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Sunday, 26 December 2010

I definitely had a White Christmas!

Well what does one expect when one is spending Christmas at a ski resort high in the Norwegian mountains!!!

Mind you after the shenanigans we had getting here it was a blessing to see the gorgeous Dr Holms hotel in Geilo last Tuesday evening!!




With the bad weather we'd had on the weekend of the 18th 19th, we were worried about actually getting out of the UK on the evening of Monday 20th.... and despite being assured by the lovely lady at Norwegian Air Services that the flight was running and on time when I called at 2pm, by the time we arrived at Gatwicj at 3:45, we saw the dreaded word CANCELLED against our flight.... yes we weren't going anywhere that evening so we headed back to the house we had locked up only a couple of hours before and got on the PC and rebooked everything! We were lucky to get offered a flight early the next morning from Stansted, so grabbed it - and then went and prepared what Roger called the "Umbrella syndrome" - he got the snow chains on the car and I booked everything else...

So 4am on Tuesday saw us heading for Stanstead - on snowchains, which thankfully we were able to remove once clear of our own road! Once on the main A21/ M25/ M11 we were fine and we hit the airport at 5:45am and handed the car over to the valet parkers and headed into chaos!!!

Our flight was showing on the boards but with no details of where to check in or anything against it.... so we found a convenient spot - and waited.......and waited.... Finally - Roger gave up and went to look for something for breakfast and no sooner had he vanished into the crowds, than the announcement came over the tannoy (at 6:45) to go to the furthest  check in desks and what looked like half the airport started charging towards the desks.... Rog came rushing back and we shoved the laden trolley after the crowds..... We finally got into a queue of sorts, at the nominated desks, and indeed there were 2 desks with Norwegian boards above them - but no - one to check in the passengers....

So we waited....... and we waited...... and we waited......finally at 7:30, someone appeared and even then spent another 10 minutes chatting to his colleague on the upper level. What was annoying was the fact that although there was no check in happening, the tannoy kept calling people to the unmanned desks so people were obviously thinking that they were late and kept trying to push into the queue. Anyway - after an hour of waiting check in finally started at 7:45 (remember the flight was supposed to take of at 8:20)......and we finally hit the desk at 8:15 to  be allocated seats right at the back of the plane....

Then we had a mad rush through security and onto the wee train to take us to the gate (we didn't have to as there were dozens of people in the queue behind us but try telling that to a stressy husband!) where we sat for another eon waiting to board! We finally took off at 10:20, and were very grateful that we had allowed ourselves a cushion of 4 hours to catch the train up to the mountains!. We landed safely in Bergen and having grabbed our luggage, jumped into a taxi for the station.....

Roger had managed to nip to the Duty Free in Stansted to buy the celebratory champers for our wedding anniversary on the 22nd, and the big day... and he put the bagg with the precious bubbly in the boot with the bags.... only to see it go flying when the driver pulled one of the bags out at the station..... we watched £25 worth of vintage Veuve Cliquot pour over the cobblestone.....Fortunately the second bottle survived!

We stashed the bags in left luggage and nipped out to get some lunch.before heading back for the train...... check out these super comfy seats - eat your heart out SouthEastern railways!!!!!!


`Anyway - 3 hours later we were met at the station by the hotel minibus to take us up to the hotel! We checked in - and headed straight for dinner
.
The big event in Scandinavia is always Christmas Eve... the shops and skilifts all shut early to allow everyone to get home for the Julefest. We had the most sumptous hot and cold buffet  with loads of choice of cold meats and seafood and the traditional meal of roast pork and lots of lovely desserts including rice pudding (YUM!!!). After dinner - we got a visit from a certain person with one of his friends....


Santa sat in the lobby dishing out presents to the younger guests - I was able to get up close and personal with his reindeer who was very tame and didn't seem to mind being pawed, petted and photographed by all and sundry!


See those Antlers??? They tell you that this is a lady reindeer as the males shed their antlers in the winter - proof positive that Santa relies on a team of ladies to get him round all those houses on Christmas Eve without getting lost!!!

Anyway - we had noticed in the ballroom that the Christmas tree had been moved into the centre of the dancefloor, ready for the traditional dancing and singing round the tree. Here are some of the dancers, and notice the beautiful national costumes which a lot of our fellow guests were wearing..... lots of them - and every single one was different!


Anyway - we finished our drinks and headed to bed....unfortunately not to wake up to presents as they had to be left in England..... can't wait until we get home to whether I made the nice list this year!!

Merry Christmas and happy new year to you all!

Friday, 17 December 2010

How to make the Christmas Tree Advent Calndar...

Following several requests.....

The basic instructions for the Christmas tree advent calendar are on my other blog... complete with a link to the template for the twist box "crackers"

Scrapaholic at Large

Merry Christmas to you all!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Advent Calendar Christmas Tree

As many of you know, there was a Cyber crop on UK Scrappers last weekend, and one of the challenges was to take a mystery kit and create a WOW project using just the kit (and the packaging it came in) and a very limited range of extras. However, due to the crummy weather delaying the post and some of the ordered kits, the mystery kit wasn't included in the points totals or voted on until everyone had a chance to submit their entries.

Anyway, cutting to the chase, the galleries opened last night - and I can at last share my creation with you! I'm actually a bit cross as I rushed to finish and upload this by the original deadline, so the finishing touches and the photographs aren't too good.

First of all - I made the 25 little crackers using my (contraband) SU candy wrapper sizzix die and whisper white and basic black cardstock, held together with sticky strip. These contain an assortment of sweets and chocolates. Then having worked out how to make the pyramid shape I needed - I satrted cutting up the pizza box the kit arrived in to make the tree and the base.



The cardboard was painted using black acrylic paint, then sprayed with a mica mist to add some sparkle, before being assembled. and decorated using chipboard snowflakes, patterned papers and bling along with some snowflakes (cut with another piece of SU contraband - the snowflake punch) cut from mica misted whisper white cardstock

The crackers were decorated with patterned papers from the kit and the tags were punched from card and paper using my trusty SU circle punches. Finally the filled and labelled crackers were all popped onto the shelves of the tree

At the moment it is proudly displayed as part of my Christmas decorations but come putting away time,  I will probably remake the tree using foamcore board, and taking a bit more time as the whole tree is very usable for next year.

If you would like to check out how I am doing in the voting, you can find my entry in the Fairies gallery along with those from the 16 other Christmas Fairies who entered!

Hope you enjoyed this

Monday, 6 December 2010

The Origami Christmas Tree

Quite a few of my readers have asked me about the instructions for the origami tree I featured as part of the blog hop yesterday.


I spend hours on youtube looking for various origami projects which I can use to feature the gorgeous Designer Series papers Stampi' Up! produce, and I stumbled over this one last week. It looks really complicated, but in fact its really really simple - just 5 squares of DSP and a touch of glue.


Unfortunately, I didn't make a note of the address, and now I can't find it again (isn't that just typical??) but if you give me until the end of the week, I will knock up a photo tutorial for it (I have scrapbook club and a visitor this week so don't have time right now.

Watch this space!

The morning after.....

Remind me that its not really a good idea to mix a cyber crop on UKS with preparing for a blog hop... I was buzzing with ideas which hit me at the last minute so I ended up with not doing as much as I would have liked for both events. Add into the mix a hubby panicking about his trip to the US this week (don't worry dear - as long as you can take off from Heathrow you will be fine - Washington DC and New York know how to deal with heavy snow!) and a stroppy teenager with cabin fever....... and shall we just say I'm glad its just me and my dog this morning!!


I thought I'd share one of the cyber crop challenges I completed with you today!

This one was a 3 part challenge - On Friday evening we were challenged to produce 3 decorated trees, on Saturday a 3 word title, and then yesterday we were challenged to produce a layout with our trees and title - and here's what I came up with. Its not as skew whiff in real life - the page bowed in the middle as I was trying to take a picture. I used the Christmas Suite colours and the Jolly Holiday papers again - and I'm really chuffed with the result!

Hubby? Well as far as I know - he made it to Washington around 1 am this morning!

As ever - if I can help with any of your last minute Christmas crafting - please let me know!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Welcome to the Tartan Stampers Blog Hop!

Good morning everyone and welcome to the first ever Tartan Stampers Team Blog Hop! With most of us being snowed in, we've been getting on with some Christmas crafting - and thought we'd like to share some ideas with you.

You may have started here or joined me from Fiona's blog (wasn't her project just gorgeous? I NEED me one of those frame thingys!) and there are 10 blogs for you to visit today!

As always - if you are inspired by what you see here - please get in touch as we can still get orders to you before Christmas. There's a link to the online catalogue on the right and if you would like to order any of the items I used - you can get hold of me on 07973 969153 or vai email at ExStitch@aol.com. Orders placed by the end of today are usually here by next Thursday......

Anyway - let's move on to my own offerings!

Some of you may be aware that there is a cybercrop on UKScappers this weekend - and here is a card I created for one of the challenges on Friday night (Mrs Lastminute.com - moi?) I had a lot of scraps of the Jolly Holiday papers left over from Convention swaps and I used some of them to create this gorgeous little origami Christmas tree - I used the Christmas suite colours of Cherry Cobbler, Old Olive and Very Vanilla for the card and the greeting comes from the Occasional Greetings set. The envelope was stamped with Delightful Decorations (using the masking technique) and the strings added with a marker pen!


I love having place names on the table for Christmas lunch (as we normally have 10 or more for lunch and I am usually busy serving up - it helps if all they have to do is find their own seats! This was last year's effort which I unearthed whilst tidying up......


And here are this year's - bigger, better and more 3 dimensional with a wee Christmas chocolate for eating with coffee after lunch hidden in the mini cracker! Again the Christmas Suite Colours, with Jolly Holiday papers and Delightful Decorations stamp set!




 Here is one of my table decorations.....

I found instructions for this (not so) little origami Christmas tree on Youtube - and had to give it a go!! Again the Jolly Holiday papers are in evidence


Finally I'd like to share a project I did at one of Natalie's (link will follow) Stampin' Days in Crawley. This fab concertina folder filled with 6 Christmas cards was made using half of a Christmas Jingle Simply Scrappin' kit and a spool of Old Olive grosgrain ribbon. Here's the outside of it all closed up.....



Open it up and here are the 6 cards  we made to go inside... aren't they lovely? (and there's still a load of the papers and stickers left over!)


Anyway - that's all from me - if you have enjoyed having a peek - please leave a comment.

Now - pop over and see what our uber-talented Sharon has got for you today - her blog is always a treat to visit!!

Merry Christmas!





Thursday, 25 November 2010

Scrapping again

As most of you know, I'm a scrapbooker rather than a cardmaker, but recently my scrapping mojo has been on holiday. That was until this week when I was handed my December Scrapaholix kit and told to get on with some samples.

You can see the result of that over on the other blog where i have got 2 gorgeous projects ready to do with the Club members on the 8th Dec... but it really got my scrapping mojo going again and here is an all SU page I made today...


This is another one for my Vow Renewal album - and its all Stampin' Up! products on it.

The base is Basic Black cardstock, and the papers are from the Neutrals Designer Series Paper pack (basic black and whisper white). I've added highlights using my new favourite red - the Poppy Parade in colour cardstock for the flowers, and ribbon along with a few Circle Fire brads in red. Add a spray of Old Olive leaves, and a title and bingo!

Do you like my home made roses??

Watch this space!

Friday, 19 November 2010

I can now take credit card payments!!

I forgot to mention some BIG news back in October - but I'll share it with you now!

Stampin' Up! Demonstrators can now accept credit cards for payments for stash goodies!



 This is fantastic news for me as a Demonstrator and you as a customer as it means that we no longer have to tell our hostesses to tell their guests to bring along cash or cheque books, and don't have to wait for cheques to arrive in the post and clear before placing orders!

Why not have a browse through the online catalogue - click on the link on the right ---> to be taken straight there! and then ring or email your order through - I will then get in touch for the all important details which will be kept securely at all times!

Go on - order today and your goodies could be landing on your doorstep in less than a week!


If you would like a hard copy of the catalogue to flick through - these cost £5 including postage (refundable with an order of £60 or more).

07973 969153

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Product news

Due to a quality control issue with the ornament punch, Stampin' Up! have temporarily withdrawn it from sale.

They are working with the manufacturer to resolve the problem, and hopefully it will be available to purchase again in the very near future.

Unfortunately, this means that one of the bundles in the current promotion is also no longer available to purchase.

I apologise to any of my customers who were hoping to buy one of these punches - but I will let everyone know when it is available for purchase again.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Fancy a Christmas bargain??

Like to take an impulse buy off my hands and get yourself a bargain???

A couple of months ago, I was tempted by a special offer - and treated myself to one of these little toys which were launched at the summer CHA.  Its the Teresa Collins Stampmaker machine and starter kit.

Quite why I gave in to that moment of madness I don't know - but the poor little machine has languished in the unopened brown cardboard outer sleeve in which it arrived - I haven't even opened it to look at the contents, so i thought I would offer it to my readers.


Normally these machines sell in the UK for £125 plus P&P but here is a chance to get your hands on one for just £100 which includes the P&P to your doorstep - as i said - I haven't even opened the posting box let alone the inner box and the goodies it contains.

If you want to see one in action, here is Teresa herself putting it through its paces so you can see exactly what it can do!

Get in touch if you are interested

07973 969153

Monday, 15 November 2010

Christmas is Coming!!


Well we are just a few weeks away from the festive season, and all those "Oh it's just what I've always wanted!" presents (that we all get at least one of every year) under the tree.

Well - I have a suggestion for those of you who have hopeless present buying hubbies/ boyfriends/ parents/ kids who would like to get at least one present you really really want under the tree on Christmas morning - my wish list service!

Ask me for a wish list form, or simply email your wish list over to me on ExStitch@aol.com. When your present buyers ask you what you want for Christmas - simply point them in my direction and once they tell me the budget, I will order you items from your list, wrap them up beautifully (with a hand stamped tag so you know what's in the parcel) and ensure they are delivered in time for the big day. Now that I can take credit cards (Visa and Mastercard) for payment - its easier than ever!!

If you click the picture of the catalogue in the side bar, you will be taken straight to the online catalogue, or ask me to pop a hard copy (£5 inc P&P and refundable on an order of £60 or more) in the post.

If you have a very geneous present buyer who gives me a budget of over £150 - you will also get the hostess benefits of a limited edition stamp set or paper pad, and free merchandise.

Let me know if I can help!!

Don't forget the great offer on at the moment where you can get your choice of special limited edition Christmas ribbons for FREE - check out the Current Promotion page on the top line for details.

ExStitch@aol.com
07973 969153

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Convention Make and Takes

No - I make no apology for going on- and on (and on!) about Convention!

It really is the highlight of the Stampin' Up! year and a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. For me its a very rare chance to catch up with my team mates in the Tartan Stampers who as you can probably guess from the name, are nearly all based in Scotland, the majority in Aberdeen so just about as far away from Kent as you can get!

One of the perks of going to the party is that you get quite a few freebies thrown into the package - starting off with the exclusive Convention Bag which is usually quite nice - but this year is obviously the one taste forgot and I'm afraid that I don't really LIKE the lurid Tangerine Tango/ Melon Mambo/ Whisper White plastic satchel we got this year - so I'm not going to show it to you - in any case - as it has been appropriated by Katy as her schoolbag - it isn't here to photograph!

However the contents of the bags are another matter - they contain TWO fabulous stamp sets from the current catalogue, and this year the sets were the beautiful Just Believe (116948W/120453C at £32.95 or £25.95 respectively) and the fun Party this Way (118744W/ 120609C at £15.95 and £12.95 respectively). The second morning of the Convention is spent doing a set of make and takes using these sets and here are the ones we made this year.....

First up is this beautiful card with its matching envelope.

To create this one we used the watercolour paper which arrived in this years catalogue and we used a new (to me anyway) technique on it. We coloured the stamp using markers, then spritzed the inked stamp with a mini mister, and then stamped onto the watercolour paper - that's what gives it the fabulous soft watercolour look! We also got a chance to use the new Colour Spritzer  - I can see this one being a demo or make and take at a workshop in the near future!


Now a fun little card using Party this Way - we used tone on tone ink and cardstock for this one along with one of the new square punches - and that arrow in the centre is actually a spinner


Back to Just Believe again and this time a lovely little gift pouch using Pear Pizzazz ink on the matching cardstock. Its finished off with that LUSH striped ribbon and a cute mini tag made using one of the flowers on a smaller stamp, coloured with the markers!


Open it up and inside are half a dozen mini cards to match!


Finally we made a 6x6 scrapbook page in the same colour palette - all I need to do now is find a photo to go on it I think one of the ones of my 50th will go with this perfectly as the green of the trees and the big yellow flowers on the dress i wore will go beautifully with these colours!


So that was it for another year - if you fancy joining me at next year's jamboree in Disneyland Paris (sorry - it will always be EuroDisney to me!) why not check out the fabulous starter kit (details on the Join my Team page) and get ready to PAAAAARRRRTTTTYYYYY!

Back soon with details of some of the lovely swaps i received!

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Swaps swaps and more swaps!!

Well I promised to share piccies of the swaps I made for Convention with you, so here they are in full, glorious technicolour! All of the supplies used are Stampin' Up! unless otherwise indicated.

First up the general swaps I made to exchange with my fellow demos from the UK, France and Germany, As usual I had left everything until the last minute so mine were of necessity fairly simple.

I made 100 of these little dove cards - 4x4 of basic black cardstock, the "Peace on Earth" stamp from the Four the Holidays stamp set stamped in Versamark then heat embossed with silver embossing powder. The dove was punched out of whisper white card with the 2 step Bird punch, and the branch out of old olive before assmbling the card using a dimensional to raise the wing and one of the tiny rhinestones from the new Jewels pack for his eye.


Then I also made 50 of these Christmas cones while I was at a craft fair the other weekend - thanks to the lovely Kim Fee who gave me the idea at our training session the other week - these were the first swaps to go funnily enough.....
They were half of a 6x6 piece of Jolly Holiday patterned paper rolled into a cone, a few inches of 5/8 Satin ribbon scrunched onto a 3" length of Sticky Strop with a hanger made out of  a piece of card punched with the word window and gold cord/ linen thread attached with a brad. The little dangly bit was made using one of the Stamps from the gorgeous Winter Post set (stamped twice in different colours and the centre of one cut out and mounted on dimensionals) and attached to the ribbon with a wee gold safety pin (non SU).


Now for the "Card Candy" swap.
"What is card candy?" I can hear you asking - well its basically where we make little 3D embellishments to use on cards, and then package them up like you would find in shops.... the challenge is to make a minimum of 6 pieces of candy which must have at least 2 layers using one stamp set - I chose to use the fabulous Winter Post set again and my swappees can choose to use the topper decoration as a 7th piece of candy if they want! I did end up using Season of Joy for one piece and the topper decoration though (Season of Joy is one of the sets which is bundled up with the offer mentioned a couple of posts below - check it out to see if you can get some scrummy free ribbon!)


The gift item swap was one where we were challenged to make something a bit more complex - the sort of item you would buy at a craft fair. I decided to make everyone one of these gorgeous little card cabinets which I found on a US Demo's (Becky Roberts)  blog. This pic is of the prototype I made for myself using whisper white and real red cardstock but the girls ones were made out of Crumb Cake card with Greenhouse Gala papers for the "drawer" fronts and on the cards and matching pens they got. Unfortuantely - I forgot to take photos of the actual items - but people seemed to like the end result!
 I intend to use mine to store all my adhesives/ bone folder/ craft knives in as the bottom section is staged to lift the back compartment up so its easy to see the contents!


The 3D swap also came from Becky it was one of the items in her fabulous 12 days of Christmas 2010 tutorial. Its a little sweetie holder containing 3 Ferrero Rocher chocolates made out of old olive card and the jolly holiday papers and you may notice my signature item - the puched out doodad from Winter Post features again (I just LOVE that new designer label punch!)


The final swap I signed up for was the business tools one - and I got some fabulous ideas from the others in the group. This was my offering - a "Party in a Bag!"
This is something you can you use when you have a potential hostess who is worrying about how much preparation is involved in having a party. If you hand her a bag with everything she needs for the food and drink she might be pushed into booking. My bags (non SU) were stamped using the So Swirly jumbo wheel and a printed logo label. They contained a bagalope containing tea and coffee bags, a box of brownie mix and in real life the envelope would contain invitations for the hostess to send out. I would also put a catalogue and hostess leaflet in the bag as well. This is a great way to get some product into a potential hostesses hands (I used some of my recently retired supplies to make the contents). As the swing tag says - all your hostess has to do is "Just add Friends!". You can of course put whatever you like into the bags - a bottle of wine and a pack of nibbles might be more appropriate for your hostesses!!


So you can see why I was rather tied up last week - just at the moment I never want to touch another piece of cardstock for a VERY long time ("as if!" - snorts a hubby reading this over my shoulder!)

While its lovely to get lots of swaps back in return - its does mean a lot of hard work - and I am stating here and now that I am not doing anything other than the general swaps next year - I can do without all the stress and angst!

I'll be back shortly with the last swap the CMC or "Convention Memory Card" one which was organised by one of the German Demos......

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Wow - what a great Convention!!!




Yes there were the niggles like dodgy moments at the hotels (Dawn was put into the wrong room at first - with some almost strangers), the imbuggerance of coaches to and from the venue, and the cramped conditions in the main stage but I had a whale of a time - and I'm sure others did too! Given that everyone had to either drive themselves or catch coaches between the hotels and the venue - I don't feel too bad about opting to save money and going to the travelodge for £25/ night


I've come home with some lovely goodies from all the swaps - both general and organised, and it was great to spend some time with the friendliest and most amazing SU team in the UK (that's the Tartan Stampers BTW!)!! Photos will follow once Lorraine sends them to me!


I've already told Dawn about my big adventure on the way home but will share it with you.... its almost worthy of Mammy Hen! (Mary)


The SatNav took me home via a most circuitous route - back up to Orpington, onto the M25 there - off at Sevenoaks (which is only a couple of minutes from my sister's house...) and then a quick dash down the A21 to Tunbridge Wells all in all about 35 minutes or so from the palace to the takeaway.


I stopped in the next village to fill up the car and pick up a takeaway - and while I was waiting for the food, I decided to dig out my house keys as Rog isn't very good at leaving the motion sensor outside light on at ours..... imagine my horror when I realised I didn't have the keys in my bag - especially as Rog and Katy were down in Portsmouth on a sailing weekend....... and his car was in Southampton...


I rang Roger, to ask him where he had put our emergency spare key (he hides it somewhere in the garden), and was even more appalled to find out that he hadn't put it back after the last time he'd needed to use it.... there I was, clutching my lovely Chinese food and locked out of the house with no prospect of being able to get in until Sunday evening...... He even admitted that he realised I must have forgotten my keys as he saw my very large key chain - complete with 2 Kipling monkeys hanging on the key board in the hall. He got yelled at for not telling me or leaving the spare outside ready for me!!


Then I remembered - my sister had a spare key (remember me saying I passed close to her house on the way back.??) Only trouble was - she'd told me on Wednesday evening that she and her family were off out to a fireworks do... Anyway - I rang my brother in law on his mobile (unlike my sister he carries it with him AND keeps it switched on all the time!!)  to ask what time they expected to be home as I needed either the spare key, or if they couldn't find it - a bed for the night! Imagine my relief when I heard that while he and my niece were indeed doing a moonlight walk around a forest in the dark....my sister had opted to stay home - so I could go and get the spare key any time I liked.


Anyway - I got back in the car - and retraced my steps back to Sevenoaks to be greeted by my sis waving the spare key in one hand and a large vodka and coke in the other.... she had a plate ready so I could warm up my congealing takeaway - and I spent a lovely evening keeping her company while we heckled Strictly and X facor.... before finally going back home and into my own bed. around 11 o clock!


Hope my fellow demo's trips home were slightly less eventful - and here's to next year at Disneyland!!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Bundled up for Christmas Promotion


How would you like a Christmas present from Stampin' Up?


Well from the 1st November until the 29th December you can have just that as SU are giving away free ribbon to customers with an order for selected bundles of Christmas products.


With every bundle you buy - you get to choose one of the fabulous ribbon packs on offer and there are 4 different ones available (Click on the pic to see a bigger one).

So what are the bundles which qualify for the goodies?

Well here they are - and look out for the lovely patterned paper which isn't in the catalogue in one of them!



Tempted? I know I was and my order went in first thing this morning so I'm hoping it gets here before Convention!

Let me know if I can help you with your orders 07973 969153 or ExStitch@aol.com


Thursday, 28 October 2010

Convention is coming!

Well next weekend sees the biggest event in the Stampin' Up (Europe) year - the Annual Convention.

Convention is one of the biggest social events for all of us SU Demonstrators as we get to meet and/ or catch up with the rest of our teams, make lovely cards and projects, take lots of photos of the inspiration boards and generally have a blast.

This year, its the UK's turn to host it and its happening not far from me at Addington Palace near Croydon and at the moment I'm busy creating all the In Love with Stamping forum swaps I signed up for. So far I have made 90 CMC (Convention Memory Cards)  for a swap organised by one of the German Demos, 6 gift items, 10 3D swaps, and at the moment am just finishing off the business tool swap. I still have to make 10 sets of card candy, and then all the general swaps so I left those to the end as they are the ones I don't have to make a definite number.

Obvously everything is a big secret at the moment - but watch this space next week to see what I made - and more importantly what I got given in return!

Now off to consider the next big crisis - what do I wear to the awards dinner? Long? Short? Black? Colour?

Decisions! Decisions!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

New Year, New Starter Kit!!

Have you ever thought about being a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator?

It's never been easier or cheaper to sign yourself up for a sizeable discount on everything in the Stampin' Up! catalogue, but if you do - no only do you get a discount on everything you buy (starting with the fantastic Starter Kit), but you have the opportunity to make yourself some cash by selling the fabulous products to your family and friends - and friends of friends - and friends of friends of friends... well you get the idea!


The picture above is the fabulous starter kit you get when you sign up - the fee is just £119 and the products in the kit are worth a stonking £230!!! Better still - you can personalise most of  the kit to include your own choice of inkpads, stamps, cardstock and paper so you can get a wonderful box of goodies you KNOW you will love at a fabulous price!!

and in the words of the dreadful comedian Jiminy Cricket...... "And there's more!"

If you sign up with me - when you put in your first order of £150 or more - I will give you a joining up gift of a stamp set of your choice (up to £30 value), an inkpad and  a pack of A4 cardstock!

Go on - get in touch for a chat - what do you have to lose??
ExStitch@aol.com/ 07973 969153

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Launch night!!


Well, I had convinced myself that nobody was going to turn up for the event - but how wrong could I be?? In the end I had 11 lovely ladies turn up to get their new catalogues, do make and takes and put in some rather juicy orders.

Thanks to the High Wycombe training session last month I had a lovely display board showcasing lots of goodies made with the current stamp sets so a huge thank you to everyone who swapped with me then - your work was greatly admired by all who attended. That's the display up above, except the Serene Snowflakes card in the middle of the left hand board wasn't skew whiff on the night!

We did 2 make and takes that evening - a card and a little gift pouch. The gift pouch was based on an unnamed swap from someone else at High Wycombe, so thanks for that one!



The card was the training M&T but I changed the colours to the catalogue's suggested Christmas Suite of Old Olive, Very Vanilla and the lush new Cherry Cobbler.... My fabulous upline lent me her bauble punch for the evening (thanks Dawn!) as I was panicking. I had merrily planned to case the HW swap - little realising it would feature a punch that we in the UK couldn't even order until the 1st Oct, fortunately Dawn had got hold of it on one of her many trips to the US. This card was great to do as a M&T as it showcases the stamps and the matching punch and the matching ink and cardstock. This was also the first time the customers got to see the new Clear Mount stamps as we used the new Contempo Christmas set with the fabby new acrylic blocks!

The wee pouch featured the new Newsprint designer paper and taffeta ribbon, teamed with a Very Vanilla base and Cherry Cobbler again. It was only after I had put the pouch together that I realised I hadn't stamped the base card using the Artistic Etchings stamps as I intended. Never mind - the ladies all loved the idea of being able to make their own gift packaging from now on!!

On the subject of clear mount stamps - I looked at the new acrylic blocks which came out with the new catalogue and thought - Huh! Its just a lump of plastic why bother when I already have loads of acrylic blocks? Then I tried one for myself and I am hooked!! The SU blocks ARE different in that they have finger grooves all the way round which means they are really comfortable to hold - and not only that - they are much chunkier than my cheap and nasties. I for one can heartily recommend them to you!

I now have just ONE place left on the Stamper's 6 starting up this month - if you are interested please get in touch. Be a hostess and get the goodies without the hassle of a party!!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Well the "BIG REVEAL" is finally here!!

Well at long last the 1st October is finally here - and that means the UK Stampin' Up! demos are allowed to share the lushness that is the new catalogue!

This year we have 114 pages of lushness to share with you all - that's 16 more than last year - and with the colour renovation there is oodles and oodles of new stuff to tempt you!
Here is a large pic of the front cover and if you click on the little pic to your right - you will be taken direct to the browsable online catalogue.


However nice the online catalogue is though nothing beats having a nice big real catalogue to take to bed with you, pop into your bag to read on the bus or train, or just sit flicking through deciding on your wish list!

If you would like me to send you one, please get in touch and for £6 (including P&P) I will pop one in the post to you staright away. This charge is fully refundable on an order of £60 or more so go on... drop me a line on ExStitch@aol.com or ring me on 07973 969153 and it will be winging its way to you tomorrow ... you know you want to!!!

I am rushing to get everything ready for my launch evening tonight. If you are in the vicinity of Horsmonden in Kent between 6pm and 9pm tonight - please feel free to come and join the fun. Full details available below!


Thursday, 30 September 2010

New Stampers 6 starting up on 1st October!!

With the colour renovation happening in the new catalogue which launches on October 1st, there has never been a better time to join in a stampers club so you can purchase all the lovely goodies over 6 months!

How a Stampers 6 works is that I put together a group of 6 customers. All of you agree to buy goodies worth at least £25 (plus the shipping and handling charge) from the Stampin' Up! catalogue each month for 6 months. Each member get to be the "hostess" once during the cycle which means that everyone will get at least a Level 1 hostess gift and at least £15 worth of free goodies.

If you sign up, you will receive a shiny new 2010-2011 catalogue fresh from the printers towards the end of September and you have 2 weeks to get your first orders in... you will also find a small surprise in your packages each month.

Anyone who lives within reasonable travelling distance is welcome to come to a LAUNCH EVENT for the brand new catalogue in Horsmonden on Friday 1st  October. There is a £5 entrance fee, but those who come along will get

  • A personal copy of the brand new 2010-11 Idea book and catalogue
  • A chance to see some of the new goodies up close and personal
  • At least 2 make and takes using new stamp sets and colours 
  • A ticket for a prize draw (you can get more tickets by placing an order on the day or booking a workshop)
  • a complimentary drink and nibbles as you browse.
  • The opportunity to acquire retiring product for FREE - I have a lot of stamp sets, inkpads and papers which will probably be looking for new homes after October 1st... watch this space!
  • A free inkpad of their choice with any order over £20
Go on - what do you have to lose??? Get in touch via ExStitch@aol.com or 07973 969153.



Friday, 17 September 2010

Demo Choice - and further discounts!!


Well in a few short hours (eeekkk!!) I will be heading off to our New Catalogue training session which is being held this evening at High Wycombe.

I'm really looking forward to it as we will be getting one of the scrummy new stamp sets to use for the Make and Take projects which are part and parcel of these evenings. Not only that, I'm hoping to come home with lots of ideas on how to use some of the new products and colours as we demos can't resist making swaps to share with each other. I know there are some VERY talented cardmakers coming this evening, so I can't wait to see what beauties they will be bringing along to swap.....

There is a competition running as part of the  evening, called Demonstrator's Choice and that is exactly what it is! We can take along a favourite piece we have created using all SU product and the 12 x 12 layout above is the item I will be entering for it. There is an item from the new cattie on there, can you guess what it is?? I'm not allowed to tell you yet, but believe me - you won't believe your eyes when you see the 114 pages of lushness which is coming your way in a couple of weeks!!

***HOT OFF THE PRESS***

Last night at 11:00, SU announced some more discounts on the retiring list!!!

Get yourselves over to the SU Website and check out the bargains to be had. Some stamps have been further reduced or reduced for the first time, and there are big savings to be made on cardstock as well.

If there is anything on the list which needs to come and live at your house, please don't hesitate to get in touch with your order - at these prices the stuff will sell out FAST!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Last Chance Saloon!!


Well, we were expecting a long retirement list this year when the new catalogue was launched, and we weren't disappointed late last night, when the UK Demos were able to see the new 2010-11 catalogue for the first time. Lots of things have gone - but that means (TA DAAAAA!!) that there are lots of scrummy things coming in, once the catalogue launches
If you  go to the SU website on this link, you will be taken to a SEVEN page PDF to scroll through and see just what is going. If you look closely, you will see that a few of the items are actually reduced - some by 25% and some by a whopping 50% - maybe the  items you have been debating are actually reduced - why not nip over and check it out?

Personally I own 25 or so sets which will be retiring as well as inkpads, markers, reinkers and stampin spots. Some of these have never even been used. As I cannot demo with the stamps or make samples with them, I have made the decision to get rid of them, and they will go on offer at the launch evening on 1st October and the good news is - you can get them for free - just watch this space for details later on in the month.

If you were thinking of coming along to the launch evening - please let me know ASAP as I need to order catalogues and M&T supplies, as well as get the wine and nibbles. Give me a buzz on 07973 969153 or email me on ExStitch@aol.com to reserve your place.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

The Countdown is ON!!!!!

Well its the 31st August and that means only one thing if you are a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator!!


THE NEW CATALOGUE CAN BE SEEN TOMORROW!!!


Unfortunately for you, the customers - there is another month to wait before you can get your sticky paws on the new goodies, but in the meantime there is always the last chance list which comes out tomorrow.


Last year, SU offered some retiring sets at a discount, but we haven't heard if that is going to happen again, but if there is a set that you have been umming and ahhhing over but havent yet bought, if its on the retirement list - that means that its not going to be available after the 1st Octber.When SU retire a set - that really is it - any remaining sets are broken up and destroyed so after this September - your only hope of getting hold of retired sets you love is eBay!

Watch this space tomorrow  for details of the retired list, and don't forget to book your space at the new catalogue launch in Horsmonden on Friday the 1st October.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu.......

You may remember back in May I told you about the colour renovation happening in SU with the the launch of the new catalogue on the 1st October. We are losing no less than 30 of the existing colours to make way for the four new colour families which will contain just 10 colours each, and the 5 new "In Colours" which will only be around for 2 years.

Well, we now have just 6 weeks left to stock up on the retiring colour products such as inkpads, cardstock, and markers. I am sending off an order for several packs of cardstock in my favourite "Taken with Teal" (I just cannot believe its going.... its gorgeous - SOB! SOB!), and I urge any of you who want products in any of the following colours to get your orders in fast! All orders of retiring stock must be received by SU by 11:50pm on the 30th September - and then that's it!!

Fans of the purple and mauve colours in particular will definitely need to do so as nearly all those shades are retiring. My fellow Demos and I are also pretty sure that all the current Designer Paper packs will be discontinued as well. We find out what stamps and other items from the catalogue are retiring on the 1st September so check back then for the retirement list.

I will be offering retiring colour packs of my supplies for £7.50 each after the 1st October. These will contain the inkpad (barely used in most cases), the mini ink spot, the double ended marker pen and the reinker. I will also throw in any cardstock I may have lying around in that particular colour as a free gift - some colours I have nearly full packs of while others I don't have any. You will be able to purchase these at the launch party on Friday 1st October, then they will go on offer to all. With the reinker included, you will be able to keep your colours going for quite a while as you can use it to refill both inkpads AND the marker pen! when they start to run out.

Let me know if you would like to stock up by giving me a ring on 07973 969153 or by email on ExStitch@aol

Customers local(ish) to Horsmonden are welcome to pop round anytime - just ring to check that I am actually in first though!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Another Scrapbook Page!


I have been having a sort out of my SU Patterned papers and rediscovered the wonderful Nouveau Chic set. This is based around black, grey, sage shadow and apricot appeal, and as the sage and apricot are vanishing soon, I thought I would set to and produce a scrapbook page or two using them, and the first one is above!

One sheet of basic black, a 10x8 rectangle of sage shadow, a large photo, a piece of DSP some ribbon - a couple of flowers and some pretties from the pretties kit and - voila! 

This photo was 8x6, but I trimmed it down to 7 3/4 x 6, and attached it to the top of my rectangle with a narrow border top and sides. The rest of the sage block was filled in with a piece of DSP, and the join hidden with a piece of striped ribbon tied in a bow. Dye a couple of the small flowers from the Pretties kit by squodging a sage shadow inkpad down on them until they are covered, then layer them up onto larger flowers and attach to the page with crystal brads....... spear a couple of pearls and crystals from the pretties kit with a hatpin and stab it through the knot on the bow before putting the clutch on the end for safety!

Finally, cut a title from a scrap of whisper white card (shadowed on an off cut of sage if you have the machine)

Took about 15 minutes tops!

Let me know if I can help you with any supplies!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Anyone interested in a scrapbook class by mail?



Following the blog hop at the weekend I have been asked if I would offer a class for the 2 scrapbook layouts I produced for it.

Just so I can gauge interest levels if anyone is interested could you please drop me a line either in the comments on here or by email to ExStitch@aol.com? As the papers and at least one of the ribbon I used will be retiring at the end of September, this would need to happen before then!

Kits would probably include half a pack of the Night and Day papers, a tub of crystal brads, cardstock, ribbon, small brads and templates along with printed instructions. You would need to provide your own stamp sets, ink pads and bird punch (or order them from me with a class discount!)

Let me know if you would be interested.


Sunday, 1 August 2010

The 2-Step Stampin Blog Hop is here!

Hello and Good Morning to all of my visitors today!

Todays entry is a contribution to the blog hop to publicise the new August Stampin' Up! promotion, and has been organised by the lovely Sarah on In Love with Stamping who has the first blog on the hop today.

If you have just arrived here from Karin's blog, welcome, and at the end of this post, I will be sending you on to see what the uber-talented Bekka has for you. If you are starting with me, I invite you go round and look at the lovely things the other 9 demos have produced using the stamps which are on offer this month at a whopping 20% off the usual prices - when you get back here - you are done for the moment - but you won't have to wait too long to see more  as there is another hop on the 16th August featuring 10 more lovely ladies.

Anyway - enough of the blether - let's get on with the pics of the projects I am sharing today!

Unusually for ILWS, the hop today is featuring SCRAPBOOKING, something I really love doing, but with a roomful of stash large enough to start my own shop - I must admit I have never really thought about using my Stampin' Up! goodies on my layouts - until today!!

Here is the first page I created.......


On this one, I used a 12 x 12 sheet of Basic Black cardstock (110031 - £5.95) as my base, and added various pieces of black and white designer papers from the gorgeous limited edition Night and Day speciality paper set (116768 - £8.75), with my photo mounted on the largest piece. I added a length of 1 1/4" Striped grosgrain ribbon in Old Olive (117385 - £8.95) tied in a big bow - then I got stamping using the beautiful Greenhouse Garden stamp set (113824 - £22.95. This set is absolutely gorgeous as it features FOUR beautiful flowers which are given dimension by adding details using a second stamp - aligned over the first impression using the Stamp-a-ma-jig (101049 - £9.50).I have used all 4 flowers on this page, using pale and dark inks from the colour families to produce them. These were then cut out and sprinkled around the photograph, interspersed with leaves punched using the extra large 2 step bird punch (117191 - £13.50) from Old Olive Cardstock (109991 - £4.50). Some are raised on Stampin' Dimensionals (109923 - £2.75) and they are finished off with Clear Rhinestone Brads (113144 - £7.75) for the centres. The title was cut on the Cricut in Pink Passion cardstock (109970 - £4.50).

Now for the second page.....



This romantic page features the lovely spotty acetate sheet from the Night and Day paper pack, mounted on a sheet of whisper white cardstock (110038 - £5.95) using 4 small gold brads(110023 - £4.95) . I used an offcut of paper from the last page , and cut a large heart from Rich Razzleberry (one of the new colours) cardstock (119981 - ££4.50). These were glued down, and then I mounted my photograph on a piece of Basic black card, but I left the margin slightly wider on the bottom and left to allow me to add some of the lush Rich Razzleberry polka dot grosgrain ribbon (115613 - £8.95) . I punched leaves with the bird punch, and cut my title from Old Olive cardstock. I lightly drew a circle on the page (around 8" diameter) and  attached the leaves and the large and medium sized flowers stamped using Melon Mambo and Rich Razzleberry inkpads ( 115656 and 115658 respectively - £4.25), again raising some on dimensionals and finishing off with crystal brads.

I used a lot of classic inkpads (Pixie Pink. Pink Passion, Pale Plum, Dark Plum, Blush Blossom, Apricot Appeal, So Saffron and More Mustard)  for the stamping - these are all £4.25 each, and you can find their order numbers  in the online catalogue linked to the right! If you fancy mini versions which are easy to tote around - you can get these as 1" square Stampin Spots available in colour family sets for £17.50 for 12 (but you will need all 4 sets to copy my page exactly! LOL!!)

Now - for my final offering - I give you - a trifold shutter mini album - the basic design comes from a template by Andrea Walford - but I have done in it my own favourite colourway - yes the red black and white combo strikes again!! Seriously though - the reason I use this a lot is that at the moment we can only buy SU 12x12 cardstock in single colour packs as long as we want black, white, vanilla or kraft so that is why I use these colours a lot in my projects!! I buy the A4 packs to use for accent colours.

Here is the front of the album.....



Again it uses the Night and Day papers and acetate, but this time I have added Real Red cardstock (109968 - £4.50) and ribbon (110130 - £6.25) to the black and white card and crystal brads used on the two scrapbook pages. The flowers and swirls were cut using the Cricut as was the title.

Untie the ribbon and the book opens up to the left and right giving you a gorgeous way of showcasing 3 large and 4 small photos. If you look carefully, you will see that I have used three of the stamps from the Tiny Tags stamp set (118091 - £18.95) along with the matching Medium Jewellery Tag punch (117190 - £ £8.50) on this one.



If you like what you see here and want to order any of the products I used please get in touch on 07973 969153 or via email on ExStitch@aol.com. Any orders placed during August which include either of the stamp sets I used will get free postage from me (worth a minimum of £3.95) in addition to the 20% discount offered by Stampin' Up!

I hope you have enjoyed your visit here today, now if you are playing along in the hop - you are now off to visit Bekka at Feeling Crafty.

Goodbye for now and hope to see you again soon - feel free to leave a comment before you leave - thanks!