Sunday, 29 August 2010

Wedding Weekend

This weekend we went to the wedding of a dear school friend of mine. We don't see each other much as she lives in NYC but our friendship has endured. We had a great time and the happy couple looked fit to burst with joy.

For their wedding present I wanted to make a gift that they could keep and look back on their happy day. Or I guess they could add honeymoon pictures. The book is made up with a monochrome theme, featuring the DSP in the Spring Mini catalogue. Just over a month left to get your hands on these papers before the Mini is withdrawn! I also used some gorgeous rub-ons and ribbon for texture.

As you can see the book unfolds a lot. I also decorated the pages with some double-sided stickers and flocking (sadly not yet available from SU!) for extra texture.

It was great to use the rub-ons. These are another supply that I don't make the most of. This central flap is one big rub-on that I simply cut out to make a tag.

The matching card also used Bride DSP paper. I love love love this paper as it is so beautitfully textured. I showed this to the ladies at my class on Thursday and they liked how the paper has a nice sheen to it too. The design of the card is stolen totally from the current Ideas Book and Catalogue, and I loved using my Pretties kit.
The envelope and inside of the card were stamped in Basic Black ink with Baroque Motifs and a little Dazzling Diamonds glitter. All matching, just how I like it!
Fingers crossed the happy couple get joy from the gifts!!!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Gorgeous glitter

I'm feeling romantic today! The main goal of today was to make a gift for my friends who are getting married on Saturday. I'm going for a monochrome theme and was getting fed up with the lack of colour, so I took a break. This is the result! Yes, a complete copy from the current Idea Book & Catalogue (pg 86 if you want to see the original) but I did change the colour combo. I used Melon Mambo and Tempting Turquoise with a little Whisper White.

I think the Sticky Sweet Cuts have been really overlooked so I dug them out. I have grown to like them a lot. They are so versatile. Plus it meant I got to get out my glitter! EVERYTHING is now coated in glitter. I love it!!

Amazingly - NO stamping!!!!!!!!

This picture was taken at the weekend. My cousin has just bought a house with a pool! Very novel in our family so we went to check it out. Immy LOVED it. Even though it wasn't particularly warm we had a great dip.
Tonight I have a Techniques Class which should be fun. Only a couple of ladies are attending so I'm hoping it'll relaxing and full of chatter. Have a good evening!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Up up and away!

Hooray my blog is looking "normal" again! Thanks to the kind people on the Blogger help page I'm back in action! This has allowed me to add a number of classes to the schedule that you can see here. Plenty of Christmas-y goodness for you.

Today's card is a variation on the one from a couple of days ago. However I have made this for my cousin who will turn 14 on Thursday so I wanted to make it look more 'adult' but still just as fun. I ended using an unusual combination of Summer Sun (yellow), Taken with Teal and Old Olive, based on the retired DSP with polka dots. Again the base of the hot air balloon (the basket?) is stamped from the Big Bold Birthday set.

The birthday wishes stamp is from Sincere Salutations. I only recently purchased this set but it's proved really versatile and useful. The treat cup is filled with Skittles (I hope she likes lemon ones!). The penguin in the hot air balloon is from a retired set called Wild About You, and was stamped in black Staz On. I guess you could use any animal/person stamp though. Already I am imagining Christmas treat cup cards with Santa or Rudolph in the hot air balloon!

As you can probably tell, I free-handed the cloud and hills. I added a bit of doodling to the cloud edges to make them pop a bit. Apologies for the poor quality photo, by the time I'd sorted the blog the light was fading fast!

Lastly, this was Munchkin on Sunday morning. I made a dozen cupcakes before 9.30am for a family party and Munchkin helped me out by licking the icing off the beaters! Haha. You should have seen the state of her when I got her out of her highchair!!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Friends (Football Friends?!)

Oh dear! Not sure what's happened to my blog but the layout's gone mad. DH and I have both had a go at fixing it but to no avail. Any ideas would be gratefully recieved. Anyway onto crafting...

I love Brocade Blue so that formed the base for this card, combined with More Mustard, Certainly Celery (a tiny bit) and Chocolate Chip with Close to Cocoa stamping. I thought this would be quite a masculine card but I guess all the flowers make it rather feminine! Not great for football friends then.

Hope you have had a good Monday. We've had pretty severe weather today, going from brilliant sunshine to torrential downpours and back again! Still, we had a nice little trip into town to run some errands, so not a bad start to the week. Hope your week has started equally positively.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Krafty Vintage Vogue

This card was lifted from the SU Demonstrator magazine but I altered the colours to Tempting Turquiose, Rose Red and Certainly Celery on Kraft CS with Chocolate Chip writing. The brown centre of the larger flower is made by punching a 1/2"circle out of Chocolate Chip CS, wetting it with a water spray bottle and then scrunching it up. When the circle is unfolded this gives the card a really nice vintage look, which remains after it dries.

I have actually trimmed under the flowery border of the card, following the pattern of the stamp but I seem to have lost the photo I have taken of that! It looks pretty nice like this, but trimming it means that any wonkiness is disguised.

Yes, yes I have slipped back into Vintage Vogue mode... I cannot help but use this stamp set. I will do my best to add some variety tomorrow!!!

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Fun Day In

Hello! Apolgies, I meant to post yesterday but time ran away with me. I was priviledged to have a "day off" from being a Mummy yesterday. My Mum kindly took Munchkin out after her morning nap and we fetched her at bed time! Not wanting to waste the opportunity I invited some of my favourite stamping buddies over to join me in a crafting day of leisure. We had a great laugh.
It appears to be "wedding season" amongst my friends, as both of the girls pictured got married this summer and I was making wedding cards for my sister to give to her friends.

The card at the top of the page is a clear copy of one I saw on Monica Gale's blog. However, I did change the colour scheme, sentiment and lose the ribbon. The pretties kit has some gorgeous flat backed pearls which really makes the flowers look extra special. The colours featured are Close to Cocoa, Always Artichoke, Very Vanilla and Cameo Coral. The DSP is Bride which is perfect for weddings or any luxury style cards/scrapbook pages. Of course I used my absolute favourite stamp set: Vintage Vogue! However, I made a lot of projects throughout the day with various stamp sets, which I will be sharing with you over the coming days/weeks.
Having spent a day away from Munchkin, it's always extra lovely the next day as I missed her! I found this photo from back in April and couldn't resist sharing.

Have a great weekend and see you soon!

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Super scraps

Having seen this great post on Kristin's blog recently I decided that my scrap bowl could do with a clear out! Sadly I don't have all the colours that Kristin used but I put together a few different combinations. Last night I made these 3x3" cards based on the same designs as I'd seen Kristin do with with a few twists. I used the Boho Blossoms, Heart Trio and Large Oval punches.

This top set features Close To Cocoa, Brocade Blue and.... I need to look up the other two shades to be sure! But anyway I think this set looks quite smart and also Scandinavian.
I added a few details with a white gel pen and the sentiments came from the SAB set, Happy Moments (I can't stop using that set!) and the swirly sentiments are from Sincere Salutations stamp set in Chocolate Chip. This lower photo has Taken with Teal, Rose Red, More Mustard and Chocolate Chip card colours. I think that this set is quite funky.
However, now I realise why people enjoy colour challenges! I spent a lot more time deciding on the colour combinations than actually making the cards!!!
How is your day going? We had a nice little trip to Argos as Munchkin has been cold at night, despite having about 5 layers on so we've invested in a little cot duvet. Awww.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Masculine Medallion

This card has been made while Munchkin has her nap. It's simply a Tempting Turquoise medallion with a clear brad in the centre. The card base and sentiment are in Basic Grey, and the sentiment comes from the Sincere Saluations stamp set.

Hope you are doing something nice today. We're off to meet a new little person called Sophia!

Tuesday, 17 August 2010


Having seen a fabulous tutorial on Monica's site (you can see it here). I thought I should break out my Something Sweet stamp set. In the tutorial Monica used a cute ladybird chocolate but I couldn't find them down here. Instead my DH found these liquid filled jelly sweets at Tesco's on Saturday.

The base of the card is made from More Mustard CS with a layer of Old Olive retired DSP paper. The Whisper White card has little leafy prints on it in Certainly Celery and Old Olive using stamps from the Tiny Tags stamp set. The bugs heads on the card are free-hand drawn on and their bodies are sweetie stamps. The magnifying glass handle is stamped in Close to Cocoa (I'm really going to miss that colour when it retires at the end of September!)

These sets used are both on offer this month, with 20% off until the end of August 2010. This makes the Something Sweet stamp set just £19.16 instead of £23.95, and the Tiny Tags stamp set £15.16 instead of £18.95.
Hope you are having a good day. We're having a quiet one as the weather is so miserable. It's been a day for bulk baby food making!

Monday, 16 August 2010

Photo challenges

Ok so last night I felt that I should be entering the photo challenges on the weekend crop. So here are my entries. This first photo is for the Get Close competition. It's a close up of some violas that I have grown in my garden. I am so proud of these flowers. I sowed them really late and for ages they were tiny bits of green. Now they are awash with colour. This picture is great because it captures the flowers behind the yellow ones for even more depth! This second photo was also taken in my garden. It's a picture of a Calendula flower, which again I grew from seed. This looks like the epitome of nature in summer - a bright yellow flower with silky petals. Yum! This second picture is my entry in the Nature prize draw.

The last photo entry I have is of my fridge. This is my entry for the At Home competition. I love this picture because my 10 month old managed to create this scene of destruction in mere minutes! Mess like this has become a familiar sight ever since the Munchkin learned to crawl!!!

Sunday, 15 August 2010

My craftroom today

OK so having had a total craft-fest this weekend this is how my craft table looked this afternoon! I thought I had been tidy until I looked at this photo just now! I guess it could be worse... I blame the busy pattern of the tablecloth... that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Just a touch of pink

This is my entry on the Shimelle Crop featuring a touch of pink. Usually when I use pink I go overboard and there is complete pink overload! This challenged me in trying to use a moderate amount.

The shade of pink used is called Rose Red but it's not red at all. It's a gorgeous deep rich pink colour. The background of the card uses Old Olive (of course!) with some retired DSP in the same shade and the swirly image is from Baroque Motifs and is embossed with white.

Not being content to make cards one at a time I decided to try some other colours. So Brocade Blue, Pumpkin Pie and Perfect Plum had an outing too!


This is another make for the Shimelle Virtual Crop Weekend. The challenge was to use layers. I must admit that I was inspired greatly by this post on Michelle Wooderson's blog for the layout. I was really pleased with the end result as I can struggle with layering sometimes. I also strayed from my Stampin' Up! stash and included a ticket stub from Tim Holtz and some button and handwritten paper from my stash box. Oddly the dark brown ribbon appeared as if by magic just when I was wanting it! It was lying on the floor of my craftroom like a helpful elf had placed it there! I believe it came from a chocolate box.

This notebook is very important as I have set myself a goal to treat my Stampin' Up! Demonstratorship as a business and not just greedily buy everything for myself!! So this book is symbolic. The idea was given to me by a kind friend who has been running her own business for some years. She told me that it's a good idea to set yourself goals for the month, then at the end of the month review what you have achieved and make notes that you might want to refer back to at some point. So thank you Daniela for the inspiration!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Red Aqua & White

Making a break from my Vintage Vogue phase, I decided to use a challenge to help kick-start my creativity. There is a Creative Craft party at and this set fulfils one of those challenges.
For those of you who have looked at the class schedule you will know that there is a Two Step Stamping Class on Saturday 21st August at 1pm at my home in Surrey. That is next Saturday! Well, above is a preview of what we'll be making at that class. Contact me if you'd like to book a place
The stamp set featured is Big Bold Birthday. I adore this set and even better news is that until the end of this month (August) it is on sale with 20% off the regular price. This makes the set just £19.16 instead of £23.95 for the set containing 13 stamps. What a bargain! If you can't attend my class you can still order the set from me, just drop me an email at the above address.
The colours used are Real Red, Whisper White and Tempting Turquiose. The cute gift box above was based on a design I saw on All Things Stampy!, a blog by a fellow demo called Helen. Her blog is always full of good ideas that set me off when my creativity is hiding. The box is deceptively simple and very effective. Plus it holds plenty of choccies!

Hopefully it's possible to use these gifts for men and women, and even kids. The stamp set itself is really versatile and is one that I turn to for cards for men all the time.

Today has been a really good day. We were an ultra-lazy family today, and stayed in bed/pyjamas until lunchtime! Then my DH took Munchkin out to Birdworld while I had some creative me-time. Not content with being a perfect husband he is aiming for sainthood by doing our weekly grocery shop while I am writing this blog post. What a sweetie!! Hope you are having a good weekend, and see you tomorrow.

Thursday, 12 August 2010

Chic combo

This card was sent to me a few weeks ago from my upline, Natalie, along with a cute little keyring. I love this card! It's so smart and chic. The black panel is white embossed using the Bella Toile background stamp. That makes this card a good one to produce in numbers, and each card will be unique as it will have a different part of the background stamp design on it.

Today Munchkin is really unhappy as she is teething so we're having a quiet morning in. We're STILL waiting for the stairgate to be delivered but now we're also expecting a new car seat and some other bits and bobs to be delivered. Boring... but at least I have my lovely stamps to keep me entertained!

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Scrap Happy

Hello Crafters! Hope you've had a good day. Today I have another seriously cased piece for you. This also came from the latest edition of Impressions, the SU Demo magazine. I couldn't resist it. The idea is to use leftover strips of card/DS papers and embellishments. It was lovely having the pressure removed as I only had my big plastic bowl of crafting scraps to dig through.

Old Olive is such a great background colour as it's vibrant but lets the other colours shine. I used some stitched felt embellishments and leftover 5 petal flower punched shapes to decorate. The whole page took about 15 minutes to create! With that speed I could fill a scrapbook pretty quickly!!!

Apologies for the weird photo, I took it on the leather sofa in my craftroom as I was struggling to find an area big and clear enough to photo the whole page... More crafting goodies to come later this week - hopefully better photos!

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Flower power

This card is seriously cased from the latest issue of Impressions, the monthly publication sent to all UK Stampin' Up! Demos. To be fair I have changed the colours and stamps that I used but the techniques and layout are the same. This card features 4 different stamping techniques. The flower accent stamp is in the Mini catalogue and I lurve it. I think the shape of the petals is just divine.
Anyway from the top down:

  • Regular stamping in Rose Red
  • Rock and roller (or something like that), where the stamp was inked with Pretty in Pink first and then rolled on the edges through Rose Red. The darker colour tints the edges of the flower giving a graduated colour, which is really pretty.
  • This flower was 'stamped off' i.e. the stamp was stamped once and then this image was made when the stamp was stamped again to produce a lighter image
  • This is 'reverse kissing' where the flower stamp was inked up and then pressed against Baroque Motifs swirly stamp that had no ink on it. The result is this delicate pattern.

So it looks complex but actually they were incredibly quick and easy, and I managed to make 4 in about 30 minutes... the hardest part was cutting out the flowers by hand! I will have to invest in a mat pack as my piercing is shamefully wonky!
This photo was taken today of the Munchkin before we got dressed. Immy wasn't feeling well as she's been teething and hasn't been enjoying the pain! It was a looong day waiting for a stairgate to turn up (which is still yet to arrive) so we went out to Wizzy World, a soft play centre near us. Oh my gosh the noise was horrendous! As it was raining the place was heaving and it was quite a job protecting the little one from wild big kids who were on the rampage! Still, she loved it and slept really well afterwards!!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Punch Class take 2

The card at the top is a variation on the pansy card that the ladies made at the class. As I'd made that card a number of times before I started playing about with my boho blossoms punch and created these flowers. I added detail to them with a white marker.

As it's August there were just two lovely ladies: a mother and daughter team! It was really fun to make the cards and they each added their own unique touches to the designs. Watching what other people do is my favourite part of teaching classes. It amazes me what wonderful ideas people think of using the same materials, so everyone learns something at the session!

Keep an eye out for details of future calsses I am currently putting together. I know a number of you have requested a magical folding mini book so I am busy scheduling dates for this before Christmas. There is also the new catalogue launch in October so I am also planning a catalogue launch party... keep your eyes peeled for more information.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Want to earn some more money before Xmas?

I know that some of you have considered or are still considering signing up as a Stampin' Up! Demonstrator, so I thought that I would share why I think that NOW is the best time of the year to sign up....

  • You have until 31st December 2010 to put through your first £250 net sales - these can be orders from friends, family or yourself!

  • You will get the rest of the summer to get familiar with the website and the catalogue and then have a play with your personalised Starter Kit. You're starting at a time where you can capitalise on Christmas orders and the new catalogue launch which are the busiest three months of the Stampin' Up! year.

  • You get access to the Last Chance List / Retired Items list which is announced on the 1st September before any customers and any items you purchase will count towards that first £250.

  • You will receive a copy of the new catalogue in September, up to a month before any customers have access to it. You will have the opportunity to purchase certain items from the new catalogue in September so that you can be making samples ready for the catalogue launch on the 1st October.

  • You get the chance to come to the annual convention in November which is being held in Addington Palace in Surrey this year (France next year).

On top of the above, you also get all the usual benefits of being a Demonstrator, some of which are

  • A minimum of 20% commission on any items you order (up to 32%)
  • 30% discount on your first order placed within 45 days of becoming a new demo.
  • Access to monthly training and unlimited support from me to help you get started.
  • £100 worth of product for FREE in your Starter Kit.Access to the Demonstrator website, which includes templates, ideas, discussion forums and a huge amount of resources to build your business.A dedicated Team blog.
  • Monthly Stampin' Up! newsletters posted through your door.
  • Incentives and promotions for Demonstrators only and the chance to earn free product or even the annual incentive trip which is in Prague in 2011.
  • To love what you do and share what you love and earn some money too

...........right before Christmas! Interested? Call me (07813 373476) or email me ( for a no pressure chat and I can send you more information.

Hope to hear from you soon,

Cate x

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Wedding samples

There's another Wedding Fair in the pipeline! After the success of the one in February it was too good an opportunity to miss. It will be held at the Guildford Holiday Inn on Sunday 5th September 2010. It would be lovely to see you there if you are looking to make your own wedding stationary. Above is a selection of 3x3" cards I have made to give brides to see what a fantastic job Stampin' Up! products do when making wedding stationary.
If this Vintage Vogue set had been available when I made my own wedding stationary I would definately have used it. I LURVE this set so much. To be honest when I look back at my posts my biased nature is evident. No matter, because these samples are so sweet. The above one is made with Very Vanilla base, Regal Rose flowers and Old Olive leaves and sentiment. The below one simply has Bashful Blue instead of Regal Rose. The centre of the flower has a small clear brad and the sentiment comes from the Tiny Tags set.
The technique used is called masking. You simply stamp the flower where you want it. On a separate piece of paper (a post-it note works well) you stamp the same flower image and cut it out carefully. The post-it note flower is then stuck over the original stamped flower providing a mask for when the leaves are stamped overlapping the image. When the post-it note image is removed you get the flower with the impression that the leaves are sprawling out from behind. Hope this explanation makes sense!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Today I've got a card for you that I have seriously cased! The pink card on the left is the original. I received this card as part of a wedding invitation swap. (I feel really guilty as I cannot remember who made this card, so please let me know via the comments if you know!) Isn't it gorgeous? So I decided to make a few alterations with the design and colour etc. and the cards to the right of the pink one are the results that I and my friend Gina came up with.

Vellum is not a material I'm confident using but it gives these cards a really romantic look when layered on the Bella Toile stamped card below. Love love love this background stamp. It makes creating wedding invitations a breeze. The Certainly Celery cards that we made have layered ribbon and we used the scalloped oval punch for the sentiment. We even included a bit of white embossing (of course!)

This is what I picked from my garden this evening. I'm so excited that my plants have grown so well. I've hardly bought any veggies recently and when my tomatoes turn red I'll have to visit the supermarket even less!!
Clockwise from the top left: broad beans, courgettes, flying saucer courgette (that's what I call it anyway), swiss chard, climbing beans, purple pak choi, thyme, lemon thyme and purple sage. Yipee! This was made into my latest favourite dish - veggie gratin!! Since we've got dairy-free recently I used a little goat's cheese (Spanish Manchego) in the with the breadcrumb topping and it was just as scrummy.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Amazing 20% off selected 2-step stamping sets

For August 2010 Stampin Up! have got an amazing offer for you! There is 20% off the selected two step stampin sets:
104606 pg31 Loads of Love £18.95 now £15.16
109439 pg35 Big Bold Birthday £23.95 now £19.16
113258 pg39 Trendy Trees £12.95 now £10.36
113824 pg43 Greenhouse Garden £22.95 now £18.36
117688 pg8* Something Sweet £23.95 now £19.16
118091 pg15* Tiny Tags £18.95 now £15.16
113266 pg18* Bird on a Branch £14.95 now £11.96
*From Mini Catalogue

I must say that I love these stamp sets, particularly Tiny Tags and Big Bold Birthday! Contact me if you'd like to order them before the 31st August 2010 and save 20%.