Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Belated Christmas Wish!

I was hoping to get on here before Christmas, but my internet access has been sporadic as we shuffle furniture around to put in floors (which are now done!) and paint (still lots of that to do!).
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. We had a lovely day celebrating with family and friends. We always get together with my Mum's side of the family at a park, and the rain held off for the perfect amount of time. We were able to have a casual picnic lunch, and exchange gifts before the rain set in. Then we had dinner here with Dave's family (15 of them!). We always host it, and this year was no different, despite bare gyprock walls! No one minded and the extra space was nice :o) Boxing Day was spent recovering, and we also got stuck into painting downstairs. Today we visited my Dad's side of the family in Wollongong, then came back home for more painting. We're trying to get downstairs finished before we head up north for a week by the beach after New Year. Dave's got lots of New Year's Eve balloons to do though, so that might get in the way of that plan!
I managed to mail out 160 Christmas Cards...not quite as many as I had hoped, but I had to cut myself some slack this year. I kept my cards REALLY simple this year (thanks Circle Scissor!), and did 2 colour combinations:
I love the Snow Swirled set, so that was the one I chose to use. It's hard to tell in the pic, but the trees are all glittery.
To those I didn't manage to get a card sent out to, I hope you like this cyber version, and I hope you had a joyous Christmas, surrounded by loved ones.
Materials (all Stampin' Up!)
stamps: Snow Swirled, Occasional Greetings
ink: Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Shara Sand, Chocolate Chip
card: Whisper White, Kraft, Sahara Sand
other: Circle Scissor, 2 way glue pen, Dazzling Diamond Glitter, Walk in the Park DSP (retired), Ski Slope DSP (retired)

Friday, December 18, 2009

My Secret Santas

At Christmas time my team does a Secret Santa. I put the names of everyone who wants to participate in a hat, and everyone is allocated their Secret Santa recipient. We keep it secret until our team Christmas dinner, when we open our gifts and have a guess who we think our Secret Santa is. In the few weeks before the dinner we also send our Secret Santa recipient a card. Because I allocate all the names, the only one who it isn't a secret for is me. I thought I had it all organised (no mean feat, since we had nearly 30 participants!), but then imagine my shock when I received 2 cards in the mail, both signed "Secret Santa"! I thought I had really mucked it up, and was trying to think how it had happened and what on earth I could do about it. Then the next day, I received 2 more, and then 3 the next day. By this time I knew something fishy was going on. Without me knowing, my lovely team of wonderful ladies had joined forces to shower me with Secret Santa greetings. In the midst of renovation chaos, it was the nicest 2 weeks of mail that I have ever received! Each card was an absolute work of art.
Here they are, gracing my lounge room:
Each one had a cryptic message inside. I LOVE this one, Serial Killer style! On the night of our Christmas dinner they came clean, and told me how they had co-ordinated it (with Robyn P the brains behind the scheme). I feel so lucky to be part of such a thoughtful, generous, clever and talented group of ladies :o)
The Secret Santa gifts themselves were a sight to behold. The emphasis is on the packaging, rather than the actual gift (although the gift of Stampin' Up! goodies is easy to appreciate too!). Everyone took this to heart and went to SO much effort to make their gift packaging special. I have never seen so many gorgeous boxes, bags and containers. It was amazing. It was also so much fun making a gift for someone that you KNEW would appreciate the time and thought that had gone into it :o)
I received the most amazing handmade bag from Sarah, in Baja Breeze and Chocolate Chip (my favourites!). She had also made little tins and boxes inside, all exquisitely decorated, and even some handmade jewellery made form Stampin' Up! buttons. Also a gorgeous decorated Cookie tin, filled with homemade cookies! You can see the bag on the right and the cookie tin on the left. It was one of the most memorable gifts I have ever received.
This is what's under my Christmas tree at the moment, all from lovely team members.The kids are a bit distressed that there's nothing under there for them yet. Until the floors are done on Monday and Tuesday, I can't really wrap anything, as we'll be shuffling things all over the house. I think I'll be doing a marathon wrapping session in the wee hours of Christmas Eve!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Proud Mum Moment

This week we had our School Presentation Day awards, and School Reports came home. I had a sneaking suspicion it was going to be a positive occasion, so I made up a card for Amy and Jacob to tell them how proud we are of them. I used some Alphabet chipboard to spell out a fun "U R A star" card. I made it in a couple of different colour combos - Elegant Eggplant, Tempting Turquoise and Real Red for Amy:
I LOVE this new Polka Dot ribbon! The Chit Chat Rub-ons make a really quick and easy greeting too.
Kiwi Kiss, Tempting Turquoise and Pumpkin Pie for Jacob: It's really easy to dye the chipboard using an inkpad and sponge dauber. I punched out the star with the Large Star Punch, and added some fun buttons too. The Tombow glue does a great job of sticking it all on.
Luckily I had these all made up, with a book wrapped up to match (my kids are so easy to buy for. They both LOVE books!); both kids brought home excellent reports and both won awards at Presentation Day too. As Vice-Captain, Amy also did a fantastic job of presenting on the day too, so I was one very proud Mum :o)
Amy also had her Year 6 Farewell this week too (yes, it's been quite a week!). Here she is, my beautiful daughter, looking so grown up:
I can't believe she's off to High school next year! *sigh* ...excuse me while I go and have a little quiet cry

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Kids Christmas Cards

With everything we've got going on at the moment, I was thinking that this might be a good year for Amy and Jacob to (block your ears as I'm about to utter cardmaking profanity) BUY their Christmas cards. *gasp!* I know!....Can you believe I even thought such a thing?? I must have been closer to insanity than I realised! Thankfully before I could damage my children's sensitive souls with such a suggestion, they started pestering me to let them make their cards. Of course I said yes, as if no other option had crossed my mind...

Amy came up with this idea for Build-a-Roo when she first saw it in the catalogue back in April, and has stored it away in her little brain all year:
She stamped Build-a-Roo, and omitted the end part of his tail, and she has drawn a Santa hat on there. She was tossing up whether to put presents or the joey in the pouch, and decided on the joey for cuteness factor. The roo and joey both have Rudolph-red noses too! She stamped a snowflake background using Snow Swirled and watercoloured all the roos using Watercolour Wonder Crayons. The greeting is from the Window Dressing Hostess set. Amy chose Baja Breeze and Certainly Celery for something a bit different!

Jacob is a big fan of the markers. He has used my Bold Brights markers more than me! Whenever he picks up a stamp he always wants to make it multicoloured. He chose to use Christmas Classics for his Christmas cards, which was a perfect choice for this marker-obsessed boy!
All of his cards had slightly different combinations of stamps on them, but they were all coloured with markers. Jacob went for traditional Christmas Real Red and Glorious Green for his cards, and a traditional greeting too!
I was very impressed that they made all of their cards in one sitting (about 20 cards each). It took them a couple of hours, but they kept on going, and wouldn't let me help either!
Amy and Jacob would both love to hear what you think of their cards!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Jumbo Alphabet Christmas

We made these Christmas cards at one of my last Stamp-a-Stacks. I always like to show a few cards using non-Christmassy sets, in this case an Alphabet. This is one of my favourite alphabets, Jumbo Outline. It's normally $77.95, but has just been announced on the Inventory Clearance List for $38.98!! If you've been buying lots of pressies for everyone else, why not treat yourself to a bargain stamp set for Christmas. There are lots of other fantastic bargains on the list too!
This alphabet is perfect for stamping on plain or patterned paper and cutting out (like this), stamping and then watercolouring, or you can combine the two - stamp on Patterned Paper like I've done and then lightly watercolour with a Blender Pen in the same colour as the paper, just to make the letters stand out a bit more.

I'll be back soon to show you Amy and Jacob's Christmas cards for their friends!

Materials (all Stampin' Up!)
stamps: Jumbo Outline Alphabet, Snow Swirled, Many Merry Messages
ink: Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Chocolate Chip
card: Baja Breeze, Kiwi Kiss, Chocolate Chip
other: Baja Breeze Patterns DSP, Kiwi Kiss Patterns DSP, Mat pack, White Gel Pen, Kiwi Kiss Satin ribbon, Baja Breeze Striped Ribbon, Kiwi Kiss Striped Ribbon, Eyelet Border Punch, Scallop Edge Punch, Blender pen

Monday, December 14, 2009

Want Half Price Stamps??

Stampin' Up! Australia is having an Inventory Clearance Sale!
Some stamp sets are 50% off...but only while stocks last. There's also Designer Series Paper, glitter, ribbon and embellishments too! Entire alphabet stamp sets for $38.98! There are bargains to be had!
You can check out the list HERE

Email me if you'd like to place your order!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Renovation Report

This is what our house looked like a few days ago:The kids said it looks like it's all wrapped up for Christmas!
Upstairs now has all the plumbing and electricals in, and gyprock on the walls. Here they are doing the gyprock:
That photo has been taken from the rumpus room, and you can see the kid's bedroom doors and the bathroom door.
In the last 2 days, the cladding has gone on the outside, and windows too, so it's starting to look like a real house now!
Today they are patching up walls downstairs. Yesterday we had the stairs measured, and they are due to go in next week. It's looking like almost everything will be done by Christmas, so we'll be painting in January :o)
I've totally given up on cleaning anything now. There's going to be a MAJOR clean up at the end of all this!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Couple of Handy Tutorials

I've had a few questions about the Circle Scissor, and whether it is difficult to use. I love it, and find it extremely easy to use (unlike other horrible circle cutters I have used in the past!). I have made my 160 Christmas cards (all done now, just needing to be written in and sent off!), all with nice big circles on them. The circle scissor is so quick and easy, and makes a simple layout look a bit more special. Like my Razzle Dazzle card that I did for our Blog Hop:

I wish I had the time (and the video camera!) to do a tutorial for you, but since I have neither, fortunately some other SU! demos have done all the work for me :o)

Click HERE to watch one I found on You Tube. The Circle Scissor and Glass Mat are sold separately (you can see them on the last page of the Summer Mini Catalogue). For a real bargain, you might like to purchase my Circle Scissor Bundle...available only until the end of this month!

I have also been asked how to set grommets. They are super-easy too. No special tools required, unlike eyelets. You can see a tutorial for those HERE.

If you'd like to have a try of the grommets, without breaking the bank, you might like to join a Share. The first group is full, but I have started a second group. Shares close in 3 days!

I'll be back with some updated Renovation pictures soon....real progress has been made on that front! YAY!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Great News!

A few of the popular products from the Spring Mini Catalogue are still available for purchase even though the mini is now over. These products will also be available in next year's Idea Book & Catalogue (due for relaese in September).
Here is a list of the still-available products:

112534 Jumbo brads 5/16" Neutrals Assortment $15.50
112533 Jumbo brads 5/8" Neutrals Assortment $13.50
114889 Scallop Oval punch $30.95
106960 StazOn ink pad (White pad and refill) $22.95
109196 StazOn Cleaner $9.95

Friday, December 04, 2009

Twin Butterflies

My adorable twin nieces turned 1 last week (can you believe it??). Even though I know they're too young to appreciate cards and gift-wrapping yet, I knew their Mum would, so I had fun making their cards and pressies the same, but different.
It was a good chance to play with lots of new goodies from the Summer Mini too :o)
I've used Kaleidoscope DSP, "Butterfly Prints" stamp set and matching punch (see my Bundles for a great deal on these!) and the 1 3/4" Circle Punch too (sooo handy!)
I chose blue for Hannah:
It's Tempting Turquoise to match the Kaleidoscope paper. These papers have lots of Bold Brights colours, but they have a slightly faded-out look to them, like well-worn fabric. To co-ordinate with that, I sponged the Tempting Turquoise cardstock with Whisper White Craft ink. My 1 3/4" circle actually started it's life as a plain white circle. First I sponged it in Tempting Turquoise and Green Galore, and then pressed my Versamark inkpad all over it. Then I applied heat-and-stick powder, heated it until it is just sticky, and then applied dazzling diamonds glitter. One more blast of the heat tool to set the glitter and voila - bling! Certainly Celery ribbon and a Rhinestone brad complete the card.
I have to say, I'm loving the butterfly set and matching punch. It sure beats cutting out all those wings!
Of course I had to make wrapping to match. This is a pull-treat pouch: And inside is....

A Colin Buchanan cd! The girls love music already, and I figure you're never too young for memory verses, right?!

Here is Becca's version in Pixie Pink (also sponged with white):

More gift-wrapping to match:And the peek-a-boo surprise inside:

A Colin dvd this time. And hiding behind is a Target voucher for Mummy and Daddy to spend ;o)

Materials (all Stampin' Up!)
stamps: Butterfly Prints, Wow Flowers
ink: Tempting Turquoise, Pixie Pink, Whisper White
card: Tempting Turquoise, Pixie Pink, Whisper White
other: Kaleidoscope DSP, Butterfly Punch, Certainly Celery grosgrain ribbon, Word Window Punch, Clear Rhinestone brads, Horizontal Slot punch

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Summer Mini Bundles

The Summer Mini is here! If you haven't got your copy yet, simply email me with your address and I will be happy to mail one out to you. You can also view it online HERE.
If your wishlist is huge, why not take part in my Special Offers.....Get a Free Bonus when you purchase my Summer Mini bundles, and joining a Share is a great way to try a sample of everything without blowing the budget.
Places are limited, so don't miss out!
There are 3 Summer Mini Bundles to choose from. You may like to purchase just 1, 2 or even all 3. The more you purchase, the more freebies you will qualify for, and the more chances you have to WIN!

#1 Something Sweet Bundle $75.90*
Something Sweet Stamp Set (p 9) +1 3/4" (4.4cm) Circle Punch (p 8)
= 12 Sweet Treat Cups FREE

#2 Butterfly Bundle $56.90*

Butterfly Prints Stamp Set (p 12) + Butterfly Punch (p 12)

=a marker for FREE (in the colour of your choice) OR 20% off Flight of the Butterfly Stamp Set (Main Catalogue page 82) - $43.16 - over $10 off!

#3 Circle Scissor Bundle $92.90*

Circle Scissor (p 22) + Glass Mat (p 12)

= 2 FREE markers (in the colours of your choice) OR Dotto re-positionable adhesive 50% off ($12.50 instead of $24.95)

For each Bundle you order, you will go into the draw to win any Hostess set of your choice! (Level 1, 2 or 3)

* normal 5% or $5.95 (whichever is greater), Shipping and Handling applies.
Bundles only available until 31st December, 2009

Summer Mini Shares

20 buttons (10 Playground, 10 Sherbet)

9 cards (3 of each colour)

3 handcrafted, crocheted flowers (3 sizes)

REAL RED POLKA DOT RIBBON ¼ roll (approx 2.3m) $5.20

¼ roll (approx 2.3m) $3.90

12 small and 4 large grommets in 4 colours

Buy all 6 shares for $35 (a saving of over 5%!)


Stampin' Up!'s 5% Shipping & Handling Charge is included in the Share price, but if you need your shares mailed out to you, postage will be at actual cost.

The Closing Date for Shares is 14th December, 2009

Send me an email to join a Share!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Summer Mini Blog Hop

It's HERE!

Welcome to the Stampers Anonymous Blog Tour! You may have just come from Sharon's blog, but if you are starting here, don’t worry … you can make the complete circuit just by following the links at the end of each post. There are 14 stops along the way and we hope you will visit each one to see the gorgeous creations we have to show you!

For our first tour we decided to showcase the beautiful new products in the Summer Mini, available to you from December 1st. At the end of each post there will be a link to take you to the next stop on the tour. It would be fantastic if you could “share the love” and leave a comment! So grab a cuppa, sit back, relax and enjoy!
I have 4 projects to show you. First I have a dragonfly card that I made using the (NEW!) "Nature's Nest" Stamp Set. It's a beautiful set to watercolour:
I've used Baja Breeze, Close to Cocoa and Not Quite Navy, and coloured on Watercolour paper using Blender Pens and inkpads. I've made the wings and the inner part of the sentiment glossy using Crystal Effects. I've stamped a small flower from the (NEW!) "Razzle Dazzle" set in the background, and the 'friendship' sentiment is from the (NEW!)"For Everything" set. I've layered it on a Designer Label that I cut in half to make narrower. Lots of sponging on this one, and I also crumpled the Not Quite Navy piece and then sponged the creases to give it more texture.
I've gone pink for my next creation:
I've used the very pretty (NEW!)"Razzle Dazzle" set for my main image. I inked up the whole image in Pink Pirouette and then used a Pretty in Pink and Regal Rose marker to highlight parts of it. I made the large circle with the (NEW!) Circle Scissor (love, love, love this tool!) and sponged around it. The sentiment is also from "Razzle Dazzle" and I stamped in Chocolate Chip ink onto Pink Pirouette cardstock and punched it out with the Word Window. Isn't the (NEW!) pink ribbon just to die for? It's so soft and luscious. The white patterned border are (NEW!) "Dots and Designs" Rub-Ons. I layered my card on Kraft cardstock, just to take away from the 'pink-ness' a bit!
The next one is not so girly. I needed to make a card for Jacob's birthday yesterday. 9 year-old boys are pretty hard to impress, but when Jacob opened this card he said "Your cards are getting pretty clever Mum. You'll be doing pop-ups next!" LOL
I had lots of fun making this one....and I used all Bold Brights colours! Real Red, Tempting Turquoise and Yoyo Yellow *shock!* I've used the (NEW!) "Something Sweet" set to make a gumball machine, and filled it with mini m&ms. This set co-ordinates with (NEW!)Sweet Treat Cups and the (NEW!) 1 3/4" Circle Punch! There are lots of little details on here - a small (NEW!) silver grommet on the gumball machine, and the (NEW!) ribbon has pretty white polka dots on the other side, but I've used the plain side, which just has stitching. The greeting is a (NEW!) "Chit Chat" Rub-on. Here's a close-up pic:The 'arrow' has been made from a large and small photo corner punch with the ends trimmed off. I didn't want him to have to destroy the card to get at the m&ms, so I made it a slider. And this is what it looks like inside:
When the m&ms are gone, he can still use the slider to reveal the greeting and stamped gum-balls inside.
The final creation I have to show you is a little box with accordion sides and 6 scallop notes inside. I've decorated it all using the (NEW!) "I {heart} hearts" set. Here's the outside of the box:
This is what it looks like from the side:

And inside:And this is the set of (NEW!) Scallop Notes:These are so cute, and the perfect size for a little gift card. They come in a mixed pack of Baja Breeze, Pink Pirouette and Chocolate Chip, with Very Vanilla envelopes. Mine all have a punched window on the front, and since the (NEW!)"I {heart} hearts" set co-ordinates with the 2 heart punches, this came together so quickly. I'm thinking this would make a great class in February, or I could do it as a workshop for a group of people at your house...
Well, that’s all from me. Now you’re off to enjoy the wonderful creations of Kerry (the brains behind this whole adventure!). Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. Don't forget to check out the Summer Mini Catalogue on line tomorrow (email me if you'd like a hard copy!), and I'll also be hosting some Special Shares and Bundles that I will post up here tomorrow and also send out in my newsletter. Stay tuned for that!

The Renovation Saga

I've had so many lovely emails asking how the renovations are going, with messages of support and words of encouragement. Thank you all, I appreciate each and every one of you. I'm taking your advice and not doing much housework at the moment. Although I can't help myself, and I have to vacuum at the end of each day, and give the bathroom a once-over, but that's it!
So this is where we're at at the moment:

The upstairs floors are down, wall frames are up and roof frames too. It's all ready for the roof and cladding now. There's been a bit of a delay with the roofing. It was meant to be going on on Friday, but when the truck arrived with the roof sheets (all pre-cut) they were the wrong colour! They were grey, but not the right shade of grey (and we all know how important getting the right shade is! That would be like making a card and having your ink colour not match your cardstock! LOL). So the correct colour has been ordered (at no extra expense to us, because it wasn't our mistake, thank goodness!). That will now go on on Wednesday, and it is all quiet here at the moment because until that goes on, they can't do the walls, and until the walls go on, they can't do the windows, etc etc. We're still hoping for lock-up stage by Christmas (keep your fingers crossed for me!)
Now inside...Here is Amy's room being demolished, and that wooden framework is where my Craft Room used to be: That all got knocked down on Thursday morning. I must say that I'm glad last week is over! We were away all last weekend, so I had 3 days to completely empty Amy's Room, my Craft room and our Dining Room. I originally thought I would have until Monday (today), but things progressed faster than I had anticipated! Thank goodness my Mum came and helped pack boxes, Dad came to help disassemble and re-assemble Amy's furniture in Jacob's room (it wouldn't fit through the doorways and down the hall), and Mum also had the kids for 2 nights so we could work until the wee hours doing it all. Dave has had an average of 12 school formals per day to decorate over the past few weeks, so he has hardly been here at all, and I still had classes last week too....madness!
The dust and debris has been incredible. I was warned, but I don't think anything can prepare you for it. My kitchen adjoins the dining area (you can just see the top of our servery bench at the bottom right hand corner of the pic above) and when the ceilings came down, there was dust and muck everywhere. It coated all the kitchen surfaces, every crack and crevice, and even managed to find it's way into the rooms whose doors I had shut....lovely!
My "Craft Room" is now in our bedroom. It's definitely not ideal, but at least I still have somewhere to stamp! If I didn't have that, I really would go insane!

That's our bed at the bottom of the pic, so my craft desk is literally 1 metre from where I sleep. I have been banned from any insomniac stamping though! The desk is much smaller than I'm used to, so I'm having to be a very tidy stamper and clean up as I go!
We had another drama on Friday (having not yet gotten over the roofing drama) when we came home from buying bathroom fittings, to find a wall going up where there's not meant to be one! It's pretty much where the builder's ladder is in the pic above, and somehow a dotted line on the plans got coloured in, somewhere between the plans being submitted to council and the final draft being signed by us. Unfortunately, it's not just a matter of taking the wall out, because they have it supporting a steel joist that's holding up the second storey! We are still waiting to find out what's happening there. I'm insisting that the wall can't stay because it's right where my Craft desk is going!!, the saga continues!

Well done if you've made it through all this. I'll keep you posted (or would you rather I didn't?!)

A Couple of Reminders

I've been busy getting ready for our Blog Hop tonight, but I thought I'd pop in with a couple of reminders :o)

1. Today is the last day to order from the Spring Mini. I'll be putting in my last order at 9pm tonight, so let me know if you need anything!

2. The Summer Minis are postal! I've sent out my customer copies. Just email me your current address details if you would like a copy! It will be on line tomorrow.

I have some more pics of our renovation to show you, so I'll be back later with those!

The Countdown Begins!

I'm so excited (and I just can't hide it!) My team and I are getting together to showcase the gorgeous products available in the brand new Summer Mini which starts on the 1st December. Our Blog Hop tour will start at 8pm on the 30th November and you will be able to "hop" from Blog to Blog until you are back where you started. There are 14 stops in all, and each one will have inspiring projects for you to admire. It's going to be awesome!

...And as if that wasn't enough excitement, I will also be doing my ever-popular "12 Cards of Christmas" again. I'll tie it in with the countdown and show 1 project each day from Day 12 down to Day 1. You'll be in an absolute frenzy of excitement by the time December hits!

In the meantime, don't forget that the Spring Mini finishes at the end of this month, so you'll need to let me know if you need anything before it's gone forever!


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