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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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
tokyo office gift.jpg

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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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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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Kraft gift bags, lots of ways!

This week's Creation Station blog hop topics gave us the option of using single stamps or creative ways to use the different bags that we have available in our gift packaging section of the catalogue. Seeing as my most recent team day focused on the Kraft Tag a Bag Gift Bags, I thought it would be the perfect time to share the creations that we made that day.

Everyone got a pack of the bags, as well as some of the beautiful English Garden Designer Series Paper and Mint Macaron Dotted Lace Trim, all of which featured in the projects. The idea was to show that the bags can be used in a variety of ways and with a variety of other products, including embossing folders, decorative masks, Framelits, and the Simply Scored Board  to mix the projects up a bit.

First up, we made a set of note cards and envelopes...

 The    Brick Wall Embossing Folder    adds great texture and interest to the bag and the    note cards and envelopes    are popped inside for a sweet and simple gift idea

The Brick Wall Embossing Folder adds great texture and interest to the bag and the note cards and envelopes are popped inside for a sweet and simple gift idea

 A    Circle Framelit    cuts a neat window out of this bag, and a    cellophane bag    inside holds simple gift tags punched from the    English Garden Designer Series Paper   . The spotty mask from the    Dots and Stripes    pack, along with    Whisper White craft ink    adds some fun decoration

A Circle Framelit cuts a neat window out of this bag, and a cellophane bag inside holds simple gift tags punched from the English Garden Designer Series Paper. The spotty mask from the Dots and Stripes pack, along with Whisper White craft ink adds some fun decoration

 These novelty bags were created with a gusset using the    Simply Scored Board    so that they can stand up on their own, filled with treats!

These novelty bags were created with a gusset using the Simply Scored Board so that they can stand up on their own, filled with treats!

 In this fun album project, the Kraft bags were used as album pages, alternating with different patterns of the    English Garden DSP    and stapled together at the left. The little tabs that are poking out on the right are attached to pieces of    Whisper White cardstock    that are added pages inserted into the bags.

In this fun album project, the Kraft bags were used as album pages, alternating with different patterns of the English Garden DSP and stapled together at the left. The little tabs that are poking out on the right are attached to pieces of Whisper White cardstock that are added pages inserted into the bags.

It was so much fun discovering different ways to use the combination of products and especially ways to use the bags to get a variety of uses out of them. I hope you might be inspired to look at the bags a bit differently and discover the multitude of ways they can be used.

It's time to continue on with the hop now and see what the other gals have in store for you you...

Thank for popping in and happy hopping!

Happy Homemade Easter!

It's a lazy Easter Monday in my house, with jammies until lunch time, music wafting from the radio and colouring in at the kitchen table being the order of the day *love*

It follows a lovely Easter weekend of catching up with both sides of our family, lots of eating, egg hunting, gifting and general hanging out with our fave people.

I am generally a bit of a self-professed non-cooking type, but am probably a bit hard on myself in that way. I don't mind pottering in the kitchen, but I can't help but see it as a bit of a chore a lot of the time. I am a fan of eating well and nourishing the little bodies that I'm responsible for, however, and have been doing a lot of reading and following of different articles, blogs and Facebook pages in recent times with regard to the best way of obtaining and maintaining good health through food.

With this in mind, my lazy weekend did involve several stints in my tiny cramped kitchen churning out some nourishing alternatives to standard Easter fare. It seems these days that as soon as one holiday is over, the next one appears with gusto in terms of marketing opportunities, and to that end, no sooner had the half price Christmas decorations been cleared away, than hot cross buns in all of their fruit/no fruit/choc chip varieties were filling every supermarket shelf.

My little family - with my handsome man firmly taking the lead - are demons for a hot cross bun, and with the aforementioned propensity for them to be available from January until April, they seem to be eating them for a good quarter of the year. This year, I discovered a fabulous alternative, so have made several batches of these over the past few weeks, to the delight and applause of the hot cross bun fiends in my family. 

At the risk of it seeming as though this has suddenly turned into a cooking blog, I also found a great recipe for homemade chocolate and took some along to the different family festivities that we went along to, packaged up prettily of course...

   Stamps:   Crazy about You   Paper:   Whisper White, Crisp Canteloupe   Ink:   Calypso Coral   Accessories:   Hearts Collection Framelits, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Polka Dot Tag a Bag Gift Bags, Cellophone Bags, Burlap Ribbon, Natural 5/8" Chevron Ribbon, 2014-16 In-Color Clothespins, Basic Rhinestone Jewels

Stamps: Crazy about You Paper: Whisper White, Crisp Canteloupe Ink: Calypso Coral Accessories: Hearts Collection Framelits, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, Polka Dot Tag a Bag Gift Bags, Cellophone Bags, Burlap Ribbon, Natural 5/8" Chevron Ribbon, 2014-16 In-Color Clothespins, Basic Rhinestone Jewels

Actually, I lie. The first lot that I took along to the chilli/pepper crabs Good Friday feast at my in-laws place was packaged up as pictured. Yesterday, I took a second batch to my folks' place, but given that I had only just made it that morning, I was concerned that it wasn't quite set enough to package up, so took it in the dish that I made it in. Which worked out quite well, as it turns out, as no sooner did it appear, than it was finished off between my dad and brother in front of the AFL match of the day on the telly. Inhaled within minutes, saving me various embellishments in the process :-D

The Polka Dot Tag a Bag Gift Bags are part of this week's Weekly Deals and I LOVE them. Kraft in colour, polka dotted, perfectly sized for all manner of gift giving opportunities and only $5.21 (until Tuesday!) for a pack of 10.

CHECK OUT ALL OF THIS WEEK'S DEALS

Thanks for sharing my weekend kitchen indulgences! If you're a bit of a wellness warrior yourself, feel free to send any good recipes my way, I'm always on the lookout for yummy wholefood options.

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Come and stamp a stack of stuff!

I have been quiet. At least as far as my blog is concerned. With summer holidays in full swing, I have been thoroughly enjoying time with my girls undertaking all kinds of summer holiday pursuits. Outings and sleepovers, swimming and sightseeing, visits to parks and movies and just hanging out together and with friends. It's been wonderful, and we still have two weeks until the school term starts.

I have also been busy in my craft room, playing with all kinds of loveliness from the Occasions Catalogue and Sale-a-bration promotion items, and I have created a Back to School event to share the love with local peeps!

So get busy covering the text books, labeling the pencils and buying the new lunch boxes, then join me the weekend after school heads back for some well-deserved stampy time!

No kids to send back to school...?! Join us anyway (and feel absolutely free to volunteer to assist with my pencil labeling....)

feb event image sq-001.jpg

It's a six hour stampin' extravaganza, with an opportunity to sample a fabulous array of new products.

Each attendee will receive a complete Stacked with Love Designer Series Paper Stack, along with a full pack of Rhinestones. Each project will use these two products (with lots of leftovers to take home and continue creating with) and all other materials (excluding adhesive) will be supplied and pre-cut to size for your stampin' convenience!

Here's what you'll be heading home with:

  • 12 cards and envelopes (four each of three designs)
  • A treat bag with three love notes and envelopes
  • A treat bag converted into a box (including yummy treats!)
  • A card and co-ordinating mini treat box
  • A copy each of the Occasions Catalogue and Sale-a-bration brochure
  • A brain full of inspiration and a large desire to continue stamping

Join the fun!

To book your spot, simply contact me and I'll send you payment details so that you can confirm your place.

Venue details as well as information on what to bring will be included with your registration information.

BUT HURRY!

In order to ensure that products arrive in time for the event, I will need to order them by next Wednesday January 28th, so your booking will need to be paid and confirmed before then!

Can't wait to stamp with you!

Welcome Ethan - MDS baby announcements

If you follow my Instagram profile, last week you will have seen a snippet of a sweet little blue-eyed boy with a promise that I will upload the complete details of his birth announcement this week.

And here I am!

Although Mondays are ordinarily set aside for MDS posts, these past few days, I was recovering from our wildly fun and successful Party Time event that was on Saturday and my house required attention in its hugely shambolic, post-event state. Whether it's a stampin' event, university assignment or some other large and looming thing, I never seem to be able to keep my home life/housework chugging along at the same time. I always seem to have an empty pantry, a pile of washing, colonies of dust bunnies and vast piles of clutter to deal with in the aftermath. I feel that this is the perfect time to encourage comments in the vein of work/life balance tips, so please, hit me up with your best advice...

So now I feel mostly under control (I never did keep myself to high standards as far as housework was concerned anyway...) I can share this little guy in all of his teeny-tiny, blue-eyed sweetness!

But first the packaging....

   Stamps:   Amazing Birthday, Zoo Babies   Paper:   Soft Sky, Whisper White, Subtles Pattern Stack DSP   Ink:   Crumb Cake, Soft Sky   Accessories:   Banners Framelits, Labels Framelits, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, Whisper White Seam Binding, Linen Thread

Stamps: Amazing Birthday, Zoo Babies Paper: Soft Sky, Whisper White, Subtles Pattern Stack DSP Ink: Crumb Cake, Soft Sky Accessories: Banners Framelits, Labels Framelits, 1-3/8" Circle Punch, Whisper White Seam Binding, Linen Thread

I sent the stack of announcements through the post at the request of the receiving mumma, and even though she knew what the actual announcements looked like, I hoped to provide a bit of a sweet surprise in the presentation.

Once the box was opened, the announcements were wrapped up too...

...then one more opening and here he is...

And a close up of the announcement in case you're interested in what went into it...

   My Digital Studio:   MDS ,   Snowy Soiree Designer Kit, Baja Breeze Baker's Twine & Bow, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Punch, Whisper White Cardstock, Pacific Point Cardstock

My Digital Studio: MDS Snowy Soiree Designer Kit, Baja Breeze Baker's Twine & Bow, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Punch, Whisper White Cardstock, Pacific Point Cardstock

I love the simplicity and mass-produceable-ness of using MDS for baby announcements. PLUS the fact that there are so many adorable downloads that lend themselves perfectly to the occasion.

If you're yet to check out MDS for yourself, you can grab a 30-day free download, or invest in the entire program for just $24.95.

Thanks for popping in and be sure to check back soon for a recap of our fabulous Party Time event!

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MDS Monday - Surround Yourself...

I'm a sucker for a good inspirational quote.  My Facebook friends often bear the brunt of my sharing - I can't help but spread the joy when I find a good one, especially if it looks good too.

Mostly though, I share so that I can find my favourites later for myself.  Oftentimes I look back through my own feed to see some of the inspirational words that have struck a chord with me one time or another and I always find them to be good reminders for myself and of the person I want to be.

This is one that I actually found on the feed of one of my favourite Instagram accounts, and I loved it so much that I wanted it to be something I could cast my eyes upon frequently, without having to search for it first...

There is actually very little in the way of MDS content involved here - a background and a swirl or two at the most - it is primarily made up of different fonts that I have downloaded from the internet and installed on my computer.

I have always loved typography, so fonts are a definite "thing" of mine...

One of the most fun things about fonts, apart from the vast array of different types of lettering you can get, are the ones that are referred to as Dingbats - little picture icons that are designated to keyboard letters, so you can "write" in pictures.

The banner shape that houses the words "with the" at the top of my project is an example of this, and it comes from a font named KG Flavor and Frames Seven...

Another of my favourites that is perfect for the chalkboard style swirls and swashes is Bergamot Ornaments...

One of my aims for my house one day is to have a wall of framed beauty - a combination of word art, photos and pretty things that I get to look at every day that make my heart sing.

Which is a bit of an irony, considering that one of my favourite quotes is..

There are seven days in a week and someday isn't one of them

Perhaps that one should be my next frame-able project...

Hook me up with your favourite quotes on all things positive and inspirational.  And fonts - I'm always on the lookout for fabulous fonts...

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Weekly Deals - today's the day + new Clearance Rack additions!

Weekly Deals day has come around again and there's another selection of great products available at even greater prices...

I am a huge fan of the Gift Bow Bigz Die - so simple to create perfectly gorgeous bows in any number of colours and patterns, as well as the option to play around with it to make single bows, double bows and more!

Inspired by a project that I found on Shelli's blog (along with a good many other examples of ways to use the die), and helped along by an instructional video by a US demonstrator, I created this sweet gift card holder...

   Stamps:   Chalk Talk   Paper:   Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Basic Black, Sweet Taffy Designer Series Paper   Ink:   Versamark   Accessories:   Gift Bow Bigz Die, Chalk Talk Framelits,  Large Scallop Edgelit,  White Baker's Twine, White Embossing Powder

Stamps: Chalk Talk Paper: Tempting Turquoise, Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Old Olive, Basic Black, Sweet Taffy Designer Series Paper Ink: Versamark Accessories: Gift Bow Bigz Die, Chalk Talk Framelits, Large Scallop Edgelit, White Baker's Twine, White Embossing Powder

I love how it looks like a sweet gift box, then when you open the sumptuously embellished flap at the top...

...out pops the gift card!

My big girl has been invited to no less than four birthday parties next month, so I can see this particular project coming in handy - I find gift vouchers to be a handy solution for "tweenage" girl gifts, and being able to package it up in a sweet and decorative way is a definite bonus.


While you're visiting the Weekly Deals page in my online store, you might want to swing by the Clearance Rack too - new products have been added, and there are some crackers!  

Unlike Weekly Deals, which we know are available at the discounted price for a whole week, the Clearance Rack is a strictly "while stocks last" affair, so if you see something you like, I would suggest you move on it swiftly...

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Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images below for detailed product details and shop online convenience!

MDS Monday - cute and custom baby gift

Since just over a year ago when MDS became available in the South Pacific market of Stampin Up!, one of the things I have loved using it for the most has been custom gifts.

I recently had the opportunity to do just this with the birth of a handsome little man to one of the girls in my stampin' team.

With advertising signs and product logos in mind, I hit up Google Images for inspiration in the way of "Established...." signs and suddenly had no end of possibilities for a sweet onesie for the little guy...

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It's mostly made up of a combination fonts using the text tool and different punch shapes layered up on top of each other, and the little ship was the perfect decorative addition since his dad is a Navy fella.

Printed onto fabric transfer paper and cut out with the perfectly sized, co-ordinating Starburst Framelit, a quick iron and we were good to go!

I used the same little boat on the co-ordinating card, this time colouring it in using the image colouring tool in MDS - think markers, in digital...!

   Stamps:   MDS - Nursery Alphabet Images   Paper:   Naturals White, Early Espresso, Neutrals Patterns DSP, Pool Party, I Am Me, Crumb Cake, Midnight Muse, Whisper White   Accessories:   Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits, 2-1/2" Circle Punch

Stamps: MDS - Nursery Alphabet Images Paper: Naturals White, Early Espresso, Neutrals Patterns DSP, Pool Party, I Am Me, Crumb Cake, Midnight Muse, Whisper White Accessories: Starburst Framelits, Banner Framelits, 2-1/2" Circle Punch

I printed it twice - once on a layer with the "congratulations" greeting printed in a circle around the edge, and once to cut and layer up for extra dimension.

I packaged it up in a sweet box with a co-ordinating tag...

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And when she opened it up, it would have looked a little something like this...

What are you using MDS for?

If you're not using it, I encourage you to download the 30 day free trial and jump on in with both feet!  It's simple to use, with lots of technique and tutorial videos on the dedicated My Digital Studio website, plus I'm always happy to answer requests for digital assistance.

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images below for detailed product details and shop online convenience!

Beautiful Memories, in Mini...!

Just a couple of weeks ago I sent the gift of memories to a beautiful friend who lives far too far away for my liking...

My small girl's Godmother, Deena, and her beautiful family left Perth three and a half years ago to live in Brisbane.  Although social networks allow us to be closer than ever to our far flung peeps, it's not the same as sitting in her kitchen two streets away with bottomless cups of tea, so their leaving was a wrench, for sure.

Last year, with the annual Stampin' Up! convention being in Brisbane, I took my handsome man and my girls with me and after convention was over, we stayed an extra week and had a fabulous catch up with our very special friends.

The gift of memories that I sent over to Brisbane consisted of photos from the trip, all put together in the Mini Memories Simply Created Album, currently available in the Occasions Catalogue until the end of the month.

The album kit comes with everything you need to put together a sweet gift, or to gift on its own so that the recipient can enjoy the creativity that goes along with putting it together...

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Putting it together is as simple as threading the included gold rings through the pre-punched pages in an order that sings to you, then loading it up with your pictures, embellished as little or as much as you like with the included bits and pieces of delight!

Here is a small selection of some of the pages that I included in my album...

 I stuck the included bookplate die cut on the inside cover and popped a birthday card inside the sweet, printed kraft bag that comes in the kit

I stuck the included bookplate die cut on the inside cover and popped a birthday card inside the sweet, printed kraft bag that comes in the kit

 Lovely Ollie - a sweet new friend for my small girl, embellished with some sequins and a gorgeous Designer Series Paper print

Lovely Ollie - a sweet new friend for my small girl, embellished with some sequins and a gorgeous Designer Series Paper print

 One of several kraft pages, prettied up with a doily and some die cuts

One of several kraft pages, prettied up with a doily and some die cuts

 I added some co-ordinating colours of cardstock to border the photos on this page...

I added some co-ordinating colours of cardstock to border the photos on this page...

 This square die-cut was the perfect sentiment to go with my very dramatic small girl's actions - the ride hadn't even taken off at this point, I just asked them them to put their hands up like they were taking off...

This square die-cut was the perfect sentiment to go with my very dramatic small girl's actions - the ride hadn't even taken off at this point, I just asked them them to put their hands up like they were taking off...

 Another doily, more sequins and some simple journalling around another sweet co-ordinating die-cut

Another doily, more sequins and some simple journalling around another sweet co-ordinating die-cut

 Another perfect sentiment - if my girls grow up anything like this gorgeous, sweet-hearted girl, I will be one happy mumma...

Another perfect sentiment - if my girls grow up anything like this gorgeous, sweet-hearted girl, I will be one happy mumma...

 The last page is another envelope - I stuck one of my favourite photos on it and popped a hand written note inside...

The last page is another envelope - I stuck one of my favourite photos on it and popped a hand written note inside...

The kit has everything you need to put together a beautifully co-ordinated album, or you have the option of adding in matching cardstock, using punches etc to give it some extra pizzazz.

The album was received last week and I was so happy to hear that it was the lovely and love-filled surprise that I had hoped! 

Deena posted some pictures of the album on Facebook, along with this message:

Just received the most special gift in the mail from my beloved Sair. The card, the album, the thoughtful note mean the world my friend. I just wanted to show FB some of your gift so they can know how lucky I am to have your family in our life. Funny that I've also sent something to you too & it should arrive some time next week. 
Can't wait for you to see it. 
Love you, Klass Family

I was intrigued about the "I've also sent something to you" part of the message and have spent the past week stalking the postie and cursing Australia Post for their tardiness when my letterbox has been empty each time I checked.

Yesterday, my delivery finally arrived, in the form of Deena herself and her two gorgeous kids, standing in living colour on my front porch! If only there had been a hidden camera to record the look of utter surprise, delight, shock and amazement that crossed my face in a large combination when I opened the door.

The fun continued when they surprised my handsome man later in the afternoon, and also my girls by showing up to collect them from school.

Such fun!

So now I get to hang out with these lovelies on the weekend before they head back to Brisbane on Monday.

At least with convention being on the Gold Coast next year, I know that it's only until April next year that I need to wait to squeeze them all again!

Get your Mini Memories Simply Created Album Kit before it rides off into the sunset with other loveliness from the Occasions Catalogue and send some memories to a loved one today!

Easter bunny girl and boy!

Following on from yesterday's Easter themed post about classmate gifts, I thought I'd follow up today by sharing what my girls took in for their teachers.

I bought them each a gold Lindt Bunny (this brand of chocolate is a personal fave!) and packaged them up in a little bag/basket each...

   Stamps:   Secret Garden, Teeny Tiny Sentiments   Ink:   Strawberry Slush, Pear Pizzazz, Chocolate Chip   Paper:   Natural Composition Specialty DSP, Whisper White   Accessories:   Oval Framelits, Secret Garden Framelits, Bitty Banners Framelits, Burlap Ribbon, Large Rhinestones

Stamps: Secret Garden, Teeny Tiny Sentiments Ink: Strawberry Slush, Pear Pizzazz, Chocolate Chip Paper: Natural Composition Specialty DSP, Whisper White Accessories: Oval Framelits, Secret Garden Framelits, Bitty Banners Framelits, Burlap Ribbon, Large Rhinestones

I used the Natural Composition Specialty Designer Series Paper to create the boxes, using half a sheet (6" x 12") for each one.

The dimensions of the bunny were such that half a sheet of the card stock didn't allow for any overlap at the side of the box, which left me with no place to stick it together. The use of a short piece of the gorgeous Burlap Ribbon solved this problem as well as adding some nice additional texture to the box.

You might be able to see on the far side of the image above, that the two sides of card stock meet in the centre of the side of the box. Some Sticky Strip either side of this gap on the outside of the box was enough to keep the Burlap in place and form the handle of the bag.

The bunnies themselves come tied with a red ribbon and a bell attached, but I figured I could do better than that with the vast ribbon offering in our catalogue (and in my personal collection of same!)  

I also wanted to take into account the fact that my big girl's teacher is male, so thought that blokifying the little guy to a certain extent might be in order.

Hence the chevron neck tie...

The outside of the boxes were decorated simply with a hole cut through the front side with one of the larger Oval Framelits,  some stamping added with the use of the Secret Garden stamp set and co-ordinating Framelits, and a greeting from Teeny Tiny Sentiments.

Happy Easter to you and yours, I hope you enjoy a relaxing weekend of family time - that's most certainly what I have planned.

And this...

Transient

Happy Easter, friends!

Bulk Easter love + new downloads

Since MDS arrived on the scene, the production of the little class mate goodies that I like to create for my girls' school friends at significant times of the year has taken on a whole new level of ease.

Not so much ease in production, although that's definitely a factor as well, but it's certainly easier to watch primary schoolers tear into your lovingly created sweet treat when you've designed it once and printed it 60 times as opposed to having sweated over 60 hand crafted masterpieces *giggle*

The first term of our school year finished last week, so on Friday morning, my girls headed off to school with a bucket each of these little lovelies - individually packaged Malteaser bunnies, wrapped in some personalised love.

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The design itself is super simple - a bunny stamp from the Little Additions stamp brush set, overlaid with the "happy easter" greeting from the Delightful Dozen stamp brush set.

To colour the greeting, I used the stamp colouring tool, which is effectively the digital version of colouring a stamp with markers.

Check it out...

To cut them out once printed, I ran a score line slightly to the left of the image and folded the card stock over with the image on the front. Then using the second smallest Framelit from the Banners Collection, I positioned it so that the left hand (straight edge) lined up slightly outside of the folded edge, so that the finished cut shape was the doubled over banner that you can see wrapped around the chocolates. They're secured at the "flag" end with a tiny bit of Sticky Strip.

Check back tomorrow to see what they took in as Easter gifts for their teachers...!


This week's new downloads...

Check out the freshly released digi goodness for this week!

Don't forget that MDS is available as a free trial for 30 days if you want to give it a test run before you commit.  

Having said that, a commitment to the full program will only set you back $24.95 and provide you with a bucket load of pre-installed content too!

Jump into digital designing today!

A sweet girl is six - project co-ordination love!

My delightful niece turned six last week and as I have been committed to trying in recent times, I included a handmade component with her gift.

Enter MDS (what else?!) and my trusty iron on transfer paper and with a colour palette dictated by the Fresh Prints Designer Series Paper on the co-ordinating card, plus an adorable image from the My Digital Studio Nursery Alphabet Images Stamp Brush Setand I had a super sweet custom made t-shirt to tuck in with her gift...

   Digital Supplies  : MDS Software, Nursery Alphabet Images Stamp Brush Set

Digital Supplies: MDS Software, Nursery Alphabet Images Stamp Brush Set

The addition of the sweet six year old adds up to almost too much cuteness...

For the card, I pretty much busted out a bit of everything from the current Occasions Catalogue...

   Stamps:    Starburst Sayings, Hardwood, A Fitting Occasion    Paper:   Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Real Red, Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, Fresh Prints DSP Stack    Ink:    Real Red, Coastal Cabana, Soft Suede    Accessories:    Starburst Framelits, Circles #2 Originals Bigz Die, Arrows Embossing Folder, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Small Heart Punch, Coastal Cabana Ruffle Stretch Trim, Linen Thread, Very Vintage Designer Buttons, Burlap Ribbon, Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges

Stamps: Starburst Sayings, Hardwood, A Fitting Occasion Paper: Naturals White, Crumb Cake, Real Red, Whisper White, Coastal Cabana, Fresh Prints DSP Stack  Ink: Real Red, Coastal Cabana, Soft Suede Accessories:  Starburst Framelits, Circles #2 Originals Bigz Die, Arrows Embossing Folder, Dotted Scallop Ribbon Border Punch, Small Heart Punch, Coastal Cabana Ruffle Stretch Trim, Linen Thread, Very Vintage Designer Buttons, Burlap Ribbon, Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges

...and the co-ordinating gift and card together makes my stampin' heart happy!

My favourite thing about Stampin' Up! is - and has always been - the co-ordination of colours across their product offering.  

Matching colours in cardstock, ink and embellishments?!

Yes please!

Goodbye rocket science, hello effortless project co-ordination.

Your turn - what's your favourite thing?!

The happy business of digital design + new downloads

One of my very favourite uses for MDS is to create quick, simple and super customisable gifts, and I had the opportunity to create such a gift for the birthday of a dear friend of mine when I was invited to a surprise birthday celebration for her a couple of weekends ago.

We have known each other since our firstborns were born almost eleven years ago, when a local mothers' group threw a bunch of us together in those early days of bumbling through lack of sleep, new routines, growth spurts and all of the other amazing and sometimes terrifying moments that come with the arrival of a first baby.

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This saying from the Friends 24/7 stamp brush set is delightfully perfect for the occasion, and with some sweet, bright colours and a cute frame, it was exactly the outcome I was hoping for.

For more digital designs of the home decor persuasion, check out my two most recent projects for the MDS Design Team over on the My Digital Studio blog.  

HERE I share how our morning routine became a whole lot more manageable with some assistance from a cute board game style system and HERE I wrangled my kids' weekly commitments into a cute, completely customised and at-a-glance system for them to keep on top of their school and extra-curricular activities and requirements.


Check out the new downloads for this week...

There are five fresh and funky MDS offerings this week - my eye is particularly drawn to the My Digital Class Party Party Ensemble ...

Everything you need to create an awesomely co-ordinated party - a five page decor template, 26 piece stamp brush set, 6 Designer Series Papers, one punch, plus no less than FIVE tutorial videos showing you through exactly how to create five different projects using the components included in the download.

The My Digital Classes are a bargain - there are a variety of different ones available (with new ones being added all the time!) and all of them contain a combination of downloadable content plus step by step instructions using various digital techniques to help you create adorable projects with a minimum of fuss.

Here's what you'll find amongst all of the new downloads this week - click the image to visit them in my online store...

Ready to dive into digital design?

 Grab a 30 day free trial of the MDS software and give it a good ol' test run, or jump right in with the full version of the software for just $24.

Either way, you get all the functionality of the program, the full version just gives you more content to play with right away.  

And what's not to love about cute digital content?!

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My Digital Studio - a reason to start ironing + this week's newest downloads

I am not an ironer.  

The way my family "file" their clean clothes away gives me plenty of reasons to spend my time doing things other than carefully removing creases from their clothing, so time in front of an ironing board is strictly undertaken on a needs basis around here.

Happily, this week, I found a need and that was the birthday party of our delightful little three year old neighbour!  I wanted to add a handmade aspect to her birthday gift, and with the help of the BigW kids basics range, some iron on transfer paper from Officeworks and my trusty MDS software, I created a sweet little custom shirt...

lily-shirt.jpg

I started out with the idea of a selection of different circular motifs, so with that in mind, I decided on a colour palette of Pool Party, Calypso Coral and Crushed Curry, and went about searching and finding and altering different stamps and embellishments until I was happy with how it turned out.

Here's a close up...

lily-shirt-detail.jpg

The most important thing to remember when using iron on transfer paper, is that if there are words involved, as there are here, you need to flip your project so that it shows up in MDS as mirror image - that way, the words will read the correct way around when the image is ironed on.

lily-shirt-screen.jpg

SO much fun, and happily, the iron-on transfer paper came in a pack of 12 sheets, of which just half a sheet was used here, so I can see a bunch more ironing in my future :-D

Hit me up with some suggestions for things that would go so much better with some MDS love ironed on...

SOME OF THE DOWNLOADS USED IN THIS PROJECT: Earth Laughs Framable, Family Fun Photobook, O Christmas Tree, On the Go Kit, plus many that come standard with the full installation of MDS

Check out this week's newest downloads...

There are EIGHT new MDS downloads for your digital designing pleasure this week, but I have to say that the Blossoms Abound Kit is a bit of a standout for me...

20 piece stamp brush set, 12 Designer Series Papers and 24 embellishments for just $10.95? Yes please, can't wait to put this one through its paces...

Hit the image below to check out all of this week's new downloads - 

Haven't climbed aboard the MDS wagon yet?  It's free to try for 30 days, or just $24.95 for the full software.

Inexpensive, simple to use, swags of delightful pre-designed elements to use in your projects and new ones available each week, PLUS a dedicated website to support you in your digital endeavours. There is really nothing not to love about digital designing with MDS.

Still unsure?!

Fire your questions at me!  I am totally in love with this software and would be delighted to help you appreciate it too...

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Festive decorating with MDS

One of my absolute favourite applications for MDS is quick and simple home decor. The versatility of colours and sizes means you can match your MDS projects to the existing colour schemes in your home and whip things up with a minimum of fuss depending on your decorating needs.

My decorating needs at the moment are quite possibly the same as yours - something new and fresh for Christmas that's not going to cost a bundle or look mass produced.

merry christmas to you small.jpg

This little number is quite literally a two minute job.  

I created a custom project in MDS and sized it at 13cm x 18cm to fit the frame that I had on hand (from Target if you're interested - I stock up when they have them at 40% off...)

The background is the chalkboard embellishment from the Do Your Best Printables download, which I re-sized to fit the frame dimensions, then I used the Very Merry Christmas stamp from the Very Merry Twenty Five Designer Tags download to stamp in white on the top.

The end.

Simple, sweet, incredibly quick and a fun way to jazz up a corner that might otherwise remain festivity free.

Have a hunt around in your installation of MDS to see what sorts of Christmas decor you can come up with, or hit up the Christmas downloads section of my online store for some inexpensive festive downloads to create something fun and fresh!

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Advent calender - the diet version...

A few years ago, the vision of an advent calender that I'd had in mind for aaaages came to fruition with the help of a few pill boxes, some Designer Series Paper and my Bigshot and number dies.

Last weekend - just in time for the first of the month, I came up with a new idea for the countdown to Christmas, and given that the previous, treat-filled version is still alive and kicking, this one is less sugary, but still interactive in a fun and less calorific way ;-)

AND it involves my current love, MDS...

christmas countdown.jpg

Using the variety of bauble stamp images from the Something for Christmas digital stamp brush set, I lined up and coloured the top row, then copied and pasted multiples, lined them up using the handy-dandy, inbuilt alignment options and added some text numbers on top with a drop-shadow to make them stand out a bit.

A quick trip to the happiest place on earth Ikea for a frame and we have a Christmas Countdown that my girls take turns in crossing off using a whiteboard marker on the glass.

Here's another version with a different theme that I created as well...

Christmas Countdown watercolour.jpg

This one uses one of the latest downloads, the Beautiful Today Kit from the newest addition to the MDS arsenal - My Digital Classes.

There are currently four My Digital Classes available and all of them include - along with the digital content that you're used to getting when you purchase new downloads - a video (or several) that steps you through the process of creating a project in MDS using the elements of the download.

The Beautiful Today Kit that I used here is my current favourite - I just can't go past watercolouring in any format, and this download includes a whole stamp set of digital watercolour images, splotches, alphabet letters and numbers, as well as a range of gorgeous watercoloured digital Designer Series Paper *swoon*

So there you have a couple of different versions of a simple countdown to Christmas that you can create in MDS with a minimum of fuss and chocolate.

How do you count down the days until Christmas...?

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New MDS downloads, a quick online shopping tip + a new video!

This week's MDS downloads are as cool as ever, particularly since one of them is FREE!  Check 'em out...

Take a look at all the latest My Digital Studio downloads...

On the subject of digital downloads, here's a bit of a shopping tip for you if you tend towards a try before you buy mindset...

When you are browsing my online store for new downloads, it's possible to see in more detail than the sneak peek images exactly what is contained in each kit, stamp set etc.

Below is an example of what you see when you are looking at a particular download.  It includes information on what is contained in the kit, plus the co-ordinating colours to the right of the image.  You can zoom in on the image itself just by clicking on it, but it doesn't show you exactly what elements the kit contains.

This information is available by clicking on the "MORE IMAGES" link as seen in the example below...

mds-more-images.jpg

The following screen then opens up, which gives you the option of looking through the entire contents of the kit by clicking on each element on the right hand side to bring up a large preview on the left hand side and using the PREV and NEXT links to navigate through.

mds-more-images-2.jpg

I thought this was a pretty cool feature, so I hope it's a useful one for you!


I have another video for you today too, this one shows you how I created the "Oh My Giddy Aunt" framed image for my mum in my previous blog post.  Hopefully it also shows you how quickly and simply you will be able to create your own personalised gifts and artwork :-)

I absolutely love all of the different word art options that are around in the home decor scene these days, but what I love even more is that I can take my favourite quote, put it in my favourite font, match it to the colours of the room I'm decorating or that of the person I'm giving it to and I have a personalised piece of art that is not mass produced and gracing the living room wall of every other person in the country.

Are you inspired to  make yourself some word art too...?

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