Previous month:
July 2009
Next month:
September 2009

August 2009

Art Journal Covers: Part 2

During August my talented class ladies turned their creative energies towards embellishing their art journal covers for their technique books.

You can see the first batch in this post here, and my one here.  And here are the ones from last week.  I so, so enjoyed seeing what everyone came up with, and what colours and embellishments they chose.  They look even better in real life - photographing at night with a flash is not the ideal.

Here is Shelley's:



Narelle's:  (Narelle combined our August technique - Faux Silk - to make the title panel.  Really catches the eye.)












and Rosalie's:



Thank you so much to all the art journal cover creators for letting me take snaps and share them with the blogging world. 

All products are from the Stampin' Up! range.   Quite fun to stack a bunch of tools, papers, embellihsments and punches on the table, mix with a lovely group of ladies and see what happens! 

Stay tuned for my newsletter tomorrow for details about October's classes, and heaps more exciting stuff.  (Taking a class break to do some spring cleaning in September!)  Plus newsletter subscribers - this month I'll also be sending a free Christmas Card/Faux Silk Tutorial.  Heaps of steps and heaps of pics so perfect for beginners too.  Hope you like it.  There's a newsletter sign up box in the top right column if you'd like to join the fun.

Birthday Boy:  Guitar Cake

For those that have been reading this blog over the weekend,  I did manage to turn this ...


...into this ...


...into this ...


 .... and finally to this ...


And our birthday boy (3) loved it. 

Catch you tomorrow. 

Cheers, Sue

Happy Birthday Jack: Boys Cards

Jack turned 3 last week and we're having a little afternoon tea gathering today to celebrate.  Thought I'd share the card I made him.   He's a bit of a train fan so Choo Choo was the perfect choice.  My card was inspired by one I got in a swap from Angela Dickins.   Here is the closed view:


And when you open it up ...



Stamp Sets:  Choo Choo plus the Right On Track wheel, On Your Birthday for the greetings, and the love heart is from Short & Sweet, Pocket Silhouettes for the grass hidden in there amongst  the sponged brown ground.

Colours:  Bashful Blue, Brilliant Blue, Real Red, Close To Cocoa, Basic Black

Other: Scallop Edge Punch, Scallop Circle Punch (to do the clouds), Sponge Daubers, Scallop Oval Punch, Brilliant Blue marker and my favourite Paper Snips scissors which got a work out cutting out all those carriages!


Sponging round the greeting scallop oval helped to make it look a little steam cloudish.

To make the clouds I punched a couple of scallop circles and used them as a mask with a sponge dauber. 


Our birthday boy is a big music fan.  He'll sit for ages watching intently when a music concert DVD is playing.  One of his favourite bands is Muse.  The lead singer is Matthew Bellamy and Jack is a bit of a fan.  "No I want my hair sticking up like Matthew Bellamy."  "I love a sparkly guitar like Matthew Bellamy."

Well, we decided to get him a 3/4 size guitar for his birthday and as you can see from the smile, its been a hit! 


He's been sitting in that chair strumming away ever since it seems!  He plays along to the credits while watching ABC Kids or just makes up his own songs.

Of course his favourite thing is to play along with Muse. 


Anyway, happy birthday Jack.   Glad you like your present. 

And now I'd best head off.  Gotta try to turn 2 sponge cakes into a guitar cake.  Hmmmm!  Will be back in the next few days to show you how I went. 

Got heaps more here to show you too - some masculine cards (my brother turned 30 and I finished my Fathers' Day card early for a change) plus a bunch of gorgeous art journal covers from last week's class ladies. 

And believe me, you REALLY need to check in here on Tuesday! 

See you soon,


Last instalment: Stampin' Up Incentive Trip 2009

 OK, lets see if we can finish this off today (while Jack is napping!) 

Thursday night a large contingent of Incentive Trip folk headed to the Noosa Surf Club for Karaoke Night.  They must have been stoked to see an instant audience arrive and I think about 90% of the performances for the evening were from our group. 

Here's Harry and Vicki kicking off the karaoke - ing!

IMG_1099  IMG_1101

Nikki, Claire and someone soon dubbed 'The Upstager'


Aaron (who heads up the Australian operations) and the Upstager again!

IMG_1112 IMG_1114

Jayne and Gareth Mercer along with Marelle and Dave Taylor ...


A fun night with lots of singing and laughing.

Claire and I enjoyed room service breakfast on the balcony the next morning.  Aaah - this is the life!  And no dishes to wash afterwards ...



What else did I get up to while I was away??  My novel and I enjoyed a leisurely lunch and a glass or two of wine at a sidewalk tapas bar, and I was tempted by the chocolate shop we walked past each day.

IMG_1124 IMG_1127

The Incentive Trip earners dropped by the prize wheel each day to have a spin.

Here's one lot of prizes Claire won - yep that's Build A Brad, Corduroy Buttons and Fresh Cut Notes - nice!  And there were lolly jars to raid while catching up with others in the hospitality lounge area.

IMG_1132 IMG_1133


After all the eating I'd been doing I thought I'd better squeeze in a bit of a walk round the coastline!

IMG_1139 IMG_1166

Need a bit of waves crashing soundtrack for these ones!


Before it was time to get back to the feasting again!   Saturday night was the final group dinner so we all got dolled up ....



That's Claire and I getting a quick photo before we jumped onto the bus ....


... and we all tried to guess where we were heading to.  We knew it was something to do with a 'Step Back In Time."  I'd found a brochure for a castle in the area and was sure that was our destination.  Others were guessing a silent movie theatre nearby.  Turned out we were all wrong.   The bus stopped and we looked out the window to see ......



... this line of gorgeous vintage cars!  Lots of oohing and aahing and cameras flashing everywhere! 





Off the first convoy of us headed to the nearby Plantation Homestead.   Now my camera struggled a bit to capture any of the magic of this but check out the driveway with white bags with tealights in them lining the way.



The tables were all set beautifully in the grounds.  Just gorgeous with roses, candles, mmmmm



There were even 4 telescopes set up with a very knowledgeable gentleman to tell us what we were looking at.  I love star gazing and spent a bit of time over there looking at the moon, Jupiter, and a bunch of stars.


Makeesha managed a peek despite being on crutches ...




I enjoyed exploring the house too - its an upmarket B and B.



IMG_1273 IMG_1275

They had portaloos but even these were extra special with music, heating, a carpet to step down onto!




After a yummy dinner it was time to head back to the Sheraton again.  Claire and I popped by Marelle's room and learnt a few card tricks!  Thanks Harry - very entertaining!


Edited to add:  Ha ha - I've just been looking over all the photos I've shared and noticing the percentage that are of food!  No wonder I came back a few kilos heavier than I left!

And the next day it was time to cram all our stuff back into our bags and head back home again.   A quick photo with the two girls who made all the trip arrangements and added those magic touches that made it just the most memorable event.


Then it was off to the airport.  Shouldn't be putting an ad for the airline in here really - they ran out of most food before they got to us at the back of the plane (so instead of sandwiches and cheese/crackers for lunch I had a Mars Bar and Pringles!  Not the best before a bumpy old descent into Melbourne!)


I was very happy to see my 3 special people at the airport and got a quick start on catching up on those snuggles I'd missed.   (And a raspberry from Jack too!)


Got back home to a lovely batch of baked brownies and a welcome back mum sign - aaawwwww!



So once again a HUGE thank you to Claire for inviting me along on such a fabulous trip as her guest, and a big big big thanks to John and the kids for rearranging things to enable me to head off for 5 days.

Next year's trip is to Hamilton Island!  Perhaps John might be coming along as my guest to that one!  We'll have to see!  (Mum, dad - what are you doing in October 2010!?)

And that's it for me now for today.  Back to your regular scheduled cards and creations posts very soon. 

Cheers, Relaxed and Refreshed Sue

The Next Instalment: Noosa Incentive Trip 2009

OK, time for the next quick instalment!  Part 1 of my version of the Australian Incentive Trip is here if you missed it.

Now where was I?  That's right - we'd just finished doing our Masterchef impersonations.  Now it was time for us all to take a seat while the chefs did a bit of cheffing and we had some fruit punch.


Here's some of our handiwork!  Yum.  LOVED those stuffed olives and our scallops were pretty delicious too!




The next courses were just as delicious .....



Then it was time for some awards ....


And can you believe it ..... I actually got the prize for our scallop wrapping group.  Which is rather amazing because I only wrapped a few and as you can see was shooting off to take photos!  I did ask a few questions though while he was chopping so perhaps it was a prize for that bit!  Anyway - I wasn't arguing and was most happy to get my prize ..... a Pretties Kit!


Bye to the chefs ....


... and then it was back on the boat where we had dessert (and I was too busy eating it and dripping lemon sauce everywhere to take photos.)  We headed back to the Sheraton where we had the rest of the day and evening to ourselves.


OK, time's up for now but will be back with more tomorrow (and back with a few cards later this week for anyone yawning there way through Noosa news!)  

Cheers, Sue

Noosa Incentive Trip 2009: Highlights

OK strap yourselves in girls and grab a cuppa, and maybe a packed lunch - this is going to be a LOOOONG one. 

I was super super lucky to be invited along to the Incentive Trip this year by Claire Daly as her guest.  Had a fabulous time and took lots of pics.  Had my little camera so you'll have to excuse the blurry ones!   Here are a few.

We were greeted at the Sheraton in true tropical holiday style ...



Tropical fruit drink downed and it was time to check out our rooms.



The first of many gifts was waiting for Claire in our room.  I even took this pic of  it and didn't spot that it was a Stampin' Up gift, not just part of the room decor. 


Check out the view from our balcony - aaahhhhh!


I spent a bit of time lazing by the pool on those deck chairs.  Had a swim too once it reached 30 on Saturday and tried out the swim up bar you can see in the pic.  Didn't have time that day for a cocktail so settled for an icecream.  Was funny to sit on a bar stool in the pool and eat it.   Hannah (6) was most impressed when I shared that story during one of my phone calls home.

Went for a wander to check out the shops in nearby Hastings Street.


And took a quick pic of the beach while I was there ...

IMG_1000 IMG_1001

We had a group dinner that first night.  It was great to meet lots of the girls and guests and staff over canapes and a delicious dinner.  Of course, being me I just had to take a bunch of pics of the food.


Check out this dessert table.  Took these photos for Hannah.



I scoffed my selection before I thought to take a pic but Patrice was kind enough to let me snap a photo of hers. 


These guys on the next table were lined up for a photo so I snapped one too.  Lots of laughter was coming from that table during the evening so I think they were having a jolly good time.


Aren't the flower arrangements lovely.  I gather the same florist did all of the arrangements for our group dinners and lunches during the trip.  They were just gorgeous - wait til you see the rest!

Back to the room and Claire's gift was waiting on the bed.  They had to bring this one along for the next day's activity.  You can see a groovy shot of Claire modelling it on her blog.  You probably won't see the groovy shot of one of the hubbies modelling it (and not much else!) on a blog but trust me it was a hoot!


My book and I started off the next day in leisurely fashion on the balcony.  (I managed to fit in 1 and a half novels over the course of the trip - aaahhhh, time to get lost in a book, bliss!)


Then it was time for Claire and I to grab a quick breakfast and head off to the lobby to see what was in store for the group activity.  A cooking theme of course with the scene being set by those chefs hats and aprons.

We all piled onto a boat and headed down the river (river, canal, stream??? whatever!)



Passed some gorgeous houses if you've got a spare few million in the wallet!


Claire and I, and check out that blue sky!


And here's our destination - Ricky's Restaurant by the water's edge.



Ribbons on cutlery told us what team we were in for the cooking activity - a la Masterchef!


Here are the tables all set up waiting for the team members and their chef leaders to arrive.


Now do you see what I mean about the flowers? Aren't these table arrangements just stunning!?


Tables were all ready for us, complete with the recipes for all the dishes.

IMG_1041 IMG_1043

The team Claire and I were with were in charge of the scallops.  We had to wrap them in prosciutto.  Now I'm not renowned for my cooking skills but even I could manage that just fine!

We all gloved up and met our chef who instructed us through the dish preparation.

IMG_1045 IMG_1046




In between scallop wrapping I dashed around to take a few snaps of the other groups. 

IMG_1055 IMG_1056


IMG_1060 IMG_1061

(For the story of how the blow torch = cocktails you'll have to duck over to Marelle's blog!  Ouch!)

IMG_1062 IMG_1064

The owner was kind enough to pop into a pic too.  (As Claire said on her blog, very popular photography subject!)


IMG_1065 IMG_1075


Phew - OK made it this far!  My turn for car pool so it is time for my keyboard to take a bit of a break otherwise Hannah and the boys will be waiting in the school ground! 

Back with a gazillion more photos very soon!

Cheers, Sue

Oval All Set Of Cards

Here's a set of cards I made recently using some of our In Colour cardstock and matching patterned paper plus the Oval All stamp set and matching punches - Large Oval and the new Scallop Oval.


I added an eyelet border piece at the bottom for an extra touch of frill!

And here's a set in Pink Pirouette too.  I've crimped the middle strip of white on these ones to add some texture (OK really because I recently got my crimper and am now crimping everything in sight!)


These cards are all 9.9cm square (plus the frill.)  Why 9.9cm???  Because then you can get 3 from a sheet of A4 cardstock.  Handy!

Let me know if you haven't got your hands on a Spring Mini catalogue yet and want me to post you one.  These cards were all inspired by the one on the back cover.  The Stampin' Up! catalogues are always a handy source of card ideas as well as wish list extenders.  :-)

And that's it for today.  I'm flying back from Noosa today so if you've been saving up questions, queries, or orders - I'll be back on deck. 

Cheers, Sue

More August Class Pics

Now the other day I showed you the art journal covers that the ladies made in the mid August classes. They're here if you missed it.  

Thought I'd show you my one today.  All ready to fill up with technique samples and instructions cards over the coming months.


I've used Windsor Knot DSP (patterned paper) plus some Vellum Cardstock, Circle Circus and Live Like You Mean It stamp sets, punches, plus coordinating ribbon, brads and felt flowers.

While I'm here, here is the Basic Gray version of one of the Faux Silk cards we're making at August classes too.  You can see the Basic Black option here.


Space left Wed if you want to join us.  Details here.

If next week's ladies don't mind I hope to get out my camera and take some pics of some more lovely covers to share with you.  I do so love seeing what everyone creates at open ended sessions like this.

Cheers, Sue

Incentive Trip 2009 Guest Swap

I'm SOOOO looking forward to seeing the swaps that the Incentive Trip earners have made this year. 

We guests have got our own swap happening too and I thought today I'd show you mine.  I made 15 of them and always love the ideas shared via swaps.


It was a tricky one to photograph (especially when you're doing it in a rush between packing bags, writing lists for hubbies and doing all the other last minute bits and pieces!)

Here's a few other views.


I quite like this one with a bit of mood lighting!


I took step by step photos while I was putting this together and will send a free email tutorial on how to make it with the September edition of my Madex Creations Newsletter early next month.  There's a sign up box up at the top right column if you'd like to join my newsletter crew before then.

Cheers, Sue

A Thank You Gift

Greetings from Noosa.  (OK technically it is from my study a few days ago!) 

Now what do you give someone to say thanks for the opportunity to go on a trip like this??  I wanted to make Claire something to say thanks for inviting me to be her guest this year on the Incentive Trip.  I found this rather cute toothbrush in a bottle so that inspired me to make an 'Emergency Stamping Kit' to hold bits and pieces that might be handy on those times when stamping sessions extend into the wee hours. 


(I used a Pretties Kit container and added some Raspberry Tart and Felt Flowers and what not to pretty it up a little.)

Here's some of the contents.



Claire has helped me with a ton of ideas and encouragement, a terrific forum which has been a great resource plus helped us all connect with other team members and get to know each other, and just by being there to share funny moments, achievements and to help with the odd problem too.   Plus it was her marvellous workshop that got me instantly addicted to Stampin' Up in Jan 2008.  I don't think I dreamed then that as well as spending an enjoyable afternoon making cards I was also getting a super new hobby, a thriving home based business and lots of new craft loving friends - plus a trip to Noosa to get thoroughly spoilt.

Thanks Claire. 

Cheers, Sue

Special Guest Card Makers: Anne-Marie and Anne-Marie

Today (while I'm zooming off to Noosa for a few days of sun, friendly stamping girls company and no MUUUUUUMMMMMMMM to be heard!) we have a couple of special guests with cards to share.

Coincidentally they're both Anne-Marie!

Anne-Marie S first with these gorgeous cards.


I just love what Anne-Marie has made here using the hostess set 'Live Like You Mean It.'   Definitely going to give this one a go.  Isn't it striking?!

And how cute are these tiny baby cards. (They fit in the palm of your hand.)


And now some creations from Anne-Marie W who has been busy with the 'All In The Family' set.


Love those babies!




Love the dresses with fabric and beads.  Very creative!  And now some sparkly 'Crazy For Cupcakes.'


Anne-Marie makes gorgeous vintage cards too like this ...


Thanks so much to both of you for sharing your creations with the good folk here in blogland.   Leave the girls a comment to say thanks if you get a chance!

And with the magic of Typepad I've set this blog to update while I'm away.  Pop back tomorrow for a look at something special and again on Friday for a peek at my swaps for the guest swap.  I only had to make 6, the Incentive Trip earners made 31 - ye gads!  Actually I made a few extra in case anyone has leftovers :-) 

Cheers, Sunning Herself In Noosa Sue