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Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Demi's Ballet Binder

I knew straight away when I saw this cute little binder I wanted to make it into a timetable folder/book for Demi (my daughter) to keep tabs on her dancing timetable and any bits shes given at dancing. She attends all day Saturday on her own and often I find screwed up letters meant for me and sheets with songs on to learn all at the bottom of her dancing bag! I thought if she had a little binder she could keep them all in one place. I am also going to cut some plain white cardstock to add some pages to it so that she can write down anything she needs to remember and I can take them out and replace them as they are not needed any more!

I used the HOTP papers from the March kit to cover the binder as I wanted it to be pretty and bright. The letters were cut from scraps of the same papers I had left over from another layout I havnt uploaded yet. For the first lot of inside pages I used the 6x 6 papers from the English scrapbook Company as they were a perfect size for the binder. For the dividers I used some more of the same paper and just tore it to leave a rough edge and stuck it onto the divider. I need to add some more dividers so that she will have one for every lesson.

Its the first Sarabinder that I have attempted and I am sure it wont be the last - they are really cute and can be used for so many things! I think I might get myself another one and make it into a little scrapping file so that I can keep it in my bag so that when I get an idea I can jot it down. I will also be able to use the little envelopes to keep any scraps I want to keep!

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Men are troublesome.........

.........well making cards for them is. I'm sorry, but I'm a girly girl. I like pink. I like purple. I do not like making cards for men. However, Beverley had included some of the Masculine Sarapapers and embellishabilities in our design team goodies, and as Father's Day is rapidly approaching, I bit the bullet. This card was just soooo quick and easy to make; 3 different papers attached to the card and the joins covered with ribbon, 3 brads added to the left hand side and the message stamped onto one of the pre-printed tags, which was then attached with another brad. And if you don't have any stamps you could easily use a peel off or print it on the computer, or even hand write it (if your handwriting isn't awful like mine!!)

And I was so inspired by these papers (believe it or not!!) I made another little project, but you'll have to wait another couple of days to see what that is.................

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Ribbons Pack A Punch (Now That's A Musing!!)

The fabulous Auntie Jane brought back some samples from a ribbon manufacturer on her last visit to the States and a brand new product called ribbon stiffener. Happily, Strano Designs are also a sponsor of this year's A-MUSE-A-PALOOZA so everything is coming together nicely!!
This weeks AP design challenge was to create cards using not only A Muse stamps but punches too, which gave me a fantastic excuse to play with the new samples. I shall explain.

Ribbon stiffener is a product specifically designed so that treated ribbons, once dry, may be die cut, punched, cut etc without fraying. The product also acts as an adhesive and is acid free, so totally safe for your scrapbooks too! Being aware of the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of many punches even on thin cardstock, I was dubious but I have to say I had absolutely no problems with any of the punches I tried.

The card to the right uses the Dovecraft medium tulip punch, which happens to fit the A Muse scribble tulip very well. I masked off the stem as the leaves wouldn't have matched up & stamped the flower over the ribbon one in black. The greeting stamp and card blank are also by A Muse; the polka dot ribbon by Strano Designs. And before you bombard me with questions: yes we will be stocking Strano Designs products & no, we haven't got them in yet LOLOLOL.

Don't forget to check out my blog, for your chance to win some blog candy & check out the other card project posted there, the forum for details of our latest ATC & card swaps & my gallery for all the other cards I made for this week's AP design challenge.

Saturday, 26 May 2007

Blog Candy

Just a quick post to let you all know that there's Blog Candy up for grabs on my personal blog just in case you haven't visited there recently (and if not, why not? LOL). Hurry, be quick, I'm announcing the winner on Tuesday May 29th!! Good Luck

Friday, 25 May 2007

HOTP meets English Paper Company

And here's my next design team creation. Beverley had included a HOTP sarabinder in our kit, which frankly scared the hell out of me as I've never done one before!

We also received the English Paper Company 6x6 papers and as soon as I saw these I immediately had the idea for a patchwork quilt look, as they reminded me of the sort of fabrics you'd see in a little country cottage.

I first painted the spine of the sarabinder with white acrylic paint and then edged it with lavender chalk ink. I then took the sage and lavender tone papers and cut them up into different size squares and oblongs (all very randomly!). I glued the papers onto the binder on the front so that the overlapped and on the back and inside covers too, and then drew faux zigzag stitch on with a fine black pen where the papers joined.

For the inserts I tinted the edges with the lavender chalk ink again and then added some spare pieces of paper, and again the zigzag stitching, to carry the theme right through the binder.

I then wrapped some various ribbons and fibres around the spine to the front.

I wasn't sure how to finish it off, but then found the scrappers jewellery that Beverley had included in our pack. It's actually a pin badge so I poked it through the front (took a bit of persuasion!!) and put the fastener on the back, inside. This means it can still be taken off and worn as it's not permanently fixed.

So that's it - first ever Sarabinder and it wasn't that scary really! And it just goes to show, sarabinder doesn't necessarily have to mean sarapapers!!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Lou Lou is having some technical issues so I'm going to post on her behalf until they are resolved! First up is this adorable mini album, which is a great way of using the CD cases from all those CDs that quite often come free with magazines. Watch this space and I'm sure there will be a couple of ideas for using the CDs too!

Lou Lou has used the Masculine Sarapapers and matching Embellish-Abilities, along with some plain cardstock for the pages. The little album fits snugly into the case, which will either protect it on your travels or make it easy to store on a shelf. As you can see from the pics, it will stand so you could display it on top of the TV LOL. Lou Lou has not added photographs as yet - but if we ask her nicely, perhaps she'll post some more pics when she has!

I'm also having a few technical issues, which is why these photos are all over the place LOL. It seems that they just don't want to go where I want them. But I guess you'd rather see them than not so I'm going to give up trying to make it look pretty and just post the thing!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Party On!

Had a great time on Sunday, hosting a children's party for Elena (age 6) and nine of her little friends. This was booked waaay before the fire at the shop and right up until the last minute there were still some doubts about the venue - until in stepped Ann at the Carribean Cafe in Ripley's Market (next to my very first shop where it all began over two years ago).
So, Ann supplied the venue & I turned up with my willing assistant, Auntie Jane. The party was great, all the children had fun and Sarah (Elena's mother) looked right at home behind the counter (photographic evidence supplied) LOL. There will be lots more photos but we do need to get the relevant parental permissions before we use them. In the meantime, here's the flock of bird puppets that the girls made and a quick snap of Sarah!

These parties are such fun and are only different to our regular kids classes in that the mums lay on food and a cake. Once the shop is up and running again we will be taking party bookings and opening the Sunday kids club again.

Sunday, 20 May 2007

Does my doggy look cute in these papers?

Have been away to stop at my mum's for a few days, and had loads of ideas buzzing around in my head as to how to use all the goodies that Beverley sent. Isn't it funny how you 'feel' most creative when you are not with your stash...LOL!!!
Anyway, I got back last night and decided to scrap this piccie of my cutie little dog!!! Makes a change from scrapping the boys.

I used HOTP masculine papers and Bazzill cardstock. The diamond paper had its edges torn and was then machine stitched to the cardstock. I tore the paisley paper and dry brushed white acrylic paint across the background. This makes the colours more subtle but doesn't totally mask the pattern. I tore and inked a spare piece of card and stuck at an angle overlapping the paisley paper. The photo was placed into position and the flower (which had been painted and inked to give a distressed look) was tucked behind the top corner and stitched into place with a coordinating button.

I cut a pattern out of scrap paper using a chipboard shape as a template. This was used as a stencil to create the subtle pattern in the bottom left corner. This is really easy to do... just stipple over with a hard dry brush in a downward stabbing action. The lines above the photo were going to be for journaling, but I like them as they were so left them as a feature. I created them by inking the edge of a ruler and stamping down with it...

The title was stamped using A Muse clear alpha stamps... they are yummy to work with. I pinned the title to the LO with the silver T pin provided by Beverley... don't know what they are really for but I like the way it looks on here...LOL!!!
I am really pleased with this LO.... I didn't want to create anything to busy as I didn't want to detract from the lovely photo.
So if you think my dog looks cute in these papers, why don't you go and get them too... how cute can you make the masculine folk in your life look???

Thursday, 17 May 2007

I am in LOVE...

... with the March personal shopper kit!!

Considering Beverley sent me the blue and green papers, which are not my sort of colours usually (but I think she did that to all of us on purpose! LOL) I've been loving working with them. The first card is a shop sample that Beverley asked me to make up and all the bits you need and the full instructions come in the kit, so it was just a case of "constructing", which was great because I didn't have to think of a design. The card folds out in a really unusual way as well, but I can't show you that as it's too big for my scanner (guess you'll just have to buy the kit!)

The second card I made by covering a card blank with 2 different papers and adding a ribbon over the join. I then attached the frog brad buddy to one of the frames on the sheet of artwork with the 2 black brads that are his eyes. I added a couple of dragonfly brads and the "thank you" motif, again from the sheet of artwork.

So if you don't have this kit yet (and why not?!) get it and have a play - it's lovely. And don't forget Beverley has a fantastic deal on personal shopper kits if you subscribe, that's been extended until June! Details here.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Guess what my postie brought this morning???

My design team goodies..... and I have already had a play!!!

I decided to use the papers from the March Personal Shopper to do this LO. It was quite a challenge for me as I don't 'do purple/lilac', or so I thought...LOL!!!
I inked the edges of the background cardstock and gutted the middle... The red paper was cut to size, inked then stapled to the background. The lilac patterned paper was trimmed to size, and had the bottom corner rounded. I ripped the pattern from another sheet of paper and machine stitched it down the left hand side. I used a corner stamp to make the patterned square, and added alpha stickers to the centre. The word 'camera' was stamped on to the reverse of the spare card gutted from the background, and the remainder was used to mat the photo.
The journaling was hand written onto the lilac patterned paper then cut into individual words and inked.

This is one of those photos that needed to be scrapped... one of those everyday moments that would otherwise be forgotten, but now will be remembered and laughed about for year to come. My eldest DS has seen me turn the camera to take photos of us both when there has been nobody else around... and on this day he decided to take a photo of himself with his baby eh, you gotta love 'em..... LOL!!!

I also had a play with the 'Let's make cards' products. This party invitation was made using only products supplied. The word party was handcut, and doodled stitching was added for added interest.

The second card (blank from £1 shop) used paper from the March personal Shopper kit as well. I handcut the frame and large heart, added the small heart shape, and stitched on a couple of buttons I found in my button pot... easy peasy, and so quick to do. Now there is no excuse for not making your own cards...

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

It's Official!

We've been talking about A-MUSE-A-PALOOZA for a week or two now & it's official! We are now listed as the sole store in the entire UK that will be holding this week-long stampfest! All our events (and there are quite a few!) are listed here and don't forget there are loads of goodies to be had in the run up to the big week. You will need to register to be in with a chance of winning (please put my name, Beverley Todd, in the referral box!) but don't think you can't register just because you don't have A Muse products. There has been one winner so far who got her prize for registering & I don't know how many more spot prizes there might be.
If you'd like to have a go at the challenges though, why not ask around - you need just one stamp - that's all! And if you are within travelling distance of our store, look out for information about when we will be re-opening. When we do, there will be a free A Muse playroom - access to all my stamps & Auntie Jane has pledged to donate hers too! But it's only there for registered stampers LOL

We haven't been big on stamping in the past as I'm much more of a collage artist but all we needed was the right level of support and guidance to set us on our way. A Muse have given us that and we are very grateful to have been included in this event at short notice. Once you have registered, don't forget to put yourself on the map so we can show our friends across the pond just how many of us there are over here - it's looking a bit sparse at the moment!!

Please excuse all spelling and grammatical errors in this post - I'm at home with flu but I think my head is somewhere else!!

Monday, 14 May 2007

My first Design team stuff!

OK, so I picked up my first lot of design team goodies from Beverley on Saturday and I've been a busy girl ever since! Some of the bits we got we were from the current issue (issue 5) of Lets Make Cards! magazine and these are the two cards and the ATC that I made. All I have added is some extra cardstock (black and lilac) as I wanted to show what you can do with the kit pretty much on its own. And it was so nice to work with a limited kit for once - all too often it can be overwhelming to know what to use when you've got so much stash! So why not use a limited kit (or better still - buy the mag!) and challenge yourself?

Sunday, 13 May 2007


I'm gonna announce the events for the A-MUSE-A-PALOOZA week one day at a time - there's just tooooo much to take in all at once. We have planned a couple of things (at least) for every day of the event week! So: here we go with Monday July 9th!
Early Bird Prizes: We will have a goody bag for the first FIVE customers purchasing A Muse products today. We will have available for sale, stamps and accessories that we are using in today’s card class.
Five For £5: Make 5 stunning cards, created by the A Muse Design Team using fabulous stamps from the new range. 12.30 – 2.30. Booking Required.
VIP Night: Be the first to see the newly launched A Muse collection! Free Make N Takes, Free Draw, Free Refreshments. Tickets must be purchased in advance (£10) and are worth a £12 credit against A Muse purchases at the VIP event only. 7.30 – 10.00

We are reserving tickets for the VIP night & also taking reservations for the classes now. As the shop is closed until the fire damage is sorted out all reservations can be made by e-mail or on the dedicated thread on our forum
The new 2007/2008 A Muse Collection is being kept top secret until the international launch on July 9th - we have only seen the designs we'll be using for the classes but I've gotta say, they are soooooo cute LOL. I am sooooo looking forward to the whole A-MUSE-A-PALOOZA Event Week, it's going to be a whole lot of fun!

Friday, 11 May 2007

Another UK Exclusive!

So I spent last night checking my e-mail every two minutes, and then I checked every few minutes this morning (& yes, I am aware that other parts of the world are asleep for large parts of my working day LOL) and finally, at 6.50pm the three little words I've been longing to hear dropped into my inbox: You are IN!! (bet that's not what you were expecting LOL).
Crop 'Til You Drop is to be the ONLY UK store to host A-MUSE-A-PALOOZA How exciting is that?

From the 9th to 15th July 2007 we will have special events every day in store to mark the launch of A Muse Artstamps 2007/2008 range. It's all top secret stuff & you will not be able to get sneak peaks at the new products anywhere prior to the launch (not even on their own site!) Watch this space for exciting news of all the things we have planned for you, which are to be finalised in the next couple of days. I can tell you there will be prize draws, FREE Make n Takes, brand new card classes and a fantastic Grand Prize Draw (internationally) where one lucky participant will win A WHOLE YEAR'S SUPPLY of new products!! The entry forms will be available only at A-MUSE-A-PALOOZA events (do you see why I'm soooo excited!)

And if you can't wait until July, check out the AP Blog now, where you'll find great challenges and lots of chances to pick up freebies in the run-up to the big week. And if you'd like to put my name in the referral box when you register that would be good as I've registered for the A-MUSE-A-PALOOZA Ambassador Competition (& I really want to win LOL)

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

I've Been Blogrolled LOL

I've been waiting a little while for this... & I've finally made it to New York LOL. Well, my Decopatch work has anyway. It is the Blog that I spoke about over at Crafty Moments (april 28th), run by the US distributors of Decopatch. Nicole spotted my personal Blog & asked if she could use some of my stuff on their blog - well I didn't take much persuading (modest little thing that I am LOL) & yep! You guessed it, it's that chair again!! You can see the blog entry here (scroll down to may 2nd) & if you need a reminder of my other decopatch projects, you can see them all here. And if you've not heard enough about it yet, our members only club are getting full instructions to make the top hat in this month's mailing!!

Win My Stash!!

So it looks like I was being seriously over optimistic about when we will be able to open again & realistically it's not going to be this week either. This is causing major interruptions to the Mad May Sale, which ran for all of two days prior to the fire. We have discovered some serious structural problems, which is going to delay our re-opening & we might even be relocated - the fact is we just don't know yet! You can still shop with us online, of course.
Anyway, as I'm at a bit of a loose end, that's given me a bit of time to think (always a dangerous thing LOL) & I have decided to give away a big box of my personal stash to one lucky visitor to our forum!! All the details are here & as it's a FREE draw, all you have to do is talk to me to be in with a chance of winning!! The more you chat, the more chances you get (we don't often get a reward for chatting, do we?) If you don't already visit our forum, this is such a good time to start. I'll announce the winner on June 1st.
Be Lucky!!

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Temporary Closure!

Sadly, we will have to close the shop tomorrow (Thursday) as we have had a fire & there's a few technical issues to sort out before we can re-open (like getting the electricity back on). Hopefully, we will only be closed for the one day - but I'll keep you all posted.

I did have lots to post about all the latest yummies - but I'll keep you in suspense until we are open. Web services will continue as normal!

You can read the full story here