Thursday, December 24, 2009

Taking a break

Going to the beach with the family for a little while, but I'll be back early in the New Year.

Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year to all my blog-buddies!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Decorations

The kids and I have been making some decorations for the tree (which we Still haven't put up yet....oops).  This is so easy and your kids will really enjoy it.  All you need are some punches (or you cut hand cut some shapes, if you enjoy that), thread/ribbon, SNAIL and a little sticky strip.

Here are some my lovely assistants helped me make:

These used the scallop circle punch, some pearls from the Pretties kit, and some silver thread from my stash.
Here are some others using lots of different punches - curly label punch, butterfly punch, etc.  I think I've even used the full heart punch, large star punch and scalloped square punch, but I'm not sure if I've photographed them.

Easy and pretty, don't you think?

Finally here's a decoration I first saw on Jayne Mercer's blog - truly simple but effective!  Also a great use for the hat pins in the Pretties Kit (I must confess I've never been able to find a use for them until now!)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Scrapped Santa

No, I don't mean that my children are so naughty that there will be no Santa this year (though it is still a useful blackmail threat!) I mean that I scrapped a photo of Santa!

I kind of had no plan with this page, in that I just started doing it without having a finished product in mind, other than that I wanted to use white ink on the red cardstock.  I made a little pocket behind the photo for a hidden journalling tag, and the embellishments are made with ink, punches and brads.

I used a retired Christmas stamp set Crazy for Christmas, that I can't bear to part with, as well as Spotlight on Christmas, and I was going for a Christmas tree made out of words (from Many Merry Messages). I used my SAMJ for the "Christmas Tree", but free-styled it for the other stamps.

It does actually look nicer in real life; this is a photo I took with my iPhone.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Teacher/Neighbour/Candlestick Maker Gifts

 I don't actually know any real-life candlestick makers, but you get the idea.  Apart from the cute card handbags I made for the female teachers in this post, I've made a few other things for male teachers, etc.


This is what my daughter's male teacher got.
It is another clever UStamp project.  I was also using up some of the gorgeous, but now gone, Parisian Breeze SDSP.


When you slide off the belly band,  it opens to reveal....


Ta DA!  Coffee and chocolate, a match made in Heaven.  




For the After Hours Care Lady, I made this little pouch containing a bundle of home-made gift tags:
here's what it looks like inside:



Wow, my hands look bizarre and giantish!









Finally, here's what we made for my children to give to their classmates:  a bookmark.  So easy, with roller stamps.  The kids wrote on the back in a gold pen, then I laminated them.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stampin' Up! Inventory Clearance SALE!

Just in time for Christmas!

From 15th December to 24th January, you can get fantastic discounts on select SU! products (some of these are half price!).  Contact me if you want to save a bundle on selected stamp sets, wheels, die cuts, glitter, hodgepodge, and ribbon.

Here is a picture of the flyer, for more information you can check my Stampin Up Website (click link on my sidebar over on the left).


Handmade Christmas presents

I've been working hard at making some Christmas gifts - the children's various teachers, the cleaners, and family members too.  For the past three years I've made a mini scrapbook for both sets of grandparents, and I'd like to think they are getting better each year!  This year I have a Bind-it-all machine, and I've used it for the first time today (which is why the holes are crooked, and there are other miscellaneous little faults.  Still, I've learned as I've done it, so next year's will be even better!)  In the past I've made holes with the Crop-a-dile and held the book together with rings, or ribbon, which is an easy solution of you don't have a Bind-it-all machine (or you do but FAIL like me!).  I think I'll add some ribbon to the one with extra holes.

I won't bore you with all the pages, but here are a few that I made with leftovers from that same Hoppy Memories Scrappin' Kit (honestly, it seems to last forever!  Such good value).  I made the pages 6 x6 inches, which is a 12 x 12 page cut into quarters.



 


Because it is a brag book and so small, the focus is on the photos.  Nevertheless, I've decorated some pages with stamps, others with scraps from the Hoppy Memories kit.  I've inked the edges of the pages too, which is such a little thing but really makes the page look great.

I'll be back later with more pictures, but my kids are clamouring for food (again) so my computer time is up for now!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Hold Everything!

Stampin' Up!  has announced that a limited number of products from the Spring Mini are still available !

Here are the details:


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Summer Mini is Here

From 1st December Until 31st March, you can order lovely NEW stuff!  Hmmm, sounds like a Christmas present idea to me!

Over on the Sidebar to the left you can click on the words above the Summer Mini picture to have a look at the catalogue.  I am mailing some out tomorrow (a little later than I intended, sorry!) , but if you would like one, please contact me.

Also - take note of my Stampin' Up! website (also on the sidebar there), because it has current promotions, my calendar of classes, etc, and other good stuff.  I will be continuing with this blog, never fear!

Better dash, my kids have their last day of school tomorrow and I'm nearly finished making 60 -odd bookmarks (in lieu of Christmas cards)  for them to give their friends.

Monday, November 30, 2009

More Regionals News

I've got a few pictures from Regionals to show you, and pictures of Swaps.  What are swaps?  Swaps are an unofficial part of any Stamping gathering (Convention, team meetings, Regionals, Incentive Trip) where you literally swap cards you have made with each other.  It is great fun, a nice way to get inspiration from fellow stampers and adds to your sample box or board.

I made 47 cards in total, with 2 designs to choose from.   Both cards used stamps and products from the NEW Summer Mini which starts tomorrow

The Butterfly card used a new stamp set called Butterfly Prints, and also the matching PUNCH!  (You know how I love punches that go with stamps!)  I've also used the Circle Scissors to cut out the Vellum circle (which looks slightly crooked now that I look at it! Bother!).  Because I could only put adhesive on the vellum behind my butterfly I added a new button with a glue dot to help anchor it down.

The orange card is very bright and summery!  It uses Razzle Dazzle which is a versatile set - you can see I stamped the single flower on the edge in Versamark, then made my own DSP with the red cardstock and Versamark and then made a feature of the pretty swirly flower.  To get the graduation of colours I used sponge daubers on the flower.  I applied a little glitter and added a sentiment (from Really Retro).

I have a few photos of the swaps I've received to show you, but I have to fiddle with Photoshop first before I can post them.  I will hopefully get faster with all this!

Once last thing to show you - are you after a cheap and easy gift idea for someone?  How about this?


I bought this plain little white dish for less than $3 at Spotlight, added a rub-on from the Bright Delights Rub ons, sprayed it with a ceramic sealer (also Spotlight), let it dry, then added some matching ribbon.  Apart from the drying time, it was seriously quick and easy.  I think with the sealer it would be fine to hand wash but I wouldn't trust a dishwasher or microwave.  I'm just going to add a cute tag and it's done!

The Rub-ons are easy to use and fun too!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Back from Regionals

...and feeling very inspired!

Just a quick post tonight as I've had a big day.

Here are the make and takes we made (and we got a stamp set and wheel from the NEW Summer Mini to make it with!  Eeeek!)



More details later, including pictures of swaps, etc.

Good night!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

A Summer Mini Tease


As a Demo, one of the many perks I get is seeing new catalogues earlier than everyone else, and getting to order them earlier too!  Sad as I am to see the lovely Spring Mini go, I'm excited about the Summer Mini.  If you are not on my mailing list and want me to send you a copy of it, just contact me and you'll be able to drool over it too!

Can you guess the new products used in this sneak peek?  Admittedly it is  a poor photo taken at night without a flash, but I think you will get the idea.

Another perk of being a Demo i that I am going to Regional Training on the weekend - it is like a mini Convention, where I will socialise with other Demos, swap cards, listen to business tips and creative tips, and I get a stamp set to play with!  So much fun!  If you are curious about what it is like to be a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, drop me a line, or else click on my Stampin' Up! Website (over there on the left) .

Remember my card box?

Well, take a look at the one this clever girl has done HERE.  What a gorgeous colour combo!

While I'm linking to other people's blogs,  here is a gorgeous project by a clever New Zealand Demo you have got to check out (I'm dying to try it).

That's enough from me today, I have to finish all my swaps before Regionals!

Have a great (inky) day!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

And the winner is......................


 
Comment number three, REBECCA O'GORMAN!!!!!!!

Bec, I'll pass on your details to the generous folk at buysterlighting   and they'll be in contact shortly.  

Congratulations!   Thank you Buysterlighting, and thank you my lovely contestants!
xx L

Monday, November 23, 2009

FABULOUS PRIZE GIVEAWAY!

Yes, Gentle Reader, I am giving away a FABULOUS PRIZE !

If you, like me, do most of your crafting at night after the children have gone to bed, then you will be aware of how essential good lighting is.  Makes all the difference between an OK project and a great one.  Right?

Well, I'm giving you  a chance to win a gift voucher for some lovely new lighting to the value of $70 !

You might like to choose a light like one of these:







There are plenty more to choose from, which will you pick?

To enter, all you need to do is post a comment about the time of day you like to create.  Are you a night owl like me?  Or do you prefer to work during the day while your little one naps?  I will draw a random comment out of a hat.

Entries open only to Australian residents, sorry.  If you enter, make sure you provide your email address so I can get in contact with you.

Entries will close on Wednesday 25th   November at 8pm Brisbane Time!  Good luck!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Christmas is Coming....have you started your cards?

You missed a chance to get them started this afternoon!  We had a lovely intimate class today and made 6 cards, three each of two designs.
This is the first one, CASED from a design by the so-talented-she's-scary Andrea Walford.  It uses the cute snowman from Punch Pals, and the little snowflake from the same set.  I love this colour combo - Tempting Turquoise, Sahara Sand, Whisper White and Brushed Gold.    It is fresh and crisp and somehow Retro at the same time.

The second card is deceptively simple.  It is a one-layer card, yes, but there were a few steps involved in it:


 




And inside:
It used Gold Encore ink, the 11/4 inch circle punch, scallop circle punch, gold embossing powder, heat gun, Stamp-a-majig, Stazon ink, blender pens, and glitter.


My daughters, aged 9 and 5, were very keen to stamp with My Ladies, and they made some cards too:







My eldest explained that the Penguin was standing on the presents so he was tall enough to see out the "window".  Of course!
My youngest daughter made this creation for Santa with some stamps from Kikki K and dazzling diamonds glitter:


Don't worry if you missed this class; I'm running them for the next 3 Sunday afternoons.  Contact me for details.

Remember that the Spring Mini finishes at the end of November (a week!)  so if there is something you have had your eye on, like the gorgeous scallop oval punch, white Stayzon, Stazon Remover, Tree Trimmings, that yummy Parisian Blue SDSP, etc.....contact me ASAP to get your hands on it!

Stay tuned to this blog tomorrow (Monday, 23rd November 2009) for a very exciting PRIZE GIVEAWAY!    Can't wait!

Happy Sunday Night everyone!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Confession....

...my name is Louise and I am addicted to handbags.   Phew!  There, I said it.

To prove it, I've even been making them!  This is a design by the fabulous and talented Tracy Old, an NZ Stampin' Up! Demonstrator.  She designed this for UStamp (see the blinkie on the Left?).  UStamp's Holiday Project are now finished, but you can sign up for the next round now.  I'm going to!

Aren't they gorgeous?  I used the Slumber Party SDSP (it is double-sided, cardstock weight DSP and is PERFECT for making 3-D items, as well as cards!)  I donated one to my sister's Pink Ribbon Fundraiser as a raffle prize, one went as a door prize at our WCMD Event, and I still have one left.  I'm thinking this will be the perfect gift for female relatives, teachers, coaches, etc this year.  So as not to waste anything, I made cards to go in the bags using scraps of this lovely paper.


Sorry the colour is a bit strange, I am still learning about Photoshop Elements!

So if you've looked at the lovely Speciality DSP in the catalogue (Parisian Breeze in the Mini is going to retire at the end of the month!  EEEK!) but wondered what to do with it, wonder no more.

I'm making a few boxes etc with it at present that I will show you when I've finished - makes a gift more special when the wrapping is impressive, no?


Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Colour Experiment from the Handmade Institute





Some of you may love the solid image stamps (and so do I!) but be a little bit afraid of the line-art image stamps because, well, you need to colour them in, and how do you do that?

Fear not!  Here at the Handmade Institute, we have spent hours in the lab experimenting with various methods to bring you colouring satisfaction.  Or something like that.

I have stamped some images  on watercolour paper (not SU!, as I needed a large sheet)  with Jet Black Stazon ink.  I coloured them using watercolour crayons,  an aquapainter, blender pen, pastels, markers and classic ink pads.  Each gives a slightly different look, so your choice will depend on the effect you want to achieve.

Here is my very scientific chart, with the results:


By way of contrast, I've included the butterfly (a solid image) which I coloured with watercolour crayons directly to the rubber, and spritzed with some water.  The purple one was perhaps a little too wet!  Well, it was an experiment, right?



This cute little hippo from Pun Fun was the perfect choice of a line art image to colour.

 
First I used my Watercolour Wonder Crayons, with my aquapainter on the blue, and with a blender pen on the purple.  At present I only have the crayons in Soft Subtles and Bold Brights, but I think I will be enlarging my collection as I found them easy to use and they blend beautifully.  You can scribble on the paper directly, or take colour from the bottom of the crayon with your aquapainter/blender pen; I did both.


Next I tried using ink from my Stampin' Spots (full sized pads work very well too, you squeeze the pad a little before you open it and then you end up with a pool of ink on the lid for you to use as a palette).  I simply smeared a little ink on the plastic "clam shell" stamp case and picked up the colour with my Blender Pen (Left side).  It is quite easy to use, although I noticed the paper "pilling" a little as I tried to blend the colours together.  Not enough to be too annoying, but in the interests of science I'm telling you what I found.  The quality of the paper may be a factor there. I like the control you have with a blender pen; it is easier to keep within the lines and you don't need to wait as long for things to dry between each coat of colour.    On the other one, you see the difference when I used my aquapainter; much more "watercolour" in effect.Its a little messier and blurred, but that is the nature of watercolouring.


This is the most vibrant image - I used my markers to add a line of colour then blended it with the aquapainter.  It is my current favourite colouring technique.  Unfortunately I was a little messy here (I was watching TV at the same time!) but again, that adds to the watercolour look.


Yes, you can use Stampin' Pastels to colour directly with a cotton bud or sponge dauber, but here I tried using my blender pen on the left and aquapainter on the right.  I have to say it is perfect for a subtle look.  Very difficult to get a deep colour on your image (except with Pink Passion, wow that looks bright!) but if a soft look is what you are after, then it is perfect.  Would be lovely on a baby card, or a wedding card perhaps?

So there you have it!   I certainly haven't exhausted the colouring methods - I didn't try watercolour pencils because I don't have any.  Rest assured if I get them I will subject them to the same scruitiny!

I hope you found this helpful.  What is your favourite method of colouring and why?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Christmas cards, as promised!

Here are the cards I made recently, using a base card of Kraft, a Riding Hood Red layer, and the tree from the Holly Jolly Christmas set.    My starting point was actually the trees - I stamped out a lot of trees in Old Olive and cut them out  without really knowing what I was going to do with them.  I stamped a background with the flower from Season of Joy, the flourish from Season of Joy, or the swirl from Spotlight on Christmas.  I sponged the edges with RHR.  Then I used ribbon, some hodgepodge, and some hostess sets (Punches Three and last year's retired set that I can't remember the name of!).  Some glitter on the trees, and all done!  Most of the trees were adhered with Dimensionals too.