Monday, 29 September 2014

The Creative Blog Hop

This week I was invited to be part of The Creative Blog Hop by the talented Kim Badelt.   This is a fun way for us bloggers to "pass the baton" and help showcase the blogs of other's whose work we admire.  Lots of different people both here in Australia and also overseas have taken part in the blog hop.

I first met Kim through my blog so its a fitting way to be invited. She liked to surf around lots of blogs, and sometimes left me lovely comments.  Eventually she became a demonstrator herself, and I remember meeting her for the first time at the Annual Stampin'Up convention.. it was like meeting an old friend... it felt as though we had known each other for a long time even though it was our first actual meeting. So each year when I see her at Convention it is always a treat... and she always does the BEST swaps!  Lucky me, she saves one just for me!

So of course I could not decline her offer to take part in the Blog Hop.

Part of the task involves answering several questions that let you know a little more about my work.  So here we go...

1. What am I working on now?
Im always working on something.. hence my craft tables are always covered in creative mess (as I like to call it).  Right now I am planning and designing my projects for October classes and workshops, and also preparing my next video to upload to my Youtube channel.  The next technique I am going to show there is Coloured Embossing with the Blendabilities.  Here's my camera and tripod set up ready to go...

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Actually thats a difficult question to answer.  As a Stampin'Up Demonstrator I use their products almost exclusively... of course there are other items that I can't get through SU that I use from time to time, but because I run a business with SU, I want to mostly use products that I can actually sell.  I tend to prefer softer or subtle colours...although I do have a preference for blues (any shade) and will sometimes break out the brights when I have a need to do something different.  This year some of my favourite cards have been neutrals and metallics.  And yes, I have a love affair with bling and glittery products.  I am also quite prolific so usually have a backlog of projects to show off.  So whilst my work might not be all that different.. i am very committed to getting my stuff and my name out there, and that may set me apart a little.

3. Why do I create what I do?
I was always arty/crafty.. I used to amuse myself growing up on our Northern NSW farm by creating with whatever I could find to create with. I loved art at school, and rediscovered drawing and creating whilst travelling around Canada in 1993, and followed that up with two years at TAFE studying Fine Arts.  I loved screen printing and fabric printing.  But after a nasty collision with PND after my daughter was born it was suggested that recovery might be helped by finding a hobby and doing something just for me. That's when I found Scrapbooking and paper craft. It led me into a whole new world, not just creative release, but a new social network of women that loved what I loved.  When I was introduced to Stampin'Up I fell in love with their products almost instantly.... and i saw that I could support my paper craft habit and maybe even contribute to the family income.  And thats what happened.  It was a love affair that has now continued for 8 years, and the income i earn from it supports my little family, has expanded my friends circle and sends me on a wonderful trip somewhere amazing in the world pretty much every year.  I am so blessed!
There is something very gratifying too about creating something that brings joy to other people.. either the cards or gifts I send to others, or to share my creations in workshops and classes. People come and tell me that they get so much from it... and its great to know that I can pass on all the benefits that I have found in papercrafting, and see others fall in love with it too. :-)

4.How does my creative process work?
I don't overthink it.. which is why it never gets boring or routine. My favourite days are those that I set aside as "designing Days".  I just sit down surrounded by whatever is inspiring me at that moment and play with it!  I try to use whatever is new, and that I think people would love to see.  I love nothing better than to put a bunch of brand new products on the table and mix it up together and see how it turns out.  If I ever lack inspiration then I CASE something from the current catalogues, or I might turn to Pinterest to see what others have done with new products.  But I don't very often find myself lacking inspiration.. the products are so beautiful and easy to work with. And of course everything co-ordinates which makes it much easier.   But don't expect high levels of organisation or a clean space. My brain just doesn't work that way :-)
Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't, but you guys only get to see the projects I love :-) Well mostly....

Ok.. so now I get to introduce you to another blogger that I admire.. Nerida Carter.  Nerida's blog is called "Stamping Joy" and you can see it by clicking HERE.   I was supposed to tag 2 bloggers but unfortunately the other bloggers that I contacted were unable to be part of this blog hop at the current time.  Its school holidays here in Australia and everyone is crazy busy right now.  But I was really grateful that Nerida said yes!

Nerida and I met via a couple of avenues. We had met through a baby care centre where we both took our young children, and then i re-met her again at a Stampin'Up workshop. She started coming to classes and we enjoyed getting to know each other even more.  So when she decided to become a Stampin'Up demonstrator herself I was so excited to have her as part of my team.  Nerida is not only a valuable team member, but our friendship is also precious and we have in the past spent lots of crafting time together.. usually at my house whilst the kids amuse themselves elsewhere in the house. Her gorgeous daughter has become friends with my kids too, which is awesome :-)

Here is a bit more about Nerida in her own words...

I’m Nerida (aka Stamping Joy on Pinterest, blogspot and FB)  My home is on the Central Coast NSW Australia, where I live with my partner and daughter.
I started scrapbooking in 2003 soon after my daughter was born, I think most people start with all those gorgeous baby photos. It was a Stampin' Up! party with my mothers group that inspired me to begin cardmaking in 2007 and I became a demonstrator with Stampin' Up! in August 2008.
I do most of my creating and preparing for classes and parties at my dining room table. Though there is nothing like making cards with a group of friends on a back veranda, or even a favourite coffee shop!
Thanks to my wonderful and creative friend Linda for inviting me to be a part of the Creative Blog Hop.
Thank you for visiting my blog today as part of the Creative Blog Hop. Don't forget to visit Nerida's BLOG next Monday too! 

Linda xx

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Perfect Peacock Collage Card

I held my Perfect Peacock class last week, and whilst the girls were finishing off their projects i was having a play with the stamp myself.  I had been thinking of creating a collage-type card with this stamp, and I did that with the 1" punch and postage stamp punch. The image is coloured with the Blendabilities.  Very simple little card, that was quite quick to make.  But I think its kind of effective, and certainly different. Sometimes I like the place that just having a "play" with the products will lead you.  And of course you can't go wrong with this colour combination...

Here's a close up for you....

Products used are listed below. Enjoy this beautiful Springtime weather! Its school holidays in Australia and I am enjoying some time with the kids and with my fiancee who is visiting from the US currently.  So I might be a little less frequent with my posts, but hopefully this is still plenty here to enjoy. :-)

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Seasonally Scattered - with the Emboss Resist Technique

Last week I accidentally acquired a new stamp set. How could such a thing happen you ask?  Well, I had made a mistake putting through a customers order and accidentally ordered two instead of one. Whoops! Luckily it was a set I've been eyeing off anyway (perhaps it was wishful thinking?) and so the solution was easy.. to send it back or keep it?  Guess which one I chose? (Don't worry.. I paid for it!)

So i've been having a bit of a play and i love it!  The set is called "Seasonally Scattered" and is on page 43 of our latest 2014 Holiday catalogue, available from Stampin'Up Australia!

To get the effect on this card I stamped the image in Versamark clear ink and then clear embossed it. I used Crisp Cantaloupe and Cherry Cobbler ink to sponge colour over the top, so that the clear embossing resisted the ink. You can use either sponges or sponge daubers for this step.  I added some snowflake embellishments and gold sequins to finish it off. (I admit to using a gold sequin to hide an ink mark that I had accidentally made on my card.  No such thing as a mistake right??

The full card, and the products used are shown below.  Don't forget if you want to order any of these lovely products you can do that by visiting the Online Store. Just click HERE.  

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Bravo to my wonderful Team Members!

I have a wonderful team of demonstrators that I "work" with.  We have our own Facebook forum that allows us to talk to each other, to ask questions and to share products. We have monthly challenges, and lots of inspiration to share.  Having a team is for me one of the most satisfying parts of being a demonstrator with SU.  Last week there was chat on the forum about how we each came to be involved in paper craft and with Stampin'Up Australia.  There were some really touching stories, and it is good to remember that we don't just do this business for monetary benefits, but also for all the wonderful social and therapeutic benefits that is brings to us.  Some found SU at very difficult times in their lives (myself included) and it provided us with focus and something just for us.  I think that's really important.

So I've been making Congratulations cards for some of my team members again.  This one went out yesterday to a team member who had an AMAZING month in August and went far beyond her previous targets.  Even better she is on target for the Hawaii trip next year, and I am really excited at the prospect of sharing it with her.

This is the card I gave her.  I hope you like it too. It features a new technique I've been playing around with (Blendabilities and Embossing)… I thought I might do a video tutorial on this one. What do you think??

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Bright and Beautiful star frame card

This afternoon I am holding a workshop with a lovely hostess and I wanted to show you the card I have created to make together with her friends. Its a simple card, but there is some Big Shot stuff and it showcases the Bright and Beautiful stars really well. I've had a lot of fun with these lately!

I'd love to be able to make a project with you too! Right now is a great time because from now until the end of October when you host a qualifying workshop you also get a free 19-piece stamp set that includes the following stamps:

You can have it in your choice of Wood mount or clear mount.  And its completely free ON TOP OF the existing hostess benefits. How cool is that? You can't purchase it, and it won't be available to buy later.  Its a hostess-only special right now.

So don't miss out.. CONTACT ME to host your own workshop. Its easy.. just a few of your friends around your dining table, and everyone enjoys their creative and social time and goes home with something beautiful that they made themselves.

If you want to make this card above.. let me know, or we can make something else that you have in mind. :-)

Thursday, 11 September 2014

CASing the Catalogue - Bright and Beautiful stars

I am running a little challenge over on my team forum this month to copy something or be inspired by something in our current catalogues. This is known in the paper craft world as "to CASE".. it stands for "Copy and Share Everything" and it is thoroughly encouraged.  So here is the card that I came up with.. inspired by a pic of a journal on page 40 of our new Holiday catalogue. I think it came up beautifully.. what do you think??

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The new Christmas Bauble is so lovely to colour…

I've actually been quite prolific lately with my card production.  I have quite a collection of cards and other projects to show you over the coming weeks. Which is probably a good thing with school holidays coming up at the end of next week.  Tonight I was playing with the new Christmas Bauble stamp.. its a single set available in our new Holiday catalogue, and it offers lots of colouring possibilities.  Today I decided to use our Blendabilites to colour it, and the obvious choice was the Cherry Cobbler set, and the Old Olive set. It came up really pretty.. and so I made it into a card. The supplies are listed below. Enjoy the card, and I'll be back with more to show off soon…

(To order any of these products, visit the Online Store by clicking HERE.  Please note that the Oval Framelits used on the card are actually on special this week.. you'll find them and other awesome bargains int the "Weekly Deals" in the store.)  The sentiment on this card is not available in the store because its a hostess only special for hosting a workshop before the end of October. :-)

Here's a close up of the card for you too…