Friday, 15 July 2016

Best Birds Watercolor Cards using Stampin' Up!® Supplies

This week I have focused on another of the new bundles from Stampin' Up! The Best Birds stamp set coordinating framelits and I had already pictured what I wanted to do with this set. 

As usual, with my eclectic style I had to use some complimentary stamps and for this set of cards I chose the versatile Water color Wash large background stamp.

Here is the card

This is the first of 8 cards I made; all slightly different but staying within a similar theme. You can see that I've used the lovely crosshatched stamp over the Stampin' Up! Watercolor Wash stamp and then dry embossed with a now retired Folder.

See how beautifully the framelits cut out the birds and branch shapes?

Lots of slight variation in colour combinations and arrangements of the birds and branches, but I kept the cards similar by stamping everything in Soft Suede and limiting the water colouring to Blushing Bride, So Saffron, Old Olive and Soft Suede throughout. 

I sponged the edges of the card with Soft Suede to achieve the look I wanted. And I used both the Blender Pen and an Aqua Painter for my colouring.

If you would like to create with this stamp set you can order it on-line via my Stampin' Up!® store
or contact me via my Demonstrator Business Website

As an added incentive for the month of July you will receive a Stampin' Up! Bonus Coupon to spend in August. The coupon is valued at $9 for each $90 you spend. There is no limit and there is a fabulous new Bundle coming in August that will only be available throughout August. So stock up on those essentials now and you will have free dollars to redeem in August. You will need to provide an email address to receive your voucher. Contact me if you would like further information.

Until Next Time

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Fairy Celebration With Stampin' Up!

When our new Annual Catalogue was released in June I immediately fell for this very cute stamp set - Fairy Celebration. I love fairies and enjoy colouring too, so this set was a "must have" for me.
I stamped onto water colour paper then coloured with Stampin' Up!® Classic Inks and an Aqua Painter.

The card base was a little plain so I added some white and silver embossing using stamps from Gorgeous Grunge. This is my go to stamp set for backgrounds and I love the variety of combinations you can use from the stamps in the set. 

The detail shows the little bits of "fairy dust: on select areas of the image - this is created with the Wink of Stella Clear brush - so delicate and pretty. 

Hope you like my little bit of fantasy land! 

Until Next Time

Happy Crafting

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Stampin' Up! Mediterranean Cruise Highlights Blog Hop

Hello and welcome to my contribution to the Mediterranean Achievers Blog Hop for the month. It is all about the highlights of the trip for each demonstrator and I'm sure there will be some similar themes running through these posts, but you will also see all the fun we had, how we were showered with gifts and treated so very well.

I was particularly thrilled to achieve this vacation as I have studied Art History and indeed had a career in art education before retiring and becoming a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. Italy, France and Spain are rich in art and rich in history as well as gorgeous scenery so I was thrilled to be able to share this with my husband (who really did not want to go - I dragged him along and he actually had a great time!!) When I heard that the next Grand Vacation was going to be the Mediterranean, I decided I really wanted to go, so I set myself some goals and worked hard with my team members to earn the necessary flex points. It was just a matter of trying to keep to my target each month and I made it!

We were lucky to get an upgrade with Qantas and flew to London via Dubai and although the stop was just a couple of hours at the airport it has enticed me to make a visit there at another time. Look at this gorgeous airport.

So the highlights for me:

Beautiful Barcelona - gorgeous architecture, great food and wonderful weather. Pictures tell the story better than I can so here are a few. The Gaudi architecture is inspiring in its creativity, but learning his story made things really come to life.

It was so exciting to see so many demonstrators from around the world and to be a part of this fabulous vacation.  We had organised a few tours with 2 other lovely Aussies: - Leonie and Narelle, and it was great getting to know them. Can't wait for On Stage in November when we will meet up again.
Our first full day on the ship was a day at sea. We met up with long time friends from the USA (almost family as I lived with Joyce in 1968 - 69)  on the first night and there were lots of hugs and smiles. We spent as much time as we could the following day including lunch, and imagine my delight when Jeff tells us he has invited a couple more to have lunch with us.

Look who it was!
 Needless to say I was delighted and felt so lucky to be able to spend a little time with my family and Shelli and Stirling.

I have been to Italy before and was very keen to see some sights that I had not yet seen so I chose the Amalfi Coast excursion - what beautiful rugged  coastline it is. The bus could hardly fit on the road in some cases, but I would happily peer out the window and enjoy all the sights.

We lucked in with our Rome day as I had booked a driver and a car for my sister and husband and I,  so we weren't affected by the train driver strike. Our driver was hilarious but really great at getting us around all the traffic problems and protest marches that were happening that day. We saw a lot of the sights and of course had to revisit the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin in. (Just so we are sure to return to this lovely city) The history is mind blowing and the beauty of the sculptures and architecture is stunning. We enjoyed a lovely home made pasta lunch with some Italian wine and when we asked Carlo the very best place to get gelato, he took us to his favourite place in Civitavecchia. Yum!

Florence is a beautiful city but I decided to make another visit to the heritage listed Cinque Terre - a set of 5 coastal villages. We were joined by Narelle and Leonie, Joyce and Jeff, and  my sister Linda and the 7 of us, along with our driver, had a very strenuous day climbing up and down the steep roads of some of the villages. They are so picturesque and the weather was kind so we were able to see them by sea and land. I love the narrow streets, the funky decoration on the outsides of the buildings the flower pots and the beautiful Mediterranean colours of the ocean, the boats and the homes.

We enjoyed some "relax" time in France with just a quick trip into Cannes for lunch by the harbour, and in Marseilles we took a tour across to Cassis, a quaint fishing village that had the best croissants!

As the cruise came to an end, many of us were wondering just how we would fit in all the wonderful pillow gifts we received. It was pretty exciting coming back to the cabin each evening  to find a beautifully presented box on the bed - some really great gifts, ranging from dinner and a Cirque Show to T-shirts, bags and SU product. Stampin' Up!® spoil achievers so much. And we had the added joy of a dedicated Hospitality Room on the ship. We were able to pop down there any time for a spin of the wheel to win more products and it was a great place to chat to other demonstrators and to meet up with members of the corporate team and of course the lovely and very hard working SU staff.

We spent another 3 days in Barcelona and took one more excursion to some medieval villages outside of Barcelona. Coming from Australia, the age of these buildings is amazing. There were so many beautiful scenes that will make excellent water colour paintings one day.

Our final day was spent in London - it was cold compared to Spain, but we decided to do a Thames River hop on hop off tour to see some of the main sights. Our hotel was at the airport so we took the express train into Westminster station and hopped straight onto the boat. Again it was the architecture that stood out for me, this time ranging from Gothic Revival to very modern. And I was thrilled to see some Christopher Wren buildings. The views of different tourist attractions from the river were good, but it was so cold on the top deck that we opted for the warmth and a hot chocolate on the lower deck for the return trip.

What a great holiday this was. I am now working hard to achieve the next vacation - Thailand 2017. Only a little way to go for us in the Southern hemisphere and only a few more flex points needed by me.
Thanks so much to Stampin' Up!® for these wonderful opportunities and rewards. This has to be the best company to work for in my chosen field of craft. I love what I do and love sharing that with you.

Friday, 27 May 2016

New Catalogue Product Swap for Stampin Up Mediterranean Grand Vacation

Today I have some details of the 3rd swap that I participated in on the Stampin' Up! Grand Vacation to the Mediterranean. By the time you see this,  I will be enjoying all the sights of Italy and heading towards France - a dream come true for sure. 

This swap had the parameters of using only product that will be available in the new Stampin' Up! Annual Catalogue. Contact me if you would like a copy. As demonstrators we are able to pre purchase a limited supply of products and it is so much fun to try them out and prepare samples for our customers.

For my swap I reverted to one of my favourite techniques - water-colouring. 
I love the freedom this technique gives and especially when you stamp onto wet water colour paper, as I did for this sample. 

The stamp set I used is a Hostess Only stamp set (Gift of Love) that includes 3 stamps to create this gorgeous floral image and 6 different greetings. I have combined the set with a stamp from Timeless Textures, and I also used the splatter from Gorgeous Grunge, another of my much loved stamp sets. 

Don't you just love the texture the water colour paper gives you? I added a little bit of depth to the stamped flower by using a slightly darker red tone and my Aqua Painter. Colours are Rose Red and Cherry Cobbler, and the leaves are Old Olive. I stamped the outline with Archival black ink from Stampin' Up! It is all matted with Basic Black and added to a Crumb Cake card base.

The script on the greetings in this stamp set is really delightful and stamps very crisply. These words are stamped on water colour paper to maintain the textural element of the card, but just imagine how crisp they would look on Whisper White card. 

That's it for a few days. I will have lots to post when I return from the trip, so come back and visit me often

Happy Crafting

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

South Pacific Grand Vacation Project Life Card Swap

I am participating in 3 swaps for the Grand Vacation and this one is just for the South Pacific achievers. We decided that a Project Life sized card would be ideal for when we all create our wonderful Project Life Memory albums from this trip of a life time that we've earned through being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. 

My card is quite generic, but I've been inspired by the curvy lines of Gaudi architecture that is found in Barcelona and the vibrant and colourful ambience of this Spanish city.

The card is 3 inches  x 4 inches and uses one of my new favourite stamp sets from Stampin' Up!
- Timeless Textures. (if you haven't fallen in love with this set, you will as soon as you use it!)

Please forgive the "blueness" of the  photos - I'm not sure what happened when I was taking them, but it only seems to be the white that has a blue tinge. (I will take new photos when I return from the trip.) Classic ink colours used are: Watermelon Wonder, Cucumber Crush, Crushed Curry and Bermuda Bay.

I used the shaving cream technique for the background and stamped over the top with a variety of stamps from Timeless Textures. Then a little banner with a greeting from one of my Project Life stamp sets, a small portion of a Tea Lace doily (and who would have thought they would be on the retirement list? ) and a punched flower in Watermelon  Wonder card complete the card. 

Great fun making these and I can't wait to see all the other creations from my clever colleagues. 

Happy Stamping!

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Stampin Up Grand Vacation Mediterranean Swaps

When you read this post I will already be on the beautiful Norwegian Epic sailing towards Italy from Barcelona, and then onto France and back to Barcelona. And this is all thanks to the wonderful company I work for - Stampin' Up! 

One of the traditions of these Grand Vacations is for demonstrators from around the world, who have achieved the GV, to create swaps so that we can all share our ideas. It is amazing how different the ideas can be using products from the Stampin' Up! catalogues, and it is fun trying to design something a little different.

This year I took my cue from one of our new products - the adhesive strips. They will be in the new Annual Catalogue that starts June 1st, and they indicate to me that Shaker Cards are going to be one of the "in" styles for the next season. Shaker cards are lots of fun, and of course can take on many styles - my card is somewhat traditional, and uses a number of different techniques and products. 

This is what I designed.

My colour choices for the background are, Bermuda Bay, Wisteria Wonder and Blushing Bride. This is a combination chosen by my 4 year old grand daughter one day when we were playing around with the Shaving Cream technique. I loved her choices so used them as the basis for my card.

The technique I used for the stamped image is the Marker direct to Rubber technique, where I used the brush end of my Stampin Up Markers to colour directly onto the stamp. It is such a fun technique and I love the serendipity of not knowing exactly how it will turn out. My aim was to create a bit of dimension in the flower using the same 3 colours plus Elegant Eggplant. You can see this in the detail photo below.

Of course for a Shaker Card you need some dimension and this is where the fabulous new Foam Adhesive Strips come in so handy. They are flexible so you can shape them in a variety of ways, and they are just perfect for shaker cards. You can find them on page 182 of the new Annual Catalogue. I created the little heart shaker pieces using the Confetti Hearts Border punch on Blushing Bride Glimmer paper and Bermuda Bay card stock. Love this result against the marbled background.

The flower image is from the lovely Butterfly Basics stamp set, and I think I'm just a teeny bit crazy stamping and fussy cutting 27 of these cards. However I'm pleased that the result is what I was looking for when placed over some window sheet.

Finally the greeting and banner stamp are from a lovely and very versatile new stamp set named Thoughtful Banners, and as good management would have it, there is a coordinating punch that cuts these banners out perfectly. It is so easy to place the words on the banner too, as this is a photopolymer set that enables easy alignment.

I can't wait to swap with my fellow demonstrators and look forward to sharing pictures of some of those swaps with you.

Remember you can start ordering from the new Annual Catalogue on June 1st and although I will still be overseas, if you just can't wait for new products you can use my on-line store to order your products from June 1st, 2016 onwards. 

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

New Stampin Up Annual Catalogue is here!

Wow, wow , wow is all I can say about the new Annual Catalogue by Stampin' Up!®
I received my copy on Saturday at the Stampin' Up! On Stage Local event at the Gold Coast. - a couple of weeks ago now and it's been so hard not to share it with you all.

Better still why don't you contact me via my Demonstrator Business Website and ask  me to send you a catalogue. I would love to do that for all my customers, and if you are not yet, but would like to be a customer just let me know.

The catalogue is packed full of great ideas that are both easy to achieve for beginners and provide inspiration for the more experienced stampers. We also have all Inclusive Kits, lots of new framelits, some new Big Shot products, 5 new In Colors in ink pads, card stock, Stampin Write Markers and ribbons AND  of course there are lots of new stamps.

We all love our stamps and it is really great to see that a lot of our favourite sets will still be available.

I can't show you what's inside the catalogue yet but you can see the cover....

It's lovely and light and bright and I promise you will love the contents. In fact you'll want so much from this catalogue that it will be a wonderful opportunity to join me at Stampin Up and receive all your products at a 20% discount after the purchase of your kit. The kit is fantastic as it is fully customizable and you choose exactly what you want/need to continue your crafting journey, and all this at a very good discount. Check out the information today.

You could also benefit from hosting a party where you will be eligible for Hostess Rewards of product dollars to spend as you wish. If you would like to discuss this please use the CONTACT ME form on my Demonstrator Business Website and I will be in touch,

Happy Crafting

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Mothers Day Card with Butterfly Basics & Gorgeous Grunge

Mothers Day has snuck up on me this year - I thought I had another week, until I received a lovely card in the mail from one of my daughters. Eek, that meant I needed to get a card in the mail for my dear mum who lives interstate. 

Luckily I made this card with her birthday in mind, last week, and although it was originally a Birthday card, it was easy enough to remove the greeting and add a different one. I have another week until her birthday!!!

I used the very versatile Butterfly Basics stamp set from Stampin' Up! with the Marker direct to Rubber technique. I love using my Stampin' Write Markers directly on the rubber of the stamp - it is such an easy way to get multiple colours on one image. 

Here is the card: 

My mum has always loved red and it variations. 
I used Crumb Cake as the card base and Whisper White on which to stamp the image. The colours in the image are Rose Red, Pear Pizzazz and Always Artichoke. 
And of course I just had to use a little Gorgeous Grunge in the background. I probably break all the rules when using this stamp as I do not bother mounting it on a block - I simply press it into the ink and stamp with uneven pressure onto the card. This gives me a more grungy look.

The butterfly is cut out of a Gold Foil sheet using the Bold Butterfly Framelits and this has been topped with a bow of Linen thread. Currently the framelits and stamp set are available as a bundle, but this will change with the new Annual Catalogue on June 1. If you want to save a few dollars (15%) then you should consider getting it now

I added a little Venetian Crochet Lace to one side and blended some of the outline colour into the centres using a Blender Pen. Stampin' Up! Classic Inks are perfect for this technique, and as the Markers contain the same ink as the ink pads, you can achieve the same results.

The card is in the post and I hope mum likes it - it is always difficult being so far away on special occasions and a phone call just doesn't seem the same as being there in person. 

Until Next Time

Happy Crafting

If you would like to make a card like this you can order the following products at my on-line store. The stamp sets will be carried over into the new Annual Catalogue (you can see this on June 1) so it is well worth getting them. As always if I can assist you with further information about this card please contact me.