Wednesday, 21 December 2016

I'm an artist!

Stampin' Up! The Wilderness Awaits

No, really I am!!  Well, I've been surrounded by talented artists most of my life. My late, wonderful, stepdad was just a fabulous amateur artist, my awesome step-brother, Jonathan is a professional artist - check out his website here - my nephew, Nathan is just brilliant and ought to be a professional - check out his work here 

Anyway, I've always loved being arty and crafty but never great at sketching which is why I love Stampin' Up! stamps that do the sketch for me and I can then choose how to colour them in. I've been having a play with these beautiful new watercolour pencils from Stampin' Up! They're available from our new Spring/Summer catalogue which you can order from just in the New Year (4th January). I've used watercolour pencils before and there are lots available on the market but what I love about these is that they are in Stampin' Up! colours which makes it fabulous to co-ordinate with our card stock and accessories.

Here is a project I made using some little notebooks I found in a local shop, they were just plain kraft colour but I loved the size and they just cried out to be altered.  One of my loves is nature.... animals, birds, flowers and trees and one of my absolute favourite stamp sets is The Wilderness Awaits (from the annual catalogue) and although I've stamped the stag and fox on a few projects I hadn't used the duck until now.  I used watercolour paper for this project and then a Blender Pen which made it SO easy!
Here's a peek at a foxy I did for a birthday card for a special someone who has a Christmas birthday.



Have a look at Shannon from Stampin' Up! demonstrating some of the many uses and techniques for using these brilliant pencils on this YouTube video.  



I'll certainly be featuring them in my classes so if you're in the Retford area why not book yourself into a class, I'd love to see you make a wonderful work of art.

Seasons Greetings

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Classes for 2017

Hi Crafters! It seems my Facebook page has thrown a wobbly....I could continue to get stressy or take action, so here I am blogging!
I intend to update my classes page here later and also to create classes over on my Stampin Up page www.issyscraftybees.stampinup.net so be sure to check there too.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016


Are you ready for this global event?  Anyone who knows me knows that I love card making, perhaps even more now than memory keeping and I came to paper crafting as a scrap booker so many years ago.
Is there anything nicer than receiving a hand-made greetings card through the post?  I really love to receive a hand written note even if it isn't a special occasion.  I also love nothing more than putting thought into making an individual card for someone.
Join in.....
Why don't you celebrate 'World Card Making Day' with me.  As well as running my classes in Retford town centre or here in my own home and sharing my own makes with my customers and friends I love to see what you make too. Please celebrate world card making day with me and post your makes on my Facebook page. If I get more than 10 posts with your own makes on them I'll run a cheeky prize draw and send out a spot prize for my favourite.
Look out for a month of fabulous promotions from Stampin' Up! starting with a chance to stock up on cardmaking essentials with up to 25% off... this is going to be a short promotion from 1st - 5th October only.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Christmas and much more!


Are you thinking about Christmas as the summer slips into autumn?  I've been enjoying the warm weather here at home during the day but the nights are drawing in much earlier aren't they?  We've been really making use of our chiminea in the garden, last night after the sun had set we lit a cosy log fire in it and snuggled up on the bench in a corner of the garden we call 'dingly dell'. It's a shady corner hidden at the back of the garden surrounded by hazel and our raspberry canes, we have a bench there, a little table and our chiminea. I've put some solar fairy lights up in the hazel tree and we light candles in jars and make a cup of tea using a whistling kettle on the fire.  Happy days, cosy nights!
I've been eagerly waiting for the new Stampin' Up! catalogue to launch so I can share all the fabulous new products we have on offer for the winter season.  You won't be disappointed!  My favourite stamp set so far is Christmas Pines, it has a matching die set and using them both you can make adorable pine cones and pine boughs for a multitude of Christmas projects.
I have a series of Christmas classes coming up from now until the end of the year here in Retford, check out my events page for further details.
You can download a copy of the seasonal catalogue by clicking the link at the top of this post or you can grab a paper copy from me by sending me a message or coming along to one of my classes.
Cosy seasonal wishes to you xx

Monday, 8 August 2016

Thoughtful Branches... day 5 and 6!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  Today I am bringing you two Christmas projects using Thoughtful Branches.  This first card uses the Thoughtful Branches stamp set to create a wintery scene which I then cut out using the Delicate Ornaments Thinlets dies, I also used Christmas Greetings Thinlets dies for the 'peace' sentiment.  Did you spot that I didn't use a Christmas DSP for the background layer?  I love navy and white and am also a little bit in love with Floral Boutique DSP, how lovely is that spotty one... it's just the perfect snowy background.
 My second Christmas card also uses Thoughtful Branches but this time uses the larger tree.  Both these cards were part of my stamp-a-stack card class so they had to be easy for customers to make three of each quick sticks. The embossed background on this gives texture and the layer with the tree stamped was also spritzed with ink to give it a little bit more depth without adding too much work. Simple, quick and easy but still gorgeous.

Since we're all about Christmas on this blog post....guess what I got today?  A sneak peek order of brand new Christmas products from the Stampin' Up! 2016 seasonal catalogue!!!!  I'm so giddy I can't believe that I'm actually blogging and not crafting.

Just don't forget that the Thoughtful Branches offer is only available during August.  More ideas for this set to come.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Thoughtful Branches... day 4


OK, so now you're asking 'where are days 1 - 3'?  Well, I have already posted three projects using this amazing bundle from Stampin' Up! over on my Facebook page but today I have a little more time so thought I'd do a blog post.
Don't shoot me for posting a Christmas card in August... I no longer have an aversion of all things Christmassy and wasn't satisfied with making two cards for my stamp-a-stack Christmas class last week (more of these later) using this bundle, I went ahead and made this fancy fold just for myself.
This fold is currently so popular and is really easy to do, there are so many possibilities for decorating it once you have the card base prepped.
I used Soft Sky and Crumb Cake as my card base and main layers and put that pop of red in the mix using Real Red.  I used the trees, snowline and little bird from the stamp set and for this one I just used the bird die from the dies.  I 'fussy' cut the trees on the foreground which was easy as anything. The sentiment 'Thinking of you at Christmas' was from the stamp set Embellished Ornaments.
If you would like to make a card with me using this fancy fold then why not book a place at my next class in Retford? It's on Wednesday 17th August at 7pm and although it won't be this design we are making a scrumptious card using this fold.  Or how about making a stack of nine Christmas cards with me? My next stamp-a-stack class will be on Monday 5th September in Retford (7pm, the Labour Hall).  As always with my classes booking a place is very important as it ensures that I prepare enough materials, check out my 'classes' page here or my events over on my Facebook page for more details.
Have I tempted you with the Thoughtful Branches stamp set (143539 £24) and the Beautiful Branches Thinlets Dies (143538 £28) or save 10% and get the bundle for £46.75 (144328).  This set will only be available during August (or until supplies last) so if, like me, you've fallen in love with it don't miss out and grab it now.

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Sweet sugarplum birthday

I just needed to make a card for my sister-in-law. I'm a bit tired and my mojo was all hot and bothered so I took a quick spin over to Pinterest and CASED this from the very talented Dena Rekow of www.thecreativitycave.com. I've almost faithfully copied her card except for the sentiment and the ribbon, I also gave mine a Wink of Stella!  Please visit her blog to see her original and she also made a fabulous hydrangea in a pot which you can post!

I am utterly in love with this stamp set and die bundle from Stampin' Up! It's called Thoughtful Branches and is going to be available from 2nd August on a limited time offer just until 31st August. I've already showcased it in a class and have projects planned for a Christmas card stamp-a-stack class soon. Personally I think it's flipping fab! Don't miss out on the offer andre sure to follow me on Pinterest where I have a board dedicated to latest offers...currently showing off so many examples of how this set can be used.


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Money Off coupon


Did you get everything you want from the new annual catalogue yet? Since it only came out a month ago, you probably still have a massive wish list.. here's some great news!  For every £45 you spend between 7th July and 31st July (excluding p&p), you'll get a £4.50 Bonus Days coupon that you can use throughout August.
What a great opportunity to shop from your wish list, whether you buy your favourite products now and earn coupons or later in August with your coupons.
Details

  • Promotion period: 7 - 31 July 2016
  • Redemption period: 2 - 31 August 2016
  • An email address is required to participate in this promotion; Bonus Days coupons are codes only delivered via email.
  • It is strongly recommended that participants both save emails containing their Bonus Days coupon codes AND write down the codes in a safe place. Codes cannot be resent if the email is lost and lost codes cannot be recovered.
  • Bonus Days coupon codes can be redeemed for any product, excluding Starter Kits.
Place your order by shopping with me!

Fairy Celebration

One of my favourite new stamp sets from the new catalogue is Fairy Celebration. It's just perfect for whimsical cards and little girls!
My God daughter turns five next week and I immediately knew I wanted to use this set for her card. I also wanted to make it as special as her so I decided on a fancy fold.
It is really easy to get good watercolour results using Stampin'Up Up! ink and StayzOn ink for stamping the outline. If you've never tried it then I really encourage you to have a go!
I hope you get an idea of how 3D this card is from my photos... I adore that cheeky fairy swinging from the cherry Tree and knew she would look cute if I fussy cut her out! The smallest fairy in the background couldn't be left out - she's got shimmery double layer wings made from vellum and it just so happens that they were punched out using the item bitty butterfly punch... Love that!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Stamping on candles

I've spent a little time today putting together these candles in packaging. I'm going to give them to The Hub in Retford as raffle prizes for the Retford Arts Festival which is happening this weekend.
The Hub is a brilliant arts and craft venue in the centre of town, staffed by volunteers and also acts as a tourist information point since the council closed theirs last year. All the items sold in the shop are made locally.
I run some of my classes here in the art gallery studio upstairs.
I really hope that these candles are enjoyed by lucky raffle ticket winners!
Stamp sets I used for these candles were:
Wilderness Awaits
Butterfly Basics
Awesomely Artistic

Monday, 18 April 2016


It's the time of year when we get ready to say goodbye to products that will retire when the new annual catalogue is launched (1st June).

Click HERE for the full list

Place your orders for items via my SHOP or direct with me if you are local - you can save on postage this way as I will put in a joint order weekly.  (retiring items are available while stocks last). Don't forget that you can attend one of my classes for FREE if you place an order for £30 or more and retired list orders count.

Tuesday, 5 January 2016


Oooo, I don't know about you but was so ready for putting Christmas back in its box. So now all the baubles are wrapped in tissue and the lights are twinkling no more it's time for fresh spring and summer goodness.


So, please welcome *drum roll* Stampin' Up! Spring/Summer seasonal catalogue which runs from 5th January until 31st May, it's full of gorgeous new stamp sets and accessories, Designer Series Paper and loads of project ideas.  All my classes through these spring months will be featuring new products as well as old favourites.
As if a new catalogue isn't exciting enough every year from January to end of March it's Sale-A-Bration time!! SAB = FREE stuff! What? How? Every time you spend £45 on items from either the new seasonal or the main catalogue you can have one free item from the SAB brochure.  There are so many fantabulous goodies to choose from this year, so you really need to get your wish list sorted pronto!  I totally love a bargain and so how's this to get you going... if you attend a class during SAB time and place an order for £45 you will get your free item from the SAB brochure and you will get your class free too!!  
If you don't live locally to me but would still like to shop and get your freebies then please visit my on-line shop by clicking the 'shop with me' button on the top left of this page.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Crafty New Year!

Stampin' Up! spiral flower Bigz die
Hi, did you all have a great Christmas?  I've been 'home sweet home' most of the holiday and took the time to rest and relax and also to do a little crafting too, of course!  I've been trying out some of the new products from the Stampin' Up! Spring/Summer seasonal catalogue and playing with some of my old favourite stamp sets too.
Those of you who know me personally know that I am not a full-time Demonstrator as I also run my own consultancy business which keeps me pretty busy but at this time of year I like to spend time pulling together my thoughts and planning activities for the year ahead.  So, I needed to make sure I had a new diary ready to help me plan.  I'm really fussy when it comes to using a diary - I always like to use a paper diary and just can't stand using the electronic one on my phone... there's something nice about the feel of paper and writing things down.  I also like a 'week to view' so I can see the full week ahead.  For the past few years I've had a personalised diary from PhotoBox with my own photos printed right through the year but this time I decided to buy an off the shelf pocket version and customise it myself.  I wish I'd taken a before picture (it was plain blue and really boring) but here is the after..with a matching bookmark. The photo of the diary looks a bit washed  out because I decoupaged the DSP in pieces and then finished the whole thing with a sponge of Mod Podge to make it a little more durable.  In a class before Christmas I taught how to stamp onto a cork surface and everyone did a pocket diary.  I had two left over so I added some alternative designs to these too!  Anyone want a diary?!!



I am so lucky to have great Stampin' Up! customers who are always giving me ideas of what they want to make in classes throughout the year and I love to learn what style of crafting everyone likes.  Needless to say, I can't please all the people all the time but if I can please the majority of you at some point then that's what I'm aiming for!

So, for 2016 my planning so far has concluded a full calendar of classes across a variety of venues and two full day retreat or deluxe classes.  I have so many ideas for projects whizzing through my head and I'm really excited to get this year off the ground starting with my first class of the year this coming Monday. Check out my Facebook page too if you haven't already - you can book your place at classes there as well as the usual ways. Crafty New Year everyone!