Friday, April 21, 2017

Sizzix News and Awards

I have to admit, when Sizzix approached me about a year ago and asked me if I would come on board and work for them as a Creative Blogger that I jumped at the chance. Who wouldn't? We all know who Sizzix are, and we all know they're the market leaders in die-cutting machines and dies. 

But I never for the life of me imagined that my role would lead to this! When Sizzix decided they wanted to increase their exposure in Australia they turned to the Television Shopping Network channel TVSN and started coordinating some shows. And when they needed a Sizzix representative to help sell their products live on the show they asked me if I would be interested.

It involves making a whole heap of projects, as well as having a bunch of prepared demos that I could make on the fly, and of course it also means actually turning up and presenting alongside the TVSN host. Did I mention that this is LIVE TV?!!

Anyway, I must have done a good enough job in January when I presented 2 shows because they asked me back again, and today I did the first one.
There is still opportunity to see it online if you're interested. TVSN have a Catch-Up section online where you can stream the shows. Here's a link to today's show.
And if you're in Australia or New Zealand you can see tomorrow's show at 4:30pm. 

Do you already own some Sizzix dies? Do you want to be crowned as the Top Sizzix Maker and have a chance to win some amazing prizes and a guest blogging opportunity?
Sizzix are celebrating their 40th birthday by launching the 2017 Sizzix Awards. All you have to do is create a project using at least one Sizzix die. It can be in any of the following 4 categories: Papercraft, Sewing and Soft Crafts, Innovation and Upcycling. Fill in the entry form HERE and you are in the running.

There's lots more info on the Sizzix Lifestyle page here.
Good luck!


Sunday, April 9, 2017

Krumspring Teaser post

Figured I might as well be honest in my blog post title hey? This is all about getting you to check out the amazing stamps on offer at Krumspring. It's possible you might not have heard of them before, and if so, then you're definitely missing out!

Krumspring are a European stamp company (Danish to be exact) who create high quality acrylic stamps. Maria who is the owner and designer is known for her love of geometric patterns, and this clearly influences many of her stamp designs.

I'm lucky enough to be Guest Designing for them this month and I was able to work with all their newest release stamps, as well as a couple of 'old' classics. Here's a little sneak into just SOME of the projects I've created...

The latest releases are available in the Krumspring shop both individually and as a bundle, and they ship worldwide. You can find the bundle HERE.

If you pop over now you'll also find that Maria has generously included some FREE digital designs for you to download. But they're only available for a limited time. These will be perfect for your Easter projects right?

So I'm going to have a series of posts over on the Krumspring blog during the month of April, so keep checking back. The first one is already live and includes two fun cards. You can find it HERE.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Jot Magazine April Mood Board Challenge

I fell in love with the April Mood Board at Jot Magazine the minute I saw it. Probably because it's like my standard go-to colours of pink, aqua and yellow... only the super-saturated version! So I considered it something quite different for me to create with, but still within familiar territory ;-) Check it out.....

Just love those rich colours and the lush florals. But ultimately it was that handbag up in the top right that caught my eye and gave me the inspiration to create my card. I thought I could almost replicate the same sort of design in paper form, making a bit of a copy of it.

Whilst I was figuring out what I could use to make the flowers I remember the very latest bundle of Sizzix dies that had only just landed on my doorstep. One of the new releases designed by Tim Holtz is this set of Small Tattered Florals and it comes with no less that 21 different dies! It was literally perfect for cutting out all these varieties of different flowers, and in a size that was made for cardmaking!

A bit of mixing and matching later and I had glued down my final arrangement, and added some hand-stitching to bump up the texture another notch. Plus it's trying to imitate the embroidered floral design on the handbag remember?

You can find all the details for playing along with the Jot Magazine Mood Board challenge for yourself right HERE on their blog.


Sunday, March 19, 2017

Tag You're It!

It's been ever such a long time since I participated in a challenge (at least, not one that I wasn't on the Design Team for, or affiliated with in some way) so it was so refreshing to be able to carve out a bit of time this weekend to play along with the Tag You're It! Challenge.

Here's what I made:

The idea of the challenge is pretty easy. Simply take some inspiration from the example tag that is posted and make your own version of it. My inspiration came from the general way the tag was assembled... some stenciling in the background, a cluster of background leaves and flourishes, and a brightly coloured focal point to catch your attention. 

I make my own tag cutouts using the Sizzix Framelits Tag Die Set by Tim Holtz, and my layered hummingbird is also a Sizzix Die Set, called 'Free Bird' (which just so happens to be on sale I noticed!)

I asked my daughter Moriah if she wanted to create alongside me and participate in a challenge too and she was so excited! This is what she made:

She made all the design and colour decisions herself, I only helped with the cutting out. She chose the Sizzix Wild Hedgerow Die for her glittery leafy branch, and the Sizzix Gerbera Set for her flower.
She was thinking of her older sister when she picked out the sentiment sticker! ;-)

Not bad for a 7 year old hey?!

Thanks for the challenge Tag You're It! Me and Moriah both loved playing along!!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Neat and Tangled March Release

It's that time of the month that we've been waiting for! After the long week of teasing us with sneaks, new products and designer inspiration, the latest release at Neat and Tangled has actually gone live in their shop!

I'm not officially required to create anything for the release as such, but I couldn't help but whip up a couple of cards when the products landed in my hands because they are just too fun! Here's what I did...

The Yo Ho Ho Stamp Set and coordinating Dies are no doubt going to prove very popular. I love that there are girl images as well as the more traditional boy pirates, plus there is also cute swash-buckling animals and some fun sentiments too.

The background for this card was made by doing some quick ink-blending over the February stencil 'Scalloped'. I turned it upside down because it reminded me more of waves which seemed relevant for the theme ;-)

The second card I made was because I was desperate to try out the other stamp set that comes with matching dies and that's the Medallion Flower Builder. There really are so many possibilities with this idea of having all the flowers and leaves being able to fit together in a pattern, but I've actually just gone ahead and used them as embellishments instead.

And see the fun line of little hearts cut out of the bottom of my white card? That's just one of the 5 dies you get with the Tiny Cuts set which is also part of the release. I'm pretty confident I'm going to be using this one A LOT!

I had the honour of filming the release video where I show off ALL the new products, giving you a walk-through and a real-life look at everything so you can more easily pick out your favourites ;-)


You can find the March release live in the Neat and Tangled shop HERE.
And catch more inspiration from the Design Team on the blog HERE.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March Mood Board at Jot Magazine

So it seems we're already in March and firmly heading towards celebrating Easter already. Crazy hey?! It feels like we just got over Christmas!

Anyway, I'm more than happy to be creating with some cute Easter-esque stamps from Neat and Tangled for this latest Mood Board Challenge at Jot Magazine.

Here's a look at the board that inspired my card above. It's full of berry tones of pink and purple with only a hint of aqua, but I swung the balance around to be much more 50:50 which I think still works well.

In fact, it was the bunch of balloons in the mood board which really started my inspiration flowing, especially since I had just received this balloon stamp from Krumspring. That set comes with either a bear or a house to stamp below the balloons but I wanted to change things up a little and mix and match some images. I chose the girl with her wagon, and also the rabbit to pop in it from the Cottontail Cuties set from Neat and Tangled as the bearers of my balloons :-)

In the mood board the balloons are mixed in with some flowers and foliage and so I hand-drew some leaves around the edges of my stamped bunch to mimic that idea. And since I can never be satisfied with a one-layer flat card I added the felt bow and funny little sentiment for extra texture!

Steph from Kitaholic Kits is our sponsor for the March mood board. Kitaholic Kits is an Australian based monthly kit club that caters to papercrafters of all genres :-) Find out all the details for our challenge and how you can join in over on the Jot Magazine blog RIGHT HERE!


Friday, March 3, 2017

Studio Calico Crop Weekend

A couple of weekends ago Studio Calico held a crop with quite a few challenges. I was in the mood to be inspired in a fresh direction so I played along with a couple of the ones that really spoke to me, and created these two cards.

The first challenge I wanted to try out was Lisa's "over-stamping" technique, which is effectively about stamping in layers with different coloured inks. I've had this Houseplants stamp set in my stash for a couple of months and it was still untested so I pulled it out to play, and quickly whipped up this card...

It was so quick and easy that I immediately moved onto another challenge, this time trying out Carson's "multi-ink spritz" technique. It was slightly similar, with the idea being to ink up your stamp with different coloured inks at the same time, and then spritz them with a little water before stamping them to create a bit of a water-coloured effect.

I used the same Houseplants stamp set, and the same Color Theory Inks that I used for the first card. It was also supposed to be a one-layer card.... but try as I might I couldn't just leave it as a stamped background and had to add a few dimensional embellishments too. Whoops!

It was so nice just to create something quick and easy without needing to think about it too much, and just for the fun of it!


Wednesday, February 8, 2017

February Mood Board at Jot Magazine (and new Neat and Tangled release)

It's the month of love so it only seems appropriate that I should make some romantically-themed cards for the occasion right? 

The inspiration behind this card came from the newly released February Mood Board from Jot Magazine. It's full of pinks and reds and flowers and hearts. But to be honest, it was those marquee letters and the arrows which really caught my eye and I knew I wanted to include them in my design.

I also wanted to crack open some of the latest Neat and Tangled stamps and have a play, so I chose the Eggstra Special set which includes this super-cute chick. And since I'm no good at fussy cutting I'm always especially happy to have the matching Die Set in my hands as well :-)

I admit that I kinda giggled to myself that I was using a stamp set that was clearly intended for Easter and turning it into a Valentine's Day card! But the way I made that work was to use a stamp out of the Neat and Tangled "Cotton Tail Cuties" set which reads 'hey chickie' and have that as my sentiment. I was simply going to have that alone but the temptation to add the word 'babe' to it got the better of me, and plus it was also my excuse to include the marquee letters from the Mood Board image into my card too! I've got a great set of alphabet dies from Sizzix which cut out these perfect 1" tall marquee letters, and luckily my girls have only lost a few of the numbers from the set, and I've still got the whole alphabet to play with ;-)

I really wanted my sentiment to ultimately read "Hey Chickie Babe!" - anyone of my age group here in Australia might remember that cult classic TV Show "All Together Now" where the character Bruno (?) would greet all the females in this way. But I couldn't make it work design-wise to have the 'hey chickie' above the 'babe' and so I made the decision to arrange it like this just because it looked better!

  • But in the meantime, check out the Neat and Tangled blog for a chance to win all the new release products! 


Sunday, January 15, 2017

Jot Kids: Bethany's entry

Bethany is 10 and she's a creative kid. She'll make up stories and come up with fantastical ideas and she loves to write.

She's also a real sucker for a challenge!
Meaning... she's pretty competitive ;-)

She's also got quite the memory on her, and she must ask me every school holidays if Jot Magazine has put out another Jot Kids challenge. She was thrilled when I told her there was indeed a Mood Board issued just for kids for the month of January! She wanted to work on her layout straight away!


She jumped on the computer first and chose some photos she wanted to scrap. This is her and Moriah and their cousins at my brother's wedding a couple of months ago and it's a great subject to scrap. She got The Trophy Husband to print out the photos she chose, and he didn't think to edit them first to improve the quality/brightness of these. But I guess that's not the point!

Next she ran to my scrap supplies to chose out some fun papers to scrap with. She wanted papers that were bright and bold and would represent all the colours of the rainbow, just as the Mood Board suggested. 
I love that when she designed the layout of her page she made sure to leave (what she thought would be) enough space to write out her journaling. Turns out she had so much more to say and her journaling spilled further downwards across the patterned paper as she finished her story.  
She's such a girl after my own heart!

Clearly she's pretty happy with her finished piece. She said "I'm going to present it just like the ladies on TV do when they have something to sell" as I try to take her photo! Crazy girl!!

If your creative kids are looking for something to do in January then look no further that the Jot Kids Mood Board challenge. The generous Anita from Flutterby Designs has once again sponsored a prize for the lucky winner. You can find all the details HERE.


Jot Kids: Moriah's entry

Of both my girls it's probably Moriah (who's 7) who asks me if she can create alongside me more often than her older sister. Bethany is happy settling down with a good book, but Moriah prefers to be doing something with her hands. She's patient and meticulous and can draw for hours.

So she was thrilled with the Jot Kids challenge was issued because it gave her a great excuse to do some making.

I explained to her the concept of the Mood Board was to be inspired by the colours or a certain picture on it and then go in your own direction to create your layout.
She had particular ideas in her head straight away. 

She looked at the rainbow colours and decided she needed to draw her own rainbow in the corner of her page. Following that it only made sense that she would require clouds and raindrops. And she finished off the little scene she was creating with a line of grass down the bottom.

She wasn't going to worry about a title, but silly me opened my mouth and declared that most layouts included one (I should have just shut up and let her be creative in her own sense) and so she wrote out "The Biggest Rainbow" in her favourite Thickers... even though it didn't have much relevance to the content of her page :-)

She is so proud of her finished piece. The hand drawn details of Judah's little bow-tie are my favourite, but she would say it's the rainbow.

If you've got some creative kids who are looking for an activity to keep them busy these school holidays then check out the Jot Kids Mood Board challenge. Anita from Flutterby Designs has generously offered a prize for the lucky winner.



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