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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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!

celebrate today amalia.jpg

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Christmas is coming, but the catalogue has already arrived!

If you've been around Stampin' Up! for a while, you might recall the mini catalogues that we used to have a few years ago... Little, half sized booklets that were the epitome of excitement, filled with new products and lovely new stampin' ideas.

And they really were mini, especially when compared to the cracking supplementary catalogues that we're now blessed with twice a year, to complement the offerings of the Annual Catalogue...

Behold, the Holiday Catalogue for 2015, just released and a whopping 51 full-sized pages of festive delights!

Click the above image to save a pdf copy of the catalogue to your hard drive (8MB) or HERE to browse the products online

Click the above image to save a pdf copy of the catalogue to your hard drive (8MB) or HERE to browse the products online

I have rather an exciting announcement coming up tomorrow, and it involves free products for all qualifying orders placed between now and September 27th. If you're busting to get your order placed before tomorrow, and let's be honest, who could blame you, you might want to make sure that it totals more than $100 (before shipping) and you will also want to pop this little hostess code in as you checkout: GKR47REK

Don't forget that I also have my Holiday Catalogue launch coming up this Saturday afternoon! If you haven't booked a spot yet, there's still time to come along and spend a couple of hours, drinking tea, browsing new projects and products and stamping with the new stuff! Let me know if you'd like to join us!

Party Planning, while I wait...

You might be familiar with one of the perks of being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator, specifically, that we get to pre-order from new catalogues a whole month before the general stampin' population. Which is excellent, because it means we get to sniff and caress play with the new stuff in advance, use it to get ahead with class and event planning etc.

Which would all be fine and dandy if Australia Post had an flippin' sense of urgency about the whole thing. You might sense a slight bit of urgency on my part, and you'd be correct, because my pre-order box of goodness has already been a week in transit and I'm slowly running out of patience daylight hours for arrival today...

*sad face*

Instead of pacing and peering out my front window (ok, as WELL as pacing and peering out my front window...) I thought I would busy myself with a little bit of launch party planning, so that when my pre-order does show up, I'll have a pre-planned party with a whole bunch of excitable attendees (Psssssttt! That's you!) at the ready.

And so I bring you...

Contact me to book your spot today, and get ready to party, Holiday Catalogue style...!

PS. I had to pause the writing of this post right in the middle so that I could collect children from school, and what should show up just as I was walking out the door...?! I didn't have the energy to re-write the post now that my order is actually here, and I haven't had a chance to open the box, so technically, it's still accurate...kind of...   S x