Monday, September 29, 2008

Last day to Free Wheel!

Well, the promo actually finishes tomorrow, but today is the last day you can Free Wheel with me. We're heading off camping with a couple of other families tomorrow morning. It's school holidays here in NSW, so we're taking advantage of the lovely Spring weather (hoping it holds out!) to get away from it all for a couple of days.

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaThis is a nice quick card I made with my favourite bundle on offer, 'Priceless' and 'So Swirly'. I'll send this card to anyone who orders a Free Wheelin' bundle with me by 9pm tonight, and I'll also include a little thankyou bonus thrown in! Email me to take advantage of this offer.
I think this card is fairly self-explanatory. The only slightly tricky bit is to get the shading on the butterflies wings, I inked the butterfly in Almost Amethyst first, and then sponged Lovely Lilac ink on the stamp with a dauber, before stamping on Whisper White cardstock.

Stamps: Priceless, Short and Sweet, So Swirly Jumbo Wheel
Ink: Lovely Lilac, Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery
Cardstock: Lovely Lilac, Almost Amethyst, Certainly Celery, Whisper White

Other: White gel pen, Large Oval Punch, Small Oval Punch

Friday, September 26, 2008

September Stamp-a-Stack

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaThese were the designs for this month's Tuesday Stamp-a-Stack classes. I showed everyone a nifty watercolour cheat...stamp on coloured paper! This essentially gives you a ready-made background wash of colour for you, and you only need to do a bit of light water colouring in a deeper tone over the top. It makes it quick and easy to colour, and is much more forgiving than colouring on white.
All of these cards have been stamped in black Stazon ink, using the "Bloomin' with Beauty" set from the mini (which I LOVE). I've used my watercolour crayons and an aqua-painter to colour with. The base cardstock is Confetti White and Confetti Cream. It has a light fleck in it, which is really pretty, and I find it a bit sturdier as a card base than the Whisper White and Very Vanilla. The layer over the top is River Rock and Soft I will miss these two when they disappear in March!! I've sponged around all the edges, and added some interest to the corners with the photo corner punch and some paper piercing. I wanted the photo corners to stand out a bit more, so I pressed them into my inkpad to deepen the colour of them and give them an interesting texture. The ribbon is White Taffeta and Very Vanilla Grosgrain.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I Enjoy Team Meetings!

This was the card that I designed for the make-and-take at our last team meeting. I have a meeting every month with my team (Stampers Anonymous) to share our stamping creations and experiences, as well as business tips and information, over a cuppa and some yummy treats. We all take turns bringing the nibblies, and preparing the make-and-take, and this time it was my turn for the make-and-take!
Even as my team grows, I don't ever want to stop stamping's so much a part of what we are about. This make-and take is really simple, and didn't take long to make, even having to share all the supplies. We all pitched in and made some extras, so that I could mail them out to all the girls who couldn't make it to the meeting.
I used the Daisy Dash wheel in Versamark ink on the background, and filled in the flower centres with a white gel pen. 'Enjoy' (from the Spring Mini) has been stamped in Blue Bayou ink on Whisper white cardstock. The small flower and words (from the same set) have been stamped in Purely Pomegranate ink. I punched the flower out with the 1/2" circle punch, and popped it up using Dimensionals, and the words have been punched out with the word Window punch (it beats trying to stamp it straight!). A piece of the gorgeous double stitched Purely Pomegranate ribbon adds that finishing touch.
This would make a great masculine card, by substituting the flowers for stars, spots, or something more 'manly'. I love the way 'enjoy' fills the card up so nicely that it leaves very little work to do!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gift Certificates

I love making pretty gift certificate wallets. This is an example of one of my birthday ones, and soon I'll get cracking on making a Christmassy version...I'm thinking Holiday Harmony paper and Pomegranate Satin ribbon may make an appearance on them!
If you would like to get your hands on one of these, just give your loved ones my email address or phone number, and I'll do the rest.
We all know the Silly Season is just around the corner, and we also know that our hubbies can sometimes take a while to get a hint, so you may have to start working on him now! A few strategically placed post-it notes should do the trick ;o)

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaOn this gift wallet, I used Soft Sky cardstock and ribbon, along with Spring Silhouettes 12x12 paper. The embellishment has been made with a Pretties Kit flower, dyed using a dauber and Soft Sky Inkpad. I then layered circles in Soft Sky and Whisper White, and the centre circle has been stamped using the floral motif from 'Brocade Backgrounds', and finished off with a clear Rhinestone brad in the middle.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Baby Shower Invitation

Thanks for all the Congratulations on my published effort, both here and by email. It was interesting that some of you said that you recognised my style...I didn't know I had a style! LOL
I guess if I do it would be this: clean and simple...I'm not sure if that's a good thing, though!
This is the Baby Shower invitation I made for my sister-in-law:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaShe's pregnant with twin girls (yikes!), and I'm hosting her baby shower in a couple of weeks (double yikes!). She's due in December, but we all figure it's more likely to be November, judging by her girth!
These were really quick to make. I stamped a small flower from 'Little Pieces' all over some Pretty in Pink cardstock, and highlighted the centres with my white gel pen. I punched out a circle using the Round Tab punch twice. The inside of the card is lined with a piece of Regal Rose cardstock, with the Shower details printed on the bottom. I stamped the babies from 'All in the Family' onto Whisper White cardstock in Black Stazon. The heads and bodies are 2 separate stamps, and I didn't need the Stamp-a-ma-jig to position them. I then punched them out with the Scallop circle, and coloured them lightly with Pretty in Pink and Regal Rose inks using my Blender pens. The "You're Invited" stamp is from 'Cheer and Wishes' and has been stamped in Black Stazon also. A piece of pink gingham ribbon wrapped around the spine of the card finishes it off. I wheeled some envelopes with the 'Daisy Dash' wheel (sooo quick and easy), in pink, of course!

Edited to add: A few people have asked how I did the trick of making a circle with the Round Tab punch. You can see how HERE. :o)

Monday, September 22, 2008

Cover girl!

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaThis is the front cover of the latest Australian Cardmaking, Stamping and Papercraft magazine, and that's my card on the left there! It's always exciting to be published and even more exciting when they decide to put your card on the cover. This was also the first time they asked me to produce something for the magazine, so that was nice too.
Here's a closer look at the card:
Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI was asked to make a card for the "My Favourite quote" article. I chose the quote 'best friends listen to what you don't say'. Making the card was the easy bit...the hardest part was coming up with some words to say why I'd chosen that quote, without it sounding too cheesy. You can read what I came up with on page 61 of the mag, and decide for yourself whether it's corny or is pretty corny, but true, too!

Stamps: Stampin’ Up! 112328 Garden Whimsy (set of 8), Stampin’ Up! 112364 Polka Dot
Card: Stampin’ Up! Blush Blossom, Groovy Guava, Certainly Celery, Glossy White.
Ink pads: Stampin’ Up! Blush Blossom, Groovy Guava, Certainly Celery, Wild Wasabi Classic Inkpad
Punches: Stampin’ Up! 107305 Large Oval, Stampin’ Up! 104942 6mm Circle
Other tools: Sponge Daubers
Embellishments: Stampin’ Up! Groovy Guava Double-Stitched Ribbon
Cutting tools: Paper Trimmer
Adhesives: Stampin’ Up! SNAIL adhesive, Stampin’ Dimensionals

Trim a piece of Blush Blossom cardstock to 10 x 14.3cm. Stamp lower ¾ with Polka Dots in Groovy Guava ink. Punch an oval out of the lower right-hand corner, and tie a piece of Groovy Guava ribbon at the point where the polka dots stop.
Trim a piece of Glossy White Card to 4 x 7.5cm. Carefully ink Tulip stamp in Blush Blossom and Certainly Celery. Use a sponge dauber to add dimension to stamp by sponging on Groovy Guava and Wild Wasabi ink before stamping onto Glossy White piece.
Use 6mm circle punch to take a “bite” out of each corner.
Cut a piece of Certainly Celery cardstock to 4.5 x 8cm. Sponge edges in Wild Wasabi ink.
Stamp Quote in Wild Wasabi on Glossy White cardstock.
Adhere all elements, popping up the Blusg Blossom layer, and the focal image with Dimensionals.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My World Cardmaking Day Event

I need your help!
Come and Help Stamp Out Haemophilia!

Every year I make Christmas cards for the Haemophilia Foundation of NSW, to raise much-needed funds. You can read about last year's effort HERE.
This year will be no different, except that I want to make MORE cards. But there's no way I can do it alone. Already I have had the help of some fantastic Stampin' Up! Demonstrators. This is my stash of cards, card-fronts, and donated cardstock so far:
Can you believe that box on the bottom left was donated by one person...and there's another layer of cards underneath those!! I couldn't believe it when it arrived in the mail. Thanks so much, Cameron!

There's lots more work to be done, though. All the cards need greetings stamped inside, copyright stamps and Haemophilia stickers on the back, envelopes stamped, and they need to be packaged up into plastic sleeves. So, I need HELP!

When: Saturday 11th October
Where: 27 Ryan St Dundas
Time: 10am-10pm (come when you can!)
RSVP: Please email me to let me know if you'll be able to come and lend a hand

Come along anytime from 10am-10pm. Come for an hour, or stay for a few, it's up to you! Customers, friends, stampers, non-stampers, Demonstrators... anyone is welcome!

If you can't make it on the day but would still like to help, donations of standard-sized envelopes are gratefully accepted, as well as hand-made Christmas cards or card-fronts. I also need willing volunteers to sell packs of cards to their friends and family!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Colour Challenge #23 - Take 2

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaThis is the second card I came up with for Kristina's Colour Challenge. Scroll down to see the first! I find it hard to photograph Old always seems to turn really Kermit-the-frog green. So, you'll just have to imagine this card more olive-y. I borrowed the layout from the US catalogue (page 137).
I made the curve freehand with the Cutter Kit, and glued circles behind it for a scalloped edge. The Pumpkin Pie flower is from Blooms Die-cuts, and the So Saffron Flower has been stamped with "In the Spotlight" (in So Saffron ink) and punched out with the 5-petal flower. I highlighted the dots with my White gel pen. The flower centres are also from "In the Spotlight", and I've also used the Boho Blossoms punched and co-ordinating "One of a Kind" stamp set. The word 'hello' is a rub-on. I've used a strip of Bravo Burgundy cardstock and some Pumpkin Pie ribbon to balance the left hand side of the card. I used more rub-ons on the cardstock, and a piece of Striped Pumpkin ribbon to jazz it up a bit. I then lined the inside of the card with Prints Patterned paper to cover up the mechanics!

Colour Challenge #23 -Take 1

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI decided to dust off my 'Heartfelt Thanks' set for this one. Like a lot of demos, I got this set in my Starter Kit, loved it, used it to death, and then haven't used it since!
This is one of those cards that just didn't turn out how I saw it in my head. I must say, I really don't like Bravo Burgundy!! I think I'd quite like this card in some different colours!
I've stamped on Naturals Ivory. I did some 2-step stamping, and added some leaves and dots with my Markers. The greeting is from "So Many Sayings", punched out with the Word Window punch, and a Pumpkin Pie eyelet added. The ribbon is Old Olive Wide grosgrain, which my camera has turned a bit fluoro!
As soon as I made this card, I knew I wanted to try the challenge again. I just didn't feel I did the colours justice (darn that Bravo Burgundy!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I've been busy...

...catching up on some Elite Challenges. For those of you who don't know, Elite Challenges is a blog where members of Angela Sargeant's team, Elite Stampers can post their challenge submissions. At the moment Carol is doing a great job managing the site, and posting monthly challenges for us. Last month was so busy for me that I didn't get to make the challenges, so now I'm getting caught up! I love participating in a challenge, and seeing what everyone else comes up with. Having said that, participants have been a little light-on lately...Come on girls!!

Here are my latest contributions:

Sketch Challenge 12

Colour Challenge Soft Moss

Colour Challenge Old Bayou

Stamp Set Challenge Season of Joy

Go and check them out, and let me know what you think!

And on the subject of Challenges, I've just completed Kristina's latest colour challenge. My bed is calling me now though, so I'll be back in the morning to show you!

Playing with Punches

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaSome time ago, I saw someone had made an owl with their Stampin' Up! punches. As you do, I stored it away in my brain with the thought "I must try that one day". Then, when I finally got back to it, of course I couldn't remember where I'd seen I've come up with my own owl. I have no idea how he compares to the original I saw, but I think he's turned out pretty cute!
If you see the original, let me know, so I can credit them here.

Here's my owl recipe:
body: 1 3/8" circle punch
wings, beak, feet : Boho Blossoms punch
eyes: 1/2" circle punch, 1/4" circle punch

I used Close to Cocoa, Whisper White, Pumpkin Pie and River Rock, and stuck him together with 2-way glue (LOVE this stuff for gluing fiddly bits!). The Designer Series Paper is "Dashing" (I've sanded the edges with a Sanding Block to expose the white edges). The stamp is from "One of a Kind" in the Mini. I've popped him onto a little Love Note.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The make-over!

It was great reading all your tips on how to improve my card...I think I'll have to post some duds more often! LOL

I've taken all your tips on board, and made a new version:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI like this one much better! :o)

I used Chocolate Chip card base, instead of the Groovy Guava, and stamped on Whisper White, instead of Very Vanilla. I substituted Groovy Guava stitched ribbon, and used a rub-on for the sentiment. I also switched the sentiment to the other side,so it would be more balanced. What a difference those few changes make!

I actually like Groovy Guava, but as some of you said, it has to be paired with the right colours, and in the right proportions. Some of you suggested switching to Chocolate Chip ribbon on the first card I made. I did originally have Chocolate Chip ribbon on there, but it just didn't look right with the words stamped in Chocolate Chip too.

OK, so let me know what you think of this one!

Take the survey!

If you're in my customer newsletter list, you would have received this already, but Stampin' Up! has also given me permission to post it on my blog.

Stampin' Up! is inviting you to share your thoughts and opinions about its products, the catalogue, online options, and your Demonstrator.

Please click HERE to take a short 10 minute survey.

However, to keep the survey meaningful, please only take this survey once, and only if you are an Australian resident who has purchased products from a Stampin' Up! demonstrator.

Your responses are confidential. You will not be asked for any personal information and your answers will not be disclosed to other parties. You will not be subjected to any marketing or sales efforts as a result of your answers to this survey.

The deadline for completing the survey is Wednesday, 24 September 2008. After this date, the link to the survey will no longer be active.

Thankyou in advance for your time and opinion.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Dud!

Every now and then I like to show you a card that I really don't like....just to show you that we all make things that don't turn out the way we want them to!
I was thinking the other day that I'd like to make a card with this colour combo - Groovy Guava, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla (it even sounds yummy!). And I was also thinking that I hadn't made a No Cutting card for ages (go here to see what I'm talking about). The "Free Wheeling" Promo was the perfect excuse I needed to make a card combining these 2 thoughts (I don't need much encouragement to make a card!).
So I whipped this one up in just a few minutes, immediately hated it, and it has sat on top of my filing cabinet ever since! I wasn't even going to show you all, but I do think it's good to know that we all make duds sometimes :o)

Let me know how you think I could improve this card, or whether I need to toss it, and start over!

Stamps: Priceless, So swirly Jumbo Wheel
Card: Groovy Guava, Very Vanilla
Ink: Blush Blossom, Groovy Guava, Close to Cocoa, Chocolate Chip and Very Vanilla

Other: Kraft Taffeta Ribbon

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

One of a Kind Stamp-a-Stack

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaThese are last month's Stamp-a-Stack designs that we made on Tuesdays during August. We used the "One of a Kind" stamp set from the Mini Catalogue, and these cards really show how versatile the set is. I LOVE the way there is a matching punch to punch out all those little flowers cutting out! I also love the 'for you' sentiment, with the little flower in the corner. We used sponge daubers to colour the large flower - the quickest way to colour, ever! The vase has been made by chopping a sliver off the top and bottom of the large oval punch, and the leaves have been cut out from 2 petals of one of the flowers.
The colours I've used are Sage Shadow, Not Quite Navy and a touch of Soft Sky.
If you have any questions about these cards, or would like to make them in your home with your friends, email me on <----NEW email address, please delete the old (madballoons) one if you have it in your address book!

Monday, September 08, 2008


Last month I had to make a special birthday card for a couple of special customers (Hi Di and Robyn!), and I wanted to use some gorgeous new stuff from our mini that they wouldn't have seen before. So, I pulled out the Summer Picnic papers, Blooms Die cuts and Silver Hodgepodge, and made 2 cards very similar to this one. Then, because I'd had so much fun making them, and I still had the scraps of paper on my desk, I made a couple more! The strip of blue that you see on this card is actually the other side of the Double-sided paper. I just folded the top over, to give a contrasting strip. The word 'thankyou' is a rub-on.

I think this card really shows what Stampin' Up! is about: top quality products that all match perfectly, so the hard work is done for you, and all you have to do is put it together!

products used:
Summer Mini - Blooms Die cuts (page 10), Summer Picnic Designer series Paper (page 12), Styled Silver Hodgepodge Hardware (page 17)
Main Catalogue- Cherished Memories Rub-ons, River Rock Textured cardstock, River Rock Double-stitched ribbon, Old Olive cardstock, Stampin' Dimensionals.

Friday, September 05, 2008

A Quick one!

This is a card I made to match the bag-a-lope in THIS post. This is a great card for those times when you need to dash out the door to a party, and you realise you haven't got an appropriate card made.
Simply grab an A5 Whisper White card (you can buy these in a pack of 20 for $11.50, with envelopes, and they are even pre-cut and pre-scored for you!), wheel "So Swirly" in Bashful Blue, stamp the butterfly from "Priceless" in Purely Pomegranate, and the small flower in Blue Bayou. Add a greeting (mine is from "Short and Sweet") and some ribbon, and you are done! I stamped the envelope to match, and also added a bit of sparkle with 2-way glue and Dazzling Diamonds glitter.
How easy is that?? Now if that hasn't convinced you to take part in This Month's Promotion, I don't know what will.
Now I really do have to dash out the door to a party...a Stampin' Up! Party of course! We're making Christmas cards tonight (Hi Deb and girls!)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A card by Amy!

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaI thought it was about time you all had a card by Amy. Amy made this a while ago for her Grandad's birthday. Here she is to tell you how she made it:

I chose these colours myself, by just picking out some that I thought would look good together. I got the Pumpkin Pie paper and stamped Big Pieces with the Pumpkin Pie ink pad. Then I stamped Little Pieces on to the blue paper with the Blue Bayou ink pad and stuck that to the Old Olive paper. I used a plastic template and a pencil to mark 4 circles for my eyelets, and then made 4 holes with the Cropadile. I even set the eyelets myself! Then I and stuck that to the Pumpkin Pie paper. Then I got Whisper White and Real Red paper and stuck them together. Then I stamped 'to my' and 'wonderful' on it, and got a big and little piece and stamped them on it too and stuck that to my card. I stamped the alphabet in all the colours, and punched out squares to spell 'Grandad'. I punched a Photo Corner to go in the corner, and popped it up using Dimensionals. I hope you like my card!

Colours: Pumpkin Pie, Old Olive, Blue Bayou, Real Red
Stamps: Big Pieces, Little Pieces, Wonderful Favourites, Alphabits
Other: 1/4" Circle Punch, Photo Corner Punch, Crop-a-dile, Red eyelets, Mat Pack

Isn't she clever? I hardly helped her at all with this one. She'll be taking classes in no time!

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Free Wheelin'

Stampin' Up! have announced a great promotion for September. You can read all about it HERE

There are 6 stamp sets to choose from, and with the purchase of each, you get a FREE Jumbo wheel!

I really like all the sets they've selected, but my favourite would have to be "Priceless" and the "So Swirly" wheel....I'm just a swirly kind of gal!

This is a cute little bag-a-lope I made using Priceless and So Swirly:

Marelle Taylor Stampin' Up! AustraliaA bag-a-lope is a gift bag made out of an envelope. They're really easy. If you haven't tried one before, here's how you do it. Just take an ordinary envelope and seal it shut. The bigger your envelope, the bigger your gift bag will be. Then chop off one of the sides to form the opening for your bag. Score the other 3 sides at about 2cm. You can score at any length really; the further in your score line is, the wider the sides of your bag will be. Fold along each of your score lines in both directions. Now when you put your hand inside the envelope, you should be able to form it into a bag shape, with a flat bottom. You will have 2 small triangles that you need to adhere to the base with some Sticky Strip (extra-strong double-sided tape).
If you have any trouble following these directions, email me, and I can send you some more visual instructions in a word file!

Before I turned my envelope into a gift bag, I wheeled it with So Swirly Jumbo wheel in Bashful Blue ink. I then randomly stamped the small flower from "Priceless" in Blue Bayou ink, and the words 'so kind' in Purely Pomegranate. I made a flap for the top of my bag-alope from Purely Pomegranate cardstock, and scalloped the edge with the Corner Rounder punch (guard removed). The butterfly is also from Priceless, and has been matted on Bashful Blue, and then a scalloped circle of Blue Bayou. I used a white gel pen to add dotted highlights to the scallop. Blue Bayou double stitched ribbon holds the flap shut.

Bag-a-lopes are really cute as lolly bags for parties, or for holding a small gift. When I demo these at workshops, I use it to hold the Hostess gift or door-prize - usually a small that's a perfect gift! ;o)

Monday, September 01, 2008

My Incentive Trip swap

Thanks to Jayne, who emailed me a pic of my swap from Incentive Trip, so I could show you all. We had to use In Colours, so of course I chose blues and greens...very me! Soft Sky, Blue Bayou and Wild Wasabi.
I used a stamp from "True Friend" (in the Spring Mini) to stamp a background in Soft Sky ink on Soft Sky cardstock. The main image is also from True Friend. I inked it in Soft Sky ink, and then carefully inked the stem using my Wild Wasabi inkpad, and the tips of the flowers using my Blue Bayou inkpad. I did some paper piercing in the corner to balance out the design, and tied some Blue Bayou stitched ribbon around the bottom. The Blue Bayou panel on the right is actually textured cardstock. I stamped the tiny flower from "Season of Joy" (also in the mini) on it using Versamark ink. Even though the cardstock is textured, it still stamps up well, especially if you use Versamark. I mounted this on Wild Wasabi, and then punched out a Large Oval. The whole panel has been popped up using Dimensionals. The sentiment 'best wishes' is from my favourite, and most-used greeting set, "Short and Sweet". I punched it out with the Small Oval punch, and also popped it up on Dimensionals, inside the large oval hole.
I received some lovely swaps on the trip... everyone went to so much effort. I hope they all liked mine too!


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