Friday, 21 July 2017

Coffee Cup Frenzy....

Had to quickly share this Thank You card I made to accompany an order yesterday...

This was a quick update to this card posted earlier here... for a Foil Frenzy paper fanatic! And her reaction was priceless... first the gasp... then the ooh... then the 5 minutes touching it all!!
Definitely worth the remake for the delighted reaction! Just wish I had made a few more whilst everything was out... 

Craft Spa Recipe
A4 Crumb Cake A6 Card Blank
A4 Whisper White 10 x 14.3cm
Paper Coffee Break 10 x 5cm
Ribbon 3/8" Classic Weave Soft Sky
Coffee Cafe Stamps and dies
Paper Foil Frenzy

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Happy Birthday Gorgeous Balloons & Foil Frenzy Card

Simple panel trio card from some 1" strip Foil Frenzy paper leftovers for you today... leftovers from the sides of the die cut Window Boxes and the Gift Bag shared over the last 2 days...

Greeting and punched balloons care of Happy Birthday Gorgeous as I thought it was about time the balloons in this set took centrestage... the Hooray balloon being stamped in Archival Black which worked a treat on the shiny foiled elements of this paper...
Greeting label using the new 2 1/4" Circle Punch...  a punch that a few of you have told me you had overlooked!

Balloon strings care of the new Pool Party Bakers Twine... and finished off with the Pool Party 3/8" Shimmer Ribbon again

Light, bright and ever so shiny... makes a young heart sing!
Craft Spa Recipe
A4 Thick Whisper White A6 Tent card blank (ie 10.5cm x A4L, Scored LANDSCAPE at 14.8cm)
A4 Pool Party 10 x 14.3cm
A4 Lemon Lime Twist 9 x 10.5cm
A4 Thick Whisper White 10 x 3cm
Foil Frenzy strips 1" (2.5cm) x 10cm

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Foil Frenzy Happy Birthday Gorgeous Gift Bag

Another shiny make care of the Foil Frenzy papers... this time a simple Gift Bag using the Gift Bag Punch Board

So this is a medium-sized bag about 4 3/4" finished height from half a piece of 12" paper... Simply decorated with Lots of Labels die-cuts and a bit of Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamping
And a tip... these Foil Frenzy papers are actually Soft Sky... but Pool Party is used for the ribbon and stamping instead... as it kind of works better! The shimmery nature of the ribbon and the brightness of Pool Party just co-ordinating with the shine of the papers better!

This is a project we made at Julie's last Quarterly training... and I have to admit that it took me a while to remember how to use the Gift Bag Punch board!!
For those of you feeling the same!! Here is the Stampin' Up! video to remind you... But fear not... mine is still out in my crafty space and it may be used a few times in the near future!

Simple, quick but effective make (once you remember how to use your punch board!)... and a robust gift bag care of the fabulous Foil Frenzy papers... what's not to love!

Craft Spa Recipe
Foil Frenzy Paper 6" x 11". Score at M (medium) for front & back...

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Foil Frenzy Window Gift Box

Foil Frenzy papers meets Window Box dies... with the Happy Birthday Gorgeous stamps to decorate...

With lots of 1/2" Finely Woven Berry Burst ribbon to finish it off... 
Circles punched using the new 2 1/4" punch and the 2" punch

And a tip for you for the top hexagon panel ... I drew round the decorative Window Box die on Lemon Lime Twist card and then cut out by hand.

I then die cut a white panel with the same die and then hand cut that too... there were even lines caused by the pressure around the die to guide me!! Easy peasy!
All in all....  a pretty and shiny box!

Monday, 17 July 2017

Merry Monday! Hope it makes you laugh too!?

Nope not my first Christmas post of the year yet... but something rather different today... as I just had to laugh when these photos were sent to me and I hope that you do too....

So... as mentioned in my 9 year Stampin' Up! Anniversary post yesterday... For 5 years I have had a lovely group of "School Mum's" that come and craft with me once a month... it is our time to see each other & keep in touch now that we don't hang around at the school gate, swap a few stories, have lunch, have a bit of a gossip... and make some incredible projects! 4 of us met as our son's have been great school friends for years... and we also have family camping and bunk barn holidays together...

But it appears that the boys (aka Big Boys... aka Husbands) have been feeling left out... and reckon they are organising their own crafty sessions behind our backs... as the greeting in this card surely shows!!!
Lovely Anniversary card Andrew! Right up my street... But be careful what you wish for...
I have now taken on the new challenge of a " Boxes for the Boys" session when we are next all together later in August!!! I hope that you all enjoy it Andrew!!!

And Happy Anniversary Andrea and Andrew...

PS My husband, Jon was denying it all!!! Maybe he had too much craft beer to remember that particular session!!

Sunday, 16 July 2017

My 9 year Stampin' Up! Anniversary

Wow where have the last 9 years gone... Little did I know the journey I was going to take when I first signed up with Stampin' Up! 9 years ago... The time really has flown... and what an amazing journey I have had... best thing as a crafter I ever did!!

And so I have a potted history of Amanda Bates as a crafter and Stampin' Up! demonstrator to share with you... as I have been given the personal challenge of  "blowing my own trumpet" for a change..! which for those of you that know me... know that that is something I REALLY struggle to do!!! So this will be an interesting challenge for me!! And definitely a rambling post of which parts will only mean anything to fellow Stampin' Up! demonstrators...!!! So I am probably pretty safe from everyone reading my trumpet parts!!

I joined the Stampin' Up! family 9 years ago for the reasons that most people do - purely for the discount on the great co-ordinating products... for which I had a huge wish list! I had been papercrafting for about 4 years ... but my crafting at the time was at classes run by other people plus special cards for family and friends that I made at home from what I learnt at those classes...

A group of my local friends (aka School Mums #1) met monthly for coffee... and I showed them how to make a project at a couple of our meetings. Then Sarah asked if they could pay me and make a batch of Christmas cards... why yes!! So running monthly classes started very early on in my Stampin' Up! career...

After a few months (and lots of Christmas cards, table treat holders, decorations and gift card holders) I felt able (confident enough!) to offer classes to my crafting friends too... and so I started to run 3 different monthly sessions... and stopped going to other classes. The internet was by then booming in our Stampin' Up! world and tutorials were readily available for me to use with my own little twists! I was REALLY learning lots...

I was lucky... two of my monthly cardmaking sessions changed to fortnightly... and I started to run All Day Saturday classes for scrapbooking, 3D and home decor items too...

Some ladies were ordering, others signed up and started to run their own classes and events. We were in a lovely crafty & social bubble and soon I promoted to Silver 2... I started to blog... and at some point I became able to play around with dies & punches and design my own cards and card folds - mainly care of the Scallop Square die!! And boxes too care of the Grid Paper!!

But sadly my upline had dropped way back at the beginning of my Stampin' Up! journey... and roll on 4 years... I craved the need for being part of a SU! team with training, support from other demos and meet-ups! And my own team had just dropped like flies! And I had a new School Mums #2 class and sales were beginning to rise again... So to cut a long story short... just over 5 years ago in May I resigned... and signed up again 2 hours later as one of Julie's Jems... 2nd best thing as a crafter I did!!! Love being a Jem!!

18 hours later I set my first Jems record as I had my first (totally unexpected) recruit. The next month another previous team member re-signed up, I had soaring sales and Bronze 2 promotion - and oh the nickname of the Scallop Square Queen! Then another re-sign up in Month 3 and Bronze 3 promotion. 3 months after that shiny Silver for me and a full Stampin Start quota of 10 free stamp sets!! And wonderfully my team member re-sign ups each gained 4-5 free stamp sets and promoted too. We were all so fulfilled - amazing what experience can bring to a 2nd time around demo...!! And then I went on to get my "old" title of Silver 2 back within my first 12 months. Happy Dance!

Blogging and tutorial writing became a routine thing! Don't know how (or why!) I started doing daily blog posts as it was never my intention!! But my subscribers started to rise... I got lots of lovely feedback... and I started to monitor my "progress" on the UK Crafty Blogs rankings (a listing of all- crafting-type blogs run by UK residents)

I rose quickly from no. 800ish to Top 100 and I thought I might achieve Top 75. You maybe heard the squeal the day I hit Top 50... the incredulous gasp when I hit Top 25 and now Top 15 for the past 7 months!! WOW! Reaching no. 11 quite a few times in those 7 months much to my amazement!!

Over 550 of you from all around the world visit me daily ... WOW! It doesn't seem like a minute ago since I was proud that I had just 20 blog subscribers...  Now I have over 2000... And thank you to each and every one of you! Especially those of you that comment from time to time... that is always so appreciated and inspires me to continue doing what I do... and how I have got to know some of you more personally...

And of course dreaming up new Card Folds  - or tweaking others - became a big thing!! Along with the nickname of Fancy Fold Queen! Though I do have to laugh as my other nickname is CAS (Clean & Simple) Princess!! I think some people see one part of me - and others see the other... hopefully that just gives some variety!
I love to create and share  - and hopefully inspire a few others along the way! Be it for classes, my blog, team events or Stampin' Up! events or my blog...

I have been a Display Stamper for Stampin' Up! events and even did one presentation at a Regional event (can't remember who was there or what I said though as the word petrified still springs to mind!) And I have created for and run parts of our Jems Quarterly training over the years . As well as always being a very willing Inspiration Station producer - the first being with days of my sign up - think it was nearly 50 Scallop Square die projects!!! Still miss using that die! Hence my Scallop Square Die Queen title at the time!
The last 12 months or so have brought some amazing Stampin' UP! successes - running at Gold level sales level (almost Gold Elite even), being Top Sales quite a lot in the Jems team and Top Recruiter a couple of times... and achieving 50,000 sales in my 5 years as a Jem... and my own lovely team of 9... though that Gold promotion has still so far eluded me! And last SU! year I earnt a free iPad from Stampin' UP! and very almost hit the 100,000 Flex Points level... WOW! I never ever expected all that... Toot toot and rambling over! Or have I missed something!!?

But actually all those great moments and achievements are only part of the story... as friendships are definitely the most amazing part of my 9 years journey... Friends of mine that I have converted to crafters! - which means that we have all stayed in regular touch - and will continue to do so... Other class attendees & my team members that have become great friends. Fellow Jems and many more demos in other UK teams that I have laughed and cried with! And many more around the world through this little ol' blog! So many long standing friendships... I feel so lucky to be someone who has made so many friends and have such a great social life through my crafting world!!! Not sure DH gets it!!

And so onto my tenth year!! Who knows what that will bring... any suggestions from you welcome!! But I will certainly continue to love creating and sharing by running my classes and posting to my blog, being a Craft Therapists team leader and Jems team member with all my lovely demo friends as well as looking forward to enjoying the 10 year Stampin' Up UK anniversary later this year and 30 years of Stampin' Up next year! Going to be a great year for all demonstrators - whatever it brings for me personally....

Fancy having a go and expanding your crafty side? This month is a great one to join in as lots of lovely extras in the Starter Kit... Click here for this month's promotion... and/or here to join my Team straightaway - or here to contact me for more information. I would love to see my biggest team ever in my tenth year as a Stampin' Up! demonstrator!

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Foil Frenzy & Crafting Forever Concertina Card

The perfect way to celebrate a milestone moment for Betty in my Craft Therapists team... a specially designed new card with our new Crafting Forever stamp set and some special shiny Foil Frenzy paper which proved perfect for the job!
Crafting Forever Clear-Mount Stamp Set
Firstly, the card fold... I have shared many a Scallop Tag Topper Concertina card over the years since we first made one at Julie's training. But they all had 10 panels and more preparation/decoration... click here for the tutorial for the 10 panel ones...
The tutorial for this one will be another day...but this version has 14 panels allowing me to include the 11 letters in the Bronze Elite words plus 3 more for decoration... and this one is a lot simpler and quicker to decorate care of the thickness of the Foil Frenzy papers...
And secondly, the paper. The Tangerine Tango foiled papers in the very shiny Foil Frenzy pack are fantastic coupled with the Copper Foil to mark such a Bronze Elite occasion...
Foil Frenzy Specialty Designer Series Paper
I also used greetings from Happy Birthday Gorgeous (very glad I bought this stamp set... have to admit that I have had a lot of use out of it - many unexpected!), the wonderful Scallop Tag Topper Punch and the Classic Label punch
Congratulations on your promotion again Betty... I am very proud of you... enjoy your 25% discount on your Stampin' Up! supplies in the future!!! And your very special gift from me!

And for anyone else ready for a discount on products or to take on a new journey in their crafting life... click here to join me and The Craft Therapists Team... there are lots of extras available to you in the starter kit this month.... so now is a good time...

Friday, 14 July 2017

Flower Shop Small Square Double Z Joy Fold Card with Tutorial

Here is my favourite of the Double Z Fold cards... so you may see a few of these over time... and seeing as it is Fancy Fold Friday... another tutorial for you!

I used the Fresh Florals papers in Tranquil Tide, Flower Shop stamps with co-ordinating Pansy Punch, Stitched Framelits dies and One Big Meaning greeting stamps... just click on the highlighted links if you want to look at those products on-line...

And as I made quite a few of these ... as I had a batch of Thank You cards to make... you can see the effects of different combinations of card panels and papers!!
Larger white panel with smaller Pool Party...
Larger & smaller Pool Party ...
Larger Pool Party & smaller Tranquil Tide... 
And now for the Tutorial... with some added step by step photos of the gluing steps for those of you that want them... 

Note: black type for centimetres using A4 cardstock & blue type for inches using US 8 1/2" x 11" cardstock...

Craft Spa Recipe (A4)
A4 Pool Party/Thick Whisper White 21 x 10.5cm
A4 Pool Party/Tranquil Tide 17.5 x 7cm
A4 Whisper White Front Stitched Framelit Square/6.5cm Square; Small Centre 4.7 x 6.5cm
Paper Left Front 4.7 x 10cm
Paper Right Back 10 cm Square
Paper Small Back 4.7 x 6.5cm

Craft Spa Recipe (US)
US Letter Card Pool Party/Thick Whisper White 8 1/2" x 4 1/4"
US Pool Party/Tranquil Tide 7" x 2 3/4"
US Whisper White Card Front Stitched Framelit/2 1/2" Square; Small Centre 1 7/8" x 2 1/2"
Paper Left Front 1 7/8" x 4"
Paper Right Back 4" Square
Paper Small Back  1 7/8" x 2 1/2"

Craft Spa Directions (A4)
1. Score large Pool Party/Thick Whisper White LANDSCAPE panel at 5.25 & 10.5cm (US 2 1/8" & 4 1/4")
2. Z Bone Fold. Valley for halfway/centre... Peak for quarter-way

3. Score small Pool Party/Tranquil Tide LANDSCAPE panel at 5.25 & 10.5 cm 
(US 2 1/8" & 4 1/4")
4. Z Bone Fold. Peak halfway-ish (front) fold... Valley for Quarter-ish (back) fold

5. Adhere papers

Now to sticking the two Z Fold parts. Think about what needs to go where!!! Otherwise you will just stick your whole card together and it won't open after all!! Suggest a dry run with no glue the first time... then it should all become obvious... though I have added some photos of how I do it!

6. Adhere back section of smaller Z Fold onto back face of main card. Close the small Z Fold with the square/front face at the top and the Z folds behind... Apply glue to back/narrower face.. 

7. Eyeball the small Z Fold square/front face centrally onto the back panel... and stick...
8. Open out the smaller Z Fold off to the right & close the front folds of the main card
9. Adhere front part of smaller Z Fold onto main card front (think about where NOT to put your glue... I use my fingers to guide me where I have put the pen in the photo...
10. Decorate as desired... and yes this is a full opening version (and there is no partial-opening version!)

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Carols of Christmas...coming soon.... & Bonus Days...

I have been asked to share a clearer image of the lovely Carols of Christmas stamp set available for free in a Demo Starter Kit this month... or on general pre-release from 1st August... so here you go...
Unfortunately I do not have an image of the fabulous co-ordinating Card Front Builder dies to share... but panic not... I have the next best thing!! The stamps and dies have arrived today so I will be able to create and share from Friday!! I cannot wait!! 

Want to get your hands on the set straightaway... well you can... 
Sign up with Stampin Up! for £99 during July and get a free Essentials Gift Pack and free Carols of Christmas stamps worth £65 on top of the usual £130 product in your starter kit... 

Essentials Gift Pack includes 2 x Clear D Block, Grid Paper, Paper Snips, SNAIL adhesive and Bone Folder.

And do remember to pop the co-ordinating Card Front Builder dies in as part of your starter kit order (£27...code 144674) so you can play properly straight away. 

Just click here to join Stampin' Up! and my team right away... I would love to have you aboard... OR otherwise click here to contact me for more information. No obligation of course. 

In the meantime.... here are some samples created by the Stampin' Up! creative team... look close and you can see the major die cuts!
And do remember the other July promotion from Stampin' Up! ...
Bonus Days for shoppers... For every £45 you spend in July you will get a coupon code for £4.50 to spend for free in August!!! Call it a gift to yourself... Click here to start shopping online... 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Flower Shop & Fresh Florals U Fold Card

Quick post today... as Wimbledon calls!!

Another U Fold (aka Bridge Fold aka Centre Box Fold) card... click here for the tutorial... this one using the 3cm high front panel again...
Using Fresh Florals papers, Flower Shop & Pansy Punch, Happy Birthday die, Silver Glimmer Paper and Clear Faceted Gems - and the new 2 1/4" Circle Punch...

Happy Birthday die cut and then snipped into 2 to form a long thin greeting instead of the short fat as it comes version .... aqua-painted Tranquil Tide on white for the Happy.... and Silver Glimmer for the Birthday...

And it all folds flat for putting into your standard C6 envelope...