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.







Pinkies weekend at Milton Keynes

Pinkies Weekend at Milton Keynes Craft Event

What great fun it is leading Team Gilly and attending Craft Events with my team.  This lovely lot joined me for a fantastic day crafting in Milton Keynes with 62 other keen Stampin’ Up! crafters. Huge thanks are due to Lexy who acted as driver for the team. What a generous and kind lady she is.

We spent a delightful day crafting, learning new skills and networking. Chatting and laughing with old mates is such a huge part of these get togethers for me. Baz and Stacey,  just two of my many naughty friends!

The day includes some wonderful crafting projects and as usual I was too busy chattering and attending the extra business classes to find enough time to finish these.  For me it’s a really lovely part of these events bringing back projects to complete quietly at home afterwards. Michelle always makes these packs so well with clear instructions so I know I will really enjoy making them up.


Inspiration Stations.

I always enjoy sharing ideas and talking craft and so the inspiration tables are right up my street. I spent a good deal of time at the inspiration and idea tables. Each table is hosted by a volunteer from the team showcasing Stampin’ Up! products and offering us some amazing samples of their work. It always makes me want to run and order more product. It can be an expensive peek! As ever there were some very talented ladies with magnificent display samples. We are so lucky that crafters enjoy sharing their ideas so freely.


Keila’s tiny boxes

Beautiful tiny boxes just wonderful perfect gift ideas from Keila. She chose foiled papers and they were displayed in straw using mini lights giving a luxurious golden glow, perfect inspiration for Christmas.



Tara’s was making a great Impression!

Tara showcased an impressionistic and very colourful table. Some great watercolour style pieces reminiscent of a French Art gallery. Take a look at the stamp set  in the Annual catalogue it’s from the Garden Impressions Suite and called Abstract Impressions. It’s a fabulous work horse of a set and suited for all occasions and Tara proved it to us with cards, tags, picture framed items and so much more including a super patchwork sample frame.


Katy tempting me to spend my money with the Santa’s Workshop Suite.

Katy here showcasing her lovely cheeky twin son’s in a scrap book page and using the Santa’s Workshop Suite for some lovely clean crisp cards.  Prior to this event I had decided I wasn’t keen on this set after all we can’t all like everything. Sadly for my purse she’s gone and persuaded me I must buy it. Such clear crisp images. Her whole stand shouted Christmas traditional cheer.

I told myself I can’t have everything so maybe I would resist but…… then ……. just as I was walking away…. along came the next table and …. ahhhh…..

Marguerites Memorable Diary and much more temptation.

Marguerite was showcasing Memories and More Scrapbooking ideas and guess which set she had chosen for her main 2018 Christmas diary ? Yes, she had used the very same suite as Katy. I’ve lost my resolve and am off to buy Santa’s workshop items with my next order. Thanks for nothing ladies. When I’m bankrupt, will you take me in?  This reminds me if you fancy having a go at Scrapbooking then we re-start again October 21st email me hi@gillyhunt.com for further info. Sorry but I didn’t get a photo of Marguerite but here are a couple of her pages. It’s a good idea to buy your Memories and More cards right now and set them up as she has done with sticky notes to remind you what photo would be nice total and add. This way you can do it all when you have more time up front now and when life is busy and full of Christmas cheer then you know what’s required and by Jan 1st you have a fab completed book to show to friends and family not the usual pile of photos and ideas with no sense of direction.










Marguerite also includes a beautifully decorated envelope like the one below every few pages which will be used for excess photos so you are totally ready to go.


Linda’s Home Sweet Homes from the Festive Farmhouse Suite.

Opps I didn’t get a photo of Linda either, sorry Linda. A beautiful elegant table showing yet another of the set’s I had decided not to buy and now I’m saving up. This inspirational table had a variety of lovely samples including superb new home cards. I especially love the die cut fencing. I think it instantly adds that 3rd dimension. Look out for this Festive Farmhouse Suite.




Lorraine’s superb tranquil textures seascapes.

Finally a comprehensive and special display from Lorraine including a great many examples of sea things.  Pirate treasure and bags of fun including an exploding box treasure chest. Watch this space in the next few days for more Exploding boxes as this was also our theme for my classes this month.



Thanks so much to these wonderful ladies, I am inspired.  I was also happy to attend 2 wonderful business based classes from Jenny and Michelle. Following Michelle’s class I have now managed to send my class members a rather silly photo of myself on the latest newsletter.

On a more positive note it does mean I will now be able to illustrate and send photos of products and sample makes in my newsletters in future. Who would have thought that little old me who didn’t even know what a blog was a few years ago is now not only writing this one but about to create large scale illustrated newsletters regularly. Watch out…. !!!  You’re never too old to learn.

The rest of the day included swapping, a huge scale raffle ( no I didn’t win anything …boo hoo!! )and more chatter and crafting. I’m home now and was looking forward to crafting those project kits but have full on man flu passed to me by nearest and dearest John so am very frustrated as I so want to have enough energy to finish my make and takes but hey there is always another day.

Come back in a few days time and I’ll show you my swaps. Ohh err missus not you will enjoy it I promise !







Team Gilly Notebook Challenge

Team Gilly Notebook Challenge

At our team BBQ I issued a Team Gilly Notebook Challenge. Everyone was given a small simple notebook and challenged to decorate it. I thought I should decorate the packs I was giving out and what better way than using Stampin’ Up! Apron Builder Framelits. Such a fabulous set and co-ordinates with the Apron of Love Stamp set. This is the perfect set for those birthday cards for a cook, a BBQ dad, a passionate sewing or crafting diva or to say thanks to your favourite cafe owner. Also perfect for me to add to the front of the notebook pack.



I decided this Team Challenge could be over some time. I gave everyone till Christmas to complete them. I will let you all see them as soon as I get then handed in.


The First  Entry to the Notebook Challenge is from Jan

Jan is the first team member with her’s completed and to have handed it to me. What a pretty delicate floral work of art it is.  Hasn’t she done a fabulous job. I didn’t promise a prize but I think if the standard is this high I may just have to find a little something to give away.  I love this white polka dot tuille ribbon, with it’s dotty surface, it make for such a delicate decoration.

A well designed and put together peice with a lovely backside! Oh err Missus!!!

This has set the bar very high for the rest of the team. Come on people. I can’t wait to see what you have all done with those very bland ordinary little books.

Thanks a million Jan for starting the ball rolling. I love it.