Thursday, 29 March 2007

Tinkering Ink is here!!!

My Mum is back from her trip to Canada and she comes back bearing gifts!! (OK, not gifts as in free but fab new stuff for the shop!!) Mum went to a trade event in Calgary and was able to grab some bits I've been wanting for a while and the Tinkering Ink line was one of them! I've spent this afternoon stroking them all and slowly falling in love - these are gorgeous, bright and colourful, just what you need on a day when Spring has crept back under the covers! As well as the papers we have the alphabets, tabs & tags and these beautiful monograms - how can anyone resist?

The totally fab Fancy Pants acrylic stamps were also in her case and are just as yummy as I hoped they would be - Simply Stated is my absolute fav right now but that may change at any time!

So what with the airport run at 'crikey-o'clock' this morning and a day of stroking and uploading, I need to go and have a lie down now (with a glass of something cold I think!).

Have fun checking out the new bits at

Karen :)

Monday, 26 March 2007

Now you can Flip, Flop & Flap!!

The newest mini book from Lippy Chick has just arrived today and the Flap book is totally fab! It joins its sisters the Flip and the Flap books and is another ingenious folding book that can be used as an album or as a funky card. I'm going to make up a sample of my own over the next few days but in the meantime this one is by Roz - and its really cool!!

The pages in the book form incremental tabs that are staggered giving a peek at the contents of the next page along. The pages can also be used to make little pockets for journaling tags or secrets! I love the envelopes that come with each of these books - they are frosted plastic and can be decorated as well! Try stamping, stitching and more for fab effects.

You can find the Flip, Flop and new Flap books at

Karen :o)

Friday, 23 March 2007

You 'felt' it yet?

This week we got a delivery of some of the new stuff from KI Memories and my favourite has to be the new 'Heartfelt' albums. These are totally gorgeous felt covered albums in cool colour combinations - the one above is 'Pinata' and is the one I want to live at my house! The 8" x 8" size is just perfect for scrapbooking quickly while still giving room to be creative.

Also in the KI delivery were the new acrylic stamps - these are slightly smaller than other stamps currently around which makes them a cheaper choice and the designs are really cool. We also got the new Mini Alphabet soup - very funky acrylic letters and shapes with 3 colours in each can.

You can find all the new stuff at

Have a great weekend! Karen :o)

Thursday, 22 March 2007

Fire damage

At the beginning of the week I had an email from Margaret letting me knw that in the early hours of the morning the Community Centre had been damaged by fire. It was shocking to hear that a prominent place in the community had been damaged like that but it was the last thing I wanted to hear right now as it was the venue for our next crop! I called the manager and it appears that someone broke in the steal from the gambling machines in the bar area and then set a fire before they left. Apparently around 30% of the building has been severly damaged and yesterday they called to let me know that it won't be in a state to let out to us for our crop.

So I called the local church hall but they have something booked in the middle of the day we want - my hopes are resting with Southfleet Village hall and I'm waiting for the bookings manager to get back to me. Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Its funny because I thought things were going just a little too smoothly as far as this next crop is concerned, it was booked, paid for, classes are on their way..... Oh well, nothing worth having comes easy so they say!

Karen :o)

Monday, 19 March 2007

Chalking & Stamping Techniques using Scrapbooks

I know I only mentioned the new book in my blog last week but it has actually arrived and I am so very pleased with it!! I have had a quick flick through it and it brought back some great memories - both of the photographs I used and of the process of putting the book together, like setting fire to the cardstock I was using for the soot stamping section during photography (if you look at the pictures carefully you can see its on fire!).

Sarah and I will be signing the copies of the book that I have in the shop and as a special offer for my blog readers I'm offering free UK P&P on all orders that include a copy of the book! Just type 'Blog offer' in the comments box when you order to claim your free P&P! If you want to take a look at what's inside our publishers have very kindly put together a sneak peek here;

At £6.99 this won't break the bank and has lots of step-by-step instructions to help you create loads of different effects with stamps, ink pads and chalks (including how to set fire to your cardstock!! LOL!!). We've also included designs using lots of different types of photos from heritage (the page above is in the book), baby, seasonal, modern and others to inspire you to get your photos out and use stamps and chalks to create beautiful scrapbook pages.

I hope you enjoy it - Karen :o)

Thursday, 15 March 2007

Bargains galore!

In the hunt for new products for the shop I came across some fabulous ribbons at an equally fabulous price - £1.99!! The Kuretake ribbon assortments come with 1 metre each of 5 different ribbons. We have five colourways in stock - naturals, purples, pinks, greens and light blues. Ribbons are a great way to embellish your craft projects, try adding a simple fringe of ribbons and fibres for a fun and fast way to add texture. To create the fringe on my design above, I punched a number of evenly spaced holes and then threaded ribbons through - and that was it, job done quickly and simply!

If like me, you are a ribbon freak, you'll love the new adhesive ribbons we have from Die Cuts with a View. Each has a number of different patterned ribbons in a themed palette. I love patterned ribbons and so we have three designs to choose from - Missy (think pretty pinks and greens), Uptown (sophisticated black and white with a punch of pink) and Rainbow (funky brights). Whats even better is that you simply peel and stick these ribbons wherever you want them - how great is that?

Another favourite of mine are the new Jewel Brads - bling made simple! We have clear, pink/blue and purple/green sets to choose from - 16 brads for £1.99, now thats bling at a bargain price! To be honest, I want the clear Jewel Brads but I don't have an idea what I'm going to use them for - I just love sparkly things and while I'm still waiting for my engagement ring to arrive, these are a cheap way to indulge my need for sparkle!!

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

BasicGrey - anything but basic!

BasicGrey have had their fingers on the pulse of papercrafting for a few years now and each new paper release is eagerly awaited. Its taken a while for us to get our stock but we finally have collection packs of Perhaps, Stella Ruby and Scarlet's Letter. These packs contain one of each of the 18 papers in the range plus a 12x12 sheet of alphabet stickers and another sheet of die-cut tags.

I love these new designs so much I couldn't resist getting some of the new 6" x 6" paper pads in each of Perhaps, Stella Ruby and Scarlet's Letter as well. These pads are amazing value as they contain 36 sheets of patterned papers, all scaled down rather than cut into 6" squares. These are great for smaller scale projects, for card making or if like me, you just love the designs in this dinky size and want to scrapbook with them as they are!

You can find the new BasicGrey at and if you are stuck for inspiration then why not do like I did and take a peek at the gallery on the BasicGrey website at - I found this stunning project on there and fell in love with it immediately. I think you'll agree that BasicGrey is anything but basic!

Karen :o)

Monday, 12 March 2007

Put on your Fancy Pants!

Mondays always seem to be 'one of those days' - you know, where there is loads to do but never enough time to do it - a crazy day that goes so fast its gone before you know it. Today has been one of those kind of Mondays, so much so that I hardly had time to register just how beautiful the weather was - glorious sunshine and 19 degrees!! I did manage to get the laundry out onto the washing line before I started work in the shop but that was about all I saw of it!

One of the things on my list today was to get some more of the new stock uploaded and so I cracked on with the Fancy Pants lines this afternoon. I've had a bit of a love affair with Fancy Pants for quite a while, a passion which grew stronger when they agreed to sponsor a class for me at a Scrapaholic Retreat last year. I love the fact that all their patterned paper is double sided and they put great designs on both sides, not just a boring flat colour. The rub-ons are just lush - pure and simple, nothing else I can say. I want them all and I want them now! And as for the chipboard - absolutely gorgeous and so totally fab that it seems to work with just about anything you want to use it for! Check out this idea for using the chipboard and patterned paper together -

I had a nosey around their website over the weekend after seeing the new Fancy Pants acrylic stamps in the lastest issue of Creating Keepsakes and there is even more gorgeousness to come! I just might have to call the Fancy Pants distributor here in the UK and pre-order another whole load of stuff because the things on there are just fab!! I have a feeling that there'll be a lot more Fancy Pants at Total Papercrafts pretty soon now! You can find your Fancy Pants at

Karen :o)

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Tried masking yet?

Gareth from Photo Wonder sent me this photo of his new baby boy a little while ago and I just had to scrap it - those little feet are just gorgeous!! This was one of those pages that designed itself, I knew exactly what I wanted as the title and it just all came together really fast (unlike yesterday's page!! LOL!!). I used masking fluid and a red chalk ink pad to create the flower embellishments, it was really fast and simple to do and a great way to get more use out of your foam stamps.

I have some fab new Making Memories 'Simply Fabulous' foam stamps in stock - a really large alphabet that is unicase (a mixture of upper and lower case that is designed to be used together). I have a thing about alphabets - I don't think anyone can have too many! This one is great because the stamps can be used individually as monograms or together to make titles and they look really fresh and modern. I have a feeling that one of these will find its way into my box of stamps very shortly!

The bookings for the crop in May are going really well - I even had a call from Norway today asking about coming along!! I hope you can make it Lilli - its a long way to come for a day!! The products for the first class are curently on their way from the US and I can announce that the class will be taught by Mandy. As soon as its here I'll get the class onto the shop so you can start booking!!

Take care, Karen :o)

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Club night

I've fallen a little behind with a couple of things - one of them was putting together the page for my Scrapaholic club and I HAD to get it done today as I had club this evening. Of course I did it but it was ironic that it seemed to take me much longer than usual to get the page to come together! Don't get me wrong, I'm not the fastest scrapbooker in the world at the best of times but there's something about having a deadline that just seems to make things go slower!! This is the end result and kinda like it although the papers wouldn't have been my first choice - thats the great thing about Scrapaholic club kits, you are gently eased out of your comfort zone and encouraged to try new combinations of colour and patterns.

I loved playing with the jigsaws in the kit and opted to transfer a photo onto the two puzzles together. I gave the girls at my club a set of inkjet transfer decal papers each so they could have a go at doing it themselves. There were some lovely pages done at club tonight, some decided to finish them at home so they could use the transfers.

I've promised to get back on track and get my sample designed early for the next club in a fortnight!

Karen :o)

Tuesday, 6 March 2007

Check the new stuff out!

I've had a crazy busy day today (but they all seem to be getting a bit like that lately to be honest!!) and my blog entry is a little later today as I've been trying to catch up after spending most of the day teaching. I've resorted to making more lists as they seem to be the only effective way for me to stay on track and prioritise my life! I suppose I should scrapbook this aspect of my character - but I'd need to add that to my list too! LOL!

I'm getting on with uploading and thought the fastest way to show you what we have would be to make something that uses a few new products all together - hence the album above! I made chipboard album covers 11" x 5" (because I kinda like that size as its different and you can cover them with just one sheet of paper!) and then covered them with patterned paper from the Autumn Leaves Enchanted line - we have 3 designs in stock that weren't in the kit we designed and are totally gorgeous. I then used a fab tool from Beary Patch to create the holes for the spine, we sold out of these almost immediately because they were just such a great idea but fear not - I have more on their way as I type!! The wire spines are also by Beary Patch and are a mere 99p each - a bargain as once you have the tool, you need only pay 99p for each and every album you make from that point onwards!! Great if you are into circle journals and the like :o)

The cover is decorated with one of the totally gorgeous rub-ons from Beary Patch that I just adore. They are love themed but some of the sheets are adaptable for family love rather than romantic love if thats not your thing! The rub-ons are on a huge sheet available in both black and white and are only £2.99 each! I filled the inside of the album with cardstock cut to size - it couldn't have been easier, in fact the whole thing took me less than half an hour including tying on all the ribbons and charms to the spine. Mum has been looking longingly at this album but I don't think the theme of 'Always and Forever' is right for Mother's Day really - this may have to be a project that I get to keep! I may just have to make another one though......

Take care, Karen :o)

Monday, 5 March 2007

Ready to do it again?

There must be something in the water - the daffodils in my front garden have suddenly all popped open and I seem to have a spring in my step which has led me to book another crop day!!! I spend most days in front of my laptop in my office looking out onto my front garden and to be honest, there hasn't been a lot worth looking at for quite while now (and the delivery guys just don't count!!)so the daffs are a welcome punch of colour.

So, I had so much fun on Saturday that I decided almost right away that it would be a good idea to run another crop and the date is.....Saturday 19th May. I added it to the shop today and we've already had our first bookings (yes, Carolyn - it was you!!! LOL!). You can find the crop at under 'Crops & classes'.

I'm starting to think about the workshops already (thats the bit I find the most fun after all!) and we already have a 7gypsies class arranged, I just need it to arrive in the country before I open bookings for it - once bitten and all that! I'm thinking of doing something with some of the new basicGrey, perhaps some chipboard in the kit and some ribbons - but what would you like? Even if you can't make the crop I'd still be interested in knowing what you would like to find in your workshop kits. So......bring it on!! Post your ideas on this thread and let me know what you'd wish for if you could! You never know - your wish might come true!

Sunday, 4 March 2007

Just about recovered!!

Yesterday was absolutely fab!!! I have to admit to laying awake for a lot of Friday night making mental lists of things I had to remember for the crop (anyone who knows me, knows I have ditxy tendencies so I have to have lists!). In the end I remembered everything (and the kitchen sink!) and had a great time!

My Dad and Dave were drafted in to set up the tables and do all the heavy work but they ended up staying for the whole day and admitted that they really enjoyed themselves! It was fab to get some time to chat with everyone, catch up with some old friends and make some new ones too!! There were some gorgeous pages being designed, Tanya Perry's masculine page using the new basicGrey stopped me in my tracks as I made my way to the classroom as it was simply stunning. I also loved the Chatterbox envelope book that Claire Fader had designed, it was really lovely and may find its way into a class at my club pretty soon :o)

We had six Scrapaholic club organisers at the crop which probably has to be a record outside of a Scrapaholic retreat! Carolyn from the Tunbridge Wells club was the first to book her places for every one of the workshops - now that takes some doing! Trudy from the Chalk club was there, Eileen from the Ealing club, Mandy from the Romford club and of course Sarah and I!! It was great to get such support from the local clubs and I hope we can all get together at the next crop (more details tomorrow!).

The classes were hugely popular and completely sold out! I thought you might like to see the 2 scrapbook page layouts that I designed for the workshops, very different in style and colour (the pink one was a special request from Julie - your wish is my command!!) and Pauline asked for something a bit more masculine which in the end was a pretty universal page. I was stunned that we sold out of the class kits but I tried really hard to make them amazing value for money and that proved to be the case! Sorry if you were hoping to pick up a kit after the crop, we have absolutely nothing left. Perhaps you can make it to the next one and that way you can reserve your kit to be sure you get it.

I felt fab last night but this morning my feet and my back registered their disapproval - the adrenalin wearing off I suppose! I have a pile of boxes of new goodies to load to the shop tomorrow - today was a pyjama day! ;o)

Karen xx

Friday, 2 March 2007

All packed and ready to go?

Ok, so the new stock is all priced, packed and ready to go for tomorrow - its just got to be loaded into the cars (yes, thats plural!!). Later tonight we've got to sort out the rest of the shop bits that we are taking along - thats going to be a big job!

My fairy godmother turned up twice today, once this morning and again this afternoon!! Wonderful Pauline has been here practically every day this week to deal with the deliveries. She has unpacked and checked off the orders, then priced them up for me - to be honest, I don't know what I would have done without her!

The shop site has caused a few headaches today as my web designer started doing a few bits to it last night and has slightly altered the web address. Its not a big thing but it has caused a few issues and I couldn't get into my side of the shop all day. Its all better now as he's put some magic code in place that will take you to the new address even if you use the old one - these IT guys are so clever, its beyond me all this stuff!

So, just to confirm a few details for tomorrow;

1. The full address of the crop venue is:

Istead Rise Community Centre
Worcester Close
Istead Rise
DA13 9LB

2. The times of the crop are 10am - 5pm

3. You can bring lunch with you or there is a nice bakers and a Co-op very nearby if you want to pick up something locally.

4. My mobile number is 07710 799068 - if you need to call me for any reason please feel free!

If you are looking out some photos for the workshops then I thought it might be an idea to give you some guidance as to what I used for the samples. So here goes.....

The theme for the 7gypsies class is 'Memories' and the album has four sections; friends, family, traditions & good times. I printed off a pile of 3" x 4" photos (about 20 all together) for the insert cards and all sorts of pictures seem to fit this album. You'll definitely need a glue stick for this class - if you don't have one, don't worry as we have them in the shop for you.

The page for 'Enchanted' is very pink and girlie - the papers are floral and so is the page! I used a single 7" x 5" landscape photo on my design but a couple of 6" x 4" snaps or even a group of smaller pics in the same theme would also work. If you have a cream or soft pink ink pad you might want to bring it along too.

My design for 'A la Mode' could be used for almost any type of photos - the papers are classic and sophisticated and the colours would go with anything to be honest. I opted to use photos from a trip to Rome we took last year - one 6" x 4" and two 3" x 4" all portrait. A single landscape 7" x 5" would work really well with this page as well. Pack your brown ink pad for this class, I used a soft brown chalk ink pad but any brown one would do.

Anyway, I haven't eaten since breakfast and have a million things to before tomorrow so I must dash. I'll see you there if you're joining us and I'll fill everyone else in with how it all went when I recover!

Karen :o)

PS... if you're coming, I've bought Haribo, Jelly Bellies and Minstrels - all essential crop snacks I thought - and enough for EVERYONE!!!!!

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Take a peek at the 'A la Mode' LO!

I went to Trudy's Scrapaholic club in Chalk last night and caught up with the girls there - quite a few are coming on Saturday so I took the kits along for the three workshops and got lots more bookings! I promised to upload a sneak peek of the 'A la Mode' class - I know it helps to get your photos ready and then the page can be completed there and then.

I used 3 photos on this layout - one 6" x 4" and two 3" x 4". My pictures are from a trip to Rome but this page can be for just about any subject, its really adaptable. I'll post on here tomorrow a short list of some bits you might want to make sure you have with you for each of the workshops, there's nothing way out - ust basics like a brown inkpad for example. I'll also remind you of the photos and sizes for each project so you can bring them along if you have them.

Its been a bit of a stressful day today, I've been chasing the last few (quite big) orders that are still to arrive. The bits for the 4th workshop are still in customs so I have resigned myself to not running this one, we'll have one ready nice and early for the next crop in any case! I wouldn't mind but I ordered everything 6 weeks ago, but there you go. One of my orders had been delayed because of an error by my sales rep and another one they had lost my address so couldn't ship it to me! I think I've got it sorted but am basically under house arrest all day tomorrow because I don't want to miss any of these deliveries.

Sarah popped round this morning and had a look through the stock that has arrived to date, I don't need to sell to her, she does it to herself and left with her arms full of goodies despite the fact that she's coming to the crop on Saturday - she just couldn't wait!! The new American Craft thicker stickers in felt and chipboard were top of her list and if I'm right she had one of every colour and every font. To be honest I don't blame her, I'd have one of each too if I could (so I might be on the blag from Sarah soon!!).

Well, I have loads to do so I'd better get on with it. To be honest, I'm getting a bit excited about Saturday as its looking like it will be a really good day. If you're still in two minds about coming along, I'd say just come and give it a go!

Take care, Karen :o)