of each card in the Earth Elements, Rich Regals and Soft Subtles colour families)
  • 1 m of each 1/4" grosgrain ribbon (11 m total)
  • An additional stamp set*, chosen from the catalogue by you, to the value of £15
  • Support and training in how to deliver a workshop (face to face if I can travel to you or telephone and on-line if outside travelling distance)
  • Ongoing support by phone and email
  • Product sample kits (eg. like this card and ink sampler set)
  • Sample cards
  • Marketing ideas and tips to grow your business
  • Project worksheets to use at your workshops
  • Exclusive access to a blog just for my downline team

Whether you're ready to sign up now or have more questions you'd like answered, then email me at

* Excludes hostess stamp sets

Friday, 12 February 2010

A vintage male birthday (that's vintage labels stamps - not a vintage male, heehee)

What's that I hear you say, just like buses, no sign of any hardware and then a bunch at once? Lol! I know, I know, I really should use them all more often. I had a card to make for a male friend and figured the Vintage Labels would be ideal. This particular one is not too fussy and teamed with some DSP and hardware, it isn't too plain either.

Stamp set: Vintage Labels
Cardstock: Glorious Green, Whisper White
DSP: Groom, Kaleidoscope
Ink: Basic Black, Glorious Green
Other: Hodgepodge Hardware, Clips Assortment, Silver Brads

I used the stamp-a-ma-jig to position the text centrally within the frame. The layers of Groom DSP are raised on dimensionals both for interest and to give room for the hardware to lie flat on the reverse.

I've reversed the text and frame colours for the inside of the card.

Have a great weekend.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Traditional colours for my valentine

Sssh - I'm going to trust that DH won't be checking out my blog over the next few days and risk showing you his Valentine card. He's not a pink kind of guy and I'm a traditionalist so I decided to go with red and black as my colour scheme. I've used the gorgeous Groom pinstriped pattern DSP here. It's ideal for more masculine cards.

Stamp set: Love You Much
Cardstock: Real Red, Whisper White
DSP: Groom
Ink: Versamark, Real Red, Basic Black
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Real Red
Other: Silver EP

I stamped the Love You Much and heat embossed with silver powder first then masked it before stamping with the large hearts on either side using Real Red ink.

Now don't give the game away and tell him will you? ;-)

Sara xx

Monday, 8 February 2010

A spinning birdcage in a window

Have you got hold of your free Sale-a-bration stamps yet? They're only available until the end of February so don't miss out. Spend just £45 to choose one of the exclusive four sets. Click here for more details or email me to order.

Today's card uses Happy Moments again - with a twist. Click here to see previous cards using this same set.

Stamp set: Happy Moments
Cardstock: Tempting Turquoise, Taken with Teal, Summer Sun, Whisper White
Ink: Taken with Teal, Summer Sun, Chocolate Chip
DSP: Pink Flamingo
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Tempting Turquoise
Punches: 1-3/4" Circle, Word Window
Other: Silver Elastic Cord

The birdcage is stamped twice, once with a blue bird and once with a yellow card. The elastic cord is sandwiched between the two birdcages and the mat layers. Once made up, twist the cage around several times before putting in the envelope. When the recipient opens the card the birdcage will spin around.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Saturday, 6 February 2010

February ribbon challenge at In Love With Stamping - take 2

Thanks for all your congratulations yesterday. I did have a few drinks to celebrate last night and I might just treat myself to a stamp set or two as a reward for passing, lol.

Today's card is back again to the ribbons challenge over at In Love With Stamping. The challenge is to use five ribbons or more and they can be all the same or all different.

Stamp sets: Animal Stories, Whimsical Words
Cardstock: Barely Banana, More Mustard, Whisper White, Pumpkin Pie
Ink: More Mustard, Summer Sun
Punches: Scallop Oval, Large Oval
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: More Mustard, Pumpkin Pie

To get the funky shape I started with a standard A6 card, measured 1" down from the top right and cut from there to the top left fold. I then measured 1" in from the bottom right and cut from there to the new corner created by my last cut, top right. For the mats I cut the same shape and then trimmed excess from the fold line edge and the bottom edge only, to keep the funky angles needed. Hope that all makes sense.

The giraffe was coloured direct to stamp with Summer Sun and then I coloured the mane, tail and around all the spots with More Mustard (again direct to stamp).

Sara xx

Friday, 5 February 2010

A happy bunny and a bear for the February sketch challenge at In Love With Stamping - take 2

Hi all. I'm a happy bunny today I can tell you. I got my exam results today and I passed both the papers that I sat in November. Woohoo! Two down! I'm already studying for the next two that I'll sit in June but at least there's no retakes to worry about so far. Phew! On now to the crafting.

And it's back again to the sketch challenge today. Here's another little handy tissue pack, this one designed more for a child (or inner child cos I think I might keep this one, lol).

Stamp set: Leaves a la Carte
Cardstock: Creamy Caramel, Chocolate Chip, Close to Cocoa, Whisper White
Ink: Versamark, Basic Black
Punches: Scallop Circle, 1" Circle, 3/4" Circle, 1/2" Circle, 1/4" Circle
Other: Gold EP
Non-SU: Handy Tissue Pack

The instructions are here. The main variation with this one is that I haven't used any DSP. I used my Leaves a la Carte wheel with Versamark ink and gold EP along the bottom and back of the pack. Instead of DSP I just used my cutting mat and bone folder to score some decorative lines around the top front of the pack (they don't show too clearly in the pic). The bear is made with the punches and eyes and mouth drawn on.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Thursday, 4 February 2010

February colour challenge at In Love With Stamping

The colour challenge at In Love With Stamping this month is to use:

Close to Cocoa
Bordering Blue
Old Olive; and either
Whisper White or Very Vanilla

I've used these colours to make a set of 6 small thank you cards (2 each of the 3 designs) with envelopes, in a matching card holder.

Stamp set: Trendy Trees
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Bordering Blue, Old Olive, Whisper White
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Bordering Blue, Old Olive
Punches: Word Window, 1-3/4" Circle
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Whisper White

I've hopped back to an older tutorial on ILWS here for the No Cutting Note Card Holder.

The background for the card holder was made by repeat stamping the leafy tree (without a trunk). I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to position the repeat stamping and for all the trees.

The little thank you cards just rotate the same colours in different combinations for 3 of the Trendy Tree stamps.

A simple set of cards that packaged up make a great little gift. This one's a raffle prize for a workshop I'm giving soon.

I've just got enough diary space to squeeze in another 1 or 2 workshops before the end of Sale-a-bration. Please email me if you'd like to book one.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

February inspiration challenge at In Love With Stamping

Our inspiration challenge over at In Love With Stamping this month is this image of recycled silk cushions:

The top left cushion reminded me of the distressed button flowers I've seen on my many travels around blogland. I decided to push beyond my comfort zone and add them to the mix (I don't tend to do shabby or distressed).

Stamp sets: Sincere Salutations (sentiment), Circle Circus, Seeing Spots, Circle of Friendship, Whimsy
Cardstock: Real Red, Only Orange, Yoyo Yellow, Tempting Turquoise, Whisper White
DSP: Pink Flamingo
Ink: Versamark, Only Orange, Real Red, Tempting Turquoise
Punches: Scallop Edge, 1-3/4" Circle, 1-3/8" Circle, 1-1/4" Circle, 1" Circle, 3/4" Circle
Designer Buttons: Playground
Other: Cutter Kit

I used Versamark ink and various stamps (as listed in the recipe) to watermark the yellow, orange and red layers. The button flowers were made by punching varying sizes of circle from Tempting Turquoise card and Pink Flamingo DSP, then distressing the edges with the distressing tool on the Cutter Kit. These were layered up (off centre) and a button added on top using a glue dot. The sentiment was made by stamping Birthday Wishes, then masking it and stamping the largest Circle Circus over the top. This was punched out with the 1-3/4" Circle punch, the edges distressed and sponged gently with Real Red ink. The scallop layer behind it uses the Scallop Edge punch, snipped and curved.

I'm still not taken with distressing. Maybe bright colours and distressing just don't work together or maybe I'm missing an important step. If you know where I'm going wrong then please leave me a comment to point me in the right direction.

Hope to see your own entries to the challenge in the ILWS Gallery.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

February ribbon challenge at In Love With Stamping

Today I'm sharing the Ribbons challenge that we have this month over at In Love With Stamping. To play along you need to use at least 5 ribbons on your creation and they can all be the same or all be different.

I decided to use mine to "finish" my buttons:

Stamp Sets: Love You Much, Whimsical Words (SAB)
Cardstock: Basic Black, Pink Passion, Pretty in Pink, Whisper White
Ink: Basic Black, Pink Passion
Coloured Buttons: Earth Elements and Neutrals, Soft Subtles
Gingham Ribbon: Black, Light Pink

I picked out the patterns on the large heart with markers direct to stamp and then coloured in further after stamping. The trail of little hearts was tracked using my Stamp-a-ma-jig. All the buttons are stuck with glue dots.

Thanks for looking.

Sara xx

Monday, 1 February 2010

February sketch challenge at In Love With Stamping

Regular readers may know that I recently joined the Design Team over at In Love With Stamping. The introduction of a Design Team was part of some exciting new changes to the site, including swapping to monthly challenges and the start of a quarterly Crafters Cup challenge (next one is in April).

Our first set of monthly challenges have gone live today and I'll be showcasing my own samples for these challenges every day this week (if you just can't wait, then you can head over to ILWS right now, but please come back, pretty please?).

First up we have a sketch challenge:

Now I also happen to be the first new DT member in line to provide a tutorial (we'll be taking it in turns to make sure there's at least one new tutorial on the forum for you every month). Mine is a pocket tissue pack holder and I combined it with the sketch challenge:

Stamp sets: Bella Toile, Vintage Labels
Cardstock: Close to Cocoa, Very Vanilla
DSP: Bella Bleu
Ink: Close to Cocoa, Creamy Caramel
Punches: Scallop Circle, 3/4" Circle
Other: Filigree Brad

Just click here to be taken to the tutorial.

Here you can see the tissue pack inside:

I hope you feel inspired to have a go at the challenge or the tutorial, or both! If you do have a go then please share your piccie with us in the gallery at ILWS so that we can see what you've made and leave you a nice comment.

Have fun.

Sara xx