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 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


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

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
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!