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February 2010

January 2010

Valentine - Blog Hop

Today I am participating in the Art With Heart Team Blog Hop!

Our theme is Valentines and what item could be more romantic than a wedding invitation.  I have been making lots of prototypes lately for my own invites, and I finally came up with one I quite like using one of my favourite techniques - water colouring!

Wedding invite e  Wedding invite b

I have used

  • Perfect Plum and Pale Plum cardstock and ink,
  • White embossing on vellum cardstock
  • Purple and Clear embossing powder
  • Aqua Painter
  • Fifth Avenue Floral and Lovely Letters Alphabet stamp set
  • And the “&” from Together Forever stamp set

So, what’s a blog hop and who are the Art with Heart team?

Lead by Claire Daly there are over 80 demonstrators across Australia. We have a great team forum, Business Building Club and heaps of support from like minded demonstrators. If you’d like to become part of this great team just email me for more details.

The blog hop will be a monthly event happening on the last day of every month. There are 12 stops along the way, and you may have just come from Kathryn Mangelsdorf’s blog or you might be starting here.  At the end of each post there will be a link to take you to the next stop on the tour. It would be fantastic if you could leave a comment on each blog!

Wedding invite d  Wedding invite g

So grab a cuppa, and set off on what we are hoping will be an inspirational journey! and we hope you will visit each one to see the wonderful creations we have to show you! If you leave a comment on each and every blog and then email Nikki at [email protected], your name will be put into the hat to win some beautiful blog candy. There is a deadline of 72 hours to leave your comments and only non SU demos are eligible to win the candy - although we'd love all visitors to leave some comments please.

The next stop along the way is Di Dunk.

Have a nice journey, and don’t forget to leave comments for everyone!

Stamp-a-Memory Scrapbook Challenge

I've decided there are two types of scrapbook layouts.  The first is where the artist has taken one gorgeous photo (usually a portrait) and decorated and journalled it on a single page, which can be the centre piece of an album, or can be framed to make a treasured momento for a loved one. Some are highly decorative, or quite elegantly simple.

The second type consists of multiple photos and is usually created to tell the story of an event or journey. Sometimes this might be a party, a family trip, or may even be photos taken over a period of time documenting ones journey through life. The journalling and embellishments may be simpler because there are more photos.

I made a pact with myself to do more scrapbooking this year, so I went across to Stamp-a-Memory to get some inspiration. I found some in the form of a Challenge to create a Summer layout.

Tony and I spent a month of summer in Europe two years ago and I have never gotten around to even printing any photos, let alone scrapping them, so the challenge was on! Here's my double page spread of one beautiful summers day.

Summer Is . . . a

The title "Summer is . . . " is embossed in white and filled in with Mellow Moss marker.  The hand written journalling reads :

Summer is . . . A bike ride down French country lanes,

baguettes in a backpack, red wine in disposable cups and Loving You!!

Kathryn & Tony, Sept 2007 Palace of Versaille

Summer Is . . . f

Summer Is . . . e

There are more photos in my scrapbook page album

Recipe for this layout:

  • Jumbo Outline Alphabet stamp set
  • White Embossing Powder
  • Brads - Rose Red and Old Olive
  • Stampin' Write Markers - Old Olive, Choc Chip, Rose Red, Mellow Moss & Always Artichoke
  • 1" Double Stitched Grosgrain Ribbon, Rose Red
  • Designer Series Paper - Raspberry Tart and Tall Tales - yes the trees are cut out by hand 
  • Old Olive textured card stock

I have to say, I enjoyed finally doing something with these photos - it was such a happy occasion!  Now I am off to finish some wedding invitations for the Art with Heart Blog Hop which will be here SOON, so check back in very soon!


Congratulations to Ros Davidson whose family is going to enjoy a lovely jar of home-made apricot jam!!

The next exciting thing on the menu is Sale-a-bration, which starts today!  Sale-a-bration is a fantastic time in the Stampin' Up! calendar as the one thing we love most is available from today until the 31st of March. 

What is it?   FREE Rubber!!!  Yes, there are free stamps sets to give away, and they are really easy to earn.

There are three ways you can earn free stamps:

  • Spend $100.00 and earn one free Sale-A-Bration set of you choice
  • Host a workshop of at least $600.00 and earn one free Sale-A-bration set in addition to the generous hostess benefits
  • Join Stampin' Up! during Sale-A-Bration and choose a free stamp set from the Idea Book & Catalogue (valued up to $79.95)

What are you waiting for? If you're in Australia, give me a call today if you'd like a Sale-A-Bration flyer or Idea Book & Catalogue for some good bedtime reading. 

Kathryn 0418 361 931

Summer Fruits

And now for something completely different . . . I come from a family of cooks and vegie gardeners and one thing I grew up loving was homemade jam.  What better thing to occupy oneself with on these cooler summer days, than cooking up a brew of delicious smelling, fresh summer fruits so we can enjoy them all year?

Thanks to the father-in-law of a work-mate, I received a massive bucket of fresh apricots and in the cooler conditions of last Sunday, I got to work, removing the stones, cutting out a few spots, weighing and measuring. It was so much fun! I always say a picture tells a thousand words, so here are a few snaps of my industrious activity.

Apricot Jam a

When you cut the fruit in half following the natural crease line in the apricot, it comes apart easily and the stone almost falls out - very easy task - if you can stop eating and keep cutting!

Apricot Jam c

I found a couple of recipes that said to keep aside a dozen or so of the stones, crack them with a nutcracker and remove the kernel, and add the kernels back to the jam mix to assist with setting. I never liked the kernels in the jam when I was a kid, so I decided to opt for the lemon juice "setting agent" instead.

Apricot Jam d

 I had two kgs of fruit so I needed 1/2 a cup of lemon juice . . . just keep squeezing, just keep squeezing, just keep squeezing!

Apricot Jam e

This is added to the pot with the fruit and a cup of water and brought to the boil and allowed to simmer for 15 min.  Then comes the sugar (don't look now if you're scared!!)

Apricot Jam f

OMG! Yes, that's 1kg of sugar for each kg of fruit - I didn't say I was going to eat all the jam myself did I?? Yikes!

Stir this in and keep stirring until it's all dissolved, then its time to sit back and let it simmer away filling the neighbourhood with delicious scent. It looks amazing as it bubbles away.

Apricot Jam g

While it's doing it's job in the amazing non-stick pan, its time to go to work on the bottles - collected earlier of course!  They have been scrubbed with ultra hot soapy water, then left upside down in the oven on medium heat to dry them and kill any remaining bacteria.  Jam covers and rubber bands are also dug out of hiding from last summers harvest and prepared for action.

Apricot Jam h  Apricot Jam i

This task is really not for the fainthearted! The jars are hot, the jam is hot, it's definitely not an activity for one of those 40degree summer days!

Apricot Jam j  Apricot Jam k

Then the best part for the stamper in me, that's dying to jump out after so much creativity - labels and ribbons!

Apricot Jam l  Apricot Jam m

That is the kind of results I want to see! Oh and the first person (in Melbourne) to leave a comment about this, can earn themselves a jar of jam - as I really won't be eating them all myself! Leave a comment and I will be in touch to work out how to get it to you :o)

Echoes of Kindness

Hosting a Stampin' Up! workshop is not just fun, it can be very rewarding with lots of free gifts for the hostess. 

Below is a sample of cards I have made using one of the Level 2 exclusive Hostess Stamp Sets. This set of four stamps is called "Echoes of Kindness" and can be seen on page 21 of the 2009-2010 Ideas Book & Catalogue.

Echoes of Kindness a

There are more photos in my Art Gallery here.  Sale-a-bration is starting soon and it's a fantastic time to host a workshop as there are even more freebies available.  Ask me about it today. [email protected]

Summer Happenings

Hi everyone,

Did you know the Summer Mini Catalogue is currently available.  There are some gorgeous stamp sets and other products in there. Click on this link to see an online version.

I have made some cards using the Razzle Dazzle set on page 18 and 19 of the mini.  Some photos have been added to my Art Gallery - scroll down to the bottom to see them.

Also, Sale-a-bration starts on January 25th which (shockingly) is just around the corner.  Do you remember the fun we had last year - free stamp sets with orders over $100, free stamp sets for hostesses and free stamp sets for new demonstrators who join the Stampin' Up! team during Sale-a-bration.

If you haven't received a Summer Mini catalogue or would like a sneak peak of the Sale-a-bration free sets, email today so I can post you a copy.  [email protected]

Scrapping Resolutions

Have you made any New Year's Resolutions?  I am terrible at that sort of thing - usually lasts about a week.  So this year I haven't made any!  But then I was sorting through my photos and thought, since I don't do much scrapbooking, maybe I could endeavour to do a little more this year.  So call it a New Years Resolution if you will, I am writing a note in my diary on the last day of each month, to add a scrapbook page to my album.  I have started by adding photos of a page I created last year.

You can see my pages here

See you again soon!

Christmas Thanks!

My family was blessed with receiving a gorgeous array of hand-made Christmas cards this year.  It is so nice to have a circle of Stamping friends to inspire and be inspired by. Thanks for your lovely creations ladies.

Christmas cards a

Christmas cards b 

To see close ups and descriptions of some of these cards, visit my album

Thanks again you talented ladies for being a part of my creative life.