Full frontal Designer Series Paper | Birthday Bouquet

One of the things I've noticed about card making in recent times is the increase in using Designer Series Paper as the whole card front, or a decrease in the incidence of a border. It's funny how trends seem to come about, but this is one that I had never really considered before it started popping up in the catalogue and in other stampin' places, and it's one that I am fully prepared to embrace, especially because it requires less brain power from me in working out measurements and borders, and particularly when the paper designs are so beautiful.

Like this....

Stamps: Perfect Pennants, Birthday Blooms Paper: Birthday Bouquet Designer Series Paper, Whisper White Ink: Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, Watermelon Wonder Accessories: Tea Lace Doilies, It's my Party Enamel Dots

Stamps: Perfect Pennants, Birthday Blooms Paper: Birthday Bouquet Designer Series Paper, Whisper White Ink: Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, Watermelon Wonder Accessories: Tea Lace Doilies, It's my Party Enamel Dots

It also makes the art of card making so accessible in that no fancy techniques or tools are required, there's not a bunch of time needed in the execution and the end result can still be striking and beautiful.

In this card, the sum total of steps were:

This card layout could be completed using virtually any combination of Designer Series Paper and decorative and/or greeting stamps and it's a great way to use up your stash of DSP if you have pretty paper hoarding tendencies. Which wouldn't in itself be a problem (one that I have been afflicted with personally since childhood) except that Stampin' Up! keep insisting on bringing out beautiful new DSP designs, and living in a small house with children that already share a room based on my craft stash having taken over the third bedroom, well....there are storage concerns that I just can't get away from.

Speaking of beautiful new Designer Series Paper designs (and beautiful new things in general), I'm just back from a weekend in Sydney where the upcoming Annual Catalogue was launched, and by golly there's some amazing stuff to look forward too!

You can check out some of my Sydney adventures with my lovely mum (a fellow demonstrator) on my Instagram or Facebook pages, but be prepared for nothing much other than touristy shots and non-specific stamping event posts! We are sworn to secrecy about the contents of the catalogue - even with our demonstrator friends that didn't attend - so there won't be any sneaky peeks to find #sorrynotsorry

Like the idea of being the first to see and buy new Stampin' Up! stuff WAY before anybody else...? The demonstrator opportunity is calling you, CHECK IT OUT!

Before the new catalogue makes its grand yearly entrance though, there's the not so small business of a retiring list to deal with! That will be released this week, and on it you can expect to find a bunch of stuff that will be on its way out to make way for all the new goodness coming at us in June, so be sure to check back this week for that!

DON'T FORGET: Weekly Deals are in their final days, with a massive swag of goodies being thrown out at 25% off. Finishing 9.50pm (WA time) tomorrow - Tuesday April 19th - for the last time. Don't miss out...!

**Disclaimer** The title of this post has nothing to do with a new set of Designer Series Paper #thankgoodness

What has been your favourite set of Designer Series Paper in this year's Annual Catalogue or current Occasions....?

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Thank yous, welcomes and congratulations | You're So Lovely

Hello! Happy Monday *grin*

We are in the first handful of days of first term holidays here at my place, so I have a quick post to share with you before the natives get restless/hungry/bored...!

I have found since working outside of my Stampin' Up! business more regularly than in it these past few months, processes and habits have become very important in order that anything gets achieved around here and the flying by the seat of my pants approach that I have favoured my entire life, whilst still my default mode, has had to take a backseat to order and organisation. An excellent but tricky lesson for folk like me...! 

One of my favourite regular processes is to create and send cards each month to thank my customers for their orders, welcome new team members and congratulate existing team members on various accomplishments.

Each month, I try to stick to a similar theme for all of the cards, thereby minimising required brain power and maximising the uses that I get out of that one idea.

Last month, the You're So Lovely stamp set from the current Occasions Catalogue was front and centre...

The stamp set co-ordinates with the very sweet You're So Lovely Project Kit, but also stands very well all by itself with the various greetings and imagery it contains.

Here are the cards that I made with it..

Stamps: You're So Lovely Paper: Watercolor Paper Ink: Basic Black Archival, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, Watermelon Wonder Accessories: Crumb Cake Note Cards & Envelopes, Circle Collection Framelits, Oval Collection Framelits, Large Numbers Framelits, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: You're So Lovely Paper: Watercolor Paper Ink: Basic Black Archival, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, Watermelon Wonder Accessories: Crumb Cake Note Cards & Envelopes, Circle Collection Framelits, Oval Collection Framelits, Large Numbers Framelits, Itty Bitty Punch Pack, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Stampin' Dimensionals

The greetings and images are all stamped in Basic Black Archival ink onto Watercolor Paper, then the pops of colour added freehand using an Aquapainter and various ink colours...

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I love the versatility of this stamp set - so many options for sweet messages with cute images and patterns!

And speaking of versatility, check out the oval shaped stamp in the last card above. Did you see that stamp in the stamp set image that I posted further up...? I'll wait while you scroll back...

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You've probably figured out that I squished the circular image into an oval shape... I needed a shape to fit the "The Adventure Begins" stamp and Oval Framelits, and being that photopolymer is completely malleable and sticks brilliantly to the clear blocks, it was easy to achieve with some minor manipulation.

Add some versatility to your stamp collection with the gorgeous You're So Lovely stamp set for sweet and simple cards! 

DON'T FORGET..!

  • Weekly Deals are on the way out to make way for a new promotion, so make sure to check out the current bumper selection of deals and score 25% off an amazing array of products
  • There's a new host code for the month, with a new gift on offer from me for April! CHECK IT OUT
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Masses of New Weekly Deals | 25% off!

Just this week, Stampin' Up! announced the end of the Weekly Deals as of April 19th - just a couple of weeks away. They will be replaced by a new promotion that will offer less frequent but more numerous discounts, thereby offering more choice, better deals and better maximisation of your shipping costs.

The outgoing deals are plentiful, with 25% off this massive range of products...

Not only are the Weekly Deals enormous in range, but the Clearance Rack has been updated too, giving you way more bang for your stampin' buck!

BAG A BARGAIN FROM THE CLEARANCE RACK NOW!

Don't forget that along with all this bargain bagging activity, you can also add this month's host code to your order of between $100 and $250 and score the Stampin' Spoils for April too!

Bringing birthdays back & feeling loved!

I'm back to regular Monday programming this week, after taking last week off to spend a spectacular Easter long weekend with my family, both immediate and extended, plus various combinations of friends too.

I hope yours was as delightful as mine!

I have an absolute swag of stampin' inspiration to share with you today, thanks to a recent birthday of mine and a gorgeous movement instigated by Shannon West - a staffer in the Stampin' Up! Home Office in Utah.

Read all about Shannon and her #imbringingbirthdaysback movement over on the Stampin' Up! blog

Our team of fabulous stampin' sisters decided to leap aboard the birthday bandwagon, because a card in the mail is a beautiful thing, and there's nothing quite like some handmade love to make you feel celebrated! We appointed a Birthday Fairy to remind us of each month's birthdays, and are encouraging all members to add their birth dates and addresses into a document that we keep in our team Facebook page.

As it turned out, mine was one of the first birthdays on the list after we set it up and I can't begin to explain how very loved I felt when my mail box started filling up with envelope after envelope of heartfelt, crafty goodness! Thanks to Australia Post's brand new and not-so-fun decision to add an extra day into delivery times (not to mention charging almost 50% extra for stamps for the privilege!), my birthday turned into almost a week long festival of happy mail!

How could you not feel festive when all of these arrive bearing your name and address...?

If you want to bring the festivity back into the birthdays of your nearest and dearest, then jump aboard the #imbringingbirthdaysback movement! You might not take it to the extreme that Shannon did, with a spreadsheet populated with thousands of names, but a few extra birthday cards in the mail are sure to brighten up a few extra days in the lives of those you love!

Want to spread the word about the movement...?

Grab yourself the specially created and produced #imbringingbirthdaysback stamp and add it to your envelopes or cards and see how far we can spread the birthday love...!

#imbringingbirthdaysback - Wood mount stamp - 143573 - $21

#imbringingbirthdaysback - Wood mount stamp - 143573 - $21

Need to stock up on consumables for all of the birthday cards you'll be sending out from now on...?

Be sure to add this month's host code to your online order between $100 and $250 and share in the Stampin' Spoils!

A sweet and pretty Easter | Playful Pals

I thought long and hard for approximately three seconds about adding the Playful Pals stamp set and co-ordinating Thinlits to my Occasions Catalogue pre-order back in December when I placed it.

So many stamps, so many possibilities and SO MUCH CUTE, all in the one (15% discounted!) bundle...

I had in mind that I wanted to create some sweet and simple Easter gifts for my workmates at my new job, but with only working there one day per week, I had to get myself organised well enough in advance that I was ready to deliver them this past Friday.

If you know me at all, you would know that "organised well in advance" is not ordinarily a phrase that applies to me, but I'll have you know I got them done and delivered and I do rather love them...

Stamps: Playful Pals, Rotary Alphabet Stamp Paper: Glassine Sheets, Birthday Bouquet Designer Series Paper, Crumb Cake, Blushing Bride, Watercolour Paper Ink: Basic Black Archival, Blushing Bride Accessories: Mini Treat Bag Thinlits, Pyramid Pals Thinlits, Banners Framelits, Tea Lace Paper Doilies, Crystal Effects, Bow Paper Clips Embellishments, Aquapainter, Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Clear, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Playful Pals, Rotary Alphabet Stamp Paper: Glassine Sheets, Birthday Bouquet Designer Series Paper, Crumb Cake, Blushing Bride, Watercolour Paper Ink: Basic Black Archival, Blushing Bride Accessories: Mini Treat Bag Thinlits, Pyramid Pals Thinlits, Banners Framelits, Tea Lace Paper Doilies, Crystal Effects, Bow Paper Clips Embellishments, Aquapainter, Wink of Stella Glitter Brush Clear, Stampin' Dimensionals

I had originally thought I would use the Pyramid Pals Thinlits to create little gift boxes, but with a new pack of the Glassine Sheets just arrived in a recent order, I was bursting to give them a go, and it turns out that the come up delightfully as a little treat bag! Plus they fit more mini eggs #winning

Place an order for the Playful Pals Bundle in the next ten days (and no later!) and you can take your pick of free products from the soon to be defunct Sale-a-bration brochure or the second Sale-a-bration supplement.

Remember to add the host code to your order, and you will also be sharing this month's Stampin' Spoils! I'm thinking that I will include a pack of the adorable Bow Paper Clips Embellishments this month - they are the sweetest!

What are you creating for Easter this year? I would love know what you're up to. And not just so I can get a headstart on next year and continue in the "organised well in advance" vein #promise #maybejustabit

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A Flurry of Florals | Botanical Blooms

Back in November, Stampin' Up! held the first of their new style of events and we were lucky enough to have one of the local events here in little old Perth! It coincided - as all future OnStage events will - with the unveiling of a new catalogue (the current Occasions Catalogue in that instance) and a whole variety of amazing new things to see and play with.

The Botanical Blooms bundle of products caught my eye from the very beginning and I knew it was going to be added to my crafting arsenal as soon as I could order it. Which incidentally, was immediately - a fabulous perk of attending the event - a PRE pre-order, if you like #yay 

I'm a sucker for a good flower set, and although I already had a goodly number of "good flower sets", none of them were quite like this, with those clever flower dies and the way the stamps can be used to pretty up the designs on the Designer Series Paper... *sigh*

As tends to be the way with stamp sets that co-ordinate with DSP, I tend to stick fairly closely to the colour scheme of the paper when using the stamps, even when I'm not actually using the paper on the same card. It seems to be the "easy" way, rather than coming up with my own selection of colours - why fix what isn't broken, right?!

This time around though, I went out on a subtle coloured limb and bypassed the rich, earthy colours suggested by the co-ordinating Botanical Gardens DSP, in favour of a pretty, softer selection...

Stamps: Botanical Blooms, Petite Pairs Paper: Whisper White, Shine On Specialty DSP, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, Pear Pizzazz, Pool Party, Blushing Bride, Bermuda Bay Ink: Old Olive, Basic Black Archival Accessories: Botanical Builder Framelits, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, It's My Party Enamel Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Botanical Blooms, Petite Pairs Paper: Whisper White, Shine On Specialty DSP, Calypso Coral, Crushed Curry, Pear Pizzazz, Pool Party, Blushing Bride, Bermuda Bay Ink: Old Olive, Basic Black Archival Accessories: Botanical Builder Framelits, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, It's My Party Enamel Dots, Stampin' Dimensionals

The next OnStage event is coming up next month and my lovely mum and I are heading over to Sydney for the weekend to take part! If anyone had told me years ago that I would even consider taking a five hour flight across the country for a one-day craft event, I would have thought them slightly mad, but such was the brilliance of the previous event, I consider it almost mandatory!

Registration has closed for the upcoming event now, but the new event schedule means they come around every six months. The very next event after this one is happening in November, with the two-day OnStage Live event coming to Brisbane! These events are exclusive to Stampin' Up! demonstrators and are an amazing spectacle of new products, inspirational presentations, celebratory recognitions, warm friendships and all-around crafty goodness.

If you have ever considered the demonstrator opportunity, even momentarily, then I would suggest you consider it quite seriously, if only for the chance to spend some time in the presence of some incredibly talented and dedicated Stampin' Up! staff members, plus several hundred of your closest, craft lovin' sisters.

For more information on this and the many other benefits of being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, check out the Join my Team page of my blog. The Sale-a-bration sign up special of $295 worth of product for the kit cost of $169 is only until the end of this month...

That's right, only two months left to Sale-a-brate...!

Have YOU earned your free stuff yet...?

It's really simple, but time is now limited! Simply place an order and for every $90 in your total (before shipping), you can choose a FREE product from HERE or HERE.

Even better, add my monthly host code - F3GRQGKG - to your order between $100 and $250 and join in the Stampin' Spoils for March...

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Simple and pretty | Birthday Blooms

True to my newly established Monday blog posting schedule, I have something new to share with you today. The fact that there is a public holiday that falls today here in Western Australia means that there are all kinds of fun distractions that are calling my name, but I have carved out some time to spend at the computer and my family is bustling around the house tidying and cleaning, so by the time we're all done, we'll be able to head out somewhere fun together and come home to a clean house and a completed blog post.

Works for me...!

Today I'm sharing a card that I absolutely love for its simplicity and prettiness. Sometimes I feel the need to go all out with the techniques and products on my cards, as if they can only be 'special' if they have a whole lot of stuff going on. It's taken quite some time to convince myself that this is not the case at all, and these days, especially with a busier schedule and trickier work/life balance, simple is definitely where it's at for me and card making...

The single technique I have employed on this card also happens to be my favourite one, and is one of my chosen ways to unwind and spend some mindless/mindful time - water colouring. See how I watercolour

Rather than use a black outline for my flower image, I elected to use a very light colour to stamp in - Sahara Sand - so that I could make out the edges of the image, but they weren't a huge feature of the finished, coloured flower. After colouring, I went in with my Basic Black Marker to add details that had been lost in the process of colouring.

I love how it turned out, and after cutting out and popping up with some Stampin' Dimensionals, it's just the pretty feature I wanted for my finished card.

Stamps: Birthday Blooms Paper: Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Birthday Bouquet DSP, Watercolour Paper Ink: Mint Macaron, Sahara Sand, Mossy Meadow, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive Accessories: Aquapainter, Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker

Stamps: Birthday Blooms Paper: Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Birthday Bouquet DSP, Watercolour Paper Ink: Mint Macaron, Sahara Sand, Mossy Meadow, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive Accessories: Aquapainter, Basic Black Stampin' Write Marker

How do you keep it simple when you're craving creative time but don't have a bunch of it? Join the conversation! So far there are 0 comments...

Have you checked for the new host code for March yet? There's Stampin' Spoils to be shared around every month with your qualifying online order, so make sure you add the host code to your March order!

Weekly Deals are ongoing and this week's offerings finish up tomorrow! Be sure to jump on any bargains that catch you eye before they disappear and keep an eye out for a new batch of bargains on Wednesday!

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Inspiration from my inbox...

One of the things I love the most about the creative world is how you never have to come up with a single creative idea if you don't want to. If I'm having a mojo-less moment (or month!), a quick flip through my catalogues, a browse through Pinterest or a quick Google search will provide me with more than enough ideas to try without having to stare at a blank sheet of cardstock, hoping with all my might that it will turn into something fabulous #wishfulthinking

One of the things I love most about Stampin' Up! is how so much inspiration comes directly from the company itself. The aforementioned catalogues that arrive several times per year, filled with beautiful images and projects to try, the blog that is run from the US page of the company website, as well as fully stocked and regularly updated social media accounts that always have eye candy to offer.

One of the things I love most about being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator is the additional inspiration provided just for us, the demonstrator group. In addition to all of the inspiration already mentioned, demonstrators also enjoy:

  • Twice yearly live, local or online events with amazing demonstrations, tips and product giveaways
  • A quarterly hard copy magazine, filled with success stories from fellow demonstrators, business tips, technique and product spotlights, projects that come with full product lists and instructions for use in classes and workshops plus loads more
  • Weekly emails with additional projects, informational resources and links to pertinent information in the demonstrator website
  • An online forum where demonstrators from all over the world can connect and share their work and words of stampin' wisdom

Today's project comes directly from one of the Succeed Weekly emails that land in my inbox every Tuesday. It's always quite late in the evening when the emails arrive, so sometimes I have to deliberately avoid opening them, lest they cause me to drop everything and head directly to my craft room to spend some late evening hours avoiding going to bed, as was the case with these cards...

Stamps: Flowering Fields (SAB), Crazy About You Paper: Whisper White, Wildflower Fields (SAB) Ink: Basic Black Archival, Hello Honey, Old Olive, Lost Lagoon, Calypso Coral Accessories: Whisper White Note Cards & Envelopes, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Blender Pens, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Flowering Fields (SAB), Crazy About You Paper: Whisper White, Wildflower Fields (SAB) Ink: Basic Black Archival, Hello Honey, Old Olive, Lost Lagoon, Calypso Coral Accessories: Whisper White Note Cards & Envelopes, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Blender Pens, Stampin' Dimensionals

The Flowering Fields stamp set and Wildflower Fields Designer Series Paper are both items that you can earn for FREE with Sale-a-bration, currently heading towards its final month! For every $90 in your order, you can choose a free item from the Sale-a-bration brochure or supplement flyer, containing products just newly released last week!

Got a wishlist that's overflowing and like the sound of the free-flowing inspiration-fest that's available to demonstrators?

Fancy getting your own products at a minimum 20% discount, as well as earning commission when you share your love of the products with others?

How about being surrounded by a team of like-minded crafters who create, share and inspire each other at team events and in our fun online community?

You might prefer to consider the demonstrator opportunity, which will provide all of the above and SO much more for the start up cost of just $169. Ordinarily, this outlay would provide you with a kit, made up of products of your choosing up to the value of $235, which is rather spectacular in the value department.

During Sale-a-bration however - ONLY until the end of March - you can choose an additional $60 worth of product for your kit, taking the total value to $295 for your $169 outlay.

The BEST part is that this offer is available to anyone...

Only interested in purchasing products for yourself without the need to run classes or parties...? THIS OFFER IS FOR YOU!

Thinking you could do the occasional, informal class with your nearest and dearest fellow crafty types..? THIS OFFER IS FOR YOU TOO!

Wondering if you could make a real go of a home-based crafting business and go for all the amazing incentives and awards available to top achieving demonstrators...? THIS OFFER IS ALSO FOR YOU!

Thinking that you'd love to give it a shot, but are not sure if you can commit long term...? THIS OFFER IS MOST DEFINITELY FOR YOU! If at any time once you're a demonstrator, you decide that it doesn't fit with your life, you can drop, with no penalty and nothing to pay back. 

GOT QUESTIONS? Get answers - the Join my Team page of my blog answers everything you might want to know about being a demonstrator in my team, and if it doesn't, feel free to get in touch for extra information.

READY TO JUMP IN? Join Now

Thanks for sharing your Monday with me, and I look forward to sharing future Mondays with you too! With my current work/life situation, I have determined that I can commit to a definite weekly blog post, and Mondays are where it's at, y'all!

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Hello, Hello, hello...

I feel as though one of the "hellos" in the title might be for the purpose of re-introducing myself lest you have forgotten who I am in the five week hiatus since my last post. I did indeed go to Tokyo (with gifts) as suggested in my previous post, and some of you may have seen the photo and video that I posted to my Instagram profile of my visit to the Japan office of Stampin' Up! It all seems like a lifetime and a half ago now, as I've been home just over a month and it's been back to school, work and life as I (sort of) knew it, ever since.

Since the week after my return, I've been working three to four days a week outside of my little stampin' biz, and I have to tell you, I used to think I was busy...

But all that is for another time, I have important stuff of the stampin' variety to share!

Sale-a-bration remains in full swing and there is still a month and a bit left to claim your FREE items with every $90 in your order total (before shipping). Last week, a small selection of NEW free items were added, giving you even more fun freebies to choose from.

Say "hello" to...

Metallics Glitter Tape

Metallics Glitter Tape

Party Pants Stamp Set

Party Pants Stamp Set

Pedal Pusher Stamp Set

Pedal Pusher Stamp Set


In saying hello to these new products, part of the deal was that we would be saying farewell to three products from the original Sale-a-bration release, specifically, the Sky is the Limit and Hello stamp sets, and the Perfectly Artistic Designer Series Paper. Check them out on pages 16 to 18 of the Sale-a-bration brochure.

Happily, these will remain available while stocks last, although when I checked this morning, the wood mount version of Hello was already sold out and the woodmount Sky is the Limit was on the low inventory list.

The moral of the story is BE QUICK!

Personally, I'm a huge fan of the gorgeous, script-y 'hello' in the Hello stamp set, and a big fan of a hello card in general. No need to wait for a birthday or other special occasion to send a card, send one like this one, just because...

Stamps: Botanical Blooms, Hello Paper: Whisper White Ink: Archival Black, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow

Stamps: Botanical Blooms, Hello Paper: Whisper White Ink: Archival Black, Pear Pizzazz, Old Olive, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride, Calypso Coral, Hello Honey, Mossy Meadow

This card is a single layer of Whisper White, masked off in a rectangle using Post It notes and stamped in various colours using the Botanical Blooms stamp set. The masked white space left behind was the perfect spot for the greeting.

Have you tried the Archival Black ink pad that first showed up in the Holiday Catalogue and has carried over to the current Occasions...? So crisp, so clean and so BLACK!

Grab your own Hello stamp set (now only available in Clear Mount!) with your $90 order, or bump it up to $100 with the addition of a little something else from your wishlist (or perhaps the Weekly Deals or Clearance Rack!), add my February hostess code, and share in the Stampin' Rewards for the month too...

Like this card..? Questions or comments...? Join the conversation! So far there are comments

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Tokyo bound, with gifts!

As I sit here, it's just around 12 hours from the time when I will be checking in to board a flight to Tokyo with my high school bestie and having written lists, packed a suitcase and printed boarding passes, I'm finally actually starting to believe that it's happening!

We planned it almost by accident several months ago, when we were saying how much fun it would be to visit Japan together, she being a Japanese teacher with many, many visits under her belt, and me having lived and worked there over *ahem* two decades ago. From there, all of a sudden airlines seemed to be having specials, husbands were encouraging and we were booking flights!

So starting tonight, for a week, we're heading off on #japanuary16 and I couldn't be more excited! Despite having lived in Japan for the best part of a year as a 19 year old, I never actually made it to Tokyo - the closest I got was to look North-East from the summit of Mount Fuji - so it's a bit of a treat to be heading back to so many sights, sounds and smells that will be fresh and familiar all at once!

You might be aware that Stampin' Up! landed in Japan a couple of years ago and never one to miss out on an opportunity to seek out a stamper or seven, I got in touch with the manager of the Tokyo office and will be visiting while I'm there. Yukiko-san graciously invited me to pop in on a day when a number of Japanese demonstrators are scheduled to attend some training, so I will get to visit with a few of them and maybe brush up on my slightly underused Japanese conversation skills at the same time...

I'm hopeful that Yukiko hasn't stumbled across my blog from my signature in the emails that we have been exchanging, as I'm about to share the little gifts that I'm going to take with me...

Yukiko-san, please avert your eyes now, if you happen to be reading...!

The first one is a little frame that I made with the gorgeous Sale-a-bration set Flowering Fields. I love that this set is based on Australian flora - perfect for an international gift...

Stamps: Flowering Fields (SAB) Paper: Watercolor Paper, Calypso Coral, Basic Black, Whisper White Ink: Basic Black Archival, Hello Honey, Blackberry Bliss, Lost Lagoon, Old Olive, Calypso Coral Accessories: Bigshot, Greetings Thinlits, Triple Banner Punch, Rotary Alphabet Stamp, Linen Thread, Blender Pens, Crystal Effects

Stamps: Flowering Fields (SAB) Paper: Watercolor Paper, Calypso Coral, Basic Black, Whisper White Ink: Basic Black Archival, Hello Honey, Blackberry Bliss, Lost Lagoon, Old Olive, Calypso Coral Accessories: Bigshot, Greetings Thinlits, Triple Banner Punch, Rotary Alphabet Stamp, Linen Thread, Blender Pens, Crystal Effects

Each of the flowers and leaves is dotted with Crystal Effects to bring a bit of shine and dimension to the images, but it's a bit difficult to make out in the pictures without the glass in the frame reflecting crazily. It's a bit easier to see outside of the frame...

Next up, a cute box filled with chocolate versions of Australia's favourite cuddly marsupial, the Caramello Koala...

Stamps: Flowering Fields, Crazy About You Paper: Whisper White, Calypso Coral, Wildflower Fields (SAB) Ink: Basic Black Archival, Lost Lagoon, Old Olive Accessories: Tag a Bag Gift Boxes, Bigshot, Deco Labels Framelits, Circle Framelits, Linen Thread

Stamps: Flowering Fields, Crazy About You Paper: Whisper White, Calypso Coral, Wildflower Fields (SAB) Ink: Basic Black Archival, Lost Lagoon, Old Olive Accessories: Tag a Bag Gift Boxes, Bigshot, Deco Labels Framelits, Circle Framelits, Linen Thread

The Tag a Bag Gift Boxes are perfect for all manner of sweet treats, and for your future Caramello Koala giving reference, 18 of the little fellas fit snugly into the box.

Here's the gift ensemble...

While my online access on the ground in Tokyo will be limited to how many Starbucks stops we make (hello, coffee and free WiFi!) I'm hopeful that I will be able to get some photos with some of the Japanese demonstrators to share here once I'm home (or logged into Facebook or Instagram in the various aforementioned coffee shops) I'm also excited to check out the Japanese take on some of my favourite products to see how similar/different they might be!

In the meantime, Sale-a-bration rages on, along with the spunky new Occasions Catalogue!

Both the stamp set and Designer Series Paper used in my projects today are available as a FREE item with every $90 in your order. Don't forget, your order can be made up of any combination of Annual or Occasions Catalogue items, as well as products featured in the Weekly Deals and Clearance Rack, so get more bang for your buck by checking out the specials and earning FREE Sale-a-bration items at the same time!

VISIT MY STORE AND EARN YOUR FREE PRODUCTS

Sayonara for now!

AN
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Welcome the Occasions Catalogue and Sale-a-bration for 2016

It's here, it's 51 pages long and it's spectacular. Without any need for further introduction, welcome the all-new Occasions Catalogue for 2016...

CLICK IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD

CLICK IMAGE TO DOWNLOAD

With 7 Product Suites, new Project Life options for your memory keeping, 14 co-ordinated product bundles, three kits, an amazing selection of new stamps plus new papers, tools and embellishments, there's a little bit whole lot of something for everyone. Some of your favourites from the Holiday Catalogue are also back in preparation for inclusion in the next Annual Catalogue in the middle of this year.

Right alongside the Occasions Catalogue, rides the Sale-a-bration promotion for this year.

Here's the brochure...

...and three ways to get involved:

Purchase any combination of products from my online store, inclusive of the Occasions Catalogue, Weekly Deals and Clearance Rack, and earn a FREE product from the Sale-a-bration brochure for every $90 (before shipping) in your order total

SHOP NOW

 

Host a qualifying party with at least $400 in sales during Sale-A-Bration and you'll earn $40 more Stampin' Rewards! You can even apply your Stampin' Rewards toward a Starter Kit and become a demonstrator yourself!

BOOK A PARTY DATE

 

BEST VALUE: Join my demonstrator team during Sale-a-bration and select up to $295 in products for just $169. Plus your kit ships free!

If two catalogues bursting with new products and stampin' inspiration isn't enough, check out my Occasions Catalogue and Sale-a-bration 2016 Resources page for links to an assortment of videos featuring brand new products, tips and techniques! #enableralert

Want to get your hands on copies of the catalogues in living, breathing colour? Just drop me a line and I'll get some in the post for you. If you've placed an order with me in the past 12 months, hold tight, yours are on the way!

QUESTIONS? COMMENTS?

I'd love to know what you think of the product offering in this year's Occasions Catalogue and Sale-a-bration promotion - leave a comment to let me know your thoughts, I'd love to hear from you!

Creation Station Blog Hop | Occasions Catalogue Faves

Happy New Year!

I hope you had a fabulous festive season and brought in 2016 with joy, whether than meant champagne and party hats at midnight or a cup of tea and television repeats on the couch.

This month, the Creation Station team is bringing you projects using some favourite products from the Occasions Catalogue, due out in just a couple of days from now. 

My absolute favourite new stamp set from the catalogue is called Number of Years and involves huge watercolour-y numbers and beautiful accompanying imagery PLUS a co-ordinating set of Framelits that you can bundle together with the stamp set for a 15% discount.

See all current bundles

I had an idea rattling around in my brain for this set and finally sat down to extract it last week, on a stinking hot day, perched at a temporary set up under the air-conditioner in my lounge room.

Stampers gotta stamp, yes..?!

I'm delighted to report that it turned out just as I had hoped, if not a little bit cuter...

Stamps: Number of Years, Day to Day Paper: Kraft, Whisper White, Birthday Bouquet DSP Ink: Watermelon Wonder, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride Accessories: Watermelon Wonder 1" Stitched Satin Ribbon, Linen Thread

Stamps: Number of Years, Day to Day Paper: Kraft, Whisper White, Birthday Bouquet DSP Ink: Watermelon Wonder, Mint Macaron, Blushing Bride Accessories: Watermelon Wonder 1" Stitched Satin Ribbon, Linen Thread

I love a perpetual calendar and might save up this particular idea for when the need for teacher gifts rolls around again in approximately 11 months. Either that, or make them now because the idea is fresh and I have everything I need, but where's the fun in taking all the urgency and midnight crafting opportunities away from my frazzled end of year self...?

Here are some additional views...

Continue hopping to see what the rest of the team have chosen as their favourites. You can be guaranteed that by the time you finish, you'll have a mile long wishlist ready just in time for the catalogue release on Tuesday!


GET UP CLOSE | Want to see more products and projects from the Occasions Catalogue and upcoming Sale-a-bration promotion..? Join me at my launch party, where we'll celebrate in style with make and takes, displays, afternoon tea and more!

LAST CHANCE| The Year End Sale and Holiday Catalogue Retiring List are packed with bargains and only available until tomorrow. Don't miss your chance to stock up at great discounts

KEEP UP | I have just sent out my first email newsletter for the year and also set up a new blog subscription option so you can stay updated with all new posts on here. Subscribe to my newsletter, blog posts or both and never miss a thing...!

ENGAGE | I would love your feedback on this post or any other aspect of my blog - feel free to leave a comment! *CLICK--> comments

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Holiday Retiring List, New Deals + Two Days Left to Bag a 20% off Bargain!

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The Holiday Catalogue arrived in a festive flurry at the beginning of September, and with Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, it's a great time to act and grab your favourite items! For the first time, Stampin' Up! is releasing a list of Holiday Catalogue retiring items - something usually reserved only for the Annual Catalogue, so rather than hoping that our favourites make it into the next annual release in June (and lamenting when they don't!), we now have the opportunity to take decisive action while we can!

As with all retiring lists, products are available only while they last, so while the catalogue sales period officially ends on January 4 next year, for the items on the hit list, there's a good chance they'll be out the door well before then.

Check out what's not coming back...

Click to download the three page retiring list

Click to download the three page retiring list

One of the many products I LOVED in the Holiday Catalogue (and am surprised to see going, to be honest!) is the Woodland Textured Impressions Embossing Folder. Such a gorgeous design - I used it to create the little gift card pouch that attendees at one of my events recently created as part of their class...

Stamps: Wondrous Wreath, Holly Jolly Greetings Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla Ink: Crumb Cake, Old Olive Accessories: Very Vanilla Envelope, Tags and Labels Framelits, Very Vanilla Subtle Stripes Satin Ribbon, Home for Christmas Designer Buttons, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Wondrous Wreath, Holly Jolly Greetings Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla Ink: Crumb Cake, Old Olive Accessories: Very Vanilla Envelope, Tags and Labels Framelits, Very Vanilla Subtle Stripes Satin Ribbon, Home for Christmas Designer Buttons, Stampin' Dimensionals

***Create this sweet and simple gift for yourself and the gift card recipients on your Christmas list! Simply fold an envelope in half and cut the top flap on the fold, licking and sticking the left hand side and leaving the right hand side as a flap. Decorate the front and inside left as desired and pop your gift card in the right hand side!***

SHOP FOR YOUR RETIRING FESTIVE FAVOURITES NOW...

Speaking of festive, check out the shimmer and sparkle in this week's deals! Combine your Holiday Retiring List purchases with some discounted lovelies from this week's offerings...

And finally, now is not the time to forget about the selected stamps at a 20% discount UNTIL TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 20TH!

Download the list of discounted stamps below, or head directly to the store, but whatever you do, don't miss out!

Between the Holiday Retiring List, the Weekly Deals and the 20% off offer, there's a little bit of something for everyone at the moment! Don't forget to pop in and check out the Clearance Rack while you're shopping too - there's always something exciting (and heavily discounted!) in there...

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Four days only - 20% off selected stamp sets + Weekly Deals!

Starting today and finishing up quick smart on November 20th - just four days away - you can grab a selection of awesome stamp sets for 20% off.

Click on the flyer image below to grab the pdf showing all included stamp sets...

Combine some stamp set bargains from the four day sale with the current Weekly Deals, and you can have yourself a stampstravaganza!

HOT TIP: Nothing that especially floats your boat in this week's deals...? There will be a brand new batch of Weekly Deals starting Wednesday morning, so check back then to see what's on offer to combine with your favourite discounted stamps!

Thankful for this guy and this year...

Recently, I've been looking back at this past year and thinking that a year ago, we'd never have imagined things looking the way they currently do for our family. We're not ones to fix things that aren't broken and tend to stick fairly closely to what we know, knowing that what we do and have is more than enough and finding happiness and love in family, friends and simple things.

In May this year, our version of normal was somewhat disrupted by the company that my handsome man worked for announcing a restructure, requiring that he and everybody else at his level reapply for their jobs. In Tim's case, and that of many others, it was a job that he had worked his way up to over a nineteen year career, having started at entry level as a fresh-faced 20-something.

After a process that took months in time and a fair share of anxious "what ifs", it ended up with my husband taking a redundancy and finishing up there in early October. For someone that loved his job and the folks that he worked with, I can't imagine what it would have been like to leave the only 'real' job you've ever known, in an industry that has no other options in our immediate area. But what I DO know is that I am married to the most amazing man who has been more concerned about those around him in similar positions than he ever has been for himself.

And for THAT, I am truly thankful.

I have always thought that we had a pretty awesome marriage, but we've never really been tested out in terms of facing much in the way of challenges until this year.  We always thought his job was pretty safe, and it was. Until it wasn't. And when that door closed and there weren't any others around that he could knock on with the industry specific experience that he had, there were a few moments of disquiet spent wondering "where to from here...?" He has always been the calm and positive one in our partnership, and I have managed to learn much from him over the past 17 years, so it wasn't the panic-stricken, stress-ridden situation that it might have been, had I been processing and dealing with it in the way I might have in the past.

And for THAT, I am truly thankful.

And as it turns out, a couple of weeks after saying goodbye to his previous career, an opportunity for something entirely new presented itself. Three interviews, a job offer and signed contract later and we're standing on the edge of something new and exciting that we would not have conceived of at the beginning of this year.

And for THAT, I am truly thankful.

Just this past Wednesday was his first day on the job, and it was with excitement that our little family gathered on Tuesday evening for "family squeeze" - a funny and sweet little ritual that has evolved in our family and involves all four of us piling onto our bed and snuggling, chatting and just hanging out together. The girls and I used the opportunity of "family squeeze" to give Tim a little good luck gift for his first day - a new tie that we'd picked out for him, a family photo to put on his new desk and a card, just to make sure he knew how much we love and appreciate him...

Because for HIM, and his approach to life, I am truly thankful.

Stamps: Endless Thanks, Layered Letters Alphabet, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Whisper White Thick Cardstock, Whisper White, Lost Lagoon Inks: Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Early Espresso, Mossy Meadow, Real Red, Crumb Cake Accessories: Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, 3/4" Circle Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Endless Thanks, Layered Letters Alphabet, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Whisper White Thick Cardstock, Whisper White, Lost Lagoon Inks: Soft Suede, Lost Lagoon, Early Espresso, Mossy Meadow, Real Red, Crumb Cake Accessories: Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, 3/4" Circle Punch, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Endless Thanks, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Lost Lagoon Ink: Mossy Meadow, Real Red Accessories: Tag a Bag Gift Box, Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Big Shot, Tags & Labels Framelits, Large Polka Dot Embossing Folder, 3/4" Circle Punch, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, Burlap Ribbon, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Endless Thanks, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Lost Lagoon Ink: Mossy Meadow, Real Red Accessories: Tag a Bag Gift Box, Seasonal Snapshot 2015 Project Life Card Collection, Big Shot, Tags & Labels Framelits, Large Polka Dot Embossing Folder, 3/4" Circle Punch, Season of Cheer Washi Tape, Burlap Ribbon, Whisper White Baker's Twine, Stampin' Dimensionals

The tie was dutifully added to his first day attire, and the card and frame transported to his new desk - I actually had to ask him to bring them home again on the second day so that I could photograph them for this post... *giggle* In testament to how well he knows me, the gift box that held the tie was delivered to my craft desk immediately after opening so I could use it again for a different project...

Did you recognise the Project Life cards on the card and gift tag? As well as making your memory keeping super simple and productive, the designs on Project Life cards make them the perfect quick addition to your cards and other projects, as well as keeping all important co-ordination intact.

This Creation Station blog hop is brought to you with the theme of "THANKFUL", so to continue in the grateful groove, click on the NEXT or BACK buttons to check out what the rest of the team has to inspire you with! We've had a plethora of new members join recently, so there's inspiration a-plenty...!

And just because I can, here's a first day photo - usually reserved for the school variety - of the new tie seeing its first service on my handsome man's first day!

Thanks for hopping by today and I hope you have a lot to be thankful for yourself *mwah*

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Weekly Deals - Framelits, Stamps and a punch!

Weekly Deals have rolled over again for the week, and there are some crackers, particularly for the Framelit fans in the crowd...

With Christmas coming, the addition of the Stars Framelits are spectacular timing, and the Floral Framelits are a fabulous addition to any Big Shot arsenal.

The inclusion of Corner Garden was a great impetus for me to bring out this gorgeous set that I have been somewhat neglectful of since the Blendabilities demise of earlier this year. This time around, I kept it simple and fairly monochromatic...

Stamps: Corner Garden, Fabulous Four Paper: Crumb Cake, Vellum Cardstock Ink: Versamark, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Blender Pens, Early Espresso 1/4" Cotton Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals, Fine Tip Glue Pen

Stamps: Corner Garden, Fabulous Four Paper: Crumb Cake, Vellum Cardstock Ink: Versamark, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake Accessories: White Embossing Powder, Heat Tool, Blender Pens, Early Espresso 1/4" Cotton Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals, Fine Tip Glue Pen

White embossing on Crumb Cake cardstock is one of my favourite combinations - it's so crisp and clean. You might be able to detect some slight shading on the stamped image...

I wanted to add a bit of "colour" to the card, but also keep it monochromatic, so a touch of Crumb Cake ink applied with a Blender Pen was the perfect solution.

A stamped greeting...

...and a simple Early Espresso Cotton Ribbon bow...

...and I was done!

Weekly Deals, as always, are available until next Tuesday, so be sure to grab your discounted faves before then!

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Weekly Deals - stamps, ink, paper and more!

Weekly Deals are here again, and this time around they include my FAVOURITE paper stack!

Check them out...

I'm such a fan of the Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper Stack, that I designed a whole day of stampin' around it when the current Annual Catalogue first came out. I had a roomful of ladies, all stamping a stack of 24 cards using the paper.

Here's one of the designs we made on the day, CASEd from this image on page 100 of the catalogue...

I used the card on the right as inspiration...

I used the card on the right as inspiration...

Stamps: Perfect Pennants Paper: Watermelon Wonder, Whisper White, Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper Stack, Vellum cardstock Ink: Tuxedo Memento Black Accessories: Expressions Natural Elements, Metallics Sequin Assortment

Stamps: Perfect Pennants Paper: Watermelon Wonder, Whisper White, Pretty Petals Designer Series Paper Stack, Vellum cardstock Ink: Tuxedo Memento Black Accessories: Expressions Natural Elements, Metallics Sequin Assortment

Expressions Natural Elements are a great addition to any card!

Expressions Natural Elements are a great addition to any card!

I didn't have the 'right' washi tape, so we made out own with strips of vellum and the striped stamp from Perfect Pennants stamped in Tuxedo Memento Black!

I didn't have the 'right' washi tape, so we made out own with strips of vellum and the striped stamp from Perfect Pennants stamped in Tuxedo Memento Black!

I also created a stamped version, so there was an option not to use up all of the Expressions Natural Elements. Same but different!

I also created a stamped version, so there was an option not to use up all of the Expressions Natural Elements. Same but different!

Weekly Deals, as always, are available until next Tuesday, after which there will be a whole new batch of savings for you.

Get these ones while you can

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100 Lucky Envelopes - the final update!

You might be aware of a little promotion that I was running during September in a final frenzy of action to see if I could gather the points required to earn the Stampin' Up! Grand Vacation to the Mediterranean next year.

In my usual last minute, flying by the seat of my pants style, I realised that with a little bit of effort and a whole lot of luck, it wasn't entirely beyond the realms of possibility that I could be aboard that ship.

The effort was the part that I was entirely in charge of, and I had an amazing month running stamping events and workshops, stamping with old and new friends and thoroughly enjoying the flurry of stampin' activity.

In the final tally of points, I ended up just shy of 5000 short of my goal. I don't mind telling you that I considered - more than once - placing an order of my own for $5000 worth of Snail Adhesive refills, Whisper White cardstock and trimmer blades! After all, it would cost waaaay more than that to actually pay for a trip for two to the Mediterranean from my little corner of the world. In the end, common sense (just barely!) prevailed and I concluded the month happy with my efforts and determined to start a little sooner in my efforts for next year's trip...

For those who placed orders, hosted workshops, attended events, sent messages of support, cheered and otherwise supported my crazy little last minute effort, this is for you...

Stamps: A Whole Lot of Lovely (Stampin' Rewards exclusive) Paper: Whipser White, Tip Top Taupe, Watermelon Wonder, Watercolor Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack Ink: Versamark, Whisper White Craft Ink, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Island Indigo Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Triple Banner Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punches, 1/16" Circle Punch, Linen Thread, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Clear Block, Stampin' Spritzer

Stamps: A Whole Lot of Lovely (Stampin' Rewards exclusive) Paper: Whipser White, Tip Top Taupe, Watermelon Wonder, Watercolor Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack Ink: Versamark, Whisper White Craft Ink, Pool Party, Bermuda Bay, Island Indigo Accessories: Clear Embossing Powder, Triple Banner Punch, Itty Bitty Accents Punches, 1/16" Circle Punch, Linen Thread, Rhinestone Basic Jewels, Clear Block, Stampin' Spritzer

I created the watery, washy colours in the background by inking up a Clear Block in Pool Party, Bermuda Bay and Island Indigo ink, spritzing with water then pressing it onto the Watercolor Paper, where I had previously stamped and clear embossed the image from A Whole Lot of Lovely. It's a fun and very versatile technique - change the stamp, change the colours, have fun!

Thanks again for following along last month and for all the support and cheerleading! I'm humbled by the many lovely messages I received and look forward to sharing exciting news about the 2017 Grand Vacation to Phuket around this time next year!

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A happy hot air balloon birthday!

We had a sweet birthday party to attend on the weekend - my handsome man's cousin's little girl turned one and she had a gorgeous party with hot air balloons as the theme.

I was so excited to create a card for her, as I have not really put my Celebrate Today bundle through its paces since I got it several months ago, and it was perfect for the theme.

I took inspiration from the To You & Yours Shaker Cards Kit in the Holiday Catalogue, having played with them in recent times and loving the jangly, sparkly, shakiness of them!

Stamps: Celebrate Today Paper: Calypso Coral, Pool Party, Whisper White, Soft Suede, Watercolour Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack, Window Sheets Inks: Versamark, StazOn White, Pool Party, Calypso Coral, Soft Suede Accessories: Balloon Framelits, Tree Builder Punch, Triple Banner Punch, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry & Pool Party Markers, Brights Candy Dots, White Embossing Powder, Aquapainter, Metallics Sequin Assortment

Stamps: Celebrate Today Paper: Calypso Coral, Pool Party, Whisper White, Soft Suede, Watercolour Paper, Cherry on Top DSP stack, Window Sheets Inks: Versamark, StazOn White, Pool Party, Calypso Coral, Soft Suede Accessories: Balloon Framelits, Tree Builder Punch, Triple Banner Punch, Bermuda Bay, Calypso Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Crushed Curry & Pool Party Markers, Brights Candy Dots, White Embossing Powder, Aquapainter, Metallics Sequin Assortment

Another thing I loved about the card is how I actually created it a whole week in advance of needing it, which is unheard of for me. Sadly, I didn't photograph it until the morning of the party, and the light wasn't playing nice, so I couldn't manage to get a decent photo to show the watercolour-y, pastel-ish, cloudy background as well as I would have liked.

Thanks for popping in today - hope your part of the world is as sunshiny as mine!

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