Saturday, 29 September 2012

When you need to send "With Sympathy."

In the past fortnight, two of my friends have experienced the sorrow of deaths in their family.  One, an elderly ill parent;  the other, a spirited, mischievous four year old daughter lost in a tragic accident.

I'm not telling you this to garner sympathy, but because I am reminded that a handmade card is perhaps most needed at a time of bereavement, and yet much more difficult to create than any other type of card.   None of us know when a tragedy will strike, and when it does, our instinct is to reach out to comfort our friends, even when it is difficult to know the right words to say.

Here are the two cards I've recently created, and sent to my bereaved friends.  I hope that they might be useful to you if you are in the unfortunate situation of having to come up with something suddenly, and in a time of stress.  Both of these cards were photographed just before I popped them into an envelope to post, so they weren't photographed in the most ideal conditions.

Stamps:  Loving Thoughts; Daydream Medallions

I find it easier to keep the card one-layered in these situations; mainly because it makes them easier to produce quickly.  I also like to keep it fairly simple, unless you are making a few to have in advance, for the same reason.  

Stamps:  Loving Thoughts; Papillion Potpourri
Remember that when you are making a bereavement card, it really doesn't matter how complicated it is, or how perfect.  What matters is that you are reaching out with love to someone in the depths of grief.

It doesn't matter what you say inside the card - a simple "I'm so sorry for your loss; please know I'm thinking of you," is sufficient.   People are often worried they'll say the wrong thing; but it is more hurtful to say nothing at all and leave the loss unacknowledged, in my opinion.

True story:  When my youngest sister died sixteen years ago, I remember receiving a card from a young male friend, and being touched by his kindness.  Three years later, I married that kind man.

Friday, 28 September 2012

Shocked yet?

By the amount of posts I've done in a row?  LOL!  I'm trying to be more consistent and I've scheduled a week's worth of blog posts in advance, because it is school holidays and I'm busy with 4 children and their friends, sleepovers, movies, playdates, activities, fights, etc.  I want to get into a good habit with regular posts.  So here goes anyway - life will get in the way of my intention, no doubt!

I've been on a real creative steamroller lately, with ideas whirring in my head that I MUST get down in ink and paper.  So there are plenty of projects to show you over the next few weeks!

Last weekend my next door neighbour turned 40 and had a fabulous birthday party.  It was such a fun night - I ended up having a little too much fun and paid for it the next day (I really don't drink much these days!).  But that means it was a fab night, right?  LOL.

Here is the very quick and easy birthday card I made Steve (I also made a matching gift tag, but didn't remember to take a photo of it!):

Stamps:  Memorable Moments
Other:  DSP strips, Labels Collection Framelits, Big Shot
 And here's another from my sample board using pretty much the same elements:

Don't you love a stamp set that makes it easy?  And when there is a matching punch or Framelit too...swoon.  

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Christmas Countdown

Can you believe how much Christmas paraphernalia is in the shops already?  It will be upon us before we know it.  I'll be doing Christmas Card Classes, etc, so watch this space for details - and your in box, if you are on my mailing list.  I'm just figuring out what clear spaces are in my calendar once I factor in the children's commitments, husband's travel schedule, my own appointments and commitments....and I'll make sure that's done asap!

To get you into the mood, here are photos of a sweet Christmas project I made at Convention  this year - Advent Boxes.  The boxes were all made with the Fancy Favour Die and the Big Shot.  I love how versatile this box is.  The stamps are from the cute Christmas set "25 & Counting".

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Launch Continued....Bec's cards!

 Once again, my lovely customer Monica allowed me to photograph her creations from the Launch, didn't she do a fantastic job?  Can you believe Monica is new to card making?

My talented Stampin' Sister Bec O' Gorman designed these cards, she's very clever!

From the Mini:  Friendship Preserves stamp set and matching Framelits; also Woodgrain embossing folder and the Paper Piercing Pack.

Papillon Potpourri stamp set, and co-ordinating Butterfly Punch

I'm so lucky to have such talented, generous, hardworking friends that I never would have met if I hadn't joined Stampin' Up!  I really think I am blessed to have these amazing women in my life.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Steph's cards from Launch

Again, thanks to my lovely customer Monica for allowing me to take photos of the cards she made!
These cards were designed by Steph Pike, aren't they gorgeous?

This card features products from the mini - Early Esspresso c'oredinations card stock, Lacy Brocade embossing folder,
Scentsational Season gingerbread man stamp and co-ordinating framelit, and Illuminate Glimmer watermark stampin' pad.  

Again, from the Mini - Owl Occasions stamp set, plus the NEW DSP Be of Good Cheer (it's a Christmas one!).  The sentiment is from Create a Cupcake, i think.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Launch cards continued!

More beautiful cards from our Launch Day!  These cards were made by my customer Monica, and were designed by my upline Linda Craven.  I'm posting in a rush as I need to take Thing 2 to the GP in a minute, so I'll be back to edit the details of the cards.

Stamps:  Betsy's Blossoms, Curly Cute
Paper:  Floral District DSP, Rich Razzleberry, Whisper White, Baja Breeze
Other:  Daffodil Delight, Blossom Punch

From the Mini Catalogue- Googly Ghouls, and Howlstooth & Scaringbone DSP
 And this is the packaging of Claudia's prize - The tag was simple, but sweet, made with the Big Shot, and the package was made by printing out a template from the MDS Content Disc in the Mini - Remember December.
Tag:  Two Tags Die, Bigshot, Labels Collection Framelits, Gumball Green ribbon, Stamp set:  Made for You

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

And the winner is.....

I forgot to post the lucky winner of my In Colour giveaway!  OOPS!

Anyway, the winner is........CLAUDIA!  Claudia, I have a roll of new Gumball Green ribbon for you!  I'll drop it off sometime this week.  Congratulations!

It must be time to show off my 2nd card from the launch day, I think?  This card was made with new Christmas DSP called Be of Good Cheer, and the new stamp set Chock Full of Cheer.  It features Gumball Green, everyone's favourite new green!

Again, this is a terrible photo taken at night, but you get the idea!  I am loving the new Christmas combination of Cherry Cobbler and Gumball Green.

I'd best skedaddle as I have dinner to cook, and my craft room to tidy before I host my Downline Meeting later this evening.

If I never had people over, I'd probably never clean!   True confessions.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Launch Day Fun

I can't believe I forgot to bring my camera (apart from my iPhone)! Please excuse the rubbish pictures I took. I actually was busy most of the day and forgot to take photos of things, d'oh!

Here is my lovely customer Monica, at the Registration desk with Bec O'Gorman, one of my co- organizers, at the start of the day:

and here is a look at the long table of retired goods for sale, and a glimpse at the raffle prizes - a Big Shot, and a basket of goodies.

Look at the sweet afternoon tea tray and tea cosy made by Linda Craven out of Stampin' Up! Fabric! I wish I could sew.


I am unsure whether Steph Pike or Bec O'Gorman made this - isn't it gorgeous?


And this lightshade was decorated by Bec. So pretty!


Steph made these - I now have this owl set on my next order!


Bec made everyone's cookie, stamped with the new Cookie Stamps!
My customer Wendy won one of the raffle prizes - can you see the rainbow near her head? It must have been a sign she'd win!


As for the Big Shot raffle - another of my customers, Barbara, won that!


Here is Card 1, designed by me, made by the Launch goers:

It uses World's Greatest (NEW), and For My family.


Monday, 10 September 2012

Whew, what a big day!

Our Annual New Catalogue Launch is done and dusted for another year.  I must say, we had a fabulous day - and we had our biggest turnout so far, with 93 lovely stampers coming along to play with new products!  We had to borrow tables, and must thank all the fantastic people who helped us have a successful day.   Thanks to our husbands and children, and Mums, and sisters and friends who loaned tables, lifted heavy things, helped us set up the Hall, and then came and helped take them all away at the end of the day.  Thanks to the helpers who put all the cardstock in bags, helped bake cookies, sort and price retired stock, laminated bookmarks, sold Raffle tickets,  brought friends along, helped with displays, lent products, and provided moral support.  We couldn't have done it without you.

I'll be posting photos of our projects and things over the next few days - I can't believe I actually forgot to take photos of the door prizes I made, and was too busy to take more than a couple of snaps on my phone all day!

I'm having some iPhoto difficulties right now, so I'll have to wait until my resident tech expert gets home to load any photos.  Unless I can maybe do a post from my phone.  Sigh.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

New Catalogue, New In Colours to Love, and a giveaway!

Stampin' Up! has a cruel streak.  There, I said it.  You know I love their products, their colours, right?  Well, they bring out In Colours each new Catalogue which will only be around for 2 years.  2 short years!  And this year's batch of In Colours are, in my opinion, their best yet.  I love them all!  I know I'll be sad when they leave in 2014.  Why do they do that to me?  But rather than dwell on that future pain,  let's give them some love now.

In case you need the refresher, here are the "old" In Colours that will be retired in 2013:

And introducing, the NEW in colours!

Let's look at them one by one and compare them with some of the core Stampin' Up! colours.
In the centre is the new Primrose Petals, flanked by Rose Red on the left, and Regal Rose on the Right.

In the centre is the new Raspberry Ripple (YUM!  But again, evidence of cruelty - I'm on a diet!), with Cherry Cobbler (See!  Diet!) on the left, and Riding Hood Red on the right (try saying that three times fast).

Gumball Green in the centre, with Garden Green on the left, and Wild Wasabi on the right.  

Midnight Muse in the centre, with Not Quite Navy on the left and Night of Navy on the right.

Last but not least, Summer Starfruit in the middle with Daffodil Delight on the left and More Mustard on the right.

What is your favourite new colour?  I'm torn.  I've been noticing Gumball Green and Summer Starfruit in the shops lately - they are suddenly on homewares, clothes, etc everywhere.  Just goes to show the clever designers at Stampin' Up! have their fingers on the pulse.

Leave me a comment telling me which is your favourite new in-colour and I'll draw a winner next Monday - you'll win something pretty (ribbon? or ink?  your choice) in the in colour you love.

Until then, 

Happy Father's Day

I hope all the fathers in my life have a beautiful day today. Thanks for being the strong, kind, generous, patient, funny and clever men you are.

And here are a couple of new cards just for them!

Stamps:  World's Greatest (NEW); For My Family;
Paper:  Soft Suede, Gumball Green Core'dinations (NEW from Mini), Very Vanilla;
Ink:  Midnight Muse (NEW), Soft Suede;
Other:  Antique Brads, Oval Accent Bigz Clear Die (NEW),  Apothecary Accents Framelits Dies (NEW), Bitty banners Framelits (NEW),  Woodgrain Textured Impressions Folder (NEW from Mini) Big Shot, Stampin' Sanding System (NEW).
Stamps:  World's Greatest (New), For My Family
Paper:  Midnight Muse (New), pool Party, Very Vanilla,  First Edition Speciality DSP
Ink:  Soft Suede, Midnight Muse;
Other:  Labels Collection Framelits, Bitty Banners Framelits (New)
Stamps:  It's Your Day (retired, sorry!),  The Open Sea;
Paper:  Crumb Cake, Not Quite Navy, Very Vanilla;
Ink:  Not Quite Navy, Cherry Cobbler, Crumb Cake
Other:  hemp twine (retired), Word Window Punch, Circle Punch, Mini silver Brads, Big Shot,  Square Lattice Embossing Folder.