Puppy spam and a thank you card

At the beginning of December last year, we rejoined the ranks of dog owners after a three and a half year hiatus. Since we lost our last dog - an adopted Ridgeback X - at the ripe old age of 15, our youngest daughter has been the loudest voice in wanting to add another furry family member.

After a long search for the perfect addition to Team Klass, we finally found him in November and officially made him ours on December 1st.

Meet Bruno…

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The above photo was taken within a day of bringing him home, and needless to say the love was instant and mutual.

This next one was just last week - taken by my nephew.

Bruno is a Cavoodle, black as night, so much so that it can be difficult at times to tell one end of him from the other. He is super smart, an absolute delight and is SO loved.

We adopted him as a 12 week old from a local lady who also loved him but need to rehome him for reasons of her own. Having been shortlisted for similar adoptions in the past, we were cautiously smitten from the moment we met him and beyond delighted when she chose us as his new family!

This is the card that I made for her as a thank you for choosing us and for being so accommodating in the transfer of Bruno from her family to ours ❤️

Simple die-cut thank you | www.sarahklass.com
Simple die-cut thank you | www.sarahklass.com

We have been having lots of fun with Bruno, introducing him to the neighbourhood dogs in the park, teaching him manners at puppy school and practising tricks that my daughter finds on YouTube ☺️

Let’s talk puppies! What kind do you have??

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Smooshed butterfly beauty

We had a houseful of people over at our house on Saturday. Not that it takes much to fill our house, little old lady that she is. It was Australia Day, and as we have done in years past, we teamed up with our across the road neighbours and set up a massive slip’n’slide on the 50 metre long hill in ‘our’ park.

Once the sliding was done and the BBQ sausages were finished, as is often the way, my sister-in-law and her family remained for an impromptu takeaway pizza dinner and while the cousins gathered for a movie, she and I snuck off to my craft room.

Janny wanted to play with some ideas and learn how to create gorgeous watercolour backgrounds that are all the rage at the moment, so we did! She decided on the colour combination (Pool Party and Highland Heather for those of you playing along at home), and once the smooshed background was done, we played with different ideas and came up with this…

www.sarahklass.com | Smooshed Butterfly Beauty
www.sarahklass.com | Smooshed Butterfly Beauty

We added some silver splatters by mixing Multipurpose Liquid Glue with water, picking up the mixture with an Aquapainter and flicking it at the paper before sprinkling Silver Embossing Powder and melting it with a Heat Tool. It’s one of my favourite ways to add a little something to a card without overpowering anything else. Here’s a card I made last year using the same technique in gold.

A Vellum Stitched Rectangle provided a base for the Butterfly Element, and with a bit more silver in the form of Mini Sequin Trim and a swoosh of Highland Heather ribbon from the Organdy Ribbon Combo Pack, we were happy with the result of our combined effort!

The Butterfly Elements and Organdy Ribbon Combo Pack are both items that you can earn for FREE with a $90 order (or earn them both when you spend $180!) Don’t forget that the ribbons are super popular and running low on inventory, so make sure to claim yours before they run out!

We had so much fun playing around with ideas and working together without having a single plan or idea of where we would end up. I was texting Janny yesterday morning, because at the end of Saturday, we still had all the elements just sat together without actually being stuck down, so I had to send her a picture of the end result, plus ask her whether she preferred a base card of Pool Party or Highland Heather…

I loved her reply text:

I had fun playing in your craft room! Simple and sweet and a bit of fun with technique. I really want to dedicate more time to getting my craft on!

Those are certainly words that I can relate to, you…?!

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So sweet! Family & Friends stamp set

The Family & Friends stamp set was on my must have list as soon as I saw it in the 2019 Occasions Catalogue. It reminds me of a similar set that was available over ten years ago when I first started as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator.

Does anybody else remember All in the Family?

I’ve just been revisiting blog posts from 11 years ago (11 years!) where I used that set a LOT and it’s safe to say that my stamping (and my photography and my own little family!) has come a long way… What a nice way to reminisce and chart progress :-)

As for Family & Friends, it’s a whole lot of cute people parts that allows you to create characters from the assortment of hairstyles and body shapes. Think Bitmoji for stamps, but with mildly fewer personalisation options…

 
www.sarahklass.com | Family & Friends
 

I made this card for my handsome man, not for Valentine’s Day (I mentioned recently that Valentine’s Day is not really my thing…) but just because I wanted him to know how much I appreciate him.

He’s been the chief cook and bottle washer (and driver and general everything) around here for the past several weeks since I had shoulder surgery. It’s been a tough few weeks for me being stuck in a sling and only having the option of one arm, but it’s been almost as hard for those around me who’ve had to take on all the things that I am physically unable to. He’s pretty great at the best of times, but these past weeks have been next level and I couldn’t be more appreciative.

 
www.sarahklass.com | Family & Friends
 

The background is simply sponged with Daffodil Delight Ink and a Sponge Dauber, while the little Tim and Sarah people are coloured with Stampin’ Blends and fussy cut with Paper Snips.

I am super thankful that it’s not my stamping arm in a sling, or I would be even more stir-crazy than I am currently, and that colouring and fussy cutting (or card making at all!) would not be an option. It’s slow going with lots of breaks, but at least I can stamp!

Who are you currently most grateful for? I’d love it if you sent them a card to let them know, then let me know that you did.

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Life - an update!

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In my previous post, I alluded to some changes that I have coming up this year, specifically some new and exciting challenges on the work front. For the past couple of years, I have been working a few days per week outside of my Stampin' Up! business, mostly because things got a bit hairy with my husband's work (twice!) and it was needed that I make more of a financial contribution to our family.

Late last year, an opportunity crossed my path that was too good to pass up, albeit a full-time opportunity, which is something I haven't done since before my eldest daughter was born almost 15 years ago. I decided that I would throw my hat in the ring and see how things worked out, and ultimately was offered and accepted this new full-time role, commencing at the end of January. Happily, it is a school based role, so I am fortunate to still have school holidays off, which will be a welcome break every ten weeks or so. It is also only a two minute drive (or ten minute walk!) away, so I have more than quartered my previous commute, too. AND - importantly - it's a role where I get to exercise my creative muscles, which I couldn't be more delighted about! *grin*

I'm not sure what the implications will be for my Stampin' Up! business, if any. I have wondered several times in the past couple of years whether it was time to give it all away - if I couldn't do it 'properly' and give it my every waking moment and ounce of energy, should I be doing it at all? Such an all or nothing way of looking at it, and thankfully a mindset that hasn't prevailed!

I had a bit of a revelation for myself in the lead up to the Stampin' Up! OnStage event in November last year. As a member of the current Events Council, I am involved in running and presenting at these events, and in our presentations, we are asked to share how we are going to commit to the event challenge, which is different each time. This last one was Love It. Live It. Share It and initially, I wasn't sure what to make of that. What I arrived at however, was that I could LOVE Stampin' Up!, LIVE Stampin' Up! and SHARE Stampin' Up! right from where I am, within my current combination of circumstances. Or any combination of circumstances I find myself in, in the future.

I don't need to do it at the level I did when I had more time to devote to it and fewer other comittments.

I don't need to wait for the 'perfect storm' of life circumstances to come around so that I can do it 'properly' again.

And I don't need to feel guilty about it, which is where I landed (and nestled in for a while!) when I first started wondering about staying or going when things first changed back in 2015.

I'm not sure what it will all look like, and it's going to take some commitment, organisation and some new habits and processes. But all the best things do, so I'm planning on rising to the challenge, the changes and the potential chaos. If anything, I may well find my productivity increase - they do say that if you need something done, you should give it to a busy person.

I sure hope 'they' know what they're talking about...

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Blogging Bonanza Day Six - Party with Cake

Stampin' Up! Party with Cake | www.sarahklass.com

Anyone who knows my stampin' journey would know that I have shared much of it with a fellow Sarah. In fact a fellow Sarah Jane. Make that a fellow Sarah Jane K...

At any number of events over the past nine or so years, we've been a Sarah double act, and it's just another example of how I will be forever grateful to this company for the myriad non-stampin' things it has brought to my life.

Like this girl...

SJK + SJK

SJK + SJK

 ...and her handsome man, who is great mates with my own, and her two sweet girls, who get along like a house on fire with my two.

The only fly in the stampin' ointment of this particular story is that early last year, her handsome man was presented a career opportunity too good to pass up, which involved the family uprooting and moving across the country with barely a few months notice. And if you live in the same country as I do, or know anything at all about it, you'll know that there's a good many miles between Perth and Melbourne, and that lazy day-long tea and stampin' dates were to become a thing of our collective past.

So our new normal is messaging on various mediums (whilst being mindful of the time difference!) and picking up right where we left off whenever we do get a chance to see each other in living colour.

And sending cards like this one!

It was SJ's birthday last month, and given that I am terrible at punctual provision of birthday cards at the best of times, the newly introduced geographical challenges mean that birthday (and other greetings!) provide additional surprise value by arriving at seemingly random and entirely irrelevant times.

Like today!

According to the occasionally trusty source that is Australia Post tracking, I believe that the eagle has landed as of a few hours ago, but depending on the movements of a busy Melbourne mum, it may or not have actually been seen yet, in which case, SJ, if you're reading this before seeing the card in real life, sorry, and SURPRISE!

Anyone that knows SJ would also know that pink is her thing, so pink stamping, watercolour washing and DSP patterns are the order of the day

...and pink card stock, and hearts...

...and a touch of sparkle. SJ also loves her bling!

Party with Cake is such a gorgeous stamp set, with loads of great greetings to celebrate the one occasion that we all have in common at some point in the year. And it's around for only another day and half (discounted and all!) as it retiring with the current Annual Catalogue tomorrow evening.

The blogging bonanza continues tomorrow (or later today if I can gather myself in time!) with a couple more posts featuring more much loved retiring stuff.... Hope to see you back here then!

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*Please note that there are some retiring products listed that may have already sold out and also that discounted prices are not shown here, so click through for a fun surprise on many of the retiring products*

To blog or not to blog? A REALLY hard question...!

Are you there, Blogiverse? It's me Sarah. It's been five months and three days since my previous post...

Although my blogging schedule has always been somewhat sketchy and not really worthy of being called a schedule at all, it's never been this long between posts. It's something I've been pondering quietly for quite a while and I thought perhaps it was time to ponder out loud.

Do I have it in me to keep pretending that I run a blog?

Do I have it in me to stop pretending and do it properly, whatever "properly" looks like?

With the proliferation of social media options and the ability to share with barely one click of a button, is a blog still necessary?

Am I holding on to it out of guilt for the ten years of time that I've had it, much like the guilt associated with that expensive dress that you keep in your wardrobe, even after you've long grown tired of it/it's WAY out of fashion but keep out of allegiance to the large investment that you made way back when?

I am the only one with those kinds of dresses in my wardrobe...?

#muchoverthinking #veryrumination

Are you a blog reader?

If you are in the habit of visiting blogs, specifically crafting ones, tell me...

  • Do you actually read them, or just look at the pictures?
  • Do you have particular ones that you save and revisit, or do you happen upon them depending on what you're searching for at the time?
  • What do you love about craft blogs?
  • What do you not love about them?
  • What would have you revisit a blog?
  • What would send you away?
  • Are you more of a quick inspiration/very visual/Pinterest type instead these days?

Do you have a craft blog?

If you have run a (regularly updated) blog for any length of time, tell me...

  • How often do you post?
  • Do you schedule a bunch of posts in one sitting, or do you write and publish as you go?
  • Do you plan your content carefully in advance, or post as you create and the mood strikes?
  • Do you write much, or just enough to complement the images?
  • What do you love about blogging?
  • What do you not love?
  • Do you have any sage advice for a gal who *thinks* she wants to keep at it, but is weighed down by the how-to and the juggle of everything else that gets in the way? Like her propensity to #overthink ?

Having spent the evening thinking about, then writing this post, as it turns out, I have some creations that I have yet to share on any of my social media outlets, so decided that I would give this blogging thing one gigantic push to see if I can rediscover some of the joy that it used to provide me to write it.

At the moment, I have scheduled posts to show up daily for the next three days, and have content to last until the rest of the month, if I can find/make time among my *other* work days, junior sporting commitments and an upcoming teenager's birthday to get them scheduled and published.

Please pop back in to check them out if you feel so inclined, and if you have some answers to the above questions, I would love to hear them in case they can provide some insight to my ponderings.

Thanks in advance!

Thankful Thursday - CASEing the company

I had reason to need a thank you card this week, and going by the assumption that my eldest daughter's netball team's umpire doesn't read my blog (or likely even know my last name!) I feel safe to share it here before we give it to her on the weekend.

My girls are playing their last game of netball for the season this coming Saturday. I was always a netballer at school (and again recently), but this is the first season my girls have played, as they went down the dancing/acrobatics route instead. They've loved playing, once they figured out which positions were allowed in which thirds and managed to master the pivot. If there's one thing that is really evident to me about junior sport, having witnessed it first hand for the past several months, it's that much is owed to the small group of very committed people who show up rain or shine (or rain, or thunderous storminess or rain - it was a wet season, can you tell?) every weekend and do what needs to be done, whether that's to grab a whistle and run the sidelines, serve post match chips in the canteen or teach the skills of the game. 

So as well as being for our umpire, this thanks is also for all of those who spend time in the sometimes wet and muddy but rewarding trenches of junior sport - I salute you.

Stamps:   Endless Thanks, Writing Notes   Paper:   Whisper White, Whisper White thick card stock, Brights Designer Series Paper Stack   Ink:   Soft Sky, Blushing Bride, Flirty Flamingo, Cameo Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Memento Tuxedo Black   Accessories:   Metallics Sequin Assortment, Rhinestone Basic Jewels

Stamps: Endless Thanks, Writing Notes Paper: Whisper White, Whisper White thick card stock, Brights Designer Series Paper Stack Ink: Soft Sky, Blushing Bride, Flirty Flamingo, Cameo Coral, Pear Pizzazz, Memento Tuxedo Black Accessories: Metallics Sequin Assortment, Rhinestone Basic Jewels

I have loved the Endless Thanks stamp set since I first saw it in the previous Annual Catalogue, and like many of the sets in my collection, it hasn't seen nearly as much ink as I would like it to have. Neither has the Writing Notes stamp in the background #virgininking but I digress...

A quick Google search presented me with myriad options for use, but I couldn't go past this one and CASEd it almost to the letter. Often, I will use a card idea that I see as a starting point and end up somewhere else altogether, but this one was perfect in its perfection, so I hardly altered a detail.

When looking up the details of who to credit for its creation, I discovered that it was pinned to one of Stampin' Up!'s own squillions of Pinterest boards, where they share card ideas from their own concept artists, as well as from blogs of demonstrators from around the world. If you're ever in need of inspiration of the stampin' variety, or just like to look at pretty things, I would highly recommend a visit.

Speaking of visiting, you might want to swing by my online store for the newest batch of Special Offers or check out the recent updates to the Clearance Rack - there are bargains of all kinds on offer!

And thanks for visiting with me today :-)

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Home again, home again + winners!

It's a fortnight today since I arrived home from my whirlwind and thoroughly amazing trip to the UK and Mediterranean, and having arrived back into life as I knew it before, along with all the various responsibilities and requirements that go along with it, it's almost difficult to believe that I was gone at all!

Except for the amazing memories that I will look back on forever. Oh, and the photos...

If you will humour me, here's a quick snapshot of my time away in pictures, starting with my couple of days in Yorkshire...

Pink lemonade in   The Paper Haven studio   the afternoon that I arrived in the UK!

Pink lemonade in The Paper Haven studio the afternoon that I arrived in the UK!

Hanging out at The Shambles in York

Hanging out at The Shambles in York

A sparkling afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, York

A sparkling afternoon tea at the Grand Hotel, York

Royal Mail! Love the red postboxes!

Royal Mail! Love the red postboxes!

We packed in a bunch of stuff in the UK during the very short time I was there, but on Saturday morning, it was time to head off to Barcelona. Coming from Western Australia, it continually blows my mind that a mere 1.5 hour flight can deposit one in an entirely different country and culture, but such is the case with a flight from the UK to Spain!

Goodbye England! #soenglish #somuchgreen

Goodbye England! #soenglish #somuchgreen

We arrived into Barcelona in the late afternoon and left again the next morning, so rather than rush off and try to fit in any sights, we spent the time connecting with fellow demonstrators at the hotel. The evening was spent playing several pants-wettingly hilarious rounds of Heads Up with the Taylors, which I will admit was one of the many highlights of the entire trip!

First glimpse of our ship, the Norwegian Epic

First glimpse of our ship, the Norwegian Epic

Cosy twin cabin! It's a bad angle to see the half centimetre gap between the two single beds :-)

Cosy twin cabin! It's a bad angle to see the half centimetre gap between the two single beds :-)

The first day on board was a sea day, where we wandered the ship, ate our bodyweights in the various food options around the place, and hung out with fellow Stampin' Up! cruisers.

Sangria in the Garden Cafe on deck 15!

Sangria in the Garden Cafe on deck 15!

The next day we cruised into Naples, where we had booked a trip to go to the Isle of Capri. Sadly, the sea was deemed too rough to send the ferries over to the island, so instead, we grabbed a driver and a van with a crew of other peeps who had also been booked on the trip and saw some local sights instead. The coast drive was stunning...

Overlooking Sorrento

Overlooking Sorrento

#soitalian

#soitalian

Looking down over Positano

Looking down over Positano

Could NOT go past the gelato in Sorrento...

Could NOT go past the gelato in Sorrento...

...or the ginormous pizza in Naples!

...or the ginormous pizza in Naples!

There were bright and beautiful fruit stands everywhere!

There were bright and beautiful fruit stands everywhere!

Overnight we cruised to the port of Citavecchia, from where it was a coach ride into Rome. And the pages of history...

The Colosseum

The Colosseum

The Pantheon

The Pantheon

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain

I have so many photos of alleyways in Italy! And pretty things like these hanging baskets

I have so many photos of alleyways in Italy! And pretty things like these hanging baskets

Our third stop in Italy - and my favourite - was Livorno, which was another coach ride, this time into Florence. We wandered for five hours or so, dodging chic women on push bikes, vespas and small cars in narrow alleyways and crowds of people taking in the very same sights we were... I was determined (and successful!) in purchasing an Italian leather handbag and will treasure my Florence purchase for a long time to come

The Duomo

The Duomo

Amazing painted dome inside the Duomo

Amazing painted dome inside the Duomo

Another street/alley photo *sigh*

Another street/alley photo *sigh*

Day five saw us dock off the coast of France in Cannes. After our three days of pounding various Italian streets, we elected to stay on board this day and relax on the deck in the beautifully warm Mediterranean sun...

I had new togs for the trip and this was the one and only outing they had!

I had new togs for the trip and this was the one and only outing they had!

Day six was Marseilles. We boarded a bus to the port area and wandered the beautifully picturesque streets, stopping separately for coffee and crepes...

Marseilles Old Port area with the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde on the hill in the background

Marseilles Old Port area with the Basilique Notre Dame de la Garde on the hill in the background

Pretty flower market along the old port area in Marseilles

Pretty flower market along the old port area in Marseilles

As well as the amazing stops we made and the sights we took in, the time on the ship itself was an amazing opportunity to connect with new and old stampin' friends and take in the many activities that were on offer. We saw a Cirque du Soleil show one night, Priscilla Queen of the Desert on another and Burn the Floor on yet another. There was karaoke and dance parties and endless opportunities for fun and/or misadventure.

A couple of our evenings started out like this...

Before...

Before...

And finished up like this...

...After

...After

And I wouldn't change a single thing about any of it!

I will be eternally grateful to Julie for taking me along as her guest, my family for being so loving as to allow me such an adventure (and doing a brilliant job of getting on without me for two weeks!), and Stampin' Up! for bringing so many fabulous people and opportunities into my life in these past ten years.


While I was away, I ran a little competition for my online customers, and have recently drawn the winners...

Congrats, ladies!

Congrats, ladies!

The winners' Paper Pumpkin kits will be going out this week along with my regular monthly customer thank you cards!

Thank you for allowing me a moment to revisit my incredible recent trip! It's been quite a buzz to look back over the photos again, and I'm looking forward to giving them the Project Life treatment soon too!

A party panda, a big boat and a chance to win!

Hello friends!

I have a cute card to share with you today - one that I just made yesterday for the birthday party of a friend of my youngest daughter. My small girl is somewhat known for her love of all things panda related. I can't recall where it started, but she has quite the collection of stuffed toys, pens, pyjamas, books, notebooks etc, all bearing images of pandas.

Here's how we wished her sweet friend a happy 9th birthday yesterday...

Stamps  : Playful Pals, Balloon Builders   Paper:   Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry, Basic Black, It's My Party DSP, Silver Glimmer Paper   Ink:   Basic Black Archival, Melon Mambo, Whisper White, Versamark   Accessories:   Pyramid Pals Thinlits, Circles Collection Framelits, 1-3/8" and 1-1/4" Circle Punches, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, White Embossing Powder, White Gel Pen, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Playful Pals, Balloon Builders Paper: Mint Macaron, Whisper White, Melon Mambo, Crushed Curry, Basic Black, It's My Party DSP, Silver Glimmer Paper Ink: Basic Black Archival, Melon Mambo, Whisper White, Versamark Accessories: Pyramid Pals Thinlits, Circles Collection Framelits, 1-3/8" and 1-1/4" Circle Punches, Itty Bitty Accents Punch Pack, White Embossing Powder, White Gel Pen, Stampin' Dimensionals

How cute is that face? It's almost enough to make me want to start a panda collection of my own...

Speaking of collections, the Playful Pals stamp set is the perfect collection of shapes and images to provide all kinds of options to create a whole array of animal faces. Bundle it together with the Pyramid Pals Thinlit Dies, and you can cut out all those stamped bits and pieces and assemble them as a sweet gift box too!

Luckily, the Playful Pals Bundle and its individual parts are carrying over to our upcoming Annual Catalogue, but the Designer Series Paper that I've used for this card (and SO many others!) won't be... The It's My Party Designer Series Paper is a massive stack of full 12x12 sheets, three designs from which feature on this card. It has everything from birthday party imagery to subtle stripes and geometric shapes - pretty much something for every occasion. It will be outgoing with the rest of the items from the current Occasions Catalogue, which finishes up at the end of this month, so grab a stack while you can...!

The other thing finishing up at the end of this month is the current Annual Catalogue. The Retiring List is in full swing, with many products already sold out. Check out what's still available - much of itgoing out at great discounts - by visiting the Retiring Products section of my online store.

When you're shopping, be sure to keep in mind my Stampin' Spoils program and remember to apply the host code to your order! If your order totals between $100 and $250, be sure to apply the code and grab yourself this month's gift from me!

CHECK OUT ALL THE DETAILS AND GRAB THIS MONTH'S CODE...

For some extra fun for my online shoppers this month, your qualifying online order will also put you in with a chance of scoring an added bonus...!

Some of you may recall last September when I was in a last minute push to earn the 2016 Stampin' Up! Incentive Trip to the Mediterranean. You might also recall the final result that saw me marginally miss out in the end. In rather an amazing turn of events, it so happens that I'll be cruising the Mediterranean anyway, as the stunned, grateful and delighted guest of the gorgeous and amazingly talented Julie Kettlewell - my dear demo friend from the UK.

Well after counting down since September when she asked me - in a manner that was much like a marriage proposal - to go as her guest, the time has come and I will be boarding an Emirates flight tomorrow evening to head off to Yorkshire to stay with Julie and her family for three days before we fly together to Barcelona to get on the boat on the weekend!

I will return home in just over a fortnight, right in time for the start of the new Annual Catalogue, but while I'm away, the Retiring List will rage on, and the opportunity to shop from my online store for retiring, clearance and carrying over products will remain available - with an added incentive to do so...!

Back with I was on my previous Incentive Trip to the Caribbean in 2014, Stampin' Up! were giving away these Paper Pumpkin kits to any fellow travellers on board who were interested in trying out stamping for themselves. At the end of the cruise, any that they had left were handed out the demonstrators, so I have had these boxes taking up space in my craft room cupboard ever since!

The super fun part is that I have no idea what's in them! Paper Pumpkin is a monthly stampin' subscription service, but is not a feature of our Australian Stampin' Up! market. So other than knowing that inside is a selection of exclusive co-ordinated products to make some cute projects, it's all a mystery!

And the mystery could be yours!

I'm giving away these two boxes of fun to two of my online customers in May, and here's how you can be part of it:

  1. Place an order of $100 or more (before shipping) in my online store 
  2. Apply this month's host code and qualify for your free gift from me!
  3. For each $25 in your order total, you have one entry into the draw to win one of two Paper Pumpkin Kits!
  4. If you have already placed an order this month, don't panic! I've taken that into account, and you're already in the draw #phew

It's as simple as that! I'll be drawing the winners in early June when I'm back at home, hopefully sporting a Mediterranean tan on my winter white pins!

Want to follow my European adventures...? I'll be posting fun updates on my Facebook and Instagram pages as frequently as time and free WiFi allows, so be sure to pop on over, click the follow buttons and join the adventure!

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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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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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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 - Mission embossable + my FAVOURITE Designer Series Paper!

perpetual birthday calendar woolfe peek.jpg

Weekly Deals are here again, and if you're a fan of the gorgeous textured look provided by the Big Shot Textured Impressions Embossing Folders, you're in luck - there are no less than FOUR great designs to choose from in this week's deals.

Also featuring is a set of Designer Series Paper that pops up in the vast majority of my card designs - the Typeset Specialty Designer Series Paper...

Here's a card that I made for some dear friends of ours over in Brisbane who recently built and moved into a beautiful new home. 

perpetual birthday calendar woolfe detail 1.jpg

Back in April when my lovely mum and I went to the Gold Coast for the Stampin' Up! convention, we stopped over in Brisbane for a few days, and despite being in the midst of building a new house, packing up the old one, as well as managing work, home and teenage children, our wonderful friends wouldn't hear of us staying anywhere other than with them.

Mum and I wanted to choose something lovely for their new home - which was completed a month or so after our visit - but decided on a voucher for an online homewares store so they could choose something for themselves once they were all settled in. I popped it into this card and sent it off as a fun surprise

I used my much loved Typeset Designer Series Paper for the lower panel of the card, as I did on many more of my creations, which you can find HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Phew! I knew it was a favourite of mine, but even I underestimated the number of times I reach for that set of paper! Clearly, the crisp black and vanilla is a winning combination on any project...

Be sure to grab your favourite discounted embossing folders and reams of bargain priced Typeset DSP before next Tuesday!

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A bunch of {Celebrate Today} balloons!

My littlest little lady went to an ice-skating party for one of her sweet school friends on the weekend. Ice skating isn't really a standard go-to winter sport for us here in Western Australia, so it was only the second time she'd ever had a go at it in her almost nine years. There were a few zimmer frames on offer for the unsteady to hold onto/push in front as they wobbled around the ice, so it was a whole lot hilarious watching my girl channeling her inner 95 year old as she tottered on her seemingly elasticated ankles on her way around the rink.

It was also one of the coldest days of our current winter to date, so far from being a place to escape from the conditions, it was like walking out of the fridge and into the freezer. I had half a thought to strap on some skates myself, thinking that at least a bit of motion might generate some warmth and distract me from the fact that I could no longer feel my toes. Witnessing some spectacular crashes and falls from the sidelines soon pushed that thought right out of my mind, however. I had no desire to add the cheeks of my bottom to the list of my frozen body parts,  so I settled in with a warm drink and somehow managed to wrangle a good hour-long sleepy snuggle with the five month old brother of the birthday girl, which warmed me from the inside out...

Here's the card that I made!

Stamps:   Celebrate Today   Paper:   Whisper White,     Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack   Ink:   Pool Party, Watermelon Wonder, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Cucumber Crush Memento Tuxedo Black   Accessories:   Balloon Framelits, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Celebrate Today Paper: Whisper White, Cherry on Top Designer Series Paper Stack Ink: Pool Party, Watermelon Wonder, Bermuda Bay, Crushed Curry, Cucumber Crush Memento Tuxedo Black Accessories: Balloon Framelits, Stampin' Dimensionals

I only recently purchased the Celebrate Today Bundle that debuted in the last Occasions Catalogue. I'm a bit slow on the uptake, clearly - what a fun set! So versatile and suitable for a variety of occasions. I'm looking forward to putting it to loads more use...

Which products did you skip over at first, only to discover how much you loved them waaaaay after everyone else did..?!

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Watercolor Wings across the miles...

I've had this project made and photographed for a little while now, but being that it was for a dear, faraway friend, I wanted to ensure that it landed at its destination before I shared it here. I know for a fact that she reads my blog (and laments the infrequency of the posts, despite her best encouragement and coaching, bless her! I'll do better, I promise...)

Stamps:   Watercolor Wings   Paper:   Crumb Cake, Whisper White,  Typeset Designer Series Paper, Vellum Cardstock   Ink:   Mint Macaron or possibly Pool Party (I can't remember now, and I can't tell from the photo!), Soft Suede, Crumb Cake   Accessories:   Bold Butterfly Framelits, Expressions Natural Elements, Gold Sequin Trim, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Watercolor Wings Paper: Crumb Cake, Whisper White,  Typeset Designer Series Paper, Vellum Cardstock Ink: Mint Macaron or possibly Pool Party (I can't remember now, and I can't tell from the photo!), Soft Suede, Crumb Cake Accessories: Bold Butterfly Framelits, Expressions Natural Elements, Gold Sequin Trim, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Along with the card, I included a little gift that I found and deemed perfect for the occasion. Julie is a polka-dot lovin', fellow stationery nerd, so a Pool Party and white polka-dotted notebook, a sweet, contrasting floral pen and a little wooden, Pool Party painted letter "k" (we call each other "Mrs K"!) were tucked in and sent on their way.

You might be able to spy some polka dots through the wrapping...

You might be able to spy some polka dots through the wrapping...

The In-color Dotted Lace Trim makes a gorgeous addition to any gift, as well as being amazing to work with as a pretty addition to cards and other projects.

Check out this video from Stampin' Up! with some more information on the trim and ways it can be used...

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Happy birthday, little man!

On the weekend, my little family were lucky enough to be invited to the sweetest celebration of the absolute sweetest little guy we know! Natalie is one of the gals in my stampin' team and her little guy Aiden turned one on Saturday. It was quite the gentlemanly celebration, requiring quite the dapper card, so this is what I came up with for him...

I made a little pocket to look like a suit and the greeting part is written on a little insert that slides out...

The background of the insert was stamped with the Layered Letters Alphabet stamp set, stamped off, except for the one left deliberately dark in the centre. This provided only a hint of colour to the background so that it didn't overwhelm the space and left me somewhere to write our birthday greetings.

Stamps:   Layered Letters Alphabet   Paper:   Soft Suede, Pool Party, Whisper White, Cherry on Top DSP Stack   Ink:   Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede   Accessories:   Bow Builder Punch, Neutrals Candy Dots, Glue Dots

Stamps: Layered Letters Alphabet Paper: Soft Suede, Pool Party, Whisper White, Cherry on Top DSP Stack Ink: Pool Party, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede Accessories: Bow Builder Punch, Neutrals Candy Dots, Glue Dots

Natalie asked if I wouldn't mind acting in the capacity of unnofficial photographer for the day and I was happy to oblige. I was also happy that she agreed to let me share some of the pictures of the amazing party set up here.

Please do note that while the images are marked with my watermark for the purposes of sharing on my blog, the party concept and styling was all Natalie's, ably assisted by SJ, another of our team gals. I will lay claim to the creation of the peeps in the last two photos though - my finest ones by far ;-)

Check out this delightful array...

Thanks for stopping in and sharing in a piece of our delightful weekend!

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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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{VINTAGE} A team challenge...

I mentioned in a recent post that we were running fortnightly stampin' challenges on my team's Facebook page and I'm back this morning to share my latest entry.

This fortnight was a themed challenge, the theme being vintage. I was hopeful that some sponged edges and the inclusion of lace would pass, as I'm a bit light on for actual stamped images that could be considered in keeping with the theme.

Here's what I came up with...

Stamps:   Painted Petals, And Many More, Dictionary, Gorgeous Grunge   Paper:   Crumb Cake, Naturals White, Typeset Specialty DSP   Ink:   Rose Red, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso   Accessories:   1-3/4" Circle Punch, Venetian Crochet Trim, Epic Day Washi Tape, Linen Thread, Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Painted Petals, And Many More, Dictionary, Gorgeous Grunge Paper: Crumb Cake, Naturals White, Typeset Specialty DSP Ink: Rose Red, Pear Pizzazz, Crumb Cake, Early Espresso Accessories: 1-3/4" Circle Punch, Venetian Crochet Trim, Epic Day Washi Tape, Linen Thread, Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

Close up detail of the beautiful    Painted Petals   ...

Close up detail of the beautiful Painted Petals...

A tangle of    Linen Thread    in the background

A tangle of Linen Thread in the background

Some contrasting    Washi Tape    brings focus to the greeting

Some contrasting Washi Tape brings focus to the greeting

What's a vintage theme without some    Crochet Trim   ...?

What's a vintage theme without some Crochet Trim...?

Some faded    Dictionary    background stamping in the corners

Some faded Dictionary background stamping in the corners

I was assisted in the design stakes this time around by a sketch from the ever inspiring Retro Sketches...

Happiest of birthdays (last week!) to my beautiful mum and Nanny of my girls. We are so very fortunate to have your loving, positive influence in all of our lives. Thank you for all that you are and all that you do for us xoxo

Thanks for popping in and sharing Nanny's birthday with me today!

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MDS Monday - Blending with Digital Stamps

A couple of months ago, I posted a peek of an MDS stamped image that I had coloured with Blendabilities.

What a fabulous discovery to make!

It widened the possibilities of my Blendabilities colouring options by a massive percentage and came to my rescue just a few weeks ago.

My sweet niece and Goddaughter made her First Holy Communion at the end of last month, and with a dire shortage of appropriate stamp images, I hit up MDS for the solution.

I was able to search for, locate, purchase and download a set of suitable images all within a three minute time frame and for the royal total of $2.50.

And here's what resulted...

MDS download:   Crosses of Hope   Stamps:   Hardwood, And Many More   Paper:   Naturals White, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Whisper White   Ink:   Soft Suede, Memento Tuxedo Black   Accessories:   Label Card Thinlits Die; Blendabilities: Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral, Old Olive, Coastal Cabana; Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

MDS download: Crosses of Hope Stamps: Hardwood, And Many More Paper: Naturals White, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake, Whisper White Ink: Soft Suede, Memento Tuxedo Black Accessories: Label Card Thinlits Die; Blendabilities: Daffodil Delight, Calypso Coral, Old Olive, Coastal Cabana; Pearl Basic Jewels, Stampin' Sponges, Stampin' Dimensionals

The beauty of digital stamps is that they can be resized, so this one is more than double its original size, enabling me to make it a real feature.

The colour combination was dictated by the extent of Blendabilities that I had available to me at the time. I have since purchased further sets and am on my way to owning the whole shebang, but for the stained glass like result that I was aiming for, the colours that I had did the job beautifully.

The greeting was able to be added neatly with the help of the perfectly shaped banner Thinlit from the Label Card set. The "For You" is part of a larger greeting "Here For You" from the And Many More stamp set, but with some careful aiming, I was able to eliminate the word I didn't want and the remaining ones that I did want fit neatly inside the banner.

Check out the options that MDS can afford you with regard to colouring - you might find a whole new world of possibilities like I did!

You can trial MDS free for 30 days, or invest just $24.95 and it's yours to keep. It comes pre-installed with a bunch of content and there are new downloads available every month. Sweet!

Thanks for popping in and for your patience as I adjust to the new routine that I have now that I have added the realm of postgraduate study to my life as mentioned in my previous post. It's a juggle for sure, and some days it feels like all the balls that I'm trying so hard to keep in the air are falling down all around me, but nothing worth doing is ever smooth sailing all of the time, right?!!

Stampin' Supplies

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