Sunday, 28 March 2010

Take a stroll through our bloghop to get a look at the new products

Hello and welcome to our Stampin' Up! bloghop.

If you're already on your journey then you'll have joined me from Zoe. Didn't you just love what she's done, I know I did. (If you haven't been there yet, then don't worry the link at the end of the post will pass you you to the next person in the loop, and then the next and the next until you get round to Zoe and eventually back to me. Then you'll know you've been around the full bloghop - though we have another 2 loops if you've got the stamina!)

My first card uses the new sweet treat cups and can be packaged to send through the post in a specially designed padded envelope (that was the answer to Wednesday's pop quiz, lol, did you spot what they were?).

I took my inspiration from the very clever Becky over at Inking Idaho and adapted her design.

Stamp set: Something Sweet, Happy Moments (sentiment inside)
Cardstock: Almost Amethyst, Elegant Eggplant, Whisper White
Ink: Almost Amethyst, Elegant Eggplant
Punches: 1-3/4" Circle, Round Tab, Scallop Oval, Large Oval, 1/2" Circle
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Elegant Eggplant
Other: White Eyelet, Silver Brad
Non-SU: Small chocolate beans

This is a narrow card (15cm x 7.5cm) so that you can pull the ribboned tab up and release the chocolate out of the back of the card without having to pull the card to pieces. I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to make sure that all the parts of the gumball machine lined up properly.

Although ideal for sweets, these treat cups can be filled with all sorts of fun and sentimental items. I'll be showing you more ideas over the next few weeks or so.

This second card is really quick and easy.

Stamp set: I {Heart} Hearts, Whimsical Words
Cardstock: Kraft, Real Red, Whisper White
Ink: Real Red
Punches: Heart to Heart, Small Heart

I punched the hearts trio in the bottom corner of the card. Using the new trio of hearts in the I {Heart} Hearts set I stamped it in Real Red, punched it and used the aperture to place the hearts against the back of the card. I stamped the dinky heart from the set and used the new Small Heart punch. I've always loved our SU punches as they're so great for cardstock but these new punches are even better as they now fold flat for easier storage - brilliant! The sentiment is from one of our recent Sale-a-bration sets.

If you're new to my blog and you like what you've seen, then please take a moment to become a follower (see lower down the right hand side column) or bookmark me so that you can find me again in the future.

Like what you've seen and want to place an order? As a special offer to celebrate the launch of the Mini Catalogue, I'm offering free postage on all orders over £45 placed with me by 10pm Easter Monday (5 April). Email me to place your order. If you're in the Sheffield/Barnsley area you can also drop into my Open Day on Saturday 3 April, any time 1pm-4pm for demos, make and takes, refreshments and more. Email me for directions.

Thanks for visiting and now I'll pass you on to Linda who has more amazing creations in store.

See you again soon I hope.

Sara xx

Stamp With Us colour inspiration challenge

I loved all your entries to meet the male cards challenge last time around.

Our challenge this week over at Stamp With Us is a colour challenge using this image as our inspiration:

I took my colours from the tulips and then used the Spring stamp from the Flower for all Seasons as that includes some tulips! I decided to make a gift box and a small square card.

Nice and bright and cheery for Spring I think - hope you agree.

Stamp sets: A Flower for all Seasons, Happy Moments
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Pixie Pink, Whisper White
DSP: Kaleidoscope
Ink: Black Stazon, Markers, Pink Passion
Punches: Tag, Small Tag, Word Window
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Pumpkin Pie
Other: White Eyelet

I used a blend of Pumpkin Pie and Pixie Pink markers to colour the tulips to mirror the inspiration photo and the Kaleidoscope DSP. The aperture created by the Word Window punch was marked in pencil on the Pixie Pink card behind it. I then stamped the sentiment in Pink Passion ink and then erased the pencil marks.

Stamp sets: A Flower for all Seasons
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie, Pixie Pink, Whisper White
DSP: Kaleidoscope
Ink: Black Stazon, Markers
Punches: 1-3/4" Circle, Scallop Edge
Narrow Grosgrain Ribbon: Pumpkin Pie

For this matching gift box I covered the flap in the same DSP, punched some holes with the Crop-a-dile and threaded with ribbon to close. I coloured an identical image to that on the front of the card, punched with the Circle punch and raised on dimensionals.

Can't wait to see what you create for this challenge.

Later this morning I'll be taking part in a bloghop to showcase the new products in our Mini Catalogue. You'll be able to see it here, any time after 10am. Hope you get chance to check it out.

Sara xx

Saturday, 27 March 2010

A reminder of the bloghop and a teeny tiny sneak peek

Just a quick reminder that we're having a bloghop tomorrow, showcasing lots of new goodies from the new Mini Catalogue.

If you're new to bloghopping then believe me it's simple, painless and highly addictive! You can start anywhere on the circuit (such as here at my blog) and somewhere in the post (usually towards the end) you will be given the link to the next person in the loop and then the next and so on until you get back to where you started. There will be 15 blogs in the loop that I'm in tomorrow. We had so much fun last time that in fact there will be 3 loops altogether so if you have a large coffee pot to keep you going, you could visit all of them
Everything should be in place from 10am so please drop by any time after then and I'll start you on your journey.

Now here's your teeny, tiny sneak peek of what I've got in store for you (two separate cards). (In an Aussie accent:) Can you guess what it is yet?

Tomorrow's also the day for a new challenge over at Stamp With Us so I'll be posting twice tomorrow. I'll be putting that post on at around 8am.

Don't forget that clocks go forward tonight. We'll lose an hour's crafting time :-( but I'm sure the lighter nights will be worth it.

Have a great weekend, I'm off now to the Craft Group at St. Saviours.

Sara xx

Thursday, 25 March 2010

A Baroque card on the masculine side

The Rocky Horror Show was so much fun! For anyone who's never been, then it's not for the faint hearted and you might want to think twice about taking granny. The main costumes are basque and stockings, for girls and guys alike. Fans of the show go dressed as the characters which meant that the audience were nearly as interesting as the show. Dawn - I almost regretted being such a coward, there was a great turnout of obvious Rocky Horror fans and it did add to the fun. I was sat next to a guy in stockings and high heels - which was OK until he stood up to do the Timewarp. The theatre seating is pretty cosy to start with and his stockinged thighs got a little close at times, lol. Mark Curry (Junior Showtime presenter for those of us old enough to remember) was the narrator and cracked up quite a few times at some of the comebacks from the crowd. Frank was played by David Bedella and he played it with just the right amount of lascivious glee. What we were really impressed with was how well the guys moved and danced in their high heels - makes you wonder what preparation they had to do for the role, lol. The show's touring to Darlington, Southsea and Nottingham in May and Oxford, Edinburgh and Aberdeen in June, if you want to catch it.

Anyhoo - on now to the crafting and if today's card looks a little familiar that's because it's made to match the lady's card I made on Monday (scroll down to see or click here for the full post and recipe). I always show DH my cards to get his reaction and when I showed him Monday's he said it would make a great man's card if it didn't have the embellishments (yes - I've got him talking embellishments, embossing and brads, lol). Well, I took that as a bit of a challenge and came up with this:

Stamp set: Baroque Motifs
Cardstock: Kraft, Not Quite Navy, Vanilla
DSP: Bella Bleu
Ink: Not Quite Navy
Taffeta Ribbon: Kraft
Other: Silver Brads, Not Quite Navy Brads (Earth Elements)

The square motif was stamped three times and then cut out leaving a narrower border than on the lady's card so that I could cut out the teardrops in the centre of each side. This gives a more squared off, hopefully more masculine look. I opened the split pins of the Silver Brads to trap the ribbon, then pushed them back together to go through the hole, before opening again at the back of the card layer. The rest is matting and layering.

Here's the lady's card from Monday. A His and Hers matching set perhaps? Be quite nice for a couple whose birthdays are close together.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Arriving soon!

Our new Mini Catalogue will be open for orders from Thursday 1 April - and no, that's not an April Fool's joke!

One of the many advantages of being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is that we get to order new items ahead of everyone else and I've been playing with my shiny new toys, sorry, that should read, "refining my crafting techniques" lol and I just can't wait to share the new products with you. Any idea what these are for? I'll be showing you how I've used them very soon.

The Mini Catalogue has some great new fun items, beautiful distressed and vintage looks and some new, single stamps, to mention just a few.

A virtual look
As a special preview, we're having a blog hop on Sunday 28th March. If you pop back here on Sunday then you'll be able to see what I've created with the new goodies and then I'll send you on your way around a bunch of my crafting friends so you'll get a great look at a variety of the new products. Then just carry on back around to me to place your order and I'll send it through straight away on Thursday morning.

A real life look
Want to stroke the new papers, ink the rubber? I'm having an Open House 1pm - 4pm on Saturday 3 April. If you're in the area (North Sheffield/Barnsley) then drop by any time that afternoon for demos, make and takes, refreshments, prize draws and more! Email me for directions.

Off now to get ready for the theatre. I'm going with my Mum and a friend to see the Rocky Horror Show at the Lyceum tonight. Before you ask - we're not getting dressed up, I bottled it, lol.

Stop by tomorrow for another card and to hear how the show was.

Sara xx

Monday, 22 March 2010

A Baroque card with feminine touches

I can't believe I waited so long to get this stamp set - it's so versatile but always elegant I think. After choosing the square motif for the focus, I wasn't sure where to put the sentiment on this card and then decided - why does it have to have one on the front anyway?

This way, I can add a suitable insert when I know the occasion it's for.

Stamp set: Baroque Motifs
Cardstock: Kraft, Not Quite Navy, Very Vanilla
DSP: Bella Bleu
Ink: Not Quite Navy
Taffeta Ribbon: Kraft
Punch: Eyelet Border
Other: Pretties Kit

I stamped the motif onto Very Vanilla cardstock with Not Quite Navy ink and then cut it out leaving a reasonable border. Holding it against the Kraft cardstock I then cut around again leaving a border (you may want to use a temporary adhesive to hold it on place if you're worried about it slipping). The edges of the Kraft layer were lightly sponged with the Not Quite Navy ink before layering with dimensionals. Pretties elements give a feminine edge to the card.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A mans birthday card with candles

Home again! I feel pretty pleased with what (I think) I've taken in over the week's training. The exams aren't until June which could either be a good thing or bad. Plenty of time for revision ... or for it all to fall out of my head again, lol.

I'm glad to be back though and able to get crafting again :-)

As you may have spotted from my post last Sunday, our challenge over at Stamp With Us is male cards. It's always good to have a stock of male cards in for when birthdays etc. roll around and as I loved my team mate Natalie's sample, I thought I'd do a variation using the same stamp. This is one of my favourite stamp sets - the candles used here are just 1 stamp in the set of 6. I had placed a bumper order after Christmas to get it (it's a level 3 hostess set which means you get it free when you have a workshop/customer order of £500 or more) but I haven't had chance to play with it much yet.

Stamp sets: Queue Up, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Not Quite Navy, Old Olive, Really Rust
Ink: Versamark, Versamarker, Not Quite Navy
Other: Silver EP

I stamped the candles 3 times with Versamark ink. The first was left to dry to provide the bottom watermark effect. I added heat embossed the second with silver EP to create the middle line of candles. for the top line I used my Versamarker to "colour in" all the flames and various spots and stripes before added the silver EP and heat embossing again. You need to work reasonably quickly with this last one but the Versamark is fairly slow drying - just don't leave it and come back again ;-)

I used my stamp-a-ma-jig to position the sentiment and then everything was matted and layered.

Have a great weekend.

Sara xx

Thursday, 18 March 2010

A rose is a rose birthday card

Another training day done! My brain is still pretty fried with accounting ratios but I head back home tomorrow evening and I'm looking forward to a weekend with DH and Bess and lots of time for crafting to chill out after all the studying ;-)

For now here's a quick card that only needs limited supplies (I stamped it at the weekend and then brought it with me to finish and assemble).

Stamp sets: A Rose is a Rose, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Rose Red, Regal Rose, Whisper White
Ink: Pretty in Pink, Regal Rose
Double Stitched Ribbon: Regal Rose
Other: Mat Pack, Paper Piercing Tool

Using my stamp-a-ma-jig I stamped the rose using the 2-step stamping method to get the variation in shading and then cut it out. The small flower in the corner was then stamped in the same way and then balanced with the sentiment in the opposite corner. I used my paper piercing tool and mat pack to add the decoration and then assembled all the layers. The ribbon is tucked behind the Regal Rose layer so that the ends are secured out of sight rather than ending on the inside of the card.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

A whimsical Mothers Day card and filigree gift

OK, now I'm really peeved (and that's not quite the word I used I'll admit). My head's reeling with credits and debits and balance sheets so I took a quick break from the homework to add this post. I spent about half an hour typing it all up and then my mobile internet connection broke off and nothing's been saved. I've had to come out of the hotel to get a reliable signal and start all over again. Is it just me or does anyone else think it's a bit off when hotels block
the mobile internet signals that you've already paid for, just so they can sell you their own price inflated service? And to add insult to injury I've still got homework to finish when I go back. Happy, I'm not.

Anyway, enough of my complaining. As promised yesterday, here's the card that I made for my Mum for Mother's Day, though of course it could be used for any other occasion simply by changing the sentiment. It's a little larger than my standard ones as I used an A4 sheet folded as a gatefold.

Stamp sets: Whimsical Wings (hostess level 2), Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Cameo Coral, Creamy Caramel, Whisper White
Ink: Cameo Coral, Blush Blossom, Old Olive, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip, Versamark
Other: Clear Rhinestone Brads

I used markers direct to the stamp for the main image and stamped more of the flowers and cut them out individually. To get the shading on the flowers I used a Blush Blossom marker across the solid flower and then dabbed Cameo Coral ink around the outside using a sponge dauber. The watermark background was created using the outline flower stamp and the larger flourish with Versamark ink. Clear rhinestone brads add a bit of bling.

And here's another bit of bling. This handcrafted brooch is silver filigree set with a semi-precious stone and was our present to my Mum on Mother's Day. You can watch artisans making these beautiful pieces of jewellery at the craft village on Malta.

Now - nose back to the grindstone.

Bye for now.

Sara xx

Monday, 15 March 2010

Back from holiday and straight onto a training course

Hi all

A very quick post today just to explain why I haven't commented on your creations recently and why I've been so quiet over on the ILWS forum.

On Saturday night I got back from two weeks holiday in Malta - I know, lucky me! It was fabulous, a real pampered break in a gorgeous 5 star, all inclusive hotel - the Fortina Spa. The weather the first week was great, sunny skies and t-shirt temperatures. The second week we had a fair bit of rain but it was still warmer than back home and it gave me a chance to read and to use the spa facilities.

I managed to snap some beautiful photos while we were out and about sightseeing the first week, so I've no excuse for not scrapbooking now. It'll be a great excuse to break into one of my Scrappin' kits.

I scheduled a bunch of posts for while I was away and thank you to all of you who have commented. Hope the scheduling at least provided some continuity and a bit of inspiration while I was away.

The worst thing about the holiday? I didn't have enough luggage allowance to take any crafting with me! I needed it all for clothes and cameras. Two weeks without crafting - it's been such a killer. The closest I got while I was out there was buying this beautiful calligraphy set:

I hope to use this to add some fancy journaling to my scrapbooking.

Anyway, down to earth with a bump this week. After a quick stop by my Mum's for Mother's Day yesterday it was straight off to Cardiff for me where I'll be all week for a training course. DH says his missing me already bless him but I secretly think he'll enjoy the peace and quiet after two weeks away with me, lol. And he's always got Bess for company, who's a complete Mrs Lovington now she's back to getting so much fuss and attention.

Still limited crafting and internet for me this week but if please stop by again tomorrow and I'll share my Mum's Mother's day card and gift with you.

Thanks for dropping in.

Sara xx

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Happy Mother's Day and a mans card for the Stamp With Us challenge

A Happy Mother's Day to all of you mums out there. I hope that you're being well pampered and spoiled today and that you get plenty of crafting time.

Just so that the men in our lives don't get too left out, our theme challenge today over at Stamp With Us, is mens cards.

Stamp sets: Cheers to You
Cardstock: Really Rust, Chocolate Chip, Whisper White
DSP: To the Nines Speciality
Ink: Chocolate Chip, SU Markers
Other: Hodgepodge, Silver Brads

A straightforward card using colouring and matting and layering. The brads have been added just to the top mats so that they won't show through to the inside of the card.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Sara xx

Friday, 12 March 2010

March sketch challenge at In Love With Stamping take 2

I loved the March sketch at In Love With Stamping so much that I chose it as one of my ones to repeat. In case you missed it, here's the sketch:

This time I've inverted it so that the embellishment (the hummingbird) is on the opposite corner:

And then I've turned it into an easel card for my MIL for Mother's Day:

Stamp sets: Garden Dream, Occasional Greetings
Cardstock: Certainly Celery (textured), Summer Sun, Whisper White
DSP: Pink Flamingo
Ink: Taken With Teal, SU Markers
Other: Crystal Effects, Rhinestone Brads (Circle Ice)
Non-SU: Die Cuts

I used markers direct to stamp for the flower (this gives a softer look than stamping with black and grey) and then shaded with more markers. The flower was die cut with an oval and then matted onto a scallop oval, die cut from textured card. This was raised on dimensionals onto the mats of Summer Sun card and DSP. The base easel card is Celery textured card to match the scallop frame. The insert was stamped with the sentiment and the brad stoppers added before adhering it to the inside of the card. I used markers direct to stamp again for the hummingbird and then cut it out and snipped and shaped the wings. Crystal Effects gives the glossy, lacquered look. After it had dried fully, I raised the bird above the level of the flower with stacked dimensionals.

Here's a closer look at the glossy hummingbird:

Hope you're all set for Mother's Day.

Sara xx

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

March colour challenge at In Love With Stamping take 2

The colour challenge at In Love With Stamping this month is Neutrals and Browns (metal embellishments in silver, gold and pewter etc. are also allowed).

I love the monochrome look so I've stuck with it for this card:

Stamp sets: Medallion, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White
DSP: Bride, Groom
Ink: Versamark
Punches: Eyelet Border, Scallop Oval, Large Oval
Other: White EP, Hodge Podge

To stamp the Medallion, I laid the inked up stamp down flat and pressed my card onto it. You have to be careful not to move the card around when you're doing this but it's easier to get the positioning right than taking such a large stamp to the card (I'd suggest trying both ways and see which suits you best). White EP was added and then heat embossed. The sentiment was stamped and heat embossed with White EP to match. The large flower brad from the Hodge Podge was added to the centre of the Medallion before I matted the layers to prevent in showing on the reverse of the card.

Take care.

Sara xx

Monday, 8 March 2010

March inspiration challenge at In Love With Stamping

Our inspiration challenge this month over at In Love With Stamping is this:

I decided to focus mainly on the top right photo for my inspiration and came up with this clean and simple design:

Stamp set: Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Green Galore, Pumpkin Pie, Orchid Opulence, Whisper White
Ink: Green Galore
Punches: Corner Rounder, 5-petal, Large Oval
Other: Mat Pack
Non-SU: Embossing tool

To make the veins on the flower petals I drew with the embossing tool onto the punched out shapes, keeping the black heavy sponge mat beneath to get the impression. The flower centre is a strip of Orchid card wrapped around the needle of the paper piercer and then secured with glue dots.

Thanks for stopping by.

Sara xx

Saturday, 6 March 2010

March sketch challenge at In Love With Stamping

Our March sketch challenge at In Love With Stamping is this:

The little green frond represents embellishments of your choice. I decided to try out the little felt flowers from my Flower Fusion kit.

Stamp set: True Friend
Cardstock: Pumpkin Pie (plain and textured), Rose Red, Whisper White
DSP: Rose Red Patterns
Ink: SU Markers (Pumpkin Pie, Rose Red, Old Olive)
Other: Flower Fusion, Brads (Earth Elements), Mat Pack, Paper Piercer
Non-SU: Die cuts

I used marker pens direct to stamp to colour the leaves Old Olive and the flower Pumpkin Pie, Using a sponge dauber I then dabbed Rose Red around the outside of the flower before huffing and stamping. I used the small spots edging the flowers and leaves as a template for paper piercing. The flower was die cut with an oval and then matted onto a scallop oval, die cut from textured card. This was raised on dimensionals onto the mats of card and DSP. The felt flowers were used to finish the card.

Thanks to the gorgeous and talented Craftmaiden for passing along this award:

As I'd already played along with this here I won't play again but thanks Siobhan, for thinking of me.

Have a great weekend all.

Sara xx

Thursday, 4 March 2010

March thinking outside the box challenge

The March Anything Goes challenge at In Love With Stamping is to think outside the box and turn our stamps into something else eg. stamp a flower using hearts, a bug using petals.

I've used my fruit stamps to create a flower spray:

Stamp sets: Tart & Tangy, Sincere Salutations
Cardstock: Cameo Coral, Barely Banana, Old Olive, Whisper White
DSP: Kaleidoscope
Ink: SU Markers (Old Olive, Cameo Coral)
Punches: Scallop Oval, Large Oval, 1/4" Circle
Large Grosgrain Ribbon: Old Olive
Striped Grosgrain Ribbon: Old Olive

Using my markers direct to stamp, I inked just the cherry stem and turned it upside down. I then inked just the inside of the lemon slice stamp and stamped it for the flower heads, using my stamp-a-ma-jig to place them. The ribbon edging uses just a few scraps of ribbon - a great way of using them up.

What can you turn your stamps into?

Sara xx

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

March colour challenge at In Love With Stamping

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

Neutrals and Browns

Cardstock: Basic Black, Whisper White
Rub-ons: Hidden Garden Blossoms
Punches: Tag, Small Tag
Gingham Ribbon: Black
Other: Medium Window, Crop-a-dile, Basic Eyelets

I used the Tag punch on the Basic Black card and the Medium Window sheet and the Small Tag punch on the Whisper White card. A white rub-on was added to the window sheet tag. On the second tag I thought to turn it over to protect the rub-on better. Of course if you choose a text rub-on then the rub-on will have to stay on the outside. The small white tag was adhered to the reverse of the black tag and all three layers were punched through and set with an eyelet. Black gingham ribbon finishes the tags.

Hope to see some of your creations in the gallery over there.

Sara xx