Thursday, 17 January 2019

Just Add Ink #440 - Just Add Something New blog hop

Welcome to our first Just Add Ink challenge for 2019. To kick the JAI year off we are all participating in a blog hop where we are adding something new. It could be new products, new techniques .... anything new!

I just had to have a play with my favourite new stamp set - Flowering Desert. I have so many ideas in my head for ways to use this stamp set but for some reason this was the idea that made it onto my first Flowering Desert card!

I know that I will be making cards using more cactus-like colours but the sentiment on this card gave me the idea to make a cactus with an individual style! I heat embossed in white on Night of Navy cardstock and coloured the flowers in with Lovely Lipstick Stampin' Blends. Not much to it really but I was really happy with how it turned out.

And you might have spied my other favourite new product - the Rectangle Stitched Shapes framelits. Love them! They give such a fabulous edge to your cardstock and with 13 framelits in the set you have so many options for frames and mat sizes. Oh and when you are short of time like I always seem to be (please tell me I am not the only one!) they add a fab detail to cards .... quickly!

The inside of the card got some love too. I thought the 'you're so awesome' paired really well with the sentiment on the front of the card. 

And of course everyone loves a pretty envelope!

I love the depth you get by simply raising the stitched frame with foam adhesive strips. Such a simple thing to do to really elevate (ha!) your card!

I am sure that I will make lots of cards using this fab set using greens but for my first card using it I am happy with this individual, non-traditional colour scheme.

I do hope you stick around and hop to each of the JAI Design Teams blogs to see more fabulous new things.  Next up is the lovely, cute and very talented Jan McQueen.

Have you got some new products or learnt a new technique? Why not enter your own creation? We always love seeing them!


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Thursday, 10 January 2019

What sparks joy for you? Me .... it's creating.

Instead of sharing a project today I have an idea to talk about with you. It's a New Year's Resolution .... of sorts! So it all started with me watching a comedy on tv where the characters were decluttering. I was in hysterics as one lady clutched a glittery, sequined gaudy jumper professing that 'yes..... it does spark joy!' I knew there had to be more behind the idea so mentioned this to my book club friends who told me about the book that the idea comes from - The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organising by Marie Kondo.

Now I haven't read the whole book - just an excerpt on the idea of getting rid of things that do not spark joy for you - so I am by no means an expert on the book ..... but I have watched some of her tv show. I will read the book too but the whole notion of only keeping things that spark joy got me thinking about applying that to doing things that spark joy. Now there are always things that we have to do in our daily lives that probably don't spark a lot of joy (ironing for me) but there are also a lot of things that we choose to do that don't spark joy.

My key resolution this year is to be better at making time to do the things that spark joy in me. The main way I can do that is just creating with no other purpose than to loose myself in the creative process. Sure, I might be making it with a particular person in mind but I want to allow myself time to really enjoy getting lost in the creative vortex. Even if it is only for 30 minutes, the stress relief and happiness (joy) that will give me will last well into the rest of the day.

So now I just need to make that happen! Stamping and creating cards is one of my best 'joy sparkers'. I may have just made that phrase up! One of the best creative things I have ever done was to become a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. There are a lot of reasons why this was such a fab decision, but the main one is the creative community that it opened up for me. I have made so many wonderful friends through Stampin' Up! who just get why creating sparks joy in me. We mingle through online forums, team days where we get together and best of all the OnStage events every 6 monthly where we get to see and use lots of new products and meet up with demonstrators from all over the country (and world).

So that is my plan - do more joy sparking!

And I have a way for you to be able to spark more joy in your life too! You can just create of course (and if you are using Stampin' Up! products all the better!) but why not become a Demonstrator and mix with fab, like minded people. I don't usual push for people to join but this time of year has such a great incentive that it would be just plain rude of me not to let you know! Here is the fabulous promotion for joining.

Yes you did read that right - the Starter Kit offer means that for $169 you get $315 worth of your choice of products, free shipping and a 20% discount to purchase more of your favourites. And you can upgrade your Starter Kit to include the Craft & Carry Tote.  This exclusive tote is only available to new demonstrators. The upgrade is $210 and includes the above items from the $169 kit plus the tote.

You can read more information about joining my team here but in a nutshell there are no other hidden requirements. There are:
  • No minimum number of workshops, demonstrations or parties
  • No minimum time commitment
  • No minimum customer numbers (you can just buy for yourself and take advantage of the minimum 20% discount)
  • No penalty if you find that being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator doesn’t suit you - you just drop out!
There is so much support that you can receive from both myself and Stampin' Up!.

Why pay full price for products when you can get a minimum of 20% off each order for as long as you choose be a demonstrator!

I would dearly love to have you on my team. You can live anywhere in Australia - team meetings can happen online after all if needed. So if this is something you have  been contemplating or just buy Stampin' Up! products regularly ..... why not just join? You will have so much joy sparked!

Thanks for hanging in there! If you got this far I'd love to hear what sparks joy for you and how you plan to fit more of that in this year.

Let the joy sparking begin!


Monday, 7 January 2019

Stamp Review Crew - Fabulous Flamingo

Welcome back to another Stamp Review Crew blog hop. The Stamp Review Crew is a group of Stampin' Up! demonstrators from around the world that get together on the 1st and 3rd Monday of each month for a blog hop. Each hop we showcase one stamp set and show you just how much you can do with it. Get ready for lots of inspiration and lots of reasons to use (or buy😊) this stamp set! Currently you are visiting Lou Kitzelman on the Sunshine Coast, Australia. Hi!

For this hop we are featuring the Fabulous Flamingo stamp set. 
It's a set I had forgotten about - always happens when you have new toys to play with! I've been quite sick with a virus for the last week and haven't been feeling flamingoish so struggled creating this card. It's a lovely set to use but my mojo left once I got sick - may have coughed it up! Anyway this is what I came up with.

Three stamps go together to make the flamingo and you get this great texture and depth. I have used Rich Razzleberry, Flirty Flamingo (how could I not???) and Petal Pink. Then I used some Wink of Stella and Flirty Flamingo ink to soften and blend a bit.

Once she was dry I embossed with the Subtle embossing folder for a bit of texture. 

The other reason that I struggled creating this card is that one of my stamping friends, Katrina Duffell, made 2 gorgeous cards when the stamp set first came out.  I find it hard to compete with my all time favourite cards done with this stamp set. Check out Katrina's two fabulous creations here and here and you will see what I mean! And ..... her cards will give you some more ideas on how to use this stamp set.

Make sure you hop around to see what all the crew have done with this gorgeous stamp set. Next up is Lauren. She will have something amazing to show us!


Sunday, 6 January 2019

ESAD 2019 Occasions Catalogue and Sale-a-bration blog hop

I love new catalogue time ... but add in free products and ... well you had me at free! The Stampin' Up! 2019 Occasions Catalogue has been launched along with the Sale-a-bration promotion. For every $90 AUD you spend you get to choose from fabulous free Sale-a-bration products and to help you find ways to earn those freebies the ESAD (Extra Special Australasian Demonstrators) girls are here to tempt you with lots of fabulous new products. So get comfy, grab a drink of choice and get ready to make a very long wish list!

With so many fabulous products in this catalogue I had to calm myself down and decide on just a few to show you today. So I came up with these fun cards.....

...... using the Vibrant Vases stamp set (which coordinates with the Vases Builder punch from the Annual Catalogue) and the fabulous Rectangle Stitched Shapes framelits.

Aren't those blooms lovely?

I have been quite sick with a virus since new year (no partying for this animal this year!) so have kept my designs simple. Some embossing straight on the card front using the Subtle Embossing Folder and white heat embossing helped lift my design. I think January will be the month of white space for me!

By raising the frame with foam adhesive strips you get depth simply and easily. These stitched framlits have stitching either side of the cut straight edge so you are able to use the inside of the frame as well. I have adhered the inside piece inside the frame flat onto the card front to break up the texture. These framelits give you a fabulous rounded edge and deep stitching. Such a professional finish. Oh and I should mention that the Amazing Life stamp set, that the Happy Birthday is from, coordinates with the Rectangle Stitched Shapes framelits too.

I had fun playing around with different sized frames for each card. One thing to keep in mind when using the Rectangle Stitched framelits is that they are made for the letter size card stock and not for A4. But .... I discovered that with a slight size modification you can easily get A4 to work and be in perfect proportion. Simply cut your cards so that the card measures 14 cm x 10.5 cm when folded. The usual size when folded is 14.8 cm x 10.5 cm.  

I love the depth you get by raising the frame. Such a simple thing to do to elevate (pun intended) your designs!

Make sure you hop around to see how all the ESAD girls have tried to tempt you with more fabulous new products. And once you've made your wish list I would be only too happy to help you out by placing your order for you! Or .... why pay full price when you can become a demonstrator and get a minimum 20% discount on your orders! Contact me for details on the fabulous joining promotions at the moment or read about them here.

Next up is the fabulous Leonie.

Blog Hop Participant List:
1. Lou Kitzelman - that's me!

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