The last few months have been jam-packed with…have you guessed it? Yep, Birthdays!
It has been a great excuse to develop some new designs, some of which I’ve been dreaming of for a while.
The first 3 cards were made for two of my nieces and sister-in-law all who celebrate their birthdays in January. 10, 12 and 30 are birthday’s that can’t be ignored…..
This card was also featured in my ‘Happy New Year’ class. Everyone enjoyed recreating it with their personalised number.
Then came 3 more birthday’s in January (yes, that was a very busy month!) Two 2 year olds and a young boy who loves dinosaurs!
The next card featured was for my brother (who is Awesome!) I was experimenting with a little ‘emboss resist’ and watercolour. Now totally obsessed as you’ll soon see
In March, my AMAZING Grandma turned 100! Amazing! We were so blessed to be able to celebrate with her and reflect on her incredible life. She enjoyed it too. Although she won’t be able to remember it and wasn’t really sure what was happening at the time, she still smiled and exclaimed that everything was ‘lovely’! She was extremely chuffed to read her card “from Elizabeth, Her majesty! To Lilian… That’s my name”. LOVE my Grandma! And so proud to watch my Grandpa literally be her strength and stick by her side through thick and thin. xx
We came home and a week later celebrated both my girls’ birthdays who turned 5 and 2 all within a few days!
As watercolouring is my new obsession, I couldn’t do anything less for my beautiful girls who sparkle and shine inside and out!
For Bekie’s card I added some Bokeh and glitter stars.
Chloe’s card features some messy hand painted spots and a quote that sums her up, “She leaves a little Sparkle wherever she goes”
Yes she does! (along with a little mess!)
To finish it off, a few days ago we celebrated my husbands 3?th birthday. My toughest critic (or, the one who pushes me to my best) was no exception to my paintbrush and ink! He also got a heck-of-a-lot of sewing, up and down every starburst!
Well, that’s what I’ve been up to of late. I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at a snapshot of these. Most of these cards are now available to purchase from my Portfolio.
And now, bring on the rest of the year – just a bit more slowly thanks!
“Hello, my name is Jane and I’m a Pinterest addict….”
…Well that quote was written 6 months ago and then came Christmas! Yes, apparently Christmas takes 6 months of preparation in our household! So here I am catching up on a whole lot of Blogging – but one at a time!
July last year saw me drooling over many, many Pinterest projects. Most of them involved frames! I’ve always been a sucker for a nice frame even though I don’t have space for any more! But when I found these beautiful frames at an Op Shop I couldn’t go past them, especially that big one, I mean, isn’t she beautiful?!
And I had a plan…well, actually I had about 3 of them! But I was determined and motivated to Make! So I started sketching and slowly the plan came together. I got out the tools and the muscles that had been in hiding and set to work.
I pulled the original canvas out and gave it to my Father-in-law as a practice canvas for his paintings and made an alternative light-weight shadow board to sit behind the frame.
I wasn’t a fan of the gaudy gold colour so I experimented with mixing colours and eventually settled on a grey wash. I loved the distressed textured look but had no idea how to do it. After a bit of trial and error I was actually really pleased with how it came up.
I built 4 little shelves in the backing board, gave them a matching coat of paint and padded them out with foam.
Although the back of the frame will rarely be seen, I wanted to leave my mark on it. So I sponged pink spots and traced my logo.
And there you have it, my cards now have pride of place in their very own display frame!
I’m already working on my next framed project… this one involves more gold frames that belonged to my dear Grandma who turns 100 this year!
“Be Bold, Use Gold” they said….
“Ummm, OK” I said, nervously as I don’t really like Gold as a general rule.
“Join our Blog Hop” they said….
“Ummm, OK” I said, hesitantly as I’ve never participated in one before.
And while I’m at it, why not throw in some water-colouring too, I’ve never done that before either, but I’ve always wanted to try.
And, doh! I don’t have the right stamp that’s in my mind’s design, so why not carve my own stamps?
Anyone can tackle just one challenge at a time, why not multiply it by four?
And yet here I sit with a massive grin on my face as I get such a buzz out of creative challenges. (OK, maybe the grin came later after I felt like I had succeeded)
Should I start the story at the start? Sorry, I get carried away. This is what happens when I try to tell my daughter bedtime stories too – needless to say, Daddy is the preferred story teller!!
‘BE BOLD. USE GOLD.’ was the subject line in Stampin’ Up!’s Succeed Weekly email. Now as I said before, I’m not the biggest fan of Gold. But with such beautiful styling and design around these days it’s hard to not be attracted to the current trend. (confession time – I have recently added Gold to my home decor with a framed print from Jessicandesigns and I ‘just LOVE’ it!)
So in an effort to not be an old fuddy-duddy, I sub-consciously made a mental note to attempt to use Gold in my next project.
A BLOG HOP. Yes, it is a funny name. My husband can’t take it seriously! But what is it?
Well, you are in the middle of it. A Blog Hop is where a group of bloggers (in my case, some very talented ladies from my wonderful Stampin’ Up! team) team up to create a project based on a theme (in this case, the NEW SU Holiday Catty). Once our project and blog is complete we each place a link from our blog to the next so you get to view other peoples’ work as well. Share the Love as it were. So make sure you click on the link at the end of my blog to jump to the next!
OK. Here’s my project…
The very first item from the New Holiday Catalogue that made it to my wish list was ‘Sleigh Ride Edgelits’ and the card that caught my eye was the night sky at the bottom right. How lovely? So, four challenges were enough for me. Instead of designing a card from scratch, I decided I would CASE this one.
The perfect opportunity to try out water-colouring, but first I wanted to emboss some stars into the sky. I did not have a tiny star stamp so I first tried to use tiny snowflakes.
But a white Christmas here in Australia doesn’t quite add up. I really wanted stars. Time was running out, I couldn’t order the coordinating stamp set ‘Jingle All the Way’ which comes with the tiniest cutest stars. DOH! So I made my own! I went down to the newsagents, bought a couple of grey lead pencils with the rubber on the ends and a sharp Stanley knife, and carved away – or maybe the better word is ‘hacked’! But I was pretty happy with the result, and my husband was proud of me for making my own stamps, so that’s always nice!
After that I sponged the Night of Navy ink onto the water-colour paper, highlighting the areas I wanted dark and light. Then I got out my Aqua painter (such a great tool for water-colour beginners) and brushed over the ink to blend it and manipulate the shading.
Once dried I added some gold embossed stars, the edgelits at the bottom, a sentiment framed in Gold bling at the top and finished it off with a mass of stapled Metallic Gold Thread.
What do you think?
Thanks for following along my first Blog Hop!
Now it’s time to hop on over to Roslynne’s Blog for some more creative inspiration.
Or you can hop backwards and enjoy Emma’s Blog.
Do you ever have moments where you feel like everything and everyone is rushing past you?
I admit that I have many moments where my forever-growing, never-shrinking long list of ‘to-do’s/dreams/goals’ gets slightly (ok, massively) overwhelming! I feel as though there are too many distractions, too many things are taking my attention and focus away from my business. And everyone else is over-taking me again and again. How am I ever going to catch up? How am I ever going to start ticking items off that list?
And then I STOP.
And realise that I have my priorities ALL WRONG!
What am I talking about?? My life is consumed by my family at the moment (how lucky am I?). My girls are not distractions, they are my purpose. My number 1 job is to be the best Mummy I can be to my 2 beautiful little girls, and the reality is, there is not much spare time to be had!
For example; in writing the first sentence of this Blog I was asked “Mummy, can I do some typing?”, *sigh* “Sure”… a few minutes later I was reading 2 stories, then it’s morning tea time. Sticky, sticky fingers everywhere required hands washed and a load of washing! 5 minutes of tiny fingers taking it in turns to press the buttons. MUMMY NEEDS A COFFEE!!! The Monkey demands her bottle, and to sit in my lap with feet on the table while slapping her hands on the keyboard! I set the girls up with some colouring, the Monkey swipes hers to the floor, she is not happy with pencils, she wants textas like her big sister….I could go on…
It is here that I have learned to stop. I have 2 choices of thought.
#1- ‘I have SO MUCH work to do, ARGGGHHHH!!!’
or #2- ‘I will take care of your needs before mine’. Phew, that’s a hard one though isn’t it?
I have the best job in the world. No, not my business, although that is pretty awesome. But I get to hang out with my 2 favourites all day everyday!
In running a small business there is pressure to keep up to date with every latest piece of news and information, be on the cutting edge of design, and to post regularly on every social media site around.
But I am just in a different stage of life, things happen a little slower around here and IT’S OK. IT’S OK TO BE THE TORTOISE.
If I am a few days late posting some information, it’s ok because we spent the whole day reading stories.
If I don’t get around to holding as many classes as I’d like, it’s ok because I’ve taken the time to play with my girls.
If my dreams remain dreams for a little longer, it’s ok because there will come a time when my girls won’t need me around anymore and I’ll be banging on their door to spend time with them!!
So when this quote “It’s ok to be the tortoise” showed up on my Instagram feed from @academyofhandmade it was followed with a big sigh of relief!
Way back in year 10 my friend interviewed me as part of an assignment, one of her questions was ‘What animal do you think you are most like?’…want to know my answer? ‘A Turtle!’
Good to know things haven’t changed much, I’ve just progressed to a Tortoise, older and wiser and bigger!?
This is the image that hooked me in… I mean, how could it not? It showed up on my Pinterest feed and I just had to find its source. Little did I know that this was going to be only the second best quote that I was to find that day.
The discovery of JessicaNdesigns was like a match made in heaven. It’s like she was actually reading my mind! I am finally a believer in love at first sight!
Her vintage hand-stamped spoons were my first purchase. I wanted one but how could I choose!?! Luckily my family are coffee lovers too and it was almost Christmas time, what a perfect gift for everyone (and completely justifying my desire to have one!)
My husband and brother were the ones to receive the second best quote ever ‘I laugh in the face of decaf’, Mum got ‘Dear Mum, now I get it!’, Dad got ‘It’s coffee O’Clock’, my beautiful sister-in-law (who actually prefers tea over coffee) got ‘beau-TEA-ful’, and because I didn’t think anyone would want me to be left out I got ‘Drink Coffee, make pretty things’ – Perfect!!
But I couldn’t leave it alone, the best quote in the world kept calling to me. I had Christmas money… Could I? Should I? Normally my Christmas money goes towards an item for the house, or some more business supplies, or sometimes even just the mortgage. This felt very indulgent. But one day, after weeks of deliberation, I worked up the courage and did it! I indulged, not once, but three times!
I am now the very proud owner of the BEST-QUOTE-EVER, three ways. T-Shirt, Jumper, and Print. Love, Love, Love!
I cannot recommend JessicaNdesigns enough. Not only are her products stunning and make the perfect gift (to yourself!), but her service and communication is outstanding! She obviously loves what she does and takes great pride in her work.
When I asked her permission to share her amazing products with you, she very generously offered to give you all 10% off any order you make through her store before March 17 2015! Just enter the discount code CARDS4YOU and shop away!
Are you inspired to make your own pretty things? Check out my new classes coming up focused around Mother’s Day. I’d love to see you there!
When I first saw this stamp set in the new Stampin’ Up! catalogue I laughed thinking, “Why would anyone buy a stamp of a coffee stain? I can make my own one of those without even trying!” (note to self: must stop taking coffee into my craft room!)
But in my true stampin’ addiction style, the more I looked at this stamp set and its possibilities, the more I wanted it. And now I have to admit that it was the very first stamp set I bought from the new catalogue! (Actually, I didn’t even have to buy it. One of the perks of being a Demonstrator is that SU! occasionally dish out freebies, and this was the one I chose!)
It has now become one of my favourite sets because of its versatility and I can see potential for using it on nearly all of my cards, so watch out for it! I love the texture it offers. My husband recently described my card making signature as one of texture and I think he’s right. Clean and simple is nice, but I seem to always have the need to add that little something extra, and this set allows me to do just that. Although it’s not 3D texture, it provides that visual texture I’m always searching for.
Coincidentally I was in the process of designing the projects for the Father’s Day class (coming up in August – click here for more details) which were themed around my other daily essential – coffee(!) using the stamp set ‘Perfect Blend’.
Together with my new favourite colour combo ‘Baked Brown Sugar’ and ‘Lost Lagoon’ the projects were complete! Needless to say these 2 stamp sets are a match made in heaven!
Now I have my eye on this next stamp set titled ‘Work of Art’ – just look at all the potential…
From the moment I started dreaming of Cards4you by Jane I have been inspired by other people who have ‘taken the plunge’ and started their own business. It is certainly no easy feat and takes a lot of courage, dedication and hard work to start up, let alone maintain and continue in a way that is relevant to our customers.
So I decided to dedicate this Blog to some of those businesses I have found along the way. I encourage you to follow the links to each business and even pass this information on to your friends and family if you think they might be interested. I hope you find some inspiration from these amazing people, and who knows, you may even find a product that you fall in love with!
Dot & Spence Handcrafted
Specialising in personalised embroidery and custom sewing, Dot & Spence enjoy making items that are different from the crowd. All products are handmade by the lovely Sally who is a stay at home mum. Check out more of her creative and quirky items through her Facebook page or contact her directly via email to discuss a custom order. I recently placed an order for my 30th thank-you’s and can’t wait to show them off!
‘We do’ celebrations
This husband and wife team decided to extend their love of all things celebratory and start their business helping others plan the perfect occasion.
They specialise in cakes and sweet treats that are home designed, baked and decorated. Cakes are made to your requirements, or you can design it yourself!
I love some of the original designs, don’t those book cupcakes look delicious (and educational ☺)?!
Jacobs Gems specialises in handmade Baltic amber teething necklaces and bracelets for adults and children. Aside from teething, Baltic amber and semi-precious stone jewellery are intended to aid arthritis and sleep issues. Each bead is individually knotted so that if a necklace was to ever break, only one bead is lost. Items are custom made to suit your needs and made by Nardia who is a stay at home mum.
When my girl was younger a lot of her friends used these (I was lucky enough not to have any teething troubles so have never used one myself) but they have come highly recommended by those who have tried and tested it themselves.
Petit Pixel Design
If you are after creative inspiration, this is the blog for you. The writer of Petit Pixel Design indulges us with her love of photography and design, and stories of any foodie/shopping adventures on her travels or in her home town of Bendigo. A quote from the lovely lady herself: “I’m often found working on some project, usually paper related…probably as a result of browsing Pintrest! Lately I’ve been discovering (and loving!) Project Life…and I have a serious addiction to washi tape, ankle boots & Nutella.”
I am so thrilled to say that Tania has given us an exclusive sneak peek at two of her print designs that will soon be available online.
Be sure to keep your eye out for the opening of Petit Pixel’s Etsy store full of sweet little personalised photo prints that will fit in standard 8×10 frames for decorating children’s rooms & nurseries.
If you would like to find out about future designs, and hear when this Etsy store is open, make sure you subscribe to her mailing list or like her page on Facebook.
Mailing List: http://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=PetitPixelDesign&loc=en_US
Bake Free 4 Happy Tums
BakeFree 4 Happy Tums is a young family business focused on helping people overcome their food issue challenges. Their goal is to bring back ‘normal’ to those who have had to modify their diets due to allergies or intolerances to wheat, gluten and dairy products. BakeFree 4 Happy Tums offers a recipe book, cooking classes and advice about where to buy suitable food substitutes.
I have personally tried some of these recipes and they are delicious! Even though I do not have any food intolerances myself, I know plenty of people who do, so this is a much welcomed resource!
Old Skool Audio
I may be a bit biased for this business but I’m sure that even if the owner wasn’t my husband, I would still recommend this service to you!
Old Skool Audio offers audio recording, editing and post production for those wanting quality sound results. Recording choirs, bands, string groups, solo artists, backing tracks, demos, audition tapes and albums and having worked for national radio broadcast, Old Skool Audio provides a wide range of knowledge and experience that will enable you to achieve great results on your next audio project, however big or small. Old Skool Audio provides the professional service you expect with the care and attention to quality that you want.
This next business comes highly recommended by me – have you seen my website? Designed completely by Nextdoor Media! I am so proud of my website. It was only a dream, but now it is a reality, and so much more than I thought possible – all because of the professional guidance of Nextdoor Media. If you have a business that is in need of a website, or know of anyone who does, then this is the business to contact.
Nextdoor Media is all about helping small businesses gain and grow an online presence. They provide services such as:
-Website Development (plan, design, develop, manage)
-Online marketing through newsletters campaigns and google adword campaigns
-Understanding how social media can best be used for your business
-Helping discover Internet tools and services to grow your business.
I have been extremely impressed, not just with the design of my website, but with the continual support and suggested improvements I continue to receive to keep my website up to date and relevant.
Phone: 0432 717 276
I would like to leave you with a quote I found a few months ago. Although it is an American quote, it gives a bit of perspective on small businesses and why we should support them.
It has been nearly 9 months since my last Blog… how appalling! Needless to say, life has been pretty busy. But then, isn’t it always? I have realised there may not be a quieter moment to sit down and write to you, so I’m just going to do it!
When someone asks you “What have you been up to?”, do you find your brain goes to some empty place of “Well, I’ve been really busy…but… I can’t remember why!” This happens to me all the time! Besides changing nappies, playing hide-and-seek, reading Sticky Beak, drawing and singing Row, Row, Row your Boat, it is often hard to recall what else fills my days. But this time I really have been busy outside the usual routine.
Family life has been busy. My baby turned 2, my best friend had a baby, my Grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, my brother got engaged, married and moved to Tasmania!
Business wise, the last 9 months have been full of new ventures and small but significant achievements. In no particular order here is a snap-shot of what I’ve been up to…
- Stamp Club has begun! I have a lovely group of 8 ladies who meet with me once a month and indulge in our stamping addiction. Each meeting I demonstrate a new technique which we practice and then create a card using our new skills. Everyone has a turn at being the ‘Host’ for the evening and get the hostess benefits of $50 BONUS products. There are always lots of giggles and chatter as we stamp and sip on hot chocolate. I love the enthusiasm and anticipation these ladies bring as we all eagerly await the next chance to get inspired and inky!
- Classes have taken a slow start this year as I have focused on getting Stamp Club up and running. My first classes were for Mother’s Day and were a great success! I loved seeing lots of new faces and hearing my favourite words uttered: “Look what I just made! I didn’t think I could do that!” I have more classes planned for the year so stay tuned, they’re coming!
- In my last newsletter I announced my new product range! Whoo Hoo! I have been busy sourcing and stocking a small range of products for those who love making their own cards or other paper craft projects. Items include glue pens, double sided tape, tape runners, cellophane bags, brads, pearl and diamante stickers. These are products that I use ALL THE TIME and I couldn’t live without. I hope you might find them useful too. I am in the process of working out how to combine these with the Stampin’ Up! side of my business so they haven’t been added to my website yet…work-in-progress!
- Invitations… When I first started this little business of mine I can’t remember how many people said “You should make wedding invitations too”. And yes, it has always been in ‘the plan’ but it was put in the ’10+years dream’ basket. Well, late last year I was contacted by my beautiful cousin asking if I would like to make her wedding invitations…how could I say no? I was honoured and extremely thrilled to be asked and needless to say, they are well on their way to being completed and sent out! In amongst all of that I also completed an order for 30th birthday invitations and am now in the process of creating my own 30th invitations! I have had so much fun branching out into this new area and creating a variety of different designs! I am looking forward to adding them to my growing Portfolio soon.
- This little piggy went to the Market… The other thing that has taken up a lot of my time is planning and preparing to go to various markets. I did a few months of the Mulgrave Makers Market last year and this year have secured a monthly stall at Lollipops Playland Fountain Gate through Market Mumma’s Mini Markets. I am hoping to get a stall at a few more markets by the end of the year. I really enjoy these days, meeting new people and chatting to others who appreciate handmade goodies. My favourite part of market days is talking to other stall holders about their businesses – I find them so inspiring and encouraging and so would like to share them with you too… but that may have to wait for the next Blog installment!
Stay tuned… I promise it won’t be too long
Create a stunning background or feature for your cards and other paper-craft projects. This is by far my favourite ‘Wow’ technique. I discovered it a few months ago and can’t get enough of it! I hope you enjoy it too.
Lightly ink the raised/negative side of the embossing folder with a light, neutral colour ink.
Place white cardstock inside the inked folder and run it through the Big Shot. Run it back and forth a few times to ensure good ink coverage.
Sponge a medium shade of ink in circular motions over your cardstock to bring out the embossed details.
(Stampin’ Up! Marina Mist used here)
Sponge on a darker ink to accentuate the embossing even more. Leave some of the in-between areas a little lighter to vary the depth of the colours.
(Stampin’ Up! Always Artichoke used here)
Sponge on the darkest colour ink to bring out the rich, deep tones and textures.
(Stampin’ Up! Chocolate Chip used here)
Finally, sponge a light layer of Shimmer Paint over your cardstock to give it a velvety shine. This will also bring out the under layers of colour. Leave it to dry.
Finish your card and Enjoy!
Here are some of the cards I have made using this technique. Plenty more to come!
Ever since I made the invitations for my baby girl’s first birthday, I have wanted to make a matching card for the boys… and here it is!
After making close to 40 of these baby girl dresses I did question whether or not I wanted to include them in my portfolio as that would mean I would have to make MORE, but I think they are so adorable that I wanted to share them with you! (and as fiddly and time-consuming as they are, I really DO enjoy making them – there seems to be a greater satisfaction that comes with making something a bit more complicated!)
These outfits open at the top of the shoulders and can be left blank inside or customised to suit your requirements. The ones I made were invitations so on the inside I stamped ‘You’re Invited’ with ‘To: When: Time: Where: RSVP:’ so that I could write in the details. I also included a magnet strip on the back of the card for our guests to put on their fridge.
These cards would be perfect for a special birthday or welcome baby gift.
The templates have been CASEd from the Splitcoaststampers site but the designs are original. With so many creative people out there it is hard to say who created first and who CASEd first, but I do like to give credit where I can – I am sorry I do not know the name of the person who first came up with this cute idea – but Thank-you!
I have been stamping and making cards for over 15 years. It all started when a close friend of mine invited me to a stamping party – yes, I know, the world of parties is never ending! But after purchasing my first few stamps, I was completely addicted!
Making something from paper, designed just for you, is the best part of my job! That is why Cards4you by Jane exists. From the humble beginnings of a card-maker, my business has grown… and my dreams are just getting BIGGER!
I am a full time Mummy to 2 beautiful girls who are the reason behind these dreams. Being able to work from home is a privilege I do not take lightly. My family is my number 1, my inspiration and drive to be better and dream bigger.