Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Money to Spend?

Do you still have Christmas money to spend? Today is the last day for the fantastic specials of Stampin' Up!s December Frenzy Promotion, so don't delay: email me with your order! These specials really help the money go further!
As a special festive thank you I am offering free shipping. Pay by Visa or Bankcard (I also accept Paypal or direct banking) and you can shop in your PJs! (like I am now at 9am oh the joys of the holidays)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Celebrate a Tropical Summer

Weather is Auckland has certainly been tropical over the last few days. Walking out of the airconditioned supermarket yesterday I got that blast of warm humidity that transports you to memories of holidays in Fiji!  I'm looking forward to more tropical feelings by the pool over these holidays, especially once I have an icy drink in my hand.

With that spirit in mind I made and demonstrated this card at my team Christmas meeting last night. This bright card is a CASE from the very talented Dawn Olchefske. I  loved this fun design that uses a real straw, along with the new (summer mini) Island Oasis designer paper and the Island Flower die. I borrowed the Tropical Party stamp set (thanks to my upline, Donna) But I don't have the new square lattice embossing folder that gave such a cool texture on Dawn's card. So I came up with my own idea to give texture and dimension to my coconut. (NOTE: I will upload better quality photos later today)

First I cut a circle out of Chocolate Chip cardstock. You can use the Circle Scissors (on special in the December Frenzy) or the Circles #2 Die for the Big Shot to make the circle. Then run the circle through your crimper several times, turning the card each time to get a grid effect. Use your bone folder to partially smooth the card and you will end up with a subtle texture. I highlighted this by using my Early Espresso inkpad direct to paper.

Everyone at the party wanted to know how to make the cool 3D flowers from the summer mini (page 20), so we had a little play with the Island Flower Die. The orange flowers are super easy: just cut 3 of the tri-petal shapes from Tangerine Tango, and 2 from So Saffron. The beauty of the Big Shot is that you can cut all these pieces in one pass. Curl the petals using a pencil or chopstick. Layer together with a brad: you can add a pearl or jewel for extra sparkle.

The pink blossoms are a little more tricky.Tutorials on the web all seem to use a knotted string centre. In the process I had the brain wave to make a beaded centre to the flower. Of course when I got home I just to get out my bead box and create this flower. The beading makes it extra pretty.

I used a bead and sequin for the centre of each floweret. The cardstock is Pretty in Pink, sponged with Rose Red. One of the other shapes from the die is cut from Old Olive cardstock to form the leaves. If you would like to learn how to make this flower come to my Summer Pool Party 15 January 2011. There will be a demonstrations, a make and take and prizes. This is a free event to enjoy summer and the new mini and kick start your crafting year once the hype of Christmas is past. Just email me for your invitation.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Peach Parfait Thank You

Here's a quick share of a card I made as part of a Thank you gift. A set of these Fresh Cut notes go together fast and make a thoughtful gift for any occasion when packaged in a set.

I used the Fresh cuts cards with matching square envelopes. The square card makes a nice change. A piece of Peach Parfait designer paper is layered behind. I echoed the polka dots on the paper by embossing some Whisper White cardstock with the Perfect Polka Dots embossing folder. Before I ran the card and embossing folder through the Big Shot I brayered the male side of folder with a mixture of Peach Parfait and Tangerine Tango ink. I punched this paper out using the 5 petal punch. The polka dots are on the debossed side, so it is easy to stamp the little flower shape in the centre (from Baroque Motifs) in more Peach Parfait and accent with a pearl. I chose the thank you phrase from the Because I Care Hostess stamp set to finish the card.

You can see I am enjoying the beautiful colours in the orange range that Stampin' Up Offers!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Definitely Contempo! Non Trad Colours

Another quick card for Christmas: well quick is relative! By the time I had tied 100 ribbon bows I had got pretty good at it! Yes I made over 80 cards of this design for a friend whose corporate colour is orange!( Tangerine Tango and Peach Parfait) And I still love the Contempo Stamp set and the Ornament Punch after all that! In fact here is another card in non traditional colours (Pretty in Pink, Melon Mambo, Bashful Blue and Pear Pizzazz) using the same stamp and punch set.

Planning to trial some new card sizes as soon as my next order arrives with some new envelope sizes!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Quick but stunning Cards for Christmas

If you still have a lot of cards to make (gentle reminder: only 17 sleeps til Christmas), choose a simple design with a feature that makes it special: in the first card it is embossing (using the Big Shot), in the second a wide luscious ribbon.

This is a full reveal of two of my recent Stamp-a-Stack Cards. I am really pleased with how they turned out. The first one uses a Whisper White, Real Red with a touch of Old Olive colour scheme. I also used Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder, 5 petal punch, Real Red Ink, Stampin' Up gems and the sentiment is from Season of Joy.

The second card goes together so quickly: great for mass production. Colour scheme is Ridinghood Red, Always Artichoke and Very Vanilla. The feature is the stunning ribbon: this was the Ridinghood Red ribbon from the recent Dress Up Christmas promotion, but I have also used the current catalogue Real Red 1 1/4 inch striped grosgrain (with Old Olive and Whisper White) to equally good effect. The So Swirly wheel across the bottom, and the stamped sentiment from Curly Cute and a mat and another card is complete.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cherry on Top! Top Note box in Cherry Cobbler

We made this gorgeous box last month at team training. It really is just a glorified modified mini pizza box... but it packs a real wow with sponging and bling, organza ribbon and the yummy combination of cherry cobbler and old olive.

 The stamp set is Snow Swirled, and of course we used the Top Note Big Shot Die. Contact me if you want to learn how to make this box,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Santa's Hat: another Christmas Box

So Shelli's Creative Challenge for this month is to share a favourite technique. If you have been reading my blog recently you will know that I have been having a wonderful creative time making lots of different boxes and bags for Christmas gift packaging. I made this one several weeks ago, but haven't shared it yet. I got the inspiration when I saw triangle boxes that had been converted into witches' hats in several Halloween project blog posts, back in October.

Then I found a Santa Hat version, a seasonal box better suited to this part of the world. (Halloween isn't big in New Zealand) This was inspired by Paula Wright who I stumbled across on Facebook! She has some awesome Christmas ideas.

I used Real Red cardstock stamped in Real Red with one of the stamps from Season of Joy stamp set. The hat is trimmed with Whisper White punched with the scallop edge border, and the pompom is 8 scallop circles punched from more Whisper White. I scrunched them up then layered them together. A brad anchors them all together. The tag is made using the curly label punch again with a Seasons of Joy stamp and using Real Red and Old Olive markers. Whisper White grosgrain ribbon to close and its done! Cute!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Clean and Simple:Christmas

Here is a one layer card (quick and economical too) that I made for the Simplicity Challenge. The challenge was Back to the Beginning, using a technique that first got you hooked on stamping. Like many people, the magic of heat embossing was what really got me into stamping. The first Christmas cards I made featured a kiwi stamp embossed in gold on a torn mulberry mat... no heat gun of course, so they were embossed using the toaster! I hadn't even bought the stamp with cardmaking in mind: I had bought it to make quilt labels for an international swap I was in. The rest as they say, is history! (must be at least 15 years ago)
It would be fun to make a new card using that first stamp... maybe thats a challenge I should do in the New Year...

For this one the colours are Always Artichoke and Cherry Cobbler on a Very Vanilla base.  I used my bone folder to make the embossed lines at the bottom of the card. The stamp set is Season of Joy and I used my Versamarker pen to add the gold embossing powder for a subtle highlight to this clean and simple card.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Little Christmas Gifts: under $5

Yes December! It's definitely time to focus on quick craft ideas for little appreciation gifts and stocking stuffers. Here are a couple of ideas that come in under the $5 mark. I find $5 is often the guideline figure for staff santa presents... but it takes some ingenuity to come up with a worthwhile store-bought gift in that range. That is one of the joys of crafting: a unique individualised present that can be made in less time than it takes to find a parking spot at the mall in December! Both these project just require a couple of score lines and sticky strip combined with supplies you probably already have on hand (go on, admit it: you love stationery supplies too)

First up a little notepad holder with matching pen:

Ingredients: 1 sheet (total) cardstock (Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Whisper White) 73c
8cm 1.6cm wide grosgrain ribbon (old olive) 8c
sticky strip 15c
notepad 88c
pen 45c
inks (Old Olive, Tangerine Tango,Melon Mambo, Daffodil Delight, Pacific Point) and stamp set (Cheep Talk)

Total cost (NZD) $2.13

I have also made a handbag from the summer mini paper Island Oasis. I love this bright and summery paper and the matching Tropical Party stamp set is magic with it.

Open the handbag: suprise... its a little Post-It holder!

1/3 sheet of designer paper (Island Oasis) 56c
25cm Pumpkin Pie 6.4mm grosgrain ribbon 24c
Post-It notepad $2.50
sticky strip 22c
jewel 8c
velcro dot 16c
Cardstock scraps Melon Mambo and Whisper White
Ink (Pumpkin Pie) and Stamp set (Tropical Party)
5 petal Punch
Total cost (NZD) $3.71

Want to learn how to make these? Join my class Quick Christmas Gifts this Monday 6 December 7-9pm. Or get 3-4 friends together and I will come to you: I still have some daytime and a few evening dates available before Christmas! Email me now to arrange a time to suit.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

December is Here!

Unbelievable... December is here. Not one but two great promotions from Stampin' Up! start today. First of all is the new summer mini with some awesome new products. I can't wait to start creating some new projects: I have a travel scrapbook album planned as a holiday project using some amazing designer papers and stamps. Other "must-haves"  are a new basket weave embossing folder, and the new smooch spritz spray for instant glamour! You can see the mini online here; or email me with your postal address and I'll send you your personal copy. 

The other promotion is December Frenzy with some amazing specials on selected stamps and markers. Some great stocking stuffers here with stampin' markers only $4.17! and the fantastic Teeny Tiny Sentiments set works out at $1.60 per stamp! They are not that "teeny" either, and fit perfectly in the Word Window punch. Buy a present for a crafty friend, or treat yourself for some holiday crafting pleasure. Email me to place your order and you can tick some more things off your "to-do" list! Remember you can now use Visa or Mastercard to pay for Stampin" Up products. This promotion lasts most of the month, but you will need to order by 12th December to be sure of a pre-Christmas delivery.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Get to Convention in Melbourne for only $75!

As I know a lot of Stampin' Up Demos read this blog, a quick heads up that Air New Zealand Grabaseat has some super cheap airfares to Melbourne in May 2011. Just perfect for going to the Stampin' Up! conference! I got a return flight for $170 with luggage (have to add on another $142 taxes but its still a good deal!) Don't miss out: they are available ex Auckland or ex Christchurch. Hope this helps someone!

Sneak Peaks of Sunday's Stamp a Stack

If you need to get Christmas cards done in a hurry, book for a Christmas Stamp-a-Stack. You will make 9 cards in just 2 hours: 3 cards each of three designs, all with just the right amount of bling or ribbon to make them extra special.

Next one is this Sunday 21 November, 2-4pm at my home in Pakuranga. Total cost only $20: all you need to bring is adhesive. You will also make some bonus Christmas tags. Still a couple of places left, so book now. More details on my website

Friday, November 12, 2010

Bagalope Tutorial

I have done a simple tutorial for last week's bagalope gift bag. It can be viewed as a pdf here

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November News

Just as a little break from all the Christmas colours I made this bright card from the Cheep Talk stamp set. I thought the theme was perfect for keeping in touch... and for letting you know my November newsletter is about to go out. Join my mailing list if you want to be up-to-date with the latest events and promotions

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Gift Wrap in a Snap!

The Stampin' Around wheel is a fantastic way to cover a lot of territory in a little time!
Use it with a stamp pad for cards and tags, but it really comes into its own when used with an ink cartridge for continuous inking. Perfect for large sheets of wrapping paper or 12 x 12 scrapbook pages. 

Just choose a re-inker in the colour of your choice and ink up the correct sized cartridge to match your wheel (standard or jumbo).

Get your Christmas gift wrapping done in a flash with this cool tool. I have used it on a sheet of A3 copy paper which makes a very useful size wrapping paper. Night of Navy ink on white, with co-ordinating ribbon. 

Remember to start of rolling on scrap paper to get the wheel fully inked. You must keep rolling in one direction: I roll away from me as I find this gives best control. Put your index and middle finger on top of the handle to exert even pressure.

Once you have finished with the wheel, push the cartridge back, out of contact with the rubber. Roll off on scrap paper to get rid of excess ink, then roll over the Stampin' Scrub to get perfectly clean. Remember to keep rolling in one direction, rather than back and forth to make sure all the surfaces are cleaned. Then snap out the wheel, remove the cartridge and replace its cover. I store the cartridge in a sealed plastic bag between uses.

 I have added in some stars/flowers (Season of Joy) in Marina Mist and attached a gift card. (using the versatile Gifted stamp set and a couple of punches) Just right for a wrapping a book for my Book Club secret Santa. Hooray, something else ticked of the "to-do" list. 

Better yet, the So Swirly wheel I have used here is part of the Dress Up Christmas bundle promotion set: buy the bundle and you receive a free roll of ribbon. Thanks Stampin' Up! for helping make Christmas wrapping beautiful (and stress-free)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jolly Holiday Gift Boxes

Okay: my technological disaster is mainly resolved. Long story short: don't believe anyone when they say "oh upgrading from Vista to 7 is a piece of cake" and never ever do it the night before a blog hop you are participating in, no matter how much of a dog the old operating system is and how much better your life is going to be with the new one!! LOL

Enough of that: I just have to take new photos of my blog hop projects from last week: they will be up tonight. Thanks for your patience.

In the meantime here are the projects from last night's second treat boxes class. We made a box with the scallop envelope die and a matching gift card. You could make a little set of these cards to go in the box as a little pre-Christmas appreciation gift. Its the kind gift that is truely appreciated when you don't have to rush out to the shops on Christmas eve because you have run out of gift tags!

I used the Gifted Stamp set for the stocking images. There are 4 other stamps in the set, all perfect for quick tags or more advanced techniques. The snowflake is from my old favourite,  Season of Joy. Of course glitter was essential here, but it doesn't show too well in the photo.

Next up a mini pizza box. This is just the right size to hold a block of memo paper, a jumbo cookie, some fudge, or even calorie free stamping supplies!

Third project: A bagalope made using a Stampin' Up! Very Vanilla envelope: perfect surface for stamping on and fits my colour scheme of Very Vanilla, Always Artichoke and Cherry Cobbler taken from the Jolly Holiday Designer paper pack. Choosing one colour theme make it easy and economical to make a batch of gift packages that look stunning. Armed with a Stampin' Around So Swirly wheel and ink cartridge these a so quick to turn out... finish with a Designer paper topper and Very Vanilla taffeta ribbon. I have now added a brief tutorial for the bagalope here

I used the Gifted Stamp set here too: remember this stamp set is part of the "Dress Up Christmas" Promotion. Buy the stamp set and Jolly Holiday designer paper together and you will receive a free roll of exclusive ribbon... Not only that but you will have all your small gift packaging sorted! I will be placing an order this weekend, so contact me now if there is anything you would like me to include for you.

Last project was a small bag in a box.This makes a study package with its box base, and can be finished off in a number of ways. I kept it simple with the Extra Large Oval punch and some of the promotional Mistletoe ribbon. You can also make a larger version with a full sheet of 12 x 12 designer paper.

If you would like to learn how to make any of these projects, why not get a few friends together and I can run a workshop for you... my home or yours. It feels great to have unique boxes and bags ready for filling with treats: easy gifts in the busy end-of-year season.  Just email me to arrange a time to suit.

Friday, October 29, 2010

South Pacific Punch Blog Hop: Petal Card Punch

Hello and welcome to the inaugural South Pacific punch art blog hop!!! Unfortunately I am having a major technological crisis, so please check back soon for PHOTOS.
Update at 1pm (NZ time) now have one photo via my phone! My apologies. Please check back later this afternoon for the rest of the photos.
If you are already on the blog hop, you have come here from Karen Southwell's blog featuring the beautiful 2 step bird punch.

We are a bunch of Stampin Up demonstrators from New Zealand and Australia who love our Stampin Up punches. We have gotten together to showcase a selection of the punches you can purchase from Stampin Up. We know we will inspire you and encourage you to use those punches in new and beautiful ways. Please leave a comment and let us know what you think to go in the draw to win some yummy scrummy punch art blog candy (offer not available to SU demos).
I fell in love with the cute Petal Card punch and I hope you will be inspired by the versatile ways in can be used for cardmaking, scrapbooking and 3D projects. This punch is new to the 2011 Ideas Book, and there are so many ways to use it.Its also in the new slimline configuration that makes storage so much easier.
First a note about using this punch. It definitely works best on a flat surface. I use the heel of my hand to give it an extra push once it has punched through the card to ensure that it also gives deep impressions on the scoring lines.When punching lighter weight papers or vellum make sure you put through a double layer so it doesn't get munched in the punch.(great technical term). Because of the embossing part of the punch you cannot punch upside down and use the "window" to see where you are punching. So I stand and "eyeball" where the punch is going to fall on the card I am punching.
First of all you can simply make a mini Envelope. It comes out of the punch already scored and you just fold the petals into a swirl which needs no glue. This little envelope can be used in scrapbooking for hidden messages and memorabilia. Try using vellum for another look.

Just use glue dots to join 2 together to make a mini treat box. This is tiny (approx 1" square), but will still fit a bite sized treat. It also works perfectly Cute by the Inch Stamp set (Hostess Level 2).

You can make a bigger cube sized box by joining 4 punches together. I used a 1 inch square piece of cardstock to keep it all square.

Next I made a tube treat holder that is perfect for Hershey Kisses. The cardstock is scored at a fraction under 1 inch and the punch is used to make the end caps.I can't wait to try this out with acetate for a clear treat holder.

Now I have spent some time with this punch I have come up with some ways of using it so check back soon. Now continue on the blog hop.

Next is Sally Williams with the Flower Fancy Punch.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Do you want Fries with That?

This little treat container is so much classier with its package of mint truffle kisses than the usual fries! This is one of the gift boxes we made last night in class. We had a great group and everyone worked hard to complete 4 different boxes and and tags in 2 hours.

The mini French Fries box is made from a retired Designer Paper (doubled sided paper is perfect for this project) Just add a tag (Gifted stamp set) stamped in Chocolate Chip and matted with Real Red, and a mini cello bag tied with Real Red 1/8 inch ribbon. A cute appreciation gift for around $3.50 including the chocolates! Contact me if you want to learn to make this gift package: there are spaces in the class next week for more ideas

Friday, October 22, 2010


I made a thank you card last night using my latest Big Shot accessory: the Petals-a-Plenty embossing folder: I'll be featuring this folder in my Big Shot club night in November.

Deep impression embossing really looks great on the rich Very Vanilla cardstock. When I get some playtime this afternoon I'm using the same layout to make a Christmas card. The petals embossing folder is versatile enough to work for many different styles.

I also used the Hydranga from the Hostess set "Because I care". This was also the first outing for the flower, although I have used the "thank you" phrase alot already. I love this font. Cardstock colours are Very Vanilla, Almost Artichoke and Basic Black, with inks Concord Crush, Nearly Navy, So Saffron and Almost Artichoke. The fold is a "Z fold" - simple to do, but looks very effective while still fitting in a standard envelope.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

All the Trimmings... Christmas Ribbons and Designer Paper

These luscious ribbons are from the latest promotion from Stampin' Up! I can't wait for my order to arrive and I will be using the flocked Designer Paper Christmas Cocoa in my Sweet Treats course starting next week.

Isn't it gorgeous? The featured colours are Real Red and Soft Suede. The sophisticated colour scheme, flocking and metallic highlights add instant elegance to your holiday projects. This pack of Designer paper includes 2 each of 2 single-sided flocked papers and 2 each of 4 double-sided papers. (12x12). This paper is only available until 30 November, or while stocks last.

If you want to see these papers in real life, contact me to arrange a Christmas-theme workshop. Now is the perfect time to get gifts and gift wrapping ticked off the pre-Christmas list. Enjoying a gift wrapping workshop at home with your friends certainly beats braving the shopping mall the week before Christmas! Ask me how you can earn free ribbons...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Box tutorial and variations

One of the new sections in the Ideas Book is for Big Shot Die Cutting products. This is an amazing cutting and embossing system! I can't decide which is my favourite accessory: the vintage wallpaper embossing folder is gorgeous and I love all the diffeent things you can create with the scallop envelope die. One thing is for certain, I have a few things on my wish list! Good new for those of you who already have a Cuttlebug, is that nearly all the dies and folders work in that machine too. Call or email me if you want to check which are compatible.
While I prioritise my wish list  I have worked out the directions for making a box similar to the Box #2 using my trusty Fiskars trimmer and a bone folder. Of course if you prefer it can also be cranked out in a flash using the Bigz xl die and Big Shot. (page 155 in the catalogue)

You will need:
A4 cardstock
co-ordinating designer paper and ribbon
Bone folder
Sticky strip or mono glue
Cardstock, stamps and ink to decorate.

Start with a sheet of A4 and trim to 6 3/4 x 8 inches. With the 6 3/4 inch edge along the top guide, score  at 1 1/2 inches from each edge. Turn 90 degrees and score at 2 inches: 3 1/2 inches: 5 1/2 inches: 7 inches. Burnish all score lines (dashed lines) with bone folder.

Cut where marked (solid lines). Remove the shaded areas.

Using a 1 inch circle punch to punch a half circle out of the top front face of the box.

 Apply sticky strip or mono glue to the flaps and assemble the box.

Decorate, fill with treats, add ribbon and a tag and you have a perfect gift package.

In my finished box at the top of this post I used panels of designer series paper (retired Haiku) and Pumpkin Pie 1/4 inch grosgrain ribbon with More Mustard cardstock. I added Tiny Tags stamps and the jewellery punch with Tangerine Tango, More Mustard and Old Olive markers.

Check back tomorrow and I will have some variations to share with you using this box as a base.