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November 2009
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January 2010

Fabulous Night out with Friends ...

On Friday night I had a lovely night out to Dinner with my stamping buddies. This lovely group of friends started when I invited a few then customers to come and stamp at my house once a month to have some fun. That was about 16 months ago, and we still meet once a month as well as fit in weekends away and lunches and dinners out. Love these girls to bits. From left to right we have Kerry, Christine, me, Leanne and Judy.

Sm Friends Wattleseed 18 Dec 09 

We dined at Wattleseed Restaurant in Healesville which was divine! Delicious King Island Chicken stuffed with Camembert and Bacon, followed by the most yummy Sticky Date pudding. Judy and Leanne chose the 'lighter' dessert of Yarra Valley strawberries, but just check out how it was served. We all had a giggle at that. Apparently it was delicious too. There is something about local berries in season. There are so many berry farms in the Yarra valley, we are very lucky.

Sm Leanne and Judy 18 Dec 09 

Of course being stampers, we all had handmade cards and gifts (mostly edible - yumm) for each other. We could hardly see the tabletop when we got there! They were all so special being gifts from fabulous friends and I felt so spoilt. Here's a pic of the table, and my goody bags for the girls.

Sm table at wattleseed

Sm Stamp girls good bags 
If you are ever in Healesville, I thoroughly recommend Wattleseed restaurant. They serve all meals from breakfast, plus coffee and to die for cakes all day.

Could be a long night for me tonight (it's now very very early Saturday morning), as both my boys have that gastro bug that is going around. I managed a snooze this afternoon though so I am feeling good and enjoying writing my Christmas cards while I watch over them. Isn't it hard to watch your children unwell :( Quiet day at home for us all tomorrow with lots of sleep ins and washing!

Hope you are all well and happy. Thanks for the lovely comments and emails on my last post. It's nice to know people understand sometimes you have to juggle things differently for a while. I already feel more creative, so hope to post a creation for you real soon. In the meantime, check out this gorgeous layout my friend and downline Sue Madex did over at Stampamemory using the Circle Scissors. I just love it.

Last but not least, here's a pic of some of our Christmas cards. That 6ft Santa is growing on me!

Sm Our Christmas Lights 2009

Thanks for hopping by,

Claire xx

Little Bit of This and That ...

It's well and truly pre-Christmas season here so there has been lots of catching up with friends and lots of gift buying and wrapping, which I really enjoy. It's also been a time of slowing down a bit for me and taking some more time for the family and myself which has been great.

We had our team Christmas dinner at Mamma Vittoria's in Fitzroy, which was noisy but nice!  It was lovely to catch up with lots of the girls in person over a lovely meal. Here's some of the team:

Small team dinner

I've been a little obsessed with Poinsettia's. I think I mentioned once before how much they reminded me of my Grandmother. My Mum bought me a beautiful one, and I've been busy making Poinsettia themed gift card holders for some family gifts. Love how they turned out. I am also working on some lovely Poinsettia themed gift bags so will show you these when I have finished.

Gift Card Holder

I've finished all my Christmas shopping and it's wrapped and under the tree, I made up the teachers and kinder helpers gifts, not forgetting the lollipop ladies who brighten our day with a cheery hello every morning (yes I cheated on these gift bags, but there were heaps!).

Teachers presents small

My Mum came over for a 5 day visit from Busselton in WA and we had a lovely time catching up and chatting and hanging out. She got to go to the boys swimming and school assembly and spoil them to bits. It was lovely for all of us as we hadn't seen her since we were in Perth last July.

Mum sam small

We've been visiting the Christmas light displays, and added a few to our own collection, including this 6ft Santa Paul came home with when I asked him to 'pop down the street for a loaf of bread' ! Good thing I didn't ask him to bring home something BIG!

Mum and boys with Santa 13 Dec 09 

I've been doing some reading. I finished 'The Slap' which is told from the viewpoint of eight different adults at a BBQ, where a child is slapped as supposed discipline by one of the adults (not their parent). It was very full on but a great read. Right now I am reading 'The Memory Keepers Daughter' by Kim Edwards which is awesome even though I am just 1/4 way through it (don't tell me what happens OK!). I would definitely recommend them. Check them out in my sidebar on the right.

I've received some lovely hand stamped cards which is very exciting. I love to see what others have done on their Christmas cards. They are all lovely to receive but I thought these two in particular were very cool ideas. This Plum Pudding one from my lovely customer Monica:

Plum pudding card

and these cute photo baubles from my clever downline Tanja Westwood:

Phpto bauble cards

As for my Christmas cards, I am hoping to get these written in tonight:

Home made cards small

Stampin' Up! has just announced a fabulous Inventory Clearance Sale - with up to 50% off some items (like one of my fave alpha sets, the Jumbo outline alphabet!). You can download a full list of what's on sale here: Download SU Inventory Sale Dec 09

Imventory Sale

Josh has just got half a day of school left. We'll be doing some Christmas baking next week and I am taking the boys into the city Monday to see the Christmas decorations. We are going to the beach house for a week in January, but other than that we will be home making our own fun and taking some day trips. We have a few fun day trips lined up, and they are excited about going to Paul's work on Christmas Eve too. Josh put on an impromptu Christmas concert for me a week or so ago, complete with entry ticket and intermission with snack bar! he has such an imagination.

Josh concert

I recently did this layout for our scrapbooking site Stampamemory. Tanja Westwood has taken over the running over the Stampamemory site and is doing an awesome job. Lots of fabulous stuff planned there for 2010 and I am really enjoying getting more scrapbooking done again! Here's a peek at my page. Pop on over to Stampamemory and have a look at the full page here, as well as the other great layouts the girls and guest scrappers are coming up with.

Meeting dora sneek 

Finally a quick word about Stampin' Up. You may have noticed a bit of a change of pace from me over the last half of this year, which has been a great fit for me and my family. I'm thoroughly enjoying mentoring and leading my team, and supporting my regular customers but I'm no longer doing workshops and classes since July this year. I welcome new customers who would like to be supported with extra emailed card ideas and tutorials through my customer newsletter and am able to quickly place your orders and support you by phone and email. I'll also continue to update my blog when I am able to as I LOVE sharing my creations and blog hopping, and continue to offer my marker clubs.

The amount of time to spend on Stampin' Up! hasn't changed though, so with my growing team and extra customer support, something else has to give for me to keep this balance which feels so right for me. I am no longer doing trade shows (These have been passed onto Sue Madex and Nikki Sadler), and I have passed the running of Stampamemory onto my downline Tanja. This has been a great move for me and has freed up lots of time and energy for my team and team forum, and my customers. At this stage I am not sure if I will continue to offer tutorials and my blog newsletter next year. Watch this space OK? 

This year has been a tough but fabulous year for me personally and I feel so much happier and in balance, and confident in my life direction than I did this time last year. It's been a challenging year with some issues my son Josh has had, but we have come through that with flying colours and he is doing great and I relish my role as his supporter and advocate. Life is good.

Thanks for your fantastic support in 2010, and for stopping by and leaving me messages. Thanks to my lovely friends who have met up with me for lunch, called me, sent me cards and gifts and chatted with me on various forums. You have reminded me of the greatest gift from my Stampin' Up! journey - relationships and sharing what we love.

I'll be popping in from time to time over the coming weeks. I'm looking forward to some holiday time to do some creating just for ME. Lots more scrapbooking and I'd love to do some more sketch challenges, and build up a supply of birthday cards for next year. It didn't sit well with me this year to be making so many cards, but being so busy that many didn't get sent!

I hope you have a fabulous Christmas and some precious family time. Here's a picture of my Christmas Tree, just because it makes me happy.

Our Christmas Tree 2009

Claire xx

Free Cupcake and Muffin Box Templates and Instructions to Download .....

I've had such lovely comments about these single and double cupcake and muffin boxes I designed earlier in the year. Thought it would be nice to offer them as a free download to my blog readers. There are two boxes, one holds one cupcake or muffin, and the other two. They are great little gift boxes and could pretty much be adapted to anything. Here's some pictures:

Both close up

Both cupcake templates

Double cupcake box open

Close up box lid


Single cupcake template

 Download the Instructions and Template Here

This file contains all the diagrams and step bu step instructions for both of these cupcake boxes - enjoy making them!

Download Muffin and Cupcake Boxes Claire Daly

Make Your Own and Get More Tutorials For Free

If you make your own version of one of these boxes and upload them to your blog before 15th January with a link to this post as your inspiration, you can choose any two of my tutorial packages (in the left hand column) for free. Anyone that has a go at making one can choose two tutorial packs for free, so everyone wins! The three steps you need to take are:

  1. Make your own version of either box (or both) using the templates supplied in the instructions above.
  2. Upload a picture of your projects to your blog by 15th January, and include a link to this post in your blog post as the source of the inspiration.
  3. Leave a comment here linking to your post by 15th January. Also let me know in your comment which of the PDF tutorial packs you would like, and I'll email them to you as thanks!

Enjoy making the boxes! Now off to eat - why do I always do these posts just before dinner time?


NEW Summer Mini Catalogue Samples and Shares

It's here at last, the brand new funky, bright and happy Stampin' Up! Summer Mini Catalogue (products available from today through March 31st 2010). You can click on the cover image in the left hand column to view the new mini online.


Everyone loves a new mini catalogue! Lots of great new exciting products in this one to show you too, including the gorgeous Butterfly punch and matching stamp set  Butterfly Prints (which also matches Flight of the Butterfly). We also have Circle Scissors Plus (at a GREAT price), new papers, rub ons, ribbons, buttons and of course stamps!

This card features two of my fave sets from this mini, Razzle Dazzle (which is GREAT with markers direct to rubber) and I {Heart} Hearts which has lots of different hearts and coordinates with our heart punches.

Razzle dazzle

We also have the bright and happy Kaliedescope Designer Series Paper, which is perfect for a product share. This goes with so many different colours and I added in some coordinating softer colours as well, to give you heaps of different cardmaking options.

Share 1: Kaliedescope Designer Series Paper Share Pack - $25.00 (including postage)

Kaliedescope pack

You get:
12 sheets 6x6" Kaliedescope DSP
3 sheets each of A4 Tempting Turquoise, Certainly Celery, Pixie Pink, Pink passion, So Saffron, Summer Sun cardstock
5 sheets Whisper White cardstock
1.7m Tempting Turquoise 1/4" Grosgrain Ribbon
1.3m Certainly Celery 5/8" Grosgrain Ribbon
1.1m Pretty in Pink Taffeta Ribbon
I will be creating lots with these products over the coming months, and as a customer, you will get extra samples to copy with the products you will already have from the share!
Share 2: Playground Buttons and Real Red Ribbon Share - $13.00 Inc Postage
(3.3m ribbon and 10 Playground Buttons)

Buttons and ribbon 

Share 3: Sherbert Buttons and Pink Pirouette 1-1/4" Ribbon - $11.50 Inc Postage
(3.3m ribbon and 10 Sherbert Ribbons)
This one not pictured but it is on page 7 and 15 in Summer Mini Catalogue.

Here's a couple more samples for you. They both use the Kaliedescope papers, one bright and one more muted sheet (it's a very versatile pack). This first card uses I {Heart} Hearts again. Check out that cute woodgrain heart! I love the bright Playground buttons too.

Pink passion hearts

The stamp set I have used on this one is Butterfly Prints, which I have cut out using the Butterfly Punch. The greeting is from the same set. Love that font and it's perfect with the Stampin' Write Markers!

Glitter butterfly

Lots more samples to come of course! If you would like to purchase any of the new products, give me a call on 03 97352946 or email me and I'll put your order through to be sent straight from the warehouse to you (excluding shares which need to come to me first) so you will have it in a jiffy! 

Enjoy checking out the new products,

Claire xx