Monday, 27 June 2011

sometimes life gets in the way...of crafting

I feel like I've been neglecting my blog for a bit, I don't really feel like I've properly blogged in ages! To be honest I still feel like I'm trying to catch up on everything. I came back from America with two things.

First off is this new sense of needing to be healthy. Anyone who has known me this past year will know I seem to have been suffering with one illness after another, the latest being tonsillitis, just before I went away! In the States I ate so much fruit and salad, I felt great! So I'm trying to spend more time in the kitchen cooking meals involving more fruit and veg, which can be hard when your husband only eats oranges, potatoes, peas, corn, carrots and peppers! I am attempting to widen his horizons! This past week I cooked stuffed peppers, I really didn't think he would like them much as he isn't a fan of rice but I found a recipe for this Mexican spicy rice which I stuffed in along with  mince and veg! It went down a treat and he said I could make it again, hooray for something new! At least he's willing to try new things, gradually I'll work him round to the hard stuff!

Secondly, is tackling the house. I have spring cleaned the kitchen and its looking great now, I think I've just about sorted homes for all my kitchen stuff now - I had just shoved things in cupboards when we got married as I was pushed for time and ideas of where stuff should live! I just really need to scrub the floor now...ugh! Also did a small blitz of the living/dining room but that is usually kept in fairly good knick as that's the room I use for my stampin' parties and classes! Still, you would be surprised what junk manages to accumulate in corners and down the sides of things!! The worst room of all is my "craft room". Its housed my craft stuff but never actually really to to the state where its fit to be used for such purposes! So this past few days I got on the case of all these boxes of things and cleared out craft stuff I seldom use, put it in shoe boxes and in the cupboard making some space to store my Stampin' Up goodies! It still have a LONG way to go but its looking mile better than what it was even just a week ago! Stu has been great for motivation and helping out, he even hoovered the floor for me (I hate hoovering) which was so kind of him!

This next week we have Stu's friend, Steve, from university days staying over. He was an usher at our wedding. It will be nice to see him again and I'm sure the boys will have a good time together. As a result I might be a bit quiet this week what with trying to get this craft room sorted and our guest and all!

July is turning out to be a busy month for me, I have 3 parties at other people's houses scheduled already which is great! Also my monthly class which will be on the third Saturday of the month - July 16th! Details of the class projects and techniques will be released on Friday July 1st!

Now, I've just noticed the time, I must be off to bed as my dad is coming tomorrow morning to help fix the curtain rail in our living room that came down about 2 months ago. Sorry for rambling on, just thought you might like to know what I've been up to these past few weeks. Hopefully things will settle down again soon and I will get back to normal. Although I don't know how soon that will happen seeing as we are off on holiday in about 4 weeks time, this time with the husband - yay! Then its back for Nay's wedding and Rhoda, my Stampin' Up mother will be down and I'm hoping to have a crafting session or two with her...fingers crossed! Then its my birthday and off for another short break in the Peak District and Ben's wedding. Its all go this summer!

Take care,

Amanda x

Saturday, 25 June 2011

simply stampin' challenge, week 13

This week we are back to a Sketch at the Simply Stampin' Challenge blog! I am going to admit right now that I found this the most difficult sketch to date, usually I love sketches as it gives you the template and all you have to do is insert the paper and stamping - it takes some of the thinking and decision making out of the process. Unfortunately this one, I was trying to make ahead of time several weeks ago, and I don't know why but whatever I did just looked a nightmare! I finally gave up on it and then came back to it this past week, and finally made it work! I'm actually really happy with the final outcome!

Here is the sketch and my creation...

For You Gala

Stamp Set: Basic Phrases
Cardstock: Whisper White, Chocolate Chip, Baja Breeze
Ink: Chocolate Chip
DSP: Greenhouse Gala
Punches: Modern Label
Extras: Crystal Effects, Dimensionals

A really simple card really, I used strips of the Pear Pizzazz and Baja Breeze dsp paper with the small round flowers on it in the background then used the coordinating large Pear Pizzazz and Baja Breeze flowers on another piece of the Gala dsp. I added some Whisper White and Chocolate Chip cardstock between the two layers to help the flowers stand out. I adhered everything down onto a Whisper White background and popped the sentiment and large flowers up on dimensionals. The last thing I decided to do was coat the centres of the flowers with cyrstal effects just to add a different texture and accent to the card! 

Please let me know what you think, I love reading your comments! Head over to the Simply Stampin' Challenge blog, take a look at the lovely creations by the other design team members and enter this week's challenge! I look forward to seeing your entries! :) 

Amanda xoxo

Friday, 24 June 2011

accept, accept, accept!

My husband's cousin, Naomi, is getting married in August. We got a wedding invitation from her about a month ago and due to business I still have not got round to replying...until today!

Blushing Bride Acceptance

Stamp Set: n/a
Cardstock: Always Artichoke, Old Olive, Pear Pizzazz, Whisper White
DSP: Blushing Bride (Hostess only)
Ink: Frost White Shimmer Paint
Punches: Modern Label, 1 3/4" Circle, 1 3/8" Circle, 1" Circle, Two Step Bird
Accessories: Old Olive Button, Old Olive Brad
Extras: Dimensionals, White Gel Pen, Rubbing Alcohol, Tombo Mono Multi Glue, Glue Dots

Nay's wedding is a dusty pink colour so I thought my hostess in colour Blushing Bride dsp would be perfect for making an acceptance card! I punched out a variety of circles in a couple of the patterns, crumpled them up then I began unfolding layering and rescrunching up. I made 3 flowers in this way, large, medium and small.  I then sprayed them with my uber cool shimmer mist (rubbing alcohol and shimmer paint in a old spray bottle!), added a Old Olive button to the largest, a Old Olive brad to the middle and the bud was too tiny to need anything in the centre! I adhered them to the Pear Pizzazz cardstock and embellished with a few branchy sprigs in Old Olive and Always Artichoke! I finally hand wrote the sentiment onto a modern label punch with white gel pen and did a dashed line around the edge of the Pear Pizzazz. Finally I mounted the whole thing on a Whisper White card base! 

I hope you enjoyed today's share! I am really pleased with this little card. Please do leave a comment!

Thanks for visiting!



Thursday, 23 June 2011

sue's workshop

On Monday night my husband's aunt Sue hosted a workshop at her house and I just thought I would show you one of the projects that I demonstrated!

Hi There Ornate Blossom

Stamp Set: Ornate Blossom, Ornate Flowers, Basic Phrases
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Early Espresso, Old Olive, Very Vanilla
Ink: Old Olive, Early Espresso, Crumb Cake
Punches: Modern Label
Extras: Dimensionals, Sponge

I made this card to show off one of the new stamp sets I had recently gotten from Stampin' Up! I love the fact that there is a small and a large stamp that are the same, doesn't it just work great to make a card with a patterned background and focal point?! It also shows the super fun rock and roll technique, where you ink up the stamp with one colour and then rock and roll the edges in a darker colour ink before stamping. I really like this technique as it adds extra colour to a stamp without being too much of one solid colour, and also for the fact that you will never get the same effect twice with rock and roll. We rocked and rolled both the background and the focal point of the card! 

I hope you enjoyed today's little share! Please do let me know what you think, I love reading your comments! 

Take care, 



Tuesday, 21 June 2011

totally june class!

Last Saturday was my June class. I only had 3 lovely ladies here this month but I feel that was still a triumph seeing as I have been away between and had very little time/chance to craft or invite people to my class! We had so much fun and it was great to get to know everyone a little bit better!

Our focus this month was on anything heat embossed! We tried our hand at white embossing, clear embossing, emboss resist, watercolour resist and using heat &stick powder with dazzling diamonds glitter. The glitter was a HUGE hit, and lets face it, who doesn't like a bit of glitter...especially when it actually sticks to the card and doesn't shed EVERYWHERE! I am totally in love with heat & stick powder for revolutionising my glitter use!!

We incorporated the embossing, emboss resist and heat & stick with glitter techniques into a envelope mini album...

I made 2 books using the Greenhouse Gala designer paper. The first one before the class to show everyone and then the second during the class!

And the second book I made using the same Greenhouse Gala paper...

I wanted to wait to post what we did at the class as it has been showering at a moment's notice and  I really want to take photos on the decking to do the projects justice!

We also made a card using the watercolour resist technique...

If you like the look of these projects a would like to see how to make them, why not get in touch and book a workshop, you and your friends will love seeing how easy, inexpensive and addictive these are to make! 

Contact me at to book your party!

Take care,

Amanda x

Sunday, 19 June 2011

for dad

As promised, here is the minimalistic card I made for my father-in-law for Father's Day today. 


Stamp Set: Broadsheet Alphabet
Cardstock: Whisper White
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Versamark
Accessories: Dazzling Diamonds
Extras: Heat & Stick Powder, Heat Tool, Stamp-a-ma-jig

I told you it was minimal! I wanted to make a card using the broadsheet alphabet but I thought the dazzling diamonds would just make it look a bit more special! So I stamped the letters in Chocolate Chip and then using the stamp-a-ma-jig went over the letters with versamark, added heat & stick powder and dazzing diamonds. 

So what do you think to my super simple looking card? Too simple maybe?! Please leave a comment, I love reading them! 

Amanda xoxo

Saturday, 18 June 2011

simply stampin' challenge, week 12

This week's challenge is a theme challenge. As it is father's day tomorrow, what better of a theme than 'You've Got Male'. Men are notoriously difficult to make cards, and yes even I struggle...LOTS!

Handyman Dad

Stamp Set: Every Little Bit
Cardstock: Baja Breeze, Early Espresso, Very Vanilla
Ink: Early Espresso, Crumb Cake
Punches: Scallop Square
Extras: Dimensionals, Blender Pens, Brown Pen

This is the card I made for my Dad for Father's day tomorrow. He's been a really big help over the years and especially this past year coming over to help fix things when they go wrong - especially when Stu and I have little or no clue what to do. I wish I could be as good a handyman as my dad is! 

I hope you liked this simple card. Come back tomorrow to see the card I made for my father-in-law for Father's Day. Its possible the most minimal card I've ever created! Looks very cute though! 

Don't forget to head over to the Simply Stampin' Challenge blog, check out the other design team's entries and enter yourself! 

Thanks for stopping by! 

Amanda xx

Thursday, 16 June 2011

shop on etsy

If you're crafty, you may have heard of a online shop called etsy where you can sell anything handmade. If you've never heard of etsy before its well worth a look, there are so many beautiful handcrafted goods for sale on there! Its so wonderful to have a place like that committed to only selling handcrafted items.

Now, I've been wanting to get some stuff up on etsy for a while and finally last night I uploaded my first few items! Its quite exciting so I hope you will go over and check it out! Please visit my shop:

Thank you for stopping by. 


photo mini album

A family friend asked me if I would be able to make some sort of photo album to commemorate the work 5 lovely ladies have done over the past 10 years or so making it possible for 10 european countries to use KYB (Know Your Bible) Bible study materials. I was more than pleased to be asked to do this, and after some research and talking over exactly what they wanted, here is what I produced. I finished these just before I left for the States but had to keep everything a secret as the ladies whose books these were for didn't know anything about and weren't presented with them 'til the beginning of June. Now I can show you what I made, I'm very excited!

Mini Book

These are quite some mini books.With hard covers these are really made to with stand quite some handling and really look like a real book. The front cover was decorated with a bunting style banner with the ladies' name on it. The inside pockets were origionally envelopes but I altered it slightly and actually made my own pockets (to save on decoration). On the front of each pocket was the countries name (one pocket for each country they worked with), a flag of the county and then on the back cover was a map and a icon from that country. Inside the pocket is a perfect place to put notes and photographs. Ribbon runs through the whole thing to tie it together. 

I have to say I am very pleased with how they turned out. It was a lot of worth it but so worth it to see and hear how pleased everyone were with them!

I'd love to know what you think! Please leave a comment.

Amanda xo

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

i'm crushing...

As I said, This colour combo was gorgeous and therefore I actually made a couple cards using the same combo, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Crumb Cake and Concord Crush. I think one of the reasons I have taken so well to this combo is because of its heavy use of neutral colours. The nice thing about a mostly neutral coloured card is that any colour you put in it just really pops and stands out all the more! This is clearly shown in my card below. 

Together Forever Wedding Cake

Stamp Set: Fun and Fast Notes, Fast Flowers Wheel
Cardstock: Very Vanilla, Crumb Cake, Chocolate Chip
Ink: Chocolate Chip, Concord Crush, Pear Pizzaz (just the very slightest bit to bring out the leaves)
Extras: Blender Pen

The strip of Chocolate Chip cardstock and the Fast Flowers wheel breaks up the large expanse of Vanilla cardstock. The Crumb Cake and Chocolate Chip cardstock frame the centre image. I used a blender pen to colour in the image. Concord Crush was used on the flowers on the cakes and also a little sponging around the edges...draws out the colour and also draws in the eye! It definitely shows the eye where the focal point of the card is! 

I hope you liked this second colour combo card. Please do leave me a comment, they make me smile lots! :)

'till next time,

Amanda xx

Saturday, 11 June 2011

simply stampin' challenge, week 11

Wow, can you believe its week 11 on the Simply Stampin' challenges already?! Can't believe how time is flying by! This week is another colour challenge. The colours are so lovely I have 2 cards this week, one you will get today and the other sometime later in the week! Without any further ado, here are this week's colours and my first card...

Stamp Set: Greenhouse Garden, Fun & Fast Notes
Cardstock: Crumb Cake, Very Vanilla, Chocolate Chip
DSP: Concord Crush (6x6 Hostess Only pack)
Ink: Concord Crush, Chocolate Chip
Punches: Eyelet Border, Modern Label, Corner Rounder
Extras: Crimper, Crop-a-dile

This is a really simple card, sometimes simple is the most effective though, right?! A few strips of Concord Crush DSP split up with a little bit of Chocolate Chip cardstock. The eyelet border punch mimics the polka dot DSP. I stamped the sentiment on some Very Vanilla cardstock, punched out with te modern label punch and then sponged the edges to give it a softer look. I stamped and cut out a few small flowers from the Greenhouse Garden stamp set to embellish the sentiment (I think the finished effect it looks similar to a stamp in the Just Believe stamp set - just to prove you can get inspiration from stamps you don't own!) To help marry the sentiment and the strips of DSP (and also to soften the very bold flowers) I punched out dots of Very Vanilla cardstock using the small end of the crop-a-dile and added them to the middle of the flowers. Finally I crimped the edge just to break up the large expanse of Crumb Cake, and then rounded the corners. 

Check out the other design team entries at Simply Stampin' Challenge blog, and please do enter!

Please let me know what you think! Are you a lover of Concord Crush?! I certainly am!

Check back later this week for my second entry! 

Amanda xx

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

in-love with in-colour...five in one!

Just an extra little bonus card for you all! When you thought that was all you were going to see of the in-colour play series, right? Wrong. I thought now that I had done a card focusing on each separate colour I would do one with all five! It was a little bit of a challenge for myself as they are all quite different colours but I really wanted to show how all the colours, however different they are all work really well together! So your combinations are endless!!

In Colour Hello

Stamp Set: n/a
Cardstock: Crumb Cake
DSP: Concord Crush, Blushing Bride, Peach Parfait, Pear Pizzazz, Poppy Parade (6x6 Hostess only)
Ink: n/a
Punches: Scallop Square, 1" Circle, Corner Rounder
Accessories: Basic Rhinestones
Extras: White Gel Pen

I used a similar idea to my Poppy Parade card using the scallop square punch to create a patchwork pattern. I alternated Pear Pizzazz and Peach Parfait for this as they are softer colours but won't melt away against the background. On top of this I punched out Blushing Bride, Poppy Parade and Concord Crush which I distressed and layered up to make cute little roses. The Blushing Bride subtly fills out the flowers and the Poppy Parade and Concord Crush add a focal point and accent colour. Small strips of these two darker accent colours were added on the bottom to finish off the card. Finally I added some white stitching, hand wrote the sentiment, and added rhinestones to the centre of the roses!

So, do you like it? I hope you do! I may do a few more of these in-colour focus cards over the next few months but for now this concludes the end of my series! I hope I have made you fall in love with the colours and patterns in this gorgeous little pack (which you can earn for FREE!!). I arrive back on Thursday 9th June, so please do drop me an email at to book your workshop so you can earn your own paper pack!  

Look forward to hearing what you think! 

Amanda xo

Saturday, 4 June 2011

simply stampin' challenge, week 10

Today is a very special day! Its my cousin Rachel's wedding day!! I am so excited! Anyhows, I probably can't express my excitement to its max as I'm actually writing this post a few weeks previous as I'm in the States at the present time. I will have a full report on everything when I return!! But one thing I can say, I cannot WAIT to see the dress! I'm sure Rach is going to look absolutely stunning!!! :D 

This Simply Stampin' Challenge is a sketch and I loved this week's sketch! 

Floral Rosette

Stamp Set: n/a
Cardstock: So Saffron, Certainly Celery
DSP: Rose Red, Pink Pirouette
Punches: Eyelet Border, Two Step Bird, Corner Rounder
Accessories: Daffodil Delight Button, Whisper White Grosgrain Ribbon, Linen Thread
Extras: Dimensionals

I love this card!! And its so simple! I cut out and distressed a number of different sized DSP circles and then layered them up, it makes a really great quick rosette and all you need is paper and scissors! To finished off the middle with some linen thread and a button! I added a band of Rose Red DSP, a strip of Certainly Celery punched with the eyelet border punch and some ribbon. Finally I added some leaves from the two step bird punch in Certainly Celery and then rounded the top corner. It just helps mimic the rosette. 

Now, don't forget to check out the Simply Stampin' Challenge blog to enter and to see all the other design team member's entries! 

I hope you loved this as much as I do! Please do leave a comment, I love reading them and they bring a smile to my face! 

Amanda xo

Friday, 3 June 2011

from the other side of the pond!

Just a quick little update to just let you all know that I am still alive and well. Enjoying some quality time in the States with family!

My flight over was fine, delayed which meant I missed my connecting flight so it meant a lot more waiting around which was a bit sucky but the flight itself, although the beginning and end were a bit turbulent was overall quite good. I even managed to sleep on the plane, something that never happens for me! My cousin Rachel met me at the airport and after trying to track my bag (it was still in Chicago!!) we got over to Grandma's and went out for a lovely Italian meal.

I have had some real nice times with some old friends of mine. With Kate, shopping, seeing her house getting all fixed up, eating out and seeing her new hobby - furniture making! whew! With Angela, I got to meet her hubby and 2 little kids, they are just the sweetest, so we went out for a meal with them and to the park so the kids could play! I also met up with some good old friends of mine, Keith and Mary for a meal and then played scrabble! I'm afraid I wasn't very good, but I'm going to blame the jet lag!

I also got to spend last Friday with my cousin Rachel, we went shopping, I got clothes and stuff. It was really lovely to be able to see her and hang out with her again! I only wish we had more time but I was very grateful that she managed to take a day out of wedding planning to hang out!! That evening we did some wedding stuff like place cards and programs etc - fiddly but necessary stuff!

Lots of time with Grandma, she likes to talk so I've been practicing my listening skills!!

I have to say, I have loved being out here, soaking up Wisconsin but I am missing my Stuart terribly! I'm counting down the days 'til i see him once again!

So that's all I'll leave you with for now and will blog more fully once I get back on British soil...complete with jet lag...ugh! Its always so much worse coming back to England I feel!!

Amanda xo

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

june class

Its June 1st today, that means the unveiling of this month's class techniques and 3D item. 


Emboss Resist
Heat & Stick with Dazzling Diamonds Glitter
Watercolour Resist
3D Item:
Envelope Mini Book

Just to remind you the class is on Saturday June 18th from 11am-2pm and costs £12.50. This includes all the materials you will need to make all the projects and also lots of tea and cake! :) Places are limited so please book.

It would be lovely to see you there, I promise it will be fun so please do book your spot as soon as possible to avoid disappointment! 

To book, email me at

Take care, 

Amanda xoxo