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Ohhhhhh… I want one…..

Well strictly speaking I want one of each so that’s …I want 2 !

The latest fab bags from Stampin’ Up!

The Stamparatus Shoulder bag.

The Stamparatus now has a very trendy shoulder bag to call it’s home. Beautifully cushioned and with pockets and straps to keep everything safe as houses. Laid out to carry your Stamparatus but with spare room for extras too.

If you haven’t seen or heard of the Stamparatus it’s a must have gadget that helps you:

  • Stamp text and designs totally straight.
  • Create circular patterns and wreaths without measuring.
  • Make cards with multiple greetings all lined up and perfectly spaced.
  • Manage two step stamping or even 3 or 4 step stamping easily.
  • Re-stamp those tricky images that refuse to co-operate just ink it again go in again and it lines everything up for a seam free re-stamp.
  • Design complex interlinked images.
  • Create millions of stamped die cuts by just lining up the first.

Stamparatus Masterclass Weekend coming soon….. email me for details.

I love it so much I think everyone should have a Stamparatus. I am running a Stampin’Up! Stamparatus masterclass weekend this year. Date and venue still to be confirmed but if you are interested let me know and I can put you on the contact list for details to be sent out nearer the time. All atendees will need their own Stamparatus but hold on I will help you by offering a special deal kit for the event to include a Stamparatus.

Email :

The Tote is here.

If like me you have looked at Totes before I bet like me you have thought I would like one but the pockets are not quite what I want or it won’t fit my trimmer or I can’t put 12×12 papers in without bending them or I wish I could put my inks in flat etc..etc… In my time as an art and craft teacher I’ve gone through a few totes in search of perfection. They are all very lovely but there is always something that doesn’t fit so has to be carried alongside. Well this is it a tote that’s big enough for all those long and larger items yet not so huge it drags on the floor! Always a problem when like me your under 5 foot tall. This little beauty also has dividers and internals that work with velcro so you can rearrange the layout to suit your individual needs. You can even change the layout for each class or event you attend. Need more room for pens then create a pen size zone, need to take lots of stamp sets or a full set of inks not a problem just rearrange those internal dividers to keep then from flopping about. It’s been created by crafters for crafters and you can tell.

So what’s the catch? Yes there is one ! Oh no!

Well sorry there is a catch. The tote is only available to Stampin’ Up! team members so you will just have to join my team if you want one. Oh dear that’s terrible….. No really it’s wonderful. It means you can have that exclusive bag and you get the fun of joining my team and coming along to events and crafty days out. You also get 20% off all purchases from the catalogue while you are a team member and much more so go on you know you want to Email and ask for details be a part of something wonderful.

A Look Back at 2018

Part 2 Christmas a time to gather together.

I love Christmas. December 2018 was as busy as ever. I enjoyed meeting up with family and friends, handbell ringing carols in church, handcrafting gifts and cards and dressing up in silly jumpers!

Amongst all the fun family stuff I also managed to squeeze in 3 great get togethers with fellow crafters.

Pinkies Christmas Party.

Well just what a good party should be – food, crafting, gifts and a rather silly elf calling the numbers for a silly game. Thanks to Michelle for a fabulous time.

Gilly’s Christmas Annual Award party

I love my classes and to reward everyone for a wonderful year I host a party for all the classes to get together at one venue. We play silly games hand out the “pencil” awards our version of the Oscars! Everyone kindly brings along something for a bring and share food table. I set up a samples table and we all bring along projects to share with one another. What a fabulous night we had with much fun and lots of crafting too.

Here’s to next years already in the diary for 12th dec at Callow End Village hall. Come on you know you want to be there ask me about classes in 2019 for info.

Graduation from “Let’s Grow”

Two years ago I was privileged to be chosen as part of a special training group,The “Let’s Grow”, Group. A selected group of Stampin’ Up! demonstrators got together to create a special small co-operative group and with training and inspiration from each other. This has been superb. Two years on those of us in the founding group are now giving way to new group members and continuing in our own alumni supportive forum but without the formal training element. It’s sad to leave but great to continue on with such supportive and inspiring people around for advise and encouragement. Here’s a few photo of our last day together.

Yes we did eat lots and have some very silly moments !

A Look back at 2018 .

Part 1 America

With the passing of the old year and the start of the new it’s a great time to review and reflect. Wow! What a fab life I have and how much my crafting forms a big part of that fun. I’m a little late but here’s my January New Year round up … well it’s only just Feb! Come back over the next few days to see what else I got up to.

November flew by and included an amazing trip to Orlando, Florida all built around attending the Stampin ‘ Up! 30th Birthday Crafting Convention. Hooking up with old friends and making many new ones how fabulous that the simple art of crafting can bring people together so easily in perfect harmony and understanding. If only all world leaders were crafters !

A trip to the Big Apple for the Stampin’ Up! 30th Birthday bash and crafting spectacular.

We started with Family Fun in Florida.

Five times the globe has turned and we missed the photo. Hence we’re not looking our best. The globe looks perfect!

My husband , John, came with me to America. Our daughter Jen and her fiancé Luke went out a week before us and timed their American road trip so they could join us for a week in the theme parks.

Yes that’s my 3 on the front row !!!! Ahhhh!!!

As a family we ran around the big parks of Florida hoping on and off rides with much squealing and giggling, yes the boys too! We ate enormous sticky Cinnabon buns washed down with gallons of coffee, watched late night laser shows, fireworks and stayed in the parks after dark for Halloween terror nights! We even squeezed into our busy schedule a basketball league match Florida Orlando Magics versus the Pittsburgh Panthers.

Park time over, Jen and Luke stayed on to keep John amused while I met up with my crafty mates for the Stampin’ Up! event.

The Brits are here in case you hadn’t noticed.

What fun I had. The 30th Birthday bash is an amazing event with over 6000 Stampin’ Up! team members all gathered at The Orange County Convention centre in Orlando, Florida for a few days of inspiring crafty brilliance. Plenty of fellowship and fun along with inspirational displays of craft work and lots of hands on crafting. We danced the congo with the CEO and playing daft games and ate cookies in the evening with fellow crafters. We celebrated the achievements of others, got a first look at the new 2019 catalogue and won prizes and giveaways galore.

Swapping and making connections.

” Swapping” happens at many Stampin’ Up! events. We all design one or two lovely things and make a quantity of them. We take them to events and swap them for something someone else has made taking home lots of different items all with stories attached. A great way to break the ice and introduce yourself and get talking about your crafting too. ” Are you swapping?” has been the fantastic first words to many a great conversation and some super friendships too. As this was a big event I made 150 note pads with dancing lady covers and over 200 sets of varnished paper beads. Needless to say I came home with a case full of inspiring cards, gifts and more along with the names and contact details of some new friends.

Culture and Romance.

Convention over Jen and Luke returned to London. Hubby and I flew across to New York for a touch of culture and romance. John lived his childhood dream as we watched Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera house and we visited art galleries and saw landmarks from all the films. Finishing our trip flying out during one of the worst blizzards of snow New York had experienced since the 1920’s. America certainly threw a lot at us. What a trip and all because I’m a crafter with Stampin’ Up!

In the Observatory of the Empire state building just before
our ” Sleepless in Seattle” moment out on the top terrace.

Wedding Wonders

Wedding dress shopping day.

My daughter Jenny and I have been in the Shoreditch area of London looking at wedding dresses. It’s the trendy bit of London and is full of art and design studios.

This is our second time viewing dresses. We found two wonderful dresses on our first trip but felt we should take a good look at other options in other studios just to be certain. Those first two set the bar very high as Jen felt wonderful in them and more importantly they made me cry. Soppy old duck!

No peeking!

This is the only photo till July next year. After all it’s bad luck for the groom to see the dress and the lovely Luke might just check in with my blog…. well unlikely but ….. anyway….I’m not risking it…… Today’s dresses were beautifully embroidered and very, very lovely but actually left me tear free. Based on the crying factor we decided to go back to the original shop for a second viewing. Sometimes it’s useful to compare and realise you did really see the best straight away. So back we go and I shall take a box of tissues this time.  I love spending time with Jen and how special it is to be choosing this important dress together.

After our first visit I was designing exploding boxes for my classes and of course I had to include a wedding inspired offering. Today felt like a great day to share it.


White on white is so beautiful for weddings and I love how this single layer box turned out. I used the Delightfully detailed laser cut paper to decorate it both inside and out. Here’s one of the outer panels.

This delicate looking paper has Very Vanilla one side and Whisper White the other. It is really strong and easy to use even though it looks so fragile. I loved cutting some of the flowers and leaves individually as well as using the larger sheets.

The central cake was made using strips of card wound into tubes. I stuck one on top of the other with a circle of card between to stop them collapsing. The white satin ribbon edged with silver made ideal cake bands. This ribbon was also my choice for the box lid decoration.

I made this box a simple single drop down.  Two of the flaps have been formed by cutting diagonally across the adjacent waste area and folding it inwards to form a pocket.

The other two are made into photo frames by adding an extra piece of white card with a circle die cut into it. ideal for a Mr and Mrs photo.


I hope you like this wedding treat box . Why not keep a look out for my other exploding boxes coming soon .





Easy Water Colouring.

Try this easy colouring idea for a really fast card. So many times I hear “I can’t colour I’m not artistic”. Well of course you can. Let me show you two simply coloured images both equally lovely and look you don’t even need to be in the lines!

I’ve taken the “Beautiful You” stamp set and this wonderful infectious image. This set also features a range of fabulous texts. So if you like to colour take the first route staying conventionally within the lines. I used Stampin’ Up! watercolour pencils and gave them a wash over with an aqua brush. I then coloured the folds and shadow areas to create contrast. I did this while the paper was a little wet so the crayon bleeds a little giving a deeper shade of colour.

Don’t bother with staying in the lines

Felling insecure about keeping in the lines ? Then don’t !  Ha ha, it’s so easy! Take care to leave her arms and legs clear using a sideways scribble action colour across using one colour for the hat , one for the dress and one for the water. How simple is that. Use an aqua brush to blur the effect and while damp just add a bit of extra colour to the hat and the folds of the dress.

Team Gilly Notebook Challenge.

 The second entry to the Notebook Challenge is from Lexy.

See Sept 12th entry for challenge set at our team BBQ. There is still another six weeks to complete the challenge and more entries are coming in. Here’s Lexy’s lovely contribution. Doesn’t it make a difference having that blurred coloured edge to the greeting. I love using a sponge or dauber to soften the raw cut edge. Quite a contender this is sharp and smart with a touch of mini sequin sparkle.

Swaps for Milton Keynes 2018 ” Embossing folders”

 Card using an embossing folder for swapping at Milton Keynes

Here’s the last of my swaps for Milton Keynes event. Hope you have enjoyed looking at them all.

For my take on a card using an embossing folder I was set on using the 5 newest in-colours.  I decided it’s just too easy to use embossing folders to create amazing background details so for this project I would try and bring the embossed card forward.

So here is my torn bauble cards which allow the torn embossed paper to be an equal as it pushes in front of the bauble.

I love torn edges especially around Christmas time as it reminds me of snow and there is something warm and comforting about a torn edge it’s soft and fluffy!  OK I may be going a bit over board but hey it’s me!

When you can use matching card, ribbon and blender pens to colour how can you go wrong.  Featuring each of the wonderful bold new in-colours I soon had 5 cards but what do to for the 6th?  It just had to be a smart black and white. Crisp clean and simple cards featuring the wonderful softly falling embossing folder.

Lovely Lipstick

Grapefruiit Grove

Blueberry Bliss

Call Me Clover


Pineapple Punch


A simple black and white card is a great contrast after all that strong bold colour.

Look at the wonderful black sheer ribbon with it’s sparkly silver speckles. I know I will be using this lots over the festive period. It simply shimmers in the lights and will look fab on presents. I’m thinking brown paper packages tied up with…….  not string but rather this ribbon, for very sophisticated table gift at dinner parties. Great for some 20’s style black and white crackers too.

Hope you have enjoyed y Swaps for Milton Keynes





PS I’m off now to start making my swaps for my trip to Orlando later in the year. I love my job that takes me all over the world crafting. It’s amazing. Consider joining me, click on the join button above or email me for a chat.

Swaps for Milton Keynes 2018 using kids or baby stamp set

Swaps for Milton Keynes 2018 using kids or baby stamp set

My second card for the Pinkies event in Milton Keynes.

The category is a Card using any stamp set from the annual catalogue baby and kids section.

I decided to do a Christmas card and straight away into my mind came the wonderful traditional Baby Bear stamp set.

The simplest of cards are often my favourites. Baby Bear stamped in three stages on whisper white card. Stage 1 uses Crumb Cake stage 2 uses Soft Suede and stage 3 finishes the details in early Espresso. I set up 3 sides of the Stamparatus plates with the baby bear parts. The last side of the plates takes the lovely tongue in cheek BEARY Merry text from the Cookie Cutter Stamp set.  Using a Stamparatus means multiples are so easy it’s almost a crime!

 A pretty finishing touch which transforms our lovely baby bear into a Christmas one is a sprig of holly taken from the Spirited Snowmen set and cut out before adding 3 real red jewels and sticking on with dimensionals.



The quickest 6 cards ever. Done in a moment or two using the Stamparatus and you know every one will be perfectly the same. I will find it hard to resist making this my family card this year.


Swaps for Milton Keynes 2018 “Christmas Card”

Traditional Christmas Card for the Swapping 

Here’s the first of my swaps for Milton Keynes event. Hop back over the next few days for the other two.

The category is a Card for Christmas.

I decided to do a very traditional card.  Well in my book Christmas a traditional card is all about snow, reindeer, fir trees, sparkle and glitter.   Red, green and white are my favourite traditional colours and a clear and simple goodwill message needs to be included. I love using Seasons Greetings. A simple greeting appropriate for non Christian friends too. Throw it all in and hey presto it’s this little card.



I hope you agree I’ve cracked it with this one. It’s so easy now I have a Stamparatus that this may even become the Business card this year.

I start with the distant snow capped mountains against an inky Night of Navy sky created using sponge daubers ink and torn off bits of paper to mask and sculpt the landscape. You can’t see it sadly in the photos but trust me the ” Wink of Stella” adds a lovely sparkle to the snowy tops. ” Lovely as a Tree ” the ultimate Christmas scene go to stamp set creates a wonderful woodland scene for the midground. I stamped from either side and added a centrally placed second step stamp to give the fainter looking trees creating a feeling of depth.


A simply placed Seasons Greetings from the Snowman Set  easily placed centred and levelled by using the Staparatus. I love this new best friend tool.

Again using the Stamparatus and a template I easily managed to stamp and die cut multiple reindeer. I placed him on using dimensionals just to give the feeling of foreground adding further depth to the scene.



There you go mounted simply on a piece of Whisper White Card then onto a Real Red card base for a lovely finish.  I have to admit time was limited so I didn’t stamp an inner sheet but had I more time I think a Whisper white inner with a couple of the tiny floral from the Dashing Deer set would have been rather lovely.


Swaps and Samples for Milton Keynes 2018

Swaps and Samples  for Milton Keynes Event. 

When Stampin’ Up! team members and demonstrators go to events we usually take along a few lovely Samples and Swaps we have made to share with others. We design a single card and then make many of them. Sometimes we make hundreds for really big events and sometimes just a few. At each event we swap with each other which means we end up going home with a whole mixture of different cards. It’s such a pleasure to see what others have done with Stampin’ Up! product.  I am usually really inspired and love sharing them again at my classes.

At this event in Milton Keynes we were asked to sign up for specific swap groups with just 5 or 6 people in each group making it not too many to make.  I remember my first swap event was in Brussels and I made 100 nail file holder wraps. How happy I was coming back on Euro Star with a large backpack full of goodies all 100 different and inspiring me to try new ideas. I still have many of those swapped treasures and had fun giving away many others.

As this time the groups were small  I signed for 3 groups so made 18 cards to take along 6 for each group. I chose the following groups:

1. Any card highlighting Embossing Folders
2. Any card featuring a stamp set available in the kids and baby section of the main annual catalogue.
3. Any Christmas themed card.

I decided to make all 3 cards as Christmas Cards as we are getting too a time of year when my classes start asking for ideas. Over the next 3 days I will share my makes so please pop back and see what I made.

I hope you enjoyed this quick glance of the wonderful sharing table displaying just some of the swaps. Such talented crafters I swapped with and some wonderful items to show my classes and customers too.

Thanks to anyone who was involved and swapped with me.