A special Oh So Eclectic birthday card!

There comes a point towards the end of every catalogue year where I look at the photos in my ‘to blog’ folder in fear that I have more cards to share than blogging days left before the outgoing catalogue retires and the new one is released.

Welcome to that time in the life of the 2018-2019 catalogue!

Today’s card was for a milestone birthday of a colleague last month, and as her birthday buddy in our work team, it was my job to put on a morning tea, give her a gift and have everyone in the team sign the card. I employed a number of my favourite techniques for this one, as well as one of my favourite (sadly retiring) product combinations, the Oh So Eclectic stamp set and coordinating Eclectic Layers Thinlits.

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You may be able to detect the merest hint of a watercolour wash in the background, and the solid flowers behind the more delicate die cut ones are also watercoloured to provide a graduation of coordinating colour.

Some splattery gold embossing adds some shine and stamped off numbers from the Make a Difference stamp set allude to the occasion.

A bit of dry embossing using the leaf die from the Thinlit set adds further background texture, and some striped washi tape is just the contrast I felt was needed. (Confession time: I have no idea where the striped washi tape came from! I "think* it might be from an old Project Life Accessory Kit that I had floating around, but for current, albeit soon to be retired Black and White washi, check out the Pick a Pattern pack :-))

Add in a greeting from the gorgeous (and thankfully carrying over!) Well Said bundle, and I was very happy with where this card landed. I’m pleased to report that the birthday girl loved it too.

Here’s a closer look at some of the detail (click for larger images)…

I also incorporated some of the same items that I used to make the card into some cupcake toppers for morning tea, and made a HUGE cardstock flower to brighten up the gift bag. Please excuse the hurriedly snapped phone photos and school staff room background…!

 
 

The colour inspiration came from the scarf that I bought as the gift - a gorgeous Anna Chandler design featuring rich reds and pinks with black and white contrasts and touches of gold. I love using gifts as inspiration for the cards that go with them, do you do that too?

The Last Chance List rolls on, taking with it SO many gorgeous products that won’t be available when the new catalogue starts on June 4th! Make sure you get everything you love before it’s gone!

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Also happening now…

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Dear Doily and the final Sale-a-bration hurrah!

It’s the final day of Sale-a-bration and the final card that I’m sharing from my recent play session with the Dear Doily bundle

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I’m a huge fan of stamping in white ink on Crumb Cake cardstock, particularly with intricate and finely carved images like the ones in the Dear Doily Stamp set. That’s exactly where I started with this card, not knowing where I would end, but knowing that the White/Crumb Cake combo was the look I was going for.

As it turns out, I decided that adding anything too fussy would detract from the stamped background. A simply stamped greeting on my current favourite colour (I’m looking at you, Petal Pink!) plus some neutral embellishments (hello, Linen Thread and the FINAL DAY of Butterfly Elements!), plus a sweet little die cut doily, and I was happy to call it done.

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Do you have a current favourite colour combo? Does it stay fairly constant, or does it change frequently? Crumb Cake is always fairly constant for me, but my love for Petal Pink, I will admit, took me by surprise a bit! Maybe it’s because it’s like a watered down version of Calypso Coral, which has always been high on my list *grin*

Please make sure you don’t miss out on any of your Sale-a-bration or Sale-a-bration co-ordination loves! It’s the final hours and regret is a terrible thing! Perhaps head over to my online store to make sure you have everything you need before the bonuses are finished!

PS. In setting up the product list below to show you all the products that went into this project, I discovered to my abject horror and extensive embarrassment that I used a retired circle punch! The 1-3/8” Circle Punch has been a staple of my stamping arsenal since the very first order that I placed almost 13 years ago, but clearly I’m going to need to find a new staple (and start paying more attention!) #trustmeimaprofessional

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Butterfly Beauty engagement card

We are in the final days of Sale-a-bration, and as is often the case in the final days of anything to do with Stampin’ Up!, I have yet to share some of my favourite cards made with some of my favourite Sale-a-bration stuff!

First up, a card that I made for some lovely family friends who announced their engagement last year. We caught up with them for lunch during the summer holidays in January and this is the celebratory card I made.

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Such a simple card really, using just a few items and not a single stamp set, but I just love the fresh combination of colours, and a watercolour wash with some splattery silver embossing is always a winner as far as I’m concerned.

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The final days of Sale-a-bration also means the finals days of snagging the delightful Butterfly Elements for zero dollary-doos when you place a $90 order. Or indeed any of the other exclusive Sale-a-bration bonuses - FREE with either a $90 or $180 order.

I’ll be back tomorrow with another of the proceeds of my recent play with the Dear Doily, so be sure to pop back then!

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Delightful Dear Doily!

I got the Dear Doily bundle a couple of weeks ago, and with a weekend free of anything requiring my attention last week, I got to playing!

I love these fresh bright colours combined, and the white embossed greeting on the black cardstock strip is the perfect contrast.

A couple of additional layers underneath the greeting allow for some coordinating Bermuda Bay cardstock, Gingham Gala Designer Series Paper and a strip of the pretty lacey die from the Doily Builder Thinlits Dies, as well as some Whisper White twine for texture.

I wanted some coloured gems to coordinate too, but with nothing but Rhinestone Basic Jewels to call on, I coloured my own with the Dark Bermuda Bay Stampin’ Blend.

Did you know you could use Stampin’ Blends to colour your embellishments..? Now you do!

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Want to see a simplified version of this card, using the same stamp set and a similar layout but requiring fewer products, less time and much less effort? I’ll be sending it out this week as my Weekly Wednesday Inbox Inspiration card!

Every Wednesday, I send out an email to my subscribers, containing a simply stamped card that I don’t share anywhere else!

Join in the fun and sign up to receive my emails!

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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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Just Add Ink #430 - Pretty Floral Buffaloes

It’s a while since I stamped without a specific need for a card or end purpose in mind, so when I found myself with some time to spare and a strong inclination to wander into my craft room this afternoon, I was sadly lacking in inspiration and without a clue where to begin.

Thankfully, challenge blogs abound and a quick search led me to the Just Add Ink blog and their current inspiration challenge.

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The soft, pretty florals combined with the natural twine were exactly the poke of inspiration that I needed, and along with some new stamps from the Holiday Catalogue that had yet to see much in the way of ink, I was on my way.

Here is where I landed…

www.sarahklass.com | Just Add Ink #430 - Pretty Floral Buffaloes

The background is a result of some experimentation I have been doing recently with my current favourite stamp, a small array of markers and a ruler. I added a layer of vellum to tone down the pattern a bit, so that the main decorative element didn’t get lost among the plaid.

A piece of watercolor paper ‘smooshed’ with Coastal Cabana, some stamped and die-cut First Frost images and the promised Linen Thread, and I was done in surprisingly less time than I expected.

www.sarahklass.com | Just Add Ink #430 - Pretty Floral Buffaloes

I was really happy with how it turned out, and may even venture back in to make another, or at least clean up the mess I made with this one.

Thanks for popping by today, hope you have a lovely week!

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Designer Series Paper sale - Buy 3, get 1 FREE

Until the end of July (that is, for another 2.2 days), choose three packs of Designer Series Paper and get one pack FREE! With all new designs (as well as a favourite carryover pack!) in the recently released 2018-19 Annual Catalogue, there are loads of delightful options.

One of my recently acquired packs - Garden Impressions 6x6 DSP - was busted open with gusto recently, and with inspiration provided by these gorgeous cards by Jessica Williams at The Paper Caper, I created these same but different card designs

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The one at the top left was the first design, and I think it's still my favourite out of all of them. Here's a bit of a closer look. How perfectly do all of these patterns lend themselves to the 'same but different' design?

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You might notice the addition of coloured pearls and rhinestones and wonder how you missed these in the catalogue. The good news is that you didn't, they are the Pearl Basic Jewels and Rhinestone Basic Jewels coloured with Stampin' Blends.

How clever is that?

I can't take credit for the idea (but I also can't give credit for it, as I can't recall where I first saw it done...) Perhaps it's just a known fact that alcohol markers can change the colour of your embellishments and ribbons, let's go with that *grin*

With this offer only valid until the end of July, be quick with your paper selections so you don't miss out!

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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...

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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*

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...

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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*

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.

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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*

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!

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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?

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*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?

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

Hello! Happy Monday *grin*

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the cards that I made with it..

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DON'T FORGET..!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Kraft gift bags, lots of ways!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank for popping in and happy hopping!