Mon 29 Feb 2016

Hello lovelies! This week's Mojo Monday is all about washi tape. It's been popular for ages, but I have to admit that I really didn't "get" what it was all about. I'm a clean and simple kind of a crafter, I like things neat, and aligned, and tidy. That is, I can do random, and "off-kilter", but only in a very organised way. So washi tape really didn't do it for me. You know, you can tear it and add a strip here, and a strip there, and... What?! Tear?! I'm a cutting girl - I don't do tearing. I can't do it neatly. So I didn't "get" what all the fuss was about.

How things change. When I ordered the Botanical Gardens suite after November's "On Stage Live" (what used to be called Convention), I decided to go the whole hog and get EVERYTHING. Washi tape included. The neat freak in me couldn't deal with ordering everything exept one item - it felt untidy. I sat and looked at it for ages, then decided to flip through my catalogues looking for some inspiration. The photo I found (over to the left) is on page 29 of the Spring Summer catalogue.

Now, I'm not going round the bend. I know there isn't actually any washi tape on here, but it inspired me in my quest to use my washi tape, nevertheless. There, sitting on my desk, staring at me, was a pack of far-too-little-used Expressions Natural Elements (wooden embellishments) and I thought: I'll use tape as a background! (Now does it make more sense?)

Here is the card I was inspired to make:

Celebrate Washi Tape Card

I even put the washi tape on crooked. Deliberately! How brave am I?! I really love the effect. Botanical Gardens washi tape teamed with the Timeless Textures stamp set, and I reckon it works really well. What do you think? To add "a little something", I zhuzhed up the greeting with my new Wink of Stella Clear Glitter Brush. If you zoom in on the photo you can just about see the sparkle. Lovely!

While I was on a roll (no pun intended!) with my washi tape, I carried on to make a welcome card for a new member of my team, along similar lines. Gill's favourite colours are blues, so I made this one for her:

I'm not sure the photo does it justice, but this really cute in real life. Everyday Chic Designer Washi Tape, this time, and a die-cut "Hello" from the Hello You thinlits die pack. The sentiment is brushed with Wink of Stella again - I'm loving the subtle sparkle you get with this.

So. I've ventured into the world of washi tape, and will definitely be using more of it now I've started. How about you? Is washi tape your thing? Comment and let me know - I'd love to hear.

Thanks for dropping in! 



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Fri 26 Feb 2016

Gosh, this is a little later than I'd hoped, but here, at last, are the projects we made at my "Mostly Cards" class this month. We were focussing on the fabulous "Botanical Blooms" stamp set and its co-ordinating suite of products and - oh my goodness - we had SO MUCH FUN!! It was so good to be back doing classes again. I have really missed it!

When I first saw this suite, I wasn't terribly taken with the stamp set, but I bought it along with the dies and DSP as the discount on the bundle (15%) was too good to miss. I'm so glad I did. They're actually really versatile and can work for creating backgrounds and focal points in their own right. I know I'm not the only one who had reservations, so I made sure that two of the cards that we made wer very heavily biased towards the stamping. Here they are (with a little thanks to the "Botanicals for You" and "Endless Thanks" stamp sets for the sentiments):

This next one brought in the DSP (look at how the stamped detail adds life to the already beautiful paper) and, of course, the utterly gorgeous dies. I can't imagine ever getting tired of being able to create flowers like this!

Another flower on this one, plus that fabulous die-cut border. I love that it's wide enough to cut a border across the entire width (or height) of an A6-sized card. Or you can angle it across the corner, as I did here. Either way, it's pretty special. I'm loving the Metal-Rimmed Pearls too, and the White Jute Ribbon. Lovely and tactile!

Choosing which projects to include in this class was SO hard. I ended up thinking that I should have scheduled this as a whole day's class, rather than just a couple of hours. It was SO difficult narrowing it down, and of course I've only been able to scratch the surface of what this fabulous suite can be used for. I've got loads more to show you, so watch out for more photos coming up. (Or check out my Facebook page or Instagram feed - I try to keep those updated with pics of projects as I make them.)

Finally, I wanted to share some pics of the lovely ladies who joined me for Saturday's class. Get me - I actually remembered to take some photos!! It was wonderful to share the afternoon with them, and to enjoy their company. Here they are, hard at work:

In our March classes, we're going to be creating a range of projects using the fab "Timeless Textures" stamp set, from the current Spring Summer catalogue. You can find out more information here. Fancy joining us? You'd be very welcome!




Mon 22 Feb 2016

I'm back! It's ages since I've posted here, but I haven't gone away - just been juggling everything a bit. So... I'm trying a new kind of schedule, in the hope that it'll mean that I can keep my blog updated more regularly. "Mojo Monday" is going to be a new, regular feature, where I highlight something in one of the current Stampin' Up! catalogues that has really kickstarted my creative juices. I love that our catalogues show lots of delicious inspiration, and I know I'm not the only one who uses the samples shown as a starting point, so I really hope this is going to be a useful and interesting series. 

This first Mojo Monday is going to feature one of my favourite ranges from the Spring / Summer catalogue: the Botanical Gardens suite. Here's a taster..

Botanical Gardens from Stampin' Up!

Now, this isn't usually the kind of thing I'd go for, as I'm usually quite a CAS (clean and simple) kind of a crafter, but something about this suite really caught my imagination. It may be because it's midwinter here in the UK, and pretty grey and gloomy all round, but the lush vibrancy of these stamps and papers just had me itching to use them. Just look at how ALIVE everything is!

The photo is taken from page 26 of the Spring Summer catalogue, and highlights one of the really clever features of some of the Botanical Gardens Designer Series Papers (item 140583). Just to the right of the stamp, you can see one of the DSP sheets in its "out of the pack" state. Really pretty, yes? Well, just look how you can make it pop by adding stamped highlights to it, using the co-ordinating stamp set, "Botanical Blooms" (item 140757). That's what the designer has done in making the card on the left hand side of the picture. Doesn't it look amazing?!

At my class a couple of days ago, I was showing my lovely ladies how they could add their own highlights to the DSP by stamping on it in this way, and I just wish I could have bottled the excitement - it was so good to be a part of it! Now, stamping on patterned paper is not new, but isn't it wonderful when you find a new way to use an old technique - and how clever of Stampin' Up! to give us DSP that we can have a hand in designing. 

You may have gathered that I have really loved using this set. I've been having such fun playing with it. The co-ordinating dies (Botanical Builder Framelits: item 140625) make it so easy to create the most magical flowers, and I'll be sharing some of those later this week. Have another look at that picture again. See the Cajun Craze flower sitting next to the die? Well, those clever little "inner petals" were cut out at the same time as the flower itself. There's a second cut-line inside the die, which adds this extra detail when you put the die through the Big Shot - really quick and simple. You can curl the petals to add dimension or, as I've found, it looks really special if you cut away these inside petals when you layer the flower up with smaller ones. Watch this space, and I'll be back to show you what I mean.

I can't resist showing you the Botanical Gardens DSP pack as a whole... It's just GORGEOUS!

Just look at that! Lush or what?

I love the fact that one side of each paper is a really bold, in-your-face design, while the other side of each is much more muted. Paper for every mood. Love it!

On Wednesday, I'll be back to share the projects that we made at my February classes, all using this gorgeous suite of products. I'll also be launching my online version of the class too, so that you can take part even if you weren't able to get to this part of sunny Suffolk to join us in person. I'll even tell you how you can get a discount on the price of the class, so do pop back for a look. 

In the meantime, you can take a look at the full range of products in this suite by clicking on the links below. And, of course, if you have any questions, then you can always contact me by commenting on this post, or by using the "Contact Us" link at the top of the page. I always love to hear from you. 


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