Blogging Bonanza Day Seven and a half (a wrap up) - Watercolor Wings

Stampin' Up! Watercolor Wings | www.sarahklass.com

Here we are at the final Blogging Bonanza post and the final few hours of the Stampin' Up! Annual Catalogue of 2016-2017 and the 2017 Occasions Catalogue. I think I have posted more to my blog in the past seven days than I have in the entire past year, which sounds very dramatic and rather an exaggeration, but if I had the energy to check, I fear that it would not be far off the mark.

More about that later, but for now, a card featuring Watercolor Wings, which mercifully is carrying over into the new catalogue. Sadly, the Blooms and Bliss Designer Series Paper and Mint Macaron cardstock have both completely sold out, but this card is very reproducible in different colours and/or DSP patterns, so all is not lost! 

The trusty watercolour wash in the background of my main decorative element #predictable

A delicate vellum butterfly adds interest and dimension and softens the colouring of the butterfly in the background

So at the end of the most intensive week of my blogging life to date, what have I learned about blogging and whether or not I want to do it as an ongoing venture? Quite a lot, actually.

I have learned that although it takes time, it is not the all consuming, mammoth task that it sometimes feels like in my head. Mostly.

I have learned that I quite like format of sharing here, in conjunction with other formats like social media, as it affords me extra space for more detail and waffling.

I have learned that I don't mind the occasional waffle #newsflash

I have learned that I like the option to schedule some posts in advance and to publish some on the fly, and that that's ok, because it doesn't have to be an all or nothing, rigid process #phew

I have learned that there is an app for my blog platform and that I can get some of the content of my posts done in the regular five minutes windows that I have between school runs, extracurricular drop offs and pick ups, dinner preparation and in appointment waiting rooms #technology

So with less even less hours now until the end of the catalogue year (and the start of the new one!), I'm off to finalise my host code (you have a sniff of time to add your order to it if you're quick!), before I prioritise and re-prioritise my wishlist for the start of ordering out of the sparkly new catalogue tomorrow...

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

*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*

Blogging Bonanza day Seven - Special Reason

Stampin' Up! Special Reason | www.sarahklass.com

Welcome to the seventh and final day of my blogging bonanza! This is the first of what I hope will be two posts today, appointments, childrens' sport training committments  and new catalogue preparations notwithstanding...

The Special Reason bundle is one that kind of snuck up on me after it was introduced in the Occasions Catalogue in January. It was one of those bundles that I thought I could manage without, but then the internet happened, as it tends to do, and this bundle kept popping up in amazingly beautiful projects all over the place.

So I did what any self respecting and entirely lacking in restraint stamper would do and caved. 

The detail in the Stylish Stems Framelits is quite astonishing and looks beautiful layered with graduating tones of similar colours

A simple greeting and a tiny embellishment keep the flowers as the focus and finish off the card nicely

The Writing Notes background is another favourite stamp, adding a fun but not overpowering background to a simple white piece of cardstock.

The Special Reason bundle and Writing Notes are both on the list to retire later today, so I loved being able to combine them here for a bit of a last hurrah.

Now for a bit of a fun contest, the prize for which will be my undying love and gratitude. This contest is called...

"Name That Stamp Set"

*cue game show music and a host with an impossibly white toothy grin*

In a rather embarrassing turn of events, I cannot for the life of me figure out what stamp set I used for the little "hello you" greeting at the bottom of this card... *blush* I have scoured all of my stamp sets - retiring, carrying over and upcoming - and have not been able to identify where I got these stamps from. A hazy memory is that it was a photopolymer set but that is the extent of my knowledge.

There's a decent chance that the very second I hit publish on this post, it will come to me in a blinding flash of "I can't believe I missed that", but in the meantime, have a bit of fun and see if you can't figure out what it is, 'cause for the moment, I am at a complete loss.

If you need Special Reason or Writing Notes in your life, you know what to do, just make sure you do it in the next few hours or so...

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

*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*

Blogging Bonanza Day Six and a half - Crazy About You

Stampin' Up! Crazy About You | www.sarahklass.com

I'm running out of time to get all my posts featuring retiring products up on my blog, so it's time to start doubling down! Earlier today, I shared the card I sent to my gorgeous friend SJ, and I really hope she's received the package it came in by now, because the package also contained this card, so that's potentially two surprises I'm ruining in one day...

Early last month, we had an OnStage local event for Stampin' Up! demonstrators here in Perth, and having moved with her family to Melbourne mid last year as I mentioned previously, it was great to have SJ back on 'home turf' to share the event with us. Not only did she come to the event, she also did a brilliant stamping presentation, holding her poise admirably as the rest of us got misty eyed when she introduced herself and talked briefly about her recent relocation.

Despite her concerns about having done 'enough' for her presentation, in true SJ style, she ran out of time to finish sharing the incredible array of projects she had created using one of the new, upcoming stamp sets (#overachiever), and those of you fellow demonstrators in attendance will be able to attest to the amazing abundance and quality of her display. 

This is the card I sent to to let her know just how amazing I think she was (and is!)

A watercolour wash (just for something different!), with a touch of gold foil and an enamel shape to add some bling

Lots of lovely {pink!} layers, achieved by stamping the same flower image four separate times in Blushing Bride, then cutting out around the graduating white borders and stacking them on top of each other

The Crazy About You stamp set and co-ordinating Hello You Thinlit dies used on this card are more items on the retiring hit list. You can get them, and all the other retiring items from my online store, but only for just over another 24 hours from now...

Run! 

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

*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*

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!

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

*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*

Blogging Bonanza Day 5 - Flower Fair

Stampin' Up! Flower Patch | www.sarahklass.com

I'm a bit later with today's edition of the Blogging Bonanza, but I'm here now, so let's get this (garden)
party started...!

I loved the Flower Patch stamp set and co-ordinating Framelits on sight when they showed up in the Annual Catalogue a couple of years ago, and can hardly stand to see them making their way out of the current range as they retire with the outgoing catalogue in *sniff* two days from now.

The great news is that they're both still currently in stock and are also both significantly discounted, so it's the perfect (and final!) time to invest in some bold and beautiful florals for yourself.

I created this card for a dear friend and team member of mine who was asked to do a business presentation at the Stampin' Up! OnStage local event last month. She jumped at the opportunity and delivered a cracking and professional presentation in front of no less than 170-ish excitable fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators. I was so proud of her and so loved seeing her rock the stage.

I'm all about the watercolour wash background at the moment, as are a good percentage of fellow crafters, so I've noticed (#ontrend), so there's a Pool Party wash forming the background of this card. From there, I combined some of my favourite bold colours for the floral arrangement.

I'm of the opinion that lots of layering and dimension add an extra little somethin' somethin' to a card, so there's a WHOLE LOT of somethin' going on with this one... #layersgalore

A white embossed greeting on dark cardstock is a great way to add punch, and some softness is achieved with a layer of lace trim poking out from underneath

As well as taking advantage of excellent retiring special and an upcoming new catalogue (THREE MORE SLEEPS!), now is also a great time to consider taking advantage of the demonstrator opportunity for a large array of reasons.

  • You get to hang out, both virtually and in real life with the most kind, inspiring, generous and talented group of gals that make up my stampin' team
  • You have access to the demonstrator only events, held twice per year (in April and November) where you can gather with fellow like-minded craft lovin' types
  • You can call on the vast array of inspiration and support provided by this most generous and giving company
  • You have the opportunity to get discount on your own stampin' supplies as well as being able to earn an income should you decide to head down the business building route as a demonstrator

There are myriad other reasons to consider the demonstrator opportunity for yourself, mostly because for minimal outlay, you can test drive being a demonstrator, with no penalties and nothing to pay back if you decide for any reason that it's not for you.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE DEMONSTRATOR OPPORTUNITY

Feel free to get in touch if you think you'd like to check it our or have any further queries, I'd love to chat with you to discover how this wonderful opportunity could fit into your life and family.

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

*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*

Blogging Bonanza Day Four - Banners for You

Stampin' Up! Banners for You | www.sarahklass.com

Thanks for joining me on day four of my blogging bonanza! A couple of days ago, I shared a card that used a tiny sliver of this gorgeous, Bermuda Bay sunburst patterned DSP from the Cupcakes and Carousels Designer Series Paper stack. Today, I'm covering the whole card in it! I do love me some sunburst...

A couple of months back, a friend of mine asked for some advice regarding a job she was applying for at a school. I had successfully applied for my current job in a school library a couple of years back, and she so desperately wanted this one she was applying for, she was looking for anything that might give her the edge. I recall being told in my interview that my resume stood out - I had a big splash of colour (Crisp Canteloupe!) down one side and a circular photograph of my face - so that was the only information that I passed on to my friend. Well, she got the job (and some great feedback about including her photograph on her resume!) so I sent her this little bit of congrats in the post.

I love the grungy, roughed up look of the DSP design and the contrast with the crisp, bright flowers. You can also see the merest touch of Crumb Cake that I watercoloured onto the banner in this close up...

Same but different on the other side. The banner image has a great co-ordinating Framelit, however the flowers and leaves were an excellent exercise in fussy cutting!

Thankfully, Banners for You and its co-ordinating set of Framelits are sticking around beyond the end of this month and into the new catalogue year (FOUR MORE SLEEPS!), however, they will be carrying over as individual products, not the current bundle format that includes a 10% discount. Sadly, the Cupcakes and Carousels DSP isn't carrying over at all, so if you're interested in some grungy, Bermuda Bay sunburst pattern (and myriad others!) or a discounted, co-ordinated and super versatile stamp set and Framelits bundle in your life, now is the time to do something about it...

Thanks for sharing a bit of your Sunday morning with me!

banners for you vanessa.jpg

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

Blogging Bonanza Day 3 - Beautiful You...

Stampin' Up! Beautiful You | www.sarahklass.com

Beautiful You. Such an apt name for this stamp set and the recipient of this card that I created with it. A dear friend of mine turned 40 last month and we celebrated with high tea at a revolving restaurant on the 33rd floor of a city building with views across Perth.

And I celebrated her with this card :-)

The image is stamped in Basic Black Archival ink onto a large-ish piece of Watercolour Paper, then coloured with Watercolour Pencils and an Aquapainter. I love how the soft colouring sort of fades into the background, it's one of my favourite effects when colouring on watercolour paper...

The entire base of the card is covered in the beautiful water image paper from the Serene Scenery Designer Series Paper Stack

More Designer Series Paper is featured in the image of the girl, paper pieced from a bit of Serene Scenery for her hat and Fruit Stand for her summery, polka dot dress. I added some shading and hopeful realism with Watercolour Pencils

A lovely little cluster for the birthday greeting is made up of some white embossing, a sliver of Linen Thread, a dash of doily and an enamel heart shape from the Subtles collection

It's a great time to grab any (or all!) of the Designer Series Papers (DSP) that I've used here. DSP never carries over, which is sad in one way, like when you have a special place in your heart for a particular design. Can you tell I'm speaking from (ten years of!) experience with these things..?! But it also makes way for brand new and gorgeous designs to take their place, so the hurt doesn't last for TOO very long.

Much...

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

*Please note that there are some retiring products listed that may have already sold out*

Blogging bonanza day 2 - Butterfly love...

Stampin' Up! Butterfly Basics | www.sarahklass.com

Welcome to day two of my all or nothing blogging bonanza!

Today's card combines some products that will be carrying over to the upcoming 2017-2018 Annual Catalogue, along with some retiring favourites.

Butterfly Basics is one of those stamp sets that offers so much in the way of creative possibilities and I'm very glad that this one is sticking around for another catalogue year. It lends itself beautifully to a collage style of stamping, which is what I had a go at with this card, using a combination of tone on tone, watermark stamping and some layered colour to produce the muted background and leave the butterfly as the 'hero' of the card.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I was trying to use more sentiment stamps that would not find their way onto a great many cards due to their not being sentiments with a large scope for regular use. Here's another lovely, but little used sentiment that fits that bill and was perfect for the special someone that I sent it to.

The butterfly is cut out of watercolour paper that was roughly and randomly coloured with ink and an Aquapainter, and the colour is repeated in the little strip of Cupcakes and Carousels Designer Series Paper down the side

To highlight particular words in the sentiment stamps, I used a different, coordinating colour on a separate piece of cardstock, sponged and stuck them over the original stamp

TIny touches of texture - some Burlap Ribbon and Linen Thread add some monochromatic texture to a bare spot

"There's nothing in the caterpillar that tells you it is going to be a butterfly" - I love this saying. How would you interpret it and who would you send it to?

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

*Please note that there are some retiring products listed that may have already sold out*

Blogging bonanza day 1 - succulent love

Stampin' Up! Oh So Succulent | www.sarahklass.com

Today's card uses the Oh So Succulent Bundle, which is one that I am so sad to see leave the Stampin' Up! offering! These little stamps and coordinating Framelits are so joyful and SO very current and to create such delights out of paper is just a ton of fun.

I have been focusing recently on some lesser used stamps - more specifically wording stamps - that I tend to overlook for the more generic and popular greetings stamps.

"Because of you, I am me" is not a sentiment with a large array of uses, and there are not a great many people I can image sending a card to that would warrant such wording. One person that springs to mind immediately is my lovely mum (Nanny Jane to many of you!), who has been an amazing influence in my life and a valued, talented and inspirational member of my stampin' team for a few years too.

So this card made its way in the post to her a couple of weeks ago, totally unexpectedly (ninja style card making is my favourite!) and had the desired effect of making her day owing to the phone call I received after it landed #chuffed

The little patches of light reflection on the stamped images to add 3D-ness makes my heart so happy!

You may be able to tell that I didn't scrimp on materials for this card, so it's not a simple make in that sense. It formed part of a "no holds barred" stampin' therapy session that I undertook recently to haul myself out of a deep stampin' slump, the proceeds of which you will see here over the next several days.

It also employs a number of retiring (potentially already retired!) products - a last hurrah of sorts - all of which are pictured at the bottom of this post. If you click on the images and are directed to the main store page rather than the individual product page, that means that particular product is sadly sold out.

Who do you have in your life that you could send this card to?

Stampin' Supplies

Please click on images in the product gallery below for detailed product information and shop online convenience!

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!

A New Year, and a fun idea

Hello friends!

I'm hopeful that I do indeed have some friends left around these parts. My side of the conversation has been particularly quiet of late. Unless you're in the habit of hanging out with me on Facebook, I'm a bit chattier over there...

If you've followed my stampin' journey at all over these past ten years, you would know that beyond the stamps, inks and accessories, my favourite thing about this whole gig is the many friendships I've made with like-minded people across the globe. Not least of these friendships has been with the amazing Julie Kettlewell, a fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrator who hails from the UK.

Our friendship started off in the way many international friendships do, with a message sent through cyberspace, in this particular case, from me to her, wondering how on earth she managed to keep up her gruelling schedule of events and have them organised so well in advance. For this disorganised gal from down under, she was a wonder to behold, and I wanted to know how she did it!

So I asked. And we bonded over tea and Skype, and tea and stamping, and tea and family, until we finally met in person in a place familiar to neither of us - the deck of the Allure of the Seas - the incredible vessel that cruised us around the Caribbean on the 2014 Incentive Trip...

Image from soshelli.com

Image from soshelli.com

We got along in person the same way had for the preceding year online - like we'd known each other forever - and the fun continued when Julie asked me to go along as her guest on the Mediterranean cruise Incentive Trip this past May. It was the "girls' trip" of a lifetime and our next rendezvous will be in yet another exotic location next July, when we meet in Phuket for the 2017 incentive trip.

To fill the time between now and then, and to embark on a different kind of adventure that we've skirted around for ages and never actually done anything about implementing, we've decided to join forces on the stampin' front and offer online classes and kits to our customers in both Australia and the UK, starting next month!

And so we bring you...

Mrs K's Craft Room...!

Mrs K's Craft Room will be a monthly offering where you can subscribe to a class featuring projects and tutorials from us both, by purchasing the relevant products via our online stores. The classes will run via an exclusive Facebook group and incorporate YouTube as well. You can elect to join in each month or jump in and out as the mood strikes, it's up to you!

The Facebook group where all of the information will be posted and where you can find the details of the monthly kits as they happen can be found HERE. We've been discussing the details excitedly for a while now and are SO looking forward to welcoming you to our craft room!

A month of savings and *NEW* Stitched Shapes

Just last week, we Stampin' Up! demonstrators were given the heads up about a new product that was being released ahead of next year's Annual Catalogue, and just like that, with the beginning of November, here they are!

I can't profess to know the whys and wherefores of how decisions are made about product releases outside of official catalogue dates, but I don't really care to, all I know is that these new Framelits are taking their rightful place in my collection ASAP!

Check them out in this fun and informative video...

The Stitched Shapes Framelits are available RIGHT NOW, but before you head off to my online store, you might also like to know that this month, there is also a select range of stamp sets for 25% off the retail price...

Click image to view larger flyer or HERE to shop now!

Click image to view larger flyer or HERE to shop now!

In all of the Stitched Shapes and discounted stamp sets excitement, don't forget that your $100 order (before shipping) qualifies you for my Stampin' Spoils gift for November, so don't forget to add the host code to your online order..!

GET THE CODE AND ALL THE DETAILS...

I'm off now to finish packing before flying out to Brisbane this afternoon for the Stampin' Up! OnStage Live event! They're releasing the upcoming Occasions Catalogue to attending demonstrators and I'll be basking in the new catalogue glow with several hundred of my closest stampin' friends all weekend! Can't wait to share what we see (but don't hold your breath, we're sworn to secrecy until some time next week!)

Designer Series Paper Sale - buy three, get one free!

It's a brand new month and there's a brand new promotion to go along with it - and it's all about pretty paper!

My whole stampin' story started with a love of paper, established many years ago when I would collect pretty paper as a child. I would never actually use it for anything, I just liked to own it, look at it and marvel at the colours and patterns. Not much has changed all these years later. I do at least use it these days, but sometimes the first cut into a fresh sheet of 12x12 can be tough!

During October, you can stock up on your own stash of Designer Series Paper with a buy three, get one FREE special!

Click to view and shop for available paper packs

Click to view and shop for available paper packs

If you're quick, you can combine this great promotion with a special offer to celebrate today's World Card Making Day, with up to 25% off a range of great card making essentials!

Click to shop for these special, but BE QUICK - these offers are ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL OCTOBER 5TH!

Click to shop for these special, but BE QUICK - these offers are ONLY AVAILABLE UNTIL OCTOBER 5TH!

Of course, you'll also want to combine all of these great offers with this month's host code to score an extra gift from me!

Righto, I'm off to watch the remainder of the thus far nail-biting AFL Grand Final! I don't have any particular allegiance to either team this year, but do love a hard fought, well played match and it hasn't been disappointing up until now!

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 :-)

Stampin' Supplies

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Creation Station Comeback - Holiday Catalogue faves

It's such a long time since I joined in the Creation Station blog hop, but I'm back amongst the action today as we share idea using some of our favourite products from the newly released Holiday Catalogue.

The hardest part of this was choosing favourite products...

In the end, I decided to go with a stamp set that I loved on sight, which can be used with a minimum of time and energy to create gorgeous Christmas cards...

Wonderful Year stamp set | Wood mount | Clear mount

Wonderful Year stamp set | Wood mount | Clear mount

Minimum of time and energy are the key points for me when creating cards to send out for Christmas. Making cards in bulk at a time of year when everything else (school events, work functions, dance concerts etc) also require time and attention has resulted in occasions where I have neglected to send out cards at all. More than once *gasp*

This stamp set makes use of stunning typography, which takes care of the cute factor, and the size of the sentiments means that you really don't need to be adding too much in the way of other embellishments to compete with them.

The other bonus of the stamp set is that it lends itself to several stamping techniques, so you're not limited to churning out masses of the same card, you can mix it up a little!

The first set I made makes use of the current trend of a watercolour wash in the background...

Stamps: Wonderful Year Paper: Watercolor Paper Ink: Versamark, Pool Party Accessories: Whisper White notecards & envelopes, Clear embossing powder, heat tool, Aquapainter, Rhinestone basic jewels

Stamps: Wonderful Year Paper: Watercolor Paper Ink: Versamark, Pool Party Accessories: Whisper White notecards & envelopes, Clear embossing powder, heat tool, Aquapainter, Rhinestone basic jewels

The second set allowed me to add colour with Stampin' Write Markers applied directly to different parts of the stamp...

Stamps: Wonderful Year Paper: Whisper White Ink: none Accessories: Whisper White notecards & envelopes, Crumb Cake, Old Olive, Real Red, Early Espresso & Crushed Curry markers

Stamps: Wonderful Year Paper: Whisper White Ink: none Accessories: Whisper White notecards & envelopes, Crumb Cake, Old Olive, Real Red, Early Espresso & Crushed Curry markers

In the final set that I created, I brought back chalk board, which was the golden child of stampin' techniques in the not too distant past...

Stamps: Wonderful Year Paper: Basic Black Ink: Whisper White craft ink Accessories: Whisper White notecards & envelopes, White embossing powder, heat tool, Stampin' Sponges

Stamps: Wonderful Year Paper: Basic Black Ink: Whisper White craft ink Accessories: Whisper White notecards & envelopes, White embossing powder, heat tool, Stampin' Sponges

So there you go - a single stamp set, a handful of simple techniques, some note cards plus a few other bits and pieces make for cute and fuss-free Christmas cards!

Thanks for hopping past today and make sure to continue on the hop for more festive inspiration. You can head backwards to see what Nicole Tugrul has created, or forwards to my dear friend Julie Kettlewell's blog...

Stampin' Supplies

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Thoughtful Branches for August (and beyond!)

I've started this post about seven times and each time, I have deleted the first sentence. I have no words sufficient to explain and/or excuse my absence from here since June.

JUNE!

So please accept my grovelling apologies and allow me to share with you a card that I made using the Thoughtful Branches bundle - originally exclusively available during August, but now extended while remaining stocks last!

Stamps: Thoughtful Branches Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Pear Pizzazz Ink: Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz, Garden Green Accessories: Big Shot, Beautiful Branches Thinlits, Layering Circles Framelits,  Woodgrain Embossing Folder, Burlap Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

Stamps: Thoughtful Branches Paper: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Pear Pizzazz Ink: Early Espresso, Pear Pizzazz, Garden Green Accessories: Big Shot, Beautiful Branches Thinlits, Layering Circles Framelits,  Woodgrain Embossing Folder, Burlap Ribbon, Stampin' Dimensionals

This card was one of the three offerings for my Tuesday club this past month. We made masculine cards in preparation for Father's Day next month. I was desperate to get ink on my Thoughtful Branches bundle and hoped that this would pass as masculine in order to fit with the theme.

What do you think, does it pass...?!

Tuesday Club happens in a local (to me!) church hall on the first Tuesday evening of each month and is designed as an opportunity to get/keep stamping! We make three cards around a pre-arranged theme and none of the cards are overly technical, nor do they employ any tricky techniques, so are more than suitable for the beginner as well as a more experienced stamper that just wants a reason to create on a regular basis.

Next month (next week!), we're getting festive with some brand new offerings from the 2016 Holiday Catalogue.

Won't you join us?

The best place to keep up with what's going on in terms of events and stampin' opportunities is over on my Facebook page, or feel free to contact me to book yourself a spot.

Do also feel free to get in touch with your best time management/life juggling tips. I fear for the future of my blog with my recent track record and an impending change to my non-stampin' work schedule that will leave me with less time again to focus on all things inky... *gasp*

Stampin' Supplies

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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!

More stamps please - a great time to join!

So you've seen the new catalogue and marked your favourite pages. You've prioritised your wishlist and wondered whether baked beans on toast are a viable family meal on a long term basis...

There's a better way!

The demonstrator starter kit is fabulous value at the best of times - you pay just $169 for up to $245 worth of products of your own personal choosing. This month, however, the value is even greater with the opportunity for all new demonstrators to choose an additional TWO stamp sets (of any value!) for FREE! So depending on which stamp sets you choose, you could potentially add a further $175 worth to the value of your kit.

Be part of something amazing indeed. Part of an amazing community of sharing and caring gals in my team, an amazing company offering amazing products, putting on amazing events and just generally being amazing!

Check out some more details about joining my team and be sure to contact me if you're in need of further information!

Ready to give it a crack...?

Introducing the 2016-2017 Annual Catalogue

Click image to download the catalogue pdf

Click image to download the catalogue pdf

Happy New Catalogue Day!

Yes, it deserves capitals, and yes, probably also a national holiday, but I'll settle for 209 pages with hundreds of new products from stamp sets to papers, discounted product bundles to Big Shot accessories, punches, accents & embellishments, new In-Colors and exclusive host stamp sets!

Download your digital copy by clicking on the image above. Customers of mine from this past year will have mostly received a hard copy my now, with a handful that I still have to distribute.

Want one?

If you don't currently have another demonstrator that you order from, you can request a copy of the catalogue HERE.

The brand new host code is up and running, so check it out and see what your qualifying order will score you this month!

CHECK IT OUT! NEW CATALOGUE PRODUCT SHARES! Try out a sampling of new papers, ribbons, accents (or all three) by joining in with my product shares. They're a great way to test the waters of all the great new stuff without drowning in stampin' overwhelm!

JOIN A SHARE NOW!

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!

Stampin' Supplies

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