Saturday, 13 January 2018

Hi, you've reached me on a chilly and breezy Saturday morning here in Nottinghamshire.  I've just been out across the fields with Mr Mo and his little ears were blowing inside out!
Here's a photo I took of him yesterday with a fun little fish-eye lens attached to my phone camera!  His nose isn't that big!!

Anyway, I'm glad to be back in my craft room with a steaming hot mug of tea and I just thought I'd share with you the three card projects that will feature in my classes this coming week.

At every class I ask the attendees what they want me to feature in future classes and recent requests have included sympathy and masculine cards.  So when I came to design this class it was sympathy cards I had in mind.

Last week in class we used the fabulous new product Brusho watercolour crystals and as there are so many ways to use this product I didn't want to stop there.  I had seen a card featured on Pinterest and I loved the design and technique so I decided to CASE it but use a sentiment that could be used to send condolences.

Let's have a closer look at that card, but first let me give a big thank you to Dutch Demonstrator Laura Kant for her original inspiration, thank you Laura!

I changed the colours to be fresh and spring like but still muted enough to match the sentiment.  Of course, this card could be sent to someone who is just having a bit of a tough time, isn't feeling very well or indeed has recently lost a loved one.  I used Tranquil Tide as my base card and have used watercolour paper as the layer.  The stamp set used for that big, bold butterfly was the new Beautiful Day set from the Spring/Summer seasonal catalogue which was heat embossed in white before laying down watercolour using the Brushos.  For this technique I actually mixed the Brusho with water in a palette before brushing them on like very wet watercolour paint.  This is how I managed to get the green just the shad I wanted; using the Prussian Blue and Yellow only.  Splatters were added to the white spaces and I finished off the wings with a brush over of Wink of Stella.. hope you can see this in the close-up photo. Oh, and those sequins are the new and just flipping brilliant self adhesive backed ones, again from the new seasonal catty.  I cannot tell you how something so small has made my day!  No more squeals of horror from class attendees when they can't pick up loose sequins to stick on ;-) I do love a sequin!

 For my next watercolour technique I went for a more muted and classic sympathy look.  I've used Perfect Plum as the base card and very vanilla as the layer with watercolour paper for the circle.  What I love about Stampin' Up! watercolour paper is that it's not whisper white and it's not very vanilla but it goes really well with either.  The stamp set used here is a freebie in this years' Sale-A-Bration and is called Lots of Lavender.  I stamped it first onto the very vanilla layer in basic grey archival ink - I used archival ink because it's designed to be used for watercolouring and I love that basic grey is just softer and less harsh than black.  Next I stamped the same image onto the watercolour paper and cut out using circle dies.  I only applied colour to the watercolour paper leaving the background image naked like a shadow.  The watercolour technique I used here was to squish some ink into the lid of the inkpad and use an aquapainter to apply the colour to the image in a controlled way, I did build up some definition by applying more saturated colour to some parts of the image.  In the stamp set there is a little stamp with just two dots which I used to get a slightly 'spattered' effect on the background just to stop it looking stark.

My final card demonstrates the third watercolour technique using our brilliant watercolour pencils.  If you've not used these before and have any notion of not being good at colouring in then I urge you to grab these and have a go!  To say that they are super easy and forgiving is an understatement.  OK, after sending sympathy I felt I needed to offer an uplifting message in this class too!  I used Melon Mambo as my base colour as I love the vibrance of this pink and it's a co-ordinating colour in the pencil set.  I used whisper white thick cardstock for stamping and colouring the image but whisper white normal for the background layer.  Again I used archival ink for the image but this time I used basic black because I wanted that monochrome bold look.
This card also features two co-ordinating freebies from Sale-A-Bration.  Firstly the stamp set is Amazing You and this year for the first time ever there is a set of Thinlits dies you can receive FREE which co-ordinate with the stamps.  The set is called Celebrate You and it has 3 very versatile sentiment dies 'Celebrate', 'Amazing' (featured here) and 'YOU'.  To add colour to the flower on this card I simply used the Melon Mambo pencil and laid down one layer of colour.  Next I put on some shading and this brilliant stamp almost tells you where to do this because of the lines on the petals - so easy!  I used a blender pen to go over the whole lot paying a little attention to blending the shaded areas and then I finished it off by adding a little more shading.  Honestly, it's easy peesy.  Don't believe me?  Book a place at my classes if you're in the Retford area and you will find out.  If you're not local and still want to learn then I'm going to make my first foray into Facebook Live next weekend and show you how I did the butterfly card... keep your eyes on my Facebook page!  If you love any of the products used then please shop with me by clicking the link, all on-line orders will receive a hand-stamped thank you card from me.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Sale-A-Bration Stampin' Up!

Hi, it's the second week of our annual fantastic FREE product event.  I'm so excited as I've just received my delivery of goodies and can't wait to get playing with them.  I'm particularly excited because I just got the two products highlighted in this fab, short video:

How fabulous is the stamp set?  And then pair it with those wonderful dies and I'm very excited.  

The information you need to know about both the stamp set and the dies is the 'threshold' amount that is mentioned in the video:  For the UK you can get the stamp set 'Amazing You' 147212 (wood mount) / 147215 (clear mount) FREE when you spend £45 and you can get the fabulous 'Celebrate You' thinlits dies FREE when you spend £90.  

Did you know that's not all?  If you place an order for £150 you can get both these products FREE and you will get 10% value of your order to spend on other items FREE - (so for a £150 order you get a further £15 of products free)!  During SAB (Jan - Mar) if you spend £200 you get an additional £20 on top of your 10% (so for a £200 order you get £20 (10%) + £20 extra making a total of £240 worth of product for £200 + your choice of SAB items free!!!) See the table below but instead of reading 'Party Sales' read 'Order Total'


It's really easy to shop with me, just click the link over on the left navigation bar and it will take you direct to my shop.  All on-line orders receive a hand-stamped thank you card from me too.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018


The biggest sale of the year! you can earn free, exclusive products with every qualifying order (see below).
Sale-A-Bration Dates    3 January–31 March 2018

During Sale-A-Bration, you can earn exclusive free products with every qualifying purchase (see below). 
You can also reap the rewards when you shop, host or join during Sale-A-Bration.
For every £45 you customers spend, you'll receive a free Sale-A-Bration product. 
For anyone who has enjoyed Sale-A-Bration in the past, we have an exciting new announcement for this year: We now have a new reward level, giving you more flexibility and options for your free items.
Let’s break it down:

  • If you spend £45, you get one free level 1 product.
  • If you spend £90, you get one free level 2 product, OR, you can choose two level 1 items.
  • If you spend £135, you have the option to choose three level 1 items or one level 1 item and one level 2 item.

This new option allows everyone to create a personalised Sale-A-Bration experience!

When you  hold a qualifying party/private class with at least £200 in sales during
Sale-A-Bration, you'll earn £20 more in Stampin’ Rewards!* These rewards can
even be applied towards a Starter Kit, allowing you to also join and become a
*Additional Stampin’ Rewards can also be earned by an individual purchase or
order of £200 or more.

In addition to hosting, there are fantastic benefits of joining as a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator during Sale-A-Bration. Joining at this time gives you as a new demonstrator your starter kit for £99 (with products to the value of £130), along with the choice of TWO additional  stamp sets for your kit—any stamp set, any 
price.* Plus, the kit ships for free!

Join my team of buzzing crafty bees!

I'd love to have you as part of my team - Issy's Crafty Bees!  Contact me today to find out more about joining. We can have a cuppa and chat and I'll answer all your questions, absolutely no pressure to join but all I can say is who wouldn't want £130 worth of kit + 2 FREE stamp sets of any value for only £99 with no obligation to do anything further once you receive your goodies?
*Excludes bundles and Sale-A-Bration sets.

Don't miss this fantastic offer and join my team today!

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like...

On Saturday I ran an all day Christmas home decor class for four of my customers and I just wanted to share the projects we made with you.  I had such fun designing these projects despite my reputation as the Grinch I actually do love making and crafting Christmas home decor.  I just detest the whole pressure of cramming in so much activity over the festive period, it's a time of year when I actually do want to stop my busy world and chillax in my pj's not be on a schedule!
Anyway, here we go.. enough Grinching ;-) 
The first project I want to share is the first one I designed and made, it's an altered blank 'Altoid' size tin which I decorated and made into a hanging ornament.  
I made 6 of these back at the end of October to gift as special 'swaps' for my fellow Stampin' Up! Demonstrator friends which I gave them at our autumn 'convention' or On Stage event.  I loved making it so much that I knew I would add it to my all day class.  I bought the empty blank tins from a supply store via eBay (message me if you want a link).  I used our Pinewood Planks 3D Dynamic Textured Impressions Embossing Folder (phew! what a name) to emboss some soft suede card for the lid, I did rub a little white ink over the folder before embossing which gives the wood grain even more of a texture and I also daubed some Early Espresso ink around the edges.  For the inside I used the Sheet Music background stamp and of course Best Birds stamp set to make those adorable robins.. anyone who knows me know that I am mad about wildlife, nature and in particular that I am a bird fanatic so I had enormous fun using our new Stampin' Blends to get the robin colours just right.. what do you think?
I used two sentiments from a beautiful stamp set called Snowflake Sentiments which is in our Autumn/Winter seasonal catalogue. I've been collecting twigs and Larch cones on my dog walks for a few weeks and if you leave them in a nice dry place they naturally open up as they dry out; hot glue sticks them nicely.  Finishing touches for this project included ribbon, jute twine and a bit of floristry moss.

My next project also used Larch cones and those adorable robins and I added some of our decorative Green Sprigs which I think just look so realistic.  For the base of this project I used a fabulous embroidery hoop which I got from Maries Cross Stitch online, I love it!  It's plastic but the outer ring is actually textured to look like vintage wood and it has an adorable vintage 'D' hook on the top for hanging.  I simply adhered some vellum to the front using tear and stick tape to give me a nice opaque background. All in all it wasn't a complicated project but it was time consuming to get all the elements just right, everyone thoroughly enjoyed making it while chatting away about their plans for Christmas.

Those Green Sprigs come in a pack of 12, and so we saved one back for the next project; a lumiere.  I did get inspiration from Pinterest for this one from a crafter who pinned it last year and used a gift bag.  For ours we used the Mini Treat Bag Thinlits to make a box structure and then used the Hearth & Home Thinlits to make the sweet window frame.  We used Lovely As A Tree stamp set to heat emboss those wintry trees onto Vellum card stock adding a snowy ground with a chalk marker. Once this has a tea light added to the inside it really makes this winter scene come alive.  We finished off the whole thing with a Mini Ornament and we used some embossing paste to add 'snow' to the Green Sprig.
Our final project for the day was a very simple and much more 'minimalist' frame.  I picked these wonderful copper frames from Home Bargains, they were inexpensive and just right for decorating with our stunning Year of Cheer Speciality DSP which has that gorgeous copper foil motive on one of the sheets.
Look how great it looks with a stag embossed with copper embossing powder.  I gave balance to the frame by adding more metallic elements picking up silver in the mini ornaments and pretty bow made using the Bow Builder Punch and those sprigs of metallic foil card were cut using dies from the Pretty Pines Thinlits.

I'm certainly pleased with how all these projects turned out and if you love them too please message me for any further information about products used.  I haven't made any tutorials for these but if you do want any tips then I'll try to help. And, of course, if you want to purchase any of the products used then please visit my shop by clicking the link or sending me a message. Happy Christmas crafting everyone!

Friday, 1 December 2017

It's a great time to grab those Christmas stamp sets, papers and accessories while they are still with us.  From 2nd January there will be a shiny new seasonal catalogue crammed full of gorgeous new spring and summer stamps, paper and all manner of crafty gorgeousness.  So, don't miss out! click the banner and head over to my on-line shop now to find out what's been discounted and what's retiring.
Order before December 14th to ensure delivery for Christmas.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Party Time!

What a busy week!  On Sunday I was back up in my hometown of Skipton to do a very special children's birthday craft party for my niece Ashley who turned 8.   Way back in the summer she asked if I could do her a craft party for her birthday and of course I jumped at the chance. Ashley and her little sister Alice love crafting with me whenever they visit me or I visit them so I knew that they would both be happy but I didn't know how crafty her friends would be.
Last month I had a little 'consultation' with Ashley and we decided what project would be good. As there would be some boys there as well as girls she thought it was really important to make something that they would love too. We used Pinterest and I had pinned a few ideas there, she immediately fell in love with the idea of a dreamcatcher.  So I designed this one:
I used an inexpensive bamboo embroidery hoop as the frame and then took one of the masks by Stampin' Up! from the set 'Pattern Party Decorative Masks' and used it as a stencil for acrylic paints and using sponges everyone had fun making a paper 'mandala' for the centre of their dreamcatcher.  I punched holes all round and then with the help of a couple of other grown ups we assembled the basic frame.  The children then had to thread lengths of yarn and ribbon through the holes and onto these thread some beads. The feathers were attached by making loops in the yarn and ribbon and tightening around the feather quills. 
The dreamcatchers did take a while to assemble as each child had differing abilities; some could tie knots and some couldn't - same with loops so it was handy having my Mum and Sister-In-Law there to help out.  Everyone had enormous fun though and as I supplied sucker hooks for each child they couldn't wait to get their dreamcatcher home to hang on their bedroom window! (you can just see my example hanging on the window in the large picture).
If I was to do this project again I would eliminate the hole punching and just tie the yarn and ribbon straight to the hoop and then assemble the paper in the middle.
Birthday Girl and her BFF!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

WOOHOO! We all love a sale and what's better than a sale?  A Stampin' Sale, that's what!!

Who needs 'black friday' when you can have 'marvellous monday'... well that's what I'm calling it anyway.  There's a wonderful Online Extravaganza happening but please make sure that you understand that it's in TWO PARTS:

  • Firstly - a 24 hour sale on MONDAY 20TH NOVEMBER (you can order between 23:00hrs Sunday 19th November until 22:59hrs Monday 20th) with lots of stamp sets with 20% OFF

  • Second - some exclusive deals from MONDAY 20TH - SUNDAY 26TH NOVEMBER

Here's what you need to do:

  • Click HERE to see the PDF of what's on offer
  • Check it out and place your order with me by visiting my SHOP  (Don't forget those dates, 
Happy Shopping!