Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Shizzer Sisters On Tour!

I'm so excited to be setting off to Brussels today to attend the Stampin' Up! 'On Stage Live' event 2015.
This event is for all the European Demonstrators to meet, share and learn and it's just about the most exciting time of any Independent Demonstrator's life.  This will be the fourth international event I've attended and each time it just gets better each time and I'm hoping this will be no exception.
So, who are the Shizzer Sisters?  Well, last year there was a little group of Demos who are friends staying in the same hotel.  One of us,  Alison, always calls me Issy Shizzy and the  name Shizzer Sisters just popped out and it stuck!!  The sisters are:  Alison, Beth, Vicky, Nicola, Helen and me (of course!).  We even got T-shirts printed this year so watch out for photos of the 'tour' later.

A huge part of any Stampin' Up! event is swapping.  Swapping consists of making a whole load of 'swaps' which can be a card front or a small 3D item.  This year I made a 'dream in a bottle'.  I've been obsessed by butterflies in bottles or jars recently and it all stems from  my love of taxidermy (don't think I'm weird, it's just that I've loved it since I was a child when I used to visit an amazing museum regularly and they had a natural history room which was stuffed (ha ha) with taxidermy including butterflies in cases). Anyway, enough of my rambling.. here are my swaps:
 
Firstly I bought 100 of these sweet little glass bottles with cork stoppers, each one stands just 5cm high.  I used white Stayz-On ink to stamp the sentiment 'There is nothing in the caterpillar that tells you it is going to be a butterfly' from the Butterfly Basics stamp set, it worked really well. Next I stamped a butterfly from Papillon Pot-pourri stamp set in Basic Grey then coloured each one using Bermuda Bay ink and sponging on Watermelon Wonder to the tips of each wing, I used a marker to give the butterfly a body.
Each one was punched out using the Bitty Butterfly punch. Each bottle got one butterfly and a few sequins from the sequin trim.  I made a cute little layered tag for each bottle. The base layer was simply a stamp of my details, the next layer was Bermuda Bay lightly stamped with the netting from Butterfly Basics and the final layer was Vellum stamped with 'hello, my friend' from Tap Tap Tap stamp set, I thought this was a nice greeting as many of the Demonstrators I swap with I won't have met before.  I can tell you that after punching little holes, threading bakers twine and tying teeny bows in each one of these swaps my fingers are aching! I'm still obsessed with butterflies in jars :-)


As well as swaps for the masses I made some special gifts for the Shizzer Sisters.  I bought some lovely wooden hearts from a fab company called Craft Shapes (find them here)  I painted each one grey with regular emulsion paint, next I used the flower sprig stamp from Awesomely Artistic to make a background, I used a wet brush and added a little Melon Mambo and Basic Grey ink to the sprig.  Next I used Craft White ink to stamp the sentiment from Garden in Bloom set.  I had some flower trim left from a kit which was from the summer seasonal catalogue which just finished off each heart nicely.  Next for some packaging.. quick and easy with the Treat Bag thinlets set, stamped to match the heart I think you'll agree it's a sweet little gift!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Project Life® by Stampin' Up!



Just a very quick post today as I realised that I haven't blogged for quite a while!  No rubbish excuses only great ones, I've been busy having fun ;-)

I've had a holiday with lots of great fun activities and lovely memories, I've been getting together with my friends creating lots of great projects and I've had a couple of super classes with three more to come in the very near future. Oh, how could I forget... I also had my autumn full day retreat which was gorgeous.

So, with all these fun times and happy memories to keep I thought it would be timely to share a quick video by Stampin' Up! all about our wonderful Project Life memory keeping system.  I'll be sure to come back and post up some of my own Project Life layouts with you.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Happy new season!

Stampin' Up! Autumn Winter catalogue 2015
Winter Wishes stamp set p13
It's that exciting time of year when we start to really look forward to Christmas.  That is something I NEVER thought I'd say as previously it hasn't been the season of good cheer for me and I was more inclined to liken myself to The Grinch!!  LOL ;-)

Embellished Ornaments
(background stamping) P15
Jolly Christmas (sentiment) p27
All that changed when I clapped my eyes on this years' seasonal catalogue for Autumn/Winter.  I honestly can't tell you what I like most, there are so many gorgeous products in this catalogue and I'll be bringing them to you during the run up to the end of the year.  I've got so many
Jolly Christmas p27
Square Pillow Box Thinlits p41
classes lined up in Retford, so check out my classes/events page to make sure you don't miss out if you are local to me.  If you would like a private class or event just for you and your friends I can make this happen too.  In the meantime I'll just share a couple of projects that were made during a lovely crafty get together with my fellow demonstrators Monica Gale and Beth Ferrey last week, always fun to get together with friends to be creative.

Well, enough of me waffling on... click the link and open up a PDF version of the catalogue and if you want to get your mitts on a paper copy then let me know and I'll pop one in the post to you.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Card in a box class

Just a quick, late blog to highlight the projects for next week's class in Retford.
If you would like to join me and make this card in a box please book your place now.

Friday, 12 June 2015

Bee Happy, Become a Crafty Bee!!


Would you love to get some FREE stamp sets?  Would you love to share your crafty passion with others and earn money while you do it?

Being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator is a really fun way of sharing your love for paper crafting and it's so flexible that anyone can do it.  You can join my team today for £99 and you will get to choose your own Starter Kit (which contains £130 worth of products from the current catalogue + a business pack which gives you a flying start).

Not only that but during the month of June you also get to pick an extra TWO FREE stamp sets!

Joining is really easy and so if you want to find out more please give me a call and find out how you can earn extra money, get great products and make loads of new friends too!!

Oh Man!

I just thought I'd share cards from my latest class with you all.  The class was all about making some cards for the guys in our lives, timely as Father's Day is just around the corner (21st of June here in the UK).

People often tell me that they find it hard to come up with designs for male cards and I have to say that we do tend to spend a lot of time stamping flowers!!  So it was a really refreshing change for me to share some masculine designs and also some new techniques in class.

mirror stamping technique
Firstly this card features the 'reflection stamping technique' which many of my class attendees had never done before. They all thought it looked really difficult and something they would struggle with, how wrong they were!  I even had a complete beginner in my class in Retford and she was delighted with the results she got.  This card features the 'Traveller' stamp set and I have used a little bit of 'Delightful Dijon' card stock which is one of the new 'in colours' for 2015 - 2017. Hey, who says lace is just for girls?... did you spot the tiny snip of Delightful Dijon lace ribbon just visible behind the tails of washi tape under the sentiment on this card, just to prove that you can be creative with the use of ribbon materials too.

My next card was a watercolour technique card, I've done this technique a good few times in classes now and it always goes down well.  It's so easy to use a stamp set which gives you the outline image all you have to do is add some colour.  I have grown to love this goose!  I wasn't a fan when I first got the stamp set but he's certainly got a place in my heart now :-)  I 'nibbled' away one edge of the watercolour paper to give some interest (I used my fingers not my teeth!) and stamped the background.  The snippet of card I used for the sentiment is Mint Macaron which is also a new 'in colour'... yummy!

Our last card was a bit of a sweetie (because I love cycling!) and I was able to highlight 2-step stamping using the Sheltering Tree stamp set; both the tree and the bicycle are stamped in two steps and the photopolymer stamp sets allows really accurate lining up of both images.  The die-cut layer has been embossed using Woodgrain embossing folder in the Big Shot and by popping the bicycle up on dimensionals this card has some texture.

Hope you enjoyed my masculine cards, if you would like to join me in a class check out my class dates and locations by clicking the tag above.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

On the red carpet

Ha! Here I am with Chris The Catalogue....a whole new meaning to 'getting your hands on a new catty'!
If you would like a copy of the new annual catalogue then contact me.

Swaps

Just a quick blog update to share with you my swaps made for our Stampin Up!  Demonstrator event yesterday.
Swapping with other Demonstrators is just a great thing to do and I got some really lovely swaps in return. Not only does swapping with others give you different ideas but it always helps me with colour challenge... I love to receive yellow and orange swaps as neither is a favourite colour of mine so it helps to persuade me that they are great!
Thank you to everyone who swapped with me, here are details of what products I used in my swap.
Marina mist is my card base, I used Butterfly Basics stamp set and a snip of Blushing Bride cotton ribbon. I used a Tag Topper punch to make the tag.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Spring Retreat


Last Saturday I hosted my very first luxury Stampin' Up! craft retreat. I spent four months planning and preparing for it and I was so excited by the time the day arrived.

Ye Olde Bell Hotel RetfordI came across the venue, Ye Olde Bell hotel in Barnby Moor almost by accident when I met some friends there for a meal. Its right round the corner from me but I hadn't had a reason to ever go there before. As soon as I walked in I knew it was the perfect place to stamp with friends in a beautiful place. I have to giggle but it was the ladies loos that really did it for me!! I fell in love with the opulence of chandeliers, massive gilt framed mirrors and leather armchairs....in the loos!
Anyway, back to the crafting. I planned three projects for the day. I wanted to offer some home decor, a memory keeping project and a card making based item.  I need to thank my mentor and wonderful friend Monica Gayle for the home decor project and the idea for the box in the card making class.
I had ladies from Leeds, Selby and Retford, most had attended classes with me previously but they hadn't all met each other before.  So,  after a quick introduction and some coffee and Danish pastries we all took our places ready

for the first project class.
Paper Flower Cone
First up was home decor, a cone full of flowers to hang on a wall. All the ladies loved this project. Using the Bigz die Bouquet each flower was cut, stamped, crushed and assembled. We all got good and sticky with hot glue guns but we all had fun.
While we were all working on this project we were served hot drinks and delicious home made shortbread.
We worked on the flower cone all morning and then lunch was served ... And wowee what a lunch! Classed as a ploughman's lunch we were served home cooked chips, mustard baked ham, pork pies, salad, pickles and hunks of home made bread!

After lunch it was all about memory keeping and the project I chose for this class was an explosion box.
Artisan Embellishment Kit
I utterly love these and I have some of my own wedding photos in one. Throughout the day we used Painted Petals DSP and this box was a BlackBerry Bliss and Blushing Bride coordinating theme. Also using the Bouquet Bigz die to make two flowers which adorned the top and inside the box.  I'm in love with the Artisan Embellishments kit from the summer occasions catalogue, throughout the day we used items from this kit on all the projects. Everyone commented on how much they loved the kit too.

Artisan Embellishment Kit
After more refreshments and freshly baked scones with jam and cream ....I know! I Need a detox weekend now ;-) the last project for the day was a box of cards. Using the empty box from the Artisan Embellishments kit we turned it into a handled box to store four gift cards in. Everyone got a stamp set 'Choose Happiness' and this was used on the cards and box and also on the explosion box.
It was sad to close the day as we had all had such fun but I went home with a happy heart and a head full of plans for the next one!  Thank you to all the lovely ladies who attended and made the day such a success. It was a dream realised for me.


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Say BYE BYE!





Here's a cute little video by Stampin' Up! highlighting some of the products which are retiring.  Gorgeous projects you can make with them... be quick, when they're gone, they're gone!

Busy Bee!


So, how was your Easter?  It seems like ages ago now but it was only a couple of weeks.  I'm such a busy bee at the moment, so much going on but all good.

We had a lovely week away in our caravan in Norfolk, so relaxing and just nice to step off the carousel for a bit.  The caravan site we visit regularly is only for adults and we don't have kids so it's always really quiet and tranquil (even sock dog finds it restful).  I managed to go for a couple of runs and the countryside is perfect for me as I like to get off road and up tracks and trails.  It's near Sandringham and so I manage to run on some estate land but not right in Sandringham park itself which tends to be full of tourists (see Mr Mo thinks the lanes are delicious!).


Back home and back to lots of crafting!  First stop I went to demonstrator training in Peterborough, it's always a great event... well, it's a whole day of crafty goodness and great people so it will be great!  (oh, and great cake too!). One of the best things about being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator is that it's an amazing community, sharing our love for stamping and making.  I've made so many friends through Stampin' Up!  There is always lots, or should I say LOTS of new things happening and we are currently gearing up for the launch of new catalogues.  There will be a new Annual catalogue coming your way in June - woop woop!  This means that some products will be retiring to make way for new ones (see my link across to the right to grab yourself a bargain as these out going items are on sale).  Of course as a Demonstrator I get a sneak peek at some of the new items before the catalogue is launched, I get to order some of these early and have a play with them ready to share with you when they are here.  How exciting!  Am I tempting you to want to be a demonstrator yet? Demonstrators also get discounts and bonus products when there are promotions throughout the year. Stampin' Up! are brilliant at rewarding their Demonstrators with goodies.  So, there is a great community with an opportunity to meet new friends, lots of support through training events, new products before anyone else and discounts and bonuses... !  Why wouldn't you want to join me and my bees?

I'm also really, really busy preparing for my first ever all day craft retreat. I'm so excited about this, it's been my dream to host an all day luxury event since I joined up but the timing just hasn't been right until now.  It's this Saturday! I can't wait to post a blog about how it went and share with you the projects that were made.

My next regular class is on Monday evening next week so I'm also busy prepping for that too! phew! (see my events and classes page for more details) In between all this crafty goodness I'm working hard with my own business as a Management Consultant, it's hectic but all good.  Don't even ask me how the house renovations are going!  ;-)

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Easter Class

What a glorious morning it is here in Retford, I'm just updating this blog quickly then I'm going to get out in the garden!!
Yesterday I sneaked some of those cheeky chocolate bunnies into my supermarket trolley ;-) So, I thought I'd better put them to good use and include them in my projects for Easter class coming up at the end of the month.
Don't you just love that cute Easter basket?  It's easy to make using the 'Berry Basket' Bigz die from the current seasonal occasions catalogue and I've simply added some decoration using punches for the flowers .. did you see the paper bow on the handle?  That's the brilliant bow punch which is just brilliant if you struggle with tying ribbon bows.
Also in this class you'll be making a couple of quick, cute note card sized cards using those cheeky 'Cheerful Critters' and a much more grown up card which is a technique card using heat embossing and coloured using inks and watercolour application.
I would love to see you at the class - you can find all the details on my class page.  If you can't make it but would like to order any of the products used you can hop over to my on-line shop here or click on the picture of the product below.

 
Stampin᾿ Up! Supplies
Table built by craftingbecky.com








Sunday, 22 February 2015

So rock n roll!

I was just tidying the house this morning and one of the jobs was to take down Andrew's birthday cards. Here's the little card I made him this year, it was very simple in design and quite easy to make.
Andrew is a music fan and loves his vinyl collection. So much so that he started his own business buying, selling and repairing 'real' hi-fi equipment...see him at www.thehifished.blogspot.com
To make the vinyl on the card I used my circle thinlets and also heat embossed the black circle. Nothing else too technical I guess!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Simply Wonderful!

Here's a sneak peek of a card for my next card making class.  The class is all about Mum and whilst each card will be suitable to use as a Mothers day card or to give to a special female friend.
This card features one of my personal favourite stamp sets 'Flower Patch' which has a coordinating framelits set. The sentiment is from a set available free during Sale a Bration, 'Simply Wonderful'.
I'm taking bookings for class now, so contact me to reserve your space.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Photopolymer stamp set tip

Whatever you think about photopolymer stamps I bet you hate the frustration of not being able to open the case and grab your stamp. I hate peeling that cello layer off then having to peel off the stamp, then the cello sheet gets lost on my desk!
So, this morning, when I clearly had too much time on my hands, I decided to sort it out! Hope this tip helps you too!
First take out the whole set and peel off the printed layer of cello sheet.
Next slip this sheet inside the outer clear jacket of the box.
So you can see it through the box
(I know it will be in mirror image but it's not a big deal really!)


 Then turn over the set (still stuck to the clear cello sheet) 
and put a bit of snail glue along the edges of the  sheet...Stick this inside the box.
Ta Da!  Now when you open the box you can just peel off the stamp you want and stick to your block!
I need to tell you that sticking the clear cello sheet inside the box is important, if you just stick the stamps directly to the inside of the box the photopolymer could react with the plastic of the box. (I know this from fishing, I use rubbery fishing lures and they melt some kinds of plastic storage boxes) I'm not a chemist and don't know for sure whether stamps are made from the same photopolymer as fishing lures but I'm not about to chance it with my stamps!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Happy New Year!! Happy New Products - YAY!

Sale-A-Bration free stamp set

I've been so excited to share today with you, it's actually better than Christmas!  LOL, anyone who knows me well just knows how I really am not into Christmas ;-)  Seriously though, if you do know me then you will know that I am not fibbing when I say that this is the most wonderful time of the year for crafters with Stampin' Up! launching Sale-A-Bration, THE only sale you really need.  This year SAB is running for three whole months and there are some awesome products that you can get your hands on for FREE, it could be the Best Year Ever (which happens to also be the name of one of the suite of products in the SAB brochure!)
So, I've been really enjoying some time in my new craft room (yes, finally moved in there and getting slowly organised) with some new products.  My favourite FREE stamp set so far from SAB is 'A Happy Thing', it has an adorable bird (this is why I fell in love with it straight away - I am a 'twitcher' and a happy thing to admit it).  Here he is on a 'fancy fold' card I have designed for my January classes.. tweeet! The DSP is from the Best Year Ever suite and is also available FREE during SAB (your get 12 sheets of 30.5cm x 30.5cm paper), love those fresh colours.

The other image stamp in the set is a lemon... now at first I was like 'what the heck will I do with a lemon?'  Well, you heard the saying 'When life gives you lemons'... so, I decided to just make a card or two and see how I got on.. hahaha, once I started I couldn't stop!!
Sale-A-Bration free stamp set
Now I have a stack of lovely cards with juicy lemons.  I absolutely love that sentiment 'Love Life' too.. it's so ME darling. Did you notice that these images are coloured in?  I used my new Blendabilities markers to colour them all in and the best news ever is that you can also choose a Blendies assortment FREE during SAB!

Hope you like my projects, you can click the images on the right to take you straight to the SAB on-line brochure and you can place orders direct with me via my on-line shop or if you want a paper copy of the brochure and the new Seasonal Catalogue then catch me at one of my classes where you can also place orders in person. Love Stampin' Up!... Love Life :-)

Issy's All Day Spring Retreat!


Hi, I'm really excited to invite you to join me for a full day of crafty fun this spring.  I've been looking for a gorgeous venue and I am delighted that I have found one ... chandeliers, oak panelling, gilded mirrors and a chaise longue in the loo! But, wait it's not all about the decor of course, you will be having a full day of creativity over three long classes; a card making class, a 'memory keeping' class and a home decor project class.  You will receive a generous goody bag filled with Stampin' Up! crafty goodness on arrival and refreshments will be served throughout the day.  This day is limited to 15 places only... be quick!

This really is going to be a lovely way to retreat away from all that spring cleaning! - you deserve a treat, so book your place now.  Just visit my Classes & Events page for further details of how to book and pay.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Spring in my heels


Stampin' Up!
In the bin!

Autumn / Winter... you're so last season!!  Move over, make way... it's Spring / Summer and we have a new catalogue (even if the weather outside is still frightful!)
As if it isn't enough that we have amazing Free products to offer you with SAB, the NEW Seasonal catalogue has launched this morning.  Chock full of gorgeous new products I can't wait to get going with them.

The first stamp set I have fallen for is 'Butterfly Basics', it has 11 stamps in the set and is available in all three types; Wood, Clear and Photopolymer which is brilliant.  There is a fabulous Thinlets dies set which co-ordinates with the set (see how I cut out the butterfly) and this is available with the stamp set as a bundle saving you a massive 15%.  Click the link to the right to download the PDF version of the catalogue immediately!

I'm demonstrating this stamp set at my next class with a sweet tag top easel card. This is a bit of a twist on the regular easel card and I love it!  I have to thank Dachoula, a French demonstrator for the layout inspiration as I received a swap from her at Convention this year in Brussels - you can see her swaps on her blog here. If you want to learn how make this card, then book a place at my January class, hope you can make it.  If you don't live nearby and still want to learn how to make it and would also like a Spring/Summer catalogue then please drop me an email and I'll post you a tutorial and catalogue (£1.50 to cover p&p).