August Round Up!

August has been a pretty manic month, tons has happened and so I thought I'd do one of my 'month in review' type posts.

So... the biggie was I revealed the first of my three big secrets, that my range will now be produced and distributed by Craftime - sooooo excited about this exciting development! and if you missed it, you can see all the details here. I hope to be able to spill the beans on the other two secrets very soon!

Fuzzybutt learned to quiff her own fur like Donald Trump by rubbing her face all over the floor, I love it!  I drunk a LOT of coffee and slightly less tea from this gigantic mug - that and stress have kept me going this month!
 I fell in love with Mollie Makes, scented candles and cherry licquorice. I wore hardly any make up for much of the month and LOTS of headscarves, kepping things low maintenance as I've been so busy (no time for lippy!)
I started making Christmas projects with these Provocraft lovelies ready for lots of Christmas blog posts and projects for various things - this is my favourite time of year from September to December, I love Halloween, Firework night and most of all Christmas! I also started using the new Letraset Flexmarkers (getting lots of practice!)
 I Art Journaled to stay sane (ish) and it got cold so I dug out my fluffy Eskimo bootie slippers :o) 
I spent most of the month designing the new products which I will be bringing to you soon, can't wait to share! as well as moving my studio into a bigger room (don't tell B but I'm not sure I like it and kinda wish I could move back! but I'm sure I will get used to it in time, I'm just not good with change!)

And with that, I really must carry on with those all important designs, soooo much to do and so little time!

Sarah x

p.s. you have one day left to enter my Design Team call! scroll back a few posts for all the details :o)

Basically Bare Card

My first Basically Bare blog post was published yesterday showcasing one of my projects for them, so exciting!

I used the Paisley Pieces, altering them in a variety of ways to make this card....

To see all the details click here to read the full blog post.

If you are looking for my Design Team Tips and my current Design Team call please see the post below!

Sarah x

Design Team Tips

I wanted to do a quick post regarding Design Teams, I don't claim to be an expert, however I am on some fab Design Teams and also run my own, so I have seen from both sides the pros and cons of them and seen the mistakes that happen over and over again (on both sides). As my current Design Team call comes to an end, I wanted to take this time out to try and help anyone on the fence about applying or anyone who maybe hasn't been brave enough, or hasn't got round to, sending their application in yet! Even if it isn't my team you want to be a part of, I hope my tips will help you with the one you'd love to be on.

When you apply for a Design Team, don't send a 'Round Robin' type email to lots of Design Teams - the last thing anyone wants to be is one of many! (as a brand owner I want to feel that you specifically want to be on MY Design Team and not just whatever comes along first) Tailor your application to each Design Team, tell the person what you love about their products, show them that you have some knowledge of their brand, look at their designs, and tell them what your strengths are and why they need you on their team. If you have any work with their products, even better! send them over and show them what you can do.

Don't apply for a Design Team unless you LOVE the products, the designs and the work of that team - I know its very tempting to just get on any design team just to get noticed, but it really won't do you any good in the long term. If you don't LOVE the products it will show in your work, and if you work for someone who clashes with a DT you DO want to be on you could risk not being offered a place on the one you really want. Also, other DT's may think you're too over committed and not offer you a place based on that. Remember also, when on a DT you mostly get paid in product, is a few hours of your time worth some product that you don't really want that much? probably not!

Remember being on a Design Team is hard work, you are representing that brand and as such you will be expected to make great samples, blog about them and maybe even post tutorials / videos and posts on forums and galleries. You may also be required to take part in challenges and blog hops and leave comments for the rest of your team and other entries - its at least a few hours a week and your responsibility to your own work (you don't want halfhearted pieces on your blog!) and to your team shouldnt be taken lightly - the relationships you form with your team could help you going forward as you don't know what positions they will move on to. if you impress people and they get on to other teams or work for companies and magazines they may well recommend you - you'll be surprised how far your reputation spreads (good or bad!) so protect it.

Make sure not to over commit yourself, it can be hard to turn people away but sometimes you have to do it. Be honest with yourself how many free hours you have per week and how many you want to dedicate to DT work, some people work best on just one others can juggle lots, but be realistic. It's harder to leave a team than to say no in the first place (also, you may be denying someone a place that could really do it!) If its a brand you love but you don't have the time, maybe try emailing for  a guest designer position or offer to do a magazine project for them, you will still get the recognition from the brand you love without being over committed.

Don't change your style - it can be frustrating getting refused for teams, but be true to yourself and don't copy others, your style needs to stand out, I can tell each one of my DT girls projects from another, because each one of them is unique and does something different with the same product. Don't be afraid to be different, as a brand owner, I look for people to be versatile and show the MANY uses for a product, having 10 people make the same thing would be of no use to me.

Do what the DT call says - sounds obvious but you will be surprised at how many people pay absolutely no attention to what you've asked for, if it asks for 3 projects, send 3 projects (simple, right?) I've had some with 20 attachments that completely block up my server which is so frustrating when you are getting 20 or 30 a day! if there are additional projects you are particularly proud of then attach your best 3 and link to the others on your blog or gallery.

Think of the other side - its great to be on a DT, to have your work recognised, to be part of a team, to get free products BUT remember there are two sides to everything, in return you are expected to be an ambassador of that brand or product, to use it in the best possible way, some teams don't like you to use competing products for example - would you be happy with that? You will most likely be expected to have a good looking and regularly updated blog with clear pictures of your work and to participate in social media, whether that be forums, galleries, twitter or facebook. Factor this all in to your available time and make sure you are clear on the expectations before you accept a position. Its so much fun to work for and represent a brand you love but its frustrating and can stifle your creativity if you work for one you only like a bit.

Don't be frustrated with rejection, the hardest one of all! Look realistically at your work, compare it to who got accepted, see if you have any weaknesses (not in style but in quality), be honest with yourself and if necessary improve for next year, it may be nothing wrong with your work at all but just that there weren't enough places or that you were too similar to someone else. Don't be disheartened, everyone gets rejected sometimes, have a little cry, dust yourself down and try again! If you produce great projects that you love and are proud of, others will soon start to notice your talents!

I hope thats helped a little bit and given you something to think about.  For more information on Design Teams and some mroe in-depth tips and things to think about check out Julie's fab 'Tips for the DT Curious' here - especially great if you are thinking of joining a DT for the first time!

If you are looking for my current DT call, you have until 1st September to enter, for all the details click here.

Sarah x

Metallic Rub On's

Recently I was sent some gorgeous metallic vintage style rub-ons from Paper Cellar, I obviously didn't use them for about a week as they had to sit on my desk and have their shininess admired, but now I have finally cut into them *sob* I have to say I love them more. The first card I made is a very very simple one, using a Papermania grid kraft cardstock to make my card blank. I stamped in the corner with a Versamark pad and a tim holtz stamp and distrssed the edges using 'Tea Dye' Distress ink. 
The metallic Rub-ons you simply cut out (remember they are the opposite way round from how they look on the sheet - totally confused me!) and peel off the backing, lay on your paper (make sure you get positioning right as you can't alter them once they have touched the paper) and then rub firmly (a bit harder than you would for a standard rub on)

They make a fab luxurious looking card and are cleaner than embossing as you don't get your little powder flecks. I'll show you my project with the flower ones soon!

Sarah x

p.s. if you are looking for the DT call please see below...


I'd like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who has taken the time out to send me messages of congratulations via Twitter, Facebook, Text, Email and comments here on my blog regarding my big news last week, I'm so grateful for all of them! This is a very exciting time and I'm so pleased to have so much support (I must give a special mention to my Design Team girls here who have been fabulous and who I would be completely lost without!)

For the last few days I have been working super hard on planning the first lot of products you will see and getting the designs ready for production. B is on holiday this week and yesterday took me out for the afternoon to celebrate, a blissful day in the midst of all the craziness! and today we have been moving rooms round and painting so I can have a bigger studio as I literally have no room at all left now, I can't grow out of this one though as its the biggest room in the house so I have nowhere left to go! LOL

The new things I have taken on (including secrets 2 & 3 which I can't share just yet) means I have have sadly had to give up a few of my design positions, so for all you digi designers out there, the good news is that GallimaufryUK is now looking for someone to replace me, she produces beautiful kits and she's great to work with. She would like someone to create digital (and hybrid if you do that!) projects using the kits and also to run the Twitter account (just a few posts a week) if you are interested please click here to send her an email.

Don't forget my Design Team call is also still open, if you would like to join our friendly little team and be one of the first to get your hands on the fab new things coming then you can view all the details here.

Now I really must crack on with some work, I will be back with a crafty project tomorrow!

Sarah x


As you may have gathered by now, I'm no good at keeping secrets, I do keep them but I can literally feel the secret bubbling away inside of me and I feel jittery and excited the whole time just waiting to burst and tell everyone at the very first moment that I possibly can! For the last few weeks and months I have been keeping 3 absolutely whopping great secrets and it's absolutely killing me! but now I can share one of them, that will help me keep the other 2 bottled up for a bit longer without bursting!

So here goes, secret number one, it's a biggy, I'm so excited, so thrilled to tell you that from the 1st September my brand of craft products will be licensed and distributed worldwide by an amazing UK craft products distributor, Craftime! Their expertise will allow me to concentrate on the things I'm best at (drawing, making things, coffee drinking, faffing about etc...) while they handle all of the other stuff :o) Their support also means that you will be seeing lots of fabbo new products from me including lovely strokeable touchable paper, embellishments and much more and all of these products will be available from a lot more of your local and favourite craft shops and websites (if you are a craft stockist and would like to receive updates please email your details here and I will pass them on to Craftime for the mailing list). They are so excited about my brand and have welcomed me into their 'family' so wholeheartedly that I just can't wait to see what this partnership brings!

Yesterday I spent the day with the team, meeting everyone who will handle every aspect of my range, we ran over all of my ideas, discussed products, collections, themes and ideas and tied up all the releases you will see from me for the next year to 18 months (and there are a LOT!) and now I have to crack on with getting all of those designed! It's a manic but super exciting time!!

I'll be sharing more details soon, but for now I have some super crazy deadlines!

Sarah x

Using Promarkers on Wood

As you may know your Promarkers can be used on many different surfaces including wood, glass and fabric - they are so versatile so don't just limit them to your stamped images!

Here is an altered bird house I made recently, the whole thing is coloured and shaded with Promarkers (including the stamped image of course!)

So many possibilities! and this project took no time at all as I didn't have to wait for paint to dry before doing the other sides etc etc... quick and easy but very effective, love it!

Now I have some more last minute prep to do for a meeting tomorrow (eeek!) I've been working flat out, so exciting! but I want to try and get an early night tonight (insomnia permitting of course!) as I have to be up at stupid o'clock for my train. 

 A big 'Thank You' to everyone who has entered the DT call so far! and for those who haven't, what are you waiting for?! see all the details here.
 Sarah x

Detailed Die Cuts

Today I'm going to be talking about my Cricut Expression, I have always loved die cut shapes, since I first started crafting, in fact since I can first remember! One of the first toys I remember playing with was Fuzzy Felts, little die cut pieces of felt that you used to make scenes with, I remember making people, animals, farms, loads of stuff, they were my favourite thing EVER! and when I first started crafting and discovered paper piecing it brought it all back, I just love it.

I know loads of us feel the same way, we'd be lost without our die cutting machines! but I know some people feel that paper piecing die cuts can look a bit basic, so I wanted to share something that may make you look at your die cuts in a whole new way!

Die cutting is great for using up all your scraps and odds and ends of paper, but I cut around half of my die cuts out onto white bleedproof paper, this way I can colour them with my Promarkers and add as much detail as I like, it becomes as detailed as your stamped images...

So here is todays card, using the 'Winter Woodland' cartridge, the ice skates and the ice skater are cut out of bleedproof paper and coloured with Promarkers.
I hope my little card has inspired you to dig out your die cuts and try some new things with them! I'll have another die cut project for you later this week :o)

This week I am crazily working on my new ranges which you will start seeing in the next few weeks, I can't wait to share!

Sarah x

p.s. if you are looking for the Design Team call, it's two posts below...

New Letraset Flexmarkers

I finally got some time to have a play with the new Letraset Flexmarkers the other night, I've been dying to try these out!
I used them on my 'Alice in Wonderland' digi stamp (printed onto bleedproof paper)I've used a slightly different colour scheme as I have mostly light and bright colours so this is like a candy coated Alice in Wonderland scene!
I definitely need some more practice with these as the whole feel of them is very different to Promarkers, you have to have quite a light touch with them as the ink flows a lot more freely through the brush nib and you can quickly find yourself with a lot of ink to move around on the paper. I still need some more practice on this as it was bleeding slightly on some edges despite being bleedproof paper (which is usually fine with Promarkers) you can also get much finer details (although the Promarker fine nibs have helped with this a LOT!)

One of the great things about them was that I noticed the effect of building up shading with just one pen was much easier to achieve, I don't know if thats just the increased flow of ink, but I only had to go over the areas one additional time to get good results, but the thing I loved most about these are the new very pale colours, they are just gorgeous!

One thing I will mention about the pale colours, don't get disheartened with them when you first use them, I started colouring Alice's face and it went grey and I thought 'oh, great, I've got zombie Alice!' and I got very frustrated and put it to one side thinking it had messed it up, but given a few minutes the colour develops into what it should look like - it's just where the alcohol wetting the paper is darker than the colour, once the alcohol evaporates the colour is gorgeous.

This weekend I'll definitely be doing some more practiscing with these (and making a card from this image I've coloured!), if you're used to using Promarkers as I am, it will take a few times to get perfect results but the new colours alone make it worth persevering!

Have a lovely weekend!
Sarah x

p.s. if you're looking for the DT call please see below...

Design Team Call!

It is the end of the term for a few of our Design Team members *sob* so I'm looking for 2-3 people to join our fantastic friendly team! Here are all the details you need:

I am looking for 2-3 crafters (must be comfortable with hybrid crafting (i.e. CD's and digi stamps) as well as traditional paper crafting (card makers, scrapbookers, altered artists, art journalers all welcome!) to work with my existing range of CD's, digi stamps, clear stamps, inks etc... as well as all of the exciting new products being launched soon. (To view the product range and some samples you can check out my website or Facebook page)

You will be required to join in our Challenge Blog every other week and leave comments for entries as well as making samples for product releases, marketing purposes, classes, shows and exhibitions.You must have a regularly updated blog with clear photographs of your work and be able to commit to at least a 6 month term

Please send me an email here with your blog link, a little about you and 2-3 pieces of your favourite work. Please also let me know what your speciality is - cards / scrapbooking / altered and mixed media art and / or other crafts and if you belong to any forums or have any galleries i.e. 2peas, flickr etc etc....

The call is open to UK and International applicants and will close at midnight GMT on 1st September- the new DT members will be notified approximately one week later. If you have any questions please ask via email.

Let the fun begin! :o)

Sarah x

Kuretake Art & Graphic Pens

Last week I finally got my hands on a full set of the art and graphic twin pens from Kuretake - woo! so that I could make some samples for their shows tomorrow (don't miss them!) Here is a sneaky peek of one of them...

The stamps are from a Tim Holtz set and I've used the pens from the muted set to ink them up and stamp, the bird I went over with a waterbrush after to blend the pink tummy in so there wasn't such a defined line. I added stickles to the bird and eggs in the nest and finally some glossy accents to the eggs to make them stand out. The greeting is even stamped using the pen - I thought it would come out too blurry but they worked perfectly!

I'm not a great watercolourer but I love using these pens directly onto my stamps (I find they work better on rubber stamps than clear stamps), I had some pens to do this with a few years ago but they weren't nearly as good and left horrible fibres on the stamp - you don't get that with these as they have flexible rubber nibs. The muted colour set are my absolute favourite and work with a vintagey style of crafting but they are available in loads of colours.

I'm sure they have some fab demos and samples lined up for you tomorrow so have a look and get some tips (I will be! LOL)

Today I have spent the whole day researching trends, choosing colour palettes and planning my next product releases - all very exciting! planning so far ahead is bizarre, I was doing Christmas in April and now I'm planning for next spring / summer! I've even got some things pencilled in on my planner for 2013! Tomorrow the actual drawing and redrawing starts - thats the best part :o)

Sarah x

A 'Mad Men' Inspired Card

Last night I was late night crafting and watching Mad Men (my new obssession since I finished Desperate Housewives!) and I came across an October Afternoon sticker I just had to use, there seemed to be a lot of TV featured on the episodes I was watching last night and it made this sticker jump out and catch my eye, so here we go, a very quick 'Mad Men' inspired card...

I'm loving this colour combo at the moment! All the papers and stickers are from October Afternoon.

Last Friday Emma and I went to the V&A in London to gather inspiration for the new products I'm working on and I thought I'd have a day off before my schedule gets even crazier (yes, it is possible! LOL) we were quite disappointed that the fashion and photography sections were closed, they were our main reason for visiting! however I did enjoy the bits we saw, including the fantastic theatre section and the beautiful jewellery (lots of wedding tiara inspiration, hahaha) and of course we took the time out to sit in the lovely shady courtyard and enjoy an iced tea - bliss!
Finally, I just want to point out for anyone placing an order in my shop over the next week or two, there is some information on the front page - digital orders will be despatched as usual, however orders for other products will be held and despatched in approximately 10 days time as we are currently stock taking and boxing up the stock to move to another location - all will be revealed very soon! (very exciting times!!)

Sarah x

A New Addition!

Today I'm so pleased to share that my lovely friend Emma is joining my Design Team! She is also on the Kuretake Design team with me and on various other teams including Craftwork Cards and Clarity Stamps. You can pop over and see her blog here check out her creations and get to know a bit more about her!

You will be seeing Emma's creations on the Challenge Blog from next week and in all the new things that we have coming up - it's an exciting time for me and my (very talented) team - I can't wait to share more!

Sarah x

Kuretake Box Templates

So, did you manage to check out the Kuretake shows last week? I Sky+'ed them and have managed to watch most of them, they have such a versatile range of products!

One of the new things Steph showed was their Box Templates, you may remember I made some Royal Wedding Favour boxes with them for an earlier post (which you may have caught a glimpse of on the counter!) they are so easy to use! I made a few more samples for the show, which you can see below...

Firstly, as I'm well in the Halloween spirit already (and loving my Halloween Hauntings Cricut cartridge!) some Trick or Treat Boxes - perfect to put some jelly beans or Haribo in and hand out to the little kiddies who knock on the door (or turn the lights off, pretend you're not home and eat them yourself, bwahahaha) 

Secondly, a christmas box with a calligraphy tag - this is one of my first attempts at calligraphy - I need some more practice.

And lastly a little box that I thought would be sweet for a flower girl to hold with a little bunch of flowers, fill it with smarties or jelly beans to keep her amused during the long photo taking at the end of your wedding. The lovely textured paper I used is from Kuretake as well.

So there you have it, all my projects!

I've been a very naughty blogger these last couple of weeks but normal service will resume shortly and I have some exciting news to share, starting with an addition to my Design Team who I will introduce tomorrow, watch this space!

Sarah x