Friday, 31 January 2014

Happy New Year – or should I say - Happy Congratulations

2014_01, AmandaBates, The Craft Spa,  Happy Congratulations (3)

Well today seemed like an appropriate day to share this card.  As it is the start of the Chinese New Year – Year of The Horse.

And although there are no horses here…. there is a Chinese lantern theme….

This card is the one I made to swap with my fellow team members at our Quarterly Training last Saturday. I loved this little Happy Congratulations stamp set when I saw it in the new Spring Summer Catalogue – and my overactive little crafty brain has come up with lots of alternative ideas to make using it – but more of those on another day! I can feel another mini series coming on……

For now – here is a card just simply showing off the little beauty in all its glory. The words are from the stamp set too.

A few alternatives for you – firstly just a switch of the card base colour. My swap  - below- was done on a Crumb Cake card base…. though I do personally prefer the white above … but my swap cards always seem to be on a white base – so I had thought I would do something different for a change!!

2014_01, AmandaBates, The Craft Spa,  Happy Congratulations (2)

You will notice that 3 of the lanterns are a different  pattern…. the wiggly Coastal Cabana to the right is just a 3/4” circle punched from the new Fresh Prints DSP stack.

The other 2 are stamped and then punched… the central flowery Crumb Cake one being a hexagon originally (Six Sided Sampler) and the other one to the left being punched out of the blossom branch image from the Hopeful Thoughts stamp set. All 3 of these were then lightly daubed around the edges with Crumb Cake ink.

And here is the same layout but another colourway…. no alternative lanterns here – just as they come in the set….

2014_01, AmandaBates, The Craft Spa,  Happy Congratulations (1)

The only other change is the use of the Happy Birthday wording from the Perfectly Penned stamp set…. this wording has rapidly risen to the top of my favourites list!!!!

You may recognise the colour scheme – another WWWU Challenge sample…..Apologies to my fellow Jems… I couldn’t post this to the Colour Challenge folder until after Team Training – and then I mistimed it… this weeks challenge was already up & running!!!

SU! Supplies

Stamps – Happy Congratulations, Six Sided Sampler, Happy Congratulations, Perfectly Penned

Punches – 3/4” Circle Punch

Inks – Crumb Cake, Coastal Cabana, Pink Pirouette OR Crumb Cake, Soft Sky, Soft Suede, Crushed Curry

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Pop Up Presents Trio Card & Tutorial

2014_01, Amanda Bates,The Craft Spa, Jan Class, Banners & Presents Trio (5)2014_01, Amanda Bates,The Craft Spa, Jan Class, Banners & Presents Trio (4)

Another version of the Pop Up Presents card I shared yesterday… I am not sure that the photos do this card justice – it is a real WOW in the flesh…

More papers from the NEW Fresh Prints DSP stack. This time in Real Red & Crumb Cake – so more suitable for the males and teens in our life!

You can see the little part-punched pieces more clearly in this colourway – check out the extra embellishments on those little banners in the Glimmer Red– straights, chevrons; and layered banners – I can use any tiny scrap to add layers to my banners …. you never need to throw away a scrap of card or paper again!!!!

Remember just a £45 order will get you this Banner Punch for free….!!! 

Here is the detailed imperial version by Lisa Young that I used . But I converted the measurements to a metric version for use in a standard European A6 card...

So for the inner insert - you will need…

Whisper White Cardstock 8” x 140mmW

Scored & Folded at 4”

You can mark & cut as Lisa has - but I used a trimmer to do the cutting –  I find that much easier – so the folded edge of the insert is placed LANDSCAPE up to the top horizontal ruler bar of the trimmer , lined up to a measurement and then you use the vertical cutter bar to make the cuts!

A quick tip though – I found that cutting 2/3 times ensured that my trimmer went all the way through the 2 layers of card neatly – though maybe that was just a sign of me needing to replace my blade!!! Going back to repeat when you discover that the blade hasn’t quite cut through makes for a messy cut!!

So for the first cut – line up your folded edge LANDSCAPE on the top ruler bar at 2 cm – locate your blade at 5cm on the cutter bar – and cut up from 5 cm to the top – ie 0

Then at 6cm on the top - cut from 5 cm to 0

Then at 9 1/2cm on the top - cut from 3 1/2cm to 0

Then at 12cm on the top - cut from 2 cm to 0

And a quick pictorial for those of you that prefer a visual.

Amanda Bates,TheCraftSpa,2014-01,Pop Up Presents Tutorial Pic 001

The paper strips are of course a different size. As Lisa says though – do measure the lengths you need for each section and then trim – no 2 presents were ever the same. For class – I cut my pieces a bit longer so people could then trim to suit the width on their own creation. So these are the measurements with ( hopefully) a bit of overhang….. about 1/2 cm

Paper Sizes – 4 cm H x 10.5cm W; 3.5cmH x 7.5cm W; 2.5cm H x 4.5cm W


SU! Products Used

Stamps – Perfectly Penned

Papers – Fresh Prints DSP Stack (SSC); Red Shimmer

Cards & Inks – Real Red; Crumb Cake; Soft Suede

Punches – Banner (SAB)

Dies – Alphabet

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Sale A Bration - get the MUST HAVE Banner Punch for free! And a creative share too…..

2014_01, Amanda Bates,The Craft Spa, Jan Class, Banners & Presents Trio (1)

Well it is beginning to look a lot like banners in The Craft Spa Room….

Call me smitten….. I cannot punch the punch down….. and I have to admit … for the frugal crafters…. that I can use any tiny scrap to add layers to my banners – straights, chevrons; and layered banners – check out the extra embellishments on those little banners in the Glimmer Silver…..

Banner Punch yours for free with a £45 order. And whilst you are at it – get the coordinating stamp set for free too…. just another £45 order.

And I have to point out these fabulous papers – Fresh Prints Stack in the new Spring Summer Catalogue. Gorgeous.. and 24 different patterns to go at – will share another version of the card/papers tomorrow

2014_01, Amanda Bates,The Craft Spa, Jan Class, Banners & Presents Trio (3)

Card front based on this fabulous card by Louise Sharp. Guess which stamp set is popping onto my next order!!!

Card Inside design made using this fantastic tutorial by Lisa Young. Come back tomorrow for my metric version to suit the new Trimmers…..



SU! Products Used

Stamps – Perfectly Penned

Papers – Fresh Prints DSP Stack (SSC); Silver Shimmer

Punches – Banner (SAB)

Dies – Alphabet

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Sale A Bration, New Spring Summer Catalogue, new Texture Boutique Embossing Machine

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Lots new to share today.

Sale A Bration promotion starts today… click on any of the pictures to go to the leaflet.

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New Spring Summer Catalogue launches today.Click on the picture below to go straight to the catalogue.


And if that is not enough… we also have the new Texture Boutique embossing machine for you. Click for more information. Embosses only – does not die cut.


See the video showcasing this little beauty here.

And if they are not enough…… just so you have a round up!!

Whole Lotta Love Valentine Promotion product availability extended until 14 Feb…..


As well as the Autumn Winter catalogue is still live until 1st Feb. No time to waste with these.


The Single Christmas stamps are still available until 31st January… No time to waste with these.


The Best Of Stamp sets are all still available. See here….

And of course….

Clearance Rack

Envelope Punch Board

Thinlit Card Dies

Undefined Stamp Carving Kit – or see the video here

So there is the round up ….. I will be back very soon with more details and projects using the wonderful new products very soon….. But I thought this was enough news for now!

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sale A Bration Blog Hop

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Hello and welcome to our blog hop.

But please feel free to come back here for more details on Sale A Bration and the new Spring/ Summer Catalogue on Tuesday 28th Jan! Also for details on the Craft Spa SAB Club running Jan-March….

The Stampin’ UP! annual Sale A Bration promotion starts this Tuesday, 28th January… you know the one… a free product for every £45 you spend. Or become a demo – and get £150 product for your £99 ( £20 more free to you and me! )

Now, we demos cannot show you pictures of the products but we can show you completed projects made with those products  - so here is a blog hop to show you the range of the products that can be yours for free….. along with a few other Stampin UP! must haves….. including some from the Spring Summer Catalogue … which is also due for release on Tuesday 28th Jan……

So I chose the stamp set  - See Ya Later –  4 images in the set  to work with  - all of some beautiful wording plus a small included image - so 5 cards to show you here…..SO KEEP SCROLLING……though I appear to have only used one of the small images !!  

First - This one makes me SO happy…

2014_01, Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, SAB, Jems Blog Hop, Too Kind, See Ya Later (1)

Many of you will recognise this as my 2013 Stampin’ Up convention swap card using the Too Kind stamp set … but updated to incorporate a number of things going in my life this month!!

Firstly the colours, we started a new team challenge this week – Wade’s Weekly Challenge – read more about that here. But the colours chosen by Julie just fit in perfectly with what I wanted to achieve with this card – sky, grey(ish) and yellows for happy! So thanks again Julie – perfect combi!! Soft Sky, Crumb Cake, Soft Suede, Crushed Curry  - plus Daffodil Delight as the paler background yellow on the Too Kind flowers

Secondly the step up of the card  - as my ladies were making this for themselves in classes this month. 3 additions to the base card I swapped – a scallop square; some linen thread and oh… clouds in the sky!

Now whilst at Convention – many people asked how I created the background circle – so I better share that here…. just a hole, stamping and sponging!!

I covered my Whisper White square with a large circular aperture (you could die cut a circle out of paper – but  I used the plastic stencil/mask from the Build A Banner kit in the Autumn/Winter catalogue – still available until 1st Feb folks! Great masks/templates even if you don’t want the banner parts…..highly recommended….) And on this stepped up version -  I also punched 2 cupcake tops with the Cupcake Builder Punch & laid them within the circle.

I stamped over the top with the Dictionary background stamp ( Soft Sky) then I sponged more Soft Sky ink around the hole! And then it was time to remove my mask. Simple, fast & very effective… Though it does still remind me of a UK car tax disc!!!

Second – more to keep me happy…..

2014_01, Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, SAB, Jems Blog Hop, Petite Petals,  See Ya Later (1)2014_01, Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, SAB, Jems Blog Hop, Petite Petals,  See Ya Later (2)

Not only a peak of another SAB stamp image ( see the “hi” banner…. the Banner Blast stamp set and a Banner punch can be yours for free ladies!!) but a new product from the Spring/Summer catalogue here… one that will be VERY popular – 6 different small flower images – with …. a co-ordinating punch!! YAY! Petite Petals is one to look out for!! And the colour choice…. Coastal Cabana, Crumb Cake, Real Red… because of the gorgeous new Paper Stack in the Spring/Summer Catalogue – Fresh Prints. Loving these papers – 24 different patterns in the stack!

Third – one for a Birthday. Again coupled with the punched out  Petite Petals stamp set flowers. And Banner Blast banner of course. Very addictive are these banners!!! Gorgeous….

2014_01, Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, SAB, Jems Blog Hop, Petite Petals, See Ya Later (1)

And now for something completely different for me……  I was asked for  a geek chic Valentine card – you know the moustaches and glasses –  well Stampin’ Up! don’t have one for me – so I have also been playing with my Undefined stamp carving kit and I created my own!!! GREAT FUN…. and there was the perfect wording in the See Ya Later set… not only for the Valentine card… but also for another idea!!

Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, Undefined, See Ya Later, SAB 2014 045Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, Undefined, See Ya Later, SAB 2014 047

So …for more shares from the team … just press on the icons…. NEXT for those going round that way … or PREVIOUS if you are working backwards!!

SO assuming you are all going to hit NEXT to the RIGHT… I give you…. a gorgeous card OR mini album created by Julie Kettlewell. I was lucky enough to make this for myself yesterday… it will be shared in Craft Spa classes coming soon!!! LOVE it….

Next Post

Previous Post


Need to go quickly to a blog you have been to…. here is the complete blog roll list….


Karyn Davies -

Debbi Taylor -

Rebekah Cornford -

Julie McCartney -

Amanda Bates -

Julie Kettlewell -

Allie Jolliffe -

Sharon Glynn -

Angie Hutton -

Kate Martin -

Liz Youd -

Fiona Cullen -

Caroline Lovett

Kylie Henshaw -

Saturday, 25 January 2014

SALE A BRATION Blog Hop coming your way tomorrow Sunday 26th Jan 10am


Please feel free to join us!

We will be showcasing the products you can get for free under the Stampin’ Up! Sale A Bration programme.

Remember the one – one product free for EVERY £45 spent!!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Flowerfull Heart #5– Perfectly Penned Birthday Card

2014_01, Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, Flowerfull Heart, Jan 2014 class   (1)2014_01, Amanda Bates, The Craft Spa, Flowerfull Heart, Jan 2014 class   (2)

And this will be the last of this mini series on the must-have Flowerfull Heart stamp…. this is the one we have done in classes this week.. though I have to say the photo does not do it is a REALLY simple card that packs a real WOW in the flesh!!

The heart is stamped in Pool Party onto Whisper White… the Perfectly Penned greeting in Staz On black…. and you are almost there.  Just a bit of embellishing to go….

Very subtle…but…I coloured some of my Silver Shimmer paper with Coastal Cabana ink using a dauber… then punched 2 Coastal Cabana and 1 silver Itty Bitty Blossoms. Gave them a squidge using the embossing tool and thick mat and then finally added a Pool Party Candy dot and 2 pearls. Matted and layered using Pool Party and Basic Black… job done.. in less than 5 minutes….

Oh  - and unusually for me – I have used the Naturals White card stock for the 14.9cm square card base…. worked really well!!  And the mat sizes…. Whisper White 8 cm; Basic Black 8.5cm; Pool Party 9.5cm.

So remember…. this stamp will only be available for me to order until Monday 27th Jan…. please just contact me by this Sunday if it is must have for you too…

PLEASE NOTE – I will be back with another post very soon – we have a Jems team blog hop starting at 10 am on Sunday –  pop by to help us celebrate 2014 SALE A BRATION …. and then hop on!!!

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Mr & Mrs - Flowerfull Heart #4 - and a Colour Challenge

2014_01_Flowerfull Heart Series by Amanda Bates @ The Craft Spa 040

Fourth post in this mini series….. and a new challenge for a new year!!

As you may know I am a part of a wonderful team of Stampin Up demonstrators located all over the country – known as Julies’s Jems.  One of our lovely team members, Julie Wade always amazes us with her gorgeous Colour Combinations so for the new year we have launched a colour combo challenge within the team on our Facebook group page. And this was the first week…….

This week Julie set us the challenge of Soft Sky, Soft Suede, Crumb Cake and Crushed Curry and here is my little make ….. Guess which stamp I had out at the time….. AND I just love this colour combination……. thank you so much Julie…… I have already made another card using the same colour combination…. but that will be for another day…! That card is a remake of my swap card for our Quarterly Training this Saturday…. so I don’t want to spoil the surprise!!!

So – this time – the heart is stamped in Crumb Cake onto Very Vanilla… the Mr & Mrs greeting is in Soft Suede. A few Itty Bitty Blossoms punched out of Soft Sky & Crushed Curry – plus a few pearls.  All matted up onto Crumb Cake and then a Soft Sky card base…..

And … another Sneak Peek here…. the Crumb Cake banner is from the new Sale A Bration set – Banner Blast….. this can be yours for free with a £45+ order from 28th January….. and it has a co-ordinating punch too…. also yours for free with a £45 order. ( £90 + order if you want both for free at the same time!!!) And I warn you now… this little banner punch and stamp combi is …. addictive!!!!

So …. I give you…. the have-to have….Flowerfull Heart stamp… only available until next Monday 27th January.  Just get in touch straightaway if you would like me to add one for you to my Monday order!!!

Oh and I have a couple more cards to share…. but they will be later tomorrow… definitely too dark here to photograph them!!

Flowerfull Heart #3

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So now for the 3rd post in this quick mini series on the beautiful Flowerfull heart stamp set…..only available until next Monday 27th January….. and unsurprisingly… I have a quick mini order going in on Monday 27th Jan…. this heart stamp has proved rather popular!!!

Keeping with my theme of very Clean & Simple!!! And QUICK….

Here are a couple more made with notecards…. this time using the Sweet Sayings cards and envelopes… also only available until Monday 27th January.  12 printed card bases and coordinating envelopes in the pack.

In the first… the heart is stamped in Sahara Sand & the greeting in Coastal Cabana and Crisp Canteloupe. The True Love greeting is in the Follow my Heart stamp set… also only available until next Monday.

And in the second… same colourways… starting with the heart in Sahara Sand…  but  then a bit of blender pen ink removal from the flowers and the addition of Coastal Cabana & Crisp Canteloupe using the marker pens. And the greeting…… oh a sneaky peeky… this is from the new stamp set – Perfect Couple - from the new Spring & Summer Catalogue ( available from Tuesday 28th Jan)….

Flowerfull Heart #2

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Second post in my quick series on the Flowerfull Heart stamp…. that is only available to order until next Monday 27th Jan.

These cards are true CAS cards!!

Take a notecard out of the pack…. A quick stamp of the heart and a greeting from the Perfectly Penned stamp set in Encore Silver Ink…Add a gemstone and a silver ribbon bow. And pop in an envelope.

Or cut your notecard up into 2 halves. Stamp & embellish both and pop onto 2 Whisper White standard A6 card blanks. So now you have 2 cards… ready to go!

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Mr & Mrs... Flowerful Heart #1

2014_01_Flowerfull Heart Series by Amanda Bates @ The Craft Spa 021Quick post as I have been playing with something new and I think I have just found my favourite stamp ever!!!!.... and I am not even into hearts!!! I think this is a MUST HAVE stamp folks... I ummed and aahed about buying this gorgeous Heart stamp in the Valentine Promotion running until just next Monday 27 Jan... And I am so glad I is so STUNNING.....

So this is the first in a series of at least 5 or so posts using the Flowerfull Heart stamp..... They will come fast and furious over the next 24 hours... No time to waste!
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Pair it with some dramatic wording... and it forms a double-CAS Project....Clean & Simple, Classy & Stylish.... In less than a minute! I just love it when that happens......

But remember.. only available to purchase for another 5 days..... Please don't hesitate to contact me if you would like one.... order going in on Monday as 5 of you have already agreed with me!!! A must have...

Oh and sorry for lack of projects being posted for months... I have been SO busy creating & doing!! Lots to share... Just needing to find extra time each day to get on here....  But I have a cunning plan..... Which involves this as a test post.... Fingers crossed....